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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Ratings: 399 |  Reviews: 243
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dark beige head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface along with a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of smoke in the nose along with notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of molasses and roasted malts. The initial taste has some sweetness and flavors of smoke stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy for the style, especially since it has a relatively low alcohol content.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown to black body beneath a billowing head of mocha foam which really takes its time dissipating to leave a thin, yet sticky lacing behind.

As advertised, the smoked malt is quite prevalent in the aroma, as well as some sweeter underlying malts and dark chocolate.

The palate really resembles a nice rauchbier with all the smoked malt and similar to the aroma features dark chocolate flavors. The smokiness is like a candlewick, then some mid-palate sweetness, and again a smoky finish.

Medium in body with generous carbonation, this beer leaves your palate smoked.

A good beer, but not GD’s finest. A bit too heavy on the smoked aspects in my opinion to the point that I lose sight of the porter. More of a rauchbier/porter highbred with hints of chocolate than what I expected. I was thinking more of a traditional porter with focus on the charred malts.

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

655ml bottle served in a Pint glass.Enjoyed on mar´11
Black night in color, dark amber copper to the ligth.Creamy foam.1cm thick layer quickly dissipated.Slightly smoked character,noticed coffee & toasted grain notes on nose.Enters malty in flavor,light body.Foam tastes smoky.Intense cofffee on the aftertaste.Looks like an Schwarz,foam as a Brown Porter,Lager alike body,Rauchbier aroma.Ligthness make it very drinkable.Finally mistery has been revealed.

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Photo of bump8628
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done with a light and well integrated smoke that plays well with the bold coffee and cocoa ntoes. Background bread pudding and toffee show support. Hops are mild and yeast clean thanks to the lager strain. The biggest drawback is the thinnish body.

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Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured black in color with a creamy, frothy, khaki colored head barely covering the top of the beer.

The smoke is one of the first things in the aroma I notice. It's a very nice smoke flavor too, very smooth, not overwhelming but yet very flavorful. After the smoke I get a little dark chocolate mixing with some vanilla like sweetness. I thought it was a fantastic smoky aroma overall.

The taste starts out with more of a roasty, dark chocolate flavor. The smoke really shows more in the finish with more of the roasty, burnt, bitterness. I get a vanilla sweetness to it as well which really seems to help give it a smoothness. Again, the smoke is very smooth and flavorful.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was an excellent smoked beer. The smoke was very evident and flavorful but yet still subtle enough to integrate into the beer flavors. The dark chocolate and vanilla really complimented it nicely too. Very taste beer overall and one of the better smoked beers I've had in a good while. I'm very surprised this one doesn't have better reviews, as far as smoked lagers go I can think of very few that I've had that were better.

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

Great Divide’s large, hulking beers have been a constant companion on my beer drinking journey. The Yeti beers boxed me around the ears when I was a beer nebbish, and the Baltic Smoked Porter is my most recent reminder of the excellence in Great Divide’s big bottle beers. The Baltic Smoked Porter is a real treat - from the beginning it is a rich, well balanced and uniquely delicious beer sporting some strange but attractive flavors. It’s a predictably dark beer, midnight black in the glass, crowned with a thick pumpkin orange and tan top. From this curious cap vents a delicious aroma, thick with barbecue smoke, the unctuous aroma of ham, a bite of cumin and the sweet but vegetable sugary taste of Japanese pumpkin, or kabocha. This Baltic Smoked Porter practically plugs the nose with its aroma. A light but creamy beer unrolls onto the palate, soft but stong enough to deliver the flavors. A light to moderate smokiness forms the backbone of the porter’s flavor, accented with a touch of hops in the aftertaste, and a well balanced porter quality that, notably, is not beaten down by the smoke flavors. Smoked beers can often find themselves suffering from a surfeit of suffocating smoke and even a kind of palate smog, but the Baltic Smoked Porter doesn’t suffer any of that. It is an excellent beer for delivering the promise of porter flavors paired with a dimension of smokiness - an incredibly drinkable beer, and another notch in the successes Great Divide has accumulated in their bomber beers.

