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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA
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530 Reviews

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Reviews: 530
Hads: 1,281
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 214
Gots: 197 | 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:
Beer added by: John on 02-13-2006

Hops, and lots of them. The aroma is bursting with the classic citrus and pine aroma of American-grown hops. The flavor is dominated by a hoppy bitterness, with just enough malt to make you want to take another sip. (Formerly known as "Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA.")
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 530 | Hads: 1,281
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased and drank at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden, russet amber color. One inch head forms quickly and dissipates quickly to a film on top of the beer. Good lacing.

The aroma is dynamite citrus- grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, etc.

The flavor is great. Bitter grapefruit tears your taste buds apart, with some resinous pine as well, along with orange and mango. Not much malt backbone, a little bit of caramelly sweetness.

Light bodied, very crisp, and very refreshing.

A great DIPA, and a bit under the radar. (554 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, deep, yellow/ orange with a rambunctious head of soft foam that fell leisurely to some sticky, splotchy lace. The 1/2 inch of foam never left this beer. So pretty in the glass but not really orange. If you can appreciate that, it looks like lemon amber. Nose is scrumptious. Grapefruit, peaches, pineapple very tropical and juicy. A delicious malt character that is deep and full. Biscuit, bread and cracker. I would swear it’s pilsner malt I am smelling. Plenty of hop resin on the nose and some pine but not so much pine that it’s all you can smell. Taste is biscuit and cracker, strong, deep and full. A bitterness that does not exceed your ability to taste it or to want to have more if it. Perfectly balanced. Smooth, rich without heaviness. The hops are full but not out of proportion. Good bitter in the dry finish, with resonant malt and juicy fruity hops with a pine aftertaste rather than a pine sol taste up front.

In my opinion, this beer came right up to Alchemy Hour and said "look at me." It’s not the same as alchemy hour in that it has more cracker and biscuit malt, without as much caramel sweetness, and that’s why I like it so much. (1,176 characters)

Photo of leokbelo
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden into a pint glass with an inch head that fades into a lacing throughout the end.
Refreshing citrus (grapefruit) bouquet, very piney and flowery. Very inviting.
Smooth on the palate, with a nice hop kick! Malt sweetness in the background keeping things in check. Very tasty!
Overall, an amazing DIPA, with a very refreshing mouthfeel!
Would recommend!! (373 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hot day so drank this straight from the bottle. Can only comment on smell,taste, and mouthfeel which were good. I noticed quite a bit of floral, citrus and piney smells. The taste was good but not great: medium carbonation, strong bitterness but not dry. Syrupy nectar type of mouth coating almost like a watered down honey.
Overall: I liked it and would probably drink it again but the bitterness was slightly high for my liking (430 characters)

Photo of RyanCave
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A: Very low SRM, small amount of haze, no particles floating, very yellow
S: Citrus, Orange, Lemon, Pineapple
T: Light fruit, some Pineapple, crisp, some grapefruit, refreshing, pleasingly bitter, no bitter aftertaste-finishes very smooth with a malty sweetness
M: Well carbonated, not overly bubbly
O: I dig this brew, it was a gift from SammyJaxx (awesome dude, buy him rounds if you ever meet him in person) definately a solid IPA for anyone that sees it. (460 characters)

Photo of corysmith01
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

After reading the reviews, I can't say this one surprised me. All signs pointed to it being a solid IPA and those signs were right. Really bright, citrusy aroma once it was poured. Nice floral notes on the initial taste, followed closely by bitter fruit. Not as floral as say Flower Power or Double Jack, but in the ballpark. Nice crisp bitterness on the finish. A really nice DIPA, one that doesn't taste as heavy as its ABV might lead you to believe...very drinkable. (469 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

No bottle date on this brewery’s beers.

Pours out with a big white head composed of large bubbles. It quickly dissipates a one finger head. The color is a clear dark orange with a slight bit of green in the light.

The aroma has huge juicy peaches, pineapple, floral rose, sweet orange with a bit of grapefruit, a slight biscuit malt, and pine. Just very inviting and fresh smelling. Great aroma on this one.

