Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

970 Reviews
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American 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.

Added by Bierman9 on 10-18-2001

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Reviews: 970 | Ratings: 2,000
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition. Interesting smokey taste and aroma from the unique wood used, well carbonated, perhaps a tad too much. Salt. Intense. Bit of bitterness in finish. Good with grilled meat and fish. Black of course. Quite a nice one and an easy, medium mouthfeel drink.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a big 2 inch tan head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted coffee, unsweetened chocolate, campfire smoke, and a earthy wood smell. Very nice to sniff. Taste is similar with smoked malts in the front followed by subdued coffee and slight cocoa powder flavors. There is a woody essence that lingers in the mouth after each sip. Mouthfeel is a bit disappointing. Very low carbonation leaves the beer very thick to drink easily. Overall, this is a great porter with a great smoky taste. I am glad I have a few other bottles in the cellar to enjoy later on.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an absolutely amazing porter! pours near black with a reasonable tan head. huge nose. smokey as anything, lots of chocolate malt roasted heavy, and some alcohol tang. flavor is equally smokey, bornerline rauchbier, but the body is bigger here. this is expresso a little, but also some unexpected hop bitterness as it concludes. mouthfeel is fantastic, close to full bodied, strong, and carbonated a little more than most porters are, which gives it a more delicate feel. overall one of the better porters ive had in a while, very smoked. certainly the best alaskan beer ive had. gonna be gold with a major spicy chille con carne!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2003 sampling--thanks to SheepNutz.

It's what I have expected. Surprisingly so. A solid, well-balanced, heavier than normal, rich, porter. Alone, without the smoke, would warrant a big-time review. With the smoke additions, it's nearly perfect. Lots of chocolate, powdery, roastiness, light coffee, and milk-stout flavors that have melded well over the past few years. The smoke doesn't only add another flavor on top of the porter flavors, it becomes an integral part of the brew. Difficult to detect where the porter ends and the smoke begins. The perfect camp-fire brew. Bold to the taste, and silky to the touch.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber procured in a Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA. Damn, they have good beer available in that Stepford Wife-ridden suburb...

This beer pours a very dark, very ominous brown cola colour, with one finger of weighty foamy beige head, which leaves some sea bluff profiles of painted lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of smoked salmon, chocolate malt, and mildly bitter pine hops. The taste is salty, smoked malt, some languishing medium chocolate, and some bitter earthy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body close to full in weight, and quite smooth. It finishes with a soft saltine cracker malt doused in chocolate.

Wow - a whole lot going on in this brew, but it all comes back to the chocolate malt, whether it be from a swing by the fishy seashore, or a traipse through the wild northern forests. A very fine porter that rams home that outdoors-y feel.

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Photo of brentk56
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2006 Vintage, tasted in July 2007

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a modest tan head that leaves the occasional splotch of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate and dark fruit with a considerable amount of alder smoke

Taste: Starts out with a bitter, but fruity, dark chocolate flavor that is joined, mid-palate by the alder smoke; after the swallow the flavors magnify into the finish

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just superb, as always

I was curious about the shelf like of AK Smoked Porter and tried the 2006 again on 7/15/13. Faded, but still drinking fine.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage sampled 11/30/06.

Appearance: Poured opaque black with a moderate foamy head that faded pretty quickly into a small ring around the glass.

Smell: The nose is all earthy, smoked malts and dark chocolate. Intensely aromatic stuff.

Taste: The taste mirrors the smell - sweet, smoaked malts in the front, chocolate, hazelnut, and a light hoppy finish.

Mouth: This is thick for a porter; drinks more like a stout to me. Lightly carbonated and very smooth.

Drinkability: While entirely delicious, the strong character makes it hard to drink a lot of this in one sitting. A glass or two is enough for me. It's thoroughly enjoyable stuff, though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

651 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high on account of both the brewery (which I quite fancy) and the recommendation of a friend (blakelive784). I'm quite a fan of both rauchbiers and porters, so I should be in for a treat. 2011 vintage.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice rich tan colour, great cream, great thickness, and good retention - though the ABV is merely above average. Colour is a predictable nontransparent solid black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible - likely due to the nontransparency. So far so good.

