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Dark Woods | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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BA SCORE
84
good
60 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
60
Ratings:
107
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
22.43%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
16
For Trade:
1
Dark WoodsDark Woods
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by soccerman7 on 01-22-2010

User Reviews
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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 107
Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of mothman
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into great lakes snifter.

Pours a fizzy tan head. Color is a near black.

Aroma: Cranberries, chocolate, brett, oak, and a touch of funk.

Taste: Very funky, medicinal flavors and brett. Nut like flavors. Cranberries, sour cherries, and oak. Nothing that is really sparking my attention here.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and tart, big funk. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry with medicinal flavors.

Overall, the aroma is good, but the taste not so much. A weird beer. Reminded me of SFTO wine. Very slow drinking.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/26/10 notes. Got in a trade with monsterzero and brought to a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, cherries, dark fruit, oak, red wine, and a hint of funk, but not much.

t - Tastes same as the nose; very heavy on spices. Some cherries, oak, sour dark fruits, and fruity malts. Hint of wine, and no brett/funk.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty good sour, but not as good at the Cherry Woods. I didn't get much funk from it, but had some nice sour dark fruit in the smell and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of billab914
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into my Allagash glass. Dark brown in color with a half inch of frothy foam covering the top. Great head retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a pretty nice mix of funky, fruity and malty. Sour cherries, caramel and oak wood are the first things that jump out at me, but I started to get a touch of chocolate and red wine as it warmed. The tart fruit qualities have a little bit of an acidic quality to them, but not too bad.

The taste is where things don't come together that well for me. It shows a lot of the tart fruit and sour cherry flavors up front. The finish is where it seems to thin out and get a little watery. I get more of a lighter, porter like quality in the finish with just a little of the tart, funky flavors that it had up front. A little of the wood is lingering in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the thinner side with carbonation being a little low for the style. Overall, it was a pretty good beer. It had a good aroma to it, but the bold flavors just didn't hold up in the taste. Pretty good beer to sip on this evening, but not a standout in the style.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jason for sharing this rarity. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours with a finger of ecru foam that settles to a thin collar and leaves behind spotty lacing. Dark brown in color, and a bit lighter at the fringes.

S - Vinous, oaky, Flanders brown flavor profile, with vinegar, sour grapes, tart apple, vanilla, and some musky funk. Very nicely balanced and integrated. Alcohol is well-hidden.

T - Taste is a bit less exciting. Very woody and tannic, with a nutty brown ale backbone that's spruced up with some light funk and vinegar. Nice, but not as lively as the nose.

M - The carbonation was a bit high for my liking, even when the style was taken into consideration. It was just a bit too zesty and harsh. Light body was a bit surprising considering the 8% ABV too. Finish was very dry and tannic.

D - Surprisingly compelling, even with the slightly annoying carbonation (which went away after a few minutes anyway). I had a few pours of this one, and I'd gladly have more if it popped up at a tasting.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some cherries, oak, vanilla. The taste is malty, yeasty, tangy, nice little oak note, with some sweetness thrown in. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew. It's been awhile since I've had a AWA.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
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

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Photo of HopHead84
1.86/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

6/24/2011

Thanks to Jason for opening this.

A: Cloudy brown with a red tinge. Small bubbly head.

S: Cranberry with a lot of acetone. Cranberry nail polish. Tart with oak and booze.

T: Wow. Tons of nail polish with evident cranberry. It possesses a faint tartness and accompanying lactic sourness, but the acetone is all consuming and ruins it. Finishes boozy as well.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry.

