Baltika #6 Porter | Baltika Breweries

613 Reviews
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Baltika #6 PorterBaltika #6 Porter

Brewed by:
Baltika Breweries
Russian Federation

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2003

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Reviews: 613 | Ratings: 934
Photo of russpowell
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head drops off fast, but I like the tan head, not much carbination,so that lets malt and fruit, especially raisuns and dates come through. Color is brownish,purple??? to black what I want to see in this sort of beer ?? I smell alcohol, malt & iron. This really hits the back of the tounge & throat nicely. The abv is deceptive, could almost drink this a a session beer. Probably the best beer I've had from the baltics.

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Photo of smcolw
2.79/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I'm not sure what a "Baltic" porter is supposed to taste like; but this one is quite different from most porters I've had. Nice near-black color, good lasting beige head. Surprisingly, little lasting lace.

Sweet molasses aroma that is greater than any chocolate or mocha that might be found. A strong level of metal present also.

Sweet, almost like brandy. Some warming alcohol. Reminds me far more of a double bock than a porter. I cannot detect any hops at all.

Too sweet for me, making it more one-dimensional without any complexity.

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Photo of Jason
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz bottle with a freshness date on the back label, a little blurb about the beer on the back to.

Appearance: Fast foam to thin ring of lace, the snap and crakle of the head was too quick for me. A shade or two lighter than black, it pours a little like motor oil in the mug.

Smell: Vague chocolate, major steely caramel and lots of sweetness in the aroma. A bit too sweet for my liking.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A palatable creamy smoothness within the full body. Lots of sweet malt, on the dark side of course with rich caramel donning a metallic flavour. Slight burnt and chocolate flavours middle to end, hops are docile with a one way bitterness. Finishes with a light cloying sweetness. The hidden alcohol provides a dark fruitiness which is the most interesting thing about the beer.

Notes: The alcohol is a bit deceiving at 7.0% abv, as I said before a bit too sweet for me which took away from the drinkablity. A small glass of this with a chocolate dessert would be nice.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with garnet highlights and about a finger's worth of foamy ecru head. The nose is molasses, pine, maple syrup, spruce, brown sugar, and dark malts. Some very faint floral notes are also lurking somewhere in the distance. The taste emphasizes the pine and spruce and really brings the florals out from the shadows. The darker aspects are still there, with the molasses and brown sugar leading the way, but they are much more balanced with the other elements than in the nose. The body is a firm medium, with a healthy dose of carbonation and a smooth feel, all leading to a very high drinkability.

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Photo of woodychandler
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The picture, with the red foil and label, is how I will always remember this beer. With # 9, I said that I felt that they make better products and this one is the prime example. When I was in school in PGH, we used to frequent the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern and this was one of the best bargains in the cooler. Many a Baltika # 9 was purchased for take-away.

It poured with a finger's worth of thick, deep-tan head with decent retention. The color was a deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. The nose had a cocoa, chocolate, roasty aspect to it, making my mouth water in anticipation. The mouthfeel was medium with a boatload of chocolate and dried fruit flavors, like raisins and prunes on the palate. The finish was pleasantly sweet, chocolaty, raisiny, and downright delicious. Given its price, this is a true bargain and one that is worth seeking out. More, more, more!

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Balika #6 is a deep, dark shade of brown, almost black. The head is light brown, large, and thick. The retention is very good. The aroma is of rich, dark malts, but not as strong as expected. The taste is very rich and complex. Dark, rich malts dominate with a strong taste of dark fruits mixed with a bit of molasses flavor. Notes of chocolate and alcohol add complexity to this tasty brew. A long syrupy, sweet finish is the perfect capper for this beer. This is an excellent beer and a steal at only $1.69 for a pint. Highly recommended.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep ruby plum in color with a nice sized tan head leaves a good amount of lacing not a bad look to it. Aroma: Thick layer of toasted malts with fruit and alcohol tinging around the edges. Taste: Sweeter up fron some plum and raisin like tones with chocolate and a mild coffee finish not bad compared to other Baltika products I have had. Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a big baltic porter medium to light in body with steady carbonation, not too impressed by anything. Drinkability: Decent not a warmer like I was expecting a bit of a disapointment.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a fairly opaque black color with a huge tan head that persists forever in fact it tried to escape from the bottle when I pried the cap off. The aroma is dark fruity with caramel and burnt sugars and a hint of chocolate with a touch of alcohol. Sweet grainy honey like pilsener malt surprisingly shines through. The flavor follow the aroma quite well. Sweet grainy pilsner with some dark and burnt sugars touched off with some chocolate and some sweet sugar coated dark fruits. Long lingering sweet finish with a touch of ethanol. Medium body with a sweet slick mouthfeel and a moderate level of carbonation. Not a bad porter, certainly not over the top flavored like some Americanized versions, but kind of nice with it's subtleties.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear but extremely dark brown with a thick tan head. Nose is okay. Nothing crazy. Just some mild malt tones. Hmmm. Unusual. I can't remember the last time a flavor profile made me stop and think so much about what I was drinking. It's nice and robust, yes. There are nice thick tar-ry tones. Strong sweet side that is almost like brown sugar in a way. Thick malty presence. But at first I get an almost cola It's nice. A bit too sweet, but good. Feel is smooth, but at first there was a real odd carbonation. Calms down over time. I like this style and I like this one. It's a bit too sweet, but I can still hang. I'd session this.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real snapping cola sounding head off the pour. Head is a nice faint milk coffee brown and chocolate, but settles very quickly. Body is incredibly dark and very black, there is zero lacing with this beer, it settles into nothing.

