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Smuttynose Baltic Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
556 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
556
Ratings:
1,345
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
13.65%
 
 
Wants:
225
Gots:
202
For Trade:
13
Smuttynose Baltic PorterSmuttynose Baltic Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.24%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
35 IBU

2007 - 8.1%
2009 - 8.7
2010 - 9.02%
2013 - 9.8%
2015 - 9.0%

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 556 | Ratings: 1,345
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at Cole's. Aroma of chocolate, and roast. Black, but reflecting light. Brown soapy head, some alce. Full mouthfeel, carbonation is right there. Fierce chocolate is right in front, the finish is coffee, with some sourness running through mid-sip.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasty malt and dark fruit aromas. Taste is the same with a nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance of roast and fruit aromas and flavors.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger tan head with some lacing on a jet black body without light passing through.

S: one word, raisin. It is hard to notice anything else here. Vanilla notes perhaps.

T: Roasted, vanilla and sweet notes. Lighter on the dark fruit than the aroma predicts but still present.

M: full body and moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth. 

Overall: not too bad. Thick like most baltics and fairly drinkable. A little oily in the finish

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Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly jet black (only a bit of amber color is visible near the edge of the glass) with a thin mocha head. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose along with a mild amount of sweetness.
T: The taste is very malty and has notes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, hops and roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and is very rich and smooth.
D: The alcohol is fairly well hidden but this is definitely a sipping beer given its strength.

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

What an aggressive beer that yet holds true to its style. Gotta put on my drinkin' boots for this one.

A very dark brown beer that is completely opaque and carries a lightly browned head head that reduces to a film and then holds firm. Some lacing, but because of the alcohol you can't expect much more. Light legging on the glass.

Chocolately aromas rise first and ultimatley carry the beer. However, a plethera of coffee, toasty, fruity, malty, and caramel aromas come in waves after wave, giving a new surprise with every sniff.

Aggressive on the cocoa and coffee flavors, the beer is well balanced and complex. Berries, currants, grapes, dates, figs, and raisons round out the ester profile and maintain a medium strength throughout. All this on a pillow of toffee and bready malts. Rum-like sweet alcohols make an intense sweetness in the finish.

Very full and rich, but with just enough sweetness to qualifty as a Baltic, but not so much that it interferes with the drinkability. So non-offensive that it's easy to want to drink fast but the alcoholic finish reminds me that I shouldn't.

Extremely bold and aggressive even for the larger-than-life style. Yet, well balanced, elegant, and inviting. A year of age will likely do wonders for the beer. Thanks to Mikey711, I have two and can cellar one to compare.

Thanks Mikey711!

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Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottling, tasted 8/16/09

Appearance: Pours an almost pitch black color with a mocha colored cap that eventually becomes an espresso film while leaving a nice design on the chalice

Smell: Dark chocolate, hazelnuts, dark fruit and a hint of charcoal

Taste: Fruit forward, with raisins and prune flavors, up front, followed by the chocolate, molasses, hazelnuts and a touch of pine; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate, but the fruit still lingers underneath

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and silky smooth, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A year of aging has turned this beer into a superb drinker; gone is the warmth and bitter hop flavors (not that those are all bad); but what remains is a blend of chocolate and fruit that knocks the style profile out of the park

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of aromatic coffee with notes of creamy black chocolate. Taste is very well balance between aromatic coffee without any dryness with some great creamy black chocolate notes with some subtle dry raisins in the finish. Body is quite full with a creamy texture and no apparent alcohol. Another very nice beer from a great brewer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First whiff when the cap comes off is chocolate, with an underlying raisin/cherry hint. Later the aroma is strictly raisiny/fruity.

It glugs into a Duvel tulip a dark chestnut tone, and becomes black in the glass, impenetrable by light. Head is lively and a dark chocolatey color. Lace doesn't stick as much as the Zywiec Porter I just had, but there are some spots of lace. The head settles to a skim after a few minutes.

Big chocolatey taste, full bodied and lactic, almost more like a milk stout. Very full and roasty, rich feel, sweet enough to count as dessert. A decent amount of charred malt character without getting bitter. Some earth and grain notes, long flavorful aftertaste. It's a little too rich to session (with subtle boozy notes), but it's tasty. Again, it veers more into milk stout territory, but works great as an imperial robust porter.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown bordering on black with a nice light-brown head.

S: Pretty good amount of roasted malt alongside chocolate, a bit of coffee, and hints of dark fruits.

