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

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

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363 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 363
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 152
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 363 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Uncle Sam's Saloon, Kennewick, WA. 3.20.2010, poured into unchilled pint glass (thanks for remembering!) $4.25.

One finger tan head, medium dissipation with some lacing present. Dark brown opaque body, hard to decipher any visible carbonation. Nose is smoky, probably from roasted and/or smoked malt, some caramel sweetness with floral hops. Taste doesn't have as much smokiness as the nose, a bit less chocolate than I expected, not sure of cleanliness of line, I detect a bit of butterscotch or diacytel, ugh. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Need to be careful of this high ABV, but certainly a nice representative of this difficult to nail style. Curious how cellaring will effect this beer. Recommended.

Photo of cavedave
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet more big thanks to sirdrinknp for another stunning pick.

Pours an opaque dark brown, topped by a long lasting, thick lather of a head. A nice skim hangs in there.

Not to be funny, but all the smells suggested by the label info. are in this luscious bouquet in clean delicious glory. Sweet cherries, dark cherries, vanilla, and a rich oaky underpinning, all holding hands with caramel, and mildly roasty malt, with hints of tart yeast in there giving it a true to style appeal and taste.

Taste is confirmation in the best way. A thick but light drinking flavor cavalcade proceeds to seduce and win over my palate. Big vanilla and cherry, nicely balance roasty malt, caramel, sugar sweet, hints of herbal bitter just behind, with a hint of tart yeast that ices the cake.

Moouthfeel is very viscous, low carb. clean on palate, long juicy finish. Nice.

Drinkability is staggeringly good. Alcohol exceptionally well hidden for its size.

Impression: This is a must try for all fine beer lovers looking for exemplars of style.

Photo of ncfrey
4.69/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Trappistes Rochefort chalice. Pours a light brown with slight light shining through. Fills the glass extremely dark, almost pitch black with the exception of a mild upper rim. Provides a nice one finger size creamy light brown head that settles pretty quick but leaves a creamy rim.

Aroma is good! Sweet, malty, cherries, vanilla, roasted coffee beans.

Flavor has a decent amount of compexity with the cherries, oak chips, vanilla, maltiness, brown sugar. I had lower expectations for this, but its surprising me. Carbonation is a little high for my liking for this style, but still very good. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Has a surprising drinkability. A very nice and tasty porter!

Photo of hardy008
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

A: Black, tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Chocolate covered cherries, vanilla, mocha, AMAZING!

T: Huge vanilla (a little much for me), oak, bakers chocolate, mocha.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a drying finish.

D: This huge brew is definitely a pleasant sipper.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.65/5  rDev +12%
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...

Photo of Zaplt
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Stress is mounting, papers are piling and a brew shall be tasted in honor of the beginning of the end.

Appearance - thin tan head, a bit of nice lacing.

Smell - cherry, yummy maltiliciousness,

Taste - vanilla, oak, cherry, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, toffee, coffee, absolutely delicious --

Overall - delicious beer - very good not very hot mmm would like to age one.

Photo of Deuane
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of kwjd
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown colour with a tick tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. Amazing smell of black cherry and vanilla and some chocolate. The taste has the same elements, with the chocolate being a bit more present. Some roasted malt in there too. Very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Derek's bottle. A porter with a cherry first and then chocolate characteristic. The aroma of the real thing, happy valentine's Day chocolate and cherries. Black with a white foam, and above-average mouthfeel. A strong note of vanilla.OK take the bottle, enjoy the taste. Not sweet, bit certainly not too baltic sour.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pour netted one finger of crackling, light brown foam. That head didn't hang around long; within a minute it had sizzled its way down to a thin, sticky crown. Body is very dark and nearly opaque: shows shades of orangish brown around the edges when held to light. Looks to be fairly light in body, as expected for the style.

Smell: From a short distance away, I got lots of banana bread. I still get that banana bread when I dig my nose into the pint glass, but I also catch whiffs of dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla. I'm searching for the oak, but I'm having trouble finding it amid these other strong aromas. Unfortunately, the taste really outdoes the smell in terms of pungency. After a few sips I can't really smell anything. Oh well. What's there is very nice.

