Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton
BA SCORE
4.37/5
Outstanding
562 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:
#395
Reviews:
228
Ratings:
562
pDev:
8.7%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
987
Gots:
109
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 562 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:

Tonight I am pulling out my favorite glass in the cabinet, my Dogfish Head goblet which I am finding out that I need to try and buy more of these since I'm always washing and using this one. As I pulled the short bottle out of the fridge I took a glance at the classy light blue and ornate writing which reminds me of a mini fine champagne bottle. As I pulled off the cap everything seemed to go picture perfect and a beautiful loud hiss came from the neck and the carbonation gasses lingered around the mouth's bottle. On the pour I decided to go slowly and give slight tilt to my glass trying to not create a overflowing head while not pouring out the yeast dregs on the bottom. When I was finished I was left with a slim half inch thick bone white head that hung around the whole time and had tiny champagne like bubble floating up from the bottom. This beauty is a deep golden hay like color that is absolutely clear with some lemon and golden apple undertones. Bright and sunny with no haze or yeast floating around this is just perfect and when I give a slight swirl the viscosity appears to be pretty light only leaving some little legs crawling down the glass walls.

Smell:

Right out of the gate, this has powerful citrus and lemon notes surrounded by slight sweetness and acidity. Very floral perfume like aromas are surrounding all of the fruit and acid which really balances this very nicely. Slight hay and barnyard funk is there as well, almost reminds me of my moms old musty basement but in a warming familiar way. In the finish, loads of white grapes and apricots tingle your nostrils and resemble a Pinot Grigio wine.

Taste:

This is an aggressive start to a sour beer! Very mouth puckering and full of acid but the grapes really are the major component here. Vinous and sweet-tart like with lots of citrus and wood and slight vanilla undertones. Funk beyond belief and almost hard to describe, its amazing what those brett bugs can do to a well crafted base beer. Green apples, and slight vinegar round out the middle and balance out some of the cloying sweetness. In the finish, almost a slight burn of the lemon like acid hits my throat and reminds me that I got a whole glass left of this delicious punishment to my esophagus.

Drinkability:

What can I say, this was a stellar beer and I am sad to see it go. This was big and bold yet so complex with lots of flavors going on that are stellar. As I drank this to the end my palate became a little shot from all the acid but it was worth every last drop. I only had a tiny sip of this last time at a tasting and was hoping another one would find its way to me again and thankfully it did. I would highly recommend this beer to any sour head out there and if you can find it or trade for it I'd say jump on the deal ASAP. Thanks again to Chris for hooking me up and I hope we can work out something again soon

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.54/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color with an appearance similar to Champagne. Bubbles are quickly streaming up the glass and popping on top with no head except a thin fizz that disappears completely.

Aroma is full of tart fruits, including white grape skins and green apples. There is a slight oaky wood aroma to round it out, but I still found it a bit one-dimensional.

Flavor is tart with a tight, effervescent profile. The sourness is gentle at this point, reminding me of under ripe fruit. It could dry out a bit, as the fruit profile seems almost artificial. It's as if grape juice was added to the beer, rather than being an integral component.

Not one of my favorite pale sours, but it may be better after more time in the cellar.

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Photo of corby112
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Batch 2 750ml. Thanks to onix1ager.

Pour a slightly hazy golden yellowish orange color with a thin half finger white head that immediately fades into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing. Visible carbonation.

Earthy funk aroma with lots of bretty effervescence, barnyard mustiness, oak and light fruit notes.

Slightly puckering with a nice amount of light tart sourness that isn't overpowering or acidic at all. Earthy and funky with lots of dry brett, earthy oak and a surprisingly prominent light fruit presence. Slightly vinous with hints of light grape, apple and pear. The fruit is very prominent and adds complexity and a sweetness that balances out the sourness/funk. The combination of balance and light funk make this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of Axic10
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled thanks to some generosity at Capone's (not sure who poured this but thanks!).

Appearance: Hazy golden with no head.

Smell: Nice sour funky aroma. Very tart lemony and earthy nose.

Taste: Very acidic and sour. Nice flavors of grape, funky Brett and even some oak.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and dry.

Drinkability: I was very lucky to get to try this one here. I was impressed with the overall sourness and it really was a great beer. I would definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed on: 01-07-2009

Batch 2, 750ml bottle at 50 degrees.

Pours pale gold with a light fog and a quickly fizzling white head. Zero lacework and a placid surface within seconds of pouring.

