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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,059 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,059
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 182
Gots: 111 | 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: 1,059 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ikats
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden in color (it may be yellow, but golder sounds better). Light white head. Wonderful lacing. Aroma is sticky hops full of floral notes, pine notes, and may be a touch of citrus. Taste is great - hop bitterness, but with strong malt background. Don't get me wrong - it's crisp and thirst-quenching, but there is really great balance that is brought into the body by malts. Hop bitterness lingers on the tip of the tongue. Very drinkable and terrific mouthfeel (provided you are expecting DIPA). Wonderful beer from a great brewery. Glad to see it bottled in a simple pint-size bottle.

ikats, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - golden yellow and crisp, swift carbonation feeds a finger and a half of pure white frothy head

S - super hoppy, the captain brings the hops, this hop profile is heavy on the piney and floral notes, and lesser on the citrine/grapefruit, despite this a faint brown sugar sweetness adds a bit of balancing sweetness

T - hops in a profile similar to the aroma, stronger floral and piney and only slightly citrine, with some residual sweetness

M&D - non culinary/food related terms come to mind, clean, crips, fresh, refreshing; this is a quality, noncomplex, straight forward, classic IPAm super hops in a non-overly bitter, hop-flavorful IPA that makes this IPA highly sessionable

sinstaineddemon, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to kennyo!

pour was hazy orange with light yellow tones. MASSIVE head that left thick lacing down the sides

for a DIPA, scent was a bit subtle. light citrus tones, such as tangerine.

very hoppy, lots of pine and citrus bitterness. not much malts going on, although slightly sweet and candy like. sweet up front then the bitterness kicks in followed by the pine and finishes with a pine and citrus kick. nice slight tangerine aftertaste. left my gums a bit tingly.

very thick, almost syrup like. a bit of bite from the carbonation

solid DIPA. not as hop bomb like as so many but bigger and bolder than your typical IPA. lots of hop flavors and bitterness levels, not too overly malty.

hooliganlife, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of chuckd123
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, I'm a huge IPA / IIPA fan. This one looks (including the fluffy white head),smells and tastes very similar to PtE. I've only had it twice, out of the bottle (presumably from the same batch as I bought them at the same time), so not a huge sampling, but the similarity is amazing.

This is a fantastic double IPA. As with any beer of this strength, I have a hard time calling it a very "drinkable" brew as 2-3 would generally be my max -- but it's a great interpretation of the style.

Light golden color (definitely lighter by a couple shades than most double IPA's I've seen), very clear with almost no haze or particles in it and a verylight colored, fluffy head. Lacing is not overly sticky (I poured it into a pint glass both times), but super fluffy.

Aroma is very citrusy but with a lighter, almost piney backbone. Grapefruit/citrus smell is in your face, in a good way.

Taste is fantastic -- all the aromas come to life in your mouth. Again, I haven't done a side by side comparison, but all I can think is the taste is 95% the same as Pliny. I'm sure in a direct comparo, there's differences, but I compare it to PtE in a complimentary way.

Way to go Captain, this is a truly fantastic brew.

chuckd123, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, no freshness date.

Poured into a shaped pint, this beer is exactly what I like to see from a DIPA. Golden in color, with a white head that has perfect texture, retention, and globby lacing. Few DIPA's are actually pale, but this one is.

I've had this beer a ton of times on tap at the brewery and from a growler, and it was outstanding every time. But from the bottle, I found the aroma to be very weak. I tried everything, swirling the glass, letting it warm for an hour, taking breaks and going back to sniffing the beer, but it just wasn't the in your face hops I've come to expect from the Captain or DIPA's in general. It's very clean, almost lager like. Hop aroma is nice but is very hard to pick up on. Same grassy, pine, and citrus aromatics as usual but not as fresh. I'm not sure how fresh the bottle is, but I got it from my store days after it became available.

