Style Details

Name
Bal­tic Por­ter
Cate­go­ry
Strong Euro­pean Beer
BJCP Style Code
9 C
Appearan­ce
Dark red­dish-cop­per to opa­que dark brown (not black). Thick, per­sis­tent tan-colo­red head. Clear, alt­hough dar­ker ver­si­ons can be opa­que.
Aro­ma
Rich mal­ty sweet­ness often con­tai­ning cara­mel, tof­fee, nut­ty to deep toast, and/or lico­ri­ce notes. Com­plex alco­hol and ester pro­fi­le of mode­ra­te strength, and remi­nis­cent of plums, pru­nes, raisins, cher­ries or cur­rants, occa­sio­nal­ly with a vin­ous Port-like qua­li­ty. Some dar­ker malt cha­rac­ter that is deep cho­co­la­te, cof­fee or molas­ses but never burnt. No hops. No sour­ness. Very smooth.
Fla­vour
As with aro­ma, has a rich mal­ty sweet­ness with a com­plex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alco­hol. Has a pro­mi­nent yet smooth schwarz­bier-like roas­ted fla­vor that stops short of burnt. Mouth-fil­ling and very smooth. Clean lager cha­rac­ter. Starts sweet but dar­ker malt fla­vors quick­ly domi­na­tes and per­sists through finish. Just a touch dry with a hint of roast cof­fee or lico­ri­ce in the finish. Malt can have a cara­mel, tof­fee, nut­ty, molas­ses and/or lico­ri­ce com­ple­xi­ty. Light hints of black cur­rant and dark fruits. Medi­um-low to medi­um bit­ter­ness from malt and hops, just to pro­vi­de balan­ce. Hop fla­vor from slight­ly spi­cy hops ran­ges from none to medi­um-low.
Mouth­feel
Gene­ral­ly qui­te full-bodi­ed and smooth, with a well-aged alco­hol warm­th. Medi­um to medi­um-high car­bo­na­ti­on, making it seem even more mouth-fil­ling. Not hea­vy on the tongue due to car­bo­na­ti­on level.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A Bal­tic Por­ter often has the malt fla­vors remi­nis­cent of an Eng­lish por­ter and the restrai­ned roast of a schwarz­bier, but with a hig­her OG and alco­hol con­tent than eit­her. Very com­plex, with mul­ti-laye­red malt and dark fruit fla­vors.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Gene­ral­ly lager yeast (cold fer­men­ted if using ale yeast, as is requi­red when bre­wed in Rus­sia). Debit­te­red cho­co­la­te or black malt. Munich or Vien­na base malt. Con­ti­nen­tal hops (Saa­zer-type, typi­cal­ly). May con­tain crys­tal mal­ts and/or adjuncts. Brown or amber malt com­mon in his­to­ri­cal reci­pes.
Histo­ry
Tra­di­tio­nal beer from coun­tries bor­de­ring the Bal­tic Sea, deve­lo­ped indi­ge­nous­ly after hig­her-gra­vi­ty export brown or impe­ri­al stouts from Eng­land were estab­lis­hed. His­to­ri­cal­ly top-fer­men­ted, many bre­we­ries adap­ted the reci­pes for bot­tom-fer­men­ting yeast along with the rest of their pro­duc­tion.
Comments
May also be descri­bed today as an Impe­ri­al Por­ter, alt­hough hea­vi­ly roas­ted or hop­ped ver­si­ons are not appro­pria­te for this style. Most ver­si­ons are in the 7–8.5% ABV ran­ge. Danish bre­we­ries often refer to them as Stouts, which indi­ca­tes their his­to­ric lineage from the days when Por­ter was used as a gene­ric name for Por­ter and Stout.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Alda­ris Por­te­ris, Bal­ti­ka #6 Por­ter, Devils Back­bone Dan­zig, Oko­cim Por­ter, Sine­brych­off Por­ter, Zywiec Por­ter
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.060 - 1.090 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.016 - 1.024 SG
Color
17 - 30 SRM
Alco­hol
6.0 - 9.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
20 - 40 IBU