Sep 11, 2013

Parkway Brewing Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter

I happened across this random bottle of Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter from Salem, Virginia’s Parkway Brewing a couple of weeks ago at the Sterling, VA location of Total Wine. I had known of the brewery in talking to friends, but was under the impression that they didn’t ship their products to the NOVA area. Lucky me!

I have reservations about the explosive growth in the number of U.S. breweries overall, but if there is one side effect to this swelling of interest, it’s that Virginia beers are now starting to dominate my purchases. It used to be that I’d seek out any craft beer I could find, now I’m presented with an ever growing choice of brews from Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

And as far as introductions go, Parkway Brewing’s baltic porter is one hell of a way to start off a relationship. I’m a huge fan of this genre of beer and as a result have since bought several more bottles of Raven’s Roost since this initial tasting. The beer hits all of the marks for the style.


Raven’s Roost certainly looks the part with a large, brown head that gently dropped to a patchy cover atop the opaque black brew.

Parkway Brewing Raven's Roost Baltic Porter


Dark malts, roast coffee, dark fruits, burnt caramel and a decent bit of cocoa all combine for a rich smelling beer.


This beer is pretty much spot on for the style, though it does lack the refinement and robustness of say Sinebrychoff Porter (my favorite example of a baltic porter). There’s a good bit of black coffee bitterness that lingers confidently in the warming finish after the dark malt, dark fruit and caramel have passed. The beer is pretty full bodied for the style, which I’m cool with and does have a moderate robustness to its overall character. There’s a light char and hint of vanilla floating in the background that comes out more as the smooth textured brew warms in the glass.


I’ve since enjoyed this beer several times since initially purchasing the first bottle. Raven’s Roost is a great beer that not only is dangerously drinkable at 7.1% ABV, but also serves as a great way to be introduced to another fine Virginia brewery.

Rating: 4.25/5

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