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Smoked Baltic Porter - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter

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BA SCORE
84
good

244 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 244
Hads: 398
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.43%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 244 | Hads: 398
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (289 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 6/28/11. 7.5% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random patches of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, roasted nuts, and some smoky aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted in-shell peanuts, and some campfire smoke flavors. A mild smoky and roasty bitterness quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation level but a slightly thin, watery mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good smoked take on the style but the mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking. (633 characters)

Photo of acurtis
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Great Divide and Rogue fall into similiar catagories for me. Both are seemingly well made and well intentioned but remarkably thin beers for beers that seem to always get good press.

Great Divide has a nice albeit simple effort here; a decent drinkable effort.Pours black with an attractive tan head.

Nose is a medium assertive simple sweet black chocolate.

Mouthfeel is thin but not unattractive as the balance is good and the flavors, while simple, are inviting.

Flavors are medium watered down black coffee/watered down semi-sweet black chocolate. Simple, lacks complexity but bright flavors and appealing for what they are. A good example of simple can work. However, not a lot of smokey character, if any.

Finish is a decent mildly bitter black coffee. (767 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery.

A: dark but quite a bit of light getting through for the color

S: smokey and peppery

T: smokey up front with a nice sweet chocolate finish. coffee notes intermixed.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I liked this one. Only my second baltic porter but a beer I would like to have again. (329 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dark beige head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface along with a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of smoke in the nose along with notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of molasses and roasted malts. The initial taste has some sweetness and flavors of smoke stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy for the style, especially since it has a relatively low alcohol content. (677 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours deep rich midnight color, letting zero light through. smells smokey, but not rauchbier smokey. rich and time honored in process. flavor is fantastic, bold but drinkable malty smoker early winter beer. i had been putting this one off for awhile, but fresh at the taproom it was exceptional. gazing at the big copper kettles from which it came added to the atmosphere that makes this beer a wonderful experience. slightly more alcohol presence as it warms. a bold and unique beer. these guys do justice to the craft here. yum!

edit: this does really well with some age, i just had a bottle maybe five years old, and it holds up incredibly well, meaty and refined, i really like its mature status. (701 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a two finger tan cap that leaves quite a few lace strands

Smell: Sweetened coffee and brown bread with a hint of smoke and dark fruit

Taste: Brown bread and dark fruit (fig and date), up front, with a smoke character that arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the smoke and dark fruits develop along with a coffee element that peaks through underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not as big and bold as I would have expected from Great Divide, the beer is eminently drinkable nevertheless (578 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you lik'em dry, roasty, and smoky; then this beer settles well with cold evenings and great friends.

Starting like most Porters do- with a dark brown color and near-clear hue. The beer builds a creamy, thick, tan head that endures the session nicely while contributing intermitten pockets of lace behind.

Aromas of roast and campfire abound as a dry caramel start turns to chocolate, nutty coffees, and an overall dry malty scent. Slightly twangy with acidy and soft esters remind me of char and blackberries. Slightly phenolic, presumably from the hearty smoke additions, give as much intrigue to the nose as concern.

This full flavored Porter delivers waves of taste that start with the slightly scorched caramel sweetness, then quickly develops into a smoky cloud of smoked meats, Columbian nutty coffees, bittersweet chocolate, and a woody hop continuation at mid palate. The roasty notes that finish the beer begin to remind me more of Stout than of Porter. Still, the pesky slightly-plastic taste carried over from the scent and provides the only real distraction.

Medium-full early on, but the heightened carbonation is quickly fleeting and leaves the beer dry and thin at mid palate and begins to reaveal the grainy astringency and powdery dryness that hampers the beer's finish and leaves a large portion of the flavor procession somewhat empty. Alcohol warmth and roasty-dryness aid in drinkability past the sense of acrid roast and thinness.

I would actually like to see this beer done with more traditional lagering practices and to develop the aged fruit and sherry notes that would smoothen the rougher edges of smoke and char. (1,649 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a two finger head of bubbly, light brown foam. It had nice retention and left soapy rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled smoky and woody. Not much of the typical Baltic Porter aromas of roasty malt.

