Frost Monster Imperial Stout
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Frost Monster Imperial StoutFrost Monster Imperial Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,918
Ranked #8,923
3.95 | pDev: 9.62%
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
Very Good
Frost Monster Imperial StoutFrost Monster Imperial Stout
Notes: Imperial Stout with Chocolate and Coffee
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 428
Photo of micada
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 12.7 oz bottle we picked up during a special beers of Christmas hunt in 2017. I have two, and was in the mood to try one to make room for another cellaring pick. Chilled, poured hard into a snifter. Head was three fingers, dense, dark mocha color. Aroma was practically non-existent, maybe a tiny whiff of dark chocolate. First sips were subdued flavor, mostly stone fruit vibe. Mouthfeel was very good; thick, slightly carbonated, with a kind of birch beer linger. On warming, it opens a bit more chocolate flavor, but the stone fruit keep focus. Coffee is nowhere to be found, maybe as a result of the age? No alcohol burn for the high ABV. It's a little one-dimensional compared to some of the stouts I've been trying lately, but very drinkable and, surprisingly, I've pounded most of it just while typing this review!

Update 05/23/18: Opened my last bottle of 2015 vintage score. Poured hard into a plain barrel glass. Huge four-finger, tight-bubble mocha head that drops to lacing in a few minutes. More coffee and chocolate on the nose, which is much more fragrant than the first bottle. Mouthfeel is full, thick, and leaves a nice dark chocolate aftertaste. Again, drinking it is mindlessly easy, and the alcohol stops by soon after to remind you there is a lot of it there. I think CL might not have as much hype as other companies, so maybe I was expecting less than, but it's really a solid beverage. With two under my belt, I almost wish I had a third to cellar even longer. It might be one of those sleeper beers that needs a looooong time to reach its potential.

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Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown liquor (no light passes). Lasting but small head. Good lace in the form of streaks and blankets.

Sweet and sour behind the darker malt aromas (which are milder than expected).

Very rich taste and body with a treasure trove of semisweet chocolate flavors. Neutral body with an elevated carbonation level. The finish has a bit more sweetness with the predominant flavor mocha. The swallow gives me a definitive alcohol taste, which lingers.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opaque, dark brown beer with a two finger brown head. The aroma is mainly roasted malt and dark chocolate with a little coffee. Sweet roasted malt gives way to a massive amount of chocolate and then finishes with bitter coffee and chocolate. The ending bitterness is a nice balance to the sweetness and chocolate. I really like this beer.

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Photo of hophugger
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Interesting. Classified as an Imperial Stout but looks and kind of tastes like a strong ale. Lots of malt balanced pretty good with bitterness. Brown in color. Smells a little sweet and finishes bitter with a minute bit of metallic

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almost completely black with a nice feel,thick and full. Aroma of malt,dried fruit,coffee,and bitter chocolate. Despite high abv it was well hidden and allowed all the other flavors to come through. This is one of the few high abv beers that I've tried that I would definitely try again

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Photo of fscottkey
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] The ABV is not listed (it is 12% according to their web site). It has a really clear bottled date (12/13/2016). The beer is black and forms a fat 3 finger head of dark brown head. The bubbles in the head are totally uniform and small. Looks really nice in the glass.

S: [3.50] Dark fruits, plums, figs, booze.

T: [4.00] Marshmallow, charred wood, bittersweet chocolate.

M: [3.75] Better than medium body. Lower carbonation. A slight burn on the back end of the palate - but not enough to lower the enjoyment.

O: [3.75] This is really a sipper. The booze on the nose does not come through on the flavor - so that is positive. But this is still a big beer and needs to go down slowly. I would drink this again but generally I stick in the under 8% range so it would have to be for an occasion.

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Photo of avalon07
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of malt, chocolate, apples, and a bit of coffee. Not an overwhelming aroma, but still pretty good.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of dark chocolate notes, some of the advertised apple brandy (not as much as I would have thought), a tinge of coffee, and lots of roasted malt. A solid enough flavor that has some interesting characteristics. Could have used a tiny bit more oomph with some ingredients, but it's still tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat dry and chalky finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer is uneven in spots, it's still worth a look. Drinkable.

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Photo of PaulElk
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reminds me of Ten Fidy and Founders Imperial stout. All the complexities of roasted malt with well hidden alcohol. Bottled 11/22/2015. This stuff was a great find

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Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been on a Stout kick recently as part of the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. This one is a little over a year old, dated 12022015, so I suppose that there is no time like the present.

From the bottle: "Craft Brewed in New York"; "Deep & dark as a cold winter night ... The Frost Monster is lurking, Brewed with a massive amount of malt to give it the rich, roasty and smokey [sic] flavors expected of such an ale. Drink it this winter or lay some down for winters to come. Cheers, [undersigned] Scott Vaccaro".

