As well as the golden lagers that I wanted him try, I decided that it would be interesting to do a taste comparison of the Baltic Porters sitting in my flat, of which I had the following:
In deciding with order to drink them in, we went for the east to west option, so obviously we started with the Russian Baltika 6.
Whilst not the strongest by any means in terms of alcohol, at 7% ABV, this was certainly the sweetest and most cloying - my initial reaction was to think if this is a standard Baltic Porter then this is a style that I would not be drinking very often. I also think the lack of carbonation helped to make it feel almost like watered down treacle. As Goldilocks might have put it, this one is too sweet!
Next up was Krajan Porter, and this one is a big hitter on the alcohol front at a whopping 9.5%ABV! For a beer with so much booze in it, I was surprised at how easy it was to drink, very smooth and a treat for me was the distinct liquorice flavours that abound - yes Bertie Bassett is one of my best friends! Certainly a step up from the Baltika in my book.
Finally coming to the Neuzeller Porter from Germany, which is slightly stronger than the Baltika 6 at 7.2%ABV, but a completely different beast in my book, and was almost like Christmas cake - lots of dark maltiness, with a dose of fruitiness and a nice alcoholic after glow. Have that cake with a good strong coffee and you are in the right ballpark when it comes to this beer. What makes this stand out from the other Baltic Porters we tried was that it was very smooth, even silky.
For both of us the Neuzeller Porter was the one we liked the most, followed by Krajan and then the Baltika 6, hence the picture: