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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

436 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 436
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.64%
Wants: 987
Gots: 86 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 05-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 436 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerTruth
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery last weekend during the release.

750 ml. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Batch 2.

Pours a murky gold hue with a loud fizzy carbonation that immediately dies down to a thin ring along the outside. No webbing what so ever to speak of. Smell is one you won't forget. Sour white grapes, lemongrass, sweet flowers, brett, and some bready characteristics. The oak is there, but somewhat subtle in the aroma. Very complex beer for the nostrils to enjoy. Tastes begins with sour apples, white grapes, and pears. The woody oak flavors emerge midway with a dry zesty lemon as well. The brett-y goodness is big on the tongue in the aftertaste with a musty pepper flavor and more lemony tartness to finish it off. Light fluffy body with a soft fresh feel. Carbonation is strong and stings the mouth. So much going on with this beer. I feel pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to try this one. Definitely looking forward to seeing what some age will do to this beauty. A truly unique beer that deserves the recognition. Keep up the good work Scott!

BeerTruth, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

RblWthACoz, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of TheViceBlog
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Trained up from Manhattan early Saturday morn to score a few of the coveted 840 released bottles.

Captain Lawrence compares it to a champagne and they aren't lying. I popped the top and it nearly exploded, ejaculations of foamy whiteness coming from the bottle like I was celebrating New Year's. It pours fizzier than any beer I've ever seen before. On the label it is described thusly as a "...combination of Belgian style ale which has been re-fermented 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."

Cuvee de Castleton smells very much like a champagne and tastes like it too. Upon my first small sip, I almost retracted my tongue, I was so surprised by the intense tartness as this is the first wild ale I've ever had before. Definitely the most non-beer-tasting beer I've ever had as well. Even more so than Sam Adams Utopias. This really has nothing that really grounds it to being a beer except for the slight Belgian Ale of it. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Very carbonated, some good bite. You smell and taste white grapes and some spice too. Lemons and green sour apples. You'd have a hard time convincing a lot of people that this is actually beer though.

The sourness nails you at first so don't give up on this beer after the first sip. It takes a while to figure out this brew's brilliance. Luckily I got 4 bottles, two of which I am making my first attempts at cellaring, which should actually make the beer even more sour Captain Lawrence claims.

Due to the tartness you have to drink it slowly, but that's a good thing as it helps you absorb it better. I don't think any one besides me will say this, but ask yourself if you like Sour Patch Kids before having this one. (Oh he's so irreverent say the beer snobs reading this!) The tartness is remarkable though, my mouth was puckered for at least an hour after having the bomber. Everyone around me must have thought I wanted to kiss them. Perhaps I did. The beer makes you giggly and high just like some champers. I don't completely buy that it's 6% either. I was kinda effed up after one solo-consumed bomber.

Cuvee de Castleton becomes more beer-like the more you drink it and the warmer it gets. The oak flavor starts to really come through in this insanely complex brew. I was confused at first by this beer as it's my first ever wild ale, but by the end I was loving this and glad I have so many more bottles.

I really don't think this is a beer that impatient neophytes will like and it would be hard to convince them otherwise. They should probably avoid it as I could see them doling out knee jerk F grades. And, considering I've drank one bottle and thus there are at maximum 839 left in the world, good chance these folks will never get to try this masterpiece.

Aaron
www.theviceblog.com

TheViceBlog, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

JDV, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with radiorandy, thanks for giving me the chance to try this hard to find beer

Split with my girlfriend tonight at her family's annual Christmas party, evrybody seemed to like this one that tried it along with myself

Poured into an oddly shaped wine glass with a murky orangish yellow color and practically no head, very little retention, but some lacing towards the beginning, tiny bubbles that resemble a good champagne

Smell was fantastic and full of lemons, brett, sour fruits, tartness, cherries, lots of sugar, and some other citrus aromas

I would definitely call this one a sour, taste was very tarty and strong, tasted like a hard cider with a kick when it was cold, but when it warmed a little, the tart really took over and changed my mind about its flavor, lots of citrus and a nice spiciness on the back of the tongue, very very acidic, white grapes dominated the taste more than anything once the beer reached its proper temperature in the glass, hints of wine throughout from the barrels it was aged in, great sour and fruity taste overall

Tons of carbonation to go with a nice body, taste did not last as long as I had hoped for, good overall mouthfeel though

Saw that this was only six percent ABV on another site because it did not say here or on the bottle, making it even more drinkable than it already was, very light on the stomach, could have drank a few of these big bottles by myself no problem, scary how easy this goes down

My first Captain Lawrence beer and it was great, pretty sure this stuff is pretty hard to get, I know I had to trade away a lot of good things for it, worth every word of hype I have heard, highly recommended if you can track a bottle of this bad boy down

Floydster, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of Goldorak
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this highly hyped Beer, apparently it took quite some effort for my good friend to secure a bottle.

