Smoked Baltic Porter
Great Divide Brewing Company

Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter
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Baltic Porter
Ranked #197
Ranked #30,952
3.76 | pDev: 12.5%
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter
Notes: "this dark lager gets its special twist from a hefty addition of Bamberg smoked malt."

Note that Baltic Porters are often fermented with lager yeast.
Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant black with a thin wisp of a cream to tan head.
S: some smoky roast coffee, chocolate
T: Light smoke, big chocolate flavors and a moderate espresso-like bitterness. Flavors are not burnt or harsh.
F: Silky medium to full body, medium low carbonation, carbonation is fine and soft.

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pat61 from Minnesota, May 07, 2015
Photo of DenverLogan
4.52/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 22 oz bottle dated July 14, 2011 - 7.5%.
Poured in a St Bernardus chalice.
Dark copper - mohogany...small amber head.
Aroma of chocolate malts, vanilla, slight espresso.
Significant carbonation and a soda like mouthfeel.
Flavors of rich malts, dark chocolate, sweet malts, a touch of funky/sour fruit juice. Rich and inviting, certainly less smoky than fresh but nonetheless very tasty.
I'm guessing I'll rate this fresh and give it a higher rating, but for the style and overall flavor profile, at this age, it's remarkably wonderful.

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DenverLogan from Colorado, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of Jadjunk
3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"Smoked Baltic Porter is the sultry sister of a storied style. Brewed with traditional German malts and hops, this dark lager gets its special twist from a hefty addition of Bamberg smoked malt. This smoldering, medium-bodied lager is sure to please. Smoked Baltic Porter is smooth, smoky and dark...mysterious enough yet? Brewed in the style of a Baltic Porter. Date on bottle is July 13 2011.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber to a snifter. Served north of 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a light tannish creamy froth head over a dark brown body. Retention is average at best. Pretty good appearance, but nothing phenomenal. 3.5

(Smell) Aroma is mildly sour roasted malt with a note of smoke on the finish, mild clean malt aromas. Pretty shallow on the depth of this aroma. 3

(Taste) Medium roasted malt and toasty grain. Mild char on an otherwise clean and light, mildly smoky and dry finish. Smoke presence is notably mild, not quite as big a player as the label might suggest. Nonetheless, the fair malt profile and lower alcohol makes the drinkability very high. I like the flavor but don't think it plays true to style, expected much more depth and character. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mild carbonation, some mild slickness and a mild tartness. Body is light for the style, medium+ overall. Alcohol presence is quite low. A decent pairing. 3.75

(Overall) Amongst "Baltic" Porters this is one of the lightest bodied examples I've tried so far, very light in flavor. Time likely wiped much of the smoke flavor and added some sourness but it didn't impact much but the aroma. For a drinkable porter with a subtle smoke character, this is likely to be your choice beer. 3.5

Great Divide Brewing Company's
Smoked Baltic Porter

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Jadjunk from Georgia, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of Florida9
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/8/10. Apparently I've had this one for a while.

A: Frigin' gusher...Spilling beer all over my counter. When it stops I am only able to pour a few ounces before the head comes rushing over the side of the glass. Color is very dark brown if not black. Head is large and bubbly. Dark brown colored head. Very light lacing.

S: Aroma isn't bad. Vanilla and chocolate. A little molasses. Along with the light smoke (not at all overpowering and it's not the dominant aroma), this one comes off smelling like a burnt brownie.

T: Taste is similar. Lots of chocolate and not a lot of smoke. There is some some smoke, just not much. Charred malts. Sweet molasses. Raisin. Vanilla.

M: Medium in body and a bit light for the style. Overcarbonated. Mild bitterness.

O: A decent beer. Drinkable. Wonder if this one would be better fresh. When it gushed, I feared it might be infected, but I don't get that impression.

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Florida9 from Illinois, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of RickS95
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

High marks in my book as I prefer the dark stuff. Extremely dark pour. Very black with a tan head. The head is a finger and a half thick, creamy early on, with a slight lack of retention. Eventually you're left with a dark liguid and a creamy dark top.

Very malty nose. Caramel malts. Smoke is prevalent but not overpowering. Faint licorice notes. Slight vanilla hit. Semi-sweet chocolate.

It's got a nice flavor as again, the smoke is prevalent, but not overpowering, allowing the other ingredients a place at the table. Caramel and chocolate. Licorice or anise. English toffee?

Very smooth and creamy. Medium-bodied...could use more body but nothing wrong with the way it is. On the sweet side, but not too much so. Smoke is there. Bitter finish to clean things up.

Overall, a really nice rendition of something that usually doesn't work for me. I think the smoke and the sweetness helped make this enjoyable for me. I accidentally bought a second bottle of this and now I'm glad I did.

