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 SkeeterHawk
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours black with a small head of light tan bubbles. There was a small head, that was only around for about 20 seconds.

Aroma: The aroma is really muted for such a bold sounding style. Maybe I am un-calibrated or something. There is some chocolate and mild smokey notes. The smoke is getting more pronounced as the beer sits. There is also some mild American hops coming out.

Taste: The flavor is pretty balanced overall. It has a nice balance between the malt and hops along with the acidity of the roast, so that the finish is quite clean for a Porter. The carbonation is low for the style, but the balance of this beer permits it. The hops are definitely present in the finish, but the malt is balancing the whole ensemble out. The smoke is noticeable in the flavor, but it isn't overpowering in any way, and this isn't a "bacon beer" in any way.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer overall. It is very drinkable. That said, it subtly showcases the flavors that are so boldly printed on the label. I like this fact, but you may be disappointed if you are looking for these flavors to dominate. I wouldn't seek this one out, but I'm not going to toss it by any means.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Halloween....prepping for a cold night of trick or treating with the kids, so I am starting with the Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter. It poured a deep rich dark opaque. The ecru head was nices and laced. The smell included smoke and earth/peat. The taste had mostly earth and peat with only subtle hints of smoke. The mouthfeel was good...decent carbonation and balance between flavor and ABV content. The body was medium so it makes for a great session beer. Overall it was quite a good beer and certainly congratulate GD on it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours deep rich midnight color, letting zero light through. smells smokey, but not rauchbier smokey. rich and time honored in process. flavor is fantastic, bold but drinkable malty smoker early winter beer. i had been putting this one off for awhile, but fresh at the taproom it was exceptional. gazing at the big copper kettles from which it came added to the atmosphere that makes this beer a wonderful experience. slightly more alcohol presence as it warms. a bold and unique beer. these guys do justice to the craft here. yum!

edit: this does really well with some age, i just had a bottle maybe five years old, and it holds up incredibly well, meaty and refined, i really like its mature status.

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Photo of bruachan
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i am always disappointed by smoked beers...give me the smoke! but then my super-ego reminds me that if all smoked beers were SMOKED beers, all the class would seep out of the style, which would become a gimmick. this one smells of lovely, non-acrid smoke and provides me with just enough campfire yet retains its class (keep it classy, denver)

some roasting backs up the rauch but it's really the char that shines through

smoke might not be the first thing that greets my 'buds but it's darn near close. a measured sweetness rushes the door, too. hops remain mostly out of the way. the lingering effect is somewhat strange. i struggle to discern if it is an effect of the smoke or if the malt bill or hops (or whatever) produce almost a cola aftertaste

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a draft into a .25 L glass (I think) at Blind Lady Ale House in San Diego, Calif. Color was coffee black with about 1 ½ inches of head. Lots of lacing on the top. Bubbly film on the sides.

Smelled coffee first, followed by hints of dark chocolate.

Tasted of almost a mix of coffee and dark chocolate. Roasty, smooth finish.

Full body. Creamy, thick texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Not a bad beer overall. I wavered in a couple of these ratings, so it probably is +/- a complete rating.

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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.

 787 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter is a dark brown/black ale with a caramel brown head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is pretty much just smoke. It's a dark smell with perhaps a touch of peat. Medium bodied, it seems a little flat at the beginning, but there's sharp carbonation at the finish, which is a little watery and silty. Dark caramel malt, burnt sugar and smoke give it a sort of dusty flavor with a warm, almost sweet, center. It leaves a sort of burnt cardboard flavor in my mouth, which makes me thirsty. There are notes of black currant, leather, hay and grass. Yeah, this is a pretty manly beer. Twenty-two ounces will grow your stubble at least a millimeter. if it were any any smokier, it'd be out of control, but it ends up tasting like iron, leather, dark wood and smoldering embers. Seriously.

 828 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a pleasantly thick and pleasantly opaque black-brown colour, just giving hints of copper-brown at the edges. Head is large-bubbled, but frothy and firm. Lacing is excellent, leaving rivulets of foam down the edge of the glass, much in the lager style. Looks great.

