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Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series)

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,070 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,070
Reviews: 501
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 210
Gots: 123 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.24% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008

35 IBU

2007 - 8.1%
2009 - 8.7
2010 - 9.02%
2013 - 9.8%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,070 | Reviews: 501 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lackenhauser
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark black in color with a nice sized cocoa head on top. Moderate amount of aroma. Black currants and mellow chocolate tinge. Has a somewhat, faint inky smell to it. Heavy dark chocolate flavor. Great taste of anise and roasted malt. Not overly harsh or astringent. Ever so slight espresso and quite grainy. Good mouthfeel. A decent Baltic Porter. A style that more brewers need to try. Well worth trying for sure.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am writing this before I even go for the beer. I am heading into this bottle with more than a skeptical mind. I feel like this style of beer is grossly under-appreciated as I have had the chance to sample many different versions from a wide variety of brewers. Zywiec (one of my favorites), Perkuno's Hammer, Baltic Thunder, Baltika, Duck-Rabbit, Okocim, Sinebrychoff, and many more. That is what Smuttynose is going up against here in my mind. You better put some serious wind up my skirt.

Pours like midnight with a pretty decent tan head. A real nice nose. Nice malty and coffee nose. Flavor has some definite roasted qualities to it. Flavor is definitely bringing it. Firm robust qualities. Thick malts. That dark and robust bean character thing. Listen people. This is a porter. Call it a Baltic Porter or whatever you want, but this is a porter. Thick and full of lively character, this is a style that deserves some serious recognition. Feel is smooth on the liquid and it has a nice carbonation to it. Overall verdict? Okay...this is working it. I came into this one with Smuttynose in my gun sights (not that I don't love you guys...I am just not putting up with any crap regarding this style). This is definitely a high quality beer. How does it compare to the baltic porters from the region? A bit different, as the American productions seem to be. There is that funky blue cheese thing going on, but it works. Overall this is a very well crafted beer. Have the chance to try it? You should.

In addition: Having a bottle almost one year later from the vintage and it's just beautiful. Amazing beer. More spot on interpretation after it gains some age. Highly suggested.

Photo of mbrandon2w
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black, mocha head.
Smells of coffee, plums, dark chocolate and some alcohol.
Taste is of dark, bitter chocolate, with coffee, some fruit, and a nice warming alcohol finish.
Nice mouthfeel. Smooth, almost creamy.
I wish I had bought more of this.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz'er $9.00

Pours a midnight ink buh-lack with a thin settled foamy khaki collar leaving no lace in a tulip.

Nose is a full bodied liquorice and cocoa, baker's choco. Some boozy notes and toasted malt.

First swigs: Thick chewy oatmeal and liquorice. Bready all the way. Lots of depth. Espresso and earthy.

Full bodied and rich.

Last swigs: Full porter flavor that edges onto the stout style a bit with a burnt charcoal note. Rare style. Nice but $9 a bomber is steep.

Beer is good. Happy imperial beering.

Photo of flexabull
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of warriorsoul, thanks again!

This is a mean looking beer. Deep dark flat black color, with an initially rocky brown head, that settles into a big fluffy off white stack of bubbles.

Aromas are fairly potent. Mineral like, nutty, oaky, spicy, and with a hint of smoke.

Flavors are very good, full, but not overpowering. A general light bitter dark chocolate malt flavor, as well as some spicy bread, dough, and coffee like notes sprinkled in. There is a general creamy smooth sweetness that lingers throughout the sip. Finish is crisp, with a mineral bitter and subtle bite. No real detection of alcohol. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is good. A touch prickly at first sip, but then settles into a nice thick, smooth, and full feel. Pretty impressive fullness for a lager.

Drinkability is good. I have yet to have been let down by any of the Smutty offerings. And this one doesn't let me down either. Probably second only to Duck-Rabbit when it comes to Baltic Porters that I have sampled.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this pours thick and viscous. Perfect for a ridiculously cold night in St. Petersburg (or Portland). The head is nice and coffee colored and stays firmly planted on the top of the glass. It looks oily and like jet black coffee in the view from above.

