5 Years Later
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

5 Years Later5 Years Later
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American Black Ale
4.04 | pDev: 11.39%
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
5 Years Later5 Years Later
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 116
Reviews by Phyl21ca:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep dark burgundy brown color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of pine and astringent hops with notes of caramel malt with some toffee notes. Taste is a complex mix between some pine and astringent hops with some sweet malt notes with some caramel and toffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting though not something I would feel the need to drink on a regular basis.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Rusty18
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Shilt
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of marshmeli
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of Willytee3
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml Bottle into tulip

Pours a dark chocolate brown with red highlights in light. Rich foamy latte colored head.
Smells of rich milk chocolate with bitter dark chocolate notes. Some toasted Malts, a touch of blackstrap sweetness. Foamy bubbles cling with some sticky lacing.
Tastes of coffee with chocolate undertones, dark bitter bite. Dry bitter bite, stovepipe with a touch of sweetness followed by licorice and earth. Unsweetened chocolate finish.
Feels medium body and chalky.
A touch of booze comes through as it warms.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into 50W tulip glass - bottle received from zipper8650

A: Pours a very dark brown with a beige, 2 finger, silky head. In a couple short minutes the head settles into a thin, creamy ring. Leaves a good, sticky lacing.

S: Nose is very piney and hop forward. A good amount of roast which comes off as more chocolate than anything else. A hint of citrus notes as well. Hints of molasses and dark figgy-type fruits as well.

T: Very hoppy. High bitterness. There is a lot of sweet and roasted malt at the finish, which balances to the hop bitterness well. Coffee, mixed with some smokey pine, and bites of licorice sticks.

M: Medium body. Dry. High Carbonation. A little boozy.

O: Captain Lawrence continues to impress me. This one has a great balance of hoppy and malty with a high level of complexity.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mschantz
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best beer I've ever tasted. Had it with a cheese platter at Gramercy Tavern in NYC in Jan 2015, which means this particular bottle had been cellared for at least 3 years.
Poured a deep dark black, with intense smells and a taste that lingered long after the meal was over.
Drink it if you find it!

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Photo of Billolick
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle purchased at the brewery in Pleasantville a few days ago. Vince V. says this is a "Black DIPA". No bottling date info. The label is top notch, with spacey black and silver designs and nice lightning bolt logos on the corners, well done.

Pours black, dark tan frothy head, leaving respectable fine sheeting and strands of lacing.

The nose is where the excitement starts, its loaded with dark chocolate, mocha, vanilla and later dusty hops. Big and juicy sniff on this one.

First I get another blast of dark chocolate, then dark pumpernickel bread, some vanilla, followed by a jolt of drying, bitter and pungent hops.

Mouthfeel is rich and chewy, like a dark chocolate milkshake, with a hop infusion on the tail end.

Flavorful, complex, dense waves of chocolate balanced with all those hops.

Congrats on 5 outstanding years!

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Appearance: Looks like a porter, with the fudge brown liquid capped by several inches of foam; nice retention and an impressive display of lace (4.75)

Smell: A cross between fudge and charcoal with a likely gap where the hops used to be (3.75)

Taste: Burnt toast with a smear of melted chocolate; the hops that are left still make a statement, struggling to add a piney tone; the malt lingers into the finish (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation (4.25)

Overall: When I bought this bottle I didn't research the style, thinking that a 5 year anniversary beer would be a barleywine or an old ale; oh well, my mistake....this is still a decent beer but nothing like what the Captain intended (3.75)

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of mcallister
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very deep mahogany showing some scarlet hues in the light. Head is high, rocky, tan and killer. Long lived and spotty sticky lacing.

Rich roasted caramel aromas, black malts, piney and citrusy hops, chocolate covered orange slices, apricot, light stone fruits. A hint of smoke and asphalt at the end. A really nice aromatic treat.

Wow this beer may change my perception of the style. Rich complex, crazy long finish that finishes citrusy and full of bitter hops but then is suddenly clamored and stops to a huge bitter roasted malt. Lots of chocolate, spent coffee grounds, burnt sugar, mocha, orange peel, slightly sweet toffee, and milk chocolate, bitter. Some piney and earthy hops linger late in the finsh. Just a big, complex, monster of a beer and delicious. Rich, creamy, and bold.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a chalice at Great Bar Harry in Brooklyn. Certainly an interesting beer. It had a fairly rich character, yet wasn't too thick to impede the drinkability. There was a clear roasted coffee and roasted chocolate note followed by mild dark fruit notes. Overall, was a great beer to have at the end of the night.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:
A 750ml capped bottle, received from hoppymcgee, opened late April 2011 (thanks, Greg!); poured to a pint glass at around cellar temperature (50 degrees F, give or take)

'Deep, Dark & Hoppy'; brewed with 5 different hops and 5 different malts. Side label includes a nice statement of gratitude from brewer Scott Vaccaro regarding the 5 Year 'Journey' that Captain Lawrence has embarked upon.

A: Gorgeous two-finger head, sturdily-built and tinged the color of toasted marshmallows. Over ten minutes or so, it winnows down to a lumpy cream, thickened at the edges and trailing strands of foam. Not quite 'black' (shows some mahogany at the fringes), but good enough. Healthy carbonation when held to light.

