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Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPACaptain's Reserve Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,131
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 190
Gots: 121 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 02-13-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,131 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickd717
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ginger Man in NYC.

A - Clear golden-orange color with a whitish head.

S - Piney hop aroma along with sweet malt. Some citrus notes present as well.

T - Piney hops, citrus, resin, and sweet pale/caramel malt. Fairly sweet, which balances the heavy-handed hops really welly.

M - Medium-full, somewhat oily palate with lingering hop oils.

D - Pretty high for an IIPA. This is good stuff all-around.

Photo of largadeer
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle kindly supplied by Dyan. Thanks, big guy.

Pale golden-amber, brilliantly clear and bright, this is a beautiful beer. Two fingers of head settles down to a thin disc that retains very well.

The nose is signature East Coast DIPA; big malts to match big hops with solventy alcohol backing it up. Sweet and tropical with scents of pineapple and Mandarin orange.

Opens up sweet on the palate, honey and caramel flavors competing with fruity, tropical hop flavors for the forefront. Medium in body, thankfully not too syrupy, but not nearly as crisp or dry as I'd like. Finishes with a blast of resiny, herbal hops that, while not too bitter, have an odd astringency to them.

Not a bad beer on the whole, but really rough around the edges. The sweetness muddles the hop flavor, and the finish is unpleasantly rough. Needs some work.

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review based on notes, got this one from HopStoopid120, cheers Tony!

Pours an effervescent apricot with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Nice lacing & outstanding head retention

S: Slight pineyness, plus a ton of citrus

T: Follows the nose, nice tangerine & lemon flavor up front, plus some caramel sweetness. Earthy hops & breadyness as this warms, along with a bit of boozeyness. Finishes with leafy hops & tangerines

MF: Medium bodied, slightly sticky with assertive carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, a solid DIPA

Photo of meatyard
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, lightly carbonated, golden with a typical, large fluffy, white head that leaves very nice lacing.
The smell is pine, malt and a bit of a peppery spice thing going on.
Taste is a very pleasant mix of fruity hops and malt that holds for a moment until a bit of bitterness bites in at the swallow. Some alcohol shows up but isn't distracting in any way. The malt doesn't provide any sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation and on the dry side.
Drinkability is good, it's strong with 9% ABV so a couple of glasses suits me.

This is a good beer from Captain Lawrence which I hear most are. This probably won't satisfy someone looking for the typical West Coast DIPA but otherwise should satisfy. I'd like to try this on tap.

Photo of gibby
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4 bottles courtesy of mikey711 via trade, thanks again.

Awesome botle design, I love the clear label and the 500 ml stubby bottle. Poured into DFH snifter glass. Nice appearrance right off the bat, light golden color with a big chunky 2 finger head. Massive lacing is on the glass as it get lower. Leaves the rim of the glass a bit sticky as it warms. Smell is a mix of lemon, malt, bready aromas. Taste is nice with a hint of hops but more malt fwd than I was expecting. Creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation. I think the drinkability is very high.

I usually like my DIPA's way more more hop fwd than this one but I really enjoyed. I found it to be easy drinking. I received 4 bottles on monday and I am down to just 1 already. Glad I finally got try a CL brew. If your looking for a massive hop bomb look elsewhere, but if you want a nice drinkable DIPA look for the CL reserve. Recommended.

Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikey711 for sending this my way; happy to have another IIPA with a good rep. Consumed while watching my Twins, down four games, try to claw their way back into the race by beating Detroit!

Poured into my cool, silver-lipped Hennepin goblet is a light, slightly amber IIPA with evident carbonation racing up the middle of the brew. Very clear, pale. Smell is middling faint, even watery, with only a smattering of hops.

The reason is quickly evident. This is an IIPA that is busting my chops with malts, not hops, which leaves me bit teary-eyed. The Ralph Wiggum hops are overwhelmed by the big malts that lend an up-front sweetness, with the hops contributed only a grapefruit, very slight hoppy bitterness at the end. Clean, balanced, & sweeter, without the bite I like in my IIPA. Easy drinking for the high ABV, which is evident only in the warming of my chest cavity.

Good beer, but the maltiness of this beer left me wanting more hops!

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to nyrangersfan for bring a couple bottles of this brew on his trip to Chicago. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Three fingers of slow dissolving off-white cream foam with glass-coasting lacing. Super transparent golden yellow color with a few bubbles lazily rising upwards. I like a little haze in my DIPAs, but otherwise this is superb.

