1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPACaptain's Reserve Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

918 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 502
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%

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)
View: Beers (118) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 502 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of garuda


4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No dating on this bottle..

A - Pale gold, clear, white head has good retention and good lacing.

S/T - Hops up front with pine, some citrus that I really can't put my finger on, pineapple? Caramel malt stays well in the background. Finishes bitter. Abv stays well hidden.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes dry and bitter.

O - A standardly good DIPA. Nothing to write home about, but tastes good. Perhaps bottle dating would help, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 01:37:06 | More by garuda
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger.

Beer is golden coloured. Almost no head, just a bit of white.

Citrus in the nose, including grapefruit and orange. Pine. Caramel malt is there as well. Not as aromatic as I expected but nice.

Taste is like the nose. Citrus, grapefruit, orange, pine. Caramel malt. Relatively balanced for the style.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Slightly oily.

Overall, a pretty good DIPA, but not a standout for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2012 23:11:36 | More by jrenihan
Photo of alexgash


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle.

Clear, deep golden straw body. Tall, pillowy, bright white head. Great lacing. Big funky nose. lots of resinous, herbal, dank, weedy hops. Some floral notes as well atop sugar cookie malt.

Herbal, vegetal hop bitterness up front. Toasted malt. Hop bitterness becomes more resinous and dank. Some sappy pine as well. malty underbelly is a mix of butterscotch, sugar cookie, and tropical fruit. The finish is especially tropical with lingering pineapple and resin hop bitterness. Medium-full body. Chewy and nice feel. A very good East Coast DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 03:01:03 | More by alexgash
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Meant to share this with Matt, but I dropped it and lost half the bottle. This review is from the half I had to "force down" last night. When life hands you lemons (or half full bottles of fresh IPA)...Now I have to stop at Captain Lawrence again on my way home...shucks.

Anyhow...the beer is golden hued with over an inch of white head. The aroma offers fresh hops and pine. Smells nice. The flavor is certainly fresh, with nice resinous pine and hop notes with a subtle touch of citrus.

A slight alcohol burn / boozy finish, but nothing that really gets in the way.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this beer, and would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 04:07:12 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beautiful clean golden yellow pour with 2 fingers of head which caused for excessive amounts of lacing!

smells piney as all hell! has a malty honey/caramel finish on the nose. reminds me of a cross between pliny and hopslam! fresh scent of hops throughout the pour.

way bitter up front with a wonderful spicy garlic hop profile followed by a burnt caramel taste. a bit sweet in the finish, the malts rise up from the background and it seems like a new taste of floral hops become present!

medium body, slightly carbonated, slightly creamy. very easy going down for the bitterness this beer has it is also quite refreshing.

overall, this is a FANTASTIC imperial ipa. every quality i look for, it has. not sure what the ibu is on this one, but it is damn well thought out - overly bitter yet seems to be balanced out towards the end. great beer from a great brewery!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 19:18:44 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of morebeergood


3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got hooked up with a bottle by a buddy. Poured into an imperial pint glass. First thing I noticed was how light the color was compared to other IPAs - very light yellow and almost translucent in body. A wonderful fluffy head does form, along with good lacing on the glass. Smell was very piney from the hops. Taste was certainly hop-centric. Very light on the mouthfeel in terms of malt. Lingering soapy film from the hops on the palate afterwards. Only figured it was 9% afterwards, when the abv creeps up on you. A perfect sized serving from the 16oz bottle. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2012 04:12:54 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Flounder57


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle was pourde into a large Duvel snifter glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a two finger head the formed a muffin top at the top of the glass. It is a clear orange yellow color with plenty of carbonation coming up through the glass. Head has reduced and left some super crazy lacing on the glass.

Smell: nice sweet and bready malts, pine and citrus in there too, and the pungent floral bouquet is what a beer should bring to the table.

Taste: The flavor seems a bit off from what I smelled. Very malty upfront, and the hops are nicely there in the rear and the balance is very tastey. Some lingering bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: smooth, a little chewy, medium bodied, medium carbonation, and easy to drink.

