Smuttynose Brewing Co. ‘Baltic Porter


12186306_446501228867361_2155664384136521889_o“Indigenous to northern Europe, Baltic Porters historically stem from the shipping of British porters to the Russian hinterland. Unlike their British cousins, Baltic Porters are often brewed with lager yeast, which is the tradition we follow. Big & bold, with flavors of coffee, dark fruit & raisins, this black beer is smooth as a chocolate swirl.”

This is our 2nd entry for this American brewery. We have to make mention to this label, very artistic and deep. It has a very intriguing feel to it, almost Byzantine or Gothic with a somewhat Renaissance-era style. Really draws the eyes in. OK on with the review. Served in a beer tulip. The impervious black pour arouses a good finger and a half of tanned foam that gradually shrinks down to a light and filmy overlay. Laced reasonably well despite the diminishing head. The nose is packing some really rich and moreish aromas. An excellent balance is struck between the sweet and roasted as we take in robust wafts of dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, burned wood, coffee and leather against sweet notes of molasses, rum & raisin, licorice, treacle and black currants. Absolutely brilliant aroma. So much going on but it’s all so distinguishable. In the mouth it’s dense and full bodied. Quite a viscous texture with a bit of stickiness going on. The 9% ABV is extremely well hidden but intermittent with its astringency. Mild Co2. Perfect for a porter of this weight. Upfront the taste buds are reveling in the rich complexity. Dark chocolate, coffee and charred malts are met with an assertive hop bitterness that provides balance and flavour as it progresses onward between the mid and the warm, chocolatey, boozy, slightly bitter and ultimately roasted finish. Not only should the duration be praised but the entire progression of this delicious porter. Everything wee’re after in a dark beer is here in abundance – roast, chocolate, coffee, fruits, warmth and big body. This is a seriously good porter. Superb even.