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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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1,040 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,040
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 207
Gots: 117 | 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:
Beer added by: GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008

35 IBU

2007 - 8.1%
2009 - 8.7
2010 - 9.02%
2013 - 9.8%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,040 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first Baltic Porter and if this beer is true to style, I can't tell much difference between this one and a good RIS. Pours a dense black with no light getting through with a big dark tan head and good ladder like lacing. Aroma is of malts and dark fruit.

Taste has a smoky element like most porters, but the rest of the experience is more like Expedition Stout or 10 Fidy. Rich taste - dark fruit, malts, coffee bitterness and bitter chocolate. This beer has it all. At 8.7 abv, you can drink the whole big bottle by yourself.

Mouthfeel is smooth and incredibly rich. Drinkability is very good. I could sip this beer all night.

Excellent. If I see another one out there, I would grab it.

Photo of RomanW70
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of toffee, chocolate, caramel, and roast. Taste of chocolate, toffee, and dark fruit. Has a bitter, but not overwhelming coffee finish. Velvety mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Another winner from Smuttynose. Excellent beer

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a nice beer off the pour, nearly opaque brown with a one and a half finger head. As I poured, I noted that it was clear, free of haze.

Aroma was of darker malts, some dark fruits (mostly raisins), and a hint of roasted character. Well in keeping with a Baltic porter, thought I.

The darker malts came through foremost in the taste as well. However, I did notice a bit of alcohol presence, and it was a trifle medicinal. Not a pleasant combination, but minor.

Mouthfeel was good, not as overtly chewy as a full stout should be, somewhat silky and nice.

Drinkability waas only OK. I may not have served it quite as cool as it should have been, but it was still at about 60 degrees F, which is my cellar temperature throughout the summer.

Photo of gford217
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber courtesy of wolfsblood poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with mahogany edges when held up to light. The mocha head is one inch thick and dense, lingers a while and leaves sporadic lacing throughout.

S: Big smell of roasted coffee and malts up front. Dark chocolate aroma as well with some dark fruits, but it's the sweet malts that steal the show.

T: Roasted coffee and sweet malts also dominate the taste with a sweet molasses and dark fruit flavor as well. I also got some very subtle smoky tones as well. Very well balanced.

M: This is one smooth beer with little carbonation and a nice palate coating mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the better baltic porters I have tasted and I would seek this one out. Highly recommended!

Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from nutbrown in a trade. Thanks Alan!

Cool looking label and I'm stoked to try another Baltic Porter. My experience to the style is very limited...

Itg pours a pitch black with a 2 finger head of tan foam. Good lacing and very good head retention.

Dark fruit dominates the nose for me but I also get notes of smoke and roasted malt.

The taste...Roasted malt is nicely done here followed by notes of coffee, caramel, and dark fruit. The flavours are really big but I'm surprised how smooth the overall drinking experience is. Mind you, the abv is right up there where it belongs for the style but I still find it quite drinkable as the alcohol shows itself as just some warming after the swallow. It's pretty close to being full bodies and the carbonation, I'd say, is about medium. The finish has a nice bitter coffee finish that lasts for quite a while. I like sipping on this one and it will probably take me a while to finish the bottle. Not a negative comment regarding its drinkability, more of a I don't want to see the end of the contents of the bottle. That's always a good thing. ;^) I think Smuttynose did one hell of a job here.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black body with a medium-sized, foamy, dark tan head.

Smell: Roasty aroma with full notes of blackstrap molasses and fire-charred aniseed. Lighter background hints of raisins and smoke.

Taste: Roasted, black malts that's all at once smokey and sweet. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, licorice, molasses, and cauterized cream crowd the palate and swarm the taste buds. Earthy, spicy bitterness remains light. Touch of fruitiness. More smoke and roast on the sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, very enjoyable brew from Smuttynose.

Photo of jim102864
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pitch black with no carbonation whatsoever and nothing more than a thin pond scum head. Nose was strong black licorice anise. Taste reflects the nose; anise like black licorice; a very fat f-ing brew in the nose. Ditto for the mouthfeel. 'Nuff said. This is not a very drinkable brew. I much prefer it on tap since the nose and body are fuller and smoother than what comes out in a bomber. It's a good but not great interpreation of the style.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beauty in the glass, with a mocha-brown head that looks more like a Russian Imperial Stout and body color blacker than the abyss. Not a whole lot of lace, but so what, this thing's blacks and tans are remarkable.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee, a little bit of berry, masked too much by a cold mineral hardness and ink/soy sauce. Hits a wall, but still smells nice enough that you expect something big in the flavor.

