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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 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 tpd975
4/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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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 Overlord
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
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!

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Photo of BTPete
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
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.


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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.07/5  rDev -6%
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!

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Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to orbitalr0x for breaking this out!
Review from notes, batch #2.

Murky pastel yellow, with copious foam at first that settled and stuck around for awhile. Floral nose, fragrant lavender or chamomile, various spices, lime zest, and orange juice. Dry tart feel, zippy with a little grape sweetness. Earthy coriander. Reminds me of a sour blend of orange juice and sprite I used to make as a kid. The dry spritz just evaporates on the tongue, very clean and tasty. This brew really seems to showcase the herbs/spice with a nice orange/lemon-lime compliment. I'd seek it out again, good stuff. Thanks again Don for sharing!

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Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
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).

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. Batch #4.

Yet again, another great beer provided by alcstradamus. Thank you sir!

A - Lightly hazy golden yellow color with absolutely no head. No ring or anything. Fair looking for a wild ale I suppose.

S - White grapes are almost elevating this beer to a white wine level of aroma. Light notes of a light type of wood comes through. Soft and delicate with a mild wild aroma. Smooth horse blanket.

T - Yep, a lot of white grape flavor and soft wood from barrel-aging come through. This is very white-wine like until the delicate wild flavor kicks in. Decent level of barnyard that blends nicely with the wine-like flavor profile.

M - Soft and light sourness with a tart finish and medium-bodied. Smooth texture with a good carbonation finish.

D - Good beer with good flavor and profile. I like the wine components to this wild beer. Nice drinkabiliy as well.

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Photo of hawks10
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml green bottle - Batch 4 - Poured into a tulip...

Pours a bright golden orange color with one finger of very spritzy, fine white head, which recedes to nothingness very quickly. What is left is a still looking beer, similar to Indian Summer Apple Juice (my favorite). I don't like when beers look still...

Smell is initially tart and lemony. White grapes add some sweetness and makes this beer resemble sparking grape juice/champagne. Though no champagne I ever smelled has the subtle nuances this beer has. Lots of barnyard funk, the brett is very apparent here. Musty and dry with hints of oak. Very nice smelling beer, complex and balanced, bright and tart...

Tart and dry to start. Very dry, lemony with loads of white grapes, they add some sweetness and champagne/white wine-like characteristics. Dusty and musty, brett really shows through, as do some hints of oak. Tasty beer, tart and refreshing, funky and complex, but balanced and highly drinkable...

Medium bodied with low, but spritzy carbonation. Tart, not quite puckering, but a good level of astringent tartness. Finishes dry, making you want more...

Pretty good beer, gonna hang on to my other bottle for a while and see what this one is like with some age on it...

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Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002

It pours almost no head with a carbonation like soda pop and a clear yellow color. The smell is slightly sour with some white wine characteristics and dry bouquet. Taste is a dry white wine with some subtle sour flavors in the background. Still a good mouthfeel with carbonation not overpowering, but giving a good soft acidity. Overall, it's pretty easy to drink as it's a good palate refresher and easily should pair with intense food flavors.

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Photo of pwoods
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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

12.7oz bottle into a big style champagne flute. Batch numero three. Finally getting around to reviewing this after many bottles.

Castleton made noise when opened, a loud hiss, than alot of activity in the bottle. Light golden in color with a yellow look as well. After many bottles I still cant get a decent cap on this. There is plenty of carbonation, it's just that cuvee does not produce foam, a lot of rising bubbles though making some fizz.

Scents are pleasant but not anything heavy handed, it took a few sniffs to pick up the main musks. Muscat grapes up front giving this a vinious quality. Under those is the funk, although it's more of a mild brettness with hay and barnyard. The spices are so light that I cant make them out.

Castleton delivers all that is advertised with the spices at a minimal level, it's tart, somewhat sour and drinkable. Muscat grapes impart a somewhat winey taste underneath and somehow this comes off like a sour cider in some ways. The wild yeast is tasted and welcomed but it as well is somewhat muted. Brett bombs all over the place. It gives off tartness and a dirty barnyard with hay. I may be getting a touch of coriander at times.

CDC is well carbed, it was noted once the bottle was opened, a lot of activity seen in the liquid and on the mouth. It's very lively with a crispness that somehow builds more and then leaves. Cuvee is on the lighter side of medium in terms of build and finishes incredibly dry. I can feel it in my stomach so it's doing it's job. afterwards i tasted some grape on the back of my tounge, delicious. this drinks more like 5% than 8%.

I like this beer, I always have, but at times I feel it can be so much more in terms of sourness and funkiness. This is very str8 forward in terms of the main tastes and it works, castleton is well balanced, but I would like to see a amped up version to appear in the future. Either way if you like sours, you will like this, it's that simple.

I'll update in a year or so with some batch two CDC, I want to see how this develops. Im rooting for this beer but's it's not quite in A territory for me now. Perhaps the captain will consider changing the name of this beer as it's no longer the best(cuvee)that this brewery has to offer in their sour department.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed Flaming Fury more.

The appearance is a very hazy gold with little to no head. Come on, give me some head! It has some bubbles that are produced with an aggressive pour, but other than that nothing. It has some great leg on it though, coats the entire glass with great ABV leg.

The smell is of grapes, sour funky yeast, crisp white wine, and grapes. Very vinous, delicious smell.

The taste is much like the smell but with more complexity. It has a strong white grape and orange rind taste. It is nicely tart and has some wet barnyard characters. It reminded me of this one wine tour I did in Mendoza, Argentina. Earthy, sweet wine, and must, really interesting characters that were intensified after a rain, just superb.

The mouthfeel is good, but could be carbonated a little more. The yeast on the bottom provided the most flavor, which is something I am starting to learn the more sours I drink. Tart and astringent, this was a treat.

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