1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,565 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,565
Reviews: 912
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 295
Gots: 256 | FT: 16
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: 1,565 | Reviews: 912 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sessycuban
3.18/5  rDev -23.7%

2006 vintage. 22 oz bomber poured into a tulip glass. Purchased at BevMo.

A - The beer pours black with faint red hue and a tan head.

S - The aroma is a mixture of smoke and dried fruit. For a smoked beer, I think the smell is a bit weak, but that could be due to the fact that the beer is still young.

T - The beer tastes of smoked wood, charcoal, and roasted malt. The after taste came across a bit astringent.

M - Very thin. This one kind of threw me for a loop.

D - I could pair this with many a meal, but I don't think this one is especially drinkable.

Overall, this is a very good beer, although perhaps not as good as some would argue. Given the substitutes, I'd rather have Stone Smoked Porter, as I feel it's easier to find and the taste is more robust. Have a try for yourself and decide.

sessycuban, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Another special gem from the stash, as part of my count down to 300 reviews...
2006 vintage 22 oz. bottle poured into my East End Brewing Co. shaker pint, the darkest, deepest garnet, with a large, creamy, rocky, dark tan head, with a long lasting collar and light lace.

The aroma is a nice roasty smoke in front of some sweet chocolate malt and an impressive showing of earthy, spicy hops. Really fantastic.

While I like the relative balance of the taste with the smoke and chocolate, their synergy is not quite as elegant as the nose, and a bit more subdued as well. Nevertheless, it's very, very good. A nice hit of clean tasting alcohol towards the finish lets you know what end of the spectrum this porter stands. Very tasty and satisfying.

The mouthfeel is light and luscious, with a nice creamy carbonation.

Worthy of it's world class status, this is a supremely enjoyable smoked porter. But the fact is, the smoke tempers it's drinkabilty, in that as good as it is, I don't want to have to many of these in a sitting. Still, I was worried it was to early to bust out of the cellar, but it turns out that it's already rounded off nicely.

ccrida, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured from 22 oz. bottle (if I did my math correctly) into a pint glass, "2005" on label. Pours black, no signs of highlights at all, just plain black. A creamy, mocha head develops quickly and settles leaving a layer behind for the remainder of the drink and leaves decent lace. Smell is of smoke, as expected, mocha, and caramel. Taste is on track with the smell. A nice blend of smoke, coffee, chocolate, and what seems to be a small hint of honey. The "smoke" aspect of the beer is very enjoyable. Low carbonation leads to a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Overall a very drinkable beer. Not really my style but I was very impressed with this.

bunnyhustle, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Patrick999
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%

Ahh, the famous Alaskan Smoked Porter, finally. Thanks to Liquid Solutions, I was able to get a bottle all the way down here to the opposite end of the continent.

A - Poured into a chalice - black as night, some creamy head, but not much retention.

S - The smoke is very apparent right from the pour. As it warms, it makes way for a milder mocha aroma.

T - I'll be very honest, I don't taste much here besides smoke, some roasted coffee flavors, some hop bitterness, and more smoke. I like the smoke taste in a beer....I say smoke 'em if you got 'em, but with this I was expecting something along the lines of Anchor Porter with some smoke flavor. It doesn't really seem to have as much depth of flavor as Anchor's porter....how this can be rated higher than AP is beyond me. I'm enjoying it, but not loving it.

M - This beer does shine in the feel department. It's creamy and smoothed out.

D - Not bad, considering the massive smoke flavor. The 6.5% ABV won't kill you, and actually feels like less than that.

All in all, I'm glad I tried it, but I won't make it a habit.

