Baltika #4 Original (Dark) | Baltika Breweries

438 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: 438 |  Reviews: 282
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a clear reddish-brown with a nice tan head.

Aroma is sweet malts and dark fruits.

Taste is similar to the smell with the sweet malts and dark fruits.

Thin mouthfeel with a light carbonation.

My first thought was that this dark lager was pretty much a watered-down Baltika porter. Maybe I should have had this before the porter.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sweet aroma with a definite raisin fruitiness and a slight toasted touch. The heavily roasted palate features lots of grainy malt sweetness, a tasty raisin fruitiness, some caramel and rich toffee as well. The lengthy finish is also nicely roasted with a satisfying burnt bitterness. The mouthfeel is a touch thin with active carbonation.

Very rich and fairly complex, yet still quite drinkable. Like all of the Baltika brews I’ve had the chance to sample, this one’s a little rough around the edges; the alcohol, despite being a fairly modest 5.6% and the mouthfeel is a bit thin. But, also much like other Baltika's, the flavors are delicious and quite satisfying.

Highly recommended...

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Photo of monkeybeer
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Production Date 25.02.07 Best Before 25.02.08

A- Nice Clear Red with Tan head that has nice retention.

S- light fruity sweet smell

T/M- Taste of raisin and prunes. With a sweet finish taste likes it smells

D- All in all not a bad beer, somewhat unique to what I have had before. Very drinkable would be good year round

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

A decent dark lager, but not as good as the Baltika 8s and 6s (probably the only ones I'll be returning to).

Pours a deep amber with a surprisingly off white foam head. Nice mouthfeel. Has a biting aftertaste of alcohol that is offputting about halfway through the bottle.

No real fruit flavors, just thick malt sweetness with some prunes or raisins. Neither complex nor awe inspiring, but pleasant.

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Photo of kcillini77
3.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Better than expected after reading the reviews. Sweet, with hints of raisins - strong malt, and no hops to speak of. A bit more alcohol taste than you would expect at 5.6%. Still prefer the Baltika Porter, but a good change of pace for a hophead like me. Great value at under $2 for more than a pint.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. The beer pours a deep amber, forming a 1 inch creamy tan head. Good amount of light lacing along the glass. The aroma is light sweet malt. The taste is a good sweet malt nutty flavor up front, along with a light hint of fruitiness in the finish. Medium mouthfeel. Full flavor and smooth finish make for a very drinkable and sessionable ale. Overall, I enjoyed this brew more than I thought. Definitely worth drinking again.

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Photo of brendan13
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber colour with a big thick off white head. Little bits of lacing left all over the glass.
S - Caramel maltiness, some fruit & light spices.
T - A grainy caramel malt flavour dominates with some warming alcohol spice, a very slight dark fruit tartness on the back of the palate.
M - Nice creamy mouthfeel without being too full on.
D - A style I haven't had much of but am appreciating as a very tasty session beer when I want malt over hops (as in now, in winter) without being full from a few like can happen with stouts, scotch ales and the like.

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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 AltBock
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1 pint .9 oz. bottle with a label that's the same as the other Baltika labels, except this one has a number 4 with a red center and it has a bright red foil over the bottle cap. It has a dark brown colored back label that has a little blurb about the beer, where it's bottled, US Government warning, its US importer, what the name of the beer looks like in the Russian language and a best before date. Mine says it's best before 01.05.07. I don't know if they used the American or European method of that dating system. If it's the American method, then it expired on January 5th, 2007 and if they used the European method, then it expires on May 1st, 2007. It was served in a Brooklyn Brewery/Winking Lizard imperial pint glass.

When I first poured it, I couldn't tell what color it was because there were so many carbonation bubbles that it blocked my eyes from peering into the beer. When they left, I saw that the beer is a murky brown, but when held up into the light, it was then a dark cranberry red color. It had a nice and fluffy 1 finger head of white foam that when it dissipated away, it decided to leave a small film of white foam, some white rings, and a just a small spatter of white sticky lace here and there. It had a light aroma of milk chocolate, caramel, toasted malts, and a small hint of peppery hops. When I swirled it around to see if I could get the aroma to wake up, this slight smell of vegetables came out from hiding. It didn't ruin the smell, but it didn't need to be there. Whatever you do, don't swirl it around to wake the aroma up. It had a very nice, light, gentle taste of milk chocolate, a touch of sweet caramel, toasted malts, and the slightest taste of hops at the end. I couldn't tell what kind of hops they were because the taste of hops was too small. The mouthfeel was nice and light with an aftertaste of clean water (that's good!), roasted and toasted malts, and a hint of milk chocolate. I think I might have found a new cheap ($1.80 for this big bottle) decent light beer. This was another one of those beers that I kept taking sip after sip and then finding out the I had just drank the whole bottle without even noticing it. I will get another bottle of this in the near future. I sure hope I don't break the bank if I buy another one.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Baltika 4 Dark Lager pours a rocky tan head over a dark amber brew. The
nose is a bit of molasses, and carbonation is low. The flavor is sweetish
malt up front with a slight hop finish. Aftertaste is more of those hops and a
bit of grain. The mouthfeel is a little fuller than most lagers, and a bit dry. If I
read the best before date correctly on the label it seems like this bottle peaked
out sometime last year. If so, it didn't seem to have a negative effect on the taste.
Nothing spectacular here, but I wouldn't turn down one either.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color and looks somewhat hazy. Dense foamy off-white/slightly tan head.

