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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 970 | Ratings: 2,000
Photo of MNAle
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 version. First pour: bomber into a tulip glass. Second pour: into a pilsener glass to try to see more (color, carbonation). Pours very dark, almost opaque black. 1.5 in thick tan head that retains nicely. Leaves thick, clinging lace as it receded. (This pilsener pour had a much larger head, that collapsed with a very nice visual effect from the bottom up. Also, if I backlit the pilsener, I could see a very dark red color behind the front-lit black.) Smokey aroma, as expected from the name, with a faint meaty bacon or ham note. A bit of a boozy smell, even though it is only 6.5%. Pleasant aroma, but not the traditional beer-like. Smokey flavor on initial taste, with a mild bitterness lasting into the aftertaste. Thick, creamy mouth feel. Almost no carbonation visible in the tulip or in the feel. The smoky bacon is there in the taste, but the smokiness is more subtle than I was expecting. With backlighting in the pilsener, I was able to observe light carbonation. The malt backbone of this beer is well represented, but still, the overriding taste is smoky and somewhat bitter. I would have expected more of a malt-forward taste for a porter, but I do like the taste nonetheless. I have two other bottles that my intention is to drink one per year and see how it ages. I'm looking forward to see how this very good beer changes with age.

 1,357 characters

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

An excellent smoked porter, super smooth and silky, with notes of chocolate, dried fruit and cocoa on top of an excellent slightly bitter combination of dark cherries and some faint vanilla.

 190 characters

Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Red/brown colour. Smell: smoke, chocolate, bit of dryed dark fruits. Taste: same, with a touch of citrus. Guess the acidity is a result of aging (from 2012). Classic, indeed. Very recommendable.

 194 characters

Photo of Vogie
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass. 2014 series.

Pours a dark brown almost black with a half inch of coffee colored head that leaves some lacing and a ring around the edges with tiny bubbles rising to the top. Aromas of campfire smoke, earthy hops, and dark chocolate. Taste is intense campfire smoked malts leading to an earthy hop bitterness. As it warms it almost gets a touch sweeter with more of the rich chocolate qualities coming through to balance the smoke. Mouthfeel is creamy, smoky, heavy body, mild carbonation.

Yum! A mixture of smoky, creamy, chocolatey delicious goodness. Balances out more as it warms. This is what smoked beers are all about.

 658 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a very dark red-brown, with about 1.5 fingers of tan head.

Smell - 4.5/5
Wonderfully rich and smoky malts. The smoky aroma is quite strong, and also seems a little unique compared to other smoky smells (I assume this is the special alder wood used for smoking). The aroma has an ever-so-slightly sweet aspect to it. There is also a hint of hops.

Taste - 3.75/5
The sip starts with a mellowed-out, only-barely-sweet malt taste, with some slight hop aspects, and proceeds into the strong smoky flavor characteristic of the smell. The smoky aspect is delightful, but besides the smoke flavor, the beer does seem rather flavorless, even watery.

Mouthfeel - 3.25/5
Mediium bodied, yet slightly watery feel. Carbonation is light.

Overall - 3.75/5
I really liked the smoked aspect of this beer. But I felt that outside of that, the beer was fairly flavorless and a little watery. I feel like that could add more richness and fullness to this beer without having to sacrifice the smokiness. Still, I don't regret purchasing this beer.

 1,053 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I've had this several times over the years, this review will be based on this year's batch.
Though I've had this in several different vessels such as snifters, tulips, and pint glasses, today's is in a mug.
The appearance was a nice thick brown color coming close to black. A nice thick luscious tan/off white color lingers in a one finger white foamy head. Light lacing graces around the glass after the head dies off.
The smell has a nice campfire/smoky/bacon meatiness to it. I have noticed as this one does age, a nice chocolate does end up coming out.
The taste copies the smell and allows a nice dry sweet meaty aftertaste with a lingering dry finish.
The mouthfeel sits about a medium on the body with a decent sessionable feel to it. A nice rolling smoky meaty flavoring rolls over my tongue.
Overall, this is at least my standard for Smoked beers. I see its labeled as an American Porter on here, uh...okay, no worries, but this is more than just an American Porter and ages wonderfully.

 1,003 characters

Photo of EnemyWithin
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Appearance: Completely black opaque body with thin off white head that dissipates.

