Porter | Utenos Alus

184 Reviews
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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 Sammy
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK porter. Rich yet not all that dark, looks and can pass as a brown. Good head, carmel with bitterness felt along with sugar and on the overdone side. Tabacco and old coffee grinds. Drinkable, not all that complex,medium mouthfeel. Worth experiencing to get a range of baltic porters but I would not say the most representative and wouldn't seek it out again.

 360 characters

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 BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This might be my first Lithuanian beer. Expectedly, it's a Baltic Porter. Quite impressed, has a solid base of barley malt, chocolate, and coffee. Estery qualities show up in the form of grapes (Kool-Aid) and plumbs. A soft confectionate sugar flavor keeps the beer a bit sweet. The body continues to firm up through the drink, but never gets thick. Has a mildly roasty / toasty finish with residual sweetness. Pretty true to style, though I would have prefered a better hop balance and spiciness. Alcohols are conveniently hidden for easy drinkability.

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Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear garnet brown color with a modest tan head; leaves some decent lacing - doesn't look like a porter, however

Smell: Smells like dried fruit soaked in brandy

Taste: Tastes primarily of figs bathed in brandy with a little bitterness on the finish; awfully sweet, without the complexity behind the sweet flavors to satisfy; a touch phenolic on the finish

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with little carbonation

Drinkability: Putting away 500 ML of something this sweet is a real challenge; the sweet brandy soaked fig flavor has potential but it needs to be counter-balanced with something more robust

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at a traditional Lithuanian restaurant, Grand Dukes in Summit, IL.

Served in a cylindrical mug branded Kalnapilis, that looked like a half-liter. The pour was a transparent dark chestnut tone, once in the glass it was closer to black. Tan foam had a light, creamy texture.

Slightly sweet malty aroma, fairly mild. The glass was chilled, so I won't fault the beer for not being extra aromatic.

Caramel toffee malt flavors, a pleasant nutty finish, with a hint of coffee roast and chocolate sweetness. It's medium bodied, not as extreme as Okocim Porter, which is a good thing. This beer would pair well with food, especially Lithuanian dishes such as mushroom soup, potato sausage, and pork dishes.

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Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass a medium brown with amber tint atight 1/2 finger light brown head atop.Raisin and dark chocolate mainly in the nose with some mild roastiness,flavors are two ones sided in the sweet department,big riaisn and molasses flavors melding with some chocolate after awhile it starts to become cloying.The hefty sweetness takes the overall drinkability down,one dimensional and to sweet at that.

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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 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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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark candy apple red with bright orange trim. Utenos Porter isn't anywhere near as dark as my favorite Baltic porters. I hope that doesn't have implications for how it tastes. The head is a golden beige collection of bubbles that started out at two fingers and is sticky enough to last. Spits and spatters of lace dot the upper reaches of the glass.

Since the nose is on the weak side, it's hard for me to pick out the usual aromatics. Each inhale delivers a modest amount of dark, musky fruit and what smells like dark sugar syrup. This beer has some work to do if it hopes to impress me on the palate.

Utenos Porter tastes more like a Euro dark lager than it does a true Baltic porter. I wondered whether a Lithuanian brewery (whose Euro pale lager named Utenos Beer was dreadful) could hope to compete with the Okocims and Sinebrychoffs of the world. The short answer is... not even close.

The beer is marginally better on the palate, but it isn't enough to earn the next highest score. The flavor profile consists of sour raisins, tangy plums, molasses and poor quality tobacco. At least it doesn't taste like cigarette ashes. It also has that saccharine-like sweetness that one often finds in Eastern European beer.

My words seem a little harsh on re-reading. Actually, it isn't that I'm struggling to get through the bottle, more like I know that I'll never be tempted to buy another one. I have no idea how it could be improved. Better quality ingredients maybe?

The mouthfeel is medium-full in a lightly syrupy, undercarbonated sense. It doesn't quite qualify as leaden. I don't think I'd mind so much if the flavor was more to my liking. More bubbles would provide some much needed life.

