Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
953 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
953
Ratings:
1,930
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
415
For Trade:
25
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

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.

Added by Bierman9 on 10-18-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 953 | Ratings: 1,930
Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On our way up to the Tetons, chaduvel and I were lucky enough to find this rare gem ON TAP at Marcellar's in Idaho Falls. What luck! Served in a Kasteel, wide tulip glass, the body was a beautiful smoky black with an ashy light tan head. I let it warm up a little bit, and smells of campfire, roasted amaretto coffee, some bitterness and more meaty smokiness came forth. Taste started with sweet, smoky malts, with light fruitiness lurking. Moved to light roastiness as it went down the hatch and finished dry and roasty. Velvety smooth and quite drinkable. Not as smoky as Stone's SP, but just as good, if not better.

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Photo of nomad
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 vintage (2 years old)

In a snifter or tulip, this beer pours a deep brown with a khaki, bubbly head. Has great lattice stain from lace made up of thin, tiny sheen. Just looked nice to me, ya know?

Smelled of a sweet dark smoke and sweet malts. Nice enough but not too much depth.

Tastes of chewy dark and roast malts with an undertone of some sweet-ish smoke. Shows a subdued fruitiness just bubbling beneath the main action, that being the complex roast flavors ranging all over the palette. Opens to notes of snappy underripe dates and a woody "red" tone to the whole body. Mouth-smacking dry finish, long and complex with notes of fruity bitterness, grassy hops, and bitter chocolate. All supported by a moderate-thin mouthfeel.

A complex and full plate of flavors, indeed. Fun and impressive, but I think it could use just one or two more years of aging, and then I'll be singing holy praises. Even still, a good smoked porter.

BIG thanks to weefishheads for the help on this bottle, and a 2003 I'll coddle with selfish glee.

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Photo of ark57
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 - It is a beautiful black with ruby highlights. the aroma has a good smokiness to it with some dark fruits. The fruitiness is evident in the taste with notes of raisin and plum and some bitter chocolate that finally explodes into smokiness. A real fine smoked beer. It is mellow despite the smokiness and stands up well to a fine cigar.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok this is the 2003 version..comes in apint bottle with the caribou silloutted against an artic sundown.
Very very dark mahogany brown beer, almost on the verge of black, nice yet small tan head,,that goes fast to leave good lacing.
Well the aroma is pretty "sharp" you can certainlly make out some of the smokiness..its like a good smoked ham.
Mmmm this is a lovelly tasting beer IF you like Smoked stuff..I do..its niceand lightly ( compared to the Bamberg stuff) smoked in alder..you can certainly taste the woodiness..this has a rather dry finish, yet at the same time its sweet,Nice malts make a show,,thouigh its dominated by the smoke.
Very well done on the palte smooth despite the smokey acridness.
Nice drinking Smoked beer..very good.

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

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin dark brown head. The aroma is great! It boasts of black and roasted malts, but mostly of smoked wood. The taste is also great! It has a rich, dark, smokey flavor that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer is really good. I love the smokey flavor; something rare in beers. It works well with the stout style. It goes down smooth; a real good beer.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't the best smoked porter that I have had, but it sure is pretty damn close. I love the smoked meat smell and taste of the beer. It's strong enough for you to recognize that it is there, but it's not too overwhelming. It's a little bit hoppy in the end, but that's still ok, cause the overall taste is pretty good. This was better than I expected it to be, and much more. If you have a shot at it, drink it! Now I need to find one for ageing!

Like to thank AKSmokedPorter for the hook up! Thanks a lot bro!

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Photo of aaronh
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 edition.

