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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

344 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 148
Gots: 41 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Grizzly bear brown with generous garnet highlights. Amazingly enough, the beer isn't opaque. I hope that doesn't indicate a shortage of malt. Two fingers of caramel colored foam provide a pillowy cap that lasts for a bit, then lays down a thick collar of lace as it descends. A solid look all the way around.

The nose is different from the noses on most Baltic porters. The reason is that ABC adds Madagascar vanilla beans and black cherries, then ages the beer on toasted French oak. In addition to the usual roasted maltiness and dark fruit... the cherries are easily noted, the vanilla is subtle and the oak is hard to appreciate.

As feared, this isn't the biggest Baltic porter on the planet. More malt would have gone a long way toward making the enjoyable flavors even bolder and deeper. Alaskan says that this brew can be aged 'for several years', but I don't think the body will hold up that long. This bomber is approaching an estimated one year and the screws are getting a bit loose.

None of that matters too much because Alaskan Baltic Porter is delicious beer. The vanilla beans and the cherries are present in perfect proportions, both to each other and to the base porter. An apt comparison would be the beer equivalent of chocolate-covered black cherries with a vanilla cream and coffee cordial center. That does sound good, doesn't it?

A passing glance of unmasked alcohol, dark caramel notes and an understated oakiness give the beer of quasi-Bourbon vibe that is also right up my alley. Time to give the taste score a well-deserved bump. The mouthfeel is smooth enough, it just isn't full or creamy enough.

Most beer geeks won't agree, but I think Baltic Porter is a better beer than Smoked Porter. Neither one is burly enough, which keeps them from greatness in my eyes. The Alaskan brewers should take a page out of the Midnight Sun brew book and give us big beer worthy of America's largest, wildest state.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 21:04:23 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque pour with cola and garnet highlights. Half inch of khaki head. Dark malts abound with profuse toffee and licorice. Slightly sweet caramel and dark fruits with plum and pear accents. Quite an intriguing aroma.

First sip brings sweet dark malts with bold toffee and licorice upfront. Caramel accents with lots of cellar fruits moving in and out as well. Dense with malt and only a touch of hops on the way down with no real alcohol presence. A rich, tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation that goes down smooth and tasty. Thanks to warriorsoul for leaving this one behind for me after Dark Lord Day.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 16:08:48 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color porter with a quite large light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet black chocolate is dominant and very enticing. Taste is also dominated by well balanced sweetness with some quality black chocolate notes. It seems almost impossible for some chocolate malt to taste so good and it makes me wonder if some syrup were used. In any cases, this is an incredible treat and something I wish I would have access to. Body is full with some good carbonation and no signs of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 02:18:32 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into goblet on 5/6/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a lovely dark burgundy color with violet highlights and a thin beige head that quickly morphed into a thin ring and patchy retention.

S - Earthy and woody aroma with a prevalent dark fruit tang. Nose is pretty muted at first but opens up as the liquid warmed. A subtle grape sweetness and tartness emerged, as well as some caramel and toffee malt notes.

T - Flavor is woody and earthy with lots of vanilla and dark fruit notes suggesting dried apricots and plums. I sense an odd floral character in the middle that reminds me of mossy wood or something... it totally eludes me for some reason. Malt is pretty sweet overall with caramel and toffee notes.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth texture. Finishes sweet on the palate.

D - Pretty interesting Baltic Porter with some odd flavors but still quite nice and complex overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 01:32:06 | More by ffejherb
Photo of jsapunor
jsapunor

California

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown into the glass but when you hold it up to the sun there is a crimson diamond shining through. The head is brown and long lasting.
The aroma is caramel, toffee and cherries and lots of vanilla. Very smooth.
The taste is sweet with caramel, toffee and dark malt. Smooth coffee undertones and some dark fruits mixed with the promised cherries and vanilla.
Very smooth with a nice full body. Moderate carbonation. The alcohol is not very noticeable considering the 9.8% ABV.
Overall, this is an excellent interpretation of the style. I want another one.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 03:21:25 | More by jsapunor
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had my buddy in Seattle pick me up a couple of these before he came home for Christmas. Although I haven't reviewed many of there beers, Alaskan is one of my favorites. I spent many a night drinking their IPA and Smoked Porter while playing fooseball. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

