Mar 16, 2018

Hardywood Baltic Sunrise

Big, bold porters or stouts go well with coffee. The combination of roastiness, earthiness and robustness of both parties just work seamlessly with one another. Hardywood Brewing knows this and has gifted Virginia with a tasty Baltic porter and coffee treat in the form of Baltic Sunrise. This strong brew (9.1% ABV, 33 IBU) is conditioned on locally roasted coffee beans from Black Hand Coffee Company. The result is a beer that displays a marriage made in beery heaven.

The aroma of Baltic Sunrise is all dark roast coffee in the best of ways. It fills the nose smoothly and lovingly as hints of caramel, grain and anise linger at the edges. You know this is a big beer just by the smell as an alcohol tingle tickles the senses. Once the beer hits the tastebuds, however, the Baltic porter shines wonderfully with the coffee acting as more of a complimentary addition and not a spotlight stealing diva. The combination of robust porter and roast coffee simply work so well together. Caramel, a solid roastiness, anise, that Baltic twanginess and a late moderate sweetness are all in play.

I’ve had many good Baltic porters in my time from Victory’s (no longer available) Baltic Thunder to the world-class Sinebrychoff Porter to another local favorite in Parkway’s Ravens Roost. This big beer from Hardywood will be another on that list that I would happily purchase again. The marriage of base flavors with that of dark roast coffee is almost too good to be true. Now, I just need to get my hands on that Bourbon barrel-aged variant.