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RickS95 from Indiana, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of BirdsandHops
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours very dark brown with a finger of khaki head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: smokey roasted malts up front followed by sweet, dark fruits like plums and raisins.

T: sweet fruits dominate the flavor with plums, raisins, and sour cherries. There is some smokiness on the finish.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer could be a bit creamier.

O: not a very good beer. The flavors clash in unpleasant ways that make it difficult to drink.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my crystal mug, the beer is dark brown in color, with a red hue, when held into the light. A creamy light brown head builds one and a half fingers high. It sticks arround for a while and leaves nice lacing.
The smell is of dark fruit like plum engulfed in smoke. Malt and some chocolate as well.
The taste is more intense and very pleasing. Nice smokiness with dark fruit and chocolate up front. More malty notes in the middle and a sweeter fruity boozy finish.
I like the feel of this beer which fit the style greatly.

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Hopfenpeter from Maryland, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of dfillius
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass - bottle August 6, 2010 and enjoyed on Oct 4, 2011
A: 1 finger of tight tan head with fair retention results from an aggressive pour. Translucent dark brown liquid is enticing with a ruby-red hue coming through when held to the light. Better head retention, please.
S: Enticing smokiness - campfire, bacon, molasses. Slight milk aroma. Very nice; subdued in general.
T: Chocolate, Grade B maple syrup, mocha. Not as smoky as a rauchbier, and just smoky enough. Slight but pronounced sweet caramel edge is pleasant. Almost like kettle corn ir buckwheat honey.
M: A tad flat, creamy
O: Nice. I would buy again, but I wouldn't order a second pint.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge 650ml bottle with a BB of June 2012, so it's a little out of date. Hopefully such a big beer will age OK. Bought from Trembling Madness in York. I'm interested to discover what a US brewery will do with Bamburg malt....

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Pitch black, though revealed to be a deep ruby hue when held to the light. Produces a huge head of light tan foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of sweet, smokey malt with notes of molasses, roasted grain, dried fruit, wood and a whiff of booze. Hints of smoked meat - yum.

Tastes of dark roasted malt with a smoky character. Notes of smoked malt, molasses, dried fruit, cured meat, faint burnt grain, subtle coffee and hints of yeast. Quite dry, with a mild bitterness upon swallowing and a hint of booze in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, yet a tad thin for the style. Mildly astringent, with an aftertaste of slighly sweet smoked malt.

Tasty, and certainly smoky. Quite sweet, with dark malt notes and a smoky character. Similar to a Schlenkerla brew, but less intense. As a lager it's similar to dark lagers from the Baltic region, though I don't reckon any of those involved Bamburg malt. A solid effort; the only weakness is the slightly subpar mouthfeel. Worth trying if you come across it.

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jazzyjeff13 from United Kingdom (England), Aug 19, 2012
Photo of kagent777
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I traded to Exiled to get this beer back in October of 2011, thanks man! Poured into my Sam Adams Perfect pint after about 15 minutes out of the fridge. Bottled on date is July 13, 2011.

Appearance: A nice ruby dark brown beer with no haziness. A one finger head that has mostly small bubbles with a few large ones. A good looking beer that is inviting to drink.

Smell: A bit smoke(d meats). Also roasted malts with a touch of chocolate. A bit of a sour note as well.

Taste: This one is over a year in the bottle so maybe the smoke has settled down a little. Tastes like a solid porter, has a bit of bite toward the end of the sip, maybe the sourness that I smell.

Mouthfeel: There is a little bit of harshness in the taste that I can feel also. The body is medium and the carbonation fine as well.

Overall: I don't know if this is what I get for aging this one a little, but it is only OK. I am not sure I would buy this one again with the intent to age. I need to seek this one out fresh or on tap.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours an dark red brown, small brown head with very light lacing. Smoke and prune juice aroma. Light smoke, light flavored dark malts and dark fruit. Finishes a bit dry. Subdued flavors. Tastes more like a lightly smoked English export stout to me. Adequate, no off-notes, but not a top tier smoked porter.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed on June 28, 2011. Purchased and enjoyed in July, 2012.

This pours a rich, pitch black. Cola black. Coffee black. Dark, dark, dark. Much darker than a porter needs to be, in fact, and this alone makes me excited about drinking it. I got a tight cap of foam that died down and formed a nice ring around my glass, and when I breathed in I caught this wonderful woodsy smoked boquet that reminded me of campfire soot and summer bbqs.

The flavor is definitely smoke forward. It’s smokey but mellow. While it lets you know that its definitely a smoked porter its not assertive and there’s a light malt which mellows it out further. No discernible booziness. If there was a rough edge to this time has softened it and brought things together. Great effervescence and a smooth finish.

