Hop Commander IPA | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

very good
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Hop Commander IPAHop Commander IPA

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as IPA

We jumped the gun along the way making our Hop Commander IPA before a base but it worked out for us. Working backwards gave us an incredible profile to work off of to make a very well balanced IPA with a lighter, softer touch than our Imperial version but still packed with hops.

Added by Billolick on 01-27-2013

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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 678
Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/14/15, a month and a half old.

Pours a nice creamy fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, decent soapy lacing, very hazy orange-yellow grapefruit peel color.

Nose bright hops, spicy hops, some mild pine and grapefruit peel, generic fruitiness, citrus rind, little soft malt.

Taste brings a little sweet malty note but not much, mostly hops again, spicy with a little pine, some grassy notes, lots of citrus rind again, grapefruit pith and peel, lots of rind and spicy bitterness, a little more generic fruity flavor, and juicy hop with bitter hop extract or hop oil kinda thing. FInish is very bitter, dry, spicy chewy hops, like chewing on hop pellets, mouth smashing bitterness that makes me keep sipping.

Mouth is med bod, nice fluffy carb.

Overall not bad, not my fav style IPA or hops but does well for the style as that's what they were going for, nice carbonation, dry finish, etc, pretty enjoyable when you want a mouth smashing bitter IPA.

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Photo of scotorum
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4


Just began to have this well-regarded brewery's products distributed in my state, although I have enjoyed a couple of their offerings before, purchased in the state next door.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams IPA glass.

a; Clear dark gold with a two inch thick white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Citrus and pine resin.

t: Resin up front leavened by a hefty bready malt base approaching caramel notes, Moderate bitterness balances the substantial malt flavor. Dry finish.

m; Medium plus, very good body and plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A chewy, quality IPA. Bitterness begins to build and linger, but the substance of this brew invites more sipping.

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Photo of toolbrew
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a teku from a 12oz bottle dated 10/15/2015. Clear copper color with lasting head and lacing. Some piney and light sweet citrus aroma. Great bitterness and sweet finish with an excellent balanced body. Solid IPA - would have again.

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Photo of PJKSR02
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think this is un-retired, as I bought a case in Connecticut in December, 2015.

Nice hoppy pale ale, with an interesting combination of hops. Not a whole lot else to say, other that it's nice a NY brewery is producing such likable beer!


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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid beer. Picked up while in Mt. Kisco, opened within three weeks of bottling. More of an imbalanced malt/hop offering that tastes of light citrus and heavy, bready malt. Smooth with an earthy aftertaste.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At the brewery with Kc. Peach, cantaloupe and grapefruit hops with a sticky lingering bitter. Smells like a bag of peach ring candy and misc tropical fruit. Really hangs on the tongue.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. IPA
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "Bottled on 09032105", consumed on 10/18/2015

Appearance: Hazy, golden-orange body beneath a one finger thick head of frothy white. Head retention is slightly better than average, and it leaves nice spots and splashes of lace about the glass as it goes.

Aroma: Citrusy and tropical, delicately resinous, floral, and mildly grassy and piney. It's not bold, but it's bright. Some straightforward golden malt comes through as well.

Flavor: More malt comes through in the flavor than the aroma suggests, but it still acts as the base or springboard for the hops. It's more grassy and piney upfront with the citrusy and tropical notes following across the middle and lingering into the finish. Nicely balanced. Solid bitterness leaves it dry.

Mouthfeel: Sturdy medium body. Crisp carbonation.

Overall: Solid all-around. It's a little bit west coast, a little bit east coast... all drinkable. There's more than enough to hold your attention, yet not so much that you can't drink two or three.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw gold with a finger head that dissapates quickly to some serious lacing. Crisp aroma grainy. Fresh taste with very clean finish. Nice.5

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Photo of rich7311
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just bought a 12 case. The distributor said it's a repackaging of the IPA - not!
This is a much hoppier IPA than their usual. They claim an ABU of 65, but it seems higher.
Nice bite. Very clear, not like their other IPA, which is cloudy. Very similar to Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, probably the same species. This is my new favorite. If you are a hop nut - try it!

