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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 165
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 21.14%
Wants: 14
Gots: 18 | 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

A Dublin-style brew made with English Maris Otter pale malt, two black malts, and flaked barley. Nugget and Golding hops provide a spicy, floral complement to the deep, dark-chocolaty maltiness and dry finish.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 165
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.99/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce bottle - $4.29 at Total Wine & More in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out an onyx black body with a lush, tall, but subsiding beige head with a creamyish quality to it.

Smell: A boldy robust nose, chary and ashen with some molasses an underlying fruitiness and an implied harsh, blackened husk astringency. Warming a tad brings about licorice and Industrial Revolution era soot.

Taste: Notably roasty from the get-go with some blackstrap molasses, a slightly obscured, slightly sourish berry-like fruitiness trying to emerge. Some sweetness beneath the hard roast. More char midway. The bitterness seems more a product of the astringent black malts used as opposed to an hop additions. Powdered licorice. Sooty smoke. Bitter, roasted finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Not diggin' this one, guys.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, nearly black in the Ciney snifter with some of the darkest foam I've seen. Quite sudsy in the mouth. Foam swirls up as you sip. Winey and rather sweet. Pleasant dark caramel candy taste with the charred malt coming up for the finish.

Rather bitter and plain finish. Still, this is one of the best of the last few years of anemic brews from Anchor. The sudsy mouthfeel lasts to the end. The San Francisco market is wide open for them if they would step ahead a few decades.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of tdm168
3.66/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent ebony with a pinky of tan head. Nice viscosity to this, okay head retention & lacing

S: Carob with woody hops, pruneyness as well

T: Follows the nose, slight coffee notes & dryness as well up front, some raisin notes. Some jammy notes as this warms, some leafy hops, dryness & pruny notes too, carob as well. Finishes dry with leafy hops & jammy notes, faint roastyness

MF: Medium body, smooth carbonation

Drinks easy, a nice take of the style, but not as good as Guinness or some others of this ilk. Not bad, but not very memorable either

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into 10oz snifter.

A: Pours a very dark woody brown, near black, with a very dense and thick espresso foam stained head that slowly faded into a heavy film which left a few spots of patchy lace down the glass.
S: Roasted nose with notes of coffee dominating. I get hints of nuts and mild chocolate in there as well.
T: Lots of coffee as the nose suggested, with hints of anise, caramel, peat, and bitter dark chocolate. I get anise and peat in the finish, and bitter dark chocolate lingering in the aftertaste. Flavors are strange. I think peat is a good descriptor, as flavors are not smoky, but there is a smoked quality.
M: Medium body, slick and slightly oily mouthfeel, tingly and splashy carbonation, fairly bitter as well.
O: Not bad but probably nothing I’d seek out again. I think this would go well with some oysters or fish and chips though.

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Photo of wedge
3.86/5  rDev -4%
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%.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was actually far better than anticipated. Feared a dry bitter stout, but this was actually pretty well balanced. Pours black, with a nice 1" or so of head that dissipated. Decent lacing with this. Not a super sweet stout, but enough to provide decent counterbalance to the inherent bitterness. Favorite thus far from Anchor.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Globey snifter snifter.

Look : Motor oil black pour coming from this sump of a bottle. 100% opaque. Dips into a fiery orange red head that borders on beige-brown as it settles. The head is initially 3 fingers but the recession is quick and swift to a 1/2 finger retention.

Smell : Soy sauce, slight tin, dried plums, slight cocoa, dried fig, and a faint blue coffee note. It is all fairly faint to nose. As it warms a few degrees I get a slight urine smell as well.

Taste : A lot of steamed coffee off the bat, with some blueberry, oatmeal, and a little fig. A shot of smoky lactose. Cocoa. A slight snap of black licorice on the finish. All in all it really is fairly complex and has a lot going on.

Feel : Medium bodied, not exactly creamy but buzzing with a watery oily feel. Dry roasted finish.

