Anniversary 18 Baltic Porter
Ithaca Beer Company

Anniversary 18 Baltic PorterAnniversary 18 Baltic Porter
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Porter - Baltic
3.9 | pDev: 8.72%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Anniversary 18 Baltic PorterAnniversary 18 Baltic Porter
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 50 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27 from New York

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A creamy chestnut head reaches three-quarters of an inch before gradually condensing to thick pancake batter, leaving a webbing of lace over the essentially black beer.

The aroma is sweet with faint smoke against dark chocolate and light coffee. Roasted cashews lead to a soapy aroma as it warms.

Sweetness is prominent in the flavor of light coffee and light chocolate. Late dark toasted bread reveals slightly more smoke than anticipated from the aroma. The finish is long and modest. As it warms, light bitter berries make themselves known.

The medium body and silky smooth texture is lifted by light carbonation and well-controlled alcohol in a Cisco fisheye pint glass.

While this is a fine beer, it is short of the nuances I expect of a Baltic Porter. I enjoyed it while relaxing in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Jul 25, 2017
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in Buffalo this past summer

From a 750 into a snifter
Baltic porter aged on oak

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown pour yields a bit, 3+ finger, medium, creamy light brown head with great retention. Bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Head gets foamy and slowly recedes to a splotchy wisp and lots of lacing. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Milder nose with smoky notes, lightly roasted aromas, cacao powder and some leather. Light vanilla from the oak aging as well. Milder in strength but pleasant.

TASTE: Leather, cream, smoky notes with light cacao up front. More leather, smoke and cacao at the swallow with a bolder finish of smoked malts, leather, roasted flavors, sweet cream and some cacao bitterness lingering on the palate. Bolder and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Good stuff. Oak isn’t really as present as expected, but it does lend some nice cream characteristics. The nose is a bit milder than hoped, but otherwise, this is well put together. Worth checking out if you see it. Cheers!

Aug 29, 2016
Photo of OrangeMen
OrangeMen from New York

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage, anniversary release
~6 months since bottling/release date

Appearance- Pours a mostly black color, brownish hues towards the bottom of the glass. Finger and a half thick, light tan colored head, creamy. Some spotty head lacing on glass.

Aroma- Rich chocolates, toffees, creamy caramel and vanilla. Lots of dark fruits, mostly raisins and figs. Smooth roastiness w/ subtle smoky notes. Soft oak, spice, touch of coffee.

Taste- Roasty malt, smokiness, tobacco, dry cocoa, charred oak and spice. Chocolates, caramel, vanilla, toffee sweetness. Coffee, earthy spice, ripe dark fruits, licorice.

Feel- Medium bodied, very creamy and velvety smooth. Moderate carbonation.

Overall- Rich and robust. Good amount of earthy, roasty character balanced out by a rich sweetness. Oak aging adds a dry and earthy quality, while also adding that classic vanilla to amplify the sweetness. Enjoyable and complex w/ a lot of nuanced flavors to dig around for.

Jun 08, 2016
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oberon from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a half liter stein a deep dark chocolate brown with a full one finger deep beige head atop.Caramel malts,dark fruits,and some mild toasted oak in the nose.slightly chewy in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation behind it.Dark bread and caramel flavors with some late drying earth and toasted oak wich doesn't overpower but plays a role on the palate and in the nose,it gets more meal-like and substantial as I drink more.Not a bad Baltic porter,there are so many out there now but the oak makes this stand out a little,solid.

May 14, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All grown up and ready to greet the world, Ithaca Brewing shows their maturity by offering a time honored porter style, one that's both regal and misunderstood but delights the palate of any dark beer lover.

Anniversary 18 pours the darkest shade of brown before turning black and is capped firmly with a creamy mocha froth. Its scent is heavily toasted yet not roasty or burnt. Bold character of soft nutty coffee, chocolate and toffee bleed from scent into taste seamlessly while carrying a robust malty palate like malted milk candies.

