1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,008 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,008
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 190
Gots: 115 | 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)
View: Beers (55) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,008 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of generallee

New York

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!!!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 16:59:28 | More by generallee
Photo of biglite351


3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 00:33:47 | More by biglite351
Photo of BeerCon5


4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 03:01:31 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of garbercury


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 23:00:45 | More by garbercury
Photo of urwithdave


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 18:43:54 | More by urwithdave
Photo of twiggamortis420


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 13:44:46 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 15:44:40 | More by claspada
Photo of wyattshotmaker


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

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 01:52:10 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of charliedvrs


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

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!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 16:23:29 | More by charliedvrs
Photo of metter98

New York

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 23:50:40 | More by metter98
Photo of Chickenhawk9932


4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 21:33:01 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of emmasdad


3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 04:29:26 | More by emmasdad
Photo of jpmclaug

South Carolina

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

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

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 03:07:47 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of laituegonflable


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 04:10:03 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of lacqueredmouse


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 13:11:04 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of BeckyFreesTibet

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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%

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 19:16:06 | More by BeckyFreesTibet
Photo of berkey


3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 19:41:44 | More by berkey
Photo of LordAdmNelson


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 00:05:09 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of drabmuh


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

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 03:42:52 | More by drabmuh
Photo of maximum12


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

Thanks to ppoitras for sending this bottle via SS09. Really like Smuttynose, since they're generally tasty & the price is right in relation to other "Big Beer" stuff. Bring them all on!

The beer is black, along with being rather cute. Smell is on the halls of Valhalla side, cocoa butter & stunningly rich malts.

Smutty's Baltic Porter comes out of the gate with a wallop of chocolate, baked with a healthy dose of roasted, toasted malt/coffee. Plenty of raisins or figs or almonds or something else too, dark fruitish, perhaps an undertow of vanilla. Really nice!

Thick, thick, which seems appropriate. Enough pizzazz that i could drink plenty of this, even though that might be a good idea.

Excellent beer. Lots to explore, with a dome of simple good taste. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 02:50:26 | More by maximum12
Photo of mikeyv35

New York

4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date: 05/16/2010
Vintage: 2009
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip
* Have had this brew a bunch ot times in the past, but have never reviewed it until now.

Pours a deep rich black color w/ a big 1 to 1 and a half finger tan head that left lacing all over the glass. The nose was of dark chocolate, roasted malts, nuttiness, and a touch of strong espresso. The taste was on point w/ the nose and continued w/ a good amount of hop bite on the finish to balance it out perfectly. The mouthfeel was extremely viscous, almost borderline Imperial Stout. Also, the flavors really hung on the palate nicely. The well masked ABV accompanied by the tremendous flavor allowed me to polish of a bomber w/ ease.

Overall, one of my personal favorites and regular drinkers. Fantastic job once again by Smuttynose!

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 20:33:19 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of motleybrew

New York

3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite beer styles is Baltic Porter. That said, my rating is based directly on my understanding of the style. Is this a bad beer? Not if you like an imperial stout, no. Is it a baltic porter? I'm not so sure.

There is a little too much pitch (black) in the brew. A BP really would tend to be less cloudy, and would probably have a little more clear ruby hints. There is a lot too much after-roast...black patent or chocolate or whatever weighing heavy on what should be a sweeter or at least less distintly charred aftertaste. That is a yummy chocolate nose about half way through, but a little chipped too much with yeast over-all, and maybe a bit too much Biscuit? Even a clever brewer can make that mistake. I've done it myself.

Is the ABV in the zone? yup. But ABV and a name don't make the whole of a style. Is it a horrible beer? Not at all, I might often prefer it to a Guinness, and I like Guinness. But is it really what a Baltic Porter is?

This is not a bad beer. This is not a good rendition of a baltic porter. You can have both better beers and better baltic porters. I don't agree with the preponderance of ecstatic reviews.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 23:07:45 | More by motleybrew
Photo of brewerburgundy


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

22oz bottle, goblet, "Bottle Conditioned 2009" notched on the bottom of the label.

Dark, black, a seriously dark Porter with a seriously dark brown head. Streaky lacing from a good cap.

Roasted malt, deep berry, cherry, molasses, dark rum, coffee, black licorice. Quite vinous.

Initially a little boozy and sweet, the flavor is well rounded with roast, berry, dark rum, molasses, and coffee. Lots of flavor, even chocolate and licorice.

Weighted heavier than expected for a bottom fermented Porter and almost syrupy. Good bubbles pull it off of the tongue, it is a delight.

This is very full flavored and doesn't blow the taste buds out. The alcohol will limit consumption, but a bomber is a pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 22:15:24 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of Thorpe429


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown bordering on black with a nice light-brown head.

S: Pretty good amount of roasted malt alongside chocolate, a bit of coffee, and hints of dark fruits.

T: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits, mild earthy hops.

M: Thick and creamy yet a bit dry. Very smooth.

D: A nice sipper. Probably my favorite Smuttynose beer to date.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 14:04:49 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of AprilMarie

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- black with dark tan head
S- strong caramel vanilla smell with a hint of citrus
T- taste of dark chocolate mixed with caramel
MF- medium body. heavier side of medium. some carbonation but not overpowering.
D- not easy but not hard. bolder beer for a porter, but decent drinkability for this style of beer. nice to try once might drink again if was offered to me and other styles were given that are not appealing.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 01:14:46 | More by AprilMarie
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,008 ratings.