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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA
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1,164 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,164
Reviews: 520
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 206
Gots: 145 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John on 02-13-2006

Hops, and lots of them. The aroma is bursting with the classic citrus and pine aroma of American-grown hops. The flavor is dominated by a hoppy bitterness, with just enough malt to make you want to take another sip. (Formerly known as "Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA.")
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,164 | Reviews: 520
Photo of number1bum
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

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.

Photo of Durge
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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

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

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32oz. growler into a pilsner glass.

A: Vigorous pour leads to a 4.5 finger quickly collapsing head that retains nicely at 3 fingers. Head is white, semi-coarse, powdery, fluffy, and very foamy. Also incredibly dense. Brew is a crystal clear orange that reveals a ton of carbonation. Lacing is second to none. Frothy, thick, and ruler-like, measuring my every sip.

S: Nose is a creamy lactose, citrus, and cane sugar. Very simple but not as clean as I'd hoped.

T: Creamy start that dissipates into citrus, sweet brown sugar, a touch of cinnamon, all over a slight pine hoppiness that is subdued but prominent nonetheless. Malty at times, this finishes with an aftertaste of brown sugar.

M: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and incredibly smooth. Mouth is very warming. Finish is messy and lingers quite a while.

D: This is a fantastic example of a DIPA if just for how outstanding it looks. Mouthfeel really adds to the flavor of the beer though the nose is not much to consider. Still, quite enjoyable and hihgly recommended.

Photo of krisandajt
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In what I thought was a simple, small little trade I was sent this brew as one of two absolutely phenomenal extras. As I enjoy this, I raise my glass to gamanley who truly went above and beyond. Thanks Greg!

Appearance: A not-so-gentle pour reveals a slightly cloudy, golden colored brew with a nice 1 inch + worth of thick, foamy, craggy, white colored head. There is some very nice retention going on here, with plenty of thick, sticky lacing.

Smell: Nose is rife with bitter, citrusy, grapefruity hops. I do love the hops.

Taste: A delicious mix of grapefruit bitterness and a solid sweet malt backbone. This is a nicely balanced beer for a DIPA, the hops are prevalent but not overpowering, and the sweetness from the malt is there but doesn't try to steal the show. Well done all around.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is perfect, the beer has a nice, full body and there's just enough bite to round it out. Very nice.

Drinkability: This is just a downright good beer. Nicely balanced, good hop character, good presentation and goes down easy. I would love to get my hands on some more of this. If you are a fan of DIPA's, definitely give this one a try.

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.

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.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of biophiliadude
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

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.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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.

Photo of kbutler1
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of jaluria
4.37/5  rDev +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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of pwoods
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of tigg924
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of far333
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of asabreed
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,164 ratings.