872: Baltika 4

Name: Baltika 4
Brewery: Baltika Brewing
Country of Origin: Russian Federation
City & State: St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Style: Belgian Euro Dark Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.60%
First Brewed: 1992
Price: $1.99

Tasting Notes
A clear coloring reveals itself with a bubbly tan head that simmers away after a few sips. In the nose, lightly roasted malts and caramel with a faint hint of chocolate are evident and also appear on the palate alongside dark fruits, leaving a sweet finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I’ve had a few beers from Baltika, and I have yet to be impressed. They are large bottles, some offering a big ABV… but nothing is worth writing home about. I am curious if this one is any different.

In the Glass: It has a nice ruby red color to it. I keep thinking about pennies. I keep thinking about pennies because the beer I was drinking before this tasted like pennies! I am serious… liquid pennies. But that beer isn’t on the list, and was on sale the other night at Total Wine. I wonder why! When I swirl it around in the glass, it has a weak head and a mediocre lace.

Nose: This is a Euro pale lager. I have had several beers from this portfolio, and nothing has been worth writing home about. Maybe this one will change my mind. With a $1.99 price point, I doubt it. But anyway, the beer has a decent aroma to it. It smells like a good pale lager should. Based on what it smells like, I am expecting some carbonation in the mouthfeel. Let’s see!

Flavor: The flavor is incredible. It has a smoothness to start, then a subtle sweetness sets in and literally covers the tongue. The sweetness is just enough that I don’t want the flavor to end. Of course, with a low ABV and an affordable price point, you can afford to chug these all night long. OK, maybe not all night long. But you get the idea. It has a nice, sweet burp to it, as well.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is boring. It’s almost flat. But that’s OK, because as the sweetness sets in, I don’t care what it feels like. I am focused on the taste. I bet this beer will get better as it heats up, too. The sweetness, even in the few minutes it has sat in the glass, begins to open up and the flavors are really exploding on the palate.

Aftertaste: I am getting a ton of sweetness. Not candy sweet, but a nice molasses sweetness to it. It’s thick, creamy, and I just love the overall flavor profile here. I just can’t get over the price… $1.99 for such a big bottle. Compared to the penny beer I was just drinking, this one is a BIG improvement. I am going to give this puppy a big rating, if nothing else but the sweetness.

I have never been to Russia, but I love the name and I love the culture. What I know of it, anyway. I know when I was in Poland, they drank more vodka than we do water. Maybe in Russia they drink more Baltika than water! If I lived there, I know I would!

Baltika 4 – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I feel like I always say the same thing when I review a beer.  It looks like this, it smells like this, it tastes like this.  I like it or I don’t like it, and I would or would not buy it again.  Oh well, I guess that’s what reviewing a beer is all about.  But I have 1001 of these to do, I can’t get sick of them yet!

Tonight’s beer looks pretty thick in the glass.  You can’t see through it at all, really.  It’s kind of a reddish-brown color.  It smells… really good, actually.  Better than I was expecting.  It smells a bit like cinnamon, and then kind of nutty as well.  There’s not much head left to it.  Time to find out what it tastes like!

I really like the smell of this beer.  I could sit here and smell it without even drinking it almost!  But I want to know what it tastes like too.   It actually has kind of a unique taste.  It’s not carbonated at all, almost flat.  And there’s a little bit of fruitiness to it.  Or maybe it’s maltiness.  Might be a mix of both, actually.  That’s mostly what I taste, the malty, fruity taste to it.  But it’s not sour at all.  It’s kind of like a very malty nut brown.  But I like it quite a bit.  It’s a very unusual taste, one I’m not sure I’ve found in a beer before, and definitely better than average.  I tend to like beers that are unusual, and this one I think I would likely buy again if I was in the right mood for it.  I think this is actually a Russian beer.  Good job, Russians!

Rating: 4/5

871 bottles of beer on the wall…

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