Smuttynose Baltic Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

571 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Smuttynose Baltic PorterSmuttynose Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.24%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
35 IBU

2007 - 8.1%
2009 - 8.7
2010 - 9.02%
2013 - 9.8%
2015 - 9.0%

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 01-22-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 1,407
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at Cole's. Aroma of chocolate, and roast. Black, but reflecting light. Brown soapy head, some alce. Full mouthfeel, carbonation is right there. Fierce chocolate is right in front, the finish is coffee, with some sourness running through mid-sip.

 260 characters

Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours one shade away from black with a 1.5 finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate. As the beer warms hints of raisins waft out.

Tastes very good. Huge roasted malt flavors up front segue into dark chocolate flavors with hints of dried dark fruits. The roasted malt flavors fade a bit as it warms and it sweetens. Ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a creamy thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bomber and could revisit this again.

Overall this is a solid effort and is my favoriate Big Beer of Smuttynose's to date. Worth a shot.

 779 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottling, tasted 8/16/09

Appearance: Pours an almost pitch black color with a mocha colored cap that eventually becomes an espresso film while leaving a nice design on the chalice

Smell: Dark chocolate, hazelnuts, dark fruit and a hint of charcoal

Taste: Fruit forward, with raisins and prune flavors, up front, followed by the chocolate, molasses, hazelnuts and a touch of pine; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate, but the fruit still lingers underneath

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and silky smooth, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A year of aging has turned this beer into a superb drinker; gone is the warmth and bitter hop flavors (not that those are all bad); but what remains is a blend of chocolate and fruit that knocks the style profile out of the park

 789 characters

Photo of route66pubs
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, dark, rich chocolate brown, with a thick full dark tan head. Easily one to two fingers on the head. Absolutely perfectly beautiful looking porter.

Solid but not overbearing chocolate malt aromas. Nothing questionable here .. this is a straightforward malt bomb porter in all of its glory.

Strong dark chocolate throughout, from the moment this beer hits your lips. Slight hint of roasted coffee as well at the back.

I wanted to go higher on the mouthfeel, but there is a hint of alcohol burn creeping in, especially at the back, that knocked it down an extra half point. Otherwise, creamy richness throughout combine with perfect carbonation to present a wonderful texture from lips to throat.

The heat again is a factor on drinkability. This is definitely something you will want a lot of, but not be able to put away. Again, points lost on the heat.

NOTE - this was a 2009 bottle ... I'm betting it would be wonderful and improve substantially with some age as the heat mellows. Give it 1-2 years and I would imagine mouthfeel and drinkability to each creep up at least 1/2 a point, if not more.

 1,116 characters

Photo of far333
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black and opaque with a thick and frothy head of light brown foam with a mix of soapy and fine bubbles. Settles out very slowly leaving a rim of lace all around the inside of the glass.

Rich and inviting aroma of cocoa and espresso, some currant and licorice.

Equally rich flavor full of dark coffee, licorice, charred bark, and cocoa. Punctuated by some sharp espresso and bitter dark chocolate. Lots of rich roasty malty goodness, but balanced out with some bitter balance. Subtle hop nuances. Slight wwarming from the ABV.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes crisp, a bit dry.

Very tasty and drinkable. Will need to stock up on a few of these before they're gone.

 686 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Baltic Porter:

Appearance: Black, opaque body except for a very thin edge of clear, deep chesnut-brown at the base of the glass. A creamy, dark tan/light brown head caps it and holds remarkably well. The lacing, however, is limited.

Aroma: Roasty, darkly caramelish, and deeply chocolatey. Too roasty for the style, but nice. A minor hop presence is noticeable (also not really to style), but not overdone.

