Porter | Utenos Alus

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Brewed by:
Utenos Alus

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-09-2002

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 211
Photo of neenerzig
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 16.9 oz. bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a medium to dark amber/brown color with a creamy looking, tan head that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles eventually to a nice thick surface coating and a thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Pretty decent lacing comes around a little later on. I thought the color certainly is uncharacteristic for a porter. Aromas of somewhat roasted caramel malts along with a bready, biscuity presence along with hints of chocolate and coffee. The taste pretty much flows suit, with somewhat roasted, biscuity, bready, caramel malt sweetness that gives way to hints of coffee and chocolate. Rounded out with a nice bit of hop bitterness. Pretty good balance of flavors, but I do wish this had a bit more of the roasty flavor in the malts. Has a slightly crisp, mainly smooth, frothy, and medium bodied mouthfeel with a medium to heavy body and moderate carbonation. Has a clean, yet slightly chewy finish. An interesting take on a porter that's worth a try.


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Photo of tigg924
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy, reddish-brown in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is cocoa, milk chocolate, and light mineral. Very malt forward. Tasty, good porter that I am glad I purchased. I would get this one again.

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Photo of erk0607
3.99/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Caramel red with excellent tan head
S: Intense, sweet malt aroma
T: The malt really shines through. Not too bitter, but more of a caramelly, sweet roastiness
F: Light, foams nicely
O: I'm pretty impressed

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Photo of Beginner2
4.09/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This actually is my idea of a porter. Malty and can taste the caramel.
There is just enough hops to prevent any cloying syrup.
I have bought this several times and hope to do so again.

This beer is listed in one of three books comprising my classical beer education.
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 834.
( Michael Jackson 1999 "Pocket Edition" did not review this beer, but talked about the brewer; a sign that the Beer-Hunter was even active in the former Soviet Union.)

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Photo of stevoj
2.6/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Tres Bonne Cuisine. A bit musty, sweet malt that obliterates any of the roast grain nature, making it closet to a dark lager. Dark brown pour with miniscule head. Mostly sweet malts in aroma and taste, but bottle dating is obscured, so can't tell if it's past shelf life. My gut says possibly....still not horrible, but a disappointing porter.

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Photo of beergoot
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish-red body with a nice, persistent light tan head. Maple and caramel nose; fig. Fermented dark fruit flavors; fairly bitter and sweet; mild brown sugar. Medium-heavy body; smooth feel.

A fair enough beer but not quite what I would call a porter. It's boozy and has a bold malt presence, but lacks some of the dark malt character and taste that would make it more distinct for the style. Seems to fit more into a strong ale or barley wine category than a porter. Decent yet unimpressive.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Raisin caramel molasses It taste almost exactly like it smells except there is a minor discernible hop bitterness and flavor. The malts are the superstar of this beer and they are fantastic. It is medium bodied but the creamy texture almost makes it seem heavier. For such a rich beer it goes down very easily. IN some ways this reminds me of a dunkel. Roasted flavors are non existent as are fruity ale flavors. This may be bottom fermented. I high recommend this, it is sweet and delicious.

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Photo of Vixie
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice looking reddish brown color with a 3/4 inch tan head. Really nice looking beer.

Smells nice, there's hints of smoke, coffee, chocolate, and toffee.

The taste stars out with a sweetness that reminded me of candy, but it is a restrained sweet, not overpowering. There's also caramel, toffee, dried fruit, and a hint of coffee.

Tingles a lot going down, and feels fairly solid.

While not quite the best porter I have had, it's once of the better ones. Good amount of flavor and balance, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Utenos Porter has a thick, spongy, beige head, a clear, somewhat bubbly, orange-brown appearance, and some lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, brown bread, bread crust, bubble gum, and banana pudding. The flavor is of the same, with a background slightly elevated hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and slimy, and Utenos Porter finishes wet, spread out, and fairly drinkable. Overall, this is a good, yet unusual porter.


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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.61/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy reddish to brown in color with a tannish head. In the aroma, a light caramel roast. In the taste, a dry roast, and a sticky sweet caramel malt. A bitter and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sticky caramel malt and small alcohol note in the aftertaste. Caramel malt stickiness, just ok.

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Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

.5L bottle served in a snifter at a temperature of about 50-55F.

Appearance: Pours a clear garnet-brown color; a bit lighter than average although the tan head is not. Leaves some sticky lacing.

