Põhjala Brewery

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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #92
Ranked #4,867
4.12 | pDev: 8.5%
Põhjala Brewery
Notes: An imperial Baltic Porter as dark as the Estonian winter nights. Strong enough to keep you warm through the cold evenings.
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 118 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, as Põhjala ÖÖ Imperial Baltic Porter. ABV is 10.5%. Pitch black colour, moderate brown head. The aroma has notes of roast malts, caramel, dark chocolate, molasses. Fairly sweet and rich flavour, with the same elements as in the aroma, also notes of liquorice, sweetened coffee and bittering hops. Pretty impressive.

Jan 05, 2021
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minterro from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Hazel's in Boulder CO. Batch 787. Consumed: 12/10/20. "As dark as the Estonian winter nights" seemed right with snow and cold temps in the forecast here.

A&S: Thick looking beer when poured. Head is about 3/4 of a finger of light brown head that dies quickly to a ring with specks in the center. Pitch black in color. The aroma consists of caramel, dark chocolate. A touch of alcohol.

T&M: A little one-dimensional, but it does that one dimension right. Strong, smokey, and bitter. Touch of woodiness. Warming, but the ABV goes pretty unnoticed for 10.5%. Bitterness really hangs on the tongue. Mouthfeel medium with more of a crisp feel than expected.

Overall: I don't think I have had any beers from Estonia before. Very solid brew, I would recommend.

Dec 11, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Black as the night, not a photon gets through even held right in front of a halogen bulb. Pours with 1mm dark tan head - unsurprisingly sparse given it's ABV%.
S- Mild coffee and mild creamy (lactose?) notes. Smells like a winter-warmer,
T- Ooh indeed! Big ABV% note right near the front, like a brandy doused coffee cake. It's pungent but an elegant beast.
F- Pungent, deep, full-on, a slow-sipping beer ideal for winter.
O- Just wow, this beer is quite something. It never risks even hinting at being sweet or over-rich; it's just full-on solid. I'd happily drink this again.
Bought from TremblingMadness/York for home delivery. 330ml bottle £3.99. Not cheap but put it like this - I have drunk cases upon cases of beers far less good than this that have cost far more this. Considering the ABV% and that it's a niche import and retailer I reckon that's actually a good deal.
BB: 20/12/2021
pppppps. By gawd... as I get to the tail end of this glass, 50ml left, and it's warming somewhat the liquor note is really amplified, it's huuuge! I don't know how they achieve this without directly adding a brandy/rum 50/50 mix to it. In brief, for that most unusual full and mighty impact do not over-chill it!!

Dec 02, 2020
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peabody from Kentucky

3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

03/21/2014 11.2oz.
Pours out a dark thick black liquid with very few and very small brown bubbles.
Aroma of oak and dark chocolate with a subtle red wine and vanilla finish.
Chocolate syrup flavor with grape skin and an oak and booze finish.
For a porter to retain the flavor this has, the must have been something right.

Aug 22, 2020
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snaotheus from Washington

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a pair of SIP Fest 2020 snulips. "BD 24102019, BB24102021".

Black, with a small head. Smell is rich, roasty, coffee and chocolate.

Taste is also rich chocolate, coffee, bitter roast, booze if I think about it. Maybe a bit of anise.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick. Overall, pretty darn good.

Jun 15, 2020
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Dark chocolate brown, a thin and loose dark tan head settles to a ring and no lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, acrid coffee, char, and dark fruit and raw cocao.

T: Follows the nose with some strong bitey notes of dark and maraschino cherry and char. A little rough.

F: Decent weight for the style, smooth and a touch undercarbonated for my taste.

O: This was on the stouty end of the spectrum which I enjoyed but overall I prefer several of Põhjala's offers.

Jun 01, 2020
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just1cho from California

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

*Bottled on: 04/04/19*

*Drank on: 05/13/20*

This beer poured a deep dark brown/coffee brow, as expected, with a mocha colored half finger thick head. This however, had no retention to it what-so-ever.

On the nose, there was a boozy and roasted sweet malt quality to it upfront. This developed into aromas of dark coffee, smoky char, pipe tobacco, with a pronounced dark cherry aroma on the back end.

The taste was dark chocolate upfront with a earthy olive oil taste to it. Without being overly sweet there were also pronounced dark fruit notes such as raisins and dark cherries making this taste like dried black cherries dipped in dark chocolate. This eventually mellows out into a char like bitterness in the back-end.

Full bodied and with a medium carbonation, this beer hid the alcohol pretty well in the taste making this really drink-able. The char bitterness was definitely noticeable but it wasn't lingering or overwhelming.

I overall enjoyed this beer. I felt like this was a pretty above average imperial porter but it wasn't anything memorable. I'm not sure if the age on this contributed to the pronounced dark fruit notes I got from this, but regardless, it was quite enjoyable and tasty.

May 16, 2020
Photo of shoredtitchtp

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night. No head but a little token lacing.

Smells toasty.

