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5 Years Later - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
5 Years Later5 Years Later

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

71 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 117
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 13
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Billolick on 02-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 117
Photo of kylehay2004
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head with nice lacing on a very dark brown body with light getting through.

S: roasted malts, light coffee, vanilla and nice brown sugar presence. nice strength to the aroma.

T: roasted chocolate malts, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bitter, earthy hops mostly in the finish. very nice oak wood note throughout.

M: moderate to high carbonation and thick body. fairly smooth and semi dry in the finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer. Complex and very complete.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear very dark amber (close to near black) in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan and dense head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of pine resin hops and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness and notes of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because it’s not very bitter and the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -3%

Appearance: Looks like a porter, with the fudge brown liquid capped by several inches of foam; nice retention and an impressive display of lace (4.75)

Smell: A cross between fudge and charcoal with a likely gap where the hops used to be (3.75)

Taste: Burnt toast with a smear of melted chocolate; the hops that are left still make a statement, struggling to add a piney tone; the malt lingers into the finish (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation (4.25)

Overall: When I bought this bottle I didn't research the style, thinking that a 5 year anniversary beer would be a barleywine or an old ale; oh well, my mistake....this is still a decent beer but nothing like what the Captain intended (3.75)

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ubufan2112 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours near black with a good light tan head and some sticky lacing as it moves down the glass. The nose is really, really quite nice. Loads of earthy hops with a bit of pine. Nose almost exhibits a bit of an oak presence as well. Some roast lingers in the background. The taste doesn't hit quite as hard, though the hops are front and center and there is that hint of oak in the finish. Feel is dry; there is no indication of the ABV at all. Really pleasurable. This is one of the best American Black Ales I've to date.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep dark burgundy brown color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of pine and astringent hops with notes of caramel malt with some toffee notes. Taste is a complex mix between some pine and astringent hops with some sweet malt notes with some caramel and toffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting though not something I would feel the need to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a huge thanks goes out to rich for this one. i had been dying to try it so i brought it out last friday to split with alex. poured into pint glasses.

what a nice deep, dark, black pout that let no light come through what so ever. a good head of tan crept up the sides of the glass and left some nice lacing all along the sides.

dark malts are very prominant here with chocolate, lots of roasted notes, hints of vanilla and tobacco and of course very nice and perfectly placed piney hops. this carries over well into the taste as the hops come out first and give a nice little quick bite of flavor before the rich backbone of smokey malts kicks in with all of its sweet, roasty goodness and balances out the palate, creamy with a wonderful carbonation to it you really had to search for any hints of alcohol here at all.

overall an outstanding beer. great fresh, cannot imagine it ageing well, but really just outstanding the way it is right now!

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Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of light tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves excellent lacing on the glass as it goes.

S - Spicy, dark malt with some peppery chocolate in the background and hoppy notes of pine, juniper, and mustard.

T - Pepper, clove, and dark, smoky coffee up front. Some very dark chocolate notes in the middle and more pepper with a hint of pine hops. Finishes with dark chocolate, smoke, pine and juniper hops along with a lingering note of spicy mustard.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer is huge and complex but also unlike any other black ale I have ever had. Great malt character with hops that keep things balanced and set the sugary notes off in just the right way. Really well done.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The beer pours almost black with a big khaki colored head.

S: Smells of roast, a lot of roast, and some dark chocolate. Not terribly hoppy, unfortunately. Some moderate pine notes, which is really it. There is a mild acidity and some slight metallic notes.

T: Interesting flavors of dark fruit and dark chocolate. Big time ash and intense flavors of roasted malts. There is a pretty strong bitterness, some mild coffee, and also some chalk. Pine and citrus peel, a mild herbal quality, are really it as far as the hops.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I like a lot of Black IPAs, but this was not very good.

