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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.

1,109 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,109
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 189
Gots: 118 | 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: 1,109 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I heard that the Captain Lawrence guy started brewing even before he could drink. I'm not even impressed, I'm just jealous.

Clear, lightly tarnished gold with a large, white, bubbly head that settles into a large, foamy mound--like the head of a lurking sea creature. Lacy spackle aplenty.

Creamy, citrus hop paste aroma, like a whipped cream/pudding version of hops. Weird. Peach and pineapple fruits particularly. There's a corn sugar, caramel, maltose thing underneath it all which I'm not in love with.

Hardly any bitter. Citrus hops over caramel malty sweet nougat with that same clumpy sugar in back.

donkeyrunner, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of Duhast500
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a clear orange/gold with quite a large amount of foamy head and some really nice lacing.

The smell is heavy green hops. Earthy hops just right up front with a grassy flavor that takes me back to those summer days of cutting the grass.

The taste is very hop forward. The citrus hops is right there hitting you with both barrels. There is a sweet malt flavors just behind the hops and everything is amped up to eleven.

The feel is quite easy once the hops gives way to the even feel of this beer. It is just about as good as you can get with a IPA in stereo.

Duhast500, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Shoreline Beverage, Huntington, NY. A shoutout to the great folks here, who answered helpful questions ranging from "Do you have any Nor'Easter here?" to "Is there any way to get off this damn island without paying a toll?" Though the answer to both was "no," they made up for that by giving me a free glass. Sweet. Poured in to that free glass, a 16 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Pours an amazingly transparent amber apricot, absolutely stunningly translucent in presentation, and thus the perfect canvass upon which to showcase fleeting streams of bubbles of varying sizes and speeds. Despite the variance, they all have one thing in common - their ascendancy towards what starts out as a miraculously creamy meringue-esque head, and ultimately ends up a mess of cloudy fluff surrounded by a soapy, spongy mass. The lacing is fantastic on the non-sip side, rocky and hardened, but a little more runny and sporadic on the sip side. So, while there's an upside to every element, there's also a bit of a downside to every element that keeps me from kicking it up a notch.

Aroma: A little heavier than the appearance suggests, or the taste for that matter. Heavy citrus and generic fruity esters - apples, strawberries - mingle with anise, thyme, tobacco, and juniper over a sea of caramelized and honey-saccharine malts. Moderately complex and inviting.

Taste: A solid cross-coast hop profile characterizes this one. You get a fair amount of pithy citrus right off the bat and through to the finish - tons of grapefruit, though orange rind greets you in the finish - as well as some faint tropical fruits, pears, apples, pineapple, faint berry tones. A fair amount of bitterness is present throughout this one, which in turn augments a mild pineyness but also a nice slew of herbal and floral notes. Rosemary, spearmint, and a ton of heavy but bright floral notes provide a nice contrast to a surprisingly sweet malt backbone, definitely caramelized in many places but also fronting a straight honey sweetness in places.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly well-carbonated, not surprising because of the style, but surprising because of the amount of carbonation this one feels like it has relative to what was visible in the strikingly crystalline body. The beer itself isn't thick - I'd barely even classify it as having a moderate body - which might explain how fluffy this one is. But that's what it is - fluffy, fluffy and remarkably even and smooth, impressive given the aforementioned two facts. Probably this beer's best attribute, even though it may be a little overcarbonated.

Drinkability: This is a good beer, though it's not one without flaws. In many ways, it's similar to a poor man's Pliny the Elder - it's relatively sweet, lightly herbal, relatively fruity. What where PtE strikes beautiful balances, this one comes across as a little unbalanced in places. Where PtE is perfectly authentic, this one can come across as slightly pithy. And where PtE is graceful in all aspects, this one still shows a few rough edges. On the more positive side, at 9.0%, it's high in alcohol without being prohibitively high, flavorful without being too intense, and generally a fairly drinkable beer. My second Captain Lawrence brew continues the tradition of fine, drinkable ales.

CrellMoset, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of kels
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to pwoods for sharing this with me!

Pours a nice earthy golden tone, slightly hazy with a 2 finger rocky, foamy white head that fades and retains around a finger. Lots of super sticky lacing hangs around.

Aroma is nicely dry, almost stale, with good citrus hops and a slight medicinal bite.

Taste is pleasantly bitter with a good grapefruit bite and a bit of dry, crispy malts. There is a slick oiliness to the feel, with a nice, refreshing bubbliness to break it up.

It is very refreshing and highly drinkable. Wish it was more readily available here.

kels, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of callmemickey
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle into a large tulip glass.

A: Bright golden-amber body. Large, creamy off-white head. Great retention and nice thick, crystal-like lacing.

