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: 669
Photo of justintcoons
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Pale gold with 2 fingers of creamy, white head. Excellent clarity with lively carbonation.

Pine, grapefruit, florals, and caramel. Light aroma.

Yellow grapefruit, pine, and honeydew. Caramel and honey malts. Finishes with florals and pine.

Medium bodied, crisp, and oily with a medium bitterness.

Goes down smooth but it's not overly impressive. Very standard IPA.

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

a very good ipa overall, dynamically hopped with some citrusy varietals and bringing along just enough bitterness. glowing orange this one, with a short white head thats pretty thick. the nose is brimming with juicy hops, orange zest and cit grass, super green and fresh, which translates into a refreshing experience. the malt is fuller bodied but minimal in flavor, not sweet or aggressive enough to interfere with the beautiful hop profile in the beer. it gets even brighter in the finish, where the hops are more than citrus, almost tropical for a moment, before a rather clean finish for the style. the abv is a little high for a basic ipa, but it forces me to slow down and enjoy every sip. captain lawrence is obviously making some of the best beers in the east right not, and it was a treat to have a fresh pint of this during my travels back east. i wish we got this stuff out here, and this one gives me a greater appreciation for the captains reserve double ipa.

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a slightly sweet pale malt with an herbal hop.

The taste offered a balanced pale malt and herbal spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a decent but non-eventful IPA.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours bright gold in color, very clear, and very thin lacing.

S - Balanced aroma with crackery malt and a citrus/pine blend.

T - Nice bright citrus zing from start to finish and a moderate bitter pine finish.

M - Medium body with lots of carbonation pricklies and finishes with a mild creamy finish.

O - A solid IPA and would like to review a fresh(er) bottle next time.

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Photo of scootny
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely light orange/amber into my snifter. A prodigious light yellow/white head that leaves a light covering after a slow fade. Lot of lace and light carbonation visible through the mildly cloudy liquid. Nose has lots of bready light sweet malt, citrus and and orange grove. A touch of fusel alcohol sweetness. Light amounts of caramel too. Taste is bang on good. Malt front is quickly folded into a hop showcase that start with a touch of earth and blooms into a bright citrus cascade. Toasted grains give a nice counter to the plentiful hops. Some resiny oil in the clean but slightly long finish that mixes with a bit of light toast and caramel. Medium light crisp feel makes this a delightful thirst quencher with a mild tingly carbonation. A great summer slaker and glorious take on one the classic American styles. While on the strong side for seasoning it seems to fit the bill anyway and will be on my short list for grill day beers.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep gold ale, just short of clear; a few fingers of tan foam; moderate lacing down the glass

S: melding of grapefruit pith and pine resin, with some moments suggestive of wood and herbs and grasses

T: malt base presents nice fresh grains, subduing the hops from coming off too strong, and rounding off the beer's bitterness

M: medium-to-light body, some soft carbonation on the tongue, bittering effect starts off mellow but closes down dry and blunt

O: a nice IPA, with a fairly typical hop and malt profile, well-made if not earth-shattering; certainly worth the buy and try, but not likely to displace any of the bigger names out there

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

bottle date: 04/04/2014. pours a clean strawberry blonde silvery white head

nose: slightly subtle; pineapple/tropical fruits, pine, fresh, bready malt, herbal, touch o' honey

taste: pow! grapefruit zest, lime, tropical fruit, bready malt, finishes in a piney-herbal-citrusy haze with hop bitterness and a nice pineapple note

feel: vibrant, aggressive, bitter, medium-bodied, drinkable

My first try from Captain Lawrence, I don't know who he is but he makes a damn fine IPA... may be one of my favorite east coast IPA's. The nose is lovely but not too overwhelming. Take a sip and there's no doubt this is an assertive, proud IPA. Complex, flavorful, West-Coast hop profiling, real nice.

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Photo of fank2788
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Slightly hazy, bright gold in color it starts out with a bit of frothy bubbles on the top that quickly settle to just the tiniest layer on top of the liquid and as is typical for a beer with some hops, there is quite a bit of lace. The smell is hoppy, a mixture of both floral and citrus and only a touch of malt in the background. The taste is really all hops too with a lot of citrus up front and then a good dose of pine and floral so its a nice mix. The bitterness is moderate and there is just enough malt to keep things balanced. The bitterness is quite tingly in the mouth, that is combined with a decent level of carbonation which make the beer feel quite active. Overall this is a highly drinkable IPA that could definitely become a new go to beer for me.

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Photo of gobseulmuhri
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A rather fresh IPA from a reputed brewer? Sign me up please.

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Golden yellow with a finger thick head and medium retention. Some lacing but not much. Glows nicely in the light.

S: Lots of west coast hop aroma - the kinds I really enjoy. Citrus, pineapple, mild grassiness. There is a small bit of malt, but not enough to balance the hops.

