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Smuttynose Baltic Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Baltic PorterSmuttynose Baltic Porter

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: 555 | Ratings: 1,343
Photo of BirdFlu
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has many of the characteristics of a robust porter or stout, but not the flavor or aroma to match. Pours like an imp stout, super dark and viscous with a dark brown head. Not too much aroma to pick out really, just a slight toasted presence which is barely detectable from the glass. Flavor also is quite lacking, just sort of your typical roasty stout character but very, very subdued. The mouth and body of the beer are that of a chewy imperial stout, super robust and viscous, but this also highlights how lacking the flavor is. Drinkability is questionable, its not a bad beer by any means, but as I said, it is quite thick and without even the richness of flavor to back it up. Not bad, but disappointing.

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Photo of ATPete
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

Fresh! Pours a very deep brown, borderline black in color with a small brown head. Sweet dark malts, no bitterness. Smokey in flavor with a slightly toasty malt character, subtle coffee and chocolate malt notes, more so tootsie rolls, but not ST Choklat extreme, some leafy bitterness late on the finish. Medium/full body, no alcohol heat, smooth as all hell. Amazing for the style, i will be purchasing at least 6 of these.

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Photo of rayjay
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Let's get this out of the way, it's not my favorite style but I love the brewery.

Average appearance. Plenty of the usual good signs, nothing of note.

I dig the aroma of dubbel-style esters, chocolate and carmel malt, and alcohol. Alcohol is there, and big, but not offensive or intimidating...interesting. Some higher alcohols which adds a sweet dark rum-like quality.

Sweet carmel malts leave a big mark on the palate, as do the chocolate malts. Big medicinal dried dark fruit esters like plums, cherries, and figs are very present. Also very present are the higher alcohols. I suspect a warm fermentation. No real heat from the alcohol though. Hops present a contrasting bitterness and I suspect are added at a higher than normal American rate, but still are only a contrast to the other bold flavors.

I love the mouthfeel, which is velvety and smooth with an oatmeal-like texture. Makes the whole thing come together.

Drinkability is good, since it's very delicious and complex at the same time. One of my favorites of the style so far. Cheers Smuttynose!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty darned black, with tan, tight bubbled 1 inch head. Lacing small bubbled and tight.

S - Subtle notes of coffee, chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Explosion of all the smell notes, with alcohol accenting the flavor.

M - Medium body, great carb and coating, terrific balance.

D - Too big and palate killing. Would still try. LOL.

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Photo of Buebie
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tprokop7 for this wonderful surprise!

Poured from a 2008 brown bomber into my Surly pub glass. As I cracked the cap open, instantly smelled sweet chocolate several feet away.
A light pour reveals a big and frothy 2.5" dark brown head. Settling after a couple minutes to a quarter inch head. The lace is thin, with a few misc drapes here and there. The color on the brew is black with no light penetration. The bottle itself has some interesting art work, that doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me, but looks nice non the less, with a good description of the side.

The aroma is quite good, woud have rated it exceptional had it not been a tad bit sweet.
Starting out with sweet creamy high quality chocolate aroma. Almost brownie like in its deserty sweetness.
Picking up a touch of charred oak, coffee and plenty of vanilla. A faint wiff of alcahol at the knose off a semi regerous swirl, only as it has warmed though.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation zing across the tounge. Some slickness after the swallow.

The taste is super dark bakers chocolate up front with just a touch of sweetness. All the sweetness at the knose is now no where to be found in the taste, very nice trick. I was afraid this would be overly sweet tasteing and it is not.
More toasted oak at the swallow with hop bittering coming around. Big chocolate grain flavors here, mingling with the bold and bitter hops. Finish is bitter and delicious. Still tasting chocolate, grains, hops and wood.

Outstanding baltic porter. It really resembles more of a lagered American Double then a lagered RIS. Mouthfeel is great for the style, but in a perfect world, a little less carbonation and maybe more thickness.
This is extremely drinkeable, as there is no alcahol coming in from the taste. Its smooth bitter and really delicious.
Excellent example of a Baltic Porter!

Thanks again Todd for the opportunity to try this one!

