Summit Great Northern Porter | Summit Brewing Company

very good
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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 rodbeermunch
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Halfway between black and brown pours this porter. Brown head. 3/4". Aroma had some sweet roastiness to it.

Taste had some mixture of counterbalancing sweetness with the roast and substantial hoppiness for a midwest porter. Chocolate malt used nicely. Good format, good price. A very minor coffee malt impression. The bitterness is more hop derived than it is from the roast.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Thin black body with a heavy brown tint. Medium to heavy bubbles on the body creating a tan head rising just above a finger's length. Drops before first sip with pretty much zero lacing.

Smell: Lighth scent of coffee, not the most exuberant scent you want.

Taste: Light coffee with floral. Has a yeast tone to it which makes it come off a bit lemony and touch sour.

Mouth: Medium bodied at best with medium carbonation, stickiness is light.

Overall: Descent but much better options out there. I like it but won't hate it either. Worth for the price of free, Salud!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A few years back, I had three this porter from Summit's sampler box of a dozen.
Of the four brews, this is the only I can remember going back to.
While typical of a good porter in looks and smell, its balanced taste sets it above its peers.
Its roasted flavors are blended well to evoke my second most favorite food, chocolate. (Of course, barely is most favorite.)

MJ's 1999 edition gave this 3 of 4 stars and called it "smooth, with herbal and bitter-chocolate notes."

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Photo of matcris
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LOOKS: Very dark brown, a little ruby around the edges of Nonic pint glass when held up to the light. 2+ " of foamy tan head that sticks around and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.
AROMA: Nice roasted malty smell, chocolate, and coffee. Very slightly smoky.
TASTE: Just like the aroma. Maybe a little dark fruit quality, as well. Balanced as far as sweet/bitter, but there is a lasting mild bitterness.
MOUTHFEEL: Plenty of carbonation helps push all the nice roasted chocolate/coffee malts around the palate. Medium thin body. Finish not overly dry.
OVERALL: Nothing crazy good. Just solid as hell. Cheap and good, works for me.

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Photo of whataschlitz
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer is back with a creamy tan head. Smells of coffee and bitter chocolate with faint black licorice mixed in. Tastes as a mixture of the three with coffee hitting you first, then the chocolate finds its way through just before the finish with some hoppy black licorice. It has some sweetness in the middle sandwiched with the chocolate and licorice bitterness, and it works great in my mouth. Feel is on par with the look, not too thick with a lot of creaminess. A tasty and very drinkable porter.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great roast aroma. The flavor is just shy of what it promises, and it's a bit more acidic than what I was hoping, but still a decent porter. A fine effort.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours black - not motor oil, kill the sun black - but a regular, old fashioned black, with a powerful head. I smell coffee first, followed by dark chocolate, and a hint of both molasses and licorice. The flavor also leads with coffee, accompanied by burnt toast and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is neither thick nor thin, but a nice middle ground. Overall this is an incredibly solid porter, and certainly the best availible year round all over Minnesota.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown, mocha head. Smell is chocolate mocha latte, taste is predominately coffee with some hop profile at the end. Creamy mouthful. Good affordable porter

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours black with a light tan 1” foam collar that produces good lace. S: Roast malt aromas with a little coffee or chocolate T: This is a dryer porter with coffee flavors sweetened by crystal malt and a moderate chocolate bitterness. Moderate burnt notes mingle with the hops giving it a toasty bitter finish. Some dark malt astringency on the finish. F: Smooth, with fine soft carbonation and a medium body. O: A very drinkable porter.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in Columbus Ohio.
Very dark brown; opaque in the glass.
Slightly sweet up front but mildly bitter by the aftertaste.
A bit more flavorful than average for style, with plenty of dark roasted malts but only very faint smoke.