T: Same as the smell, except that the taste lacks backbone. There are loads of nice hop flavors but because of a lack of malt balance, the taste felt incomplete. Bitterness is there but is slight and more of an afterthought.

M: Medium carbonation, crisp and dry. However, the mouthfeel is thin and, honestly, a bit wanting.

Overall, a decent west coast styled IPA. I don't think I would buy it again even though I'm really into the hop flavor profile. It just lacks a bit of the malt balance needed to make it something memorable. I much prefer some of the other IPA offerings like the flower power or union jack...

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Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy, bright golden orange color with straw colored edges and a one finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting roasting. Spots and streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral, juicy hop aroma with a nice balance of dank, earthy resins and crisp citrus/tropical fruit sweetness countered by a pale biscuit-y malt backbone. Hints of fresh cut grass, pine needle and crystallized kind bud followed by grapefruit, mango and blood orange sweetness. This citrus/tropical fruit presence really stands out providing perfect balance to the earthier notes. Subtle pale malt backbone some biscuit, bread and cracker.

Medium body with a blast of sticky hop bitterness that lingers over the sweeter notes and pale malt backbone into a dry finish. Dry and earthy with hints of spruce tip, chewy pine needle and resinous hop oils but the complexity of the hop profile prevents it's from becoming overwhelmingly bitter. The citrus/tropical isn't quite as strong as in the nose, but it is still pretty prominent with hints of juicy grapefruit, mango, curaƧao and pineapple balancing out the bitterness. In addition, the pale malt backbone provides more complexity and balance with subtle notes of biscuit and graham cracker. There some faint boozy sweetness toward the finish but it doesn't hinder the hop flavor at all and this beer remains extremely drinkable at 7%. After a few unexpected let downs from Captain Lawrence recently, this beer was a very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of EdwardK77
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Slightly cloudy with limited head, limited lacing left behind.

S- Not overly powerful but I've never been happy with my olafactory prowess.

T- Good citrus present with some puckering bitterness. (Not over the top bitterness but average amount)

M- Slightly light in the mouthfeel department but a little stickiness at the end of the sip.

O- I've always enjoyed Captain Lawrence's offerings, especially on tap. This bottled version is an easy drinking ale that you could enjoy straight through a barbecue.

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Photo of Gavage
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a yellowish orange color with a 2" head that lasted a long time. Nice lace develops.

Smell: orange and floral bitterness create a nice aroma.

Taste: caramel, orange, and mango, with a mixed floral and woody bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish with a touch of dryness arriving late.

Overall: this is a well balanced IPA that provides refreshment you expect in the style. This could be your staple IPA in the refridgerator.

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Photo of FLima
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really fresh, this baby is a little bit over 1 month old, so I got some high expectations. Thanks for the freshness date!! Can believe how rare this is in US.
Golden amber color with a thick two finger head with good retention and leaving lots of laces.
Delicious aroma of grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, caramel, resin and slightly toasted sweet malt.
Flavor of American spicy yeast, grapefruit and orange-lemon citrusy, passion fruit juice blended with its seeds, toasted malts, caramel, earth, soap, minerals and faint wood. Relatively low on pine.
Quite dry and bitter aftertaste, though its 65 IBUs behaves quite elegantly, still it made me sneeze.
Light body with good carbonation. Alcohol of 6.5% abv is well hidden.
This was a positive surprise, a fine, easy to drink and balanced IPA. Initially it is not complex, but then start to reveal its flavors.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a stemmed tulip glass. 3 weeks 'old'.

A- Dulled brass color with some red-orange hues. The pure white colored head rises just more than a finger. the head never quite goes away thanks to abundant tiny bubble carbonation. Just a bit of lacing. Not beautiful, but fresh looking.

S- Lots of citrus hops, mostly grapefruit to me. I get some green onion and dry cracker malts.

T- Citrus hops like red grapefruit. There's more malt flavor here than in the aroma.

M- Despite the bubbles, the carbonation is lacking. Not much hop bite, more of a long dry hop finish after a short tang.

O- This is a unique IPA, clearly different. I like the name "IPA".

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Photo of JonAdams
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

a clean and crisp IPA, was served too cold and the room was cold, so was hard to pull the scent from it. However, it was drinkable but not brassy. The color was amber, like golden wheat. There was a nice bitterness but not like I'd find in a Stone or even a Goose Island. however, I'd have it again.

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Photo of mick303
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip glass, poured clear and honey golden colour, fair bit of carbonation with a generous white fluffy head, immediate whiffs of hops. Shows good retention and lacing. Bottles (11/15/2013) so about 3 months old.

S - lots of strong citrus notes, ruby grapefruit, lemon and orange, floral tones, slightly sweet with all the springtime aromas but has some bready malt also to back it up and its quite enticing.

