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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

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by elNopalero on 01-24-2013

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 196
Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +25%
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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Photo of WetCoaster
4.85/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of justinp444
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
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 ConMac
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
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!

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Photo of maedhros09
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
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 Bouleboubier
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

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Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 1,140 characters

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of jzlyo
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is dark/roasted malts, very English yeast and mild dark chocolate. The flavor is dark/roasted malts, English stout yeast, fruit/dark fruit, mild dark chocolate and an acidic/slightly spicy finish.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +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 VikingBeer
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty, oily-black pour, rich, fluffy brown head. Lacing is fairly strong. On the nose, chocolate, coffee, oak, a hint of salt and molasses. Taste is heavy on bitter coffee, dark-chocolate cake, and black-strap molasses, naturally but also tobacco, a hint of salty brine and peat smoke, oak, currants, malt powder, and a kiss of candied orange-rind and pepper from the hops. Finish is semi-dry, with persistent flavors of coffee, smoke, salt, and darknfruit. Rich mouthfeel and decent carbonation, although it flirts with heaviness at times it never bwcomes cloying. A lovely offering from Anchor, as we have justifiably come to expect from them.

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Photo of Moose90
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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 BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 1,237 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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 303beer
4.08/5  rDev +2%
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 smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours near black where no light shines through. Beige head with many streaks from each sip.

Sweet with a barley wine aroma. No hop, but lots of cherry sweetness.

The taste is an extention of the smell. Deep sweet cherry with an unsweetened chocolate flavor. Thinnish body with a high carbonation level. Yet, this is a chewy beer. This is a bit of a cross between a sweet stout and a dry barley wine, or a dry stout and a sweet barley wine.

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Photo of stratocati88
4.08/5  rDev +2%
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 THSdrummer
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an absolute black with a thick (2 1/2 cm) caramel colored head. Wonderful head retention. Lacing is dull and barely present. Aroma is spicy with notes of roasted and toasted malts, bread, and spicy floral hops. A sip brings in a dull pale, roasted malt quality, which never bolsters up or gets too loud. Additional flavor notes include chocolate, bread, and spicy, floral hops. Mouth feel is filling and velvety, with a bit of a fizzy, dry finish. Overall, it's a really fun dark beer. It finishes dry, which may be off putting for some, but otherwise it's a fun little brew with plenty going on.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev +1%
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 tempest
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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 +0.8%
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 UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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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Anchor Argonaut Collection: Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout from Anchor Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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