Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

2,015 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,015 |  Reviews: 974
Photo of Schmittymack
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Old Chicago Westy in a shaker glass. Pretty dark brown with decent head and lacing. Smoke on the nose and first sip was all smoke. Since glass was cold and the brew was too cold, too, I let the glass/brew warm a bit. After a few minutes, still got the smokiness but was able to pick up malt with a little chocolate. Drinkability is good to great; this is my favorite brew from Alaskan.

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Photo of jjh19
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown and opaque appearance with a creamy tan head.
Smell: Bam! Smokey, woodsy smell right up front.
Taste: With the first sip, there's a TON of smoked smokiness, bordering on burnt but never quite getting there. There's also a hint of hops bitterness, but balance isn't the goal here for this porter.
Mouthfeel: Pretty light mouthfeel, especially for the big flavor.
Drinkability: If you're looking for a smokey porter, you won't be disappointed by this one. I'll probably pass on another as porters are out of my preferred wheelhouse, but there's no denying this one has big smokey taste.

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Photo of CascadeConan
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A - Near black but brown toward the edges, nice full off-brown head that diminishes to a film and produces spotty lacing.

S - A fair amount of savory smoke (reminiscent of smoked salmon for me), light leather, slight carmel and a touch of dry baker's chocolate.

T - Close to the smell but the smoke characteristic fades a bit and allows the malt to play it's part with some very subtle carmel and chocolate notes balanced with the overall smokiness of the beer and tales toward the sweet end on the finish.

M - A decent medium body (a bit thin) with moderate carbonation, the flavors are really heavy so it's good that this beer is on the thinner side of the style.

D - I like it. Big, robust, smokey flavor but a sweet finish that guides the beer toward a balanced end. I'm excited to see what happens to this beer with some age on it.

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

Appearance: Dark with a nice head
Smell: Dry, smoky, hints of wood. campfire
Taste: Smoked campfire, dry, toasted, smoke smoke smoke
Mouthfeel: Medium bodies, slightly coarse, mild carbonation
Drinkability: Very interesting. Would work great as marinate or brine. Reminds me of camping... I love camping.. I love this beer?

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Photo of Phelps
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Walken
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alaskan: Smoked Porter (2009) (Tasted 09/22/10)
22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.

Thanks again to Fletcher (boatshoes)!

Appearance: Black as sin and it does not pass light. Creamy mocha head exhibits ridiculous retention and solid lacing.
Odor: Distinctive smoked malt aroma, similar to the classic German rauchbiers, but not quite as bacony, much more woody, akin to hickory. Hints of malty richness in the background, expressing soft chocolate biscuits.
Consistency: Towards the high end of medium bodied with a low riding carbonation that promotes smoothness, over all. Slight acidity from the dark malts, slight chalkiness from something (minerals/yeast?) balance. Spot on.
Flavor: Chocolate biscuits and woody smoke on top, moderately sharp roasted malt in back. Citric hop bitterness rolls in last, getting a punch or two in before tapping out. Roast & smoke dominate the finish and linger for a while.

I cannot begin to express how perfect this beer tastes to me.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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 GarrettMD
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with 1.5 fingers light tan creamy head. Head retention is amazing, as is the lacing.

S - Smokey roasted malts are at the forefront. Chocolate is well defined in the background.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts now dominate while the smokiness is still present it was mostly in the aroma. Some coffee and hints of dark fruit are present on the back of the tongue. Overall a balanced flavor, but not overly complex.

M - Medium-heavy bodied, a little thin for most of the porters I have experienced. Very creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is definitely noticeable. Finish is slightly drying with lots of roasted malts, here the smoke comes back again.

D - Well rounded, starts out dominating with the smokiness and finishes the same way. No complex flavors but definitely a very good beer, if I hadn't gotten it while on a trip across the country, I would get it again, but sadly it's not readily available where I am now.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into pint glass, reviewed blind via Blind Beers BIF II.

A- A nice dark brown pour with a HUGE head, takes a few minutes to settle.

S- Nose is all campfire, nice meaty smoke. Great aroma on this one, something I can get lost in. Wow.

T- Taste is of smoked malts and tart dark fruit. Nice chocolatey notes. Heavy-handed with the smoke but it compliments the porter well. Porters lend themselves very well to smoke flavors.

M- Decent body, good carbonation, nice finish.

D- Fairly high, this is a very tasty beer. Not as good as Capt. Lawrence's smoked porter but at least in the same ballpark. I'd buy it if I saw it in my local store. Great smoked beer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2009 vintage, white wine glass.

On the dark side of Porter with highlights in the brown spectrum, this ale has only a wisp of light tan head. The bubbles are very fine and creamy.

The aroma is dominant (alder wood or beech wood) smoke overlaying malt. The malt is dark with roast and chocolate the only specifics to penetrate the smoke.

Though the beer strikes me as very smoke-oriented and the initial flavor I want to give is wispy, gray ash, these things are quite soft. Cocoa powder and the smoke are very dry while some sweetness plays with a little independent roast, dark fruit, and the possibility of coffee and smoked meat. The finish is desirably short for a smoke beer and not long lingering.