Patrick999, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of Finite
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

a - black as black gets, tan head is a little smaller than expected, ok lacing.

s - burnt malts, smokey notes with hints of coffee and smooth malts balance the profile. some fresh hops are a welcome addition.

t - rich in dark burnt malts, wonderfull balance of sweetness. a reasonably body and bite. woody, smokey and molassis flavours smooth out any charcol bitterness. A load of fresh green hops are a welcome addition, keeping the brew a little sharp. Not the strongest porter but fantastic flavour profile.

m - smokery and moderate thickness which disapates to a lighter grassy, fresh profile. A little thin if anything.

d - easy to drink but remaining full bodied. A wonderfull porter. One of the best ive had.

Finite, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of metalitool
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%

I had the pleasure of trying this while traveling through Alaska. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised with the stature of this beer, given that most of the rest of the offerings of this brewery were of far lesser quality.

There arent many smoked porters out there (or at least not easy to find), and this one does the job well... Like any porter, color was dark as night, but unlike traditional porters, less of an unsweetened coffee flavor than of smoked wood (as the name clearly states).

I would definitely recommend this beer, given that it is a hard to find beer style and also well done. Easily the best beer brewed in Alaska ive tried, though the rest of this brewery's lineup is a bit lackluster (Alaskan Amber and Alaskan IPA are a bit watery).

Beer was served from 22oz bomber bottle, like any porter there was not a lot of head, scent was strong and distinct of smoked wood...very fitting given the popularity of smoked salmon in alaska

metalitool, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a black color porter with a quite big foamy head with some good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of smoked malt is dominating with some dry roasted malt notes also noticeable. Taste is dominated by smoked malt with a well balance mix of dry roasted malt. I enjoyed the fact that while still being a smoked beer it was well enough balance to enjoy other aspect (i.e. roasted malt). Body is quite full with some medium carbonation.

Phyl21ca, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of kkipple
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%

2006 edition.

Well this is a new one... my first beer from Alaskan Brewing and I suspect my first beer from Alaska, period. Pours from a 22oz bomber into my goblet, and fills it with a lush looking deep brown (nearly black) beer. There's a toasted red-tan head that settles in around the outside edge and lies low, but sticks around a good while.

This smells great, if you like wood-smoke. Very reminiscent of a Rauchbier, the first thing to hit your nose is a smoky, meaty wallop that reminds me of a peaty scotch -- Lagavulin, anyone? Hiding behind the smoke are the usual porter suspects of coffee and roasted grain, but they hide well. Alaskan Smoked Porter certainly lives up to its name.

The flavor is equally bold. For a poor approximation of this, take some liquid smoke and squirt some into a good porter -- say Anchor -- and stir. The flavor isn't unpleasant, but it's assertive and rich. I suddenly question the wisdom of drinking this on one of our miserable 90 degree Carolina nights. Oh well, too late now.

But I'm getting sidetracked. I'm tasting a lot of smoke character, which wraps up the sweet roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, molasses and burnt sugars in a thick smoked blanket. The flavors complement each other nicely, but I can't help but think there's a little too much smoke going on here. The mouthfeel is near perfect though, fizzy without being harsh and smooth going down. The aftertaste is again more smoke and burnt grains and lingers long. Interesting.

This is an oddball beer. It's good, but much like a smoky, salty scotch, it's not something I'd drink on a regular basis. Kudos to those crazy Alaskans for doing something different and doing it well. Give me a bottle of this on a frigid Northern night while I'm sitting on beech logs around a roaring fire and my score would likely be much higher. It's all about context.

More kudos to Edgelow for the bottle.

kkipple, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

2006 edition. Thanks to Edgelow for the trade on this one. The first review of many from that trade. :-)

A- Very dark brown, almost black, with ruby highlights when held to the light. has a solid couple fingers of head after a moderate pour, that settles to mild lacing on top and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S- Tons of dark roasted grains, roasty malt, nuttiness, black bread and toast. Just a hint of sweetness comes through the strong smoky aroma, and increases as it nears room temperature. A faint hint of alcohol is there too, but no hop or yeast aromas to speak of... which is fine for the beer and the style.

