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
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 216
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was nearly black with a small tan head.

Roasted malt aroma, a little chocolate. A bit herbal.

Mostly chocolate taste. Some espresso. A little piney hops in the finish.

Heavier-bodied, filling.

Pretty nice stout. Would drink this again.

 266 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dad brown to black color with a good sized tan head. The smell is roasty with a hint of chocolate there is also a good hop presence. The flavor follows suit with a good hop and roasty bitterness and a wonderful medium mouthfeel with a little sweetness to it bthe carbonation is medium and overall this is a pretty damn good beer.

 347 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. Large light tan head with a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma is sweet, very chocolatey and slightly hoppy.

The taste is relatively dry for a stout of this strength, aided by the extremely hoppy bitterness. this is one very hoppy stout.

This is medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

I like this one quite a bit. It's enjoable but not entirely balanced.

 380 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a chalice. Shared by Joe. Looks black with a finger of fluffy mocha colored head. Nice retention with sticky lace.

The aroma is just full of bitter chocolate with a bit of coffee in the background. The aroma has a bit of a grassy hop background. The flavor is a lot like the aroma here. Bitter cocoa and bitter coffee on the pallet. A bit on the hoppy side here. Finishes with a prominent grassy hop finish.

The body is a bit on the light side but the carbonation is good and somewhat soft. Not bad here. Kind of underwhelming. Enjoyable nevertheless.

 573 characters

Photo of Digimaika2
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black colour with a thin head that recedes quickly to small patches of bubbles along an outer ring. Ivory or off-white coloured foam which looks great and contrasts nicely against the pitch black liquid. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Bittersweet molasses and licorice, smoke, plenty of dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla and anise spice, and a noticeable but faint hops presence. Good and simple aromas.

T: Similar to smell in almost every regard, with the possible exception of the hops which take a more present and balanced approach in the taste. A bit more smoke and spice to this in the taste aswell. Alcohol nicely hidden considering the ABV. Overall very well balanced and quite tasty.

M: Light and thin mouthfeel which is very fresh and makes this quite easy-to-drink. About average carbonation for style.

D: Would love to drink this again. The thin mouthfeel of this (as opposed to a thicker Imperial Stout) is refreshing, and I wish more brewers would experiment with this style.

 1,003 characters

Photo of mlazzaro
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle
Been saving this one for a while now. Pitch black opaque beer. Light brown head that's holding nicely and clinging to the glass. Looks good. Smells ultra chocolaty with a hint of booze in the aroma. Smooth in terms of booziness, but it is very acidic on the tongue. Nice bread flavors, toast mixed with intense dark chocolate. Flavors build up and finger for a while. The smokiness comes off more like an ashy flavor, I'm not really into it. Strong and very dark beer. Probably should have busted this one out in the winter.

 538 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to kelp for this bottle. Needed a bottle to celebrate a rare Twins win. Often need two or three after watching a game so far this season. Alex Burnett, please go use whatever kind of degree you have, somewhere else.

Pours black. Smell is warm stout - roast, little smoke & chocolate.

Captain Swain's Extra Stout is a notch above average, a solid black beer with all the classic trimmings. More smokiness than I expected, it's the beer's defining characteristic. Bitter roast is strong, too. Plinking notes of chocolate.

Decent enough stout that I'll be happy to quaff, but nothing distinctive about it, & the smoke/roast/harsh combo just doesn't quite do it for me.

 677 characters

Photo of YouSkeete
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dark brown, black appearance. Red tint at the edges of my snifter. Short khaki head with weak retention. Fades into slightly bubbly lacing.

S: Roasted, almost burnt coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, molasses, caramel. Hints of cream and oak/wood.

T/M: Bitter coffee upfront; almost tastes like old/burnt coffee. Smooth hops, bittersweet chocolate, molasses compose most of the body. Light hints of dark wine-like fruits permeate through the heavy bitterness of the overall flavor. Aftertaste is tangy and almost sour. Medium carbonation with a medium body as well.

D: A decent stout, with an overpowering hop bite that doesn't really fit in my opinion.