Overall: a pretty solid DIPA. Happy to have stumbled across this breweries once again. Hopefully someday they will make it up here to Boston, but for now I am happy with finding it in NY.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 23:35:25 | More by Flounder57
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle poured into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a hazy golden with a big 2" off white head. Swiss cheese lacing remains on the glass.

S- amazing citrus aromas! Lots of pineapple, orange, some passion fruit.

T- malt forward dipa. Sweet caramel, lots of orange, pineapple and grapefruit. Not a big bitterness in this beer. Most of bitterness comes through as citrus rind.

M- medium body and carbonation. Nice creaminess and finish to this beer.

O- good dipa. I love citrus forward ipa and dipa's so this is right up my alley. This beer lacks some of that hop bitterness punch, but other than that a very solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 20:01:57 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of rlee1390


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear yellow orange, two finger head with some carbonation

S-Lots of hops citrus and floral notes, tad bit of malt in there as well.

T-Grass and pine, some citrus, good deal of bitterness. Great balance in the flavors.

M-Medium bodied, good level of carbonation.

O-One of the better DIPAs out there, not a hop bomb but a good grassy balanced DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 03:25:53 | More by rlee1390
Photo of russwbeck


3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Perfectly clear yellow pour with a ton of bubbles racing to the top. A huge white head builds up initially, but recedes quickly and laces very nicely. A thin ring remains but not much else.

S: Nice malt backbone creates a base for a really grassy aroma. A light citrus is underneath, but not a whole lot else.

T: The malt is back, but this time a bit more caramel-like and paired with a big citrus counterpart. The grassiness is noted again. Really it's a very bitter and malty Imperial IPA, but it works.

MF: Crisp body with only a slight amount of carbonation noted. The malt and bitter characters balance nicely. Typical dry hoppy finish.

O: I really liked it, but it wasn't something I'd get again. Tasty, but not special.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 22:21:32 | More by russwbeck
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see I don't have a review here from the bottle...in any event, popped a bottle and filled a captain Lawrence taster tulip.

a - Transparent straw yellow with a huge head and chunky lacing. This puppy coats the glass like a milkshake.

s - wonderful sweet hop candy. Good amount of grassy ness as well, but the sweetness really balances things out.

t - taste isnlikenthe smell, sweet grassiness with some grapefruit hop undertones. Great malt back bone.

m - soft and easy. Nice carbonation. Fairly balanced, but not a hop bomb.

o - overall, this is a really nice IIPA. Very earthy, but balanced out with sweetness. My impression from this bottle isn't as great as the tap version, but this bottle is pretty fresh. I will definitely continue to have this beer as often as I can since I love supporting the captain and his fine brews. If you are seeking a hop bomb, look elsewhere, if you are seeking an earthy balanced IIPA this is it.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2012 02:52:58 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of stakem


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a matching Captain Lawrence tulip/cervoise shaped glass. The brew appears a hazed color of gold with 3 fingers worth of yellowish stained head. The cap slowly fades leaving thick patches of lacework sticking to the glass.

The smell of this brew strikes with an initial sweetness that is somewhat like vanilla that blends into caramel malt. Then it immediately transitions into a strong character of orange jam-like hop inclusion that is very sweet smelling. Quite fruity overall from a combination of alcohol and the hops with a bit of a floral touch rounding it out. This is a very appealing smell emitting from this glass.

The taste carries through with seemingly the same combination of caramel to almost vanilla sweetness. However, the hops are more persistent in the flavor with an oily coating that packs a combination of orange jam-like flavor mixed with bitter pulp/rinds. Towards the back it gets minorly veggy-like with a touch of herbal aspect. The aftertaste is seemingly burnt or almost plastic but not quite with a mild cheesy flavoring that turns solvent with a burn of alcohol.

This is a medium to full boded brew that is oily, chewy and coating on the tongue. It has a very contrasting appeal about it that transitions from sweet to oily and bitter with pulp and rind flavoring. Initially the alcohol was very well reserved however as the experience continues it really draws out. Not a bad brew by any stretch, this is a nice interpretation of the style that is a little different from the norm.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 01:32:57 | More by stakem
Photo of CTBeerPope


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Pint glass

Hazy light orange. One finger head dissipates quickly. Good lacing.

Smells like fresh cut grapefruit sprinkled with sugar. Straight up, like my grandma used to make.

