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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) | Baltika Breweries

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281 Reviews
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Baltika #4 Original (Dark)Baltika #4 Original (Dark)

Brewed by:
Baltika Breweries
Russian Federation

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-13-2002

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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 432
Photo of SilentSabre
4.34/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was tremendously impressed with this one. For those who seemed skeptical, perhaps this just wasn't for them. I, however, was greatly impressed with this one. It poured a reddish brown colour. Very red, and crystal clear. About a 12mm thick head that quickly subsided to a thin haze. At this point, I'm still expecting mediocrity, perhap something even sub-standard. I gave my glass a swirl and took a smell. WOW...malt! ..and some sweetness, and that sweetness is un-deniably caramel. BIG sweet / caramel malt smell. The taste, too, was BIG malt and sweet. A little nutiness on the finish. Very tasty! I am greatly impressed. Smooth mouthfeel. Little to none carbonation/carbonation"sting". Nice smell, good taste, just plain satisfying. Do try this out if given the chance.

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Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first russian!! prefer blondes, but she'll do...
pours a clear light brown with a slight creamy head on top.
smells like a dark hofbrau or something; apparently they get their malts from munich?? sweet and caramel-y.
tastes like a dark hofbrau, with the same kind of malts, but with a dark, sinister bite which i think i like.
it's got a medium density feel to it, seems like an almost generic beer (but with a nice accent), and it makes me want to try others from Baltika. i've got an open mind, i think russian women are hot, so i might as well try some more of these, right?
Carlsberg bought Baltika out? and Bev bought Budweiser out? the two superpowers have succumbed? it says the contents are (literally) water caramel, rye malt and hops. caramel? did they add caramel? and rye? i like rye.
overall, it's a really good brew. nice head, beautiful lacing, can session it (for awhile), and it makes me want to try the others in its line up. and maybe a blonde russian farm girl, too!

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Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby/red color. A foamy two finger head forms to leave some lace as it gently recedes.
S: Toasted malt with some buttery and nutty aromas. Plenty of sweet caramel malt as well. A pleasant and soft aroma.
T: Lots of toasted malt again, and sweet caramel. A bit earthy and hardy for a lager. I like it a lot. MMM, malt.
M/D: Feels good on the tongue. Creamy and rich. A hardy beer, but one I could session without a problem.

Not a lot of depth, but a delicious beer and satisfying drink. Everything about this beer works together well. Recommended.

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Photo of heavy216
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: 1 pint brown bottle. 1 fat finger head, very frothy, light lacing, deep dark brown in color

S: smells of caramel and fruit sweetness

T/M: very smooth with a thick body, medium carbonation, drinks almost like a cola with a slight aftertaste

D: i really enjoy most of the baltika beers and this one was no exception, very tasty and would probably buy again

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've never tried a beer brewed in Russia before so this seemed like a nice change from the norm. Poured a cloudy brownish red color with no head and a very small white lacing that one could barely notice. Smell was very nice, dark fruits, honey, candy. Taste was even better with some sugars accentuating the flavors that had noticed in the smell. It also has an almost juicy character that one would not expect from the description on the back of the bottle. Mouthfeel was hoppy and medium bodied, with the hops hitting you up front leading into the juicy tastes. Seemed very well balanced as well. I could see myself drinking a few of these and still wanting more. Next time im at the Dan Murphy's im picking up some more of these as I was taken aback with the complexities rife within this interesting brew.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This Russian brew has a big fluffy four finger head that reminds me of a flappy winter hat that a Russian would wear. The beer is dark cherry-cola hued, and the head is tan with orange highlights. The head looks whipped and fluffy, and lots of foamy lace is left on the glass. This is a good lookin' brew!

S - Super sweet and malty chocolate aromas remind me of a doppelbock. In fact, if I was sniffing this blind that's exactly what I would have guessed. This sort of reminds me of Dr. Pepper Cherry Chocolate cola washing soaking a heavy German chocolate cake.

