Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baltika Line!

Let me tell you a short story. I was in my local beverage store looking for a new beer to drink. I didn't feel like spending too much money, but I wanted to stray from the norm. Just then, I saw a line of Baltika beers. I'd seen them before, but always assumed that they weren't good (for no particular reason). Feeling adventurous I decided to buy a bottle, but after finding out that they were only $2.50 apiece, I decided to buy the whole line. Here they all are, in order. There are a lot, so I will try to be succinct. 

Baltika 3
Classic Lager
4.8% ABV
Taste: Eh, it is basically like all of the other pale European lagers. Not offensive, just not particularly memorable.

Baltika 4
(Original) Dark Lager
5.6% ABV
Taste: Certainly better than the 3. It has some roasted flavor, but not overwhelming in the slightest. Easy to drink. I would try it again.

Baltika 5
Golden Lager
5.3% ABV
Taste: Very slight skunkiness (surprisingly), very grainy. Overall, fairly similar to the 3. 

Baltika 6 
Baltic Porter
7.0% ABV
Taste: Roasted and toasted. A little sweet, notably boozy. Much of the flavor comes from the booze, sadly.

Baltika 7
Export Lager
5.4% ABV
Taste: I expected a little skunkier, resulting from the green bottle. A little sweeter than expected. Light and easy to drink.
Note the pop-top style cap, versus our standard crown. 

Baltika 9
Extra Lager
8% ABV
Taste: Best of the bunch. Still easy to drink, but stronger than it seems. Honey and light hops. I would drink this again, certainly.

I only missed a couple of the line, 0 (Non alcoholic), 2 (another pale lager), and 8 (wheat). I can't say that I am overwhelmed by how good this brewery is. I would say they are a group of ok, but not spectacular beers. The final one is the best. I will certainly try it again. I couldn't tell much of a difference between the lighter beers, but the darker ones had some redeeming qualities. So, if you are looking to try a Russian beer that is pretty easy to find, try Baltika 9. I certainly won't break the bank, but careful, it could easily mess you up. 

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