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Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

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1,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
Reviews: 938
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 310
Gots: 325 | 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: 1,746 | Reviews: 938 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sulldaddy
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I split this 2005 bottle with fish113d on Christmas Eve Eve. The beer is poured at room temp into a pint glass. The brew pours a dark brown color similar to a piece of dark chocolate. There is a small foamy tan head of about 2 cm that foams up and fades to an edge layer. The aroma is where I really start to like the beer. It isnt just smoked sausage or campfire ashes, there is a nice mix of hot cocoa powder, bown sugar and some roasted coffee bean. Very nice.
First sip reveals an average body with fine but fizzy carbonation. The texture is smooth a little creamy. Flavor is similar to the nose, I get a bit of smoke up front which then allows for chocolate bar and coffee bean to come through and finishes with a lingering roast bean flavor. I dont detect alcohol at any stage of the sampling and find the beer to be very enjoyable.
This is a defininte buy if you can get it.

Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 version of this beer and my first experience at it.

Pours a robust brown bordering on black with a thick foamy two finger mocha head that leaves some slicing lace.

Smoked meats up front with hints of dark fruit and a slight bitter chocolate aroma. After nearly 15 minutes of decanting the smoke steps back and really lets the dark chocolate aromas shine through.

Very balanced flavors of dark chocolate, black licorice, smoked pork, and other dark fruits. Not the most complex beer I've tried yet very nice and easy to drink for a smoked style.

Photo of mjc410
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint at the Toronado in San Francisco on 12/4/06.

The beer had a thin light tan head over a near opaque, slick liquid. The head left some appreciable lacing. Had a mildly smokey roasted scent, but far too weak. The taste was full of enormous smoked flavor, almost meaty. There was a slight chocolate note, but very obvious. It was also just a bit vinous. The mouth was pretty light, with low carbonation. An excellent beer that I would like to see on the East Coast.

Photo of tjthresh
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage. Very dark brown with some garnet highlights on the edges. Brown head. Light lace. Dark chocolate, vanilla, and smoke. Amazing. The smoke is not the main player here. The flavor is like sex in a glass. Some smoke, chocolate, vanilla, ash, marshmallow, and lightly bitter. Rich on the palate. Bamberg aint got shit on this.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been drinking Alaskas Smoked Porter for the last five years or so and this has to be the worst tasting of all of them. Not impressed with the 2006 brew.

Strong smokey flavor, but just lacking depth and finish. Dark brown in color as usual and no foam or lace, as usual.

I only wish that this porter would have been better!

Photo of dbalsock
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorite beers.

Appearance: Pours black, but not pure black; black like the color of a black bear's fur. The head is fantastic, sitting two fingers high, orangey/brown and eventually moving to the edge of the glass to sit nicely as a ring. A slight lacing accompanies the brew as it disappears from the glass, but not anything super artistic.

Smell: Simpley smoked ham/bacon/fish and alcohol control the nose, and that's just fine.

Taste: Very smokey on the palate until the hops hit through on the finish. A slight alcohol presence combines with the smoke and the coffee and chocolate malts to create an incredible balance and an overall great winter taste.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth, it reminds me of a good oatmeal stout. A slight accent from the alcohol and the roasted characteristics diversify the mouthfeel and make into an experience.

Drinkability: Smooth and tasty, I find this easily sessionable and perfect for a cold night.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage sampled 11/30/06.

Appearance: Poured opaque black with a moderate foamy head that faded pretty quickly into a small ring around the glass.

Smell: The nose is all earthy, smoked malts and dark chocolate. Intensely aromatic stuff.

Taste: The taste mirrors the smell - sweet, smoaked malts in the front, chocolate, hazelnut, and a light hoppy finish.

Mouth: This is thick for a porter; drinks more like a stout to me. Lightly carbonated and very smooth.

Drinkability: While entirely delicious, the strong character makes it hard to drink a lot of this in one sitting. A glass or two is enough for me. It's thoroughly enjoyable stuff, though.

Photo of malcontent
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2004 bottle of this legend.

Opaque, opaque, opaque. Looks like you'd wreck your car if you tried to drive through it. Good head but exceptional lacing. Awesome-looking brew.

Um, BBQ anyone? Smokey like I've never encountered with good charcoal hints as well. I might as well be grilling (which is a GOOD thing for me).

Mesquite chips are the primary flavor on display but there are subtler, sweeter hints of chocolate and root beer going on as well. Earthy tones pick up on the back end of the tasting. Out-stand-ing.

