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Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

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1,750 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,750
Reviews: 938
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 311
Gots: 329 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-18-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,750 | Reviews: 938 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ryan011235
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 11/14/10

2009 Vintage

Courtesy of Nickd717

Pours a drizzle of burnt cola-brown color; no light transfer. One & a half finger head of billowy, toasted brown foam rests on top. Though it eventually thins to a patch of bubbles, the head is slow to dwindle. Impressive lace to start off. Swirling keeps retention alive, but the lace suffers.

The nose is incredibly smokey; burnt notions are manifest on the peripheries & at times it exhibits charcoal overtones. Hints of roasted chocolate in the back. The whole of the aroma becomes better balanced between smoke & a touch of sweetness as it warms. Earthy wisps.

Burnt chocolate flavor of the not-too-sweet variety hits upfront & is immediately augmented by dry, roasted coffee. This makes for a really solid malt base. Smoke initially lingers around the edges, sweeping in full-bore in the middle & on to the finish. I'm also pleased to find a nippy amount of earthy hops still at work that pick up mid way through.

Full bodied; perfectly fine in my opinion. Carbonation is moderate adding only a mild agitation to an otherwise smooth feel; very nice in this respect. Roasted coffee & chocolate linger on the finish, as do long lasting smoke residuals.

Ah, this is definitely one to let warm up before having a go at it. Regardless, drinkability is really good. I would drink this regularly, if I could (I'd also have fun aging it). Recommended as a fine after dinner mint.

Photo of unseenbyyou
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had the chance to taste an alaskan porter...
Appearance: nice brown head at the beginning, now a chocolatey brown with some lacing, but not much
Smell: malt, a bit smoky (duh), no hint of sweetness
Taste: the second best porter that I have tasted. Still Black Butte XXI is the best tasting...but this has a difference among the other porters...tastes almost like a stout, looking for that sweetness at the end. but none.
Mouthfeel: good. easy on the palate.

well. review cut short by son...

Photo of beergod1
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this shipped to me from Puyallup Wash. to Ohio.
Pours a robust brown bordering on black with a thick foamy two finger mocha head that leaves little lace. The initial flavor is all smoke. As the beer slowly warms the smokiness fades some and the malt begins to make it's appearance. This isn't a complex beer by any means, Smoke, Malt, A slight hop note to balance nicely.
The Smoke mellows, and really becomes great creamy porter.
I have been waiting for this one for Years. And I also had 4 other Alaskan Brew's shipped my way too.

Photo of BigB415
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It was the first smoked beer I had and now I call it a gateway beer since it turned me onto smoked beers. Everything is about it great from the smell, to the color, and to the taste. This beer is a definite recommendation for anyone who loves porters and wants to get into smoked porters. I'd be interested to age one and see how it tastes in a year or two.

Photo of nrbw23
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark brown maybe a black with a huge foamy light brown head. Head has great retention and leaves a ton of lacing.

S- Smell is woody, smokey, tobacco and chocolate. Maybe a few darker fruits in here too. Not really picking up any hops at all.

T- Taste is smokey wood flavor right up front. Not nearly as smokey as I expected, but that is good. Some roasted malts, chocolate and darker fruits just like the nose.

M- Thinner in body than I expected. I'd say lighter side of medium. At times I thought it was almost watery. Carbonation seems about medium on my scale.

D- Not too bad. Pretty easy to drink. I think if it was a bit thicker I'd really like this one. I could drink this again, but I don't think I'd reach for this one all that often.

Photo of yuriruley
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 version, got in before it sold out a second day in a row.

Appearance - dark reddish brown with a tan head that retains very well. Good amounts of lacing

Smell - smokey, nutty, chocolate, apple, and hints of coffee.

Taste - Smokey sweetness balanced out by robust coffee/chocolate flavors. This beer has a lot of depth to it.

Mouthfeel - heavier than most porters I think, carbonation isn't overbearing, and it has some creaminess to it.

Drink - Really easy to drink this stuff, last year it was my happy hour drink at a local bar for several months.

I really love this stuff, one of my favorite American porters and easily my favorite smoked beer.

Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter. 2009 vintage.

