Porter | Stepan Razin Brewery

36 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stepan Razin Brewery
Russian Federation

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 04-17-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by barrelman:
Photo of barrelman
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is brown with light amber tones. One of the lightest of the porter's I've tried tonight. Aroma has a wild yeast tone, horsey like brettanomyces.

Taste is complex with buttery and slightly sour tones vying for attention. I enjoy the busy-ness of the beer. Lots of different things happening here.

Mouthfeel is great, just a bit chewy. The drinkability is a bit lower because it is such a massive beer. I could not have more than two or three of these in a sitting.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one was black as night with a bizarre white head. It was very strange (in a cool way) to see a bright white head on a dark black beer.

Smell – The light, alcohol-soaked fruits mixed nicely with the subtle roasted malts. This one didn’t really open up like I’d hoped, even after warming.

Taste – Well, it sure opened up at the taste. The big, juicy fresh fruits were naturally sweet without any sense of refined sugars. It was a very pure flavor. The apricots, peaches, and cherries especially came out well. The roasted malt base was bitter and overcome.

Mouthfeel – This medium to full-bodied Baltic Porter was expertly balanced.

Drinkability – I usually don’t like a lot of heavy fruiting in my porters, but this was done up quite nicely.

Comments – The bottle I had came straight from Russia courtesy of Globetrotter. All the labeling was in Russian as well, so I needed a little help finding the beer on the site. I extend a big, warm thanks to The Globe for bringing this one halfway around the world.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Aphotic mahogony. Fantastik crown. Tenebrous.

Smell: Smokey and roasted nuts/malts, cocoa, caramel, espresso, rum, molasses. Cognac dipped cigars.

Taste: pepped hops, smoky, all of the aroma plus hints of plums, apricots, and other dried fruits.

Mouthfeel: Sated murk. Voluminously potent.

Drinkability: yes.

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Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 ouncer sampled. Pours allmost black with light coming thru the sides and corners, tan qiuickly departing head, leaveing lots of scattered lacing. Pungent nose of sweet malt, cola also picked up. This is a strong and flavorful porter. Notes of cola, soggy raisins, prunes, smoky chocolate and some vanilla. well worth a try.

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Photo of Calico
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very clear ruby color, foamy froth, some lace. Caramel and malt in the nose, very rounded aroma. Tasted quite sweet and slightly roasty. This beer was not at all full bodied and had hardly any finish except for a little tannin. Still overall a good example of the Baltic porter style and I'd have this again.

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Photo of cokes
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A blackness that glints magenta. A strong light will prove that it's clear. An ashy tan head- large and loose- rides above.
Aromatic, first, of dusty chocolate and gooey caramel. Raisin, prune and vanilla enter next...and loudly. The nose portion of this broadcast is completed with nods of mild roast coffee, tar, and limestone.
It enters the mouth with much more roast than the nose alludes. Full of char and espresso and blacktop. It stays this way -and powerfully so - throughout. Sweetness surges with burnt brown sugar, prune juice, and fig jam, all of these smothered in dark chocolate and caramel. Woody, vanilla tinged (burnt) hazelnuts arrive late, preluding a moment of lager briskness. The finish is stony, with a note of dead grass hopping that provides little in actual flavor, but loads in dryness and cleansing.
Alcohol is invisible upfront, but a gradually growing whiskey sense provides some booze clues, especially as it hits room temp.
Rotund in the mouth, with a restrained roughness. It's lightened with a steadfast (and nearly fizzy, at times) carbonation. But despite it all, it flows clean and quick through the tubes.
This is a beautiful example of a Baltic Porter, and is probably the finest brew out of the former USSR.
It makes my loss of Zywiec and Okocim a little less tragic.
Seek this.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes, 500ml single purchased at Steve's-University here in Madison.

Pour is dark garnet/black, translucent with two generous fingers of khaki foam.

Nose is creamy vanilla malt, green appleskins and oak

Taste starts with toasted malt, followed in the midpalate by dark baltic fruits (prunes, dates, raisins, etc) with a kind of unpleasant burning alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, lacking the body to cover the 8%

Overall, a decent baltic, a little sloppy in its production and it doesn't quite work in the end but not to the point of a drain pour.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beautiful, rich, and strong porter pours a slightly hazy, dark mahogany body with crimson, orange and chestnut highlights beneath a full head of creamy dark-ivory froth that lasts seemingly forever and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is enticing with a nutty and caramelish malt that's enlived by notes of dark fruit. In the mouth it's medium-bodied and a touch zesty, before warming to become smoother.

