Frost Monster - Aged In Oak Barrels
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Frost Monster - Aged In Oak BarrelsFrost Monster - Aged In Oak Barrels
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,843
Ranked #16,645
3.92 | pDev: 7.65%
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
Frost Monster - Aged In Oak BarrelsFrost Monster - Aged In Oak Barrels
Notes: Deep and dark as a cold winter night… The Frost Monster is lurking. Brewed with a massive amount of malt to give it the rich, roasty and smokey flavors expected of such an ale, and then aged in apple brandy oak barrels. Drink it this winter or lay some down for winters to come.
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 48
Photo of JebBeerFish
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark Black, almost no head on gentle pour.

S: Not really a lot going on here. Mild malt and Baker's chocolate.

T: Some mild char, no real RIS sweetness, some bitter Baker's chocolate. Not what
I was expecting. I paid a premium for two bottles, and a pretty unremarkable brew.

F: Average for the style.

O: Not worth seeking out, and in my opinion, not worth purchasing.

The BA description says aged in brandy barrels, but I believe this to be a mistake, The bottle label on states aged in oak barrels. I did not get any brandy at all.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Breaking out the big beer for the winter season, these northeastern brewers know how to shake off the cold in style. Thir imperial stout in oak barrels emerges with a roasty, toasty and spicy warmth that'll take the senses straight to the campfire even in your schedule will not.

Pitch black and firmly capped with an arid honeycomb structure precedes a roasted scent of molasses, espresso, cocoa, walnut and grilled fruit. A light tingle of brandy teases the nose ahead of a taste that rolls onto the tongue with a host of burnt sugars. Toffee, molasses, caramel and burnt toast carry a sense of roasted marshmallow.

As the abundant carbonation carries away the sweetness, the remnants of roast remain. Sharp with their near ash-like structure of smoky chocolate, dark roast coffee, roasting walnut and the char of toast will sooth the palate for stout lovers while the ale trails with a woodsy bitterness of turkish coffee and a hint of grilled currant, grape and plum. Mild spice of aniseed and red wine offer a sense of dryness with a followup of burnt pine needles.

Full bodied and rich on the palate, the beer trends dry with roast because of the militant carbonation, the evaporative drying nature of high booze and the beer's light tannic astringency of roast. Mild esters help to promote a slim acidity that carries the twang of over cooked coffee. ...but in a good way.

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Photo of thebeers
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Opened with a mighty pffft -- bad sign from the start. Pours a ruby-tinted black with an excessively large dark tan head.

Big whiff of carbon dioxide when sniffed soon after pouring, but after waiting an obnoxiously long time, there's... Roasted malts, oak, faint chocolate and light barrel notes in the aroma, including vanilla, and yes, maybe even a touch of apple.

Chocolate malt up front and a touch of smokey, roasted malt, too, with some faint but definite cider-like apple sweetness and a kiss of alcohol behind. There's some depth there, but it's hard to enjoy any of it with the awful carbonation.

Hints of full body and creaminess in the mouthfeel, but again, they're hidden behind the overly strong carbonation.

Obvious flaw here. Disappointing. Not at all worth the money.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a speiglau BA glass.

Like that k is a pitch black with cafe au lait head.

Aroma is roasted malt with a slight alcoholic burn that fills the nostrils.

Aroma is lots of roasted malt a little vanilla from the barrel but but not much more from the barell.

Good beer, but in terms of BA stouts I could use a bit more development.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
~1 year from bottling date (no bottle date present)

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Finger thick, fizzy / creamy tan colored head, hangs around. Small amount of head lacing on glass, lots of alcohol legs.

Aroma- Brandy, sweet apple, spicy oak. Creamy vanilla, toasted nuttiness, almonds, milk chocolates, coconut. Cocoa, roast, smoke.

Taste- Dry oak, spice, sweet apple brandy, boozy fruitiness. Tons of vanilla, nuttiness, coconut, sugary almonds. Milk chocolates, dark fruits. Roasted malt, cocoa, dark chocolates, coffee, smoke, tobacco.

Feel- Medium bodied, sugary sweet and slightly creamy, drying at times. Moderate carbonation, crisp but not overly so despite lots of visible carbonation.

Overall- Apple brandy barrels really highlight the flavors and complexity of this beer. Tons of boozy fruitiness and a sweetness that balances the big robust roastiness of the base beer.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage served cold (50 degrees F) in a teku

Appearance: Great bottle presentation. The metal cage was not as flimsy as other CL cork/cage bottles. The beer poured out a fairly thick deep brown with a massive 4 finger head of mocha foam that was more like thick mousse. Tons of sticky lacing an the head sank form to a series of huge bubbles.

