1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,658 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,658
Reviews: 916
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 301
Gots: 282 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited "vintages" each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alaskan Smoked Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,658 | Reviews: 916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BevMoAndrew
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a Bruery Tulip glass at about 50 degrees.

The 2009 Alaskan smoked porter pours a jet black color in the glass with a chick tan froth. The brew is dominated by smoked malts ( however not over smoked like a rauchbier, but balanced and elegant), slightly blackened bacon, subtle timber, fresh espresso, & dark chocolate. Great mouthfeel and a long finish. A great beer that I'm definitely going keep in my cellar...esp. since these beers can age with elegance.

BevMoAndrew, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of GreenCard
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[22oz. bottle of 2008 release]...

Appearance: deep dark brown, opaque, bubbles sticking to the glass, thick sudsy layer of tan foam that slowly collapses on itself

Aroma: campfire ash/smoke on a fall day (or similar to the smokey smell in smoked salmon); malt and roast undertones

Flavor: mild malt sweetness within a rounded roast profile; hints of chicory and smoke tannins (if there is such a thing); finishes fairly dry with lingering smoked licorice flavor

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, slight astringency

Other comments: OK, finally tried this beer. One I have been curious about for a long time but just never seemed to run into in stores or bars for whatever reason. Then I found a bottle of 2008 at The Beermongers (Portland, OR) and snapped it up. It did not disappoint. A great beer that definitely deserves its acclaim. I'm definitely going to try to find a couple of bottles of 2009.

GreenCard, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of bcm119
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 edition.

Opaque dark brown, fine tan head.

Smoky, charcoal aroma with a restrained malt sweetness.

Charred malt up front, with some leafy hop bitterness. Body is medium, with plenty of fizz. Smokey flavor is dry, like campfire smoke, and not overwhelming. Hops provide plenty of drying bitterness through the finish. Leaves a nice leafy/toasted grain aftertaste.

A good porter: very tight, clean smoked malt flavors. Could be a tad chewier in the middle.

bcm119, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of JimmyK77
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a recent trip to Portland, I was excited to find this on tap at the Oregon Brewer's Festival (after they ran out of Alaskan White Ale). Then I found it in a store and bought two bottles to bring home with me. SCORE! I've never seen this in an east coast store.

On tap and from the bottle, disappointment is a word this beer does not know! This wonderfully made porter is dry, roasty, and chocolatey with medium carbonation, a drinkable, light/medium body, and balanced hop bitterness. This would be great on its own. But the alder smoked barley blends in with enough strength that you know this is SMOKED porter, while still allowing you to enjoy the other flavors of the porter.

JimmyK77, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from bonsreeb85. Thanks for the brew Chad!

A- Pours a deep dark brown color with a slight bit of light shining through the edges. A pillowy tan head leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S- Lots of roasted malt and smoky charcoal like aromas.

T- Wow! This is probably the smokiest beer that I've ever had. Huge waves of smoked hickory chips and burnt malt. Campfire, wood, and bittersweet chocolate in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with ok carbonation. The smoke leaves quite an aftertaste.

D- I've had a few brews that claimed to be "smoked" but so far this one wins. Huge flavor and very drinkable.

projectflam86, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of sweetbrew82
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. into a snifter/ 2009 version

P: Very dark, cola brown with 2 fingers of light brown foam on top made up of tiny, soapy bubbles that stay pretty tightly knit. Showed only average retention, then sank to a thick halo with patches of bubbles and left some really nice lace coverage that didn't have enough stickiness to hand around for long, though.

A: Deep, roasted malts that smell primarily of barley are surrounded by a campfire-like, woodsy smoke that isn't overwhelming, but is a prominent player in the aroma. Following that up is some coffee, chocolate, and maybe a splash of vanilla on top of some very subtle dark fruits.

T: This puppy is roasted and smoky from the jump with a malty sweet flavor of barley grain, and that same kind of woodsy smoke noted in the nose. The smoke isn't quite overbearing in strength, but tippy-toes the line of my personal threshold as it gives me that same kind of ash-like unpleasantness that you get when you're too close to the campfire. I also get some espresso, mocha, and a prune/raisin-like flavor in the background that tasted overly ripe. Hop bitterness comes in late to try and balance things out, while a little vanilla sweetness is noticed underneath.