Front of the tongue is huge juicy sweet peach and pineapple along with fresh big juicy grapefruit. It also has a big pine Simcoe flavor too. In the middle is this gentle malt sweetness that then eases in the finish that has a lingering grapefruit peel bitterness. There’s a good amount of malt to balance this out, though in the end, a bit light on the mouthfeel.

This is quite good. I’m really surprised as Founder Double Trouble is quite a close comparison in profile and quality to this. Having had Double Trouble recently, I can’t say that this isn’t amazing. The mouthfeel and bigger malt roundness that Double Trouble probably makes it better, but this wins on the bitterness.

I truly surprisingly world class Double IPA. (1,151 characters)

Photo of KWMiles
2.08/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Big thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

Poured out of a bottle into a teku glass. Something was definitely off with this bottle...

The appearance and nose seemed fine, but the taste was something like a combination between the dentist's toothpaste and aspirin. Definitely a bummer since this beer is generally so highly regarded. I would love to give it a second chance sometime! (379 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Half liter bottle poured into a tulip glass. Nice extra from a trade. Beer pours a clear golden orange with three fingers of off white foam consisting of small bubbles. Head retention is pretty decent, a couple of minutes before slowly dissipating leaving plenty of sticky lacing. Good amount of tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is light grapefruit and orange peel, fruity esters, and a good amount of caramel malt sweetness. A little alcohol as well.

Bitter up front, citrus peel primarily, mellowing to sweeter orange and grapefruit flavors, pineapple, caramel malt. Dry finish, lingering citrus bitterness.

Light to medium body, refreshing carbonation, easy to drink. Pretty good DIPA. (722 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Really got a strong, foamy head on this one. Was able to pour out the entire bottle into an imperial pint glass, and the head was tough enough to just keep piling higher without spilling over. Took a whiff, and got some strong apricot notes. From there, though, it went downhill for me. It had a bit of a malty edge which I didn't expect for something less than a 10% imperial IPA. I just didn't get a flavor profile that I could identify with. It wasn't piney or citrus-laden, but just had some bread-style malts with some bittering to it. I'm a CL fan, but not of this one. (575 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

awesome brew, my first from captain Lawrence, courtesy of a trade with thebrewo. I kind of rushed through the first bottle of this, but am taking my time with this here second one. the pour is as clear as any beer ive ever seen, absolute glass, sunshine colored, way light for a big ipa, boasting a fluffy and resilient snow white head. the nose is major floral hops, juicy and ripe, but there is a weird malt profile for an imperial ipa. there is Czech pils malts in here and a lighter yeast than the conventional California ale yeast. the flavor is big on hops, super bright and lingering all the way through, again with a pilsener malt profile and maybe even a lager yeast, although that seems unlikely, the flavor is there, and it is crisp like cold fermentation. like walking through a hop grove, if there was a hop/tangerine hybrid that grew on a tree. I absolutely love how light, refreshing, and drinkable this is, sort of defies the style in that way. there is a bit of an alcohol burn in there, no doubt about it. you know its big, but its still deceiving. like many beers, this feature gets more intense as it warms. overall I love the floral hops and the unique lighter malt bill, an expertly made beer, and one that's inspired me to seek out more captain Lawrence beers. (1,283 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a crystal clear light to medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall bright white head that slowly redues to a large medium thick patch of larger bubbles, some very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit, floral, and earthy hops. Light amounts of malty sweetness as the beer warms.

T: Upfront there are some light flavors of sweet grainy malts but that is quickly overtaken by moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit, floral, and earthy hops. Light amounts of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderat amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a fairly enjoyable DIPA and the alcohol is extremely well hidden within it. Very easy to drink and a bit lighter than some others in the style but still with nice but not overly aggressive hops flavors/aromas. (1,097 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a full dense white head. Average carbonation, fairly small bubbles. Leaves some impressive lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Full bouquet of hops going on here. A nice citrus grapefruit and also earthy. Has some pleasant floral qualities too. Malts come through a bit as it warms as a faint sweetness.

T: A tasty beer indeed. Bold hops are the first flavor to hit your taste buds, bittering at first it blends into an earthy hop blend. Sweet malts bring up the rear and attempt to balance it out. Hops linger on the aftertaste with a pleasant citrusy floral.

