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

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

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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 yamar68
2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2012 vintage:

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. (619 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz (2012) into a tulip. Pours a dark brown w/ garnet edges and a minimal tan head that settles to a thin collar.

Aroma is dark fruit, molasses, licorice, vanilla. Smells sweet and sugary.

Taste is sweet and fruity as well. Black cherries, molasses, vanilla. Complex and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, coating.

Overall a tasty, interesting porter. Might stock up on a few more to age before they're gone. (418 characters)

Photo of C3likesbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour this into a beer glass from a bottle purchased near San Clemente, CA.

A- Pours very black with a smaller than anticipated head.

S- Chocolate, vanilla and a slight bit of cherries.

T- Chocolate and sweet molasses and you can feel the alcohol warmth pretty quick. Pretty smooth but not silky.

M- Medium to dark body.

O- Sweet chocolatey and deep porter. Alcohol is there so not a multi-beer affair. (407 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a really deep brown. Not a lot of light getting through, just some reddish hues around edges. Cherry cola look. Not a ton of carbonation. Head of light tan was basically a ring immediately.

S: Getting lots of that soft vanilla and cherry hints. Sweet brown candied sugar. Really overpowers the roast that you would normally get in a Baltic porter.

T: Tart cherry dominates the front of the palate. Dark chocolate for sure. Vanilla beans soften the flavor. Oak tannins come in there too. Dryness.

M: Big medium. (551 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cola brown color with a one finger tan head. Looks pretty decent.

S: Tons of roasted malt and tons of dark fruit. Molasses, some anise, burnt wood, chocolate cake, burnt toast and some faint vanilla.

T: Opens very sweet and very malty. A nice rich malty hit right away with some notes of fruitcake, rye bread, and almond paste. Middle brings traces of cherry skin, cola nut and brownies. Finish is slightly drying and warming and leaves a hint of burnt wood, tobacco and burnt raisin skins. A really nicely done baltic porter and possibly the best beer I've had from Alaskan. (590 characters)

Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - cherry oak hue, with thin, very light brown head. Dark brown brew, mostly opaque.
S - oak, malt, fruit, cherries, light smoke.
T - sweetness, molasses, smoke, oak, cherries, & tastes a hint of an oyster stout.
M - medium carbonation, leaves a mild singe on the tongue that is nice.
O - Over a really great Baltic porter with a lot of depth and variety to it. (366 characters)

Photo of cocojoe
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage. Bomber. Alaskan Baltic Porter Ale. Brewed with Cherries, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Beans, and Oak Chips.

A: Fantastic dark black brown. Very dark red hints. Rich mocha head.

S: Complex aroma full of vanilla, dark fruits, sweetened cocoa, makes you yearn to drink this beer. Its got a kind of bite to it. Not sure if it's from the alcohol or the roasty malt. Floral hops. Certain tobacco funk underneath.

T: I cannot wait to taste this.... Interesting. Not as thick and sweet as I was expecting it to be from the aroma. Juicy cherries, rich dark chocolate. Vanilla. Dry tannic/roasty quality finishes it off. Pretty clean tasting.

O: Really awesome. Very complex. A lot of different things going on here. Not as thick malty sweet as I was expecting, which was nice actually. The aging clearly mellowed it out, but kept all of the complex richness of this beer. (874 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2012 vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that stayed around a while. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (cherries), caramel, vanilla, coffee, brown sugar and some oak. I think the taste is pretty much like the aroma, but with the addition of some roasted malt and molasses. There's also some bitterness in the finish, but overall there's a good mix between the sweet and bitter flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, I'd like to try it again in the future. Definitely worth trying! (688 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. 2012 bottle.

Appearance: Pours very dark and black with only a little brown color showing. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan head that fades into a small patch. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A dark and sweet aroma. Dark roasted malts with big hints of dark chocolate, toast, burnt caramel, toffee, coffee, and vanilla. Some scents of oak chips and banana. Also a good smell of dark fruits including cherries, plum, and fig. Anise spice and a little whiff of tobacco. Hop presence is pretty light. Sweetness is balanced. A pretty nice dark smelling porter.