This was absolutely wonderful. A real treat. I hope to find this one again.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Motor-oil-black pour. A medium large very thick and creamy, whipped-cream-like tan head dissipates slowly into great lacings.

S: Surprisingly mild. Dark roasted malt, a bit smoke and a bit burnt. Some coffee and faint dark bitter chocolate. In the back, some dark dried fruits.

T: Vanilla, smokyness and sweet, roasted dark malts. Strong black coffee, chocolate, dark - in the back. The most is heavily roasted dark malts.

M: Aftertaste lingers, but is not that strong or long; bitterness and smoke. Body is full and carbonation is modest.

O: This is a very nice Baltic Porter, but the smoke could have been stronger, though.

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Photo of Damian
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Sunset Cantina, Boston, MA
Served in a cervoise

The liquid poured a deep brown/black with chestnut colored edges. A bit thinner than anticipated. A flimsy wisp of off-white froth topped the liquid, but it quickly dissipated. Thin, splotchy patches of lacing clung to the top third of the glass.

Lots of interesting stuff happening in the nose. Molasses and burnt caramel notes came through strong. Moderately sweet. Good amount of roastiness. There was a slight metallic edge, but this quickly dissipated. Stone fruits were detectible. Subtle smoke.

The flavor profile was a bit more straight forward. Nice blend of roasted and caramel malts on the front end. Some cold coffee. Touch of smoke. Toasty. The finish was nutty and dry.

The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and slick with a fine, subtle effervescence.

Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter is quite drinkable, but I would prefer it with a whole lot more smoke and intensity. These guys make some fantastic beers but this one is fairly mediocre.

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Damian from Massachusetts, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown-almost black color with a big finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, smoke, peat, bacon, molasses, and vanilla.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some peat, smoke, and a bit of vanilla. Through the middle, the smoke comes through stronger with a bit of cured meats, oak, molasses, and coffee. The finish is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, smoke, peat, molasses, and vanilla.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a dry, roasted, and smokey finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice smokey porter with a nice overall balance of flavors. Good body and mouthfeel.

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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thinnish offwhite head. Deep brown body with some dark brown highlights.

Magnificent smoky, rich nose.

Body is rich, slightly tangy, with a drying, dry cocoa kinda finish. Faintly bitter on the finish. Pretty nice.

Slightly coarse, nice body.

Good Baltic porter, with a bit of smoke.

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zaphodchak from Virginia, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 10 Jan 2012. Served in the 0.4 L Herren Pils snifter.

Medium sized brown head, medium carbonation. Clear very dark brown in color. Slightly smoky roasty aroma, burnt malt and dark chocolate. Sweet and cocoa to start. Lightly smoky, less than the aroma. Medium to light body is somewhat flat, moderate ethanol. Fairly chocolately throughout. Moderate smokiness throughout. Lingering chocolately sweet finish and aftertaste.

Hmmm. I like smoked beers and I like Baltic porters, but this wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber marked "bottled on jun 28 2011"

Pours dark brown and nearly opaque with ruby highlights and a bubbly khaki head. Foam drops quickly leaving a few soapy wisps of lace

Scent is mild. Bitter chocolate malts and a touch of smoke. Molasses?

Taste is dark chocolate, figs, slightest hint of smoke. Something that strikes me as almost a root beer flavor. Vanilla. A light hop bittering hidden at the back.

Mouth is lightly carbonated and creamy with a touch of alcohol warming in throat.

Although an enjoyable beer from a great brewery, Smoked Baltic Porter left me somewhat disappointed in that it had neither the thick complex flavor of a great baltic porter nor the meaty, smokey flavors I had hoped for on reading the label.

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sethmeister from New Hampshire, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on August 6, 2010! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a deep ruby red brown with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, roasted malt, subtle dark chocolate, and cream. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. The smokiness on this one really made this brew stand out from other Baltic Porters I have tasted in the past. This added a nice complex, but definitely covered up a lot of the nice flavors that makes the Baltic Porter great to me. Still a fairly well done brew that I wouldn’t mind having again in the future.

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thagr81us from South Carolina, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on June 28, 2011. Reviewed live.

A- One finger tan head, fizzy on top with quickly receding retention. No lacing to speak of. Ruby-mahogany color, allows a little light to permeate.

S- Smoke, bacon, roast malts, brown sugar. Dark and smoky smells.

T- Chocolate and smoke flavors. Roast flavors all around. Bitter pull in the finish, and surprisingly light flavor for what I thought was gonna be a knockout.

M- Light in body, very wet.

O- Disappointed. This beer is exceedingly drinkable but not at all complex.

