Huvila X-Porter | Malmgårdin Panimo

very good
16 Reviews
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Huvila X-PorterHuvila X-Porter

Brewed by:
Malmgårdin Panimo

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BuckeyeNation on 07-31-2009

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 36
Photo of flyingpig
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

400ml on-tap at Taphouse, Copenhagen (40 Danish Krone):
Quite a thick & creamy beer that was loaded with roasted malts & a nice earthy flavours that featured a pleasant chocolate taste; this added some sweetness to proceedings & opened things up nicely for the vanilla & caramel sweetness that followed. The beer, on the whole, was a very nice one & a good introduction as my first Finnish beer with a good balance & plenty going on to keep you interested.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color, almost black with really nice, creamy light brown head. Aroma has toasted malt, dark bread and a bit of brown sugar. Tasty starts on the sweet side with grains, a bit of brown sugar and a hint of dried fruits. Finishes bitter and roasty with a nice coffee flavor. Body and carbonation are medium. Overall it's a well made beer, really balanced between the sweet and bitter flavors. The start is quite sweet but the bitter finish and aftertaste makes it really easy to drink.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ostensibly one of the Top 10 Finnish beers...let's see how she drinks.

BOTTLE: 50cl. Brown glass. Branded white & black pry-off crown cap. Appealing albeit simple label art. Purchased at an Alko in Kuopio.

7% ABV. 50 EBU. 250 EBC. KV 17.5%. 29.10.2016. Unfiltered. Top-fermented.

Served cold into a mason jar at low altitude in Kuopio, Finland, and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Expectations are above average given its reputation. Reviewed live as a Baltic Porter per Malmgard's website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Off-white/pale khaki colour head. Fair creaminess and frothiness, with decent consistency and fullness. Not the most robust, but sufficient. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is average - ~2 minutes.

BODY: Opaque black, with cola-esque carbonation bubbles all along the sides of the glass. Not an ink-black or jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

It's a decent looking Baltic porter, but has no bells and whistles. Pretty typical, with no unique or special attributes.

AROMA: Rich. Chocolate malts, vinous character, faint hints of port-like sweetness, raisin, caramel, cream, baker's chocolate, some breadiness, vague dark fruit (prunes? licorice), some toastiness which flirts with burnt character, and traces of sassafras.

Aromatic intensity is average, though the notes are reticent (if not even subdued).

Suggests a sweet beer with an intricate flavour profile and a pleasing mouthfeel. I find it inviting.

I can't decide if there're any nutty notes or not. I'm also confused by the yeast profile, which seems to suggest ale yeast esters in one breath and clean lager characteristics in another.

No booze, overt hops, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Has an apt chocolate malt base with supplementary hints of baker's chocolate, faint prune, and dark & schwarz malts rounding it out. Lesser notes of vinous character, raisin, dark bread, and caramel manifest in the second act. Bitterness hits on the climax - probably from the somewhat harsh dark malts as well as a general toastiness. It flirts with burnt character but never commits (to its benefit), and avoids ashy or charred character.

I search for hops and find only herbal character suggestive of sassafras and baking herbs, though some might find licorice or anise or fennel as well.

I like how it bends towards the bitter end of the bitter/sweet spectrum; some will find it too bitter as a result, but I find it balanced. The bitterness seems to naturally accompany the raw unsweetened chocolate flavour that's so prominent in the build.

The wilted prune emerges more as it comes to temperature. This is a pretty well executed Baltic porter, with nice subtlety and notable complexity. The third act hits you with bitterness and the finish quells that with lingering sweetness, teasing the drinker to take the next sip. It might be a bit structurally uneven as its sweetness ebbs into bitterness and back, but boy is it a ride.

Likable stuff with above average depth of flavour and impressive flavour duration.

TEXTURE: It's almost a bit powdery, which suits it. Clean. Fairly dry and coarse - which might put off some, but I find it apt. Carbonation is near perfect, though a biteen overdone. Full-bodied, with an agreeably rough presence on the palate that helps drag more flavour out of each note in the flavour profile. It's aggressive but approachable; not for the timid drinker. Boasts a fine coffee-like acidity as well.

This texture complements the taste well, accentuating the beer's finer attributes. But I'd stop short of saying there's a natural harmony of texture and taste.

OVERALL: The rough (some might even say harsh) mouthfeel and aggressive bitter taste will put off drinkers less familiar with the style, but for my money this may well be the best Baltic porter brewed in Finland - or at least it deserves a place in the Top 5. Well-worth trying, and a nice departure from the usual Finnish pale lager schlock. Highly drinkable, though its 7% ABV isn't particularly disguised. This will please the discerning drinker, and is on the short list of Finnish beers I'd actually recommend to beer enthusiasts - which is saying something as someone who actually lives in this country. One of the only beers at Alko I actually want to buy a second time.

