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

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
370 Ratings
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
Ratings:
370
Reviews:
219
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
143
Gots:
42
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 370 |  Reviews: 219
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Derek's bottle. A porter with a cherry first and then chocolate characteristic. The aroma of the real thing, happy valentine's Day chocolate and cherries. Black with a white foam, and above-average mouthfeel. A strong note of vanilla.OK take the bottle, enjoy the taste. Not sweet, bit certainly not too baltic sour.

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Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a clear dark brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, vanilla, and cherry. Taste is the same with an aftertaste like a cherry vanilla cola. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the cola-like flavors were unexpected.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lots of flavors for a baltic porter. pours blackish brown with a mocha head about an inch high that fades after a few minutes. it smells sweet from the brown sugar, and pleasantly woody. deep dark chocolatey malts give is a smokey smell as well. cherries are the first thing i taste, a little tart, a little sweet, dried and chewy. then comes a wave of brown sugar, molasassy, but not too too sweet. the vanilla is very understated, not potent at all, and the oak gives it a very mature finish. mouthfeel is excellent, big body and moderate carbonation. the alcohol is very well disguised. would never know this was puching 10% abv. overall a very enjoyable beer, probably my favorite from the pilot series so far.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of brentk56
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A billowing head settles in, stout-like, on the fudge brown liquid and does a nice job lacing the glass

Smell: Chocolate-covered cherries, vanilla and oak, all underpinned by a brown sugary base malt

Taste: Sweet, booze-soaked chocolate-covered cherries, with a growing harsh, ashy character that really dominates the middle; the vanilla appears, after the swallow, along with more chocolate in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation, and a harsh, boozy burn in the finish

Overall: If only the beer tasted as good as it smells; I found this to be an adventurous failure, as the adjuncts dominate rather than supplement the beer

Thanks, kemoarps, for the opportunity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color porter with a quite large light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet black chocolate is dominant and very enticing. Taste is also dominated by well balanced sweetness with some quality black chocolate notes. It seems almost impossible for some chocolate malt to taste so good and it makes me wonder if some syrup were used. In any cases, this is an incredible treat and something I wish I would have access to. Body is full with some good carbonation and no signs of alcohol.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, dark bread, brown sugar, toast, cherry, raisin, vanilla, toffee, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes with the cherry/brown sugar/vanilla additions and oak; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, toast, dark bread, roasted malt, light coffee, cherry, raisin, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, dark bread, toast, roasted malt, light coffee, raisin, cherry, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with the flavor and oak additions; with huge robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and moderately silky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Baltic porter style! All around awesome balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt with flavor additions and oak; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mactrail
2.52/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What is this, blackberry jam? A pie-flavored, burnt crust, Splenda-sweetened beverage I hesitate to call beer. The aroma is light but the nose of wood and vanilla is pleasant enough but tiki torches are smoldering in the background.

Black as an Alaskan night in the glass. A thin mustache of foam but sub-par carbonation. So sweet it tastes like something you'd have at the deli for breakfast with coffee. But that bitterness never lets you forget. I would call this blackberry Manischewitz with a dark, guilty secret. Finally, after some remorse, the flavor of canned sweet cherries comes through. Bitter, cardboard, woody, burnt sugar, fruit cocktail-- it tastes like Sterno looks like.

The label says this is the 2012 version. I call it undrinkable, though for cough syrup it would be pretty good with a vodka chaser. In fact, now that you mention it... From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with ruby-tinted edges in the light and a thin ring of khaki-colored bubbles.

Smell: A deep scent of dark malts mingled with a liqueur-like black cherry aroma and notes of vanilla, seasoned wood, unsweetened chocolate, and toffee.

Taste: Rich dark maltiness with flavors of baker's chocolate and toffee. Hmm. It's rather sweeter than I would have imagined from the nose. Minimal roastiness. Splash of cherry cordial stirred up with some black cherry cola. Touches of vanilla and oak. Light earthy bitterness. Finishes dry and fruity with a lingering chocolate-coated cherry taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Loaded with an almost shameful amount of flavor, this brew pleases me on several levels and is one I wholly recommend.

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Photo of billab914
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured close to black in color with a frothy off white head filling about half an inch of the glass. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it remained, but left little lacing.

The aroma has a very nice mixture of oak and cherries with a little vanilla and brown sugar sweetness. I get a little of the Baltic Porter, malty, chocolate like flavors bit the additions and treatments steal the show. They all work together very nicely though to create a very appealing aroma overall.

