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 rajendra82
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Photo of TheCondor
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
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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Photo of AgentMunky
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
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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Photo of draheim
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
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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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Photo of McNealc31
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoked, deeply toasted malt, bittersweet chocolate.

Smooth and creamy, and since it’s a lager, the mouthfeel is lighter than you might expect. The hops don’t get in the way at all, leading to a slightly dry bitter chocolate finish.The smoke is there, but it’s not overpowering. In fact, I wonder how much it would be noticed if I didn’t know the name of the beer.

Overall, pretty nice!

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

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark brown coloring, with hazelnut highlights and a crystal clear look when held up to the light. There is a nice, fluffy, light, off-white head on the pour of about a half an inch, but that settles fairly quickly out into a sparse covering of foam. The aromas are rich and smooth, with a good smokey presence, some char and dark roasted coffee, meaty characteristics, and some dark chocolate highlights. Flavors are smooth and subtle, with some slick chocolate notes throughout. The dry body gives a sharpness to the smoke and char characteristics on the palate. There are also some very dark sweet fruit notes in the backbone, with some currant and plum present. The aftertaste is fairly nondescript, with some of the fruit and chocolate hinting around. The finish is slick and quick, with a slight drying feel to it. Decent brew, and light enough in body to drink in quantity. Would match up well with a hearty, rich, meaty meal.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – jet black with about half a finger’s worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell – very malty and syrupy. There’s a smoked quality for sure, but it actually seems a bit reserved, but not conservatively so. It seems to have a good balance. Good sweet smell of a porter.

Taste – Smoky indeed, but again, pretty well-reserved. The middle has the maltier, syrupier qualities, but the finish brings the bite from the hops. The bitterness has less of an abrupt bite to it, as would be expected from German hops.

Mouthfeel – leans a little more toward the watery side, which is to be expected from a porter, but still pretty well-balanced.

Overall – very good-tasting brew, and quite interesting to think about while tasting.

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Photo of Merkur
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a dark brown almost black. Very little head.

The smell was definately less smokey than I anticipated. It is there and detectible, but is paired with a dark chocolate and malty smell.

Taste is very similar to the smell. Not a lot of smoke flavor. Rather, the dark chocolate and cocoa flavors are there on the front end. Very malty and a bit sweet. Very pleasant.

Beer drinks much easier than anticipated. If you are looking for a good smoked beer, this may not be for you. However, this is a very well done porter that has some really good flavor.

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Photo of kjyost
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle consumed 1/2/12, from notes. Poured fridge cold into a sampling glass. Received in trade from TheSevenDuffs. Thanks!!

2011 edition.
Deep dark porter with a nice tan head and light lacing. Very muted nose, disappointingly so with roast and not much else comic out. Some licorice and light smoke along with roast in the body. Mild lacing. A nice and subtle beer that IMO was hurt by sampling a stellar porter right before it.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the '11, bottled July 14, 22oz bomber into Duck Rabbit snifter

Nice pour, without much aggression a solid 1/4" toasted cream color head, full roast malt aroma, bit of creaminess and a touch of smoke.

This is an easy drinker for a smoked anything. The smoke notes are very faint and only noticeable at the end, which is just fine with me. I prefer the smoke to compliment and not dominate, which this does.

Just as a porter, this beer holds up very well. Solid mouth feel that gives way to a milkier feel in the middle. The smoke at the end cuts any lingering stickiness or cloying element of some creamier bodied brews.

I'm drinking this as a stand alone, but could easily see it paired well with a full breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, toasted muffin) or a meatier meal later in the day. Very nice. Also, damn, does Great Divide make a bad beer? Everything I've had from there has been good to excellent.


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Photo of StaveHooks
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. poured into an Orval chalice.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown, almost black body with a 2 finger cola head that vanishes.

S - Smoke is the first thing i smell. Some dark cocoa, toasted sugar, rummy spice bread, charcoal, soy sauce, sticky raisins, smoked figs.

