Palate Shifter Imperial IPA | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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545 Reviews
Palate Shifter Imperial IPAPalate Shifter Imperial IPA

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

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

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Reviews: 545 | Ratings: 1,396
Photo of joepais
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gregc for this one. Growler poured into a large pint glass produced a fingers worth of white head that turned into a nice lace. The ale was a clear and a awesome looking amber in color.

Aromas of pine and citrus but it is so well balanced with the sweet malts it is hard to call this a hop bomb

Balance is all I can say of this brew it is the epitome of it. Not to sweet not to tart it is hard to tell were one starts and the other ends. There is a great bitter hop presence as well as nice sweet caramel malt in the flavors. Light and medium are words I would use to describe the way it feels in my mouth with a dry finish.

Great drinkability I almost feel cheep using that word for this brew. Great DIPA If I saw this on tap I would go for it for sure

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Photo of ATPete
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in a pint glass at The Jolly Trolly, Westfield NJ

First off, i was shocked to see this beer on tap right around the block from my job. The beer poured a glowing and hazy dirty orange color with a strong head that stuck around the entire glass. Mild nose of very fresh hops and peppery esters. Big smack in the face hops with a huge citrusy grapefruit character upon tasting. There is balance however, its bright hop flavor is countered by a strong semi-sweet malt presence . Medium bodied very clean and very well executed, if this beer truly is 8% the alcohol is very well hidden. Very drinkable.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gpcollen1 for this one! My first growler by mail!

A- Body is a crystal clear deep amber that pours with a large, slightly off-white foamy head. Head slowly subsides to one finger and leaves plenty of lacing behind in the glass.

S-Nose is nice, bright, and hoppy. Citrus (grapefruit) dominates the nose with a sweet malty backbone.

T-Juicy grapefruity hops flavor upfront with a sweet malt backbone, a hint of pine comes through for the finish as the malt fades and the citrus flavors intensify and a slight bitterness emerges. The bitterness disappears quickly along with everything else making one want the experience all over again.

M- Very low carbonation (only flaw...may be because of growler) and body filled with smooth oily hops. Very nice.

D- This is a VERY nice DIPA. Underrated, IMO. Its ranking as one of my favorites. The 8.00% is pretty much unnoticeable and I'm sure will sneak up on me fast as I try to write a paper. My first Captain Lawrence brew and I am looking forward to trying the other two I have in my possession now.

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Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler donation via FooFaa...thanks a bunch!

A-Clear, bright copper with a thin white head that reduced to a thin ring that left sparse lace.

S-Sweet caramel malt intersects equally with citrus and pine hops. Impossible to pick which aroma wins out. Upon warming a interesting aroma of apples/fermenting pineapple comes forth.

T-Initially fruity with citrus notes and then pine bitterness coming to the fore front. Sweet caramel comes through after the bitter hop wave and smooth everything out.

M-Medium body with a sharp lingering bitterness. Somewhat syrupy but not cloying.

D-A well balanced DIPA. Quite sweet but it is well balanced by a healthy dose of citrus/pine hops. Would like to try this one again fresh to see if it's storage has degraded it at all.

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Photo of chrisny4205
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stop by the brewery for the first time last weekend. Very nice brewery. I love small and cozy breweries.

Darker golden color. Still a bright gold color. Head held its ground at about tow fingers. White head.

Great aromatic hops. Earthy and spicy smell. Very inviting to go in and taste.

Taste was amazing. This was a big hop beer but did not over kill you. Very well balanced. There was plenty of bittering hop flavors but nothing over powering. Great beer.

For a big beer it did not sit heavy in the mouth. There was not that lingering film from the sweetness of the malt sitting on your tongue.

Easy to drink. First double IPA that I could have a few with. Also it was listed as 10.0% not 8%. Double bonus points there cause I barely tasted any alcohol.

Great beer great brewery

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Photo of doho95fu
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love strong beers. I love hops. This beer was set up just right for me and delivered.

I stopped by the Captain Lawrence brewery on a snowy Friday and sat for a bit longer than usual as I enjoyed a real solid imperial IPA.

