Smuttynose Baltic Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Baltic PorterSmuttynose Baltic Porter

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1,173 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,173
Reviews: 521
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 212
Gots: 150 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.24% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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%
2015 - 9.0%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,173 | Reviews: 521
Photo of Hokies
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a nice 2inch tan head that dissolves quickly into a light lacing on the beer. Tremendous smell of mocha, dark chocolate and coffee. The taste is very rich with notes of dark chocolate and raisin. Their is also a taste of coffee and espresso lurking in the beer that finishes with some excellent sweetness of dark chocolate. The beer is smooth with a light creaminess and low carbonation which adds to a nice mouthfeel. This is a nice beer that goes down a little to easily.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2008, per the label.

Really? Maybe I'm missing something. I found this to be a decent and interesting beer, but not a great baltic porter. It reminded me more of a hoppy Russian Imperial Stout like Old Rasputin instead of Okocim Porter.

It's pitch black in my glass with a tan head that quickly fades. The aroma is of graham cracker and chocolate with dark fruits like blackberry in the background - much like an imperial stout. The flavor is dominated by a sharp roasted barley note (again, stout-like) with black coffee and bitter chocolate elements to it. There is the same dark fruit esters lurking, though there are also sweeter tastes, like dates.

This is also a fairly hoppy baltic porter. The taste of the citrus hops is mostly buried under the malts, but they're there. It makes an unfortunate pairing with the dry, vodka-like alcohol bite that this beer finishes with. Maybe this beer needs more time to age, but right now it's tasty, yet doesn't feel like it's a pleasure to drink.

No matter what happen to this brew, I don't think this will taste much like the classic baltic porters that taste more like a mixture of fine red wine and chocolate. Give it some time, I suppose, and enjoy what might be more accurately called a baltic stout. Prost.

Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
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

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint
(Thanks to JoeJoe2161)

Pours a viscous midnight black with a two+ finger brown head that had moderate staying power with little to no lacing.

I can smell roasted chocolate malt, espresso, licorce, dark fruit and booze from across the room. The nose on this guy really jumps out of the glass, very pungent.

Wow, what a well-balanced porter. More deep than broad. Bittersweet dark chocolate, espresso, dark fruit with a small amount of alcohol that rounds out the palate.

Rich and creamy, very smooth.

This was a breeze. A great example of the style.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with slight ruby highlights and a thin tan bubbly head that disappears to a ring of lace.

S - Roasted malt, prunes, figs, rum soaked raisins, caramel, roasted nuts and a hint of smoke.

T - Roasted malt, nutty, a bit of earthy smoke, hints of alcohol and raisins.

M - Medium to full body with prickly carbonation at first that lightens as it warms. A little more carbonation than other Baltic Porters I have had.

D - A nice Baltic Porter that is very true to style.

Photo of JayQue
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first Baltic Porter and if this beer is true to style, I can't tell much difference between this one and a good RIS. Pours a dense black with no light getting through with a big dark tan head and good ladder like lacing. Aroma is of malts and dark fruit.

Taste has a smoky element like most porters, but the rest of the experience is more like Expedition Stout or 10 Fidy. Rich taste - dark fruit, malts, coffee bitterness and bitter chocolate. This beer has it all. At 8.7 abv, you can drink the whole big bottle by yourself.

Mouthfeel is smooth and incredibly rich. Drinkability is very good. I could sip this beer all night.

Excellent. If I see another one out there, I would grab it.

Photo of RomanW70
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of toffee, chocolate, caramel, and roast. Taste of chocolate, toffee, and dark fruit. Has a bitter, but not overwhelming coffee finish. Velvety mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Another winner from Smuttynose. Excellent beer

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a nice beer off the pour, nearly opaque brown with a one and a half finger head. As I poured, I noted that it was clear, free of haze.

Aroma was of darker malts, some dark fruits (mostly raisins), and a hint of roasted character. Well in keeping with a Baltic porter, thought I.

The darker malts came through foremost in the taste as well. However, I did notice a bit of alcohol presence, and it was a trifle medicinal. Not a pleasant combination, but minor.

Mouthfeel was good, not as overtly chewy as a full stout should be, somewhat silky and nice.

Drinkability waas only OK. I may not have served it quite as cool as it should have been, but it was still at about 60 degrees F, which is my cellar temperature throughout the summer.

Photo of gford217
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber courtesy of wolfsblood poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with mahogany edges when held up to light. The mocha head is one inch thick and dense, lingers a while and leaves sporadic lacing throughout.

S: Big smell of roasted coffee and malts up front. Dark chocolate aroma as well with some dark fruits, but it's the sweet malts that steal the show.

T: Roasted coffee and sweet malts also dominate the taste with a sweet molasses and dark fruit flavor as well. I also got some very subtle smoky tones as well. Very well balanced.

M: This is one smooth beer with little carbonation and a nice palate coating mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the better baltic porters I have tasted and I would seek this one out. Highly recommended!

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

I got this bottle from nutbrown in a trade. Thanks Alan!

Cool looking label and I'm stoked to try another Baltic Porter. My experience to the style is very limited...

Itg pours a pitch black with a 2 finger head of tan foam. Good lacing and very good head retention.

