1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

423 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.64%
Wants: 974
Gots: 87 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 05-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cuvee De Castleton Alström Bros
Ratings: 423 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of moonknight31
moonknight31

California

4.75/5  rDev +8%

10-25-2013 05:02:33 | More by moonknight31
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +8%

01-18-2013 01:42:31 | More by yourefragile
Photo of mquartuccio87
mquartuccio87

New York

4.75/5  rDev +8%

10-02-2013 02:39:44 | More by mquartuccio87
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

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!!

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 15:55:18 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of iL0VEbeer
iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +8%

07-03-2012 00:53:16 | More by iL0VEbeer
Photo of Wowcoolman
Wowcoolman

California

4.75/5  rDev +8%

07-29-2012 03:40:55 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of Pete27lax
Pete27lax

New York

4.75/5  rDev +8%

05-02-2013 17:23:19 | More by Pete27lax
Photo of Mbrown44
Mbrown44

Delaware

4.75/5  rDev +8%

06-02-2014 19:45:03 | More by Mbrown44
Photo of NCBeerFan
NCBeerFan

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +8%

06-02-2013 22:28:52 | More by NCBeerFan
Photo of slvrmon82
slvrmon82

Delaware

4.75/5  rDev +8%

05-13-2014 13:21:28 | More by slvrmon82
Photo of camil1mj
camil1mj

Michigan

4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright yellow. 3 finger foamy white head.

S: Pungent sour and citrus notes.

T: Wonderfully sour. Great lemony citrus on the nose followed by vinegary sourness.

M: Light and refreshing. Well carbonated.

O: So glad to have tried this. Up there with Beatification. I need to find more.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 14:55:46 | More by camil1mj
Photo of drewd0g
drewd0g

New York

4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4 From the release. Poured into The Bruery Tulip.

A - A pleasant slightly hazy straw like color. Translucent with a head that dissipates very quickly.

S - Smells like grapes, similar to white wine. You can get a good feel of the tartness in nose. Always nice when you're looking forward to a sour and you get a lot of it right in the nose.

T - Served slightly chilled - A nice balance of sour and sweet. The grape flavor really comes through in this one alongside of some slight oakiness. Nice and tart with just the right amount of bite. Each sip leaves you wanting more.

M - Pretty thin body, appropriate for the style. Feels very clean on the tongue with a lively carbonation that has just the right amount of sharpness.

D - Highly drinkable, the tartness makes each sip better than the last. I can tell I'm going to go through mine pretty fast. Wish i had a couple cases of this one. Nicely done! another great brew from the crew @ CL

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 01:32:11 | More by drewd0g
Photo of jcartamdg
jcartamdg

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with no head, looks very simalar to wine. Aroma of funk and sour grapes, tastes a lot like wine with great sour notes. Smooth yet dry, very tasty, sour but not over the top, its just right I wish this wasn't limited because I would drink it all the time!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 05:33:54 | More by jcartamdg
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been craving a "sour" all week and finally decided to crack this one open while watching the King and crew destroy the Pistons. Batch #2 poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a golden straw yellow with very little clarity. Almost has a murky, mustard appearance. Solid two fingers width of white head forms, but literally dissipates within seconds of forming.

S- Nowhere near as complex as the taste. Hints of vinous, sour grapes a plenty mixed with oak and spices. The aroma just seemed too monotone to me. I wished it had a little more variance and character.

T- Wow! Flat out awesome! Talk about balance within a style of beer. From the get go, the beer gives the impression that this will be one sour beer. From the initial taste on the tip of the tongue and midway through, the beer seems to operate on two levels. At the forefront, there is a strong combination of sour grapes, lemon zest and spices. As the sourness builds, an undertone of oak and wood follow. Just before the beer reaches a mouth puckering intensity, the acidic flavors are counter balanced with the a bretty yeast for a perfect balanced flavor.

M- Light to medium bodied with some carbonation. Left a semi-dry feeling in the mouth.

D- The balanced flavor and delicious taste easily mask the 8% abv. I consumed a 750 mL bottle with ease.

Overall, huge thanks to Alex (BeerWorld) for my first in-person trade in which I acquired this excellent beer. Honestly this was one of the best beers I have ever had. Don't let the low marks for appearance fool you. This is a sour worthy of trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 03:45:15 | More by rhinos00
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the Cuvee de Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company out of Elmsford, New York.

Score: 98

Batch 4 (summer 2010 vintage). Served in a hard plastic wine glass and enjoyed on 05/18/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours an orange-golden color with minimal bubbly head off the pour. Virtually no head or lacing. Nothing special in appearance. 3.25/5

Smell: Tart lemon zest, peach, white grape, citrus juice, vinegar, and brett. Absolutely phenomenal sour-apparent nose. 4.75/5

Taste: Just as tart as the nose promised! A divine medley of sour peach, white grapiness, brett, vinegar. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Quite tart, very dry finish. Love the pucker here! 5/5

Overall: A truly amazing American sour. This is one of the more pucker-inducing beers I have had to date. I wish I had more bottles of this!

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 16:30:15 | More by jegross2
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12.7 oz bottle, batch 5, poured into a mini tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color, produces a wispy white head, leaves little lacing.

S- Lemony tartness, musty barnyard funkiness, some apple and white grape, oak. As it warms a really fantastic, floral, perfumey spice aroma comes out and merges with the barnyard funkiness in a really great way. The aroma is really incredible.

T- Starts out with apple and white grape before a nice amount of acidity kicks in, a decent amount of lemon, balanced acidity (not leaning too heavily towards acetic like a lot of American sours do). Nice barnyard funkiness, as well as oak, dry vinous flavors and a bit of vanilla. As with the aroma, very complex and delicious.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and dry, a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish, but really not too bad at all for it's strength.

