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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

40 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 64
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 20
Gots: 24 | 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:
Beer added by: jsanford on 11-05-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (89) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 64
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA as part of their Jingle Bell Jubilee.

Pours an almost opaque dark crimson brown with a 1 inch tan head that settles to a thin cap. Random dots of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and toffee aromas. Taste is of dark malt, dark fruits, and some cocoa powder flavors. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Baltic porter from Karl Strauss. I am glad I was able to try this one on tap after having a bottle of it a while back.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
4.38/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a light white head, spots of lace.

S: Oaky, malt (chocolate), some vinous notes.

T: Dark chocolate predominately with nice barrel integration into the overall flavour. Not as big or as interesting as I think a BA Baltic Porter should, but still a nice tasting brew.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

D: A beer I liked, but had nothing to offer to keep my attention. Worth a try though on-tap I'd say.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Churchill's and served in a tulip.

A: Crimson tinged deep brown with a large frothy light brown head.

S: Served extremely cold. It took quite a while to warm up. The two months in Tawny Port barrels certainly left a mark. Notes of grape and plum are pronounced, it's quite vinous, and these aromas meld well with the chocolate, light roast, and restrained espresso. I detect date and fig as well.

F: Lightly roasted, with prominent notes of grape and plum. There's a dash of espresso, and I detect light chocolate notes. I think there are dates in here as well. The finish exhibits drying oak and a little warming, with a touch of alcohol flavor. Overall it's sweet, but not really close to cloying.

M: Upper medium body with upper moderate draft carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and sticky. 

Overall: A very nice beer. If there were 4.25s I'd be giving a few of those out. Recommended.

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Photo of claspada
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown cola, somewhat murky, light tan head leaves pretty fast. Some cling lace.

S - Roasted malt, spices and wine...

T - Roasty porter, sharp wine finish that is pretty nice.

M - Medium body and carbonation, the balance is a little strange to me.

D - Fun to try but not a session beer for me.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
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

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Parrot in a palm tree has a dark brown body that borders on black due to the fact that it is opaque. Great looking brown head, large and solid with good retention and lacing.

The aroma is quite good, with dark fruit smells of dates and figs that obviously comes from the port barrels. There is also some chocolate malt and sweetness in there.

Parrot in a Palm Tree has lots of fruitiness, which comes from both the port and the yeast. I'm guessing this is an ale yeast (Baltic Porters go both ways) due to the fruit notes. The barrel notes are definitely appreciable, with dark fruits, oak and a hint of vanilla. I think a little more time in the barrel would have been nice though. The malt base is just as strong as the barrel flavors, with a little bit of roasted malts, a good dose of chocolate and some general sweetness. Just a hint of spicy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium in both body, but the carbonation is very good and lends a slight creaminess to the beer.

Not a bad beer at all, I enjoy most things that come out of port barrels though. Easy to drink considering the ABV, but not interesting enough for me to want more than one.

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Photo of armock
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Best Damn Beer Shop (in Super Jr. Market)

A - Poured a mahogany color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off chocolate scents

T - Starts off with the roasted malt with chocolate then some dark fruit flavors come out and finishes with some alcohol

M - This beer has a smooth fuller body with lighter carbonation to it

D - I'm enjoying this beer quite a bit and thats saying a lot as this generally isn't a style I go crazy for it has an enjoyable taste with a great body this one is worth picking up if you see it around

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Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of farrago
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finger and a half of large bubble dominated head, steadily settles down to a consistent surface coating, solidly brown in hue, the lacing is not particularly thick but what’s there has decent stickiness. Mildly murky yellow brown colored liquid, up close more transparent than expected, not to call it transparent per se, orange rust at the glass bottom, a few bubbles laze about here and there. Malted milk balls, coffee ice cream, nuts and pie crust flakes make up a good portion of the nose, the date, black and golden raisin, fig, apricot fruit a consistent presence, some orange zest and juice, gossamer pepperiness, on the whole not as boozy as might be expected and more intelligently integrated rather than showy. Medium-bodied, the carbonation can kick up some dust and keeps things rolling at a fast clip from the tip of your tongue down past your tonsils. Flowers, pine and green apple flavors tease out drier malt and cocoa powder, not that sugary sweet. This not to underestimate the coconut, butterscotch, molasses and candied nuts. Smooths out appreciably through the finish bringing more peach, cherry, raisin and fig to the fore, mix of red and white fruits. The orange citrus a light touch at most. Hard to derive clear hop flavors but its general erectness and drier nature suggests their presence. More vinous than woody, no real char or oak toast. Hard for a beer with this much going on to seem close to subtle but pulls it off. High drinkability given its inherent nature.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with way way too much head... Overflowed out of the bottle... Overflowed out of my glass... Smells fruity and winey. Some nice port smells for sure. Tastes Smooth and malty. The port comes through strongly and melds well with the maltiness of the Baltic porter. Very smooth and drinkable

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Photo of beagle75
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Small Bar 11-28-10

It poured pretty much black with a slightly tan head. Left nice lacing through out.

