After drinking nothing but yellow, orange, red, and yellowish-orangish-reddish beers for the past month, I was well overdue for something dark, scary and walloping. I got this in spades when I busted open a bottle of CAPTAIN LAWRENCE BREWING’s “NOR’EASTER” that’d been sitting in my beer cellar (a.k.a. the shelves in the garage) for a couple months. This came to HBJ in a trade, and our trading partner is especially fond of what he calls these “pound packin’ parcels”, or in beer dork terms, high-alcohol, dark, barrel-aged ales. NOR’EASTER, the 2008 “winter warmer” from Captain Lawrence, has everything this particular genre of beer dork would love (this is even labeled "3rd batch") – and frankly, I flat-out loved it too.
NOR’EASTER is a big, intense, 11% ABV dark Belgian-style ale. Immediately you’re hit with the rich & malty taste of licorice, along with nutmeg & other spices. It smells of black licorice as well. They say there’s something called an elderberry in here – may be, but I don’t really know what that is. It is aged in bourbon barrels, and as such, you get a very slight alcohol burn on the aftertaste. I learned to like it. It’s a really balanced beer, despite all that’s going on here, and I kept upgrading my “score” for the beer as I drank, because I kept noticing new things about it, some of which I could not put into words. Here’s what I can say: Me like! Mmm! Beer good! Captain Lawrence good! 8.5/10.