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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

1,565 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
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Ratings: 1,565 | Reviews: 912 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jtfest
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours extremely dark brown -- appearing almost black in the nonick -- with a moderate, quickly diminishing brown head. Big malty aroma that adds to the flavor. Rich, full mouthfeel with a smoked taste that reminds me of eating smoked salmon. Very smooth, not bitter at all, it is none-the-less difficult to think of downing a bunch of these -- not because it isn't good, but because its so, well, rich. Like a good cheesecake or something -- you like it, but can only have so much. 2002 vintage sampled.

jtfest, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%

2001 Vintage, 6.7% ABV
Poured thickly into a Duvel tulip, and settled as a flat-looking black liquid. After several seconds however, the brew came to life beautifully, spewing up an active but thin tan head that accumulated mostly around the edges of the glass. Most interesting was the fine lacing left behind after tilting the glass. It resembled rings of dripping wax, falling away to become a starry nightscape against the black sky below.

This brew had the most delicious smoky aromas I have ever experienced from a beer. I have, however, smell similar delicious-ness at smoke-out style barbeques! Being more specific, the aroma was mostly of alder-smoked malts and meat. It was focused and potent, as if smoke was actually wafting out of my glass. Excellent!

The taste was suprisingly dry, crisp, and refeshing...condsidering its stout-like appearance. The primary flavor was dry alder-smoked malts, with a perfect level of bitter hoppy-ness holding things together. Not too complex, but the flavors were big, full, and very tasty. Smoky hopness lingers on the palate for minutes after a sip. A barbeque in a bottle!

The brew pulled into my mouth thick and velvety, but felt somewhat thinner as it rolled off my tounge. This was suprising, again considering the stout-like appearance. This thinning, combined with the dry crispness of the flavor, and perfect carbonation, made the beer extremely drinkable. I will be picking more of these up. Now for the later vintages...

HiroProtagonist, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

2001 Vintage: 6.5%ABV. We need to have different listings for the vintages of this brew, as the abv changes. This is a classic opaque black colour with a creamy looking off-white/beige head. In the glass this could be mistaken for Guinness. The aromas is full of that alder smoke, but in a good way, and if you try very hard you can also pick up the deep roasted malts and slight malt backbone of the brew. The taste is wonderful. Imagine a classic porter with just a hint of wonderful smoke flavors. This is that brew! The mouthfeel is creamy, but not too thick and the drinkabilitiy is ace as well!

2002 Vintage: 6.1%ABV. This brew is quite different than the 2001 version. It is still a very dark opaque black colour, but the 2002 versions has a smaller tan head that dies quickly. The aromas are much smokier than the aromas of the 2001 and the porter characteristics are not as noticeable to my nose. The taste is still quite smokey as well, with the nice roasted malts characteristics of chocolate and caramel flavors coming through nicely again. The mouthfeel seems a bit thinner on this sampl,e but that actually makes the drinkability better. I think I would score this the same as the 2001. It was very different, but still nice and imminently drinkable and enjoyable!

francisweizen, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

2003 Edition.
Dark brown to black in color. Dark tan head.
Aroma dominated by a pleasing smoke character. Smoked meat and chocolate as well.

Taste is also dominated by a pleasing smoke character. Smooth. Smoked meat. Though the porter underneath the smoke doesn't show its self very strongly, chocolate and roasty malt flavors are there. Nicely balanced. The porter underneath doesn't seem to be exceptional to me, but it provides the perfect base for the well done smoke character of the beer. The porter and smoke mesh almost perfectly in this beer.

Good mouthfeel. Medium body.
Smooth and drinkable for a beer with such a strong smoke character.
Overall, this is an outstanding smoked beer. The first time I had this beer some time ago I was unsure what to think of the smokiness, but it grew on me with every sampling. I thoroughly enjoy this one.

PhantomVodoo, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

Black with a medium tan head. No lacing. Huge smoke aroma, just like a Rauchbier. Reminds me of the Aecht Schlenkerla brews. Also has some good roasted malt aroma. Flavor is complex, smoked malts, roasted sweet malts and subtle chocolate and coffee flavors. Smooth body and overall a nice brew. Way more smoky than Stone's smoked porter. Nice brew!

