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Castle Lager - South African Breweries plc

Not Rated.
Castle LagerCastle Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

94 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 146
Avg: 2.48
pDev: 29.44%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
South African Breweries plc visit their website
South Africa

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 94 | Hads: 146
Photo of rastaman
1/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tasted like corn! bloody awful stuff, lots of preservatives in there to make it even worse, down there with the likes of Budweiser and Corona, awful beer.

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Photo of IronDjinn
1.15/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Oh my... Buckle on your crash helmets space rangers, because here comes a burn! One centralized in the pit of my stomach.

It says on the side of this creamy beige 450 ml can that Castle Lager is, and I cite, "Brewed With The Same Care Since 1895". Now if what they are trying to get at is that back in 'ol 1895 South Africa they brewed this beer with complete and utter reckless abandon, then I know we are on the same page.

It pours out innocently enough, clear pale straw colour, a bit of a head that fizzles out quickly. Then I must nearly renounce the clear part when holding it up to the light and upon further inspection I espy a great deal of suspended floating particles. In my lager. Sea Monkeys! That's exactly what it looks like.

The nose is metallic and industrial, a tad on the diesal side, the faintest cries of some ghostly grainy sweetness been swept asunder by the presence of dusty blacktop pavement. Dusty! And this is a clean glass by golly!

Flavour is of unrefined petroleum byproduct, with that ghost of grainy malt sweetness crying out for help. A hostage situation here, I am beginning to reckon.

Let's face it, this beer is not drinkable at all, and the Sea Monkey genocide that its consumption incurs adds to the bad taste already left in my mouth. Three words for you: destination sink drain. My god, I think I need to shave my tongue. And then gargle with acetone. To quote Kurtz at the end of Heart Of Darkness (set in the Belgian Congo, although close enough for what I'm getting at here), "The horror, the horror!"

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.18/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to travlr for sharing this. Consumed in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a very light-colored brew without any head or lacing. The nose is approaching awful, with some creamed corn, canned vegetables, and quite a bit of metal. The taste is even worse; the beer was quite hard to swallow. Slightly-rotten vegetables along with loads of aluminum. Pretty gross. Really thin with a metallic finish.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
1.31/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

340ml bottle 5.0% abv

Appearance: Light yellow gold - typical adjunct lager - reasonable, very short lived head, leaving no lace.

Smell: Not much here and what there isn't good. Musty maize, metallic, slightly skunky blegh...

Taste: Hmmm and I thought the smell was bad. Stale maize, metallic, almost no barley or hops. I really do not understand how people drink this.
Mouthfeel: Light, watery, horrid carbonation.

Drinkability: I've had 1/4 of a glass and I feel like I've eaten a pile of bread dough.

I always knew it was a bad beer, but don't remember it being this bad. It's disgusting that it is the beer that represents South Africa. If anyone is traveling to South Africa please BM me so I can point out our good beers and you can stay away from this crap...

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Photo of jdhilt
1.47/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From my notes 6/12/07 pours a three-finger white head that quickly goes to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Skunky nose. Light carbonation and light bodied. Flavor has occasional sweetness mostly bitter, dry finish with some bitterness. S.Fr. 3.30 ($2.68) for a 330ml bottle from Drinks of the World Lucerne, Switzerland.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.54/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pils glass. Fizzy white head falls to nothing in a matter of seconds. Dalmation style lacing. Pale yellow body with large sized forced carbonation.

Pale euro malts that are on the sweet side. There is a touch of hop drying. Raw grain bill ends up on the backside. Cleanliness leaves something to be desired. Similar to American Macro's except the malt bill is sweeter and this is not clean or all that crisp and refreshing.

Picked up a single for $1.29. The market of macro lagers is incredibly saturated. Let this one stay on the shelf for someone else. The expiration date on the bottle was for earlier in the year but it showed no signs of death.

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Photo of jarmby1711
1.55/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Mid golden in colour , flat as a shit carters hat and no head .
Smell is close to non exisatent but is vaguely watery.
Taste is much like the smell , there is a bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is not unpleasant which is the biggest plus for this beer.
An eminently forgettable offering from our Southern Hemisphere cousins.

