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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
98
world-class

447 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 447
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 1,007
Gots: 85 | 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: 447 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing!

Pours hazy lemon-drop yellow with a fizzy head that immediately pops down to nothing. Not pleasant to look at with the head just loudly popping to nothing, with small bubbles continuing but producing no head.

The smell is tart - lemony, sour, some funk and acidity.

The taste is of tart lemon and apple. Sour/tart with balancing sweet maltiness, it has some funkiness mixed in. A hint of oak/vanilla grows as it continues, putting a unique spin on it that works very well. It has a touch of acidity in the finish.

Medium-bodied with carbonation towards aggressive to start with that mellows to medium as it progresses.

Drinks very well! Interesting complexities going on here. I can see this one - because of the lemony and acidic notes - a great pairing with many fish dishes. Too bad that the head was so unimpressive and the carbonation fine, but not great (esp. at the start).

Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of Treebs
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of pwoods
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of claspada
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of francisweizen
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with Douroguy...provided by him, thanks dude!! a slow gusher...be careful! Served at cellar temp. Poured from a 375ml bottle into a small tasting glass. Pours a clear golden/straw color. A very little bit of head rises and dissapears quickly! No lacing to speak of.

Wow! I can smell this beer from the other side of the room! Huge funk and tartness. Oak, spices, and grape aromas. This is one of the best smelling sours out there!

Flavor is good...but not as crazy as I expected. A good sour, but doesn't stand out like I wanted it to. With that said, it's still top notch. The sour grape flavors add a great characteristic to this beer...with a slight dry finish. The obvious sour/tart funk is right on key...and very clean and crisp. Picked up a slight oak-iness throughout as well. Body is light with medium to low carbonation. Overall, a very solid sour from Captain Lawrence...a must try!

Photo of Halcyondays
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of Dasein11
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of kfsv034
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
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

Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice gold color with a 1/2" white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a light pilsner malt scent along with a mild grape character and a semi-aggressive sourness. The taste is great as well. It's light and very drinkable. It seems like a simple pilsner malt and grape flavor with a nice dry, sour finish. It's not overly sour, but it does have a mild character that really enhances the experience. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. It's light and easy drinking; a damn fine beer.

Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this from good ole Deuane in an in person trade! Shared with some BA friends on an early October night. Batch #3.

A. Cuvee De Castleton is a hazy, unfiltered, apparently, dark yellow beer with a fast-fading white head.

S. Okay... uh... what have we here? This is a seriously complex nose, just tons going on... fruits, mainly peach, some pineapple? certainly lemon, white grape, sure, some white pepper, dry lemon rind, citrus, gosh... it goes on and on and on... certainly some funk and wildness, dry white wine... yeah, this is hard to pin down and extremely academic, enjoyable, and all around good.

T. Follows, lots of dry white wine, peachy, semi-sweet, spicy, earthy, some tire, champagne, peach again, no real hop, dry, wild, funky, lemon-citric, seriously interesting, challenging, to be sure, but I am digging it.

M. Carbonation falls out, leaves behind a smooth, dry, white wine-sorta flavor with peach and... spice? Huh. Fun to try and get your palate around.

D. Not really, this is something to share and comment on, and take your time with. A delightful brew, a complex brew, and one to enjoy in a late, do-nothing evening. I really liked this beer.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a pale golden yellow that is quite hazy. the head is thin and bubbly, pure white in color with little retention.

S-the nose is quite strong bringing notes of white grapes and hints of apples and cinnomon, spicy in the back with a light sour/tartness to it.

T-the taste is not as big as the nose but still substantial. slightly sour grapes with a light berry taste and tartness to it. Lemon and floral hops in the back with a spicy finish that lingers.

M-medium body with lots of carbonation and a strong prickly feeling on the mouth. the finish is dry and crisp

D-this is very tasty and the tartness level is quite low making it quite enjoyable. very good beer and a wild that isn't too wild!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of ffejherb
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A long time Want!!! Big thanks goes out to sincereNC for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Batch #4! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a hazy pale yellow with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, honey, tart cherry, tart, sour, funk, and buttery. The flavor was of sweet malt, honey, tart, sour, tart cherry, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a really good brew. As stated, I had been waiting to try this one for quite some time and was shocked to see it come out. Thanks again for this Ian! I was hoping this one wouldn't disappoint me, and alas, it did not. All of the flavors and aromas on this one blended very well together and complimented each other perfectly. Really hope to get a chance to have more of this in the future. I suggest you do the same if you are reading this...

Photo of Habmike
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml batch 4

Very little head, just a small white ring around the edge. Light sunshine yellow thats just not completely glowing but still looks very nice at that.

Funky brett with a spicy lemon and herbal aroma. Some oak and acidity.

Funky tart with a citrus snap of herbal spicyness and grape flavor. Excellent depth and complexity but definitely some notes of cat piss as well.

Medium mouth with perfect carbonation for the age.

Pretty great drinkability but not too outrageous. I could drink the 375ml alone but I'd probably rather share it with someone.

Photo of hellbilly
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

batch #2 rusty broke this out... unimpressed so i had to drink one alone. perhaps it was footy yelling at me?

pale golden pour with no head whatsoever. milkiness makes it almost white near the bottom of the glass.

surprisingly fruity aroma... until i remembered it had grapes in it!... green apples, grapes, cement/slate/minerals, spice and wood.

the flavor doesn't pack that sour punch which most tend to possess. instead, it is very burgundian, subtle and refined... it's more dry and bretty than sour with notes of green apples, green grapes/verjus, oak with just a touch of smoke and some spice on the finish. terribly easy to enjoy yet a bit too refined for this brute!... 8/4/8/4/17/4.1

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
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)

Photo of auroracrisis
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most recent batch poured into a tulip.

Soft cream colored yellow with just a ring of foam that dissipates quickly after a few sips. Some chill haze to the beverage, with some spotty bubble dancing to the top.

Sharp acidic aroma to this with hints of fruit like green apples and muscat grapes. A bit of white wine and barrel as well, but over all it is a very sour smelling beer.

Unripe grape juice and lemon juice on the tongue at first then moves into a sweeter fruit like flavor with some vinous notes. Delicious stuff.

Sticky at first with a little bit of drying on the finish, medium bodied and a tingle of carbonation.

Great use of the muscat grapes in a wild ale. Glad to have tried this one, it did not disappoint.

Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.