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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 BeerAngel
4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a very dark brown with garnet highlights nested beneath a nice 1-½ finger fluffy tan head that reminds me of the head on a root beer float. The aroma consists of nice roasted malt and a hint of chocolate and hops poking through. The taste mimics the aroma but with a tartness that slides right into the hops. This is a medium bodied brew that finishes a tad try with a bitter end. It is a very nice porter in my opinion. Thanks to budgood1 for the opportunity! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of hotstuff
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

Porters are not one of my favorite beer styles, but this one was actually pretty good. It poured a medium sized light brown frothy head and it had fine-medium sized bubbles. The body was uncarbonated and the hue was dark brown. The nose was that of coffee and the flavor was roasted coffee that left an aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth on the palate and medium bodied. This beer left a good lacing on the sides of my glass.

hotstuff, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Dark black in color, nice lasting creamy off white head that leaves a good lacing, roasty chocolaty malty aroma. Roasted malty burnt coffee flavors, nice dry burnt and hoppy bitterness in the finish. Medium body with a full and round mouthfeel, a good porter.

maxpower, Oct 17, 2003
Photo of bditty187
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

Dark brown/deep ruddy highlights, brunette head, a little less than a finger at its apex. Fair retention. Unorganized spotty lace. Very pleasant nose, coffee beans, dry chocolate notes, roasted malts, with intermediate hints of hops… well done. Good potency. Inviting. Ah, Porter! What a lovely taste! Dry coffee beans, chocolate, roasted malts, plus it is well hopped! Piney. The bitterness is perfectly blended for balance. It’s very rich in flavor. Medium-full body and meager carbonation produces a very satisfying mouthfeel. Drinkable to the utmost! Summit makes some quality brews… don’t neglect them. This one is recommended. This is a great Porter!

Thanks ZAP!

bditty187, Oct 17, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance: Inky black liquid topped by a good sized (3/4") brown head. The head eventually forms a nice thick film of bubbles at the surface of the beer. Nice globules of lacing cling to the side of the glass.

Smell: Smoky coffee and bittersweet chocolate mostly. Nice piney hoppiness in the background. Faint whiffs of prune.

Taste: Coffee coffee coffee. Slight hoppy bitterness. More stoutlike than porter, IMSO, but wow this is a great example of coffee flavors in beer without using coffee. Nice and bittersweet. I'll not begrudge the deviation since it's very well done and the two styles are kissing cousins.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer, this is a meal in a bottle. One of the heavier porter/stouts that I've had in awhile.

Drinkabilty: Yummy. If you like porters/stouts, I think you'll love this one. A burlier beer than Anchor Porter, this would make an ok session beer (read: good for the price) if dark beers are your bag.

Thanks for feloniousmonk for the sample!

ManekiNeko, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Aroma has a strong shot of hops associated with a dark roasted malt and a slight sweetness.
Shows mostly black with reddish hues. Big full brownish head that laces pretty well.
Six-pack holder comes with the following description "medium to light bodied with roasted flavors that hint of chocolate and good coffee." One of the few times a package nailed the description. There is also a nice sweetness that has a toffee quality. Slight malt bitterness.
Really nice grainy feel that adds texture.
A very good basic porter with all good qualities.
One of Summits best.

garymuchow, Sep 14, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5%

This is a solid porter. It pours a nice dark brown/black colour, with an ample beige head. The aromas are all dark roasted malts, chocolate, hops, and carmel. The taste is very roasty, toasty and warm. Chocolate hits you up front and in the back, with caramel and malt in the middle and hops in the back of the throat. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the drinkability is good.

A solid porter.


francisweizen, Sep 04, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Presentation: Squat looking 12 ounce bottle, with a dark brown neck and main labels. Titled as ‘Great Northern Porter’, and lists the ingredients as ‘Water, Barley Malt, Hops & Yeast’.

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown color with a chestnut/auburn hint at times when back-lit. Huge brown head when first poured settles to a comfortable ½” – which in turn breaks down to a thick ring collar. Smattered brown lacing coats the glass walls. Good levels of inherent carbonation.

Nose: Roasted Coffee beans, dark chocolate and burnt malts.

Taste: Starts with a dark chocolate beginning that builds into a roasted coffee middle and a strong bitter, burnt malt finish. The hop bitterness that rises in the last two-thirds is well placed and even better balanced. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Solid and very wholesome. The ending has a mix of powdered cocoa whisked in smooth milk base, but not creamy. Definitive.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this offering, but I am not sure I could drink too many of these to be honest. Make a nice couple of Pints at the end of the night though.

Overall: I really enjoyed this, straight after the excellent Summit Extra Pale Ale; I must remember to keep an eye out for these Summit beers. A very nice Porter indeed. Thanks to BigHuge for this one.

