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Alaskan Smoked Porter - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

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

935 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 935
Hads: 1,835
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.31%
Wants: 330
Gots: 372 | FT: 21
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alaskan Smoked Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 935 | Hads: 1,835
Photo of gnaussea
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (658 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (2,173 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (1,008 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,624 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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 (1,651 characters)

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)

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