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

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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:
74
Reviews:
25
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
7.71%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
27
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of tom10101
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

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 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 tykechandler
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle. Black body. Smell is strong barrel. Lots of brandy. Smells sweet. Coconut. Milk chocolate. Taste also has a lot of coconut. Brandy behind it. Chocolate and some roasted malt. I don't get much bourbon, though. Oaky finish. Much better than the regular version. At least my bottle.

 305 characters

Photo of kbuzz
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of AMZB
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a good beer, but you know, I actually like the non-barrel-aged version better. I never thought I'd say that about a beer, but it's true. I find the bourbon a bit overpowering. It obliterates a lot of what I found really delicious about the non-aged version. Still, a good beer and definitely worth trying.

 313 characters

Photo of groleau
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SmithyAlan
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

***2015 Vintage***

Boozy affair yet balanced. Generous head, aroma of bourbon soaked wood. More brandy in the flavor for feel is a bit less robust than i was expecting. Would have liked the porter characteristics to shine more but it's still a well done ale.

 259 characters

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

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

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

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

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 Gotti311
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 1

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

Photo of Sammy
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bylerteck
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Holds true to the Porter moniker with very minimal roast/char character and let's the barrels really take over with so many layers of sweet and dark fruit, molasses, and liquorice. Tasty stuff with zero alcohol that shows up until you're halfway through the bottle.

 265 characters

Photo of jmvogel512
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black and very smooth. Little head present on pour which quickly dissipates. Very similar to their Porter Baltique, which almost tastes like a milk stout crossed with a baltic porter to me. Slight scent and taste from the bourbon barrels. Not overpowering like some bourbon aged beers, but I feel like I expected more bourbon to it. The 10.5% abv definitely warms the inside on the way down. Perfect for cold winter evenings at this time of year.

 452 characters

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 LarryAppleton
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique - Fûts De Bourbon Et Brandy from Les Trois Mousquetaires
4.28 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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