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

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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco StoutAnchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout

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very good

42 Reviews
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Reviews: 42
Hads: 156
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
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.
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 156
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 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 stratocati88
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptionally thick black color when it pours with a 1-2 inch head that goes away within 10 minutes. The head has a wonderful darkness to it as well. The smell has roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla. Its texture has an initially thick mouth-filling carbonation and bitterness which leads to a thin and somewhat oily finish. The flavor has a nice sweetness that reminded me of dried prunes and ends with a hint of sourness and alcohol flavor (it is 7.4% after all). To be enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Virtually black with a thick, tan head and lacing. This stout features the usual smells: malts, dark chocolate, and a little coffee. The taste is also pretty typical and follows the nose. There's also a little vanilla or toffee, and the finish is fairly bitter. This stout is medium-bodied with pleasant carbonation and mouth feel. At 7.4% ABV it's easy to drink. Overall, this is a tasty stout. While I prefer RIS's with more dark fruit, this one's growing on me!

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Photo of justinp444
4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter, probably one of the most gorgeous stouts I've seen with a black body and a two tone chocolate to beige head of 3 inches thick and heavy foam. Smell is all chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee, with just some backing earth-y hop notes. and vanilla. Taste is light smooth, creamy, and drinkable, very comparable to Guinness with a big chocolate and coffee flavor and a nice roasted malt bitterness. Very dry with some earth notes and a very oily mouth feel that is expected with this style of beer. Definitely some dried fruit, vanilla, and licorice in the taste as well. Really feel they nailed this recipe as it exemplifies the style while giving it more depth.

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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 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 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 MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge three finger tan head with decent retention.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, coffee, and subtle fruit. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, smoke, caramel, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar, vanilla, and cream. Subtle fruit hints of fig, cherry, and prune. Also some light earthy hops. A very solid roasty aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a nicely roasty and sweet dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. Dark roasted barley malt with upfront notes of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toast, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Sweet taste of vanilla, cream, and brown sugar. Fruit undertones of fig, prune, and cherry. A very solid dark and roasty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and smooth.

Overall: A very solid take on an Irish style Stout. Good roasty malt flavors with some nice subtle fruit notes and a good creamy body.

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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 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 303beer
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a coffee tan head. Can't see through a pint glass when held to the light. Roasty smell. Has a nice taste with a touch of dry texture on the end.

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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 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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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 maedhros09
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours really dark, as black as a typical imperial with big fluffy dark tan head that lightens a bit as the liquid separates.
Smell: Roasted malt, cherries
Taste: A touch of sweetness in the malt yet tends towards dryness. A bit of dark fruity (cherry?) acidity. Deep bitter chocolate roasted malt. Some dry grass and floral notes. Moderate lingering bitterness. Very well integrated flavors.
Feel: Really smooth and medium-full body

Overall: The Flying Cloud achieves robust flavors, yet they are very well integrated, which combined with the extremely smooth feel makes for a very pleasant drinking experience. I like how the malt tends towards dryness, while having just enough sweetness to complement the other flavors. The hops are present, perhaps in dried grass and flowers notes, but again blend so well with the rest that it's hard to pinpoint them. The alcohol is pretty well disguised except for some of the dark fruity notes. Anchor really showed their chops with this one - I think fans of their porter will enjoy it.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown with a thick foamy head. Smells of earthy hops and lightly roasted malts. Light body with a silky mouth feel. A touch hoppy, but unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Wow, what a looker! Deep dark mocha head, cascading fistfull of the pour and then settling into a big booming swiss cheese and small bubbled four finger top with clump retention, spider lacing, and creamy whipped dark chocolate appearances. Body color is black walnut and mahogany red, just incredibly dark looking brew. Barely a hue to it. What a great looking brew.

Aroma comes off nice and subtle. Small malted whoppers like candy, but also some real nice bitter hints of dark powdered cocoa. Slightly airy grain almost a little flour and powdery smelling but working well on the nose. A little bit of nutmeg and vanilla sweetness rounds out as well.

Palate comes real nicely. Mid palate fills with a nice light dark chocolate angle which washes lightly with just enough malt depth to get the flavors out. Aftertaste is a real big surprise. Huge but controlled amounts of ripping coffee bean and vanilla seem to continue on with a nice texture. Mild hints of hop and cascadian type character, but very small. Roast and char is medium and hitting with some light cocoa and powdery goodness as well.

Overall real fun FES, with some great unique character.

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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 TX-Badger
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black color with khaki colored head. Roasted malt, milk chocolate, and some toffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with cocoa and roastiness.

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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 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 BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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.

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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 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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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout from Anchor Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.