BC Review's picture

Lady of the Woods

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Located in a combination brewery, winery and distillery on windswept Nantucket Island, Cisco Brewers are putting out some of the most intriguing wood-aged beers available today. Each of the beers in its “The Woods” series is aged in French oak, and Lady of the Woods is a nuanced addition to the family. Weighing in at a quaffable 5 percent ABV, this beer evinces a very wine-like nose, with notes of slightly tart, lemony Chardonnay mingling with toasted almond and vanilla. Tim was impressed by the nose, comparing it to “fine, aged Chardonnay barrels with hints of lemon zest and hazelnuts.” But he felt it suffered from a lack of malt complexity. Pouring a very pale yellow and showing persistent Champagne-like bubbles, this beer throws almost no head – again speaking to its apparently wine-inspired origins. While displaying a subdued malty sweetness, the flavor tends toward wine-like acidity topped by vanillin and light, peppery phenols. The overall effect struck Pete as “surprisingly refreshing and spritzy up front,” with a fading sourness replaced by a “yeasty, bready aftertaste,” which he quite enjoyed. Tom liked the “wine barrel-like, up front wood and vanilla,” and their elegant interplay with the more austere lemon grass and light ginger notes. Treading between beer and white wine, Lady of the Woods is ideally suited to fit either role – perfect for a hot, sun-drenched afternoon among close friends.