Lost River Baltic Porter
Bellwoods Brewery

Lost River Baltic PorterLost River Baltic Porter
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Baltic Porter
Ranked #94
Ranked #10,918
3.98 | pDev: 7.04%
Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Very Good
Lost River Baltic PorterLost River Baltic Porter
Notes: Aside from the impressive accolade of being awarded a gold medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2012, the Lost River Baltic Porter is still down to earth. I would even go as far as to say that it's like the comfort food of our beer selection. Chocolatey, roasty, and slightly sweet rather than bitter, this beer packs tons of flavour without being cloying or overpowering. Enjoy this well-balanced brew all year round. Don't let those patio police tell you what to do.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 74
Photo of BGDrock
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, clear, with a fizzy mocha coloured head that burns out in a minute.
Not a lot on the nose, but then, it's allergy season and can't judge fairly. That being said, getting a sense of coffee, marshmallow
Somebody melted down a dark chocolate bar and slipped it in this, along with a dose of dark roasted, but not astringently bitter, coffee. It's a silky and luxurious in feel and flavour, with complimenting touches of vanilla, burnt oak, bourbon, caramel - all lingering with a long finish. Downside is it's on the flat side, with light carbonation, medium-heavy body. The high abv is well hidden.

I wish I was eating this in cake form. Makes for a delicious dessert pairing - chocolate cake, raspberries, cherries, caramel. More carbonation would've made this top notch.

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Photo of Motski
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really good brew ($$). Picked up a 500 ml bottle from Hafis rd. locale. This porter is really smooth despite the higher alcohol level. Pitch black in colour with good head, lacing and retention. Would drink again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one pours a pretty dark black, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

Smells look chocolate, dried fruit, smoke, and roastiness.

This has a really nice semi sweet dried fruit flavor, almost like a smoked raisin thing, with dark bitter chocolate, smoky roasted malt, and grassy hops. It's a smidge watery on the finish, but not too much.

This is pretty creamy, not quite thick enough, with a good level of carbonation.

Bellwoods has yet to make a beer I haven't liked.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Almost black color, brown head. Aroma has roasted malt and some dark fruit notes. Taste starts malty, just a hint of sweetness but then the dark, really roasted malts kick in with slightly burnt/ashy flavors and associated bitterness. Medium to full bodied, quite smooth carbonation. Overall it's a quite good Baltic Porter with a very nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery. Served in my Bellwoods teku.

A - Generous tan foam settles to a solid cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lacing. Near black body with some mahogany at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of toasted biscuit, roast, hints of tobacco, coffee, vanilla smoke, and some nebulous dark fruits and berries. Seems more potent than the listed 7.6%.

T - A bit more charry and acrid than the aroma. Lots of coffee bean, smoke, and bitter dark chocolate. Very bitter in the finish, with a touch of estery alcohol. Well-attenuated and with an acidity that is evocative of authentic Scandinavian Baltic Porters.

M - Medium body, with a roasty, charry texture. Moderate, lively carbonation, with a very dry finish.

D - It is spot on for a Baltic Porter and reminds me of something I'd have from Norway or Finland. Wish the flavor had some of the sweetness of the aroma, as it gets a bit fatiguing near the end of the 500ml bottle. Also seems stronger than the listed ABV.

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Photo of mattbk
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Black, nice tan head, looks a bit on the light side, good start.
S: Sweet malts, maybe slight fruit, slight roast. Slightly chalky as well.
T: A combination of slight roast, sweet malt, slightly estery, perhaps raisiny. Slight bitterness from alcohol. Nice taste, pretty high on flavor, nothing mindblowing. This beer is admittedly not my favorite style.
M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, fairly appropriate.
O: A solid beer, no flaws, just nothing that jumps out at you. I would have maybe preferred slightly less sweetness and slightly more roast, but this beer is appropriate for the style.

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Photo of TDotScott
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a ~one month old bottle into a wine glass.

A- dark brown, almost black, with a quickly dissipating dark-ivory head. High carbonation evident, but with the head would have stuck around.

S- milk chocolate, with a bit more roast than is appropriate for style. As it warms, I get the faintest hint of chocolate covered cherries-- I do love Baltic Porter more when it's an ale.

