Ten | Cisco Brewers Inc.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I split a 750 with Stopper. I am pouring into a snifter at room temperature.
The beer is a clear chestnut pour with an off white head foaming up about 2 cm and receding to an edge layer rather quickly.
Nose is very bourbony (YUM!) and vanilla some wooden toothpick scent and dark fruit (raisins), a bit of toffee comes through as well. QUite a nicely balanced and complex aroma!
First sip reveals a smooth slightly syrupy texture with very fine carbonation.
The flavor is robust with caramel and dark fruit some cherry and a bit of butter in there too. The bourbon is strong and vanilla and oak intertwine throughout as well. The texture gets smoother and silkier throughout the sampling. A very drinkable brew for the ABV. I wish I had bought about 4 more of these. Easily worth whatever you pay for the bottle when you see it!!

 833 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of warriorsoul
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open one of these 750ml to share with the in-laws...I consumed half of it, so wanted to throw down a review.
Pours a rust color with less than 1/4 finger of off-white head...disappears very quick with no lacing.
Very nice bourbon aroma hits the nose, with some raisins and slight strawberries.
The taste is a splendid blend of gentle hops, sweet malt, earthy wood and fruit, all aged perfectly in bourbon casks for a tremendous flavor that shines through in the taste as much as what was portrayed in the nose.
Mouthfeel is thin, but quite smooth...a bit sour due to the aging and goes down very easy.
A sipper and one to savor at 9.5%...
Well deserved anniversary beer from the folks at Cisco.

 708 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

How can this be retired? A batch was released in May. Whatever...

Originally reviewed on August 25, 2006. 750 mL Bottle. The lid releases and someone opens a door to the chill chest of flowers, replete with roses and carnations alike. I bury my nose into a Mum and it blossoms with savory caramels. My long-dead smoky grandmother pours another glass of Thunderbird and follows with a shot of Maker’s Mark. It’s all to intoxicating in my nose, but very mature and respectable. A perfusive glint of ruby still tints her hair and the merangue on her lemon pie, is a tawny ivory, lacing the bowl. I mix a new drink: white grapefruit juice, eight shots of Wild Turkey, and a handful of frozen raspberries, top with soda. From the backdoor, my uncle arrives with a bushel of sweetgrass and Fuggles. He has sour patch kids in his mouth. He’s surprisingly effervescent, considering the long drive in the snow. After a few harsh words, he calms down with a can of grape soda. The cherry garnish for the turkey has too much booze, my grandmother has lost her taste buds. But it balances out with her delectable orange custard. This beer is bizarre. Starts off entirely too overwhelming in alcohol. There’s something in the middle that’s reminiscent of the experience of too much Listerine. It just hurts and has weird Brett touches. Later, it mellows out a little bit and experiences a profusion of enjoyable caramels and hop balance. By then, it’s too late, though. Fruit seems heavily diminished.

 1,497 characters

Photo of RugbyBeerRepeat
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this while on tour at the brewery and later picked up two bottles. The beer is bottled in champagne bottles, with the cap covered by a black foil wrapper. (I believe this is the same wrapper used on the triple eight vodka bottles.) The beer was brewed to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the brewery. The brewery started with their Whale’s Tail Pale Ale, added strawberries and aged the brew for a year in bourbon casks. It was then cold conditioned for another year. It’s brewed to be a barelywine, but due to some legal technicality it cannot be labeled as such—it’s labeled as “beyond beer” instead.

This beer is a fine beer to sip on. Very sweet and fruity as expected. I thought the flavor developed more as the beer warmed in my glass. Decent mouthfeel, quite drinkable. There were no hints of honey in the taste, nevertheless I found the taste to be reminiscent of a mead. If you enjoy strong beers or barleywine you should give this one a try.

 972 characters

Photo of Brewfan
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper-orange in color. Medium-small bubble head disipates rather quickly.
But the color and bubble size isn't what this beer is about. It's about bourbon and oak.
Holy schnikeys!!!! Huge vanilla, oak, malt and bourbon nose upon pouring. The first whiff was astringent and so alcoholic it was almost medicinal. The aroma mellowed out a bit after sitting a while, but not much.
Now for the taste. Oak, oak, and more oak. It's like I'm sucking on sour vanilla caramelized oak chips. A bit much at the start of the beer, but it rounds out a bit later in the beer. Some of the sour fruit esters (strawberry) really come out as it warms up. Not much hoppyness here. The oaky-malt-vanilla-sour combo really takes presidence.
Medium mouthfeel. Suprisingly easy to drink for a beer of this magnatude, after you get past the initial mouthful.
A nice combo of the Baggywrinkle and Whale's Tale. I've never had either of them seperately, but will have to try them to see if the sum is greater than its parts.

 1,007 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Black foil.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" light tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, with plenty of heavy sticky lacing, especially for a strong ale. Nose is dominated by oak, with undercurrent alcohol, not much room for anything else. Taste is pale malt, with plentiful strawberry notes, giving way to the heavier sweet grains, with oak and vanilla throughout, and dominating the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent. Very impressed by this brew. Might make me revisit some of their other brews which kept bubbling over on me.

