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Captain Swain's Extra Stout - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Captain Swain's Extra StoutCaptain Swain's Extra Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

212 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 19
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by farHillsBrewer:
Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An interesting brew but tough to judge.
First, this bottled conditioned stout was over-primed and tried to explode from the bottle. I wasn't sure where to detract points, so I deducted on drinkability, because I had to wait until the massive foam cload settled. The appearance was pleasing, a chocolate malt with a kick.
The second flaw was the quantity of yeast in the bottle. I can't remember when I last had a beer that collected visible yeast in the glass. Being a homebrewer, I detected an evident yeast flavor, which I consider a flaw when I brew.
Negatives aside there was plenty to enjoy in this bottle.
The deep dark color was matched with an array of tasty notes, including coffee, cocoa, roasted malt and a mild hoppines to bitter and support the malt complexity. the yeastiness did swirl somewhat around the tongue and also imparted a warm bubbliness on the tongue.
Overall, the quality factors were not worth the premium price that I paid for the bottle. I'll wait a year and try again because I think the brewers can greatly improve this recipe.

farHillsBrewer, Nov 07, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an ink black with a huge blooming mocha colored head,I have noticed on a few of the Cisco offerings I have had there are some real overcarbonation issues either from age or whatever but its a litle annoying.The nose was very nice highly roasted barley smoke and charred dark fruit mainly with a lighter roasted nut note as well.Somewhat prickly mouthfeel from it being a bit overcarbonated keeps the drinkabilty from being all that great,flavor wise though its a nice brew he heavily roasted barley and smokiness returns along some kaluah-like alcohol sweetness and dark fruit finishing somewhat woody.A big complex stout I bet age has something to do with that overcarbonated body I would love to taste a fresh bottle.

oberon, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of JasonA
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Having this pint at the Cisco Beer Pub at Boston Logan Airport.

So I asked this bottle be left out while I drink the IPA. Got a couple funny looks, but who likes drinking cold stout?

Dark oil black. Thick mocha head, very thick. Staying power, with ample sticky lacing. Impressive!

Smells roasty toasty nutty, im excited. Black patent

Wow, roasty, bitter, buscuit, nutty. Not a lot of malt flavor for the ABV, but might be other ingrediants overtaking.

Excessive for the style. Love the thickness, even thicker than guiness for the style.

Love it. If I wasnt going the malty barleywine route, Id head up this non RIS type stout.

JasonA, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was nearly black with a small tan head.

Roasted malt aroma, a little chocolate. A bit herbal.

Mostly chocolate taste. Some espresso. A little piney hops in the finish.

Heavier-bodied, filling.

Pretty nice stout. Would drink this again.

lordofthewiens, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Big 1 pint 9.4fl oz brown bottle. "Good fresh beer" is stated on the label, but there's no freshness date.

Appearance: Black as night with a huge, thick, rocky foam, creamy coffee coloured head.

Smell: Roasted malts, earth, smoke, faint caramel, light alcohol and oxidation notes.

Taste: Crisp upfront with a more than lively carbonation level. Big malt profile of intense roasted malts hit the palate, with charred, smoked, earth, faint caramel flavours and background sweetness. Hops are dually instense and follow with a sharp rind astringency. In between the malt and hops you can note some definte oxidation. Malt flavour and sweetness really fills out more as the beer warms to room temperature -- fruity and bready notes become pronounced. Body is medium. Mouthfeel is smooth, firm, semi-slick. Things dry up just a bit towards the end with roasted astringency and a lingering smoke flavour.

Notes: It's not very accessible at the time of this review, comes in big bottles and is $7 a pop. That said, you'd probably be spending your money well as this is a very decent stout with some rare characteristics for the market -- big time smoke flavours. Complex, unique and robust. I very much enjoyed this brew.

Todd, Feb 21, 2001
Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

ThisLadyLovesBeer, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's Tavern in my 32 oz mug. Nearly pitch black with a deep tan and tiny bubbled head.

Smells sweet with soft roasted aromas, a bit of dark chocolate and coffee also with a trace of hop.

Full sturdy bodied, very malty with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness with an outstanding and complex palate. Sweetness is soft with coffeeish flavours, creamy in the mouth feel. Hop bitterness is ample and rides with the mellow but stern roasted grain. Earthy, charred wood and nutty yeast round out the semi sweet finish.

A first taste I though this might be a beer to have just one and go to something else, by the end of the glass I wanted to drink it all night.

Jason, Aug 03, 2002
Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with a little bit of roasted malt mixed in. The flavor is chocolate, roasted malt and some alcohol. Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer.

