Smoked Baltic Porter - Great Divide Brewing Company

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Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter

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244 Reviews
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Reviews: 244
Hads: 398
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
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 LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours an dark red brown, small brown head with very light lacing. Smoke and prune juice aroma. Light smoke, light flavored dark malts and dark fruit. Finishes a bit dry. Subdued flavors. Tastes more like a lightly smoked English export stout to me. Adequate, no off-notes, but not a top tier smoked porter.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed on June 28, 2011. Purchased and enjoyed in July, 2012.

This pours a rich, pitch black. Cola black. Coffee black. Dark, dark, dark. Much darker than a porter needs to be, in fact, and this alone makes me excited about drinking it. I got a tight cap of foam that died down and formed a nice ring around my glass, and when I breathed in I caught this wonderful woodsy smoked boquet that reminded me of campfire soot and summer bbqs.

The flavor is definitely smoke forward. It’s smokey but mellow. While it lets you know that its definitely a smoked porter its not assertive and there’s a light malt which mellows it out further. No discernible booziness. If there was a rough edge to this time has softened it and brought things together. Great effervescence and a smooth finish.

This was absolutely wonderful. A real treat. I hope to find this one again.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Motor-oil-black pour. A medium large very thick and creamy, whipped-cream-like tan head dissipates slowly into great lacings.

S: Surprisingly mild. Dark roasted malt, a bit smoke and a bit burnt. Some coffee and faint dark bitter chocolate. In the back, some dark dried fruits.

T: Vanilla, smokyness and sweet, roasted dark malts. Strong black coffee, chocolate, dark - in the back. The most is heavily roasted dark malts.

M: Aftertaste lingers, but is not that strong or long; bitterness and smoke. Body is full and carbonation is modest.

O: This is a very nice Baltic Porter, but the smoke could have been stronger, though.

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

Drank on-tap at Sunset Cantina, Boston, MA
Served in a cervoise

The liquid poured a deep brown/black with chestnut colored edges. A bit thinner than anticipated. A flimsy wisp of off-white froth topped the liquid, but it quickly dissipated. Thin, splotchy patches of lacing clung to the top third of the glass.

Lots of interesting stuff happening in the nose. Molasses and burnt caramel notes came through strong. Moderately sweet. Good amount of roastiness. There was a slight metallic edge, but this quickly dissipated. Stone fruits were detectible. Subtle smoke.

The flavor profile was a bit more straight forward. Nice blend of roasted and caramel malts on the front end. Some cold coffee. Touch of smoke. Toasty. The finish was nutty and dry.

The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and slick with a fine, subtle effervescence.

Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter is quite drinkable, but I would prefer it with a whole lot more smoke and intensity. These guys make some fantastic beers but this one is fairly mediocre.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown-almost black color with a big finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, smoke, peat, bacon, molasses, and vanilla.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some peat, smoke, and a bit of vanilla. Through the middle, the smoke comes through stronger with a bit of cured meats, oak, molasses, and coffee. The finish is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, smoke, peat, molasses, and vanilla.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a dry, roasted, and smokey finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice smokey porter with a nice overall balance of flavors. Good body and mouthfeel.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 10 Jan 2012. Served in the 0.4 L Herren Pils snifter.

Medium sized brown head, medium carbonation. Clear very dark brown in color. Slightly smoky roasty aroma, burnt malt and dark chocolate. Sweet and cocoa to start. Lightly smoky, less than the aroma. Medium to light body is somewhat flat, moderate ethanol. Fairly chocolately throughout. Moderate smokiness throughout. Lingering chocolately sweet finish and aftertaste.

Hmmm. I like smoked beers and I like Baltic porters, but this wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.

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

Bomber marked "bottled on jun 28 2011"

Pours dark brown and nearly opaque with ruby highlights and a bubbly khaki head. Foam drops quickly leaving a few soapy wisps of lace

Scent is mild. Bitter chocolate malts and a touch of smoke. Molasses?

Taste is dark chocolate, figs, slightest hint of smoke. Something that strikes me as almost a root beer flavor. Vanilla. A light hop bittering hidden at the back.

Mouth is lightly carbonated and creamy with a touch of alcohol warming in throat.

Although an enjoyable beer from a great brewery, Smoked Baltic Porter left me somewhat disappointed in that it had neither the thick complex flavor of a great baltic porter nor the meaty, smokey flavors I had hoped for on reading the label.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on August 6, 2010! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a deep ruby red brown with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, roasted malt, subtle dark chocolate, and cream. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. The smokiness on this one really made this brew stand out from other Baltic Porters I have tasted in the past. This added a nice complex, but definitely covered up a lot of the nice flavors that makes the Baltic Porter great to me. Still a fairly well done brew that I wouldn’t mind having again in the future.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on June 28, 2011. Reviewed live.

