Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,012 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +7.3%
Dig around the fridge and find this nice 24oz Big Beer Series Baltic Porter looking back at me from the far right corner. Long week, a nice quite Friday night - very little thought goes into the selection. I reach for the neck, grab a snifter and head for the den (do people still use that word? What classifies as a den? I like to think of my main room as one).
Let's see what shuffle all has in store for us tonight; first song: "From The Top of My World" by My Brightest Diamond. A little dreary for me, but I didn't write these rules - I just play by them.
What a great label
An aggressive pour watches the glass catch a dead end dark liquid with the frothiest head I have seen in a while. It looks like a coffee Frappee and stands about 3 fingers tall. Slowly fades to about a centimeter or two and just percolates. Bubbles bursting at the scene nearly showing off. By the end of From The Top of My World - the head has retreated back into the black hole below it... but there is plenty of lacing and floating islands of light tan bubbles hanging around for the ride.
---- Beatles up next with 5th song of my favorite album - "Here, There and Everywhere"... this is a nice transition from the last song. Still slow and careful, but with a much more pleasant melody. ---
A swirl of the glass almost gives a trampoline effect to the aroma - throwing a coffee and chocolate backflip into my face.
----"Long Walk Ahead of Us" - The Walkmen; good stuff----
The smell is so damn rich and full of chocolate, that I almost miss the dark fruits covered in vanilla and whip cream in the background.
Then there is the taste - oh what a taste. Chocolate in spades, covered in coffee ice cream ... It has some booze on it, especially in the finish - but it is warmly accepted within the overall make up of this fine beer. A great combination of prunes, plums, bitter chocolate... but with something inside the chocolate. It reminds me of those Andies Mints. Which, now that I say it, I haven't had in 10 years. Those are so damn good and this beer reminds me of 'em quite a bit. Only if they made them with a more bitter chocolate. Hate to get nostalgic, but this is just that kinda beer.
---- "I Don't Know" by Lisa Hannigan- now this is the first curveball to the lineup... I love this girls voice, don't know much about the band she is playing with, but a nice song.---
My only complaint - and it is not one I would ever voice unless alone in my den listening to...
----"Warm Beer and Cold Women" Tom Waits off of Nighthawks at the Diner. Get this album if you don't have it - please. Get it now. And if you live in LA, get it yesterday. In this song, Tom talks about a bar called "The Last Ditch Attempt Salon" - what a great name.----
... music - is that it's a bit to bitter sometimes. But like I said, hardly a complaint worth voicing.
Mouthfeel is full as a balloon and creamy as cream pie. Really great body, maybe perfect. Carbonation is dead on, it has a nice chewiness to it, it is creamy as can be and thick like a malt shake. Great job by Smuttynose on this beer. The best Baltic Porter I have ever had - and while I have had this a few times before - I am not sure why I don't make it a bigger mainstay
Outro: "Can You Tell" by Ra Ra Riot
10-30-2009 22:04:37 | More by calise1122
4.1/5 rDev -4%
This is a first rate porter. It is very warming and just right for the cold weather approaching. It pours an inky black color impervious to light, with a slightly matte hue. There is a nice brown head to the beer, with decent lacing and retention. The nose is very pungent and very good. There are lots of roasted coffee notes, chocolatey sweet malts, a touch of cherry dark chocolate, maybe a touch of chicory. The nose is very flavorful an enticing.
The taste is very creamy, very smooth, and dangerously drinkable at 8.7% ABV. There is a very nice cocoa powder flavor to the beer, lots of roasted sweet malts, chocolatey flavors, some slight cherry dark chocolate. There is a warming thick and chewy syrupy consistency to this full bodied beer. It is quite substantial, full palated. There are plenty of roasted notes, but the beer is very sweet. There is an oily mouthfeel going on, just a touch of the throatiness due to the high ABV, and lots are charred creaminess in the finish. This is very worth seeking out. L'Chaim.
10-23-2009 21:54:49 | More by albern
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
JoeyBeerBelly sent me this brew as an extra! Thanks Joe!
A- Pours a deep black color with a huge dark brown head that leaves some decent lacing.
S- Dark roasted malt and some smoke. A faint dark fruit presence in there somewhere.
T- Big full roasted flavor with a huge amount of smoke and dark malt sweetness. A snappy bitterness in the finish is nice for balance. A bit of oak and dried fruit with some burnt toast rounds out the flavor.
M- Full bodied with a surprisingly high amount of carbonation.
