I always enjoy doing these write-ups. There are a lot of repeat styles and repeat breweries but the beers are often slightly different and provide a unique opportunity to try something you might not otherwise get a chance to try. I’m a bit disappointed in some of the beers being infected, but overall I’ve enjoyed doing these write-ups and refreshing myself on the styles and the breweries who brew them.
Today’s beer comes to us from Sound Brewery in Washington State and it is a Baltic Porter.
Sound Brewery, not to be confused with Howe Sound Brewery from BC, is a small brewpub founded in 2010 in Poulsbo, Washington. It is really quite the small brewery. If you look up pictures you’ll see that it is an old-style house on a busy city street. They specialize in traditional style beers done well, and limit most of their bottles to local distribution. The fact that we get to try some of there beers in this calendar is kind of neat. While I can’t find too many details about the brewery from their website or other sources, what the website does list is their beers, and there are many them. They have some good info on each one so that is at least worth a read.
Today we have from them a Baltic Porter. Now, as I discussed on day 2 of this blog, porters and stouts are not historically different beers. While we do have beers sold under both names, stouts traditionally were stronger versions of porters. The Baltic Porter is a prime example of this historical nature, though, it is still quite strong in an of itself. The Baltic Porter is in fact a version of the Russian Imperial Stout which originated in the Baltic region of the world. What makes this different is that it is usually cold fermented, like a lager. With the export of Britain’s Russian imperial stouts being quite popular in the Baltic region, it was only a matter of time before they decided to make their own using their own ingredients and brewing styles.
A Baltic porter often has the malt flavours like an English Brown porter but with less of the roast on the malt, like a schwarzbier. Overall, typical of this style is a sweet malt combined with deep malt, dried fruit esters and alcohol. Smooth roasted malt flavours coming close to burnt with a clean lager characteristic. I’ve come to really enjoy this style of beer and so, I am looking forward to this one.
Appearance – Pours an abysmal black with a big puffy beige head that required a bit of time to complete the pour.
Smell – Dark fruits, bready malt, caramel notes, toasted malt, and a touch of vanilla.
Taste – Dark fruit notes come through on the flavour bringing a bit of sweetness along with the caramel malt. A roasted malt flavour follows bringing a nice subtle bitterness that lingers on finish.
Mouth feel – Medium bodied with a sweet front and a bitter finish.
Overall – Very nice Baltic Porter. I’ve had the opportunity to have a number of these and this one fits the bill very nicely. Good sweetness, nice malt character, some dark fruit notes, and a good dry bitter finish.
Do I like it? – Yep. Very nice Baltic Porter. Really like this style.