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Castle Lager - South African Breweries plc

Not Rated.
Castle LagerCastle Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 2.47
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 4
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2002)
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Onslow


3.8/5  rDev +53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my starter beer so i'll start with it...Pours pure gold with a shimmer and a healthy hearty head. The taste will have a slight bitterness,and a complimenting smell, while at the end of the can it tends to leave a dry yet smooth after taste. It does the trick at your next braai and I personally like the taste, but most will label this as just another mass produced lager..

Serving type: can

04-15-2007 12:50:25 | More by Onslow
Photo of SSBrennan

District of Columbia

1.78/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 17:00:40 | More by SSBrennan
Photo of stephendr


2.17/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.5 oz. bottle- color of auburn , with a thin white small bubbled head - light sweet nose of corn , melon , straw, grass , and something else I can not place – sweet taste of cantaloupe , white raisins , straw , and light bitterness– body is watery , dry , and lightly carbonated – aftertaste of , sweet corn , soapy , and slight acidity

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 05:08:27 | More by stephendr
Photo of IntriqKen


2.1/5  rDev -15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2007 03:03:28 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.35/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a great lager/pilsner fan, but this was OK.

Brown 750ml bottle, from Morrison's supermarket, best before 2007, drank in March 2007.

Poured into two Hoegaarden Grand Cru tulip glasses, looks like a lager. Clear golden yellow, straw blonde when held up to the light. Large white head straight after the pour, soon dispersed to almost nothing.

Lagers don't really have much aroma to my thinking, this was no different, a slight hoppy, wheaty, nothingy smell.

Crisp dry taste, hops are in there, not a bad taste, thirst quenching in my opinion.

Watery mouthfeel, but this is a lager, what do you expect? It holds it's hop flavour and dryness.

This is not a great beer, but it was just what I needed this evening, something light to go with a salad meal. I have no problems with it and would be happy to have another if asked, wouldn't buy another, but I'd drink one!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 22:05:04 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Iguana


2.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this in a Beers of the World package for Christmas from a relative. Poured a pale golden straw color with a small off white head. Smell is like grain soaked in water, not offensive, not great, and not really much of it. Taste is quite similar, kinda like raw water soaked grain. Very very bland tasting. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated and watered down. Drinkability is high just because I could see tossing a few of these back in hot weather. Its not the greatest beer in the world, but if you go in expecting an American Macro Lager you wont be surprised and its not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 08:46:59 | More by Iguana
Photo of ChiSox05


2.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Good clarity, pale gold-yellow, quick dissipating head, little to no carbonation.

Grainy smell, slight wet corn no particular hop or malt standout aroma, not off putting.

Grainy blandness, touch of alcohol, flat bitterness. Hops are noticeable up front briefly.

Aside from a bitterness that is detracting because of light carbonation and weak malt, beer is smooth overall.

Smooth beer that is held back by its subpar taste. Its gulpable, but many better options out there, american macro lagers included.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 04:20:24 | More by ChiSox05
Photo of bark


2.05/5  rDev -17%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 13:09:45 | More by bark
Photo of jarmby1711


1.55/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 22:59:11 | More by jarmby1711
Photo of DogFood11


1.53/5  rDev -38.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 21:29:09 | More by DogFood11
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


2.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 330ml brown glass bottle, with a neck, obverse and reverse label. The neck label says that the ingredients are “Barley Malt, Maize, Hops and Water”, it also list this brew as alc. 5.0% vol. The shoulder of the neck states ‘Mfg: 18/04/06 – Exp: 18/04/07’, so it is a fresh sample.

Appearance: What I immediately notice is the fact that the super white head is very creamy and forms a rather expansive head on the pour which slowly settles to reveal a crusty iceberg like surface. Nice lacing above the head stays around also. The body though is your archetypal pale golden straw affair, though the clarity of the body with the quality of the head makes for a great looking clean quenching brew that would slake any thirst.

Nose: Nothing much of anything, too clean and far too refined. I honestly could not find anything here except very, very feint hints of grain and a soft sweetness. Completely lacking in aroma rather than having anything off-putting.

