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Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
226 Reviews
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
Reviews:
226
Ratings:
541
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,002
Gots:
105
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 541
Photo of Overlord
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to hophead84, whose generosity belies his stature (I keed, I keed).

Pours a rather sinister looking hazy orange-ish gold. If you swirl it in the light, what looks like very definite lighter colored yellow streaks meander about. Interesting. Some bubbles on the pour, but zero head. Zero.

Smells strangely sweet. I can count on one hand the number of sweet wild/sour/reallambic/gueuzes I've had. Smells like lemons and juicy green grapes. Maybe a twinge of horse blanket-y funk.

Taste is also strangely sweet. Seriously tastes like sweetened lemon juice mixed with grape juice mixed with a bit of sour and funky vinous notes gone rotten. In a good way. This is seriously like fruit juice. Alcoholic, sourish fruit juice. No bubbles. I do want some bubbles. There's a bit of oak-y vinousness to it, but this is the ultra-rare sour where the funk, oak, and vinous/vinegar/acidic bite take a backseat to abundant fruit flavors, rather than vice versa.

Thanks again!

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Nice pop and poured into a RR BA stem. Somewhat fizzy with a nice white head that quickly dissipates into the golden liquid. Slight chill haze with bubbles rising from the bottom like a glass of champagne.

Arom of currants, lite funk, sour grapes and a hint of phenol.

Little prick up front and nicely sweet on the nose with peach and grapes. Very smooth with all the elements in there- sour/tart/funk. Sour hits me on the sides of tongue and does not overwhelm. Oak hidden very nicely and felt in the back. Fizzy yet low in acidity. Finishes dry and very pleasant.

In the realm of American Wild Ales, I really enjoyed CdT. VERY smooth and a treat to drink.

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Photo of pwoods
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml capped brown bottle poured into a Leffe wine/chalice. Batch 2, Notes.

A: Pours a watered down orange juice color. Short, thin white head with little retention and lacing.

S: Tart apples and sour grapes. Not a lot of straight fruitiness. Some kind of burnt aroma? Light farmy, barny aromas and a touch of barrel.

T/M: Mildy sour with some added funk. Really juicy and sweet to balance the tartness. a bit of orange juice astringent citrus starts to come through as it warms. Some nice wine like tannins and leather taste and dry feel. Body is medium light with subdued carbonation.

D: A bit more carbonation would do wonders. Tasty and drinkable, though.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A frolic, then?"

She
speaks in a timid whisper, just the type of sweet
that we learn to adore
or despise,
depending upon the speaker.
This one, though, I adore more than any,
and cannot help but crack a smile at her whimperish lips as she makes believe to be a princess of old.

"Of course, my love."
So we meander
a white/orange morning with simply a small ring of cotton around the edge...
a misty, foggy, cloudy morning.
As we traipse along through the tall weeds and listen
to the crushing of fresh grass and ripe fruit
underfoot, we take in the aromas:

peach, first of all, overwhelming the white cheddar, earth, and lemon. Somewhere underneath it all is a deep sour-bitter and a faint hop note.
"Mmmm... I always love these mornings."
I smile assent and glance knowingly at her, feigning disinterest, or at least distractedness.
"Are you even listening to me honey?"
"Of course, love. You said that the flavour
is far sweeter than the aroma, with a pronounced peach note and a finish of light syrup notes and a slight oak-sour. You wish
it were a bit more complex and not as cloying, the sour doesn't balance as much as you'd prefer, as much as the truly world class examples of the style."

"I suppose you're right. It wasn't what I meant

though

and that's what matters."

"Well then, what did you mean?"
"Oh, I don't know. It's not what I expected. A lot more

mild
dry
and astringent in the mouthfeel.

I guess..."
"You just expected more."
"Yes, I suppose so. But it's alright darling. I'm with you."
"That you are, dear. You'd bettern't forget."
I wink at her through my pretentious improper use of English, and
She smiles back at me
and squeezes my hand
as we continue through the field and enjoy one another.

 1,732 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bwyker for this 750 mL capped bottle of Batch 2.

A: The ale is effervescent, foaming up to nearly two full fingers of stark white head. Surprisingly though, it disappeared almost instantaneously. Despite a stream of carbonation, the ale sits still in my snifter. The ale is pale in color, a golden straw color that looks absolutely naked without some level of head.

S: The nose is tart, acidic with lemony citrus. White grapes add a sugary sweetness. Wood also leaves its mark on the nose.

