johnadam2002 (529) - Hainesport, New Jersey, USA - AUG 14, 2007
Poured hazy yellow with an orange tint. It had a bubbly white that left rather quickly. A ton of fruit in the aroma. Flavors of grapes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Not as sour as the La Folie that I had but pretty sour. Very nice and refreshing. This is one brew that I wish I had an endless supply of. A very well made sour. GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 31, 2008
Cloudy yellow color. Grapes, sour grapefruit and vanilla flavors are the most prominent with the Sour Patch Kid pucker-up goodness. This is my perfect beer... BillZav (22) - Sarasota, Florida, USA - JAN 16, 2011
Pours a golden orange color, with considerable notes of Brettanomyces yeast and Muscat grapes complimented by malted barley. Cuvee De Castleton has a buttery Chardonnay like character from being aged in French oak barrels.
http://www.billysbeerblog.com/2010/12/epic/ tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - MAR 27, 2008
UPDATED: NOV 11, 2010 Sweet Jesus! Finally! I’ve been trying to get my hands on this one for a while. It is every bit as good as I had hoped.
blklab2007 (2120) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Heavenly aroma. Tart, fruity and funky all at once. The brett is beautiful. Pineapple, white grape skin, new oak. Absolutely intoxicating aroma. Pours a bright, cloudy yellow with a thin ring of a white head. Loads of bretty tartness on the palate. Quite crisp and refreshing. Almost gueuze-like in it’s funk, but not as intense. Lemon zest, lots and lots of white grape skin, oak tannin... there’s enough of a malty base, though that holds down the funk. Lively and vibrant on the tongue. Mildly tart and acidic finish with some lemon zest sourness that lasts forever... Insanely drinkable for how massively complex this beer is. Top notch and superb all the way! Thank you ever so much for your wonderful generosity Ken!
Re-rate. 10/11/08 Everything about this beer is magical and transcendent. It’s radiant and glowing color. The beautifully tart, funky and insanely complex aroma. The taste sends goosebumbs up and down my spine. Wickedly complex and utterly drinkable. Everything... malt, yeast, hops, barrel... is in perfect harmony. Ripe and prickly mouth feel with a finish that goes on forever. I can’t see how beer can possibly get better than this. A true experience for the senses. Truly a masterpiece.
March 09 batch 2. Less acidic. Less barrel and a much flabbier and less snappy body. Lacks the vibrancy of batch 1 and other batch 2’s. Hmmm...
May 09 batch 2. The last 2 bottles I’ve opened have been a bit "off" but this last one is back... spot on! Amazing acidity and seems to be drying out quite a bit. Full mouthfeel and a wonderfully lengthy finish. Can’t wait for batch three!
Another Batch 2 May 09. Out of a cardboard cup in Northern Minnesota while camping with the family. Still insanely delicious. Getting more and more tart the longer the bottles age.
Unfortunately, have to dock it .1 because some (not all, and not that many) of the batch 3 and batch 4s have been a ***bit*** off. Slightly flabby mouthfeel, musty nose and lacking the amazing zestiness and crispness of "on" bottles. Still amazing, but consistent bottles are a must for a perfect 5.
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2009 batch 3 bottle the same stellar beer! wonderful aroma that has a little less of the sweet grape but more funk and sourness. leans a little more dry but waters the mouth with amazing flavors. still fantastic for me and the carbonation is spot on.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 25, 2007
750 bottle batch#2 picked up fresh today at the release. poured a slightly hazed yellow golden color with small bubbles of light carbonation when swished in the glass. aroma has plenty of horse blanket, sour white grapes, underlying citrus peels, dry white wine, and a touch of wood and wine from the barrels. simply unbelievable what the wood and brett does to this one. mouth feel is smooth and light with just enough carbonation to push it across. flavor shows off the white grapes up against the sourness from the brett, oak lies in the background, light spices, horse blanket, touch of citrus, and an almost creamy richness. this pulls the taste in so many directions, sweet, sour, and dry. finish goes dry with a lingering white grape and sour punch. this is so well balanced and drinkable. i have to admit i drank the first bottle of the four all to myself.
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2007 The only real disappointment with my trip to Captain Lawrence was the fact that they were out of this wonderful, yet very rare beer. Supposedly this wasn’t even distributed - only available at the brewery and "accidentally" sent to Lazy Boy in White Plains. So I made the trip, and despite having to consume on premises, I managed to get one of the last available bottles. The appearance is a yellowish-fizzy color (poured into a Duvel glass). The aroma is captivating - A wonderful sour-tart mix of grape, lemon, lime, Brett - one of the best smelling beers ever. The taste has lots of tart citrus upfront, but mellows and goes down quite smoothly - citrus, sour/sugary flavors, wood, and Brett dominate this bad boy. Wonderful mouthfeel. Truly an experience - maybe I’ll be able to snag another one someday...........7/2/07 - Whaddayaknow - I end up in NYC at Blind Tiger and manage to find another bottle. Still amazing, what a beer. If only this was Philly, I could have brought this one home for aging. Maybe next time. Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JUL 4, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2008 New rating, Jan 13, 2008: Had a bottle last night (after having the beer first in June, I think), next to to other muscat grape beers, blind to which was which (a newer Vigneronne and a DFH Midas Touch). The Castleton was a virtual volcano, seethingly, weirdly luminescent; just a thick bubbling, organic and volatile example of a beer.
