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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,146 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,146
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 198
Gots: 132 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,146 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of misinformed
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
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...

Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy slightly dark color with two fingers of head that settles down quickly.

Smell: Hops, grapefruit, lemon slightly grassy and a little malt.

Taste: Bitterness from the hops, mild grapefruit, heavier mango and passionfruit, with a malty aftertaste. Pretty decent.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable DIPA that I'll be seeking out again.

Photo of strangefate
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Craft Beer Outlet (NE Philly), 6/23/2010

Pours a light clear golden amber with a small to medium layer of head. Leaves a sticky lacing throughout drinking. The scent is of hoppy pine and citrus. The taste is of hops up front with a malty characteristic on the backend - it's pretty well balanced. This combination really sticks to your tongue after drinking. There is a generous amount of carbonation with a lighter body than a typical 9% brew, which leaves it more drinkable than you'd expect.

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

500ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a light golden copper yellow colour with a slight haze. White head poured loose and frothy and faded quickly to light bubbly coating with thicker edging... lightl carbonation... some faint lacing...

Aroma - Lots of juicy grapefruit, pear and apple fruitiness... floral honey, biscuit maltiness, some caramel, light marzipan, sea salt, metallic notes, talcum powder traces, pine, grassy and earthy notes...

Taste... Good sweet biscuit malts followed by grapefruit and pear fruitiness, some citrusy hops, grassy notes, caramel, definite floral honey, some faint pine, clove traces...

Feel - Sharp initially then smooths out... light / medium bodied... A supremely drinkable brew even at 9.0% as the alcohol is very well hidden...

Overall - An excellent and supremely well balanced DIPA... recommended...

Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A:Clear and Golden. Not much head but leaves a sticky lacing.

S:Lemon, hints of floral hops, malt, bread

T:Its hop forward but has a malty finish. I like this balance!

M:Very smooth with more carbonation than I expected ( I think thats a good thing)

D: Very drinkable for a 9%Abv IPA. I could drink this as a session beer.

Never had anything from this Brewery so I was pleasantly surprised. An excellent East Coast IPA!

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

1 pint 9 oz bottle into a S.A. Pint glass. Thanks to Emmasdad for the opportunity to try this.
Poured a golden yellow with a large but quickly settling head. Lacing wasn't heavy but present throughout. Nose was subtle citrus and some grassiness - not the best part of this brew. Taste was toward the sweet side for an IPA, a lot of lemon and orange with hints of grapefruit and malt sweetness. For people who want a very dry and bitter IPA, this is not it. Beer was medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and had a very creamy mouthfeel. The 9% was a shock 'cause it is absolutely not evident. Even as sweet as this was, I could do more than one of these for sure. This beer was not on my radar but I will certainly keep an eye out for it in the future. What a nice surprise!

Photo of dubinsky
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this beer while on a trip to Manhattan at the AMAZING Whole Foods on 2nd and Houston. The largest beer selection i have ever seen. Being a Northern Californian, I am truly spoiled with amazing IIPA's (pte, Racer 5, Firestone Walker, Alesmith...etc) this is one of the finest i have tasted from the east coast which i think has a distinct difference (more malt forward than west coast)

A - Pours a very light, clear amber. Nice soapy head and good lacing/retention remind me how oily such a beer can be.

S - This smells great - plenty of fresh, citrus and piney hops, Not too much malt going on here.

T&M - WOW!!!, this is a great IIPA. I didn't expect this, since i have not been truly impressed with east coast IPA's in the past (with a few exceptions). I see some resemblance to pte, intensely fresh piney hop characteristics, oily but still clean mouth-feel.

D - The light body makes this an easy beer to drink. Thankfully i only have one, but if i had another i would be tempted to drink it. Damnit, why did i only buy one bottle?

Photo of Augustiner719
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours a crystal clear, amber sort of color with a big fluffy head that has ridiculous retention. Overwhelming bubbles in the head leave a spiderwebbed lacing along the glass. Smells very piney and grapefruity with some slight tropical notes of kiwi and orange peel. Also a dose of toasted marshmallow. Tastes very balance with a touch of sweetness. medium bodied with a slight astrigenty grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel is spot on with perfect carbonation and viscosicity. Overall this is a very drinkable beer. Nice size for splitting with a friend or to enjoy by yourself. Solid.

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

Thanks goes out to cavedave for this brew.

Pours a nice very slight hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some very nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with a nice malt balance, citrus, and some pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, malty, bitter, with some citrus and pine notes. Medium body. Very Drinkable, a very tasty DIPA, recommended.

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

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle. It appeared a clear amber with an inch of white head. I found it to be a rich, but not over-powering DIPA. The chewy caramel and bread malt character isn't hidden behind the hops, but instead compliments the juicy berry and citrus hop character. I guess I'd just want the bitterness kicked up a notch here. Otherwise it's a fine example of the style

Photo of boomer31
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first Captain Lawrence brew...thanks for the extra Capra12!!