T- again, more sharp roasted malt notes than I like in the style, but the balance is still toward the sweet, chocolatey side of the equation, where it should be. Long, semisweet finish.

M- a bit on the thin side, with enough carbonation to keep it interesting.

O- an enjoyable offering. Perhaps not the perfect, by-the-books exemplar of style, but a tasty beer all the same

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Photo of Jeffo
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from peensteen this past summer. Cheers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A slow foamer on opening. A slightly clear black pour yields a two finger, looser, foamy tan head with good retention. Somewhat fizzy as well. Black body and medium carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap, though only a slight ring and wisp remain until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Great color but lack luster head.

SMELL: Bolder nose of dark fruits, cocoa powder, black malts, some leather and some burnt grains. Dates and raisins as well. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Burnt malts again, with dark fruits, dates and raisins up front. A big finish with lots of burnt notes, leather, dried dark fruits, grapes, raisins, dates, some cocoa and a tough of alcohol lingers nicely. Some caramel sweetness too. Burnt caramel, fruity sweetness and cocoa. Pretty nice stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. No heat.

OVERALL: This is good stuff all around. Dark for a porter, with lots of solid aroma and flavor. Plenty of character and complexity worth pondering in this one, and definitely something I’d want to see again. Thanks again Peensteen. Recommended.

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Photo of byronic
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours and slowly generates a tan head. Lots of chocolate with a hint of roasted malts. Taste is very reminiscent of mocha, spot on and not overly sweet. Really well balanced with carbonation on the low end. Very smooth and silky. Overall a very nice brew that drinks very easily. As an aside I prefer the fall 2016 version.

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Photo of biegaman
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lost River is black as a stout and has a head almost as dark as a brown ale, all this despite being labeled a Baltic Porter. I know what they say about not judging books by their covers but there's no way a porter this opaque won't be more substantial than normal.

Both the aroma and taste combine chocolate-fudge brownies and black coffee. Despite these strong flavours, however, the porter is distinguished by a huge splash of bourbon vanilla - there's enough of it to bake a cake with. This is an incredibly rich rendition of the style.

Indeed, while chocolate ganache and espresso are delicious flavours, they are more reminiscent of Imperial Stout and aren't necessarily inherent to traditional Baltic Porters (certainly not in this quantity). This, I suppose, is why some have taken to calling beers like this "Imperial Porters". Whatever the inspiration, this 7% beer is rich enough to pass for a 9% stout.

It does, however, maintain traces of the port-like fruitiness (blackberry especially), dark caramel-like sweetness and black licorice notes that brewing judges would look for. Two other features that meet the criteria: the beer feels oily and sleek over the palate and its smoky roast falls just short of burnt. Makes for an entertaining mouthfeel.

Bellwoods Brewing brought brazen character to a fairly bridled Ontario craft beer scene. They weren't the first to revamp traditional styles with bold, modern interpretations but few (if any) were making beers good enough to make people in states like California, Michigan and Illinois jealous. Any Ontario trader in need of trade bait need look no further than Ossington Avenue.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the brewpub. The liquid in the goblet is pure black with the slightest edges of amber. The tan head recedes pretty quickly but musters up a lot of lace. Chocolate, berries, roasted malt and leather show in the nose. The taste dominated by malts with lots of fresh cacao, dark roast coffee beans, fruit compote and marmalade showing. Herbal hops provide a bit of bitterness and aroma but otherwise don't distract from the malt onslaught. The mouthfeel is full bodied and veering on slick with a rather light carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden throughout.

I'd recommend this beer to any porter/stout fan or malty beer lover. Very complex and heady.

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Photo of korguy123
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up by my brother nwfodder at the brewery. (I heard it was quite the trek)
650mL bottle into Bellwoods tulip.

Totally opaque dark brown almost black pour with a half finger, light beige head. Lacing is decent.

Sweet dark chocolate, fresh ground coffee, and a touch of peanuts or cashews... Coffee cake with some vanilla and brown sugar. Touch of molasses.

Dark chocolate with medium roast coffee, bitter finish with some vanilla and raw sugar sweetness. Touch of sour dough bread and some dark stone fruits.

