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Nor' Easter - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nor' EasterNor' Easter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

299 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 156
Gots: 56 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 02-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Ginger Man in NYC.Black with little head, chocolate and bourbon in aroma. This is some crafting of fruitiness, bourbon, malt and hops. Not one overpowers the other. This is a slow sipper, as in hours, and in that regard I could not finish it. Low carbonation, woody, quite complex, with a bit of sourness in the finish. A bottle a year later with great head and bourbon and oak aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2007 14:45:07 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev -2.4%

09-09-2012 23:15:39 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

11-14-2011 20:59:07 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is dark brown with a tan head and some light lacing. Nose is tart cherries, berries, oak, light vanilla, and some roast. Fairly complex but I think what I had was too young and hadn't quite integrated yet. The taste is similar with roast and tart fruits. Really nice feel with a bit of tart character and a good body. Drinks well now and this should age supremely.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 15:11:47 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a thin layer of bubbles floating around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits--elderberries stand out in particular--and has a slight amount of initial sweetness. Otherwise, the elderberries lend some tartness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is relatively well masked so this beer isn't that difficult to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2011 04:39:35 | More by metter98
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

medium brown color with a smallish tan head about a half inch high by using a very vigorous pour. The ale was not nearly opaque as you could definitely make out hints of light on the sides and bottom of the glas

full of spice and a touch of sour fruit as well.lots of dark fruits of varying degree going in here for sure, very interesting.
spiciness that was coming through from the very first taste. A big healthy dose of cinnamon, nutmeg, and earthy malts right on the front end, hints of apples and raisins and plums rippling through all at once, while at the same time really puckering the lips. As if that was not enough, on top of the oak flavors started to percolate through and really start to show them off. Really getting complex not with hints of vanilla and even caramel as it warmed starting to mingle, but the finish went right back to that deep sour note. Very nice indeed.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 23:21:11 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the head was rather modest but it did leave plenty of lace

Smell: Great complexity to the aroma, with the elderberries and Bourbon presenting themselves, up front, with dark fruit, licorice and leather underneath

Taste: Dark fruit, up front, with fig flavors that quickly move in the tart direction provided by the elderberries, with some licorice underneath; after the swallow, there is a hint of Bourbon that gets added to the mix, but the vinous tartness overwhelms the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I appreciate the complexity, the tartness was overwhelming and didn't enable the other elements of the the flavor profile to shine through

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 00:35:55 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of John_Adam2002: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is dominated by some bourbon notes with limited alcohol appearance and some sweet malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some malt with some light toffee notes with some bourbon and vanilla dominating but not going overboard. Body is full with some great carbonation and alcohol is mildly noticeable. I could not detect the elderberries but overall I thought this was complex without being too one-dimensional or too bourbon dominated.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 18:14:20 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of jaydoc


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-03-2013 16:11:26 | More by jaydoc
Photo of spycow


5/5  rDev +22%

12-14-2011 00:05:17 | More by spycow
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

12-30-2011 07:38:53 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-29-2011 04:04:23 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of TMoney2591


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to cuzco for this bottle!

I hope I like this Nor'Easter more than the one that resulted in my car getting buried in snow this past winter. It pours an opaque black-brown (it may just be the label influencing my thoughts, but it almost seems like a really deep royal purple...) topped by nearly a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises black cherries, bourbon, oak, raspberries (elderberries? I have no idea what they smell like...or look like...frankly, if it weren't for Monty Python and the Holy Grail I would never have even heard o' those damn things...), maple syrup, vanilla, butterscotch, plums, blueberries, molasses, and brown sugar. Whew. What a nose, baby! I'm glad I listened to Arbi (below) and let this guy warm up before I approached it. The taste is also heavy on the dark fruits and berries, with some figs and raisins added for good measure; the spices are also back, with some added cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; and a hint of tartness (it fluctuates between cherry, raspberry, and vinegar) makes a short cameo as well. It's all good, baby! The body is a rich medium, with a light carbonation and a thick, smooth feel. Overall, a rather tasty brew, one I wish i had access to more often. Get some!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 04:20:17 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of GRG1313


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-26-2011 13:49:59 | More by GRG1313
Photo of JAHMUR


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-14-2011 22:17:58 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of zeff80


4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark brown color with a tan, thin head of bubbly foam. It left some soapy lace residue.

