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Cuvee De Castleton - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton

Educational use only; do not reuse.

217 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 217
Hads: 494
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,023
Gots: 90 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Billolick on 05-12-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cuvee De Castleton Alström Bros
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Reviews: 217 | Hads: 494
Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light Golden color with about a 1/2 inch small bubble head. Smells like a white wine with the oakiness coming thru. Nice tart sour taste up front with the oaky barrel taste on the finish. Medium mouth feel for this type of beer. Overall very good beer.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the most balanced sours I have ever had. This is so drinkable and refreshing! Usually sours are not as smooth as this which makes it unique in my opinion

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Photo of zeledonia
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch 5. Tasted 1 May 2015.

Pours a hazy straw yellow. Little head, but that's expected for a sour.

Smell is a super clean, rich lemony sour, with a white wine backing. Reminds me of the lemon sour candies, but without the sugar. Yum.

Taste is much like the smell, but a little empty. The flavors don't quite follow through on the promise. They're good, but lacking the complexity of truly great sours.

Feel is light, a touch on the flat side, but with bizzy (busy-fizzy) carbonation. Quite good.

A nice, smooth, clean sour. Would like more depth in the taste. But very good all around.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

What a wonderful AWA- amazing how the grape has held up.

Aroma is kind of soft- light grape and wine aromas, slightly tart, and hints of violet, cherry, and vanilla

Taste is pure tart and grape. Just lovely. Amazing how much the flavor has held up. Oak barrel character is perfectly balanced with the fruit and tart components.

Great beer. Find it. Enjoy it.

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Photo of cbutova
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks out to Emma for sharing this a little while back. Forgot to enter my notes from the notebook.

Batch 4, shared with good friends.

A- Small snifter pour from the 500ml bottle. Hazy golden bodied with just a small ring of white foam that leaves some nice legs. No true lace as it looks like wine after some time.

S- Super pungent funky lactic bouquet. Lemons and white sour grapes are massive, some cheesy Brett funk and barnyard is strong.

T- Mellows out a bit in a way with some balanced yeasty apple and pear flavors, lactic acid flavor is dominant with lemons and green apple, intense tart fruits. Funky vinous oak seems to round it out but candy sour goodness and some coriander spice.

MF- Dry as all hell with a lighter end Gueuze consistency and body. Silky foamy carbonation at a high end level accentuates the sour tartness that lingers on the palate.

Wow, one of the sourest beers I can think of with some good good funk and nice barnyard. Apple skin, sour grape fruity feel goes a long way with the bugs present.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

very cool blonde sour from captain lawrence. this brew pours a very pale almost clear shade of yellow with the faintest purple tint from the grapes, nearly imperceptible, not quite as much head as i would like. fruity aromatic with some strong acidic notes. oaky and sour for sure, but very interesting from a yeast standpoint, lots of brett has dried this right out. some very light malt and straw cereal properties, and the grapes are only subtle, contributing more of a tannic vibe than real fruit flavor. insanely light body and well enough carbonated, this is rather easy drinking as sours go, a very delicately put together and well balanced brew. would be curious to try some with a little age on it.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12.7 oz bottle, batch 5, poured into a mini tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color, produces a wispy white head, leaves little lacing.

S- Lemony tartness, musty barnyard funkiness, some apple and white grape, oak. As it warms a really fantastic, floral, perfumey spice aroma comes out and merges with the barnyard funkiness in a really great way. The aroma is really incredible.

T- Starts out with apple and white grape before a nice amount of acidity kicks in, a decent amount of lemon, balanced acidity (not leaning too heavily towards acetic like a lot of American sours do). Nice barnyard funkiness, as well as oak, dry vinous flavors and a bit of vanilla. As with the aroma, very complex and delicious.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and dry, a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish, but really not too bad at all for it's strength.

O- An absolutely incredible beer, much better than I was expecting. The barrel, funkiness, fruitiness and yeast all come together really, really well. I know it's not exactly going for a gueuze kind of thing, but this comes closer to gueuze and lambic in terms of complexity and flavor than any other American sour I've had, which is about the highest praise I think I can give it. I mean damn.

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Photo of jegross2
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the Cuvee de Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company out of Elmsford, New York.