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Photo of shaebs99
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Realized that I haven't officially reviewed a smuttynose beer, which is a crime since Smutty is one of my favorite breweries. Grabbed this review from my old notes

Pours a deep black with a nice tan head that leaves some delicious looking lacing

Aroma is thick..dark fruits, roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate notes

Delicious taste. Just as dark and complex as the nose suggests. Some tart notes playing with the roasted malts and the sweetness from the malts as well. Well balanced with a good robust taste. I was drinking several baltic porters at this time and this one floored the others in taste

Full bodied with a good level of carbonation. Drinkability is maybe a touch higher than it should be, but that is because I am basing the drinkability on my desire to drink it again...as frequently as I can. I would gladly drink several bombers of this a night, but I am realistic and will restrain myself

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

Pours pitch black almost opaque with a beautiful one inch caramel colored head. Smells only of raisins and alcohol. First sip is bittersweet raisins with a ton of tobacco and burnt malty dark fruits. Bitter from start to finish. I have never had a beer with this much tobacco flavor.

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

I grabbed a few bottles of this last year but never got down to drinking any. This is the only bottle I saved for myself and at this point, it's close to a year old. Decanted into my 26oz snifter

A: Pours jet black with a dark brown head that's an inch thick. The head is pretty dense, and this beer is no slouch either. Head retention is good, with there being some patchy foam sticking to the side of my glass

S: Everything you could possibly want from a baltic porter. Rich chocolate, some raisins and plums, thick sweetness. There's some coffee in the back. Swirling releases some heady malted milk chocolate. Mild oxidation is present, this one smells pretty darned good.

T: Opens up plenty of rich malt complexity - bitter chocolate, coffee, raisins, dark fruit (exceptionally expressed). Great balance between the flavors, this one finishes bitter from the roasted malt with a great feel.

M: Medium body with carbonation that's a bit high. Excellent finish

D: Drinking a bomber of this is pretty enjoyable. Ultimately, I find the sweetness a bit much but that's just my beef with the style rather than this beer itself.

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Photo of scootny
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An almost jet black brown with a huge head brown head and scads of sticky lacing all over, and all the way down the glass. Very good retention and covering. There may be bubbles but there is no way to see.

Smell is sweet breadiness like a bakery on Saturday morning. A touch of coffee and firm roasted dark grains.

Taste is just perfect. Thick coffee and smooth malts. A molasses and chocolate interplay. A firm but unobtrusive bitterness and delicious balance. A light tanginess. Some nice dark fruitiness. Not an overly complex brew, but for me porter is a more straight ahead style. Like smashmouth football. Just bring the right flavors to the glass and play. The beauty is in the interplay and balance of the components and I can find no better. Alcohol just peeks around the corner from time to time but is very well hidden. Finish is mild and clean. More coffee lingers and coats the mouth, sweet dark grains support it.

Mouthfeel dry, clean, and quenching. Medium in weight and velvety in carbonation there is a light effervescence at the top of thee mouth.

Not a session beer but it could fool you into thinking that. It is that smooth and easy drinking. What high abv?

Just a great Baltic Porter. The best I've had so far.

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Photo of tburkhart
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade.

Pours black as night. Caramel head disappears very quickly.

Smells of toffee and caramel. Very enjoyable.

Taste has a subtle roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth.

A very drinkable beer from Smuttynose. This was one of my first experiences with them and look forward to trying some more.

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

Dark brown-black color with a small tan head that remains throughout. Aroma is of dark roasted malts with some elements of licorice and chocolate.

Taste is as described on the bottle-very robust and rich dark roasted malt up front. There is a slight fruity aspect like berries and it finishes sweet. A little syruppy on the mouthfeel but nothing that detracts in any significant way. Definitely improves as it warms and breathes and is perfect for a cold winter night.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/22/08. Bottle. Pours a dark black with a beautiful dark tan head that persists until the very end of the glass. Aroma of coffee and roast. Flavor of coffee, roast, chocolate, slight raisin as the beer warms. This is a thick, rich beer, very reminiscent of an imperial stout. Very creamy. Excellent. 7/5/7/4/16 (3.9/5)

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Photo of tugdriver7
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one really looked great in the glass. Rich black to brown with a brown/tan foamy head that disappeared fairly quickly. Smell of chocolate, smoke, and raisins in the nose and the initial taste is both rich roasted malt and a somewhat bitter nutty taste that balances the very dark roast in the nose and ends with a sudden burst of smoke (like a campfire) in the mouth and nose. Very different, complex and definitely one of those you want to savor and sip. Tasted great, no matter the temperature (of the beer). The unique lager process was obvious in the smoothness of the beer, but the smoke taste was, after half a glass, a bit much. Enjoyable, but not as drinkable as I would have liked. The alcohol wasn't noticeable with the slower pace I was drinking, but I noticed after 30 minutes or so.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appears pitch black except for some very slight reddish highlights on the bottom of the glass when held up to the light. One inch creamy tan head sinks to a skim that holds up pretty well but it leaves no lacing.

