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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 149
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:
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 added by: ccrida on 04-27-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jampics2


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

22oz Bottle, 2009 vintage. Purchased at Papago in Scottsdale, AZ and flown back to Cleveland. Split 4 ways with some good friends while watching National Lampoons X-Mas Vacation and enjoying the warm fire.

Appears dark black and has nice head retention. Great looking porter.

Smells like cherries, oak, sugar, sweet malt. Nice aromas.

Taste is great. Nice blend of cherries, vanilla, mild roast, and a great blend of all these flavors creates a unique beer. I love the fact that the extra ingredients are easily identified, harmonious, and not gimmicky. This beer isn't what I think of when someone mentions a Baltic Porter, but this is really nice. Ultra smooth taste.

Mouthfeel is great. Nice creamy texture.

Drinkability is better than average, especially for the style. This is a great beer, happy to have gone to such lengths to try it :)

12-06-2009 05:27:39 | More by jampics2
Photo of DousedInStout


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

I must say this bottle description is a bit intriguing for a baltic porter, which technically should be a lager. But coming from Alaskan, I expect high quality...

Poured near black with a light tan head. The carbonation seemed appropriate. The aroma is wonderful, and you truly can pick out all the elements added to this beer - cherries, vanilla, oak, brown sugar...along with some dark chocolate and fruity esters. The taste that follows is very nice, and the flavors marry together well. However, after time, this beer starts to taste a bit medicinal and syrupy as a result of the cherries and unfermentable sugar left in the beer. It results in a pretty sweet, cloying baltic porter - I probably would've just labeled it as an imperial porter because of it's lack of a dry, crisp finish. But overall, a nice effort again from Alaskan.

12-02-2009 16:07:21 | More by DousedInStout
Photo of Domingo


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pretty odd beer from the start. It's a Baltic porter brewed using ale yeast, plus cherries and brown sugar. When they already have a winter ale on the shelves, I guess they have to really be adventurous with their special brews.
Pours a really deep brown color with a slightly off-white head. There are some red highlights, and it's surprisingly not thick or sticky at all.
The flavors are all over the place. One minute it's like a strong porter, then you pick up some fruity notes, and then the brown sugar gives it a flavor that reminds me of a dubbel or quad. There are brandy and rum notes and very little question that you're drinking a sipping beer...but that isn't a bad thing.
Mouthfeel is a little thin and I'd say it's really the only knock on this beer. It,however, makes for a good nightcap almost like a brandy or cognac as a result.
It's a sipper and a perfect brew to split. My wife and I shared this on Thanksgiving and both enjoyed it.

11-30-2009 14:59:23 | More by Domingo
Photo of kbm


4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

2009 bomber.

Appearance: Black/Dark brown with a slight ruby hue. Huge tan head with good retention and great lacing.

Smell: Huge cherry with cinnamon aroma. Followed up by oak, booze, chocolate, sweet malts and other spices.

Taste: God, I love this beer. Cheery, oak and cinnamon. The oak, while not subtle, is not so prominent that it's over powering. The back end of the taste is a bit of coffee, coco and residual oak.

Mouthfeel: I generally don't like generously carbonated beer but I think the generous carbonation in the Alaskan Baltic Porter doesn't just support the beer but enhances it. Mouthfeel is thin but in a good way; low viscosity.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. With the thin mouthfeel I find myself taking larger than normal swigs. I get little to no heat from the alcohol, which makes this one a little dangerous.

I love this beer.

11-29-2009 03:02:29 | More by kbm
Photo of Docer


4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

2009 bomber, poured into a pint glass.

- Nice reddish dark chocolate brew... just can't see anything through it in the pint glass... but would be transparent in something smaller. Nice foamy mocha head.. leaves a few blotches about.

- Smell of cherries and vanilla at opening... up front has a chocolate vanilla cherry candied blast with a hint of alcohol and woodiness to it. Sweetness sure seems to be the brown sugar. Perhaps it smells just a touch too sweet.