T: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits, mild earthy hops.

M: Thick and creamy yet a bit dry. Very smooth.

D: A nice sipper. Probably my favorite Smuttynose beer to date.

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a thick, two-finger, light brown head of foam. It had nice retention and left thin rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of roasty coffee, dried fruits, chocolate, toffee and some floral notes.

T - Delicious flavor - coffee, raisin, chocolate, toffee and caramel. Good hop bitterness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a fabulous beer. I'm glad I finally picked one up on a trip.

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Photo of oberon
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great to see Smuttynose make this part of there new "Big Beer" series and for my money this is the best.Poured into a 22oz nonic a rich and dark nearly opaque black with a large blooming mocha colored head that settled rather quickly leaving no lace behind.I had to give the aroma a "5" because not only are they incredibly appetizing but they just jump out at ya,big juicy prune/raisin dipped in dark bitter chocolate with a hint of dry wood.Great balance of sweeter dark fruit and dark chocolate and a dry leafy,woody finish there is a large dose of hop but it still stays pretty true to style.A great new addition Smuttynose great work.

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

2009 vintage

A - poured with a small head of dark tan foam on an opaque, black body. The head fades quickly and leaves little lace.

S - caramel, raisin, mocha, and licorice.

T - dark fruit notes of plum and black cherry up front. Some dark chocolate and raisin in the middle. Sherry, vanilla, raisin and burnt caramel in the finish.

M - a thick, oily body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - really nice, this has obviously aged well and the raisin and sherry notes only add to the complexity of an already dense beer.

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

Tap at Portsmouth Gas Light Co.

Large creamy head, almost pitch black beer

Nose is dark malts, light roast, black patent malt, dry stout and baltic porter aromas, creamy malts, touch of earthy hops

Taste is fairly rich, bitter roasted dark malts, rich and a bit creamy, dry irish stout flavors, light dark fruits, chewy, touch of dark choc, baltic porter dry but stout like flavors , lightbooze, little fluffy, light earthy bettering hops

Mouth if med to heavier bodied, with decent carb

Drink is good, light booze, little sticky, nice bitterness

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

2008 release. Obsidian with no appreciable highlights whatsoever. The coffee ice cream colored cap filled slightly more than half the glass on the pour and is deflating extremely slowly, leaving an impressive amount of buckshot-shredded lace in its wake. This is truly spectacular looking beer.

If it wasn't for the tart dark fruitiness, Russian Imperial stout would have been my first guess. There has to be a huge amount of chocolate and black malt in the house. Forget the fact that a lager yeast was used, there are esters galore emanating from the glass.

Baltic Porter tastes as dark and as rich as it looks and smells. This is amazingly delicious beer and is a stunning achievement, given the fact that it's Smuttynose's first attempt at the style. You absolutely nailed it, guys. It's also one of the biggest examples of this style that I've ever had the pleasure to consume.

One of the beer's biggest strengths is the perfect interplay between sweet, bitter and tangy (in order from most to least). The roasted malt backbone is huge without going overboard, and without weighting things down with malt sugars. Warming turns an already great beer into something truly special.

The flavor profile consists of bittersweet chocolate, blackstrap molasses, creme caramel, dark raisins, ripe figs and a surprising amount of black licorice. This beer puts the lie to the notion that lagers can't be complex. Smuttynose shouldn't change... one... single... thing for the next release.

The mouthfeel is pure heaven. I'm tempted to say that even more heavy creaminess would be great, but I'm not sure that it would be an improvement. If you're a fan of softly carbonated and lightly chewy, you'll be impressed.

Other than Imperial Stout, I haven't been blown away by any of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. Baltic Porter not only gives the stout a run for its money, it just might be the best beer that this brewery has released. If you're lucky enough to have access, buy all you can carry. In fact, taking a pack horse wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Baltic Porter:

Appearance: Black, opaque body except for a very thin edge of clear, deep chesnut-brown at the base of the glass. A creamy, dark tan/light brown head caps it and holds remarkably well. The lacing, however, is limited.

Aroma: Roasty, darkly caramelish, and deeply chocolatey. Too roasty for the style, but nice. A minor hop presence is noticeable (also not really to style), but not overdone.

