1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Baltika #4 Original (Dark) - Baltika Breweries

Baltika #4 Original (Dark)Baltika #4 Original (Dark)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

350 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 350
Reviews: 261
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.09%


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 (37) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Baltika #4 Original (Dark) Alström Bros
Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 261 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been burned by several Russian (or insert variant former USSR entity here) beers, so I wasn't expecting too much from my first pass at this brewery. I guess my basic reaction is "not too bad." Chestnut amberish-brown, with a nice head that stayed a while. Some caramel and cane sugar in the flavor, pretty sweet but not over the top. Finish is clean. On the heavy-handed side for a lager, but still drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 02:45:56 | More by Brent
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a slightly clouded coppery-red with an unimpressive head that fades a bit quickly but does leave some lacing, albeit quite thin.
The aroma is of malts, notes of dark fruits, and a light note of caramelized sugars with an alcoholic tinge and an unexpected astringency.
The caramel malt is stronger in the flavor, making for a sturdy base. The caramelized sugars and ripe fruits make for perhaps an overdone sweetness. Hops fade in and out and are stronger in the aftertaste and don't provide an especially good balance. The astringency I found in the nose remains in the flavor, fortunately to a lesser degree.
There's a good balance of crispness and smoothness is a well-rounded mouthfeel complimented by a carbonation that's just the right level in a medium to full body.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 19:36:59 | More by Brenden
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

2.95/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the bottle stamped: 02:08:12-08:48-02:08:13-O-W. Sampled on June 22, 2013. I think the stamp suggests this is past its expiration date by about 4 months.

The pour is a dark reddish-amber with a short-lived head that dissipates into nothing. Busy carbonation.

The aroma is full of sweet malts, vanilla, and brown sugar with a nearly absent hop sensation.

The body is fairly smooth and in the medium range.

The sweetness is prevalent in the flavor at first with a quick hint of low bitterness at the end. It seems to fit into the style well enough but there is nothing extraordinary about it. Easy to drink though.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 18:16:51 | More by puboflyons
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddy bronze kind of colour, transparent with a very slight bead. Head is decent but doesn't really stick around. Produces very nice lacing. A very appealing-looking drop, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'dark'.

Very sticky and jammy on the nose, with a strong raisin undertone and hints of oak and blackcurrant. Virtually one aroma, although there is a modest, very modest hop hit at the back, but it's more malty than anything else.

Surprisingly refreshing although there is that deep, sticky flavour of spicy raisins on the mid-palate. I think it's just too cold. Waiting for it to warm up now... Still waiting.... Okay, slightly sour on the front, very fruity, with overtones of burnt toffee throughout. Hint of artificial lemon flavour towards the back, like those lemon sherbet lollies (without the sherbet). The dominant flavour though, is that toffee, raisin character. Very heavy for breakfast. Very sweet and heavy, but very good in the mouthfeel. I'd rather have this in my mouth than Saddam's cock. Not all that drinkable this early in the morning, but that's my fucking fault for drinking it this early in the morning.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 03:38:37 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with a large head, fading to a small layer.
Nose shows some chocolate malt, with lots of bready and nutty notes. No hops stand out.
Flavours are more of the same, with very sweet bready and nutty malt. Too sweet, in fact - once you add in the noticeable alcohol it becomes cloying.
Carbonation is too low, and lets the sweetness run rampant.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 10:03:04 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An attractive beer: reddish-brown with a big tan head. There is a noticeable metallic and astringent flaw in the beer, but it is drinkable. Sweet, molasses and malt nose. Not a lot of bitterness, and sometimes cloying. Alcohol is pronounced for the concentration. I didn’t know what to expect (I bought the bottle simply because I’d never had a Russian beer before.)

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2002 15:26:21 | More by Suds
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Russian....bier. Does have an attractive brown color. Poured a small head, diminishes to a fine layer quickly. Very, very mild malt nose. Body/tongue combined to present a decent mouthfeel. Flavors are quite subtle; some grainy malt, a hint of caramel and touch of hops. Too subtle, actually, though it did improve as the bier warmed. Granted, this bier doesn't turn me off, but it needs to be more bold, to have more "oomph".

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

159

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2002 12:34:36 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 13:55:14 | More by Vancer
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 brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - amber pour, pretty average, not very dark for this dark lager. Not much head formation but it does manage a partial covering and some light lace.

Aroma - a wheaty, rye-like grain, almost a smoky element in there. Fades quite a bit after a few moments but it's still there.

Taste - opening malts have some sweetness to them. Mild diacetyl and mild smoked malts, too. Late hops show up well into the aftertaste. A tasty interesting brew.

Mouthfeel - evenly bodied, nicely crisp. Good residual flavor.

