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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
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 09:01:37 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of vtfan77
vtfan77

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 04:45:16 | More by vtfan77
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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....

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 06:10:43 | More by russpowell
Photo of Dubbercody
Dubbercody

Washington

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 18:11:38 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of mugglesandhops
mugglesandhops

Oklahoma

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 05:00:23 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 00:34:13 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 00:19:25 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

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

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 01:49:25 | More by paco1029384756
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John_M

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 22:30:00 | More by John_M
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 00:21:51 | More by froghop
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 05:16:30 | More by Jason
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 03:41:49 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 19:53:22 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 04:37:55 | More by ccrida
Photo of beersabound
beersabound

Alaska

3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 08:02:21 | More by beersabound
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 02:08:25 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of erikm25
erikm25

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 01:22:44 | More by erikm25
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irishevans

Alaska

3.08/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2008 03:40:56 | More by irishevans
Photo of Atricapilla
Atricapilla

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had tried a sample of this before dinner, but decided to drink a glass after dinner. This brew is to beer what port is to wine. It had an intriguing color, a dark copper with a bit of reddish purple in it and a fairly substantial and slightly creamy head. The appearance kind of surprised me for a porter, but was still very pleasant. The taste was a bit sweet but not overly malty, a lot of caramel and vanilla with some slight oakiness to it. I could taste the extra alcohol in it, but it seemed to add to the nice complex character instead of being dominating.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2007 01:48:48 | More by Atricapilla
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Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.