T - Again, super super malty. There is a small trace of hops that serves an almost spice-like role in the chocolate cake batter flavor of this brew, and despite the low relatively low ABV, I can appreciate some EtOH warmth. This shit is good.

M - Heavy, thick, and full. This is chock full of sugars and heavily laden with malts. Carbonation is perfectly subdued, and the finish is very sweet and sugary with enough gentle hop flavors to at least attempt to balance it.

D - This is an outstanding brew, but I don't think I could stomach more than one due to the outrageous sugary cake batter sweetness.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice red color, persistent head. Beautiful Munich malt notes in the nose. Light Munich malt flavor up front, creamy smooth mouthfeel, strong Munich malt finish. Really nice use of Munich malts through and through. Maybe they're crystal malts though...or in addition...either way, good use of them.

Very drinkable, will purchase again.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a right sized bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a nice light brown, with substantial carbonation, but not too much. The Head is a full 2 finger rising and sinking fast. The tan head fade to very little lace.

The smell is nice, I was expecting a typical rendition of a Munchen Dunkel but was happily surprised to get a very interesting twist. I can tell by the smell this will not be you typical Euro Dark Lager.

The taste followed and did not disappoint. Very nice indeed. I'm getting rye bread, hints of chocolate from a great malt base.

The mouthfeel is good, nice better then medium body but maybe too much of a soda like carbonation.

The drinkability is very good for those with an open mind. I like this brew a lot and fell that is is over looked and under rated. Prosit MK

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Photo of e11iott
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1 pint. 1 Finger froathy head, dark brown. Small amount of lacing.

S: You can almost smell the sweetness, some carmel and fruit.

T/M: Smooth thick bodied, almost like a malt beverage. Medium carbonation. Small trace of hops.

D: Very drinkable, might have to let the wife try.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A poured from the 16.9 oz bottle into my tumbler
copper, orangey color. nice frothy foamy head settled with ABSOUTLLEY NO LACING.

S can smell a clean alcohol aroma...mice malty undetone

T- MMMM nicer than expected malty almost no hoppiness at all, but nonetheless not too sweet

M medium body, alcohol is there, cabonation on the lite side

D big time YES. "can i have another sir?"

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Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know that I strike many people on this site as being insane, but there actually is a method to my madness. In this case, I want to review all of the numbered Baltika beers and this brings me just that much closer to my goal. Prosit!

My pour produced over two fingers worth of fizzing mocha-colored head with surprisingly decent retention. Underneath the head was a glass of burnt orangish-amber beer with NE-plus quality clarity. BUPGOO! Bringing the glass up to my sniffer, it evinced a nutty, chocolaty odor and I was primed! Mouthfeel was medium and it had a grainy, nutty, chocolaty taste in my mouth, like a chocolate-covered granola bar. Boy howdy, after having sifted through CAN after CAN of AALs, this was a welcome change of pace. I have never felt ripped off after drinking a Baltika beer, even if it was not all that great, given their relatively low price point. Finish continued with that same nutty chocolate flavor and I found myself wishing that I had another bottle. Good stuff.

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Photo of Texaholic
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is only slightly reminiscient of my favorite beer Shinerbock, in it's flavor. But I think I really love it. Just like the little sow guinea pig I named after this beer, it is a good beer with a little bite.

It definately tastes better than it smells, just like Tika the Guinea Piggie, LOL. But having only tasted two Baltika's so far, I bet this one is going to be my favorite for sure. Remember, I'm a weirdo Shiner drinker from Texas, so base your judgement of my review on that. But I can assure Shiner lovers that the chances of them enjoying this beer are quite high.

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Photo of Scepter
4.14/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Baltika 4 seems under-rated on this site. It's one of the best beers in Russia. While Russians will tell you 9 is best, personally I like 4 the best with a dark color, smell and overall great Dark Lagar.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mohagony appearance. A thinish light bronw head adorns the top of the beer. A nice creamy looking collar accentuates. Lacing is spotty. The nose is a pleasureland of carmelized malts, toffee, molasses and rum cake. Very nice. The flavor doesn't live up to the nose, but is good nonetheless....just a tad bit watered down. I get carmelized malt, brown sugar, bitterness (roasted malt and hop attributed I believe) and toasted malt. A nice comination overall. Mouthfeel is creamy, body is about medium. A very respectable Russian dunkel. Damn, this is the second beer I've tried from this brewery I like. Time to get some more.