O- An absolutely incredible beer, much better than I was expecting. The barrel, funkiness, fruitiness and yeast all come together really, really well. I know it's not exactly going for a gueuze kind of thing, but this comes closer to gueuze and lambic in terms of complexity and flavor than any other American sour I've had, which is about the highest praise I think I can give it. I mean damn.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 22:39:15 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 05:07:57 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden straw with a silky beige head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nose has tart citrus, white wine grapes, manure, horse blanket and oak.

Taste has a sour fruit presence followed by barnyard funk, wood, white wine and sweet meady malts.

Crisp body is well carbonated. Dry acidic finish. Tasty sour from Captain Lawrence.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 01:11:41 | More by rye726
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 2

So this is the stuff. I have finally opened my bottle and all I can say is wow! A meeting of white wine and beer. What champagne would be if it had the guts. This is an indescribable wonderful beer that has its feet planted in two worlds quite comfortably.

Not much to look at as the fizzy head disappears quickly and leaves a slightly cloudy beer the color of apple juice.

The smell is dry white wine and light sweet malt.

Taste is eye opening. A sour graped front is backed up by an un-wine like grain based breadiness. There are apples as well along with a light fruit blend. All of them juicy and sour. A bit of oak to balance and enhance the superb blend here. The finish of this one is all beer. The malt core leaves the mouth with a cornucopia of grains to enjoy. This is what wine is missing for me. The sweet complex cereals and breads that come with a good beer. The malted goodness. You could give this one to wine lovers and watch them fall in love. As a beer advocate this one is a new love.

Feel is somewhat fizzy at first but batch 2 was to be opened at lager temps to avoid bottle overflow. As it warms the carbonation settles down and leaves a delightful experience.

So drinkable. Not since I had Rodenbach Red on tap have I had such an experience. Juicy and inviting this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 03:11:26 | More by scootny
Photo of TheViceBlog
TheViceBlog

New York

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

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 04:49:24 | More by TheViceBlog
Photo of KeefD
KeefD

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Knifestyles for this one!

Batch 3.

Clear golden color with small white head that was gone quickly, no lacing. Aroma is funktastic from the start. The first noticeable quality of the nose is the dirty leather, followed by some lemon/lime sourness, and lightly sweet. Yep, flavor on this is more sweet than it is tart, but there is certainly a nice, although not perfect, balance. The sweetness from the muscot grapes is in the forefront, giving this a nice sweet, tart, citric quality, plenty of lemon and funk in the middle, and the bright dry finish leaves me wanting me more. This is ridiculously tasty. Not as sour or tart many other wilds I've had, but it does just enough for me. The second pour produced a huge yeast haze and an added depth of funk and sour. Background flavors of cheesy funk start come through as it warms, but it still takes a backseat to the sweet/sour citric goodness. Mmmmm... Love it! The oak is well integrated, and this almost has a lactic chardonnay like taste to me. I love the acidic residue it leaves on my lips after each sip. Good stuff! Carbonation is just perfect. Not too spritzy, yet noticeable, and gives a nice prickly feeling on the tongue without being so abrasive as to wash away all the goodness. 8%? Really? I can't taste any alcohol in this thing at all. All in all this a tasty, well-balanced beer, and wish I had more.

Thanks again, Chris!!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 00:17:59 | More by KeefD
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

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

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 08:43:08 | More by Floydster
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first beer from Captain Lawrence. With a pop of the cap an off white foam creeps out of the top of the bottle. That same off white foam quickly reaches three fingers but just as quickly settles leaving no signs of head. Body is a straw colored murky gold. Nose is penetrating and sharply sour with lemon, sour powder candy and astringent vinegar all very lively and tart. Initially as you take first sip this beer is packed with so much up front tart punch you think for a slight moment it might be dominated by this. Wine like vinegar feel with sour apple and lemon zest come first. This is all balanced by a full yeasty, bready feel on the second half of the palate. Pie crust like and teamed with those same dry spices that you would in a good pie crust. This all comes through to add wonderfull complexity and balance. Mouthfeel is a mix of fruity tart rich breadyness. So well done and a real treat to drink throughout.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 21:49:08 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Very extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the hook-up!!!

Batch no. 3

A: Pours a near perfect, hazy apricot nectar color with a short lived, spritzy, bright white head. The only way to improve on this would be a little lace in the glass.

S: Aromas of soft orchard fruit, grape, vinegar, toasty malt, and Heather said fermented apples. Incredible.

T: Sour grapes, tart apples, unripened peaches, gently toasty malt, funky yeast, and sour lemon. Heather said she picked up a tiny hint of vanilla and/or honey.

M: Sour, tart, and puckery with a large whack of malt that adds a ton of balance.

D: What an amazing beer! Such incredible balance out of a "sour beer". Thanks again, Joe!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 00:10:06 | More by GbVDave
Photo of gueuzer
gueuzer

Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375 ml bottle

App- Straw colored with very minimal head. White lacing.

Sm- Muscat and oakiness. Reminds me of a Chardonnay. Citric tang wafting in.

Ta- Beautiful balance. The sweetness of the grapes and malts blends beautifully with the lactic tang. Finishes dry.

MF- Minimal carbonation. Very nice. Lactic mouthcoat, but the dryness laves you wanting to take another sip.

Dr- Absolutely wonderful. Competes with the Belgian sours. Wish there was a slight bit more complexity, but eh balance here is amazing.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 01:09:48 | More by gueuzer
Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.