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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.

1,039 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,039
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 178
Gots: 107 | 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: 1,039 | Reviews: 513 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/orange/brown with a nice creme head. Nose is piney hops. Flavor is pretty robust. The hops are a bit too strong and provide a very thick piney flavor with a salty edge to it. Feel is sticky and thick with a low carbonation caressing the tongue. Overall pretty drinkable. Just seems a bit too heavy handed at first, though it mellows out over time.

RblWthACoz, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of plaid75
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy juicy resiny hop backed by a slightly sweet malt.

The taste was upfront oily orangey hops atop a very solid grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was on the fuller side.
Overall a very good DIPA. Good drinkability and very robust.

plaid75, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Hoppington
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A damn near perfect DIPA in all respects. Cloudy dark copper in a pint class. Floral and citrus hop aroma on the nose. Taste is a delicious bitter grapefruit followed by a fine malt nose.

Not much more that I can say about this offering from Captain Lawrence. Exceptional stuff from an exceptional brewery. Other breweries should take notes.

Hoppington, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz Growler

I have the opportunity of drinking this growler thanks to scthaden. Captain's Reserve pours a surprisingly clear polished amber with very few but very large carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. A three finger dirty white head forms on the pour and very slowly falls leaving some nice spider webbed lacing on its way down.

The aroma is full blast sweetened grapefruit along with a touch of juicy sweet orange. There's some caramel maltiness in the background but you have to strain to pick it up. Actually as this beer warms a little more the carmel comes forward along with a muted graininess. Ghost-like alcohol fumes rise toward the end that are there one second and gone the next.

This is a big juicy sweetened citrus fruit basket of a IIPA. This beer is ever evolving as it sits and warms and gets swirled. Sweetened grapefruit, orange, and a little tangerine are dominant throughout but the finish brings a calming, smooth, mellow pine needle hoppiness. This hoppness on the backend meets a 50/50 combo of caramel and grainy maltiness that balance things out very nicely. Even though this finishes balanced it leaves you knowing your tongue just took about 40 lashings.

The body of this beer is on the thicker side of medium with a slight stickiness on the backend. The carbonation keeps this beer moving and keeps it from being cloying in the least. Finishes slightly dry with the feeling that your tongue got a swift beating which is just the way I enjoy my IIPAs.

The drinkability is good for sure. I'm drinking a couple pints from this growler and wish I had a couple more. The dryness leaves you wanting another drink immediately.

This just clears the border of being an IPA. About an extra point on the abv. and with the big hoppiness comes a big maltiness. Another enjoyable brew from Captain Lawrence. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this one.

joe1510, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served lightly chilled at about 58ºF (14ºC); Five days since being filled
Pours from the growler a brilliantly clear (so brilliantly clear that it is almost ridiculous or even suspect), deep, cranberry color. It is topped by a frothy, initially fat-two-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves a thin layer of lace as it falls back into the beer. The beer is quite noticeably hoppy; as I pour this brew the sweet smell of hop-induced fruit & citrus is easily noticed. Aromatic notes of candied orange peel, candied peaches, tangelo, lychee, apricot concentrate / preserves; there is just an über fruitiness to this brew that is so typically American. Behind the up front fruit notes is a backdrop of lightly herbal notes and a touch of sharp pine. Lest we forget about it completely, there is even some malt character noticeable in the aromatic finish. Aromas of toasty, freshly milled biscuit malt, caramel malt notes and a quite noticeable, crushed soda cracker aroma let me know that the brewer put enough malt in this brew to stand up to the hops, but also be noticeable (though not enough to lessen the overwhelming hop focus of this brew).

