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C-Note Imperial Pale Ale - New Old Lompoc Brewery

Not Rated.
C-Note Imperial Pale AleC-Note Imperial Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

152 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 152
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 11
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Old Lompoc Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: freed on 08-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 152 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GreenCard


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orangey brown, quite hazy, thin layer of tan foam that slowly compacts to a light veneer of suds

Aroma: thick malt syrup, caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit rind

Flavor: robust malt backbone that is sternly put in check by a firm hop bitterness and grassy hop flavor; hints of lemon peel and burnt sugar; finishes dryish with a long-lingering citrus peel bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, slick, slight astringency

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 17:45:42 | More by GreenCard
Photo of Spikester


4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy amber with a cream color two finger head and copious lacings. Aroma is one of the strongest and most pleasant (for a hop lover) beers I have ever encountered. Lots of resinous hops.
Taste is complex hop flavors including pine, resins, medium citrus, earthy, and some leather. The malts are quite pleasant and support the overall bitterness very well. The bitterness builds slowly but never becomes unpleasant. Grapefruit lingers on the tongue. Drinkability is exceptional and compares well with another 100IBU favorite whose initials are PTE. I can't wait to try this on tap in Portland.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 02:25:56 | More by Spikester
Photo of olmatty


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apearance- Pours a creamy and long lasting beige head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing, beer is a slightly hazy amber

Smell- Great blast of hops and some sweet maltiness

Taste- Resinous hop bitterness hits early and stays as the other flavors play out, caramel malts stand up to huge hop presence, a bit of grapefruit rind, yet bitterness returns and hangs long after a swallow. Amazingly uncomplex hop character for so much hops presence. Maybe there's just too many different hops crowding the palate. Flavor is more balanced at room temp.

Mouthfeel- Moderate and smooth carbonation and very sticky resinous mouthfeel

Drinkability- A very big flavor and relatively low 6.9%. This beer might age well as hop intensity mellows.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 07:59:23 | More by olmatty
Photo of Arbitrator


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bomber into a glass, courtesy of end 0))).

A: Murky, dark amber body with reddish / coppery tinge when held to the light. Slow carbonation up the glass. A finger of head that recedes into a collar around the drink, with light filming on the top. Some lacing down the glass.

S: A dual hop component: primarily pine / resin with a secondary grapefruit character. Malts are found in caramel and toffee varieties. A nice hint of cinnamon, too. Some alcohol nose when the beer is at its warmest, toward the end of the drink.

T: This is supposed to be brewed with 7 varieties of hops that begin with "C" -- hence the name -- and I find myself expecting a remarkably bitter taste. Not so. The hops find themselves alternating with a sweet, but not syrupy, caramel and toffee base. And the hop profile itself is quite complex: initially pines and earthiness, but giving way to grapefruit and lemon. The finish is mainly pine bitterness. Very impressed!

M: Medium bodied with somewhat low carbonation. Results in a decently sticky finish.

D: I have just the one, and I was informed this was a close, but poor, substitute for getting it fresh on tap. You can be sure I'll try the real thing if/when I ever get to Portland.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 07:59:11 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of akorsak


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle picked up from Liquid Solutions.

A: The DIPA is a a darker amber color, a fuller brown color with red hues. Despite the darker color, the ale is interrupted by neither sediment nor haze. A finger and a half of white foam has left a trail of lace.

S: The nose is loaded with caramel malts, more than I expected from a double IPA. That sweetness is amplified by piney hops, resiny with a floral finish.

T: The first sip reveals more hops than the nose let on. That increased bitterness adds much needed punch. Pine notes are amplified by grapefruit and citrus flavors. The floral notes in the nose are translated into the grapefruit and pepper flavors present here. The caramel malts subside a bit and, as a result, allow more hops to emerge. The bitterness is impressive in light of the relatively low alcohol. A very mild DIPA.

M: The mouthfeel is fairly bitter, especially at the end. A touch of heat mid-sip really kicks things up.

D: A decent DIPA, nothing fancy or over-the-top. I'd be content with another bomber or two.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 00:17:35 | More by akorsak
Photo of jdense


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22 oz bomber.

Pretty significant mostly diminishing rocky head with good lacing over cloudy amberish body. A bit piney in the nose, and peppery on the tastebuds, but malt and hops find a surprising balance, especially for a 100 IBU brew. The finish is a bit bitter with moderate alcohol, but not so overpowering as to effect drinkability. A pretty good value at $3.99. Not an every night brew, but a good pairing for spicy foods. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 03:52:41 | More by jdense
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of MSUBulldog25, thanks Brian.
Pours a dark amber in color with a nice two inches of head. Smell is piney hops and a good amount of a malty backbone. Taste is very balanced with both the hops and malts battling for equal time. Very smooth and easy drinking. Very big mouthfeel for a "pale ale". Big and very smooth. Decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 00:15:45 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of jwc215


4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to skourtis for this one!

