Raven's Roost Baltic Porter - Parkway Brewing Co.

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Raven's Roost Baltic PorterRaven's Roost Baltic Porter

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very good

24 Reviews
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Reviews: 24
Hads: 117
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 3.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Parkway Brewing Co. visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Huhzubendah on 03-27-2013

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 24 | Hads: 117
Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good one!!! Dark brown with reddish highlights. Big khaki head with good retention and filmy lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate. Robust malty flavor with chocolate and a little bitterness in the finish. Rich smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Very enjoyable (264 characters)

Photo of Pantalones
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Second of the two bottles found in a local Kroger's "discounted beer cart" -- can't find a bottling date, but I don't recall seeing this beer on the shelves for long before it turned up in the cart so I'm assuming it wasn't an "old beer, toss it in the cart" situation so much as a "one bottle got lost/broken/stolen, put the other 5 in the cart" sort of thing.

Looks: very, very dark! Basically black, though you can see just a bit of a dark brown around the edges (especially when held up to the light.) Small lights like a phone screen cannot penetrate the beer at all. Nice little bit of tan foam on top, which shrinks fairly quickly but leaves a bit hanging around the edges for a while.

Smell is a bit mild compared to the taste, but if you take a good sniff you definitely pick up a good bit of roastiness (bordering on chocolate-like at times) and some sweetness. Really nice smell to this one, even if it doesn't smack you in the face from a foot or so away like some beers.

The taste, like the smell, is initially in the roasty range -- a bit coffee-like at first, then shifting into a sweeter flavor with just a bit of breadiness in there at times. It actually really reminds me of toffee this time around, the way it's sort of got the dark roasty type flavors blending in with the almost caramel-like sweetness. Just a bit of a char/woody sort of thing in there too, though I don't pick that up on every drink I take. Not picking up on anything that I would attribute to hops -- this is definitely very, very far on the malty side of the beer flavor spectrum, I suppose the hops only contribute some bitter to balance out the sweetness (as there is quite a bit of sweetness involved!) Some of the roasty, toffee-like, and sweet bready flavors tend to hang around afterward -- leaning more toward roasty/toffee early on and then more toward toffee/bready as I reach the halfway point of this glass. The first bottle I had of this, I started to pick up more of a date/fig sort of dried fruit flavor as the glass emptied, but I'm not really getting that this time -- thinking I may have just misidentified the definite toffee-like flavor in this one for dark dried fruits the first time around. But either way, this is good.

Feel is also nice. Just a bit of a stickiness on the lips from all the sweetness in there, easily drinkable but substantial. I would definitely not guess that the ABV was a bit over 7% if the bottle didn't tell me -- there was only the slightest trace of mouth-warming from the alcohol early on and basically no alcohol presence afterward.

Overall -- of the three I've had, this is probably my favorite porter so far! Glad I had the chance to try a couple bottles. (2,716 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle initially served a bit too cold.
Looks as expected: very dark reddish brown with a decent tan head.
Aroma: OK but with an off-note.
Flavor: OK but not quite as rich or strong as expected for style. (213 characters)

Photo of rjs246
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was on the verge of being reallyreally good. Just a tad too much alcohol taste for a 7 percenter. Still, a good porter that I would totally drink again. (157 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this beer was gonna be great and it was. It poured a really dark color with a nice big creamy dark head. Lasted till the last quarter of the beer. The beer smelled roasty with caramel overtones. The beer was slightly sweet tasting and had a slight coffee hit that was just about right to me. I like the beer and will buy again. (338 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a small off white head. Smells of fruit and slight coffee. Tastes of dark grain with coffee aftertaste. Beer is light bodied with good carbonation. Overall a good beer. (239 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Another nice beer from Parkway in Salem, VA !! Pours with a nice head that laces very well. Color os obviously dark and I would call it dark chocoltae. The aroma is quite light but pleasant. The taste is good and strong with hints of raisins and toasted chocolate. The bitterness is at its peak and would be too much if it was anymore. Its just right for a porter and a nother fine offering from this brewery (408 characters)

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

Am leaving Virginia and decided to give this a try before I left. Here goes:

A: Very good. Pours a dark black, has a decent one-inch head with plenty of lacing. Overall not bad for a Virginia porter.

