Cisco Monomoy Kriek

Happy New Year’s! Hopefully this year is even better than last year. Today’s beer is one that I was very excited to try. I’ve had an affinity for Cisco since I started the blog since one of the blogs I follow is from the New England area. I’m hoping to get up there at some point and visit the brewery. Let’s crack this one open.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: This beer is only available in bombers.

Random: The new season of “American Horror Story” is really different from the others. A few episodes in and I’m not sure that I like the new approach. Hopefully it gets better.

The beer poured with less than a quarter finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, brown color with no visible carbonation due to the haziness. The nose had notes of old basement and must with spoiled cherries. It also had a red wine characteristic with some vinegar. The taste had significant tartness with red wine vinegar. There were also notes of cherry skins, old yeast and grape must. There was also some musty basement notes that weren’t pleasant. I didn’t get any booze on the beer. The body had moderate thickness with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cherry skins. A bomber of this was $17.99, which broke down to $.82 per ounce). This beer was a bit too expensive for what it was. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cisco Summer of Lager

This is a beer that has been on my list to try for at least two years. I’ve seen it written up a lot and with this beer, it means that I’ve had every seasonal that Cisco currently offers. I’m starting to see their beers around more places, which is a good thing. If you recall, the last Cisco beer that I reviewed was a bit overpriced and not all that great (Cisco Cranberry Woods), so I was hoping that this beer would redeem the last one.


ABV: 5.6%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this is a summer seasonal which is available on draft, in bottles and in cans.

Random: I cannot believe that the Browns beat the Saints. That is just flat-out embarrassing.

This brew poured with less than half a finger of white head that was very slow to dissipate. It left little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with high carbonation. The nose was light with some grain and caramel malt. The taste was clean with grain and grass and some honey. Bread and yeast were there as well with a touch of minerality to it as well. It had a thin body with high carbonation. The finish was quick with bread and grass. This was an alright brew, for me, it would be a great beer to introduce a macro drinker to that would make them convert. With that being said, I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cisco Cranberry Woods

This was a beer that I was really excited to try. In New Jersey, we don’t normally get the more rare Cisco beers, so when I saw it on the shelf in Westchester County, I knew it was coming home with us.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Here on Nantucket we have a Winery, Brewery, and Distillery. Nantucket Vineyard was the first arm of our business opening in the early 1980’s as a small project of the Long Family. After a few years, Winery employees ended up falling in love with the wine and each other, and voila! – Cisco Brewers was born on the Hudson’s stovetop in 1995. Whispers of a brewery floated on the Nantucket wind, catching the ear of a few people, including a Mr. Harman. Using the previously tested and proven formula of starting a business from another business, Winery and Brewery employees enjoyed a few glasses / pints (respectively) together and hatched the idea for Triple Eight Distillery in 2000. All three businesses are constantly evolving, and we now produce a wide variety of world-class wines, beers, and spirits. Come out and enjoy our Nantucket haven – just prepare yourself in case your mind blows up from all the awesomeness.”

Random: I really like the metal signs from Cisco. I definitely see one of those in my future.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a pink tinged brownish color with moderate carbonation. The nose was pretty off-putting. I got some light funk along with bad, chalky candy and cough syrup. I poured the other half a glass and she said that it was awful. The taste was a bit better. It started with acidic notes and then goes into very light cranberry and big notes of oak with some warm vanilla. There was an expected barnyard funk to it as well. Although the flavors are ones that I typically like in a brew, the flavors were really disjointed and didn’t flow. The other half said that it tasted like vomit, which I thought was a little strong, but she obviously didn’t like it. The body was on the light side with very heavy carbonation. The finish was long with acid and oak. Given that this beer was also pretty expensive, I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cisco Winter Shredder

Another Katie pick. Speaking of winter shredding, we took Liz sledding yesterday. I haven’t done the whole sledding thing in awhile, but I was going down face first and getting pretty good speed and distance. We really haven’t had good sledding snow storms lately, but this one was perfect. Anyways, back to the brew.


ABV: 6%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: The brewery has no information about this brew on the website, so I’m going to take a wild guess and say this is their winter seasonal. I mean, the whole snowman on a board kinda gives it away.

Random: Why can’t some breweries update their website? I’ve continually had this problem with Cisco. I’ve also seen more of their beers available in Jersey, so maybe they can’t update because they’re increasing output. Whatever. It’s still annoying.

