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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.

1,065 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,065
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 184
Gots: 114 | 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: 1,065 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been eyeing this brewery for a little-while...

Deep honey amber with a sparse white head. The beer is completely clear with no haze or sediment. However, there is a little lacing down the sides.

There are very little aromatic hops in this beer's nose. There is some sweetness and a slight bitterness, but no strong pine/citrus.a little bite shines through from the alcohol.

Very delicious beer with complete harmony between the hops, alcohol, and sweetness. There is a slight risidual bitter business on my palate, but it isn't like an intense grapefruit rind like some imperial IPAs tend to have.

Lightly carbonated with a body built on alcohol and sugar. The aftertaste is a little sweetness and bitterness mixing together to keep me satiated after way sip. There's good richness to this beer, quite filling.

I am not sir how much this beer goes for, I paid $3.33 for approximately 8ozs. However, I'd imagine this beer is quite pricey given how well it has managed to do on BA.... "I may be wrong, but I doubt it."
An overall solid beer that I could drink more than a few of... Unless I had to drive home.

ThePorterSorter, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of rootbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours dark gold, with a finger of white head.
S: floral first, then pine follows. Also a light amount of malt sweetness.
T: a good balance of malt sweetness and piny, floral and lightly citrus hops. A nice long aftertaste of bitter hops.
M: mostly clean, and smooth, slightly prickly carbonation.
O: I like this but I've had it on cask as well and like it better on cask.

rootbeerman, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: lovely amber glow with nice white fulffy head rentention

smell: citrus/piney hops aromas

taste: tropical fruit and the normal citrus, a little off hop bitterness on the back but can be tolarated

mouthfeel: medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation

drinkability: a solid IPA and would love to have again

CampusCrew, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of MadBeerX
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the type of IPA that i enjoy, and one i think can be consumed on multiple occasions.
98points Rate Beer, tropical fruited nose- especially pineapple. Great balance, light weight mouthfeel for its statistical intensity.
A impressive representation of an Imperial IPA...

MadBeerX, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of 9InchNails
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a growler that was filled at Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

A creamy soap-like white head with spotty bubbles sitting on top. The head fades rather quickly even with a forceful pour from the growler. Light golden color in the body. Some bubbles sticking to the side of the glass and letting go. Beautiful lacing clings to the glass from top to bottom.

Pine and juicy citrus hits the nose immediately. Some bread, buscuits and caramel in the background to smooth it out.

Very piney at first, then a citrus dryness comes in. Sweet, juicy and then bitter with a taste of bread in the very end. But this is all about the hops.

Light to almost medium in body feel. Noticeable carbonation -- on the medium side. Leaves the mouth feeling dry from the bitterness but is still quite moist. Very easy going down.

I noticed on the second and third pour from my growler, the head becomes creamier looking -- it looks more and more delicious with each pour. This is a solid Imperial IPA with the hops taking the spotlight. Easy drinking -- quite dangerous for a 9% abv. as I might finish the whole growler in one sitting.

9InchNails, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into oversized wine glass. Pours a hazy golden amber color, with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with amazing retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some decent lacing is left on the glass as well. Aromas of strong caramel, pine, grapefruit, mango, orange, and spices. Excellent DIPA aromas here, very strong as well. Taste of strong grapefruit, orange, pine, caramel, lemon, mango, and some spices. Decent amount of bitterness on the finish that lingers with citrus, pine, and spicy flavors. No alcohol noticed in the taste or finish. Very smooth medium-full body with medium carbonation. Nice balance of bitterness and sweetness, with the sweetness being a bit more than the bitterness. Very drinkable stuff for being 9% as well. Overall, a very excellent DIPA with great balance and drinkability.

superspak, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Courtesy of JohnQVegas.
Thanks man!

Served into an imperial nonic pint.

I hadn't had this beer in a while, and I'm Surprised at how high my bottle review score was...
This beer is shockingly boozy, with a dirty, chalky dryness on the finish. I reckon that in the past 16 months I've refined my palate a bit-- but it is always interesting to have a beer again after do long.

