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Dark Woods | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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84
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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 muttyd
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown/black body with a foamy tan head. Aroma of yeast funk, vanilla & oak and some roasted malt are most obvious. Flavor follows the nose as expected, but the deep roasted flavor (presumably from the stout & porter base) peaks through at the end. Moderately sour/astringent finish. Creamy and bubbly on the tongue.

Very drinkable at the 7.5% abv. No stomach burning with this one as the astringency is on the more tolerable side. Will most likely seek this one out again, despite the rather steep price tag.

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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 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 emmasdad
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up in a recent trade, having had nothing from this brewery, and I was very impressed. Poured a nice medium reddish brown color, with a tight light tan head. Somewhat funky on the nose, with wood, vanilla, brett and light brown sugar. On the palate, somewhat vinous, with red wine, roasted malt, brett funkiness, oak and vanilla. An excellent beer, one of the better wild ales I've had. I really wish I had another bottle of this one.

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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 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 Jayli
4.62/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Track 84 10/2
Served in a tulip

A: This beer pours a deep, dark chocolate brown with a one finger of creamy light brown head. Head recedes at a moderate pace leacing thick sticky chunks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is funky, hay, oak and cherry tartness. Reminiscent of a port wine.

T: Taste is where this beer really shines. Taste starts with a mild milk chocolate sweetness before lending in to an oaky, sour, tart cherry presence. Finish is where a good deal of roasted malts come through before a charred malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee flavoring hold through.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy feel.

D: Goes down very easily, somewhat filling, nice kick. This is a complex beer that is the perfect blencd of wild and stout. I would drink this all day every day if I could!

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Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to ShogoKawada for the chance to sample this. Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Rodenbach tulip/flute.

Bistre body with vague ruby highlights when held to a strong light. A small but persistent light khaki head enshrouds the liquid with a solid layer of foam. Thick yet delicate soapy lacing and substantial tears.

Hefty Brett. aromatics - sour, funky, and earthy. A bit of cocoa, sour cherries, and citrus as well. Vague roast notes too.

Potent "wild" notes, vinuous loam and freshly crushed Syrah grapes lead into the light roast coffee-esque mid-palate which contributes a touch of sweetness. Fairly dry, lightly fruity, and quite earthy finish. A bit of pink peppercorn and oak as well. Strange to have porter elements in a Wild Ale, but they serve as a nice contrast and lend depth to the Brett. and wine notes.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, lightly tannic mouthfeel.

Well balanced, though somewhat odd conglomeration of flavors in this concoction, but overall I think this is a successful wine-inspired autumnal ale. Worth a try.

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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 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 glid02
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Brodie - much obliged!

Pours a hazy brownish-amber color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark caramel malts with large amounts of tart cherries. Also present are hints of funk and even lighter hints of oak.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are overtaken almost immediately by mildly tart cherry flavors and moderate amounts of funk. Midway through the sip the sweetness of the malt flavors fades a bit and the cherry flavors and funk take over. Mild amounts of oak make an appearance before carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer slightly more than cherry woods as it had a bit more complexity however both are fine beers. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Pencible
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like brett and oak with slight smoke and coffee and bitter chocolate and cherry.
T: It tasted like leather and tobacco and brett funk, with burnt coffee and unsweetened cocoa, as well as a bit of cherry and smoke and oak. It had a very dry and bitter aftertaste with some funk.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation.
D: This was a strange and bold beer almost reminiscent of the 108 year old Bass King's Ale, with strong leather and tobacco and funky elements. It had a decent body and hid the alcohol well, so it wasn't difficult to drink. But this complex and unique brew is much better to sip. An excellent candidate for aging, I imagine.

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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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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 jnn4v
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown color. Black beer with khaki lacing.

S: Cherry, brett, oak, and dark malts. Lots of savory and slightly smoky.

T: Leather, funk, very dry. Cocoa powder. Some smokiness and tobacco.

M: Lots of carbonation, but very good. Good mouthfeel.

