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

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
371 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:
371
Reviews:
219
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
143
Gots:
42
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 |  Reviews: 219
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 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 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.

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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.

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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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Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Winchester Tavern shaker pint glass.

Pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown, with ruby highlights and a finger-thick tan head. The smell is somewhat heavy on the booze, but this is balanced out by dark malts and fruits. The taste begins with a dark cherry flavor, followed by a roasted wheat, followed then by a figgy flavor, and then finished by a brown sugar/molasses flavor. In all, a wild, tasty ride that layers nicely on the tastebuds. The heavily medium body rests perfectly on the tongue, though the relatively high alcohol might check this somewhat, threatening the drinkability for some (though I will be coming back for more on a regular basis).

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Xmas present for me while helping a fellow BA with Secret Santa.

Pours a dark brown with a smallish tan/white head that laces the sides all the way down. Nice dark ruby highlights when held to the light. Smells really sweet like cream soda. Strong aroma of dark fruits, cherries and plums, some vanilla, mix in some chocolate and some roast. Really great nose! Taste is roasted malts and dark dried fruits. Quite sweet. Finishes with a bit of alcohol and a lingering bitter fruit if that's possible. Sticky/silky mouthfeel, thick body, light carbonation. Great brew, I wish I had bought a few more.

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Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of rab53
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin off white head receeds quickly. Dark brown base. Splotchy lacing, collar.

Very malty nose. Fruity. Dopplebockish.

Holy oaks! Oakiness dominates according to me. Vanilla, cherries. A little hot on the booziness but not too bad. Would guess around 10%abv.

Thicker end on the mouthfeel, super smooth. Medium carbonation.

Well above average Baltic porter. Smooth mouthfeel, very oaky...to sum it up. Thanks for the share 4DAloveofSTOUT.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark ruby brown, appears nearly black. Rich light brown head with nice lacing. Aroma of toasty malt, dark fruit and cherries with a slight sour aspect. Flavor is toasty malt, dark fruit and cherries. Well integrated. Nice porter flavors with clear cherry tone. A slight bitterness in aftertaste. I love this beer and it's my favorite Baltic porter. I was really glad a tucked a few of these away before Alaskan (temporarily, I hope) stopped brewing it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very deep brown color, very nice carbonation, with an awesome thick/creamy tan head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/caramel notes, vanilla, slight oak/cherries. The taste is awesome as well, malty, sweet, slightly bitter, slight oak notes, nice chocolate note. Medium body, a really smooth brew, very would know it's high ABV. Very drinkable, this has got to be the best brew I've had from Alaskan, hands down.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know they made a Baltic Porter so I jumped on this when I saw it in the store. Alaska has some fine beers and this one perplexes me a bit.
A dark brown pour. Very deep. A good looking creamy head is gone pretty darn quick. Hmm..

Smell is like their smoked porter, but calmed down a bit. Less smoke and umami, more cherry and vanilla, which causes some confusion in me brains. What makes this a "baltic"? I dunno.
Not to say it's bad. It's a good beer. Taste is like smoked porter light. Again..cherries and vanilla. Kind of odd, but good. slightly thin.

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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.

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Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle poured by Halcyondays. Thanks for going to Arizona for this. On to the beer:

I would like to see a little more head to this blackwater, but that's a minor complaint to this gem. The nose is big, starting out with lots of licorice, then moving on to toasted oak and semi-sweet chocolate. The flavor starts well too; I get the oak (but it tastes more like it came from a bourbon barrel), chocolate brownies, a touch of vanilla, toasted. The intensity of the flavors cahnges as the beer's journey goes on, changing to being less oak and more sweet. The vanilla aftertaste is very appealing, as is the hidden booze and well controlled big body.

Could I do 22 ounces of it? Yeah, I probably could, but Alaskan needs to get this style to Orange County for me to find out.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma caught me off guard. While I do get some cherry and vanilla, the main fruit flavor I get is bananas. Very strange. The flavor is very complex with cherry, vanilla, oak and roasted malts. The beer is pretty sweet and you get some alcohol but it is fairly well hidden. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected. Low carbonation.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. This is the 2009 vintage, which I am re-drinking and re-reviewing after the Great BeerAdvocate Crash of aught-nine.

Appearance: black with a red hue when held up to the light. Two-finger tan head with nice persistence.

Smell: lots of apple, pear, plum and grape, almost like a very intense white wine. There's a little malt in there but the aroma is surprisingly whimsical. Fantastico.

Taste: here the malt is huge with a subtle hint of flavor matching the aroma profile. It is quite sweet, which is to be expected, but in addition to the lovely fruit flavor there is a creamy flavor. Some roasted chocolate shows up but it's an afterthought to this seriously magical dessert beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick with just enough carbonation to remind you that this is beer.

Drinkability: in spite of (or maybe because of?) its huge ABV, this is a remarkably tasty beer with incredible drinkability. If my liver could handle it, I'd quaff several of these back to back.

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Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'09 vintage 22 has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks.. I think I paid about $9. Poured into my Delirium goblet.

Dark brown brew with night highlites... 1" tan head leaves descent lace and a good cap...

Nose is pretty complex.. lite chocolate is complimented and slightly amplified by the vanilla (maybe too much for my tastes).. dried cherries for sure, but it seems like there are some fruity esters in there adding to the myriad of goodness. oaky without the unneeded tannic elements.

Alot of stuff going on as soon as the first sips meet my palate.. cocoa and very background coffee.. again tons of vanilla.. followed closely by some cherries ... Bing? oakey with some maple wood notes.. a smidge of alcohol and all the mash-up of flavors remind me of bourbon... more rich than I remember... finishes more malty than sweet but with all the essences of the above flavors.. I personally think the vanilla is a bit overdone.. so I am gonna nick it .. but I still like it alot.

This is at least in my memory better than the bottle that I had with friends a month or so ago.... I also had the '08 a couple of times and remember thinking that this was no where near a Baltic Porter... However, I think this is gonna age fairly quickly.. Flavors and aromas will mesh soon.. maybe 6 months or so.. but I think it's gonna peak quickly too.. I give it 2 years max.

Thanks Matt for getting this one in... I need to stock up and then just sit back and enjoy it.

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Alaskan Baltic Porter (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 371 ratings.
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