Grand Baltic Porter | Garrison Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
77 Ratings
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Grand Baltic PorterGrand Baltic Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada
garrisonbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
77
Reviews:
52
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
9.35%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of heebes
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of mintjellie
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
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.

 888 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 895 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of thehyperduck
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of MattyV
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Stocean1
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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.

 650 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous inky black with decent coffee-coloured head, albeit one that dissipates more quickly than I'd expected. Mouthfeel is pleasant and pretty unremarkable, which totally belies the 9% ABV.

Aroma of dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, vanilla and oak. The taste is well balanced with a sweetness I'd taken as caramelized malts, but which the bottle no doubt correctly identifies as dates, lingering well into the finish. The oak tannins are not as prevalent in the flavour as in the aroma, which from a purely personal perspective I view as a positive.

Definitely a beer I'd recommend and will purchase again.

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Photo of korguy123
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Super dark, murky brown with red hues. Half finger width off white head that quickly drops to thin cap. Lacing is minimal.

S- Chocolate and coffee. There is a anise and dark stone fruit presence. There is a caramel and toffee with a slight cherry aroma.

T- Chocolate, cherry, coffee and caramel. Licorice is there but very slight. Quite complex tasting.

M- Medium to full bodied, slightly creamy and a touch of alcohol.

O- Another awesome offering from Garrison's will have to get more of these.

 502 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber. Nice carbonation coming up. One finger of light brown head sitting atop looking a little creamy but fizzy as well. No lace and a half finger of retention.

S - A blend of chocolate, cola, chocolate milk, a little toasty.

T - A sourness is present with alot of chocolate and roasty malt. There is a clean fruity note like a blueberry maybe as well. Some sweet spice is there also. Odd combo of flavours.

M - Mild carbonation and a full body with a sweet, berry-like finish.

O/D - Odd for the style but it works. A tasty brew with lot's of depth of flavour. Perhaps needs some tweaking, but a nice Baltic Porter. I couldn't have more than one of these though.

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Photo of DaPan
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall Muskoka Brewing snifter. Generous white rounded head, good retention. Slowly dissipates into thin white band. Bottled November 25, 2011 part of LCBO brewery feature.

Dark opaque beer with hints of ruby red around the perimeter. An attractive brew.

Nose is red licorice, sweets and toasty malts. Not what I expected from a Baltic porter.

Taste is malty, toasty and a bit sour. Sour taste was unexpected.

Decent mouthfeel, a bit thick, what I was looking for in the style. Aftertaste is a bit sour, not entirely unpleasant, but not what was expected for the style.

Overall, not my favorite Garrison brew.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on November 25, 2011.

Very dark, almost black, but some brownish hints are present. A small and somewhat fizzy tan head dissipates quickly.

Smell is malty with dark berries- maybe blackberry, some cherry. A bit musky and an anise scent as well. A bit of a medicinal smell. Some nice scents but the anise and the medicinal aspects are not for me.

Taste works better than the smell for me. The berry and cherry flavours are present along with some roasted, caramel malt, a bit of chocolate. Anise flavour is light, less than in the smell, which improves matters for me. Also a bit of a nutty flavour. I feel like the use of lager yeast lessens the flavour a bit for me, but it is really quite good.

Highly carbonated, medium to full bodied, chewy. Nice but carbonation is too much.

Overall, pretty nice flavour but the rest of the elements are not quite there for me. All fine but not great. Happy to finish the bottle, that is for sure.

 950 characters

Photo of DoktorZee
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a schooner. Bottling date on the bottle of Jan 25/2011.

A - Pours a dark brown, ruby with a fluffy tan head that dissipates after a couple minutes leaving small bits of lacing in the glass. Clear, with the ability for some light to pass through.

S - gingerbread and black licorice on the nose, spicy

T - mild bitterness with a hint of dark fruit; definitely less malt than I was expecting - reminds me somewhat of a Belgian Dark or Strong Dark ale. Vanilla as it warms. Definitely some alcohol warming down the throat. Some moderate peppery spice in the finish.

M - medium to heavy bodied; slightly syrupy with moderate carbonation

D - goes down fairly easy, but the alcohol warming is quite prominent.

A solid beer; I was expecting something smokier, but found something with a larger dark fruit character. I liked it, but was only partially blown away...:)

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Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of tonyf55
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 1,304 characters

Photo of Risser09
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 1,030 characters

Photo of TheHammer
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

 1,413 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
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 peensteen
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle form mmurphy525

Deep brown colour, ruby highlights in the light, 1.5 fingers of tan head, sticky with some lace. Smell is of roasty malt, lots of dark fruit, sugary toffee and caramel, liquorice, touches of coffee, light bittersweet chocolate notes. Taste is roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, the dates come out more in taste than in the nose, raisin and dark berries, some alcohol and a lightly burnt sugar taste. Medium-high carbonation, syrupy, full feel and big body. Nice slow sipper, enjoyable and quite drinkable. Kind of wish I saved this for a colder evening but still nice in August.

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Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 629 characters

Photo of cyrenaica
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle
9.0% ABV
I tried this beer on June 3, 2011 at "Bar Volo" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a deep black colour with a thin brown head into a tulip glass. The aroma was roasted malt, coffee, and molasses. The mouthfeel was full with mild carbonation. The flavour was more pronounced in the molasses direction with the coffee tones taking a back seat, but still there.

 390 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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

 414 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
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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Grand Baltic Porter from Garrison Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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