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Porter - Baltic
Ranked #74
Ranked #9,590
4.03 | pDev: 10.42%
Oct 15, 2020
Sep 07, 2009
Notes: Matured on Aquavit casks.
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Photo of VashonGuy
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
by VashonGuy from Washington

What an unusual beer, and what a treat!

Batch 981, brewed and bottled in 2016. I just picked it up in a Colorado liquor store, so no idea where it's been sitting for more than four years. At my high altitude (6600 feet), the beer exploded when I opened it, a real gusher, but that sometimes happens at altitude, so I'm not marking off for that. A big head and a dark body, obviously.

I haven't ever had Aquavit, but I assume that's what is responsible for the spicy aroma. As someone else said, it's a little like gin. There's also a bit of wood from the barrel aging.

The taste itself is heavy on the liquor influence, all in a good way. The underlying beer is an excellent baltic porter, with plenty of roasted malts. It's not in the least sweet. The mouthfeel is super smooth.

My 2016 bottle is listed as 7.5% ABV. That's very surprising, as the liquor seems powerful. Good deal, you can drink a lot of this stuff without a heavy booze hit. I'm going back to the store to look for more bottles. This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable barrel aged beers I've had in a couple of years. Maybe it's just the novelty of the aquavit, instead of the way more common bourbon barrel aging, but I love this.

Oct 15, 2020
4.08 by BirdsandHops from Oregon on Feb 13, 2020
4.74 by sunnovgoat from California on Jun 28, 2019
Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by clayrock81 from Florida

Poured a black body with minimal head and lace down the glass. The aroma has a touch of anise or some spice in it, along with touches of roasted malts that are borderline coffee. Thin, not watery but light, with a slightly sticky, sweet, cola-like taste with some dryness and clean finish. Worth trying as it is a peculiar beer.

Jan 22, 2019
4.25 by bigred89 from Maryland on Jul 22, 2018
Photo of snaotheus
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by snaotheus from Washington

16.9oz bottle served in a snifter. Batch 981. 7.5% ABV. Brewed: Mars 15 2016. Bottled July 11 2016. No recollection where I got this bottle.

Pours black with a medium sized light brown head and a ton of carbonation. Smell is booze, wood, plum.

Taste is booze, more plum, less wood. Tastes like a liquor and a stout. Surprising so much alcohol is present in the flavor of a relatively modest ABV beer.

Mouthfeel is thick, slick, a little filmy. Overall, it's pretty good.

Jun 15, 2018
Photo of flagmantho
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by flagmantho from Washington

Poured from 500mL bottle into a tulip. Bottled July 11, 2016.

Appearance: rich, extremely dark brown hue with two fingers of pillow dark-tan foam. A beautiful pour.

Smell: woody and evergreen-y up front, no doubt from the aquavit. There's also a sweetish, rich underlying maltiness that is very appropriate to a Baltic porter; together they smell quite nice.

Taste: sweet and yeasty up front, with great notes of dark fruit (the hallmark of a good Baltic porter) subsides into a more herbal, astringent and somewhat drier finish as the barrel and aquavit take over. There's an overall highish level of booziness, but I think it works here.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a good level of carbonation and a very nice creaminess indeed.

Overall: what a treat. This is definitely a dessert-type beer, but man is it ever good.

Apr 12, 2018
5 by Donkster46 from Washington on Mar 02, 2018
Photo of TrojanRB
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by TrojanRB from Texas

Pours a deep dark black with two fingers of khaki head

Nose has an herbal characteristic, with light vanilla

Taste is toasted sugar, vanilla, oak, and again an herbal/floral note. It’s certainly a unique differentiator....must come from the aquavit barrels?

Lighter bodied for the style and ABV....very smooth and alcohol is camouflaged.

