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
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

5 Years Later on tap at The Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, NY.

Appearance: Served in an eight-ounce glass, it produces barely a faint head that dies quickly on top of a black-colored beer with brown overtones. Lots of bubbles, remarkable lacing.

Smell: Cigar, smoke, hearth. Tobacco leaves grass, barnyard. Roasty malts, dairy. Muddled nose despite these interesting notes.

Taste: Overtone of Cuban cigars and smoke. Chocolate, nuttiness, sugars.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, medium body, low carbonation, medium flavor. Slightly hoppy and dry at the end. Underwhelming mouth.

Drinkability: For a 10%, this is mighty poundable (the 8-oz serving obviously helps a lot). Not boozy, well balanced. But also, no better than a 6% Black Ale/Black IPA. Good, but not amazing, and even a tad underwhelming for a special anniversary ale.

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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 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 Ralphs66
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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 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 fastpass17
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4oz Bottle

A: Rich brown in color, the head has a brown tinge to it. Good carbonation through out the drink.

S: Opens with chocolate mixed with cream. Then hops come in somewhat resiny followed by pine. I really enjoyed the overall aroma.

T: This starts off like a brown ale, pine then comes to the forefront, there are notes of burnt sugar and rum through the drink.

M,D: My one caveat is the fifteen dollar price tag. Sharp on the tongue at first then enjoyable. Split the bottle with a couple of friends after a meal it is strong.

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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 Zodijackyl
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber that is fresh from the Captain's men this week. Winter congestion makes it a bit hard to smell the beer, but it does smell good.

Pours black with a light tan head. Aroma of earthy hops and caramel malt with a hit of citrus hops at the end. Taste starts with somewhat sweet hops up front (more a pils taste to them) which is followed by a big rush of citrus and tree-tasting hops and a bit of warming from alcohol, but little ethanol shows through the taste. Bitterness comes through the malt in small amounts as it warms up a bit, matches by a bittersweet hop taste and a lot of citrus/tree hop freshness. Clean mouthfeel and the hops and malt make a solid aftertaste of citrus/pine and a bit of black malt. Very drinkable, other than a slight warming in the finish, I would never know it was as heavy as it is.

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Photo of Dubber55
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
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 pgaveau
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep brown with a foamy cream head. Smells like a hoppy IPA with some booziness. Taste is molasses and carmel popcorn. Almost a syrupy mouthfeel. This goes straight to your head so split the bottle (although I was happy to enjoy mine alone) I could do this one again although I would let the booziness settle for a few months. Definately a solid beer.

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Photo of phreshbeer
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Sold in a 25oz bottle with an attractive silver/black label. The beer is "black" in color and hard to see through. When held to the light a dark mahogony is revealed. Head is coffee colored, thick, and sticks around for several minutes.

S: Chocolate and hops.

T: Bitter Chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt to start. Next, the warm flavor of alcohol. Finally, strong bittering hops at the finish. Overall, a nice combo of flavors.

M: Heavier than an IPA, but not as creamy as a stout. Feels just about right for black DIPA.

D: Very drinkable for a 10% beer. Even though its hoppy, this beer may be suitable for aging.

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Photo of diddly
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip - dark, dark black, with a nice tan head.

Very rich flavor, with hints of alcohol, but surprisingly smooth. Most of the flavor definitely comes through from the malt, but with some subtle hops in the back. There's also some very nice smoke.

The aroma, though, is powerfully hoppy.

Overall, a very good beer.

Very happy that I have a few more bottles of this to hang on to - can't wait to see what this is like later on.

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Photo of mistakebythelake
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle thanks to ubufan2112.

A dark brown with hints of red color to this beer. Slight head Hints of floral hops, fruit, roasted malt and oak. Got a lot of smokiness and fruit characteristics with some chocolate on the finish. Low carbonation and not to thick considering the flavor profiles. A pretty good balance and glad I shared the bottle with some other BA's as I probably could not have finished myself. Wonder what aging would do to this beer?

