Castle Lager | South African Breweries plc

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Castle LagerCastle Lager

Brewed by:
South African Breweries plc
South Africa

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2002

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 150
Photo of bark
2.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Colour is pale straw yellow; the compact low white foam sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is very sweet with a distinct note of corn. I found some alcohol and syrup, too.

The taste is very light with notes of adjuncts. The aftertaste is extremely short wit a sweet touch and some alcohol.

The carbonation is pretty strong; medium sized bubbles.

This is probably a typical “tropical” lager: So gulpable that it becomes hard to gulp. There must be better brews to carry from the other side of the world than this one!

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Photo of jarmby1711
1.55/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Mid golden in colour , flat as a shit carters hat and no head .
Smell is close to non exisatent but is vaguely watery.
Taste is much like the smell , there is a bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is not unpleasant which is the biggest plus for this beer.
An eminently forgettable offering from our Southern Hemisphere cousins.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.54/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pils glass. Fizzy white head falls to nothing in a matter of seconds. Dalmation style lacing. Pale yellow body with large sized forced carbonation.

Pale euro malts that are on the sweet side. There is a touch of hop drying. Raw grain bill ends up on the backside. Cleanliness leaves something to be desired. Similar to American Macro's except the malt bill is sweeter and this is not clean or all that crisp and refreshing.

Picked up a single for $1.29. The market of macro lagers is incredibly saturated. Let this one stay on the shelf for someone else. The expiration date on the bottle was for earlier in the year but it showed no signs of death.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.39/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 330ml brown glass bottle, with a neck, obverse and reverse label. The neck label says that the ingredients are “Barley Malt, Maize, Hops and Water”, it also list this brew as alc. 5.0% vol. The shoulder of the neck states ‘Mfg: 18/04/06 – Exp: 18/04/07’, so it is a fresh sample.

Appearance: What I immediately notice is the fact that the super white head is very creamy and forms a rather expansive head on the pour which slowly settles to reveal a crusty iceberg like surface. Nice lacing above the head stays around also. The body though is your archetypal pale golden straw affair, though the clarity of the body with the quality of the head makes for a great looking clean quenching brew that would slake any thirst.

Nose: Nothing much of anything, too clean and far too refined. I honestly could not find anything here except very, very feint hints of grain and a soft sweetness. Completely lacking in aroma rather than having anything off-putting.

Taste: The malts are light, soft grains, low sweetness and a under the radar bitter finish. It has a little of everything, but not much anything, if that makes sense. However, on redeeming feature is the complete lack of any skunky, corny, metallic elements so attributable to these offerings. That at least bolsters a 2.5. It’s hard to get excited about this one but it is clean, and the finish is crisp too boot.

Mouthfeel: The brew exhibited a slight creamy texture when slaked in gulps at first, but closer examination reveals a thin body, one that feels lacking. However, if this one is supped cool whilst partaking of other activities you could be forgiven for “missing” the thin body, but body is there though, or rather isn’t.

Drinkability: A no-brainer beer this one. Nothing at all to detract you, nothing to keep you returning, except for that fact that you’re probably far too busy cutting the grass to “think” about your next brew and will just grab the next Castle from the cooler to keep going. But, this one will keep your thirst in check whilst doing so. An average all-round libation with a decent Drinkability.

Overall: My second SAB beer review and like the Milk Stout I have to admit to finding nothing really wrong or distasteful here, but it certainly does not shine either. True, it wasn’t half as bad as I expected, it’s a crisp easy going brew that drinks fresh with a super thirst quenching ability, clean flavor set and finish. BevMo stiffed me all of $1.69 for the privilege of a single bottle, but I have paid much more for worse brews though.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass the beer pours a clear pale gold color, with about an inch white head. It smells mainly like corn, with a faint skunk smell. It has some malt sweetness in the taste, but mainly it tastes like corn/grain, but it also has a very small sour and bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very light and thin, and also a bit oily. Drinkability is a bit below average. Not a very good beer at all.

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Photo of trevorwideman
2.63/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

450ml can poured into a Pint Glass.

Poured with a 1/4in head that sticks around and leaves a bit of lacing. Farly well-carbonated. Very pale in colour. Smell is definitely soapy with very sweet corn adjuncts in evidence. A slight floweriness, but not much exciting.

Taste has a bit of alcoholic and metallic acidity mixed with a slight nutty malt character. The soapiness is in evidence, as are some earthy hops, but all in all this is a very light tasting lager. Thin and watery in the mouth, overcarbonated with a slight dryness in the finish and a bite on the tongue. Not offensive really, and drinkable in large quantities I'm sure, but not a flavourful beer in the least.

