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Grand Baltic Porter - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 10
Gots: 6 | 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:
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 added by: nighthawk on 01-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Private Garrison order. A big beer, very malty with a touch of sourness. While drinkable, not hitting the style. Rather muted and simple for flavours,I did not find this particularly interesting even for a plain porter. Minimal roast. AVerage carbonation and mouthfeel.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Loftarasa. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a big ring and bit of hazy film, with minimal lace. Black body that reveals a bit of lighter brown at the fringes.

S - Chocolate, dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, and some burnt sugars over top of a bready lager backdrop. Seems more like a dark doppelbock than a Baltic porter.

T - Taste is very heavy in dark fruits, but finishes with toasted bread, roast malts, and some light licorice notes. Fairly consistent with the aroma. Not at all surprised that it was made with dates and molasses although I didn't know this beforehand.

M - Carbonation is a little bit tinglier than I prefer, smooth medium body, and a sticky finish.

D - It's a somewhat unusual Baltic Porter but it's a surprisingly decent beer. I'm not sure if Canadian brewers have problems with getting things to style, but unlike KGB at least this tasted good.

Photo of Mora2000
4.28/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of liamt07
4/5  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.

Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml wax topped bottle.

Pours a very opaque black, maybe some dark reddish highlights, thick tan head forms, slowly settles to a thick ring, some lace spots stick. Smell is nice, quite rich, dark fruit and chocolate milk, very malty, light roast and biscuit, raisins, good stuff. Taste is similar, sweet up front, some brown sugar and caramel, chocolate, lots of fruit, touch of alcohol, nice biscuity finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Pretty solid example of the style.

Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed on November 25, 2011. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured medium brown and settled dark brown with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass. A slight ruby glow is evident around some of the edges.

S - Big dark fruit aroma up front - cherry, raisin, figs. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with some brown sugar and toffee sweetness. A very atypical nose for a baltic porter but very inviting.

T - Dark fruit up front with raising and a warming alcohol presence. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with a big sweetness with hints of molasses and brown sugar. The sweetness and the warming alcohol balance each other out nicely. Overall, this is a very nice beer, but if I tasted this blind I would think I was drinking a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Photo of jrallen34
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle provided by Alex for our Canadian tasting...Pours a medium brown with a light tan head that rises about a finger but is gone right away, ugly...Light aroma of chocolate and grain, with a light dark fruits, not as sweet as expected for a bp...From the taste and feel I think right away this is a very lagerish bp. Not very sweet, roasy with dark fruits, not overly strong but decent enough to drink.

Nothing special but I'd drink it again.

Photo of spinrsx
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5 or so back in 2011

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an above average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also a lot of a maraschino cherry like flavour.

Overall - Perhaps aging was not a good idea with this one.. if the maraschino cherry flavour is intentional it is a little weird. The booze is well hidden, but the beer has an odd flavour to it.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of tbeckett
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber. Nice carbonation coming up. One finger of light brown head sitting atop looking a little creamy but fizzy as well. No lace and a half finger of retention.

S - A blend of chocolate, cola, chocolate milk, a little toasty.

T - A sourness is present with alot of chocolate and roasty malt. There is a clean fruity note like a blueberry maybe as well. Some sweet spice is there also. Odd combo of flavours.

M - Mild carbonation and a full body with a sweet, berry-like finish.

O/D - Odd for the style but it works. A tasty brew with lot's of depth of flavour. Perhaps needs some tweaking, but a nice Baltic Porter. I couldn't have more than one of these though.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Photo of Deuane
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

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

Another new offering from Garrison for the Alberta market.

A - Almost pitch black, but some light does manage to get through, thumb of light mocha head with some retention and no lacing.

S - Pretty mild on the nose with burnt sugar, dark cocoa and molasses all coming through.

T - Molasses is definitely present, dark roasted malts, bitter espresso. ABV heat is well concealed, though some ABV sweetness is noticeable. Some nuttiness and light peat notes are also coming through.

M - Comes across a tad thin, but the finish is nice and wet.

O - A tasty offering that packs a punch both in terms of ABV and flavour. Definitely worth a try and likely to be a repeat offender as I found this one quite drinkable. Definitely a star in the Garrison line-up.

Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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

Appearance. Deep, deep brown-red with two fingers of thick and creamy tan head.

Smell. Plums, burnt sugar, roasty malt.

Taste. Apples, molasses and heavy roasted grains. A little bitterness and tobacco in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Not bad. A little harsh, but not bad tasting. Finished without any troubles, but wouldn't open another right away.

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

Bottled on November 25, 2011.

Very dark, almost black, but some brownish hints are present. A small and somewhat fizzy tan head dissipates quickly.

Smell is malty with dark berries- maybe blackberry, some cherry. A bit musky and an anise scent as well. A bit of a medicinal smell. Some nice scents but the anise and the medicinal aspects are not for me.

Taste works better than the smell for me. The berry and cherry flavours are present along with some roasted, caramel malt, a bit of chocolate. Anise flavour is light, less than in the smell, which improves matters for me. Also a bit of a nutty flavour. I feel like the use of lager yeast lessens the flavour a bit for me, but it is really quite good.

Highly carbonated, medium to full bodied, chewy. Nice but carbonation is too much.

Overall, pretty nice flavour but the rest of the elements are not quite there for me. All fine but not great. Happy to finish the bottle, that is for sure.

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of kwjd
4.43/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of Jeffo
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer last summer from a generous trader who's name escapes me. Cheers for the beers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A brown, muddy looking pour produces a 2+ finger, medium looking, light tan head with very good retention. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap. Muddy black body with no carbonation evident. Splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking. Pretty nasty.

SMELL: Dark malts, dark fruits, mostly raisins and dates, with some spicy yeast notes. A light touch of dark chocolate as well. Bold enough and reminds me of a Belgian strong dark ale.

TASTE: Spicy and fruity Belgian strong dark. Dark malts, toffee sweetness, and some dark fruits up front. Raisins, grapes and dates are in there. Some spicy yeast flavors and a touch of dark chocolate at the swallow as well. Bold and persistent aftertaste of dark fruits, spicy yeast and some bitter dark chocolate as balance. Interesting, and probably a more traditional lager-style baltic porter. Reminds me more of a flavorful Belgian strong dark ale.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down a little fizzy and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the swallow. Average at best, unfortunately.

OVERALL: This is a bold, flavorful and spicy lager. A traditional baltic porter for sure, much of the aroma and flavor profile reminds me of a Belgian strong dark ale. Regardless, this is a good beer no matter what, and a thicker, creamier palate would make this one of the better ones in the country. Complex and enjoyable. Cheers!

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Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.