Drinkability - not something I'd get regularly but it's a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 21:46:32 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

1.73/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, amber in color, hazy

Smell: minerals, toffee, and grain

Taste: sweet toasted malt, grain, toffee, and tea

Mouthfeel: very sweet, light bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I find this beer to be cloyingly sweet and too malty. One is enough as the combination just does not work for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 12:43:23 | More by tigg924
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear watery dark amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and hints of chocolate. It is a pleasant aroma. The taste is much like the aroma. It lacks any sort of complexity, but is mildly interesting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation that is a little too low. Overall, this is a decent beer that I could drink again.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 19:12:23 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had never heard of a dark lager before, but this was a really interesting drink. I drank this straight from the bottle, so I'm not really sure what it looked like. However, it had a strong molasses flavor that was interesting and mostly enjoyable. Its mouthfeel was thicker than any of the other Baltikas. It was sweet at first, with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Interesting specialty beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 21:22:31 | More by Pencible
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 flexabull
flexabull

California

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

Pours a dark amber color with a small white head.

Aromas are bready, slightly sweet, malty, and with hints of brewed tea.

Taste is clean, simple, but pretty nice. Light malt creaminess, doughy bread flavors, and some sweet tea. Finish is crisp, dry, with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is nice, full and quite smooth.

Overall a solid brew, and a pleasant surprise. I'd expected something a little more pedestrian based on the scores, but I dig this. Almost reminds me of a dark german lager. Pretty good stuff, and quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 23:41:46 | More by flexabull
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

2.58/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown color. Small to medium head. Aroma is malty and sweet. A medium bodied dunkel. Malts are sweet and fruity. Hops are very mild and a touch spicy. Its overly sweet and very one-dimensional It much better than the strong ale, but its still only just marginally drinkable. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is very sweet.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2003 02:16:46 | More by beerguy101
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

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

16.9 oz. bottle, poured to 2 pint glasses. Production Date: 17.09.07; Best Before: 17.09.08.

Picked this one up at the New Seasons down the street for about $2. Indirect thanks to Metalmonk for a recently added review/rave of Baltika #6, which prompted me to snag the nearest offering of theirs I could find (by the way, they carry the #6, to...)

A: Poured hard an fast, so a fluffy, fairly dense ivory head grew to about 1-1/2 fingers before settling to a creamy ring. Liquid is crystal clear, a glowing amber, with a scattering of lazily-rising carbonation.

S: Aroma is full of sweet raisins, toffee, and an enticing anise/licorice. Baked wheat bread, cloves.

T: Full Munich malts fill this with flavors like buttery toffee, spicy gingerbread, sugared berries and honey & cinnamon on wheat toast. Delicious... A little tart and definitely dry (black pepper?) in the finish.

M: Lip-smacking maltiness, fairly light mouthfeel and body. Low carbonation means it's smooth. Yet somehow it still retains a crispness; the spices tingle far on the back of tongue.

D: Very tasty, this style is one I haven't tried nearly often enough. Both the wife and I agreed this is a big winner, one we'll be enjoying more often (with dinner or on it's own). Modest ABV means a bottle all to one's self shouldn't cause too much damage....

With the introduction of a new Beer Department guy at the grocery, comes a few changes on the shelves. Fortunately, quality imported lagers are among his favorites; thanks for adding this to the stock, Aaron.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 02:27:07 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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

A decent dark lager, but not as good as the Baltika 8s and 6s (probably the only ones I'll be returning to).

Pours a deep amber with a surprisingly off white foam head. Nice mouthfeel. Has a biting aftertaste of alcohol that is offputting about halfway through the bottle.

No real fruit flavors, just thick malt sweetness with some prunes or raisins. Neither complex nor awe inspiring, but pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 07:12:52 | More by Overlord
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 23:52:57 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brownish and dull appearance with a low bodied head that doesn't have much to keep it from falling in on itself. Minimal lacing properties. Aroma is decent, somewhat buttery with some accent of raisin. Malt is pretty sweet, bready, but somewhat thin in in overall impression, as well as the finely carbonated body. Creamy, slightly watery, without a lot of initial distinction other than overall sweetness. De-constructs slightly with a slightly sour tea-like hop underscoring the finish. Better beginning than end to this beer, but decently average and drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2003 15:42:38 | More by ADR
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Euro dark lager eh? Reviewed from notes.

A- Brown with a small head that rapidly falls to nothing. Very minimal cloud covers the top and leaves no lace or suds. Starts to look like juice.

S- Not much to say here at all. Low strength, just some caramel malt and a hint of dark fruit.

T- Caramel malt and some dark fruit notes up front. A bit on the sweet end, even for me. A bit of Brown Ale like nutty flavors come through, not bad.

MF- High carbonation stings the palate over a slightly creamy light bodied ale. Refreshing and crisp. Finishes with a coat of caramel.

DB- Cheap stuff, wanted to try some of their offerings. The flavor has its good points but is a bit sweet, certainly a refreshing dark lager. Not bad for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 23:38:32 | More by cbutova
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

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!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 00:15:10 | More by Redrover
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 22:15:33 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2005 23:47:24 | More by TastyTaste
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
Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
77 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.