S - Big pine, a bit of tropical fruit, some zesty ripe grapefruit, and some dank earthy notes as well - definitely some Simcoe character. There's a strong grainy malt backbone in this one with lots of bread character to it and a touch of spice. I wish this had a little more sweetness to it, as both hop and malt profiles veer towards the earthy savory side of things.

T - Taste has a tiny bit of biscuit sweetness to it, but it's largely the same mix of multi-grain and hoppiness, with the malt character strong at first and then a piney, zesty, and somewhat grassy finish. Moderately bitter aftertaste, but not a palate-bruiser. Again - it's pretty good, but doesn't have that candy and fruit character I really love in a good DIPA. There's only the slightest hint of caramel or orange.

M - Medium body, lower carbonation, soft texture, a bit of alcohol heat, a bit of residual hop resin. It's pretty much what I like in a DIPA, but could use a touch more of the hop oiliness.

D - 500ml of this was fine, but I'd much rather have a Pliny. This was decidedly East Coast in the malt presence, and reminded me of Apex or Scratch 20 in that it uses a collection of hops that I'm just not that into. Still - one could do a lot worse.

Photo of seaoflament
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey for sharing this one at La Bella on 9/15/09.

Pours a very, and I mean very clear pale yellow with an egg-shell white color inch of foam.

Citrus fruit salad, mango, papaya, and caramel malt on first encounter. A bit grassy at times. The grapefruit starts to shine through with some sweat orange, which makes me think of Simcoe. A decent amount of tangerine as well. Very nice aroma over all, hardly any alcohol detected.

Flavorful hop mixture that follows the aroma. Orange, pink grapefruit, papaya, mango, caramel, and a bit of light toast rush the palate on the first sip. Low bitterness for a DIPA but quite clean, just a tad too sweet in the finish than I would have liked, otherwise I would have scored it higher because the hop flavors are quite good.

Very nice moderate to high carbonation, creamy on the palate, smooth in the finish and easy to drink. Very tasty beer, not overly impress but I wouldn't mind having it again if offered.

Photo of grub
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

group tasting at Derek's place. i contributed this one, acquired in a trade with gregc, so thanks greg!

64oz growler. sampled aug 7/09.

pours clear orangey amber with a big dense off-white head. the head drops slowly with lots of lace.

aroma is great. light alcohol. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light pine. grapefruit, orange, and tangerine. light caramel. hints of pineapple. touch of spice too - maybe rye or a bit of a spicy hop?

taste is great. light alcohol. biscuit. bit of cracker. whole wheat bread. resiny pine. grapefruit. light orange and tangerine. caramel. bit of toffee. just under medium bitterness level. some light vanilla notes too. bit woody.

mouthfeel is great. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. fairly good complexity. nice hop profile. good stuff!

Photo of aerozeppl
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad to finally see this guy in bottles.

A: Fairly light for a double IPA in color. More of a light golden color than the deep copper color that I look for. Great head retention and color. Tons of lacing.

S: Pineapple, tangerines, everything you want in a DIPA. Big ass redonkulus hops. The nose is nothing short of amazing.

T: The hops are massive with all those west coast hop flavors you as the consumer demand. What is interesting is how clear the malt comes through once the hops stop doing bad things to your tongue. God damn this is good.

M: Just the right amount of sticky.

D: I have seen the pyramids and drank the Plinys. Bottom line this beer is amazing. We did a growler of this next to Pliny the younger and it held up. There is no greater compliment that can be paid to a DIPA.

Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Dyan for providing me with a bottle of this excellent DIPA.

The beer pours the expected light orange, peach color, with exceptional head retention and lots of attractive lacing. The nose on this beer is equally impressive, consisting of citrus, damp earth, pepper and a slight (attractive) "skunkiness." Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, with a nice balance of malt and hoppy goodness. The beer finishes with a pronounced hoppy, bitter bite, one that is decidedly on the dry side. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite bitter/prickly, and drinkability is pretty good. While the alcohol is noticeable in this beer, it's not the least bit intrusive or obtrusive.

Quite a nice effort from the folks at Captain Lawrence.

Photo of goodbyeohio
2.42/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

thanks loren for a couple of half liters of this.

first one was unimpressive, fell flat. promised to review the second, which was kept cold since arriving here in or.

clear golden pour with a solid head. very fluffy and bright to look at. extremely odd aroma. rye bread, honey, and a really stinky, rotten sweaty foot hop note. tastes strong. body is right, but finish is somewhat boozy. the flavor rides a strange line between sweet malts and earthy, pissy green oil. warmth brings a child's chewable vitamin aroma and further flavors of hollow abrasive bitterness.

this is a far cry from the beer i had many times in growlers. unfortunately, this beer needs serious work before the bottles rival the 'P' to the 'E', or most other dipa's for that matter.