They say that most of what we taste comes from what we smell, which makes sense since this beer doesn't taste as good or fresh as I remember it. But it's still very good. It's very bitter, as bitter as any DIPA I can think of despite what the IBU's say. In the middle of the sip there is a big sweetness which makes you think this is balanced, but then the bitter hops just wash it all away. The piney hop flavors match up with the bitterness, and the citrus hops match up well with the sweetness.

I wish this beer were just a bit drier. The mouth coating sweetness along with the huge bitterness make this a bit of a slow sipper. Very resinous hop character. Although this was a slow sipper, I would say this beer is drinkable for a DIPA.

This bottle didn't turn out to be as good as when I had it on tap or from a growler, but when I've had it from those serving types, this beer is top notch, top 3 DIPA. If this is an off bottle, I'll re review when I get a better sample.

jeffthecheff, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt. 9fl. oz. bottle served into my DFH snifter. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a dense, creamy one inch bright white head that eventually settles into a thin, consistent skim. Delicate sheets of lacing were formed and refreshed after each tilt of the glass. Mild nose - lemon zest followed by a subtle sweet grapefruit character. Taste consistent with nose - what an incredible balance to this brew. The perfect synergy between sweet and bitter; malty and hoppy. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a slightly oily consistency and a light, refreshing background effervescence. This is a great IIPA, so drinkable and flavorful with a well-masked abv. Another top notch brew from CL.

Jwale73, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of countrocula
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears very clear but not crystal.. yellow amber. Head is semi-thin pure greyish white. 1 finger head. Excellent lacing and retention. Lace remained on glass walls far after beer pool dwindled.

Smell is HUGE citrus. Grapefruit mostly, pine second, fresh cut grass third, and I hate to say this but there is a faint cannabis tone at bottom.. no typical cedar here. Way low maltiness present.

Immediate hop bitter up front peppery on the back. Kind of an old rag finish to the whole thing but I mean that in the best way.

Thin mouth bu satisfying. Clots up after the bottle slips away, but the overall deliciousness remains. Effervescence is modest yet lively and highly appreciated.

Could drink this through three bottles MAX. One bottle wants you to add a second. Two bottles LOVE a third. Anything past that might be over the limit.

I think this lovely brew might be my highest BA rating so far!!

YAY!

countrocula, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to calise1122 for this stellar beer in a recent trade! Thanks for the opportunity, Brett.

Pours a crystal clear pale orange. I expected this to be darker for some reason. Light bubbles rising throughout. Huge 2-finger ivory head rests comfortably on top and stays throughout the entire consumption. Great sticky globs all over the glass edge. Beautiful. Big citrusy scent bursts forth with notes of grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest. Some earthy tones balance this one out a bit. This smells wonderful!

The mouthfeel is a bit thin. Has an oily aspect to it. Kind weird. I'd like a bit more carbonation on the tongue. This isn't going to beat you over the head with harsh hops. Starts out quite sweet actually with a slight bitter kick on the finish. Aftertaste of bitter fruits and candy. This is very well balance which aids my drinkability quite. I was very pleased with this beer, my first from this brewery. Thanks again, Brett, for this awesome hookup.

Onenote81, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a light pumpkin orange with a frothy, whipped ivory colored head that was well lasting leaving a thick sheet coating as it receded down the glass walls. Visible carbonation was light with a slow lazily rising display of micro carbonation bubbles.

S: The nose was fresh wet citrus and pine being the most abundant along with hints of pink grapefruit. A good mixture of sweet and tart lemony zest hopping will keep you sniffing with fairly good results.

T: The flavor opens up delivering a big burst of wet lemony zest hopping which was sharp, pronounced and clean balanced against a pale grain sweetness. Fresh pine needles and thirsty wet citurs tones of pink grapefruit highlight this freshly hopped ipa along with light indicators of dried oranges. A faint grapefruit bitterness teases the tongue after the swallow along with light traces of dried lemon peels.

M: slippery smooth with a light feel and body. The finish finds a very good and increasing bitterness grabbing the tongues attention lingering long enough to give you a good appreciation.

