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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.

386 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 386
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: 386 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLiterati
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish brown. Color is quite attractive, as is the aroma: sweet with hints of caramel, but not syrupy.

The bottle promises a “harmonious bread snack and caramel aroma,” and it’s pretty close to exactly that. Has a nice effervescence, slightly bubbly mouthfeel, with a thin creamy head.

The taste goes hand in hand with the aroma, with a hint of caramel.

Drinkable. I could easily enjoy another.

TheLiterati, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of ThirstyBoy
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Weird sort of a beer really! But I kind of liked it anyway.

Pint bottle into belgian style ale goblet. Poured a hazy brown /amber with a fast fading beige head.

Very little hop aroma, maybe a bit of floral-noble. Sweet caramel and bready, chocolate malts wtih a strong fruity estery smell (dark fruit) The esters and the choco-malt smells combined into something that for me was like the chocolate syrup they put into coffe sometimes - maybe a little like an Amaretto liqueur. nice, but almost smelled a little artificial.

Medium mouthfeel with not quite enough bitterness to balance out the sweetess, it tasted just like it smelled. Raisiny, chocolate syrup, bread and caramel. A long, long aftertaste on the malt was probably a bit cloying and it could have finished a bit cleaner to make it more drinkable. A bit tounge coating.

A smooth drink. And I really rather enjoyed it. I will definately be buying this again.

ThirstyBoy, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first Russian beer, so here goes.... The freshness date on the back says 30.05.06 24KW. I hope its May 30, 2006 and not June 30, 2005. Either way it's past its expiration date, so I guess that's why the bottle was on sale.

Served in a pint glass, it pours a cloudy brown/orange color with an off-white fluffy head. I can only smell caramel and bready malts, not much else since the aroma isn't strong. It tastes the same way to me, like caramel and malt. It finishes slightly bitter, but the aftertaste doesn't linger for too long. The mouthfeel is slick, with a light/medium body. It is relatively easy to drink, with not too much carbonation. It's an OK beer, I guess. Nothing impressive, but it's not awful either. One day I'll have to try a fresher bottle of this. I'd drink this again, but I don't think this will become a regular beer for me.

bluejacket74, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of jwc215
2.35/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted the day before the "best before" date.
Poured orange/amber with an off-white head that became an uneven, spotted lacing. The color was not bad - but inconsistent - It became lighter around the edges. The head/lacing had odd, uneven bumps.
The smell was thin - some caramel over a chemical-tasting aroma.
The taste was also thin - some caramel tried to find its way past the uneven butter and water. Not well-balanced. It was very malty - no hop presence. The only saving part was the hint of caramel.
Buttery caramel mixed with water was left in the mouthfeel. A bit of the alcohol came through, as the flavor was not enough to mask it.
Despite its blandness and lack of anything special, it was somewhat drinkable, but that was due more to its water qualities than beer qualities.

jwc215, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of ernie
1.95/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It used to be a very pleasant dark beer with substantial notes of rye, reminding to some of us home-made black bread... Sadly to say, quality has diminished in last two or three years and now No. 4 is another example of highly publicized crap from former USSR. There is an unpleasant tone in aroma, even more unpleasant sourness in the palate and quite a low-grade aftertaste. Stopped buying it. Not worth a try, definitely

ernie, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of Redrover
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz brown bottle with no freshens dating. Nice use of foil to dress up the package.

The beer pours a hazy coco brown with a initial fairly substantial tan head. The head collapses after a bit, but it leaves a nice residual covering and ok lacing.

The nose is of plums, raisins and malts.

The taste is slightly smoky with lots of caramel, dark fruits and a trace of molasses. I also pick-up a bit of alcohol in the finish. Given that the beer is 5.6% I guess that’s no big surprise. Beer sweetens as it warms, but never becomes cloying.

The mouth could be a bit thicker, but its really not to bad. This is an easy drinker. I bet this beer would be good to pair with some broiled calamari and cold shrimps cocktail.

The beers from Baltika brewery has been a pleasant surprise, just stay away for # 9 as that stuff is swill!

Redrover, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of BAbaracus
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One finger tan head, moderate carb bubbles and reddish brown body. Coriander, pepper, bit of banana esters, not an overpowering aroma altogether. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, fizzy, slightly chewy, leads you to expect more out of this than what you get. Taste is overwhelmingly malt, maybe a hint of hops on the back end. Drinkable but not really impressive in any regard.

BAbaracus, May 24, 2006
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another foray into the Baltika line offers a hazy stormy brown with a settled khaki slick. Back label states best by 01.09.05.

Thick pancake malts in the nose with a honeyish scent.