Faint banana bread on the nose, and a powder chocolate, fairly simple but alright for a whiff and smell.

Taste is very fleeting in the palate. A sense of rich malt seems to come with it's darkness, bringing banana like character, but then manages to disappear rather quickly. Finish seems to have a good char angle, even perhaps a tinge of hop. Body seems to give a good backbone here all things considered.

Still overall though it doesn't seem to be that desirable to me in terms of others of the style, or just other beers available. It's certainly not that bad and you could do a lot worse. In a worse case of also ran beers in your typical establishment, if I had this as a choice I would have it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before July 5, 2006 - reviewed a few weeks before that date.
Poured almost black with ruby highlights towards the bottom.
The aroma was of sweet chocolate - To me it almost had a smell of sour milk mixed in.
The taste - IMO - was more reminiscent of a sweet stout than a baltic porter. There were some chocolate notes, but it was not very complex. At first, the alcohol taste was hidden, but became apparent towards the end. The taste wasn't bad - but a bit too covered by sweetness to pick up on anything more than some chocolate and a hint of caramel.
The sweetness lingered on the tongue, but there was a thinness that evened it out.
Overall, it's not bad - an average baltic porter, but nothing to go out of the way for.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is dark as dark can be, beneath a big, bubbly, crackling tan head. Aroma is full of cocoa, nuts, and sweet candyish flavors. Medium body, light in texture, but really tasty, rich, satisfying. The ABV is 7%, but I didn't feel it in the least. Wait a minute...okay, now I do! Very tasty, and a welcome surprise, an excellent porter, an enjoyable beer!

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Photo of stevoj
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Great porter from Russia. Nice coffee bitterness with hints of chocolate and cigar smoke. Pours black with airy beige head. Taste of chocolate and coffee and lingering bitterness on the palate. Mouthfeel is right on, medium weight and really delicious.

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Photo of tempest
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle straight from Russia, basically just making the label even more unreadable.

Pours black red (like Guinness) with a nice tan head and lacing. At 7% it's lighter than the other Baltics I've tried. Reminds me more of a ballsy Schwarzbier, but in a good way. Smells of a tangy cocoa. Tastes of more chocolate, not too heavy. It's a little dry and there's is a slight (very minor) sour fruit edge that makes it interesting. Very smooth and easy to drink, not to mention tasty. Makes a great dessert drink.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly black in the glass, with a half finger dark khaki head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma dominated by fresh and dried plums with mild dark toasted malt, hints of cherry and caramel. Flavor is smooth dark malt with light roast, plums and a hint of cherry, lightly nutty, with a mild sweetness. Medium bodied with a light creaminess. A more fruit forward take on a Baltic porter, and although the malt is not intensely roasty, it supports the fruit flavors nicely. A bit different than domestically produced Baltic porters, and a little subdued in flavor, but very pleasant and well balanced. I liked the hints of tart cherry that added a little interest, but not any sourness that I dislike in stouts. Nicely done. I remember buying this decades ago and being pleasantly surprised by it, I'm glad that I still find it fun to drink.

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Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice rich malty scent that seems a bit dry, but full of caramel and black malts. It has a roasted, toastey aroma. The taste is great. It has an extremely smooth and creamy flavor that is full of sweet crystal and black malts. It goes down easy and hides the elevated abv. . The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer and a bit of a surprise. It is a great drinker.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Let's finish off the Second Unorganized Invitational with Baltika Porter, and after this review, I will present the winner of this competition. On to the beer:

Opaque body with ruby red hues on the side and a light tan head that forms nicely, but quickly begins to drop. The nose is subtle for the size of this beer, but does have a nice touch of alcohol and chocolate with esters on the side. Some smokiness gets noticed as well. Enough with the foreplay, moving on...

Ack! The carbonation up front is harsh and uncalled for, but when it clears, it becomes an extremely sweet treat. The beer is medium-heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation, but one that is a little too much for this style. Smoked chocolatety malts are the most dominating flavor. Now I feel the alcohol in my throat. Boy, this is a really sweet strong beer, but I'm having some fun with it as long as I sip with respect. The carbonation has mellowed out, making the experience a little better. Still, I've had better Baltic Porters.

