Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Cuvee De Castleton - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

215 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 215
Hads: 466
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 5.35%
Wants: 1,010
Gots: 85 | FT: 7
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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
Reviews: 215 | Hads: 466
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing!

Pours hazy lemon-drop yellow with a fizzy head that immediately pops down to nothing. Not pleasant to look at with the head just loudly popping to nothing, with small bubbles continuing but producing no head.

The smell is tart - lemony, sour, some funk and acidity.

The taste is of tart lemon and apple. Sour/tart with balancing sweet maltiness, it has some funkiness mixed in. A hint of oak/vanilla grows as it continues, putting a unique spin on it that works very well. It has a touch of acidity in the finish.

Medium-bodied with carbonation towards aggressive to start with that mellows to medium as it progresses.

Drinks very well! Interesting complexities going on here. I can see this one - because of the lemony and acidic notes - a great pairing with many fish dishes. Too bad that the head was so unimpressive and the carbonation fine, but not great (esp. at the start). (923 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to azurelimits for this via trade! Having tried one other captain lawrence brew I looked forward to this release and hoped to have a chance to try this beer.

A - the first beer I had from them was a gusher and this being recently released I was still cautious of a repeat gush. I was right. A loud pop, a second, a burst of beer gushed forth as I was quickly tilting the bottle towards my awaiting cup. The beer was a cloudy straw yellow with a burst of white foam overtaking the glass and ultimately settling down to a steady ring at the side of the glass.
S - sour acidic notes, citric notes, white grapes and a musty note.
T - similar to the nose but with additions of oak, lime, sweet tarts.
M - medium bodied, over carbonated fizzy notes with a tart finish
D - I liked this beer for almost the entire package. The overcarbonation detracted from the experience for me.

glad I tried this shortly after it's release. I'd be concerned about it becoming a big gusher at 6-12 months and worse if held longer than that. I like where this brewery is taking it's beers. I just wish they could get the carbonation under control. I'd recommend trying it while young. Any age on it and I'd prepare for a gusher! (1,213 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Southern Tier tulip. Batch 3

Pours hardly any head. Color is a yellow mango orange. Very hazy. No retention or lace.

Aroma: Grapes, oak, slight brett. Definitely has a Belgian base to it with some gloves.

Taste: Has a ton of brett and grapes to it. Some wine and oak notes as well. The brett really dominates the taste. Has some barnyard funk as well.

Mouthfeel: Sour and tart. Some funk as well. Lighter bodied with medium amount of carbonation. Ends slightly dry.

Overall, nothing amazing, but for the abv this is very drinkable. It was good, but seemed to lack complexity. I really wasn't expecting the level of brett this beer had. (652 characters)

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3

A: Pours a hazy deep straw color with little visible carbonation. A thin ring of carbonation is visible around the edge of the glass.

S: Big funk up front with a light lemon zest aroma hiding below and a bit of a floral aroma.

T: Matches the nose. Funk up front with some lemon tartness in back.

M: Medium body with adequate carbonation and a slight dryness to it.

D: Good but not quite great. Very pleasant sour overall. (438 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 3 shared by DrewOSU - Thanks, man! Part of our little sour tasting...

Pours a cloudy grapefruit in color with a white creamy top.

Nose action: Nasty gym socks, blue cheese, barnyard and some general stench with some light citrus and almost wheat. Wow...

Oak, funk and sour continues on the mouth. Very interesting flavor I can't define that's very acidic and almost grapefruit like.

Nice... (402 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.04/5  rDev -6%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to hophead84, whose generosity belies his stature (I keed, I keed).

Pours a rather sinister looking hazy orange-ish gold. If you swirl it in the light, what looks like very definite lighter colored yellow streaks meander about. Interesting. Some bubbles on the pour, but zero head. Zero.

Smells strangely sweet. I can count on one hand the number of sweet wild/sour/reallambic/gueuzes I've had. Smells like lemons and juicy green grapes. Maybe a twinge of horse blanket-y funk.

Taste is also strangely sweet. Seriously tastes like sweetened lemon juice mixed with grape juice mixed with a bit of sour and funky vinous notes gone rotten. In a good way. This is seriously like fruit juice. Alcoholic, sourish fruit juice. No bubbles. I do want some bubbles. There's a bit of oak-y vinousness to it, but this is the ultra-rare sour where the funk, oak, and vinous/vinegar/acidic bite take a backseat to abundant fruit flavors, rather than vice versa.

Thanks again! (978 characters)

Photo of BTPete
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of BATCH 3 consumed on 5/19 by myself :) to tulip.

A: Clear golden yellow with no head. Some bubbles in the glass.

S: Funky white wine and light fruit. Some mustiness below the fruit. Funkier than the flaming fury I had before it seems.