Light straw golden color with an eggshell colored head of 2 fingers. Nice thick lacing and respectable retention.

Smells a lot more balanced than I remember-- some pale malt is dry and biscuity and an equalizing hop note shines though with citrus and floral notes.

The flavor has some dry bready malt before the super bitterness jumps out. The bitterness is bold, assertive, and biting. Notes of grapefruit, pine resin, and light floral notes.

Overall-- a nice beer, but not as fantastic as I had remembered.

AleWatcher, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of glazeman
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: medium golden straw color with a 3 finger white head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: Lots of citrus notes, in particular grapefruit and lemon.

T: Big bitter hop profile up front but without much specific piney flavor or citrus notes. Finish is a little too chalky for my taste.

M: Fine, but the chalkiness makes it less crisp than I would like. Perhaps a little over carbonated as well.

O: This was an ok DIPA, but not one that I would really want again.

glazeman, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of Cavery
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml courtesy of GoGators, shared with SundaySour on a Saturday night!

Poured into Over-sized Wine Glass.

A: Looks a lot like mandarin orange flesh, very ripe and juicy. Slight burnt orange characteristics that compliment an appetizing 2 1/2 finger head. Very light fluffy bubbles, mixes of medium and small bubbles. Looks quite good. Sticky animal shapes of lacing hold onto the side of the glass. I swear one of them looks like a platypus.

S: Orange-esque cereal grains with some bitter lemon rinds. The hop character is quite piney with some dried sticky saps. Pleasant hop forwardness that isn't too green, and is refined in the way it avoids medicinal tones. A slightly over ripe note of clementines makes things interesting. Quite a refined sniffer indeed. I can see why the captain would keep this in his reserve.

T: Orange rinds with some juicy pulp capsules still attached. Very pleasant hop that garnishes a very clean citrus and iceberg lettuce salad. Perfumed alcohol creeps over the pine character of the hops to reveal a private garden of potently buttery blossoms. A mead like honey alcohol character that's quite scrumptious. You can practically taste the spring season in this glass, bees buzz and yellow flowers smile. This beer is a haiku in the mouth.

M: Shockingly soft in the mouth with bubbles that seem to disappear rather than burst. A foam blanket that puffs soft smoke on the tongue. The sensation surrounds the mouth, but is hard to detect in terms of weighing the body. A watery honey coats the mouth like a soothing iced tea. A full medium-heavy mouth makes for an almost chewy honey marmalade jam.

O: Besides DFH beers, this is my first East-Coast DIPA. I have to say, this was quite a pleasant surprise. This is a really balanced DIPA with soothing honey sweet qualities that give the beer a sophisticated backbone. The main flavor isn't as complex, but the condiments are superb. I get marmalade, honeys, and other citrusy jams. This adds a nice variation on the orange theme. I want to spread this beer on toast! An American breakfast DIPA if I've ever had one.

Cavery, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of hikix
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really have a love/hate relationship with this beer. It is 9% abv so it will literally knock you on your @ss if you have a couple of them. They do a very good job at masking the alcohol taste, however the beer is very bitter. Sometimes I love the bitter grapefruit taste and sometimes it is just way too much.

I guess it depends on my mood, but for a VERY strong IPA you can't go wrong. If you are into IPA's and you see one do not hesitate to buy it!

hikix, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of Klym
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Right in the middle of the spectrum between orange and gold with a proud 1 finger head. Lacing drips away somewhat quickly but is bubbly and definitely there. Can't say this beer isn't comely.

S: Very aromatic with a strong mixture of hops and fruit gummies in the nose. Certainly a lot of fruits, but all of them somehow have a gummy-like sweetness to them rather than the natural fruits. That being said, this gummy-like character isn't offputting.

