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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1,037 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,037
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 200
Gots: 116 | FT: 10
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: 1,037 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a thick dark pitch black with a inch of mocha head. Looks solid.

S - Smells of chocolate a bit of coffee and some alcohol which clashes well with the sent of roasted malt.

T - Wow that's pretty good. Tastes of slight coffee, then a bit of hops, with a chocolate finish. Very balanced and full.

M - A medium to heavy body. Good.

D - Well overall I would say its the best porter I ever had! And very affordable for 6 dollars a bottle. In a way my review is kind of construed due to the fact I had an Old Rasputin before sampling!

Photo of argock
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. Bottled in 2010 notched on label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Smoky black-brown with slight ruby edges and tall brownie batter 2-3 finger head with good retention and lacing.

S: Dark fruitiness hits first but is quickly followed by coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate and finished with earthy, tobacco hops. I wish the aroma had more power though.

T: The flavor is good but misses also on the oomph scale. Coffee bitterness is most pronounced, but the dark chocolate bittersweet qualities creep in and provide a solid counterpoint to the figgy fruitiness. Hops are not as pungent as the Smuttynose Robust Porter (not that they should be) but they do provide a nice dose of tobacco and herbal tastiness.

M: Creamy and solid coating feel with relatively low carbonation, although in accordance with style.

D: A very nice baltic porter which is a nice winter sipper, but it could use a more powerful presence of roast in the aroma and flavor. Still, solid all the way around like Smuttynose offerings always are.

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

2010 bottle care of wishuwerebeer, thanks Bryan!

Poured into a shaped pint glass, this brew appears black in color with hardly any light shining through. What does break through appears as a clear brown color around the edges. A finger of creamy brown head holds strong across the top and reforms to a finger's strength with each swirl.

The smell of dark roasted malts is dominant in this brew with subtle suggestions of coffee, chocolate, citrus hops and yeast. Alcohol is fairly evident with some fruity esters that increase with prominence as it warms.

The taste is bitter heavily kilned barley that imparts a burnt, enjoyable flavor inside the mouth coupled with herbal, earthy hops. Other flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate, citrus hops and alcohol warms the back of the throat. All through the profile of this beer are fruity estery alcohol notes that are quite enjoyable when paired with the citrus hops.

Medium to full feel with a modest level of carbonation. This brew is quite drinkable. It coats the inside of the mouth with a burnt layering of grains. As fitting as the label states, this is a bold brew with the abv right out in the open.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle, from November 2010. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, caramel and dark fruit. I think the brew tastes just like the aroma, but with the roasted malt, dark fruit and coffee flavors being the strongest. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and rich with moderate carbonation. The drinkability is amazing, it's very smooth and goes down quite easy. The 9% ABV isn't noticable at all in the aroma or taste, which also helps make this beer easy to drink. I think this is a fine Baltic Porter, and a great overall brew too. Definitely recommended, and a great deal at $5.99 a bottle.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baltic Porter pours like a big Imperial stout in appearance, dark as midnight body with a gargantuan creamy chocolate brown head, slow to fall leaving big drippy gobs of lacing.

The aroma has a little heat from alcochol, with dark toasted malts which smell of coffee and dark chocolate.

The flavor has nice dark roasted notes of espresso and bittersweet chocolate nicely mixed with a touch of alcohol flavor. Nicely balanced hop bitterness balances the big dark malts with a touch of drying on the finish from the nicely integrated alcohol. Warming blends all the flavors including the alcohol in a pleasant manner.

The mouhtfeel is firm and creamy, and very smooth, with a perfect level of carbonation, just enough to liven the mouthfeel.

If you like big dark chocolatey stouts with noted of coffee you will like this Baltic Porter from Smuttynose. Very nice!

Photo of Fatehunter
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet. Quite dark, half inch of tan head. Looks beautiful.

S - Just holding my nose over it I get some caramel, once I breath in it is roasted malt and cocoa.

T - Noticeable alcohol taste. Malty all over. Roasted and a bit of burned malt taste.

M - Oh wow. Smooth and creamy with almost no carbonation at first and then just a light amount at the end.

D - Practically perfect. A great balance of flavor and BIG BEERness to make this a fireside sipper or a more regular drink.

Photo of 05Harley
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled in November, 2010

Purchased at Somersworth Village Market, NH

Price - $11.98/bomber

Appearance: Another looker, so damn good. Pours midnight black with a 2 finger creamy chocolate head that unfortunately doesn't stick around long. Lacing tries to cling to the side of the glass but falls short due to the oily nature. Looks thick and viscous.

