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Cuvee De Castleton - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton

Educational use only; do not reuse.

217 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 217
Hads: 494
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,023
Gots: 90 | 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: 217 | Hads: 494
Photo of cbutova
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks out to Emma for sharing this a little while back. Forgot to enter my notes from the notebook.

Batch 4, shared with good friends.

A- Small snifter pour from the 500ml bottle. Hazy golden bodied with just a small ring of white foam that leaves some nice legs. No true lace as it looks like wine after some time.

S- Super pungent funky lactic bouquet. Lemons and white sour grapes are massive, some cheesy Brett funk and barnyard is strong.

T- Mellows out a bit in a way with some balanced yeasty apple and pear flavors, lactic acid flavor is dominant with lemons and green apple, intense tart fruits. Funky vinous oak seems to round it out but candy sour goodness and some coriander spice.

MF- Dry as all hell with a lighter end Gueuze consistency and body. Silky foamy carbonation at a high end level accentuates the sour tartness that lingers on the palate.

Wow, one of the sourest beers I can think of with some good good funk and nice barnyard. Apple skin, sour grape fruity feel goes a long way with the bugs present.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

Batch 4

A- One finger white bubbly head that dissipates quickly, decent lacing on the sides, nice retention, clear golden straw color, decent carbonation.
S- Really nice, sour, brett, really nice grape skin presence, pears, lemon citrus, white grapes.
T- Wow really smooth as well as puckering, not too puckering though really balanced, nice grape skin taste, brett is present, some green apple, pear, lemon, barnyard funk, slight oak, really tasty and easy drinking.
M- Medium/light mouth feel, decent carbonation, slightly puckering, sour, clean finish.
O- Really impressed with this beer, this is a quality and easy drinking sour, really smooth and tasty.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cuvee de Castleton, Batch #2, courtesy of dkachur, shared at the January C'ville tasting - thanks Dan! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A hazed, pear juice-hued brew with a great foamy spongy white collar and a fizzy, fast-fading head. Carbonation - when visible through the torpid, still body - is bright, fast, and erratic, though I did get the bottom of this bottle on this one. Not too terribly much to say about the this one - it's the least appealing aspect of this beer, as it is with every (or most) sour(s), I suppose.

Aroma: Amazingly complex. Obviously, slight vinegary sourness is evident, but they're not overwhelming or too intense - this doesn't smell like a sourbomb, essentially. The fruit notes are what's most impressive about this one - the obligatory Granny Smith apples are present, but so are Muscat grapes, strong bananas, some sour cherries, and more various tropical fruits than I could try and attempt to name. Nothing about it is too heavy or sharp or striking, and they all meld absolutely beautifully with a moderate amount of wild funk, slight farmhouse, and slight bandaid. An amazingly mature, complex, and well-developed aroma.

Taste: Oh my sweet damn that's good. A strong, sweet spiciness underlies the sourness on this one, adding flourishes of cinnamon to a heavy, fruity base. Smooth citrus, tropical fruits, juicy grapes, tart apples, bananas, and sour cherries meld amazingly with the moderate sourness. The malt base is great, sweet but light, crisp and golden, leaning more towards the sweet side of things (as well as the heavy side of things) than many of the light, crisp, fluffy, barely fruity sourbombs I've had.

Mouthfeel: A slightly thicker base - which makes sense given the attenuation - but with enough carbonation to keep it light, crisp, and only slightly spicy.

Drinkability: An amazing brew, and one I imagine would fill two roles with equal aplomb: it's a good introductory beer in that it's not overwhelmingly sour, is somewhat sweet, and also presents a nice array of fruit notes; but it's also an amazingly complex beer for sourheads, if you like the way the sour quality pronounces the array of weapons available to Brettanomyces. That is, if you want a huge, biting, kick-you-in-the-nuts, vinegar/lactic/acetic bomb, this isn't your beer. This one is full, complex, and runs the gamut of what brewers are (or should be) capable of when Brett. Just truly stellar.

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Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1:
Bright yellow color with quickly receding white head, little lacing. Aroma has lemon, oak, somewhat acidic, pineapple, and some chardonnay. Taste is quite acidic, but full of interesting flavors like oak, lemon, hay, chardonnay, and pineapple. Very dry and light on the palate with fairly high carbonation. A very, very good sour.

Batch 2: Yellow with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing. Oak in the aroma, along with some lemon and other citrus aromas. Not very intense, rather delicate, but interesting and well done. White wine taste, lemon tartness, oak, peaches, and maybe a hint of apricot. Medium carbonation and light body, finish is fairly dry. Not nearly as sour as the first batch, but it has nice flavors and is still a nice sour. 4 - 9 - 9 - 4 - 17 = 4.3

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Photo of Xul
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 4. Thanks for SMason and SneezyAchew for hooking this up in trade!

A: Pours a translucent golden/straw color, capped by a finger of fizzy white head. Retention is poor as it recedes quickly, leaving some light foam at the edges of the top.