2008 vintage

Appearance- Pours an ultra dark reddish brown with hues of black and a fairly weak dark tan head. Once it recedes it's pretty sparse. No cap and collar and certainly no lacing.
Smell- Right away the first thing that pops in my head after smelling this beer is bubblegum and chocolate. That may sound bad for a Baltic Porter but its not. The chocolate is creamy and sweet and surrounded by a caramel maltiness. It's not very roasty per say but it is malty. A touch of smoke and vanilla lend to a really enjoyable nose.
Taste- Very interesting stuff. Starts with a big burst of fudge before it quickly turns to a very roasted, even charred, maltiness that is fairly sweet. Interesting because I got zero of that roast in the nose. Loads of vanilla and caramel as well adding sort of a Southern Tier Crème Brulee aspect (except drinkable). I have no idea if this brew is barrel aged or not but it also has a slightly woody aspect, especially as it warms. Maybe a touch of citrusy hops but nothing much. This is all malt through and through.
Mouthfeel- Big and chewy with a nice heft and light creamy carbonation.
Drinkability- I read some of the other reviews and quite a few mention that this beer is too sweet. The one thing I really hate in beers is sweetness/syrupy. I see where they're coming from but I don't find it off-putting in this particular brew. I think it works well with everything that's going on. Granted, I couldn't drink more than one. BUT, I easily put down this bomber and enjoyed every damn second of it!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 02:22:38 | More by younger35
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large capped bottle, poured into a snifter.

Nearly pitch black, thin light tan head, not a lot of retention but lacing is nice.
Rich, sweet aroma includes vanilla, baker's chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, brandy.
Close to full body, nice velvety mouthfeel improved by the restrained carbonation. Although the somewhat noticeable alcoholic heat, in the form of brandy, balances it to some extent, it is a very sweet brew, with predominant vanilla notes, but brandy soaked fruits, cocoa and cherry are also noticeable.
Very nice, but the unbalanced malty sweetness limits the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 23:57:26 | More by brdc
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 02:53:49 | More by gford217
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! I finally had the chance to try this at Bailey's Taproom in Portland, Oregon. Awesome place by the way.

Pours a velvety deep dark black with a rather thin coffee colored head. Looks incredible in the snifter provided.

Lots to smell with this beer. Licorice, oak, vanilla, raisins, dark chocolate, alcohol and some dark coffee.

Taste is incredible. So smooth and yet so complex. Lots of the smells come to life when this stuff hits the tongue. Vanilla beans, alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate. It also has some resemblance to a wood aged beer as well for some reason.

I wish I could have brought a case of this home with me and also get a print of the label since its so nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 19:06:49 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

johnnnniee included this for Black Booty 09

2008 dated 22 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint glass. Good inch of tan head that gradually recedes. Not much lacing. Color is a solid black with a hint of purple.

Smell is sweet and a bit like juniper berries. There is some brown sugar in the aroma. Taste also has an interesting berry flavor with a little bit on mint and dark plums. This is very sweet for a baltic porter, they are usually more bitter. I really like this switch up.

Mouth feel is a little slick and has a juicy character. Goes down very easy, and I can't believe it is almost 10%. Wow this is fantastic.
Blipped Black Lounge by Baltic Fleet

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 03:35:52 | More by bort11
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 00:47:44 | More by hopdog
Photo of hellbilly
hellbilly

Arizona

2.05/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2009 07:42:45 | More by hellbilly
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from tayner as a thank-you for running the secret santa '08 website. thanks dana!

22oz bottle, 2008 vintage. sampled jan 30/09.

pours deep reddish brown, nearly opaque, with a small dense light brown head. the head quickly drops to a thick ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. milk and dark chocolate. bit of coffee. lightly toasted wheat bread. hint of biscuit. light alcohol. bit of earthy character. some dark fruit too - raisin, date, fig. touches of caramel and honey.

taste is good. milk and dark chocolate again, but this time the bit of coffee has been replaced by espresso. medium bitterness level, about half hoppy and half chocolatey. lightly sweet caramel and dark fruit. toasted whole wheat bread and biscuit. earthy. bit of alcohol. there's also a bit of something else in the sweetness that i can't quite place - maybe a bit of cola? licorice? i don't get any of the lactic or sour character that i'd usually expect in a baltic, but it's still quite nice.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. this one grew on me more as it warmed. good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 01:43:12 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear very dark red, like blood, light bit of purple, out of the light it looks black, medium sized tan head forms, drops some lacing as it settles down to a thick ring around the glass and thin layer, good retention. Smell is nice, vanilla, milk chocolate, plums, candi sugar, light bit of roast, quite sweet, caramel and a bit of molasses, very fruity, strawberries and honeydew, alcohol creeps in a bit but is well hidden, blackberry and cherry, very fresh aroma. Taste is cream soda, fresh fruit and vanilla, some spice, milk chocolate, brown sugar sweetness, cola character, rum raisins, a bit milky, fresh berries, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth but the alcohol is well hidden. Pretty interesting beer, unique and tasty, bit of a strange sweetness and cola flavour/aroma, but I like it. Thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 01:00:54 | More by Viggo
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ass bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $8.49. The label features a Russiany-looking building with an onion dome as it's most prominent feature. Maybe it's in Juneau, and it's what Palin sees out the window when she thinks she's looking at Russia! This beer was consumed in honor of my being officially one year closer to death.

