Svyturys Baltijos

Reviewed by on September 11, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Švyturys-Utenos Alus UAB

  • Origin: Klaipėda, Lithuania

  • Rated On: September 10, 2014

  • Best Before: March 5, 2015

  • ABV: 5.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Švyturys is a Lithuanian brewer, now owned by the Carlsberg group.  Their Baltijos Dark Red is made in the Oktoberfest style, and is a bit of an unexpected find, given that it comes from much further afield (physically and culturally) than the usual German ex-pat suspects.

This 500ml, Michelob-esque bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, and loosely foamy off-white head, which leaves some decent crumbling cliff lace around the glass as things quickly recede.

It smells of bready pale malt, syrupy caramel, musty dark fruit, i.e. Welch’s grape juice, and a bit of dank grassy hops. The taste is more bready, lightly biscuity malt, a sort of tacked-on, but not unpleasant caramel sundae sweetness, sugary purple grape juice, and slightly perfumed leafy, floral hops.  The carbonation is fairly thorough in its zingy frothiness, the body just on the light side of medium weight, and a bit tacky (perhaps from the well-hidden alcohol?) in its no-brainer smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the caramel continuing its rash wane, the fruitiness going stale, and the grassy hops gaining a flinty, steely edge.

Not a bad tipple, and likely worthy of its status as the oldest offering in Švyturys’ brewing stable. More of a pleasantly innocuous, sauced-up amber ale, than anything overly reminiscent of Munich’s seasonal brewing prowess, and those around the world that succeed in aping it. Worthy of a try, if only to spread around the Oktoberfest novelty joy, or maybe to bone up on your Slavic letter combinations.

Brady White



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