Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
alaskanbeer.com

Style: Smoke Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited "vintages" each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,371
Reviews:
1,005
Ratings:
2,119
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
352
Gots:
460
Trade:
21
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,005 | Ratings: 2,119
Reviews by ShawnFurman:
Photo of ShawnFurman
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of OrtheusMaximusRex
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Alaskan Smoker Porter is the best smoked porter I've had. I find it a better beer (2013, 2014 vintage) than Stone or Firestone Walker. The smoked flavor is there, noticeable, but not like drinking a burnt cinder. It blends very well with the malts and is very balanced and drinkable - even after the beer warms.
A = 4.5 deep brown near black, off white head
T = balanced, smokey malt with enough hops to make it a great beer
M = clean, medium, not heavy, slightly dry finish
S = roasty, faint smokiness
O = 4.75 I leave a small room for improvement as this beer ages well and many people collect and do tasting flights. Last year I purchased a gift pack that came with a 2008 and 2012 or 2013 bottle and 2 Alaskan Smoked Porter glasses for 24$ = awesome. I kept both the beers and not have 2008, (2012?) 2013, 2014.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

399th review. 2009 22oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice at cellar temp. The bottle has stood undisturbed upright for 3 years, and has been cellared in my possession at 53 degrees since I bought it in 2010. Opened at 6 years of age on 08/25/2015.

Pours like liquid charcoal. Still opaque after all these years. Little head, as I would expect since much of the protein needed for a good head formation has probably settled to the bottom of this bottle.

Smells unlike any beer I have had the chance to sniff. Like a long since unused fireplace in a stone castle with a cedar mantelpiece. Depths of complexity in the nose. Hints of port, ashes, cedar, a well cared for pipe recently smoked, chimney, and ham.

Surprisingly mellow in flavor but thick in mouthfeel. The residual sugar saves this from the less pleasing effects of aging. If there was such a thing as smoked chocolate (surely there is somewhere, but I have yet to try it), that is what this would remind me of. There is no hint of "bite", or of any harshness or acrid flavors at all. It is utterly smooth and integrated, with a leaning towards hints of dark fruit and maybe something like a smoky old port (again, no such thing exists to my knowledge). Hard to describe.

Good carbonation for this age.

Conclusion: Outstanding. For a 6.5% ABV beer, this has aged with astounding grace. I love this fresh, and aged it is a totally different and totally unique beer. Quite impressive, and worth a try if you can muster the patience. A lengthy vertical tasting of multiple vintages would be truly epic.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark body, opaque, with a minimal tan head, fast to fade, and no real lacing to speak of.

S - Traditional roasted malts, perhaps tilting toward a touch of charred toast. Not that different from roast-heavy standard porters in the nose.

T - In contrast, the smoke comes through big and fat, opening up with savory hits of BBQ and soy sauce, mingling with dark breads, and a mild acidic trail, cleansing the smoke away with bitter highlights. Impressive work.

M - Clean for a porter, moderate weight, and a brisk, dry close.

O - I'll start by saying I do not favor smoked beers. That said, this is by far the most well integrated experience I've had with one, and it is all about the restraint. The smoke imparts its rich meaty notes, without becoming cloying or harsh. I am really glad to have had this one.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really thought I wrote a review of this beer when I drank it, just after it's 10th birthday in December of 2016 (bottled 11/1/2006. Guess not. Pity. Well, I have a 2012 that I can break out any time and do a formal review for, and based on my experience here, I can't imagine this beer will become loads different after longer than a decade. First of all, it's incredible, and I can't think of any way to improve upon it. It remains to this day the most GABF award-winning beer of all time. Granted, competition wasn't as stiff in those days, but modern day "experimental" craft beers seem almost masturbatory or expositionist compared with the relatively subtle mastery of Alaskan Smoked Porter, or the great Belgian and German non-adjuncted beers.

I mean, when you imagine that a beer this rife with flavor came from 4 malts, 2 hops, and a furnace full of smoking alder, it's impressive the depth of flavor you get. Smoked malts & wood, with a slightly sausage/bacon scent are the dominant flavors. Further exploration finds dark fruits like red grapes and prunes. This is not to say it's sweet; rather, there's a bit of a tannic quality to it, and a fairly dry, surprisingly smooth texture. I'll review another one later and see if it's any less dry when younger, but in any event, this beer works great as it is in this bottle.

I can understand why it's a classic, and I can understand why it's far more neglected nowadays, but any chance you get to try it will be greatly rewarded.