S: Just OK. Lots of dark fruit - plum, raisin, dates, etc. I typically like my porters and stouts to smell like roasted coffee. Oh well, it's good for what it is.

T: Not bad, but not good either. The taste follows the nose - I detect lots of dark fruit. The darkly-kilned malt imparts a very dark-fruit-like quality. Very sweet, actually. Brown sugar, plum, raisin, dates, etc.

M: Not too thick or light. Very good for a porter.

O: A good beer, but I probably won't be trying it again. (691 characters)

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

12oz bottle in a tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Midnight black with rich foam.

Smell: The aroma is of roasted malt with something like raisins. Very pleasant.

Taste: The first sip is slightly bitter then mellowing out to toasted dark bread. Nothing particularly stands out, maybe some underlying cocoa bittersweetness, but it is still interesting throughout.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, with the right amount of body and carbonation.

Overall: This is my first beer from Parkway Brewing and it was highly enjoyable. It's a strong porter that delivers on flavor but isn't too heavy for a summer evening. I'm looking forward to trying more of this brewery's offerings and maybe traveling down the Blue Ridge to visit. (718 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost black body with one finger head and minor lace. Aroma is chocolate, almost chocolate covered cherries as well (hints of dark fruit) along with figs and caramel and not much of a roasted or dry malt presence. Medium to full body that is slightly sticky at times and mostly sweet with chocolate being a prevalent flavor, some toffee, caramel, figs, little bit of milk sweetness (gives off a buttery edge) and there are some dark fruit and roasted flavors but they are minimal. Nice, enjoyable, easy beer. (518 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to dsigmon for sending this my way via trade.

A- dark rustic brown. Little head strength, but formidable looking. Light ring around the edge.

S- Coffee, toffee, musk, damp wood, and a dirty earthy note. It smells better than it sounds.

T- lots of sweet chocolate, caramel and coffee goodness. Blends really well to create a smooth flow of roasted malts and outstanding nuttiness.

M- Solid. Low carbonation, slight creamy aspects, mid body.

O- Exceptional flavor. unconventional yet enticing nose, and a solid feel. This is an under the radar porter that more people need to experience. (602 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Updated 3/5/2015, bottle no date:
Beer poured a nice dark brown, tending toward black, but some ruby sneaks through a well lit edge. The smell was slightly smokey, but with some berry or cherry undertones. Coffee and generic roasted notes also noticeable. Strength wasn't there, but I think the scent hit the style fine.

Taste followed the smell, roasted notes of chocolate along with a little smokey, little woody flavors are up front in the taste. The bitterness comes to the sides of the tongue like burnt coffee (I hate to say it, but because it's not the only taste, this "isn't a bad thing"). There is a certain fruitiness to the end taste that lays on top of the roasted finish that I can't quite place, maybe cherry/maybe blackberry; regardless the combined taste does make me think a bit of sasparilla, however.

An enjoyable offering that I will grab again from this brewer (and did).

Edit: revisited this with a beer left in back of fridge 3 month after the updated review (so June 2015). Somehow there was a little extra burn I hadn't noticed before, light be perceptible. However, chocolate notes were a little more prevalent, and coffee bitterness was more subdued. (1,185 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Friend sent this one over for a try, he is a fan of this beer. Good looking beer but not as thick or rich looking as you expect out of a porter. Smell is about the same, good but not great. Taste is very nice compared to look and smell. Would have guessed about 5.5 ABV and was actually 7.1 so a few bonus points there. Pretty good Porter that I would gladly drink again. (371 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Poured very dark ruby color.... almost black. Nice fingers worth of tan colored head that settles to a thin ring with very little lacing.

S: I'm getting a mix of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and licorice.

T: Taste follows the smell.. Equal amounts of coffee and chocolate with a touch of raisins and licorice at the end. Aftertaste has a little burnt malt in it.

M: Mid bodied.... A little thinner than I was expecting.

