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Saku Estonian Porter | Saku Brewery LTD

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BA SCORE
81
good
49 Reviews
Saku Estonian PorterSaku Estonian Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Saku Brewery LTD
Estonia
saku.ee

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-10-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
68
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
18.98%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 68
Photo of rodbeermunch
1.74/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A lot of brown and red, this isn't going to impress anyone who likes their porters to look like stouts. Aroma was just a brutal array of rubbing alcohol, spoiling dark fruit, copper pennies and like dry hopping with rubbing alcohol.

Taste was hot as fuck. Licorice even, this is challenging me to try and finish. So much fusel alcohol impact, really destroys its taste and mouthfeel for other things.

 406 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.81/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Brown and red colored beer, the red is a deep, dark red. Aroma was rough, sour plum, rubbing alcohol, prune, raisin, and more alcohol.

Taste, ugh, more alcohol and rancid dark fruit flavor. Was very bitter, but not the kind you get from hops, which were not able to be tasted. It was like 1/4 sweet, 1/4 bitter, 1/2 rubbing alcohol for the flavors.

As it warms, it is like, death, licorice flavors come out, which makes you think you are drinking Jagermeister, because of the dark fruit, licorice and face breaking alcohol presence.

I may have gotten a bad bottle with a ton of fusel alcohol. Or not, either way, this one was atrocious.

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Photo of mactrail
2.17/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This is some kind of dark Euro-trash. Dirty. Where does the overwhelming gloom of licorice come from? It's a medicinal and harsh alcohol-flavored concoction. The smell is rancid prune Danish. Some caramel but overwhelmed by burnt raisins. The aftertaste is oxidized malt liquor with something that makes me think of transmission fluid.

I have to agree with Beerandraiderfan on this one (see 2012 review). I'm wondering, since this brewery is owned by Carlsberg Breweries, if this is really a Carlsberg product. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Botleworks in Seattle for $2.99. Totally not worth it. I don't think this is in any way spoiled. It's from refrigerated storage at a reputable store and seems properly made.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
2.76/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a MJ tasting glass.

Pours a deep, deep garnet, with a big, three finger tan head. Head is slow to drop.

Aroma of licorise, sweet malt, no hop aroma to speak of. Dark caramel and light roast malt aromas.

Flavors of roasted caramel malt, anise. Medicinal. Cough syrup. No hop flavors. Slight alcohol burn. Strong licorise flavor as it warms up. Finish is medium, with anise lingering into the fade.

Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, slightly astringent.

Overall, not the best example of a baltic porter, a little harsh, lacks the smoothness of the best examples. Avoid.

 579 characters

Photo of bark
2.92/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was bought in Estonia, the alcoholic content is 7.5% abvand it is labelled something like “vintage 2004”.

The colour is pitch-dark. The pale brown foam fills almost the whole glass, but it sinks down with a fizzing sound into a two finger thick head.

A roasted flavour dominates the smell, but there are also notes of candle grease, some spices, sweet malt and hints of alcohol and smoke. It is not 100% pleasant.

The carbonation is medium strong with small bubbles. The mouth feel is creamy.

The taste is unexpectedly mild and simple with roasted notes, some sweetness, over boiled vegetables (cabbage?) and margarine. There is no alcohol in the taste whatsoever. The aftertaste is somewhat unbalanced with a strong bitterness and roasted malt. It is surprisingly drinkable considering its strenght.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.93/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a half liter bottle.

Appearance- Lack luster head with a perfect ruby color mixed with some barley grain color. No lacing visible.

Smell- A hint of acidity mixed with a hlaf roasted malt aroma. Almost like toasted polish rye bread.

Taste- A hint of green apples in such a toasty beer was a little odd. But there was some vanilinzucker to make up for it.

Mouthfeel- Some good carbonation, a little to acidic for a baltic porter.

 455 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
2.97/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks as if it will have atrocious retention. The head is a weak, light beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown which shows hints of maroon when held up to the light. No lacing at all.

Nose- A lot of bubble gum from the bottle, some hints of roasted notes. The glass gives up a faint hint of bubble gum but not much else. This is not a auspicious beginning. Swirling the beer only reveals this aroma more. I hope this is not reflected on the palate.

Taste- Some bubble gum- this seems to pervade every aspect of this beer. There are some roasted malts but they are rather diminished. Some caramel notes. A slight, woody bitter finish with some spice and a small amount of heat. The flavor profile is rather thin and lacks presence- this, despite the fact, that I don't want any of the notes that I'm tasting to be more prominent. Enjoyable roasted malts start to appear on the finish but overall, this is a rather mediocre beer. I can never abide by a heavy bubble gum flavor. This beer is less offensive the quicker you drink it. It's not bad but it ain't good either.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied- could use more heft for the style. Very little carbonation. This would work if this had more heft to it but instead it comes off as poorly carbonated schwarzbier at times.

