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Saku Estonian Porter - Saku Brewery LTD

Not Rated.
Saku Estonian PorterSaku Estonian Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

62 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saku Brewery LTD visit their website
Estonia

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-10-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 48
Photo of jooler
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great porter. Really smooth. Dominate malt and chocolate taste with a hint of coffee. Btw, bottled in early 2014

Photo of mactrail
2.17/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This is some kind of dark Euro-trash. Dirty. Where does the overwhelming gloom of licorice come from? It's a medicinal and harsh alcohol-flavored concoction. The smell is rancid prune Danish. Some caramel but overwhelmed by burnt raisins. The aftertaste is oxidized malt liquor with something that makes me think of transmission fluid.

I have to agree with Beerandraiderfan on this one (see 2012 review). I'm wondering, since this brewery is owned by Carlsberg Breweries, if this is really a Carlsberg product. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Botleworks in Seattle for $2.99. Totally not worth it. I don't think this is in any way spoiled. It's from refrigerated storage at a reputable store and seems properly made.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a very dark brown, basically black, with a one inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like currants, chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar. Really unique for a porter.

This porter has some cool tastes that I wasn't expecting. Same cool dark fruits flavors as in the aromas- some currants, grape jam, molasses, brown sugar, some chocolate syrup, caramel, toffee, and rum. No real roasted malt flavor, which is interesting. Given that, I'd have thought it'd be too sweet and cloying, but it's not. High five!

This one has a medium body, with a very, very smooth mouthfeel, creamy as hell. There is a low amount of carbonation. This one is very drinkable.

First beer from Estonia, and it's one of the best Baltics I've ever had. Great!

Photo of artoolemomo
2.97/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks as if it will have atrocious retention. The head is a weak, light beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown which shows hints of maroon when held up to the light. No lacing at all.

Nose- A lot of bubble gum from the bottle, some hints of roasted notes. The glass gives up a faint hint of bubble gum but not much else. This is not a auspicious beginning. Swirling the beer only reveals this aroma more. I hope this is not reflected on the palate.

Taste- Some bubble gum- this seems to pervade every aspect of this beer. There are some roasted malts but they are rather diminished. Some caramel notes. A slight, woody bitter finish with some spice and a small amount of heat. The flavor profile is rather thin and lacks presence- this, despite the fact, that I don't want any of the notes that I'm tasting to be more prominent. Enjoyable roasted malts start to appear on the finish but overall, this is a rather mediocre beer. I can never abide by a heavy bubble gum flavor. This beer is less offensive the quicker you drink it. It's not bad but it ain't good either.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied- could use more heft for the style. Very little carbonation. This would work if this had more heft to it but instead it comes off as poorly carbonated schwarzbier at times.

Drinkability- Not really offensive, just not desirable. It's a beer I would drink quickly for the alcohol. Poor price point.

Overall- Very average. There are so many better Baltic Porters out there. I cannot suggest trying this unless you are a sucker (or ticker) for Baltic Porters.

Photo of Reidrover
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

50cl bottle from "Lifesource" Salem. $3.49 Pours a dark brown with a nice sized tan head. Dark chocolate,treacle and dark fruitiness abound in the nose. Smooth treacle,molasses taste, some hints of elderberry and blackcurrant,slightly salty,finishes with alcohol. OK palate good but average for style This is OK a good beer but sadly for me not a good Baltic.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured two and half fingers on a pitch black body. The head was quickly gone though.
The aroma is faint: roasted and black malt.
The taste is darkness with a sweet touch. Burnt and roasted malt with a sweet finish.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
It's lacking in the smell area but the taste is nice.

Photo of JoshatTownHall
4.06/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On Tap at Hellhunt Pub in Tallin, Estonia. Exceptional example of a Baltic Porter done right. As with all Saku and A Le Coq. brands this is the reason why Estonia is an awesome spot for beer snobs. Great beer for €2. It is hard to find a rendition of the Baltic Porter that sets the bar this high in the U.S. without paying $10 for an import. I miss Estonia!

Photo of duracell
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle shared with my father and poured into a goblet. Bought in Narva, Estonia. 6.9% ABV.

A - Pours a walnut color with red hues. A medium-size, off-white, head is formed and disappears quickly. 3/5

S - Aroma is a blend of malt (caramel and raisins) and a bit of hop (mainly herbal). 3/5

T - Malty taste with noes of toasted and caramelized grain. Hop is discrete, pourly aromatic but leaving a contributing to the bitterness. 3.5/5

M - Medium body with a rather smooth feeling. This beer is quite alcoholic leaving a semi-dry finish. 3.5/5

O - Without featuring a lot of complexity this Porter is quite pleasant and rather to style. Worth seeking it out! 3.5/5

Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was another of my local trader's, tone77, many bottles to keep me from going off the deep end with CANs. I am always anxious to see what he has brought for me as he never disappoints.

