Grand Baltic Porter | Garrison Brewing Company

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Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter
Very Good
78 Ratings
Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This traditional beer style was originally brewed in countries bordering the Baltic Sea. Although derived from English porters, it was mostly influenced by Russian imperial stouts. Typically, the Baltic porters are brewed with lager yeasts and are smoother than the imperial stouts. Grand Baltic Porter is good for the soul and luxurious on a cold Baltic night. Skal!

30 IBU

Added by nighthawk on 01-18-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by TheHammer:
Photo of TheHammer
3.39/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Well, it's deep brown/black like a porter should be, but it doesn't quite pull off many other traits I'd expect from a porter. The head is lager like, not creamy and it makes pop like fizzle as you set it down. I managed to get a finger's worth but it was gone in a nearly a minute.

Smell: Sweet malt scent with a touch of acid. It doesn't need a lot of warming. I'm kind of left expecting more, given I usually expect a bit more roast in a darker beer, but it's still solid.

Taste: Nice roasted barely taste that still manages to have a slight sweetness to go with a coffee and smokey flavour. Walnut, almond and cherry notes in the background. Bitter, but not stout bitter and a mild acid touch which helps to smooth it out.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fell flat really quick, and that really held the beer back. It was great for then whole minute it lasted, but then once is was gone it was just too watery in texture. The aftertaste sticks around just long enough, which is good.

Drinkability: No problems getting it down, but as a porter I kind of expect it to be a bit heavier. It's missing something that I can't quite put my finger on.

Final Thoughts: Nitro would have really helped this one out. Heck, blowing into it with a straw to get some carbonation might have made it fare better. I dunno, maybe I left it in the fridge too long, and maybe I'm being a bit unfair, but I'd say pass.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit and alcohol. The aroma is about what I expected in a Baltic porter.

The taste is much more complex. I get a lot of roasted/burnt malt which leads to the beer being somewhat bitter. I also get a lot of chocolate, cherries, raisins, molasses and alcohol. After reading the label and the ingredients in the beer, I also get some dates, but I am not sure if I would have picked them out if I would not have been tipped off that they were included in the recipe.

Full mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

A great beer, one of the best my father brought back from Halifax.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tall bottle shared with friends as part of our Best of Nova Scotia beer tasting night.

Poured into a small snifter glass. A chestnut-grape coloured brew, fairly dark, but certainly with some colour. Thin head, some lacing.

The nose on this spicy and fruity, with notes of figs, grapes, dates, prunes, a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel and slight bittering hops. Divine.

A flavorful and enjoyable Baltic - our previous brew that evening was an imperial stout, yet this brew felt neither washed out or bland. Rather, the lovely grape-date fruit flavors paired well with the hearty malts and spices, making for a lovely sipper. A mild rye bread and grainy character also pervades the brew. Very nice. Thin bodied, mild carbonation.

Baltic porters are a diverse breed, and this brew certainly falls under the lighter, fruity end of the spectrum. But it does it extremely well, and Garrison is certainly to be commended.

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Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of biboergosum
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml, bottled on Jan 25, 2011. The eastern march into Alberta continues unabated - bully for us!

This beer pours a clear, very dark and winsome ruby red amber hue, with a teeming amount of fine, creamy, yet billowy ecru head, which settles at an even pace, leaving a consistent saw tooth band of lace around the glass. It smells of brown sugar, ripe dark fruit, booze-soaked oak, and a general caramel maltiness. The taste is big fruity caramel/toffee malt, resinous wood - vanilla, mostly, bittersweet chocolate, a twinge of lactic sourness, and soft, oh so gentle alcohol. The carbonation is quite tame, the body full, round, smooth, and vectored towards creamy. It finishes still sweet, and a little more boozier, the malt playing out its fruit bender.

Sometimes I just take a big gulp of a new beer, and see where the chips fall. Often, I'm righteously smacked upside the head. But not here, from the first glorious glug, this goes down in a lovely, soothing manner. I shall re-up on this, given the chance.

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Photo of mintjellie
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Deep, rich, and murky brown colour, very close to black. Thin tan head dissipates quickly, no lace. Aromatic notes of cacao powder, raisin, coffee, and brown sugar. Chocolate flavour up front, followed by dried fruit, and a fairly strong molasses note. Coffee notes are faint and linger in the background. The beer is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Mouthfeel is smooth and rich without being heavy.

When I saw molasses listed as an ingredient on this beer, it made me somewhat fearful after their molasses-bomb Spruce Beer. This isn't quite as overpowering. After a few mouthfuls I actually found myself thinking "I could actually get through this bottle." I was wrong. I can't get around this. After drinking half the bottle, I had to pour the rest down the drain. It simply overpowered my palate.

That's still a half a bottle farther than I made it with the Spruce Beer though.

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Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Private Garrison order. A big beer, very malty with a touch of sourness. While drinkable, not hitting the style. Rather muted and simple for flavours,I did not find this particularly interesting even for a plain porter. Minimal roast. AVerage carbonation and mouthfeel.

