Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) | Alaskan Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
219 Reviews
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
alaskanbeer.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alaskan Baltic Porter is a deep, dense beer with an intricate array of aromas and flavors derived from substantial amounts of specialty malts, dark black cherries and whole gourmet vanilla beans. Aging on toasted French oak adds further complexity.

Added by ccrida on 04-27-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
219
Ratings:
370
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
144
Gots:
42
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 219 | Ratings: 370
Photo of davey101
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, 22 oz bomber into a teku glass. Long time want here!

A - Pours a dark, dark brown body. Two fingers of khaki foam dissipates into a thin edging. Some solid lacing, pretty typical looking porter.

S - Lots of roast up front followed by some dark fruits and ripe cherries. On the end is smooth oak and vanilla and some dark brown sugar. Touch of alcohol. Each ingredient is present but not gimmicky and just accents the base beer. This is a thing of beauty! Those cherries though, so subtle and just perfect with the right balance of sweet and spice.

T - Bitter roasted malts and some ash and char. The cherries are bit more "dark fruit" than the nose here. Light oak and vanilla. Not as sweet as the nose as it returns to char and ash on the finish. Somewhat syrupy but a creamy carbonation helps to cut through that.

O - Absolutely loved the aroma on this. Maybe its due to the few months it has on it but the taste was not as impressive. Still, an extremely solid beer that lived up to my personal hype. The ingredients are just perfect here. This and their Smoked Porter are just wildly impressive beers to me.

 1,130 characters

Photo of Strix
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark reddish brown, good initial head but fades completely with no lacing.

Sweet malty smell, some cherry and vanilla.

Sweet malt, vanilla, oak, cherry, sugar, smoke. Nice flavors, but the sweetness runs away with it eventually.

Mouthfeel thick, somewhat syrupy.

Nice, but a bit cloying towards the end. Sort of a like 3/4 doppelbock and 1/4 cherry coke.

 363 characters

Photo of zipper8650
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Abbreviated review tonight:
Snifter, pours nice and dark with little to no head, really like the nose on it, very cherry forward. The vanilla and oak come through nice as well. Mouthfeel is nice for a porter, not as thin as I expected. Initially I get a nice balance with the vanilla and oak, finished well with the cherry. I was on a brief Baltic porter kick and this is exceptionally good, well balanced really good beer.
Skol

 428 characters

Photo of ncketchum
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage, served in an imperial pint

A - pours a deep brown with a chocolate brown head, leaves a nice thin layer of head

S - smells malty, a bit spicy, some sweet fruits, actually I get a whiff of french toast in the end

T - chocolate, malt, the sweet of the brown sugar and the tart of the cherries give a ton of complexity to this one

M - smooth, thick, not a whole lot of carbonation, not much alcohol

O - This is probably my favorite beer from Alaskan to date. Very complex, drinkable. I'm certainly going to try and pick up a couple more bottles of this one

 572 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared at at the Tree House bottle share back in December. Reviewed from my notes. 2009 vintage.

Light fizzy head, touch lacing, dark brown color.

Nose dark malts, chewy oats, light roast, acrid, hint choc, faint smoke, some cherry cough syrup.

Taste creamy choc, light roast, hint cherry that turns to cherry cough syrup eventually, lactose like, lots of milk choc on the end, cola syrup, sticky sweet, light acrid burnt roast and little wift of smoke.

Mouth is med bod, syrupy, little carb.

Overall meh, nothing special but decent beer.

 545 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this at a little bottle share at Tree House Brewery. Reviewed from notes. This is a 2009 vintage.

A - Poured into a Tree House glass a thin brownish hue, looks slightly watery, with a thin mocha head that leaves faint wisps. Not a bad start...

S - Ugh! I know this has cherries in it, but all I'm getting is cherry cough syrup aromas. Really disappointed here. Not getting much chocolate or malts just overwhelming cherry syrup.

T - Unfortunately it is like the nose with big, almost sickeningly sweet cherry cough syrup as well as cola syrup with heavy malty sweetness and molasses. Way, way too sweet for my tastes.

M - Mouthfeel was super, super thin here. Lighter carbonation just feels watery.

O - Overall I was looking forward to this beer but it really fell short. Not sure if it is just an off bottle or what but this vintage did not hold up.

 864 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A Dark brown body that borders on black with an off white head that dissipates quickly.

S Lots of dark fruit espcially cherries with a hint of brown sugar.

T Again lots of cherries with some brown sugar. In addition there is a lot of oak and a bit of vanilla. Very sweet.

M Thick and almost syrup like with a slight burn.

Overall I went into this one not knowing what to expect due to a lack of familiarity with the style. A little surprised to not get any traditional porter qualities here but it was still an excellent beer.

 584 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Alaskan Baltic Porter, 9.8% ABV.

Solid blackness under a roasty tan head, starts solid, slims down.

Aroma: rich roasted dark barley malt is the dominant factor of course, with notes of smoke and char on top, with hint of cocoa and coffee below.