Drinkability- Not really offensive, just not desirable. It's a beer I would drink quickly for the alcohol. Poor price point.

Overall- Very average. There are so many better Baltic Porters out there. I cannot suggest trying this unless you are a sucker (or ticker) for Baltic Porters.

 1,616 characters

Photo of goz
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured clear reddish-brown - lighter than I expected for a porter. The head was thick and tan, slowly diminishing, leaving almost no lace. Aroma was sweet - caramel, butterscotch, hints of cherries. Flavor starts sweet, with caramel being the main flavor, finishes with a slight roasted malt flavor that lasts for a bit. Body is medium, slightly tingly carbonation on the tongue, and the slightest bit of alchohol in the end.

 425 characters

Photo of ark57
3.04/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It is a light reddish-brown in color with a soft tan head. It is much lighter in color than I used to seeing for a porter of any kind. The aroma is sweet and fruity. It is malty, but not too much taste is there. There is slight whiskey finish. I like my Baltic Porters to fuller in body and have more flavor.

 308 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a ruby tint. Has a foamy light brown head that evaporates quickly. Not much aroma just a hint of roasted malt. The roasted malt weaves back and forth with a hint of coffee mixed with sweet molasses. the finish is a slow light roasted bitterness. I think the alcohol adds the impression of some body to what appears to be a somewhat watery porter. Nothing terrible nothing spectacular. I did give it an above average rating because I felt could drink a couple of these nicely.

 491 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

25 oz, brown bottle, capped, no date.

This porter poured a hazy, chestnut, red-brown color with tall, creamy, tan foam. The smell was malty with some caramel and yeast, but with a hint of oxidation. The taste was sweet and malty (caramel) but with some medicinal flavors and a hint of cocoa. There was some hop bitterness that lingered on the palate. Alcohol could also be tasted. The mouthfeel was sticky sweet and warming with a lingering flavor. The body was medium and the carbonation medium. This was an OK porter, but a bit too sweet with some harsh flavors.

 567 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.17/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ruby colored. Pours with a brief flurry of foam (my glassware could be tainted.) Starts out with some fruity, caramel notes in the aroma. Dark caramel malt flavors abound. Tawny, almost burnt fruit notes, yet sweet and sugary. Tastes a little more like a double bock to me than a porter, even a Baltic porter. A little too sweet for my tastes.

 343 characters

Photo of EricCioe
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep brown with a two finger head that subsides to a ring and island for me with no lacing. On the nose there is a huge molasses and caramel combination up front. On the tongue the molasses is dominant with a toffee further back, and hiding under all that is just a hint of hop bite. In the mouth it's very chewy, too much to be enjoyable really. There is no enjoyable fuzziness here, and it's almost oily. The 16.9 oz serving size is about as much of this as I'd want to drink, mostly due to mouthfeel, but the price is pretty unmatchable. A decent beer, especially for the price.

 594 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured deep amber brown, but not as brown as a normal porter, very translucent. The head was tan and tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a deep dark caramel impression and some slight chocolate notes, but a bit of cardboard.

The flavor was malty with the same deep dark caramel and dark fruits. A slight coffee flavor also emerged as the beer warmed on the palate. The dark caramel flavors also contained a chocolate presence and a fruitiness. Something in the flavor was not quite right, just a slight bit off and unbalanced.

The finish was just dry with lingering slight coffee, strong dark caramel and slight chocolate long into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium.

16.9 ounce bottle. Nothing I would seek out.

 774 characters

Photo of Imbiber
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this from Eagle Provisions in Brooklyn.

Hmmm... Strange, a Baltic Porter that is nowhere near dark, just deep red-brown. Perfectly clear with little head, carbonation quite low. Aroma is sugary-malty, cloying a bit. The flavour is fairly sweet, little hop character, and slight insinuations of caramel or molasses. Quite smooth. Not bad, but certainly more of a bock or even a sweet brown ale than a porter.

 417 characters

Photo of baggio
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[email protected]

A: Pitch black with a huge brown creamy head that vanishes a bit too quickly.

S: Molasses, Chocolate, Roasted malt, Dark bread, Smoke

T: Bitter coffee, Sugar, Molasses, Fruit, Tobacco, Caramel.

M: Body is quite think and has very low carbonation. A very sweet porter with a dry, ashy, aftertaste.

This is not a bad porter but it's too sweet for me. Paired nicely with some dark chocolate tho. If you're into sweet porters this might appeal to you!

