Next off the line in our vintage releases of 2021 are two different barrel expressions of a style that's a little less widespread in modern craft brewing. That said, it's a style well worth visiting, and your beer hole will thank you for it.
The two stunners you're looking at above arguably take more of a stylistic liberty on the Baltic Porter. In addition to punching above the usual ABV range for the style (usually topping out at 9.5%), further time in barrel adds depth and complexity while rounding out the mouthfeel for a silky smooth ride to Porter-town (population: you).
Brandy Barrel Aged Baltic Porter (2021)
Aged in Australian ex-brandy barrels
Fruit cake, plush chocolate, and an uncanny ability to warm you from within.
Rum Barrel Aged Baltic Porter (2021)
Aged in Australian ex-rum barrels
Rum spice, molasses, and velvety cocoa—what's not to like?
Check out the beers here.
WHAT PUTS THE 'BALTIC' IN BALTIC PORTER?
It's a style that you generally don't encounter all that often in modern craft beer—often eclipsed by imperial stouts and barleywines that have taken the lead among the big, burly, high gravity expressions on the shelves. But the history of beer is a rich tapestry of variations on trends, technological advances, and geographical attributes that suited one style over another.
The Baltic Porter is, in few words, a riff on the imperial and export stouts that were coming out of England around the late 1700s into the 1800s—around the time that Catherine the Great was importing a metric truckload of it. Some portion of this export also trickled into other Baltic countries like Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland. Breweries naturally began producing their own versions of this style, originally using a top fermenting (ale) yeast, later moving to use of a lager yeast to fall in line with the other beers being produced after lagers were more popularised in Baltic countries.
Modern style guides on Baltic Porter specify a 6.5-9.5% ABV and generally cold fermented with lager yeast. In terms of its comparison to an Imperial Stout, it's not as intensely roasty and drinks with a bit more softness. Barrel ageing in wet Rum and Brandy barrels has imparted a little extra alcohol and intensity in our iterations, landing it somewhere a little closer to an Imperial in behaviour, though it finishes a little more dryly and doesn't pack the fruity characters that you'd associate with a more warmly fermented ale. In fact, the clean lager profile lets the character of the barrel really sing, so put some music on and crack a can.