Danzig Baltic Porter | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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30 Reviews
Danzig Baltic PorterDanzig Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Baltic-style porter that blends a strong English porter with a Germanic lager approach, fairly robust – this strong black lager has notes of chocolate and coffee with hints of caramelized sugar. Black, Roast, Chocolate.

Our Trail Blazers stray from the beaten path into a world of robust and daring beers featuring bigger, bolder flavors for fueling your spirit of adventure.

Imagine yourself stepping out of the pilot house onto the pitching deck of a merchant ship plunging through the frigid Baltic Sea night. Squinting against the grey black horizon you spy in the distance the odd sparkle and glimmer; the far away lights of the Baltic port of Danzig are bidding you welcome. Tonight you will feast on dark rye bread and smoked pork sausage, all washed down by the famous strong black lager of the region, the Baltic-style Porter.

Added by on 09-21-2009

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 105
Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Minimal head just covers the top of the opaque body and quickly reduces to a thin edge.

Very nice aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark roasted grains. Flavor follows. Very good balance. Well hidden alcohol.

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Photo of tigg924
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is raisin,, fig, smokiness, and toasted malt. Tastes like a quad/baltic porter mix. Medium heavy bodied and sweet. Interesting beer. Could do a couple.

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #109 (FEB 2016)

Robust, Molasses, Roasty, Clean
Devil’s Backbone stays true to style and brews this hefty porter with a lager yeast. Roastiness ranges from mild charcoal to espresso, dark chocolate to burnt toast. Warming but very clean. A lot more character than anticipated and that’s saying something coming from a style that calls for a big flavor profile. Smooth and drinkable even for a big, semi-brash, dark brew. [Jason]

Look 4.00 | Smell 4.00 | Taste 3.75 | Feel 4.50 | Overall 4.00

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Photo of smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep dark walnut brown, barely a touch of red to the body color but solid with very little light getting through. Minimal head creation, barely a half tan finger that dissolves to a simple tan collar.

Nice aroma of dark plum and raisin. A candy fruitcake like quality really comes off the beer which is quite impressive. Small amounts of coffee and bready chocolate, but more fruit angles take the forefront.

Palate comes with a solid and very fruity profile. Dark malts and thick dark fruit to match. Chewy raisin and plum qualities on first sip, with a velvet like texture that coats the mouth everywhere. Clean finish and a bit of almost nutty soft tannic quality, but more quenching dark fruits kick in the swallow and a tight faint carbonation.

A really nice solid and very fruity Baltic porter.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Look: Dark chestnut brown, tan head, one finger thick
Smell: faint roast malt / chocolate smell, not as much of a nose as I'd expect
Taste: full-bodied, equally bitter and sweet
Feel: a little slick and heavy, thin carbonation
Overall: didn't enjoy this as much as I expected, since I usually like porters.

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Photo of rjs246
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is an excellent Baltic and another pleasant surprise from Devil's Backbone. It seems like they were putting their best foot forward recently in an attempt to butter us up before the sale was announced. Regardless, this is a delicious porter that I would drink a lot of.

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Coffee-colored, creamy brown head that dissipates quickly
Smell: dark roast coffee, black malt, hints of chocolate and caramel
Taste: Fairly sweet with plenty of caramel. Molasses, toasty bready malt. Coffee on the finish.
Feel: Creamy and smooth, medium/heavy body, lower carbonation.
Good flavors but could be balanced better. Too much caramel/molasses sweetness. Still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This has a powerful coffee essence on the nose - the first whiff didn't impress, but it manages to unfurl some layers as more is drunk. Touches of chocolate, smoke, and hazelnut appear, but there isn't a lot of dark fruit like other Baltic porters. Still, the aroma is decent (if reticent). The flavor is a little sweeter and more caramel-laden than the olfactory senses lead me to believe. Starting with notes of butterscotch and cream, it does have a mild finishing roastiness. Smoke is a dominant flavor, yet it manages to mesh with the sweet flavors running around nicely. Still, nothing really seems to pop or ring distinct. I enjoy how it feels more: it's semi-light and slightly sharp the way a good Baltic porter should be, and its drinkability belies the 8% ABV. Still, despite the nimble feel, it does finish with a healthy sweetness. Like many DB offerings, it's acceptable, but it does nothing to wow the senses.

3.18/5: Mother, tell your children not to go crazy for this

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with a low profile, creamy, light tan head. Aromas of heavily roasted coffee, subtle char and campfire, and sweet chocolate. Flavors are heavily roasted and slightly smoky forward, with a quick follow of earthy tones, bitter coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and subtle char. Bold and dynamic palate on a light, smooth body, with a smoky and richly sweet aftertaste that blends the coffee, smoke, and chocolate notes. Smooth, slow, slightly cloying finish. Good roasted and smoky linger. Very solid Baltic Porter.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Black, modest head, little carbonation. Looks as much like coffee as a beer.

A bit light on malt, but dense in roasted coffee, chocolate, slight nutty feel. Too sweet - even for a baltic porter - too uneven in the middle and an undesired tackiness in the aftertaste.

Some redeeming qualities, but not enough to have me go back to this one.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 12/2015:
Near black look, doesn't produce much head initially, but the ring around the glass sticks around for most of the pour.

Nose is raisiny dark fruit, some sweet red wine like fruitiness (and even a light tang). Roasted notes are obvious with a deep inhale, and it is interesting how they seem hidden with a passing whiff.

Taste is clean roasted notes (with a little smokiness) laying the backbone for the fruit flavors present in the nose. Definitely a little sweeter than your normal porter, it seems balanced as much by a fruity tangy-like note than hop bitterness. The beer has the bolder flavors of dark malts without being overpowering, and the feel is refreshingly drinkable. As the beer warms, the smoke impression grows as a component of the roasted malt flavor.