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Photo of fisherman34
2.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Canned sample. Straw gold in colour with high carbonation. Aromas are of sweet pale malt, and a little bit of herbal German noble hop. The flavors are of very lightly toasted grains, minerals, Golden Deliscious applem and a bit of cherry pit. Watery body. Overall, it tastes like a low end European macro pils, but at least it finishes fairly clean and didn’t taste like corn.

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Photo of funkengruven
3.5/5  rDev +40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a very pale yellow with a half inch head that sits nicely on top. Smell is slightly metallic, a little corny, but not awful. This stuff is slightly sweet, a little corny, a slight hint of barley malt. The combination is not disgusting at all like some other adjunct macro brews, This one is actually not too bad. Fairly smooth and pretty easy to drink too.

This is not a compex brew, it doesn't pretend to be, and it doesn't have to be. It's actually pretty good for what it is.

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Photo of ernie
2.66/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright yellow color with orange spark. Medium carbonation, big white head.

Aroma sweetish, like from a fresh-opened can with corn kernels.

Srart creamy, malty, uninspiring. Body medium, rounded, a bit oily, with lots of malt and abovementioned kernels and just a hint of hops. Finish grainy, sweetish. Almost no aftertaste.

Castle used to be a very acceptable and drinkable beer in the beginning of 90s. Not anymore. That's how far the mighty have fallen...

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Photo of hunteraw
2.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Spent the last three weeks in South Africa and had quite a few of these - the most widely distributed beer in SA by far.

Pours with a big head, a wet straw (almost orange tinted) color, some lacing... Cans seem extra heavy in South Africa, almost universally - I kept thinking there was some more left in the bottom.

Aroma is of corn (it's listed as the second ingredient on the label), with a bit of alcohol present too...

Taste isn't anything to write home about. Slightly astringent, bitterness is harsh, a mild malt sweetness. I have to say it grew on me, though, the bottle I had the next day wasn't quite as bad.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, which fits for the style, very thin... I don't think it finishes particularly well either.

Drinkability is low! Not the worst beer I had in South Africa, but close. In my experience, it tasted better out of a bottle, but I don't know how universal that might prove. Windhoek is almost as widely available and much better - if you're in South Africa, I'd suggest choosing it over Castle at every opportunity.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a bright, egg shell white that leaves a film on top of the brew. Color is a bright hay mixed with pale yellows. Some small lacing intermingled.

Smell- A little tinny with some light grainy aromas and cut grass thats been laying in the hot sun too long.

Taste- A little tart bitterness mixed with almost nonexistent malt sweetness. Water, dry hops, and crappy malts. Taste the way my high school gym locker smelled.

Mouthfeel- Tart, tangy, alkaline, but it leaves the palate quickly.

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Photo of BDTyre
2.66/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh.... Looks okay, but smells foul. Tinny, skunky smell with only trace malt sweetness and hop bite. Corn mash hints. They even list "maize" on the ingredients.

Taste is almost as bad. Corn mash, grass and a little bit of malt. Can taste, and an acid overtone. (Maybe that's just because I'm quite parched).

Okay mouthfeel, decent drinkability.

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Photo of Drew966
2.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Castle Lager pours a typical macro yellow with a small fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells like adjunct. Tastes like adjunct and maybe a little bit of malt. Not particularly good. Definitely not worth spending more than you would on an American macro.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.32/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't mind this beer at all, the taste is refreshing, smooth and sharp. A bit sweet. Leaves a nice dry aftertaste.

Does not contain the same chemical-like you get with most popular Macro Lagers and overall better taste..

Appearance, meh, yellow. The smell was a bit sweet and hoppy. An overall solid beer, would recommend.

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Photo of Viggo
1.71/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow/gold, big fluffy white head, some decent lacing and retention. Smell is almost non existant. Some sweet maltiness, little bit of citrus and floral, maybe some vanilla. Doesn't really taste like anything. Little bit of malt, some iron flavour but otherwise completely devoid. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Completely tasteless, but as refreshing as water.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lightly dusted medium gold with a paltry amount of carbonation leading up to a respectable looking off-white head. The cap has some character and sticks around longer than the style average. It doesn't stick to the glass as well as it might, though. This is an average looking beer at best.

The nose is unimpressive. It smells primarily of grain that isn't sun-ripened fresh, nor is it old and musty. It just... is. It also has a pervasive mineralness (hard water?) that is in no way metallic. If the aroma is any guide, Castle Lager will be unappealing on the palate. So far, it's completely devoid of pizzazz.

Unfortunately, this is a worse than the run-of-the-mill macro lager. We've now escaped the realm of lacking in good qualities, to enter the realm of possessing bad qualities. The stale grain flavor that is a major part of many (actual) American macro lagers is in full flower. So much so that I'd have a hard time distinguishing this beer from some of the best sellers from this country.

