Stoutly Going Where No Beer Has Gone Before
Fortified porter and its sibling style, Russian imperial stout, were developed by English brewers to serve markets to the east. As these dark, strong beers gained favor, breweries along the Baltic trade route began brewing their own versions, and the porter lost its ale identity as these breweries used lager yeasts. The result is a beer that can resemble a very dark doppelbock, with alcohol levels between 7.5 and 9 percent. Black in color, the porters are very smooth with not much of the fruity characteristics you would find in a conventional porter. Roasted malts with dark sugars, caramelized sugars and hints of licorice show in the flavor profile. A hint of smokiness can also be present. Hop aroma is very low, maybe a hint of floral notes as long as they are not dominant. Medium- to-full bodied, and no sweet butterscotch or DMS in flavor or aroma.
Interpreting the 100-point Scale
Consumers can translate the point score to the following quality bands:
|Less than 80
- = Brewpub
- ABV = Alcohol by volume
- Date denotes the date on which the beer was tasted
94 Grand Baltic Porter, Garrison Brewing Company (Canada). 9% ABV (1/09)
Dark reddish brown. Interesting aroma of honey, pomegranate molasses and sour cherry jam follow through perfectly on a round supple entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium body with granola and cherry notes prominent. Finishes with a very long cocoa dusted nut fade. A superb flavored porter.
92 Badder Elmer’s Baltic Porter, Upland Brewing (IN). 6.6% ABV (1/10)
Medium brown color with an amber cast. Subtle aromas of roasted pecan and cocoa have a faint roasted meat edge and follow through on a gentle entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with chocolate-covered raisin and citrus. Delicate spice notes on the smooth, creamy, grain-accented finish. A well-balanced, very drinkable interpretation of the style.
88 Leviathan Baltic Porter, Harpoon Brewery (MA). 9.5% ABV (1/10)
Dark brown copper color. Rich roasted grain, toasty baguette and salty nut aromas have a touch of earth and clay and follow through on a round, satiny entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-full body with lash of boozy apple brandy and peppery spice. Finishes with a warming, roasted nut and bread fade. Interesting, big and blustery.