Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
1.48/5 rDev -64.4%
Purchased at Belmont Station and shared by ramnuts as he made chili. Thanks Frank!
A: Pours a dark mahogany-ruby color; its translucence is immediately apparent in the small pour. The tan head is surprisingly generous for what is (later discovered to be) a nearly 10% beer. Retention is ok, lacing is poor.
S: Vanilla. It was like sniffing a vanilla bottle, actually, with that accompanying alcohol sting. Cherry, brown sugar, and chocolate as well. It was so strong and pungent that it just became sickening after a while. Personal preference I suppose.
T: Again, vanilla beans first and foremost, and they dominated the flavor completely until it warmed to the right temperature. Then it "opened up" and revealed hints of dark chocolate-covered cherries, coffee, and brown sugar... But the vanilla never left. It haunted me. Neither of us picked up the oak advertised on the label.
M: Light-bodied and not quite smooth. I bet that if it were thicker it would hold the flavor better and be slightly less hot.
D: Couldn't even have a second pour, much less finish the bottle. This is a fairly new beer, judging from the earliest review (last season). They may still be tweaking the recipe. I am leaving open the possibility of grabbing another bottle in a later season. But right now? Hell no.
11-03-2009 05:51:41 | More by Arbitrator
1.7/5 rDev -59.1%
Bottle provided by akbeerfiend in a big trade a while back. Thanks man!
From a bomber into a snifter
APPEARANCE: A transparent brown pour makes a one finger, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Very transparent as well. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. A little too thin looking for the style.
SMELL: Bigger nose and it’s totally fruity. Dates, prunes, with some dark grapes and cherries as well. Grape juice maybe, with a couple spoons of brown sugar thrown in for fun. This is going to be way too sweet and off the mark. None of the dark malts that’s expected of a big porter.
TASTE: Bold flavors as well, with lots of fruity qualities. Dark fruits, cherries and grapes, with a good dose of sweet brown sugar. Grape juice. Some light hints of vanilla and dark chocolate at the swallow, but that leads to a bold and persistent, brutally sweet aftertaste of grape juice spiked with brown sugar. Some might like this for what it is, but it totally misses the mark of what an imperial porter should be all about.
PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not creamy or smooth enough on the palate, then goes down with a decent burn at the swallow and finishes rather cloying. Definitely needs to be creamier and less cloyingly sweet.
OVERALL: This gets really high marks on this site, so maybe this vintage just sucks. Either that, or people are reviewing it as a beer and not as a Baltic porter. I can see someone liking this one on its own, but as a big porter, it takes three straight strikes looking. It is far too transparent and thin looking for the style, is much too sweet and fruity while missing the patented dark malt flavors the style is so well-known for, and is much too cloying on the finish. I’d scrap this one and start from scratch. Drain enjoyed half the bottle. Ignore this and drink buckets of their Smoked Porter instead. Regardless, thanks heaps for the great trade akbeerfiend. Can’t wait to do it again!
08-16-2011 11:04:15 | More by Jeffo
2.05/5 rDev -50.7%
bomber 2008 by way of riversideAk... muchas gracias, alex!
dark reddish cola brown colored with a tan tinted head which fades and lasts as a ring.
floral bananas, yeast and alcohol are initially noticed before a blast of marshmallow peeps... you know, the candies... yuck! it's a bit perplexing yet is noted by my drinking companion so i know that i'm not losing my mind... later on as the beer is allowed to warm and open it reveals notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, dark roast and cinnamon. the peep aroma remains...
the first taste is definitely peep flavored... pink to be exact. i allow it to sit and hope that it opens... about an hour later it shows vanilla, roast, cocoa, loads of coffee, bananas, denatured alcohol (yep) and a floral, ashy, booze laden finish. the peeps still haunt my palate. there IS a pleasant char character in the aftertaste. the medium body has some texture from the ale yeast but it is too sweet for my liking (though not unusual for a BP). the mouth feel is somewhat flat and dead on the tongue.
a day later (lunch to be exact).... still pretty much the same but mellower. the plastic floral notes are still in abundance and it's riddled with ethanol... blech, this thing is a mess. 4/3/4/2/7/2.0
02-04-2009 07:42:45 | More by hellbilly
2.38/5 rDev -42.8%
22 oz bottle, dated 2009. Pours brown with a smallish tan head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.
The aroma is alcoholic fruity chocolate. The alcohol is pretty sharp. Lots of rum soaked cherries, plums, apples and fudge.