The taste is somewhat sweet, yet bracingly bitter from the get go. At first the bitterness is balanced quite well by the malt character, but it quickly starts to bite, with an astringent, slightly rough, yet mostly clean bitterness that becomes more prominent as the beer leaves my mouth and slips down my throat. Quite malty still in the taste, with flavors of caramelized malt sugars, a solid soda cracker maltiness and even has a touch of lightly toasted grain flavors to it. This beer is of course all about the hops though, and even though I have not mentioned the flavors yet, the hop flavors clearly are the main course here. The flavor is not quite as fruit focused as the aroma, yet it is still the most noticeable aspect of it. Fruit flavors reminiscent of lychees, tangelo, ruby-red grapefruit, Curacao orange peel are all noticeable. Actually the fruit notes leaning towards concentrated apricot and peach notes is quite a bit more muted than it was in the aroma; really the citrus-like notes play a much more prominent role in the flavor profile. The alcohol is held pretty well in check, a touch of warming flavors intermingle with the sharp hop notes in the finish. The beer certainly has some heft to it, a fair amount of body, but no where near what I would characterize as a Barleywine. Still with the ample malt, and over the top hop character, this is definitely not quite a quaffing brew.

A sharply herbal and even a touch of pine tar flavors, adds to and melds into the bitter finish of this brew. Aggressive, with enough bitterness and astringency, a bit of an exercise in self flagellation, scathingly hoppy, yet still overall balanced towards the smoother, this is a great example of a Double IPA. This is a damn fine brew, it is very well balanced for a Double IPA, drinkable, yet engagingly hoppy.

Gueuzedude, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of DaggerEyes
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy Copper color with a thin head, sticky with tons of lacing

The expected pine and citrus scents, floral and fantastic

This beer is the hop bomb it is expected to be but outside of the pine and citric tastes, it has a wonderful malt profile of sweet caramel that balances it out extremely well

Medium bodied with medium carbonation, clean with a nice finish

DaggerEyes, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly chilled hazed amber with a thin creamy off-white head that leaves some thin, broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of citrus and pine with slight tea-leaf and light lemon.

The taste is of citrus and pine with a touch of tea-leaf. Caramelish backing gives it a rounding, supportive sweetness. Slight touch of alcohol lends some peppery fruitiness, but is not nearly overwhelming.

Full-bodied and chewy, it has some rawness to it, but not in a bad way.

This beer kicks ass! Nice hop profile with enough balancing malt for the style. Nice complexities...I like it!

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing his growler of this gem with me!

jwc215, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-redish brown with a soapy foam that reaches over the rim of the glass.

S-sweet caramel and a touch of pine

T-the sweet syrupy caramel malt hits first followed by a blast of pine cone hops. There is other stuff going on. Slight honey a little pepper and a slight bit of alcohol. The interplay between the malt and the hops is wonderous.

M-medium body tight carbonation.

D-This is fantastically good. Well balanced between the sweet malt and bitter hops this one is a treat.

sleazo, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick rocky white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It's big on pale and carapils malts along with a large hop scent that really gets your attention. The taste is just outstanding. It's well balanced and highly drinkable even at 8%. It goes down so damn smooth and finishes bitter with a slightly warm malt feel. The hop flavor is exceptional. It's clean and fresh smelling, like it was just tapped today. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine imperial IPA. I love the hop content here. It's bold, but balanced; an excellent drinker. Thanks to JJ for this one.

WesWes, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear fairly dark orange amber color with a full finger light orange head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing observed. The smell is aggressive and intense piny grapefruit hops. Full boded, the mouth feel is well carbonated and tingles from the hop blast. Full flavored, the piny hop is balanced by a great malty character that coats the tongue lingers appropriately.

jjayjaye, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This a nice, complex Double IPA.

A: A dark amber body with no significant head, but nice solid lacing that holds throughout the beer.

S: A fairly hoppy smell with bitter undertones.

T: A pretty hoppy taste with a nice balancing bitterness that reduced the affect of the earthy tones of the high hop amounts.

M: A decent, full-bodied beer with a smooth nature. Solid carbonation.