Dominated by rich smokiness with additional notes of cocoa, milk chocolate, espresso which gives a roasty sweetness.

Initially get dry roastiness and mild bitterness. Smokiness is very subdued in contrast to aroma, but detectable in mid to late finish. Slight sweetness sweeps across palate near mid taste. Lingering slight dryness with mild citrus/ pine of hops.

On point for a porter, without any real thickness to suggest its a stout (which it isn't). Mild to moderate carbonation. Offer a somewhat mild palate-refreshing finish.

Solid offering appropriately stating with in the realm of a porter. Smokiness is extremely well done and offer excellent aroma. Would pair well with food.

 829 characters

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

Serving: 32 oz growler filled at Whole Foods Montrose, poured into a stemmed pilsner (beer tulip) glass.

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with a cap of tan, foamy head. A fringe of foam remains with modest lacing.

Smell: Dark, roasted malts and plenty of earthy wood smoke with burnt sugar sweetness.

Taste: Smoke and roasted malt follow from the nose along with some caramel. Earthy hop bitterness provides a dry, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with medium body and carbonation.

Overall: Big flavors and very well integrated smoke; very drinkable.

Follow Up (07-Jan-17): Served from 22 oz bottle (stamped "10/06/14"), poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter. Very deep, dark brown with a nice head of dark tan foam building as it pours (even after open a day). Deep aromas of roasted, salty, smoky malt. Dark fruit and burnt caramel flavors open with alder smoke from the nose taking over. Creamy, smooth and medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated.

 963 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter a couple weeks ago for $7.99 at The Lager Mill. I like smoked beers and I've been wanting to try this one for awhile and I'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it has a nice design to it and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a little over two fingers worth of bubbly light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of spotty and patchy lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the smoke being the first to show up and it imparts a bonfire smoke like aroma that's on the higher side and it's the aroma that sticks out the most in this beer. Up next comes a nice dark chocolate like aroma that leads into a somewhat lighter amount of coffee with some roasted and slightly charred malts also showing up. This beer had a good aroma, it's pretty much what I would expect from a smoked Porter.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the smoke still being the first to show up and it imparts that same bonfire smoke like aspect with just a slight smoked meat like flavor also coming through. Up next comes just a slight amount of doughy yeast that leads right into the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the chocolate and roasted malts sticking out the most. On the finish there's pretty much no bitterness with a nice chocolate, roasted malt and pretty smokey aftertaste. This was a very nice tasting beer, the taste was true to style and very similar to the aroma.

M- Smooth, fairly crisp, a little creamy, just a little dry on finish, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel that worked well with it, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and i thought it was a very nice example of the style, it had just about everything that I look for in the style and while it was pretty heavy on the smoke it never became too much for me to handle and it still retained some nice drinkability, it was smooth, fairly crisp, a little creamy, just a little dry on the finish, not too filling and the taste did a nice job of holding my attention, one glass is a good amount for me, but if it was just me I think I could take out the whole bomber without it starting to wear on me and I think it makes for a good Winter seasonal. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was, it was just what i expect from the style and no aspect seemed out of place. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I disliked or would change. I would buy this beer again, especially if I'm in the mood for a smoked dark beer and i would recommend it to anyone who likes the style, if you like Smoked beers this is pretty much a must try. All in all I was happy with this beer and just a little impressive, I see why this is one of the most popular American Smoked beers, it just does a good job of delivering the smoke with a nice Porter showing up in the background. So far this is my new favorite beer From this brewery and i think it's one of the best Smoked Porters I've had. Good job guys, this was one tasty Smoked Porter, keep up the hard work.

 3,562 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Had on tap at Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis
Smokey aromas over light roast, chocolate.
Palate the smoke flavors are not heavy handed - they work well with the porter dark malts and do interesting things with some of the chocolate, caramel and vanilla flavors.
Medium full body, medium to medium low carbonation.

 311 characters

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.

 1,082 characters

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

2004 Vintage.

Amazingly the smokiness is still very much present, although unfortunately most of the porter flavours have perished so it ends up tasting watery. Quite the opportunity though, to try this old a vintage.

