Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

218 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 218
Hads: 367
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 150
Gots: 42 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ccrida on 04-27-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Alaskan Baltic Porter is a deep, dense beer with an intricate array of aromas and flavors derived from substantial amounts of specialty malts, dark black cherries and whole gourmet vanilla beans. Aging on toasted French oak adds further complexity.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 218 | Hads: 367
Photo of JamnesCameron
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008, received from dmeadows in my Birthday BIF box. Thanks Denis!

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep clear dark brown. The only way to get light through it is get it close to a bulb. Minimal light tan head of about half a finger, that drops rather quickly, leaving barely a wisp and a few bubbles on the surface. Some lacing, but the legs drag it back into the brew.

Aromas of anise, cherries, dark fruit, dark raisins, figs, prunes, some cocoa, and a distinct bourbon quality, vanilla and oakiness. And sherry.

Flavors are very much like the aromas. Very complex, a whole lot going on in the glass. Dark cherries, bourbon (vanilla and oak), sherry, dark fruit, raisins, figs and prunes, light cocoa, some anise. There is also a peatiness to it. LIke a light Islay scotch. Some alcohol heat as well. The finish is long, hot, with loads of dark sherried cherries.

Mouthfeel is huge, explosive. Lots of alcohol warmth. Barely perceptible carbonation. Creamy slickness and velvety on the tongue.

Overall a fantastic brew. Would love to compare a fresh bottle to this 3 year old aged beauty. A perfect cold weather, after dinner drink to sip slowly and enjoy. (1,162 characters)

Photo of Beerlover
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an absolutely amazing beer! I've had 3 bottles of the 2012 vintage and the flavor complexity of this beer is out of this world! each time I tried it, it had been aged for several months longer .i had one pretty fresh and I would recommend waiting at least 4 to 6 months before cracking it if you only have 1 bottle....maybe even a year if you have some paitience. right now I'm drinking a bottle from the beginning of 2012 which makes it well over a year and a half old, in this bottle the cherries are really coming to the front of this with some vanilla, tasting almost like a mild sour or even a good framboise with much more complexity and maltyness. last time I had it about 6 months ago the oakiness and heat of booze was most noticeable with some brown sugar.... this is such an amazing example of a Baltic porter and my favorite by far to date of this style. (874 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 batch
A: pours a deep black with a small tan head that fades to a collar around the glass into a snifter
S: smells of chocolate covered cherries and a hint of vanilla. very sweet. roasted malt and slight coffee as well
T: tastes of chocolate, some coffee, a nice roastiness, cherry, some vanilla, and a slight caramel oakiness. swallow brings more cherry and chocolate along with a bit of roast malt and slight coffee. roast malt bitterness helps to keep the sweetness in check but still a dessert beer.
M: nice and soft carbonation on a medium mouthfeel that is very smooth but not quick thick and silky
O: absolutely phenomenal, fantastic complexity and excellent flavors. Deceivingly drinkable at almost 10% ABV and not a whisper of alcohol comes across on the palate. I can't sing the praises of this beer enough, it's top notch. (838 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle

A - It pours the deepest possible hue of mahogany-crimson, capped with a persistent crown of sandalwood-colored froth. Quite impressive.

S - Deep maltiness punctuated by notes of oak, vanilla and the most delectably sophisticated nuance of cherry.

T - The flavor takes the elements of the nose and runs with it. The flavor profile is so richly complex; succulent notes of malt-driven caramel and toffee yield to rich impressions of chocolate covered cherries, delicious oaken butteriness (not diacetyl), faint mulled spice. No matter how I try to articulate its greatness, I will necessarily understate it. Also getting: molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, floral jasmine and the faintest hint of smoke. Nutty too. What a powerhouse!

M - Excellent; silky, velvety, delectable.

D - ISO more of this immediately. (823 characters)

Photo of DimensionX
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: almost jet black with a hint of dark ruby around the edges. Nice thick dark tan head.

S: big time cherries on the nose with hints of oak and vanilla.

T: Taste is where this beer is a viking. Big time but smooth roasted malt character forms the backbone of this beer before a wallop of delicious cherry and oak smack you upside the mouth. After that a hefty dose of vanilla, chocolate, and maybe some hints of fig follow up and round off a complex and intense group of flavors. Overall really incredible, the oak is a bit heavy right now but should mellow nicely. Definitely a beer worth of some cellar time.

M: Drinks like a big beer without being sludgy.