M: Has a light body for an imperial IPA which makes it an easy sipper. Average carbonation. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Overall another real tasty imperial IPA. Wish this had some bottle dating as it was a little lackluster. Good blend, very balanced, real easy drinking. (915 characters)

Photo of gabedivision
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A- pours a crystal clear golden yellow/ apple juice color with a 1/4 finger head, with some visible carbonation

S- slight grapefruit citrus, orange juice,pine, resin and sugary malts

T- nice citrus up front, some grapefruit, pine, grassy, alcohol middle of the sip, sharp bitterness on the finish

M- nice balanced body, medium carbonation, finishes bitter and dry

O- decent well rounded dipa, a bit boozy but pairs well with the hops. (466 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle purchased on a trip to CT in late 1/13, no canning date, poured into a 3Fs Teku long-stemmed glass, drank 3/19/13 over ~one hour.

A: 4 - golden-yellow color, shocking clarity (probably filtered), minimal vertical bubbles, strong frothy white mostly resolves into subtle glass lacing

S: 3.5 - interesting smoky/tobacco/boozy nose on first smell eventually resolves into a mixture of citrus (tangerine, and lemon especially) with some residual grassiness...very atypical nose for a DIPA on first whiff and still on the fence about it....for an imperial, the Columbus, Chinook or Cascade notes certainly don't dominate

T: 4.75 - nice admixture of bitterness, sweetness and booziness; again, I can't think of another imperial IPA that tastes like this, and I like it...sets a bit of a standard for an east coast DIPA

M: 4.75 - definitely taste the booze at 9+% and, in some beers, that's a good thing! Nice chewiness that lingers for days (still have it kicking around),

O: 4.5 - I dig everything that I've tasted from Captain Lawrence having grown up close by in Hawthorne, NY; their best beers, I think, are their Belgians and sours, but this is a great east coast imperial IPA; I recall it being best on tap but it's real good out of the bottle too; definitely one that I'll come back to, but, to be honest, I prefer my CA/PW hop bombs when I reach for a DIPA (1,380 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Adam fro this growler.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Light orange, almost crystal clear with one finger of white head.

S - Fresh citrus aroma full of grapefruit and orange zest. A touch of malt sweetness in the background.

T - Bitter up front with fresh grapefruit, orange and some pine. Only the slightest semblance of malt sweetness in the background. Definitely a hob bomb.

M - Medium body; full of sticky hop oils. Light carbonation. Dry throughout.

O - This one could have used a little more balance, but still drank well. (540 characters)

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, pale gold with a white foamy head - good retention and lacing.

Nice citrus punch, lemon, grapefruit, orange, some caramel, floral, pine, earth - big nose.

Bitter pine and lemon up front backed by sweet orange. It rolls around the mouth with a chewy malt middle - some caramel notes - then disappears into bitter herb pine notes. It has that powerful slick malt backbone reminiscent of scotch. Very nice and very complex. (437 characters)

Photo of popery
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes, 5/14/11. Thanks to mikeyv35. The beer pours a perfectly transparent gold with a medium white head. Decent lacing for the style. Nice aroma of grapefruit pith and pine resin. It’s pretty much all hops with just a touch of sugary malt in the background. It doesn’t have the complexity of some DIPAs, but it’s a good, clear and fairly assertive hoppiness. Not much maltiness in the taste. It’s mildly dry and fairly bitter. Good hop flavor in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, and the bitter hoppiness coats the mouth well. Good stuff and one of the better DIPAs that I’ve tried from the East coast (update: I've tried many more excellent East Coast DIPAs, since this review). (698 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Donnelly's Pub in Fairport NY

Poured crystal clear goldenrod with a big, foamy head that quickly diminished into a few trails, leaving a few streaks of lace on the glass. Big aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, pears, and honey. Fainter bits of lightly toasted malt. The sweetness is pleasant in the forefront, leading to juicy fruits of the citrus origin and some tropical flavors as well in the mid palate. Bitterness is long and drawn out in the finish and lasts until the next sip. A little less carbonated than I prefer for this beer for the body is fairly big since it is a DIPA. Overall, nicely done. A solid DIPA. (629 characters)

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received from zipper8650 - Thanks!

