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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) - Baltika Breweries

Not Rated.
Baltika #4 Original (Dark)Baltika #4 Original (Dark)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

380 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Baltika Breweries visit their website
Russian Federation

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 49degrees:
Photo of 49degrees
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've run across a variety of Russian brews in recent weeks and finally decided to grab one for a closer look. Russia is not exactly known as a source for beer, their vast exportation of vodka and caviar certainly helps keep everyone's attention peaked in other areas. However, if my first experience with a Russian brew is any indication, grabbing a Russian brew shall do you no harm -- in fact, it may even bring you a little surprising pleasure.

Sold in gold foiled toped 16.9 fluid oz bottled with foil labels on both front and backside. My bottle was freshness dated Best Before 13.01.02 and was purchased on 10.03.03. Despite being past its stated prime, this was still a very enjoyable brew and has suffered no obvious character loss.

Poured a deep amber color with a slight hazy appearance. The head was minimal and feature large clear bubbles, almost soda like consistency, which quickly disappeared. No head was apparent after a mere 30 seconds, no collar, and no lacing could be found on the glass while drinking.

Aroma wise, Baltika Dark presents a very interesting combination of both sweet and sour smells, heavy caramel, aged fruit, and malty characteristics. The sugary sweet aroma reminded me of an Oudenaard but considerably lighter in all manners.

Taste-wise, this is an interesting item that is almost overwhelmingly sweet, particular on a palette that drinks its fair share of IPAs. A real cornucopia of flavors including a dark rye bread, heavy caramel, sugary sweet ripe fruit, hearty malts and even a subtle hop kick that pairs well with the rather carbonated characteristic of the brew. There's a lot going on, but thankfully, it’s a rather light tasting brew and as such, this truckload doesn't overwhelm your taste buds. But it will make your taste buds stand up and take notice of what you're feeding it.

Overall, a very interesting brew, not amazing, but definitely something worth checking out if you have the opportunity. As a very affordably priced import brew that dishes up plenty of unique characteristics I'm sure I'll tackle this one again from time to time. I think I'll even try checking out their other 10 different brews if/when the opportunity arises.

[ STATS:>> 16.9 oz bottle / ABV: 5.6% abv / PRICE: $2.29 USD ]

49degrees, Mar 13, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is a pretty, light brown in color. It’s almost orangish when held up to the light and gave off a good, moderate head.

Smell – The darkish malts show off a bit of complexity here. The toast is light with some sticky caramel and maybe a dab of molasses to go along for the ride. There’s a doughy aroma here as well.

Taste – Ah, all the complexities from the nose made their way nicely to the taste. This is not a heavy-hitting Dark Lager, but it’s very tasty and dead-on for the style. The finish is bittersweet with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel – This one isn’t quite medium-bodied, but it does show off some pretty serious bitterness that gives this lager a drying finish.

Drinkability – This was on the lighter side of the EDLs that I’ve had, but it was very tasty and made for a great mid-afternoon snack.

RoyalT, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of brownbeer
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a darkish red color with a creamy tan head.

Pretty grainy up front in the nose. Some redeeming toffee notes in the background.

Quick moving malts are about the extent of the flavor for me. It's a little too sweet and a little too thin to really get into. The finish has sort of a cola nut note.

I like several of the Baltika brews, this one is ok. Won't be revisiting with examples like Hofbrau or Spaten Dunkel on hand.

brownbeer, May 27, 2010
Photo of Jason
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle with a foil wrap around the cap and neck, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Mild haze within the deep reddish amber colored brew, patchy big bubble lace is thin and soda like.

Smell: Caramel and candied fruit in the nose with vague ghost like fusel and buttery diacetyl aromas.

Taste: Slick and creamy mouth feel with a sharp biting carbonation, malt sweetness almost goes over the top. Caramel and ripe fruit are forced on the taste buds. The sweetness is then slammed to the ground hard by a devious mix of esters and astringency, hops are used up and astringently lost in the chaotic blend of flavours. Spicy alcohol and hop bitterness with some astringent grain to add to it gives the whole picture of this brew an ale like character. Finishes with an almost metallic flavour with some astringency and hints of dried date sugar.

Notes: Quite and interesting brew, an oddity to enjoy perhaps. Not whole heartedly bad but not what one would expect in a beer in the traditional sense.

