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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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1,006 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,006
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 185
Gots: 116 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,006 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sam21


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into snifter. 2009 vintage.

Appearance - Dark black with a creamy light brown head.

Smell - Powdered chocolate, some dark fruits, black licorice, with some hops buried in there.

Taste - Bitter chocolate, dark coffee, black licorice, roasted malts, and a light bitterness to finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Big bold flavor. Delicious.

Mouth Feel - Thick and silky. Epitome of smooth.

Drinkability - This is incredibly tasty. Just like their robust porter, but bigger! Almost too easy to drink. The higher ABV keeps this from going down too fast, although the flavor is so tempting. The alcohol is noticeable halfway through the bottle, but only acts as a compliment to flavor. Another fantastic beer from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 03:35:07 | More by Sam21
Photo of jjboesen


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

This entry in the Smuttynose "Big Beer" series pours a frothy head of beige that slowly dissipates atop a dark impenetrable body. There is an intense nose of coffee; the palate is greeted by a rich mouthfeel of treacle with a fine toasty finish.

This "big beer" makes for a substantive quaff on any cold New Hampshire night.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 19:20:12 | More by jjboesen
Photo of colts9016


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 46 degrees. Received this bottle from a BIF thank you!

Appearance is a two finger medium tan head that is frothy and creamy with retention. Color of the beer is dark dark brown to opaque. There are some small garnet highlights in the beer and the head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Nose: A rich roasted malt with sweet characters. The aromas are vanilla, dark fruit, wood, fruity esters, solvent, molasses, phenols, and some floral notes.

Taste: A deeply roasted dark malt, chocolate, toffee, espresso, pine, molasses, phenols, solvent, fruity esters, and some dark fruit. There is a hint of vanilla and and a burnt character.

Overall:The mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and dry. The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is medium full. This beer has a lot of flavor, depth and complexity to it. It is very well balanced and was very easy to drink one of the better Baltic porters I have had the pleasure of drinking.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 16:39:37 | More by colts9016
Photo of ksimons

New York

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

A-dark brown with a tan fluffy head

S-really nice! A sweet, roasted caramel smell

T-creamy, bitter, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee taste, a hint of alcohol towards the end

M-creamy, full body, low carbonation, very smooth

D-really great tasting, the best Baltic porter I have had yet

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 23:55:35 | More by ksimons
Photo of xanok


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite porters. Smuttynose just keeps earning points in my book lately

22oz bottle poured into a Stone tulip.

A-Like any porter, black. About a finger of roasty looking brown head that disappears pretty quickly. Not much retention on the lacing.

S-Smells a bit more chocolately than I remember. Roasted malts also very present. There's an awesome sweetness to it. Also noticeable is the dark fruits.

T-Wonderful sweetness, dark fruit, chocolate, and roasted malts. Good bitterness to finish to balance out the sweetness. Pretty complex.

M-Very smooth. Maybe a tad more carbonated that I would have liked.

D-Alcohol is nowhere to be found. The balanced taste makes this easy to drink. One of the best interpretations of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 00:25:15 | More by xanok
Photo of wagenvolks


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with several BA's at a recent tasting. Thanks to indiapaleale for including this gem in the Nice Cans BIF!

Smuttynose brews a mean-looking Baltic Porter, with a coffee-black body that has a good depth to the color, thinning to a cola hue at the edges. Thick, billowy cap of cedar-khaki head retains well and spots the tasting glass with specks of lacing. The aroma is rich with dark chocolate and caramel malts, plus a hint of black licorice. Very intoxicating, and the kiss of musty, earthy hops in the background is a perfect touch.

A more crisp baltic porter than I was expecting, and well-carbonated, which gives this beer somewhat of a thinner overall mouthfeel. Still, sticky notes of Baker's chocolate coat the palate with lots of dark, roasty flavor. Earthy hops chime in for the finish with a medium-bodied consistency. Definitely a beer I hope to encounter again sometime. Nice job, Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 18:05:28 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of jampics2


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

22oz into my New Belgium globe. Looks great - a 2 finger head held on as long as it could then faded into a slim layer of surface foam.

Smells very nice but something isn't completely appealing to me. I get a ton of cocoa powder, molasses, and some aroma hops. But there's a weird cherry like undertone I don't love. Not bad, but just not to my preferences.

