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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
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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 541
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 jammalamma
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared from rpstevens- hats off, it's great!
Looks a hazy golden yellow with a thin ring head.

Smell is a smooth chardonnaapple creamy butter scent with a pleasant shadow of bad breath in the back ground- weird I know.

Taste and mouth feel are also very smooth and inviteing. White wine characteristics, soft oak, and a mild sour dry finish. Has a sweetness and gentle bubble as it rolls over the tongue.

Real, real tasty beer- hope to try this one again

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

Pours a clear pale yellow... Nice white head. Pretty wonderful smelling. Lots of grape and spice. Wonderful smelling. Tastes similar. Lots of nice spice. Tart, fruity. Very well balanced. Not too acidic. Well carbonated but a bit thick. Overall one of my favourite sours in terms on balance

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

Pours a light Golden color with about a 1/2 inch small bubble head. Smells like a white wine with the oakiness coming thru. Nice tart sour taste up front with the oaky barrel taste on the finish. Medium mouth feel for this type of beer. Overall very good beer.

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

Another goodie brought out by Dyan for our Graduation Tasting! Very, very appreciated!

A: Very surprised at how light this was. The lightest colored sour I have ever had. Pours a light yellow, almost lemon juice colored with an absolutely white head. Very spritzy and carbonated.

S: The smell on this was incredible. Very, very tart lemon juice, dry oak, lemon soaked white grapes, nice chardonnay and other tart, light fruits.

T: The taste did not hold up to the smell. It was good. Very good, but just did not hold up to the other sours I've had. Like my buddy Deuane mentioned, it tasted like a light lemon spritzer. Great flavor and highly drinkable, just light and not as complex.

Overall, thanks again to Dyan for this excellent sour!

Edit: Had batch 2 and it has really blossomed. The sour funk really picked up and the complexity increased. Great stuff.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

What a wonderful AWA- amazing how the grape has held up.

Aroma is kind of soft- light grape and wine aromas, slightly tart, and hints of violet, cherry, and vanilla

Taste is pure tart and grape. Just lovely. Amazing how much the flavor has held up. Oak barrel character is perfectly balanced with the fruit and tart components.

Great beer. Find it. Enjoy it.

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

Batch 5. Pours a very hazy, slightly murky golden color with a small white head that diminishes to aggressive carbonation bubble almost instantly. Scent is immediately funky with some Brett and sour aroma. Nice white grapes with a lot of lemon and some other citrus fruits. A bit of saison-like peppery aroma as well. Also some sweet, fruit snack aroma. Very good nose on this one. Taste is very tart and sour at first...very lovely chardonnay characteristics. The spices definitely come through in the flavor, which is what I think separates this one from the other American sour wild ales. Stays very tart with each sip, but nice, sweet green and white grape flavor on the back of the tongue. Tingly tart pucker on the tip of the tongue. Lovely oak and white wine flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, puckering at times, and somewhat fizzy. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is a very well-crafted sour wild ale. Drinks like a 5% sour...would never guess it's almost double that. Great complexity and flavor. The spices in it bring together two of my favorite styles swimmingly, saison and wild ale.

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

Poured a clear pale color with a mostly lasted frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy sour, yeasty and wood aroma. Medium body with a smooth oily texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sour flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & sour finish of moderate to long duration. This is a standout beer for style.

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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.

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Photo of cbutova
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks out to Emma for sharing this a little while back. Forgot to enter my notes from the notebook.

Batch 4, shared with good friends.

A- Small snifter pour from the 500ml bottle. Hazy golden bodied with just a small ring of white foam that leaves some nice legs. No true lace as it looks like wine after some time.

S- Super pungent funky lactic bouquet. Lemons and white sour grapes are massive, some cheesy Brett funk and barnyard is strong.

T- Mellows out a bit in a way with some balanced yeasty apple and pear flavors, lactic acid flavor is dominant with lemons and green apple, intense tart fruits. Funky vinous oak seems to round it out but candy sour goodness and some coriander spice.

MF- Dry as all hell with a lighter end Gueuze consistency and body. Silky foamy carbonation at a high end level accentuates the sour tartness that lingers on the palate.

Wow, one of the sourest beers I can think of with some good good funk and nice barnyard. Apple skin, sour grape fruity feel goes a long way with the bugs present.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

Batch 4

A- One finger white bubbly head that dissipates quickly, decent lacing on the sides, nice retention, clear golden straw color, decent carbonation.
S- Really nice, sour, brett, really nice grape skin presence, pears, lemon citrus, white grapes.
T- Wow really smooth as well as puckering, not too puckering though really balanced, nice grape skin taste, brett is present, some green apple, pear, lemon, barnyard funk, slight oak, really tasty and easy drinking.
M- Medium/light mouth feel, decent carbonation, slightly puckering, sour, clean finish.
O- Really impressed with this beer, this is a quality and easy drinking sour, really smooth and tasty.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cuvee de Castleton, Batch #2, courtesy of dkachur, shared at the January C'ville tasting - thanks Dan! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A hazed, pear juice-hued brew with a great foamy spongy white collar and a fizzy, fast-fading head. Carbonation - when visible through the torpid, still body - is bright, fast, and erratic, though I did get the bottom of this bottle on this one. Not too terribly much to say about the this one - it's the least appealing aspect of this beer, as it is with every (or most) sour(s), I suppose.