Finally, it's worth noting that this is a top-fermented Baltic Porter. I'm not sure if the brewery means that to suggest that ale yeast was used - or if it's a poor translation of hot-fermenting lager yeast, but it seems to me this is pretty uncommon if it's indeed a cool-fermented ale yeast Baltic porter.

B- (3.41)

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

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, roasted malt, molasses, caramel, toffee, cocoa, biscuit, earth, and herbal. Very nice and very fruity aromas here; with nice balance and complexity. Taste of dark chocolate, raisin, prune, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, molasses, wood, and light herbal. Lightly tart fruitiness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, molasses, herbal, and wood on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of fruitiness with the roasted flavors; with no cloying sweetness. Very nice flavor complexity. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is completely hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent Baltic porter! A lot more fruity than I was expecting, but it worked out damn well. No idea on the age of this one, but I would guess this ages nicely. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No intro for tonight, so on to the beer:

A good start with the appearance. It has a black color, a tiny red hue at the bottom of the glass, a semi-creamy head that's an inch thick. The retention is fair. The nose says chocolate, smoke, piney notes....yum.

There's a good treat inside. The flavors of tobacco, cocoa, plums, pine, and charred wood create a melange that is difficult to resist, and a good way to wash down some chili. The body is nearly full and has a smooth texture.

Here's a very respectable baltic porter to come out of Finland. With little doubt, worth a try.

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Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml. A thick looking pour, just a few bubbles permeating the slickness.

Aroma, earthy malt, dark chocolate, plum, blackberry.

Taste, velvety smooth malt chocolate and lighter dark fruits. Some mocha latte, finishes with that strong cocoa. Just a slight watery-news to bring it down a tick from excellent.

Creamy smooth, but just medium body. No problem drinking this.

Another excellent Scandanavian Baltic porter.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a sniffer. Body is a deep dark brown with some chestnut highlights, topped by a half-finger's worth of creamy, light brown head. Aroma is big on dark fruit, sweet dark malt, and a hint of smoke.
Palate is an interesting blend of roasted dark malt and dark fruit. Notes of plum, milk chocolate, a hint of sour cherry, and some mild smoky character. Finish is a nice mix of tart and mild sweetness.
Body is creamy with just a little oiliness. This is perhaps not quite as oily as I expect a Baltic porter to be, but the flavor is quite nice. An interesting offering from a brewery I'd never heard of before.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown with one finger of medium-tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Chocolate with a bit of coffee, sweet and creamy aroma.

T: Just like the smell, with the roasted coffee outlasting the others on the finish. Also a bit of smokiness in the flavor profile. The sweetness is bright, but not cloying, seems like it might be lactose. As the beer warms, a hint of fennel joins light alcohol on the finish, then a smidge of dark molasses later.

M: Medium-heavy mouthfeel, oily smoothness and great cream in the carbonation.

O: This is a tasty beer. Not too high on the complexity spectrum but quite pleasant, would gladly have it again. First beer from Finland that I can remember having, will be happy to see what else Huvila and their compatriots have to offer.

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Photo of Tone
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of alcohol, acidity, slight dry hop, roasted malt, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Baltic Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, acidity, slight roasted malt, and hint of hops. Overall, lacking in appearance and complexity, but good aroma and blend.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really warm spring day in the 80's here in NC may not be the best weather for a Baltic Porter but I think this beer would be great anytime of year.Poured into 1/2 liter stein a deap dark near black except for crimson hue when in the light,a large fluffy toasted almond colored head atop.Aromas of cocoa,charred fruit,roast,and even a little medicinal quality,alot going on and I like it.Charred flavors and lightly sweet with roast really standing out,dark fruit comes into play more and more as the beer warms.This is a great Baltic Porter it has everything it needs to me top notch,just great!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint 0.9 oz brown bottle. Bast Fore (Best before date) not legible. Poured into an Allagash goblet.
A real beautiful, nearly impenetrable dark coffee color with a reddish hue when held to the light. Big billowy tan head with loads of sticky lace raises expectation.
A fairly potent smell of dark chocolate rises at first pour. Smells of roasted malt, coffee and rye bread follow. A light whiff of peppery hop is noticed.
Tastes of coffee, bitter chocolate and rye crackers are dominant. Tea-like and flowery hops linger. A mild vodka-like fuminess inches forward as it warms. There is an odd astringent tartness that seems a bit out of place, though not too off-putting.
The body is a little thin for the style, yet its roots are certainly Baltic.
It improves as it warms (as does most beer), but this improvement is very noticeable.
I wish I had bought 2 now.

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Photo of Greatheil
4.64/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this was bought during an excursion to a liquor store in town that had over 1000 different types of craft beers, mostly foreign and lesser-known breweries. Poured from an imperial pint bottle into an english pint glass.

Appearance is exceptional, pitch black with only the faintest hints of auburn at the bottom.