Smell: Figs and other dark fruits with dark bread and a hint of brandy: nicely appealing.

Taste: Sweet all the way thru, bordering on cloying. Good mix of figs and dates in the fruity flavor but a bit lacking in roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body and light but adequate carbonation.

O: The sweet flavor has some appeal but would be improved with a bit more dark malt in the mix, as well as a touch more bittering hops.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

0.5 liter bottle to mini-snifter. (Foreshadowing: label suggest that this matures with age)

Pours a cola color with translucency. Light for a porter, but I'm rolling with it. Bubbles formed off the pour and gravitated to the outer rim. Looks lightly-carbonated.

Light oxidation notes of cardboard and manila folder. Lithuania is a long ways away, right? Spanky malts are a bit roasty and rather caramelly. Hint of cherry here. Nose is proving to be a little off.

Huh... doesn't taste very oxidized. It's caramelly and interestingly fruity. Notes of apple and cherry and even the alcohol has a fruit essential oil ring to it. Toffee, mineral flavors, nutty yeast, dark fruits/raisin, and some medicinal notes. Taste is not dissimilar to that of a dubbel.

Low carbonation. Slightly syrupy body with only the greasiness of booze. I'm appreciating the warmth of a sub-7% beer.

Not what I expected. They call this a dubbel, I might rate it a tad higher.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The bottle inventory is finally dwindling and I will be glad when it disappears completely! I CAN't wait to get back to The CANQuest (TM).

From the bottle: "Premium Quality Dark Beer Brewed in Lithuania"; "Utenos Porter - this dark beer of rich subtly sweet delicious taste of caramel has a distinct feature - in time it gets more mature and its taste becomes richer. Caramel malt produced using a special method gives porter a pleasant aroma and a deep color."; "In 2001, Utenos Porter was recognized as the best in the dark beer category by the Chicago Beer Tasting Institute, USA."

I got a finger of dense, deep-tan head with good retention from my pour. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nose had a caramel/coconut/chocolatiness, very sweet with a touch of alcohol heat lurking underneath. Mouthfeel was medium and caramel was the prevalent flavor on the tongue, followed by banana and chocolate. Talk about truth in advertising! I did not transcribe the label until I was well into my review, but they really got it right. Finish was still quite sweet and left me wondering how much fermentable sugar remained at the end of the brewing process. I'll bet that this could have been made higher in alcohol. No matter. It was a pleasant find in my inventory and age certainly did not hurt it in any way.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some candied dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with an almost sickly sweet finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the sweetness is a bit too much in my opinion.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.14/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark yet clear brown with a brown soapy head. Reminds me a bit of a brown ale.

Smell - Chocolate, Caramel, burnt malts and yeast. It doesn't have a very overwhelming "Burn" smell that I see in most porters, but one can still tell it is very much a porter.

Taste - Chocolate, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, and bubblegum. Very unusual for a porter for it to be this sweet tasting, let alone with the bubblegum taste. You can tell it has a very solid malty backbone here.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with some moderate carbonation that gives it a refreshing feel to it. Does lack the smooth feel that many porters usually have though.

Overall - I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Having picked it up for $1.99, I was expecting it to be so-so at the most, but this actually ended up being a really good porter that does it's flavor just a bit differently.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Reddish brown in color with a receding foam collar for a head and minimal lacing on the glass. Not as black as I had expected.

S. Some sweet molasses and a faint whisper of soured cherries, a bit of mild earthiness as well.

T. Some mildly boozey raisins and burnt brown sugar with a sour aftertouch on the finish. Noticeably light on the roasted notes that I have come to expect from porters.

M. Crisp yet on the thinner side of medium body, feels kind of lighter than it ought to be.

Overall, this brew nails that touch of sharp acidity that Baltic Porters are known for, but it also stumbles badly at supplying the roasted malt character that Baltic Porters are also known for. A mixed bag to be sure. If it had some added complexity and a healthy dose of roasted-ness, it could have been a real contender.

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Photo of Bung
3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml. A very light for a porter mohoghany pour. A thin layer of white head. Looks like an English strong ale.

Smells like an English strong ale. Quite a bit of malty caramel. That lager yeast aroma is quite strong also.

Taste, more caramel, toasted malt, a lot of bread. Pretty much like an English Strong again. Finish with some nuttiness and herbal hops.