D: Seems pretty drinkable. The hops bitterness does a good job of balancing out the earthy, hop taste so it will not take a toll out on your stomach.

maddogruss, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Scthaden for this growler, sent as part of the Scrabble BiF.

Pours a clear orange-copper-amber color. Has about an inch of off-white head which is a lot more than I expected with an at the least two or three day old growler that was shipped in 90+ degree heat. I'm shocked, really. Lots of sticky lacing, too.

The aroma is huge on pine and herbal green hops. This is a fine example on how a DIPA should smell, imo. Of course, the piney and grassy hops are my favorite. ;-) There is an underlying sweet citrus-like fruity scent, as well.

The flavor is all about the glorious hops. There is a good amount of caramel malts balancing out those hops a bit....but the hops are still the star of the show. Nice and flavorful, not overly bitter.

Superb mouthfeel. Almost creamy in the beginning with a dry, bitter finish. Carbonation held up extremely well. I am not gonna have a problem finish this growler off by myself this afternoon. This is one that I will seek out again. Great DIPA.

Imstillthegman, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light copper in color, clear, with a small off white head that quickly recedes. Aroma shows both a big piney and herbaceous hoppiness as well as some fruity hops accentuated by the sweet malts, sweet strawberries and oranges. Taste shows a light fruity flavor up front, oranges and malts, followed by a pepperiness on the tongue that transitions to a piney hoppiness mixing with the oranges, before a decently bitter and slightly dry finish. Nice fresh hoppiness as well. Mouthfeel is medium, slightly heavy sweet maltiness is balanced nicely by a pepperiness on the tongue and a lingering bitterness in the finish. This beer is nice in the sense that it is at the lower end of the alcohol spectrun for the style making it quite drinkable. the fresh, herbaceous hop aroma and taste are very attractive as well. Thanks Erik for the opportunity.

hoppymeal, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark copper and clear, with a turbulent ascention of fine bubbles. A white cap of a half-inch stuck around for 2-3 minutes before retiring to a light skim coat. Not bad for a growler.
Aromatics are floral and citrus-laden. Dry-ish hopping and leafy, with light grassy notes, peaches, pears, and tangerines. A hint of warmth eludes to the strength amongst the hop-strong character.
Mouthfeel is drying and bitter, with a sticky, sappy cling.
The pallet is quite hoppy also, with a smooth, lingering bitterness which keeps the sweetish malts in check.
Plenty of tropical fruits and powdered resin.
Dryed apricots, candied orange segments, and pine sap are forefront, with the bitterness continuing on for the duration.
Finishes with a drying tackiness and warth on the back of the throat.

Big ups to EriktheRed for hooking me up..Thanks!

brewandbbq, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of Reed415
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to scthaden for this great beer

A - Pours a clear amber color with a decent head

S - Tons of citrus hops, and fruit

T - Citrus, Piney Hops, Light Caramel malt, Very well balanced, Big hop flavor but semi sweet

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation

D - Very good for a DIPA, probably because it so balanced, Awesome Beer

Reed415, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of mcallister
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and dark mahagony with some orange red hues shining through. Head is full thick and tightly wound, a shade of off white with long long retention and when it finally does diminish leaves a thick sticky bubble riddened lace.

Pinelicious hop aromatics dominate the aroma with a grassy herbal backing. A floral boquet is traceable as well as a caramel malt backbone. Slight stone fruits but not discernable. A nice aroma.

Man this is a damn good drinkable DIPA with a mouthfeel second to none. Caramel malt really shines through on the taste and balances the thick resiny, piney, floral, silky bittering hops quite nicely. A hint of alcohol on the finish in the chest lets you know you're drinking something special as no alcohol interferes with any flavors. Fresh ripe peach is hidden somewhat as well as nectarine. This mouth is thick, creamy, and oh so satisfying. Perfect amount of carbonation. A beer that is drinkable daily.

mcallister, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of potownbill
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Rye Oyster Bar.
Appearance : Amber

Smell: Definately a citrus hop aroma, with little malt.