 665 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, basically black, with a fine cap of brown bubbles. Good head retention, thick and clumpy lacing. Smells malty, caramel and a little toffee, roast, with grassy hops. Nutty and a bit citrusy, earthy with a hint of licorice behind more prominent molasses. Bitterness was solid and balanced the caramel sweetness, lots of grapefruit, alcohol, chocolate and roast, hint of sour cherries, lots of biscuity flavor. Full bodied, lowish carbonation, mild warmth, fairly smooth in texture. Tasty!

 497 characters

Photo of OldIronLungs
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a puffy thick head that settles down into a craterous strata of tan brown on top of a dark black.

More pine hops than roast and chocolate, but they're all there up in your nose.

A sip starts off chocolatey but is quickly challenged by a lightly smokey roast and a hoppy, piney, resiny twang through the end with a little of the 8% keeping you warm. Medium smooth body, light carbonation.

I was impressed by this one. Definitely a hoppy stout worthy of rough seas.

 472 characters

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

 673 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a slow to emerge 2" mocha colored head. Body is dark as coffee. Smells of chocolate malt and hops. Taste is a weaker form of the chocolate malt and a stronger form of the hops. There's a nice acidic zing. All of this so far would have landed it somewhere in B range to me but the long long finish moved it across the border into A-. Like the end of the label write-up says it's "a resiny hop finish that lasts & lasts". Yes it does. Plus I don't see on the bottle how much alcohol this has but I had quite the happy buzz after my pint.

 542 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one today at Mile High Wine just west of Denver, not knowing Cisco was distributed out here. Poured a medium black color with a loose finger of light brown foam. Aromas of bitter chocolate, piney hops and roasted malt. On the palate, medium bodied, with roasted malt, chocolate and ash.

 295 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one deep, complex stout. Bottle-conditioned, not much head forms over (or remains from) the thick-as and dirty-as spent motor oil viscous malt nectar that silkily pours out. Superb, seemingly bottomless depth to the aroma. A bit yeast-funky and oxidized maybe, dark pureed dried fruit softly pokes through a predominantly rich, 3-day old chocolate-biscuit malt aroma accented with a smooth toasty roastiness. Damn near milk-forward (chilled) hot cocoa density carries a quasi-sweetish, cakey, not so much bitter yet toasty-burnt-gritty cocoa malt taste. A drink to be sipped and savored. That subtle funk rears its head from time to time, but really only to yawn heartily and sink back into its delicious pillow. Yeah, I really liked this and can't wait to try it again, my friend.

 789 characters

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

Captain Swain's Extra Stout
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Nice bottle with a cool label design.

Pours a deep jet black with some dark brown highlights on the bottom of the glass. Notice some sediment too. Khaki head on top that leaves some good patterns of lace.

Roasted and smoky nose. Perhaps some whiffs of coffee beans.

Flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans showcasing a serious malt profile. Finishes with a hint of pine and liberally hopped. Respectable 8% ABV too.

 507 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $5.99. Dark black, sizable brown head. Smells like a stout but nothing wowed me. The taste was rich stout with a distinct pine on the back end, very intriguing and I wonder what varieties of hops were used in this beer. Overall this beer was a very good value for the money.

 286 characters

Photo of rings
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Named after a whaling captain ancestor of one of the proprietors, this dry Irish stout contains a blend of thirteen different malts in the grist bill. It pours dark, thick and black, with low carbonation and rather like used motor oil. There's a lovely milk chocolate head that unfortunately lingers for only a few moments before settling into a thin circle around the edge of the glass. It has a lovely roasted, woody aroma and the initial body is a full toasty, roasty malty assault that jumps quickly to a firm, dry bite and lingering hoppy finish. A beer like this is actually a good reason for my pessimism at another certain large brewer's Foreign Extra reviewed in February, because this is what that could have been: firm, full and nuanced.

This is an above average effort.