The flavor starts with a note of cocoa that's immediately replaced by a shot of brown sugar (and mint?) and some dark fruit (plum, raisin). It warms to become more caramel and toffee-ish, and then immediately reveals some harsh roastiness (dark malt acidity) and leafy bitterness. It finishes dry with a solid, walnut-skin-like bitterness and burnt-sugar note that overcomes everything in the end except for the light note of alcohol and roasty acidity.

It's very interesting and nice, but the acrid bite left in the end is a bit off putting. And the alcohol is noticeable, but it never oversteps its bounds.

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Photo of Jredner
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty with hints of cocoa powder and chocolate. Dark red/brown in color with a firm thumb thick tan head. Fore is malty and has big hints of sweet plump raisins. Mild burnt chocolate and dark fruit notes appear toward the finish. The fruit element never gathers much intensity, but it is present.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recieved this one in a trade a while back and I have just begun getting around to drinking some of these awesome brews. Tonight I decided to pull this one out of the fridge and see how it was. Poured a very very dark brown, essentially black but with just enough light poking through to really give it a nice ruby brown touch around the edges. Nice three finger tan head formed and then dropped down to just a half inch film across the top that stayed throughout the session. Nice tight side glass lacing throughout as well. Really very nice looking.

The aroma was huge. Tons of very dark malty like smells coming off of this one. Tons of raisins and various dark fruits, maybe some figs. Some light bready tones as well. Alcohol was definitly a force to be reckoned with in this one as well. Huge aroma here, one of the best I have ever smelled for the style. THe flavor followed right along perfectly. Big roasted malt tastes right up front, very dark, almost smoky in flavor. Lots of fruity vibes coming through, raisins all over the place, maybe dates, huge flavor here. Lots of alcohol riddled throughout this as well. Tons of sugary sweetness, this is definitly a malt bomb. Lots of creamy filling on this as well, as it was really quite full bodied and took a good long while for me to put down. There was this great fruitiness to thee finish that was just superb, really quite a solid offering I have to say.

Overall this was outstanding, and easily one of the best baltic porters I have had, I would love to be able to have this again and will have to check the store the next time I am there, as this one is simply too good to pass up!

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Photo of Brent
1.8/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Gadzooks! If this was the first Baltic porter I'd tried, it would have frightened me away from the style. I've had several of the style, so I had a frame of reference, and I found this beer to be quite horrid. Poured a nice ruby tinged black. No head, but that's not unusual. Up front the beer had a slightly wine-like flavor, with some rum soaked cherries. Then the beer finished with a terrible, sickly sweetness, like some artificial sweetener mixed with a bittering agent. By my third drink, it had grown so intolerable that I could not go any further. From the other positive reviews, I'd be tempted to think I had a bad bottle, but this really did not strike me as bottle gone bad, just a bad beer.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice. Pours a deep rich brown, with a reddish tan head. There could be more at the top, and what is there disappears pretty quickly, without lace. The smell is definitely nuts and grains. It has a very nice mouthfeel, with malt starting out dominant, but the hops coming on strong and tasty. Very nice aftertaste, both smooth from the malt and bitter from the hops. Very drinkable indeed, it is a fine rendition of its style.

I also had a bottle of this a few weeks ago and was far less impressed. Either that bottle was bad, or I'm just in a better mood today. This bottle is good enough to make me want to go best two out of three!