D: Drinkability was solidly good and went down with much ease and delight. A good dose of wet lemony bitterness that never gets in the way of its own smoothness. This goes down incredibly well never realizing its 9.0abv nature and is sure to wet the whistle.

beerthulhu, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of mullenite
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear, golden color with a tall frothy white head that sits firmly on top of the beer. It looks kind of like a macro lager but with better lacing. It's a bit too light in color and too crystal clear for a DIPA but it does still look nice.

Smell is resinous and fruity, lots of citrus and orange zest with a big pine backbone.

Strong pine/resinous flavor to the beer, a little light on the tongue but very hop forward with little malt to back it up. I'm not getting any of the citrus or grapefruit that I got in the nose, which is kind of a shame. Not a bad tasting beer by any means though and I would happily drink this one everyday if I could.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of a medium body with a good, sharp, cleansing carbonation.

Very easy to drink beer, could be improved upon but by no means is it anything other than great.

mullenite, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of hoplover82
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-I mean, WOW! This beer is absolutely beautiful! It pours a clear deep golden color with an off white HUGE head that has excellent retention! And leaves very sticky strong lacing that holds on to the glass for dear life. Outstanding indeed!

S-Wowed again! The first smell is like smelling a very toasty malty citrusy hoppiness that entices me to no end. This is my kind of IPA!

T-And then the flavor is outstanding too! But the reason I didn't give it a 5 is because of the presence of fusal alcohol in the flavor. It's almost perfect in taste but the alcohol could be more hidden. But tons of toasty biscuity malt and tons of citrusy hops fill my mouth and pring lots of happiness to me indeed.

M-Huge body and creamy and chewy. It has a slight dryness in the end.

D-I don't drink lke 10 of these! lol just kidding. It is very drinkable indeed. I highly suggest this to anyone who can find this beer. The yeast strain kinda reminds me of Lagunitas strain. I think they use 002, and i think I'll like 002 myself!

hoplover82, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

great appearance. light orange color. huge initial head with superb retention.

centennial with some cascade hops is strong with some hot alcohol underneath. english fruity esters apparent as the beer warms.

taste is superb. sweet, slightly toasty malts without providing too much body. big c hop flavor. light crystal malt sweetness.

great carbonation and perfect body. very well done ipa. not too extreme. very drinkable.

jasonjlewis, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle received in trade with fbm115. Thanks for the chance to try this one! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a briliant, clear light copper/amber color with 2 full finger of fluffy whipped cream like head. Head retention is amazing - holds on for a really long time. Lots of lacing left on the glass as the beer disappears. Absolutely beautiful looking beer.

S - Good solid malt backbone - nice and bready. Citrusy and grassy hops on top and up front. Hop forward, but good balance here.

T - Lots of hop character and flavor. Tons of grapefruity citrus, layered with resiny pine and grassy notes. Sharply bitter and nicely biting. Some bready malt, not much sweetness. Off balance, in a good way, to the hoppy side. Very good and intensely flavored - really nice DIPA.

M - Body is on the light side, but quite resiny...citrusy and bitter flavors push into the sides of the mouth and make the roof of my mouth tingle a bit. Carbonation level is on the high side, and serves to propel the bitterness of the beer.

D - Hmmm, this is a 9% beer? Flavors are quite intense, but the alcohol level is fairly well hidden. I'm really enjoying this beer too. Really good DIPA...Hop profile is different then the top notch west coast DIPA's which gives this a different overall character. Different flavor profile, but right up there with the best of them.

portia99, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

Clear copper color with a fluffy white head, plenty of rising carbonation and a thick sheet of lacing left on the glass.
Earthy aroma with some grassy hops.
Sweet upfront and then there's a bit of yeastiness before a dry slightly bitter finish.
Medium bodied with a good creamy feel.
A very pleasant drinking experience.

JoeyBeerBelly, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of mjl21
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade...thanks Mikey. Really cool looking 16.9 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. No abv info or bottling info is given.

A-A very interesting looking beer. It it quite clear and looks like a pilsner with brown highlights. It is the lightest IPA i have ever seen. It has a large two finger off white head that has some great retention. It has lots of visible bubbles and leaves some nice lacing.