The smell of this is incredible. It smells like a mocha made with lots of deep, dark espresso. Its such a delicious smell. A couple more whiffs and you get some of the very dark cooked fruit sweetness.

This is a chewy beer. No better way to describe it. Its rich, thick and very, very flavorful. Dark chocolate combined with rich maltiness and a nice bitter taste of coffee and hints of licorice. They really did a great job with this new release. It will be something to look forward to each January from now on!

Photo of IntriqKen
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another wonderful brew from Smuttynose.
Pours a deep dark reddish mahagony...almost black with an impressive tan two fingers that melts to some nicely sticky lace.

Aromas are sweet roasted dark malts, dark brown sugar and roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Taste is sweet roasted dark chocolate malts with molassis, roasted black coffee, and dark brown sugar. Some hints of dark candied fruits like prunes and plums come through as well.

Finish is slightly sweet with lots of roasted coffee and a bit of sweet dark chocolate.

VERY rich and flavorful.

Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger, light brown head that goes quickly and leaves a good lace. Black as midnight. Nose is slightly malty. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Flavor is roasted molasses. $3.99 for a 1L flip top bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bomber of this beer in NY and am drinking it at cellar temp poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep chocolate brown with a creamy tightly packed tan head foaming up 2 cm and fading slowly to a sturdy surface layer with tight lattice on the glass as it recedes.

Aroma is lots of roasted malt and coffee bean with hints of dark fruit mixed in. No hop presence or alcohol on the nose either.

First sip reveals a very creamy foam and gentle almost non-existent carbonation. The body is fairly thick but not quite chewy.

Flavor starts off very roasty almost burnt malt notes with some coffee bean as well. Rolls to some dark sweet fruit and then a bit of warming booze on the finish.

The beer is a very nice sipper and I enjoy it. I feel it is much more imp stout like than baltic proter, but just my opinion. It is a very nice beer for sure, but the roastiness wasnt expected.

Photo of rbowser
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours inky, jet black and leaves a firm tan head. The initial smell is super, heady aromas of alcohol, coffee, and caramel toasted grains.

The taste is fig like, chocolate, coffee, and caramel toasted grains. A nice balance between sweet sugars, light hop flavor, and roasted grains. Not a session beer but a wonderful, end of a night, late night beer.

Superb mouth feel, a full sensory experience. The after taste is delicious, tongue coating, coffee, full bodied. A very nice example of this style.

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, "Bottle conditioned in 2008", pours inky black, cafe au lait head, quickly settles and then leaves just moderate lacing. The excitement starts here with the luscious chocolaty nose and the full bodied flavor assault that is encountered on the fist sip. Be sure to allow this fresh young beer to warm up. Gobs of rich flavors here, chocolate malt balls, mocha, vanilla and light burnt smokeyness. A tasty rich chocolate milk shake of a brew. Nice. Highly recommended.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark, opaque black with a huge soapy tan head and left great lacing.
The nose was tons of brown sugar and raisin, dark fruits, coffee and chocolate.
Coffee, raisin, brown sugar, toffee and caramel all comeout in the taste. Exceptionally well-balanced and complex. Wood and smoke for sure, and very mild hops. Excellent.
The feel was as complex as the taste, with roasted malt bitterness and sweet/dark fruits squaring off with mild hops, earthy wood, and sweet creamy chocolate. Ends warming and sweet and smooth.
This is a very robust and palate-exhausting beer. This is one I'd enjoy at the end of the night, but be sure you're in full control of your faculties to apprecaite this one.

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle-conditioned 2008:

Pours pitch black with a thick tan creamy head wiith some small bubbles. The head thins and stays around, leaving trailing lace.

The smell is of dark fruits and coffee with a light roastiness.

The taste is of lightly sweetened coffee with dark fruits/raisins and a light roastiness. Very well-balanced with a robust taste. Finishes with a warming sweetness.

Full-bodied with a nice carbonation level. Some alcohol sharpness hits the palate, but the flavors hang on in a coating way.

This can certainly disappear quite quickly despite noticeable alcohol. True to style and delicious!