Nose is equal parts smoky, sulphury and roasted. The sulphur character comes no doubt from the heavy fermentation with lager yeast, but it blends rather smoothly and pleasantly with the smoke and dark characters to give a complete picture. It doesn't have the deep sweetness I might expect from a Baltic Porter, but it has depth nonetheless. Very nice.

Taste is similar, with a big dose of smoke from the rauchmalz, which almost overpowers the rest of the characters. But, no, there are more subtle roasted characters, and even the hint of high-cocoa chocolate giving a vague sweetness, and a smoothness to the feel. Indeed, the body is a little light and crisp, but this is perfectly to style, and the smoothness of flavour gives it a sheen to work around these things.

This is certainly a smoky beer. In fact, the smoke is so dominant it almost makes it truly a smoked beer first, and a Baltic porter (a very distant) second. I actually genuinely love the smoke character, but I appreciate the style on which it is based as well.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep, ruby/black in color, with a moderate head of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint woodsmoke, coffee notes
Taste-Roast coffee, woodsmoke. Bamberg smoked malt noticeable but not overpowering by any means. Tasty and tingly with a very dry black coffee finish. A nice match for grilled meats.

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Photo of Heatwave33
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle to a a Bass pint glass.

Color: Very dark with a slight red shining through.

Smell: A smoky hop aroma with malt.

Taste: Smoky malt flavor with a some great hop tone.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry.

Overall: Has a great body with good malt tones. The smoke flavor is just enough to balance this brew out. A great beer to have with cheeses. Cheers!

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Photo of kbuzz
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an oversized bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown, lighter almost red at the edges. Frothy one finger off-white head that sticks around for a little while. Solid lacing. Noticable carbonation and some alcohol legs present.

S: Musty, dank, smokey aroma. Quite pleasing. Charred bacon. Mostly rauchbier qualities...a little roastiness to go along with it. No hop qualities at all...a faint pete smoke smell detectible.

T: Smoked pork up front. Some more char. A weaker version of the nose...kind of dissapointing. Some yeastiness. Once again, no hops at all. A heavy lingering pork aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied beer...coats the mouth entirely. Impressive. Rich and creamy. Carbonation is average.

O: Not bad...solid example of the style. I'd have to say that I enjoyed this more than most rauchbiers...just always have a hard time getting past that pork aftertaste. If it were more char and less "slow-cook", I'd probably dig it a bit more. But I found myself enjoying it after a few sips once I knew to expect it. Not Great Divide's best beer, but no worse than any other Smoked Porter I've had.

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Photo of Dlish
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great Divide Brewing has failed on me a few times, seeing a smoked Baltic porter got my panties in a bunch.

A- Solid Black syrupy porter, light on the edges, light head the raps around the edges of the glass.

S- Some upfront smokiness of the smoked malts. Variety of dark chocolate and roasted malts. There is a metallic almost stale/clean aluminum sent. There is also a sugary chocolate mil smell in it.

T- A lot of the smokiness that comes in the front chocolate malts float around. There is a fruity almost sour taste, like just hint of sour cherries, kind of takes away from the smoothness of the porter. Although I guess it becomes welcome changed from how smooth, silky and smooth this smokey porter is.

M- The chewy thick beer splashes the tong with a nice smoothness I think due to that smokey flavor. Little bit of carbonation helps lighten up the flavors.

O- Great Baltic porter, very smooth and I like the addition of the smokiness, This is the most impressive great divide beer I've had. Then again i'm a sucker for Porters. I can't wait to enjoy this again on a cold rainy night... or morning with a nice buttery thick whole wheat toast.

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Photo of haazer
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got the growler filled up at WholeFoods in Plymouth Meeting. ALL grocery stores need to take after their setup. Anyway...

A- Pour yields a 2 finger beige, tan head that comes down to a thin cap. Brew is dark brown, almost black in color. The edges are somewhat transparent in light brown and red highlights.

