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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.

996 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 996
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 170
Gots: 92 | 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: 996 | Reviews: 508 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This superb beer was shared by RustyDiamond out of a growler at the Brick Store. Poured amber with very good clarity, but with little head or lacing. Considering it was a shipped growler, I'm not worried. Quite light aromas. Perhaps grapefruit, honey, and calcium citrate. The taste, on the other hand, packs a punch. Very nice flavors that are tangy and piney with a lot of honeyed malt providing sweetness and structure. Super smooth in the mouth, this is one fine double IPA. Thanks for the chance to try this Rusty!

Serving type: growler

05-20-2009 21:05:45 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of gford217


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by RustyDiamond at the Brick Store with the usual suspects.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with a small off-white head that left decent lacing.

I was really impressed with the aroma on this one. It started out good and became great as it warmed. The first aroma is of pine hops with some bready malts in the background. But as it warms, I really started to get more citrus, and it turned into a seriously good nose.

The taste is really more about the pine for me. There are hints of citrus, but it's the floral hops that steal the show and the finish just piles on the sticky hops after each sip. The bready malts supports the hops but does exactly balance things out (a good thing here).

The mouthfeel is medium bodied but very sticky with the pine hops and leaves the palate coated after each sip.

This brew really surprised me and blew away my expectations. It's a great floral hop-forward DIPA that stacks up favorably against almost any DIPA I've had recently.

Serving type: growler

04-25-2009 02:33:35 | More by gford217
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic pint glass. Gorgeous clear orange/apple juice color with a solid 2 fingers of near-white head. Amazingly clear...very surprising. Aroma was somewhat subtle, but detected some pine and sharp cheese. Sweet and floral on the nose. Cornbready malt flavor balanced very nicely with the soft piney hop flavor. There was a hint of citrus, but the pine outshined it. Very fragrant hop bitterness and long lasting flavor. Just enough of that cornbread malt flavor to keep this together. Extremely drinkable...1/2 of the growler!

Serving type: growler

04-22-2009 14:09:16 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of glid02


4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this courtesy of RustyDiamond - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus hops, in that order, with a robust caramel malt backbone holding things together.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Strong caramel malts kick things off and are joined, but not overpowered, by pine and citrus hop flavors. This is a malt-heavy (some might say balanced) DIPA. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. This has a very nice thickness with moderate carbonation and goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could drink a few more.

Overall this is a well-balanced DIPA. Definitely worth a shot.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2009 21:41:57 | More by glid02
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave (Buckeyesox) for the chance to try this, poured from a screw-top growler. The beer is crystal clear with minimal (almost no) head. I did hear the "pffft" sound when the growler lid was unscrewed so I know there was carbonation, but the carbonation level is low (a little casky which is nice). I think the beer's aroma and taste remind me most of Masala Mama, an unassuming hop presence that is strong enough to provide tasty bitterness while not seeming over-the-top. A good malty backbone in this beer, combined with the citrus character from the hops to give a lingering sweetness after each sip. The mouthfeel is very nice, lightly carbonated as mentioned earlier, very good overall. It's possible the growler is aging and the beer would have been even better fresher, but right now it's drinking nice.

Serving type: growler

04-11-2009 22:50:01 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of gregc

New York

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the brewery...

Nice clear golden color with a small foamy white head.

Aroma is great, a ton of citrusy hops, orange peel, pine needles, im even picking up some coconut.
The taste is very nice, caramel malt, a big dose of grapefruit, pine some coconut, a bit of vanilla and a small amount of alcohol.
I have had most of the high rated double IPA's and this is up there with the best of them. Mouthfeel is nice and think, creamy and bit resiny. Finishes a little dry. Ive been drinking this beer since it was first introduced at the brewery. Some of the earlier versions were a bit more resiny and not as dry, but still awesome none the less. Very drinkable, a wonderful double IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2009 15:10:39 | More by gregc
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very translucent gold in color. Completely see through. Very nice inch and a half head sitting atop the beer. Smell is subtle hops and just a bit of malt. Taste is some more hops. Completely balanced and smooth. Not the typical hop bomb you would expect from a IPA. Very easy to drink. Good, but I was hoping for some more hops.

Serving type: growler

04-02-2009 00:50:30 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Beer Table, Brooklyn. Re-rated from tasting on May 11, 2009. This batch has been kegged for all of 12 hours, and for whatever reason is particularly highly attentuated, at around 10.5-11% rather than the usual 8.5%. So, super dry, super fresh. A good start.

Pours lightly hazy dark copper with a thin, creamy off-white head and solid lacing.

Nose is gorgeous - grapefruit and some resiny pine, dry, but so clean and punchy. Nice fruitiness to it that blends perfectly, maybe a bit of caramel peeking through, but the hops are clearly the star of the show.

