Dark Woods - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Dark WoodsDark Woods

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 41
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: soccerman7 on 01-22-2010

A blend of 8 different barrel aged beers, including but not limited to our Stout, Porter, and a few seasonal beers (on the dark side of things), a majority coming from french oak barrels previously holding red wine from Cisco's Nantucket Vineyard, adding oak character. This beer is unfiltered, so some sediment is normal. It has been inoculated with brettanomyces (a wild yeast). Rich and malty with a slight tartness and a mild, intentional, "farmhouse funk" provided by the wild yeast.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by tpd975:
Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Sea Bass for this one.

A: Pours a cola brown with a small fizzy tan colored head. Light retention and mild spotty lace.

S: Aromas of rich dark fruit, black cherry, currant and hints of raspberry. Mild chocoalte tones with hints of leather and oak.

T: Oaky, nutty with mild chocolate. Sour without being real tart. Cranberry and dark cherry, hints of mild spice.

M: Medium in body, smooth,

D: Good a nice treat love these woods beers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a very dark red color with a tan head. The aroma is tart cherries with some vanilla. The flavor is great. I get notes of chocolate, oak, tart cherries and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

This was tried side-by-side with the Cherry Woods. Most of those in attendance liked the Cherry Woods better, but I felt this was the better beer.

Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Brodie - much obliged!

Pours a hazy brownish-amber color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark caramel malts with large amounts of tart cherries. Also present are hints of funk and even lighter hints of oak.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by mildly tart cherry flavors and moderate amounts of funk. Midway through the sip the sweetness of the malt flavors fades a bit and the cherry flavors and funk take over. Mild amounts of oak make an appearance before carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer slightly more than cherry woods as it had a bit more complexity however both are fine beers. Worth a shot.

Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tom's bottle, thanks for sharing. Dark coloured with a dark lacing. Complex aroma with a fruity edge. Taste like a shiraz wine, and also fruity, edgy, rum and coke, edge from the cranberries, other dark fruit. Brett in the secondary. Everything adds to the complex taste, yet smooth and drinkable. Aging gave it maturity.

Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to ShogoKawada for the chance to sample this. Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Rodenbach tulip/flute.

Bistre body with vague ruby highlights when held to a strong light. A small but persistent light khaki head enshrouds the liquid with a solid layer of foam. Thick yet delicate soapy lacing and substantial tears.

Hefty Brett. aromatics - sour, funky, and earthy. A bit of cocoa, sour cherries, and citrus as well. Vague roast notes too.

Potent "wild" notes, vinuous loam and freshly crushed Syrah grapes lead into the light roast coffee-esque mid-palate which contributes a touch of sweetness. Fairly dry, lightly fruity, and quite earthy finish. A bit of pink peppercorn and oak as well. Strange to have porter elements in a Wild Ale, but they serve as a nice contrast and lend depth to the Brett. and wine notes.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, lightly tannic mouthfeel.

Well balanced, though somewhat odd conglomeration of flavors in this concoction, but overall I think this is a successful wine-inspired autumnal ale. Worth a try.

Photo of nickd717
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle thanks to dabecassis (I think).

Pours darkest brown with a one-finger tan head that leaves a ring and some foam.

The aroma is big on cardamom and anise, with tart roastiness.

The flavor is a little strange, a bit overspiced. Big-time cardamom, licorice, and tamarind. Roast and slight sourness.

Medium-bodied with a spicy and only mildly acidic mouthfeel, with medium-high carbonation.

All right, but a little unbalanced. Once again, Cisco falls a bit short of the mark, but I liked this one better than Cherry Woods.

Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to LarryG for sending me this one in a past trade! Shared during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, caramel, fruit, and subtle tart. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, caramel, wood, fruit, and nutty. It had a light feel on the palate with a medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I have to say that this was one of the more disappointing brews from the series. Not really sure what they were shooting for here, but the sweet note definitely dominated this one unfortunately. Wish there was a little more sour and tart in this one to help out with the sweetness. Glad I got to share it with the rest of the series though.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

received this a while back from Gsisk03.. Thanks Geof for the awesome trade!! Shared with the boys, reviewed from paper notes.

