Smoked Baltic Porter | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Smoked Baltic PorterSmoked Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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.

Added by Mebuzzard on 08-07-2010

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Reviews: 243 | Ratings: 399
Photo of mothman
2.25/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours 1 finger of beige head. Color is a deep brown.

Aroma: Smoke with meat flavors. Dried fruits, yeast, light banana flavors, and belgian candi sugar.

Taste: More smoke and more meat. Belgian yeast, figs, raisins, roasted malt, and a hint of sourness.

Mouthfeel: Smokey, smooth. Lighter boded with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with sour notes.

Overall, not my type of smoked baltic porter. Just didn't have a lot going on with it. Good smoke flavor, but that's about it.

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Photo of gfreed
2.27/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Here we have a smoked baltic porter that is neither...

-- smoked, or
-- baltic, or
-- a porter.

It's a dark lager, period. The GD Web site says this beer gets its special twist from large quantities of smoked Bamberg malt (ah, Schlenkerla!), but I couldn't smell or taste any smoke. Perhaps this is the no-smoking-section version of the beer...

Anyhow, if you like mellow dark lagers, this may be good for you. If, on the other hand, you buy this thing thinking you're getting a smoked baltic porter, forget it. It's thin, light, smokeless and certainly porterless. It *is* dark, and the color is nice. But that's not really worth the cost of the bottle.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.47/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark body through which light can barely pass, revealing dark, wine red highlights. Creamy head is a tan colour, about one finger thick. Looks quite nice.

Smell leaves quite a bit to be desired. There are definitely some chocolate notes and a bit of spent coffee grounds, but they're a bit muted and there really isn't anything that seems to jump out at you. No smoke, either, which was, to be honest, the reason I picked this up.

Flavour is really bereft of any character or complexity (or smoke) whatsoever. Again, the muted, semi-sweet chocolate and muted, watered down coffee show up once more, but nothing else, really. I must say, I'm rather disappointed in this one; I had high hopes.

Mouthfeel is terrific! It's a real shame this doesn't taste like much of anything. Well, actually it does: it's a delightfully dense, heavy, chewy representation of a Baltic Porter that tastes of watered down coffee with the suggestion of semi-sweet baker's chocolate.

As always, I'm glad I got to try something I haven't had yet. I simply didn't care for it and I don't think Great Divide did a very good job on this one. I *know* they can do better.

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Photo of n2185
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
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 JoEBoBpr
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22 ox bomber shared with my GF.

A - Pours a dark brown color with a nice .5 inch head. The head is nice and tan and recedes fairly quickly but it leaves some nice sticky lacing as it recedes to a nice thin film. It seems watered down for my taste.

S - Massive roasted character with some very nice slight coffee notes. There is also some slight vanilla hints to it as well. To be honest though the beer is on the bland side with the nose.

T & M - On the taste front there are some nice roasted malt notes that confirm the nose. At the same time I only get some slight chocolate hints and very faint vanilla hints. Overall this beer for me was a disappointment and seemed pretty run of the mill The flavors are there but they aren't very well represented. The beer is on the lighter side which is a bit disappointing as well.

D - Drinkability is ok but I will echo the fact that I was disappointed with this beer.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
2.87/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black with a small off-white head.

Smells of sweet malt and rubber, like vinyl of some sort (think blow-up mattress)...not appealing.

Sweet up front, a little bit of roast in the middle, and a bitter hop finish. Slightly creamy or nutty.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

The yeast character in this beer is strange. The aroma is off and the taste is not very interesting...there just isn't much going on with this beer. It is an OK, simple beer, slightly sweet with some roast and not much else.

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Photo of pants678
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black with a thin but creamy almost beige head.

Smells of roasted malts with a hint of milk chocolate.

The smoke takes hold on the back end for a very dry, coffee-esque finish. Not a complex one and comes up thin. Espresso comes out toward the middle, may be mocha in there. It's more assertive 3/4s of the way through the first pint, but really nothing notable. Bland. Tame.

Mildly staining. I'd say over-carbonated but it needs more definition to make a call on that. Consistency and texture won't be the reason I don't go back to this one.

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Photo of prototypic
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smoked Baltic Porter pours a dark, mahogany brown color. It's nearly opaque, but a few crimson highlights are noted with backlighting. A soft, light tan head caps it and stands about a finger and a half tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly, leaving light lace in its wake.

