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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.
very good

210 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 18
Gots: 8 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Captain Swain's Extra Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of battlekow


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the same problem as others with the carbonation. I currently have beer all over my hands, courtesy of the CO2 bomb contained within this bottle; on the bright side, the beer smells great.

Taste and smell dovetail well. Very sweet chocolate. Moderate roastedness. More and more vinuous as it warms. Some chalkiness and a pleasant amount of hops. Bit of a peanut shell finish. Alcohol is slightly apparent, but not obnoxious.

Once the carbonation settled down, this was a pretty good beer, though a bit too vinuous for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2006 01:37:44 | More by battlekow
Photo of aleyeast

South Carolina

1.68/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I read the reviews to be sure my bottle wasn't errant. $7.99 at whole foods for a 750ml. Was expecting a really good stout with the packaging and brewery location.

Virtually undrinkable. To say the carbonation is a slight problem is an understatement. Poured gently into a pint glass, I received less than an inch of beer and the rest head, and it did not settle. Subsequent pours even very slowly produced similiar resuts. And the carboation was in the beer which ruined the taste (which was hiding) and of course the mouthfeel. I was unaware you could dissolve this much carbon dioxide in beer. The only way to choke down this beer was vigourous shaking of the glass to emancipate the carbon dioxide. Actually, the flavors weren't bad in my mechanically flattened beer, but for the price, I don't expect to have to work this hard. Buyer beware. I plan to bring this up to my merchant and emailing the brewery if possible.

I have seen other reviewers speak of nothing ut head in the Cisco Beers, but then rate it ok. I think this is a major defect and needs to be fixed.

Update after contact with brewer. Brewer admits to carbonation and suggests letting the beer settle, offered to send me a fresh one which he believes will not be as heavily carbonated as the one I sampled. Very good response and quick, will update after I have the next one.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2006 15:30:06 | More by aleyeast
Photo of deBeers


3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with an enormous light caramel colored head with a viscous black body the color of obsician.

Smells of chocolate, biscuity & a faint nose of alcohol. I normally let my Cisco brews 'breathe' for awhile b/c they're overcarbonated for my tastes. I decanted this to forgo most of the huge head and make this drinkable right after opening.

Tastes vinous, hints of vinegar with a bit of sweetness on initial pour. Roasted malts...this beer tasted much better after setting for a good while. I also used it to simmer asparagus in for almost an hour with garlic and a bit of pepperjack cheese added in at the end.

Delicious and practically melted in my mouth.

Worth a try but a strange brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 23:30:48 | More by deBeers
Photo of mzwolinski


4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The assertive hiss upon removal of the bottlecap foreshadowed the monstrously large head. This is a slow-pour. However, looking at the glass there is no doubt as to the head’s color! Darkish tan, with a mostly creamy consistency. What little beer made it into the glass appears quite opaque.

The aroma is rather thin, lightly roasty malt, but there’s not much to get excited about there.

Very creamy mouthfeel, smooth, but perhaps a bit thin. Dry.

Oatmeal, malty base, hints of bittersweet chocolate. Develops into a very nice roasty malt finish, combined with a fairly strong hop bitterness. Bit of coffee flavor as well.

Very tasty; complex and drinkable

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2006 21:30:54 | More by mzwolinski
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 01:18:21 | More by jmz62565
Photo of weeare138


3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a black with a mild brown hue. A 3 finger tan head is formed from the heavy pour. Large head refuses to fade and leaves lots of chunky lacing around the glass.
Smell is of light caramel, crystal, and chocolate malt.
Taste is of chocolate, coffee, and cream in this decent mix.
Mouthfeel is of chocolate and black malts pumping through with sweetness and a mild chewiness. Medium-Full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 16:53:29 | More by weeare138
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful black and roasted malt scent along with a hearty hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a rich black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes earthy and warm. It has some hints of chocolate and coffee, along with a mild hop flavor. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation (bottle conditioned). Overall, this is a damn good beer. I like the big beer feel as well as the hop character. It's a tastey brew; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 01:06:09 | More by WesWes
Photo of kmpitz2


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcalbi.

This one lets a nice loud pop when opened. A small bit tried to escape the top of the bottle, but I caught it before it could make its way out. It pours VERY heady...about 4 fingers over top. The foam even creaps back out of the bottle after pouring 2 glasses. Wow. At least it has good retention and is only foam. I'm having a hard time pouring the rest of the beer due to the foam. The beer is a nice black color. The nose is slightly sour that somewhat obscures the rest of the nose. There are roasted tones hiding behind, but that sour really takes the cake. The flavor is also slightly sour. A light roasted and coffee note comes through, but the sourness really puts me off. The feel is light, with a light carbonation. Drinkability is actually really good for a beer of 8%. Its the flavor and nose that sort of turn me away from it.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 02:04:37 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of clvand0


