Tag Archives: Baltic Porter

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 24 – Põhjala Jõuluöö

This is the last beer of the Advent Calendar for 2017. I’ve really enjoyed doing all of these write-ups and I hope that you folks following along found them interesting and informative. While I know that you all probably have different perspectives and opinions on the beers, I’m glad you stuck with me. One more post tomorrow with a beer from Beau’s and then I’m off until the New Year.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Today we have a beer that I’m excited to try. It’s from Estonia and it’s Põhjala Jõuluööa (Christmas Night) which is a Chocolate Vanilla Barrel Aged Imperial Baltic Porter. Why this is exciting to me is because I’ve had a Baltic porter from this brewery before, it was awesome, and it’s an actual Baltic porter from a Baltic state (how cool is that).

Põhjala is a brewery located in Tallinn, Estonia. Founded in 2011 by four Estonian entrepreneurs alongside head brewery Chris Pilkington.  Originally they brewed on a contract basis, going from brewery to brewery having their beers made out of other facilities. In 2013 they opened their own brewery and from the outset have been brewing quality beer. They are seen as one of the small number of breweries who can take credit for kick-starting the craft beer revolution in Estonia.

It is headed by head brewer Chris Pilkington, formerly with Brewdog in Scotland, and supported by a dedicated and knowledgeable staff. The brewery itself has quite a large production and with it’s setup they are able to produce 12hl at one time on their brew house. Once the beer is complete they have 13x24HL and 3x32HL fermentation tanks and 2x24HL bright tanks. Using only the latest technology and quality control measures, they can produce a variety of different styles of beer at the highest possible quality.

Today we have from them a Baltic Porter.  Now, as I’ve discussed loads of times on 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 and 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, making it a dark 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.

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.  An interesting style that I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy too often. So, I am looking forward to this one. This one is a Chocolate, Vanilla, Barrel Aged Imperial Baltic Porter. So, we can expect a wide range of flavours coming in on this one. Let’s get to it!

Appearance – Pours black with a good tan head.
Smell – Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and some subtle oak in there as well.
Taste – Roasted malt mixed with malty sweetness. The chocolate and vanilla really come through for me on the taste and provide a nice rich sweetness that is slightly cut by a bit of oak.
Mouth feel – Medium-full body with moderate carbonation and a semi-sweet finish with alcohol warmth.
Overall – Roasted malt and dark fruit esters meld well with the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla in this beer.  Overall delicious brew.
Do I like it?
– I did like. It brought some lovely flavours to a rich and smooth mouthfeel that hid the alcohol content of this beer well. It was a really nice way to finish the calendar and a fine example of a true Baltic porter.

 

 

 

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 19 – Sound Brewery Baltic Porter

sound brewery Baltic porter

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.

 

 

Day 15 – Põhjala -Öö Imperial Baltic Porter

It’s been a busy few days around the house. What I am happy to report to anyone who cares, is that I’ve actually gotten more than a few hours sleep the past few nights. What is difficult is all the stuff happening out in the beer community. Having a baby at home makes it difficult to get out for beers. Good thing I’ve got some at home to enjoy. So, you know, if anyone is looking for a Christmas present for me, bringing me beer is a good bet.

Today we have a beer that I’m really excited to try. It’s from Estonia and it’s an Imperial Baltic Porter. Why this is exciting to me is because I believe this will be the first Baltic porter I’ve had from a Baltic state. That’s pretty awesome.

Põhjala is a brewery located in Tallinn, Estonia. Founded in 2011 by four Estonian entrepreneurs alongside head brewery Chris Pilkington.  Originally they brewed on a contract basis, going from brewery to brewery having their beers made out of other facilities. In 2013 they opened their own brewery and from the outset have been brewing quality beer. They are seen as one of the small number of breweries who can take credit for kick-starting the craft beer revolution in Estonia.

It is headed by head brewer Chris Pilkington, formerly with Brewdog in Scotland, and supported by a dedicated and knowledgeable staff. The brewery itself has quite a large production and with it’s setup they are able to produce 12hl at one time on their brew house. Once the beer is complete they have 13x24HL and 3x32HL fermentation tanks and 2x24HL bright tanks. Using only the latest technology and quality control measures, they are able to produce a variety of different styles of beer at the highest possible quality.

