Baltika #4 Original (Dark) - Baltika Breweries

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

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274 Reviews

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Reviews: 274
Hads: 417
Avg: 3.39
pDev: 17.99%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-13-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 274 | Hads: 417
Photo of Lemke10
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark amber color with a fluffy beige head. The scent is mainly malts with some yeast present. The taste is sweet and malty to begin with and finishes with a toasted malted after taste. Leaves a decent lacing around the glass and drinks rather smoothly. A pretty decent dark lager from Russia.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.27/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color when poured into a glass was a medium dark golden brown with a reddish hue. There was no foam or lace what so ever. The smell of roasted malts, caramel and molasses was very evident in the aroma of this dark larger. I could taste the roasted malts, but also it had a flavor, reminding me of, I hate to say this, but, Alfalfa. It had a grassy aftertaste. There is also a taste of sweet caramel and molasses on the aftertaste, along with the alfalfa. If not for the grassy taste, this would be a lot better dark lager.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've had a few beers from Baltika, and I have yet to be impressed. They are large bottles, some offering a big ABV… but nothing is worth writing home about. I am curious if this one is any different

In the Glass: It has a nice ruby red color to it. I keep thinking about pennies. I keep thinking about pennies because the beer I was drinking before this tasted like pennies! I am serious… liquid pennies. But that beer isn't on the list, and was on sale the other night at Total Wine. I wonder why! When I swirl it around in the glass, it has a week head and a mediocre lace.

Nose: This is a Euro pale lager. I have had several beers from this portfolio, and nothing has been worth writing home about. Maybe this one will change my mind. With a $1.99 price point, I doubt it. But anyway, the beer has a decent aroma to it. It smells like a good pale lager should. Based on what it smells like, I am expecting some carbonation in the mouthfeel. Let's see!

Flavor: The flavor is incredible. It has a smoothness to start, then a subtle sweetness sets in and literally covers the tongue. The sweetness is just enough that I don't want the flavor to end. Of course, with a low ABV and an affordable price point, you can afford to chug these all night long. OK, maybe not all night long. But you get the idea. It has a nice, sweet burp to it, as well.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is boring. It's almost flat. But that's OK, because as the sweetness sets in, I don't care what it feels like. I am focused on the taste. I bet this beer will get better as it heats up, too. The sweetness, even in the few minutes it has sat in the glass, begins to open up and the flavors are really exploding on the palate.

Aftertaste: I am getting a ton of sweetness. Not candy sweet, but a nice molasses sweetness to it. It's thick, creamy, and I just love the overall flavor profile here. I just can't get over the price… $1.99 for such big bottle. Compared to the penny beer I was just drinking, this one is a BIG improvement. I am going to give this puppy a big rating, if nothing else but the sweetness.

I have never been to Russia, but I love the name and I love the culture. What I know of it, anyway. I know when I was in Poland, they drank more vodka than we do water. Maybe in Russia they drink more Baltika than water! If I lived there, I know I would!

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Euro Dark Lager from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy amber color, produced a small cream colored head, poor retention and left little lacing on the glass. The aroma of this lager consisted of sweet candy syrup and caramel. The foundation of this brew consisted of sweet cereal grains, caramel, grapes, and some spicy hops. The balance of this brew was off- it was way to sweet- Unlike any Euro Lager I have had. Decent session beer if your looking for something different, but not something that I would go back to if there are other options.

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Photo of mscudder
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had this one in years. Poured into a globe.

A - A reddish brown hue with a fair amount of translucency. Fair sized tan head with massive bubbles which dissipates rather quickly leaving little lacing.

S - Some sugar, toasted grains and a bit of dark? fruits behind it all. Unusual for sure, I cannot get behind it.

T - Interesting brew here. Bready malts hit the palette initially and are followed by a nutty sugar progression. Some fruit is present in the background but the balance just seems off.

M - Heavy carbonation for the style with a heavy-light body .Not really my style, but far from horrid.

O - This is actually pretty drinkable and alongside some complexity this beer is far from a waste. Of this brewery's beers, I find this to be on the high end. Not bad for the $2 price tag.

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Photo of bmwats
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle, into a mug.

A: Medium dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, brown-white head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a sporadic blanket of coverage. No lacing.

S: Malt and molasses...lots of it.

T: Hearty but shallow malt, accentuated with the sweet tinge of molasses. Well balanced.

M: Light body. Synthetically sweet finish.

D: Goes down much resistance.

Atmosphere is okay. Decent appearance, although no lacing. Nose is simple combo of malt and hefty infusion of molasses. Flavor is malty with the a slight sweet tinge, but seems a little a shallow and washed-out. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear, reddish amber with an off-white 2 finger head. Retention is average, and it results in a lace that's sparse, clinging mostly to the edges.

Smell - Notes of toffee on the nose. Very sweet, sugary aroma.

Taste - Mostly sweet toffee with hints of caramel around the edges. Subtle diacetyl butteriness pops in around mid-taste to the finish. Not much in the way of hops, if any. Some earthy undertones. Simple, straight-forward malty sweetness. A touch of metallic twang in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Modestly carbonated. Somewhat creamy, and goes down fairly smooth.