Mora2000, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Thrasher
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of a 4-bottle sampler pack from Cisco that included a cd of some truly lame white-boy island groove music. You can almost picture the guys practicing all summer in their parents' vacation beach house with their faded college baseball caps on backwards. Ah, Nantucket! But I digress; on to the beer. Pitch black with lively head that recedes, almost completely. A couple big floating chunks of... yeast, perhaps? Exceptionally fruity aroma for a stout with some burnt brown sugar. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, and huge roasty malts start things off, with that fruity yeast providing an eloquent twist, letting you know this is no ordinary stout. Incorporates sweeter elements of an oatmeal stout with the figgy, raisiny elements of an imperial stout or robust porter. Finishes with an excellent balance of dryness (from the hops) and sweet fruitiness that is pretty wet, almost cloying, tempting you to go back for more. This is a pretty remarkable stout. It requires your undivided attention; sit back and appreciate the achievement of balancing the roastiness of the dark malts with the exciting fruitiness of the yeast.

Thrasher, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of MurphysIrish
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oily black color from which no light can escape, finishing to a fluffy caramel-tan head. Almost too much head for the style, if that makes any sense. But it could be my glass causing some overcarbonation. Once the head settles down, it looks really nice.

Smells wonderful. Chocolate, of course, plus spices (clove, cinnamon, anise). Even some worn leather smell in there, which makes it seem warm and inviting. Mouthfeel is thick, coating the palate nicely. Leaves a bit of burnt flavor on the back of the tongue, just enough to remind you that the barley's been roasted, but not crazy burnt. Bottle does not report ABV, but alcohol is hidden well by the rest of the flavor palate. Hop presence not felt, but I think that is par for the course with an extra stout. The star of the show is roasted malt.

Overall a good beer. Recommended

MurphysIrish, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown almost black color. Nice light brown/beige head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted chocolate malt, coffee, molasses, pepper, dark fruits(plum?), and mild hops.

Taste: The roasted chocolates provide a nice backdrop for the coffee toffee, pepper, caramel and other notes to shine through. These are all well balanced and very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy but not overpowering. Adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: Nice stout here. I will definitely drink more of this if/when I see it available.

stereosforgeeks, May 20, 2007
Photo of Trashcat
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Trashcat, Today at 06:31 PM
Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a ink black with a giant tan foamy head.The carbonation is really something.You can hear the bubbles.The smell is not strong and kind of a disappointment.You can make out some coffee,but that's about it.The taste has a good deal of coffee and chocolate,but it may be too carbonated to taste the more subtle flavors.The beer is heavy,but the balance is off because of the carbonation.This,other than the carbonation problem, is a damn good and tasty beer that I will try again.

jmz62565, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lovely look, sporting the deepest, dark brown liquid you'll ever see, and probably easily mistaken for black. How about faded black? The head is brown like a toasted marshmallow, and it lasts a good long while, which makes me very happy. I love to see this color head on top of a stout, it's a thing of beauty.

Booze, dark berry, coffee and chocolate meet up in the aroma, with a little bit of wood-smoke, earthy mineral, fresh milk and tobacco coming in behind. The alcohol almost eclipses everything else, but never gets into aftershave territory, so it pretty much maintains an edge of heat and walks on the wild side. Fine with me...a wonderful and complex nose.

The flavor is frustrating, compared to the fantastic appearance and smell. It's just a bit unbalanced, favoring char, bitterness and alcohol heat, with more succulent characteristics like fresh cream, dark berry and chocolate pushed to the background. Bitterness in the finish crosses over into salty territory (hellllooo hops) and maybe that's the way Captain Swain likes it...reminds him of the ocean and stuff. Still, easy to appreciate and enough to latch onto for fans of complex, bold beers.

Texturally this strikes the fine balance between caressing carbonation and milky creaminess; not all that thick, it's pretty buoyant for a stout and glides down the throat like silk. The char/hop bitterness of the finish gives the illusion that it's more prickly feeling than it really is.

A little too burnt and bitter to be hugely drinkable, but one for fans of big beers to wrestle with. No, not the highest ABV, but its flavor is certainly big and uncompromising, and just complex enough to sit, sip and ponder...more balance and a tad more sweetness would be nice, though.

[Hopefully Swain's descendants are leaving the whales alone these days (see bottle label)]

Metalmonk, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick beer, chocolate up front and coffee and lots of roast in the finish, to burnt parts. Appearance of a chocolate ice cream soda. Much more bitter than sweet, despite mollasses,but consistent with the style. Spot of wood.Big mouthfeel. Good drinking.

