Dark Woods | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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61 Reviews
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Dark WoodsDark Woods
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by soccerman7 on 01-22-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
108
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
22.49%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
16
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 108
Photo of Arbitrator
1.75/5  rDev -52.6%
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.

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Photo of Overlord
1.77/5  rDev -52%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
1.86/5  rDev -49.6%
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.

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Photo of craytonic
2.16/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

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Photo of JAXSON
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After popping the cork on this, the beer just started spewing out like a fountain. When order was restored, there was so much slimy yeast floating around in it that I strained it through a cheese-grater as I couldn't find a sieve. When all was said and done, it appears a completely opaque black with maybe some reddish edges. Nose has retained a lot of the roastier elements from what I imagine was some kind of a stout before they bugged it. Some brett and a light cherry sort of quality. mouth is really thin, watery almost. Maybe some cherry juice and roasted malt, some pretty nice brett unfolds in the back. Such a watery texture. This is really unimpressive, which was strange because I LOVED the Monomoy Kriek.

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Photo of crusian
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

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Photo of albern
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The oakiness of the beer is quite good, but the really Bretty yeast and the vinegar flavors just slay this beer for me. I was hoping for good things, but there is just too much vinegar and Brett that just overpowers all the other good qualities. The beer looks good, with a nice brown mahogany color with a nice creamy tan head. There is good retention and some lacing with this beer. It is a touch watery. The nose is very cherryish, vinegary, and Bretty. The cherries diminish from the taste. The bourbon like oakiness and wood feel is the best quality of this beer. There is a slight maltiness in the background, and I wish it came more to the foreground on this one. I'm done with the review and with this beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-pours a dark brown or black ale with a nice woody brown colored head that is quite dense and creamy.

S-the nose has a huge malt backbone, roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel and toffee. a light cinnomon spice, notes of ash, faint sweetness to it with a touch of sour or brett.

T-the malt and the sourness seems a little off, the malt backbone and the brett addition combine to make something a little weird. kevin says botanical and i tend to agree, it seems a little plant like with the malt base up front and the brett behind. there is some cranberry sweetness, the oak really isn't there, a little sourness and almost no acidity.

M-smooth and creamy on the palate, medium body with very little carbonation giving it a finish that seems to fall off.

D-not fantastic, not horrible though. it is interesting i just don't know if this works together. the brett and sour is there and the malt base is pretty solid, they just don't seem to work together.

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Photo of mothman
2.94/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into great lakes snifter.

Pours a fizzy tan head. Color is a near black.

Aroma: Cranberries, chocolate, brett, oak, and a touch of funk.

Taste: Very funky, medicinal flavors and brett. Nut like flavors. Cranberries, sour cherries, and oak. Nothing that is really sparking my attention here.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and tart, big funk. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry with medicinal flavors.

Overall, the aroma is good, but the taste not so much. A weird beer. Reminded me of SFTO wine. Very slow drinking.

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Photo of meson13
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Old as fuck dark woods. I'm not gonna get into but it basically doesn't need to exist. I guess that's the only part of drinking it I don't regret, at least now it no longer exists. I'll take a fuckin geny cream over this any day. Christ

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Deep rich brown. Head is tan, smooth, and creamy. Leaves a decent cap on the beer throughout. Relatively clear, but holds a slight haze overall.

Smell: Faintly toasted. Citric bite. Deep cherry notes. Oak adds a nice counter to the sour. Earthy. Faintly sweet with a nutty finish. Almost bready, as in multigrain bready. Cocoa notes. Some roasted malts.

Taste: Where did the sour go? Nuts nad wood, but the malts run to cocoa and leather with a lingering sweetness. Sweet berry mixed with old wood and cocoa. Literally straddles the line between a stout and a barrel aged wild. Flavors meld after half a glass, but don't really get along.

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Carbonation is on the low side, especially for a Cisco Woods beer.

Overall: The most lackluster beer in the Cisco Woods series. Has a lot of potential on the nose, but the taste can't figure itself out. Stout and sour are present in equal measure, but refuse to work together.