S - It smelled of candy sugar, ripe fruits and malty sweetness. Bourbon and oak aromas were present, too.

T - It tasted of oak, bourbon and of fruits like plum and raisin. There was a strong sweet caramel maltiness, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. A full-bodied ale that packs a strong alcohol punch.

D - This is a great tasting beer. I would like to try more brews from Captain Lawrence.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 19:07:35 | More by zeff80
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although it was a bit of an expenditure for me at this point ($15 for the 750ml), the collector in me wouldn't let it go, and the beer lover in me wouldn't let one of Scott's brews slip past my palate. He's really found his legs, and he's really putting out some really great brews now. That said, the Nor'Easter was no let down.

It pours an opaque black/brown body beneath a finger thick head of dark tan foam that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is bourbon-like, vanilla-noted, woody, and berryish over a fudge-like malt base.

In the mouth it's creamy smooth with a full body and moderate, very-fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning.

The flavor expresses the elderberries upfront, but then they shrink back a bit as it warms to reveal the alcohol and bourbon character. The maltiness rises across the middle, but it's not as full, or sweetish and chocolatey, as the nose suggests. It's more just dark caramel malt with a low-level bittersweet chocolate side as the alcohol comes into play with some heat. At the swallow it turns to a hint of coconut and some woodiness; and it finishes with a spritz of alcohol, some coconut, a hint of fudge, and some drying woodiness along with a smattering of elderberry. The bitterness is a constant anchor, and this ship never slips into "sweeter" waters - but neither does it become drying, chalky, raspy, or abrasive. Nicely done. Interesting. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 00:48:05 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

11-15-2011 18:15:54 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to scootny on this one.

Pours a dark brown with a slight tan head that falls to nothing. Nose is nice and spicy. Definite barrel aging character here. Can seriously grab it on the flavor as well. I have no idea, but it's bourbon barrels? Nice smooth flavor from it, but robust enough to keep it at a very interesting level. Nice level of spice. Am I getting some coffee on there? Yes, I think I am. Feel has a good carbonation and the liquid is nice too. This is good. Yet another excellent Belgian style out of the U.S. Really an amazing piece of work.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 03:50:18 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is perfect. It has an excellent mix of malts, vanilla, berries, and yeast. It's a thing of beauty. The taste is great. It has a kick ass bourban flavor that compliments everything. The vanilla character playing off the berries is awesome. The Belgian yeast adds a great fruitiness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a goddamn great beer. It's complex and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 22:38:00 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of roasted malt and tart cherries. The flavor is a lot of tart cherries along with bourbon, roasted malt, oak and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not sure what I was expecting, but this was completely different - but in a very good way.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:27:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this about 3 years ago and have been holding onto it since. Have had this once or twice at NOTB/EBF up in Boston over the years, but now reviewing it for the first time. This is batch 3, which was released December 2008, so it is a month shy of four years old. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with a slight reddish tint, light carbonation evident, and two inches of light tan head that leaves quickly.

s - Smells of bourbon, apple, dark fruits, light spice, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, light tart dark fruits, oak, and light vanilla. A nice mix of dark fruits and bourbon, and the bourbon is definitely not overpowering.

t - Tastes of bourbon, sweet dark fruits, molasses, licorice, oak, roasted malts, toasted malts, slight twinge of sour fruits, figs, and raisins. Very nice again.

m - Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Body is a little bit lighter than I
was expecting, and not hot at all.

