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Grand Baltic Porter - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 73
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 11
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nighthawk on 01-18-2009

This traditional beer style was originally brewed in countries bordering the Baltic Sea. Although derived from English porters, it was mostly influenced by Russian imperial stouts. Typically, the Baltic porters are brewed with lager yeasts and are smoother than the imperial stouts. Grand Baltic Porter is good for the soul and luxurious on a cold Baltic night. Skal!

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 73
Photo of kwjd
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with thick tan head. Great head retention, some small streaks of lacing. Smells of molasses, chocolate and some grains with roasted malt. Very sweet flavour, nice chocolate aftertaste. Very smooth mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent baltic porter.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml, bottled on Jan 25, 2011. The eastern march into Alberta continues unabated - bully for us!

This beer pours a clear, very dark and winsome ruby red amber hue, with a teeming amount of fine, creamy, yet billowy ecru head, which settles at an even pace, leaving a consistent saw tooth band of lace around the glass. It smells of brown sugar, ripe dark fruit, booze-soaked oak, and a general caramel maltiness. The taste is big fruity caramel/toffee malt, resinous wood - vanilla, mostly, bittersweet chocolate, a twinge of lactic sourness, and soft, oh so gentle alcohol. The carbonation is quite tame, the body full, round, smooth, and vectored towards creamy. It finishes still sweet, and a little more boozier, the malt playing out its fruit bender.

Sometimes I just take a big gulp of a new beer, and see where the chips fall. Often, I'm righteously smacked upside the head. But not here, from the first glorious glug, this goes down in a lovely, soothing manner. I shall re-up on this, given the chance.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - deep wood brown, two fingers of thick mocha head, retains long and consistent
S - mocha, molasses, raisins, and an alcohol hint
T - very sweet toffee, thick molasses, bakers chocolate, dark cherries with syrup, super sweet and tasty
M - somehow light and syrupy together, finishes full and sticky
O - a full flavour and feel brew that is dangerously drinkable at 9%, I really hope this is a mainstay in Alberta

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit and alcohol. The aroma is about what I expected in a Baltic porter.

The taste is much more complex. I get a lot of roasted/burnt malt which leads to the beer being somewhat bitter. I also get a lot of chocolate, cherries, raisins, molasses and alcohol. After reading the label and the ingredients in the beer, I also get some dates, but I am not sure if I would have picked them out if I would not have been tipped off that they were included in the recipe.

Full mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

A great beer, one of the best my father brought back from Halifax.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on a trade! Thx Curtis. Served at 4deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a nice 1" light brown head that dissipates to nothing in no time. Very dark brown

S- Nice licorice and fig tones. Has chocolate and malt

T- Figs. Honey. Malt. Touch of coffee.

M- Creamy good

O- Nice brew. Has a decent backbone that stands up for it's own.

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with..... Peppercorn encrusted pork loin


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Photo of Stocean1
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger mocha head that quickly dissipated to nothing, nearly completely black with ruby highlights, minimal lacing.

Very complex nose, some booze, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit.

The taste is massive, follows the nose lots of anise/licorice coming through especially as it warmed. Very sweet. Earthy hops emerges as well.

Full bodied with little carbonation, sweet although not overly so, this is a sipper with plenty of bitterness throughout. Definitely not a session brew it is nevertheless relatively smooth for the style.

An excellent complex brew that is perfect for ending an evening of brews by sending you to your slumber.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The flavor has a bit of a smoky taste, but the liquid itself looks like it's been outirght burnt; the basically opaque black appearance is appropriate for a beer that tastes of oily coffee bean and black licorice. Its total flatness and lack of life seems about right for a style traditionally brewed for long journeys and cold-winter climates.

The bouquet has a cola-like sweetness with strong black licorice notes. It's not always that you can actually pick out the special ingredients by scent, but this smells strongly of both molasses and dates. The rich, sweet toffee, creamed coffee and plum-y/prune-y fruitiness are all characteristics straight out the style guidelines. Delicious.

Grand Baltic Porter tastes, as do many in the style, like it was blended with a pot of week-or-two-old coffee. Make it yourself at home in a few easy steps: brew some instant decaf, let sit for several days, then add equal parts prune juice and brown sugar, let stand several more days. OK, it's not that easy, but it does taste something like that, albeit with added notes of black currant, wild truffle, chocolate tartufo, and mesquite smoke.

