Alaskan Smoked Porter | Alaskan Brewing Co.

969 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: 969 | Ratings: 1,995
Photo of shapudding
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 edition

Dark and chocolatey rootbeer brown with a thick and creamy khaki/chocolate head that left too quickly, leaving only a ring. Nice dark smokey scents, not too intensely smokey-no campfire going on here. Very creamy feel, but not heavy, medium bodied. Good porter, but kinda seems more like a stout... Burnt toast, dark coffee, roasty yumminess. Good and easy drinker. Enjoyed this one!
Thanks Pope!!!

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Photo of bignick
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 edition

This is a beer that I have been waiting for a long time to try. There are many great things about this beer. It looks delicous sitting in my Alaskan Brewing Comapny pint glass. The nearly black body and brown head are just begging for me to stop admiring the beer and start drinking it. This is my first smoked porter, and I have nothing to compare the beer to, so many of my descriptions may be of the smoked porter style instead of this beer itself, but I try to be objective regardless. The smell combines maltiness and a smoky smell. Malty goodness also powers the taste of the beer. The smoky taste is very clear, especially in the aftertaste. However, I cannot shake the connection I make of this beer to meat, having taated many smoked meats, and I find this slightly off-putting. The beer is also, in my mind, over-carbonated, approximately the same as soda. But, despite my criticisms and dissapointment in tasting this very hyped beer, I still feel that it is a tasty brew. It is one of those beers that is good every once in a while, but that once in a while I am perfectly cool with having several.

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Photo of redmosquito
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2003 Edition. Opaque black/brown with a brown sugar colored head. Great wet campfire aroma, mixed with chocolate notes. Malt dominates this beer and the smoke isn't overdone. Hops are in the background, there is some bitternese, but flavor and aroma are not notable. Smooth and very drinkable, I really enjoyed this.

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

Appearance: Deep opaque mahogany brown color with a tan scattering of foam islands. The lacing is quite thick and broken.

Aroma: Spicy smoke aroma with prominent dark fruits, caramel, a distinctly earthy note and a hint of brine.

Taste: Deep caramel and rich roasty malt notes with strong coffee undertones. The alderwood lends a smoky, spicy sweetness that reminds me of mesquite. Finishes with warming alcohol and a slight metallic flavor.

Mouth feel: Smooth, full, rich, and creamy, with rather soft carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A legend among beer connoseurs, and as I see it, rightfully so. A beer that is likely to exceed all but the most unreasonable expectations. Thanks to BA Hardtarget for sharing this superb beer.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it lives up to the expectations. Cellared this for over a year, the smell is strong of grilled fish and roasted bread. Hints of mocha/coffee. Pours a lighter black with hints of ruby, the head is phenomenal then settles to about an inch. The taste is light crisp and refreshing, the sweet caramel and coffee is not overly powerful and a slight citrus hop is detectable and blends the two together, perfect for those rainy days. Medium bodied and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Gusler
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer after disemboguing from the 22-ounce brown bottle takes its rightful place in my glass an Atramentous color with a mastodonic tan head that is spumous in texture and the residual lace a thick coating upon the glass. Nose dominated by the bittersweet aroma of toasted grain, sweet malt at the back, crisp and fresh to the senses, with the start sweet and thick with malt, the top full and rich in its feel to the palate. Finish is masterfully acidic, the hops authoritarian in their spiciness, very dry and long lasting after taste, to me this is one of the top 5 porters in all of Beerdom, hell it might even be number one.

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

2003 vintage. 1 pint sized bottle served lightly chilled in a Guinness glass.

Appearance: Jet black with reddish brown highlights. Topped by a small dark tan head which stuck around for quite some time. The foam clung to the side of the glass, but formed no actual lacing.

Smell: At first, a pungent aroma of alder wood smoke. Gives way to very dark, charred, malty smells. The smoke is not as powerful as Rogue Smoke or Aecht Schenkerla.

Taste: Bitter roasted malts followed by a lingering smoky flavor. Mildly sweet. Again, not as smoky as other smoke/rauchbiers I've had. Stronger than Stone's Smoked Porter though.

Mouthfeel: Burly and medium in body. The subtle smoke lingers in your mouth like cigarette smoke on your clothes the day after you visit a bar, but in a good way.

Drinkability: Not as intense as Schenkerla, Cinderbock, or Rogue Smoke, but a lovely beer nonetheless. Subtly smoky. I'd never turn one of these down, but I'd choose the three I just mentioned over this.

thanks garthwaite.

