Baltic Porter on the Baltic

Just got into Poland this afternoon and had a chance to enjoy this:

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is a genuine Polish Baltic Porter.  Getting it was a comedy of errors:  The restaurant’s tap was broken so I couldn’t get it fresh.  Then the bottles were different temperatures.  My German traveling companion had no idea of the strength of the beer but both of us really liked it.  Specifics:  9.5% ABV.  I’m guessing from the mouthfeel the FG has to be pretty high.  It’s bittered enough that just a bit of malt sweetness remains and it has some hop flavor as well.  Some warmth from the high alcohol content.  Dark, dark brown, persistent tan head.  The flavor was caramel but not from malt,  suspect, but from kettle caramelzation.  If I were going to make this, I’d take first runnings, boil the living crap out of it, hop the hell out of it and let it age in a dark cellar with an old man and a coffin for about a year before serving it.  It is YUMMY!  Finally, escape from the Reinheitsgebot….

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