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Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
2,051 Ratings
Alaskan Smoked PorterAlaskan Smoked Porter
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,515
Reviews:
987
Ratings:
2,051
pDev:
11.08%
Bros Score:
4.11
 
 
Wants:
349
Gots:
443
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,051 |  Reviews: 987
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and hopefully bottle conditioned
Pours a jet black body with lustrous foaming tobacco stained head
Smells like irished up cocoa
That doesn't come across I get smokey booze

 182 characters

Photo of Tracywithbeer24
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

smells like beef jerky.

23 characters

Photo of Sabre311
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ManBearPat
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gooljd
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 Bartleby91
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of mflamar
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of mynie
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Kind of surprised that it's 2017 and smoked beers still haven't taken off. Normies are ordering beer that tastes like bourbon, or tart Jolly Ranchers, or horse blankets, but still the masses have somehow not embraced beer that tastes like cured meat and cheeses.

Anyhow, this one is a classic, and it has eluded me until very recently. Believe it or not, beers like this used to generate a bit of hype, and were even traded for. Michael Jackson loved it (see link at bottom), and it's often credited as the standard bearer of American smoked beers. Its relatively limited release no doubt added to its mystique, along with the fact that it was the first beer of note to come from Alaska--or at least the first that most of us had heard of.

I always felt that good beer should lend itself to conversation, and that great beer should lead to contemplation. Following this philosophy might lead to allowing a beer's mystique to unduly influence our judgement, but I feel such may be warranted in the case of a forgotten standard bearer.

My contemplations, I will admit, are shallow and insular, but that's only because I haven't been doing enough of them lately. The beer makes me think of half-understood traditions that are barely 25 years old, of a sense of frontier adventurism I am afraid is quickly dying and becoming horrifying, and of the illogical pride I feel when thinking of myself as a citizen of a country so vast as far-spread that within its borders there can lie a land so completely alien from my own.

The beer is symbolically loaded. Those of us who are only a little older, and who grew in states only a little more backward, are now gleeful for the abundance of somewhat competent (albeit far too expensive) breweries. Can you imagine life in Juneau, Alaska in the late 1980s? There would be no greater godsend than a brewery such as this, let alone one that created perhaps the first smoked porter in the known history of beer.

And the beer itself does live up to the hype, even by 2017 standards. There's nothing visceral or violent about it. It is clearly a porter, bereft of wild bacteria or bourbon aging. But it succeeds near-perfectly within its conceptual confines; it didn't seek to reinvent the wheel, or to make some sort of pornographic mutation of the wheel, but only pull off a solid blend of styles. The beer is an excellent American porter through and through, combined with the assertive, but not overwhelming, meaty smoke nodes of a German rauchbier.

The result is hardy and invigorating, instantly accessible yet interesting enough to keep a drinker engaged throughout several pints. Truly an American classic.


Cool review from Michael Jackson: http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-000016.html

 2,751 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jodio
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of schavuytje
2.67/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

smelling Worschester sauce
with a taste of whiskey with smoke malt
fairly dry finish
distinct taste unappetizing
had perhaps drunk too young but there was still a lot to be done for a good porter

 195 characters

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

Pouring a black, dense body with medium head.
Smells of smoked prunes, vanilla, coffee.
The taste is, surprisingly, not dominated by the smoke aromas, but instead I could find a lot of vanilla, aged oak, some caramel, the coffee (of course) and the smoked prunes . You can feel that it has undergone some aging (mine is from 2012) and developed some fine blended scents.
A higher amount of carbonation would be nice.
Not a fan of smoked beers, but this one convinced me.

 470 characters

Photo of akk14
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of MikeBogert53
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mklisz
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GOBLIN
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013 from the big bottle in a snifter. A brew I have chased after for
a number of years----like 20 years worth of seeking and finally here it is in
of all places---OHIO. Bought at the Andersons in Columbus on the annual jaunt
to Wooster.

This fine brew pours a dark blackish brown with cola highlights and a moderate head of
off white foam that subsides to a thick ring of off white foam and a thin layer with
subtle lacing. Nose of subtle smoke, dark cocoa, sweet roasted malts, subtle coffee, and
light earthy notes. Flavors exceed the nose with cola and coffee with bitter cocoa and sweet
mild smoke awash in roasted malts. Nice mouth feel that is smooth, moderately coating, and medium
on the feel finishing with char and smoke notes with coffee and cocoa and light carbonation.

Overall, this one was worth the wait and cherished. I had the 2014 and liked it aged better
so this is the best of the ages I bought---2013,14, and 15.

Awesome!

Cheers!

 978 characters

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

Photo of janubio
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Dark opaque colour, with a medium brown head that holds for a while. Good lace.
Aroma is smoky but not so overwhelmin' as in other smoked beers, coffee, dark fruits, caramel. Palate is creamy, with medium body (I expected it a bit more dense), normal carbonation. Taste is smoky caramel, dark fruits, coffee, chocolate. Good.

 339 characters

Photo of moodyxc9
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 2,051 ratings
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