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

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

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987 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 987
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%

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

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.24% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
35 IBU

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

(Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008)
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Ratings: 987 | Reviews: 492 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 4.21.13
2013 Vintage

A - Pours a very dark brown with a fizzy brown two inch head that fades quickly.

S - Coffee, vanilla, roasted malts.

T - Vanilla up front, then coffee and finishes with a touch of soy.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Vanilla and coffee heavy. Nice Baltic Porter that drinks really easy.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 04:42:28 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Jonada

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review #100

2013 bottle. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color with 2 fingers of a creamy dark tan head with good retention and lacing. Body is nearly opaque with only slight hints of ruby red along the bottom edge of the glass.

Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, earthy hops, with light hints of raisin and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malt, black licorice, roasted coffee, bakers chocolate, booze, with a light caramel presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter end of full bodied, viscous mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Really good beer though a bit boozy for being "only" 9.8%. Definitely worth picking up now, but I'd also be interested to see what some age does to this.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 00:13:46 | More by Jonada
Photo of FosterJM


3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1764th Review on BA
Bottle to Libbey Porter glass

2013 release

Thanks to Jlindros and RudZud for this one.

App- Out of the bottle this pours like molasses mixed with maple syrup. A bit of a coca cola color head with a good amount of retention. It's a big porter in one go. The color is fairly dense with spots of chocolate syrup black.

Smell- I really got a lot out of this but wasnt necessarily what I thought. A lot of roast and peat behind this for me. A bit of bakers chocolate mixed with some prickly booze and raisins.

Taste- This was a good porter. A lot of brash and bold flavors just a bit unbalanced for me. The prickly flavor carried over and brought a bit of peat, raisin and smoke on the flavor to me. A bit hot and boozy.

Mouth- A very medium body with a solid medium carbonation to it. It drank fairly thick. The residual chocolate, roast and peat flavors were nice but needed to come down a little. A bit too thick for me.

Drink- I can see why this was in the Top 250. A good beer for the style with semi. Good balance, large aromas and flavors and warms on a cold CA night.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 14:41:58 | More by FosterJM
Photo of dheacck11


4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is pitch black with mahogany finger and half of head.

Nose is full of roasty malts. Hint of coffee.

Taste is roasty and a little smokey, with a strong coffee component, as well as hints of cacao and bitter dark chocolate, though subtle. Great malty finish.

Feel is medium thick and rich.

Nice porter. Little on the bitter side for my preferences, but excellent complexity and flavor. Would do better with some balance on the sweetness side.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 00:18:29 | More by dheacck11
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 release poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a rich, deep, dark copper-brown, almost like syrup. A thick three-finger head of well-tanned khaki foam that's really tight very slowly dissolves, leaving a generous band of lace around the edge of the glass. Even after the head has finally disappeared, the surface is still covered by an almost solid sheen of very fine bubbles. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a rich black and completely solid - not a bit of light penetrates the liquid, even at the edges of the glass.

S - Dark biscuits, chocolate bread, hints of anise. Alcohol pushes up into the nose just behind these, and it's almost too much as it hides any subtle smells that might also be in the glass. As it warms, 50% milk chocolate shows up, along with hints of dark dried fruits like tart black cherries. Notes of dark caramels also appear.

T - A cup of medium roast coffee with lots of rich dark bitter chocolate melted into it. Boozy, almost like cough syrup. Hot. Some notes of dark, unsweetened dried fruit like dark plums and raisins with licorice mix with earthy bittering hops and dark cocoa powder on the back-end.

M - Thick and frothy from the carbonation makes it airy, but creamy on the tongue like a Fudgsicle. Richness. Surprisingly dry on a finish that hangs around more on the alcohol than anything else.

O - Rich and full in ingredients, this beer needs to age to let the alcohol integrate into them and mellow it out. A drink to warm your tummy on a cold winter night. The next couple of these I find are going to be laid down for a couple of years to see if that's what can turn this promise of a delicious brew into an actual one. If it does, this is easily a beer that will score well into the 4s. The components are clearly there - they just need more time to come together.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 05:08:41 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, thick, brown-to-black coloring with a frothy, dense, light brown colored head that settles into a quarter inch layering. Pours thick. Aromas of roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of smoke, and a hint of old world fruit sweetness. Flavors are rich and bold, with a solid dose of bitter dark chocolate and a rich sweetness of raisins and dates. The coffee character is there, but it takes a backseat to this one. There is a touch of heat from the increased ABV, but it helps to enhance and balance the flavor profiles. Very smooth in mouth, with a transition to a clean, dry finish. Very well made brew. Roasted and slightly boozey aftertaste, with a mocha twist. This is a great beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 03:31:31 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of MCain04


3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BostonRyan for picking one of these guys up in the New England area for me. 22oz bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into a FFF Teku.

