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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

1,082 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,082
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 187
Gots: 115 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,082 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cvaypai
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to snifter. Thanks to smason for this one. Extremely cool bottle btw, i just love the shape and graphic.

Appearance - Pours a gorgeous hazy golden orange with a 2 finger frothy white head. Leaves a nice thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The head stays and stays.

Smell - Tons of citrusy and resiny hops. Lots of floral citrus can be detected, grapefruit and orange can easily be picked out. These are the most definite smells. After words you can get a bit of pine and a decent amount of sweet malt if you sniff hard enough .

Taste - Extremely clean and refreshing blast of grapefruit and hops in the beginning. Nice bitterness up front and to the end with a nice clean bitter finish. Some earthy and piney notes can be picked up also, they work well though. Bready and a bit sweet in the middle. Caramel detected.

Mouthfeel - This feels great in the mouth, very nice for an imperial ipa. It is the right consistency, the bitterness is there, the carbonation is there, it's got the complete mouthfeel package. I enjoy the way this beer feels.

Drinkability - For it's abv the drinkability is very good. I could see myself drinking this quite a bit and quite a few. If only it was more readily available to me.

My first from Captain Lawrence, what a brew.

cvaypai, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of OnThenIn
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two fingers of slightly off white head were on top of a lighter golden colored beer, that was incredibly clear. There is some nice lacing and the head slowly dissipated.

Smell: Piney hops with some nice citrus, with a good tropical kick. The malt balances things out nicely and some caramel notes were present.

Taste: This beer has a nice balance between the up front hop bitterness and the sweet malt flavor. The aroma was a nice hint towards the overall hop flavors, which focused on the pine and had a nice addition of grapefruit that I didn't detect in the aroma. There was a nice bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: It was as little less carbonated than I had hoped, which seemed to thin out the finish. The beer was medium bodied.

Drinkability: Due to the nice balance and a somewhat creamy thing it has going on.

OnThenIn, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into the sink, removed the trap, unclogged the sink and drank from the pipe.

a dark gold lustiness in the glass, plenty of hop to go around. floral, citrus, and a little pine. the flavor is exceptional. fairly dry for an imperial ipa, and the malt braces this beverage very well, bitterness hangs on to my mouth, the dryness lingers.

all you want is more but then you realize how foolish you were to only have bought one bottle. when are you going to have another chance? live y learn.

olympuszymurgus, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of biophiliadude
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint:

A: Cloudy orange, 1 inch head. Lacing.

S: Flowers, citrus.

T: Bitter, grapefruit, sweet malt, then dancing on the tongue between hoppy bitters and malty sweets.

F: Very smooth, malt was exceptional.

D: A really enjoyable DIPA. Well balanced. Would love to know the hop selections as some DIPA's give me wicked heartburn and this one was more flavorful than all of those and left me feeling F-I-N-E fine. Check it out!

biophiliadude, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of billab914
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a clear golden amber color with a huge 3 finger white fluffy head. Laced exceptionally well on the sides of the glass.

Aroma has a lot of hop presence as expected. Very citrusy with some grapefruit and a little sweetness. Taste also has a strong citrus and grapefruit presence but also has a long lasting bitter and dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, a very good drinking DIPA that came in a very appropriate serving size of a bottle. I enjoyed every bit of it without struggling through the end like some 22oz ones.

billab914, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an impressive 4 finger head from a pretty reserved pour. Lacing once the head has dissipated is much very clingy, I'd refrain from calling it a spider-web, its more like a crown of white sitting adopt a clear amber liquid.

Aroma is pungent to say the least. A very strong grape-fruit and citrus aroma from the hops but also a very herbal aroma. Reminds me very much of cooked spinach or over ripe vegetables. It may sound gross but its evidence of a strong herbal hopping.

Taste is a bit reserved on the citrus and veggie hopping, but provides a very strong malt background with just a kiss of the citrus hoping. A bit boozy as it warms up, but still rather malty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, not much carbonation and for a imperial IPA bitterness is pretty subdued.

