Nor' Easter Winter Warmer | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Nor' Easter Winter WarmerNor' Easter Winter Warmer
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 319 Ratings
Nor' Easter Winter WarmerNor' Easter Winter Warmer

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a truly unique brew, combining some unusual elements to create a powerful, yet flavorful brew. I brewed a similar beer to this one back in 1998, while I was home brewing out in California. Only this time around, I decided to age it in bourbon barrels to add a new element to the already rich sensory profile. The combination of dark malt, elderberries and bourbon barrels makes for an interesting tasting experience. This is a sippin’ beer, so sit back by the fire and enjoy.

Added by Billolick on 02-12-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 214
Photo of hilikusopus
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of WassailWilly
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Photo of kscaldef
2.14/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 5. poured a murky red-brown. During the pour, there's a nice whisky aroma. In the glass, the elderberry dominates. The taste just off, sour in a nasty way, more like rotten fruit than any sort of pleasant tartness which might be expected from the berries. We gave this a decent try to see if it would get better, but in the end just couldn't drink it.

 357 characters

Photo of AlexFields
2.23/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Poured July 2011.

Very dark reddish brown, almost black, without much of a head.

Smells of bitter dark fruits (I don't really know what elderberries smell like but I'm assuming they smell like this), bourbon, maybe some bitter dry cocoa. Also smells sour which I didn't think it was supposed to be. The various parts of the nose aren't necessarily bad on their own but they aren't playing well together.

Taste follows pretty closely. It's very dry/bitter with plenty of tart dark fruit, whiskey, dry red wine. It's sour too, which isn't bad in and of itself but the sourness is not going well at all with the berries and bourbon. These flavors just aren't working well together, I'm struggling to enjoy this beer.

Mouthfeel is kindof thin and flat in a way that accents the things I'm not liking about the beer.

I'm really disappointed in this. I expected to really love this beer based on everything I'd heard but it's just not working for me. It's sour in a weird rather than a pleasant way and the flavors are clashing something fierce to the point where I'm puzzled over the A- average and wondering if I just got a bad bottle.


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Photo of Damian
2.6/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pint, 9.6 fl oz bottle at The Ginger Man, New York, NY
batch 4
Served in a snifter

Dark chestnut in appearance with a bubbly, frothy, cocoa colored head that quickly faded to a thick ring.

The aroma was absolutely horrendous. Super earthy and herbal was an almost fecal-like component. Dark and dank. Somewhat soured (as in bad) with mild oxadative notes. This in fact may have been the worst smelling beer I have ever encountered.

The taste was thin and disappointing yet not nearly as offensive as the aroma. Dark fruits including plums and raisins were noticeable up front. A touch roasty with berry-like notes. Herbal. Licorice was detectable. Somewhat sour but not much sour flavor backing up the tartness. Winey and a bit oaky. Woody. The bourbon component was practically nonexistent.

The body was a bit thinner than I anticipated. Light and airy with a spritzy, somewhat aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability was a mixed bag. This beer really hid its alcohol prowess quite well. The aroma however was so putrid that this alone made drinking it quite a chore.

With a straight "A" on BeerAdvocate, I was hugely disappointed by this release from the folks at Captain Lawrence. The $20 price tag made it that much more difficult to stomach.

 1,265 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 4/29/08. Bottle, batch 2. Pours dark black with no head (only slight bubbling from an extremely vigorous pour). Aroma strongly of bourbon, oak/wood, some sweetness. The flavor was slightly less bourbon, but it still dominates. I didn't get any elderberry fruitiness, just sweetness from the alcohol, producing a roasty, alcoholy, sweet taste. My throat was warmed after just a few sips. Unfortunately, this was too bourbon-dominated for my liking. If I do ever develop a liking for bourbon-aged beers, I will revisit this one.
5/4/5/4/13 (3.1/5)

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Herky21
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of joshtrich
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of takIANbacksunday
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of oakbluff
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle courtesy of Glouglouburp -batch 2. Been waiting a while to crack this baby. Pours a very murky dark ebony with minimal head. Nose- slightly sour fruit, earthy, boozy. Body is on the thin side, dark fruit and boozy hot. This beer is going in 20 different directions, some are the wrong way on a one way. Oxidation starting to creep in, worsening the thinness of body and taste.

 389 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a near black color with a two finger head that leaves some webby lacing as it retreats. The barrel smell here is not very refined, and it gives off a metallic element that I sometimes find and despise in barrel aged beers. Luckily there seems to be some nice complexity underneath which saves it. The 11% alcohol is definitely noticeable.

The taste here is a bit odd. Those metallic notes due carry over a bit to the palate, but aren't too bad. But the flavor profile underneath isn't really good enough to overcome the glaring faults. There is some cherry, cola, raisin, banana peel, and candy notes. Very sweet, perhaps a tad cloying.

Mouthfeel is fine for the style. This one wasn't bad, but wasn't good either. An average score will have to suffice.

 761 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: appears like dark cola with almost no head, no lacing to note

S: waves of berries come through with hints of vanilla, leather and oak among other earthy notes

T: starts very sweet with dark fruit and becomes somewhat acidic and tart, some cloying sweetness in there, bourbon comes through at the end along with a considerable amount of anise

MF: minimal carbonation, very sticky body

O: this certainly doesn't lack flavor, it is very intense and is in your face with sweetness

 483 characters

Photo of stevec32
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of jbuddle
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of bob3701
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a taster glass. Pours dark brown almost black with an off-white head that rapidley disapates into a ring. Dark fruit and burbon dominate aroma. Very sour and burbon dominate the taste. Sour after taste and what ever beer there is was overshadowed by burbon.In my opinion not very drinkable.

 302 characters

Photo of wcintula
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was frightening. In a snifter it was black and had the smell of bourbon coming from it before it reached my nose. Bourbon was the only noticeable quality until it warmed up and then it took on some sweet character with slight hop bitterness in there. The high ABV keeps hammering at the palate. Cannot see drinking too many of these.

 343 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured at cellar temperature from a 750 into a tulip glass.

Batch #4. I picked this up in the spring and thought I'd crack it open.

A-Blackness with garnet highlights that can be seen in the pour but only at the edges when held to light. Thick, creamy tan head that settles fairly rapidly.

S-Pungent and robust. Berry, vanilla, bourbon, molasses, chocolate. The nose is truly decadent. I am expecting greatness.

T-Sour astringent elderberry hits the palate first. The initial impression is the taste doesn't live up to the promise of the nose. It hides the abv well and is a bit creamy, but less so than I had expected, Belgian yeast and darker fruits establish themselves mid pour followed by more sourness and a burned astringent finish of oak and spent ashtray. This batch could really benefit from some sweetness and body. Glad I opened this as nothing in the aging process is going to cure these ills. Bummer.

M-Decent balanced carbonation is the best thing I can say here. Slighly creamy but very light bodied for this type of ale.

D-This one was a letdown. Saved it for the holidays and I'm glad I only bought one (this set me back $25) I love barrel aged ales, I love strong Belgians, I love strong fruit ales but this one does not hit the highs that I expected. Looking over the reviews I feel I am drinking a different brew. I'm not a fan of sours, although I can appreciate them, and if thats your thing, give it a whirl. Hopefully, you won't be as letdown as I was.

 1,485 characters

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Nor' Easter Winter Warmer from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83.7% out of 100 with 319 ratings
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