Deschutes Brewery

Baltic Porter

Our Rating

86

/100
RateBeer Rating
BeerGraph's proprietary measure of a beer's quality, or Beers Above Replacement (BAR), has been converted from a scale of -5-20 to 0-100.

88

out of 100
Availability:-
IBUSRMOGABV
Serving:-
25-8
Beer stats from RateBeer
Beer stats from RateBeer
category-iconBeer Reviews

Baltic Porter Updates a Deschutes Classic

February 15, 2019

By Tom Thornton, February 15, 2019

If you’re taking a flier on a new bottled porter, it can’t hurt to try something from Deschutes. The Oregon brewer has been bottling its signature Black Butte Porter for 25 years. Like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Dogfish Head 60 Minute, this beer has brought many new drinkers into the craft beer fold by giving them a balanced and lovable example of a classic beer category. Fast-forward to 2019, and the brewer’s “Just Tapped” series has bottled a seasonal run of a favorite recipe from its taproom, complete with chalkboard art from above the bar. Most Deschutes fans will simply wonder how the Baltic differs from Black Butte (in short, it’s sweeter and boozier), and which is preferable for late winter sipping.

Appearance

This porter shows a pretty, slightly lighter-than-expected chestnut brown color. It’s a fairly opaque beer, with a moderate foam collar and slow-rising bubbles. The bottle’s visual of a dragon drawn on a taproom chalkboard does a nice job of tying the “just tapped” premise to the beer. 

Aroma

As expected, there’s a sweet, malty aroma to this porter, with roasted and chocolate notes leading the charge. The oak-smoked wheat malt (used in Polish Grodziskie beers) gives the nose a big smoky flavor with a bit of wheat beer clove, while the Northern Brewer hops highlight the wood and smoke and add a bit of pine. Porter fans will also find some dark fruit accents of cherry, fig, and plum.

Fans of heavy dark malt and old guard porters will find this to their liking.”

Flavor

For a dark and sweet style, this Baltic Porter hides an 8.0% ABV well. This may be due to a slightly bitter hop backbone, which reinforces the green, woody influence of the hops. The carbonation here is done with a light hand, and stylistically feels more British than Pacific Northwest. The Deschutes house porter style of roasty chocolate and caramel is definitely in play, and the overall feel is smooth, smoky, and warming.

Overall

Deschutes has honored the Polish and British accents of the Baltic Porter style with this seasonal. With that said, we’d prefer a bit more carbonation to sharpen the flavors. (One can reasonably argue that to do that takes it out of the Baltic wheelhouse—and fair enough.) Fans of heavy dark malt and old guard porters will find this to their liking; others might simply stick with the classic Black Butte.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
Related Articles

Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher Is Zero-Alcohol, Zero-Calorie, and Totally Delicious

It looks like sparkling water but tastes like a fruity IPA—perfect for those times when you want a beer without the booze.

Upland’s Prim Is a Proper Sour

Upland’s sours have become something of a legend among rare beer-seekers, and Prim is certainly worth seeking out.

Breakout Band Middle Kids Talk Tour Food and Australian Beers

"The Chicken 'Schni' is a staple on every pub menu in Australia, and it’s essentially a really big chicken nugget. I’m sure the Germans would be mortified."

Loading...