O: Really an incredible beer overall and probably the best that Alaskan makes or at least distributes, I can't believe they don't sell this all year long. I really like that I can easily taste and differentiate all the ingredients at this point, it will be fun to watch them blend together as the beer ages. There is really a lot going on in this beer but none of it feels extravagant or out of place. (1,064 characters)

Photo of timus1119
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pored into snifter,dark mahogany in color with tints of ruby,nice 2 finger tan head,black cherries,roasted malts,vanilla an oak on the nose,fantastic smelling brew!,taste, much like the nose...fantastic!! perfect example of the style,and then some!...get this brew!...CHEERS!!! (277 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very deep brown color, very nice carbonation, with an awesome thick/creamy tan head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/caramel notes, vanilla, slight oak/cherries. The taste is awesome as well, malty, sweet, slightly bitter, slight oak notes, nice chocolate note. Medium body, a really smooth brew, very would know it's high ABV. Very drinkable, this has got to be the best brew I've had from Alaskan, hands down. (539 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In a snifter, this one pours a slick looking black with a head that is light brown and contributes some nice lacing.

The nose is mainly of rich malt with a light cherry that comes through, a hint of oak and coffee.

Phenomenal taste. Rich decadent malt with the vanilla bean and oak front and center. Underlying hint of black cherry with roasted coffee beans in the finish. Great depth of flavor.

Very smooth, but not as full as say an imperial stout. The body makes this nicely drinkable.

Loved this beer and will have to get some more of it. Lots of flavors that work very well together. (592 characters)

Photo of mrkc
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

65.1 cL bottle - that's a strange volume. Still, a dark purple label with the vintage clearly noted. There's no head, just the thinnest of tan rings around this dark, opaque beer. It smells of vinella and cherries, a rich sweet smell which just barely masks the alcohol smell. It smells a bit like molassass - potentially the brown sugar used in making this. The smoky oak flavour and the brown sugar really carry through the drink. If you let it linger, the cherries really come through on the finish. It's a tad dry, and the alcohol content periodically comes through. There's a bit of bitterness, like cross between licorice and dark chocolate, that's hard to place. Eminently drinkable, this is a phenomenal brew. (717 characters)

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.75/5  rDev +15%

22 oz Bomber.This was recommended by a beer geek that worked at Bev Mo to me.I have to say that I am going to start listening to those people a little more.This is the Best Porter I have ever tasted.Beautiful brown color in the 20 oz firestone glass.I was sitting in the house listening to The Who live at the isle of wight and I could not believe how good this was.I guess this is very hard to find the date was 2012 on the bottle.If you can still find this Please do.You will not be disappointed.This Porter Rocks.And so does The Who.Rock on with the good beers.Motley out. (577 characters)

Photo of Hawksfan79
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Glass used: porter/stout glass

Appearance is a motor oil black with a thin fizzy white head.

Strong cherry aroma with a slight hint of wood chips.

A strong cinnamon flavor that morphs into caramel and vanilla and finishes with an alcohol warming.

This beer has a full body mouth feel with slight carbonation.

A fantastic beer I've always been a huge fan of Alaskan's smoked porter and thought it was IMHO the best porter around until I had this. (451 characters)

Photo of clickpush
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: 22oz bottle to tulip glass. Hefty latte colored head, two fingers thick, appears over bubbling dark brown body. Actually, maybe make that black. No light passing through, even around the sides. Sticky retentive head.

Nose: Beautiful aroma, chocolate, vanilla, roses, cherries. Lots of fruit for such a dark bodied beer, but not getting a ton of roasted notes. Full, lush smell.

Mouth: Creamy mouthfeel, full delicious flavors. Rich vanilla all the way, with a lingering, nice, light roasty finish. The fruit is subdued but present: cherries & raspberries. Looong lasting finish! Love it, actually. Love it. (614 characters)

Photo of DoShek
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - black, dark tan head that poured creamy but thin and subsided quickly to a minute ring around the glass, viscous

Smell - raisins and other dark fruits, molasses, heavy malts

Taste - strong malt, dark fruits, little bitterness, slightly roasty, vanilla, reminds me quite a bit of dark naval rum

Mouthfeel - thick, full, and creamy, slight bit of alcohol warmth

Drinkability - could only have one in a sitting, but would not hesitate to have another in the future

This was a great beer. Will definitely be interesting to see how it tastes with a bit of age on it and when the alcohol (which is already barely noticeable) cools a bit. I say good job to Alaskan. (676 characters)