Smell was light of a sweet roasty scent.

The mouthfeel on the beer was unlike anything Ive had. To me it tasted almost chalky or of powdered cocoa.

The taste was more of a fruity sweet porter that was fairly light.

Ill probably buy it again once I see it in a bottle just so I cant taste the comparison to draft.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of Retsinis
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been looking for this bottle every since I saw the thread on the forums here about it, since it sounded intriguing. Have not been a huge Karl Straus fan (though I have had most of their offerings) but have been enjoying their special beer releases this year. Also enjoy porters as a style, so I was pleased to find this one.

Poured from the bottle (bomber) into my Bruery tulip. (Which I use for all my home tastings, ironic in a way since they have the Partridge in a Pear tree, but I digress)

Pours a Deep brown (almost black until you hold it up to the light). A off white head rises a good inch or more, with good head retention.
Aroma's are of port, or light cherry, followed with chocolate & I get a bit hint of figs & vanilla, but very little hops.

Taste is more potent, but follows what the aroma's suggest. Figs, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, a hint of wood. With only two months ( or so I recall) of aging in the port barrels, the taste is present, but not overwhelming, which can happen in some -bal aged beers. I'm really enjoying this one.

The mouth feel is smooth, but not heavy, and the carbonation is consistent throughout.

Overall, a balanced Baltic Porter, with a nice finish of port (which I also enjoy) Thus far, it is my favorite Karl Strauss beer.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Klym
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours basically black, but maybe closer to a very dark purple or brown, with both of those colors coming out at different angles. Head is pretty basic but dies off not too soon after the pour. The lacing is like a layer of sand against the glass but it dissipates not too long after you tilt the glass.

S: An unusual but very appealing mix of grape, plum, chocolate, caramel, a little fig, and a small woody character. They all blend together really nicely and make me quick to want to drink this.

T: Starts off with a figgyness and goes into grape, plum, and black cherries then transitions into a salty caramel bite that finishes with some nutty chocolate. It's actually quite complex and very good. This is a very solid porter.

M: The sensations in the mouth were very spread out in this beer, with no extra bite on the top of the mouth or back of the throat. The body was on the heavier side of medium and the carbonation was surprisingly full despite the dying head on the beer. Really good mouthfeel.

O: This is probably the best thing I've ever had from Karl Strauss and it surprises me, honestly, that it's from them. Very few flaws in this beer and was a great pleasure both to drink and ponder appropriate descriptions for. I think this is very much worth seeking, trying, and perhaps trying again. I've been somewhat of a critic in the past, but big ups to Karl Strauss for this one.

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Photo of Cavery
4.3/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of jminsc76
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a large brown head atop a nearly impenetrable brown body. Plenty of thickness in the legs as I tilt, the head reemerging initially thick as I swish.

Aromas of candy, Tawny port, slight espresso, and sweetbread. Medium intensity; complexity could improve though.

Flavors ranging from port and roasted malts near the finish to caramel, pears, and kiwi spices throughout. Extremely sweet, with plenty of complexity as well as balance.

Mouthfeel is silky on the palate, but thinner in consistency. Doesn’t swell too much upon swishing, and as it warms the carbonation makes way for a little booze.

Overall, a tasty Baltic Porter with quite the novel idea: aged in Port barrels. Hah hah hah! It could use some refinement, but definitely drinks well for a Baltic Porter.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark Brown with lighter highlights and a finger and half of Tan head that faded quick. Very little lacing as the wateriness of the beer precludes it.

S - Smells of Cherry, Cocoa, Brown Sugar, and slight Bourbon

T - Tastes of Cherry, Brown Sugar, Alcohol, Red Wine, and slight Port.

M - Carbonation is good, Bitterness is a little much, and it is a little too sweet.

D - This beer is not that drinkable but most porters are not. A great beer to have with some Ice Cream.

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Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.