Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

294 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 294
Hads: 590
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 14
Gots: 48 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 590
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors in Caldwell recently and was surprised to see this available in my neck of the woods. I had another offering from Summit when I was out that way but this was the first time I had seen them locally, and given that Fall is in full swing now, I figured that this beer would go nicely with the season. Even though a few reviewers compared this with Guinness, this beer only resembled it a bit in appearance. This stood out fine on its own and had enough going for it that it doesn't need to be compared with anything else. It's a Porter unlike any beer I've had before!

This had a nice, dark pour to it with a fluffy head that had a slightly pinkish hue to it. That's how light it was and it reminded me of mousse. The edges to this beer were garnet and this had s slightly thick look and mouthfeel to it. The taste was roasted with some bitter chocolate to go along with the almond and hazelnut flavor to this beer. It wasn't as creamy as I pictured but the aftertaste lingered nicely to this and there was a bit of a burnt and caramelized aftertaste that complemented the flavors nicely.

This was stronger than I thought since the alcohol isn't discernible. Even though this is a Porter, there were traits of a Brown Ale mixed in here, which made this stand out a bit more. Although this style of beer doesn't lend itself as a popular one, those looking for a Porter that's nicely crafted and stands bit out from the pack will not be disappointed here. (1,488 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my British pint, a thick black color with a dense tan head.

The aroma is roasted chocolate a little coffee.

The taste starts sweet smooth with a hint of chocolate. A bitter bakers chocolate flavor follow to a creamy roasted flavor

all around a very solid porter (276 characters)

Photo of Bockrules
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours an opaque dark brow with a 1-finger, dense tan head. Head falls apart halfway down the glass. Leaves behind a few splotches of lacing and a ring of bubbles at the bottom of the glass.

S - A little bit of crystal and chocolate malt. Gets stronger as the beer warms.

T - Chocolate malt upfront. The body is dominated by chocolate and crystal malt with enough earthy hop flavors to provide some semblance of balance.A bit more hop flavor as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads to a bitter-dark chocolate finish.

M - On the weaker side of heavy bodied with substantial carbonation that seems to thin the beer more than add that nice creamy texture I look for in well crafted porters.

Great Northern Porter is a textbook, middle-of-the-road porter available at a bargain price ($10 for the variety pack). This is the last beer from that pack that I purchased a few years back . The Octoberfest was the standout beer in that pack, while the rest were merely average beers who's main draw is their cheaper-than-macro price. Nothing I'd seek out, but a good choice to bring to a party to introduce macro beer drinkers to different styles.

(After reading other reviews, I am somewhat suspicious of cellering - hopefully I will have the opportunity to compare these notes to a fresh bottle) (1,351 characters)

Photo of anglagard1
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks dark and foamy like a Guinness but has a unique lacing that leaves thin, foamy stripes with every sip you take. Smell is of cocoa and coffee. Coffee is more prevalant in the taste, cutting through all levels of the palate.
This beer for me defines the style, even as it exhibits unique characteristics of its own. It is one seriously sessionable beer. (358 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a smooth creamy tan head. Smells cocoa powder and a hint of cinnamon. Taste is initially milk chocolate, following with a strong espresso middle, and an earthy, chewy smoky finish. Beer really tastes better at cellar temperatures, let this one warm up a bit out of the fridge. Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation. Good drinkability, a very good porter. (397 characters)

Photo of jsprain1
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, thick two and a half finger head, some lacing.
S- Smell is sweeter than many porters. A bit of maple, and good roasted malts. There is a bit of espresso aroma as well.
T- Still sweeter than many in style. Espresso, a bit of cocoa, a bit of milk chocolate, and a light maple character. Finish has a touch of coffee in it.
M- Medium carbonation, medium-light body.
O- An above average porter. Sweeter than I would like, but still enjoyable. (458 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color, just a shade away from pitch black. Thin cream colored head with some lace spots.

Excellent roasted aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. Toasty malt also.

Roasted malt is the most predominant flavor, coffee, dark chocolate, roasted almonds and wheat toast. Mild hop flavor in the background provides and earthy, pine-like bitterness.

Dense medium body. Dry feel. Solid carbonation.

Solid porter. Complex and delicious. (442 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

Mostly-opaque and like black coffee in color, with highlights of amber and gold at the edges. One finger of foamy tan head descends slowly to a thick top layer. Some streaks of lace.

The usual aroma. Tangy burnt sourdough, black coffee, dark chocolate, a light hit of earthy hops.

The flavor starts with powered dark chocolate and acrid burnt toast. After the swallow, it smooths out with softer oat tones. Bitter espresso remains on the sides of the tongue.

The medium-light body is a bit thin but supple. Fairly active bubbles, moderate fizz.

No surprises here. An average, drinkable porter. (630 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that gradually faded away and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of burnt malts, espresso and bittersweet chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell (but stronger in strength) and has flavors of espresso and roasted malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer goes down rather easily and is quite flavorful despite its thin body. (605 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear dark amber in color before a strong light, with a small, persistent white head, thin, fine dlass-coating lace, modest carbonation.