 1,500 characters

Photo of Robomunky
4.81/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An underappreciated classic. I pulled a 2008 from the cellar and it gave me a great big hug. Black as night, thin tan head. Smells like mesquite and molasses. Tastes like heaven. Great fresh, even better with a few years on it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This is the darkest brown beer we've ever come across, so dark you may as well call it black. Good cling from the tan head. A heavy, but not overbearing, waft of smokiness mingles with the roasted, charcoal-like malt; hint of black currant and burnt sugar in the nose. Lush, creamy smoothness flaunts its full body. Solid roasted grain flavor is followed by a smokiness that compliments it very well. Hop bitterness and flavor hold back to let the smokiness shine, yet still help to balance. Smoke drops a slight puckering, charred-wood character middle to end that leads the beer into its dry finish.

A classic--you can't call yourself a beer geek unless this beer has touched your lips. If you are into all things smoke or a lover of Porters, it's a must try. The brewers suggest drinking it now or aging it for several years; we prefer drinking it fresh.

 911 characters

Photo of Vader444
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

650ml bomber poured into TeKu glass.

This review is of the 2012 vintage so 5 years old.

Pours almost black. Very pale head which receded very rapidly.

My initial impression on sampling this was one of disappointment. I had anticipated something a bit more "massive". It was toward the end of my first glass that I realised that subtlety is this beers greatest strength. I think I started off much too cold. As this warmed a little I was rewarded with the most amazing chocolate nose that I've ever had in a beer. There is also a little dark fruit and a touch of spice. The smoke is sweet and very much takes a back seat. I didn't get the smoked meats/bacon that some reviewers commented on but that is not a cause for complaint. The flavour follows the nose with some pleasant ash on the finish. The carbonation is a touch too high in my opinion but this is still a great brew. I don't remember ever "contemplating" a beer so much and probably spent more time with my nose stuck in the glass than drinking from it. A really rewarding experience. Not sure it makes me want to move to Alaska but so pleased to have tried this. Guess it's pretty amazing that I can even get hold of this in Scotland. Cheers!!

 1,211 characters

Photo of WoostaBia
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smooth tasty Porter, smelling smoked malty goodness, dark fruit, molasses, balsamic vinegar, spice. Tastes same as smell, well balanced and smooth, with a light hoppy finish. Thick coating mouthfeel.

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Photo of tfinn
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

when this started appearing at my local brew shop(s) in late 2003, I bought a case with the intention of laying it down for a few years to see how it developed. it didn't happen. this beer's goodness overrides my patience.

I was able to find a few more bottles here and there, and on this fine overcast Portland sunday, I decided to crack open the last remaining bottle and see what the months have done to it.

appearance is dark muddy ruby color. very little head, although I probably shouldn't have chilled it for so long. no matter. I'm savoring this glass.

the smell: I <3 the scent of smoke porters. this one is no exception. it's deep and rich and somewhat invocative of salmon for me, or perhaps that's just my imagination running wild with alaskan allegory.

taste: definitely a porter. no doubt there. it's not super salty, nor overtly sweet, nor extra tangy, nor excessively chocolaty, yet all these aspects are present, connected by a smoky tour guide.

mouthfeel: definitely the pseudo-slippery porter thing going on. by scent alone, I expect it to be heavier than it is, and it feels substantial on the tongue until swallowed, but the expected syrupy coating simply isn't there. this of course urges me to take another mouthful...

drinkability: it's meaty. it's complex. it smells great and tastes better. it would go well with cream cheese and a bagel. it isn't something I'd make a night out of drinking, simply due to the attention and respect it deserves. that being said, I have enjoyed a pint or two in a sitting as a seasonal treat.

in my experience, the smoke character tends to vary with time. my late 2003 case had an extremely pronounced smoke character, which had settled back in my early 2004 samplings. in this April 2004 sampling, the smoke is a bit more forward than my last sampling, although nowhere near the strength of my original tastings.

I eagerly look forward to 2004's alaskan smoked porter, and hope I can restrain myself enough to lay down a case for more than two months.

 2,037 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of Alaskan Smoked Porter 2007 in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a charcoal black color and is opaque. A robust rocky head forms, and is quite resilient, leaving curtains of tan lace on the glass.

The smell is predictable smoky. The smoke aroma dominates, letting just a little malted grain scent through.

The taste is also smoky, a bitter-sweet charcoal flavor, with a little roasted grain, and a mild bitter, vinegar-like finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick and buttery, with a little alcohol heat. Very little carbonation.

Average drinkability on this one. The smoke theme may be overdone, and the ABV is a little high to be sessionable. Still a very unique and enjoyable porter, for a glass or two, but probably no more than that.