Photo of bonbright7
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always counted myself lucky to find the Capt. Lawrence IPA on tap at Bellport Beer, before the brewery got distribution to LI.
Previously available on tap/cask only, this bottle version contains all the magic and adds to it in some way. It pours well with a golden amber touch to make a decent head that disappears slowly. The aroma of piney hops and floral fruits work to celebrate the first taste. The first and the last tastes chime in with the zip of hops, follow with a smooth grainy malt, and finish with fruit element.

Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09/03/09- Purchased at Buy-Rite Liquors in Plainfield, NJ.

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with a nice attractive slik screened label. Did not look for freshness info. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Nice deep orange colored pour with a nice carbonation stream rising from the bottom of the glass. Strong full one inch rocky and fluffy head. Staying power is excellent with a full 1/8th of an inch thick rim remaining until the last sip. Lacing is solid patches all over the glass. One of the best I have seen per style.

Smell- Strong aroma of grapefruit, orange and lemon hops with a light addition of toasted malts.

Taste- Kinda reminds me of a poor man's PTE...not that poor though. Lots of flavor from the hops. Fruited from the grapefruit flavor plus a nice touch of sweetness and a good backing of caramel.

Mouthfeel- Spot on carbonation level with a nice bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Quality. Not that far from PTE. Great beer in all areas..exceptional per style.

Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

From the pour I could tell this was going to be a lighter colored IIPA. It is a peach hued golden color. Pours 1 finger of slight beige head. Leaves some splattered lace that is very bubbly; very unique.

Aroma: A massive amount of floral hops that are very inviting. Some nice notes of grapefruit and caramel with some sugar in there as well.

Taste: This beer has a very big sugar base to it, it seems. A lot of caramel and grapefruit are right up front and then the floral hops push in. It is interesting right on the tip of the tongue there just seems to be a lot of sugar. This beer is good, except that aspect bothers me a big.

Mouthfeel: Nice and bitter, but it has a smooth feeling to it. It shows a little heat here. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a slight dry aftertaste full of hops. Probably one of the best parts of the beer.

Overall, this beer is pretty decent. I really like the mouthfeel for an IIPA. I am having no problem with my bottle, however I am starting to feel a slight buzz off of this. I dig the beer. Would like more if I lived in the area.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Captian Lawrence- Imperial IPA

A- Light yellow/ orange with a thick solid heavy lacing head.
S- Very light, but solid, buttery malt with a sweet citrus hop aroma.
T- Thick buttery sweet caramel malt with a fruity (cherry and raisin) and sweet grapefruit and light pine hop finish.
M- Very smooth buttery malt gives way to sweet oily thick grapefruit hoppiness. Smooth going down. No alc. presence at 11%!?! Crisp and clean.

Overall- Wow! Talk about smooth for 11%. Sessionable, thats how smooth this 1 is! Juicy flavorful but a bit light for a DIPA.

Photo of mikey711
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boy was I suprised to see this in stores by me, especially the store I had ventured into.

I poured it into my perfect pint glass. A thick finger and a half head sits atop this glowing straw yellow carboning monster. It is nearly the color of BMC swill, wow. It smells citrusy and slightly floral, but the sweetness is also present as well.

Boy was this fresh tasting. The hops burst out right away with lots of citrus. It was like biting into a a fresh orange or tangerine. Then comes the malty goodness, then finally a crisp pine finish.

The mouthfeel is light and creamy. Some alcohol heat is present, but definitely not 11% worth. In fact this beer was very very easy to drink and I would have guess it to be much lower than 11%. A great IIPA all around..

Photo of corby112
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was bottled about two weeks ago so it should be as fresh as can be.

Pours a clear pale golden orange color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a bit of visible carbonation bubbling up. 1.5 finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting cap that leaves minimal chunks of soapy lacing in it's wake.

Super fresh citrus floral hop aroma with a nice subtle malt backbone. The aroma is bursting with dank hops, resinous hop oil, citrus fruit notes and a slight pine presence. I'm drooling.

Smooth clean crisp mouthfeel with a perfect balance of bitterness from the hops, sweet citrus notes, caramel malt backbone and dry piny finish. This is so tasty and refreshing that I have to stop myself from gulping it down too fast. Insanely drinkable with the ABV extremely well masked.

Resinous oily citrus/floral hops are mouth watering with a perfect caramel malt backbone with a slight biscuit presence. Citrus notes of lemon peel and grapefruit provide a great balance to the bitterness of the hops. This beer is amazing, one of the best IIPAs I've ever had.

