Golden Delicious | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious
Very Good
634 Ratings
Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious

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

Style: Belgian 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

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Ratings: 634 |  Reviews: 222
Photo of bret717
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned 9/13/18, reviewed 9/26

Look- transluscent deep golden, almost orange, liquid with a 1/2 finger white head; champagne-like carbonation bubbles fizzle up and out of the glass

Aroma- wood, faint apples, booze, vanilla, pear

Taste- follows the nose closely with slightly tart apples, wood, vanilla, a rum-like booziness and a moderate bitterness; flavors are well balanced

Feel- light bodied with moderate carbonation and a semi dry finish that is slightly bitter and leaves the tongue a bit numbed from alcohol

Overall- Nice, well-balanced BA golden ale. However, and there was a hint of apple in the flavor, I was hoping for more of an apple brandy influence instead of the vague almost rum-like alcohol note in this.

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Photo of Curt3
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

CAN: 16 fl oz. Nabbed at a beer store in Colorado during GABF week. Standard pull-tab. No canned on date. 2018 vintage. Gold label color with forgettable label art.

11% ABV. "Ale aged in apple brandy barrels" is the only language on the label indicating any style. Brewed and canned by Captain Lawrence.

From the brewery's website (access 10/02/18):
Beer Style: Tripel
IBU: 35
OG: 20P
ABV: 10% [sic]
Hops: Simcoe, Cascade, Amarillo
Malts: Canadian 2-Row

"An American Tripel [sic], dry-hoped [sic] with Amarillo hop [sic] and aged in Apple Brandy oak barrels from one of this country’s oldest distilleries."

Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Fluffy and white with a fairly robust consistency and retention given the high ABV of the beer; it lasts a good 4-5 minutes but isn't as creamy, full, or eye-popping as could be.

BODY: Translucent transparent copper-gold of above average vibrance. Appears filtered, lacking haziness, visible yeast, sediment, and/or lees.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice looking beer but its overall appearance isn't dazzling.

AROMA: Oak. Green apple up front. Pale malt/2-row. Honeyed malt. Floral hop aromatics. Vanillin (probably from the oak barrel). Hints of juicy orchard fruits (e.g. scintillae of peach and pear).

Alcohol warmth is evident, and I doubt I'd honestly peg the apple character for apple brandy specifically if I experienced this aroma blind. The apple sweetness and (artificial) vanillin are the most prominent notes, but I don't get overt grape or brandy and the oak character isn't terribly inviting or expressive. I don't detect anything noticeably Belgian about it (particularly yeast-wise) and I doubt I'd peg it for a Tripel in a blind aroma panel. It's obviously wood-aged, but that wood note doesn't scream oak.]

Amarillo seems wasted on this. Indeed, the American hopping and the fruitiness it brings seems to clash with the refined barrel aged character they seem to be going for.

Doesn't seem like much of a Tripel, but regarded as a vague "strong ale" it's decent aromatically. Here's hoping the brandy comes through more in its flavour...

TASTE AND TEXTURE: ...Nope. Just that artificial vanillin and a hint of juicy fruit (including green apple). Finishes dry and woodsy without evoking rich white oak or bringing any barrel complexity into the fold. I'd never guess it was brandy barrel aged in a blind tasting, let alone apple brandy. More time in the barrels could only help, and I'm skeptical that the distillery they sourced the barrel(s) from (which they refuse to actually name) either puts out apple brandy on par with, say, Calvados, and/or gave Captain Lawrence their best barrels anyway.

Alcohol warmth is evident throughout. When I search for apple brandy, I do pick up on a hint of green apple jolly rancher but maybe that's just the power of suggestion.

Lacks any overt Belgian characteristics. I don't see what makes this an "American Tripel" save for its poor (over)use of American hops (none of which work well in the beer, not that they're well showcased anyway). Reminds me of homebrew...oops, I wanted to brew a strong Belgian pale but I forgot to buy Westmalle yeast; I'll just pitch American ale and overhop it with what I have laying around from my last brew day.

It's uneven and imbalanced, but not egregiously so. I find no overt faults or off-flavours. Not horribly complex for a barrel aged beer. It just doesn't deliver on its premise at all, unfortunately, and that's my main issue with it.

Smooth, wet until the dry finish, well-carbonated, unrefreshing, moderately thick, and of moderate heft/weight on the palate.

OVERALL: 11% is above the usual ABV threshold for Tripel style beers, but in fairness this is less of a chore to drink than many expressions of the style. Still, I can't get behind the decision to package in 16 fl oz cans (indeed, probably only their marketing team can).

For an apple brandy oak barrel aged beer, it's rather lacking in apple brandy, oak, and barrel flavours.

It's a bit of a mangled mess of a beer, but then what did we expect in a beer that's ostensibly an American take on a Belgian style brewed with Canadian malt & American hops, aged in an American take on a distilled apple wine of French origination, and brewed with fuck knows what yeast?

Underwhelming and misguided across the board. Even giving it the concession of judging it as a strong ale (whatever that really is) instead of the intended style, it still fails to feel cohesive or deliberate in its build. Drinkable but very forgettable. Just shockingly insipid given the premise of the beer.


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Photo of gopens44
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks fairly mundane, clearish and golden with not too much head at all. Nose is a little confusing as there’s a little bit of ripe veggies thing happening before a nondescript sweetness flows in. Taste is more clear and to the point with an opening bitterness from I’m guessing is the dry hopping, as its a touch earthy. Get past the initial bitterness and sweet hints of apple are present before it mostly closes out with an alcohol induced bitterness. Doesn’t feel too thick, maybe solidly medium bodied with a little dryness and mostly alcohol aftertaste.

 569 characters

Photo of Lucular
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Exactly as advertised - tastes like a strong tripel (but not to say excessive alcohol heat) with sweet brandy and apples. Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation.

 168 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kell50
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ER527
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tcsox
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bogdawg
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Devonking
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled 06/26/2017

Pours hazy amber gold with loads of sediment and a dense creamy white foam head. Smells like tart green apples, oak, vanilla, zesty citrus, tropical fruit, some banana, mild sweet spice, rich honey caramelized malt, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like tart green apples, brandy booze, oak, vanilla, banana, sweet spice, rich honey caramelized grain, zesty citrus, tropical fruit, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a real nice and interesting tripel ale aged in apple brandy barrels.

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Photo of RochefortChris
3.24/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WormGod
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bdel34
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off=white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Hazy straw color. Medium-strong carbonation and medium bodied. Apple brandy nose and flavor is nearly sour apple brandy and hints of caramel. High ABV, 11.0% is hidden. Bottled 6/26/2017, $3.90 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Zonian1
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of nick_perry
1.77/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Some generally apple aromas, but I don’t taste any of the tropical hops the bottle advertises. Tastes strongly like apple flavored cough syrup. Boozy finish.

 159 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint
2017 vintage

A- pours golden in color with a one finger foamy white head that reduces to a thin film on top

S- smells of apples skin, wood, musk, spicy Belgian yeast, clove & banana

T- classic triple flavors up front; peppery yeast, clove, banana, musty basement, slightly phenolic. Mid-palate brings out the barrel and adds flavors of red apple, earthy wood and brandy. The finish brings out some alcohol and lingers of peppery yeast and brandy

M- medium heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- the apple brandy pairs brilliantly with the tripel style. The peppery yeast and apple flavors compliment each other nicely

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Photo of madelf66
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ichorNet
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
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 +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Golden Delicious from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 634 ratings