S: Moderate barnyard funk up front, followed by some musty grapes and light lactic quality. Green apples, peaches and lots of citrus. Oak shows around the edge in the form of vanilla but isn't overdone.

T: Starts with a touch of oaky vanilla before some moderate lactic acidity comes in with a big citrus quality. Some musty funk and light fruits - green apples and a vinous character - come in late along with more lemon zest and acidity. Finish of lactic citrus and light vanilla.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation, feels a touch too heavy.

D: Ridiculously drinkable for the style and ABV.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4

Definately a little different than previous batches, but still delicious

A- Pours a golden straw color with a quickly fading fluffy white head.

S- Tart, complex, and herbal, much like a gueze. Herbal, hay-like funk with grassy notes and hints of white pepper.

T- Suprisingly different from the aroma. The grapes actually come through in the flavor. Crisp vinous white grapes are in the foreground, while horseblanket, hay, tart apple, funk, white pepper, and a mild grassy flavor are in the background.

M- Crisp and dry (again not unlike a good gueze)

D- Not overwhemingly sour, but a definate sipper.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky blonde, stark white head that falls back to a fizzly collar.

S: Good lord... the aroma of this beer alone is one of the more amazing experiences I have had. A great acidity that gives it a big green apple aroma, along with a warmer note - just the blend of malts and yeast doing wonderful things together. I get a big aroma of banana as well... an intriguing yeast ester. I spent a solid 5 minutes, at least, sniffing... I went about trying to take a taste and then inhaled and it went on.

T: A little more citrus, and a smoother acidity on the palate. There's a doughy flavour to it, and a touch of perfume - while that may come across as an unpleasant descriptor, it is wonderfully pleasant.

M + D: A little fuller than I would have thought, it sports a nice medium body without the same kind of dryness that many other sours. It's still there, but a lot less vapourous, for lack of better words. Quite a lovely brew, and one I'd most definitely love to smell again.

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Photo of bret27
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of kplynch

Appearance: Bottle overflowed when popped, then rather flat. Cloudy pale yellow look w/some little yeasty chunks floating around throughout snifter.

Smell: tart and grape mostly. Little like white wine+ little funkiness on the side.

Taste: tart, fairly thick, funk, wine, woody.

Finish: Very dry, tart+lemon/acidic lingering.

Overall: Very tasty and one of a kind.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/25/10 notes. Brought to a small tasting; bottle is a Batch 4.

a - Pours a clear golden color with light carbonation evident and one inch of white head.

s - Smells of sour fruit, grapes, wine, oak, brett, and spices. Nice and sour, but not overally funky.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, grapes, tart lemon and citrus, spice, oak, and brett.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a really nice sour. It's quite light and easy to drink for a sour, which I enjoyed. It has some sour, tart fruit and brett in the smell and taste, but isn't lip puckering. I liked it a lot and look forward to drinking my other bottles of it.

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Photo of kevinv
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally decided to open this. Received this one in a trade sometime last winter from dvelcich - Thanks, Dan!

Batch 4 vintage. Poured into my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A - Pours a bright, hazy golden. About a quarter finger of fizzy white head which quickly fades to a thin rim around the glass. No lacing noted.

S - Very pleasant! The use of muscat grapes is definitely present in the smell. Notes of a sweet white wine. Slightly acidic and funky.

T - Large amounts of white grapes. Chardonnay-like notes. Lightly fruity - lemons and apples. This is very approachable sour as it's only slightly funky and just the right amount of pucker. Spicy oak in the finish. Truly exceptional.

M - Very crisp and sharp. Medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Dry wine like finish.

D - Remarkable drinkability. Like I said before, this is a very approachable sour for those getting interested in the style. Very well rounded and well done. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of scootny
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my man Dyan who hooked up "The Most Epic Fucking Tasting You Wish You Were a Part Of" with both a 750mL of batch 2 and a 375mL of batch 3 that we tasted side-by-side for beers 10 and 11 of the tasting, numbers 1 and 2 of day 2. Needless to say, we got off to a great start!

I will do my best to review both of these masterpiece brews in the same place by listing the properties of batch 2, and then the comparison that I can draw to batch 3. Here goes...

Pours a crisp and clear golden color that gains haze as a bit of sediment tumbles over the lip of the bottle into my glass. Unlike many wilds, the champagne-like bubbles that often cling to the glass are nowhere to be found. Instead, the carbonation shows up only slightly, giving very nice presentation points to this sour.

The batch 2 exhibits a very formidable aroma. I can smell its funk easily 5 feet away. The notable characteristics are mainly some unripened white grapes and a nice sour yeasty character that comes through with very little acidity. The batch 3 brings more apple esters and a more potent lemony citric acid sourness.

On the palate, this beer really comes together. There is incredible depth, and I struggle to pick out every single element to the flavor. White wine grapes dominate, as pear esters come through in the middle. Unlike the smell, the citric acidity comes through here, but it is almost like lemonade, as it is accompanied by a sweetness that immediately checks the sourness as if to make sure that it doesn't get out of hand. The batch 3 by comparison displayed a much funkier sourness, again, contrary to what the nose led on. There were also peach esters that showed face.