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Photo of animal69
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

next was the dark lager #4; pours a deep copper w/ aslight tan head, some lacing; good malty nose w/ notes of caramel & faint alcohol; good robust flavor, malty & sweet, like a marzen; good med body w/ just enough residual sweetness; I find this addition from baltika quite good, i could drink a gallon of this stuff easy...

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Photo of Domingo
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An under-rated beer in an under-rated style.
Pours a medium to dark brown with a nice 1.5" head (from a 22oz bottle).
Not a ton of lacing, but the beer's designed to be a little thinner and more drinkable.
Smells chocolaty and sweet. If I were blindfolded, I'd actually swear this was either a bock or something from Ayinger based upon the malty smell.
Flavor starts of sweet chocolate and caramel blend initially, but fades to a more bitter dark chocolate in the finish. A little hops come forth after a second, but they're definitely not the main focus here. This is malt, malt, malt. I'd guess that rather than going for the milder Mϋnchners, they're targeting the Ayinger take on things.
Mouthfeel's thin, but it keeps this beer drinkable in all situations. Be it a summer day or a winter evening, this beer is always a good fit. It's got the drinkability of a helles, but with a sweeter, almost dessert-like flavor profile.
Baltika's line-up is pretty average overall, but this beer and #6 (Baltic porter) are both world class beers.
The only real downside is the pricing. I've only seen this beer in bombers, and it's usually not cheap. Still, don't let that take away from this brew. It's excellent and multi-purpose.

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Photo of sommersb
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 16.9 oz. oddly-shaped bottle with brew date of 12-17-09 and best before date of 12-17-10 into a weizen glass.

Color was a dark amber to brown, with a 2-3 finger head of light tan. Looked like an inviting beer.

Aroma was of caramel and malt, but was not very strong, which seems right for this style.

The #4 tasted a bit sweet to me, with caramel and malt flavors as detected in the smell. Low bitterness. Mouthfeel was smooth with light carbonation; I felt it left a pleasant aftertaste.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer (and the large bottle!) and was left wanting more.

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Photo of BamaScholar
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happily discovered at Frugal MacDougal's for $1.99. 500 ml brown bottle with red foil label. Best by 31 March 2006 (bottle back).

Poured into a pils glass, which caused a head and bubbles after root beer's heart. Hazy mahogany colored brew with tenacious cream-colored head which laces a collar down the sides of the glass. Very pretty.

Smell is pure caramel/toffee. Doesn't hide any sweetness.

This concoction tastes much more complex than I thought it would. Initial hits of caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Some cola bean too. There is a slight astringency accompanied by something bready...a sourdough round? The peanut brittle taste does fight a small metallic presence too, but the caramel wins out. Definitely no hop balance here, but the malt is pure smoothness, delightful.

As stated, it is smooth. A wee bit thin on the palate...maybe the water's different in St Petersburg.

Definitely worth a try! At $2 per, this sweetness is just right.

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Photo of bens0n
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear dark copper color with a good amount of foamy off-white head that dissipates very quickly, almost no lacing going on at all.

The smell is very interesting, I pick up on sweet citrus notes, sweet malts. Overall its a pleasant, sweet earthy aroma.

Flavor wise, the most prevalent aspects are dark fruit and caramel. Can't taste any hops at all, but there is a slightly sweet finish with a touch of malts.

This beer has a pretty low amount of carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste, on the light-medium bodied side.

This beer was relatively cheap (compared to other single bombers I usually pick up) was not expecting much out of this but I was very impressed.