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Photo of prototypic
1.58/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very clear, light straw color. Modest one finger head. Short retention and very little lacing.

Smell: Very light on the nose. Smells grainy and a bit skunky. No malt or hops to speak of. Pretty bland.

Taste: A bit of a grainy taste. Other than that, it's bland and boring. Slightest bit of malt is noticeable. Hops are not even remotely there. Pretty boring.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is okay. But, it is not pleasant to drink though. Drinkability is very low. Overall, it's just not a good beer. I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.59/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Can: Poured a super pale yellow color lager with a medium size pale white foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of corn adjunct with lingering sweetness. Taste is also dominated by weal malt profile and some adjunct. Body is thin with good carbonation. Nothing too exciting here.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
1.61/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

330ml bottle served in a Pilsen glass.

A: Pours a very clear gold yellow color forming a medium, white and very bubbled head. Low retention and some thin lacings left in the glass

S: Artificial plastic and adjunct malts in the nose. Terrible. Sweet grains and some flowery hops in the end

T: Sweet grains. Again, quite artificial in the mouth, tastes like plastic. Adjunct malts, mainly. Light bitterness

M: Light body. High carbonation. Adjunct malts aftertaste

O: Low drinkability. Disgusting

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
1.62/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: 1 1/2" white head that left a nice lacing over straw coloured liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Metallic, citrus, yeast.

T: Metallic and bitter, this beer leaves an acidic aftertaste.

M: Thin viscosity and low carbonation.

O: Not very drinkable at all. I thought it was stale, but it was within the expiry date period. Avoid.

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Photo of Viggo
1.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow/gold, big fluffy white head, some decent lacing and retention. Smell is almost non existant. Some sweet maltiness, little bit of citrus and floral, maybe some vanilla. Doesn't really taste like anything. Little bit of malt, some iron flavour but otherwise completely devoid. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Completely tasteless, but as refreshing as water.

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Photo of pootz
1.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a pale gold...smallish white cap that dissipates quickly. Lottsa gas in this baby! Nose: well there is none to speak of...light smell of wet paste board like the near-beers. Took a gulp and got a big mouthfull of reeking corn water...that’s all....sink pour for the rest of this ...how do you say "hog faeces" in South African?

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Photo of BeerResearcher
1.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

If you can't find A-B Bud, this bottle of suds is an able substitute. The pale straw color compliments the weak sweet malt. Cardboard-like aroma. The non-descript hops are barely more noticeable than seltzer. Bland and sweet/dry and flat. "For all you do, this Castle's for you!"

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Photo of SSBrennan
1.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a tasting glass there was virtually no head and what little there was dissipated immediately. The color is a dull yellow with little visible carbonation.

The smell is sickly sweet with noticeable corn and a hint of banana.

Taste is also sweet with a harsh finish that does not complement the hops. Very noticeable off fruit tastes as well.

The mouthfeel is unexceptional for an AML, fairly thin with mild carbonation.

The drinkability should be higher considering the mild alcohol and carbonation but the harshness of the finish makes the beer less than refreshing.

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Photo of Brent
1.83/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hmm - proudly lists the ingredients as barley malt, maize . . . that's corn to us in the U.S., right? Pours a slightly murky golden tan. Light fizzy head that vanished in an instant. Aroma was a vague watery sweetness. Flavor . . . well, even more corn adjunct character would have been an improvement. Watery and slightly sweet with some whispy grain flavors almost beyond the threshold of perception.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.86/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lightly dusted medium gold with a paltry amount of carbonation leading up to a respectable looking off-white head. The cap has some character and sticks around longer than the style average. It doesn't stick to the glass as well as it might, though. This is an average looking beer at best.

The nose is unimpressive. It smells primarily of grain that isn't sun-ripened fresh, nor is it old and musty. It just... is. It also has a pervasive mineralness (hard water?) that is in no way metallic. If the aroma is any guide, Castle Lager will be unappealing on the palate. So far, it's completely devoid of pizzazz.

