Tag Archives: Sound Brewery

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 23 – Sound Brewery – Yonder Star English Strong Ale

Day 23 - Sound Brewery - Yonder Star English Strong Ale

Sorry for the late post.  Here in Hawaii it’s 4 hours behind Winnipeg, so it isn’t always easy to remember that. I’ve been enjoying some good local island beer, and also, some of the great American stuff they have. But, as for the Calendar, only one left after today.  I hope it’s going to be a good one.  So far this has been a pretty solid advent calendar and I’m happy I managed to get it.  I hope next year they will have the packaging issues sorted out.  There are a lot of interesting calendars coming out.  Who knows, maybe next year I’ll be reviewing a collaboration pack from the new local Winnipeg breweries (here’s hoping.)

Today’s beer comes to us from Sound Brewery in Washington State and it is called Old Yonder Star and it is a Yorkshire Style Christmas Ale.

Unfortunately, their website does not really provide a whole lot of details on them.  I can’t seem to find much in general.  Maybe I’m not looking hard enough because I’m on vacation, so if you have better luck, let me know.  What they do list is their beers and there are a number of them.  They have some good info on each one so that is at least worth a read.

This beer is brewed in the style of an English Strong Ale.  Now, English Strong Ales are somewhere in between a Pale ale and a Barleywine.  They are strong, complex, and rich in flavours.  Typically, with a colour between deep amber and reddish copper, they usually have bold fruity flavours and a malty mix of toasted and chocolate malt. Hops can vary depending on brewer but they can have full blown hop potential to a subtle bitterness.  Alcohol is usually evident with even some solvent taste to it depending on quality.  Many of this style are unfiltered and bottle conditioned.

I’m interested in trying it, so let’s get to it.

Rating:  79/100

Appearance: Jet black with a really thin dark brown sliver near the edges.
Smell:  Molasses, alcohol, black cherry notes
Taste:  Roasted malt combines with malty sweetness and finishes with a slightly bitter oily finish.
Mouthfeel: Very fine carbonation. Oily slightly bitter finish with alcohol warming.
Overall, not bad. It doesn’t have the full body and depth that a barley wine might have nor does it have the light hoppy notes of a pale ale.  Overall it’s a good balance between these two.
Do I like it: It’s alright. I’m not a huge fan of it. I think it could be doing a lot more.  Overall it’s not bad, just not really right up my alley right now.