Photo of Damian
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottle conditioned in 2008

Poured a super deep and dark pitch black with a near two-finger, tight, foamy, cocoa-colored head. The head slowly faded to a persistent ring of froth.

The aroma was outstanding. Dark, intensely malty and sweet. Super chocolatey, like in a warm chocolate cake sort of way. If I did not know any better, I might have mistaken this for a chocolate flavored beer. Intense yet so smooth. Rummy, boozy and oaky with strong notes of dark fruits (cherries, raisins and figs) and roasted coffee.

The flavor was rich and robust yet incredibly smooth and well balanced. Dark and malty to the extreme. Chocolatey and oaky. Raisins and prunes were noticeable. A pronounced, minty hoppiness appeared on the back end and carried into the finish. Slight char also came through, along with a touch of alcohol warmth. The lingering, resonating aftertaste was a mix of dark, roasted malts and minty hops.

Mouthfeel was full-bodied. Silky smooth and oily. So amazingly creamy. With every sip, I felt like the liquid was massaging my tongue.

As for drinkability, this beer was quite good. It was perfectly balanced and so well crafted. The alcohol was only moderately noticeable but it definitely hit me hard by the drink's end.

This is unquestionably an extreme version of a baltic style porter. As intense as it may have been, this beer truly won me over with its grace, finesse and overall balance. Definitely the most impressive example of the style I have tried to date.

Photo of mountdew1
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into standard shaker pint glass. Beer was a completely solid black color with a reddish brown frothy head. The head dissipated quickly and left minimal traces on top. Smell was clean, almost equal touches of wheat bread, green olives with a touch of molasses. Taste had touches of vanilla and raisin bread along with burnt coffee. Felt good in the mouth. Slightly heavily carbonated, but well coating. Easy to drink despite the reasonably high ABV, but hit quickly afterwards.

Photo of deg
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer had a rich brown color. After pouring some into a glass, there was an impressive thick coffee colored head. I could smell something, but I couldn't identify it. Whatever it was, the smell was weak. When I drank it, I noticed a wide variety of flavors. Roasted coffee, malt, all with a slight bitterness. I think I picked up a little fig in there... but I'm not sure. Maybe I should have another... The beer felt rich and creamy. However, I wouldn't want to drink a whole lot of this in one sitting. It was a bit heavy to knock back more than a bottle at once.

Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty much black, but with ruby edges. A thick, light brown cap formed off the pour and settled to a thin skim and solid collar. Lots of spotty lacing. Rich malt aroma with plenty of roasted malts and sour cherry. Notes of bittersweet chocolate and plums were evident as well. The flavour was chocolate and malt with a cherry background. Bitterness was balanced with the malt character. Quite nutty. Finishes with a bit of roasted bitterness. Creamy, full body with smooth carbonation. There's a hint of dry astringency from the dark malts that works well. Really nice. It's got complexity that's sometimes missing from big porters.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/black, only the very slightest of ruby around the edges when held very close to the light, decent size fizzy tan head that goes quickly and leaves very little lacing. Second pour provided a lot more light brown head, slightly more lacing produced.

Smell is mostly roasted malt, some funky dark fruit aroma as well that is quite hard to describe.

Taste is also quite malty with the hard-to-describe dark fruit aspect, near the end you can make out some alcohol notes, good amount of carbonation for this style, very sticky in the mouth but not too viscous when drinking.

This beer is a good candidate for aging because I find it only gets better with a year or two on it.

Photo of garyc2112
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm usually into the hoppy beers. This is my second beer I've tried in the Baltic Porter style. So far I'm becoming a big fan.
Smell - Heavy malts, carmel and raisin.
Appearance - Black as outer space with a lingering nutty head.
Taste - It comes in swingin' with coffee, malt, fruit and raisins. Has a little bit of a bite that disappears in seconds.
Drinkability - Excellent beer but I'm probably good for about two at the most. It's very filling.

Photo of ericj551
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Somehow, Smuttynose Baltic Porter managed to fly under my radar. I'm a big fan of the Big Beer series, but I almost missed the boat on this one. I managed to grab a bottle at Tulley's last weekend.

