Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

929 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 929
Hads: 1,819
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 325
Gots: 364 | 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: 929 | Hads: 1,819
Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (1,071 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,540 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 (2,116 characters)

Photo of Mustard
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (839 characters)

Photo of texascarl
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (622 characters)

Photo of stegmakk
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.. (305 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (295 characters)

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

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. (311 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (244 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (327 characters)

Photo of drewbage
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (362 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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! (691 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (662 characters)

Photo of freed
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (497 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.81/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Year 2001 edition
Looks - Black body, dark infinitesimal head, little lace.
Aroma – smokey, like lox.
Flavor - This tastes like beef jerky. Actually. It is like dark smoky raison bread.
Mouthfeel – Nice full mouth feel. I enjoyed this most.
Drink – My wife tried to pour her class down the drain, and I grudgingly stopped her and offered to consume hers for her. I just do not get the hype. This is an expensive beer that does not give me anything worth the money. (473 characters)

Photo of Murph
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown that borders on black and lets very little light through. The brew settles out to a smallish 1/4" head that sinks down to a rich brown film that laces the glass nicely. Light smokiness is mixed just perfectly with some darker chocolate and nice roasted aromas on the nose. Tasty roasted chocolate maltiness carries the brew the entire way through. The smokiness of the brew stays subdued most of the way through before rearing itself towards the end with a nice lingering finish. One of the more subtley smoked beers that I have had. Nice bittering hops are in there as well but seem to be too caught up in the malt and smokiness to really have any specific flaovrs. Thick and somewhat oily this brew is a bit cloying and loses some points for that but the thick body makes it ideal for drinking in the cold weather. This must fit the cold Alaskan winters rather well. An excellent brew that I would gladly purchase if it was possible to get it in my area.
A big thanks to Davo for sending this my way. (1,023 characters)

Photo of zacharius
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is 2001 vintage and over a year old at the time when I reviewed it. I was so impressed with this beer when I first tried it that I thought I had to try aging it--not such a good idea it was better fresh.

This beer tastes like a porter should with an added bonus of a unique smoked flavor that is excellent with foods: BBQ, Smoked Salmon and cheese. This beer is lightly carbonated which is a plus in my book but unfortuantley has a thin head because of this. I seem to recall more intense flavor when originally sampled that age seemed to dim, if your not a fan of smoked beers than aging it might be a good idea for you. This is the one of the best tasting beers I have ever had the only downside is that it isn't a session beer. One or two does it for a sitting, you don't want to drink too many of these. (815 characters)

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

I received two bottles of the 2001 edition as part of a beer purchase with fellow BA's AKSmokedPorter and PhantomVoDoo. Celebrating the OSU victory last night, I finally broke down and opened a bottle.

Very deep and dark appearance. Barely any head to speak of. Very distinct aroma...smoky...reminds me of that campfire smell in your clothes.

Smoky flavor as well, though definitely less than I expected (this being my first smoke-flavored beer). The inital smoke flavor gives way to a smooth, creamy chocolate malt and hops presence (yet the smoke flavor lingers). As the bottle emptied, it still wasn't difficult to drink. Mouthfeel was excellent, creamy and inviting.

A successful foray into the realm of the smoke-flavored beer. I will definitely keep my last bottle and let it age for a few years. (812 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again, thanks to my flat mate for a sample of this beer. Kind of pours like motor oil with no head. Very little carbonation in this one. The taste is of course smokey but mild. I would have to say it has just enough smoke flavor. Any more would through this out of balance. Malty and sweet with that warming feeling as it goes down. I believe this one could use some aging as the alcohol is a bit pronounced. A good beer that I want to try again. This bottle was from the 2002 batch. (483 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint brown bottle with the vintage date of 2002 on the label, suggests to cellar the beer.

Appearance: Really freaking dark, thick looking with a tightly cropped thin lacing with minimal stickage.

Smell: Woody charcoal smokiness, earthy with a layer of sweetness of malt in the aroma.

Taste: There is a certain smoke flavour from start to finish, not over whelming but not complacent either. Layered thickly the smoke wraps itself around the malt tightly, malt gives some sweetness as well as a complementing flavour of a level charcoal roasted grain. Hint of fruitiness in the back, prune … black currant? Alcohol becomes a warming factor half way through the bottle as the finish come slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: More creaminess than anything else, smoothness is there as well but the creamy mouth feel is where it is at. Full bodied of a sturdy foundation of malt.