Overall - It's okay. Lacks a decent balance. Probably wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of mactrail
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and bitterish lager. Pours a dark amber in the glass. Quite sudsy with a nice head and plenty of foam as you sip. Unfortunately, that's the best feature of this stuff.

That sweet malt is not helped by the peculiar medicinal quality of the bitterness. I won't say hops, since there is no hint of hoppy aroma or the usual flavors. Lots of caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. More of an oxidized sweet vermouth flavor.

Murky and unpleasant, but a lovely sudsy brew. Label says production date is 25.05.11, so this stuff is a year and a half old. Thank you BevMo, for dusting the bottles so no one notices. That might explain the uninspiring taste. I'll check the dates next time.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear mahogany with a honey-coloured head. The smell is malty and very earthy. Should satisfy my craving for a medieval-feeling beer.
Taste is like the smell. It's earthy, it's malty. It's pungent. Not a lot of hops. It's got a dark fruit flavour to it and it tastes...old. Not surprising since it was brewed 9 months ago and is a lager. It says it's good for a year, though. It's by no means a complex beer, but it's by no means bad either. I probably won't buy it again since I liked the #9 a lot better and it is the same price. Actually, I will probably buy another one if it is noticeably fresher. This one has a staleness to it that might not be there if it were on the fresher side.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In a freshly washed mug, poured a large frothy head, that hung around for a while. Size and lacing not quite like a German beer, but very respectable, none-the-less.

Smells of dark malt and dates. Very pleasant. No hop aroma at all.

Very earthy, kind of brown-sugar taste, with only barely enough hops to cleanse the palate. I'd guess this was 20 IBU's, no more. Hop heads will HATE this beer, as it's ALL about the malt. Quite tasty, and filling, it has that East-European-great-for-cold-weather taste (and feel).

Mouthfeel is thick but not quite syruppy--the hops (even that low) hold the malt at bay.

I get the impression that at any time Boris will slap me on the back and say "Is GOOD beer, yes?!"

And Boris would be right. A respectable dark, sweet beer, for Malt Hearts (not Hop Heads).

Quite surprised as other beer from Baltika has been underwhelming. Not nearly as underwhelming though as the traditional American brands (which are now all foreign owned...)

Definitely a GOOD beer!

Za Vas!!!

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Photo of doktorhops
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From USA to the Soviet Union, titans of the cold war battle it out in the coldest war of all; the cold beer war!

Bad jokes and anachronisms aside Baltika is 1 for 0 in my books, the classic #3 was classic in the sense that it was classically forgettable and although I was mildly jaded by this experience I remembered a piece of wisdom that says "A dark beer is always better than a lager", said wisdom being delivered by a pipe smoking Pole with a penchant for oddness, tap poured Guinness and bad hats... in any case this particular gem has always rung true for me, let's hope Baltika wont let us down.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep copper body with a very light off-white lacing for a head. Looks 'meh'.

S: This is a different brew, smells like rum and coke, a very strong sweetness comes through in the aroma, hops non-existent. Maybe rye grains? Unlikely though as it is notoriously difficult (and expensive!) to brew with rye... I'm officially stumped on this one.

T: OK, I'm not even sure if I like this or not... it's an odd brew to say the least... there is a pumpernickel grain base with the sweetness and slight acidity of caramelised pears. Hops are unidentifiable. Tiniest hint of smoke in the after taste, and a metallic tang. It gets points for being different.

M: Light carbonation and body, borders on "watery" (shock/horror!).

D: It's an odd fellow this 'Baltika #4'... very odd indeed. If you've noticed how many "odds" I've used in this review (8 if you include "oddness") you'll get a good idea of how to describe this beer... odd, in case you didn't get the hint. If you like odd beers then this would clearly be a sesh favourite, otherwise if you're looking for a more normal dark beer then Cooper's make one that's OK.

Food match: What goes with pumpernickel tasting beers? Pumpernickel! For the uninitiated - pumpernickel is a dark rye bread that is as dense as a black hole, just as dark and a little sour.

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Photo of metter98
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear garnet in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down and left lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with some hints of caramel.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has flavors of sweet malt extracts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be a bit sweet and lacks any complexity in the taste.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.61/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a crystal clear garnet red to medium brown in color. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Sweet malt aromas with just a hint of something metallic.

T: Lots of sweet malt flavors, possibly caramel, with some subtle hints of pepper/spice.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is not a great beer and that is unfortunate because Baltika makes some decent beers. I am unlikely to buy this beer again. The best part of this beer is the appearance.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear copper color with a nice amount of rising carbonation. The off-white head retained itself rather well and laced as a sliding curtain. The aroma was of bread malt, a little brown sugar, caramel malt, some nuts and a hint of hops. The flavors were appealing and I can see why this became their flagship beer. I tasted caramel malt, toasted malt, sweet malt (it was a sweet beer in general), some bread, a little butter and booze on the finish. It had very little hop presence but I didn’t find that detracted from the brew much. The mouthfeel was decent, the body medium and the carbonation medium/light. A nice Euro Dark Lager and a beer I could definitely have a session of.

