Estonia might seem a long way from Britain but one has to wonder how an Estonia beer carries the name porter a British beer style. The Saku Brewery was established in 1820 in Estonia brews a porter but it is not the type you would typically find in the British Isles. Saku Estonian Porter is a Baltic Porter by style. Baltic porters are direct descendants of Russian Imperial Stout, a beer style that was brewed by British brewers, and shipped to Russia and the Baltics. Some Baltic breweries, that were lager brewers, decided to do their own versions of Imperial Stout, yet did so with their lager yeast strains, which are bottom fermenting. This bottom fermenting lager version of Imperial Stout became known in the beer world as Baltic porter.
Baltic porter is very similar to Imperial stout, but is less fruity, and is rounder and smoother in body. Like all beer styles, there is range with in the style, and Saku Estonian Porter falls into the lower end of the scale, being less potent, and lighter in color than the majority of Baltic porters.
Saku Estonian Porter pours to a some what murky, deep caramel color, with a thick tan head, and a soft to moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is very malt accented, with lots of sweet malty, toasty, and nutty aroma. The palate is firm with lots of sweet and caramel malt flavors on the tongue, and nice touches of toasty malt flavors. This beer finishes with more sweet and caramel malty flavors up front, and ends with a cloying malty finish.
This is a delicious, well done, very malt accented brew, that really is a unique version of Baltic porter, quite different from most versions you will find. If you see this beer in your market, seek it out, it is well worth trying. It retails for about $3-$4 for a 1/2 liter bottle. For more information visit the brewery's site at: http://www.saku.ee/