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Photo of traumaqueen
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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

500ml bottle, black foil. returned from blackie's great "international" adventure

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, dark body, creamy tan head with decent retention.

smell: chew caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, dates, brown sugar, molasses

taste: caramel, raisins and dates, sweet chocolate, molasses, coffee, roasted malts. Nice baltic, though a little sweet

mouthfeel: creamy, medium body

drinkability: high for the abv

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - deep wood brown, two fingers of thick mocha head, retains long and consistent
S - mocha, molasses, raisins, and an alcohol hint
T - very sweet toffee, thick molasses, bakers chocolate, dark cherries with syrup, super sweet and tasty
M - somehow light and syrupy together, finishes full and sticky
O - a full flavour and feel brew that is dangerously drinkable at 9%, I really hope this is a mainstay in Alberta

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Photo of heebes
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of DaveBar
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on a trade! Thx Curtis. Served at 4deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a nice 1" light brown head that dissipates to nothing in no time. Very dark brown

S- Nice licorice and fig tones. Has chocolate and malt

T- Figs. Honey. Malt. Touch of coffee.

M- Creamy good

O- Nice brew. Has a decent backbone that stands up for it's own.

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with..... Peppercorn encrusted pork loin


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Photo of Stocean1
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger mocha head that quickly dissipated to nothing, nearly completely black with ruby highlights, minimal lacing.

Very complex nose, some booze, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit.

The taste is massive, follows the nose lots of anise/licorice coming through especially as it warmed. Very sweet. Earthy hops emerges as well.

Full bodied with little carbonation, sweet although not overly so, this is a sipper with plenty of bitterness throughout. Definitely not a session brew it is nevertheless relatively smooth for the style.

An excellent complex brew that is perfect for ending an evening of brews by sending you to your slumber.

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Photo of Rutager
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Deep, deep brown-red with two fingers of thick and creamy tan head.

Smell. Plums, burnt sugar, roasty malt.

Taste. Apples, molasses and heavy roasted grains. A little bitterness and tobacco in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Not bad. A little harsh, but not bad tasting. Finished without any troubles, but wouldn't open another right away.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a super large off-white foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of medium dry coffee notes with some black chocolate note and light dry roasted notes. Taste is easily drinkable with loads of coffee notes with some notes of rich black chocolate and light dry roasted malt at the end. Body is quite full with a nice creamy texture. Very well brewed.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed on November 25, 2011. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured medium brown and settled dark brown with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass. A slight ruby glow is evident around some of the edges.

S - Big dark fruit aroma up front - cherry, raisin, figs. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with some brown sugar and toffee sweetness. A very atypical nose for a baltic porter but very inviting.

T - Dark fruit up front with raising and a warming alcohol presence. A touch of cocoa is evident in the background along with a big sweetness with hints of molasses and brown sugar. The sweetness and the warming alcohol balance each other out nicely. Overall, this is a very nice beer, but if I tasted this blind I would think I was drinking a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ZorPrime
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Long813 for sending me this one. Cheers!

The beer is black, but not dark black. The head is beige and nicely formed, however it disappear quickly. The aroma is light. I get some chocolate with some metallic notes. Not inspiring. I doubt this could won a gold medal but apparently it did...

The taste is more intense. I get some molasses with a coffee type bitterness. Not bad but nothing out of this world too. For a baltic porter I think this beer is pretty light. However, due to the alcohol level, it is a sipper but in no way the body is full. There is no complexity in this beer, just pretty straight forward I would say.

Drinkability is low due to the high ABV. Mouthfeel is not great for this type of beer, could be almost watery. Not an inspiring beer.

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

per the bottle, brewed with molasses and dates

a: piraat snifter, creamy tan head one finger width in depth, soon falling back to a nicely retained layer, the beer itself practically black in colour

s: lots of heavy blackstrap molasses and dark char roast, licorice, burnt caramel sugars, black currant and blackberry liqueur, sour cherry, dark chocolate coated leathery fruits like raisin and prune; sweeter and mildly hopped, boozy, pretty great aroma all told (really dig the berry/roast combo) - nosing into 4.5 territory

m: carbonation medium-full, smooth and nearly silky, medium-heavy body

t: lots of deep roast with a full sweetness, sour berry liqueur - cherry, blackberry, currant; dark chocolate, burnt sugars reminiscent of molasses and licorice, dries out a bit leaving lingering char roast, warming alcoholic finish

d: a bit of a challenge as it's boozy and a touch harsh at times, but one of the better baltics I've come across

500 ml bottle from the brewery in Halifax, at the terminus of the harbour side walk

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Photo of mmurphy525
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle, black foil around the neck and cap. Pours out a dark brown that turns a translucent cola hue when held to direct light. Tall creamy beige head that slowly settles.

The aroma exhibits mild roasted malt, hints of cocoa, cafe au lait, and prominent levels of dark dried fruit.

Mild roast malt and some rum/raisin character up front in the flavour, sweet coffee and alcohol in the middle, with some grainy toffee malt and mild spicy hops on the finish.

Medium-bodied, silky slick texture, low carbonation.

A well put together Baltic Porter, a bit on the mild side for my liking, but has a decent balance.

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Photo of CurtisD
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml bottle thanks to bobsy, bottle Dec. 2009 but just received in a private order... who knows how it was stored?!

Pours a dark brown with hints of mahogany and ruby around the edges, a nice mocha head forms but has little retention. Easy enough to swirl and get a bit more though.

Dark fruits, dates, vanilla, burnt sugar, molasses, hint of cocoa, perhaps one the best I've had from Garrison. Thinnish body for the style and the largest error is the over-carbonation which, unless swirled away, lets the beer explode in your mouth rather than glide silkily through.

Easy to drink, no notice of the ABV. I would gladly drink this one again.

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Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 78 ratings