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark color with tremendous sized head and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Takes forever to pour ... and the bottle wants to push some of the foam out of the bottle while we're waiting. The aroma has a lot of chocolate tones along with some other dark malts. The flavor has a lot of active carbonation. Good chocolate flavors and only some hints of other dark malts. The roased malts seem to come forth more as it warms. A little bit of sweetness and some sourness. The body is on the thick end of moderate, but the carbonation takes a little away from it. The drinkability is great. Very nice beer, but the sour distracts a bit.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 01:59:58 | More by clvand0
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reminds me of my first attempt at a homebrew: a caramel porter. Overly sweet that comes across as sour. Pours a very dark brown, but I could hardly get any head to from in the glass. Spots of lace around the glass. Smell is really sweet and makes me think of a Belgian, except for the roasted malt aroma. Odd sugars are present in the nose. Flavor is really sweet. Like sweetened chocolate, but just the sweet and no chocolate. Very sour caramel and toffee notes as well. Mouthfeel is deceptive. Medium body, but very thin. Not too sure I am gonna be able to finish the rest of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2005 00:39:40 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of shippos

New York

3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bubbly froathy coffee head on a dark brown body.
sweet roasted burnt coffee aroma.
has a thin body but a decent mouthfeel, the carbonation takes away from the body and hurts it.
dry finish with some bitterness and a spicy carbonation.
drinkable and worth a shot but i wouldn't seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 22:23:10 | More by shippos
Photo of carln26


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured into a snifter a deep black with virtually no highlights. It was topped by a thick tan head, very clumpy that clung to the side of the glass in chunks. The aroma has black cherry and licorice backed by a hint of chocolate and coffee. It has a little spice aroma in the finish. The taste has a nice citrus bitterness up front backed by black cherry and a little mocha. The mouth feel is full with a nice sharpness left by the hops. Nice drinakbility. I was expecting more heavy coffee and chocolate flavors, so I found the berry hints nicely refreshing

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2005 21:14:09 | More by carln26
Photo of walleye


3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks goes to sulldaddy for this.I open this and it sat for 11/2 to 2 hours before I poured it into my glass. poured dark dark brown with a brown head. aromabitter sweet chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, dark fruits like plums hints of black cherries some alcohol all the thinks I like in a dark beer. flavorthe cherries came out 1st. than the roasted malts, and chocolate, dry mouth feel. not to bad

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2005 00:14:23 | More by walleye
Photo of Naerhu


2.1/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jimbo to sending this off to us BAs in Japan.

A - Dull black body on a fine brown head.
S - Odd chemicals, old socks, and hoppy spice.
T - Slightly roasty, slightly sour. A lambic stout? Cola. Next to no bitterness.
M - Light body, too heavily carbonated. Tasted like it had less than half the 8%.
D - Three of the four people in the tasting group poured out their share.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 14:18:45 | More by Naerhu
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a huge brown head, produced by ample carbonation. The beer is a typical pitch black color. As I pour this beer I would swear I get some hints of Brettanomyces funk, perhaps this beer will be a bit more interesting than I was expecting. The aroma is sharp and acidic from roasted malts, and there is also a funky subtle note here that is spicy, and a bit earthy. Underneath this there is a solid roasted coffee note and a bit of chocolate as well.

Ooh, the taste of this beer is definitely sour and tart, and not in the typical dark malt way, there is a definite bacterial influence here, which in all honesty I actually like. Makes for a more interesting brew. The body of this is quite light, especially for an imperial stout. The finish of this beer is quite interesting, it starts out tart and reminiscent of cherries, but then moves to a bitter cold roasted coffee note. This beer has notes of coffee, perhaps a hint of chocolate, notes of earth and must, sour cherries, and perhaps a hint of vegetables.

I certainly do find this beer interesting, but I think I would have perhaps preferred it if it was just straight Imperial Stout, as apposed to slightly infected Imperial Stout. Thanks to PisskyNights for the opportunity to try this interesting brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2005 05:10:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of smcolw


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another great head from Cisco! It's a solid three fingers (and that's without a nitrogen widget). Nearly black in color, no light shines through. Patchy thick lace adorns the side of my glass.

OK, this is bizarre, but I smell tuna. I don't know why, but it is the aroma I notice. If I try, I can detect some dark malts (chocolate, black patent). Sorry, but this is a real detraction.

This is a very good dry stout. There's a variety of flavors that come through--strong hop, bitter dark malts, a creaminess to the liquor, a high level of carbonation. I'm curious how this might stack up to the big three of Ireland. It's different in that it's not as "smooth", but yet it still goes down easily. The taste is extraordinary considering the aroma.

While not as thick as its Irish cousins, this is a flavorful brew. I suggest avoiding the smell and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2005 20:16:50 | More by smcolw
Photo of CRJMellor


3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark bacl with just a hint fo dark maroon. Largest head I've ever seen on a stout. Pratically exploded out of the bottle once the cork was popped. Actually seemed overcarbonated.
Aroma of milk chocolate, lactose, sour apple notes and a Belgian-type yeasty profile.
Flavor of lightly bittered chocolate, very sour green apple. Is this a stout or a dark Belgian. To me the yeast style they chose for this stout just doesn't work here. Too many conflicting and contradictroy flavors for the palate to enjoy.
Mouthfeel is medium, maybe even light bodied. Definitely off for style. Sour aftertaste is actually a put off-putting.
Drinkability is average. Very creative for sure but low mars for overall appeal.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 21:23:45 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Bighuge


2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Black beer with a bubbly brown rimming. Lace comes in sporadic rings. Milky and chocolatey and coffeish. Decent. The taste is immediately tainted with a sourish, lemon juice off flavor that sticks around on my tongue long after the swallow. This aspect overshadows anything good that is happening underneath. It swallows it up. The mouthfeel is more on the flat side, which could actually be acceptable if the taste was good. Bad experience once again with Cisco.