Pours with a pretty persistent dark tan head.. deep dark brown brew.

Aroma is oaky with minor funk and some tart cherries..

Flavor is pretty dried out... chalky sour cherry... roasty elements that seem out of place.. hints of cocoa.. just enough funk to let you know bugs are present... hard to describe spicy notes mid palate toward the finish.. a bit of cigar wrap..

Medium body with a nice carbonation.

Ehhh... Didn't really care for this one. Thanks though Geof for the chance.

3.5/3.5/3.5/4/3

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks, Dave.

Dark woody appearance. Highly carbonated with a lasting head.

The nose is odd - musty and funky, a little buttery, but also quite spicy and herbal, reminding me of cardamom and bay leaves. There's some acetic sourness beneath it all.

Palate is decent, herbal and spicy with cardamom/bay leaf, tamarind fruitiness; this tastes bizzarely like an Indian curry. The finish is very tannic and oaky, with light acetic sourness.

This isn't bad, but it's strange and muddled. I couldn't drink much of it.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 1/21/12

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black - starts off with a big tan head, keeps a nearly half-inch cap for a long time - sticky lacing, too

Smell: Basically smells like a stout with Cisco Woods funk - slightly burnt malts, a little roasty, wood - some funk - slight barnyard, some sour, some weirdness that reminds me of Chap Stick

Taste: It's sour and stout-like, but not really a sour beer and not really a stout - malts are slightly burnt - not as burnt or roasted as the appearance would suggest - some chocolate malts, with some lighter malts that add depth - slightly sour, with some funk, acidic - somewhat works with the other flavors, although the malts kind of overpower the sourness - some oak, some dark fruit, a lot of hard to describe flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body, great carbonation, smooth, slightly sticky

Overall: Not bad, but not that great

There is a lot of stuff going on in this beer, and some of it is just weird. Sour with tons of acidity and somewhat burnt malts... It's strange and a bit messy.

Photo of Gfunk720
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark black, light pure white head. Looks like a nice porter. Decent lacing too.

S- Smells oaky and sour, with underlying notes of caramel and dark malt.

T- Smooth and funky with strong oak notes. Not terribly tart, but works quite well. Some creaminess from the base beer

M- Nice and light, with a good balance. Little vinous and oaky, but good.

D- It's easy to drink, and pretty smooth too. Not insane, but a good balanced beer for the style. Interesting, but not amazing.

Photo of jedwards
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On draft at La Laiterie.

Pours dark brown with a tall (2-finger) but texturally thin head that quickly drops, some lacing sticks to the glass. Nose is tart brett funk and slight roast coffee. Taste is absolutely perfect -- berry tartness and chocolate on the front end fading to brett funk and rich cocoa/coffee on the back. Exactly what I want from a wild porter/stout -- funky roast without harsh tannic notes. Mouthfeel takes a hit, but is much better than most dark beers that have been infected -- good body, maybe a little thin, with aggressive and bubbly carbonation. Would love to get a bottle, if there was any guarantee it would age.

Been really impressed with Cisco's wild/barrel-aged offerings of late.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml cork and caged bottle Into a Tulip Glass

A- Nice pop from the cork and plenty of smoke. Pours a really nice dark dark reddish brown that appears black with out any light next to it with a khaki off white head about 1 finger or so. Slow moving lacing on the side of the glass, pretty sticky.

S- Really strong sour yeast note up front from the Brett with a decent sweetness from the cherry's and maybe cranberries? or raspberries? If you dig deeper you get a slight oak and almost roasted note. Kinda surprised and happy about that, usually with oak aged beer you get swamped with the smell but this is nice and subtle. Interesting for sure.

T- Whoa not at all what i expected. Tons of roasted malts and what seems like an almost coffee and slight dark chocolate flavor in there.Some slight tart cherry and fruitiness but not much. Really hidden behind the more darker beer flavors. Once again not much oak but is definitely present. Maybe they could have aged it longer??? Plenty of brett and sourness though, the yeast is pretty strong on this one.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a really nice tart sourness that dries you out.

Overall this is a pretty decent brew. I've been wondering what a black style sour would be like so this hit the nail on the coffin for that.