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Photo of marc77
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pellucid deep crimson hue. Head settles into a dense, buff, thin, but dogged layer that yields tattered lace. Certainly comely in appearance. Deeply sugary suggestion of caramelized oily pecan clips the nose upfront, then is tapered by mellow roasted grain, mostly of a dark chocolate malt nature. Black patent burnt notes are virtually absent. A deep inhalation brings forth a fusel heat nostril singe. Akin to a doppelbock in its rich melanoidin character in aroma, but with a more pronounced caramel and alcohol presence. Quite alluring aromawise. Incipient, transient snap of simple caramel malt sweetness swells into a rich, rounded combination of toasty Munich, bittersweet cocoa and well buttered nutty brittle. Subtle hints of dates and turbinado sugar surface mid palate, extending the overall darkly sweet, yet never cloying malt profile. Chocolate malt presence progressively diminishes, eventually facilitating a quasi traditional bock carob undertone. Although possessing a lager yeast derived nearly immaculate crispness in mouthfeel, this brew is a touch over attenuated and lacks a firm, malt supporting viscosity. Finishes mostly clean and dry, with traces of ripe, cocoa dusted prune quickly fleeting. Its alcohol presence is easily discernible at first, but dissapates as it breathes, eventually resulting in a delicious, well balanced, obviously malt driven brew. Razin's Porter is eeriely reminscent of a perfect Porter Boom / Okocim Porter hybrid in overall character. Big thanks to Feloniousmonk for the delivery!

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Photo of jlervine
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color, surprisingly light to me. Eggshell toned head forms, and does a decent job of maintaining an 1/8" head all the way down. The smell has some currant and raisin notes, with a coffee mocha malt backbone. An herbal earthy hop aroma mingles with the alcohol. Wow. Holy hell, what a flavor explosion! Spicy alcohol carries across a monsoon of caramel and chocolate malt across my tongue, cascading through to a hop and roasted malt dryness in the finish that leaves you wanting, but not thirsty. The mouthfeel is full and steady, but not too heavy, and certainly deceiving of the alcohol in this beast. Enjoy, but please be careful lest ye fall victim to this one!

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Photo of aracauna
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The body is a clear brown, barely even qualifies to be a porter in that aspect. The aroma is quite earthy with a strong bit of alcohol. In fact, the alcohol is probably runs a little too strong throughout the beer and comes across abrasive more than anything else. A bit of spice lingers underneath. The same runs through the flavor with a little dried fruit and caramel.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gift from my friend Greg in CT. Thanks Greg.

Poured the deepest brown without being black; signature Baltic Porter hue. Thick head retains for several minutes as I let my sample warm...

Aroma is very complex. Very distinct ester profile coupled with a certain brett character that contributes nicely. Very subtle but well-placed horse blanket aroma contributes to burnt and chocolate tones.

Taste is complex. Very dynamic mix of melanoidins, caramels, and toffee like character while remaining assertively hopped. Fruit-like tapestry emerges with a definite aftertaste of Brett. character.

Full-bodied and chewy with moderate carbonation.

A very nice cold-weather pint and would see myself buying this one again to enjoy after work.

Thanks Greg.

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Photo of Suds
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a dark, deep brown with a reddish tinge. Thick head that quickly disappears. Aroma is a mix of candy-like sweet malts and roasted grains. Taste is sweet and slightly medicinal. There's a fleeting, musty-cheesy-wet character to the flavor that's hard to describe. A metallic taste was present during the first few sips, but disappeared. Medium body. Alcohol is barely evident in the smell, but very noticeable in the aftertaste. I'd probably have this brew again, but wouldn't search it out.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights, the head pours a grande mocha tan head then resides to about an inch. The smell is of raisins and grapes, hints of coffee beans with alcohol spices. The taste has a strong alcohol taste upfront followed by grapes and pine hops, the cocoa is slight but noticable. Light for most porters, good dessert beer.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slow pour yielded a monstrous cascading head that was a creamy off white color. Head reduced to approximately 1/2 inch after a few minutes and remained steady through most of the session. Looks like dark chocolate under low light, but reveals itself to be translucent and medium dark brown when held up to light. Very mild and faint nose of roasted hops and dark chocolate. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel, with a slight well-balanced hop bitterness at the end of each sip. Balanced is the name of the game with this porter. Initial malty sweetness gives way to mild flavors of roasted hops and chocolate blended together with the creamy head makes this Russian porter extremely smooth and drinkable. As to be expected, the flavors become more pronounced as this beer warms up. Halfway through the glass, the head is diminished, but the beer still maintains the smooth velvety mouthfeel. Lacing is visible only for the blink of an eye as the glass is swirled. My first experience with a russian porter. I was very impressed with this beer and it is one that I will likely go back to.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another hidden gem in my local beer mecca. Normally purchased by the Russian imigrants in the city, this one is surely a beautiful brew that sits quietly on the shelf. Awesome deep mahogany body with crimson red shining in the light. The head was insanely sticky and left my glass looking like lace doilee (sp?). The aroma was filled with a sweetness of raison and toffee. The taste is filled with fullness and the flavors of deep, dark, fruity sweetness run laps in the mouth. The residual, caramel, toffee-like flavors sit in the mouth and on the tongue beautifully. An awesome baltic porter that needs to be tried. This beer has a big dopplebock-like body and mouthfeel. Either way, it is spectacular!