Pours a super dark version of mahogany that takes on a more ruby-ish tinge when held up to direct light. An inch or so of creamy, tan foam perches on top, and leaves lots of sticky lace.
Almost belgian in the nose, with lots of sweet candy and fruit, brown sugar, bitter dark fruit notes and some booze. Doesn't seem to me to be typical for the style, but I don't care because its smells pretty damn tasty!

Starts off with sweet flavor such as toffee, caramel, chocolate, with black licorice, dark fruits and pipe tobacco keeping things from being too cloying. There's a warming alcohol flavor that becomes more obvious as time goes on, but it's not as strong as other beers I've had with similar abvs. Hops are present in a spicy way, but they are deep in the background, providing balance and structural support only. Doesn't taste like a typical Baltic Porter, but it tastes great so who cares!

Thick, creamy mouthfeel that coats the deepest, darkest recesses of the mouth. Lots of viscosity to this one.

I don't think this is necessarily right for the style, but I don't really care, coz it's one seriously tasty beer. Not a session beer in any way, but it makes one hell of a dessert beer. I'm really glad I decided to pick up two of these, as I'm interested in how this will taste after it's been laid down for a little while.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2009 04:38:25 | More by woemad
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see Alaskan branching out to more specialty beers. The pour is a midnight black color with a darker brown hue around the edges. Some clinging to the side of the glass, but not really what I would consider viscous. A darker tan colored head with good retention and lacing.

The nose is limited overall but is still very nice. The malt comes out nicely with some minor astringency. Mostly malty with a hint of lactic, almost milk like. Some lighter phenols, more of a black cherry aroma. Some minor woody notes as well with a touch of vanilla. Some lighter yeasty notes but mostly clean. A hint of oxidation, but more of a nit picking type of thing.

The taste is more descript and on par with a Baltic Porter. To start the malt has some depth and a light astringent roast flavor. Sure it's a Baltic porter but I would like to see a bit more roast. Some unsweeted dark chocolate notes. This is emphasized by a light milky note and a silk texture. There is a surprisingly hoppy note that comes out that is more herbal than anything. A bit strong for style. The yeasty notes back off versus the nose but some fruity notes that come out more as it warms. A slight acetaldehyde note as well, but only as it warms.

The body is closer to full than moderate. There is a silky feel that could be boarder line DMS but didn't get it in the taste. Carbonation is light but ok. Overall a pretty tasty BP. Some minor off notes and would like to see more roast but very easy drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 23:43:41 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with ruby-tinted edges in the light and a thin ring of khaki-colored bubbles.

Smell: A deep scent of dark malts mingled with a liqueur-like black cherry aroma and notes of vanilla, seasoned wood, unsweetened chocolate, and toffee.

Taste: Rich dark maltiness with flavors of baker's chocolate and toffee. Hmm. It's rather sweeter than I would have imagined from the nose. Minimal roastiness. Splash of cherry cordial stirred up with some black cherry cola. Touches of vanilla and oak. Light earthy bitterness. Finishes dry and fruity with a lingering chocolate-coated cherry taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Loaded with an almost shameful amount of flavor, this brew pleases me on several levels and is one I wholly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 03:56:42 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TheodorHerzl
TheodorHerzl

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to a great new trader LilMatix!

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black color, but when held up to the light pecan shell highlights show themselves around the edges. There wasn't much of a head on this beer, and it left minimal lacing on my glass.
Smell: There is plenty of molasses, vanilla, oak, dark cherries, and other dark fruit coming to life. As the beer warms I get port wine and chocolate as well.
Taste: The chocolate comes to life upfront with the dark fruits (dominated by cherry) round initial flavors out. In mid-drink I get more grassy hops and vanilla finished by a dry roasted malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: This beer is thick and smooth with a decent amount of carbonation, and the alcohol was well hidden.
Drinkability: This beer is quite delicious, but is quite heavy and is really only a sipper. I would certainly buy this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 14:30:35 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a nice deep dark brown with a small creamy brownish head. The retention is so so with some spotty lace.

S: Tons of dark fruit with light sweet roasted malt. Hints of sweet molasses as well as a touch of tobacco.

T: The dark fruit really stands out and matches well with the molasses sweetness. Hints of wood and smoke as well. Just a touch of coffee.

M: Medium in body, smooth.

D: Damn drinkable and a great represenation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 19:52:36 | More by tpd975
Photo of bkilpatr
bkilpatr

Oregon

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an Ommegang chalice. 12/31/08. 2008 version.

Pours almost pitch black with a thin finger of tan head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer, decent retention. Aroma is filled with roastiness and dark fruits, fig, maple syrup, and cherry.