A- One finger tan head, fizzy on top with quickly receding retention. No lacing to speak of. Ruby-mahogany color, allows a little light to permeate.

S- Smoke, bacon, roast malts, brown sugar. Dark and smoky smells.

T- Chocolate and smoke flavors. Roast flavors all around. Bitter pull in the finish, and surprisingly light flavor for what I thought was gonna be a knockout.

M- Light in body, very wet.

O- Disappointed. This beer is exceedingly drinkable but not at all complex.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a very dark shade of brown, with a beige colored, two finger thick head. The smell was that of cocoa, coffee, and a hint of cinnamon, but sadly there was not much smoke smell. The taste confirmed that the smoked malt was all but drowned by the (very good) Baltic Porter flavors of chocolate, toffee, and roasted grains. There was a creamy finish with a touch of hops and some lactic acid sourness, and the aftertaste was somewhat spicy. As nice as it was, I kept wondering, "where is the smoke?"

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

I grabbed this the other day at the store as I was making a big run for porters and a couple of stouts. I like to buy different beers of the same style from time to time just to compare them on a night by night basis. This was no different. Ska Brewing Ten Pin last night, this one tonight, Founders Porter probably tomorrow. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown if not black, but it looks like it may have a reddish hue when I hold it up to the light. Nice big two finger head that slowly dwindles down leaving superb lacing.

Smell - Vanilla bean, smokiness, coffee, dark roasts. In my opinion this could be the beer's strongest suit.

Taste - Leads off with a nice vanilla cream which fades into a smoky, coffee flavor at the end of the drink. Pretty nice taste to it, complex and balanced well.

Mouthfeel - This part of the brew I didn't like as much. It finished smooth, but it felt kind of thin at the end, like the carbonation hit the eject button or something. I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it, but the finish leaves something to be desired.

Overall - This is a solid Baltic Porter if that is your style. I prefer American Porters myself, but this is a good representation of the style. I probably won't buy it again, but that's just because I can get an American for the same price. Overall a good beer, nothing wrong with it. Certainly much better as it warms.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. Bottled on 13 July 2011.

A: *Great* two fingers of dense head with good retention. Black as night. Very impressive. Amazing lacing.

S: Sweet smoke. Roasted malts are prominent, but the base is sweet. Vanilla bean!

T: Pretty great actually. Phenomenal balance. I was right about the sweet malt base, but it's also quite creamy. The smoke is subtle and bewitching, especially coming through on the endtaste. More sweet than bitter, but still a solid amount of roastiness. A bit strong for a 'porter' but probably an apt classification as the mouthfeel is relatively light.

M: Arguably the best part of the beer. Rich, velvety smooth, and hella creamy. It just slips down throat and glides across the tongue. Hot damn. Better cold.

O: Not a truly great beer, but an incredibly well-crafted one. A creamy-smooth, sweetish-dry Baltic Porter. Highly recommended. Will definitely buy another one if I see it.

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Photo of draheim
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle (bottled 8/6/2010) into a snifter. Pours a cola brown w/ a fizzy tan head.

At first the aroma is intensely smoky, almost acrid. There's a faintly fruity aroma too - and as it warms, the sharp smoke gives way to a pleasant nuttiness.

Taste is less smoky, more balanced than the nose. Roasted malt, bitter smoke. Some hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, medium body. Fairly dry. The smoke gives it a slightly numbing effect similar to rauchbiers I've had.

Overall I'm not wild about this one. Lacks complexity, just not that enjoyable. It's my first Baltic porter so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I'd pass on this again.

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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.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
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!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark brown coloring, with hazelnut highlights and a crystal clear look when held up to the light. There is a nice, fluffy, light, off-white head on the pour of about a half an inch, but that settles fairly quickly out into a sparse covering of foam. The aromas are rich and smooth, with a good smokey presence, some char and dark roasted coffee, meaty characteristics, and some dark chocolate highlights. Flavors are smooth and subtle, with some slick chocolate notes throughout. The dry body gives a sharpness to the smoke and char characteristics on the palate. There are also some very dark sweet fruit notes in the backbone, with some currant and plum present. The aftertaste is fairly nondescript, with some of the fruit and chocolate hinting around. The finish is slick and quick, with a slight drying feel to it. Decent brew, and light enough in body to drink in quantity. Would match up well with a hearty, rich, meaty meal.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – jet black with about half a finger’s worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell – very malty and syrupy. There’s a smoked quality for sure, but it actually seems a bit reserved, but not conservatively so. It seems to have a good balance. Good sweet smell of a porter.