Sm: Smoke and cream sit surprisingly well alongside each other. Dark malts - perhaps lightly toasted. Chocolate. Hints of nuts perhaps. Caramelization. A vibrant rich aroma with more depth than most porters. I'm impressed. The smoke isn't overbearing. A mild strength subtle aroma that really makes me want to try it.

T: A delightful body comprised of dark malts with a smoke tone running throughout the whole beer, giving it a flavourful throughline and clear focus. Chocolate is present but not too rich. Delightful malt layering is a highlight. Rich cream aids the open but doesn't negatively impact the balance. And the balance here is critical between the smoke and the cream. I don't know how they handled that so well. It's nicely well rounded, with hints of toasting and roasting keeping it subtle. A complex porter that is very pleasant to drink. I quite enjoy it. Built very well for the style. It's everything I expected it to be.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some lovely coarseness on the climax - likely from the smoke. It's a masterful touch that adds a unique element to this porter, distinguishing it from others. This porter ventures as much into stout territory as an average oatmeal stout ventures into porter territory. The result is a fantastic mouthfeel with a great deal of depth. Complements the taste very well. Silky yet tantalizing.

Dr: Very drinkable. I could drink it all night in the proper mood. Decently priced as a practical import. Another winner from Alaskan brewing. I'd recommend this to friends, and I'd certainly like to try it on draught.

This gets better as it warms; I recommend giving it a good ten minutes out of the refrigerator before serving.

Would pair excellently with any fish or meat. Barbecue would be a joy. Salads and breads would also suit it nicely, but likely not cheese. Chocolate is also a poor choice to pair with this beer.

Drank well out of me goblet, but a pint glass or glass mug would be ideal methinks.

A good candidate for aging. Deserves a spot in any porter lover's cellar.

High B

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Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally (!) I get to try this beer, thanks Joe! 2006 edition.

Appears black with reddish mahogany highlights around the edge. A cap of light tan foam forms and recedes after a few minutes.

Aroma of dry, subdued campfire smoke. Some mildly sweet molasses comes out also.

Smoke flavor is moderate and balanced, not overwhelming at all. Finishes dry with a light complimentary bitterness towards the end. Deep malt-centric flavors, some subtle plum, with a dry bitter finish. Feel is smooth with ample carbonation, pretty light feeling overall.

A really easygoing smoked porter, not as overbearing as ones from Bamberg can be sometimes.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a black color porter with a quite big foamy head with some good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of smoked malt is dominating with some dry roasted malt notes also noticeable. Taste is dominated by smoked malt with a well balance mix of dry roasted malt. I enjoyed the fact that while still being a smoked beer it was well enough balance to enjoy other aspect (i.e. roasted malt). Body is quite full with some medium carbonation.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Edition

A - Poured out a jet black, opaque color with a small, tan head. It left a tiny amount of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very smoky like a good barbeque. There was also a roasted malt aroma.

T - The roasted malt flavor was quite strong. The smokiness was a little muted, it is not nearly as strong as a Rauchbier.

M - It was sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. It certainly is worth a try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this from one of the Oregon bottle shops. Served in a Jackie O's snifter

Pours a very dark brown and is nearly opaque. Good off white head with a bit of lacing and a good collar as it goes down. The nose brings quite a bit of smoked malt and a bit of meaty bacon. There's also a slight amount of roast. Flavor is dominated by smoke and meat with a nice roasted malt backing. Medium body with a nice dry finish. Waited awhile to try this and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Edition

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours 1 finger of thick tan head. Color is a dark black. Decent retention with some lace.

Aroma: big roasted smoky aroma. Chocolate notes in the background, but this thing is mainly smoke.

Taste: Again, a big smoky flavor. Roasted malts, but a little hidden chocolate. Earthy hops keep this beer a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Mainly smoky and creamy. It is full bodied with a well amount of carbonation. Ends with smoke flavored aftertaste.

Overall, not bad, but a little too smoky for me. Probably one of the most smoke flavored beers I have had. I am glad I am not the only one drinking this bottle, as it would take work to finish this bomber.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2011 vintage. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light coffee, light char, smoke, toast, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted/dark/smoked malt notes with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, light coffee, dark bread, light char, smoke, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light coffee, dark bread, toast, smoke, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/roast/smoked malt flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic smoked porter. All around awesome balance, complexity, and robustness of roasted, dark, and smoked malt flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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 jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge 2 finger frothy and fluffy head that fades at a medium pace over essentially black beer, no real light coming through but not pitch black, and some nice lacing.