The nose is lacking in strength, and isn't good overall. A mix of chocolate and roasted malts are noted initially. The chocolate variety smells bittersweet and a little cocoa-esque. There's a bit of a smoked or charred scent, but it's fairly light. Nothing overwhelming at all. Alcohol doesn't come through. That's about it, honestly. Rather average.

The flavor is a little better, but it's not enough to warrant a score bump. Roasted and chocolate malts are the base. Bittersweet, dark chocolate is noted early on, but takes a back seat to the roasted variety quickly. The flavor quickly becomes very smoky, charred, and almost ash-like. It's a little too much in my book. I'd prefer the smoky flavor to complement rather than dominate. Not the case here. It becomes acidic late. No surprise given the style. I don't have much of a problem with that. Alcohol is buried. Finishes acidic and smoky.

Smoked Baltic Porter has a very light body. Too light. Feels thin and water. Carbonation is active, but doesn't feel overdone. Nonetheless, it needs more body in a bad, bad way. Drinkability is very average. The flavor is alright, but isn't great. The strong smoky, ash-like flavor grows tiresome. A bomber? I'd say that equals a chore.

Great Divide has really ventured out and tried some new things over past year or two. I like the trailblazing spirit, but the results have been mixed. Smoked Baltic Porter is not one of Great Divide's finer moments. It's a little too smoky and ashy, the nose is weak, and the body's too light. It needs work all the way around. It might be worth a try, but that's about it. I wouldn't suggest picking up multiple bombers.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this as a part of a mixed sixpack. I like Great Divide a lot but this was not among my favorite beers. It looked and smelled like a porter but there was not much in the way of taste. Perhaps it was also the fact that it was summer but it was not my favorite porter and certainly not my favorite of the Great Divide line.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Dark bark brown. It looks like an Imperial Brown Ale. Decent pour yields an unspectacular 1.25 finger head lackluster lacing.

S: As expected: liquid smoke, with a pinch of herbal malt.

T: Starts with a goods amount of smoke, though within a few short seconds, it evolves into a rather charry and chocolatey brew on the mid. The finish is lacking, as none of the flavor really carries over, and you're left wondering what happened.

M: For the ABV it's ok. A bit thin for my personal taste, but if I'm grading to style it's not half bad.

O: Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter isn't a standout in any way. It's easily forgettable and not something I'd reach for again. Not a bad beer, it's simply jogging right down the middle of the mediocre highway.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown almost black color with a 1 finger dingy off white head that dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a lot of lacing.

S A smokey nose almost like a campfire especially as it warms up. Doesn't seem to be much else.

T A very smokey flavor. Like the nose the smoke dominates everything else. However there are faint notes of chocolate and coffee coming through but they are crushed by the smoke.

M Smooth and creamy so pretty good I guess

Overall this is an ok beer. It's nothing special and the smoke kills anything else going on here. If was classed as something besides a Baltic porter I would rate it higher. If it was cheaper and I was in the mood I would drink it again however at the price its not worth it.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Great Divide and Rogue fall into similiar catagories for me. Both are seemingly well made and well intentioned but remarkably thin beers for beers that seem to always get good press.

Great Divide has a nice albeit simple effort here; a decent drinkable effort.Pours black with an attractive tan head.

Nose is a medium assertive simple sweet black chocolate.

Mouthfeel is thin but not unattractive as the balance is good and the flavors, while simple, are inviting.

Flavors are medium watered down black coffee/watered down semi-sweet black chocolate. Simple, lacks complexity but bright flavors and appealing for what they are. A good example of simple can work. However, not a lot of smokey character, if any.

Finish is a decent mildly bitter black coffee.

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Photo of azdback
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Extremely dark caramel color with light brown highlights. Cloudy with lots of carbonation bubbles that lead to a pretty small one finger tan colored head.

Smell is campfire smoke. There are some roasted malts that come across a little sweet. I'm not getting much more than that. As it warms a bit I can barely detect some coffee or chocolate. Barely!!

Taste is awfully I don't get many dark roasted flavors like I should from a Porter There are some sweet, tangy flavors of pipe tobacco. The original smoke flavors fade as this sits.

