Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 351 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
01-01-2009 05:11:03 | More by bkilpatr
4.72/5 rDev +13.5%
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.
12-31-2008 06:54:22 | More by DoShek
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
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!
12-25-2008 04:25:48 | More by msubulldog25
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
12-24-2008 21:56:56 | More by Metalmonk
3.38/5 rDev -18.8%
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.
12-21-2008 03:20:51 | More by LilMatrix
4.53/5 rDev +8.9%
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!
12-20-2008 23:56:44 | More by kevinphish
3.83/5 rDev -7.9%
Lots of fruity esters in the aroma right off. Deep dark ripe fruit. Lots of caramel malt and then a bit of roast malt too. I get all kinds of sugary stuff from toasted marshmallows to Brown sugar. But the fruit is what stands out the longest.
Dark brown but when held up to the light it has a red color. Small head witha little rim of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a little island in the middle. Light lacing.
Flavor is more in the fruity vein. Big, huge, base malt sweetness that is not really tempered with bittering hops. Yeah, the hops are there but overall it is kind of sweet. Very nice fermentation character with even more fruity flavors and an almost wine grape flavor.
Big bodied but a little under carbonated. Feels a little heavy instead of big and lively.
Very nice beer but I'm not sure of the style. When I think of the Synebrechoff and other native porters this seems out of the norm. But I really like it on it's own.
12-20-2008 09:01:37 | More by czechsaaz
4.1/5 rDev -1.4%
A- Very dark reddish brown with about an inch of light brown head, thanks to an aggressive pour.
S- Cherries, figs, grapes, and all sorts of dark fruits are thrown in there. A touch of chocolate backs up the fruity aromas.
T- Dark fruits upfront with a distinct cherry note, followed by vanilla-tinged dark malt and a big alcohol bite. The hops add a nice bitterness and the beer finishes fairly dry with a slight cocoa aftertaste.
M- Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. It could maybe benefit from a little more viscosity.
D- It's hampered a bit by the obvious alcohol presence, but otherwise, not too bad. This isn't a style that should be quaffed anyway.
This is a very good Baltic Porter, and one that I believe is probably fairly true to style. It's definitely not an imperial stout, as it lacks the roasted malt aspect. I'd put it right there with Smuttynose as far as domestically-brewed examples of the style go (although I haven't had that many). Recommended.
12-19-2008 04:45:16 | More by vtfan77
4.72/5 rDev +13.5%
2008 vintage pours chestnut tinged ebony with a pinky of mocha head. Good head retention & average lacing
S: Dark fruit, port, & leafy hops, & bananas
T: Dark chocolate, dryness, leafy hops, raisins & plums & a bit of banana?? up front. Vanilla, rum raisin & plums as this warms, along with a hint of creme Brule. Finishes with plummyness, dryness & some nice hints of caramel, bananas & vanilla
MF: Fairly rich, restrained carbonation
Drinks extremely easy for the style & ABV, not much to nitpick on this, awesome Baltic Porter! Attempted to squeeze the bottle like a toothpaste tube, but the damn glass wouldn't yield....
12-18-2008 06:10:43 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Incredible beer. Must seek out more bottles. Lots of well combined flavors that really work well together. Brings in with it the coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla all wrapped up in a sweet but wonderfully drinkable beer. Nice work from my norther neighbors.
12-07-2008 18:11:38 | More by Dubbercody
3.83/5 rDev -7.9%
Recieved as an extra from a great trader from Portland.
A- Poured into a pint glass very dark brown, some ruby highlights if you look at it in the light. Big 2 finger head that faded fairly fast and left a nice ring aroudn the glass.
S- Sweet malty floral aroma
T- Alot sweeter than it smells which suprised me.
M- Med. to heavy bodied even at a warmer temp. lots of carbanation feel to it.
D- Great tasting beer but I probably couldn't drink more than 1 bomber in a sitting
I'm not a big a big porter fan to say the least but this is a great example of a well made porter. I almost wish I would have aged this a bit.
12-06-2008 05:00:23 | More by mugglesandhops
4.3/5 rDev +3.4%
22oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Xmas present for me while helping a fellow BA with Secret Santa.
