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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

1,686 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,686
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 308
Gots: 295 | FT: 17
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
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Ratings: 1,686 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of travolta
2.98/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance:
Milk chocolate head, foamy, black. Minimal retention and lacing.

Nose:
A pungent black olive, licorice, charcole, whisky.

Taste:
Smokey, black smoke like charcole, ash, whisky.

Notes:
Very charred and smokey. Not BBQ Smoke, but black, out of the fireplace smoke.

Photo of meechum
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade with Tayner..thanks

A - Poured a dark black with red highlights into a pint glass with a nice large brown to tan head that fell slowly and left a good lace down the glass

S - Obviously..very much of wood smoke along with a burnt toast smell and a hint of floral hops

T/M - The taste opens up with a big malted statement you it's a bready taste that is cut quickly by a hop bitterness and then the end is all smoke..it's very much like drinking a complex porter in a smoke house

D - It was very good..and I enjoyed it thoroughly but I wouldn't want to do a smoked beer all the time..overall it was nice though

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a thin layer of tan foam on top.

S: Smoked meats, hints of wood, and not much else. But, incredibly inviting, just pulling me to drink it!

T: And drink I did! And it was wonderful. The smoke is incredibly well balanced by the myriad of flavors. Hints of wood, vanilla, chocolate, tobacco, and a hint of sweetness balance it all out. Far and away one of the best smoked beers I've ever had.

M: Thick, but very nicely carbonated, making for a delightful drink.

D: Man oh man, if only Alaskan Brewing shipped to the east coast, this would be a regular addition. It's absolutely fantastic.

Photo of pirate252
2.3/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

After reading through some other reviews I am starting to wonder if I just got a bad bottle.

I have been asked to describe the taste to my roommate and came up with a description that I think fits it perfectly.

Mine tasted like a porter, that was filtered through burnt wood and smoked salmon, no joke.

I am hoping that I got a bad bottle because I got this for a celebration and ended up pouring most of it out :(

Photo of shivtim
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2005 bottle I picked up in Vegas, sampled in Indiana in January 2008. Paired with a delicious chocolate cake baked by a pregnant barefoot woman (no joke).

Great bottle. Love the silhouette of caribou and sunrise colors.
Pours out deep black with brown edges and little ruby hints. Slight brown head. Nose is liquid smoke and bacon bits with malts, very much like a rauchbier. A bit one-noted smokiness, but damn it's a wonderful smokiness. Taste is pure smoke, with slight chocolate malts, more smoke, and subtle sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, foamy, and... smoky. Drinkability is great, this is one of the most drinkable smoked beers I've had.

Photo of bobsy
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd heard a lot of good things about this beer, and the combining smoke with the tradition flavour profile of a porter appeals to me. That's why on a visit to San Fransisco I found myself enjoying a bottle in my room after a pleasant day of sightseeing.

Alaskan Smoked Porter pours an extremely dark brown, which borders so closely on black as to be indistinguishable. A large mocha head is kicked up before slowly recing to a fine film, and leaving some fingers of lace behind. The nose is rich and tempting, hinting that the marriage of smoke and porter has been a fruitful one. Abundant smoky campfire aromas, mix in with cocoa and leafy hops. A light graininess and hints of wood also linger, but the smoke is the dominant force here. The first sip is greeted by a nice smooth smoked chocolate flavour (if such a thing exists). Caramel, smoked sausage and wood combine in ways I wouldn't think could be so pleasurable, while a light sweetness and slight hint of sourness provide a delicate balance. Medium body and carbonation is par for the style. Weird, but fantastic. Had it a few years later on tap in New York and it was still on fine form.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, 2007 release. A: Pretty opaque dark brown with some amber in there. Small amount of head but it retains very well, some lacing. S: Smoke of course, chocolate, coffee, darker fruit, some faint earthy hops. T: Nice subdued sweetness on the front, coffee, burnt cocoa, a very long, smokey, dry finish. M: Pretty perfect carbonation, smooth, sticky yet nicely crisp. D: I could drink this one all night long. I grew up in Idaho and I love sampling whatever beers I can't get on the east coast when I come here, but it does leave me with a lingering sadness that I won't be able to pick up wonderful beers like this every week. Fantastic balance in this beer. For a thick smokey brew it's insanely drinkable.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update 02/25/2010, reviewing a 2006 draft version at Bailey's Taproom:

It would be hard to top my original review but this is better- imagine an Islay single-malt and convert it to beer. Wonderfully smoky, peaty even, well-spiced. Stunning flavor; absolutely tasty.

