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

Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 373 ratings
Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series)

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 373 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, great label, brought back from AZ, 2009 Vintage,

A: Pours black as night, with a medium off-white head, light lace.

S: Not huge at first, but in the end there comes a nice mix of cherries, licorice, brown sugar, some tar and oak. Good nose with a little coaxing.

T: What I first notice is how the oak and vanilla flavours combine to form a bourbon barrel flavour. This beer is not bourbon barrel aged, but it sure tastes like it is. Dark cherries and the brown sugar come out a bit as it warms, and in the end the beer is dominated by great dark chocolate flavour which I really liked.

M: Medium/full-bodied, silky smooth, the booze is lightly noticable but works with the flavours here and adds to the smoothness.

D: This is a really good beer, not outstanding, but really good. Just missing another layer of complexity. I have no idea why this is not distributed in CA, but it is in AZ which is farther away. This will definitely sell. Alaskan - I don't care if you don't distribute the barleywine, switch it out for this. I'm not buying the barleywine again, but I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of levifunk
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a small tasting. This was the biggest surprise of the night. Pours dark with a nice head, but I could immediately smell sweet cherry and vanilla. The taste was phenomenal. My biggest complaint with porters is that they seem to taste like watered down stouts, but this was not the case at all. There is a great oak and malt backbone in this beer. The cherry an vanilla are in no way overpowering nor on. Very drinkable. This is simply a great beer!

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Photo of Xul
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with deep ruby highlights, capped by a foamy, one finger beige head with moderate retention.

S: Dark caramel base with a strong brown sugar presence, along with some maple syrup like character. Vanilla and dark cherries are evident, along with some boozy notes swirling around in the background. Light oakiness that becomes stronger as it warms.

T: Starts out with brown sugar and some faint dark cherries, but quickly opens up into a much bigger dark fruit character along with vanilla and some dark chocolate. Oak stays in the background while roasted coffee comes in near the end. Long finish of roasted coffee and dark cherries.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation, a bit too thin and fizzy.

D: Relatively easy to drink for such a big beers, but the alcohol isn't entirely hidden and the mouthfeel detracts a bit. Still an overall great beer.

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Photo of kels
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to colts9016 for this excellent 2009 vintage.

Pours super-dark brown, nearly black with a 2 finger lofty cocoa-colored had. It fades fairly quickly into the opaque liquid and leaves behind a soft ring and spots of thin lace.

Smell is rich and delicious, full, thick and syrupy with a mapley presence. Cherry sweetness provides a fruity dimension.

Taste is very bold and flavorful. The wood chips definitely come through along with syrupy cherry and caramel malt that's so roasty it borders on coffee-like. Feel is moderate, somewhat carbonated, slick and sticky with a dry roastiness that provides great dimension in the beer.

Drinkability isn't as low as expected based on the ABV. It is tasty with a complimentary body that makes it go down pretty smoothly. Really nice beer.

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Photo of pwoods
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kelley for sharing this brew.

22oz. Brown bottle poured into tulip.

A: Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque in the light. Moderate head on the pours with some retention and some lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruits and a good mellowed alcohol. Nice rich malts that aren't overly rich or sweet.

T/M: Nice full flavor malts but not too rich or cloying. Lots of chocolate and dark caramel. Very pleasant alcohol. Dark fruits and a richness that grows as it warms. Body is full and rich but not thick and cloying.

D: Still pretty drinkable for a big as it is.

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Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from AJ's in Scottsdale in late February for $8.99. Bottled in September 2009.

Beer poured black as night with a nice tan head. Nose is cherry, vanilla, and hints of bourbon. Taste is sweet, cherry vanilla complements a huge malt backbone, oak chips and dry hops are in the finish. Alcohol was very warming with the initial sips. Mouthfeel is full, and creamy smooth. Drinkability is good, this is the ideal beer for kicking back after a nice dinner in front of the fireplace! Glad to have tried it!

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Dark ruby-black pour with a nice caramel colored head that quickly fades with minimal lacing. Huge complex nose with hints of oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted coffee, molasses, and a subtle hint of alcohol, smoke and cherries. The taste is all oak and bourbon. And the cherries that were subtle in the nose jump out, along with rasins, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. Great creamy mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I'm not a big Porter or Stout guy, but this is one incredible beer. Highly drinkable considering the alcohol. Will definitely seek this out again!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
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

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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Photo of emmasdad
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a crisp, inviting black hue, with some light tan ahead resting upon the surface. Good aromas here, cherry, roasted malt and cocoa powder. Flavors of dried cherries, oak, vanilla, chocolate and roasted malt. This is a very good beer, so much so that I immediately ran out and picked up another.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark burgundy color with a thin tan head. Lacing in
minimal. The nose is heavy on oak, vanilla, and dark fruit. Slightly
sharp from the high ABV. A light aroma of toffee. Mouthfeel is
medium to full bodied, with a rich, roasty finish. Heavy vanilla
dominates, followed by touches of oak, cherry, toffee, dark chocolate and licorice. Boozy, cloyingly sweet, and overdone. Aging might help this one along.