Taste is just beautiful. Dry and hoppy, with big-time grapefruit and resiny pine notes sitting way out in front. The bitterness was there but restrained. A fruity, estery character and a bit of alcohol bite play with the citrusy hops and add even more layers of complexity. The malt backbone kept things nicely balanced without ever actually asserting a character of its own, preferring instead to let the hops take all the glory. Finish is long, moderately bitter but held in check nicely.

Mouthfeel is sticky and a bit syrupy, with a nice crisp carbonation that kept things moving nicely. Very full bodied.

Drinkability is pretty crazy for a beer of this size. I think this version is actually more drinkable than the lower abv version.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 12:26:30 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of steelerguy

New York

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy gold approaching copper. 2 finger headed that faded to a lacing on top of the beer that will add some coat to the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel from the malt and floral hop aromas with a little citrus.

T - Strong malt presence that prepares the taste buds for the hop explosion that comes right after. I was guessing about 80 IBU but was told it was 91. I was a little surprised by that but I can believe it because the great malt flavors balance the hops well.

M - Excellent mouthfeel. Feels like they malted high and that they are some more complex sugars left in there. Really quite nice for a IIPA.

D - A double IPA is a beer that can be excellent for the first pint and then get a little overwhelming on the second. Not so with Captain's Reserve, the balance makes a very drinkable 90+ IBU beer.

As a side note, this goes quite excellent with shell steak and spare ribs. This can stand up to any great tasting steak and really add to the enjoyment of it.

Serving type: growler

03-04-2009 00:39:27 | More by steelerguy
Photo of Seanibus


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing discovery - everything an Imperial IPA should be.

Pours hazy golden with a big fluffy head. The aroma is an explosion of floral hops. The flavor is huge, with sweet floral hops. Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. Floral. Insane sweet hops. There is a powerful bitterness high on back of mouth, highlighted in the clingy mouthfeel. Delicious. The alcoholic power of this beer is hidden perfectly behind the sweetness. Lovely.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2009 20:30:04 | More by Seanibus
Photo of alpinebryant


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours with a thick foamy head that laced my glass pretty nicely. Copperish coloring crystal clear through pint glass

Smell - Nice piney scent , floral aroma

Taste - It is a stronger ale and as such could be overpowering for some. Tasty for sure. Slight bitter metallic aftertaste

Mouthfeel - Slightly thicker than your average IPA due to higher ABV, Alcohol flavor is noticeable

Drinkability - I could drink one or two of these, would be tough to drink more. In all likelihood, not a problem, since this is a double IPA and 8.0% I am being harsh on the beer only after having drank a Titan IPA last night. I would definitely recommend Captain Lawrence Double IPA to others who like a nice heavy IPA.

Serving type: growler

03-01-2009 23:01:43 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of jgap


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a transparent amber with a small, bright white head that fades to a nice lace. Smell is piney with a strong earthy scent and a hint of toffee. Taste is immediately a hoppy pine-grapefruit fading to a solid caramel-malt back with a touch of toffee. Very crisp, clean. The aftertaste is toffee which fades to a lingering peppery. Light for a DIPA but very drinkable.

Serving type: growler

02-27-2009 03:46:28 | More by jgap
Photo of GbVDave


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into two 20oz imperial pint glasses on 2/18/09. Growler poured during the Rosso e Marrone release party 2/14/09. Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook-up! Special thanks to Tom Morris for the assist!

A: Pours a crystal-clear, burnt-orange color with three fingers of creamy, eggshell colored foam. Not a trace of sediment to be found.

S: Awesome citrus-y aromas of oranges, clementines, and grapefruit. Also noted were mango, fresh cut grass, toasty malt, and musk melon.

T: See above. Herbal hoppiness tussles with citrus, sweet melon, cut grass, and hints of caramel and toasted malt.

M: Spicy and peppery with a sweet and juicy kick. Hops get stuck all over our palates.

D: A fantastic DIPA that keeps the abv relatively restrained almost making it sessionable. It paired nicely with a Pepperoni and Mushroom red pizza from Piece.

Serving type: growler

02-22-2009 22:07:13 | More by GbVDave
Photo of sprucetip


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at the Ginger Man in NYC. Pours hazy copper, moderate white head fades to film and ring and leaves lacing. SMELL is rich, floral hoppy bouquet with strong malty base supporting. Hint of citrus and long legs. TASTE is very complex and balanced. Big malty sweet base dancing with diverse hop influences. Smooth and yummy. Bit of bitterness lingering, but not much. FEEL is of restrained carbonation, moderately viscous texture, medium body and clean finish. DRINKS very well. Alot going on in this one encourages you to sip and enjoy, but the great flavors could induce another round. Very good. A nice surprise for me, being unfamiliar with this Westchester brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2009 04:17:52 | More by sprucetip
Photo of BARFLYB


3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler fresh from the brewery on Rosso e Marrone day from a new keg. I've had this numerous times in the past.

