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Frost Monster - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Frost MonsterFrost Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

44 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 44
Hads: 319
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 27.3%
Wants: 18
Gots: 45 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

Imperial Stout aged in Apple Brandy Barrels
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 319
Photo of tigg924
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: high carbonation, 3/4 head, clear, dark brown in color

Smell: dark chocolate and cocoa

Taste: coffee grounds, deep dark chocolate, char, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: roasty with a sweet slight bitterness, medium-heavy body, high carbonation

Overall: A slightly above average American double stout. Nice, roasty, and clean, but not as blown away by this one as some of Captain Lawrence's other small bottle offerings. I would get this one again, but I would not rush out of my way for it.

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Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Frost Monster is dark and lightless as a winter night and has just a sprinkling of white (or, more accurately, greyish) powder atop. It appears dense as a block of solid ice; the beer is so opaque it refuses any highlighting even when held directly against the lamp.

When it comes to American-brewed imperial stouts, it's fair game to expect anything from bourbon to wood spice to a plethora of hops or espresso grinds (and often all of the above). Somewhat surprisingly, this beer doesn't seem the least bit brutish or obnoxious; it smells strong and rich but showcases, quite simply, nothing but dark and roasty malt.

Mind you, said malts do pack a ton of flavour: coffee beans, dark chocolate, smoke, roast, black licorice and a subtle trace of caramel sweetness. There's also lush notes of vanilla that accompany the chocolate brownie character derived from the roasted grains. It's a straight-forward (read: 'classic') example of a stout but no less strapping or robust.

Frost Monster has the subtle, dark fruity esters and warming anise-like note that is customary of traditional Russian Imperial Stouts (as opposed to modern, American-inspired interpretations that stress the espresso and decadent fudge profile). The mouthfeel marries black currant sweetness with a tarry texture and a lightly lingering roastiness. Alcohol is inferred but not flaunted.

Given the hop-beast that is Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA and the colossus of sourness that is Cuvee De Castleton, I expected Frost Monster to be a mammoth of an imperial stout, an embodiment of all that is rich, indulgent, gluttonous about American craft beer. But instead this turned out to be a textbook example of a classic RIS. It's a delicious, flawlessly brewed beer.

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Photo of Kendo
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black in appearance, though not as thick and motor-oil-like as some of this style. A small chocolate brown head settles on top but dissipates quickly.

S: Coffee, roasted barley malt and a touch of chocolate. Alcohol is noted as well as it warms.

T: Roasted coffee beans, roasted malt, molasses and generic fruitiness are all there, as well as the alcohol, which acts as a drying agent at the end of the sip. A bit sweeter than your normal RIS/Double Stout, and there's not really much chocolate - though I get a bit of cocoa powder - which is a surprise given the nose. Alcohol heat and drying impression linger in the aftertaste.

M: The feel is interesting - quite fizzy, carbonation-wise, which makes it feel lighter on the palate than would otherwise be expected, but also provides a certain sharpness or bite (most RIS's, in contrast, are more syrupy-thick and smooth). This one is, however, a heavyweight.

O: This is my second time having this beer; I really liked it the first time I had about a 4-5 oz portion. Now that I'm sitting down to review this, however, I'm finding it less impressive. It's good, but doesn't blow me away like a world class big stout.

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Photo of Gmann
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color with a short dense brown head that settles into a thick ring. Very creamy looking.

The aroma is of roasted barley with some char. Bittersweet chocolate and perhaps some cocoa. Some anise. Big beefy stout aroma.

The taste has more of a milk chocolate flavor. The roast is fairly mild but provides a good base flavor. Good woody flavor. Seems to have some oat, as it is quite smooth, but I am not certain. Anise is definitely present. There is a bit of an alcohol note in the finish which is slightly unpleasant.

The feel is full with prickly carbonation that helps break up the body. Sweet and bitter on the palate, good balance. Slightly sticky and chalky in the finish. Bit boozy as well.

I think this is a good stout but the booze presence is a bit harsh. Tone it down a notch and this is a very good stout.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with a Bottled Date of12-05(?)-2013. Pours a rich, very dark brown color with a 1/4 inch of brown head. Virtually no lacing. The aroma is earthy and slightly nutty. Molasses, caramel and dark fruits. The taste is earthy as well. Hints of nuts and chocolate. More dark fruits and black coffee towards the end. Earthy, nutty and dark fruits at the finish. Slick mouthfeel. Fairly noticeable alcohol presence. Overall, pretty solid beer.