The color is typical and the smell is citrusy, but the taste is what stands out the most. Strong dry hoppy flavor, but not so much that it overwhelms all other flavors present. I still thought I picked up citrus in the taste department. Slight, but pleasant alcohol burn with a surprising malt aftertaste.

Highly drinkable for its class.

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Photo of AltBock
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this Captain Lawrence beer on tap at High Street Grill around 9/2/2008. They served it to me in a Stoudt's pint glass.

This Captain poured a beautiful bright yet cloudy golden orange hue. Sitting on top of this cloudy beer was a great 3/4 to 1 inch head of white foam. This head of foam had excellent retention that left behind a silky white film and a ton of white streaks of lace around the glass. Top notch appearance!

The aroma was bursting with bitter citrus hops, huge amount of tart grapefruit, more citrus fruits, a hint of pine needles, and then this strong hoppy aroma ends with a subtle touch of toasted malts. The hops completely ruled over the aroma as well as the taste too.

The taste was very hoppy with bitter citrus hops, but these citrus hops were well balanced with the citrus fruits. Behind these citrus flavors was a touch of pine, a hint of grapefruit, and a small taste of toasted caramel malts. It was a great hoppy taste without an aggressive amount of hops.

The mouthfeel was slightly dry with a hoppy aftertaste of citrus hops, citrus fruits, grapefruit, and a touch of toasted malts. This strong hoppy aftertaste will linger on for a long time in the back of your mouth.

I liked how the citrus hops and the citrus fruits in the taste combined their citrus powers instead of one flavor after another. Well balanced hoppy beer without an aggressive amout of bitter hops in it. It's another try from Captain Lawrence, but be careful with this one because it will sneak up on you after about 2 of these.

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Photo of beerorRIP
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ The Office

Poured into a regular pint glass yields a small less-than one-finger head that doesn't stick around. The body is a slightly cloudy amber beer with only tiny bubbles floating to the top once and a while. Some lace does stick around during the drink.

A casual smell tells you "HOPS" right up front. Lots of pine and citrus. Not too much else, the malts and other essences can't beat out the lupulin.

Once it's in your mouth, the hops are immediately on your tongue. big time. afterwards a slightly warming alcohol shows up, with a hint of malts, only to be washed out by more hops. hey, this was to be expected....

Oily mouthfeel... but not too viscous.

fairly drinkable, but not something i can just toss back with great ease. although it did go down pretty fast. heh.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a fluted pint glass at Delaney's in New Haven, Conn.

A: Poured a clear copper amber with a tight head of off-white foam and a nice level of carbonation.

S: Straight on holly wreath hop aroma with a bit of citrusy sweetness to it.

T: There's actually a nice level of bready malts and sweetness up front, then that prickly wave of grapefruit and pine comes rushing in. The aftertaste of hops is quite resinous and nice.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty slick and resinous, with a creamy feel first, then prickly due to the hopping.

D: A good DIPA and a decent one to have on hand for hop heads. Can't really taste the high ABV, but it becomes noticeable with the strength of hop flavors and aromas. Well balanced and drinkable for its strength and agressiveness, though.

I thought this was a pretty doog DIPA and tried it based on word of mouth alone. I'd recommend it to any fan of the hops.

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Photo of soccerman7
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Growler

Appearance - bright honey color with 2 fingers of gorgeous head. Lacing down the goblet.

Smell - Intense piney hops. Faintest whiff of malt.
Taste - One of the best balanced IIPA I have had. Hops upfront with citrus and pine. Resiny almost. Then the malt fights back leaving a sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth with well hidden on the strength. A nice
pleasant finish.

Drinkability - One of the finest examples of the style. Worth finding.
Could compete with any west coast version.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A- Dark and deep amber brown color. Insane lacing covering my whole glass leaving cloudy residue. Head lingered forever, making this one bad ass looking double IPA.

S- Smell was really hoppy. Biggg nose of citrus hops. I kept thinking to myself "this is an east coast IPA?" VERY close to a west coast style IPA. Some maltyness in the nose as well, but really the hops dominate.