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 30, 2003
Photo of Fabric8r
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

I really enjoyed this porter. I just loved the coffee flavor, and the brown/tan head that seemed to fade, but hung around the rim enough to really enjoy it all the way thru. Not too complex, like so many porters, this one seems to be simpler, yet taylored just right. One to look for if in the Minn. area.
Thanks to tavernjef for sending it to me!

Fabric8r, Aug 11, 2003
Photo of Loki
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

Poured pitch black with a big, beige head. The bubbly head fades to a thin covering and leaves great lacing throughout.

Aromas of toasted malt, smoke, coffee, and chocolate pour from the nose.

The taste is of slowly roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee. Very creamy and slighlty chewy with medium-full body that goes down smoothly and leaves a bitter chocolate coffee after taste. Very drinkable and quite tasty.

Loki, Jul 05, 2003
Photo of kbub6f
4.38/5  rDev +15%

The big, doughy, tan head is coarse around the edges. Some red highlights are visible against the light, but the beer is mostly black. Lacing sticks to the glass in psycho sheeting. Wow. That's a strong, roasty, chocolate, roasty nose (with much roastiness). The front has lots of roasted grain and a bit of sweetness. A thick, thick middle shows coffee and chocolate. Roasted grains again in the finish, with plenty of bitterness. When cold, the bitterness is almost astringent. The early sweetness dries right off. The aftertaste is bitter, with a little carbon.

This beer is very, very good. The roastiness and nuttiness remind me of Fuller's LP, but it doesn't put me off in the way the LP sometimes can. Excellent. Thanks Al!

kbub6f, Jul 04, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
3.43/5  rDev -10%

Musty wet leather nose. Deep dark ruby/purple/brown color with a nice tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The taste of the brew starts with some mellow roast malt flavor followed by clean hop bitterness. The mouth is a little light and without much smoothness (grit). A clean tastin' porter!

Cheers to Budgood1 for the sample!

frank4sail, Jun 23, 2003
Photo of Gump
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%

Pours dark brown with a terrific earthy smell.
Presence of a thick foamy head with abundance of carbonation.

Deep sips (gulps) are needed to bring this beer out of its earthy shell, which is mostly bitter chocolate.

Finishes with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Gump, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%

This reminds me of a cold cup of bitter coffee grounds. Funny thing, I love coffee. I even love it bitter. In a beer, however, too bitter is not overly appealing to my tastes. Reminds me of Bell's Java stout (although that one was overwhelming in it's "coffee grounds" taste). If you want a roasted coffee taste with significant bitterness, you'll like this one. I'll save that for a hot cup of java in the morning! Thanks Monk, I enjoyed trying it. I really have enjoyed Summit's beers, but I'll stick to Fuller's or Anchor for my porters.

JohnnyDuvel, May 20, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.38/5  rDev +15%

Pours a deep dark brown, settles into the glass while blackening as speaker foam - fabulous head about an inch high and is a interesting light brown hue close to the color of bread crust. Speaking of crust, the head itself is crusty and lumpy with divets at first then settled slowly to a thin foam, leaves super curtains of lace. Smell is roasty of chocolate and coffeeish sweet. Taste is openly roasty and slightly burnt malts, has a sweet chocolatey tone and a bit coffee-like in its dryness. Smooth throughout and speaks a bit of bitter chocolate and hops. Super dark and rich - packed with nice robust flavors. Full medium body, texture attaching unique, nicely sweet & bitter drying hints. Summit's number one brew for sure. One smooth drinkin' robustin' porter. Nice, deep, and bitter, yum!

tavernjef, May 04, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

The pour is a deep brown to black, the head portly in size, frothy and a nice light chocolate in color; the lace forms a fine sheet to conceal the glass. Nice aroma of toasted grains, bittersweet chocolate and a touch of strong coffee, fresh and pleasant describes the nose, start is rich in malt, sweet with the top moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is delicate in its acidity, the hops pronounced in their spicy bitterness, bitter chocolate dry and a nice drinking porter.

Gusler, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of Tballz420
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

When poured there is a bit of a light brown head, leaving a nice bit of foam stuck to the glass. Almost completely black, slight amber when held to the light. Slight hint of bitter hops, stronger taste of coffee. Overall pretty good, not my favorite porter ive ever had however.

Tballz420, Mar 18, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

12 oz amber bottle with twist off cap.

This porter poured a dark brown with light brown foam that lingered quite a while and left good lace. The smell was strong: dark malt, coffee and hints of chicory. The taste was rich: coffee, dark caramel, a hint of licorice. Some floral hop character. The flavor was full. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, fairly rich in texture, with moderate carbonation, and a long lingering flavor. The drinkability was very good. A very nice, robust porter.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this bottle!

