Imperial Smoked Porter - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
3.63/5 rDev -16.7%
Growler popped open by the mean Mr. Thorpe, ESQ. Thanks.
Beer is dark brown, mostly clear, almost ruby at the corners. Thin tan head, breaks, mild lacing on the glass, low to moderate carbonation.
Beer smells a bit hot, but mostly like smoke, yum.
This beer would be better if it would calm down a bit, it's a little too hot throughout. I suppose since this is the new base beer for the barrels there it doesn't matter that it's a little hot, it will sit around for months in the barrels anyway. Medium in body, dry finish, lots of smoke in there, some roastiness at the back. I'd definitely want to try the new aged versions of this beer but the base is a little underwhelming.
03-21-2011 23:37:57 | More by drabmuh
District of Columbia
3.53/5 rDev -19%
Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!
The beer appears a dark brown color with hints of crimson. The head is a light tan hue and leaves a fair bit of lacing on the glass. The nose brings smoke, roast, and booze. The flavor is decent, with alcohol prominent throughout. Smoke is the primary flavor element, with alcohol and roast coming in behind. The feel is medium bodied and slightly hot on the palate. Overall, a decent beer, but I prefer smoke beers / rauchbiers to be easier drinking and lighter on the palate.
03-20-2011 18:39:47 | More by Huhzubendah
4.9/5 rDev +12.4%
Thanks to jrallen34 for popping this one open.
A - Solid black beer with a finger of tan foam that left a little bit of lace behind.
S - A great smoke smell on top of an awesome buttery and chocolatey malt smell. Truly great smelling beer with roast, smoke, malt, chocolate, awesome.
T - Taste is just fantastic. A great smoke taste on top of roasted malts and chocolate, some butter and just the perfect hints of dark fruit. Not sure how to improve on this one.
M - Fuller bodied with some good carbonation.
D - Can't believe this is 12%, love this beer and can't get enough. Just about perfect.
03-16-2011 05:15:47 | More by AgentZero
3.9/5 rDev -10.6%
From 03/05/11 notes. Growler shared by Thorpe429; thanks Mike!
a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident.
s - Smells of smoke, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, and toasted malts.
t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, sweet fruit, and smokey malts.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.
d - Overall I thought this was a really good smoked porter. I think I liked it a little better than their normal Pleasantville smoked porter and would definitely have it again. I'm really interested in trying the new SFTO series as I feel this would be a really good base beer.
03-14-2011 23:36:54 | More by mdfb79
3.68/5 rDev -15.6%
Huge, huge thanks to capra12 for grabbing me a growler of this from DeCicco's. This one has been a longtime coming and I'm glad Jon was finally able to grab this for me. Served in a Bruery tulip.
Pours near black with a good light tan head and a bit of lacing as it falls down the glass. The nose brings some night roast and light chocolate and also a bit of a mild coffee presence. Behind this comes a moderate amount of smokiness. Nothing too complex or in your face, but it's certainly there. The flavor also has smoke as the dominant characteristic, though it doesn't overwhelm or wow me. Similarly, the background notes come together cohesively, but don't really stand out too much. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation and moderate dry smokiness in the finish. Drinkability was quite good. Hard to believe this was 12%. I'd love to revisit this one eventually to see if there's something I'm missing.
03-08-2011 12:13:51 | More by Thorpe429
4.83/5 rDev +10.8%
I can't thank Dave (cavedave) enough for a 64oz growler of this one. Poured into my New Belgium globe.
A - Pours a dark, dark black with mahogany hues around the edges. About a 1 finger mocha colored head that resides to the surface fairly quickly. A small amount of lacing remains. I hope this beer tastes as good as it looks.
S - SMOKE. The nose is truly exceptional with all of these big smoky aromas. It reminds me of sitting around a campfire. It smells like salty, cooked meats. While the smoke and salty meats dominate, there are undertones of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee.
T - The taste is akin to the smell. Big smoky and salty flavors up front. The chocolate comes through more on the taste than it did in the aromas. The smoke has a very clean taste to it. Only the slightest amount of alcohol comes through as the beer warms. Simply amazing.