South African Breweries boasts of using 'sun ripened South African maize'. While that might sound poetic, it doesn't make for good beer. Actually, a little more corny sweetness would help to cut the bland flavor and modest bitterness that is currently boring my taste buds to tears (the better to wash away the watery dreck that I keep flooding them with).

Speaking of watery and lackluster, welcome to the mouthfeel. I've had worse, but not much worse. More bubbles might have given more mouth interest. Then again, they might have simply turned bad beer into fizzy bad beer.

The label contains the words 'the taste that's stood the test of time'. I beg to differ. Castle Lager's taste can't stand up to anything even remotely resembling good beer. It possesses all of the worst characteristics of its style and isn't worth my time, your time or anyone else's time.

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Photo of jayc333
2.4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden yellow with a 3-finger white head. Head vanishes slowly, leaving behind generous lacing. Tiny bubbles rose throughout, and looked very inviting.

Herbal grassy/leafy aroma. Pleasant, ad quite strong.

Dank, metallic taste. Not pleasant at all.

Thin, smooth mouthfeel, with decent carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. Not recommended.

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Photo of UncleFlip
2.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a certian un-named beer distributor for slipping me this bottle and many others. He provides beer, the disappears before he's seen. We'll just call him Happy Beer Elf.

HBE left me this bottle, knowing it was a beer I hadn't tried. I'm happy to have had it, but maybe Happy Beer Elf should go back to the stouts he's left me before.

The appearance isn't much darker than water coming out of the bottle. It looks much like a BMC_ nice and cler and light, with a white foamy head, leaving little to no lace behind.

Smell gets low numbers because it doesn;t really have any. There's just a hint of spiciness and a faint glimmer of hops, but nothing else.

The flavour is sort of like a rounder, fuller BMC, with less edge. There's just a SLIGHT spicines on the back of the tongue, but other than that, it's all typical adjunct lager.

Mouthfeel is all tight carbonation up front, then a medium to thin liquid emerging out of it.

I give it average drinakbilty because it would be easy to pound these down on a hot day, but it would be equally as easy to lose interest in it.

I wouldn't be broken up if I never have this one again (that's the way I feel about just about all the African beers I've had)- but I'm happy to have had the experience. Thanks, Happy Beer Elf!

Be well

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
2.6/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eh. Typical. Smell was decent, with some actual grassy hop aroma being evident. First sip matched well with the expectations created by the aroma. But then the thing completely fell apart. Only the first sip had actual flavor. It was like something in there anesthetized my taste buds and the entire rest of the glass was utterly bland and forgettable. And this was my first beer of the evening.

Won't bother with it again.

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Photo of Sammy
2.23/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nothing to look at, don't smell it, overly carbonated, some malts, drinkable in place of pop on a hot summer night. When I say metallic, that's its best quality.

Honest, I would not have bought it unless there was no beer left in the house and this was it, and I was stuck and thirsty in South Africa. It was a gift from a South African. Of course he bought it at the LCBO where pale lagers reside. I know South Africa can do better (at least a bit)than this.

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Photo of Dogbrick
1.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another country, another non-descript Lager. Pale golden color with tiny bubbles and a thin white head that was gone in the blink of an eye. No lacing apparent. Sweet aroma. Light-bodied with vague sweetcorn and malt flavoring. The finish is short with musty hops. Needless to say I won’t bother getting this again.

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Photo of Toddv29424
2.82/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very interesting, and apparently very popular in South Africa. Pours a traditional golden yellow color with a slight smell of hops. The taste is unique, and has a very pungent first taste with no aftertaste. It starts like a deluge of hops and burnt malt then finishes with lots of water. Great for a BBQ or a time socializing with friends, not necessarily for just sipping.

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Photo of pootz
1.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a pale gold...smallish white cap that dissipates quickly. Lottsa gas in this baby! Nose: well there is none to speak of...light smell of wet paste board like the near-beers. Took a gulp and got a big mouthfull of reeking corn water...that’s all....sink pour for the rest of this do you say "hog faeces" in South African?

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Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 10.14.04. Pours gold with a tiny white head that dissipates quickly. Apples and sweet malt dominate the aroma, although it is very bland smelling. Hoppy start with a mellow bread flavor that finishes off this below average brew. Light and fizzy palate, and somewhat spicy yet sort of drinkable.

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Photo of Zorro
2/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

GAH! I paid $2 for one bottle of this Crap!

Pours a clear urine yellow color with no head.

Smell is a little sour and corny.

Taste is bland corn and a little bit of lemon tartness.

Mouthfeel is THIN.

Drinkable but I can't help thinking I paid 4 times too much for a bottle of Budweiser! Thin mass-produced American beer clone NOT WORTH THE MONEY!

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Castle Lager from South African Breweries plc
2.49 out of 5 based on 150 ratings.
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