Captain Swain's Extra Stout | Cisco Brewers Inc.

very good
151 Reviews
Captain Swain's Extra StoutCaptain Swain's Extra Stout

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-21-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 216
Photo of angelmonster
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black body with mahogany hightlights when held to light. Head is 2 fingers and khaki colored. Lacing and head retention are pretty good.

Smell is big on roasted malt, sweet chocolate, and fresh baked brownies. There is abit of oxidation there, no hops, and for 8% surprisingly not much alcohol.

First taste is chalky semi sweet bakers chocolate. Roasted biscuit malts come and go throughout. Oxidation/soy sauce is in the after taste. Hops dont really come through. Beer drinks more like a 6%er, wouldnt have guessed it was 8,

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied. Head adds some texture. Carbonation levels are good. Finish is slightly chalky/dry.

Overall this beer was good but nothing extraordinary. It drinks easily, its been in my closet for at least a year so that may be the cause. I would drink this beer again but seeing as its from Massachusetts I wouldnt go out of my way to procure it, glad to receive it in a trade though.

 962 characters

Photo of Dope
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

No date that I can see, but this is one of my older bottles. Probably 3 years old.

A: Pours a nice black with a big, dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with surprisingly excellent lacing and head retention.

S: Quite a bit of dark fruits and umami in the aroma. Hints of char.

T: Charry and chalky up front. A little bit of umami but not as much as the aroma. Dry, bitter, acrid char in the finish and the lingering aftertaste. Some super bitter baker's chocolate joins it as well.

M: Medium bodied, chalky and very dry.

O: Interesting FES. Lots of char and chocolate and SUPER dry. The aftertaste is practically like eating cocoa powder. One of the driest stouts I've ever had. Overall the flavors are decent but the dryness is kinda off-putting.

 762 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown in color (almost black) with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dark tan head that reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and burnt dark malts with some light notes of anise and spruce-like hoppiness.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted and burnt malts with some heavily roasted coffee. That is followed by some lighter flavors of dark chocolate and anise along with a light note of hoppiness (spruce/pine). Light amounts of earthy hoppiness that lends to the already moderate bitterness which lingers for quite a while.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is an interesting though fairly big foreign/export stout which significant amounts of roast and char flavors/aromas. The hoppiness really starts to become more apparent as the beer warms up.

 1,127 characters

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color-only traces of red are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high mocha covered head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of burnt and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that it also has hints of licorice. All flavors linger through the finish. Little if any bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and extremely dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and nice and dry, burnt and roasty.

 713 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Builds a three-inch dark chestnut froth that leaves a creamy coating of lace on the inaugural use of my Cicso fisheye pint glass. The head slowly settles to a pancake batter consistency over a black beer. The cascading action was, as always, mesmerizing.

The aroma is dominated by espresso and dark chocolate, with crème de cocoa in the background. Warmth brings out pinesap and rum.

There is a strong coffee flavor which oscillates between sweet and bitter, while dark roasted chocolate is countered by rum and a sharp, bitter finish that mellows with time. Warms very well, bringing out mint, light acid, with molasses.

Warming alcohol mellows as this beer comes to room temperature. It has a medium body with a creamy texture and soft, prickly carbonation.

Captain Swain’s is good on its own, with deep conversation or a juicy ribeye.

 846 characters

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

Thick beer, chocolate up front and coffee and lots of roast in the finish, to burnt parts. Appearance of a chocolate ice cream soda. Much more bitter than sweet, despite mollasses,but consistent with the style. Spot of wood.Big mouthfeel. Good drinking.

 253 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours goopy black. Clearly full bodied by how the liquid looks as it cascades into the glass. Powerfully dark in the glass. The best fight the light can do is make the outermost sliver of the body seem brown. Tis' a dark beast, Captain. Head is big and mocha-colored. Head retains its impressive stature throughout the session and boy does it lace. Quite a handsome liquid.

S-Char, smoke and roast. A mammoth of an Export Stout in the nose. Below the burnt bread and coffee is a dose of piney and soapy hops. Almost smells like tar. It is an intense nose. I am not sure how enamored I am with it but I respect its power.

T-The hops really come out for battle. Sudsy, soapy and piney. All that roast and over-toasted dark bread is there but the hops really manage to counterbalance. More like an Imperial Black Ale in some regards. Bitter Dutch dark chocolate joins forces with the bitterness from the pine. Sometimes these flavors don't mix well, but within Swain they do.

M-Full bodied but not incredibly viscous. Shockingly easy to imbibe. Bitterness is pretty high and it finishes dry. Oh yes, high and dry. Booze masked with some expertise.

O/D-Could this be my first Foreign/Export Stout review? Shocking. This was pretty kick-ass. They made naturally contradicting flavors come together quite well. This brew deserves more publicity. I got it for $5.99 per 22 oz. and I find that to be a decent exchange. Far hoppier than anticipated. One of my favorite Cisco brews.

 1,479 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy, 650ml into a tulip.

Black with a light brown head, pretty thick retention and quite a bit of lace/retention. Nose is almost black IPA-like, lots of dark chocolate and roast, with quite a bit of piney hops. A bit of citrus in there too, a hint of smoke. taste has more dark chocolate, strong roasted malt character and again with a bit of sweetness, a hoppy piney finish. Drying finish and bitter coffee grains linger. Medium body and medium carbonation. Would revisit on a colder day, bomber is a bit much for one person - nicer to share I'd imagine.

 570 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, ruby-brown color with a light brown, thin head. The nose is roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a slight hops presence that all blends together into an intoxicating, dark aroma. Roasted palate, with bitter coffee highlights and cocoa nib characteristics. The aftertaste is smokey and roasted, with a smooth, bitter finish. Great lacing on the glass as you go, making this an all-around great drinker.

 464 characters

Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours very dark with 1 inch caramel colored head that leaves some nice lacing.

S: Smell is of dark chocolate, cherries, and molasses.

T: The taste is very bitter to start, which to me would be a combination of the molasses and some fig. Has a dark chocolate finish with a bready after taste.

M: A very smooth and creamy beer, very dark bodied, but easy to drink if you can tolerate the bitterness.

O: Have not had too much from this brewer, but am always down to try and extra stout bomber for $4. Not bvery disappointing, has all the characteristics of a stout, plus a few extra ingredients. I give it a solid thumb up!

 637 characters

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

Opaque black with a thick tan head and some lace.

Fruity scent - plums, figs - with notes of molasses and roasted coffee

Taste is fruity - plums, figs, raisins - with a mildly sweet molasses note and toasted, smoky, and slightly charred flavors rising in the long smooth finish. Nice balance - neither overly sweet nor too dry. The smoke and char flavors build well. A mild piney hop note peeks through.

Mouth is soft and creamy.

I've enjoyed Capt Swains for years and realized only today that I'd never reviewed it. Incidentally this makes a great black and tan if you have a bottle of Whale Tail Pale handy.

 613 characters

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

Strong, smoky aroma has firm notes of molasses, caramel and quality coffee. It pours a rich, warm, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Rich flavor has molasses, roast coffee, caramel and charred wood notes plus a hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Full-bodied texture has a good amount of fizz, and leaves a nice smoky tingle.

 342 characters

Photo of nebula1999
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle.

Pitch black, deep tan head.

Smell is pine, hops, nuts, hint of smoke. Roasty as all heck. Maybe some cocoa.

Taste is a smooth malty bomb with some interesting smoke notes and piney resin. Hint of chocolate. Lasting dryness from the hops. Not as complex as I hoped. But a very good stout. Unusual.

 314 characters

Photo of beer2day
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged 9 months in the back of the beer fridge.

Dark black with dark mocha 1/2 finger head. Thin sheen still left towards the end. Light rings of lace.