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Murrhey from Washington, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of rajendra82
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a very dark shade of brown, with a beige colored, two finger thick head. The smell was that of cocoa, coffee, and a hint of cinnamon, but sadly there was not much smoke smell. The taste confirmed that the smoked malt was all but drowned by the (very good) Baltic Porter flavors of chocolate, toffee, and roasted grains. There was a creamy finish with a touch of hops and some lactic acid sourness, and the aftertaste was somewhat spicy. As nice as it was, I kept wondering, "where is the smoke?"

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rajendra82 from Georgia, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of TheCondor
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this the other day at the store as I was making a big run for porters and a couple of stouts. I like to buy different beers of the same style from time to time just to compare them on a night by night basis. This was no different. Ska Brewing Ten Pin last night, this one tonight, Founders Porter probably tomorrow. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown if not black, but it looks like it may have a reddish hue when I hold it up to the light. Nice big two finger head that slowly dwindles down leaving superb lacing.

Smell - Vanilla bean, smokiness, coffee, dark roasts. In my opinion this could be the beer's strongest suit.

Taste - Leads off with a nice vanilla cream which fades into a smoky, coffee flavor at the end of the drink. Pretty nice taste to it, complex and balanced well.

Mouthfeel - This part of the brew I didn't like as much. It finished smooth, but it felt kind of thin at the end, like the carbonation hit the eject button or something. I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it, but the finish leaves something to be desired.

Overall - This is a solid Baltic Porter if that is your style. I prefer American Porters myself, but this is a good representation of the style. I probably won't buy it again, but that's just because I can get an American for the same price. Overall a good beer, nothing wrong with it. Certainly much better as it warms.

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TheCondor from Missouri, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. Bottled on 13 July 2011.

A: *Great* two fingers of dense head with good retention. Black as night. Very impressive. Amazing lacing.

S: Sweet smoke. Roasted malts are prominent, but the base is sweet. Vanilla bean!

T: Pretty great actually. Phenomenal balance. I was right about the sweet malt base, but it's also quite creamy. The smoke is subtle and bewitching, especially coming through on the endtaste. More sweet than bitter, but still a solid amount of roastiness. A bit strong for a 'porter' but probably an apt classification as the mouthfeel is relatively light.

M: Arguably the best part of the beer. Rich, velvety smooth, and hella creamy. It just slips down throat and glides across the tongue. Hot damn. Better cold.

O: Not a truly great beer, but an incredibly well-crafted one. A creamy-smooth, sweetish-dry Baltic Porter. Highly recommended. Will definitely buy another one if I see it.

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AgentMunky from New York, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of draheim
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle (bottled 8/6/2010) into a snifter. Pours a cola brown w/ a fizzy tan head.

At first the aroma is intensely smoky, almost acrid. There's a faintly fruity aroma too - and as it warms, the sharp smoke gives way to a pleasant nuttiness.

Taste is less smoky, more balanced than the nose. Roasted malt, bitter smoke. Some hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, medium body. Fairly dry. The smoke gives it a slightly numbing effect similar to rauchbiers I've had.

Overall I'm not wild about this one. Lacks complexity, just not that enjoyable. It's my first Baltic porter so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I'd pass on this again.

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draheim from Washington, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you lik'em dry, roasty, and smoky; then this beer settles well with cold evenings and great friends.

Starting like most Porters do- with a dark brown color and near-clear hue. The beer builds a creamy, thick, tan head that endures the session nicely while contributing intermitten pockets of lace behind.

Aromas of roast and campfire abound as a dry caramel start turns to chocolate, nutty coffees, and an overall dry malty scent. Slightly twangy with acidy and soft esters remind me of char and blackberries. Slightly phenolic, presumably from the hearty smoke additions, give as much intrigue to the nose as concern.

This full flavored Porter delivers waves of taste that start with the slightly scorched caramel sweetness, then quickly develops into a smoky cloud of smoked meats, Columbian nutty coffees, bittersweet chocolate, and a woody hop continuation at mid palate. The roasty notes that finish the beer begin to remind me more of Stout than of Porter. Still, the pesky slightly-plastic taste carried over from the scent and provides the only real distraction.

Medium-full early on, but the heightened carbonation is quickly fleeting and leaves the beer dry and thin at mid palate and begins to reaveal the grainy astringency and powdery dryness that hampers the beer's finish and leaves a large portion of the flavor procession somewhat empty. Alcohol warmth and roasty-dryness aid in drinkability past the sense of acrid roast and thinness.

I would actually like to see this beer done with more traditional lagering practices and to develop the aged fruit and sherry notes that would smoothen the rougher edges of smoke and char.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Feb 09, 2012
Smoked Baltic Porter from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 399 ratings