The funny thing about Baltic Porters is that they're lagered and, despite the ultra rich flavor profile, they drink with suspicious ease and a flat, completely mismatched mouthfeel. The only texture is that of a stale and sooty coffee. It's like the coffee bean oils have come to life! Still, despite the astringency, for a 9% beer this is effortlessly drinkable.

Baltic Porter is not exactly a popular style to emulate and, besides, its complexities make it beyond the abilities of many brewers. Garrison, however, has done an exceptional and noteworthy job. If it weren't for the limited availability and $6 price tag in these parts, there's no saying how many of these I'd have stashed away in the cellar.

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Photo of ajhod
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased the bottle at the brewery only a week after the release for 2009.

Poured into a cool, but not COLD wine glass.

Thick rich head, as expected with a beer of this gravity. Stays around a long time.

Deep roast/caramel/chocolate flavour. Very intense and rich. Delicious.

Hop profile minimal if at all noticeable. (as is appropriate)

Heavy beer. Coats the tongue and fills the mouth. Served it with some cave aged cheddar and blue cheese from the Halifax area. Went VERY well with the blue, went ok with the cheddar.

I expected a high ABV with this beer...and got it. You don't taste the alcohol, but it does get to you fairly fast.

An excellent Baltic Porter. If I could keep it around...I'd get some to age, but it is just too good..I'll drink it all.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous inky black with decent coffee-coloured head, albeit one that dissipates more quickly than I'd expected. Mouthfeel is pleasant and pretty unremarkable, which totally belies the 9% ABV.

Aroma of dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, vanilla and oak. The taste is well balanced with a sweetness I'd taken as caramelized malts, but which the bottle no doubt correctly identifies as dates, lingering well into the finish. The oak tannins are not as prevalent in the flavour as in the aroma, which from a purely personal perspective I view as a positive.

Definitely a beer I'd recommend and will purchase again.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, if somewhat mild Baltic porter. Dark ruby with a thick, fluffy off-white head.

Coffee, rum, raisins and slight apple in the nose. Similar taste, but with a pronounced wine profile to it. Definite coffee character. I also pick up chocolate covered raisins. Mild rum flavour, and even brandy. Slight alcohol burn - enough to make me slow down.

Smooth, slick body. Low carbonation, suited to the style. A good sipper - one to finish the night with.

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Photo of cyrenaica
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle
9.0% ABV
I tried this beer on June 3, 2011 at "Bar Volo" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a deep black colour with a thin brown head into a tulip glass. The aroma was roasted malt, coffee, and molasses. The mouthfeel was full with mild carbonation. The flavour was more pronounced in the molasses direction with the coffee tones taking a back seat, but still there.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tall bottle shared with friends as part of our Best of Nova Scotia beer tasting night.

Poured into a small snifter glass. A chestnut-grape coloured brew, fairly dark, but certainly with some colour. Thin head, some lacing.

The nose on this spicy and fruity, with notes of figs, grapes, dates, prunes, a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel and slight bittering hops. Divine.

A flavorful and enjoyable Baltic - our previous brew that evening was an imperial stout, yet this brew felt neither washed out or bland. Rather, the lovely grape-date fruit flavors paired well with the hearty malts and spices, making for a lovely sipper. A mild rye bread and grainy character also pervades the brew. Very nice. Thin bodied, mild carbonation.

Baltic porters are a diverse breed, and this brew certainly falls under the lighter, fruity end of the spectrum. But it does it extremely well, and Garrison is certainly to be commended.

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Photo of Deuane
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Marc, owner of Marky's Laundromat and Espresso Bar, Moncton, NB for offering up an aged 2009 bottle for us to enjoy,

A-Deep, black/brown, with dark ruby highlights and a thick tan head that slowly reduces to a thin cap of retention and leaves spotty lace.

S-Quite complex with notes of cherry, raisin and prune, light chocolate, leather, oak, anise along with a mildly sweet malt base.

T-Much like the aroma with a pleasant malt/fruit sweetness up front mellowed and dried out with astringency from dark chocolate, cherry skin, oak and leather. Light touch of alcohol heat in the finish.

