Summit Great Northern Porter | Summit Brewing Company

very good
304 Reviews
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Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADR on 03-04-2002

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Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 639
Photo of bashiba
2.21/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was really disappointed by this porter as it came highly recommended from a couple people.

First off the appearence was terrible. It barely had any head at all and what it had was a very sickly brown color, the beer itself was a very dark brown not letting any light through it. It almost looked like pouring a flat can of coke.

The smell wasn't to bad, with some nice earthy and coffee scents.
Then the taste. Very bitter and light on flavor, almost has a watered down taste to it with slight hints of coffee and cocoa, anot what I have come to expect in a good porter.

The mouthfeel was very, very light not real impressive.
Overall not very drinkable, I'll stick with Bells or Grants when it comes to Porter.

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Photo of 2DaMtns
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was pretty disappointed with this beer. It has a pretty harsh chemical taste and a lingering, too-bitter aftertaste. There are many better porters than this, even the more popular ones. Yuengling and Sierra Nevada both make better porters. I will not buy this one again, it's just not good enough. And porter/stout is my style of choice, so I am not being unfair.

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Photo of deebo
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a clear black with 2 fingers of thick tan head that laces the pint glass.

S-Toasted/burnt barley malt.

T-Definitely some dark malt in here, hints of burnt coffee giving a bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied (malty not creamy) and carbonated. Watery finish.

D-Ok, but I don't think I want another.

O-Nothing special here, 1 dimensional, not very flavorful or complex.

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Photo of PokerGod
2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance- beautiful dark beer, rich frothy tan head that has great retention and leaves a nice tan lacing

Smells- like coffee and chocolate with a tangible hops aroma as well.

Taste- Bitter, not a good hops bitter, just a bad beer bitter. The coffee and roasted chocolate is there like it was in the aroma, but I cant get past this bitter chemical-like aftertaste.

Overall- Admittedly Porters are not my favorite style, but this isn't a very good beer. Summit makes other fine products... Buy their Maibock or EPA for fine examples.

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Photo of Bjshelak
2.62/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This will be my first beer review. I may be somewhat unequipped/inexperienced at this point, but everybody starts somewhere.
Poured in an old fashioned (I lack proper glassware for the time being). Pours a dark, fairly thick, muddy brown with a thin beige head. Good head retention.
I don't detect much of a nose. What little scent I can guess at is that of weak coffee.
Starts off with some slight bitterness that softens back into the weak coffee with a little bit of hops (I'm guessing) poking its head out midway through. Coffee becomes more pronounced as it turns dry and the flavor finishes. The aftertaste lingers with a light coffee bitterness.
I picked this up as another stop on my MN/WI beer tour, and I'm planning on working my way through the rest of Summit's offerings soon. This was not a great beer to start with though. Given my memory of the Pale, Winter, and Scandia, this is definitely one of their weaker offerings. I've never been a coffee drinker, but I've enjoyed the flavor enough in stouts before. Here it's just too weak and there's not much else going on.

Edit: I went into this review having already tried this beer. My review may be somewhat colored by previous experience and should be taken with a grain of salt. If the rest of the reviews are any indication, this beer is well worth a try.

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Photo of wac9
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

i want to like this beer it looks great in a glass but that hint of hoppiness that turns me off those of you like hoppiness its good for you but the just the hint of hoppiness leaving a bitter aftertaste in my mouth just turns me off can do hoppiness so i can like this beer go find another but leave this for those hop heads

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Photo of Sammy
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not much taste and the thick syrupy consistency of a slushy. Nice color. A bit of hops and a mid-sip chocolate roast. Otherwise, low in the flavour department. Hope I did not mistreat this in the cellar.

Tip of cap to feloniousmonk for this and a full line of Summit samples.

 281 characters

Photo of putnam
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Malted coffee aromas from this brown liquid. A cluster of wadded, dried red berry fruits and peppery spices are discernable on the nose too. The flavors are burnt with blackened cell matter exposing alcohol and steely metal flavors. Soda fizziness, a little salty, concludes the unexceptional brown beer experience.
This sample has got to be off condition, but I doubt it started from a very prime position either.

