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Smoked Baltic Porter - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

390 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 390
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 7
Gots: 23 | 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:
"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 added by: Mebuzzard on 08-07-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HardTarget
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%

Appearance: Black with thick brown edges that show a cloudiness. Head doesn't last long.

Smell: Nice roasted barley sweetness with a little smokiness. Some dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet balance, fairly thin flavor overall with some citric hops in the finish. The smoke level is pretty low, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Again, fairly thin, fairly low carbonation.

Overall: No problem finishing the bomber, but will reach for the Yeti over this every day. Not quite smokey enough for my tastes.

HardTarget, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of 2xHops
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

I find it interesting that in some regions of the world baltic porters are akin to dark lagers, so that makes it more interesting for me to review. It seems this style really straddles between dark lager and porter, so I'll have to judge as best as I can.

It had an appearance of porter but the carbonation behaves like dark lagers. It's oily black with light brown foaming head. The foam eventually dissipated fairly quickly.

The taste is predominately smoky and roasting. I can't really taste anything else, but I assumed this was the intention since it's clearly labeled as a smoked beer. As for the smokiness, it's up there, but it's not the strongest smoked beer I ever had. I'm glad, though, because I don't think I would be able to tolerate the beer had it been more smoky.

The mouthfeel's good. It doesn't feel overly thin that I'd expect from lagers and some porters. It does feel a bit more malty than usual. Overall, it's a decent beer, but I'd like to have more flavors being infused into this beer to balance out the smokiness.

2xHops, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of coldriver
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Nice tightly bubbled two finger head, with nice lacing. Bready smoked malt aroma. Taste was a bit bland overall - seemed to lack punch and the ashy smoke addition detracts rather than adds to the flavor. Smoke hurts the mouthfeel as well. The back of my throat is feeling the way it gets after spending an evening around a smokey campfire. I've had other smoked porters which seemed much better balanced. This was a pretty pricey bomber at $8.99 and I spent the dough thinking I was going to see Yeti quality from Great Divide. This fell short for me.

coldriver, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of aubuc1
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

22 oz bottle dated july 14, 2011 poured into a snifter.

Pours black with a thick, clingy khaki head.

Smell is smokey and roasty with lots of bread grain.

Taste is quick blast of slightly fruity, then bready, and finally smokey.

Mouthfeel is very creamy.

Overall it is a pretty good beer, but not great.

aubuc1, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Bomber poured into a pint glass; bottled on July 14, 2011, abv on the label is 7.5% compared to the 6.2% listed here. Clear, deep, brown body, with hints of red. Big three-finger mocha head that has great retention and leaves scattered rings of lacing.

Coffee, smoke, roasted malt, and light chocolate are the dominate notes in the aroma. A bit of earthy hops in the background.

Very good blend in the flavors. Smoky, roasted malt is followed by some sweet chocolate and toffee. Just a bit of nut flavor in the background.

Light to medium mouthfeel helps separate this from a stout. Not too bitter, not too sweet, this is a rock solid baltic porter.

FanofHefe, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

metter98, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of CHADMC3
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown to black body beneath a billowing head of mocha foam which really takes its time dissipating to leave a thin, yet sticky lacing behind.

As advertised, the smoked malt is quite prevalent in the aroma, as well as some sweeter underlying malts and dark chocolate.

The palate really resembles a nice rauchbier with all the smoked malt and similar to the aroma features dark chocolate flavors. The smokiness is like a candlewick, then some mid-palate sweetness, and again a smoky finish.

Medium in body with generous carbonation, this beer leaves your palate smoked.

A good beer, but not GD’s finest. A bit too heavy on the smoked aspects in my opinion to the point that I lose sight of the porter. More of a rauchbier/porter highbred with hints of chocolate than what I expected. I was thinking more of a traditional porter with focus on the charred malts.

CHADMC3, Aug 28, 2011
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

655ml bottle served in a Pint glass.Enjoyed on mar´11
Black night in color, dark amber copper to the ligth.Creamy foam.1cm thick layer quickly dissipated.Slightly smoked character,noticed coffee & toasted grain notes on nose.Enters malty in flavor,light body.Foam tastes smoky.Intense cofffee on the aftertaste.Looks like an Schwarz,foam as a Brown Porter,Lager alike body,Rauchbier aroma.Ligthness make it very drinkable.Finally mistery has been revealed.