BierReise, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of gnaussea
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a very dark amber, with a visibility into the light of less than an inch and a half. Builds a struggling and fleeting darker tan head. On the nose is chocolate and amber malts with an underlying and not overpowering smoked character. Taste is bold of sweet chocolate and nut over a roasted malt, with the robust but not meaty smokiness lingering far into the aftertaste. Much more complex taste than i expected, and certainly enjoyable. The mouthfeel is subtle and silky, and not heavily carbonated, even for porter standards. More bold and interesting than other Alaskan brews I've tried.

gnaussea, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

2002 bottling. Sweet smoky aroma as the cap came off. Poured an opaque black with deep red hues. Thick, creamy tan head. Smells of roasted malts and a nice wood smokiness. Less intense on the smoke than I thought it would be.
Tasted of slightly sweet roasted malts, chocolate and a bit of coffee grounds. The bitter charred, sweet smoky wood flavors were upfront, yet well integrated into the package. Nicely balanced and very tasty.
Medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. Not a style I'm used to drinking and don't think I could drink more than one at a sitting, although this one went down pretty good. Looking forward to trying more smoked beers.

rkhaze, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

Vintage 2003, Sampled June 2004
This is not nearly as smoky in the aroma as the 1998 that I just sampled. It is much fuller and thicker on the palate as well. It is still quite smoky, but here there is a lot of beer to back up and balances the smokiness. This is a nice full beer that is quite rounded. I must admit that this is much more enjoyable when fresh. As my palate gets adjusted, I get notes of a sweet malt profile that comes to the forefront. The finish of this beer dries out considerably because of the pervasive smoke character.

Vintage 2002, Sampled November 20, 2003
This beer is one those few, rarely in a life time, mind expanding beers for me. When I first tried this elixir I was blown away, I was changed forever, and it ultimately lead me to the smoked beer paradise of Bamberg. This beer will always have a place in my beer sodden soul.

Pours a deep dark brown (mostly a black), when roused it produced a dense thick head. The smoked aroma is immediately apparent as I pour from the bottle to the glass. There is an aroma of chocolate hidden beneath the smoke. As I push my lips through the creamy head I get to the elixir beneath. It is nice & smooth, with definite notes of chocolate and a nice just perceptible pleasing sweetness. the smoke flavor is not as strong in this slightly aged sample as I remember in fresh versions. Fairly muted roast character in this porter, the predominant dark malt flavor is of chocolate malt. The smoke permeates this beer, and it helps to add to a perceived smoothness and a roundness to this beer. A very well integrated flavor. this is a classic beer that all beer enthusiasts need to sample at least once.

Vintage 1998, Sampled June 2004
A very smoky aroma wafts from my glass. This is just intensely aromatic. The taste reminds me of smoked salmon (sans any fishy component of course). Any signs of oxidation are clearly not evident, which makes sense as smoke is a good anti-oxidant. This is much lighter on the palate than when it is fresh. There is a smooth malty character in the background that is dry and meaty. The smooth smoke phenolics are dominating in this beer from start to finish.

Gueuzedude, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

This is one of those beers I've been aching to try for years, and, thanks to Liquid Solutions, I've got my chance.
I can smell the smoke before popping the cap, somehow...and it pours black as the wintry night sky, with a thick, toasted tan head atop.
Aroma hits it's mark immediately: SMOKE! Surprise, huh? With underlying...nah, I can't pick it up...I arch the old olfactory glands wider to perceive greater and clean the usual porteristic characterics and they're very well hidden underneath that smokeyness. Some of them are down there, somewhere, but they're totally dominated.
Taste: ...yup, it's all in the flavor, too! Very smooth and mellow, malt is full and damnit, wouldn't you know, that smoke effect is actually pretty tasty! And, mmmm, I'm tasting the cocoa and the coffee, too, just underneath.
Quite an interesting and enoyable beer, one that I'll make an effort to return to again and again, to see if I can pull out more from it. As for this big, beautiful bottling, I had quite a time.

feloniousmonk, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of Loki
4/5  rDev -4.1%

This was my first exploration into the smoked beer world and Alaskan seemed like a good place to start.

