Palate Shifter Imperial IPA | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,444 Ratings
Palate Shifter Imperial IPAPalate Shifter Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,444
Reviews:
560
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
10.71%
 
 
Wants:
227
Gots:
271
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,444 |  Reviews: 560
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a hop story all around, found on tap at The Ginger Man in NYC. Hop aroma, hops in taste, full mouhfeel, with nicely done balancing and creaminess in the mouth making it fairly drinkable. Good representation of the imperial style. All kinds of hops, some lace in glass.

 276 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

awesome brew, my first from captain Lawrence, courtesy of a trade with thebrewo. I kind of rushed through the first bottle of this, but am taking my time with this here second one. the pour is as clear as any beer ive ever seen, absolute glass, sunshine colored, way light for a big ipa, boasting a fluffy and resilient snow white head. the nose is major floral hops, juicy and ripe, but there is a weird malt profile for an imperial ipa. there is Czech pils malts in here and a lighter yeast than the conventional California ale yeast. the flavor is big on hops, super bright and lingering all the way through, again with a pilsener malt profile and maybe even a lager yeast, although that seems unlikely, the flavor is there, and it is crisp like cold fermentation. like walking through a hop grove, if there was a hop/tangerine hybrid that grew on a tree. I absolutely love how light, refreshing, and drinkable this is, sort of defies the style in that way. there is a bit of an alcohol burn in there, no doubt about it. you know its big, but its still deceiving. like many beers, this feature gets more intense as it warms. overall I love the floral hops and the unique lighter malt bill, an expertly made beer, and one that's inspired me to seek out more captain Lawrence beers.

 1,283 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This poured out as a hazy looking golden copper color with a fluffy white head on top. The lacing was pretty good here and the retention wasn't bad either. The smell of the beer gives off some really nice hoppy aromas. The taste was very good at first but it seemed to get a little strange in the aftertaste. I'm not entirely sure why. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, it was thick and oily which I enjoyed. Overall everything but the aftertaste on this beer was good to me.

 484 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours clear yellow with a little head. The level of carbonation is very active and a layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface revealing lacey patterns.
S: There's a huge aroma that smells like a bouquet of flowers intermixed with piney hops.
T: The initial flavors are a mirror image of the smell, with a decidedly hoppy finish that leaves some bitterness on the palate. There are some underlying malts in the flavors but the flavor of hops is rather dominant, as it should be for this style.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and the level of carbonation is perfectly matched.
D: This is very easy to drink. It packs a lot of punch in the way of flavor and the alcohol is very well hidden.

 715 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -30.9%
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 best...do I just keep stumbling across old bottles from this brewery or something?

C (2.84) / AVERAGE

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Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a golden light amber with a half finger of fluffy white head. The head fades to a layer with some very mild lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt in the background with some citrus peel hops. There is some tangerine and pineapple in there as well.

Taste: Citrus peel hop bitterness with enough sweet background to balance out the bitterness. The alcohol is just a bit harsh. The sweetness has some pineapple in it, just like the smell.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: If the alcohol was a bit smoother it would help this beer, but it's quite good as it. I would probably have another.

 718 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy amber color and a one finger head that sticks and sheets

Smell: Smells like a San Diego Pale Ale; lots of tangerine sweet citrus aromatics

Taste: Am I on the west coast? I am tasting the tangerine, with a balancing malt backbone right through mid-palate; nice and bitter after the swallow, but always balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A superb DIPA; may well be the best example I have come across on the east coast and would compete with the best of San Diego, too

(I don't plan to re-review this beer in the bottle, but I will note that I much preferred this beer on tap. In the bottle, though it is still a bitter beer, I find the malt a bit too dominating and the hops a bit too metallic to garner the scores it achieved on tap.)

 829 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dominant citrus hops with light malt backbone. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus hops with some definite bitter notes and a weaker then anticipated malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well made though more malt presence would have benefited this beer.

 393 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.99/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

 843 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into oversized wine glass. Pours a hazy golden amber color, with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with amazing retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some decent lacing is left on the glass as well. Aromas of strong caramel, pine, grapefruit, mango, orange, and spices. Excellent DIPA aromas here, very strong as well. Taste of strong grapefruit, orange, pine, caramel, lemon, mango, and some spices. Decent amount of bitterness on the finish that lingers with citrus, pine, and spicy flavors. No alcohol noticed in the taste or finish. Very smooth medium-full body with medium carbonation. Nice balance of bitterness and sweetness, with the sweetness being a bit more than the bitterness. Very drinkable stuff for being 9% as well. Overall, a very excellent DIPA with great balance and drinkability.

 830 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

From the pour I could tell this was going to be a lighter colored IIPA. It is a peach hued golden color. Pours 1 finger of slight beige head. Leaves some splattered lace that is very bubbly; very unique.

Aroma: A massive amount of floral hops that are very inviting. Some nice notes of grapefruit and caramel with some sugar in there as well.

Taste: This beer has a very big sugar base to it, it seems. A lot of caramel and grapefruit are right up front and then the floral hops push in. It is interesting right on the tip of the tongue there just seems to be a lot of sugar. This beer is good, except that aspect bothers me a big.

Mouthfeel: Nice and bitter, but it has a smooth feeling to it. It shows a little heat here. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a slight dry aftertaste full of hops. Probably one of the best parts of the beer.

Overall, this beer is pretty decent. I really like the mouthfeel for an IIPA. I am having no problem with my bottle, however I am starting to feel a slight buzz off of this. I dig the beer. Would like more if I lived in the area.

 1,139 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is an orange apricot with a brown streak in there. Mild head and not much lacing. Nose is fairly sharp with some really nice floral and citrus notes. The taste features the floral and citrus hops, costarring some light caramel in the background. Feel is fairly bitter and a bit dry. Drinks fairly well but doesn't hit all the right spots.

 392 characters

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 1,444 ratings.
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