O: Overall a pretty drinkable porter... A little thinner that I like for the style. The ABV is pretty nice and leaves you with a nice warm feeling. (615 characters)

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

A very nice take on a baltic porter. Carries that kind of berry twang to it that seems typical for the style. I'd pick it out immediately in any beer that had it. Smooth and consistent. Somewhat robust tone, but not over the top. A pleasant drinker. Glad to have a chance to try it. Highly suggested for a style that few even touch, let alone do well (like this one does). (372 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark deep red showing through when held to the light. Thumb sized light tan head falls slow leaves some lace down my glass.

Aroma is chocolate notes as soon as pouring, fades to dark fruits, some light roasted notes. Nice aroma bot huge but pleasant.

Taste the same as the nose nice chocolate notes up front stronger then the nose.Some roasted notes dark fruits, even almost lactose like sweetness even though it shouldn't. Finish is linger dark fruits and chocolate like sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a big medium the carbonation level is not peppy but seems to lighten the feel some what.

Overall nice beer not quite as big as some Baltic Porters but flavorful and enjoyable. (684 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a uniformly textured one finger mocha shade. It doesn't retain fantastically, nor does it fade to nothing in record time. Only a small amount of lacing is left behind.

S: When I think 'Baltic porter', I think "chocolate and stewed fruits". And guess what? The primary notes are raisins, plums, and chocolate. There are even some faint coffee-ish hints which do nothing but add to the nose. The nose becomes even better as it warms up.

T: Follows the nose, albeit in a slightly fainter expression. It starts with strong coffee and dark chocolate (the powdered kind). The finish is rather fruity, and it's easy to tell this is a lager. It's simple, but gets the job done admirably.

M: Quite crisp. The vibrant carbonation makes this one seem drier finishing than it really is. I won't suggest the former is too zesty, instead that it pokes through the lighter texture too harshly. Otherwise, it does a decent job of coming across smaller than it really is on the palate.

O: This is a fine semi-local offering that I'd gladly drink again. Still, there are other examples of the style I'd purchase over this one. (1,190 characters)

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Poured a deep plum color. Gentile pour yielded half inch tn head, with scattered lacing

S - coffee, licorice

T - Light, even a bit dull upfront. Some roasted malts. Hints of chocolate, sweet not milky. Some raisin Short finish, but some burnt malt lingers.

M - Noticeable carbonation, but thin feel to it.

Very drinkable, very clean. Pleasant, refreshing but ultimately, little to get overly excited over. Lacking the full body and warmth that I would have expected.Good summertime baltic! (498 characters)

Photo of NealBuck
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving type: 12 oz bottle into a red wine glass. I have only had this beer on tap before, and I've loved it. I've been waiting on 12 oz bottles for a while; the bombers were overpriced.

Appearance: It looks like a Baltic Porter should in general, but it also looks a bit thin, which betrays what, to my mind, is the only significant problem with this beer: the mouthfeel (more on this in a minute).

Smell: Not much going on here. A bit of chocolate, but nothing too exciting. Overall, kind of dead in the olfactory department.

Taste: This is where the beer really shines. To be so olfactorily challenged, this beer has a remarkable flavor. Rich semi-sweet chocolate, a hint of raspberry, and a little heat on the end, almost peppery. Everything one wants in a porter and more. Ultimately, it's exceptionally well balanced, and after sipping on it for a while, I'm left with a lovely taste lingering in my mouth that's reminiscent of the aftertaste of a dense chocolate cake with raspberries on top.

Mouthfeel: I can't help it. When I have a porter, I compare it to Revolution's Eugene porter, which has one of the best mouthfeels of any beer I've had ... certainly one of the best of any porter I've had. It's so creamy and velvety. Raven's Roost is a bit thin, especially considering it's supposed to be a Baltic Porter. Compared even to, say, Duck Rabbit's Baltic Porter or Uinta's Baltic Porter, Raven's Roost seems much more like a traditional porter, and when you compare it to great traditional porters like Eugene or Everett, it's biggest lack is it's at best mediocre mouthfeel.