The review is complete, so now it's time to reward the winner of the Second Unorganized Invitational, and that is:

Hacker-Pschorr Weiss!

Another interesting invtational as the second lightest beer of the six wins it all. We'll be back again around this time next year for the Third Unorganized Invitational, so mark your calendars. Good night everyone!

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is also big on roasted malts, not much else going on, not very complex. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Cheshire in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a half inch foamy brown head. Not much lacing on the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, caramel, and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is similar. This tastes a lot better than the rating suggests. It's a very basic Baltic porter, some lager-ish yeast flavors, roasted malts, a little bit of chocolate, a tiny bit of smoke, and some caramel.

Medium bodied, thin for the style. The alcohol is slightly noticeable near the end of each sip, otherwise it's pretty drinkable. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

As far as I know, this was my first beer from Russia, and first from Baltika. It seems like this might be one of their best entries.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a beige head. The aroma is mainly roasted malt with some coffee. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt. Not as much coffee or chocolate in the flavor as I was expecting. The alcohol is well hidden. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Fairly cream finish.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured into a tasting glass. Appears dark with a off white head.

S. Toasted with muted fruits.

T. Surprisingly sweet with some roasted coffee aftertaste.

M. Prickly like most russian brew. Coats the palate well with a earthy aftertaste.

D. Very drinkable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Baltika 6 appears cold, black and, frankly, a little daunting, much like the black sea itself. The fact that scarcely a hue of ruby can survive in its deep, unrelenting darkness leaves me to believe that drinkers are at risk of drowning in it if sips aren't taken cautiously. Be aware too that there is no foamy filter to act as bumper between liquid and lips.

The difference between Baltic porters and typical porters is as striking as the difference between sea water and fresh water. And I don't mean that entirely metaphorically: Baltic porters tend to smell almost brackish and have a stiff, loosely briny character that, I imagine, might resemble that of a jar of pickled dark fruits and licorice.

Add to the dark fruit and licorice preserves half a pot of stale, weak coffee, a splash of fig balsamic and a wee dram of Russia's beloved vodka and you'd have something considerably close to the taste. Of course, without the addition of debittered chocolate malts it'd be a poor substitute, and be missing the most flavourful piece of the whole puzzle.

Despite its tall, heavy bottle, sizable alcohol content and opaque appearance, Baltika 6 isn't something to be intimidated by. Actually, it drinks rather light and with a clean, neutral lager quality that voids nearly all textures and heavily diminishes most flavours' impacts on the palate. There's no trace of alcohol. Even its carbonation hardly makes a squeak.

As you may well already know from trying one yourself - or from what you should know, it having been conveyed in this review - Baltic porters are a very distinct style. And I'm glad that despite the size of their operations and the need for mass market sales, Baltika still brews theirs that way. If you want a real taste of the Baltic - and you're not really in the mood for pickled herring or stewed cabbage - then do explore what Baltika 6 has to offer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thick, creamy two-finger thick brown head that sits atop an opaque black beer. The aroma smells of chocolate, and lightly roasted coffee; overall the aroma is fairly subdued. The taste is sweet and creamy up front with a sharp, slightly acidic, roasted note in the finish. The beer has a medium full body that just starts to coat the mouth. This beer is quite drinkable, smooth and creamy it goes down quite easily. There is a lingering burnt note that sticks around long after the beer has left my mouth; this is not a bad thing though, more like a lingering roast coffee note. This beer is quite tasty, though it not as complex and deeply layered as many other examples of the style.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: large head upon initial pour which resulted in nice reverse-cascade tan head. Very dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

Smell: a little grain and chocolate aroma, but the main characteristic I smell is wood. Kind of bizarre; it interests me without impressing me.

Taste: not as complex as I like a Baltic porter to be, but it is not bad. Flavor is of roasted malt: a little chocolate to start and a little coffee to end, with a little offering of apple in the middle. Not the best, but by no means bad. Like a good Baltic, the relatively high ABV is well masked.

Mouthfeel: body is medium, with an OK level of carbonation. There is a little creaminess to the texture, which I like.

Drinkability: a relatively drinkable beer, especially considering it's 7% ABV. Not really a good session candidate, but I wouldn't mind quaffing one now and again.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown beer with a tan head.

Smell is sweet and very malty. Additional smells are biscuit, vanilla, chocolate and nuts.

Taste is fairly sweet and chocolate with a bit of coffee too. Fairly fruity too but this brew is dominated by the chocolate flavor. You can feel the alcohol in your mouth but not really taste it. The flavor of this reminds me more of Weizenbock and less of Porter. This is quite a tasty brew though.

Mouthfeel is good and thick.

VERY drinkable brew. In flavor it is nearly a clone of this beer:

A beer that true porter lovers will probably hate but Weizenbock lovers will really like this. If you look at my favorite beer preference then you will know that I love the stuff.

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Baltika #6 Porter from Baltika Breweries
3.63 out of 5 based on 934 ratings.
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