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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.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Baltic Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 88 | Hads: 176
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a khaki head. The nose is roasted malt, dark fruit, and some mild licorice. I get a bit of coffee, maybe a little bit of chocolate and grain sweetness. Light bitterness on the palate, presumably from the roasted malt. Licorice, burnt sugar, and dark fruits give some sweetness. (307 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can. A purportedly traditional Baltic Porter, but with amped-up anise and licorice root additions. Sounds like a lark to me.

This beer pours a clear (I guess) very dark brown colour, with slight reddish cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, foamy tan head, which leaves just a low berm of lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of sharply roasted caramel malt, earthy, kind of vegetal black licorice root, a whiff of BBQ smoke, and an underlying sweet alcohol twinge. The taste is nicely toasted caramel malt, some more lingering meaty smokiness, semi-sweet exotic star anise, on an even keel with more mundane earthy black licorice, hints of savoury spice, a wavering underlying meek sourness, and understated, but eagerly supportive leafy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is sturdy, but at the same tame forgiving, the body a decently innocuous medium weight, and a tad creamy in its only rarely punctured smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, that aspect of the licorice/anise really holding sway, with the malt and undervalued hops quietly going about their business.

An agreeable old-world porter, jazzed up with the proclaimed, and indeed actual (yay, truth in advertising!) licorice boost, which plays out in an even-handed manner, so much so that I don't even really notice it after a while, which is another feather in this offering's collective cap. Worthy of a try, if not more. (1,424 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another can offering and it pours a dark jet kola hue which leaves a creamy three finger head that stays and some clingy lacing,the smell is star anise,liquorice,aniseed,dark plums and roast coffee,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice medium carbonation and has tastes of liquorice,dark bittersweet chocolate,roasted malts,dark fruits and finished with a dark coffee bittersweetness and overall its definately a step up from my last offering from these guys and yeah i like it as its definately easy to drink to drink while still having some substance to it cheers. (569 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can poured into tulip 27/7/12

A dark cola nearing black, the cola look is extended but the gone in a flash foam that leaves no lace

S anise and licorice, some rootbeer and a little booze I don't get a whole lot else but its decent

T some char and smoke with some cold espresso to go with everything I smell, its an improvement over the nose

M a little thin but far from water, carbonation gives it some life and there's just a little heat

O decent beer with good flavors and decent in other areas, you must love licorice to enjoy this at all, my complaint is the licorice notes overpower the dark malts

reminds me of pop but the booze hitting my head reminds me that this is strong beer, a little over the top with the adjuncts but a respectable beer (763 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on 2/17/12.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, and some herbal/spice/licorice notes. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, cookie dough, and just a slight hint of the licorice/anise it was brewed with. There is a mild roasty and herbal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some really solid aromas and flavors. Quite tasty and easy to drink. (642 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into NB globe. Pours dark brownish black with light brown highlights at the edges. 1 finger of head upon pour, this settles to a thin covering and leaves a moderate amount of lacing. The nose features a ton of licorice and roast, notes of vanilla in the background along with a little bit of chocolate. There are earthy notes at the finish reminiscent of tobacco. The taste starts off with moderate sweetness which gives way to loads of licorice and anise along with tobacco and chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for a baltic porter with mild carbonation. Overall, not a bad value.... a 4 pack of pint cans for 11 bucks, can't beat that. The beer doesn't stand out as being amazing, but it certainly offers some unique qualities. (765 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 fl oz aluminum can served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings, though I'm skeptical. Dated 17/2012 at the bottom (it's possible the month faded with moisture in the refrigerator).

Not paired with food.

Served slightly warmer than refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki-tan head of okay cream, pretty decent thickness, and bad retention (though the ABV is high). Colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. A predictable appearance for a porter.

Sm: Licorice, spices, cream, light roast, and dark malts. A very mild strength aroma.

T: Cream, dominant licorice (vaguely evocative of something like Jagermeister), dark malts as the foundation, vague hints of spice, root, and very light drowned out roasted barley. Balanced fairly well, but it owes that to its simplicity. Not particularly complex or subtle. The brewers would have us believe their usage of licorice is unique, but that isn't the case. It's far from uncommon. That said, it's an enjoyable beer in the style and I do like it. It just isn't all that impressive. Full-bodied from overmalting rather than rounded out flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet in classic porter fashion. Any cream comes through only in the third act. Too wet. Overcarbonated. Too thick for the lack of flavour.

Dr: A drinkable little baltic porter with a nice licorice kick. Drinks impressively well from the can. I'd get this again, ideally on draught or nitro, but it's not a great beer by any means.

A decent candidate for aging.

Might pair well with chocolate, toffee, toast, or caramel.

C+ (1,843 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 woosterbill
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can into a 25cl Duvel tulip. I shared this one at a tasting after forgetting about it in my fridge for over 6 months; purchased summer of '11, reviewed spring '12.