A- Captain's Reserve with a very aggressive pour gets 2 1/2 fingers of white frothy foam. Good retention as it goes down to 1 1/2 fings then down to just a skim of white stuff. O.K. lacing with thin white lines. Some fizzing can be heard from the glass as slow rising bubbles raise to the surface. This has an orange/gold/bronnze mixed color.

S- Not as hoppy in the nose as past times but this is still plenty good in scent with much more malts then before. More with a floral earthy aroma than a citrus attack but some pineapple and the like is there. Some orange with a twist of lemon and pine.

T- On first sips this is not as hop dominate than last time in late 08 but is still deserving of a DIPA title. I've noticed differences in certain batches and this one is slightly more malt forward. The malts in this one make this an even split where I would like more hops. The hops are more rustic and earthy than the citrus attack but some pinepple, orange and grapefruit are tasted. A bit of sweetness with slight caramel and apple.

M- A very smooth mouth on this batch of the captain's DIPA. The flavor's dont hang around as long in the past but a nice oily slickness comes from huge gulps. May be a tad light for a double in this batches case as I would see it as a regular IPA. Would of liked more hop bite.

D- A bit less bitter this time around makes this growler go down very quickly so I should take my time but I wont. This is a good example of an east coast DIPA without all the sweetness. The difference in this batch kept this from getting higher marks but i will update in the future as I have faith in the captain, he does good work.

If you are anywhere within Lawrence's area pay him a visit, you wont be dissapointed.

Serving type: growler

02-15-2009 01:43:31 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of joshsbeerblog


4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had not heard of these guys until i found this on tap at the house of brews in nyc. aroma smells entirely like a ripe peach. flavor is of very smooth, fruity hops. bitterness comes at end of taste, but is not puckering in the least (as many double ipa's are...) great balance, heavy mouthfeel. simply wow!

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2009 23:20:35 | More by joshsbeerblog
Photo of Brewfan


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Cooperrip for grabbing me a growler at the beginning of his whirlwind world beer tour.
Poured into my favorite all around glass, my FFF nonic.
First thing that strikes me is the absolute clarity of this beer. Very light colored orange/amber color. Persistant flow of carbonation rises from the depths of the pint glass. Thickish bone-white head with adequate retention. Decent amount of lace that petered out after 5-10 minutes.
Big fresh cut grass hoppy aroma. Maltyness takes place in the aroma of dried apricots. Pineapple and orang and lemon zest round out the nose. Smells like a bouquet of freshness. The smell reminds me of spring for some reason. Maybe it's the cabin fever I've been experiencing from this winter that's been colder and longer than usual.
The fruit doesn't stop at the nose. Citrus and tropical fruit is all over the place on the tongue. Once again, pineapple and apricot dominate. Very balanced between hops and malt. This, along with the fact that the beer has a nice, middle of the ground mouthfeel and the 8% doesn't really make itself felt (I'm only on the first of a few glasses mind you) makes this a very drinkable beer. Great job!!!

Serving type: growler

02-08-2009 22:45:07 | More by Brewfan
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had on cask at High Street Grill in Mount Holly. It was presented in a standard pint glass, pale yellow with medium white head. The smell was great, like walking through a pine forest. Very good flavor, it has lots of pine and grape fruit notes. A medium bodied beer with a very full mouth feel. Every sip felt a bit sticky and seemed to have pine resin on it. A great sipping beer.

Serving type: cask

01-31-2009 22:26:42 | More by bonkers
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Gramercy Tavern in NYC.

Golden topaz amulet that is constant and steadfast even when held directly to the light. There are no flashes or highlights - this one tone is consistent and unwavering. The clarity is perfect and the complexion is almost antiseptically clean. The large seal of peach wax slowly dwindled into a honeycomb of lacing that molded the glace with white plaster. They don't come any better looking than this.

The aroma shows no signs of malt - only hops, and lots of them! It is absolutely rampant with citrus zest and it's these generous allocations of fruit that are foremost: blood orange peels, lemon grate, coconut shavings and whole chunks of white grapefruit. A good sense of smell might also pick up on hints of vanilla, pine and oak. Be prepared to have a slice of coconut shoved in one nostril and a thick, juicy orange up the other.

Ambrosia, nectarous ambrosia! This beer is heavenly tasting, worthy of serving to the Gods themselves! This divine flavour is made up of pine serum, a teaspoon of honey, a shot of brandy, a bushel of orange peel, a squirt of passionfruit, and a chunk of white grapefruit all served over doughy, toffee laced wafers. There seems to be a lemon grove's worth of peel shavings stirred into a mango-peach smoothie.