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

Thanks to skyhand for the trade. 2003 Bottle: The beer is an almost opaque dark brown color with a thin light brown head. Thin and sticky lacing. The aroma of course has a strong smoked character, along with malt, soy sauce and coffee. Medium-bodied and mellow, with flavors of coffee, cocoa and malt underneath the smoke. The finish is dry and lightly bitter. I have been waiting awhile to get my hands on this beer and I was not let down.

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

Opaque deep dark brown with a quickly phasing out light brown head. Forget some chocolate over your fireplace, put some bacon to medium fire, cut a slice or 2 of smoked ham, mix it all up and take a big sniff. It’s mostly light, pretty much all about the smoke figures, but seems well done and balanced. Body is mostly light with moderate carbonation which could be less intense. Very mild acidity on the tongue, leather, herbal characteristics. This is not as good as I’d hope. Dark roasted malt, licorice, molasses, very dry coffee lingers. I must say I’m much more keen on the smoke focus in the aroma than the a little of everything on the palate where I lose the fire and woody characteristics that I love. I prefer a calumet or revenante.

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

Labeled 2000 Vintage.

Good looking black body with a small off-white head that left too quickly. The small head left little lace behind. The nose is of chocolate, coffee, and smoke - nice wood smoke as if from a meat smokehouse. Hints of some light hopping is covered by the smokiness.

The flavor impact is highly affected by the smoke character. It is the first thing you notice and the single most impressive characteristic. Along the way the coffee and chocolate make their presence known, but only as subtle partners to the lovely smoky flavor. The feel is truly porter-ish, that is, somewhat less full bodied than other styles, but good for the style. Excellent drinkability for this style.

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

Pitch Black. The head is dense, off white, thin, mostly diminishing

Vanilla, mesquite smoke, sweet malts, chocolate, coffee and cocoa in the nose. Smells like a very good porter with subtle smokiness.

There is really no better to way to describe this but to say that it is a wonderfully complex porter along with a very subtle smokiness. Roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, coffee beans and vanilla . Pleasant smokiness throughout but what I like about it is that it finishes with the porter notes and leaves the smoke behind. Very nice finish. Lingering. Great Beer.

1999 Vintage:


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

It pours a rich, dark impassable brown, just a shade short of black. Almost a finger of cocoa-brown head crops up, then right back down to mere bubbly traces.

The aroma brings the bite of dark roasted malt, which wheels in barrows of chocolate and coffee notes. A well-matched current of earthy, savory wood smoke twists itself throughout the aura.

Upone sipping, a deep roasted character of dark malt kicks things off, carrying the presence of black coffee and a distant bitter chocolate. As quickly as the palate can take note of those, a smokey pillar pushes through, bringing to mind wood, peat, and brine. The finish is carried off by a very dry and rounded, but succinct, bitterness. The flavor of a quality porter plays in melody with the cloudy smoke.

Medium bodied, it's thick enough to lubricate and coat, but slick enough to slide away before too long. There's a mild bitter glow at the finish.

Start with a damned good porter, mix in a soothing smoke presence, and you get this unique benchmark of the style. It's very simple, and that plays well with the crafty balance between the two chief elements. The smoke knocks it just a bit off center and helps to yield a wonderfully drinkable medley. I've heard a lot about this, and it's well-deserving of all the praise. So now I'll be the one talking it up.

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

when this started appearing at my local brew shop(s) in late 2003, I bought a case with the intention of laying it down for a few years to see how it developed. it didn't happen. this beer's goodness overrides my patience.

I was able to find a few more bottles here and there, and on this fine overcast Portland sunday, I decided to crack open the last remaining bottle and see what the months have done to it.

appearance is dark muddy ruby color. very little head, although I probably shouldn't have chilled it for so long. no matter. I'm savoring this glass.

the smell: I <3 the scent of smoke porters. this one is no exception. it's deep and rich and somewhat invocative of salmon for me, or perhaps that's just my imagination running wild with alaskan allegory.

taste: definitely a porter. no doubt there. it's not super salty, nor overtly sweet, nor extra tangy, nor excessively chocolaty, yet all these aspects are present, connected by a smoky tour guide.

mouthfeel: definitely the pseudo-slippery porter thing going on. by scent alone, I expect it to be heavier than it is, and it feels substantial on the tongue until swallowed, but the expected syrupy coating simply isn't there. this of course urges me to take another mouthful...

drinkability: it's meaty. it's complex. it smells great and tastes better. it would go well with cream cheese and a bagel. it isn't something I'd make a night out of drinking, simply due to the attention and respect it deserves. that being said, I have enjoyed a pint or two in a sitting as a seasonal treat.

in my experience, the smoke character tends to vary with time. my late 2003 case had an extremely pronounced smoke character, which had settled back in my early 2004 samplings. in this April 2004 sampling, the smoke is a bit more forward than my last sampling, although nowhere near the strength of my original tastings.

