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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

530 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 530
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 12
Gots: 20 | 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: 530 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jredner
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is appropriately roasty with mild milk chocolate notes. This is how a well made porter should smell. Flat black in color with a pinky than tan head that is mostly lasting. Fore is a tad tart, but quickly fades into a roasted malt, coffee tinge affair. A little too sweet int he middle with more than ample chocolate notes. Some toboccao ash notes in the finish along with a melange of roasted coffee and cocoa flavors. Fairly well made brew which could benefit from a fuller mouthfeel.

Jredner, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color, with just a touch of light coming through . A finger of head falls to a patchy coat over top. Nose is dominated by a chocolate aroma, but not sweet. More like a light semi-sweet chocolate. Behind that is a light fig character and a mild roastyness. Good stuff. Flavor is much stronger in the roast than the nose. Initial sip brings some light coffee, followed by light fig sweetness and fruityness and finishing with a little bit of chocolatey sweetness and a slightly herbal hop bitterness. Good complexity and very tasty. Feel is solid moderate with carbonation on the light end of moderate. A solid beer. Flavor is really nice. I could use a bit more carbonation to balance it out in the feel, but I can't really complain. A great beer to cap off a good day. I'd have it again.

kmpitz2, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of sweethome
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown. Nice rocky head that provides some lace.

Lush nose of hops, chocolate and candied nuts. Just a hint of yeast in there too.

A strightforward entry - the mouthfeel fills out beautifully. The chocolate malts rip in, but with plenty of hops providing balance to the sweetness. Quite hoppy for style, but not over the top. The roast character I favor is restrained.

A delicate balance is achieved. This is a sweet beer that gives a hop snap to cleanse the palate. A littel musty note of yeats is back there too.

Another solid effort from what I consider to be a very under-rated brewery.

sweethome, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of BeerIsland
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint on tap at The Drafting Room in Spring House PA and was very impressed. It came out a beautiful deep brown/black color, capped with a nice head that gave way to some pretty lacing as it went down. The Great Northern gave off some nice malt and coffee notes as I brought it up to taste. The flavor was wonderfully balanced and nicely hopped with more coffee coming through. Smooth all the way with very nice finish. A great beer.

BeerIsland, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Summit Porter pours out a very dark brown color topped with an inch of dense foam. Slightly roasty aroma. It's a nice smell, but too weak. This left me surprise by the big roasty flavor. Lots of roasted coffee and some chocolate too. Burnt and bitter in the finish. A little fruity, which somehow went well with the roasted flavors. Not much hoppiness. Mouthfeel is medium to full. Fairly drinkable, though I don't know if I could drink more than about 2 bottles. Very nice porter.

beveragecaptain, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of slyke
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summit's Great Northern Porter pours an opaque black with a nice 3/4 inch tan head. The head fades slowly leaving a thin cap. Lacing is quite nice.

The aroma is heavy with roasted coffee notes. The taste is the same, roasty, toasty, and coffee-like.

Mouthfeel seems a little light for a beer of this style, but not terribly so.

Drinkability is good. When the weather or the mood is right, this is a beer fit for savoring several in a sitting.


slyke, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a deep, dark mahogany brown. Some reddish highlights shine through when held to the light. A thin tan head fades with nice lacing on the glass.

Smells wonderful! Deep,deep, rich roasted aroma with some mocha tones. A hint of vanilla sneaks in here and there.

Rich roasted flavor with nice coffee and chocolate accents. I don't taste the vanilla that I smelled, but that doesn't matter. It has a flavor that I love in a porter. Finishes fairly dry with a very roasty aftertaste.

Slightly on the thin side for such a bold flavor. If it were a steak, the flavor would be a porterhouse and the body would be a SteakUm.

Super easy to drink, the moderate ABV makes it quite sessionable. While the body is thin, it slides down my throat with ease. I love a very roasty porter, and this is a good one.

