Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
Huge thanks to thethrone for hooking me up with this brew. The bottle was split between a few of us and poured in tulip glasses. It produced a small tan head that disappeared quickly and never was seen again. The body was midnight black in color with no highlights to be seen.
The Madagascar vanilla was over the top what a wonderful aroma. As it warmed I got a slight cherry note but not much. The brew tasted as well as it smelled sweet, roasted, vanillin and coffees all come to mind. The feel in my mouth was medium with a slight carbonation I did wish for a little more.
A great brew would love to drink it again. The strange thing to me was the said to age it, but there was no sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Was this brew filtered?
09-26-2009 15:28:45 | More by joepais
4.5/5 rDev +8.2%
Tried 14 Sep 2009 at the Taphouse Grill in Seattle.
Poured in a 13 oz tulip. Small light brown head. Dark brown with a reddish hue. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, leather, licorice, some alcohol. Starts quite sweet and chocolatey, almost like an iced mocha. Smooth milky mouthfeel. Dark sweet cherries in the middle. Also black licorice and anise. Dry roasty finish. Finish is warming but does not feel like almost 10pct. Dry cocoa aftertaste.
Like dessert in a glass.
09-15-2009 04:51:48 | More by htomsirveaux
4.2/5 rDev +1%
I purchased this down the street for $3.25! An absolute steal and there's more. I'm not telling where.
The appearance was blackish/brown with very little head.
It smelled like cherries, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and alcohol all mixed together. Not something you smell every day.
It tasted pretty much like it smelled with the cherry and vanilla flavors coming up front. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but it doesn't seem like it's 9.9%.
It had a medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. It was about on par for the style.
The drinkability was very good because of the thinner mouthfeel for the strength of brew and the unbelievably good taste of this one. Just be careful because the 9.9 will hit ya hard.
I don't usually like beers this sweet, but this one has such interesting complexities that it's an exception. I will be revisiting this one many times in the near future as I'm not sure how long these will be at the gas station for $3.25 a piece.
09-14-2009 19:03:43 | More by superdavex
4.78/5 rDev +14.9%
Pour: 22oz bottle to tulip glass. Hefty latte colored head, two fingers thick, appears over bubbling dark brown body. Actually, maybe make that black. No light passing through, even around the sides. Sticky retentive head.
Nose: Beautiful aroma, chocolate, vanilla, roses, cherries. Lots of fruit for such a dark bodied beer, but not getting a ton of roasted notes. Full, lush smell.
Mouth: Creamy mouthfeel, full delicious flavors. Rich vanilla all the way, with a lingering, nice, light roasty finish. The fruit is subdued but present: cherries & raspberries. Looong lasting finish! Love it, actually. Love it.
09-14-2009 00:40:30 | More by clickpush
3.88/5 rDev -6.7%
The appearance is a dark brown with clear raisin edges. It comes with a crisp head that disappears quickly. No lacing.
The smell is of alcoholic sweet cherries.
The taste is complex. Cherries are the first and strongest characteristic followed by an alcoholic oak chip taste. This brew is really hot, I personally can taste the 9.8% ABV. I cannot taste the brown sugar, but a vanilla taste accompanies the alcoholic tastes at the end.
The mouthfeel is hot, dominated by alcohol and a crisp 'coca-cola' carbonation. I beieve this will be an entirely different beer in 6 months or so.
09-12-2009 22:37:47 | More by Jmoore50
4.05/5 rDev -2.6%
On a surprisingly cool and rainy night in August, I decided to switch it up from the wheat beers and pilsners that have become my usual fare this summer. Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a deep dark brown, rich and full but still letting a little bit of light shine through. A khaki-brown, creamy head flourishes for a couple of minutes before subsiding to a thin coating.
Aroma of sweet caramel malt with just a touch of roastiness. A plethora of sweet notes poking through - maple, mocha, and vanilla bean are all present, with a strong underlying boozy character. Palate is sweet up front, with caramel and maple flavors taking center stage. Dark fruit and mocha notes also make their presence known. A husky bitterness comes through before the swallow, balancing things out a bit for the smooth, warm finish.
Body is fairly thick, with a bit of an oily slickness to it. This beer is rich throughout, living up to its high ABV. While maybe not the most authentic baltic porter on the market, this is definitely an enjoyable beer, and a definite change of pace for summertime drinking.
08-12-2009 05:24:10 | More by ElGordo
4.18/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
08-10-2009 21:04:23 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.03/5 rDev -3.1%
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.
06-07-2009 16:08:48 | More by orbitalr0x
4.58/5 rDev +10.1%
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.
05-24-2009 02:18:32 | More by Phyl21ca
4/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
05-08-2009 01:32:06 | More by ffejherb
4.28/5 rDev +2.9%
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.
04-04-2009 03:21:25 | More by jsapunor
4.25/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
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!
03-14-2009 02:22:38 | More by younger35
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
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.
03-11-2009 23:57:26 | More by brdc
3.48/5 rDev -16.3%
22oz bottle poured into a tulip.
Pours almost black into the glass with a creamy beige head that settles into a thin cap and leaves sporadic lacing.
The aroma is very sweet with
The taste has tons of sweet dark malts and lots of molasses, raisins and even some grapes. There's also some vanilla and wood sweetness with some licorice thrown in. Definitely a sweet aroma.
The taste follows the aroma with a cola sweetness up front. It's got some chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits as well. Got some banana sweetness in the finish with a bit of dry woodiness.
The mouthfeel is very slick with lower carbonation than I expected.
I had high hopes for this when I cracked it but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's very sweet but not a lot of complexity. A good beer but not one I'll go back to.
02-26-2009 02:53:49 | More by gford217
4.5/5 rDev +8.2%
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.
02-22-2009 19:06:49 | More by indiapaleale
4.58/5 rDev +10.1%
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
02-11-2009 03:35:52 | More by bort11
4.65/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
02-05-2009 00:47:44 | More by hopdog
2.05/5 rDev -50.7%
bomber 2008 by way of riversideAk... muchas gracias, alex!
dark reddish cola brown colored with a tan tinted head which fades and lasts as a ring.
floral bananas, yeast and alcohol are initially noticed before a blast of marshmallow peeps... you know, the candies... yuck! it's a bit perplexing yet is noted by my drinking companion so i know that i'm not losing my mind... later on as the beer is allowed to warm and open it reveals notes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, dark roast and cinnamon. the peep aroma remains...
the first taste is definitely peep flavored... pink to be exact. i allow it to sit and hope that it opens... about an hour later it shows vanilla, roast, cocoa, loads of coffee, bananas, denatured alcohol (yep) and a floral, ashy, booze laden finish. the peeps still haunt my palate. there IS a pleasant char character in the aftertaste. the medium body has some texture from the ale yeast but it is too sweet for my liking (though not unusual for a BP). the mouth feel is somewhat flat and dead on the tongue.
a day later (lunch to be exact).... still pretty much the same but mellower. the plastic floral notes are still in abundance and it's riddled with ethanol... blech, this thing is a mess. 4/3/4/2/7/2.0
02-04-2009 07:42:45 | More by hellbilly
4/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
01-31-2009 01:43:12 | More by grub
4.1/5 rDev -1.4%
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!
01-31-2009 01:00:54 | More by Viggo
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
01-29-2009 04:38:25 | More by woemad
4.43/5 rDev +6.5%
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.
01-21-2009 23:43:41 | More by Oxymoron
4.18/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
01-20-2009 03:56:42 | More by ChainGangGuy
4/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
01-14-2009 14:30:35 | More by TheodorHerzl
4.1/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
01-12-2009 19:52:36 | More by tpd975
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.