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

Not Rated.
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPACaptain's Reserve Imperial IPA

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1,134 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,134
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 190
Gots: 123 | 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: 1,134 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claspada
3.08/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aromas of grapefruit and piney hops, light bready maltiness. Smells pretty standard for the style..

The taste follows smell, copious amount of grapefruit and pine, some light bready pale malts in the background but let's be honest this is s hop bomb. Frankly it is a tad to astringent and resiny for my liking. Reminds me of a lesser Pliney which I also thought was too unbalanced to the hopside.

Mouthfeel is properly carbonated and full; quite sticky. Really lasts and lingers on the palate. Overall this is a decent DIPA but not malty enough/in balance for my preference. As I have said before I think they should have a DIPA category for malty high ABV beers and an Imperial IPA category for the hopbombs, anyway...

Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed golden straw crolor, big cap of light khaki head, small, compacted bubbles, but still very light, great rings of lacing. Scent is hop forward, tropical fruit, peach, flowery and grassy, light watery fruit and honey like sweetness. Taste is hop forward, starts off with floral and tropical notes, some hints of peach and light watery fruit. Malt is sweet and fruity, light honey. Only knock is a very faint, almost urine like note before some alcohol warmth hits in the middle. Lighter side of medium bodied, active carbonation, not as dry as expected but no lingering sweetness. A very nice and fruity IPA that only contains a hint off flavor that is unappealing to me but i accept as a component of certain types of hops.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

We pour a brew of glowing honey-gold. It holds a white head of one finger, which dissipates rather quickly. What is left are aggregates of large bubbles all around the surface. There are flecks of spotty lacing about the edges of the glass. There is a definite haze to the beer, with murky waves of particulates suspended throughout. Carbonation looks to be average. The nose is bright with citrusy hops, of sweetened grapefruit. There is other fruitiness throughout, with apricots and nectarines as the obvious candidates, which further enhance the sweetness to a level of nectary syrup. A slight pine peeks from the background, and the booze is not entirely hidden. As we sip the tongue meets with herbal, earthy bittering hops. There is a quick flash of grain, which interposes for a quick balance. The middle sees more biting hop resin, but begins to cool off with a flash of sweetness towards the back of the mouth. The sip finishes with that fleeting citrusy sweetness, but comes forward more so with drying, peppery booze. The aftertaste breathes with cooled hops that are bitter, of grapefruit rind. Interestingly, again, there is a stronger grainy component here as well, which helps afford a more balance beer. The body is medium and the carbonation is low to medium. The feel to the mouth is silky, and there is a soft creaminess and slurpability to each sip. The mouth is left initially coated, but is ultimately dried astringently. The abv is within range, and although the booze is somewhat forthcoming we have a pleasantly sippable brew.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the nicely balanced nose, which generously included a unique sweetness and fruitiness that many imperial IPAs lack. The hops were absolutely the star of this one, as would be expected, but the other aromatic elements and flavors make for a well-balanced brew. To make the experience even better, the mouthfeel is as soft as velvet, leaving the drinker satisfied on all accounts.

Photo of IlIlIllIlIllIlIl
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick, simple review. My first time with this beer after a long night of work. Bought at my local deli for $5 and poured into a tulip

Very smooth and light up front
and a nice hit of alcohol on the back end.

Medium head retention and carbonation color is pale gold and translucent. White, foamy head ( not cottony fluff )

smell - light grassy hops - peachy with a bit of grapefruit tartness

Taste is more grainy than malty

Photo of ironbike1
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite IPA hands down. I am very happy it is easy to find near me. This will not be your conventional review as The Bros have already touched all the main points.

Poured into a nonic pint. Beautiful golden color (not your norm for this style) with a nice thick white head that leaves lacing all of the way through the drink. Smell is delicious and hoppy and the taste is just plan yummy. It has your typical double IPA profile with something I just can not put my finger on. Maybe its just the brewing that Cpt. puts into this IPA. Truly easy to drink and smooth like no other. Overall this is for me the best double IPA out.

Thanks again for a very delicous and affordable double IPA Cpt.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a surprisingly light hue. Bright yellow with modest hints of amber. One of the lighter colored DIPAs I have seen or remember seeing. The brew sports a great, full white head that doesn't want to quit. It maintains its size. Leaves some swell lace as well. Endless amounts of bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

S-Good whiffs of citrus. Piney, and a bit floral. Definately getting some peppery notes as well. Lighter malt background too.