M-Medium to medium-full bodied with lingering cherry, to include a subtle sour twang, leather and drying oak notes.

D-This is a very pleasant, enjoyable and easy to drink brew. I can see why this beer has been rewarded with so many accolades. Solid and tasty with plenty going on to keep things interesting throughout. Nicely done Garrison's and thanks Marc for the opportunity to try!

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Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled January 25, 2011... I've never seen such a rusted cap in such a short time.

A: Deep chestnut, pours with a nice light tan head, thin ring of retention, slight leg.

S: Very vinous aroma, raisins, treacle, spicy hopping with a hint of floral notes.

T: Caramalized raisins, figs, dates, demerara, roasted nut, sponge toffee, dark rye bread, balanced bitterness, slight alcohol warmth. Roast is very restrained, there's hints of molasses & black licorice, but it's a bit like a dopplebock.

M: Fairly full body has a light residual sweetness and a hint of drying alcohol in the finish.

D/O: A divine sipper. Well-crafted.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml black foil covered bottle poured into chalice june3 2010

A almost black with a thumbs worth of tan head that has decent retention and leaves a few patches of lace

S licorice, molasses, some dark fruits and a little chocolate

T not far from the smell but with a fair bit of raisin almost like the boxed chocolate covered Glosette raisins after you suck most of the chocolate off. I also pick up on some faint coffee

M thick enough too please but it blows up in your mouth due too massive carbonation

D no sign of the 9%alc, quite smooth and very easy too drink, a solid beer and a good example of the style

I would drink this again and would love too see how one ages. although it's no Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique this is a respectable beer that's well worth trying
thanks Long813 for sending this one my way

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Photo of liamt07
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a while, thanks to Long813 for this one. Bottled on December 1, 2009, 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, with some lighter red around the edges. Finger or so of tan head, no lacing and mild retention. Aroma is some dark fruits, sweet plums, chocolate covered cherries, molasses and licorice. Taste has more of the same, and I got some blackberries and some light milk chocolate in here too. Flavour is a bit lighter relative to the nose. Mouthfeel is a bit watery (would've liked it a bit more full bodied), and leaves some bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is relatively short, and not as sweet as the smell. Alcohol cannot be found here, goes down real fast for its content. Nice stuff from Garrison.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, black foil. returned from blackie's great "international" adventure

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, dark body, creamy tan head with decent retention.

smell: chew caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, dates, brown sugar, molasses

taste: caramel, raisins and dates, sweet chocolate, molasses, coffee, roasted malts. Nice baltic, though a little sweet

mouthfeel: creamy, medium body

drinkability: high for the abv

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a super large off-white foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of medium dry coffee notes with some black chocolate note and light dry roasted notes. Taste is easily drinkable with loads of coffee notes with some notes of rich black chocolate and light dry roasted malt at the end. Body is quite full with a nice creamy texture. Very well brewed.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

per the bottle, brewed with molasses and dates

a: piraat snifter, creamy tan head one finger width in depth, soon falling back to a nicely retained layer, the beer itself practically black in colour

s: lots of heavy blackstrap molasses and dark char roast, licorice, burnt caramel sugars, black currant and blackberry liqueur, sour cherry, dark chocolate coated leathery fruits like raisin and prune; sweeter and mildly hopped, boozy, pretty great aroma all told (really dig the berry/roast combo) - nosing into 4.5 territory

m: carbonation medium-full, smooth and nearly silky, medium-heavy body

t: lots of deep roast with a full sweetness, sour berry liqueur - cherry, blackberry, currant; dark chocolate, burnt sugars reminiscent of molasses and licorice, dries out a bit leaving lingering char roast, warming alcoholic finish

d: a bit of a challenge as it's boozy and a touch harsh at times, but one of the better baltics I've come across

500 ml bottle from the brewery in Halifax, at the terminus of the harbour side walk

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Photo of ludachris
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went down to the brewery today to pick this one up and thought it would be appropriate for my last beer of my holidays in Halifax. Bottled on December 1, 2009, so I'm drinking this one fresh but I'd love to have one of these aged a year or two.

Pours an opaque black with honey amber and ruby red highlights. 2 fingers of light tan head top this beer. Good retention and leaves some nice patchy lacing along the sides of the glace.