T- This is truly one exceptional tasting impy IPA. This is a hop heads dream come true. Fresh tasting citric hop balanced out with a nice bready and caramel malty finish. Other sweet flavors mixed in there, but bitter qualities reign supreme.

M- Rich, thick, sticky, creamy. Everything a double IPA should be.

D- This one went down way too fast. A surprisingly good double IPA. This beer is vastly underrated and needs to be bottled as soon as possible.

Impressive as hell from the it out.

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Photo of Moxley
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler to a frozen beer mug - Pleepleus rocks!

A - Poured a light golden yellow with a thin white, foamy head. Head settled quickly leaving sketchy watery lacing.

S - Earthy, grassy smell with a faint hoppy presence

T - Nicely balanced hopped beer with just the right amount of carbonation. Bitter in a good way. Fantastic session beer. Very good representation of the IPA.

M&D - Thanks to the growler, this beer came out with just the right amount of carbonation as an IPA should not be overly carbonated. If you like Green King IPA you'll like this IPA.

Excellent summer beer. Also excellent spring and fall beer. I look forward to trying this again in the winter. I'm sure it will be just as good.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Delaney's in New Haven, CT

Appears a slightly hazy, amber-orange with a foamy one-finger head. Nice sheets of lace all the way down.

Lots of citrus notes dominate, pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit. Some caramel malts rounding off the back end give it a bit of a sweet aroma.

Grassy, citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. A bit sweeter than I like, but not cloying, tolerable. The citrus jumps out but never really gets up and over the sweetness. I would like more of a bigger, bitter hop bomb from this iipa.

Medium bodied, creamy and chewy.

The one really good thing this beer has going for it is that it is pretty drinkable; 8% for an iipa is pretty low.

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

Filled a growler at the brewery during the Cuvee de Castleton release.

64 oz. poured into the special Sam Adams glass.

Pours a clear copper hue with a soft one finger off-white head that falls to a creamy layer of bubbles. Nice webbing left on the sides of the glass with this as well. Aroma is very strong with evergreen pine and fresh citrus. Underneath the big hop boquet is a sweet caramel malt base balancing out the nose quite well. A touch of booze finds its way in the smell too. Taste starts off with a sweet Christmas tree flavor with a crisp grapefruit backbone. Midway through some malt and a touch of honey balance the strong hop body. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with more pine. Medium body with an abrasive feel to it. Carbonation is mild and fits well into the overall profile of the beer. Probably one of the better East Coast DIPA's out there for sure. Pretty drinkable for 8% abv, but you can tell it's there. Hopefully Scott bottles this at some point down the road, if so, I think a lot of people would be pretty happy.

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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.)

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Photo of BBM
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Dek's on 7/11. Poured a cloudy, opaque golden color with a thin beige head. Aroma was somewhat sweet and slightly alcoholic.

The intense floral and citrus hops blend nicely with the huge malt backbone to form a cohesive DIPA that isn't too sticky sweet. Slight alcoholic and dry finish creates a sense of the beer's power while still leaving room for more. A surprisingly drinkable beer, and the creamy cask texture is always a plus. Nice job by CL.

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Photo of Biggness
3.57/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this cask last night @ DEKS. The appearance was very nice it was served a dark amber, which was very clopudy with sediment in it. The smell was overpowering, there was a mild notion of citrus and a large smell of.... Well to keep this rated PG I can't say what it smelled like. The taste was nice a nice balance of citrus and malts, I just had to keep my nose away while I was tasting. The alcohol flavor was minimal and this seems to be a low % to me for a double IPA. I am generally a huge fan of casks, I look forward to the beer festival the 9th so I can try this in bottle.

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Photo of getalife2k5
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this one on tap at Delancy's in CT. amber colored with a thin head that ringed the glass nicely. floral aroma with lots going on... tasted of tropical fruit, esp. papaya. grapefruit and even hot peppers were detected. it had a grassy/veggie hoppiness to it with a light bitterness that tended to linger. well balanced with the malt, definitely a pleasure.