Aroma is very chocolatey, with a lots of raisin and dark fruit, and a hefty amount of coffee as a backbone.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate at the forefront that blends with some raisin and brown sugar towards the middle. A toffee sweetness comes in right afterwards but is quickly overtaken by coffee-like roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and quite chewy and smooth.

This is a great example of an American Baltic Porter. I certainly enjoy Okocim, Zywiec, and Baltika but this is not that similar. Very good stuff.

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Photo of bbothen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What better way to celebrate US election 2008 than with a big ass baltic porter? I had to break US shipping laws to get this beer. That makes me a proud American.

Pours a dark brown, almost black coffee color with a small & bubbly 1 finger deep head. Head quickly dissipates into a ring of tiny bubblesa round glass. Little to no lacing or webbing.

Smells of alcohol soaked plums, over ripe fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee, light toasted/roasted aromas. Not as strong as I'd hoped, but nice.

Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit fruitiness(!), toasted malts, raisin, sweet molasses like malts, smokiness, tobacco, black licorice, bitter finish. Unsure if it's bitter toasted malts or hops. But...this beer....tastes delicous. Bravo.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth, creamy, full, spot on carbonation, lingering bitter finish. Yeah.

A 22oz bottle was a quite a bit. Especially if you plan on topping your night off. Wish they had this in 12 oz offerings. ut a bomber is cool to share with friends & talk about the experience.

A fantastic beer. I'm really enjoying the big beer series from Smuttynose. Kudos. Distribute to California. Now. Thanks. Go vote.

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

Deep, deep black, small, but roasted tan head. Starts big, then slims.

Nice and even nose, medium strength roastiness, bit of burnt coffee. Rather muted.

Taste: Smooth...yum. Bitter malt, becomes a bit too bitter from sip to sip. More bitter, less sweet. That can be great sometimes, but I'm getting turned off a little. Coffee tones on top, chocolate malt below. Can it be chocolate malt if it's brewed as a lager?
(Somehow, I suspected as much tasting, and checked the label for confirmation.)

I can't tell you exactly why I don't love this. Is it too hoppy? Too bitter? That's normally not a problem.
Very smooth, but not perfectly so. Then again, I like some character here and there, even if means a flaw in flavor or something. So what am I saying? Hmmm...well...

Hey, here comes the dark fruit, a bit of raisin and plum. I'm liking it more...not so bad, all of a sudden.

This is starting to remind me of some favorite Baltic Porters of mine. (Though it still tastes too much like ashtray.)

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

Dark brown color, but appears black in the glass. Very large, frothy and well developed dark tan head. Vibrant nose, but lacks a bit of depth. Still has some pleasant notes of chocolate covered raisins. Flavor is very complex with notes of chocolate, pit fruit, toffee and a touch of coffee. Very nice finish as well on this bad boy.

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Photo of joe1510
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

2008 Bottling

This was yet another beer I was anxious to try that hoppymeal sent me, thanks Derek! Smutty's Baltic Porter is black as night. The body is so dark it won't allow one single ray of light through the blackness. Two fingers of large bubbled head, that's so dark brown it has a purple tinge to it, grow easily on the soft pour. The rich looking head fades quickly to a skim coat barely thick enough to cover the body with a ring that's bigger but not by much. Small splashes of lacing are left here and there.

This big Baltic Porter is all around rich and decadent. High cocoa content dark chocolate shavings coat slightly under ripe blackberries and create the backbone of this beer. Everything else just adds some complexity. There's some coffee ground bitterness brought about from the roasted malts floating through here and there while figs and a quick note of alcohol rise from the glass. The clean alcohol adds to the aroma. This is a beer I could sit and sniff at all night.

Everything in the aroma of this beer jumps out in the flavor. The chocolate is so dark and rich it borders on bitter when combined with the mild coffee grounds. The berries are just like the nose suggested with an under ripe peppery bite that pops mid-palate. The chocolate and roasty malts are concentrated enough to last throughout the entire drink. Clean, spicy, and drying alcohol brings up the rear in a very nice way. Smuttynose makes one hell of a Baltic Porter!