I eagerly look forward to 2004's alaskan smoked porter, and hope I can restrain myself enough to lay down a case for more than two months.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 vintage, no date, reviewed 04-12-2004.
Aroma: Um… duh, smoke. But, not a trash fire smoke, more of a smokehouse smoke. An intended smoke, I had visions of salmon smoking. Once I got used to the smoke, I got slight hints of deep roasted malt and a whiff of hop.
Appearance: Black as night. It had the slightest hint of ruby edges with direct backlighting. It had a tiny collar of tan head, even with a rough pour; just wouldn’t hold a head, or lace.
Flavor: Not to insult you gentle reader but … smoky. Seriously, while the smoke plays a major role, it’s just a ribbon through a wonderful porter. A well-balanced, slightly sweet roasted malt flavor holds the smoke in check. As I work my way through the bottle, the sweetness increased a bit as well as an espresso flavor and a bittersweet chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Very silky. It has such a wonderfully rich mouthfeel, round and soft. Creamy and dreamy
Overall Impression: Not a porter fan, not really into the smoked beers, but this one pulls it all together. It’s a combination in the “peanut butter and chocolate” range. From this day on, when I review porters I’ll have to stop myself from saying “not smoky enough”. Massively drinkable, I’m going to have to find a way to get a case or three. Strongly recommended.

1998 vintage, sampled 3-19-05 at the technical presentation of the Bluebonnet Brewoff; samples provided by Geoffrey Larson

Appearance: Black glass, slightly tan small head.
Aroma: Smoke reminiscent of salmon, which Geoff explains as “flavor association”, not the inclusion of fish in his beer.
Taste: Although Geoff presented the beers in oldest to youngest fashion to show how the smoke faded, I found this year to be the smokiest. Geoff explained that you grow accustomed to smoke very quickly, but I still got the most in this year even comparing side by side with younger vintages. There was a slight papery or woody characteristic I associated with aging, but it was mild and the flavor melded well with the beer.
Mouthfeel: So smooth with a short lived mouth coat.
Overall: *Homer drool*

2002 vintage, sampled 3-19-05 at the technical presentation of the Bluebonnet Brewoff; samples provided by Geoffrey Larson

Appearance: Same, longer lasting head
Aroma: Less smoke, more hops, a slight maple syrup flavor as well.
Taste: Little sweeter, a little lighter? Slight citric hop taste

2004 vintage, sampled 3-19-05 at the technical presentation of the Bluebonnet Brewoff; samples provided by Geoffrey Larson

Aroma: More grapefruit aroma
Taste: A touch more bitter, hops are still fairly fresh.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a rich dark black pint. There's not much head or lace, which is just the way I like my porters.

The taste is of simple dark porter with smoke highlights. The smokey flavor is more well-balanced than the other smoked porters I've tried. It feels very nice in the mouth and goes down smooth and easy. There's substantial flavor in there, but it's still very smooth.

Simply fantastic.

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

As Alexgash mentioned, on-tap at Marcellar's in Idaho Falls. What a great beer store/bar. "Do you have any AK smoked porter." Only on tap was their reply. Anyway, a smoke tinged black color with a nice light tan head. Mild smokey aromas made their way from the chalice but were matched by rich coffee and chocolate/vanilla malt aromas. Taste was full and smooth with great porter characteristics and a mild sweetness. The smoke comes through at the end and adds a brilliant complexity and fantastic campfire flavor. Great drinkability. A beer worthy of its hype.

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

On our way up to the Tetons, chaduvel and I were lucky enough to find this rare gem ON TAP at Marcellar's in Idaho Falls. What luck! Served in a Kasteel, wide tulip glass, the body was a beautiful smoky black with an ashy light tan head. I let it warm up a little bit, and smells of campfire, roasted amaretto coffee, some bitterness and more meaty smokiness came forth. Taste started with sweet, smoky malts, with light fruitiness lurking. Moved to light roastiness as it went down the hatch and finished dry and roasty. Velvety smooth and quite drinkable. Not as smoky as Stone's SP, but just as good, if not better.

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

2002 vintage (2 years old)

In a snifter or tulip, this beer pours a deep brown with a khaki, bubbly head. Has great lattice stain from lace made up of thin, tiny sheen. Just looked nice to me, ya know?

Smelled of a sweet dark smoke and sweet malts. Nice enough but not too much depth.