I've heard this place makes good beer. I've just yet to witness it. Seems like a pipe dream to me after 4 samples that were either way overcarbonated and off or just plain ass sour. Do they have quality control over there???

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 06:41:18 | More by Bighuge
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 23:47:20 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of meathookjones


3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This came in a nice big 750ml bottle. Pours out black with a tall tan head. There were decent rings of lace left around the glass as it is consumed. Aroma smelled of licorice, fruit a bit of chocolate and an odd soy sauce type note. Taste was of chocolate, coffee, a bitter earthiness and a bit of sourness. Very complex and interesting taste but the sourness and another odd flavor kept me from enjoying this as much as I could have. Mouthfeel was a bit thin but not too bad. Drinkability was pretty good even though there was some off flavor lingering in the background. I will probably give this another chance if I come across it again but this time it just seemed off.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 16:20:09 | More by meathookjones
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2004 18:26:25 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of Shiredave

New York

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overcarbonated. Foam explodes as beer is gently poured into my Duvel goblet. 3/4 coffee w/ cream colored head, 1/4 purple black liquid. Gooey brown lace coats the glass.
Aroma is sharply fruity with charred grain and yeast notes. Light and clean, the aroma is nice but not really stout like to me.
Flavor is wonderfully roasty with lush, sugary fruit mixed with earthy, chalky dryness. Great roasted sweetness up front and firm hop flavor and bittering in the middle. Full bodied and slick on the tongue. Finishes smokey and dry with the faint warm of alcohol.
A very good stout from a fine little brewery but like most of the products Ive had from Cisco, the bottles dont age well, and are usually over carbonated. Drink em soon after you buy em, except maybe the Baggywrinkle.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 03:07:58 | More by Shiredave
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick black body covered in a nice covering of tan foam that eventually dies leaving the glass covered in sticky lace. This one did not have explosive foam like one or two other Cisco brews I have had. I just poured wonderfully. The aroma is nothing short of exceptional. It is loaded with sweet rich chocolate and coffee. There are some nutty notes in there as well, and my nose picks up molasses and a very delicate fruit aroma hidden in the backround. Wow, this is sure a great whiffer. Having had some Cisco brews before, I knew I could not just smell this one.

The carbonation was a little big on this one, even though it did not show in the pour. It left the first few swigs to be a bit bubbly, but no matter. The body is full and has a somewhat thick feel to it. After the carbonation died a bit, it was very smooth. The initial flavor is big sweet rich chocolate as if it were melted from a bar straight into my mouth. Coffee and roasty flavors enter next bringing with them a small hint of molasses. It starts to dry quickly, and some burnt flavors come into play. The aftertaste is loaded with coffee, but you still know that the chocolate is there. Alcohol is, well, invisible to my tongue. Maybe just a little taste here and there. I could drink this beer all day long. Its complexity is outstanding, and it will make almost any stout jealous. It is big, bold and excellent.

Cisco has wowed me again.

Special thanks to VENOM for this brew. This was the last of a deliteful Cisco sampler, and I enjoyed every one of 'em.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 02:52:58 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of aracauna


3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Definitely a foamer. Luckily, I was quick enough to get it to the sink before it spewed everywhere, but that's because I caught it before the lid was fully off. Huge tan head eventually fades completely away. The black body has a bit of a gray cast to it. A bit of the imperial stout fruitiness on the nose over a little chocolate. The flavor and body are thin. Some chocolate, some lingering hop bitterness. Definitely not one of the fuller flavored stouts of this size.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2004 07:56:46 | More by aracauna
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle got off to a rollicking start, for it exploded on uncapping, creating a head that's a thick morass of cocoa, and leaving me with a little mess to clean up on the floor! When I returned from my scrubbing and blotting, I marveled at the pitch-black color, a deep, stygian sea.
Aroma: rich and dark, thick as molasses, swimming with myriad connotations, bits of coffee, brown sugar, dark Jamaican rum, devilish spices,...I was tempted to postpone the consumption of the stout itself, and luxuriate with my nose in this forever!
Taste: as I eventually start to sip, we encounter some powerful hops up on top, and rich, full texture, with a strain of spiciness that plays on the tongue and continues all the way down. Gritty, earthy, bittersweet as well, but still smooth and easy. Somehow, the body isn't quite as thick as I'd like, but maybe that delectable nose had me hungering for an Imperial stout, which this is not. Doesn't quite last long enough in the mouth. Very mellow, actuall, while still rich and tasty. Despite petering out on the initial promise (or what I read into it), this is a top-notch foreign extra and I'd turn to often, if I were so lucky.
Thanks to UncleJimbo for this bottle!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 01:34:09 | More by feloniousmonk
Captain Swain's Extra Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.