A Baltic Porter is a complex beer with a combination of malt flavors reminiscent of an English porter and the restrained roast found in a schwarzbier. However, it stands out with a higher original gravity (OG) and alcohol content. This beer offers a multi-layered experience with rich malt and dark fruit flavors.

The beer ranges from dark reddish-copper to opaque dark brown, although it should not be completely black. It forms a thick and persistent tan-colored head. While it is typically clear, darker versions may appear opaque.

The aroma is characterized by a rich malty sweetness with notes of caramel, toffee, nutty undertones, and deep toast. There is a complex alcohol and ester profile, moderately strong, evoking plums, prunes, raisins, cherries, or currants, occasionally reminiscent of a Port-like quality. Some darker malt character is present, with hints of deep chocolate, coffee, or molasses, but never reaching a burnt quality. No hop aroma is expected, and there should be no sourness. The overall aroma is very smooth.

Similar to the aroma, the flavor showcases a rich malty sweetness with a complex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alcohol. It presents a prominent yet smooth roasted flavor, reminiscent of a schwarzbier, but stopping short of burnt characteristics. The beer is mouth-filling and exceptionally smooth. It exhibits a clean lager character. It begins with a sweet impression, but darker malt flavors quickly take over and persist through the finish. There is a subtle dryness with a hint of roast coffee or licorice in the finish. The malt complexity includes notes of caramel, toffee, nuts, molasses, and/or licorice. Light hints of black currant and dark fruits may be present. The bitterness is medium-low to medium, derived from both malt and hops, providing a balanced profile. Hop flavor, typically from slightly spicy hops, ranges from none to medium-low.

The beer is generally full-bodied and smooth, with a well-aged alcohol warmth. It has a medium to medium-high carbonation level, which enhances its mouth-filling nature. Despite its fullness, it does not feel heavy on the tongue due to the carbonation.:

This style may also be referred to as an Imperial Porter, although heavily roasted or hopped versions are not appropriate. Most Baltic Porters fall within the 7–8.5% ABV range. Danish breweries sometimes label them as Stouts, reflecting their historical connection to the time when Porter was a generic term encompassing both Porter and Stout.

Baltic Porter is a traditional beer originating from countries bordering the Baltic Sea. It emerged independently after higher-gravity export brown or imperial stouts from England became established. While originally top-fermented, many breweries adapted their recipes to bottom-fermenting yeast, aligning with their overall production methods.

The beer is typically brewed with lager yeast, and if an ale yeast is used, it undergoes cold fermentation, as is required in Russia. It includes debittered chocolate or black malt, Munich or Vienna base malt, and continental hops, often of the Saazer-type variety. It may incorporate crystal malts and/or adjuncts, while historical recipes commonly include brown or amber malt.

Compared to an Imperial Stout, Baltic Porter is less roasted and smoother, typically exhibiting lower alcohol content. It lacks the pronounced roasty qualities of stouts in general, instead embracing the roasted-but-not-burnt characteristics of a schwarzbier. It tends to be fruitier compared to other porters and generally has a higher alcohol content.