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Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique | Les Trois Mousquetaires

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
154 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
154
Ratings:
421
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
15.06%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
92
For Trade:
4
Grande Cuvée Porter BaltiqueGrande Cuvée Porter Baltique
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Les Trois Mousquetaires
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Robust dark lager inspired by Porters from around the Baltic Sea region. This beer is luxuriously round with a mild bitterness. The malts contribute flavors of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The use of cherry-wood smoked malt provides a subtle hint of smoke.

Added by mikesgroove on 12-17-2008

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Reviews: 154 | Ratings: 421
Photo of Dawkfan
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Lots of smoke once the cork was popped. Towering mocha colored head settles out rather quick on top of a nearly black body. There's absolutely no lacing on this at all.

S- The smell is fantastically rich & sweet. Big flavors of malt, dark fruit, chocolate, and espresso. There's definitely some residual molasses sweetness and licorice. It's not really smoky, it's like smelling oak boards that's had tobacco sprinkled on top.

T- Flavors move across the palate well. Alot of rich malty sweetness up front that carries through the entire time. There's some heat that hits the back of the throat and nostrils halfway through which I'm enjoying. It comes in at the same time as some mild smoke, dark fruit and molasses. Alot of chocolate and more malt on the finish.

M- It feels full because of how chewy and sticky it is. Really gives off the impression of a thick body, I'm not so sure that this is the case. Low carbonation makes for one creamy mouthfeel.

O- Had a tough time finishing this one as it warmed to room temperature as the sweetness and richness of the malt got to me. Very good beer though, watch out for the 10% abv!

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Photo of rtepiak
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

vintage 2009 bottle had on this date.

the cork was trying to force its way out of the cage... a very active yeast. pensive about 'over doughiness'.

pop was totally proper... no overflow even though the cork was just barely in there. its hot out... but this was smoother than silk. nose of a perfect balance of forest fruit and chocolate and straight up mesquite smoke. this made me think of poland. the Łodzki, warmanski, and ciechan 22. but this is aged to perfection. feel is mineral but viscus anise texture. hints of acidity. leather salt... wet saddle, and undertonics of smoke and balsamic vinegar. lots of anise. chalk dark fruit tannin sticky. great great great beer. wonder if its lager or ale yeast???

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Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Most Baltic Porters aren't entirely opaque but, for all intents and purposes, might as well be; this one, however, fully is and its head-to-toe balsamic black body won't concede anything more than a thin ruby underbelly, not even when held right up against a lamp. It makes an overnight thundershower seem bright by comparison.

I wish I could put in to elegant words that which makes a Baltic Porter smell so distinctive; I can tell you that it's a combination of black licorice, strong coffee, fumes of (fortified, port-like) fruity alcohol esters, mesquite smoke, chocolaty malts and an underlying cassis-like sweetness. Beyond that, there's obviously some intangibles - nothing smells quite like it.

In describing the flavour it wouldn't be untrue to say, simply for broad strokes purposes, that it has all the dark, chocolaty character typical of a beer its colour and strength. To leave it at that, however, would be grossly under-selling it: rich distinction comes of fortified but lush notes of black currant and plum, licorice and molasses, truffle and tartufo.

The brewer got it right going heavy on the toast, mild on the roast and smoke; the general public might be unable to distinguish this from a stout, but it has nowhere near the level of blackened roast and no ashy aftertaste what so ever. It is a strong but smooth and slightly sweet lager(!) with a drinkability, on a scale of 1 to 10, as high as its alcohol content (9.2%).

If you don’t already know, *this* is what a Baltic Porter is. I'm not sure what business this young, small, French-Canadian brewery has in showing up some of Eastern Europe's most established, vested brands but they've done it. This is a (if not, the) definitive example of a very complex, historic, hard to brew style of lager. Merci beaucoup, PeenSteen!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As rich and fortified as any Baltic porter but also cheating a bit by borrowing some roasty and unresolved sweetness that makes me think of tropical stouts.

