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Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic PorterKarl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

62 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 19
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jsanford on 11-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Armand:
Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark red, almost murky. Well carbonated with good head retendtion.
S: Milky, with some spice, and hops,
T: Spices come through from the smell, and taste. Very impressed with this one. Going to collect a couple for my cellar. Just to age and see what comes of this one.
M: Medium bodied and went down with a lot of good character.
O: Try this one. Really liked it. One of my favorite Karl's out there.

Armand, Jun 27, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a vintage date amongst the info on the label.

Good lacing action on my mug, dark brown color has an edge of garnet which flaunts some clarity. Hint of burnt sugar and raisins, some dried plums, a hint of wood and faint grape sweetness all in the nose. Creamy full body, smoothness from the moderate level of carbonation comes off as nearly silky. Roasty sweet maltiness throughout, boarders on a mocha not of dark chocolate and a cup of Sumatra coffee. Wood character creeps in slowly as it pulls the palate in, very mild port flavor ... more wood than anything else. Baked apples, golden raisins and ripe blackberries unfold from the patch of fruitiness in the middle. Alcohol in the breath is warming at most though there is a clean fume of port within. Finishes with a mild roasted character and pulling dryness of wood.

Amazing, one of the better wood aged beers I have had in a while. A solid robust porter base marries the wood at first sip.

Jason, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. My first beer from Karl Strauss.

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is a very nice mix of roasted malt and chocolate, as well as some oaked notes. The flavor is more of the same, with a few added additions. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt notes - as you expect in a porter - but I also get some oak and dark fruit notes. The fruit is very wine-like and really adds to the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A great beer with a great name. Definitely a beer to try if you get the chance.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

acurtis, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-Nice dark brown color with nice almost creamy looking head

-Nice roasted, malty, fig-like characteristics on the nose

-Flavors change a little throughout the beer with notes of dates or figs, roasted malts, sweet port wine notes from the aging process. Slight smokiness. Definitely low on the bitterness and IBUs.

-rich and smooth mouth feel with a hint of alcoholic kick from the port wine, nice sweet aftertaste to encourage another sip

Ive had this beer a few times and I think it is definitely the best Karl Stauss beer Ive had and the best Baltic Porter Ive had to date. A dark beer lovers dream. If you like a fairly rich, bold flavored dark beer to break up the monotony of all the IPA hop craze and the extremely rich imperial stouts. This is the perfect solid bodied, full flavored, extremely drinkable dark beer to crack immediately while saving one to age.

MrVonzipper, May 16, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice gift from some friends. 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Clear dark sienna body with burnt highlights. A soapy modest light khaki head recedes slowly. Average lacing, very faint legs.

Sweet roast malt, chocolate, light berry/plum esters, and a touch of hops in the nose. No oxidative notes.

Tart/sweet cereal-like palate entry followed by jammy fruit notes (from the port), a hint of coconut and weak vanilla perhaps. Earthy grassy hops and plenty of roast malt suggesting brown bread and Lithuanian rye into the faintly spicy finish. Vague leather notes from the port barrel as the beer warms. Finishes dry at first, but with a lingering sweetness.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and smooth.

Lacks the depth of malt assault the better examples yield, but the port barrel aging is a subtle and distinctive touch that elevates this beer out of the everyday.

augustgarage, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of WeeObese
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle tonight. The beer is ebony in color, with a nice mocha colored head. The beer smells of light chocolate and sweet coffee aromas, it has a small amount of alcohol and a very faint vinous/dark fuit aroma as well. I was hoping this beer had a much larger barrel/port aroma. The beer has a nice toastiness, chocolate, some light dark fruit/vinous flavors. There is some alcohol warmth on the finish as well. It is slightly sweet but not cloying at all. There isn't really any roast flavors, but the chocolate-like flavors fill that void. The best part of this beers flavor is in the finish when all the flavors express themselves. Again, disappointed that there isn't more port/barrel flavor. The mouthfeel is a little light, but it is also easy to drink. This is a nice winter beer and is a great beer to share with a friend.