Knowing that the Frost Monster is lurking, I was kind of reluctant to Pop! the cap & awaken him from his slumber that he began in 2015, but I pressed ahead. I gently poured the beer into the awaiting snifter, but as soon as I got enough decanted to make it worthwhile, I gave it a vigorous swirl. That did it! The Frost Monster rose up, forming three fingers of dense, foamy, deep-brown head before exhausting himself and falling back to wisps. He left a lot of sticky lacing in his wake & I began to contemplate my next move. I stuck my nose in for a whiff & was met with notes of black coffee, licorice, dark chocolate and (for me) an unidentifiable booziness. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing him to hide beneath the surface since there was ZERO light penetration. Mouthfeel was medium, but very smooth and silky on the tongue. No wonder so many previous reviewers characterized it as "dangerous" due to its ABV. The taste was very roasty and smoky, bolstered by flavors of dark chocolate and a liquor-like flavor that I still could not identify (although I saw that it was aged in apple brandy barrels). I still could not help but think of it as a dessert beer, especially since it kept putting me in mind of liquefied brownies. This was a very rich beer. Finish was semi-dry with the roasty smokiness winning out and lingering well past the swallow. Phew! I was glad for my inadvertent aging, but if I see the 2016 release, I may buy two - one for now, one for later (MUCH later).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, roasted malts, some fruit, some coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a smoky and hearty roasted malt character up front. Then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. There’s no hint of the 12.00% ABV, but also no hint of the apple brandy barrel aging essence either. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are several better big stouts that I would pick first.

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Photo of cwalter
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The stuff pours like motor oil and looks like it too. Jet black in color with a fluffy med tan head 2 fingers in depth. Tons of roasted chocolate malts in the aroma. Also getting a charred character reminiscient of smoked meats. Maybe even some hints of liquorice. The flavor is rich, heavily roasted chocolate malts, coffee grounds and maybe hints of dark fruit. However the charcoal flavor really predominates in the mid to back end of this beer along with some alcohol warmth in the back end. This beer has a moderate to heavy mouthfeel. One of the better imperal stouts I have head, not a huge fan of how smokey it is though.

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Photo of farrago
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thick head, close to three fingers, very dense with an even surface, about as dark brown as you are going to get, the lacing stretches out into long streaks with good stick. Fully opaque black liquid, nothing gets through it, can see the tiniest micro beads of bubbles just below the surface. The nose overflows with chocolate, cocoa and a strong roasty quality, not quite bitter enough for coffee notes, leans more towards toffee and milk but in no way “soft,” some cherry or plum fruit scents, a bit of campfire wood smoke, dense enough to be compact yet not evanescent. Full-bodied, you’d be tempted to call it heavy were it not for the dryness which helps to relieve weight. The carbonation also has the power to lift it off the palate. There is some booziness here and in the mouth more bitter coffee notes and wood smoke. The licorice, milk, butterscotch and chocolate notes can’t quite smooth it out but maybe better for it as it might become too simple. The roast lingers well and overall it seems like it would benefit from medium to longer term aging. Given its headiness, not sure you’d want more than a couple in one sitting.

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Photo of zac16125
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: 11/12/2015

I accidentally left this in the freezer for approx 24 hours which caused it to freeze. This was several weeks ago, and it has been thawed since at fridge temperature. Hoping I didn’t affect the beer that much.

A: Pours an opaque black with 1 fingers width of mocha colored head dissipates at a moderate rate and leaves a few small patches of lacing. 4.25

S: Aroma is roast, leather and tobacco, subtle cocoa. Decent amount of sweetness to balance the roasty and leather notes. Very nice. 4.25

T: Taste is roasted malt, semi-sweet cocoa, some herbaceous notes on the finish, raw oak, light roast coffee bitterness. 4

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium body with a carbonation thats on the higher end of the style. Not sure the ABV but if its high then its well masked. Drinkability is average. 4

O: A nice non-BA/non-adjunct IS. Good combination of roasty and leather/tobacco, with a subtle sweetness to balance. A well done brew. 4

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and thick. Large dark khaki head is dense and long lasting. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smokey, roasty aroma. Bitter dark chocolate, dark(almost burnt) malt. Espresso and licorice.

Heavy roasted malt on first sip. Dark chocolate and espresso. Smoke, earth, and licorice. Just a touch of vanilla and cream counterbalance.

Thick mouth feel with mild carbonation. Creamy feeling belies the heavy, bitter flavors. Lingering dark chocolate but with a touch of sweetness.

Big, bold heavy stout. Very creamy feel.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque; very deep brown - virtually black; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3 finger medium brown head that receded slowly to a splotchy cap; OK lacing;

S; deeply roasted grain; bittersweet chocolate, a hint of vanilla;

T: follows the nose from start to finish with a mild to moderate bitterness;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: very nice, but not as complex as I would have liked;

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Photo of tone77
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, hops are present, and surprisingly, alcohol is not. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a quality beer, and maybe a bit too drinkable at 12% abv.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company "Frost Monster"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED 12022015"

Appearance: Opaque black-brown body beneath a dense, finger-thick head of orange-tinted dark brown. Both the head retention and lacing are average.

