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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.

1,045 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 514
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 179
Gots: 109 | 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: 1,045 | Reviews: 514 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle to oversized wine glass. $8.95. No date or batch number indicated but I have good reason to expect recent bottling. Review from notes taken 6 weeks ago or so. Oddly and unfortunately enough, the Captain's Reserve seems to be the only CL brew distributed to PA (Philly area).

A: Pours with a very long lasting, large head of 2 1/2 fingers which is off-white in color. The body is clear but the boatloads of tiny bubbles floating lazily to the surface give it an almost hazy appearance. Sudsy film remains once the foamy/fluffy head has receded. The body is a light color of amber orange. Excellent lacing in the form of sedimentary layers of sea foam lace.

S & T: Domestic Pale, English Pale and English Crystal make up the malt bill and promote aromas of biscuit and caramel. Even though the bottle claims 5 different hop varieties are used, the brewery's website only lists Columbus, Chinook and Cascade. Hops are as heavy as they should be in a DIPA, boasting aromas and flavors of pine and citrus (orange first, then mango). The flavor duration is only average, while being lightly sweet and lightly bitter. Low levels of alcohol are noticeable on the back end of the palate.

M: Medium body with a creamy texture that becomes a touch thin once the beer has warmed up. Average level of carbonation from fizzy effervescence.

D: Even though the ABV isn't indicated on the label or on the Captain Lawrence website, I guessed 8.5% based on the way it drinks. The aroma, flavor and mouthfeel are not groundbreaking in any way, but this is good beer and it is very easy to drink.

FeDUBBELFIST, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a beer trade with zoso1967, thanks!

I have to say, the appearance of this beer is quite nice. Half finger head, superb lacing, crystal clear light golden color.

The smell is a bit mild. Light malts and subtle pine are the main players. I must admit I was hoping for more after the appearance.

After the first two categories, I wasn't sure what to expect with the taste. The taste turns out to be pretty nice. For a DIPA, the flavor is very mellow which is pleasant. Hints of mango, peach, and pine round out the hop profile balanced well against the light malts. A bit of heat concludes the flavor adding some complexity.

The moutfeel follows suite to the appearance and taste yielding a creamy texture. The aftertaste is very clean with some drying.

The drinkability is good for the ABV content. The overall impression is nice, worthy of a second pint and .9 fl ounces.

TCgoalie, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle, thanks bert

appearance: cool captain lawrence label...served in an ale asylum chalice, hazy straw-orange body, light cloudy foam ring

smell: sweet malts, pineapple, caramel, piney, grapefruit

taste: well balanced - piney and grapefruit from the hops with a heavy hit of malts - caramel, pineapple, high sweetness levels from the malts and alcohol. Good DIPA but not really noteworthy in a field of superstars

mouthfeel: moderate hop bitterness, decent alcohol feel, a touch spicy

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of TheJollyHop
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Palms 2nd Anniversary

Pale straw to light amber body, solid finger of off white head.

Enticing spicy, floral, pineapple citrus aroma, all underscored by caramel malt.

Grapefruit and tangerine on top of a sweet but light malt body; light pine sweet finish. Sticky and slightly resinous on the tongue. Medium carbonation and medium to light bodied. Creamy yet slightly effervescent. Very hop forward (Cascade) with an astringent finish. Solid DIPA.

TheJollyHop, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 1/3/10

Many thanks to smutty33 for the sweet extra

Medium amber color with a nice sheen. Just a touch less than clear. Pours nearly a two finger head. It dissipates (in no particular hurry) to a large patch of bubbles & a thin layer of foam, leaving good lacing. Thin but good retention. Lace thins but a few decent patches remain.

Well-blended nose offers a steady malt backdrop (biscuity notes with swaths of caramel) accented by what seems to be the indication of a nice hop profile. Piney hops in abundance - it almost smells resinous. Some floral hops & hints of ripe citrus - tangerine, orange, lemon peel & hints of grapefruit.

Hmm...doesn't taste quite like I was expecting based on the nose but interesting nonetheless. Overall it seems more integrated than the nose. Piney bitterness upfront with floral undercurrents. Moderately dense pine; not overly harsh but nowhere near lacking. Meshes with near seamless precision to a malt backdrop of comparable density. Caramel sweetness is more pronounced than in the nose. Dry, toastiness back there, too. Citrus takes a downplayed role; hints of it contribute to the whole but it's largely indistinguishable.

Medium body with plenty resiny grit. Carbonation is moderately low; it's actually perfect for the weight & characteristics of the beer. A touch of bitterness lingers on the finish.

Some decry the East Coast propensity toward maltiness & I might not disagree. However, at least here, Captain Lawrence got it right. Give it a shot.