The beer pours an inky black, opaque even to the light, with a beautiful deep brown head that lingers leaving thick lacing on my glass. The aroma is chock full of a nice dark roastiness with plenty of caramel backing it up. There is just a hint of hops in the nose. The flavor is quite sweet upfront, but the dark malts quickly come in to balance it out. Tons of chocolate and dark toasted, not quite burnt flavors. The beer manages to be very dark and roasty without being astringent nearly at all. Some bitterness and a brief twinge of hop flavor comes in the finish, but it quickly departs in the aftertaste, leaving the chocolatey malt flavor to linger.

If I could give this beer higher than a 5.0 on mouthfeel I would. It's amazingly creamy and rich. This beer is a desert for sure. The alcohol is apparent more as the beer warms, but it's not overpowering and it's certainly not enough to detract from the beer. I hope they bring this one back next year, I'll buy a case.

Photo of Lupe
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a tight khaki colored head that drops to a thin sheet. Sporadic lacing is left behind clinging to the glass.

Deep roasted coffee aroma with some dark fruit - raisin and plum. Some dark chocolate and caramel is present as well. Alcohol lies in the background, adding a touch of rum.

Much like the aroma, roasted malts kick off the flavor profile - dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, and burnt caramel. Dark fruits come in next and mingle with the alcohol. A mild and mysterious smokiness creeps in before the finish. Mild earthy hops and a roasted bitterness finish things off.

Full in body - thick, creamy, and super smooth. Not too heavy or syrupy - very nice mouthfeel. Great drinkability for a full-bodied brew. A sipper, but difficult to put down. Alcohol is noticeable, but pleasant and not overpowering. Flavors are clean and to the point. A top notch Baltic Porter.

Photo of OKCNittany
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Two finger brown head that didn't last too long & left just a little lacing. Black body.

S: Rich roasted malt aroma with notes of coffee, chocolate, and alcohol.

T: Roasted and burnt malts - and plenty of them. Also picked up dark fruit, bitter coffee, bitter dark chocolate. Didn't hide the alcohol well at all.

M: Full body with soft carbonation. Creamy and smooth. A slight alcohol burn at the finish intereferes with a rich, and slightly bitter, malty aftertaste.

D: It's very good. Big bold flavors. I just wish the alcohol was more restrained. Still, it makes an excellent sipper.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip, this was a black, black beer. It had a thick coffee-colored head, with lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. It had a coffee aroma, as well as some sweet fruitiness. The coffee taste lingered well. Also some noticeable raisin/dark fruit taste. The sweet fruit combined well with the coffee, making this a mellow, eminently drinkable beer. Would drink this beer anytime, anywhere. Cool label, too.

Photo of MrMonkey
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a 1/2 inch foamy, coffee colored head that fades to a thin cap. Great lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is dominated by roasted coffee beans, raisins and plums, with a little bit of caramel and a slight hop presence in the background. Great balance between sweet and roasted aromas.

Taste is much like the nose: roasted malts, burnt coffee, and bit of chocolate, rounded out with some dark fruits (raisin, plums). There's some earthy, smokey notes as well. A slight hop bitterness rounds out the finish.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and thick, but smooth and not too heavy. It coats the mouth without being too syrupy.

Very drinkable for such a full-bodied beer. I definitely put this one back pretty quickly.

Photo of waughbrew
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a dark beige head that looks darned thick, creamy, and appetizing, laces OK, but could have stuck around a little bit longer. Aroma seems very rounded and natural, primarily consisting of coffee, vanilla, sugar, and sassafras :). As it warms, a decent dose of earthy hops come through, but it still smells like it is going to be a little too sweet for me. Its smooth thick feel isn't as sweet as it smells, which is good IMO. The vinous nature is the main way in which hops really come through, and it combines with the semi-present alcohol to balance the huge maltiness. This really sticks around on the palate and evolves nicely. Ends up a little bit like bittersweet chocolate.
Overall a fantastic brew. AFAIK, the aroma hops might be a little off-style, but I don't really care. This is a serious beer with thick, well-rounded malt, vinous hops to balance, and a silky-smooth feel. Good stuff.

Many thanks to Xumbi for the bottle.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,070 ratings.