Pours a dark brown with a smallish tan/white head that laces the sides all the way down. Nice dark ruby highlights when held to the light. Smells really sweet like cream soda. Strong aroma of dark fruits, cherries and plums, some vanilla, mix in some chocolate and some roast. Really great nose! Taste is roasted malts and dark dried fruits. Quite sweet. Finishes with a bit of alcohol and a lingering bitter fruit if that's possible. Sticky/silky mouthfeel, thick body, light carbonation. Great brew, I wish I had bought a few more.
12-06-2008 00:34:13 | More by johnnnniee
4.2/5 rDev +1%
22 oz bottle at 58 degrees.
Pours dark mahogany with a ruby tinge when held to the light. A two inch tan, dense head settled slowly to reveal a mostly solid skim coat on the surface, and plenty of ripped sheets of lacework.
Aromatics lead off with bitter chocolate, coffee beans, vanilla, and dark fruit.
Nougat, caramel, and a hint of cherries follows through.
Full bodied, with a creamy, crushed velvet mouthfeel. Lush.
Dark chocolate, charred malt, black forest batter, and vanilla start the palate. Hints of Kahlua, cherries, and an oaky dryness follow through.
Finishes with lingering oaky char, chocolate covered fruit, and warming alcohol.
Great beer. The cherries and vanilla are very subdued and add complexity but allow the Baltic Porter character to shine.
Big ups to Tim for another terrific hookup!
12-02-2008 00:19:25 | More by brewandbbq
4.1/5 rDev -1.4%
Pours a very dark ruby color with minimal head and decent lacing.
Scent of sweet malts, sugars, chocolate and dark fruits, damn good.
Taste of chocolate and roasted malts with a hint of leather and some alcohol as well. Raisins and sugars come in more as it warms.
Mouthfeel is full, it's smooth with a slight bite.
11-29-2008 01:49:25 | More by paco1029384756
4.28/5 rDev +2.9%
Couldn't find any of the 2008 Abyss at the N. Seattle Central Market today, but they had a goodly supply of this stuff.
The beer pours a very dark brown color with at best fair head retention and lacing. That's the only flaw to this beer, if you want to call it that, as otherwise this beer is clearly world class. The nose on this beer was so sweet I was initially afraid I hadn't adequately cleaned my glass of dish washing soap. However, trying the beer in a different glass produced the same results. I get some lovely cherry, vanilla, chocolate and rootbeer, with possibly a hint of ginger as well. This beer really does smell terrific. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except there is a more pronounced milk chocolate, vanilla and cherry flavor. The mouthfeel is nothing short of incredible, as the beer has a rich, long, luxuriously soft, creamy finish. Damn, but this porter is delicious. Each sip begs you to take another. The beer finishes very well and is entirely too easy to drink. Given the 9.9% abv., I almost feel as if I should take away points, as one is very tempted to drink glass after glass of this terrific beer. It's THAT easy to drink!
This beer is just outstanding and, along with the Smuttynose JD oaked porter and Olfabrikken baltic porter, is yet another outstanding porter I've come across of late. This used to be a type/style of beer I really didn't care for all that much. However, beers like this are quickly making me a convert. Good stuff.
11-26-2008 22:30:00 | More by John_M
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
pours an opaque with a thin tan head, and some lacing.
smell is of chocolate, malt, some coffee, touch of smoke, and a touch of licorice.
taste is of sweet malt, some hops, milk chocolate, a little bit of coconut in the back.
overall the alcohol is well hidden by the nice flavors.
11-26-2008 00:21:51 | More by froghop
4.08/5 rDev -1.9%
Pitch black color. Pours like motor oil in the glass so to get a goo head going on I have to have a fine splash down the middle of the glass which formed a latte like sticky head. Slight taffy aroma with a soft chocolate, faint ripe fig and mild char nose. Big lush creaminess cradles the delicate smoothness, amazingly smooth. Sweet dark and burnt sugar flavors to kick things off, a hint of brownie batter and dark fruit in the middle. The alcohol is a bit warm but does not play like it is 9.8% abv. The modest hopping really lets the maltiness shine here. Finishes sweet with a long linger of mellow roasted grain.
A big beer with modest complexities, they are there but just not in your face. The alcohol is somewhat hidden, hard to tell it is that strong. All around a solid beer.
11-22-2008 05:16:30 | More by Jason
4.05/5 rDev -2.6%
A- This beer looks tasty, Nice dark dark brown, almost black. The head is nice and fluffy...almost very light with very tan head.