From the bottle: "Dark Estonian Beer"; "Saku Porter is a full-bodied ultra smooth dark beer, brewed of pale, caramel and coffee malts, hops and Saku's own yeast. Aged to reach full taste. An ideal companion to a long winter night."

My pour created just over a finger of bubbly light-brown head with modest retention. Color was a deep dark-brown with caramel highlights at the edges, but otherwise not allowing light to penetrate. Nose was rich with dried dark fruits, molasses, tobacco, tar and even some alcohol heat. Phew! Mouthfeel was full, very carbonated, and the taste was very much of dried dark fruits, dark chocolate, coffee and molasses on the tongue. Finish was semi-sweet with all of the flavors just lingering like exhaling while smoking a cigar. If you are not going to drink this in the wintertime as the label seems to suggest, I would recommend it with a dark cigar, like a Maduro. Good stuff!

Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours brown with a full off-white head, good head retention.

S: Has that full Eastern European dark sugar nose, a lot like Baltika #6. Big nose.

T: Not as sweet as the nose would suggest. Toffee, treacly flavours, slight hint of toast. Tasty.

M: Medium to full-bodied, thin finish, but brings a mild light sweetness to the end which I like. Frothy but crisp carbonation. Tad cloying at times.

O: I like Saku's regular lager and I like this beer, I like it more. Classic Baltic porter flavours, well priced as this style tends to be in this part of the world. Well worth a pickup. A satisfying strong pint.

Photo of tone77
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts and dark fruits. Taste is good, roasted malts, coffee, dark fruits, a touch of hops. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer worth seeking out.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.81/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Brown and red colored beer, the red is a deep, dark red. Aroma was rough, sour plum, rubbing alcohol, prune, raisin, and more alcohol.

Taste, ugh, more alcohol and rancid dark fruit flavor. Was very bitter, but not the kind you get from hops, which were not able to be tasted. It was like 1/4 sweet, 1/4 bitter, 1/2 rubbing alcohol for the flavors.

As it warms, it is like, death, licorice flavors come out, which makes you think you are drinking Jagermeister, because of the dark fruit, licorice and face breaking alcohol presence.

I may have gotten a bad bottle with a ton of fusel alcohol. Or not, either way, this one was atrocious.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a dark black color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was good as a minute collar that left bands of broken lacing. The aroma was of chocolate brownies, baking chocolate, some fruity esters (bananas? Like chocolate-dipped bananas most notably and distinctly. Odd) and booze. The flavors were similar, dominated by the chocolate/banana/fruit combo followed by the boozy punch. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation average as well. Like the German girl I dated in my 20’s, this beer was strong and unique, yet predominantly forgettable.

Photo of jdhilt
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a three-fingered light brown head that leaves a some lace. An opaque brown color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is strong caramel and flavor is roasted caramel and dark fruit. The higher ABV is hidden. 500ml bottle from Madden Beverage Saco, Me.

Photo of MNJR
3.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown color, tan head builds slowly and fades quickly. Really nice, rich smells of smoke, prune, and leather. Tastes fantastic: smoke up front, rich caramel, dark chocolate, and traces of light raisin/prune fruit. Finishes crisp and dry. A very good beer. Great balance in all the right characteristics, if not a bit too heavy on the fruit for some drinkers. For me it was great. I would buy again any time.

Photo of dhvnu
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good baltic porter.

L- add a little black to its label; purplish-blacl

A-nice head retention of a light brown head

N - raisin raisin raisin

T-yes, jsut as it smells raisinous with hints of metallic notes

Ov.A. good beer, good baltic porter, it just lacks that metal-alcohol notes of good baltc porters, but very drinkable.

I recommend

Photo of samie85
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours an very dark caramel brown color with two dense fingers of mocha foam.

S-Smells of rich, dark fruit especially that of plums with with some earthy hops and burnt sugar.

T-Follows the nose upfront with lots of plum and finishes with a nice earthy, spicy finish.

M-Medium bodied with a certain slick character and prickly carbonation.

D-Highly drinkable in terms of ABV, but the richness limits how many of these I could have. Very solid Baltic porter though.

Photo of JamnesCameron
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a MJ tasting glass.

Pours a deep, deep garnet, with a big, three finger tan head. Head is slow to drop.

Aroma of licorise, sweet malt, no hop aroma to speak of. Dark caramel and light roast malt aromas.

Flavors of roasted caramel malt, anise. Medicinal. Cough syrup. No hop flavors. Slight alcohol burn. Strong licorise flavor as it warms up. Finish is medium, with anise lingering into the fade.

Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, slightly astringent.

