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Cuvee De Castleton - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton

Educational use only; do not reuse.

216 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 216
Hads: 492
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 13.63%
Wants: 1,024
Gots: 89 | 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
Reviews: 216 | Hads: 492
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 DovaliHops
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5. Pours a very hazy, slightly murky golden color with a small white head that diminishes to aggressive carbonation bubble almost instantly. Scent is immediately funky with some Brett and sour aroma. Nice white grapes with a lot of lemon and some other citrus fruits. A bit of saison-like peppery aroma as well. Also some sweet, fruit snack aroma. Very good nose on this one. Taste is very tart and sour at first...very lovely chardonnay characteristics. The spices definitely come through in the flavor, which is what I think separates this one from the other American sour wild ales. Stays very tart with each sip, but nice, sweet green and white grape flavor on the back of the tongue. Tingly tart pucker on the tip of the tongue. Lovely oak and white wine flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, puckering at times, and somewhat fizzy. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is a very well-crafted sour wild ale. Drinks like a 5% sour...would never guess it's almost double that. Great complexity and flavor. The spices in it bring together two of my favorite styles swimmingly, saison and wild ale.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear pale color with a mostly lasted frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy sour, yeasty and wood aroma. Medium body with a smooth oily texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sour flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & sour finish of moderate to long duration. This is a standout beer for style.

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Photo of carps12
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Poured into a carbernet wine glass. Nice lively head with lacing that dissapates quickly. Dark yellow color. Nose of bright lemon, vinous, some funk, oak, white grape. Taste is great. Sweet lemon, grape with a bit of tartness followed by an oaky finish. Not that funky on the nose or taste. A lot of oak on the finish as well that becomes more prevalant as I drink. The oak on te finsih battles with the light funk making a balanced finish. This is way to easy to drink and with the smaller format I drank this in no time. mouthfeel was perfect carbonation and not to dry. Fantastic.

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Photo of sleepydave
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
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

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375 mL courtesy of mikereaser, thanks for this gem Mike! Pours a clear gold color with a bubbly white head. Fades fast to a collar, very little lace.

Nose is wonderful...vinous, lavender and buttery chardonnay poke through a sourness and brettanomyces-laced aroma.

Very wine-like on the flavor with equal parts lactic acid and funky brett. Not a whole lot going on in the malt department, maybe a touch of grain. I cant tell which has a bigger influence: the muscat grapes or wine barrels (chardonnay or pinot grigio?). Very delicate beer, so light but yet packs a nice sour and funky punch. This one seems like it would develop over the next few years nicely.

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Photo of afausser
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by dkachur--thanks, Dan!

A: pours a very clouded light tangerine with very faint head and lacing. So hazy, in fact, that it almost looks like fruit juice.

S: the first sour I've had, and wow. Clears our your sinuses. Crisp, fresh green apples and sour candy as well as slight yeast, bread and butter notes. Also a mild hint of not-quite ripe raspberries. Slightly musty like an attic or perhaps a barnyard with the smell of horse hair, slight honey, and a bit of hay. Mild white grapes, white and pink (though a dry pink) grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, and even banana, as well as a bit of licorice as it warms.

T: Like granny smith apples, only 5 times more sour and slightly bitter. Actually has notes of white wine, along with (no surprise) white grapes. Extremely heavy grapefruits, which I absolutely love. Not quite to the warhead or candy sour level of acidity. The apples and grapefruits actually make this somewhat juicy considering how dry the actual mouthfeel is. The balance between the fruit and the sourness actually works very well.

M: Very crisp and dry, like biting into an extremely sour apple, or a green apple combined somehow with a grapefruit. This is great, though the carbonation dies quickly and I would have liked it to have had slightly more.

D: Had this at a tasting and wish I could have had the whole bottle. Like having a smooth, sour, fresh squeezed (albeit sour) fruit juice.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a foggy gold with a head that disappeared quickly. Nose is like any other gueuze or lambic. Straight sour funky. Flavor is real nice. Sour and tart with a fruity edge. There seems to be a vanilla and caramel edge to it too. Sour is the key here and it's coming with authority, but it's in the right place. Feel is slick and smooth. If you like sours, this will be very drinkable. If you're not a sour fan, this might be a nice one to take a few sips on. It's not overly intense, but it's bringing enough to keep it real.

Excellent beer. On the level of Russian River and other great sour producers, but still stands alone.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5, courtesy of rlmartin

A: Poured into my Drie Fonteinen glass with no head, but active bubbles. Looks like sparkling apple juice.

