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Baltic Porter - Uncommon Brewers

Not Rated.
Baltic PorterBaltic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

157 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 11
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Uncommon Brewers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: illidurit on 01-31-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +6.1%

bob727, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

ChrisPro, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -20.4%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of cbutova
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some new cans in MA instantly attract my money, let's see how "uncommon" this really is.

A- Pitch black out of the can and into a Hill Farmstead tall tulip. One finger dark mocha head forms with a silky texture and decent retention. Eventually just a small ring without much lace.

S- Aroma hits the nose with a good amount of roast malts and licorice notes.

T- The first sip interests me. The beverage is still cold but it brings a good amount of licorice, dark cocoa roast malts and some vanilla like sugary hints. The licorice and anise get intense with time but not harsh.

MF- Creamy but lighter body than I would expect in a big porter. Silky and smooth with some roast bitterness.

Not usually a big fan of anise and licorice forward beers but this one drinks fairly smoothly and I like it.

cbutova, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of indiapaleale
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

indiapaleale, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice take on a Baltic Porter with added anise and licorice.

Presentation: 16 oz can. Silver background with a simple illustration of the plants added, general branding and highlights of organic quality. Back offers notes with serving suggestions, history of the style and intent of the brew. Notes canning date 06-01-2011 and 7.8% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, initial creamy tall head with poor retention, no surface memory or lacing to speak of but the thinnest of rings.

S - Nice roasted nose, soft coffee, hint of chocolate, licorice, and fruit.

T - Palate completes the nose with dexterity, nice roasted profile, good notes of charred coffee, that hint of chocolate with the licorice woven to a range of dark fruits, with a hint of anise.

M - Medium body with medium to low carbonation, feels a tad thin for a moment but the lingering bitterness picks up the finish.

O - Pretty nice flow, nothing memory shattering but pleasing.

Notes: Nice canned offering, first try from Uncommon Brewers and while maybe not the Porter I would that eagerly pick up again I´d sure be glad some of the rest of their brews.

Daniellobo, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can from Maiden Publick House, dated 06/01/2011.

Poured into a stemless wine glass. Black with chestnut edges. Loose and fizzy tan foam, dissipates fast. Soda carbonation around the edges, loose ring that clings to the sides. Loses steam a bit too fast, glassy surface with clusters of soda bubbles.

Smells like a baltic porter, straight up. Cocoa, coffee, licorice, hits all the signature notes.

Roasty malts, chicory, ashy, bakers chocolate. Lingering bitterness from the roasted malts, lending an impression of mild coffee and dark chocolate. This was surprisingly good, medium bodied and easily drinkable.

emerge077, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Reidrover
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Reidrover, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque blackish body, thin offwhite head.

Liquorice nose (more anise), pretty mellow.

Ton of anise. So much. Quite sharp and fresh. More anise than liquorice here.

Mouthfeel is a bit foamy when aerated but I doubt the flavor is suffering.

Of the Uncommons I've tried, this is less interesting, but on the whole, it certainly has its merit.

zaphodchak, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with hints of ruby red around the edges of the glass. Not so great head retention on this one but good lacing. Seems to be unfiltered (as suggested by the can).

S - Rich roasted malts is the primary aroma but the licorice is right there as well. A little vanilla in there also. Don't get much star anise in the aroma.

T - A little thin but the black licorice is well represented; paired with the roasted malts it blends to make a nice vanilla flavor as well. The star anise is hard to pick out with the addition of liquorice as they are very similar in flavor. A little espresso, a little cream, and a some char as well. Finishes with just a hint of booze.

M - Nice body and solid carbonation for the style. Leaves the palate refreshed and doesn't dry it out very much at all. Has a little bit of a chewy character from the dark malts.

O - Not pasteurizing this brew makes it very nice and drinkable and adds a certain level of raw freshness that helps the ingredients come through. Above average for the style and nice flavor additions.

VaTechHopHead, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter is bubbly, super-sweet, and tasty.

It poured black with cascading bubbles and a miniscule tan head. Not much stuck to the glass. There was very little aroma, with only the slightest hint of coffee and metal, like an empty old-time tin coffee can. The flavor was great, if a bit too sweet, with hints of dark chocolate and sweetened coffee, leaving a sugary aftertaste. The feel was dominated up-front by the carbonation which quickly gave way to slippery stickiness with only a hint of bitterness. There was no mistaking the high alcohol content, which perfectly complimented the flavor and feel helping to make it a great experience.

I first had Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter out of the can while poolside on a very hot sunny day and it was terrific. Later, I had one poured into a glass for the purposes of this review, and it wasn't quite as good. Context means so much; this is a great experience out of the can, when aroma and appearance don't matter so much, and a pretty good Baltic Porter from a glass.

MetalHopHead6, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of goldbot
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into pint glass, dated 6/1/2011.