The smell is very mild, and difficult to grasp anything other than the typical chocolatey/malty complexion of a dark beer.

Taste and mouthfeel however are exceptional, taste is beyond exceptional, I don't even want to swallow. mouthfeel is like liquid velvet.

slightly strong abv, yet I would easily be able to drink several glasses of this, though I may regret it in the morning. without a doubt the best porter I have ever had.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of a handful of bottles I picked up at Liquid Solutions' liquidation sale - so sad to see them go, but some great deals could be had. Bought this 50cl bottle for much less than what I'd recently seen at John's Market. Poured to a pint glass, watching 3rd period Pens-Caps hockey and gearing up for Super Bowl XLIV later today (Geaux Saints!).

Label: 'Porter - Traditional Baltic Porter'... only on the back label (in almost illegible greenish-brown on black type - whose idea was that?) does it say 'Huvila X-Porter'.

A: Close-to-'black', slivers of auburn encroach at the edges. Pretty cap of 1+-finger cream, a dense mocha-tan. Falls to a thin veil, leaves sheets of fractured lace.

S: Opens as it warms, but starts with a dull/dusty chocolate and not much else. Sniff a few minutes later, and more sweetness has developed: some caramel, an herbal honey, flowery/grassy hops. Fruitiness expands - a mixed bag berries - a bit liqueur-like.

T: Upfront charred roast-a slightly sweet (caramel) cereal that then develops more cocoa powder and light-roast coffee bean. Lengthy finish of dark bread/toast, ashy bitterness, then a subtle peat smoke/woodsy. A nice ride for the taste buds, really well done.

M: A full feel without being too heavy, smooth feel. Yeah, it's creamy, too, which may be this version's response to some prickly over-carbonation I've had in other Baltics - or evidence of some extra time in the LS warehouse (no "best by" date).

D: Most Baltic Porters I've were much more blatant with the sweetness and fruitiness. This is roasted malt and complexity in a more-desirable, drier format. An example of this style that more closely matches my palate than others. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. Pours practically black with a small beige head that disappears to leave some nice lacing. Really nice nose of dark roasted malt and coffee, along with quite a bit of chocolate. Smells like there are some hops in the back (Cascade I think, but I might be presumptions here). Fantastic taste on so many levels. Roasty malt first and foremost, along with dark, slightly bitter chocolate. Strong hop character that lends some grassiness, but also a sharp bitterness that dries this out completely. Very light dark fruit. Full body without being syrupy. The driest porter I've ever had. This is great.

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Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml. brown bottle pours as black as brown can be, with a 1/2" light brown creamy foam cap. The head retains well and good carbonation is evident from the pour...a nice looking ale indeed.

The smell is sweet and fruity with a hint of roast and some floral notes as well. The aroma is definetly inviting. A light whiff of alcohol comes through as it warms.

The taste is sweet at the start with some chocolate, plum, roast-like coffee and wood. The sweetness turns tangy for a spell, then comes more roasted malt, some floral hoppy notes and a nice finish of bitterness. Great flavor with great balance...full and rich.

A medium-full body at best with perfect 7%ABV to compliment this Baltic beauty with a smooth and pleasant mouthfeel. The drinkability is very high and this is a great representation of this style. Makes me proud to be half Finnish, would love to try their Sahti someday soon.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Roasted walnut brown with cherry and orange accents when bright sunlight is allowed to enter. A thick slice of golden brown sugar colored foam looks good and lasts... and lasts. Never mind the almost clean glass, this is wonderful looking beer.

The nose has an enjoyable dark fruitiness to go along with the usual aromas provided by roasted and other dark malts. There's also an intriguing floral vibe that has to be coming from hops. This one is shaping up to be solid all the way down the line.

Huvila X-Porter is a stronger version of Huvila Porter and was released for the first time in late 2008. The label says 'Traditional Baltic Porter' for those who question the style choice. As far as I can tell (after several mouthfuls), this is an authentic version and is damn tasty to boot. These guys definitely know their beer.

Sweet, bitter and tangy are present in roughly equal measure. The contrast between and among them all keeps things interesting, above and beyond the flavors themselves. Which are: bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel-toffee, figs soaked in cold coffee, and assorted perfumy wildflowers. Interesting *and* delicious is always a killer combination.

The mouthfeel has just the right amount of weight for the style and the ABV. It's nice and smooth, which leads to quick consumption if so desired. I'm actually having to force myself to slow down and enjoy the ride. The bubbles could provide a fraction more lift, but that's nitpicking.

Huvila X-Porter is a wonderful Baltic porter from a Finnish brewery that bears watching. John Golding E.S.B. is tremendous beer and this one isn't far behind. If it wasn't for the cost and the lack of easy access, I could drink this stuff by the gallon. X-Porter is X-tra good.

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Huvila X-Porter from Malmgårdin Panimo
4 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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