Pours a beautiful dark amber with almost ruby-ish hues. A thin tan/off-white head leaves nice lacing.

The smell is of pine/resin with some grapefruit/citrus.

The taste is very hoppy - piney, spicy, resiny, citric (grapefruity), yet with a toffee/caramel maltiness adding to the character. This is an Imperial Pale more than an Imperial IPA, as noted on the bottle, as the malt stays in balanced. A souped up pale ale done well!

It has a full-side of medium, firm body.

Alcohol shows perhaps a bit more than the 6.9% and it has quite a strength to it. Yet, still a "drinkable" brew. Very enjoyable with both hops and malt playing in well - as an Imperial pale should!

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 04:31:10 | More by jwc215
Photo of bcm119


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear reddish amber with a fine, thin head. Bright citrus hop aroma. Hops are dominant in front, mostly white grapefruit pith flavors. Nice clean bitterness lasts through the finish. Gentle, toffeeish malt shows mid palate, with a touch of sweetness and some fleeting cracker/biscuit flavors, reminiscent of Lagunitas beers. Mouthfeel is soft, medium body, with fine carbonation. Finishes with solid white grapefruit pith bitterness. A nice ipa, with a lean malt profile and plenty of drying bitterness that makes it quite quaffable for the abv.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 20:41:34 | More by bcm119
Photo of bitterthebetter


4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a rich golden brown with creamy white head

smells like a freshly hopped wort, pungent, piney, slightly citrus. and nice and floral

crisp, piney, fresh, super crisp, ive had less hoppy ipas, lemony as well, and quite floral notes

fresh, citrusy, piney, semi dry finish, medium weight with a nice long, finish, the hops just keep lingering

hoppy, fresh, fruity, bold and yet balanced, this is what a NW pale ale is, a quintessential creation that makes me proud to support breweries like this. and did I mention it was 3.99, i'll be buying a case just to have on hand and enjoy whenever. just as good in the bottle as on tap!!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 10:03:12 | More by bitterthebetter
Photo of msubulldog25


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at NOL 5th Quadrant, a pint during HH for $3.25. MLB All-Star Game on the tube, top of the 2nd.

Brewed with seven "C" hops (Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger).
100 IBU, 6.9% abv.

A: Deep copper/amber, clearly shows plenty of steady carbonation. Served with little head, but leaves outstanding bands of sticky ivory lace.

S: Despite a heavy dose of hops this has a subtly sweet, toffee-like malt and smells of fresh oranges.

T: Yeah, it's got an amped-up bitterness, bit this still has a remarkable malt balance. Blended hops come out a little muddled, with spice, citrus, pine and pith all co-mingled. But so what? It really does work. It's difficult to decide which, if any, varietal 'wins'; they all dance about and reveal themselves at different times.

M: Medium feel that thickens with each sip. A little pucker and a whole lotta mouth-watering.

D: A big IPA that probably should be re-classified as an Imperial, it's very drinkable despite the gravity. Has sweetness, spiciness, bitterness, and tartness all blended so well. This has to one of my favorite local beers of any style, one I don't visit as frequently as it deserves. Seek out the C-Note when in Portland, you'll be glad you did.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2008 01:19:03 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The C-Note is actually their Imperial or Double IPA. It pours a orange color with a solid 2 finger foam head. It leaves some wicked lacing.

The aroma is subdued hop aromatics. The taste is high on the IBU which is around 100. It is quite dominating in that effect. The bitterness does stay in the mouth for quite a while but I felt it was pretty one dimensional. Overall it was a good effort but could use some more complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2008 04:19:39 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of John_M


4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Brass (Horsebrass pub) in Portland.

The beer pours a darkish amber color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, predictiably, there is a huge hop nose of citrus and pine. The beer smells like a hopheads dream and comes across as a serious DIPA. On the palate there is more then your normal underlying sweet malt in this West Coast IPA, but with a huge amount of hoppy bitterness to counter it. This is really much more like an East Coast DIPA then a West Coast IPA/DIPA. The huge hops are present all the way through, giving the beer a long, bitter, hoppy finish. The mouthfeel in this beer is decent, but the alcohol is a bit more noticeable then I'd like, especially considering it's only a 6.9% abv. beer. The beer actually seems a bit heavy and tiring to drink, and frankly I'm surprised the abv. is only 6.9. Hmmmm...

