Portsmouth Imperial (Baltic) Porter | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Imperial (Baltic) PorterPortsmouth Imperial (Baltic) Porter
50 Ratings
Portsmouth Imperial (Baltic) PorterPortsmouth Imperial (Baltic) Porter

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bigger, darker and more "Imperial" than our Robust Porter, brewed with a Baltic flair.

Added by Bierman9 on 03-17-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of ajcormier
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of wildcat29
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of druptight
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of phingdong
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of andylipp
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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

22oz bomber split two ways, into Portsmouth snifters.

Dark malt, dark fruit, rich sweetness.

The color is dark with very deep brown with auburn notes at the edges. ideal.

I agree with another review that the warmth brought extra flavor forward and had similar experience with dark fruit and raspberries. I do not think this is a 'dessert' beer but I certainly understand the sentiment. There is a distinct fruit aftertaste that is undercut slightly by bitter chocolate notes.

As this warms I do think the mouth feel dips a touch; it loses some of the fullness. If I was reviewing this only after it sat for 10 or more minutes I would likely rate the mouthfeel a 4-4.5, however fresh out of the bottle it is full, sweet, silky and still crisp at the finish.

Wasn't expecting much, though this is one of my favorite styles. Genuiely surprised. I've had most of the PB offerings and this is easily my 2nd favorite of their beers.


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Photo of BierBliss
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -51.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this was an utterly fantastic beer. one of the best of the style i have had in a very long time and one of my favorite styles for sure. simply amazing.

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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this to go at Kate Day 2010

Review adapted from notes taken 3/6/2010

Appearance: Black with a light brown/tan head - it could definitely pass as a stout - nothing really memorable about the head or lacing

Smell: Roasted and burnt malts - some less burnt malts, too - biscuits - chocolate, coffee, vanilla, dark fruits

Taste: Two words: epic malts - a really interesting range of malt flavors - burnt, roasted flavors, and sweet, mellow flavors - hints of biscuits and warm, soft-baked pretzels - bread, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla - there is some sweetness, too, that works really well - some hints of hops, but not much - some dark fruit flavors thrown in the mix - very complex

Mouthfeel: Somewhat heavy, very chewy, very smooth, some alcohol heat

Overall: Definitely not a session beer, but not exactly a sipper - somewhere in the middle, and it works

I honestly think this is the second-best thing I have ever had from the Portsmouth Brewery. Considering my #1 pick is Kate the Great, I think this says a lot. I plan on getting more of this whenever possible.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap before KTG 2010.

Pours a moderate brown with a light head. The nose is some light chocolate and coffee in addition to roasted malt. The taste is slight chocolate and roasted malt. Mild coffee character. Really doesn't push anything too far and is a bit bland. Moderate body with a bit of alcohol. Drinks decently, but isn't all that great.

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Photo of regspeir
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a tumbler.
Pours a dark brown with a smallish light tan head. Lacing is modest. The nose is roasted malt, some coffee, molasses and toffee. Taste is roasted malts, vanilla, some bitter chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is creamy, full-bodied and not a lot of carbonation. This is a sipper, although you don't notice the 9% - a pleasingly complex example of the style.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Deep nut brown with the faintest hints of light shining through. Thick, foamy brown head. A solid three + fingers after a gentle pour settles to a solid inch of foam throughout the drink.

S - Bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts in the nose. Sweetness amps up a touch as the beer warms.

T - Big bittersweet taste up front. Sweetness becomes stronger as the beer warms. Roasted malts and just a touch of acrid burnt malt taste. Light hint of sourness underneath.

M/D - Medium to full bodied with an excelent feel. Alcohol is well masked at 9%. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

mjn5036 provided me with the opportunity to try this one. Smuttynose Baltic Porter is on deck.

a- Pours an opaque dark brown. Thick, persistent tan-colored head. some ruby highlights when held to light.

s- big sweetness with caramel and nutty, maybe slightly toasty tones. some esters from the alchohol mix with the sweetness and produces some plum/raison like aroma. a good load of chocolate too but no real evident roasted character

t- a complex blend of deep malt, dried dark fruit esters, and chocolate. Starts sweet but darker malt flavors quickly dominates and persists through finish. Just a touch dry with a hint of roast coffee. a good biscuit like quality, a small kick of bitterness and a bit of alchohol in the finish.

m- medium-full bodied and smooth, with a touch of alcohol warmth. Medium to medium-low carbonation.

d- big flavors and high abv will hold you back on this one. it has some great complexity that keeps you reaching for the glass, but I'd say the bomber is best split with a good friend.

