C-Note Imperial Pale Ale | The New Old Lompoc

very good
186 Ratings
no score
Send samples
C-Note Imperial Pale AleC-Note Imperial Pale Ale

Brewed by:
The New Old Lompoc
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by freed on 08-19-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 186
Photo of Tucquan
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this in a 22 oz bomber in Portland, OR on 2010-02-02

A - Clear caramel with a 1/2" light tan head

S - Light apple and pine with a hint of citrus

T - Mild raisin, caramel, slightly sour with a medium-strong grapefruit bitterness. Alcohol is well-disguised and the malt-hop balance is well done. The flavor is good but not extraordinary.

M - Crisp

D - Could be a session beer.

 383 characters

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: The pour is a deep caramel and toffee color with a finger and a half of creamy head sitting on top. The head retention is fair, as it sits there for a minute or two. Very little effervescence is present. After a few sips and a few swirls, there is a dash of lacing above the line of beer.

Smell: The nose definitely presents an IPA, but a 100 IBU IIPA? Not quite sure it's there. A lot of herbal notes like pine and grass and a little bit of citrus grapefruit show up, but I was expecting a bit more of a punch

Taste: The malt backbone upholds the wave of hops, but perhaps too well. There is a lot of toffee and caramel sweetness coming through on the palate, which is overpowering some of the hop flavors from really gushing out. More pine and grass and citrus grapefruit and a little orange peel come out throughout the tasting.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, average carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: This was a good beer, but I don't think I'd trade for (or crate if I had the option) it again.

 1,061 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note- I've reviewed this beer bottled before, but I feel the tap version deserves it's own review, as I find it quite different. On-tap in a shaker pint at the 5th Quadrant location.

Pours amber with a dense finger and a half of off-white head that leaves many rings of sticky lacing in its wake.

Even blunted by the crappy utilitarian glassware, the nose is quite nice. Resiny pine, grapefruit, pineapple, sweet bready malts. There's an earthy element in there somewhere.

From the first sip, this is obviously quite superior to the bottled version (which itself is still plenty tasty). All 7 hop varieties seem to do their best to shine here. It starts off earthy and nutty. A fair amount of sweetness is joined by resiny pine and a healthy squeeze of grapefruity midswallow. Dries out to a lengthy, fairly puckering pine and earthy finish. Body's on the high side of medium, moderate carbonation.

Overall impression: The bottled version is a great bargain- 4 bucks for a 100 IBU bomber- but I'd highly recommend getting it fresh at the source for those who may find themselves in Beervana.

 1,096 characters

Photo of brickhouse1
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A personal favorite for th past few months. Great deep bronze color and a fresh well balanced taste. It has a fuity nose to me that matches its crisp medium bodied crisp taste which is real dank reseny. Another one is the c sons greatings. A x mas double c note that is friggen awsome. Lompoc is putting out some great beers and we love to support the locals

 358 characters

Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Urban Farmer restaurant in Portland, OR.

The "C" designation in the beer implies that the beer is brewed with 7 varieties of hops that begin with the letter C. These include: Cascade, Centennial, Challenger, Chinook, Cluster, Columbus and Crystal. An astounding 100 IBU's at 6.9% abv

A - Beer is a dark amber / deep copper that has plenty of carbonation and a small off white head that creates plenty of thin lacing around the glass throughout the beer.

S - Beer smells of pine, fresh hops with a caramel / toffee malt backbone to it. There is also a strong flavor of citrus including oranges and grapefruit.

T - Nice healthy dose of bitter hops but still balanced at the same time. The hop profile does not significantly over power the beer as there is a malt back end to this beer.

M - The beer has a medium carbonation to it but has a tangy mouth feel that is quite pleasant.

D - Very drinkable even considering the 6.9% abv. The beer should not be called a Pale Ale given that it is more like a Double IPA or Imperial IPA than a Pale Ale.

Overall this is a very good beer. I look forward to enjoying having some more again

 1,150 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 9/24/09

Courtesy of PDXHops

A - Deep, rusty amber color with swaths of crimson highlights. Cloudy. Lightly toasted marshmallow-hued foam dissipates quickly leaving patchy bubble on top. Spotty lacing.

S - Distinct caramel aroma intertwined with citrus hop notes. It has a sweetness that is almost like a sugar cookie.

T - Akin to the nose with the only difference being a greater intensity to taste. Though the malts appear to be in abundance, there is a potent bitterness that slightly bests the sweeter aspects of the beer. Caramel & toasty malts are seated nicely with pine & citrus hops.

M - Just heavier than medium-bodied with appropriately restrained carbonation. Some resiny grit & lingering bitterness.