D- Really nice brew that is packed full of roasted bitterness.
10-23-2009 03:40:56 | More by projectflam86
4.45/5 rDev +4.2%
On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a deep opaque black with a decent dark tan head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is slight brown malts and cocoa, but does not do the taste justice at all. Taste is a wonderful blend of bitter cocoa, brown malts, molasses, and dried fruits, very enjoyable and complex. The beer is on the heavy side of medium, but the alcohol is not intrusive at all, a very enjoyable sipper. This is a truly spectacular Baltic Porter.
10-21-2009 23:06:42 | More by atsprings
4.4/5 rDev +3%
A- Pours a dark brown almost black with a beautiful sand brown 1 inch head that dissipates to nothing in decent time. Dark brown/amberish translucency at edges.
S- Can already smell some of the rich scent before even picking up glass to get the close proximity scents. Mild dark fruits, roast malts, molasses?, faint alcohol, and hints of chocolate and coffee.
T- Slight dark fruits can be seen up front. Rich flavors of delicious malts, notes of chocolate and coffee. A minor alcohol semi-finish that diminishes quickly into a nice roasted coffee and cream flavor. Finishes quite well.
M- Nice, rich, and creamy but somehow still "kinda" light for an Imp. porter. Medium to low heavy mouthfeel.
D- For such a big beer, it is really drinkable. Drank quite easily. This is a bit of a dangerous one.
All in all, another solid offering from Smutty's Big Beer Series.
10-16-2009 07:24:42 | More by Crack1Open
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
a: a beautiful deep black crude oil body; comlplete opacity; nice tan/light brown had with tight bubbles fades relatively quickly leaving a ring around the glass
s: rum; raisins; prunes; sweet chocolate syrup; light coffee;
t: dark chocolate; coffee; sweet plums and prunes; some abv comes through; but overall very good with nice sweetness and syrupy fruitiness and coffee tastes
m: light carb; very smooth body--the carb seems to have bery tiny bubbles which make for kind of a sharpness on the tongue that is littl strange for me but keeps things interesting
d: a great beer for the style and an overall great beer; i couldn't believe it when i found this at my local beer shop
10-16-2009 01:40:19 | More by hoegaardenhero
4.72/5 rDev +10.5%
Had been avoiding this brew, just because it seemed over hype: Oh, how wrong I was. This deep, dark brown brew has a solid cocoa-colored head, but the aroma quickly interrupts with a dark chocolatey smell, like a candy bar wrapper or half-full gourmet cocoa container. Dark roasted taste, very full and bold, not at all watery like some lesser brews in this style. Very creamy with a lot of dark caramel and a bit of coffee thrown in. This brew borders on Imperial Stout territory, but is brought back by the roasted goodness and a slight hop presence is a telling sign.
Wow, what a tremendous brew, probably the best Baltic porter I've had the pleasure of sampling. A real treat.
10-13-2009 11:00:53 | More by saintwarrick
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
22 oz bottle served in a pint glass
L)Nice coffee coloured head. Not very substantial but the lacing on the glass was significant nonetheless.
S)Dried berries, bitter chocolate, espresso.
T)Alcohol esters followed by sweet, sugary coffee and dried plum flavors.
M)Not syrupy, very smooth with slight carbonation.
D)The alcohol esters only linger for a moment and are followed by the other pleasurable flavours. Easy to drink but certainly not a session beer.
Overall) Before this I had never had a Baltic Porter. Needless to say I am very impressed with this example of the style and would love to try others.
10-12-2009 00:44:33 | More by BrendanDouglas
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
Wow! Thanks far333 for this gem.
Poured a deep, deep brown, sluggish with good carbonation, brown head. Nose is big roasted and choco malt with dried fruits. Taste is cocoa, roasted notes, raisins, figs, alcohol and oh so good! Mouthfeel is creamy, well balanced with a big taste. Drinkability, is well, probably one of the best Imp/Baltic Porters I have ever had.
10-11-2009 23:39:38 | More by barleywinefiend
4.45/5 rDev +4.2%
Thanks to Pamola for this one.
Pours a pitch black with a 2-finger khaki head. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, smoke and some raisins. The taste is bitter from burnt, smokey malts and hops with some slight dark chocolate, raisins, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is carbonated at first but goes down very smoothly.
This is a very drinkable porter that covers up the 8.7 percent ABV well. I wish I had ready access to it.