Unfortunately, this is a worse than the run-of-the-mill macro lager. We've now escaped the realm of lacking in good qualities, to enter the realm of possessing bad qualities. The stale grain flavor that is a major part of many (actual) American macro lagers is in full flower. So much so that I'd have a hard time distinguishing this beer from some of the best sellers from this country.

South African Breweries boasts of using 'sun ripened South African maize'. While that might sound poetic, it doesn't make for good beer. Actually, a little more corny sweetness would help to cut the bland flavor and modest bitterness that is currently boring my taste buds to tears (the better to wash away the watery dreck that I keep flooding them with).

Speaking of watery and lackluster, welcome to the mouthfeel. I've had worse, but not much worse. More bubbles might have given more mouth interest. Then again, they might have simply turned bad beer into fizzy bad beer.

The label contains the words 'the taste that's stood the test of time'. I beg to differ. Castle Lager's taste can't stand up to anything even remotely resembling good beer. It possesses all of the worst characteristics of its style and isn't worth my time, your time or anyone else's time.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
1.9/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

On a big rolling lager sampler amongst the dire adjuncts this is amongst the meh
Golden amber body tinny aroma and minimal malt flavour washed down with a little too much fizziness

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Photo of mdfb79
1.94/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From 03/27/11 notes. The third canned beer from Africa shared by Travir (RB).

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

s - Smells of corn, grain, and bready malts. Not good, but not as offensive as the Ndovu.

t - Tastes of grain, corn, bready malts, light sourness. A step down from the nose and a bit like a skunked BMC adjunct.

m - Light body and high carbonation.

d - Not as bad as the Ndovu, but not a good beer at all. Wouldn't want to have again.

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Photo of Dogbrick
1.98/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another country, another non-descript Lager. Pale golden color with tiny bubbles and a thin white head that was gone in the blink of an eye. No lacing apparent. Sweet aroma. Light-bodied with vague sweetcorn and malt flavoring. The finish is short with musty hops. Needless to say I won’t bother getting this again.

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Photo of Zorro
2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

GAH! I paid $2 for one bottle of this Crap!

Pours a clear urine yellow color with no head.

Smell is a little sour and corny.

Taste is bland corn and a little bit of lemon tartness.

Mouthfeel is THIN.

Drinkable but I can't help thinking I paid 4 times too much for a bottle of Budweiser! Thin mass-produced American beer clone NOT WORTH THE MONEY!

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Photo of Brenden
2.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A completely clear bright gold color, this brew throws up a layer of foam that, to its credit, does stick around for a moment before falling to just what can cling to the edges. A few little spots of lacing can be seen here and there.
The aroma isn't offensive; there's not much at all going on. I get grains, a little syrupy sweetness, and a lightly mineral note.
The flavor is primarily grainy and sweet with a dusting of pale malts. Take away the sweetness and it's almost palatable.
The caronation holds up and the very light body actually keeps something going, while crispness keeps it from going flat. For the style, the feel is average.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
2.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I guess this would be the Budmilloors of South Africa? Pours with a large white head, clear pale yellow in color. Faint whiffs of maltiness, saltiness. Light body. Some slight maltiness throughout, but not much else. No aftertaste. Not really a whole lot to say about this beer, I guess I'll have to try Tusker and see why Hemingway preferred it to this beer.

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Photo of bark
2.06/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Colour is pale straw yellow; the compact low white foam sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is very sweet with a distinct note of corn. I found some alcohol and syrup, too.

The taste is very light with notes of adjuncts. The aftertaste is extremely short wit a sweet touch and some alcohol.

The carbonation is pretty strong; medium sized bubbles.

This is probably a typical “tropical” lager: So gulpable that it becomes hard to gulp. There must be better brews to carry from the other side of the world than this one!

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.11/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

If we are trying to be an American macro lager, we've succeeded.
Pours pale clear yellow with a half finger of disappearing white.
Aroma is skunk, then American pale malts and light non-descript hops.
Mouthfeel is creamy and flavor is dry but only faintly reminiscent of beer. Honestly tastes watered down and the aftertaste gives me the impression that water was added after it was brewed.
No thank you.

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Castle Lager from South African Breweries plc
62 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.