Baltic Porters are a strong, sweet, dark, robust porter that originated in the Baltic States in the 18th century.

They were inspired by English porters that were introduced to the region via trade with Great Britain at the time, but could also be found in Poland, Finland and Russia, along with Imperial Stouts.

Largely forgotten up until the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s, Baltic Porter recipes were discovered by craft brewers in the west and become a favourite of craft beer fans who like their beer dark enough you can’t see through the pour.

Baltic Porter is a style I’m not too familiar with, I had one back in the spring up at the Elora Brewing Company but it was only available on tap, it was near the end of its season, and I never got a chance to review it.

When I visited Haliburton Highlands Brewing at the end of September, I grabbed six bottles of their Baltic Porter on the way home.

As co-owner Jewelle mentioned in the Haliburton Highlands Brewing beer interview a few weeks back, they love brewing their seasonal dark beers.

You can tell by the handwritten label that this is a small batch brew. Hopefully, more than one batch is made because this beer is good, really, really, nice.

This beer is smooth and full-bodied, lager and pilsner lovers might be in trouble with the Baltic Porter. The taste profile hits you right away, a lot of malts, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, dark fruits with low bitterness.

With malty sweetness, if anything this Baltic porter reminds me of in terms of taste of the Wellington County Imperial Stout.

The ABV is 6.7% so it has some kick – again, like Russian Imperial Stouts that hover in the 6-9% range, this is a beer to be savoured.

I would suggest you would get the full flavour if the Baltic Porter were served chilled, but not too chilled prior to serving.

What to serve this with? This is a great beer to go with hearty dishes, burgers, stews, even after dinner on its own. Haliburton Highlands Brewing Baltic Porter is a pitch-perfect fall/winter beer worth the drive up to the Haliburtons.


Bill Smith
Bill Smith is a storyteller, writer, blogger, photography geek, ski bum, explorer and outdoors enthusiast. He has been seen in Toronto, Oakville and off the beaten path. Favourite beers include well-brewed IPAs, brown ales, porters and pale ales.
Bill Smith
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