Baltic beers

Baltic beers

Since yours truly's promised trip to Central Asia/Russia got narrowed down to a mere lap around the Baltic Sea, this rating only included one new country - Lithuania. Of the Baltic countries also Russia and Estonia was missing this time. The time schedule were too stressed to find any beers while I was there. Instead we took the opportunity to rate a couple of US microbrews that our great friend Todd Shumsky did send to us.

The Lithuanian beers: Were all bought in a small shop located in a caravan where the ferry from Kursskaya Kosa (or whatever this peninsula is called in English) to the seaport Klaipeda stops. This shop had a mighty impressive selection of domestic beers (for being a caravan), and cheap it was too. All the beers I got hold on there was lagers in a wide range of styles. Everything from the bottom fermented Baltic style porter Utenos Porteris from Utena, a good example of the style, not as overwhelming dark, thick and alcoholic as some of the Polish ones, but still a nice treat, over the semi-dark and fairly sweet bock Kalnapilis Milzinu to the light lager Baltijos Extra were bought there. Our overall favourite of these was the nice dark Baltijos from Klaipeda, even though my personal favourite was that porter.

The Latvian beers: The beers I was able to pick up in Latvia was at a quick stop at petrol station in Riga, and I might not have picked up the best samples. At least I hope I didn't, cause they weren't too good none of them. Of the four that made the trip back home only Aldaris Zelta were a decent lager, while the darker Aldaris Tumsais, and the only lightly alcolholic Rigas Alus Sencu both were on the brink of being poured down the drain. A fifth bottle with the name written in Cyrillic, Russkoye Pivo emptied itself into my bag because the cap wasn't properly attached.

These Polish beers: Weren't bought by me, but by Oscar, who, to be on the safe side to not buy any beers we'd rated before, mainly picked those labeled Mocne ("Strong") on his stay in Gdansk. Since most of them weighed in at 6.5-8.0% we rated them last, for obvious reasons... None of these beers were really excellent, even though beers such as Gdanskie were a fair effort.

The US microbrews: were all from the American westcoast and came in monster sized bottles and a wide range of styles. Superior overall and personal favourite of the evening was the well hopped Moylan's India Pale Ale, one of the best beers in that style I have tried. Also the frighteningly dark Umpqua No Doubt Stout got the nod by our jury. The two most unusual beers of the night was the hazelnut flaoured Rogue Hazelnut Brown and the thirst quenching Belgian-style spiced wheat beer Lost Coast Great White Beer, over which as expected the group didn't agree at all in our ratings.

As I mentioned: sadly no Russian beers, despite my one day stay in the Kaliningrad enclave. The only beers I found at the hotel were Polish ones, and the friendly locals told me they very much prefered it to the local stuff. Estonia was also a disappointment from a beer-hunters point of view, all I could find at the little hotel in the rural Vöru was the dreaded Saku Originaal (which I've assigned a zero). However the great people at the Halloween-party at the club Boschwechte made that up, and we have tried some great Eesti õlu before.

Beers rated the November the 8th
198Moylan's India Pale AleUSA3.494255241 Ale, Brittish style
371Umqua No Doubt StoutUSA3.163244342 Porter/Stout
379BaltijosLithuania3.1532334445.9%Lager, Dark
396Calistoga PorterUSA3.113144343 Porter/Stout
458Frolic Shipwreck AleUSA3.043134443 Ale, Brittish style
466Utenos PorterisLithuania3.0332442336.8%Porter/Stout
502Kalnapilis MilzinuLithuania2.9833334236.0%Lager, Bock
518GdanskiePoland2.9734243236.2%Lager, Bock
554Amber RedPoland2.92433 3227.0%Lager, Bock
569Rogue Hazelnut Brown NectarUSA2.894241441 Special
587Lost Coast Great White BeerUSA2.862244341 Wheat beer
614EB Specjal MocnePoland2.83333 3237.9%Lager, Bock
617Utenos PremiumLithuania2.8243333124.8%Lager, Light
657Aldaris ZeltaLatvia2.7534223335.0%Lager, Light
764Zak AmberPoland2.6234222335.5%Lager, Light
808Bractwo Full LightPoland2.5323232345.3%Lager, Light
840Lech MocnýPoland2.473422 227.0%Lager, Bock
906Lezajsk MocnePoland2.31242 3217.8%Lager, Bock
922Baltijos EkstraLithuania2.2823223235.2%Lager, Light
932Baltijos SventinisLithuania2.2722333127.0%Lager, Bock
965Super Mocne 18Poland2.18242 3118.1%Lager, Bock
976Aldaris PilzenesLatvia2.1633231124.7%Lager, Light
1015Aldaris TumsaisLatvia2.0333122225.0%Lager, Dark
1069Polarne Extra MocnePoland1.93223 1408.5%Lager, Bock
1094Kalnapilis DvaroLithuania1.8023113225.0%Lager, Light
1122Rigas Alus SencuLatvia1.6622222113.8%Lager, Light
Rated by: Johan Zetterlund, Mattias Leidebjer, Per Samuelsson, Lars Samuelsson, Anna Hultén, Lars Granström and Oscar Hansson.

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Updated 97-12-03 Per Samuelsson