Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
548 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:
548
Reviews:
228
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.8%
 
 
Wants:
988
Gots:
102
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 548 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of rab53
2.25/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to love a small, young and local (at least to me) brewery that puts out a stream of small (bottled) batches of eclectic and high quality ales, in addition to the four regular high quality craft brews it brews all year round on tap. "Cuvee" is a Belgain golden, fermented with muscat grapes, then refermented with "Bret" yeast, then aged in wine barels. Yeeha...love the style and love the fact that brewer Scott V has the stones to brew up a quite sour brew and then pitch it and explain it to his loyal following....anyway, this one pours cloudy, lemony, yellowy amber with a quickly departing white head and leaving just a trace of fine lacing. The nose is where the excitement begins, lots of fruit, lemony freshness and a funky, musty foretelling of the sour Bret blast to come. Moderate to quite sour on my scale. Lots of puckering lemon/lime, I also pick up tart berry notes, quinine, ginger, spicy honey, woody, herbal, Bret FUNKYNESS....WOW...wild ale, lambic, Belgian fans rejoice...refreshing, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable...yet another home run for the good Captain...go get some, add a hunk of smelly cheese, some crusty bread, olives, wild lettuce salad, sit back and revel in what a lucky human being you are! Label notes also mention that this one is expected to age well, will the blessings never cease?

 1,328 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing!

Pours hazy lemon-drop yellow with a fizzy head that immediately pops down to nothing. Not pleasant to look at with the head just loudly popping to nothing, with small bubbles continuing but producing no head.

The smell is tart - lemony, sour, some funk and acidity.

The taste is of tart lemon and apple. Sour/tart with balancing sweet maltiness, it has some funkiness mixed in. A hint of oak/vanilla grows as it continues, putting a unique spin on it that works very well. It has a touch of acidity in the finish.

Medium-bodied with carbonation towards aggressive to start with that mellows to medium as it progresses.

Drinks very well! Interesting complexities going on here. I can see this one - because of the lemony and acidic notes - a great pairing with many fish dishes. Too bad that the head was so unimpressive and the carbonation fine, but not great (esp. at the start).

 923 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at ButaPub in Rochester, NY.

This pours a pale yellow color, lots of bubbles, with a very small essentially non-existent head, and a no lacing. Doesn't look all that tasty, but the appearance is not super important.

Smells like grape skin, lactic acid, lemons, green apple cider, and some mild oak.

This is definitely an assertively sour beer, probably about a 7/10. It's got a lemony acidity, with a feeling of almost green apple cider, in it's fruity sourness. There's definitely some grapes here, but they're light and well-integrated, and don't stand out. There's some definite oak, but it's of the damp "wet" variety of wood.

This is crisp and clean in the mouthfeel, though it's quite sour. The sourness does not diminish from the drinkability.

This is most excellent, and I'm really glad Captain Lawrence made another batch of it.

 850 characters

Photo of aasher
3/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of IrishColonial
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Partial vertical made possible by three separate people. I am reviewing batch 2, 3, and 4.

Beers were poured into wine glasses side by side. None of them had a head or lacing. All were light yellow in color.

Batch 2 - very cloudy and hazy. I'm not convinced that it was yeast from being disturbed from the bottom of the bottle. The aroma was quite bretty, Brett b I think mostly, quite funky with a hint of acetic tinge. Beer is oddly thin with a good forward lactic acid, no sweetness, mild tartness.

Batch 3 - very clear and highly carbonated. It looked like champagne in the glass. Very bright. This beer's aroma was quite sweeter with cherries and oak. Beer was still quite sour, less brett and funky, dominant lactic with a trail of acetic.

Batch 4 - The newest batch just released a few weeks ago. This beer is cloudy again, moderately carbonated. Aroma is strongly sweet, much much sweeter than the other two. Mostly lactic, not much acetic in this one. The aroma is the strongest out of the three, nice. This beer has quite the brett bite to it, good funk, some oakiness I didn't detect in the others.

 1,113 characters

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ShanePB
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of LoveStout
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice gold color with a 1/2" white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a light pilsner malt scent along with a mild grape character and a semi-aggressive sourness. The taste is great as well. It's light and very drinkable. It seems like a simple pilsner malt and grape flavor with a nice dry, sour finish. It's not overly sour, but it does have a mild character that really enhances the experience. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. It's light and easy drinking; a damn fine beer.

 591 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle, which was drank alongside Barrel Select, Rosso e Marrone and Flaming Fury. Batch No. 4.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very fruity. I get some oranges and lemons, as well as the expected grapes. I also get some oaked notes that really come through. The flavor is a great mix of grapes with some oak and lemons. The beer is very dry and is lower on the tartness scale than the other CL sours it was sampled alongside. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer that I am glad I got to try.

 587 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 tobelerone
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Pours a hazy golden with some sediment from a hard pour. Little head. Smells acetic followed by a slightly musty aroma of sour grapes and just a touch of sweetness. Slightly funky, n a good way. Tastes quite complex. Sour notes to start, then barnyard, metal, and leather, light herbal notes, fruitiness, and a light, sweet, muskiness from the grapes. Slightly mouthpuckering with sourness and some tannins, and some spice notes at the end. Delicious.

 460 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle into a big style champagne flute. Batch numero three. Finally getting around to reviewing this after many bottles.

Castleton made noise when opened, a loud hiss, than alot of activity in the bottle. Light golden in color with a yellow look as well. After many bottles I still cant get a decent cap on this. There is plenty of carbonation, it's just that cuvee does not produce foam, a lot of rising bubbles though making some fizz.

Scents are pleasant but not anything heavy handed, it took a few sniffs to pick up the main musks. Muscat grapes up front giving this a vinious quality. Under those is the funk, although it's more of a mild brettness with hay and barnyard. The spices are so light that I cant make them out.

Castleton delivers all that is advertised with the spices at a minimal level, it's tart, somewhat sour and drinkable. Muscat grapes impart a somewhat winey taste underneath and somehow this comes off like a sour cider in some ways. The wild yeast is tasted and welcomed but it as well is somewhat muted. Brett bombs all over the place. It gives off tartness and a dirty barnyard with hay. I may be getting a touch of coriander at times.

CDC is well carbed, it was noted once the bottle was opened, a lot of activity seen in the liquid and on the mouth. It's very lively with a crispness that somehow builds more and then leaves. Cuvee is on the lighter side of medium in terms of build and finishes incredibly dry. I can feel it in my stomach so it's doing it's job. afterwards i tasted some grape on the back of my tounge, delicious. this drinks more like 5% than 8%.

I like this beer, I always have, but at times I feel it can be so much more in terms of sourness and funkiness. This is very str8 forward in terms of the main tastes and it works, castleton is well balanced, but I would like to see a amped up version to appear in the future. Either way if you like sours, you will like this, it's that simple.

I'll update in a year or so with some batch two CDC, I want to see how this develops. Im rooting for this beer but's it's not quite in A territory for me now. Perhaps the captain will consider changing the name of this beer as it's no longer the best(cuvee)that this brewery has to offer in their sour department.

 2,269 characters

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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 eawolff99
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.32 out of 5 based on 548 ratings.
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