If they up the roast malt a little and let the port show greater, this could be a really good beer, it's just missing a few things.

WeeObese, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
2.8/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aged in Port wine barrels.

Pours black with a thick tan head that quickly fades.

Nose is an elegant plum/black cherry chocolate roasted grain that is light to medium assertive. Layered and complex but restrained.

Mouthfeel is medium thin with nice carbonation and a good "feel" to it but it's all overshadowed by flavors that do not integrate and fight each other to the point of unappealing.

Flavors start with what one thinks will be a pleasant "bitter port wine" quality that goes to smokey bitter and then green herb bitter with roasted grain undertones, hints of chili chocolate, celery and salt. There is "something" that is appealing in the individual characteristics but when you put them together your mouth is a mess.

Finish is bitter green herbs, green pepper, celery and salt and all in a less than appealing way.

This was one with good intentions - it missed the mark. I can't imagine drinking it again or having it with (or without) food.

GRG1313, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of lou91
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Wow can't believe that I'm the first to review this beer. On paper this looked like a great new beer for the holidays. Sadly, it was far from great. The baltic porter was more like a black pale ale with the port adding little. As it warms it did not get any better - still very thin and strangely sweet. Other brewers should try this combo and see if it works but this one does not. I paid 8 bucks and that was plenty.

lou91, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of mikedashg
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Robust Baltic Porter, aged 2 months in San Pasqual Tawny Port Barrels.

A - Extremely dark brown, almost black with some ruby tints and a foamy light tan head that has real staying power with really good lacing that sticks to the glass.

S - Brown Malt, chocolate, a little red wine and booziness, maybe a little cherry note.

T - Pretty good balanced porter, not much hop presence. Roasted brown malts. Very slight hint of raisins, oak, and wine notes to it. Really like the chocolaty finish.

M - Creamy, moderate to moderately high carbonation, a little velvety on the tongue.

D - Overall not extremely complex, but the characters that are there are quite tasty. Extremely quafable for the ABV.

Would have liked to see this with more time in the barrels, like 6 months to a year. 2 months was listed on the bottle. And maybe a little more complexity on the base beer.

mikedashg, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of TJBurgess
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#28
2010 bottle into a snifter.

A: light brown, slightly transparent looking down through the glass. A thin head that sticks around for the duration of the swirl. 4.0

S: really light. Candy, almost old ale-ish. There's a hint of the port aging, but not a ton going on. 3.5

T: follows pretty close to the smell. Hint of the aforementioned port, some sweetness to balance it out with some dark fruit. Pretty light overall, but not bad. 3.5

M: smooth, light, and good carbonation. By the end of the first smexpected though, the glass has become much flatter than expected and lost most of its carbonation turning a little heavier. 3.5

O: nice, but nothing that sticks out. I was hoping for more from the port and oak, but there's just not much there. Its definitely drinkable though. I would have again, but nothing to seek out. 3.5

TJBurgess, May 04, 2011
Photo of Kaiser81
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I'm not too familiar with Baltic Porters. I think this is my 3rd one. As the bud light commercials would say, here we go!

22 oz bomber poured into my Bruery tulip glass

A - Deep mahogany with ruby highlights as it's held up to the light. Pretty...my precious. Anyway, it had about a finger width of lacing that died down rather quickly, and it left some ok lacing on my glass.

S - Smells sweet, like candied sugar, and/or brown sugar. It's rich, with a tiny bit of roast going on in there, but the sweetness overwhelms most everything else. It's delightful, and pleasant, though a bit simple.

T - The sweetness on the taste definitely comes through. It kind of reminds me of Brown Shugga from Lagunitas. I would say brown sugar is the dominate taste from this. There are other sweetnesses in there, like the candied sugar from the smell. It has that touch of roast in there that makes it like a sweet coffee. I'm getting dark fruit as well, like prunes or plums. Maybe a touch of hazelnut...