And you get it. Key here is letting it warm to just the right temperature, where its huge toffee/caramel notes come out and mingle evenly with coffee, malted milk, chocolate chip and succulent plum. At that point the mouthfeel is just about right too...has the smoother, less heavy vibe of a lager, the opposite of what would be laying you out flat about now were it a Russian Imp. stout. RIS again? Yeah, this Baltic Porter mirrors that other celebrated style in many ways. Just not as thick and gooey, but this is the most RIS-ish Baltic Porter I've had.

Big flavor and big alcohol, but it drinks incredibly well. Luxuriously smooth and a total pleasure. Try to give it time and warming. My first one was merely OK--this time it's hitting all the right spots, the way most other Smuttynose stuff does, and certainly right in line with the high quality of the other beers in the Big Beer series. Seek it out.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Crude black color with a chocolate milk colored head. Slight rings of lace, but a nicely settled film clings to the outside of the glass.

S-Deep dark pitted fruits and tobacco. Roasted edges are balanced with chocolate and a slight touch of oak.

T-Cold, this beer presents a heavy dose of roasted malts and a bittersweet chocolate finish. As it warms, the maltiness and lager yeast lead to smoother, fruitier taste. Hops shine a bit bright in the end.

M-Deep layers of flavors blanket the mouth. The hops come in a bit too strong, but I am sure this would cease wonderfully with age. Nice carbonation leads to a dry finish.

D-I am starting to love Baltic Porters and wish that more craft brewers were taking on the style. Baltics are a wonderful relaxation sipping beer and this one hits it spot on for the most part. Add in some brandy barrel aging and this one would be phenomenal.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Vidalia's. Pours black with a thick head. Head settles into a nice lacing. Smell and taste is all roasted malt. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the 8.5% is well hidden so this is very drinkable. This is a very good beer & recommended.


Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to NJpadreFan for this brew. He always sends great extras!

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint. '08

A: Pours pitch black with a good 1 1/2 finger dark khaki head that has decent retention. Some blanketing lace to start and wisps to follow.

S: Man I love the way BP's smell. This one is slightly on the subtle side but spot on. Big juicy dark fruits, grapes and raisins. I pleasant mocha aroma that's not big and bold. Sweet caramel and light molasses malts.

T/M: The coffee side of the mocha is much more pronounced in the taste.. and I've had this bottle for at least 2 months. Big bold porter flavors in that great 'light stout' kinda feel. More of the dark fruits, that are slightly under sweetened. Sweetness comes more from the molasses and syrupy cola. Body nearly full but not heavy.. very important to me. Carbonation gives just enough to make it smooth and creamy.

D: Very tasty, easy drinking... quickly becoming one of my favorite styles. This is a pretty good take on it.

Photo of Derek
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with chestnut highlights, tan head, some retention, nice lace/leg.

S: Big malty aroma (dark chocolate, black strap molasses, dark bread, dark fruit, coffee), plenty of alcohol & a light spicing with a hint of smokiness.

T: Dark, bittersweet chocolate; sherry/port; dark rye bread; light smoky & woody spicing; black strap molasses; nuts; hint of licorice; good bitterness; warming alcohol becomes somewhat assertive as it warms to room temperature. I absolutely love the flavour, but it's lacking that slightly sour acidity of the style. The alcohol would probably mellow with a little age.

M: Awesome, thick body is creamy; some acidity; alcohol leaves a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable for its weight.

One hell of a brew!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with a dark tan head that slowly fades into a small cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, dark fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with raisins, vanilla, roasted nuts, cocoa, and mild smoke.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, sweet up front, with bitter cocoa, ripe fruit, and toasted nuts lingering.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to calsbeek for this bottle. Bottled in 2008.

a - pours nearly black with one-inch brown head, retention around the edges, decent lacing

s - deep roasted malt and iced coffee on the nose, hints of dark bitter chocolate and dark fruit, light booze notes

t - much like the aroma, intense roasted malt up front, midpalate has some dark chocolate covered fruits, maybe blueberries, finish is fairly bitter with iced coffee and bitter chocolate, alcohol is noticeable on the breath, but not overwhelming

m - ample carbonation, medium-to-full bodied, pretty dry on the finish, alcohol warming

d - the finish is dry but it doesn't really destroy the palate, I'll call it moderately drinkable, you can definitely tell the alcohol is there, though I had no problem finishing this bomber

Very good baltic porter...one of the better ones I've had. A fine offering from Smuttynose...well worth seeking out.