T: For as much punch as the sour side throws into the ale, the sweet white grape flavors are the first to register, however briefly that may be. The ale is quite dry but the intersection of the funk and grape is rather sweet. The funk is mostly sheer tartness, very acidic with lemon in the aftertaste. Lemon and grape mix together for an unusually sweet (as compared to the rest of the body) sugary finish.

M: After getting over the lackluster appearance, the ale brings it. The tart flavors set up grape sweetness and the mix of grape and lemon works quite well. A light ale that doesn't betray its strength.

D: A very approachable sour. I like what the grapes bring to the table; they add a distinct sweetness that loosens up the dry mouthfeel. A nicely aged beer.

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Photo of Deuane
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy golden yellow much like homemade hard cider. Thin off-white head vanished without a trace.

S-A bit of musty band-aid quickly drowned with a sharp zing of lemon, apple, pear, peach and a zing of tart grape. Oak notes in the background.

T-Sharp sour grapes,lemon and cider. Oak astringency and dryness come in at the dry finish.

M-Medium-light bodied, zippy and effervescent. Nice lingering oak dryness and sour grape tartness. Much like a sparkling cider.

D-Tasty for sure. I really like dry, hard ciders....and this is about as close to that I have had in a beer. Very well done.

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Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Re-posting earlier review that was deleted...

Batch 3 bottle via trade thanks to badbeer, shared at a BA tasting. Hazy golden color with a small white head that leaves just a little foam, and good lacing. Great aroma, tart with funk, honey, lemon, oak, and floral hops. Flavor is barnyard funk, honey, floral hops, spices, dry white wine, oak, and lemony bretty tartness. Very tasty and complex. Nice smooth palate, only slightly acidic. Drinkability high. Overall this is a great sour ale.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into goblet on 10/2/09. Thanks to FooFaa and Deuane for each bringing a bottle of this to the SourFest.

A - Poured a cloudy golden body, akin to an unfiltered fruit juice, with a thin off-white head that disappeared almost immediately.

S - Initial aroma reveals an astringent band-aid character with spiced fleshy fruit (apple, pear) notes and a citrusy quality suggesting lemons and limes. There's also plenty of sour grape notes paired with oaky tannins, much like the nose of a barrel-aged white wine.

T - Cuvee de Castleton boasts a very vinous quality with an abundance of sour grape character and a hint of citrus fruit amidst a boat-load of oaky dryness and astringency. The wine-like attributes really open up in the backend, with the grapes and oak becoming quite apparent in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a watery yet bubbly, sparkling texture, resulting in a bristly mouthfeel overall. Finishes with quite a bit of sourness and astringency on the palate.

D - With such obvious oaky and vinous qualities, Cuvee de Castleton really drinks like a sour wine. This one is big on grape character with plenty of dryness from the oak and some pleasant tartness from the Brett. Complex and quite tasty to say the least. I've been wanting to try this for a while, and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of kkipple
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this from good ole Deuane in an in person trade! Shared with some BA friends on an early October night. Batch #3.

A. Cuvee De Castleton is a hazy, unfiltered, apparently, dark yellow beer with a fast-fading white head.

S. Okay... uh... what have we here? This is a seriously complex nose, just tons going on... fruits, mainly peach, some pineapple? certainly lemon, white grape, sure, some white pepper, dry lemon rind, citrus, gosh... it goes on and on and on... certainly some funk and wildness, dry white wine... yeah, this is hard to pin down and extremely academic, enjoyable, and all around good.

T. Follows, lots of dry white wine, peachy, semi-sweet, spicy, earthy, some tire, champagne, peach again, no real hop, dry, wild, funky, lemon-citric, seriously interesting, challenging, to be sure, but I am digging it.

M. Carbonation falls out, leaves behind a smooth, dry, white wine-sorta flavor with peach and... spice? Huh. Fun to try and get your palate around.

D. Not really, this is something to share and comment on, and take your time with. A delightful brew, a complex brew, and one to enjoy in a late, do-nothing evening. I really liked this beer.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a million to jdmek9 for this incredible beer. I cracked it open to celebrate the end of LSATs forever! 500mL batch #3-enjoyed in a flute.