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. It works, though my tongue is left slightly prickly.

D - It's a quality beer, though I'm afraid too much sugar from this beer might leave you with a headache in the morning.

Kaiser81, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of claspada
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of dark robust fruit (figs/dates), followed with chocolate and a a bit hint of vanilla. Simple yet enticing.
The taste is more potent, but follows what the nose suggest. Figs, dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, cherry and a hint of earthiness.
The mouth feel is smooth, but not heavy, and the carbonation is consistent throughout. Really balanced with the maltiness, earthiness and sweetness, really great.
Overall this beer is very smooth and well-rounded. Pretty robust flavors that balance together well to make a very enjoyable, drinkable holiday beer. Looking forward to getting my hands on some more offerings from this brewery.

claspada, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Oneinchaway
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Oneinchaway, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of SDHoffers
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised by this one. I tasted it in the bottle first and it seemed a little flat but I'm glad we put it on tap. Deep brown in color. Looks a little more like a strong ale than a baltic porter.Plenty of aroma coming from the off white head. Has plenty of lacing and the booze is noticeable from the drying on the glass. The sweetness is not overpowering and a great surprise from a beer that you'd expect to be really hot from the smell. I would suggest this one on tap instead of the bottle.

SDHoffers, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of mtstatebeer
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, served in a snifter. Pours a completely opaque black color with a decent-sized, frothy brown head, good lacing. Aroma is dark and roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, wood, and nutty. Flavor is dark and roasted malts, raisins, chocolate, coffee, a bit of spiciness and molasses. Mouthfeel is medium, sweet, warm and finishes fairly bitter. Good beer, warms well, fairly complex.

mtstatebeer, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of tjfinkle
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came across this bottle and decided to give it a try as I have been impressed with several of Karl's beers lately. Poured the 22 oz bomber into my Bruery tulip glass. The pour was a very dark brown with a couple inches of soft tan head that is retained for a couple of minutes. When I was pouring the beer, even before directly smelling the beer I could pick up some sweet amber malts. When I followed this up with an actual sniff the beer smelled quite light, with some light malts and some chocolate flavors.

The taste however was much deeper than the smell. The malts are much more obvious than on the nose, with some dark fruit and chocolaty notes and a nice slightly hoppy finish with a taste of vanilla. I have to admit I was hoping for a little more woody port flavors from this. I am not sure if it needed more time in the barrels or just a higher portion of aged beer in the blend, but still a very tasty beer.

The mouthfeel is quite decent for a non bottle conditioned beer, with adequate carbonation that keeps it nicely balanced. Overall a very tasty beer and I would recommend it to a friend. Not necessarily my favorite Karl Strauss beer, but a very solid Baltic Porter.

tjfinkle, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the San Diego Brewing Co brewpub. They had it for one of their guest taps, which was fortunate, because they were out when we were at Karl Strauss. The beer pours a dark black with brown-amber highlights and a thick, foamy tan head. The smell of the beer is heavy in coconut and chocolate. The taste of the beer is crisp, with undertones of coffee to boast the chocolate forward flavors. There is very subtle coconut notes on the aftertaste. Crisp, short, and bitter finish. The beer is very smooth and round. Pretty robust flavors that balance together well to make a very enjoyable, drinkable holiday beer.

GarthDanielson, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of spamages
4/5  rDev +1.5%

spamages, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of Kuemmelbrau
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Kuemmelbrau, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of beagle75
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color, showing clear dark reddish-brown toward the edges, with one finger of light beige foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark vinous fruit that is earthy but not particularly roasty due to effervescent carbonic acid. It smells old, in an appealing way--likely due to the involvement of the port barrel.