Drinkability: An imperial with balance, yes its hoppy and boozy but compared to others highly drinkable. Not a session beer for many reasons, but a good sipper. A new double IPA favorite at $4 a bomber. A strong beer but not too extreme.

MaxBrews, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of david18
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've started finding these medium size bottles in stores and bars in new york city and was glad to see it. The Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve is one of the best double ipas i've had, especially on the east coast. This is a highly recommended double ipa no matter what form you get it in.

david18, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of kbutler1
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Compliments of FBM, thanks buddy!

Interesting bottle, haven't seen one shaped like this before. Bottle says it is made with 5 different hop varieties and is the ultimate hop lover's dream!
Ok, here we go:
Aggressive pour yielded a beautiful full, fluffy white head. Color is golden orange/yellow. Definitely smell the floral hops in this one. Whoa! They weren't kidding about the hops. Smells pine with a touch of citrus/grapefruit. I will say it is very well balanced between the bitter of the hops and the sweetness of the malt. Mouthfeel is medium. Alcohol flavor is really smooth and well hidden. Extremely drinkable.

kbutler1, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, .9 oz brown bottle, capped. Pours out a lighter shade of yellow-brown than I expected. Lovely off white head that lasts. Smell is pine and citrus all the way. Some sweet candy as well.

Taste isn't nearly as big as I expected, until you get to the aftertaste. Very subtle flavors are constantly hitting you. That pine flavor is much more dominent than the citrus in the taste. Alcohol is well hidden other than a slight burn in the aftertaste.

I am really amazed at how long these flavors seem to last. Easily 30+ seconds after your sip, it just sticks with you. Almost leaves a tingly feeling in your mouth. A very interesting take on the Imp IPA. I hope to try more of their beers soon.

CharlesRiver, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one thanks to a trade with JoeyBeerBelly. Thanks Joe!

A- Pours a slightly hazy orange gold color. A huge pillowy white head leaves great lacing.

S- Loads of hops with citrus and pine coming through. A bit of alcohol and tropical scents.

T- Quick burst of tropical citrus flavors including pineapple, lemon, orange, grapefruit, and peach. A touch of sweet malt and honey in the finish with a slight warm alcohol burn. Hoppy and bitter with barley enough malt to put up a fight. The Columbus and Cascade hops are fairly easy to pick out.

M- Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Sticky with a nice hoppy bitterness.

D- Nice hoppy brew that still manages to seem somewhat balanced.

projectflam86, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange in color with a head that engulfs half the glass and leaves webby lacing in its tracks. Smell is floral hops, crayon wax, orange peel, and perhaps even some mashed bananas.

Taste is a bitter mix of earthy and citric hops. Very pleasant, but a tad watery under the initial burst of flavor. Crisp and clean, pretty easy drinking. This would be a great DIPA to pair with food. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. Pretty solid overall, but nothing to make it stand out in the sea of over-hopped beers. I probably would have rated this higher back when I was first getting into DIPA's.

alcstradamus, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of jaluria
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2009 vintage is the first I've had of this particular beer and I was very impressed. All-in-all, this beer has become one of my favorites; I find myself continually buying it wherever I see it.

Pours a medium-orange color with a soft, fluffy head that dissipates quickly leaving a nice web of
lacing. The intensity of the color made it seem like this was close to an amber ale rather than an Imperial IPA.

The aromas coming from this beer were (as expected) dominated by crisp, grapefruit-like hops with subtle toast and carmelized sugar underpinnings. The scent of the hops seemed almost moist, lingering for a few minutes.

The taste is just great with all sorts of hoppy flavors coming through. Big grain-bread flavors provide a bit oF balance but the hops dominate. The hop profile starts very dry and finishes crisp and refreshing. There is a hint of spice in the aftertaste.