Aroma: Deep bitter cocoa aroma with a bit of earth, cold coffee, roasted barley, very little hop presence at all.

Taste: Bitter cocoa and earth at the open,as the taste progresses, the roasted barley rises to ascendency. Late in the taste, rather earthy hops appear. Finishes with cold coffee, and a lingering, slightly oily and earthy hop note

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, pleasant, rather full.

Drinkability/notes A solid and competently made example, perhaps a touch heavy-handed for my taste, but it is quite good.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a Riedel wheat glass. (797 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 7/4/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark chocolate/mahogany brown with some dark ruby highlights; starts with a 2 finger, dark tan head that starts out looking a little creamy, but then becomes rocky and pockmarked; body is dark, nearly opaque with the exception of the few of the dark highlights; decent lacing.

Smell: Smell is good, nice dark roastiness that is a touch nutty and earthy; bit of a bitter chocolate; not overly complex or anything, but fairly robust for a smaller porter.

Taste: Really matches the nose to a "T" -- lots of earthy and nutty roastiness that is plenty good; and there is just a touch of the bittersweet chocolate; not too huge or anything, but satisfying.

Mouthfeel: I've never been a big fan of the body of almost all American Porters as they just seem thin, a tad watery, and big on carbonation, and this one doesn't break that trend. Doesn't impress, but doesn't necessarily disappoint.

Overall: Worth picking up, and I wouldn't turn it down. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to get it when there Ed Fitz is readily available all year, not to mention Founders Porter; good nose, decent flavors and low ABV all allow this to be a pretty drinkable offer. (1,268 characters)

Photo of PokerGod
2.55/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance- beautiful dark beer, rich frothy tan head that has great retention and leaves a nice tan lacing

Smells- like coffee and chocolate with a tangible hops aroma as well.

Taste- Bitter, not a good hops bitter, just a bad beer bitter. The coffee and roasted chocolate is there like it was in the aroma, but I cant get past this bitter chemical-like aftertaste.

Overall- Admittedly Porters are not my favorite style, but this isn't a very good beer. Summit makes other fine products... Buy their Maibock or EPA for fine examples. (577 characters)

Photo of scoobybrew
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep dark ruby color with a thick tan head that is well retained and leaves a nice lacing

S - rich, sweet, roasted malt aroma with accents of citrus American-like hop

T - delivers aroma with rich roasted, chocolate-like malt up front with a touch of burnt character; hops are present but subdued and noticed from start to finish with a moderate hop bitterness that blends nicely with the roast bitterness

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - This is a very nice robust porter. It's brewed well and the flavors are all in balance for the style expectations. I don't know if I would have had this one if it wasn't in a variety pack, but it sure is a pleasant surprise. I'm glad there are a couple more waiting for me... (737 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pint glass; great solid dark brown color, nice light tan head that clings very well and is nice and thick.

Smell is light roasted malt sweetness, hints of toffee and coffee flavors, touch of chocolate sweetness as well.

Taste is smooth lightly roasted malt sweetness, nice flavors come to mind of toffee, coffee, chocolate, light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid, a touch on the cloying sweet side, but good balance of bitter and malt sweetness.

Overall, very well done, a nicely done porter, good flavor balanced and profile. (556 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: deep blackish brown, cardinal shimmering body, no head or lacing

S: hint of boozy aroma, bitter chocolate, mild coffee, roasted nuts

T: big chocolate, roasted coffee, slight bitter/burnt finish

M: med/light, low carbonation

O: Decent porter, but you could do better. Ok session brew for a long night with newbies, not terrible but doesn't stand up to my rigorous porter standard, lol.

OK, DON'T SEEK IT OUT! (416 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown that shows some ruby red when held up to light. Small creamy white tan head that slowly fades to a white film. Decent lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with a strong aroma of coffee and chocolate. Slight citrus hops in the background.

Taste: Malt sweetness and coffee followed by chocolate and light earthy hop bitterness. Hints of smoke in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very good porter with great balance. (541 characters)

Photo of RonnieBear
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown and appears ruby colored when light shines through it.

Smell: Nothing impressive, boozy with hints of chocolate.

Taste: Lots of chocolate. Lotssss of chocolate, with a background of coffee. Pretty much how I'd expect a solid porter to taste.

Mouthfeel: Light, but thats not that impressive considering the low ABV. Almost want it to be a little heavier and a little boozier, like the nose indicates.

Drinkability: Good, but it being a dark beer it doesn't really appeal to me as a session beer.

Overall, smells like a high ABV beer when it's really not. Doesn't taste like one though, and is still an overall really solid offering. (677 characters)

Photo of billyzoom666
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance-Dark brown color with a tint of red, like black cherry soda coloring. A little coffee colored head with nice lacing.

