Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
550 Ratings
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
captainlawrencebrewing.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a beer that will make you rethink your definition of beer. It doesn’t taste like any beer you’ve ever had, yet it doesn’t taste like anything else either. Pushing the limits of brewing is what makes this job so much fun. Malted barley, wild yeast, hand picked Muscat Grapes, and French oak wine barrels are just a few of the things that wen into crafting this beer. Breathe deep, take a long sip, and enjoy the creation in your hand.

Added by Billolick on 05-12-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
550
Reviews:
228
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.8%
 
 
Wants:
990
Gots:
103
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 550 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of WillCarrera
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12.7 oz bottle, batch 5, poured into a mini tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color, produces a wispy white head, leaves little lacing.

S- Lemony tartness, musty barnyard funkiness, some apple and white grape, oak. As it warms a really fantastic, floral, perfumey spice aroma comes out and merges with the barnyard funkiness in a really great way. The aroma is really incredible.

T- Starts out with apple and white grape before a nice amount of acidity kicks in, a decent amount of lemon, balanced acidity (not leaning too heavily towards acetic like a lot of American sours do). Nice barnyard funkiness, as well as oak, dry vinous flavors and a bit of vanilla. As with the aroma, very complex and delicious.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and dry, a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish, but really not too bad at all for it's strength.

O- An absolutely incredible beer, much better than I was expecting. The barrel, funkiness, fruitiness and yeast all come together really, really well. I know it's not exactly going for a gueuze kind of thing, but this comes closer to gueuze and lambic in terms of complexity and flavor than any other American sour I've had, which is about the highest praise I think I can give it. I mean damn.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rhinos00
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been craving a "sour" all week and finally decided to crack this one open while watching the King and crew destroy the Pistons. Batch #2 poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a golden straw yellow with very little clarity. Almost has a murky, mustard appearance. Solid two fingers width of white head forms, but literally dissipates within seconds of forming.

S- Nowhere near as complex as the taste. Hints of vinous, sour grapes a plenty mixed with oak and spices. The aroma just seemed too monotone to me. I wished it had a little more variance and character.

T- Wow! Flat out awesome! Talk about balance within a style of beer. From the get go, the beer gives the impression that this will be one sour beer. From the initial taste on the tip of the tongue and midway through, the beer seems to operate on two levels. At the forefront, there is a strong combination of sour grapes, lemon zest and spices. As the sourness builds, an undertone of oak and wood follow. Just before the beer reaches a mouth puckering intensity, the acidic flavors are counter balanced with the a bretty yeast for a perfect balanced flavor.

M- Light to medium bodied with some carbonation. Left a semi-dry feeling in the mouth.

D- The balanced flavor and delicious taste easily mask the 8% abv. I consumed a 750 mL bottle with ease.

Overall, huge thanks to Alex (BeerWorld) for my first in-person trade in which I acquired this excellent beer. Honestly this was one of the best beers I have ever had. Don't let the low marks for appearance fool you. This is a sour worthy of trying.

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Photo of brandoneast
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hastur23
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rye726
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden straw with a silky beige head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nose has tart citrus, white wine grapes, manure, horse blanket and oak.

Taste has a sour fruit presence followed by barnyard funk, wood, white wine and sweet meady malts.

Crisp body is well carbonated. Dry acidic finish. Tasty sour from Captain Lawrence.

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Photo of kash2112
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheViceBlog
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Aaron
www.theviceblog.com

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Photo of KeefD
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
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 +7.4%
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

 1,746 characters

Photo of CoolJosh
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
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 +6.9%
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 duceswild
4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

 783 characters

Photo of outoffocus
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of facesnorth
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of spointon
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of blisscent
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BATCH 1

7 characters

Photo of mani
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sleazo
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
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 udubdawg
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of claaark13
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
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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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
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 ArsMoriendiOU818
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JC333
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.32 out of 5 based on 550 ratings.
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