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Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

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very good

566 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 566
Reviews: 291
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 11
Gots: 33 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 566 | Reviews: 291 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shadow1961
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Summit's Great Northern Porter pours out a fluffy tan head over black brew.
The nose is toasted malt. The flavor is toasted malt too, with a sharp hop
finish. Aftertaste is coffee and hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. This is a good
porter if you're looking for a bit more than your basic winter warmer. There's a
nice sharpness to it too. Good stuff.

Photo of Chaz
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Soft, subdued malt on the nose, a bit dense, but somehow "buttery." The malt profile seems to have a much more grainy quality to it than either tap or bottled version. The subdued malt on the nose plays out on the palate and tongue, and there's a good deal more bitterness coming through in this on cask that in bottle or on draught. Citric notes from the hops are floral, expressive, and almost biting. Bitter and astringent, yet somehow 'juicy' - must be the hops playing off the grainy malt texture. Seems a lot thinner than normal, and that detracts a bit from the overall impression and drinkability, as does the astringency. Drinkability improves considerably as it warms (or warms further : ), but it still seems like a thin, wan interpretation. There's a touch of smokiness alongside a touch of the roasted dark malts that stand out in its more familiar formats, but this ain't what I'd call a mind-blower in this serving. Sessionable? Sure. Either way I was pleasantly surprised to find this on cask at Grumpy's Northeast. It was good at $4, got got a lot better when the barkeep thought it had become 'too warm' and dropped the price to $2!

Photo of gmfessen
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer appears brown with a dark ruby hue on the pour, but looks almost black in the glass. Beer has a nice soapy-looking, tan head. Smell is of very much of smoked malt, slightly burnt chocolate. The taste is very similar to the nose, with the smoked notes coming through as the most prevalent, no real hop presence. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a viscous carbonation. This is a decently drinkable porter, if porter is your beer, I'd try this one.

Photo of xav33
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Summit Great Northern Porter
12 oz bottle
Recent brewing, reached 02/07
Medium pour in an English pint

Poured black with mahogany highlights with an average light brown somewhat lasting frothy head with fair lacing.

Smelt of strong coffee with moderate cola or root beer, anise, dark chocolate and burnt grain.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter burnt grain and soy bean followed by a strong coffee and burnt grain taste on a long finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, watery to creamy, lively carbonated and moderately astringent.

Overall, this beer tastes black. Nothing poetic here.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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

Photo of kimcgolf
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually enjoyed this porter a lot. Poured to an opaque dark brown color, with thick tan head that lingered throughout the glass and left good lacing. Aroma was nuts, chocolate and caramel, and taste followed suit exactly. Body was meidum thickness, and this beer had a warm tingling mouthfeel, all of which led to a long, smooth pleasant finish.

Photo of hylton44
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Summit! (or, right up there with the short-lived ESB, anyway) Big head on the thing; my "standard pour" left me furiously sucking the sudden, surprising, thick, brown foam that bubbled up and threatened to run down the side of the mug. Smell was dark & complex, yet only hinted as to what I was about to experience: a sublime, nutty concoction of toasted coffee, burnt bread crusts, syrup, and lemongrass. A thick, sultry taste with a surprisingly clean finish. Wow. I will buy this again and again, as the opportunity presents. Thanks, Summit!

Photo of treedoctor5002
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20006 20th Anniversary Edition.
Poured into my faithful S.S. pint glass with a huge tan head. Plenty of lacing all around my glass and oh yeah this beer is very dark.
Smell is sweeter and maltier than other porters that I have tried.
This beer is VERY smooth and creamy with lots of chocolate and malted milk flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium and like I said before very smooth. I could drink lots of this. There is just a hint of that burnt coffee flavor left in your mouth after you drink most porters or stouts.
This beer would make a great session beer. I'd love to try it on tap some time.

Photo of malty
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20th anniversary 2006 edition.

Pours a dark, dark brown with ruby highlights. Fluffy and sturdy 1" beige head. Nice lace rings all the way down.

Fresh and simple dark roasted malts. Delicious burnt edges with a beautiful blend of rich dark coffee and dark bitter bakers chocolate. There's a faint but intriguing malted milk scent towards the end - very nice.

A burst of prickly hops stoke the fire of burnt roasted chocolate malts. There's the coffee I smelled a minute ago, very dark and fresh. The hops make an encore towards the end ushering a bitey dryness that embellishes the burnt dryness of the dark roasted flavors that are so plentiful from this porter.

Mouthfeel is nice. The carbonation is just a tad finer than I expected really which makes it very drinkable. Medium bodied with a long and flavorful dry finish.

Overall a no-frills excellent porter. I really dig the dry, burnt character of this ale. There is a somewhat milky malted flavor that's reminiscent of New Belgium’s 1554, which I truly love. A fine porter from the northern Mid-West.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.19/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Living in WI, I've developed an interest in exploring the offerings of this brewery, whch offers a number of fine products. In my opinion, this is not their best work.

Appearance is a dark, but not opaque, brown.

Smell is purely chocolate, and delightful without being overpowering.

Taste is slightly weak, relative to its aroma. It has the dark malt/coffee/chocolate notes one expects from a porter, but it s too faint for my taste.

Mouthfeel is watery, particularly for this style. This beer feels thin in my mouth from start to finish, again particularly for a porter.

This beer is very drinkable for a porter (perhaps too much so!).

All in all, this beer is decent, but there are many better porters.

Photo of notoriousdav
4.37/5  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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of fretlessman71
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of scalffd
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of sponberg
4.42/5  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!!

Photo of rowew
4.42/5  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.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of zjungleist
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of teg8612
4.23/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of alexgash
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of dfried
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of andrewmartin
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
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!

Photo of scruffwhor
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.