Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Captain Swain's Extra Stout - Cisco Brewers Inc.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

151 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 151
Hads: 214
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 20
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-21-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Captain Swain's Extra Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 151 | Hads: 214
Photo of Lukafer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Alleykatking once again!

From notes:

Pours black, 2 fingers head that stays, beautiful lacing.  Smell chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Tastes are coffee and hop in the middle, pretty smooth. Mouthfeel is medium and overall this beer is very drinkable.

 266 characters

Photo of sliverX
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Presented with a black brew with a nice mocca head.
Smells of roasted malt and resiny hops
Taste is big on burnt flavors and huge on hops but well played.
Mouth is on the light side of full and perfect for the brew
Drinkability is a bit harsh for the expecting but after the initial shock was pleasant.
On tap at the brewery

 326 characters

Photo of seh410
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black with two fingers of fluffy, bubbly mocha colored head and really awesome, thick looking lacing

Aroma: Bold roasted bitterness in the front, followed and balanced a bit by some sweet maltiness and chocolate. Slight hints of nuts, caramel and vanilla extract/liquor in the background

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is full of rich chocolate and slightly nutty malts backed up by some interesting hoppy bitterness. It's very nice, kind of light with a strong hop presence, which is different and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is pretty light and very smooth. I typically like my stouts thicker but with the hoppiness in this beer, I think it works.

Notes: Pretty drinkable, definitely does not feel like 8% ABV - more like 5ish

 733 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque, black body lies beneath a dark tan, almost brown head that is a few fingers deep and quite foamy, lasting for quite some time before subsiding to a thin lacing.

Aroma consists of robust roasted malt, and plenty of it with a very nice, complimentary chocolate sweetness, and just a touch of earthy hops to finish.

The flavor offers similar generous malt to the aroma, quite bold and flavorful, roasted coffee; sweet chocolate, and hearty pine hops.

The mouthfeel is robust, yet smooth, with medium carbonation and big body offering just a faint warming feeling.

This is a fine extra stout with excellent character. The generous malt and roasted qualities are quite tasty, but not overwhelming. This is a treat for any stout lover.

 741 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/04/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 3 fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, both sweet chocolate and bitter chocolate, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, sweet chocolate, and vanilla. Hint of dark fruit.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, pretty easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a pretty well balances, easy to drink stout. I was surprised it was 8% ABV; I would have guessed more like 5 to 6%. I would definitely try this beer again.

 582 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a deep and opaque black, some dark brown in the edges, very thick and chunky looking tan head forms, settles down to a medium ring and thin layer around the glass, big chunks of lace stick.

Smell is real nice, sweet and malty, big caramel, brown sugar, very fruity, raisin, alcohol, a touch of pine and grapefruit hoppiness, licorice, lightly spicy and herbal, some chocolate and roastiness, real nice.

Taste is similar, nice as well, very intensely malty up front, caramel, quite fruity, dry toast, licorice, tons of biscuit, raisin, alcohol, a bit of grapefruit, chocolate wafers, chocolate milk, solid roasty finish, nice balance.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, very chewy, low carbonation, very drinkable. A real nice export stout, thanks Russ!

 795 characters

Photo of MisterSH
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep garnet, a nice caramel head. Delicious aromas of dark fruit, chocolate, and roasted malt. An exceptionally rich flavor dominated by up-front roastiness, balanced by smooth, rich chocolate, vanilla, and nice fruity undertones, in line with the aroma. A strong roasty malt flavor throughout. A nice lingering hop finish is not overwhelmingly bitter, but combines nicely with the roastiness for a satisfying finish. Perfect in the mouth, moderately thick and pretty oily on the tongue with just the right little bit of carbonation.
Delicious! A bold, but amazingly drinkable stout.

 591 characters

Photo of JasonA
4.55/5  rDev +17%
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.