Again, very unique. Not what most in America would be expecting from a barrel aged porter, but the change of pace makes it that much more enjoyable

Feb 19, 2018
4.5 by -Andrew- from Michigan on Feb 14, 2018
4.28 by chrismattlin from Ohio on Feb 04, 2018
Photo of superspak
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by superspak from North Carolina

500 ml bottle into tulip glass; batch 981, bottled on 7/11/2016. Listed as 7.5%. Slight gusher on opening, but not bad. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, oak, gin, caraway, dill, herbal, and toasted dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of nuttiness, molasses, licorice, anise, coffee, smoke, char, raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, Akevitt barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, oak, gin, caraway, dill, herbal, and toasted dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of nuttiness, molasses, licorice, anise, coffee, smoke, char, raisin, plum, cherry, fig, date, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light roast/char/herbal hop/spice bitterness and oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, oak, gin, caraway, dill, herbal, toasted dark/brown bread, light nuttiness/smoke/char, dark fruit, roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, Akevitt barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a fantastic roasted bitter/sweet and oak/spiciness balance; with zero acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from hop/roast/spice bitterness. Medium-plus carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol for 7.5%. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged Baltic porter! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, Akevitt barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mellowly bitter/drying finish. Very rich and complex malts with awesome barrel integration; and mild complimenting fruity yeast/earthy hop character. Never overwhelming on spice character. A very unique but highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

Nov 24, 2017
4.27 by Kurmaraja from California on Nov 11, 2017
4.32 by Giggy from Michigan on Sep 29, 2017
4 by kylehay2004 from Illinois on Aug 20, 2017
3.75 by aztraz from Sweden on Jun 26, 2017
Photo of Ricsan
4.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Ricsan from Sweden

L: Dark brown/ oily
S: Chocolaty, roasted barley, woody, like drinking a good beer in at your fire place in a cabin in the snow covered woods.
T: Intense flavors, standard porter, chocolate/coffee aftertaste
F: Smooth

May 26, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

this is so good and so weird, it tastes like something mikkeller would do, or has done even, with an herbal spirit barrel and a rich and creamy and also very bitter loosely english based porter, its just awesome, and any negative commentary here should be taken as hate speech, for real, there is no disliking this! almost a little purple grapey in aroma and flavor, with a deep dark roasted coffee complexion too. the barrels arent that woody in it, but it almost tastes like gin, high botanical, juniper and sage and such, with a little medicinal element too, its fancy and weird, and even if the bottles seem a little oxidized, i really think it flatters the beer. porter not stout, its like when you cant define something but know it when you see it, thats this all wrapped up! aftertaste is pipe tobacco and spearmint, just crazy beer. tons of fizz too, this really pops on the palate, and feels light for such a dark and strong brew. its dry for a second too, but then it comes back, sweet and licorice forward, anise, and more gin. there is nothing else like this, no equal, and one of my favorite breweries in the world keeps killing it!!!

May 22, 2017
2.5 by ThisSeasonsWaifu from Sweden on Apr 14, 2017
3.84 by Wer34truh from Minnesota on Mar 19, 2017
4 by Brent_B from Iowa on Mar 19, 2017
4.78 by Vylo from New Jersey on Sep 25, 2015
4 by nathanmiller from New York on Jun 14, 2015
4.35 by Eziel from Ohio on Jun 01, 2015
4.19 by brewskis from Indiana on Mar 29, 2015
Photo of TruePerception
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by TruePerception from California

Haand Bryggeriet's Barrel-Aged Porter, aged in Aquavit barrels. 10% ABV (had to look it up, since it's not listed on the bottle).

A: A bit over a finger of cocoa brown head. Slow dissolve. Pours rich, dark brown; black in the glass. Dark golden brown in the dimple. Very little lacing, and it doesn't stick.

S: Light hard licorice candy smell up front. Not a lot of aroma to this one. Dark roasted malt. Soft cocoa. Slight sweet char note.

T/MF: Mmm. The flavors are pretty light, too. Roasted flavor is between bittersweet chocolate and light coffee. Herbal and anise notes to compliment. Very slight char on the back end, and into the finish.

Nothing really stand-out about it, but it's just a nice porter with an interesting twist. Not quite as good as the Odin's Tipple or Dark Force, but still good in it's own right.

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass

Feb 02, 2015
4.36 by jbertsch from Massachusetts on Jan 27, 2015
4.59 by Rothobinide from California on Jan 12, 2015
Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jaasen64 from Massachusetts

Bottled 9/15/09 (over 5 years old), bottle count of 2160, batch #225. Purchased in the vintage section at Nikki's in Providence about a month ago for ~$14.

