Captain's Kölsch - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Captain's KölschCaptain's Kölsch

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BA SCORE
88
very good

92 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 92
Hads: 377
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 16
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jeffthecheff on 03-14-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 92 | Hads: 377
Photo of scootny
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the first German style beer to come out of the Captain's dry dock and it is superb. A honey gold with a white head and goodly amount of lace. A light amount of chill haze as my fridge is on the colder side but it was quite clear when I had it at the brewery. Gentle carbonation appears with each sip.

Smell is full of light sweet malt with a peppery spiciness and a touch of sweetgrass. There is a faint banana like fruitiness mixed with a grapeish overtone and a lemony flourish. Floral hops. A bready malt core underpins it all. Beautifully constructed.

Taste is much like the nose with a larger breadiness and a perfect balance of hop bitterness. The fruitiness is brighter with a bigger lemon edge and grape like sweetness picking up as the malt sugar fades. Finish is dry and clean with a citrusy hop presence and a lingering taste of crackers.

Feel is crisply carbonated with a light creaminess as it site on the tongue. Light in weight but not too light.

Drinkability is first rate. Refreshing and quite the quaffer. This is a top notch session beer and one I hope to see at the Captain often. (1,113 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our most recent trade.

A: Sitting on the top shelf of my fridge, backlit in a clear growler...this beer looks gorgeous! Bright, glowing gold with a slight yeasty haze. A vigorous pour yields a full three fingers of bright white, rocky head that quickly melts down to a whisp of a skim. Successive pours featured much better retention. Pretty lace webbing was left stuck to the glass.

S: Aromas of fresh baked biscuits, crackers, honey, lavender, and grassy hops. A lemon-y citrus aroma pops up and sticks around for the duration, as well.

T: Tastes almost exactly as it smells. Minor differences between the two would include much more spicy/floral hops in the taste than the smell would lead me to believe. Also, the citrus is sort of overshadowed by the biscuity/toasty malt flavor.

M: Starts smooth with a hint of malty sweetness and then the bitter, grassy middle takes over and holds court on through the dry and spicy finish.

D: Joe, you were right. This is a fantastic beer! This growler arrived just in time for me to sit on my balcony and enjoy temps in the 70's...in March...in Chicago. Brilliant! (1,220 characters)

Photo of Brodirt
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Im just a few miles from the brewery and this became my summer and fall go to beer.
Very light straw color and light bodied head. A very delicate sweetness along with a toasted white bread flavor.
A friend who I introduced to this beer described it as bottled joy. (265 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks for the huge growler of this. I have heard great things about this new offering from CL and I was not disappointed at all. Saved this one for dinner time so we could all have a big glass, served cold and poured into pint glasses, this one was consumed on 04/04/2010.

The pour was bright, huge golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate. Tons of carbonation just making the entire profile pop as it light notes of pears and almost lavender come across the tongue. Light, crisp, clean and refreshing it is everything you want a Kolsch to be, sublime I have to say. Each sip was effortless and with a smooth, dry finish I could have drank this one for days. The last sips bringing back that light lemon, citrus kick that I caught earlier in the evening.

Overall very, very good. One of the better examples of the style I have had in a very long time. With the summer heat coming up one can only hope that this one becomes a staple! (1,588 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: high carbonation, 1 inch head, bright gold in color, clear

Smell: grass and grain

Taste: grass, grain, and citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet with a dash of bitterness at the end, high carbonation, light body

Overall: Super clean..excellent hoppy finish...perhaps my second favorite Kolsch only behind New Holland's. This is one I could drink all day. (372 characters)

Photo of Errto
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale gold color, a touch of cloudiness. A fairly aggressive pour from the growler leaves a loose head, laces nicely though.

The smell, which matches the taste, has a healthy dose of breaded malt, but not much sweetness. A little of that floral American hop flavor, but not much bitterness. Finishes with almost a little lemon tartness, though this is not actually a sour beer. Mouthfeel is relatively light but crisp, and leaves a coating on the tongue.

Overall, my perfect idea of a subtle, flavorful, yet easy-drinking summer beer. (543 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drseamus got a growler then took it away. Then I got my own at the brewery at the Rosso release. Really looking forward to this.

A: Very nice clear deep golden color with a finger of white head. A nice amount of lacing as well.

S: Very nice earthy and bready smell. The malt is crystal clear. Kind of a tight nose but to style to the T.