Original Review:
This beer I've had on several occasions, both from bottles and on-draught (most recently at the Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Dec. '07). Remarkable that I haven't reviewed til today; this is a 22 oz. bottle, 2007 edition, poured to a pint glass at a cool temperature (guessing 55F).

A: Pours absolutely black, with just a little auburn at the edges. Sports a hefty tan head, about a finger-worth of froth. Drops in less than a minute to a splotchy film with a few larger 'soap bubbles'. A few spotty bits of lace.

S: I can think of few things finer than smelling a fresh pour of this porter. Wonderful billowing aroma of smoked alder, reminiscent (as I'm sure has been said hundreds of times) of smoked salmon. A pinch of sweet brown sugar and an undercurrent of toasty cereal grain. Even a sweeter, yeasty spice that reminds me of a dark Belgian - I don't ever recall detecting that. Simply 'Exceptional'. Easy.

T: Captures all that smoky goodness in a rich, savory maltiness. Smoke, but not quite like a rauchbier. This has notes of caramel and chocolate and meaty jerky. A little spiced tea and a coffee bitterness in the finish. It's that ever-changing transition of flavors that gets to me; it's perhaps the most flavorful porter I've had the pleasure of tasting.

M: Medium-full mouthfeel, smooth and coating. Warming stickiness and a not-so-heavy bittering on the back of the tongue. Little carbonation is noted. Finishes remarkably clean, although in some ways I wish those flavors would stick hard and last for hours.

D: Again this is a beer I've had more than a few times and it never ceases to amaze me how much i enjoy it. A bit less than a 'perfect 5' because not every mood calls for a big husky, smoke-flavored beer, and after a while it can just a bit overwhelming. But, it's world-class overall, and one I highly recommend. At just 6.5% ABV, it drinks like a much bigger sipper without all the repercussions.

Photo of jaxon53
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Release.
Thanks to magget for this brew. Served cellar temperature, into a pint glass, from a twenty-two ounce brown bottle. Pours out a deep brownish black color, with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Two inches of creamy, pillowy, mocha brown head formed, and just seemed to hang there. Great retention. Thick head left creamy trails of lace on the glass. Aromas of extremely smokey malts, some wood, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate filled my nose. Different, but in a good way. Taste was quite unique and as good as the nose. More smokey malts, some charred wood, a small tinge of chocolate, and maybe just a bit of smokey bacon. A little bit of tingly carbonation was noticed on the tongue and throat. No noticeable alcohol here. Mouthfeel was a little thin in my opinion. With all of the heavy flavors it almost seems it should be a tad thicker, almost chewey. Pretty decent drinkability. Would like to try an aged version of this as the bottle states"Enjoy now or age for several years". Overall: Awesome.

Photo of DIM
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This beer is a very dark brown and poured with a medium sized tan head.

s: Smells a bit like my flannel shirt after a night of sitting around a campfire. Lots of smoke and a little bit of coffee. I'm not sure that I like the smell, but I'm guessing that this is what they were shooting for so I didn't ding the score too much.

t: The smoke works much better on the tongue than it did on the nose. Smokey malts that almost have a meaty flavor at times. Some coffee typical of a porter does sneek through. Not all that complex, this beer is unique to me and delicious.

m: Thick, oily, and decently carbonated.

d: Many thanks to tayner for the chance to try this one. I'd be curious to see what some time in the cellar did to this one.

Photo of mattster
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 22 fl. oz. of 2007 Smoked porter bomber into Nonic glass.

Nice full 1.5" foamy head, tan in color; dies down slowly. Brew is an espresso colored opaque brew.

Smell is a little woody. Nice smoke tones. Taste is nice malty yet dry. Very smoky on palate, real good nutty flavor. Also a little peetyness... Like a good Scotch Whisky.

Mouth feel is thick with slight bubbles, but otherwise creamy. Finish is good and dry, very drinkable for its class. Really good brew.

Photo of monkeybeer
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 smoked porter

A- Black with a nice thick dark tan head and good tan lacing

S- Dark smoky coffee aroma with a slight sweetness.

T/M –Much like it smells Smokey flavor with a sweet chocolate coffee flavor. Mouth feel is very nice and smooth..

D- Alaskan brewery never disappoints and they do not with this one either. This is a very good Porter and would be enjoyed even by those who do not typically like dark beers. I wish I could drink it more often, but it is a limited release and only comes in the larger Pint bottles. This is not bad in itself it just means it coasts more, but it is well worth it.

Photo of RJLarse
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of Alaskan Smoked Porter 2007 in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a charcoal black color and is opaque. A robust rocky head forms, and is quite resilient, leaving curtains of tan lace on the glass.

