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

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series)

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1,014 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 191
Gots: 118 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.24% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
35 IBU

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

(Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,014 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -4%

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.

Arbitrator, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

kzoobrew, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of whoneeds8
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Big thanks to SirSketch, this was included in the winnings for the Week 4 win of the Sunday Night Football Sqaures LIF.

Bottled in 2009. Poured into a Great Divide glass jet black with a thick foamy three finger tan head. Good lacing and retention. I can't get much of a scent because it's allergy season. The taste has notes of dark chocolate, carmel, and smoke. It's rather odd because the taste is very powerful yet the mouthfeel is slighty thin. Nothing that takes anything away from this Porter. The alochol does leave a slight burn in the aftertaste.

whoneeds8, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

Notes from 10/08/2010:

2009 vintage. 22 oz. bottle at 45* into a snifter.

A: This pours pitch black with a thin, tan head that shows great legs down the glass.

S: Chocolate, currants, raisins, plum, and licorice fill the nose.

T: It has a powerful taste, featuring bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits, hazelnut, and a bit of smoke.

M: It's thick, creamy, and memorable.

D: This isn't very boozy and I could go for another.

bucklemyshoe, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of mondegreen
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%

2009 Vintage. Poured into a Founder's Tulip.

Pours pitch black with a tan head. What a sexy looking beer. No light shows through at all. Smell is rich and roasty. Sweet malts permeate with a slight tingle in the nose (maybe a touch of alcohol). Taste is huge. Big roasted barley with all the good malt sweetness you want from the style. Just right bitterness offsetting for a wonderful flavor.

Thick and rich, this is a great sipper. I'm going to revisit this one on a cold winter night.

mondegreen, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of ckeegan04
4/5  rDev -6.3%

A - Thick dark brown, verging on black. Thick brown foamy head after gentle pour slowly fades to a two finger head. Beautiful looking beer.

S - Dark, roasted malts and a hint of booze. As the beer warms a faint sweetness comes through in addition to a hint of dark fruit.

T - Strong roasted malts and a hint of fresh roasted coffee beans up front. Bittersweet chocolate comes through more as the beer warms. Dark fruits linger underneath.

M/D - Medium to full bodied with a crisp finish. Very easy drinking with a well masked almost 9% ABV.

ckeegan04, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of generallee
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pint 6oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. It is labeled as "Bottle Conditioned In 2009" and there is no ABV%.

Appearance: It has a slow thick pour which is very dark. In the glass it looks nearly opaque and black in color. On top there is a tall light brown head. The head has good retention and leaves some splotchy lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has sweet and roasty maltiness. It's bready and grainy with hints of dark fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste/Palate: There is a lot of full bodied sweet dark roasted barley malt wrapped up with some mellow boozy alcohol. There are notes of chocolate, dark dried fruits, golden raisons, burnt sugar and dark/burnt toasted bread. The finish has some leafy hop flavor and mild bitterness creeping in for some balance. Overall it still has plenty of residual sweetness in the end. Its not overpowering or cloying at all but it will slow down the drinkability as it lets you know it's a big beer. On the tongue it has a slick viscose feel. There is just enough carbonation to ease it over the palate.

Notes: I have to say that I love this beer. I love big complex dark beers and this one delivers!!!

generallee, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of biglite351
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%

A - very dark with only slight red around the edge. Light brown tall head.

S - slight sour malts. More bock like than porter like.

T - Sharp malt, light cocoa, coffee and something else that I can't put a finger on.

M - heavy coating and a lot of tingle, even in the throat.

D - the strength of the flavor and feel might limit how many you could have, but you certainly want many.

biglite351, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of BeerCon5
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%

Pours black in color with a small amount of tan head, lacing around the edges stays throughout the beer.

The scent was of roasty malts, coffee, some citrus.

The taste is of roasty malts, citrus, coffee, chocolate, light hop presence, faint raisin and dark fruit.

Full bodied, smooth and creamy, low carbonation.

This is an excellent beer, great flavor, pretty easy to drink, though it is filling.

BeerCon5, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of garbercury
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

Yes! More Smuttynose, good stuff!

A--Its a party, some lacing, nice and dark, opaque.

S--Smells like an awesome RiS...

T--Malts, flavorful brew. Love the taste.

M--nice and smooth, silky mouthfeel

D--Love smuttynose, lets party!!! Highly recommended.

garbercury, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of urwithdave
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%

Reviewing from notes. I drank this from a duvel tulip.

A- pours black and oily. Three fingers of a mocha head is produced from an agressive pour. The head disipates to a finger of head and then recedes no more. Nice spotty lacing left.

A- dark fruits, licorice, coffee, molasses, and pine. Very aromatic.

