It is on this wonderful note and another personal favorite brew of mine that we are officially live here at Tasteful Brews (an unfortunate acronym). I gave a quick little online poll earlier to see what I would be cracking tonight and although turnout wasn’t great, I did get an answer.
Batch #4 of Captain Lawrence‘s Cuvee De Castleton. While this beer with 2+ years is so stunning you may forget yourself, in lieu of breaking up my vertical (I need batch#1 if anyone has it.), I cracked one of the most recent batch. It’s already coming into it’s own much better than fresh. Damn it’s so good. Onto the geek speak…
Appearance gives new meaning to gem like clarity, a spectacular golden yellow through and through. Light punches through like a candle flame against such a great shade of light amber. The head goes away quickly and nearly completely, but on the pour she opens right up nicely.
The nose, ahh. Have I mentioned I love Cuvee De Castleton of any batch? I do. Whiffs of hard cider, apples, grapes, tangerine, grapefruit… I may never understand why, but for some reason this brew has always had such a broad range of fruit flavors melded in for me.
A slight sting of alcohol is present on the aroma, but it’s very mixed in with tannins and oak. I think I actually get more wine soaked oak than alcohol at the moment. Now that I think about it, I believe this batch is the most wine influenced I’ve had of Castleton. Extremely pleasant.
Very slick on the tongue. Drinks very much like a good hard cider at the moment. Opens up with the wine and oak, tannins washing everywhere. Then in comes the fruit, pushing nearly everything out of the way. Strong on the muscat grape flavor (again, more so than other batches I think). A nice crispness breaks up the viscosity of the white wine flavor. Alcohol isn’t really biting much on the taste at all. Fresh I thought it was a little hot for the style (same thing I thought with batch#3) but it’s working itself out nicely. Nice tart punch, backed up with a slightly sweet astringency from the wine barrels.
I could talk about this beer for hours but it’s getting chilly and I think I’m going to move back indoors to finish this one up.
Here is a link to my review of batch#3 and also a relatively quick from memory review of batch#1 sampled at the Rosso event this past year. I hold fast that this is easily one of the better American adaptations of a Wild ale. If I could buy it by the case I would in a heartbeat. Batch #4 is developing really nicely though, while different, I’m impressed.
Hope to see some of you at Night of The Funk and “Funktastic Friday Forum.” I’ll be the ludicrously tall (6’6″) skinny kid with glasses. Feel free to say hey!