Aroma: Amazingly complex. Obviously, slight vinegary sourness is evident, but they're not overwhelming or too intense - this doesn't smell like a sourbomb, essentially. The fruit notes are what's most impressive about this one - the obligatory Granny Smith apples are present, but so are Muscat grapes, strong bananas, some sour cherries, and more various tropical fruits than I could try and attempt to name. Nothing about it is too heavy or sharp or striking, and they all meld absolutely beautifully with a moderate amount of wild funk, slight farmhouse, and slight bandaid. An amazingly mature, complex, and well-developed aroma.

Taste: Oh my sweet damn that's good. A strong, sweet spiciness underlies the sourness on this one, adding flourishes of cinnamon to a heavy, fruity base. Smooth citrus, tropical fruits, juicy grapes, tart apples, bananas, and sour cherries meld amazingly with the moderate sourness. The malt base is great, sweet but light, crisp and golden, leaning more towards the sweet side of things (as well as the heavy side of things) than many of the light, crisp, fluffy, barely fruity sourbombs I've had.

Mouthfeel: A slightly thicker base - which makes sense given the attenuation - but with enough carbonation to keep it light, crisp, and only slightly spicy.

Drinkability: An amazing brew, and one I imagine would fill two roles with equal aplomb: it's a good introductory beer in that it's not overwhelmingly sour, is somewhat sweet, and also presents a nice array of fruit notes; but it's also an amazingly complex beer for sourheads, if you like the way the sour quality pronounces the array of weapons available to Brettanomyces. That is, if you want a huge, biting, kick-you-in-the-nuts, vinegar/lactic/acetic bomb, this isn't your beer. This one is full, complex, and runs the gamut of what brewers are (or should be) capable of when Brett. Just truly stellar.

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Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1:
Bright yellow color with quickly receding white head, little lacing. Aroma has lemon, oak, somewhat acidic, pineapple, and some chardonnay. Taste is quite acidic, but full of interesting flavors like oak, lemon, hay, chardonnay, and pineapple. Very dry and light on the palate with fairly high carbonation. A very, very good sour.

Batch 2: Yellow with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing. Oak in the aroma, along with some lemon and other citrus aromas. Not very intense, rather delicate, but interesting and well done. White wine taste, lemon tartness, oak, peaches, and maybe a hint of apricot. Medium carbonation and light body, finish is fairly dry. Not nearly as sour as the first batch, but it has nice flavors and is still a nice sour. 4 - 9 - 9 - 4 - 17 = 4.3

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Photo of Xul
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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 JoeMayo
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4

Definately a little different than previous batches, but still delicious

A- Pours a golden straw color with a quickly fading fluffy white head.

S- Tart, complex, and herbal, much like a gueze. Herbal, hay-like funk with grassy notes and hints of white pepper.

T- Suprisingly different from the aroma. The grapes actually come through in the flavor. Crisp vinous white grapes are in the foreground, while horseblanket, hay, tart apple, funk, white pepper, and a mild grassy flavor are in the background.

M- Crisp and dry (again not unlike a good gueze)

D- Not overwhemingly sour, but a definate sipper.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

330mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to cjo for opening this

Pours a clouded straw yellow with a tuft of white head on top. Retains for a moment before dissolving into some light film, leaving a few patches of lacing on the glass.

Tart and funky in the nose with hints of white wine and grapes. Sour with oak and faint fruity sweetness and barely any notion of alcohol, despite the ABV.

Pretty sour right up front, supported by the muscat grapes with some grape skin hints. Tart and biting with underlying oak tannins. Some straw and funky tones, followed by a dash of sweetness from the fruit. Finishes sour and lingering on the tongue.

Medium body, slightly higher carbonation, dry and bubbly on the tongue. This might be my favorite CL wild ale so far, even though I don't like muscat grapes. Definitely worth it.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky blonde, stark white head that falls back to a fizzly collar.

S: Good lord... the aroma of this beer alone is one of the more amazing experiences I have had. A great acidity that gives it a big green apple aroma, along with a warmer note - just the blend of malts and yeast doing wonderful things together. I get a big aroma of banana as well... an intriguing yeast ester. I spent a solid 5 minutes, at least, sniffing... I went about trying to take a taste and then inhaled and it went on.

T: A little more citrus, and a smoother acidity on the palate. There's a doughy flavour to it, and a touch of perfume - while that may come across as an unpleasant descriptor, it is wonderfully pleasant.

M + D: A little fuller than I would have thought, it sports a nice medium body without the same kind of dryness that many other sours. It's still there, but a lot less vapourous, for lack of better words. Quite a lovely brew, and one I'd most definitely love to smell again.

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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.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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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Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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 kevinv
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally decided to open this. Received this one in a trade sometime last winter from dvelcich - Thanks, Dan!

Batch 4 vintage. Poured into my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A - Pours a bright, hazy golden. About a quarter finger of fizzy white head which quickly fades to a thin rim around the glass. No lacing noted.

S - Very pleasant! The use of muscat grapes is definitely present in the smell. Notes of a sweet white wine. Slightly acidic and funky.

T - Large amounts of white grapes. Chardonnay-like notes. Lightly fruity - lemons and apples. This is very approachable sour as it's only slightly funky and just the right amount of pucker. Spicy oak in the finish. Truly exceptional.

M - Very crisp and sharp. Medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Dry wine like finish.

D - Remarkable drinkability. Like I said before, this is a very approachable sour for those getting interested in the style. Very well rounded and well done. Definitely worth seeking out.

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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.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my man Dyan who hooked up "The Most Epic Fucking Tasting You Wish You Were a Part Of" with both a 750mL of batch 2 and a 375mL of batch 3 that we tasted side-by-side for beers 10 and 11 of the tasting, numbers 1 and 2 of day 2. Needless to say, we got off to a great start!

I will do my best to review both of these masterpiece brews in the same place by listing the properties of batch 2, and then the comparison that I can draw to batch 3. Here goes...

Pours a crisp and clear golden color that gains haze as a bit of sediment tumbles over the lip of the bottle into my glass. Unlike many wilds, the champagne-like bubbles that often cling to the glass are nowhere to be found. Instead, the carbonation shows up only slightly, giving very nice presentation points to this sour.

The batch 2 exhibits a very formidable aroma. I can smell its funk easily 5 feet away. The notable characteristics are mainly some unripened white grapes and a nice sour yeasty character that comes through with very little acidity. The batch 3 brings more apple esters and a more potent lemony citric acid sourness.

On the palate, this beer really comes together. There is incredible depth, and I struggle to pick out every single element to the flavor. White wine grapes dominate, as pear esters come through in the middle. Unlike the smell, the citric acidity comes through here, but it is almost like lemonade, as it is accompanied by a sweetness that immediately checks the sourness as if to make sure that it doesn't get out of hand. The batch 3 by comparison displayed a much funkier sourness, again, contrary to what the nose led on. There were also peach esters that showed face.

Smooth and satisfying sourness on the palate, like lemonade, as I mentioned earlier. This beer is very nicely balanced, as the flavors dance nicely, each one taking its turn in the spotlight. The younger brother was a bit rougher around the edges and less mellow, with every signal pointing to an incredible maturation to come over the next few years.

Batch 4 10/2/10
4/4.5/3.5/3.5/4
Slightly hazy, peach colored. No head, no lacing to speak of.

Aromas of lemon, peach, strawberry, honey, some sourness, still very light at this point, and tanninc notes that are very strong. The flavor is light and citrusy, with some good funk and sourness, but it really needs some time to evolve and mature.

This will come around, but it isn't there yet.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Richard for sharing this bottle from Batch 4. One of my favorite sours that I have never seemed to getting around to reviewing.

A: The pour is a cloudy straw color with a large white head that dies down to a thin white layer relatively quickly.

S: A wonderful bright acidity to the nose with notes of lemon, green apple, and the muscat grapes used in this beer. Quite a vinous quality to the beer which I really enjoy.

T: A moderate funky quality to the beer that is of the wet oak and must. The sourness is primarily lactic without any real acetic notes. The lemon and green apple character accentuates the white muscat grapes wonderfully, which provide a touch of sweetness.

M: The body is on the light end of medium with a lively carbonation and a pleasantly dry finish.

D: One of my all time favorite sour beers and one that I wish I could drink all the time. Just a great beer that I look forward to at every release.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden body, low carbonation, low to no lacing and stickiness.

Tannins of white grapes, sweetness from them. It's fructose and citric acid bite. Light woody nature, the oak is there for sure. It's so funky egg shell and bright with acidity.

Bright grapeskin tannins, woody bite, popsicle sticks and bits of vanilla memory. The acidity is citric and lactic with no acetic. The grapes give off a white wine nature.

Smooth, light, crisp back end, wheated middle. Very creamy center. The acidity is nice bittering in the middle to back end. Puckering lightly.

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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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