Whenever I have this beer I always want another. Despite the high ABV it is an easy drinking beer for hop lovers.

jaluria, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from JoeyBeerBelly so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, tea, citrus and floral hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong hops bitterness up front. Despite knowing that this is a 2IPA, the strength of the hops caught me a bit off guard as they were that strong in the smell. However, I consider that a good thing. There are mildly sweet flavors of citrus and caramel that come in next. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, while there a few 2IPA's that I would choose first, this is a very good beer to drink for a whole evening.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally picked up a bottle of this stuff after beating around the bush for quite some time. What wonders are contained in the unassuming, oddly shaped brown pint? There's only one way to find out.

Poured from a pint bottle into an oversized wine glass. Happy sailing!

Appearance: Pours a light amber color with a strong orange hue and tons of bubbles. Builds a sturdy two finger bubbly white head that leaves respectable lacing throughout.

Smell: Odd...I'd expected a hop assault, but I'm picking up sweet clementine more than anything else. There's some pine and leafy hops down there, but it's mainly this tropical fruit smell. It's extremely pleasant, but I'm not sure how it bodes for the beer. I'm a hophead, after all.

Taste: My apprehensions were unfounded. This beer is absolutely delicious. The first thing that hits the taste buds is that tropical clementine sweetness. Then, the hops kick it, and it's possibly the most complex hop profile I've yet experienced. It's in parts pine, citrus, leafy and flowery. It all comes together in a wonderfully bitter and dry finish. I love a hop bomb more than anyone, but this beer is really turning me onto the idea of more balanced double IPAs.

Mouthfeel: A tiny bit thin for my dIPA taste, but nothing too upsetting. It's nice and spicy and lively on the tongue.

Drinkability/Overall: I must say, this is one of the more delicious beers I've had yet. It's simply perfectly balanced. I could drink it all day every day. A trip up to Pleasantville and the Captain Lawrence Brewery needs to be in my near future to thank these guys in person.

CharlatanSin, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of pwoods
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to gregc for this extra.

500ml brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a pretty average orangish amber with great clarity. 2 fingers of egg shell head forms and holds nicely. Decent lacing.

S: Lots and lots of pine. Enough to actually drown out the acidic citrus hops. Some sweet malts that don't smell to be too rich, which should be nice.

T/M: Seems to be a somewhat lack of bitterness. The hops taste fresh and the malts aren't too big to over balance. There's definitely some bitterness but not nearly as much as I had expected. More of the big pine from the hops with more of the sharp acidic citrus hop flavors coming out as well. Some good sweetness from the malts that builds to a bit richer flavor of toffee as I swallow. Some added bitterness on the lingering, somewhat dry finish. Body is medium to medium full with controlled carbonation.

D: Pretty tasty brew and unique in its own right. Would have liked to see a bit more bitterness. Pretty average on drinkable and reasonable ABV.

pwoods, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, orange-gold in color, moderate carbonation, 1/4 inch head

Smell: citrusy hops, small malt, and pine

Taste: pine is the foremost flavor, there is a strong citrus element, a nice bready malty backbone, and some honeydew melon

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, sweet start with a big bitter middle and a sweetish end.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, semi-sweet IPA. I love the way the hops jump in this one. One of the better beers I have had in the style. I will look for this again.

tigg924, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of far333
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear pale copper honey colored with a frothy head of meringue that lingers long and leaves legs of lace rising up the glass.

Aroma of tangerine and some grainy malt, some cinnamon notes.

Rich flavors of tangerine and orange rind, notes of red grapefruit. Subtle pine lingers. Mild bitterness. Good balance of honey malt rides beneath.

Rich and full mouthfeel, not very dry, slight warming of the cheeks. Very tasty and drinkable beer.

far333, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of asabreed
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler purchased at the brewery. Poured into a traditional pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter golden color, deceivingly so in some ways. Little lacing in drops on the glass. Not a lot of carbonation gurgling to the top.

Smell: Insanely aromatic and wild, and one of the most powerful and intense IPAs I've had in a while here. Huge candied fruit and tropical fruit. Yet there's a good balanced citrus bitterness also. Just insanely aromatic and fresh. The leafy nature of the hops comes out too, but the tropical fruit aromas are wonderful.

Taste: Almost sweet initially with the tropical fruit, but there's a nice spiny and leafy and rind-like citrus element that somehow hits on all three points. Long finish with bready and malty caramel and lingering candied, tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with good carbonation to balance the booze and the sugar, as the prickly bubbles don't make it cloying.

Drinkability: Love this beer. The freshness factor has to be one of the things that makes it so great, but it achieves the harmony of both balls and balance, and is extremely aromatic and highly drinkable. Wish I could get this more often. Pick some up if you can.

asabreed, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Boto
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: This one pours a clear, golden yellow color. There was a bit of a white head to it, that dropped off fairly quickly and left minimal lacing. The aroma is pretty much all hops. Mainly grapefruit, with a hint of pine in the background. A bit light for an Imperial IPA. The taste is somewhat bitter, with some malts in the background. Medium bodied. I would classify this as an IPA, not an Imperial/Double IPA. Good when considered against other IPA's, but it definitely pales when compared against other DIPA's.

Boto, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the first run. 9/25 from notes.

Amber-golden. one and a half finger head subsides to a film. Weak lacing.

Smells of tropical fruits, citrusy hops. Not as vibrant as the tap version but still nice. Leafy hops also present but mostly pineapple and grapefruit.

Moderate bitterness and great hop flavor in the taste. Substantial malt backbone bring this closer to a balance, but hops still take center stage. C- hops.

Good mouthfeel for the style, but a bit choppy with the hop profile considering the ABV. Gets less appealing as it warms closer to room temp.

Ineedabeerhere, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint .9 fluid ounce bottle into a big 'ol wine glass.

Golden yellow-orange with a foamy, soapy, bubbly good looking head that dissipates slowly to a half-inch. Leaves a spotty, polka-dot lacing.
Smells of light floral hops, pine, honey, and grapes--almost wine-like. Tastes a lot like it smells, which is delicious. Some nice bread and sweet, but lemon-honey hop flavor is definitely there with a little bitterness and wine/grape notes coming in on the back end. This is delicious, a perfect balance of flavors with the sweetness and hop spice.
If I wasn't starting to feel it and I had another one, I would drink it. Goes down smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Drinkable, but the alcohol can surely be felt as you continue to drink; and you will continue to drink.

ManVersusBeer, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a standard pint glass at about 45 degrees.

Shows a honey yellow in the glass with a thick, creamy white froth with above average lacing. Although there is a definite hop profile on this beer, it's not overpowering and is really pretty with aromas of grapefruit, orange, lime, apricot, light pine, fresh hop flowers, caramel, and biscuits. Wow! This beer tastes amazing! Balance is the key to this. (definitely not a west coast DIPA) All of the characteristics found on the nose follow through on the palate with finesse and balance. The beer has a wonderful mouthfeel and is extremely smooth. There is a definite hop bitterness, but, again, very smooth from beginning to end. Overall, this is an amazing DIPA! A must try!

BevMoAndrew, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of JVEyck309
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz brown bottle poured into a tulip glass
a: golden orange, pretty clear, thin head dissipates to clumpy heavy sticky resiny lacing coats the glass
s: floral hops overwhelm, grapefruit, earthy piney..
t: amazing, everything I could want in a DIPA, floral and piney hops are overwhelming and very well balanced with malt sweetness, sight grapefruit, citrus hop flavors.. great brew
d: creamy thick DIPA with just the right amount of carbonation, quenches the mouth with oily hops finishing.. High abv means it's not quite session beer but I would love another. So happy this brew has recently been shelved in a few stores I frequent!

Definitely a great brew to have around.. and there's something about only paying $4 for a bottle.. great quality makes this a frequent treat of mine.. if it were some fancy corked bomber for $9-12 I most likely wouldn't bother.. but this beer is perfect both in quality and price range. Go buy a case and treat yourself.. Cheers!

JVEyck309, Nov 19, 2009
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
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,082 ratings.