M: Upon my first sip of this Alaskan Smoked Porter, my initial impression was, "Damn, this is shockingly thin!" It's light-bodied for the style and borders on being downright watery. It's got no creaminess or chewiness to speak of, and it seems as if the lack of beefiness is making it impossible for the flavor to grab any traction.

Notes: Man, I usually like smoked beers, and I usually love porters, but this version of a smoked porter just didn't sit well with me. I thought I was going to like it based on the aroma, but was a bit underwhelmed by the flavor profile. However, the mouthfeel of this beer was a major let-down. It just didn't offer near enough in the way of heft to let the flavors shine as brightly as they could. A bit disappointed considering all the hype surrounding this brew.

sweetbrew82, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of MASPuros
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 22oz Bottle
A: Looks like sludge with a one finger tan head with little lace.
S: Smoky and malty. Light chocolate and coffee notes with hints of toffee. Layers of dark fruits.
T: Smoke not that intense but there in the aftertaste. Malty, chocolatey, and slight coffee bitterness.
M/D: Robust and nice carbonation feel in the mouth. Smell was stronger then taste but very easy to drink and could get you in trouble.

MASPuros, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of BigBlacke
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer has a dark dark brown color. nearly black.

S: An extreme smokey scent. smells almost like charred oak.

T: I found this beer to have more of a smokey aftertaste than upfront taste. Maybe because i drank it too cold.

M: A very heavy sensation on the palate. Just about what you'd expect from a Porter.

D: A very drinkable beer. Alaskan brewing hit the nail on the head with this one!

BigBlacke, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of wnh
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a wine glass.

Pours a deep, beautiful mahogany with a frothy light tan head.

Aromas of peppery bacon and campfire dominate the nose, with a solid roasty porter--roasted grains, chocolate, all that good stuff--underneath. Smoke-forward on the palate, but relatively subdued, with notes of cocoa powder and light fruity esters underneath. Light bodied--a result of the smoke?--and very drinkable.

Good, but as good as it's made out to be? Difficult to say.

wnh, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of champ103
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks black at first, but when held up to the light more of an opaque brown color. A one finger tan head forms with some light lace.
S: Smoky, meaty, and malty. Chocolate and coffee with toffee and caramel hints. Some dark fruits as the aroma lingers. Lots of layers in the nose.
T: Some smoke, but not that intense. It never goes away, but always stays in the background. A malty sweetness of chocolate and coffee. Good, but not nearly as complex a the nose.
M/D: A full body and medium carbonation. I would have no problems quaffing a few of these.

I have had this several times. Most recently at a BA tasting thanks to armock. I also enjoyed several of these on a recent trip to Montana. I always enjoy it, but it is not among my favorites for smoked porters.

champ103, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Trappissed
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Toronado:

Well I had Stone Smoked Porter(good, but not very "smoked") and this beer would have to be the true definition of a Smoked Porter. Pretty much liquid campfire. To the point, where it was not very enjoyable. Tasted like smoke, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, and a little meaty. Don't think I'd recommend this one, but if you like smoke, then go for it.

Trappissed, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of theghost3
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for this 08 vintage.

Pours almost black with brown apparent along the edges. The head is 2-fingers thick, and quickly dissipates. No lacing.

The smell is incredibly smokey, much like smoked salmon or charred wood. Some faint dark fruit scents are there too. It tastes like liquid smoke with some burnt malts & slight chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth at first but there's some burning acidity at the end as it goes down.

The ABV helps the drinkability here. The smell is great, but the intense smokey flavors in this beer may be an acquired taste. I would recommend cellaring this for a couple of years to allow the acidity to lessen.

theghost3, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of GregSVT
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber from 2007. Thanks to smellesell for sending this to me.

A: Pours pitch black with a tan head that reduces to a small layer along the top with a tiny amount of lacing.

S: Craziest aromas I've ever gotten from a beer. Mesquite Smoke like I'm standing right in front of a grill. Some sweet malts and semi-sweet chocolate in the background but it's mainly the smoke you get in the first few sniffs.

T: Tastes are similar to the nose with slightly less smoke than I was expecting along with dark roasted malts and cocoa.

M: Wonderful feel creamy but slightly thin. Lots of smoke on the finish with a slightly sweet tingle.

D: The smoke in this kinda makes it hard for me to want to drink too much of it in one sitting but it's pretty good stuff.

I have a bottle from 2008 that I can't wait to try as well. I'll do a review of that one when I pop it open.

