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Baltic Porter - Uncommon Brewers

Not Rated.
Baltic PorterBaltic Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

88 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 176
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 13
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Uncommon Brewers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: illidurit on 01-31-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 176
Photo of Offa
4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this cask-conditioned at the Toad in the Hole, Santa Rosa. It is a rich, very strongly flavoured, yet complex, balanced, and very smooth Baltic Porter. It has clear Baltic Porter qualities yet also its own character.

It's blakc with a big brown head, slowly shrinking to a foamy ring and wisps but leaving only weak traces of lace.

The aroma is strong and pungent, but pleasant, complex, and balanced. It is richly fruity with dark, rich fermented, stewed fruit (prunes, figs, etc.), brown bread, hints of rum and molasses, dark chocolate.

The taste is similar. It's very rich and strong and pungent, restrained just before becoming truly intense, with a lot of rich complexity, and very full-bodied, well-rounded, and very well-integrated. It has strong, fermented, caramelized fruit, dark dried figs, prunes, etc., fermented ginger bread with black-strap molasses and hints of bdark toast, rum, dark chocolate and coffee, all interplaying harmoniously. The feel is rich, oily and extremely silky and smooth, with a little liveliness nevertheless. It's hints at its alcohol and one can easily guess from the robustness, etc., that this is pretty high, but the alcohol itself is well-hidden. This is a wonderful strong porter, very rich and complex yet incredibly balanced and well-integrated. It's amazingly easy to drink despite its strength and robust flavour. (1,372 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

More CANned beer from a once-obscure brewery in north-central Cali! I love being the founder of The CANQuest (TM) because it has left me attuned to (seemingly) any brewery that is putting their beers into a CAN. I had some of their Siamese Twin Ale a couple of years ago and was mighty impressed. Let's hope the trend CANtinues.

From the CAN: "Late in the 18th century Britain's great brewing families were working hard to break into new markets. For the Baltic Sea ports they created an eport version of the traditional British Porter. Styled like an IPA to preserve them for the voyage, those profound Baltic Porters served to ward off the chill winds of that northern sea. That said, we weren't satisfied with the Baltic Porter's traditionally subtle hint of black licorice. This ale features a blend of whole licorice root and star anise to create an uncommon addition to that traditional export Porter's hearty character."; "Ale brewed with Licorice and Star Anise"; " Our beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and undoubtedly uncommon. They're designed to grow over time as they age. Store in a cool place and witness the change."; "Uncommon Brewers - In 2002 we set out to discover the forgotten potential of an ancient beverage all too often taken for granted. Uncommon Brewers was born out of that exploration. Our products are sourced whenever possible from local farms and growers. Some are even harvested by hand from the hills of Northern California."

The Crack & Glug produced one of the most intimidating beer that I have ever had come out of a CAN! It was dense and black with a finger of defiantly thick deep-brown head that seemed impervious to humidity or anything. It had the best staying power of any head I CAN remember. Color was a deep, dark brown/black with only cola highlights at the edges. Nose smelled like licorice, simply put. I was reminded of my mother's love of Twizzlers Nibs when I was a kid, but I had to be desperate to want to eat them as black licorice was not my bag as a kid. Nor is it today, but in terms of innovation, I have to give the brewers major props! Damn, this beer really made my taste buds sit up and take notice. I really could not get much more than the anise flavor from this beer, but that, coupled with its thick mouthfeel, was enough. The finish was like I had just chewed up a bag of black licorice. Phew! One was puh-lehn-tee, but what a one. No way is this going into any cooler but the one for Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually), when it will help to break the winter doldrums. Kudos for taking such a chance! (2,580 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: From a tallboy is a black as a blackhole in outerspace. On top is a dark beige head about in a finger in height.

Aroma: It's malt forward that has a molasses and caramelized sugar aroma. Raosted hops, dark coffee, dark bread with a wisp of rye.

Taste: Lots of malty sweetness, espresso, carob, touches of rye and pumpernickel. Dark roasted hops that are mostly floral with a very creamy almost like silk mouthfeel and even a little bit of a buttery texture.

Notes: An amazing creamy, drinkable beer that I will pick up again. Cheers. (548 characters)

Photo of chumba526
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It appears solid black with a coffee brown large head.

