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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

514 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 11
Gots: 18 | 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: 514 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown/Black beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big foamy beige head with some lace. Very deep roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee behind a solid backbone of bittersweet chocolate. The bittersweet chocolate starts out the flavor and then battles the underlying coffee note until the finisih which is a dry bittersweet chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 17:23:28 | More by ybnorml
Photo of beergeek279


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

Served in the 12 oz. stubby bottle into a pint glass. The color is nice and black with a quickly subsiding beige head. The smell is chocolatey sweet with just a touch of hops. The taste is touched with a very nice chocolate sweetness with a good base of a coffee-ish bitterness melded with a good noble hopping leaving a nice lingering. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. As for drinkability, one that I could have a few of.

Thanks to the 'monk for this bottle as part of Secret Bunny. As far as porters go, this one is quite nice, with a very nice balance of chocolate and coffee bitterness. Quite nice and one I'd be glad to have again!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 19:34:18 | More by beergeek279
Photo of blitz134


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby bottle courtesy of the monk...

Poured nearly opaque black with only hints of caramel highlights. Head was light brown and about a half inch think reducing to a thin layer and leaving nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma is of nice roasted flavors with hints of chocolate and maybe a touch of oatmeal. Also a bit of flowery hops in the background.

Taste is mostly dark chocolate with a bit of oatmeal and lightly roasted nuts. A very sharp refreshing taste. Mouthfeel is very nice as it coats well and has a full, heavy, creamy feeling on the tounge. Makes me want another, which is totally possible since this sits relatively light on the old acid bag.

A very well done porter and worth a taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 01:54:31 | More by blitz134
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2005 23:33:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dogbrick


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

Pours near black with a garnet halo. Very thin tan head that disappears almost immediately and almost no lacing either. The aroma is pretty nice, smokey and chocolatey. Medium-bodied and fairly effervescent for a Porter. Flavors of malt, nuts and coffee are nicely blended. There is a light smokey character in the flavor too. The finish is short and lightly bitter. Above average overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 18:35:54 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of putnam


2.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Malted coffee aromas from this brown liquid. A cluster of wadded, dried red berry fruits and peppery spices are discernable on the nose too. The flavors are burnt with blackened cell matter exposing alcohol and steely metal flavors. Soda fizziness, a little salty, concludes the unexceptional brown beer experience.
This sample has got to be off condition, but I doubt it started from a very prime position either.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 00:59:08 | More by putnam
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very dark red pour, a finger and a half of light mocha head, very big bubbles on top, very creamy looking. Leaves a thick lace coating behind.

Aroma - good roasted coffee and chocolate nose. Trace of metal, but I am sampling it 3 months past date.

Taste - hearty malt and espresso flavors. A charred taste follows with some bitterness, enhancing the dark, roasty feel of the brew. Again, a touch of metal, but the beer still tastes good to me.

Mouthfeel - average weight, above average bubbles. Doesn't get in the way, doesn't elevate the beer either.

Drinkability - Yeah, I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2005 21:19:56 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of andyo


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like many other porters I have had. Nice chocalate brown color. Great spicy, roasted nut, bitter espresso flavors.

This is pretty much an all around *average* porter. Nothing really stood out to me, but this is not in any way a bad thing. A great session beer I will revisit, but for the same price I'd rather be drinking Sierra Nevada.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 00:28:42 | More by andyo
Photo of Hhawk06


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the end of a very educational and well organized tour of the plant in St. Paul. It looked very good off of the tap with a mostly black-to-very-deep-brown body and a smallish bubbly tan head. The nose is pale and hoppy, a little different than what I anticipated. The mouthfeel can best be described as prickly bitter. There are a couple of intermingling flavors involved here; chocolate to spruce to a citrus kick. Innovative. The finish has a puckering lemon surge. Overall, a good brew and different (always good for bonus points).

