Baltika No.8
Russian flag - small

Company info:
Baltika Breweries (part of the Carlsberg group)


Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 5.0%
Standard drinks: 2.0

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$4.99

Label info: N/A

What the label really means: N/A

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: By sheer coincidence I have chosen a second beer with a number in the title in as many weeks. Baltika No.8 is Baltika’s interpretation of a wheat beer. It’s a big, impressive looking bottle at 500mL in size. The yellow neck and body label isn’t very impressive, and makes the text on the back very hard to read (sure it’s in Russian and I can’t read Russian, but I wish I could! Damn Lenin!). I do like the fact the label looks very traditional and old, and it almost has a strange nautical feel to it as though haughty Russian sailors would drink this while on patrol in the Mediterranean. On a cruise ship. Or possibly a large inflatable raft. Still, it’s no Hindenburg zeppelin.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.

AROMA: A real citrussy, wheat aroma, with a distinct banana undertone. It instantly reminds me of Hoegaarden. Definitely lays down a taste bud tablecloth in preparation for the main event.

Taste: GLASS – At first, Baltika No.8 pours out a fine golden colour. My first impressions tell me this is one very special beer. It’s super smooth, very easy to drink, and not as flavour intense as Hoegaarden. It sings of Summer fruits with a delicious after-taste that lingers in your mouth long after the final traces of liquid have dispersed. I am down for this comrade with strangers inducing ale. As I delve deeper into the bottle, the beer begins to pout out a cloudy colour. And with this, the flavour seems to intensify.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Disgusting! Avoid drinking Baltika 8 from the bottle at all costs. It tastes watery, metallic, lifeless and dull. A very depressing drink.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 4.5 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Sweet, caramel, and distinctly dessert-like. Maybe too sweet”

She gave it a taste rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I am sure this beer would accompany some great Russian food. Food that I am unfamiliar with. So, instead I will suggest that this would go great with a Lebanese banquet – including such delights as lady fingers and dolmades, dips, and the finest Baalbek bread.

Best season to appreciate: I don’t know that Russians really experience warm months up there, but I am suggesting this beer would be a great Summer accompaniment. In the heart of Moscow, I would not want to be drinking this while my teeth are chattering.

All-nighter beer? For sure! I love it.

NEXT WEEK: White Rabbit Dark Ale

  1. BargeDave says:

    I look forward to sampling. My family derives from Latvia, which is a small country on the coast of the Baltic Sea, so it may be a taste I’m genetically disposed towards.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Ahh! Didn’t know you were Latvian, BD.
      Each week we learn a little more about the enigma that is BargeDave.


      • BargeDave says:

        I’m first generation Australian but my dad was born in Riga and my Latvian grandmother is one of my heroes. Not just because she bought her family half way around the world to escape post-war Europe and the Soviet expansion, but also because her pork roasts with potatoes and sauerkraut are legendary. Adelaide where I live has a decent Latvian population and from my observation they are largely Coopers drinkers like me.


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Very interesting! Actually, roast pork, potatoes and sauerkraut would work a treat with this week’s beer. I strongly urge you to try it. I am even thinking to pick up another bottle this arvo.

        I have a couple of Latvian mates that I know from when I did service in the US. (Not military service mind. Drinking dis-service). They know good beer.


      • Sniv Whettuce says:

        You can learn something about the Sniv if you like, H-Cat, and that’s that Bargé and I could be brothers of circumstance. Our familiy backgrounds are almost identical. At the end of the second shooting match, whilst they were still tallying up the scores to see who won, my Baba stuffed her brood into her dirndl, sewed herself into a bag of dried polanskis, and sailed to Australia. Although, she wasn’t escaping persecution, she was escaping massive library fines. She was a very tardy returner. I’m proud to say I’m the only chap in the clan that inherited her tardiness, hence this late post. Yes, all the others got male pattern baldness and are always on time.

        Crack! Glug! Burp! Marvellous beer. Good volume. Well reviewed. Nine out of ten.


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