A: Black body under an ultra-fine tan head. Spotty lace. All right.

S: Aromatic, with a nice combination of piquant anise, black malt, and spicy, earthy hops. Quite pleasant.

T: Smooth, flavorful, balanced. Not too much anise, just enough malt, and a bitter, hoppy, herbal finish. Nice Baltic Porter.

M: Frothy, soft, lively medium body. A bit too bubbly, but still enjoyable.

O: I really liked this one, and it was a real treat to have a Baltic Porter out of a can. The anise was done much better here than in Stone's Belgo IRS.

Cheers! (712 characters)

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up a while ago in Carmel.

Appearance- black color, thin head that dissipates quickly

Smell- strong smell of roasted malt and coffee

Taste- roasted malt, coffee, chocolate

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would definitely drink it again. (301 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to light black in color with garnet highlights. TWof inger, brown head that recedes to a thick film o' foam. I can see some good bubbling through the dark liquid.

Roasted malt and coffee aroma with a nuance of something herbal, maybe the star anise, and some black licorice. Just a hint, but you know those ingredients are there.

Roasted malt, pumpernickel, coffee, a little dark, dry, chocolate. The licorice adds a different flavor profile to roasty flavors of the porter. The star anise adds a nice herbal flavor and enhances the licorice flavors.

A little oily palate, but thinner than I expected for the style. (629 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours dark brown with a thin tan head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Sweet molasses, some dark chocolate with a little bit of ripe fruit, licorice, and booze.

Taste. Sweet molasses again, some good roasty malts and that dark fruitiness I was smelling. Just a little anise.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, lower carbonation. Kinda warm.

Overall. I enjoyed the taste of Megadestroyer's big anise last night, but the smaller Uncommon anise is very enjoyable as well. I'm probably a bit biased with both of these though, I've always been an anise man. (563 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 barnzy78
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, pours dark mahogany, near black with a ruby tinge while being poured and when held to the light. Thin tan head dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing on the glass. Aromas are roasted malt, smoke, and faint anise. The anise does fill the nose more as the ale warms. Tastes are complex with anise dominating the palate, but has roasty notes, char, smoke, dark fruit, blueberry perhaps, dark chocolate, and finishes with a sweeter black licorice on the back of the palate, reminiscent of a candy cigar. Mouth-feel is thick and chewy, creamy, and smooth - really nice and full. Overall, I did enjoy this for its uniqueness, but a whole pint of an ale that is too heavy on the anise gets to be overkill pretty quickly. (728 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 Goblinmunkey7
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Incredibly dark brown. Clear. Head is a dark tan. Smooth, creamy lace covers the beer. Head drops to a thin cap in short order. Pours heavy and slick.

Smell: Loads of cocoa and some grainy cooked malts. A little sweetness brings out hints of caramel and milk chocolate with a bready undertone. Big hit of black licorice. Star anise is present, but works surprisingly well with the rest of the beer. So much licorice. Hints of old coffee.

Taste: A little toned down from the nose. Roasted malts border on burnt at the edges. Cocoa, bitter chocolate and a fair amount of anise and black licorice. Malts run sweet and give enough of a backbone to keep things moving along. Anise lingers and builds over the sips. Undercooked malts. Sweet with a candy undertone. The licorice is a nice touch.

Mouthfeel: Almost full, but heavy nonetheless. Drinks relatively smooth with a lingering, almost chalky dryness.

Overall: I get the idea, but it loses a little in the long run. Great flavors, but they're muddled. Maybe I'll take the cans advice and snag another one and throw some age on it. (1,096 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a rich velvety black. Very thin layer of light tan foam on top.

S - a rich nose. Notes of carob and hints of fresh ground coffee beans. The use of licorice and star anise are very apparent along with peppery notes.

T - bitter chocolate notes on the front of the tongue mingle with hints of coffee grinds. Mild licorice notes on the mid palate swell to a bold peppery finish.

M - smooth texture. Full bodied. Carbonation is on the lighter side.

O - an interesting take on a baltic porter. Not my favorite but certainly well made. (545 characters)

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

Poured from a 16oz can into an imperial pint.

Canned on: 09/23/2011

A: Pours a deep & rich black with only a slight russet tinge at the bottom of the glass. A smooth brown head raeches about one finger thick before slowly receeding down to a thick collar.

S: Aromas of sourdough, anise, dark chocolate, baked biscuits, dark fruit, and brownies.

T: See above with the addition of Whoppers candy, chocolate covered cherries, fudge, medium roast coffee, toasted nuts, and cocoa.

M: Smooth and creamy. Full...almost stout-like. A bit of a peppery prickle on the tongue late in the finish. Nice bit of chalkiness to balance the smoothness.

