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Balt Altbier | Union Craft Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
85
very good
34 Reviews
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Balt AltbierBalt Altbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Union Craft Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
unioncraftbrewing.com

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 07-05-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
180
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
38
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 180
Photo of stevoj
2.64/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at City Tap House, DC. Kind of weak on the normal alt characters. Taste was more sweet than nutty, body a bit thin. Cola colored, underwhelming

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz can into a teku glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. Its retention is quite poor, unfortunately. About the only thing really notable about the head is that small patches of lacing are left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Fairly spicy. I have no idea how fresh this can is (note to Union Craft: start dating your cans!), but there seems to be some nice notes of pine, grass, and spice. Malts provide toasted and earthy qualities along side more standard-issue caramel (the latter appears more vividly as it warms up). Nothing too eventful, but it works. (3.25)

Taste: It does seem hoppier than the norm, judging from the moderate bitterness at first. Grassiness will give way to some maltiness appears near the back end, including notes of caramel, bread, toast...and a somewhat clashing smokiness. With a few more sips, it'll balance out - it doesn't become exciting, just balanced. (3)

Mouthfeel: Fairly crisp, without too much maltiness lingering post-swallow. Still, the sweetness does give it some body, and the light prickle from the carbonation makes it relatively easy to drink. (3.25)

Overall: Not bad. Not my favorite beer from these guys, but this will do in a pinch. Still, I can't help but feel this should have been fresher - then again, without a dated can, how will I know? (3)

3.09/5: Pretty uneventful in general

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 FL OZ can into a pint glass (no Altbier glass on hand).

Appearance: Pours a thick caramel colored body with a thick, yet not dense, head. Looks like a thick iced tea or loosely carbonated soda.

Smell: Caramel aroma with a nice scent of German Noble hops.

Taste: More like a brown ale than the crisp Altbier flavor I remember. Nutty, caramel, and a touch of chocolate malt.

Mouthfeel: Very, almost too, thick for an Altbier.

Overall: Just not enough to style from the plethora of Altbiers I enjoyed so much outside of Duesseldorf 20 years ago. Again, much more like a nutty brown ale than a true crisp Alt. I feel like Fordham's Copper Ale was much more on point.

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Photo of Big_V
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

A-dark caramel about 1 finger head
S-mostly pine,grass,and earthly notes
T-getting some hps up front followed by an piney bitterness. Finishes kind of sweet with the malts.
M-light and smooth mouthful, med body and carbonation
O-not bad pinic beer. Could see myself knocking some down after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of thezach
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A burnt copper, thin head that fades quickly, little to no head.

S: I feel like I pick up a touch of a minty herbal aroma. Definitely a touch of roast and grain in there too. Otherwise, it's pretty darn clean. Got a bit of a lager thing going on here. In a good way.

T: Very clean and surprisingly bitter. Light on the malt, but enough to keep me drinking it

M: Clean and well-carbed. A bit of body from some caramel malts, which definitely become more prominent as the beer warms. I has a pretty dry finish with a lingering hop bitterness.

O: This tastes pretty on point for the style, and one that I've rarely seen around. A refreshing break from the pales and IPAs and a good one to share with a friend who is more partial to the malt. Very easy to drink, and the clean finish and lingering bitterness really fill this one out.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

im pretty sure this won a medal this year at gabf, but i wasnt all that impressed. its basically an american amber ale with a moderate german character to its grain bill, really nothing too unique or distinctive about it, save that its a little dryer than most, and still has that nice rich body. nothing bad about it at all though, in fact, its a relatively solid example of the style, which i suppose is what these beers are judged on at such events, so maybe i shouldnt be surprised. i guess i just figure that a beer that can win a medal out of so many entries, must be absolutely delicious, and while this is decent, its not medal worthy to me. it lacks depth and its carbonation is a bit light for me, so the beer gets tired as it drinks. im sure its nice from the can though, and we dont have many alts in cans around, so thats a nice touch too. my first beer from these guys.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint

A - carmel, dark maple color with a tan creamy three-fingered head that recedes quickly. persistent lacing of moderate degree.

S - Here I will have to admit my naiveté about AltBier, but I'm underwhelmed by the nose. mostly soapy, malt and toast scent.

T - Toast, Malt and bitters

M - small bubbled, light carbonation. Slight sweetness and moderate weight on the tongue.

O - I've only tried a few ales of this style, but this one seems to be a pretty good one. Not my thing but an enjoyable brew. Good enough that I want to try some of Unions others. I live 5 minutes from the brewery so I think I check 'em out!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a stange glass.

A real nice chestnut brown body, and even ruby red along the edges for the body. Faint cola carbonation and fast rising, a large three finger head, tan in color, with soapy retention is made off the pour. Settles to a soapy collar and a nice deep red presentation.

Light yeast and some caramel toasty warmth. Slightly clove spicy and dry, with a touch of caramel. Fairly basic and solid.