The sheer amount of bugs in this beer is incredible - it ups Mo’ Betta Bretta by several notches in the stringy, pineapple Brett department. The huge grape/peach fruitiness is still there (in my opinion, contrary to recent reports of its demise) with earthy, funky Chardonnay notes, and the beer is just jam packed with ingredients. Grapefruit finish as many have noted, but I just don’t get the complaints of unidimensional sourness.
Mostly, though, the beer is just a different animal altogether. There are not many beers like it that I have encountered in the past six years, if any, really. I guess I can see a complaint that it is too "engineered" or something like that, a big science experiment, but I feel the exact opposite, that you don’t know what it is going to show you. Phenomenal beer. I wondered last night what the GABF judges who were faced with this beer were thinking...
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
Original rating, 4.5, July 4th: In the I’m Not Worthy pack from willblake. Let me just say I see what the fuss is about, and the only thing this beer needs to be absolutely perfect is time. Glowing golden, unbelievably intense in the orangey gold. Why, oh why, wasn’t there a bunch of bottles made of this? Right now, this young, all the flavor components are separable - you have a ton of fruit, coming out here as ripe peaches and apricot (I wouldn’t have guessed muscat grape if blind), intense but unidentifiable spice (perhaps a bit of the spiciness of grains of paradise) and serious brett stank - and I mean stank. Barnyard stank. You drink it and it comes together in your mouth. It is a bit sweet and fruitier than I supposed but yet totally natural, and not fatiguing. If this beer could settle in the cellar for a year and get all melded together it would be among the finest beers I have ever had. Aroma curls your nostrils with the fresh hay, spice and peach, and diaper. Again, wow, and huge thanks to Jon.
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2008 Shared at tasting with fordest and toncatcher. Thanks toncatcher for a great beer. This style has become one of my favorites. Lots of sour grapes, and vinard aromas. Sour pucker type flavors. Like biting into a lemon. Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - JUN 12, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 3, 2011 Bottle sampled at blind tiger with BrianK. This was the first time that i truely enjoyed drinking a sour ale. A light yellow with darker hues and a light head. Aroma is sour grapes, oak, acidity in your nostrals, light fruit lemony citrus. Has a dry mouth puckering sourness that is reminicent of apples and grapes, woodiness in the flavor helps to balance this one out. A very enjoyable sour, i cant wait to have batch 2. 4.3
Batch 3 is getting better and better. 4.4
Somehow i’ve got to sample 3 bottles of the Batch 1 already in 2011 and i have to say its freaking stellar. Bumping this up big 4.7-4.8 (For batch 1). Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 31, 2008
Batch 1, aged about 1.5 years. Courtesy Morgan from Great Orlando Beer Festival.
Holy Mother is this beer fantastic! The body is a cloudy, glowing, yellowish-tangerine color. A tiny white cap of foam recedes quickly to a swirly film, minimal, spotty lacing marking the glass. Tiny, effervescing streams of micro-bubbles pool into the surface of what otherwise might resemble some sort of tropical fruit punch.
This might very well be the best smelling beer I have ever come across. Fresh, tart, citric grapefruits, both ruby red and standard white varieties, take center stage. Ascorbic lemon enters the fold, followed by tart peach, sweet mango, and hints of orange peel. Signature French oak and mildly funky, wild yeast finish off the nose, which ultimately comes off as a beautiful hybrid of tropical Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and sour ale.
It’s hard to imagine a flavor that could match the sweet symphony of aromas that this beauty emits, but this one achieves it. Somehow, puckering tartness and fruity, tropical sweetness strike a perfect balance. There’s so much funky fruit going on here, it’s hard to take it all in. Sour grapefruit, sweet-tart peach, mango, Muscat grapes, and perhaps even some pineapple all shine. The barrel influence is just right, imparting a very wine-like feel to the end product, while the wild, funky yeast lets you know it is ale.
Ultra-fine, Champagne-like carbonation tickles the tongue ever so gently after each breathtaking sip. The light, vinous body is so refreshing, it is incredible. Dry, ascorbic, puckering and soft, this simply begs to be drunk.
Quite simply put, this beer is world-class. Period. Point blank. WORLD CLASS. Easily one of the best ales I have ever laid nose or lip to. I can hear Batch 2 calling out to me from the cellar, tempting me, daring me to drink it. It is taking every ounce of restraint I can muster to wait for the right time to crack that bad boy open.