- Fantastic smooth imperial porter. Certainly a porter up front with a woody roasted chocolate malt... and nice bitterness to it.. while a very subtle cherry flavor comes through... any sweetness is a nice blend of vanilla and the brown sugar. Overall the flavor is much better than what I guessed it would be after smelling it. Alcohol is well hidden.

- Overall not very dry... little chalky... zinginess gives the palate some watering...

- Truly a great porter, and surprising from them for me because all I have ever seen down here in Portland, OR for years is mostly their basic offerings which just didn't top the regulars we already had here. This however is a contender.

11-25-2009 00:51:52 | More by Docer
Photo of GregSVT


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

2009 Vintage into a tall pint glass

A: Pours a deep cola color with a small tan head that fades to a small ring and leaves no real lacing.

S: The nose is awesome and full of cherries, dark fruit, sweet malt, and a slight sherry aroma. A little boozy but not too bad. Almost smells like it was aged in wine/sherry barrels...very good.

T: The taste is amazing as well. Lots of cherry, vanilla, sugar, and sweet malt. Again it tastes like it was aged in a wine barrel of some sort. The booze is there but it's pretty smooth.

M: A little light for an almost 10% beer...I almost expected this to be like an Imperial Porter but that was not to be.

D: Very drinkable even though the ABV will sneek up on you. I could drink this for a while.

Highly recommended if you are looking for a "not your normal" porter.

11-24-2009 03:24:06 | More by GregSVT
Photo of Wasatch


4.83/5  rDev +16.1%

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.

11-22-2009 20:45:03 | More by Wasatch
Photo of rye726


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a dark mahogany with a tan head.

Interesting nose has roasty malts, sweet cherries, oak, vanilla, cocoa and subtle hops.

Taste has a decent amount of vanilla up front followed by ripe cherries, raisins, chocolate, wood and dark malts.

Medium body, carbonation a bit fizzy. Drinks easy for the size. Unique beer, but well balanced.

11-12-2009 04:39:40 | More by rye726
Photo of snaotheus


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

22oz bottle into pint glasses

Pours a deep brown that looks nearly opaque, medium beige head that dies quickly, no lacing. Smells sweet and fruity and smokey and chocolatey.

Taste is not as overwhelmingly candy-like as I imagined from the label -- it's more of a subtle candy. Dark fruit sweetness offset by bitter chocolate and coffee, smoke and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, quite drinkable.

11-11-2009 03:21:33 | More by snaotheus
Photo of jdklks


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

pours like an average porter. very little, light brown head atop a deep amber-brown body that is much too light for what ive come to expect from the style. with the smell, however, things begin to look up: though its not quite as strong as i would prefer, it has notes of vanilla, dry oak, and candy-sweet cherries. its also very sugary, chocolatey, and hot with alcohol.

The flavor is simply fantastic. it emphasizes individual flavors while remaining true to its complexities. vanilla is the stand-out player here, and it is perceived against a background of woody roastiness and a very elegantly presented cherry sweetness. the alcohol is well hidden until it shines in the aftertaste, and there is even the slightest hint of chocolate in the finish. my only complaint is that the brown sugar notes seem to kind of just hang out, refusing to mingle with the other flavors; but that little problem will be dealt with with a little age.

the mouthfeel is surprisingly thicker than the appearance of the body suggests, and the beer is well-carbonated. i dont exactly know why, but ive had a few of these now, and the drinkability is rather low (i wouldn't want more than one in a night), though this should not reflect poorly on the general enjoyment of the beer.

bravo, Alaskan... one of your best efforts to date.

11-10-2009 01:26:25 | More by jdklks
Photo of Murchmac


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

I was really excited to see this beer in a bomber so despite the 9 bucks, I picked it up. Was not disappointed. Big creamy coffee head, dark black some brown highlights and lacing.

Cherries, vanilla, malt, wood all present in the smell.