Taste: Roasty and sweet like the aroma previews. Dark malts with a taste of dark chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, dark bread, coffee, and vanilla. Oak chips and some anise spicing along with a touch of tobacco. Some banana taste and notes of dark fruits including dark cherries, plum, and fig. Tastes sweet but not cloying in any way. Not really any signs of smoke like a Baltic Porter typical has. Tastes good anyways.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy. Feels a little too light for the style. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A pretty nice porter overall. Good fruit taste. Could of had more body and some smoke. (1,361 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Pours a murky brown colored ale with a beige foamy head that starts strong but simmers down to a slight film.

The smell reminds me spot-on of a vintage barleywine. Malty with heavy brown sugar whiffs. Me likey. Oak is definitely there and there is the vanilla present as well. Not getting the cherries as indicated on the label. Everything else listed has come out to play.

The taste brings out hints of dark fruit and a long finish of roasted sweet malt. Picking up the oak in the flavor as well. Don't want to say it, but the end also seems watery to me. Not a robust Baltic Porter in my mouth by any means.

More carbonation than I expected.

Overall I have been wanting to try this for awhile and while I enjoyed my session with it, it did not live up to my expectations. Was looking for a hint of cherries since that is listed first, but alas....it was not to be. Maybe I sat on this too long, but now that it's available again, a fresh bottle may need to be consumed. (989 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.52/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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. (915 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition

Dark brown body with a thin but persistent brown head. Roasted grains, a hint of cherries, bitter chocolate in the aroma. Rich, creamy vanilla flavor, rife with a deep sweet chocolate backbone; nice alcohol glow in the background. Smooth, heavy-body; soft and creamy texture.

An outstanding Baltic porter packed with rich, chocolate and vanilla goodness. The ingredients really shine through in the taste and mouthfeel. Strong, dark ale nirvana...!!! (465 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 brewcrew76
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, black with a thin tan head.

S - Heavy oak and vanilla creating leather and tobacco aromas. Bittersweet chocolate, alcohol, dark cherries, smoke, dark fruits and brown sugar.

T - Strong oak flavor, slightly overwhelming. Vanilla, smoke that seems to build with each sip, fairly sweet, dark cherry, dark chocolate and roasted malts that linger through the finish.

M - Medium body with carbonation on the low side. Touch of hot alcohol with a roasty lingering finish.

D - Interesting beer. Love the aroma but the oak/smoke combo gets a bit strong at times. (573 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 Bendurgin
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andy forthis one. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a dark brown with about an inch of khaki head.

Lots of dark fruits on the aroma with some oak. Hints of bitter chocolate with some unripe bananas in the background. Boozey on the pallet hints of char oak. Maple is noticeable with dark fruits lingering in the background.

Full and robust body with soft carbonation. Overall this one is tasty. Lots of good flavors. (430 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is black with a nice tan head.

The aroma has some nice chocolate with some cherry.

The taste is full of maple. The cherry notes are muted in the taste. There is some mild chocolate as well. This is definitely a sweet beer.

This is full bodied with sharp carbonation. This is tasty. I like the flavors here. (340 characters)

Photo of trevorjn06
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with garnet highlights. Almost no head, slight ring around glass. No lacing.

Aroma is vanilla up front, some chocolate, the cherry comes through a bit but vanilla dominates... a bit too much for me.

Taste follows the nose a bit, lots of dark vanilla beans, dark cherries, light chocolate. Overall too much sweet vanilla for me. Some alcoholic heat on the finish.

This beer is OK but just doesn't do it for me overall. less vanilla and a bit more robust roast malt would improve it. (504 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: A generous finger of tannish head. Black and opaque. Heavy lacing.

