Nor' Easter Winter Warmer | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Nor' Easter Winter WarmerNor' Easter Winter Warmer
321 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 321 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Ginger Man in NYC.Black with little head, chocolate and bourbon in aroma. This is some crafting of fruitiness, bourbon, malt and hops. Not one overpowers the other. This is a slow sipper, as in hours, and in that regard I could not finish it. Low carbonation, woody, quite complex, with a bit of sourness in the finish. A bottle a year later with great head and bourbon and oak aroma.

 398 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i didnt expect this to be funky but it was, and reading through some reviews, it sounds like others have not had the same experience, so i am wondering if i had an infected bottle or something, but its so good that it seems like the funk in here is intentional, light bacterial pucker, possibly picked up in the barrels, and a really farmy almost wildness to it, piquant with the almost medicinal plum and elderberry character, i thought it was amazing, intentional or not. its rich and creamy for a beer with some acidity, and has a warming and festive bouquet of flavors from tobacco to prune, cocoa and smoke, vanilla and whiskey, its really impressively complex, and the pucker doesnt erode any of the structure, i really dig that. this is unlike other winter warmers, its not sweet, loaded with clove and anise and brown sugar, or boozy to the point of being absurd, its a challenging yet highly refined brew that holds up to cold weather mighty well. the sour part i suspect is not planned for, but its a happy accident in my bottle. these guys are doing some really intriguing and high quality stuff right now!

 1,117 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a thin layer of bubbles floating around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits--elderberries stand out in particular--and has a slight amount of initial sweetness. Otherwise, the elderberries lend some tartness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is relatively well masked so this beer isn't that difficult to drink.

 507 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the head was rather modest but it did leave plenty of lace

Smell: Great complexity to the aroma, with the elderberries and Bourbon presenting themselves, up front, with dark fruit, licorice and leather underneath

Taste: Dark fruit, up front, with fig flavors that quickly move in the tart direction provided by the elderberries, with some licorice underneath; after the swallow, there is a hint of Bourbon that gets added to the mix, but the vinous tartness overwhelms the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I appreciate the complexity, the tartness was overwhelming and didn't enable the other elements of the the flavor profile to shine through

 755 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark brown color with a tan, thin head of bubbly foam. It left some soapy lace residue.

S - It smelled of candy sugar, ripe fruits and malty sweetness. Bourbon and oak aromas were present, too.

T - It tasted of oak, bourbon and of fruits like plum and raisin. There was a strong sweet caramel maltiness, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. A full-bodied ale that packs a strong alcohol punch.

D - This is a great tasting beer. I would like to try more brews from Captain Lawrence.

 506 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of John_Adam2002: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is dominated by some bourbon notes with limited alcohol appearance and some sweet malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some malt with some light toffee notes with some bourbon and vanilla dominating but not going overboard. Body is full with some great carbonation and alcohol is mildly noticeable. I could not detect the elderberries but overall I thought this was complex without being too one-dimensional or too bourbon dominated.

 578 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into goblet, batch 5. Pours hazy extremely dark brown color with a dense 1 finger light tan head with good retention that reduces to a small ring of lacing. A bit of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big bourbon, caramel, dark fruits, and molasses; with a bit of booze as well. Some nice strong aromas here, decent balance as well. Taste of big dark fruits(elderberries?) with some caramel and light bourbon on the front; leading to some licorice, molasses, spice, and a bit of slight tartness in the back. Some lingering sweet notes on the finish for a short bit. No bitterness noticed, as expected. Nicely full and smooth body with medium carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, not noticing any at all in the taste, but there is a decent warming after the finish. Great drinkability for 12%, but still a sipper. Overall, quite a nice Belgian dark ale. Delicious and smooth drinking.

 918 characters

Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4

Poured into Founders snifter

Pours a light layer of tan head. Some thin splattered lace. Color is a copper brown, but settles near black.

Aroma: Notes of cocoa powder and dark chocolate with waves of bourbon up front. It also has notes of the elderberries, vanilla, and some roasted malts. It is fairly sweet.

Taste: The elderberries stick out a lot and it tastes a bit sour, almost like sour cherries. I get a lot of roasted malts, light bourbon and some chocolate. The sourness takes away a lot from this beer. It is creamy and has some vanilla sweetness. It does show some bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel: Tart, creamy, smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted, but clean.

Overall, it is an alright beer, but I was expecting more chocolate flavors and less elderberries. The elderberries really took this beer over it seems. Somewhat drinkable.

 893 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although it was a bit of an expenditure for me at this point ($15 for the 750ml), the collector in me wouldn't let it go, and the beer lover in me wouldn't let one of Scott's brews slip past my palate. He's really found his legs, and he's really putting out some really great brews now. That said, the Nor'Easter was no let down.

It pours an opaque black/brown body beneath a finger thick head of dark tan foam that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is bourbon-like, vanilla-noted, woody, and berryish over a fudge-like malt base.

In the mouth it's creamy smooth with a full body and moderate, very-fine bubbled natural carbonation from bottle conditioning.

The flavor expresses the elderberries upfront, but then they shrink back a bit as it warms to reveal the alcohol and bourbon character. The maltiness rises across the middle, but it's not as full, or sweetish and chocolatey, as the nose suggests. It's more just dark caramel malt with a low-level bittersweet chocolate side as the alcohol comes into play with some heat. At the swallow it turns to a hint of coconut and some woodiness; and it finishes with a spritz of alcohol, some coconut, a hint of fudge, and some drying woodiness along with a smattering of elderberry. The bitterness is a constant anchor, and this ship never slips into "sweeter" waters - but neither does it become drying, chalky, raspy, or abrasive. Nicely done. Interesting. Worth trying.

 1,466 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is dark brown with a tan head and some light lacing. Nose is tart cherries, berries, oak, light vanilla, and some roast. Fairly complex but I think what I had was too young and hadn't quite integrated yet. The taste is similar with roast and tart fruits. Really nice feel with a bit of tart character and a good body. Drinks well now and this should age supremely.

 418 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

- Special thanks to Mark for sharing a perfectly cellared May '06 bottle -

A - Cola with a toasted khaki head.

S - Bourbon booze, vanilla, toasted coconut.

T - Toasted coconut straight from the nose (a really nice flavor), soft booze, vanilla. Some earthy notes. Hints of dried fruits. Some clove / cinnamon and spice. Touch of coffee.

M - Soft and smooth.

D - Booze is a bit harsh.

 387 characters

Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. It poured brown with a bit of a ruby tint to it. A thin but frothy head barely covers the top of the beer. Decent lacing as I drank it.

The fruity elderberries are very apparent in the aroma. There is a good amount of brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon to it as well. The fruitiness has a bit of a tart, slightly sharp presence to it. The elderberries work very well in it.

The taste also shows a lot of the tart, fruity elderberries. The bourbon is a little more reserved but it does give it some nice brown sugar and oak flavors. It's got a little bit of a red wine quality to it in the finish that I'm really liking. The tartness of the fruits give it some nice balance as well.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with carbonation being a little above average for the style. The carbonation fits pretty well with the tart fruits. Overall I thought it was a very nice beer to sip on this evening. It had a lot of flavors to it but managed to bring them together pretty well. The tart elderberries worked well with the sweeter malts and bourbon. Very nice beer overall.

 1,135 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

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Nor' Easter Winter Warmer from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 321 ratings
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