For some reason, I thought Utenos Porter would be better than it is. It's decent beer, but it fails miserably when compared to its better known competitors. If I was Lithuanian, I'd make regular beer runs across the border into Poland to buy Okocim Porter by the case.

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

Pours a very dark brown, but you can still fully see through it. Light tan head. Decent tar like nose with some definite malt influences there. A good touch of woody sweetness is on there too. Flavor is extremely tangy sweet at first. Seems a bit too much and overpowering. That goes away and is replaced by a sweet caramel and woody character. It's almost like this is an amber ale disguised as a baltic porter. Feel is okay. Decent carbonation. Odd liquid feel that borders on syrupy and slimy. The verdict is that this one just falls short. Compared to all the other baltic porters lines up at Eagle Provisions where I got this, there are certainly better ones to try. (you get what you pay for)

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Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by label not notched:

Pours brown - light in color for style. A towering tan head descends to a thin cover that eventually becomes a patch. Minimal lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is of caramel with a touch of coffee and earthy, spicy semi-dark fruitiness.

The taste is of caramel with woody notes. Some toffeeish, coffeeish notes are subdued by the great amount of caramel candy sweetness. Sweet, but with a touch of earthy, semi-dark fruitiness in mid-bottle. Caramel with a touch of alcohol in the finish.

Decently carbonated, but thin for the style.

Pretty easy to drink, though one-dimensional caramel dominates. Lacks robust character typical of the style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, bright crimson color...not the brown to black I want to see in a true porter, with a fizzy, over-active, cola-colored head. I'm skeptical already, though I went in with open mind.
Nose: dark fruit, plums, grape, berries, a genuine brandy-ish feel, a really wicked snootful, dark, and overly sweet...again, not too porterish.
I will now officially, before tasting, stop comparing this Lithuanian dark brew with any true-to-form porters I know and love, despite the fact that Eastern Europe/Russia/Scandanavia make some darned good ones...let me commence the review anew with mind wide open...
Taste: big, bold and boozy, bursting with sweetness, bright cherries, rich and indulgent, this is a luxurious sipper...this is really a barleywine, but the Lithuanians didn't know what to call it...alcoholic strength, though not staggering, is felt, and the fruity flavors wash over all edges of the palate and claim a certain domain for quite some time...medium to full bodied, medium finish, ever-fruity.
What comes to your mind when they say "Lithuanian porter"? Well, this wouldn't easily climb aboard my mind in connection, either, chum, but it's nice, nonetheless.
It's raining now, and this is just the brew to ruminate with, as I am wont to do when the rain falls...pour it in the snifter, gaze out the window at the rainfall, and swirl it in a snifter, reflect on matters metaphysical, heirarchal, interstellar, echumanical, and utterly nonsensical.

thanks to JohnnyDuvel for the oppurtunity to try it out!

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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 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 Georgiabeer
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with a fairly light head and some sloppy lacing. Smells quite malty sweet and even a bit winey with additional aromas of cocoa and prunes. Pretty nice. The taste is similar, and also very malty, but perhaps a little less fruity. Nice cocoa finish. Smooth, perhaps a tad sticky in the mouth, but overall quite drinkable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.19/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brown black color and is topped by a prodigious light brown head. It is extremely clear and a deep garnet color when held up to the light, a visually perfect beer.

Candied dark malt aromas accompanied by perhaps some notes of oxidation, though perhaps this is just thick malty aromas.

Fairly sweet taste up front, with a corresponding medium body. Lightly bitter in the finish with notes of chocolate, a hint of roast malt and a finish of alcohol. This beer is perhaps a bit too sweet for me, this tastes like it might be intentionally sweetened at bottling time. The sweetness seems a bit one dimensional and the body of this beer needs to be thicker to pull it off. Interesting, though only 6.8% the alcohol is quite evident in this beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown beer, the lightest colored porter I have ever seen. Tan head disappears quickly.

Smell is fruit and grains. Scents of nuts, banana, raisins, wheat, Candied fruit and Alcohol. Smells like a FRUITCAKE!