Overall: Consumed by acetone, alcohol, and astringency. Not recommended. The dump bucket drank deep of this beer as everyone poured it out.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.96/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.41/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared on a beautiful Chicago afternoon with Alex, Sean, and Mike. 750ml bottle into a Lost Abbey glass...A dark brown pour with a light tan head, carbonated, good retention and lacing...The aroma lets you know without a doubt this is a blend, you can really pull out almost all the different beers from the 8 blended. Its super complex, at one point I think too much is going on, but it balances well. Notes of red wine, vinegar, oak, vanilla...The taste is equally complex but doesn't pull it off as well as the aroma, but still pretty good. Very vinous, lots of oak, vanilla, sour but more qualities of a strong ale in the taste. The more you drink this the better it gets and more easier to drink.

A surprise in how good a blend can be, worth trying for the aroma alone.

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Photo of glid02
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Track 84. Served in a tulip. Poured a deep reddish brown, almost burgundy, with a quarter inch tan-colored head. Some thin strands of lacing were exposed during the tasting. Great nose - a combination of both sweet and tart cranberry, as well as cocoa and a slightly vinous character. Taste reveals cranberry, chocolate, some medicinal sourness/bitterness (reminds me of grapefruit seed extract). Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated with a hint of acidity that comes out around the cheeks. Really interesting, but not something I would go to on a regular basis - a little more bitter than sour; however, I really applaud Cisco for stepping up and doing some experimentation. If you can, give it a go.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-pours a dark brown or black ale with a nice woody brown colored head that is quite dense and creamy.

S-the nose has a huge malt backbone, roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel and toffee. a light cinnomon spice, notes of ash, faint sweetness to it with a touch of sour or brett.

T-the malt and the sourness seems a little off, the malt backbone and the brett addition combine to make something a little weird. kevin says botanical and i tend to agree, it seems a little plant like with the malt base up front and the brett behind. there is some cranberry sweetness, the oak really isn't there, a little sourness and almost no acidity.

M-smooth and creamy on the palate, medium body with very little carbonation giving it a finish that seems to fall off.

D-not fantastic, not horrible though. it is interesting i just don't know if this works together. the brett and sour is there and the malt base is pretty solid, they just don't seem to work together.

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Photo of Pencible
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like brett and oak with slight smoke and coffee and bitter chocolate and cherry.
T: It tasted like leather and tobacco and brett funk, with burnt coffee and unsweetened cocoa, as well as a bit of cherry and smoke and oak. It had a very dry and bitter aftertaste with some funk.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation.
D: This was a strange and bold beer almost reminiscent of the 108 year old Bass King's Ale, with strong leather and tobacco and funky elements. It had a decent body and hid the alcohol well, so it wasn't difficult to drink. But this complex and unique brew is much better to sip. An excellent candidate for aging, I imagine.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Birra del Borgo tulip (awesome glass, btw)

A: The body of this mysterious brew appears black at first, but when held up to light it glows a translucent ruby around the edges; above sits a finger-depth layer of fine light-brown foam that recedes slowly and leave closely-woven lacing on much of the glass. Great-looking beer.

S: Cleanly funky, slightly tart Brett up front, accompanied by some dark fruit (cherry + plum, maybe cassis) that gives off a vinous vibe that's augmented by some wood. This is wild without being intimidating in the least - very inviting.

T: Moderate tartness, funky Brett, ripe fruit, bready malt, and a lovely dry, woody, tannic finish. There's so much going on in this beer that it's tough to pin down the specifics - suffice to say it's hugely complex and thoroughly enjoyable.

M: Fairly thin with lively carbonation. Not bad by any stretch, but not quite up to the same level as the beer's other components.

D: The exquisite balance of sourness and funk keeps from being overbearing in any way, and the dry finish keeps me thirsty for more. Surprisingly crisp and refreshing.

Notes: I offered sips of this beer to several of my friends who were nearby and had never had a wild ale before, and (somewhat to my surprise) they all loved it. It provides a great introduction to everything that makes sours delicious without piling on (to use my friend's phrase) "40,000 years of funk." Good stuff, and a big thanks both to Prime 16 for getting it and to HopStoopid120 for encouraging them into doing so. Great stuff.

Cheers!

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Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Dark Woods from Cisco Brewers Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.