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

Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et BrandyGrande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy
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Style:
Porter - Baltic
Ranked #8
ABV:
10%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,630
Avg:
4.3 | pDev: 8.14%
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
131
From:
Les Trois Mousquetaires
 
Quebec, Canada
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  14
Gots
  36
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et BrandyGrande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy
Notes: Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon & Brandy Barrels.
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cellared bottle. Medium black appearance with brown edging. Roasted malt with brandy and bourbon booze, big rustic oak, raisin, prune, leather and cola. Taste is earthy and smoky up front, verging on peat, with bourbon and oak with char and leather make up the second wave, with a finishing wave of brandy, date, prune, big licorice, touches of vanilla and light herbs. Super complex and pleasant. Feel is medium bodied, smoky, decently shaped by the barrel, and smooth.

Apr 30, 2021
Photo of Eddieeight
Eddieeight from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A corked brew from Quebec. Also using Quebec hops and malts, so a decidedly Canadian take on the Baltic porter. This can be aged up to five years, but I’m drinking it tonight! Dark reddish brown candy colored mostly opaque. Light head with aggressively popping bubbles that disappear within 15 seconds. Strong scent of raisin, date, cherry, wood, smoky leather. The scent of the alcohol burns the nose slightly. Taste follows the nose, with just enough sweetness to make this a thirst quenching beer. Malts, toffee, caramel, and bourbon have a presence as well. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and not overly thick, seems a bit thinner than a typical porter. Overall a pleasing experience, although nothing is particularly unique about the blend.

Dec 06, 2020
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2018 Edition - 10.5% ABV.
Pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and a finger and a half of tan head.
Aroma strikes with notes of brandy soaked raisins, chocolate, molasses, hint of vanilla.
Taste follows with initial sweetness of molasses, dark fruit, chocolate, but at back of palate more vinous character with woody note, cherry tartness (mild, not at all sour)..
Medium mouthfeel - thinner than expected but not inappropriately - slight lingering bittersweetness Quality.

Jul 17, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage
750ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- huge pop of the cork pours a black beer with a one-finger creamy khaki head that has good retention long after the pour

S- classic smoky charred malt aromas of a baltic porter, immediately complimented by equal barrel notes of brandy and bourbon. Undertones of charred wood, dark chocolate, vinous red wine, dark cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, cherry pipe tobacco and wet oak

T- sweet chocolate and charred malt up front immediately give way to an array of dark fruity notes of stewed berries, black cherry and black currant. Vinous red wine notes mix with earthy barrel oak, as well as molasses and brown sugar. The finish gives more charred malt, as well as a big brandy and bourbon influence on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a slightly creamy, warming finish

O- the barrel influence is strong on both ends and mixes brilliantly with the base beer, fantastic baltic porter

Apr 12, 2020
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: 2017 (Consumed Dec-21-2019)

Pours pitch black with short-lived brown head. Meh retention; Meher lacing. Aroma is heavy on candied nuts, dark fruits, chocolate covered cherries, some brandy-like brightness. The flavor follows with sweet layers of roasty, fruity sweetness. Chocolate, toffee, prunes, berries, coffee, walnuts, burnt sugar. It is full bodied and rich with well-hidden alcohol and moderate carbonation.

This is a very nice beer that I have had many times but am surprised to notice that I have not reviewed it prior to this. It does seem to vary a little year to year and also develops nicely with time based on the three or so times I've vintages of it kegged.

This particular bottle was very nice. However, I feel like the flavor and feel were a little hollow and like the bright almost-Belgiany fruitiness (from the brandy barrels, I assume) that I associate with it was a little subdued. Could be the age, the year, me having an off day, etc. However, I tried a taster of this year's version out of a keg a couple months back and thought it was a sticky, oversweet/boozy mess. The point being, this is a big, complex beer that hits its stride in different ways at different times. This is an excellent beer and that fact that these subtleties come out over multiple years, servings, batches, etc. without it being a wholly different beer speaks to the quality of it in my mind. My score is mainly for this particular bottle, but my overall takes into account my general impressions over the years through the lens of this bottle. Well worth seeking out!

