I’m not much of a reader. It might come shocking to you that someone who enjoying writing so much is not an avid reader (and this isn’t my first site either). I just never got into it. Part of the reason I became an engineer was that I didn’t have to read as much, or at least not as much as my English/History major sister. But I had to do a little research into this next beer as I tried to begin to review.
We’ve all had good beer of varying styles and, on occasion, not really knew (1) what style we were drinking and (2) how it really stacks up with other beers in that designation. That’s why I always keep a handy-dandy copy of the 2014 BJCP with me at all times. And it came in useful when reviewing my first Baltic Porter.
Raven’s Roost, Parkway Brewing Company (Salem, VA)
Baltic Porter, ABV: 7.1%
Presentation: 12oz bottle pour into tulep.
Appearance: Very, very dark brown pushing black with brownish head dissipating well. One key I learned about Baltic Porters was that they should never be black, and this beer pushes those limits.
Smell: Rich malted tones with chocolate and bitter coffee leading the way. It was not overly pronounced, but well balanced. Very mild ‘dark fruit’ on second and third smells, but very faint
Taste: Starting out like a porter with a deep caramel/coffee into the chocolate roast. I could not place the fruit, but the esters seemed fig-like with a lingering malty taste that was not very sweet.
ABV/IBU Feel: Went through a wide range of feels, from the on-set of the 7.1% ABV slight alcohol to malty/fruit sugary feel. Never dry. It was not very heavy, and drank/sat like a lighter porter or oyster stout. Again we are in ‘no hop’ season and IBUs were not noticeable.
Overall: In review, I have had several American styles of this type of beer, and 1 international. I would like to come back and try this beer after another go around in this style, but I think this beer on it’s own merits rates very well. It is not very heavy and has less ABV than most in the category, but it was on par with some of the American versions of this brew. Several other people enjoyed this as well that have different palates than mine, and I think as the winter season rolls on, it would be a great beer to have that doesn’t weigh you down like the other porters and stouts out there.