Smoked Baltic Porter - Great Divide Brewing Company

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Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter

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397 Ratings
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Ratings: 397
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.87%
Wants: 7
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 08-07-2010

"this dark lager gets its special twist from a hefty addition of Bamberg smoked malt."

Note that Baltic Porters are often fermented with lager yeast.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 | Reviews: 244
Reviews by BruChef:
Photo of BruChef
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as i opened the bottle and took a whiff i knew that this brew was gonna be good. I poured this very dark brown lager into a SA's Boston lager glass and managed, with some added effort, to ruffle up a half an inch of off white/tan head which I immediately had to stick my nose in. What a fantastic aroma. Bacon like Smoke on the fore front, just the right amount, followed by dark cocoa and some light coffee and toasted malt. I just hope its only as smokey as it smells.

...And it is. The smokiness in this beer reminds me of the rauchbiers of Bamberg, just the absolute perfect amount of smoke, not just smokey for the sake of being a smoked beer. Other than the smoked aspect of this beer it was quite sweet, borderline cloying but balanced with the smoke enough to give it that pleasurable savory and sweet element that is enjoyable in things like bbq or chocolate covered pretzels. Some semi sweet chocolate and light roast coffee weave its way between the initial smoke and sweetness in the finish. Not too much in the hop department here, just enough to hold its own against the malt.

I thought i initially poured this beer a little cooler than i should have because it drank so smoothly with its medium carbonation but then i would remind myself that this is a lager and it should be nice and clean tasting. Regardless i couldn't help but think that this beer was just a little on the thin side although it did seem to coat better as it warmed up.

Would i drink this again? Sure, it was definitely one of the more enjoyable smoked beers i've had. Overall a tasty brew.

Note: BA has this beer listed at 6.20% abv however my bottle i believe said 7.5% abv. Maybe i had a newer batch than was previously submitted.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on August 6th 2010.Nice to see this brand new offering from GDB here in Greensboro so quickly.Poured into my Red Oak pint glass a deep chocolate brown with a one finger tan colored head that lasted quite long leaving a smattering of lace as it settled pretty slowly.Aromas are lighter on the smoke with much more molasses,chocolate, and roast.Flavors of sweet molasses,bitter chocolate,and dark roast coffee hit well from the onset,the smoke comes thru in a lingering finish.A little on the light side but its quite drinkable,subtle smoke,maybe not enough for me but its quite good.

Photo of RoyalT
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is straight brown in color with a nice, brownish-white head.

Smell - The malts are light but rightly roasted. The sugars are OK but lack identity.

Taste - The malts lose most of their roasted character at the tongue. They are dark but don't have that fresh-roasted flavor. The sugars again are hard to pin down. They are sweet like table sugar but otherwise somewhat boring.

Mouthfeel - This is a thin medium-bodied with little bitterness.

Drinkability - This was mediocre at best and not at all what I've come to expect from this fantastic brewery.

Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a smallish light tan head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts and roast with a lot of smoke. As it sits, it gets a bit subdued.

The flavor is sweet slightly lactic roasted chocolate malts with some smoke that blends with some bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty watery.

Overall, a decent smoked porter.

Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber bottled August 6, 2010. Pours dark brown and almost opaque. Medium tan head retains well and leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is subdued. Roasted coffee, a hint of dark chocolate, and faint wood smoke and spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but seems to thin out. Moderate carbonation.

Taste has a prominent smokiness from the Bamberg malts. Dark roasty malt notes of coffee and bittersweet chocolate meld with an understated spicy noble hop profile. Some dark fruits underneath.

A fine drinking porter but I don't really find it to be an excellent Baltic porter.

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my dad for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of chocolate, along with some smoke and roasted malt. Somewhat surprisingly, the chocolate is the dominant aroma.