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Photo of brew3crew
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark with maroon around the edges. Tan head that sticks around for awhile
S-some citrus hops along with raspberry? Reminds me alot of the pb&j from shorts
T-smoky and toast malts. Almost a coffee taste to it. Very complex
M-medium bodied and smooth with some coffee after taste
D-very drinkable considering abv

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish red. A bit of frothy off-white head. Smells very smokey and malty. Lots of smoke on the nose. Tastes bitter and strong. Tons of malt on the backbone . The hops rare fairly prominent but honestly are overpowered by the smoke. The hops are mostly grapefruit centered. Pretty darn drinkable for a 10 percent!

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

Well I didn't want to pay 15 bucks for this beer, so a 6 dollar 16 oz. growler was the way to go. Pours deep, dark black with deep brown edges when hit with light, a billowing tan head sits atop this brew. The head fades and with each sip leaves another sheet of lacing. The aroma is a blend of earthy, piney hops and chocolate, roasted malts. Flavor comes on strong in the form of dense bittering hops, piney and slightly astingent. Dense malty body, not so much roasty as chocolaty, with some hazelnut and chestnut flavor. Well balanced but nothing really pops. Just a tad hot at the end, but all in all well put together. Again @ 15 bucks it pains me to give this beer such a good score, its just to expensive, but it is also well executed.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received as part of my Birthday BIF box from dmeadows; thanks Denis! Been looking forward to trying this one.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for about two minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, rooasted malts, bready malts, light chocolate, and some earthy notes at the end. Big hops up front which then give way to some earthy and musty notes. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, roasted malts, and chocolate malts. All four mix together up front into a nice combination. Some nice bitterness up front as well due to the hops. Also some bready malts, light vanilla, and light alcohol.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy body, goes down very easy for 10% ABV. Great mouthfeel.

d - I thought this was a very drinkable, enjoyable Black IPA. I thought the mouthfeel was amazing and I didn't have a problem drinking the bottle by myself. The smell and taste have that interesting Black IPA combination of hops and chocolate/roasted malts, but this beer does it better than most. One of the better Black IPAs I've had; would certainly have again. Another good beer from Captain Lawrence.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ubufan2112 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours near black with a good light tan head and some sticky lacing as it moves down the glass. The nose is really, really quite nice. Loads of earthy hops with a bit of pine. Nose almost exhibits a bit of an oak presence as well. Some roast lingers in the background. The taste doesn't hit quite as hard, though the hops are front and center and there is that hint of oak in the finish. Feel is dry; there is no indication of the ABV at all. Really pleasurable. This is one of the best American Black Ales I've to date.

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Photo of scottcarpenter
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a growler purchased @ DiCiccos (Ardsley) on the 5th-Year Anniversary launch by Capt. Lawrence. Poured into tulip.

A: One shade off from jet black. Slim tan head that stays; not much lacing.

S: Backbone of pumpernickel and dark crusted bread. Top notes of spicy hops, and a sweet roastiness. Light floral hint.

T: Bold malt and yeasty flavors up front. Burnt sugar and bitter chocolate with a slight charcoal taste form the basis. Spicy hops rein it in and add sweetness but no fruitiness. Drying bitter finish that lasts and lasts with a bit of an alcohol blow. A fuller taste when warmed up.

M: Lowish carbonation; smooth and a bit chewy. Stays in the mouth and helps the taste stay around.

D: Quite drinkable, but even better sippable. Alcohol is noticeable, but you still wouldn't guess 10%. Booziness feels like part of the flavor profile.

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Photo of cavedave
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A one finger dark beige head relaxes to a lively skim atop this black and opaque brew. Lace sheets cling with persistent resin to the glass.

Luscious chocolate and roast greet my nose, followed closely by heavenly citrus hints, dark bread, even lighter hints of floral. Enticing bouquet.

Oh wow, this is really quite a blast of flavor. It starts with burnt sugar and herbal bitter, picks up the pace with some dark roastiness, even some charry bitter, drying pine joins, but the bittering hop in this is dominant, a delicious extract of bitter pith flavor, especially in the finish. There's a lot of complexity to the malt bill, but little in the way of sweet balance. I mean that in a good way.

Mouthfeel is more IPA than Porter (unlike many supposed black IPAS), nice attenuation, very resinous, dry clean finish, maybe a touch too much carb. if I'm picky about it.

Drinkability is good as any big offering in this style, esp. as alcohol is well hidden by hop flavors.

Impression: Congrats on five great years, this huge beer is a wonderful creation to celebrate.

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