Grand Baltic Porter
Garrison Brewing Company

Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter
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Porter - Baltic
Ranked #169
Ranked #21,143
3.86 | pDev: 9.33%
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada
Very Good
Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter
Notes: 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
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 78 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tonyf55:
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tonyf55 from Canada

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the large Garrison bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Visual (4.5): Extremely dark, black opaque color. No clarity at all. Head is a nice tan color made of small spherical bubbles, lasting due to a consistent film of active carbonation.

Aroma (4): Caramel malts prevalent. Sweetness is subdued by alcoholic lingerings and hints of fruit includes dates, prunes and fig. Not overly complex with no real yeast or hop scents. Really shines more when its a little warmer.

Taste (4): Mild roasted flavours dominate with alcoholic flabours that linger in the mouth. Sweetness from the malt is mild and dark fruit flavours touch the pallet before the swallow. Flavours are slightly understated despite being a "big" beer. Decent warming capabilities.

Mouthfeel (3.5): A medium body with a nice creamy feel. Alcohol floods the pallet. Prevalently dry but compliments the taste and feel of the style nicely. Could be chewier.

Overall (4): All together Baltic Porter by Garrison is a well crafted offering. Fantastic appearance coupled with an interesting nose and complimentary taste gives this Garrison beer great marks. I feel like the 9% ABV dominated a bit and flavour complexities could have been increased to balance the big alcoholic taste and mouthfeel. Overall, a great beer for a cold Canadian night.

Nov 19, 2011
More User Reviews:
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3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Apr 03, 2012
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mick303 from Canada

3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, bottled Nov 12, 2011 aged for approx. 22 months. Colour is black, with some strong initial carbonation leaving a ring and some whisps of slight tan lacing. 3.75

S – rich notes of chocolate liqueur, gingerbread, licorice, plummy stonefruits and dates, a full dark malt presence, coffee notes are strong with a lot of balanced roasty flavour, pretty much on par for the style but with a big jammy dark fruit/date note. 4

T – roasty malt, chocolate liqueur, a smooth creaminess, woodsmoke comes through, some mulled red fruits and dates again, semisweet cocoa, some vanilla and gummy butterscotch. Big notes of dry dark chocolate mixed with some slight coffee, toffee and roasty notes, full flavor with a subtle bitterness with earthy and slight spice notes. Finish is very dry with a dark malt note and some bitterness. Enjoyable. 4

M – big malty and roasty profile, light/moderate carbonation, very smooth with a pleasant dry finish. A slickness to it as well, long aftertaste. 3.75

Found this to be a quite chocolate forward Baltic Porter. Pretty solid mix of flavours, and warmed nicely, some slight astringent bitterness that worked well to counter some of the sweetness, alcohol is somewhat present but works to give some spice and heat. Overall I’d say this is a solid representation with some very hearty character and worth trying, but in certain areas it could be more interesting. 4

Sep 26, 2013
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CurtisD from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Mar 07, 2014
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cfalovo97 from Canada

3/5  rDev -22.3%

Nov 06, 2012
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lgmol from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Mar 16, 2013
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Jeffry-Mazerolle from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Feb 27, 2014
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DaveBar from Canada

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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


May 15, 2015
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UrbanCaveman from Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Oct 09, 2014
Photo of SchoonerNS

3.71/5  rDev -3.9%

Nov 28, 2014
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Jerk_Store from Canada

4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 07, 2017
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Mousel from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 26, 2016
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IronDjinn from Canada

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Apr 25, 2011
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Phyl21ca from Canada

4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Dec 12, 2010
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Sammy from Canada

3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Mar 20, 2011
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red, nearly black, but light permeates throughout. The compact tan head lasts for a shortwhile and doesnt leave much lace on the glass. The aroma is malty with some roasted barly, coffee and black licorice present. The taste is of bittersweet dark chocolate, vinous fruitness, hop bitterness and caramel drenched rum cake. The mouthfeel is full with a very active carbonation, mmm prickly. The finish is long and malty with some slight booze. Overall though, the high abv is quite well hidden.

Great Baltic Porter. I highly recommend this. Very rich.

May 01, 2012
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Viggo from Canada

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml wax topped bottle.

Pours a very opaque black, maybe some dark reddish highlights, thick tan head forms, slowly settles to a thick ring, some lace spots stick. Smell is nice, quite rich, dark fruit and chocolate milk, very malty, light roast and biscuit, raisins, good stuff. Taste is similar, sweet up front, some brown sugar and caramel, chocolate, lots of fruit, touch of alcohol, nice biscuity finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Pretty solid example of the style.

Sep 25, 2009
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BDTyre from Canada

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, if somewhat mild Baltic porter. Dark ruby with a thick, fluffy off-white head.