 218 characters

Photo of Benish
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Bottle, poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: black licorice in color. Half inch rich brown head upon aggressive pouring but dissipated quickly. No lacings around the glass.

Smell: smells like BBQ or liquid smoke! Subtle though, not intense. My non-beer drinking wife thought it smelled like smoked meat or cheese. Once again it's not overpowering. It really balances well with the porter.

Taste: upon first sip I couldn't really taste the smoke. But at second sip and third it slowly came in. It's not intense or overpowering. The beer has a slightly burnt or charred taste at the finish and lingers around. There's also a touch of sweetness balancing out the smokiness. It's kind of like coffee with smoke added. Aside from the smokiness, the porter is well-rounded.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, silky and smooth. After each sip, the smoke lingers around in the mouth.

Overall: very impressed. This is the second smoked beer I tried, the first was Epic Smoked Porter. Hands off this was far better than Epic (the Epic smoked porter was still outstanding!) The smoke is more assertive yet not overpowering.

 1,119 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-smoke, dark malt, caramel, chocolate, hint of coffee

T-chocolate, dark roasted malt, coffee, smoky, light molasses, hint of char, very well-balanced

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-really nice blend of flavors and easy drinking. Enjoyed savoring this one

 351 characters

Photo of mpipe
4.99/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. black with a nice head with retention.

Smell: Smoke, caramel, coffee, chocolate nirvana.

Taste: Delivers amazing balance of smooth smoke with an amazing finish. I am in love with the smoked flavor. Doesn't over power like some. So well balanced.

Drinkability: This beer is my go to for the love of beer. If you don't like porters, or smoked beer stay away. if you like smoked porters, this is the one. Stone is close, but not as good.

 475 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, 2013 release, dated on label 09/10/13. Picked up in WI by a friend on vacation. I was super stoked to try this, as I've wanted to for years!
L - tall, creamy tan head sits atop a blackened ale, head retention is good, leaving some lacing as it fades
S - huge smoked aroma - reminds me of smoked salmon. Roasted barley, chocolate, grain, caramel present as well
T - heavy smoked malt, biscuity, caramel, toasty, spicy earthy hops provide nice moderate bitterness and perfect balance
F - full body, creamy and smooth, pleasant carbonation, finishes semi-dry and spicy
O - finally got to try it and it delivered. I have an affinity towards smoked beers, and this is top notch. I'll definitely buy this if I ever see it again.

 736 characters

Photo of utfiero
1.75/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Color- Valdez oil spill. Medium head that's chocolate milk colored.

Aroma- smoke, smoke, smoke. You'd have to be a smoked beer lover to enjoy this unusual brew. Too smokey for us. Reminds us of licking the inside of a Weber BBQ grill that had a ton of liquid smoke poured into it. No balance, just smoke.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted March 2013.

 433 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a bottle from the 2011 bottling. I worried that I had let this one cellar too long, but I was gladly mistaken. It pours with a black color and a thin, fizzy, light brown head. The aroma lets you know that it is a solid porter at its base, as there is a dark, roasty, bready sweetness, and the smoke adds a wonderful complexity rather than masking everything else. The flavor is so wonderfully meaty, with the smoked malts being much more assertive, although the smoke still doesn't overpower the sweet and roasty characteristics of the porter. Medium bodied and having a light carbonation, the texture supports the flavors nicely. Overall, I'm a fan of smoked beers and I'm a fan of porters, and this blends the two well.

 729 characters

Photo of shamrock1343
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I received a 2012 and 2013 as a trade. I remember this beer from the mini GABF in Baltimore in 1998/9.

It is dark in color with a nice head. A great smokey charcoal taste. It is smooth with a bitter finish. It is one of the best smoked porters I have had. I compare all smoked porters to this one.

 299 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 edition.

Black color with some ruby red highlights. Thick creamy beige head.

Smoked wood, some charcoal, sweet roasted malts, dark chocolate.

Smoked wood from start to finish, rich, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, a little charcoal. Bitter finish, very smooth. Body is full, creamy, silky, smooth.

It's an outstanding smoked porter.

 395 characters

Photo of tmzl
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours with huge, thick, mostly very fine bubbles (some big ones in the middle), head. Good, slow, sticky retention (big bubbles breakdown principle). Leaves a thin, creamy top layer and fair amount of lacing. Dark brown with strong amber hue, can't see through but seems relatively clear.