The bitterness is mild but befittingly snippy for the style. You are scarcely able to taste much beyond the hops although you can sense a sweet, caramel base. The beer is surprisingly sessionable considering how satisfying it is. The 8% alcohol is strong enough to let on that you're drinking something special but never obnoxious enough to interfere with drinkability. That can become a problem.

Although hops were known to early civilizations and have grown abundant in nature since the dawn of civilization, it wasn't really until the 16th century that they became commonplace in mainstream brewing (until then beers were seasoned with spices, herbs, berries, woods, just about anything really). Nowadays we know what a wonderful additive hops are and this certainly uses enough of them to make up for all that lost time.

West Coast brewers eat your hearts out - New York's Captain Lawrence said 'anything you can do I can do better'. This is the true glorification of hops. The list of world's best DIPAs is a lengthy and competitive one but the Captain's Reserve can be found right at the top of it. It's craft like this that epitomizes the ingenuity of American craft brewers. Summed up: this is an orgiastic feast for the senses.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2009 19:33:54 | More by biegaman
Photo of NolateM


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this growler right at their tiny little brewery.

Translucent orangey color, pretty decent head. Big hop and fruit aroma. Huge apricot, pineapple, and grapefruit flavors. Some nice grassy hops too. Not overly sweet and malty and 'barleywine-ish' like a lot of DIPAs these days. Just the right sweetness, and a generous hop bitterness, but not tongue-biting.

This reaffirmed my love of DIPAs... a style that I found myself growing bored of (so many of them taste all the same). I can only get it from the source though, or maybe a few choice restaurants in CT/NY.

$13.50 for a new growler, $10.50 for a refill

Serving type: growler

01-11-2009 23:13:13 | More by NolateM
Photo of Nickls

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Lightish gold/orange color normally associated with DIPA style. Great lacing throughout the sample

S - Citruisy/orange hop aromas and a sweeter malt backing. A bit of piney hop aroma sneeks in

T - Again with the citruisy hops. However, the cedary/piney hop flavors are much more present in the taste. Both hop flavors meld perfectly with the maltiness

M - A touch creamy in the MF, and of significant enough weight to carry all the flavors

D - Very drinkable for the style. The overall punch of the brew is not as high as with other DIPAs, and this makes it very accessible.

Overall, this is a great take on the style and is not quite the hop bomb that other DIPAs turn out to be (which is not a bad thing sometimes). Definitely recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2008 01:16:01 | More by Nickls
Photo of Beertracker


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA pours up with ample carbonation that creates a sustainable whitish head that sits prominently atop the deep copper-light amber body. Good lacing with excellent head retention. The aroma is ripe with citrus (blood orange, pomelo, tangerine) and carries some earthiness reminiscent of freshly cut coniferous. Floral, pungent, and resiny with a moderate-full maltiness followed by some notable warmth & fruitiness. Nice! The hoppy flavor starts off a bit cloying with a solid maltiness that shows hints of orange blossom honey, caramel apples & toasted pine nuts. The sweetness never seems completely subdued by the hop character, but the marked bitterness lingers well into the warming finish. Quite complex, yet simplisticly straight forward. This beer is a showcase of the brewer's art, malt & love for the hop plant (Humulus lupulus). Here's to the Captain & his Reserve Imperial IPA!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Trader's Note: Many thanks & mucho karma to sleazo for the wonderful growler via the CL LIF!

Serving type: growler

12-03-2008 06:32:06 | More by Beertracker
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Mile Square in Hoboken...
dense, copper hue...
Pungent, aromatic nose...
Hints of fresh citrus, wet hops, and grapefruit...
All in all, an outstanding IPA... one of the best American samples I've had in a while...
too bad can't find this in bottle form

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2008 19:11:42 | More by dsa7783
Photo of kirok1999


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent by Aerozeppl in November's Growlin at the Moon cycle.
Pours a crystal clear light gold with lots of chunky lacing. Just a bit of apparent carbonation.
Smell is wonderfully sweet and hoppy. Lots of pine and grass with sweet caramel malt as well.
Taste is hoppy up front yet very well balanced by the malts. Rich caramel notes with a slight metallic twang in the finish.
Feels very smooth with very little carbonation. Smooth and slick and damn easy to drink. And at 8% you can drink more than just a pint.

Serving type: growler

11-13-2008 00:39:26 | More by kirok1999
Photo of hopdog


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to jjpm74.

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of pine, caramel, toffee candy, oranges, and had a light woody/earthiness to it. Tastes of caramel, citrus, pine, 'leafy', and grapefruit. Decent balance. Smooth and creamy body. Another Captain Lawrence beers that I'm impressed with!

Serving type: growler

11-10-2008 01:19:33 | More by hopdog
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 996 ratings.