Mouth is okay for the style. I think it's a bit watery and dry at the end. Tongue feels as if it needs to be scraped fresh.

Overall I think this is an okay Smoked/Baltic Porter, but I do think there are many better examples of this style out there. If you get the chance try it but don't spend a bunch on it.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.12/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is straight brown in color with a nice, brownish-white head.

Smell - The malts are light but rightly roasted. The sugars are OK but lack identity.

Taste - The malts lose most of their roasted character at the tongue. They are dark but don't have that fresh-roasted flavor. The sugars again are hard to pin down. They are sweet like table sugar but otherwise somewhat boring.

Mouthfeel - This is a thin medium-bodied with little bitterness.

Drinkability - This was mediocre at best and not at all what I've come to expect from this fantastic brewery.

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Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served in straight pint glass. Poured a solid black, just a little light showed through, with a thin cap of beige head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was malty and even, with just the faintest hint of smoke showing through. The taste was the same, nice grains, a light trace of hops and just barely any smoke.

The body was a bit on the thin side of typical for the style. Drinkability was good, the beer went down smooth and easy, and I might have it again. Overall, a pretty average take on the style. Often I find that the smoke overpowers the taste of the beer, this is the rare occasion that I think the beer could have benefited from some more smoke. Worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Bottled Sept 9, 2010.

Disappointed by this beer, so here's my weak review:

Pours a thin black with sudsy off-white head. Nose smells of tart cherry and whispers of toast. Palate is crisp and light with some faint roastiness and black cherry. A little tiny bit of acidity which is refreshing, but the smoke is definitely lacking. Short finish.

Mediocre beer from a great brewery. Waa waa.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours an opaque black color with a soft layering of beige head. Dissolves into some flimy retention with a few spots of lacing.

Plenty of smoke in the nose, supported by roasty malt tones and some light sweetness. Touches of chocolate and caramel with further smokiness.

Full and malty up front with some roasted notes. Layers of smoke wrap around the tongue with some meaty touches. Not quite like a full on bacon assault, but a full bill of the smoked malts. Touches of dark chocolate and sweet caramel balance it out a bit. Finishes malty and dry.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, somewhat smooth on the tongue. This is alright, but I didn't find a ton of depth in the flavor, and I tend to go for a legit Rauchbier if I want something smoked.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Dark brown, almost black with shades of ruby. A one-inch tan head holds up for only a short time. Spotty lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, burnt caramel, vanilla, a hefty dose of smoked malts adds a rather campfire-like smell, faint notes of herbal, minty hops. Prunes and darkfruit come out more as it warms.

T: Dark chocolate and smoked malts, some coffee. Cherries and a distinct grape juice taste blend with the malt tastes, but then take a more central role as they really assert themselves on the palate. Finishes semi-dry with woody, charcoal, and smokey tastes.

M: Medium bodied. Just enough carbonation. Not as full as it could be. Rather dull.

D: Average.

Notes: I expected much more from this beer. The nose was very promising, but the complexity was just not there in the taste. All other aspects of the beer are average at best.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Aug 6, 2010

Appearance is a dark brown body with a hint of red covered by a huge cream colored head. Roasted and smoked malts are the primary contributors to aroma, along with lager yeast and earthy hops. Smell is not very enticing as it's a bit stale and what I can best describe as a plastic character. Flavor is a little better and more pronounced than smell with wood smoke, roasted and sweet black malts. The finish is slightly bitter and musty in an undesirable way. As far as mouthfeel, the medium body is just fine, but the carbonation is excessive and gives it a frothy feel.

I don't think this has held up very well over 7 mos. despite proper storage conditions. Maybe it's better fresh and I'd probably have it rated higher if classified as a dark lager. But definitely not on par with the other Great Divide beers I've had.

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Photo of vkv822
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle into tulip pint glass.

The beer pours a deep brown almost black with dark red highlights when held to the light. The head is fairly standard foamy tan that dissipates into a thin even coating.

The aroma is fairly appealing upfront with roasty malts, cocoa, and light coffee notes with a faint smokey backing.

The taste is enjoyable, though to be honest it seems to be lacking much substance. I was really expecting quite a bit of flavor from a smoked Baltic porter. What I did pick up was pretty similar to the nose.

