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Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

935 Reviews

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Reviews: 935
Hads: 1,845
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 333
Gots: 378 | FT: 23
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 935 | Hads: 1,845
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purple buh-lack no lite see through pour with a buh-rown brown head cap.

Excellent nose of smoked salmon, hickory and even a BBQ steak thrown in.

First swigs: Totally smoked flavors. There is a BBQ in my glass. Also, interesting that this is a porter without the usual smoke and roast aspects.

Mouthfeel is a bit buttery and oily, but not cloying.

Drinkability is quite easy, but too specific to be an all nighter.

Last swigs: Like a smoked gouda chedder cheese. One word: Hickory. Special thanks to BA PopeDX for the bottle split.

*** 2005 Review ***

Glints of purple through the bottom of a dim brom buh-lack.

Aroma is where this beer comes alive. A delicious smokey turkey aroma.

First swigs: Smokey turkey and cola. Memory serves a more lingering meaty smoked rauch character. Initial smoke character hits a cola induced brick wall.

Feel: Overly crisp. Medium feel with a dry lingering ovetone. Did my tastebuds evolve or did this beer become more like a soda? Miniscule point: ABV is 6.5%.

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Photo of beercollector
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers made. This is a great beer to lay down. On the Beer Cruise stop in Juneau, Alaskan provided tastes of a mid 1990's brew. It was so smooth and such a flavor.

Tonight, I'm drinking the 2004 for dessert.

It pours deep chocolate brown. No light gets through the glass. A deep head that falls to Belgian Lace. It stays fairly dense on the top for a while.

You can barely smell the smoke. Mostly malt.

A rich deep almost chocolate taste gives way to a light smoke malty flavor. This is followed by a slight bitterness.

Thick creamy mouthfeel that coats the tongue. This stays with you in a creamy after taste of smoke.

This is wonderful beer to finish the day. The beer should be served towar the warm side of cellar temperature. This brings out all of the character. Now that it is in 22 oz. bottles one is plenty. Slow sips to savor the deep flavor.

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Photo of bensiff
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As long as you enjoy a little smoke taste in your beer, this is one of the best beers available to us mortals. However, I say that with one stipulation. This beer does not come from the brewery in its ideal state. With a solid 2-3 years of cellar time this beer evolves into one of the most pleasurable drinking experiences one might aspire to enjoy.

This one drains from the bottle a deep brown charcoal color that allows little light to penetrate with the exception of a ruby hint on the meniscus. A light chocolate brown head forms when pored, but quickly dissipates into a delicate lacing on the glass sides leaving the deep hue of the porter staring back at you.

From here on aging is everything. A freshly opened vintage will be too much for all but true rauchbier fans. However, with age this beer will mature from an elementary student to the wisdom of an elder cleric…metaphorically speaking of course.

With age the alder smoke character mellows and the porter flavors rise until they become well balanced equals. The smell is a nice mix of smoke and chocolate malt with a touch of espresso hiding in the background.

Upon taking a sip multiple things hit the palette. Smooth smoke flavors of wedded charcoal and smoked meat, malty sweetness, a slight tingle of carbonation, a note of alcohol, and finally hop bitterness creeps in to balance and dry things out. There is enough complexity to keep this one from being boring, but not so much it leaves your tongue pondering what just happened.

Mouthfeel is a little less than medium, although the smoke might trick the senses into thinking its fuller.

This is a beer one probably will only have one or two of at a time. And given the diminishing capacity of senses with inebriation it would be a shameful waste to dowse the impaired tongue when it cannot appreciate the greatness that has befallen it. Long story short, drinkability is outstanding.

I buy a case every year and rotate the stock. I recommend everyone keep enough of this one in their beer collection to allow tastings at various times.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to BA cmaruschak for the chance to sample this west coast goodie.

Appearance: midnight black with a foamy and fluffy tan head.

Smell: Smoky, woody, light yeast, and a charcoal prominence that's hard to get away from.

Taste: Very earthy, smoky, and oaky. A strong smoke flavor predominates the whole experience. Dry cocoa and a brush of alcohol towards the end but the charcola dominates all.

Mouthfeel: full bodied and thick. This has a lot of character but the smoky aftertaste is a little rough for me.

Drinkability: suffers for me just b/c I can't handle the smoky presence.