Aromatics lead off with a hint of Brett from arms length immediately as the glass is poured. Closer examination reveals lemon-spritzed wet hay, dried pinapples, grapefruit pulp, and white grapeskins. Soured apples, sherry-soaked apricots, and wet cat follow through with a hint of cheese rind.

Light bodied with a razor-sharp crispness and a drying, tart mouthfeel.

Lemon pith, grape must, acid-spiked grapefruit, and oaky tannins start the palate. Grassy and catty sour notes quickly step forward along with hints of juniper, Sherry vinegar, and sharp minerals.

Finishes with a peppery warmth, lingering lemon-infused acid, and tart funk.

Very tasty. Plenty sour with a boatload of Brett. Bone-dry with plenty of lively carbonation and a sharp as nails tartness.

Revisit 12/4/10

375ml bottle, batch 4, vintage 2010.

This bottle had a pellicle that formed in the neck which made me quite curious. Opening the bottle there was barely a whisp of carbonation and the brew poured completely flat with the white flakes of pellicle floating in suspension. Clear light gold otherwise.

Aromatics are very wine-like and funky. Crisp Chardonnay character with sour apples, pineapples, wet goat, and lemon pith.

Light bodied with a flat but crisp mouthfeel. Fairly sharp but I'm missing the lively carbonation of previous vintages.

Grapeskins, acid-spiked pineapple, vineous tannins, and tart apples lead off the palate. Oaky undertones and sour fruit pith follow through along with hints of cider vinegar and lemon seeds.

Finishes with a lingering, drying, crisp tartness, soured citrus, apples, and tannic grape.

Still a great beer, albeit flat.

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Photo of hawks10
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml green bottle - Batch 4 - Poured into a tulip...

Pours a bright golden orange color with one finger of very spritzy, fine white head, which recedes to nothingness very quickly. What is left is a still looking beer, similar to Indian Summer Apple Juice (my favorite). I don't like when beers look still...

Smell is initially tart and lemony. White grapes add some sweetness and makes this beer resemble sparking grape juice/champagne. Though no champagne I ever smelled has the subtle nuances this beer has. Lots of barnyard funk, the brett is very apparent here. Musty and dry with hints of oak. Very nice smelling beer, complex and balanced, bright and tart...

Tart and dry to start. Very dry, lemony with loads of white grapes, they add some sweetness and champagne/white wine-like characteristics. Dusty and musty, brett really shows through, as do some hints of oak. Tasty beer, tart and refreshing, funky and complex, but balanced and highly drinkable...

Medium bodied with low, but spritzy carbonation. Tart, not quite puckering, but a good level of astringent tartness. Finishes dry, making you want more...

Pretty good beer, gonna hang on to my other bottle for a while and see what this one is like with some age on it...

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Photo of Habmike
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml batch 4

Very little head, just a small white ring around the edge. Light sunshine yellow thats just not completely glowing but still looks very nice at that.

Funky brett with a spicy lemon and herbal aroma. Some oak and acidity.

Funky tart with a citrus snap of herbal spicyness and grape flavor. Excellent depth and complexity but definitely some notes of cat piss as well.

Medium mouth with perfect carbonation for the age.

Pretty great drinkability but not too outrageous. I could drink the 375ml alone but I'd probably rather share it with someone.

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Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375 mL courtesy of mikereaser, thanks for this gem Mike! Pours a clear gold color with a bubbly white head. Fades fast to a collar, very little lace.

Nose is wonderful...vinous, lavender and buttery chardonnay poke through a sourness and brettanomyces-laced aroma.

Very wine-like on the flavor with equal parts lactic acid and funky brett. Not a whole lot going on in the malt department, maybe a touch of grain. I cant tell which has a bigger influence: the muscat grapes or wine barrels (chardonnay or pinot grigio?). Very delicate beer, so light but yet packs a nice sour and funky punch. This one seems like it would develop over the next few years nicely.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow color with an audible popping from the carbination that fades after a few seconds, leaving no head or lacing.
Aroma contains a complex but faint weave of light fruits such as Pear, White Grapes, funk, oak, and earthy raw nuts.
Once you tip your glass back is when the Lemon takes over. There is a big lemon slice note that is accented by granny smith apples and kiwi. Some of the funk and oak comes through here also.
This one has that desireable tartness but it isn't one of the strongest in terms of sour, just a moderate clean finishing Wild Ale.

