Raven Baltic Porter | McKenzie Brew House

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Raven Baltic PorterRaven Baltic Porter
22 Ratings
Raven Baltic PorterRaven Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-16-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by ElGuapo:
Photo of ElGuapo
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown pour with deep amber notes. It is topped in a die-hard coating of brownish foam. The burnt aromas leap out first followed by a bit of coffee, and a delicious blast of chocolate that lingers in the air.

The body is pretty full, and the flavor is right there. It is rich and smooth. There were subtle notes of fruits in there, but it wasn't loaded. It was very roasty with lots of coffee flavors, burnt at times. The chocolate was very nice, sweet, but not too sweet. It balanced very well, and the complexity was still enough. Drinkability is also great. I think the bottled version seemed to be a bit thicker than draught. This is a very nice one that you should give a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Murky black in color with a brownish off-white head that left a nice collar around my Chimay glass.

Smell – The deep, rich, roasted malts are covered in those traditional fruity Porter smells. They are all overripened and super-sweet. They are almost unrecognizable from their original condition, but I can pick up some cherries, plums, and best of all some juicy tobacco.

Taste – This one starts off with the sweets, but don’t worry there’s a lot more to it. The fruits take on a fine chocolate quality that I didn’t get from the nose. The alcohol is apparent, but just barely. In the middle come those roasted malts that make things right. The sweet fruits come back for a curtain call at the end.

Mouthfeel – The only kind of carbonation I like with my Porter is of the mild, very tight variety, and that’s exactly what’s to be found in this medium to full-sized sample.

Drinkability – This will cap off my Friday night. It is the appetizer, main course, and dessert.

Comments – Big thanks to Mr. New York, Davo himself, for sending this one all the way out to Seattle. It was one of many gems that he managed to cram into my little tiny Self-Storage box. NYC BAs rule (even if you are from Jersey).

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Photo of shapudding
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased on the BA swarming event when Morrison bottled a bunch of 750's, and we all scrambled to get them all before they were gone!
Split this with the blithering one in a night of McK's bomber sharing!
Wonderfully dark rubied, can't see through it. Nice and thick creamy head the color of Breyer's coffee ice cream. This was warming for a bit, and smells so lovely! Coffee and chocolate... Smooth and luscious feeling. Light/medium mouthfeel, very drinkable. Vanilla bean flavors, maybe a bit of rum? Some roastyness, bit dark fruits. Coffee and chocolate flavors left on your tongue. Feels wet, but leaves your mouth dry, the feel of black tea. Good feeling and flavors, smooth and lovely, goes down very easily!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, my F'n review seems to have been lost. I reviewed this over a year ago - at least - for God's sake. Anyway...

Black body. Tan head. Retention could be, and should be better despite the alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate, dark coffee, and dark-skinned fruit (prunes, figs, cherries) greet you in the nose. The flavor displays a darkly caramelish and roasty grain profile with some yeasty fruitiness thrown in. All of the flavors from the aroma are present, and the fruitiness pulls it away from being heavy with malt ballast. The alcohol is well-cloak, but noticeable, and it does have a lightly spicy edge. It finishes dry with a short lingering roasty note, some dark fruit, and a mild note of alcohol.

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Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The ale is a deep brown to black color with a white ring of head.

S: The ale has a sweet chocolatey aroma with hints of stale sourness.

T: The chocolate notes strike first, giving the beer a chewy taste. The sour, bitter flavors then emerge, adding a very good strong flavor.

M: The sourness is spot on for a Baltic porter, creating a full-bodied flavor that tastes quite good.

D: Very drinkable, this ale just won a silver at GABF and is well worth a look.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

App: Pours a deep, nearly opaque, cola color with ruby highlights and a massive, frothy cafe-au-lait colored head. Gorgeous.

Smell: Dark-roasted malts, and big chocolate mixed with sugar-sweet coffee. Hints of smoke. Couldn't wait to drink it.

Taste/Mouth/Drink: Yow. This is why I drink beer. Luscious and smooth. Taste is deep with varying degrees of chocolate and coffee. Sometimes like a cafe mocha, sometimes like chocolate syrup. Finish is lingering sweet and bitter coffee. Stuff is riddled with carbonation yet it doesn't become too prickly. Decadent. Amazing. Masterful. One of the best Baltic porters I've had. Wish I had bought more than one bottle (and not shared half of the one I bought with my kitchen floor).

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with red/maroon highlights. Small but thick tan head that imparts lots of lace to the pint glass.
Aroma of heavy chocolate, light espresso, piney hops and some dark wheat bread.
Flavor of hyped up chocolate, some minor coffe notes, nuttiness, leahter and a little bit of smoky root beer flavor.
Mouthfeel is sweet moving to a roasted nuttiness and finishing with a mild but drawn out bitterness. Very lively and highly carbonated.
Drinkability is very high. Nicely thck and juicy beer. Slightly overcarbonated maybe but still very impressive.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Philly Beer Rally as it was featured for the BAs. It was a great porter. It poured a very dark almost translucent brown with some red undertones. The aroma was distinctly malty with some hints of caramel and chocolate. The taste was very similar to the aroma with perhaps a little coffee undertone. It was thick as a porter is supposed to be, and was great from first taste to last and into the second pour.

