Baltika #4 Original (Dark) | Baltika Breweries

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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: 433
Photo of cbutova
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Euro dark lager eh? Reviewed from notes.

A- Brown with a small head that rapidly falls to nothing. Very minimal cloud covers the top and leaves no lace or suds. Starts to look like juice.

S- Not much to say here at all. Low strength, just some caramel malt and a hint of dark fruit.

T- Caramel malt and some dark fruit notes up front. A bit on the sweet end, even for me. A bit of Brown Ale like nutty flavors come through, not bad.

MF- High carbonation stings the palate over a slightly creamy light bodied ale. Refreshing and crisp. Finishes with a coat of caramel.

DB- Cheap stuff, wanted to try some of their offerings. The flavor has its good points but is a bit sweet, certainly a refreshing dark lager. Not bad for what it is.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a clear copper, which confused me as it is dark lager? The head is a very light tan that fades quickly but surprisingly leaves thin but full lacing.

The aroma is light with a touch of skunk but some sweet fruit like apricot.

The taste is ok a light as well. There is lots of dark sugar and apricots in taste as well, but that's it.

The feel is way to light for me, mostly water.

Overall, the beer is ok but nothing like I thought it would taste with the name dark lager. Its more like a light ale.

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

Deep amber with red highlights. Great clarity. Poor head retention.

Moderately-low roast and caramel aromas are in the forefront. I get no hops and a hint of yeast fruitiness.

Fairly crisp with moderate sweetness. Moderate caramel flavours come through as well. A light bitterness is present in the finish but the balance is decidedly sweet.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Suitable to the style.

A sweet lager which I don't find incredibly pleasant to drink. It hits pretty much all the marks for the style though and is a decent representation of what it should be.

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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 Suds
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An attractive beer: reddish-brown with a big tan head. There is a noticeable metallic and astringent flaw in the beer, but it is drinkable. Sweet, molasses and malt nose. Not a lot of bitterness, and sometimes cloying. Alcohol is pronounced for the concentration. I didn’t know what to expect (I bought the bottle simply because I’d never had a Russian beer before.)

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Photo of Gusler
2.66/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer pours a limpid deep mahogany color, the head impressive in size, frothy in consistency, the color a light tan with the lace a fine sheet. Nose is all malt, lightly sweet, as is the start with the top skeletal in feel. Finish is crisply acidic, the hops minimal, the aftertaste dry. Drinkable, but certainly not very impressive in any category.

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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 FLima
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown reddish color with a thick off-white head with medium retention.
Malty and grainy aroma with good caramel notes.
Nice bready malt flavor with some peppery yeasty and earthy notes. Hints of caramel, rum, lemon and herbs. Mildly dry with a low bitterness.
Medium body with medium carbonation.
This the most balanced of the Baltikas, likely the best one along with number 6. But it is good, not great. If you like caramel beers, this may be your choice.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark ruby color with a nice 1 finger creamy tan head. Foam sticks to the glass with ease.

Not a very appealing nose-burnt raisins come to mind. Slightly sweet toast aroma. A pretty strong smelling lager, but not so delectable.

Overly sweet and toasty taste for me. Kind of acrid and cardboard-y. Some hoodlum unfermented sugars crept up and stole the rims of this civic. Not very tasty, but certainly not a drain pour either. I like the other 3 Baltikas I've had better (8,9 and 6). The dark fruitiness is too prevalent for a lager, IMO. Get rid of some of that sweetness and they may have something.

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

This beer pours a clear watery dark amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and hints of chocolate. It is a pleasant aroma. The taste is much like the aroma. It lacks any sort of complexity, but is mildly interesting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation that is a little too low. Overall, this is a decent beer that I could drink again.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with a large head, fading to a small layer.
Nose shows some chocolate malt, with lots of bready and nutty notes. No hops stand out.
Flavours are more of the same, with very sweet bready and nutty malt. Too sweet, in fact - once you add in the noticeable alcohol it becomes cloying.
Carbonation is too low, and lets the sweetness run rampant.

