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Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

506 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 11
Gots: 12 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ADR on 03-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notoriousdav


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great porter. Pours just shy of jet black with a nice tan head. Smells of roasted coffee and some roasted meat. Tastes like a porter should, roasted and a little sweet with just the right carbonation. All in all, a very good beer that one could enjoy all night.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 01:37:41 | More by notoriousdav
Photo of Mebuzzard


4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 16:22:40 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of fretlessman71


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: FINALLY! You don't know how long I've been waiting for Summit to get their beers to the Centennial state. I’ve heard such good things about this beer – I’ve been waiting to try it for years now! Now’s the time, I daresay...

APPEARANCE: Inky black with maybe the slightest hint of ruby around the edges when held to light. Dense rocky beige head leaving “frowny face” lace – I’ve never seen this before! Little upside down smiles on the inside of the glass... hope it’s not the shape of things to come! As the head dissipates, I have to say this is the prettiest lace I’ve ever seen on a porter. Wow.

AROMA: Cold instant coffee and dark chocolate come out first. Not much in the way of hops here.

FLAVOR: Ahh, this one’s a roaster. Could pass for a brown ale if it weren’t so dark. Espresso and baker’s chocolate. Hop flavor much more prominent than the aroma. Slightly sweet finish. Even though I don’t care for the roasted porters as much, this one is very nice. Not too complex, but sometimes that’s better.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light weight, nothing spectacular.

DRINKABILITY: At 4.9% ABV I could have a few of these, and the flavor is interesting enough to hold my attention. Not bad at ALL.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Not a bad offering at all from Summit. Gonna have to set this one up next to a Sierra Nevada and see how she does, but certainly impressive – even if it’s more of a roasted porter than the chocolate-noted ones I tend to favor. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 04:52:44 | More by fretlessman71
Photo of plaztikjezuz


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very deep mohogany almost black, with a tan head that is made of very fine bubbles that it has a whipped cream appearence.
the aroma is earthy, yeastie, hint of cocao and roasted barley.
the flavor is malty with a good hop spice flavor, some raostiness.
the beer is pretty good, kinda reminds me more of a stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2006 05:04:03 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of scalffd


4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me say up front, I really like this beer.

Poured into a Warsteiner mug from a bottle without date.

Appearance: Nice dark, dark amber color in the light, very dark when held away from the light - nearly black. Small frothy head, dissapates into a 1/8" bubble head that remains with nice lacing.

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Very nice, but somewhat subtle and not immediately up front.

Taste: Fantastic. Malty and roasty with some chocolate hints. Some bitterness in the dry finish. Very smooth and easy to drink, could quickly down 6 of these. They are that nice.

Next to the stout, the porter is my favorite genre and I think this one is done very well. Easy to drink, tastes great with a nice aroma. Really, there is nothing negative I can say about this beer. It is done well, not the best porter ever, but I stress quality. Enjoy, I have.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 23:55:46 | More by scalffd
Photo of sponberg

New York

4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really like the graphics on the bottle. Pours a coffee brown with a russet tint. Great aroma - roasty-toasty, dark bready malt, faint spicy hoppiness - spent a good half minute smelling it. If they made candles in this scent I'd buy a box of 'em.

The taste follows through big time. Really hits the notes I like in a "regular" porter - great dark malt flavors all over the place, chocolate and black patent malts seem to be in equal balance, along with a silky, almost oatmeal-stout-like flavor along with some muted toffee and a dryish, mellow bitterness. So freaking clean. The finish is dry, with roasted malt spiciness/aromatics/whatever that is, and again very clean. Medium-light mouthfeel.

I could see a case of this in my fridge if I ever get the opportunity. Solid, incredibly drinkable and tasty porter. Beers don't have to be huge to be damned tasty. Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!!

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 01:09:42 | More by sponberg
Photo of rowew


4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle. Best by date labeled on the bottle. 20th Anniversary badging on the neck.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown with just a hint of ruby on the edges. Nice big frothy head. Fades, but leaves a thick lacing.

Smell: Roated malt, a bit of chocolate and toffee.

Taste: Lots of coffee and hints of chocolate and toffee. Plenty of roasted malt flavor.