A - Transparent golden color with a sticky head crawling down the glass.
S - Floral hops and malt. Too much malt for my expectation of a Imperial IPA
T - Tough to call this is an Imperial IPA. Had this been a blind tasting I'd guess a fine Pilsner. Floral hops and malt dominate and a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste.
M - Smooth. About what I would expect from a IPA. Not much else to say.
D - Don't get the 9% ABV at all here which proves the balance of this beer. I could certainly have a couple of these though I'd be feeling it later!

Overall pretty good. As an extra I'm very happy to try this one but won't be seeking another. I guess I like my IPAs in your face hoppy...I like to chew the hops, especially in an imperial IPA!

Photo of abrand
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle from Arenbeer poured into a tulip glass. This is my first Captain Lawrence brew.

Captain's Reserve pours a golden color with very good visibility. A very sticky 2 finger head lasts throughout the brew. The retention leaves lacing along the glass. Very sweet smelling with citrus fruits being the dominant smell. Some hops are present as well but not as much as most DIPA. Taste is pretty bitter with the sweetness left out of from the nose. I am a little let down with the taste of this. The smell was a great start but nothing like the taste. Plenty of alcohol is also present in the taste. Just not very complex or refreshing which is what I look for in a big IPA. Mouthfeel is better and medium bodied. Drinkability is mediocre. Like I said, I just expected a little more.

Photo of jrallen34
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into my Rochefort glass...The beer is a cloudy very nice looking peachy orange with a watery head white head that is gone fast... The aroma is super nice, very matly on the front with lots of orange and peaches and balanced ever so lightly on the finish with some grass and hops...The taste is also very good, doesn't quite live up to the aroma. There is some of sweet on the front not enough to really balance this beer. Mostly you get a slightly piney bitter hop from start to finish. Not very complex, but its tasty just a little boring. Also slightly alcoholic finish...The feel is nice and crisp, light lasting flavor. Easy to drink.

Overall, an easy to drink slightly sweet dipa. Worth drinking.

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

This beer made its way down to me here in GA via New York. Beer poured golden clear which initially made me nervous. Had a solid head a more lacing than I anticipated. smell was sweet like I expected with lots of hints of fruit, and the taste was what I expected as well. Overall a solid beer, but with so many other Imperial IPA's out there, I'm not sure this would be my first choice, but like I said a solid beer none the less.

Photo of axeman9182
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Cuzco for hooking me up. Poured into my Duvel tulip, Captain's Reserve pours bright orange. The off white head and lacing are initially impressive, but lack the staying power to earn a higher score. The nose is good, mangoes and peaches, but I was hoping for a bit more (both in variety and strength). The taste is dominated by the same fruits, but there's an additional hint of more acidic citrus notes mixed in there as well. The first sips have an almost astringent, unpleasant bitterness to them, but this quickly fades as the beer warms, and some caramel malts are noticeable (but just). Had the whole beer tasted like this instead of just the second half I'd probably bump it to a 4.5. The mouthfeel is quite good, adequate carbonation and just creamy enough. The 9% ABV is nonexistent, and this beer is quite drinkable, especially when the initial overly bitter flavor has faded. This is my first beer from Captain Lawrence, and they definitely made a good impression.

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

16.9oz bottle from trade sharing with Al
A super lacy head tops off a bright golden orange body. Smells very pleasantly hoppy, almost west coasty. I wouldn't believe the 9% if it wasn't on the bottle or listed here. Very hoppy, super crisp, very good beer. I wish I could get this regularly.

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

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to cuzco for this one.

4.0 A: Clear medium golden color. Two fingers of hybrid creamy/frothy white head. Pretty good retention and tons of lacing.

4.0 S: Pretty good. There's some citrus in there with grapefruit and orange, but the hops focus more on darnk herbal and grassiness. Malts really don't figure in too much.

4.0 T: The taste is by no means balanced, but the relative contributions from bittering hops, flavor hops, and malt are well proportioned. Moderate bitterness, which is put in check by the flavor hops. Plenty of herbalness again, with more orange and grapefruit than in the nose. Mild pine contribution. Malts are mainly bready and add a low, but very complementary amount of sweetness.

4.5 M: Medium body. Reasonably creamy, good moderate carbonation, and super smooth with no harsh aftertaste.

4.0 D: Good brew. Not super hoppy, but the flavors mesh well to make a brew worth coming back to.

Photo of wedge421
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Medium to dark orange with a slightly off white head of about 2 fingers. Dead on for the style.

S - Pine and citrus notes with hints of tropical fruits. Small amounts of alcohol are noticeable. Very nice aroma on this one.

