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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) | Baltika Breweries

280 Reviews
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Baltika #4 Original (Dark)Baltika #4 Original (Dark)

Brewed by:
Baltika Breweries
Russian Federation | website

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: 280 | Ratings: 431
Photo of Jdiddy
1.12/5  rDev -67%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Very rarely am I so rough on a beer but this stuff is god awful. It smelled like metal so bad that I could barely get past that. There was NO substance to the beer. Very flat and no taste. If anything, it tastes like it smelled. BAD!!! It did have a decent color though.

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Photo of Monsteruss
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The foam was med. wheat in color, semi thick and dissapated rather quickly. The color was dark ruby red, amber highlights with a mahogany undertone. The smell was hoppy and dark fruity undertones. It has a deep lager taste with a hint of carmel. Mouthfeel - med. to full-bodied - a good throwdown. Drinkability - deep and smooth - a good session.

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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 49degrees
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've run across a variety of Russian brews in recent weeks and finally decided to grab one for a closer look. Russia is not exactly known as a source for beer, their vast exportation of vodka and caviar certainly helps keep everyone's attention peaked in other areas. However, if my first experience with a Russian brew is any indication, grabbing a Russian brew shall do you no harm -- in fact, it may even bring you a little surprising pleasure.

Sold in gold foiled toped 16.9 fluid oz bottled with foil labels on both front and backside. My bottle was freshness dated Best Before 13.01.02 and was purchased on 10.03.03. Despite being past its stated prime, this was still a very enjoyable brew and has suffered no obvious character loss.

Poured a deep amber color with a slight hazy appearance. The head was minimal and feature large clear bubbles, almost soda like consistency, which quickly disappeared. No head was apparent after a mere 30 seconds, no collar, and no lacing could be found on the glass while drinking.

Aroma wise, Baltika Dark presents a very interesting combination of both sweet and sour smells, heavy caramel, aged fruit, and malty characteristics. The sugary sweet aroma reminded me of an Oudenaard but considerably lighter in all manners.

Taste-wise, this is an interesting item that is almost overwhelmingly sweet, particular on a palette that drinks its fair share of IPAs. A real cornucopia of flavors including a dark rye bread, heavy caramel, sugary sweet ripe fruit, hearty malts and even a subtle hop kick that pairs well with the rather carbonated characteristic of the brew. There's a lot going on, but thankfully, it’s a rather light tasting brew and as such, this truckload doesn't overwhelm your taste buds. But it will make your taste buds stand up and take notice of what you're feeding it.

Overall, a very interesting brew, not amazing, but definitely something worth checking out if you have the opportunity. As a very affordably priced import brew that dishes up plenty of unique characteristics I'm sure I'll tackle this one again from time to time. I think I'll even try checking out their other 10 different brews if/when the opportunity arises.

[ STATS:>> 16.9 oz bottle / ABV: 5.6% abv / PRICE: $2.29 USD ]

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Photo of darkmartin
3.16/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours to a dark molasses with a nice sized, off-white head. Some lacing.

Smell: Smells of roasted malts and coffee. Some sweet caramel as well.

Taste: Much of the same as the nose, except for a nice and bitter hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Way too watery!

Drinkability: Taste is not bad, however it's not anything special either. That combined with the watery finish makes it something that I don't think I'll buy again.

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

Has anyone been to Russia and seen this beer sold there? It would be interesting to know if this is a standard over there, or if it is just something they just export to the running dog capitalists.
My brew poured with a thin head, that had light streams of fizz. It was a cloudy, copper hue, and did look inviting.
The smells were barely discernable. I found some sweet malts, and something that reminded me of bread.
Taste was okay. A bit of malt up front, with a light bitter finish. Again, there was a hint of bread.
Mouthfeel was a good beer feel. Decent carbonation, but overall, nothing special. .
Drinkability: An unpretentious worker's beer for the booboisie. Something with a bit of taste, a bit of alcohol, and no nonsense of froofy flavours and aromas. Have it with borscht, pickled herrings, and black bread.