Overall impression: Very nice porter. Plenty of flavor, but still highly drinkable. I can see this one being a regular in my fridge through the fall.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 22:24:58 | More by rowew
Photo of pmcadamis


3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beautiful black beer has a slightly purple hue when held to the light, and offers a on finger head that drops to a collar of light brown foam. I like the name too. It just sounds good.

Smells of cola, coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and cereal grains. There is also a chemical chlorine smell lurking in the background.

I like the bitter coffee flavor along with the dark chocolate notes. IMO, this is bitter but not overly so. Rich, grainy and smooth, this brew is an easy drinker that I will surely grab again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 01:55:33 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of zjungleist


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the Summit Brewing Company. Deep brown, yeilding a little ruby to the light, with a short tan head. Smell was a little lacking in intensity, but some malty chocolate and a touch of hops came through. The taste was mainly cocoa, and a high cabonation taste, with some hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was thin and bubbly, at least for the style, I thought. Almost lager-like. Drinkability was decent, becuase the beer did display a lack of any real flaws, and was light enough to put several away.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2006 03:17:26 | More by zjungleist
Photo of teg8612


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never fresher than when you get to try it at the Brewery.

A- Deep brown, chocolate and chestnut tones. Brown head that settles to a thin layer and hangs around.

S- Roasted coffee beans, rich chocolate and toasty malts

T&M- Very rich, cocoa flavor gives way to roast coffee beans. Finish is thick and rich with toasted malts and slightly bitter like they where overcooked or left brewing in the pot too long. Hop bitterness is is strong and leaves a clean, balanced finish. A porter can't be light and this isn't. Very substantial, not too creamy. The taste doesn't really build to a level where I want to stop drinking this though.

D- Not a really strong porter, it makes a good choice for having multiples. A little too heavy for the summer months but still a good choice for the cooler evenings. One of my favorites from Summit.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2006 15:16:03 | More by teg8612
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark roasted brown with amber hilites. Appears to be clean and filtered. Head is a very nice inch tall thick oatmeal covered head that appears to be in no hurry to go anywhere.

S: Nutty, roasted coffee, cola, charred oak and some hops.

T: Begins lightly malty with flavors of iced coffee, cola twang, touch of vanilla and some brown sugar. From there the roasted grains come into play, but not as aggresively as the smell would lead you to believe. More of a dull lingering sort of like how the bitterness would play into a red ale. Finishes with some dried cocoa and some hop bitterness

M: Medium body with a decent carbonation.

D: Not bad. Decent porter. I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 02:53:20 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of alexgash


4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, peaty brown. Tiny bubbles make up a dense, light cocoa cream head. Roasted, dark chocolate nose with light nutty bitterness. Toasted, singed, roasted flavor up front. Sweetish milk chocolate and molasses come in. A hint of vanilla and peat. Bittersweet finish. Moderate body. Perhaps a tad thin, but lends itself to very good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 02:12:06 | More by alexgash
Photo of dfried


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much black in color, with a little dark ruby color around the edges. Decent sized caramel colored head fades to a film and ring. Aroma is deep and roasted, coffee and chocolate, a little fruitiness, but with what I found to be a little grain-like smell that I found a little off putting. The smell is the only thing draw back of this beer though, the rest of it is awesome. The taste is sweet and chocolaty going down, some bitterness from the coffee/espresso character of the malt, but more sweet than anything. Some spiciness from the hops shows up as well. The mouthfeel starts pretty sticky, but got more dry as it went on, but remains creamy like a spongy pastery. This beer has a pretty light body for a rich porter, which helps them go down all the easier.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 18:44:23 | More by dfried
Photo of andrewmartin


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer while I was back in MN on vacation.

A: Pours almost coal black with a solid tan head, heavy lacing

S: Some roasted notes with a slightly sour smell that I couldn't put my finger on (vinager?). Also caught a whiff of alcohol

T: Strong roasted flavor up front with little aftertaste. Pretty standard for the style

M: Surprisingly soft for the extensive roasted flavor

D: The soft mouthfeel and pleasant roasted flavor made me want to consume another couple of pints.

