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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 Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A serviceable dunkel. Neutral to synthetic aroma. Brown without significant head. Lighter mouthfeel filled with carbonation. Noticeable soda-like taste because of syrup. Satisfies a thirtsty summer, but would not seek out again. Much better dunkel is available.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10/13/12. Best before 10/13/13.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and some caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with a toasted bread flavor on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors and one of the better Baltika beers in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a decent looking brown color. The head was pretty good looking at first but disappeared within a few minutes. The smell of the beer had some typical lager earthy notes to it with a slight roasted sweetness. The taste of the beer had some caramel elements to it along with some roasted nuts and grassy earth flavors. The first sip wasn't that good to me but as I drank the beer it got better. The mouthfeel was decent, had a medium body and carbonation. Overall this brew wasn't too bad but I wasn't blown away by it either. It was ok, I might drink it again depending on the situation.

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Photo of metter98
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear garnet in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down and left lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with some hints of caramel.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has flavors of sweet malt extracts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be a bit sweet and lacks any complexity in the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kinda want to compare this beer to German Dunkels because of the firm pilsner base that holds more maltiness than graininess, but with added amber grains. That said, the grains add a caramel and lightly toasted bread flavor, but not as much as good Dunkels. It's not as caramel-like or toffee-like as English Reds--just caught somewhere in between. An underlying sweetness is noticed, but undefined-- powder sugar-like. Not a bad beer, just remains a bit vague for me.

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark caramel body with a nice little head that stuck around and left spotty lacing on the side of the glass

Smell: Sweet toffee dominates the nose along with a touch of alcohol

Taste: Initial blast of malt and alcohol (hard to believe this is only 5.6%) overwhelms the tastebuds and is interrupted by a bitter, slightly metallic taste which continues to the finish and dominates the sweetness in a very unbalanced way

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied and highly carbonated

Drinkability: Although an interesting brew, ultimately this one becomes very difficult to finish; the hotness, carbonation and full body makes it very filling and the bitterness is not particularly enjoyable

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Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a caramel/amber color with a small, foamy, tan, one-finger head. No lacing.

S - It smelled malty and bready with earthy hops.

T - It tasted of some roasted malt and was bready. It also had a fruity sweet flavor, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay dark lager. It was really sweet.

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Photo of nickfl
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One finger of off-white head on a amber brown body, settles quickly and leaves a little lace.

S - Malty with light bready, toasted notes. Kind of weak and watery.

T - Sweet and malty with toasted notes and a hint of licorice in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Fairly drinkable, but the malt is a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of jlindros
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A Russian friend recommended I give this beer a try, and after mowing the lawn in the sun and being crazy hot, I decided a nice lager would be a good change of pace. It couldn't be worse than water and at $2 for a bomber it's about the same price.

A: Starts with a pretty clear dark brownish red copper color, with tons of carbonation rising making it fun to watch as they dance around, the bubbles hold the nice 2 finger head well. but the frothy head slowly hides itself away.

N: Very amber lagerish nose with some lightly toasted malts, crisp malt, some light fruits and raisin, and touch of caramelized brown sugar or molasses, this is an interesting nose for a dark lager, reminds me of a German lager almost with Belgian malts.

T: Starts pretty light with some watery toasted malts and slight bready taste, some light fruits again and touch of brown sugar and molasses, stays light and crisp but adds a sweetness on the back of the tongue, pretty crisp and refreshing, a good refreshingly light summer beer with decent flavor, a metallic taste comes through that gives me the feeling that I'm biting on tin foil <shiver>

M: Pretty frothy and a little too carbonated, with slightly spicey tongue burn, but a little slimey

F: Leaves a slimey sweet and slightly bitter taste on the back of the tongue and mouth making you go bleh, also has a strange metallic taste that just hangs around until you take another sip, its still pretty sweet on the finish making it no so drinkable with all those strange flavors on the finish, seems like the result of a lagering that didn't go as smoothly as possible, but that may be the style for them.

FInal thoughts: Starts with a slightly watery, toasted malty, slightly fruity, crisp and refreshing drink for summer, then adds all kinds of weird flavors on the finish that only go away when you drink more, which makes you drunk faster so I guess it somewhat does its job.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.19/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml brown bottle. Production date: 7/12/2013. Best before date: 7/12/2014 (oh, oh).

A: Pours a clear dark amber/light brown with a half-inch thick white head which fades to the rim and leaves splotchy lace.