T - Awesome bitterness followed by just enough sweet malts to balance it out. Hope notes are much more tropical fruit in the taste rather then in the smell.

D - If this werent 9% I could easily drink 4-5 of these! Oh hell I would do it anyways. Great Stuff!

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had never heard of this until a few BA's suggested I try it. Sounds like a must try. Pretty cocky text on the label too.

A- Super frothy white head. Nectar cola colored like some kind of dark piss-gold. Frothy lacing as well.

S- Smells hoppy of course but a little different from anything I've had. Smells a bit like a hop pastry or cake. Marzipan. Grapefruit peel. Doesn't smell particularly good as an IPA but just smells good as a beer in general.

T- Mmm. IIPA. Alcohol is strong and almost the dominant flavor but it's a good flavor. Something in the alcohol tase is akin to whisky. Really not that bitter.

M- Far from crisp with low carbonation. Goes down smooth. Kind of a disappointing mouthfeel but it stil feels very good.

D- Good. Tasty but I shared a bottle (1pint .9oz) and it was just right, didn't need more. Very warming.

I liked it. Didnt blow me away but it's a very good beer and I would buy it again.

EDIT: My ratings might not be that high but I did enjoy it.

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

A - Pours a golden yellow color, mild white head, thin lacing around the glass and a decent amount of carbonation.

S - Compared what other reviewers were citing, this bottle is a let down. The aroma is weak and and the malt smell is a little more dominating than I would prefer. There are faint traces of pineapple, pine, citrus and some sweet malt.

T - Mimics the aroma. The balance of the beer stays pretty even throughout the entire sip with some alcohol warming at the end. There are mild amounts of pine and citrus with sweet malt evident at the very beginning and end along with some honey flavor, and is a little flowery. I can't really say much more about the taste, it's so incredibly mild that not much else is even jumping out.

M - Leaves a a mild citric metallic and sweet malt coating in the mouth. Medium body, mild carbonation on the tongue.

D - Is good because of the balance but having some idea how this should taste leaves me thinking this bottle is way past its prime and I just bought it yesterday. Mundane, boring, mild, and not memorable at all. Unfortunately I'm scoring this lower than I should based on this particular bottle. I'd love to have a fresh one on tap and experience how this beer should REALLY taste. Once I have a fresh one I know I'll be changing this review, Captain Lawrence is a solid brewer and their beers are always well done.

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

Thanks to Arenbeer for the awesome trade!

Pours a light golden with 2 fingers of head. Nose is citrusy up front with some alcohol and malt. Taste is malty up front with some piny hop flavor, and a smooth finish. Mouthfeel is medium with a decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, definitely glad I got to try it.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Big thanks to 6DaysBottomOcean for the hookup.

Hazy golden-yellow pour. Monstrous fluffy white head tops out at just shy of three inches, peaking out over the top of the glass. Lace is outstanding.

Big citric and sweet hop nose. That's exactly how I like 'em. Grapefruit/orange/pineapple/etc with just a touch of herbal and piney bitterness.

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA almost tastes more like a fruit juice cocktail than any DIPA I've had before. It's got a lot of sweetness (both from the malt and all of those citric flavors) with a resinous bitter/lightly alcoholic finish. It's surprising, and delicious. Good balance, and not overly bitter. The little alcohol bite keeps me from giving the flavor a 5.

Really enjoy the texture. If it's not full bodied, it's damn close. Nice and chewy. Soft carbonation. Pretty easy drinker. A really solid DIPA, especially for the East Coast.

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lukafer for busting this one out!

A- Pours a clear golden yellow color. One finger white head stays for a quick second before dying to a small cap on the beer. Ringing lacing on the glass as I drank it down.

S- Big citrus hops (pineapple mostly) in the front. Some light sweet alcohol in the ending that is distinct along with some bready notes in the middle of the aroma. Simple but works really well.

T- Nice kick of citrus hops in the front of this beer right off the bat. Some light alcohol in the middle of this along with some caramel bready malts. Nice piney bitter hop kick in the backing of this.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Hops and hop resin are all over the palate, teeth, lips, and aftertaste. Flavors are crisp and is mostly clean tasting. Some light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This has some good drinkability to this overall. The higher ABV limits this beer to one or two before switching to something lower. Very tasty and I could see this being a staple in the fridge if it were here. Glad to have tried this beer out.

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

Brought this to Madison, WI BA Tasting #2

appearance - light gold with a white head.
smell - citrus hops. hint of grapes?
taste - pretty bitter and dry, but not overpowering. drinks a bit hot. hint of a nutty undertone
mouth - very light feel, good carbonation.
overall - surprised this is 9%. This has a solid hoppy flavor without being too overpowering.

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,146 ratings.