Baltique starts with a weighted plop into the glass, giving the impression of silky and viscous textures. Modestly carbonated, but the onyx black beer seems to form a dense platform of foam that reduces to a ribbon of lace around the surfaces perhaps a touch sooner than it should because of the shere viscocity of the beer, its alcohol, and level of sweetness; and with low levels of lacing to boot. A good look but it's hindered by its bigness.

Malty, malty, malty sweet to the nose with burst of malted milk balls, Whoppers candies, medium coffee, walnut oils, bittersweet chocolate, and rum-like alcohols. A soft grape-like ester lurks deep in the background.

Roasty malt flavors give the first porterish impressions, but the heavy toast, medium roast, and coffee soon give way to the malty-sweet dominance at mid palate. Robust flavors of walnuts, malted milk, chocolate, honey, and cream take hold. Additional sweetness seems to be of lactose or some other source than barley and doesn't attenuate away- leaving a sugary sweet (think powdered sugar) bit that joins the malt and rivals the toasty, roasty character of the beer. With one taste, it's a savory sweetness. With the next, it's a distraction from the malty roast.

Full bodied, the heavy ale carries an early creamy weight into a sweet feel on the middle of the tongue before finishing with a long linger of sugar, roast, and chocolate. The beer's aftertaste lingers deep into the next sip- whenever that would be.

If intensity of flavor wins you over, then this beer will satisfy, but it's a large beer for its style- far exceeding what porters are expected to be. If the label wasn't adorned with the porter moniker, then I would have assumed a foreign export stout of tropical origins- that's what they do.

Again, a great and mighty shout out goes to flipper2gv for working with me on this swap!

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Photo of BBP
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Near black with a thin head which came down to a film. Slight carbonation and lacing.

S- Smokiness and dark malts. Slight roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee as well.

T- Smokiness, roasted malts and chocolate. Hints of toffee and caramel. Good hop foundation to balance the sweet malt. A bit of molasses. The smoke was some of the better smoke I've tasted in a beer so far. There was a bit more wood character to it than usual. A bit more elegant than most smokiness.

M- Medium full, leaning to full body. Lower levels of carbonation helps that effect and makes it seem a bit bigger. Sticky finish.

D- Almost too drinkable. At 9.2%, it's hard to notice the alcohol. There is some boozy sharpness to it, but it's not abrasive or coarse. Incredibly easy drinking. Good follow through as well.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 version pours a dark black with just a little bit of caramal brown foam. Tastes very roasty, almost like a roasted nut type of taste in there. Nice notes of chocolate as well. This bottle said it was 9.2% alc, and I call bullshit. This was insanely easy to drink. By far the smoothest porter I have had to date. Really sad to see this bottle go.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very dark brown, just tinged round the sides. Head is ochre; settles out to a thinnish film with some decent clingy, thick lace. Pretty good-lookin' dark heavy.

Smells quite espresso-esque. Lots of roasty, almost spicy, coffee with slight sour, vegetative edge and a good, intense peppery spice that almost makes me sneeze. Sweet oak underlying as well. Not sure about its overall drinking appeal but it's intriguing and nicely complex.

Taste is intense, with big whomps of flavour throughout. Lotso roasty malts with espresso and dark oak with plenty of liceorice and pepper as well. Mild vanilla underlying, with a slight weak cocoa that also lingers past the back of the roast flavours. Full, heavy beer with the big spike of flavour on the front where it should be, and a decent lingering afterwards. Nice.

A good texture to this beer, it just glides down. Does feel a bit thin upfront, but I think that's par for the porter course, even a big one like this.

Yeah, the mild finish is a surprise, but a pleasant one, and it in fact excels to become the key selling point here.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased for me from Slowbeer by @epiclurk, and shared with @FakeCousinAndrew, @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable.