D - Very good; exceptional balance. If balance is your cup of tea, pour out the tea & fill up with this. Solid all around; I'd definitely give this another whirl.

 907 characters

Photo of mjl21
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland for $3.99. 22 ounce bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Comes in at 6.9% and 100 IBUs. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours a cloudy dark amber with some nice red highlights when held to the light. It has a one finger off white head that has some good retention. Leaves some nice lacing in between sips.

S-Get some nice fresh citrus, biscuit malt, grassy hops, and a little caramel.

T-Grapefruit citrus is the first flavor. The grassy hops are more apparent in the middle along with some biscuit malt and some sweetness. It ends with some nice bitter grapefruit.

M-Medium bodied, creamy, and has good carbonation.

D-Pretty easy drinking beer. It seemed liked Cascade hops dominated the flavor profile, but it was still pretty good.

I enjoyed this beer. I did not notice the 100 IBUs, but thought it was an easy drinking higher abv PA. Would like to try fresh on tap.

 918 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep amber with a bit of head and no lacing. Aroma is very hoppy, I'm not sure why they call this a pale ale... Very nice nose though.

Taste is super hoppy. Tons going on, very citrusy, floral, piney. It'll really kick your ass and palate real quick, but still fairly drinkable.

 323 characters

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle, Wackyfoot. No best by/bottled on date on label. Nice pop when opened and poured into my Moonlight nonic glass. Very nice hazed blood orange color with 3 fingers of thick manilla folder yellow. Milky way bubbles.
Aroma puzzled me and not very obvious...even as it warmed up a bit. Very subtle fruit that gets drowned out by soft leather & pretzel knots. Still smells good, though.
Dense hop flavor offering lots of bright citrus notes. Pink grapefruit and chewy as hell. Lemon acidity makes this a tad tart, but not overbearing. Somewhat creamy underneath the great hop flavor.
Spicy bitter in the middle with a slice of rye bread. Great complex body to round this out. Finishes bitter with a resiny grapefruit blast.
Spotty lacing in the glass, with a nice 1/4" head remaining throughout.

 811 characters

Photo of gameface23
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber color with an off-white head. The head doesn't last very long, but it does leave some lacing.

S: Awesome hop aroma. You can really smell the American "C" hops in abundance. Pine and citrus notes are in the forefront.

T: Piney hops backed up with some caramel sweetness. It ends with a tiny bit of spice and some earthiness.

M: It's a little thin, but I kind of like it.

D: Improved because of the thin mouthfeel. This is a really good beer!

 463 characters

Photo of madtappers
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well it took a while for me to review this beer as it has grown on me, the more and more I try it.

C-Note is packed full of hops and you can both smell and taste all 5 of the hops as you drink this awesome IPA.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a thick white head, great aroma of hops to the nose.

A must for any hop head...wouldn't try it if you fear the taste of hops!

 373 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at New Old Lompoc. After hearing all the hype on this one, I finally get to try it.

A - Pours copper with a 1 fngered off-white head. Dissipates moderately slow and leaves some nice lacing.

S/T - Honey, caramel, citrus, light toffee, and bittering hops balance this beer.

M - Full-bodied and well-balanced. Where is the alcohol?

D - Great. A very sessionable beer and worthy of some hype.

 399 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint during the Champions League Soccer Finals at the New Old Lompoc location for around four dollars, reviewed from notes, color is a light amber with some more orange highlights, 1 ½ inch creamy off white head that lasts a few minutes, above average retention and lacing for the style, aroma consists of lots of citrus, floral accents, piney hoppiness, earthy scents, caramel, herbs, and resin, taste is very similar to the smell, starts off piney and ends that way, some caramel malt in the middle, bitterness is nice even once it warms, nice balance and one of the best Oregon IPAs I have had, dry, crisp, and smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied, strong carbonation, taste lasts a long time, could drink several of these, great drinkability, cannot taste any alcohol, hope to buy bottles of this stuff soon, recommended

 820 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber.
Darker amber coloured ale, small light tan head. That goes fast,but leaves nice lace.
Good hoppy aromas waft up,grassy lemony some malt too.
Taste is rather balanced with a great toffeeish malt and lemony hop after wards. Very nice.
Good mouthfeel and palate.
A moderatly drinkable strong pale ale/IPA.
Like to taste fresh though.

 345 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy golden dark orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, nice citrus notes, very slight pines. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some nice citrus, and slight pine notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first from this brewery. I would not call this an Double/Imperial IPA.