T-Starts off rather mild, then the powerful flavors kick in after a second or so. Pretty sticky and rich. Resinously piney with some nice citrus flavors to balance. Malt backing, and some of the pepper hints like the nose. The flavor really grew on me!

M-Thicker and heavier than the color would lead you to believe. Nice resinous oiliness that I hope to find in a nice DIPA. Not terrifyingly bitter. Great carbonation.

O/D-%9 is excellently masked. Such an easy drinker.

Very happy to have tried it. Very solid DIPA, not overwhelming but still able to remain memorable.

Photo of Jason
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16.9oz brown bottle with no freshness date. A case of this was leftover from our latest EBF, how the attendees did not blow through this beer is beyond me.

Pale golden straw color, crystal clear. Head retention leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. Grapefruit rind and rustic pine truck and sap with a peppery alcohol and hint of grain in the aroma. First sip reveals a quick smoothness and a rapid jump to the hop character. Tobacco, oily resin, citric rind and leafy pull ... a hard pull on the palate. Alcohol weaves in a growing warmth. As the hops let go of the palate a bit a dry cracker maltiness comes through. More of that tobacco flavor in the dry finish. Lots of hop flavor without a massive bitterness.

Why have I not had this beer before and how can a get a steady stream of it sent to my local area / piped to my house. East coast brewers throwing it back at the west coast here ... this beer touches perfection on a lot of points.

Photo of Genuine
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass at my local beer bar.

Poured a beautiful cloudy amber, with a off white head. I immediately took notice of the aroma that was stemming from the glass.

Smell - Lots of citrus hops, grapefruit, pine, some floral notes but those are in the background.

Taste - hops from first to last, with a decent malt backbone that doesn't override the hops whatsoever. I do get some citrus in there, but mainly I'm picking up more of a floral hop bouquet than any citrus fruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium, almost juicy, even. Carbonation was wonderful.

Overall - really great DIPA. I usually prefer the citrus, pineapple and pine DIPA's, but this is a very solid, floral taste but citrus nosed DIPA's that I enjoyed greatly. I would go back for more.

Photo of jwinship83
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler shared by Spleeb before night of the barrels. Thanks! drank from a small tasting glass.

A- this one pours out a very hazy pale amber colored body with a moderately sized bright white head on top. the head lasts for a little while before fading, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing that comes to mind is hops. lots of citric (orange/tangerine and grapefruit) and lots of pine. lesser floral notes. the alcohol seems to be well hidden. some sweet caramel malt is detected in the background that attempts to add some balance to this.

T- the taste starts out with the sweet caramel malts that i could smell and the quickly moves onto the hops that i could smell. lots of the grapefruit and pine. lots of orange/tangerine. lots of floral. very hoppy west coast styled IPA. nice.

M- medium bodied, bordering on full bodied. nicely bitter and on the dryer side. some warming from the alcohol.

D- my glass went down way too easily. too bad this was a night that i needed to pace myself, i would have liked to have another few. ill be looking for this one later on.

Photo of Zodijackyl
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright gold with a substantial and sticky white head. Smells like a ton of hops, with hop bitterness shining through the regular aroma. Taste is pungent and somewhat sweet - tons of hops, Columbus/Chinook/Cascade all mixing together to give a much sweeter taste than the bitter aroma suggests. Clean finish, surprisingly clean taste and very drinkable for such a strong IPA.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: just a shade lighter than most imperial ipas ive come across, but nice looking with a relatively fluffy pure white head. thenlacing
left behind is fairly weak and not super concentrated.
S: not overly aggressive, but pleasant. light citrus, lemon, mild hops. well see if the flavor profile picks it up a little bit compared to the less aggressive nose.
T: up just a notch. fairly bitter citrusy hops and solid from start to finish. lots of lemon and zest from multiple yellow and orange fruits.
M: pretty bitter up front, with a lasting but backed off bitterness all the way through. this is nice, and ideal to me for an imperial with the hops doing their job well. carbonation level is just right to keep the flavors and hops alive on your palate.
D: overall is pretty well done so it drinks nicely. definitely not on the top of the list by any means, but there really isnt a whole lot to complain about. another solid brew from the captain.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Rattle n Hum in NYC a while ago.

