Beer in Miloslaw, Poland has long history dating back at least to 1626 when the city registered it’s breweries. As many as 36 breweries were registered as paying taxes in the 17th and 18th centuries. Eventually Miloslaw began shipping its beer to the port city of Danzig in 1794. About this same time, the Kingdom of Poland was being divided up by the expanding Russian Empire and the newly expanding Prussian Empire which had been a Duchy in the Kingdom of Poland until it expanded to the west and merged with several smaller German kingdoms. Miloslaw, in 1795, became a part of the Prussian Empire ending the reign of the last Polish king and removing Poland from the map as an independent country until 1918 when it was carved out of the post WWI map after the Prussian lead Germans surrendered.
Browar Fortuna was built in 1889 at the behest of the town leadership of Miloslaw. The steam powered brewery was technologically advanced as any brewery in the world at that time. 50 years later, and 21 years after the birth of the modern country of Poland, the Germans returned. The Nazis seized the brewery until the Soviets drove them out 6 years later. The brewery would fall further into decline when it was nationalized by the communists in 1950. 45 years later, the brewery was returned to the family it had been seized from in 1939. Unfortunately, by then it was a rundown shell of its former glory. They sold it in 2011 to a group of people interested in transforming the brewery into a modern showcase of traditional Polish brewing and other beer specialties.
Baltic Porters were once the dominant beer brewed throughout Baltic Sea region. At its peak, Baltic Porter accounted for 1/3 of the beer being made and sold in the region. Komes Baltic Porter ferments in open vats at low temperatures then is conditioned for three months or more before release. According to the brewery, it will evolve and change over its lifetime.
Appearance: Deep black, brown head, great retention.
Aroma: Bitter chocolate, toffee, dates, plums, nutty,
Taste: Bitter chocolate, burnt toast, dark fruit, hints of alcohol,
Overall Impression: Komes Baltic Porter is dry and roasty. It’s balanced with a rich, flavorful, and full mouthfeel. The flavor is big with only a hint of its alcohol coming through. I’m sometimes hit or miss on Baltic Porters. Sometimes the fusel alcohols are too much for my taste. Yeast produced fusels in high ABV situations when it’s stressed. This is where the open fermentation pays off. Big conical fermenters can stress yeast while traditional open fermenters keep yeast happy and working their best. It’s a much more difficult and risky brewing technique, but when done well it pays dividends in flavor. If you like big, dark, dry beers; this one is for you. Great flavor and dangerous drinkability.
Availability: New to the US, but spreading. Imported by D & V International.