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Photo of nickd717
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 1/21/12

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black - starts off with a big tan head, keeps a nearly half-inch cap for a long time - sticky lacing, too

Smell: Basically smells like a stout with Cisco Woods funk - slightly burnt malts, a little roasty, wood - some funk - slight barnyard, some sour, some weirdness that reminds me of Chap Stick

Taste: It's sour and stout-like, but not really a sour beer and not really a stout - malts are slightly burnt - not as burnt or roasted as the appearance would suggest - some chocolate malts, with some lighter malts that add depth - slightly sour, with some funk, acidic - somewhat works with the other flavors, although the malts kind of overpower the sourness - some oak, some dark fruit, a lot of hard to describe flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body, great carbonation, smooth, slightly sticky

Overall: Not bad, but not that great

There is a lot of stuff going on in this beer, and some of it is just weird. Sour with tons of acidity and somewhat burnt malts... It's strange and a bit messy.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
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

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Photo of youbrewidrink
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

By the color you would think porter, an mahogany brown with the rich tan head.

The aroma was rich and seductive with strong oak.

The taste was way to complex, I tasted the cherry first, then the oak and a bit of the wine. Too complex for my taste buds.

The mouthfeel was very lactic and chewy.

I had all I could do to drink one, I personally did not find this all that drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably about 4-5 years old.

Dark creamy head, nice lacing, dark brown little ruby light.

Nose big dark biscuity chocolate malt, chocolate cereal, little syrupy, some Brett like funk, little marshmallow, tart sourness.

Taste brings more biscuity chocolate, cookie marshmallow thing, tart sour Brett native bacteria, lacto sourness, lactic acid perhaps, decent funk but sour, candy syrupy thing to.Finish sticky flemmy tart funk sour dark malts.

Mouth is med to heavier syrupy bod lighter carb, flemmy.

Overall eh not my style but not too bad.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to LarryG for sending me this one in a past trade! Shared during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, caramel, fruit, and subtle tart. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, caramel, wood, fruit, and nutty. It had a light feel on the palate with a medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I have to say that this was one of the more disappointing brews from the series. Not really sure what they were shooting for here, but the sweet note definitely dominated this one unfortunately. Wish there was a little more sour and tart in this one to help out with the sweetness. Glad I got to share it with the rest of the series though.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says "black beer with a khaki head." It is correct. Thick blanket of retention drapes lace down my glass.

Unmistakable aroma of char grilled chicken that has been marinated in 1,000 islands dressing. I kid you not.

Tastes like Kingsford charcoal briquets, or at least what I think Kingsford charcoal briquets would taste like: a dry roast character mixed with a sweet twang. More sweet tang than roast.

I'm sure that some one better voiced in beer tasting lingo could create a more eloquent description but that's what I'm getting. I good grilling beer I guess.

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Photo of billab914
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into my Allagash glass. Dark brown in color with a half inch of frothy foam covering the top. Great head retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a pretty nice mix of funky, fruity and malty. Sour cherries, caramel and oak wood are the first things that jump out at me, but I started to get a touch of chocolate and red wine as it warmed. The tart fruit qualities have a little bit of an acidic quality to them, but not too bad.

The taste is where things don't come together that well for me. It shows a lot of the tart fruit and sour cherry flavors up front. The finish is where it seems to thin out and get a little watery. I get more of a lighter, porter like quality in the finish with just a little of the tart, funky flavors that it had up front. A little of the wood is lingering in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the thinner side with carbonation being a little low for the style. Overall, it was a pretty good beer. It had a good aroma to it, but the bold flavors just didn't hold up in the taste. Pretty good beer to sip on this evening, but not a standout in the style.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. I believe thanks go to AleLuvinRuskie for this one!

(A)- Pours a rather dark burgundy/burnt sienna color. Produced a great frothy tan head with surprisingly great retention and lace.

(S)- A fun combination of nutty oak, cherry fruits, vanilla, and a mildy funky tartness.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. A big butty oak and vanilla component. Heavier in the yeast department too. Bits of cinnamon and cocoa show up before finishing in a mild tartness.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Very mild tartness, but heavy in the nutty, oak, and yeast departments. Overall, fairly rich for the style, though not necessarily a weak point.

(D)- Overall, a solid wild ale; though more akin to a mildly sour porter. Richer, but enjoyable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a coastered white tannish head. The taste is very odd for me. Smells like bacteen with some medicinal notes. Cranberry, oak, and Brett also some through in the nose. Funky tasting with flavor notes of the cranberry quickly followed by funk. Not bad. Light mouthfeel. Ends with a lingering funkiness.

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Dark Woods from Cisco Brewers Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.
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