Cherries upfront with a very good, some heat, chocolate malt taste. Vanilla at the end coming through. Like a chocolate, cherry, vanilla swirl. Burning heat at the back of the throat.

Buy two, one to drink now, one to age.

11-07-2009 06:21:26 | More by Murchmac
Photo of colts9016


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured into pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A nice solid dark tan head but the retention is not the greatest. The body of the beer is opaque. The clarity of the beer is nonexistent. There are garnet highlights.

Nose: A very nice rich roasted malt with cherries, oak, vanilla, anise, and coffee.

Taste: A very rich roasted malt with oak, cherries, vanilla, slightly sweet, coffee, currants, and anise.

Overall: The mouth feel is rich, well aged smooth, alcohol flavor, and slightly creamy. The body of the beer is thick and full and the finish is full. This beer is absolutely a wonderfully thick Baltic porter. Hands down one of the best Alaskan brewery beers.This beer was hard to drink, it need some serious time to age.

11-06-2009 07:15:03 | More by colts9016
Photo of flagmantho


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. This is the 2009 vintage, which I am re-drinking and re-reviewing after the Great BeerAdvocate Crash of aught-nine.

Appearance: black with a red hue when held up to the light. Two-finger tan head with nice persistence.

Smell: lots of apple, pear, plum and grape, almost like a very intense white wine. There's a little malt in there but the aroma is surprisingly whimsical. Fantastico.

Taste: here the malt is huge with a subtle hint of flavor matching the aroma profile. It is quite sweet, which is to be expected, but in addition to the lovely fruit flavor there is a creamy flavor. Some roasted chocolate shows up but it's an afterthought to this seriously magical dessert beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick with just enough carbonation to remind you that this is beer.

Drinkability: in spite of (or maybe because of?) its huge ABV, this is a remarkably tasty beer with incredible drinkability. If my liver could handle it, I'd quaff several of these back to back.

11-06-2009 03:46:22 | More by flagmantho
Photo of BDJake


3.53/5  rDev -15.1%

A- Very dark brown, decent head.

S- Smells like banana candy to me actually, as opposed to cherries. Some of the oak comes out, as do the chocolate malts.

T- Like espresso mixed with bananas, dark chocolate, and vanilla.

M- Pretty thick, with appropriate carbonation, and quite a bit of the alcohol warmth.

D- Comes together well, but due to the nature of the beast, it still takes awhile to finish.

11-04-2009 10:50:19 | More by BDJake
Photo of Arbitrator


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
Photo of mikedashg


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

A - Pours dark black into my snifter with a good sized brownish tan head

S - Brown sugar, chocolate and sweet cherries for sure. A little vanilla and boozyness.

T - Wow, the cherries, brown sugar and a creamy chocolate kind of hit you right away. Carmalaized malts and just a touch of hops. Mostly a sweet one. Has a little vanilla and oak after taste to it. A bit boozy, as to be expected with almost 10%, and I like it.

M - Very creamy and moderate carbonation.

D - Really balanced in carbonation/look/head/mouthfeel and flavor. EVerything really is very cohesive and the flavors really jump out at you. Well done alaskan!

11-01-2009 02:13:08 | More by mikedashg
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

I didn't know they made a Baltic Porter so I jumped on this when I saw it in the store. Alaska has some fine beers and this one perplexes me a bit.
A dark brown pour. Very deep. A good looking creamy head is gone pretty darn quick. Hmm..

Smell is like their smoked porter, but calmed down a bit. Less smoke and umami, more cherry and vanilla, which causes some confusion in me brains. What makes this a "baltic"? I dunno.
Not to say it's bad. It's a good beer. Taste is like smoked porter light. Again..cherries and vanilla. Kind of odd, but good. slightly thin.

10-26-2009 20:38:03 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of SargeC


4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Appearance: Deep black colored liquid with a golden-tan colored head.

Smell: Sugar, vanilla, oak and roast malt.