T - Dark chocolate and heavily roasted coffee beans dominate. There's a simple sweetness there to counteract the char flavors. Iron, salt, and pepper flow over the palate with a grassy hop profile that blends well the rest of the flavors. Finishes dry with a smoked peppercorn aftertaste.

M - Medium to moderate carbonation, lighter body, dry and spicy finish.

A very inviting beer. The smoke is strong but it's more of a dry smoke and not a meat smoke flavor. Nice smoked fruit in the aroma. Would be good to split the bomber w/ someone.

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

Pours a nice dark brown with some reddish tint. The head is light brown and Guinnessy in it's tight foaminess.

Promised smokiness is muted, overwhelmed by some roasted malt, tootsie roll chocolate, and molasses.

There's some smoke! The palate isn't exactly a barbecue pit, but that's good, we've got some balance. The roasted malt combine with the smoke to make a nice full flavor.

Mouthfeel is okay, I might be way off base, but I felt it was a tad undercarbonated. A balanced beer. I can't decide if it's balanced because all the facets are mediocre or because they did a nice job putting the beer together.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a beer flute at Great Divide's taproom. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice cream lacing, fair thickness, and good retention (especially for the ABV). Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Roasted barley, cream, caramel, chocolate, and toffee. A mild strength aroma.

T: Light chocolate tones. Some caramel, light roast, and toffee. A bit imbalanced, with weight given to more notes than others. Well built all around. I like it. I can't identify all the notes, but it's good. Certainly it's complex.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the style. Complements the flavours generally.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the ABV. I might have it again. Well executed for the style, but not without its flaws.

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Photo of beveritt
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into an Imperial pint glass. My first review of 2012, shared with my wife over bleu cheese burgers and steak fries. Bottled in July 2011.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles to a ring around the glass with a few islands of foam here and there. Some lacing as I drink it down. The beer itself is dark brown yet still translucent. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Roasty malt with huskiness and a slight astringency.

Taste: Creamy upfront with undertones of toffee and dark fruits. Solid smokiness throughout; finishes with milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Slightly lower than average carbonation but does not detract. Body is good.

Drinkability: Typically not a huge fan of smoked beers; they are more to my wife's taste. However, this one was a good mixed of smoke and roastiness that complemented the style well. Could stand to have another.

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Photo of davednyc
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was an excellent brew.

Poured from the bottle a rich, dark brown. There is definitely a subtle (but readily apparent) smoke in both the scent and taste. Not overwhelming at all, and a light mouth feel allow this smoked porter to actually come across as a crisp, refreshing brew.

I received a bottle as a gift, and I'm certainly heading for this during my next trip to the Good Beer store.

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Photo of mynie
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like smoked beers and I love baltic porters so alright, cool, let's do this shit.

Smells like a stout only strangely woody and aggressively alcoholic. Not--hmm, nothing like what I was expecting. None of what I expect out of a baltic, and no nodes of smoke. I'd take it for an oaked sweet stout, actually...

Tastes a bit more like what I was expecting. Starts off with chocolate, raisins, and alcohol, only the chocolate and raisins are subdued by a woody sweetness that I can't quite place. Still, it's a good blend. But then there's a pronounced gap in the middle of the sip where the flavor goes away and, like some freaky Marshall Brodien shit, out of that nothing there arises a beer that's exactly like the one I expected, all dry and large and buffeted by nodes of sausage and cheese. But--dammit--that only lasts for like a half second.

Weird beer, this. Nothing about it is bad. Nothing is ungood, actually. But the best part is just a wee little wisp, which frustrates me.

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Photo of felipe2toes
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, nearly black with thin off-white head. Head recedes into thin crust, not much lacing.

Smells of smoke, roasted malt, chocolate, and I what I think is peat. I'm also detecting some grassy notes as well.

Tastes of dark chocolate, along with lots of smoke and roasted malt. Smoke may be a little too much for me.