Jason, Apr 15, 2002
Photo of Billolick
2.45/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Largish bottle, pours dull cloudy brown, unsightly largish bubble quickly deoparting head, next to no nose picked up. Pretty boring beer, sweetness picked up but minimal hops and flavor notes. Not worth the $1.49 I paid, I spilled 1/2 of this down the drain..not worth loosing the brain cells and adding girth to my belly

Billolick, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of tigg924
1.73/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, amber in color, hazy

Smell: minerals, toffee, and grain

Taste: sweet toasted malt, grain, toffee, and tea

Mouthfeel: very sweet, light bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I find this beer to be cloyingly sweet and too malty. One is enough as the combination just does not work for me.

tigg924, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is actually pretty nice. I get notes of grapes, toffee, biscuits and iced tea. The flavor is similar, but a little more exciting. In addition to the dominant toffee malt characteristics, I get earthy and grassy hops, caramel, honey and graham crackers. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not bad at all.

Mora2000, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of donunrue
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

donunrue, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of jakester
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this as a single from Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Expiration date on the back (YAY!) says expires on 14.07.05, but this tastes fine to me. If they can put dates on the bottles in RUSSIA, for crissake...

Pours a pretty cloudy reddish amber with a 2 finger head of beige colored foam. The head is nice and sticky, with great lacing on the bottle. Carbonation looks slow.

Aroma is very fruity (?) like dark raisins and dates, with notes of toffee and toasted grain. Just a hint of floral hops are there as well.

First flavor is toasted malt and brown sugar/molasses, fruity and pleasant. Tastes like an amber ale to me. Don't know of too many lager yeasts with this kind of profile. There's a decent hop bittering, and even a nice floral hop flavor. Toastiness and brown sugar really come through as it warms, as does diacetyl. Aftertaste is sweet and caramel-y.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a soft to medium tingle from carbonation. Pretty much residual sugar here. Finish is fairly sweet.

This is my first Baltika, but it won't be my last. Not too bad at all. I really don't think it's a true lager, but it tastes OK to me.

jakester, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of magictrokini
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unimpressed, even with its 89 score at BevMo. Pours clear brown with a minimal off-white head. Caramel, molasses, and dough inthe nose. Watery taste of the same, except with a bitter metallic bite that goes away as the beer warms. Did not live up to its billing.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

Malty nose with green apple and caramel, no hops, not a lot of roast, a little floral
Brilliant deep dark amber, tan to off-white head
Dry palate, malt flavors with a little chocolate on the finish.
medium body with low to medium carbonation, probably a little old.

pat61, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey colored with a thick quarter inch high head of beige foam. Or is that styrofoam? It's not really moving. Just sitting there. Full aroma of sweet malts and cinnamon, some light brown sugar, and some toffee and sweet pear. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel leads to a sweet malty flavor, a little syrupy. Only the second beer I've ever called cloying. There is molasses and sweet toffee, and tingly undercurrent of hops in the finish. A strange aftertaste lingers. Can't put my finger on that flavor, but it may keep me from finishing the bottle.

far333, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of monkeybeer
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Production Date 25.02.07 Best Before 25.02.08

A- Nice Clear Red with Tan head that has nice retention.

S- light fruity sweet smell

T/M- Taste of raisin and prunes. With a sweet finish taste likes it smells

D- All in all not a bad beer, somewhat unique to what I have had before. Very drinkable would be good year round

monkeybeer, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of ADR
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brownish and dull appearance with a low bodied head that doesn't have much to keep it from falling in on itself. Minimal lacing properties. Aroma is decent, somewhat buttery with some accent of raisin. Malt is pretty sweet, bready, but somewhat thin in in overall impression, as well as the finely carbonated body. Creamy, slightly watery, without a lot of initial distinction other than overall sweetness. De-constructs slightly with a slightly sour tea-like hop underscoring the finish. Better beginning than end to this beer, but decently average and drinkable beer.

ADR, Sep 05, 2003
Photo of craiglcook
4/5  rDev +18.3%

craiglcook, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of JIMTRK16
1.75/5  rDev -48.2%

JIMTRK16, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

( Served in an American pint glass)

A-deep brown color that is a little dense and has lots of tiny bubbles. The head is a nice creamy white head

S- malty aroma with a hint of apples and a bit of honey.

T- light and medium roast maltyness with good caramel honey notes and a light chocolate hint. Ends in a faint pepperyness and a fizzy finish.