Taste is strongly of nuts, raisins and brown sugar. Very sweet flavors of apples, banana, and chocolate. Fair level of hop bitterness in the finish. Strange flavors for a porter but I do like it. If you had put this in a glass and not told me what it was I would have guessed Weizenbock.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Highly drinkable to me. I am a hardcore Weizenbock fan and that is what this tastes like. A Porter fan would expect a much drier and roasted flavor. The sweet banana bread or fruitcake flavors are what you expect in a Weizenbock and this beer has that in spades.

I will buy this again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.04/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark red brown. Very light colour for a porter, looks like a dunkel. Mild off-white head.

S: Sweet caramel/brown sugar/malt. The malt dominates. Very nice nose, again smells like a dunkel.

T: Straight up toffee and caramel flavours. Sweet, but not over the top; it's pretty well attenuated for how sugary it smells. Hopping is light.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth lager feel. Off-dry finish. Some minerality.

D: This is a tasty beer, but really nothing like I'd expect when I see the term baltic porter. This is basically an Imperial Dunkel, take it for that and enjoy a well made brew. The value is great $1.95/500 mL.

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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 jdhilt
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a five-finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving hardly any lace. Deep amber color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is malt/alcohol. Starts sweet, the alcohol is there but also burnt raisins, finish is smooth. Good value - $2.25 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown color with an initially large tan head that quickly diminishes into a thin lace. The aroma is very sweet with some dark fruit and malt. The taste is very sweet malt up front with a mildly bitter finish that helps to balance the sweetness somewhat. The taste is a little too sweet for me and could use some more hops to help balance. Overall, this is a rather average Porter that merely blends in with all the others. It does not posses anything that stands out and makes me want to purchase again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a cherry tan head.

S: some dry chocolate and a earthy hoppiness.

T: Some dark roasted malt and character are present with moderate carbonation per style. Flavor is sweet caramel with a somewhat creamy mouthful but otherwise is a tad light per style. Theres some chocolate hints in the finish.

M: a tad light per style but overall not a bad beer considering its from Lithuania and their other beers ive had by this country.

D: A moderately passably good beer with extra consideration given its country of origin.

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Photo of wl0307
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at a fantastic Baltic food shop in Lewisham, SE London, on my way to visit a nice back-street freehouse, The Dacre Arms. BB 26/01/2007, served lightly-chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: very dark brown colour; a thick, creamy frothy beige head with reddish hints dissipates gradually to a thin carpet, on top of semi-lively carbonation.
S: sweet and intense--the caramel malts, fruity elements of sweet apples, plum jam, dried red dates and syrupy raisins dominate the aroma, backed by a timid entry of of Saaz(?) hops and rather refreshing doughy edge of lager malts in the background. Pretty straight-forward yet pleasant enough for a Baltic porter.
T: smooth and creamy-textured on the mouthfeel... the smooth stream of juicy, sour-sweet ripe plums, black dates, raisins, cherries (mixed stone-fruits) provides a lighter and fruity input to balance with flat-textured bitter-sweet roast-nutty malt and caramel-syrup at the back; gradually medium-bodied herbal bitterness comes through, leading to a rounded finish with softly powdery malts deeply attached to the tongue.
M&D: ideal mouthfeel, smooth, creamy, w/o intrusive fizziness, and the body for a 6.8%abv. is quite approachable, with very little sign of alc. until the very end of tasting. All in all, I quite enjoy this beer that is a quality product albeit without much complexity, and it really triggers my interest in other Lithuanian brews~~

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A- This beer has a clear mahogany brown body that is pretty transparent. The thick tan head does last a good while and the tiny carbonation is very slow working its way to the surface.

S- The sweet light smell of toasted malt and pale malt has a faint honey and caramel malt note and the finish is pretty clean without hops.

T- The taste is light pale malt with a hint of caramel. There is no alcohol note or hops anywhere. The finish is as clean as the smell.

M- The mouthfeel is light and a bit watery with a soft fizz in the finish.

D- This beer is smooth light and crisp. Did they put the right beer in here? There are little qualities of a porter.

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