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2005 01:37:35 | More by Hhawk06
Photo of TastyTaste


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

Looks like many-a porter, very dark brown, big tan head, foamy, which fades to leaves craters. Smell is very chocolately and espresso-ish. Taste is more acidic and grainy than most porters. Very smooth and drinkable, and the extra acidity does not really detract that much from this offering. I had this at a cellar, or warmer, level, and I think it was at it's peak of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 19:36:21 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of Bierguy5


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black. No highlights. Tan, foamy head. Pretty good head retention. Nice lace on the glass. Roasty smells, and slightly nutty. Deep roasted malt combined with a good amount of hops. Nice amount of bitterness. Hopped prety good. Almost comes close to a stout. Medium body, low carbonation. Dry-ish cocoa powder finish. I enjoyed this one, a good porter.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2005 05:38:57 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of rugger


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

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the summit sampler. The Porter poured a nice dark ruby red with a very smal head I spent half of the bottle down the middle of the glass as roughly as I could trying to get a good head out ot this guy but it was very tired. The smell said hello with a nice chocolate espresso scent and the taste mirrored the smell. The mouthfeel was a litte thin but there is something there that makes this a very flavorful drinkable porter. You really can't go wrong with a porter. Hopefulle BMC will stay away from this style. Too much flavor here for these guys.

Thanks Feloniousmonk.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 00:25:04 | More by rugger
Photo of chilidog


4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Santa brought six of these as i've been working my way through Summit brews, they are new to my part of Ohio.
Thisone poured a nice deep mahogany color with a moderate tan head. Lace is nice, glass long, rings that hold. The aroma is of a sweet malt, smoke and coffee. That coffee taste show's the way as the malt seems more burnt than sweet. Chocolate over nut can be noticed as well. The mouth is left slightly dry. Drinkability is good as this 4.9 abv is smooth and easy to put away. Good with food or by itself. Thanks Santa!!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2005 22:16:00 | More by chilidog
Photo of fdrich29


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to Feloniousmonk for this brew.

Tan, bubbly, dimpled head sits atop a sea of black.

Smells of smoky malt and coffee.

Tastes like espreso. Sweet, smooth and very tasty.

Smooth! Goes down increibly easy. A tastey porter that is not overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 22:25:03 | More by fdrich29
Photo of skybluewater


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date Dec 10. Pours a very dark mahogany color. There's a nice head that lasts for quite a while and leaves lace all the way to the bottom of the glass. Smell is of chocolate and coffee. Taste is very much the same, very quaffable.

Definitely a great porter here, not "big" but just right.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2004 00:42:53 | More by skybluewater
Photo of RushLimbmalt


4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This another great beer brewed locally here in Minnesota. It pours a very dark, reddish brown and has a nice creamy tan head that leaves pretty quick. It has the terrific smell of dark malts...I love the smell of porters and stouts. It has a major hop kick and a bitter, dark chocolate/ coffee flavor that is most agreeable to me. Hey, maybe I am biased, because Summit is a local brewer, but this is one of the best porters I have ever tried. It has plenty of hopping to go with the heavy usage of dark malts. All in all a dreamy beer...

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2004 08:31:13 | More by RushLimbmalt
Photo of bashiba


2.17/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was really disappointed by this porter as it came highly recommended from a couple people.

First off the appearence was terrible. It barely had any head at all and what it had was a very sickly brown color, the beer itself was a very dark brown not letting any light through it. It almost looked like pouring a flat can of coke.

The smell wasn't to bad, with some nice earthy and coffee scents.
Then the taste. Very bitter and light on flavor, almost has a watered down taste to it with slight hints of coffee and cocoa, anot what I have come to expect in a good porter.