Taste is nice. The weirdness has left the building, as the roast on this Baltic porter is really the defining aspect of it's flavor palatte. A crisp caramel sweetness meets my tongue head on, then a touch of alcohol and a hops/roast tag team. Some impressions of chocolate and coffee and rum soaked raisins. Clean finish with just a touch of bitterness hanging on. Superb.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with some weight. Nice for the style, not too thick but substantial. Carb is tickley but OK for a Baltic.

Nice and drinkable considering the APV. I think I may actually prefer this to the Smutty RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 17:57:39 | More by jampics2
Photo of mtstatebeer

West Virginia

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

22 oz. bottle, "bottle conditioned in 2009." Pours a completely opaque dark black, nice frothy light brown head, good lacing. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, and citrus. Flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, a hint of alcohol, and fruity. Mouthfeel is on the closer side of full bodied, creamy, and bitter. Good beer, lots of flavors, warms well, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 01:36:05 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of Arenbeer


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

22oz bottle into a Snifter Glass

A- Solid black with a fluffy 1 1/2 finger brown head that doesn't last to long. Little to no lacing.

S- Roasted barley and dark fruits. Raisin, plums, and maybe some licorice. Slight alcohol backround but not to over powering.

T- Roasted malts with a strong coffee flavor to compliment it. Great dark fruity bitter sweet chocolate backround as well. Pretty semi complex for a porter.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation a dry bitter finish. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall this is probably the best baltic I've had so far, I hightly recommend it.


Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 04:51:09 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of Kallessin


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

Pours black with a smallish cocoa head that settles quickly to a ring around the glass.

Lots of raisins and prunes in the aroma with some molasses, brown sugar and black cherry. Only a slight hing of alcohol. Some hops come through. The dark fruits are most prominent here. Very nice.

Tastes very much like the aroma (mainly dark fruits/molasses), but with the addition of a very strong roasted flavor and some dark bittersweet chocolate and a hint of coffee. Some burnt malt flavors and a pretty good amount of hop bitterness to balance it all out.

Very full bodied and smooth with a little carbonation bite. Fairly dry.

A very rich and full beer. Nice balance between dark fruit, malt and hop bitterness. The alcohol is hidden very well. I with the chocolate flavors were slightly more, but otherwise a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 00:45:25 | More by Kallessin
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in a Mickey Finn's shaker pint glass, with Alice in Chains's "Your Decision" playing in the background.

Pours an opaque black (it could be brown, but, without the passage of light, there is no certainty here, brother) with a finger of solid burnt umber head that leaves only a trace of gossamer lacing behind. The nose is toffee, caramel, dark malts, figs, brown sugar, and a subtle hint of pine...and I just realized I used the word "gossamer" in a beer review...right on... The taste follows suit, with the brown sugar, now joined by molasses, and the pine standing out at first, with glimpses into the malts, toffee, and debutante figs coming into focus shortly thereafter. As Toto's "Africa" begins, I notice the body: nearing heavy, it has a good amount of carbonation, but it's just the right amount to "guide me toward salvation". Though somewhat chewy, the incredibly smooth finish (spiting the carbonation in a grand stroke of defiance) makes this brew one that "will take a lot to drag me away from". Ah, the '80s...

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 14:52:45 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

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

The pint glass can barely contain this big dark frothy head. Patchy lace deposits are left as the head gradually recedes, but never disappears over an opaque black beer with dark brown highlights around the perimeter of the glass.

Bitter chocolate syrup greets the olfactory, followed quickly by molasses and roasted malt. Nuts and more than a hint of black coffee displace the richer aromas, with warmth and flowering alcohol.

Right on cue, there is chocolate and roasted coffee. Tobacco, milk, and oh so carefully balanced sweetness and bitterness, right into a subtle finish. Warmth transforms this one to brandy, licorice, and strong kahlua flavors.

A major winner, full body, velvety texture and soft carbonation. The viscosity of this porter is exemplary, even with a fair hit of alcohol, very much like Kahlua.

One pint at a time, but what a time it is. Savor each sip, and cozy up with someone you love, and enjoy the day. The next chance I get, I'll try this in a snifter glass.

Serving type: growler

03-01-2010 20:59:45 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of mgbickel


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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a fizzy, single finger, creamed coffee colored head that dissipated quickly leaving behind no signs of it's short existence. Black body that seems to eat light (my lamp flickered as I poured the beer!).