N: Caramel malts, slight roast, earthy and yeasty.

T: Dried raisins and figs, light caramel, mildly sweet malts, aged wood.

M: Semi-moderate body and semi-medium carbonation. Finishes with caramel malts and yeast.

O: Won't be having this again. Although I did drink this after the best before date.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into lager glass, best before 6/25/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, raisin, plum, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, light chocolate, raisin, plum, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy/peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with very good robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean lager flavors as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice dunkel lager style. All around good robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, orangish-copper with some reddish highlights and a creamy off-white head that holds well and maintains a thin surface covering throughout most of the glass. Some thin lace adds to its appearance. The aroma displays a bready, caramelish malt that's accentuated by a light touch of chocolate and some very mild herbal hops. The body is medium/light with a fine-bubbled carbonation that gently caresses the tongue. It's smooth and lightly creamy. The flavor offers some fairly well-attenuated, but still sweet, caramel/toasty malt with a thread of alcohol and a gently backing bitterness. It finishes dry with some lingering mildly toasty malt and a touch of alcohol. Overall, not a bad beer with some interesting character and a good drinkability.

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Photo of mactrail
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and bitterish lager. Pours a dark amber in the glass. Quite sudsy with a nice head and plenty of foam as you sip. Unfortunately, that's the best feature of this stuff.

That sweet malt is not helped by the peculiar medicinal quality of the bitterness. I won't say hops, since there is no hint of hoppy aroma or the usual flavors. Lots of caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. More of an oxidized sweet vermouth flavor.

Murky and unpleasant, but a lovely sudsy brew. Label says production date is 25.05.11, so this stuff is a year and a half old. Thank you BevMo, for dusting the bottles so no one notices. That might explain the uninspiring taste. I'll check the dates next time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown body with great clarity and a large, expansive, off-white head.

Smell: A bit of an oddball nose, smelling of charred sugar, toasted grains, a Sugar Daddy (the candy, you knuckleheads), and a vague, background fruitiness.

Taste: Bread maltiness coming across as flavors of nutty, burnt sugar and (again) Sugar Daddy candies. Hint of raisin fruitiness. Splash of cola. Indistinct hop character with a light bitterness at first, but, upon warming, it exhibits some spiciness. The finish begins sweet but dries out and has a peculiar aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Not the most elegant, graceful beer around, but it's a reasonably tasty Eastern Europe brew and one of the standouts in the rogues gallery that is the Baltika line.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.51/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucent redorangecopper, like a sunset after a tropical storm. The orangish ecru cap is the perfect compliment for the beer on which it sits. This is one of those heads that looks like it'll be a good lacer maker, but isn't. In spite of the minor letdown there at the end, this is a good looking beer.

The nose is uninteresting and is weak to boot. There isn't much malt present and there's just enough dark fruitiness to make a distinction with a Euro pale lager possible. Musty noble hops are probably most prominent.

Although #4 is decent beer, it isn't as good as #6 (Porter) or #8 (Wheat). Frankly, it tastes like a more malty, less hoppy English pale ale. To be more specific, it tastes like toasted multi-grain bread drizzled with caramel. It also has a lightly herbal, lightly spicy vibe. The more I drink, the more I like.

Good use of hops, with more earthy-herbal hop flavor than bitterness. The English pale ale comparison keeps coming back to me. The beer is mildly malty sweet early, dries out on the back end, and finishes clean as a whistle. The mouthfeel is light-medium with an understated amount of carbonation. Since it matches the flavor, it works.

Baltika #4 is one of the better EDLs that I've had so far. It cleaves pretty closely to the style guidelines as I understand them and wins its drinker over with competence rather than flash. Batika is perhaps the best of the (former) Eastern Bloc breweries and continues to impress in a 'moderate expectations' kind of way.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.61/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a crystal clear garnet red to medium brown in color. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Sweet malt aromas with just a hint of something metallic.

T: Lots of sweet malt flavors, possibly caramel, with some subtle hints of pepper/spice.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is not a great beer and that is unfortunate because Baltika makes some decent beers. I am unlikely to buy this beer again. The best part of this beer is the appearance.

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Photo of russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours caramel to brown with a 2-finger+ deep tan coored head. Some lacing and good head retention

Smell: Caramel, malt & spice (brown sugar)

Taste Too sweet caramel, maltiness and diadactechyl (sp??) butterscotch. Somegrainy bitterness and dryness on finish along with a hint of molasses

MF: Pretty well balanced although some more hops would hurt. Good carbonation

Sweetness detracts from quaffability. Worth a try not a bad brew

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Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle with a foil wrap around the cap and neck, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Mild haze within the deep reddish amber colored brew, patchy big bubble lace is thin and soda like.