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Photo of scootny
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a welcome winter blues blast for me.
A lovely dark cola with a brown head a nice amount of lacing. Aromatics include heavy coffee and chocolate with a significant char. Flavor follows suit with sweet roasted malt and lots of coffee and chocolate. Finish is clean and dry with a fuggles/golding signature. Weight is lightly heavy with an oily character. Sweet and malty in the front with a delicious overall drinkability. A plate of
cheeses of various character and time to enjoy this superb beer

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark cola black with tan frothy head of 3 cm that fades to a sturdy edge layer and streaks of wispy islands on the surface.
Aroma is fairly mild with some roasted malt and a bit of dark chocolate maybe a little earthy malt but the nose is mild.
First sip reveals a average body with fine yet robust carbonation that boosts the mouthfeel of the beer.
Flavor is roasted malt, brown sugar, dark choclate and molasses, I also get some booze and a bit of an earthy hop presence. Also a little anice or black licorice makes its presence known as I ip the beer. Slightly warm as it goes down the gullet.
The beer is an okay imperial stout, but the aroma is certainly more mild than I anticipated when I opened the bottle.
Not a bad or flawed beer, it drinks pretty easy, but I admit to being a little disappointed as I finish it off.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a small head, and no lacing.

This smells like burnt coffee grounds, ashy malt, and heavy duty booze.

My mistake might be having this fresh and not aging it for a few years. However, a beer should be ready when it's actually bottled. If it's for sale, it should be ready to go. As it is now, this is way too boozy and unbalanced. It's got astringent booze, with a burnt malt and burnt coffee that's slightly unpleasant. Not really a fan of this at all. I think some barrel-aging would really improve this one. I'm not one to typically just say everything is better in barrels, but I really think this one would be.

This is medium bodied, with a low level of carbonation, and a low level of drinkability.

Not all that great. Captain Lawrence has done better.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a rich, 2 finger dark mocha head with decent retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is stringy and layered with great stick. An excellent looking beer.

Nose is liquorice, chocolate, smoke, roast, cocoa and fudge. A light booziness sweetens the background a bit. Real solid.

Opens chocolate, cocoa, liquorice and smoke. Roast and espresso in the middle mixed with more chocolate, booze and coarse smoked malt. End is sweet with some hints of dark plum and other fruit. Coarse and slightly hot finish with a sticky chocolate, liquorice, and roast aftertaste. Pretty good.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth but a bit boozy in the mouth and goes down rich and warm. Finishes thick and silky with a messy, lingering aftertaste. Solid.

This beer is a pleasant surprise after a couple of misses by Captain Lawrence. Certainly worth trying and one of the better offerings of the style from a NY-based brewery.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to an oversized wineglass (HF stemware); bottling date of December 6, 2013 printed in yellow ink on the shoulder of the bottle (“BOTTLED 12062013 1248 844/846”), making this just about three weeks old on the date of consumption. Mmm, fresh impy stouts . . .

Appearance (4.5): Two easy fingers of fine-grained, cappuccino-colored foam rise off of the pour, capping an effectively jet black body. It shows good retention, taking its very sweet time to die down and leaving a wide, almost unbroken collar stretching from the surface of the beer to half the head’s original height. So, it’s got outstanding retention for the style.

Smell (3.75): Lots of rich, sweet malt tones are evident in the smell of this beer, showing molasses and dark brown sugar, coffee liqueur, brandied fruitcake, and some cocoa powder hanging out in there, too. On the boozy side, but this is a big beer (12% ABV, apparently) and very fresh.

Taste (3.75): All in all, the palate follows the nose, but leaning toward cocoa powder and bitter chocolate (like unsweetened baking chocolate) more than fruitcake and molasses. Bitter chocolate, dark brown sugar, coffee liqueur, and a finish that’s partly numbing (brandied cake) and intensely bitter (utterly unsweetened chocolate), but rich and very smooth up until that point. There are some dark pit fruit notes opening up as it warms.

Mouthfeel (4.0): It’s a full-feeling beer, for sure, but the body does not have quite the heft or viscosity you might expect for such a goddamned big imperial stout. I’m not really complaining, though—it’s full, smooth, and has a very fine, very tingly, very smooth carbonation that spreads all over easily, matching the slightly numbing booziness of the body. It’s not necessarily textbook AI/DS, but it works in its own way.

Overall (4.0): This is, in the end, kind of a different type of American Double/Imperial Stout. It’s not the chewy, liquid espresso brownie you might expect from the style, or the syrupy, imperial milk stout brewed with “natural flavors added” that you might expect from the style, but rather something that hones in on molasses, pit fruits, integrated booze, and malt tones that don’t necessarily elicit coffee grounds and cacao nibs. But it’s still an imperial stout, and it’s still quite good.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Good Beer in New York a few weeks back, having never given this a go before and fortunate enough to find a single bottle of this. Captain Lawrence doesn't have that wide a distribution here in Jersey and this looked relatively appropriate for the season, even though it hasn't been that cold this week. For a Double/Imperial Stout, this felt amazingly easygoing for something with 12% ABV and was just as drinkable as dark beers that were half as strong. This wasn't complex but had just enough going for it that I'd enjoy it again if I were to come across it the next time I'm shopping for beer in the Big Apple!

The pour to this was as to be expected - dark, somewhat thick, and with a good head. Not terribly full when it came to the latter but it was tan present for a bit before fading away to a thin remnant on top of the liquid. A good amount of bitter chocolate and smokiness to the nose, which were both present in the taste as well. The mouthfeel was full and there were hints of dark fruits like plum and currant as well in here. Slightly cloying, the smokiness led to a good taste to this as the bitterness was similar to that of cocoa powder. This never felt like a chocolate Stout but since the alcohol was so recessed, the flavors came out a bit more and the aftertaste was nice and chewy as well, even though there was never a "motor oil" factor here to contend with.

