Danzig Baltic Porter | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

very good
125 Ratings
Danzig Baltic PorterDanzig Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

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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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of Pantalones
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to the last bottle from the six-pack. Bottling date is 12/14/16, so just short of 5 months old at this point -- I figure age shouldn't be an issue for a higher-ABV, non-hoppy dark beer, though.

Pours a dark cola-like brown, settling into pitch black once it's in the glass. My flashlight can't penetrate it unless I aim it at an angle through the narrowest part of the glass, and even then it just gives a few spots around the edges a dark reddish glow rather than actually making it through. A somewhat thin head of light brown foam forms on top upon pouring, audibly fizzing for a while afterward as it shrinks down into a thinner cap on the surface and then starts to fade away entirely,

Smell is dark malts all the way -- a mild almost-coffee like roasted barley smell, some very dark bread, and some almost chocolatey smells mixed in.

Taste is similar to the smell -- the almost coffee-like roasted malt is the first thing that comes through, along with some sweetness and a lingering dark-roasty/char sort of thing. I'm noticing that after the charred sort of flavor fades a bit, there's a sweet, almost-buttery-seeming chocolatey thing hiding underneath. Sometimes the slight chocolateyness pops in right away, other times it hangs out in the back and waits before revealing itself. A bit of an alcohol-y fruity-seeming thing popping in here and there, too. Toward the end of the glass I'm noticing a bit of an almost nutty flavor lingering in the aftertaste, which is a pleasant surprise.

Mouthfeel is nice -- definitely seems appropriately thick for a dark beer in the 8% ABV range, and it never feels too fizzy/prickly despite the foam on top being audibly noisy. Does seem to thin out a bit toward the later half of the glass, but never so much that it really hurts the beer -- just shifts from a "small sips" beer to a "big sips/small gulps" beer. No alcohol warmth in the mouth as far as I've noticed, though drinking this on an empty stomach there's definitely some warmth on that end!

Overall, this is a really nice beer that I'm glad Devil's Backbone is bottling now rather than only offering as a draft option at the brewery. It definitely seems to hold up well to age, too -- this bottle is as good as (if not better than) the fresh ones I had when I first picked up my six-pack. Here's hoping it sticks around for years to come!

 2,386 characters

Photo of 88caprice
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Super dark black. Thin head that disappeared. No lacing.
Smells like dark malts, dried fruits, and cigar ash.
Taste is big and robust. A touch of alcohol.
Falls a little flat on the tongue, but a medium to heavy mouthfeel.

 263 characters

Photo of gruves33
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spelingchampeon
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

20oz stout glass. Pours heavy brown oil-like.. with little lacing, and a head that dies very quick to nothing at all.
Smells lightly of chocolate, with a nice roasted coffee backbone. Tastes virtually the same, some sweetness..with a hint of some dry bite on the back end. MF was a little thick and creamy... not bad at all.

Overall, I liked this beer. It was pretty good, but didn't wow me. The alcohol did not present itself, which I rather appreciated. I would gladly have another.

 486 characters

Photo of Guppy314
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle, pours as opaque black with only just a thin khaki quickly dissipating head. Aroma is of musky malt and sort of licorice. Taste is bitter roasted malt with dark-fruit (perhaps raising), molasses, and caramel. Mouth feel full and pretty descent -- not world class.

 281 characters

Photo of argock
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle. Bottled on 12.16.16 on bottle neck.

A: Very dark brown with short-lived light beige 1/2-finger head with average retention and no lacing.

S: Tons of milk chocolate and cocoa in the aroma mixed with medium sweetness caramel and a bit of dark fruit raisiny-prune

T: Flavor is a bit sweeter with more prune and raisin notes but also a lot of caramel and milk chocolate with a milder coffee contribution. Roast character comes through in the finish. Low bitterness. Alcohol is well-hidden.

M: Smooth and fairly dry in the finish with medium body and lowish carbonation.

O: Really good Baltic porter. Will be looking for this whenever it is available given my wife's proclivity for dark beers.

 728 characters

Photo of Dewsby
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ldhughes0307
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cuy50
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft

Black, with thin white head. Aroma of coffee and chocolate, but not too bold. Same with taste. Good balance, starts sweeter but finishes semi dry. Medium bodied.

 172 characters

Photo of LukeB
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ordybill
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap at the Distillery in Savannah, Georgia. The appearance is a clear midnight black color with a small tan colored head. The aroma is full on roasted malt. The taste matches the nose plus some molasses and licorice in the background.

 253 characters

Photo of whattheshelley
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aasher
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of robebo44
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dmorgan310
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MisledTitan
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of token_23223
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of csnyder83
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 254 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 215 characters

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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

 537 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 858 characters

Photo of BPMeyer27
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Danzig Baltic Porter from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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