Sammy, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I once had a discussion with Michael Jackson regarding judging beers to style versus judging them hedonistically; and although he initially defended both sides of the issue, we concurred that it all comes down to "do you like the beer"? And, yes, I do.
It pours an almost black, exceptionally deep mahogany body beneath a short head of creamy dark tan foam that dies gently and leaves walls of spotty lace about the glass. They're transient at 8%abv, but that's OK, a new wall is built with each sip.
An acidic, dark malt greets you in the nose; followed by some sweeter notes of rich chocolate and a hint of burnt coffee as well as some spruce-like hoppiness. It's restrained, exceptionally fine-bubbled carbonation and light-medium body leaves it silky smooth across the palate. The flavor is bold without being overdone. Dark malt acidity greets you upfront (it's definitely not acetic or lactic, but it is somewhat tart), followed by some mild notes of bittersweet chocolate, and then some sweeter notes of creamy caramel. Restrained, but distinctly spruce-like hops appear immediately at the swallow; and help to usher in its dry and lingering earthy finish. It's quite enjoyable once it warms a bit and lends more breadth to its character. Certainly worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of Nickfellow007
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Nickfellow007, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of OldIronLungs
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a puffy thick head that settles down into a craterous strata of tan brown on top of a dark black.

More pine hops than roast and chocolate, but they're all there up in your nose.

A sip starts off chocolatey but is quickly challenged by a lightly smokey roast and a hoppy, piney, resiny twang through the end with a little of the 8% keeping you warm. Medium smooth body, light carbonation.

I was impressed by this one. Definitely a hoppy stout worthy of rough seas.

OldIronLungs, May 07, 2011
Photo of KTCamm
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Pours jet black with a minimal amount of light brown foam. Perfect looking stout.

Smells of roasted malt. Smokey.

Chewy with a nicely balanced hoppy taste. Creamy in the mouth. Espresso coffee taste. Dry finish.

Very tasty, drinkable stout. Well done!

KTCamm, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a huge bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a rich black with good carbonation. The head is thick mocha, 2 fingers billowy in texture and leaves some lace.

The smell is faint but good, rich roasted malt.

The taste is very good, a nice roasted malt, coffee and chocolate notes. Really nice and smooth, semi sweet and really enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, nice body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is excellent, this is a must try and savor brew.

Prosit, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick, firm tan head.

Big assertive fruity sweet dark chocolate nose with smokey tones - very complex nose and very appealing.

Mouthfeel is creamy and inviting with elegant carbonation.

Flavors are all big roasted grains with sweet black chocolate coffee that is long lasting and rich.

Finish is big bitter dark chocolate with light pine and bitter espresso. There is a smokey character in all aspects of this beer.

A really nice effort and well worth trying, if not regularly drinking.

GRG1313, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of nickmantia
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

nickmantia, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration or bottling date listed. Sampled on February 6, 2012. It pours a deep, dark black with a khaki-brown head that fluffs up and lingers for an extended amount of time. The aroma is vibrant and complex with dark malts and dark fruit accompanied by a pungent earthy or pine hopped bitterness. The body is medium to bold. The taste begins with the malty character but is then broken up by a powerful hoppy bite that ends dry. This is unlike other stouts I have had.

puboflyons, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. This must be a fresh bottle, because the first thing I can smell in this brew after pouring it into the glass is pine hops. There's also roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit in the aroma. Once the beer has been in the glass a little while, the malty aromas get stronger. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some burnt/charred malt and a bit of caramel. The malty flavors come out stronger in the taste, but the hops are still pretty noticable. This is one of the hoppier stouts I've had recently. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and velvety. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth, tasty and just plain easy to drink! I think this is a pretty good overall brew, the next time I head to the East Coast I'll have to buy this again. This is the first beer I've tried from Cisco Brewers, and it hopefully won't be the last.

bluejacket74, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger's worth of tightly packed crisp light-to-medium brown colored head with some big chunky bubble mixed in... Minimal retention gives way to a full even slightly creamy lacing and slight collar... A couple of stray small sluggish carbonation bubbles can be seen towards the top edges of the glass... The color isn't black, but rather a deep rich dark mahogany brown... A tad bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A subdued yet rich milk chocolate character is first and foremost... Toffee... A very light coffee component... Simple, straightforward, and unpretentious... A bit more volume and assertiveness would make this an stellar aroma...

T - Roasted malt which was completely hidden in terms of aroma is first and foremost on the palette... It yields momentarily to the sweet chocolate notes originally expected... Perhaps some intense espresso... The finish is an intense charred experience that continues to crescendo for a while...

M - Medium bodied... A good carbonated bite... A bit of richness to start before during charred and dry on the finish...

D - An interesting two faced stout... The nose is sweet and rich... The palette is roasted and charred to a maximum with only a touch of sweetness... Interesting and surprising... A solid brew all the way around...

philbe311, Nov 12, 2011
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Captain Swain's Extra Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.