The most successful domestic brewery in Russia today is Baltika. While capital flight plagues the rest of the country this company is actually expanding production and attracting foreign investors. Unlike other dominant breweries that use their economic strength to strangle competition, Baltika competes squarely on merit. The half-liter brown bottles are all freshness dated and typically cost less than 13 Rubles ($0.50 USD). A solid lineup of flavorful lagers offer something for everyone and quality doesn't take a backseat to profits. Locals refer to Baltika beers by their "number" rather than name. The number 3 is the Baltika Classic. This 12-degree, 4.8% alcohol brew is a clear gold color with a very light pale malt flavor, slight hop bitterness, medium body and clean, creamy mouthfeel. The Baltika Strong, or Number 9, is 17.5-degree and comes in at 8.5% alcohol. Clear gold in color, and lightly carbonated, this medium-bodied brew offers an even flavor balance where a pale malt sweetness is matched to a subtle hop bitterness. Ultimately, all of the very clean characteristics coalesce into a slightly alcoholic, warming finish. Very nice! Newly imported to the U.S., the Baltika 4 Baltika Original is labeled a "Dark Beer" and comes in at 5.6% alcohol by volume. From the 16.9 FL OZ bottle pours the dense, dark amber brew sporting a weak head. The flavor balance is toward the sweet side, with a big malty character matched to a big body and culminating in a clean, dry finish.
Baltika 3 Baltika 9 Baltika 9
Promzona Parnas-4, 6 Proezd, 9 Kvartal
St. Petersburg, Russia 194292
U.S. Importer: Doyna Michigan Co., Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - September 1999 & October 2002
NM Virtual Brewpub Beer Reviews