Like reserved Stouts? Look no further. I could feel the alcohol kick in by the time I polished this off but never could I taste it. Beers like this grow on me quickly since they warm me up nicely without having to be shoved down or endured as I have to process the booze. A nice amount of sudsy lacing and some soda-like sweetness served as a reminder that not all Stouts have to taken so seriously and this was fun to drink. Worth the price and the experience of being subtly knocked over as I restrained myself from downing this too quickly. Recommended for those nice, cold Winter nights!

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Photo of SteveB24
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearence: smooth black, very thin , tan head.

Smell: very malty, some smokiness, sweetness, coffee, hint of chocolate.

Taste: virtually identical to smell. But with a hint of alcohol and a distinct freshness that accompanied the rich malts.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, mildly creamy, light carbonation.

Overall: very good. Not too strong/ offensive but complex, tasty, fresh and bold. An excellent winter beer. Plan to buy at least two or three more times this season.

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Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-a silky inky color with about a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-the smell is really nice, lots of rich malt, dark roasted coffee, and dark and milk chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell, roasted malt and roasted coffee bitterness, chocolate sweetness., and molasses Light alcohol warming

M-medium to full body, good carbonation, dry roasted mouthfeel

Overall I was really impressed with this beer, an above average Imperial Stout, definitely worth a try if you find it

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 12/06/2013.

A: Pours a dark brown appearing black in the glass. A tannish khaki head sits on top of this brew. The head sticks around for a bit.

S: Real nice malty aroma to this one. Very roasty tones reminiscent of a coffee. Just a bit of sweetness in there.

T: The focus of this one is certainly on the malts. Big roasty profile with a touch of dark fruit. Hints of licorice or anise. Bit of smokiness it doesnt overwhelm.

M: Full body with a great creamy character. Mild carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall this is a great winter beer. Surprised at how drinkable it is when it clocks in at 12%.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Fresh bottle dated 12/06/2013.

Appearance: Black like the night, thin brown tinted body with an average (tan) head at best rising to maybe eighth of an inch with a hard pour.

Smell: Deep coffee, that really smells good but it leaves very quickly.

Taste: What you smell is what it tastes like, but very amplified. Smooth bitterness. Coffee without the milk and a small dose of dark chocolate that feels mellow. Not sweet like some other imperial stouts, but just enough.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, sticky but could use some tweaking.

Overall: Not a bad pickup, I would definitely buy it again especially now that I found out it was a one time release. Grab a glass and enjoy...Salud!

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottle picked up locally, enjoyed from a captain lawrence snifter.

a - brew poured a watery, yet rich black with a finger of creamy tan colored head that left a coating of lacing on the glass. the head never fully dissolved leaving a thick ring on the surface and a thin skin with some heady islands of foam and bubbles on the surface.

s - frost monster indeed. very roasted black malt...really reminiscent of winter or sitting inside a freezer. big coffee and some chocolate.

t - as the nose suggested, big roast. some black malt and nice coffee notes. nice imperial stout because has the body, but some soft char that gives it a winter vibe.

m - stouty, but with a char.

o - overall, not the greatest imperial stout out there, but worth a try. i'd be interested to see what the barrel does for this...and rum barrel aged, no less. has an interesting twist on the style with all that roast and some of the char making it a lighter side stout.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pitch black tar with a few fat fingers of dark foam head; sheets of lace left behind

S: dark roasted malts and black coffee, some notes of cocoa and charred wood

T: rich and roasty malts, espresso and bittersweet chocolate - almost a smoky element, too

M: medium-to-full bodied, smooth and mellow; slightly sticky and slightly coating

O: nothing cutting edge here, but simply an outstanding Imperial stout, worth a try for fans of the style, the brewer, or new beers

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Photo of Billolick
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 packs of 12 ouce bottles released today and purchased at the brewery. Bottled on 12062013

Enjoyed at near room temp. Pours black the expected black, slight mocha head, film and collar.

Nose is of dark chocolate and coffe grinds.

Dense dark malt flavors along with more coffee, more dark chocolate, more roasted malts and burnt, smokey notes. Delicious...Richly flavorful, oily and viscious in the mouth.

Fine winter sipper. Less then a week in the bottle and this one is drinking like a world class Imperial stout. I put a few botles away in the beer storage area, but not likely they will be allowed to age much, really no need.

Dark beer lovers rejoice this in a very high quality beer..

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Photo of GreenSaint
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice and Strong, but Smooth at the same time. The Perfect beer for real beer drinkers. Frost Monster is definitely a winter beer. I challenge you to not feel a bit like a Viking conquering a foreign land in the dead of winter while enjoying it. It reminds me of a dogfish 120, but with a better taste and cooler label!!!

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Frost Monster from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.