GONZALOYANNA, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of bump8628
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

Well done with a light and well integrated smoke that plays well with the bold coffee and cocoa ntoes. Background bread pudding and toffee show support. Hops are mild and yeast clean thanks to the lager strain. The biggest drawback is the thinnish body.

bump8628, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

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.

billab914, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of GarrettB
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Great Divide’s large, hulking beers have been a constant companion on my beer drinking journey. The Yeti beers boxed me around the ears when I was a beer nebbish, and the Baltic Smoked Porter is my most recent reminder of the excellence in Great Divide’s big bottle beers. The Baltic Smoked Porter is a real treat - from the beginning it is a rich, well balanced and uniquely delicious beer sporting some strange but attractive flavors. It’s a predictably dark beer, midnight black in the glass, crowned with a thick pumpkin orange and tan top. From this curious cap vents a delicious aroma, thick with barbecue smoke, the unctuous aroma of ham, a bite of cumin and the sweet but vegetable sugary taste of Japanese pumpkin, or kabocha. This Baltic Smoked Porter practically plugs the nose with its aroma. A light but creamy beer unrolls onto the palate, soft but stong enough to deliver the flavors. A light to moderate smokiness forms the backbone of the porter’s flavor, accented with a touch of hops in the aftertaste, and a well balanced porter quality that, notably, is not beaten down by the smoke flavors. Smoked beers can often find themselves suffering from a surfeit of suffocating smoke and even a kind of palate smog, but the Baltic Smoked Porter doesn’t suffer any of that. It is an excellent beer for delivering the promise of porter flavors paired with a dimension of smokiness - an incredibly drinkable beer, and another notch in the successes Great Divide has accumulated in their bomber beers.

GarrettB, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable smoked salmon, coffee grounds, light licorice and a hint of vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though I don't pick up as much smoke on the palate. Mouthfeel was a bit thin I thought, though the beer has a fairly long finish, with the alcohol completely unnoticeable. All things considered, this is a pretty easy to enjoy and appreciate smoked porter.

Shrug. While not one of the better domestic porters I've had, I still thought this a pretty decent effort from Great Divide.

John_M, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of TenHornsProud
2.9/5  rDev -22%

Pours a pitch black with a small off-white head.

Smells of sweet malt and rubber, like vinyl of some sort (think blow-up mattress)...not appealing.

Sweet up front, a little bit of roast in the middle, and a bitter hop finish. Slightly creamy or nutty.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

The yeast character in this beer is strange. The aroma is off and the taste is not very interesting...there just isn't much going on with this beer. It is an OK, simple beer, slightly sweet with some roast and not much else.

TenHornsProud, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Bottled on July 14, 2011

Wow, this is a dark beer, nearly black with a creamy tan head that falls and dissipates to just a ring around the edges but leaving big gobs of oily lacing.

The aroma is light, of smooth chocolate malts with a nice smoky tinge to it.

The smokiness is noticed right away and also on the finish as an accent to the rather sweet dark malts which have a chocolate flavor with a hint of raisins. Earthy hops lend a touch of bitterness but this definitely is a malt forward beer that dries out just a touch on the finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and medium/light with carbonation that hits just the perfect balance.

In general smoked beers aren't my favorites but this example changes my mind. The smokiness is the perfect counterpoint to the lightly sweet non-bitter dark malts. A very clean tasting dark lager I could easily drink more of (and I think will be the perfect accompaniment to the whole wheat spinach mushroom pizzas I'm about to have!).

BlackBearForge, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%

This beer pours a light to medium in body dark, dark brown that turns to almost a black as it pools. It features a slight beige colored head that laces the glass. It initially smells of bacon but as it warms and the carbonation ceases it turns into more of a lunch meat esque ham. It eventually even picks up some light chocolate, in both sweet and bitter manners. It tastes of light, both sweet and bitter chocolate with a moderate amount of smoke and wood characteristics. It's pretty solid. It drinks somewhat light but is what should be expected for the style. Overall this is a pretty good smoked porter. I'm surprised it doesn't have better ratings. I'd recommend it.

aasher, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of stephens101
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%

Black at the middle and lightens up to a dark reddish brown at the edges. The foamy tan head breaks apart slowly and unselfishly leaves a lot of its sticky self behind. An initial whiff brings to the nose some molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa and a very distant wood pit charred smokiness. Sweet and dark chocolates mix with dark fruits, black licorice, cocoa, more molasses and a huge hit of smokiness that envelops it all. Creamy in the middle, and a thinner than expected body leads to a straight medium mouth-feel. Has a woody edge on the throat, plenty of candy stickiness to the lips, and the alcohol is well-concealed. Good showing from one of my favorite breweries, but could use a bit more body to substantiate the complexities of aroma and taste.

stephens101, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of JMad
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%

I drank this from a pint glass...

Pours almost black, there are red hues in the glass with a soapy, lofty tan colored head. It has a big campfire aroma consisting of mostly wood and smoke with just a hint of chocolate. The taste is very smooth and smoky with hints of coffee, wood and dark chocolate. This beer is medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation and a dry finish. I thought this was a great porter, one of the best I've had.

