Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

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1,692 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,692
Reviews: 921
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 309
Gots: 300 | 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: 1,692 | Reviews: 921 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of josiahschlender
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mjgardner
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a hard one to track down for a while, but worth the search. It has the aroma of smoked fish, and the taste is the same. Still light enough in alcohol to drink a 22oz. bottle and be ok. It is one, if not the best smoked beers I have ever had.

Photo of bradford
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally found a bottle shop in SLO county that carried this after lusting for it for so long.
22 oz bottle enjoyed with my roomates and brother right before my 21st birthday celebration a few months prior
Appearance is pretty standard for the style: dark, opaqua, very little light
Smell: Quite tasty smelling. Minimal smoke, chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasted malt
Taste: Phenomenal. I am not a huge fan of porters, but this is fantastic. I usually classify porters as watery stouts, but this one id thick, full bodied, and a beer that should define its class.
Mouthfeel: Good stuff, as I have come to expect from ABC
Drinkability: One could imbibe on this for quite a few pints

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

2005 bomber, poured into a Chimay goblet.

Poured black. Small medium dark brown head that disspates quickly leaving a collar. Light lacing.

Aroma of dark malts, molasses.

Taste is of dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate and smokey burned wood [alder].

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing. Lighter than expected.

Overall, a delightful beer. Obviously well made and well thought out. Quite impressive. Smoke is not as overpowering as others I have had, and that is a good thing. Ages well. Good with BBQ.

Photo of morebeergood
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 oz. bottle (2006 vintage) on my last trip to Seattle and managed to get it back to Boston in perfect shape. The smell blew me away when I first poured it, it was like a campfire in my nostrils. I loved the smell. It poured with a nice dark brown appearance, like most porters. The taste wasn't as pronounced as the smell, but you could definitely taste the smokiness. This is a beer that one should drink with a nice bbq meal, or else by itself in order to truly appreciate it. I wish I brought a few more back with me to age.

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

Poured a 22 oz bottle into a glass; 2006 vintage.

A: Pours dark, opaque, with a brownish beige head that laces as the beer is consumed.

S: Briny smoky aroma, slightly on the sweet side combining sugar and smoking.

T: Starts with the briny smoke flavor, morphs into malty sweetness with a little bit of coffee and caramel, and ends with a grainy flavor that combines with bitterness.

M: medium body beer that clings to the inside of the mouth as it finishes.

D: a very delightful beer that would pair well with a barbecue; smokiness limits drinkability to one or two in a sitting. Reminds a lot of a smoked marzen but with slightly more malt complexity and coffee flavor.

Photo of atsprings
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Talisker for the trade! Poured a deep black with a thin head that quickly diminished to a ring and left no lacing. The aroma was of dark malt with just a hint of smoke. The smoke in the flavor was just right; not at all overbearing and in perfect balance with the malts. The beer light and the alcohol was very well hidden. This is an extremely enjoyable beer.

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

I have a lot of written reviews I need to put into BA. I didn't drink these all today!

Anyway, I sampled the '06 edition.

Pours a deep opaque black color with a nut-colored head. Head reduces to a ring around the circumference of the glass. Smell is a nice smoky malt nose with some nutty, chocolatey notes evident. The smoked aroma is definitely at the forefront.

The brew is medium bodied, which is not what one would gather from appearance. Slick, smooth and soft presence on the palate; semi-full mouthfeel. Excellent texture. Taste is a great balance of smoked malt with a semi-sweet chocolate finish. Not too overbearing like some porters can be. No slouch either. Drinkability is excellent for the style. An excellent brew that I'll seek out in the future. Recommended.

