Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

294 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 294
Hads: 590
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 14
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 03-04-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 590
Photo of Sammy
2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not much taste and the thick syrupy consistency of a slushy. Nice color. A bit of hops and a mid-sip chocolate roast. Otherwise, low in the flavour department. Hope I did not mistreat this in the cellar.


Tip of cap to feloniousmonk for this and a full line of Summit samples. (281 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that gradually faded away and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of burnt malts, espresso and bittersweet chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell (but stronger in strength) and has flavors of espresso and roasted malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer goes down rather easily and is quite flavorful despite its thin body. (605 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with a nice light tan head that sticks well and leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Roasty malt, coffee and a touch of tobacco

Taste: Starts out with a nice coffee flavor that builds in sweetness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the roasty bitterness, laced with tobacco, adds complexity; quite a bit of sweetened coffee on the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice mainstream porter, although the residual sweetness limits the drinkability (532 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a really nice porter, very robust in its roast and chocolate aspects, but smooth and not at all bitter in the finish, different than other robust type porters i have had, especially from this region. its not real thick, but its super hearty still, maybe some wheat fluffing things up, its hard to say, but there is some nice body without it being hard to drink. right where i like my porter. it has a less intense nose than flavor, so the dark chocolate notes seem to come out of nowhere in the middle of the sip. i also really like the hop profile as it finishes, a hint of pine that pulls out a little tannic thing from the grain, which in this case really works. rich but dry, hard to do in beer like this, but its done super well. i didnt have a ton of beer from summit when i was up there this weekend, but of the ones i did have, this was my favorite. maybe the best dark beer i had in minnesota actually. not way different, its neatly within style guidelines, but its spot on in areas where others sag. very impressed with this. (1,043 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never know what you're going to get from Summit, sometimes a bit of a disapointment, but sometimes you find a surprisingly good beer. This is one of those. Though it looks like every other porter known to man, it takes on smooth, bold, and delicate balance right from the nose. Chocolate, roasted coffee, and heavy cream aromas translate into rich and full flavors. The chocolate stands out among the roasted grain and milkiness. Remains smoother than a stout, but with bold roasted flavors. Yeasty and earthy (from hops) balanced well up until the finish. Finishes with a mild lactose / yeast flavor. Really good porter. (621 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, stained walnut brown with beautiful ruby-orange accents at the edges. The impressive head of malted milk ball beige is creamythick and leaves a good deal of itself on the glass in the form of thick strands and streamers of lace. As the beer falls with drinking, the lacing is even more impressive; a nearly solid sheet is now covering the opposite side of the glass. I love opaque porters that look like they mean business.

Great Northern has a good porter nose that relies on the scent of roasted barley for its personality. Accessory aromas (chocolate, coffee, etc) are at a minimum, although carob is now more prominent than it seemed initially. The nose is slightly sweet and slightly roasted nutty as well.

This is tasty stuff and is deeper and more complex that the aroma hinted at. There's certainly no shortage of flavor: loads of roasted black malt, dark toffee, cocoa powder and a shot of black coffee. A handful of hops come to the party late and come with bells on. GNP is definitely a well-crafted beer.

Sweet and bitter cancel one another out early and the finish is increasingly bitter with the appearance of (surprisingly!) citric hops. Was this beer brewed on the West Coast of Minnesota? The body/mouthfeel is strictly porter medium and is nicely smooth. More full would have been even better.

My previous experiences with Summit were limited to their APA and their IPA and I wasn't all that impressed. Great Northern Porter is a horse of a different color though and is a much better beer. Too many porters wimp out when it comes to appearance, flavor and mouthfeel, but this one brings it and brings it with style. It looks like I have a renewed interest in the brewery up north. Recommended. (1,736 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola brown with a billowing head of foam. Four fingers high, is slowly diminishes to a cratered lunar surface woth honeycomb lacing.

Aroma has a lactic sweet edge to it, alongside roasty malt.

Taste is mainly roasted malt with a hint of coffee. Good roastiness remains in the aftertaste. A touch of sweetness is there, and residual earthy coffee also in the finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Think Schwarzbier light. Sessionable, but a fairly average porter. Probably would improve if it was fresh off tap.

Trying this alongside a few other porters, all straggling singles from the fridge. (616 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of ruby. It had a small, cappucino-like head that left trails of soapy lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some subtle floral notes.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a bitter hop kick.