S: Subdued bitterness. Slightly grassy with a hint of generic citrus notes (grapefruit and orange). Undercurrent of sweet caramel malts.

T: A bit more bitter than the nose indicated. Predominately grassy and floral, but not much in the way of pine. Like the nose there are some grapefruit and orange rind bitterness bouncing throughout. Somewhat drowned out by the sweet caramel backbone.

M: Medium carbonation with a slightly thin finish with a lingering bitterness. Decent all around feel on the tongue.

D: Not bad overall. The flavor and aroma were not quite at the level I was expecting, but a decent brew nonetheless.

callmemickey, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of knight84
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark amber with peach highlights. Finger-thick foamy almond tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.
N: sweet, caramel malts, sprucey resin and grapefruit hops. Smells like its going to be strong. Not a light citrusy IPA, nose is very robust and complex, it feels like I'm smelling a much darker beer.
T: very malty, nearly barleywine-ish, taste is good but it doesn't strike me as a super fresh hoppy imperial IPA, it tastes aged. Very sweet and caramelly, hops are understated but still definitely present in a pine resin and older-sweet grapefruit way.
M: feels like a barleywine, the three floyds BB barleywine tastes and feels more like an IPA than this beer. Carbonation takes a back seat to the sugary stickyness that is present.
O: very good but it really seems more like a barleywine than an IIPA, its a sipper but the comlexity keeps you coming back for more.

knight84, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of mynie
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shiny. The head is so fluorescent white that it might glow in the dark. This is one of those rare undersea beers that exists so far away from the sun's reach that it must illuminate itself.

Smells really nice, like hops and chewy breaddough. The malt profile is reminiscent of Rogue's imperial IPA, and Rouge's is pretty fabulous. No real yeast presence, though.

Tastes least bready, more crisply hoppy. Starts with long, dull malt that moves into spritely middle and rushes into a barrage of grapefruit and pine. The malt returns near the end, as everything grows bitter and eventually dark.

mynie, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 500mL bottle into my 22oz Dogfish Head snifter. No freshness date to be seen.

Bright amber and orange-peel body (brilliant clarity), topped by an enormous off-white head which recedes slowly to a dense collar, a whispy slick, and a small towering island of soapy bubbles. Sandy, pasty lacing and clear waves of legs.

Succulent fruit-like aromatics, mostly citrus but a bit of honey-dew melon as well. A touch of pine scented cleaner in there as well - rather floral overall.

Rosewater, lemon zest, and an herbal note on the palate, pursued by a malty backbone. Bitterness is persistent though. A touch of yeast and spice in the finish with a very crisp dry aftertaste. Reminds me a bit of Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA - with the sweetness weighed against the hops.

Smooth, not quite medium bodied, and a bit resinous. The ABV is pretty well hidden, but is still quite potent.

While not transcendent, this is an impressive East Coast version of the style.

augustgarage, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of boatshoes
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at my first visit to Rattle N' Hum in New York. Always looking to try a new DIPA.

Appearance- Comes off the tap into a snifter with a thin layer of head that sticks around for a bit before dying back to a ring around the edges. A golden body with fairly active carbonation. Looks nice in the glass.

Smell- Rich smell of both fruity and piney hops. Lots of big notes of grapefruit but more evenly mixed with a nice resin scent as well. Smells big!

Taste- Lots of grapefruit rind up front but again interspersed with a rich piney quality. A pretty strong malt backbone shows through as well however as in east coast DIPA fashion. A nice, well integrated combination.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel came across just a touch thin for the style but the drinkability on this was fantastic. Really went down easy despite the abv.

Overall, a very solid DIPA. Not the best but a very good showing.

boatshoes, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep golden color with a large (2 finger+) fluffy white head that exhibits good retention. Lots of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Nose is kind of subdued. I definitely get some floral grassy flavors mixed in with pleasant piney hops, but the aroma is not terribly strong for me.

T: A pretty good mix of citrus and bitter hops. I get sweet orange and earthy, bitter hops as the primary flavors. Not bad, but lacks some of the complexity of the elite DIPAs I've had.

M: Light to medium body with a nice bite of carbonation in the finish. I actually feel a slight warmth from the 9% abv, which I don't really like in an DIPA.

D: A solid brew, but nothing to write home about IMHO. The aroma wasn't as strong as I feel it should have been and the flavor, white good, lacked complexity. I would drink it again, but won't seek it out.