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

This was a 2005 vintage sampled on 5/13/07. I poured it into two DFH snifters to split with my girlfriend.
A: It has a very dark black body with only some ruby notes on the edges when held to the light. There was no head on the beer at all during the pour or afterwards save a very thin ring of bubbles around the edge at the end.
S: This beer has a very strong smoky aroma that hits like a punch. The smokiness had a sweet aroma and almost reminded me of smoked pork or fish.
T: The smoke is right up front in the flavor as well. I can almost picture the crispy blackened parts of a roasted pig when I taste this. It manages not to be overpowering despite being the primary flavor. There is also some malt and caramel in there as well.
M: The body is medium to begin with but thins at the end. If it didn't thin at the end, I'd give it higher marks.
D: This is one of the better smoked beers I've had and is on par with the Spezial Rauchbier Lager that I had recently. This takes the lead because I prefer darker beers and the heavier darker flavors work a bit nicer with the smoke.

Photo of illidurit
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage bottle acquired at 99 Bottles Of Beer in Santa Cruz. Poured impeccably into a pint glass, resulting in a nearly jet black body capped by a 2 finger brown head. Nice head for a porter.

The smell, surprisingly enough, is dominated entirely by a strong smokiness, followed by roasty malt.

Notes of smoke, roasted malts, smoked meat, nuttiness, coffee, chocolate in the taste.

A bit thicker than medium bodied but not quite full, pretty appropriate for a porter. Carbonation is pretty nice, goes down pretty smooth.

This beer is great but I don't think I could muscle through more than one on account of the intense smokiness.

Photo of Cresant
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip. 2006 vintage. The dark brown body supported a modest tan head that faded to a ring.

Smell was liquid smoke and mildly cocoa-like.

Taste was hops brightness, light sweetness and more smoke. Some acidity and chocolate. There was an interplay of organic flavors and I feel they were nicely balanced. Woodiness appeared later after it warmed. Interesting and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel was thin to medium. Carbonation smoothed out as it warmed.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting a good long while to get my hands on this outstandingly rated brew. My first shot was this relativly young 2006 bottle.

A - Poured a deep dark jet black with a small tan, caramel colored head that did not have much staying power. Low retention led to a quick fade to a skim layer on top and a smll amount of lace.

S - The smell was very strong, knocking you back almost at first. Big smoked flavors were the predominant course here. Small hint at some sugary sweetness and perhaps a bit of a bittering hop in their at the end. But just about anything in there would have been overwhelmed by the absolutly absurdly strong smoked flavors.

M & T - First impression was extremely smmoth, crisp, and damn strong. Tons of flavors in the back here, but I think this may need to sit down for a few to get the strong aromas to mellow and allow some more of the subtle stuff to come though. Great, really light frothy carbonation left the palate feeling cleansed and refreshed. A slight bittering hop could be found in the finish and and a long lingering flavor that I could still taste several hours later!

D - Overall there is really nothing like this. It is a superbly put together brew and I can now see why everyone raves. Would love to try some older vinatge to see if some more complex flavors come out.

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

2005, seems to be the most common, it's the only vintage I've seen.
A - Pitch black w/ a great head for a Porter. Bubbly at first, but settles into a smooth, thick, small-cratered coffee ice cream-colored brown head.
S - Crazy roasted malts, salted/smoked meats, nuts, dark chocolate. You can smell the roasted malt sitting a couple feet away, really strong.
T - Luckily the salted meats didn't come out in the taste. But the roasted, almost burnt (but good) malt is huge. There's some toasted grains, coffee and nuts with a smokiness to them. A little watery, as are most Porters, but I think I'm used to the full-body of a Stout, so it isn't a big deal.
M/D - Medium to full-bodied, the slight watery taste sways it toward medium-bodied but the full flavor brings it towards full-bodied. The carbonation is low and the roasted malt adheres to every inch of the mouth. I enjoyed the whole bomber and I could have another, but the taste can become one dimensional. The roasted, smoky malt is the overwhelming flavor, and it's good, don't get me wrong, but it can get a little boring. It's drinkable, but hey, it's a Porter. Not the most drinkable I've had, but it's a great version of the style. For a 2 year old Porter, it's aged extremely well.

Photo of woemad
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle of the 2002 vintage purchased at Jim's Homebrew 2-3 years ago for $3.27. I believe this is the longest-aged beer I've drank to date.