 643 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Poured a dark and cloudy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of berries, oak, light vanilla, caramel and had a light smokiness to it. Tastes of oak, berries, caramel, and vanilla. Had a sour cherry aftertaste to it with a light alcohol kick.

Notes from: 12/12/05

 299 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

at 9.5%, this should be called "almost ten", but i digress.

this beer is very rich and a great tribute to a local breweries' tenth anniversary. a brewery with classy labels, solid beers and an upper-class new england reputation does right by this celebratory beer. the baggywrinkle needs a little dilution, and the aging/blending process here really showcases this. not only do the strawberries add a fresh, non-brett tartness to balance out the butter of the barleywine, but the vanilla flavors from the oak are so natural and woody that diacetyl levels do not appear increased. fruitiness is elevated also, but in a way that evokes darker fruit tannins observed in white wines. the whale's tale itself is more or less a neutral beer and serves more to even out the mix than to add any real flavors. if you like the BB but think it was a little too much, this is the beer for you.

a nice sipper and congrats on 10. would probably kill your mother for this on cask.

 971 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy reddish color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice, complex aroma that boasts of crystal and roasted malts along with a fine bourban cask feel. There is a slight hint of strawberries in there as well. The taste is great. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down silky smooth and finishes warm and a bit fruity. The bourban casks add a mellowing touch to the high abv. taste. The strawberries add another level to the taste. It's warm and malty, but a hint of fruit tartness, how cool is that? The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn tastey beer. The taste is quite complex and highly enjoyable; a good drinker.

 744 characters

Photo of bjohnson
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has been cellaring for about 6 months in the basement. Figured today was as good as any to pop this guy.

A: Pours a dark ruby color. Very slight retentoin to this but dissipates quickly. Bubbly head.
S: Aromas of a huge bag of smashed strawberries with a smooth vanilla creamyness. Almost like strawberries and cream. Oak chips are also noticed with a strong aroma of booze.
T/M: Good level of carbonation at the outstart. Slight strawberry and cranberry fruitiness kick with a smoothness to it. Starts off with that barleywine malty woody oak bourbon taste, but just fades and disappears into a pale ale type smoothness. It's amazing how fast the Baggywrinkle disappears---I'm shocked! Crisp but smooth. I like this one a lot. Not as heavy handed as it first presents itself---medium bodied.
D: Drinkable if you're sharing as a dessert beer. This wouldn't be a starter for me--definately a night cap. Would buy again and age for longer if I see it.

 956 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jdiddy for sharing this rare treat. Pours 75% head - rocky and off-white. Color and clarity is cideresque and murky. Interesting nose - herbal, light fruity esters and cotton candy. Taste reveals a little bourbon, some fruity esters and some acidity. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a carbonation that is almost flat - quite surprising considering the volume of the head. An intriguing and multi-faceted beer, but not really my thing.

 443 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A hazy dark copper/brown beer. Has a small bubbly off white head. Yep it smell like a strong ale, has a decent alcohol presence up front. Followed by a tempting raisin and fig dried fruit character. The mouth feel is very light/weak/watery, which detracts from the flavor. The dried fruit character becomes less sweet and and has a light sour note to it. There are hints of tabacoo in the background that are struggling to get thru but the weak mouthfeel keeps it from getting all the way there.

 495 characters

Photo of guinnessdoc
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased while in Boston for NERAX and has been cellaring for 8 months.

Appearance: Color is like dark red copper - a lot like iced tea. Pours with a huge off-white head that falls quickly to a ring around the edge. (Note: after the first pour, this bubbled out of the top of the bottle while I was in the other room drinking)

Smell: Sweet, like strawberries or raspberries and quite a bit of bourbon aroma which I'm a big fan of.

Taste: starts off more like a barleywine with the bourbon and the earthy, wood flavor but moves to the fruit and pale ale bitterness by the end.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is just a bit too much for my tastes. I'd like to enjoy more of the bourbon cask flavors but the carbonation prevents me from getting all of it.

Drinkability: Not an everyday choice by any means but a really enjoyable beer. Would definitely buy another and cellar for a long time if I found it.

 912 characters

Photo of bwyker
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Muted redish-copper with a thin burgundy head.

S: Vanilla and strawberries, with virtually no sign of the almost 10% ABV. Very smooth, aged smell that prepares you for a complex brew.

T: A blend of smoothed bitterness from the pale ale and mellowed bite from the barleywine. Accented with a unique, light fruitiness that complements the oak-vanilla and bourbon hints well.

MF: Moderate to high carbonation, but very smooth -- especially for such a big beer.

D: Dangerously drinkable, though for the pallets that appreciate a stinging hop character or the grittiness of a rough stout this may be too dulled. Nonetheless, an admirably complex brew that deserves praise for its uniqueness and painstaking craftsmanship.

 733 characters

Ten from Cisco Brewers Inc.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 14 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.