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Balt Altbier - Union Craft Brewing Company

Balt AltbierBalt Altbier

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

80 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 7.51%


Brewed by:
Union Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yourefragile on 07-05-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark ruby-tinted brown with two finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma of strong malts, mostly some roasted and bready malts, a graininess as well, and touches of sweet malt like caramel and toffee and I get a touch of hops. Beer is smooth, medium-bodied, there is a good amount of sweetness to it as I get caramel and some other sugary goodness, a little balance from roasted malts and bitter hops but it's not evenly matched. Finishes dry and is a good sipping beer that I enjoyed but not really complex and a little off key.

Serving type: can

02-23-2014 16:45:22 | More by clayrock81
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from this brewery which I enjoyed when I visited the brewery last year. Thanks to itsme_timd (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a huge creamy thick rich head that rises up to 3 fingers and I have to stop pouring, and it fades semi slowly with nice fizzy bubbles popping, and nice soapy lacing, very hazy dark maroon like slight chestnut colored beer.

Nose brings some dusty brown malts, toasty, light toasted bread and grain, mild brown sugar and caramel, into a mild grassy slight earthy herbal hop aroma, as well as a mild toffee nutty creamy brown malt.

taste starts with more brown malts, toasty and quite creamy too, little oats, mild coffee milk and maybe lactose, with a little nutty slight toffee like flavor, with some sweetness as well, a little brown sugar coffee milk flavor. Some milk grassy earthy herbal hops but not a lot, mild to fair bitterness. Finish is fairly bitter as it dries, it gets a little dried lactose like feel, more earthy slight herbal hops lingering.

Mouth is med bod, creamy, lighter on the carb though which doesn't help the creamy feel.

Overall... as a beer it's pretty nice, more like a creamy brown ale, as an alt-bier, I don't think it really gets there, and lacking on the carbonation esp for a canned beer. But it's still drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: can

01-31-2014 02:09:51 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mongrel
Mongrel

Maryland

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - amber with a short, sudsy off-white head.

S - smells sweet and a little chalky with a faint whiff of banana.

T - tastes like an intriguing mix between an amber lager and a Belgian witbier. Sweet and a little syrupy with caramel malts at first, but hints of Belgian spice follow - vanilla, clove mainly. Also a touch of tart apple.

Mouthfeel is medium and a little syrupy for a second, but turns soft and slightly chalky, which is another interesting element of this beer and another strange tie between an amber lager and Belgian.

Overall, an interesting, easy-drinking amber ale that could sub in nicely for more boring party beers like Yuengling or Blue Moon.

Serving type: can

01-21-2014 00:56:29 | More by Mongrel
Photo of jjboesen
jjboesen

Maryland

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dussledorf comes to Baltimore in a can. Once poured from the can, this altbier opens with a heavy froth that fills the entire mug. It takes time settling. The body is a semi-translucent copper liguid lightly populated with carbonation bubbles. The nose detects a mild whiff of apple and banana while the palate is dappled with sweet motes of toasted malt with a weak supplement of apple at the end. The mouthfeel is a litle bready with some crispiness bringing up the rear. While it does have a bit more carbonation than I like, this alt makes for a pleasant quaff anytime of the year. While, I woul'nt cancel a trip to Dusseldorf because of it. Balt Alt is a decent expression of the style.

This is the second beer I have had from this brewer; I look forward to more. Baltimore is definitely rising as far as beer is concered.

Serving type: can

11-25-2013 01:43:38 | More by jjboesen
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Good Lord! I CANnot remember who provided me with this beer in furtherance of Thee CANQuest (TM). EDIT: It was the venerable tone77, my local, in-person trader! Yay! Credit where credit is due, I always say.

From the CAN: "Old World Old School"; "A Brewing Tradition"; "Start a New Tradition Recycle This CAN"; "This German-style Altbier is our nod to an old world, old school ale. The word "Alt" is German for "old", and refers to the traditional style of brewing before lager yeast was discovered. Balt is a dark, copper colored brew with a creamy head, a gentle bitterness and a clean, dry finish. Prost, Hon!"

Ah, the Baltimorons! I had never heard them referred to as such until my first encounter with John Waters. As a movie buff, I was elated to finally meet the man and he was up to his billing. I toast the master of schlock with this beer.

I had my CAN glass at the ready and directly following the Crack!, I instituted an inverted Glug. This resulted in a massive two-plus fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. The ex-Old Lady did not dig when I would pour this way, but since we are no longer together, I really don't care what she thinks. Color was more deep-brown than coppery (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a musky scent, kind of an anise, chocolate and caramel, but heavy. Put some of this in an atomizer, spray it behind your earlobes and stand by, ladies! Mouthfeel was medium, but the tastes of milk chocolate and caramel were immediate and obvious on the tongue. The finish gave it a minty character that was undoubtedly from the hops. This seemed bigger than its advertised 5.5% ABV, but that was no problem for me. This was quite good, but too much on the sweet side for me.