Poured a color as black as the chances of Pete Rose making the Hall (dude, defending Barry Bonds is not an effective strategy for getting into Cooperstown), only taking on slight russet-colored highlights when held directly to the light. About an inch of tan foam was atop the beer, that receeded to a foam collar after a couple of minutes. Tan sheets dripped down the sides of the glass with every sip, leaving spotty lace behind.

The smell of this beer is still fiarly complex, and the smoked malts have backed off a bit. While still the dominant scent, they are joined by brown sugar, and dark roast coffee in more amplitude than I remember in younger bottles of this beer.

The taste is still first and foremost of smoked malt, but there's a stronger coffee presence accompanying it. The brown sugar sweetness is more in teh background but keeps the beer from being too bitter. The dry hop bite I remember from before is still present in about the same amount. This seems to have held up pretty well over the past 5 years.

The mouthfeel is creamy and a little oily. The body seems a little more thin than I remember it being. This is the biggest criticism I can muster for this beer. I think it should have a little more heft.

Not a bad experience to crack open this beer as an Easter treat an hour or so after a late breakfast of pancakes. This makes an excellent after-meal beer. I've got a couple more bottles of this that are a little younger, so I'm glad to see that this is a beer that seems to age well.

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

Thanks to grub for sharing this bottle and giving me another as part of BC2.

This one poured a deep brown with chestnut edges. The thin, fine bubbles settled to a solid ring that produced some spotty lace. The aroma was full of smoke, but while it was assertive it wasn't over the top. Behind that were caramel and chocolate maltiness combined with a bit of charcoal. Moderate bitterness with flavours of semi-sweet chocolate and restrained smoke. Notes of roastiness, nuts, and caramel rounded things out. The finish had some lingering smoke and a hint of sour cherries. Medium/full bodied, a little dry with lowish carbonation that contributed to a creamy texture. This stuff was easy going down. I'm glad I have another bottle!

Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to grub for bringing this to the tasting!! biegaman and DrJay were also in attendance, good times.

Pours a clear brown/red, nice colour to the edges, thick brown head forms, lace rings, good retention, looks like a porter. Smell is nice, sweet, toffee, chocolate roast, smoke, pretty well integrated, smoke is nicely balanced. Taste is caramel, roasty bitterness, chocolate and coffee, bit of beef jerky smoke, light bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied with low carbonation, quite nice, maybe a touch too much smoke in the flavour for me but pretty nice to drink. Thanks a ton Russ!!

Photo of thinkfull
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yup, it's smokey. My girlfriend tried a sip, but disliked it, noting that it tastes like tobacco.

This is an extremely dark porter, visually speaking. Light head, lighter lacing, small head retention.

The smell is the most striking part of the beer. I purchased it as a pint, and the two glasses that I poured from it were very different. The first glass smelled a touch smokey and rich, like a well- seasoned grill being fired up. Hints of tobacco and peat were also present. The second glass smelled primarily of hickory or mesquite charcoal, with a sweet tang to it- honey glazed! Again, the tobacco smell, but more of a cigar than raw tobacco.

The taste mostly followed the smell; more porter than smoke the first glass, with a peaty scotch flavor, then moving to the smoke-heavy second glass, where the "porter" flavor becomes secondary. The warmth is obviously what changed it; this may be fun to play with a little. I think I'll try the next one just under room tempurature. The constant through both glasses was an alcohol warmth and an uncooked wheat bread dough flavor.

The mouthfeel was creamy- traditional porter-y goodness. Drinkable only in a "I'd like to have one beer every hour-and-a-half" way. However, I rather think that this is the desired effect; a beer for lingering over, rather than quaffing with the boys after the game.

This beer is probably not for everyone, or for every day. However, you won't know until you try it, and scotch drinkers may find the peaty-ness of this brew quite enjoyable.

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

got this bottle in a trade with BigLove. thanks travis!