A: Pours an extremely dark woody brown with a finger of light brown head slowly receded into fuzzy film that left streaks of wispy lacing down the glass.
S: Scent has light campfire notes with a bit of barbeque and sweet malt mixed in.
T: The smoke is much more subdued than the nose. Rich toasted malts, roasted grains and light chocolate notes dominate the palate. The finish is very fruity with notes of figs and prunes, and the aftertaste has a mellow roasted smoky flavor. Very delicious, integrated and well rounded flavors.
M: A delicate and smooth mouth with a medium body. The carbonation is every so soft and adds body to the brew. Alcohol is untraceable.
D: A very very good beer. This is probably one of the best smoked beers I've had. The flavors work so well together, this may be the best porter I've had.

Photo of mccrmck
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 batch in a pint glass.

Strong smokey smell and taste! Average head, with very thin lacing.

This is what I call a good cheese and crackers brew!!

The smokey smell reminds me of mixed memories of camping and cooking, especially smoked salmon!! yum yum!! :D

Highly recommended!! By far my favorite brew from Alaskan-

Photo of twelvsies
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh... the taste of Alaska. This is one of my favorite all-time beers, yet I've only been so lucky to have it on a few occasions; on a trip to Colorado a couple years ago, and now, sitting on the couch thanks to a great trade. This beer always mentally transports me to a cold day in the Alaskan wilderness, sitting around a fire...

2010 version, just released. The beer is a deep brown, hints of red amber peeking through the edges, and a fluffy and long-lasting brown head, receding to a thin covering of foam. Aroma hints at smoke, but not blatantly. Nice and subtle smoky waft surrounding a deep roasty malt profile and a flash of wood. The smoke shines a bit more at the first sip, but still reserved, allowing some room for the other fine facets of this beer. This has a nice bitter bite to it - partially from the smoked malt (?) but also from the nice roasted barley base of this beer. Wood, char, delish. Perfect melding of a soft and supple texture and a nice bitter finish that leaves a hint of smoke on the tongue. Just enough complexity in this beer to make it unique, but just simple enough to be classic. Am eagerly looking forward to tasting this beer with a little age on it...

2009 vintage, about a year old, sideways label. Sampling right after the '10 version to compare. Pours much the same, impressive head, deep brown, see above. Aroma however instantly jumps out as being different. Less of a straight forward roasted malt, although that is present, and more of a nice mellow fruityness developing. Added complexities in the flavor profile as well. Really, really nice. Age is good. Nice mellow sweetness, fruity, raisin; reminds of darker ales from Belgium. Smoke and wood in the finish, perhaps a bit more pronounced. Maintains a voluptious and soft mouthfeel without being too thick, and perhaps a bit chewier a year later. Essentially, every area of this beer has improved age - I can't wait to try some more vintages next year.

Photo of Schmittymack
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Old Chicago Westy in a shaker glass. Pretty dark brown with decent head and lacing. Smoke on the nose and first sip was all smoke. Since glass was cold and the brew was too cold, too, I let the glass/brew warm a bit. After a few minutes, still got the smokiness but was able to pick up malt with a little chocolate. Drinkability is good to great; this is my favorite brew from Alaskan.

Photo of jjh19
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown and opaque appearance with a creamy tan head.
Smell: Bam! Smokey, woodsy smell right up front.
Taste: With the first sip, there's a TON of smoked smokiness, bordering on burnt but never quite getting there. There's also a hint of hops bitterness, but balance isn't the goal here for this porter.
Mouthfeel: Pretty light mouthfeel, especially for the big flavor.
Drinkability: If you're looking for a smokey porter, you won't be disappointed by this one. I'll probably pass on another as porters are out of my preferred wheelhouse, but there's no denying this one has big smokey taste.

Photo of CascadeConan
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A - Near black but brown toward the edges, nice full off-brown head that diminishes to a film and produces spotty lacing.

S - A fair amount of savory smoke (reminiscent of smoked salmon for me), light leather, slight carmel and a touch of dry baker's chocolate.

T - Close to the smell but the smoke characteristic fades a bit and allows the malt to play it's part with some very subtle carmel and chocolate notes balanced with the overall smokiness of the beer and tales toward the sweet end on the finish.

M - A decent medium body (a bit thin) with moderate carbonation, the flavors are really heavy so it's good that this beer is on the thinner side of the style.

D - I like it. Big, robust, smokey flavor but a sweet finish that guides the beer toward a balanced end. I'm excited to see what happens to this beer with some age on it.

Photo of crvcac
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark with a nice head
Smell: Dry, smoky, hints of wood. campfire
Taste: Smoked campfire, dry, toasted, smoke smoke smoke
Mouthfeel: Medium bodies, slightly coarse, mild carbonation
Drinkability: Very interesting. Would work great as marinate or brine. Reminds me of camping... I love camping.. I love this beer?