S: Mouthwatering lemon & apple aromas, with wine character like a minerally chablis or sauvignon blanc. Little whiffs of funky barnyard.

T: Quite tart on the tip of the tongue, and an explosion of fruits from kiwi to pineapple to melon with a singing acidity tying it all together.

M: Light and effervescent with moderate linger.

O: First, I absolutely wouldn't guess this was 9%. Tastewise, I'd put this on part with some of the best gueuzes I've had. Definitely at the pinnacle of American Wilds. I do wish the aroma had a little more going on, but it may be that this glass isn't showing it as well as possible.

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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 largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2 bottle received from Dyan, thanks for the chance to try this rarity.

Appearance: Pale amber with a slight haze to it. Plenty of carbonation, but very little head.

Smell: Pure unbridled funk is most immediate, but beneath that there's a strong undercurrent of tart grapes, almost white wine-like, and a hint of spice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tart and dry with some oaky tannins. The inclusion of grapes gives this beer a definite wine-like quality, bringing to mind a funked up dry white at times, as odd as that sounds. There's an underlying spiciness, but it's subtle enough that I can't tell which spices were used. While this is definitely on the dry side, there's a hint of honey-like sweetness present that does a lot to balance the tannic finish.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to corby112 for this bottle, poured into my white birch glass. Celebrating the end of another term with this beer, cheers. The beer pours a hazy straw color with an effervescent glow around the edges. There is a thin cap of white foam that leaves no lacing.

The smell is tart apples, sour grapes, oaky wood notes and lemon zest. There is also a musty sourness that rears it's head throughout the scent.

The flavors match the smell well, tart apples, sour grapes and a healthy dose of citrus sour funk. There is a slight oak flavor that complements all the sour and crisp citrus notes.

The beer is light bodied and only slightly carbonated, but the crisp and sharp flavors and dry finish make this beer insanely drinkable. The sour grape flavor is intense at first, but it is so well balanced it makes this beer incredibly drinkable. I wish I had another.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Hill Farmstead tasting glass, revealing a slight champagne fizz over light golden, minimally hazy body. Smells like a meaty white wine with slight apricot and vanilla sweet notes, citrus and a little funk. Very nice smells, all together.

Tastes quite sour at first, but very clean and sweet in the finish. A little oak comes through the light malt and fruity grape flavor. Despite its delicacy, there is a distinct meatiness to the strength of the compilation that makes me want to pair it with something hearty like lamb satay. The spices add a nice bite to the sour kick. Carbonation is thorough and tingly, but not spritzy. Served just slightly chilled, it's very drinkable but something to sip and savor for all its complexity.

Very glad I have more of these!

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Photo of urwithdave
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviweing from notes taken at the hunahpu release. Big tnx to mcdiddypop for sharing! Poured into a cigar city snifter.

A- pours pale golden yellow in color. A fingers worth of white head that doesn't stay around for long. Some lacing left behind.

A- big on lemons and grapes. There is a funky earthy aroma present also.

T- follows the nose I get a lot of lemon coupled with some grapes and granny smith tasting apples. Very sour in a lovely way.

M- very light bodied. The sourness sucks every bit of saliva out of my mouth with every drink. Its like my mouth is being vaccumed with a wetvac. It's really intense.

D- love it. I wish I had a case in the cellar. I will def be looking to trade for some of this.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Pours a hazy golden with some sediment from a hard pour. Little head. Smells acetic followed by a slightly musty aroma of sour grapes and just a touch of sweetness. Slightly funky, n a good way. Tastes quite complex. Sour notes to start, then barnyard, metal, and leather, light herbal notes, fruitiness, and a light, sweet, muskiness from the grapes. Slightly mouthpuckering with sourness and some tannins, and some spice notes at the end. Delicious.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy golden yellow with a big, short lived whitish head. Tons of lacing.

S - Sweet candy-like pilsner malts, tropical fruits (pineapples and more), big funky barnyard. Light acidic tartness.

F/M - Huge funky barnyard, medium acidic tartness. Sweet malts and tons of tropical fruits (pineapples and mangoes) and a little bit of a white grape flavor. Low bitterness, medium body and moderately high carbonation. Clean dry finish.

D - Great. This is an excellent beer, world class for sure. Dry, fruity, funky, sour, flavorful and very well balanced.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kennyo for sharing his batch 3.

