Saku Estonian Porter | Saku Brewery LTD

BA SCORE
82
good
68 Ratings
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
Ratings:
68
Reviews:
49
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
16.15%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 49
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...

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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 Jason
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle, no freshness date. Blurb about the beer on the back label, it also says to serve this beer around 60-65*F.

Appearance: Big brown sugar sweetness of the nose with hazy rummy aromas, light metallic molasses with a touch of burnt raisin and black currant fruity aromas.

Smell: Dark shaded brown with ruby highlights, clarity is still noticeable. Thick foamy head makes a thin tan lace with traces down the glass.

Taste: Medium bodied with an ultra smooth mouth feel, well textured carbonation drops a touch of crispness. Brown bready flavour come to mind, toasted bread is more like it. Malt profile flexes for the taste buds with some brown sugar and toffee, fruitiness comes second with a burnt raisin and black currant flavour ... pretty much a mirror image of the aroma. With the brown sugar flavour and the higher alcohols a mild rummy flavour is perceived. Subdued roasted malt flavour gives suggestions of chicory. Bitterness from the hops is ample though do not get in the way with any kind of harshness or flamboyant flavours. Highly toasted grain flavours and caramel own the finish of this sweet sided brew.

Notes: Still a robust porter to say the least but not as much character or oomph from other Baltic style porters. Without doubt a dessert beer, pumpkin pie would do fine ... so would a slice of pecan pie.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was another of my local trader's, tone77, many bottles to keep me from going off the deep end with CANs. I am always anxious to see what he has brought for me as he never disappoints.

From the bottle: "Dark Estonian Beer"; "Saku Porter is a full-bodied ultra smooth dark beer, brewed of pale, caramel and coffee malts, hops and Saku's own yeast. Aged to reach full taste. An ideal companion to a long winter night."

My pour created just over a finger of bubbly light-brown head with modest retention. Color was a deep dark-brown with caramel highlights at the edges, but otherwise not allowing light to penetrate. Nose was rich with dried dark fruits, molasses, tobacco, tar and even some alcohol heat. Phew! Mouthfeel was full, very carbonated, and the taste was very much of dried dark fruits, dark chocolate, coffee and molasses on the tongue. Finish was semi-sweet with all of the flavors just lingering like exhaling while smoking a cigar. If you are not going to drink this in the wintertime as the label seems to suggest, I would recommend it with a dark cigar, like a Maduro. Good stuff!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a very dark brown, basically black, with a one inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like currants, chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar. Really unique for a porter.

This porter has some cool tastes that I wasn't expecting. Same cool dark fruits flavors as in the aromas- some currants, grape jam, molasses, brown sugar, some chocolate syrup, caramel, toffee, and rum. No real roasted malt flavor, which is interesting. Given that, I'd have thought it'd be too sweet and cloying, but it's not. High five!

This one has a medium body, with a very, very smooth mouthfeel, creamy as hell. There is a low amount of carbonation. This one is very drinkable.

First beer from Estonia, and it's one of the best Baltics I've ever had. Great!

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Photo of tone77
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts and dark fruits. Taste is good, roasted malts, coffee, dark fruits, a touch of hops. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a high quality beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of bigred89
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Hayley_86
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours brown with a full off-white head, good head retention.

S: Has that full Eastern European dark sugar nose, a lot like Baltika #6. Big nose.

T: Not as sweet as the nose would suggest. Toffee, treacly flavours, slight hint of toast. Tasty.

M: Medium to full-bodied, thin finish, but brings a mild light sweetness to the end which I like. Frothy but crisp carbonation. Tad cloying at times.

O: I like Saku's regular lager and I like this beer, I like it more. Classic Baltic porter flavours, well priced as this style tends to be in this part of the world. Well worth a pickup. A satisfying strong pint.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a three-fingered light brown head that leaves a some lace. An opaque brown color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is strong caramel and flavor is roasted caramel and dark fruit. The higher ABV is hidden. 500ml bottle from Madden Beverage Saco, Me.

 267 characters

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.

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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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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.

 829 characters

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.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

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 Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured two and half fingers on a pitch black body. The head was quickly gone though.
The aroma is faint: roasted and black malt.
The taste is darkness with a sweet touch. Burnt and roasted malt with a sweet finish.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
It's lacking in the smell area but the taste is nice.

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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 Reidrover
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

50cl bottle from "Lifesource" Salem. $3.49 Pours a dark brown with a nice sized tan head. Dark chocolate,treacle and dark fruitiness abound in the nose. Smooth treacle,molasses taste, some hints of elderberry and blackcurrant,slightly salty,finishes with alcohol. OK palate good but average for style This is OK a good beer but sadly for me not a good Baltic.

 359 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Listed in the "1001", my notes indicate BA ("Buy Again"). Now if I can only find it to review.

94 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.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Half-liter bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown, very slight head of tan foam.

Aroma: Sweet bready aroma, with a hint of chocolate.

Flavor/Body: Different malts predominate, caramel flavors present, with toasted malt also. Alcohol adds a touch of sweetness to it. Medium-high body is appropriate to the style.

Fairly clean and non-complex example of the style, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

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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.

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