Photo of Phelps
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks: pours a dark, heavy liquid the color and consistency of melted dark chocolate that melds in the glass, becoming absorbingly black. A frothy one-finger head the color of ginger rises slowly from the depths before subsiding to a thick lingering layer that endures in a mixture of beautiful bridges and full sheets of lace. Really, a fantastic-looking porter.

Smells: meaty. Bacon, charred pork, medium-well steak. All good things. Buttered biscuits, campfire, a tiny bit malted milk balls.

Tastes: gristly. The char seems more present here than it was in the nose, overpowering the more savory, meaty character. Still, flavors of bacon and steak show themselves again, mixing with stronger notes of smoked wood. Bittersweet dark chocolate rolls in at the finish.

Feels: medium-bodied, but just a mite thin. For such bold flavors, this is a little runny. Subtly carbonated, with a lingering bitterness that clings to the back sides of the tongue.

Drinks: like a fine cigar. I still think Schlenkerla does a better rauchbier, but Alaskan comes damn close with this one.

Photo of Walken
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alaskan: Smoked Porter (2009) (Tasted 09/22/10)
22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.

Thanks again to Fletcher (boatshoes)!

Appearance: Black as sin and it does not pass light. Creamy mocha head exhibits ridiculous retention and solid lacing.
Odor: Distinctive smoked malt aroma, similar to the classic German rauchbiers, but not quite as bacony, much more woody, akin to hickory. Hints of malty richness in the background, expressing soft chocolate biscuits.
Consistency: Towards the high end of medium bodied with a low riding carbonation that promotes smoothness, over all. Slight acidity from the dark malts, slight chalkiness from something (minerals/yeast?) balance. Spot on.
Flavor: Chocolate biscuits and woody smoke on top, moderately sharp roasted malt in back. Citric hop bitterness rolls in last, getting a punch or two in before tapping out. Roast & smoke dominate the finish and linger for a while.

I cannot begin to express how perfect this beer tastes to me.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This is the darkest brown beer we've ever come across, so dark you may as well call it black. Good cling from the tan head. A heavy, but not overbearing, waft of smokiness mingles with the roasted, charcoal-like malt; hint of black currant and burnt sugar in the nose. Lush, creamy smoothness flaunts its full body. Solid roasted grain flavor is followed by a smokiness that compliments it very well. Hop bitterness and flavor hold back to let the smokiness shine, yet still help to balance. Smoke drops a slight puckering, charred-wood character middle to end that leads the beer into its dry finish.

A classic--you can't call yourself a beer geek unless this beer has touched your lips. If you are into all things smoke or a lover of Porters, it's a must try. The brewers suggest drinking it now or aging it for several years; we prefer drinking it fresh.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with 1.5 fingers light tan creamy head. Head retention is amazing, as is the lacing.

S - Smokey roasted malts are at the forefront. Chocolate is well defined in the background.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts now dominate while the smokiness is still present it was mostly in the aroma. Some coffee and hints of dark fruit are present on the back of the tongue. Overall a balanced flavor, but not overly complex.

M - Medium-heavy bodied, a little thin for most of the porters I have experienced. Very creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is definitely noticeable. Finish is slightly drying with lots of roasted malts, here the smoke comes back again.

D - Well rounded, starts out dominating with the smokiness and finishes the same way. No complex flavors but definitely a very good beer, if I hadn't gotten it while on a trip across the country, I would get it again, but sadly it's not readily available where I am now.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into pint glass, reviewed blind via Blind Beers BIF II.

A- A nice dark brown pour with a HUGE head, takes a few minutes to settle.

S- Nose is all campfire, nice meaty smoke. Great aroma on this one, something I can get lost in. Wow.

T- Taste is of smoked malts and tart dark fruit. Nice chocolatey notes. Heavy-handed with the smoke but it compliments the porter well. Porters lend themselves very well to smoke flavors.

M- Decent body, good carbonation, nice finish.

D- Fairly high, this is a very tasty beer. Not as good as Capt. Lawrence's smoked porter but at least in the same ballpark. I'd buy it if I saw it in my local store. Great smoked beer. Worth seeking out.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2009 vintage, white wine glass.