A: Clear golden yellow body with a thin bubbly head that stuck around the edges of the glass for quite some time. No lacing.

S: Pleasantly funky. Green grapes and some green apple. Might even be some kiwi like notes and a bit of oak. Plus bright lemon sourness to round things out. Really clear and enticing.

T: Much like the nose there is a bit going on here. In order of prominence... Green grapes, green apple, lemon, kiwi, pear, oak. Nice and funky. Good sourness throughout that isn't overwhelming but is certainly on display.

M: Light-medium bodied with a well balanced carbonation to keep things fresh on the tongue. A bit of funk and plenty of sour. Nice dry finish.

D: Thoroughly enjoyable. A bit young, but certainly drinkable right now.

Side note.. got a taste of a bottle of batch one at the Rosso Batch 2 release. I'd bump both the taste and drinkability to 5s with batch 1. I found there to be a strong presence of fuji apple juice which I found to be stellar. Too small of a sample to review everything else on its own though. ISO Batch 1 haha

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Photo of cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4

This baby pours a straw colored and cloudy thick looking volume, topped briefly by a white head, then by bare skin.

The smell starts out tart, but not in a sharp way, but as the helpful host for a party of fine aroma's. Green apple, candy, chardonnay, farmyard, hold hands with some light appearances of even funkier aspects of brett. Fruit in the bouquet is quite balanced with the other smells.

This beer has a wondrous mix of strong flavors presented in such balance as none destroy the palate, while providing vibrantly alive and blended flavor. More of the barrel comes into the sip, the mild oakiness and tannin really give complexity to the tart aspects. These flavors do not overpower, as green apple, vinous, funk, and some really subtle spicy/earthy flavors round out the sip, especially as it warms. It is alive with flavor, and leaves you craving another sip. I imagine time will give this more incredible funkitude.

Mouthfeel is perfect, not only for style, but as vehicle for the flavors. Low carb., light and bright on palate, with a magnificent finish that never lets the potent tartness of this overwhelm. Just excellent.

Drinkability? This is so insanely drinkable I doubt I will be able to keep any of these long enough to enjoy at maturity.

Impression: In America 2010 the beers our domestic brewers lovingly create are of world class skill and artistry. CDC represents this.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a golden yellowish color, hazy and a light glow to it

S: Immediate lemon, sour, horse blanket. Oh yeah

T: Very acidic, lots oft annins, lemon zest, white grapes, hay, horseblanket, funky and lots of brett.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation, feels a touch too heavy.

O: Ridiculously drinkable for the style and ABV.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with onix1arg thanks for the splits dude.

A- brilliant golden yellow with just a touch of haze. Not much head from the pour but it is a year old barrel aged beer. A good swirl does build a bit of foam but settles instantly.

S- funky green apples and horse blanket. Wet hay and some musty dusty.

T- tart and sour with under ripe grapes and granny smith apples. Funky wood and unmalted wheat. Lemon rind and juice. Slightly cheesy.

M- less then medium in body and low carb. Very dry and puckering.

D- this is amazing stuff with all of the thing I love in a sour. Not to buggy at all. Super delicious.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.46/5  rDev +3%
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.

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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 PittBeerGirl
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Kevin for sharing this! Have been wanting to try it for awhile now!

A- Body is a uniform, translucent really foggy blond hue. Pours with a 1 finger foamy white head that has decent retention. Leaves traces of lacing down the glass.

S-Amazing! Tart white grape, apple, and pear-very fruity. There is also a hint of vinegar and acidic tartness detectable in the nose.

T- Upfront is lots of apple and pear with a very light acidic sourness/twang to it. Background is a slight yeasty funk and some floral hop overtones. Finish is consistent with the initial flavor but is slightly dry. Very well done and balanced.

M- Medium tingly carbonation with a light drinkable body.

D- This brew is great! It offers a great balance of fruit, sourness, and funk while still being somewhat dry. This sour is on the mild side but very well put together and another fine brew by CL!

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Photo of dirtylou
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
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

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Photo of oline73
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Captain Lawrence booth at the EBF was empty for a while so it was like I was drinking my own bottle.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish golden color with a layer of white head that leaves a ring around the edge of the cup.

Smell: Vinegar and some lemon tartness along with an herbal note. Smells quite crisp.

Taste: Quite sour, vinegary and a citrus tartness. Mildly sweet with a funkiness that accompanies the sour citrus taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth yet aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really dry and refreshing sour. I would love to have my own bottle some day.

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.