Monday, April 27, 2015

Captain Lawrence Effortless IPA

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1335) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 27, 2015
I’ve had mixed feelings about New York’s own Captain Lawrence brewery for a while, and I was little skeptical going into “Effortless IPA.” However, just a few sips in and I was convinced this was an excellent beer and it makes me want to try more of their range (brewing big beers is easy, but making small, sessionable brews that pop is quite an accomplishment).

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Bright orange/golden hue with some haziness but carbonation is always visible. Pours to a large, eggshell, foamy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Orange citrus with bright, clean aromatics. Slight spicy/herbal character.

Taste: Too many session IPAs tend to be simply just watered-down pale ales with extra hops. If you can truly reduce the IPA style in scale you’re doing it right and that’s what this beer does. Fairly strong hop presence right away with a distinct flavor of orange with an underlying zest or spicy sensation. Not quite juicy, but not quite potpourri, either – somewhere in between. Plenty of malt to this body to build a firm foundation. The bitterness is consistent in its 45 IBU strength, though a lot of the hop character is in the form of tasty flavor and not just alpha acidity. The citric flavor lasts from beginning to end and the beer becomes a bit fruitier as it warms. This is definitely one of the best session IPAs I’ve had and, interestingly enough, may be the best beer I’ve had from this brewery.

Drinkability: At 4.5% ABV, Captain Lawrence Effortless IPA is actually one of the heftier entries into the style, but it at least lives up to its name. There’s genuine body and mouthfeel to this brew – it’s not merely carbonated water. Slightly refreshing while in the mouth and the hops fade a bit slowly after each swig (though that’s a good thing in the case of this beer). This would be fun to have in cans for the summertime. 
Grade: 9/10