Taste: Aggressively full-flavored. Malty, with a roasty, bittersweet-chocolate character and lots of gooey dark caramel. Some dark-skinned fruit and a hint of anise help to balance it; as does its coffee-like bitterness. It's solidly grounded, and bitterness lingers in the finish. Thankfully, it doesn't display any more dark malt acidity than it needs to. Some minor hops are again present, as they were in the aroma, and they lend a soft note of background mintiness to it. Alcohol is apparent at the back of the throat in the finish. It's a little bit hotter than it should be, but it's not brash.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy smooth with just enough of a caress from the carbonation to keep it from becoming too soft (with so much malt you need some carbonation to help cut through it).

Drinkability: Pretty solid: it's a solid beer, and a bit of a sipper, but it generally represents the style (it should be a little bit lighter, less roasty, and less hoppy). It's quite tasty though, and really nicely malty. Worth trying.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black body with a medium-sized, foamy, dark tan head.

Smell: Roasty aroma with full notes of blackstrap molasses and fire-charred aniseed. Lighter background hints of raisins and smoke.

Taste: Roasted, black malts that's all at once smokey and sweet. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, licorice, molasses, and cauterized cream crowd the palate and swarm the taste buds. Earthy, spicy bitterness remains light. Touch of fruitiness. More smoke and roast on the sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, very enjoyable brew from Smuttynose.

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

I had been wanting to try this one forever but for some reason or another I was just never able to get a hold of one. Well finally found one in a trade a couple weeks ago and immediately put it into the fridge to get it ready to try. Well it did not sit there too long as I decided to grab it out last night and give it a whirl. Nice twenty two ounce bottle was capped and wrapped with tape( Hey I do that to) and I proceeded to serve it at Cellar Temp and pour it into my Terrapin Snifter.

Appearance - This one poured a deep, dark brown, with lots of reddish tinting throughout. Really a very nice shade, and nearly opaque except for a few dashes of red tossed into the mix. A nice three inch high head of tan quickly erupted from the top and then settled down gracefully to a thin layer that lasted throughout the session. Deep and clingy side glass lace thoroughly coated the inside of the glass and really thickened up the look overall.

Smell - The aroma was loaded down with deep, toasty malts. A rich, and very thick layer of dark fruit permeating through from underneath as well. Hints of raisins, figs, plums, and hints of dark berries are relatively common here as well as a nice dose of sugar. Some hints of alcohol were rubbing around in there and overall it was very nicely put together.

Taste - The flavor was a wonderful extension of the aroma. A huge explosion of flavor just came rippling through the mouth with the very first sip that I took. The first notes of dark roasted grains came through immediately. Morphing with the raisin and fig tones, giving it a slightly tart like fruit bite on the backend. Quickly turning over into some molasses and burnt coffee like taste which lingered through out the rest of the session. Hints of bitter dark chocolate perhaps starting to run up through it, though very light and quickly shunned by the stronger flavors. The finish was long and drawn out. Lots of dryness to it and it really helped let this flavor come out. The long lasting taste of espresso mixed with rum soaked raisins was the last little bit left on my tongue.

Mouthfeel - A rich, smooth and very creamy feel came through very nicely on this one. I was really quite nicely surprised with how well it all came together. Really a very nice carbonation profile, with a smooth finish and not a touch of lightness to be found in here.

Drinkability - For the style it was spot on. Definitely a sipper but by no means was this one too big in anyway. I had no issue at all with being able to finish it and I would gladly look for another one at any time. The alcohol was remarkably well covered and it was really just effortless for a big porter.

Overall I thought this was really excellent. I was shocked to see it rated so high, but now that I get to try it I would whole heartedly agree with this assumption. This is a very solid offering from a very solid brewer. I would love to be able to try this one again, it was really very good and very easy to sip.

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

2008 release, poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark fruit, creamy chocolate, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is creamy, sweet and malty with a strong flavor of coffee that dominates. There are background flavors of dark fruit and chocolate and a very mild hops presence that provides a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice higher-powered porter to drink for a while, but it's definitely more of a sipper than a pounder.

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

Thanks to azagthoth for sharing this one this past weekend.

A: The pour is dark brown, bordering on black with a fluffy brown head.

S: The aroma is good, if not a bit simple. A lot of chocolate and roasted malt with a bit of vanilla.

T: A wonderful chocolate flavor is the star of the show. Roasted malt and coffee provide a nice background and contrast of flavors.

M: Medium bodied with carbonation that is actually a bit on the lighter side.

D: I've had a few different Baltic porters and this one is easily the best. Great flavors and a nice body (rather than being thin and "lagery").