GregSVT, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. A real WTF moment when I finally noticed I had never properly pounded out some notes for this beer.

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown, near black body with some ruby-hued edges and a topped by a frothed, beige head.

Smell: A distinct aroma with its alder wood aspect that's always suggestive of high quality smoked meats. Also some roasty and unsweetened chocolate notes as well as a waft of dark fruits.

Taste: Though the smoked alder wood is full and present in the flavor, it doesn't totally squash the beer's other characteristics. Roasty, sweetish malts with some subtle chocolate tones and even milder hint of decaffeinated coffee. Touch of dark fruitiness in the background. Slight clean bitterness present. The smokiness remains beyond the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: With its relatively lighter body and good balance, this one is just that much more drinkable and it can become quite difficult not to grab a few bombers and drink yourself into a stupor on the couch. It's a beer I'm always happy to have regardless of vintage or time of year it happens to be.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of JayQue
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought a 2007 back from my Summer 2008 trip to Alaska. Drank it 2 September 2009. I had it on-tap in Juneau at the Hangar. Wanted to compare it to the bottle. Still great!! The flavors might be a little less intense than on-tap, but the aging made this much smoother. With the fresh, I thought 22 oz would be enough. With the 2007 bottle, I could have swilled this all afternoon. Still black color, nice size tan head and thick lacing. The smoky smell and taste still dominate over the malt and coffee and there is still a smoked salmon type of flavor lurking around there somewhere. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. The smokiness is just right. Drinkability is better than I remembered with the fresh...just a great beer.

JayQue, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of movingtrain
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a Piraat glass.

Pours a nice, dark black...looks like coffee...espresso, even...with a decent tan head and relatively good lacing.

Smells smoked for sure..smoked meats, wet wood, bitter chocolate, caramel, sage, some peppery spice...smoke aroma is the overpowering quality here...and should be.

Taste is similar to the aroma...very smokey...chocolate, peppercorn, vanilla in the background...and, of course, smoked meat...the smokiness of the malts comes through, but it's not too overpowering...it's a good balance within the style of the beer...as the smoke seems to compliment the chocolate and spicy flavors in the beer.

Mouthfeel is all right...it's fizzy...bitter on the back of the tongue. Reminds me a bit of club soda in that there is a defined fizz, and a chewy, almost chalky feel to it.

Overall, I'm glad I got to try this much-talked about beer. There is some good flavor here, and would be great with some chocolate dipped bacon...for a smoke beer, it holds its own.

movingtrain, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of bfields4
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep motor oil black with a small mocha head.

Hickory smokiness. Earthy malt smells.

Very smokey through to the taste. Baconish charcoal smoked malt flavors. A bitter herbal hop finish.

Smooth lightly carbonated porter couldn't think of anything better with a nice juicy steak.

bfields4, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber into snifter. Vintage 2008 bottle.

A - Poured about as black as brown can get with a thin tan head that transformed into a wispy film and some patchy lace. The head swelled up with each swirl of the glass.

S - Really mild woody, smokey aroma. Not meaty at all, actually. Some subtle charcoal notes emerged as well as a hint of coffee in the back. An earthy, mossy hop presence rounds out the aroma profile.

T - Like the aroma, the flavor is not meaty, but rather quite smokey and woody with a subtle bitter coffee character. A hint of chocolate also pokes through, but is quite faint. Finishes with earthy bitter notes and a mild burnt, charred woody character.

M - Medium bodied with a very smooth mouthfeel and light carbonation. Texture is a tad syrupy but mostly watery. Finish is dry with moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - Easily one of the best examples of smoked beers on the market. Quite tasty, complex and extremely drinkable.

ffejherb, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of brau
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to get this beer quite regularly until 1997, but haven't been able to get my hands on any more until recently -- the 2008 edition. Now if only I could get some bottles from those years in-between. What a great vertical tasting that would be.

This beautiful porter pours almost black, with a rather dense 2-finger dark tan head. The lacing is very good.

The aroma of this beer is incredible. The choice of alder wood for smoking the malts was a stroke of genius. It reminds me of the smoky flavors and aromas of Alaskan smoked salmon. This smoke blends wonderfully with slight chocolate notes.

