Hey Porter! Hey Porter! [Bombers Away! #1]

This a recent release from the Smuttynose “BIG BEER” series so I thought it would be a good place to kick off a series of my own: Bombers Away! This (ir)regularly appearing series will feature beers that are only released in big bottles- aka bombers- which measure 16.9oz, 22oz, 500ml, 750ml, or something in that neighborhood. No easy-going sixers here. Go big or go home, one bottle at a time.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter (8.7% ABV bottle)- Baltic Porter- Smuttynose Brewing Co., NH

Poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, near black, with chestnut tones. Inch-and-a-half tan head that drops to a thin covering. Not much lacing.

Smell: Dark dried fruit, raisins, and coffee. Roasted malt. Molasses.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side, but still smooth. Covers the palate nicely. Balanced and rich body.

Taste: There’s malt and dried fruit (prune & raisin especially) sweetness up front, but it’s tempered with a roast coffee bitterness at the edges and a bit of alcohol spice. It winds up with a pleasantly dry finish that helps keep all the sweetness from getting ahead of anything else.

Drinkability: Potent, but highly enjoyable. Probably the best porter I’ve had.

Overall: The Baltic Porter is a great offering from Smuttynose. Rich and complex, but amazingly drinkable. Dangerously so at 8.7% ABV. The downside is this was a limited release so if you weren’t able to score any of the bottles out there on the market you are out of luck. Unless maybe you can find a friend willing to part with it. If you are lucky enough to stumble across it in a store or if you are even luckier and find it on tap this is an absolute must have.

Cheers! -John