Light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

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

Bottle date: Aug. 6 2010

Appearance. Pours a nice deep brown with a finger tan head.

Smell. Roasty malts, caramel, coffee, and a little charred wood.

Taste. Roasty malts, molasses, sweet dark chocolate, light smoke.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-low carbonation
Overall. A good porter with a nice amount smoke and little alcohol taste.

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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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Photo of KajII
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a dark non-transparent black with a slight mahogany hue and had an average sized (1-2 finger) light brown creamy head that had decent retention thus leaving behind some good spotty sticky lacing.

The aroma was not overly strong although the first thing I did notice was the scent of smoke, then a whiff of some burnt chocolate malts, a mild resin hop and a nice heavy dose of a leathery yeast with mild hints of coffee and molasses.

The taste was very malty and a tiny bit sweet with a touch of chocolate and a hint of molasses at first then slowly progressed into a mild bitterness with a nice coffee note and a mild smoky finish. The flavor lasted a nice ling time allowing the robust dark Porter flavor to linger on and on for full enjoyment.

Mouthfeel was somewhere in the middle of medium and full in body with the texture being creamy and a little dry with a very soft carbonation.

Overall a fantastic Porter with just a slight touch of smoke, actually more in the aroma than the taste.

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

The beer is very dark brown, a tan head with small bubbles that leaves very good lacing and have good curtains.

Overwhelming roasted notes, dark chocolate, dried figs and dates. A slight Kahlua vibe.

Burnt toast, dry ashes, sweet dark dried fruits, brown sugar and syrup, some lemon peel at the end.

Low carbonation, small vigorous bubbles, oily and smooth, a sticky dryness.

Well balanced, a rewarding porter experience.

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Photo of jegross2
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bomber bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark black that is mostly opaque with a few ruby highlights. Pours about a finger of head that mostly settles. Average lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Roasted cocoa beans. Some creamy milk chocolate. A little smokiness too. Hints of coffee and booziness. 4/5

Taste: A dark, rich, unsweetened chocolate up front. Some smokey wood. Strange as it may sound, this beer has virtually no finish and almost no flavor on the mid-palate for the first half of the glass. The front is pretty delicious, but then...nothing. As it layers, a faint smooth unsweetened milk chocolate and coffee bean flavor on the mid-palate and in the finish becomes noticeable. Definitely a let down. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, minimal carbonation. A little oily. 3.5/5

Overall: The aroma of the beer is very interesting and enticing, and the label art was cool enough to get me to buy a bottle, but this is a very lackluster porter. I would not buy it again.

Recommendation: Worth trying, not worth seeking out. A very inoffensive, average porter at best. Casual beer drinkers might like this one as a gateway to ween them off Guinness.

Pairings: A Butterfinger candy bar.

Cost: $6.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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

A vigorous pour yields a smallish tan head with modest retention and lacing. Fully black and opaque. Looks the part.

Decent nose of roast and coffee notes with moderate smokiness. Hints of hops, wood and peat.

Standard porter flavor augmented by a pleasant smokiness that’s well integrated and doesn’t overwhelm. Lots of roasted malt with coffee, bitter chocolate, and a light hoppiness. Balanced between bitter and sweet.

Medium carbonation and body with a touch of creaminess in the mouthfeel.

Overall a pretty tasty beer. Everything is kind of on the moderate side, nothing’s too big, it’s not a smokebomb, etc. Maybe not super exciting but well made and well balanced and drinkable. Went very well with pastrami on marble rye!

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours very dark, slightly darker than cola with an off-white head. There was no real lacing or cascading and the head dissipated rather quickly.

S-Smoke dominated, followed by some vanilla and coffee.

T-Very smokey with coffee and even some toffee notes. The smokiness overpowered the flavor profile.

M-seemed a little on the thin side.

D-One could definitely finish a bomber in one session, however unless one really enjoys smoked beers I doubt more than one bomber could be drank in a session.

Overall, another good beer from Great Divide, I'm just not a big fan of smoked beers.

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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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