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Cuvee De Castleton - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

446 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 446
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 1,000
Gots: 86 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 05-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by KickInTheChalice:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
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:
4/4.5/4.75/4/4.25
Batch 3, 4, 5:
4/4/4/4/3.75

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.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 30, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

SkiBum22, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Five years ago, if you told someone that you were drinking a Belgian-style Golden Ale fermented with grapes and aged in oak barrels with a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces they would think you were from Mars. Today it is the cutting edge and all the rage. That is where Captain Lawrence is too, batch #2.

Champagne-like frothing, and more or less dissipates the same way. The clarity has dropped bright to show off the pale yellow color. The aroma ranges from barnyard to overripe fruit, mild wood tannin to a sour twang. A big aroma to say the least. Pungent sip to sip, but the taste buds do dull a bit as they become accustomed to the sour twang and chaotic medicinal/barnyard flavor from the Brett. Maltiness dials in strong enough to plant a solid tone of barley flavor. Hops? They are more or less staying out of this chaos, though they do pop out with the mild breath of alcohol real quick. The sourness drops out and leaves the mild oak and residual dry malt flavor to keep it going. Bone-dry finish.

Sure, Brett is a "love it or hate it" trait, though if you do love it this beer is without a doubt for you, and worth seeking out ... good luck, as only a small amount of cases are released each year.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of joel66
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

joel66, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Callmecoon, May 19, 2012
Photo of sleepydave
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hophead101 for this in trade! 375ml bottle from batch #3.

Opened to a slight gushing but nothing near bad. I think this has some effect as there is a slight spritzy nature to a beer that looks devoid of carbonation after a few seconds of a large eggshell/ivory/ecru/white (random simpsons reference) head.
Poured into a Lindeman's tulip and rather hazy as well. A nice deep golden root beer color, pear juice maybe. Think the color from root beer candy canes, the gold they stripe them with is exactly this hue. By the time that sentence was written my second glass' head is completely gone and this looks like a nice still lambic albeit cloudy.

The nose is reminiscent of Bruocsella to me. Grapefruit, lemons, citrus rind, limes, maybe even some pineapple and peach scents (those two aromas came out much stronger after a few sips). Sandwiched by a nice funky intoxicating mix of brettanomyces and a tinge of alcohol. The brett is a little subdued on the front end with some acidity and prominent on the back with the fruit mingling in the middle. Only after pulling my nose away does my brain detect a slight muscat grape smell at the dying end.

The taste is where this brew really shines. It really is a journey, it's that complex. And it doesn't even stop after you have taken a sip. Sit back and revel in some very tropical fruit flavors long after the sip has gone down. It's complex, but it ramps into it. Although maybe it's more of a sine wave than a ramp.
It starts off with a tame tartness and some pineapple juice sweetness. Upon the swallow this beer explodes with a much more prominent citrusy tart bite followed immediately by some light funk and brett. You'd think that'd be it. But this beer is just warming up. A vividly fluxing aftertaste awaits you. My brain went a little nuts it was so unexpected. I get peaches, then pears, green apples, there are those muscat grapes, more pineapple sweetness. This aftertaste loiters for ages and it's wonderful and ever changing the entire time. This is the most tropical fruit experience I've had with a beer.
The 8% is very believable but not in a bad way at all. It's always there slightly, but it's nowhere near strong. It's rather odd to find an alcohol taste in a lambic style for me, but it's almost welcome.

Mouthfeel is that of a still lambic. Very thin, but the alcohol makes it coat like olive oil. Quite nice. Drinkability suffered as the tart citric quality mixed with the present alcohol would make a 750 a chore for one person. More so than others in the style.

While not my favorite beer ever, it's quite an experience and one I hope to seek out again. Very worthy of the hype, I can't believe this was done on this side of the pond.

EDIT: I just had the pleasure of a batch 1 bottle of this particular beer and it was one of the most delicious drinks I have ever been privy to. I'd go into more detail but I wasn't feeling too well for parts of the day and it was a long drive.
Sans excuses, the alcohol heat was GONE, GOODBYE! This turned into a thin tropical orange julius type of drink. I just cannot get over how absolutely spot on this beer is aged a few years. Just stunning!
I have changed my scores to a combination of the batch#3 and #1. Rounding in favor of batch#1.
#3 Scores- 3.5, 3.5, 4.5, 3.5, 3.0
#1 Scores- 3.5, 5.0, 5.0, 4.0, 5.0