The flavor is definitely smoky. I get a lot of meaty smoke and ash, along with some chocolate and roasted malt. The smoke character is similar to a traditional Schlenkerla Rauchbier, but it is not quite as intense. I would say the beer is about medium on the smoke scale.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant black with a thin wisp of a cream to tan head.
S: some smoky roast coffee, chocolate
T: Light smoke, big chocolate flavors and a moderate espresso-like bitterness. Flavors are not burnt or harsh.
F: Silky medium to full body, medium low carbonation, carbonation is fine and soft.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge 650ml bottle with a BB of June 2012, so it's a little out of date. Hopefully such a big beer will age OK. Bought from Trembling Madness in York. I'm interested to discover what a US brewery will do with Bamburg malt....

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Pitch black, though revealed to be a deep ruby hue when held to the light. Produces a huge head of light tan foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of sweet, smokey malt with notes of molasses, roasted grain, dried fruit, wood and a whiff of booze. Hints of smoked meat - yum.

Tastes of dark roasted malt with a smoky character. Notes of smoked malt, molasses, dried fruit, cured meat, faint burnt grain, subtle coffee and hints of yeast. Quite dry, with a mild bitterness upon swallowing and a hint of booze in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, yet a tad thin for the style. Mildly astringent, with an aftertaste of slighly sweet smoked malt.

Tasty, and certainly smoky. Quite sweet, with dark malt notes and a smoky character. Similar to a Schlenkerla brew, but less intense. As a lager it's similar to dark lagers from the Baltic region, though I don't reckon any of those involved Bamburg malt. A solid effort; the only weakness is the slightly subpar mouthfeel. Worth trying if you come across it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark cola brown with a light beige head, fine speckled lacing forms. Aroma has a nice stong smoked malt character, hints of smoked meats and charred wood. Dark chocolate and roasted malts play nicely with a bit of dark fruit. Mellow dark chocolate malts and roasted hnt of coffee and ripened fruits noted. Smokey ballsy balanced smokiness. It works well, I will try to get some more of this stuff. Mouthfeel is easy going with the carbonatin and medium bodied, the smoke clears quite nicely from the palate. Drinkability wise this is a stand up version of two great styles kind of a hybrid Rauchbier/Baltic Porter. Definitely a nice brew, many rauchbier enthusiasts are going to want more smoke.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with large amounts of earthy and slightly peaty smoked malts. Also present are hints of unsweetened chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the smoked malt flavors hold less sway than they do in the nose. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of smoked malts. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens a bit with the addition of semi-sweet chocolate flavors that carry through to a solidly bitter ending. As the beer warms hints of earthy hop flavors work their way into things in the middle of the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this was a well done smoked porter and one of which I could drink a lot. Well worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter) bottled on Aug 8th 2010
A- This beer pours a black dense body with a deep brown glow at the base of the glass. There is a yellowish stained cream colored head that is bubbly and fades to a thick ring. There are a few tiny bubbles stuck to the base of the glass but it is a bit too dense to see any carbonation.
S- The soft roasted black malt has a slight char quality to it with some dark melanodin nougat notes and a coffee roasted black malt that really grows as the beer opens up.
T- The roasted black malt flavor has a soft char note to it with some dried fruit flavors underneath. There is a smoky flavor in the background that turns more of a salty tartness in the finish. As the beer warms there is more of a water flavor in the middle and the smoke gets softer.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a thin texture and a tight little fizz in the finish.
D- This beer is a bit thin and the coffee malt really is the strongest flavor/aroma. The smoke is very light which is to bad because it is a nice hardwood, non-peat smoke that is very tasty. I don't think this beer has enough depth to age and there isn't any alcohol heat or big flavors that would settle with depth.

Photo of acurtis
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Divide Baltic Porter
Had on tap at Memphis taproom in Shaker. Very dark brown, almost black with small tan head. Nice mild roasted smoke aroma. Crisp, light to medium body with lots of carbonation but somehow manages to retain some smoothness. Taste is very nice with some malt, coffee, fruit, oat with a smokey finish. Not overpowering, refreshing. My companion had three of these in a short amount of time so I'd say it is quite drinkable. I looked at the tap list the next morning and noticed the keg had kicked.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola color but black in the glass with a solid one finger bubbly khaki colored head with medium retention and very little lacing.

The nose has surprisingly mild smokiness and a good deep semi sweet dark roasted malt.

