During my last trip into my local beer store, I wasn’t looking for a porter. Honestly, I am never looking for a porter. I guess I’ve just had too many let downs, too many hopefuls that just couldn’t quite get me excited about the style. Well, last night I enjoyed an unbelievable barrel aged Baltic Porter from Arcadia Ales and tonight, one of the same style from Finland.
In that trip where I unintentionally walked out with a bag half full of porters, I was instructed that this brew from Sinebrychoff (pronounced sin-eh-brick-off) was the best import porter in the store. My natural skepticism was soon stifled. If the pour was to be any indication, I was in for a real treat. It came out of the bottle reluctantly, the viscous liquid clinging to the bottle before falling into my glass. It stirred against itself, causing a practically waterfall type visual, the bubble from the head disappearing slowly, causing the liquid body to grow.
It smelled a mystical blend of sweetness and malt. Practically in perfect balance, these two scents were not overpowering but solid. This is what a porter should smell like. The head had settled down, but ended as a tan ayer of whip cream-like thickness. It made me want to scoop it out in spoonfuls, like a malty dollop of ice cream.
I suspected a smoothness and it was definitely that. There was a long, heavy linger on the finish of roasty, burnt malts. Preceding the memorable finish was a blend of dark fruit, brown sugar, earthiness, and a warming alcohol. The flavors were distinct, standing on their own, but in the same breath they blended to become a sum that was larger than their individual parts.
Ok, Mr. Beer Guy, you were right. This imported Baltic Porter is pretty dang good.