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 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 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 drewone
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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 paulish
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

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 atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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 tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of rab53
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%

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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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 Lare453
3/5  rDev -11.5%

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 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 a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and hops. Taste is of malts, caramel, hops, slightly sweet, good flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fine quality brew.

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

Bottle poured into a snifter. Beer is brown and forms a thin broken off white head of small bubbles. Carbonation is low. Beer is clear.

Aroma is mild, almost of a sweet pilsner malt variety, mild roast as well.

Beer is smooth and nice. Finishes cleanly with no aftertaste. There is a mild sweetness up front and not a whole lot in the back. This is a very drinkable beer overall mouthfeel is good but the flavor is a little mild. Second taste, I'm bumping the flavor up. Its reasonably sweet and has a hint of roast at the end but its not distracting. I like this beer. I tihnk Baltika is criminally underrated on this website. Shame on you.

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Photo of stevoj
3.89/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely done dunkel from Russia. Picked this one up as it was listed in 1001 Beers to Try Before You Die. Nice burnt toast/dark wood aroma. Color is dark brown, but clear. Taste again is roast grains and oak barrel. Smooth, with very mild bitterness.

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is fruity with a mixture of pale and crystal malts; a bit breadlike. The taste is decent, but not great. Again there is the balance between malts, but there is an annoying amount of bread taste here. It tastes like a dark whitbread ale. The mouthfeel is alright. I would like a little more carbonation and a lighter body. It drinks fairly well. This is my first Russian brewed ale.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is actually pretty nice. I get notes of grapes, toffee, biscuits and iced tea. The flavor is similar, but a little more exciting. In addition to the dominant toffee malt characteristics, I get earthy and grassy hops, caramel, honey and graham crackers. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not bad at all.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.97/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: poured with a huge 4+ finger head for which I'm waiting to settle. Body is a clear, rich amber orange; head is pillowy and ivory in color with a slight orange cast. It looks pretty interesting and, actually, pretty tasty, but it doesn't really look like a dark lager.

Smell: big, sweet malt aroma. Caramelly with hints of a dark fruitiness. Quite enjoyable; better than I was anticipating.

Taste: more of what you get in the aroma. Rich caramel malt with some subtle, sweet dark fruit flavors. There is a little bitterness toward the end but the hops aren't the center of attention here. I might also note that there's a bit of a bite at the top of the sip; something lightly acidic. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a very good level of carbonation. Pretty darn creamy ... I like it a lot.

Drinkability: this beer is better than I was anticipating. I rather like the flavor, feel and smell of this beer; it might have to go into rotation around here.

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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky dark amber hue with a two finger caramel head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy cereal grain and some molasses.

The taste lightly sweet, grainy and slightly herbal. Similar in fact to a maerzen.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a residual sweetness.

Overall a tasty dark lager.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the bottle stamped: 02:08:12-08:48-02:08:13-O-W. Sampled on June 22, 2013. I think the stamp suggests this is past its expiration date by about 4 months.

The pour is a dark reddish-amber with a short-lived head that dissipates into nothing. Busy carbonation.

The aroma is full of sweet malts, vanilla, and brown sugar with a nearly absent hop sensation.

The body is fairly smooth and in the medium range.

The sweetness is prevalent in the flavor at first with a quick hint of low bitterness at the end. It seems to fit into the style well enough but there is nothing extraordinary about it. Easy to drink though.

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