Monday, August 2, 2010

398. Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA

Thank fucking goodness for home. After yesterday’s fiasco, I was verily ready for something distinctly better. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company is located in Pleasantville, NY; I scored this at Bierkraft while I was visiting Adam and Jenn. Isn’t that what Brooklyn is for?

Pouring a lightly hazy gold, Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA has a fine white head that laces the glass rather well. The nose is a lightly bready malt that also has a touch of caramel sweetness, and there is a generous amount of pine and resin hop aromas that accompany the malt. The beer drinks light for an imperial IPA; while there is the slightest warming touch in the back of the mouth at the end, it is otherwise smooth and easy drinking. Flavors open with a dry bready and bread crust malt flavor before moving into the bitterness of the middle. The middle also has good hop flavor—there is a lot of hop resin flavor that works well with the bitterness. The finish is dry and bitter, with the bitterness lingering, but only lightly. While neither the malt nor hop profile are very complex, both are well done and exceedingly well-balanced, giving this beer some sweet easy-drinkin’ action. The body is medium to heavy with a sweet and almost chewy mouthfeel, while the carbonation is medium to heavy—the brightness in the final third helps lighten the beer on the palate as well as cleaning and rounding the beer. Quite a nice beer overall—we could happily put down a couple of these, as it is very well-balanced for an imperial IPA, which is saying something. Nice job, Captain Lawrence—you can pilot my evening any time you like.

From the bottle: “Imperial India Pale Ale. Even the name sounds impressive. But what should really impress you is the hoppy nectar that is held within this bottle. A true testament to the ingenuity of the American craft brewers; this style of beer concentrates more hop character than any style before it. Created from a blend of different hop varieties, this beer is the ultimate hop lover’s dream come true. Cheers.”

From the Captain Lawrence website: “This beer is a salute to the ingenuity and creativity of the American craft brewers. A uniquely American style of beer, the Double or Imperial IPA, has become the calling card of many craft brewers who aren't afraid to push the limits of what hops can add to a beer. This beer is big and hoppy - not for the faint of heart! Be prepared to experience sensory overload as you savor this Imperial IPA. Hops, and lots of them. The aroma is bursting with the classic citrus and pine aroma of American-grown hops. The flavor is dominated by a hoppy bitterness, with just enough malt to make you want to take another sip.”

Hops: Columbus, Chinook, & Cascade
Malts: Domestic Pale, English Pale, & English Crystal
IBU: 80
OG: 20° P


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