Ryan011235, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of SeasonalBrew
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my Unibroue tulip. Pours a somewhat hazy goldenrod color with 2.5 fingers of frothy egg-shell colored head. Awesome sticky lacing is left down the entire glass. This beauty if fresh!

S: Wonderful bouquet of floral hops and tropical citrus (thinking grapefruit and tangerine). Slightly detectable caramel malt backbone. Not one scent is overpowering, all seem subtle.

T: Roasted and sweet malts upfront, followed by tropical citrus notes.. I'm feeling pineapple now. Finishes with a punch of piney hops and a slight bite from the alcohol.

M: Bigger body than expected. Actually kind of creamy, but has a dry finish.

D: Great, especially on a scorching summer evening like today! The bite of alcohol and dryness at the end takes a half point from the drinkability for me. Still an awesome DIPA. Next time I'll have this side-by-side with some Dreadnaught and see who prevails.

SeasonalBrew, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: unibroue tulip, frothy bone-white head, two fingers thick, atop a deep golden beer, nice retention and decent lace

s: pretty standard malt body - more pale and not too heavily caramelized, green apple juice, moderately sweet, hops a bit muddled but with a nice range of aromas - a combination of tropical and young pine, grapefruit candy, fresh ginger, pineapple, peach, mango, fruit punch, green and resinous, smells good

m: carbonation just under moderate in level, mostly smooth and soft, medium body

t: heavy pale malt body without much flavor depth, big green apple juice flavor with an almost cider-like tart edge after the swallow - don't really care for that but not a huge deal, hops a combination of bitter young pine and tropical fruits, pineapple, nicely bitter, pretty good but it's a bit muddled and the malts, while considerably sweet, just don't have enough range to compliment the hop profile, instead actually distracting from it

d: just fine, not a shining example of the style, but a solid rendering for sure, and drinkable given the elevated content

16.9 oz bottle from Manchester Wine in Manchester, CT

blackie, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks for this extra from a great trader pmlondrigan. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my JP Pint Glass with a hazy tangerine color. About a finger of head is achieved with a vigorous pour, which slowly dissipates leaving decent looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - A hop forward nose with hints of pine. There is a strong sweet malt and caramel aroma at the tail end. The more I smell, the more dominant floral hops become.

Taste - Similar to the nose. A bitter, hoppy bit at the forefront, which is followed by a slight bitter grapefruit citrus. Oddly, there is a unique sweet tinge to this beer - not a caramel, overly malty flavor, but one that is more intensely sweet yet it seems to work with this. Overall quite balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, biting carbonation, somewhat creamy.

Drinkability - Pretty good Imperial IPA. I enjoy this beer more as it warms up and other flavors emerge, and also like it for the fact as stated previously, there is an odd yet good sweet bite to it at the end of the sip. Normally, I hate sweet IPA's...

SpdKilz, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of berkey
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another 64oz growler courtesy of ineedabeerhere. Poured into a tulip glass, from notes Aug 4.

This beer certainly looks the part of a great DIPA. Sturdy medium sized off-white head tops a bright but slightly hazy orange-amber body. Lacing is excellent.

Tangerine notes are extremely strong on the aroma along with some orange peel. As I dig deeper there's a nice leafy pungency. Among the better smelling DIPA's I've tried recently regardless of geography. There's definitely something to be said about a fresh growler of hoppy stuff.

Still a tangerine bomb on the palate and I even detect a little shot of peach flavor in there. Narrowly saved from being too fruity by a fairly prominent grassy flavor. Doesn't taste quite as good as it smells but still very nice.

Some say East Coast brewers can't do a DIPA but this fresh one was highly enjoyable. They successfully straddled the line of avoiding too much malt flavor without dumping in so many hops it became a swampy green mess. Not sure I can say they pulled that difficult task off quite as gracefully as some of the standard bearers of the style but this is another good beer from a very good brewer.

berkey, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle, served in a Samuel Smith pint glass

A - pours with three quarts of an inch of intensely creamy just off-white colored foam...the beer is hazy, bright gold in color. spotty lacing left behind.

S - rich piney and tropical fruit heavy hops...sugared grapefruit and wet pine needles up front.

T - huge bitter pine-bomb...fruits lay in somewhat more subtle with sharp pineapple and grapefruit taking the lead. slightly sweet caramel malts lay underneath before being cut short by a big massive alcohol bite. nothing graceful here.

M - somewhat thick and clumsy body, sharp carbonation cuts through a bit but the swallow is a bit rough.

D - massive hop bomb from the right coast...a good play o hops but body and easily detectable ABV can hinder real drinkability.

Stigs, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into 16oz Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

Appearance: Golden color with a very large off-white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind a very, very thick lace around the top of the glass.

Smell: Herbal and citric hops are dominant, with hints of pine and slight earthiness.

