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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

64 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 20
Gots: 25 | 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)
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Klym
4.2/5  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.

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.

Photo of farrago
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of ghetto90007
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a nonic glass.

Pours a deep, dark, nearly opaque brown. Massive light tan head. Substantial lacing.

A lot going on in the nose. Figs, dried dark fruits, white or red grapes. Something like dates. Brown sugar.

The taste is a real surprise, given the nose. It's much more gentle than the aroma would suggest. Soft and creamy up front. Sweet, roasted malts, some fruits, and an acidic finish. Surprising and interesting. You can tell this one is aged in barrels, as the flavors of woods seem to permeate at every stage. Hints of port seem to be omnipresent throughout.

For the amount of head that comes from the pour, it is surprising how soft and gentle this beer is. Virtually no bite from the carbonation. Fairly full bodied beer.

Interesting beer and enjoyable. It is more laid back than I expected, but that is not to say this isn't a bold beer.

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

Photo of jminsc76
3.88/5  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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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

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.

Photo of broken22
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm not a big fan of Karl Strauss beers. They are a little too safe for me at times. That all changed when I heard about the Parrot In a Palm Tree. This is the first time I have ever when out searching for a Karl Strauss beer. I mean who wouldn't be intrigued with all the complexity they worked into this thing. I also felt it was my duty as a San Diegan to do my part and drink as much of it as I could.

The beer has a great fruity smell to it while at the same time having that sharp smell of a dark beer but its very subdued. A pancake like head forms on pour and sticks with the beer for quite a while. The flavor of this beer is really good. The very first thing I taste is the fruitiness of this beer, most likely from the tawny port barrels. Once you swallow you get a nice warm feeling and then you start to taste a coffee and bitter chocolate taste.

This beer is really good. I would say if you see it get it. I was lucky enough to actually get to drink a lot of this brew. A friend of mine had his wedding reception at the Karl Strauss brewery and it was all the Parrot I could drink. I think it taste better on tap than in bottles as with most beer but not by a lot. I'm going to try and get a bottle to age and try it a little later. Curious how the complex flavors might change. I hope this is a sign of things changing at Karl Strauss. I would love to see more adventuresome beers like this from them. My local stores are selling this for $7.99 for a 22oz bottle.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.93/5  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

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.

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.

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/07/2011

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.

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.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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.

Photo of armock
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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

Photo of Swimsum
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a NB globe

Pours out brown and settles into the glass near black in color. When held to the light it is a nice mahogany color with some deep cherry highlights. Head is initially about a finger high and off white in color. Settles to a very thin spotty layer. No lacing is present on the glass but head does stay around for the session.

Slight chocolate upon the first few whiffs. Next I get mostly port and finished with a bit of raisins. Roast in the smell here and there as well.

The roast and raisins that were present in the nose really come out in the taste for me. However, the port never seems to materialize for me even though I got it a lot in the smell. I was really hoping the port would be more present. Oh well. No alcohol taste to this one which is nice. As it warms up, the beer finishes very nicely with some chocolate.

Decent carbonation leading to a bit thinner feel then I was expecting. Still, it goes down very smooth and finishes nicely.

Overall I enjoyed this. I'm going to most likely get another bottle or two and see if perhaps the port will come out with some time. I don't think this would hold up for the whole duration of the horizontal Karl Strauss will do with their holiday beers.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Retsinis
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.