Chocolate, coffee and fruitcake.

Mouthfeel a bit creamy. Not much carbonation.

Smooth, roasty finish.

Mar 08, 2020
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Shanex from France

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle purchased in a local beer store.

Poured into a Guinness pint, left a three inch brownish head lasting a bit.

Smells is roast and chocolate.

On the palate this is following the nose and slightly boozy/overwhelming with alcohol but still pretty drinkable and pleasant all around.

A nice Porter, which I’d buy again and worthy of an outstanding score. I dig the style, and it won’t disappoint you.

Feb 05, 2020
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.15oz bottle (purchased at Garden Path Fermentation) poured into 14oz teku. brewed on 04/04/19, best by 04/04/21. Poured a solid black color with about 1/3 inch of tan head that had low retention and no lacing.

Nice roast notes in the nose, but a notable alcohol aspect almost overwhelms them.

Similar on the palate, some nice roast, and even a bit of chocolate, but the alcohol dominates, especially on the finish.

The body was a bit lighter than is preferred in the style, and had a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability was fine, but not great.

Overall, an OK beer, and scratches that Estonian tick off the list.

Feb 02, 2020
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33 cl bottle dated 27/03/19 into the test glass
A - Soot colored backdrop, fine carbonation feeds a mocha colored cap. A ring of mocha clings to the glass wall during the entire experience.
S - Blackberry jam, cocoa, burnt caramel, light roast coffee, all wrapped in a slight woodfire
T - Roast malts, bakers chocolate, a bit of tobacco, more blackberrie, Vietnamese coffee, with an ashy touch
M - Hefty on the palate, sweet and sticky, then waves of ashen cocoa ride through, not enough to swing to the bitter side, but trying really hard. Linger is semi sweet and rich, like flourless chocolate cake.
O - A very good Baltic porter, rich and jammy on the palate, with aromatics and the flavors in a tense stand off. Worth the effort to try

Jan 05, 2020
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josanguapo from Spain

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

En copa Teku. Viendo La Liga de la Justicia y, luego, Mr Robot 4x05. Con pistachos ECI. Perfil chocolatoso, sensacion ligera en boca y bastante calidez alcoholica, pero todo tan bien implementado que no molesta en absoluto

Nov 18, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best before 11/20/2020

Pours a deep black body (as advertised) with some dark brown highlights, and topped with a frothy, dark khaki head; good retention leaves no lacing and a lingering frothy collar.

Aroma opens with burly roasted malts and heavily roasted coffee tones; milk chocolate accentuates a sweetness to a finish of bitter ash smoothened by raspberry and dark fruit; alcohol presence is fleeting but sharp when noticeable.

Taste continues with blunt roasty malts, a softening tone of dark chocolate, and borderline acrid coffee; boozy notes and dark fruits round out the profile; ashen lingering on the swallow. A rollercoaster of intensity, both positive and negative.

Mouthfeel shows a medium, moderately creamy body edging toward heavy and with a minor carbonation; a char and acidity present in tandem across the palate, while higher boozy tones become more apparent over time, but don't ruin the experience. The finish is smooth, roasty, and (save the alcohol presence) soothing on the swallow.

Burly, blunt, and intense, for better or worse. The base of this beer is rich and deep, but quickly becomes untamed, leaving me to appreciate a quality as incomplete as it was promising; overall, the parts are better than the whole, making this one something I'd only haphazardly return to.

Sep 28, 2019
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a half finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark toasted and biscuit malt, chocolate, mild coffee and slight caramel and dark stone fruit. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, plums and dates; some fudge on the finish with residual mild char. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. I've just been really impressed with everything I've had from this brewery. You would expect that a Baltic porter would be a specialty from Estonia and would be correct. This hits all the malt and dark fruit notes I want from this style and then adds a little mild char and coffee notes to the finish. Baltic porters are not a common style, but one of my favorites and this is a great one. I tried the somewhat lighter Talveöö in the past on tap, and this is as enjoyable as that one. Recommended.

Sep 26, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a thick pure black color in body showing a tan foamy finger's worth of head. Dissipated finely to leave some modest concave lace.
The aroma had a fantastic blend of sweet ashy coffee grounds and beans rolling into some dark chocolate and milk chocolate nibs. Some caramel and dark fruits play together with some dark toast.
The flavor slightly leaned towards the sweet side but pushed in a sly rugged ashy dry woody toast/char in the background. Semi-sticky aftertaste of sweet coffee, sweet ash and dark toast.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a good sipping quality about it. Good carbonation and some invasive dryness. Nice finish of roast, dark toast, dark chocolate and some ash.
Overall, super awesome dark beer period! But was it a true Baltic Porter? To me, perhaps a touch more of lager yeast normally used for the style could have shown its presence in this.