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Photo of superspak
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into oversized wine glass. Pours clear dark brown color with a huge 3 finger light tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap that lasts. Nice thick lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, bread, roasted malt, chocolate, orange, and pine. Nice complex and hoppy aromas. Taste of big chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, orange, and pine. Decent amount of bitterness present on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, chocolate, and roasted flavors. Medium carbonation and full bodied. Nice creamy mouthfeel and smooth drinkability for the alcohol level. No alcohol in the taste and a fair amount of warming present on the finish. Overall, a delicious black ale. Tons of flavor and complexity with easy drinkability for the alcohol level.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received as part of my Birthday BIF box from dmeadows; thanks Denis! Been looking forward to trying this one.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for about two minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, rooasted malts, bready malts, light chocolate, and some earthy notes at the end. Big hops up front which then give way to some earthy and musty notes. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, roasted malts, and chocolate malts. All four mix together up front into a nice combination. Some nice bitterness up front as well due to the hops. Also some bready malts, light vanilla, and light alcohol.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy body, goes down very easy for 10% ABV. Great mouthfeel.

d - I thought this was a very drinkable, enjoyable Black IPA. I thought the mouthfeel was amazing and I didn't have a problem drinking the bottle by myself. The smell and taste have that interesting Black IPA combination of hops and chocolate/roasted malts, but this beer does it better than most. One of the better Black IPAs I've had; would certainly have again. Another good beer from Captain Lawrence.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this one. Served in a Cigar City tulip.

A - A nice voluminous tan foam settles to a thin ring, some wispy cirrus patches, and minimal lace. Dark brown body.

S - Dark malts, sugar cookie, baker's cocoa, roasted grains, and some nice floral and citrus notes. Even at six months it still smells very much like a Black IPA rather than a stout or porter.

T - The flavor is quite good as well, with tons of sugar cookie, sweet cocoa, and a touch of citrus. Alcohol is surprising well-hidden - didn't even realize this was 10%. Also avoids the charry and astringent finish that I dislike in many beers of this style.

M - Somewhat thin for the style, and a bit dry and gritty. Pleasant active carbonation, and minimal alcohol presence. Could use a bit more heft and creaminess.

D - This has held up surprisingly well for the style, and I enjoyed it quite a bit in its current state. Hopefully Captain Lawrence will revisit this beer again in the future so I can try it with its full hop presence.

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Photo of Billolick
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle purchased at the brewery in Pleasantville a few days ago. Vince V. says this is a "Black DIPA". No bottling date info. The label is top notch, with spacey black and silver designs and nice lightning bolt logos on the corners, well done.

Pours black, dark tan frothy head, leaving respectable fine sheeting and strands of lacing.

The nose is where the excitement starts, its loaded with dark chocolate, mocha, vanilla and later dusty hops. Big and juicy sniff on this one.

First I get another blast of dark chocolate, then dark pumpernickel bread, some vanilla, followed by a jolt of drying, bitter and pungent hops.

Mouthfeel is rich and chewy, like a dark chocolate milkshake, with a hop infusion on the tail end.

Flavorful, complex, dense waves of chocolate balanced with all those hops.

Congrats on 5 outstanding years!

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a chalice at Great Bar Harry in Brooklyn. Certainly an interesting beer. It had a fairly rich character, yet wasn't too thick to impede the drinkability. There was a clear roasted coffee and roasted chocolate note followed by mild dark fruit notes. Overall, was a great beer to have at the end of the night.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Rich and dark. A good pour yields a 1.25 finger head that fades to a decent collar and moderate lacing.

S: Ouch. The hops have faded quite a bit, and it gives off a Pine-Sol quality. A solid dose of chocolate malt lingers in the back of my nostrils, adding a needed perk to the bouquet.

T: Big, bitter pine oil and more of that earthy, chocolaty malt. Quite nice, really. It's much better then I'd hoped for, and at eight months of age, I'm happy with it.

M: Thick and dense, plenty of weight and complexity.