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Photo of weeare138
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My label-less bottle has been stored in my fridge calling my name for about 6 months. Pours inky black with a nice head and a lace that sticks around. The smell is that of a sweet malted creamy, caramel cappucino. The taste is very creamy and rolls down the toungue hitting every tastebud starting at the front with the sweetness and finishing well with a slightly roasted bitterness that is pleasant. I could drink this whole thing and look for another one. Nothing but superb from Scott Morrison. This one is a good one to check out if you get the chance.

Finger licking good!

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Photo of meathookjones
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have such high expectations from McKenzie’s bottled products since they seem to do no wrong. This was not exception. Pitch black body with a tall fluffy tan head that stayed around leaving scatterings of lace. Huge coffee nose, with lots of roastiness to it. Lurking behind all that coffee and roasted malt is noted of dark chocolate and a light fruit sweetness. A suitable replacement for that morning cup of coffee. As expected the flavor is chock full of coffee and roasted malt goodness. Some sweet dark fruits are present as is a small amount of chocolate. It’s all about the roasted coffee here. Bitter roasted coffee after taste that linger for a bit. About a medium body and it feels quite slick going down. Really easy drinking and goes down quite smooth. I really need to get this on tap when it is available again. Great stuff.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained via trade with garthwaite. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" of mocha-hued head over the dark, root-beer shaded brew. Head is not going anywhere, and laces superbly. Almost don;t know if you can call it lacing when there's such a heavy layer of foam along the glass that you almost can't tell the head is gone, but whatever. Aroma is sweet chocolate and coffee, yummy.

Taste is as the nose hints, with the balance tipping a bit towards the sweet chocolate malts. Seems lacking a bit in something, but I can't put my finger on it. Nice, regardless. Mouthfeel and drinkability, both good. "Enjoy me," quoth the Raven.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

SPlit a 750 corked and caged bottle of this with afriend. Drinking at room temp in a pint glass. The beer pours dark black with soft fluffy off white and tightly packed head of 2cm foaming up nicely. Aroma is all roasted malt and chocolate. A light fruity scent penetrates as well. Flavor is similar to the nose with chocolate an toffee mixing with roasted malt. The sweet toffee starts the flavor with the finish being mostly chocolate. Smooth creamy texture with gentle rolling carbonation. Very easy to drink. Quite a nice brew. I wish there was a little more of the fruity twang I enjoy in baltic porters, but damn this is a nice brew for a winter evening.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle served at cellarish temps in a Maudite snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, liquid topped by a thick tan head. Foam was oozing out of the top of the bottle when it was opened. A film and layer of bubbles was retained for a few minutes after the beer was poured. Wee specks of lacing.

Smell: Rich coffee aromas blended with bready dark malts. Hints of dense prune fruit.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee abounds. Mild prunes and dark malts. Nummmy.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh yeah, give me some more of this. An earthy baltic porter with a lot of coffee overtones. Stunning.

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Photo of dmarch
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not too familiar with McKenzie's and this was the first beer of theirs that I tried. I have to say that I was blown away. This was an amazing porter. Full bodied and as chocolatey as any hershey's product. I think I passed by this brewery way too many times. Scott nailed this one.

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Photo of 99bottles
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer is a very dark shade of brown, nearly black and has about an inch of tan foam with decent retention.

Smell: The smell is of some dark roasted malts, and a large dose of that 'porter' sweetness/acidity, if anyone can understand what I mean.

Taste: This has a very nice flavor, nothing really jumps out at you. A nice robust malt base gives this nice flavors of cocoa and chocolate liquer, perhaps because of a stepped up ABV making this more in the baltic style. More burnt acidity, but never so much as to cover the nice sweetness this exhibits. Hops are present towards the end and combine to give balance to the finish.

Mouthfeel: I really enjoyed how soft this beer was, nice and round in the mouth, not too heavy or viscous. I actually didn't know it was a baltic porter until I saw it on the site.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one, and I think it easily drubs some of the regulars on the menu. I'm beginning to really like the baltic porter style, maybe even moreso than the similar and more forceful imperial stout.

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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed at the brewpub. Presented as an almost pure black beverage with modest tannish head. Smell is an enjoyable combination of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits (prunes, figs, cherries) . Taste is dominated by roasted grains and a caramel-molasses combination. Finished nice and creamy with no evidence of the alcohol present. A thoroughly enjoyable porter that I hope they continue to brew on a regular basis.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label declares 31 IBUs, 16.8 Plato, 6.7 % ABV.

Pours with a fury of lights out opaque buh-lack molasses colored pour with a wispy quickly settled spongey khaki head leaving stratus lace.

Toasted roasty malts & espresso meets pumpernickel bread.

