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Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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964 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: 964 | Ratings: 1,978
Photo of DogFood11
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown to black with an tan head that falls to a thin cover and partial lacing. Fine carbonation.

Obviously there is a pretty large segment of smoked aroma, It's not as if your next to a bonfire though, more like some wet cedar used to smoke a chinook salmon. Subtle but robust enough to make you crave it. Malts were very evident and gave it a creamy smooth mouthfeel.

I think the best thing about this beer is they didn't overdo it. A well crafted porter with a solid smoked center.
Price per quality? ehhhh its good but c'mon.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark oily brown, with a tan-brown head that sticks around only long enough to proclaim its beauty. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma includes smoky, chocolaty, coffee tones that are very pleasant . A slight sweetness in the aroma, not much, but just there to tease.

The flavor is also smoky, rich, full of roasted malt goodness. This is a complex beer.

Mouthfeel is very full and tells you that this is a very good beer. It's the best part fo the beer.

Overall, this style isn't my favorite, and so I'm trying to review on the style. Based on that, this beer is definetely a winner, even though I'm not likely to spend a lot of time with this beer. But I appreciate what it is, and that is good.

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Photo of waldowin
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall 22oz bottle, labeled "2005"

Pours a dark, dark roasted brown. Black in the glass, very faint ruby highlights at the edges when held to a light. Dark brown head forms quickly and clumpily, and fades in a few minutes to nothing.

Smells of dark malts, bananas, smoke, roasts, and anise. Would actually be a good smell for a barbeque, almost. Thick and earthy smell.

Taste is complex. Starts with raisins and dark malts, fades to cherries, bananas, and roasts, and finishes with a slight aftertaste of heavy roast. Smoke is pressent throughout. Definitely the best brew I've had from Alaskan.

Mouthfeel is huge. Thick, chunky, and lightly carbonated. You could chew on this stuff.

Very tasty, not too filling, and not too rich. If it were available regularly, it'd replace Black Butte as my daily drinker, even with the higher price tag.

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

This beer pours a very dark brown with a light brown head. The head fades quickly leaving a thin layer of foam and a good lacing. It smells smokey. It also smells like wood. The first time I had this beer I thought was like a campfire. I still think it smells like that. Not much hop aroma. I can detect a roasted malty aroma, but just slightly. This beer tastes strongly like smoked wood. Almost like I have a fire log in my mouth. Only not quite so strange, or gross. Behind the smokey wood flavor, I detect some maltyness. As with the aroma, I dont taste much in the way of hops. This beer has a bold aggressive smokey flavor. It is full bodies. It leaves a woody, smokey aftertaste. It is carbonated very well. This beer is very good, but I dont know if it would make a great session beer. Although the alcohol content is not too high, the aggressive flavor might not agree with a night of drinking. This beer is definately a winner. Do not pass it up.

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Photo of juzy
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Alaskan Smoked Porter
released recently

This beauty poured dark and forboding, the color of bittersweet chocolate, topped with a thin, loose, tan head.
The smells of alder wood, not overpowering though. Very gentle on the nose. A fair amount of dark-roast coffee tingling my nose "buds" .

Anticipating that first drink, I finally take it. Mmmmm. Toasty, mellow alder-smoked malts mingling with a rich coffee bitterness. Smooth and delicious.

It's a medium bodied beverage with good legs for an ABV% of 6.5

We enjoyed this with homemade Boston baked beans, bbq beef brisket, and brown bread fresh from the steamer. The molasses in the beans and bread echo and slightly intensify that same flavor in the beer. This was a great food and beer pairing and I look forward to this one again.
We also had this at Cafe Amsterdam, on tap, with a soft goat cheese, slices of French baguette, kalamatta olives and grapes. This, too, was a good match. In this case we are talking about a contrast pairing, rather than the complimenting pairing with the beans.

This beer is really quite remarkable with food.
Wicked good.

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

I don't know what else to say about this beer except that it's fantastic. I've had it on draft, and this review is based on a 2004 vintage bottle, but it doesn't really matter -- it's firkin fantastic no matter what. It is so goddman creamy and chocolaty, but then the subtle yet ever-present smoke adds a haunting depth of flavor that nothing else could provide. Add this to the fact that it's fairly well-hopped, and the balance of this beer is mind-blowing. A legend and deservedly so -- go out and try this, even if you don't think you like smoked beers.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked a 22oz. bomber of the 2005. MCAS Miramar has an ass load of em'.

Poured an opaque black, dark purple/maroon highlights. Thick froathy tan head. Nice lacing.

Sweet roasted malt scent, nice smokey aroma. Rich nutty smell.

Perfect sweetness, tastes of roasted malts and of coffee followed by a light bitterness and a great dry smoke flavor in the finish. The smoke sticks to the palate as if I were eating charcole briquets

Very drinkable, nice smoke porter.