I felt the same way about this one as I did the Stone Smoked Porter. They both taste like finely crafted beer but it's just a style that doesn't work for me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wet Kodiak brown bear on a moonless night brown (that one just missed making the Crayola 64-pack). I don't believe that I've ever seen a porter this light rejectingly dark. The malted milk colored cap is compact, creamysmooth and is depositing lace in a virtually unbroken sheet.

The nose consists of a wonderful combination of roasted barley and smoke. Thankfully, the smoke isn't rauchbier-like and is restrained enough for me to appreciate dark chocolate and hops underlying the principal elements of the aroma. "Some think the smoke is tooo strong and some think the smoke is tooo weak, but I think the smoke is juuust right."

This is tasty beer without a doubt. Again, well-roasted barley and wood smoke play off one another nicely. While the flavor is good, it doesn't quite achieve greatness in my eyes, possibly because the body is lighter than expected and results in a beer that lacks some degree of power and presence in the mouth. I know that this is an American porter and not a Baltic porter or a stout, but still...

Yet another facet of the flavor profile is a mellow, fruity tartness. In addition, hops contribute a modest finishing bitterness. The body/mouthfeel is strictly medium for the style and tends to thin out just a tad on the swallow. I'll restrain myself from marking it down, even though I prefer more full-bodied beer. It probably qualifies as nitpickiness, but the carbonation is slightly too sprightly.

Alaskan Smoked Porter is good beer. Bulking up the body would help immensely and would turn it into something special. I can see how some just love it though. This a beer that I'll buy whenever I have the opportunity to do so. 2003 edition.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with no head but when held to the light and tilted towards the mouth theres a decent carbonation level visable. Slight smoke aroma-almost a sweet black currant smell. Big malt flavor upfront with a healthy touch of smokiness. Great inky/oily flavor. Theres a well rounded softness to the whole thing-very well balanced. Great body-well suited to the overall flavor and feel of the beer. A very drinkable and enjoyable beer. I think the smokiness might get to be too much after several beers but thats just my opinion. Thanks a million to skyhand for the awesome trade. I had major doubts about ever being able to try this beer. Ive heard about it for many years.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smoothness abounds for a short time in the lightly creamy, medium bubble head that falls slowly. Black looks, thick. Nose is...smoked! Smoked bacon no doubt, light touches of vanilla and cinnamon over that, and a bite of sweetness. A bite, not a bit.

Taste continues on with the smoked meat, charcoaled slightly, but changes over to a hoppy dryness in the finale. Fruity blueberry cola. Roasted chicory. After of coffee, big roastiness. Bitter. Complete.

Medium to light mouthfeel, creamy and madly drinkable.

I'm not one who usually likes smoked beers, but the flavor and feel of this one gets me going hardcore. Somewhat big beer, and bigger on flavor. Bacon burps.

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Photo of tjd25
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dense creamy head on a dark color showing light purple notes when looked at against the light. Great smell, everything I expect from a smiked beer: A deep smoky character, making me dream of bacon, mixed with notes of chocolate and fruit, with light hints of orange and raspberry. The taste keeps up with the great smell; the smoked character gets away from the bacon aspect to get closer to plain smoke and chocolate. The fruits appear later and stay in the aftertaste: no raspberries anymore, but oranges get combined with fresh notes of lemon. The mouthfeel is quite round, and enjoyably light wihtout being thin. It emphasizes the smooth and melting chocolate character, as the smoky aspect develops in the mouth by small poofs. A great drinkability for the style too.

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Photo of Dantes
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Package: 1 U.S. Pint (473ml) crowned, brown semi-bomber. Nice label depicting Caribou posed on an incline, with a sunset-like glow in the background. The appropriate year (2002 and 2003 here) is printed at the top edge of the label. 6.2% and 6.5% ABV respectively.

Cost: Acquired via trades

Presentation: 20oz. imperial pint at ~50º.

Appearance: Poured a classic porter brown-black, with a very dark cocoa-colored head. Head was fairly loose and moist with large-gauge bubbles and little sticking power. Subsided to a thin slick. Body was 9/10ths opaque, with a coffee-colored glow when held to the light. Fairly typical for a porter.