Score: 98

Batch 4 (summer 2010 vintage). Served in a hard plastic wine glass and enjoyed on 05/18/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours an orange-golden color with minimal bubbly head off the pour. Virtually no head or lacing. Nothing special in appearance. 3.25/5

Smell: Tart lemon zest, peach, white grape, citrus juice, vinegar, and brett. Absolutely phenomenal sour-apparent nose. 4.75/5

Taste: Just as tart as the nose promised! A divine medley of sour peach, white grapiness, brett, vinegar. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Quite tart, very dry finish. Love the pucker here! 5/5

Overall: A truly amazing American sour. This is one of the more pucker-inducing beers I have had to date. I wish I had more bottles of this!

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice clear golden color with a fizzy white head on top. The retention comes and goes rather quickly. The lacing is minimal here. The smell of the beer is definitely funky, lots of tart grape aroma on the nose. The taste of the beer gives off a tart white wine-like flavor, there is quite a bit of sourness on this one also. The mouthfeel is light bodied and heavily carbonated with a dry tart finish. Overall I found the pucker factor on this one to be quite high, it really was a solid brew. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, so I've been storing this one for a couple of years.

A: Brilliant golden color, with a small white head the dissolves into a ring. Wish there was a little retention. Effervescent. A little haze from the yeast.

S: Sweet and tart fruity smell, and with a strong brett kick. It's almost like a white wine mixed with brett, which now that I think about it is the point, I suppose.

T/M: Tart and funky. Lactic. Funky. Woody. Distinct grape flavor -- even more like white wine than I remember it being a couple of years ago. A little grainy on the finish, with a mild earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and dry with low-ish carbonation.

O: Sad to finish off my last CdC, but beer is made for drinking, no? Excellent.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes. Batch 2, 3, 4, and 5 tasted side by side. Batch 2 seemed much different than the other two and is worth scoring separately. The overall score is the score of the newer recipe.

Batch 2:
Batch 3, 4, 5:

Tangerine peach color, transparent with a bit of haze. Lighter, more transparent edges. A small cap fades to a ring fairly quickly.

The aroma is fairly tart, white grape, lemon zest, and peach. Acidic and some musty funk.

The flavor is quite sour, although not quite as extreme as the batch 2. Just a touch of sweetness from the malt, then the white grape comes through a bit. Peach, a bit of tangerine, and then some lemon zest in an escalating sour flavor.

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Photo of Treebs
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a Half Acre snifter. Batch #5. Big thanks to cosmicevan for the share.

A: Pours a hazy lemon color with a light orange body. A thin white head forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin ring. Some splotches of lace are left behind.

S: Fruity with a little acetone. Sour lemons, a little lactic with some white grape sweetness and tartness.

T: Lactic sourness, some cheek puckering dryness. Oaky finish with some lemon grass and white grape.

M: Light bodied. Puckering tartness with a dry, mildly acitic finish. Medium carbonation

O: Very nice beer. Definitely enjoyed the subtleties of this and the mouthfeel was spot on.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.34/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 5. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Clear golden with almost no head. Looks pretty flat.

Smell - Slightly fruity. Lemon comes to mind. Mostly vinegar here, though. Not intense, but dominant. Touch of funk and some peaches.

Taste - Quite sour. Lemon fruit flavors. Light vinegary flavors, at least compared to the nose. Clean, but intensely acetic. Too much for my taste. Bready in the finish also.

Mouthfeel - Puckering. Clean sour. Low carbonation.

Overall - I see why everyone loves this. It's incredibly sour, with some nice fruity notes. I just don't dig the acetic sourness, especially in a pale sour.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cuvee De Castleton pours a starbright yellow-gold that, indeed, looks something special. It struts the bling. Despite this obvious radiance, however, its ash blond complexion is hopelessly distorted (though I suppose technically still clear). Whatever head it might have once procured is now long gone, likely an unintended consequence of the barrel aging.

Though the bouquet is a relatively inward one for the style, muscat grapes are apparent from the start. I also wouldn't be surprised to learn the oak barrels in which it's aged at some point contained Chardonnay; the wood purrs like a cat asking to be stroked and there's also a touch of must. Smells like a wine cellar. It has the tartness (though not exactly the flavour) of a Granny Smith apple and a few other cider-like qualities.