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Photo of Brenden
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a slightly clouded coppery-red with an unimpressive head that fades a bit quickly but does leave some lacing, albeit quite thin.
The aroma is of malts, notes of dark fruits, and a light note of caramelized sugars with an alcoholic tinge and an unexpected astringency.
The caramel malt is stronger in the flavor, making for a sturdy base. The caramelized sugars and ripe fruits make for perhaps an overdone sweetness. Hops fade in and out and are stronger in the aftertaste and don't provide an especially good balance. The astringency I found in the nose remains in the flavor, fortunately to a lesser degree.
There's a good balance of crispness and smoothness is a well-rounded mouthfeel complimented by a carbonation that's just the right level in a medium to full body.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.79/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just came in at Lowertown Liquors with a brand new label, so I figured what the hell its got to be fresher then other times I've tried it. Crystal clear fiery orange color with a big foamy capping of froth thats abundently stacked and creamy with bumpy pocks and holes in it. Lacing is sticky and well distributed in thick foamy curtains.

Aroma is dry and plain with light roasted grain, super dry caramel sweetness, and a very light dry grassyness.

Taste is actually, and surprisingly, pretty good. Nice well rounded sweetness of light caramel malt. Clean and favorable notings of dryer caramel and whole grain toast. Keeps sweet with a low ended darkness about its nature with tiny slivers of molasses and dark fruity candy. Finish is a bit sticky with left over caramel and a light hint to some dry woodish hops.

Feel is clean and creamy within a medium sticky malt laden body. Not too sweet, it seems to fit just right for what it is. Which is pretty good all around in flavor, body, and drinkability. Just sweet enough with just the right amount of light dryness. A very nice little dark lager. Much better from other times I've ventured to try it. By far the best sample yet; helps to get it fresh. Well as fresh as it can get being from the otherside of the earth.

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

Appearance – This one is a pretty, light brown in color. It’s almost orangish when held up to the light and gave off a good, moderate head.

Smell – The darkish malts show off a bit of complexity here. The toast is light with some sticky caramel and maybe a dab of molasses to go along for the ride. There’s a doughy aroma here as well.

Taste – Ah, all the complexities from the nose made their way nicely to the taste. This is not a heavy-hitting Dark Lager, but it’s very tasty and dead-on for the style. The finish is bittersweet with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel – This one isn’t quite medium-bodied, but it does show off some pretty serious bitterness that gives this lager a drying finish.

Drinkability – This was on the lighter side of the EDLs that I’ve had, but it was very tasty and made for a great mid-afternoon snack.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddy bronze kind of colour, transparent with a very slight bead. Head is decent but doesn't really stick around. Produces very nice lacing. A very appealing-looking drop, but I wouldn't exactly call it 'dark'.

Very sticky and jammy on the nose, with a strong raisin undertone and hints of oak and blackcurrant. Virtually one aroma, although there is a modest, very modest hop hit at the back, but it's more malty than anything else.

Surprisingly refreshing although there is that deep, sticky flavour of spicy raisins on the mid-palate. I think it's just too cold. Waiting for it to warm up now... Still waiting.... Okay, slightly sour on the front, very fruity, with overtones of burnt toffee throughout. Hint of artificial lemon flavour towards the back, like those lemon sherbet lollies (without the sherbet). The dominant flavour though, is that toffee, raisin character. Very heavy for breakfast. Very sweet and heavy, but very good in the mouthfeel. I'd rather have this in my mouth than Saddam's cock. Not all that drinkable this early in the morning, but that's my fucking fault for drinking it this early in the morning.

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Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first russian!! prefer blondes, but she'll do...
pours a clear light brown with a slight creamy head on top.
smells like a dark hofbrau or something; apparently they get their malts from munich?? sweet and caramel-y.
tastes like a dark hofbrau, with the same kind of malts, but with a dark, sinister bite which i think i like.
it's got a medium density feel to it, seems like an almost generic beer (but with a nice accent), and it makes me want to try others from Baltika. i've got an open mind, i think russian women are hot, so i might as well try some more of these, right?
Carlsberg bought Baltika out? and Bev bought Budweiser out? the two superpowers have succumbed? it says the contents are (literally) water caramel, rye malt and hops. caramel? did they add caramel? and rye? i like rye.
overall, it's a really good brew. nice head, beautiful lacing, can session it (for awhile), and it makes me want to try the others in its line up. and maybe a blonde russian farm girl, too!

