Dominion Baltic Porter | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Baltic PorterDominion Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dominion Baltic Porter is brewed to meet your need for warmth on a cold winter’s night. Hints of licorice, toffee & chocolate mingle with a touch of Rye giving our Porter a full-bodied taste. Raise your mug to those who were bold enough to brave the Baltic!

Added by VaTechHopHead on 11-15-2008

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 230
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark chocolate brown with a thick tan head. Rich aroma is chocolaty with smoky, nutty and coffee hints. Flavor is like a fine chilled mocha, mainly of chocolate and coffee with smoky, nutty and molasses touches. Texture is smooth, fizzy and lively - a winner.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep dark amber/near brown, with 2 big fingers of tan colored head. Retains with a think foamy look that leaves back a cascade of lace which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of coffee and cocoa power, with toasted bread, and a deep fruity tang of cherries. Touch of warmth gives this a certain thickness in the nostrils.

The taste is deep up front, giving way to a flush of bitter roast and coffee. A thickish layer of chocolate and toffee sits underneath, as does that same fruity tang that was found in the aroma, only this time it's a bit more muddled. Finishes roasty and bitter in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp carbonation that really pops the bitter notes and that heavier undercurrent allows the thicker sweet flavors to flow. I'm pleased to find that the alcohol here is pretty well hid.

Not bad. I dug the overll flavors and interaction here for the Baltic Porter style, but I just wish that they had been a bit more aggressive and defined. I'd like to see them continue to work on this recipe, as this has the potential to be a really solid Winter seasonal from them.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Longneck into pint glass.

A: dark brown with a dense coffee-colored head.

S: coffee, licorice, chocolate, maybe dark fruit?

T/M: chocolate, coffee, slight spicy licorice note, can tell they use a lager yeast. Pretty full mouthfeel for a porter, though. "Robust" seems an appropriate term.

D: I enjoy the Baltic Porter, but I must admit I have a hard time drinking a lot of it at once. I can't identify any off-flavors that would explain that, but my best guess is that I'm expecting a stout -- which is not necessarily a good reason. The Baltic Porter is a great example of the differences between a porter and a stout: the Baltic Porter lacks the coffee-like astringency that I expect from stouts, but it still has a lot of flavor and feels like a big beer. That said, I suspect I also don't session Baltic Porter because it is a "bigger" beer and has the associated ABV.

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Photo of eljefe21
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby brown in color. Pours to a fluffy two-finger head. Some spotty lacing throughout.

S: Entrancing roasted coffee smell.

T: Roasted coffee flavors that linger in the mouth.

M: Smooth and creamy, but a little watery as it leaves the mouth. Little if any carbonation which is good for a porter.

D: Nice treat to pair up with something sweet. A bit too strong to sit down and have several, although the strength is well hidden.

Served: in an faceted mug.

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Photo of jmalex
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The cleaning out the fridge of winter brews continues.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a willibecker glass a deep brown with some red hues - definitely nowhere near pitch black. A one finger, light tan head forms on top and shrinks slowly to a full surface covering. Excellent head retention.

SMELL: Kind of a cross between a robust porter and baltic porter. Rich aromas of chocolate take the forefront with dark fruits and licorice relegated to secondary status. Sweet, bready malt hides deep down inside as does a slight alcoholic heat.

TASTE: Definitely a Baltic porter in flavor with rich, dark fruits joining up with dark chocolate for a killer combo. Black malts add a perceived bitterness that balances out the flavor quite a bit. Nothing is terribly aggressive which seems underwhelming for such an assertive style.

MOUTHFEEL: It's actually quite thin for style, which I did not expect. The carbonation level is at lower levels but not completely off base.

DRINKABILITY: Great flavors equal great drinkability. The lighter body actually does help here as well. The perceived amount of alcohol is nowhere near 7%.

Overall, not a bad beer. But there are so many authentic European examples available that this isn't particularly one to seek out. A nice, worthwhile effort though.

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Photo of sholland119
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-A deep chestnut brown, trailing to deep ruby. A thin tan head and a medium amount of lacing.

S-Dark chocolate notes, roasted malt and some hop bitterness in the background.

T-A bit sweeter in front than expected from the nose. Some molasses in the finish and a bit of a syrupy sweetness. Nice but a little light for a baltic porter.