I would describe the texture as soft, like smoke but for the carbonation.

I would probably buy this beer again with the intent to age. This bottle is about a year old, but it might be worth seeing where it goes. I like it now, smoke beers aren't my bag, so I'll take it.

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Photo of Anaz
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.
This is the smokiest smokey smoke beer I have ever smelled. It smell of smoke, and smoke and chocolate, and smoke and coffee, and smoke and hops roasting on a campfire.

It's a dark brown that fades to Coca Cola at the edges and the faint head disappates almost as soon as it forms.

The taste? Well...the smoke rushes forward and it's like drinking espresso and eating super dark chocolate downwind from a campfire, without the coughing and burning eyes, of course. I swear there is some beef jerky in there, somewhere, but it's probably the smoke playing tricks on me. The lovely bitterness this finishes with braces you for another sip and keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the smoke.

This has a surprisingly light body, and would be a very easy drinking porter if not for the intensity of the smoke. I really want to drink this again with a giant grilled rib eye so I could have some food that can stand up to this beer. Nice job, very enjoyable.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

A: Dark, a little ruby around the edges when held up to the light. Not much head, fades quickly. Almost no lacing.

S: Kind of reminds me of a Californian red wine... it's the smokiness I'm associating with it of course. Malt comes through quite well, but no one note sticks out.

T: Malt and smoke are nicely balanced, but it falls a little short in terms of depth. It's a smoked porter, but if it were just a porter I think I would be rather disappointed in it. Finishes a little bitter and tart.

M: Thin. Well, thinner than I was expecting. Probably middle of the road for the style. Carbonation is about right, nice and smooth.

D: A solid beer, and one of the better smoked beers I've had. I wouldn't mind something with a little heavier body, but it's quite nice the way it is.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black with no head an medium head retention. Aroma is combination of slight malt sweetness and light smokiness. Medium carbonation on the front end. It begins lightly sweet with chocolate notes. Smokiness builds in middle but only a moderate extent. Tastes like liquid brisket. Medium mouthfeel, consistent with style.

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Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label reads 2009 version

Appearance: black in color, 2/3 inch head, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt, coffee, slight chocolate

Taste: smoked woody malt, coffee, slight chocolate and cream

Mouthfeel: smoky, slightly sweet beginning and middle with a more sweet end, medium/heavy bodied, and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very good beer. The smoke is present throughout, but not overpowering. The porter portion is very rich and thick. Would only do one at a time, but wish I could find this closer to home.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The beer is dark, with a good deal of light khaki colored head. Even after it reduces there is a nice amount of lacing remaining.

Smell: As the name implies, it is very smoky. I can pick out a little dark malt smell, but the smoke overwhelms any other scents.

Taste: To me, the taste is a bit more complex than the smell. There is obviously a smoky taste, but I can detect dark malts, a bit of chocolate and more bitterness at the end than I had anticipated. I like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer seems a little on the light-bodied side for a porter. It does go down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability: While the beer does go down pretty smoothly, due to the strong flavor of smoke it is not a beer that I would drink a lot of at a time. Good to finish off one bottle, but no more than that.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to find this beer while on my Alaskan vacation as I've heard a lot about it but never tried it. This is a 2009 bottle.

A: pours pitch black, beige head, decent retention

S: huge alderwood smoke character up front, which melds with a the roasted malts very well. This beer pairs smoke beautifully with the porter. It is very strong, but doesn't cross the line of being overly smokey which is a tough balance to find.

T: a little bit of sweetness up front paired with a touch of bitterness, this gives way to big woody and smoked flavors and finishes with chocolate and roast. The balance is great.

MF: nice thick body with high carbonation

D: this beer is something special. I have tried and enjoyed many smoked beers. but have never experienced one that so flawlessly delivers the smoke balanced with the base beer. I can see why this wins so many awards.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber - 2009 vintage - poured into a tulip glass

Pours a dark mahogany brown with hints of plum throughout the body. The head is tightly constructed of small bubbles and comes in at two fingers. Lovely, wall-like lacing. Not much to say other than "really good." A simple appearance executed marvelously.

Oh, yeah. This porter brings the smoke. Very good smoke element; it doesn't smell like chemical liquid smoke or anything. Pure burning firewood, some of it fairly green wood, characterizes the smoke aroma. Not a bacon aroma, not the aroma of a grill, but the aroma of campfire. This isn't all smoke, oh no. There are rich brown malts, some chocolate, and a decided nutty smell. Curiously, I detect a sweet sort of fragrance on top of the smoke, almost a purfume.

This is a legit porter. Sweet & roasty chocolate malt with an understated hop bitterness. A little bit of pecan. It is already a tasty porter BEFORE you consider the deep smoke flavor. The smoke is not overbearing; it augments the roast character and draws out the sweetness from the malt the way that smoke draws out the natural sweetness in food. If anything I'd prefer a bit more smoke on the palate - though it might be diminished as a result of age. Still, this is an appropriate, delicious amount of smoke flavor for a delicious porter.