Taste: Cocoa and lager yeast come together beautifully! On top of that, I get vanilla, toasted malt, oak, nuts, and sherry. Everything is balanced very, very well! The sherry component rolls right into the dry finish, which I find to be... amazing. I'm loving the taste of this beer (can you tell?).

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and actively carbonated with a finish that's both dry and flavorful. Though high, the carbonation is soft, producing a very pleasant foamy feel. The overall feel is similar to what I would expect a carbonated dessert wine to feel like: nice mouth-coating; fairly syrupy; kinda dry; actively carbonated. I dig.

Drinkability: I didn't expect to like this beer so much. I think I've found my new favorite Baltic porter. Pick this one up if you get the chance. You'll be happy you did.

Photo of DaveJanssen
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22 2 ways. Reviewed 9/29/2009. Poured into snifters.

Ar: Fruity and sweet, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, intense aroma, very sweet dark cherries, raspberries, vanilla, light burnt grain, molasses, woody/earthy, light whiskey character, complex and sweet, lightly chalky, oak, cherries and vanilla in foreground

Ap: deep brown/mahogany, very low tan head fair retention, clear

F: Cherry, alcohol, sweet cherry is very strong, almost overwhelming but not cough syrup cherry, chocolate, coffee and roast, has a whiskey character from roast wood and strong alcohol, alcohol ends surprisingly clean for how strong it is in middle taste, vanilla and cherry work well together and enhance each other's sweetness, like fantastic whiskey and heavy cherries, very fruity, chocolate, toasted/charred wood, caramel, syrupy sweetness, the malt doesn't have much roast to it, sweet balanced, chalky (not as strong as in aroma), *spicy oak

M: very sweet and full, warm/hot alc in throat, heavy with low carbonation alc cuts the sweetness

O: Helps me understand how whiskey develops flavor, very sweet but it works, would probably age well, alc very strong, cuts sweetness a bit, aggressive

* = ideas from fellow taster

Photo of BretSikkink
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darkest brown color with only the faintest highlighting at the bottom of the glass. Otherwise, full opacity, a sticky beige head.

The nose is highly charged with dark fruit and alcohol byproducts. There is some evident spicing but I wouldn't call it the focus - I definitely think there is some vanillin involved.

The flavor is heavily malty, with lots of dark fruits leading the way, nearly to the exclusion of the other components. Cherries and something like figs take center stage. There's some roasted barley character as well, caramel sweetness in the middle, and the hops do make a cursory appearance as a peppery sidenote to the readily apparent but not overly meddlesome alcohol notes.

There's a lot going on and it's a big beer. Sweeter than I was hoping but a really good brew.

Photo of slaintemhor
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this ('09) in fall of 2009. The colour appeared to be black until held to the light and then it had a garnet hue. The aroma was sweet and reminiscent of boiled candies. On the palate, more sweetness, a creamy mouth feel, rather boozy, lots of glucose sirop, almond extract, cherry and oak with a long finish.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

pours deep thick jet black with a light cocoa cream head. nice light retention.

first sniff brings dark candied cherries and strong oak. this is followed by a subtle vanilla and molasses. very rich and sweet with a faint hint of booze.

light cherries blend well with the oak and vanilla. lots of complexity and lots of flavor. light hints of cocoa and molasses hide behind the bigger cherry. not as rich as the scent but this is for sure a sweet porter indeed. very very faint booze in the finish.

very chewy and thick. light to moderate carbonation. very full.

given how rich this is and the almost 10% ABV, only one at a time however i would for sure drink this again. i forget who sent this to me although i am pretty sure i know who did. i did indeed enjoy this. i love baltic porters.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Winchester Tavern shaker pint glass.

Pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown, with ruby highlights and a finger-thick tan head. The smell is somewhat heavy on the booze, but this is balanced out by dark malts and fruits. The taste begins with a dark cherry flavor, followed by a roasted wheat, followed then by a figgy flavor, and then finished by a brown sugar/molasses flavor. In all, a wild, tasty ride that layers nicely on the tastebuds. The heavily medium body rests perfectly on the tongue, though the relatively high alcohol might check this somewhat, threatening the drinkability for some (though I will be coming back for more on a regular basis).