In the taste I get the fruity and sweet cherry flavors and the woody oak right off the bat and throughout the flavor. I get the vanilla and brown sugar sweetness more up front and get more of a dry, bitter-sweet chocolate, slightly roasty flavor towards the finish. The cherry, oak and chocolate flavors linger nicely after the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low. I really like the lower carbonation in a beer like this. Drinkability is very good, I loved the flavors overall. The cherry and oak were excellent and it was balanced enough between sweet and bitter to make it very drinkable. It was definitely all about the additions and treatments, but they all worked very well together. The Baltic Porter style flavors seemed to take a back seat to everything else but it was good enough that I didn't care. Excellent beer overall and it might very well be a new favorite of the style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Grizzly bear brown with generous garnet highlights. Amazingly enough, the beer isn't opaque. I hope that doesn't indicate a shortage of malt. Two fingers of caramel colored foam provide a pillowy cap that lasts for a bit, then lays down a thick collar of lace as it descends. A solid look all the way around.

The nose is different from the noses on most Baltic porters. The reason is that ABC adds Madagascar vanilla beans and black cherries, then ages the beer on toasted French oak. In addition to the usual roasted maltiness and dark fruit... the cherries are easily noted, the vanilla is subtle and the oak is hard to appreciate.

As feared, this isn't the biggest Baltic porter on the planet. More malt would have gone a long way toward making the enjoyable flavors even bolder and deeper. Alaskan says that this brew can be aged 'for several years', but I don't think the body will hold up that long. This bomber is approaching an estimated one year and the screws are getting a bit loose.

None of that matters too much because Alaskan Baltic Porter is delicious beer. The vanilla beans and the cherries are present in perfect proportions, both to each other and to the base porter. An apt comparison would be the beer equivalent of chocolate-covered black cherries with a vanilla cream and coffee cordial center. That does sound good, doesn't it?

A passing glance of unmasked alcohol, dark caramel notes and an understated oakiness give the beer of quasi-Bourbon vibe that is also right up my alley. Time to give the taste score a well-deserved bump. The mouthfeel is smooth enough, it just isn't full or creamy enough.

Most beer geeks won't agree, but I think Baltic Porter is a better beer than Smoked Porter. Neither one is burly enough, which keeps them from greatness in my eyes. The Alaskan brewers should take a page out of the Midnight Sun brew book and give us big beer worthy of America's largest, wildest state.

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Photo of russpowell
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008 vintage pours chestnut tinged ebony with a pinky of mocha head. Good head retention & average lacing

S: Dark fruit, port, & leafy hops, & bananas

T: Dark chocolate, dryness, leafy hops, raisins & plums & a bit of banana?? up front. Vanilla, rum raisin & plums as this warms, along with a hint of creme Brule. Finishes with plummyness, dryness & some nice hints of caramel, bananas & vanilla

MF: Fairly rich, restrained carbonation

Drinks extremely easy for the style & ABV, not much to nitpick on this, awesome Baltic Porter! Attempted to squeeze the bottle like a toothpaste tube, but the damn glass wouldn't yield....

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

Finally, I mean come on, I have had bottles of this before, but have never opened one for some strange reason that truly escapes me. But last night decided this had to be my nightcap. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/28/2009.
 
The pour was brilliant, rich dark brown in color with the only thing separating it from Jet Black being a nice reddish hue around the sides and bottom. Huge head of tan comes up quickly and lifts to a height of around two inches, never totally settling down, but instead sitting on top with a huge amount of lacing coming down the sides. Aroma is so much different then I was expecting. Rich notes of cherries and dark malts coming through immediately. Hints of a light hoppiness and just mounds and mounds of chocolate at first. Warming though really brought out a large amount of fruit and raspberries and dark cherry seems to dominate here. Each sip was like a decadent dessert trapped in a bottle. Rich, velvet like carbonation, and warm soothing flavors, this one was making me melt in the chair. Smooth chocolate notes wrapped in a dark fruit blanket that descended and left behind a nice, warm, hop dryness that begged me to come back for another sip.
 
Overall one of the best Baltic Porters I have ever had hands down. This is what I envision the style being, just a superb offering and one that I really just could not get enough of. Highly recommend.

 1,435 characters

Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black color. Pours like motor oil in the glass so to get a goo head going on I have to have a fine splash down the middle of the glass which formed a latte like sticky head. Slight taffy aroma with a soft chocolate, faint ripe fig and mild char nose. Big lush creaminess cradles the delicate smoothness, amazingly smooth. Sweet dark and burnt sugar flavors to kick things off, a hint of brownie batter and dark fruit in the middle. The alcohol is a bit warm but does not play like it is 9.8% abv. The modest hopping really lets the maltiness shine here. Finishes sweet with a long linger of mellow roasted grain.

A big beer with modest complexities, they are there but just not in your face. The alcohol is somewhat hidden, hard to tell it is that strong. All around a solid beer.

 787 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting. 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color, with 2 inches of brown head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of oak, whiskey, dark fruits, caramel malts, and vanilla. Wonderful combination.

t - Tastes of vanilla, oak, whiskey, and roasted malts.

m - Very smooth and creamy, medium body and low
carbonation.

d - I thought this was a great porter. Wonderful vanilla, oak, and whiskey in the smell and taste. Would love to try again.

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