Dark fruit dominates the nose for me but I also get notes of smoke and roasted malt.

The taste...Roasted malt is nicely done here followed by notes of coffee, caramel, and dark fruit. The flavours are really big but I'm surprised how smooth the overall drinking experience is. Mind you, the abv is right up there where it belongs for the style but I still find it quite drinkable as the alcohol shows itself as just some warming after the swallow. It's pretty close to being full bodies and the carbonation, I'd say, is about medium. The finish has a nice bitter coffee finish that lasts for quite a while. I like sipping on this one and it will probably take me a while to finish the bottle. Not a negative comment regarding its drinkability, more of a I don't want to see the end of the contents of the bottle. That's always a good thing. ;^) I think Smuttynose did one hell of a job here.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of jim102864
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with no carbonation whatsoever and nothing more than a thin pond scum head. Nose was strong black licorice anise. Taste reflects the nose; anise like black licorice; a very fat f-ing brew in the nose. Ditto for the mouthfeel. 'Nuff said. This is not a very drinkable brew. I much prefer it on tap since the nose and body are fuller and smoother than what comes out in a bomber. It's a good but not great interpreation of the style.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beauty in the glass, with a mocha-brown head that looks more like a Russian Imperial Stout and body color blacker than the abyss. Not a whole lot of lace, but so what, this thing's blacks and tans are remarkable.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee, a little bit of berry, masked too much by a cold mineral hardness and ink/soy sauce. Hits a wall, but still smells nice enough that you expect something big in the flavor.

And you get it. Key here is letting it warm to just the right temperature, where its huge toffee/caramel notes come out and mingle evenly with coffee, malted milk, chocolate chip and succulent plum. At that point the mouthfeel is just about right too...has the smoother, less heavy vibe of a lager, the opposite of what would be laying you out flat about now were it a Russian Imp. stout. RIS again? Yeah, this Baltic Porter mirrors that other celebrated style in many ways. Just not as thick and gooey, but this is the most RIS-ish Baltic Porter I've had.

Big flavor and big alcohol, but it drinks incredibly well. Luxuriously smooth and a total pleasure. Try to give it time and warming. My first one was merely OK--this time it's hitting all the right spots, the way most other Smuttynose stuff does, and certainly right in line with the high quality of the other beers in the Big Beer series. Seek it out.

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

A-Crude black color with a chocolate milk colored head. Slight rings of lace, but a nicely settled film clings to the outside of the glass.

S-Deep dark pitted fruits and tobacco. Roasted edges are balanced with chocolate and a slight touch of oak.

T-Cold, this beer presents a heavy dose of roasted malts and a bittersweet chocolate finish. As it warms, the maltiness and lager yeast lead to smoother, fruitier taste. Hops shine a bit bright in the end.

M-Deep layers of flavors blanket the mouth. The hops come in a bit too strong, but I am sure this would cease wonderfully with age. Nice carbonation leads to a dry finish.

D-I am starting to love Baltic Porters and wish that more craft brewers were taking on the style. Baltics are a wonderful relaxation sipping beer and this one hits it spot on for the most part. Add in some brandy barrel aging and this one would be phenomenal.

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

Purchased at Vidalia's. Pours black with a thick head. Head settles into a nice lacing. Smell and taste is all roasted malt. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the 8.5% is well hidden so this is very drinkable. This is a very good beer & recommended.


Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to NJpadreFan for this brew. He always sends great extras!

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint. '08

A: Pours pitch black with a good 1 1/2 finger dark khaki head that has decent retention. Some blanketing lace to start and wisps to follow.

S: Man I love the way BP's smell. This one is slightly on the subtle side but spot on. Big juicy dark fruits, grapes and raisins. I pleasant mocha aroma that's not big and bold. Sweet caramel and light molasses malts.

T/M: The coffee side of the mocha is much more pronounced in the taste.. and I've had this bottle for at least 2 months. Big bold porter flavors in that great 'light stout' kinda feel. More of the dark fruits, that are slightly under sweetened. Sweetness comes more from the molasses and syrupy cola. Body nearly full but not heavy.. very important to me. Carbonation gives just enough to make it smooth and creamy.

D: Very tasty, easy drinking... quickly becoming one of my favorite styles. This is a pretty good take on it.

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

A: Black with chestnut highlights, tan head, some retention, nice lace/leg.

S: Big malty aroma (dark chocolate, black strap molasses, dark bread, dark fruit, coffee), plenty of alcohol & a light spicing with a hint of smokiness.

T: Dark, bittersweet chocolate; sherry/port; dark rye bread; light smoky & woody spicing; black strap molasses; nuts; hint of licorice; good bitterness; warming alcohol becomes somewhat assertive as it warms to room temperature. I absolutely love the flavour, but it's lacking that slightly sour acidity of the style. The alcohol would probably mellow with a little age.

M: Awesome, thick body is creamy; some acidity; alcohol leaves a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable for its weight.

One hell of a brew!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a dark tan head that slowly fades into a small cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with raisins, vanilla, roasted nuts, cocoa, and mild smoke.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, sweet up front, with bitter cocoa, ripe fruit, and toasted nuts lingering.