Serving type: can

11-10-2013 17:23:40 | More by woodychandler
Photo of fourstringer
fourstringer

Maryland

4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a pint glass with a moderately aggressive hand. This is a hometown beer for sure - the brewery is only a few miles from my house. No perceivable date on the can.

A: Nice dark amber-brown with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Down to a light coating at 2 minutes. Light lacing.

S: Solid, nutty malt with some sweetness. Traces of toffee, dried fruit. Toasted notes with subtle touches of bread.

T: Nutty and malty with a nice bitterness that is present both immediately and throughout. Fairly classic german hop profile. Semi-dry finish. There is definitely some sweetness, but it is not the focal point IMO. Well balanced. Probably a bit more hop bitterness than the typical altbier, but it works. Great flavors of nuts, toasted malt, light toffee, indistinct fruit.

M: Moderate to low carbonation with a moderate body. Fitting for the style. Smooth. Well done.

O: Aside from their "Hampden on Rye" collaboration with Brewer's Art, this is my favorite Union offering. Excellent execution of a traditional style with a subtle American twist. Drinks really well. I particularly enjoy the nuttiness of this brew. Good out of the can, too. Buy it if you see it, for sure.

Prost!

Serving type: can

10-20-2013 20:07:36 | More by fourstringer
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow!! Where did this come from? I stopped at "Mothers" with my daughter for some wings and a beer. I order a Pilsner Urquell...because I haven't had a PU on tap for awhile. I suggest she try the Balt because I like the brewery, and thought she might like it. She's a porter fan, and alt was the closest thing they had.
She LOVED it...so I thought I'd better try it. OMG...what a great beer. I mean great beer.
The aroma was a rich woody caramel scented alt like my favorites from Uriege in Dusseldorf. I mean where T-H- did this come from. The taste was full and rich of the German malts you would expect. The mouth feel was smooth ( after a letting it get closer to a decent drinking temperature). Ok...don't believe me, but I thought I had a fresh glass of "Sticke".
I'm sure this will be distributed as just another beer..."alt" style...blah, blah, blah.
But this is serious, special beer. Altbier is a wonderful German beer that we don't often hear about because of their wonderful lagers, pilsners and wheat beers we expect. Union craft has "crafted" real altbier that should be compared and considered against the best.
Ok...now I'm buying it in cans and taking with me across country. Let's see what San Diego, NY and Colorado say...I bet they say send me more!

Note to DIM...you're right...on all counts!

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 02:12:14 | More by BillRoth
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a: Chill hazed chestnut brown with golden edges; pours with relatively short lived head.

s: Sweet bread and toasted nuts, traces of grape and leafy hops.

t: Very much malt forward, black bread and strong roasted nuttiness with sweet grapes. Fairly strong lingering hop tingle.

m: Smooth and crisp, surprisingly full bodied.

o: Not a style I know well at all. Looking back over my reviews, of the few I have tried my favorites seem to be bigger, extreme examples. I need to try more traditional examples, this is damn good.

Serving type: can

09-22-2013 17:47:17 | More by DIM
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours dark red with a small white head. Smells of caramel, dark roasted grain, and slight berry. Tastes of slight grassy hop flavor with a nice fruit and dark roasted grain backbone. Beer is carbonated well and very drinkable for a medium body. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: growler

09-20-2013 00:17:25 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of thezach
thezach

Maryland

3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A burnt copper, thin head that fades quickly, little to no head.

S: I feel like I pick up a touch of a minty herbal aroma. Definitely a touch of roast and grain in there too. Otherwise, it's pretty darn clean. Got a bit of a lager thing going on here. In a good way.

T: Very clean and surprisingly bitter. Light on the malt, but enough to keep me drinking it

M: Clean and well-carbed. A bit of body from some caramel malts, which definitely become more prominent as the beer warms. I has a pretty dry finish with a lingering hop bitterness.

O: This tastes pretty on point for the style, and one that I've rarely seen around. A refreshing break from the pales and IPAs and a good one to share with a friend who is more partial to the malt. Very easy to drink, and the clean finish and lingering bitterness really fill this one out.

Serving type: can

09-04-2013 03:11:24 | More by thezach
Photo of Theheroguy
Theheroguy

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminds me of an English pale ale. It is earthy and little sweet. Hops are on the back end.

Overall it is a very subtle and smooth very well balanced. That being said taste wise it isn't really exceptional. If you're a real fan of the style I'd try it but for someone like me I think $10 a six pack is just a bit too much for this.