T - Everything about the taste was mild - the smoke, chocolate and the roasted malt. Nothing really grabbed my palate as great.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is pretty easy drinking for a smoked beer. Again, nothing fabulous but it has good balance. (559 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at barleys for the last of my big night out. i had wanted to try this one forever and decided to just order up a pint when i saw it. served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/07/2010.

really nice pour with a nearly black color and a nice head of tan that came up and over the top to a height of nearly three inches before settling back down.

aroma was lighter then i would have thought but still quite nice with a thick chocolate layer, notes of peat an campfire smoke, a touch of light roasted malt. flavor was a touch thin though. not really the complexitiy i would expect. no dark fruits, no spiced notes, no rich chocolate. just a really nice, roasted malt with a touch of a coffee base, not bad just not what i was looking for.

overall it was decent, but a baltic porter is one of my favorite styles and it could have been done better. (881 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Passed across the bar top a dark brown, near black body with a finger-high head comprised of beige suds. A fleck of lace here or there on the way down.

Smell: GDSBP gives off a dark, malty aroma - you've got some chocolate, a little splash of store-brand cola, and a hint of basic coffee. Some sparse dark fruit traces of plums and prunes. Very lean when it comes to the smokiness.

Taste: Fairly robust dark maltiness yields fine tastes of lightly roasty coffee, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and a hint of vanilla-flavored cola. Moderate sweetness. Slight dark fruitiness. The smokiness is light and rather well-integrated, giving you no more than a subtle accent. Minor bitterness. Sweetish, roasty, near-crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation, leaving this one (at least on-tap) to feel a bit soda-like.

Drinkability: Man oh man, Great Divide is just churning out the new brews. Some might prefer something a skosh more bolder, bigger, but I'm digging the especially easy drinkability of this new offering. (1,050 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with half a finger of light tan foam that rests upon a dark brown/black body with clear, amber highlights showing through. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves little lace.

S - An aroma of beechwood smoke that is very reminiscent of the darker Schlenkerla beers. There is some brown sugar and molasses in the background and a little bit of bready malt.

T - Sweet caramel and light brown sugar up front with a little bit of molasses. Subtle smoke begins to come out in the middle with a distinct woody character that matches the caramel and molasses. The beer finishes with a sweet note of caramel and some rich, smoky toasted malt notes.

M - Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very enjoyable, this beer balanced its rich, sugary malt profile perfectly with the smoked malt character. The smoke is strong enough to leave no question that it is the major focus of the beer, but it never becomes overwhelming or excessively bacon like. This is a really nicely make and drinkable smoked porter. (1,049 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Popped this bottle open for Thanksgiving. It pours a barely translucent dark ruby-brown topped by nearly a finger of wan ecru foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, charcoal, molasses, brown sugar, and wood. The taste elevates the roast and molasses to the forefront, while a healthy cloud of smoke follows in its wake, creating a lovely dichotomous flavor. The body is a straight medium, with a light carbonation and a light syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice smoked porter, with the smoke playing a properly supporting role. (561 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light creamy and fuzzy head rises and fades at a medium pace over surprisingly clear but dark molasses brown with a little burnt sienna red color.

The nose has plenty of smoked malt, a little roast and coffee, a touch of black patent, some caramel, a light earthy hop, a touch of molasses.

Taste is pretty nice, a nice slight creamy taste alsmost nitro like, some smoked malt but less than the nose, very light roast, little chewy malt, touch of caramel, perhaps a little oatmeal, light earthy bitterness, but no minerality bitterness. A little coffee and creamy tastes. Finishes clean with touch of lingering roast and smoke, light bitterness, light creamy lingering taste.

The body is semi thick and creamy, good small bubbled carbonation.

A decent drinkability for how heavy the beer is, creamy and a little sticky, little lingering smoke but finishes pretty clean. (876 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much like a German Rauchbier, with a lager feel and light body.

Handsome chestnut color in the glass with reasonable head. Nice roasted malt flavors with a little caramel. Very light smoke, so it's a nice surprise when it filters through the flavors. Hops are straightforward but not strong, and mix with the slight bitterness of the smoked malt. Not hugely aromatic, and rather thin.