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

Thanks to calsbeek for this bottle. Bottled in 2008.

a - pours nearly black with one-inch brown head, retention around the edges, decent lacing

s - deep roasted malt and iced coffee on the nose, hints of dark bitter chocolate and dark fruit, light booze notes

t - much like the aroma, intense roasted malt up front, midpalate has some dark chocolate covered fruits, maybe blueberries, finish is fairly bitter with iced coffee and bitter chocolate, alcohol is noticeable on the breath, but not overwhelming

m - ample carbonation, medium-to-full bodied, pretty dry on the finish, alcohol warming

d - the finish is dry but it doesn't really destroy the palate, I'll call it moderately drinkable, you can definitely tell the alcohol is there, though I had no problem finishing this bomber

Very good baltic of the better ones I've had. A fine offering from Smuttynose...well worth seeking out.

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

A - One finger, thick coffee head that's more a shower than grower, dissipates after 30 seconds leaving no lacing but islands of carbonation on its watery, tar black body. Wisps of carbonation on bottom and near top, ala Pepsi. Would have liked some lacing, or a steadier head, it was impressive before it ran off.

S - Dark chocolate malts, followed by the head's coffee aroma, with the faintest sting of bitter hops in the end.

T - No surprises here; which is a good thing. Loads of intermingling chocolate and coffee flavors, I think even a bit of toffee or butterscotch somewhere in the middle, riding high and out on bitter, floral hops. The hops mask the somewhat noticeable alcohol presence nicely.

M - Thick, creamy body buttressed by alcohol tang and carbonation, like a Crunch bar.

D - Warming my stomach as I write this, and I've only had a few sips. Definitely a bottle to work on in a recliner over a rental, or, as if you're like me, Saturday Night Live.

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

Um, weird picture. Pours a rich black with red hues throughout and decent clarity. A frothy, off beige color head that has great retention and lacing lasting through the whole tasting.

The nose has a mostly malty backing with some lighter astringent notes. Mostly dark chocolate and coffee aromas, but some lighter roast. Some bread and lactic notes as well, but soft. Nice esters that come out as it warms. Plums and raisins mostly. Some solvent notes but nothing over the top.

The taste is similar. More of a latte flavor with dark chocolate and coffee notes mostly. A rich and robust flavor but still smooth. Some astringency, maybe a bit much for style, but that is nit picking. Some wood almost oaky flavors come out as well. Phenols come out stronger with raisins and prunes again. A bigger alcohol flavor comes out more as well.

The body is big with a robust texture. Light carbonation feel. Overall an enjoyable beer that should age very nicely.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz., bottle conditioned in 2008 and brewed with lager yeast. The beer pours quite black, topped with a three finger chocolatey brown head of medium froth that reduces to a small cap and leaves a few wisps of lace. It sits in the glass with a regal air, giving the impression of an imperial stout. In the nose there is a lager cleanliness, with lots of dark malts, a dash of leafy hops and some late anise. On the palate, there's a big blast of chocolate, roasted and black malts that lend an espresso astringency, along with some leafy/floral and oily hops that impart a mild bitterness. Eventually dark chocolate-covered raisins emerge, riding the warming (never hot) alcohol all the way down. On the palate it almost feels too thick to be a lager, silky smooth, with fine carbonation - again, reminiscent of an imperial stout. A great lager, and one of the meatiest I have ever come across; it starts very malty, but the hops gradually emerge. The flavor is so close to a five, but it falls just a tad near the end. Regardless, one sip just begs for another and this is definitely a beer to seek out.

Photo of 3leggeddub
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, near black with chestnut tones. Inch-and-a-half tan head that drops to a thin covering. Not much lacing.

Smell: Dark dried fruit, raisins, and coffee. Roasted malt. Molasses.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side, but still smooth. Covers the palate nicely. Balanced and rich body.

Taste: There's malt and dried fruit (prune & raisin especially) sweetness up front, but it's tempered with a roast coffee bitterness at the edges and a bit of alcohol spice. It winds up with a pleasantly dry finish that helps keep all the sweetness from getting ahead of anything else.

Drinkability: Potent, but highly enjoyable. Probably the best porter I've had.

Overall: The Baltic Porter is a great offering from Smuttynose. Rich and complex, but amazingly drinkable. Dangerously so at 8.7% ABV. The downside is this was a limited release so if you weren't able to score any of the bombers out there on the market you are out of luck. Unless maybe you can find a willing BA trader. If you are lucky enough to stumble across it in a store or if you are even luckier and find it on tap this is a must have.

Photo of Iceman77
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This baltic porter pours thick and syrupy, deep black with a thin, medium brown head, the color of coffee with 1 cream. The first aroma I got was malty along with hints of molasses/raisins. The flavor is heavy on the malts, in a good way. There were also tastes of coffee and cocoa mixed in. You taste this and know it's a baltic. The mouthfeel was suprisingly sharp for a porter at first, but mellowed a bit throughout the glass. Although it was a nice feeling, that along with the abv kind of rule this out for a session beer, but delicious to have one or two. Great offering from the Smutty big beer series.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,173 ratings.