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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco StoutAnchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

92 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 13.71%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elNopalero on 01-24-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 25
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is two fingers high, and tan in shade While the head's texture is rather bubbly and light for the style, its retention is decent. Not much lacing is left on the glass - again, thanks to the texture. Still, the look is incredibly appealing. (4)

Smell: Surprisingly light-smelling: not in weakness, but in its aromatic notes. Instead of heavy roast or coffee, I pick up dark fruits and subtle chocolate. Like many export stouts, it's also fairly hoppy (though not in a biting or harsh manner - think earthen or floral notes). There's a hair too much diacetyl to earn a 4, but this is exactly what I want from the style otherwise. (3.75)

Taste: It drinks much like I expected. Gentle notes of caramel and chocolate open it up, before parlaying into a subtly hopped finish. Dark fruits notes linger throughout. Like the nose suggested, it doesn't taste terribly 'dark' - there isn't much in the way of roast, umami, or coffee. However, it is an enjoyable export stout that's well hopped in all the right ways. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Though it has a medium, slightly sugary body, it's very easy to drink thanks to the hop presence. It's close to being refreshing, even. Carbonation is moderate for the style. (3.75)

Overall: I like Anchor - they don't cater to the hype train, they just cram their beers chock full of craftsmanship and balance. This is no exception, natch. I couldn't drink it all day, but I'd GLADLY drink it again. (3.75)

3.65/5: More good work from Anchor

Photo of barnzy78
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
A - tall tan head leaves a spattering of lacing as it falls down to the near black ale
S - roasted barley, cocoa, spicy hops
T - chocolate, roasted barley, very faint fruit and banana as it warms; well balanced with a spicy, earthy, dry finish with a touch of smoke/char
M - fuller bodied, delicately carbonated, chocolate and char linger with the dryness
O - pleasant stout. I'd drink this again if I had the opportunity. It has plenty of flavor but not huge in the ABV department, which is nice.

Photo of Furlinator
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rich and roasty with minimal hop presence. An above average stout.

Photo of Hop_God
3.07/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This was awful. very disappointed.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Staying true to their roots, the classy-as-ever Anchor Brewing Company kicks off their Argonaut Collection with a seldom-seen foreign extra stout. Its unique roasted flavor aligns with fruit, sweetness and a stern twang and alcohol jolt to make us all wonder what ever happened to this style of stout!

Flying Cloud is a dark, near-black beer with deep garnet showing at its margins. Once its mocha-brown head builds, it trickles to a thin lace along the surface. Its aromas seem jam-packed with molasses, beautifully burnt sugars, fresh-ground coffee and a fruity element of grape.

Its deeply malted taste is the epitome of roast, capturing the deeply roasted coffee taste along with cocoa powder, roasting walnuts, burnt toast, and the carbonized sweetness of black-strap molasses and seared toffee. With the balance favoring roast, eatery nuances of plum, blackberry and red grape trail closely behind.

Luscious in taste, but curiously drinkable in body, its off-full texture is light, dry and arid due to elevated alcohol, acrid roasted nature, and further drying to exacerbate the coffee-like textures. A strong linger of coffee, cocoa and smoldering embers extend well into the next sip and keep the palate satisfied and relaxed.

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

Poured from a bottle into a schooner, the beer is jet black, with a low profile, bubbly, dark tan head. Aromas of bitter roasted coffee, bittersweet baker's chocolate, hints of smoke, peat, wood and earthy highlights, and a note of tangy cream sweetness. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with the coffee bitterness all over the forward tongue, followed by a solid bittersweet cocoa nib character, hints of old world fruit sweetness, and a char/smoke highlight. The body is robust and smooth, almost chewy, with a very dry undertone that carries straight through to the dry finish. The aftertaste is more of the coffee and chocolate bittersweet blend. Very solid offering in the Export style.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

i have always loved the dark stuff these guys do, and this one takes it to the next level for me, so smooth and velvety in feel, almost like a milk stout, except for how dry it is, really impressive there. muted black in the glass, solid tan head on the pour but it doesnt hold long. i smell very dark unmalted barley roast, and meadow honey with english ale yeast, a super cool combination of aromas, and i think true to but evolving the export stout style, which we need more of in the american market anyway. i do get some honey flavor without sweetness in the middle, with an almost ashy barley char on either end of it. you would almost think this was oaked. it has mellow coffee and cocoa notes, but stays on the lighter side of that, aside from the barley bitterness. complex and bold, but just silk going down, i think the feel is my favorite part. i could easily do a four pack of these in a sitting, its unique enough to warrant contemplation, but familiar and drinkable enough to drink hard on. i think anchor has been one of the masters of that phenomenon, and this is the best new beer i have had from them in moons. absolutely worth picking up, especially if you are as big a fan of anchor as i am.

Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Minimal head, minimal retention. Deep black body.

Aroma is rich and dark chocolatey, fairly sweet initially, with a touch of vanilla, and notes of dark fruit. Roast malt becomes more pronounced as it warms, along with tar and licorice.

Flavor is roast malt dominant, with big tar and licorice upfront, substantial nutty malt character hitting mid palate, accompanied by notes of char in the moderately bitter finish. Cereal tones linger in the aftertaste. As it warms, dark cherry, alcohol, and floral hops become evident. There's an acrid note that surfaces late.

Wish the bitterness were less prevalent, and that the acrid character weren't present. Think the black malt character is overdone. Alcohol is definitely noted.

Photo of deanzaZZR
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm going to miss this one when it's gone. Anchor yeast smell, choclatey roastiness, chewy texture and medium to dry finish. Does Anchor do bold? They certainly do bold with this one.

Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A well-made export stout. The bready chocolate aroma (really, it smells like cake and coffee) is followed by a fruitier character with dark, ripe berry notes and a roasted finish. This covers a lot of ground and it doesn't feel too heavy, give it a shot.

Photo of Ben_B
1.79/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Uninspired and uninteresting. Reminded me of seltzer.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(on tap at Eulogy - served in a shaker pint)

A: dark as night liquid... tall, somewhat loosely-structured, mocha brown foam - wants to hold for a bit, but ultimately sinks down into a frothy, messy cap, then collar... bit of lace here and there

S: dark European chocolate, espresso, baked-toasty malts... perhaps some earthy hop in the background

T: burnt ends of a chocolate chip cookie, licorice in the finish... malty as hell... subtle roasted grain and robust hoppy bitterness... mildly floral, perfumy (alcohol) in the aftertaste

M: thickish, silky body, however, notably and wonderfully dry... moderately abrasive roasty scrub with the alcohol drying the tongue a bit

O: I can't get enough of this beer - is this keg really around a year old?!... a thick, hearty stout with a huge malty flavor - straight-up slightly over-baked, homemade chocolate chip cookie... love this!

Photo of Moose90
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

10oz Pour on tap @ Fate in Boulder, CO

A – Jet black, head is thin, light brown in color. Lacing left behind is clingy and spotty. Looks good for the style.

S – Bring on the sweet coffee notes. Bitter, dark roasted malts here, some cinnamon/sugar notes come through as well.

T – Dark and rich initially, charred chocolate malt. Big espresso notes show here, followed by a semi-sweet, dark chocolate, malted milk flavor. Very nice, dry overall, not overly sweet.

M – Incredibly smooth, carbonation level is near perfect, it is not thick, nor thin, very nicely balanced.

O –Very nice, was on the menu as a "Cappuccino Stout" and I'd say it fit the bill, nice espresso notes, and a nice dry finish. Great beer.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TAPS in Petaluma

I have to agree with the other reviewers in their assessment of a premier stout. From the tasty, colored foam to the brew's overall flavor itself. I was expecting far more hoppy-ness given Anchor's characteristic flavor, but was surprised it was otherwise.

Few stouts out there can approach this one's quality. If you can find this brew, try it....seriously!

Photo of PicoPapa
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 2 Brothers. Pours a rich black color with half an inch of medium brown head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is earthy with some chocolate , vanilla, and caramel. The taste is of roasted malts, sweet chocolate and caramel. Earth and some dark fruit notes. Hints of smoke. Light, velvety mouthfeel. Roasted malts and some chocolate at the finish. Very little alcohol presence. Overall, a damn fine export stout worth having again.

