This past Saturday night, Mrs. G-LO and I joined Mr. and Mrs. Alemonger for dinner at Casona, a Nuevo Latino restaurant in Collingswood, NJ (click here to read The Wookie’s review). Since we devoured a delicious meal that consisted of Empanadas de Pollo, Yuca Frita, four types of Guacamole, Paella, Lechon Asada, Chilean Sea Bass, and a wide assortment of Craft Beers that included Chatoe Rogue Good Chit Pilsner, Caldera Ashland Amber Ale, Sixpoint Diesel, and Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale, we decided to skip dessert. After a round of coffee before leaving the restaurant (their Cubano coffee was delicious by the way!), we headed back to The Alemonger Estate so that we could try a very special beer that he obtained during his recent pilgrimage to the Craft Beer Promised Land, aka San Diego, California.
The beer that The Alemonger brought back to New Jersey was Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra, an India-Style Export Stout (prior to Saturday night, I had never heard of such a thing). The Ballast Point Indra Kunindra is so special that it’s not even listed on their website. Here’s what I was able to find out about this beer:
Per Brewmaster Yusef Cheney, “After nearly a year of wrangling with the ABC and TTB and other sanctioning bodies (who didn’t quite know what to think of a beer made with such unique ingredients), we are legal and have beer in bottles. This beer will be available at both of our brewery locations beginning tomorrow.”
What are those unique ingredients that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau didn’t know how to handle? Some interesting flavors, that’s for sure. The creation of San Diego-based homebrewer Alex Tweet, Indra Kunindra’s hops are enhanced by five ingredients one doesn’t often find in beer: Madras curry, cumin, cayenne pepper, toasted coconut, and Kaffir lime leaf.
And now for the review…
- Appearance: Rich, chocolate brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Creamy, tan colored head that dissipates slowly. Upon further inspection, I noticed some spices floating about an inch or two from the bottom of the glass. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw those floating spices was Vietnamese Chili Paste.
- Aroma: Cardamon. Caramelized sugar. A combination of cayenne pepper and bittersweet chocolate which reminded me of Mexican Hot Chocolate.
- Taste: Medium carbonation. Based upon what it looked like as we filled our glasses, I was expecting this to be a thick and chewy beer, but instead, it was medium bodied and very easy drinking. Lots of coconut and curry flavors when you take that first sip. The bittersweet chocolate and spices take over at mid-palate and lead you to a tingly, roasted malt finish.
- ABV: 7%
Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra is one of the most unusual beers that I have ever tasted. And I mean this in the best possible way. Although it’s very smooth and easy drinking, I can’t see having too much of this in one sitting. Session worthy? Definitely not. Delicious? Absolutely! Having a glass of the Indra Kunindra in lieu of dessert was the perfect way to end the evening. I just hope that they add this beer to their regular line-up, or at the very least, make the Indra Kunindra a seasonal offering that will hopefully find it’s way to Philly. Well done Ballast Point!