Smell: Smoked, first associations were of light pork meat but combined with salty notes it creates a raw smoked salmon smell - fantastic. Also some light fruity notes, watermelon and little sweet tomatoes. Porter backbone is present, but light - milk chocolate warmth. It's very clean.

Taste: Light sweet middle, some hints of chocolate, caramel, dates, coffee. Very light sour and mineral notes. All builds up and goes to very clear, clean medium bitterness, mostly ash smoke with a bit of roast. Very smooth, light porter milkiness with light hop presence at the end too.

Mouthfeel: Medium, medium heavy body feel, silky, smooth - very good. Fills the mouth completely.

Overall: It's very clean, the salmon smoke character is very unique and outstanding, porter backbone is barely noticeable. A very interesting example of the style and good representation that the smoke can do some unique and superb shit.

 1,209 characters

Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled September 2013. Thanks to cbutova for sharing this one, always have wanted to try it.

Appearance - Very very dark red, nearly black. Beige head transforms to a ring eventually, slight lace left.

Smell - Big ol' peppery-salty-meat scents with cocoa, roast, and vanilla sweetness. Pretty much a rauchbier-level smoke takeover going on, but the porter base is noticeable.

Taste - The taste is a bit less smoky and more balanced. Grains, roast, some chocolate and vanilla, light hop bitterness. Smoke has a unique woody salty meat thing going on, can't help but think of Alaskan salmon.

Mouthfeel - Little high on the carbonation, definitely some extra foaminess, but the mouthfeel was fine overall. A little bit of a sipper for me.

Overall - Great smoked porter, AK goodness. I wish the porter base showed through a bit more but quite good as is.

 857 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

smoked essence, not as robust as a German rauch, but smooth and mellow. Burnt toast and campfire come through in the nose, coffee and chocolate in the taste. Nice. Sampled 2010, 2011. Cellared: 2013, 2014, 2015

 210 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally getting to try this beer for the first time. I always like the sound of it for about four years now, got one in CA and time to give it a go. 2013 vintage.

A- Black bodied pour from the bomber into two pint glasses. A cap forms atop the brew with a beige, light tan hue. The head reaches two fingers with a creamy texture and has decent retention. Eventually a frothy ring leaves nice webs of thick lace and spotty patches beyond the top.

S- Smoke is intense here and reminds me of the smoky Black beers of Germany. The porter base comes through a bit but is pale in comparison to the nice meaty smoked malts. Not all that campfire-esque but more smooth than that. Some sweet roast cocoa and caramel malts as well.

T- The Porter base and the smoke really come together here as compared to the nose. Malts are the star in this beer between the smoke and the roast. Rich dark cocoa powder, toasted nuts, toffee and caramel. Obviously a good deal of smooth meaty smoke. Some hops in the back end with earthy, citrus and floral hints. Some dark fruity yeast notes.

MF- Moderately thick oily body with an overall texture somewhere between creamy and foamy. Carbonation comes in at a medium, silky level and supports the rich malts.

Heavily smoked malty without being too in your face or abrasive. A rich, deep dark cocoa feel balances the smoke out nicely with some hints of yeast and hops on the back end. Certainly something I would pick up again when on the West coast.

 1,479 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2011 bottling poured into a Maudite snifter. The beer is very dark, arguably black, admits no light that I can see, and sports a rocky brown head. The nose has distinct smokey notes, but the smoke is not terribly potent. Underneath the smoke are some nice roasty notes and a rich malty vanilla-like sweetness.

Medium body with a nice porter flavor of roast and malt accented by a lovely smokiness. Up front you get sweet malt and sarsaparilla flavors, then at mid palate roasty notes and smoke come in. The smoke is well-balanced by the other flavors and does not dominate. A little roast and smoke linger on the finish. The beer is much easier-drinking than I thought it would be.

I traded for this beer a while ago and forgot I had it. I probably waited just a bit too long to crack it open, but I think it held up pretty well. Generally, I don't go for smoked beers, but this one is very nicely done. The smoke is subtle and a bit player, not the star of the show. I would prefer if the sweet flavors were a little more aggressive, and I find the feel to be a bit thin, but it's still a really nice beer.

 1,109 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.