T- Some initial dark maltiness with a hint of sweet, quickly overridden by burnt toast, a hint of acridness, strong dark roasted grains, and some smoked meat. Not like a rauchbier, but closer to that than a normal porter. Finish is more of the roastedness, but it's not overwhelming.

M- Medium-full body with medium carbonation and a quite dry finish.

D- It's a very good beer, enjoyable, but the smoke may be a bit too strong to drink a lot of it. I'd recommend trying it, though. And pair it with some beef jerky. A match made in... the woods.

khiasmus, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of younger35
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%

Drank out of pint glass. This is my last bottle of this bad boy and I’m sad that’s it’s only the second I’ve had. It’s a terrific beer. Enjoying with some cheese and crackers. 2006 edition.

Appearance- Pours extraordinarily dark brown with a huge foamy tan head. Not a lot of lacing down the glass but more than you would expect. Leaves a nice cap the entire duration of the beer.
Smell- Very mellow alder wood smokiness permeates the glass. A light roasted malt gently sits in the background. Reminds me of the drippings in the bottom of my green egg when I smoke beef jerky.
Taste- This beer is extremely mild in all facets. A mild sweetness from the roasted malts tickles the tongue to start followed by the extremely pleasing smoke. It’s definitely the star of the show but not at all in an overpowering, unpleasing way. Slightly bitter with a very very subtle fruitiness. The smoke lingers in a nice sweet, mild finish with tinges of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Thinner than you’d expect from such a beer. Light, semi-watery feel with vibrant carbonation. Very little alcohol warming.
Drinkability- This is such a good beer! I honestly can’t think of a better beer to sit down with some cheese and crackers or anything Bar-B-Q’d. It’s such a fantastic Porter I wish I could regularly get my hands on this stuff. Definitely in my top 5 beers.

younger35, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of mhaugan
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

22oz bomber served in a snifter 2005 vintage

Pours the darkest brown without hitting black possible, very light tan head. Smells incredible, like hickory or mesquite smoke and just a hint of the malt reminding me this is a beer and not beef jerky. Taste is almost sweet with the smoke pushed a bit more to the back than the aroma. Somewhat creamy, but not as much a non-smoked porter. Wins me over as I love anything smokey tasting. Finished great with a nice whiskey.

mhaugan, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

22 ounce bomber of the '06 vintage. Got this and an '05 from my buddy ThetaChiBro. Many thanks. Gonna try this relatively young sample and hang onto the '05.

Bomber poured into a 20 ounce nonic.

A - Just about black in color with a finger of tan head. Rings of lacing coat the glass top to bottom.

S - Big smoky, earthy aromas. Some sweetness wants to poke through but gets knocked back by the huge smoky lead.

T - Wow, TONS of smoke in the flavor. Really tastes firey, if that's possible. Can pick up on the sweet malts underneath, but they're almost immediately shoved back to being nothing but an afterthought.

M - Nice feel, basically medium bodied but leaning more toward the full side.

D - This is a tough call. Does the intense smokiness hurt the drinkability or add another layer of flavor to the brew? I'm digging it right now. Adds a whole new level of robust to this beer.

EStreet20, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of brentk56
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

2006 Vintage, tasted in July 2007

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a modest tan head that leaves the occasional splotch of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate and dark fruit with a considerable amount of alder smoke

Taste: Starts out with a bitter, but fruity, dark chocolate flavor that is joined, mid-palate by the alder smoke; after the swallow the flavors magnify into the finish

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just superb, as always

I was curious about the shelf like of AK Smoked Porter and tried the 2006 again on 7/15/13. Faded, but still drinking fine.

brentk56, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of flexabull
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%

I've had this a few times, but have yet to review one. Here goes... this is a bottle from 2005.

Pours a deep dark brown color, with a nice sturdy off white head.

Aromas are of smoke and peat. Very pungent smelling beer.

Taste is of roasted malt, caramel, and is just a bit sweet. The finish has a nice touch of smoked malts, and peat flavors. Excellent balance between sweet roasted malts, and smoke.