Taste is grapefruit sprinkled with sugar as well. I've had this fresh and a few months old and fresh is the only way to have it as when it is a little older this grapefruit sprinkled with sugar effect isn't so pleasant.

Medium mouthfeel moderate carbonation

Try this fresh if you can get it and are a fan of Imperial IPA's

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 14:34:32 | More by CTBeerPope
Photo of jaasen64


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint .9oz bottle poured into a 22 oz glass

A- Pours a yellowish translucent gold, about 2 fingers of frothy white head that fades to about 1 finger of head with good retention, about average carbonation. Layered lacing.

S- Sweet pine, grapefruit, hops, smells like some of the better IPAs that I've had.

T- Sweet grapefruit, hops, nice sweet aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, average carbonation, goes down smooth, 9% alcohol very well hidden.

O- This was a great DIPA, definitely one of the top 5 that I've had. Not as intense of a flavor as Heady Topper, but definitely a nice sweet grapefruit flavor that is very well balanced and very easy too drink. Definitely recommended to any DIPA fans.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 00:16:28 | More by jaasen64
Photo of GPHarris


3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white head into a snifter that left some great lacing and sheeting throughout that billows nicely. body was a dull gold color.
s - earthy, sweet, juicy oranges with some floral hops as it warms.
t - grainy and bready with some slight citrus hops. they seem to have dropped out a little.
m - slick and a little thin for the style.
o - solid beer though i don't think this was as fresh as it should be.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 16:47:23 | More by GPHarris
Photo of b3shine


3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint. Looks good; light for a DIPA with nice head and carbonation. Smells bitter, but not in a bad way. Tastes pretty good too; I just wish the hops recipe was a little more balanced. Feels fine, but nothing special. Overall, a good DIPA, but then again, I've been spoiled with FFF and Bell's (to mention just a couple in the area).

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:20:08 | More by b3shine
Photo of jtmartino


2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Bruery snifter. Beer pours a honey gold with almost two fingers of frothy white head.

Beer smells strongly of sweet biscuity malt and some pine. Very little fruity aroma from this one compared to some of the other DIPAs I've been drinking lately (Pliny the Younger and Elder, Kern Citra, Lagunitas SF Fusion, etc.)

Taste is has a clean sweetness up front tapering into some pine and bitter grapefruit. Some grassy notes from the hops. Leaves an astrigent bitter flavor in your mouth at the end. Honestly not as flavorful or complex as I had hoped. Could really use less bittering hops and more aroma.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and even a little creamy. The best aspect of this beer.

This bottle was purchased less than a month ago, but it tastes like it's old. I'm hoping that my underwhelming experience with this beer is due to its age. It is just about average in every regard, and does not stack up to other DIPAs (especially not those from the West Coast.) A little sweet, a little bland, and a little astrigent at the end. I'd drink it on tap, but I wouldn't buy a bottle again. I'm not really sure what people are thinking rating this so high.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 03:43:13 | More by jtmartino
Photo of jmarsh123


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold with a 3 finger white head with excellent retention and lacing

Dank grapefruit aroma with some pine and earthy bitterness as well.

Flavor follows the nose. Intense dank grapefruit presence. Not incredibly complex, but some citrus and pine with just a tinge of malt hit as well for a pleasant flavor. Very hop forward.

Good mouthfeel. Carbonation is a touch on the low side

Very good one. Thanks to Guisseppe Franco for the bottle. I could definitely put down a few more of these in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 13:55:53 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of jmdrpi


3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served from the tap in a pint glass.

appears golden in color with bright white head. pungent flowery hop aroma, quite strong. taste is quite bitter, I would prefer some more balance from an increased malt base. thin to medium body, medium carbonation.

overall - a solid DIPA, but could be improved in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 04:23:06 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Whole Foods on Houston St. in New York last week. I had never had anything from Captain Lawrence before and this got great reviews on here. Even though this didn't pour or smell like other Imperial IPA's that I've had before, this was a very good beer that had quite a lot to offer, even if I had to adjust to what made this different from my expectations.