Overall: I love this beer on draught, a format that helps with the mouthfeel and aromatic issues. The flavor stays pretty much the same, which is delightful. Overall, I'm glad these guys are nearby, and I'm glad I can get a pretty good porter without having to drive to Vermont or Chicago. (1,886 characters)

Photo of argock
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Very dark brown with generous 1-finger beige head with good retention but nada lacing.

S: Very chocolatey with coffee tones -- very fudgy aroma overall. No off-aromas. A lot of breadiness and a little bit of dark fruit, like dates, definitely in the sweet side.

T: Great flavor with strong chocolate and coffee flavors on a sweeter caramel background. Some dark fruity date and raisin flavors are there, but it tastes more like dark caramel malts are layering the sweetness deftly. No real hop character but mildly bitter. THe dash of roast in the finish is perfect -- no ashy or overdone acrid character.

M: Light and approachable on the palate with even and not heavy-handed carbonation, which I see as a fault in Baltic porters frequently. Very smooth and drinkable.

O: A really fine Baltic porter, a tad on the sweet side, but those flavors along with the complex chocolate and coffee flavors and aromas really gel into a great beer. I will be forging ahead and giving more of Parkway's lineup a try based on the quality of this brew. (1,197 characters)

Photo of dsigmon
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: dark drown/black with a brown head that sticks around and leaves a good bit of lacing on the glass

S: sweet malts and light hints of coffee and chocolate and some spicy tones as well...smells amazing

T: chocolate and coffee up front with some caramel notes up front with enough hop in the back end to balance it perfectly. not too sweet, not too boozy, not too hoppy...just right.

M: medium bodied and lightly carbonated for an easy/enjoyable drink

O: this is hands down my favorite beer in this style. i had the great fortune of having this ran through a randall as well and that was life changing :) (609 characters)

Photo of obywan59
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown to almost black. A ring of ruby highlight circling the bottom of the glass when held up to a light. 3 1/2 finger brown head leaving some decent sticky lacing.

The aroma out of the bottle is dark roast malt. Out of the glass, it's more complex. Sweet milk chocolate with caramel and spice.

Some tartness in the taste with more of a bitter dark chocolate character here. Later it seems more like coffee. Both caramel and spice are more subdued here.

Rather full and viscuous on the tongue. Nice tingle of carbonation, yet the feel is predominately creamy. Somewhat drying with a decent burn of alcohol in the throat.

Less sweet than most of the porters I've tried, though not the driest. What sweetness there is, takes a back seat to the lingering citric tartness. The wonderful mouthfeel, and the warming attributes, make this a winner. It appears I've found my second top-notch brewery from the home state, alongside Blue Mountain Barrel House. (959 characters)

Photo of Cyrion
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce bottle, consumed at slightly above fridge temperature.

Appearance: Brown, almost black, opaque. Tiny bubbles give a inch high tan head, leaving rings of delicate lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate in front, with coffee close behind. Some caramel aroma.

Taste: Here's where it happens, friends, the chocolate and coffee asserting themselves in a tight partnership, with fig and some spice lurking in the background. A bit of heat from the alcohol, but very mild. The bitterness from the toasted malts is subdued.

Mouthfeel: Velvety, well matched for the style of beer.

Overall: At 7.1 ABV, it's a lighter baltic porter, and I'm tempted to classify it as a brown ale's big brother. Very enjoyable as a gateway into the porter world, very approachable and smooth. Great introduction to Parkway's beers, will appeal to a large segment of fans. Nicely done. (858 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprise! You've got beer. Thanks for the unexpected beer gift, Brad.

The beer is the darkest of browns, sporting a thick, soapy beige head. Aroma is a big potent dose of roast and barley with chocolate. An excellent scent and true to style. Beautiful flavor. Easy to drink. Lingering chocolates with a hint of chocolate milk. Mild bready character and present, but light, roast. Medium bodied and smooth on the palate with moderate carbonation. A really solid beer. just what I was in the mood for. (502 characters)

Raven's Roost Baltic Porter from Parkway Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.