Appearance: Lemonade colored with just about no head, it turned a bit more orangey and opaque when I got a refill.

Smell: Lavander and litchi fruit, the kind you usually find in a nice dessert white wine - I've seen it in ice cider as well - but with a interesting horseblanket backdrop that is just enough to please lambic lovers without scaring off those who don't.

Taste: Fabulously intense acidity, almost lime-like with a bit of mandarine oranges. The carbonation levels and flavor reminds me of Federweisser, a partially fermented white wine served in the Franconian region. Lots of lemon rind twang that dries up the back of your tongue. Wine geeks would wet their panties over this one, it really didn't dissapoint.

Goldorak, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for opening this...
After gushing upon the opening, this appears a hazy, flouorescent yellow with a small white head that slowly fades out.
Smell is of tart lemon, leather, barnyard funk, grapa, oak, and vanilla.
Taste mimics the aromas with an acidic, soapy citrus up front that fades to the mentioned aromas, which are splendid.
Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, tart, and acidic.

weeare138, Aug 30, 2007
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 Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch Number 1, Sampled July 2007
Topped by a large bubbled, pale, white froth, that starts out about a finger and a half in height, but disappears fairly quickly to a thin, not quite layer of froth. The beer is deeply hazy, despite having rested in my fridge for a month, and is an orange-tinged, straw color. The aroma is distinctively funky, with notes of uriatic acid, bitter mushrooms, musty-tea-infused damp leather and a distinct nutty note. The nutty note comes on towards the end and reminds me of a woody mix of almonds and Brazil nuts. An acidity / tartness reminiscent of a funky Sauvignon Blanc makes me wonder if this is contributed by the yeast or by the Muscat grapes. The nutty note, while distinct at times, is at other times overwhelmed by the Brett aromatics. I think that nuttiness may ultimately be some woody / spicy oak character coming through.

A prickly carbonation, which despite its bountiful presence, is probably at a medium level of carbonation. Somehow, despite being quite dry seeming, this beer has a medium fullness to it; the body of this brew somehow sticks to the mouth, yet never seems sweet, or even remotely cloying. Perhaps it is best described as being a light beer with a viscous quality to it that allows the beer to cling to the palate. Tart, with lots of green grape notes; slightly herbal, yet with hints of kiwi, a touch of lime (the mix is something like star-fruit actually), and some green apple notes as well. A backdrop of funky Brett character finishes the flavor profile of this beer off; musty cotton balls, moldy leather, and sharp, mushroom-like fungal character are among the Brett contributed notes. As my palate gets used to the first few sips, a soft, green-fruit sweetness becomes noticeable; this helps to accentuate the fruit notes previously mentioned as well as accenting some notes of apricot. Hints of oak character around the edges combine with some of the fruit notes to evoke thoughts of nutty apricot pits

The apricot notes and thus the sweetness become more noticeable as I work my way through this bottle; the sweetness never becomes overt though. The aroma also pick ups some dry, toasty grain notes that are reminiscent of biscuits & soda crackers.

The oak character in this beer is absolutely stunning; I don’t think I have ever had a beer that got the oak character so perfectly. It is not intrusive, nor is it even overtly noticeable, but it adds another layer of flavor to this beer that is an integral part of this complexly compelling brew. I also find it quite interesting how the grapes have added a sort of viscous quality to this brew without making it overtly sweet. A definitely interesting brew, in fact it is the best marriage of white grape and beer I have had yet. The best thing about this beer… I get to go pour myself another glass right now!

Gueuzedude, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of Hair
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow/gold with a pure white head that is large but fades quickly. Head is sort of soapy, and there is no lacing because the foam simply slips down the side of the glass. The aroma is of lemons and brett. A lot of brett funk in the aroma, but not much in the flavor. The Brett is very subtle in the flavor. Tastes like grapefruit juice (not in a hoppy way) and lemons (juice and rind). Very easy to drink if you like sour flavors. Very refreshing, though not super complex. Being a sourtooth, I love this. Thanks HopHead75 for the beer. I feel very special to have got to try a bottle of this out on the West Coast.

Hair, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of Billolick
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Billolick, May 12, 2007
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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.