JMad, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -19.4%

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Dark bark brown. It looks like an Imperial Brown Ale. Decent pour yields an unspectacular 1.25 finger head lackluster lacing.

S: As expected: liquid smoke, with a pinch of herbal malt.

T: Starts with a goods amount of smoke, though within a few short seconds, it evolves into a rather charry and chocolatey brew on the mid. The finish is lacking, as none of the flavor really carries over, and you're left wondering what happened.

M: For the ABV it's ok. A bit thin for my personal taste, but if I'm grading to style it's not half bad.

O: Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter isn't a standout in any way. It's easily forgettable and not something I'd reach for again. Not a bad beer, it's simply jogging right down the middle of the mediocre highway.

Rhettroactive, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown almost black color with a 1 finger dingy off white head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a lot of lacing.

S A smokey nose almost like a campfire especially as it warms up. Doesn't seem to be much else.

T A very smokey flavor. Like the nose the smoke dominates everything else. However there are faint notes of chocolate and coffee coming through but they are crushed by the smoke.

M Smooth and creamy so pretty good I guess

Overall this is an ok beer. It's nothing special and the smoke kills anything else going on here. If was classed as something besides a Baltic porter I would rate it higher. If it was cheaper and I was in the mood I would drink it again however at the price its not worth it.

beerandcycling88, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of tjkinate
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%

My first review of a beer from Great Divede brewing co., probably should have tried something else! I'm being harsh, it was still a good beer.

A: Poured a deep dark brown that did allow some penetration when held directly up to a light. The pour produced a small, dull head, but did, however, display considerable lacing.

S: Soft scents of chocolate and coffee with subtle earthy malts. Overall the best part of the beer IMO.

T: Smokey, earthy malts with chocolate and coffee undertones as identified in the scent. Seemed a bit watered down.

M: Thin bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: This beer has its faults, but upon completion I still felt satisfied which is saying something.

tjkinate, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Krakistophales
4/5  rDev +7.5%

A: Pours jet black with a finger of white head that recedes into a halo

S: Lots of smoke up front. Some slight woody/oaky characteristics, a touch of roasted malt, a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a decent helping of grassy hops in the end.

T: At first, a great amount of coffee, dark roast, and cocoa, which switches into a bittersweet chocolate in the middle, and finishes with a smoky/woody/earthy flavor. Not bad at all.

O: This is a damn fine smoked porter. I never knew I'd warm up to smoked beers, but I seem to love them. This one is a bit muted in terms of the non-smoke aromas and flavors, but still a fine offering.

Krakistophales, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of mdcrouser
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours thick deep brown, with a full inch of head of tiny tan bubbles that is reduced to a thin ring around the edge.

Smells like a distant campfire - one that rides the winds from another county, much like the one we've experienced this week here in eastern Virginia. Not much else comes to the nose.

Smooth and malty, with smoke being the dominant characteristic here, settling the mouth into a fall-like state of mind. It retains a bit of sweetness and even some acidity as well, but only after the smoke is given time to fade. Interestingly, for as big as this beer sounds based on the name, it is relatively light, even a bit watery.

You know it's a porter, but just barely - it's so light and drinkable, it barely qualifies.

While I'm not sure it would go well with a campfire itself, it is reminiscent of being there. A decent substitute if you're not able to make it out to the grounds.

mdcrouser, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of falloutsnow
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%

Hard pour produces a voluminous head of densely packed, light brown bubbles. This is on top of the nearly black, or very dark brown body. Head collapses within a minute or two, and what lacing exists doesn't linger long on the sides of the glass.

Scent is primarily of smoke, as from campfire. Not much else here that I can detect.

In the taste, there is a dominance of smoke and background sourness. Behind the smokiness, there isn't much malt character or roasty coffee flavor. Some malt sweetness does exist, though. Aftertaste is of slightly bitter milk chocolate, or very milky mocha. Not as complex as I thought it was going to be. Fairly one-dimensional.

Medium-bodied with fairly light carbonation leaves this one hanging on the palate. Finish is dry. A bit thinner than I would have liked for a "big" porter style.

Overall, this ia good, drinkable, but not great or the pinnacle of this style. Somewhat lacking the complexity of a "classic" Baltic porter, such as Sinebrychoff.

falloutsnow, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%

A: Pours a dark bark color thick and dark in the middle with a half finger head that is tan in color which leaves a fine lacing on the brew.

S: Light roasted malts with a good deal of smokey-ness to the aroma. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: Very light coffee and chocolate notes, almost undetectable with an overall taste of smokiness. Light malts are present, but mild.

M: Smooth with not a while lot of bite to it, low on carbonation as well.

D: Definitely drinkable and tasty too, though aside from the smoked flavors, not a whole not going on.

Daktyls, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

MrVonzipper, Aug 06, 2011
Smoked Baltic Porter from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.