10-10-2009 04:10:10 | More by theghost3
4.25/5 rDev -0.5%
Appearance: Pours a nice dark brown with polished mahogany edges that sports a short-lived one finger light brown head. The head relaxes in short order, resting at a thin foam that left no more than a few token freckles of lacing on the inner walls of my snifter.
Aroma: Dark, rich and just a tad fruity with savory notions of dark chocolate and espresso coffee, mixed with a raisin and cherry notes.
Taste: is bittersweet-chocolatey with plenty of cooled black coffee and ripe and rich dark fruit up front, but finishes slightly dry and laden with roasted malty bitterness. A mildly vinous raisiny note and some cherry hints at the alcoholic nature of the beer.
Mouthfeel/Body: Medium-bodied with mild carbonation and highly drinkable for the style and ABV. Once the beer warmed a bit it was more towards full bodied and had a creamy/slightly heavy mouthfeel. Overall pretty smooth.One more good reason to "Make Mine a Smutty!" anytime.
Overall: Up there with all those richly complex darker craft beers. I highly recommend it to all who like imperial stouts, porters, baltic porters, and Belgian quads and strong dark ales.
Food Pairing: Grilled or smoked beef, chocolate and or coffee flavored rich desserts, lightly smokey, nutty and rich cheeses.
10-09-2009 05:54:41 | More by Bitzy
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
Smuttynose Baltic Porter
22 oz brown bottle
Bottle-conditioned in 2009
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass
Pours an opaque, jet black with a khaki colored head. Good looking beer for sure.
Pleasant aroma of espresso, dairy, sugars and spices.
An intense beer from the start. Super dark chocolate flavors with a Hershey's chocolate syrup sweetness. Cocoa with dark fruit flavors like prunes or raisins. Hints of cherry and strawberry fruitiness with the perfect mouthfeel and carbonation. Awesome hop bitterness and bite.
A plentiful and strong beer with such liquid goodness that the tastebuds are working overtime. Quite a dynamic and powerful brew.
Reminds me of some of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts like North Coast Old Rasputin, Rogue Imperial Stout or Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. This is one hell of beer. So rich, tasty, complex and drinkable its scary.
Make Mine a Smutty!!
10-09-2009 00:59:07 | More by Hibernator
4.33/5 rDev +1.4%
A - deep brown body, looks clear right up to the light at the edges. Big chunky head leaves sticky lacing on the side of the glass.
S - Very nice light chocolate and coffee.
T - Very nice taste, chocolate and coffee blend nicely and are complimented by an appropriate bitterness.
M/D - A bit silky but otherwise thin. Easy to drink and quite tasty.
10-06-2009 00:03:01 | More by magnj
3.88/5 rDev -9.1%
I started drinking a lot more porters after a particularly good experience with a Captain Lawrence porter recently. This is a good one, not my favorite mostly because of the strength. This will be better in the colder temperatures as we settle into winter. Color is a very dark brown with a good roasty aroma, good flavor with a bit too much alcohol. Drinkability is good.
10-04-2009 16:40:07 | More by david18
4.85/5 rDev +13.6%
Simple one finger head of mainly tiny foam, very dark brown in color, leaves a credible amount of lacing, however, the head does not seem that interested in sticking around. Little to say about the color except that it is pitch black with no evidence of any other hue. The nose possesses great penetrating power without any sign of showing off, carob, coffee bean, dark chocolate and butterscotch meld into black raisin, date, plum fruit, thick streak of black licorice, doesn't show much esters, if you can hold off from indulging in it you can find some orange citrus and pressed flowers, hops were indeed used in making this beer. Full-bodied, sturdy and broad-shouldered, has a dense muscularity rather than just be "big" per se. The carbonation is made up of larger, slow bursting bubbles which fit the feel, no fine fizz or extra effervescence. Toasted malt, roasted coffee, butterscotch and cocoa, adroitly maneuvers between sweetness and dryness. Raisin, date, fig, plum, cherry and even some apricot fruit there for the taking. Again, licorice and flowers seem to be next in line. Just the right amount of bitters and grains on the finish to reset the palate for the next sip. This is close to benchmark shit.
10-02-2009 00:58:12 | More by farrago
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
got one of these in a recent trade with jlindros, and Viggo shared a bottle with me a while back. thanks to both jared and eric!