M - Medium-high mouthfeel with a low carbonation, a perfect amount to let all of the flavors shine through. Nice creamy finish.
D - Very high drinkability. I personally love the smoky taste, but can see how it may be overwhelming to some. I would LOVE to have this beer available at all times.
Like another reviewer said, this beer is damn near perfect. Really glad that I got to try this one.
02-27-2011 01:43:16 | More by kevinv
4.47/5 rDev +2.5%
Review #1200. Huge thanks to Sean for acquiring a 32oz growler of this one, after I missed out on it earlier. Served in a Heady Topper glass.
A - Pours with a finger-plus of dark tan foam that settles to a near-complete thin cap and thick big-bubbled ring. Not much in the way of lace, but it's a solid, dark, dark brown body.
S - Smoke and buttery cocoa are initially at the forefront, but as it warms there is more caramel, meat and hickory, and milk chocolate. Like a maple-glazed ham drenched in butter with a side of chocolate.
T - Smoked meats and a slight hammy quality to it. Milk chocolate, some nice residual coffee bitterness, and shockingly no alcohol. I did a double-take when I saw this was listed at 12%. I would have guessed 8-9% at most.
M - Smooth medium body, nice soft tingly carbonation, lightly tannic and smoky finish. Maybe a touch light for the alcohol, but since you can't taste there isn't much incongruity.
D - This is a really good beer. Why do they ruin most of it by making Smoke from the Oak? Shockingly drinkable for a 12% smoked porter.
02-06-2011 19:32:49 | More by MasterSki
3.88/5 rDev -11%
Served in a tulip at Bridge View Tavern, Sleepy Hollow, NY.
a: very dark with nice dense head that fell away within minutes
s: roasted grain, smoke
t: very nice. very very smokey (I would actually like it a bit better if it were not so heavily smokey, but I guess that's the point of this beer). complex dark fruit appearing in the background as it warms.
m: not too heavy, which was nice. well balanced
d: pretty good especially for such an in-your-face beer.
12-31-2010 13:49:15 | More by jpoder
3.98/5 rDev -8.7%
Served in a Duvel Green tulip at Bridge View Tavern, Sleepy Hollow, NY.
A: Very Dark, 35+ SRM for sure with a nice coffee colored head.
S: Very smokey; A pretty dry toasty flavor. Not a very sweet nose.
T: Roasty with a good BU:GU ratio.
M: Carbonated to style. Not too heavy.
D: Roastiness and the high ABV do not make this a light drink. Smooth and heavy, great for cold weather.
12-28-2010 01:05:38 | More by jrbuch
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
Thanks to Jason for this one. 22oz CP bottle from Bierkraft which was poured into a Darkness snifter.
A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, two fingers. Some sticky lacing along the sides of the glass and a nice cap remains on top after the initial pour. Picture pefect.
S - Bacon, holy jeez. Milk/dark chocolate, smokey richness, some slight woody/oak. Very rice, bold, in-your-face.
T - Much like the nose. Chocolate, oak, bacon, smoked richness. No real alcohol at all...it's hidden very well. Sweet in the end. Just f'n good.
M - Medium to full, rich and smooth, creamy finish.
D - No real flaws in this beer and quite possibly the best porter I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Just solid. A fine example and I can see why it's rated so highly. Excellent...get you some.
11-11-2010 23:50:49 | More by Sean9689
4.88/5 rDev +11.9%
650 counter pressurized bottle from BierKraft, another huge thanks to hoppy...A dark black pour with about four fingers of head, falls pretty quickly. The head is a bright light tan, ok lacing...A super strong aroma of salty bacon and smoke, its awesome...The taste is equally amazing, the salted pork comes through strongly with smoke, but what sets this apart is the complexity brought about by the addition of some sweet chocolate, which just takes this too a whole new level. Unreal smooth chocolately finish. An unreal feel and super easy to drink.
I really hate to throw this term around, but this beer is almost perfect in every way. Get this beer.