Medium body, decent carbonation.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with light roasted malt is quite nice. Taste is a great mix between some lightly dry roasted malt with loads of black chocolate notes which are not overly bitter with some light lactose also discernable at the end. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Great beer with good amount of black chocolate and no too much astringency.

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Photo of papat444
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle (ABV 7.7%) and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a really opaque body, thick but barely gives a millimeter or two of foam before disappearing with barely a trace.

Smell: Wood, some smoke, roasted, a coal-like aroma with some coffee.

Taste: Roasted flavors mix with a bit of coal, cold coffee, chocolate and some smoky wood. A bit chalky though.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is annoying and too high at first though it calms after awhile. Robust with some bittering and a nice lasting impression.

Overall: Uneven, especially in the feel of the body. Good but not great for me.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 16/9/12 thanks for sending the bottle liamt07

A not quite black with deep cola edges, two fingers of mocha foam falls fairly quickly and leaves just a little piece of lace

S licorice, root beer, a little smoke and charred wood, just a hint of cold coffee and nuttella spread

T some coco powder and chocolate covered dried fruit and top of what I could smell. the flavors stronger then the nose and a little better

M could use a little more body but its far from flat, good carbonation and a slightly creamy feel and just a little heat

O pretty good stuff and perhaps I'm being a little hard on it, .25 increments would be nice int this case

not crazy rich or complex but a respectable brew with little doubt. I'm wondering what this would be like on tap, thanks again Liam

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Photo of liamt07
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, into a tulip.

Deep violet/black with a ring of tan head. Light legs, without and lacing or retention on the pour. Lots of chocolate in the nose, light roast, subtle dark fruits/darker berries. Taste has a super creamy milk chocolate flavour, dark fruit, mild molasses. Roast and chocolate in the finish. Medium mouthfeel, and ligther than some within the style, but this only aids consumability. Supreme smoothness in terms of mouthfeel, low carbonation. A very solid example.

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Photo of heebes
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from the brewery bottle sale.
7.5 abv

Pours black with a half finger of foamy tan head. Nose is quite bright; roasted malt, coffee and toasted oats. Great auromas. Taste is sweet. There's an abundance of roasted malt, coffee grinds, toasted oats, very robust. Mouthfeel is a bit thin though, slightly watery.
Overall, pretty impressive porter from Bellwoods! I will pick this up every chance I get. Superior Ontario porter by large. Nice work.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a buddy for picking this up at the brewery. Pours jet black with good carbonation. Tastes roasty with chocolate notes and some smoke coming through as well. A good mouthfeel overall and this drinks down very smooth with no hint of the 7% alc. This brewery has made some really good beers for Ontario standards.

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Photo of peensteen
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black in colour, when it was brought to me there was about a finger of tan head and in about 10 seconds it was completely gone, no remains of head and no lace. Smell is roasted and malty with some smoked notes and dark fruit also had a bit of a yeastiness about it. Taste is chocolatey and roasted, bit of dark fruit/overripe red berry, liquorice, light sourness and a bit of a molasses as well. Nice light carbonation, good feel and quite chewy. Very solid stuff and when they start selling bottles of this on a regular basis I will be picking up quite a bit.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid porter, though not the sour edge I would expect from a Baltic porter. Very dark brown and a thick pour. Cream chocolaty aroma, and that's what it delivers: a roasty chocolate,licorice, creamy beverage. Above average mouthfeel. Very good drinkability.On tap at The Only Cafe. Sorry mates, they would only serve me half a pint. Satisfying aftertaste.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bellwoods. Served in Bellwoods snifter.

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of cream coloured head. Light lacing.

S -Smoke, roasted malts, chocolate.

T - A big smoke profile up front that remains the predominant flavour throughout. Roasted malts, licorice, char and a touch of vanilla are present as well. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but not distracting.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - This is a really good beer and a proud addition to the Toronto craft beer scene.

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Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a moderate tan head. Some lacing, moderate retention.

Smell is full of roasted malt. A bit creamy. Has a scent that I associate with lager yeast, very typical of Baltic porters. Coffee in the nose as well.

Taste is very good. Roasted malt, coffee, generally a big malty flavour Somewhat creamy.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, quite smooth.

Overall, quite a nice Baltic porter. Very enjoyable.

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Lost River Baltic Porter from Bellwoods Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 74 ratings