Nose: oak, bakers cocoa, milk chocolate, cocoanut and mixed nuts, coffee, sweet vanilla ice cream, complex char and sweet alcohol. Some booziness but nothing too crazy, it is 12% after all.

Taste: massive coconut and almonds, an interesting mixed nuts salinity in there as well, very unusual. Medium body, I think it could use a bit more even with it being served cold. Boozy but not hot at all. It has a numbing quality to it. Light cocoa, milk chocolate, vanilla sweetness, acrid and bitter coffee in the finish. Lingering bitter finish

Overall: This was a very interesting barrel aged stout. The complexity and depth of character is wonderful. I do wish it was more chewy and fudgy like a 12% imperial stout should be. I'll cut it some clack considering that it is barrel aged however it should have more viscosity. All in all I really liked this offering from The Captain. Well done.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this enjoyed first at the annual birthday stout tasting '16.

The color is black -no light passing through and medium brown head with 2 fingers depth from a hard pour. The smell is rich with malt more sweet and coffee-like with a earthy element and slight wood in the smell from the barrel adding a slight vanilla,caramel scent. The feel is rich with mouth coating viscous quality with noticeable alcohol in the semi-sweet finish.

The taste is great lots of dark malt with plenty of the oak in the flavor but pretty well balanced between the roast and dark plum like sweetness with an assertive spice from the hop yet there is the apple brandy adding some alcohol and fruity essence too. This was a fine stout I am glad it was shared since it is an intense 12% beer

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Photo of pants678
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Black with beige foam.

Yeast, sweet cocoa.

Chocolate and alcohol. Not completely off balance but will hidden by carbonation. Pronounced esters from what might well be Belgian yeast. No coffee, char, bite or char. Syrupy, though.

Way over carbonated.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks, Xenoreactive!

Pours a borderline pitch black color. The head is three fingers high...distressingly high, in fact, and tan in shade. Retention is excellent, though. Webs of lacing stick to the glass, almost like a Belgian brew (more on that later). Because of my suspicions, I'm pretty sure the foamy head is to style. Ergo, I'll give it a (very) high score here.

Seemingly European-style in its approach, the aroma is not shy about the dark chocolate and the smoke. Roasted, licorice-y, and hoppy hints also show up. I have to ask - was this brewed with Belgian yeast? There are distinct fruit and bread qualities one wouldn't expect in a "standard" oak-aged imperial stout. That aforementioned oak seems a bit mild, and the Belgian yeast is a huge curveball. Otherwise, I end up liking what's in my glass.

Yep, it's pretty damn clear - this is Belgian-style. For one, there's a heftier dark fruit presence than many other imperial stouts of this ilk, especially on the back end. Also on the back end is a fairly defined booziness, evoking rum-soaked raisins rather than pure rocket fuel. Of course, I shouldn't neglect mentioning the initial notes of roasted malt, licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and caramel. One could mistake the finish for being metallic, but that's just the Belgian yeast talking. I get no significant oak presence, though.

The seemingly two-faced. At first, it seems to be surprisingly light and airy - in other words, it's damn near impossible to tell it's 12%. On the other hand, this really starts to coat the palate after a few sips. While suitably viscous, I think it could feel creamier pre-swallow. This is a sipper through and through.

Interesting, yes. Great, no. I find the usage of Belgian yeast both its greatest strength and ultimate downfall: while it gains some depth even compared to other monster imperial stouts, it seemingly throws the balance of the brew out of whack. It's alright, but clearly not worth the exorbitant price it's being offered for.

3.29/5: Definitely a total beast, for better or worse

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured deep black with two fingers of medium brown head.

Roast, burnt oak and dark fruit notes dominate. The roast is almost burnt smelling.

A huge roast profile up front that gives way to charres oak, coffee and a hint of vanilla. A big, bitter burnt roast flavour lingers in the finish.

Full body. Light carbonation

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark, dark brown/black color with a massively thick, creamy, sticky head.

S - Oak, coffee, faint smoky sweet chocolate.

T - Astringent, strong oak tannin, dark chocolate, and the bourbon is being overpowered by oak.

M - Thicker medium body, very dry.

O - The oak needs to be dialed back.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles in November 2015. Decided to try one today (this is in 2015). Poured into ale glass.

L: Cork popped out with much vigor. Had to interrupt pour several times because of giant foamy head. Eventually settles down to one-finger light tan head and some lacing. Long retention. Beer is very very dark.

