Golden Delicious | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious
BA SCORE
75.7%
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 613 ratings
Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious
BEER INFO

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

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Triple Aged In Apple Brandy Barrels

Added by mcallister on 02-01-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,509
Reviews:
214
Ratings:
613
Liked:
464
Avg:
3.91/5
pDev:
13.81%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
109
Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 214
Photo of madelf66
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ichorNet
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had this beer some time last year just after Captain Lawrence started distributing in MA. I had heard about it before, on the BA forums and whatnot, and always assumed I'd never be able to get it! My procurement of a four-pack of the 2016 batch, though, led me to believe this must be one of the most unique American-made tripels on the market, kind of like an alter-dimensional version of Allagash's own classic, Curieux. This year, I stocked up on it when it came out, grabbing several packs with the intention being to drink one pack slowly over the short-term, and cellar the other four bottles between six months and a year-and-a-half to see how this lovely, fruity and lively beer evolves. At about $14 a four-pack, it barely dented the bank, which is, of course, awesome as well!

Pours a golden (duh) color with an effervescent, sparkling white head bearing great legs. Absolutely awesome webbed lacing on this one too, with a moderately hazed-over surface. The label talks about this being dry-hopped with American hops, and I can definitely see where they're coming from with the sticky, almost old-school "IPA"-ish appearance here. Indeed, the body itself is full of chunks and seems a bit unsightly, but it's part of the charm of this intense tripel in my opinion. Your mileage may vary regarding this aspect, but the rest of the pour is as solid as can be.

Nose is pineapple, vanilla/tannins from the oak and peach with some light green apple aspects. Some moderately-prominent booze here (which is what leads me to believe this will take well to aging to round out some of its harshness) with a bit of solvent alcohol. Some pie crust-like malt and more tannins, apricot and tropical fruit rounding everything out. Very aromatic, and has a little bit of spice support from the Belgian yeast. Solid apple-like/orchard fruit character, though the apple brandy barrel itself seems to take over a lot of the nose here, though.

Strong spice and ester character on the tongue, with prickly alcohol, pineapple, guava and other tropical fruits melding with slight grassy hops and, of course, apple brandy. I have some pommeau (which is essentially apple brandy cut with apple cider clocking in at "fortified wine" ABV) in my liquor cabinet and this is fairly similar but obviously in "beer" form. It's warming, dessert-y and spicy with a strong oak flavor. However, it also has some really strong, spicy and earthy hop presence and a surprising bitterness that keeps it from being too overly-sweet. Great flavor profile... it's both as-expected and, yet, somehow a bit mysterious.

Feel is light-bodied and effervescent with sharp carbonation even when close to room temperature. Musty yeast notes toward the mid-palate which obscure the toasty malt, but also provide some dryness in the finish. As explained above, ethanol is a little sharp here when this beer is younger (bottled in June, so this is 3 months old... not sure how long it's aged in barrels, though I assume it's also bottle conditioned considering those chunks), and I'm hoping some time will tame the intensity here. Golden Delicious is, overall, though, a very fun, unique and charming beer. It has its flaws, but I'm still hopelessly in love with the concept and... mostly down with the execution.

 3,280 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours cloudy golden color with thick white head that lasts for quite some time. Lacing covers the glass.

Aroma - Sour apples, oak, alcohol, vanilla not much else.

Taste - Tart sour apples, lots of oak from the barrel, pretty strong alcohol flavor. Reminds me of a alcohol soaked tart candied apple.

Feel - Almost a creamy feel, prickly carbonation, good amount of heat and burn from the alcohol.

Overall- Not a bad beer alcohol is pretty strong and it mutes some of the other flavors.

 501 characters

Photo of fehrminator
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wheels2532
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jak
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheLefty1616
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Cpmitchno1
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of threeviews
4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can with the label stating 2017 vintage (no specific packaging date, but cans arrived to retail less than one week before this review) into a 13oz Captain Lawrence branded Belgian Tulip/Snifter Glass.

A - A careful pour reveals a perfectly hazy, golden yellow with ~1-finger, creamy, white head. Although it didn't stay for very long, the head retention was impressive considering the 11% ABV. (5.0)

S - Whoa...massive aromas of barrel, Belgian yeast and hops...Apple, Tropical Fruits (Peach, Pear, Melon, Pineapple), Vanilla, Coconut, and White Grapefruit (courtesy of the significant Amarillo dry-hop) and some ever-so-sight yeast funk. The 11% ABV does become detectable in the nose once the beer warms. (4.5)

T- This is where the barrel-aging really takes a hold of the proceedings. The palate is consumed with Apple, Vanilla and Spice from the residual spirit left in the barrel and is followed by a some tropical fruit and then a hefty, white grapefruit flesh bitterness. Any alcohol is felt by a slight warming in the chest, but only after the beer has warmed considerably. (4.75)

M - Despite the elevated ABV, the body is nothing more than medium-plus. A healthy dose of carbonation washes the palate clean and prepared for the next sip. The drinkability of Golden Delicious is only held in check due to the strong ethanol that grows as the beer warms. (4.5)