A: Near-black pour with a dark khaki head of 2+ fingers, great retention, decent lacing.

S: Chocolate and roasted malts, figs and dried fruit, hazelnut, a little caramel. Not overly aromatic though.

T: Similar to the nose, but subdued, and a strong sourdough bread-like taste. Some acidity tot he front of the taste. There is a sweetness and dark fruit taste. Aftertaste is of bready malts and leaves a cloying heaviness on the back of the palate.

M: High carbonation bite. Very thick but overly sticky. Smooth but not as smooth as I'd expect from a Baltic Porter's lagering.

O: Solid brew. I'm not an expert on the style, but I didn't find this as anything special. I'm glad to have tried it and enjoyed it, but the carbonation and acid taste take away from what should be a mellow experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 01:11:20 | More by MCain04
Photo of brureview


4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque chocolate color with a 3F head in a pint glass. Good lacing.

The initial temp was colder. The beer substantially improved with warming.

With the pour, the aroma was light fruit and vanilla. As the beer warmed, more vanilla in the nose.

The mouth feel was moderately carbonated.

Heavily complex taste: coffee and fruit are dominant. There is slight bitterness.
With warming, the complexity balances. More chocolate and lemon.

A complex beer needs balance to broaden its complexity. This beer achieves this balance. Smuttynose is an excellent brewer. I have never had a mediocre beer from the brewery. This is one of my favorite beers from the brewery. I may buy another bottle to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 00:02:43 | More by brureview
Photo of alexgash


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

22 oz. bottle. 9.8% abv.

Dark cola brown body. Traces of sediment? Big, rocky, thick, dirty khaki head. Great lacing. Nose is first and foremost fruity. Figs, grapes, and plums. Licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate syrup as well. Very nice.

Roasted malt and coffee bitterness up front. Dark fruits and milk chocolate sweetness fills up the palate. Cocoa nib bitterness and licorice mix in. Light notes of malted milk and caramel. Woody, herbal hop bitterness comes on toward the finish and mixes with the roasted coffee nicely. Very nice! Medium-full body with a smooth, creamy feel. One of the better Baltic porters I have had.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 01:43:12 | More by alexgash
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into crooked stave tulip. 2013 vintage.
Pours a deep black with tan head. Looks more like a barrel aged stout. Awesome barrel alcohol booze and roasted malt aroma...slight chocolate. Taste is very boozey bourbon barrel with roasted bitter and slight chocolate notes. I cant believe this hast been barrel aged. Its awesome. Well worth the sub $6 price tag.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 22:06:49 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of rdilauro


3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

After having so many stouts recently, tasting a porter was a treat. This one did not disappoint me. It pours just like a stout, dark, black dark with a semi-amber color head. The one difference is that in this pour, it came out faster and not as rich as some stouts.

I didnt detect any noticeable bouquets with this. If anything, I did pick up some slightly burnt wood, said in a good way

The initial sip was light and very enjoyable. It was so very clean and soft. A bit crisper than a stout but so very enjoyable.

The finish was clean just as the initial taste. So, from beginning to end, tis beer was so very nice start to end.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 05:46:13 | More by rdilauro
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle

A: Pours a near pitch black color with a 1/2" tan head that quickly goes to nothing

S: Lightly roasted malts, dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some caramel. Also get some very faint fruity esters from the yeast and alcohol. Fairly simple, but very nice

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, and coffee and moves towards the caramel and fruity undertones. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and a light sweetness

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Full, thick and chewy

O: Without a doubt, one of the best for the style. Didn't expect the full, rich mouthfeel and was delightfully surprised. This one is great right out the gate, and I can see this one aging beautifully. A must-try

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 03:25:50 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of champ103


4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan/brown head forms with good retention. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Roasted malt up front. Coffee, chocolate. Then some dark fruits. Cherries and plums in the nose. Finises with a bitter dark chocolate aroma.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Dark fruits are apparent in the middle with cherries and plums. Finishes with a more bitter bakers chocolate flavor.
M/D: A medium to full body. Good carbonation. Though, just slightly on the watery side. Easy and enjoyable to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable, and an easy sipper.

