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 cjgiant
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Pours a vibrant gold that somehow lens both slightl orange and slightly yellow. Head isn't strong, but rushes when beckoned by a swirl.

Nose is sweet peach nectar, which really shines after a swirl (and is more subdued without). A not very ripe tropical fruit skin bitterness is sensed on a calm beer, and a sharper ripe spring onion after a swirl. I've never noted a beer be so different in sense and strength swirled and not.

Taste starts clean, allowing a lightly alcohol burning/biting note to hit me. It doesn't come alone, but strikes me more than the peach, pineapple, green pine cone flavor I also get. The latter is nice, the former doesn't work as well for me. A raw herbal bitterness and a clean, Pilsner malt-like maltiness close the beer (another nice aspect).

I liked a good number of aspects of this beer, but I also was not a fan of others. I can see why the ratingbis high for most. If the nose was more obvious or less hide-and-seek, I'd rate it higher individually. So it could inch higher, but my overall is decent n the verge of inching lower, so that may be a wash.

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Photo of dpgrifs
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Timfromthemainland
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Vetbidder
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice look to this beer. Scent is of citrus with some fleshy tropical fruits and slight pine sweetness. Tropical fruity flavors to start with some pine bitterness to balance out the malty sweetness. Nice depth of flavor and decent carbonation on this beer with alcohol well hidden.

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Photo of bacher468
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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 tone77
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of tropical fruits, pine, resin. Taste is dank, resin, orange peels, pine, considerable bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer. I like my hops, but this one may be pushing the envelope just a bit.

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Photo of MrFabulous
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a 64 ounce Growler that I got at the brewery while watching NFL playoffs. Very well disguised 9% ABV. Loaded with piney grapefruit hops. Its so citrusy that you can drink this one year round. Highly recommended. Will need to reload the growler in preparation for Patriots in Superbowl.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am in the midst of the Bottle Backlog Eradication here at Chez Woody & I am elated to be back in the world of hopheads (at least temporarily)! These are glorious days in which we live.

From the bottle: "When your everyday IPA no longer satisfies your hoppy nectar craving - you've experienced a Lupulin Threshold Shift and the only cure is more hops! Palate Shifter is brewed using only the finest American hops and dry hopped for an extra aromatic kick!"

I Pop!ped the cap in the happiest, jauntiest of ways & could barely bring myself to perform a gentle pour, but it has been a long day & once more, I do not feel like dealing with a (potential) mess. An in-glass swirl proved my concerns to be founded as three-plus fingers of foamy, rocky, bone-white head came jumping up at me, forcing me to take an unexpected sip before falling back to wisps. At least there was some decent lacing left in its wake! Color was Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5) with NE-quality clarity, prompting a premature visit from the Gelt Gang of Mammon, Midas & Croesus. They are totally geared up for tomorrow's Black & Gold Doubleheader, beginning with a LOT of black & gold as the BOS Bruins visit the Pens, followed by Th' Stillers at the Patriots, but they are not adverse to some nice gold in the meantime. I'm with them, especially given the 24-carat, NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like six kinds of dank, including pineapple, grapefruit, pine resin, grass, black pepper and sticky, resinous dank. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was a riotous admixture of crazy hoppiness to include (initially) pine resin and pineapple, but then exploding with grapefruit and pepper! Oh my. I love what this style has become/evolved into. Early on, too many DIPAs were too malty and boozy, overwhelming the hops, but not in this case. There was never any question that hops were being showcased in this one. Finish was dry, but more hoppy than outright dry, if that works. The inherent sugars were well into the background, but it was not gasping. More, please.

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Photo of wertschy
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rjvanston
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bdel34
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Space_Flight_Navigator
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DMcGirr
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NonicPanic
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hozersr
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wheels2532
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of revchris01
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stofko1992
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Budinetz
4.99/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a Belgian tulip glass. Bottled on 11-22-16.

Pours a slightly hazy, golden straw color with a white frothy head that dissipates moderately. Some axing forms around the glass over he course of imbibing.

Smells dank and citrusy with a medium malt balance detected. I smell a little fresh citrus on the back end.

Tastes of sweet malt up front with a citrus bite, followed by very pleasant bitterness. A wonderful array of flavor!

Mouthfeel is a perfect representation of this style. Sweet up front with light carbonation, followed by acidity, and then finishes dry. It does not drink like a 9% abv DIPA. Amazing.

Overall a solid Imperial IPA that is well balanced and quite drinkable despite the high abv. This can be very dangerous because you can pound these back and not even realize unless you are prepared for the 9% abv!! Captain Lawrence creates some amazing beer and this is among their elite. I would definitely seek this one out again!


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Photo of DIM
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was an upper echelon DIPA for sure! Scant malt balance for wave after wave of delicate tropical fruit and a prickly, tickly dankness with minimal bitterness and well disguised warming alcohol.

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Photo of rdoggg
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottled 09/27/2016

Pours hazy golden amber with a dense creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like big tropical fruits, fresh pineapple, papaya, passionfruit, melons, mango, orange, grapefruit, guava, bready caramelized malt, with dank herbal earthy grass and resinous pine. Tastes like bitter leafy green oniony resinous pine, dank herbal earthy grass, passionfruit, pineapple, papaya, melon rind, mango, orange citrus, grapefruit, guava, with some bready caramelized malt. Feels medium bodied, smooth and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a nice DIPA.

 573 characters

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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