Taste: Aggressively full-flavored. Malty, with a roasty, bittersweet-chocolate character and lots of gooey dark caramel. Some dark-skinned fruit and a hint of anise help to balance it; as does its coffee-like bitterness. It's solidly grounded, and bitterness lingers in the finish. Thankfully, it doesn't display any more dark malt acidity than it needs to. Some minor hops are again present, as they were in the aroma, and they lend a soft note of background mintiness to it. Alcohol is apparent at the back of the throat in the finish. It's a little bit hotter than it should be, but it's not brash.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy smooth with just enough of a caress from the carbonation to keep it from becoming too soft (with so much malt you need some carbonation to help cut through it).

Drinkability: Pretty solid: it's a solid beer, and a bit of a sipper, but it generally represents the style (it should be a little bit lighter, less roasty, and less hoppy). It's quite tasty though, and really nicely malty. Worth trying.

 1,457 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Baltic Porter poured into a chalice was impressed by the complexity of this lovely beer.

A - Dark with a 1 and 1/2 finger head when first poured. Not a singe shread of light is getting through this.

S - Raisans, fig, chocolate, coffee

T - Can really taste the coffe/ chocolate notes.

M - Frothy, slight stinging most likely from the alcohol which feels present at 8.7%

D - Nice representation of style would most likely only drink one at a time as this feels very strong and more than one would be a lot.

 509 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is filled with a lot of dark roasted malts and coffee with some hops and alcohol as well. The aroma is a little more muted than expected, but still a very good smelling beer.

T- The taste like the aroma is very dark and roasty with a lot of malt and coffee flavors. The hops in the finish are almost perfect for the brew. The hops don't stand out a whole lot, but they do balance this beer perfectly. Very well done Smuttynose!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with the perfect texture and carbonation.

D- Smuttynose Baltic Porter certainly did not disappoint. This is a very tasty brew that is highly recommended!

 755 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained at McKinnon's in Salem, NH. Pours an opaque black body with a good half inch or so of light tan head. Chocolate, black licorice, with some banana, nut and bubblegum notes comprise the aroma. Black licorice with some banana, nut, and bubblegum notes hit the palate initially, with strong dark chocolate and coffee hitting later toward the finish, bits of vanilla throughout. On the heavier side of medium-bodied with ample carbonation to clear the palate, but not too much. One sip definitely invites another, with the complexity and medium body. Possibly the best example of the style I've found thus far, and leaps and bounds better than Smuttynose RIS. Good stuff!

 687 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an aggressive beer that yet holds true to its style. Gotta put on my drinkin' boots for this one.

A very dark brown beer that is completely opaque and carries a lightly browned head head that reduces to a film and then holds firm. Some lacing, but because of the alcohol you can't expect much more. Light legging on the glass.

Chocolately aromas rise first and ultimatley carry the beer. However, a plethera of coffee, toasty, fruity, malty, and caramel aromas come in waves after wave, giving a new surprise with every sniff.

Aggressive on the cocoa and coffee flavors, the beer is well balanced and complex. Berries, currants, grapes, dates, figs, and raisons round out the ester profile and maintain a medium strength throughout. All this on a pillow of toffee and bready malts. Rum-like sweet alcohols make an intense sweetness in the finish.

Very full and rich, but with just enough sweetness to qualifty as a Baltic, but not so much that it interferes with the drinkability. So non-offensive that it's easy to want to drink fast but the alcoholic finish reminds me that I shouldn't.

Extremely bold and aggressive even for the larger-than-life style. Yet, well balanced, elegant, and inviting. A year of age will likely do wonders for the beer. Thanks to Mikey711, I have two and can cellar one to compare.

Thanks Mikey711!

 1,340 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a reddish tinge and and a nice full head that settles to a ring. Beautiful dark fruit, port notes, a slight roasty note, and a touch of vanilla in the finish. Very nice. Deep and well rounded flavors of dark fruit, roastiness, more vinous port-like notes, raisins, and a touch of chocolate. Textbook Baltic Porter. Exuberantly fruity as compared to a RIS, but with some of the same roastiness and dark chocolate notes. Smooth and long in the mouth. Very nice.

