Saku Estonian Porter - Saku Brewery LTD

Not Rated.
Saku Estonian PorterSaku Estonian Porter

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BA SCORE
81
good

47 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 63
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 15.25%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 63
Photo of pmcadamis
4.35/5  rDev +22.9%
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! (1,497 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +22%
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! (1,102 characters)

Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.26/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What other Estonian Porter can you compare this to? The color is an appealing deep dark amber with a ruby hue. The foamy and frothy beige head stays around for a while, then for no apparent reason fades to a thin clothing. The lace holds for a moment then slides down leaving just wispy reminders. An alcohol fume releases in the initial head. Sweet malt, coffee and faint hop aromas fade fast, but it's good while it lasts. The heavy sweetish caramel malt blends well with the citrusy hops and hints of currant and raisins soaked in vodka (the alcohol returns). Hints of chocolate and berries round out this very interesting and complex brew. (643 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
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! (809 characters)

Photo of thekanna
4.17/5  rDev +17.8%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of tone77
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of yen157
4.14/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge number of very fast, tiny bubbles rose through the dark reddish-amber and slightly hazy (chill?) beer. Smells very sweet, but not overly so with hints of currants and golden raisins. With the first sip it was obvious that this was a porter, robust even, but certainly on the lighter side of the spectrum. Toasty, bready malt is everywhere, as well as some light brown sugar. Hops provided a simple bitterness for balance and nothing more.

The tiny bubbles really give this a smooth feel in the mouth. I was really surprised that this was 7% ABV because it didn’t really come out until the beer got very warm at the end. This was tasty, I would get this again. It’s too bad I have only seen this at Bierkraft in Brooklyn. I must look harder. (750 characters)

Photo of JoshatTownHall
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
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! (360 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (628 characters)

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle, no freshness date. Blurb about the beer on the back label, it also says to serve this beer around 60-65*F.

Appearance: Big brown sugar sweetness of the nose with hazy rummy aromas, light metallic molasses with a touch of burnt raisin and black currant fruity aromas.

Smell: Dark shaded brown with ruby highlights, clarity is still noticeable. Thick foamy head makes a thin tan lace with traces down the glass.

Taste: Medium bodied with an ultra smooth mouth feel, well textured carbonation drops a touch of crispness. Brown bready flavour come to mind, toasted bread is more like it. Malt profile flexes for the taste buds with some brown sugar and toffee, fruitiness comes second with a burnt raisin and black currant flavour ... pretty much a mirror image of the aroma. With the brown sugar flavour and the higher alcohols a mild rummy flavour is perceived. Subdued roasted malt flavour gives suggestions of chicory. Bitterness from the hops is ample though do not get in the way with any kind of harshness or flamboyant flavours. Highly toasted grain flavours and caramel own the finish of this sweet sided brew.

Notes: Still a robust porter to say the least but not as much character or oomph from other Baltic style porters. Without doubt a dessert beer, pumpkin pie would do fine ... so would a slice of pecan pie. (1,368 characters)

Photo of MNJR
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of CBFanWish
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Before you go out and buy this, don't be alarmed. This is the lightest porter I have ever seen, but it is still very much a porter. The colour is a dark amber almost brown. Its not anything like the deep red or brown porters we are used to seeing. It has a light tan head that quockly disapates. Not much to look at. The smell is of caramel and chocolate. The taste of caramel, and chocloate. I also get a hint of A&W cream soda. This is a desert beer. There is no question about that. Very sweet and pleasing to the palate. (524 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Half-liter bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown, very slight head of tan foam.

Aroma: Sweet bready aroma, with a hint of chocolate.

Flavor/Body: Different malts predominate, caramel flavors present, with toasted malt also. Alcohol adds a touch of sweetness to it. Medium-high body is appropriate to the style.

Fairly clean and non-complex example of the style, but still enjoyable. (387 characters)

Photo of genaro
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saku Estonian Porter was a copper/brown color with a good sized light coffee-colored head. The aroma was sweet and chocolatey with some floral bouquet. The taste was comprised of toasted chocolate with caramel overtones. The finish was slightly dry and sweet. Overall it was mellow with some hop bite and a little chewy, but it was almost too sweet for me. The alcohol content was welcome as an offset to the richness. (418 characters)

Photo of edchicma
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew...nice appearance...ok head. Smell was very malty. Taste was sweet with an alcohol note. Mouthfeel was medium to heavy with a smooth slightly oily appearance. Tatse was malty and with a definite alcohol presence. Mouthfeel was ok, but a bit too heavy. For the alcohol level, a bit above average. (310 characters)

Photo of Mustard
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 17oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best by" date; $1.69 from the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City.

Appearance: Pours a clear, coppery brown with a 3/4" head; delicate, web-like lacing; adequate head retention.

Aroma: Roasty chocolate of a somewhat nutty bent.

Taste: Light-to-moderate sweetness upfront; toasted, bread-like malts predominate; finish includes a firm, woody, hop-bitterness; secondary notes of plum and grain. Medium bodied with a lightly chewy mouthfeel.

Notes: A solid beer, to be sure, but hardly a top notch Baltic porter; might not have even pegged this as a porter without the label. (640 characters)

Photo of AudioGilz
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear and brilliant dark red color. The head is enormous at first and quickly becomes nothing. It looks more like a maibock or doppelbock than a porter. All I get out of smelling it is some sweetness and a faint caramel maltiness.
Yes, listen to the label and let this beer warm up to almost room temperature. It's very tasty after sitting awhile. Bready malts, faint dark fruits(prune), and an ample bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Definitely an awesome porter here and worth a try for sure. (511 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (312 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (267 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.64/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (359 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of dhvnu
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
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 (344 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Light, almost pale brown in color with very little head.

Smell – This has a very singular aroma of caramel malts much like an Oktoberfest bier. It certainly lacks the depth of other strong porters that I’ve had.

Taste – This has a very light and mellow caramel malty taste to it. I like it, but it is very one-dimensional and doesn’t seem to fit the style. I can’t recite the BJCP guidelines off-hand, but this is lighter and less complex than any other example I’ve had of the style.

Mouthfeel – This one is very creamy and smooth and feels terrific in the mouth.

Drinkability – I enjoyed the Estonian Porter and would certainly buy again, but I just didn’t thick that it fit the bill of a Strong/Baltic Porter. (747 characters)

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Saku Estonian Porter from Saku Brewery LTD
81 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.