3.75...4.5...4.25...4...4.5

Dec 27, 2019
Photo of Bruno74200
Bruno74200 from France

4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage enjoyed from the bottle in 2019.
Very nice chocolate, vanilla, coconuts, nuts, dark fruits notes. Very balanced brew.
The mouthfeel is great

Jun 20, 2019
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stortore from Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into both a flute and a tulip snifter. No year on bottle, maybe 2017? Had 6/9/18.

Pours near black, opaque, with a one inch foamy head with decent retention and a good amount of soapy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, brandy, chocolate, oak, caramel, malt, raisins, toffee, some molasses, light tobacco and smoke, light vanilla, a bit of an herbal aroma. The taste is a little more focused- malt, chocolate, vanilla, figs, oak, some brandy and bourbon, raisins, caramel, light tobacco. Smooth, very creamy, a solid full body, well carbonated.

So complex, lots of layers of aromas and flavors. Has a terrific mouthfeel. The barrels are really somewhat subtle, but have a large impact throughout. This gets better as you work through the bottle. Really glad that I have one more bottle. So enjoyable.

Mar 05, 2019
Photo of EMH73
EMH73 from New York

4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a quarter inch tan head that settles to a long lasting ring but leaves very little lacing. Smells of bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, vanilla, smoke, toast and coffee. Tastes of semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light roast coffee, coconut, vanilla, dark cherries, figs, raisins, bread, caramel, smoke and just a hint of brandy. Full bodied, light carbonation, creamy and luscious mouth feel. Outstanding beer.

Dec 28, 2018
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Trois Mousquetaires 'Grande Cuvee Porter Baltique'*Bourbon & Brandy* @ 10.0% , served from a corked caged 750 ml bottle 2017 special edition
A-pour is dark brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with a small tan head leaving a streaky lace along the tulip
S-Bourbon & Brandy barrel aging
T-sweet caramel & cacao up front , a smooth bourbon brandy bite in the middle , with a oak & vanilla finish
MF-ok carbonation , definite full body
Ov-so smooth , great sipping beer
prost LampertLand

Nov 29, 2018
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with light brown head. Aroma is boozy with the brandy being more prominent. Also chocolate and dark fruits. Taste is malty with bourbon and brandy notes, very well balanced, slightly bitter and roasty. Quite light body with low carbonation.

Nov 20, 2018
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Beersnake1 from California

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 vintage poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with very little head. Nose is bourbon, toffee, dark fruit, maple, and a bit of smoke. Taste is out of this world. Tons of caramel, bourbon, brandy, vanilla, cherries, blackberries, brown sugar, maple, and a touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is super thick and creamy. Amazing beer!

Oct 27, 2018
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 ml caged and corked bottle. 2015.

It pours pitch black, fine head of tan foam, good lacing.

The smell...if that is any indicator of the taste, I'm in for a treat. Bourbon and Brandy gently caressing my nose buds, roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, hint of coffee, dark pitted fruits, light on that but there. Sweet notes that are definitely not going to be cloying in the taste. A prediction.

Man the taste lives up to the smell and I was right aboot the sweet factor; mild and certainly NOT cloying.

Almost full bodied, lightly carbonated, the mouthfeel is a joy to experience.

Maybe my favourite new beer to me of the year. I'm so glad that this is in a large format bottle!!

Aug 28, 2018
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with an amber tinge when held to the light. Topped with a finger of deep beige, fast dissipating head.

Smells of brandy, sour funk, coffee, black liquorice, and lactobacillus.

The taste is sweet, no tartness as the nose had conveyed, so there is some funk but no sourness. Its rich of coffee, brandy, candy apple, dark chocolate and caramel.

Medium, smooth and rich body, with moderate carbonation.

Got in Quebec several months ago, drinking in Muskoka, April 23rd, 2018. Excellent brew!

Apr 24, 2018
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

2.3/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 1.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night with a khaki-colored head that retains at a thin cap. A thin veil of lacing remains in its wake as the beer is consumed.

