5 Years Later | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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5 Years Later5 Years Later
116 Ratings
5 Years Later5 Years Later

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Billolick on 02-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 71
Reviews by meaghan2k:
Photo of meaghan2k
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
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 virinow
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from tasting notes. Sherry, alcohol and cocoa on the nose. Pours deep dark opaque chestnut to mahagony under a 3” finely bubbled foam cap. Rich chocolate caramel rolls over the tongue bringing roas, coffee, alcohol and a bitter hop accent by the finish. Very creamy texture and a medium full body.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Tim – thanks!

Pours black with a light tan head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts with a light roast and semi-sweet chocolate. Also present are good amounts of pine and light herbal hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts up front are quickly sweetened through the addition of slight toffee and lighter caramel malts. Midway through the sweetness subsides as pine and leafy hops take over, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer tasted too much like a kitchen sink, with too much going on to fully accentuate the positives. Still, it fared better than most beers that fall into that trap. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Speedwayjim for the bottle!

A: Hearty fingers of light head on a fluid dark body.

S: Muddled hops, alternating citrus and candy-like. Underlying chocolate and kilned grain. Not exactly complimenting one another but interesting in parts.

T: Upfront with a twinkling medley of herbal, citrus and pine. At this point, they take center stage with a base of porter-like malts. This would be interesting as the hops subside and integrate. Bit of alcohol heat on the back end. Bitter resin finish.

M: Creamy on the tongue with a mellow carb tingle. The 10% shows early on but maybe the alcohol is overriding my ability to taste it, but it seems to subside. Loving this g'dang creaminess!

O: Maybe I'm not a huge fan of ABAs but this is more of an imperial ABA. Love the viscous body but would like to revisit this in a few years as a black barleywine.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Ralphs66
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn, I had some friggin awesome expectations for this beer; and at $15 a bomber, who wouldn't. Don't get me wrong, it's a REALLY nice beer. But when it boils right down to it, it's CL espresso stout with a higher ABV, a bit more carbonation, and a bit more complexity; but not by much. Pours nice, dark and mysterious. Great foam, and it's hanging on. Smells are coffee and chocolate, with some smokiness and alcohol. Like I said, a really nice beer, but I wanted more than just a nice buzz from it.

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Photo of GuisseppeFranco
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Gmann
4.01/5  rDev -1%
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 scootny
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This a combined review of the fresh bottle and a cellared version. I am taking the higher scores from each category.

Appearance is just short of perfect. Dark cola color with a towering light brown head that stays forever and leaves lots of lace. (Both)

Smell is very chocolatey and is nuanced with vanilla and oak. Mild cherry and a hint of leather. Deep roasted grains and warm dark breads. Hops are big as well with a good piney bite and a touch of citrus in the fresh and more muted pine in the older.

Taste is where this stuff sets itself apart. This is like a cross between an American stout and a DIPA. Big chocolate malt front with coffee and mocha trailing after. Aging lets typical barrel flavors like oak, cherry, and leather develop. Nice. Fresh, the hops sweep in and cover this stuff and give a BAM grapefruit signature to the finish and then the more subtle aspects show themselves. Alcohol is more evident in the aged bottle in the middle of the swallow as the more lovely hops cover it more. However it in no way tastes like 10%. Finish fresh is all hops and grapefruit, aged is coffee tinged earthiness and a bite of hop oil.

Feel is lighter that something this strong has a right to be. Fresh it has a velvety creaminess. Older is shows a gentle carbonation and a light syrup thickness.

A great sipper and a two for one beer. Fresh it was more like a DIPA but with some cellaring it reveals some extremely complex barrel like flavors. Glad I had it fresh and old.

Notes from 4/15/11

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of resistdefy
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Paul (pmlondrigan) for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a dark chocolate brown color. When held up to the light a dark ruby red color can be seen. Over two fingers of great looking dark tan head is achieved with a moderate pour, that dissipates slowly leaving chunky lacing.

Smell - These American Black Ale's are starting to grow on me. Nice hops and pine up front, then overshadowed by charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, and earthy notes (slight floral hops at the end).

