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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 treque
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a nice body, with a traslucent deep amber, ruby highlihgts, the head is off white almost tan with nice retention, its creamy and some waste on the glass is left

S: a little caramel, roast malt aroma a little hops hidden at the back

T: light body, same as aroma, a little bittternes at the very end, the roast is left on palate

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Photo of agent2550
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Baltika #4 pours a red-amber with gold highlights. The two fingers of creamy head collapse slowly.
Smells like honey and wheat. There is also a faint smell of nuts.
This beer has a low-medium amount of bubbles and a silky mouthfeel.
There is a faint taste of citrus and nuts after each gulp. Clean finish.
Very simple beer, but/and it is worth buying. One of the better dark lagers that I have tasted.

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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 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 Bookseeb
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark ruby amber having a thin stiff head that dissipates to a thin film. Smell of rich malt, molassas and darker fruits. Taste follows the nose having a mild hop note that finishes clean. Mouthfeel is medium, a little viscous with good carbonation. Overall a very enjoyable dark lager.

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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 ummswimmin
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was shared with me by a friend. Thank you.

I poured this beer into a pint glass. It was very see-through with minimal inclusions. This one was dark red.

On the pour I had about four fingers of head, but that came down pretty quickly.

In the nose I get lots of Saaz hops, caramel, and some dark fruit. This beer was very crisp. I would almost say that it is too crisp.

This is a really strong lager flavor. It is muddied with something else, but it just seemed like dark fruit.

There was a decent amount of alcohol flavor in the front of the mouth.

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Photo of Naugros
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My last Baltika made me fear drinking this one, but here goes.

It looks pretty good...a clear, dark copper color, like an old penny polished from years in the "take a, leave a" tray at a convenience store. The head is beige and creamy...not all that tall.

You get sweet caramel immediately...smell again and you'll get some Saaz hops in there as well. Not the most perfect of marriages and the bickering is a bit distracting, but not horrible due to a sense of raisin bringing back into some semblance of harmony. But it's still not quite there.

The taste is better and the caramel comes off like that you'd find in a Milky Way. Sweet and yummy, this is a candy bar in a bottle. The hops back off and let the sweetness take control...a bit too much sweetness for my liking, but I know many people who would enjoy this.

The finish continues the redundancy of sweetness and I can't help but think that if the yeast had more aggressive in their feasting that this beer would have come out a little drier and more enjoyable for my palate.

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Photo of aasher
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Baltika #4, the original, a must tick. This one pours a medium bodied, light amber in color with ruby highlights. A scummy off white head laced the glass. It smells of sweet malts and kind of has a chocolate malt, like Ovaltine, aspect to it. I didn't quite expect that, so all in all in smells appealing. The flavor is very sweet and on the verge of syrupy. It's all malt and actually tastes like a Scottish/Wee Heavy. It's lightly nutty has a lot of sweet fruit going on. It's very interesting and much better than I thought it would be. It is very sweet though. It drinks between light and medium in body and is a really smooth drinker. Overall it's a solid brew and exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.76/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium brown w/ a nice two finger cocoa head. Pretty good carbonation and lacing. Nice looking lager overall. You can see through the beer, but not completely- cloudy in appearnce.

S- This is the weakness of this brew. Faint malt, slight hops, very faint fruit. Not much happening here.

T- Ok... Much better than the nose. The flavors pop out a lot more in the taste, and it's a good beer- especially for the style. The roasted/caramel malt comes out pretty well- fruit much more present as well. Nice- especially in the style.

M- Very smooth/ w/ slight hops bite to it. Fairly dry finish as well. Nice medium bodied creamy lager.

O- Pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's not the greatest in the world, but for the style it's very drinkable, and has a pleasant flavor. Recommended for the style.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsener glass.

Look - dark copper color, clear, with about 2 fingers of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - rich and vibrant worty type of smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel - very sweet and worty tasting as well. No bite at all to this one. For some reason I get a sense of caraway seed. Texture is nicely balanced!

Overall - Not a bad brew at all. It tastes good, and is at least somewhat interesting to think about.

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

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark amber brown - full white foam settles to a thin layer with excess around the glass. Smell is all malt, minimal sweetness. All malt taste, notes of caramel, some sweetness. Smooth - little bite or bitter close, if any. East drinker, maybe a touch too sweet, but good.

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Photo of jazzmanblue
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Baltika Brews have been in my neighborhood for a few years. I decided to review this one because I'm having it as I write the review.

Poured from a half liter, dark brown bottle into a Brother Thelonious goblet.

The appearance is rather good. Dark brown as I hold it up to the light, with a thick tan colored head that lasted about 2 minutes. Very light lacing on the side of the glass. Quite appealing to the eye.

The smell is a bit biscuit like with a whiff of... is that molasses? I believe it is. Not what I expected in this type of brew. Not much else comes through.