O: We quite enjoyed this one. Big and assertive without being "extreme". Good times! Would like to try one a little closer to the canned on date to compare... (800 characters)

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

Poured from a 16oz can into a brandy snifter.

A: Midnight black with some hints of red. Tan head recedes to a ring around the glass. Some lacing.

S: Roasty chocolate, milky sugar, sweet anise. No licorice to be found.

T: Big quaff of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, lactose. Nice balance of roastiness and lactic, chocolatey sweetness. Licorice and anise are slightly discernible. Vanilla throughout. Huge pleasing charred taste in the finish, with more chocolate, lactose, and anise lingering. Alcohol is well-hidden, but contributes nicely to the sweetness.

M: Nice. Creamy and somewhat thick.

O: Not exactly the licorice bomb the can says it is, but tasty nonetheless. (677 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 ounce can into an Allagash cervoise glass. Stamped 05/26/2011.

A: Like Coca Cola with a fizzing, churning inch of head. Opaque dark brown. The head dissipates leaving nary a trace, neither tracing nor lacing.

S: A sharp metallic scent mars an underlying roasted character and sweet licorice. It's really strong and really bad.

T: Happily, the flavour isn't obviously metallic, but it's often thin, sharpish, and almost sour. Disappointing. Fortunately, there is some nice, malty bitterness, and the added anise makes a welcome, if brief, sweetish appearance reminiscent of anisado. Licorice grows more prominent as time wears on.

M: Where is all the carbonation I noticed in the pour? Not terrible, but rather thin and lacking in zest.

O: I suppose I should have checked the date at the time of purchase, but even in retrospect, I feel this beer should've help up better to 10 months in a can. At any rate, I'd drink it again fresh, but this four-pack wasn't worth it.

9 September 2012 EDIT: Can stamped 26 June 2012. This is much, much better. Bumping up the Overall from 3 to 4.0; too lazy to re-review. (1,128 characters)

Photo of Amalak
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. It has a massive bubbly, brown head that leaves a good deal of lacing. It's black with a hint of light coming through at the bottom.

S. Smooth nut scent to it.

T. It has a very alcohol bite to it. A bit over the top. It's malty. Hints of chocolate. A nuttyness to it.

M. Very carbonated and leaves a tingle on the tongue.

O. The alcohol I feel overtakes any of the complexity. It a bit to port wine-ish as a porter beer. It's not bad, but it lacks a certain something. (477 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz tallboy can, this was a souvenir from working EBF 2012. The beer was allowed to warm some before being poured into my petit Duvel tulip.

Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter pours to fairly standard appearance for a porter. The body of the beer is pitch black, with maybe a finger and a half of caramel foam sitting atop it. Head retention is definitely on the short side, and lacing is pretty much nonexistent. The nose is a blend of milk chocolate and black licorice, with the licorice probably standing out a little bit more. The flavor lets the base beer shine through some more, as coffee joins the milk chocolate from the nose. At the same time, the licorice fades a bit more into the background, which is just fine with me. The body is nice and full and chewy, and carbonation is just a touch dull, leading to a decent mouthfeel. I was a bit apprehensive about trying Uncommon Brewers Baltic Porter once I saw star anise and licorice mentioned on the can, but they manage to use it to add a nice subdued note to a solid porter. I’d definitely pick up some more if it were locally available. (1,099 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got 3 of there beers on discount. Seems their beers are really carbonated and they said "open it over a sink" chilling the beer and doing so the can didn't explode everywhere.

A - Pours a very dark black, no light escaping with a half inch of head that sticks around to make a mocha colored lace ring. Don't be fooled it's still very carbonated so don't shake the can!

S - I get mostly chocolate malt in this one with roast coming at me as well. Smells sweet.

T - Wow that's carbonated. Felt like I was swallowing foam. Taste is pretty light for 7.8% with balanced light chocolate flavors and coffee. Not bad.

M - Way too bubbly really the whole time I wanted to be careful swallowing since it foams up rather easy. Medium bodied but light bubbly body.

Overall I would love to have this again but they really got to cut the carbonation down a bit! Good beer overall and am happy to have the other two offerings.

Canned on 5/14/2011 and still this carbonated GAWDamn! (972 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 mactrail
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After popping the top you get a big foam-up. Then it's quite beautiful with the abundant creamy head and lacing. However, my first thought is what was that theater candy with the intense licorice flavor? (Black Crows.) Aroma is more licorice. Flavors of black pepper, pencil shavings, and burnt toast. Very dark roast malt with a little sweetness, but it's overwhelmed by that enormous winey charcoal taste.

As a dissenting opinion, I find this tough to drink. I admit it's interesting and spicy, and the frothy mouthfeel is nice. However, the bitter, metallic finish is harsh. 16 oz cans from the Jug Shop in San Francisco. (625 characters)

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