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Baltic Porter Reviews

The most complex and alcoholic of the porter family, Baltic versions combine the malt flavors of brown porters and the roastiness of schwarzbiers in a very full-bodied, potent brew. Though they trace their lineage to English porters, these beers draw inspiration from Russian imperial stouts (they were traditionally brewed in countries bordering the Baltic Sea), injecting hints of dark fruit and wine into the flavor and aroma. Thick tan heads atop dark copper to sienna liquid emit rich, malty-sweet scents of caramel, toffee, toast or nuts with plum, raisin and currant ribbons. Some offer hints of coffee, chocolate and molasses. The same multifaceted fruit-malt-alcohol blend reaches its apex in the flavor, when posited against a roasted taste evocative of schwarzbiers. The smooth, mouth-filling swallow begins sweet but ends with dark malt and moderate hop bitterness. ABVs can reach 9.5 percent, lending a considerable warmth to the swallow.

Pair: Baltic porters brilliantly complement chocolate: They have hints of cocoa, but a brownie, slice of chocolate torte or handful of truffles harmonize with the beer’s roastiness and dark fruit flavors, much like a cup of coffee or raspberry sauce does.

Glassware: pint glass


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