11-11-2010 02:44:58 | More by jrallen34
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
Another good one from CL. From what I understand this is the base for the SFTO beers (before the barrels) Appearance is nice and black with a couple fingers of head on it. Smell is super smokey, reminds me of a barbecue. The taste is phenomenal if you like smokey beers. Really really nice smokeyness in the nose and the mouth, lots of roasted malt. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a nice smokey aftertaste. This is a big beer but I consider it pretty drinkable, althow im sure a lot of people will consider this one a slow sipper. Very enjoyable
10-29-2010 00:03:01 | More by drewd0g
3.78/5 rDev -13.3%
The new base for the SFTO
A: Very black color. By very black I mean this thing let no light into it at all. A little bit of brownish head.
S: The beer smells like a rauch. Tons of smoke and even a little bit of the elusive bacon. More smoke. A little bit of chocolate but the smoke really dominated this one.
T: Smoke. See what I am getting at. Astringent. Little bit of chocolate. Smoke. Smoke. It was enjoyable but this is a smokey beer.
M: Medium body. Thinner than I would have thought. The carbonation was light.
D: Really different. This is going to be the new base for the SFTO so I do not know if this will be available as a regular beer. As a smoked porter it kind of falls. Too over the top. Now as the base for a barrel aged beer I am exited. This has enough smoke to keep some of the bad bugs at bay. I found it hard to get through a snifter by myself. Throw this in a wine/rum/bourbon/brandy barrel for a while and that will fix itself.
10-01-2010 23:38:52 | More by aerozeppl
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
a: Black with dark tan head
s: Initial heavy smoke, dark malts and roast, chocolate.
t: Totally delicious and rich, but not overpowering, smoked malt, followed by a sweet, almost berry-like flavor and chocolate as it warms up (reminds me a bit of Hunahpu's chocolate profile).
m: Creamy and smooth with low carbonation that's just right.
d: Goes down really easily and alcohol is quite well hidden.
Terrific. One of the Captain's best and one of the best porters I've had. Scott is really stepping it up now.
10-01-2010 01:28:02 | More by billyshears
4.2/5 rDev -3.7%
Growler from DeCicco's into a Duvel tulip.
A: Black body with reddish-brown highlights and a finger of creamy brown head; decent retention and nice delicate lace. Very impressive, especially from a growler.
S: Rich smoke and sweet malts. It's straightforward, one-dimensional, and great.
T: Starts with nice, bacony campfire smoke, and quickly broadens into a tapestry of beautifully complex malt notes - caramel, toffee, chocolate, and coffee. The bitter coffee joins with booze and maybe even a bit of hops on the remarkably clean finish. The aftertaste is a bit too boozy for me, but that's the only fault to be found. Very, very tasty.
M: Substantial medium body with fairly low, but very smooth, carbonation. Lovely for the style.
D: As great as this is, I'm glad I had help with the growler.
Notes: Yet another great beer from one of my favorite breweries. I wish they would make this a regular offering, as I enjoyed it far, far more than their regular smoked porter - so much more depth and complexity. I'd love to try it side-by-side with Alaskan Smoked Porter - it would be a close battle, and I'm not sure who would win. I think the CL has a slight edge flavor-wise, but the Alaskan beer is eminently smooth and drinkable. It would be a good night of drinking.
09-24-2010 03:27:35 | More by woosterbill
4.58/5 rDev +5%
Fortunately, this beer has done me well. No life crises induced, no depressing beer fanatic moments, just some solid taste that makes me smile. I got it in a growler from Bierkraft in Brooklyn and poured into a pint glass. As the guy described it: "Man, the smoke in there is like a football field was filled with tires set on fire and then all at once put out... then they trapped that smoke and put it in this beer". So... yeah, it's bad ass.
Appearance: Dark and rich, very portly. (I have a small vocabulary). Rich lacing.
Smell: Smoke. And ... barbeque? I'm a vegetarian and eating, er, drinking this beer makes me feel like I've sinned.
Taste: Along the same lines. Sinful. There's a rich and creamy sweetness to it, plus meatiness, and some pleasant hints of chocolate and other good stuff.
Drinkability: High. And not overdone with alcohol, so you don't feel like you should apologize after drinking it (although maybe you should).
11/3/2010 Update: After having this a second time, it might be too smoky for me. I like barbeque, but this is like sitting inside of one.