The smell is predictable smoky. The smoke aroma dominates, letting just a little malted grain scent through.

The taste is also smoky, a bitter-sweet charcoal flavor, with a little roasted grain, and a mild bitter, vinegar-like finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick and buttery, with a little alcohol heat. Very little carbonation.

Average drinkability on this one. The smoke theme may be overdone, and the ABV is a little high to be sessionable. Still a very unique and enjoyable porter, for a glass or two, but probably no more than that.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 Release. Sampled 11-23-06

Pours very dark brown that no light can pass through. Slightly smoky nose that reminds me of being in Ireland and riding in the van of a peat deliveryman. Flavor is just the same, but more. Very strong smoke flavor, that I think is very overdone and shows no balance. Feel is decent, but I think overall there is no balance and the smoke completely leans it too far to one side. Low Drinkability.

I had high expectations but lower results than expected. Would only go back to this if it were a different years release.

Photo of Floydster
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased from a local store for about ten dollars, split with my dad last night

2007 Edition

Poured into my Stone pint glass with a very dark brown color with a slightly red tint, light definitely goes through when it is held up to the light, 1/2 inch creamy light tan head that stuck around for several minutes, good retention, and some really sticky lacing which was surprising for a porter

Smell was lots of roasted and burned malt, tons of strong smokiness, charcoal scent, faint coffee aromas, toffe, caramel, sweet cream, and a hint of piney hoppiness

Taste was super smoky and dry right off the bat, some chewy malt that was roasted to the maxiumum, nice dry hoppiness to balance it out, once it warmed it became more sweeter, some different coffee and chocolate tastes, hint of black licorice, mostly smoked accents and bitterness when cold but sweet and creamy once it reaches room temperature, last few sips had lots of caramel and more cocoa in it, great taste overall with one of the most smoky tasting beers I have ever had

Body was pretty thick but it was overly carbonated to me, remninded me of the barrel aged Wild Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter I had a couple months back, taste did not last a very long time though, above average mouthfeel

Could drink a few bombers of this and that would be about it because of its heaviness on the stomach, it is not strong and the ABV is pretty low, long lasting taste that keeps you coming back for more and the alcohol is hidden well

Best beer from Alaskan Brewing Company I have tasted yet, but I am expecting big things from their first bottled version of the barleywine, highly recommended, I will be putting some down for a year or two in my cellar, grab some before they are all gone, most places near me sold out already

Photo of dirtylou
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, 2006 vintage, shipped to me in the beerfest bif i believe

appearance: pours into a great dane imperial pint glass...big dark brown body with a huge chocolatey head and pretty terrific retention. this porter has the body of a champion

smell: aroma's of nestles powder mix, creamy, smoky, mild coffee, lots of roasted malts...very nice aromas

taste: silky and creamy...smoked wood, char, and smoked meat dominate the initial flavours...there is also a ton of milk chocolate and espresso behind the smoke that really make this a world class porter.

mouthfeel: creamy and silky bliss, wonderful

drinkability: high

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was really tasty. Smoked beers aren't my favorite style of brew, but I was pretty impressed with this one. Thanks to JDV for the trade!

2005 Vintage

Poured part of a bomber in a pint glass.

Appearance - It pours almost completely opaque, but has a translucent red color around the perimeter of the glass. It produced a 1/2 finger whitish tan head that quickly dissipated to a thin crown on the surface of the beer.

Smell - Smokey. Really smokey. There are also notes of soy sauce and scorched coffee beans. As the beer warms to room temperature, there are notes of cocoa powder.

Taste - The flavor is very smokey and it dominates all the way through. Beneath the smoke, I detect flavors of scorched coffee. There is a bitterness at the end of the flavor, and it tastes like cocoa powder intermingled with bitter hops.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is very smooth - the prefect mix of slight effervescence and creaminess. It has a lot more carbonation than I would have expected for a beer that is nearly three years old. It isn't sticky or oily - the smoke flavor doesn't stick to my mouth as other smoked beers have.

Drinkability - The drinkability of this beer is awesome. It was very easy drinking, and it went down smooth. I will definitely be seeking this one out again. It would have paired nicely with some BBQ or a smoked gouda. One of the better smoked beers that I have sampled.

Thanks again for the trade, JDV.