Drinkability & Notes: Not as legendary as so many of the aficionados said it was. A sound porter as a whole with a thickly line smoky backing, smoked cheese and meat would be the obvious pairing … why not try a contrast pairing of a grilled venison burger topped with soft pungent goat cheese and lime accented mayo … did me just fine. (1,237 characters)

Photo of Mark
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was upset when I noticed the bottle said 2001 so this brew was a year old. A very dark porter, looks like a black Imperial Stout. Head retention was poor and lace was very sparse, perhaps this was due to the age? Smell was roasty and smoky as was the taste, mouthfeel a bit spritzy. Decent drinkability. I guess this isn't my favorite porter but I wish I had noticed the label. (379 characters)

Photo of jreitman
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this fresh on tap at the Celtic Bayou for the first time (go figure). Jet black in color with a pleasing tan head. Bringing the glass to your nose brings odors of smoke and autumn (dry leaves and the like). Smoke flavor was surprising well balanced with the rest of the beer and wasn't in your face like I had anticipated. Other noticeable flavors were some sweer chocolate, fruits, and a slight port-like character. Lots going on here and the smoke just serves to enhance everything. Mouthfeel was very nice with the only "negative" thing being that the smokiness made me drink it more slowly. Definitely worth seeking out. (635 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2001. Quite black in color with only a sliver of clear brown visible at the base of the glass. Pours a pillowy, deep tan head that holds well, eventually drops to a good collar, and leaves some excellent lace. The smoke is clearly present in the aroma. It's satisfying - much more like burning wood than dry leaves, or cigarettes (as some smoked, and even roasted barley tinted, beers can be). Much like the smell you pick up on yourself while camping. When combined with the earthiness and grassiness of the hops present, the aroma is like being out in the wild. It's slightly sharp, but not too acrid; with a delicate, "woody" taste. The smoke is backed by a lightly sweet, dark chocolatey maltiness and the aforementioned hops. Surprisingly, it's smokiness is continually noticeable and enjoyable. With some smoked beers, the smoke is mainly found at the outset, and then lost. The body is medium-full with a moderate carbonation level. The mouthfeel is nicely creamy. The flavor is softly fruity, and mainly chocolatey, with a lingering sherry-like character, some hops, and a really nice soft smokiness in the finish. Very well balanced, but also assertively hoppy! Very enjoyable; even comforting in a way. Quite complex, not just with the smoke adding an exciting layer, but within the beer itself. Quite rich, and very rewarding. Absolutely worth trying - even for the person who doesn't normally like smoked beers! This one is quite unique! (1,449 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sweet revelation.
Sweet surrender.
This is one of the best I have ever had. 2001 edition.

Virtually black with some slight scarlet edges. Thin brown head retains like it should.
Campfire aromas. Odd that a beer I have never sampled before should bring back so many memories. Some nice expresso notes on the nose too.
Taste starts off with the expresso. Big roastedness. The Alder smoke builds in the background and reaches a near orgasmic peak....but never overpowers. Rich, bitter chocolate appears. Maybe just the slightest hint of caramel sweetness. Hops provide dryness and balance. Euphoric bitter finish. The smoke is gone at this point.
The glass is immediately placed back to mouth for the next fix.

It has been awhile since a beer has brought me such deliverance. This is just unreal.

How can I ever repay you, Bighuge? Thank you so much.

I need some time alone.
---
Update: Another 2001. One year later.
Not substancially changed, but still all-around beautiful. Brief tasting notes: Smoldering wood chips, nearly meaty, but not quite. Smoking is major league, but not as dominating as some German Rauchbiers. Mocha, bitter chocolate and liquorice underneath. Fruit cake yeasty qualities. Drying, lightly herbal hopping. Roasty closure with a remainders of smoke.
Thanks for the reaquaintance, jreitman. (1,337 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage...

Very dark, just a little ruby light transmission at the bottom of the glass. Great soft head, slowly breaking bubbles and a good inch thick for quite a while...mild aroma, a little molasses. Smoky impression in the taste, combines with malts of coffee impression to give a woodsy taste, almost like coffee around the campfire in the morning. Smoke isn't overpowering. Nice lack of sweetness to me and the carbonation is well-done, neither flat nor over-charged. Aftertaste is pleasant, like a good Kenyan bean coffee, and with a slight fluffy impression. May be a little bitter to some, but I loved this! Many thanks to fellow Minnesotan BeerAdvocate Bighuge for the bottle. (693 characters)

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.