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Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
2,112 Ratings
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,112 |  Reviews: 1,003
Reviews by phishsihq:
Photo of phishsihq
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The most award winning beer at the Great American Beer Festival is the complex and delicious Alaskan Smoked Porter. Tonight we will review our tasting of the 2008 Vintage we lucky enough to have enjoyed.

2008 Smoked Porter pours an opaque black, capped by a thin tan head that provides plenty of lacing. Slight smokiness is noticeable in the nose, along with some sweetness and hints of milk chocolate. Dark fruit and sherry-like flavors cut through the subdued smokiness. Medium-light in both body and carbonation, the 2008 Vintage shows a more mellowed smokey flavor profile then more recent vintages. Aging helps cut the smoke, pulling other less pronounced flavors to the forefront. Amazing! The Smoked Porter Glazed Ham we paired it with was simply fantastic!


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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 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.

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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 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 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.

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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 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!!

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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 oberon
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 bottle,pours and almost ink blank but I did see some ruby near the bottem of my glass with a thin mocha head,wow what aromas going on smoked meats,unsweetened chocolate and some earth what combination.Big and bold tasting as expected big dose of alder smoke and unsweeteded chocolate with a dry earthy/nutty finish.Wow complex and big my first stab at this leaves me quite impressed will get more in the future.

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

Vintage 2002

Black pour with a medium tan head. The nose was of smoked malt, sausage, and also had a woodiness to it.

The taste was rich and smokey. Decent maltiness gave it some body. Woody notes throughout. Rich mouthfeel but not overly thick or creamy. Light on the spice.

A very good smoked porter.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Blacker than black with a dark head that lingered well.

Smell – The aroma fits the bill. Classic sherry and roasted malt flavors with smoke undertones. There’s also some typical coffee and molasses.

Taste – This is very good. The smoke taste is light; not overpowering. The porter flavors ring loud and true. The sherry steps back a bit from the nose, leaving a wonderful coffee-infused dark malt base. The finish is sweet, but not too sweet, with molasses, some maple, and dark cherries.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and just full-bodied. This porter is creamy and flat.

Drinkability – This is very refreshing and went down quite well. I had the 2001 vintage which is actually 6.5% ABV. I’ve sampled just about all of the Alaskan styles, and this is thus far my favorite.

Update – Had a 2004 vintage in 2004 (imagine that). I picked up a lot more of the smoked flavor and enjoyed the easy-drinking nature of this beer. I still rated the Stone a tad higher for it’s complexity, but man oh man if there ever was a session smoked beer this is it.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado, blessed Toronado.

Thick black body with a chunky brown head. Appearance is practically perfect. Head is lasting and wonderfully aromatic. Smoke, smoke, and smoke! Chocolate, coffee, caramel, scotch, peat, and a whole wheel barrow load of other great stuff can be found in this beauty. I am thrilled. This is one of the best porters I’ve ever held in my hand and I haven’t even tasted it yet.

Mouthfeel is nearly full, charcoaly, poking at times but nearly flawless.

Taste is peat and mesquite, caramel and chocolate, bittersweet and acidic grains in the finish. Spicy, delicious, smoky as can be. Just great.

Drinkability is very high. There isn’t an overwhelming meatiness that I find in some smoked beers. This one is just mellow and refreshing. Damn drinkable.

A masterpiece.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MadScientist
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A very dark brown beer with a garnet hue and good clarity. It pours with two fingers of rocky to creamy light brown bubbles. It has good head retention, fading after a minute to a thin layer of bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass.

S: A moderate aroma of dark malt and smoke. There are light notes of dark roast and coffee with a hint of chocolate.

T: A medium strong dark malt flavor with a medium amount of smoke flavor. There are some sharp roast malt flavors with hints of dark fruit and toffee with some . The beer has a moderate malt sweetness and hops bitterness making for a balance the is about even. The finish is medium with an aftertaste of coffee and smoke.

M: A creamy, medium bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: A solid smoked porter with a some great dark malt and sharp roast flavors.

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

Bottle airplaned back from California.

Opaque black body, creamy off white head with no stick. Smells of earth, smoke, cheese. Malt up front followed closely by a smoke and smoked gouda character, goes down smooth with really no hops or bitterness to speak of. Slight roasted malt tinge but not much. Nice mouthfeel, though a little weak. An interesting and enjoyable beer. Paired well with some Stilton and beef stew. The smoke is robust and interesting but very well balanced. Absolutely one of the better smoked beers in memory. Much more balanced than many others.

