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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 ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to cavedave for this blind share, batch #4 release.
The beer pours a clear straw yellow with a razor thin halo of white head. The nose is sweet and slightly acidic. The taste is slightly tropical with a bit of Brett funk and a mild, dry finish. It's not a bone dry finish as expected making this beer quite drinkable. The body is light and effervescent. This is an outstanding sour, but I wish the grapes came out more than they did. It's similar to beat, but not as intensely sour. (488 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/27/08. Bottle, batch 2 sampled the day of the release. Pours a cloudy light orange with a fizzy white head (careful when opening!). Aroma of tart sour fruits (apple, pear), oak/barrel, and some grapey wine notes, especially as the beer warms. Flavor of sweet tart oak, same fruits as in the aroma. I have to admit that I haven't been impressed with some of Captain Lawrence's special release beers, but thankfully this beer lived up to its reputation and more! An awesome sour, super drinkable, very complex and interesting. Excellent and well crafted.
8/4/9/4/18 (4.3/5) (585 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch 3. Pours a beautiful clear golden yellow color with little effervescence and surpisingly very little head into my small tulip glass. The aroma I get from this is sweet grapes, funk, and sourness. The initial taste is very good. The light carbonation dances in your mouth and is tart and sweet at the same time. Notes of apricot come to mind. The ending is very reminiscent of a white wine. Rethink my definition of beer? Yes, indeed. I recall first getting into craft beer and experiencing sours and they were no where near what I thought beers could be. This is a great style and a great beer. CL does a great job with this one! Light mouthfeel. (660 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2. Golden Delicious apple gold with an intensely fizzy, soda-like cap of bright white foam that fades to nothingness inside of one minute, leaving the glass untouched. The beer itself is fine, but no head and no lace is bizarre looking.

The surprisingly powerful aroma is a pleasing combination of golden grains, white grapes and well-behaved barnyard funkiness. If the mouthfeel is any good at all, this should be wonderful ale.

Who cares how it looks when beer is as good as Cuvee de Castleton? Just more evidence that taste and mouthfeel are all that really matter to this BA. Too bad the final score will not be reflective of the experience as a whole, but it can't be helped.

This American wild ale isn't that wild and, as such, is extremely approachable for anyone with even a slight interest in the style. Along with keeping sweet-tart-bitter in perfect balance, the various flavors complement one another beautifully.

CdC tastes like a BSPA brewed with white grapes and Brettanomyces... probably because that's what it is. Captain Lawrence doesn't say what sort of French wine oak barrels were used for aging, but the tangy-sweet Muscat grapes are front-and-center enough that Chardonnay is a good guess.

This seasonal release has big beer power without having even a hint of alcohol on the palate. Must be the sourness, the acidity, and the huge blast of flavor every time the glass is upended. With a better mouthfeel, look out.

Speaking of which... the mouthfeel is too light and the carbonation is too soda-like. The bubbles are active early and fade quickly, although not as quickly as the head. It's a tribute to the brilliance of the flavor profile that I don't really mind that much.

Cuvee de Castleton is a better job of bottle-conditioning away from being one of the best American wild ales that I've had so far. Kudos to the brewery and thanks to marcpal for the bottle. Highly recommended... with reservations. (1,943 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bwyker for this 750 mL capped bottle of Batch 2.

A: The ale is effervescent, foaming up to nearly two full fingers of stark white head. Surprisingly though, it disappeared almost instantaneously. Despite a stream of carbonation, the ale sits still in my snifter. The ale is pale in color, a golden straw color that looks absolutely naked without some level of head.

S: The nose is tart, acidic with lemony citrus. White grapes add a sugary sweetness. Wood also leaves its mark on the nose.

T: For as much punch as the sour side throws into the ale, the sweet white grape flavors are the first to register, however briefly that may be. The ale is quite dry but the intersection of the funk and grape is rather sweet. The funk is mostly sheer tartness, very acidic with lemon in the aftertaste. Lemon and grape mix together for an unusually sweet (as compared to the rest of the body) sugary finish.

M: After getting over the lackluster appearance, the ale brings it. The tart flavors set up grape sweetness and the mix of grape and lemon works quite well. A light ale that doesn't betray its strength.

D: A very approachable sour. I like what the grapes bring to the table; they add a distinct sweetness that loosens up the dry mouthfeel. A nicely aged beer. (1,272 characters)

Photo of kfsv034
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this bottle in a trade from obrienj thanks man.

A - Pours a straw yellow with no head at all, looks like white wine.

S - tart white grapes, tart apples, some grassy lemon zest

T - Very tart, grape skins, tart apples, a mild lemon/peppery flavor, very little oak and some white wine like characteristics.

M - Medium bodied

D - at 8% its pretty easy going i could drink a few from the alcohol standpoint but the sourness might limit me to one or two (461 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into goblet on 10/2/09. Thanks to FooFaa and Deuane for each bringing a bottle of this to the SourFest.

A - Poured a cloudy golden body, akin to an unfiltered fruit juice, with a thin off-white head that disappeared almost immediately.

S - Initial aroma reveals an astringent band-aid character with spiced fleshy fruit (apple, pear) notes and a citrusy quality suggesting lemons and limes. There's also plenty of sour grape notes paired with oaky tannins, much like the nose of a barrel-aged white wine.

T - Cuvee de Castleton boasts a very vinous quality with an abundance of sour grape character and a hint of citrus fruit amidst a boat-load of oaky dryness and astringency. The wine-like attributes really open up in the backend, with the grapes and oak becoming quite apparent in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a watery yet bubbly, sparkling texture, resulting in a bristly mouthfeel overall. Finishes with quite a bit of sourness and astringency on the palate.