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Photo of UnionMade
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked a bottle of this up a while back, in the interest of doing a baltic porter tasting with some friends. It never happened, so down she goes!
Black with ruby highlights. A good, thick taupe head forms on the pour, dying away to nothing after a couple sips. Agitation of the glass produces nothing. Good clarity, though. Excellent aroma, thick with roasty, lagery malt and juicy prune and raisin. A molasses undertone, with a spot of booze, maple syrup and wood. If you breathe in slowly, you get a distinct french roast coffee scent. Very pleasant, complex for a lager beer. The flavor opens with a silky smoothness, full flavored roasted malts convey a coffee flavor. A bit of licorice and toffee, with juicy raisin fruitiness. Some bean or pea flavors, a bit meaty and vegetal at the same time. Molasses, too, especially in the finish. Fuller bodied, maybe on the heavier end of medium, with soft, fine bubbled carbonation. A hint of smoke in the finish, with a lick of booze. Elderly floral hops contribute little bitterness. Mostly burnt malt with a prevailing raisin fruitiness. Very enjoyable and sippable. I don't think Russia is known for its beer, but this is a standout for the style. Well done and definitely worth buying. Everything I want in a baltic porter.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another good Baltic porter. Reminds me of the Baltika, with that somewhat unusual, fruity taste. Dark, good balance between bitter and sweet. Full mouthfeel, nice warming affect. Alcohol well hidden. Not a typical porter, but in the absence of Ocokim, it will do.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours ruby black yet crystal clear with a rocky tan head that lasts. The aroma is alcohol, roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit and just a hint of smoke. The flavor is smooth with chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee flavors. The finish is dry and coffee. The body is medium-full and the beer is highly drinkable despite an alcohol warmth.

16.9 ounce bottle.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought on sale at Surdyk's last weekend, with samples being handed out by an actual beer rep from Russia, he was super cool to talk and listen to, just love that Russian accent. "What do you think of my evil plan, Mr. Bond?" After sampling a bunch of yummy stuff I happily walked out with a few bottles of this stuff and a bunch of others, but this was my fav from the samples.
Kick ass deep brown, ruby highlighted color with a thin off-white head leaving glaring, clear spotty lace. Smell is awesome with a great sweet malt with slight toffee/caramel notes. Taste is just as good, super smooth with nicely balanced sweet malts with toffee and roasted malts, and caramel flavors all rolling around in there that gives a great buttery, creamy full body thats super smooth and ever so lightly tanged, practically liquid candied toffee or caramel. One super yummy, smooth treat! Definately pick some up if you can find it.

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Photo of guzzle211
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There was a time when porters were a man's drink. Back before yummy american mocha hazlenut porters, and porters that are dry-hopped. Porters carry a tradition with them, and this one is a prime example.
1pt .09oz bottle poured into Imperial glass, left to warm. no russian on label, russian on cap.
A - velvet, deep purple black, the little light that shines though is scarlet purple. soft tan head, actually left trace amounts of lace, impressive for this abv. absolutely no carbonation at all.
S- the first two things that jumped out at me about this beer were when i opened the bottle - there was a loud surprising hiss and a strong musty dank smell, bready with alcohol hints. it mellowed as the beer warmed and took on complex layers of raisins and roasted malt
T/M - the complexity of a brew like this really shines through in the taste and mouthfeel. so many different layers abound as it warms. first tastes are of roasted malt, but slowly the tastes of raisins and prunes dominate. the alcohol content is very well-hidden (a paper in the box said 8.6%.)
D- this is a real-deal baltic porter. this is what you keep in your lunch tin for overnight shifts in the dead of winter. its 96 degrees today, so under different circumstances i could drink many of these (until the 8.6% caught up to me that is.)

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Porter from Stepan Razin Brewery
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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