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Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPACaptain's Reserve Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,145 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,145
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 197
Gots: 131 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,145 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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.

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!

Photo of JVEyck309
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

Photo of ikats
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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

Photo of hooliganlife
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to kennyo!

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of chuckd123
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, no freshness date.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of countrocula
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo of Onenote81
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Photo of beerthulhu
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of mullenite
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of hoplover82
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

Photo of portia99
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

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

Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,145 ratings.