T: Very nice. Massive fresh malt taste. I get quite a bit of two row.Little bit of sweetness right behind that. Almost has a little adjuncty taste. Just very clean tasting overall. You get a little bit of the yeast in the back.

M: Very well attenuated. Nice and dry. Super light and well carbonated.

D: Unlike drseamus I waited till it was 80 out to crack this. This was supposed to be my Yankees Red Sox 2010 opener beer but it was too nice out not to drink this. I really loved this beer. This is a solid yet boring hit from Captain Lawrence. Something I would get a keg of during the summer if my better half did not hate the style. More on tap in the summer outdoors please. (1,020 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Clear, clean, golden lemon yellow body. Small, bubbly, eggshell white head with some spidery lacing. Bready, apple malt sweetness underneath a spicy, peppery, herbal hops. Very nice.

Toasted bread malts up front. Peppery, spicy hop bitterness comes on soon enough though. Bready malt becomes sweeter, with notes of apple and honey. Hints of coriander and maybe citrus (lemongrass?). Herbal, peppery hops take it to the finish, which is oh so dry and refreshing. Lingering sea air hops and peppercorns. Moderate body, with a lively, refreshing feel. A great summer quencher and a nice hoppy twist on an under-appreciated style. (644 characters)

Photo of Ralphs66
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first try of the style...so can't make a comparison, but I truly enjoyed this beer. I had it on a cold, rainy, what should have been spring day, and it made me think of sand, sun and summer. Poured beautifully, with a nice thick foamy white head. Clean smelling coming across like "beer"; kinda pure. Taste was sweet and crisp....and very, very drinkable. At 5.5%, the presence of alcohol was almost non existent and after two 10 oz glasses, I felt like I could drink a whole bunch more. I didn't however....I saved it for after dinner...I'll be revisiting this plenty over the coming months. (595 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tall pilsner glass. Date unknown, but it has the newer style logo cap AND its the first time I've seen six packs in CT so I assume its on the fresher side of things.

A - Crystal clear dark straw yellow body with rising carbonation. Bone white three finger head forms and sizzles down to a nice one finger high head with large bubbles. Moderate amount of lacing and retention.

S - Very spicy. Coriander, lemons, grass, bubble gum, and some floral qualities. Earthy with a bit of a dough like finish.

T - Really transcends the line between sweet and spice. It goes back and forth between honey, cracker malts, peppercorn, coriander, bubble gum, and fruity hops. Crazy delicious and easy drinking. Medium to light mouth feel with just the right amount of crisp carbonation.

O - I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this one, but I kind of was. Extremely delicious hot weather beer full of flavor. I'm a noob to the kolsch style, but this is a winner in my book. So glad to have this in six pack format. (1,027 characters)

Photo of UDbeernut
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at a local pub, poured into a cheater pint.

A: nice straw yellow, slick 1/2" head with decent retention, reduces to a cap

S: neutral scent, slightly sweet, mild floral

T: nice biscuity and grain sweetness well balanced with flowery hops

M&d: as expected, ligh mouth. Excelllent drinkability. Kolschs are the shit and this is an excellent example. (361 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you scott vacarro for choosing syracuse as a distribution spot for the Captain! We are all thankful that we can enjoy a NY brewery that puts out arguably some of the best brews out there

A- captain's kolsch pours a dark gold body with massive frothy head of white foam the coates the top of the brew like a muffin top. Glowing bright as carbonation races to the top

S- A sweet grain and biscuity scent that has grassy and floral characteristics sums this up. Very pilsner like but very mouth watering as the sweet grainy scent reaches through the nostrils. Hands done, this is on refreshing scent

T- A sweet honey flavored bready flavor with traces of grass and fresh flavors. Ridiculously refreshing and full of flavor, yet so light. This is how a kolsch should taste. I need to mention I don't remember the last time a kolsch tasted this sweet and crisp at the same time

M- crisp, flavorful, carbonated right, spot on with a refreshing feel

O- what a home run of an everyday beer. This is the best kolsch I have ever had. This might be my new lawn mower beer for the summertime. But wow this could become a simple go to beer when I'm at the store. Keep it coming vacarro! (1,184 characters)

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a Hennepin flute.

A--Darker than any kolsch I've seen--more gold or even orange than yellow. Decent one finger white fizzy head that retreats to skim but laces a little. Lively bubbles throughout the tasting.

