Palate Shifter Imperial IPA | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPAPalate Shifter Imperial IPA
1,460 Ratings
Palate Shifter Imperial IPAPalate Shifter Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hops, and lots of them. The aroma is bursting with the classic citrus and pine aroma of American-grown hops. The flavor is dominated by a hoppy bitterness, with just enough malt to make you want to take another sip. (Formerly known as "Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA.")

Added by John on 02-13-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,460 |  Reviews: 565
Photo of giorgia
1/5  rDev -75.8%

Photo of Kwak
1.91/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

this was in the growler for about 3 hours, it poured nice and fresh.
good amber color, nice white head thick tight bubbly head sticks to the glass

the smell was of pine lots of pine, could not smell any thing else

the taste was overpowered by the pine taste of the hops I couldn't taste any other flavors, it was a little dry not very refreshing

the aftertaste was almost stale no a favorite

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Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of aranton
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of Sk8sean86
2.02/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of KWMiles
2.08/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Big thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

Poured out of a bottle into a teku glass. Something was definitely off with this bottle...

The appearance and nose seemed fine, but the taste was something like a combination between the dentist's toothpaste and aspirin. Definitely a bummer since this beer is generally so highly regarded. I would love to give it a second chance sometime!

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Photo of hollywood_15063
2.26/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Photo of PDXHops
2.29/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle, poured in increments into a La Chouffe tulip. No visual dating information.

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a gentle, yet steady, stream of visual carbonation. A finger of white head recedes quickly, but just as quickly begins leaving some patchy lacing. sticky lacing. Subsequent pours increase the head size, but not the amount of lacing.

Aromas are underwhelming. Doughy malts and a slight mustiness somewhat obscure mild citrus and a touch of pine. Old bottle, maybe?

The flavors again have me wondering if this may be an old bottle. Mild citrus, sweet malt, rather boring overall, although there is a decent level of underlying piney bitterness. Malt dominates at the finish, with only sweetness and a bit of booze lingering. This beer is screaming for a serious injection of hops.

Overall impression: Tasty enough, but for the style, too tame, too malty, too uneventful. Not recommended.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.45/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

thanks loren for a couple of half liters of this.

first one was unimpressive, fell flat. promised to review the second, which was kept cold since arriving here in or.

clear golden pour with a solid head. very fluffy and bright to look at. extremely odd aroma. rye bread, honey, and a really stinky, rotten sweaty foot hop note. tastes strong. body is right, but finish is somewhat boozy. the flavor rides a strange line between sweet malts and earthy, pissy green oil. warmth brings a child's chewable vitamin aroma and further flavors of hollow abrasive bitterness.

this is a far cry from the beer i had many times in growlers. unfortunately, this beer needs serious work before the bottles rival the 'P' to the 'E', or most other dipa's for that matter.

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Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
2.46/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What is this?!?!

A noble hop bomb? Had at the gracious hand of a great trader at the Local watering hole

A: Light amber with a quickly dissapating white head
S: Spicy.. not fragrant pine or citrus, just.. like saaz or other Noble, very english hop profile
T: definately not what I expected. This embodies the East coast vs West hop conundrum. Hops like wet newspaper. Very interesting to drink. but I do not like it.
M: effervescent. lively. very deceptive for the higher abv
D: Maybe I'm spoiled on the beer we get out here. This is not a poorly crafted beer. "I" just don't like it. I am glad to have tried it.. especially because a BA brought it out from the east, but hey, some beers don't strike a chord. but I feel honored to have the opportunity to know I didn't care for it.

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Photo of kscaldef
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of cpetrone84
2.66/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75


Pour is a lightly hazed golden yellow with lots of white head and some large bubbles. Nose is heavy bready malt and caramel. Hints of hop but very faint. Either completely old extra or just a rough nose. Taste is much of the same, provides a bit more resin and pine hop. Still not hop forward. Not very good.

review 2/10/10
A-very light translucent golden yellow in color, not the best looking imperial ipa. the head is a creamy slightly off white color that has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is stronger on the malt side and brings a mix of caramel malt and a touch of brown sugar with some piney hops.

T/M-this has a good body and brings a little more hops than the nose did. it is syrupy and extremely smooth coating the mouth as it goes down. the big malt flavors are there bringing lots of caramel malt accompanied by some citrus and piney hops. the hop oils are present as it goes down and the finish brings a touch of hoppy bitterness.

D-this is more like a light american barley wine. it hides the alcohol extemely well and goes down smooth; but it is way to balanced for my taste as an imperial ipa and really leans on a stronger malt taste than its hop profile.

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Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of JLapadura
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of mcss
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of jtmartino
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Bruery snifter. Beer pours a honey gold with almost two fingers of frothy white head.

Beer smells strongly of sweet biscuity malt and some pine. Very little fruity aroma from this one compared to some of the other DIPAs I've been drinking lately (Pliny the Younger and Elder, Kern Citra, Lagunitas SF Fusion, etc.)

Taste is has a clean sweetness up front tapering into some pine and bitter grapefruit. Some grassy notes from the hops. Leaves an astrigent bitter flavor in your mouth at the end. Honestly not as flavorful or complex as I had hoped. Could really use less bittering hops and more aroma.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and even a little creamy. The best aspect of this beer.

