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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
92
outstanding

355 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 355
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 151
Gots: 43 | 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: 355 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail
2.45/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What is this, blackberry jam? A pie-flavored, burnt crust, Splenda-sweetened beverage I hesitate to call beer. The aroma is light but the nose of wood and vanilla is pleasant enough but tiki torches are smoldering in the background.

Black as an Alaskan night in the glass. A thin mustache of foam but sub-par carbonation. So sweet it tastes like something you'd have at the deli for breakfast with coffee. But that bitterness never lets you forget. I would call this blackberry Manischewitz with a dark, guilty secret. Finally, after some remorse, the flavor of canned sweet cherries comes through. Bitter, cardboard, woody, burnt sugar, fruit cocktail-- it tastes like Sterno looks like.

The label says this is the 2012 version. I call it undrinkable, though for cough syrup it would be pretty good with a vodka chaser. In fact, now that you mention it... From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.

mactrail, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma caught me off guard. While I do get some cherry and vanilla, the main fruit flavor I get is bananas. Very strange. The flavor is very complex with cherry, vanilla, oak and roasted malts. The beer is pretty sweet and you get some alcohol but it is fairly well hidden. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected. Low carbonation.

Mora2000, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting. 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color, with 2 inches of brown head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of oak, whiskey, dark fruits, caramel malts, and vanilla. Wonderful combination.

t - Tastes of vanilla, oak, whiskey, and roasted malts.

m - Very smooth and creamy, medium body and low
carbonation.

d - I thought this was a great porter. Wonderful vanilla, oak, and whiskey in the smell and taste. Would love to try again.

mdfb79, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, great label, brought back from AZ, 2009 Vintage,

A: Pours black as night, with a medium off-white head, light lace.

S: Not huge at first, but in the end there comes a nice mix of cherries, licorice, brown sugar, some tar and oak. Good nose with a little coaxing.

T: What I first notice is how the oak and vanilla flavours combine to form a bourbon barrel flavour. This beer is not bourbon barrel aged, but it sure tastes like it is. Dark cherries and the brown sugar come out a bit as it warms, and in the end the beer is dominated by great dark chocolate flavour which I really liked.

M: Medium/full-bodied, silky smooth, the booze is lightly noticable but works with the flavours here and adds to the smoothness.

D: This is a really good beer, not outstanding, but really good. Just missing another layer of complexity. I have no idea why this is not distributed in CA, but it is in AZ which is farther away. This will definitely sell. Alaskan - I don't care if you don't distribute the barleywine, switch it out for this. I'm not buying the barleywine again, but I'd definitely buy this again.

Halcyondays, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

GClarkage, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

imperialking, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with slight mahogany edges and a one finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Small spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma that's slightly smokey/toasted with hints of dark chocolate, toast, caramel and toffee. There's also a slight lactic presence along with a touch of vanilla adding another dimension to the nose.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of roasted and sweeter notes. Lots of toasted malt along with hints of roasted coffee, toast and smoke balanced by some sweet chocolate, toffee and subtle lactic presence. Although it is pretty robust, the sweeter notes balances things out nicely and this beer is surprisingly drinkable.

corby112, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark brown, with surprisingly good clarity, and hints of ruby at the edges. Head is a foamy mess of crunchy light brown, which leaves sudsy, foaming lacing as the beer goes down. Looks quite wonderful.

Big blackcurrant notes on the nose, mingled with darker notes of oak and spicy charred grain. Hints of oatmeal, coconut and red wine shine through too. Oh man, this is freaking delicious. So much complexity, but all so well melded and integrated. Really lovely.

Taste is also beautiful. Big redolent notes of oak and grain, but subtly and deliciously sweetened by characters of dark fruit and chocolate, then layered with light vinous acidity and fresh coconut juice. Really, really lovely. Feel is smooth, but not too heavy.

Such an exceptionally smooth and deliciously drinkable beer. For all its complexity, depth, alcohol content and pure unadulterated strength, it comes out comforting and delicious. What a fantastic beer.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -3.6%

wrightst, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hwwty4 for this bomber.

A: The baltic porter is dark, a wickedly deep red color that passes for black. Light shining through the beer reveals the crimson. As you'd guess, the ale is opaque. A small head, no more than 1/2 a finger on first pour, sits idly, leaving a faint band of lacing.

S: The baltic porter smells great. Cocoa powder, roasted malts, starchy beans, all big flavors and all appearing in the first blast. Cherries even make an appearance, however cursory it may be. A very full, warming beer.