First swigs: A warming almost doppelbock like beer with a bit of a beat up harshness. Dry lingering aftertaste. Somewhat cloying and syrupy thick like oatmeal cookie dough.

Last swigs: Tastes like crunchy pretzels. Gotta dig the cheap big bottles of Baltika. Always an adventure. This is actually not bad.

blitheringidiot, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of jamie2dope
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've never tried a beer brewed in Russia before so this seemed like a nice change from the norm. Poured a cloudy brownish red color with no head and a very small white lacing that one could barely notice. Smell was very nice, dark fruits, honey, candy. Taste was even better with some sugars accentuating the flavors that had noticed in the smell. It also has an almost juicy character that one would not expect from the description on the back of the bottle. Mouthfeel was hoppy and medium bodied, with the hops hitting you up front leading into the juicy tastes. Seemed very well balanced as well. I could see myself drinking a few of these and still wanting more. Next time im at the Dan Murphy's im picking up some more of these as I was taken aback with the complexities rife within this interesting brew.

jamie2dope, Apr 03, 2006
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 Conrad
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has anyone been to Russia and seen this beer sold there? It would be interesting to know if this is a standard over there, or if it is just something they just export to the running dog capitalists.
My brew poured with a thin head, that had light streams of fizz. It was a cloudy, copper hue, and did look inviting.
The smells were barely discernable. I found some sweet malts, and something that reminded me of bread.
Taste was okay. A bit of malt up front, with a light bitter finish. Again, there was a hint of bread.
Mouthfeel was a good beer feel. Decent carbonation, but overall, nothing special. .
Drinkability: An unpretentious worker's beer for the booboisie. Something with a bit of taste, a bit of alcohol, and no nonsense of froofy flavours and aromas. Have it with borscht, pickled herrings, and black bread.

Conrad, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours caramel to brown with a 2-finger+ deep tan coored head. Some lacing and good head retention

Smell: Caramel, malt & spice (brown sugar)

Taste Too sweet caramel, maltiness and diadactechyl (sp??) butterscotch. Somegrainy bitterness and dryness on finish along with a hint of molasses

MF: Pretty well balanced although some more hops would hurt. Good carbonation

Sweetness detracts from quaffability. Worth a try not a bad brew

russpowell, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark orange with an off white head. The smell is malt and caramel. The taste is also malt and caramel with no apparent hop characteristics. It's not really my cup of tea so to speak, but it is interesting for what it is. Definitely not bad, I've been pleasantly surprised by the beers from this brewery, I really didn't have very high expectations, and while their beers are not spectacular, they certainly aren't bad either. Worth a try, I wouldn't go looking for this, but I wouldn't turn it down either.

Drew966, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of blackie
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: The pour into my pint produces a .75" off white head that gradually recedes. The beer is a slightly hazy, rich, reddish amber in color.

smell: Up front is a banana scent...banana pudding, overripe bananas, and banana bread. Some caramel-like malty sweetness too. A light spicy hop aroma way in the back. The banana like flavors dominate...I am assuming they are some type of ester from the yeast used.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is just over medium.The body is around medium, and has a sort of slick feeling in the back that I don't care for in a lager like this.

taste: Yeasty, banana like esters up front again. Moderately sweet maltiness. Hints of molasses at times. Not any hop flavor evident to me, and a light bitterness that lingers into the finish with banana flavors. Smells and tastes pretty yeasty for a lager...there's even yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

drinkability: It's not a bad beer, but nothing great, and the mouthfeel further limits drinkability.

Received from Zorro in BCG BIF. A best before date of 31.03.06 is printed on the reverse label.

blackie, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of circuitmonkey
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice head which fades quickly. Dark amber in color. Smell is very sweet. as is the taste. There is a very apparent taste of carmel malt, and alcohol, with no hop bitterness at all. Very smooth going down. Low carbonation.

Overall I would say it was Ok at the least, I would be willing to try this again, but by no means would go out on a hunt to find it again. People who hate bitter beers would probably like this alot.

circuitmonkey, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
2.53/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle. Baltika #4 pours out a brownish color with a small head. The aroma is sugary and nutty. Sweet molasses and nut flavor. Spices in the finish. No real hop flavors or bitterness. This is a sweet, sticky mess. The nutty flavors are nice, but the sweetness is cloying. Alcohol level is noticable and high. I became bored with this beer long before I reached the end of the half liter. Could be worse, but certainly nothing I'll ever buy again.

beveragecaptain, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
3.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like this beer.

500ml bottle from Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank.

Pours a clear red amber with light insistent carbonation and an a healthy short-lived tan head that fades to a sheet then a ring. Leaves sparse lacing.