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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 xxxxxxxxxxxxx
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer had a tan/light brown colour.
Smell: This beer had a light aroma of both grains and hops.
Taste: Baltika #4 had a mellow dark beer taste. Very smooth.
Mouthfeel: The amount of carbonation within Baltika#4 is correct. Not too strong, yet not too weak!

Overall: Grains and hops could be tasted in this beer. Baltika #4 is a practical dark beer. The taste does not seek to overpower anybody. Baltika #4 has the dark beer flavour without any harshness. There are no rough edges with Baltika#4. Baltika #4 is a mellow dark beer that is easy to drink.

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

In a freshly washed mug, poured a large frothy head, that hung around for a while. Size and lacing not quite like a German beer, but very respectable, none-the-less.

Smells of dark malt and dates. Very pleasant. No hop aroma at all.

Very earthy, kind of brown-sugar taste, with only barely enough hops to cleanse the palate. I'd guess this was 20 IBU's, no more. Hop heads will HATE this beer, as it's ALL about the malt. Quite tasty, and filling, it has that East-European-great-for-cold-weather taste (and feel).

Mouthfeel is thick but not quite syruppy--the hops (even that low) hold the malt at bay.

I get the impression that at any time Boris will slap me on the back and say "Is GOOD beer, yes?!"

And Boris would be right. A respectable dark, sweet beer, for Malt Hearts (not Hop Heads).

Quite surprised as other beer from Baltika has been underwhelming. Not nearly as underwhelming though as the traditional American brands (which are now all foreign owned...)

Definitely a GOOD beer!

Za Vas!!!

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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 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 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 dbmcrorie
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz brown bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Freshness and bottling date printed on back.

Deep burgundy red body with dark orange hues. Gassy/rocky beige head. Minimal lacing with bubbly caps on top as head dissipates.

Lots of rich black treacle/molasses (reminiscent of blackburns syrup). Cinnamon raisin, dates, caramel, and soft buttery notes of diacetyl fill this nose with a flash of bready yeast at the end. No noticeable hops other than faint spiciness lost in the malt.

Rich, slick mouthfeel. Lots of caramel malt with cinnamon spice dancing around. A flash of burnt toast along the tongue leads up to the dry finish. Carbonation is slightly muted. Aftertaste of sweet soda bread.

Decent dark lager. Lager qualities with stout-like flavors and profile. Gives the tongue plenty to contemplate about, yet stays light as a lager. A bit too heavy on the syrup/molasses for complete balance. Yeast is more noticeable than I'm used to, but is nevertheless pleasant; reminds me of ADY.
Would pair well with smoked meat and creamy, flavorful cheeses. A nice hearty soda bread would mesh wonderfully with the aftertaste of this brew. Maybe even some chowder?


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Photo of palffyfan
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a reddish brown, with average foam. Relatively opaque, foam fades away pretty quickly.

Smell - Smells like a corn macro, with hints of fruit and bread. Comes off pretty malty.

Taste - Tad bitter at first taste, but then because sweeter as it rolls down your mouth. Leaves a fruit-like aftertaste. I'd have to agree that this is a pretty average beer, but certainly beats most American macros.

Drinkability - This is a pretty drinkable beer, but would you want to considering the choices out there? It's worth a try for sure, and if you get a hold of a 6-pack you won't get bored of it, but better tasting beer is out there. I'd recommend trying Porter from Baltika, which is quite a delight..

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Photo of ghurux86
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a dark amber color. clear. creamy light tan head that lingers for a while and a little bit stays until the end. laces some too.
smell is malt, maybe some hops, caramel, among others.
taste is malt with a hoppy ending, alcohol isn't very noticeable.
mouthfeel is just about right for the style, medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level.
drinkability is average, i'd drink it again but i'd drink a lot of things again, definitely not bad.

