Praamzius, Ruler of Time | Elder Pine Brewing & Blending
Though limited to non-existent now, it’s always nice to see your beer friends. Jack Muldowney (formerly of The Hop Review and currently of Studio Malt) wound up winning second place in our annual FoBAB Fantasy Tournament. Upon dropping off his winnings, he hit me with this Elder Pine Baltic Porter, Praamzius, Ruler of Time. Since I’m getting a little tired of barrel-aged things, I figured I’d give it the old review treatment!
Started by brothers Andrew and David Young and brewers George Lin and Paul Davidson, Elder Pine began building their facility on their family farm in 2016. Lin and Davidson met while brewers at Flying Dog. Situated about 30 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Elder Pine focuses on farmhouse ales (yes!), IPAs and barrel-aged and blended beers. More people would be familiar with Elder Pine as they finished 6th in USA Today’s Best New Brewery of 2020.
Praazmius seems to be the god of time in Lithuanian mythology or an object in the Kuiper Belt in astronomy. (The object is named after the Lithuanain deity.) While not something as time-consuming to make as, say, a lambic, Lithuania does exist in the Baltic region, so the name does relate to the beer.
Praamzius pours brown with some red and garnet highlights. About a half finger of head with big bubbles hangs around a bit, but slowly recedes to a thin layer. The aroma pops out of the glass and fills the immediate area. A big roasty notes greets you as you smell enter. Bread, chocolate, raisins, and rum spices reside in various minor smell chambers. Even a little vanilla gets in on the action here. Praazmius brings it and doesn’t let up in the aroma arena. Think a mix between a schwarzbier and a bock and that’ll get you in the area.
True to the smell chambers above, a big coffee roast dominates the flavor. A raisin bread comes next, followed by some light chocolate notes. There’s even a slight bitterness at the end that makes you want to drink more. The coffee raisin bread gets a big boost from the chewy mouthfeel of Praamzius. Only the lovely coffee roast gets left behind. There’s even a small coating sensation that makes this baltic porter drink a little bigger than what it is.
The easiest comparison to Praazmius is Revolution’s Coffee Eugene. It recently had a can (Sip of Hope coffee for those who care) and Praazmius mimics the coffee notes Coffee Eugene had, despite not having any coffee in it. But Praazmius has a much thicker and chewier mouthfeel with more supporting notes, most notably the bready qualities. So I’m basically asking Revolution to make a Baltic Porter.
Baltic Porter’s don’t get a ton of love, well, anywhere in the US, but, like the schwarzbier, their time has come. Praazmius demonstrates that. While not as sessionable or light as a schwarzbier, the full mouthfeel and big coffee and bready notes bring it more in line with an imperial stout, but much less heavy to drink. Elder Pine’s version does pack a punch (it’s 8.5% ABV!), but you’ll finish a 16 ounce can in no time at all. I’m now eager to try more of what Elder Pine is doing in Maryland. (And maybe some other beers from that state as well…).