o - Overall a really nice beer that seems to have held up pretty well. Not hot at all, but there is nice bourbon and sweet dark fruits throughout it. Worth checking out, and ages well.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 01:44:08 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2; Sampled January 2008
Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale cocoa tinged, tan colored head that leaves some light lacing on the sides of the glass as it subsides. The beer is quite opaque (even when held up to the light) and is pretty close to being black in color. The aroma has a nice, concentrated fruit note to it that reminds me of rum soaked raisins, a bright, though dried berry note and a bit of estery banana. Underneath this, and in fact contributing to the initially noticed rum note, is a noticeable barrel influence; Aromas of vanillin, spicy wood, butterscotch-like oak and a finish of light bourbon notes are all noticeable, but at a really nice level. Unlike so many Bourbon barrel aged beers the brewer has kept the barrel notes at a secondary, almost subtle level here, though it does contribute lots of aromatics to the nose of this brew. Much of the fruitiness and some subtle spiciness (made more subtle by the more noticeable barrel notes) seems contributed by a Belgian-type yeast strain.

Sweet, fruity flavors greet my taste buds up front. The beer is actually a bit lighter in heft than the fruitiness might suggest; this definitely is a rich sipping brew though. A soft, almost velvety, creaminess accompanies the up front sweetness and continues to envelope the mouth as the beer passes through. A light, tickle of carbonation provides some structure, but does not disrupt the creaminess. Fruit flavors of prunes, raisins, and concentrated berries yield to soft oak notes of vanillin and buttery oak. More towards the finish the spicy oak character and subtle Bourbon notes provide a bit of a bite and a touch of warming character. For how dark this brew is, it has an awful small amount of roast character; it makes me wonder if much of the color came from the elderberries. Still there is some roasty notes in the finish that contribute a touch of chalky, dark grain astringency, notes of deeply toasted bread crust and even some burnt grain acidity. Perhaps a lot of the otherwise easily noticed dark grain character is just well balanced / hidden by the sweet fruit notes and barrel character.

Interestingly, when I suck in a lot of air after taking a sip I really get a strong, warming alcohol note, not unlike straight Bourbon. As the brew warms up a bit (coinciding with my second pour of this brew) from it's initial 60°F / 15°C, the oak character becomes more noticeable; strangely, or not so considering Bourbon gets most of its flavor from oak, the Bourbon character does not become more pronounced. Still the barrel notes are held well in check by the other flavor notes that are happening in this beer. Upon further reflection though, I think that it was the piquant sweetness that has become tempered, and not the jump in barrel flavors; the sweetness is not quit so much now, even if it was never cloying, instead the beer is much more integrated, mellow somehow and just plain harmonious.

What I really like about this brew is that the Bourbon barrel was really held in check; it provides noticeable character to both the aroma and flavor, but I don't feel like it drown out any of the base beer's character (which is certainly the case with 90% of the barrel / oak beers being made right now). The sweetness without the bourbon / oak character would more than likely be overwhelming and detracting, but as couple here with the Bourbon and oak notes it provides a nice balance that really keeps the barrel flavors from becoming too obtrusive and overwhelming. This was a very good beer in the first, cooler pour, but once it warmed up it has become much more harmonious, more balanced and really just a great drinking experience; the fact that I drank a full 750ml bottle of this brew definitely improved the overall experience.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 02:49:24 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215


4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a dense light brown head that stays. Great retention power for such a high abv.

The smell is of bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark malt and licorice (from the elderberries).

The elderberry (anise/licorice-like) tastes melds exceptionally well with the vanilla/oak. Chocolate pulls through. Vinuous with a wonderful yeast strain. Alcohol is present, but complements in a fruity way. Full-bodied and warming.

Absolutely smooth and drinkable for the high abv. This is a wonderful, unique winter brew that is very well constructed.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 16:51:04 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-25-2011 15:09:38 | More by Rochefort10nh
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Nor' Easter from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.