M-A little on the light side of medium bodied, a little bit thin.

D-Nice but one would probably do it for me.


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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an impenetrable black. Nice medium brown head. Good retention. Great lacing.

S: good sweet malts. Great roasted aromas, light toffee and chocolate notes.

T: good sweet roasted malt flavors. Chocolate, toffee, and some watered down coffee, unfortunately.

M: medium bodied. Mild carbonation level. Very robust, as well as being smooth and creamy.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with purple highlights. Two fingers of foamy beige head fade quickly leaving a spotty lacing ring. Smells of molasses, coffee, dark fruits, chocolate, and nuts. Tastes of citrus zest, cocoa powder, and nuts up front, then some caramel and molasses, dark fruits like plums and raisin, and then a slightly bitter and salty finish of coffee and soy sauce. Medium in body with low carbonation. A little watery in places, but also quite thick in others. In all, pretty easy to drink. Thanks go to Kegatron for the bottle.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, unfortunately one of the last from a great brewery.

A: nice deep copper/brown color
S: rich, chocolate, treacle toffee
T: very nice, perfect for Baltic Porter with not too much hops as in other breweries, chewy, chocolate, burnt malt
M: velvety smooth
D: divinely good

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Photo of dmamiano
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Won in a bet from friend and fellow BA SwillBilly after the Steelers beat up on his "Skins".
Nice big off white head after a hard pour. Lacing left as it fades.Fairly solid darkness explains the color.
Roasted malts, biscuit, hints of bakers chocolate and nuts in the nose.
Taste is full on the palate...fairly big , full mouthfeel.
Bitter hops present. Taste of roasted grain, chocolate malts and bread.
This beer is very, very good.

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Photo of droomyster
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit from the outset that Baltic Porter is one of my favorite styles and have some very specific notions about what this style can and should behave. Pours a dark brown with a small brown head that does not retain well, unlike several others of its class. Smells roasty and (like the back of the bottle says) a bit like black licorice, but is remarkably understated to the point of being uninteresting. The taste, however, will knock your socks off. Full-bodied, well-rounded, extremely complex and layered flavors that make you marvel at every sip. This is extremely tasty. Black licorice? Check. Dark chocolate? Check. Roastiness? Smoke? Expresso? Check, Check, Check! This beer spans the entire Baltic Porter flavor spectrum and does so in a very balanced way. This a suberb beer once you get it to your palate.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Clear dark brown. Killer head. Two finger of it and frothy as all hell. Awesome retention and plenty of lacing.

3.0 S: Maybe my nose is malfunctioning today, but I don't smell a damn thing. Maybe a bit of roasty toasty malts.

3.0 T: Hints of chocolate and coffee. Really boring overall though, especially for a 7% ABV. Tastes like a few stouts I've had that didn't taste like anything.

3.0 M: Medium-full body. Good carbonation, decently creamy. Chalky aftertaste.

3.0 D: Not anything special at all, but no huge problems either.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

so the age old debate. do I review this as a baltic porter per the bottle label? Or do I review this as an american porter per the BA site? Or, do I go with a BJCP style category? Yeah, I was kidding with that last one. I'm going to go with the BA category of american porter. this drank nice, hada good porter / coffe aspect to it, but fell short in the cleanliness and maltiness of a baltic porter as I've had them. I'd happily drink another, I just wouldn't worry about style classification.

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Photo of Shandias
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be fairly tame in terms of intensity, but very drinkable and enjoyable in the long-term.

Appearance is a nice reddish-purple, a little bit thin but pretty. I found the smell to be savory, almost a bit briny.

Head is quite insubstantial and airy. Weak lacing.

Taste is lovely, a bit on the sweet side with some nice burnt flavors to balance. Cereal-y flavor shines through. Comes on smooth and sticks around for a while; evolves into a sticky bitterness.

Mouthfeel is substantial.

Drinkability is high for me-- this is a beer with a good strong flavor, but not so powerful that you can't enjoy several. Look out for the 7% abv, though.