A: A pour straight down the middle results in a quick fizzy white head. It dissipates quickly and there's no retention. The ale is a really cloudy golden color, varying in dark-light shades.
S: Stinky feet, horses, tart fruits with an emphasis on bitter lemon. Pretty clean and straightforward.
T: Similar to the aroma, but subtle. Very bitter fruits, with that lovely sour warhead flavor. The sour doesn't have the biggest kick, though, and I was really hoping for that! It's earthy, grassy, stinky, but still very clean for a sour. The residuals are surprisingly sweet, with the funky lemon turning into tart white grapes.
M: Medium carbonation and medium body, with tons of shifting residuals linger behind. They range from sour to sweet, and back again.
D: I really enjoyed this one. Thanks, Jason, for letter me crack this open on a very special day!

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3

A: Pours a hazy deep straw color with little visible carbonation. A thin ring of carbonation is visible around the edge of the glass.

S: Big funk up front with a light lemon zest aroma hiding below and a bit of a floral aroma.

T: Matches the nose. Funk up front with some lemon tartness in back.

M: Medium body with adequate carbonation and a slight dryness to it.

D: Good but not quite great. Very pleasant sour overall.

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Photo of emerge077
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to orbitalr0x for breaking this out!
Review from notes, batch #2.

Murky pastel yellow, with copious foam at first that settled and stuck around for awhile. Floral nose, fragrant lavender or chamomile, various spices, lime zest, and orange juice. Dry tart feel, zippy with a little grape sweetness. Earthy coriander. Reminds me of a sour blend of orange juice and sprite I used to make as a kid. The dry spritz just evaporates on the tongue, very clean and tasty. This brew really seems to showcase the herbs/spice with a nice orange/lemon-lime compliment. I'd seek it out again, good stuff. Thanks again Don for sharing!

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Photo of mrkrispy
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2

Pours a very cloudy, chunky blond. Light frothy head that lingered around a bit.

Shocking aroma of white grape juice, unexpected since I hadn't read the bottle yet. Some Brett stank, apple notes?

Fantastic tasting beer. Sour, tart, noticeable grape flavors, citrus, lemon, hint of clove? Well carbontated, fine bubbles almost like champagne. Slight banana notes. Slightly puckering tartness that sticks around. Beer opens up well and gets better as the glass goes down. Complex, layered, dull sweetness, great sourness. What a great beer!

Bottle #2 (batch 2) - I cracked another bottle approx. 6 months later, about 9 months after release. Still a fantastic beer but the grape and some citrus flavors have subsided so it didn't have the "Wow" factor it first did. Looking forward to batch #3.

 806 characters

Photo of vacax
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3, 375 mL bottle.

Somewhat of a gusher upon opening. Pours a cloudy pale golden with a generous fine white head. Dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a ring along the rim of the glass, which clings nicely to the sides.

Nose has a light sweetness and a good amount of spice and sourness. The muscat grapes are present, but not in abundance. Fair amount of wet dog in a phone booth. The nose says something interesting is going on here, but gives an inkling things could go horribly wrong.

Tastes of mild flavors at first, sweet white grapes with a hint of spices (which I cannot put a finger on), then intensifying funk, the fruit comes back in a bitter way, and finishes with bitter light spices. Relatively clean finish despite everything that is going on, making it fairly easy drinking despite the layers of flavor. Light to medium body with a high level of carbonation, which works with the tart horse blanket. Quite tasty.

 934 characters

Photo of joepais
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a bunch to little breeze for sending this treat along
I have been sitting on this batch two bottle for a while .I cracked it open last Thursday. Review from notes I just found. Bottle split three ways in tulip glasses. It produced a short lasting white head on a cloudy greenish yellow body.
The first thing that hit me was the wonderful Bret character in the aroma along with that comes some lemon and a slight note of sour apple. Nice feel in the mouth department comes off like champagne. The flavor is reminiscent of the nose. A nice tartness reminding me of lemons and sour apples were just some of the flavors I got.
This is an exceptional Wild ale reminded me of Gueuze in a lot of ways. The drinkability is right on for a sour. I will seek this one out again, by far my favorite Captain Lawrence

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Photo of scootny
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 2

So this is the stuff. I have finally opened my bottle and all I can say is wow! A meeting of white wine and beer. What champagne would be if it had the guts. This is an indescribable wonderful beer that has its feet planted in two worlds quite comfortably.

Not much to look at as the fizzy head disappears quickly and leaves a slightly cloudy beer the color of apple juice.

The smell is dry white wine and light sweet malt.