A: Initial appearance is awesome. Completely translucent with a great 3-4 finger fluffy, pillow-like, white head that sticks around for a good amount of time and leaves a great lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is hop forward, floral, and little bit piney. Smells of citrus - like grapefruit and lemon peel. Also some mango and even hints of pineapple. Likely from the variation of 5 different hops, but this one has an extremely complex woft.

T: A little bitter, but not overly bittered. Definitely hoppy - dominates the flavor. Floral and very citrus flavored - mango.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Wet and sticky. It works.

O: Wow, what a surprise. My first CL experience, and I was not disappointed. The complexity of the nose and how it balanced in the taste was really awesome. I love when something unexpected blows me away like this. I'll likely try to trade for another one of these. (943 characters)

Photo of IPA_Junkie
4.91/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible Beer. The citrus, hops and tobacco flavors are so distinct. Clean after taste, clear straw like color in glass... sweet citrus aroma. I am definitly pleased with this beer. A new favorite!! The silk like markings on the glass, the abv at 9... what else could you want from a delicious IPA. (300 characters)

Photo of AdamPenna
2.93/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky amber. Lots of sediment. Good-looking fluffy white head, about two fingers-worth, which shrinks half a finger. Attractive lacing. In the bottle, the aroma seemed more hoppy than in the glass. Smelling mostly sweetness, malt. Mouthfeel is ok. Not much carbonation, none of that oily feel I like. I'm not getting much of the hops. A little alcohol kick. Some sourness, too. I was going to have one of these at Canterbury Ales in Huntington, NY on tap this afternoon, but had to leave after one Dogfish Head 90 Minute. Maybe it's my bottle, but I'm not impressed. This beer isn't exactly the ultimate for hop lovers as the bottle claims. (648 characters)

Photo of Wolfpack2005
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LAmbandTunaPhish for hooking me up with this gem!

A-Pours light golden straw color with a two finger head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Citrus fruits, pine sap, and light malt

T-Light malt sweetness up front, small amounts of candied sugar with a nice blend of herbal and citrus hop bitterness. A slight spiciness creeps in at the end.

M-Light to medium body, high carbonation.

O-Solid imperial IPA well balanced and very drinkable, especially considering it's 9%. (477 characters)

Photo of Willytee3
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ahhh the local nectar! Just got a growler from a batch kegged 2 days ago and put on tap at the brewery 2 hours before the pour. Fresh!

Into a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pours a clear gold with nice orange hue. Solid 2 finger white foamy head, foamy ring clings to glass as it recedes. Great lacing!!
Smells of pineapple and grapefruit with a creamy like background malt. Nice pine esters too.
Tastes of caramelized malts and grapefruit/orange peel bitter. A tad of tropical fruit mostly overpowered by hop bitterness. A kind of lemon squeezer finish. Nice!
Creamy mouth feel that quickly fades to near puckering bitter with tight focused short lived carbonation that is kind of like the finish of pop rocks! Not a hint of the 9% alcohol content! (745 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1640th Review on BA
Bottle to Cervoise

Thanks to Thegerm87 for this one

App- A very glowing orange with a bit of small yellows intermixed down towards the bottom. A very large two finger head that was more of a puck sliding down the beer. Very white and dense and slow to recede. The center of the beer was more like a pillar of orange.

Smell- A very nice hoppy and piney aromatic beer. Started off a bit of a deep citrus and then parlayed over to that piney and hops aroma with a bit of a creaminess to it. More full on the nose and a bit boozy and grainy. Wasnt as layered as I would like but nice all the same.

Taste- I would call this a good beer that reps the style of the west coast well. This had a huge pine and hop flavor but was still really balanced. It did drink like the 9% ABV. It was large and citrusy. The dominant flavor was the hops though. Semi-overshadowed the balancing malts and citrus.

Mouth- A larger medium body with a good dense medium carbonation. The bubbles created a nice creamy flavor and the residual pine stuck around for a while. More citrus was left with a little white pepper.

Drink- This was very good. I had not heard about this beer before it was sent. It did live up to the numbers on here. I would like some more of this one. (1,278 characters)

Palate Shifter Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.