Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy | Les Trois Mousquetaires

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
76 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et BrandyGrande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Les Trois Mousquetaires
Quebec, Canada
lestroismousquetaires.ca

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by FrostBlast on 10-04-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
76
Reviews:
25
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
7.48%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
26
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of csmrx7
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WhiskeyMax
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StormAles
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beerbom
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of papposilenus
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml corked-and-caged bottle, dated 25/10/2016. Served in a tulip.

Pours opaque mahogany-black with a finger-and-a-half of whipped, bubbly mocha head. Retention of about a minute or so, leaving a soft film and a light curtain of lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate, burnt toast and cherries.

Taste is cacao nibs and dry, cracked leather, dates and cherries and damp, charred wood. Walks a fine line between syrupy sweetness and chalky dryness. Fruity yeast, chocolate syrup, a little sour orange juice and dusty chicory bitterness become more apparent as it warms, then velvety smooth brandy and unctuous vanilla cream at the finish.

Feel is silky smooth and creamy, a medium-hefty body with fine, light carbonation.

Overall, a fine, fearsome and delicious barrel-aged porter. I often find barrel-aged porters, especially brandy barrel, to be overly sweet and syrupy - this wasn't one of those. There's a deep roasted, toasted graininess and some light-handed bittering along with the barrel tannins to keep things light and quaffable.

 1,046 characters

Photo of rkarimi
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5-26

4 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

holy goodness, this is insanely good, a brand new standard in the style, and while its sweetness is robust and in some ways limits the obviousness of the traditional lager yeast elements in the style, its pretty special without that. the barrel treatment here is wild, with some brandy and some bourbon, both the rich almost fortified wine taste, and the regal vanilla char sweetness of the bourbon are both on display. heaps of dark chocolate in the base beer, specialty dark malts, and cola notes, with vanilla and plum and raisin all at the same time, even tobacco and chocolate sauce, its sweet and its super thick, better the warmer it is i reckon, and just so fancy and rich and nuanced as to almost not even be beer. i get chills recalling it, syrupy body in the best possible sense, fig and prune, liquid chocolate, brandy tannins and woodiness, bourbon heft, lots of barrel char and an almost ancient vibe about it. really special beer, some of the very best i have had in the style, and somehow still a brewery that isnt getting the love it deserves. i had a million great beers yesterday, and this is the one that stands out in my mind. so thick and fulfilling. as good as it gets!

 1,192 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of n2185
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of imbibehour
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Soft pop on the cork while opening, but had to give a bit of a tug.

Faint tan head, with barrel a finger of creation out of the bottle. Pours nice slightly transparent but not sludgy. Leaves a light cream ring and little whispy top, sitting on a dark walnut body. Slight bit of chestnut hues.

Aroma has an excellent intense fruit angle. Brandy with an even larger almost fruit molasses quality bursting off the nose. Hints of cream, rich sour and tangy like molasses with a puckering fruit angle (not infection). Hints of splintered wood, excellent barrel angle going with fantastic woody character.

Palate really is the bees knees. Light bodied but solid, even a light cream quality almost gets into velvet and silky tones but not quite. Wonderful fruity and milk chocolate mid palate. Rich dark berried, and almost plum like flavors, with large amounts of sweet grape flavors. Rich chocolate finish, but sticks to sweeter qualities and leaving dark bitterness elsewhere in favor of more fruity sweetness instead. Creamy sensing vanilla, maybe even some strawberry kicking in as well.

Fantastic angle that seems to have picked up more brandy character real nicely more than anything, and made for a real special treat of a beer.

 1,296 characters

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TheEpeeist
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of grover37
3.47/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml split into two plastic cups (wtf) at Beer Revolution in Florida. Immediately picked up a sour note that I can't stand in dark beers. Perhaps it's a fruitiness from the Brandy barrel? Regardless, there's an earthiness that I don't enjoy at all. Found this to be unpleasant overall...

 288 characters

Photo of valianes
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MakeBeerGreatAgain
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheHopsman
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Prost76
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikexw
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TBonez477
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oberon
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a stemmed glass a deep dark chocolate fudge color with a creamy deep beige head atop.The bourbon barrel really comes thru in the nose giving off some vanilla and toast,alcohol dipped fruit fruit and chocolate round out a fantastic nose.The bourbon barrel shined thru in the aromas the brandy barrel came thru more on the palate,deeply fruity with raisin and prune coming thru over top of chocolate and vanilla.Syrupy and thick in the mouth,this is the most decadent Baltic porter I have had to date.Awesome!

 518 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

took a chance on this at a store on a recommendation of a salesman. Good choice. Nice pour and even with my old smeller not so great I got some nice brandy sniffs. I'm not a huge fan of this style but even as a not so great fan I like this as it was a not so malty taste. As much as I would like to like malty beers I generally find them to be a little on the "sweetish" side. Not my bag. Overall I like this beer quite a bit.

 431 characters

Photo of byronic
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mack
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Les Trois Mousquetaires "Porter Baltique Édition Spéciale Aged in Old Bourbon & Brandy Barrels." 2016 vintage. Grand cuvee.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Black unbranded hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Classy gold and black label art. (No blue appears on the label like the current BeerAdvocate photo depicts).

"Porter Baltique Dark Lager Beer." 10.5% ABV. Their website says this is aged for 5 months. Fall seasonal. Brewed with 85% Quebec malts: Pilsner-type, munich-type [sic], care 60 / 160, wheat, oat, carafa, cherrywood smoked malt. Brewed with hops: Perle, Mandarina Bavaria, Cascade from Quebec. 24.7 Plato O.G. 6.7 Plato F.G. 27 IBU. Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

Served chilled into stemware.