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

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable smoked salmon, coffee grounds, light licorice and a hint of vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though I don't pick up as much smoke on the palate. Mouthfeel was a bit thin I thought, though the beer has a fairly long finish, with the alcohol completely unnoticeable. All things considered, this is a pretty easy to enjoy and appreciate smoked porter.

Shrug. While not one of the better domestic porters I've had, I still thought this a pretty decent effort from Great Divide.

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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 BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on July 14, 2011

Wow, this is a dark beer, nearly black with a creamy tan head that falls and dissipates to just a ring around the edges but leaving big gobs of oily lacing.

The aroma is light, of smooth chocolate malts with a nice smoky tinge to it.

The smokiness is noticed right away and also on the finish as an accent to the rather sweet dark malts which have a chocolate flavor with a hint of raisins. Earthy hops lend a touch of bitterness but this definitely is a malt forward beer that dries out just a touch on the finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and medium/light with carbonation that hits just the perfect balance.

In general smoked beers aren't my favorites but this example changes my mind. The smokiness is the perfect counterpoint to the lightly sweet non-bitter dark malts. A very clean tasting dark lager I could easily drink more of (and I think will be the perfect accompaniment to the whole wheat spinach mushroom pizzas I'm about to have!).

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

This beer pours a light to medium in body dark, dark brown that turns to almost a black as it pools. It features a slight beige colored head that laces the glass. It initially smells of bacon but as it warms and the carbonation ceases it turns into more of a lunch meat esque ham. It eventually even picks up some light chocolate, in both sweet and bitter manners. It tastes of light, both sweet and bitter chocolate with a moderate amount of smoke and wood characteristics. It's pretty solid. It drinks somewhat light but is what should be expected for the style. Overall this is a pretty good smoked porter. I'm surprised it doesn't have better ratings. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of stephens101
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black at the middle and lightens up to a dark reddish brown at the edges. The foamy tan head breaks apart slowly and unselfishly leaves a lot of its sticky self behind. An initial whiff brings to the nose some molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa and a very distant wood pit charred smokiness. Sweet and dark chocolates mix with dark fruits, black licorice, cocoa, more molasses and a huge hit of smokiness that envelops it all. Creamy in the middle, and a thinner than expected body leads to a straight medium mouth-feel. Has a woody edge on the throat, plenty of candy stickiness to the lips, and the alcohol is well-concealed. Good showing from one of my favorite breweries, but could use a bit more body to substantiate the complexities of aroma and taste.

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Photo of JMad
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a pint glass...

Pours almost black, there are red hues in the glass with a soapy, lofty tan colored head. It has a big campfire aroma consisting of mostly wood and smoke with just a hint of chocolate. The taste is very smooth and smoky with hints of coffee, wood and dark chocolate. This beer is medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation and a dry finish. I thought this was a great porter, one of the best I've had.

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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 tjkinate
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first review of a beer from Great Divede brewing co., probably should have tried something else! I'm being harsh, it was still a good beer.

A: Poured a deep dark brown that did allow some penetration when held directly up to a light. The pour produced a small, dull head, but did, however, display considerable lacing.

S: Soft scents of chocolate and coffee with subtle earthy malts. Overall the best part of the beer IMO.

T: Smokey, earthy malts with chocolate and coffee undertones as identified in the scent. Seemed a bit watered down.

M: Thin bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: This beer has its faults, but upon completion I still felt satisfied which is saying something.

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

A: Pours jet black with a finger of white head that recedes into a halo

S: Lots of smoke up front. Some slight woody/oaky characteristics, a touch of roasted malt, a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a decent helping of grassy hops in the end.

T: At first, a great amount of coffee, dark roast, and cocoa, which switches into a bittersweet chocolate in the middle, and finishes with a smoky/woody/earthy flavor. Not bad at all.