 423 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A year-and-a-half ago, in the midst of a beer-intensive trip to Portland, OR, I had C-Note on tap at one of New Old Lompoc's locations. It's either a testament to C-Note's quality or my own foggy recollection that, 20 months later, I remembered its flavor and sought out the bottled version to bring home from a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest. And here it is before me. Will it be everything I remembered?

The rusted-blood color is deep and opaque, and the head is thin with a good bit of lace left in its wake. I definitely like its looks.

The smell is incredibly promising. Love this imperial IPA stuff, it's a fantastic style when done right, and my version of "right" means "balance." Give me tons of hops, but give me as much malt for balance and bigness. And this aroma is just as malty as it is hoppy. Grassy hops are worked into a caramel/toffee malt character, with an element that reminds me of those glassy/jewel-like Brach's hard candies: fruity, syrupy, sweet. Add a touch of alcohol and you have an absolutely wonderful nose.

Unfortunately, the flavor doesn't deliver quite as I remember when I had it on tap. The bottled version may not be doing it justice, or something in the recipe could have been tweaked between then and now...all I know is that this is merely "good," flavor-wise, when it comes to double IPAs. The hops are certainly not as bright as I remember. They're here, no doubt, but extremely grassy. I like it though, and I like that big toasted malt flavor that attempts to provide balance. Some mutated caramel comes in, as does some brown sugar. And why am I tasting salt? I haven't eaten for hours, so it can't be that. C-Note's flavor has much going for it, but it also has holes, or a lack of depth.

It would also help if it were creamier. This is a bit too tingly for the style, and the medium body just doesn't have the incredible roundness of better versions in the style category.

Somehow I knew this would never measure up to my memory of it. But I found it enjoyable enough, and as it warms it certainly opens up. The candy-like element in the nose comes in, not so much as sweetness but as a cherry/orange-like succulence. Modest ABV is also a pretty friendly aspect of C-Note. Any lover of the style should give it a shot, just don't expect brain-frying greatness.

 2,321 characters

Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bomber of this @beaumontmarket as I have yet to even try anything from new old Lompoc... and here I am a local! Go figure! Threw me off that an Imperial is only 6.9% Alc./Vol. in strength... oh well... I don't want a heavy beer right now..

- Almost an amber ale color... rather rich and dark copper color with mild head that goes quickly to a light swarm of lacing.

- Huge citrus and fruit nose.. but not 'extract-y' like a cheap knock-off... and a unique roasty caramel malt... something with the malt here... that I quite like!

- Smooth, balanced.. smooth citrus hops... real hops! No overboard extract here folks... move along... Great balance with a creamy caramel malt... they are really on to something here...

- Bit chewy.. due to the awesomeness of the malt profile... but overall a very good aftertaste and warm feel.

- Hugely drinkable, and I look forward to purchasing many more ounces of brewed beverage from New Old Lompoc brewing... seriously... why are they not just huge right now all over... is it their choice? What a great beer!

 1,062 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing firelight orange with a brick red influence that adds warmth and character. The whipped creamy crown maxed out at two fingers and is midway between pale gold and pastel orange in color. Gobs of glass decoration solidify what was already a pretty solid appearance score.

The nose doesn't quite make it over the hump. Any beer that calls itself Imperial Pale Ale, uses 7 of the best American hops in existence, and claims to 'push 100 IBUs' needs to be more explosively hoppy than this. I get a whiff of brown sugary caramel malt and two whiffs of grapefruit peel.

C-Note Imperial Pale Ale is a poor man's Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. It has the same pale-caramel malt backbone, only it isn't as sturdy as it could be in this beer. The biggest reason for flavor similarity is hop similarity. C-Note uses a combination of Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger. Celebration uses Centennial, Cascade and Chinook.

Positives include a firm smack of hoppiness and decent hop flavor. Negatives include a relative shortage of malt and a smidgen too much unmasked alcohol. The malt tastes more toasted-earthy-nutty than English toffee-like. Still, this is pretty good beer as long as one doesn't compare it to the greats.

The body/mouthfeel is midway between IPA and DIPA, leaning more toward the former. It's polished glassy smooth (not easy with this many alpha acids) and has an ideal amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel's quality wasn't appreciated until it was focused on. That's called 'sneaky good'.

Since C-Note IPA doesn't quite reach 100 IBUs, the name isn't an accurate one. Oh well, XCVII IBU Ale probably wouldn't have sold very well. Despite its derivative flavor, this is a good drinker if you have that hop monkey on your back. I'll be interested to see what New Old Lompoc can do with a few other styles.

 1,861 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clearish, deep, dark amber body with a frothy, white head.

Smell: Fragrant nose of caramel-coated and candied oranges, lemon, and mangoes with a garnish of shimmering, oily grapefruit peel.