D - With such obvious oaky and vinous qualities, Cuvee de Castleton really drinks like a sour wine. This one is big on grape character with plenty of dryness from the oak and some pleasant tartness from the Brett. Complex and quite tasty to say the least. I've been wanting to try this for a while, and it did not disappoint. (1,316 characters)

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally landed a bottle. Batch 4

A - Pours a hazy yellow, almost lemonade color. Fluffy white head disappears to nothing.

S - grapes, barn-yardy brett, citric acid, and oak.

T - Complex and simple, everything blends well. Start with the tart, rolls into oak, and finishes with just the right funk.

M/D - the carbonation is a little too lively for my taste. Once it has sat or been swirled a decent amount it's much easier on the palate. The sour level is at a medium, and I had no idea this beer was close to 8% before looking.

I think a year would do wonders for this beer. I'm pretty sure I'll be adjusting my score at that time. (636 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into snifter. Batch 4. Shared with armock.

A: Pours a light yellow golden with a thin, short lived bright white head that faded into a thin collar that left no lacing.
S: Light notes of funk and sweet fruit including pears, green apples and a bit of brett.
T: Big woody oak notes, pie dough, brett, light fruits, vinous grapes, and chardonnay. The finish is dry and gritty with tannins.
M: Medium body, tingly carbonation with a decent amount of sourness to the mouthfeel and a comfortable amount of tannins.
O: Tart and refreshing with a complex flavor. Definitely not a palate killer. (604 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle graciously shared with me by thequeue. Thanks dude. From iPhone notes :-)

BRIGHT Lemoncello Yellow with a BIG head of pure white snow foam. Aromas humurously enough, feature lemon, citrusy funk, with a slight vinegar twinge, some white wine [sauvignon blanc] notes and a bit of oak and vanilla. Aromas is solid. Taste is similar to the aroma. Sour, puckering, with some citrusy oak, and a bit of honeyed vanilla. Not too much going on really. Kinda one dimensional. Mouthfeel was the best part of the beer as it was nicely carbonated and creamy smooth. Drinkability is very good as well. This is a pretty straight forward, kinda one-dimensional wild ale. Still quite good, but not the mind blower we expected it to be (725 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with aussy13 and SubpoenaDeuces at an impromptu tasting.

I've had this numerous times and thought I'd reviewed it. Apparently not. This bottle was Batch 4

Pours a light yellow gold with a thin white head that was not long lasting.

Nose of light funk and still hints of grapes and some sweet fruit - hints of green apples and just a slight funk.

Mouthfeel is light and delicate but pleasing and inviting. Light body with a delicate balance.

Flavor profile is of a light and "elegant" grape/chardonnay character. Pleasant. Very drinkable but not quite as assertive, sour, funky or flavorful as you'd hope, given the quality of what you get in the glass. It's very good, one just wants "more" of everything.

Finish is dry with some "grapy" characteristics. All in all, quite pleasant. (796 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 375 mL, Batch 3,

A: Pours golden with a soft white head, fair retention.

S: Smells like you aged white grape juice in an attic for 6 months, very musty/attic/cobweb.

T: White grapes, some sweet Muscat with a good acidity. White vinegar and some funky lemon, I like the flavour a lot.

M: Light aftertaste, as I've said I enjoyed the strong acid, medium-bodied.

D: A real good sour. Good complexity in this one, don't think I'll ever be able to try it again, but I really liked it. My 2nd experience with this beer. (526 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch 5. Tasted 1 May 2015.

Pours a hazy straw yellow. Little head, but that's expected for a sour.

Smell is a super clean, rich lemony sour, with a white wine backing. Reminds me of the lemon sour candies, but without the sugar. Yum.

Taste is much like the smell, but a little empty. The flavors don't quite follow through on the promise. They're good, but lacking the complexity of truly great sours.

Feel is light, a touch on the flat side, but with bizzy (busy-fizzy) carbonation. Quite good.

A nice, smooth, clean sour. Would like more depth in the taste. But very good all around. (591 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a Half Acre snifter. Batch #5. Big thanks to cosmicevan for the share.

A: Pours a hazy lemon color with a light orange body. A thin white head forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin ring. Some splotches of lace are left behind.

S: Fruity with a little acetone. Sour lemons, a little lactic with some white grape sweetness and tartness.

T: Lactic sourness, some cheek puckering dryness. Oaky finish with some lemon grass and white grape.

M: Light bodied. Puckering tartness with a dry, mildly acitic finish. Medium carbonation

O: Very nice beer. Definitely enjoyed the subtleties of this and the mouthfeel was spot on. (648 characters)

Photo of pwoods
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (663 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (1,223 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (2,269 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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.
(956 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a million to jdmek9 for this incredible beer. I cracked it open to celebrate the end of LSATs forever! 500mL batch #3-enjoyed in a flute.

A: A pour straight down the middle results in a quick fizzy white head. It dissipates quickly and there's no retention. The ale is a really cloudy golden color, varying in dark-light shades.
S: Stinky feet, horses, tart fruits with an emphasis on bitter lemon. Pretty clean and straightforward.
T: Similar to the aroma, but subtle. Very bitter fruits, with that lovely sour warhead flavor. The sour doesn't have the biggest kick, though, and I was really hoping for that! It's earthy, grassy, stinky, but still very clean for a sour. The residuals are surprisingly sweet, with the funky lemon turning into tart white grapes.
M: Medium carbonation and medium body, with tons of shifting residuals linger behind. They range from sour to sweet, and back again.
D: I really enjoyed this one. Thanks, Jason, for letter me crack this open on a very special day! (1,001 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (587 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of hawks10
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
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... (1,240 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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! (634 characters)

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