Taste: Big in the mouth, with sweet dark malt overtaking the senses. Molasses and brown sugar take charge now, with sweetness being fully in charge of the flavor. It ceases with the initial sip and swallow, and ends dry and cool. But not mellow. I almost wrote mellow. It's strength is very evident and threatens to become part of the flavor.

That said, halfway in it is starting to feel a bit more balanced, and easy on the tongue. Darnkess and deliciousness, all in one. Glad to have tried it.

 744 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with barely any light coming through, topped with a half finger of pale brown head.

Smell. Dark malts and dark fruits with a little vanilla and dark chocolate ...dark!!! Anyways, smells pretty good.

Taste. Dark fruits again with sweet chocolate syrup, and vanilla with some dark malts and a bit of marzipan.

Mouthfeel. Thick and a bit syrupy with low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice stuff. A sipper that's being sipped a little too quickly.

 478 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours black with a half finger dark tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, cherries, faint vanilla

T- roasted malts, some chocolate, cherries, bitter molasses

M- medium body and carbonation. Would never know this is almost 10%

O- good beer and very good Baltic porter. Molasses slightly dominates in flavor, and wish vanilla and cherries came through more.

 433 characters

Photo of DaveAnderson
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark, and produces a creamy, tan head, like a root beer float.

The dominant smells are of caramel and toffee, which presumably reflect the use of brown sugar. A little cherry is present, and some vanilla.

It's richer than expected on the tongue. It's roasty and sweet, with some stone fruit, chocolate, and leather.

Mouthfeel is slightly on the thin side, but otherwise, this is a very satisfying drink. It's really top-notch.

 440 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Appearance: Dark brown, pours with a light tan head, fades to no head, with a ring of carbonation, leaves some spots of lacing

Smell: Chocolate and coffee, with molasses - dark chocolate and cocoa - caramel, toffee, and some sweetness overall - cooked malts, and some dark fruits - cherry and black licorice

Taste: Follows the aroma, with lots of coffee and chocolate - dark chocolate and cocoa, with fruit, it kind of tastes like a chocolate-covered fruit - cherries, and a ton of black licorice - lightly roasty - sweet caramel - sweet... ultimately too sweet

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, a bit oily, sticky, could use more carbonation

Overall: Good, but not as good as Alaskan Smoked Porter...

Perhaps I am slightly disappointed only because Alaskan Smoked Porter was so good. This has some nice chocolate, coffee, and licorice flavors, but it's not ideal. Too much sweetness, too many cooks spoil the soup, etc.

 978 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.44/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Dark brown almost black. Minimal tan head. Drops to a small, tiny, collar in short order. No visible carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Ripe cherry. Red licorice. Small touches of vanilla and caramel. Some oak. Leather, chocolate and some acetic notes. Cocoa nibs. Some minor roasted malts. Lots of cherry. Hints of plum and honey. Cocoa and milk chocolate. Some black licorice. Dark fruit with some floral notes.

Taste: Dark cherry and licorice. Black and red. Small hints of vanilla coupled with a touch of oak in the back. Some slight toasted malts. Cocoa and milk chocolate. Marshmallow. Like a s'more minus the graham cracker. Roasted. Touches of smoke in the back. Crazy cherry licorice. Cherry skin and even more licorice. Warming makes this a red licorice bonanza.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to full body. Minimal carbonation. A bit juicy.

Overall: Roll it ad smoke it.

If they took Smoked Porter and added the things they did, this would be intense. As it is, it's a red licorice bomb. Good, but loses something as it warms..

 1,072 characters

Photo of phishsihq
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Baltic Porter is a very high alcohol, sweet, robust porter that originated in the Baltic states.

Alaskan Baltic Porter is another entry into their Pilot Draft series, and we believe it is another home run. The beer pours a deep and dark, nearly black but brown around the edges. A thin ring of tan head provides tons of lace throughout enjoyment. The deep and dark theme continues through the nose with notes of cherries, dark fruit, molasses, oak, and black licorice. All of the flavors found in the nose add to an amazingly complex brew that also features hints of candied sugars and vanilla. Medium in both body and carbonation, Baltic Porter weighs in at a hefty 9.8% ABV. It is time to come over to the dark side....

Cheers!

 731 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated A2012. Poured in to tulip.

A - Poured black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Roast and brown sugar aromas contribute to a big overall sweetness. A very faint tart cherry aroma in the background.

T - A really prominent brown sugar flavour mixes with vanilla bean up front. Roast enters mid-palate and the finish is more sweet brown sugar with a slight tartness. Very slight woody/oak presence in the background. No cherry flavour is detectable, just the slight tartness.

M - Medium body with a good chew. Light carbonation.

 551 characters

Photo of Hawksfan79
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Glass used: porter/stout glass

Appearance is a motor oil black with a thin fizzy white head.

Strong cherry aroma with a slight hint of wood chips.

A strong cinnamon flavor that morphs into caramel and vanilla and finishes with an alcohol warming.

This beer has a full body mouth feel with slight carbonation.

A fantastic beer I've always been a huge fan of Alaskan's smoked porter and thought it was IMHO the best porter around until I had this.

 451 characters

Photo of yamar68
2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2012 vintage:

Dark nut brown body topped with a finger or so of tan khaki head with some yellow hues... good amount of lacing.