Smell: Dark fruit - raisins, dates with a hint of coffee. A little lite on the aroma but still a step above average.

Taste: Dark fruits, bitter chocolate, caramel and coffee. A pleasent bite of alcohol follows in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, thick and chewy almost stout like. A perfect blend of bitterness and sweet malt. Quite pleasent leaving the tongue begging for more.

Drinkability: Yep, without question this ones smooth and dangerously drinkable at 9.0%(2010 version). One on top of the other in one sitting is not a problem. By far my favorite offering from Smuttynose. Well done guy's.

Photo of mntlover
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black red around edges when held to light. Nice big fluffy coco head that fals slow and laces well.

Aroma is nice big rich roasted malts nice chocolate notes light coffee underneath. Good dose of dark fruits some lingering smoke/peat notes and some hops pine maybe.

Taste is rich roasted malt creamy smooth chocolate notes dominating with some light coffee sneaking in underneath. Finish is lingering roast light coffee hints of liquorice not much fruit in the flavor as the nose? or might just be me.

Mouthfeel is wonderful creamy smooth and pretty full, carbonation level is perfect for this brew.

Drinkability is great wonderful favorable hell even affordable what more could you want. Don't know if I was just in the mood for this but finding it excellent.

Photo of socon67
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

A- Pours jet balck with a mocha colored foam.
S- chocolate, malt, caramel, and coffee. All the goodies you want in a porter. Really top notch.
T - Very rich tasting. Sweet notes early on and then a malty finish. Quite enjoyable, and one of the better porters I've had.
M - Smooth for the style, but it is a porter so there is plenty of substance to this.
D - Very tasty and will have a second. But the style leads to not having too many.

Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at the excellent Crane Alley in Urbana, IL.

Two dense fingers of dark mocha froth top a burly black body; good duration and decent lacing. Rich malty aromas--plenty of dark chocolate, caramel, roasted coffee, and a hint of berry.

The taste is spot-on; delicious! Heavy on the chocolate, but plenty of coffee and some toffee, too. Smooth and creamy, but with some molasses stickiness. Given the full, complex flavor base and pleasant mouthfeel, this almost has the taste and feel of an imperial stout. This is one tremendous porter, eminently drinkable and satisfying.

This is the first Smuttynose beer I've ever had and, after this gem, surely won't be the last. I am thankful that The Crane Alley had a Smuttynose tasting recently, for they have several more of their wares for me to sample. This was a tremendous introduction, and a tough one for Smuttynose to match.

Nothing short of outstanding.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Baltic Porter poured black hole black with a tan head that fades quickly leaving some pretty impressive lacing. It's a really nice looking beer. It would catch your eye if a waitress was carrying one on a tray. You might have to ask what it is.

Smells of roasted malts, sweet fruit and perhaps some licorice. Not the most aromatic beer I've had. The taste is big, though. Immediately reminds me of bittersweet espresso. The malts really lead the way. I've been trying a few new porters lately and this ale is much bigger with more bite than any of the others. Definitely not too sweet or smooth. It has that roughness and bite I've been looking for in a porter. This is the real McCoy! There's enough alcohol to bring out the flavor and maybe add some spice, but it's generally not detectable. There's some spice and bitterness on the finish that begs another sip. This should be a sipper, but I find myself gulping about as often as I'm sipping. It will warm you up a bit too.

The mouthfeel is very good; it's not too full and not one bit watery. Low carbonation is appropriate. You really know you're drinking something here. That's what I want in a porter. It doesn't coat your mouth in velvety smooth chocolate like Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter.

It's quite drinkable for such a big beer. I'm downing the 22oz. bomber all by my little ol' self with no trouble what so ever. I don't have another, but two would probably be too much for me. This is a great beer for the end of the evening on a cold winter's night with my pipe clenched between my teeth.

Photo of rka758
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into SA pefect pint
Bottle conditioned in 2010

A: Pured a deep brown with a thick tan colored head. Leaving a nice lacing.
S: Deep notes of dark chocolate with a coffee background.
T: Dark fruit. Chocolate. Coffee.
M: Thick and creamy.
D: This a little heavy on the dark fruit taste for me, but an enjoyable beer nonetheless. I will be sure to grab this next year as well.

Photo of PDXHops
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Near black espresso body with little in the way of highlights. The tan head is a touch on the fizzy side and doesn't leave a ton of lacing.