Taste: Sweet caramel and crystal maltiness setup a sturdy base for the bright hop character. Citric, moderately bitter hop flavors of fruit and resinous pine. Finishes bittersweet, though only the raw hop bitterness remains for the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Touch of toothsome stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well, that was pretty good. A pleasant, hoppy lil' gem from Lompoc.

 633 characters

Photo of gibby
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber courtesy of Olmatty, cheers.

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Pours a darker amber with no head, I could smell the hops right away. Has a nice mellow citrus quality to it, caramel, candy like. The taste is very good and well balanced. You get the bitterness up front followed by the smoothness of the malt. Really reminded me a lot of an amped up victory hop devil. Drinks and smells more like an ipa rather than an imperial pale ale as listed on the label. I really enjoyed this beer and put a bomber down no problem. Looking for another!! At 6.9% its an easy drinker. Price on the bottle is only $3.99 which seems like a steal for such a nice beer. Wish these low priced high quality bombers were available around here. Most seem to be $8-15 anymore. I would recommend this brew and hope to get it again, very tasty.

 830 characters

Photo of dukew456
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Lazy Magnolia glass

A- Slightly hazy, dark amber/brown. A nice 1.5 finger tan head forms and sticks around for a bit, the result of a harder pour. Pretty good looking beer.

S- Caramel malt dominates the nose, with a slight hop grassiness in the back. Grapefuit hoppiness also backs this one up.

T- Initially much sweeter than I expected, with a strong malt presence. However, the hop presence makes itself felt toward the finish, providing a resiny, piney flavor, and a nice bitter balance to the strong malt profile.

M/D- Medium carbonation and a low abv (for the style) keep this one pretty quaffable and tasty.

I like this local brewpub, and this is the first time I've had the bottled version of this beer. I think that I remember it being a tad bit better on tap, but what isn't?

 825 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orangey brown, quite hazy, thin layer of tan foam that slowly compacts to a light veneer of suds

Aroma: thick malt syrup, caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit rind

Flavor: robust malt backbone that is sternly put in check by a firm hop bitterness and grassy hop flavor; hints of lemon peel and burnt sugar; finishes dryish with a long-lingering citrus peel bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, slick, slight astringency

 444 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy amber with a cream color two finger head and copious lacings. Aroma is one of the strongest and most pleasant (for a hop lover) beers I have ever encountered. Lots of resinous hops.
Taste is complex hop flavors including pine, resins, medium citrus, earthy, and some leather. The malts are quite pleasant and support the overall bitterness very well. The bitterness builds slowly but never becomes unpleasant. Grapefruit lingers on the tongue. Drinkability is exceptional and compares well with another 100IBU favorite whose initials are PTE. I can't wait to try this on tap in Portland.

 598 characters

Photo of olmatty
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apearance- Pours a creamy and long lasting beige head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing, beer is a slightly hazy amber

Smell- Great blast of hops and some sweet maltiness

Taste- Resinous hop bitterness hits early and stays as the other flavors play out, caramel malts stand up to huge hop presence, a bit of grapefruit rind, yet bitterness returns and hangs long after a swallow. Amazingly uncomplex hop character for so much hops presence. Maybe there's just too many different hops crowding the palate. Flavor is more balanced at room temp.

Mouthfeel- Moderate and smooth carbonation and very sticky resinous mouthfeel

Drinkability- A very big flavor and relatively low 6.9%. This beer might age well as hop intensity mellows.

 746 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bomber into a glass, courtesy of end 0))).

A: Murky, dark amber body with reddish / coppery tinge when held to the light. Slow carbonation up the glass. A finger of head that recedes into a collar around the drink, with light filming on the top. Some lacing down the glass.

S: A dual hop component: primarily pine / resin with a secondary grapefruit character. Malts are found in caramel and toffee varieties. A nice hint of cinnamon, too. Some alcohol nose when the beer is at its warmest, toward the end of the drink.

T: This is supposed to be brewed with 7 varieties of hops that begin with "C" -- hence the name -- and I find myself expecting a remarkably bitter taste. Not so. The hops find themselves alternating with a sweet, but not syrupy, caramel and toffee base. And the hop profile itself is quite complex: initially pines and earthiness, but giving way to grapefruit and lemon. The finish is mainly pine bitterness. Very impressed!

M: Medium bodied with somewhat low carbonation. Results in a decently sticky finish.

D: I have just the one, and I was informed this was a close, but poor, substitute for getting it fresh on tap. You can be sure I'll try the real thing if/when I ever get to Portland.

 1,230 characters

C-Note Imperial Pale Ale from The New Old Lompoc
3.86 out of 5 based on 186 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.