This expedition started with the click of the cap hitting the counter and a hazy smoke slowly emanating from the neck of the bottle. My eyes slowly adjusted the the sheer darkness that flowed from the bottle, enveloping the glass with an opaque darkness like the sunless winters of the beers homeland. A big, beige head rose from the darkness like an large mountain range you can see in the horizon at night.

Air redolence of campfires and charred hardwoods filled my nostrils as if I had opened the tent flap and took the first breath in an open camp with the remnants of the night before. Hints of charred malts and smoked gamy meat flittered in the background hinting that a feast had transpired, but nothing remained but the aroma of the roasted beast now long consumed.

The taste began as sampling a different meal cooked and consumed in the same vessels with little cleaning. The same smoked hardwood flavor begins, but an altogether different flavor profile emerges contrary to the what the aromas suggest. Roasted, not charred malts. Grease and smoke, but not gamy meat. Much more refined flavor profile than the nose redolent with last nights feast suggests.

While my first jaunt into this unexplored (for me) and exotic landscape was pleasurable and enlightening, it will take much further and deeper exploration for me to become accustom to the wild and adventuresome terrain. Surprising, unique, enlightening, and educational this territory will have to be revisited once my experience increases.

Loki, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of ngandhi
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

2002 Vintage

The smokiness lends a hickory sweetness (actually alderwood) to the beer that I can only specify as something along the lines of Lay's BBQ potato chips. My first rauchbier, I expected the unexpected -- wafts of burnt flesh and gasoline -- and got the most surprising balance I've seen in a beer. AK Smoked Porter makes smoke seem like a natural ingredient in beer; it almost makes me ask why every dark beer wouldn't have some smoke element. Smoke, to Alaskan Brewing Co. is less a flavoring and more a fining; it denatures any off flavors and bring to the forefront everything complex in a porter (subtleties often lost to the night). I don't drink AK Smoke and think obsessively about the smoke element; instead, the smoke brings out the natural sweetness of this beer and enhances, above all, its luxurious, Anchor Porter-esque sherry qualities. And somehow, it manages to compliment the nice chocolate malt and coffee flavor (roasted barley?) in the background. Very light bittering, but some floral hops do barely peek through the maelstrom of malts (in fact, they are gorgeously balanced, just powerful, and I couldn't resist the alliteration).

Alaskan Smoked Porter is the morning light after a storm we have all slept through. As it warms, the malt profile continues to work with (and never against) the smoke -- more sherry, more smoke, more porter. The overall character graduates to vinous. Perhaps a medicinal strawberry finish.

I have no idea how to score this.

If you eat a lot of meat, this might be the last beer you ever drink.

I'd kill for a bag of barbeque potato chips right now.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Appearance – Blacker than black with a dark head that lingered well.

Smell – The aroma fits the bill. Classic sherry and roasted malt flavors with smoke undertones. There’s also some typical coffee and molasses.

Taste – This is very good. The smoke taste is light; not overpowering. The porter flavors ring loud and true. The sherry steps back a bit from the nose, leaving a wonderful coffee-infused dark malt base. The finish is sweet, but not too sweet, with molasses, some maple, and dark cherries.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and just full-bodied. This porter is creamy and flat.

Drinkability – This is very refreshing and went down quite well. I had the 2001 vintage which is actually 6.5% ABV. I’ve sampled just about all of the Alaskan styles, and this is thus far my favorite.

Update – Had a 2004 vintage in 2004 (imagine that). I picked up a lot more of the smoked flavor and enjoyed the easy-drinking nature of this beer. I still rated the Stone a tad higher for it’s complexity, but man oh man if there ever was a session smoked beer this is it.