I think I might merinade a steak in this.


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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 grindcore666
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night. A nice lookin medium tan head, doesnt live very long, but leaves nice bubbly lace.

Aroma showcases coffee, chocolate, caramel, charcoal, and butterscotch.

A thick and nicely carbonated chocolate coffee chunk. Melts ever so briskly. The finish is roasted and mildly hoppy just the way I like it. I couldnt ask for much more than this in a Porter.

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Photo of karst
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 Smoked Porter courtesy of Eagle River, Ak residents Tim and Julie. They are long time fans of this beer and think that '04 was an outstanding year. My compliments on both their judgement and careful cellaring of a great one! Thanks Juzy.

As fall reaches south from the arctic and Mid Missouri awaits its first frost, I search my glassware and select a 0.4 L Rastal Sniffer (New Belgium) for its ability to maximize aroma, show off color and its thin walled characteristics of not changing the temperature of its contents. Holding my nose close to the Gold "Made in Alaska" Polar bear sow and cub graphic I lift and sniff . . . . . . Pzzzsstt

Thus begins two hours of drinking pleasure.

Pouring clear dark brown (nearly expresso coffee black aka ) with a compact layer of dense brown sugar micro bubbles - becomming rich tan lace as I tilt to taste. I am already captured by its aromatic Alder smoke and hope that it is not fleeting. Held to the 4 pm direct sunlight, only a single Ruby glint sits on top of the stem surrounded by by darkness like the last glowing ember of a smoking midnight campfire. The globe of the glass contains the smoke of all those fires from all those Canadian canoe trips of my youth. Compared to my experiences with other smoked porters this aroma is "3 dimensional and alive" As good as Bamburg Smoked malt can be - this Aroma-Taste rises above them in this fine American Porter.

I would not call this "roasted pig over mesquite" nor "bacon or smoke ham" smoke Aroma-Taste - it is pure smoke - meatless. Just the morning campfire burnded down to black coals and a few sticks of still smoldering Alderwood that are gently fanned as the morning sun stirs the air and tries to lift the fog whisps from the lake.

What of the flavor which this wood smoke permeates?

Soft alcoholic smoke, smoked dark fruits - unsweetened prunes and black currants in a fruity bread. Never too much but always present, the smoked malts are masterfully roasted and hopped for a mellow acidity that keeps all things lightly dry and lightly bitter ending. I can not discern coffee or chocolate favors and although I don't find a cornucopia complexity - the few perfectly blended malts, hops and fruity esters dance on the palate and share dominance thereby keeping flavors changing and interesting.

A solid medium body and round mouthfeel that is full enought to hold in your mouth for ever. Carbonation stays with my 55°F pour for nearly two hours and is aroused with a swirl near the final glass sitting beside the spent bomber.

Always the triple finish - soft alcohol - smoke - and exceptional mellow acidity of heavily roasted grains and hop's alpha acids. Each lingering then fade to the next. Then you nose in to a smoke taste (matching the smoke flavor) that never overburdens the nose or tires the taste and repeat. Flavors so perfect that cleaning the palate with water would be a sin.

I was planning a side by side with 2005 O'Fallon Smoke porter. There is no need. Ak. Smokes Mo.'s finest porter in taste, aroma, mouthfeel, and by far in drinkability.

For the rest of this day and the next I reach fro the empty glass and bottle deeply inhaling - close my eyes and think about the supurb drinkability, lightly chewy mouthfeel, masterful blend of favors and . . . .

the smoke . . . . the smoke

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks erik for the sample

22oz bomber, i believe, direct from the brewery

dark and impenetrable by light. cloudy film of murk rests atop this brew. foreboding. aroma of barbecue char and encompassing malty goodness. flavor ventures into a fishy realm, mildly.. leads into the big rauch smokiness (less than a german, more than most americans) which is nicely balanced a twice-burnt sugar flavor. perfect foil for the smokiness but adds to the overall character of fire, smoke, and beer. goes down very very smooth and represents true mastery of a style. suprisingly sweet in the finish, with mild roasted nut and slight fruit left. what a spectrum of flavor.

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Photo of OldSock
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance and Presentation – 2004 22 oz bomber picked up at Plump Jack’s in San Fran while there recently. When poured into a pint glass the color is closer to a stout pitch black than the standard porter dark brown. On top is a creamy tan head that has poor retention but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell – Smoke is the main aroma but it does not completely obscure the flavor of coffee from the roasted malts. As the beer approaches room temp the alcohol also presents itself. It is definitely a strong, pungent aroma that you can smell from several feet away not unlike Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock.

Taste – Again the smoke leads the way, particularly the first few sips. After that the smoke calms down and I begin to taste the malts with their chocolate, earthiness and sweetness of the porter. In the aftertaste the beer has a bit too much astringent charcoal from the smoke and the malts. There is pretty much no hop presence and only a hint of alcohol as the beer warms, which is fine.