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Photo of cbutova
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out pitch black with a pinky sized tan head that has decent retention and leaves medium lacing. A small tan cloud stays atop the beer with a ring around the edges. The smell definitely could be stronger but it has roasty, fruit, cream and earthy hop notes. Also some cocoa comes through. The taste has good roast malts and cocoa notes. The malts are very porter-esque. There is also some fruit and hoppy hints and a bit of alcohol. The hops lend some bitterness to the beer. The mouthfeel is nice. It has a good moderate body with nice medium carbonation. It is very creamy and goes down smoothly. A tiny bit of warmth makes for a nice feel as the beer leaves a coat of roasty malt and fruit. Drinkability is good. The taste was good and the beer was sold at a decent price. The 9% ABV is very well hidden and there are no off flavors in a well balanced beer.

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Photo of KeefD
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks go out once again to Rochefort10nh. Pours a dark brown color, ruby edges, with a two finger tan head that left some glorious down the glass. Aroma is slightly muted, but there's some nice brown sugar, cola, and chocolate notes coming through with only a touch of booze. Interesting flavor on this one. It's sweet, with flavors of caramel, light chocolate, a hint of roast, and something that almost tastes like grapes and/or grape skins. Very smooth, easy drinking brew for the high ABV. Great stuff here. Carbonation is perfect for the medium body and the alcohol heat is minor. Liked this brew a lot. Putting away this bomber will be no problem. Thanks again, Keith!

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Photo of ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Portsmouth on the eve of KTG Day - 2/28/10.

A - Appears as close to black as can be with deep reddish hues and about a finger's width of creamy tan head that diminishes into a swirly film and deposited sparse lacing around the glass.

S - Medium roasted malt with dark fruit notes suggesting raisin as well as licorice root. Malt character is rather complex, actually, with a toasted grainy character and even toasted coconut notes.

T - Flavor is a tasty concoction of toasted grains and coconut, roasted coffee notes and tangy dark fruit. Licorice root and earthy herbs provide an assertive bitterness that emerges in the middle and lasts through to the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a fairly oily texture with a hint of chalkiness. Mouthfeel is robust and warm with moderate alcohol heat on the palate. Finishes with quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue.

D - Complex Imperial Porter here with some interesting Baltic Porter qualities too, such as the dark fruit tang. The toasted coconut presence was a pleasant surprise as well. Nice to see more going on than just coffee and roasted malt.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped at the brewery on a whim and grabbed this one...

A: Perfect. Super dark with no highlights. Thick 1 inch off-white head that slowly fades. Awesome.

S: Smells good. Bready, raisin, malt, and slight hop smell upfront. Coffee / chocolate in the middle. Not much on the backend. Very good.

T: Bitter chocolate tast upfront. Hard to get much else. As it warms, I get some bready raisin taste on the backend. Not too much special happening in this one.

M: Sticky syrup feel that does not stick to your palate. Leaves a slight flavor in your mouth. Good.

D: Goes down decent. Wish the flavor was a little more complex and smoothed down some.

All in all, this is an ok brew to try if you're ever at Portsmouth brewery, but not worth hunting down.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beer better than KtG 2010.

Pours a dark brown/black color with a thin light tan head, leaves a bit of lacing along the glass.

Smell has a deep roasted malt aroma with bits of coffee and vanilla.

Taste is similar to the aroma except bitter chocolate plays more of a role, definitely can feel the alcohol but not overwhelmingly so that it distracts.

It would have been nice to have gotten a few bottles of this to see how well it ages, but the cooler was raided long before I arrived in Portsmouth.

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Portsmouth Imperial (Baltic) Porter from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 50 ratings