This bottle was split between my Wife and Myself, repeatedly poured into 3oz snifters, over the course of 30min.

A great beer, wish i was able to get it often. But that is how it goes living in the midwest and liking sours.

Chad

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Photo of dougofthefuture
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 4

A. Pours a very clear yellow-orange. Just a few shades darker than many white wines. A fizzy head on a hard pour quickly dissipates, but plenty of carbonation remains present.

S. This is off the charts - oak, balanced funk, plenty of sweet white wine-like grape character. Very bright. Very balanced.

T&M. The first sip is surprisingly tart. The brett has dried out this beer quite a lot. As I adjust to the sourness, I can slowly start to pick out more flavors - oak first, then the sweet grapes from the nose. Plenty of alcohol burn on the finish (I expect this will mellow with age). Just a bit of lingering funk. The body is really nice here - approaching a dry champagne spritziness.

D. This is a sipper, but the more I sip, the more it opens up. I'm really liking this, but I think I'll like it even more with age. I'll be seeking these out, and then trying to forget about them.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle received from Cuzco, excited to finally try this CL beer. The label states it is a "combination of Belgian style Pale Ale which has been refermented 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".

The bottle isn't corked like I expected it to be, just a standard cap. Poured into my new Cantillon "wine glass", it starts with a clear golden color and has nearly no head, just a ring of bubbles. Subsequent pours add some haziness from sediment.

It smells really good, brettanomyces funk and grapes, the sum effect is excellent. I don't get any spice in the nose, although the bottom of the label says there are some added, mostly a strong musty wild ale character with some white wine.

The grapes really come through in the flavor, not quite just accenting the funk but actually providing a good percentage of the overall taste. Tart and sour, lemons and white wine, barnyard character throughout, I really like this beer.

Dry, light bodied exceptional all around. Easy drinking, I could definitely go for a 750ml bottle, no problem.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - It looks like a yellow, semi-still, and somewhat hazy Gueuze. It looks potent, if not impressive.

S - Wow. That is always a good way to start, with a 'wow'. Tart pineapple and assorted tropical golden fruit bombard the olfactory. As it opens up, deep funky notes of wet wood, sulfur, and lactic-sour become apparent. This is exactly how I like my sour/tart/wild beer. Interestingly, I don't pick up on any specific white grape notes; it is more tropical and tart than vinous.

T - Extrapolate the sensations of the olfactory to the gustatory, and there you have it. No more, no less. It is very dry, semi-tart (but not way-out-there), with complex fruitiness, a tremendous subtlety and it is just so impressively sublime.

M - Champagne could do no better.

D - Drinkable as it gets. An absolute pleasure.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to both bmanning and Azurelimits for opening these.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is light gold with a white head and a bit of lacing. Nose brings grapes, oak, slight spice, and a nice sourness. Taste is sour but not overdone. Balances well with the fruit and oak presence. Good sour feel with a nice body. Perhaps my favorite sour from them.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy golden yellow with a big, short lived whitish head. Tons of lacing.

S - Sweet candy-like pilsner malts, tropical fruits (pineapples and more), big funky barnyard. Light acidic tartness.

F/M - Huge funky barnyard, medium acidic tartness. Sweet malts and tons of tropical fruits (pineapples and mangoes) and a little bit of a white grape flavor. Low bitterness, medium body and moderately high carbonation. Clean dry finish.

D - Great. This is an excellent beer, world class for sure. Dry, fruity, funky, sour, flavorful and very well balanced.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright straw yellow almost perfectly clear but for the strong bubbles trying to get to the top. Smell of strong horseblanket brett with some battery acidic smells, belgian malt and some spicey belgian golden ale aromas.

Taste of delicious golden ale spiked with a brett tonic of strong horseblanket twang and acid. All delicious to me , probably not to anybody who does not like wild ales. Tastes so refreshing out of the bottle at cold temperatures that it is tempting to just drink it all at once at whatever temperature it happened to be when you opened it. Fortunately, I was patient as this only comes around once a year and is hard to acquire at that. As it warms up, the grapes really become more prevalent, mixing with oak, and lightly caramelized sugars. The finish is dry and not unlike one that you would get from a good bottle of champagne, finishing with a nice little bitter twang on the end of your tongue.
If only this were released more often... Highly Recommended

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy yellowish color with a fairly nice foamy white head. Smells flowery and slightly funky. Taste includes citrus and grape notes, mild pepper, a tart acid/oak tannin back. This is puckering and dry on the finish with a really nice faint lemon essence. Overall, a wonderful wild ale and so glad to have tried it.