Rich and creamy on the middle palate, the malt influence holds firm while the outlier and subtle fruit and spice complexities begin to play a role as the beer begins to warm. Grape, plum and black cherry seem almost of cabernet while a light licorice and aniseed spice acts counter to the fruit. Subtle rummy warmth rises late while the beer's hops seem broad and woodsy.

Full bodied and lightly batter-like, the porter's smooth lushness plays early and late on the tastebuds while carrying a consistent taste and texture throughout. Faint dryness late assists the beer's drinkability yet it's better saved for an after dinner accompaniment with dessert than as a refresher course.

Apr 28, 2016
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Large, four-finger beige head. Lumpy settling leaving a lattice of lace on the glass. The color is deep brown where light only passes through at the very edge of the glass.

Chalk and cocoa aroma. A slight touch of sweetness. It's closer chocolate malt with an alcohol kick.

Strong near blackened toast flavor, meaning there was a light burnt taste. The swallow draws out a touch of ash. Full bodied for a porter, but with a good carbonation level. Relatively short aftertaste. This is a very drinkable beer for porter lovers.

Apr 14, 2016
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PicoPapa from Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle. Pours a deep black color with medium brown head. Aromas of molasses, dark fruits, oak, vanilla and roasted malts. Cocoa and brownie batter. The taste is molasses, oak, caramel, charcoal, and bitter dark chocolate. Charred finish with some dark fruits. Lots of carbonation. Mild alcohol burn. Overall, pretty solid Baltic Porter.

Apr 09, 2016
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour inky black, with a nice light tan head. Nice and foamy buildup with some larger soapy bubbles suspended near the edges. Loads of recuperative ability when the head does die down. Nice levels of spotty lacing.

Nose is a combination of roasted malt and dark toasted bread. I also get a decent dose of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa as the beer warms. Other notes include a little charred wood, a little cherry, and maybe something like fig or date in the back. Smoked meat comes out a little later.

The flavors in the taste are not at all a surprised from the nose, but the chocolate and charred wood take the fore on my tongue. Bitterness seems to come from the roasted malts and is a decent balance against the other up front flavors. However, all of these notes don't seem to provide much if any sweetness to the beer, something I am used to getting a little of in Baltic porters.

Since I am not getting much back end bitterness, the finish does actually seem more finish sweeter in a relative sense to many porters and other beers in general - like an unsweetened chocolate. This sensation grows as the beer warms, but so does an oaken flavor.

Feel is medium heavy, but not a chore to get through. The beer rolls with medium effort over my palate, perhaps due to the oak presence. Their is a lingering rawness on my tongue, perhaps my reaction to the charred notes.

A fairly bold beer in its flavor profile, and does happen to present a lot of nuances to me. One of those beers that are flipped to me initially (bitter up front, more malty in the back). The bitter and malt parts of the profile melded a little more with warmth, though, increasing my enjoyment slightly.

Mar 06, 2016
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fscottkey from New York

3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.25] Deep black brew with 3 full fingers of dense khaki head. It looks like Great Stuff (tm) expanding foam - but tan in color. I am pretty sure i could set the cap on it and it wouldn't sink. The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%). No date that I can find.

S: [3.75] Charred wood, peat, barrel wood, mild chocolate, vanilla and marshmallow.

T: [3.75] Charred malts, chocolate, vanilla, charred malts again (in that order). Later it developed some dark fruit character.

M: [3.50] It is at, or just below, medium bodied. The beer is creamy with a lower carbonation level. Almost feels like a nitro.

O: [3.75] This is a well made beer. Sometimes I find barrel aged beers to be out of balance with the barrel taste (or whatever was in the barrel). This has a nice porter flavor with some enhancements from the wood. The body is a little lighter - but it fits with a 7% beer. I like that they made this approachable and not 10%+. Not my favorite Baltic porter - but worth buying and enjoying.

Feb 29, 2016
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ClavisAurea from New York

3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle from 09/2015. Served at cellar Temps in a tulip glass

Appearance: dark brown and creamy with a 2 finger head.

