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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 UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 elNopalero
5/5  rDev +24.4%
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
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.