 476 characters

Photo of mikey711
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finishing off a bottle that I gave to my dad from yesterday and this beer was still great. It has a nice brown lacing and good carbonation considering the bottle had been open for a day. It's a viscous black with lots of roast and chocolate hitting the nose. The chocolate is both sweet and bitter. Very well balanced with a creamy full body. The bitterness lingers longer than the sweetness, but is very pleasant. My favorite beer by the folks at Smuttynose.

 459 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown, almost black, with a tan/brown slight foamy head that dissipates to a spotty skim -- one that still leaves some lacing. Nice.

Where to begin. Coffee, dark chocolate, a little dairy sweetness, and some molasses in the nose.

This is a terrific porter. The balance of sweet and bitter is terrific at the very instant of the first sip. Coffee and herbal hops, then a bunch of alcohol, with a little sweetness in there, and a long alcohol-induced deep roast finish. Terrific.

Full bodied with slight carbonation. The alcohol cleans your palate, so no real need for too much fizz.

Overall, a genuine sipper -- but one you are eager to get through quickly. The alcohol is a factor that keeps this one from being too quaffable, but that is not the purpose here. Not one that you'd swill around the barbeque, but rather the one you crack and savor at night when the rest of the house turned in for the evening. From the Smutty perspective, I take this brew Hands Down over their Imperial Stout. Grab one when available if you like big robust strong beers. Enjoy!

 1,076 characters

Photo of everetends
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber I picked up at Hop City in Atlanta, GA. I think the bottle was 6.99, but I could be wrong. This has been the Smuttynose I have wanted to try since I had my first Smutty Robust Porter. Just based off that beer, I knew this one had to be great. Served up in a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a pretty nice and syrupy pitch blsck. Has a good and glossy black body. No light is getting through this and there is no other hints of other colors when this brew is held to the light. Got about half a finger of medium brown head but that went down to a thin ring that lasts the entire experience. This head throws up some wispy lace at best, but most of it slithers back down in to body and back into that top cap. Just very, very dark.

S: Smell is really nice and hits right when that cap comes off. The first aroma out of the bottle and out of the glass is big time brown sugar and molasses smell. Behind that comes the milk and dark chocolates. Nice coffee goodness in here as well. Little bit of a dark fruity sweetness is in the back with maybe some cherry and raisin. The roast on this really comes out as you really take in a few good breathes. A bit of charcoal and smoke. It is rather beautiful and is/was tempting me to give in a 5 in this category. Just really impresses.

T: Not much unlike the nose, and sure as hell does not disappoint. Got a that hefty brown sugar and molasses flavor but it rides shotgun to this chocolate and caramel goodness. Has a really nice milky creaminess going on as well. Kinda tastes like a dark chocolate cake, drizzled with some caramel and topped with a light amount of nuts. Paired with that cake is a nice assortment of fruits: cherry, plum and raisin. Very light hops bitterness comes in on the backend mixing nicely with a light coffee presence. Little bit of roast but nothing too crazy.

M: Full bodied brew for sure with a nice viscous presence. Carbonation is pretty light, leaving this very creamy and sip worthy. ABV kicks around in here towards the back of the throat and it really does let you know that this is almost 9% (could have been a bit lighter in presence). Aftertaste is mostly some coffee and light hops bitterness.

D: Very nice and pretty much all that I expect. Aroma and flavor sure as hell was on point and did not disappoint. With that said, this is a sipper and is to be taken slow and savored. This makes this brew a very nice cooler weather brew that warms and satisfies. Flavor and aroma lived up to expectations, but the alcohol was a bit heavy. This lowered my scores on feel and drinkability. Still, I would absolutely drink this again and will always be open to pick up a bottle. Another great porter, and another great beer by Smuttynose.

 2,729 characters

Photo of bum732
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, nice dark tan bubbly head. Smells of chocolate malt, some fruit, some coffee roastiness, some bready malt. Tastes of dark fruit sweetness, some chocolate and coffee roastness. Decent bitterness finishing with some roastiness and more sweetness. Creamy mouthful, alcohol present.