Overall, not the best example of a baltic porter, a little harsh, lacks the smoothness of the best examples. Avoid.

Photo of EricCioe
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep brown with a two finger head that subsides to a ring and island for me with no lacing. On the nose there is a huge molasses and caramel combination up front. On the tongue the molasses is dominant with a toffee further back, and hiding under all that is just a hint of hop bite. In the mouth it's very chewy, too much to be enjoyable really. There is no enjoyable fuzziness here, and it's almost oily. The 16.9 oz serving size is about as much of this as I'd want to drink, mostly due to mouthfeel, but the price is pretty unmatchable. A decent beer, especially for the price.

Photo of thekanna
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful dark brown bordering on black with about 1 finger of tan head at pour; dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. The beer divulges shards of blood red hue when held to strong light.

S: Distinct chewiness, strong caramel, molasses, and coffee taste. Like a veritable Werther's hard candy.

T: Dates, caramel, molasses, anise. Medicinal bite of hop bitterness at the end.

M: Pretty effervescent and highly carbonated for a porter, but this keeps things lively.

D: Delicious and complex, enjoyed the smell more than the taste but great overall.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, but not much lacing at all. Aroma is nice and malty, the brew smells like roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and some dark fruit. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but the bitter flavors in this beer are stronger compared to the other ones, although the bitterness does ease up a bit as the beer warms up more. From the aroma I thought this would be a sweeter tasting beer, but that's not the case. Mouthfeel/body is medium, and is well carbonated. Drinkability is decent too, but not impressive. I think it's an OK overall brew.

Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fully poured down the side and the middle of a large glass stein, it produces a full head that slowly subsides, leaving a thin sheet of tiny bubbles and a nut-brown ring around the edge of the glass.

The dark ruby red-brown color has enough light penetration to reveal clarity.

Light molasses aroma with just a hint of malt, but a full mouth of hob bitterness at first bite. Lingering bitters in the middle of the palate with strong coffee and burnt toast notes, but a softer back palate release. Well carbonated enough for a little tongue tingling that deflects the decent alcohol presence (labeled at 7.5% abv). Overall a well-crafted Baltic Porter.

Although the label says it is "aged to reach full taste", it does not say how long and there is no Best Before or Born-on date. Would probably mellow if cellared for a year or two, but went down fine today with a spicy burrito carne asada con salsa habanero.

Photo of baggio
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle@home

A: Pitch black with a huge brown creamy head that vanishes a bit too quickly.

S: Molasses, Chocolate, Roasted malt, Dark bread, Smoke

T: Bitter coffee, Sugar, Molasses, Fruit, Tobacco, Caramel.

M: Body is quite think and has very low carbonation. A very sweet porter with a dry, ashy, aftertaste.

This is not a bad porter but it's too sweet for me. Paired nicely with some dark chocolate tho. If you're into sweet porters this might appeal to you!

Photo of pmcadamis
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A huge four finger head looks brownish orange and frothy above a dark garnet hued brew that lets only a small amount of light through. This one looks like a dark ruby set in an adobe colored head....the combination of colors is really pretty. The head shows really good retention and never dipped below a solid finger. Lots of foamy lace sticks to the glass, and swirling brings the head back to two fingers!

S - Deep toffee notes lie on top of a deep bready bakery aroma. There are hints of milk chocolate, cola, Tootsie Roll pops, root beer, licorice, buttered toast, and oddly enough....peanut butter. Wonderful complexity here.

T - Toasty, woody, and very bready. Like freshly baked black bread with some melted butter and warm peanut butter too. Big time toffee and buttery diacetyls abound, along with some earthy mushroom funk notes that are really nice and add tons of complexity.

M - Full, but not as full bodied as I expected....more like medium-full. Gentle carbonation provides some tickle at first, but then quickly steps aside to make may for a buttery slick smooth and soft mouthfeel. The finish is very sweet with no trace of hops and only a very distant hint of alcohol.

D - A damn fine beer. I feel like that this would have been even better with a bigger body and a touch more ABV, but this is still a highly drinkable or slowly sipable brew. If nothing else worthwhile comes out of those crappy eastern European countries, at least they can make some damn fine porter!

Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black, ruby-brown in the light. Rapidly subsides to a skim of white foam.

Smell is bready, malty, artificial sweetness.

Taste is big molasses, not much else. Slightly sweet and malty, a Doppelbock would fit the bill much better. Dried raisin/prune/plum in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is typical, neither dull or effervescent. Sweet malt seems to stick around, not entirely pleasant. Half-liter bottle is not the easiest drinker after several others.

Notes: "Reccomended serving at 60º - 65º" practically room temperature. Taste didn't improve for me at room temps...

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Saku Estonian Porter from Saku Brewery LTD
81 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.