Photo of yourunclewalt
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger, thick coffee head that's more a shower than grower, dissipates after 30 seconds leaving no lacing but islands of carbonation on its watery, tar black body. Wisps of carbonation on bottom and near top, ala Pepsi. Would have liked some lacing, or a steadier head, it was impressive before it ran off.

S - Dark chocolate malts, followed by the head's coffee aroma, with the faintest sting of bitter hops in the end.

T - No surprises here; which is a good thing. Loads of intermingling chocolate and coffee flavors, I think even a bit of toffee or butterscotch somewhere in the middle, riding high and out on bitter, floral hops. The hops mask the somewhat noticeable alcohol presence nicely.

M - Thick, creamy body buttressed by alcohol tang and carbonation, like a Crunch bar.

D - Warming my stomach as I write this, and I've only had a few sips. Definitely a bottle to work on in a recliner over a rental, or, as if you're like me, Saturday Night Live.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Um, weird picture. Pours a rich black with red hues throughout and decent clarity. A frothy, off beige color head that has great retention and lacing lasting through the whole tasting.

The nose has a mostly malty backing with some lighter astringent notes. Mostly dark chocolate and coffee aromas, but some lighter roast. Some bread and lactic notes as well, but soft. Nice esters that come out as it warms. Plums and raisins mostly. Some solvent notes but nothing over the top.

The taste is similar. More of a latte flavor with dark chocolate and coffee notes mostly. A rich and robust flavor but still smooth. Some astringency, maybe a bit much for style, but that is nit picking. Some wood almost oaky flavors come out as well. Phenols come out stronger with raisins and prunes again. A bigger alcohol flavor comes out more as well.

The body is big with a robust texture. Light carbonation feel. Overall an enjoyable beer that should age very nicely.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz., bottle conditioned in 2008 and brewed with lager yeast. The beer pours quite black, topped with a three finger chocolatey brown head of medium froth that reduces to a small cap and leaves a few wisps of lace. It sits in the glass with a regal air, giving the impression of an imperial stout. In the nose there is a lager cleanliness, with lots of dark malts, a dash of leafy hops and some late anise. On the palate, there's a big blast of chocolate, roasted and black malts that lend an espresso astringency, along with some leafy/floral and oily hops that impart a mild bitterness. Eventually dark chocolate-covered raisins emerge, riding the warming (never hot) alcohol all the way down. On the palate it almost feels too thick to be a lager, silky smooth, with fine carbonation - again, reminiscent of an imperial stout. A great lager, and one of the meatiest I have ever come across; it starts very malty, but the hops gradually emerge. The flavor is so close to a five, but it falls just a tad near the end. Regardless, one sip just begs for another and this is definitely a beer to seek out.

Photo of 3leggeddub
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, near black with chestnut tones. Inch-and-a-half tan head that drops to a thin covering. Not much lacing.

Smell: Dark dried fruit, raisins, and coffee. Roasted malt. Molasses.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side, but still smooth. Covers the palate nicely. Balanced and rich body.

Taste: There's malt and dried fruit (prune & raisin especially) sweetness up front, but it's tempered with a roast coffee bitterness at the edges and a bit of alcohol spice. It winds up with a pleasantly dry finish that helps keep all the sweetness from getting ahead of anything else.

Drinkability: Potent, but highly enjoyable. Probably the best porter I've had.

Overall: The Baltic Porter is a great offering from Smuttynose. Rich and complex, but amazingly drinkable. Dangerously so at 8.7% ABV. The downside is this was a limited release so if you weren't able to score any of the bombers out there on the market you are out of luck. Unless maybe you can find a willing BA trader. If you are lucky enough to stumble across it in a store or if you are even luckier and find it on tap this is a must have.

Photo of Iceman77
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This baltic porter pours thick and syrupy, deep black with a thin, medium brown head, the color of coffee with 1 cream. The first aroma I got was malty along with hints of molasses/raisins. The flavor is heavy on the malts, in a good way. There were also tastes of coffee and cocoa mixed in. You taste this and know it's a baltic. The mouthfeel was suprisingly sharp for a porter at first, but mellowed a bit throughout the glass. Although it was a nice feeling, that along with the abv kind of rule this out for a session beer, but delicious to have one or two. Great offering from the Smutty big beer series.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, served in a standard pint glass.