S- I'm getting some vanilla and cherry. It is almost like there is dr. pepper in here. I also get some apple and cinnamon. My first impression was Crayola crayon, as it seemed like a wax smell.
T- Cherry for sure, roasted malt, but cherry keeps coming back. The front taste is cherry, then it switched to chocolate/vanilla and malt, then back to cherry. This has a nice complexity, but its not so complex you need a decoder ring. Although that would be cool to have a ring to come with your beer that has flavor notes on it. Would be a great marketing gimmick.
M- Feels good in the mouth, it has a nice thickness, its not too thin. Its nice to see a cherry flavored beer that is a bit thicker. Reminds me of flathead cherries, and how they are thick yet creamy.
D- Very drinkable. Goes down smooth, not too hot, but just easy going.
11-22-2008 03:41:49 | More by Wetpaperbag
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
Pours a rich dark caramel mahogany hue building to a jet black in the glass with garnet and cherry highlights. A half-finger khaki head of tiny dancing bubbles appears and then fades surprisingly quickly to a thin ring, leaving behind some minimal syrupy lacing.
Aroma is complex, with strong rich roasted malt with hints of bittersweet cocoa. Strong dried fruit aromas emerge as it warms, primarily bing cherries and raspberries. A beautiful caramel vanilla aroma blends in with the malt and some earthy smoke and oak woody notes.
Taste is fairly complex as well, with a strong roasted malt taking up the forefront. Cocoa powder and some dark toasted bread are complimented by a fruit and vanilla sweetness. Dark cherries, blackberries, and vanilla blend into a unique sweetness that's earthy and fruity without being overly sugary or cloying. There's no sourness either... a purely rich malty fruit sweetness. Dark, full, and complex. The alcohol is barely present, adding more depth than anything.
Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and a bit silky. Moderate carbonation carries the sweetness and the slight malt bitterness beautifully and keeps it from being overly syrupy. Finish is just dry enough to keep things interesting.
Drinkability is fairly high right now, and I can only imagine how beautifully this one will age. The flavors are rich and complex with some interesting and fairly unique notes. The alcohol is just a touch hot and the oak aging isn't quite as mellowed and blended as it could be, which will hopefully occur with some aging. Definitely worth hunting this one down and grabbing a few bottles. Beautiful.
11-21-2008 19:53:22 | More by djeucalyptus
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
I had the first run of this on draught in Anchorage in early 07, and it was my favorite beer of the year, and up there as one of the best, period. I knew they were going to release this third batch down here in bottles, and have been pretty much chomping at the bit in eager anticipation. In fact, I've lately been brushing up on my Baltic Porters.
Bomber poured into my Meantime snifter, served around 58F, Alaskan Baltic Porter is a pitch black with a tan head that leaves light lace.
Smell right off the bat has a waxy, pill-like phenolic character that I don't previously recall, and is replicated in taste, which is also much stronger on the cherries. This seems like a fairly different beer, how much is the translation to bottles vs.different vintages I don't know...still it didn't bring back what I was hoping for, and really is a somewhat obtuse take on the style. As it warms, the phenolics soften, and more chocolate malt comes out, but it's tempered by an increase in fusels.
Taste is generally dark malts and cherries, phenolic, vanilla, really a good bit different, with less of the rich emphasis coming from the actual malt. There's a noticeably solvent like character to the alcohol that never really relinquishes it's grip as it struggles to open up. Very complex between the vanilla, oak and cherries, with a nice earthy depth.
Mouthfeel is vary tannic, pretty smooth, lush carbonation, dry finish, fairly heavy body.
Drinkabiltiy is ok right now, but this one needs some time to soften up. Although it's by all means drinkable now, there's no reason not to wait until next year before cracking another. Definitely one I'll stock up on though, and eagerly revisit in due time.
11-21-2008 04:37:55 | More by ccrida
3.95/5 rDev -5%
Aroma of vanilla, chocolate and roasted malts but more chocolate, some caramel, alcohol, and a slight chalk/aspirin thing.
Rich, smooth, full bodied, luscious mouthfeel
Flavor similar to aroma with no chalk. Finishes with a fair amount of alcohol but this is balanced well by the malt sweetness.
The aftertaste is of semi sweetened chocolate and left my mouth dry. Quite pleasant.