A: Golden orange hue with no head or lacing...Almost like apple cider in its look, not great.

S: Faint resin of the hops of a grapefruit variety and a cedar note that reminds me of some of the spicy Cigar City humidor stuff. Very weak aroma overall.

T: More complexity here. Biscuity malt supports a grapefruit bitter hop profile again with that Spanish cedar a la Cigar city shines through clearer. Also a peppery hop bite too. Bitter back of the palate but sweet up front. Nice.

M: Pretty good carbonation, medium light feel.

D: Pretty good but I was hoping for more.

Photo of jpmclaug
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my perfect pint glass from the bottle

A - Pale yellow with a white head on top, very clear and light colored for a DIPA

S - A light citrusy aroma with a bit pale malt backbone

T - Moderately hoppy, slightly boozy, I get citrus notes from the hops and a bit of pine. More balanced than I'd like for the style

M - medium body with a normal amount of carbonation

D - Meh. Not as good as I was expecting. Could hide the booze better and give more hop flavor/aroma. Worth trying but I wouldn't seek this out again. I wonder about the freshness of this but the lack of a bottling date forces me to stick with my review.

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy peachy in color, with a shy laced head.

Smell was off butterscotch, caramel, yeasty and ending up with some aromas of hops who were quite shy to be present at first. But when aired, the flavors of hops were oily, plentiful and present.

Taste was in two parts, well balanced at first, a big heavy IPA on malt and caramel with a shy presence of biscuit, then the hops came in to show their presence, but not overwhelmed all around.

Photo of bs870621345
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally picked this up, found in the fridge at a local store and the manager assured me it was fresh.

Pours a pale orange color, exactly what you expect from an IPA with an inch or so of white head. Head stays around for a little and leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like grapefruit and pine hops, bread, and a slightly twangy yeasty smell that I can't quite place. The hops are great, but this yeast twang I speak of is off putting a little.

Taste follows smell, just no yeast twang. Nice citrus and pine are the major flavors, bread and caramel hold them up nicely.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and full. Cleans off well for the next sip

Drinkability is good, the yeast twang in the nose is a little off-putting, but everything else is nice.

Photo of kevinv
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another wonderful extra from cavedave! Poured into my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A - Pours a hazy, but vibrant gold with a 1-1.5 finger creamy white head. The head retention seems to do quite well for itself. Delicate and sticky lacing, as expected.

S - Aromas of sweet, citrusy hops and pale malts. I'm getting a strong sense of pineapple and tangerines. Fairly aromatic.

T - A strong bitterness hits you on the front end and in the finish. There's a solid malt backbone balancing the hop bitterness. The malts give off a nice caramel and slight toastiness. Citrusy fruits, largely grapefruit. Spiciness in the finish. The alcohol is hidden well and only becomes noticeable as the beer warms.

M - Nice medium body with a well balanced carbonation. Very smooth and a slight stickiness.

D - Very drinkable. Some DIPA's seem to be extremely over-hopped and are just bitter-bomb's, but this one doesn't fit that bill. I'd buy this frequently if it was available here. Worth seeking out.

Photo of afksports
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After sending this out in about 15 trades, I thought maybe it was time to have one myself. How embarrassing.

The appearance of Captain Larry's DIPA is standard. Rusty amber straw trending towards gold. Big big head that leaves lacing all over works great for the malty aroma. Floral hops, bit of pine. There's not much bite to the nose though, and that continues in the taste, which is mostly malt with a weird almost medicinal hop thing going on. I think that's just the noble hops / European thing which makes it much less bitter than a traditional American DIPA.

The mouthfeel is good, and it's very drinkable - especially as it warms, but I think this one falls short of nailing the American style. Sure - it doesn't have to be. But I want it to be!

Photo of mistakebythelake
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bkrefetz for this 16.9 oz bottle.
Pours a nice copper orange into my Sierra Nevada tulip. Wite head quickly dissipates, with some residual at the top. I get a little hop and floral aroma, but not much. A sweet malt taste immediately comes to mind followed by a slight bitternes that comes with this DIPA. On the back palate I get a little piney and floral finish. Surprised by the drinkability as it tastes almost like an IPA to me.

Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
2.4/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What is this?!?!