UncleJimbo, Feb 14, 2003
Photo of marc77
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

Deep brown hue, w/ brilliantly clear scarlet when held to light. Fluffy, persistant one fingered head leaves loose lace. The aroma is a combination of citric and lightly earthy hops along with smooth chocolate malt, pronounced dark caramel and sweetly burnt black patent. Mellow, yet enticing aromawise. Dryish, carbon laced black malt upfront in flavor yields to sweet, but very well caramelized malt. Roasted malt bitterness emerges after a deliberation concomitantly with moderate hop bitterness lending a burnt and hoppy balance to caramel malt sweetness. Bittersweet chocolate emerges mid palate and doesn't waver. Clean in ester profile and with the exception of a slight tinge of date like fructose, it's devoid of fruitiness. Light in body, but sufficiently dextrinous in mouthfeel to lend an agreeably crisp, but not thin mouthfeel. Finishes clean and dry, with pleasant roasted grain bitterness and fleeting chocolate. Very enjoyable. Rich in malt profile, yet very clean and light on the palate. A nearly ideal session porter. Beer kudos to Feloniousmonk for sending this out.

marc77, Feb 11, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Pours almost black with just a touch of flourescent light getting through. The tan head dissappears too quickly.

Aroma is hops. And that's all I could smell; pretty disappointing and now I'm thinking that it's just gonna be bitter to taste.

Taste is very bitter. Just a hint of chocolate and coffee flavors gets through the hops. I really wanted to enjoy the dark flavors, but the hops just overpowered everything. All in all, it can still be enjoyable and easy to drink, I just prefer robust chocolate and coffee in my porters. I didn't detect any flavor at all that is robust.

Mouthfeel is decent, not that full though.

This is a good beer for hop lovers who like porter. If you like Rogue Mocha Porter, you'll probably enjoy this beer. But it might come across as bland and too bitter for people who enjoy porters such as Fuller's and Edmund Fitzgerald.

AudioGilz, Feb 09, 2003
Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +5%

a re-review. pours out quite dark, bordering on black. a thin tan head and a good deal of lacing. aroma mostly from the northwest hops, with subtle hints of the choco and coffee flavors to come. tastes very bitter from both the burnt black malt and above average hopping for a porter. notes of dark bitter chocolate and strong espresso as it warms. medium body with a big, lingering bittersweet finish. quite drinkable and very tasty. if you like your porters big, bitter and hopped up, this is a beer for you. did i mention that this might be the most bitter beer i've ever tasted? it's done in a good way and would have to rank as one of my all time favorites. a true bitter bruiser!

budgood1, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%

Pours a dark black for a porter. Appearance, however, is very thin. Taste is of chocolate and coffee, but again, the taste is rather thin and light. The label does claim a light-robust taste, this is a very drinkable beer, but can find better. An enjoyable winter brew

GeoffRizzo, Jan 10, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%

Someone once asked me what would be the one beer I'd choose if I can only have one for the rest of my life, the old desert island query. They were surprised when I chose this, and I had to bring out my rationale. But first...
Big, bubbly, cocoa-colored head, dark brown color. Aroma comes out with fresh roasty flavors, toasty flavors, some spiciness, chocolate, espresso, etcetera. Darkens in taste as you go, with a thick full, well-balanced mouthfeel, but still sufficient bitterness. Marvelous and mellow, slips down the throat nicely, but still with a bit of a bite. If Summit ever dropped it, I'd have to break down and sob.
Not as powerful as many other porters, but reliably flavorful. Why do I choose it for this "last and only" choice? It's excellent for my kind of session ale, not too strong or powerful, just right in hops and malt. And it's local, from just across the river, and I don't have to mention how important that is...

feloniousmonk, Jan 09, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.43/5  rDev -10%

Deep brown, almost black in color with ruby highlights. Has a light brown head, and a bit of lace-work. The roast malt is the forefront of the aroma, with hints of chocolate. The flavors are of roast malt, hints of chocolate and coffee, and also the citric hop flavoring. There is a bit of bitterness from the roast malts, but the majority is from the hops in the finish. The body is medium-full, with a medium level of carbonation. The roasty maltiness is the reason for the fuller body. Overall, it is an enjoyable Robust Porter, not overpowering in any aspect.

BeerBuilder, Dec 19, 2002
Photo of ryanocerus
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%

Black with a thin caramel head that lasted the life of the beer, although it faded a little. The aroma was bitter chocolate, roasted malt with slight coffee tones. The taste was more roasted malt with hints of chocolate. Mouthfeel was full, yet smooth and the taste never dissipated. I am impressed with what I have sampled from Summit thus far.

ryanocerus, Aug 22, 2002
Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.