1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

365 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | 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)
View: Beers (40) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Baltika #4 Original (Dark) Alström Bros
Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakester
jakester

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2005 16:13:38 | More by jakester
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 18:20:51 | More by tavernjef
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 00:08:36 | More by tgbljb
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 01:03:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a garnet amber with a medium off-white head. Aroma is of sweet caramel malts with just a touch of bitterness.

Flavor is caramel malts, sweet and toasty, with a touch of buttered toffee but not a lot of dark roasted flavor. A mild bitterness comes through -- maybe even a slight sourness. Could slide with some argument between the dark lager and light bock categories.

The mouthfeel is rather light and clean, revealing its lager rather than ale background. But if you consider it a Vienna lager, it's pretty close to style. Overall good, but not great. I could session this, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2005 01:06:47 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucent redorangecopper, like a sunset after a tropical storm. The orangish ecru cap is the perfect compliment for the beer on which it sits. This is one of those heads that looks like it'll be a good lacer maker, but isn't. In spite of the minor letdown there at the end, this is a good looking beer.

The nose is uninteresting and is weak to boot. There isn't much malt present and there's just enough dark fruitiness to make a distinction with a Euro pale lager possible. Musty noble hops are probably most prominent.

Although #4 is decent beer, it isn't as good as #6 (Porter) or #8 (Wheat). Frankly, it tastes like a more malty, less hoppy English pale ale. To be more specific, it tastes like toasted multi-grain bread drizzled with caramel. It also has a lightly herbal, lightly spicy vibe. The more I drink, the more I like.

Good use of hops, with more earthy-herbal hop flavor than bitterness. The English pale ale comparison keeps coming back to me. The beer is mildly malty sweet early, dries out on the back end, and finishes clean as a whistle. The mouthfeel is light-medium with an understated amount of carbonation. Since it matches the flavor, it works.

Baltika #4 is one of the better EDLs that I've had so far. It cleaves pretty closely to the style guidelines as I understand them and wins its drinker over with competence rather than flash. Batika is perhaps the best of the (former) Eastern Bloc breweries and continues to impress in a 'moderate expectations' kind of way.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2005 22:31:18 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ryantupy
ryantupy

Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an inconsistent reddish amber hue with a small lace that has pretty good retention.

Smell: Caramel, Bready (white bread), and I also noticed towards the end strong hints of Irish Whiskey. However nobody else has noted whiskey when I noticed a very strong whiskey smell. Maybe I just got a bad bottle or something.

Taste: Creamy acidic sharp spicy malts. Again towards the end I strongly tasted Whiskey. Maybe im just confusing flavors but I tasted Whiskey and got my friend to notice it as well.

Mouthfeel: Acidic yet smooth with some good flavors lingering in the mouth. Goes down smooth for the most part but gets a little to sweet and malty at times.

Drinkability: Lets just say one bottle is enough. While I enjoyed this beer I would definatly retire this after one. My dad took and a few sips and found it to be quite enjoyabe. Overall It was alright it was unique and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2005 06:22:21 | More by ryantupy
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear ruby color when held up to the light. It is tipped by a frothy, slightly rocky light tan colored head. I smell aromas of thin grain, slight caramel, and a hint of toasted dark grain character. The beer has a light, filling fullness to it as it hits my palate for the first time. There is a light caramel sweetness here and it is joined by a slightly herbal, almost menthol like character. This beer has a slight character of aged malt in the finish, but other than this it is pretty clean. The finish on this beer is lightly sweet with a light, complimenting bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2005 03:35:48 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of beertastegood
beertastegood

Texas

3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with a rocky, frothy off white head that suggests a lot of carbonation. Aromas of biscuit-like malt, caramel and an almost buttery smell (diacetyl, maybe?).

Taste: dark fruit immediately comes to mind, very rich molasses/caramel sweetness from the malt. Slight hop bitterness that only really comes through in the finish, which is slightly dry yet leaves a sweet taste in my mouth. A bit different from what I was expecting, but good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, with a good bit of carbonation. Leaves a distinct aftertaste that is hard to describe...more like cherries than anything else.

Drinkability: Pleasant, although not earth-shattering, beer. I am glad that they began distributing this to Texas.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 18:18:27 | More by beertastegood
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9OZ Bottle with gold foil over cap.

Amber color. Nice frothy tan head that quickly fades. No lacing.

Smelled like malt city, caramel, sweet.

Taste was quite sweet but pleasant on the palate. I enjoyed this oddball with no beer that I could even compare it too. Might be too sweet for alot of people. I detect some plum in there as well.

Mouthfeel was very nice. Creamy, oily. enough carbonation to penetrate the taste into your gums Yumm... sticks to the roof of your mouth type of beer. Very solid dark lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 03:00:47 | More by DogFood11
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Undated, gold foiled 16.9oz poured into a pilsener.

Dark amber with good carbonation. Large light tan head has decent retention and really sticks to the glass.

Not much to the nose, but I did find some caramel hops, a touch of yeast and floral hops.

The taste is equally weak. Caramel and toffee, with a suggestion of dry, generic hops. Not much here either.

The mouthfeel is too light, and the sweetness gets annoying after a while.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2005 02:17:45 | More by ypsifly
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
MUSHROOMCLOUD

Texas

3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This "dark" lager is actually a nice amber (vienna/marzen in appearance) color. There is a 1/4"head that disappears quickly and leaves only a ring. No lace.