Quite drinkable with lots of taste yet not overwhelming. Clean flavors without the raw grains that come through in some dark roasty brews. While not a standout, it's another reason I that Great Divide is one of my favorite brewers. (620 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes tasted a fresher bottle Nov 4-11, this is much tastier, bumping up the all areas .5, except for MF, which got a 1.0 mark up

Was happy to score this at Goebbel's in Wichita. Bottled on Sept 9 2010

Pours ebony with a finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & chocolate, & slight smokeyness

T: Smokeyness, dryness & chocolate up front, plus a touch of plums. Smokeyness & a slight licorice profile are there as this warms, also some cocoa, plus a touch of hazelnut. finishes dry with hints of vanilla & toffee sweetness, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation , thins out a touch, as it seems most Baltic Porters do, as this warms

Drinks very easy, smokeyness is well done, would've liked to try a bottle back in September or October to see just smokey this mamajama was. No Alaskan Smoked Porter, but a respectable, tasty stab at the style (903 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a beer flute at Great Divide's taproom. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice cream lacing, fair thickness, and good retention (especially for the ABV). Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Roasted barley, cream, caramel, chocolate, and toffee. A mild strength aroma.

T: Light chocolate tones. Some caramel, light roast, and toffee. A bit imbalanced, with weight given to more notes than others. Well built all around. I like it. I can't identify all the notes, but it's good. Certainly it's complex.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the style. Complements the flavours generally.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the ABV. I might have it again. Well executed for the style, but not without its flaws. (731 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/04/10 notes. 22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a black color with two inches of dark tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of smokey, roasted malts, chocolate, ash, and toasted malts. Light vanilla as it warms up too.

t - Tastes of smoke, roasted malts, cocoa, bitter chocolate, and vanilla. More vanilla in the taste than the smell/

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent smoked porter. I enjoyed the vanilla in the taste and enjoyed the smell, but not sure how much of this I could drink; 4-5 oz. was plenty for me. Would try again but wouldn't tackle the bomber by myself. (660 characters)

Photo of mothman
2.25/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours 1 finger of beige head. Color is a deep brown.

Aroma: Smoke with meat flavors. Dried fruits, yeast, light banana flavors, and belgian candi sugar.

Taste: More smoke and more meat. Belgian yeast, figs, raisins, roasted malt, and a hint of sourness.

Mouthfeel: Smokey, smooth. Lighter boded with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with sour notes.

Overall, not my type of smoked baltic porter. Just didn't have a lot going on with it. Good smoke flavor, but that's about it. (514 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled September 2010; Sampled January 2011
A solid pour into my CCB snifter produces a two finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is an almost black, concentrated brown color that is quite opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells of umami laden beechwood smoked malt with perhaps a touch of roast / burnt acidity as well as a more subtle roast malt character that perhaps hints at chocolate. The smoked malt clearly dominates the aroma, if you like that (which I certainly do) then you will like this beer, but if not it is really dominant and it is hard to get any other malt complexity out of the nose (much less even a hint of hop character).

This is quite light bodied, but still achieves a richness due to the dense smoke character. The dark grain component contributes roasted cocoa notes, touches of espresso and a big smokey burnt whole grain. There is also something a bit like anise or even like a Concord grape fruitiness to this beer. This has a fair amount of sweetness to it, which accentuates the anise / Concord grape flavors, despite the light body. The smokiness in the flavor isn't quite so dominant as in the nose as lots of roast and other flavors are able to come through, though it is still the larges component of the flavor and provides a salt-like, umami laden richness to this beer that is satiating beyond its apparent body.

I really like the low alcohol on this, it can seem to lack a little bit in the richness department (which would help the bit smoke character), but the quaffability more than makes up for this. This is quite nice and I definitely wouldn't mind spending a long session with a couple 22oz bottles of this brew. Somehow, despite my liking the quaffability of this beer, the body can seem a bit thin at times, but I seriously think this might just be my palate at the moment (1,860 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured black in color with a creamy, frothy, khaki colored head barely covering the top of the beer.

The smoke is one of the first things in the aroma I notice. It's a very nice smoke flavor too, very smooth, not overwhelming but yet very flavorful. After the smoke I get a little dark chocolate mixing with some vanilla like sweetness. I thought it was a fantastic smoky aroma overall.

The taste starts out with more of a roasty, dark chocolate flavor. The smoke really shows more in the finish with more of the roasty, burnt, bitterness. I get a vanilla sweetness to it as well which really seems to help give it a smoothness. Again, the smoke is very smooth and flavorful.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was an excellent smoked beer. The smoke was very evident and flavorful but yet still subtle enough to integrate into the beer flavors. The dark chocolate and vanilla really complimented it nicely too. Very taste beer overall and one of the better smoked beers I've had in a good while. I'm very surprised this one doesn't have better reviews, as far as smoked lagers go I can think of very few that I've had that were better. (1,245 characters)

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Smoked Baltic Porter from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.