Things rapidly improve, though. Quite a noseful of bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits, sherry and very strong coffee. Tastes just as complex as it smells. Plentiful dark fruit and tanginess, roast and chocolate in no short supply. Some gentle sweetness, something along the lines of freshly cooked caramel or a creme brulee. After a brief prickly moment of carbonation, the feel smooths out dramatically, even moreso as it warms. It finishes smooth, almost buttery with a nice warmth and some lingering burnt malts.

Overall impression: This one caught me by surprise. Excellent brew.

Photo of mikeg67
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Pours black with a thick, brown, long lasting head. The aroma is chocolate malt, dark fruit and brown sugar. Full body, some tartness. The flavor is chocolate, coffee, dark fruit. Fruity sweetness nicely balanced with coffee bitterness. Finish is enormous, long lasting and very balanced. Simply great!

Photo of blackie
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: snifter serving, deep, murky brown in color, essentially black, with a creamy mocha head that retains quite well

s: leads with chocolaty roast and an underlying prune fruitiness, clear chocolate milk notes, raisin, balanced sweetness, complex

m: soft carbonation and a smooth, medium-full body

t: creamy roasted malts, lots of milky chocolate, prune and raisin, smooth roast, flavorful and rich, a delicious baltic

d: no problems here, the abv doesn't come through and the snifter is gone in no time, definitely blurs some style lines but whatever it is, I'll pick up a bottle

draft at ChruchKey

Photo of boston2bburg
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I felt compelled to review this one after being blown away by my initial impressions.

Opaque black or really dark brown, pushing the limits of the style, but sexy nonetheless. Creamy, light brown head retains well.

Caramel, cocoa, and licorice dominate the aroma. Absinthe comes to mind. Mysterious and seductive. Subtle coffee pokes through with warmth.

Prominent malt sweetness of caramel and chocolate balanced by a bright, spicy hop character that distinguishes it from an RIS. Clean with no fruity esters. Sweet, but light roast character keeps it from being cloying. Plum and raisin flavors from the malts are secondary.

Smooth up front, with a spicy hop finish. Damn near immaculate mouthfeel.

Warming, happy alcohol, barely evident to the taste. A bit much if you take a bomber to the head (as I am).

Possibly my favorite beer of winter so far, and it's not even winter! And that includes Bitches Brew.

Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured black as the ace of spades with absolutely no light shining through this bad boy! The head was about one finger thick, burnt sienna brown, and with great retention.

S: Awesome! Chocolate for sure, but the dark fruit (unusual for a porter IMO) shined through and then some.

T: Baltic porter my ass! This sucker was about as chewy as the most intense Imperial Stout. The finish was very dry due to the ABV, but smooth and somewhat fruity. Smooth throughout in general.

M: Very thick, with nice carbonation for this style, and no alcohol burn to speak of. The lacing was moderate, but the brew was not sticky or bitter in the least.

D: How did beer escape my attention all these years? This my be my new favorite Smutty brew... even better than the IPA (which is a bit overrated IMO).

Photo of jmdrpi
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, label notched that it was bottled in 2009.

totally opaque black, with dark tan head. decent lacing.

huge aroma, an interesting mix of roasty and slighty fruity boozy smell. raisins in there too.

I would say the taste follows the aroma. starts off with a bitter chocolate roasty flavor, then a little sweetness, then a dry finish. lower carbonation, smooth thick mouthfeel.

the year of aging has mellowed out any booziness from the 8.7% abv that the 2009 version was. great complex brew that only got better as it warmed.

Photo of ElGallo
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 edition on tap at The Blue Mermaid in Portsmouth, NH. Generous pour into a balloon glass, little to no head, very dark in color.

I had this for the first time last year in the bottle and thought it was a bit boozy, but this year's batch is fantastic. There are some nice smooth malty notes in the nose: maybe some subtle molasses and dark fruit but no trace of roastiness, which I liked.

Taste was delicious and went down way too easily. Mouthfeel with porters is always an issue with me, and I don't really know why, but this one felt okay.

Overall Smutty did a nice job with this year's batch, and I highly recommend this to porter lovers and dark beer enthusiasts. Perhaps I'm finally sunsetting my IPA jonze until springtime...

Photo of obywan59
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle straight from the fridge. 2010 version. Label shows Father Time stepping out of a clock that on first impression appeared to me to be a stargate (I'm a SyFy fan). The label was designed by a Miss Teen USA, Joanne Francis.

Pours thick and black into my pint glass. A weak pour gives up a 1/2 finger tan head that leaves decent lacing. 2nd pour was directly into the bottom of the glass and yielded a 3 1/2 finger head with 4 oz. left in the bottle.