The nose has caramel and molasses up front. You can pick up some roasted characteristics in the background. All of this sits on a sweet, malty backbone.

Wow...lots of coffee flavors in this drink! The java fades in and out, but is present at all times. The middle gets a little sweet...maybe even a little dark fruits are present. The finish is dark coffee and bitter chocolate. A tiny boozy head pops up for a visit with the finish.

Thick mouth feel...a little chewy, but not overpowering. Moderate carbonation.

This is a great beer to have on hand. I am not sure what the ABV is, but I would like to cellar a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 21:33:31 | More by mgbickel
Photo of morimech


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The best American interpretation of a Baltic Porter that I have had. Damn near black in color with a large brown head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Rich, complex aroma that features the dark malt. Hints of chocolate, licorice, and raisins. A little bit of alchol lofts off the surface of the beer. The flavor is also rich and malty. Surprising amount of dark fruit comes through that compliments the bitter chocolate and licorice. Just the faintest sign of alcohol in the finish. The sweetness is a bit cloying as well. A wonderful mouthfeel that features the best carbonation for such a large beer. Soft and delicate carbonation compliments the rest of the beer perfectly. I doubt any beer in the BA Top 100 has a better mouthfeel. Drinkability is good thanks to the pleasant flavor and fantastic mouthfeel, the only hinderance is the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 23:04:47 | More by morimech
Photo of drpimento


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

Whoa, serious beer. Served with a nice sized, light tan, fine foamy head and good lace. Aroma is malty, sweet, dark ripe fruit, a bit roasty and good. Ditto flavor and all of that comes out much more boldly. Body is great and carbonation too. Finish is mainly sweet with some bitterness to temper. A bit too big to be a session, but nevertheless a major, world class brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2010 06:33:52 | More by drpimento
Photo of Tomdee74


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

I finally will review this beer. I've had a few times in the past but it's been a while. I think Smuttynose puts out fantastic brew! I'm a big fan of this brewery as their regular IPA is my go to beer and their Big A IPA (DIPA) is fabulous...

A - Pours a dark brown black color with a thin head that hung around and did not totally dissipate. Poured aggressively into a Smuttynose Tulip glass. Lacing was great

S - smell the fruity raisin, but coffee chocolate flavors. very nice smell. don't really smell alcohol to this but just smell a lot of flavor.

T - Of course does not disappoint! Very flavorful! Sweet, bitter, chocolate, coffee, raisin.... just taste it all! I love the carbonation and also the hoppiness in this porter.. in fact i can see a person not a big fan of hops may not like this. a bit more hoppy than malty i think; however, i prefer this kind of style.

M - Good carbonation and a smooth texture make the mouthfeel very good.

D - Very drinkable. A great dessert drink as well as a session beer for me. A little high on the abv's so I'd watch it of course.. But otherwise this is very drinkable for me! Another great beer from Smuttynose!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 20:57:48 | More by Tomdee74
Photo of fairdinkum2


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

I like all of the Smuttynose Big Beer series beers I've tried and this is no exception.

Tan head framing a clear opaque black. Nose of chocolate and coffee.

Great taste. Coffee, dark chocolate and molasses. Initial sweetness is balanced by a dry finish.

It's hard to put a label on porter, with so many styles out there. This one is close to stout like in its richness. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 01:33:59 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of objectivemonkey


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

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a thick, dark, opaque black color with a solid tan head of creamy fluff, some bubbles in it but mostly smooth as silk. Releases a little fizzy bit of carbonation on any swirl of the glass. The aroma has typical roasted malts and a sweet caramelized malt quality also.

No doubt, this comes off as a big beer. Lots of flavor, strong, noticable alcohol, it isn't shy. But it skates the line well between obnoxious and hefty. There is a decent load of roasted malts, the bittersweet chocolates and caramel malts form the broad base, some dark fruits and hops in the background. The mouth is maybe a little too carbonated for me, but otherwise its a smooth, easy beer to drink. In all, quite a solid beer.

Thanks to thechrislife for this fella.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 05:43:30 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of PorterLambic


3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big beer, big bottle. Works for me.