Overall : I'd have it again. It was an interesting experience and while not the same kind of monster as a Russian Imperial, Oatmeal, Milk, or American Stout, it's a stout of a different style with liquid black goodness wrapped in a smoky finish.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a fine half finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Mild aroma of sweet dark malt, lightly toasted, cocoa and a bit of lactose. Flavor is mildly sweet toasted malt, cocoa and bitter chocolate, light vanilla. Finishes with a somewhat surprising light grassy hop bitterness and light char. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A spot-on foreign / export stout until the lightly hoppy finish, which actually fits the stout very well. Nicely integrated with good balance of flavors. Anchor seems to never really pull out the stops on their beers, but usually make each one well and pleasant to drink. This is no exception and perhaps with a bit of pushing the envelope in the finish. A quite enjoyable stout that I will buy again.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours pitch black with a mocha colored heard, no head retention, some lacing, no much carbonation, looks like a typical stout.

A: Dark chocolate, coffee, hint of soy sauce, some roasted malt notes.

T: Chocolate, coffee, slight taste of soy sauce, some dark fruits, finishes with some moderate coffee like bitterness, a lingering aftertaste of chocolate, dry finish.

M: It's a little thin for a stout, nice balance of carbonation, dry finish.

O: I was expecting a bit more from Flying Cloud, it's a safe beer, a middle of the road stout, still very tasty, drinkable, but nothing impressive, probably will to seek it out again but I would not turn one down if offered.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour, toffee colored soapy head, sticky foam on the glass.

S - Roasted dark chocolate, cream, roasted malt, and some smokiness.

T - Smokey roasted dark chocolate from start to finish, molasses buried deep underneath, coffee beans - balanced from start to finish.

M - A little on thin side for a stout, medium body, gentle carbonation on the tongue, lingering roasted malt on the palate.

O - Solid.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black with a creamy, thick tan head.

S: Gentle aromas of vanilla bean, heavy cream, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, molasses, and earthy hops are present on the nose.

T: Nicely balanced notes of caramel, molasses, cream, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, vanilla bean, toffee, and earthy, mildly grassy hops fill the mouth. The finish is balanced, with lingering sensations of roasted grain, chocolate, caramel, and earthy hops most noticeable.

M: Relatively full in body and silky. This ale feels very smooth in the mouth, though it turns slightly sticky toward the finish. Carbonation is active, yet delicate. Alcohol is practically undetectable. Though this ale is very easy to drink for the style, I prefer my stouts to be a bit firmer and heavier in the mouth.

O: This is a rock solid foreign/export stout. In this age of hoppy ales, I tend to feel that American craft brewers have lost sight of the delicate balance of earthy hop and roasted, toasty dark malt flavors that make traditional stouts and porters so great, but I definitely do not have that complaint with this ale. Anchor really did the style justice.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a four finger tall dense foamy extremely dark brown head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film surrounded by a mottled very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted dark malts, cocoa, and just a hint of ground coffee.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of roasted dark malts with a light amount of dark fruit (plum) sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of cocoa and just a hint of dark coffee. Light to moderate amounts of lingering roasty bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable with well hidden alcohol. Definitely worth grabbing and a tasty brew.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: totally black hue with a head that pours a thin layer of dark foam that dissipates very quickly indeed. Great color, but there's basically no head at all on this bad boy.

Smell: sweet malt, caramel, toffee and a hint of roast. It's just about spot-on for an export stout; I really like it.

Taste: caramel and toffee just like the smell, with a bit of a roasty finish. The flavor hews to the style guidelines almost perfectly. I really like this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a huge carbonation and massive creaminess. Wonderful. Frankly, I was not expecting this much based on the total lack of head on this beer.

Overall: a damn fine stout; highly recommended.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

A: Pitch black with 2-3 finger mocha colored head. Decent retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S: Caramel, roasted malts, and chocolate with some light smokiness.

T: Roasted biscuit malts, molasses, and light smokey note.

M: Medium to full body and average carbonation.

O: Excellent stout. Nothing crazy here, but just a well crafted beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.02/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out oily looking and thick looking. Black. A creamy fat head of chocolate foam sits on top . Nose is subtle sweet malt, that starts with it's sweetness. Chocolately. Then it boasts some caramel but turns it's head toward an earthy bitterness from roast. Light cream and rich bread. The taste is smooth beyond words. The malts are deep and show their roasted qualities with a hint of something burnt. The hops show you a very mild grass, complimentary bitterness and this finishes creamy, pretty quickly and with only the deep dry roast to linger and a vague hint of caramel.

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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.