T- the dark fruits start things off, rasins and figs. There is some dark chocolate and coffee that I notice next. Licorice is in play as well as molasses. There is a slight hint of pine also. Very complex with all the flavors blending together well.

M- Full bodied. Thick and chewy. Subtle carbonation that is spot on. A nice long finish with a lot of the dark fruit tastes lingering.

D- a sipper for sure. Open this one when you have the time to enjoy it. I had no problem killing the bomber.

urwithdave, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

22 oz bomber from the 2009 vintage courtesy of bboyshatter, thanks for this treat. Pours a jet black color with no highlighting. Fluffy brown foam is dense and shows some decent retention. Not much lacing.

Nose is very chocolaty with a hefty sweetness and figgy fruit. Dark bread dough and the ABV is tame to the point of being a non-factor. Good, smooth smelling brew.

Robust, roasty and sweet...chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit. Has a grassy bitterness that dries things out fairly well, but still finishes on the sweet side. Mouthfeel is decidedly full with a welcoming creamy aspect. Not smooth per say, this one still has some rough edges, but in this beer it seems to work in it's favor. Vanilla, rich molasses and even a hint of smoke comes out as it warms. Excellent, satisfying beer that the last quarter of the bottle paired ridiculously well with cheesecake.

twiggamortis420, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%

Aromas are huge in the roast department. Dark roasted coffee malts mixed with cocoa and an herbal yet simple finish.

The taste is once again huge with the dark roasted malts. A fair share of herbal and bitter hop balance quickly joins the show but eventually loses out to the dark cocoa and charred licorice and molasses sweet dark maltiness. Honestly this is delicious but a whole bomber becomes slightly overbearing, can be better appreciated if it was offered in smaller quantities; maybe a four pack or something.

Overall this was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence; which increased as you progressed. This is a fabulous beer, especially for the price, worth the purchase 10 times out of 10.

claspada, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

poured into a dfh signature glass, more or less black with a slight amber hue. smell has notes of molasses, coffee, burnt sugar, coffee, raisin/dark fruits. really appealing.

taste has big coffee flavor,caramel,roastiness, molasses, raisin. starts of sweet, finishes with a moderate coffee acrid bitterness. overall really balanced and great to sip.

mouthfeel is pretty full bodied, could use a little bit more but it's still good. drinkability is fairly high even for the high abv.

i will definitely pick this up again.

wyattshotmaker, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of charliedvrs
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%

Marked bottled 2009 on the 22oz. bomber. Poured into my tulip glass.

A - Appearance is as close to black as brown can get. A good one and a half finger of head that left a lace down the whole glass.

S - Huge nose. Dark chocolates, brown sugar, dark fruits like figs, raisans and prunes.

T - Big malty backbone but not overpowering with the molasses and sugar elements. More dark chocolate and caramel as the dark fruits begin to really take shape. The hops are in there but take a backseat. The alcohol is present but with everything going on with this beer it's more forgettable than covered up.

M - Very smooth and creamy with light carbonation. Alcohol lingers on your tongue in a warm and not unpleasant way.

D - Great, great beer. Was really excited to see it out of season and grabbed it without hesitation. I'll probably stock up this coming winter as it seemed to take the age pretty well!

charliedvrs, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%

A: The beer is nearly jet black (only a bit of amber color is visible near the edge of the glass) with a thin mocha head. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose along with a mild amount of sweetness.
T: The taste is very malty and has notes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, hops and roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and is very rich and smooth.
D: The alcohol is fairly well hidden but this is definitely a sipping beer given its strength.

metter98, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%

Pours dark like molasses with a rich caramel head - a feast for the eyes.
Coffee, molasses, prunes are evident in the nose; it is deep, rich, and complex - abundant in subtle fragrance.
The taste is sweet like caramel and molasses, rich and bitter like a good strong coffee, full like a hearty whole grain bread. It also has an earthy, nutty flavor - very excellent.
Feels wonderful in the mouth - full up front, lighter at the finnish, but with flavor that coats and lasts. A heavy but drinkable beer.

Chickenhawk9932, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%

2009 vintage
Another nice extra from an east coast trade. This one has been sitting in the back of the refrigerator for a while now, so I figured I should pull it out tonight. Pours a nice rich, dark brown, nearly black, with a good two inches of medium brown foam. Aromas of molasses, dark fruits and dark chocolate. Nice flavors of roasted malt, port wine and stewed fruits. A solid example of the style.

emmasdad, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
4/5  rDev -6.3%

This review is typed up from notes in my notebook.