S--Also lively: full of lemons and bright grassiness. Maybe a little sweet honey back there suggesting toastier malt.

M--mmm. Still bright, still snappy from the hops, which again add lemons and grass, especially at the very front and very back ends. But the malt profile is what really impresses me: very very good balance of a more hefty bread crust and cracker to give some volume and the bright hop notes (which are earthy at points toward the back) that quickly wash away the cereal flavors and keep them light. There's also a restrained fruitiness (pear? mango? I can't quite nail it down but it comes through in other CL offerings, too) from the yeast that lends buoyancy.

D&M--Both are superb. Mouthfeel is crisp, with lager-like carbonation. Drinkability is insane, especially for warmer weather.

This to me embodies the German spirit of brewing: keep it clean, but pack it with plenty of flavor. This tastes conditioned and fresh at the same time. Great work, yet again, from the Captain aka Scott Vaccaro. This guy is a real blessing to the NYC area beer crowd. (1,313 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a DeCicco's growler, this Kölsch pours a brilliant, clear gold with a sticky one-finger head.

The aroma is lightly bready and grainy, with some green, grassy hops in there as well.

The flavor is excellent, with pleasant notes of crackers, dough and clean minerality. Lightly sweet overall, with an immaculate finish. Hint of clarified butter and ale fruitiness. Low hop bitterness and subtle earthy hop flavor. This light-bodied beer's fine, spritzy carbonation settles smoothly on the palate. Deliciously sessionable.

This might be one of the best Summer beers on the East Coast and one of the best Kölsch stylings brewed outside of Germany. (653 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from growler purchased at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Poured into tulip. Pours a slightly hazy golden. No real head but some ok lacing, so slightly above average look.
Smells very great. Slightly fruity, but its hard to pinpoint...apple/pear hops. Smells fantastic.
Taste is crisp and clean. Taste is fruity...a bit of hops. Bread like malty finish. I havent had many Kolsch brews, except in Germany, and those were a bit more malty and bitter, so its hard to compare the style, but this is fantastic. I love a nice brew from CL, and this did not disappoint at all. In fact, its fantastic. (594 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Quite a remarkable beer. Thanks, Ineedabeerhere. I may have to seek out more kolsches ... kolschi ... kolsch ... just what is the plural version?

Pours a golden yellow. Two or three inch white foam head. Looks pretty decent.

Smells faintly of bread and yeast, strongly of dried fruit and crackers, and there's a hint of pungent ... mineral-iness ... to the aroma. Very, very nice. I'm impressed.

Taste is clean, crisp, and quite good. Bone dry mineral, yeast, bread, and a hint of cut grass/hops that taste like cut grass, and a really nice balancing banana spiciness. This is really good!

Very drinkable, extremely light pleasant mouthfeel. Perfect for an afternoon by the pool. (685 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler split with Joe. Pours a light gold color into my pint glass with perfect clarity. The head is tight and white with good lacing and a solid cap till the end.

The aroma is very clean and grainy, with a small amount of fruitiness, suntan oil, and a very little bit of leafy hop. Subtle, but very impressive.

The flavor is clean and grainy up front like a lager, only with some fruitiness in the middle. A touch of carakery malt, a flroal, lavender flavor, and some ale fruitiness contribute a clean finish.

The mouthfeel is light bodied, but has more substance than the color suggests. A refreshing level of carbonation and the general, simple character makes this a very drinkable beer. It really started to grow on me by the second glass. I would get this again. (784 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has almost no nose. The malt is but a sweetness in the breath of it. It catches the light aflame because of it's haze. The crown is white. Only a shy depth from the grain will come to the nose. Taste is breaddy, a slight bitterness and only a whisper of herbal from hops. Very dry crisp.. You can barely perceive a fruity lightness from the grain because the malt is crisp and dramatic. In the finish it gives a slight pucker . (437 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times now, reviewing from notes on 3.13 with my homie Jeff.

Poured into a pint glass with a tight white cap atop a surprisingly clear golden-straw color. Impressive web-like lacing, decent retention.

Aroma opens up with some graininess and a little pine-sol without being medicinal. Very clean overall... a little bit of lotion-like fragrance though. The taste is very clean and approachable. Grainy with a little herbal hop note, unsalted flatbread cracker mid palate. A lighter fruit presence integrated in.

The thing about this kolsch is that the mouthfeel is not totally thin, it still has some substance to it that makes it a better beer and keeps it a little more interesting with the flavor profile going on. It hurts the drinkability just a touch though.

