From the depths of Europe comes the dark design of this richly flavoured beer. A historic staple given the Reckless treatment in signature style. A lagered melody of lush malts thrumming with dark toffee and chocolatey currents, it’s a smooth, smokey and mouth- filling creation with a just-dry finish that’s as broad and deep as the Baltic Sea.
We love beer. Beer is our world. It’s a broad church – lagers, ales, pales, pastry stouts – as long as it rocks, it gets the Reckless seal of approval. And what’s been rocking our world of late is our latest creation, the Baltic Porter.
Seriously, is there a better winter warmer than a porter? A style of dark ale first popularised in the 18th century by English brewers, it spread across Europe in a lush, sultry wave, washing up in the Baltic states where local brewers made it their own with lager yeast.
Over time the Baltic Porter would fall out of favour – in no small part due to the Iron Curtain that crashed down between the West and the Baltic regions during the Cold War – but with the resurgence of craft beer in the United States over the last 20 years, it’s back with a bang. To which we say, hells yeah. We’d always wanted to give the old porter a Reckless spin, making a dark beer with rich, layered complexity that would go down like liquid velvet. Now we have. And what a beauty it is!
We asked our Brewer & Certified Cicerone Anne-Marie Lepage about our Baltic Porter and what went into its making, and just listening to her talk about it got us all thirsty and licking our lips like the beer weirdos we are.
“We used lager yeast at cold fermentation temperatures over an extended cold maturation period to create clean, restrained ‘fruity’ flavours than what you might get with an ale,” says Anne-Marie. “De-bittered dark malts of barley and wheat created rich, chocolately notes without the harsh ‘espresso-like’ roastiness you might find in other dark beers.”
It gets better. Like, mouth-wateringly better. “Manuka-smoked malt adds another rich, smokey layer, with malted oats creating a velvety smoothness on the palate,” says Anne-Marie.
And it’s true – when we tasted this baby, it was like pouring heaven down our throats. Cracking open the can and waving it under our weathered noses revealed sweet chocolate aromas with mocha, liquorice, cherries and raisins by the campfire hints. The first sip? Rich and smooth, developing those aromatic notes into a tangible taste sensation of dark cocoa and toffee notes tinged with cherry and raisins leading to a lingering, smokey finish.
In short, dangerously drinkable – especially for the ABV. “The higher ABV and dark malts means it will age well,” says Anne-Marie. “We were inspired by Les Trois Mousquetaires, a Quebec brewery that makes an incredible Baltic Porter. Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve set some aside in some rum and whiskey barrels for next year – I can’t wait.”
Neither can we, Anne-Marie, neither can we. So with the frost on the ground and the hearth smoke of winter on the air, is there a better beer to beat the chill? You tell us – grab yourself a four-pack of Baltic Porter and discover its beauty for yourself!
This beer is seriously limited and exclusively pouring at the following venues from 30th June.
ACT – To all my friends.
Available in cans:
Reckless BX Taproom + Tom Cellars + Midway Cellars + The Winston Bottle Shop + Bellambi Hotel + D'Vine Cellars + Bottle-O Lambton + Upstairs Wines (Ettalong/Long Jetty) + Hopheads (Altona, Yarraville, Point Cook) + Prince of Merewether + Tighes Hill Cellars + Bateau Bay Cellars + Leura cellars + Bathirst Liquor (Greystanes).