Baltika #4 Original (Dark) | Baltika Breweries

440 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 440 |  Reviews: 284
Photo of Mdog
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, OK head.

Smell: Toffee, toasted bread, hint of booze.

Taste: Followed the smell, except no booze noted in the taste.

Drinkability: Went down easy.

Another pleasant surprise from Baltika, my expectations were low for this beer but it provided a tasty treat. Quite flavorful for a low strength lager, pleasant aroma also. Worth a try.

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Photo of kevinglin
3.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured deep copper to brown with ruby highlights. Very light head that quickly settled into the glass. Aroma of malt, malt and more malt. Bready. Taste is very sweet with no noticeable hop component. Malt dominance carries through in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick and heavy with a vinous quality. Overall, decent but not my favorite. Malt presence is a little too heavy for my tastes, but if you like malty brews, you'll probably find it enjoyable.

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

The beer pours an ice tea brown color with pretty good head retention, albeit not a lot of lacing. I get some moderate brown sugar on the nose, though I have to say the aroma is pretty simple. The beer smells as if it will be light and moderately sweet, which is exactly how it tastes. There really isn't a whole lot of flavor on the palate, just some watery, straight forward, light sweet flavor. The beer is very light and watery on the palate, and the word that I think best describes this beer is boring. There's nothing wrong with this beer, but it's nothing special either, and I can't imagine why I would want to ever buy it.

The beer sort of reminds me of a dumbed down version of becks dark, which is not a particularly impressive beer to begin with. However, this beer has less flavor and is even more watery then Beck's. Not good.

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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 LumpyGuitar
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

They had a sale on this and several other Baltika beers at my stop, figured I'd give it a shot.

Poured a dark brown with a finger of foamy, even, tan head. Head was weird, and broke up into clumps after a few minutes. Lasted only a few minutes

Smell is of malt, nut, and a slight smoke.

Taste is a bit sweet but good. Sweet roasted malt, a caramel flavor, some chocolate, and raisin. Finishes with a super sweet malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation is good, doesn't taint my mouth with a stain or lingering syrupy feeling like I thought it might.

Drinkability is good. It's not the best beer I've had but all things considered ( including the sale price ) I'd drink it again without question.

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Photo of froghop
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark copper-red with a thin off-white head, not much lacing.

smell is sour malt, caramel, and some roasted nuts in the back.

taste is creamy, grain, some sourness, some caramel, and malt, ends slightly dry and a little bitter.

overall a fine beer, but not as good as others in its style.

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

A - Poured a mahogany color with a tan head that fades rather quickly some lacing

S - Is of roasted malt with some sweet notes

T - This is a pretty decent beer the sweetness comes through to the taste

M - This beer is a little thin and watery with medium carbonation to it

D - I think this is one of the better Baltika beers it has a good taste thats pretty easy to drink with a price thats dirt cheap for $1.75 you have to try it once

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Photo of hwwty4
3.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 16.9oz bottle into my brand spanking new, New Belgium globe. This really is surprisingly a pretty beer. When Poured it reminded me of all those fancy beer pictures you see on the cover of crappy beer books. This beer pours almost a brandy color with a 2 inch beige head that leaves little lacing. The aroma is raisins, malt and a little bit of roasted barley. The taste is caramel, raisins, and just a bit of barleywine after taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty creamy. Compared to the only other offering I've had from Baltika (#9 in a big 2 liter plastic bottle) this is heaven sent but on the range of good beer, this falls in the middle.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown in color with gentle prickle and a wispy head. This review was done on a bottle although I had it on draft originally at the Russian House in Washington D.C.. It seemed much better to me when I had it on draft, but it may have been the "romance" of the moment. It has a malty nose with hints of lightly roasted malts. Fresh and smooth attack. Awkward taste at first but builds to a smooth malty flavor with pronounced chocolate. Clean finish. I would call this beer from a bottle a C+.

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Photo of kinger
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very average dunkel, which is fine with me. Good aroma of caramel malts, that is all I could pick up. Pours a rich amber color with a thick dissipating head that leaves no lacing. Relatively smooth mouthfeel, somewhat thin on the palate, and a good aftertaste. Flavor is solid, what your standard dark lager should be. I like this beer and the price is right so I will try to keeep a couple of these on hand.

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

appearance - Dark brown color with a fluffy head. Lots of lace.

smell - Smells of chocolate and malt here.

taste - Lots of malt, and some hops here.

mouthfeel - Medium -full body.

drinkability - Easy drinking, cheap overseas beer, think it was $1.50 for a single, good size bottle. Nice for a dark lager, easy on the ABV.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.43/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle into pint glass.

Cloudy brown hue with a one finger tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

The only aroma that sticks out is smooth molasses.

Plain nutty flavor with some earthy yeast flavors. There is a bitter off-flavor, hard to put my finger on it. The finish is slowly fading light walnut flavor.

Not very enjoyable. The light flavors allowed the imperfections to stick out.