A- Pours a very dark opaque black with a thick quarter finger of mocha head that has great retention receding to a thin layer, carbonation seems to be holding up very well and overall looks great especially for it's age.

S- Milk chocolate, roasted malts, hints of oak, a spirit-like presence (from the akevitt, never have had it so hard to describe) that gives off a little bit of booziness, slight oxidation presence that blends in with the akevitt. Overall holding up nicely, only slight oxidation, still retaining complexity and quality porter notes.

T- Milk chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, plums, cherries, finishes with a slight bitterness, light chocolate covered dark fruits, oak, and akevitt. Only a slight hint of oxidation on the finish that balances well with the dark fruits and roast.

M- A little bit above medium bodied, nice carbonation that is consistent throughout drinking, abv pretty well hidden.

O- I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it is. For being well over 5 years old it is still holding up remarkably well showing only slight signs of aging. The akevitt barrels give this beer a nice unique twist and actually work quite well with the porter qualities giving it a nice complexity. This beer is definitely worth trying and it will probably continue to hold up for a little while but I wouldn't keep it much longer.

Dec 06, 2014
4 by a77cj7 from South Dakota on Nov 22, 2014
3.75 by AnthonyD12 from Ohio on Oct 21, 2014
3.75 by zestar from California on Oct 19, 2014
4.11 by Beer-O-Rama from Illinois on Oct 12, 2014
3.5 by spycow from Illinois on Sep 28, 2014
4 by Zond from Idaho on Sep 20, 2014
4.24 by dataylor21 from Kentucky on Sep 02, 2014
Photo of MasterSki
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

Bottle purchased long, long ago at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in an Alchemist pint glass. Batch 225, bottled September 15th, 2009.

A - Voluminous dark tan foam loudly fizzes to nothing. Near-black body with a glint of brown at the bottom edge of the glass.

S - Very roasty and anise-heavy, with some strong chocolate fudge and cake notes mixed in as well. There's a mild spruce character that I can only ascribe to the akevitt. Good balance and integration, and well-hidden alcohol.

T - The taste has a bit more of the characteristic Scandinavian char and smoked character to it, but it's not overly harsh or bitter. Less sweet than the aroma, but still a strong dark chocolate and caramel flavor. There's a nebulous herbal character late, but it's not as discrete as in the aroma. Again, the alcohol is well-hidden. Gets sweeter as it warms up.

M - Full-bodied, and quite tannic. There's initially fizzy, harsh carbonation, but it peters out fairly quickly. Some warning, but nothing excessive for the listed ABV. Lingering stickiness on the palate.

D - I'd put off opening this for some time, as when I bought it I wasn't really much into botanical-infused spirits. However, my tastes have changed quite a bit over the years, and this was quite the pleasant surprise. The spirit and barrel influence are mild and work well with the base beer, and it's not over burnt or harsh like other beers from the region. Probably should have tried it a few years ago for better frame of reference, but holding up exceptionally well at the moment. I enjoyed the 500ml bottle over the course of a few hours.

Aug 06, 2014
3.75 by deleted_user_722966 from New Hampshire on Jul 13, 2014
3.75 by KAF from Iowa on Jul 07, 2014
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by GreesyFizeek from New York

Bottle shared by Mike at Bob's tasting. This is clearly my first time drinking a beer aged in akevitta/aquavit barrels.

Pours pitch black, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and some interesting spices/herbs that remind me of menthol or spearmint.

The taste is similar. The barrels provide an interesting dimension to this porter. I'm not getting a whole lot of "barrel character-" meaning oak, vanilla, coconut, etc, but the spirit itself provides an interesting character, slightly fruity, with sort of a menthol of spearmint character that really works with the base porter, which is delicious on its own- lots of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Slightly bitter finish from the roast.

Medium bodied, wish it was a tiny bit thicker. Very drinkable. Creamy smooth mouthfeel.

One of the most unique beers I've ever had, I'll have to keep an eye out for more beers from this brewery.

May 11, 2014
Akevitt from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 185 ratings