S-Not surprisingly, it smells like an East Coast DIPA. There is lots of sweet malt aroma along with some biscuit malt. There is some pineapple and some underlying pine. As it warms I get some floral/grassy hop aromas.

T-The biscuit and sweet malt along with some pine hit first. The pineapple citrus hits more in the back. There is some noticeable booze in between sips. The aftertaste is a combination of alcohol, grassy hops, and some bitter aspirin.

M-Thicker bodied, well carbonated, and creamy from the massive head.

D-Boozy and too rough for me.

This one didn't come together for me. I think there are some good flavor profiles going, but they just don't mesh entirely. I would like to try it fresh from the tap before reserving final judgment.

mjl21, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of CHickman
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear gold orange in color with a 1.5 inch thick foamy off white head with good lacing; smells very hoppy with a combo of pine, floral hops and malt - quite a nice sweet aroma.

Tastes sweet with a strong mix of hops, piney hops, malt, citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, mango, pineapple, grass, herbs, caramel, spices like pepper and coriander, and then some floral hops. Very potent floral hop taste that is robust and brings wet hop-like flavor from start to finish; almost tastes like wet hops were added in the brewing mix. The flavor is strong up front, then fades, and then bursts through again with the bitter dry finish which leaves you yearning for another sip. The alcohol content is suppressed by the sweet hop taste, so this brew could do some damage as the ABV will sneak up on you (which is fine by me).

Medium body with light carbonation, and a creamy oily slick mouthfeel; this beer finishes bitter and hoppy and sticks to your tongue with a lingering sweetness from the hop oil. An excellent beer with great sweet hoppy flavor throughout.

I've drank this beer several times over the past few years and it always delivers, so I highly recommend this beer. Captain Lawrence Brewing has a great portfolio and this could be their best beer.

CHickman, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of younger35
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received this brew as an extra from gpcollen1 in a recent trade. I've wanted to try this brew for quite some time but never got the chance. Great extra that I'm pumped to try! (Plus the bottle is great for home brewing) Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear yellowish orange with a great big two fingered bright white fluffy head. A great cap and collar is maintained the entire beer along with some random spotty lacing.
Smell- Smooth and creamy smell with a big piney presence and a great malty backbone. The pine is sappy and raw with a pithy sort of grapefruit fruitiness. Some candied malts with hints of red licorice and bubblegum jump in right from the get go as well. Not the fruitiest smelling IPA but nice all around.
Taste- Starts lightly bitter and like the nose a nice malty backbone is present. Some raw earthy pine mixes with a slight bitter fruitiness that has hints of apple and grapefruit pith. Pineapple and even a pinch of peach peak in adding a hint of citrus. A slight bit of caramel peaks in as does a touch of that red licorice I got in the nose. The finish is slightly dirty and piney with a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a slightly creamy feel and fairly light carbonation.
Drinkability- Pretty damned tasty IPA and probably one of the more balanced ones I've had in quite a while. The malt is fairly candish and sweet but a nice bitter earthy bite hides right in the mix. A solid IPA all around, super easy drinking. Thanks much George!

younger35, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of COBeerBuff
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received via the Clue 5 LIF from NJpadreFan. Thank you very much, sir!

Appearance: Pours an amazing clear amber yellow with soft billowy finger of bright white head that slowly dissipates, leaving larger bubbles in its place and a mass of lacing after every sip.

Smell: I can smell this beer from 3 feet away following the pour. The pine and citrus of the hops is tantalizingly awesome. As I get closer, hints of grapefruit and pineapple reveal themselves as well. This smells like a DIPA that I want to be a part of.

Taste: This is an amazing hop bomb. The initial bitterness is followed closely by a bit of sticky malt sweetness that envelops the tongue and the senses. The aftertaste is all bitterness, and this makes me want another drink that much more.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and sticky all at the same time. This beer is a bit over the top on the finish, but all in all, the unbalanced nature of this hoppy brew makes it that much more enticing.