22oz bottle. sampled sept 30/09.
pours deep dark brown, nearly black and mostly opaque. a small dense light brown head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace.
aroma is great. rich dark and milk chocolate. caramel and toffee. touch of baltic sourness. light alcohol. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light smoke. bit earthy.
taste is good. caramel. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. light alcohol. whole wheat bread and biscuit. light baltic sourness. touch of smoke. nice light earthy character.
mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level.
drinkability is great. nicely balanced, great depth. good stuff.
10-01-2009 02:05:33 | More by grub
United Kingdom (England)
4.33/5 rDev +1.4%
This one pint and six fluid ounce bottle was given to me by Bierman9 (David) in Munich and consummed in my hotel room for breakfast in Nurnberg the next day!
First of all an apology to David, it was drank out of a plastic beaker!
What a fantastic breakfast beer, who needs a coffee and brown toast after one of these?
As mentioned above the beer was poured (about five times) into my plastic toothbrush holder cup and each time it looked great. A dark, deep brown liquid with a dirty creamy head stared straight back at me each time I filled the cup.
My nose detected rich burnt coffee beans, dark chocolate and an Irish Peat Bog in the aroma, a fine mix at nine in the morning.
The taste did justice to the aroma I had been sniffing. Add a slighty smoked Austrian Cheese to the smell mixture. This, along with all the aforementioned robust flavours gave me a wonderful tasting Porter to start the day off with.
I owe David a big one!
09-30-2009 18:10:23 | More by BlackHaddock
4/5 rDev -6.3%
The 22-ounce bomber bottle pours a brew the color of oiled ebony trimmed with polished mahogany edges and sports a short-lived cap of khaki-colored foam. The head relaxes in short order, resting at a lazy ring that leaves no more than a few token freckles of lacing on the inner walls of my DT tulip.
The aroma is dark, rich and just a tad fruity with savory notions of dark chocolate covered espresso beans intersprinkled with a handful Raisinets. A tangy drizzle of molasses cut with dark rum emerges as the drink warms a bit.
The taste is bittersweet-chocolatey with plenty of cooled black coffee and ripe dark fruit up front, but finishes dusty dry and laden with roasty, near-charred malty bitterness. A mildly vinous raisiny note hints at the alcoholic nature of the brew, as does the touch of belly-warming Smutty's Baltic Porter ignites in the tummy.
The drink is medium-bodied with mild carbonation and highly drinkable for the style and ABV. One more good reason to "Make Mine a Smutty!" anytime.
09-29-2009 22:17:56 | More by cvstrickland
4/5 rDev -6.3%
22oz Bomber. Consumed 9/21/09
A) Dark with just touch of red hue. Brown, creamy and sticky head.
S) Coffee. Mellow smoky notes. A touch of alcohol below the surface.
T) Chocolate. Bready. Smoky. Alcohol. Just a slight bit of hops in the finish
M) Fizzy. Full bodied. A little chewy. Light alcohol effervescence.
D) A delicious porter. I'd definitely have another and pass along the good word to a friend.
09-29-2009 00:55:59 | More by u2carew
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
22oz bottle poured into my Smuttynose big beer tulip. Notched "bottle conditioned in 2009".
Pours a deep brown, damn near black. 1/2 finger head.
Aroma is of malt fruitiness, raisins, chocolate, distinct coffee-like elements, some caramel.
Taste: First sip is reveals rich, coffee- like roasted flavors, with a distinctly bready finish. Alcohol warmth makes an appearance and lingers for a while. Further drinking reveals some dark nutty flavors and chocolate elements. Not as sweet in the finish as the Long Trail Porter I drank the previous night.
Very syrupy and satisfyingly heavy on the tongue, smooth, creamy consistency coats the palate completely. moderate carbonation.
This is a deep, bold, and complex brew, a real sipper that took me a while to work my way through. Alcohol warmth is quite obvious on the finish but the alcohol itself is exceptionally well hidden within the beer's huge flavors. Darker, denser, and decidedly less sweet than last night's long trail imperial porter (which I also enjoyed greatly), this is a real treat.
09-26-2009 22:17:30 | More by MisterSH
3.8/5 rDev -11%
2009 bottle into some small snifters. Supplied by Oglmcdgl who is now on the grid, welcome to the system. I'll admit, I passed this up hundreds of times while beer shopping.
A- Smutty Baltic Porter kind of has a stout like look to it with a extremely dark brown, kind of black look. It kind of looks more black than brown. A deep dark brown head with bubbles within the foam, kind of cocco looking in appearence. Comes up to a 1/2 inch, fades, small lacing.