Taste: The malts are light, soft grains, low sweetness and a under the radar bitter finish. It has a little of everything, but not much anything, if that makes sense. However, on redeeming feature is the complete lack of any skunky, corny, metallic elements so attributable to these offerings. That at least bolsters a 2.5. It’s hard to get excited about this one but it is clean, and the finish is crisp too boot.

Mouthfeel: The brew exhibited a slight creamy texture when slaked in gulps at first, but closer examination reveals a thin body, one that feels lacking. However, if this one is supped cool whilst partaking of other activities you could be forgiven for “missing” the thin body, but body is there though, or rather isn’t.

Drinkability: A no-brainer beer this one. Nothing at all to detract you, nothing to keep you returning, except for that fact that you’re probably far too busy cutting the grass to “think” about your next brew and will just grab the next Castle from the cooler to keep going. But, this one will keep your thirst in check whilst doing so. An average all-round libation with a decent Drinkability.

Overall: My second SAB beer review and like the Milk Stout I have to admit to finding nothing really wrong or distasteful here, but it certainly does not shine either. True, it wasn’t half as bad as I expected, it’s a crisp easy going brew that drinks fresh with a super thirst quenching ability, clean flavor set and finish. BevMo stiffed me all of $1.69 for the privilege of a single bottle, but I have paid much more for worse brews though.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 03:23:48 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of bluejacket74


2.35/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass the beer pours a clear pale gold color, with about an inch white head. It smells mainly like corn, with a faint skunk smell. It has some malt sweetness in the taste, but mainly it tastes like corn/grain, but it also has a very small sour and bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very light and thin, and also a bit oily. Drinkability is a bit below average. Not a very good beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 23:35:56 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

2.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

450ml can poured into a Pint Glass.

Poured with a 1/4in head that sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing. Farly well-carbonated. Very pale in colour. Smell is definitely soapy with very sweet corn adjuncts in evidence. A slight floweriness, but not much exciting.

Taste has a bit of alcoholic and metallic acidity mixed with a slight nutty malt character. The soapiness is in evidence, as are some earthy hops, but all in all this is a very light tasting lager. Thin and watery in the mouth, overcarbonated with a slight dryness in the finish and a bite on the tongue. Not offensive really, and drinkable in large quantities I'm sure, but not a flavourful beer in the least.

Serving type: can

08-25-2006 01:11:29 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Canned sample. Straw gold in colour with high carbonation. Aromas are of sweet pale malt, and a little bit of herbal German noble hop. The flavors are of very lightly toasted grains, minerals, Golden Deliscious applem and a bit of cherry pit. Watery body. Overall, it tastes like a low end European macro pils, but at least it finishes fairly clean and didn’t taste like corn.

Serving type: can

07-17-2006 21:14:14 | More by fisherman34
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a very pale yellow with a half inch head that sits nicely on top. Smell is slightly metallic, a little corny, but not awful. This stuff is slightly sweet, a little corny, a slight hint of barley malt. The combination is not disgusting at all like some other adjunct macro brews, This one is actually not too bad. Fairly smooth and pretty easy to drink too.

This is not a compex brew, it doesn't pretend to be, and it doesn't have to be. It's actually pretty good for what it is.

Serving type: can

07-12-2006 01:22:22 | More by funkengruven
Photo of ernie

Russian Federation

2.65/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright yellow color with orange spark. Medium carbonation, big white head.

Aroma sweetish, like from a fresh-opened can with corn kernels.

Srart creamy, malty, uninspiring. Body medium, rounded, a bit oily, with lots of malt and abovementioned kernels and just a hint of hops. Finish grainy, sweetish. Almost no aftertaste.

Castle used to be a very acceptable and drinkable beer in the beginning of 90s. Not anymore. That's how far the mighty have fallen...

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2006 18:38:14 | More by ernie
Photo of hunteraw


2.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Spent the last three weeks in South Africa and had quite a few of these - the most widely distributed beer in SA by far.

Pours with a big head, a wet straw (almost orange tinted) color, some lacing... Cans seem extra heavy in South Africa, almost universally - I kept thinking there was some more left in the bottom.