O: I can't believe I buried this one (accidentally) in the cellar for so long. When fresh, I imagine this was the tits. It's got a lot of potential. Sure it's currently past it's prime, but it ain't bad as-is, and one you need to consume ASAP, granted you're still holding.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from tasting notes. Sherry, alcohol and cocoa on the nose. Pours deep dark opaque chestnut to mahagony under a 3” finely bubbled foam cap. Rich chocolate caramel rolls over the tongue bringing roas, coffee, alcohol and a bitter hop accent by the finish. Very creamy texture and a medium full body.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Tim – thanks!

Pours black with a light tan head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts with a light roast and semi-sweet chocolate. Also present are good amounts of pine and light herbal hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts up front are quickly sweetened through the addition of slight toffee and lighter caramel malts. Midway through the sweetness subsides as pine and leafy hops take over, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer tasted too much like a kitchen sink, with too much going on to fully accentuate the positives. Still, it fared better than most beers that fall into that trap. Worth a shot.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a charcoal black color with some suprising ruby highlights when held to light, decent cap of off-white/lightly greyed head, nice sticky lacing. Scent is a huge whiff of hops - quite resinous which combines with alcohol notes to be almost cologne like. Malts are roasty, charred and faint smoke. First sip is quite bold and bitter - one of the most palate scorching beers i've had. As mentioned above, the pine and noticaeable alcohol work together to begin to kill the palate, but the nice roasty, earthy and charred malt notes are able to come through. Medium bodied, uber dry. I was a little hesitant that I wouldnt be able to kill a whole 25oz of this after how bold the first few sips were, but the mouth became used to the heat and the beer mellowed nicely as time progressed.

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Photo of Durge
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A solid jet black color with a big bubbled light tan ring on top and significant lacing. The aroma is easy to catch as soon as you open the bottle. Deep licorice and nutty leaf. Malt-peat and light rhubarb, smoked oak. It's beautiful. The flavor hits a little harder with heavy dark chocolate malt, more licorice-molasses and a hint of meaty smoke. As is usually is the case this big beer only improves as it warms. The body is full but not syrupy or cloying. Carbonation is subtle for a solid, slick feel. Alcohol is a bit evident but not intrusive at all. Awesome dark ale.

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Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, shared with a few friends.

Appearance is is not far away from black with a two finger head.
The smell of 5 Years has pine, resin, hops, and something mint like. Its` taste hits with malts right away, hops, more resin, along with a pleasant sweetness. MF is hearty, with some smokey charcoal in the finish. A very nice black ale from CL.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown beer, almost black, with a khaki head that left some nice sheets on the side of the glass.

S - Some resin, faded earth notes and hops, burnt caramel, roast. The hops on this are gone but it smells pretty nice.

T - This beer drinks pretty big, and reminds me a bit of a porter. Very earthy, particularly on the finish with some nice roast. Hops has faded with time, but you can stil tell this is a black IPA.

M - Pretty thick, close to full bodied, soft carbonation.

O - Good beer, would like to try this a little fresher. This is a pretty intense black IPA, can't drink tons, but has solid taste.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was at the Huntington Superstar chatting up how much I loved this beer when I had it on tap at The Good Life this past weekend only to find out that it was just added to the growler station where I was earlier in the week. Uh...YEAH! I will certainly be leaving with a 32oz fill of this!!!

a - Through the growler, just as black as I remembered, but with a tint of red where the light struck it right. Opened the growler and filled my Portsmouth sniftery tulip. The same frothy head quickly built at the top of the brew and looked great. Frothy and foamy and easily rebuilt after it had gone away. Real beautiful beer upon first pour...kind of like the way I used to admire a guiness...this actually looks quite irish stout like.

s - Strong roasted malts. Some chocolate, some coffee and even some tobacco and a hint of hops, but this is all about the malts. The coffee hint seems to come from the extreme roastiness of the brew...very reminiscent of a high quality gourmet coffee.

t - The flavor, too was intense roastiness and essentially all dark malt with faint hints of chocolate or cocoa. Hops only really show in the bitterness which seems more subtle than I remember from a week ago. Essentially the taste is only roasted malt, which is a flavor I enjoy. Upon second pour I picked up a bit of hoppy vanilla as well.

m - Good carbonation, light to medium bodied. Smooth as silk.

o - Overall, I really dig this beer. So much so that I ran out the other day to pick up a slew more bottles of this one. Nice work captain lawrence...keep on making these amazing beers that fly under the radar!!! No difference in scores from the tap (makes sense since this growler fill was a few hours ago)...can't wait to crack a bottle and see how it compares.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ManVersusBeer for this beauty.

