Les Trois Mousquetaires - Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique 2022
Serving Temperature:50–55° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Tulip
Les Trois Mousquetaires does a magnificent job with the Baltic porter style, making it just as we like ours best: deep chocolate-brown, lightly oily, and brimming with ripe dark fruit. This is one of our favorites, pouring a deep brown color that even approaches purple. It’s kind of hefty and viscous in the glass, with that tinge of aforementioned oiliness. A medium-brown, fine-bubbled head catches the edges of the glass, leaving just a thin amount of lacing behind.
While this is technically a dark lager, it’s understandable how one might think otherwise. The aromatics here offer up a deep red fruitiness, ranging from apples to currants and red grapes, plus darker notes like blackberry jam and ripe black cherries. Underneath, seamlessly, remain the lightly bitter specialty malts, providing espresso and bitter chocolate notes. A quiet citrus hoppiness shows through as well, likely from the Cascade and Centennial hops, as does just a touch of fruity alcohol. Overall the aroma’s velvety: plush fruit character, deeply colored.
One wouldn’t as likely mistake this for a stout, though. The flavor follows suit, offering up a fruit-forward burst of black cherries, raisins, and dried cranberries. The bittering notes of the chocolate and coffee qualities are secondary, adding a slight edge alongside that juicy, citrusy hop character that prevents this from being overly sweet. Allowing this to warm up a bit first helps as well, letting some of that initial candied sweetness mellow out. Some complexity via those darker malts is still there overall, with accompanying notes of baker’s chocolate, sweet caramel, and just a touch of smoke. This is rich, satisfying, and a sheer pleasure to sip slowly.
The brewery expects this beer to age nicely for between three and five years in the bottle, so don’t be afraid to set some aside for later. That early hop zestiness will dissipate, and one will see those middle caramel notes taking on a larger role. Sample occasionally, of course. We’ve seen good results pairing this with things like pecan pie and a variety of smoked charcuterie.
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