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Nor' Easter - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nor' EasterNor' Easter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

302 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 155
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: 302 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrMonkey
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%

Batch 2. Been sitting on this one for a while, and I'm glad I did! Thanks to gpcollen1 for hooking me up with this one back at the beginning of summer.

Pours the darkest of browns, nearly black, with a thick and creamy two-finger tan head that fades real slowly. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell is chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, some Belgian yeast, caramel, and dark red wine fruits. This smells incredible!

Taste is dark chocolate up front with strong bourbon undertones. Sweet caramel and toffee lead into some dark red wine fruits. There's some yeast flavors before finishing with some alcohol warmth and some vanilla and more bourbon. The taste is near perfect. This stuff is amazing!

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy. It coats the mouth, but is extremely smooth.

An incredible beer that went down very smoothly. I really wish I had more of these stashed away in the cellar. I hope I can get my hands on some bottles from future batches.

MrMonkey, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.73/5  rDev -33.3%

Reviewed on 4/29/08. Bottle, batch 2. Pours dark black with no head (only slight bubbling from an extremely vigorous pour). Aroma strongly of bourbon, oak/wood, some sweetness. The flavor was slightly less bourbon, but it still dominates. I didn't get any elderberry fruitiness, just sweetness from the alcohol, producing a roasty, alcoholy, sweet taste. My throat was warmed after just a few sips. Unfortunately, this was too bourbon-dominated for my liking. If I do ever develop a liking for bourbon-aged beers, I will revisit this one.
5/4/5/4/13 (3.1/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%

750 ml bottle poured into a goblet. Syracuse may not be getting a Nor' Easter, but we are getting quite a bit of Lake Effect so this beer is quite fitting.

Batch 2.

Pours a super dark brown with light ruby outlines. The one finger khaki colored head quickly falls to a soft layer of foam leaving some sticky goodness behind on the sides of the glass. Smell is sweet bourbon with dark chocolate and carmel malts. Vanilla beans, fig, raisins, elderberries, leather, and coconut. I can tell this one is gonna be a sipper, but I have all the time in the world so bring it on! The taste reminds me so much of bourbon balls I had when I was in Kentucky. The sweet smoked oaky bourbon flavor dominates the tongue first, but the dark fruits and sweet rich malts quickly find their way in the mouth midway. Carmelized almonds with some musty earth hops and all sorts of berries in the aftertaste. Medium to heavy body with thick feel. The carbonation is a tad high, but not to the point of taking away from the overall beauty of this beer. I thought this would be a chore to finish, but I put it down pretty quick. A very well made beer, I look forward to the next batch for sure!

BeerTruth, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of PEBKAC
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

My favorite of the night during the VSK event at The Blind Tiger. Spent the better part of two hours sipping on my glass.

Deep porter-like pour into a 12oz tulip. A inch & change of Ovaltine head atop a deep black & brown body with russet highlights.

At first this was total disappointment. Just bitter coffee grounds in taste & smell. Stuff was too damn cold to get anything out of it. Had a different beer & let this one sit, eventually amassing a nice lineup of tasters to ponder.

Once it warmed up considerably, it had so much going for it. Scents of smoke & chocolate malt, marshmallowy vanilla, & stollen-like bread & macerated fruit notes soften & spice up the alcohol. A bit of coffee & licorice that I just couldn't shake off near the end my only complaint. It all translated from my nose to my tongue & back. I have no idea what elderberries taste like, but the end result is delicious.

Slightly milky, carbonation is soft, but just enough to keep it moving with interrupting the experience.

I'm not one to usually praise Captain Lawrence. The only year round recipe I really liked he tweaked, & I felt these seasonal bottles always brought more hype then drinkability in the end. This one is very good though, right there with the Cuvee as the best stuff I've had from Pleasantville.

PEBKAC, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.5/5  rDev +10%

750ml bottle acquired in trade with jjpm74 (thanks!). Bottle labeled batch 1.

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of wood, nuts, chocolate, roast, light vanilla, and a very light berry/fruitiness. Every once and a while, I also thought I was getting some pine. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, and had an all around vinous characteristic as well. Alcohol well hidden (I'm pretty sure I'll be feeling buzzed after drinking this one myself though!).

Notes from 4/1/07

hopdog, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%

Thanks goes out to TheRealBastard for trading this one.

Batch #2, 750ml bottle poured into a Urthel tulip glass.

I let it warm some from the fridge and split it with a friend- have been sitting on this one for several months.