One of the few from the Big Beer Series that I actually enjoy. I love plenty of their regular offerings, but have found many from this series ho hum and bland. However, this is very good, and recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2013 04:41:19 | More by champ103
Photo of Scotchboy


4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottling generously extra'ed completely out of the blue, thanks so much dope! I've heard great things about this guy and am anxious to tick it, all by myself. Bomber hisses nicely, into my heavy Rock Island snifter...

A: Fairly dense and opaque body with slightest notes of transparent brown where the light pierces the stem of the glass...huge dark tan head fizzles away relatively quickly...not much head or lacing.

S: Big-time malty nose, very rich and even sweet...dark caramel and molasses, hints of raisins and dark cherries, milk chocolate, smoke, light coffee.

T: Complex and rich; sweet but balanced...dark chocolate malt is faintly roasty with an espresso coffee dryness...molasses and ghostly smoke...suggestion of dark fruits again, caramel...a sweet alcohol burn that isn't boozy...possibly tobacco? Faint leather as well...lots going on here.

MF: Full, creamy, viscous, dry, touch of alcohol bitterness, rich.

O: Really nice, a special beer if its firing on this many cylinders after 2+ years. Really glad I got to try this one. I've had this one and Uintas Sea Legs relatively recently, and while I think I like Sea Legs a bit more, Smuttynose's offering is quite obviously more robust than Unita's. A dynamite Baltic.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 01:56:11 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Rast


2.91/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bomber, paired with March Madness.

You can't see thru this. You can't. Opaque as the pants I wore to my wedding. Here's the kicker in tow: the head doesn't pretend to be white. Straight deep brown. Smell is what you'd expect from a porter: toffee, coffee, dark. Taste simply cannot be written home concerning. Tasty? Yes. Notable? Surely not. Mouthfeel just ain't porter. Carbon conquers cream. I won't admit this is a poor beer, but it doesn't hang with superior porters.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 04:28:06 | More by Rast
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours black with a big frothy 2 finger cola head. Clumps and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- maple syrup, roast, dark fruits, light coffee.

T- sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, coffee, faint smoke, some bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very easy drinking with light acidity.

O- very good porter. Nice roastiness with enough sweetness to balance it nicely.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 03:26:41 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of Trifecta1


4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First off, I have a huge crush on this beer. It is, no question, my favorite Baltic porter, maybe favorite porter flat-out. I always get at least 6 bottles while it's in season, and a store down the street sells them well into summer. Lucky me. Also, I grade by STYLE, not "beer enjoyment" in general.

A- Pitch black, milk chocolate bubbles streaming on the peripheries, milk chocolate colored head. Lacing could be a bit silkier, but that is the only flaw I can really see, and that's being picky.

S- Sweet malt and chocolate, coffee, not much roastiness on the nose. Raisins, sweet alcohol.

T- Homerun. Amazing. Caramel, sweet chocolate, slightly smoky, coffee, malt, slight alcohol burn/taste. Low bitterness. Extremely flavorful. Not too complex, but not too obvious. Enjoyable and refreshing despite the ABV.

M- Creamy and sticky, carbonation is on the higher side of perfect, but still great.

Overall, absolutely fantastic Baltic porter, and beer in general. I love this beer. The only other Baltic I've had that comes close to this is Sinebrychoff, and that's a tad hard to find around me. I'll also add that this beer is EXTREMELY cheap, just under 6 bucks for a bomber. If you see this or Sinebrychoff and want to know how some classic Baltics taste, you know what to do.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 01:39:14 | More by Trifecta1
Photo of M_C_Hampton


4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle (2012) into a pint glass, pours a very dark red brown close to black wiht a short brown head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted mailt, molasses

T: bittersweet chocolate, espresso, sweet malt, raisins, prunes

M: heavy, lots of viscosity, low carbonation heavy alcohol presence, lasting aftertaste

O: "Big Beer Series" is aptly named. The flavor is bold. The gravity is high. And the alcohol is loud. You need to be a fan of porters to enjoy this beer. It's all about sweet and charred malt flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 02:44:54 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown nearly black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades slowly over time to leave a great level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of dark fruits of raisin, cherry and prune with a roasted malt and chocolate aroma. Mixed with these stronger smells are notes of toffee and caramel as well as a warming alcohol smell. Quite delicious.

Taste – The taste begins heavy of toasted malt, chocolate, and a caramel sweetness. The caramel takes on more of a toffee like flavor more toward the middle along with some flavors of fig and raisin hitting the tongue. The sweeter flavors fade ever so slightly as some light coffee flavors and a bit of a boozy taste comes to the tongue. More bitter sweet chocolate comes to the tongue at the end along with a light smokiness leaving a nice darker and toasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer was thick and creamy with a lower to average level of carbonation. The thicker body was fantastic for all the dark roasted flavors of the brew really allowing all the subtle (as well as the not so subtle) darker flavors to linger and be detected by the tongue.