The mouthfeel was very, very light not real impressive.
Overall not very drinkable, I'll stick with Bells or Grants when it comes to Porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2004 21:38:45 | More by bashiba
Photo of ppoitras


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2004 22:35:27 | More by ppoitras
Photo of SheepNutz


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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep jet black color with two fingers of light tan head. There is quite a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly sweet with coffee and chocolate accented roasted malt. The taste contains lots of burnt malt flavor and black coffee bitterness. Not too much sweetness at all. A fairly dry finish. The mouthfeel is just a little light and oily. The drinkability is fairly good though. A decent porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2004 01:54:52 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 04:26:19 | More by Sammy
Photo of granger10


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a solid all around porter. A really good example of the style. Dark brown color with a nice tan brown head. Aroma is coffee with chocolate in the background and some floral bitterness. Taste has a grainy base to it. Dark coffee upfront with cocoa in hiding behind it. There is a bittersweet taste there, the hops provide a straight forward bitterness and not much flavoring. The finish is acidic and has a hop twang to it. A solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2004 23:46:19 | More by granger10
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Voluminous light brown head. Nearly opaque blackish brown liquid. Nice coffee nose with sweet chocolate backdrop. A dry roasty maltiness comes thru loud and clear, marred only by a somewhat thinnish body and mouthfeel. Good bitterness. Finishes dry, drinkable in quantity no problemo.
Thanks to CRJM for this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2004 20:05:17 | More by beerluvr
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Bier has a very deep, dark brown color, with some glimmers of garnet showing up when the sun shines through it. Lovely! Head is frothy and mocha-colored, but thins fairly rapidly. Still leaves nice lacing in the glass. Aroma is a healthy, roasty chocolate one, with a bit of decent sweetness. Medium bodied, this porter also goes over the tongue in an easy fashion. Flavor is roasty and rich, with loads of chocolate/coffee notes. Floral hoppiness at the finish makes for a great aftertaste, with dryness throughout as well. All-in-all this is a verrry nice porter! Oh yeah! Thnx to Jeffboo for the sample!


overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 21:11:47 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Mitchster


4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OG 13.3 plato. 37 IBU. 4.8% ABV. 48 Lovibond.
Brewed with 2-row Harrington, Caramel, and Black Patent malts. Horizon, Fuggle, and Cascade hops.

Pours out to a clear, very-dark brown, forming a medium-sized light-tan head with average retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps just a bit too much for the style considering the medium body. Aroma is very interesting and quite unique...initially musk and cologne, a brief sourness, followed by floral, perfumy hops and pleasantly roasted grains. This one catches me by surprise each time I smell it. Taste begins nicely with a floral hoppiness, followed by a spicy hop flavor perfectly mingling with chewy malts and a very nice balance of deeply roasted grain. Espresso and bittersweet chocolate mingle. I love the abundance of black patent in here, as it adds a unique oily smokiness. There is certainly Cascade in here, but so much more. The black patent and chocolate malt don't add any astringency which is a testament to the brewers skills. There is a pleasing chalky note towards the end, and the finish has notes of peanut-butter and wood-chips. The malt body add a nice lingering sweetness, perfectly in balance with the hops. There is a pleasant astringency which makes me want to drink more.

This porter completely blew me away. It's a much better take on the Sierra Nevada-style porter (which is overly bitter, hoppy, and out of balance in my book), with a pronounced but well-balanced hop flavor and lots of black patent. The malt and hop levels are perfectly in unison. A brew of this balance is awfully difficult to make. Very impressive!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 01:35:57 | More by Mitchster
Photo of marburg


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a porter, smells like a porter, tastes like a porter.

But holy shit -- this thing goes down easier than almost any other porter I've ever had.

High level of carbonation in my bottle lead to a biggish head. Aromatic assertions of barley flambé, smores, and an espresso bean or two. Medium body. Roasty flavors all over the place. Hints of the usual suspects -- chocolate, coffee, et cetera. While it's not especially bitter, there's a definite burnt, charred characteristic to this brew that really gives the impression of roasted flavor.

And again, I can't stress how fast I wanted to drink this. Incredibly drinkable. I loved it.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 02:19:01 | More by marburg
Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.