A: Much darker than I would have guessed. Tan head on top of dark porter looking body.

S: Something of a balsamic glaze smell, super sweet. Malts and bourbon on the nose are some of the strongest I have ever experienced- freaking great smell. Oaky, wood and some sneakiness finally coming out from the dried fruits.

T: Absolute full development of the dried fruits right smack up front: dried figs, dates, raisins, the whole gamut. Like a fruitcake I made last year with bourbon soaked dried cranberries and raisins- beautiful flavor. I dont know what elderberry tastes like but Im guessing thats in there as well with the mix of fruits. The wood and the bourbon contribute to the finish. A tight brew.

M: Very full body, some chewiness. Nil heat from the alchohol, and smooth as silk.

D: For such a flavor bomb, it is a sipper to a 'T' but a pleasure to do so. Seriously enjoyable and a fun one to split. It is a broad classification in terms of style and not sure this is the run of the mill for a Belgian strong but dont know what else I would consider it. A great, truly great winter warmer.

These guys at Capt Lawrence are on the right track in so many ways- hardly anything less than top notch coming out of Pleasantville.

As much as I complain to not having access to FFF, HOTD here in NJ, this is something I take for granted- the simple trip up to NY to visit these great folks.

marcpal, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of bbothen
4.58/5  rDev +12%

I've had this bottle sitting around the cellar for about 8 months. Why not bust it out on a random Nor Cal 80*, clear sky, shorts, flip flops kinda October Friday?

Pours deep dark black with a firm & bubbly 1 finger deep tand head. Leaves plenty of sticky lacing on glass.

Yowza. Plenty of big oak & wood aromas, sweet dark fruit, plum alcohol soaked raisins, plums, distinct vanilla. Awesome.

Sweet, dark fruitiness, oak/wood, yeasty, bourbon, bourbon soaked prunes. There is an incredible amount of flavor going on here. The barrel aging is very dominate. Oh, and AWESOME.

Full, rich, sommth, heavy, low carbonation, warming alcohol finish.

Well I now have a almost full 750 ml of this bad boy staring at me. One tulip full in and I feel the 11% already. Better go see if my neighhbor wants some. Hopefully he doesn't.

What a unique & interesting brew this is. Hats off to the Captain Lawrence team. I'll be seeking out more of their brews for sure. Indeed.

bbothen, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

Thanks to howl1309 for donating this to the cause. Batch#2, 2007 vintage. Poured an opaque black with a purplish hue. Thin, soapy off-white head with some strands of lacing; weak legs. Nose is berries, bourbon and chocolate, with a vinous quality throughout. Taste follows nose - very bold flavors (much more amplified than indicated in the nose) with chocolate revealed towards the back. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly carbonated. Incredibly delicious without being boozy - complexity of nose is clearly revealed and refined in the taste. Quite an enjoyable experience.

Jwale73, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of Blursimarsi
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%

(Bottle thanks to Maxxdaddy and his mommy) Pours dark brown to black with a creamy, medium, light brown head. The aroma is vinous and fat yet soft and complex with tones of oak, malt, dark fruits and a light spicy yeastiness. Notes of creamy chocolate, salt and sweet liquorice, brown sugar, molasses, dark cherries, sweet dark grapes, blue berries, wild strawberries, prunes, figs, rum raisins, vanilla, bourbon, butter, cardamom, mild nutmeg, mild white pepper and of course a touch of elderberries. Bit fiery on the nose from both the alcohol and the bourbon barrel. The flavour is perfectly medium sweet, light bitter and with a light acidic finish that mixes well with the lingering buttery note from the oak. Tones of chocolaty/dark bready malt, elderberries, vanilla-ish bourbon oak, brown sugar/molasses, touch of hops and subtle spiciness of white pepper and nutmeg. Very vinous as well with tones of blue grapes, cherries, prunes, figs and blue and black berry jam. A touch of mango. The mouthfeel is full, velvety, soft, smooth and light oily with a fine medium carbonation. The aftertaste is of tart-ish elderberries, a peppery spiciness, faint hops and molasses. Medium to full bodied. This is near perfect beer that is some sort of crossover between strong porter and Belgian strong ale.