For starters, this was a lot lighter in hue that I imagined. It looked like a Pils and had a head that was quite voluminous and long-lasting. This was pretty clear too and had a smell that could be detected from a long distance away. Lots of floral and pine notes here that were repeated in the taste, that slowly faded into a metallic dry-hopped bitterness. The alcohol was present here but not detectable in the taste, which could be considered a plus. There was a bit of grapefruit in the back too, without the puckering or overwhelming citrus aspect that would be found in so many similar beers.

As I said earlier, the alcohol is completely spot-on here and fitting for a beer of this style. One bottle is easy to down because of the taste and masking of the boozy aspects and there wasn't a lot in the notes that made this stand out. That being said, this matched up well with other Imperial IPA's and was easily downed by yours truly. This isn't the best of the hoppy beers that I've downed but anyone who's a hophead owes it to him or herself to give this a go. The lighter appearance, easy drinkability, and nice dry-hopped taste meld together quite nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 09:42:09 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 500ml bottle.

Pours a nice perfect and bright golden color that is slightly clear. Slight copper edges. There is a nice 0.5 inch white head that has some nice soapy bubbles but also has some nice dense tight bubbles that are nice and sticky.

Starts off with some nice grapefruit notes and some nice tangerine. Definitely some nice citrus hop notes. Orange rind notes and some tangerine are present. Very citrusy, grassy and fresh. There is a shimmer of biscuit malt in the back that is grainy and earthy but only plays second fiddle to the citrus hops.

Flavor starts off with intense citrus hops. Orange and grapefruit with some nice pineapple note sin there as well. The malt also shows up in this brew. Slightly dry with some nice bitterness throughout the middle and the finish. There is also some pine notes in the middle of the brew and finishes dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is nice and light and refreshing. For a DIPA very drinkable and refreshing.

Good brew. Im having a nice couple of days drinking some of these East Coast IPAs. Very nice offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 03:09:48 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of gkatsoris

4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Yellowy, murky and a nice white head; giggity.

S: Flower hops, and slight citrus hops. Fruit tarte. Slight maraschino cherries. Vanilla. Bread. Honey.

T: Very malty. Very balanced also. White toast. Vanilla. White tea. Caramel. Icing. Absolutely no bitterness what-so-ever.

M: Thick and chewy. Not foamy. Leaves a
beautiful coat on the tongue.

O: One of the finest IIPA's in the world. This brew really doesn't get the pub or credit it truely deserves.

Thanks redliner8 for grabbing this for me!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 02:49:13 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of smakawhat


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No visible dating noticeable.

A dull and hazy yellow lemon body is produced off the pour, with a good sticky and foamy good white head of two to three fingers deep. Lots of sticky retention.

Nose is a very solid hop presence, but also a good deal of malt and resin. Some interesting chewy presence, resembling a big wheat sense or something. It's smells really solid.

Really chewy and dense malt and hop body hits the palate. Great lingering malt rolling taking extremely faint citrus. Dense body takes over with a mild sugar. The beer feels extremely heavy but the palate is all balanced and nothing outrageous or big. Everything feels in control. There's even some faint milk chocolate on the finish.

Overall may not be the best bouquet or look, but the taste is flat out great.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 02:49:17 | More by smakawhat
Photo of DrDemento456


3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass, got the whole bottle in there 16oz of awesome. No sediment and a very sweet inch and a half of bubbly head means I got a fairly fresh bottle. Beer is A nice orange tinted bright yellow.

S - Smell is slight alcohol (hopefully mild) and tons of bitter tropical hops mostly mango and pineapple. Hopefully it's as balanced as it smells.

T - Sweet hops at first then it turns bitter as piney that travels all the way down the palate into a bitter finish. I guess I could have used more malt since the finish is way bitter and the alcohol is quite noticeable.

M - Acidic and ABV is not well covered. Medium body at best.

Overall I guess with the reviews and everything I expected more balance and less noticeable ABV but to me it's really quite a forgettable DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 00:36:06 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of sacrelicio


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice tropical imperial IPA. Pours a nice goldish orange. Smells like candied pineapple and tropical fruits. Taste is very tropical, almost like a tropical juice blend. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick. Overall, an excellent beer and one I was glad to drink on the street of NY.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 22:27:28 | More by sacrelicio
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.