Mouthfeel is good. It's creamy, full, and quite supple.

Drinkability is top notch. This is an excellent smoked beer. I would have a tough time picking a favorite between this and Stone's.

flexabull, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of Damian
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Bottleworks, Seattle, WA
2006 vintage

Poured a dark brown/black with mahogany colored edges. There was no head but only small, light tan bubbles that faded to a thin ring.

The aroma was rich, smooth and quite smoky. The smokiness was hickory-like and rather strong. Coffee was noticeable as well, along with some notes of dark chocolate. A slight rummy-alcohol quality and a general sweetness came out as the beer warmed.

The taste was subtle up front but crescendoed as the beer moved along the palate. Roasted and smoked malts were instantly recognizable. Notes of dark coffee came through mid-palate. The big, smoky, charcoal, dry, bitter, slightly hoppy and espresso-like finish was really where this beer came alive. Notes of dark chocolate, burnt currants, raisins, brown sugar and a touch of creamy sweetness lingered in the aftertaste. Smoky and sweet flavors seamlessly melded in this brew.
The body was medium-light with a semi-creamy mouthfeel.

This was a good beer overall but I would have liked to see the flavors come through on the palate as strongly as they did in the finish. For a pairing, I would highly recommend a plate of wild Alaskan smoked salmon.

Damian, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of Night
4/5  rDev -4.1%

2005 bottling. Pours brown-black with crimson and scarlet tones. Small but solid creamy, dark tan head; thin but present lacing. Aroma of liquor (dark rum), woodsmoke, black tea, dark fruits, salt, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is relatively light and mildly carbonated. Flavor is dominated by thick, woody, sappy smoke – molasses, chocolate, and coffee take a back seat. Sourdough undertones throughout. More smoke in the finish; sour and bitter aftertaste.

Night, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of Atricapilla
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

Wonderfully dark with an excellent smoked aroma, reminicient of a great Rauchbier. I had both the 22 oz bottle and tap, in my opinion the keg beer smelled and tasted smokier and the other flavors : chocolate coffee and - bacon? - were a bit clearer. It felt good to roll around in my mouth and left a lingering smokiness. Felt like having a good cigar and beer rolled into one.
The head was creamy, but not overly large. Overalla great quaff.

Atricapilla, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%

This 22oz. bomber, vintage 2004, pours black with some ruby highlights and a large bubbly head. Leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is distinct but not particularly strong. Very smokey with a bit of coffee and malt.

Flavor-wise, it’s extremely smokey. Little else seems detectable at first. Once the taste buds adjust, I detect some roasty malt, and a bit some caramel sweetness. Most of the beers flavor characteristics, however, seem to be overshadowed.

Smooth and creamy but a relatively clean dry finish. I definitely prefer Stone as far as smoked porters are concerned.

letsgopens, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of xav33
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Alaskan Smoked Porter
22 oz bomber
Moderate pour in a stein.
2006 version, consumed 06/07

Poured black with some faint brown highlight with a large frothy somewhat lasting head with fair lacing.

Smelt of strong smoke with moderate chocolate, coffee, burnt grain, It is also reminescent of smoked salmon in a way... Maybe just a brain associatioin, Alaska, salmon, smoked, but it is oddly mineral.

Taste was upfront perfectly balanced strong smoke wit hmoderate chocolatey bitter sweet touches followed by a more pronounced moderate roasted malt bitterness and some cocoa and faint sour and sweet dried dark fruit.

Palate was medium bodied, softly carbonated, creamy and velvety and lightly astringent.