RoyalT, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%

2002 bottled edition- Very, very dark brown color overall with deep ruby highlights within its realm of dark fog when held up to the light. Thin cocoa brown head that subsides quickly and leaves clear spotty lace. Smell has lots of good sweet roastyness to it, deep and rich, thick sweetened chocolate layered on top of heavily roasted malts, small hops and a hint of smokey woodish earth lightly showing up as it warms with a note of coffee in it. Taste is smooth and roasty sweet, light bitter sweet chocolate, lightly tangy sweet roasted malts. Well rounded and soft, a small amount of hops pleasantly keeps a nice bittering bite and balance over the roasty sweetness. Some coffeeish senses along with a gentle effervescense of smokeyness sneaks its way past the roasty sweetness as well. There's some dark fruity bread chewyness that reminds of a x-mas favorite of mine, a dark marble rye-cinnamon-cherry bread that makes it a pleasing memorable experience for me. Its not overly complex, it has very subtle qualities and when served at the desired warmer temp the smokey characteristics become a bit more noticeable, but never enough to overwhelm. Feel is smooth and creamy, medium, close to full body, lightly chewy aspect with a sticky roastyness covering the tongue and mouth in the finish; my favorite part of this beer, or for any porter for that matter. A very smooth drinkin' porter that goes down pretty easy. Its not quite as bold or rich as some, but its a definate keeper; worth the effort of finding and a must try for all.

tavernjef, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of Bierman9
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

01NOV09 - Trying a 22oz bottle of 2008 vintage today brought to me by daughter Caitlin, who obtained said bottle while on an Alaskan cruise last August. Jet black and opaque; only color, chestnut, shows up at the extreme edges of the glass. Head is quite thin and short, with fine, tan bubbles present. As in the original review, the aroma is very Schlenkerla-like. Lots of rauch present - lots! Body is solid, and it has a low carbo level, leading to smoothness on the tongue. More smoke hits the palate upon first-quaff. Light sweetness and some caramel also come into play. Bier is quite dry, with more rauch lingering, along with plenty of roasty bitterness. Still solid, though not quite as good as I felt the first review was back 3 years ago.

4.1
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

*** *** ***

Review of 26AUG03 - This is a bottle of the 2001 version. It pours an inky hue, sort of a very deep brown color, with tinges of mahogany. A hard-pour produced an initially frothy, tan head, which settled down into a respectable layer of fine, tight bubbles. Lacing is nice as well. The first whiffs of the nose made me feel like I was in the Heller Ausschank in Bamberg, enjoying a Schlenkerla. Though not as robust an aroma as an original Rauchbier, it had a very pleasing, smoky quality about it. Mouthfeel overall was good, or medium in my book. Body was healthy yet not full, and there was just a slight bit of carbonation attacking the tongue. Nice mix of flavors here; malt comes at you with a slight touch of sweetness and then throws some roasty, coffee-ish notes at you. The smoky character lurks just beneath the surface. You are aware that it's there, yet it's not up in your face scaring you off. I also detect subtle hints of dark fruit, like currants. The finish has a slight, citric-like hop presence, yet there is the undeniable smoky aftertaste lingering pleasantly which shapes your memory of this fine bier. Thnx to AKSmokedPorter (of course) and BIF 2.5 for this sample!
Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

599

Bierman9, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of Mustard
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

Presentation: 16oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" date; 2002 atop the "Smoked Porter" header.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown; essentially opaque, although subtle hints of ruby can be detected if held to a light; quick-receding, cocoa-brown head; not much lacing.

Aroma: Predominantly of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and smoke.

Taste: Fairly sweet malt profile upfront; moderate roasty bitterness in the finish; primary note is of coffee; hints of chocolate, prunes and smoke throughout. Fairly full bodied; creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Notes: Wow, a tasty little porter, to be sure. Find this to be quite different from Stone's SP -- gentler, smoother, sweeter. A *huge* thanks goes out to my mom for bringing this back for me from her recent trip to Alaska. Wish this were available down here in LA.

Mustard, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of texascarl
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

Appearance (pint bottle) = dark, poured w/a large, light tan head. Light lacing.

Smell = Put out the fire! Oh, no fire in here? You just opened a beer? Yeah, I dig that smokey, sweet malt.

Taste = the Lapsang Souchong of bottled beers, smokey aroma lightly permeates the sweetish (pruney) mocha taste. Hops in balance, a nice chewy porter.