The nose is rich with notes of molasses, raison, candied dates, and milk chocolate all coming out amidst a light roasted background.

Rich notes of molasses, candied dark fruits, and chocolate immediately hit the palate, finishing dry with hints of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, and velvety smooth. Nice balance and a great drinker with the 9% ABV being concealed very well.

A great seasonal from Garrison. I enjoyed this a bit more than their winter warmer, especially since I found it to be more suitable for the season. Despite its fairly high ABV and rich flavours, it was still nicely balanced and easy to drink. The sweetness is pronounced but not cloying and that's partly why I enjoyed this one so much. Can't wait to buy this one next year.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for bringing this one to our All Hallow's Eve tasting.

A - Very dark, probably black beer that is brown in the light. Tan head that dissipated to a ring.

S - More dark fruits than I was expecting. Nice charred malts, burnt sugar, leather, little chocolate, and molasses.

T - Dark fruits, sweet, but not overly. Roasted and charred malts, as well as a little bit of coffee. Am looking for some more smoke or bitter, and less sweet, but this is not bad.

M - Creamy, full bodied.

D - Very easy to drink and pretty enjoyable. Not world class, but would definately drink this again.

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Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Troy was very generous to share this bottle... one of the few remaining Garrison's I hadn't had yet.

Pours a deep black with a large tan head taht almost erupts over the side of the glass, and puts down some good streaks of lace as it descends to a whispy cap. Nice malt forward aroma, with raisin jiving with cocoa powder and molasses.

Apparently this has a year on it, and its helped mellow out the alcohol nicely, and its now consigned to a vague warming feeling. Asides from that the flavour profile follows the nose closely, with molasses, raisin and chocolate dominating. Its perhaps a little too sweet for my liking, but seems to be in line with the style. Medium body with a restrained carbonation (perhaps the age killed this a little).

Not a bad example at all, and another solid seasonal from the guys in Halifax. Thanks again, T.

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Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle form mmurphy525

Deep brown colour, ruby highlights in the light, 1.5 fingers of tan head, sticky with some lace. Smell is of roasty malt, lots of dark fruit, sugary toffee and caramel, liquorice, touches of coffee, light bittersweet chocolate notes. Taste is roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, the dates come out more in taste than in the nose, raisin and dark berries, some alcohol and a lightly burnt sugar taste. Medium-high carbonation, syrupy, full feel and big body. Nice slow sipper, enjoyable and quite drinkable. Kind of wish I saved this for a colder evening but still nice in August.

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Photo of tonyf55
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the large Garrison bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Visual (4.5): Extremely dark, black opaque color. No clarity at all. Head is a nice tan color made of small spherical bubbles, lasting due to a consistent film of active carbonation.

Aroma (4): Caramel malts prevalent. Sweetness is subdued by alcoholic lingerings and hints of fruit includes dates, prunes and fig. Not overly complex with no real yeast or hop scents. Really shines more when its a little warmer.

Taste (4): Mild roasted flavours dominate with alcoholic flabours that linger in the mouth. Sweetness from the malt is mild and dark fruit flavours touch the pallet before the swallow. Flavours are slightly understated despite being a "big" beer. Decent warming capabilities.

Mouthfeel (3.5): A medium body with a nice creamy feel. Alcohol floods the pallet. Prevalently dry but compliments the taste and feel of the style nicely. Could be chewier.

Overall (4): All together Baltic Porter by Garrison is a well crafted offering. Fantastic appearance coupled with an interesting nose and complimentary taste gives this Garrison beer great marks. I feel like the 9% ABV dominated a bit and flavour complexities could have been increased to balance the big alcoholic taste and mouthfeel. Overall, a great beer for a cold Canadian night.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red, nearly black, but light permeates throughout. The compact tan head lasts for a shortwhile and doesnt leave much lace on the glass. The aroma is malty with some roasted barly, coffee and black licorice present. The taste is of bittersweet dark chocolate, vinous fruitness, hop bitterness and caramel drenched rum cake. The mouthfeel is full with a very active carbonation, mmm prickly. The finish is long and malty with some slight booze. Overall though, the high abv is quite well hidden.

Great Baltic Porter. I highly recommend this. Very rich.

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Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.