It was slightly more carbonated than expected but it's right for style. I think this helps balance out the sweetness too.
I was impressed by the restraint in the roasted malts and focus on caramel and chocolate malts.
Overall, very tasty. I felt it's a little too sweet right now but that this should lay down a bit over time as will the alcohol heat. I feel the vanilla and oaking add some good complexity too. I am excited to try it as it ages.
11-19-2008 08:02:21 | More by beersabound
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
Good to see this one coming around in bottles (just wish they would do it with the coffee brown already. Or make an imperial stout, or put that smoked porter in some barrels already, or...)
Pours a deep dark black, but there are some very ruby hues when held up to a light. Head is nice and fluffy, light tan color, and lingers fairly well. Doesnt leave very impressive lacing, but some is there.
Nose is a bit weak for my taste. An odd metallic flavor mixed amongst dark malts, some chocolate, a slight touch of coffee way in the back there. A little bit of vanilla and some kind of dark fruit.
Hmmm. Taste is pretty complex. It doesnt quite hit you right up front, but it gets more complex as it rolls on. First some dark malt hits, but is quickly joined by a bit of vanilla flavor. Some oak is here, a bit of chocolate. Coffee i got in the nose was probably just from some darker malts, maybe chocolate malt or black pat or something. An odd metallic flavor through the middle. There is a wierd dark fruit aroma i cant quite put my finger on that i did not get in the on tap version. A stronger cherry presence I think. Cherry is certainly not a dominant characteristic, but it is there. There is some oak flavor in here towards the finish as the alcohol starts to make its presence known, although nowhere near what one would expect. Finish is fairly dry, and chocolate and oak linger on the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is good, but slightly thin for the style. With an abv pushing 10 i would like just a touch more viscosity in here. Carbonation is right where it should be, maybe a tiny touch strong, but nothing significant.
Drinkability is pretty decent for the style, and quite good for the abv. This one drinks like its 6 or 7%. I could take down a couple of these, but after that i would probably switch to something lighter.
Overall a very decent and respectable offering from Alaskan. Nothing to write home about, this is no olfabrikken or smuttynose, but it is a very decent baltic. A few kinks could be adjusted, maybe a bit more roastiness, but other than those few small things, this is a good baltic. Will be throwing a few of these in the cellar to see how they do. I think it has the potential to cellar for a few years at least. Another good one from Alaskan, not quite up to the smoked porter or barleywines grade, but still a good beer.
11-17-2008 02:08:25 | More by AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
A: Pours dense, doomed, and dark as night. A void. Sits in the glass with no hopes of getting a glance through to the other side. The head is tightly bubbled and glistening with roasted toffee brown coloring. After an aggressive pour the head was minimal yet left a menacing and meshed lace down the glass. Impressive and noteworthy. I would guess it was an RIS if I saw it sitting there with no bottle around.
S: An array of earthy oaked aromas coupled with the perfect balance of sweetened plum and cherry candies. Hints of smoked vanilla and ripened dark fruits. Rounded off with a black licorice tinge.
T: Tastes are roasted malt richness and complex candied sweetness. Hefty rounding vanilla cream and slight coffee splash with a sharpened bourbon soaked cherry finish. Sugary and rich like the decadent dessert you would request on the night before your execution. Even with the ABV this goes down feloniously and smoothly. This was aged on toasted French oak. Vanilla beans were added during fermentation. A real cherry blast throughout the mouth.
M: Medium and amazingly creamy mouth feel. I was impressed that the alcohol was so ghostly.
D: I loved it. The only regret I have is not picking up another one for aging. Thanks to this fine brewery for getting this out to us lucky folks in the PNW. I drank this one and watched old 80's skateboard videos. Long live Natas Kaupas, Jeff Kendall, Rob Roskopp, Mark Gonzales, Mike Vallely, and all the others.
11-17-2008 01:22:44 | More by erikm25
3.08/5 rDev -26%
a solid black affair with an off white/tan head. the nose isn't very roasty, a smooth malt aroma is more present. the background is a bit copperish, kind of sour on the finish, and to my dismay a bit watery for a porter of any kind. the mouth-feel is extremely thin and not much in the way of carbonation. as far as drinkability is concerned it is an easy downer, but as a porter it is a downer.
01-01-2008 03:40:56 | More by irishevans
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.