This one poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly. No lacing on this one, but a slight crown on top. The body was a clear, dark chestnut color with light carbonation visible throughout. The nose was odd, especially for the style. I got light spice, maple and this weird burnt note that I couldn’t place. So far, I’m not impressed. The taste was even more odd than the nose. I got burnt raisins with a medicinal tine and burnt bread. The spice that was in the nose was basically invisible in the taste, and it would have been welcomed given all the other off flavors. The body was thick with light carbonation. The finish was long and medicinal. I usually enjoy brews from Cisco, but this wasn’t one of them.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Cisco Pumple Drumkin Spiced Ale

It finally feels like Fall. Given that it’s been so warm lately, it hasn’t felt like Fall. But now, I get to break out the sweaters and the sweatshirts and I’m all into the Fall flavors. So, bring on the pumpkin beer! I feel like this year, I’ve seen more and more different ones which makes me happy inside. Here’s another one that I hadn’t quaffed before.

ABV: 6%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Pumple Drumkin Ale is a fall favorite on the island. A deep orange hue and a subtle pie aroma meet a robust malt character in this ale which, true to its seasonal reveling, tastes like toasted pie crust in your mouth. It will finish clean and dry on the palate and leave you wishing that every day could be autumn on Nantucket!”

Random: I’ve seen more and more Cisco beers around lately…I have to get around to trying them all.

This brew poured with a two finger, slightly off white head that dissipated quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, orange color with insane amounts of carbonation visible throughout. The nose was pumpkin, spice and hint of hop at the end…a little bit different than your typical pumpkin beer, although the nose was general subtle. The taste had notes of pumpkin, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and a tinge of bitterness. This wasn’t what I expected. If you follow the blog, you know that I like big spice and pumpkin notes in my pumpkin beers. This wasn’t it. To me, it was a bit under flavored. The body was medium thickness and the carbonation was so intense it was almost distracting. The finish was quick, yet bitter. This was just an alright brew for me that I wouldn’t rush back to have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cisco Bailey’s Blonde Ale

When I first bought this beer, I wasn’t exactly sure why. I mean, I haven’t seen it at my home beer store (Cranbury Buy Rite) in awhile, and they used to have a decent selection from the brewery. I also hadn’t quaffed a lot of different offerings from the brewery.  I mean, they have cool labels and all (I do have an odd affinity for them), but why would I grab them when they were a bunch of other beers with better reputations that I could have grabbed? Probably because I thought their Grey Lady was decent. It wasn’t the best beer I’ve ever had of the style, but I had it early in my beer reviewing “career” and I liked it. So far, the other two offerings that I’ve had since have been disappointing (Cisco Sankaty Light and Cisco Whale’s Tale Pale Ale). But, this one has been in a few beer books that I’ve had and I hope it blows the others away.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Bailey’s Blonde Ale is a hoppy blonde ale. Plenty of domestic hops give this beer distinct character and a huge floral nose. Bailey’s is a past recipient of a gold medal at the World Beer Championships.”

Random: I’m watching Wednesday Night Baseball and I think that I just saw one of the worst and most obvious balks ever.

This brew poured with a thick white, two finger head that took forever to dissipate and left some lacing on the pint glass. The body was a majorly hazy orange color with generous visible carbonation on it. The nose was filled with sweet citrus like orange and pineapple coupled with floral hops. On the first sip, I was shocked at the hops that were apparent on this brew. They were plentiful, floral in taste and a bit grassy. Grapefruit was also apparent towards the second sip. The citrus flavors were present, but the hops took over this one. I would have pegged this one as more of a pale ale than a blonde. The body was towards the medium side with plentiful carbonation. The finish was long and hoppy. This beer was a bit of a surprise to me. I definitely didn’t expect this beer to have that much hoppiness up front or as much body. I would have this one again without question. This was definitely not your typical blonde beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cisco Whale’s Tale Pale Ale

So, I started listening to the Worst Case Scenario audiobook that I got from the library. It is not only hilarious, but useful. I figured out how to escape a bad date and get a red wine stain out. I really love books like that. They give you all these tips about how to handle common situations. Well…not that I usually need to escape Katie, but I have a habit of spilling crap on myself. Tonight’s brew is another one from Cisco that I tried at the AC Beer Fest but I don’t remember it flooring me.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you’re not familiar with Nantucket history, you’ll be interested to know that this tiny island was once the Whaling Capital of the World. Knowing a bit of the history of a place can really help put life in perspective, and I like to encourage people to spend part of their time here visiting the Whaling Museum, the Oldest House, and the windmill. Calling our beer ‘Whale’s Tale’ is a little tribute to the whaling era and a way to say hey, whales are people too! Let’s appreciate their contribution to Nantucket’s prosperity.”