D: Relatively drinkable. Strong wild flavors.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some cherries, oak, vanilla. The taste is malty, yeasty, tangy, nice little oak note, with some sweetness thrown in. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew. It's been awhile since I've had a AWA.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/26/10 notes. Got in a trade with monsterzero and brought to a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, cherries, dark fruit, oak, red wine, and a hint of funk, but not much.

t - Tastes same as the nose; very heavy on spices. Some cherries, oak, sour dark fruits, and fruity malts. Hint of wine, and no brett/funk.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty good sour, but not as good at the Cherry Woods. I didn't get much funk from it, but had some nice sour dark fruit in the smell and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with some slight crimson notes. A bit of off-white to tan lacing. Smells slightly acetic along with some sweet dark malts and hints of dark fruit. Slight bit of funk. Taste is similar with a bit more oak coming through. Roasted malt and sourness. Mouthfeel is good, but something is a bit off--not quite what the taste would lead me to expect. Drinkability is good. This is a unique brew, and I continue to be impressed by Cisco.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been waiting to try this one for a while. Hope it's worth it. 22oz bottle...

A: Super pitch black with no light shining through. Like dark woods. 1 inch off white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Smells of some cinnamon upfront with hints of earthy hop. Some banana and malt in the middle with some bubble gum on the backend. Interesting. Good.

T: Taste of some malty booze upfront with some sweet and tart cherry in the middle. Kind of like a sweet tart. This is definitely interesting. I also get some toffee and caramel flavors blended in. Good.

M: High carbonation but does not leave much on the palate. Decent.

D: Once you get past the bready tartness, this goes down decent.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Worth trying once if you have access. Otherwise, don't bother. It's good but not great.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had on tap at the AMherst Brewing Company

A - wild ale? thats a surprise to me, sure looks like a porter or stout, that kind of black, with half a finger of tan head

S - big wine flavors, deep red wine tart-ness, plus some unique floral notes

T - big tannic and very red winey, tart at first, the back of the flavor is a sweet combination of vanilla and chocolate

M&D - layered masterfully, tart and challenging at first with a smooth rewarding finish, complex and alive, could be off putting to people averse to red wine/cabernet tannic qualities, great beer, must find bottles of this

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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 pmlondrigan
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first had this beer on tap and fell in love with it, all I wanted was for Cisco to bottle it, thank you Cisco! Pours with the apperance of a porter, dark blackish brown nice tan head with tight carbonation. Surprisingly a bit of lacing. Great aroma, you get oak, wine, grape, some nice earthy leathery tones, a bit of funk. The aroma is my favorit part of this beer. Taste, well malty up front with the flavor of mostly stouts and porters. Fruity and winey tannins with some nice dark roasty flavors. Reel chewy beer. Lingering finish of chocolate and wine tannins. Nice body. I really like this beer and because of that I might think it is more drinkable then it is. All I know is when I first had it on tap I sessioned it hard and loved it.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.41/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared on a beautiful Chicago afternoon with Alex, Sean, and Mike. 750ml bottle into a Lost Abbey glass...A dark brown pour with a light tan head, carbonated, good retention and lacing...The aroma lets you know without a doubt this is a blend, you can really pull out almost all the different beers from the 8 blended. Its super complex, at one point I think too much is going on, but it balances well. Notes of red wine, vinegar, oak, vanilla...The taste is equally complex but doesn't pull it off as well as the aroma, but still pretty good. Very vinous, lots of oak, vanilla, sour but more qualities of a strong ale in the taste. The more you drink this the better it gets and more easier to drink.

A surprise in how good a blend can be, worth trying for the aroma alone.

 776 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jason for sharing this rarity. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours with a finger of ecru foam that settles to a thin collar and leaves behind spotty lacing. Dark brown in color, and a bit lighter at the fringes.

S - Vinous, oaky, Flanders brown flavor profile, with vinegar, sour grapes, tart apple, vanilla, and some musky funk. Very nicely balanced and integrated. Alcohol is well-hidden.

T - Taste is a bit less exciting. Very woody and tannic, with a nutty brown ale backbone that's spruced up with some light funk and vinegar. Nice, but not as lively as the nose.

M - The carbonation was a bit high for my liking, even when the style was taken into consideration. It was just a bit too zesty and harsh. Light body was a bit surprising considering the 8% ABV too. Finish was very dry and tannic.

D - Surprisingly compelling, even with the slightly annoying carbonation (which went away after a few minutes anyway). I had a few pours of this one, and I'd gladly have more if it popped up at a tasting.

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