 464 characters

Photo of duracell
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle shared with my father and poured into a goblet. Bought in Narva, Estonia. 6.9% ABV.

A - Pours a walnut color with red hues. A medium-size, off-white, head is formed and disappears quickly. 3/5

S - Aroma is a blend of malt (caramel and raisins) and a bit of hop (mainly herbal). 3/5

T - Malty taste with noes of toasted and caramelized grain. Hop is discrete, pourly aromatic but leaving a contributing to the bitterness. 3.5/5

M - Medium body with a rather smooth feeling. This beer is quite alcoholic leaving a semi-dry finish. 3.5/5

O - Without featuring a lot of complexity this Porter is quite pleasant and rather to style. Worth seeking it out! 3.5/5

 673 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black, ruby-brown in the light. Rapidly subsides to a skim of white foam.

Smell is bready, malty, artificial sweetness.

Taste is big molasses, not much else. Slightly sweet and malty, a Doppelbock would fit the bill much better. Dried raisin/prune/plum in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is typical, neither dull or effervescent. Sweet malt seems to stick around, not entirely pleasant. Half-liter bottle is not the easiest drinker after several others.

Notes: "Reccomended serving at 60º - 65º" practically room temperature. Taste didn't improve for me at room temps...

 587 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mahogany color with moderate light tan head and some minor lacing.
Aroma of caramel, similar to a Marzen. Hard to believe this is a Porter.
Flavor is light caramel malt and minor note of darker fruits.
Mouthfeel smooth malty and yet a touch of sour also. Tries to be complex but fails trying
Drinkability was average, just didn't really mesh with this beer. Not bad, just much more to offer from the darker and more complex porters available from Estonia.

 468 characters

Photo of jackndan
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saku Porter: a reddish beer, with not much of a head. The aroma is clean, and not at all overwhelming. The bottle is a thick brown half liter, which says to drink it north of sixty degrees, I’m south of 50, but I’ll let it warm. The taste has sweet notes of dried fruits (prunes/raisons/apricots) with a smooth creamy mouth feel. The aftertaste is crisp and clean. All in all a fairly nice beer, and I'm no fan of the style. And I only paid $1.29 for it (hell the bottle alone probably had 50 cents worth of glass in it).

 523 characters

Photo of mschofield
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red color, I found a little unexpected, dark but lighter red at the edges. Thin head quickly dwindles to a sparse film. Well carbonated.
Cherry/grape aroma, syrupy malt.
Roasted malt taste, caramel, a little bitterness, toasted bread, dark fruit.
Medium feel, a little too thin. Very malty, I thought it was a good beer, but not very true to style, if I didn't see the bottle I would have thought this was a Scotch ale. Of course I suppose an Estonian brewer would have a better idea of what a Baltic porter should be than I.

 536 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a dark black color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was good as a minute collar that left bands of broken lacing. The aroma was of chocolate brownies, baking chocolate, some fruity esters (bananas? Like chocolate-dipped bananas most notably and distinctly. Odd) and booze. The flavors were similar, dominated by the chocolate/banana/fruit combo followed by the boozy punch. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium and the carbonation average as well. Like the German girl I dated in my 20’s, this beer was strong and unique, yet predominantly forgettable.

 610 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer definitely lacks and needs more character for it to be considered a really good Baltic Porter IMHO. The head was small and tan with fine-small bubbles that quickly diminished. There was no lacing and some carbonation was observed. The body was clear and the hue was reddish-brown. The nose was sweet and chocolate and the flavor was malty and caramel. The mouthfeel was smooth, light and thin.

 403 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Light, almost pale brown in color with very little head.

Smell – This has a very singular aroma of caramel malts much like an Oktoberfest bier. It certainly lacks the depth of other strong porters that I’ve had.

Taste – This has a very light and mellow caramel malty taste to it. I like it, but it is very one-dimensional and doesn’t seem to fit the style. I can’t recite the BJCP guidelines off-hand, but this is lighter and less complex than any other example I’ve had of the style.

Mouthfeel – This one is very creamy and smooth and feels terrific in the mouth.

Drinkability – I enjoyed the Estonian Porter and would certainly buy again, but I just didn’t thick that it fit the bill of a Strong/Baltic Porter.

 747 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, but not much lacing at all. Aroma is nice and malty, the brew smells like roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and some dark fruit. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but the bitter flavors in this beer are stronger compared to the other ones, although the bitterness does ease up a bit as the beer warms up more. From the aroma I thought this would be a sweeter tasting beer, but that's not the case. Mouthfeel/body is medium, and is well carbonated. Drinkability is decent too, but not impressive. I think it's an OK overall brew.

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Saku Estonian Porter from Saku Brewery LTD
3.53 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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