On the dark side of Porter with highlights in the brown spectrum, this ale has only a wisp of light tan head. The bubbles are very fine and creamy.

The aroma is dominant (alder wood or beech wood) smoke overlaying malt. The malt is dark with roast and chocolate the only specifics to penetrate the smoke.

Though the beer strikes me as very smoke-oriented and the initial flavor I want to give is wispy, gray ash, these things are quite soft. Cocoa powder and the smoke are very dry while some sweetness plays with a little independent roast, dark fruit, and the possibility of coffee and smoked meat. The finish is desirably short for a smoke beer and not long lingering.

I would describe the texture as soft, like smoke but for the carbonation.

I would probably buy this beer again with the intent to age. This bottle is about a year old, but it might be worth seeing where it goes. I like it now, smoke beers aren't my bag, so I'll take it.

Photo of Anaz
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.
This is the smokiest smokey smoke beer I have ever smelled. It smell of smoke, and smoke and chocolate, and smoke and coffee, and smoke and hops roasting on a campfire.

It's a dark brown that fades to Coca Cola at the edges and the faint head disappates almost as soon as it forms.

The taste? Well...the smoke rushes forward and it's like drinking espresso and eating super dark chocolate downwind from a campfire, without the coughing and burning eyes, of course. I swear there is some beef jerky in there, somewhere, but it's probably the smoke playing tricks on me. The lovely bitterness this finishes with braces you for another sip and keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the smoke.

This has a surprisingly light body, and would be a very easy drinking porter if not for the intensity of the smoke. I really want to drink this again with a giant grilled rib eye so I could have some food that can stand up to this beer. Nice job, very enjoyable.

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

A: Dark, a little ruby around the edges when held up to the light. Not much head, fades quickly. Almost no lacing.

S: Kind of reminds me of a Californian red wine... it's the smokiness I'm associating with it of course. Malt comes through quite well, but no one note sticks out.

T: Malt and smoke are nicely balanced, but it falls a little short in terms of depth. It's a smoked porter, but if it were just a porter I think I would be rather disappointed in it. Finishes a little bitter and tart.

M: Thin. Well, thinner than I was expecting. Probably middle of the road for the style. Carbonation is about right, nice and smooth.

D: A solid beer, and one of the better smoked beers I've had. I wouldn't mind something with a little heavier body, but it's quite nice the way it is.

Photo of LittleDon
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black with no head an medium head retention. Aroma is combination of slight malt sweetness and light smokiness. Medium carbonation on the front end. It begins lightly sweet with chocolate notes. Smokiness builds in middle but only a moderate extent. Tastes like liquid brisket. Medium mouthfeel, consistent with style.

Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label reads 2009 version

Appearance: black in color, 2/3 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt, coffee, slight chocolate

Taste: smoked woody malt, coffee, slight chocolate and cream

Mouthfeel: smoky, slightly sweet beginning and middle with a more sweet end, medium/heavy bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very good beer. The smoke is present throughout, but not overpowering. The porter portion is very rich and thick. Would only do one at a time, but wish I could find this closer to home.

Photo of zhanson88
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The beer is dark, with a good deal of light khaki colored head. Even after it reduces there is a nice amount of lacing remaining.

Smell: As the name implies, it is very smoky. I can pick out a little dark malt smell, but the smoke overwhelms any other scents.

Taste: To me, the taste is a bit more complex than the smell. There is obviously a smoky taste, but I can detect dark malts, a bit of chocolate and more bitterness at the end than I had anticipated. I like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer seems a little on the light-bodied side for a porter. It does go down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability: While the beer does go down pretty smoothly, due to the strong flavor of smoke it is not a beer that I would drink a lot of at a time. Good to finish off one bottle, but no more than that.

Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to find this beer while on my Alaskan vacation as I've heard a lot about it but never tried it. This is a 2009 bottle.

A: pours pitch black, beige head, decent retention

S: huge alderwood smoke character up front, which melds with a the roasted malts very well. This beer pairs smoke beautifully with the porter. It is very strong, but doesn't cross the line of being overly smokey which is a tough balance to find.

T: a little bit of sweetness up front paired with a touch of bitterness, this gives way to big woody and smoked flavors and finishes with chocolate and roast. The balance is great.

MF: nice thick body with high carbonation

D: this beer is something special. I have tried and enjoyed many smoked beers. but have never experienced one that so flawlessly delivers the smoke balanced with the base beer. I can see why this wins so many awards.

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,750 ratings.