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Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
964 Reviews
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
Reviews:
964
Ratings:
1,978
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
15.55%
 
 
Wants:
344
Gots:
425
For Trade:
23
User Reviews
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Reviews: 964 | Ratings: 1,978
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.

 665 characters

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!

Slàinte!

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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.

 1,007 characters

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

form the bottle.to start off I am not a big fan of smoke beers. but this on was pretty good. poured dark brown to blac with a light tan head. aroma, smoke, malts, dark cheeries, dark chocolates as it warms. flavor, light smoke, malts, molasses, and a hint of apples. not to bad

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Photo of nvsblman
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, opaque brown with no head to speak of. Just a touch of white as I'm pouring. The aroma is full of smoked malt. Smells of bbq and peat come through. Tons of great smokiness in the flavor that lingers on the tongue. Hints of chocolate and coffee too. This would be great with a nice slow roasted or smoked pork. This is a very smooth beer. The mouthfeel is velvety and creamy. Wouldn't mind just a touch more carbonation. This is very tasty, it's hard keeping my hand off of the bottles I have left!

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Photo of Skidz
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003 edition. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for tossing me a sample of his favorite. Going to take this slow....

Pours out dark, crimson tinted brown and sits a bleak mahagony in the glass with a small dark tan head. Fades fairly quickly to the sides and leaves a few stray lacings around the glass.

Smells deeply roasty with thick malty sweetness in every corner. Molten chocolate peers out from inside along with a minor hint of coffee. Smokiness provides a rich, toasty wooden aroma with nice oily character. Wonderfully mellow, absolutely mouth-watering.

Tastes lightly sweet up front, chocolate infused roast character in the front. Smokey flavors come in slowly, melding together a rich wooden flavor with full-on roasty malts. Minor hints of apples and dates. Smooth hop bitterness lends little flavor, but eases out into the finish as smokiness subsides and leaves a light oily residue.

Superior smoothness, creamy and gooey. Mild carbonation, easy to handle works hand-in-hand with the full body.

Excellent porter, wonderful smoked beer. Smokiness is well managed, with good presence, almost perfectly balanced with the maltiness. Killer nose, I could enjoy this beer without even taking a sip, but that would be depriving myself of greater joys. Savor this one...

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a very heavy brown with a nice, creamy brown head.

Smell: It smells almost exactly like the Aecht Shlenkia Rauchbier Urbock (I probably spelled that wrong), only a tiny bit less of a barbecue smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste also has an incredible rauchbier quality to it, but isn't as strong. The smoked flavor is mellowed out by a nice amount of chocolate and coffee notes. The afterflavor kicks the smokiness into high gear, and lingers there for quite some time. The mouthfeel is superbly rich and creamy.

Drinkbaility and Overall: Not a bad porter, but I think it may be a little over-hyped. The rauchbier feel to it kinda dampens the fun of a porter. It's still tasty, and one that's worth trying, but not one I'd drink all the time.

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

Purple buh-lack no lite see through pour with a buh-rown brown head cap.

Excellent nose of smoked salmon, hickory and even a BBQ steak thrown in.

First swigs: Totally smoked flavors. There is a BBQ in my glass. Also, interesting that this is a porter without the usual smoke and roast aspects.

Mouthfeel is a bit buttery and oily, but not cloying.

Drinkability is quite easy, but too specific to be an all nighter.

Last swigs: Like a smoked gouda chedder cheese. One word: Hickory. Special thanks to BA PopeDX for the bottle split.

*** 2005 Review ***

Glints of purple through the bottom of a dim brom buh-lack.

Aroma is where this beer comes alive. A delicious smokey turkey aroma.

First swigs: Smokey turkey and cola. Memory serves a more lingering meaty smoked rauch character. Initial smoke character hits a cola induced brick wall.

Feel: Overly crisp. Medium feel with a dry lingering ovetone. Did my tastebuds evolve or did this beer become more like a soda? Miniscule point: ABV is 6.5%.