Taste – Smoky indeed, but again, pretty well-reserved. The middle has the maltier, syrupier qualities, but the finish brings the bite from the hops. The bitterness has less of an abrupt bite to it, as would be expected from German hops.

Mouthfeel – leans a little more toward the watery side, which is to be expected from a porter, but still pretty well-balanced.

Overall – very good-tasting brew, and quite interesting to think about while tasting.

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Photo of Merkur
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a dark brown almost black. Very little head.

The smell was definately less smokey than I anticipated. It is there and detectible, but is paired with a dark chocolate and malty smell.

Taste is very similar to the smell. Not a lot of smoke flavor. Rather, the dark chocolate and cocoa flavors are there on the front end. Very malty and a bit sweet. Very pleasant.

Beer drinks much easier than anticipated. If you are looking for a good smoked beer, this may not be for you. However, this is a very well done porter that has some really good flavor.

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Photo of kjyost
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle consumed 1/2/12, from notes. Poured fridge cold into a sampling glass. Received in trade from TheSevenDuffs. Thanks!!

2011 edition.
Deep dark porter with a nice tan head and light lacing. Very muted nose, disappointingly so with roast and not much else comic out. Some licorice and light smoke along with roast in the body. Mild lacing. A nice and subtle beer that IMO was hurt by sampling a stellar porter right before it.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the '11, bottled July 14, 22oz bomber into Duck Rabbit snifter

Nice pour, without much aggression a solid 1/4" toasted cream color head, full roast malt aroma, bit of creaminess and a touch of smoke.

This is an easy drinker for a smoked anything. The smoke notes are very faint and only noticeable at the end, which is just fine with me. I prefer the smoke to compliment and not dominate, which this does.

Just as a porter, this beer holds up very well. Solid mouth feel that gives way to a milkier feel in the middle. The smoke at the end cuts any lingering stickiness or cloying element of some creamier bodied brews.

I'm drinking this as a stand alone, but could easily see it paired well with a full breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, toasted muffin) or a meatier meal later in the day. Very nice. Also, damn, does Great Divide make a bad beer? Everything I've had from there has been good to excellent.


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Photo of StaveHooks
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. poured into an Orval chalice.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown, almost black body with a 2 finger cola head that vanishes.

S - Smoke is the first thing i smell. Some dark cocoa, toasted sugar, rummy spice bread, charcoal, soy sauce, sticky raisins, smoked figs.

T - Dark chocolate and heavily roasted coffee beans dominate. There's a simple sweetness there to counteract the char flavors. Iron, salt, and pepper flow over the palate with a grassy hop profile that blends well the rest of the flavors. Finishes dry with a smoked peppercorn aftertaste.

M - Medium to moderate carbonation, lighter body, dry and spicy finish.

A very inviting beer. The smoke is strong but it's more of a dry smoke and not a meat smoke flavor. Nice smoked fruit in the aroma. Would be good to split the bomber w/ someone.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown with some reddish tint. The head is light brown and Guinnessy in it's tight foaminess.

Promised smokiness is muted, overwhelmed by some roasted malt, tootsie roll chocolate, and molasses.

There's some smoke! The palate isn't exactly a barbecue pit, but that's good, we've got some balance. The roasted malt combine with the smoke to make a nice full flavor.

Mouthfeel is okay, I might be way off base, but I felt it was a tad undercarbonated. A balanced beer. I can't decide if it's balanced because all the facets are mediocre or because they did a nice job putting the beer together.

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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.

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Photo of beveritt
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into an Imperial pint glass. My first review of 2012, shared with my wife over bleu cheese burgers and steak fries. Bottled in July 2011.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles to a ring around the glass with a few islands of foam here and there. Some lacing as I drink it down. The beer itself is dark brown yet still translucent. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Roasty malt with huskiness and a slight astringency.

Taste: Creamy upfront with undertones of toffee and dark fruits. Solid smokiness throughout; finishes with milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Slightly lower than average carbonation but does not detract. Body is good.

Drinkability: Typically not a huge fan of smoked beers; they are more to my wife's taste. However, this one was a good mixed of smoke and roastiness that complemented the style well. Could stand to have another.

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