T: Begins off-dry, almost sweet, with strong dark fruit that matches the smell. It has a fermented quality that adds interest to a beer of this disposition. Acidity is briefly felt, but peaks early then clears out, making way for the arrival of some roasted malt toward the middle. Vinous qualities persist and are joined by complimentary umami that begins a drying trend. Husky grain is added to the increasingly complex mix by the finish, which is further marked by faint earthy oak, Hershey's chocolate syrup, and lingering cabernet sauvingnon.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, smoothness prevails on the palate but the overall texture does not match the self-seriousness of the flavor, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Who made this beer?! This is the best dark beer from Karl Strauss within memory--including the recent anniversary stout. While it is not a total stranger to the familiar re-occurring formula for porter-style beers at Karl Strauss, whatever they did to treat this one right worked a unique brand of magic that we can talk about reverently for years (okay, months...) to come. The presence of the port barrel comes through, elevating the flavor to new levels. Complexity could not be greater, with grain and grape uniting to create a somber and reflective end-of-year treat that tastes even better five months on.

beagle75, May 12, 2011
Photo of Cavery
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 shared with Klym

Poured into Lost Abbey Tulip

A: Looks like a split fig in a glass; sediments hug the walls giving the appearance of seeds in a black body. A completely darth vader helmet body fills the glass with a bit of off-white natural cream bubbles. The film stayed on the top of the glass for a noticeably long while.

S: A really deep concord grape note up front that blends with kiwi centers for a unique impression. Dark fruits begin to develop, but are then cut off by a deep influence of port wine barrels. The sweetness is turned down, but the creaminess/smoothness turned up. Smells like a fine dark fruit jelly spread.

T: A deep roasty salty taste of toasted pumpkin seeds. There is a squash like sweetness that really has made a fan out of me. Dark fruits in a concord grape punch, with wonderful gobs of vanilla caramels. Really making a fan out of me on this one, smooth and creamy while maintaining a heavy focus on deep dark grape wines with extended invitations to fresh pan fried dates. This is pretty genius.

M: A warm blanket of alcohol and medium sized bubble cushions make for a full-bodied drinking experience. This really bridges the tasting experience to include the roasted flavors at the same intensity as the port notes. Not as much complexity here as the flavor, but a job well done.

O: To date, this is the best thing I've had from Karl Strauss. This is an impressive treatment of port wine barrels with a full-bodied baltic porter. The marriage of flavors here is a beautiful thing. I really can't get over how well the initial flavors of fig/dates/cherry skins transforms into the elegantly smooth red grape notes. The way the barrel aging comes through in the end with the dessert condiments of caramels, vanillas, and carob chips is so fantastic. Karl, this is the best of your barrel work. I'd like to see more of this.

Cavery, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of mactrail
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full of dried fruit, as everyone notes. Figs for sure. Long sweet flavor of roasted malt, but more of raisins than caramel. Nice touch of acidity tempers the fruit, and the hops are mellow but add complexity and sharpen the overall flavor. Smooth, rich, and creamy for a really good mouthfeel. Lovely chestnut color with a fine head and great swirly lacing.

Karl Strauss seems to do really well with these big malty beer, in my opinion. Sorry I didn't get to try this on tap, but I'll pick up a couple more bottles-- Ibis Market on Ft. Stockton in Mission Hills (San Diego) has a bunch of it.

mactrail, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

leaving carlsbad last wednesday

heading back to vegas four kids

in the car in the pizza port lot

the bottle shop closed with two

bottles of this one sitting in

the cooler apparently nfs until

five thanks so much to the guy

behind the counter who sold them

to me didnt get the chance to

crack a bottle this weekend but

tonight is the night garnet color

with two fingers of airy light brown

foam aromas of juicy dark fruits

raisins and red grapes on the

palate medium bodied with the

alcohol well hidden flavors of wine

oak grapes and vanilla

emmasdad, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of Zbeetleman
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Zbeetleman, Jul 08, 2013
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Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.