Baltika #9 Extra (Strong)

During my last beer run, I decided to expand my horizons to get some imports from countries that I’ve never tried before. Tonight’s selection is a Euro Strong Lager from Russia. I think I’ve read about this beer in one of my beer books, but I don’t remember much. Let’s get to it.


ABV: 8%

Style: Euro Strong Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The first bottling of the Baltika #9 Strong took place as far back as 1998. Beer lovers immediately appreciated the novelty. In 2005 the brand cardinally changed its exterior and a little later Baltika Breweries started filling it into a convenient PET package that quickly became popular with consumers. At the same time the ‘Devyatka’ (meaning ‘Nine’) popular name became the official name and is now used on the label. The taste of the strong Baltika beer was recognized not only by Russian citizens. The brand is successfully exported to almost 40 countries around the world, including Germany, Ireland, France, the USA, and even such exotic countries as Mexico, Mongolia and South Korea. One should also note the social role of the beer at the time. Many strong drink consumers switched to Baltika Nine with the alcohol content below 8%. The strength is achieved by natural fermentation only, according to a unique recipe developed by Baltika specialists.”

Random: I used to see this beer on the shelves a lot and now it’s harder to find. My guess is because craft beer is taking over the shelf space.

This beer poured with about a quarter of a finger of white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with soda-like carbonation. The nose was subtle, with barley and yellow corn. It also had a touch of metal. I was surprised that there wasn’t booze apparent on the nose. The taste had sweetness from the corn and the barley. What was surprising was that there was some grassy hop character, albeit muted. I picked up a butter flavor, which I didn’t love, but didn’t make the beer undrinkable. It’s also one of the few beers that I’ve had that I could place the DMS note. The alcohol was prevalent on this and warmed the back of the throat. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation. The finish was quick with sweet corn. A 16 ounce bottle of this was $2.10 ($.13 per ounce). This is a style that I think is generally boring, and I had no problem drinking it, but I don’t feel the need to revisit it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Meteor Grand Malt

I don’t know why I bought this beer. I think it was because it was from France and I’m trying to branch out from drinking mostly domestic craft beers.


ABV: 6.1%

Style: Euro Strong Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The name alone sums up the character of this lager. A careful selection of malted barley from the Spring and Winter seasons are brewed slowly: the result is a rare and precious brew called the noble brew which gives this beer its abundance of aromas dominated by malted tones. With a perfect balance, the touch of bitterness is complemented by its sweetness on the palate. Intense and powerful in taste, Meteor Grand Malt also stands out by its golden colour and generous head.”

Random: Someone was delusional when they wrote this description of the beer.

This beer poured with a quarter of an inch of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange color with light carbonation visible. The nose was quite off-putting. It was sickeningly sweet and had old grain as well. I was hoping that the taste would be better, but I didn’t have high hopes. The taste was also very sweet with old grain. This is one of the few times that I was happy I had a small bottle of this, because it was just awful. The body was medium thick and was lacking carbonation, not that more would have fixed all of the problems with this beer. The finish was unfortunately long with old grain and sweetness. This was $1.49 for the 8.45 ounce bottle ($.18 per ounce) and for how awful this beer was, I wouldn’t even drink it if it was free. Avoid this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0