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Photo of ckollias
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 16.9 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

Pours a dark reddish-amber hue with a frothy, thin, white head that quickly dissipates in to a wispy lace leaving a semi trail down the glass. Strong caramel malt aroma with a mix of fruits and a buttery finish. Smooth sweet maltness flavor followed caramel and some fruitiness. Medium body and medium carbonation. Decent dark lager – not my favorite but it was very smooth and tasty.

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3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Mug. Enjoyed on mar´12.Dark amber color,orangish to the light.Clear appearance.Light beige froth.Creamy lasting crown.Toasted malt & intense caramel malt aromas.Sweet malty upfront,adjunct cereal smoothness.Low hoppiness.Ripe fruits -apricot,plum- & some molasses in the middle.Medium body,soft carbonation.Chocolates note finish.Sweet malty aftertaste.Well balanced flavors & aromas.Flavorful & pleasant beer.

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Photo of chrisjduncan
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sweet caramel hits you immediately, almost thumping you over the head. After that there is a smooth spicy alcohol taste mixed with the grainy herb taste. Heavy on carbonation, it seems like it is almost trying to be a soda beer. Drinks much like an ale in its lightness but the caramel is the body note. Smell is quite sweet and the look is a gorgeous dark red. Comes in a fancy tall 1 pint 9 oz bottle as apparently Russia has something to prove. Don't let the "Dark Lager" tag fool you, this is a smooth beer for sessions or light meals. A bit pricey for casual drinking, but if you are feeling adventurous, Baltikas are never in the bad category, and like this one, are usually quite good. For a country known for its vodkas, they make a damn fine beer. Because of its sweetness, it is a terrific beer to give someone who thinks that all "dark" beers taste of charcoal.

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Photo of rangerred
2.6/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear ruby-brown with a tiny half finger head.

Smells of caramel and toffee and slightly metallic.

Taste is incredibly sweet off the bat. There is some roast along with caramel and a light bitterness but the sweetness just throws everything off. The beer is actually somewhat difficult too drink.

Overall this is really a sugar bomb. Drinkability suffers as a result and really the actual flavors just aren't that good.

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Photo of treque
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a nice body, with a traslucent deep amber, ruby highlihgts, the head is off white almost tan with nice retention, its creamy and some waste on the glass is left

S: a little caramel, roast malt aroma a little hops hidden at the back

T: light body, same as aroma, a little bittternes at the very end, the roast is left on palate

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Photo of agent2550
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Baltika #4 pours a red-amber with gold highlights. The two fingers of creamy head collapse slowly.
Smells like honey and wheat. There is also a faint smell of nuts.
This beer has a low-medium amount of bubbles and a silky mouthfeel.
There is a faint taste of citrus and nuts after each gulp. Clean finish.
Very simple beer, but/and it is worth buying. One of the better dark lagers that I have tasted.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know that I strike many people on this site as being insane, but there actually is a method to my madness. In this case, I want to review all of the numbered Baltika beers and this brings me just that much closer to my goal. Prosit!

My pour produced over two fingers worth of fizzing mocha-colored head with surprisingly decent retention. Underneath the head was a glass of burnt orangish-amber beer with NE-plus quality clarity. BUPGOO! Bringing the glass up to my sniffer, it evinced a nutty, chocolaty odor and I was primed! Mouthfeel was medium and it had a grainy, nutty, chocolaty taste in my mouth, like a chocolate-covered granola bar. Boy howdy, after having sifted through CAN after CAN of AALs, this was a welcome change of pace. I have never felt ripped off after drinking a Baltika beer, even if it was not all that great, given their relatively low price point. Finish continued with that same nutty chocolate flavor and I found myself wishing that I had another bottle. Good stuff.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a decent looking brown color. The head was pretty good looking at first but disappeared within a few minutes. The smell of the beer had some typical lager earthy notes to it with a slight roasted sweetness. The taste of the beer had some caramel elements to it along with some roasted nuts and grassy earth flavors. The first sip wasn't that good to me but as I drank the beer it got better. The mouthfeel was decent, had a medium body and carbonation. Overall this brew wasn't too bad but I wasn't blown away by it either. It was ok, I might drink it again depending on the situation.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark ruby amber having a thin stiff head that dissipates to a thin film. Smell of rich malt, molassas and darker fruits. Taste follows the nose having a mild hop note that finishes clean. Mouthfeel is medium, a little viscous with good carbonation. Overall a very enjoyable dark lager.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was shared with me by a friend. Thank you.

I poured this beer into a pint glass. It was very see-through with minimal inclusions. This one was dark red.

On the pour I had about four fingers of head, but that came down pretty quickly.

In the nose I get lots of Saaz hops, caramel, and some dark fruit. This beer was very crisp. I would almost say that it is too crisp.

This is a really strong lager flavor. It is muddied with something else, but it just seemed like dark fruit.

There was a decent amount of alcohol flavor in the front of the mouth.

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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
78 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.