MaltyGoodness, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch dark brown color capped off with a nice brown head. It smells like a nicely hopped porter, with creamy and nutty smells as well. The hops are pronounced well in the flavor too. One of the better-hopped porters I've tried. It has a slight bitterness to it, just enough to give it a nice egde. There also is a lingering smoke flavor. Tastes great. The mouthfeel is around medium bodied, probably could be a little heavier, but its not bad by any means. Drinkability is okay. I wouldnt drink it quickly, but I'm not going to get bored by drinking it slowly either. Damn good beer here.

jasonpeckins32, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of hoffman
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice pour, thick from the bottle, head rises up to about one finger maybe a little more, and stays there through the session. Opaque black with brown edging, decent look in the glass. The smell is sweet and sharp, nice mellow vanilla and cream followed up by a sharp/bitter coffee, plus maybe a little hop presence. The taste on this one is quite good sharp coffee and vanilla taste at first with a mildly sweet middle and a nice balanced hop kick at the end, maybe a little overpowering at first, but a trait I enjoyed as the beer warmed a little. The mouthfeel is quite creamy, fairly full, a bit watery but not bad. A nice drinkable porter, readily available and good, comparable to Boulevards Bully! Porter.

hoffman, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a black color. The head is large, creamy, and tan. The aroma is big. Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. From the time the beer touches my lips through to the aftertaste, coffee dominates the flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a very solid porter, and a great Minnesota beer.

KarlHungus, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark brown with a thin tan head of big bubbles that didn't hang around too long.

Smell is predominantly chocolate maltiness, with a bit of coffee, espresso, cinnamon, and a tiny hop bite sneaking in on the back end.

Taste is also extremely chocolate-laden, but it's still a tad bittersweet and melds nicely with the coffee flavors. The finish is pretty roasty and long, which is nice. Hops come out a bit on the end, but are never more pronounced than a slight, brief bite.

Overall: A middle-of-the-road porter. Certainly drinkable, and fairly inexpensive, but not stellar.

whartontallboy, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of MDekker
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My first Summit. No expiration date. Pours out dark black, with a mahogany tinge to it. Small amount of head that disappears rather quickly. Pleasant, typical porterish aroma, which makes me think of mahogany wood again. It tastes somewhat the same, with a dark roasted, slightly maple-like flavor. Feels a little watery in the mouth, but goes down all right. Nothing great here, but nothing bad either. I probably won't bother again, as there are other porters out there that I know I like better.

MDekker, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of Applesauce1
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got the Great Northern Porter at the Pit Stop Drive Thru in Nelsonville, OH. Excellent establishment.

1st smell - the smell was good, the most prominent scents were coffee and roasted nuts (mostly coffee though)

1st taste - coffee (this was the most dominant flavor), it was a really good taste; I haven't drank many porters in my days, but this is my favorite one I've had so far. There was also a hint of some fruity flavor in this beer. There was a little bit of bitterness in the flavor, more noticable as I got halfway through the beer.

Mouthfeel - It goes down easy, it's not very thick; I could drink a few of these in one night.

Overall though, this is a good quality beer that goes down easy, and that I would like to drink another of.

Applesauce1, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with low carbonation and a lasting head. Good roasty aromas with dark caramel malts and some subtle nuances of milk chocolate and coffee. Loads more roasted flavors going on... especially nuts, but some dark chocolate and espresso notes as well. Not a whole lot of contribution from the hops. The light body (which was advertized) made this beer a bit disappointing. These flavors seem to scream out for more body and a bit more sweetness. Still, a pretty good porter.

fisherman34, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was not too particularly impressed by this porter. Has a little bit too much of a soy sauce flavor.

The beer pours to a dark brown, almost completely opaque. A thin tan head forms and quickly fades.

The nose has a bit of a vanilla aroma along with chocolate, coffee, and a slight bit of roastiness. Very earthy and nutty. Smells promising, but the taste lets down.

The taste starts off soy and vanilla, but moves into a chocolate roasty coffee flavor in the finish. A bit of an herbal hop accompanies the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is velvety and smooth, but nothing too remarkable going on. This is not one of my favorite porters. It wasn't bad, but I have many more drinkable porters at my immediate disposal.

neonbrown82, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a couple porters at Sendik's, this, Butte Creek Organic Porter, and Bell's Porter.

Great Northern is pretty close to black, and ruby red where the light gets through. Nice little beige head and good lacing. Smell is stale coffee and a hint of hops. This is definitely a hoppier porter than most, as a large portion of the taste is spicy hops. Pretty bitter. Seems like a one-trick pony, though, as the hops really overwhelm everything else. There's a little bit of dark chocolate, but tone down the hops, please!

battlekow, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

ybnorml, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of beergeek279
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

beergeek279, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

blitz134, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 13, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

Dogbrick, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of putnam
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

putnam, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of andyo
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

andyo, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of Hhawk06
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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).

Hhawk06, Feb 01, 2005
Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.