Drinkability: On the label, Captain Lawrence states that this beer is "the ultimate hop lover's dream come true." This statement couldn't be more true. There are no sleights of hand, no magic and mirrors. This beer is all business- hop business, that is. If you're not looking to have your palate completely and utterly trashed by the end of the bottle, then I'd take your search elsewhere because this beer accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.

COBeerBuff, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lost this review in the great crash of yesterday. But thank GOD for google cache!

Got this grenade awesomely huge looking bottle from aparris85 in a great trade. The bottle itself even looks awesome. Anyways, I poured it into my DFH oversized snifter. This will be my first CL beer too, I am the Excite!

Oooh, just popping the top unlocked all this fragrance and aroma of awesome floral spicy and grassy hops. Its also got one of those cool reverse funnel tops that make it pour slowly and with lots of carbonation.

A: Astronimical head, I think the glass filled up with head and left 1 finger of beer at the bottom, in a huge role reversal, mostly due to the funnel neck bottle (similar to Pliny). The head is full of air and disappears very quickly, leaving a spotty lacing on the glass. It's so diamond brilliantly clear, I'm going to use it to fry some ants in the morning sun. It has a light pale orange yellow color to add to the clear opaqueness.

N: Still loaded with light grassy, floral, spicy aromatic hops. Makes me want to frolic around in the hay with some really hot girl, a girl with clothes made of hops that is. Some light citrus and touch of pine add to the hop experience, which is quite expanded. A slight alcohol nose also splices its way through like the crazy splicers in Bioshock, drunk on Atom!

T: Oh yeah, starts just as expected, very sweet and malty... no just kidding, loaded with fresh hop taste. Very light on the malt taste, mostly just pale malts, but the hops really hit the spot. Lot of grassy, spicy, floral, juicy hops really take over the palate. A slight pine but not much. I actually also get some fresh wort taste, like fresh malts and hops before they have really matured, which is strange for 9% abv beer, but I have tasted it in quite a few IPAs before. It also has some sweetness, but not a lot, and slight alcohol taste. I also get a slight spicy yeast taste, that seems to come back in burps. Some citrus and fruit from the hops round off the taste as well, giving it a juicy quality that brings the drinkability up a bit too.

M: Semi thick actually, not much left for carbonation after blowing its load on the pour, I think that was my fault. Slight alcohol warmth as well.

F: Finishes very bitter and semi dry. The hop bitterness really just seems to settle on the mouth as the liquid disappears. It's almost feeling my mouth freeze over as it dries out quickly and gets slammed with a hop bitterness, and some spiciness. It seems to leave the mouth in a confused state, it started as a great tasting, semi sweet juicy IPA, then left a dry, spicy, alcoholic haze. The bitterness lingers a bit too.

Final thoughts: A pretty good take on an American IPA. I've had better, but it's still a great one. Combines quite a few good tastes, some good hops as they seemed to go for the floral, spicy, grassy angle rather than bombing with pine and citrus. It has an alcohol presence, but it doesn't drink like a 9%, more like a 7 or 8. Overall I would get this again if I could, a pretty good beer. Thanks again Alex.

jlindros, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of Naugled
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served in imperial pint glass.

appearance is fantastic, it has a deep rich yellow color and a nice frothy tight white head.

aroma is deep but not intense, more earthy and woodsy, subtle background of herb and citrus.

taste is all hops, rich and resiny and a healthy bitterness. hop flavors are a bit muddled though, no clear profile comes through. also a bit grassy in the mouth feel.

body has good balance, I would say it's medium for such a big beer, bitterness does linger a bit too long though.

a drinkable beer but a one off, I wouldn't want more than one glass.

Naugled, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a thick white head. Aroma of garlicky hops, piney hops, graham cracker, and light citrus. Also an odd aroma I can't really place, but it makes the beer smell rather odd. Flavor of citrus with some piney and crackery malt notes. Much different from the draft form. I don't know...there's just something off in this beer, but I don't know what it is.