MrDanno96, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of oakbluff
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Glouglouburp- thanks Dany. Pours a medium straw colour with a fluffy white head. Nose- sweet candied fruits. Taste- same sweet candied tropical fruit and thicker then thought malt base. A big beer, a little less malt sweetness would be good.

oakbluff, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of jmz62565
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/yellow with a large white frothy head. The head leaves great lacing and lasts forever. The smell is good with a whole lot of citrus hops. The taste is a real citrus flavor blast,tangerine,oranges,pine,bread yeast,and alcohol. A very good beer. The m/f is light for a high octane beer,but everything mixes well. A beer that really hides it's high alcohol. Very good.

jmz62565, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of xanok
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A-Pours an oustanding gold with 2 fingers of white head that leaves fantastic lacing.

S-Citrus fruits and floral hops dominate the aroma.

T-Very fruity, as expected. Pineapple and grapefruit seem to stand out the most to me. Malts are present but take a backseat. I expected more of a hop finish that just wasn't there.

M-Low carb, medium bodied. Not a heavy aftertaste.

D-Goes down shockingly easy for a DIPA. Alcohol is well hidden. If I was actually very fond of this, I could probably drink a couple bombers. Unfortunately I'm not too impressed.

I was excited to try this. This is only one of two offerings from Captain Lawrence readily available in CT and I'm a bit bummed out by this one. Overall, a decent DIPA, but I expected more carbs and hops.

xanok, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA, Pleasantville, NY

Hazed, golden hued appearance, thick, puffy white head, lace-leaving, looking good.

Aroma dominated by citrus fruit esters...bright and lively, orange and lemon, floral, and bitter. Very nice.

Taste: big citric blast, a flash of bitterness that lasts and softly fades off the palate. Medium-bodied, easy-drinking, very accommodating. So drinkable, and such a nice hopped up slap. Some double IPAs are scary and brutal.Not this guy.Smoo-oo-oooth.

feloniousmonk, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of craytonic
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour has only a bit of hazy, nice copper-amber body with a frothy head, not as much lacing as I would like to see. Aroma is typical for the style - grapefruit, pineapple, pine sap, apricot, and orange zest with a light biscuity malt background. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma, with more of a bitter/hoppy edge than many IPAs. Bit more bitter than I like. Not sure which type of hops were used, but I am not a fan of the particular mix or the finish on this one. A very welcome extra though.

craytonic, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of Popkas
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden blonde with a huge head that recedes to a fairly thick ring. Loads of lacing.

S: I'm having a little trouble nailing down the smell. Upon pour I caught a big whiff of pine, but now that it has settled it is toned way down.

T: Nice bite on the tip of the tongue that mellows in the middle and then unfortunately ends with a bit of a medicinal taste. Doesn't kill it altogether but disappointing.

M: Nice medium body, good carbonation. Feels smooth till the medicine hits! Solid beer but a little less than what I was hoping for.

D: Fairly drinkable, but the after taste was disappointing.

Popkas, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass....

A: Pours a golden yellow with hints of amber, slightly opaque and hazy, huge pillowy white head, very creamy and thick, hangs on forever! When it does fall ever so slowly it leaves excellent lacing behind.

S: Citrus based aroma, grapefruit and tangerine, faint pine and a little caramel malt. Nothing too complex.

T: Huge grapefruit flavor backed by pine resin and caramel malt. Pretty well balanced, not too complex, everything is straightforward and delicious! Big flavors....but again balanced.

M: Very bright flavors, very crisp mouthfeel, carbonation is definitely lively but doesn't overpower the flavor profile. For 9% this is medium-bodied ale that doesn't come across harsh or boozy at all.

D: Incredibly drinkable and refreshing. This is a fantastic beer, wish we could get it over here on the west coast. Great example of the style!

RedBrewer83, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of jdklks
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer looks great. Somewhere between golden and amber with a pillowy white head that lingers for the duration of your drink. The smell is good, but a little underwhelming. Piney and citrusy hops dominate the slightest hint of malt sweetness. Not too complex, but a nice fresh blast of ipa hoppiness.

Wow. A very solid beer. Again, not much on complexity, but certainly refreshing. Lots of piney and citrusy hops as the smell suggested and a nice grapefruit bitterness in the finish. The high abv is not noticeable until the aftertaste and the slight burn in the esophagus. A slight maltiness gives the beer a sweetness that actually compliments all the hops, but is in itself very subtle. It has a very odd herb/spice characteristic that I can't quite put my finger on.