Molasses, brown sugar, I'm struggling to pull any cherry out of this... or much oak for that matter, just smells sweet with a bit of alcohol at the tail end of the sniff. The cherry characteristic shows itself after a few degrees of warmth.

This is not my bag... metallic brown ale type flavors... pennies and tin foil, laden with cooked brown sugar, some maple syrup flavors only add to the predicament...

Ditch the brown sugar, ditch the vanilla beans. But first ditch the brown sugar.

 619 characters

Photo of draheim
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz (2012) into a tulip. Pours a dark brown w/ garnet edges and a minimal tan head that settles to a thin collar.

Aroma is dark fruit, molasses, licorice, vanilla. Smells sweet and sugary.

Taste is sweet and fruity as well. Black cherries, molasses, vanilla. Complex and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, coating.

Overall a tasty, interesting porter. Might stock up on a few more to age before they're gone.

 418 characters

Photo of C3likesbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour this into a beer glass from a bottle purchased near San Clemente, CA.

A- Pours very black with a smaller than anticipated head.

S- Chocolate, vanilla and a slight bit of cherries.

T- Chocolate and sweet molasses and you can feel the alcohol warmth pretty quick. Pretty smooth but not silky.

M- Medium to dark body.

O- Sweet chocolatey and deep porter. Alcohol is there so not a multi-beer affair.

 407 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours a really deep brown. Not a lot of light getting through, just some reddish hues around edges. Cherry cola look. Not a ton of carbonation. Head of light tan was basically a ring immediately.

S: Getting lots of that soft vanilla and cherry hints. Sweet brown candied sugar. Really overpowers the roast that you would normally get in a Baltic porter.

T: Tart cherry dominates the front of the palate. Dark chocolate for sure. Vanilla beans soften the flavor. Oak tannins come in there too. Dryness.

M: Big medium.

 551 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cola brown color with a one finger tan head. Looks pretty decent.

S: Tons of roasted malt and tons of dark fruit. Molasses, some anise, burnt wood, chocolate cake, burnt toast and some faint vanilla.

T: Opens very sweet and very malty. A nice rich malty hit right away with some notes of fruitcake, rye bread, and almond paste. Middle brings traces of cherry skin, cola nut and brownies. Finish is slightly drying and warming and leaves a hint of burnt wood, tobacco and burnt raisin skins. A really nicely done baltic porter and possibly the best beer I've had from Alaskan.

 590 characters

Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - cherry oak hue, with thin, very light brown head. Dark brown brew, mostly opaque.
S - oak, malt, fruit, cherries, light smoke.
T - sweetness, molasses, smoke, oak, cherries, & tastes a hint of an oyster stout.
M - medium carbonation, leaves a mild singe on the tongue that is nice.
O - Over a really great Baltic porter with a lot of depth and variety to it.

 366 characters

Photo of cocojoe
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage. Bomber. Alaskan Baltic Porter Ale. Brewed with Cherries, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Beans, and Oak Chips.

A: Fantastic dark black brown. Very dark red hints. Rich mocha head.

S: Complex aroma full of vanilla, dark fruits, sweetened cocoa, makes you yearn to drink this beer. Its got a kind of bite to it. Not sure if it's from the alcohol or the roasty malt. Floral hops. Certain tobacco funk underneath.

T: I cannot wait to taste this.... Interesting. Not as thick and sweet as I was expecting it to be from the aroma. Juicy cherries, rich dark chocolate. Vanilla. Dry tannic/roasty quality finishes it off. Pretty clean tasting.

O: Really awesome. Very complex. A lot of different things going on here. Not as thick malty sweet as I was expecting, which was nice actually. The aging clearly mellowed it out, but kept all of the complex richness of this beer.

 874 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2012 vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that stayed around a while. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (cherries), caramel, vanilla, coffee, brown sugar and some oak. I think the taste is pretty much like the aroma, but with the addition of some roasted malt and molasses. There's also some bitterness in the finish, but overall there's a good mix between the sweet and bitter flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, I'd like to try it again in the future. Definitely worth trying!

 688 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. 2012 bottle.

Appearance: Pours very dark and black with only a little brown color showing. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan head that fades into a small patch. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A dark and sweet aroma. Dark roasted malts with big hints of dark chocolate, toast, burnt caramel, toffee, coffee, and vanilla. Some scents of oak chips and banana. Also a good smell of dark fruits including cherries, plum, and fig. Anise spice and a little whiff of tobacco. Hop presence is pretty light. Sweetness is balanced. A pretty nice dark smelling porter.

Taste: Roasty and sweet like the aroma previews. Dark malts with a taste of dark chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, dark bread, coffee, and vanilla. Oak chips and some anise spicing along with a touch of tobacco. Some banana taste and notes of dark fruits including dark cherries, plum, and fig. Tastes sweet but not cloying in any way. Not really any signs of smoke like a Baltic Porter typical has. Tastes good anyways.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy. Feels a little too light for the style. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A pretty nice porter overall. Good fruit taste. Could of had more body and some smoke.

 1,361 characters

Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 370 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe