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

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 216
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick, firm tan head.

Big assertive fruity sweet dark chocolate nose with smokey tones - very complex nose and very appealing.

Mouthfeel is creamy and inviting with elegant carbonation.

Flavors are all big roasted grains with sweet black chocolate coffee that is long lasting and rich.

Finish is big bitter dark chocolate with light pine and bitter espresso. There is a smokey character in all aspects of this beer.

A really nice effort and well worth trying, if not regularly drinking.

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a nice frothy head that laces well

Smell: Decent coffee aroma

Taste: Starts out OK, with a nice coffee flavor that quickly turns rather sour. (I think this bottle may be old although I just bought it.)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with way too frothy carbonation

Drinkability: Bearing in mind the source, this beer is a real disappointment. I haven't been on Nantucket since 1976, but I suspect I would like this beer a whole lot better if I were there. Put a date on it, Cisco!

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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.

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Photo of oberon
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an ink black with a huge blooming mocha colored head,I have noticed on a few of the Cisco offerings I have had there are some real overcarbonation issues either from age or whatever but its a litle annoying.The nose was very nice highly roasted barley smoke and charred dark fruit mainly with a lighter roasted nut note as well.Somewhat prickly mouthfeel from it being a bit overcarbonated keeps the drinkabilty from being all that great,flavor wise though its a nice brew he heavily roasted barley and smokiness returns along some kaluah-like alcohol sweetness and dark fruit finishing somewhat woody.A big complex stout I bet age has something to do with that overcarbonated body I would love to taste a fresh bottle.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick frothy dark 1 finger head fades at a medium pace with lacing over pitch black beer.

Nose of chalky dark malts, black patent, roast, light powdered chocolate, bitterness, burnt malts and coffee grinds, little fluffy chocolate.

Tate similar with roast, chocolate, black patent, some burnt malts, little booze, fairly bitter, little sulfur, creamy fluffy caramel, semi dry long bitter stouty finish.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied decent carb.

Drinkabilty is meh, pretty bitter and stouty, little salty, fairly dry, bit of burnt coffee grinds.

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

I once had a discussion with Michael Jackson regarding judging beers to style versus judging them hedonistically; and although he initially defended both sides of the issue, we concurred that it all comes down to "do you like the beer"? And, yes, I do.
It pours an almost black, exceptionally deep mahogany body beneath a short head of creamy dark tan foam that dies gently and leaves walls of spotty lace about the glass. They're transient at 8%abv, but that's OK, a new wall is built with each sip.
An acidic, dark malt greets you in the nose; followed by some sweeter notes of rich chocolate and a hint of burnt coffee as well as some spruce-like hoppiness. It's restrained, exceptionally fine-bubbled carbonation and light-medium body leaves it silky smooth across the palate. The flavor is bold without being overdone. Dark malt acidity greets you upfront (it's definitely not acetic or lactic, but it is somewhat tart), followed by some mild notes of bittersweet chocolate, and then some sweeter notes of creamy caramel. Restrained, but distinctly spruce-like hops appear immediately at the swallow; and help to usher in its dry and lingering earthy finish. It's quite enjoyable once it warms a bit and lends more breadth to its character. Certainly worth trying.

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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.

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

Poured a nice thick black with you nice nitro layering of the creamy caramel colored head. Lots of settling carbonation and great head retention made this one a keeper from the start. Smell was nice, caramel sugars, hints of roasted chocolate and a nice nutty presence filtered through. Very well rounded and fresh scent. The taste was right on board. Very creamy, and full flavored. Very nice smooth feel going down, awesome. Even better as it warmed! Main flavors were choclate and a nice caramel sweetness, but as it warmed, a tremendous hoopiness started to come though. Very nice dry bitter finish was wonderful.

Overall this was a very nice stout and a great effort

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Photo of smcolw
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another great head from Cisco! It's a solid three fingers (and that's without a nitrogen widget). Nearly black in color, no light shines through. Patchy thick lace adorns the side of my glass.

OK, this is bizarre, but I smell tuna. I don't know why, but it is the aroma I notice. If I try, I can detect some dark malts (chocolate, black patent). Sorry, but this is a real detraction.

This is a very good dry stout. There's a variety of flavors that come through--strong hop, bitter dark malts, a creaminess to the liquor, a high level of carbonation. I'm curious how this might stack up to the big three of Ireland. It's different in that it's not as "smooth", but yet it still goes down easily. The taste is extraordinary considering the aroma.

