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Castle Lager - South African Breweries plc

Not Rated.
Castle LagerCastle Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
61
poor

92 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 92
Hads: 145
rAvg: 2.47
pDev: 25.1%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 92 | Hads: 145
Photo of sholland119
2.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A pretty terrible beer. The kind of beer that I would much rather had less taste. Lacks the clean dry finish of this style with a fairly unpleasant finish. Pass. (161 characters)

Photo of Brenden
2.03/5  rDev -17.8%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
1.61/5  rDev -34.8%
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 (499 characters)

Photo of MarkoNm
2.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Pours a clear and golden color. The head, about two fingers of it, is white with a medium retention.
The aroma is mild - some malts and grains can be picked up.
The taste naturally follows the nose. Sweet beginning of the malts, followed by a light bitterness, slightly watery, in the body, ending with no real finis. Lacks a bit of bitterness. (344 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
2.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

300ml Bottle for £1.49 (The Cave bottle shop, Glasgow):
Light and clear body that is a golden straw colour, topped with a half centimeter tall head that is quite bubbly looking and manages to last rather well.

A very light beer on the nose that had me struggling to detect anything much at all. There is a little grain and some clean smelling, basic lager malts. I also smelt some corn and a few vegetable adjuncts on top.

Clean lager malts and a faint, grassy hop aroma coupled with a slightly grainy taste and some light bitterness. There is some corn in there too.

A light body although not quite a thin one or watery but light nonetheless. There is a very light bitter feel and the beer is slightly grainy with a dry finish.

The beer looked quite nice and head retention was pretty good but other than that it didn't really offer anything else. Not a particularly noteworthy offering and a bit of a disappointment for my first South Africa beer, although not an entirely unexpected one. (995 characters)

Photo of Thepumpkinpiper
3.34/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time ever trying this beer. Apparently if the liquor store runs out of it, there's a small cadre of customers who get quite upset.

A: Pale golden colour, lacey and rather foamy head.

S: Hoppy, slight bit of apples, little bit floral and herby.

T: A clear punch of refreshing taste at first, much like a Tiger or other smooth-drinking lager. Very clear and crisp, but then gives way to a distinct bitter aftertaste faintly reminiscent of a German pilsner.

M: Great - not too carbonated. Makes for easy drinking.

Overall: I really like this beer - it goes down very easily, but packs enough flavor to make for a satisfying drink. Not so big on the bitter aftertaste, but the beer goes down so easily that I can forgive that aspect. A great hot weather beer. (767 characters)

Photo of cdaddie
2.58/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First time trying this beer, 440 ML can, very chilled. Looked quite good as it was being poured, smell seemed good as the pint glass was coming up, but the taste was merely "ok". Very plain, nothing overly distinctive about it. So not a really bad beer, but certainly not a really good one either. A good "hot day outside and I just finished cutting the grass" kind of beer, to quench a thirst, but nothing special. (415 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
2.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle

Satara Rest Camp Gift Shop
Kruger National Park
South Africa

Clear golden yellow with a big, foaming, though wispy white head (which falls away quickly) that doesn't leave much to any stick down the glass.

The aroma is lacking much of anything at all. There's simple grain and a touch of something I can only describe as earthy minerals, but this is one of the faintest aromas of any beer I've ever found.

Grain, corn, and minerals combine for a simple, plain beverage. Low bitterness.

Thin mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A plain, typical example of an awful style. That being said, no matter what my objective thoughts on this beer are, it truly did "hit the spot" after a long, scorching, hot day out in the African bush. (743 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 330ml can with no visible BB date. Given to me recently by a friend visiting from South Africa. The blurb on the can specifically mentions the addition of maize to soften the palate.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear straw colour with plentiful fine carbonation. Forms a decent head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a surface layer. Aroma is very weak - a faint hint of stewed veg/hops and little else.

Tastes of not much at all. Watery light malt with a hint of stewed leaves and corn. A harsh bitter note in the background. Pretty dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly. Quite good body for the style. Lightly astringent. Faint bitter aftertaste.

Hmmm - bland, watery and almost tasteless. At least it's clean; nothing too offensive going on. I guess this would be acceptable in a hot climate where no alternatives presented themselves. Otherwise, give it a miss. (916 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
1.62/5  rDev -34.4%
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. (332 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.06/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Landed in Johannesburg and headed to the conference in Sandton. Had a 500ml draght Castle with dinner. The beer was golden clear with good carbonation that gave a nice finger thick head...which laced down the entire 500ml pilsner glass. The smell was mostly grain and no-descript. The taste was along the same lines a Becks, Pils Urquell, etc. This beer had some sweetness to the grain and was very crisp, meaning it came off the pallete clean. This beer ranks with most of the big american brewers. (499 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
1.94/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (505 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
1.18/5  rDev -52.2%
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. (398 characters)

Photo of drpimento
2.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sure looks good with the pour! Which is a huge, foamy, frothy, sudsy, billowy, white with lots of lace. Color is a clear yellow gold with several small bubble trails. Aroma is a scant scent of bitter hop. Flavor is a mild corn beer with slight bitter sweetness and a hint metalic. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and over quick. Best thing about this beer is having it in South Africa! (409 characters)

Photo of jeranbrews
2.92/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - billowy fluffy cloud white meringue head. Clear brassy straw body with lots of bubbles. Thick foamy rabies lacing.

S - big whiff of adjunct skunk from opening the bottle. Pale malts. Corn. Mildly salty and savory.