 782 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

We pour of this brew a deepest brown. There is a bubbly two finger mocha colored head that slowly creeps down. Thick lacing sticks to the glass as it does. A little carbonation is visible around the edges of the glass, but no light is allowed in to give any hints otherwise. The aroma is a nice mix of dry powdered chocolate, deep roasted malts, and fresh hops. The charred malts meet the taste buds up front. There is a dark, almost charcoal feel to them. These meld in the middle with bittersweet chocolate and piney hops, which balance nicely. The finish is a mouthful of well-balanced goodness. Here, there is a strong revival of the malts, which exude that stouty cocoa, coffee flavoring. The aftertaste is of the same, but subdued from the hops and ultimate cleanliness of the beer. The body is full, with low carbonation. The beer sips frothy and silky smooth, and is a bit chewy. The mouth is dried slightly from the roastedness and the chocolate, but is left satiated and happy. The abv is towards the higher end for a stout, but the beer miraculously disappears.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how well it fit the bill. It had a robust aroma and taste, and looked the part. Where it actually stood apart was in the feel, where it was overly smooth and soft drinking. This beer, with its name, label, and ridiculous thirteen malts, has a darkly ominous tone to which it does not disappoint.

 1,419 characters

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.

 559 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Pours jet black with a one-finger brown head. Retention is good, and lacing consists of some thin sticky rings clinging to the glass as the beer is imbibed.

S: Burnt malts. Dark chocolate, burnt coffee, berries and plums, herbal hops. Maybe some vanilla and rum raisin?

T: Burnt malt taste up front. Burnt coffee, charred woody and smokey notes, and very distinct semi-sweet dark chocolate. Slightly spicy herbal hops with just a touch of pine. Hints of dark berries, cherries, and plums reside beneath all of this. Finishes dry with tastes of burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and a pronounced lingering smokey flavor.

M: Thick and silky. Just enough carbonation to keep things real. Slight astringency from the roasted malts.

D: Pretty drinkable for a big beer. Certainly no session stout, but no brawny RIS either.

Notes: Excellent. My personal favorite within its style as of right now. A big, bold beer. Very smokey, and even more so as it warms. This might be a little overwhelming to some, but it definitely tickled my fancy. Why don't more American breweries produce Foreign/Export stouts and Extra Stouts?

 1,165 characters

Photo of micmillon18
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. No born on date.

A - Pours a jet black color with a thick, creamy copper head. Head dissipates quickly and the remainder sits atop the beer. Lots of lacing.

S - Smokey, roasted barley. Chocolate or something sweet is very present. Can't put my finger on it but its good. Small scents of coffee.

T - Incredibly malty, lots of smokiness at the end. Coffee, sweetness is similar to dark toffee. Nutty as well. Certainly bitter, hopiness is very present. Lots going on in this beer. I feel like im tasting 7 different things at once that all seem to somehow blend together perfectly, giving me a multi level enjoyable experience.

M - Very smooth, finishes with a nice after taste. Alcohol is hardly present towards the end making it incredibly balanced.

D - A great beer for a cold night like the one I'm experiencing right now. Found it similar to Guinness' Foreign Stout which is one of my go-to's. So much flavor in this one, I truly had a lot of difficulty putting it down.

 1,010 characters

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.

 515 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to rlmartin for this extra! It is a good one...

A - It pours the deepest possible hue of brown with a modest cap of taupe froth set atop. As the glass is upended, rings of lace record the progress.

S - The nose is comprised of deeply roasted maltiness which yields impressions of cocoa and coffee grinds. There is an evergreen hoppiness that rounds out the nose, adding another dimension to the pleasurable acridity.

T - The flavor is exactly what is suggested by the aroma: deeply roasted malt, coffee, cocoa and evergreen hoppiness. As it airs out, sweet toffee and caramel notes augment the brash and pleasantly acrid flavor baseline. The pine-y and cedar-y hop is apparent on the finish. I really enjoy this one; it has the intangible 'Foreign Export-ness' expected of the style, but it is richer and more delectable than most.

M - Exceptionally rich and creamy feel, soft carbonation, perfectly enhancing.

D - Very well-done. Way more than I was expecting.

 977 characters

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.

 328 characters

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

22oz bottle

Thanks Joe. Pours a deep brown/black color with a small brown head. Rich chocolate malts in the nose, a perfect amount of sweet and roasty balance. Velvety smooth with no apparent alcohol note. Very drinkable, a perfect night cap. A truly impressive stout.

 269 characters

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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.