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 1/2015. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, licorice, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, dark fruit, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, light licorice, light smoke/char, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, raisin, plum, fig, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Baltic porter. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt, earthy hops, and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of chinchill
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle, 2012 vintage, served in a glass snifter.

Appearance: nearly black but with faint traces of brown. Topped by a moderate size, creamy/sudsy, light brown head than reduces to a ring and some 'islands' all too quickly. Still able to leave lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of chocolate for a beer without any actual cocoa; also dark malt and dark fruits, with a hint of coffee. Smells sweet.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, raisins, dark roasted malts and dark fruit flavors are all quite evident in this very flavorful beer. Despite the coffee component and some hop flavor, the brew is only mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth full body. Medium carbonation, perhaps a bit higher than expected, imparts some liveliness.

Overall as good as any Baltic porter I've had: Smutty's Baltic Porter is indeed a world-class beer. Flawlessly crafted, it has excellent aroma, taste and mouthfeel; looks great too. Wish I had bought another one to tuck away for a year.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Mickey Finn's shaker pint glass, with Alice in Chains's "Your Decision" playing in the background.

Pours an opaque black (it could be brown, but, without the passage of light, there is no certainty here, brother) with a finger of solid burnt umber head that leaves only a trace of gossamer lacing behind. The nose is toffee, caramel, dark malts, figs, brown sugar, and a subtle hint of pine...and I just realized I used the word "gossamer" in a beer review...right on... The taste follows suit, with the brown sugar, now joined by molasses, and the pine standing out at first, with glimpses into the malts, toffee, and debutante figs coming into focus shortly thereafter. As Toto's "Africa" begins, I notice the body: nearing heavy, it has a good amount of carbonation, but it's just the right amount to "guide me toward salvation". Though somewhat chewy, the incredibly smooth finish (spiting the carbonation in a grand stroke of defiance) makes this brew one that "will take a lot to drag me away from". Ah, the '80s...

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Photo of Slatetank
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this at Cobblestone's in York, PA, 22oz bomber shared with carlos - poured chilled in a pint.
A4 S 4.5 T4.5 F4 O4.5
A - Ebony w/ thick tan cap, tight bead and little lace, opaque color w/ rocky head

S - A rich aroma of dark cocoa, creamy vanilla and buttery toffee

M - Smooth creamy and light roasted w/ mild tinge of spice and alcohol

T - Malty w/ light truffle-like cocoa hints of toffee and nutty toasted notes w/ graham cracker tinges. The flavor is sweet w/ mild biscuit and burnt caramel.

D - A highly drinkable Baltic Porter, very smooth and clean, with mild alcohol effect on the palate - highly recommended

Re-review
enjoyed chilled in a pint at Warwick Hotel

I think this is a very good baltic porter, however the smell doesn't live up to the original rating I gave it, still tastes very good and looks the part so overall only noticeable decline was the aroma -overall a very good example of the style

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Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my brewery snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan hear. Fades to a thick ring. Good retention from there on out. Leaves slight splattered lace. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Big roasted malt flavor, chocolate, cherries, raisins, light coffee, and earthy hops to balance it out a bit.

Taste: Again, more roasted malts. Lots of dark fruits, big dried cherry flavor with raisins. As it warms, it gets more bitter with grassy hops. Some chocolate and coffee as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends malty, slightly dry, but overall, pretty clean. Very nice.

Overall, a very nice baltic porter. Lots of flavor and very drinkable for the abv. I think 12 oz bottles would be a much better size, unless splitting with a friend. Luckily I had a friend to enjoy it with me. I recommend this one.

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Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't remember if I got this from unholy2 or beeronthebrain. I believe it was unholy2, cheers to Mike & Khen (where ever you are)

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Nice vicious quality to this as well. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark chcolate & dark fruits, fades a bit as this warms

T: Rich chocolate, dryness, raisins, a whisper of booze up front. As this warms I get a bit of herbal hops on the back of the throat, loads of chocolate & dark fruit, a touch of carob, plums & raisins. Finishes dry, warming & fruitty with a kiss of vanilla

MF: Medium bodied, with light but noticeable carbonation & a nice oily/slick feeling, plus stickiness there as well. A bit more thickness would garnered a 5.0 here for me

Drinks great for the style & ABV. A great Baltic Porter! Smutty is probably my favorite New England Brewery & can hold their own with of the big boys

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Smuttynose Baltic Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.