The flavor is strong alcohol and lots of slight tart fruits. The some roasted chocolate and some plasticy cardboard bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Overall, I was excited to see a baltic porter since I like the smoked porter quite a bit, but this beer is a bit of a mess - strange fruity alcohol with lots of off notes.
10-10-2009 05:38:00 | More by Beaver13
2.45/5 rDev -41.1%
What is this, blackberry jam? A pie-flavored, burnt crust, Splenda-sweetened beverage I hesitate to call beer. The aroma is light but the nose of wood and vanilla is pleasant enough but tiki torches are smoldering in the background.
Black as an Alaskan night in the glass. A thin mustache of foam but sub-par carbonation. So sweet it tastes like something you'd have at the deli for breakfast with coffee. But that bitterness never lets you forget. I would call this blackberry Manischewitz with a dark, guilty secret. Finally, after some remorse, the flavor of canned sweet cherries comes through. Bitter, cardboard, woody, burnt sugar, fruit cocktail-- it tastes like Sterno looks like.
The label says this is the 2012 version. I call it undrinkable, though for cough syrup it would be pretty good with a vodka chaser. In fact, now that you mention it... From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.
11-28-2012 05:48:36 | More by mactrail
2.6/5 rDev -37.5%
Dark nut brown body topped with a finger or so of tan khaki head with some yellow hues... good amount of lacing.
Molasses, brown sugar, I'm struggling to pull any cherry out of this... or much oak for that matter, just smells sweet with a bit of alcohol at the tail end of the sniff. The cherry characteristic shows itself after a few degrees of warmth.
This is not my bag... metallic brown ale type flavors... pennies and tin foil, laden with cooked brown sugar, some maple syrup flavors only add to the predicament...
Ditch the brown sugar, ditch the vanilla beans. But first ditch the brown sugar.
01-06-2013 04:47:45 | More by yamar68
3.08/5 rDev -26%
a solid black affair with an off white/tan head. the nose isn't very roasty, a smooth malt aroma is more present. the background is a bit copperish, kind of sour on the finish, and to my dismay a bit watery for a porter of any kind. the mouth-feel is extremely thin and not much in the way of carbonation. as far as drinkability is concerned it is an easy downer, but as a porter it is a downer.
01-01-2008 03:40:56 | More by irishevans
3.13/5 rDev -24.8%
Pours a dark burgundy color with a thin tan head. Lacing in
minimal. The nose is heavy on oak, vanilla, and dark fruit. Slightly
sharp from the high ABV. A light aroma of toffee. Mouthfeel is
medium to full bodied, with a rich, roasty finish. Heavy vanilla
dominates, followed by touches of oak, cherry, toffee, dark chocolate and licorice. Boozy, cloyingly sweet, and overdone. Aging might help this one along.
05-23-2010 20:58:29 | More by DaveHS
3.15/5 rDev -24.3%
22oz bottle $9. I bought this just because I like their barleywine, bad idea. This was dark black, decent head, looks just fine to me. The smell was sweet, sticky, vanilla, uhhh. The flavor hada hint of the cherries and a lot of vanilla sweetness. I honestly could not get past what the vanilla and oak had done to this beer and I did not think there was anything special about it. It was not a bad beer it was just quite average tasting and I was expecting to be wowed. Oh well...
10-14-2009 02:19:39 | More by ArrogantB
3.23/5 rDev -22.4%
Enjoyed this at a little bottle share at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes. This is a 2009 vintage.
A - Poured into a Tree House glass a thin brownish hue, looks slightly watery, with a thin mocha head that leaves faint wisps. Not a bad start...
S - Ugh! I know this has cherries in it, but all I'm getting is cherry cough syrup aromas. Really disappointed here. Not getting much chocolate or malts just overwhelming cherry syrup.
T - Unfortunately it is like the nose with big, almost sickeningly sweet cherry cough syrup as well as cola syrup with heavy malty sweetness and molasses. Way, way too sweet for my tastes.
M - Mouthfeel was super, super thin here. Lighter carbonation just feels watery.
O - Overall I was looking forward to this beer but it really fell short. Not sure if it is just an off bottle or what but this vintage did not hold up.
03-02-2013 06:27:45 | More by rudzud
3.38/5 rDev -18.8%
A - Pours dark with a very slight red brown tint and a . Seems highly viscous and gooey as it swirls around during the pour.
S - Light vanilla scents combined with some sweet fruitiness.