sleepydave, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to love a small, young and local (at least to me) brewery that puts out a stream of small (bottled) batches of eclectic and high quality ales, in addition to the four regular high quality craft brews it brews all year round on tap. "Cuvee" is a Belgain golden, fermented with muscat grapes, then refermented with "Bret" yeast, then aged in wine barels. Yeeha...love the style and love the fact that brewer Scott V has the stones to brew up a quite sour brew and then pitch it and explain it to his loyal following....anyway, this one pours cloudy, lemony, yellowy amber with a quickly departing white head and leaving just a trace of fine lacing. The nose is where the excitement begins, lots of fruit, lemony freshness and a funky, musty foretelling of the sour Bret blast to come. Moderate to quite sour on my scale. Lots of puckering lemon/lime, I also pick up tart berry notes, quinine, ginger, spicy honey, woody, herbal, Bret FUNKYNESS....WOW...wild ale, lambic, Belgian fans rejoice...refreshing, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable...yet another home run for the good Captain...go get some, add a hunk of smelly cheese, some crusty bread, olives, wild lettuce salad, sit back and revel in what a lucky human being you are! Label notes also mention that this one is expected to age well, will the blessings never cease?

Billolick, May 12, 2007
Photo of badbeer
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1:
Bright yellow color with quickly receding white head, little lacing. Aroma has lemon, oak, somewhat acidic, pineapple, and some chardonnay. Taste is quite acidic, but full of interesting flavors like oak, lemon, hay, chardonnay, and pineapple. Very dry and light on the palate with fairly high carbonation. A very, very good sour.

Batch 2: Yellow with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing. Oak in the aroma, along with some lemon and other citrus aromas. Not very intense, rather delicate, but interesting and well done. White wine taste, lemon tartness, oak, peaches, and maybe a hint of apricot. Medium carbonation and light body, finish is fairly dry. Not nearly as sour as the first batch, but it has nice flavors and is still a nice sour. 4 - 9 - 9 - 4 - 17 = 4.3

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle, which was drank alongside Barrel Select, Rosso e Marrone and Flaming Fury. Batch No. 4.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very fruity. I get some oranges and lemons, as well as the expected grapes. I also get some oaked notes that really come through. The flavor is a great mix of grapes with some oak and lemons. The beer is very dry and is lower on the tartness scale than the other CL sours it was sampled alongside. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer that I am glad I got to try.

Mora2000, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of ehammond1
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (Batch 5)

Thanks for opening this with me, Jordan!

(Aged for 6 months)

Cloudy bright yellow and a small white head that leaves the glass spotted with lace.

Incredibly powerful aroma of white grapes, lemon, oak barrel, and big levels of tart and sour. Awesome, impressive, and exactly what I was hoping for.

The flavor too is wonderful and very similar to the aroma. There's lots of lemon, a mild funk, a good amount of oak, big sour notes, along with some white grapes.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

A joy. Simply incredible.

ehammond1, May 16, 2012
Photo of boatshoes
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a monster box from 6daysbottomocean in the Whale BIF 3. This is a 375ml bottle from batch 3. Thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a hazy bright straw color out of the bottle with lots of beading carbonation in the body of the beer. About a quarter finger of fizzy white head caps the beer and dies back in short order to a thin ring around the edges. Carbonation remains in beading throughout however.

Smell- Lots of mildly tart white wine grapes and a little bit of Granny Smith apple up front on the nose, with just a touch of funk. Some barrel mildly evident as well. Finishes with just a whiff of lactic acidity.

Taste- Similar to the nose in that I get a lot of slightly tart white wine/green grapes and grapeskin on the palate. Again a little bit of funk and some mild oak flavors from the barrel as well but nothing overwhelming in those departments. Finishes with a very mild tartness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is adequate for the style and not over-carbonated, which was nice. Drinkability was quite decent as well as it went down easily and unoffensively.

Overall, a very solid and somewhat mild American wild ale. I enjoyed it and thought the flavor profile was somewhat similar to RR Temptation (however, I will say I think I prefer Temptation). Would be a good introduction to sours for somewhat who is beginning to enjoy the style but can't handle anything too acidic.

boatshoes, May 31, 2010
Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev +2%

doremite, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Soonami
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Soonami, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of pwoods
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped brown bottle poured into a Leffe wine/chalice. Batch 2, Notes.

A: Pours a watered down orange juice color. Short, thin white head with little retention and lacing.

S: Tart apples and sour grapes. Not a lot of straight fruitiness. Some kind of burnt aroma? Light farmy, barny aromas and a touch of barrel.

T/M: Mildy sour with some added funk. Really juicy and sweet to balance the tartness. a bit of orange juice astringent citrus starts to come through as it warms. Some nice wine like tannins and leather taste and dry feel. Body is medium light with subdued carbonation.

D: A bit more carbonation would do wonders. Tasty and drinkable, though.

pwoods, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of acurtis
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

acurtis, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -9.3%

mdaschaf, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Msharapa
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Msharapa, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Stigs
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Stigs, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of twowheelssoar
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

twowheelssoar, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to an oversharing dmeadows for a great in person trade. Hope you guys enjoyed AK!

Pours a nice yellow gold with a slight tint of orange. Slighty hazy. A nice fizzy head forms, but dissipates faster than methadone in a rehab clinic. Vanished within seconds. No lacing. For any other style, I would knock the appearance down much further, but lambics/wilds arent exactly known for their head retention. And I'd much rather have it this way than have it all over my dining room table like last time *cough* smoke from the oak wine *cough*

Nose is quite good. Ripe crisp juicy granny smith apples. Some brett and barnyard funk, horseblanket etc are defenitely present. Slight peach and some vinous grape and oak.

Taste is very nice. The green apple does jump out in front, along with some vinous grape. Oak and wild yeasts dominate the middle of the palate. Not mouth rapingly sour, but defenitely a sour beer. White grape peaks its head out before the finish and rides to the end, but it is nicely subtle. The finish is beautifully dry, and oak, horseblanket, and slight sweet grape are mixed with more green apple like flavors on the finish and linger into the aftertaste. The barrel aging is well done here. Something about wine barrels just accents a lighter color lambic/wild so well.

Mouthfeel is pretty much spot on for the style. Despite being a notoriously fizzy style, this one is a tiny bit overcarbonated, but just tiny. Dryness on the finish is top notch, and the level of sourness is ideal for a beer of this kind.

Drinkability is quite solid. Easy drinking, especially for being on the high end of the abv spectrum stylewise. The sourness is not too enamel stripping, and the dryness is spot on. The overcarbonation is so slight, that it does not become abrasive but is close.

Overall, a fine wild ale from Captain Lawrence. I like the subtleness of the grape flavor, and the barrel aging is well done. Cant beat a nice blonde wild ale aged in wine casks. First temptation, now this...america has come a long way. It would make me more comfortable to see some better head retention on this one, but aside from that, really no major flaws. A great beer, defenitely one worth seeking out.

PS. Great "Last Call" article entitled "Too Many to Thank" by Scott Vaccaro in the latest BA mag. Volume III, issue II. Awesome.

AKBelgianBeast, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a most unique ale. It pours golden with some sparkling head and body. The aroma is complex, wine, champagne, malt, brett. A full, aggressive on the palate mouthfeel - you get the brett and carbonation. Muscat is right there - a quarter of it? Best to share with friends, or if you have to, lots of different food, to mull it over. Not too sour, but sour.

Sammy, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +13.4%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4. Poured from a 375ml. bottle into a tulip. Shared by schen9303.

A: Pours a 2 finger foamy white head that collapses quickly. Beer is a cloudy lemon with a slight red tint... a golden raisin if you will. No lacing.

S: Burn rubber, plastic, white grape, sweet ethanol, lemon, citrus, and awkward as it is, dry SMELLING. Fragrant though, and very enticing.

T: Rubber, sweet ethanol, white grape, lemon and grapefruit zest. Yeasty bitterness and tart in the middle. Bit of coriander towards the finish, which is very dry and slightly powdery. Sticky aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, dry, makes my mouth viscous from the saliva as it struggles to rehydrate. Finish is dry, aftertaste is messy and puckering.

D: One of the more unique sours on the market, CdC is as advertised, really more champagne-y than beer-y. Its damn tasty though and I'm dying to open some older batches to see the difference. A bit young at this point, but this'll no doubt develop into a masterpiece!

SpeedwayJim, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch number five bottle. A very clear beer with golden color. Not hazy at all as others have described. Oh wait, I guess pouring the last half was. No head.

Aroma is funky, vinous and cidery.

Tastes like sour apple, grapes, lemon, some funk. Very delicious. On the second pour with the yeast (or maybe as it warms) I am picking up some more floral components and some spice, but hard to pin down what.

I cracked this bottle for my 30th birthday and what a treat. Always nice to have a sour of this caliber.

mclaughlindw4, May 14, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split with blackness, obtained via trade from goodbyeohio, batch #2

appearance: served in a de koninck chalice, pale straw golden body with very little head...glowing yellow tone

smell: tart lemon, white grape, heavy whiffs of oak, cider vinegar, light grain, brett yeast

taste: "that's wild alright" - funky barnyard brett, earthy, sparkling white grape juice, dry tart lemon, nicely spiced, nice sour

mouthfeel: tart and light

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Jan 04, 2009
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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.