Taste: Begins with a somewhat woody flavor backed up by buttery sweetness, finishing with pine and herbal flavors alongside bittersweet citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: This beer quite possibly has the largest depth of hop flavors and aromas I have experienced. However, something seems to be missing, preventing it from being a truly world-class imperial IPA. Still, a damn good beer and one I would be more than happy to taste again.

Mosstrooper, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of albertjr21
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Into a red wine glass, this poured a hazy yellow golden color under a sudsy thin head that held throughout due to a nice carbonation.

S: Big and sweet citrus hop aroma.

M/T: An upfront bitter hoppy bite with a sweet malt center followed by a crisp and thirst quenching orange rind dry bitterness. There's a bit of a smoky burnt sugar note in the throat to the finish.

D: If there's such thing as a "session" Imperial IPA for the hophead, then this might be a great example. This doesn't get old or overstay its welcome on the palate and is quite refreshing on a hot summer day.

albertjr21, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of diddly
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a growler at the brewery - poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Great thick head on this beer, with an unfiltered dark amber color beneath it.

I love this beer - smell of hops is noticeable from a few feet away, and it tastes exactly like it smells. It's powerful stuff, though - you can really only drink a few. It's a strong, strong hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is great - you really get that bitter hop bite.

This is one of those fairly traditional IPA's - powerful, doesn't hold back, and as long as you love hops like I do, this is a great beer.

diddly, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy amber color with good lacing throughout. Smells of hops and some pineapple. The taste is not too boozey for an Imperial with a 9 ABV. Tastes alot like it smells, hops and pine. Certainly one of the better beers produced in the Tri-state area. Solid beer.

PicoPapa, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of edrachman
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Surprisingly good beer.
Nice golden straw color with good head that stays in the glass.
The smell is bright and clean with a touch of malt.

Taste is much like the smell with classic IPA aftertaste.

Good amount of carbonation, but not overly alcohol.

Definately drinkable - I could easily drink this all day one hot afternoon.

Overall, a very good beer - something I would definately buy again just for a drink.

edrachman, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of fear025
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma:Sweet with mild citrus hops. Smells a little like cotton candy.

Appearance:Clear with a deep golden color. Plenty of white head. Good head retention.

Taste:Huge malt presence in the foretaste, with some hops, but not as much as I would usually expect from a DIPA. The hops that are there taste citrusy, with some lemon and orange. The aftertaste has some mild hop astringency that's not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel:The huge malts in this beer really increase the body, so it's pretty thick. The carbonation and the hops give this beer a refreshing bite. There is a little alcohol burn present.

Drinkability:I've had several bottles of this in the past, and this one must have had a little age on it, because the hop presence seemed a little muted. I still really enjoyed it, but be sure to get this one fresh!

fear025, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Florida9
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Gold with a slight chill haze. Pours with a good inch plus of foamy, just off-white head. Good retention with copious amounts of sticky lacing.

S: Slightly sweet. Citrus and floral. Orange blossom.

T: Starts with a sweet pale malt. Followed by a moderate citrus bitterness and some earthiness. Then some alcohol and fusel spice followed by a long sweet, orange finish.

M: Medium with appropriate carbonation, though I would say this is on the lighter side for a DIPA. Slightly oily, especially on the tongue.

D: A good beer with a nice citrusy nose and aroma. Maybe a little sweet for my personal preference, but this is still a top notch DIPA.

Florida9, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of aahynick
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

45F in a pilsner glass

A- burnished gold with a huge fine, long lasting head

S- lots of spice

T- bold and malty with a mild bitterness and rich flavor

M - smooth and substantial

D- another IPA that just might have me hooked, definitely worth every penny .

aahynick, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler poured into an 8oz alt glass.

Pours a light amber that's very clear, light white thin head with lots of sticky white lacing. Nose is very hoppy and there's even a sharp cheddar note too.

Taste is hops and booze! This is 72hrs old so the bitterness is all there. Very spicy and floral, lots of earthy notes. It is a bit hot but I'm having it at cellar temp. Very nice beer.

kingcrowing, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very light amber, almost deep golden really, and has a wonderful fluffy resiny head that sticks around and leaves incredible lace. The aroma is wonderfully hoppy. Pine, grapefruit, apricot and spicy herbs fill my nostrils. A sugary malt presence is there as well, but this is mostly a hoppy fella. Wow, the taste is quite unique and enjoyable. The first thing my tongue picks up on is actually the last thing it tastes in each sip. The aftertaste transports me to my family's farm in Michigan with a taste that is reminiscent of the smell of our raspberry patch, if that makes any sense. It is a sort of spicy, grassy, minty, tart aroma. The hop flavor is a good mix of citrus, pine and herbal with a nice spice to it and some tropical fruit action going on in there as well. This beer is quite sweet, with a very sugary malt presence that really does not add much, except in that it really accentuates the flavors of the hops. Also, bitterness is pretty aggressive so though it is quite sweet, it does not really seem cloying at all. This is on the fuller side of medium bodied, and has a pretty smooth mouthfeel and a very dry finish. I have no idea what the ABV is, but it is disappearing at an alarming rate. All in all a very interesting and enjoyable IPA, and a good first experience for me with Captain Lawrence.