Tastes of chewy dark and roast malts with an undertone of some sweet-ish smoke. Shows a subdued fruitiness just bubbling beneath the main action, that being the complex roast flavors ranging all over the palette. Opens to notes of snappy underripe dates and a woody "red" tone to the whole body. Mouth-smacking dry finish, long and complex with notes of fruity bitterness, grassy hops, and bitter chocolate. All supported by a moderate-thin mouthfeel.

A complex and full plate of flavors, indeed. Fun and impressive, but I think it could use just one or two more years of aging, and then I'll be singing holy praises. Even still, a good smoked porter.

BIG thanks to weefishheads for the help on this bottle, and a 2003 I'll coddle with selfish glee.

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Photo of ark57
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 - It is a beautiful black with ruby highlights. the aroma has a good smokiness to it with some dark fruits. The fruitiness is evident in the taste with notes of raisin and plum and some bitter chocolate that finally explodes into smokiness. A real fine smoked beer. It is mellow despite the smokiness and stands up well to a fine cigar.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok this is the 2003 version..comes in apint bottle with the caribou silloutted against an artic sundown.
Very very dark mahogany brown beer, almost on the verge of black, nice yet small tan head,,that goes fast to leave good lacing.
Well the aroma is pretty "sharp" you can certainlly make out some of the smokiness..its like a good smoked ham.
Mmmm this is a lovelly tasting beer IF you like Smoked stuff..I do..its niceand lightly ( compared to the Bamberg stuff) smoked in can certainly taste the woodiness..this has a rather dry finish, yet at the same time its sweet,Nice malts make a show,,thouigh its dominated by the smoke.
Very well done on the palte smooth despite the smokey acridness.
Nice drinking Smoked beer..very good.

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

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin dark brown head. The aroma is great! It boasts of black and roasted malts, but mostly of smoked wood. The taste is also great! It has a rich, dark, smokey flavor that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer is really good. I love the smokey flavor; something rare in beers. It works well with the stout style. It goes down smooth; a real good beer.

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

This isn't the best smoked porter that I have had, but it sure is pretty damn close. I love the smoked meat smell and taste of the beer. It's strong enough for you to recognize that it is there, but it's not too overwhelming. It's a little bit hoppy in the end, but that's still ok, cause the overall taste is pretty good. This was better than I expected it to be, and much more. If you have a shot at it, drink it! Now I need to find one for ageing!

Like to thank AKSmokedPorter for the hook up! Thanks a lot bro!

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

2003 edition.

Very dark brown beer that borders on black. Topped by a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is definitely smoky, but with nice amounts of roasted malt character and a bit of sweetness as well. Flavor also has a really nice smokiness to it. This is no subtle smoke like some beers. This one is smoked-salami smoky. There's also a bit of chocolate flavor and a touch of sweetness in there, then a good dose of bitterness on the finish. The flavors trail off, leaving a nice long, complex aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, bordering on watery, but at the same time smooth. I can't help but think that a more subsatntial mouthfeel would complement the robust flavors a bit better. It's almost as if the body of the beer is at odds with the flavor. Drinkability is decent, but I wouldn't call this anything near a session brew. An almost mystical brew from my "wish list" that I'm glad I had the chance to enjoy. Thanks, Bill.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 16 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a very dark brown, with a wispy beige head. The smell is a meaty smokiness. The taste is a moderate smokiness; not quite as strong as an Aecht Schlenkerla, but stronger than Stone Smoked, over a barely noticable roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. As for drinkability, could have a few.

Well, it's nice to finally give this beer a try. It's certainly a great taste, rich and just the right amount of smokiness. Quite good, and one I'll have again in future years!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just when I thought I was going to have to wait until next winter to try this beer, I find that the Beverages & More closest to me had a few in stock (finally). I guess all my whining paid off.
Presented in a 16oz. bottle, 2003 vintage, AK Smoked Porter was decanted into one of my favorite sampling glasses. It had a uniform black hue, impenetrable by light, and a modest ½" mocha colored head that died down to a ring, leaving no lace.
The smell was shocking at first. I was expecting a certain smokiness, but nothing like what issued from my glass. An intense and heady aroma of alderwood smoke wafted to my nose, giving me pause. A hint of dark chocolate and caramel carried across the smoke aroma, as did a touch of hops. The taste delivered a delightful melange of dark malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of caramel sweetness, all infused with that wondrous smoky flavor. The finish had a pleasant hops bitterness. The smoky flavor permeates all phases of this beer. The feel was medium-full and dry.
I had a hard time restraining myself with this beer as I was torn between the desires to gulp it down on one hand and savor it on the other. On the bottle it states "enjoy now or cellar for a few years." I'm already puting in my order to clear the shelf of BevMo's remaining stock so I can do both. A fabulous beer.

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Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,995 ratings.
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