Smell: Caramel and candied fruit in the nose with vague ghost like fusel and buttery diacetyl aromas.

Taste: Slick and creamy mouth feel with a sharp biting carbonation, malt sweetness almost goes over the top. Caramel and ripe fruit are forced on the taste buds. The sweetness is then slammed to the ground hard by a devious mix of esters and astringency, hops are used up and astringently lost in the chaotic blend of flavours. Spicy alcohol and hop bitterness with some astringent grain to add to it gives the whole picture of this brew an ale like character. Finishes with an almost metallic flavour with some astringency and hints of dried date sugar.

Notes: Quite and interesting brew, an oddity to enjoy perhaps. Not whole heartedly bad but not what one would expect in a beer in the traditional sense.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drink by date of 5/25/2012

A: Pours a clear ruby/brown/caramel color with a two finger tan head on top. The head is rather thick upon pouring, but quickly reduces to a thin layer of bubbles on top.

S: Not a whole lot going on. There is some caramel and some candied fruit, but rather hard to pick anything specific out.

T: Light in caramel than the nose indicated and much sweeter. Its not overly sweet, but certainly on the heavy side, and candied fruit/sugar at that. Has a slightly metallic finish to it.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Rather slick and creamy.

O: Besides the slightly metallic finish, nothing bad about this beer, but nothing stands out either. Hard to review it since this style does not have a description.

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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 Gagnonsux
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Baltika #4 is dark brown in color with an above average-sized, light brown head. Retention is pretty good. The aroma is of dark caramel malts, very German in smell, but not as powerful as it could be. The taste is also very German-like. Very full and malty. Caramel and bready tastes with some sugary sweetness. This definently isn't a typical generic dark euro lager, there is plenty of ease in drinkability without sacrifice of flavor.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah what the hell, its a Russian Lager Day.
I wish I had read the side of the bottle before I purchased this as this bottle expired in February.
Pours a slightly hazy deep reddish copper brown color with a decent beige head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal lace. Smells of caramel molasses and brown sugar with hints of corn and grain deep underneath. Very little hop presence but hints of earthy floral hops. Sweet caramel toffee and molasses flavor, almost a bit too sweet. Little to no hop taste whatsoever. Crisp carbonic acid is the only thing keeping this from being overly cloying. Medium body with a sweet slick mouthfeel. Despite the fact that this is an old bottle I actually kind of enjoyed it. I wonder if a fresher bottle might have more hops to counter the sweetness. Further research is surely warranted.

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Photo of jwc215
2.37/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasted the day before the "best before" date.
Poured orange/amber with an off-white head that became an uneven, spotted lacing. The color was not bad - but inconsistent - It became lighter around the edges. The head/lacing had odd, uneven bumps.
The smell was thin - some caramel over a chemical-tasting aroma.
The taste was also thin - some caramel tried to find its way past the uneven butter and water. Not well-balanced. It was very malty - no hop presence. The only saving part was the hint of caramel.
Buttery caramel mixed with water was left in the mouthfeel. A bit of the alcohol came through, as the flavor was not enough to mask it.
Despite its blandness and lack of anything special, it was somewhat drinkable, but that was due more to its water qualities than beer qualities.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, magenta color, highly carbonated, with a big, beige head, rocky, puffy, putting on quite a show until it slowly shifts.
Aroma is sweet and malty, hints of toffee and cocoa.
As for taste, sweetness starts off right away and never droops, becoming more caramelly throughout, though the body is very light. Texture is minimal, finish is tidy. Ends dryly in the mouth. Not a bad little dunkel lager at all, better than some for sure.
Surprisingly, I found that I hadn't had this yet, and chose it to accompany Ukrainian meatballs at Karmancyk's Russian Deli in NordEast Minneapolis for lunch today, and they met each other well.

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Photo of Billolick
2.45/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Largish bottle, pours dull cloudy brown, unsightly largish bubble quickly deoparting head, next to no nose picked up. Pretty boring beer, sweetness picked up but minimal hops and flavor notes. Not worth the $1.49 I paid, I spilled 1/2 of this down the drain..not worth loosing the brain cells and adding girth to my belly

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