O: This is a damn fine smoked porter. I never knew I'd warm up to smoked beers, but I seem to love them. This one is a bit muted in terms of the non-smoke aromas and flavors, but still a fine offering.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick deep brown, with a full inch of head of tiny tan bubbles that is reduced to a thin ring around the edge.

Smells like a distant campfire - one that rides the winds from another county, much like the one we've experienced this week here in eastern Virginia. Not much else comes to the nose.

Smooth and malty, with smoke being the dominant characteristic here, settling the mouth into a fall-like state of mind. It retains a bit of sweetness and even some acidity as well, but only after the smoke is given time to fade. Interestingly, for as big as this beer sounds based on the name, it is relatively light, even a bit watery.

You know it's a porter, but just barely - it's so light and drinkable, it barely qualifies.

While I'm not sure it would go well with a campfire itself, it is reminiscent of being there. A decent substitute if you're not able to make it out to the grounds.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard pour produces a voluminous head of densely packed, light brown bubbles. This is on top of the nearly black, or very dark brown body. Head collapses within a minute or two, and what lacing exists doesn't linger long on the sides of the glass.

Scent is primarily of smoke, as from campfire. Not much else here that I can detect.

In the taste, there is a dominance of smoke and background sourness. Behind the smokiness, there isn't much malt character or roasty coffee flavor. Some malt sweetness does exist, though. Aftertaste is of slightly bitter milk chocolate, or very milky mocha. Not as complex as I thought it was going to be. Fairly one-dimensional.

Medium-bodied with fairly light carbonation leaves this one hanging on the palate. Finish is dry. A bit thinner than I would have liked for a "big" porter style.

Overall, this ia good, drinkable, but not great or the pinnacle of this style. Somewhat lacking the complexity of a "classic" Baltic porter, such as Sinebrychoff.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark bark color thick and dark in the middle with a half finger head that is tan in color which leaves a fine lacing on the brew.

S: Light roasted malts with a good deal of smokey-ness to the aroma. Other than that, not a whole lot going on.

T: Very light coffee and chocolate notes, almost undetectable with an overall taste of smokiness. Light malts are present, but mild.

M: Smooth with not a while lot of bite to it, low on carbonation as well.

D: Definitely drinkable and tasty too, though aside from the smoked flavors, not a whole not going on.

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

Pours a dark cola color but black in the glass with a solid one finger bubbly khaki colored head with medium retention and very little lacing.

The nose has surprisingly mild smokiness and a good deep semi sweet dark roasted malt.

Flavor also has a fairly mild but good smokiness til the beer starts to warm a little bit. Then there is a great balance of smoke to dark sweet roasted malt. Faint notes of coffee, vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied which makes a high drinkability even for those who tend not to like dark beers in the summertime. Good carbonation and a nice smooth and clean finish.

Overall I think this is a great beer. Good flavor and balance. Smoke isn't overwhelming like some smoked porters can be. I do think the price point is a little high for this beer. I recommend a try. But I don't see myself getting another one due to it being about $1-2 overpriced for what it is.

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

Bottle into my Duvel tulip

A: Black Brown with a white tan head. Good lacing. Head quickly dissapates.

S: Chocolate, caramel and smoke. A complex combo

T: cocoa, with a smokey finish. A little roast but not quite a coffee bit. The smoke is not dominating like it can be in some smoked beers.

M A little thin for a porter. A bit watery.

O: This beer is tasty. It would be a great beer for cooking a food pairing. However its not a sipper and not a session beer.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle). Pours near black with thin khaki head. When held up to the light there is shows a nice ruby hue and active, but small carbonation bubbles. Aroma has caramel, savory smoke, and dark chocolate. Nice! Taste is a sweet dark chocolate backbone with some bitterness. Thin bodied with an oily texture. Smooth finish. Nice beer. I don’t know why I let this sit for so long.

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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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