Blursimarsi, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of doho95fu
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

I tasted this at the brewery and immediately bought six 22's. The beer pours a purple black almost and has no real head. That is the greatest shortcoming of this beer - the carbonation is low. This is forgivable for this type of beer in my experience. There is a pretty strong alcohol burn which is not surprising for a beer aged in bourbon casks. Very solid beer. Hopefully with improvements, this beer returns this winter.

doho95fu, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of Crosling
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%

Batch 1. Deep mahogany color with a full foam. Beautiful aromatics of caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla and bourbon. In the mouth it's loaded with malty goodness, chocolate, coffee, fruit, caramel with an intriguing barrel character as well. Very complex and well crafted. This is easily my favorite beer from Captain Lawrence.

Crosling, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of Deuane
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%

Thanks to Clockworkorange for this one!

A-Dark brown cola with a thick, creamy tan head. LEft copious amounts of caked lace behind.

S-Big roasty malt, with a lovely wisp of bourbon, dark fruit and a bit of sourness.

T-Malty sweetness with touches of bourbon, dark fruits, caramel and the lingering sourness from the fruit addition. This is one of the best tasting dark, fruited brews I have had.

M-Full body with an amazing smoothness. This is simply a treat to drink.

D-With well hidden alcohol, all that smoothness, tartness and flavour this is one seriously great beer. Sierrags and I had to fight over the remainder in the bottle!

Deuane, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev +1%

Picked this beer up at Halftime in NY. Pours a very dark brown almost black leaving a thin tan head behind. The aroma is blackberry, currants, chocolate, bourbon, raspberries, spicy tart powdery aroma with a faint citrus hop profile throughout.

The taste is bourbon upfront, malty, chocolate, bready, with a syrupy mouthfeel. The taste continues with bourbon soaked cherries, fruit is the prominate taste delicious, syrupy and finishes warming with a blast of bitter grapefruit. This is a good beer, hopefully I'll see this again.

Franchise, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Obtained in trade with JoeyBeerBelly, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a skimpy tanish head that dissipates quickly. Nose hits you right up front with bourbon, a vinous bourbon. Some figs, prunes, raisins, caramel, and maple in there as well. Taste is wine like. some figs and prunes up front. Followed by the bourbon which brings its vanilla oakey flavors with it. Finish is a bit acidic, almost sour with some yeast trying to poke through at the end. Mouthfeel is robust, but a very dry finish. Carbonation is low. Very complex brew. I enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure I tasted any elderberries, but then again I have no idea what they would taste like if I did.

johnnnniee, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.83/5  rDev +18.1%

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Batch 2

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, huge thick creamy tannish two-finger head, lots of nice thick creamy sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice touch of vanilla, bourbon, figs, raisins, plums, and some caramel notes. The taste is sweet, malty, very nice touch of vanilla/bourbon, dark fruits/caramel. Full body, the alcohol is hidden very well with this brew. Very drinkable, this is my first CL brew, and hopefully not my last. This BSDA is very different then any other I've had in the past, the Bourbon Barrel Aged and stout like taste is AWESOME! Thanks Joe!

Wasatch, May 25, 2008
Photo of lightindarkness
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

Thanks goes out to TheRealBastard for trading this one.

750mL, batch no. 2, into a large Westmalle goblet at around 58 degrees.

Pours dark cola brown with some deep red highlights. Minimal head even with a hard pour that dissolved quickly, leaving a brown bubble ring around the glass and wisps of tan on the surface.

Nose is very vinous, with deep caramel and sweet maple, mellowed bourbon on earthy wood, aromatic tobacco, and mostly pleasant alcohol. This one smells like it'll be a bit chewy.

Taste is rich and roasty, with deep malt flavors up front of grains and dark fruits, prune and fig, and I'm assuming elderberry (not a fruit I'm overly familiar with). Flavors fill in with oaky vanilla, tobacco, and a soft but strongly noted bourbon flavor. Finishes with light sweetness that's cut by an astringent alcohol flavor. Very deeply and pleasantly flavored with great addition of dark fruit and bourbon oak flavors.

Feel is pretty good. Pretty light on the carbonation. A medium to fuller bodied beer with smooth feel and sticky finish. Not quite chewy, but certainly not lightweight either.

Overall drinkability is pretty good. % abv is an obvious factor, but it's remarkably sippable. Alcohol and bourbon flavor do not hinder overall enjoyment. In my opinion, not quite a Belgian Strong Dark, despite the yeast strain, this beer is deeply flavorful, and the belgian character has been buried beneath elderberry fermentation and bourbon barrel aging.

lightindarkness, May 18, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured into Goblet from 750 ml Batch 2 purchased at Skibbos in the Bronx over the weekend

A-Black with dark brown highlights, thick 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, average retention, minor lacing as well but head fell to almost nothing within a few moments.