Having said that, I still will get growlers of this regularly to enjoy as the weather warms up a bit more. Another hit for the Captain, and I think that this beer will help a lot of beer novices open up to some of their more obscure or aggressive styles. (1,040 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery.

A: Beautiful clarity! Good carbonation and a nice white head. Looks great for beer from a growler. Perhaps a bit dark for a kolsch with a touch of amberish, but not too bad. Mostly straw colored.

S: Nice light crisp malt. It has a tight nose but that's fine.

T: Good light crisp malt with some light bitterness. Just a light amount of hop flavor in addition to the bitterness. Almost a bit of sweetness in there, but not really. Great balance.

M: Nice and light and crisp.

D: Why the hell would they release a goddamned kolsch in the middle of the winter? This is a summer beer Scott!! The rosso release was brutal and nothing goes better with brutal cold than a kolsch...no wait, I meant any other beer besides a kolsch. I'll be generous and grade it as if it was a nice hot day outside. (820 characters)

Photo of Adamdc
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler received from my sister as a birthday present. Yay, me! Poured into CL pint glass.

A: Clear yellow body topped by quarter inch of bright white foam with active carbonation coming up from bottom. Significant lacing.

S: Grassy, herbal aroma that's very estery---banana, hay, lemon and citrus. Hops (noble, maybe?) are there also.

T: There are alot of 'lager-like' qualities to this beer. It's a clean crisp hop-centered taste that's estery and fruity. The banana, spice and yeast come through along with lemon and very slight citrus.

M: Very dry but it's not as carbonated as I expected---not necessarily a bad thing. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. I like the slight thickness to it.

D: This is probably the strong point of this beer. Goes down so smoothly and at 5.5% I may attempt to take down the whole growler tonight.

I don't think I've ever had a Kolsch before. I had to consult BA to see if Kolsches were lagers or ales. As mentioned above, this beer had alot of lager properties but the fruitiness and the 'bigger' mouthfeel made this very enjoyable. Another great beer by CL! Thanks, sis! (1,120 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No freshness information, but the Captain's Kolsch hasn't been available in my area for very long.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch fluffy white head that, like the beer, leaves no lacing. Crystal clear pale yellow.

Smell: Mild citrus, with some musty grape and apple. Very lightly floral. Interesting overall aroma.

Taste: Very bready up front, with some sweetness and slight fruitiness coming in before the very dry finish. Crisp and refreshing. There's a sweet, creamy pastry flavor way in the background that underlies the mild but succulent fruit and fruity candy flavors (grape, citrus, mild berry, slightly floral).

Lots going on, but all of it very subtle, which contrasts with the bold feel (sharp bitterness and carbonation, very dry). I like it.

Mouthfeel: Between light and medium bodied. Sharp carbonation, harsh but not over the top bitterness. Very dry finish. Very lively feel, making every sip "pop." I could see being able to drink a lot of this based just on the mouthfeel alone.

Overall: Par for the course with Captain Lawrence: lots of flavor, really well balanced. Awesome hot weather beer as well. (1,166 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes (11-28)
Had at Prime 16 in New Haven in a pint glass

A: Came clear, and was golden in color. A one half finger of foam on top with decent lacing down the sides.

S: Had a citrusy aroma, a nice little hop kick and a little bit of lemon rind. Some doughy malt on the back.

T: Similar to the nose, very grassy with the hops. The malts dominate the back end, almost has a roasted flavor as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation that keeps it crisp. Overall I quite enjoyed this beer. Very refreshing, a great beer to kick back with on a hot day..or a rainy evening with a burger as I did. (628 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barcade, Brooklyn, New York.

Poured a dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light biscuity malt with a grassy hop.

The taste was well balanced with a clean malt and light grassy and slightly lemony hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very tasty kolsch. (377 characters)

Photo of hmk22
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was in line at the CL brewery buying a growler of their Pale Ale and wondered out loud what my second growler should be... a guy there for free samples recommended the Kolsch. It's not usually my style but I had a sample myself and was pleasantly surprised. It's a bit sweet to start but somehow finishes dry and refrshing -- a neat trick that I have no idea how the brewmaster accomplishes, but it works. I do still prefer CL's hoppier recipes but this is a great summer beer and as one of those that makes you think "This must be what real beer used to taste like." (569 characters)

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Captain's Kölsch from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.