A Porter that was in the past produced occasionally as a winter special was in 1995 added as a regular brew. This is bottom-fermented, but in the vein of a Russian Imperial Stout. It was a thrill to taste such a beer in the city that gave the style its name.
Baltika Porter has an ebony colour; an alcohol content of 7.0, from an original gravity of 1068; and a woody aroma, with oily, creamy, fudgy, toffeeish, juicy, flavours. It is soft and lightly dry. This beer, too, contains crystal, and some carbonised malt.
This was the last of my John’s Marketplace beers, from Portland. A nice way to start the weekend.
Appearance: Nice dark mahogany brown—I poured with too much agitation so I ended up with a large head the color of wood putty. There’s a blood red tinge to it when held to the light.
Smell: Dark and roasted with an undercurrent of coffee and black licorice. The foam has a slightly soapy smell to it. Sweetly roasted, not burnt-roasted.
Taste: Sweet and dark and thick, like a syrupy extract made from dark coffee and dark, bittersweet chocolate. A bit of heat, a light smoky character like a Kahlua-dipped cigar. Black licorice, toasted honey malts… this feels like a beer to be consumed during the deep winter months.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly smooth and creamy, with a body just thick enough to remind me of syrup, but with a clean smoky/oily feel to it at the tail.
Overall: Enjoyable to drink, very tasty. Definitely a cold weather beer. I’d like to have a few of these on hand all the time.