Sep 25, 2019
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bobv from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle.
Moderate pour yields a 5/8 inch tan head over a near black body with some lacing. Nose of dark malt, chocolate, caramel, and ever so slight dried dark fruit. Taste mirrors nose somewhat, with all kinds of chocolate rummaging in and around of my palate; bitter chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, dark chocolate, slight milk chocolate. Wow! As it warms I'm catching slight hazelnut aroma and flavor. Wow! Very nice feel and overall, I highly recommend seeking out this Imperial Baltic Porter from Estonia! Cheers!!!

Jul 08, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Midnight black body topped with a dense, creamy, light tan head. Gently sweet aroma infused with a light cherry undertone; a suggestion of charred grain. The flavors start with a rich, fudge-like chocolate character; heavy sweetness (not cloying); cocoa; booze; charred grain bitterness. Heavy, thick mouthfeel; mildly astringent; lots of residual sugar body; some alcohol heat; semi-sweet mouthfeel overall.

I loves me some norther European and Slavic heavy-duty beers, and this one does not disappoint. It's alcohol presence is definitely noticeable yet is pretty well counterbalanced with the heavy dark malt bill. It has definite heft in the mouthfeel (chewy, almost). An awesome specimen of a Baltic porter.

Apr 23, 2019
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micada from New York

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 2020-11, so I think it’s a 2018. Poured moderately fast, slightly chilled to a tulip. Head is light brown 2 finger tight cap, that fades to tan icebergs with a good amount of sticky lacing. Nose is rather subdued, only a slight smokey, barley scent. First sips are more smoke, slight hit of hops, full and heavy malt...maybe some black patent malt vibe. Alcohol is only slightly present on the tongue, but has a lot of warming. Over time it opens up a little more hop in the mix, and a slight wee-heavy back-end. Pretty tasty, and a reasonable price point for the ABV and flavor.

Apr 05, 2019
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours okay, although a bit over carbonated. The nose promises bitterness - something of a Russian Imperial. At this point I am worried as I don't much care for those. As the head dissipates, I confirm the high carbonation, but I really like the taste. Not at all brutal nasty, quite pleasant in fact. Gentle but boozy with coffee and caramel stepping up front, which is right up my alley.
A great find, I will return to this again.

Feb 14, 2019
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black coloration with a small, creamy, beige head. Smells of roasted, caramel malt and dark chocolate, with a hint of licorice and herbal hops. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by roasted, caramel malt and dark, bitter chocolate and licorice, as well as hints of tobacco and herbal hops. Finishes with a medium/strong bitterness and some more licorice coming through in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and low/medium carbonation.

A very rich Imperial Porter with strong notes of roasted malt, licorice and tobacco, as well as some rather sweet caramel malt and chocolate notes. There really is an excellent balance of sweet and bitter, roasted notes going on here, with the roasted malt and tobacco lending an almost smokey impression to the dry and bitter character provided by the lighter herbal hops, that is rounded out by sweet caramel malt and chocolate, with quite a distinct licorice note standing out as well.

Dec 08, 2018
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated 14 03 21, whatever that means

A: Pours black with very little fanfare. Small head, no lacing and nearly no retention at all. Pretty typical for barrel-aged fare like this.

S: Well, definite cognac barrels. Plenty of dark fruits in there but a nice porter hiding underneath. Little hints of char and smoke.

T: Really nice sweet and smooth cognac up front. Lots of great dark fruits with just enough balance. Barrel fades away, leaving some nice porter flavors. Base beer has plenty of dark fruits which meld nicely. Back end is fairly bitter, a bit charry and smoky but not bad. It does provide a decent bit of balance as a result.

M: Medium bodied, smooth. Just a touch of barrel harshness on the back end.

O: Base beer honestly leaves a bit to be desired, I'm not a huge fan of these charry porters but the cognac is really delicious. Overall balances out pretty decently.

Nov 08, 2018
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argock from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great balance of caramel sweetness, roast, chocolate, espresso, and dark malt flavors with countering bitterness with smooth feel and well-hidden alcohol presence. A stellar imperial Baltic Porter and imminently drinkable.

Jul 15, 2018
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qrazvan from Romania

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep black colour, reduced foam.
Smells like cake, marzipan, spices.
The taste is characterized by licorice, caramel, coffee, roasted barley and cloves. Dry and bitter aftertaste with some burnt sugar also.
Really good. Excellent quality/price ratio.

Jun 13, 2018
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tomloops from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Crowler from El Bait Shop, Des Moines, 9 March. From fridge, pours black & silky, minimal head/lacing. It’s 10.5%, but less alcohol taste than you’d expect. Great, high-octane porter.

Apr 08, 2018
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown color where no light passes. Small head and no lace on the glass.

Sweet yet with an interesting burnt wood nose and some semisweet chocolate.

The flavor starts off as chocolate sweet with a very rich body. The flavor has a Port wine body and taste (like rum soaked raisins). Low carbonation. The finish is dark and sweet, like a bit of molasses was added to the brew. The aftertaste has a surprising bitterness which wasn't present previously.

Mar 31, 2018
Öö from Põhjala Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 118 ratings