Initial aroma from the bottle is of sweet chocolately malt--from the glass, more of a metallic aroma. As the beer warms, I get more molasses from the bottle, and sweet chocolate and caramel from the glass.

Taste is like bitter chocolate up front. At first, I was disappointed as I think of a porter as being sweeter than a stout, (that's why I prefer them) but I just didn't get it. After a couple of swallows though, the sweetness started showing through the bitterness. Smoky burnt malt and alcohol flavors are very evident.

Full bodied, but not all that sticky. Very creamy feel to it. Some alcohol burn in the throat but it's surprising light. Probably due to the thickness of the brew.

After a bit of trepidation at the start for the overpowering bitterness, the beer settled down, and finished out nicely balanced though the bitterness is always evident. The 8.7% ABV is well hidden until inebriation sets in.

Photo of beancounter
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber, 2010 batch

A-Dark brown to black with a one finger brownish head. Lacing is present as I drink it.

S-Not much smell. A little bit of roasted malt but it's faint.

T-Roasted malts, chocolate, slightly coffee like (but very subtle), and alcohol.

M-Medium, silky smooth

D- Very drinkable. Goes down easily. Each sip beckons you for more.

Smuttynose, if you see this, please consider making BP one of your regulars!

Photo of rtepiak
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i must say the best American Baltic porter i've had. besides the gonzo. Pours a consistent head with a nice lay that looks like a great americano. Threads of browns laying in oily patterns. there is smoke and a substantially back malt driven licorice. It has a ridiculous density to it. but lean in the face of a malty RIS. gritty. chives, licorice, coffee grounds fused to an acidic nature of smoke. This is just the first half. The other aspect is a fruity balance. Of everything from dried to earthy to bright. Prunes, fig, black currant, and berry, and a cherry that is a dark cherry which crosses over into the malt with a musty hay and walnut. bitterness in baking chocolate. great and sustainable. malty roasted and still had the same qualities after a while of sitting around in the open. temperature friendly. drink at just below cellar.

this is smokey and digestive but rich like a dessert. i would still recommend food with this. something hardy to back it. particular pork as meat or goulash. goat may work well too. even something pickled to change the palate up a bit. but a dense beer made for dense food.

Photo of zeff80
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2009 vintage, courtesy of Sideswipe. Thanks, John!

A: Pours a pitch black body capped by a light mocha head. Retention isn't so hot, with just the tiniest touch of lace during sips.

S: Dark fruits (raisins, figs) accompanied by anise. I prefer this more 'organic' (if that's the right word) assortment of aromas to more traditional RIS flavors of roasted grain and chocolate, though the latter two are certainly present. I also pick up some caramel and molasses.

T: As in the nose, this is spearheaded by raisins, figs, and anise first and foremost. It progresses into roasted grain later, producing weaker flavors of dark chocolate and espresso. The finish is sweet, leaving touches of molasses and anise in its wake. The exhalation produces raisins and (again) anise.

M: While the head isn't particularly lively, the beer feels somewhat overcarbonated, producing a foamy texture when I sample it. The big bubbles clean up the flavor, but they prevent the taste from fully expressing itself.

D: I didn't have trouble putting down a bomber of this, but I think it would be best served in a 12oz bottle.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to beandip for the bottle. Cheers Adam!

Solid black body, absolutely no light penetrating. Two finger brown sugar colored head. Very decent rentention, a slight cap remains perched atop til the end. The lacing is rather impressive, tightly woven lace blankets the glass.

The aroma is full of dark and rich scents. Deep roasted malt, molasses and fudgy chocolate. Deep caramel flavors and hint of coffee are less obvious but equally pleasant.

The flavor is every bit as rich and intense as the nose. Bittersweet chocolate and molasses upfront. Licorice and dark fruit flavors are set just behind. A bit of roasted astringency reminding be of coffee and dark caramel emerge mid palate. Brunt sugar and a dry cocoa flavor linger on the back of the palate. Bottled in 09, many potential flavors had some time to settle. A pleasant boozy flavor was noticed and appreciated but was nowhere near obstructive.

Full bodied, incredibly smooth and creamy beer. Low to medium carbonation with a rather long finish.

For such a big, flavorful beer this was surprisingly easy to drink. The beer was well put together and the flavors, aroma and mouthfeel meshed perfectly. I am very impressed by the Smuttynose offerings I have enjoyed and look forward to more in the future.

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

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

Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,037 ratings.