N: A little turned off by the smell, but the tast and mouthfeel make this a great sessions porter. Wish this was on tap around here!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2006 02:07:48 | More by andrewmartin
Photo of scruffwhor


4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a deep balckish/brown hue with very bright ruby highlights when held too the light. the head was a very light tan at about a fingers width after pouring. This receded to a sturdy foam for the entire duration of beer enjoyment.

Smell- A very creamy, roasty, smpkey, and vanilla-like porter.

Taste- Starts with a very deep, dark roasted malt that turns to a more smokey nuance as it lingers on your tongue. I would even say that it sometimes tasted a little burnt. But I liked how the malt flavors developed as they sit on my tongue. I detected notes of heavy cream, vanilla, coffee beans and dark chocolate. The finish was a burnt, American hop finish.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, silky smooth, and a little grainy at the finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2006 04:23:30 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of aforbes10


3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Great Northern Porter is a pretty great-looking beer. Nice creamy style head on a black-brown body. Sweet malt and yeast odor. Taste is quite sweet a little bitter...mostly roasted malts with some hops on the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Nothing special...not a bad beer, but i dont think i'd go out of my way to find it or anything.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2006 12:29:27 | More by aforbes10
Photo of wingman14


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours black with a thin tan head that fades quickly. The smell is amazing, not very strong but filled with coffee, chocolate, and burnt characteristics. A very inviting smell. The taste is sweet and strong at first, leaving some very bitter flavors with a great deal of bite. It takes a bit for the bitter to fade leaving an awesome smoky flavor. It has a lack of balance leaving to much bitter and carbonation which takes away from the mouthfeel. I didn't give this a great drinkability because of the imbalance. This is a good beer, and definitely worth trying, but try a single serve first if you can due to its major differences from normal porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 04:03:04 | More by wingman14
Photo of bluejacket74


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a single bottle of this at World Market this morning. I've never heard of Summit Brewing before so I thought I'd give it a try. Poured in a pint glass, it pours very dark brown with a small tan head which goes away quickly. The main smell to me is dark chocolate, with some coffee and roasted malt in there too. It pretty much tastes the same way, with more coffee taste than chocolate. There's also a slight bitter roasted coffee aftertaste. The porter has a light/medium body, with a mouthfeel on the watery side and a small bit of carbonation. It's a very drinkable porter, but not as creamy as I expected it to be. It goes down relatively easy, and I could see myself drinking it every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 22:29:25 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of russpowell


4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2006 02:36:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of BEERchitect


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 21:49:59 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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?

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 00:25:42 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of PorterLambic


4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black. A fairly creamy 2" head forms, dark tan in color that drops, over 5 minutes, to a good thick layer of foam and leaves a bunch of lace.

Smell is wonderful with roasted, almost burnt, malt, coffee, smoke, molasses, dark chocolate, and a floral hint.
Taste is roasted malts, coffee, toffee, dark chocolate, molasses and a hint of smokiness.
A bit thinner than I would prefer or have expected but.... that's a porter for you, all over the map on body. Smooth, low carbonation, light-medium body, a bit of warming at the swallow. A fine brew and one I wish I had bought more of. Will look for it again on my next trip north.

Just had my second and wanted to add something.
When I poured this one straight down the middle of a pint glass, it actually gave some of the waterfall effect you see with Guinness and others. A huge, 3 1/2" head this time. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2006 20:04:34 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of pweis909


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=dark, with some translucence, and very little head.
S=I just didn't detect aroma from this beer
T=roasty dark crystal malt. No hop flavor. Moderately bitter finish. The malt became more prominent with time, making me think it needed to be served a bit warmer.

Overall, not my favorite porter, but nice and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 01:30:35 | More by pweis909
Photo of timtheenchanta

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is a great beer. Not a lot of head but plenty of lacing. Deep roasted smell and similar taste. Lots of subtle flavors like bitter chocolates and some dark fruit. This is a wonderful beer that I would definitely like to get my hands on again. Thanks to Jredner for sending this beer my way.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 20:02:22 | More by timtheenchanta
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2006 19:41:19 | More by WVbeergeek
Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.