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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.

375 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 375
Reviews: 266
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Baltika #4 Original (Dark) Alström Bros
Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of assurbanipaul
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.

assurbanipaul, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 16, 2005
Photo of ryantupy
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.

ryantupy, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
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.

Gueuzedude, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of beertastegood
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.

beertastegood, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
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.

DogFood11, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
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.

ypsifly, Jul 20, 2005
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.

Photo of paterlodie
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.

paterlodie, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
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.

Gagnonsux, Jun 24, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
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).

allengarvin, Jun 10, 2005
Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
77 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.