Poured from bomber into my Stone IRS glass

A - Black with a brown/dark tan head

S - Caramel/vanilla smell with a hint of citrus hops

T - dark chocolate mixed with caramel. Not a bitter chocolate flavor however

M - Heavier side of a medium body. Decent amount of carbonation

D Decently drinkable for the style but not an easy style to drink. Would pick up again if in the mood for this style

jpmclaug, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of laituegonflable
3.93/5  rDev -8%

Pours a very dark mahogany character, just a shade or two under pitch-black. Head is ochre, beautifully dense, a few pock-marks appearing on the top giving it a meringue appearance. Lace is a bit sparse, sticky but a touch on the thin side. The only criticism I have of a beautiful beer.

Smell is mostly sweet and chocolatey. Not a huge amount of dark or roasted character. Slight toastiness but yeah, distinct cocoa and espresso with a hint of cherry and some mint. Mild nutty character, roasted almonds and some brown sugar as well. Pleasant, but overall subdued. I'd expect more for the style.

Taste is curious. Starts chocolatey, dark overall but with a distinct sweetness, then gets more robust as the palate goes on. More roastiness comes through, lots of spice with some star anise notes, warming alcohol and espresso coffee. Sweet for the most part, lots of cocoa and more brown sugar. Quite smooth. Has a subtle, actually almost underplayed palate. The palate is deceptively simple and all the stuff that's going on beneath the surface is very pleasant indeed.

Fair amount of body, slight spiritous harshness towards the back, leaves creamy, but leaves a dryness behind. Very nice texture.

Yeah, the subtle underpinnings of a sweet tasty beer packed into a darker, more robust hamper.

laituegonflable, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Bought in New York, and carted back to Sydney via LAX miraculously unscathed.

Pours a deep and dark tawny brown-black, with a very fine-bubbled foam of chocolate brown head. Some very nice lacing, and it looks pretty heavy. I like it.

Big toasty notes of dark, bitter chocolate, with boozy overtones on the nose. Dark notes of rum and brandy. Plenty of dark, sweet and heavy notes to make this worthy of the Big Beer moniker.

Taste is full of quite sweet dark characters, like fruit mince. Spicy and redolent with that slightly spiritous booze aroma. It's certainly not as roasted and intense as a stout would be, but it has much of the woozy spice and heady elevation that a high alcohol stout often imbues.

Very drinkable for its breadth and depth. To be completely fair, I've had better and richer dark, strong beers. This is a very nice one, but I must have had unreasonably high expectations.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of BeckyFreesTibet
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Very dark in color and very opaque with espresso foam-colored head. Thickly coats glass and lacing fades quickly.

Aroma is strong and rich with a presence of brown sugar, molasses, chocolate milk, coffee and raisins.

Taste is roasty and ashey and a bit acrid at the back end, but creamy enough to keep it very pleasant. Smoke, raisins and brown sugar are present. There is much more espresso in the taste than in the smell. It gets boozier as it warms. Great overall flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is creamy and dense with a fair amount of carbonation. Quite enjoyable.

The ashiness brings down the drinkability, but it seems about right for 8.5%

BeckyFreesTibet, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of berkey
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%

22 oz bottle poured into a mug. From notes 06/07/10.

Forms a firm and well retained mocha head. Body is very dark brown, effectively black in regular light.

Aromas of dark chocolate and slightly bitter roasted coffee. Leans just slightly sweeter than most American or English Porters.

Flavor starts sweet and finishes with bitter coffee acidity. As it warms to room temperature it really opens up and the sweetness becomes pretty intense with more chocolate and even a slight cherry flavor.

Highly carbonated and medium bodied. Drinks well for what it is. Overall a very decent example of the style.

berkey, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle conditioned in 2009

I gotta say that I am coming around to Baltic Porters. Victory Baltic Thunder was a steal at $3.29 around me and this one is still a steal at $5.99. Pours a dark opaque brown with moderate tan head that leaves little lacing. Nose isn't as good as the rest of the beer, but, once it warms it has a bit of alcohol, some chocolate, and maybe some sweeter raisins and such.

Flavor profile is spot on. It's got a decent amount of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and some alcohol. As it warms, I get some cherries and raisins. Delicious and drinkable Baltic Porter, easily better than the other Smutty Big Beer Series beers that I've had, with the exception of the barleywine, which I like just as well.

MF is a bit over-carbonated IMO, but still smooth and light. A bit dry on the finish, with some hoppy bitterness coming in just a tad. Drinkability is off the charts, this is just a damn fine BP, one of the best I've come across.

LordAdmNelson, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

Beer served in a tulip. Beer is black and forms a thin brown head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. I don't know about carbonation.

Beer smells sweet and roasty. Smells pretty good from a volume point of view.

Beer is medium body, finishes nicely, mostly sweet and a mild bitterness and roastiness at the back end. Drinkability good and mouthfeel is good.

drabmuh, May 25, 2010
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.