Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter

A smoked Baltic porter just sounds like something I’d drink. I really like smoked beers (Rauchbiers), and I love Baltic porters. Great Divide’s Smoked Baltic Porter is kind of a combination of both, although technically it’s a lager. In any case, it’s a fine beer to sip on as we enter the cold weather season. Because of its smoky character (achieved through the use of Bamberg smoked malts), it doesn’t have the prevailing dark fruit accents you’d normally expect from a Baltic porter. And at 6.2 percent alcohol, this is a lightweight beer compared to a real Baltic porter. But with a hybrid style of beer, no one’s asking for “normal”. What matters is taste, and this beer tastes great. A lot of people are skeptical of Rauchbiers. I mean, who besides me wants to drink a beer with the flavor profile of bacon? GDSBP takes the best elements of the Rauchbier and combines them with the porter-like qualities of a malty dark lager. Roasty flavors of dark chocolate and caramel malts mix nicely with the smoke, which is pronounced but not overpowering. The finish is clean, and there are just enough hops for balance. This beer comes in a big 22 ounce bottle, and you will be surprised how quickly you finish! All in all, another outstanding product from one of America’s best craft breweries.

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