Very dark black body, with a hint of reddish transparency at the edges when held to the light. Head is pleasantly full and crackly, a deep tan colour. Minimal lacing, and the body is actually slightly lighter than I expected, but otherwise, a really good looking beer--one I want to sink my teeth into.

Lovely roasted but slightly sweet character, a lot like you get in a barrel-aged American Impy Stout. Some amount of almost seltzer acidity to it, but with very dark overtones of burned out campfires and toasted coconut. Deep but pleasant.

Taste is very roasted, but with really lovely notes of brazil nuts and almonds coming through to balance the dark characters. Gives it a leavened and sweeter, lighter note to go with the bold and brash darkness. Very refined as well.

Mouthfeel is slightly lighter than it might be, but this perhaps is the only thing that turns this from an Imperial Stout into a Baltic Porter. It's ever so slightly more supple and airy on the palate, which aids the drinkability.

Very, very good beer this one. Trois Mousquetaires continues to impress me, and this, indeed, is them at the top of their game.

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Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black colour with a creamy, dark tan head. Fair head retention.

Rich, malty, chocolatey coffee notes. Dark caramel and nutty notes. Like a good, sweet coffee.

Thick malt sweetness with a hint of chocolate. Caramel. Mild alcohol sweetness. A little over the top.

Full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A decent baltic porter and really quite tasty. Thick, full flavoured and interesting. It is a touch sweet but that is good in it's own way.

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Photo of chickenm
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a tan heads that quickly dissipates and leaves a thin ring. Aroma of chocolate, smoke, and ash. Strong malty flavor with rich dark chocolate, some dark fruits, and bitter coffee in the finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation, and slightly dry. Very nice, this is a great winter beer! I'll definitely buy this again.

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Photo of ADZA
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark as night cola hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a mocha laced two finger head that slowly reforms to a nice rim and little lacing,the smell is pretty much what it says on the back of the label its mostly aromas of chocolate and alcohol with some tobacco,oak and port in there aswell,it has a nice smooth,medium bodied mouthfeel which leaves your lips sticky with mocha hints and coats your mouth with tastes of dark cherry ripe,brandy liqueor encased in dark rich chocolate,dark berries and finishes with a nice strong port warmness that almost feels like you have just had a shot of some dark liquor and to be honest overall this brew is very interesting with alot of twists and turns in smell and taste but its not something i could drink all the time but glad ive sampled as its different and as this drop is my last for the night its the perfect nightcap.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle proudly displays 9.2%.

Dark ruby appearance with a lovely creamy, khaki head. Sweet, rich malty, slightly smoky head. Wine and cherry linger.

Sweet taste. Chocolate, fruit, raisins and a bit of dessert wine. Slight alcohol burn. Faint woody, smoky character and even a bit of marshmallow.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Only the high alcohol stops this from being perfect.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Christmas gift from my Girlfriend's Mom. Part of a gift pack with 2 glasses.

A - Half finger of tan/mocha head on a pitch black body. Good carbonation streaming up the glass.

S - Tons of chocolate in the nose combined with a very roasty element. Smells very deep, rich and inviting.

T - Very rich like the aroma. Lot's of chocolate and a hint of black licorice. Lovely malty flavour, so rich, sort of sweet but not cloying. Semi sweet chocolate is a very noticable flavour.

M - Smooth, oh so smooth. Full bodied. Really coats the mouth with minimal carbonation allowing it to really cling to the tongue.

D - I could drink this all night in the Winter. Absolutely delicious stuff here.

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Photo of peensteen
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost jet black with 1/2" of tan head that lasted quite a while before retreating to the edges of the glass, almost no lacing to speak of. Smells of dark chocolate, roasted malt, pine nut/nutty, mocha and a lingering alcohol. On the palate there is coffee, a bittersweet chocolate presence, a woody presence almost like oak, a firm bitterness and a mild alcohol finish. Medium to thin mouthfeel that is quite pleasant, perfectly carbonated and as a result is very smooth. Great slow sipper, definitely a bottle to split. Good stuff here.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours molasses-brown with a rusty mocha coloured head. Good retention and lacing.