All in all, still a very good IPA from New Old Lompoc.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2008 01:27:42 | More by John_M
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at their 5th Quadrant brewpub, as well as at the BendBrewfest.

Good hoppy IPA. It gets its name from the type of hops:centennial, crystal, columbus, cluster, chinook, and cascade. Of course, just because it has all those types of hops, doesnt necessarily mean the flavors will compliment eachother.

Pours amber with reddish hues. A bit cloudy.

Smell is a bit of bread dough, piney hops, floral citrus.

Taste is great. A bit syrupy in texture, with lots of hoppy citrus and spice. Not in my top 5 IPA's, but this one is one of the best Portland offerings. All 6 hop varieties are not needed, and infact, I think the blend is a bit bland. Its more of a gimick in my opinion, but a fun idea, and im glad they gave it a try.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2007 03:02:30 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of HardTarget


3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The New Old Lompac, menu lists 6.9% abv. Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus, & Challenger hops.

Aroma: Obviously hoppy. Given the pub atmosphere, I wasn’t able to get anything else.

Appearance: Very hazy reddish amber glass with a thin cover that gave a little lace.

Flavor: Juicy and bitter hops (duh). Enough sweet base to keep it from imploding, but left a long acid burn going for a few days.

Mouthfeel: Oily, puckering, medium body.

Overall Impression: Almost a gag beer, like Cave Creek, but not as nasty. “Let’s throw every C hop on the planet at it!” Well, sounds like fun, but the execution just seems a bit amateurish.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2007 04:15:26 | More by HardTarget
Photo of ccrida


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on draft in a shaker pint, the c-note is a hazy dull bronze with a thin, firm, eggshell head that leaves lots of thick, foamy lace.

The nose is moderate, sweet bread dough malt, floral hops and brown sugar. Not as pungent as I expected with the 7 variety hop bill.

The taste is also malty, gingerbread, with piny, spicy hops and a firm bitter backbone, smoother then I expected, hoppy but not overwhelming. Also, not very sweet, in contrast to the nose.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side, particularly in light of the ABV, with low carbonation and lots of hop oils.

While this is not the most in your face big IPA, its very tasty and smooth, and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 03:56:28 | More by ccrida
Photo of ElGordo


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Portland' Red and Black Cafe. Pours an orange-amber hue, topped by a good finger of creamy white head that leaves some pretty lace on the glass. Aroma of floral hops and some lightly sweet malt. Palate is more floral hops, but not enough to be overwhelming. Notes of pine and citrus, as well as a low dose of sweet biscuit lying underneath. Body is rather creamy, a fair departure form the syrupy character of many stronger IPAs. Goes down very well, an excellent companion to a rainy afternoon in our fair city.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2007 22:50:02 | More by ElGordo
Photo of czechsaaz


3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pronounced citrus hop nose. There's an underlying aroma of darker base malts like Munich or Vienna but it's hard to determine for sure with all the hop aroma. Some grassy/earthy hop notes too.

Deep amber colored with a solid light tan head that leaves good lacing. Nice light rising carbonation in the glass.

Very hop bitter start. There is some malt backbone but it's well in the background. I get lots of citrus hop flavor, kind of like sweet oranges and tangerines plus a little bit of woody hop flavors too. Aftertaste is slightly malty but mostly a lingering resiny hoppiness.

Nice medium-full body with really good carbonation level. Not rough or bubbly but very lively.

Definitely one for the hop lover. It's a struggle to get malt balance with this one. But it's not crazy bitter either.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2007 20:40:08 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of RoyalT


2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This IPA is a bright shiny brown in color with the promise of a strong, hardy malt base. The head is a beautiful off-white and will last the night if you let it.

Smell - The big sharp pine and light herbs blows the doors down. The malt is scarce though.

Taste - The utter lack of anything resembling a malt base took away from the wonderful piney hop profile.

Mouthfeel - This is light-bodied, which is way too light for this ale. Without the malt base it became unpleasantly bitter. Even if you enjoy bitter beer, which I do, you won't like this.

Drinkability - I love the hops, but hop water without an ounce of balancing malt is just pointless.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2006 00:33:04 | More by RoyalT
Photo of loren01


3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Had on tap at New Old Lompoc. Poured an amber/reddish color with good lacing and slight frothy white head.
S: Smell is very hoppy, grapefruit nose as well
T: Taste is real hoppy, almost too much for me, much too bitter. Not very well balanced. Hoppiness and thats about it.
M: Mild carbonation, smooth drinking.
D: Not bad, just much too bitter for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2006 05:54:08 | More by loren01
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The New Old Lompoc was rather dingy last night, so I can't be sure that this was slightly darker than I would expect for an IPA. It was a tad cloudy and had a rather weak grapefruit nose.

