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Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

933 Reviews

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Reviews: 933
Hads: 1,830
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 328
Gots: 370 | FT: 20
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: 933 | Hads: 1,830
Photo of gimmehead
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (606 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (2,930 characters)

Photo of mikeys01
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of KoG
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (1,237 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (770 characters)

Photo of ocpathfinder
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (606 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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? (521 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
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! (2,888 characters)

Photo of oggg
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of mnapier
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1996, Smoked Porter. Appearance, dark with a semi opaque appearance. head indicated a medium amount of carbonation. Mouthfeel, was medium. taste, was smooth with a mild smokiness present. Additionally, a distinctive taste of mild hops is present. Smell, I detected a mild hint of smokiness, as well as hops. Overall a wonderfully aged beer despite the total amount of investment in patience (1996 minus 2004 = 8 years). (419 characters)

Photo of shapudding
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 edition

Dark and chocolatey rootbeer brown with a thick and creamy khaki/chocolate head that left too quickly, leaving only a ring. Nice dark smokey scents, not too intensely smokey-no campfire going on here. Very creamy feel, but not heavy, medium bodied. Good porter, but kinda seems more like a stout... Burnt toast, dark coffee, roasty yumminess. Good and easy drinker. Enjoyed this one!
Thanks Pope!!! (416 characters)

Photo of bignick
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 edition

This is a beer that I have been waiting for a long time to try. There are many great things about this beer. It looks delicous sitting in my Alaskan Brewing Comapny pint glass. The nearly black body and brown head are just begging for me to stop admiring the beer and start drinking it. This is my first smoked porter, and I have nothing to compare the beer to, so many of my descriptions may be of the smoked porter style instead of this beer itself, but I try to be objective regardless. The smell combines maltiness and a smoky smell. Malty goodness also powers the taste of the beer. The smoky taste is very clear, especially in the aftertaste. However, I cannot shake the connection I make of this beer to meat, having taated many smoked meats, and I find this slightly off-putting. The beer is also, in my mind, over-carbonated, approximately the same as soda. But, despite my criticisms and dissapointment in tasting this very hyped beer, I still feel that it is a tasty brew. It is one of those beers that is good every once in a while, but that once in a while I am perfectly cool with having several. (1,126 characters)

Photo of redmosquito
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2003 Edition. Opaque black/brown with a brown sugar colored head. Great wet campfire aroma, mixed with chocolate notes. Malt dominates this beer and the smoke isn't overdone. Hops are in the background, there is some bitternese, but flavor and aroma are not notable. Smooth and very drinkable, I really enjoyed this. (316 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep opaque mahogany brown color with a tan scattering of foam islands. The lacing is quite thick and broken.

Aroma: Spicy smoke aroma with prominent dark fruits, caramel, a distinctly earthy note and a hint of brine.

Taste: Deep caramel and rich roasty malt notes with strong coffee undertones. The alderwood lends a smoky, spicy sweetness that reminds me of mesquite. Finishes with warming alcohol and a slight metallic flavor.

Mouth feel: Smooth, full, rich, and creamy, with rather soft carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A legend among beer connoseurs, and as I see it, rightfully so. A beer that is likely to exceed all but the most unreasonable expectations. Thanks to BA Hardtarget for sharing this superb beer. (742 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it lives up to the expectations. Cellared this for over a year, the smell is strong of grilled fish and roasted bread. Hints of mocha/coffee. Pours a lighter black with hints of ruby, the head is phenomenal then settles to about an inch. The taste is light crisp and refreshing, the sweet caramel and coffee is not overly powerful and a slight citrus hop is detectable and blends the two together, perfect for those rainy days. Medium bodied and highly drinkable. (468 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer after disemboguing from the 22-ounce brown bottle takes its rightful place in my glass an Atramentous color with a mastodonic tan head that is spumous in texture and the residual lace a thick coating upon the glass. Nose dominated by the bittersweet aroma of toasted grain, sweet malt at the back, crisp and fresh to the senses, with the start sweet and thick with malt, the top full and rich in its feel to the palate. Finish is masterfully acidic, the hops authoritarian in their spiciness, very dry and long lasting after taste, to me this is one of the top 5 porters in all of Beerdom, hell it might even be number one. (632 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage. 1 pint sized bottle served lightly chilled in a Guinness glass.

Appearance: Jet black with reddish brown highlights. Topped by a small dark tan head which stuck around for quite some time. The foam clung to the side of the glass, but formed no actual lacing.

Smell: At first, a pungent aroma of alder wood smoke. Gives way to very dark, charred, malty smells. The smoke is not as powerful as Rogue Smoke or Aecht Schenkerla.

Taste: Bitter roasted malts followed by a lingering smoky flavor. Mildly sweet. Again, not as smoky as other smoke/rauchbiers I've had. Stronger than Stone's Smoked Porter though.

Mouthfeel: Burly and medium in body. The subtle smoke lingers in your mouth like cigarette smoke on your clothes the day after you visit a bar, but in a good way.

Drinkability: Not as intense as Schenkerla, Cinderbock, or Rogue Smoke, but a lovely beer nonetheless. Subtly smoky. I'd never turn one of these down, but I'd choose the three I just mentioned over this.

thanks garthwaite. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to skyhand for the trade. 2003 Bottle: The beer is an almost opaque dark brown color with a thin light brown head. Thin and sticky lacing. The aroma of course has a strong smoked character, along with malt, soy sauce and coffee. Medium-bodied and mellow, with flavors of coffee, cocoa and malt underneath the smoke. The finish is dry and lightly bitter. I have been waiting awhile to get my hands on this beer and I was not let down. (440 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque deep dark brown with a quickly phasing out light brown head. Forget some chocolate over your fireplace, put some bacon to medium fire, cut a slice or 2 of smoked ham, mix it all up and take a big sniff. It’s mostly light, pretty much all about the smoke figures, but seems well done and balanced. Body is mostly light with moderate carbonation which could be less intense. Very mild acidity on the tongue, leather, herbal characteristics. This is not as good as I’d hope. Dark roasted malt, licorice, molasses, very dry coffee lingers. I must say I’m much more keen on the smoke focus in the aroma than the a little of everything on the palate where I lose the fire and woody characteristics that I love. I prefer a calumet or revenante. (747 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Labeled 2000 Vintage.

Good looking black body with a small off-white head that left too quickly. The small head left little lace behind. The nose is of chocolate, coffee, and smoke - nice wood smoke as if from a meat smokehouse. Hints of some light hopping is covered by the smokiness.

The flavor impact is highly affected by the smoke character. It is the first thing you notice and the single most impressive characteristic. Along the way the coffee and chocolate make their presence known, but only as subtle partners to the lovely smoky flavor. The feel is truly porter-ish, that is, somewhat less full bodied than other styles, but good for the style. Excellent drinkability for this style. (701 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch Black. The head is dense, off white, thin, mostly diminishing

Vanilla, mesquite smoke, sweet malts, chocolate, coffee and cocoa in the nose. Smells like a very good porter with subtle smokiness.

There is really no better to way to describe this but to say that it is a wonderfully complex porter along with a very subtle smokiness. Roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, coffee beans and vanilla . Pleasant smokiness throughout but what I like about it is that it finishes with the porter notes and leaves the smoke behind. Very nice finish. Lingering. Great Beer.

1999 Vintage:

4.5 (617 characters)

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.