The aroma is fruity, like dark raisins, with brown sugar and chocolate, but most of all there is a wooden roastiness pervading the proceedings.

That taste is beyond satisfying, very much the liquid version of the aroma as chocolate and bitter roastiness meets plump raisins all offset by a light hop bite, with as slightly smokey wooden dryness lingering in the finish--very well balanced with a nice interaction between all the elements. While present the alcohol isn't as overbearing as I would expect.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for something to full of flavour. It's well carbonated which helps keep the sweetness in check.

It's delicious and easy drinking and another stellar beer from Les Trois Mousquetaires. I've yet to have anything from them that wasn't outstanding.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split with my brother for our Christmas Eve brew! Poured into a Duvel chalice.

A black hole of a brew, from which light cannot escape. Seriously, this stuff is dark. As the brew warmed up, I was more successful in producing a bit of mocha head. Not much lacing, and just a thin ring survives. Looks like this is what other folks have got from this batch as well.

Nose is lovely - dark and milk chocolate, coffee, cream, cherry, grape, figs and raisins. A wonderful roasty smoke taste as well.

Tastes as good as it smells, a luscious blend of flavors from the imperial stout palette, but it distinguishes itself with a creamy, milk-stout character and a fruity profile more reminiscent of an English brown or plain porter. Lots going on here. Molasses, espresso, hazelnut also make an appearance. Finishes slightly dry and bitter.

The body is thick and creamy, with slightly higher than expected carbonation, but this was definitely a good thing to keep the thickness and ABV in check. Not chalky or anything - a good silky feel.

Not the best looking brew on the block, but this brew scored big points where it counts - the flavor department. Lots of tasting notes to keep even the most discerning beergeek busy. I've been very happy with LTM so far, and their Baltic Porter, while not the blow-you-away brew beer I was expecting, was certainly a quality, flavorful brew. Well worth a pick up if you can find it.

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Photo of Glory
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aaah Les trois Mousquetaire's Grande Cuvée 2010 Porter Baltique, one of my favorite type of beer. A 750 ml bottle with a strong 9.2 ABV served in a round tulip glass after a long days work.
Pours a thick dark black colored liquid. You wont be able to see the light passing trough this beer !
A creamy brownish foam retention which doesn't last to long with this particular bottle, thats kind of weird because I drink this beer very often and normaly the head stays alot longer using the exact same glass ?
The Porter Baltique smells great, alot of hard torrefied notes, espresso to intense dark chocolate and star anis.

Powerful mouthfeel, quite sweet at first and finishes with a bitter taste at the back of the tongue. A taste that lasts forever!
Very liquorish and molasse, almost tastes like medicine herbs.
This beer is to be tasted with dark chocolat and dried fruit like figs, dates or prunes, with blue cheeses or with a lovely brased Lamb shank...yum!!

Cheers Lads

WS

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Photo of markaberrant
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - opaque black, tan head is creamy and persists for awhile, then receeds to a ring, appears overly carbonated (pretty good pop when I pulled the cork too), not much lacing,

S - rich, sweet milk chocolate, carmel, light roast, hint of dark fruit, very clean,

T - bigger fruit and roast character than in the aroma, really nice blend of dark fruits and chocolate flavours, deeply rich flavours, aftertaste is lingering ashy roast and hints of smoke

M - quite carbonated, but still smooth, not fizzy, full body works nicely with the rest of the beer, soothing warmth in my belly reminds me there is alcohol in this, otherwise, not much trace of it except as it aids in the drying finish

D - powerful yet smooth, a decadent beer to enjoy on its own or with an equally rich dessert

Good golly, miss molly! This is a damn fine beer. It is all about malt flavours here, and they are most impressive. The interplay between the fruit notes and chocolate/roast is outstanding. I've got nothing more to say, except do not hesitate to pick this one up if you come across it.

