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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

544 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 544
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 11
Gots: 23 | 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: 544 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

dfried, Aug 14, 2006
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!

andrewmartin, Jul 14, 2006
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.

scruffwhor, Jun 27, 2006
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.

aforbes10, Jun 19, 2006
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.

wingman14, Jun 07, 2006
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.

bluejacket74, Jun 03, 2006
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!

russpowell, May 22, 2006
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.

BEERchitect, May 11, 2006
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?

rhoadsrage, May 03, 2006
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.

PorterLambic, Apr 13, 2006
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.

pweis909, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
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.

timtheenchanta, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
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.

WVbeergeek, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of Oxymoron
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GNP flows a rich black color with subtle brown hints when held up in the light. A good foam that rapidly hides to the edge of the glass but stays through the whole tasting. Limited lacing though.

The smell overall is limited but still noticeable. There is a sweet malt with mostly chocolate tones but not much on the astringent smells.

The taste was limited. Malt is the dominate flavor but overall has limited taste. Some chocolate undertones mixed with smaller coffee taste were present. A touch of milkiness that gives it a velvet taste to it. The hops were a small factor but traces of bittering with a earthy taste are noted.

The body is good. Not really watered down just limited on taste. The smoothness makes it easy to drink and enjoy.

Oxymoron, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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%
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 +9.4%
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 +13.4%
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 +0.3%
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 +3.4%
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 +10.5%
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 +4.7%
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 +4.2%
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%
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 -2.4%
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 18, 2005
Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.