The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and creamy, though a bit lighter bodied than expected.

Overall, there is nothing really that stands out to me about this beer. The smoke notes where quite lost to me. Not bad by any means, but nothing too interesting either.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 5/23/11

Bottled on Sept 9th 2010

Pours a shade lighter than cola brown. Dark in the glass but it has a deep ruby gleam. Two finger head thinned to a stunted layer of smooth foam. A decent amount of lace forms at first but doesn't last.

The aroma isn't radical. Smokiness is evenly distributed throughout. Notes of roasted grains comprise much of the nose. Vague hints of unsweetened cocoa and a semblance of coffee. Nice and straight-forward.

Tangy roast leads off with some dry, earthy hop notes. Seems rather grainy, too. The smoke doesn't fully manifest on the palate; it's more of an afterthought in that respect, picking up briefly toward the finish. Chocolate notes creep into place as it warms up.

Medium-full body; reasonably viscous with some underlying grittiness. The overall feel is nice and smooth; all the more impressive considering the abv. Carbonation causes a short-lived agitation to the tip of the tongue before mellowing. The finish is coating, which is my only gripe here.

Not bad by any means but it's simplistic and wears on toward the end. It seems to become muddled as it warms up.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at GD for their release party of this brew and Rumble.
A solid offering from GD using Bamberg smoked malt. Compared to the Alaskan Smoked Porter, this one is light...but then again so are most others.

Pours Dark brown, reddish/ruby tints along the edge. The blending of the reddish and brown kinda makes the edge look like cola. The head is soft, off white, and a bit sparse. It leaves a small ring as it drinks, some lacing.

Aroma doesn't scream 'smoked' to me. Still, the smoked malt is there and plays well with some dark fruit and light molasses.

Flavor consists of some black plum, faint chocolate and distant smoke. The body is a bit thin which doesn't accentuate the flavors much. It lacks richness or depth or something. This is almost more like a dark, but light Rauchbier. I had this twice to make sure, and the body is thin. The feel isn't smooth, but it's not biting enough for the style methinks. The alcohol doesn't come into play and is a touch low for the style; according to BA. I'm glad I had this one first. If I had the Rumble first, this one would be overpowered.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottled on June 28, 2011.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with ruby hints when held up to the light. Head is two fingers of frothy light-tan foam.

Smell: light malty aroma with a vegetable component from the hops and a very light roastiness. Decent.

Taste: smooth but with a tart backend. There is some graininess and some roastiness -- unfortunately it doesn't come together very well for me. Smokiness is quite muted. Frankly, it's OK but I'm not in love with it.

Mouthfeel: smooth and silky mouthfeel with a decent creaminess. The feel is quite good.

Overall: this beer isn't necessarily bad, but it really doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't have the fruity complexity I love in a Baltic porter and it doesn't really seem to be getting anything out of the smoked malt, either.

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Photo of farrago
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Couple fingers of light brown foam, most of which are big bubbles eager to pop their way into oblivion, very good stick to the lacing and more retention than expected once the head gets down to the surface. The liquid pushes into black territory with a very dark brown circle around the outer edges. The nose is almost entirely coffee and dark chocolate, however, neither is especially potent, whiffs of oatmeal, golden raisin to fig fruit, very light orange citrus but a more pronounced metallic ring to it. Medium-bodied, the smokiness here is not sweet, more like wood smoke, kindling ash and charcoal. Over time you get more coffee grinds, bitter dark chocolate, hard caramel candy but never sweetens much. The carbonation is round and full, at time fluffy, a bit more of a presence than desirable. The fig, raisin, apricot, apple fruit sit in the corner most of the time. Overall, it's dry but not finding many distinct hoppy flavors. Oatmeal, scone and some straw accents. Has a mineral water character to it, yet, not as metallic as suggested in the nose. Trails off during the finish, would likely be more noticeable were there more flavor intensity at the start.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter in a bottle store. $7.99.

Poors a black walnut color, with a garnet red hue when held ip to the tight. Modest off-white head.

Smell is a roasted grain aroma, with an artificial smoke fragrance. It smells like the liquid smoke seasoning.

Taste is sweet and artificially smokey, with a mild bitter flavor on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, flat and a bit thin and watery.

Overall a drinkable porter, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Smoked Baltic Porter from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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