Flavor also has a fairly mild but good smokiness til the beer starts to warm a little bit. Then there is a great balance of smoke to dark sweet roasted malt. Faint notes of coffee, vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied which makes a high drinkability even for those who tend not to like dark beers in the summertime. Good carbonation and a nice smooth and clean finish.

Overall I think this is a great beer. Good flavor and balance. Smoke isn't overwhelming like some smoked porters can be. I do think the price point is a little high for this beer. I recommend a try. But I don't see myself getting another one due to it being about $1-2 overpriced for what it is.

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 7/26/2011

Served cold into an imperial pint glass.

Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter is a very dark brown color with thick creamy head. It settles slowly and leaves very nice lacing behind.

Aroma is basically that of a strong porter with roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. The smoke, so far, is not very noticible.

In the flavor, smoke comes through much stronger. It has a very nice base porter body but the smoked malts don't improve it for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. It's well balanced but the smoke is a little overpowering.

Overall a good version of this style but I would prefer the smoke to not be as strong.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Competent smoked porter. Smoke and roast aromas, nothing a coffee drinker would not experience. Black as night, with foamy off-white head. Mouthfeel is slick oily, average oevrall, actually expecting something thicker. Roast is balanced, nothing too complex here. Very decent drinkability.

Photo of augustgarage
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on September 9th, 2010. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Dark auburn liquid lets no light through, though it appears clue just beneath the surface. Soft tan head dissipates to a soda-like ring and a vague amorphous shape on the surface.

Nutty aromatics, with a whiff of (birch?) smoke and anise.

Fairly astringent palate entry, with the smoke at the front. Subtle notes of chocolate, burnt toast, and burdock root emerge and fade to a genearl earthen quality in the finish.

Rather light bodied, suggesting a dark lager more than a robust porter.

Lacks real depth of flavor, especially compared to the better examples of the style...decent but rather disappointing compared to the rich offerings I've otherwise sampled from Great Divide.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, Bruery tulip, bottled on 9/9/10, and thank you drabmuh.

It's a very dark beer with an apathetic, if not pathetic head. The color is average, bubbles are big, and run to the sides of the glass, deserting their task of covering the beer.

Chocolate, check. Roast, check. So, it's fairly obvious a Porter is sitting in front of me and it's only differentiated from the run of the mill by hints of dusty, spicy campfire.

Sweetness is surprising. The roast is diminished, the smoke is about the same, and there is now a soulful medium dark caramel with some salinity. A little acidic and meaty.

Quite thin, weak carbonation. The mouthfeel rather sums this beer up; it can't decide whether it wants to actually be a Baltic Porter or if it actually wants to act like it's smokey.

It goes down easily because it's thin and has no strong flavors. Great Divide has a miss here, only made worse by the fact that they call it smoked. St. Bridget's was a much better beer. Why not bring that recipe back or just add smoked malt to that recipe and bring it back?

Photo of zaphodchak
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thinnish offwhite head. Deep brown body with some dark brown highlights.

Magnificent smoky, rich nose.

Body is rich, slightly tangy, with a drying, dry cocoa kinda finish. Faintly bitter on the finish. Pretty nice.

Slightly coarse, nice body.

Good Baltic porter, with a bit of smoke.

4.49/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, into a pint glass: from notes.
A: The brew holds a good layer of head, that is light tan. The body is a deep brown in color and show slow, few carbonation streams. The lace holds very nicely on the glass.
S: The nose expresses a nice front of smoked malts and a hint of a roasted character. Classic aroma, that is a great intensity and does not over power itself.
T/M: The mellow and creamy mouthfeel brings a chewy body. This is truly a great mouthfeel that is full of flavor and still goes down without a full effect. The lingering tastes are seconded by expressions that are given by the nose. The body does not hold as much smoke as the nose suggest, it comes back into play in the lingering taste. Very complex in the subtle flavors.
D: This is a great go to smoked brew. The smoke is not over powering, indicating a BBQ, but hold nicely during the aroma and off tastes.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Halloween....prepping for a cold night of trick or treating with the kids, so I am starting with the Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter. It poured a deep rich dark opaque. The ecru head was nices and laced. The smell included smoke and earth/peat. The taste had mostly earth and peat with only subtle hints of smoke. The mouthfeel was good...decent carbonation and balance between flavor and ABV content. The body was medium so it makes for a great session beer. Overall it was quite a good beer and certainly congratulate GD on it.