09-18-2010 23:18:58 | More by afksports
4/5 rDev -8.3%
Had on tap at Mirabelle Tavern, Stony Brook NY on September 17. Served in a chalice.
Look: very dark brown, almost black (albeit kinda hard to tell because of the lighting in the place). Thin, dark head that leaves a lot of lacing.
Smell: kinda boozy. There's some woodiness, molasses and smoke.
Taste: roasted malt up front along with some smokiness and a little alcohol bite to it.
Feel: heavy bodied for a porter (if I was blind tasting this I would've thought "stout"). Carbonation was almost non-existent.
Drink: this is the weak point of the beer. The heavy body and bite of the alcohol makes this an impossible session beer.
Overall, it was fairly enjoyable and I'm glad I had it but I would probably not have again. Worth trying if it is available to you.
09-18-2010 05:46:32 | More by SkunkWorks
4.28/5 rDev -1.8%
Growler purchased at DeCicco's.
Appearance: Pours super dark brown to black with a 1 finger dull khaki crown that displays moderate retention and lace.
Smell: Lots of smoked oak, black strap molasses, not quite bacon like but a hint of umami is present.
Taste: Dark roasted malt note up front that also bares a hint of bitterness along with a strong smoke punch. Now I'm not saying this is hitting Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock proportions (it isn't) but the smoke is defintely present. Smoke note finishes fairly long.
Mouthfeel: On the light side of heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly slick.
Drinkability: The mouthfeel isn't a huge hurdle but I couldn't drink this all night long either.
09-14-2010 22:34:56 | More by koopa
4.72/5 rDev +8.3%
32oz growler > tulip glass.
A - Silky shiny black with a thin mocha head with sticky lacing.
S - Campfire. I've never smelled a beer that had such a deep smokey smell. Really fantastic. Also malty, a bit chocolatey and creamy with a touch of licorice or gummy bear. Overall though...smoky campfire!
T - The smoke is at the forefront. Chocolatey roasted malts. Very rich in flavor. Alc is pretty well hidden, except for the tingle in my mouth.
M - Alc bite although absent in the taste...is there in feel, but overall the smokiness dominates everything about this beer. Pretty silky as it goes down.
D - Possibly the best Capt Lawrence beer I've ever had and probably the best porter I've ever had as well. That being said, it is a really rich and thick beer as well which makes this one not big for volume drinking.
09-12-2010 01:39:16 | More by cosmicevan
4.78/5 rDev +9.6%
Poured from 64oz growler into 22oz snifter.
Appearance-This is the blackest porter I've ever seen right off the bat and it pours with that slick motor oil consistency I usually associate with an RIS. A small head rises but quickly bubbles away.
Aroma-Smoke upfront of an almost peaty variety but it's by no means overwhelming, coffee and caramel undertones with a clean roastiness. No alcohol that I can smell.
Taste-Dark chocolatey malts upfront followed quickly by roasty, peaty smoke, as a reviewer before me put it this 'isn't bacon smoke' but has far more in common with the kind of smokiness you find in a peaty Scotch. Some coffee notes as well but they're an undercurrent, the big players are the chocolaty malts and the smoke which last clean and straight forward all the way to the end. After the finish the smoke leaves a nice smokey aftertaste, again, like a good peaty Scotch. Amazing, just jaw droppingly awesome.
Mouthfeel-Rich, syrupy, almost chewy with low carbonation; a perfect blanket for the peaty smoke.
Drinkability-Zero alcohol presence plus additively sip-inducing flavors make this dangerous on the drinkability scale.
Notes-Captain Lawrence was under the radar for me for awhile, none of their brews ever really 'wowed' me...until now. This beer is amazing a peat-lover and a dark malt lover's dream beer.
09-10-2010 22:34:09 | More by Manoftyr
4/5 rDev -8.3%
Black as night with a one finger light tan head that receeds to a small ring. Tiny little specs of lacing. Aroma is really heavy on the vanilla and chocolate, oats or oatmeal, there is a little alocohol mixed in there too. This beer tastes rich and heavy. Strong roasted and toasted flavors with heavy chocolate, vanilla, and oatmeal flavors and tones. Some rich over ripe berry fruit flavors too. Coats your mouth on all sides with its thick and luxurious texture. Although this beer is fantastic it is a little powerful to garner a high drinkability score, but its pretty tasty.