Taste: For a double IPA, the hops did not overpower the brew. This was as perfect a balance of hop flavor and slight malt sweetness as I have ever tasted. I would drink this over many of the top rated IPA's,

Mouthfeel: smooth with little hop bitterness

Drinkability: Very impressive!

potownbill, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of BurnsTau
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange/copper, bit hazy, good head. Smell is all about the hops, slightly toasty and sweet malts in there too. Tastes is definitely big and hoppy, some good sweet malts in there. Good thick mouthfeel with a bit of alcohol kick. Really great beer all around.

BurnsTau, May 24, 2007
Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 Gallon Growler. A lovely brew. It doesn’t have the most intense hop aroma and flavor, but it is definately still pretty big. The malt provides a nice sweetness and balance, while the hops taste really nice. There fruity, piney and herbaceous. It’s a fine beer overall, with a big hop character.

Crosling, May 13, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Blind Tiger in NYC. I got a lot of dry hop aroma and mouthfeel from this beer, but not much in the way of sweetness or citrus. Appearance was rather serious - hazy copper with only a thin bit of lace. Mouthfeel was fairly crisp and not sticky. A pretty big beer, but a pretty good big beer.

BeerBelcher, May 04, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a hop story all around, found on tap at The Ginger Man in NYC. Hop aroma, hops in taste, full mouhfeel, with nicely done balancing and creaminess in the mouth making it fairly drinkable. Good representation of the imperial style. All kinds of hops, some lace in glass.

Sammy, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of Contra
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this local beer at an Irish restaurant/pub (I think it was P.J. Kelly's). First impression is that it reminded me of an I.P.A. crossed with a Irish red ale. At least, that's how I'd describe the taste and texture. The bitter/resiny hop flavor stands out, but the sweetness tends to balance it fairly well. Not too thick or too thin, however a mild aftertaste kind of takes away from the overall mouthfeel.

If I saw it available at a pub again, I wouldn't pass up the chance to get it.

Contra, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy orange in color. One finger head sticks around a while. Light lacing develops.

Smell: grapefruits and pine are bold and very pleasant.

Taste: nicely balanced malt sweetness with grapefruits, pine, lemon, and a hint of alcohol. This is a great DIPA since the hop bitterness is not over the top.

Mouthfeel: smooth and dry throughout. Medium-heavy in body. Long bitter and caramel sweetness aftetraste glues itself to the tongue.

Drinkability: for a DIPA, this was very easy quaff. If you are tired of the over hopped DIPA's but want more punch than the standard IPA, this beer will make you smile. I found this easy to drink more than one.

Gavage, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many many thanks to Skinny Elvis for sharing this treat. Especially after opening his home to us already. What a gracious gracious host. This was his gift in the Anniversary Club and he shared it with us today.
This is a pretty simple straightforward DIPA with plenty of leafy hops and grapefruit bitterness. Notably citrus with a touch of wood.
The mouthfeel of adequate and though it doesn't excel in all areas it is exceptionally quaffable.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to gpcollen for a growler of this fine brew.

a - golden amber color, quite hazy, one-finger white head with retention around the edges, good lacing

s - rather subdued aroma, piney hop aroma, some citrus, grapefruit

t - big piney hop taste, ample sweetness, good malty backbone, slight nuttiness on the finish along with piney bitterness and some sweetness, hints of alcohol as well

m - moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, slightly dry finish

d - very drinkable DIPA, drinks more like an IPA, alcohol is almost unnoticeable, this growler went pretty fast

Very solid DIPA here, though it seems like more of a regular IPA to me. Not the most complex beer, but quite interesting nonetheless. If Captain Lawrence was near me, I'd undoubtedly have this growler refilled many times. Thanks again to gpcollen for the excellent trade.

WeisGuy, Feb 24, 2007
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,039 ratings.