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.

1,037 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
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)
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,037 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of motleybrew
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 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.

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.

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.

Photo of AprilMarie
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.

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

A: A dark cola pour yields a pitch black coloring in the glass along with an impressive 2 finger mocha colored head that was rigid and foamy. Retention was good, moderately lasting, while a ½ finger frothy whipped covering persists through most of the drink leaving several sticky trails for a lacing.

S: The aromatic strength was rather light per style, a soft dry roastiness that feels more at home for a Schwarz rather an Baltic porter. After that the complexity drops to light suggestions of bakers chocolate and ripe dark fruit skins. Average in perception, due mostly to the lack of strength.

T: A massive roastiness with an appreciable amount of coffee comes by way of freshly cracked beans with a rich and dark delivery. Dried vanilla bean combines with a rich chocolate mocha flavor and dark fruit of prunes could also be appreciated. The finish is earthy with mineral notes of wet charred wood and a scorched malt sweetness for balance. Dark, roasty with a tongue coating layering of coffee grounds gives this a robust offering and flavor that certainly can hang with the best of them.

M: Nice viscose feel with a warm roasty sensation. The coffee presence is truly evident especially upon the swallow with a nice powdery coating on the tongue of roasted beans with highlights of boozy dark fruit as well.

D: A huge roasty experience definitely worthy by all regards by style making for a great sipper that finishes every bit as good as it started. Solid and worthy of repurchase and praise.

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

2009 Bottling. [NOTE the 2010 version has a bit more prune in the taste]

A= totally black with a dark-brown foamy head, quickly dissipating to bubbly rim and lacing.

S= huge, and very evident dark fruits and raisins up-front, complex roasted malts, balanced dark chocolate and burnt coffee, nice floral notes.

T= bold and delicious, nicely balanced, toasted malts, dry chocolate, dry coffee, dark fruity notes, modest but balanced hops. The ABV is not very evident.

M= pretty much a long reminiscence of the taste with some mild light sweetness.

D= only the high ABV% would limit consumption. Probably great with anything from dark dessert to roasted meats.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of ksimons
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

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.

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.

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.

Photo of mtstatebeer
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.

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.


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.

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...

Photo of SLeffler27
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.

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.

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.

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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