Malty flavours are now a distant murmur, long since infected by the acidic tartness of wild yeasts and an almost savory oak wood taste. Its exquisite inner perfume is simultaneously juicy and off-dry and features nuances of Limoncello, yellow plum, and wafting florals. The bubbles are less than vibrant, leaving the acidity to settle on the palate like a heavy net (practically burning a small hole in the back of the throat in the process).

Cuvee de Castleton may taste unusual to most beer drinkers, but if you're a sparkling or white wine drinker this will all seem very familiar: steely, bubbly, elegant with apple and citrus acidity - this is definitely suited to a champagne flute (and given the rarity and price, champagne-worthy occasions). Were it not for those unfortunate facts, it would be more than advisable to bring to a party; a real conversation starter.

Batch #5 was released just over a year ago but I wouldn't allow it much more time to mature; it certainly doesn't taste young. The acidity is already powerful enough to make things feel a bit disjointed and its energy is far from outstanding. Despite impressing some sensation of weightlessness, the finish isn't exactly overly persistent either. Were it actual bubbly, it'd be the Borat of the champagne world.

So-called "wild ale" is a style where anything is possible, good or bad - surviving extended barrel aging and the onslaught of savage yeasts and bacterium aren’t easy conditions for a beer, but it’s a challenge that builds complexity and character. Despite the latter being added free of service, Cuvee de Castleton lacks the real drive and beautiful detail that describes the best beers, 'wild' or not so wild. Wish I could say better things...

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Photo of starrdogg
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Michael for sharing this one. Batch 5.

Beer pours a clear light yellow without much head - it's really not much to look at. The smell here is excellent - white wine, oak and lactic sourness really come together nicely to make a mouthwatering aroma. The flavor too is fantastic, it's incredibly vinous and pretty sour with a nice grape aspect to it to go along with a little bit of oak. You can definitely see how the white wine factored in here, as it's one of the more wine-forward beers I've had. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied but coats the mouth very nicely. Overall, this is a great beer and a must try for wine lovers who also happen to enjoy sour beers. It's what I hoped Russian River Temptation would be.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2 received in trade from mcallister, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a crystal clear deep golden color with a huge white head that dissipates like the head on a diet soda. I can smell the funk as soon as I pop the cap on this one. Lemony tartness mixed with a sour grape fruitiness along with a mild bit of sweet candy malts and a solid hit of barnyard funkiness make up the aroma. The flavor is extreme lemony citric tartness. The grape flavor comes through a little along with a hint of sweet candy like malts and barnyard funk, but this one is all about the tart. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation and a tart tongue piercing mouthfeel. Nice mouth puckering wild ale.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed on 7/6, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up at the brewery a while back. enjoyed from my captain lawrence tulip.
Batch 5

a - brew poured a mostly opaque orange with lively carbonation. at first there was a big fizzy head, but it fizzled away in moments, yet i could still see a geyser of champagne like bubbling at the center of the surface of the beer.

s - smell is dynamite. sour tarts, white wine, green grapes. some brett sweetness.

t - taste is spot on. super sour green grapes. lemons and fruit drenched in white wine. good sourness without being off putting. the oak is a bit present in the finish. the brett shows in some sweetness, the funk can be found as the sourness rolls off your tongue.

m - tart, prickly carbonation. some spiciness in the finish.

o - overall, super refreshing. really well made sour. captain lawrence is no joke when it comes to sour beers and castleton is a fine example.


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Photo of brystmar
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5. Had this plenty of times, finally getting around to reviewing.

Looks like white grape juice in my glass with almost zero head and poor retention. Brett and lacto amongst the grapes in the nose. Tart fruit, citrusy, oaky, and inviting.

Taste initially reminds me of lemon-lime Gatorade before jumping into full-on sour mode. Plenty of grape presence and tart citrus. Less bretty and acidic than expected; tons of lacto though, and I really like that. Reminds me of Oui Oui, but without the sulfuric aroma. Why can't I give a 4.25?

Either the carbonation is dying out with time, or this bottle was lacking. I still enjoy the creamy body, though more bubbles would be nice.