Mouthfeel – The mouthfeel is creamy and medium, with a slightly prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability and Notes – Easy drinking because of the interesting flavors that change as you drink. A quality smoke beer, one of the best I have had, but not without flaws, I wish I could get this around here.

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

GABF2004... Poured a nearly opaque, dark brown color with a tan head, that left light, sticky, tan lacing on the glass. Roasty, smokey meat, and cocoa in the aroma. Burnt wood, roasted and chocolate malts, and light alcohol in the finish. 2004 vintage.

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Photo of far333
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature in a 20 ounce imperial pint glass.

Dark and evenly colored, like the glass was painted black. A light brown head of tight even bubbles reaches a half inch and settles back down leaving a raised ridge of foam around the inside of the glass. Aroma is only faintly smokey, there's also cocoa and bready yeast, and some fine hops.

Flavor is unassertive, but rich. The smoke is much more understated than I expected, and seems to take a back seat to a burnt espresso initial flavor, followed by cocoa and molasses, and then a hop pucker, and only then in the finish does the smoke come out. The smoke flavor, however, is excellent - charred wood bark and a flavor reminiscent of that smell that sticks in your fleece after hanging by a campfire all night.

Mouthfeel is round and comfortable, not overly carbonated. Not as full as I would like. Drinkability is high for me because the flavor is slow and steady and doesn't try to kick your ass, so I could sip on several of these. This just begs for a cigar.

Thanks to cvschaller for sharing.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.24/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed via notes from earlier 2005. Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Dark black pour with a very large creamy head. Lacing was nice as well.

Smell- Not the strong smoke scent I was expecting. A bit of smoke with a bit of coffee and dark chocolate as well.

Taste- Strong burnt malt flavor as well as a woody smoke taste. Chocolate fills in the remainder of taste. Was expecing bacon and got wood, which was much easier to tolerate. Not salty like most true rauchbiers.

Mouthfeel- Pretty creamy and lower in carbonation. Thicker feeling mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Not bad, in fact great for a rauchbier. Still not my style of brew. This is probably my last review of a rauchbier. This is one thing that I'm not going to regret. Nice to end on one that didn't make me gag.

***Version 2008

Much more smoky in flavor. Lots of wood smoke flavor as well as meaty flavor. Much more like a Rauchbier this time around. Still not my favorite style, but I can appreciate that this one is pretty good.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition

Pours a deep, dark brown hue with a medium tan head that is retained throughout.
Aroma of fresh bog peat as well as coffee and some chocolate, as earthy as any beer I've had the privilege to stimulate my olfactory nerves with.
Flavors of roasted coffee and chocolate seem to find a way to get past the earthy peat to really provide a well-balanced smoked profile. Definitely not overdone like some many smoked beers.
Mouthfeel on the thcik end of the Porter scale, not quite Imperial materila but thicker than your average in the style.
Drinkability is enormously high. This is a beer connoiseurs delight and really is an awesome beer paired with some smoked meat.

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Photo of MrBen
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This stuff is fantastic. I took on a bottle of the 2004 vintage on July 1, 2005. This is a void in deep space black. Not too bubbly, which really enhanced the mouthfeel and drinkability. Wonderful smokey taste, touch of bitterness, just overall fantastic beer. This went really, REALLY well with BBQ hamburgers. The smoked porter is now a regular for the cookout season. Give it a try.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolute black hole of a body, topped by dark tan tight foam which went from the "bubble" to above the rim of my British Pint glass.

As you might expect, a smokey aroma dominated, part countryside fireplace, with a hint of slow cooked true bar-b-q. Slightest tickle of hops darts around the edges.

A rich, thick coffee malt begins, and carrys on for some time, before finally giving way to a mix of earthy hops and smoke for the big finish.

Mouthfeel is simply wonderful: thick, rich, slightly oily, just covers the mouth with a thick coat.

Drinkability is excellent - not so smokey as to be an impairment.

A wonderful beer, an American classic.

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

Wonderful smoked aroma. Thick, black body with a tan head. A rush of dark, smokey, roasted flavours. Full of coffee and bitter chocolate. Some dark fruit flavours, a hint of sourness. Bitter and satisfying end. Thick, wonderful mouthfeel and IMO extremely drinkable. One of my all time favourite porters.

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Photo of Crotor
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Impenetrable black with ample, dimpled, lingering tan head. Excellent lacing.

Aroma is clean roasted malts, a bit of dark caramel, and a hint of smoke twinge.

The smoke in the flavor is much stronger than I'd expected based on the smell. Relatively dry behind the roasted malts, though the smoke astringency and roastiness may up the impression of dryness. At this age (8 months) the smoke has receeded some, but not enough to allow for more of the malt subtlety to be noticed. Better when younger and older than this, IMO.