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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 giblet
2.21/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured a nice dark amber color. 3/8" of head that settled quickly. nice steady carbonation. caramel and metalic smell. taste was not that great. kind of a metalic feel in my mouth. i was expecting a decent taste but it did not deliver.

i would pass on this one for there are many better ones to choose from.


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

Thanks to witbier for this 500 mL bottle.

A: The lager is a watered-down caramel color, a tawny color that shows off lots of red highlights. A sizeable head emerges on pour but the slight tan foam does not linger.

S: The nose is nondescript, a mere kiss of caramel sweetness that lacks an underlying hop presence.

T: The body of the lagerbier is quite sweet, not cloyingly so though. The caramel malts add a great deal of flavor, touches of chocolate and darker malts are also present. Grainy cereal flavors abound, vanquishing any and all traces of hops. The finish is more caramel with a sugary element.

M: The mouthfeel is enjoyable. The beer is malt-focused and doesn't fail to deliver on that front. This beer won't set the world on fire but it'll make for a good couple of hours of drinking.

D: A run of the mill dark lager, nothing stands out but nothing makes me turn away in disgust.

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Photo of NHGrafx
3.98/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml brown bottle.

Aroma is of toasted malts, with some sweetness, and a slight alcohol smell coming through. Pours a deep burgundy color with a 2 finger head that didn't last long, and no lacing.

Taste is very good, lots of nice toasted malts, and caramel. There is quite a bit of sweetness to it also, and has a nice smooth finish. There are also some spice notes, and a very slight yeasty taste. Mouthfeel is good and feels balanced. Carbonation is just right, and gives a slight tingly sensation with each mouthful. Very smooth as well and pretty sweet. Also very drinkable.

Overall, this was a very good brew, nothing outstanding, but still very good. I agree with the other reviews on the richness and hardiness of this beer. Would be good for winter.

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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 DmanGTR
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - poured dark honey brown with red hues in a glass tumbler, fluffy bubbly head that leaves no traces after a few minutes

S - very strong maltiness with fruity overtone, reminiscent of raisins and prunes

T - sweet maltiness, nearly overpowering the fruity floral notes. Leaves a distinct malty aftertaste.

M - medium/light bodied, very light carbonation. Washes over the palate almost like water.

D - not bad, the light carbonation and medium body allows for decent drinkability, yet the chewiness and sticky malt feel may hinder some

Overall - this is a beer that is definitely worth a try. I got mine for less than $2 a bottle (a decent sized bottle too). It has the characteristic Baltika maltiness but even more so, since this is a darker version. Not for everyone, but those who like Baltika will enjoy it.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark ruby red/orange with a slight, frothy tan head.

S: a light fruitiness upfront followed by caramel and chocolate aromas.

T: The initial flavor was sweet and malty, almost syrupy sweet, with sweet roasted grains, toffee, and raisin bread. Flavor wont wow nor dissapoint but decent for what it is, a euro-lager.

M: syrupy, semi-sweet and light-medium fullness with light carbonation.

D: Ok drinkability.

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Photo of Pencible
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had never heard of a dark lager before, but this was a really interesting drink. I drank this straight from the bottle, so I'm not really sure what it looked like. However, it had a strong molasses flavor that was interesting and mostly enjoyable. Its mouthfeel was thicker than any of the other Baltikas. It was sweet at first, with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Interesting specialty beer.

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Photo of cichief
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a half-liter bottle.

A- Nice brown color, not as dark as I remember. Nice tan head, which thins out quickly.

S- Strong scent of fruit, banana and fig, along with some spice and sweetness.

T- Strong caramel taste, some biscuit malt, lots of sweet malt, little bitterness.

M- Rather thin in the mouth, somewhat fizzy.

D- A slightly below par dark lager. I drank this beer quite a bit while in Russia and Uzbekistan, apparently my nostalgic thoughts were misplaced.

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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 dreadnatty08
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 2/28/08, a little late.
Pours a slightly hazy medium, dark amber color with lots of brownish tan head and great tracing. Aromas of sweet caramel, melanoidin toastiness, light dark fruity aromas, and just a touch of hops. On the palate, it really opens up. Lots of sweet chocolate flavor, toasted bread, raisin, toffee, and a hint of spice. Hop flavor is close to none and bitterness is just barely there, not enough to keep up with the sweetness. Carbonation is medium low providing a rich malty mouthfeel. A little too sweet for my taste, hurting drinkability.

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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 Gehrig
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Baltika #4 pours a nice, two-finger tan froth on a berry-brown body, well presented. The smell exudes berry and caramel, faint whiffs of malt, but is a little weak. The taste is better, a little more malty than the nose, and the mix of berry and caramel makes for a candyish taste without going overboard. The texture goes flat a bit early, a disappointment and resulting in a lower drinkability than it otherwise might have received. A fairly good beer that could use a little more carbonation and complexity.

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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
3.39 out of 5 based on 440 ratings.
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