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BJCP 2015 Guideline

Strong European Beer Baltic Porter


BJCP 2015 9C Baltic Porter example
9C - Baltic Porter


Rich malty sweetness often containing caramel, toffee, nutty to deep toast, and/or licorice notes. Complex alcohol and ester profile of moderate strength, and reminiscent of plums, prunes, raisins, cherries or currants, occasionally with a vinous Port-like quality. Some darker malt character that is deep chocolate, coffee or molasses but never burnt. No hops. No sourness. Very smooth.


Dark reddish-copper to opaque dark brown (not black). Thick, persistent tan-colored head. Clear, although darker versions can be opaque.


As with aroma, has a rich malty sweetness with a complex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alcohol. Has a prominent yet smooth schwarzbier-like roasted flavor that stops short of burnt. Mouth-filling and very smooth. Clean lager character. Starts sweet but darker malt flavors quickly dominates and persists through finish. Just a touch dry with a hint of roast coffee or licorice in the finish. Malt can have a caramel, toffee, nutty, molasses and/or licorice complexity. Light hints of black currant and dark fruits. Medium-low to medium bitterness from malt and hops, just to provide balance. Hop flavor from slightly spicy hops ranges from none to medium-low.

Mouth Feel

Generally quite full-bodied and smooth, with a well-aged alcohol warmth. Medium to medium-high carbonation, making it seem even more mouth-filling. Not heavy on the tongue due to carbonation level.

Overall Impression

A Baltic Porter often has the malt flavors reminiscent of an English porter and the restrained roast of a schwarzbier, but with a higher OG and alcohol content than either. Very complex, with multi-layered malt and dark fruit flavors.


Generally lager yeast (cold fermented if using ale yeast, as is required when brewed in Russia). Debittered chocolate or black malt. Munich or Vienna base malt. Continental hops (Saazer-type, typically). May contain crystal malts and/or adjuncts. Brown or amber malt common in historical recipes.;


May also be described today as an Imperial Porter, although heavily roasted or hopped versions are not appropriate for this style. Most versions are in the 7-8.5% ABV range. Danish breweries often refer to them as Stouts, which indicates their historic lineage from the days when Porter was used as a generic name for Porter and Stout.


Traditional beer from countries bordering the Baltic Sea, developed indigenously after higher-gravity export brown or imperial stouts from England were established. Historically top-fermented, many breweries adapted the recipes for bottom-fermenting yeast along with the rest of their production.

Commercial Examples

Aldaris Porteris, Baltika #6 Porter, Devils Backbone Danzig, Okocim Porter, Sinebrychoff Porter, Zywiec Porter

Style Comparison

Much less roasted and smoother than an Imperial Stout, typically with less alcohol. Lacks the roasty qualities of stouts in general, more taking on the roasted-but-not-burnt characteristics of a schwarzbier. Quite fruity compared to other porters. Higher alcohol than other porters.


  • OG:  1060 - 1090
  • FG:  1016 - 1024
  • ABV: 6.5 - 9.5
  • IBU: 20 - 40
  • SRM: 17 - 30
BJCP 2015 9C - Baltic Porter Commercial Example