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Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of wrycon
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Looks a lovely obsidian. Smells smoked, certainly, but the smoke does not overpower the robust roasted malts. Tastes quite good. Easy on the tongue initially, the coffee-ness of the malts holds court. Then it transitions seamlessly into a flavorful smoke undercurrent. The smokiness shows it's full form in the back end and lingers afterward. The smoke in this is quite delicious, though, as opposed to a distracting novelty.

Like It? For Sure, This Is Quite Good

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Photo of drewkennedy
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Earthling28
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Refreshing flavor, grows on with more sips than one.

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Photo of AdvocateFan
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this sample of the 2006 vintage ASP in my possession for over 3 years now... For at least the past 2.5 years, it has been in the fridge, but before that was being kept at above cellar temps, as high as 85oF but usually in the mid-70s for say, 4-6 months. Major demerits for me. Pours just shy of pitch black in my snifter and is topped by a permanent creamy brown head that fades somewhat but always retains a cover and very thick, clingy, just-a-bit-too-wet-and-thick-to-properly-lace collar (it sort of melts down the side of the glass as the beer is consumed.) Big, sweet, rich, robust notes of leather, dark fruit, carob, coffee-soaked bubblegum, Jolt cola, with all of these wrapped in a sturdy blanket of smoke and campfire goodness. Some meaty, salty notes as well. Condensed maple syrup. The faintest tang of citrus struggles to escape, but is coated in the heavy tar and treacle notes that anchor this beer as close to the earth as possible. The beer is much less intense on the palate than I expected based on the nose; the nose is heavy, almost overbearing, thick and virtually like liquid in the nostrils--you feel it filling your nose, like drowning. But the flavor, while big and rich, is not nearly as heavy or imposing as I thought it would be. All the hallmarks of a robust porter, with subtle spikes of cola, leather, maduro cigar/tobacco, black cherries, and a clean woodsy note, distinct from the also present smokiness. Fresh balsa. Burning sea driftwood (think salty smoke.) The finish is gentle and kind--a comforting level of smoke that sits so well in the mix of this very tasty beer. Never gets to coffee in the flavor, despite what one might expect for the style. Instead, it's bark and billows. As it warms, the alcohol speaks up a bit on the nose, sharpening some of the acridity and coaxing out the edginess of the citrus hop notes, and on the palate evoking notes of dark rum. I am not disappointed by this beer--let me be clear. But it is not as complex as I expected. Sort of the hype syndrome--where you hear or read how great a movie (or beer) is and then when you see (drink) it, you can't be completely objective and rate it lower than if you'd just waltzed into the theater (or bar) not knowing what to expect. Can't help but think that if I just stumbled across this without knowing from day one (and every day since, as it's been in my possession for over 3 years--calling to me as I fought temptation) that it was the holy grail of smoked porters, that I'd have flipped shit over how awesome it was. Instead I enjoy it as a great beer that is pleasing, but is not rousing my inherent beer geek fanaticism. This is not a proclamation of overratedness. Far from it. This is great beer that I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to try. Thanks to Jabocu for the trade/sample (all those years ago!)

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Photo of blitz134
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another pitch black brew...never a bad thing. Light tan head that started an inch thick and reduced to a nice layer. A solid miniscus of bubbles sticks to the glass around the edge. I'm having this one just slightly chilled to really let the smoke comes out.

Oak smoke is immediately noticable in the nose. Smells like clothes the day after sitting around a fire the night before. This is really all I pick up. Maybe a touch of floral or sweet essence underneath. Nicely done for the style. Most smoke beers use too much smoked malts, but this one has the perfect balance of smoke with some sweetness and a bit of bitterness. Nicely done.

Taste is smoke dominated, again with some oaky flavors. Not really any char to this which is nice. A bit of biscuit and the lightest touch of sweetness, in the form of bittersweet chocolate. Even though the alcohol isn't high I seem to pick up a bit of alcohol "twang" on the tongue. Some people mention rum, which is how this could be interpreted.

Mouthfeel is solid. Coats well and the smoke flavor hangs around for a while. Not overly full, but nice nonetheless.

Drinkability is a highlight of this one. A unique well done smoke flavor which isn't over loaded and a smooth body makes this one go down easy.

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Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In a pint glass the beer was a very dark brown, almost black, color. There was a small tan head without any lace.

The aroma was smoked malt, coffee, and chocolate. Very redolent.

The smoked malt was more apparent in the taste. Also some dark coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate.

A great beer. Rich and smooth.

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 2,112 ratings