Name: Batika 6
Brewery: Baltika Brewery
Country of Origin: Russian Federation
City & State: St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Style: Baltic Porter
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.0%
First Brewed: 1994
A smooth, well-balanced beer with a smoothness that tantalizingly masks its strength. Dark, roasted, chocolate malt and dark, almost-burned, sugar flavors to the mouth, with is overlain by a subtle hop finish. There is a suggestion of fruit and complex alcohol on the nose.
This is our last beer from Baltika, but there are only two beers on the list. I am a big fan of their #9, a Euro pale lager. It has a high ABV and a nice sweet flavor, and is only $2.49 a bottle! But today we are drinking their Baltic porter, the #6. I feel like I had had this before, but I will need to check my Untappd account. Regardless, I am hooked on dark/thick beers. I like to let these warm up a little bit, so I am excited to see how this tastes. However, Baltic porters (not sure what makes them “Baltic”) usually have a metallic flavor at the end. Hopefully this one doesn’t, but I won’t hold my breath.
(Sorry, had to answer the door. My new Mizuno golf bag is here! I am getting all new Mizuno golf clubs and I am STOKED for this and the next delivery. The next delivery is… the clubs! I haven’t opened the box yet, but I will. I want to record it for YouTube… the unveiling, if you will!)
Now I am excited. Let’s drink.
In the Glass: The beer poured nice and thick from the bottle, and is pitch black in the glass. There are a lot of bubbles, though. In a porter, I usually don’t expect to see a lot of carbonation. However, this one looks to be extremely carbonated at first. There isn’t much lace, either. It’s thin what is there. I wonder what this smells like…
Nose: This has a very earthy aroma… and I am getting a hint of that metallic aroma that I was talking about. Sheryl just said, “It smells like chocolate.” I disagree. If it does, all I am getting from there is a hint of sweetness. What chocolate might be there is dark chocolate. More burnt sugars than anything. But that metal aroma keeps coming back. Maybe my mind is set on what a Baltic porter is supposed to smell like. I will shut up… let’s drink!
Flavor: Yeah, there is that metallic flavor I remember. I need to look up where the name Baltic comes from. At least in regards to a beer. I am not saying this is bad, but the flavor is compromised. It tastes like it smells, which is rare for a good craft beer. Plus, this bottle traveled from Russia, so there’s that! One thing I don’t want a porter to be is drinkable… and this one is. It’s too thin to be a porter.
Mouthfeel: This is actually quite nice. It is thin. Very thin. By it being thin, it makes the beer even that more drinkable. Not sure that is a good thing. I don’t want to feel like I am tearing this beer apart… because I am not. I am just excited about my new golf bag and I am really thirsty! My pint is almost gone! My favorite part of this beer is the aftertaste. (The burp is actually nice, too. It brings those candied sugars back to the surface, and makes another sip even more desirable.)
Aftertaste: This is my favorite part of the beer. The chocolate flavors that Sheryl was talking about remind me of sugars and burnt sugars that remind me of an ice cream shop. Like the sugar cookies and the cones they make right there. Great, now I want ice cream! Speaking of ice cream, I bet this beer would make a great float. The beer is cheap, so maybe I will grab some ice cream on the way home tonight!
The beer is good, but not great. It is a daily drinking porter, and I would buy this again, but only for the price. It’s a good example of Baltic porter, but I don’t have a ton of experience with these. Every brewing company makes a porter… but few make a Baltic porter. Maybe this is a European thing. I will do some digging before we get to our next Baltic porter. Cheers!
Baltika 6 – The bottle says: “NA”
Today we are drinking a porter from Russia. It’s actually been a while since I have had just a “normal” porter. We had so many dark beers and special beers and imperial beers last week during beer fest that it is actually kind of nice to be back to normal again. Let’s see how this one is.
In the glass, the beer looks very dark, basically black and thick, and you definitely can’t see through it. It had quite a bit of head when Ricky poured it out into the glass, but I’ve let it sit for a few minutes and now that has mostly dissipated. There’s not much in the way of lacing. I can swirl it around in the glass, and it will stick for less than a second. As far as how it smells, I am getting a lot of dark chocolate in there. I love dark chocolate! Let’s find out how it tastes.
There is a lot of bitter chocolate in the taste. It doesn’t taste too boozy or sweet. There’s some malt taste in there, but just a bit. Mostly what you taste is predominantly very bitter dark chocolate. I don’t know if Ricky will like it, but I do, mostly because of how much I like dark chocolate. This is a good dessert drink, even if it’s not too sweet. It’s also not smoky, either. I definitely like this and would buy it again if I was looking for a porter and was in the right mood for it.