T - fruity. Lots of grapefruit! orange marmalade, strawberries, concentrated fruit though, like a jam or jelly. Has some citrus rind, pleasant bitterness, bready malts with just a slightest hint of caramel. Subtle sweet toastiness. Finish is fruity and floral, not very dry until the very end where there is a bit of hoppy bitterness. All round pretty good, but a little too reliant on the grapefruit and florals for me.

M - pleasant, moderate body, sessionable, lots of creamy scrubbing carbonation, easily quenching with a coating citrus hoppiness. Body doesn't have a bit alcohol heat, but is a more hefty beer that holds its own with a good balance. It comes across thin initially when it is just the lighter fruity/floral hops and the real 'meat' of the beer takes time to develop on the palate.

A good IPA that is worth a try. See the caveat in the mouthfeel section, there are some improvements to be made that would make this a more rounded and complex IPA, it struck me as overly reliant on Cascade but the overall flavour and feel of the beer and quite solid.

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Photo of dank203
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours golden, lager color. watery looking, filtered. aroma is pleasant, getting a hint of floral perfume undernearth and a dank citrus note dominating. it reminds me of the nugget nectar aroma, flavor has a spice note, and finishes sweet and creamy. its smooth and light, drinkable

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Photo of danreitz
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweeter, cloudier, and much less hoppy than most IPAs. I noticed a reviewer commented on its clear appearance but my bottle poured a translucent copper color. I wonder if the other reviewer had the Pale Ale instead. This beer is thick-feeling but extremely drinkable. Bought one bottle as part of a mixed purchase and I'm wishing I had a second.

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Photo of Act25
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm proud to enjoy Captain Lawrence. So far every brew is good.
BTW - IPA is not really that masculine a beer, it's got a lot of candy, fruit, in it.

A: Pours amber yellow body with steady carbonation and a persisting film of head and lace.
S: There are AMPLE aromas of citrus hops, pine resin hops, candy, sweetness, spring grasses.
T: The taste follows the smell and with MORE citrusy and pine resin flavors along with a long, tingly, happy finish.
M: Feel is medium-bodied and and plenty crisp with a moderate carbonation.
O: This beer offers extremely hoppy and candied aromas and flavors. It's as good as any sweet ipa .

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Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into CL stemware. Bottle dated 11/13/2013.

A - Light orange, thin head and solid lacing.

S - Cotton candy, and a touch of fruit medley. Pineapple and orange mostly.

T - Slightly on the hop-forward wide, but relatively balanced compared to a lot of IPAs. Mostly pine and a touch a orange juice. Not much back bone.

M - Light bodied, dissipating mouthfeel.

O - A fine India Pale Ale.

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Photo of mverity
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle share at Proof. Pale gold with some white head and a good collar. Faint aroma of lemon, a touch of malty sweetness too. Light malt and some clean/spicy hop presence. Medium body and carbonation. Enjoyable but nothing I'd give another shot; sad because some Captain Lawrence brews are among my favorite.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz, Bottled 9/13/13
Riedel tulip

A: Very clean clear light orange color. Thin layer of bright white. Leaves some lacing bits. Good carbonation rising from bottom.

S: Aroma is different than I was expecting for IPA. Muted floral hops. Almost grape like. I was expecting more pine and tropical west coast fruits.

T: Not aggressive at all up front. I was expecting WC IPA, not at all. More like east coast pale ale. Some floral and bitter notes. Malt bill. Dry finish with lingering bitterness.

M: Lighter side medium.

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Photo of dougfur
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt-straw color, clear and decent head. Smell is malt and yeast, almost no hop character. Taste is about the same, though there is just a hint of bittering hops. Overall, this is a very mediocre beer and I would not pay money for it again. This is beer brewed for folks who don't really care...

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Rob S, thanks for the opportunity. Bottled 07/18/2013
Pours a slightly hazy medium golden color with a huge bubbly off white head that persists forever. Huge lemony grapefruit hop aroma with hints of pine and resin. Light bready and caramel maltiness. The flavor is odd. Earthy almost bitter citrus flavor with bits of caramel and sweet bread. Light astringency, light sulfur. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a slick bubbly resinous mouthfeel. Decent beer but the odd sulfurous component kept this from being great.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into DFH spiegelau IPA glass; clear golden orange with a fluffy white head that doesn't seem to fade at all, and leaves chunky lacing when it finally breaks.
Smells of pine, herbal, and slight bitter citrus rind, overtop of crackery malt.
Tastes of bitter grapefruit rind, pine, and bitterness, overtop of nutty, crackery malt.
Mouthfeel is carbonated and thin.
Overall, a nice IPA, well-balanced albeit a bit simple.

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Hop Commander IPA from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 669 ratings.
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