S: Coffee, oak/wine, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, a little bit of alcohol on back end.

T: Not bad, but not what you'd expect. Pretty sweet, very coffee, chocolate-y, not much complexity in malt profile. Oaking plays in a bit at the end. Too sweet, I think.

F: Light to medium, should be fuller. Balance OK, ABV unknown but I am thinking 8-9 because not much burn or drying. Almost too drinkable for the style.

O: It's not bad, but doesn't carry the weight or complexity of serious imperial stouts and at this price it should.

Update: Cracked the other 2015 vintage bottle 9/8/18, nearly three years later. Remarkably unchanged, expected more melding but it still feels somewhat raw and amazingly more boozy than before (or my sensitivity has changed). Does feel a bit more full-bodied. Really can't change my review at all. This is what it is.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11/11...pours dark black, light layer of spotty tan foam. Rich roasty and smoky nose. Woodsy and oaky. Hearty robust bitter coffee flavor. Boozy. Packs a wallop. Heavy carbonation in the mouthfeel. Puckers a bit. Lot of wow.

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Photo of RacerX5k
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Grabbed this for one reason it was $6.49 in NJ I knew that was way low and a quick search confirmed this runs alot more $ in NY. Feel bad for anyone paying that unless you like big chocolate stout aged in wine barrels. I do not. Way too much carbonation left me feeling very bloated for one 12 oz beer. And killed the mouthfeel also. Pass.

This would probably be real good aged in bourbon barrels, boring as that may be.

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Photo of bgold86
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked 12.7 bottle, was super hype for this, poured into a large snifter/stem glass, pours a deep black, big quick dissipating dark brown foam. Beer is a little on the light and thin side, as one of my favorite pc bartender says on beers that are meh "its really drinkable", aka not a lot going on. Very sucky as this bottle was $18.99!

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Photo of CHickman
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black color with a massive 2-3 finger foamy brown colored head that was full of bubbles of all sizes and air pockets which popped as this head dissipated very slowly, leaving good lacing sticking to the glass. The head never seemed to go away and was very impressive, leaving craters as it went down.

Smells of molasses, yeast, charred wood, oak barrels, coffee grinds, toffee, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and some earthy notes mixed in with all of the sweet chocolate aromas. Not sure what spirits were in the barrels prior to this brew, but the essence is generally sweet and chocolate-y with fine char and oaky accents.

Taste has a rich sweetness up front with a mix of molasses, caramel, toffee, cocoa powder, brown sugar and then chocolate syrup, maple syrup, Hershey's Dark chocolate bar and some coffee grinds. The next wave of flavors is booze like dark rum or bourbon, followed by piney hops, tobacco, tea leaf, some candy like Whoppers and then earthy tones including peat moss, charred campfire wood, sticks and the oak barrels. The finish lets out some vanilla, light yeast and possibly hints of toasted coconut, this gets more complex and tasty as it warms up (and I let is sit for 30 minutes before consuming). The chocolate, malts and oak or charred components all work in harmony as it brings a little warming heat, but does not let the alcohol become like a shot of whiskey.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth with a thick chewy body, viscous even; mild carbonation and a light bitterness add to the experience which trails off with a nice mix of coffee, booze, chocolate sweetness and smoked grains or malts. Overall a really enjoyable beer, which I will seek out. I'd love to try this well aged since it was really tasty at this stage. The only real negative aspect of this beer was the price; about $15 for a 12 oz corked bottle. An excellent sipper for a cool night.

3/31/2017: Opened my last 2015 bottle and it poured just as good looking, with a massive head that faded slowly and was very fun to watch as it went down. Aroma was brown sugar, toffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses, metallic notes, charred wood, coffee grinds, and oaky notes which impart some vanilla. Smells better with age, and tastes a little better with age. The coffee, dark chocolate and molasses are more pronounced in this aged bottle, with boozy notes trailing and bring some vanilla and oak with it. Smooth with no alcohol burn, aging the Frost Monster - Aged In Oak Barrels is definitely the way to go. I raised the "Overall" score from 4 to 4.25 which pushed the Rating up from 4.13 to 4.18.

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Photo of RandyR49
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a fan of beers like Dragons Milk and Nitro Milk Stout. While not just alike they have a similar feel and smoothness if not body. Given that as a warning Frost Monster is similar but better. Not much better, but it is better. I question weather it is worth the upcharge but that is a personal decision. You will have to forgive me but I only had part of one bottle and didn't note some of the other attributes that Todd mentioned in his "how to" article

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Frost Monster - Aged In Oak Barrels from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 48 ratings