SkÅL!

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says "black beer with a khaki head." It is correct. Thick blanket of retention drapes lace down my glass.

Unmistakable aroma of char grilled chicken that has been marinated in 1,000 islands dressing. I kid you not.

Tastes like Kingsford charcoal briquets, or at least what I think Kingsford charcoal briquets would taste like: a dry roast character mixed with a sweet twang. More sweet tang than roast.

I'm sure that some one better voiced in beer tasting lingo could create a more eloquent description but that's what I'm getting. I good grilling beer I guess.

Photo of soccerman7
4.54/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it last night on tap at Three Penny Ale House
Served in a Tulip

A - Nice tan head though disappeared quickly. Has a dark brown wine color to it.

S - Intense smell. Dark fruit, wine, funk. There is so much going on in this.

T - Sour and funk are the first things that you notice. There's a wine character in the beer with a lot of dark fruit notes there along with an interesting chocolate malt character. A coffee note is in there too. The funk lingers pleasantly.

M - For a wild/sour this has one of the best feels I have had. Very smooth with a light dryness to it.

D - Simply outstanding. This was a true experience for me with an east coast wild. I lingered on it for nearly an hour. I hope that Cisco continues this route with their interesting releases.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 10/8/2010 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large light brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains esters, Belgian yeast, tart fruit and light roasted malts.

T: The taste starts out with a burst of sourness from the Belgian wild yeast with a touch of tart fruit flavor. Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in along with some dark chocolate flavor. There's also a significant medicine-like alcohol flavors that tempers a bit as the beer warms. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky but very dry.

D: A little tasty in that it's something kind of different, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer, but definitely a palate-wrecker.

Photo of ppoitras
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at WineNation, Millbury, MA. Corked & caged.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" light brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head lasts very nicely, especially for a barrel-aged brew, with lasting coating lace. Aroma is chocolatey sweet, with lots of tartness.

Taste starts with a light maltiness, which promptly gives way to the cherry flavors in the middle, and then slides into funky tartness for the close. Sour lingers after the swallow. Mouthfeel is smoother than expected, with reasonably good drinkability. I will admit that the flavor does not match the appearance, but definitely an interesting brew to check out.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with some slight crimson notes. A bit of off-white to tan lacing. Smells slightly acetic along with some sweet dark malts and hints of dark fruit. Slight bit of funk. Taste is similar with a bit more oak coming through. Roasted malt and sourness. Mouthfeel is good, but something is a bit off--not quite what the taste would lead me to expect. Drinkability is good. This is a unique brew, and I continue to be impressed by Cisco.

Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown beer with a moderate khaki head that had some decent retention and left some lace on the sides.

S - Interesting beer, definitely has a ton going on. Lots of wood, with vanilla, oak, wine, tiny bit of roast. There is a bit of chocolate and some nice tartness. Very complex, but the blend is good.

T - A little bit of yeast, some good sourness, wood, vanilla. There is a a bit of a roasted malt backbone complimented with vinegar and chocolate somehow. A little too malty and roasty for a wild, but it's a reall interesting and pretty good beer.

M - Fairly smooth, with some soft carbonation and something medium-full bodied.

O - Good beer, pretty different, seems to have components of just about everything I could think of in there. Worth trying.

Photo of crusian
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle from awesome trader Douglasjamjak. Thanks man.
Pours an awesome black with 2 fingers of head and lacing that clings like its life depends on it.
The nose is incredible, bright cherries with a mild sour and toasted almond.
Taste, however is disappointing. Tart, yes, cherries, yes... but the char flavor and the dark malts just don't really work for it. Almost like a porter and sour mixed together... interesting idea, awesome look and smell, but no thanks.

Photo of sweemzander
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. I believe thanks go to AleLuvinRuskie for this one!

(A)- Pours a rather dark burgundy/burnt sienna color. Produced a great frothy tan head with surprisingly great retention and lace.

(S)- A fun combination of nutty oak, cherry fruits, vanilla, and a mildy funky tartness.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. A big butty oak and vanilla component. Heavier in the yeast department too. Bits of cinnamon and cocoa show up before finishing in a mild tartness.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Very mild tartness, but heavy in the nutty, oak, and yeast departments. Overall, fairly rich for the style, though not necessarily a weak point.