T - I immediately think of cake... maybe caramel; then I am reminded of rum/sugarcane. Definitely a sweeter beer to my palate. Medium complexity with subtle nuances... not the big beer roasty taste I was expecting.
M - A thick, heavy bodied feel with a pleasant med to low carbonation.
D - Given the not well hidden high ABV and sweetness of this beer, I def have to share a 22 oz. with someone else.
This beer is not one of my favorites but is definitely worth a try. I will probably not seek this one out again in the future.
12-21-2008 03:20:51 | More by LilMatrix
3.41/5 rDev -18%
Split with angrybabboon.
Appearance: Dark brown almost black. Minimal tan head. Drops to a small, tiny, collar in short order. No visible carbonation to speak of.
Smell: Ripe cherry. Red licorice. Small touches of vanilla and caramel. Some oak. Leather, chocolate and some acetic notes. Cocoa nibs. Some minor roasted malts. Lots of cherry. Hints of plum and honey. Cocoa and milk chocolate. Some black licorice. Dark fruit with some floral notes.
Taste: Dark cherry and licorice. Black and red. Small hints of vanilla coupled with a touch of oak in the back. Some slight toasted malts. Cocoa and milk chocolate. Marshmallow. Like a s'more minus the graham cracker. Roasted. Touches of smoke in the back. Crazy cherry licorice. Cherry skin and even more licorice. Warming makes this a red licorice bonanza.
Mouthfeel: Moderate to full body. Minimal carbonation. A bit juicy.
Overall: Roll it ad smoke it.
If they took Smoked Porter and added the things they did, this would be intense. As it is, it's a red licorice bomb. Good, but loses something as it warms..
01-20-2013 04:22:37 | More by Goblinmunkey7
3.45/5 rDev -17.1%
I bought a bomber of Alaskan Baltic Porter at a beer store $8.99. Poured in to a pint glass.
Pours a nearly opaque black color, but it is clear and translucent, with garnet red hues. Frothy tan head is resilient but not sticky. Minimal lacing adheres to the glass.
Smell is strong and sweet. I smells like burnt brown sugar and molasses.
Taste is dark sweet flavor, molasses and dark fruit flavors like prunes and dried cherries. There is a bit of a bitter charcoal aftertaste, with a whiskey-like flavor on te finish.
Mouthfeel is full-bodied, cloying, lightly carbonated with some alcohol heat in the back of the throat.
Not the most drinkable beer. Too much ABV to be sessionable, and the flavor is overpowering. It wouldn't pair well with food, or go woth other beers. It's "sippable" that's about all you can say for it.
01-18-2010 00:07:19 | More by RJLarse
3.48/5 rDev -16.3%
22oz bottle poured into a tulip.
Pours almost black into the glass with a creamy beige head that settles into a thin cap and leaves sporadic lacing.
The aroma is very sweet with
The taste has tons of sweet dark malts and lots of molasses, raisins and even some grapes. There's also some vanilla and wood sweetness with some licorice thrown in. Definitely a sweet aroma.
The taste follows the aroma with a cola sweetness up front. It's got some chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits as well. Got some banana sweetness in the finish with a bit of dry woodiness.
The mouthfeel is very slick with lower carbonation than I expected.
I had high hopes for this when I cracked it but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's very sweet but not a lot of complexity. A good beer but not one I'll go back to.
02-26-2009 02:53:49 | More by gford217
3.5/5 rDev -15.9%
a - pours deep dark brown, not quite black, smallish tan head with retention around the edges and minimal lacing
s - some roasted malt, but it's overwhelmed by the cherry, brown sugar and oak additions, slight licorice aroma as well, really "fake" smelling, unfortunately
t - roasted malt and toastiness up front, but a big burst of sweetness, marked by cherry and oak, on the mid-palate, finish is pretty sweet as well with the brown sugar and vanilla making their appearance, almost completely overwhelming the roasted/black patent malt flavors that mark most Baltics, in my opinion, the additions to this beer (cherry, brown sugar, vanilla beans, oak) have taken over the beer, a little hot
m - medium-bodied with moderate carbonation fairly sweet finish, not very much drying, definite alcohol warming
d - a bit too sweet and hot to be overly drinkable, but this is a 9.8% beer, so drinkability is not the aim, a lot of flavors going on, so it gets points for that
Overall, a somewhat disappointing offering, in my opinion. As stated above, I feel the additives have overwhelmed the base beer.
10-11-2009 21:40:46 | More by WeisGuy
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.