This bottle was purchased less than a month ago, but it tastes like it's old. I'm hoping that my underwhelming experience with this beer is due to its age. It is just about average in every regard, and does not stack up to other DIPAs (especially not those from the West Coast.) A little sweet, a little bland, and a little astrigent at the end. I'd drink it on tap, but I wouldn't buy a bottle again. I'm not really sure what people are thinking rating this so high.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz format. Brown glass. Uninteresting label design. Branded black pry-off crown cap. Purchased at a Whole Paycheck in NYC as part of a 4-pack for $10.99.

"Imperial IPA." 9.0% ABV.

Served cold into stemware.

HEAD: ~3 inches in height. Off-white. Frothy and creamy to style. Retention is rather good for the high ABV - ~10 minutes. Leaves a thick coating of lacing on the glass' sides as it recedes.

BODY: Slightly hazy translucent orange-yellow of average vibrance. Nontransparent. Lacks any visible yeast/lees, but it doesn't seem filtered; definitely not a clean appearance.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking imperial IPA, but the appearance isn't unique or special.

AROMA: Fresh citrus jumps out of the glass, hitting juicy notes of fresh tangerine and evocative mandarin orange along with lychee, passionfruit, and papaya. Pale malt sweetness keeps any hop bitterness in check, but all the hop flavour is there, and this aroma is more expressive and vivid in terms of its fruity hop notes than any I've encountered this year. Though there's a blip of alcohol warmth, this is a rather inviting lively aroma that promises a balanced beer with loads of hop flavour. I'm eager to try it.

No overt yeasty notes or off-notes. Aromatic intensity is moderate.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Opens soft, welcoming the drinker with early notes of soft lychee, mandarin orange, and faded tropical fruits (papaya, tangerine), hitting the citrusy hop flavour nicely but not to the extent the aroma promised; it's not all that fresh, expressive, or juicy. Sharp zest intensifies as the flavour profile runs through its structure, culminating in a sharp overcarbonated zest-forward finish plagued by a warm alcohol undertone. Not boozy or "fusel" as the kids are want to to call it, but definitely warmer than would be ideal.

The result is a beer that evokes a booze-soaked tropical fruit profile akin to overpriced girlie drinks on some island resort, giving it a cheap taste. The shallow depth of flavour doesn't help.

Flavour duration and intensity are average. Not a balanced brew in terms of alcohol presence, but the pale malt backbone is enough to prevent the hop bitterness from really hitting the palate hard. It's not badly built all things considered, but the aroma promised so much more than the taste delivers.

Smooth and wet, but too boozy to be refreshing in spite of its relative softness. Certainly overcarbonated (sharply so in the third act), and a bit thick. Creamy, hinting at orange creamsicle when coupled with the citrusy flavours. A softer, juicier, cleaner mouthfeel would be ideal, as would less overt alcohol.

OVERALL: I've lived in New York six months and as much as I keep trying to get into these Captain Lawrence hoppy ales, I never seem to like them as much as everyone else. I commend the brewery for their sour ales, but this hop profile isn't great, the beer doesn't deliver on the promises of the aroma, and it's way too alcohol-forward for my taste, tanking its drinkability. Not a bad beer by any stretch, but far from world class. Won't dazzle the discerning drinker, and I wouldn't buy another 4 pack, but I'll enjoy polishing off the one I got. Decent at I just keep stumbling across old bottles from this brewery or something?

C (2.84) / AVERAGE

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Photo of AdamPenna
2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky amber. Lots of sediment. Good-looking fluffy white head, about two fingers-worth, which shrinks half a finger. Attractive lacing. In the bottle, the aroma seemed more hoppy than in the glass. Smelling mostly sweetness, malt. Mouthfeel is ok. Not much carbonation, none of that oily feel I like. I'm not getting much of the hops. A little alcohol kick. Some sourness, too. I was going to have one of these at Canterbury Ales in Huntington, NY on tap this afternoon, but had to leave after one Dogfish Head 90 Minute. Maybe it's my bottle, but I'm not impressed. This beer isn't exactly the ultimate for hop lovers as the bottle claims.

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Photo of largadeer
2.99/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle kindly supplied by Dyan. Thanks, big guy.

Pale golden-amber, brilliantly clear and bright, this is a beautiful beer. Two fingers of head settles down to a thin disc that retains very well.

The nose is signature East Coast DIPA; big malts to match big hops with solventy alcohol backing it up. Sweet and tropical with scents of pineapple and Mandarin orange.

Opens up sweet on the palate, honey and caramel flavors competing with fruity, tropical hop flavors for the forefront. Medium in body, thankfully not too syrupy, but not nearly as crisp or dry as I'd like. Finishes with a blast of resiny, herbal hops that, while not too bitter, have an odd astringency to them.

Not a bad beer on the whole, but really rough around the edges. The sweetness muddles the hop flavor, and the finish is unpleasantly rough. Needs some work.

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Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of phishphorce
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of KMitch
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of Noparking24
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of John_Squires
3/5  rDev -27.5%

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,460 ratings