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Photo of Otterburn
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fall 2008 thanks to my bro for this gift.

color is black with some reddish light and moka head.

smell is very nice. its malty, theres caramal, its fruity as well, sweet.

Taste: is very nice too.
it is malty, smoky, balanced between malt and sweet and smoke, its very enjoyable. its rich and theres many layers of taste, kind of deep multi taste. theres some mild chocolate flavors too..

Mf: active carboanation but not excessive. this brew got a nice liquorous feel to it. after-taste is not very long but pleasant, malt, and little bit sweet.

drinkability is very good. every aspect of the beer is enjoyable along with the style labeled.
its a strong beer, but i think it got sweeter and smoother with 2 years of sleep.
theres no alcohol presence in the taste or smell but the alcohol sure is in your blood.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As my beer partner in crime andrenaline stated below, we testing out the 2009 and 2010 editions together, this review is for both
A - both poured a thick rich black, creamy chocolately head that lasted long leaving a sticky lace
S - 2009 had coffee with caramel, light cherry and sweet syrup and alcohol. 2010 was more espresso and burnt notes with a nutty odour
T - 2009 featured sweet candied cherry with roasty and molasses malt, complimented by medium coffee and cream. 2010 was very different with strong coffee and smoky tobacco dominating, somewhat nutty, with an old leather finish
M - 2009 was smooth chewy up front which thinned slightly from the alcohol leaving sticky sweet coating. 2010 was a chewy with a burnt bitter and a lingering cigar smoke feel
D - completely surprised by how different these offering were, yet both very enjoyable, with the 2009 being so sweet and the 2010 being so bitter and smoky, not sure how much difference the aging process made, maybe we'll have to grab both of these again along with a 2011 next year

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Photo of andrenaline
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was consumed as part of a test with fellow BA joemcgrath27. Joe provided the 2009 edition, while I brought the 2010 version. Curious to see how the two would differ with aging, and some apparent tweaks in the recipe.

A - Both versions poured a syropy pitch black colour, thumb of mocha coloured head with solid retention and no real lacing.

S - I was blown away by the different scents between the 2009 and 2010. The 2009 came across much sweeter with cherries, dark roasted coffee and some bitter licorice. The 2010 version was much nuttier, with roasted almonds and coffee beans. The 2009 had a much stronger scent, whereas the 2010 was much milder and subdued.

T - Again, the differences were quite apparent. The 2009 boasted sweet cherry chocolate malts with roasted coffee and toffee. The ABV is nicely hidden and adds a bit more sweetness to the complex flavours. The 2010 on the other hand was not as smooth, and held some very different flavours with roasted almonds, bitter dark chocolate cocoa, wooden peat flavours and a hint of leather.

M - Both were heavier bodied ales with a thick chewy feel which was enlightened by some decent carbonation on the body.

D - I was super excited to be able to do this little 'experiment' and I was blown away by the differences. Apart for the appearance, these two vintages produced very different flavours and scents. Much like a fine wine, this one will not disappoint. This stuff really is tasty and aging does appear to increase the sweetness of it. Great porter and highly recommended to any porter fan!

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml caged and corked brown bottle. This is 2010 edition, abv. listed at 9.2%. Pours out an intense dense opaque pitch black, fairly quick spongy tan head.

Rich roasted malt and coffee is primary on the nose, followed by alcohol, licorice, blackstrap molasses, and hints of cocoa nibs.

The flavour is rich, and reveals itself in both layers and waves, espresso, black licorice, blackstrap molasses, dry roasted barley, black cherry and figs, with an alcoholic vinous finish.

Smooth, almost slick mouthfeel, medium-full body, gets sticky on the finish.

Wow, a big beer but still drinkable and approachable, has enough complexity to keep you interested, but not so overwhelming that you don't want to check it off and walk away. Definitely an example of the style worth revisiting.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to freud for this bottle.