Very dark brown beer that borders on black. Topped by a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is definitely smoky, but with nice amounts of roasted malt character and a bit of sweetness as well. Flavor also has a really nice smokiness to it. This is no subtle smoke like some beers. This one is smoked-salami smoky. There's also a bit of chocolate flavor and a touch of sweetness in there, then a good dose of bitterness on the finish. The flavors trail off, leaving a nice long, complex aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, bordering on watery, but at the same time smooth. I can't help but think that a more subsatntial mouthfeel would complement the robust flavors a bit better. It's almost as if the body of the beer is at odds with the flavor. Drinkability is decent, but I wouldn't call this anything near a session brew. An almost mystical brew from my "wish list" that I'm glad I had the chance to enjoy. Thanks, Bill.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 16 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a very dark brown, with a wispy beige head. The smell is a meaty smokiness. The taste is a moderate smokiness; not quite as strong as an Aecht Schlenkerla, but stronger than Stone Smoked, over a barely noticable roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Well, it's nice to finally give this beer a try. It's certainly a great taste, rich and just the right amount of smokiness. Quite good, and one I'll have again in future years!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just when I thought I was going to have to wait until next winter to try this beer, I find that the Beverages & More closest to me had a few in stock (finally). I guess all my whining paid off.
Presented in a 16oz. bottle, 2003 vintage, AK Smoked Porter was decanted into one of my favorite sampling glasses. It had a uniform black hue, impenetrable by light, and a modest ½" mocha colored head that died down to a ring, leaving no lace.
The smell was shocking at first. I was expecting a certain smokiness, but nothing like what issued from my glass. An intense and heady aroma of alderwood smoke wafted to my nose, giving me pause. A hint of dark chocolate and caramel carried across the smoke aroma, as did a touch of hops. The taste delivered a delightful melange of dark malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of caramel sweetness, all infused with that wondrous smoky flavor. The finish had a pleasant hops bitterness. The smoky flavor permeates all phases of this beer. The feel was medium-full and dry.
I had a hard time restraining myself with this beer as I was torn between the desires to gulp it down on one hand and savor it on the other. On the bottle it states "enjoy now or cellar for a few years." I'm already puting in my order to clear the shelf of BevMo's remaining stock so I can do both. A fabulous beer.

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Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark. Ruby highlights flashed occassionally, but this was dark enough to be a stout. The head was weak and dissipated quickly. The aroma was smoky, but it wasn't overpowering. I'm not a big smoke fan, so this was a positive. The smoke actually worked nicely in the beer as it melded with the malts nicely. Smoked chocolate and a bit of pear flashes as the beer warms.

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Photo of genaro
2.49/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I picked up a botle of 2002 vintage from a cooler in Eugene a couple of weeks ago. I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a couple of years and I was disappointed. It was a dark chocolate brown color with a big frothy, coffee colored head. The lace was decent. The aroma and taste were pretty smokey from alder wood. This smokey factor tiggered an association with salmon (also smoked with alder). I do like the smoked salmon from Yachats, Or., but I wouldn't like it in a glass.There was also some vinegar in the aroma and a little bit of concealed caramel in the taste. The finish was dry and not very tasty. I found the smokiness to be too overpowering. I liked other Alaskan beers I've tried, but this one just didn't taste good to me.

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

2002 Vintage.
It pours a very dark mahogany with a thin beige head and leaves a fair amount of lace. A big smoky, malty aroma rises up and sticks around for a while. A smell of floral hops and hint of pine settle in the background, then fades away. A rich, lightly sweet malt is beautifully balanced by a pleasant smokiness. Espresso, dark chocolate and a bit of caramel sweetness, blend nicely with a wild and raw hop bitterness. A German familiar with his beloved Rauchbier may be disappointed in the lack of a powerful chimney-like smoke, but this lower percentage alderwood smoked malt is more subdued and reliant on the quality of malt and hop characteristics as well.
Thanks Genaro!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep dark ruby brown almost black with a suprsingly thin tan head very nice lacing is thick and even. Aroma: Was expecting more peated malts but this beer serves up very nice smoked meat tones of the Bamberg Germany tradition nice. Flavor: Tops this one off complex but the smoked meat characteristic is soothing and it complements the toasted malts doesn't barrage the palate I think it's excellent hands down the best rauchbier out there. Some sweet fruit tones peak through the smokey flavor but this beer is tasty and well worthy of all the hype. Mouthfeel: A bit thin for a porter but it's still medium bodied with a reserved carbonation it ties it together nicely in my opinion. Drinkability: Excellent very easy drinking complex but incredibly drinkable in my opinion, more so than it's German counterparts.

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Photo of jtfest
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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...

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Photo of francisweizen
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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

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.

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Photo of BierReise
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

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Photo of gnaussea
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Loki
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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

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

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.

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 953 ratings.