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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
97
world-class

441 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 441
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.64%
Wants: 989
Gots: 87 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cuvee De Castleton Alström Bros
Ratings: 441 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

mothman, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79 at my place last weekend. Thanks Dan!

Batch 4

A: The beer is a golden hue, which comes as no surprise as this is labeled as a golden ale. There is a white, bubbly head that fizzes away almost immediately after pouring. The beer is mostly clear, with only a slight haze.

S: Apples, grapes, funk, wild yeast, oak,wine, tart fruits.

T: A really delicious sour ale. Apples, grapes and pears balance well with notes of oak and a prominent wild yeast component. There is a tannic presence as well, reminiscent of a fine French sauvignon blanc. Well done.

M: Very tart. Nice feel with a fairly low carbonation level. Alcohol hidden pretty well.

D: A delectable treat. I hope I have the pleasure of indulging in this fine beverage again in the near future. It would be worth driving to the release and waiting in line to obtain this.

Huhzubendah, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

BARFLYB, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Gonzoillini, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -9.1%

mdaschaf, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

ppoitras, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +8%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -9.1%
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...

biegaman, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of rab53
2.25/5  rDev -48.9%

rab53, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

billab914, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, batch 2 courtesy of Dyan.

Pours a cloudy yellow, light amber, pretty unique colour for a beer, thin fizzy white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, no lacing. Smell is crazy acidic, lemons, oak, grapes, vinegar, vanilla, very funky, lots of straw and barnyard with the acidity, very complex. Taste is similar, sweet/sour beginning, toast, oak, lemon juice, quite acidic, vanilla, white grape juice, nice sweet sugary middle really balances out the sourness, nice dried fruit flavour, finish is charred wood and lemon juice, but nicely balanced and a dry floral end. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very smooth and perfectly balanced, no rough edges, perfect amount of sour and perfect amount of sweet. Very nice sour, thanks a ton Dyan!

Viggo, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -9.1%

KAF, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +8%

iL0VEbeer, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

ShanePB, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2. The beer is a bright and vibrant gold with a great two finger head and good retention.

I'm greeted by the aroma of Brett and a small amount of earthy hops. The Muscat grapes impart a unique floral and sweet aroma that works very well with the musty barnyard Brett. Other aromas are of oak, spices, lemon, and just a little sweetness. No alcohol is noticeable. The flavor is of sweet and tart grapes with some oak and funk, with just a touch of alcohol. I drank this when it was first released in July of 2008, and I recall the Muscat character being much more potent then, than it is now. The flavor is still great, but it has faded a bit from what it was.

Light bodied with good carbonation and a dry mouthfeel.

HopHead84, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel - Puckering. Clean sour. Low carbonation.

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

Alieniloquium, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

johnnnniee, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle received from Cuzco, excited to finally try this CL beer. The label states it is a "combination of Belgian style Pale Ale which has been refermented with hand picked Muscat grapes & aged in wine barrels. As the beer ages in the oak it undergoes a secondary fermentation using the wild yeast known as Brettanomyces".

The bottle isn't corked like I expected it to be, just a standard cap. Poured into my new Cantillon "wine glass", it starts with a clear golden color and has nearly no head, just a ring of bubbles. Subsequent pours add some haziness from sediment.

It smells really good, brettanomyces funk and grapes, the sum effect is excellent. I don't get any spice in the nose, although the bottom of the label says there are some added, mostly a strong musty wild ale character with some white wine.

The grapes really come through in the flavor, not quite just accenting the funk but actually providing a good percentage of the overall taste. Tart and sour, lemons and white wine, barnyard character throughout, I really like this beer.

Dry, light bodied exceptional all around. Easy drinking, I could definitely go for a 750ml bottle, no problem.

TurdFurgison, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of THECPJ
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

THECPJ, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
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
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

drummermattie02, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of chippo33
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

chippo33, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of xnicknj
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

330mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to cjo for opening this

Pours a clouded straw yellow with a tuft of white head on top. Retains for a moment before dissolving into some light film, leaving a few patches of lacing on the glass.

Tart and funky in the nose with hints of white wine and grapes. Sour with oak and faint fruity sweetness and barely any notion of alcohol, despite the ABV.

Pretty sour right up front, supported by the muscat grapes with some grape skin hints. Tart and biting with underlying oak tannins. Some straw and funky tones, followed by a dash of sweetness from the fruit. Finishes sour and lingering on the tongue.

Medium body, slightly higher carbonation, dry and bubbly on the tongue. This might be my favorite CL wild ale so far, even though I don't like muscat grapes. Definitely worth it.

xnicknj, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of Bitterbill
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a Batch 2 bottle:

When I popped the cap, it started to *slowly* gush but not a drop was lost!

A hazy straw yellow colour, the foam was about an inch deep max with some good lacing.

The smell is very nice! Some tartness, some fruitiness that's mostly citrus lemon and grape I think, and a good amount of a nose brought on by the Brett. This one smells delicious.

The taste has a very tasty tartness up front with good notes of lime with some lemon, grape that is semisweet, wood, some Brett that is more noticeable in the nose than the taste but yeah, it's there. Ahhh. No sign of the alcohol at all in either the nose or the taste and that kicks up the drinkability big time.

Mouthfeel falls just short of medium with the carbonation being on the lighter side of heavy and man that works for me. It finishes with a mix of tartness and slight funk and has a rather short lived aftertaste. Great brew here!!

Btw, second pour got it all cloudy and the foam left right after I put the bottle down so...it's not the best looker in a glass(cloudy is fine by me) but it sure makes up for it with the smell and taste. This 750ml bottle will be doubly easy to finish and I plant it firmly in the "exceptional drinkability" category.

Bottom line: When I look to try an American Wild Ale, I want all sorts of flavours and smell to go on and *this* one fits the bill superbly! I cannot recommend this brew highly enough!! I once again salute Captain Lawrence for their brewing skills!!

Bitterbill, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into my De Struise glass. Batch 4...A light honey gold pour, decent carbonation at first but falls quickly with very light lacing...The aroma is pretty nice, Brute lite; acidic but lightly bready, small oak notes, white wine (sauvigon blanc) characteristics (light grass)...The taste is a bit of let down, displays too many of the white wine qualities in taste and feel. The more you drink the more vinous it gets, more oak and light feeling wine pour through. Weird alcohol finish, but pretty flat.

Huge start, sorry finish, not worth trading much to get.

jrallen34, Aug 28, 2010
Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.