 634 characters

Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. sampled aug 2/2010.

pours deep dark brown, nice and clear until the bottom third of the bottle where substantial chunks start to appear. a big fluffy brown head forms, dropping slowly with thick chunky lace.

aroma is good. big piney hops. resiny and floral. alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. cocoa. molasses and anise. big chewy malt. biscuit and multi-grain bread. bit of cracker. caramel and toffee.

taste is great. resiny pine and floral hops fading into rich bittersweet and dark chocolate. anise. molasses. caramel. dark toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. just over medium bitterness level. espresso.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. the prominent hopping and lack of sweetness makes this one more an american stout than a foreign export stout. bold and delicious.

 872 characters

Photo of thepeter
3.07/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours black with a slightly more than a film head. Smells of dark fruits, coffee, roasted malt, and booze (more than I would have thought for 8%). Tastes much of the same but with a very bitter bite right up front that was not one of those pleasant bitter bites. The fruit came back towards the end but not enough to balance this out. Medium to heavey bodied and not very drinkable at all in my opinion.

 403 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 1,021 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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)]

 1,839 characters

Photo of dedrinker
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well I'll be, I didn't suspect this was an 8%abv beer. I figured more like 6. Party on.

It had a nice smell of roasted malts without specific coffee/chocolate notes, and yet they were implied. More of a nice fully peaty roast.

Flavor is the same with a sharp hop slice across the middle.

I really like the soothing full body of this beer and how it carries the brooding smoked peat character. It made me want to grow a beard and put on a sweater.

 449 characters

Photo of cskysbread
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: light consuming black with coffee-creme like head. very tiny bubbles which lend themselves well to a delicate glass lacing. looks very nice.

S: the malts shine through with a smoked chocolate flavor complimented by a faint coffee aroma.

T: the malt profile is beautiful. smooth and creamy to the center which is met by an apt amount of hops. has a coffee like astringency and a velvety sweet finish.

D: at first i was a bit confused as to what i was drinking. the malt combination is uniquely satisfying as is the yeast in the sweet finish. a good amount of hops left my favorite flavors lingering.

at only 6 bucks for a big bottle this is a steal for any stout/ipa lovers. i just wish i would have waited for my sarah on this one. she's gonna love it.

 760 characters

Photo of biglite351
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - very dark with only a crack of red at the edge. Tall tight lasting medium dark head.

S - equal parts of malts and hops. Slight chocolate.

T - high o roasted malts with a hop flavor coming through in the middle. Some chocolate and oat in there as well. After taste is light but mostly hop.

M - mild coating with slight tingle on right side of tongue and upper throat.

D - one would be okay, but my dislike of hop flavor would keep me from having a second.

 462 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a delicious looking, frothy, light tan head, with good lacing.

S: Notes of chocolate and roasted malt, milkshake kind of smell.

T: Nice roasted malt and chocolate flavors up front, some nice dark fruits in the back with a slight touch of booze and coffee that enhances the rest of the flavors. While very roasty, also has a decent hop flavor.

M: Quite carbonated, but smooth overall.

D: It's a bit of a sipper, but quite enjoyable.

 459 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured an opaque pitch black with moderate tan head. It smelled like orange with some milk chocolate and floral hops, and a bit of coffee. It tasted like orange and floral hops, with some milk chocolate and burnt coffee. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was very hoppy for a stout, reminding me much more of a black IPA. It still had a clean and fairly enjoyable flavor, with decent body. It hid the alcohol well too, so it was pretty easy to drink. This beer was nice and interesting, and I would recommend trying it once. Just don't expect anything amazing.

 618 characters

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got as an extra from jmu500, thanks!! Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours an almost pitch black color and semi-thick consistency. Mildly aggresive pour produced a HUGE light brown frothy head with excelent retention. Very slowly dissapates...but doesn't leave much lacing. What's there is spotty and slides pretty quickly. A couple legs reside for a few minutes though.

Aroma is of burnt or over roasted cofee. Picking up a little anise, malty, mild bitter chocolate...and some hops.