First swigs: An English Stout pops out at me initially. Creamy milky with some tobacco notes. Some Tootsie Roll (remind me to pay the royalty later) candy like flavors. Short aftertaste of charcoal. Some delicate vanilla & coffe ice cream notes.

Soft unassuming attenuated bubbles.

Last swigs: Vanilla cake. I'll be darned if I can discern the line betwixt Baltic Porter from English Stout, honestly.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of Jarod
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, bottle conditioned
16.8 Plato, 31 IBU
Brewed and bottled January 2004 – aged 1 year at 38 degrees

This beer poured with tons of ruby tones all throughout with a deep rich mahogany wood appeal to it, crystal clear even to the last pour and well carbonated. The head that was produced was thick, rich, creamy, sticky and a mixture of light browns/dark tans/ a medium browns all throughout. Approx. 2 inches that was long lasting and fell to a creamy skim on the top, no real lace seemed to be present. The aromas seemed to be dominated by chocolates (sweet and bitter), cocoa powders, and coffee grounds, also noticeable were rich dark malts, light plum fruits, dry wood and leafs, near the end cinnamon graham crackers, and ended on a sweet note. Flavors that came from the glass ranged from rich creamy chocolates, cocoa powders, hints of coffee, bitter chocolate and dark malts to hops, dry leafs, earth tones and woodsy flavors as it left my tongue. Aftertastes were of cocoa powders and some bitter chocolate notes. It left a rather dry effect on my tongue, not completely drying it out, but very noticeable. The body was light to medium. Over all a creamy and smooth beer with tons of chocolate notes all throughout both the nose and pallet. I was surprised that the alcohol, (6.7 abv and age) was not present at all. Simply a really good beer and very drinkable, a good example of a Baltic Porter. The label suggest that aging 1 year would be great for this beer and it was correct, but I wonder if aging it at cellar temp rather then in the fridge would change any of the flavors that I experienced. Scott does it again.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, bloody black/red with a nice brown head of foam that dies quickly. The aromas of this brew are awesome. Scotch, brandy, chocolate, roasted malts, green hops, coffee, more. The taste is also quite awesome. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, brandy, and famous grouse dance together under a bloody moon. The mouthfeel is good, but perhaps a bit too carbonated for a heavy beer of the baltic style. The drinkability remains very good though. A super example of an awesome beer style!

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle coutesy of GeoffFromSJ.

Pours a deep brown with some ruby tints. Head is somewhat large, tan, and sticks around for a while. Lacing is nice as well.
Aromas of espresso, some fruit (figs, dates, plums), and just a hint of chocolate. Somewhat musty, which isn't nearly as bad as one would think.
Taste is impressive really. Loads of sweetness up front, followed by just a hint of brandy, maybe some scotch flavors. Roasted and chocolate malts, along with a pleasant hop bitterness balance this one out quite nicely. Alcohol is apperent, but very very minute in the massive flavors that meld with it. Some fruitiness as well (see above)
Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation isn't overwhelming, but is certainly well qualified in the beer.
Overall, an excellent beer. I have 2 other McKenzies chilling in my refrigerator and if this is any indication of their abilities, I just can't wait to try them.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts off with some serious carbonation. Snap crackle pop echos thru the den. First pour is 75% foam. It settles quite nicely into an extremely dark brown with auburn highlights, topped by three or four fingers of light airy tan gueaze foam that rises above the rim before forming a table top.

Nice chocolate-coffee nose enough to tease, not enough to overwhelm.

The coffee and chocolate tastes do not disappoint in the taste, leading across the tongue, laying down a delicious foundation while a swarm of earthy hops slide along the inside of your cheeks and linger as the beer fades slowly away.

Mouthfeel is three quarters full and quite right for the style.

Drinkability...damn, how much is gone already?

A hearty recommendation. Bring a couple home if you get down to the brewpub.

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Photo of nomad
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn dark with specks and things here and there. A fair looking monster in my imperial pint.

Smell is pruney right off the bat, exploding with that doppelbock-ish smooth fruit scents of a well-lagered Baltic Porter. The body is huge, consisting of buckets of chocolatey, grainy specialty malts; just a big whoosh of anything great that can be done with carefully dark roasted malts. Opens to distinct scents of moderately roasted coffee beans. Altogether highly smooth and rounded while being rough and burly at the same time. Jackpot for the style.

Levels - The taste begins with spoonfuls of mocha and cocoa powder with that chewable chocolate dryness. On come big woody notes paired with a small but easy sweetness lilting its little song amongst the darkness. The darkness, as in the abyss of dark malt and dark chocolate into which you slowly sink. Incredible depth and breadth of dark goodness with enough room to fit in some dark fruit (black grape/prune) tones, though they hide mostly from the monsterous body of flavor. Sounds like a stoutish ale, right? But all of the above is lager smooth and rounded, giving the beer the classic elegance and drinkability of a true Baltic Porter.

Brilliance. You expect anyhing else from Scott Morrison?!

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Raven Baltic Porter from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 22 ratings