Serving type: can

08-05-2013 18:57:50 | More by Theheroguy
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, a bit sweet. Taste is caramel, malts, some sweetness, very easy drinking, considerably dry at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

Serving type: can

08-04-2013 13:51:31 | More by tone77
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice coppery color. Small tight head. Nice aroma-good balance between malt and a good hop presence. Sort of metallic and soapy. Solid, malty flavor with a nice bitterness. Somewhat grainy and a tad earthy. Lasting hop bite. Some sweetness in there. Decent mouthfeel. A very nice beer in all. First offering I have had from these folks. A tad pricey I am seeing more and more 10 and 11 dollar six packs and it leaves me less likely to try something new. Worth having for sure though!

Serving type: can

07-25-2013 23:35:32 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of tugdriver7
tugdriver7

Maryland

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ever since Frankenheim was pulled from the US market, I have been searching for an American craft "alt" that was as authentic and drinkable as an original German. A tall order indeed. And there have been a few come close. This one comes the closest so far. Balt Alt has the same lighter body, subtle carbonation, rich roasted malt flavor (without being too sweet), and a slight hops bitterness--particularly in the aftertaste, rendering the whole extremely drinkable. Best of all, it's fresh where I live but comes in cans so a glass pour can be almost as good as a tap. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: can

07-25-2013 02:59:34 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of BurpingtonDC
BurpingtonDC

Maryland

3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint

A - carmel, dark maple color with a tan creamy three-fingered head that recedes quickly. persistent lacing of moderate degree.

S - Here I will have to admit my naiveté about AltBier, but I'm underwhelmed by the nose. mostly soapy, malt and toast scent.

T - Toast, Malt and bitters

M - small bubbled, light carbonation. Slight sweetness and moderate weight on the tongue.

O - I've only tried a few ales of this style, but this one seems to be a pretty good one. Not my thing but an enjoyable brew. Good enough that I want to try some of Unions others. I live 5 minutes from the brewery so I think I check 'em out!

Serving type: can

07-20-2013 00:16:14 | More by BurpingtonDC
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a stange glass.

A real nice chestnut brown body, and even ruby red along the edges for the body. Faint cola carbonation and fast rising, a large three finger head, tan in color, with soapy retention is made off the pour. Settles to a soapy collar and a nice deep red presentation.

Light yeast and some caramel toasty warmth. Slightly clove spicy and dry, with a touch of caramel. Fairly basic and solid.

Light bodied palate comes with the matching nose. Sharp caramel and toast, but with a slightly tinny finish though unfortunately. Dryness is not as pronounced on the nose as compared to the flavor profile. Some good sticky quality but there's a faint metallic twinge to this particularly in the finish. Mild sticky yeast, but with a lighter feel.

Overall it's alright, but could be better.

Serving type: can

07-15-2013 22:15:22 | More by smakawhat
Photo of NumberNone
NumberNone

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brownish amber color with a good bubbly ivory-colored head with decent carbonation.

S: Malt, caramel, hops, dark fruit, brown sugar, slight wheat, bread/biscuit, touch of floral.

T: Toasty malt, slight hops, burnt caramel, cherry, bread/biscuit, slight spice.

M: Mostly smooth on the palate with a good touch of bitterness near the end.

O: A nice tasting, malty altbier with good flavors of bread/biscuit, dark fruit, and brown sugar. Somewhat reminiscent of Brewer's Art Resurrection, though with a bit more dark fruit and a touch more bitterness, and more of a lagery wheat feel. Quite drinkable. Nice version of a not often seen style. Brewed right around the corner from where I grew up.

Serving type: can

07-15-2013 16:50:04 | More by NumberNone
Photo of BeerForMuscle
BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark maple syrup, frothy head.

S - Smokey, roasty, salty malted grains. Tangy, earthy.

T - Bitter, dry roasted. Tangy, smokey, old wood. Subtle malt and hints of hops. Smooth flavors and earthy notes.

M - Semi dry, chewy mouthfeel. Crisp finish.

O - A nice representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2013 03:42:18 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is amber to copper with crimson highlights and a quarter inch of tan head. The aroma brings sweet breads, malt, toffee, ripe dark fruits. A bit of pine and hop character emerge in the flavor. Sweet and malty, with nots of plum and fig. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty good.

Serving type: can

05-27-2013 02:22:09 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Metropolitan.

Pours a clear dark mahogany ruby with a retentive creamy head and light lacing. Robust, rich aroma of roast malt, caramel, smoke, and berry. Medium soft body, light carbonation, creamy smooth texture. Rich malt flavor, caramel, toffee and chocolate with light earthy hops in the finish. Excellent flavor and balance, this was a treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2012 23:45:21 | More by yourefragile
Balt Altbier from Union Craft Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.