12 May 2011

Warmth of the Baltic

A smoked porter is high on my to-brew list. I've not been especially happy with the smoked pale ales I've done, and probably the best move should be a full mash using rauchmalz as the base malt, but that's not how I roll right now. So, something where the smoke complements sweet roast and chocolate notes will be the next best thing.

My creation won't be a Baltic porter, however, since lager-making kit is among the facilities I lack. I'll still be very happy if it ends up anything even remotely like Great Divide's Smoked Baltic Porter.

This stuff is smooth to the nth degree. You expect a certain bitter liquorice roughness in a Baltic porter, but here all those edges are knocked off, with milk chocolate and a charred sweetness (think of the crispy edges on a roasted sweet potato) up front together, reducing the liquorice to a mild dry spice on the finish. There's a beautiful creaminess to the texture, and a layer of foam on top that lasts to the bottom of the glass.

At a relatively light 6.2% ABV another 650ml bottle would have been very tempting, if I had one.


  1. Have you considered steeping some peated malt instead? Hop and Grape sell it.

  2. I had, but not really looked into where to get it. Thanks for the info.

    Since writing the above I've secured an extra 1.5kg of rauchmalz so I reckon I'll do an all-grain minimash and see how that turns out, then have a go with the peated.

  3. All the smoked malt in the world won't satisfy your craving.

  4. That's a thesis in need of testing.