After we came home, I enticed Elizabeth into trying some Russian beer that I had purchased earlier in the evening. We had a brief repast of roast beef sandwiches, lentil soup, girl scout cookies, and Bar-B-Que chicken. (We never got to the chicken.) The beer in question was Baltika, made in St. Petersburg, and imported by Doyna Limited. The "Classic " beer was very heavy on the lemon "Pledge" flavor, and didn't go down that smoothly, but was an interesting exercise for our gag reflex.
The "Extra Lager" was great however, with a light, warm woody/nutty flavor, but just not enough "body/character" to really satisfy. It went well with the beef, but just couldn't hold our interest for long.
For breakfast we had the Porter, which is truly the way to start one's day. The Porter was rich in bouquet, and had all the character of "War and Peace", but without all the pesky reading. Think of the Readers Digest Abridged Version, but with nude photos. Think of the lonely Russian submariner, who after six months under the waves, arrives in port, only to find the dusky Cossack girl of his dreams. Yes, it was that good!
So, to recap: the "Classic" Baltika is to be avoided, unless you like drinking furniture polish with a left hook of lemon. The "Extra Lager" (which had an unexplained large number "9" in the center of the label) was very good, and goes well with beef. The "Porter" was the long Russian winter love affair that you always hoped you could have, without the risk of social disease. I didn't know that I longed for a dusky Cossack girl until I had this beer. Elizabeth now longs for the lonely Russian submariner. It was that good, and we recommend it highly for the long cold nights of winter that we still have to face.
Doc and Elizabeth.