A perfect mouthfeel for something of its ilk although that also means that it really can't be the kind of thing you drink all night. Sip all night? Perhaps, but certainly not flat-out drinking material.

Thanks to kmpitz2 for the taste and autumnaldave for the harassment!

Photo of geexploitation
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 edition. Pours a deep black, darker than most porters, with a taupe head that forms a ring around the beer after a few minutes. Chunks of lacing stick to the sides of the glass. The smell is heaven for lovers of smoked beer. Smoked wood, similar to the beech wood used in German rauchbiers, is the most dominant feature of the nose, but there's a subtle dark fruitiness lurking underneath.

On the tongue, well-balanced porter bitterness and slightly sour fruits assert themselves first, along with active, fine-bubbled carbonation. The smoke creeps in at first, then grows in intensity toward the finish, which is long and deep with smoke notes but never overpowering... you never get the sensation that you're chewing on a piece of smoked meat here; it's always throttled back enough to enjoy simply as a beer. Mouthfeel is perfect -- good carbonation, very smooth, with a substantial body that nonetheless gets out of the way for the finish, thus never becoming cloying.

Overall, this is a fabulous beer. All elements are balanced with each other; every element is high quality in and of itself. It's got a distinctive smoke character that you don't find in many other beers, and certainly not in the progenitors of the style. This is certainly the best American smoked beer I've had, and it vies with the imports for "best in the world" status.

Photo of SethB2
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Somehow my podunk little liquor store got this.

Poured from a bomber into a Tulip glass.

A - Awesome. Deep redish brown with a head that is medium tan with hints of ruby as well. It has some staying power too. Deep dark and brooding. This sucker looks like it wants to kick my ass.

S - Hints of smoke over a sweet, dark fruits. Roasted grains are huge, as expected, and blend well with the cherry/melon charateristics.

T - Oh my. The smoke on this baby is no joke. Huge burnt grain and almost a beef jerky feel to it. The sweetness of the malts are subdued and don't make themselves know as much as they did on the nose. Roasty, toasty, and very good.

M - Very good. Full and smooth.

D - Good, but the deep smokiness might be a bit much after awhile. That said, this is an excellent beer and well deserving of the ranking that it gets.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation 22 ounce bomber bottled in 2005

Alaskan Smoked Porter poured into the glass a deep rich ebony color. The head was creamy camel colored foam that contrasted nicely against the inky blackness of the liquid. The lacing was thick and clung to the vessel.
The smell was wood smokiness, faint chocolate, malty sweetness, and a bit of grassiness from the hops.
The taste was smoky start to finish, with gentle notes of sweet dark chocolate, faint roasted coffee beans, and grassy hops coming in with a pleasant bitterness. It was lightly dry in the finish with an enjoyable lingering smoky flavor.
The carbonation was moderate, the body was medium and perhaps a little thin for my taste. The mouthfeel came across as creamy and somewhat smooth.
This was a nice porter one I could easily see using as a session brew.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage. Trade courtesy of b0ldfacelies.

Deep brown body with a solid finger of dark tan head.

Nose is rich malty smoke, like beef jerky or smoked salmon. Makes your mouth water like salty smoked snacks.

Flavor is smoked goodness. I have not tried the famous German rauchbiers, but I think that I now better understand the descriptions of others. Akin to beef jerky, salmon, smoked sausage. It's a tasty beer that provides it's own snack. Really good, rich and complex.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. Not quaffable, but very, very sippable.

Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 bottle, Pours dark black with a small tan head that slowly settles.
The nose is filled with charcoal and smoke with some hints of a sweet roasted malt character behind the smokey aroma.
Charcoal is the most prominent flavor in the beer but the beer also contains flavors of very light chocolate malt along with a faint sweetness.
The mouthfeel is true to the porter style, fairly light with a medium level of carbonation.
I would probably try this beer again with an appropriate food pairing rather than drink it by itself.

Photo of dogfooddog
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle.

Pours with a large light-tan head, nose is immediately strong scent of woodsmoke. on the nose it is overpowering, the rest of the porter barely makes an impact on the smell

taste is (surprise) smoke. Not sure what month this was brewed, but the smoke is dominant here to the near exclusion of what you would look for in a porter (chocolate/coffee malts, for example).

Further into the bottle, it tastes more like - smoke. a bit sweeter as the palate adjusts, but still having trouble picking up anything BUT smoke here. The other porter notes are almost after-thoughts, and are somewhat hard to distinguish from the raw woodsmoke with dominates this young beer.