Smell: Absolutely lovely. Doesn’t overwhelm one with acrid, imitation-smelling smoke like some smoked beers do. Instead, it presents a tangy, woody, burning leaves aroma that reminded me of a sauna I took in Iceland (in a beer-barrel shaped sauna as a matter of fact). There are also scents of chocolate, juniper, raisins, and rancio from the smoky sweetness blended in. The juniper may have been triggered by the sauna memory. Still, a bouquet that promises a lot.

Taste: Surprisingly soft on the palate at first, with a gentle sweetness. I somehow expected a drier, sharper beer in the style of a Stone Smoked Porter or a Smutty Robust Porter. That’s not to say this is a flabby, fat beer. The woody smoke underpins the full array of toasted chocolate malts and plays off the subtle hopping. The finish is mouth-wateringly dry, with an almost salty (from the smoke?) counterpoint. Long and fulsome.

Mouthfeel: The one semi-weakness. Although some reviews mention a stiff head, all of my examples were on the loose, ephemeral side. This portended a body very slightly on the thin side. The medium-gauge carbonation was excellent though.

Drinkability: A top-notch porter, smoked or otherwise! Drinks like a champ, with little indication of its higher-range ABV. If it weren’t as precious as hens-teeth, I’d be drinking this on a regular basis. Must be stunning on draught or cask. With a touch more body (cask anyone?), this would be an immortal.

Backwash: Approaches classic status in my book. This is one of those beers that one admires not only for some particular attribute like exotic ingredients, high ABV, extreme IBU’s, etc., (although it clearly earns high marks for technical achievement and some exoticness for the alder-smoked malts); but because it’s just damned good! I only wish I had enough to drink regularly with a good cigar. I could definitely see buying this by the case from Liquid Solutions the next time it’s on offer. I haven’t tried a fresh sample because I preferred to age my few bottles, and there wasn’t much difference between the two vintages.

P.S. It annoys me that the brewer (like a few others) distributes this in the UK and Japan, but not the rest of the USA! Come on now!

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear super dark brown brew that is just barely transparent to a very strong light.

Smell is smoke and band-aids before you even get it anywhere near your nose. Close sniffing reveals the fruity scents and sweet malt in the brew. The smokiness is very bacon like.

The first taste is a mouthful of smoke with a slight amount of sweetness to balance it out. After your palette adapts to the smoke the fruity flavors come out. I can taste cherries and grapes and a slight alcohol bite. There is a fair amount of bitterness in the aftertaste, but the nice hop kind and not the nasty charred malt type. Far better balanced and smooth drinking than most Rauchbiers.

Excellent Mouthfeel.

Very high Drinkability score especially considering what it is. Very well balanced and super drinkable. And this is from someone that isn't a Stout fan or a Rauchbier lover.

I must try this with Mexican and BBQ!

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Photo of RootedFool
4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle (2004 edition) purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California, into my Duvel tulip glass. The body is nearly black, really an intensely dark shade of brown -- but, let's just say black, with deep, barely noticeable crimson edges when held up to the light. Not much of a head, and I poured rather aggressively. What's here is a soapy quarter inch of dark tan foam, which deflated quickly leaving a puddle of greasy bubbles on the brew's surface. Regardless of the head, or lack thereof, the body is remarkably dark without being pitch black, it almost glows in its darkness.

On second thought, I didn't pour enough of the beer to generate a proper head. I poured more and a beautiful, almost fluffy head -- over an inch and a half -- erupted in my glass. It's leaving some nice little quilts of lace on the glass. Good.


First sniff: a rich, chocolatey nose, with a hint of espresso, but mostly sweet. After swirling just slighty, an incredibly thick smokiness pours through. Wood smoke, smoked meats; an almost tangy smokiness through the middle, closing on a nice little wave of bitter sweet chocolate notes. Wonderfully balanced.


Opens with a thinly bitter prick on the tip of my palate, and then a flood of rich smokiness pours through -- deep, deep, deep; a pinch of tartness which quickly turns into a nice thrust of hop bitterness right over top of the continuous implosion of heavy smokiness (good salami is coming to mind here, almost greasy, but in a good way, and spicy). The finish, much like the nose, reveals a nice wave of sweetness that perfectly cuts through the duo of smoke and hop bitterness, to create a brilliant trinity of flavors that fade with perfect pace.