The taste a bit unusual, in that fruity notes jump out along with a very mild molasses like sweetness. Also a slight tang on the finish which is slightly bitter. It appears to be drinkable, but on first impression I'm not in love with it.

There is a firm carbonation in the mouthfeel which is not overdone. Thin on the body. For some reason I expected this to be thicker, not sure as to why, but maybe the appearance led to that expectation.

Overall this is a bit unique, but seems to be the type of brew you need to be in the mood for. It's not outstanding in any sense and not terrible either. $2 in my area, but I can get many brews for this amount. I may give it another try at some point, but will be examining other neighborhood newbies for a while before that happens.

Overall I think it worth a go. See how it sits on your palate; this is the kind of brew you will be quaff on a regular basis if the unusual flavor makes it for you.

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

22 oz poured into pint glass

A: Creamy white head over a clear amber red liquid. Minimal lacing but the head stayed on the edge of the glass and followed the beer down.

S: Malty, dark candy

T: Cloying, sweet, slight bittering hops at the back of the palate.

M: pretty thin

Overall: Beer I would drink again but not necessarily seek it out. I am eager to try other beers from this brewery.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours a dark amber color, like the color of iced tea. A 1/2" head rapidly dissipates until a mere film of head is left.

Has a malt, bready smell, with notes of toffee and caramel.

Has a sweet, malty taste, with very little breadiness and no bitterness. Easy drinking, almost too easy, like I'm drinking sweet tea without the lemon.

Medium bodied, and very very smooth. Is there any alcohol in here, because this goes down far too easy.

I'm a fan of Baltika, and this beer is no exception. However, it is so smooth and easy drinking as to render it uninteresting. Still, worth a try, as are some of Baltika's other offerings.

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Photo of flexabull
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a small white head.

Aromas are bready, slightly sweet, malty, and with hints of brewed tea.

Taste is clean, simple, but pretty nice. Light malt creaminess, doughy bread flavors, and some sweet tea. Finish is crisp, dry, with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is nice, full and quite smooth.

Overall a solid brew, and a pleasant surprise. I'd expected something a little more pedestrian based on the scores, but I dig this. Almost reminds me of a dark german lager. Pretty good stuff, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Pours a reddish amber hue that's pretty transparent. Big inch-thick head dissipates quickly, leaving thick strings of bubbly lacing coating the inside of the glass. No carbonation is visible. Smell is full of prunes and raisins, with caramel malts backing them up. Slight metallic aroma behind the sweet start; not something I'm usually a fan of.

Taste is almost a mirror of the smell, with sweetish nuances of dark fruits washing over the palate to start. Slight hints of caramel, apple and pear. Just a very sweetish experience all around. There's a minute bit of bitterness at the end that slides into the ephemeral aftertaste, but it's not enough to balance the malts out, not by a long shot. Mouthfeel is light, but with a slick feel and a crisp finish, enough to be above average.

I'm usually a fan of sweet beers, but this just takes it a little too far. Too sweet, too cloying, with not enough balance of bitterness and hops. Can't really stomach more than one serving of this.

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

Picked up a .5L bottle for $1.90 in Astoria. This beer actually tastes more like a Vienna lager thanks to the spicy hop finish. The beer starts with a big caramel flavor with a toasty edge. From a corporate lager, I didn't expect much, but this had a balance from Euro pepper and lemon hops. The body is a touch thick to be really drinkable, but I'd have a few.

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

Copper pour with a creamy off-white head. Aroma is sweet and malty with some hints of raisins and cookie dough. Flavor is sweet and malty at the beginning with a good hint of dough and raisins near the middle. Finishes sweet with some hints of apple skins. Alcohol warms. Quite a nice beer.

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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 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 Lauthaha
2.62/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a half-liter bottle into a half-liter beer glass. Perfect fit!

Appearance: Beer is a nearly-opaque burnt sienna color. Some sediment visible in the mix; before I finished pouring, I left an ounce or so of liquid in the bottle, swished it around, then poured with a flourish. Head quickly recedes to a velvety coating on the surface of the beer, leaving no lacing at all. Meh.

Smell: Prunes, first and foremost. Underneath that, a thick, banana-bread-like malt quality; or maybe cinnamon-raisin-muffin-like quality. Very sweet, almost cloying, but enough tone shift to remain above average.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer seems to have almost no carbonation...all tastes are very mellow, light breadiness, light prune flavor, light cinnamon flavor. Where's the beef? If I swish the beer around like crazy in my mouth, I can detect just a touch of carbonation, which does nothing. Aftertaste is dull, though the burps are full of vine fruit. Blechh.

Drinkability: Only so-so. I suppose it's worth a try, somebody is bound to like this beer. It's just not cutting it for me.

Let me just say, this isn't a bad beer by any means...I've had far more disgusting brews. That being said, this beer really falls short in the taste category. Seeing as I don't have any general characteristics upon which to base Euro Dark Lagers, I can only go by what I know...and I know this should be darker, meatier and foamier.

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