T: Floral tastes, again many gummy fruits, honey, bitter overtones throughout with hoppiness in the middle and a finish that is bitter and just tiptoes the line between a good hop finish and a medicinal one. Good and powerful taste but has me wanting to warn it to be careful a few times throughout its unfolding.

M: A slippery mouthfeel with what I'd argue to be too much carbonation. Feels a bit dry in the back of the throat.

O: Solid DIPA, you can't say this one isn't worthy of respect and appreciation from all DIPA fans. That being said, the hop scents and flavors weren't among the best I've encountered and the beer almost went bad places a few times. Solid, good-- but not in the realm of greatness.

Klym, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of renegadeburger
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

picked this one up in nyc some of these items are easier to get there than back in new jersey although i see the captain larry stuff floating around every now and then

wow, this one was a real big strong ipa style heavy on the aroma intense hops smelled like a whole bunch of fruit and crazy spices i even smelled some banana in there i could tell this beer was going to be real intimidating but i like that

whoa taste is intense too just as i suspected but nice and dry with a good solid kick and bite at the end, it is sweet and bitter and strong but it does not slow you down you can actually sip this over and over and not get tired

amazing strong mouthfeel the carbonation was so tight and fine i really liked how he made this come together

so far this is one of the best local imperial ipas i had really good stuff here from the captain

renegadeburger, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16.9oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe. Purchased at Whole Foods Bowery in Manhattan.

A - Pours a light goldenrod color, a bit brighter than most DIPAs I've had before. There's a big, 3-fingered head on here that is off-white, with excellent retention. Rocky foam lasts for ages, and it leaves its mark on the glass as well in the form of sticky lacing. It's clear as well, with a ton of carbonation streaming out of the etched glass bottom.

S - The smell is certainly interesting on this beer. The thing that surprised me right out of the gate was the earthy, musty note here. Seriously, it's even bordering on funky. Very unique for the style in my opinion but I'm not entirely sure its intentional. Besides that, the hops essentially dominate the nose, with incredibly juicy grapefruit and tropical fruits. There's some slight caramel malts here as well, but expect them to be buried underneath the hops and funk.

T - Again, I'm getting a lot of tart funkiness at the start of this beer. However, I am liking it a lot less here than the complexity it adds to the nose. I feel it overpowers and feels out of place here, even after praising it in the nose. Thankfully the hops are still here in full force, bringing notes of grapefruit, mango, orange, and even a little pine. The malts help balance everything out here for the most part, but the bitterness does last a while in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with high carbonation. It feels decent in the mouth, perhaps a bit heavy. The hops don't destroy the palate at all, but does have the effect of weighing it down a bit.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I liked the earthiness in the nose but can't say I enjoyed it in the taste. Still a pretty good IPA, and a nice introduction to this brewery for me.

nhindian, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of KSac4115
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden, honey color with an off-white one in foam head that lingers nicely. Fairly transparent and lighter looking than I had expected. Leaves a beautiful white lacing all around.
Smell isn't very apparent. Smells strongly of hops that tingles the nose a bit giving a strong bitter taste impression. Other citrus flavors come out as well.
Flavor is strong of hops yet remarkably sweet. The hop taste is very prevalent yet when that strong bite comes in the middle of the taste, it somehow is barely there. While the bitterness is obvious, it is not that kick that most imperials have. However, I rather enjoy it. There is a perfect blending of flavors to make a very enjoyable taste. After taste is lacking somewhat.
Mouthfeel is very pleasant. Carbonation is at a perfect level. Not too much to distract from the taste that is there. This is a remarkably drinkable beer! For 9% ABV it seems like yet rich in taste.
Overall, a fantastic beer. Remarkable how drinkable it is without sacrificing rich hop flavors and ABV. Highly recommended to those who don't enjoy the thoroughly bitter taste of most imperials but still enjoy a great IPA.

KSac4115, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lancaster shaker pint glass.

Thanks to Florida9 for sharing this beer!