Nose brings a nice smoke, some smoked meats/cheese, light campfire, some light creamy roasty porter, bit of toffee, coffee, earthy malt aromas, and just a hint of earthy hops.

Taste also brings plenty of smoke, a nice smoked cheese/meat again, very light campfire, a slight creamy malt, some roasted malts, a bit of coffee and toffee, touch of caramel, and slight hint of vanilla, slightest salty/briny taste, little fluffy, and a very slight earthy hop flavor too. Finish gets a slight drier, lots of lingering smoke and a bit more bitterness, slight sticky feel and hint of brine.

Mouth is fairly creamy, a bit heavier bodied to medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Drink it pretty good, no real abv kick, creamy and rich but not heavy, decent carbonation and a nice balance but touch of salty/briny taste, a slight sticky finish but dries decently.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2001. Quite black in color with only a sliver of clear brown visible at the base of the glass. Pours a pillowy, deep tan head that holds well, eventually drops to a good collar, and leaves some excellent lace. The smoke is clearly present in the aroma. It's satisfying - much more like burning wood than dry leaves, or cigarettes (as some smoked, and even roasted barley tinted, beers can be). Much like the smell you pick up on yourself while camping. When combined with the earthiness and grassiness of the hops present, the aroma is like being out in the wild. It's slightly sharp, but not too acrid; with a delicate, "woody" taste. The smoke is backed by a lightly sweet, dark chocolatey maltiness and the aforementioned hops. Surprisingly, it's smokiness is continually noticeable and enjoyable. With some smoked beers, the smoke is mainly found at the outset, and then lost. The body is medium-full with a moderate carbonation level. The mouthfeel is nicely creamy. The flavor is softly fruity, and mainly chocolatey, with a lingering sherry-like character, some hops, and a really nice soft smokiness in the finish. Very well balanced, but also assertively hoppy! Very enjoyable; even comforting in a way. Quite complex, not just with the smoke adding an exciting layer, but within the beer itself. Quite rich, and very rewarding. Absolutely worth trying - even for the person who doesn't normally like smoked beers! This one is quite unique!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release, acquired from joshd, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is smoky along with roasted malts, coffee, a little bit of fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise very smoky and malty with flavors of coffee and dark fruit. The smokiness seems to come and go as it's more pronounced in some sips than it is in others. There's a very mild hops presence as expected from this type of beer. The after-taste is smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice kick, very good representation of style while adding the smoked element, if you're in the mood for the smokiness this is a good beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids, Longmont, CO

Poured a coffee brown with a moderately lacing beige head. Aroma of chocolate, dark malts, and light smoked wood. Roasted malts in the taste, chocolatey. Honestly didn't get much smoke on first sip, but after a quick palate-cleansing, there was a definite smokey, ashy character going on, so it's a good thing I tried again, and properly so (God knows what I drank before it). Also a very subtle plum sensation barely detectable, I thought. Nice, not quite full-bodied, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark brown in the chalice. Moderate head and an attractive appearance. A coarse and spritzy mouthfeel. First sip is a surprise with a distinctly different kind of smoke. Long nose of wood smoke.

Tastes plenty smokey, but the bitterness takes over and the smoke flavor doesn't linger so long on the tongue as it does in the nose. Hops are quite forward. Hard to tell what's going on besides the bitterness, but there's some grapefruit pith. After some sipping it tastes like there is quite a bit of the charcoal barley in the mix and a touch of acidity.

Starts with a pleasing sweetness but the thin body leads to a sharp finish. More of a dry Stout flavor with a dose of smoke, and hopped like an IPA. Not my favorite smoked beer. From the 22 oz bottle, the 2011 edition.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. A real WTF moment when I finally noticed I had never properly pounded out some notes for this beer.

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown, near black body with some ruby-hued edges and a topped by a frothed, beige head.

Smell: A distinct aroma with its alder wood aspect that's always suggestive of high quality smoked meats. Also some roasty and unsweetened chocolate notes as well as a waft of dark fruits.