S- This is one robust porter, I get that much from the smell. Big globs of dark chocolate and coffee. The roast is heavy on this, I mean orca heavy. Of course alot of malts come out but there is also a big licorice smell coming through, not my favorite smell, but I can stand it.
T- Well the licorice really comes threough in taste big time, it's the main flavor I get before this warmed a bit. Nestley's chocolate with fresh roasted coffee are equal while the chocolate gives off a big sweetness/ The coffee, a big roastiness, perhaps a bit too much. On the back end some fruits come out with cherry making a stab. This is a bit to roasty at this young age.
M- This is big, rich and robust so the label does not lie. Above medium bodied with the amount of carb that is needed for a Baltic Porter of this size. I did not care for this str8 out of the fridge but after 45 minutes or so, the feel comes together.
D- Not the most drinkable porter out there. I think this could improve with some short term aging, perhaps 9 months to a year. The flavors are just not integrated very well at this young stage. The ABV while high is not so high that it scares me, id say it's at the perfect size. It took some time to get through my glass. Good stuff, nothing mindblowing, yet.
09-26-2009 16:48:31 | More by BARFLYB
4.18/5 rDev -2.1%
Had this the 09 on tap and a 08 bottle yesterday. I went with the dark brews yesterday
The brew throws a wonderful tan head that easily can be brought back to life at anytime. A nice film of lace stays with this brew the whole time. The body of the brew was black with the 08 showing a nice caramel colored highlight when held to the light.
The differences between the two years are quite interesting. The 08 was huge in the oak and bourbon flavors and smell. Where the 09 bottle had a lot more dark fruits and other spice aroma and flavors going on.
Mouthfeel on both was medium to full with great carbonation.
Drinkability was awesome I easily drank a couple glasses. Looking at the two years side by side, I will say I liked this years a little more than last.
09-26-2009 15:41:47 | More by joepais
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
The body is dark brown to black and almost completey opaque. The head is a shade that is somewhere between very dark tan and light brown; it is huge, billowing, and has some good retention. A few stranglers are left behind on my glass in the form of lacing that appears infrequently.
The first thing that jumps out in the aroma is dark fruits, raisins and figs that are just a little bit tart. After that I smell all kinds of things: baker's chocolate, coffee roasted malt, molasses and maybe just a tiny touch of alcohol.
Once again, tart dark fruits jump out at me in the form of raisins, figs and maybe even dates and a bit of black cherry. After the fruit comes a load of roasted malt with chocolate and molasses mixed in. The finish is all roasted malt that leads into a coffee taste. Only the slightest trace of alcohol warming is in here, and I only noticed it because I was looking. The interplay between the sweet and roasted malts and the slightly tart dark fruit flavors makes Smuttynose Baltic Porter very nice; none of the flavors really overpower each other.
The mouthfeel is full bodied, rather smooth and creamy too. Moderate to low carbonation.
Good drinkability. Good beer overall. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to try this one, but I'm glad that I did.
09-26-2009 02:24:57 | More by Hojaminbag
4.15/5 rDev -2.8%
A great effort from Smutty; this BP pours a saturated opaque espresso brown, leaving a rich dark bronzed brown head. Magnificent nose of semi-sweet chocolate, vanillin, oak and marshmallow; this brew is nicely balanced with viable acidity and is well balanced. Very well bittered and rounded in the mouth with sweet roasted malts, carob and tongue tingling acids. This is a great brew from a great brewer, perfect for relaxing quaffing or as a great accompaniment to some nice pub grub.
For Baltic lovers or the uninitiated, this brew belongs in your portfolio!
09-25-2009 23:33:17 | More by barknee
4.2/5 rDev -1.6%
At the Smutty fest for NYC craft beer week @ the Swift. On cask with Jagermiester soaked oak chips...crazy.
A- Pitch black except for the garnet edges...only when held up to the light. Otherwise cask usual flatness.
S- Smoky woodiness. Almost ashtray like smokiness....in a good way (?) some raisin notes and flat cola.
T- Cigarette smokey woodiness with a touch of anise and coffee. Even though I use "cigarette" it is tastey. There is a plastic-ish aftertaste...I will attribute that to the Jager. Definetly Etoh burn ( burns good though)
M- Cask smoothness, but seems even more silky smooth. No carb (cask right).
D- No way I could drink more than 2 (?) of these....but very tasty concoction here. I really enjoy the smokey booze here.
09-17-2009 02:50:59 | More by m1ked
Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,012 ratings.