S- Roasty malt and some burnt toast. Some bittersweet chocolate, and a very nice smokiness to this. The smell is the highlight for me.

T- Bitter chocolate upfront followed by some notes of toffee. There is a faint smokey aftertaste, but it actually fades as you drink the beer. Would like to see it a little more pronounced. Not much else in the flavor.

M- Light to medium bodied brew. The roast in this brings a slight dry and bitterness on the palate. Fairly smooth.

O- Good porter here for sure. Fairly simple in flavor, but it works. The taste falls a little short of the nose, as this had a great smoky aroma, just not so much on the taste buds. The abv is not noticeable and this is very easy drinking.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery.

A: dark but quite a bit of light getting through for the color

S: smokey and peppery

T: smokey up front with a nice sweet chocolate finish. coffee notes intermixed.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I liked this one. Only my second baltic porter but a beer I would like to have again.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

typical colors of deep brownish black and some ruby highlights, looks gorgeous though a little thin headed. leaving a bit of thin tan sheet like lacing.

the smoke scent is fairly light, from what I am gathering, though definitely present. it seems almost masked by a strong licorice nose. no real hop aroma to speak of.

the flavor is not much different although the smoke has pretty severely decreased in potency. the malt profile seems to have changed quite a bit as well, more of a sweet malt character than bitter smoke or licorice, closer to caramel but still lingering a bit on the other end.

the mouthfeel is quite nice, though a bit thin, very clean and crisp while a touch creamy. decent carbonation that strikes a balance between prickly and foamy. sweet semi dry finish.

overall, my expectations may have affected my enjoyment of this beer. i've begun a bit of a love affair with smoked beers, and honestly, this beer just aint that smokey. it also aint that portery either. still drinkable and not too shabby.

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Photo of illidurit
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the September iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours a deep black-brown with a fluffy tan head. Aroma is smokey but not burnt or roasted. Black malts and meat in the nose and the taste, with the lack of roast and char once again emphasizing that this is firmly in the porter camp. No mistaking this one for a stout. Light and airy mouthfeel with a slightly mineral finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 6/28/11. 7.5% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random patches of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, roasted nuts, and some smoky aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted in-shell peanuts, and some campfire smoke flavors. A mild smoky and roasty bitterness quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation level but a slightly thin, watery mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good smoked take on the style but the mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking.

 633 characters

Photo of fields336
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL served in SN snifter
Bottled on July 14, 2011

A: Black, reddish when held up to the light, 1.5 fingers khaki, light brown head dissipates fairly quickly leaving little to no lace.

S: Smoked, roasted, dark chocolate, bready, nutty smelling beer, Yeast is somewhat present on the nose. smells like there might be some herbal or earthy hops in there too.

T: Definitely a roasty and chocolately beer. It is not overpowering in any way, and the subtleties and the cleanness of this beer cannot be understated. Roasty, chocolatey, smoky, sweet and bready with a slight earthy or herbal hop presence like in the nose. The aftertaste is not too strong and the bitterness is really nice on it too. The smokeyness of this is really just right.

M: Light bodied and just so drinkable. it's really an awesome beer. Since it's darker and really roasty not a beer to drink by the pool but it is a great after dinner beer or something to pair with some smoky barbeque perhaps.

O: Overall I really liked this beer and it was a style I would definitely try again. It was my first foray into a baltic/smoked porter and it was a positive experience.

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Photo of BruChef
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as i opened the bottle and took a whiff i knew that this brew was gonna be good. I poured this very dark brown lager into a SA's Boston lager glass and managed, with some added effort, to ruffle up a half an inch of off white/tan head which I immediately had to stick my nose in. What a fantastic aroma. Bacon like Smoke on the fore front, just the right amount, followed by dark cocoa and some light coffee and toasted malt. I just hope its only as smokey as it smells.