M- full body with lots of fizziness and a hint of acidity from the carbonation. No hops astringency at all

D- A nice mellow all malt brew that is well built but not very interesting. There is no depth to the malt and no hops or alcohol to support it. It also had a powerful carbonation that detracted from the brew.

rhoadsrage, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of richkrull
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

richkrull, May 03, 2013
Photo of FleeVT
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz brown bottle with production and best before dates.

A: Pours a glowing crimson, copper, burnt orange with a full two finger head. The head dies down quickly to a thin lacing.

S: Euro malts, you know the kind, not too sweet. Trends towards butterscotch with hint of alcohol.

T/M: Light body, lacking punch until the very end. It is water-like until it hits the back of the tongue, then the carbonation comes through. Same buttery malts from the nose are present on the palate. A faint hint of hops balances out the caramel and butterscotch malts. Finally a touch of banana finishes her off in the aftertaste.

FleeVT, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a slightly clouded coppery-red with an unimpressive head that fades a bit quickly but does leave some lacing, albeit quite thin.
The aroma is of malts, notes of dark fruits, and a light note of caramelized sugars with an alcoholic tinge and an unexpected astringency.
The caramel malt is stronger in the flavor, making for a sturdy base. The caramelized sugars and ripe fruits make for perhaps an overdone sweetness. Hops fade in and out and are stronger in the aftertaste and don't provide an especially good balance. The astringency I found in the nose remains in the flavor, fortunately to a lesser degree.
There's a good balance of crispness and smoothness is a well-rounded mouthfeel complimented by a carbonation that's just the right level in a medium to full body.

Brenden, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of SetarconeX
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have something of a soft spot for this lager. Something about a company that sells its brews by the number. Even so, from any objective viewpoint, it's a little rough around the edges.

Looks red and perfectly clear. Smells almost syrupy malty, which it is. Tastes of oodles of pure malt, with just a hint of odd metallic astringency holding it back. A no frills, straightforward, uncomplicated lager.

SetarconeX, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of r0nyn
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Pours a reddish amber hue that's pretty transparent. Big inch-thick head dissipates quickly, leaving thick strings of bubbly lacing coating the inside of the glass. No carbonation is visible. Smell is full of prunes and raisins, with caramel malts backing them up. Slight metallic aroma behind the sweet start; not something I'm usually a fan of.

Taste is almost a mirror of the smell, with sweetish nuances of dark fruits washing over the palate to start. Slight hints of caramel, apple and pear. Just a very sweetish experience all around. There's a minute bit of bitterness at the end that slides into the ephemeral aftertaste, but it's not enough to balance the malts out, not by a long shot. Mouthfeel is light, but with a slick feel and a crisp finish, enough to be above average.

I'm usually a fan of sweet beers, but this just takes it a little too far. Too sweet, too cloying, with not enough balance of bitterness and hops. Can't really stomach more than one serving of this.

r0nyn, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Unique to say the least. Baltika #4 uses Rye Malt (along with the standard malt, hops, yeast and water) in the creation of this brew and while I don't notice it in the aroma, I definitely can taste the difference and it works.
Pours a slightly opaque dark orange amber with a half finger white head that malts slowly to a nice top-capping lacing.
The nose is toasted, nutty amber malt with a hint of brown sugar.
Taste is dark toasted malt but the sweet brown sugar seems to disappear completely under the spice of the rye malt and the finish becomes nicely drying rather than sweet and cloying.
There really are layers of flavors in this brew and I'm enjoying the discovery.

IntriqKen, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of mdaschaf
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drink by date of 5/25/2012

A: Pours a clear ruby/brown/caramel color with a two finger tan head on top. The head is rather thick upon pouring, but quickly reduces to a thin layer of bubbles on top.

S: Not a whole lot going on. There is some caramel and some candied fruit, but rather hard to pick anything specific out.

T: Light in caramel than the nose indicated and much sweeter. Its not overly sweet, but certainly on the heavy side, and candied fruit/sugar at that. Has a slightly metallic finish to it.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Rather slick and creamy.

O: Besides the slightly metallic finish, nothing bad about this beer, but nothing stands out either. Hard to review it since this style does not have a description.

mdaschaf, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of BrewMaven
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a distinct translucent amber with a 2 finger tan head that slooowly dissipated leaving a cover on top and some lacing . Aroma of bread and dark fruits? Taste was malty and fruity with medium body and a slightly bitter finish. With all these semi obscure and very interesting beers on the market, I doubt I'll ever buy a macro again.

BrewMaven, May 09, 2005
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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
77 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.