Taste - What an interesting flavor profile. The bitterness of the hops and pine flavor are definitely up front but then are taken over by a stout like sweetness which is intermixed with slight citrus. I've had a few styles of this before but this one just stands out a bit more and really makes me sit here and try to pick out the flavors one by once as they cascade. Bready malts in the back, a hint of the earthy/floral characteristics, and burnt malts. One of the best of this style I've ever had.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy, decent carbonation, finishes with a hint of bitterness on the palate.

Overall - Extremely pumped I was able to try this. When Paul mentioned this beer and I looked it up I couldn't wait to taste it. This is a very well done version of the style, and honestly, after having a few others based on this style I'm curious if I will ever find something up to par with this. A very enjoyable beer and one that is easy to drink for how high of ABV it is (I didn't even look at the ABV until after drinking some and couldn't believe it was 10% - I get just the slightest taste of alcohol in the taste and no warming sensation). A splendid beer.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: It pours jet black with no evidence of any hues or clarity when held up to the light. There is a good looking two finger tan head that displays solid retention and leaves a bunch of sticky lacing behind.

S: The smell begins with a healthy dose of piney hops. The crazy thing is this bottle is a couple of months old (4 I think) at this point and still really hoppy. There is hint of the dark malts with some tobacco, and charred barley. As it warms a touch of booze surfaces with some raisins and vanilla in tow.

T: The hops are up front but not as overwhelming as the nose indicated. It is very piney followed by a wave of dark, charred malts. There are some deep smokey notes from the malt that are reminiscent of a good cigar. The finish is boozy, bitter and moderately dry. For me the taste is a bit abrasive overall.

M: Moderate to thin body with rich carbonation.

O: Interesting beer, but definitely not one of my favorites from Captain Lawrence. I think you could say this was an attempt at an imperial CDA, but the charred malts are just too acrid and bitter for it to be truly successful.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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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Photo of Dubber55
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a very dark brown/black with 1 finger of mocha head. Leaves some spotty lacing. Looks nice

I smell mostly pine and booze

The taste follows the nose: pine and booze with maybe a little smoke, some roasted malt, and a little coffee. Not terribly complex. The booze is there- has a rubbing alcohol type flavor

Mouthfeel is on the medium to heavy side. Kind of chewy

Drinkability is below average. The booze flavor is too pronounced for me and the beer itself is not complex. I wouldnt want to drink more than 12 ounces

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Photo of mindspin315
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge light brown head and sticking all over the glass. Dark body not quite black but close. Brown around the sides and bottom of the glass.

The aromas blend together and smell like a IPA, Barleywine, and Stout hybrid. Upfront on the nose piney hop notes. The blend of hoppiness and graininess of a Barleywine come through almost simultaneous with the pine aroma. Dose of chocolate malt and caramel midway. Toasted bread and roasted malts as well. Would like to know the 5 hops/5 malts used to make this beer.

This is not the freshest of bottles, so I would love to see how the hops were on this one fresh, but they definitely are playing a big part here. Flavors of chocolate, caramel, pine, and citrus. A bit of grain and hops through the middle. Finished with a wash of bitterness and a bit of dryness. Touch of heat in the chest. Light smoke and ashy quality at the end and in the aftertaste as well.

A bit more hops upfront on the taste would improve this beer a lot for me, but I still found plenty of aspects to enjoy. (Granted I'm not drinking this fresh so the hops most likely have faded a bit). The aftertaste is very good. This beer blends together aspects of different beer styles quite nicely. This beer falls under the Black Ale category and I find it to be one of the better versions of this style. Not the best of, but certainly a top the mix. Better as it warms.


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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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Photo of mtomlins
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of Amalak
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +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 DarthKostrizer
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to jrnyc for this one

Look: Pours a pitch black with a brown ring around the bottom of the glass great 1 inch head and excellent retention and some very nice circular lacing.

Smell: Very potent piney hop note and some chocolate.

Taste: Upfront is a very odd hoppy flavor maybe cause by the five different versions of hops melding together. It is a bit off putting and to be honest is it me or does most every black ipa have a fruity pebbles like taste to them. The beer finishes off nice with a bit of coffee and as it warms some real nice chocolate notes show up.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and a bit astringent

Overall: Not the best black ipa I have ever had maybe this one is affected by age because I know I have had it for about 2 months now so I would love to try it again fresh


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Photo of PBoegel
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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 spinrsx
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%

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5 Years Later from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 116 ratings