zoso1967, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of oldmanpliny
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pop the cap and take a quick wiff of incredible hoppy goodness. 5 different hops make this imperial ipa a complex brew. This beer pours as good as any beer I have seen. The head looks like the top of a freshly brewed latte. This beer is love at first sip it is hoppy hoppy hoppy did I say it's hoppy. There are citrus and mellon notes with a slight hint of malt and it finishes bitter however not as dry as you would think. The bottom line is this a a first class beer all the way. The west coast is the king of the IPA mountain however this NY IPA can hang with the best of the west. Try it you will like it!

oldmanpliny, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body pours lighter than I expected with its hazy golden appearance with orange hues and a billowing white head that patiently lies atop the beer eventually giving way to sticky white lacing.

The aroma reveals a nice blend of citrus and floral hops mixed with sweet malt, and hints of yeast as the beer warms.

The flavor offers much more pronounced hops, almost earthy now, and more citrus presence than the aroma. As the temperature changes, the hop varieties appear with pine and citrus coming forward.

Medium in body with medium to moderate carbonation and perhaps a bit creamy.

This is a nice Imperial IPA, well balanced, and the alcohol is absolutely buried.

CHADMC3, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at The Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter. Cool looking lable as well.

APPEARANCE: Pours a big three finger thicker looking white head with great retention. Perfectly clear amber orange in color with higher levels of carbonation, which was a nice looking variant. Head slowly fades to a decent thick foam cap leaving lots of thick lacing down the sides. A good film remains until the end, coating the sides of the glass in lacing.

SMELL: A very enjoyable nose on this one. Bold aromas of pale malts, sweet pineapple and melon. Some hints of grapefruit and floral notes here as well, but more melon heavy. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Pale malts and melon notes again. Some pineapple in there, but a bitter hop finish soon brushes that aside. More bitter than the nose had indicated. Grapefruit and pine hints, grassy notes, as well as lots of floral hop bitterness. Finishes with some spicy notes from the alcohol too. Bold and lingering aftertaste is plenty spicy and bitter all around. Very tasty.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Light and nicely oily on the palate, pretty creamy smooth, and goes down fine, finishing slightly mouth-coating. Good feel.

OVERALL: Really good east-coast DIPA. The nose and taste profile didn't quite match all that well, but both were great in their own right. One that might be worth getting again here in Amsterdam, despite the hefty price tag. Recommended.

Jeffo, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of misinformed
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from last night (7/6/10). 500mL bottle in to a Capt. Lawrence pint glass! (Thanks to Cuzco!)
A- Poured a clear, glowing orange with a nice 3 finger off white head. Visible carbonation present until the last drop. Nice thick lacing too. Left a satisfying ring or two after the glass was empty.

S- Piney hops. Some floral notes as well.

T- Big wallop of pine and hops. I was able to taste some roasted malt in the first few sips but after that it was completely overshadowed by the hops. This isn't a bad thing as the beer still feels incredibly smooth and balanced. Faint floral hops and maybe some citrus too, but not much.

M- Light and refreshing, but still sticky and oily at the same time. Again, incredibly smooth. No trace of alcohol at all.

D- I could drink this all the time if I had access to it. Very good. Smooth to the end and no trace of alcohol anywhere. Refreshing and incredibly well balanced and easy drinking. Great emphasis on hops without being an unbalanced bomb.

misinformed, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of philbe311
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One fingers worth of slightly rich and creamy egg shell colored head... Slight retention give way to a thin lacing of similar characteristics... A light golden amber color with a glowing orange hue... A moderate bit of carbonation that start at a slow pace and quickly speeds up as it rises... Loads of lacing cling to the glass...

S - A potent mix of hops is first to hit the nose... A combo of sweet citrus and pungent bitter hops... Slightly floral notes... Just the slightest of bready malt undertones...

T - The citrus is nowhere to be found on the palette as the hoppiness takes on a piney pungent bitterness... Very little in the way of malt, just a touch of cracker... A slightly medicinal finish with a touch of alcoholic warmth...

M - A bit intense... Medium bodied... Thick... Rich... Chewy... Dense... Minimal carbonation... Slightly dry and astringent finish...

D - A distinctive and memorable east coast IPA... A solid introduction to the Captain Lawrence brewery... Big, bold, and assertive...

philbe311, Jul 03, 2010
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.