The Baltic Porter style is most commonly brewed in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and is a hearty brew with much more of an alcoholic kick than your everyday American or British porter. Black Boss is no different, although we found it a remarkably smooth and well-mannered version; some Baltic Porters can be downright aggressive (which we like too!). On the pour, Black Boss offers a very dark reddish brown color with a sizable head. The aromatics on this brew are quite complex; look for rich, sweet aromas of molasses, toasted brown bread, brown sugar, caramel, wood, coffee, and cola, with some dark fruity esters lurking below a light dosing of grassy hops. Sweetness is apparent as soon as it opens on the palate, with roasted malts coming forth more prominently than on the nose, adding a light char-like character. Some fig-like notes come through with a touch of rum, although the alcohol remains very, very well hidden in this brew. The alcohol does help to thin the body a bit, and along with the mild hop bitterness helps to counter the beer’s inherent sweetness. We found it finishes with a bit of tartness coming forward and some lingering notes of cocoa powder and coffee grounds. At 9.4% ABV, Black Boss makes for an excellent nightcap and is a candidate for aging, as well. We expect it to take on some sherry-like notes as it slowly oxidizes, which would be an interesting addition to the already complex flavor profile. Na Zdrowie!