Smell is Caramel, Molasses Cookies and English Toffee... yes the Heath Bar kind! wonderful!

Taste is sweet malt, molasses, toffee and a short dryish finish, some chicory or bitter herb notes. Medium leafy hop then bready finish.

Very drinkable this one.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium

Citadel82, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear dark brown body, a pretty good sized head. A couple random bubbles making their way up to the top of the beer.

Smell: Light roasted malt, sweet.

Taste: Malty and smooth at first, a crisp hop bite on the back side. Maybe a light cocoa flavor. Pretty good, one of the better ones from Baltika.

Mouthfeel: Full, carbonated pretty well. Good.

Drinkability: An above average dark euro lager, pretty pleasing compared to what i was expecting.

TastyTaste, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of BamaScholar
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happily discovered at Frugal MacDougal's for $1.99. 500 ml brown bottle with red foil label. Best by 31 March 2006 (bottle back).

Poured into a pils glass, which caused a head and bubbles after root beer's heart. Hazy mahogany colored brew with tenacious cream-colored head which laces a collar down the sides of the glass. Very pretty.

Smell is pure caramel/toffee. Doesn't hide any sweetness.

This concoction tastes much more complex than I thought it would. Initial hits of caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Some cola bean too. There is a slight astringency accompanied by something bready...a sourdough round? The peanut brittle taste does fight a small metallic presence too, but the caramel wins out. Definitely no hop balance here, but the malt is pure smoothness, delightful.

As stated, it is smooth. A wee bit thin on the palate...maybe the water's different in St Petersburg.

Definitely worth a try! At $2 per, this sweetness is just right.

BamaScholar, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of Vancer
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A different cut on the euro dark style, to be for certain. Not a dark pour, a cola clear brown with a decent tan head. Weak caramel and chocolate in the aroma. First few quaffs provided some hoppy finish to a malty start, but again was weak.

A thin brew, on the high carbonated side. Overall, not bad, just weak. “Weak” seems to be the defining word here. If offered, I would partake, just will not seek out for purchase.

Vancer, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of beerkeeper
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

color is of powdered ice tea this beer has a nice dried fruit armoa especially raisins. its funny but a russian beer reminds me of irish soda bread with raisins. a inviting aroma for those cold russian summer nights.taste is simple, touch of fruit,touch of tea bit grainy in the mouth, definitly a cold climate beer, the aftertaste is very subtle but has a lasting effect. a good beer with dinner if you just need something to help wash down the food. i'd much rather enjoy this beer while camping in the fall and eating some stew out of a can.

beerkeeper, Oct 08, 2005
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 tavernjef
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just came in at Lowertown Liquors with a brand new label, so I figured what the hell its got to be fresher then other times I've tried it. Crystal clear fiery orange color with a big foamy capping of froth thats abundently stacked and creamy with bumpy pocks and holes in it. Lacing is sticky and well distributed in thick foamy curtains.

Aroma is dry and plain with light roasted grain, super dry caramel sweetness, and a very light dry grassyness.

Taste is actually, and surprisingly, pretty good. Nice well rounded sweetness of light caramel malt. Clean and favorable notings of dryer caramel and whole grain toast. Keeps sweet with a low ended darkness about its nature with tiny slivers of molasses and dark fruity candy. Finish is a bit sticky with left over caramel and a light hint to some dry woodish hops.

Feel is clean and creamy within a medium sticky malt laden body. Not too sweet, it seems to fit just right for what it is. Which is pretty good all around in flavor, body, and drinkability. Just sweet enough with just the right amount of light dryness. A very nice little dark lager. Much better from other times I've ventured to try it. By far the best sample yet; helps to get it fresh. Well as fresh as it can get being from the otherside of the earth.

tavernjef, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a very cloudy, reddish brown color with moderate head. Smell is of caramel, mioxed with toasted malt. Taste follows through with carame. Also some molasses prsent. Too sweet for my taste, almost like a scottish ale, but not as good. finished with more sweetness. OK, but not something to try again.

tgbljb, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark caramel body with a nice little head that stuck around and left spotty lacing on the side of the glass

Smell: Sweet toffee dominates the nose along with a touch of alcohol

Taste: Initial blast of malt and alcohol (hard to believe this is only 5.6%) overwhelms the tastebuds and is interrupted by a bitter, slightly metallic taste which continues to the finish and dominates the sweetness in a very unbalanced way

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied and highly carbonated

Drinkability: Although an interesting brew, ultimately this one becomes very difficult to finish; the hotness, carbonation and full body makes it very filling and the bitterness is not particularly enjoyable

brentk56, Sep 03, 2005
Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
78 out of 100 based on 386 ratings.