A very fine beer, lots of flavor and elements going on in this beer. Definitely a sipper.

 386 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch-black color with a brown one-finger head into my tulip glass. Doesn't get any darker than this so it gets a top score on color.

Aroma is full of dark fruit and chocolate in the nose with only a hint of coffee in the nose.

Taste is full of dark fruit (grape-like) and powdered cocoa with a slight bitterness to it. There's a bit of creaminess as well to balance it out. Alcohol feels well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Goes down well. Again, alcohol's well-hidden here.

This is an excellent regional example of the style. Very drinkable and will only improve with some age.

 634 characters

Photo of BirdFlu
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has many of the characteristics of a robust porter or stout, but not the flavor or aroma to match. Pours like an imp stout, super dark and viscous with a dark brown head. Not too much aroma to pick out really, just a slight toasted presence which is barely detectable from the glass. Flavor also is quite lacking, just sort of your typical roasty stout character but very, very subdued. The mouth and body of the beer are that of a chewy imperial stout, super robust and viscous, but this also highlights how lacking the flavor is. Drinkability is questionable, its not a bad beer by any means, but as I said, it is quite thick and without even the richness of flavor to back it up. Not bad, but disappointing.

 720 characters

Photo of ATPete
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

Fresh! Pours a very deep brown, borderline black in color with a small brown head. Sweet dark malts, no bitterness. Smokey in flavor with a slightly toasty malt character, subtle coffee and chocolate malt notes, more so tootsie rolls, but not ST Choklat extreme, some leafy bitterness late on the finish. Medium/full body, no alcohol heat, smooth as all hell. Amazing for the style, i will be purchasing at least 6 of these.

 437 characters

Photo of rayjay
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Let's get this out of the way, it's not my favorite style but I love the brewery.

Average appearance. Plenty of the usual good signs, nothing of note.

I dig the aroma of dubbel-style esters, chocolate and carmel malt, and alcohol. Alcohol is there, and big, but not offensive or intimidating...interesting. Some higher alcohols which adds a sweet dark rum-like quality.

Sweet carmel malts leave a big mark on the palate, as do the chocolate malts. Big medicinal dried dark fruit esters like plums, cherries, and figs are very present. Also very present are the higher alcohols. I suspect a warm fermentation. No real heat from the alcohol though. Hops present a contrasting bitterness and I suspect are added at a higher than normal American rate, but still are only a contrast to the other bold flavors.

I love the mouthfeel, which is velvety and smooth with an oatmeal-like texture. Makes the whole thing come together.

Drinkability is good, since it's very delicious and complex at the same time. One of my favorites of the style so far. Cheers Smuttynose!

 1,078 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty darned black, with tan, tight bubbled 1 inch head. Lacing small bubbled and tight.

S - Subtle notes of coffee, chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Explosion of all the smell notes, with alcohol accenting the flavor.

M - Medium body, great carb and coating, terrific balance.

D - Too big and palate killing. Would still try. LOL.

 339 characters

Photo of Buebie
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tprokop7 for this wonderful surprise!

Poured from a 2008 brown bomber into my Surly pub glass. As I cracked the cap open, instantly smelled sweet chocolate several feet away.
A light pour reveals a big and frothy 2.5" dark brown head. Settling after a couple minutes to a quarter inch head. The lace is thin, with a few misc drapes here and there. The color on the brew is black with no light penetration. The bottle itself has some interesting art work, that doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me, but looks nice non the less, with a good description of the side.

The aroma is quite good, woud have rated it exceptional had it not been a tad bit sweet.
Starting out with sweet creamy high quality chocolate aroma. Almost brownie like in its deserty sweetness.
Picking up a touch of charred oak, coffee and plenty of vanilla. A faint wiff of alcahol at the knose off a semi regerous swirl, only as it has warmed though.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation zing across the tounge. Some slickness after the swallow.