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Photo of BamaScholar
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happily discovered at Frugal MacDougal's for $1.99. 500 ml brown bottle with red foil label. Best by 31 March 2006 (bottle back).

Poured into a pils glass, which caused a head and bubbles after root beer's heart. Hazy mahogany colored brew with tenacious cream-colored head which laces a collar down the sides of the glass. Very pretty.

Smell is pure caramel/toffee. Doesn't hide any sweetness.

This concoction tastes much more complex than I thought it would. Initial hits of caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Some cola bean too. There is a slight astringency accompanied by something bready...a sourdough round? The peanut brittle taste does fight a small metallic presence too, but the caramel wins out. Definitely no hop balance here, but the malt is pure smoothness, delightful.

As stated, it is smooth. A wee bit thin on the palate...maybe the water's different in St Petersburg.

Definitely worth a try! At $2 per, this sweetness is just right.

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Photo of SteveTheDog
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I think this is a very middle of the pack output from Baltika. The color looked great & inviting progressing from a dark brown to dark yellow. There was a hint of sweetness to the smell that wasnt supported by the taste. The finish reminded me of caramel both in taste & in sucking it off the sides of my mouth. I think in the future I'll stick with #6 if I can, but this wouldn't be the worst 3rd choice.

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Photo of olegv40
2.76/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very pleasant dark reddish brown. A soapy yellow head formed and quickly dissipated. Mildly malty aroma, but not very strong.

Tasted watered down. No hints of caramel that is usually present. I expect more substance from my dark lagers. Fairly unremarkable.

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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 circuitmonkey
3.09/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice head which fades quickly. Dark amber in color. Smell is very sweet. as is the taste. There is a very apparent taste of carmel malt, and alcohol, with no hop bitterness at all. Very smooth going down. Low carbonation.

Overall I would say it was Ok at the least, I would be willing to try this again, but by no means would go out on a hunt to find it again. People who hate bitter beers would probably like this alot.

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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 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 BAbaracus
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One finger tan head, moderate carb bubbles and reddish brown body. Coriander, pepper, bit of banana esters, not an overpowering aroma altogether. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, fizzy, slightly chewy, leads you to expect more out of this than what you get. Taste is overwhelmingly malt, maybe a hint of hops on the back end. Drinkable but not really impressive in any regard.

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Photo of Albianfire
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: clear copper with slightly ruby hue. Effervescent but with only half a finger head.

Smell: Both my girlfriend and I came up with the same descriptor - lake water. Maybe that is what others are referring to as mineral like. It was not a pleasant aroma to us. No hop aroma which is fitting for the style.

Taste: Malty, biscuit, slightly salty, no noticeable hop presence, some alcohol sweetness. I found it quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: light to medium. It is slightly watery but the malt holds it up. Good carbonation. Not too biting but not flat and dull.

Overall: I bought this in a pint bottle for 2.50 at HEB grocery store. For the price it is a good beer. It is not going to knock your socks off but it is refreshing. I will buy it again.

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Photo of chrisjduncan
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sweet caramel hits you immediately, almost thumping you over the head. After that there is a smooth spicy alcohol taste mixed with the grainy herb taste. Heavy on carbonation, it seems like it is almost trying to be a soda beer. Drinks much like an ale in its lightness but the caramel is the body note. Smell is quite sweet and the look is a gorgeous dark red. Comes in a fancy tall 1 pint 9 oz bottle as apparently Russia has something to prove. Don't let the "Dark Lager" tag fool you, this is a smooth beer for sessions or light meals. A bit pricey for casual drinking, but if you are feeling adventurous, Baltikas are never in the bad category, and like this one, are usually quite good. For a country known for its vodkas, they make a damn fine beer. Because of its sweetness, it is a terrific beer to give someone who thinks that all "dark" beers taste of charcoal.

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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
78 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.
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