Folks, have you tried Ballast Point Indra Kunindra yet? I just did, and I haven’t been this excited about a beer in a long, long time! Indra Kunindra is a spiced beer, a beer made with madras curry, coconut, cayenne pepper, cumin, and kaffir lime leaf. Best of all, you really can taste all of these elements in the beer. Being a lover of coconut myself, and having sampled too many coconut beers that didn’t deliver as much coconut as I would have liked, I loved Indra Kunindra all the more.
Ballast Point calls Indra Kunindra a “limited-release India-style export stout” on the label, and a “curry export stout” on their website. Either way, it’s a spiced beer by style, and a very good one at that. Here’s how they describe it on the bottle:
Our India-style Export Stout is a unique collaboration with award-winning homebrewer Alex Tweet. Released in limited quantities, this explosion of South Asian flavors is reason enough to kneel down and thank the heavens. It’s further proof of San Diego’s status as a brewer’s playground, and a beer lover’s utopia.
A few Ballast Point beers have been available here in Georgia in six-packs for several months now. It was only several weeks ago, though, that a lot more of them were released in bomber bottles and on draft. I got my Ballast Point Indra Kunindra in a 22 ounce bomber bottle for $7.48, which is a fair price these days. The beer has an alcohol content of 7% by volume and 50 IBUs.
Ballast Point Indra Kunindra pours to a jet black, almost but not quite opaque color with a light and sort of fizzy tan head formation and a spicy nose of coconuts and curry. Taking a sip, the beer surprises me in that it is a little thinner in body than I expected, though with some dark roasty malts going on right away just before all that spice hits you. Maybe it’s because of that spice that the roastiness comes off as subtly chocolaty, but not at all harsh or coffeeish.
Indra Kunindra is mildly roasty, but perhaps perfectly so to allow those spices to shine through. For me, it’s the coconut that comes through first, and in a big way. Now folks, I love coconut, and I’ve had a few coconut beers that just didn’t offer enough coconut flavor. That’s not the case here, the coconut simply sings, though is not at all sweet.
The cumin is next and mingles in nicely, and the curry flavor follows through too, along with for me just a hint of the citrusy lime. It’s like sipping an Indian buffet I think, with some chocolate drizzle all over it. At the last, the spicy heat of the cayenne with some of the curry heat too becomes well pronounced. It’s peppery and lightly hot and dances over the tongue leaving the beer dry, and peppery spice appears at the back of the throat, too.
Ballast Point Indra Kunindra has good curry burps, too. Lots of hoppy beers have hop burps, but this one has you burping curry, and I like that. Twice as much for your money, if you will.
Perhaps the best beer I’ve had this year. But don’t fret, all you other brewers out there. It’s only February after all.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.