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle - 2008 vintage, purchased from Liquid Solutions when it was released a few years ago. Uncapped and poured into my Adnams Imperial tumbler at cellar temperature. The porter appears a dark crimson brown color and opaque with a good finger or so of light ecru foam. Nose and flavors consist of booze filled chocolate covered cherries, dark and bittersweet chocolate, deep roasted grains, cocoa powder, cherry-vanilla, more cherry notes (skins, juice), a bit nutty. Rather dry, bitter and just about full bodied with ample carbonation. The alcohol keeps to itself for the most part, but this is still one to sit down and enjoy for an hour or two.

Photo of bum732
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black, some ruby tints, nice lightly tan creamy head, great retention. Smells of strong dark fruits, cherries, moderate oakiness, some roastiness and brown sugar, touch of alcohol, toffee. Tastes of cherry like malt up front with some dark fruits mixed in. Very fruity. Gives way to light chocolate like roastiness and a good bold oak presense. Finishes roasty and dry with some more oak. Pretty good mouthfeel, carbonation is low. Alcohol very well hidden.

This is a really solid baltic porter, lots of complexities. The cherries are fairly bold and really take charge, but they're a lot of other layers as well. Just a great combo of flavors, another winner from Alaskan.

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hwwty4 for this bomber.

A: The baltic porter is dark, a wickedly deep red color that passes for black. Light shining through the beer reveals the crimson. As you'd guess, the ale is opaque. A small head, no more than 1/2 a finger on first pour, sits idly, leaving a faint band of lacing.

S: The baltic porter smells great. Cocoa powder, roasted malts, starchy beans, all big flavors and all appearing in the first blast. Cherries even make an appearance, however cursory it may be. A very full, warming beer.

T: I love the porter's flavor combination. The cocoa powder, beans and roasted flavors are strong. Much to my surprise, vanilla beans come through as well. Cherries follow with a mild sweetness that fits well with the roasted body and vanilla. The feel is smooth, never edgy. A powdery finish, incorporating the aforementioned elements, lingers nicely with little indication of the forboding alcohol content.

M: The mouthfeel is complicated, offering up a wealth of baltic porter flavors with cherry and vanilla present as nice bonuses. The porter is creamy, leaving a lasting flavor.

D: The porter is quite heavy, able to hide its booze for only so long. Despite that price tag, the porter hits all the right notes, especially on a cold January night.

Photo of DrJay
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009. Clear and very dark brown with reddish chestnut edges. It had a fine tan cap that showed decent head retention and a bit of lacing. Aromas of malt, chocolate (milk and bittersweet), nuts, dark grains, faint berry/cherry and a slight roast. Moderate bitterness, strong chocolate and malt flavours that lingered in the finish but didn't render the beer overly sweet. Bready with green, leafy hops and a hint of fruit. Light alcohol. Creamy carbonation and a full body made for a very smooth beer. There was just a bit of astringency from the dark grains and a bit of alcohol warmth. Good stuff. The flavours were nicely integrated and it was no problem drinking this one all night long.

Photo of mikey711
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Almost completely black , with only some light able to get through at the bottom of the glass. Minimal head about a quarter inch thick with a tan colored head.

S: Milk chocolate, some sweet coffee notes, vanilla, some roasiness, brown sugar. Some dark fruit notes.

T: A nice bit of smokiness, sweet milk chocolate, roasted coffee notes, dark fruit notes, vanilla.

M: Very smooth and creamy. A slight bit of heat.

D: Really enjoyed this one, but with such a high abv i couldnt have too many of these for fear of dangerous situations :)

Photo of slasher007
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mora2000 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a very dark brown color with light tan head. Smell was bit complex for me. Lots of banana with hints of smoked vanilla and ripened dark fruits. Tastes are roasted malt richness and complex candied sweetness with vanilla cream and oaked cherry finish. Medium and amazingly creamy mouth feel with medium carbonation. I loved every sip of it. Excellent beer

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma caught me off guard. While I do get some cherry and vanilla, the main fruit flavor I get is bananas. Very strange. The flavor is very complex with cherry, vanilla, oak and roasted malts. The beer is pretty sweet and you get some alcohol but it is fairly well hidden. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected. Low carbonation.

Photo of RJLarse
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.