Notes: This was the 2001 bottling. Last year a friend in Alaska sent me 2 bottles, I set one down in my 'wine cellar' (a dark, cool corner of the basement) for a year, it came thru it's years rest with flying colors. Pair it with cheese, rye, smoked sausage or country ham.

texascarl, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%

Poured a real dark brown with a dark tan head...
Aroma is mild smokey flavor...
Taste...WOW...great smokey flavor mixed with coffee and chocolate...ends nicely mildly bitter...A great beer
Mouthfeel smooth yet thick
I could drink MANY of these...I wish I could find them here...
Thanks weefishheads..

stegmakk, Jul 02, 2003
Photo of rastaman
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

A nice one. Lovely sausagy/hammy aroma and flavour, coupled with some nice roasty/ashyness, some nice chocolate and caramel flavours linger about aswell. A tasty, yet quite subtle smoked porter, evenly balanced, with some nice roasty bitterness in the finish, i liked this very much, delightful.

rastaman, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

Vintage 2002

Black pour with a medium tan head. The nose was of smoked malt, sausage, and also had a woodiness to it.

The taste was rich and smokey. Decent maltiness gave it some body. Woody notes throughout. Rich mouthfeel but not overly thick or creamy. Light on the spice.

A very good smoked porter.

Popsinc, Jun 13, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%

1999 bottle - Black color, medium head. Smoky aroma. An intense smoky flavor. Beer is made with "alder smoked" hops. Very malty, very intense, yet mellow smoky flavor. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is smoky and malty. Amazing beer. Smooth taste.

beerguy101, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Originally sampled on 17 January 2002. Break out the smoked sausage, the perfect beer to accompany it is here. Alaskan Smoked Porter is beautifully smokey. One whiff makes you think you're in a great deli, loaded w/ good smoked sausage. It pours jet black w/ a tan. It has a little bite on the tongue, but it's quite enjoyable.

jcalabre, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of drewbage
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Sampled 2002 Vintage in a 16oz bottle.

Alaskan finally arrives in (er.. near) Los Angeles with one of it's best feet forward.

Aroma is the clean earthy whiff of wood smoke with a hidden base of chocolate and crystal.

Mouth is roasted and smoky with a rich BBQ flavor and a rich barley body. Finish is mildly hoppy and sweet with a touch of smoky acid.

drewbage, Jun 08, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%

2002 Vintage. Black in color with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma has a woody smokiness to it, very campfire-like. This sweetens as you become accustomed to it, taking on a more chocolatey malt character. The first sip is a really intriguing burnt malt flavor -- never had anything like it. This smokiness persists pretty much throughout the entire sip, but takes on an interestingly different character at each stage, manifesting itself in the mildly chocolatey mid-palate, and in hop finish, and lingering pleasantly in a long aftertaste. Body is creamy in texture, but there's enough tingle from the carbonation and bitterness to make it go down easily. A surprisingly drinkable beer. Bravo!

mzwolinski, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.38/5  rDev +5%

2002 Edition
Pours very dark, almost black, in color with a foamy tan colored head that sticks all over the sides of the glass. Nose is roasted dark malts and chocolate with a bit of wet wood. A full-bodied brew with a smooth and creamy texture and a slightly warming alcohol presence (bottle lists the abv at 6.1%). Taste has a strong smoky wood and charcoal flavor throughout, but there are additional flavors layered behind the smokiness—sweet malts towards the front with dark fruits and bitter coffee following soon after. A very nice brew. Pair this with some aged smoked cheddar cheese, and you’re in for quite a treat! Purchased from Liquid Solutions.

Morris729, Apr 09, 2003
Photo of freed
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%

Picked up a 22oz bottle to see what the fuss was about. Attractive label and bottle, which poured a very dark chocolate brown. The smell was that of roasted barley, and if there was a smoked/peated smell, it was muted.

There was little detectable hop bitterness, but the abundance of roasted barley imparted its own bitter qualities, as well as some chocolate and coffee flavors. A very clean profile, though not noticably different from a standard porter. A 22oz bottle is the perfect serving.

freed, Mar 17, 2003
Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,565 ratings.