The good people of Alley Kat Brewing forwarded me this sample a few days ago. The brewery was named as Canada's best for 2012 by Mr. B a few weeks ago and I can't disagree from what samples I am fortunate enough to receive. See, under our system in Canada, it is easier to get a can of Euro-lager-gak from Lithuania or Mongolia than it is to get most beers from other provinces.
This beer, their St. Portersburg Baltic Porter released on 30 January, does one of my favorite things for this type of beer - it offers licorice. More Sinebrychoff than Carnegie if my notes can be relied upon. The colour of tarred cola, there is plenty of licorice, pumpernickel, gruity herb, espresso grind and dark chocolate. As it flows about the gums, there is all that, a sweetish cream texture and maybe some dark date hints as well. The pleasant nip of the carbonation gives structure to each swallow.
A confidently managed beer that sets out its constituent flavours with deft balance. A beer I would buy regularly if my overlords allowed me such things. Solid BAer support.