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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KVNBGRY
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

KVNBGRY, May 30, 2014
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +1.5%

DoctorB2B, Nov 20, 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 codynevels
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

codynevels, Feb 01, 2012
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

Urbancaver, Feb 02, 2011
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.

farrago, May 25, 2011
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 Eriktheipaman
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

Eriktheipaman, Nov 29, 2010
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 nanobrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

nanobrew, Dec 23, 2011
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.

Retsinis, Dec 15, 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 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.

Klym, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of spamages
4/5  rDev +1.5%

spamages, Dec 25, 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 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.

jminsc76, May 03, 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 SanDiegoBeerLove
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Devinph
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Devinph, Feb 06, 2013
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 Kuemmelbrau
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Kuemmelbrau, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of AshleyMiller
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to crosamich for this extra! poured into my stone snifter
2010 vintage

a - pours the darkest of browns, no light penetrance, and a baby's finger-width head that dissipates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, minimal lacing

s - lots of port, dark fruits, coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol - very pleasant

t - dark fruits, slight espressor, alcohol present, but without the heat, lingering malt

m - lighter bodied as a baltic porter would suggest with adequate carbonation - quite drinkable

o - i enjoyed this - not too many beers are aged in port barrels and it actually added a good amount of complexity to this beer. i would gladly drink this one again.

AshleyMiller, Dec 19, 2011
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 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 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.

broken22, Feb 03, 2011
Karl Strauss Parrot In A Palm Tree Holiday Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.