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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
Photo of kwjd
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with thick tan head. Great head retention, some small streaks of lacing. Smells of molasses, chocolate and some grains with roasted malt. Very sweet flavour, nice chocolate aftertaste. Very smooth mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent baltic porter.

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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 BDTyre
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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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 andrenaline
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another new offering from Garrison for the Alberta market.

A - Almost pitch black, but some light does manage to get through, thumb of light mocha head with some retention and no lacing.

S - Pretty mild on the nose with burnt sugar, dark cocoa and molasses all coming through.

T - Molasses is definitely present, dark roasted malts, bitter espresso. ABV heat is well concealed, though some ABV sweetness is noticeable. Some nuttiness and light peat notes are also coming through.

M - Comes across a tad thin, but the finish is nice and wet.

O - A tasty offering that packs a punch both in terms of ABV and flavour. Definitely worth a try and likely to be a repeat offender as I found this one quite drinkable. Definitely a star in the Garrison line-up.

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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 Deuane
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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!

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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 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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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 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 liamt07
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a while, thanks to Long813 for this one. Bottled on December 1, 2009, 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, with some lighter red around the edges. Finger or so of tan head, no lacing and mild retention. Aroma is some dark fruits, sweet plums, chocolate covered cherries, molasses and licorice. Taste has more of the same, and I got some blackberries and some light milk chocolate in here too. Flavour is a bit lighter relative to the nose. Mouthfeel is a bit watery (would've liked it a bit more full bodied), and leaves some bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is relatively short, and not as sweet as the smell. Alcohol cannot be found here, goes down real fast for its content. Nice stuff from Garrison.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle provided by Alex for our Canadian tasting...Pours a medium brown with a light tan head that rises about a finger but is gone right away, ugly...Light aroma of chocolate and grain, with a light dark fruits, not as sweet as expected for a bp...From the taste and feel I think right away this is a very lagerish bp. Not very sweet, roasy with dark fruits, not overly strong but decent enough to drink.

Nothing special but I'd drink it again.

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

Thanks to Alex for bringing this one to our All Hallow's Eve tasting.

A - Very dark, probably black beer that is brown in the light. Tan head that dissipated to a ring.

S - More dark fruits than I was expecting. Nice charred malts, burnt sugar, leather, little chocolate, and molasses.

T - Dark fruits, sweet, but not overly. Roasted and charred malts, as well as a little bit of coffee. Am looking for some more smoke or bitter, and less sweet, but this is not bad.

M - Creamy, full bodied.

D - Very easy to drink and pretty enjoyable. Not world class, but would definately drink this again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Loftarasa. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a big ring and bit of hazy film, with minimal lace. Black body that reveals a bit of lighter brown at the fringes.

S - Chocolate, dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, and some burnt sugars over top of a bready lager backdrop. Seems more like a dark doppelbock than a Baltic porter.

T - Taste is very heavy in dark fruits, but finishes with toasted bread, roast malts, and some light licorice notes. Fairly consistent with the aroma. Not at all surprised that it was made with dates and molasses although I didn't know this beforehand.

M - Carbonation is a little bit tinglier than I prefer, smooth medium body, and a sticky finish.

D - It's a somewhat unusual Baltic Porter but it's a surprisingly decent beer. I'm not sure if Canadian brewers have problems with getting things to style, but unlike KGB at least this tasted good.

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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 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 Long813
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on: December 1st, 2009
From: Garrison Brewery

A: Dark brown almost black body with three fingers of dark mocha head. Head dissipates quickly to a thin ring and leaves no lacing.

S: Mild roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, some caramel. Some bread fullness too.

T: Strong notes of mild malts, coffee beans, chocolate and creamy caramel and ends with some wheat/bread notes.

M: Medium bodied and medium low carbonation. Texture is smooth leaving a bitter finish. Alcohol becomes more prominate as the temperature hits ambient.

D: Not bad Garrison, after a number of months the flavours smooth out, but the alcohol is still shown. It's a drinkable beer, but I don't see what makes this "baltic" or a lager.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's almost a red... you can see it as it pours, but it's so dark when in the glass that it looks like a solid dark brown. Quite dark / clear... not cloudy despite sediment in bottle.

Definite smell of whole wheat bread and molasses. Rich. In some whiffs, I can faintly smell the alcohol.

