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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.

377 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 377
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | 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: 377 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Loki
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 50cl or 16.9 Fl OZ bottle.

Poured a slightly hazy amber red with a big ecru head. The head fades fairly quickly, but the beer leaves a fair amount of lacing around the glass.

Aromas of sweet caramel malt and dough. Hints of fruit.

Tastes of slightly over caramelized malt. Slight wheat and dough. A little chewy, but lacks real body. A little overly sweet for my tastes. For a relatively lower alcohol content you can really taste the alcohol. Not all that wonderful, but not all that bad either.

Had worse, but had much, much better.

Loki, Aug 12, 2003
Photo of humulusphile
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

humulusphile, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of rkhaze
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly cloudy amber color with red hues. Foamy beige head. No lacing. Basic, but nice aroma of sweet toasted malt, caramel and a hint of fruit.
The taste was pretty much the same as the aroma with the addition of a smidge of chocolate and a slightly skunky, mild bitter aftertaste. Very mild flavors.
Thin to medium mouthfeel with fizzy carbonation. Not one I'd drink a lot of.

rkhaze, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of BeerDocT
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought at Assi Plaza in Atlanta, GA.

Appearance 3.5: Poured out a lovely, translucent, dark brown. Nice, inch-high head faded to a thin but sturdy head that lasted the entire session. Decent lacing.

Smell 3.75: Very nice bouquet. Smells of deep malt, barley and a slight smokiness. Also, nice hints of marshmallow and caramel.

Taste 3.5: Front is slightly sweet, but balanced. Middle is somewhat dry, but is balanced by very pleasant and semi-sweet waves of barley malt and hints of caramel. Finish is smooth, light and refreshing with tastes of dark brown sugar, grains and a very slight hoppiness. Aftertaste is very nice: dry, balanced with a final taste of barley.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Clean, balanced...great complement to the brew.

Overall 3.75: A surprise and a good beer. Would be a great complement to almost any food. While a bit on the sweet side, it is smooth and balanced. Definitely worth a try if you find it.

BeerDocT, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 2/28/08, a little late.
Pours a slightly hazy medium, dark amber color with lots of brownish tan head and great tracing. Aromas of sweet caramel, melanoidin toastiness, light dark fruity aromas, and just a touch of hops. On the palate, it really opens up. Lots of sweet chocolate flavor, toasted bread, raisin, toffee, and a hint of spice. Hop flavor is close to none and bitterness is just barely there, not enough to keep up with the sweetness. Carbonation is medium low providing a rich malty mouthfeel. A little too sweet for my taste, hurting drinkability.

dreadnatty08, Mar 13, 2008
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 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 RCLOHR267
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

RCLOHR267, Jun 24, 2014
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 kflorence
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, amber in color with a two-finger thick head that dissipates and leaves some lacing around the glass.

S: Smells of grains, bread, caramelized malts and brown sugar. Overall, I sense more grain and bread presence than dark fruits, which I am used to in dark lagers.

T: Much like the smell, the flavor is heavily bready (rye?) and malty. This is not quite what I expected. That's not to say that it's bad, it's just not what I'm used to. Anyways, malts and grains hit first, followed by caramel and brown sugar and some fruitiness... apricots and raisins maybe? Lingering flavor is kind of nutty.

M: The mouthfeel is rather nice; good amount of carbonation, some body but not overly heavy. Well balanced, but probably a bit on the malt side of things (which I enjoy).

D: A simple beer, but not at all unpleasant. It's simplicity probably lends itself to being more drinkable. A bit on the sweet side, perhaps, but still very drinkable.

Overall, this is definitely an enjoyable beer, especially for the price. I have yet to be disappointed with Baltika brews, and this one is no exeception.

kflorence, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of McBraniel
3/5  rDev -11.2%

McBraniel, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of BWED
2.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

500 ml bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Pours a dark amber/chestnut hue, with some good light shining through. Bubbly tan head doesn't stay around very much.

S- Big caramel aroma, with some sweet bready malt. No hop character around. It's a bit of a fake, cheap aroma. Like all extract and no grain.

T- Caramel, with a mild hop character to cut the sweetness, but not by much.