It smells of toasted roasted malts. There is a bit of a vanilla like smell. I also get a bit of a slightly fruity smell. There is also a subtle licorice smell.

It tastes initially quite smoky, but it is not overbearingly smoky. I get a mild vanilla like flavor. There is a slight fruity yeast taste to the beer. The beer finishes with a nice licorice herbal like taste. This beer is very well balanced. All of the flavors mix perfectly with each other.

There is moderate low carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel.

The drinkability is very good. The beer goes down smooth.

Overall a fantastic Baltic Porter this is most likely my favorite Baltic Porter to date. (719 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour – very, very dark. This is pitch in color pretty much with only a thin coffee-colored head. This is pretty much impossible to see through and looks rich and flavorful.

Aroma – molasses, licorice, Tootsie-Rolls, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, Play-Doh and some earthy notes. Quite a lot going on in the nose with this beer.

Taste – one sip and you know this is something unique. Lots of dark roasted malt flavor combines with the licorice and molasses notes and there is an effervescence on the tongue that is hard to describe. A bit of a sweet, dry finish almost like eating dried fruits. There is also just the faintest hints of citrus hop flavor and some bitterness biting in the end.

Overall - very good. You've got to know a little bit about this particular style of beer to full appreciate it. Uncommon Brewers does this one well, perhaps well enough to be the best of their canned offerings so far. Well done. (928 characters)

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Appearance: Very dark almost black. Nice tan head, about one finger thick. The head faded quickly and didn't lace the glass at all (4.75/5)

Smell: Smelt like roasted coffee and chocolate (4.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Slight thickness, tingle of carbonation (4.25/5)

Taste: Roasted flavor coffee, hint of chocolate. Very good. (4.5/5)

Overall: Very good, one of the better porters I have had. Very easy to drink, nice flavor and mouthfell (4.5/5) (442 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bay Area Craft Beer Festival. Poured a dark brown into my tasting glass with maybe half a finger of head that quickly dissipated. Little to no lacing when I tried to agitate the glass to promote more head, indicating a fairly viscous and possibly syrupy beer. I couldn't see any carbonation through the dark beer.

Nose was dark fruits (plums and raisins primarily) and anise licorice flavors. Some breadiness as well, but it did not smell overly sweet, which I was worried about when I saw how syrupy it looked.

Taste follows the nose, with the licorice being at just the right level, balanced by a little sweetness from the malt, and some fruitiness. I'm not normally a fan of licorice, but this had a really pleasant flavor. Little to no aftertaste left on the tongue, with a nice smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel from the medium to full body.

Very easy to drink, and I had around three samples at the beer fest before they ran out of it. (962 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown. almost black with some almond and ruby hues around the edges. There is slightly more than a finger of fluffy tan head, some of which retains well. The nose is a combination of roasty notes and port. The taste is deep, rich and creamy with a touch of roast on the finish, but also a touch of alcohol warmth. Thick body likely makes this a one-and-done type beer for most samplers.

The can states that generous amounts of licorice and anise were used in the brewing process, but, I did not get strong notes of either. This is a minor criticism, however, as I enjoyed my first offering from this brewer very much. (637 characters)

Photo of engagechad
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - poured into Imp pint glass

Pours VERY dark with tan leather head, soapy bubbles. Easily agitated back to full 1/2 inch head. half a point ded for the lack of lacing. Smells complex and interesting.. Lots of licorice (obviously as it states on the can that it is brewed with licorice root and star anise) and some other chocolate artifacts. Taste follows but also adds a very uncommon (ha..) aftertaste that I have never encountered.. The aftertaste is of belgian waffles with syrup. It was so odd that I kept cleansing with water and then approaching the brew fresh to see if that is what I thought I was tasting and it was. Mouthfeel is chewy and right on.

Overall this was a surprise beer, just something I decided to grab because I haven't had many in this style and wanted to try more.

If you see it, get it. it's an adventure! (905 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of dark chocolate and roasted coffee with black licorice, light dark fruit, and a bit of earthy hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with a bit of dark fruit sweetness and black licorice. Through the middle, some roasted coffee comes through with some light earthy hops and a touch of lactose sweetness. The finish is a mix of dark chocolate malts with some bitter coffee,, a bit of dark fruit, and some light earthy hops.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, warming, and lightly bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice Baltic Porter with a good body and balance. (802 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tall boy cans, hell yeah!