 416 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
2.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler Glass

Appearance - Black, so black that I can see my reflection on the glass. Porters don't really get much darker than this. Has a 2 finger width head with a tan color look to it. Lacing is decent on the sides, though it tends to thin out just a little bit

Smell - Chocolate and Coffee mixed in with a pungent burnt malty scent. There's also some caramel and roasted malt smells in here too. In general, it's pretty sweet smelling for a porter.

Taste - Burnt and Roasted Malts with some black coffee, perhaps a little too much more than it ought to be. The chocolate that was present in the smell is nowhere near as prevalent as it is in the flavor. Aftertaste is a rather bitter burnt coffee flavor and not quite in a good way

Mouthfeel - It's pretty heavy bodied but the carbonation is average. Overall, you could do worse.

Overall - I'm used to Porters that strike a balance in terms of their flavor and sadly this one doesn't fit that description. There's nothing really terribly offensive about this beer, but somethings not right when your smell is alot better than your taste.

 1,116 characters

Photo of SerialHiker
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown…Khaki colored head is about an inch thick…(3/5)

Smell: Chocolate, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts…(3/5)

Taste: Roasted malts with some sweetness...a touch of chocolate…earthy hops bitterness comes midway…a bit creamy and smoky at the same time…(3/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium feel and carbonation…there is a bit of fluff there that does present mild bitterness, creaminess and chocolatiness…toasted after taste…(3/5)

Overall: It’s good, but not great…the roasted malts are nice but go too far and leaves all other flavors behind…it looks and smells fantastic…I will say, it does taste better after a spell out of the fridge...the chocolate flavor strengthens and does more to balance out the malts…it’s a much better beer 20 minutes into the experience…(2.75/5)

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Photo of AudioGilz
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours almost black with just a touch of flourescent light getting through. The tan head dissappears too quickly.

Aroma is hops. And that's all I could smell; pretty disappointing and now I'm thinking that it's just gonna be bitter to taste.

Taste is very bitter. Just a hint of chocolate and coffee flavors gets through the hops. I really wanted to enjoy the dark flavors, but the hops just overpowered everything. All in all, it can still be enjoyable and easy to drink, I just prefer robust chocolate and coffee in my porters. I didn't detect any flavor at all that is robust.

Mouthfeel is decent, not that full though.

This is a good beer for hop lovers who like porter. If you like Rogue Mocha Porter, you'll probably enjoy this beer. But it might come across as bland and too bitter for people who enjoy porters such as Fuller's and Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a lame plastic cup at O'Hare.

A finger of tan head, deep brown body.

Deep roasty malt in the nose.

Roasty, almost charred taste. Chocolate at front, bitter later, slight dropoff before the finish, which is a faint hops aftertaste.

Pretty smooth.

Average-good porter.

 274 characters

Photo of jtfest
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an extremely dark brown -- opaque in the glass -- with a small brown head. The aroma is sweet and toasted. The taste, however, is somewhat lacking -- bitter aftertaste, in an unpleasant kind of way. The thinnish mouthfeel initially hits you with a sweet maltyness that quickly turns sour on the palate. Not undrinkable -- interesting in its own way -- but not a beer I'd recommend, either.

 395 characters

Photo of Contagion
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with ruby accents. A nice tan quarter inch head formed as it was being poured. The head faded to a nice film on the top of the beer that seems to last. There is some lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is an overpowering combination of Coffee and Chocolate. You can also detect a faint scent of dark roasted grain. I don't know if it was the actual alcohol content or the combination of smells described, but there was a faint smell of alcohol. The taste starts with a bitter baker's chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee. There is a slight bitter hop finish to it. The aftertaste is bitter, but not over powering.

It is a medium bodied beer. The combination level seems a little high for a porter, but it's nothing to complain about.

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Photo of confer
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like the squat style bottles. This beer looks like a porter should. It has a chestnut brown color with a nice tan head that hangs around as a frothy cap.
The smell is all roasted malts and it smells more ash tray than smokey malts.
The taste is bordering on ash tray as well, with a finish that is too watery.
Overall I'm not impressed. I have one more to drink and I sure I won't be looking for this one again.

 413 characters

Photo of scratch69
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown with a fingers worth of tan head. Quite a bit of lacing.

