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All about Baltic Porter
What is Baltic Porter?
Rising from a region of Europe where winter means business, strong, dark Baltic Porter seems tailor-made to take on winter itself. Nutty, toasty character gives way to deep aromas and flavors of dark fruits, stone fruits, figs and chocolate. Thanks to its whopping complement of malts, Baltic Porter makes landfall with more alcohol than English Porter, ranging from 6% to even 10%. This warming, fragrant alcohol actively enhances malt, making Baltic Porter pleasantly complex.
What goes into Baltic Porter?
Malted barley has a ridiculous range of possible colors and flavors, and Baltic Porter really spins the color wheel to layer flavor. Emphasizing malt over hops, brewers use everything from toasty German malts to deep, dark chocolate malts, and they all contribute. Folks aren’t just throwing the kitchen sinks into their recipes, though. Balancing toast, sweetness, chocolate, coffee and roast matters in a smooth, clean beer like this. Interpretations vary, with brewmasters focusing on their favorite elements. Variety’s part of the fun, of course! The alcohol hits warm and boozy, but shouldn’t be hot or offensive due to a long, clean fermentation. Barrel-aged versions also exist where you catch notes of wood, vanilla and spirits. Porters and bourbon barrels are particularly great playmates.
Baltic Porter pairings
Baltic can overpower lighter foods, but it really gets down with rich meals like chili and dark meats like beef and duck. A rich chocolate cake with tart berries pairs well, too. You can definitely go nuts and add it to your chili sauce or deglaze a pan of caramelized onions with it.
Baltic Porter glassware
Baltic Porter cuts a lovely figure in a pint glass, but feel free to downshift to a snifter and share the bottle with friends for some of the beefier versions.
Baltic Porter history
Baltic Porter arose around 300 years ago in areas like Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, where people loved imported English porters so much that they had to try making it themselves. Their smooth, strong, riff on the English creation thrived and it’s quite popular from Poland to Russia and beyond. Bourbon barrel-aged American versions are now making the rounds, too.
They know how to winter in Northern Europe, and they brew their porters with those chilly dark nights in mind. Go find a pint so you can start debating who won that snowball fight. Curious if Driz has made it to your city? Click these links to search for Drizly in your city, and look for Drizly’s partner liquor stores near you.