T - yeasty creamy flavors are a big part of the experience. Hops are very mild some slight sweetness but overall underflavored.

M - creamy and smooth. Just a touch thin.

D - not bad. Easy to drink. Simple but good enough for a third string. (466 characters)

Photo of BeerSingh
2.83/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The macro spree continues today with Castle. I'm having this after say what, 10 yrs or something. As far as I can remember it used to taste good. Now it just about makes its presence felt. Pours with the usual pale yellow / gold colour, although with a sizeable head. The head lurks around for a while while the grains (read corn) and skunk waft into my nose.
The taste is bitter and astringent with some malt flavour and the lemony finish that I had always associated with Castle. Not a bad deal after all. Its a little harsh on the palate - too much fizz I reckon to make up for the body. But on a hot summer afternoon in Delhi, I wouldn't mind to down a couple of 'em. (671 characters)

Photo of stonesean
3.1/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a small pils glass from a .33 liter bottle at Maulwurf Pub in Stuttgart, Germany. Offered during the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

The essence of the bigtime American style lager.

Little to write home about, but it's not meant to be special, it's meant to be drinkable in great quantites by folks who may not care that much about the subtleties of beer.

That being said, there are few of the nasty aftertastes or weird metallic notes I tend to experience in Budweiser and Miller products, so though I won't go looking for Castle, I wouldn't refuse one if offered... (577 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
1.31/5  rDev -47%
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... (773 characters)

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
2.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a 440-ml can into a tall draught glass.

Appearance - bright golden colour with a bright white head that doesn't really last. There's some minimal lace that hangs around as I drink it.

Smell - very starchy, corn-grain smell. Light smell of alcohol. Not a very complex malt aroma.

Taste - very basic, neutral-sour bready kind of taste. Fairly empty aftertaste which is a bit wet and metallic.

Mouthfeel - I will say the beer is fairly smooth. Not in a great way but there is flavour and mouthfeel consistency from start to finish.

Drinkability - not too great. I've had a six pack of these 440-ml cans for over a month and they are dwindling one by one. I've reviewed the 4th brew as there has been little excitement to share what this beer had in store. (764 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.58/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep gold body with a half-finger-high head of bubbly, white foam.

Smell: Ah, a sweet-smelling aroma of light corn syrup generously brushed over some simple, basic barley.

Taste: Then, it's flavor time! Lightly grainy, excessively pale malts with sweet hints of sucrose and corn syrup. There's a lacking hop presence and accompanying bitterness, leaving the beer to finish somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit of a disappointment. Particularly adjunct-laden and I'd prefer it to finish a bit drier. Ah well! (582 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
2.62/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

440ml can poured into pint glass oct15 2009

A straw yellow with crazy amount of carbonation that makes this one look alive. big fluffy two finger head that slowly falls forming an island leaving a fair amount of lace well down the glass

S corn, grass and skunk

T as it smells and that's not the greatest thing

M thin and too much carbonation

D perhaps I drank a bad beer, this one just looked so good I find it hard to believe I was so weak in other areas

I doubt I'll be drinking this one anytime soon, it looks much better then it tastes (546 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.59/5  rDev -35.6%
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. (302 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
2.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

440ml can, at the Remedy Cafe off-campus, my better half's favourite hangout, and a decent enough beer destination for yours truly, so well, win-win!

This beer pours a clear, pale golden yellow colour, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and maybe even a tad creamy off-white head, which leaves some random sea spray lace around the glass as it quickly subsides.

It smells of semi-sweet, weirdly cheap whiskey-tinted pale grain, corn grits, stale apple skins, and skunky, stewed vegetal hops. The taste is more husky pale grain, an indistinct, yet increasingly predominant corn sweetness, subtle fusel oils, a metallic flintiness, and weedy, skunky, and vegetal hops.

The bubbles are average here, just innocuously frothy, the body closer to medium weight from below than I might have imagined, a bit oily, yet approachable in its smoothness - go figure. It finishes off-dry, with some lingering Frankenstein malt, and more muted cooked veggie stank.

None too pleasant, sure, and about bang-on for the style, the exotic origin locale not really doing much for it. Plain, ineffectual, and good only for engendering poorly rendered 'Sooth Afreeken' gentle mockery on my part. (1,190 characters)

Photo of masgniw
2.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty standard lager. It seems to have a bit more character than your standard American lager, but to difference is not very noticeable. It's fine for a cheap, drinkable beer, but don't expect much more than that. South African nostalgia is the only reason I go back to this one.

A: A clear, golden yellow with a head that fades quickly.
S: Mildly sweet with some fruity notes.
M: Moderately high carbonation that can overstimulate the tongue and cheeks.
D: Very drinkable. Easy to have one after another, after another. (533 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow, with a pretty long-lasting head, good lacing for a lager.

S: Very malty, sourdough, some corn, a hint of DMS, but definitely a more concentrated smell than your average macro.

T: Taste is all malt upfront, a hint of diacetyl. Hop presence is considerable for this style, noble hops give a great counterbalance to the malt, notes of grass and wet earth, a bit of pine.

M: Light in carbonation, which is a nice respite, since this style can be all carbonation. Not as crisp as I'd like, but light-bodied and smooth, easy to drink.

D: This is quite a good lager, it can be on par with the best of the Euro lager style. Don't know why it is rated so low on BA, I thought it was quite good. (722 characters)

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Castle Lager from South African Breweries plc
61 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.