Today we have from them a Baltic Porter.  Now, as I discussed on day 2 of this blog, porters and stouts are not really 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 and 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, similar to 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.

Baltic porter often has the malt flavours similar to 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.  An interesting style that I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy too often. So, I am looking forward to this one.

 

Appearance – Pours black with a good tan head.
Smell – Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, cherries, and black licorice.
Taste – Roasted malt mixed with malty sweetness, cherry, and black licorice. Finish is both slightly bitter and warming from alcohol content.
Mouth feel – Medium-full body with moderate carbonation and a bitter finish with alcohol warmth.
Overall – Roasted malt and dark fruit esters meld well with the sweetness of this beer bringing an overall delicious brew. Alcohol content of 10.5% is well masked.
Do I like it?
– I did like. It was a good Baltic porter and a very nice beer.

 

 

Beer 16 – The Duck-Rabbit Brewery – Baltic Porter

Day 16 - The Duck-Rabbit Brewery - Baltic Porter

We have arrived at Day 16 of the advent calendar.  Not too many left to go before we arrive at the last. I am also getting close to my trip and I am getting pretty psyched. I’ve already been exploring the best beer spots and prepping my trip to allow for some beer time.  It was a good day yesterday, despite the beer not really being my favorite, I’m optimistic for today.

Today we have a beer from The Duck-Rabbit Brewery (yes I love the name too) and it is a Baltic Porter.

Located in Farmville, North Carolina, is a brewery.  It has an interesting name and makes interesting beers.  The Duck-Rabbit Brewery was founded by Paul Philippon and sold its first beer in 2004.  It was a long journey to arrive at this point for Paul.  Pursuing a career teaching Philosophy, Paul first got he idea to open his brewery in 1987.  After working over the next number of years at three different breweries, he was finally able to open his own.  In 2004, Duck Rabbit Brewery sold its first beer and has continued to grow since.

Paul came up with the logo for the brewery using his experience as a philosophy teacher.  The image is one of those which when viewed from a different perspective looks like more than one thing.  Like the old lady and young lady picture, this logo is based off one which looks like both a rabbit and a duck, depending on how you look at it.  Hence the name, and the logo.

The Duck-Rabbit brewery team includes a number of folks helping out with the various tasks. The brewery uses a 20-barrel brew house and brews into 20, 40, 60 and 80 barrel tanks.  The focus of the brewery is not on brewing a wide variety of beer styles, but focusing on being the “dark beer experts”.  For them, the dark styles of beer are under represented in the marketplace.  Given the enormous flavour and style possibilities in brewing the darker styles of beer, they hope to be able to make something that will suit the tastes of every beer fan.

Today we have from them a Baltic Porter.  Now, as I discussed on day 2 of this blog, porters and stouts are not really 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, similar to 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 similar to 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.  An interesting style that I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy too often. So, I am looking forward to this one.

Rating:  88/100

Appearance:  Deep dark brown, almost black in colour. A good amount of head that fades really quickly.
Smell: Chocolate, toffee, plums, currant, date and roasted malt.
Taste:  really nice sweetness from the malt as well as some good bitterness thrown in there as well. The roasted malts come through really nicely along with those chocolate and dark fruit notes. There is a lightness to this beer as well and it is incredibly smooth.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, lighter than a Russian imperial stout, soft carbonation, good warming finish from the alcohol. Smooth drinking.
Overall:
Sweetness is not overwhelming, really well balanced, great depth of flavours with the roasted malts bringing in chocolate and toffee and then the dark fruit notes coming in on the back to just add even more to it. Alcohol is present, but not noticeable on taste, just there to warm the cockles of your heart.
Do I like it: Oh yes.  So far this is my second favourite from the Calendar.  It has a lot of those same positive points from the Boris the spider, but with a slightly lighter body.  Overall, this one is really strong and really worth drinking. I’d have this one again any time.