To the light side of medium bodied. Ample carbonation keeps it from coating too well for me. Drinks just fine.

Overall this is just fine, but it is no where near to the Baltic Porter style.

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Photo of hopsgirl35
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Has a dark pour with a reddish tint to it when you hold it up to the light, little to no head.

Aroma: Remindes me of a roasted coffee bean,caramel sweetness with maybe a hint of sweet dark chocolate.

Taste: Mostly roasted malts with a hint of bitter sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Heavybodied with a warm bitter finish.

Overall: A nice fall beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, some malts are detected. Nothing mild about the taste, malts, caramel, some dark fruits, a touch of alcohol, good complexity. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.48/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a body of amber orange-red in color, which is really light for a Baltic porter, if this is really even intended to be of that style. Body is transparent, with visible carbonation throughout. Head is initially about 2cm, but falls fairly quickly to practically nothing remaining in the glass. No lacing. A bit disappointing.

Scent is of black cherries, syrupy sweetness, and spices, particularly cinnamon and fennel, come to mind. Where's the coffee? Where are the smoky and roasted malt notes? Where's the sourness?

Taste opens with syrup and caramel-like malt sweetness, then brings in some noticeable, but murky anise and fennel flavors; in the background there's some dark cherry flavor. Aftertaste is a bit bitter, primarily of the fennel/anise combination. I don't understand why this is called a porter, it's more of a dark ale, of which it would be acceptable, but nowhere near standout.

On the mouth, this feels alright, but still too thin for a stepped-up porter. Medium-bodied with a fitting level of carbonation that keeps the beer moving along the palate. Finish is a little sticky from the sweetness, and not particularly dry.

This is not a baltic porter, or a porter, regardless of what the bottle or BA indicates. As a dark beer, this is a passable example, though it's fairly bland even at that.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle picked up in London while visiting my son. This bottle had a best before date of 2 Dec 2011 and was reviewed over Easter 2011.

The beer pours a rustic reddy brown, not a true Porter black.

I found coffee and fennel in both the smell and taste, in equal quantities. Neither were over stated, but they were the over riding flavours throughout the tasting, allowing nothing else to get at my tastebuds.

The body reminded me of the better dark lagers produced in Germany more than a Baltic Porter, so rather thin body wise.

OK, but I'll not be rushing back to get a crate load.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a pint glass, shared with a friend. This bottle was nice and cheap so figured we'd give it a shot because we were talking about the Baltic Porter style. Ok appearance, the body is a bit lighter than I expected to see. Decent head, but retention isn't that amazing. The smell is not bad, it's got some lager notes to it as well as some porter . Not really a knockout, but pretty interesting. The taste is ok. Porter is not a favorite style of mine anyway, and Baltic Porter is not going to be either. Nothing objectionable here though. Pretty crisp mouthfeel and overall it is worth trying and it's not a bad value.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
2.59/5  rDev -26%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours very cloudy dark chestnut brown. Appearance is more like a darker Brown Ale than the expected black of a good Porter. 1 finger head reduces to a light froth pretty fast.

Smells like molasses and honey. Sweetness is heavy and asserts itself before even reaching your nose.

Tastes like sweet brown sugar, raisins, toasted malts and rum-like boozy alcohol. Alcohol seems higher than 6.8%.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. Not very hearty.

Not terrible, but more of an over-sweet boozy Brown Ale than a robust Baltic Porter. I won't look for this one again.

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Photo of theBubba
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cherry wood color into my stem glass. Very nice initial head and good lacing to the end.

The smell was simply that of malt, toffee and clover honey. With a bit of earthiness behind it.

Taste was smooth, round, malty with barely a trace of hops. A bit on the sweet side, most likely because of the lack of hops.

Mouthfeel was very decent with just the right balance of carbonation, body and creaminess.

All in all, though nowhere near a true Porter, this very affordable import was a great discovery. And I would never have associated Lithuania with a beer of this style. If you can find it, try one. A nice evening beer for this time of year, though one will probably be enough.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, honey, nuts, coffee, some dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, caramel, dark fruit and a little bit of coffee. The malt character is hearty but on the thin side for the style. The hops presence is mild and doesn't provide much balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Flavorful and a little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, there are definitely a lot of other beers in the style that I wouold choose first.

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Porter from Utenos Alus
3.5 out of 5 based on 211 ratings.
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