foreign stout


Ballast Point “Indra Kunindra”

88 B+

This seasonal foreign/export-style stout is incredibly unique, designed for the more adventurous of drinkers. It has its roots as a collaboration with a local San Diego home brewer. This particular style is known for its heavy roasted flavors, typically bringing in slightly more alcohol than the average stout, and so additional hopping follows suit. The unusual thing about this beer is the ingredients…Madras curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut, and Kaffir lime leaf! As you might imagine, the resulting aromas are novel and delightful. Curry comes through with abundance, coconut second, vanilla, cumin, brown sugar, hints of spicy cayenne, and port wine.

On the palate, spices immediately jump in with curry leading the way, followed by cumin. Malt flavors suggest a sweetness akin to caramel blended together with dark chocolate. Midway, coconut has a noticeable influence, followed by a touch of vanilla. Hops make a soft-handed sweep of herbal flavors accented by the right amount of bitter and sour to keep with the vibe of the beer. A cayenne spice begins to rise up near the finish, carrying a surprising degree of heat that lingers alongside some residual hop oils. The Kaffir lime leaf finally touches down, dancing with the coconut, curry, cayenne, and cocoa powder in a complementary way. The lime flavor also goes particularly well with the herb-toned hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, grows increasingly dry, climaxes a little crisp, then finishes a little chalky. Cayenne heat builds in the back of the throat from sip-to-sip, which hinders drinkability, but adds yet another dimension to this busy arrangement of flavor.

The main flavor components are taken from Indian cuisine, which is why this actually works. I It’s a little surprising just how well each ingredient slowly appears in sequence. I sort of wish they had just committed to a double stout instead, because I feel more sweet malt and greater emphasis on the roast would add needed depth. Considering the complexity of ingredients, Ballast Point has pulled this off considerably well. Though I myself like it, I can’t recommend it, because I know only a select audience would really be into it. If you like Indian food you’ll be much more likely to enjoy this. For those with the courage to indulge in these exotic herbs and spices in the context of a stout, I commend you.


50 IBU

San Diego, California

Phantom Punch Winter Stout (Baxter)

Brewery : Baxter
Beer : Phantom Punch Winter Stout
Style : Foreign Export Stout / Foreign Stout / Export Stout
Variance : Brewed with Roasted Cocoa Nibs and Vanilla Beans

8 / 10

Let’s set the stage. The year is 1965 and Muhammad Ali still has all of his marbles and isn’t a shaky fucking mess yet and he is squaring up against Sonny Liston who is the poster boy for reasons why being a boxer is fucking stupid (because you die super early). So in this fight Ali basically hits Liston with a “phantom punch” and wins the fight using his ghostly abilities and becomes the heavy weight champion. Flash forward to modern day and Ali sits at home having a hard time eating cereal and that’s that. This beer is brewed in tribute to that fight and it’s a pretty damn good one. This is my first Baxter beer and it is once heck of an intro into their lineup and I’m glad these guys are regularly being distributed here in NJ now. This starts with a smokey but sweet chocolatey flavor with only a minor hint of that vanilla joining in in the middle with more smoke and some dark chocolate bitterness mixing in to end this one. This is in no way the best stout out there and you can tell why Vermont is more known for their IPAs than their darker beers but this one still is unique enough to make it worth picking up. This is a good brew for those in love with the style and just want to fit as many black things into their mouth as they can and for newbies to the style, I’m torn on this but I can see the unique flavors being a good intro to the style but the smoke might put some off. Now go and get your face punched in and make millions!

Written by: Steve B.

Elysian’s Dragonstooth Stout

Appearance: This is an excellent looking stout with it’s pitch black body and thin, but dense, dark tan head.

Aroma: The aroma carries a nice balance between sweet and roasty with the cocoa and roasted malts.

Taste: The roasted malts are the prominent flavor here but there’s an underlying sweet cocoa with some bitter dark chocolate with the dark chocolate coming on the finish and lingering a bit.

Overall: I like this beer and I think it’s priced well being $5 for a bomber. I wouldn’t have bought this, mostly due to the Ed Hardy reminiscent artwork, without a beer manager prodding me but I’m glad I did. This is a good imperial oatmeal stout and I think it’s well worth buying. 


Ska “Hibernal Vinifera Stout”

83 B-

This oak aged foreign-style stout is brewed with Malbec grape juice. The aroma is like chocolate covered cherries and a bit of booze. Smooth chocolate malts rest below, then red wine and hops that taste like oranges accent midway, and it finishes out grassy with dark chocolate and cocoa. The feel transitions from clean, to creamy, then thins out with a significant amount of solvent alcohol (yuck). There’s something not working with the combination of the grape juice + hop selection + flavors from alcohol. I think it was a daring sort of stout to brew, but it’s just not working out and needs some tweaking. Too boozy and too much grape juice. Not bad, but not recommended.



Durango, Colorado

Flying Cloud (Anchor)

Brewery : Anchor
Beer : Flying Cloud
Style : Stout / Foreign Stout / Export Stout
Variance : None

8 / 10

Finally something Foreign that even the most right wing people would want to keep in the country. Anchor is a brewery just excelling in making classic styles without straying too far from the normal path which sounds lame but is actually a good thing. With all these crazy flavored beers on the market today it’s refreshing to taste something that’s very grounded and just done well. It’s not the best stout on the market but it can definitely hold it’s own on the shelf. Flying Cloud (is there another type of fucking cloud I don’t know about?) starts off with a roasty and chocolatey start with a mild sweetness lingering right through the end. I’d say it’s a good intro into stouts if you really want to dive into the root flavors of what it should be before moving into the delicious flavored brews we all know and love. For those into the “dark side” (don’t sue me Disney) I’d recommend trying this out then moving on.

Written by: Steve B.


Schlafly “Irish Style Extra Stout”

90 A-

This ‘foreign extra stout’ opens to a sweet and rich roasted grain aroma with sweet coffee notes. Roasted malts make an initially smooth and semi-sweet chocolate entry, then quickly transitions into a drying, rich cocoa with a light touch of vanilla . A big dryness is the dominant character to this stout, coming from the use of pale and roasted malts to create a characteristically dry 'Irish’ stout. Its assertive bitterness combines nicely with the dark roast to finish with a lightly burnt grain character and herbal hop notes. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate combine for a strong mocha flavor. On the underbelly lies a light fruity character paired with earthy notes and tobacco. A healthy hopping prevents a truly creamy feel, pairing with mild bubbly sharpness. Mild fruity alcohol esters come through, but are mostly well disguised.

The foreign title is indicative of higher gravity (8%), and I find the dryness appealing. It will leave you with a thirsty feel. I think Schlafly has hit on the style with a centered simplicity and surprising lightness despite the heavy roast and alcohol. I think it’s pretty solid, but may be a tad too sweet for the aim of style. It isn’t quite as refined as other Export Stouts, and the roasted character is a bit rough and not as bold as I anticipated. However, the good definitely outweighs the bad. I recommend you try this one.


45 IBU

St. Louis, Missouri