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Dark Woods - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Dark WoodsDark Woods

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 17.25%
Wants: 42
Gots: 16 | 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:
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 added by: soccerman7 on 01-22-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

AgentZero, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of rtepiak
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

an excellent blend beer. a cacophony of flavors that will doubtfully sit. The boardness in palate is ridiculous but has an underlining fruit loops of fruity cereal. Excellent render of sour notes blended with the acidic notes of baker's chocolate. Pour is like a porter with a good lace but short retention. Nose of nose of mild smoke porter with minerals, hints of oak sour funk. Palate that declines over time but has a distinct note of several styles. Noted as a english porter in mineral... Chocolate dry one dimensional malt. Slightly accented hopping. Apple... Every subtle citrus... With a cross over into the sour yeast notes. Chalk wood dry or a lack of a lasting malt finish. Making it just one spec when settled. Notes of vanilla.

rtepiak, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of bruachan
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark khaki froth over some dark liquid. the head remains throughout the sipping experience, which is uniquely wonderful

sour and bretty smelling. cherries, almonds and a touch of coriander or something like it (and perhaps something else even sharper)

every other sip makes me think i'm licking a barrell--the flavors are sharp and robust--but i can't say i don't like it! plenty of lactic tartness to some degree overshadows other putative flavor experiences but i suppose this is to be expected. oaky/woody and even a little smoky.

bruachan, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
1.83/5  rDev -50.7%
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.

HopHead84, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of brian44556
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Me and a buddy shared this one today while dry-hopping one of our homebrews. Poured this one into a wine glass.

This pours a very dark color, reminds me of a Belgium Dark Ale, good fizzy head, and great lacing along the walls of the glass. I had a hard time placing my finger on what exactly this beer smelled of. Notes of light cherry, some peppermint, and and some sort of light vinaigrette. The taste threw me off, not in a bad way though. I have never experienced a beer of this color have this sour of a taste, and I really enjoyed it. Tasted of roasted malt with a sour twist. Notes of cherry and tart also. Mouthful was good and carbonation was average. Overall this beer was phenomenal. I have had the Cherry Woods and Monomoy Kriek and they have both been average. This one is a class above the others. Really glad I had a chance to try. Best of "The Woods" series IMO.

brian44556, May 02, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

ktrillionaire, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of crusian
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

crusian, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Gfunk720
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Gfunk720, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the tasting at gordon's fine wine and spirits last night

Pours a nice dark brown color, with a decent off white to light tan head.

the smell is nice and funky, but not over the top. can definitely pick up small hints of the darker malts used in the darker beers that went into this blend, but just barely.

The taste is along the same lines as the smell, a good amount of funk but not crazy, a nice acidic tartness, pretty well balanced.

the mouthfeel is nice, leaves you puckering just a little bit. a very drinkable and underated sour.

rowingbrewer, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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!

Arenbeer, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of craytonic
2.15/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pour is black with some mahogany highlights and a tan head

Aroma: Something off about the brett here; I get some weird berry deal (cranberries and cherries?). Kinda a disaster.

Taste: Train wreck! This is a good argument against blending eight barrel aged beers. Really just a lot going on, there is this weird/off brett funkiness with some berries behind it and some roast and ash. I gave up.

Mouthfeel: Bit fizzy; bad finish

Drinkability: Ended up down the drain. Nasty stuff.

Bummer. I had Cherry Woods and Monomoy Kriek before this bottle and they were both excellent. This one turned out to be a drain pour. Is it a 2.5 or a 1.5? I dunno, but is nasty. I had a look and the three highest scores for this one were all on tap; perhaps it turned on them once it hit bottles.

craytonic, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

womencantsail, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/black, 2" head of dark tan with initial pour. Good retention with some lacing.

S: Light acetic and lactic notes, red wine, cocoa, oak.

T: Smooth sourness greets the palate moving quickly into cocoa notes and a dark malt acidity. As it warms and the mouth gets acclimated, the sourness seems to drop off significantly. The acidity of the dark malt helps tone down the tannic wine-like finish while preserving the oak flavor.

M: Medium carbonation. Thin mouthfeel, yet a creaminess is definitely present from the oak & wine, which also provides a drying finish--interesting.

D: Very interesting. The textures are very complex while the flavor seems to be a bit muted. A very enjoyable offering from Cisco.

darklordlager, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

tpd975, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  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.

ppoitras, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -7%
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

JohnGalt1, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of muttyd
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown/black body with a foamy tan head. Aroma of yeast funk, vanilla & oak and some roasted malt are most obvious. Flavor follows the nose as expected, but the deep roasted flavor (presumably from the stout & porter base) peaks through at the end. Moderately sour/astringent finish. Creamy and bubbly on the tongue.

Very drinkable at the 7.5% abv. No stomach burning with this one as the astringency is on the more tolerable side. Will most likely seek this one out again, despite the rather steep price tag.

muttyd, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

largadeer, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up in a recent trade, having had nothing from this brewery, and I was very impressed. Poured a nice medium reddish brown color, with a tight light tan head. Somewhat funky on the nose, with wood, vanilla, brett and light brown sugar. On the palate, somewhat vinous, with red wine, roasted malt, brett funkiness, oak and vanilla. An excellent beer, one of the better wild ales I've had. I really wish I had another bottle of this one.

emmasdad, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
1.75/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by dabecassis. Thanks Dave. I was going to skip this after I had the displeasure of trying Cherry Woods, but I somehow got a pour anyway.

A: Pours a dark, turbid brown body with a finger of short-lived tan foam.

S: This smelled like Indian food. Dried bay leaves, anise, tamarind, cardamom. Points for creativity.

T: Anise, tamarind, cardamom, roast, cherry skins. Very much a kitchen sink flavor going on.

M: Light-medium bodied. The carbonation makes it feel thinner. Kind of a jarring flavor combination that never melds right.

D: I can't say anything nice so I'll just end the review here. This isn't as bad as Cherry Woods, but I can name literally two dozen wild ales I would drink before this one.

Arbitrator, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Overlord
1.73/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Huge thanks to a generous trader.

Pours a mahogany brown with some ruddy highlights when held to the light. Maybe half an inch of quick dying tan foam. Doesn't die down to a crust, rather it forms a thin sheen of bubbles that linger and linger. Looks quite attractive.

Smells exotic. Yeah. Exotic. Some kind of interesting soured petals and soured ... licorice? Not sure. Some sweetess lingering on the tongue. Some caramel, some earthiness, a ton of funk. Some cherries/berries in there. Bit of garbled mess. This beer is a cacophonic mixture of clashing flavors, and overlaying it all is this overspiced, weird flowery pungency.

Kind of a saison/wild ale/dark belgian blend. However, somewhat palate wearying. Uber carbonated.

Overlord, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

nickd717, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Jayli
4.65/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Track 84 10/2
Served in a tulip

A: This beer pours a deep, dark chocolate brown with a one finger of creamy light brown head. Head recedes at a moderate pace leacing thick sticky chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is funky, hay, oak and cherry tartness. Reminiscent of a port wine.

T: Taste is where this beer really shines. Taste starts with a mild milk chocolate sweetness before lending in to an oaky, sour, tart cherry presence. Finish is where a good deal of roasted malts come through before a charred malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee flavoring hold through.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy feel.

D: Goes down very easily, somewhat filling, nice kick. This is a complex beer that is the perfect blencd of wild and stout. I would drink this all day every day if I could!

Jayli, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

augustgarage, Oct 06, 2010
Dark Woods from Cisco Brewers Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.