M- A little syrupy. Fizzy carbonation makes the thicker body more palatable, and the finish is sweet.

O- Okay. Really, better than I was expecting, but still cheap tasting and syrupy.

BWED, Aug 24, 2013
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 Jeysun23
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

Jeysun23, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of BigJTrucker
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer tonight at the Bier Stein, Eugene, OR. Not nearly as dark as i would expect a dark lager to be, more of a dark amber. Thick creamy head. Slight sour taste, possibly the rye malt coming through. Tasted better than i thought it would to be honest. I smelled the faintest notes of apple. To me it seemed to have a fizzy texture, Not bubbly, but i would compare the texture to a witbier like hoegarden perhaps. Easy to drink.

BigJTrucker, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Lauthaha
2.55/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a half-liter bottle into a half-liter beer glass. Perfect fit!

Appearance: Beer is a nearly-opaque burnt sienna color. Some sediment visible in the mix; before I finished pouring, I left an ounce or so of liquid in the bottle, swished it around, then poured with a flourish. Head quickly recedes to a velvety coating on the surface of the beer, leaving no lacing at all. Meh.

Smell: Prunes, first and foremost. Underneath that, a thick, banana-bread-like malt quality; or maybe cinnamon-raisin-muffin-like quality. Very sweet, almost cloying, but enough tone shift to remain above average.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer seems to have almost no carbonation...all tastes are very mellow, light breadiness, light prune flavor, light cinnamon flavor. Where's the beef? If I swish the beer around like crazy in my mouth, I can detect just a touch of carbonation, which does nothing. Aftertaste is dull, though the burps are full of vine fruit. Blechh.

Drinkability: Only so-so. I suppose it's worth a try, somebody is bound to like this beer. It's just not cutting it for me.

Let me just say, this isn't a bad beer by any means...I've had far more disgusting brews. That being said, this beer really falls short in the taste category. Seeing as I don't have any general characteristics upon which to base Euro Dark Lagers, I can only go by what I know...and I know this should be darker, meatier and foamier.

Lauthaha, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

They had a sale on this and several other Baltika beers at my stop, figured I'd give it a shot.

Poured a dark brown with a finger of foamy, even, tan head. Head was weird, and broke up into clumps after a few minutes. Lasted only a few minutes

Smell is of malt, nut, and a slight smoke.

Taste is a bit sweet but good. Sweet roasted malt, a caramel flavor, some chocolate, and raisin. Finishes with a super sweet malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation is good, doesn't taint my mouth with a stain or lingering syrupy feeling like I thought it might.

Drinkability is good. It's not the best beer I've had but all things considered ( including the sale price ) I'd drink it again without question.

LumpyGuitar, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.55/5  rDev +5%
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!

rickyleepotts, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of speter
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent brown with a two-finger head that leaves a goodly amount of lacing.

S: Roasty malts with a hint of rye. Caramel along with the typical Russian maltose scent.

T: One of the most complex Russian beers I've had. The combination of light and caramel barley malts with the rye lead to some interesting interplay across the palate. The hops serve only to keep the brew from being too sweet, but the finish is nicely dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

D: Baltika 4 and 6 are two beers I would consider sessionable.

speter, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of tvv375ia
4/5  rDev +18.3%

tvv375ia, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of steinlifter
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.

steinlifter, Apr 16, 2005
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 ElCommodoro
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

ElCommodoro, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of kvnstfrd
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a 12 oz.mug.
Pours a crystal clear, medium brown; the color of strong pekoe tea. Sweet smells of warm pumpernickel, waffles. Taste is toasty with definite notes of rye/pumpernickel. Sweet caramel and toffee on the swallow. Medium body. Smell of rye malt really picks up as it warms a bit. This is an awesome beer!

kvnstfrd, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of tjd112
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have poured this into a Pokal. It is a brown beer with slightly off white head with medium retention and little lacing. Smells very toasty, a bit of caramel malts, a bit of brown sugar. There is a good amount of dark fruits in the taste. The mouthfeel is light to medium, and its a very drinkable beer.

I would have imagined Russian beers to not be of good quality, but this changed my perception

tjd112, Jun 25, 2010
Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
77 out of 100 based on 377 ratings.