Overall – Quite a delicious brew. Medium sweetness with a thick body and a nice roasted flavor profile. A very nice cool weather sipping brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 01:36:39 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Bassbeer24

New York

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Guinness glass. 2012 batch.

Appearance: big 1.5 inch brown/tab head that dissipated slowly. Exactly what you'd expect from this style. Lacing was there but could have been more prominent. Really my only complaint on the appearance, and I'm nitpicking.

Smell: boozy at first, and is the most prominent smell. Really nice blend of coffee and roasted malt follows the booze and is very pleasant.

Taste: follows the nose, with booze up front, coffee in the middle and light caramel in the finish. Subtle roasted malt throughout.

Overall: typically I disregard smutty nose because I've had to many bad beers by them. This is just a really solid Baltic porter though. It's a little boozy but I have another bottle I'm aging until next winter where I expect an even better version if this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 21:52:46 | More by Bassbeer24
Photo of codysjb


4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Baltic Porter
2012 bottle aged for a year into a Cigar City sniffer
A: pours black/brown with a nice full head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is decent, nice ring but doesn’t hold long.
S: espresso and malt that smells like brown ale.
T: Wow over carbonation, some dark notes that fade into a pleasant malty background. Nut flavors throughout.
M: A full nut flavor with more carbonation.
O: interesting, not bad, but more like a brown ale than a Baltic porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 19:58:46 | More by codysjb
Photo of tkelley


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

2010 bottle. Blizzard of Feb 8 2013.

A - very very dark. Lighter brown tones at the edges. Tan head with good retention.

N - fruit smells are very forward. Roasted malts present as well.

T - really strong dark dry fruits. This one is a shipper for sure. I feel like there's some tobacco there too.

M - nice and chewy.

O very good. Good one to share or to have over the course of several hours.


Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 19:04:38 | More by tkelley
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz 2010 bottle.

Pours a thick, dark black with a dense mocha head that fades to a thick collar and wispy streaks of lace. Nose of caramel malt, licorice, baker's chocolate, pine, and brown sugar. Medium thick, moderate carbonation, full on palate with a sweet, sticky finish. Flavor is sweeter than expected, more chocolate, licorice, raisin, rich malt and only trace bitterness on backend finish. Also still has a little warming booze in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 02:09:42 | More by yourefragile
Photo of kagent777


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

22 oz bottle (2012) from a recent trip to Boston. I poured this beer into my perfect pint.

Appearance: As pitch black as a stout with a mocha head that was two fingers and settles slowly to a thick foam cap. Leaves a bit of lacing. Very inviting.

Smell: Roasted malts, molasses, char, licorice, a bit of coffee and cocoa also. I hope this is as tasty as it smells.

Taste: A touch of initial sweetness, then a wave of all the flavors in the smell. This is a big imperial porter with loads of flavor. Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, molasses sweetness and a bit of vanilla. A bit of dried dark fruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium with lower carbonation. The overall effect is that of a smooth soft body with loads of flavor. Easily coats the mouth.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer, and will seeks this one out again. A flavor bomb for about 6 bucks. I would love to live in the North east for the beer selection, unfortunately, I live in Utah.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 01:48:26 | More by kagent777
Photo of tut2528


4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle conditioned

A: pours jet black, with absolutely no transparency or any other colors even when held up to the light. It pours a massive 3 fingers worth of head formation that is tan in color and the lacing is ridiculously awesome. After 2 minutes of allowing the beer to sit in the glass, there is still 2 fingers worth of head. The head is extremely thick and foamy.

S: robust coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt are all very well balanced in this brew. I do pick up on some very mild dark fruits and just a slight touch of alcohol.

T: dark fruits make there presence known here. The coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt are all present again, but the dark fruit really make this one enjoyable. Big raisins and figs help balance out the bolder flavors and I get more sweet molasses and a cream finish. There is a mild hop note in there that makes it even more enjoyable.

M: perfect for this brew. Full bodied, chewy, leaves both an awesome sweet sugary taste on the tongue as well as a dark chocolate flavor.

O: this one is damn near perfect for me. this is my first offering by Smuttynose, and this one is very well done. The big foamy head that never seems to dissipate, the amazing balance of its components in both the nose and the taste is great, and the ABV is spot on for this brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 05:00:07 | More by tut2528
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 987 ratings.