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Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Uncle Sam's Saloon, Kennewick, WA. 3.20.2010, poured into unchilled pint glass (thanks for remembering!) $4.25.

One finger tan head, medium dissipation with some lacing present. Dark brown opaque body, hard to decipher any visible carbonation. Nose is smoky, probably from roasted and/or smoked malt, some caramel sweetness with floral hops. Taste doesn't have as much smokiness as the nose, a bit less chocolate than I expected, not sure of cleanliness of line, I detect a bit of butterscotch or diacytel, ugh. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Need to be careful of this high ABV, but certainly a nice representative of this difficult to nail style. Curious how cellaring will effect this beer. Recommended.

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Photo of cavedave
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet more big thanks to sirdrinknp for another stunning pick.

Pours an opaque dark brown, topped by a long lasting, thick lather of a head. A nice skim hangs in there.

Not to be funny, but all the smells suggested by the label info. are in this luscious bouquet in clean delicious glory. Sweet cherries, dark cherries, vanilla, and a rich oaky underpinning, all holding hands with caramel, and mildly roasty malt, with hints of tart yeast in there giving it a true to style appeal and taste.

Taste is confirmation in the best way. A thick but light drinking flavor cavalcade proceeds to seduce and win over my palate. Big vanilla and cherry, nicely balance roasty malt, caramel, sugar sweet, hints of herbal bitter just behind, with a hint of tart yeast that ices the cake.

Moouthfeel is very viscous, low carb. clean on palate, long juicy finish. Nice.

Drinkability is staggeringly good. Alcohol exceptionally well hidden for its size.

Impression: This is a must try for all fine beer lovers looking for exemplars of style.

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Photo of ncfrey
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken 4-11-2010. Bomber into New Belgium glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with red highlights and a thin, quickly dissipating tan head. Looks to have good carbonation. Worth mentioning that I really like the label on this bottle.

s - Super strong, getting lots of big dark fruits from a foot away. More of that and lots of vanilla, an almost bourbon-like smell. Very sweet, some roastiness and coffee underneath. Reminds me of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout (which reminds me of the yams my dad used to make for holiday dinners, with loads of bourbon and marshmallows on top).

t - Again, reminds me of Bourbon County a bit. The vanilla beans and (surprisingly) brown sugar are very apparent, fruitiness is definitely present but more subdued than in the nose. There's a slight bitterness in the middle but a smooth-as-silk, sweet, burnt sugar finish that reminds me, again, of toasted marshmallows.

mf - Fantastic. Creamy and tongue-coating, but not super heavy. This is the best non-chewable mf I've encountered.

d - Despite the ABV and sweetness, this bomber is going fast. I could see 2 of these to get me through a cold winter night.

I was really excited to try this beer (based on other BA reviews), and it totally exceeded my expectations in all respects. I just wish I could find it in New Mexico.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Trappistes Rochefort chalice. Pours a light brown with slight light shining through. Fills the glass extremely dark, almost pitch black with the exception of a mild upper rim. Provides a nice one finger size creamy light brown head that settles pretty quick but leaves a creamy rim.

Aroma is good! Sweet, malty, cherries, vanilla, roasted coffee beans.

Flavor has a decent amount of compexity with the cherries, oak chips, vanilla, maltiness, brown sugar. I had lower expectations for this, but its surprising me. Carbonation is a little high for my liking for this style, but still very good. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Has a surprising drinkability. A very nice and tasty porter!

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Photo of hardy008
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with 2 fingers worth of head. Good retention and some lacing. Smells of cherries, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and dark brown sugar.

The flavor also is cherries, vanilla, oak, dark brown sugar, and chocolate. Sweet, with some noticeable alcohol, and a smooth creamy taste. This is a good one.

Medium to full bodied, proper carbonation, and a pleasure to drink. A nice beer to sip slowly and enjoy.

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Photo of Derek
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

A: Black, tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Chocolate covered cherries, vanilla, mocha, AMAZING!

T: Huge vanilla (a little much for me), oak, bakers chocolate, mocha.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a drying finish.

D: This huge brew is definitely a pleasant sipper.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

another incredible bomber sent my way by are killing me James...very slightly chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass

a-pitch light penetration...two finger off white/khaki colored head in spots...lots and lots and lots of lacing

s-whoa...lots of roast and dark fruits dominate the front end...a little smoke and tobacco creep in...the brown sugar is present in a big way as well..tons of vanilla in the front and some wood...

t-taken back...starts off with dark fruits and very vinous...the vanilla and wood rush in and take over..the middle is semi sweet with some roast and coffee....the brown sugar lends itself very gently as well as the very faintest of cherries...the slightest hint of toffee...the vanilla stays throughout...the bittering hops make a presence in before the mad rush of citrus and dry vanilla carry this one off

m-perfect...creamy and smooth..coats the entire mouth...the carbonation is perfect and i do mean absolutely perfect..the hops leave a slight resinous note...

d-man if this stuff was here i would be a glutton for punishment with this one..i love baltic porters but this goes down way to easy and way too fast...abv is no where to be smooth it is dangerous

wow..just wow...this is a terrific brew...i will def seek this one out in the future...