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Photo of jsh420
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 12-1-07
best before 12-1-08

pours deep amber with a small head that leave spotted lacing

smell is dark fruity malt and alcohol

taste - wow - very nutty and strong sweet dark fruit malts

mouthfeel is light with good carbonation that leaves a creamy and crisp finish

overall/drinkability - good - i can see buying this again - reminds of brown ales and better then alot - the best baltika i have had yet! and a few months past its prime???

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Picked up a Bottle of the Baltika #4 along with #3 and #9 offerings and decided to give them all a whirl recently. After having had the #3 yesterday I am not expecting much from the #4. But here goes:

A metric sized half-litre (500ml) brown glass bottle, labeled as 16.9 fluid ounces for the US market. Metallic gold, black and red label, with a similarly colored foil covered crown capped top third. Labeled across the middle of the label as БAЛTИKA, whilst the English wording states “Baltika Original” above, whilst “#4 – Alc. 5.6% vol. Dark Beer” is below.

Appearance: Murky dark brown color, the semblance of the tan colored head that forms during the pour, soon gets sent packing to a cold Siberian Wasteland. Not much carbonation, it soon looks like a 2 day old malt extract homebrew when it settles. No head or lacing whatsoever. Awful.

Nose: Sweet toffee, caramel and some toasted malts. Not much else!

Taste: Tastes are pretty much simple; malts, toffee, caramel. An average, rather basic profile. Reminded me of swallowing your own saliva after you eaten a couple of particularly sticky chewy home-made Toffees.

Mouthfeel: Average body no doubt helped aided by the alcohol levels and high dissolved sugars – but hindered by the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability: The rather flat, sweet, sickly doughy bread feel lends a massive off-putting dimension to the beer for me. I struggled to finish the bottle I had.

Overall: It’s very easy and not very constructive to knock a beer you don’t like – but this is just plain awful. The lack of a freshness date on the Bottle even robbed me of a chance to offer an explanation for its one-dimensional flat body and appearance. $1.69 for the Bottle, worth spending to remind me not to waste my money again.

It’s not even on the Ќяїѕтмдѕ Lїѕт for my worst enemy.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.66/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Russian....bier. Does have an attractive brown color. Poured a small head, diminishes to a fine layer quickly. Very, very mild malt nose. Body/tongue combined to present a decent mouthfeel. Flavors are quite subtle; some grainy malt, a hint of caramel and touch of hops. Too subtle, actually, though it did improve as the bier warmed. Granted, this bier doesn't turn me off, but it needs to be more bold, to have more "oomph".

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


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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 blackie
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: The pour into my pint produces a .75" off white head that gradually recedes. The beer is a slightly hazy, rich, reddish amber in color.

smell: Up front is a banana scent...banana pudding, overripe bananas, and banana bread. Some caramel-like malty sweetness too. A light spicy hop aroma way in the back. The banana like flavors dominate...I am assuming they are some type of ester from the yeast used.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is just over medium.The body is around medium, and has a sort of slick feeling in the back that I don't care for in a lager like this.

taste: Yeasty, banana like esters up front again. Moderately sweet maltiness. Hints of molasses at times. Not any hop flavor evident to me, and a light bitterness that lingers into the finish with banana flavors. Smells and tastes pretty yeasty for a lager...there's even yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

drinkability: It's not a bad beer, but nothing great, and the mouthfeel further limits drinkability.

Received from Zorro in BCG BIF. A best before date of 31.03.06 is printed on the reverse label.

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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 Brent
3.06/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been burned by several Russian (or insert variant former USSR entity here) beers, so I wasn't expecting too much from my first pass at this brewery. I guess my basic reaction is "not too bad." Chestnut amberish-brown, with a nice head that stayed a while. Some caramel and cane sugar in the flavor, pretty sweet but not over the top. Finish is clean. On the heavy-handed side for a lager, but still drinkable.

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

Pours brown with a hint of dark orange. No head to speak of and no lace either.
Smell is malt,, oak and spiced orange.
Taste is malt, cherry, oak, spice, orange peel.
Smooth, creamy and full-bodied. Very good, just wish it looked a little better. But that is the least of my concerns.

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Baltika #4 Original (Dark) from Baltika Breweries
3.39 out of 5 based on 433 ratings.
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