I assume with time the smoke would moderate and allow the rest of the beer to be tasted. I do think stone smoked porter is a much more balanced off-the-shelf version of this style.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle thanks to Luchman

Pours a rich black color with a tan head that thins. Very mild lacing on the glass.

Rich smokey aroma upfront with underlying roasted malts including a hint of coffee.

Upfont taste is a delicious combination of smokiness and roasted malts. This leads into a slightly bitter coffee taste with some mild cocoa flavors - a light smokiness is present throughout. Finishes roasty and smoky as it began.

Medium body, light carbonation.

This is a very fine beer and immensely drinkable. I am pleased that Luchman was able to provide me with a second bottle, as one is just not enough. Seek this one out.

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

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. 2005 vintage.

Appearance - Pours with a thin one-finger head that is somewhat foamy. It dissipates very quickly to a thin layer of patchy lace. The color is a hazy brownish amber as it is poured, but it is opaque black once the glass is filled. There is very little noticeable carbonation activity.

Smell - Roasted and definitely smoked earthy malt character. Slightly floral hop aroma with mild herbal notes and bitterness. There is barely a trace of any alcohol on the nose.

Taste - Again, strong presence of the dark roasted/smoked malt character, very rich and biscuity. The hops a bitter and somewhat floral but definitely a background flavor. They also have a somewhat oily character to them. There is moderate earth flavors throughout and the finish is strong with malt flavors as well as the earthiness.

Mouthfeel - A medium-bodied beer that is slick yet oily in the mouth. It is quite smooth and the carbonation is light but has a slightly tingly/biting structure; not unpleasant, though.

Drinkability - Strong overall flavors with a quite strong smokey presence throughout the entire beer's flavors/smells. It's not objectionable, but it would get to you after a few pint glasses of this stuff.

A very good smoked porter. They didn't go overboard with the smokey character, and I'm glad for that. It still stays true to the excellent style that is a porter. Highly recommended, but definitely a sipping beer. Paired very well with some smoked sharp cheddar!

Photo of johnbonham1980
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark amber highlights...

Brownish head is creamy, and diminishes fairly quickly into a nice thick lace.

Not much in the nose other than smoke, but it's a pleasant smoke aroma.

Taste is mostly dark chocolate with some dark fruit and smoke... the smoke is there but not overpowering, exactly as I'd want it. Hop bitterness is present and adds structure as well as a nice counterpoint to the malts.

The highlight of this beer is its mouthfeel which is the best I've had in recent memory, as creamy and smooth as the best nitro stouts. Coats your entire mouth in an amazingly pleasant smoky aftertaste.

I love this stuff. Highly recommended. It's obvious Alaskan cares a lot about this one.

Photo of akorsak
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: The porter is a dark, murky brown-black color that does not have a very thick head.

S: The aroma is best described by one word, smoky. The aroma is a delicious smoked smell that conjures up an old-fashioned smokehouse curing bacon and ham.

T: The taste is a perfect blend of smoky chewiness and the chocolate toffee flavors of a porter. On top of that, this ale has a pronounced hop bite that is big and bold, providing a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the chocolate and depth of the smokiness.

M: The mouthfeel, for the multitude of flavors, is well-meshed, allowing each flavor to shine on its own.

D: Very drinkable. In the past 2 weeks I’ve acquired 3 bottles of ASP and frankly I could go for some more.

Photo of rayjay
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 bottle. Deep dark brown with red and black hues and a thin dust-colored head; not an exceptionally thick porter as it is relatively translucent to other beers in it's genre. Some smoked malts and peat on the nose and mouth, an average amount for a smoked beer, nothing too extreme. Skunky bitterness tells me perhaps this bottle is a bit overripe, but it's former glory still shines through. The body is too flat and....underfermented??? Is that a word? Seems like there's too much wort still hanging around in the body of the beer. A good porter but not great like the barleywine.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bOldfacelies for the bottle. 2005 vintage. Pours with decent head, minimal lacing. The beer appears to be black, but upon close inspection, is really dark brown. Aroma of smoky malts, beef jerky comes to mind.

The smoke is quite apparent, but there is some malt in the background. At first, there is smoke, then just as the porter peaks its head around the corner, the smoke caves its head in with a bat. This beer actually reminds me of Lagavulin. Very smooth mouthfeel. The smoke diminishes as the beer warms, allowing the porter to come through. Good drinkability, this would be perfect to have while grilling, and I would have another one as I ate whatever it was I grilled.