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Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light copper and golden color with a thin bubbly lace.
Initially a citrus aroma in nose followed by some bready cracker malt and a slight whiff of alcohol. The aromas are not overpowering and mostly clean.
Hops forward taste; grapefruit, piny, resiny, bitter and dry finish and aftertaste that feels herbal and leafy.
Crisp with a stinging carb, medium to light bodied. A solid hoppy IPA that is drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of RJQ3
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Captain Lawrence really knows how to brew some delicious IPAs!! This one I believe is highly underrated! One of the best citrusy IPAs I've ever had. High in calories though at 213 per 12 oz. Very Hop forward with a sweet mango finish.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Grapefruit, citrus and herbaceous. Well balanced, super crisp and insanely drinkable. I definitely think this beer is underrated. I was very impressed with this IPA. I could drink this everyday.

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Photo of royalenfield
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Solid IPA. Subtle bitterness upfront that gives way to classic Cascade citrus/pine hoppiness. Long, dry finish that lingers powerfully. Despite a generous creamy head and lots of lace, this beer feels slightly thin and under-carbonated in my mouth. Nevertheless it's flavorful and very refreshing, and it was a great companion to my bacon cheeseburger.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Definitely not getting this grapefruit everyone is talking about. A very simple but good hop bill, which has the aromas of a flowery/fruity foretaste and a fresh, clean aftertaste. Won't knock your socks off but something you can suck down and be cool with ordering again. :) Seems to me like a better version of Flying Bison IPA.

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Photo of burlyegg
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is very good and has a flowery/fruity taste. It looks a little lighter than I like an IPA, but the flavor is great and bitter hoppy! Reminds a lot of Summit Saga which is a favorite of mine.

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Photo of Beertsipper
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on July 20th, 2015. This will be the freshest IPA I've ever sampled. Pours with a small white head, light golden in color. Smells of citrus, grapefruit rind, tangerine, some bread. Taste is citrus, orange pith, lemon peel, dank earthiness, herbal. Nice malt balance. Lots going on with this beer. Finishes on the dry side, but not too much. This is a local brewer and I'll be seeking this one out again, as well as their other offerings.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Brilliant yellow gold. Creamy white head and stellar lacing.

S: Doesn't really blow me away, seems muted overall, but there is beauty in subtlety. A tropical melange, some spicy and earthy hop presence.

M: Soft a little chewy. Active carbonation. Very, very drinkable.

T: Some passionfruit and light tropical sweetness. Finishes with lime burst and pine. Well-balanced beer with a clean malt underbody.

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Photo of drtth
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a nice apricot amber color with a 1" frothy white head that slowly recedes to provide a covering for the lightly hazed liquid. As the head recedes to an irregular ring around the glass there are some patches and irregular legs of lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. Sipping creates patches and legs of lacing that mostly cling to the side of the glass.

The aroma isn't particularly strong but is citric in character with some definitely floral tones and what is probably sweet malt in the background.

The flavors are both citric and floral but the emphasis seems to be orange/tangerine rather than grapefruit. Those disappear as the malt begins to show but without the malt becoming overly sweet.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium-bodied but the carbonate seems a bit weak. The finish starts with the appearance of the malt which fades away into dryness as a touch of bitterness emerges.

Seems quite drinkable but isn't really an IPA I'd go out of my way to find. While its easy to drink and pleasant enough its also a pretty standard IPA. Fine as something to have but not something which stands out as being in any way exceptional.

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Photo of jac391
4.61/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank this directly after a Grapefruit Sculpin - thought I set this up to fail with that great beer my nearest memory. Wow was I wrong. This is a terrific ipa. Great price at Wegmans in PA compared to many of my other favorites- Fresh Squeezed, Sculpin, Union Jack, Racer, etc.

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Photo of weltywm
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Amber with about 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation. Looks pretty perfect.

Smell: Citrusy hops and a hint of booze.

Taste: Just like the smell, I taste hops up front: nice and bitter, with hints of lemon and orange. As it warms, the malt is a little more pronounced, and I began to notice the grassy taste of the hops, in addition to the citrus. Some sweet biscuit rounds everything out. The alcohol is pretty hidden, though I can feel it starting to warm my stomach as I type this.

Feel: Really fluffy and highly carbonated. Very smooth with a nice bitter finish.

Overall: A very balanced IPA. Won't destroy your tongue with its IBUs, but it's still a very tasty brew. A great standard version of the style, and definitely sessionable as well.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Light citrus and herbal hops followed by toasted, bready, biscuity, and pale malts.