...And it is. The smokiness in this beer reminds me of the rauchbiers of Bamberg, just the absolute perfect amount of smoke, not just smokey for the sake of being a smoked beer. Other than the smoked aspect of this beer it was quite sweet, borderline cloying but balanced with the smoke enough to give it that pleasurable savory and sweet element that is enjoyable in things like bbq or chocolate covered pretzels. Some semi sweet chocolate and light roast coffee weave its way between the initial smoke and sweetness in the finish. Not too much in the hop department here, just enough to hold its own against the malt.

I thought i initially poured this beer a little cooler than i should have because it drank so smoothly with its medium carbonation but then i would remind myself that this is a lager and it should be nice and clean tasting. Regardless i couldn't help but think that this beer was just a little on the thin side although it did seem to coat better as it warmed up.

Would i drink this again? Sure, it was definitely one of the more enjoyable smoked beers i've had. Overall a tasty brew.

Note: BA has this beer listed at 6.20% abv however my bottle i believe said 7.5% abv. Maybe i had a newer batch than was previously submitted.

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Photo of therica
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= almost jet-black, almost no head, some nice lacing which doesn't last long.

S= smoky, like roasted nuts over an oak fire but not nearly as exciting as I'd hoped. Still, very interesting and different.

T= a bit watery, actually. Lightweight on hops bitters, some chocolate and slightly bitter-roasted malts but overall a disappointment.

M= rather clean, slightly starchy, mildly roasted nutty.

O= a disappointment overall for me.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black with brown hue around the edges.

The smell was or bbq meat with a clean smokiness but not over powering by any means.

The taste as subtle on the smoke at first but it grew by the time the beer warmed up, it still was never too much though. The roast from the malts made a presence but let the clean yeast do its thing as well.

Over all a solid beer and not many examples in the style but not my favorite.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color; no light comes through. Poured a creamy 3 finger tan head with good retention to a tight skim. Laced in wide rings.

S: Bitter dark chocolate and coffee. Smokey, wet wood and earthiness. Good together.

T: Big smokey flavor up front. Toasted malts, smooth and creamy, build steadily to the finish; chocolate and coffee. Smoke is on the palate throughout lingering with the toasted malts in a dry finish.

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Smoke id definitely prominent. Good malt character is not masked. Moderate ABV makes it drinkable.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Never had a Baltic Porter before... so I might as well start out with a smoked version, right? I do like GD's beers, so let's see what I think about this. Served in a Maudite snifter.

The beer pours with a thin, dark black body. It has a thin tan head (even with a vigorous pour) that doesn't stay around as long as I would like. I like the coloring of the beer, but everything else about the appearance falls flat.

The nose is very smoky. The next supporting aroma is sweet, mixing to give the distinct "ham" aroma. The roast is complimentary, but maybe a bit too far in the background. It's an interesting nose, but I feel like I've had better on hammy smoked beers.

The flavor is also hammish, but much sweeter than I would have guessed. The roast comes in late in the flavor, but it somewhat clashes with the hamminess. I'm having a hard time coming up with more flavors because of the overpowering hand of the smoke. This is interesting stuff, but it's not going to be that easy to finish the bottle and I feel like they could have balanced the smoke a lot better.

 1,072 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 22 oz bottle

A- pours a black gray color with a thin wispy gray head that reveals some nice lacing

S- roasted malts with smoke and chocolate,coffee and hops

T- smoked malts and hops with with citrus hops with coffee and chocolate

M- medium carbonation with light smoke on the palate and light porter tastes

O- very drinkable with a light smoke taste roasted malts

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark brown, almost black into my snifter with a little over one finger of tan head that has good retention and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, smoke, faint notes of chocolate and coffee as well as some earthy hops.

T - Smokiness and roasted malts are big in flavor here. Dry cocoa, coffee and earthy hops all make an appearance. Really nice balance and nice that the smoke is present from start to finish and never overwhelming.

M - A little on the thin side, medium body and moderate creaminess.

O - Always enjoy a nice smoked beer, especially when it's a porter. Worth a try if you see it on the shelf!

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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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