Aroma is of corn (it's listed as the second ingredient on the label), with a bit of alcohol present too...

Taste isn't anything to write home about. Slightly astringent, bitterness is harsh, a mild malt sweetness. I have to say it grew on me, though, the bottle I had the next day wasn't quite as bad.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, which fits for the style, very thin... I don't think it finishes particularly well either.

Drinkability is low! Not the worst beer I had in South Africa, but close. In my experience, it tasted better out of a bottle, but I don't know how universal that might prove. Windhoek is almost as widely available and much better - if you're in South Africa, I'd suggest choosing it over Castle at every opportunity.

Serving type: can

06-07-2006 13:49:31 | More by hunteraw
Photo of scruffwhor


2.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a bright, egg shell white that leaves a film on top of the brew. Color is a bright hay mixed with pale yellows. Some small lacing intermingled.

Smell- A little tinny with some light grainy aromas and cut grass thats been laying in the hot sun too long.

Taste- A little tart bitterness mixed with almost nonexistent malt sweetness. Water, dry hops, and crappy malts. Taste the way my high school gym locker smelled.

Mouthfeel- Tart, tangy, alkaline, but it leaves the palate quickly.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 17:32:32 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

2.68/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh.... Looks okay, but smells foul. Tinny, skunky smell with only trace malt sweetness and hop bite. Corn mash hints. They even list "maize" on the ingredients.

Taste is almost as bad. Corn mash, grass and a little bit of malt. Can taste, and an acid overtone. (Maybe that's just because I'm quite parched).

Okay mouthfeel, decent drinkability.

Serving type: can

05-12-2006 06:58:11 | More by BDTyre
Photo of Drew966


2.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Castle Lager pours a typical macro yellow with a small fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells like adjunct. Tastes like adjunct and maybe a little bit of malt. Not particularly good. Definitely not worth spending more than you would on an American macro.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2006 00:18:40 | More by Drew966
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't mind this beer at all, the taste is refreshing, smooth and sharp. A bit sweet. Leaves a nice dry aftertaste.

Does not contain the same chemical-like you get with most popular Macro Lagers and overall better taste..

Appearance, meh, yellow. The smell was a bit sweet and hoppy. An overall solid beer, would recommend.

Serving type: can

03-03-2006 20:17:39 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

1.65/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

Serving type: can

02-16-2006 22:33:19 | More by Viggo
Photo of BuckeyeNation


1.83/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 14:28:09 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of jayc333

Ontario (Canada)

2.35/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden yellow with a 3-finger white head. Head vanishes slowly, leaving behind generous lacing. Tiny bubbles rose throughout, and looked very inviting.

Herbal grassy/leafy aroma. Pleasant, ad quite strong.

Dank, metallic taste. Not pleasant at all.

Thin, smooth mouthfeel, with decent carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. Not recommended.

Serving type: can

09-29-2005 20:38:59 | More by jayc333
Photo of UncleFlip


2.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a certian un-named beer distributor for slipping me this bottle and many others. He provides beer, the disappears before he's seen. We'll just call him Happy Beer Elf.

HBE left me this bottle, knowing it was a beer I hadn't tried. I'm happy to have had it, but maybe Happy Beer Elf should go back to the stouts he's left me before.

The appearance isn't much darker than water coming out of the bottle. It looks much like a BMC_ nice and cler and light, with a white foamy head, leaving little to no lace behind.

Smell gets low numbers because it doesn;t really have any. There's just a hint of spiciness and a faint glimmer of hops, but nothing else.

The flavour is sort of like a rounder, fuller BMC, with less edge. There's just a SLIGHT spicines on the back of the tongue, but other than that, it's all typical adjunct lager.

Mouthfeel is all tight carbonation up front, then a medium to thin liquid emerging out of it.

I give it average drinakbilty because it would be easy to pound these down on a hot day, but it would be equally as easy to lose interest in it.

I wouldn't be broken up if I never have this one again (that's the way I feel about just about all the African beers I've had)- but I'm happy to have had the experience. Thanks, Happy Beer Elf!

Be well

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 03:08:08 | More by UncleFlip
Castle Lager from South African Breweries plc
61 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.