L - black beer with a fluffy dark tan head of foam that overflowed the glass on my heavy handed pour. The head settled to a foamy layer that left some spots of lacing on the glass.

S - roasted coffee aroma.

T - full of flavor, roasted coffee beans with a great deal of bitterness on the finish.

F - silky smooth, creamy feel.

D - this is a terrific Baltic Porter very much worth drinking.

Final Note: last time I was at the beer store (3 days ago), there were 23 more of these left on the shelf, I bought the first one and I'm going back for more!

Photo of lackenhauser
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark black in color with a nice sized cocoa head on top. Moderate amount of aroma. Black currants and mellow chocolate tinge. Has a somewhat, faint inky smell to it. Heavy dark chocolate flavor. Great taste of anise and roasted malt. Not overly harsh or astringent. Ever so slight espresso and quite grainy. Good mouthfeel. A decent Baltic Porter. A style that more brewers need to try. Well worth trying for sure.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am writing this before I even go for the beer. I am heading into this bottle with more than a skeptical mind. I feel like this style of beer is grossly under-appreciated as I have had the chance to sample many different versions from a wide variety of brewers. Zywiec (one of my favorites), Perkuno's Hammer, Baltic Thunder, Baltika, Duck-Rabbit, Okocim, Sinebrychoff, and many more. That is what Smuttynose is going up against here in my mind. You better put some serious wind up my skirt.

Pours like midnight with a pretty decent tan head. A real nice nose. Nice malty and coffee nose. Flavor has some definite roasted qualities to it. Flavor is definitely bringing it. Firm robust qualities. Thick malts. That dark and robust bean character thing. Listen people. This is a porter. Call it a Baltic Porter or whatever you want, but this is a porter. Thick and full of lively character, this is a style that deserves some serious recognition. Feel is smooth on the liquid and it has a nice carbonation to it. Overall verdict? Okay...this is working it. I came into this one with Smuttynose in my gun sights (not that I don't love you guys...I am just not putting up with any crap regarding this style). This is definitely a high quality beer. How does it compare to the baltic porters from the region? A bit different, as the American productions seem to be. There is that funky blue cheese thing going on, but it works. Overall this is a very well crafted beer. Have the chance to try it? You should.

In addition: Having a bottle almost one year later from the vintage and it's just beautiful. Amazing beer. More spot on interpretation after it gains some age. Highly suggested.

Photo of mbrandon2w
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black, mocha head.
Smells of coffee, plums, dark chocolate and some alcohol.
Taste is of dark, bitter chocolate, with coffee, some fruit, and a nice warming alcohol finish.
Nice mouthfeel. Smooth, almost creamy.
I wish I had bought more of this.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz'er $9.00

Pours a midnight ink buh-lack with a thin settled foamy khaki collar leaving no lace in a tulip.

Nose is a full bodied liquorice and cocoa, baker's choco. Some boozy notes and toasted malt.

First swigs: Thick chewy oatmeal and liquorice. Bready all the way. Lots of depth. Espresso and earthy.

Full bodied and rich.

Last swigs: Full porter flavor that edges onto the stout style a bit with a burnt charcoal note. Rare style. Nice but $9 a bomber is steep.

Beer is good. Happy imperial beering.

Photo of flexabull
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of warriorsoul, thanks again!

This is a mean looking beer. Deep dark flat black color, with an initially rocky brown head, that settles into a big fluffy off white stack of bubbles.

Aromas are fairly potent. Mineral like, nutty, oaky, spicy, and with a hint of smoke.

Flavors are very good, full, but not overpowering. A general light bitter dark chocolate malt flavor, as well as some spicy bread, dough, and coffee like notes sprinkled in. There is a general creamy smooth sweetness that lingers throughout the sip. Finish is crisp, with a mineral bitter and subtle bite. No real detection of alcohol. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is good. A touch prickly at first sip, but then settles into a nice thick, smooth, and full feel. Pretty impressive fullness for a lager.

Drinkability is good. I have yet to have been let down by any of the Smutty offerings. And this one doesn't let me down either. Probably second only to Duck-Rabbit when it comes to Baltic Porters that I have sampled.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.