A nice unexpected preamble to our little tasting/packing expedition. It pours a clear amber-brass topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, lemon zest, mandarin orange, caramel, and kiwi. The taste follows generally the same pattern, though the fruits are all accompanied by their respective rinds, lending a good amount of bitterness to the fruity situation. The caramel is joined by a light bit of biscuit, which helps balance things out with a relatively strong malty backbone. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly gooey feel. Overall, a pretty nice DIPA, one that doesn't go overboard on anything but goodness.

TMoney2591, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of Avantyawn
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce bottle poured into imperial pint glass. $4.99 per bottle.

A: Unusually clear and straw yellow for a DIPA. Looks almost like an adjunct. There is a nice frothy head

S: The smell is the strongest attribute of this beer I think. A delicious wet malty citrusy tangy scent. Smells very similar to Founders Double Trouble

T: I am not quite understanding this beer, it is amazingly drinkable for 9 %, but somehow it tastes sort of bland and flat. I wonder if this batch is off... There is a pronounced hop bitterness, however, there is little hop flavor. It is like a ghost of a DIPA. I am convinced there is something wrong with this batch as I have tasted this before and it tasted entirely different.

M: Very thin for the style, too thin in my opinion.

O: Overall, this is an odd one because I had this on tap recently and it did not resemble this bottle at all. I remember it having a robust malt profile and a classic strong citrusy DIPA flavor profile, which this bottle seems to only hint at. Oh well.. The truth is as I close in on finishing the bottle, is that I really didn't enjoy drinking this very much, a very "eh" experience. I will re- review this sometime soon probably when I try it again. I like Cap'n Lawrence in general very much, but this is not doing it for me. I have to complain about the 4.99 price though. Even if this was super dank, 4.99 for a local strong IPA is too much IMHO. I'll probably stick to liquid gold and freshchester pale ale in the future from captain lawrence.

Avantyawn, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of dragonWhale
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had one of these a week ago, now I'm trying again just to be sure, but it is the truth. Something is going on here. I'm not sure if this is an old bottle or a weird batch, but I think it's fresh.
A very sexy orange hazy pour with a tiptop offwhite head and sexy lacing. Aromas of higher alcohols, malt, some slight hops in the background. A hit of bitterness, some malt showing, followed by big alcohols punching the mouth. Not very balanced, but not bad. You know the ingredients are there, there's just nothing holding the beer together. I've had this before and loved it. Not sure if this is maybe even too young, or if the recipe changed slightly for this batch, but almost no hops beyond the bitterness, which is a nice bitterness, not crazy harsh. Strange days with the Captain.

dragonWhale, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of Jazzcrop
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes are huge bagged American hops (west coast -- dry-hopped too), caramel, Butterfingers candy bars, hay, fruity bitterness, some booze, crackers, wine sediment, Tobasco, gun powder, swiss cheese and mixed berries. I need to load up on this one!!!

Jazzcrop, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of Kendo
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter. Body is clear, glowing orangey-amber. Small whitish head on top. Leaves some lace.

S: Grapefruity citrus and honey-drizzled malt.

T: Nice DIPA - sweet caramel malt underneath a solid hop profile - grapefruit, pine sap and a touch of spice.

M: Slightly oily/slick. Medium-to-heavy in heft.

O: Nice DIPA.

Kendo, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of rmjavanut, Thank you Ryan. Shared with the father-in-law over the holiday weekend while living a life of leisure.

Pale gold with a thin white cover that lasts the duration of the beer. Tiny bubbles rise to the surface and each sip leaves a spattering a lace.

Khafir lime, pepper, bread dough, a bitter heat on the nose. The octane is foreshadowed well here.

Taste trends much the same. Try as I might to conjure up a different experience, this beer just seems muddles. I'm having real trouble pulling the five hop varieties here. What is present is heavy bitterness and alcohol heat. Peppery bitterness on the end and the long lingering astringency leave me wondering where the amazing hops that many other reviewers seem to find have gone to hide. Sadly, this bottle plays average to me.