Pours a nice creamy darker 1+ finger head that fades semi slowly with nice lacing, over pretty much pitch black beer.

Nose of loaded with choc and roast, some toasted malts not crazy chartered, with light coffee. Most of all the chocolate, bakers, dark, cocoai powder, and bit of choc milk. Light earthy hop brings light bitter aroma. Then some caramel, light vanilla, and a nutty nutmeg like aroma round it off. As it warms a hint of licorice.

Taste starts with more dark malts, luscious creamy malts, light roast again without the bitter char and light coffee. then more chocolate although less than the nose, bakers and powdered cocoa mostly. A light burnt like black patent malt flavor is there too. Creamy milky chocolate leaks its way in with a light bitterness and light earthy hops. A light warming booze also sneaks in, with the late caramel, vanilla, and again light nutty malt. Finish is still creamy but not quite as dry as I expected but still drier, more chocolate and light roast, light booze, caramel and vanilla all linger.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, creamy and luscious, lighter but decent carb, done warming booze.

Overall very impressed actually, wasn't expecting much from a brewery I have barely heard of and from a can, but they did the malts very well without the burnt roasted flavor. Nice chocolate, black patent, light coffee vanilla and caramel, and light nutty, light hops, creamy smooth and drinkable with a light booze kick. Very nice. (1,502 characters)

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep dark chocolate, large, frothy tan head. Pretty sweet lace retention.

Chocolate, plum and earthy hops fill the nose. Nice hint of anise and spice.

Thick and smooth going down. Chocolate and anise combine with a bit of dark fruit (plum) to start this off. Earthy hops and a hint of citrus give it a nice hop balance.

Very nice Baltic Porter. I'll definitely grab up a 4-pack. (393 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: 1/2" brown head over black liquid.

S: Licorice, coffee, roasted malt, flowers, grass.

T: Licorice, coffee, walnuts, pears, apples, flowers, grass.

M: Thin viscosity and a low to medium level of carbonation.

O: Looks, smells and tastes great. If it weren't for the mouthfeel this would be an excellent instead of a very good beer. (336 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 16 oz can from Anderson's in Toledo. Dug out from the back of the fridge.

A: The porter is deliciously dark, deep brown-black no matter how you look at it. The first pour generated a thick, cascading head, deep tan and very attractive.

S: Stark but sweet, the baltic porter brings deep roasted malts that have a decided legumey-chocolatey edge to them. The sweeter milk chocolate aromas are the stand out.

T: The sweet milk chocolate and cocoa continue in the first sips. That sweetness pairs nicely with the underlying darkness, roasted as it is. The starchiness is also evident, running throughout the porter. Despite the significant head, carbonation seems to have been tamped down. And, oh yeah, a boozy heat runs right through the middle of the ale, a peppery blast. The spiciness, bold and chocolatey is very nice. An excellent Baltic porter.

M: Good until the heat wave arrived. After that, I was sold by the peppery heat. Uncommon indeed, I wish that I had a few more cans lying around. (1,000 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a can of iced-tea!

A: Black with a bubbly tan head, thin ring of retention, shows a little leg.

S: Molasses, roasted nut, salted licorice, pumpernickel rye bread, light floral & herbal hopping.

T: Molasses, almost dark rum-like, pleasant licorice (not overdone), roasted nut, pumpernickel rye, dark raisins; the herbal & floral hops come across in the flavour as well (nugget & hallertau, I dunno, it's different), a bit resiny, solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Slight hint of residual sweetness, with a slightly drying, chalky finish. Perhaps a bit thin & over-carbonated.

D/O: A nice brew... something I'd love to try on cask. (651 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pitch black with a cocoa colored head and slight red hues with backing light. Nose of roasted coffee with some cream and sugar. Some licorice and bourbon character as well, similar overall to coffee liqueur. Flavor is very similar to the aroma but there's a huge roasted character with moderate bitterness and nice dryness. Very interesting and tasty. A very good beer and another step in the right direction for Uncommon Brewers. (463 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 5/26/2011

A - Pours deep brown, with a bit of red visible when held to the light. One finger of tan head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving only scant lacing.

S - Big aromas of chocolate and licorice/anise. Chocolate has both bittersweet and milk chocolate aromas.