Pours deep, deep brown, basically black. Thinnish, tan, fizzy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Bounding with coffee and dark chocolate aromas, very roasty and malty. Smooth, dark chocolate flavor with good complexity. Earthy, roasty and malty. Fruity and quite sweet, almost cloying on the back end. The mouthfeel is rather watery.

goldbot, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can, with 3/14/11 stamped on it. assuming bottled date?

jet black. big foamy khaki colored head, that fades to a thin covering. very strong aroma, on the bitter side. licorice, a little smoke.

dry roasted flavors in the taste, lingering anise aftertaste. medium body, fairly smooth, lower carbonation.

funny, still getting used to pouring black beer out of a can. a pretty good beer.

jmdrpi, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

BeerAdvocate, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours black in the glass, topped with several thick fingers of light mocha head. This retains with a rich and frothy ½ finger, which leaves back soapy lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is fairly forward up front with chocolate and caramel flavors, which in turn give away to notes of dark pithy smelling fruit and ripe green citrus, before finally trailing away into a smoky roasted tanginess in the back of the nostrils. This has some depth to it.

The taste is similar, with notes of dark fruit, acrid roasted character, and a green citric bitterness that is balanced by a hefty dose of sticky chocolate sweetness. A LOT of smokiness from the malts starts to emerge as this warms, lingering in the finish with some meaty character and an earthy feeling bitterness that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and while initially sharp on the tongue, this does smooth out a great deal on the edges of the feel. Maybe a bit too much, as this is ultimately coming off as a touch too light, to the point that it unfortunately does start to distract away from the flavors a bit. Alcohol is well hid for close to an 8.0% ABV, so fortunately not is all lost with the body.

I mostly liked this, with the fruit, roast, hops, and sweetness, all coming together to give this a relatively full flavored ripe and bitter feeling tanginess. The lightness of the body does hurt this a bit but the alcohol is well hid, which helps out in the long run. It’s not the best example of the style but it’s worth checking out if you run by a can.

Kegatron, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of ne0m00re
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Live review of a pint can dated 05/26/11.
A: Murky dark brown, it poured with a decent evanescent tan head that died almost immediately to... nothing.
S: Nice roast in the smell, sweeter espresso like raw sugar cane and molasses mixed in. Sweet raisins add a vinous wine quality to it. Not bad.
T: Good chewy sweet espresso, molasses, nice brandy oxidation. Decent.
M: Thicker, ends with a thinner, cleansing linger.
O: Pretty good. I'm not sure if I'd get it again, but it was worth the four-pack.

ne0m00re, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
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!

woodychandler, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of tone77
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The legend woodychandler hooked me up with yet another canned beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a pitch black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some licorice. Taste is of roasted malts, some anise and licorice coming through. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality brew.

tone77, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Avenue Bar & Cigars for $3 a pint, on to the beer:

Obsidian in color with a large head created on the pour, though retention and lacing are merely adequate. In the aroma, a little fudge and some licorice greet the nose.

The tastes of licorice, unsweetened chocolate, and pinches of leafy hop and brushes of alcohol put this beer on the 3.75 mark, but the pleasant aftertaste of fudge are enough to warrant rounding up. Body is leaning towards heavy, fairly smooth. A pint is plenty, or at least in the short time span I had to drink this.

A return to Santa Cruz and its Uncommon Brewers has come in reward with this Baltic Porter. Glad my spontaneous instinct got me into that bar in the first place.

DoubleJ, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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!

engagechad, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of alexhahn82
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A -- Dark black with a hint of burgundy, 1.5 finger head that quickly dissipates without any lacing. *I did not get a "satisfying crack" when opening the beer, almost like opening a can of tomato juice.

S. More of a tone of Annis than licorice, and it does have a great smell of chocolatey roasted barley.

T/M -- Light cream feel at first with a nice bite similar to baker's chocolate, not a hoppy bitter bite, more of the baker's chocolate.

Overall. Decent baltic porter, Though I was not a fan of the bittering on the end. Overall an average style beer, unsure on price point as it was a gift.

alexhahn82, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to forgetfu for this one.

Pours dark brown with a nice maroon touch. No real haead. a bit flat but looks pretty. Smells great. Lots of dark fruits. Tastes sweet and full bodied. The malts are very complex. Overall super thick and rich for a blatic porter. Because of that I'm disappointed in it. More of a sweet/milk stout. But, very tasty!

Urbancaver, May 04, 2011
Photo of chumba526
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

chumba526, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of scoots511
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Porter beer that when held up to a light you can see light penetrate a few millimeters at the top of the beer. Dark tan head, had to pour in the center of the glass all the way up to generate some head for the beer.

S: Black licorice and chocolate.

T: Very slight "chalk" taste upfront that is enjoyable. The licorice flavoring is fortunately not overdone. Possibly california ale yeast was used for this or another yeast that brings out A 7.8% beer, I can taste some of the alcohol but cannot taste overly heavy residual sugars, covered by hops but not very hoppy either.

M: Lower carbonation

D: For the baltic porter category the drinkability is nice.

This is a great winter warmer beer at 7.8%. But I also think it is refreshing enough to drink anytime. A very pleasing drink.

scoots511, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Licorice, anis, licorice anis.

This beer pours dark with some brown highlights.

Smells like licorice

taste like licorice.

Its a pretty good beer. Did I mention it was pretty licorice tasting. Still enjoyable, not bad as an extra just to give it a try.

This brewery always turns out interesting beers. Flavorful, to say the least, whether or not its to your liking is another matter.

Murchmac, Dec 29, 2010
Baltic Porter from Uncommon Brewers
85 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.