Smooth and satisfying sourness on the palate, like lemonade, as I mentioned earlier. This beer is very nicely balanced, as the flavors dance nicely, each one taking its turn in the spotlight. The younger brother was a bit rougher around the edges and less mellow, with every signal pointing to an incredible maturation to come over the next few years.

Batch 4 10/2/10
Slightly hazy, peach colored. No head, no lacing to speak of.

Aromas of lemon, peach, strawberry, honey, some sourness, still very light at this point, and tanninc notes that are very strong. The flavor is light and citrusy, with some good funk and sourness, but it really needs some time to evolve and mature.

This will come around, but it isn't there yet.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Richard for sharing this bottle from Batch 4. One of my favorite sours that I have never seemed to getting around to reviewing.

A: The pour is a cloudy straw color with a large white head that dies down to a thin white layer relatively quickly.

S: A wonderful bright acidity to the nose with notes of lemon, green apple, and the muscat grapes used in this beer. Quite a vinous quality to the beer which I really enjoy.

T: A moderate funky quality to the beer that is of the wet oak and must. The sourness is primarily lactic without any real acetic notes. The lemon and green apple character accentuates the white muscat grapes wonderfully, which provide a touch of sweetness.

M: The body is on the light end of medium with a lively carbonation and a pleasantly dry finish.

D: One of my all time favorite sour beers and one that I wish I could drink all the time. Just a great beer that I look forward to at every release.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden body, low carbonation, low to no lacing and stickiness.

Tannins of white grapes, sweetness from them. It's fructose and citric acid bite. Light woody nature, the oak is there for sure. It's so funky egg shell and bright with acidity.

Bright grapeskin tannins, woody bite, popsicle sticks and bits of vanilla memory. The acidity is citric and lactic with no acetic. The grapes give off a white wine nature.

Smooth, light, crisp back end, wheated middle. Very creamy center. The acidity is nice bittering in the middle to back end. Puckering lightly.

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Photo of claaark13
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the b4, courtesy of speedwayjim. It was recommended to me that I open this before trying the b5. Thanks Jim and Jonah for sending these bottles. Poured into a wide-mouth Grottenbier globe/chalice.

A - Yellow, like a mix between apple juice and chardonnay. Thick foam head quickly turns into lacing.

S - Sour apples, lemon/lime. A small amount of citrus.

T - Funky oak, lemon. A little bit of citrus comes through on the finish. As I drink more, there is almost a tart white grape flavor that takes over the citrus.

M - Light to medium body with a medium to high carbonation. Feels very good for the style and attributes to the feeling of crispness in each sip.

O - Very good. Almost everything is on point here for me. I will probably end up seeking out more.

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4.59/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

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Photo of sleazo
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A_Pours a bright straw bordering on yellow. I was expecting a gusher but it was not to be. The rather large head subsides quickly but easily replensihes itself via a nice stream of bubbles and a little agitation. Towards the end there are wisps of yeast sediment.

S_The aroma presents the nose with lemon, horse blanket, other mustiness, a bit of earth, some oak and grape. Not overly potent but a very nice smell. There is a nice sweetness to the smell that evens out the sour a bit.

T_Not quite as funky as the nose. The grapes are strong here with a contrasting background of sour in the form of white wine vinegar and a hitn of lemon rind. There is also a bit of vanilla and oak in there as well. As it warms I am getting some other spices which I cannot quite pinpoint and bit of vegetal hop bitterness. Despite all of these aspects it still isn't overly complex rather this is just a great tasting brew.

M_A bit creamy with a nice carbonation, almost like champagne but a bit less fluffy.

D_This is an outstanding beer. On par with some other wilds I have had, it manages to live up to the hype. All of the elements really seem to blend well together here.

I was thinking of trading one of the other two I have of this but now I am not so sure. I think this can convert some people over to the funk. It is mainstream enough to convert but funky enough to give true beer geeks a rise.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Graduation Tasting: This was the fourth beer that we shared together. Courtesy of Dyan.

The appearance is really appealing to me. It pours an ultra hazy, lemon yellow. The beer sits still, with a small white ring of head at the top.

This smells magnificent. Very interesting floral notes mixes perfectly with sweet lemon. This beer smells like roses, and is very spritz and refreshing. Sweet orange scents hide behind the lemon. There is a really different funk element, as well as subtle musket grapes. Very unique, in that this beer smells sweet and dry.

The taste is outstanding, with very sweet lemon and horse blanket. This beer is a little spicy which has perplexed my taste buds. Fairly floral helps create a nice easy drink. Light cherry comes out in small amounts as the beer warms. Overall a very easy and smooth sour, one of my favorites on the day!

NOTE: Just had batch 3. Much better, more complex.

S: +.5, more pungent, super sour lemon with a really funky cheese scent.

T: +.5, very sour, horse blanket, tarter, nice cheese funkiness.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

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Photo of TheViceBlog
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
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.


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Photo of KeefD
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
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!!

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Photo of Floydster
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
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

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.