Mouthfeel is nice a thick and if there were some distinguishing features here, this would be a nice long sipper along the fine feel and body. I have another bottle via Ryan's generosity and I will enter with some hope and trepidation. As experienced here, this is very middle of the road.

BarrytheBear, May 30, 2011
Photo of lnashsig
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to beenitty for this nice surprise extra in our recent trade. Poured into my dfh snifter, pours a very bright yellow (awesome!) color, some small carbonation bubbles are visible, and some nice frothy foam rises to to top of the glass and then recedes slowly. Smell- big citrus (lemon, tropical fruits) flavors, pot, pine, and sweet grapefruit. Taste- big biting floral hops hit the front part of the palate first, followed by a nice sweet citrus flavor, it has nice carbonation on the finish, with another bitter kick. I'm in love. Mouthfeel- nice medium bodied, rich carbonation. Drinkability- man oh man...wish I had another one of these. This is maybe the best beer I have never heard of.

lnashsig, May 28, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 ounce bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass.

My first Captain Lawrence beer. Very much looking forward to checking out this brewery.

Beer pours a slightly hazy honey colored amber with two fingers of clean, white head. Some decent head retention and sticky lacing.

Smell is of citrus and piney hops. It's earthy, musty and a touch funky. A great smelling beer...this is what an American DIPA should smell like.

The taste is more citrusy than piney. There's a really nice malty sweetness which backs up the hops. It's incredibly hoppy but not overly bitter. A really well balanced DIPA.

Mouthfeel is resinous and slightly sticky. Carbonation is slightly less than average, but works really well.

Overall, a really solid top to bottom DIPA. Hoppy but incredibly well balanced. A nice first tasting of Captain Lawrence.

pburland23, May 21, 2011
Photo of HBeezley
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is by far one of THE BEST IPA's I've had and ABSOLUTELY one of my favorites, if not THE favorite IPA in my area!

The look is nice. Light golden color with bright white head that thins out and sticks all the way down.

Smell makes my mouth water. Earthy, hoppy, and slightly citrusy..mmm.... delicious.

The taste really is fantastic! Simple enough to breeze through this bottle and wish I had grabbed another, Complex enough to keep me interested and always pleased. Mostly, the taste is with a faint hint of honey-ish sweetness, the powerful hops evade and notes of pine, fruits, and the final kick of alcohol leaves a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is scrumptious. Like I had already said, I wish I had bought another.

Overall, I wish I always had one of these in my fridge. The price, is great @4.99 and the fact that this brewery is local (and close to me!) really encourages me to support them!

I still need to visit the brewery though....

HBeezley, May 16, 2011
Photo of robwestcott
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to afksports for tossing this one in for me.

poured cold and aggressively from the bottle to a portsmouth brewery balloon glass a crisp, clean, translucent goldenrod with a two finger, big bubbled, super foamy, solid white head with great retention and serious lace.

aroma of grapefruit and subtle hints of piney hops.

tangy white grapefruit hops forward fading to a strangely, almost cloyingly sweet malt backbone. it's interesting, but not sure what to make of it. the bitter clings to the tongue and the sides of the mouth.

relatively smooth and medium bodied, big carbonation, bitter.

drinkable - one and done.

overall - interesting for the style, nicely done, but i'll probably not return to this one.

robwestcott, May 11, 2011
Photo of whitemomba
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from beenity. Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

A - A vigorous pour leaves 2 fingers of head. Leaves pretty quick but some head stays behind for the whole brew. Lacing sticks to the glass. Very golden color.

S - I smell a little grapefruit and some sweet malts.

T - Very good. Pretty hoppy but not very bitter. I taste a lot of citrus up front but it mellows out. Very smooth.

M - Not very heavy. Pretty hard to tell this is 9%. Does a good job of hiding the ABV.

O - Not bad at all. Very solid. Extremely drinkable.

whitemomba, May 09, 2011
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,065 ratings.