It definitely claimed to have 6.9% abv rather than 7.9%.

The taste was not as citrusy as I had anticipated. It had a grapefruit tang, but was rather more acrid than many of the hoppy brews I've had lately. Most hopheads would probably enjoy this, although the alcohol was too apparent for my taste.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2005 19:42:23 | More by charlatan
Photo of Crotor


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy, deep mahogany. The pour came with so little head that I was unable to evaluate the head or retention (boo to the bartender!)

The aroma was all big, complex, but maybe slightly muddles American citrus hops.

If there was any malt sweetness to this brew, it wasn't noticable (too cold?), but then again it isn't really an Imperial IPA, despite its billing. The flavor is all big, big, big citrus hops. However, the hops, with their sheer variety of variety, become slightly broader, less distinct, and less sharp. An interesting effect not dissimilar to that of Hair of the Dog's Fred.

The mouthfeel was pretty much what I'm used to in an American IPA - medium and relatively crisp and dry.

Overall, a fairly pleasant and interesting IPA. I'd be interested to see what would happen if they'd amp up the malt and make it a true IIPA - methinks it would improve...

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2005 08:18:08 | More by Crotor
Photo of RedDiamond


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C-Note derives its name from the six varieties of hops that shape its abundantly hoppy character each of which begins with the letter “C”: centennial, crystal, Cascade, cluster, Chinook, and Columbus. The inference to the American $100 bill is suggestive of this beer’s “imperial” nature, though from a strictly stylistic standpoint, C-Note doesn’t qualify as an imperial IPA. The trend is to consider an IPA imperial if it is above 7.5% ABV, or 7.0% at the very least. At 6.9%, C-Note falls short, though it is stronger than New Old Lompoc’s other IPA, Centennial.

Semantics and guidelines aside, this is a wonderful beer to drink and has earned New Old Lompoc some justifiable fame. For starters, this is a beer with a wildly fabulous head: thick, tall, white, authoritative yet gentle as duck down. The smell is of cigarette smoke mingled with crisp floral hops. OK, maybe the cig smoke isn’t coming from the beer. There’s only two places I know of where you can regularly find Lompoc beers and the brewpub on NW 23rd Ave. is a virtual smokehouse. Get past the carcinogenic airs and you’ll find the taste of C-Note to be hearty and classic. This beer alleges to top out at over 100 IBUs yet the hop flavor is clean and appealing, never scorching or burdensome. And the top-to-bottom lace is flawless. This beer will satisfy anyone hankering for a classic Cascadian IPA.

Post Script: New Old Lompoc lists C-Note as being 6.9% ABV on their house menu and 7.9% ABV on their website. The distinction would validate its credentials as an imperial IPA. Either way, the customer should be set straight on the alcohol content of this robust ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2004 05:08:36 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of Thrasher


3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Six hops, all beginning with the letter C, were used in the making of this beer: Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, and maybe Cluster and Columbia? Chelan? Crystal? I forget. Anyway, one of these hops does not agree with me. Not sure which. I've had it in other beers and I just don't like it. I suspect it is Centennial but I'm not certain. Anyway, my personal preferences aside, the beer poured with a good head and lace, much better than the other Lompoc beers I tried, with a very hoppy aroma (of course). The malts are huge, to back up the gratuitous hops, and are firm and woody. Hops are quite herbal and bitter, and linger on the tongue, perhaps a bit too long for me. The bitterness is somewhat obtrusive. The mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is ok, but that long lingering finish from the mystery hop just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2004 00:13:36 | More by Thrasher
Photo of francisweizen


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 liter growler courtesy of GIF 2 and JTFest. Thanks, my man! This stuff is a crystal clear dark ruby red colour with a nice off-white head that bubbles up, stays for a bit, and than dies. Actually this brew is not very carbonated. The smell is of super bitter hops, with some sweet malts WAY in the background somewhere. The hop complexities in the aroma are very amazing, as layer after layer of hop flavor comes out to play. The taste is super hoppy up front with some spices, citrus notes, slight malt, and a very green super bitter hoppy finish. I've had some bitter IPA's in my day, but man, this stuff is absolutely nuts! The mouthfeel is smooth, but a little watery/undercarbonated for my tastes. However, if this beer was very carbonated it may not work well at all. The drinkaiblity despite this beers flaws, massive hoppiness, and SUPER bitterness remained very good. This was probably the most difficult double IPA that I have sampled since becoming a BA. I would definately like to try this again!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2004 21:08:21 | More by francisweizen
C-Note Imperial Pale Ale from New Old Lompoc Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.