The taste is good, much like the smell. Very much a bread-y / molasses taste, with maybe some hints of coffee / chocolate as listed. As the beer goes on, though, the alcohol does come out a bit in the taste. It's still good, but the alcohol coming through is what keeps it as just good.

It feels alright in the mouth. Not too much carbonation. Smooth. Don't like the kick of the alcohol on the tongue, though.

This would be very drinkable... if it was 1/2 a pint or 1/2 a bottle. Nice-tasting, smooth, rich. A full bottle is a bit much (due to the alcohol... just for how it comes out more as you drink it).

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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 wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml black foil covered bottle poured into chalice june3 2010

A almost black with a thumbs worth of tan head that has decent retention and leaves a few patches of lace

S licorice, molasses, some dark fruits and a little chocolate

T not far from the smell but with a fair bit of raisin almost like the boxed chocolate covered Glosette raisins after you suck most of the chocolate off. I also pick up on some faint coffee

M thick enough too please but it blows up in your mouth due too massive carbonation

D no sign of the 9%alc, quite smooth and very easy too drink, a solid beer and a good example of the style

I would drink this again and would love too see how one ages. although it's no Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique this is a respectable beer that's well worth trying
thanks Long813 for sending this one my way

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Photo of kjyost
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BBrianBoogie for this bottle.

Pours an amazing looking beer initially almost opaque, but definitely brown with an intriguing orangey head. This would have scored top marks, save for the utter lack of lacing that this beer had. The nose of the beer was one of licorice and molasses. Nice, but nothing to write home about.

The body of the beer had an underlying sweetness that coupled well with the bitterness from the dark malts. The malt also brought forth flavours of licorice and molasses, and perhaps a note of oak aging, although I could be trying to find something here.

Low carbonation and a good lingering bitterness that keeps the beer well balanced. The ABV is in no way noticeable here, and is a good sipper.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I recall last year's batch being pretty good, and it won an award. As such, I was eagerly awaiting this year's batch to see how it turned out.

Pours an ink black with plenty of chocolaty head. Head is very thick and has plenty of staying power. Sporadic lacing down the glass.

Very deep, rich scent. Definitely some molasses, though there are distinct chocolate notes as well. A light touch of alcohol is also detectable.

Molasses and toffee malt flavor is the first thing I notice when taking a sip. Alcohol is also easily detectable. Light background of some chocolate. Aftertaste of molasses and alcohol.

This is a slower drinker. 9% definitely feels like 9%, and you get some warmth in your cheeks before you finish half a glass. More suited for a little warmth after those cold wet days, rather than for an extended drinking session.

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Photo of ajhod
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased the bottle at the brewery only a week after the release for 2009.

Poured into a cool, but not COLD wine glass.

Thick rich head, as expected with a beer of this gravity. Stays around a long time.

Deep roast/caramel/chocolate flavour. Very intense and rich. Delicious.

Hop profile minimal if at all noticeable. (as is appropriate)

Heavy beer. Coats the tongue and fills the mouth. Served it with some cave aged cheddar and blue cheese from the Halifax area. Went VERY well with the blue, went ok with the cheddar.

I expected a high ABV with this beer...and got it. You don't taste the alcohol, but it does get to you fairly fast.

An excellent Baltic Porter. If I could keep it around...I'd get some to age, but it is just too good..I'll drink it all.

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

Went down to the brewery today to pick this one up and thought it would be appropriate for my last beer of my holidays in Halifax. Bottled on December 1, 2009, so I'm drinking this one fresh but I'd love to have one of these aged a year or two.

Pours an opaque black with honey amber and ruby red highlights. 2 fingers of light tan head top this beer. Good retention and leaves some nice patchy lacing along the sides of the glace.

The nose is rich with notes of molasses, raison, candied dates, and milk chocolate all coming out amidst a light roasted background.

Rich notes of molasses, candied dark fruits, and chocolate immediately hit the palate, finishing dry with hints of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, and velvety smooth. Nice balance and a great drinker with the 9% ABV being concealed very well.

A great seasonal from Garrison. I enjoyed this a bit more than their winter warmer, especially since I found it to be more suitable for the season. Despite its fairly high ABV and rich flavours, it was still nicely balanced and easy to drink. The sweetness is pronounced but not cloying and that's partly why I enjoyed this one so much. Can't wait to buy this one next year.

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