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Photo of beercollector
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers made. This is a great beer to lay down. On the Beer Cruise stop in Juneau, Alaskan provided tastes of a mid 1990's brew. It was so smooth and such a flavor.

Tonight, I'm drinking the 2004 for dessert.

It pours deep chocolate brown. No light gets through the glass. A deep head that falls to Belgian Lace. It stays fairly dense on the top for a while.

You can barely smell the smoke. Mostly malt.

A rich deep almost chocolate taste gives way to a light smoke malty flavor. This is followed by a slight bitterness.

Thick creamy mouthfeel that coats the tongue. This stays with you in a creamy after taste of smoke.

This is wonderful beer to finish the day. The beer should be served towar the warm side of cellar temperature. This brings out all of the character. Now that it is in 22 oz. bottles one is plenty. Slow sips to savor the deep flavor.

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

As long as you enjoy a little smoke taste in your beer, this is one of the best beers available to us mortals. However, I say that with one stipulation. This beer does not come from the brewery in its ideal state. With a solid 2-3 years of cellar time this beer evolves into one of the most pleasurable drinking experiences one might aspire to enjoy.

This one drains from the bottle a deep brown charcoal color that allows little light to penetrate with the exception of a ruby hint on the meniscus. A light chocolate brown head forms when pored, but quickly dissipates into a delicate lacing on the glass sides leaving the deep hue of the porter staring back at you.

From here on aging is everything. A freshly opened vintage will be too much for all but true rauchbier fans. However, with age this beer will mature from an elementary student to the wisdom of an elder cleric…metaphorically speaking of course.

With age the alder smoke character mellows and the porter flavors rise until they become well balanced equals. The smell is a nice mix of smoke and chocolate malt with a touch of espresso hiding in the background.

Upon taking a sip multiple things hit the palette. Smooth smoke flavors of wedded charcoal and smoked meat, malty sweetness, a slight tingle of carbonation, a note of alcohol, and finally hop bitterness creeps in to balance and dry things out. There is enough complexity to keep this one from being boring, but not so much it leaves your tongue pondering what just happened.

Mouthfeel is a little less than medium, although the smoke might trick the senses into thinking its fuller.

This is a beer one probably will only have one or two of at a time. And given the diminishing capacity of senses with inebriation it would be a shameful waste to dowse the impaired tongue when it cannot appreciate the greatness that has befallen it. Long story short, drinkability is outstanding.

I buy a case every year and rotate the stock. I recommend everyone keep enough of this one in their beer collection to allow tastings at various times.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to BA cmaruschak for the chance to sample this west coast goodie.

Appearance: midnight black with a foamy and fluffy tan head.

Smell: Smoky, woody, light yeast, and a charcoal prominence that's hard to get away from.

Taste: Very earthy, smoky, and oaky. A strong smoke flavor predominates the whole experience. Dry cocoa and a brush of alcohol towards the end but the charcola dominates all.

Mouthfeel: full bodied and thick. This has a lot of character but the smoky aftertaste is a little rough for me.

Drinkability: suffers for me just b/c I can't handle the smoky presence.

I felt the same way about this one as I did the Stone Smoked Porter. They both taste like finely crafted beer but it's just a style that doesn't work for me.

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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 lackenhauser
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with no head but when held to the light and tilted towards the mouth theres a decent carbonation level visable. Slight smoke aroma-almost a sweet black currant smell. Big malt flavor upfront with a healthy touch of smokiness. Great inky/oily flavor. Theres a well rounded softness to the whole thing-very well balanced. Great body-well suited to the overall flavor and feel of the beer. A very drinkable and enjoyable beer. I think the smokiness might get to be too much after several beers but thats just my opinion. Thanks a million to skyhand for the awesome trade. I had major doubts about ever being able to try this beer. Ive heard about it for many years.

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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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