Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Les Trois Mousquetaires
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Ratings: 294 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Note that I had had this brew cellared for about 14 months prior to drinking. This may account for milder hop bitterness/flavor/aroma and poorer head retention .
Look (3.0/5) – Very dark black in colour with mahogany tones when held to the light. The head was a bit of a disappointment: it rose deep khaki to only about ½ cm or so; it had decent stand and fell to a nice wispy head; there was some decent lacing. It eventually collapses to nothing. Clarity was relatively poor for the style.
Smell (4.0/5) – Very good for the style, it was rich with dark malts but the burnt acridity you get with many imperial stouts was more restrained, leaving a rich and somewhat sweet impression. From the malt I get: a whole lot of coffee, chocolate, and dark/dried pitted fruits (so melanoidins). The light roasted notes gave the impression of a rich chocolate-fruit cake with very, very dark chocolate and some espresso. Very slight floral alcohol. Hops were minimal.
Taste (4.5/5) – Similar to the smell, although I would say that the roaster/burnt character was greater; this was good because it balanced the sweetness much better. The same characters were present: coffee/espresso and chocolate were more equivalent on the palate. A wide range of background flavours added complexity: there were also some melanoidins; a good helping of caramel/molasses; black licorice; a hit of lighter (berry?) fruitiness; and nuts. Given all that sweetness, the finish is fairly dry and well within the espresso wheelhouse. There is a bit of hop bitterness that provides a nice balance (although it is difficult to discern the hop bitterness and the bitterness from the dark malts). A slight floral alcohol note, no hop flavors. This was very, very, very malty but the balance was such that it was rich and complex without being cloying. I’m almost thinking of a rich espresso with a slice of rich dark-chocolate fruit cake.
Feel (4.5/5) – Full body and medium-low carbonation give for that feel of ‘velvetiness’ that is epitomized by very good cask ale. There finish is smooth and rich without being cloying (in fact, it is surprisingly dry). Some nice warmth from the substantial ABV adds something to the finish.
I really, really enjoyed this brew and would serve it as a good example of the style. Basically, the thing that sold me on this brew was the extent to which they counter-balanced the impressively complex, sweet malt profile with bitterness (roasted/burnt grains, hops) and a lager yeast finish to make an exceptionally malty beer without getting too cloying. Great job, TM!!!
10-06-2012 23:46:24 | More by Rijtjeshuis
4.2/5 rDev -2.1%
Thanks to Richard for the bottle, in trade. Drank it September 2012 (it's a 2011 vintage).
Pours reddish-brown/ black, foamy head. Smells of beery molasses. No smoke on the nose.
Nice mouthfeel - not oily, but medium-thick. Sweet finish lasts pretty long. Sweet dark dry fruit like raisins or plums. Molasses. Vanilla. No smoke or wood -- maybe just a hint at the end; mostly dark fruit. Very pleasant to drink.
09-10-2012 01:21:36 | More by mmapes
3.43/5 rDev -20%
Got bottles of this from a couple guys last year, but can't remember who you are. I had it all logged on my computer, but she crashed a while back. If bottles came from you, cheers! This particular review is of a 2011 bottle I got while in Quebec this past summer.
From a 750ml into a snifter
Bottled 7 January 2011
APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, fizzy, light tan head with decent retention. Clear black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp. A light ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.
SMELL: Dark malts, caramel, foral hops and a touch fo dark chocolate and leather aromas. Bold enough, though the floral notes make it a little different than expected.
TASTE: Dark malts, caramel sweetness and some toffee flavors start us off, then give way to some nice bitter dark chocoalte, nuts, molasses and woody flavors at the finish. This is quite sweet for sure, though no booze is evident. Aftertaste is sweet with molasses and sweet wood flavors, though some of the bitter chocolate and coffee notes do come through. The sweet flavors are definitely nice, though this could use more bitterness as balance.
PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine with a slight scratsh at the swallow and finishes rather cloying. No heat. Good weight on this one.
OVERALL: The flavor is a little too sweet for my palate, but it is still a well made beer. There is lots of complex, interesting flavor, and the booze is held in check. The feel is pretty big as well, which really helps its cause. This would be good in small servings, but I found the 75cl bottle a little rough going at it alone. As a final note, I remember the '09 being much different than this 2011 vintage, which tells me this is a good candiate for a vertical one day. Cheers to the guys who helped me out with this one!
08-31-2012 20:33:22 | More by Jeffo
4.2/5 rDev -2.1%
750ml. 2011 picked up at Brawley's. Fairly dark brown pour, thin layer of light tan bubbles. Maybe just a tad lighter than standard.
Aroma, A minerally chocolate and roast malt. Some faint wood and dark fruits.
Taste, powerful yet balanced roast malt, cocoa, chocolate covered raspberry, grape, plum. Finish is more of the roast and cocoa. Pretty straight forward and clean.
Medium bodied, carbonation keeps this quite light feeling though. Drinks dangerously easy. There is a faint warmth to remind you.
Pretty top notch, you decide if it's in the top three for the style though.
08-04-2012 02:35:29 | More by Bung
4.28/5 rDev -0.2%
Poured from a bottle into a true pint, this is from the 2011 vintage. The beer is a dark auburn-brown color with a filmy coating of light brown, big bubbled head. Dark, rich nose of balsamic vinegar, oakey wood characteristics, roasted nut, and a slight bitterness. The body is creamy and rich, with roasted and full flavors. Wood and earthy notes are imparted on a dark nut and creamy backbone, with an overall roasted quality. Roasted and boozey aftertaste, with a slick finish and lingering roasted charcter. Very smooth, very strong, and very good!
07-10-2012 03:54:13 | More by GarthDanielson
4.6/5 rDev +7.2%
The beer is black with a light brown head, little lacing and rather small curtains.
Smelling of burnt bread, some ashes, dark dried fruits, sausages.
Intensely sweet start, candid sugar, toast, dates, figs, dark chocolate, a hint of cocoa beans.
Little carbonation, oily and smooth, a huge body.
Really a treat, "probably the best Baltic porter in the world".
07-08-2012 09:54:13 | More by rarbring
4.48/5 rDev +4.4%
This is a bottle of the 2011 vintage.
This is an almost black beer showing deep garent on the edges with a carmel colored head of foam.
The aroma is of deep roasted grains and licorice with dark fruits like currents and dates. There is a bit of coffee and a slight note fo chocolate as well.
Rich malt sweetness is one way of putting this is sweet and complex with flavors of dark fruit and tons of roast. The dark roast starts to take over towards the finish along with coffee and molasses flavors
This is full bodied and smooth.
I can only think of a couple of beers that as so complex beer. I'm usually going to seek out a drier beer but can still appreciate a an fine example of this style from time to time.
07-05-2012 02:04:42 | More by MadScientist
4.28/5 rDev -0.2%
A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger high tan head that gradually faded away, leaving on a bit of lacing on the surface and a very thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted and burnt malts, the latter of which lingers through the finish. There are also some hints of hops.
M: It feels slightly higher than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: You might want to slowly sip this beer on a cold winter night but it’s incredibly easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste, which is unusual for the style.
07-01-2012 02:01:38 | More by metter98
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Appearance- Black with a small nice tan head. 4/5
Smell- Roasty and chocolate. Little burnt aroma. 4/5
Taste- Smooth, and roasty. Bits of chocolate. Alcohol is not nearly as prominent as I thought it was going to be. 4.5/5
Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation. 4/5
Overall- This is a great Baltic porter. Good flavor, and good mouthfeel. 4.5/5.
06-18-2012 15:20:12 | More by MADhombrewer
Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique from Les Trois Mousquetaires
95 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.