Random: For some reason I haven’t watched a huge amount of baseball this season. It’s probably because the Phils have just been atrocious this season.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body of the brew was an ever-so-slightly hazy orange color with decent carbonation. The nose was a bit malt heavy, but I guess that was to be expected since the style is an English pale ale. There is a dose of some hops in there, but they hang out in the background. The taste was relatively neutral. The hops came up first, but were quickly balanced with some bready caramel malt. There was also a bit of a medicinal taste to it that I didn’t find pleasant at all. The body was on the thicker side of a pale ale with medium carbonation. The finish lingered with the medicinal flavor that I couldn’t identify. This brew really didn’t do anything for me. It was just there…no flavors to entice the palate, just wet and beery. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Cisco Sankaty Light

The first of a few brews that I bought from Cisco while I was down in South Jersey. I tried a few of them during the AC beer fest, but I don’t think this was one of them. This isn’t usually my favorite style, so I don’t really have high hopes for this one.

ABV: 3.8%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sankaty Light Lager is a light American Golden Lager. This delicious creation is light-bodied with tremendous balance and distinct hop character. At 3.8% alcohol and 126 calories this light beer has true flavor and body while being easy to drink and easier on the waistline. It is named after the famous lighthouse that has stood on a bluff on the southeastern side of Nantucket Island since 1849.”

Random: I seriously hate this humidity. It’s freaking ridic. That is all.

This brew poured with a half a finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy straw yellow with high amount of visible carbonation through the cloudiness. The nose had a bit of sweet honey and a hint of citrus to it. All in all, a very mild nose for the brew. The taste was almost reminiscent of a macro. There was a bit of sweetness to the taste, but instead of corn, was more of a honey sweetness. There was also some grain flavor to it, but not much else. The body was on the heavier side of the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was thick with moderate carbonation. The beer wasn’t bad, but just didn’t floor me. I could see this more as a lawnmower brew. It was pretty simple but had some flavor to it. If you see it, it’s worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Cisco Grey Lady

Nicole and I had a few friends over for the All-Star game, so we decided to do an impromptu tasting. This was the first beer of the tasting. I grabbed this one out of the fridge after Lisa said that she really didn’t like stouts. My other choice was going to be Stone’s Smoked Porter.

The players for this tasting (and the next one on the following post) are: Nicole (likes fruity beers and wheat beers, starting to get into IPAs), Lisa (favorite style is amber, doesn’t like stouts), me (likes wheat beers, IPAs, stouts and will try anything once).

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: Cisco Brewery was founded by Dean and Melissa Long, who also founded Triple Eight Distillery, the region’s first micro-distillery.

Random: I’ve read a few reviews about this beer online and happened to find it at my local liquor store. I was actually looking for Cisco’s Pink Lady, which is Grey Lady with cranberries added and aged in Chardonnay barrels. But, alas, I could only find this one, which also has good reviews.

I poured this into the stemless wine glasses and proceeded to get called a douche (again) by Lisa and Nic. Anyway, this poured with a crazy amount (about four fingers worth) of fluffy white head that took awhile to dissipate. The color is a cloudy, light orange. On first sniff, I get a lot of citrus, which is to be expected for a witbier. On first sip, there’s a nice amount of carbonation and definite lemon taste to it. Lisa says that the first things she get are “awesomeness” and “coconut.” I’m starting to think that her and Nicole are mocking me, but it’s okay, I’m not sensitive. The more I drink it, the more sweetness I get on the finish.  We all agree that it’s a pleasant brew that we could throw back with no problems. Lisa says that she’s never had anything like this before. To me, it definitely tastes like a typical witbier, but has a little more going on. Nicole also says that she likes it and gets the typical citrus taste that comes with a wheat. The only thing that I would mark this beer down for is a lack of spice. The spice is definitely muted, but still present. This is definitely a nice summer beer. It goes down easy. It has a low ABV, so it would be a nice session beer. So, final review, solid brew, but not the best witbier I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0