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Photo of Pleepleus
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in my new custom made growler from Pauling Beer and Soda, and drank it down with my pal Moxley.

Poured from growler to a frosty frozen mug (was 90+ degree day), had a nice golden amber color. It had a sweet malt,grass and hoppy smell. Delicious sweet malt, hops and grassy taste with a mild bitterness, perfect. Had a medium body, and an almost creamy mouthfeel. I was unaware of the 8.0 APV as it was not evident in the taste but was definately enjoyed. We killed the growler in no time (2 mugs a piece) and would have loved another one, if only the growler was more like a mini keg.

I can not thank Hyland24 enough for first of all, acquiring this gem in this awesome growler for me. Secondly for rescuing said growler full of delicious brew from the clutches of Nasty and his crew from the Four-Seven. Thanks Hammer!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a filled bottle of this from nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

It pours a hazy orange gold with about a finger head of foam. There's some nice lacing and it looks like the foam is going to stick around for a while. Yep, I'm near the end of my session and there's still a fine layer of foam.

The smell has notes of pine, caramel malt, and some citrus. That's a pretty balanced nose.

The taste starts off with some citrus and piney hops but there's the malt that I noted in the smell. Wow. Does it ever balance the hops nicely. And holy cow, the drinkability is right up there despite the ample abv. Heck, the only sign of it is just the slightest of warming after the swallow!

This is a full bodied DIPA and the carbonation is lightly done. It finishes dry, but not overly so, with a nice piney hop flavour that lingers on for some time. I really like how neither the hops nor the malt gets out of control. Again, balance.... it's what you'll get and if you like that sort of thing, which I certainly do, this is a must try for you. ;^)

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Photo of erosier
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours an orange amver color with a edium sized thick head that settles slowly to a film above the beer. It laces a lot on the way down.
S: Smells of earthy hops over a slightly sweet malt base.
T: Tastes of some sweet malt underneath a bigger earthy hop taste than the nose let in. A little alcohol in the taste as well.
M: Very crisp and refreshing DIPA.
D: Pretty good. More bitter flavors might be nice but it was still an enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of ralflord
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Nice amber hue, with the requisite head for this style. Smell of hops, not too many, and citrus. Taste was outstanding. The flavor of this IPA blossomed in my mouth, while the balance of hops and sweet was nearly perfect. Drinkability is excellent, in spite of the high ABV, and one could get into trouble with this beer on hot summer nights. I highly recommend this great offering from Scott at Captain Lawrence Brewery. He is truly doing great things there.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Ginger Man in Manhattan.

Poured a dark copper, decent head. Alot of bite to it, not one of the most balanced Double IPAs ive had but certainly one of the better. Mouthful- really stays with you, doesnt spare any taste buds. Overall, a pretty decent double IPA from them, ive always enjoyed their beers

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Photo of DrJay
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks goes out to gpcollen1 for sending this my way when someone disappeared from Growling at the Moon.
Looks nice. Orange colour with a light haze topped by a dense, cream coloured cap. Good retention with sheets of lace covering the glass. Big grapefruit and pine resin aroma with caramel in the background. Intense grapefruit, with notes of rind and pith. Quite fruity. Solid maltiness and strong bitterness stayed balanced at the beginning, with bitterness prevailing towards the finish. Fruity citrus and grapefruit filled out the flavour while pine resin was much lighter here than in the aroma. Faint alcohol was evident in the finish. Medium bodied with a chewy, creamy texture. Carbonation was on the light side. Very enjoyable overall. I liked the balance and the well hidden alcohol made it an easy drinking DIPA.

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Photo of dfillius
3.19/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed at the Ginger Man in NYC in a pint glass.
A: 1/2 finger of creamy white head with great retention. Cloudy dark orange color. Very pretty.
S: Little smells at first, some alcohol, tiny grassy/piney hop.
T: Fairly hoppy, some alcohol. As it warms a lot of alcohol, then a tiny hop aftertaste.
M: A bit of heat, good carbonation. As it warms, much more heat.
D: Too much alcohol, not enough hops.

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Palate Shifter Imperial IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.
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