Taste: Rich malt with a nice balance with the additional flavors of brown sugar, vanilla and oak. Alcohol in the finish. Touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Oily quality, very smooth.

Drinkablity: Great porter. Excellent balance in a big brew.

10-19-2009 03:56:02 | More by SargeC
Photo of ArrogantB


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
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

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
Photo of Beaver13


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
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

'09 vintage 22 has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks.. I think I paid about $9. Poured into my Delirium goblet.

Dark brown brew with night highlites... 1" tan head leaves descent lace and a good cap...

Nose is pretty complex.. lite chocolate is complimented and slightly amplified by the vanilla (maybe too much for my tastes).. dried cherries for sure, but it seems like there are some fruity esters in there adding to the myriad of goodness. oaky without the unneeded tannic elements.

Alot of stuff going on as soon as the first sips meet my palate.. cocoa and very background coffee.. again tons of vanilla.. followed closely by some cherries ... Bing? oakey with some maple wood notes.. a smidge of alcohol and all the mash-up of flavors remind me of bourbon... more rich than I remember... finishes more malty than sweet but with all the essences of the above flavors.. I personally think the vanilla is a bit overdone.. so I am gonna nick it .. but I still like it alot.

This is at least in my memory better than the bottle that I had with friends a month or so ago.... I also had the '08 a couple of times and remember thinking that this was no where near a Baltic Porter... However, I think this is gonna age fairly quickly.. Flavors and aromas will mesh soon.. maybe 6 months or so.. but I think it's gonna peak quickly too.. I give it 2 years max.

Thanks Matt for getting this one in... I need to stock up and then just sit back and enjoy it.

10-09-2009 07:53:38 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of tai4ji2x


4/5  rDev -3.8%

from liquidsolutions or bottletrek, by way of stevemcqueenjr.

22oz bomber. 2008 vintage. tasted in late may/early june 2009. poured into tulip.

very dark black/brown, w red hints under direct light. 1.5-finger tan head fades to wisps and thick ring. lacing barely ever sticks tho.

aroma: sweet dark caramelized malts and fruity cherries and plums, with trace of vanilla. light grassy hop hint, with faint chocolate tones.

taste: sweetly malty and fruity, like aroma. licorice? roast and coffee notes coming in towards the middle, w mild hopping and moderate bitterness. more coffee in aftertaste. alcohol is very well hidden.

medium body, quite smooth, though astringency and alcohol become more present here in the feel. mild to moderate carbonation gives light tingle, and helps with some creaminess.

10-07-2009 23:13:49 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

2009 vintage

ale brewed with cherries, brown sugar, vanilla beans & oak chips. 9.8%

a steal at ~$7 for 22oz

dark brownish purple pour. viscous, not much head. aroma bowls you over with the brown sugar/fruit combo more suited to a belgian. the cherries burst as if a pie full of them had been set before me. strangely, this beer is not too sweet, it's actually rather dry. somewhat boozy, but dry. the vanilla and oak dominate the flavor, creating something that exists far away from the cozy domicile of standard baltic porter. strangely though, i can see how the bjcp descriptor sort of fits.

i am in awe of the complexity of this beer. if you approach it expecting a style-defying mindblower, you'll dig it. if you think about some eastern european black bean lager, you'll hate the shit out of it.

regardless, for the experience, this is very good.

10-06-2009 06:33:13 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of yemenmocha


4/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours coca-cola brown that is easy to see through upon pouring, but appears almost black once poured into the glass. Head is somewhat modest and recedes to a thin layer.

Nose clearly has the cherry and vanilla, with the cherry having an almost throat-lozenge/cough-syrupy character.

On the palate this beer is surprisingly lighter bodied than what I expected, and helps with drinkability, but of course again the cherry-vanilla takes main stage. Some cola flavors are present, and there's a hint of dry oakiness going on as well.

I like it, but I can see why some may not because it is rather cough syrupy.

09-30-2009 02:18:31 | More by yemenmocha
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.