A nice drinking beer with the alcohol hidden well behind roasted malt, smoke, and tangy fruit flavors. Not overpowering, but a fairly bold flavor atop a beer that flows over the tongue easily.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear extremely dark cola brown (approaching jet black) in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate crimson red highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of mottled medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit (fig and plum), and coffee.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of roasted malts with just a hint of charred malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of chocolate and coffee with slightly stronger flavors of alcohol soaked dark fruits (fig and plum) - almost like they had been sitting in some moonshine. Light to moderate amounts of lingering roasty bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Just a touch too boozy for my preferences but a well constructed beer. Enjoyable but I wish the booziness was just a little more hidden from the taste of the beer.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a tan head that leaves no lacing. The smell is a lot of roasted malt and coffee notes with a sweetness present. The taste is nicely sweet with coffee and chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is a tad lighter than I expected but only slightly. This is a quite drinkable tasty beer.

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Photo of Beejay
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Midnight black in color with a dark tan head on top.

S: Chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and a touch of smoke. There is almost a milk stout thing going on, but far more rich. The finish is a touch of booze and vanilla.

T: Brown sugar and molasses, with a bit of a burnt bread flavor, and the finish is coffee.

M: Medium thick in body, carbonation is high, but not effervescent, carbonic bite in the finish.

O: Overall a real good beer. Drinks a little more like an impy stout, but not quite as heavy.

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Photo of Owlish1
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Black beer with a small head that quickly and completely dissipated. The smell is molasses and coffee. Tastes like it smells. Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall, it's more than satisfactory.

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Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep, deep brown, almost black.There is a very thin light tan head that quickly goes away. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, and a little earthy hops. The taste follows closely with the aroma but even more robust. The whole combination is well-balanced. The body is fairly thick and heavy, with a little alcohol tingle. But it's not so much that it feels like work to drink it.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/15/15.Poured one and a half bottles into a half liter stein a deep dark chocolate brown with a full one finger deep beige head atop.Char and alcohol soaked dark fruit in the nose,some mild smoke/wood is detected as well.The feel is just slightly thin in the back end wich takes a little richness away from the palate.Nice flavors of caramel and roast mixed with dark fruit and hint of molasses,some coffee lingers in the finish.To me this is real close to being world class,just that light feel takes away from a fantastic beer...in my opinion.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours near black with a frothy tan head. Looks nice, no lacing.

Nose is on the sweet side of the porter, roasty malt but not much more.

Flavor is okay but not much going on. Roasty malts, slight hop bitter, no big chocolate notes or anything else to speak of.

Definitely has a nice rich mouthfeel, carbonation level is right but nothing spectacular. It's a nice enough porter but pretty standard.

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Photo of MattXT
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled during a DB tap takeover at Whole Foods Fairfax. Poured into a Tree House snifter, it displayed a pitch black appearance and an adequate mocha colored head. Smell was roasty and pleasant. Taste was roasty, with some toffee and coffee notes. Very pleasant beer by them, would revisit.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The flavors are a complex array of dry roast coffee, burnt coffee grounds, embers, toffee, peanut brickle, dry chocolate malt and some hidden dark fruit. 8% is completely hidden.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of chocolate/caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a few wispy clouds of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of earthy aromas. Roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked dark bread, dark chocolate, dark molasses, caramel, a touch of licorice, a touch of smoke and lots of brown sugar. Very nice!

Taste: Delicious! Lots of roasted malt and brown sugar up front, imparting notes of freshly baked dark bread, dark molasses, cinnamon-sugar, a touch of butter, a touch of licorice, and finally, a touch of floral hops at the finish. Really, a delicious porter!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and creamy, as there is no carbonation, what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.0%, I’m surprised at how little alcohol is on the palate, like none.

Overall: This is a damn good Baltic Porter! Devils Backbone, my favorite Virginia Brewery, does it again! Another great beer! Recommended!

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Photo of JCarey
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%

Better than the other beers from the same brewery, but still not 'good'. All of their beers have some funky carbonation going on. It feels artificial and soda-like. This Porter is a bit more laid back in that regard due to the style, but even in this Baltic Porter you fail to relish in the silky smooth texture of not only the beer, but the iconic Porter head. Severely lacking in mouthfeel, the flavor is definitely there, and is quite a redeeming factor, but I can bring myself to score this any higher due to how disappointing the appearance and mouthfeel is. Drinkable, but not memorable.

0/3 for DB, so far.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 6/14

Pours very dark black. Solid black. No foam. Still.

Sweet chocolate malty nose. Light coffee. Lighter porter taste, some licorice. Bitter hits hard at the end. Smooth throughout. Bittering hangs out a little long.

Just ok.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown, almost black. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Nutty malts. Roasted dark chocolate. Schwartzbier-like aroma.

Taste - Chocolate. Nutty malts. Bready malts. Hoppy and earthy finish. NIce.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Clean finish. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This suffered from being so late in the tasting, but it's a very clean and flavorful beer.

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Photo of obywan59
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black save for a thin ring of ruby around the base of the glass when held up to a bright light. 2 Finger dark tan head that recedes a bit too quickly leaving hardly any lacing.

Coffee and dark chocolate on the nose with dark fruit and a wonderful floral spice aroma that kicked it up a notch for me.

Taste is dominated by coffee and dark chocolate at first, but that pleasant bitterness mellows as the beer warms allowing the dark fruits to shine through. Some tart citrus as well.

Medium full in body with moderate syrup and a light to moderate burn in the throat and a nice slick coating in the mouth.

It seems this batch is aging nicely, no problem with the alcohol here. Not what I would call hot at all. It seems to be mellowing well. Definitely a keeper.

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Danzig Baltic Porter from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.
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