S:Toasted, dry 'grain' aroma - borderline 'burnt', then a nose-twitching spiciness. Liked it at first - then 'ho-hum' afterward. Decent strength yet not a ton of depth.

T: On the more-chocolate, less-ashy side of 'Black IPA' - for which I'm grateful

M: Smooth, actually ridiculously smooth. I may not be a big fan of the style/flavor, but I can definitely appreciate the feel. And this has a very fine one.


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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of PBoegel
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle served in a Sierra Nevada hop tulip.

Dark brown to black coffee with a light tan head. Good two inch foam head and plenty of sticky lacing.

Orange, three muskateers, caramel, mango, with plenty of alcohol.

The flavor profile is more pronounced, orange, sappy pine, bittersweet chocolate, slight roast and pineapple. Big alcohol in the finish leaves a warning sensation.

Finish is dry with a touch of malt sweetness, moderate esters.

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Photo of Kendo
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid probably more than I should have (about $17.99, I think) for a 750 ml bottle at Westmere Beverage. Consumed on March 5, 2011.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with mahogany hues around the edges. A 2-finger light brown, bubbly head settles on top and leaves behind decent lacing.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose, but what's there is real nice: chocolate malt and leafy and earthy hops.

T: Great taste. Nice chocolatey malt up front - I get both dark chocolate and milk chocolate at different times. Also a bit of roasted coffee in the middle. Finishes with American-variety hop bitterness: piney with some citrus. There is a touch of heat at the finish, but at 10% that's not surprising, and I didn't think it took away from the taste at all. Overall, this is tremendously balanced between the chocolatey malt that I like in a big stout and the hop bitterness I like in a D/IPA. Great stuff that really earns that 5 rating, at least for me.

M: Full-bodied. Carbonation is active but fairly smooth all around.

D: Excellent. Obscenely drinkable for a beer that's 10% ABV.

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Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of light tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves excellent lacing on the glass as it goes.

S - Spicy, dark malt with some peppery chocolate in the background and hoppy notes of pine, juniper, and mustard.

T - Pepper, clove, and dark, smoky coffee up front. Some very dark chocolate notes in the middle and more pepper with a hint of pine hops. Finishes with dark chocolate, smoke, pine and juniper hops along with a lingering note of spicy mustard.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, this beer is huge and complex but also unlike any other black ale I have ever had. Great malt character with hops that keep things balanced and set the sugary notes off in just the right way. Really well done.

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Photo of Gmann
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near pitch black color with a huge dense light brown head that slowly settles into a rocky cap, leaving tons of lacing.

The aroma is of fruity grapefruit hop. Not super strong but pleasant.

The taste on the other hand is quite malty. Dark chocolate and metallic notes get things started. This is followed by burnt caramel, licorice and strong roasted bready malt. Some light sour fruit flavors and a nice shot of grapefruit hops round out the flavor profile. Tastes like a hoppy stout/porter.

The beer has a moderate body with prickly carbonation. Malty throughout on the palate and has a light hop twang in the end. ABV seems well hidden for the most part.

A very solid malty brew. Thought it was going to be more on the hoppy side after the aroma but it turns out to be more malt oriented. Probably want to drink this fresh to taste the hops but this will still be good after they fade.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear very dark amber (close to near black) in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan and dense head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of pine resin hops and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness and notes of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because it’s not very bitter and the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap review supplemented by a bottle

A: The beer is black with only a touch of brown when held up to the light. I have had a few black IPAs american black ales or whatever they are called this week and this is the blackest I have ever seen hands down. A finger of bone colored head with some spotty lacing as well.

S: The nose is of green hop and an obscene amount of malt. It is weird the only thing that is even close is Stone 11th AKA Sublime but this takes it to the next level. Some chocolate. Just a touch of roast which works since it does not really work with the hops.

T: Starts off with equal part hop bitterness with some chocolate to balance it out. There is some other malt but it does not really impart much to the taste but it balances it out nicely. This beer is hoppy as hell right now. It really is quite balanced all things considered. You only get the slightest hint of the ABV.

M: Surprisingly light given the ABV and the grist. Feels like an IPA which is impressive.

D: One of the most drinkable 10% beers that I have ever had. You think black IPA but you would never think this. Totally gonzo beer. Congrats the the Captain. Makes me look back 2 weeks after their opening and sitting in an empty tasting room with Scott. Now such problems are a thing of the past. Congrats to the Captain for 5 years and many more.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a huge thanks goes out to rich for this one. i had been dying to try it so i brought it out last friday to split with alex. poured into pint glasses.

what a nice deep, dark, black pout that let no light come through what so ever. a good head of tan crept up the sides of the glass and left some nice lacing all along the sides.

dark malts are very prominant here with chocolate, lots of roasted notes, hints of vanilla and tobacco and of course very nice and perfectly placed piney hops. this carries over well into the taste as the hops come out first and give a nice little quick bite of flavor before the rich backbone of smokey malts kicks in with all of its sweet, roasty goodness and balances out the palate, creamy with a wonderful carbonation to it you really had to search for any hints of alcohol here at all.

overall an outstanding beer. great fresh, cannot imagine it ageing well, but really just outstanding the way it is right now!

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5 Years Later from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 116 ratings