Where to find it: Moscow Tea Room
I’ve never been able to say I’ve had St. Petersburg’s best of anything, so it was with great excitement that I tried my first Russian beer at the stylish Moscow Tea Room.
The Baltika 7 is a pilsner that’s richer than most, with hints of vanilla amidst its pale malt flavour. But even at its relatively higher alcohol by volume percentage of 5.4, it still manages to deliver the light taste that’s expected of pilsners.
Think of finding this beer in Ottawa as the Russians’ answer to the 1972 Summit Series loss to the Canadian hockey team: This beer embarrasses our more lauded domestic pilsners, such as Labatt or Steam Whistle, right on our home turf. Going to the Moscow Tea Room to order a beer may be like asking for poutine at a four-star Michelin restaurant—this place is clearly better known for its wide selection of vodkas, but the smooth flavour and clean finish of Baltika 7 is well worth the social stigma.
Rating: 4 out of 5