HEAD: ~2cm in height. Khaki colour. Fair creaminess and softness. Not the most robust consistency. Retention is above average (~3 minutes). Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Complexion is fine.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. (Some may mistake it for merely black, but close inspection reveals it to be otherwise). No yeast or sediment is visible within.

Appears aptly carbonated (which is to say mildly so). Not a stellar look for a Baltic porter, but to style and generally appealing. I can't say there's anything unique or special about this appearance.

AROMA: Brandy is evident, with rich wine-like notes and rich oak jumping out of the glass. Praline, nougat, caramel, dark malts, chewy dark fruits (prune, date, grape, raisin, faint plum). Bourbon barrel vanillin is evident. The white oak is replete with ample barrel sugar sweetness, but it's missing the toastiness and coconut of the best bourbon barrel beers I've encountered. Some warm sherry emerges on the back end.

Suggests a chewy brew on the sweeter side. It lacks the clean ester-free character of a lager yeast, but I'll take the brewery at their word; I guess it was just warm-fermented?

To style, there's no hop presence. Style traditionalists may be disappointed by the lack of chocolate/chocolate malt aromatics. I find myself wanting a bit of roasted barley, but that's probably just personal preference.

The caramelized dark fruit notes coupled with the obvious barrel tones makes for a somewhat luxurious aroma, though it does seem a bit rich for a 750ml format bottle brew, and I have concerns about drinkability. Will it be too rich?

I didn't find the cherrywood/smoke at all, but when I look for it I can find it hiding in the oaky wood tones (on the back end). I won't pretend I'd pick up on the cherrywood in a blind tasting (unlike perhaps Deschutes' The Abyss), and there's no harshness to the alleged smoke at all.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Chewy and medium-bodied, yet somehow too thin on the backend. The flavour cuts out quickly, lending this beer's flavour duration a jarringly cut-off finish with no taper or linger to the aftertaste.

Still, the barrel tones are lovely, with brandy/sherry wine soaked oak and bourbon-derived vanillin playing well with the chewy caramelized dark fruits. Sugarcane, praline, caramel, leather, raisin, prune, plum, grape, dates. Dark malts glue it together, but it lacks the gooey mouthfeel that would really accentuate the dark fruits, and its thinness in the late stages of its structure flattens out its otherwise decent depth of flavour.

No chocolate, cherrywood, smoke, hoppiness, roasted barley, or overt wheat.

The brandy is more pungent than the bourbon, and the latter lacks the coconut, toasted, and richness of oak the best bourbon barrel aged beers are known for. I imagine the bourbon selected wasn't great; 5 months would be enough for a good bourbon to bleed into the base under the right conditions (and hat tip to the brewery for actually stating the aging duration - if only on their website).

For me, the chewiness of it and the way that plays with the dark fruits is the highlight of the build. But I have to wonder if this is better for being a Baltic porter (instead of some other more common "dark" style of a high ABV like a barleywine or imperial stout). It doesn't feel committed to its style, and it emphasizes fruity notes without complementing them with fruity ale yeast esters. Why lager yeast? Why a Baltic porter? One can imagine this better with ale yeast.

Balance is decent, but as noted above depth of flavour isn't great. While it's adequately complex, one would hope for still more intricacy in a beer aged in both bourbon and brandy barrels.

OVERALL: While the concerns I had based on the aroma about richness and sweetness didn't prove valid, that's only really the case because of how thin the mouthfeel becomes and how brief the flavour duration is. This should sit on the palate, a rich sipper of a luxurious beer, but instead it weakens by the finish and lacks boldness. While unquestionably an enjoyable brew, it's no rival to Sinebrychoff in spite of its fancy barrel aging. I'm glad I tried it once...

B- (3.33) / WORTHY

Pair with the sharpest cheddar you can find.

 5,000 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 2015 Vintage of Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique was aged in both bourbon and brandy barrels but didn't adopt any of their colourful, sherried highlights... it's still black as coal. It doesn't matter how bright the light behind it, there's no seeing through this one. Astonishingly, its head not just survives but, what's more, actually thrives; brownish foam persists to the last drops.

It's impossible to smell this beer and not think to yourself: damn, life is good. The nose is candy - crunchy, crusty burnt caramel bits encase in dark chocolate and nutty nougat. A steaming cup of espresso sits just off to the side. Honey-drizzled dried fruits aren't far behind. If you don't have one handy, better start imagining that comfy armchair by the fireplace.

Talk about a soulful experience! This thing is sure to seduce you. Don't ask me to explain how but this big, roasty, high-gravity beer is just plain warm and cuddly. The six months spent in 12 year old bourbon and 25 year brandy barrels have added creamy coconut and vanilla notes but, at its core, it's still plummy fruit and nutty milk chocolate flavours.

Each sip lasts a lifetime. This is a great feature for those of us who review - I was ready and able to complete the review after just a few sips. Fortunately I didn't have to. Un-caging and uncorking the 750ml bottle I thought to myself that Trois Mousquetaires were insane to put a 10.5% barrel aged porter in such a large package. Now, I couldn't be happier they did!

The beer never wears thin nor does it wear out the palate. Blending the honeyed, fruity sweetness of brandy with the charred, more intense bourbon characteristics is genius. I hate to resort to hackneyed phrases, but the sum really is greater than its parts. It has the poise and balance of a Bolshoi-trained ballerina. It drinks nothing like most beers its strength.

Most barrel-aged beers are real showoffs and provide too much of a good thing. Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique, on the other hand, over-delivers by sort of underwhelming - it's not something you'll be tasting the next day, nor will it singe your nose-hairs or have you picking splinters out of your gums but it's nonetheless a beer for the hedonists and is a special treat that will make any night feel like Christmas morning. I can say with no false exaggeration it is one of the finest beers I've ever drank.

 2,378 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy from Les Trois Mousquetaires
4.28 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.