Nose: bakers cocoa, smoked malt, charcoal

Taste: smokey, bakers cocoa, vanilla, thin to medium mouthfeel, tannins, and a bit astringent

Iverall: I'm conflicted about this beer. I didn't get any oak character except for some char and smoke. It's almost overpowering. It's just overpowering and not balanced. I have to wonder why Ithaca decided to age this beer ON oak chips instead of IN oak barrels. Take a que from Uinta's Sea Legs Baltic Porter and use the barrel. That beer is a masterpiece and this one just isn't.

Feb 21, 2016
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is a touch above average and one finger of lattice lacing is left.

4.25 S: Very nice nose. Surprisingly smoky that is mainly campfire in nature, but there's a hint of porcine in there. Molasses and layers of caramel with rich chocolate underneath. Roasted barley, hints of plum and dark currants, and light toffee.

3.75 T: Taste is also good, but not as good as the nose. It's definitely more roasty in the taste bordering on charred. Mix of chocolate, caramel, and molasses next. Less smoky than the nose as well. Dark fruits above with apple notes.

4.0 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Moderately creamy and super smooth.

4.0 D: Good beer with great complexity.

Feb 12, 2016
Photo of Kendo
Kendo from New York

3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a tulip glass. Body is black with a half-finger light-brown head on top.

S: Faint - not a strong nose at all. Some toasty, roasty malt and a bit of coffee somewhere.

T: Better tasting than smelling: roasted barley malt, dark fruit and chocolate, with a hint of oaky tannic bitterness at the finish.

M: A little thin in feel, call it the lighter side of medium in heft. Carbonation is good.

O: Decent, but nothing earth-shattering and thus a let-down for an anniversary release. My friend and I split this and then had the Ballast Point homebrew series porter afterwards and liked that one much better - and it cost half as much. C'mon, Ithaca - step it up for these special releases. . . .

Jan 21, 2016
Photo of PhillyB
PhillyB from New York

4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got two bottles of this from my local beer store. One was consumed on New Year's Eve 2015, and the other was consumed a little more slowly with a friend later in January.

Look: Looks like what I expect from a porter. Dark, tan head, slightly more viscous than the typical lager/amber.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee upon opening. After letting it breathe for a while the wood notes come forward and beef up the coffee/toffee.

Taste: Much the same as the flavor. Somewhat lacking initially, but as it sits the wood becomes much more prominent and bolsters the chocolate and toffee.

Feel: Silky smooth. Not quite creamy, but full bodied and smooth.

Overall: I like this beer the more times I drink it. I was more impressed by it the second time, and will probably be buying another bottle to share with the family.

Jan 11, 2016
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rlee1390 from Indiana

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smoke heavy, to the point the smoke dominates. Chocolate sneaks in but the balance is a tad off. It seems in recent years the Anniversary beers have gone down hill.

Jan 06, 2016
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane from New York

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours like liquid velvet. In fact when I first saw it I thought of red velvet. The colors are stunning and rich. Browns, chestnut with it's red highlight. A moment of red velvet color can be observed in this beer. It also appears to be black, pitch black. Outstanding.

The nose is roasty but also has lots of earth. The vienna malt seems to give it a silken sweetness. Coffee and vanilla. Light cocoa and a smoky quality that is so earthy it smells almost sweet. You might miss it if you don't give the nose a chance to open up. Cherry fruit in the background. That is from the special B and the kiln smoked cherry wood malt.

Robust flavor on a silken carpet. Roasty earthy malt. Sharp well defined flavors but not harshness and nothing burnt or astringent. Cherry and dark fruit. Wood does not overtake the nose or the palate but it does provide a lighter bearing. As though this dark portrait is being painted with a lightness deep inside. It has a delicate crispness overall that I find expert and outstanding. The smoke adds depth and fullness without adding the flavor of meat. I am amazed at the soft enveloping fullness. Hops show up at the very end to finish with a light herbal sweetness and a perfect bitterness. They come just a little bit forward at the very end but not so much that you would call it hoppy. This is impeccably balanced. There is no roughness it lingers long and dries out lovely.

Congratulations Ithaca on your Anniversary 18! Stunning!

Dec 31, 2015
Anniversary 18 Baltic Porter from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 50 ratings