The aroma is of sweet malt and immediately reminds me of an Oktoberfest style.

Taste is of sweet malt. Some earthiness and pumpkin bread. Nutty. Slight bitterness in the finish. Very lightly hopped if at all. This strikes me as drinking a cross between a Paulaner Salvatore and a Paulaner Oktoberfest.

The beer is highly carbonated and goes down well. It is easy drinking and not bad. I think it should be re-labeled as an Oktoberfest/Marzen though.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2005 22:48:14 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB 18-12-05. Nice head, well lasting and brown beercolor. Nose is lightly caramellic, malty, citric hints and decent but light yeastcaracter. Taste is also light; as a amber should taste but all low dosed except for sweetness thats quiet high. The caramellic maltyness is good and no roast. Aftertaste is bittersweet but as the rest of the beer litle (too) light.
Mouthfeel is plesant though and easy drinkable, could just have litle more taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 19:41:00 | More by paterlodie
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Baltika #4 is dark brown in color with an above average-sized, light brown head. Retention is pretty good. The aroma is of dark caramel malts, very German in smell, but not as powerful as it could be. The taste is also very German-like. Very full and malty. Caramel and bready tastes with some sugary sweetness. This definently isn't a typical generic dark euro lager, there is plenty of ease in drinkability without sacrifice of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 16:23:31 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep reddish-copper color, clear, with a solid and creamy half-inch head of foam, which laces the glass quite nicely. Lovely! Nose is sweet malt, a touch of caramel. Taste is quite sweet, with a lot of caramel, almost toffee-ish. Bitterness is very low. Finish is clean but lingeringly sweet. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Too sweet for my tastes, but a well-brewed beer, and the second best I've tasted of the Baltika line (after the Wheat).

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 01:20:45 | More by allengarvin
Photo of BrewMaven
BrewMaven

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 17:02:02 | More by BrewMaven
Photo of steinlifter
steinlifter

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured light reddish-brown, off-white head that left a thin collar all the way through.
smell was breadlike, dark fruits, hint of grassiness.
The 1st thing I percieved on the taste was Rye bread, which I really liked, malts, and maybe a ghost-like hint of dark fruits.
the mouthfeel is smooth rich and creamy. drinkability, is for me, fantastic, I love the rye bread flavor I percieve, easily one of the best Euro-Lagers I've had, would make a nice session brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2005 00:58:39 | More by steinlifter
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2005 00:38:40 | More by RoyalT
Photo of donnebaby
donnebaby

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looks ruby red brown, viscous and turbid. Heavy creamy head lasts for a while before falling to haze.

Nose is pretty sweet and funky malts. Mild.

Pretty yummy taste, pleasantly nutty, like peanut butter, and sweetly fruity like figs and dry grapes. Nice dry lasting and flavorfully bitter hops in the after. Solid carbonation and nice thick feel. Somehow reminded me quite a bit of Anchor Steam, perhaps b/c I've been having so much of it lately.

I told myself this would be the final Baltika beer I'd try -- but I enjoyed this one, especially when it was cold. Really enjoyed this "dark lager" chilled.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 06:12:27 | More by donnebaby
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2005 02:04:15 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep rosey amber color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is raisiney and bready and caramel sweet. The flavor is right there with the nose. Big bit of riasiney, very slight roasted in the background. Not bad. The feel is a little thin for the flavor. I want a more robust feel on it. Overall, this is an okay beer. I'm not really going back to it as fast as I would a better beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 03:18:45 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
DrunkMcDermott

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a big frothy head that hangs around, atop a good amber body. Happy little "beer" smell, slightly better than your average "dark" beer. Taste is a little bit biscuity, but mouthfeel is somewhat watery. It’s labaled as "Original," some presumably this was the first style for this brand, but tellingly their advertising pushes the "3" pale lager. An alcohol burn sneaked up on me as I got to the bottom of my .5 liter serving.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 16:04:58 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of ghurux86
ghurux86

Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a dark amber color. clear. creamy light tan head that lingers for a while and a little bit stays until the end. laces some too.
smell is malt, maybe some hops, caramel, among others.
taste is malt with a hoppy ending, alcohol isn't very noticeable.
mouthfeel is just about right for the style, medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level.
drinkability is average, i'd drink it again but i'd drink a lot of things again, definitely not bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 07:59:36 | More by ghurux86
Photo of walleye
walleye

Michigan

3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a yellow copper color with a light tan medium sized head that stayed around for a while with some good lacing. aroma got a little molasses, malts maybe honey slight bitterness. flavor was about the same. not to bad of a beer but noy overly impressed by it

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2004 03:48:10 | More by walleye
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.35/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was tremendously impressed with this one. For those who seemed skeptical, perhaps this just wasn't for them. I, however, was greatly impressed with this one. It poured a reddish brown colour. Very red, and crystal clear. About a 12mm thick head that quickly subsided to a thin haze. At this point, I'm still expecting mediocrity, perhap something even sub-standard. I gave my glass a swirl and took a smell. WOW...malt! ..and some sweetness, and that sweetness is un-deniably caramel. BIG sweet / caramel malt smell. The taste, too, was BIG malt and sweet. A little nutiness on the finish. Very tasty! I am greatly impressed. Smooth mouthfeel. Little to none carbonation/carbonation"sting". Nice smell, good taste, just plain satisfying. Do try this out if given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2004 05:37:29 | More by SilentSabre
Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
77 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.