T: I love the porter's flavor combination. The cocoa powder, beans and roasted flavors are strong. Much to my surprise, vanilla beans come through as well. Cherries follow with a mild sweetness that fits well with the roasted body and vanilla. The feel is smooth, never edgy. A powdery finish, incorporating the aforementioned elements, lingers nicely with little indication of the forboding alcohol content.

M: The mouthfeel is complicated, offering up a wealth of baltic porter flavors with cherry and vanilla present as nice bonuses. The porter is creamy, leaving a lasting flavor.

D: The porter is quite heavy, able to hide its booze for only so long. Despite that price tag, the porter hits all the right notes, especially on a cold January night.

akorsak, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle poured by Halcyondays. Thanks for going to Arizona for this. On to the beer:

I would like to see a little more head to this blackwater, but that's a minor complaint to this gem. The nose is big, starting out with lots of licorice, then moving on to toasted oak and semi-sweet chocolate. The flavor starts well too; I get the oak (but it tastes more like it came from a bourbon barrel), chocolate brownies, a touch of vanilla, toasted. The intensity of the flavors cahnges as the beer's journey goes on, changing to being less oak and more sweet. The vanilla aftertaste is very appealing, as is the hidden booze and well controlled big body.

Could I do 22 ounces of it? Yeah, I probably could, but Alaskan needs to get this style to Orange County for me to find out.

DoubleJ, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -3.6%

mothman, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, dark bread, brown sugar, toast, cherry, raisin, vanilla, toffee, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes with the cherry/brown sugar/vanilla additions and oak; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, light coffee, cherry, raisin, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, dark bread, toast, roasted malt, light coffee, raisin, cherry, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with the flavor and oak additions; with huge robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately silky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Baltic porter style! All around awesome balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt with flavor additions and oak; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

afsdan, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very deep brown color, very nice carbonation, with an awesome thick/creamy tan head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/caramel notes, vanilla, slight oak/cherries. The taste is awesome as well, malty, sweet, slightly bitter, slight oak notes, nice chocolate note. Medium body, a really smooth brew, very would know it's high ABV. Very drinkable, this has got to be the best brew I've had from Alaskan, hands down.

Wasatch, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

Mebuzzard, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

John_M, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of rab53
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured close to black in color with a frothy off white head filling about half an inch of the glass. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it remained, but left little lacing.

The aroma has a very nice mixture of oak and cherries with a little vanilla and brown sugar sweetness. I get a little of the Baltic Porter, malty, chocolate like flavors bit the additions and treatments steal the show. They all work together very nicely though to create a very appealing aroma overall.

In the taste I get the fruity and sweet cherry flavors and the woody oak right off the bat and throughout the flavor. I get the vanilla and brown sugar sweetness more up front and get more of a dry, bitter-sweet chocolate, slightly roasty flavor towards the finish. The cherry, oak and chocolate flavors linger nicely after the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low. I really like the lower carbonation in a beer like this. Drinkability is very good, I loved the flavors overall. The cherry and oak were excellent and it was balanced enough between sweet and bitter to make it very drinkable. It was definitely all about the additions and treatments, but they all worked very well together. The Baltic Porter style flavors seemed to take a back seat to everything else but it was good enough that I didn't care. Excellent beer overall and it might very well be a new favorite of the style.

billab914, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Kelp, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Viggo, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown, thin lacing, looks generous. Smell, whoooo alcoholic, for reals. So alcoholic you might think its aged in some grain alcohol barrels. But there's some other stuff in there. Wine like in its diversity of flavor.

A sipping beer, but you don't need a lot of time between intervals. While the alcohol is obviously there, for how high it is, it isn't overpowering. I would recommend.

Revisit 8/2011: Not as impressive as the first batch was. A little more bitterness than I like, needs an RIS body to absorb this. Mild licorice/dark fruit. Just not a style I dig so much on.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009. Clear and very dark brown with reddish chestnut edges. It had a fine tan cap that showed decent head retention and a bit of lacing. Aromas of malt, chocolate (milk and bittersweet), nuts, dark grains, faint berry/cherry and a slight roast. Moderate bitterness, strong chocolate and malt flavours that lingered in the finish but didn't render the beer overly sweet. Bready with green, leafy hops and a hint of fruit. Light alcohol. Creamy carbonation and a full body made for a very smooth beer. There was just a bit of astringency from the dark grains and a bit of alcohol warmth. Good stuff. The flavours were nicely integrated and it was no problem drinking this one all night long.

DrJay, Jan 23, 2010
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.