LilBeerDoctor, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of gory4d
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a steady stream of small bubbles, with a dense white head that lingers. The smell is floral -- dandelion and marigold, mostly --, with notes of honey, maple, cedar, and alcoholic burn. The taste is clover honey, pine, faint toffee or brown sugar, and a dandelion finish. It's thick, and highly carbonated. The alcohol is present but not overwhelming -- a sipper, but not a dainty one. A nice alternative to the grapefruit monsters that are West Coast DIPAs.

gory4d, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of beertooth
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with Ben(madorb) he picked it up on a trip to New York last weekend.

This beer is a hazy golden yellow color and has a soapy 2 fingers of off white head that falls into a thin pocked layer.

The nose is very malt foward. This beer is a little faded. Sweet bready malts and fruity hops.

The first gulp gives me a ton of bready sweet slightly oxidized malts. Lot's a fruity hops. It's very malt forward just like the nose. I really wish this was fresh, although it's still quite tasty, but I prefer IPAs fresh. There's finally some hoppy bitterness in the finish now that it's warming

Mouthfeel is a little slick. Medium to full body with low carbonation.

A tasty beer overall. I'd love to try some more fresh though.

beertooth, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From what I've heard, Captain Lawrence originally released this as a draft only beer. I was down in New Jersey for work and stopped in at Oak Tree Buy Rite (best beer store in Jersey) and they had loads of bottles (the same type of bottles that the Schlenkerla smoked beers come in) for only $3.94 each. I couldn't pass it up. These guys brew some of the most amazing barrel-aged beers in the country so of course they brew a kick ass Imperial IPA, right? The answer is yes, yes they do.

From the Captain Lawrence site:

"This beer is a salute to the ingenuity and creativity of the American craft brewers. A uniquely American style of beer, the Double or Imperial IPA, has become the calling card of many craft brewers who aren't afraid to push the limits of what hops can add to a beer. This beer is big and hoppy - not for the faint of heart! Be prepared to experience sensory overload as you savor this Imperial IPA."

Here we go...

Pour - Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA pours a very, very light golden color. Quite amazing just how clean and clear this one is, its almost like a lager in color despite a pretty high ABV and loads of hops. Plenty of pale malt, that is for sure!

Aroma - The smell of this beer is like a bunch of tropical fruit. Definitely get some mango, passionfruit, pineapple and tangerine. Not so much pine and super bitter hops but it sure as hell smells good.

Taste - Wow, the flavor of this is outstanding. All those tropical fruits come out in the taste and this one truly comes alive. There is a very nice bitterness with this beer that speaks of some seriously fresh hops. Nice big flavors coming out of this beer despite the deceivingly clear look.

Overall - One of the more tropical fruity beers I've ever had and I love it for that. Its got a boat load of flavor, plenty of fresh hops and pale malt sweetness. Nice and balanced and just plain delicious.

Would I buy more of it? - Hell yes. If only it was more available. Its pretty tough to find these beers even in CT and NY, let alone Massachusetts.

Note: The Captain Lawrence site shows three hop varieties for this beer but the label says five. I guess two will remain a mystery.

Also, the name Captain Lawrence refers to the street, Captain Lawrence Drive in South Salem, NY, that the owner of the brewery grew up on. His story about how he came to start up Captain Lawrence Brewing is really a great one and I'd encourage anyone who loves beer to read it on their site.

indiapaleale, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of dudecandle
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.5L bottle poured into a large weizen glass:

A: Deep golden, transparent color on the body. 2-finger white, fluffy head with excellent retention and lacing.

S/T: Right up front is a huge blast of grapefruit from the Cascade hops. It's got a nice, fresh piney balance as well. It has a good spicy character, and a light and wonderfully fruity malt character which cuts the astringency of the hops very well, probably helped by the Columbus hops used.

M: Nice and full, but not as offensively aggressive as bad Imperial IPA's can get.

D: This may be the most drinkable Imperial IPA I've ever had. The hops are potent, but not off-putting. The flavors explode, and every sip just begs for another to follow. One half-liter was not enough.

dudecandle, Oct 12, 2009
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.