Coffee, rum, raisins and slight apple in the nose. Similar taste, but with a pronounced wine profile to it. Definite coffee character. I also pick up chocolate covered raisins. Mild rum flavour, and even brandy. Slight alcohol burn - enough to make me slow down.

Smooth, slick body. Low carbonation, suited to the style. A good sipper - one to finish the night with.

Apr 25, 2011
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Risser09 from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a white wine glass · cellar temp (november 6) · Bottled January 25th, 2011

The bottle claims this is a lager, so I guess they use a lager yeast to make a porter style beer. Ingredients include: Water, malt, hops, yeast, molasses, dates & coffee

Appearance: Pours a very dark black with red highlights (pretty). The head builds like a lager would and shows great retention. Light brown in color, it slowly recedes and leaves a coating on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, sweet fruit (dates), raisins, and I think I can smell the molasses coming through. Love that dark fruit, toasted malt combo.

Taste: Roasted malt, alcohol, bitter hops, some dark fruit. The aroma made me think this beer would have denser flavors. I am getting a lot of alcohol from this one.

Mouthfeel: Lagerish, fairly dry, lots of booze, some quaint dark fruit. Without the booze, this would be easier to drink.

Overall: I like this beer. Like the other beers from Nova Scotia, there needs to be more complexity in this beer.

Nov 07, 2011
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blackie from Oregon

4/5  rDev +3.6%
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

Oct 19, 2010
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Derek from Canada

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled January 25, 2011... I've never seen such a rusted cap in such a short time.

A: Deep chestnut, pours with a nice light tan head, thin ring of retention, slight leg.

S: Very vinous aroma, raisins, treacle, spicy hopping with a hint of floral notes.

T: Caramalized raisins, figs, dates, demerara, roasted nut, sponge toffee, dark rye bread, balanced bitterness, slight alcohol warmth. Roast is very restrained, there's hints of molasses & black licorice, but it's a bit like a dopplebock.

M: Fairly full body has a light residual sweetness and a hint of drying alcohol in the finish.

D/O: A divine sipper. Well-crafted.

Jul 08, 2011
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dirtylou from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.6%
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

Oct 15, 2010
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Marc, owner of Marky's Laundromat and Espresso Bar, Moncton, NB for offering up an aged 2009 bottle for us to enjoy,

A-Deep, black/brown, with dark ruby highlights and a thick tan head that slowly reduces to a thin cap of retention and leaves spotty lace.

S-Quite complex with notes of cherry, raisin and prune, light chocolate, leather, oak, anise along with a mildly sweet malt base.

T-Much like the aroma with a pleasant malt/fruit sweetness up front mellowed and dried out with astringency from dark chocolate, cherry skin, oak and leather. Light touch of alcohol heat in the finish.

M-Medium to medium-full bodied with lingering cherry, to include a subtle sour twang, leather and drying oak notes.

D-This is a very pleasant, enjoyable and easy to drink brew. I can see why this beer has been rewarded with so many accolades. Solid and tasty with plenty going on to keep things interesting throughout. Nicely done Garrison's and thanks Marc for the opportunity to try!

Mar 21, 2011
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biegaman from Canada

4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The flavor has a bit of a smoky taste, but the liquid itself looks like it's been outirght burnt; the basically opaque black appearance is appropriate for a beer that tastes of oily coffee bean and black licorice. Its total flatness and lack of life seems about right for a style traditionally brewed for long journeys and cold-winter climates.

The bouquet has a cola-like sweetness with strong black licorice notes. It's not always that you can actually pick out the special ingredients by scent, but this smells strongly of both molasses and dates. The rich, sweet toffee, creamed coffee and plum-y/prune-y fruitiness are all characteristics straight out the style guidelines. Delicious.

Grand Baltic Porter tastes, as do many in the style, like it was blended with a pot of week-or-two-old coffee. Make it yourself at home in a few easy steps: brew some instant decaf, let sit for several days, then add equal parts prune juice and brown sugar, let stand several more days. OK, it's not that easy, but it does taste something like that, albeit with added notes of black currant, wild truffle, chocolate tartufo, and mesquite smoke.

The funny thing about Baltic Porters is that they're lagered and, despite the ultra rich flavor profile, they drink with suspicious ease and a flat, completely mismatched mouthfeel. The only texture is that of a stale and sooty coffee. It's like the coffee bean oils have come to life! Still, despite the astringency, for a 9% beer this is effortlessly drinkable.

Baltic Porter is not exactly a popular style to emulate and, besides, its complexities make it beyond the abilities of many brewers. Garrison, however, has done an exceptional and noteworthy job. If it weren't for the limited availability and $6 price tag in these parts, there's no saying how many of these I'd have stashed away in the cellar.

May 23, 2012
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mintjellie from Canada

2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

Mar 02, 2012
Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 78 ratings