Flavor is good, but nothing special. Creamy, smooth, and medium body. Carbonation is pretty average. Picking up a ton of roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. The hops really take over the last wave of flavor, but not overkill bitterness. Finally the beer ends with a decent aftertaste of coffee. Overall, a pretty decent stout.

 853 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bert's, a new edition to the growing selection of beer available in NH.
Pours a pretty solid black color with a huge light tan head that sticks around forever.
Aroma is heavy on the brown and candy sugar side with hints of vanilla and perfume. Very little roast or chocolate or coffee in the nose, odd. Hint of milk chocolate as shes warms, but also brings to the forefront a Belgian-esque phenolic aroma as well.
Taste is rich malty and chocolaty with a bevy of dark fruits and a slightly acridic taste in there as well. Slight hop bite midway through leaves a long lingering roast bitterness in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, medium body, high level of carbonation. I'm not sure if there are some wild yeasts in here or if its supposed to taste this way. The Belgian character is subtle, but its strong enough to notice and the carbonation is a bit high. Its an ok brew as is, but I think it could be so much better. If I dare resample this one I will re-review.

 982 characters

Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice dark black color with a medium bodied and tall tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, more bitter deep roasted and a hint of smokey malts, hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee as well mixed with dark vinous fruits.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted and slightly smokey malts, chocolate, coffee mixed with caramel and vinous fruits and a touch of hops at the end.
M: Very smooth, warming, medium to heavier bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable stout, loved how the flavors blended on this one.

 581 characters

Photo of drperm
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle brought back to NC from a friend in MA.

A: Dauntingly black with just a hairline of light-brown foam, after pouring like motor oil into my glass.

S: Dark malts, earthy hops, a hint of pine resin.

T: Begins in smoke, passes through chicory and burnt biscuit, ends in chocolate. A bit more smoke-toast highlights than in, say, Old Rasputin, this one would be right at home by a campfire (or aboard a North Sea sailing vessel!). A nice minerallish quality as well.

M: This one's a mouthfull! Fills the palate and enriches every surface it encounters. Strong, too.

D: This brew packs a punch. Not for the faint of heart: less than halfway through my glass, I can feel its effects beginning to kick in. For a session occasion, pass her by. For a special strong stout, though, this one's hard to top. Food? Devil's Food Cake, or some good seared scallops or oysters.

 878 characters

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received bottle in an in person trade with jaime2dope. It was nice to meet you and thanks for your great recommendations for my Boston Beer Trip!

Appearance: Pours the darkest brown to nearly opaque with a 1 finger off white crown that shows some retention and good lace.

Smell: Loads of dark fruits, a touch of coffee, lots of chocolate malt and a hint of smokey spice.

Taste: Very acidic cider vinegar dark malt opening up into a nice amount of smoked malt, tobacco, and humidor like wood.

Mouthfeel: On the thick end of the medium bodied spectrum with an excellent fine carbonation that leaves for a creamy crown.

Drinkability: The acidity is the only thing holding this one back for me.

 698 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

 302 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer sent courtesy of ppoitras in the Naked Beer Geek - thanks again Pete!!

Of course, an aggressive pour from the 22oz bomber produced a black as nite brew in the Cosendonk tulip, with the expected rich and thick tan head floating like a marshmallow on top. Thick lace rings, a nice start.

The bready burnt toast is impressive, and charcoal kicks in for the finish - along with toasty coffee beans and a hint of dark chocolate. Some dark plum remind me of an RIS, only thing missing is the anise.

Thick and rich body, just a small raspy wood finish to minimally distract from an overall impressive brew.

 607 characters

Photo of mountdew1
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark opaque brown. Poured with a thick froathy 3 finger light brown head. The head mostly dissapeared, but left a small layer and clung to the sides of the glass very well. Aroma was slightly bitter, finished as a brown sweet sugar smell. Taste was strongly of chocolate, a bit bitter like a dark chocolate. Nicely creamy. Coated inside the mouth very well, great consistency with a balanced amount of carbonation. ABV hit a touch hard, but was a very pleasant drink.

 520 characters

Captain Swain's Extra Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.