S: Layered chocolate: bitter dark chocolate, chocolate truffles, fudge sauce. Dark roast coffee and some smokiness. Bourbon ball candy, caramel. Deep vinous notes of brandy, black cherry and black currant. Tart cherry. Dusty oak. Only the faintest whiff of bourbon.

T: Big tart cherry flavor up front blankets everything. Some funk too. Underneath that, things more or less follow the nose. This tastes as though it's been infected with some unwanted bugs, and it's a damn shame. It's plain to see there is a fantastic, possibly world-beating beer here, but the infection derails it.

M: Medium-full body with awesome texture and smoothness. Decadent and creamy, like melted chocolate. Soft carbonation.

O: Damn, damn, damn. I had such high hopes for this one, but the infection ruined it. Barrel aged beers can be so high risk, high reward like that. Still, the impression I get is that, underneath the infection, this would have been a hell of a beer. I for sure will give this a second shot and will be on the lookout for more in the future.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a collar of off white bubbles around the edge fo the glass and a patch of bubbles on the surface. It later left a very narrow ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate malts and vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has some additional hints of wood from the barrel aging. The vanilla really stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has nearly a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very nice balance between the porter and vanilla flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

Mar 12, 2018
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, no vintage dating. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coffee, smoke, nuts, molasses, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, herbal, tobacco, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts and bourbon/brandy barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coffee, smoke, nuts, molasses, raisin, cherry, plum, fig, herbal, tobacco, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Very mild herbal/roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, cream, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, dark/brown bread, nuts, light coffee/dark fruit, and roast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and bourbon/brandy barrel flavors; with a nice roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, and velvety mouthfeel that is amazing. Minimal chalky roast, oak tannins, or dryness. Insanely clean lager finish, never yeasty. Minimal warming alcohol for 10.5%, with zero barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged Baltic porter! All around incredible complexity. robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and bourbon/brandy barrel flavors; very smooth, clean, and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV. The brandy barrel doesn't seem as strong as the bourbon on this blend; but the overall barrel integration is absolutely perfect. Never boozy, tannic, or drying. Very rich English malt complexity; not overly roasty, zero char. The smoothness from added barrel silkiness is just insane. This is definitely the best Baltic Porter I have ever had. The style accuracy is completely unmatched with anything else I can recall. A highly amazing offering, and perfect style example.

Jan 27, 2018
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Montreal three years ago. 2014 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a big billowy mocha head that that fades to leave light lacing and thin wisps.

S - Aromas of nice roast malts, little dark chocolate, nice barrel notes. Solid lightly sweet brandy notes, light light barrel vanilla. No real vanilla.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice dark malts, solid chocolate. The barrel is light, nice faint smoke. Good light brandy but no bourbon.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, little creamy.

O - Overall this was a very solid Baltic porter I just wish there was more barrels.

Serving Type: bottle

Nov 13, 2017
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spilt with rudzud, 2014 vintage
Huge pillowy fluffy head fades at a med pace big pot marks, thick lacing, pitch black

Nose big dark malts, cocoa, chocolate, biscuity cookie dough, baking spices, fudge, some vanilla barrel, mild bourbon flashes and even a touch of sweet brandy, fluffy nougat

Taste sweet chocolate sauce, cocoa, caramel, little baking spice and biscuity cookie dough, little vanilla barrel ice cream, just a touch of bourbon barrel but maybe no brandy, little caramel notes, vanilla cream

Mouth is med to heavier bod, little syrupy, decent carb

Overall better than most from this brewery but still leaves a lot to be desired.

Nov 13, 2017
Photo of papposilenus
papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

May 30, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

May 22, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Apr 22, 2017
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grover37 from District of Columbia

3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
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...

Mar 14, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Feb 24, 2017
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Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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. Had another one in my beer closet that I opened up last evening. There was some raised little bumps on the bottle and 3/15 was it. It actually could have been when I bought the first, of two, that year. All I can say is the same as above but I did notice that it got better as it warmed up in my glass. My son in law had half of it and felt the same way. Drank this on 5/8/2020. Five plus years old if the little bumps were when it was produced. Held up very well.

Jan 09, 2017
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Nov 23, 2016
Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy from Les Trois Mousquetaires
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 131 ratings