The taste is super dark bakers chocolate up front with just a touch of sweetness. All the sweetness at the knose is now no where to be found in the taste, very nice trick. I was afraid this would be overly sweet tasteing and it is not.
More toasted oak at the swallow with hop bittering coming around. Big chocolate grain flavors here, mingling with the bold and bitter hops. Finish is bitter and delicious. Still tasting chocolate, grains, hops and wood.

Outstanding baltic porter. It really resembles more of a lagered American Double then a lagered RIS. Mouthfeel is great for the style, but in a perfect world, a little less carbonation and maybe more thickness.
This is extremely drinkeable, as there is no alcahol coming in from the taste. Its smooth bitter and really delicious.
Excellent example of a Baltic Porter!

Thanks again Todd for the opportunity to try this one!

 1,939 characters

Photo of shaebs99
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Realized that I haven't officially reviewed a smuttynose beer, which is a crime since Smutty is one of my favorite breweries. Grabbed this review from my old notes

Pours a deep black with a nice tan head that leaves some delicious looking lacing

Aroma is thick..dark fruits, roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate notes

Delicious taste. Just as dark and complex as the nose suggests. Some tart notes playing with the roasted malts and the sweetness from the malts as well. Well balanced with a good robust taste. I was drinking several baltic porters at this time and this one floored the others in taste

Full bodied with a good level of carbonation. Drinkability is maybe a touch higher than it should be, but that is because I am basing the drinkability on my desire to drink it frequently as I can. I would gladly drink several bombers of this a night, but I am realistic and will restrain myself

 917 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black almost opaque with a beautiful one inch caramel colored head. Smells only of raisins and alcohol. First sip is bittersweet raisins with a ton of tobacco and burnt malty dark fruits. Bitter from start to finish. I have never had a beer with this much tobacco flavor.

 283 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a few bottles of this last year but never got down to drinking any. This is the only bottle I saved for myself and at this point, it's close to a year old. Decanted into my 26oz snifter

A: Pours jet black with a dark brown head that's an inch thick. The head is pretty dense, and this beer is no slouch either. Head retention is good, with there being some patchy foam sticking to the side of my glass

S: Everything you could possibly want from a baltic porter. Rich chocolate, some raisins and plums, thick sweetness. There's some coffee in the back. Swirling releases some heady malted milk chocolate. Mild oxidation is present, this one smells pretty darned good.

T: Opens up plenty of rich malt complexity - bitter chocolate, coffee, raisins, dark fruit (exceptionally expressed). Great balance between the flavors, this one finishes bitter from the roasted malt with a great feel.

M: Medium body with carbonation that's a bit high. Excellent finish

D: Drinking a bomber of this is pretty enjoyable. Ultimately, I find the sweetness a bit much but that's just my beef with the style rather than this beer itself.

 1,133 characters

Photo of scootny
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An almost jet black brown with a huge head brown head and scads of sticky lacing all over, and all the way down the glass. Very good retention and covering. There may be bubbles but there is no way to see.

Smell is sweet breadiness like a bakery on Saturday morning. A touch of coffee and firm roasted dark grains.

Taste is just perfect. Thick coffee and smooth malts. A molasses and chocolate interplay. A firm but unobtrusive bitterness and delicious balance. A light tanginess. Some nice dark fruitiness. Not an overly complex brew, but for me porter is a more straight ahead style. Like smashmouth football. Just bring the right flavors to the glass and play. The beauty is in the interplay and balance of the components and I can find no better. Alcohol just peeks around the corner from time to time but is very well hidden. Finish is mild and clean. More coffee lingers and coats the mouth, sweet dark grains support it.

Mouthfeel dry, clean, and quenching. Medium in weight and velvety in carbonation there is a light effervescence at the top of thee mouth.

Not a session beer but it could fool you into thinking that. It is that smooth and easy drinking. What high abv?

Just a great Baltic Porter. The best I've had so far.

 1,240 characters

Smuttynose Baltic Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,407 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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