Saturday, June 4, 2011

Baltika - No. 6 Porter

This review is for Baltika No.6 Porter, or as our Russian friends would say, "Балтика №6 Портер."  This is another case of a beer of which I have never heard, but was featured for a reasonable price at my local wine & spirits store.  Sounds like a nice little adventure and a great excuse to have an "exbeerience."  Let's pour!

Picture is my own.  Bottle art image used without permission for educational uses only.
Aroma 8/12
There are a multitude of aromas taking place.  First comes dark toasted malt with a lightly smoky tinge to it.  Cocoa is not faint, and is detectable along with almost a slightly acidic sweet smell.  Once the beer's head settles to a disc, more dark fruit (fig), alcohol warmth, and malt aromas become prominent.  The dark fruit smell may be caused by a combination of the chocolate sweetness and the astringency, it could also be compared to Karo Dark Syrup.

Appearance 2/3
Pours somewhat thick into a handsome, dark espresso brown with a dark tan head on top, which dissipates ridiculously quickly.  No lacing.

Picture is my own.
Flavor 17/20
This beer starts malty and milky across the tongue and then springs into a gaggle of flavors that simultaneously seek your attention.  The backbone casually presents the flavors of toasted malt, dark chocolate and dark fruits, but also features caramel and a light hop bitter AND manages to tint all of this with the aforementioned astringency.  The finish is very much the roasted malt, plus more of the beer's warmth.  The aftertaste is rather peppery with a coffee bitter, but very little in the way of bitterness from hops.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium to medium-full in body with hints of warmth, a low level of creaminess, and an overarching astringency.  The low level of carbonation was the only real disappointment in this beer.  The bottle is almost gone and so is the carbonation.

Overall Impression 8/10
A solid B/B+ for this Russian brew.  The ingredients are appropriate in strength, but never really seem to compliment each other.  It is rather like a symphony warming up.  Sure it sounds nice with everyone playing all at once, but that is not the true power of a symphony.  This is a very technically sound beer, but the flavors all seem to be talking at the same time instead of knowing who should be featured.

Total 40/50
I think the "Overall Impression" category summed it up rather well.  I would definitely buy this beer again and could recommend it to a friend even if it isn't the single best porter that I have ever had in my entire life.  However, it very far from a bad one.  In the end, I suppose I found the backbone difficult to disect.  All these flavors were present (never a bad thing), but none of them wanted to step and really define this beer.  There is not much fine tuning to be done to this beer and it is still a better example of the style.

основывает вверх по!

No comments:

Post a Comment