M - It was creamy,smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good and easy drinking porter. (405 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Sounds like the name of a large ship... Anyway, this stuff pours a dark blackish-brown topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, very light hickory smoke in the background, and a solid amount of cocoa powder. The taste brings in more of the same, with a drier (though still quite light) smoke contingent. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, though a tad thin, this is a pretty tasty porter. Good times. (526 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour delivers a full, rocky head of tan foam over a black body that reveals gleaming hints of dark mahogany and ruby. The head retention is excellent and it leaves thin rings of sticky lace with each sip from the glass.The nose is quite welcoming with its rich, roasty, espresso-like, tobaccoish, and chocolatey notes. A touch of cherry-like fruit lends a light but sharp counterbalance that flits in and out. The body is decidedly medium and its fine, moderate carbonation leaves it creamy and smooth across the palate. In the flavor more yeasty fruitiness appears alongside its deep but not overly acidic coffee-like roastiness and subtle chocolate tones. It's rich but not overwhelming - simply satisfying - and it's well balanced with a solid bitterness that leads to a dry and roasty finish. Very well done! It's flavorful, complex, and highly drinkable! (867 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cool into a DFH shaped pint. Purchased at Thirsty's in York, PA.

A - Deep cola brown w/ a glimpse of caramel brown at the base of the pint. A spectacular full 3 fingers of fluffed up tan foam that appears rocky and leaves moderate lace is produced from a slightly vigorous pour.

S - A nice yeasty fruit ester and mineral scent of an English style porter w/ plenty of roasted notes and a hint of cocoa.

M - Slightly on the thin side, but nice dry textures and moderate carbonation make it better than average.

T - Crisp, spicy hops awaken the tongue as the smooth cocoa creamy malt notes follow w/ a nice charred edge. The hops are piney and fit the style w/ just a bit more than you might find traditionally. A bitterness that is earthy w/ a bit of pepper in the flavor that goes well w/ the slightly smokey, darkly roasted malts.

D - A fabulous example of the porter style w/ nods to American flavor characteristics. Restrained, yet enticing w/ notes of roastiness that make this creamy smokey porter very drinkable (1,028 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from about an inch above the glass and was rewarded with a medium to big light brown head with nice carbonation above a clear dark dark reddish brown colored beer.

Coffee and light mocha rich aroma.

Light coffee is blended with with a rich roasted light dark chocolate malt taste.

A medium to full bodied beer that leaves a slightly bitter smooth dry aftertaste.

This was a pretty good glass of beer, well worth seeking out some summit stuff. (460 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark mahogany with a 1.5" tan head. Not much lacing or head retention

Smell: Big malt roastiness and cofee notes

Taste: Fruitness is quickly overan by toasted malt assualt. Coffee& choclate flavors mop up the flavor attack! Finishes dry and roasty

MF: Pretty nicely balanced but a tad undercarboanted

Drank really easy, may have to re-review another beer if the head & lacing in the other 5 of the 6 pack hold up better. Very nice porter, even going down good in 80+degree weather! (499 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a very dark chocolate hue tone that lets just a bit of light through forms a big billowing light tan head leaves even rings of lacing. Aroma has dark powdered cocoa tones, mild coffee, and herbal hops intact with a soft creamy marshmellow layer. Taste contains moderate bitterness from the combonation of herbal hops and dark roasted malts which also give off creamy cappucino coffee notes and finishes with a dry dark chocolate flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied creamy textured evenly carboanted very smooth textured. Drinkability for this brew is great, one smooth and flavorful porter adding to Summit's stand up reputation, I think with this one in the sampler could probably pursuade me to pick one up I'm also a fan of their pils and pale. (762 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Someone once asked me what would be the one beer I'd choose if I can only have one for the rest of my life, the old desert island query. They were surprised when I chose this, and I had to bring out my rationale. But first...
Big, bubbly, cocoa-colored head, dark brown color. Aroma comes out with fresh roasty flavors, toasty flavors, some spiciness, chocolate, espresso, etcetera. Darkens in taste as you go, with a thick full, well-balanced mouthfeel, but still sufficient bitterness. Marvelous and mellow, slips down the throat nicely, but still with a bit of a bite. If Summit ever dropped it, I'd have to break down and sob.
Not as powerful as many other porters, but reliably flavorful. Why do I choose it for this "last and only" choice? It's excellent for my kind of session ale, not too strong or powerful, just right in hops and malt. And it's local, from just across the river, and I don't have to mention how important that is... (944 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 2/24/2014. Pours fairly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, toast, dark bread, herbal, light molasses, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and light yeast ester/hop notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, caramel, light molasses, herbal, slight pine, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, herbal, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter. Nice robustness and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with light-moderate hops; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,405 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness date on bottle.