Photo of ebrauser
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, it's back out!
2012 Edition-
Appearance: Incredibly dark brown with a quickly dissipating, thin head.
Aroma: Strong smell of dried cherries mixed in with a little vanilla, very dark and inviting. Not many beers that I've had have a smell like this one.
Flavor: Oak right away is very strong and pervasive, then mellows into a clearly alcoholic vanilla-ish porter. No roastiness and very little chocolate flavor, not that its a bad thing. Smooth drinking and becoming more flavorful as it warms slightly.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth but with tons of flavor to make this one to savor. Put this one in the back because it's going to get better (the 2009 with two years on it was incredible).

Update - Draft and growler offering 2012
Appearance and aroma are similar, strong oak and cherry. The flavor is full cherry and thick sweet stout, so amazing. It's not so roasty and sweet that a pint is too much, it's a really slick, strong, well seasoned porter. Only downside was the head didn't leave much lacing. A really, really good beer, aged or on draft particularly. (1,071 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008 vintage pours chestnut tinged ebony with a pinky of mocha head. Good head retention & average lacing

S: Dark fruit, port, & leafy hops, & bananas

T: Dark chocolate, dryness, leafy hops, raisins & plums & a bit of banana?? up front. Vanilla, rum raisin & plums as this warms, along with a hint of creme Brule. Finishes with plummyness, dryness & some nice hints of caramel, bananas & vanilla

MF: Fairly rich, restrained carbonation

Drinks extremely easy for the style & ABV, not much to nitpick on this, awesome Baltic Porter! Attempted to squeeze the bottle like a toothpaste tube, but the damn glass wouldn't yield.... (630 characters)

Photo of ncfrey
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken 4-11-2010. Bomber into New Belgium glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with red highlights and a thin, quickly dissipating tan head. Looks to have good carbonation. Worth mentioning that I really like the label on this bottle.

s - Super strong, getting lots of big dark fruits from a foot away. More of that and lots of vanilla, an almost bourbon-like smell. Very sweet, some roastiness and coffee underneath. Reminds me of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout (which reminds me of the yams my dad used to make for holiday dinners, with loads of bourbon and marshmallows on top).

t - Again, reminds me of Bourbon County a bit. The vanilla beans and (surprisingly) brown sugar are very apparent, fruitiness is definitely present but more subdued than in the nose. There's a slight bitterness in the middle but a smooth-as-silk, sweet, burnt sugar finish that reminds me, again, of toasted marshmallows.

mf - Fantastic. Creamy and tongue-coating, but not super heavy. This is the best non-chewable mf I've encountered.

d - Despite the ABV and sweetness, this bomber is going fast. I could see 2 of these to get me through a cold winter night.

I was really excited to try this beer (based on other BA reviews), and it totally exceeded my expectations in all respects. I just wish I could find it in New Mexico. (1,352 characters)

Photo of azdback
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a snifter. Almost completely all light sucking, just a hint of dark brown at the stem. Small head of less than a finger. Head is light brown and thin. Lace is minimal.

Smell is really roasted and charred or maybe even barrel smell. Sweet and tart cherries with a bit of vanilla. There is an alcohol burn in this too. This nose is really fantastic.

Taste is initially sweet cherries with oak and vanilla. The cherries really take the drivers seat as this warms. The dark roasted flavors meld very well with the sweetness and tartness of those cherries.

Mouth is velvety, carbonation is creamy. Body is full and the finish is long.

Overall I am floored by this....again. I haven't had this for a year or two, but this has done nothing but get better in the bottle. A must try if you get the chance. (828 characters)

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

another incredible bomber sent my way by genghis22...you are killing me James...very slightly chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass

a-pitch black..zero light penetration...two finger off white/khaki colored head in spots...lots and lots and lots of lacing

s-whoa...lots of roast and dark fruits dominate the front end...a little smoke and tobacco creep in...the brown sugar is present in a big way as well..tons of vanilla in the front and some wood...

t-taken back...starts off with dark fruits and very vinous...the vanilla and wood rush in and take over..the middle is semi sweet with some roast and coffee....the brown sugar lends itself very gently as well as the very faintest of cherries...the slightest hint of toffee...the vanilla stays throughout...the bittering hops make a presence in before the mad rush of citrus and dry vanilla carry this one off

m-perfect...creamy and smooth..coats the entire mouth...the carbonation is perfect and i do mean absolutely perfect..the hops leave a slight resinous note...

d-man if this stuff was here i would be a glutton for punishment with this one..i love baltic porters but this goes down way to easy and way too fast...abv is no where to be found...so smooth it is dangerous

wow..just wow...this is a terrific brew...i will def seek this one out in the future... (1,331 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured close to black in color with a frothy off white head filling about half an inch of the glass. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it remained, but left little lacing.

