Golden Delicious | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious
BA SCORE
3.94/5
Very Good
Golden DeliciousGolden Delicious
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Triple Aged In Apple Brandy Barrels

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,639
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
646
pDev:
13.71%
 
 
Wants:
111
Gots:
112
Trade:
6
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 646
Photo of HellsRanger
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice light gold slight hazy yellow, with nice white foam with mild lace and retention.
The aroma is full of the apple brandy barrel with the oak coming along for the ride, and some decent acohol scent to it, with some nice maltiness.
Now as for the taste, Wow! it definitely has the apple (maybe more a Granny Smith than a red delicious), malt, syrup, and acohol...all of the above (letter D). very enjoyable and somewhat unexpected pleasure.
As for the feel it has a somewhat bite with the acohol, and the "Granny Smith" bite, but the apple brandy barrels recover nicely and make it a pleasure to drink.
all in all, a very nice apple blended brew. Way to go Captain Lawrence. Cudos!

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Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow never reviewed this, 2017

Pours a light fizzy head that fades quickly, mostly clear slight hazed medium golden color

Nose obvious apple brandy, fresh apple cider nice, buttery oak, sweet candy malts, butterscotch, little bready malt rich sweet malt and some alcohol

Taste more rich malt, candy sweet syrupy too, little butterscotch again, honey candy, but apple brandy, apple juice, buttery oak, into spicy hops with moderate bitterness, some perfumey alcohol, little vinous like, little drier finish lingering sour hop bitterness that gets a little too much

Mouth is med, decent fizzy carb, mild alcohol warmth

Overall not bad, nice apple brandy barrel, hops get a bit too spicy and bitter for the balance otherwise nice

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Photo of beertunes
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TongoRad for this one, from the Secret Santa BIF. 16oz can poured into 14oz teku. Poured a hazy dark yellow color with over an inch of white head that had good retention and light-medium lacing.

There was a solid apple boop to the nose at the front of the scent. Under that, was some nice grain, a bit of yeast spice, and, maybe a hint of wood? On the tongue, there was a solid alcohol hit at first, but it gave way quickly to the apple and yeast. There was a bit of sweetness across the sides, and just a touch of heat at the very finish.

The body was on the fuller side of medium, and had a finish that started sweet, but dried out after a few seconds. Drinkability was very nice, this would absolutely be in my regular rotation were it local to me. In fact, I'm going to add it to my Perma-Wants list. Overall, an extremely interesting and nice brew. A must try if you see it.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(16 oz can, canned xxxx2018 - print crowded... poured into fat tulip)

L: initially poured clear, golden liquid, but sediment adds a little cloudiness; not much foam, thin collar

S: malty tripel foundation, accentuated caramel, barrel wood apparent... not much yeast spice or floral notes... maybe a little hint of sweet apple; little booze edge

T: a little more (clove) spice upon first sip, bit of apple and caramel in the finish; dry, lightly biscuity aftertaste, colored by some moderate fruitiness... second sip carries a firmer flash of spicy alcohol...

F: smooth but flaccid; not much carbonation tingling... lithe flow; fantastic taming of heat... perhaps a little to mellowed by the barrel aging?

O: has some decent flavors, but the barrel aging hasn't added much dimension or interest to the base tripel... wouldn't grab another can, but would probably try it again on tap

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Photo of DIM
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wanted to try this one for a long time, finally found a 16oz can. The tripel is hard to find under the barrel notes. There is a floral yeastiness at the end and bit of candi sugar throughout. The apple and brandy are dominant and pleasant enough, but not necessarily harmonious with the base beer. I am enjoying this, but it might get to be a bit of a chore to finish as it is just too sweet.

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Photo of Beejay
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A pale hazy amber in color with a small white head.

S: Apple, and pear with dark fruits, and a touch of Belgian character, as well as light vanilla and oak.

T: While the vanilla and oak are a bit subdued in the aroma, they are very prevalent in the flavor. Bunches of oak and vanilla, with light citrus, and a bit of a booze flavor int he finish. Somewhat more bitter than I would have thought.

M: Medium thick body with moderate to high carbonation, a little sticky in the finish.

O: Overall a pretty decent brew, interesting, but perhaps a little off as far as the match.

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Photo of bret717
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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 kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

C- (2.63) / BELOW AVERAGE

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Photo of gopens44
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of Lucular
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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 jdhilt
4.02/5  rDev +2%
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 nick_perry
1.77/5  rDev -55.1%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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 ichorNet
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of threeviews
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
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)

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of q33jeff
1.76/5  rDev -55.3%
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.

**

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
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...

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Golden Delicious is clear and sparkling like champagne... right up until the last few ounces are poured. The daisy yellow beer doesn't lose its paleness or radiance but its complexion turns thick and pulpy like nectar. The bubbles, however, continue to drift daintily and create a pretty pearl necklace for a head.

The concept of a hopped-up Tripel aged in apple brandy barrels makes sense in the abstract; the style is characterized by ambrosial orchard fruit flavours and spice, qualities that figure to be complimented and/or enhanced by tropical hops and time spent in the barrel. And wow are they ever!

This bouquet is downright divine. Coconut and vanillin-rich oak is the perfect platform for floral aromatics and flavours of peach, pear, apricot, plum and, of course, different types of apple. Butter and caramel are drizzled overtop and, with a pinch of yeasty spice, it's reminiscent of vanilla ice cream and compote.

I have to respectfully disagree with those who find this boozy, cloying, or simplistic. It's strong and sweet, sure, but no more than you'd expect from an 11% beer aged in apple brandy barrels! How it scores so much lower than Allagash Curieux (tripel aged in bourbon barrels) I simply don't understand.

Golden Delicious is so much more than just apples. One might just as soon guess the beer was aged in plum or apricot brandy barrels. Plus factor in the rich, coconut-y notes of the actual oak, a light bacterial tartness, the showcase of tropical hops, hibiscus, rose petal, and a soothing alcohol-laden sweetness.

Golden Delicious is like a classic Russian novel: dense, memorable, brilliant, timeless. It's the kind of beer one could go back to time and time again and never tire of. It's difficult to imagine this 2015 vintage will ever taste any better and, if I had any more bottles, I wouldn't risk waiting to find out.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy golden orange with a thin creamy white lacing ring.

S - Apples and light brandy.

T - Apples, brandy, and oak with a bitter apple finish. Alcohol level is fairly well hidden.

M - Juicy and makes the mouth water profusely.

O - ABV is well hidden.

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Golden Delicious from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 646 ratings