Even though the smoky character is noticeable in the taste of this beer, it doesn't overpower the other complex flavors. There are touches of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, wood, and fruit (currant/raisin). There is a lot going on here, and serving temperature makes a huge difference in which of the flavors dominates.

This beer also has just the right carbonation, giving the beer a smooth-yet-chewy mouthfeel.

I've enjoyed many different rauchbiers, including several smoked porters, but none has ever risen to the level of Alaskan Smoked Porter. It's the perfect blend of a great porter with just the right smoke.

If you get an opportunity, save some of this each year for a vertical tasting. You'll notice some incredible, delicious changes as the beer ages.

brau, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Edition

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours 1 finger of thick tan head. Color is a dark black. Decent retention with some lace.

Aroma: big roasted smoky aroma. Chocolate notes in the background, but this thing is mainly smoke.

Taste: Again, a big smoky flavor. Roasted malts, but a little hidden chocolate. Earthy hops keep this beer a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Mainly smoky and creamy. It is full bodied with a well amount of carbonation. Ends with smoke flavored aftertaste.

Overall, not bad, but a little too smoky for me. Probably one of the most smoke flavored beers I have had. I am glad I am not the only one drinking this bottle, as it would take work to finish this bomber.

mothman, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Mistofminn
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ben (mothman) for sharing this in Princeton Liquors with Bill and myself. Must write this down before my memory fails me.

Pours a midnight black, but does show some brown color when held into the light. Dense brown head produced.

It's hard to imagine a smokier beer. Granted, I have only had one other beer that was advertised as "smoke," but this is some intense stuff. Definitely not a Rauchbier smoke, there isn't a bacon character like in those. Mostly pure smoke, maybe even some smoked malts.

Taste is...surprise...smokey! Still, it's very mellow. In the background I'm picking up some subtle chocolate and coffee flavors as well, but the smoke almost drowns them out...almost. It's very tasty.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry, possibly from the smoke effect. Drinkability is good too.

I really enjoyed this beer. Thanks to Ben for giving me a chance to try a beer I otherwise would have no business trying. I will definitely seek this out in the future, and would be glad to have it again.

Mistofminn, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of mwilbur
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 22 oz bottle poured into pint glass. (Enjoyed this on CO trip...from my notes when I drank this 7/25/09).
A: Pours a smooth, lucious black--opaque with no light coming through on backlighting. Faint dark tan head (aggressive pour will elicit 1+ inch head).
S: Amazing. Wonderful smoke--perfect. Smoked malt, roasted malt. Reminiscent of one of the great Rauchbiers.
T: Follows aroma nearly perfectly. A bit too light though...not quite as powerful as the aroma. Still, excellent for style.
M: Amazingly smooth and light. It almost floats like sea foam on the palate. I don't think I've encountered a beer quite like this (as far as this category goes)--tremendous! Very enjoyable to drink.
D: Very, very, very drinkable. A truly wonderful beer. The accolades are well deserved. My hat is off to Alaskan Brewing Co.

mwilbur, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears black, nice three finger tan head.

Scent of strong wood and some very light porter characteristics.

Taste is too strong on the smoke at first, gets a bit better and more complex as it warms.

Mouth is thin with medium carbonation.

In the range of smoked porters, I'd rather have an East End or Stone, but this is still worthy once it warms a bit.

sonicdescent, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. This bottle is of the 2008 vintage (maltage?).

Appearance: black, with a relatively small fizzy head which is dark in color.

Smell: heady. Lots of smoke with a fair amount of chocolate mixed in. These two smells drown out anything else, but they are smells I like.

Taste: lots of smoke and roasted malts. These segue into a strong, but nice, coffee aftertaste. At first the smoke seems a bit much but on subsequent tastes it proves to be just right; it's really a good combination. Reminds me of a good lapsang souchong.

Mouthfeel: quite carbonated; over-carbonated a bit for a porter in my opinion. Medium body.

Drinkability: it's incredibly tasty, but definitely not a session beer. My example was pretty highly carbonated, so that added to a filling sensation which would limit how much of this you could drink. That said, the taste really makes me want another.

flagmantho, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of tedpeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured dark reddish brown, almost black with a huge tan head that settled to a half inch with some lacing.

S - Smoke and some sweetness.

T - Smoke up front, and all the way to the slightly bitter finish, but not overpowering.

M - Thin, creamy, smooth.

D - Pretty good beer.

tedpeer, Jul 19, 2009
Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,658 ratings.