Smell-Chocolate and an almost roasted wood smell. Very nice, but nothing special.

Taste-That roasted flavor shines here. Slightly bitter (in a good way) on the tongue. A little bit of an aftertaste, but not one that stays with you.

Mouthfeel-A little "empty". Not much there over all. Not a "filling" beer.

Drinkability-High. Because it's a beer that has a combo of a great taste and not being real filling (and with a low ABV), this could be consumed in large numbers. (601 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark body with a ruby red color showing through when held up to the light, dark khaki head.

Some lightly roasted malts, dark chocolate, and iced coffee in the nose.

Taste is slightly bitter. A subtle balance of bitter and flavor from the malt. Yeasty. Roasted malt and milky finish. Event a little fruity. Solid brew but I would like to have a little more richness and some weight to it. (389 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark mahogany brown, almost black, with a decent sized, creamy, rocky, foamy, sticky, light beige head. Great retention leaving a nice creamy lace.

S - Dark roasted malt and barley provides the most aroma. Strong coffee with some chocolate, tobacco and earthiness. Subsequent smells has a mocha and slightly citrus hoppy aroma.

T - Similar to the nose. Starts with roasted malt/barley along with a strong coffee taste. Not astringent coffee though. A touch of chocolate and earthy tones. Mid sip to finish more earthy flavors come out (both an earthy malt and hop flavor). A touch of bitterness, smoke, and mineral flavor.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. Slightly creamy. Not an outstanding body, but good.

D - Easy to drink porter that is pretty well balanced.

Notes: Enjoyable porter with a nice balance of malt, hops, and all around porter flavors. Solid offering worth a try. (900 characters)

Photo of mellowmark
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby brown bottle to an Imperial Pint glass. No freshness date to be found. It's from their Spring Sampler, so it must be fresh. $14.99 for a 12-pack.

Appearance: Deep dark brown with ruby highlights, almost zero light penetrating. 2-finger light brown creamy head. Lacing sticks in clumpy patches. Retention is pretty moderate, but the head does a good job of sticking around leaving a fine layer on top. Good head regeneration when swirling the glass.

Smell: Chocolate and deep roasted caramel malt. Nice smoky coffee aroma. Not much in terms of hops, just a slight hop citrus note.

Taste: Deep dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. It's sweet but not cloying. Slightly smoky. More hops in the mouth than in the nose. Good citrus presence. Even more flavorful as it warms. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with medium to high carbonation. If the carbonation was a little lower the mouthfeel would be perfect.

Drinkability: High

This is a great porter! Nicely done Summit. (1,033 characters)

Photo of Mississipping
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

A: Very dark brown with slight penetration of light, providing a deep amber hue around the edges. Smallish one finger khaki colored head that dissipates very slowly leaving a thing bubbly ring with moderate lacing. Nice presentation.

S: Plenty of roasted malt providing a nice smokiness that wafts gently out of the glass as if there was truly smoke rising from the glass. Ample chocolate and just a hint of ground coffee beans that really fill out the aroma.

T: Follows the smell quite well. Plenty of chocolate, just a touch of coffee, and a delicious smokiness. Finishes with a slight bitter hoppiness.

M: Very highly carbonated with a light medium feel. Seems almost watered down a bit, but not completely disappointing, just not ideal. Finishes with a bit of a drying effect.

D: Very drinkable, especially considering the balance of the tastes and the lighter body. Alcohol is completely masked which also aids the drinkability.

Overall recommended, but not one of my favorite porters. (1,046 characters)

Photo of CPeterson
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A deep brown brew that pours into a pillowy three finger khaki head that settles into a frothy skim and leaves a splotchy lacing.

S -- Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit.

T -- Smoky malts and dark chocolate with coffee, whose bitterness is counteracted by hints of caramel and raisin.

M -- Full bodied and well carbonated for the style. Fairly dry on the finish.

D -- Solid offering, approachable but still somewhat interesting. Worth trying. (466 characters)

Photo of afinepilsner
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Summit Great Northern Porter was black in color (with red highlights when held to a light). It had a tan head with decent retention and plenty of lacing. The smell was dark malt, caramel, toffee, and chocolate. The taste was dark malt and chocolate with some roasted barley and hops. The finish was dry and lasting with a touch of bitterness. This beer was medium in body with adequate carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a very good American Porter and worth trying out. (498 characters)

Photo of dali27
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours really dark brown, almost black. Almost no head at all, with small amount of lacing.

S: Coffee and cocoa. This beer smells more bitter and less sweet.

T: Obviously, this tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee, but then at the finish something else comes through. Sweet? Spicy? This is surprising because it contrasts so much with the intitial reaction to scent and taste.

M: Neutral. This beer does nothing to offend the mouth, nor anything special to dazzle either.

D: Excellent. Very easy to drink and goes well with most food.

I have been drinking this beer for over ten years now, and it has never let me down. I consider it to be my go to Porter, and the base that I start to evaluate other Porters. (763 characters)

Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.