S: Sweetish, but with jarring elements of wine and metal. Banana bread, milk chocolate chips, and brown sugar.

T/M: It *is* sweet, big, and substantial. Smooth, sleek, and ensorcelling with a vivifying alcoholic undercurrent. Berries (oops! looking at the label, cherries), oak, vanilla, chocolate. Thick and satisfying.

O: Very nice beer, but somehow less than exceptional. Recommended, and I'd have it again...I'm not quite sure where my reservations lie. (590 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with 2 finger head. Good amount of lacing.

S: Sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, roasty aroma, chocolate.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit notes (cherries, I guess - as mentioned on the bottle label, I also get some raisin and fig). Slight alcohol taste. I would really give this one a higher raiting if it was a tad bit less sweet.

M: Thick, syrupy. Alcohol can be felt slightly.

O: Very good dessert beer. Too sweet for my taste though. (486 characters)

Photo of JohnnyP3
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. 22oz bomber. Pours a very dark and rich mahogany...almost night with a full moon, with about one finger of head. Kicks off a delightful aroma of dark cherry, vanilla, black licorice, burnt sugars, and a nice whiff of alcohol heat. Taste is more of the same with notes of brown sugar, oak, leather, and some rich earthiness. Dark cherries and vanilla notes are pronounced. Very warming as it goes down. Some dark fruit notes are there such as plum and fig. So much there to explore. Mouthfeel is smooth as velvet with a above avg viscosity. Overall, Alaskan produced a fine work of art to savor now and over the years to see how it develops with age. (663 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lots of flavors for a baltic porter. pours blackish brown with a mocha head about an inch high that fades after a few minutes. it smells sweet from the brown sugar, and pleasantly woody. deep dark chocolatey malts give is a smokey smell as well. cherries are the first thing i taste, a little tart, a little sweet, dried and chewy. then comes a wave of brown sugar, molasassy, but not too too sweet. the vanilla is very understated, not potent at all, and the oak gives it a very mature finish. mouthfeel is excellent, big body and moderate carbonation. the alcohol is very well disguised. would never know this was puching 10% abv. overall a very enjoyable beer, probably my favorite from the pilot series so far. (714 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 batch, very fresh. Thanks Scotchboy!

A: Very dark brown with a big fizzy light brown head. Fades at a moderate pace, leaving just dots of lacing here and there. Decent head retention at least.

S: Lots of fresh, vibrant cherries. Not artificial cherry syrup, it actually smells like a glass of cherries. Mild chocolate and a touch of oak. Maybe a hint of vanilla? It vaguely reminds me of Dr. Pepper oddly enough.

T: Lots of cherry up front with vanilla but backed up by a decent roasted malt character this time. Chocolatey initially with the cherries. Once the cherries fade, it becomes more of a bitter roasty/char flavor with a touch of coffee. Char and oak in the finish with a long bitter, drying aftertaste. Cherries float in and out of the aftertaste nicely to boot.

M: Somewhat heavy but super creamy and smooth. Carbonation dead on.

O: Excellent baltic porter. One of the best cherry flavors in any beer I've ever had. Tastes like someone dropped a few cherries into my beer. Drinkability is top notch, no sign of alcohol and excellent smoothness. Can't wait to try this one with a few years on it. (1,119 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 ChrisPr
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, opaque ultra-dark brown, with a thick, creamy tan head that lingers for a long time. Rich, bittersweet chocolate, wood, leather and cherry in the aroma. This body is great - big, rich but immensely drinkable. The first taste is of bittersweet, dark chocolate which soon melds with a subtle cherry that grows and then lingers into the aftertaste. There is vanilla in there, and wood which provides a great background and finish.

The base beer has that great metallic Baltic Porter taste and with all the great additional flavors it really is an amazing beer. This maybe doesn't have all of the complexity as some of the great barrel-aged beers, but it is a great, ready-to-drink delicious brew that is a phenomenal value for the quality. I really wished this was brewed every year! (795 characters)

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