I had my first beer from CAPTAIN LAWRENCE BREWING in October 2007, on the day I turned 40, and in all the excitement I forgot to rate the thing. Can you believe that? But notice had indeed been served – this east coast brewer was a force to be reckoned with, and if I was smart I needed to start trading for it and also seeking out their beers when I journeyed eastward. I have done just that. Recently I’ve enjoyed their CAPTAIN’S RESERVE IMPERIAL IPA (10/10), their SMOKED PORTER (7.5/10) and their GINGER MAN ALE (7/10). I needed to go back to the beginning, though, so the other night I busted out my big bottle of ST. VINCENT’S DUBBEL, the first beer of theirs I’d had. This one arrived in a trade from MCM, and so far he’s an ace picker of quality ales.
ST. VINCENT’S DUBBEL is a wonderful, malty Belgian brown ale. As I understand it, they brew it once a year and release it on Father’s Day. It’s medium-bodied, a little lighter than you’d think, actually, and is even a bit on the fizzy/carbonated side. Of course there are deep, rich tastes of caramel, figs, and a smooth, roasted flavor. They say, “use this beer as you would a full-bodied cabernet or an aged port”. I say, “drink this with your dinner or without your dinner, it’s gonna be great no matter how you enjoy it”. It’s a fantastic beer. It and some of its contemporaries have me wondering if a strong argument could be made for the superiority of east coast beers over their west coast counterparts right about now. The east surely is pumping out incredible, rich, full-bodied ales, and I thank illegal interstate trading for helping to introduce me to some of them. CAPTAIN LAWRENCE ST. VINCENT’S DUBBEL = 9/10.