Baltic porters are the undisputed heavyweight champion of porters, and Black Boss is the Rick Ross of baltic porters. This brew is not without its flaws, but it’s worth the warts-and-all experience of sampling Black Boss for establishing a baseline for what a baltic porter is supposed to be – this is an exemplar of the imperial/ baltic porter style (these terms are essentially fungible). What you need to know upfront: the baltic porter is a very old, classic style of beer concocted by Eastern Europeans and intended for hard-drinkin’ Scandinavians, both of whom recognized 300+ years ago that regular porters were for British pantywaists.
At 9.4% ABV, a pint of Black Boss is rough around the edges – it’s on the boozier end of the style, which typically ranges between 7% an 10% ABV. It’s both sweet and malty, with raisin/ fig/ plum notes and a burnt sugar/caramel sort of nose, which is probably why this style takes especially well to barrel aging. The part that’s harder to wrap your head around is that Black Boss is only very lightly carbonated. This is mitigated somewhat with a hard pour, but even then, the head is almost non-existent. So Black Boss seems a bit thin and – gasp – flat as you’re drinking it, but it opens up at room temperature and ends up resembling a pub ale. Of course, you won’t remember any of this when you’re getting totally crocked. Keep getting’ paid, boss, do whatcha like.