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Cuvee De Castleton | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class
225 Reviews
Cuvee De CastletonCuvee De Castleton
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States | website

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:
225
Ratings:
534
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,005
Gots:
104
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 534
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
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 -0.2%
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 +3.2%
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 +2.1%
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%
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 -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
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 +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 6DaysBottomOcean
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +2.1%
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 +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 BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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 +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 BTPete
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of BATCH 3 consumed on 5/19 by myself :) to tulip.

A: Clear golden yellow with no head. Some bubbles in the glass.

S: Funky white wine and light fruit. Some mustiness below the fruit. Funkier than the flaming fury I had before it seems.

T: Smoother than I had remembered from my other tastes. Not overly funky or sour in my mouth. Pretty vinous overall but nothing really taking center stage for me.

M: Medium bodied, low carb.

D: Smooth and drinkable. Not overly sour and for myself would have preferred a little more carbonation but highly drinkable regardless.

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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 JAXSON
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light hazy gold, large head that makes a lot of noise and dies really quickly, leaving nary a wisp behind. Nose is first of brett, champagne yeast, and some vague sparkling light fruits. There's a burst of white grape, it's definitely that and it's really developed, one of the strongest fruit characters in any beer I've had. The oak is really nice and subtle, perfectly dry. Prickly mouthfeel. The finish is ridiculously long -- on an aside I went to the release and had a single sip out of a glass there, and I literally could still taste the flavor evolving 20 minutes into the car ride home. Really a pefect, wonderful sour character, not overly so, but really elegant and refined. Bright, clean, crisp, really awesome.

****Had a few bottles of this since the initial rating, and the score has receded a bit. The grapes come across a bit too much at times and that effervescent sparkling quality isn't really there anymore. batch 2 has been my favorite. GO BACK TO THE 750ML BOTTLES FOR THIS!

****Second edit, this time reviewed from a 750ml batch 1 bottle, consumed March 2011. Just going to highlight some of the differences here. Carbonation is particularly high on this. Nose is lots of oak, brett, and a bright tropical fruit note. Flavor is awesome -- reminds me of later batches in a way, especially batch two with that really funky wet sock brett, but this has tons of lime acidity and kind of a pineapple tropical fruit to it. All about the acids here. Works wonderfully. So bright and well integrated, definitely the best batch.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to alcstradamus for another amazing brew.

375mL poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a pale straw yellow with a nice haze to it. Absolutely no head on the beer. With no head comes no lacing left behind.

S- A little bit of Belgian yeast and some wild yeast as well. Sour grapes, almost liken to a sparkling wine, which makes sense after reading the bottle.

T- More of a subdued flavor than the nose. The Belgian yeast is present and the grapes are barely even noticeable. A little bit of lemon zest round this one out.

M- Lighter bodied, dry on the finish and not very much carbonation. I was hoping this would be a little more crisp.

D- Decent body but not too complex. The flavors aren't very deep or pronounced and not really all that sour.

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Photo of abecall98
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple of these bottles in a trade.

A - pours a bright pale yellow. Very nice head white and sticky. The beer looks inviting.

S - oh man, funk. Smells like rotted lemons, but in a good way. Lemony too.

T - funky. Brett comes through, tastes like lemon peel inside of a locker room. It's very tart from the middle of the taste. Dryness is at the end with more lemon peel.

M - it's perfectly carbonated. It's creamy and dry at the same time. Love it.

D - for a sour, it's not over powering or offputting. The abv is well hidden and the tanginess keeps you at bay with more desire.

O - I like this sour. Glad I have another bottle.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into my De Struise glass. Batch 4...A light honey gold pour, decent carbonation at first but falls quickly with very light lacing...The aroma is pretty nice, Brute lite; acidic but lightly bready, small oak notes, white wine (sauvigon blanc) characteristics (light grass)...The taste is a bit of let down, displays too many of the white wine qualities in taste and feel. The more you drink the more vinous it gets, more oak and light feeling wine pour through. Weird alcohol finish, but pretty flat.

Huge start, sorry finish, not worth trading much to get.

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4.

A-Pours a clear yellow gold with a little bit of fizzy white head that does not last.

S-Strong aromas of white chardonnay grapes, stone fruit and some funk.

T-Delicious. Lots of good chardonnay notes in the front, with a very strong underlying dose of oak. Some bitterness in the finish and some very mild sourness.

M-Light to medium bodied, very dry.

D-Very approachable, great fruit and moderate sourness make this a sessionable sort of beer...if I only had more than one to drink.

HV

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. Batch #4.

Yet again, another great beer provided by alcstradamus. Thank you sir!

A - Lightly hazy golden yellow color with absolutely no head. No ring or anything. Fair looking for a wild ale I suppose.

S - White grapes are almost elevating this beer to a white wine level of aroma. Light notes of a light type of wood comes through. Soft and delicate with a mild wild aroma. Smooth horse blanket.

T - Yep, a lot of white grape flavor and soft wood from barrel-aging come through. This is very white-wine like until the delicate wild flavor kicks in. Decent level of barnyard that blends nicely with the wine-like flavor profile.

M - Soft and light sourness with a tart finish and medium-bodied. Smooth texture with a good carbonation finish.

D - Good beer with good flavor and profile. I like the wine components to this wild beer. Nice drinkabiliy as well.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another epic beer cracked by Adam. You are a fucking pimp.

A: cloudy golden yellow no head no lace

S: sharp lactic sour, lots of tart fruits like green apples and lemons moderate sweetness for some balance

T: sourness is mild, light sweetness seems to mellow this one out, nothing really stands out sort of one dimensional

M: Light dry body modest carbonation

D: good not great, glad I got the chance to try it, now I know not to hunt for it

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Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch 3. Pours a beautiful clear golden yellow color with little effervescence and surpisingly very little head into my small tulip glass. The aroma I get from this is sweet grapes, funk, and sourness. The initial taste is very good. The light carbonation dances in your mouth and is tart and sweet at the same time. Notes of apricot come to mind. The ending is very reminiscent of a white wine. Rethink my definition of beer? Yes, indeed. I recall first getting into craft beer and experiencing sours and they were no where near what I thought beers could be. This is a great style and a great beer. CL does a great job with this one! Light mouthfeel.

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

Batch 4, Fresh-ish.

Pours a cloudy straw yellow mixed with mandarin orange color into a Duvel Tulip. One finger eggshell white head fades into a collar of thin bubbles quite quickly.

Smell has perfume, sour apple, white grape and white peach mostly with some pear and lime as well with an undeterminable funky smell.

Taste is more of the same, sour grapes sour apples are dominant with a white wine like character as it fades. The sourness stays for a while.

Mouthfeel is light with a relatively dry finish.

Drinkable but not too drinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Cuvee De Castleton from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.
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