The balance is impeccably played out, like a ballet staged in my mouth.


Middling carbonation, just enough; a dense, creamy consistency, coats my palate perfectly without any unpleasant stickiness.

An amazing beer experience.

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Photo of clvand0
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this at Rich O's Public House. Pours a very dark color with a fluffy head that dies off quickly but leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and malty, but has a nice smoke character. The flavor is not at all what I expected. The smoke in the flavor here is wonderfully mixed. Some chocolate and coffee on top of the smooth smokiness. Drinkability is great and the body is full. I'll be having this one again.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for providing me with this beauty.

2004 edition 22oz bomber

Pours an inky black with a beige two finger head that is quick to depart, nice lacing. The most striking feature of this beer is the huge nose; smoky hardwoods, charcoal bitterness, sweet caramel. Taste is much like aroma, smoked salmon and roasted malts which become more pronounced as the beer warms. There is a pleasant "campfire" quality reminiscent of a fishing camp in the Great Northwoods. Full bodied and a little creamy, this bomber didn't last long. I think this may be as close to a comfort beer as I can get.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. 22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep midnight black color with three fingers of medium tan head. There is a good amount of lacing left down the sides of the glass. The smell is nice and smokey, and has a good amount of chocolate and coffee. Did I mention the smoke? Yeah, it's smokey. The taste is also smokey and chocolatey. A hint of espresso, and guess what? More smoke! I'm the kind of person that wants their smoked beer to be very full of smokey flavor, so this beer certainly didn't disappoint. The mouthfeel is very thick and strong, yet smooth and delicate. The drinkability is fantastic for a smoked beer. I heart this beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer departed the bottle a very dark brown color, with ruby hues at the edges, and with a 3-4 finger head. The nose was very smokey, but a sweet smoke. Roasted and chocolate tones came through behind the smoke. This smells very nice. Not overdone, but still enough to know this is a smoked beer. The flavor was also a well balanced smoke and malt explosion. This beer is really not all hype. Its a good good beer. It was moderate to thick on the feel, with some smooth and creamy tones. I'm glad I have a bottle of this in my cellar for future consumption, as I will gladly drink a whole bomber of it.

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Photo of bditty187
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my 900th review on BA. I’ve wanted this beer since my first review.

Black it would seem, maybe it is just a really dark brown hue. Either way the liquid looks yummy. The head was tan in color, rocky in texture. At the summit the foam was two-fingers in height. Head retention was good; it slowly faded to a clumpy cap. A few more moments later the cap broke apart to a bubbly collar, fairly thick. There was some subsequent lacing; it was unorganized and tattered but not widespread. The appearance is pleasing. The nose is smoky, it is not on par with Aecht Schlenkerla but in fairness I don’t think it was brewed to be that loud. Actually the smoke is balanced perfectly with healthy charred/roasted malt. Okay, maybe balance isn’t the proper wording because the smoke is a tickle louder. The smoke doesn’t offer that typical bacon/sausage aroma; it smells woodier than anything with hints of smoked cheese. There are also hints of chocolate, coffee, peat, and even some vanilla. Rich campfire after-burn and the well rounded finish. The potency is only moderate, this sucks; I wanted it to scream at me. Deafen me with its aroma. It doesn’t. Damn! I love what I smell, I really do. It is very inviting. Almost perfect. The palate is lovely. Like the nose the smoke has plenty of company in the form of roasted malt. As brewed, it is more Porter than Rauchbier. Lovely. Other Smoked Beers have disappointed me, not this one. I can see why it is so highly regarded; it is the perfect marriage of two styles (that is now considered just one). The smokiness, like the nose, is wood. Campfire residue… ah, the memories this beer brings back. The malt provides some sweetness but the finish is largely dry. Chocolate kisses are semi-sweet. Coffee beans as well, more akin to espresso though. Hints of vanilla laced with caramel. Soft fruitiness too, kisses of cherries mainly. Light acidity. Hops offer the slightest bit of herbalness. In the finish the straight smokiness returns to complement the various roasted qualities. I enjoyed this Smoked Porter very much. I’m obsessed with smoke and while this one is not out of control in this regard, it is brewed with obvious care. It is very well done. This 6.5% abv is hidden. I don’t think the palate could be approved upon; it’s that delicious. A tickle fuller than medium in body, the carbonation is moderate and natural. The mouthfeel is very fitting for this beer, it is not too filling or too heavy but there is enough bulk. It is hearty but pliable. Enjoyable. To ask if this beer is drinking is insulting. Haven’t you been reading? Drink this beer with cheese and sausages. Drink this beer alone. Either way it is great. So often beers that are “legendary” end up being disappointing, this one wasn’t. I understand the hype. This is a quality beverage. It is worth seeking out. I purchased this bomber of the 2004 edition on-line from Liquid Solutions.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz bomber, provided courtesy of trbeer, thanks! I've been waiting a while to try this one. Pours into the pint class an impenetrable dark coffee colored concoction, capped with wisps of pale tan head. Aroma is like sitting in a smokehouse, rich and thick and woody, with a slight hint of malt sweetness and hop. Flavor is perfectly smoked with a nice hop bitterness blending perfectly with a slight tartness. Easing back into the wood fire smoke, you gradually approch a smooth malty middle with just a bit of dark chocolate and the finish leaves you with just a hint of smokey bitterness. It's like when you bit into the best piece of smoked beef jerky and you gotta have more after the first taste. Delicious stuff, medium bodies and highly drinkable, probably the best smoked porter I've tried.