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Photo of Zaplt
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Stress is mounting, papers are piling and a brew shall be tasted in honor of the beginning of the end.

Appearance - thin tan head, a bit of nice lacing.

Smell - cherry, yummy maltiliciousness,

Taste - vanilla, oak, cherry, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, toffee, coffee, absolutely delicious --

Overall - delicious beer - very good not very hot mmm would like to age one.

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Photo of Deuane
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Deep brown, purplish tinged, copper with a thin tan head that left spotty lace.

S-Light dark chocolate, malted milk balls, plum and fig with caramel sauce poured on top. All around aroma is rather light but incredibly tantalizing.

T-WOW! Malted milk chocolate covered cherries and marshmallows with a Horehound candy chaser! Absolutely fantastic. One of the most interesting, complex and unique brews I have ever tasted--->and I have tasted a lot!

M-Medium bodied yet feels light and almost airy. Incredibly smooth and rich with long lasting flavours.

D-Simply fantastic! Phenomenal! For something that feels so "light" the flavours work together outstandingly and linger seemingly forever. A most impressive concoction from the folks in Juneau!

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Photo of kwjd
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown colour with a tick tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. Amazing smell of black cherry and vanilla and some chocolate. The taste has the same elements, with the chocolate being a bit more present. Some roasted malt in there too. Very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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 ThreeWiseMen
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pour netted one finger of crackling, light brown foam. That head didn't hang around long; within a minute it had sizzled its way down to a thin, sticky crown. Body is very dark and nearly opaque: shows shades of orangish brown around the edges when held to light. Looks to be fairly light in body, as expected for the style.

Smell: From a short distance away, I got lots of banana bread. I still get that banana bread when I dig my nose into the pint glass, but I also catch whiffs of dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla. I'm searching for the oak, but I'm having trouble finding it amid these other strong aromas. Unfortunately, the taste really outdoes the smell in terms of pungency. After a few sips I can't really smell anything. Oh well. What's there is very nice.

Taste: Cocoa and lager yeast come together beautifully! On top of that, I get vanilla, toasted malt, oak, nuts, and sherry. Everything is balanced very, very well! The sherry component rolls right into the dry finish, which I find to be... amazing. I'm loving the taste of this beer (can you tell?).

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and actively carbonated with a finish that's both dry and flavorful. Though high, the carbonation is soft, producing a very pleasant foamy feel. The overall feel is similar to what I would expect a carbonated dessert wine to feel like: nice mouth-coating; fairly syrupy; kinda dry; actively carbonated. I dig.

Drinkability: I didn't expect to like this beer so much. I think I've found my new favorite Baltic porter. Pick this one up if you get the chance. You'll be happy you did.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22 2 ways. Reviewed 9/29/2009. Poured into snifters.

Ar: Fruity and sweet, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, intense aroma, very sweet dark cherries, raspberries, vanilla, light burnt grain, molasses, woody/earthy, light whiskey character, complex and sweet, lightly chalky, oak, cherries and vanilla in foreground

Ap: deep brown/mahogany, very low tan head fair retention, clear

F: Cherry, alcohol, sweet cherry is very strong, almost overwhelming but not cough syrup cherry, chocolate, coffee and roast, has a whiskey character from roast wood and strong alcohol, alcohol ends surprisingly clean for how strong it is in middle taste, vanilla and cherry work well together and enhance each other's sweetness, like fantastic whiskey and heavy cherries, very fruity, chocolate, toasted/charred wood, caramel, syrupy sweetness, the malt doesn't have much roast to it, sweet balanced, chalky (not as strong as in aroma), *spicy oak

M: very sweet and full, warm/hot alc in throat, heavy with low carbonation alc cuts the sweetness

O: Helps me understand how whiskey develops flavor, very sweet but it works, would probably age well, alc very strong, cuts sweetness a bit, aggressive

* = ideas from fellow taster

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darkest brown color with only the faintest highlighting at the bottom of the glass. Otherwise, full opacity, a sticky beige head.

The nose is highly charged with dark fruit and alcohol byproducts. There is some evident spicing but I wouldn't call it the focus - I definitely think there is some vanillin involved.

The flavor is heavily malty, with lots of dark fruits leading the way, nearly to the exclusion of the other components. Cherries and something like figs take center stage. There's some roasted barley character as well, caramel sweetness in the middle, and the hops do make a cursory appearance as a peppery sidenote to the readily apparent but not overly meddlesome alcohol notes.

There's a lot going on and it's a big beer. Sweeter than I was hoping but a really good brew.

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Photo of slaintemhor
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this ('09) in fall of 2009. The colour appeared to be black until held to the light and then it had a garnet hue. The aroma was sweet and reminiscent of boiled candies. On the palate, more sweetness, a creamy mouth feel, rather boozy, lots of glucose sirop, almond extract, cherry and oak with a long finish.

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Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87.4% out of 100 with 373 ratings
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