T: Smoother than I had remembered from my other tastes. Not overly funky or sour in my mouth. Pretty vinous overall but nothing really taking center stage for me.

M: Medium bodied, low carb.

D: Smooth and drinkable. Not overly sour and for myself would have preferred a little more carbonation but highly drinkable regardless. (579 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #900!
750mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Batch #2 (06/2008) courtesy of kegatron; thank you!

(A)- Pours a hazy golden orange color. Produced a giant effervescent and bubbly pure white head that disappeared quickly to froth.

(S)- A nice dry and lightly earthy tartness. Not so much fruit anymore, but there are subtle white grape and lemon. This definitely gives way for the oak nuances to shine.

(T)- A huge acidic sour bite up front. Very earthy and oaky with very subtle fruit. Lots of Brett funk on the finish.

(M)- A huge effervescent carbonation level on this guy. Its actually a bit too high even for the style. A good and potent sourness with a very funky Brett oak profile.

(D)- Definitely a solid wild ale. Has stood the test of time well; sacrificing fruit and morphing into funky sour oak. My only complaint is how high the carbonation level was, though that significantly got better as it sat and breathed. (937 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Partial vertical made possible by three separate people. I am reviewing batch 2, 3, and 4.

Beers were poured into wine glasses side by side. None of them had a head or lacing. All were light yellow in color.

Batch 2 - very cloudy and hazy. I'm not convinced that it was yeast from being disturbed from the bottom of the bottle. The aroma was quite bretty, Brett b I think mostly, quite funky with a hint of acetic tinge. Beer is oddly thin with a good forward lactic acid, no sweetness, mild tartness.

Batch 3 - very clear and highly carbonated. It looked like champagne in the glass. Very bright. This beer's aroma was quite sweeter with cherries and oak. Beer was still quite sour, less brett and funky, dominant lactic with a trail of acetic.

Batch 4 - The newest batch just released a few weeks ago. This beer is cloudy again, moderately carbonated. Aroma is strongly sweet, much much sweeter than the other two. Mostly lactic, not much acetic in this one. The aroma is the strongest out of the three, nice. This beer has quite the brett bite to it, good funk, some oakiness I didn't detect in the others. (1,113 characters)

Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an awesome extra from a generous trader, thanks Joe. 12.7 oz bottle of batch four. Sampled from a tulip glass 10/10/10.

Clean blonde in color, forms a bright white head that dissapears completely almost immediately, can't call that a defect in the style of course. Carbonation is very fine but appears to be pretty active.

Very pleasant and rich bouquet of aromas on this beer. Brett earthiness is a little better developed than I expected for what I gather is a relatively young wild ale; even if I suspect some age would do this beer a lot of good. Fruity grape character is a bit stronger than many beers I've tried that are brewed with grapes. Spices also add a lot to the aroma on this one.

Because of the aroma I had some concern the spices might be overbearing but they're relatively well integrated. Although there's a pleasant tartness on the aftertaste this isn't quite as sour as I prefer and I have a feeling the grape sweetness may have something to do with that. This is a broad style though so there's room for beers like this and it is pretty enjoyable on it's own merits. The more I drink the more vinous it starts to taste, not certain to what degree the acidity or grapes are responsible.

Altogether another very well made beer from Captain Lawrence. I'm glad I had the opportunity to check this one out. (1,340 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3

Pours a glowing golden color in my tulip with a quickly dying finger of head. Somewhat murky, effervescent carbonation

Nose is tart and funky tangerine, hints of sour peach, very clean and crisp.

Taste is not really sour, definitely more tart than anything. Honestly, not even as funky as I expected. Some very crisp fruits from apples to tangerines to grapes to banana. Band-aids at the very end of the finish. Slightly bitter in the aftertaste only. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp stinging carbonation but luckily not too much of it. Finish isn't too dry, which is a positive for me. Drinkability is average to good...enough flavor to make me reach for more and tartness kept in check enough to not kill my palate. This is a very fine beer, no doubt about it. Only real negative was that it didn't improve after as it warmed. This one was best when it was first served. Started to get a bit of waxiness as it neared room temperature. (961 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to McDiddyPop for crackin' this one open at the Hunahpu release. Poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Cloudy wheat color. The pour drops a two finger slightly, off white head that leaves some great spotty lace.

A: Sour funk, lemons, white grapes, wine barrels, and earth. Smells like this one could be mouth puckering.

T: Yep, mouthpuckering. Sour, barnyard funk. Big sour citrus and earthy, grassy hops. It just makes your tastebuds stand on end. Finishes very dry and tart.

M: Light body, sharp and acidic. High carbonation.

D and overall impression: Could not have too many of these, the sourness would just destroy my tastebuds. Overall, this is a pretty solid example of the style. I like my sours with just a touch more sweetness to balance out the tartness, but nonetheless a good brew. Skal. (813 characters)

Photo of boatshoes
4/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,409 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Yellow that's slightly cloudy. Small head that left the sides clean.

S - Tart with some wine influence. Get green apples and some grape. A little bit sweet with some oaky barrel influence.

T - Oak, apple, grapes and a decent amount of tartnes. I enjoy barrel aged wilds, an this one is very solid. Some funk and farmhouse grass in there. Pretty light and non-offensive flavors.

M - Light with medium carbonation. Not bad.

D - Fairly drinkable, although not quite as effervesent as I like my wilds to be. (511 characters)

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to try a bit of this at Flossmoor before DLD, and thanks to whoever it was that allowed me a sample, as I've forgotten... Poured a hazy yellowish color. Smell was tart, smooth, mild funkiness. Taste was smooth, slightly funky and deliciously tart and drinkable. Reminded me of beatification, but even slightly more smooth and drinkable. Nice sour grapefruit flavor. This was quite good. (403 characters)

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle, poured into a tulip. Batch 2. Unfortunately, I forgot who was the generous BA that provided this one.

Not as hazy as described by others until the last glass, straw colored, capped by a large white bubbly head.
The aroma is very funky, acid and tart, with a few grape notes in there as well as some oakiness.
Nicely carbonated, medium bodied, but quite refreshing.
It is very tart and acid, and very funky. Sour grapes and apples, multiple notes that remind you of an acidic wine, tart, and sometimes herbal. There are hints of woodiness and some sweetness, but the acidity remains the most noticeable character.
A very nice beer, although not great. (676 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 courtesy of blisscent. Poured a hazy gold with a vigorous, frothy, white head that dissipates and reveals a band of bubbles around the edges of the bowl. Nose is tart and citrusy. Taste follows nose - sourness is not overwhelming by any means; however, a vinegary quality comes out as well. Mouthfeel is light and lively, and slightly stimulates the salivary glands. Finish was fairly dry. I'm fairly new to Wilds, but I found this beer really quite drinkable. I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. (501 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -7%
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... (2,537 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this one several times. This bottle was from batch 3.

A: Pours a light cloudy shade of yellow. The head is very small and white in color.

S: Aromas of sour sweet fruit, light tart citrus, and yeast.

T: Citric for sure, nice light tartness with hints of tart and sweet grapes. Light barrel notes with a hint of earthy minerals.

M: On the lighter side of medium nice carbonation.

D: Not bad, not my favorite sour, but I do like it. (443 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (362 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 1.

Bottle foamed over upon opening, steathily, that is, not immediately, but within 10 seconds, enough time to turn away. Annoying. Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" white head above the totally cloudy orangey yellow brew. Head is completely gone quickly, with little to no lacing. Aroma is tart and grapey. Taste is dominated by the tartness, but is tempered somewhat by the grape flavor initially, and also by the wood character that floats in later. Mouthfeel and drinkability are what you expect from a Wild Ale, and the end product is surprisingly thirst-quenching. This one might be a bit over-the-top for a regular drinker, but is a nice treat. (742 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A frolic, then?"

She
speaks in a timid whisper, just the type of sweet
that we learn to adore
or despise,
depending upon the speaker.
This one, though, I adore more than any,
and cannot help but crack a smile at her whimperish lips as she makes believe to be a princess of old.

"Of course, my love."
So we meander
a white/orange morning with simply a small ring of cotton around the edge...
a misty, foggy, cloudy morning.
As we traipse along through the tall weeds and listen
to the crushing of fresh grass and ripe fruit
underfoot, we take in the aromas:

peach, first of all, overwhelming the white cheddar, earth, and lemon. Somewhere underneath it all is a deep sour-bitter and a faint hop note.
"Mmmm... I always love these mornings."
I smile assent and glance knowingly at her, feigning disinterest, or at least distractedness.
"Are you even listening to me honey?"
"Of course, love. You said that the flavour
is far sweeter than the aroma, with a pronounced peach note and a finish of light syrup notes and a slight oak-sour. You wish
it were a bit more complex and not as cloying, the sour doesn't balance as much as you'd prefer, as much as the truly world class examples of the style."

"I suppose you're right. It wasn't what I meant

though

and that's what matters."

"Well then, what did you mean?"
"Oh, I don't know. It's not what I expected. A lot more

mild
dry
and astringent in the mouthfeel.

I guess..."
"You just expected more."
"Yes, I suppose so. But it's alright darling. I'm with you."
"That you are, dear. You'd bettern't forget."
I wink at her through my pretentious improper use of English, and
She smiles back at me
and squeezes my hand
as we continue through the field and enjoy one another. (1,732 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (692 characters)

Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.