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Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Phelps
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks: pours a dark, heavy liquid the color and consistency of melted dark chocolate that melds in the glass, becoming absorbingly black. A frothy one-finger head the color of ginger rises slowly from the depths before subsiding to a thick lingering layer that endures in a mixture of beautiful bridges and full sheets of lace. Really, a fantastic-looking porter.

Smells: meaty. Bacon, charred pork, medium-well steak. All good things. Buttered biscuits, campfire, a tiny bit malted milk balls.

Tastes: gristly. The char seems more present here than it was in the nose, overpowering the more savory, meaty character. Still, flavors of bacon and steak show themselves again, mixing with stronger notes of smoked wood. Bittersweet dark chocolate rolls in at the finish.

Feels: medium-bodied, but just a mite thin. For such bold flavors, this is a little runny. Subtly carbonated, with a lingering bitterness that clings to the back sides of the tongue.

Drinks: like a fine cigar. I still think Schlenkerla does a better rauchbier, but Alaskan comes damn close with this one.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Dirty25
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of BAsbill
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BrockWilliams
1/5  rDev -75.9%

Photo of John_M
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2007 Alaskan smoked porter. For my money, this is one of the most interesting and most impressive beers ever made.

I first had an opportunity to try this beer at the 1991 GABF. It was love at first sip and completely blew me away. I had never even imagined a beer so complex, so interesting and fun to drink. Since then I've been fortunate to sample many, many vintages of the smoked porter, both on tap and in bottle. Several years ago the Horsebrass served up 3 different vintages of the smoked porter on tap, and it was interesting to see how this beer developed with age. At leat in my opinion, the oldest vintage (2003) was the best, with the smokey element becoming better integrated and the beer taking on a very creamy smooth texture. Suffice it to say that it appears this beer ages very well indeed.

The beer pours a darkish black brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose on this bad boy is easily the best thing about it IMO, consisting of smoked salmon, burnt toast, licorise and coffee. There's nothing else quite like this; I've never smelled another smoked beer with as much going on as this beer has. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except that there is some noticeable hoppiness, giving the beer a very dry flavor profile. The beer has a very soft light mouthfeel, and is a joy to drink. The abv. is well disguised, but I'll admit that over time the excessive smokey flavor starts to wear on me just a bit. All the more reason to age this beauty IMO.

A classic from Alaska Brewing and a beer I look forward to every winter. Simply American craft brewing at its very, very best.

 1,647 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

457 reviews as of this writing. I've seen the posts for this beer, I've heard friends describe how good it is. Well... It's that good. I'll skip the usual review and say that I thoroughly enjoyed a 2007 version of this beer. What stands out for me is how well smoked, balanced and nuanced this beer is. It's been over an hour and I still have a nice lingering smoke effect.

yeah, I'd buy a case of this. Enjoy if you get a chance.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 22 oz bottle poured into pint glass. (Enjoyed this on CO trip...from my notes when I drank this 7/25/09).
A: Pours a smooth, lucious black--opaque with no light coming through on backlighting. Faint dark tan head (aggressive pour will elicit 1+ inch head).
S: Amazing. Wonderful smoke--perfect. Smoked malt, roasted malt. Reminiscent of one of the great Rauchbiers.
T: Follows aroma nearly perfectly. A bit too light though...not quite as powerful as the aroma. Still, excellent for style.
M: Amazingly smooth and light. It almost floats like sea foam on the palate. I don't think I've encountered a beer quite like this (as far as this category goes)--tremendous! Very enjoyable to drink.
D: Very, very, very drinkable. A truly wonderful beer. The accolades are well deserved. My hat is off to Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of samEBC
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kuaff
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured a 2012 bomber into a tulip glass around cellar temperature.

Alaskan Smoked Porter has a three-finger, tan head, and a very, very dark body. There's some slight transparency around the shallow edges of the glass, but beyond the edges, it's black.

In the smell I get loads of chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruits. There's only a hint of smokiness. A great, strong scent.

At first taste, it's chocolate, tangy raspberries and raisins, and bitter coffee. THEN the smokiness really kicks in (I was wondering where it was), lingering with bitter chocolate and ceffee in the finish. The label says this is alder-smoked. I definitely taste that, as it reminds me of my family's awesome, alder-smoked king salmon, thus making my mouth water.

It has excellent, perky carbonation and medium viscosity.

This is an extremely well-balanced smoked porter. Its smokiness is prominent without being overwhelming and blends VERY well with its malty characteristics. Embrace the smoke!

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

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 2,119 ratings