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Photo of KoG
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2004 and a 2003 to compare and contrast.


22 oz. Bomber. Has a very dark, damn near black hue with a small brown head that seemed to dissappear rather quickly and left no lace. Darn, doesn't really look much different.

Smell is of hops and smoke, almost like drinking a porter around a campfire.

Taste is definately different. Starts out smooth and lightly sweet then fades into smoky bitterness. The most acurate description would be hicory smoked beef jerkey soaked in a porter. A bit bitter but not bad.

Mouth is a bit drying but does go down rather smooth with a bitter finish.

I couldn't really place this apart from most porters on the drinkability scale, even though different, it is just a bit bitter for my tastes.


Way more subdued in just about every catagory. Had a smaller head with little lacing. Smell was still predominately smokey with a bit of hop.

The taste is where the real change comes in. The disappearance of smoke and hop flavor allows a nice mellow malt to come through. I think I enjoy this more after a year or so as the smoke flavor is not as overpowering. There is definately a more alcoholic bite. Still smooth and rather enjoyable.

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

2004 bottle,pours and almost ink blank but I did see some ruby near the bottem of my glass with a thin mocha head,wow what aromas going on smoked meats,unsweetened chocolate and some earth what combination.Big and bold tasting as expected big dose of alder smoke and unsweeteded chocolate with a dry earthy/nutty finish.Wow complex and big my first stab at this leaves me quite impressed will get more in the future.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was from a 22oz 2004 edition bottle sampled on 12/17/04. A small light brown head formed over the almost pitch black body. It left a decent bit of lace before disappearing completely. A thick smoky roasty malt aroma hits the nose first before notes of chocolate come in from the background. It is also a bit sweet with caramel malt. The taste is very similar with a big does of smoky goodness over a dark chocolate backdrop. Very roasty with a bit of earth bitterness in the mix. As expected the finish is another smoky filled delight. Overall the smoke and chocolate sweet malts balance out quite nicely. Body is medium and creamy. Goes down smooth and I could definitely make a session out of this brew. One of the best smoky beers I have ever had, give it a try.

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Photo of ocpathfinder
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edtion

Pours almost black with dark brown edges. Frothy head, reminiscent of chocolate milk. Initial smell is of, well, smoked meats. Smoked salmon, beef jerky, tobacco and some leather. Taste is pretty good - lots of roastiness, little bit of chocolate - finishes with a strong smokey flavor, perhaps a little much for my tastes. Excellent mouthfeel, silky smooth. Drinkability takes a hit due to visions of smoked salmon that I get with every sip. Based on my experience with smoked beers, smokier and more flavorful than a Stone Smoked Porter and much more balanced than Rogue's smoked offering.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-2004 release

Appearance: Deep brown, almost black with a thick dense chocolate/caramel head. Fair/poor retention. Carbonation appears to be fine and mild. Some lace and a collar throughout.