Aroma: Alcohol and fruit mix over dark bittersweet chocolate.

Flavor: As in the aroma, the alcohol is prominent, as well as the yeasty fruitiness (plum/prune, raisin, apple/pear, berry, some cherry). This is clearly a monster that needs to be tamed! Chocolate notes help to balance the middle, along with some nuttiness, toastiness, burnt sugar/ brown sugar, molasses, and piney hops. Charred roastiness and bitterness linger in the bone-dry finish, combining with alcohol and yeasty fruitiness... it's a very long-lingering finish, but also one that's fairly harsh.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a clear silky-smoothness from alcohol. Moderate, fine bubbled carbonation. Delicately bristling at the outset and then utterly velvety and silky. Nice!

Overall: I've never had a less than stellar beer from Captain Lawrence until now, and I'm really quite shocked as it's a big beer as well - I can only hope that this was a one-off batch that got away and just fermented too warm (at least there are no higher alcohols). Still, it has some redeeming qualities, and isn't completely to be ignored, it just needs to be truly treated as a sipper. - - - Ahhh... I just saw that this was aged in apple brandy barrels, Laird's no doubt, and I'm sure that's exactly what I'm finding. In that case, perhaps this is an example of going to excess. I don't think that the barrel aging has helped at all, and rather hindered, especially in a beer that already boast 12% ABV.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifter

Black liquid, two finger brown foam cap settles to a dense, pencil thin layer

Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate

Taste of Roasted malts, dark roast coffee, a roasr coffee bitterness

Alcohol is well hidden

Good beer

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Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges and a half finger of head. This offering has a rich "round" roasted quality and a full body even for the style. The finish has more than a fair share of hop essence for the style.

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Photo of BFCarr
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoky is the defining characteristic of this one. You wouldn't know it comes in at 12%. Pours dark with a 1/4" brown head. Roasted, malty and warming, as an imperial stout should.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is black, dense, head is tan, fine bubbles with nice lingering quality.

Smell is very pleasant: nice roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, some espresso, then some earthy hops and subtle bitterness.

Taste is great, hard to believe it clocks in at 12% abv: roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee earthiness, hops are earthy, slightly piney but balance the strong flavors.

Mouthfeel is a standout quality of the beer, very pleasant and lingering flavors, moderate carbonation, maybe some drying on the tongue.

Overall, a very very good beer that hides its strength very well.

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Photo of KidFrosty
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice thick head. Dark black color. Nice chocolate malty taste with a bit of burnt flavor. Smell is actually kind of mild for such a strong brew, or maybe just compared to IPAs.

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Photo of CHickman
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch on tap at the Lark, pours pitch black color with a small 1 finger tan head which dissipated slowly and left good spotty lacing.

Smells of chocolate, burnt grains, smoked grains, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, light coffee grinds, faint piney hops, cocoa powder and rich roasted malts. Basic yet enjoyable nose.

Tastes of chocolate malt, oaky notes, toffee, coffee grinds, dark chocolate, piney hops, light floral hops, molasses, Hershey's syrup and mild earthy spices. The chocolate is dominant and really stands out, delivering nice complexities and rich chocolate malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a slick feel and little to no carbonation that hides the ABV masterfully. It's a thick beer but not quite chewy. I've had this beer before from the bottle, but this well aged keg added nice depth and additional flavors for a really smooth and enjoyable stout.

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Photo of BodiesLexus
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottled 12/6/13. I'd forgotten I had these in the closet. Yay, 2 year aging.
Pour is beautiful jet black with half-finger light-tan active head. Appears medium to light-medium in density or perceived strength. Brownish-brick red on an 1/8 of the edges.
Smell is roasty raisins with charred chocolate. Molasses is imagined. Dang, what an enticing whiff! An iota of dry alcohol assaults the nostrils if you look for it.
Taste: cocoa, caramel, the midpoint of bitter and sweet chocolate, the hotness of a cherry-chocolate cordial sweeps past -- every taste has a mid- and end-palate of tingly dry hops -- almost too much sharpness after 720+ days, yet it's nice to not have a flat/syrupy cocoa mess as well.
An hour after I poured it, it's still carbing anew with every tilt. As it warms, the smell is more woody, imagined smokey, the alcohol whiff almost a dead ringer for plum/apricot brandies I've had from the old country.
It may not be rounding out into perfection, but this is incredibly better than the single I had when I acquired them 2 yrs ago. Can't remember seeing it recently on shelves, but ppl ought to grab it up and wait 2 years, they'll be friggin' glad if they do.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is a red tinged black, no head but visible carbonation. Smell us a little apple brandy right off the nose straight into chocolate, coffee and leather.first taste is apple brandy sweetness then straight into roasted coffee with those 2 battling until each sip is gone. Its a bonfire night beer, toffee apple sweetness with coffee and treacle bitterness balancing this beer perfectly, a great beer and also pretty original.

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Frost Monster Imperial Stout from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 428 ratings