Saturday, January 7, 2012

Baltic Porter (Phillips/Garrison)

I approach this beer with a little trepidation. The point of the hesitation is the label; it says "Strong Ale". Generally Baltic porters use lager yeasts. However ale yeasts can be used if cold fermented. The side description mentions a long journey across the North Sea with a higher alcohol content. Baltic porters did not travel across the sea. It was actually Russian imperial stouts and English robust porters that made the journey across the North and subsequent Baltic sea to reach the Baltic states (particularly Estonia and Latvia). These ale were destined for the powerful Russian Empire. It was these transient brews that influenced the local brewers to create the aforementioned strong, darker lagers. The excitement came from my tasting of Garrisons Baltic Porter, it was very true to the style.

Baltic Porter (Phillips/Garrison) = 2/10

Ratebeer 3.2/5 (2 ratings)
Beer Advocate nope

Not getting any sweetness in the nose, lots of roast though and perhaps a little ash. The roasted, astringent harshness at the start remined me of burnt sourdough toast. I kept waiting for the thick sweetness - traditionally found in Baltic porters - to arrive. It never did. There was enough roasted, licorice and faint berry flavours to keep things interesting. Hey berry flavours..don't they come from ale yeasts? There could also be a hint of coffee if you stretched it. The aftertaste is a little pasty, burnt with a noticeable alcohol warmth. If you renamed this a robust porter, cut back the thin alcohol bit, it would be a winner.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 8%
Value 0
Appearance -1 (several misleading descriptions of label)

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