22oz bottle, 2006 vintage.

pours deep brown, not quite opaque, with a small dense tan head. drops fairly quickly and leaves no lace.

aroma is nice. lots of smoke, but pleasant and not overpowering. light sweetness. bit of chocolate. hint of alcohol.

taste is great. light smoke. medium bitterness. bittersweet chocolate. light roast. toasted multigrain bread. bit of coffee. makes me think of a nice smoked salmon.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-low carbonation. the smoke seems to give it a light drying character.

drinkability is great. balanced and enjoyable. the smoke is obvious, but not overpowering. very nice.

Photo of rgrace99
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber, 2006 edition. Very dark with a small, rapidly dissapating head, some lacing. Aroma, as expected, was very smoky. Flavor was a mixture of chocolate and coffee with the smokiness always in the background. Very light mouthfeel, went down very easy and smooth. Tasted great with the salmon I grilled too.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to metallitone1 for this bottle. 2006 vintage.

a - pour very dark brown, nearly black, one-finger tan head with retention mostly around the edges, moderate lacing

s - big cedary (I guess it's actually alder) smoke aroma is dominant smell, hints of burnt malt and coffee, some bitter chocolate

t - slightly sweet chocolate and coffee at the start, quickly evolves into a nice smokey body and a finish that lingers dry and cedary

m - light-to-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, pretty dry finish

d - not the most drinkable porter I've had, smokiness and dryness of the finish get to be a bit much for the palate after awhile

Great example of the style. It's not something I'd drink all that often, but it's a great brew for when the mood hits. Well worth seeking out a bottle.

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

Vintage 2005

Pours opaque dark brown, with barely translucent edging of muddy amber. A beige head rose to a half inch, and fell quickly to a mostly bare surface, with some tight foam on the edges and a whisp on center. No lacing except for a couple of dots.
Aromatics are full of porter character, with light smoke. Bakers chocolate, toffee, caramel, coffee grounds, and smoldering twigs.
Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and thickish. Lingering viscosity.
The pallet is filled with roasted cocoa nubs, dark coffee beans, and an afterthought of embers. Hints of vanilla, burnt ends, and Kahlua follow through.
Finishes with lingering smoke and some mild acrid character.
The smoke seems to have faded since 2005, but the brew has picked up some nice complexity.
A well balanced beer, but I'm left wanting an "Imperial" version.
Thanks to Timmcd64.

Photo of klewis
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to markgugs for this one.

2005 edition

A: Pours nearly black with a two-finger bubbly head. The head quickly fizzes away and leaves little lacing.

S: Smoky aroma of cedar and smoked meats. Similar to the Schlenkerla rauchs, but a bit more subdued.

T: Earthy flavor with a light smoked taste and a mild bitterness. I expected this to be maltier with some more typical porter flavors, but the flavor is still nice.

M: A bit light in body with moderate carbonation.

D: I can't say that I'm blown away by this, but I could certainly see myself drinking this as a session brew.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. 2006 vintage.

A: Very dark color, almost black. A very nice creamy head forms after the pour.
S: The smell of smoked malt is overwhelming.
T: A classic porter taste followed by the smoky flavors. An absolute joy to drink.
M: The mouth is overwhelmed with all of the wonderful complex flavors found in this brew.
D: One of the best beers that I've ever had. I'm not sure how often I'll be drinking it since it's a bit heavy. I paired it with fajitas and it was a fantastic match.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.13/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Pours very dark for a porter. Showcases mahogany edges. A beautiful two finger rises up and has ample retention.

Smell: Over-powering smokiness criss crossing with burnt chocolate and faint malt sweetness. Absolutley no hop aroma is detected.

Taste: The taste of this porter is where it really shines IMHO. It has a very nice balance of chocolate,coffee,wood and then a robust suggestion of smoke yet again. The smoke is not nearly as potent as it is in the nose. Tons of complexity and a long smokey finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth drinker. Seems a little chalky in the finish as well. Medium amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer is hugley complex and a bit unsetteling if your not ready for it. I would be hard pressed to try this again because of the over-the-top smokeness. Worth a try but I prefer the nuance of Stone's smoked porter.


Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,692 ratings.