Taste: Same as above. Simple and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, light bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Was expecting more from these guys considering I like some of their other brews. More of a pale ale than IPA too.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

POUR: From a 12 oz bottle. Deep gold color, some slight floating sediment, but very fine particles. Soapy white head forms and stays. Looks like a typical IPA, though the sediment hurts the rating slightly. Good lacing though.

SMELL: Leafy hops are big in the nose, with floral and bitter aroma. A touch of grapefruit pith and light sweetness are underneath flowery hop.

TASTE/FEEL: Bitter upfront, and pretty much stays there. Citrus pulp tries to poke through a bit. Malt has a honey flavor and acts as a perfect vessel for the bitter assault. As it warms a slight nutty note from the caramelized malt. Unfiltered raw hoppiness grinds away to a drier feel on this medium bodied pale. Abrasive at first with citrus and tangerine coming through nicely.

OVERALL: A drinkable IPA for sure, and one I would turn to often. This is East Coast IPA all day. It is a fine, gritty specimen of a style quickly falling behind the times.

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Photo of Genuine
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel Tulip - It poured a very nice copper body with a very slight off whit tan head that stayed around for alittle before falling and leaving some beautiful lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell - I immediately noticed the aroma of the beer right after pouring - Very nice pine, earthy, citrus notes come across.

Taste - This is such an underrated beer and it deserves much more attention than what it's getting. Solid hop profile that brings together a nice bitterness to balance the malts. I'm getting citrus, pine and maybe some chinook in there. The finish is excellent with a clean bitterness that isn't over powering. It's such a wonderful array of flavors that I'm having a hard time nailing down one aspect.

Feel - Medium bodied and carbonation is spot on for the style. Helps with the aroma and the hop bitterness

Overall - This is one hell of a solid IPA that deserves a bit more of the lime light. This is one of the much better offerings and definitely deserves a tip back of the glass from more people. This is going to be part of my regular rotation.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.07/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased as part of a 6 pack at Whole Foods in the Bowery (NYC). Expectations are average; this is my first Captain Lawrence beer. Served cold into a kitchen glass.

BOTTLE: Bottled 10/28/2014. Brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Generally appealing label art. 12 fl oz.

Reviewed live as an IPA.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. White colour. Decent frothiness. Above average creaminess. Could be softer, fuller, and thicker. Retention is nice - about 4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Hazy nontransparent translucent copper with yellow hues. No yeast particles or hop sediment are/is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Decent looking for an IPA, with no stand-out characteristics.

AROMA: Has a weak uninteresting hop profile - generic citrus, floral hop notes, pale malts, stale orange juice. Has a predictable pale malt base. Balance is decent but a bit uneven. No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

A decent aroma of average aromatic intensity.

TASTE: Floral and fruity, with prominent tangerine, a bit of grapefruit, and a kiss of pine over a simple pale malt base. Takes on some mango as it comes to temperature. That's pretty much all there is to it. Has a middling balance and not much going on. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Don't expect much intricacy or nuance here, but the fruit has fair subtlety to it.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, overcarbonated, crisp, medium-bodied, and unrefreshing. Moderate thickness. It's decently executed, but fails to elevate the beer. It doesn't specifically accentuate any constituent notes, but it doesn't get in the way of the taste either. Meh.

OVERALL: A drinkable forgettable IPA. Fair quality for a grocery store beer, but there're far better brews available in New York City. If I lived in the city, I might purchase this again, and I'll enjoy polishing off the six pack, but this doesn't make me eager to try more Captain Lawrence offerings. Likable for what it is.

Low C+

Second impressions from another bottle: Drinkable but wanting.


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Photo of FredZ
4.64/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exactly what I'm looking for in an IPA. The hop profile is perfect, and is a must buy if you live in NY. This should be your "go-to" IPA.

A- Gold and orange mixed together, healthy amount of head and superior lacing. Poured into a tulip.

S- Citrus, citrus, citrus....lemon, grapefruit, orange, and all the flavors I love. Not too piney. It's a poor man's Heady imo.

M- Not too carbonated, easy to drink. The abv is forgiving, making the alcohol hide in the background.

T- Like I said, this has Vermont written all over it. It is a solid choice, it feels like a Vermont based IPA. Those of us on the East Coast....take note.

O- This beer deserves to be on your short list of "go-to" 12 packs when you just want a hoppy beer to drink. Can't say enough good things about this IPA.

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Hop Commander IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 678 ratings.
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