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Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
558 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
Ranking:
#372
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
558
pDev:
8.45%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
986
Gots:
105
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 558 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveHack
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of ThirstyHerf
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to try a bit of this at Flossmoor before DLD, and thanks to whoever it was that allowed me a sample, as I've forgotten... Poured a hazy yellowish color. Smell was tart, smooth, mild funkiness. Taste was smooth, slightly funky and deliciously tart and drinkable. Reminded me of beatification, but even slightly more smooth and drinkable. Nice sour grapefruit flavor. This was quite good.

 403 characters

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle, poured into a tulip. Batch 2. Unfortunately, I forgot who was the generous BA that provided this one.

Not as hazy as described by others until the last glass, straw colored, capped by a large white bubbly head.
The aroma is very funky, acid and tart, with a few grape notes in there as well as some oakiness.
Nicely carbonated, medium bodied, but quite refreshing.
It is very tart and acid, and very funky. Sour grapes and apples, multiple notes that remind you of an acidic wine, tart, and sometimes herbal. There are hints of woodiness and some sweetness, but the acidity remains the most noticeable character.
A very nice beer, although not great.

 676 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage served cold in a teku

Appearance: bright and clear gold with no head at all. Very low carbonation. Bottle presentation is very nice however the cage that secured the cork fell apart after only 1/2 a turn on opening. I've found this true with other CL sours. Possibly a QA issue with packaging or a product defect.

Nose: Brett funk, sweet grape juice, vinous, very complex, strong Barrel character

Taste: sharp acid here. Quite sour initially. The barrel character is strong with a ton of tannins. This drinks like a full bodied white wine with very little sweetness. The "beer" qualities are very understated. There is a significant astringency to the beer as well. Not a bad thing per say and it does add complexity, just wasn't expecting it. The wine barrel and vinious characters are the centerpiece here. Extremely low carbonation. Very nice sour.

Overall: this one shocked me. It completely straddles the line between beer and wine. I can decide if Scott Vaccaro is a mad genius or just crazy. Either way this was a delightful beer.

 1,056 characters

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of vissai
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 courtesy of blisscent. Poured a hazy gold with a vigorous, frothy, white head that dissipates and reveals a band of bubbles around the edges of the bowl. Nose is tart and citrusy. Taste follows nose - sourness is not overwhelming by any means; however, a vinegary quality comes out as well. Mouthfeel is light and lively, and slightly stimulates the salivary glands. Finish was fairly dry. I'm fairly new to Wilds, but I found this beer really quite drinkable. I thoroughly enjoyed this brew.

 501 characters

Photo of funkel81
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cuvee De Castleton pours a starbright yellow-gold that, indeed, looks something special. It struts the bling. Despite this obvious radiance, however, its ash blond complexion is hopelessly distorted (though I suppose technically still clear). Whatever head it might have once procured is now long gone, likely an unintended consequence of the barrel aging.

Though the bouquet is a relatively inward one for the style, muscat grapes are apparent from the start. I also wouldn't be surprised to learn the oak barrels in which it's aged at some point contained Chardonnay; the wood purrs like a cat asking to be stroked and there's also a touch of must. Smells like a wine cellar. It has the tartness (though not exactly the flavour) of a Granny Smith apple and a few other cider-like qualities.

Malty flavours are now a distant murmur, long since infected by the acidic tartness of wild yeasts and an almost savory oak wood taste. Its exquisite inner perfume is simultaneously juicy and off-dry and features nuances of Limoncello, yellow plum, and wafting florals. The bubbles are less than vibrant, leaving the acidity to settle on the palate like a heavy net (practically burning a small hole in the back of the throat in the process).

Cuvee de Castleton may taste unusual to most beer drinkers, but if you're a sparkling or white wine drinker this will all seem very familiar: steely, bubbly, elegant with apple and citrus acidity - this is definitely suited to a champagne flute (and given the rarity and price, champagne-worthy occasions). Were it not for those unfortunate facts, it would be more than advisable to bring to a party; a real conversation starter.

Batch #5 was released just over a year ago but I wouldn't allow it much more time to mature; it certainly doesn't taste young. The acidity is already powerful enough to make things feel a bit disjointed and its energy is far from outstanding. Despite impressing some sensation of weightlessness, the finish isn't exactly overly persistent either. Were it actual bubbly, it'd be the Borat of the champagne world.

So-called "wild ale" is a style where anything is possible, good or bad - surviving extended barrel aging and the onslaught of savage yeasts and bacterium aren’t easy conditions for a beer, but it’s a challenge that builds complexity and character. Despite the latter being added free of service, Cuvee de Castleton lacks the real drive and beautiful detail that describes the best beers, 'wild' or not so wild. Wish I could say better things...

 2,537 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this one several times. This bottle was from batch 3.

A: Pours a light cloudy shade of yellow. The head is very small and white in color.

S: Aromas of sour sweet fruit, light tart citrus, and yeast.

T: Citric for sure, nice light tartness with hints of tart and sweet grapes. Light barrel notes with a hint of earthy minerals.

M: On the lighter side of medium nice carbonation.

D: Not bad, not my favorite sour, but I do like it.

 443 characters

Photo of pwoody11
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of LoveStout
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of fosters9
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerThursdays
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Alpar
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of bkwhoppa66
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an awesome extra from a generous trader, thanks Joe. 12.7 oz bottle of batch four. Sampled from a tulip glass 10/10/10.

Clean blonde in color, forms a bright white head that dissapears completely almost immediately, can't call that a defect in the style of course. Carbonation is very fine but appears to be pretty active.

Very pleasant and rich bouquet of aromas on this beer. Brett earthiness is a little better developed than I expected for what I gather is a relatively young wild ale; even if I suspect some age would do this beer a lot of good. Fruity grape character is a bit stronger than many beers I've tried that are brewed with grapes. Spices also add a lot to the aroma on this one.

Because of the aroma I had some concern the spices might be overbearing but they're relatively well integrated. Although there's a pleasant tartness on the aftertaste this isn't quite as sour as I prefer and I have a feeling the grape sweetness may have something to do with that. This is a broad style though so there's room for beers like this and it is pretty enjoyable on it's own merits. The more I drink the more vinous it starts to taste, not certain to what degree the acidity or grapes are responsible.

Altogether another very well made beer from Captain Lawrence. I'm glad I had the opportunity to check this one out.

 1,340 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3

Pours a glowing golden color in my tulip with a quickly dying finger of head. Somewhat murky, effervescent carbonation

Nose is tart and funky tangerine, hints of sour peach, very clean and crisp.

Taste is not really sour, definitely more tart than anything. Honestly, not even as funky as I expected. Some very crisp fruits from apples to tangerines to grapes to banana. Band-aids at the very end of the finish. Slightly bitter in the aftertaste only. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp stinging carbonation but luckily not too much of it. Finish isn't too dry, which is a positive for me. Drinkability is average to good...enough flavor to make me reach for more and tartness kept in check enough to not kill my palate. This is a very fine beer, no doubt about it. Only real negative was that it didn't improve after as it warmed. This one was best when it was first served. Started to get a bit of waxiness as it neared room temperature.

 961 characters

Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 558 ratings
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