A noble hop bomb? Had at the gracious hand of a great trader at the Local watering hole

A: Light amber with a quickly dissapating white head
S: Spicy.. not fragrant pine or citrus, just.. like saaz or other Noble, very english hop profile
T: definately not what I expected. This embodies the East coast vs West hop conundrum. Hops like wet newspaper. Very interesting to drink. but I do not like it.
M: effervescent. lively. very deceptive for the higher abv
D: Maybe I'm spoiled on the beer we get out here. This is not a poorly crafted beer. "I" just don't like it. I am glad to have tried it.. especially because a BA brought it out from the east, but hey, some beers don't strike a chord. but I feel honored to have the opportunity to know I didn't care for it.

Photo of mjsheehan08
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

**a great extra from Cuzco**

A very pale, creame white head sits atop this pale orange brew. Head stays capped on top of the glass even as the beer warms up and breathes a little

this beer stinks great. lots of piney hops present with some citrusy hops that are really nice. there is a really strong malt backbone that fits in really well with the fresh hops

Taste follows nose, really a well balanced IPA, that still have a strong hops flavor. Bready malts that mix great with the pine and fruit notes that are present as well. Finish has a really dry bitterness, and their is a nice spiceness and heat right beforehand. Def a presence of the booze.

Nice mouthfeel that has the proper IPA crackle as it coats over the tounge. I could drink alot of these, dispite the higher ABV.

Photo of seedsofchaos
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Admittedly, I didn't simply sit to review this beer. I paired this with some Indian dumplings in curry and it was fantastic. Bottle contains no identifying markings of date but simply states, "Imperial India Pale Ale. Even the name sounds impressive. But what should really impress you is the hoppy nectar that is held within this bottle..." ad naseum...

The beer is presented in a simple 1 Pint 9 fl oz bottle. Poured into my 3 Floyds pint glass. Deliciously honey amber in hue with active carbonation. Chill haze present. A skimming of a head builds up to about 1/3 inch. Smell is a delicious hop nectar as promised. Focus is on piney and floral hops with a grounded malt backbone. Flavor comes first as a sweet malt stew that definitely masks the high ABV. 9%? Wow. I never would have guessed it. The hops play nicely and everyone gets a turn. Piney, grassy, floral, biscuit and a touch of citrus.

This is a beautifully well-rounded double that I would drink again and again.

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large, fluffy head that leaves a tremendous amount of chunky lace. The broth is pale gold and very cloudy.

Very pleasant blend of pale malts and soft, floral hop. This is a refreshing smell with a touch of grapefruit. The alcohol is muted behind the hop, but still present.

Classic DIPA flavor--pale malts upfront, peppery hop in the swallow, a good dose of alcohol that warms the throat. Very rich body with a moderate level of effervescence. Long lasting aftertaste of grapefruity hop.

Photo of Ralphs66
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cl is right down the street from me...well, 12 miles or so....but this is my first try of any of Vaccaro's beers. I almost stopped in earlier today to pick up a growler of their Kolsch, but my kids wanted to get home. Anyway, I'm impressed with this beer. Didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I am; as I've never been a fan of hoppy beers. But times change, and so do my tastes. Color is gorgeous, and the very first whiff was a strong orange aroma. Lacing in the pilsner glass looks exactly like it should. I should take a picture and submit it as a stock photo to an ad agency...

Photo of dutchlq7
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint .9oz bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance- Gloden honey/amber. 2 fingers of foamy head. good retention and great lacing.

Smell- Very strong piney hops with a citrus aroma in the backround.

Taste- Suprisingly bready malt up front but the piney hops take over at it passes over the tongue. Doesnt over power the palette.

Mouthfeel- A bit heavy, but it doesnt take away from the beer. Finishes very nice and thins out a bit

Drinkability- Very good beer, enjoyable and not overwhelming,

Photo of hiphopipa
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was careful to let this one warm up a bit, 6° tonight here in Maine. Looking for an after work warm up.
Pours a hazy lightly-burnt orange, head quickly dissipates and leaves plenty of lacing that fully coast the glass.
Citrus hop aroma with a little malt.
Very impressive. Big and flavorful. Perfectly balanced earthy hop flavor with the slight malt sweetness.
Full bodied and creamy, gingerly carbonated with a clean & dry finish.
A bit of an alcohol bite at the beginning but overall is very well hidden to make it an easy drinking DIPA.
Many thanks to jedwards for the excellent trade.

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,134 ratings.