Smell: Sweet malts and a bit of candied fruit.

Taste: Again, sweet malts with some fruit and spices. Different from your typical dark lager. Aftertaste is a bit skunky.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium-bodied, with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Gets a bit tedious, but it's a throroughly drinkable beer.

An interesting beer, with a slightly unusual taste for this style. Worth trying (and it's pretty cheap too), but hardly anything spectacular.

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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 BigJTrucker
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer tonight at the Bier Stein, Eugene, OR. Not nearly as dark as i would expect a dark lager to be, more of a dark amber. Thick creamy head. Slight sour taste, possibly the rye malt coming through. Tasted better than i thought it would to be honest. I smelled the faintest notes of apple. To me it seemed to have a fizzy texture, Not bubbly, but i would compare the texture to a witbier like hoegarden perhaps. Easy to drink.

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

This import looks relatively appetising with good lacing and a deep red copper body.

The smell is one of malt, nuts and wheat. Sweet malts are tasted initially, with bitter coffee and caramel in the finish.

There is little carbonation in the flat but creamy brew, and while it's easy to drink it won't be my first choice upon next bottle-shop visit, nor a regular choice.

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

Unique to say the least. Baltika #4 uses Rye Malt (along with the standard malt, hops, yeast and water) in the creation of this brew and while I don't notice it in the aroma, I definitely can taste the difference and it works.
Pours a slightly opaque dark orange amber with a half finger white head that malts slowly to a nice top-capping lacing.
The nose is toasted, nutty amber malt with a hint of brown sugar.
Taste is dark toasted malt but the sweet brown sugar seems to disappear completely under the spice of the rye malt and the finish becomes nicely drying rather than sweet and cloying.
There really are layers of flavors in this brew and I'm enjoying the discovery.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - amber pour, pretty average, not very dark for this dark lager. Not much head formation but it does manage a partial covering and some light lace.

Aroma - a wheaty, rye-like grain, almost a smoky element in there. Fades quite a bit after a few moments but it's still there.

Taste - opening malts have some sweetness to them. Mild diacetyl and mild smoked malts, too. Late hops show up well into the aftertaste. A tasty interesting brew.

Mouthfeel - evenly bodied, nicely crisp. Good residual flavor.

Drinkability - not something I'd get regularly but it's a good drinker.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Well hazed coppery autumn color with a lively head of dense bleached orange foam. Lots of lace. Medium to medium low level of carbonation.

S: Rich notes of dark malts and heavy notions of wheat. A mild rye bread character is present, along with the slightest hint of yeast.

T: Very strong wheat and dough notes dominate, with sweet maltiness and grain overtones. A touch of bitterness toward the finish, with a carmel taste just at the finish.

M: Flat and bland. Like swampy water. Not a lot of carbonation or excitement i'm afraid.

D: Fair. I could have it again, but not on a regular basis.

Notes: Oddly enough, even though this beer wasn't great, for some reason it makes me look forward to trying the rest of the #'s in the Baltika line.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Kind of dark/ruddy leather in color, with a nice two finger head with good retention. Attractive looking beer, head clings to the glass.

Smell: Smells a bit like Aventinus, caramel malts and a bit of dark fruit, but lagery clean too.

Taste: Lots of sweet malt flavor, and some dark fruitiness (raisins?). A little bit reminiscent of raison d'etre in that point... Hints of toast and brown sugar as well, right before the swallow. Does seem a tad watered-down, especially in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A little slick, finishes a bit watery. Carbonation is just about right.

Drinkability: I would have preferred to share this bottle. Glad I've had my first Russian beer, though. Won't seek this one out, though.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

beer #3 from the Baltika Challenge. tan head on a dark transparent beer. foamy head. smell is sweet and malty and a little sour. taste is sweet, maybe a little oversweet, slightly chocolately, malty, bready. pleasing flavor though overall. thicker than #2 and #3 and ok for the style. a good regular euro dark.

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Photo of shivtim
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent brown, looks a whole lot like Coca-cola. Has a very tiny tan head, with some lacing. Nose is syrupy and sweet, malts and unroasted beans. Taste is sweet and malty. Slight coffee aftertaste, whole grains. Mouthfeel is decent and smooth. Ok drinkability. Not bad.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.55/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

from notes 8/01/04

16.9 oz bottle. no freshness date noted.

Pours a dirty water brown, no real head to speak of.
Aroma is sweet, caramel, malt, yeast,

Flavor is syrupy sweet, caramel with some mild clove spice on the finish.

Too sweet for me, will not buy again

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Photo of Greenfloyd
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My best Russian experience to date, though I have yet to try the Baltika Porter...

Looks of molasses when poured into a half yard glass...nice dark tannish creamy head, lasting longer in the neck of the yard than it would in a pint glass I'm sure. Aroma of brown sugar, wheat bread, and malt. Nice. Tastes of the same brown sugary malt, sans the sweetness that would accompany such a description. Reminds me of a dark European lager, with better body, and less bite, as is reflected in the lingering aftertaste.

Would pair brilliantly with any slow cooked, full flavored beef or pork dish, but certainly stuffed cabbage with a tomato based sauce would be great as well...Enjoy

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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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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
3.39 out of 5 based on 438 ratings.
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