(D)- Overall, a solid wild ale; though more akin to a mildly sour porter. Richer, but enjoyable.

Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Nick for this one. Shared at Strong Ale.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some definite amber notes to it and a slight murkiness. A large tan head forms.

S: Starts off with lots and lots of oak, which is somewhat damp and musty. A fair amount of vinegar along with a bit of dark fruit character such as currants and black cherries. There's a mild grassiness as well as a touch of cork. Sort of all over the place.

T: Like the nose, lots of wet, damp, oak flavor along with some grass, hay, and cork. There's a touch of chocolate flavor, likely oxidation, as well as black cherries. Quite a substantial amount of vinegar is present on the finish.

M: The body is medium to full, for a sour beer, with a medium level of carbonation and a dry and puckering finish.

D: A little too acetic for my tastes, and the corkiness is not exactly what I look for. Overall, though, not a terrible effort.

Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Another bottle recently with an extremely difficult to remove cork...seems to be becoming a trend lately.

A - Pours a very dark brown color that allows almost no light thru it...I can see just well enough to see a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. A near constant finger of fizzy but foamy tan head sits on top of the glass.

S - A bit tart and full of fruitiness. I seem to get a mixture of various berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and some cherries. A bunch of earthy and somewhat dirtlike aromas, some oak, marginal malty contribution. Not much funk...at times I think I pick up a bit of brett, other times - nothing. Really like the mixture of berries in the aroma...somewhat unique in the beer world.

T - Unlike the aroma, I pick up some dark roasted malts, some bitterness seemingly coming out of these although I wouldn't characterize at coffee-like or bitter chocolate like...a bit different, perhaps coming from the oak barrels (maybe with some char to them). Mildly tart/sour but definitely not at all puckering - just enough so you know it is there. Fruity - mostly getting cherries with some raspberry mixed in. As it warms I start to pick up a little bit of funk in the flavor...might develop more over time in the bottle. Interesting combination of flavors that works pretty well.

M - Medium in body with light to medium carbonation. Carbonation is smooth, creamy and bordering on foamy in the mouth. Beer is very dry with lots of bitter and tart flavors taking up the slack and leaving lingering flavors after the swallow.

D - Pretty interesting wild ale. My bottle says 7.7% alcohol, but I would never know it just from drinking it. Mildly tart combined with the dark roasted and woody flavors blend well and create a surprisingly refreshing combination. Bottles are a little pricey, but I think I will probably grab a couple more of these before they disappear.

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to McDiddypop for bringing this one over.

A - It pours a deep brown-black hue and is capped with a fizzy one-finger head that is quite persistent and even drops a bit of lace.

S - The nose is band-aids, roast barley and red wine. Not a hugely winning combo in my experience. This beer is evocative of three others: CL's Smoke from the Oak - Wine, CCB's Red Wine Sea Bass, and Odell's Saboteur, though this is lesser than either of the first two. The heavy roast and brettanomyces seem to be clashing hard.

T - At first this tastes sorta good, then it tastes interesting, then it is boring and I've had enough. The wine contribution is very heavy throughout, but unfortunately it tastes like some poor Chianti; if there were any sweet-fruity vinous notes imparted by the wine, they would meld well with the roast base, but there aren't. The roast contribution is also quite heavy, but offers little nuance.

M - The feel is medium, with nice effervescence, but too mouth-drying on the finish.

O - This beer was not that impressive, quite simply. Certainly not on the level of the other two Cisco offerings I've had: Monomoy Kriek and Capt. Swain's Export (Extra?) Stout.

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent roasted character with nice barrel notes. The sourness is tame and works well with the cranberries and Brett. It has a brown ale/porter aroma. The taste is great! Wow, what a complex, yet highly drinkable beer. It has a solid porter/stout malt bill that showcases some crystal and roasted malts. The rum barrels compliment the sweet caramel notes as well as the sour cranberry fruit. It actually seems to mellow the over sourness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good sour; one of the best from EBF NoTB.

to view more.
Dark Woods from Cisco Brewers Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.