Light bodied palate comes with the matching nose. Sharp caramel and toast, but with a slightly tinny finish though unfortunately. Dryness is not as pronounced on the nose as compared to the flavor profile. Some good sticky quality but there's a faint metallic twinge to this particularly in the finish. Mild sticky yeast, but with a lighter feel.

Overall it's alright, but could be better.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated can at 42 degrees into shaker
$ 1.86/12 oz can ($ 0.155/oz) at Craft Shack, Elkton, MD
Aroma of malt, fades
Head large (5.5 cm, aggressive pour), tan, frothy/fizzy, rapidly diminishing to five mm ring and layer
Lacing - none
Body – medium amber, clear
Flavor – begins malty with a slightly salty bite; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of delta490
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost crystal clear medium-dark copper. The head is a fizzy light tan that has barely any retention. The aroma is malty, bready and a little sweet. The taste is also malty, with similar qualities to the aroma. There's a slightly metallic quality on the finish after the first sip but it eventually disappears. The body is lighter and easy drinking with just a hint of carbonation.

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lucular for this undated 12 oz. can that been hiding in the fridge since it’s arrival. I had the pleasure of having Kolsch in Cologne, but not Altbier in Dusseldorf. I intend to fix that, someday.

Pour is lighter than expected, dark orange, plenty of carbonation. Nose is dominated by chestnuts roasting on an open fire, bit of grain leafs. Leaves. They have leaves, right? Not bad.

Balt is creamier than A Cherry Berry suicide. Lovely dark malts, enough nuts to - is that a squirrel I hear chewing through the wall? The middle rolls in with sweet malts, slight roast, & a slight earthy bitterness. Slight spice on the end, though it’s the nutmeat that sticks with you.

This seems like a good beer for an early October night out on the deck with a dead cow smoking on the grill. Simple & direct. Good, solid beer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice coppery color. Small tight head. Nice aroma-good balance between malt and a good hop presence. Sort of metallic and soapy. Solid, malty flavor with a nice bitterness. Somewhat grainy and a tad earthy. Lasting hop bite. Some sweetness in there. Decent mouthfeel. A very nice beer in all. First offering I have had from these folks. A tad pricey I am seeing more and more 10 and 11 dollar six packs and it leaves me less likely to try something new. Worth having for sure though!

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Photo of jlindros
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from this brewery which I enjoyed when I visited the brewery last year. Thanks to itsme_timd (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a huge creamy thick rich head that rises up to 3 fingers and I have to stop pouring, and it fades semi slowly with nice fizzy bubbles popping, and nice soapy lacing, very hazy dark maroon like slight chestnut colored beer.

Nose brings some dusty brown malts, toasty, light toasted bread and grain, mild brown sugar and caramel, into a mild grassy slight earthy herbal hop aroma, as well as a mild toffee nutty creamy brown malt.

taste starts with more brown malts, toasty and quite creamy too, little oats, mild coffee milk and maybe lactose, with a little nutty slight toffee like flavor, with some sweetness as well, a little brown sugar coffee milk flavor. Some milk grassy earthy herbal hops but not a lot, mild to fair bitterness. Finish is fairly bitter as it dries, it gets a little dried lactose like feel, more earthy slight herbal hops lingering.

Mouth is med bod, creamy, lighter on the carb though which doesn't help the creamy feel.

Overall... as a beer it's pretty nice, more like a creamy brown ale, as an alt-bier, I don't think it really gets there, and lacking on the carbonation esp for a canned beer. But it's still drinkable and enjoyable.

 1,299 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours dark red with a small white head. Smells of caramel, dark roasted grain, and slight berry. Tastes of slight grassy hop flavor with a nice fruit and dark roasted grain backbone. Beer is carbonated well and very drinkable for a medium body. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - amber with a short, sudsy off-white head.

S - smells sweet and a little chalky with a faint whiff of banana.

T - tastes like an intriguing mix between an amber lager and a Belgian witbier. Sweet and a little syrupy with caramel malts at first, but hints of Belgian spice follow - vanilla, clove mainly. Also a touch of tart apple.

Mouthfeel is medium and a little syrupy for a second, but turns soft and slightly chalky, which is another interesting element of this beer and another strange tie between an amber lager and Belgian.

Overall, an interesting, easy-drinking amber ale that could sub in nicely for more boring party beers like Yuengling or Blue Moon.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is amber to copper with crimson highlights and a quarter inch of tan head. The aroma brings sweet breads, malt, toffee, ripe dark fruits. A bit of pine and hop character emerge in the flavor. Sweet and malty, with nots of plum and fig. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty good.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a light head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear deep amber that resembles a dark copper color. The look is very nice and conforms with the style guidelines fairly well. It's definitely one of the more attractive beers I've seen.