O - The hop presence in the aroma and flavor reinforces the self-proclaimed label being an "American Tripel, Dry-hopped with American Hops and aged in Apple Brandy Barrels." My first exposure of G.D. was back in 2013 and then 2014 when it was first introduced in 12oz bottles. 2015 saw some filter into the market but it has not been until 2017 that another batch has showed up in retail...this time in cans! The quality is everything I remember and the price-point (~$14/4-Pack 16oz cans) is an enormous value. This is one of the most unique brews and showcases how creative American craft breweries can be with their beers. I love Tripels and putting one in Apple Brandy Barrels raises the stakes to absolute decadence. I just wish that Captain Lawrence would start producing and packing the base beer (Xtra Gold), as it stands to be my favorite Tripel brewed in The States. (4.5)

FYI - This is a re-review...original comment was specific to the 2014 version (also reviewed fresh). I have adjusted my scores a bit (since I originally gave it a perfect score...5.0)

 2,460 characters

Photo of thoglund
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a slightly hazy orange color with a moderately paced carbonation seen rising to feed a rapidly dissipating head. Light lacing speckled the glass in a messy sort of way. The smell started off with a soft yet slightly tart to sweet to light sour apple. Light spice interweaves itself in and out allowing a light breadiness to round it out. Light citrus and freshly cut grass roll in and out as it warms. The taste was semi-sweet and carried the sour back to lead to a crisp apple. A crisp and fresh subtle fresh grassy and sweet apple aftertaste starts and leads to subtle dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sipping to sessionable quality. Weird, it feels like I want to pound this, but the ABV isn’t exactly suspect. I really don’t feel the 11%, still I get this and believe it to be good. Did the ABV fade? I dunno. Overall, this is a wonderful tripel with the apple notes streaming all about in the aroma and taste.

 1,017 characters

Photo of q33jeff
1.76/5  rDev -55%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

**
2015
On tap at blend. Lots of Wang. And Sour apple wang. Urine. Not good. Yuck.......
Thought I was going to like this; guess that was a bad call.

**

 153 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of micropale
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jmg480
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of elamb106
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice, clear deep golden to amber with a fluffy white head that recedes quickly. Lovely tart, sour apple, barrel and boozy aromas that come together nicely blended in the flavor. A touch less sweet than expected, and the alcohol is much more present as it warmed. Thin and boozy, but overall a wonderfully unique beer. Cheers!

 329 characters

Photo of KAP1356
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 vintage served at cellar temps in a teku

Poured a very creamy and effervescent pale gold with a nice and creamy white head. Some bottle sediment made it into the glass. Smells tropical, fruity, belgian tripel yeast funk, tannins, oaky, slight barrel character, some coconut. Taste follows the nose but adds some alcohol heat. It is a very smooth beer to drink and the 11% alcohol content is extreemly well hidden. This beer drinks like an 8%er at best, dangerous. I do get a little of the brandy character but it is in the background. Nice beer and I'm glad I got to try it.

 580 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Xenoreactive!

Pours a clearish amber color. The head is three fingers high and white in shade. Retention is quite good for 11% , and it manages to leave behind a lot of lacing on the glass. The head's texture has that "rocky" quality to it that suggests an assertive hop profile, too.

I am decidedly not familiar with apple brandy (my closest experience in the beer world is the Calvados oak-aged St. Bernardus ABT 12), but there's a real "oak-laden apple cider" quality to the aroma. Of course, I do get the brandy, as well. The base beer seems like it's designed to accentuate the barrels instead of competing with them - it also brings nice notes of apple, alongside some pear, black pepper, and bread. There's also a gentle hoppiness lurking around: I get hints of grass, pine, peach, melon, and mango. Clearly, there's a LOT going on within this brew, at least aromatically. Will it be incoherent as I actually taste it? Not sure, but I do like the complexity I pick up here.

This is exactly what I expected to taste: a showcase for apple brandy barrels. The dominating flavor (especially at first) is a combination of oaky vanilla and apple - I'm not sure how well these two notes balance each other. Ultimately, the come together pretty well. The finish is subtly hoppy, aiming for a balancing bitterness instead of an additional tropical fruit note. It's a touch scattershot, but not as much as Frost Monster. At the end of the day, it's really damn tasty to this palate.

For an 11% barrel-aged brew, this feels ridiculously light on its feet. Carbonation gives it a bit of airiness, and the hop bitterness does a wonderful job of cleansing the palate. Oak tannins also help this cause. It's a sipper, but a fairly deft one considering everything else.

This is one clever brew, especially for those who love apple brandy. The base serves to accentuate the apple brandy in this case - as a liquor showcase, this beer is insanely successful. I'll try to seek this out again, seeing as apple brandy anything is extremely difficult to find where I live.

3.87/5: Golden delicious indeed...

 2,107 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall pint glass: color is opaque straw, head is off white, small bubbles and light lacing with a top that remains.

Smell is enticing, fruity, oaky, nice bitter hops, a little booze.

Taste is similar in notes to the aroma, but a bit more depth: oak and apple present quickly, then some esters and yeast, subtle sweet notes of caramel like flavors, hops are noteable but hard to distinctly tell flavor or type.

Mouthfeel is very good for a beer of this strength and depth of flavor, a bit drying with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a beer that nearly stands alone in flavor and profile.

 602 characters

Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of eddiefl
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Golden Delicious from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 75.7% out of 100 with 613 ratings
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