While not as thick as its Irish cousins, this is a flavorful brew. I suggest avoiding the smell and enjoy.

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

On tap at Bukowski's Tavern in my 32 oz mug. Nearly pitch black with a deep tan and tiny bubbled head.

Smells sweet with soft roasted aromas, a bit of dark chocolate and coffee also with a trace of hop.

Full sturdy bodied, very malty with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness with an outstanding and complex palate. Sweetness is soft with coffeeish flavours, creamy in the mouth feel. Hop bitterness is ample and rides with the mellow but stern roasted grain. Earthy, charred wood and nutty yeast round out the semi sweet finish.

A first taste I though this might be a beer to have just one and go to something else, by the end of the glass I wanted to drink it all night.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle got off to a rollicking start, for it exploded on uncapping, creating a head that's a thick morass of cocoa, and leaving me with a little mess to clean up on the floor! When I returned from my scrubbing and blotting, I marveled at the pitch-black color, a deep, stygian sea.
Aroma: rich and dark, thick as molasses, swimming with myriad connotations, bits of coffee, brown sugar, dark Jamaican rum, devilish spices,...I was tempted to postpone the consumption of the stout itself, and luxuriate with my nose in this forever!
Taste: as I eventually start to sip, we encounter some powerful hops up on top, and rich, full texture, with a strain of spiciness that plays on the tongue and continues all the way down. Gritty, earthy, bittersweet as well, but still smooth and easy. Somehow, the body isn't quite as thick as I'd like, but maybe that delectable nose had me hungering for an Imperial stout, which this is not. Doesn't quite last long enough in the mouth. Very mellow, actuall, while still rich and tasty. Despite petering out on the initial promise (or what I read into it), this is a top-notch foreign extra and I'd turn to often, if I were so lucky.
Thanks to UncleJimbo for this bottle!

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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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear black in color with a 3" fluffy dark tan colored head. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: soft roasted malts and chocolate tones.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, molasses, and soft coffee tones are the main components. As this warms the dark chocolate tones really come through.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a bit of a prickle at the start, but very smooth at the finish. Heavier in body but not as strong as some other stouts. Brief aftertaste.

Drinkability: decent, but personally this brew did not satisfy the "I need a good stout" urge when I picked up the bottle. Worth a try though.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful black and roasted malt scent along with a hearty hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a rich black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes earthy and warm. It has some hints of chocolate and coffee, along with a mild hop flavor. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation (bottle conditioned). Overall, this is a damn good beer. I like the big beer feel as well as the hop character. It's a tastey brew; a good drinker.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with a little bit of roasted malt mixed in. The flavor is chocolate, roasted malt and some alcohol. Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer.

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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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a huge brown head, produced by ample carbonation. The beer is a typical pitch black color. As I pour this beer I would swear I get some hints of Brettanomyces funk, perhaps this beer will be a bit more interesting than I was expecting. The aroma is sharp and acidic from roasted malts, and there is also a funky subtle note here that is spicy, and a bit earthy. Underneath this there is a solid roasted coffee note and a bit of chocolate as well.

Ooh, the taste of this beer is definitely sour and tart, and not in the typical dark malt way, there is a definite bacterial influence here, which in all honesty I actually like. Makes for a more interesting brew. The body of this is quite light, especially for an imperial stout. The finish of this beer is quite interesting, it starts out tart and reminiscent of cherries, but then moves to a bitter cold roasted coffee note. This beer has notes of coffee, perhaps a hint of chocolate, notes of earth and must, sour cherries, and perhaps a hint of vegetables.

I certainly do find this beer interesting, but I think I would have perhaps preferred it if it was just straight Imperial Stout, as apposed to slightly infected Imperial Stout. Thanks to PisskyNights for the opportunity to try this interesting brew.

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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.

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Photo of weeare138
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a black with a mild brown hue. A 3 finger tan head is formed from the heavy pour. Large head refuses to fade and leaves lots of chunky lacing around the glass.
Smell is of light caramel, crystal, and chocolate malt.
Taste is of chocolate, coffee, and cream in this decent mix.
Mouthfeel is of chocolate and black malts pumping through with sweetness and a mild chewiness. Medium-Full bodied.

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Captain Swain's Extra Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.89 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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