O: tastes like a big beer, including a hint of higher ABV than actually present.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a really nice porter, very robust in its roast and chocolate aspects, but smooth and not at all bitter in the finish, different than other robust type porters i have had, especially from this region. its not real thick, but its super hearty still, maybe some wheat fluffing things up, its hard to say, but there is some nice body without it being hard to drink. right where i like my porter. it has a less intense nose than flavor, so the dark chocolate notes seem to come out of nowhere in the middle of the sip. i also really like the hop profile as it finishes, a hint of pine that pulls out a little tannic thing from the grain, which in this case really works. rich but dry, hard to do in beer like this, but its done super well. i didnt have a ton of beer from summit when i was up there this weekend, but of the ones i did have, this was my favorite. maybe the best dark beer i had in minnesota actually. not way different, its neatly within style guidelines, but its spot on in areas where others sag. very impressed with this.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: brown-black with great tan head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing Smell: roasty ,dry
Taste: creamy maltiness fades into acidic roasty and herbal moderately bitter finish. Only the acidity seems a bit off.
Feel: Medium body with smooth mouthfeel

Overall: Summit's is a pretty good example of a porter - it looks great and finds a good balance of roastiness, malt sweetness and hops. It does have an undercurrent of acidity that doesn't wreck it but just seems a bit off from a stylistic standpoint. One of Summit's better brews.

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Photo of SenorElRaz
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

This is an excellent beer. Has a nice dark color, and is very smooth. Tastes very chocolatey, and is not nearly as bitter as I expected. Reminds me of Guinness but more flavorful. Definitely my favorite Summit brew.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

I was sidelined with a bad cold the last couple of weeks, so while my consumption remained intact, my reviews slacked off. I am beginning today with a bottle of Summit Great Northern Porter.

Once the cap was Pop!ped, I began with a heavy-handed pour, resulting in a pseudo-cascade which formed three-plus fingers of dense, rocky, light-tan head with great retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Opaque/Black (SRM = 34 – 44) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, charcoal smokiness, French Roast coffee and a little hickory smoke. Mouthfeel was very full with a carbonation level that I want to call “prickly”. It really allowed the smokiness to come through in a stunning way. The bittersweet chocolatiness began to assert itself on the initial finish. The extreme finish was dry and bitter, much like my humor. It struck me as being a little too bitter for my taste, but the style is so wide-ranging that each one becomes a surprise. One would probably be enough for me. Next!

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Photo of MNAle
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass. Pours a very dark color, almost black. Creamy tan head with moderate lacing. Sweet, malty smell. Initial taste is nicely balanced hop bitterness with malts, then the smoky, roasted flavor comes to the fore. This smoky taste remains the dominate character of this beer. Nice body, but not really thick. Smooth and creamy. The aftertaste is bitter, but not overbearing. I like this beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.58/5  rDev -7%

Serving style : 12 oz stubbie poured into glass.

Appearance (4.25) : Almond-beige colored cap with a three fingered head, tightly knit and creamy. Recedes at a slow pace and sticks around for awhile. Body is a 95% opaque, coffee-brown/black body.

Aroma (4) : Plant, roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate, some faint grassy hop. A nice balance of malt and hop character with a little slant towards the malt.

Taste (3.25) : The roasted coffee bean comes out immediately, following with some planty flavors, faint citrus hop, ending with a bitter roast bean finish. A bit malty in feel, but flavor actually slants towards hoppiness. Yes, this is on the bitter side of porter-dom.

Mouthfeel (3.75) : Zingy carbonation at the tip of the tongue with a creamy malty feel throughout the palate. Ends roasty and semi-dry.

Overall (3.58) : I've had better porters but this one isn't all that bad. Compared to other porters this one is a bit more bitter, more planty, and a bit more zingy in the mouthfeel. More bitter than I'd like, as I like malty porters. That being said, it's not one of my favorites. Summit has some other great choices though, so check them out!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Great Northern Porter pours a black color with a huge fluffy lacing head. There is a big bold sharp malty aroma. The taste has a huge big rich creamy malty flavor, hints of smoke. Nice strong flavor, just the slightest bit watery. Overall its a very tasty porter.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black with a dense tan head that leaves some light lacing all the way down the glass.

The aroma is bready and roasted malts, maybe a little roasted coffee and nuts as well.

Wonderful taste with rich, roasted malts tasting of chocolate and roasted coffee and a little bit of dark fruit. There is a nice, slight hoppy finish.

The mouthfeel is creamy and rich.

Overall, I think this is an outstanding porter.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A most excellent porter from Summit. Pours a deep dark brown with thin traces of light coming through. Rich tight bubbled head that turns into a thin tan foam layer with great clinging lacing. Chocolate and dark roasted coffee comes through on the nose, VERY NICE. Taste is up front deep roasted grains with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a excellent earth background with very subtle bittering hops. Beer has a great mouthfeel that is lightly carbonated and smooth from what I would guess to be an addition of oatmeal. An aplus in the porter category and an old favorite.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a FW Imperial nonic glass
Notes from 03/09/14

Thanks to Mid for this extra

A: Dark brown body with nice clarity showing off some garnet hues when held up in to the light. Thick oatmeal colored whip forms over top displaying some pretty stellar hang time. Eventually subsiding to a ring where some light stick holds to the glass.

S: Lots of coffee roast with a bit of cocoa nib in the nose. Some earthy hops. Has a light brown sugar sweetness to it. Good dose of roasted beans up front however which is nice.

T: Flavors develop more chocolaty notes with some spent coffee and a modest level of earthy bitterness. A touch of charred sugars with more green hops and some spice on the backend. Lots of cocoa powder goodness here though. No alcohol flavors ever reveal. A lighter porter that is easy to drink.

M: The body is bit thin with a smoothened texture from the carbonation. Very dry and clean at the finish.

D: A nice table beer. Easily sessionable with nice chocolate and coffee roast flavors. A touch too thin for my liking although what you do have is a well crafted and balanced Porter.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 2/24/2014. Pours fairly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, toast, dark bread, herbal, light molasses, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and light yeast ester/hop notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, caramel, light molasses, herbal, slight pine, and roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, herbal, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter. Nice robustness and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with light-moderate hops; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not expecting much for $1.79 but I got it at Vintage Estate.
A - Deep black can't see through with a 1/2 inch of deep mocha head that sits around for a bit. Mild lacing.
S - Has some oatmeal stout quality with the grains, chocolate malts, and mild hops. Sweet smelling.
T - Prickly hop bitterness meets some dry porter taste, chocolate malts, and milk stout like grains. Quite good.
M - Medium bodied not very chewy or creamy.

Overall a fairly balanced porter with some oatmeal stout qualities. Tasty and well worth the cost of admission.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-01-06 in Columbia, PA

A - Dark brown; fairly clear in the stream while pouring but opaque in the glass. 1.75-finger head with tan lacing that drops pretty quickly but leaves very nice lacing.

S - Dark roasted malt, chocolate, some coffee, hint of molasses sweetness. Very nice aroma of moderate strength.

T - Highly toasted sour dough bread, roasted and hop bitterness, some chocolate and a touch of caramel. Finishes fairly dry with some lingering char/hop bitterness and some moderating chocolate/coffee malt.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Creamy then a little prickly. I like the firm body on this one. It's not watery.

O - All-in-all, an enjoyable flavor and feel at a good price. Not at the top of my lowish-ABV porters (see Hill Farmstead Everett, Founders Porter and Great Lakes Porter), but not too far off.

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Photo of Omnium
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice rich coffee black brown color with a finger of tan head, little on lacing.
S - Roasted malts, a slight coffee hint, cocoa, hazelnut.
T - Really good flavor, nice creamy cocoa, almost like a mocha blend, roasted malt and grain, a nice nutty flavor.
M - Creamy and smooth in front, then gets a little thin, but still highly drinkable.
O - Excellent porter, another representation of Summit brewing solid styles, not blowing the world away, but consistent quality for sure.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass, with a one finger medium brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Nice toasted malt aroma with light chocolate and hints of coffee, rich. Flavor follows, with toasted malt with hints of char, dark chocolate, coffee and hop bitterness. Finishes smooth with pleasant residual coffee and grassy hop bitterness. Very nice creamy body with excellent mouth feel. A very nice porter with a good balanc e of flavor, rich malt and nice hop kick in the finish. Good body emphasizes the chocolate notes, reminding me of a whipped hot chocolate. Nicely done.

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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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