Smell- Chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste- Bitter char and smokiness. Just a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and slightly watery. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall- Nothing special, just an average porter. A little too bitter for my tastes.

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Photo of getch
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- dark, little head when poured, about a finger, nothing special special, little residue when poured

s-this has some interesting notes to it, at first i did not like the smell it has a intense coffee smell, but not exactlly, a mixture of coca and coffee which combines to confuse the mind, becomes more enjoyable as beer warms.

t-have to have this beer at a nice room temperture, it tastes better as it warms, nice coffee notes some coca, smoke taste but nothing to intense.

m-this beer would taste alot better if warm, next time if i partake in a summit porter it will stay out of the fridge for 15 mins before consuming

d- could have a couple of these, prob much better on tap

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black for a porter. Appearance, however, is very thin. Taste is of chocolate and coffee, but again, the taste is rather thin and light. The label does claim a light-robust taste, this is a very drinkable beer, but can find better. An enjoyable winter brew

 268 characters

Photo of toolbrew
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured nicely into a pint glass. Dark brown, opaque, with a light brown head. Lots of lacing.

The smell dind't have much to report. Maybe a slight, very slight chocolate flavor. Smells like your average malty porter.

Good malty flavor, and a great body for a porter.

Nice mouthfeel - not to watery or carbonated. Goes down easy and sits well.

I would have a couple of these per sitting.

Bought this on a whim to try it out. Haven't had many Summit beers before.

 468 characters

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This reminds me of a cold cup of bitter coffee grounds. Funny thing, I love coffee. I even love it bitter. In a beer, however, too bitter is not overly appealing to my tastes. Reminds me of Bell's Java stout (although that one was overwhelming in it's "coffee grounds" taste). If you want a roasted coffee taste with significant bitterness, you'll like this one. I'll save that for a hot cup of java in the morning! Thanks Monk, I enjoyed trying it. I really have enjoyed Summit's beers, but I'll stick to Fuller's or Anchor for my porters.

 540 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Living in WI, I've developed an interest in exploring the offerings of this brewery, whch offers a number of fine products. In my opinion, this is not their best work.

Appearance is a dark, but not opaque, brown.

Smell is purely chocolate, and delightful without being overpowering.

Taste is slightly weak, relative to its aroma. It has the dark malt/coffee/chocolate notes one expects from a porter, but it s too faint for my taste.

Mouthfeel is watery, particularly for this style. This beer feels thin in my mouth from start to finish, again particularly for a porter.

This beer is very drinkable for a porter (perhaps too much so!).

All in all, this beer is decent, but there are many better porters.

 722 characters

Photo of matty
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black colored beer with a thick foamy head that slowly fades.Aroma is dominated by coffee.Taste is coffee,smoke and sweet cream.As a whole this is a pretty decent beer but not as good as a lot of other porters I've had.It was worth trying and I would recommend to try at least once!!

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee up front, some chocolate, on the bitter side, and a little to much coffee flavor for my liking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but nothing special.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GNP flows a rich black color with subtle brown hints when held up in the light. A good foam that rapidly hides to the edge of the glass but stays through the whole tasting. Limited lacing though.

The smell overall is limited but still noticeable. There is a sweet malt with mostly chocolate tones but not much on the astringent smells.

The taste was limited. Malt is the dominate flavor but overall has limited taste. Some chocolate undertones mixed with smaller coffee taste were present. A touch of milkiness that gives it a velvet taste to it. The hops were a small factor but traces of bittering with a earthy taste are noted.

The body is good. Not really watered down just limited on taste. The smoothness makes it easy to drink and enjoy.

 753 characters

Photo of drewbage
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz stubby brown bottle provided courtesy of tavernjef. Thanks!

Beer pours into the glass pitch black with the barest hints of a brown highlight where the beer meets the glass bottom. (in a stemmed glass). Tan head is vigorous at first, but quickly falls away.

Slightly metallic note behind a plummy chocolate malt nose.

Flavor initally appears as a fruity coffee before a long sweeping hop bitterness combines with the acrid bite of the roasted malts for a powerfully bitter mid section. The malt briefly rises to ease the transition to an intensely bitter finish that holds through to the next sip.

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 639 ratings.
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