Photo of cjgator3
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black color with a beautiful light tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate and a faint hint of smokiness in the background.

T- The taste is dark and roasty with some bitter unsweetened chocolate flavors and a touch of smokiness in there as well.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Great Divide Smoked Porter is a solid brew that is worth trying.

Photo of RickS95
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

High marks in my book as I prefer the dark stuff. Extremely dark pour. Very black with a tan head. The head is a finger and a half thick, creamy early on, with a slight lack of retention. Eventually you're left with a dark liguid and a creamy dark top.

Very malty nose. Caramel malts. Smoke is prevalent but not overpowering. Faint licorice notes. Slight vanilla hit. Semi-sweet chocolate.

It's got a nice flavor as again, the smoke is prevalent, but not overpowering, allowing the other ingredients a place at the table. Caramel and chocolate. Licorice or anise. English toffee?

Very smooth and creamy. Medium-bodied...could use more body but nothing wrong with the way it is. On the sweet side, but not too much so. Smoke is there. Bitter finish to clean things up.

Overall, a really nice rendition of something that usually doesn't work for me. I think the smoke and the sweetness helped make this enjoyable for me. I accidentally bought a second bottle of this and now I'm glad I did.

Photo of McNealc31
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoked, deeply toasted malt, bittersweet chocolate.

Smooth and creamy, and since it’s a lager, the mouthfeel is lighter than you might expect. The hops don’t get in the way at all, leading to a slightly dry bitter chocolate finish.The smoke is there, but it’s not overpowering. In fact, I wonder how much it would be noticed if I didn’t know the name of the beer.

Overall, pretty nice!

Photo of prototypic
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smoked Baltic Porter pours a dark, mahogany brown color. It's nearly opaque, but a few crimson highlights are noted with backlighting. A soft, light tan head caps it and stands about a finger and a half tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly, leaving light lace in its wake.

The nose is lacking in strength, and isn't good overall. A mix of chocolate and roasted malts are noted initially. The chocolate variety smells bittersweet and a little cocoa-esque. There's a bit of a smoked or charred scent, but it's fairly light. Nothing overwhelming at all. Alcohol doesn't come through. That's about it, honestly. Rather average.

The flavor is a little better, but it's not enough to warrant a score bump. Roasted and chocolate malts are the base. Bittersweet, dark chocolate is noted early on, but takes a back seat to the roasted variety quickly. The flavor quickly becomes very smoky, charred, and almost ash-like. It's a little too much in my book. I'd prefer the smoky flavor to complement rather than dominate. Not the case here. It becomes acidic late. No surprise given the style. I don't have much of a problem with that. Alcohol is buried. Finishes acidic and smoky.

Smoked Baltic Porter has a very light body. Too light. Feels thin and water. Carbonation is active, but doesn't feel overdone. Nonetheless, it needs more body in a bad, bad way. Drinkability is very average. The flavor is alright, but isn't great. The strong smoky, ash-like flavor grows tiresome. A bomber? I'd say that equals a chore.

Great Divide has really ventured out and tried some new things over past year or two. I like the trailblazing spirit, but the results have been mixed. Smoked Baltic Porter is not one of Great Divide's finer moments. It's a little too smoky and ashy, the nose is weak, and the body's too light. It needs work all the way around. It might be worth a try, but that's about it. I wouldn't suggest picking up multiple bombers.

Photo of Heatwave33
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle to a a Bass pint glass.

Color: Very dark with a slight red shining through.

Smell: A smoky hop aroma with malt.

Taste: Smoky malt flavor with a some great hop tone.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry.

Overall: Has a great body with good malt tones. The smoke flavor is just enough to balance this brew out. A great beer to have with cheeses. Cheers!

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Smoked Baltic Porter from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.