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

219 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 219 | Ratings: 370
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved as an extra from a great trader from Portland.

A- Poured into a pint glass very dark brown, some ruby highlights if you look at it in the light. Big 2 finger head that faded fairly fast and left a nice ring aroudn the glass.

S- Sweet malty floral aroma

T- Alot sweeter than it smells which suprised me.

M- Med. to heavy bodied even at a warmer temp. lots of carbanation feel to it.

D- Great tasting beer but I probably couldn't drink more than 1 bomber in a sitting

I'm not a big a big porter fan to say the least but this is a great example of a well made porter. I almost wish I would have aged this a bit.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.75/5  rDev +15%

22 oz Bomber.This was recommended by a beer geek that worked at Bev Mo to me.I have to say that I am going to start listening to those people a little more.This is the Best Porter I have ever tasted.Beautiful brown color in the 20 oz firestone glass.I was sitting in the house listening to The Who live at the isle of wight and I could not believe how good this was.I guess this is very hard to find the date was 2012 on the bottle.If you can still find this Please do.You will not be disappointed.This Porter Rocks.And so does The Who.Rock on with the good beers.Motley out.

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Photo of slaintemhor
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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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Photo of ebrauser
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, it's back out!
2012 Edition-
Appearance: Incredibly dark brown with a quickly dissipating, thin head.
Aroma: Strong smell of dried cherries mixed in with a little vanilla, very dark and inviting. Not many beers that I've had have a smell like this one.
Flavor: Oak right away is very strong and pervasive, then mellows into a clearly alcoholic vanilla-ish porter. No roastiness and very little chocolate flavor, not that its a bad thing. Smooth drinking and becoming more flavorful as it warms slightly.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth but with tons of flavor to make this one to savor. Put this one in the back because it's going to get better (the 2009 with two years on it was incredible).

Update - Draft and growler offering 2012
Appearance and aroma are similar, strong oak and cherry. The flavor is full cherry and thick sweet stout, so amazing. It's not so roasty and sweet that a pint is too much, it's a really slick, strong, well seasoned porter. Only downside was the head didn't leave much lacing. A really, really good beer, aged or on draft particularly.

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Photo of Cinderbike
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage into a snifter.

A - dark brown, ruby highlights, minimal tan head.
S - Cherry pie, dark chocolate, fresh baked cookies, lavender, toffee, toasted bread. Lots going on, in a good way.
T - Vanilla, tart cherry, chocolate, hints of coffee and tobacco. Tons of malt. Hops have faded a bit, and you can't even guess the alcohol level it is so smooth.
M - Medium-high, but not chewy. Carbonation is on the low side, which only helps showcase the flavors here.
O - a great porter. Love the cherries.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had tried a sample of this before dinner, but decided to drink a glass after dinner. This brew is to beer what port is to wine. It had an intriguing color, a dark copper with a bit of reddish purple in it and a fairly substantial and slightly creamy head. The appearance kind of surprised me for a porter, but was still very pleasant. The taste was a bit sweet but not overly malty, a lot of caramel and vanilla with some slight oakiness to it. I could taste the extra alcohol in it, but it seemed to add to the nice complex character instead of being dominating.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark black into my snifter with a good sized brownish tan head

S - Brown sugar, chocolate and sweet cherries for sure. A little vanilla and boozyness.

T - Wow, the cherries, brown sugar and a creamy chocolate kind of hit you right away. Carmalaized malts and just a touch of hops. Mostly a sweet one. Has a little vanilla and oak after taste to it. A bit boozy, as to be expected with almost 10%, and I like it.

M - Very creamy and moderate carbonation.

D - Really balanced in carbonation/look/head/mouthfeel and flavor. EVerything really is very cohesive and the flavors really jump out at you. Well done alaskan!

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Photo of Pabs311
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

A- Beer pours super dark, with some red highlights shining through. the head is thin, creamy, beige hangs around shortly and then settles to leave minimal lacing on the glass.

S- the nose on this beer is awesome. chocolate covered cherries, coconut, vanilla, toffee all come through. aromas meld together quit lovely making this a awesome beer to smell.

T- very similar to the nose. well blanced between all the flavors. chocolate and cherries are most forward and the remaining flavors that the coconut and oak add in compliment very nicely. very tasty brew.

M/D - Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. coats palate great and just what i like to see from a porter as far as mouthfeel. i wish i could get this beer on the east coast, it would be my go-to for porters.

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Photo of beersabound
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of vanilla, chocolate and roasted malts but more chocolate, some caramel, alcohol, and a slight chalk/aspirin thing.

Rich, smooth, full bodied, luscious mouthfeel

Flavor similar to aroma with no chalk. Finishes with a fair amount of alcohol but this is balanced well by the malt sweetness.

The aftertaste is of semi sweetened chocolate and left my mouth dry. Quite pleasant.

It was slightly more carbonated than expected but it's right for style. I think this helps balance out the sweetness too.

I was impressed by the restraint in the roasted malts and focus on caramel and chocolate malts.

Overall, very tasty. I felt it's a little too sweet right now but that this should lay down a bit over time as will the alcohol heat. I feel the vanilla and oaking add some good complexity too. I am excited to try it as it ages.

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

Pours dark brown into the glass but when you hold it up to the sun there is a crimson diamond shining through. The head is brown and long lasting.
The aroma is caramel, toffee and cherries and lots of vanilla. Very smooth.
The taste is sweet with caramel, toffee and dark malt. Smooth coffee undertones and some dark fruits mixed with the promised cherries and vanilla.
Very smooth with a nice full body. Moderate carbonation. The alcohol is not very noticeable considering the 9.8% ABV.
Overall, this is an excellent interpretation of the style. I want another one.