Overall, smoked porters are my favorite style so the points are skewed a bit, but I think I have found the paragon of the style. There is definately a mineral edge to it, and that puts it over the top. I need more of this or I need to move to Alaska.

xav33, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of Durge
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Big frothy head on top of a beautiful black/brown brew. The aroma is unmistakable. Smoked fish and campfire goodness, even some bacon thrown in. It is incredible and wonderful. Hits your tongue in a smooth wave of smokey-charcoal goodness that rolls over the tongue, never bitter, just a satiny taste of the great outdoors and I loved it. A tatse treat that is very drinkable for anyone who is open to a unique brew experience. This is as enjoyable a porter as I think I've ever had.

Durge, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

2006 Release

Appearance: It's dark brown and opaque. No light getting through at all. Carbonation must be rather light as the head is a very modest one finger. Very short retention and light lacing.

Smell: Very smoky aroma. Big on roasted malts. Definitely has a bit of chocolate and espresso in there as well. It's very straight forward.

Taste: Initially, it's all roasted malts. The smoked taste is inescapable, but it's very, very good and adds a lot to this beer. Definitely has a much better smoked taste than Stone's smoked porter. Espresso and dark chocolate flavors add some depth and sweetness on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. The carbonation of this beer is very intriguing. It definitely did not produce much of a head, but it doesn't taste that lightly carbonated. Who knows? Overall, this is a very, very good beer. Extremely drinkable. Definitely recommended..

prototypic, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of Cascadia
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

2006 vintage.

This has to be one of the most interesting porters I've ever had. Great roasty notes dancing the tango with the smoky malt flavors. Really good beer. Warms up well too, this is one to have on had at all times durring the colder months. Pairs nicely with food too, almost any kind of red meat dish would be perfect. I had it with some pasta with roasted red pepers, yummy. Hats off to the brewers.

Cascadia, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of diego
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

2006 vintage
Wow what a beer. I have to say I was skeptical of what one person called “fishy beer” but I was won over immediately. That smoked salmon smell is powerful and appealing once you’re over the initial shock. Thank fully the smoke is only accent to the malty goodness. This is a serious beer, not a gimmick.

diego, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of josiahschlender
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

John's Marketplace had both the 2005 and the 2006 vintage, so I figured I would try the 2005 as my first smoked porter.

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber. I had difficulty getting much of a head, which was thin, rocky and tan. The head also dissipated rather quickly, to my disappointment. Color of the porter was very dark, hardly any light getting through at the edges.

Smell was what I expected, smoky and roasted, but not as much as I was hoping. The small, short-lived head was probably to blame.

Fortunately, the beer was not short on taste. Definitely the smokiest beer I've tasted. Kind of reminded me of charred barbeque. The smokiness lasted from the beginning of the sip, until long after the swallow. The long-lasting aftertaste is great! Not that complex, but straightforward smoke and dark roasted malt for a long time. I also tasted more hop bitterness than I expected at the end, which helped fill out the taste. The medium body almost didn't keep up with the intensity of the taste, but it was well matched for how little carbonation there was.

This was a slow-drinking, very flavorful beer that needed a food complement for me. I was disappointed by the lack of carbonation. I think a little more would have really helped the appearance, smell and mouthfeel. Perhaps I had a bad bottle? Still, it was definitely worthwhile. I want to try the 2006 now.

josiahschlender, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of mjgardner
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

22oz bomber. 2005 Vintage. Tasted side by side with a Stone Smoked Porter. Shared with bross242 and dannosparks. One of 31 beers in an incredible day of drinking.

Appearance - Dark brown with a ruby red tint. Poured a tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell - This smelled exactly like smoked salmon. The smokiness was by no means overpowering. In fact, I thought it was spot on. I also picked up some dark roasted malt.

Taste - Dry roasted malt with a slightly bitter finish. There is also a hint of burnt chocolate as well. I really did not taste any smokiness, and I figured I would have because of the aroma.

Mouth - Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability - I thought this was an absolutely fantastic beer. It is extremely drinkable, unlike many smoked beers in my opinion. I could drink many a pint of this beer. Blew Stone Smoked Porter out of the water in my opinion.

mjgardner, Jun 03, 2007
Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,565 ratings.