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Photo of joe1510
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

I got this Baltic Porter from my Secret Santa, the Godfather himself, Redwood21. Thanks David! Dominion's Baltic Porter pours the darkest of browns bordering on black. The edges of the glass shine with deep mahogany highlights. The beige head rose to a height of two fluffy fingers before snap, crackle, and popping down to one fingers worth of whip creaminess that leaves patchy lacing here and there down the glass as I drink.

This porter has a lot of unique qualities and none of which fit into the Baltic Porter category. There's a lot of hazelnut over the top of milk chocolate, lightly roasted malts and a dusting of cocoa powder. A slight hint of booziness tickles the nose after a deep pull while mild dark fruits lay down in the background. If the nose tells me anything it's that this porter is American all the way.

The flavor improves on the nose. Roasty malts and coffee grounds lead the way throughout the entire drink. Dark chocolate, hazelnut, Half-n-Half, and dark sweet berries all play roles in that order of intensity. A slight hop kick hits on the backend but the hops are indistinguishable. There's a touch of heat on the swallow. This is a pretty damn good porter although in no way the Baltic variety.

The body is moderate and possibly leaning toward hefty but I can't make my mind up. My only complaint is the lively carbonation that pushes this beer a little too quickly over the tongue and actually becomes a little airy on the swallow.

I could see myself drinking a few of these in a sitting without a problem. The active carbonation actually keeps this beer flowing rather quickly.

I took a recent trip out to Virginia and drank gallons of Dominions Oak Barrel Stout. I'm glad to have the chance to try another of their offerings and thoroughly enjoy this brew. The label may be a little misleading but what's in the bottle is quality. Thanks again David!

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Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear and dark brown with a purplish red hue. Fine tan cap, sort of thin off the pour with a bit of a collar. Some lacing. Roasty aroma, dry cocoa, nutty, dried fruit, faint smoke. Mild bitterness with faint hop flavour. Mostly malt though, some roast and chocolate, caramel and malted milk, cola sweetness. Slight alcohol, medium bodied, lowish carbonation, a bit on the sticky side. Not bad, but labeling it a baltic porter seems a bit misleading. Not a bad American porter though.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-delivered from Ashburn to Vienna (thanks, Chris and Jeff!), my 33cl bottle looks just like the one in the picture. Couldn't find any freshness info. Pours a clear dark cola brown under a deep tan head that barely rises above film and settles quite quickly without managing to generate any lace. The nose is strong of coffee and nuts, with a hint of licorice. The mouth is slightly cloying and well carbonated, leaving a bit of a prickly sensation on the tongue. The taste is definitely porter, with a good taste of nuts and a bit of dark chocolate. There is also a fruity sweetness such as from dark plums or red grapes. The hops are subdued, but never absent, generating an espresso bitter at the slow and a bit of a dry ache in the aftertaste. The sweetness never goes away, though. In fact, this is a bit too sweet for too long for my taste. Still, a solid brew, and probably the last sample I'll get of Dominion brewed in Virginia. Sigh!

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Photo of matt062286
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a very dark brown, almost black opaque color with a tan, soapy one finger head. Held up to a light, the color is almost blood red. Head retains a little around the glass and lightly elsewhere. Lacing is minimal.

Smell - some dark chocolate, caramel, rich roasted malt.

Taste - very rich and robust flavor. The smoky malt stands out the most, it tastes quite pleasant and fresh. Hides the alcohol and other flavors quite well. Can also pick up on some of the hops, which are rather bland and uninteresting. Aftertaste hints of the dark chocolate. Slightly warming, which is expected as this is a winter seasonal.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth with a full, rich body. Good amount of carbonation, seems about right for a porter.

Drinkability - Not too bad for a porter. Even though it has a rather heavy body, I could drink more than one of these. Another good one from Old Dominion, even though I've only tried a few of their beers, they have all been pretty good. Would love to try this one on tap.

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Photo of mjw06
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice, bubbly, even head, about one finger thick, that dissapates quickly and leaves a descent rim the rest of the way down. Little lacing however. Dark brown almost black color with hints of red that lets very little light through if any.

S - A very sharp spicy smell with a strong roasted chocolate undertone with hints of toffee.

T - Strong chocolaty roasted presence in the taste with a little spice and elements of toffee. Can't believe im saying this, but could actually use a little more hoppiness, particularly in the finish. Leaves a taste and smell on your lips similar to that of when you drink coffee.