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Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of Xul
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 4. Thanks for SMason and SneezyAchew for hooking this up in trade!

A: Pours a translucent golden/straw color, capped by a finger of fizzy white head. Retention is poor as it recedes quickly, leaving some light foam at the edges of the top.

S: Moderate barnyard funk up front, followed by some musty grapes and light lactic quality. Green apples, peaches and lots of citrus. Oak shows around the edge in the form of vanilla but isn't overdone.

T: Starts with a touch of oaky vanilla before some moderate lactic acidity comes in with a big citrus quality. Some musty funk and light fruits - green apples and a vinous character - come in late along with more lemon zest and acidity. Finish of lactic citrus and light vanilla.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation, feels a touch too heavy.

D: Ridiculously drinkable for the style and ABV.

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Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.. batch 4

Pours a beautiful golden color with a lively carbonation, quickly settles out to leave no head. Aroma is full of musty sweat and tart phenols, the brett is really is in its glory here. Initial flavor is of tart green apples and oak quickly followed by a puckering tartness but not overtly sour. A nice mouthfeel that is light but not thin that provides a solid platform for the flavor to stand. I could drink quite a few glasses of this, sadly a 375ml will have to suffice. I look forward to this release every year, great stuff.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79 at my place last weekend. Thanks Dan!

Batch 4

A: The beer is a golden hue, which comes as no surprise as this is labeled as a golden ale. There is a white, bubbly head that fizzes away almost immediately after pouring. The beer is mostly clear, with only a slight haze.

S: Apples, grapes, funk, wild yeast, oak,wine, tart fruits.

T: A really delicious sour ale. Apples, grapes and pears balance well with notes of oak and a prominent wild yeast component. There is a tannic presence as well, reminiscent of a fine French sauvignon blanc. Well done.

M: Very tart. Nice feel with a fairly low carbonation level. Alcohol hidden pretty well.

D: A delectable treat. I hope I have the pleasure of indulging in this fine beverage again in the near future. It would be worth driving to the release and waiting in line to obtain this.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/25/10 notes. Brought to a small tasting; bottle is a Batch 4.

a - Pours a clear golden color with light carbonation evident and one inch of white head.

s - Smells of sour fruit, grapes, wine, oak, brett, and spices. Nice and sour, but not overally funky.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, grapes, tart lemon and citrus, spice, oak, and brett.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a really nice sour. It's quite light and easy to drink for a sour, which I enjoyed. It has some sour, tart fruit and brett in the smell and taste, but isn't lip puckering. I liked it a lot and look forward to drinking my other bottles of it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Five years ago, if you told someone that you were drinking a Belgian-style Golden Ale fermented with grapes and aged in oak barrels with a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces they would think you were from Mars. Today it is the cutting edge and all the rage. That is where Captain Lawrence is too, batch #2.

Champagne-like frothing, and more or less dissipates the same way. The clarity has dropped bright to show off the pale yellow color. The aroma ranges from barnyard to overripe fruit, mild wood tannin to a sour twang. A big aroma to say the least. Pungent sip to sip, but the taste buds do dull a bit as they become accustomed to the sour twang and chaotic medicinal/barnyard flavor from the Brett. Maltiness dials in strong enough to plant a solid tone of barley flavor. Hops? They are more or less staying out of this chaos, though they do pop out with the mild breath of alcohol real quick. The sourness drops out and leaves the mild oak and residual dry malt flavor to keep it going. Bone-dry finish.

Sure, Brett is a "love it or hate it" trait, though if you do love it this beer is without a doubt for you, and worth seeking out ... good luck, as only a small amount of cases are released each year.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375 ml bottle

App- Straw colored with very minimal head. White lacing.

Sm- Muscat and oakiness. Reminds me of a Chardonnay. Citric tang wafting in.

Ta- Beautiful balance. The sweetness of the grapes and malts blends beautifully with the lactic tang. Finishes dry.

MF- Minimal carbonation. Very nice. Lactic mouthcoat, but the dryness laves you wanting to take another sip.

Dr- Absolutely wonderful. Competes with the Belgian sours. Wish there was a slight bit more complexity, but eh balance here is amazing.

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 562 ratings
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