The aroma has a very nice mixture of oak and cherries with a little vanilla and brown sugar sweetness. I get a little of the Baltic Porter, malty, chocolate like flavors bit the additions and treatments steal the show. They all work together very nicely though to create a very appealing aroma overall.

In the taste I get the fruity and sweet cherry flavors and the woody oak right off the bat and throughout the flavor. I get the vanilla and brown sugar sweetness more up front and get more of a dry, bitter-sweet chocolate, slightly roasty flavor towards the finish. The cherry, oak and chocolate flavors linger nicely after the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low. I really like the lower carbonation in a beer like this. Drinkability is very good, I loved the flavors overall. The cherry and oak were excellent and it was balanced enough between sweet and bitter to make it very drinkable. It was definitely all about the additions and treatments, but they all worked very well together. The Baltic Porter style flavors seemed to take a back seat to everything else but it was good enough that I didn't care. Excellent beer overall and it might very well be a new favorite of the style. (1,483 characters)

Photo of levifunk
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a small tasting. This was the biggest surprise of the night. Pours dark with a nice head, but I could immediately smell sweet cherry and vanilla. The taste was phenomenal. My biggest complaint with porters is that they seem to taste like watered down stouts, but this was not the case at all. There is a great oak and malt backbone in this beer. The cherry an vanilla are in no way overpowering nor lacking....spot on. Very drinkable. This is simply a great beer! (475 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. 2008 Vintage.

Poured a dark brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, dark cherries, licorice, bananas, chocolate, and woody. Tastes of dark cherries, vanilla, chocolate, oak, dark fruits, and marsh mellows. Vanilla creme. The addition of dark cherries and vanilla beans were done nicely. The oak was there but not overpowering. Alcohol content well hidden. Nice. (404 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Deep brown, purplish tinged, copper with a thin tan head that left spotty lace.

S-Light dark chocolate, malted milk balls, plum and fig with caramel sauce poured on top. All around aroma is rather light but incredibly tantalizing.

T-WOW! Malted milk chocolate covered cherries and marshmallows with a Horehound candy chaser! Absolutely fantastic. One of the most interesting, complex and unique brews I have ever tasted--->and I have tasted a lot!

M-Medium bodied yet feels light and almost airy. Incredibly smooth and rich with long lasting flavours.

D-Simply fantastic! Phenomenal! For something that feels so "light" the flavours work together outstandingly and linger seemingly forever. A most impressive concoction from the folks in Juneau! (754 characters)

Photo of boisebeerfan
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer caught me by surprise.

It poured a rich dark brown, with a moderate and long-lasting beige head.

The scent was subtle but pleasant: oak, dark-red cherries, chocolate. No real vanilla notes that I could detect.

The taste was very smooth, and there were no harsh fusel alcohol notes. The oak was understated and paired well with the natural cherry. I didn't get any smoked/peaty/phenol tastes.

I didn't think Alaskan put out a beer of this quality, and it was the second of a batch of winter beers I had picked up in bottles this weekend.

TL;DR: An smooth and highly drinkable porter with subtle oak and cherry accents. (633 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with 2 fingers worth of head. Good retention and some lacing. Smells of cherries, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and dark brown sugar.

The flavor also is cherries, vanilla, oak, dark brown sugar, and chocolate. Sweet, with some noticeable alcohol, and a smooth creamy taste. This is a good one.

Medium to full bodied, proper carbonation, and a pleasure to drink. A nice beer to sip slowly and enjoy. (421 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark ruby brown, appears nearly black. Rich light brown head with nice lacing. Aroma of toasty malt, dark fruit and cherries with a slight sour aspect. Flavor is toasty malt, dark fruit and cherries. Well integrated. Nice porter flavors with clear cherry tone. A slight bitterness in aftertaste. I love this beer and it's my favorite Baltic porter. I was really glad a tucked a few of these away before Alaskan (temporarily, I hope) stopped brewing it. (525 characters)

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Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.