M - Very nice and comfortable mouthfeel especially on the initial sip, leave it in there some more and you will still find it pleasant. kind of creamy and leaves a little to be somewhat crisp as well on the finish.

D - Very drinkable, and right along the lines of what you should expect from a winter brew. however, I would almost definately like more hops in the finish. that might remind me a little more that im drinking a beer. its true that you would never know this was a 7% abv by the taste.

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Photo of hopdog
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Bottle stamped bottled on 112008.

Poured a deeper mahoaony color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of roast, piney - rye, chocolate, and some nuttiness. Tastes of chocolate, roast, lightly earthy, caramel, and some rye. Alcohol content well hidden. Light lacing left on the glass.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a Bottling Date of 12/04/08 - less than a month ago. Sadly, this also gives it the distinction of being bottled during the last month of brewing at the Ashburn location of in-name-only Old Dominion. This is probably also the last one-off from the talented but recently consolidated Old Dominion brewers, though I hope I'm wrong.

Dark, dark brown. Opaque. Head is tan, pockmarked and rocky, and decently thick - more than half an inch. Good retention and lacing.

Not much of an aroma. Roasted and bitter notes. Coffee, whiffs of cocoa powder. I like the burnt toast description used by Redwood21.

A toasted taste, with coffee bittering at the end. Roasted grains, some grass. Finishes pretty clean, with just a hint of bitter chocolate left on the palate.

Light in body. Starts out with a creamy feel, but the CO2 prickliness disrupts that. Some crispness.

Both the aroma and taste seem to lack stand-out characteristics, but this is a solid beer.

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Photo of AleWerks
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Direct from the brewery. This beer was delicious! Very dark color with ruby hues around the edge when held up to the light. Smell was of grain, dark malt, licorice and toffee. Goes down smooth on a cold night. Very easy drinking for 7.2% abv. Taste was rich in grain, malt, and spiciness. Mouthfeel was full, rich, and smooth. I could drink a couple of these. Nice job.

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Photo of Drewcifer
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours out an oily black color, the coloring of a stout but not the murkiness, with pretty much no head to it. No lacing either.

Aroma is roasted malts and very heavy coffee, with notes of chocolate and brown sugar. Slight sweetness.

Very tasty, coffee and roasted malts, a taste of chocolate part way through, and finishes with a nice little snap of hoppy bitterness, just enough to smack your tongue.

A bit overcarbonated. Nice medium body, but the carbonation takes a bit away from the brew.

Overall, pretty well drinkable. The overcarbonation really took away from my enjoyment of it, but all in all a decent specimen - certainly not the best out there, but not the worst either.

As far as whether it's an American or a Baltic, I'm leaning towards Baltic on this one.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewed as an American porter, not

A: the beer starts out on the right foot, with a heavy rocky head on top of a black beer. it sticks around for a while with a thin veil on top lasting through the beer.

S: sorta smells like burnt toast and malts sorta bitter chocolate

T: this beer is not overly complex but in my opinion well balanced. there is the carried over burnt taste almost like weak coffee mixed with bittersweet chocolate and a lot of malt and barley it is smooth and easy

M: i really dig this, its not harsh its smooth easy to drink very pleasant

D: could drink this endlessly, very good

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Photo of katan
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

uhh - so is this an American Porter or a Baltic Porter? Seems to be a disagreement.

A - Pours a dark thick black color - very similar to a stout. Head formation is extremely light. Nothing there.

S - Smell is interesting. Almost a grainy and yeasty smell. Not at all what I would have expected in a porter.

T - Starts off easy with a balanced flavor of roasted malts and bitterness. Mid-stream is fairly flat. Finishes with a sweet taste that transitions to that almost grainy earthy flavor. Almost astringent.

M - moderate body - probably less thick than expected for the style. Much above a bock for sure however. Carbonation is light. Little clingy oily consistency.

D - Very easy to drink. No heaviness on the palette. The flavors are not overpowering. ABV is manageable, but I'm sure would catch me if I'm not looking.

So if I get this right, OD is hanging it up. Too bad as I find this to be solid beer, even if it's a bit of a "also-ran".

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Dominion Baltic Porter from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 230 ratings.
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