The smell is pretty nice. It has a strong milk chocolate note and a bit of nuttiness to it. There is also a noticeable metallic hop presence that works well with the malt notes.

The taste has the same notes as the smell but with different strengths. The malts are just nutty, chocolatey, and a bit of caramel. The hop notes are floral and bitter and complement the malt notes very well.

The feel is pretty good. The beer is a bit medium bodied but on the lighter side. The beer goes down smoothly and is actually pretty refreshing.

Overall, a pretty good altbier and worth getting. This is definitely a nice beer for the summer nights when other option don't seem appropriate.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

12oz can into a willybecker chilled

The color is dark toffee with auburn bronze hue and light haze with thick cream of 2 1/2 fingers w/ web-like lace and fine bead. The smell is very herbal with hops and almost pine-like aroma with slight caramel from the malt with lightly nutty tinge and slight fruity yeast accent. The feel is nice with bitterness level and moderate carbonation w/ light malt body and dry finish with low alcohol in the mix.

The taste has a mild hop flavor up front wiht light spice from the yeast and nutty toasted grain flavor in the malt profile with woody accent and mild yeast creaminess in the taste which is supported by the caramel sweetness in the background with toasted flavor and mildly spicy yeast in the finish. Overall this is a decent alt, pretty drinkable for the style.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dussledorf comes to Baltimore in a can. Once poured from the can, this altbier opens with a heavy froth that fills the entire mug. It takes time settling. The body is a semi-translucent copper liguid lightly populated with carbonation bubbles. The nose detects a mild whiff of apple and banana while the palate is dappled with sweet motes of toasted malt with a weak supplement of apple at the end. The mouthfeel is a litle bready with some crispiness bringing up the rear. While it does have a bit more carbonation than I like, this alt makes for a pleasant quaff anytime of the year. While, I woul'nt cancel a trip to Dusseldorf because of it. Balt Alt is a decent expression of the style.

This is the second beer I have had from this brewer; I look forward to more. Baltimore is definitely rising as far as beer is concered.

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Photo of tone77
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, a bit sweet. Taste is caramel, malts, some sweetness, very easy drinking, considerably dry at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark ruby-tinted brown with two finger head and lace patches on top of an aroma of strong malts, mostly some roasted and bready malts, a graininess as well, and touches of sweet malt like caramel and toffee and I get a touch of hops. Beer is smooth, medium-bodied, there is a good amount of sweetness to it as I get caramel and some other sugary goodness, a little balance from roasted malts and bitter hops but it's not evenly matched. Finishes dry and is a good sipping beer that I enjoyed but not really complex and a little off key.

 544 characters

Photo of Theheroguy
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminds me of an English pale ale. It is earthy and little sweet. Hops are on the back end.

Overall it is a very subtle and smooth very well balanced. That being said taste wise it isn't really exceptional. If you're a real fan of the style I'd try it but for someone like me I think $10 a six pack is just a bit too much for this.

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Photo of farrago
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unremarkable head, a little under a finger of light tan foam which sizzles off at a rapid clip, the lacing has close to no stickiness. The liquid is a mildly gauzy brown that gets closer to yellow than orange, credibly strong number of bubbles dispersed throughout. The nose has a briskly stiffening amount of bread and yeast, peppery too with more herbaceousness than expected as well, cola, milk chocolate and grilled nut accents bring needed smoothness, apricot, peach and pear fruit in moderation, not dominated by its sweeter elements, tactful staying power in the nostrils, not overpowering in any manner. Medium-bodied, much more going on in the mouth in terms of cocoa, mocha, toffee with a roasted edge as well. Mineral water, quinine and sour breads bring it back towards balance and becomes increasingly grassy and tarry towards the end, almost mushroomy. The carbonation is not strong but lends a consistent prickle. Less fruit presence here, vague apricot or cherry. Sure, it’s a little muddled and might lack fresh directness but it has sufficient flavor and softness to make it a non-critical pleasure choice.

 1,126 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Ever since Frankenheim was pulled from the US market, I have been searching for an American craft "alt" that was as authentic and drinkable as an original German. A tall order indeed. And there have been a few come close. This one comes the closest so far. Balt Alt has the same lighter body, subtle carbonation, rich roasted malt flavor (without being too sweet), and a slight hops bitterness--particularly in the aftertaste, rendering the whole extremely drinkable. Best of all, it's fresh where I live but comes in cans so a glass pour can be almost as good as a tap. Very enjoyable.

 586 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark maple syrup, frothy head.

S - Smokey, roasty, salty malted grains. Tangy, earthy.

T - Bitter, dry roasted. Tangy, smokey, old wood. Subtle malt and hints of hops. Smooth flavors and earthy notes.

M - Semi dry, chewy mouthfeel. Crisp finish.

O - A nice representation of the style.

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Balt Altbier from Union Craft Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 180 ratings.
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