Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s “Indra Kunindra Stout”

October 1, 2013

There are many things in this life that shouldn’t work together but do. While juxtaposition is one of my favorite contrasts in all things artistic, certain things just don’t add up on paper yet seemingly defy all natural law symbiotically.

Look at former Cars front man Rik Ocasek and his wife Paulina Porizkova. The dude made some amazing music in the 80s, but man is he one ugly hombre! Cadaverous, even! Paulina was one of the world’s top supermodels when they met on the set for the band’s “Drive” video. Not to be mean, but this is beauty and the beast come alive. They’re still married to this day.

Some food combinations throughout the years may cause one to think that there’s nothing but pregnant women out there on a mega-crave bender. Peanut butter and hamburgers, for example. But if you ask anyone who’s ever had Indonesian peanut satay, they’ll tell you the combo is tasty. I used to gross out my sisters by dousing my mashed potatoes with ketchup on nights when dinner didn’t have any gravy. Well, French fries & Heinz, anyone?

Justin Bieber and anything. Another example.

Ballast Point Brewing from San Diego, California is one of my favorite breweries. Solid, creative and talented, they have yet to come out with a beer I haven’t enjoyed. Whether it’s a straight-forward and flavorful IPA or one of their intriguing collaborations, everything comes out with top marks.

When I first heard of their Victory At Cereal Porter made with Captain Crunch, I immediately wanted to find some. No go. Unavailable. Their friend and home brewer, Alex Tweet, was responsible for this captivating-sounding beverage. More recently he re-teamed with Ballast Point for a truly unique approach to making a stout. This one’s full of Indian spices.

Originally brewed for Holiday Wine Cellar’s 2nd Annual Home Brew competition, this once-mild stout sizzles with bright flavors. They added cumin, Madras curry, toasted coconut, Kaffir lime leaf and cayenne pepper, all of which sing at the top of their lungs with the rich, roasted stout flavors.

Indra Kunindra is almost totally opaque brown/black with minimal head and a European stout texture that’s surprisingly light-bodied. All of the above-mentioned spices are present on the nose with the curry and coconut especially noticeable along with toasty malt and dark chocolate. The flavors arrive in layers, each component individually shines finished with a mellow burn from the cayenne. With such intense, warming taste, Indra tends to be a one-and-done, but what an amazingly complex one glass of beer!

Lime and cumin in my stout? Next thing you’ll be telling me is Laverne De Fazio’s milk and Pepsi wasn’t really that crazy. “Shirly” you jest.