Zipline Brewing Company - Baltic Porter
- ABV: 8%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 52–58° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Teku, or Small Nonic Glass
The smallest of the four delicious Zipline beers in this special offer (which gives you a sense of what’s ahead…), their Baltic Porter is an 8% imperial porter created in collaboration with Harbour Brewing Co. from Cornwall in the United Kingdom. This cross-continental project is brewed as a classic Baltic-style porter: it’s a black lager (as Baltic porters often are), and it’s cold fermented for two months for extra smoothness. This style has gotten particularly hard to come by in recent years—which makes finding a standout version even more satisfying.
Zipline’s Baltic Porter pours a dense, chocolate-brown color, capped by a creamy tan head with significant retention and lacing left behind. From that initial pour, we find rich, malty, chocolaty aromatics in abundance—a generously rendered chocolate and roast focus that expands a whole lot as this beer warms up. There are dense, dried dark fruits alongside the baker’s and milk chocolate, while a slightly bitter edge from cocoa and spice helps balance. As the aroma suggests, there’s rich core maltiness throughout that never oversteps. Caramel undertones, plus hints of cherry, raisin, brown sugar... Rounded, complementary edges.
There’s lively carbonation in this beer, which offsets the malt focus and gives this a vibrant texture overall. Nicely creamy, with only a touch of warmth apparent from the alcohol. The solid core structure of roasted malts, dense chocolates, coffee, and a touch of licorice gives a magnificent Baltic porter impact from the start: savory, satisfying, well detailed. While this is nicely in line with expectations given the style, there are exceptional secondary notes present that ratchet everything up a notch: roasted nuts, cola, white pepper, nougat, hints of clove… This porter’s a perfect match of robust savoriness and a super-smooth, pinpoint mouthfeel.
Zipline’s Baltic Porter should continue to develop in the bottle with a bit of cellaring time. It is ready to enjoy as is, although some additional caramelization should work nicely here. For food pairings, we’d look to BBQ ribs, brisket, a fluffy chocolate cake, or decadent brownies.
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