Photo of WetCoaster
4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is, for all intents and purposes, the perfect stout. It's perfect because it's everything without being too much of anything. It's got the sweetness of a milk stout, the roastiness of a dry stout, the intense chocolate and coffees of a imperial stout, and even some of the dark fruit flavors of a huge imperial stout, all in a manageable 7.5 abv package. The head, as mentioned, is fantastic, a crowning, long-lasting berg of sticky espresso cream. The body is deep, nearly opaque, with only a thin burgundy outline when held up to the light.

The one area that suffers in all this is the mouthfeel. It's actually quite good for a beer of its size, mildly—but adaquately—carbonated, but it just doesn't have the decadent creaminess of, say, a Brunch Weasel.

I suppose, in an absolute sense, there are probably better stouts out there. But in terms of true drinkability, where abv and price are issues, this is pretty close to perfection.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a finger and half of head on a pitch black colored body.
The aroma was great with smoked salt and caramel.
The taste was roasted malt, Belgian sugar and burnt wood.
The texture was crisp with moderate carbonation.
A really nice and solid stout.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Black body, light beige head, moderate retention, mostly clear lacing. Aroma includes coffee, roasted malt, touch of chocolate and vanilla. Taste follows suit, nice bitter chocolate aftertaste and pretty nice delivery of flavors. Tasty and easy to drink with a little extra alcohol. Good to see Anchor stepping outside the box.

Photo of ConMac
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Eli Cannon's in Middletown. Very good - hope that Anchor considers putting this beer into a permanent rotation. Very smooth, dark color and overall a very drinkable stout. Drinks a lot smoother than the ABV would suggest. Would drink again!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tap: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of black chocolate with some residual sugar and light dry roasted malt notes. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with some residual sugar (lactose?) and some dry roasted malt. Body has a creamy texture with good carbonation and a medium full body. Very enjoyable and well brewed overall.

Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thick, very nice full head, darker than dark....
smell is of toasted stuff- roasted nuts, coffee, roasted malts....
taste is roasted everything; thick, nice taste, typical stout flavors although nothig special.
overall, a decent brew. could have a few of these in succession, but thicker, darker, harder than a the other brews to breed a continuity. but a very decent product.

Photo of tdm168
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh

A - black with a big thick brown head that has great retention

S - very faint nose; roasted malts, some chocolate

T - chocolate, roasted malts, creamy, faintly grainy, a bit sweet

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This was a nice beer. It was rich and had good drinkability. My only complaint was the sweet graininess that came through. Otherwise, this was a nice stout that is worth a try.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and cookie dough. Taste is much the same with vanilla and cocoa powder flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and tasty flavors. Definitely the best of the Zymaster series so far in my opinion.

Photo of wedge
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

@ Tyler's (Raleigh)

Pretty close to black crowned with a rock solid, tight, beige head. Smells of caramel, bread, and cocoa roastiness. Roasted malt flavor...caramel, chocolate, and some dark fruity esters. Medium-plus body with a nice, soft creaminess. Pretty good stout that drinks lighter than it's 7.5%.

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m a stout fan. Across the board—from a boozy barrel-aged imperial stout to a smooth yet sweet and sessionable milk stout I’ll try them all and, more often than not, find something I like. It’s a forgiving style, as the roast and coffee and chocolate notes tend to be painted with broad brush strokes, and because of this I’d say, simply put (flame away) that its an easier style to get “right”-- but ask me the last time an approachable (non-imperial) stout blew my mind and I’d have to scratch my head for a second.


At 7.4% the Flying Cloud may not necessarily be a sessionable stout but it definitely is approachable. There’s so much I liked about it that I can’t stop raving—from its appearance, aroma and taste, to its feel and finish, and above all its depth of flavor this beer hit every note for me and then some.

This pours a solid black-dark brown with cocoa colored foam tightly topping it. There’s an intense, roasty aroma with layers of coffee and cocoa nibs. Smells fantastic. The flavor itself is roast-forward, with a sharp espresso characteristic, dark cocoa notes, and what I can best describe as a true depth of flavor. The beer itself is thick with a rock-solid body that holds up to sipping but also welcomes some easy drinking. Simply excellent.

Anchor knocked it out of the park with this one. Hope to see it join their line-up of regulars someday.

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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.