The body of Alaskan Smoked Porter falls on the thicker side for the style. But a robust, substantial mouthfeel works well given all the smoke. I think that, because of the smoke, a 22oz. bomber is an ideal bottle size for the beer. Any more and you risk tiring out your palate.

If you see this and haven't had it then you need to buy it without a moment's hesitation. This is an absolutely fantastic porter.

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Photo of deereless
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick rocky head, dark brown to black in color, lots of small streams of visible bubbles - 4.00, S: Tons of smoke, strong mesquite, as well as dark bitter baker's chocolate, I also pick up some bacon and espresso - 4.50, T: Like the nose there is significant smoke on the palate, I also pick up some slight sour which seems out of place, quite a bit of charring and ash, gritty dark malts with some chocolate and burnt coffee - 4.00, M: Thick and heavy mouth feel - 4.50, D: Very nice and very drinkable smoked beer - 4.00

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Photo of birchstick
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a black with a creamy white head

S - smells of smoked malts and coffee, with a lot of sweetness. Not very bold on the was hard to pick out the aromas.

T - the taste follows the nose...the smoked malt imparts a meaty taste. Got some coffee notes and a touch of sweet milk chocolate. Nice roastedness and sweetness balance going on.

M - smooth, medium body and goes down nicely

D - this is a really good smoked porter. This one has been on my radar for a long time; I am glad I finally got to try it, and on tap taboot.

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

2008 vintage courtesy of papollo(THANK YOU)

Black as sin, mocha head, sporadic lacing.

Smell is of dark roast coffee, with a pleasant burnt chocolate aroma. Roasted malts and definite smokiness abound.

Roast, smoke, coffee, chocolate, hints of bitterness (chocolate, coffee, and hops alike). This is greatness.

Creamy, silky, smooth, slightly heavy. This feel has it all.

1 is not enough. I hope to procure a 10' vintage for comparison soon!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First experience:

2009 vintage, opened 07/2010. Poured a deep black with two fingers of sticky tan head. Dry malty aroma of chocolate and coffee with a hint of smoke.

Moderate carbonation and a full mouthfeel without being thick or syrupy. Slightly sweet with an oaky chocolate presence up front, notes of coffee, and a hint of bitterness on the smoky finish.

The smoke in this porter was well-balanced and added a nice dimension to the flavor without being overpowering.

Other vintages:

2010, opened 07/2011: As above, but I noticed some additional vanilla character somewhere in there.

2008, opened 10/2011: Mild, well-rounded flavors, more prominent chocolate.

2001, opened 10/2011: Holy moly, what a treat. Still plenty of carbonation and a HUGE aroma of sweet cocoa, caramel, smoke, espresso, and dark fruit. The smokiness really dominated the flavor and took on a salmony quality.

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to lothore who sent me a bottle of this over a year ago, pre-aged for my enjoyment. Since it was a 2006 vintage (& an extra to boot!), I figured I'd toss it in back of the pile & see when the moment was right. Now! Go!

Pours a BWCA-night dark in my New Holland glass. Deep breaths reveal a slap of smokiness, with other things (malts?) barely stirring underneath.

Smoked Porter lives up to its name, what my wife disdainfully labels "bacon beer" & sets aside her half of the bomber. Crap. Wet firewood dominates this brew like Mike Mussina over the Twins. There's bear meat, or something gamey, cooking over that fire, too. Bitter, bitter cocoa & malts fence with the smoke, but soon slip & fall away. The end-game is like waking up after sitting next to a fire all night. And not having brushed your teeth.

This brings out mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I'm sitting here looking at it quizzically...while gulping it down like there's no tomorrow. Even among smoked porters, the cocoa puts this one in a different league & helps keep the smokiness from lifting off through the roof. Overall? Very good beer. But you'll forgive me if I won't have another for a long time. I mean, after I finish my wife's glass, too. What?

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer I had at the Freakin Frog in Las Vegas. This beer pours with a fluffy tanned head, good lacing and a dark brown almost black color.

The nose is jammed pack with smoky roasted malts/meats, dark fruits and a little sweetness.

Tastes of smoked malts (duh), fruitiness, chocolate and some bitterness.

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Photo of milesmayhem
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is by far one of the best smoked beers I have ever tasted. When describing this to friends I tell them to imagine a bar-b-que in your mouth. Everything from smoked salmon to ribs, steak and mushroom on a skewer, this beer delivers wildly on the nose but really kicks in on the mouthfeel. Take as much time as you need letting it work across your tongue and down the back of your throat. You have just had the BEST Alaska can offer.

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Photo of levifunk
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - black, as expected. light brown head.

s - smells like campfire.

t - flavor not nearly as huge as the nose. still quite smokey, but balanced with the porter underneath.

m - medium body. good carbonation

overall - very drinkable at 6.5%. smokey flavor is nice. just not a huge porter fan...

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,015 ratings.
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