Taste is eye opening. A sour graped front is backed up by an un-wine like grain based breadiness. There are apples as well along with a light fruit blend. All of them juicy and sour. A bit of oak to balance and enhance the superb blend here. The finish of this one is all beer. The malt core leaves the mouth with a cornucopia of grains to enjoy. This is what wine is missing for me. The sweet complex cereals and breads that come with a good beer. The malted goodness. You could give this one to wine lovers and watch them fall in love. As a beer advocate this one is a new love.

Feel is somewhat fizzy at first but batch 2 was to be opened at lager temps to avoid bottle overflow. As it warms the carbonation settles down and leaves a delightful experience.

So drinkable. Not since I had Rodenbach Red on tap have I had such an experience. Juicy and inviting this stuff.

 1,313 characters

Photo of carps12
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Poured into a carbernet wine glass. Nice lively head with lacing that dissapates quickly. Dark yellow color. Nose of bright lemon, vinous, some funk, oak, white grape. Taste is great. Sweet lemon, grape with a bit of tartness followed by an oaky finish. Not that funky on the nose or taste. A lot of oak on the finish as well that becomes more prevalant as I drink. The oak on te finsih battles with the light funk making a balanced finish. This is way to easy to drink and with the smaller format I drank this in no time. mouthfeel was perfect carbonation and not to dry. Fantastic.

 592 characters

Photo of bret27
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of kplynch

Appearance: Bottle overflowed when popped, then rather flat. Cloudy pale yellow look w/some little yeasty chunks floating around throughout snifter.

Smell: tart and grape mostly. Little like white wine+ little funkiness on the side.

Taste: tart, fairly thick, funk, wine, woody.

Finish: Very dry, tart+lemon/acidic lingering.

Overall: Very tasty and one of a kind.

 396 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bret27. Poured into a 400 mL Bruery tulip. Hazy opaque light-goldenrod color with a filmy white head. Aroma is lemony with light meringue sweetness, some brett, apple, phenols, and a vinous note. Flavor of wine grapes, lemon, sour apple, chlorine, pepper, a hint of woody tannin. Great complexity all around. Not a ton of acidity but firmly sour with a nice drinkability.

 387 characters

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -7.6%
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 Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into tulip.
Batch 3.

A - Pours a mirky yellow/orange color...reminds me of a mimosa. Very fizzy champagne-esk head. It quickly vanishes and leaves no lacing whatsoever. The beer looks flat (but isn't at all).

S - Tart lip-puckering sour notes. Sour apples, grapes, oak woodiness. Some sweetness in there as well, but nothing I can pick off the top of my head. Maybe some oranges or sweet cirtus of some kind, not exactly sure here.

T - Sour apples, grapes, oak. The sour and oak notes meld together well. A nice tart finish but not extreme like other examples of this style. I'm really digging this one.

M - Light in body. Nice fizzy carbonation on the palate with a dry/clean finish. Like I've said above, reminds me a lot of a fine champagne (in a good way).

D - Super easy to drink. Light and refreshing. Glad I have more!

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice straw color with a quick to disappear white head.

The aroma was of granny smith apples and hay.

The taste first jumped out as tart apples and peaches and mellowed down to ripe pears and green grapes.The slightly sour flavor made this a perfect beer for a hot summer afternoon.

This beer was almost too drinkable, I overheard other who don't normally drink sours loving this one.

 386 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage Into A Tulip Glass
12.7oz.Bottle Split W/ Another BA

Poured a golden color w/ a minimal ammount of head and no lacing to speak of - appears boring but it was definately not! The nose is of fermenting grapes, citrus fruits, spiced apple juice, and clean no holds barred funk. The taste was of tart/sour citrus obviously and a finish of grapes w/ more funk and slight bitterness in the background. Mouthfeel is very thin and leaves the palate dry and clean. Could without a doubt session this one and the 8.00% ABV is manageable. This one lived up to my expectations and the hype.

 592 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, pale yellow body with an initially large white head, though it soon dissipates. Though, even a modest swirl of the glass easily revives it.

Smell: Pleasantly scented nose of sweetish malts, lightly tart, well-oaked white wine, lavender, funky Brett notes, and with a distinct whiff of Matt's 1978 Gas Line Lemonade.

Taste: Sweet pale maltiness alongside a sharp taste of lemon sherbet with a pop of bright acidity. Thin ripples of lavender. Muscat grapes marinated in white wine and honeydew melon juice laced with subtly funky flourishes of Brett. Zip of spicy oak character. Finishes dry, acidic, and with a final bump of tart fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Rather well carbonated.

Drinkability: Recommended. Cuvee de Castleton is good enough to run laps around most other beers.

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 541 ratings.
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