An excellent sour from the guys at Captain Lawrence. Wish I had more than one bottle left.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to cavedave for this blind share, batch #4 release.
The beer pours a clear straw yellow with a razor thin halo of white head. The nose is sweet and slightly acidic. The taste is slightly tropical with a bit of Brett funk and a mild, dry finish. It's not a bone dry finish as expected making this beer quite drinkable. The body is light and effervescent. This is an outstanding sour, but I wish the grapes came out more than they did. It's similar to beat, but not as intensely sour.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle from batch 5, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Cuvee de Castleton pours a golden yellow, with a good amount of clarity. Maybe a finger and a half of white foam caps the beer, before fading quickly and without leaving any lacing behind. The nose has lots of white wine-like acidity. There's also a distinct oakines present, and just a hint of brettanomyces funk. There's just a touch of fruitiness right on the front end of each sip. As with the nose, a vinous tartness fills the lion's share of the flavor profile. A tropical fruit like brett funk provides a nice bookend around the acidity, before a light oakiness fades in for the finish. The mouthfeel's a little slick. The combination of a slightly heavy body, and carbonation that's a little bit dull just misses the mark. Despite one or two technical flaws, Cuvee de Castleton still comes together stunningly well. Muscat grapes, oak barrel aging, and brettanomyces all come together to produce a great wild ale.

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Photo of birchstick
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a straw yellow color without much of a head. Nose is grapes with a lot of lemon and sours and a lot of Brett funk. Taste starts off with sour lemon flavors that fade to a funky Brett musk. Some soft muscot grapes in next but are pushed aside by more lemon sourness. Mouth is pretty good. Overall this is a decent American wild. I don't know if it is worth the ammo, but pretty delicious.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 5, courtesy of of mrand01.

Pours a translucent golden dark yellow with zero head. Zero; no bubbles. Some mild lacing if I swirl the beer a little.

The aromas remind me of champagne straight off the bat. Vinous white grapes, tart granny smith apple and oak. Funky Brett emerges more as it warms with some mild barnyard and earth, like a wet piece of wood.

The flavors directly follow the nose, but are definitely more complex and enjoyable. Sweet pale maltiness alongside a mild of lemon sherbet with a pop of bright acidity. Vinous muscat grapes with lingering honeydew melon juiciness and subtle funky flourishes of Brett. As it warms you get emerging notes of spicy oak.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lower than expected amount of carbonation. I expected more for the style. The finish is dry and acidic with a final bump of tart fruitiness.

Overall this is a great American Wild Ale. It's not the best I have ever had but it is definitely not a slouch by any means. I feel I would like it better if the ABV was a little lower and the carbonation was bumped up a little. A little unbalanced but extremely drinkable and one of my new favorite wild ales that skews towards the white vinous flavor spectrum.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to bigsexy410, thanks Ben. Batch 5.

The look is on par for a wild, it has a nice straw yellow color with little head or lacing whatsoever. Hazy and pretty much opaque.

The smell has a heavy white grape aroma with a great tart wild yeast overtone to it that is very cohesive, especially for a sour. Some more welch's grape flavors as well.

The taste follows the smell, with some great dry white grape flavors with a very refined sour flavor, that isn't really in your face but is very elegant overall and certainly tart enough for a sour head. The flavor plays out with some sweetbread and tart flavors, like a nice pastry blend. Quite nice.

Mouth is very dry and decently carbonated, some body to it.

Overall the beer is nice, worth a buy if you're in NY.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 500!

Pours clear gold with little head and lots of bubbles.

Lots of white wine notes in the aroma. Some lemon, pear and a bit of funk. Not overly sour on the nose.

Flavor is similar. Lots of sour apple and lemon up front. Finishes with a lot of white wine, heavy oak and nearly bone dry. A little bit of a funky flavor on the back end too.

Light mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

Pretty good, but doesn't compare to some other highly rated sours I've had lately. The funky aftertaste isn't bad, but isn't my favorite either. Would drink again although I'll save my trading ammo for stuff I like better.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1299th Review on BA
Bottle to Wine Glass

Batch 5

30th Birthday Party
Shared by Callmecoon

App- Glowing golden yellow with zero head or cling. A few bubbles around the edges.

Smell- A great wild ale. The booze levels are incredibly hidden with a lot of sour on the nose with some oaky lemon fruits. The tart level really balanced the lactic out. Smooth and tasty with a small white wine tannin note.

Mouth- A bit of a light medium with a fairly medium carbonation level. A bit of grape and lemon residual flavors.

Drink- A damn fine wild ale. Great layers and very smooth. Thank you Steve for sharing.

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.