Pours pitch black with dark cocoa-colored head. Big with some waterfalling before settling to 1 1/2". Slowly dissipates and leaves no lace at all.
Smell is malt, dark fruit, hint of cardboard and, faintly, resin.
Taste is malty, with dark fruit again, a whiskey/alcohol note, dark chocolate, oak and coffee.
Full-bodied, creamy, smooth with a very slightly dry finish. Slightly warming. Good stuff, Maynard.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 17:26:14 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of erosier


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Nice brown-black color with a medium sized and thick tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate aromas, dark fruits.
T: Tastes of deep roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and a hint of caramel in there as well.
M: Very smooth, warming, thick bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable even for a beer of this magnitude. All the flavors are there and they blend well together, really nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 11:53:15 | More by erosier
Photo of gatorhophead


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured aggressively from a bomber into a 13oz snifter

A.) 1/4" head fades into a thin ring that sticks around all night. Very dark and leaves a thin lacing on the glass

S.) Roasted malts, dark fruits chocolate and coffee with a bit of alcohol in the finish. I hope it tastes as good as it smells

T.) The taste comes through on the promise, sweet roasted malts with raisins, chocolate and coffee, then balances out with some bitterness and a slight alcohol warmth.

M.) full bodied and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation

D.) I will easily finish this bomber and could follow it with another

Another great offering from Smuttynose, I can't wait to try the imperial stout in the cellar

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 02:04:46 | More by gatorhophead
Photo of ken2cart1


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

pint glass

a- small 1/8 inch mocha head, opaque beer

s- dark fruits, coffee

t- much like it smells... loads of sweet Belgian malt, dark fruits and raisins in the forefront, noticeable chocolate in there, with some roasted coffee there too, slight alcohol sting at the end in the first few sips

m- great mouth feel, creammy sooo smooth

d- look forward to every sip, delicious, another winner for the best northeast brewer

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 03:53:47 | More by ken2cart1
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my brewery snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan hear. Fades to a thick ring. Good retention from there on out. Leaves slight splattered lace. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Big roasted malt flavor, chocolate, cherries, raisins, light coffee, and earthy hops to balance it out a bit.

Taste: Again, more roasted malts. Lots of dark fruits, big dried cherry flavor with raisins. As it warms, it gets more bitter with grassy hops. Some chocolate and coffee as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends malty, slightly dry, but overall, pretty clean. Very nice.

Overall, a very nice baltic porter. Lots of flavor and very drinkable for the abv. I think 12 oz bottles would be a much better size, unless splitting with a friend. Luckily I had a friend to enjoy it with me. I recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 04:33:54 | More by mothman
Photo of MasterSki


4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric (monsone) for this one. This is the 2008 version. Served in a FoBAB pint-style taster glass.

A - Pours with a half-finger of tan foam that dissipates to a thin ring and no lace. Black body with little bit of brown at the fringes of the glass. Pretty standard-looking for a Baltic Porter.

S - Smells like Baltic Porter too - lots of raisins, dark fruits, milk chocolate, a touch of dark roast. Almost exactly like the description on the bottle!

T - The taste has a bit more burnt malt and smokiness to it, and there may be the slightest hint of oxidation setting in. Otherwise it's a pretty similar formula, with raisins, dark fruits, milk chocolate, caramel. The aforementioned char and smokiness, as well as some anise, helps offset the sweetness. There's a touch of alcohol in the finish, but it's not overly present otherwise.

M - The carbonation is definitely porter-level, and has more tingle than your typical stout. Body is medium-thick and has a nice chewy character to it. There's a touch of warmth after a glass, but nothing unpleasant.

D - I'm not sure I'd need a whole 22oz of this, but a glass was quite pleasant. This is a good no-frills Baltic Porter that can serve as a baseline for those interested in investigating the style, especially with it's eminently reasonable price of $5-6.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 23:42:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of ClockworkOrange


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

A 22 ounce bomber bottle. The label states - "Bottle conditioned in 2008". Uncapped and poured into my Smuttynose shaker glass. The porter appears an opaque brown color with a good two fingers of tan foam. The nose and flavors consist of raisins, prunes, molasses, dark cherries, bittersweet and milk chocolates, plums, and caramel. Just about full bodied with ample carbonation and very little alcohol heat to speak of. If you happen to have a 2008, by all means, enjoy it now.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 06:28:15 | More by ClockworkOrange
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,006 ratings.