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Photo of DousedInStout
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must say this bottle description is a bit intriguing for a baltic porter, which technically should be a lager. But coming from Alaskan, I expect high quality...

Poured near black with a light tan head. The carbonation seemed appropriate. The aroma is wonderful, and you truly can pick out all the elements added to this beer - cherries, vanilla, oak, brown sugar...along with some dark chocolate and fruity esters. The taste that follows is very nice, and the flavors marry together well. However, after time, this beer starts to taste a bit medicinal and syrupy as a result of the cherries and unfermentable sugar left in the beer. It results in a pretty sweet, cloying baltic porter - I probably would've just labeled it as an imperial porter because of it's lack of a dry, crisp finish. But overall, a nice effort again from Alaskan.

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Photo of Zaplt
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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 kbm
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bomber.

Appearance: Black/Dark brown with a slight ruby hue. Huge tan head with good retention and great lacing.

Smell: Huge cherry with cinnamon aroma. Followed up by oak, booze, chocolate, sweet malts and other spices.

Taste: God, I love this beer. Cheery, oak and cinnamon. The oak, while not subtle, is not so prominent that it's over powering. The back end of the taste is a bit of coffee, coco and residual oak.

Mouthfeel: I generally don't like generously carbonated beer but I think the generous carbonation in the Alaskan Baltic Porter doesn't just support the beer but enhances it. Mouthfeel is thin but in a good way; low viscosity.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. With the thin mouthfeel I find myself taking larger than normal swigs. I get little to no heat from the alcohol, which makes this one a little dangerous.

I love this beer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.42/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark with a very slight red brown tint and a . Seems highly viscous and gooey as it swirls around during the pour.

S - Light vanilla scents combined with some sweet fruitiness.

T - I immediately think of cake... maybe caramel; then I am reminded of rum/sugarcane. Definitely a sweeter beer to my palate. Medium complexity with subtle nuances... not the big beer roasty taste I was expecting.

M - A thick, heavy bodied feel with a pleasant med to low carbonation.

D - Given the not well hidden high ABV and sweetness of this beer, I def have to share a 22 oz. with someone else.

This beer is not one of my favorites but is definitely worth a try. I will probably not seek this one out again in the future.

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Photo of mrkc
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

65.1 cL bottle - that's a strange volume. Still, a dark purple label with the vintage clearly noted. There's no head, just the thinnest of tan rings around this dark, opaque beer. It smells of vinella and cherries, a rich sweet smell which just barely masks the alcohol smell. It smells a bit like molassass - potentially the brown sugar used in making this. The smoky oak flavour and the brown sugar really carry through the drink. If you let it linger, the cherries really come through on the finish. It's a tad dry, and the alcohol content periodically comes through. There's a bit of bitterness, like cross between licorice and dark chocolate, that's hard to place. Eminently drinkable, this is a phenomenal brew.

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Photo of superdavex
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this down the street for $3.25! An absolute steal and there's more. I'm not telling where.

The appearance was blackish/brown with very little head.

It smelled like cherries, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and alcohol all mixed together. Not something you smell every day.

It tasted pretty much like it smelled with the cherry and vanilla flavors coming up front. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but it doesn't seem like it's 9.9%.

It had a medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. It was about on par for the style.

The drinkability was very good because of the thinner mouthfeel for the strength of brew and the unbelievably good taste of this one. Just be careful because the 9.9 will hit ya hard.

I don't usually like beers this sweet, but this one has such interesting complexities that it's an exception. I will be revisiting this one many times in the near future as I'm not sure how long these will be at the gas station for $3.25 a piece.

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

This beer was a gift from the folks at Alaskan and reminds me that Alaskan is making some of my favorite "big" beers.

Jet black with a tan head, the beer looks like an Imperial Stout...A little fuller in body than a typical Baltic Porter.

Aroma is nice with pronounced vanilla and oak notes and a good deal of caramel malt and milk chocolate.

Flavors are about the same, lots of oak and vanilla. Restrained sweetness, cocoa, solid, rich malt flavors, and very subdued hops.

There is a bit more astringency than I would like, and the finish is not as clean as I expect from a Baltic Porter, but overall a very nice beer. I was happy to finish the bottle and I'll be sure to pick up another if I see it again.

Well done Alaskan, keep up the good work.

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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.

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Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark with a small creamy head that dies down to a cap, smells.. belgian? Man this thing seems like a quad, aromas of plums, figs, raisins.. Flavor seems that way too, there's a warming alcohol that heats up on the back end but doesn't get in the way. Lots of dark fruits, caramel, sweet malts, very slight roastieness hidden in the background. This is a nice beer, but nothing like any other baltic porter I've had, would do well with some age of it.

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Photo of ChrisPr
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, opaque ultra-dark brown, with a thick, creamy tan head that lingers for a long time. Rich, bittersweet chocolate, wood, leather and cherry in the aroma. This body is great - big, rich but immensely drinkable. The first taste is of bittersweet, dark chocolate which soon melds with a subtle cherry that grows and then lingers into the aftertaste. There is vanilla in there, and wood which provides a great background and finish.

The base beer has that great metallic Baltic Porter taste and with all the great additional flavors it really is an amazing beer. This maybe doesn't have all of the complexity as some of the great barrel-aged beers, but it is a great, ready-to-drink delicious brew that is a phenomenal value for the quality. I really wished this was brewed every year!

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Photo of slasher007
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mora2000 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a very dark brown color with light tan head. Smell was bit complex for me. Lots of banana with hints of smoked vanilla and ripened dark fruits. Tastes are roasted malt richness and complex candied sweetness with vanilla cream and oaked cherry finish. Medium and amazingly creamy mouth feel with medium carbonation. I loved every sip of it. Excellent beer

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Photo of ncfrey
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
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 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.

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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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