Color is a deep copper brown. Pours a half inch of light tan foam. Head doesn't last very long, but leaves some thin lacing.

Smell is of over roasted malts and dark coffee. Very slight hops are present. The first thing I noticed about the taste was how hoppy it was. I immediately tasted earthy hops, as well as roasted chocolately malts.

Mouthfeel is slightly bitter, but them gets very smooth and goes down easy. There is no alcohol even present in this beer.

Overall, this is an easy to drink porter. I was not expecting the high taste of hops in this beer as it had, but I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend. (685 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malt, with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is very nice. I get some bitter chocolate notes, as well as a hint of chocolate and some roasted malt. The beer is fairly sweet, with some brown sugar notes coming through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice porter. (384 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

I was sidelined with a bad cold the last couple of weeks, so while my consumption remained intact, my reviews slacked off. I am beginning today with a bottle of Summit Great Northern Porter.

Once the cap was Pop!ped, I began with a heavy-handed pour, resulting in a pseudo-cascade which formed three-plus fingers of dense, rocky, light-tan head with great retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Opaque/Black (SRM = 34 – 44) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, charcoal smokiness, French Roast coffee and a little hickory smoke. Mouthfeel was very full with a carbonation level that I want to call “prickly”. It really allowed the smokiness to come through in a stunning way. The bittersweet chocolatiness began to assert itself on the initial finish. The extreme finish was dry and bitter, much like my humor. It struck me as being a little too bitter for my taste, but the style is so wide-ranging that each one becomes a surprise. One would probably be enough for me. Next! (1,027 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with some lighter brown highlights on the glass edge. A 1" head slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and a hint of coffee is pleasant but mild overall.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolates, a bit of coffee, and a mild bitterness make up a straight forward porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, a bit smoother at the finish.

Drinkability: easy drinking porter with a nice flavor profile. Definite session beer. (511 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good pour. Dark, smooth black with a tan, 1 finger head. Clumpy, sticky head, but it did go away after a bit.
Hints of chocolate, caramel and hops in then nose, mostly of coffee and roasted malt.
Taste was nice. Coffee flavor mostly, but not robust. Chocolate and maltiness, some almond bark flavors as well.
Good balance with hops, a nice bite to it. Finishes nicely. Not an outstanding beer, but solid. (409 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In this age of barrel-aged imperial rye porters, this is just a classic American porter. It looks good with a dark brown body and tan head. The aroma is of dark, dry roasted grains. And the flavor adds a touch of chocolate to the mix. The balance is spot on, dry and drinkable, yet still a bit sweet. This is a good session beer, a simple one, but tasty and it won't knock you off your stool. (392 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a black body with a light tan head that is bubbling a bit then turning rocky. A few tiny bubbles can be seen at the edge of the glass.

S- The smell of chocolate roasted malt is balanced by a nice soft hop spice.

T- The taste of dark roasted malt has a faint tang to it and a coffee flavor that follows. The finish has a faint hop spice with a strong carbonic acid taste. The dark roast hangs on after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some watery texture and a fizz finish.

D- I don't expect it to be as big as a stout but it would be nice to have some complexity in the malt bill. There are some flavors that are a bit off but it might be oatmeal or rye? (750 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, and, well, "Houston: We have a foamer." Inches and inches and inches of tan head over a barely translucent mahogany brew. Lacing tons of heavy, heavy foam. Aroma is nutty and effervescent. Head lasted for quite some time before drinking became even remotely possible, after three pours to get the brew into the glass. Taste is of sweet, slightly nutty, dark malts. Mouthfeel a bit light, but nice and smooth. Drinkability a quandry, because it was such a chore to pour and wait (me being so patient...), but it goes down so well once the waiting's over. A nice porter. (684 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass, with a one finger medium brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Nice toasted malt aroma with light chocolate and hints of coffee, rich. Flavor follows, with toasted malt with hints of char, dark chocolate, coffee and hop bitterness. Finishes smooth with pleasant residual coffee and grassy hop bitterness. Very nice creamy body with excellent mouth feel. A very nice porter with a good balanc e of flavor, rich malt and nice hop kick in the finish. Good body emphasizes the chocolate notes, reminding me of a whipped hot chocolate. Nicely done. (655 characters)

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.