09-05-2010 03:18:31 | More by pmlondrigan
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
Growler from DeCicco's. Into a long stemmed tulip.
Pours a deepest dark brown, opaque, topped by a one finger head which fights the good fight, but ends up as a skim, then finally to a bare cap and thin ring, atop this thick looking beauty.
Not a strong smell, but full of dark fruit, smoky roast malt, dark caramel, hints of tart yeast, and some other sweet aromas hard to define.
Full flavored, and once this baby opens up it is a feast for the palate. It starts tart and sweet, almost vinous, but the malt and smoke kick in, some really nice yeast balances it with tart. Dark fruits come into the sip, plum, ripe cherry, some figgy flavor kicks in, some coffee, the smoke just carries it, never overpowering like in some rauchbiers, finally ending in a juicy finish that is the sweet of the fruit, the drying flavor of the smoke, spicy yet subdued alcohol, along with hints of floral, earth, and herbal bitter. As it warms this becomes a pleasure that is rare, a delicious taste unlike any others I've tried. What a shame this is listed as a porter, it should have its own category.
Mouthfeel is just short of stoutlike, highly viscous, very low carb., and a superior and complex finish.
Drinkability is dangerously good. Besides for the lack of alcohol presence, the flavors beg for another sip.
Impression: Get this if you can, absolutely stellar work by the HudVal's other great brewer.
09-04-2010 18:35:14 | More by cavedave
4.68/5 rDev +7.3%
Growler (small bottle) filled at DeCicco's. 12 percent ABV.
Dark, voluptuous, opaque black with a tight, but lasting creamy tan head.
The nose has a rich, earthy smokiness reminiscent of old fireplaces and slow-cooking bacon. Bit of dark, ripe fruit. Exceptional.
The flavor is awesome as well. Sharp smokiness a la Schlenkerla mixes with chocolate and molasses, creating a delicious marriage of styles. Not so much coffee or roast as peaty, smokey notes. Surprising amount of fig and prune, too. Thick mouthfeel with smooth, low carbonation. I could taste the alcohol but would never have guessed it to be 12 percent. Quite the beer.
This is one of the most delicious smoked beers out there. Gotta love the Rauch!
09-03-2010 04:11:00 | More by dasenebler
4.65/5 rDev +6.7%
I'm going to have to follow in line with Billolick on this one. I think his review is spot on. I picked this bad boy up as a 22oz. counter-pressure filled bomber at Bierkraft in Brooklyn. Poured into a Trois Pistoles goblet.
A: Dark brown teetering on black with a fine looking 2-finger beige head.
S: Smoked wood, molasses, and oak barrel. This beer smells fresh.
T: Starts with a mellowed-out oaky flavor that turns into a dark chocolate bliss and has a smoky finish.
M: Liquid gold. As smooth as can be with the perfect amount of carbonation. This beer has the perfect amount of body too.
D: 12%?! I think not. Nevertheless, this is also not a filling beer as I find most smoked porters are.
Overall, I can't wait until this comes out in bottles! Cheers Scott!
08-17-2010 02:48:02 | More by hoppymcgee
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
16 ounce "Growler" filled at DeCiccos in Ardsley, NY. An always welcome new one from the captain. Pours black, under a dark mocha head, that is dense and lasting. Turns to a thick tiny bubble film, collar and leaves plentiful fine bits of lacing. Rich smoky nose, with some undertones of dark chocolate. Thick and viscous brew, allowed to warm up quite a bit, this one is loaded with chocolate, bacon infused smoke, rich dark/roasty/burnt malts, espresso, ripe dark fruits. Dark mocha/dark chocolate beer shake. Simply yummy stuff. Hoppy and drying in the finish, all through the mouth and down the throat. Enjoy with some smoky BBQ or as a desert beer with a chocolate after feast treat. Great new one from Scott V/CLB
08-03-2010 00:20:26 | More by Billolick
Imperial Smoked Porter from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.