S-Immediate alcohol (bourbon) some chocolate, plenty of oak, roasted malts, with candy and fruit accents.

T-Initially just strong ABV and similar to a dry stout. Sweetened as it warmed.

M-Medium, higher level of carbonation than I would have preferred, long lasting dry and bitter taste.

D-Difficult in many senses. Enjoy strong brews but this one tested my mettle.

Brianmerrilyn, May 07, 2008
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.13/5  rDev +1%

Thanks to Scootny for this baby! Pouirs a dark brown/ black color with a bit of red hues when held up to light. Nice tan head that holds firm and leaves a good amount of lacing. Huge aroma of coffee, alcohol and then BOOM- Bourbon! The bourbon is prevelent here, but it mellows nicely as the beer warms. Tastes of alcohol, bourbon and a good amount of smokey malts. Taste stays with you for a while. Very full bodied and filling beer. Great with some chocolate, too.

DrDogbeer, May 06, 2008
Photo of brdc
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%

Thanks scootny for this one. Batch #1.

Large capped bottle, poured into a goblet.
It is a very dark brew, with minimal reddish highlights, and a very thin tan head with little retention or lacing.
Aroma is mostly derived from the barrel aging; it is oaky, smoky and bourbon like, with a hint of maltiness underneath all that.
It is quite full on the palate, and again here the effects of barrel aging dominate, with just some understated malty sweetness and dark fruitiness hidden somewhere beneath all the bourbon and oak characteristics.
It is a good one for people that really enjoy the effects of barrel aging, but to me the aromas and tastes of the "main beer ingredients" are hidden under all the heat. Interesting, but not my kind of beer. It has become clear that, unfortunately, my taste and the Captain's do not match very well.

brdc, May 05, 2008
Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -10%

A: Deep purple? Tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Dark fruit (prune?), bread, spice, bourbon & wood.

T: Dark fruit, brown sugar, sherry, roasted grain, chocolate, slight floral hoppiness.

M: Moderate body is well-attenuated with a drying alcohol finish.

D: A little too boozy for my liking.

Derek, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%

Not to copy LittleBreeze, but...

Tasting 3/29/08

Batch 2

Nice dark body with an off white head. There is a strong bourbon aroma with a good amount of sweetness. There is a good vanilla character. The flavor has a bunch of sweet bourbon, dark chocolate, and good caramel. Very delicious all around. Great medium/heavy body. Excellent drinkability.

drseamus, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of LittleBreeze
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%

Tasting 3/29/08

Batch 2

Really enjoyable beer.

Vanilla, bourbon, oak and malt aromas. Chocolate taste joins. The mouthfeel has a nice body but maybe a tad to much carbonation right now. There is a small alcohol burn that I suspect will mellow as this baby continues to age. This is an outstanding beer that will continue to enhance.

LittleBreeze, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

RblWthACoz, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of Avryle
4.83/5  rDev +18.1%

"Night in the Woods" tasting 3.29.08
The perfect excuse to open another bottle of this!

A- Pours super dark, almost black

S- Herb-y/juniper berries, malt, vanilla & bourbon

T- A lot going on here... black licorice, malt, sasafras & vanilla. Very strong bourbon flavor without the booziness in the finish. The fumes after you swallow linger on your tastebuds... damn this is delicious!

M- Wonderfully full-bodied. Minimal carbonation.

D- Only one bottle left in the cellar (as I wipe a tear from my eye) and no more until the next release. I could drink this every day its that good.

Avryle, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 2.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" pinkish tan head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head bubbles quickly migrate to the rim, with plenty of lacing. Aroma is fruity sweetness with prevalent alcohol character. Taste starts with rich full maltiness, hits the tart berry notes in the middle, and then lets the vanilla and oak character mix with the alcohol and just melt away. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is very nice as well. Maybe not as impressive as batch one for me, but still a brew worth searching out.

4/24/07 - 5/4.5/4.5/5/4.5
22oz bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 1.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" purply-tinged tan head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense, frothy head is more or less a constant, little change over time, with lots of heavy coating lace. Aroma is creamy malts with berry notes and ample alcohol. Taste is a mirror of the nose, with the close of oaky alcohol melded in nicely with the fruit touches and malt depth. Mouthfeel is oh-so smooth, and drinkability is dangerously easy for the style. How can something comes forth somewhat thin and easy to drink, yet display such malt and wood depths? I don't know, but I like it...

ppoitras, Mar 22, 2008
Nor' Easter from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.