A: Pours super dark, thick, and black as pitch. Massive head that lingers for awhile. Lacing is huge as it drinks.

S: Smells of coffee, chocolate, burnt toast, and huge citrus hops. There is a beautiful sweetness deep in there that I really appreciate in a black ale.

T: Starts off with sweet caramel notes balanced well with roasty bitters. The beer then turns up the hop profiles and becomes very bitter. However... there is a smoothness, a creaminess, a silkiness to this beer that is remarkable.

M: Full bodied beer. The silky smooth malts linger, but are eventually overwhelmed by the bitter hops. Lasting essence is pure bitter hop.

O: If you are a fan of Black IPAs (or whatever they're called) this is a beer that you need to try. Great work by a great brewery.

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Photo of Gmann
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near pitch black color with a huge dense light brown head that slowly settles into a rocky cap, leaving tons of lacing.

The aroma is of fruity grapefruit hop. Not super strong but pleasant.

The taste on the other hand is quite malty. Dark chocolate and metallic notes get things started. This is followed by burnt caramel, licorice and strong roasted bready malt. Some light sour fruit flavors and a nice shot of grapefruit hops round out the flavor profile. Tastes like a hoppy stout/porter.

The beer has a moderate body with prickly carbonation. Malty throughout on the palate and has a light hop twang in the end. ABV seems well hidden for the most part.

A very solid malty brew. Thought it was going to be more on the hoppy side after the aroma but it turns out to be more malt oriented. Probably want to drink this fresh to taste the hops but this will still be good after they fade.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:
A 750ml capped bottle, received from hoppymcgee, opened late April 2011 (thanks, Greg!); poured to a pint glass at around cellar temperature (50 degrees F, give or take)

'Deep, Dark & Hoppy'; brewed with 5 different hops and 5 different malts. Side label includes a nice statement of gratitude from brewer Scott Vaccaro regarding the 5 Year 'Journey' that Captain Lawrence has embarked upon.

A: Gorgeous two-finger head, sturdily-built and tinged the color of toasted marshmallows. Over ten minutes or so, it winnows down to a lumpy cream, thickened at the edges and trailing strands of foam. Not quite 'black' (shows some mahogany at the fringes), but good enough. Healthy carbonation when held to light.

S:Toasted, dry 'grain' aroma - borderline 'burnt', then a nose-twitching spiciness. Liked it at first - then 'ho-hum' afterward. Decent strength yet not a ton of depth.

T: On the more-chocolate, less-ashy side of 'Black IPA' - for which I'm grateful

M: Smooth, actually ridiculously smooth. I may not be a big fan of the style/flavor, but I can definitely appreciate the feel. And this has a very fine one.


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Photo of ngeunit1
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black color with a hint of brown blended in and a finger of frothy mocha colored head. The head very slowly fades down to a ring around the glass lacing nicely.

S - Aroma is full of deep earthy hops and some nice slightly sweet roasted malts. A bit of chocolate and deeper roasted elements mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with a nice hit of earthy hops and deep roasted toffee malts. Bit of bittersweet-chocolate in the background. Lots of roasted flavor. Through the middle some coffee flavor and some stronger chocolate flavor comes through. The finish is a nice blend of the roasted malt, earthy/floral hops and just a tinge of alcohol burn.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels really smooth and creamy without being too heavy. Finish is a bit bitter and dry which is really nice.

D - For 10% abv, pretty drinkable. Nice balanced flavors with a really nice hop profile alongside all of the roasted flavor. Just a touch expansive, but worth it to give it a try.

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5 Years Later from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.