The beer is well carbonated with a medium bodied mouthfeel. I never get too excited about the mouthfeel of ipas or dipas, and this is about average. Drinkability is through the roof. As previously stated, it's hugely refreshing, and the abv does not hinder it's ability to be consumed in mass amounts.

jdklks, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of DCDevilDancer
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very intriguing beer to say the least. Almost the mouthfeel of a Bell's Two Hearted with the flavor profile of an Avery Maharaja. I didn't get much off the nose when I poured it into a pint glass, but when I took a whiff from the bottle I got a biscuty piney grapefruitness, totally reminiscent of The Maharaja.
The taste buds mostly confirm the nose, but soon discover that unlike The Maharaja this wonderous nectar has very little in the way of a malty backbone. But rather than feeling unbalanced, the hoppy goodness goes down smooth. It's almost even crisp. The head is thick, creamy, and persistent with a semi-violent pour, and this really helps cool down any lingering hop bitterness.
This is a racy SOB of a DIPA! The carbonation is perfect. There is a gentle prickly pucker that lasts until the last sip. It has super drinkability. The flavors don't pop like fireworks, but this beer is seriously on the level.
Tasty, and thought provoking. What more can you ask for?

DCDevilDancer, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Overlord
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Pentecost! Pours gold with a hint of orange. An inch or two of white foam head.

Smells interesting. Kind of like medicinal pine with a hint of sugary malt. Okay. Not what I expected, but I'll roll with it.

Taste is a dank, earthy pine-i-ness with some citrus notes, a strange dirt aftertaste, and a bit of herbal juiciness. Nice thick mouthfeel. The pine and earthiness is all obliterating.

One of the strangest DIPAs I can ever recall having.

Overlord, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of number1bum
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one from mymrnngjckt. Thanks Kevin.

Pours a clear, very light amber color. Fluffy, soft beige head fills the imperial pint glass and forms a nice crown over the rim. Keeps very well, with a long lasting, fluffy head and some beautiful webbing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is unlike any DIPA I can recall. It's a very soft fruity aroma with pineapple the most apparent quality that I'm getting. Also some grapefruit and papaya or mango. Interesting tropical fruitiness going on here. I do wish it was stronger, though.

Taste also consists of tropical fruit hop flavors. Pineapple is a big one, along with some mango, apricot and grapefruit. There is a light sweetness to the beer, with some caramel and a cracker like quality. There is a growing, mounting bitterness as well as a subtle toasty flavor. I'm also getting a spiciness to these hops. At first sip I wasn't sure there is enough here, but as I progress into the glass I'm finding more and more flavors to behold. This is truly a complex beer, one of the most complex DIPA's I have had. Lots going on, lots of hop character, and the bitterness is not out of control which lets the flavors shine.

Mouthfeel is a medium body and has an oily creaminess to it. It dries out in the finish with the substantial hop bitterness which is also slightly astringent.

As DIPAs go this is one of the most drinkable you will find. It's well balanced in the sense that the hop bitterness doesn't knock your teeth out, but there is also a ton of hop flavor. It's a very interesting hop bill, much more so than a run of the mill grapefruity citrus version. Very complex for a DIPA. I quite enjoyed this and would definitely go out of my way to find it again. Thank you Kevin!

number1bum, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dominant citrus hops with light malt backbone. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus hops with some definite bitter notes and a weaker then anticipated malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well made though more malt presence would have benefited this beer.

Phyl21ca, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Durge
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled from the 25 ounce bottle this beauty shows a clear thin yellow amber with a gigantic white cap and tons of thick lacing. The aroma brings big citrus with biscuit subtleties. The taste offers thick grapefruit malt, tangy with modest carbonation and a breath of alcohol. This is near full bodied and smooth drinking. The key is the citrus hops but it has a buttery malt mix that makes this go down so easily. A bit tart but ultimately a mellow mouthfull of flavor, big time quality that goes down too quick for a DIPA. Wonderful.

Durge, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple bottles of this at Ninety Nine Bottles in Norwalk CT while visiting some family in that general area. Pours a clear orange, with a decent amount of white heading. The nose is big on hops, with some pineapple, papaya and other tropical fruit smells. More of the same comes from the taste, making this a very fruity, and enjoyable tasting IPA. Mouthfeel is medium, and nicely balanced overall. Alcohol is not a factor, and the hops never become overwhelming. Good shit here from Captain Lawrence. I fully plan on making the venture up to the brewery for their next release. Cheers

jamie2dope, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of deereless
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Loads of rocky head that drops to reveal tons of sticky head, amazing lacing, color is a deep gold with the slightest tinge of ruby - 5.00, S: Wonderful hop aroma, strong citrus and pine, some tropical fruit sweetness and bubblegum - 4.50, T: Solid hop bite, very pleasing bitterness, lots of pine, some resiny and thick sweetness though not too the point of being excessive, biscuity and with a hint of caramel, wonderfully balanced, right on the edge of the IPA and Imperial IPA category - 4.50, M: Quite creamy and with smattering of prickly carbonation - 4.50, D: One of the best Imperial IPAs I've had, extremely drinkable and one I wish was more readily available - 4.50

deereless, Dec 29, 2009
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,109 ratings.