Taste: Though the smoked alder wood is full and present in the flavor, it doesn't totally squash the beer's other characteristics. Roasty, sweetish malts with some subtle chocolate tones and even milder hint of decaffeinated coffee. Touch of dark fruitiness in the background. Slight clean bitterness present. The smokiness remains beyond the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: With its relatively lighter body and good balance, this one is just that much more drinkable and it can become quite difficult not to grab a few bombers and drink yourself into a stupor on the couch. It's a beer I'm always happy to have regardless of vintage or time of year it happens to be.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

2012 vintage.
Almost black, a very dark brown. One finger light beige head, quick to a frothy sticky lace and a thin layer on top.
Smoke and dark chocolate in the smell, some of that "bacon" aroma too. Roasted malts, bit of coffee, some wood, low raisin, dry citrus peel and some other dry dark fruit.
Starts fruity, somewhat acidic, with plum, raisin, faint blood orange pulp, red apple mixed with rich creamy chocolate, not extremely dark. A bit of caramel, some salted toffee, getting to nice roasted malts with just a bit of coffee bean. Bit of woody cinnamon, faint dark licorice. Finishes with American bitter hops, some charcoal, and this is also where the smokiness shows up, not huge, but a perfect addition at this stage.
Aftertaste is smokey, ashy, but lifted by the nice hops and not just dry and bland. Great balance from start to finish. Medium body and carbonation, not totally smooth, but instead very easy to drink.
Lots of rich flavors, a great smoked American (!) porter, especially considering it's one of the most accessible on the (international, even) market.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wet Kodiak brown bear on a moonless night brown (that one just missed making the Crayola 64-pack). I don't believe that I've ever seen a porter this light rejectingly dark. The malted milk colored cap is compact, creamysmooth and is depositing lace in a virtually unbroken sheet.

The nose consists of a wonderful combination of roasted barley and smoke. Thankfully, the smoke isn't rauchbier-like and is restrained enough for me to appreciate dark chocolate and hops underlying the principal elements of the aroma. "Some think the smoke is tooo strong and some think the smoke is tooo weak, but I think the smoke is juuust right."

This is tasty beer without a doubt. Again, well-roasted barley and wood smoke play off one another nicely. While the flavor is good, it doesn't quite achieve greatness in my eyes, possibly because the body is lighter than expected and results in a beer that lacks some degree of power and presence in the mouth. I know that this is an American porter and not a Baltic porter or a stout, but still...

Yet another facet of the flavor profile is a mellow, fruity tartness. In addition, hops contribute a modest finishing bitterness. The body/mouthfeel is strictly medium for the style and tends to thin out just a tad on the swallow. I'll restrain myself from marking it down, even though I prefer more full-bodied beer. It probably qualifies as nitpickiness, but the carbonation is slightly too sprightly.

Alaskan Smoked Porter is good beer. Bulking up the body would help immensely and would turn it into something special. I can see how some just love it though. This a beer that I'll buy whenever I have the opportunity to do so. 2003 edition.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep black with a two finger mocha colored head on top. Retention was decent, reducing to a thin layer on top. Some nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Probably the best smelling smoky beer I have come across, not overpowering at all. There is a little bit of sugary sweetness and some very faint dark fruit.

T: Nice smoky flavor, again, not overpowering, blends nicely with some roasted malt, coffee, and a little bit of dark fruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not sure if it is the smoke, but has a very dry finish.

O: Definitely like it, but not as much as I was hoping. Can see why people do enjoy this beer though.

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage 22 oz bomber pours a super effervescent mahogany with 3+ fingers of fluffed up mocha colored head with streaks of mahogany & black. Very good head retention & lacing

S Nice chocolate, alder & smokey oak notes

T: Chocolate, roasted grain, hints of wet oak chips. Baker's chocolate, iron, more smoke as this warms, along with dryness. Finishes with pleasing smokeyness, more cocoa & toasty malt notes

MF: Pretty rich for the abv, smooth, oily & near perfect carbonation

Drinks pretty darn easy. maybe I'd get tired of this after a while due to the smokeyness, but I'm not sure. This would pair great with Mississippi Mud Pie or BBQ, glad I finally got to drink more than a few ozs of this

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,000 ratings.
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