Photo of Orrshow
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2005 bottle brought to me by my father who took a trip to Alaska.

Appearance – Pours pitch black with beautiful dark tan head. The head goes away in time leaving little lacing.

Smell – Very smoky. Roasted malts are there and faint coffee aromas. I detect a slight bitterness as well. Appetizing.

Taste – Right up front I am bombarded by smoke and wood flavors and I love it. There is some coffee and bitter chocolate as well with of course…roasted malt. With the exception of the smoke, the flavors don’t seem to stand out individually creating complexity and letting you enjoy each sip more.

Mouthfeel – Nice and thick….but not too thick. Carbonation is bang on being noticeable without tingly. Not criticisms here.

Drinkability – Very good. I didn’t have many problems with this one.

I love this beer. Among the best Porters I’ve ever tasted.

Photo of blackie
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004

appearance: A gentle-ish pour give a low, mocha colored head that soon recedes to a small ring and a layer on the surface. The beer is a dark brown in color. No lacing.

smell: At first I find aromas of wood smoke, reminiscent of the inside of a well-worn, wooden smokehouse. Close behind is an aroma of roasted barley with some light cocoa. The hop aroma is light to moderate, and is not so easy to pick out from amongst the smoke and roast. As the beer warms, I find hints of sugary, dark liquor soaked dates and banana sneaking in.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium and smooth. The body is on the heavier side of the medium range, creeping into heavy territory.

taste: Even with the age on this beer, the smoke is still obvious and pretty much dominates. Providing some nice counterpoints to the smoke are notes of dark chocolate and roasted barley. After the swallow, the light sweetness of the malt disappears, leaving behind dry flavors of wood smoke and roasted malt. There is a nice balance between the malt and smoke, allowing the smokiness to stay on top while not being overdone. This beer definately opens up as it warms. Very little hop flavor is evident to me, and a slight bitterness lingers with some smoke into the finish.

drinkability: just a pleasure to drink...a great smoked porter

This beer has been cellared for well over a year, the sole remnant of my first trade ever. I don't even remember who it came from, someone in AZ perhaps. Consumed a week or so ago, review entered from notes.

2011 version - purchased in Rock Springs, WY. Surprisingly, still agree with all my notes above - I wasn't so bad as a noob. A classic with lovely fresh smoked balanced against an already quality porter. 4/14/2012

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A helluva good porter. 2005 bomber. Pours out to a medium dark brown color with a 1/4 inch head of brown foam. Medium low carbonation. Aromas of smoked and cured meats, hearty malts and grains with some dark molasses notes. Very inviting. Taste is medium bodied and very complex, yet not overpowering; dark smoked malts and grain, some soy notes, sweet maple, smokey wood, earthy mild hops. Wow. I like it. Mouthfeel is smooth, but isn't very dense, or as dense as I expected it to be. Drinkability is good. This would be great for autumn evenings. Recommended.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: Peaches, as of late, has taken full control of the hoser-bowl, drinking hers and Benjies' samples. She found this brew most enjoyable, albeit the smoke aroma put her off at first. Good dog...

Photo of arizcards
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since I could not get enough of this back in January, I picked up a 2005 edition from AJ's for $4.59 back in late February.

Beer poured a very dark brown with a good two fingered head that is sustaining quite well. Nose is of alder wood smoked malts, very pleasant and not overpowering. Taste is of chocolate malts blending into a blissful medium hopped finish. Mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth and creamy. Drinkability is very good. This is one of those beers that will be part of the rotation of my favorites!

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

2005 Edition Bomber

Alaska is known for it's amazing game and fish... and if you catch salmon the size of the fish in alaska you will inevitably smoke some... so naturally people in alaska had better know how to smoke!

Well, it appears they can smoke their beer just as well as they can smoke their fish!

This looks like a porter, nothing heavily notable about it. dark and hard to see through. The first smell was a heavy woody alder smoke scent that faded to a mild smoked brown sugar.

The taste is wonderful! This is definately an easily consumed porter and tastes better than it smells by far with some overtones of dark fruits and roasted nuts mixed with the superb alder smoke flavor. It's almost like drinking a smoked salmon without a hint of fishy taste!

This is a very wonderful drinkable porter and I highly recommend it. I may go back and grab a couple more simply to put in storage for a while. Very well done!

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.