Smell: Sha-weet! Obvious, but not overpowering, aroma of rich, sweet, spicy smoke. Swirls perfectly with a body of sweet caramel and chocolate malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Holy crap--this is AWESOME. Deep, smooth, sweet maltiness up front. Followed by a remarkably controlled sweet, tangy, pungent smoke flavor. Finishes slightly unsweetened chocolate bitter, with a coating sweetness and--big surprise--smoke into the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit chewy. The carbonation zings up front, but flattens out pretty quickly and just sort of lays there.

Drinkability: While this is easily the most drinkable smoked beer I've ever had, it's still a smoked beer--one is enough.

This is a genuinely special beer. Unlike the usual downwind-from-a-forest-fire palette rape of most smoked brews, this beer is a marvel of subtlety, balance and control. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm not sure "masterpiece" is hyperbole in this case. Might be the must-have of the season.

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

From a brown bomber, it pours dark brown with a trace of red showing through when it's held up to the light. The tan head is initially quite active but diminishes quickly. The smell is noticeably smoky, but subtly so. Also detectable are hints of chocolate and, to a lesser extent, licorice. It's certainly inviting and the taste lives up to the aroma. The smoke and chocolate flavors are nicely balanced by just enough hop kick. Damn, this stuff is smooth and goes down like mad. Why did I wait so long to try this beer?

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 Release:

Presentation: 22 ounce Bomber picked up from Hi-Times in Costa Mesa on my way back from the recent Wet Hop Festival in San Diego. Typical silhouette main label per the current BA Database avatar. The year 2004 appears at the top of the label. Described as a Gold Medal Winner, 6.5% ABV and with no freshness date but it does stipulate that these bottles will keep for a few years.

Appearance: Jet black dark body that pours with a lovely creamy light brown head. The dissolved carbonation is such that a light swirl will quickly and easily add a ¼” to the remaining head that has great staying power when left alone, but like a child, I just cannot helping swirling this one in the Glass, the light brown milky conditioning haze as the small bubbles come to rest is a delight to watch.

Nose: Oh the nose, freshly extinguished matches and burning paper invade a malty caramel middle that finishes with a slight woody and peat laden ending. Some dark fruits and dark chocolate too.

Taste: Simply delightful. Definitely one of the best Smoked Porters that I have ever had, this is easily up there in the same league with my other favorites the two Stone offerings. Tasty dark chocolate malts have a smoky start, middle and finish. Peat dries and neatly balances the light caramel sweetness. Has a very distinct medicinal feel right after the swallow that is familiar in character but I can’t quiet put my finger on it. Lovely long lingering smoked finish.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, slight prickly feel at times from the conditioning but this helps to cut through the dark chocolate and smoked malts and adds a very nice dimension to the experience. Solid and Dependably Utilitarian.

Drinkability: SOOOO easy to drink this, the alder-smoked aspect is supremely balanced in the dark malts and reveals all of its complexities perfectly. An Imbibers delight.

Overall: Gosh, where to begin. Well as I tried to explain to my mate xlperro when I tried this on Tap recently at O’Briens in San Diego, this immediately threw me back to my days as a Cub Scout, and the lazy long light nights spent around a slowly burning fire during our annual week long Summer Camp. Late at night we used to make bread-like dough and twist it around a stick with the bark whittled off and carefully wedge the stick in the stones that lined the edge of the campfire in order to cook it over a flameless glowing orange-red fire. Occasionally, the stick would drop into the fire and get covered in glowing ash laden embers. That distinctive taste of graying-black recently cooled embers is unmistakable, as is this Smoked Porter.

The 2004 Smoked Porter is *Absolutely Excellent* and a Top Notch offering.

I only picked up one of these, am I mad?, I am very seriously contemplating getting back down to Costa Mesa this weekend and investing in a whole Case of this stuff. SUPERB!

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Photo of oggg
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Porter's Pub.

This ebony brew has been pretty hyped up for me, and perhaps this is why I really didn't think so much of it. The aroma is roasty and smoky, very nice. The smokiness is definitely nice. Still, there's a moderate to high astringency that I couldn't get past. Something I didn't get with Stone or Aecht. Usually I get it from beers with a lot of black patent. I dunno. I tried to like it. Medium bodied.

Overall: I think if you like really burnt imperial stouts, you'd probably like this one.

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 935 ratings.