The mouthfeel fits the beer well but could use a little more silkiness or density. The roasted malts leave a mild coating of bitterness after the moderately heavy (or is it heavily moderate) body works its way across the tongue. The carbonation is lively enough to keep things moving but mellow enough to not to stay out of the way.

The drinkability is surprisingly good when taking into consideration the deep rich flavors. This is a beer to be sipped and savored; it just continues to open up.

This is an excellent Baltic Porter and may be my favorite from the Big Beer Series with the Imperial Stout giving it a run for its money. This could be my new favorite domestic Baltic Porter. Thanks for another great beer Derek!

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

Thanks to ncvbc for this growler.

A: The beer is dark, a robust black color that allows nothing to emerge from its murkiness. The first pour generated a tanned-leather color head that was slow to dissolve.

S: The nose is great, thick and bready with an aroma that matches up against the best of the authentic Russian imperial stouts. This is how I imagine an imperial-era Baltic Porter smells.

T: The beer features lots of dark flavors, including chocolate, coffee, licorice and refined molasses. The flavors are big, strong with a nice kick of booze behind them. Bready grains, dark and chewy, keep everything grounded together. The ale has a surprising hoppiness as well, throwing off a big bite that cuts through the malts.

M: The mouthfeel alternates between the dark malts and lively hops. The strength is evident but rarely overwhelming.

D: The booze is present but doesn't plod into the taste. The parallels between this beer and Russian imperial stouts are amazing. If I didn't know better (based on the label), I'd've rated this as an impy.

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

22 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo a while ago, split it with grub, that man loves some porter.

Pours a clear dark brown, some red in the edges, thick tan head forms and drops some lace spots, settles to a thin ring, looks quite nice. Smell is good, sweet and caramelized, nuts, roast, toast, chocolate, very clean aroma, almost like chocolate milk, lots of dark fruit, alcohol is hidden. Taste is nice, toasty, lots of fruit, raisins, chocolate milk, caramel, cherries, brown sugar, very nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is totally hidden and this is some smooth stuff. Smuttynose puts out some great stuff at more than fair prices, I need to grab some more next time I'm in NY.

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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 bruachan
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

blacker 'n black. nice brown head

dark, husky malt aromas with a coffee suggestion

creamy mouthfeel, which is nice, though this baltic porter is a little low on the flavor quotient. tasty, yes: molasses, toastiness, but ultimately it's no flavor bomb like some of its bretheren are. definitely fermented with a lager yeast, which has made for a fairly smooth though hefty brewha

fairly bitter, this one, actually. no sign of smokiness, but plenty of caramelized 'ose

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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 BeerBelcher
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad, but also not necessarily "big," although I guess there's no arguing with 8.7%. Pours black, but a bit thin. Head is medium sized, with medium staying power. Aroma is a bit mercaptan-like, with some cotton candy, sweet vineous, and some grainy aroma. Flavor is dry and roasty with some sweetness. Flavor is predominantly dry and roasty, with some chocolate notes. Flavor really lingers in your mouth; the dryness is very persistent. Mouthfeel is a weird - a bit thin and sticky at the same time, which seems contradictory but is true.

Still, not bad, I'd recommend it. I found this pretty enjoyable. I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

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Photo of jmalex
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose can certainly make a nice porter. Their Robust Porter is one of my refrigerator staples. But can they translate that success to a Baltic Porter version?

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker black in color with a small, loose-bubbled, tan head. It immediately drops to a thin collar with a small patch of foam.

SMELL: Rich chocolate and caramel combined with ripe plums and licorice combined with a little breadiness and nutty flavor and all topped off with a decent alcohol heat. Quite nice.

TASTE: Slightly sweeter than some of the eastern European versions, but other than that, this is spot on. The flavors mirror the nose but with a toned-down alcohol flavor that only gives it a tiny bite.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is nice and thick. But a very low carbonation makes this beer feel a tiny bit slick and syrupy. A minor nitpick however.

DRINKABILITY: Drinkability is very good, even on a hot summer day. The 8.7% ABV actually seems a little low, which only helps.

Impressive. This is definitely on the short list of authentic-tasting American-brewed Baltic Porters. I'd have this again for sure.

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Smuttynose Baltic Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.