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Goodnight Irenes...
Appears a transparent gold with a small white head that fades into s tiny cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of hoppy pine tar, grapefruit, and deep orange with mild bits of herbs.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with vanilla cream and sugary can't orange slices.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, bitter, and beautifully balanced.

Photo of woosterbill
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour into a pint-style glass.

A: Rich, clear gold body topped by a half-inch white foam head; ample, sticky lacing throughout.

S: Nothing but beautiful, crisp hops - citrus and floral.

T: The lovely hops carry through and dominate, but are balanced by just the perfect amount of malt sweetness; exactly what I look for in a DIPA. Awesome.

M: Medium-bodied with fairly high carbonation.

D: Just incredible for the ABV - I couldn't notice the alcohol at all, and it was so delicious that I could hardly put it down.

Notes: I usually make a point of trying new beers whenever I go to my local beer bar, but whenever this one is on tap I just have to have one - it's that good.


Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a couple of these this past weekend in an IP trade with gregc. Thanks, Greg! Fresh DIPA FTW

A: The pour is an impeccable golden orange with exceptional clarity and a two-finger white head with great retention and lacework.

S: Bright and pungently hoppy with pine needles and herbal characteristics with a resiny, mildly minty character. No real malt character is apparent

T: Opens up plenty bitter with a solid pine bitterness that lays the foundation for some herbal and minty flavors that almost taste grassy/vegetal. The combination of the bitterness with the modest caramel malt character is almost savory. Finishes dry and bitter with an herbal character that in some ways reminds me of Hop Wallop. The balance leans towards the bittering end of the spectrum, and there isn't enough flavor hops to back it up

M: Light in body with an enjoyable, crisp carbonation. Bitter on the finish. Mildly resiny.

D: I'm enjoying the bottle, but I enjoy this a bit more on tap. Great to see an affordable DIPA, though. Decidedly East Coast in character.

Photo of Darkhorse09
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is amber, bordering too dark for the style, with a thin, nearly white head. Moderate amount of lacing on the glass, on the way down. Head disappears pretty quickly.

Smells of big hops flavor, much like a west coast IPA. a little sweet, some pine aromas. really great nose. I get just enough pale malt on the nose for the hops to not be totally overpowering.

taste is of citrusy (orange, dark apricot) and just a ton of hops. Malt gives a little sweet flavor and some understated alcohol on the finish. Nice and bitter, a great representation of an Imperial IPA. Great for hop lovers.

Full-bodied and chewy. The high alcohol precludes this from being a session beer, but it could drink like one. Goes down nice and smooth. Heavy in the mouth. Hop oils all over the place.

I really enjoy this beer.

Photo of americanbeerbuzz
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the brand new 16 oz bottles. Pours a large head into an iced mug. I serve it not too cold to get the full flavors. Aroma is big on citrus, like a fresh bowl of grapefruit. Taste has great citrus and classic American pine tones. Not really big on the hop, but nicely balanced. Effortless drinking for a 9%. I have put down many of these on draft and I guess I'll probably drink the other bottle now. Overall a well deserved kudos to Captain Lawrence for putting up another great beer.

Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this growler.

Pours a clear orange, some golden highlights, thin white head forms, holds a solid ring around the glass, lots of lace spots stick, looks good. Smell is nice, very malty, biscuit and toffee, floral, grapefruit, some tropical aromas, tangeine, orange peel, restrained hops but well done. Taste is similar, all about themalts, caramel, super biscuity, bread, grapefruit, some floral, oranges, very clean flavour, nice bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with low carbonation, very balanced and drinkable. Nice to get a non-hop bomb IIPA every once in a while, this is good stuff. Thanks Russ!

Photo of bobsy
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler shared by the very generous grub. Thanks man!

Orange pour with red highlight and a creamy off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Wonderful aromas of sweet citrus - clementine, tangerine and satsuma. Very sweet juicy and enticing. The flavour delivers big time. Sweet orange juice, tangerine, candied orange peel - really its all sweet citrus, but with an immense biscuit malt background to balance things out. And balance is the key word here, as its expertly achieved - a feat that is often overlooked by many brewers of imperial IPAs. Decent bitterness in the start and finish. Medium body and carbonation.

So many great beers in one night, but this was prhaps my favourite. Its an imperial IPA that doesn't drink like one. Its smooth and delightfully moreish. The flavours are clean and enticing, and it delivers in every respect. Excellent stuff!

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,131 ratings.