Photo of pweis909
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark with thin tawny foam that recedes quickly, leaving a narrow translucence at the surface of an otherwise opaque black beer. The feint caramel notes first detected rapidly gives way to the strong smoked aroma that makes this beer famous. The flavor evokes bacon, smoked fish, and tangy extra sharp cheese. It makes me crave crackers, but I am having Thai noodles, which are not the best pairing. Over the course of the 22 oz bomber, I grow accustomed to the smoke and the beer warms, revealing some coffee or chocolate more common to a porter, but these flavors are subdued, perhaps still masked by the smoke. For me, and probably most people, this is not an everyday beer, but it is a tasty, interesting brew and with the right pairing, it will surely make an enjoyable experience.

Photo of pheggeseth
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Surly Darkness Goblet.

A: almost totally opaque, thin tan head that generates late and dissipates quickly, not much lacing

S: smells like a campfire is the best way to put it, some light hops and malt, but mostly that charcoal mesquite, wow

T: again, the campfire, but a little more subdued, some chocolate notes in the middle, with a hop bitterness in the back that mixes with the rough, almost metallic charcoal character

M: pretty thick, coats the entire mouth and stays with you for a while

D: a true sipper, amazing for the style, but it's so intense, I had a little trouble finishing the bottle, one would be enough for me for quite a while

Photo of Halcyondays
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, 2007 Vintage, 6.7% alcohol,

A: Pours black, with a full light tan head, great retention and lacing in my tulip.

S: Huge smoke character, mesquite, BBQ, campfire, with some coffee and chocolate, though that character is more subdued.

T: You get a huge surge of coffee and dark chocolate on the first sip and the smoke character is light. Later on, the smoke comes much more to the forefront. Very dark, charcoal tasting flavours, but quite tasty as well.

M: Much lighter than I expected it to be, but it makes it easier to drink, kind of chalky, smooth, medium-bodied.

D: An interesting and tasty porter beer from Alaskan. I have only had this beer fresh, in the same year as the vintage, but would like to try it aged, it is always very good fresh, and I'm glad to have this available to me in CA.

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Alaskan Smoked pours black as opal into the glass with a two finger foam head. Very good looking beer. Leaves some nice sea foam lacing on the side of the pint.

It smells of burnt wood. I am expecting smoked salmon. The smokiness is really intense and the tough guy in the class.

The flavor is a charcoal with bitter chocolate. Get a little bit of coffee in the finish.

The mouth feel was thin which I seen in quite a few porters. It was nicely carbonated and left a tingling in the whole mouth. It was a very solid porter and I would recommend highly.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Many would argue that this is the best beer made by alaskan. I think it depends on the vintage. I am way too stingy to crack my 05's so I cracked an 06 for the review. Pours thick and dark as usual, and reeks of smoke. Thin head of a light brown color. Incredibly malty at first with the thickness of an imperial stout. The alder smoked malts come out with vengeance in the early finish and mostly just smoke and malt flavor in the aftertaste which seems to last for minutes. The smoke flavor in this beer is incredibly strong, its like drinking a burning log cabin. you can literally taste the difference between the alder smoked malt and other rauchbier. The 07 vintage is significantly less smokey and less hop flavors, hopefully it ages to be better. to really taste this beer get your hands on 06 or earlier vintage. truly unique.

Photo of irishevans
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a bottle of the 2006 vintage a year later. still smells like it's been smoked, however it is not AS noticeable in the taste. the beer also seems thicker than when it was fresh borderline stout thick overall the year has done this beer well, i'm excited to see how this vintage matures further.

Photo of aforbes10
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle bought at the Van Ness Bev Mo in San Francisco. Poured black and kind of grainy looking, but still kind of clear. Head small and spiderwebs nicely. A textural beer, like a river at night. Nice smoky flavor, which i assume is the alder smoke. Whiff of alcohol and burnt grains before i take my first sip, then im hit with a smack of malt and chocolate with subdued but ever-present smokiness. Not a rauchbier-like beef jerky flavor, more of a campfire smoke. very nice. medium bodied and grainy texture....but smooth drinking. its fantastic.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, poured into a standard pint glass. A friend of mine brought these back with him after he visited Alaska this past summer and was nice enough to share some bottles with me.

Pours a dark black color with a small, creamy tan head. Left some lacing around the glass. Aroma was smoke, campfire smells along with dark chocolate and coffee. Very robust aroma.

Taste is a well balanced smoke flavor mixed with the malty, chocolate flavors found in most porters. It's not overly smokey, which is a good thing in my opinion. A very tasty beer that opens up as it warms up.

Mild carbonation and surprisingly easy drinking. In the past, I've only had samples at the GABF. It was nice to be able to sit down and really enjoy a full bottle. This is a really great beer.

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,686 ratings.