Taste starts with a lot of roasted malt. That is then followed by dark fruits, mostly fig and date. Some dark chocolate and cherry. Hints of vanilla and caramel. Almost like drinking brownies with cherries on top. The finish is somewhat sweet, almost too sweet. The alcohol is very well hidden in the taste.

Feel is thick and smooth with a full body and ample carbonation. Slight warming from the alcohol, especially as it warms. Drinkability is decent. The sweetness and heaviness make it a bit hard to drink for me. One bottle is definitely enough for me.

Overall, a very interesting and tasty beer. The sweetness gets to me after awhile - if it were toned down a bit then this would be great. The price is a bit high (~$9 for 22 oz) and for that price, I'd say it's probably not worth it. If you're a big fan of porters, or can find it for a cheaper price, then give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 05:11:03 | More by bkilpatr
Photo of DoShek
DoShek

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 06:54:22 | More by DoShek
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bottle of the 2008 version, poured to a pint glass. Christmas Eve, 2008. Served after sitting/warming about 20 minutes out of the fridge.

A: Man, that's dark! Would pass for 'black' if I hadn't crossed the line by holding it up to a 100 watt light bulb, revealing the deep auburn hues knifing through the darkness. The audacity! Can see a few rising bubble streams rising in the glowing depths. Decent creamy head, maybe 1/2 finger at the outset, dropping to a centered splotch of film and a thin ring. Creamy lace in meandering bands.

S: Sweet aromas, not necessarily ones I'd expect from a 'Baltic Porter': sugared raisins, cocoa powder/milk chocolate, honeyed nuts, vanilla.

T: Got a small taste of this at an impromptu sharing table at the HotD Dock Sale in November and found it intriguing. This is my first taste since and, frankly, I didn't like it after the first sip. Second sip improved some: robust spiciness and not-too-sweet vanilla. Third sip reveals dark fruit (everything from raisins to earthy berries to red apples), dark cocoa, hints of tea and roasted coffee beans. Molasses, too. Just as interesting as I remember from that first try. YUM.

M: Rich and rather thick mouthfeel, not syrupy. A little alcohol warms the palate, some sweet malt sticking around on the lips. Subtle carbonation prickle.

D: Enjoyable now, this will be (I hope) even better after a year in the cellar (as is implied on the label). Say goodnight to the two bottles I'm tucking away for at least a year. Definitely one to pick up if you see it - recommended!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 04:25:48 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If it's not black, it's the darkest possible shade of brown known to man. Toasted-brown head is modest and thins to a skim that hangs around for the duration.

Aroma is rich and roasty, bursting with anise, dark fudge, fresh-cut oak, marshmallow, smoke and molasses. Fresh cream sweetness comes in too, as does a warming glow from the alcohol.

Wow, the flavor is big. And decadent. Big bursts of black licorice, caramel, chocolate cake batter and blackstrap molasses cover the dark sweet angle, while the zing of new wood, gingerbread, alcohol and vanilla lend some balance.

The gooey, syrup-like flavor is appropriately round and hefty, although perhaps just a tad too carbonated for my liking. Still can't call it anything less than good in the texture dept.

Delicious--and very, very dessert-y. Another winner from this great brewery. Many thanks to msubulldog25 for the chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 21:56:56 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of LilMatrix
LilMatrix

Washington

3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 03:20:51 | More by LilMatrix
Photo of kevinphish
kevinphish

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (2008), drank in a bubbled pint, over an hour while it snows like crazy here in Portland, OR. (!!!)

Wonderful, rich, deep dark-chocolate brown with ruby highlights, poured with a long lasting tan head; excellent lacing, and foam wisps remaining until the last sip..

Aroma of sweet molasses, vanilla, oak bourbon, chocolate, and faint raisins/dates, star anise, and of course, some alcohol booziness.. Quite complex, rich, and satisfying.. (This beer is very, very interesting that they say nothing about a bourbon barrel on the bottle, but damn it's gotta be blended with a bourbon-barrel or oak--it's so prevalent in the flavor and aromas.)

Flavor is enveloping, and follows through with creamy baking cocoa, bourbon/oak, vanilla, and molasses/maple, finishing with a wonderful warming effect, and pleasant oak/bourbon barrel flavors-- a beautiful beer, and such a wonderful, often neglected style.. Mouthfeel is creamy and not overly cloying or sticky, which keeps it in the Porter realm.. The alcohol is very well disguised, even when consumed fresh.. I'd love to lay one of these down for a year or two- it should age very gracefully..

Such a great beer.. I cannot recommend it enough.. Delicious!

With a few of these new, killer versions of this style coming into vogue, (also check out Sandy Paws Baltic Porter from Heater Allen- totally different from this beer, but equally wonderful), I predict that all breweries will start brewing a Baltic Porter in the near future... Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 23:56:44 | More by kevinphish
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.