Nose is roast malt and coffee. Medium roast coffee. Starting to get some chocolate late in the glass.

Lots more chocolate in the flavor. More roast malt and roast coffee, a bit of toffee, and a bit of orange citrus sneaking through in the finish. Chocolate really jumps out in the finish, too. Good depth. Very rich flavor.

Body is slightly thick and syrupy, without becoming overwhelming. Stands up to the flavors well.

Well done.

 587 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration or bottling date listed. Sampled on February 6, 2012. It pours a deep, dark black with a khaki-brown head that fluffs up and lingers for an extended amount of time. The aroma is vibrant and complex with dark malts and dark fruit accompanied by a pungent earthy or pine hopped bitterness. The body is medium to bold. The taste begins with the malty character but is then broken up by a powerful hoppy bite that ends dry. This is unlike other stouts I have had.

 505 characters

Photo of Thads324
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a loosely billowing dark tan head. Smells of alcohol, pine and grass hops, sweet dried fruits, a bit of roast. Flavor starts watery, then comes a hit of piney resiny hop. A roasty, very coffee like flavor. Creamy especially because of the frothy head. Finishes with more hop bitterness that includes slight citrus notes and more grass, earth and pine. Mouthfeel is easy going, medium bodied, creamy smooth.

Smells great, tastes hoppier than expected. Very nice and a surprise buy for me. I'll definitely get more!

 538 characters

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

Captain Swain's Extra Stout is dark as the ocean floor and emits about the same amount of light. In fact, it provides a backdrop so black and opaque that I can see my own reflection, in perfect and undistorted definition, in the glass in which it's contained. Its head is a greyish-brown and has a sparkly sheen, like the unpolished side of a marble block.

The aroma is a seething, festered, tangled mess of hop resins. This thing smells green as grass and has pine and spruce resins thick enough to clog up your nostrils. It's like someone jammed a tree log up your nose. There's enough pine bark to start a fire. There is a mellow brown sugar note but (especially for a stout) the hops display a sheer dominance.

The bitter, tree bark-y flavours of pine needle and spruce serum that emanate from Chinook hops linger forever in the finish. It is a taste so strong I'll be able to still summon it days later. As well as the resins, a moderately smoky and roasty maltiness contributes dried fruit, chocolate, pumpernickel and molasses-rum. But the hops do all the talking.

This stout is hoppier than many IPAs. Specifically, it reminds me of a darker, roastier version Stone Arrogant Bastard (a flattering comparison, by all accounts). Despite a sturdy carbonation the flavor profile tastes almost slightly oxidized; the malts are bogged down with notes of plum and heed fully to the earthy, piny, spicy hop oils. It is very dry.

Chinook hops are so perfect in their way that they seem to epitomize the very scent and charm (and must) of the forest, it's as if the old wood's daintiest thought had materialized in this foreign stout. The hops notwithstanding, this even has strong wine- and cigar-like qualities. It is an unusual, characterful, and curious drink.

 1,770 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a fairly thin-bodied black with a monstrous, foamy, medium-brown head. Settles into craters of bubbly goodness.

S - Unusual hoppy for a stout with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and smoke.

T - Roasty, smoky malt dominate with a very pleasant bitter finish from the hops. There's some fruitiness to the finish as well. Awesome. Everything comes together to great a fine stout.

M - Smooth, delicious flavors, and well-balanced. Huge fan of this beer. First stout that I've poured with sediment at the bottom of the glass, as well. Incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. I will definitely drink this again.

 633 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.54/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of medium brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head exhibits good retention and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - A rich, roasty aroma of dark chocolate and nutty malt with some vanilla and smoky, almost whiskey like notes.

T - Dark malt comes out first with notes of burnt sugar and black bread. Some coffee and dark chocolate character shows up in the middle and a hint of spicy hops peaks out as well. The beer gets dark and bitter in the finish with lots of espresso, bakers chocolate, and blackstrap molasses characteristics.