T - While chocolate was more prominent than anise in the aroma, the anise takes center stage in the taste, at least initially. Midway through, chocolate takes over, though there is another flush on anise on the finish. The licorice flavors don't always work in beers, but it is really a highlight here. A bit of citrus hops near the finish as well. Very nice.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a nice creaminess and just a touch of alcohol burn.

O - My first from Uncommon, definitely makes me want to try another. (783 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a full light tan head, good lacing in this one.

S: Seductive, rich notes of dark chocolate and mild espresso I really liked.

T: Big notes of chocolate, almost opulent, rich cacao. Mild burnt sugar, molasses and French roast coffee in there as well, but the chocolate dominates.

M: Smooth, rich, soft carbonation, ethanol is nowhere to be found, but the big flavours make it a sipper.

D: This is a real nice beer from Uncommon, probably my favourite from them so far. Just a beer to enjoy and think about. (554 characters)

Photo of Schoeni
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Received one can, here in EU..ist a rare one. German Style Tasting.... Anyway, drank it from the casn, so i cant say anything about the colour.smells fine, like choco, roasted malt, cofeee...caramell.
Nice flavour, liquorice, malt-coffee.... and a Little bit of Anise.
I drink this can and i feel like it is curing me from all that flews and catarrhs... (353 characters)

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply an amazing baltic...I love stumbling across a brew that blows me away in the genre. Looking forward to other offerings of theirs...sorry for lack of detail, but if you enjoy FFF Topless Wytch, you won't be disappointed. I would seek this one out and let it warm for a spell to appreciate the full flavor of this beer. (324 characters)

Photo of bulletrain76
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at The Red. Black with a small tan head. Sweet coffee and licorice aroma. Full bodied with a very silky texture and dark chocolate flavor. Lots of dark, rum soaked fruits, coffee, and a bitter finish. Very smooth, rich, and boozy in a good way. Great baltic porter. (273 characters)

Photo of MRsojourner
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz tall boy can poured into a nice High and Mighty mug. the pour looked so thick like an imperial stout nice and silky and black as night
The aroma had a bit of anise and some fumes of hot alcohol.
The taste was of a mild coffee and a musty chocolate combo followed by just a hint of earthy hops to balance it out. it is very clean and somewhat refreshing. medium mouthfeel with a head that sticks around for a while. enjoyable for sure. ill set a couple of these down for a year and see what happens. (503 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can from "Lifesource" Salem. $2.95 Again ,as with the Siamese Twin, the pour is horrendous..a gentle pour ensures a glass 90% foam. Is there some sort of trouble with transportation or at canning..oh well heres another 10 minute wait to taste the stuff. OK after a long thirsty wait here goes. Typical baltic porter body..almost black yet with mahogany aspects on the edge. Actually a nice ,tight,creamy tan head..when its under control. Aroma is pleasing.. fresh ground coffee bean,cocoa nibs,,touch of aniseed, a faint aroma of medicinal liquorice. Very nice. Taste is the same as the aroma basically..with a little alcoholic warming and some blackcurrant. The mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated for style but OK and finally get some strong liquorice goodness. Over all a nice beer..but i dont know if i want to buy anything else from this brewer to drink with friends..as waiting for the froth monster to shrink isnt really my thing. (945 characters)

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Darkness fills the glass, lacing drapes the top. Smells of spice, licorice and anise with suggestions of vanilla and white peppercorn, plus a bonus of melon fruitiness. Creamy, smooth medium body. Roasty char goes right to a licorice root and anise that build and then stick to the palate. Dry charred graininess. Treacle or molasses sweetness in the middle. Fruitiness is vague, but rises up a bit with the mild heat from the alcohol. Burnt finish is semidry. A good twist on a traditional style; spice additions are at a perfect level to compliment rather than take over. Tallboy cans FTW! (648 characters)

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

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark ruddy brown amber with a nice finger of light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of chocolate, toasted mallt and a hint of cherry and anise. Flavor of light fruit esters, toasted malt, licorice and hint of chocolate and cherry. Finishes with an interesting wave of toasted malt and more fruit, leaving a long, pleasant and spicey aftertaste. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Not quite a traditional Baltic porter, but I found the uncharacteristically estery fruit component was very nicely balanced with the malt and spices. Pleasant and well done. (617 characters)

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Baltic Porter from Uncommon Brewers
86 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.