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Photo of jsh420
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 12-1-07
best before 12-1-08

pours deep amber with a small head that leave spotted lacing

smell is dark fruity malt and alcohol

taste - wow - very nutty and strong sweet dark fruit malts

mouthfeel is light with good carbonation that leaves a creamy and crisp finish

overall/drinkability - good - i can see buying this again - reminds of brown ales and better then alot - the best baltika i have had yet! and a few months past its prime???

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear dark brown body, a pretty good sized head. A couple random bubbles making their way up to the top of the beer.

Smell: Light roasted malt, sweet.

Taste: Malty and smooth at first, a crisp hop bite on the back side. Maybe a light cocoa flavor. Pretty good, one of the better ones from Baltika.

Mouthfeel: Full, carbonated pretty well. Good.

Drinkability: An above average dark euro lager, pretty pleasing compared to what i was expecting.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber with a burgundy hue, and a thin, creamy, off-white head that fades a little but remains almost full. Good lacing.
Smell is lightly sweet, creamy malts, with some notes of toffee and caramel, as well as some faint notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, and espresso. A little bit of subtle hops can be detected underneith it all. Malty to the finish, with a little bit of a creamy, toasty aspect.
Taste is sweet and spicey malts, with some faint notes of toffee, brown sugar, caramel, and a tiny hint of maple syrup and molasses.
Mouthfeel is smooth and just a little flat; level of carbonation is fairly low. Slightly sticky on the finish. Light-to-medium body. Could use just a litte more carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. Great beer all around.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a mug.

A - dark ruby color with a stiff 2cm head

S - caramel malt with a slight chocolate hint; pronounced fruity aroma: apples, cherries. a very sweet smelling beer.

T - strong caramel malt with that same roasted chocolate like flavor. strong fruit flavor and a very pronounced sweetness, very pronounced.

M - good. I don't drink many lagers, so I haven't yet figured out what a good mouthfeel for one would be.

D - the flavor and aroma are not anything amazing, but I would consider picking up a few of these if I wanted to drink heavily. It's very easy drinking and it by no measure tastes bad, to me at least.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.02/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle, poured to 2 pint glasses. Production Date: 17.09.07; Best Before: 17.09.08.

Picked this one up at the New Seasons down the street for about $2. Indirect thanks to Metalmonk for a recently added review/rave of Baltika #6, which prompted me to snag the nearest offering of theirs I could find (by the way, they carry the #6, to...)

A: Poured hard an fast, so a fluffy, fairly dense ivory head grew to about 1-1/2 fingers before settling to a creamy ring. Liquid is crystal clear, a glowing amber, with a scattering of lazily-rising carbonation.

S: Aroma is full of sweet raisins, toffee, and an enticing anise/licorice. Baked wheat bread, cloves.

T: Full Munich malts fill this with flavors like buttery toffee, spicy gingerbread, sugared berries and honey & cinnamon on wheat toast. Delicious... A little tart and definitely dry (black pepper?) in the finish.

M: Lip-smacking maltiness, fairly light mouthfeel and body. Low carbonation means it's smooth. Yet somehow it still retains a crispness; the spices tingle far on the back of tongue.

D: Very tasty, this style is one I haven't tried nearly often enough. Both the wife and I agreed this is a big winner, one we'll be enjoying more often (with dinner or on it's own). Modest ABV means a bottle all to one's self shouldn't cause too much damage....

With the introduction of a new Beer Department guy at the grocery, comes a few changes on the shelves. Fortunately, quality imported lagers are among his favorites; thanks for adding this to the stock, Aaron.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.01/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured light reddish-brown, off-white head that left a thin collar all the way through.
smell was breadlike, dark fruits, hint of grassiness.
The 1st thing I percieved on the taste was Rye bread, which I really liked, malts, and maybe a ghost-like hint of dark fruits.
the mouthfeel is smooth rich and creamy. drinkability, is for me, fantastic, I love the rye bread flavor I percieve, easily one of the best Euro-Lagers I've had, would make a nice session brew.

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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
3.39 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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