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Very dark brown colour with one finger of espresso coloured head. Higher carbonation than expected.

S - Intense aroma of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee up front with a nice sweetness that has hints of molasses and brown sugar. A very robust and very pleasant nose.

T - A complex palate full of dark fruit, coffee and a hint of cocoa. A nice sweetness compliments the palate with hints of caramel and molasses. The finish has a nice bitterness that lingers slightly making you want the next sip even more. As the beer warms up it opens up even more, offering more pronounced cocoa flavour as well as some licorice and toffee.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A truly remarkable beer.

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Photo of liamt07
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of freud, way back from CanBIF6 at the start of this summer. Shared with my girlfriend, poured into two tulip wine glasses. Vintage Automne 2009.

Poured a pitch black body, with a dark brown head. Three fingers of head, which settled to a fairly solid but thin layer, with no lacing to speak of. Aroma is where it's at. Very rich vanilla, milk chocolate and molasses. Sweeter side of things, and the alcohol is present. Taste is fantastic, leads with a rich chocolate and roasted malt, melding into a vanilla, molasses and chocolate show with maybe a hint of coffee bean to be found. Oh so complex. Girlfriend described it as a liquor filled dark chocolate; doesn't hit the nail right on the head, but I can see what she was getting at. Mouthfeel is full, smooth, rich and creamy. And this was dangerously drinkable, alcohol pops it's head in at the end of a sip but not enough to get the 10% on this puppy. Just unreal stuff here. 4/45/5/5/45

April 1/2012 - 2011 Vintage Nose: Nose has some molasses and a woody notes. Taste is lightly tart, some cherry, roast, light smoke caramel, molasses and coffee/mocha notes in the finish. Mouthfeel is thinner than I remember, fairly rich however. Sticky, dry and sweet. Less impressive than I can recall, but still tasty and complex nonetheless. Alcohol is much an afterthought.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since I woke up this morning it has been rainy and miserable outside in downtown Toronto. I suppose it was going to happen at some point considering the past week of beautiful spring-like weather that we had been enjoying. So to make the most of it, I decided to consider what would be the best beer appropriate to enjoy during this sort of dreary day. I mean, everyone has a go-to for that hot sunny day, or the cold winter night - what about the mild and rainy days? What beer best satisfies that scenario?

The more I thought about it, the more that a rich and robust porter kept floating through my mind (and soon across my palate). I went into my cold cellar with the perfect beer for the moment in mind; Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique! I've had this Imperial Porter before, and last time I was in Quebec I made sure I bought several more. Les Trois Mousquetaires is a microbrewery in Quebec producing some amazing examples of classic beers; this Imperial Porter is my favorite so far. I've only ever seen it in the classic Belgium Style 750ml corked bottles, and it stands at a rich and full 10% abv.

It poured smooth and creamy forming a dark tan head that quickly subsided to leave only a thin film on the surface of the beer. Its color matched the day so perfectly; dark red to brown with a thick pitch black as the base. As you hold it up to a light you can see a ruby shimmer peering from the inside out. It definitely got me excited. The nose was also what I was looking for. First its quite pungent showing its strength, but it relaxed to bring out espresso beans, bitter cocoa, rum, molasses, vanilla, over ripe fruit, and an earthy almost tobacco finish. It was more complex on the nose than I expected - making me even more excited!

As I drank it, I was reminded of why I chose this beer in the first place. The beer brought a party of classic flavors to my palate; it opens with creamy fudge-like espresso, very dry yet matly sweet the whole time, flowing with light spice, rummy alcohol which was tamed by a molasses sweetness, lots of roast across my cheeks, and a clean bitter finish. It was smooth and much lighter than I had expected from a beer of this stature; but all the flavors are so well balanced it makes perfect sense. The combination of coffee, chocolate, cream and a touch of black liquorice does make this beer among my favorite porters, and is a classic in my mind.

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Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique from Les Trois Mousquetaires
94 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.