M - Medium-thick body, average carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Having never heard of this brewery before picking this beer up on a whim, I didn't necessarily expect much but I was blown away by the first sip. The aroma is absolutely spectacular and the flavor profile backs it up with a dark complexity that holds up well against the best of the style. Really nice and at less than $6 for a bomber it is a good value too. If I could get this at home I would buy a few to cellar as this beer seems like it would only improve with time.

 1,117 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger's worth of tightly packed crisp light-to-medium brown colored head with some big chunky bubble mixed in... Minimal retention gives way to a full even slightly creamy lacing and slight collar... A couple of stray small sluggish carbonation bubbles can be seen towards the top edges of the glass... The color isn't black, but rather a deep rich dark mahogany brown... A tad bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A subdued yet rich milk chocolate character is first and foremost... Toffee... A very light coffee component... Simple, straightforward, and unpretentious... A bit more volume and assertiveness would make this an stellar aroma...

T - Roasted malt which was completely hidden in terms of aroma is first and foremost on the palette... It yields momentarily to the sweet chocolate notes originally expected... Perhaps some intense espresso... The finish is an intense charred experience that continues to crescendo for a while...

M - Medium bodied... A good carbonated bite... A bit of richness to start before during charred and dry on the finish...

D - An interesting two faced stout... The nose is sweet and rich... The palette is roasted and charred to a maximum with only a touch of sweetness... Interesting and surprising... A solid brew all the way around...

 1,296 characters

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

A: Pours a pitch black, motor oil color with a two finger mocha colored head that dissipates to a rocky sea foam.

S: Smell is predominantly of malts and light piney floral hops with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Some notes of dark fruits are present as well.

T: A nice chocolatey taste is present overall with a slight amount of espresso/coffee and some slight piney hops.

M: The flavor left in the mouth is mostly coffee and less chocolate. A nice big bodied brew with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is definitely one of the better Foreign Extra Stouts I've had, personally I find it better than the Guinness Foreign Extra. I would definitely buy this again.

 682 characters

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

Got this one at Mondo Vino.

Pours a dark cola/ruby/brown....a bit murky. Tan, off-brown head.

Sharp aroma. Coffee, burnt toast and some vanilla. A nice dose of dark chocolate. Some smoked pine

Nice stout. The dark chocolate gives the sharpness and extra kick. Caramel comes through a bit with a touch of vanilla. Mostly, it's the roastiness of the malt. Dark toast and a hint of nuttiness.

Ends with a bite. It ain't sweet. Nice to have this one.

 453 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I see a beer labeled "extra stout" -- this one poured as expected- bible black.

Produced a tan frothy head that was short lived-- not long after the initial pour the head receded from whence it came leaving a thin ring atop the edges of the beer along with a few wisps of lacing.

Flavor was good-- certainly that of a stout, yet it reminded me of a cliff-- nice strong bitter hops start, a bit of a run along the plateau and then... left me wonder where the rest of the brew had gone to.

Mouthfeel was quite cordial. Nice long hops finish with effervescence that tickled my palate.

Overall it's a fine stout-- I think there's plenty of room for improvement, still I'm certain I'll buy another bottle.

 709 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for opening this one Roger
From Notes

A - dark body, nice tan head

S - spent grain, creamy chocolate, sweet. Pretty good stuff

T - bitter coffee, dry roasted notes, pretty good. Also "some silly sweetness" - not sure what that means

M - it's ok, dryish, medium body

O - a good stout

 294 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark black body with a tan head that quickly disapates

S- subtle vanilla comes off the body. Oaky with all of malt

T-smoky with a lot of malt. Little bit of malt sits on the tounge

M-medium body and smooth

O-decent beer. Subtle smoke and lots of maltiness. Would like to try more from this place.

 303 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Captain Swain's Extra Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.89 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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