Mouthfeel is a bit weaker than I'd like, on the low end for American porters. Not out of style, but I'd think a bigger body would compliment the smokiness a little better...

Pretty much the definative smoked porter IMO (haven't had a chance to try Rogue Smoke, however), and one of my annualy anticipated beers.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2004 edition in a 22 oz bomber. Thick, creamy, tan head tat thins to about 1 cm on top of the brew leaving a sticky lacing along the side of the glass. Dark black colored liquid with no light coming through.

Smell: Roasty, chocolate, vinous scents. Earthy with some burnt toast and bark scents.

Taste: Strong dark chocolatey taste up front with a sweet maltiness. Sourness along with a bit of roasty character. Some hoppiness near the end. Mild, watery fruitiness makes an appearance near the end. Toast, saltine crackers, and syrupy sweetness as well. Woody flavor near the end. Not any distinct smoke flavors that I can discern. The aftertaste is a bit sticky and syrupy too with a light toast flavor and satisfying biscuity malt taste.

Mouthfeel: Clean with a slightly stickiness in the aftertaste. Medium to heavy body. Not too thick where it would be confused with a stout. In this respect it is very well done to the style.

Drinkability: Very well done beer to style. Subtle sweetness controls some of the bolder flavors. Also the alcohol is well hidden. This beer does not have the flavor to hide more alcohol, so they've done well by not making a really big beer.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to timmcd64 for getting me the 2004 edition of this brew.

Appearance: A light brown head that quickly dissipates into a thin lace. The beer pours thick and oily. The color is pretty much black and is entirely opaque.

Aroma: Fairly roasty with some fruity maltiness as well. A bit of woody aroma too.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor is dominated by an intense smokiness, a roastiness that is incredibly complex: there are flavors of toasty oak, bitter burnt coffee, etc – suffice it to say this beer is roasty, toasty, and even burnt. Some of the other flavors include chocolate, definitely some molasses, and I swear there is some fruitiness to this brew, but because of the eclipsing smokiness its hard to pick out (my guess though, black cherry, but maybe something else, too). The finish is, of course, quite roasty. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, but with comparably subtle carbonation.

Man, the folks at Alaskan Brewing Co. were not fooling around when they called this one a SMOKED Porter; the smoked character of this beer is pretty impressive. But, more generally, the beer is great all around: rich, thick, and very flavorful. Also, it’s surprisingly drinkable for a beer this rich and smokey. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this beer and every word of it was true. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of Gavage
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2004.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown / almost black in color with a nice 1" tan head.

Smell: the aroma is of long roasted coffee.

Taste: the flavor can only be described as superb for a smoked brew. Chocolate, coffee, molasses, with a mild bitterness and just the right amount of smokiness. Perfect brew for BBQ.

Mouthfeel: smooth. This is a medium / heavy bodied brew.

Drinkability: This is a great smoked porter that has a soft and enjoyable smokiness.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a pint bottle, 2003 Vintage.

This is a HUGE smoked brew, absolutely stunning!

I've had a smoked beer or three and this one far and away nails the smoke flavor the best, it really carries through the other flavors and becomes a real feature and asset rather than an afterthought or a distraction as some smoked brews do. Pours a dark, dark brown, nearly black with a light brown head that just a bit of retention living a slight thin head throughout. Nose is spot on, smoke, smoke, smoke, char, smoke. This thing reminds me of a barbeque! I had some deer meat sticks with this one and it worked out wonderfully. Taste is again, heavy on the smoke, with the typical porter characteristics taking an important, yet supporting role. Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied for a porter. Finish is nicely smoky but the char takes a bit more prevalence which is a nice little change at the end.

Very nice beer, if you want to try a smoke beer, this would be the one. Nicely done.

Many, many thanks to Skyhand for providing me this opportunity, you're the best!


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Photo of BCMan
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The elusive Alaskan Smoked Porter! I first heard about this beer in the Battle of the Beer competition when it dominated it a few years ago. I actually got this beer from a friend in my beer club that actually drove it back from California.
It poured up very dark. No light is getting through. A big foamy, tan head formed but faded fast. The nose has a very slight hint of smoke and more mocha and coffee. The flavor is dry and a lot like a roasted coffee. Reminds me of putting a hot chocolate packet into my morning cup of java. The mouthfeel is a bit this but not bad. It grows more smooth as it warms. Flavor really lingers on the pallet long after swallowing.
I think this beer is every bit as good as I expected it to be. The flavor is good and strong and very memorable. A pleasant surprise after some of the other smoke beers I've tasted and heard about. My only regret about this beer is that I don't live on the West Coast where it's readily available seasonally. I'd definetly reccommend it.

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,978 ratings.
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