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: 636
Photo of Murphious
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with nice tan head with 1/2 in of foam, but goes away fairly soon---before halfway finished with glass-- and I drink fast ;) Some hint of molasses in the aroma and has a nice roasted malt taste. It's has more hop than most porters I've tried and I like the difference. There are better porters and this one is not bad.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle; Enjoy by 01/08/14
A - dark brown/near black, creamy tan head, good retention
S - chocolate, dark malts, faint coffee,
T - loads of chocolate notes, caramel, earthy hop, ample bitterness for balance
M - medium body, creamy but resinous
O - good example of the style, but nothing extraordinary here

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

A really nice thing about variety or seasonal packs.. One may be lacking a bit, but the next .. Grand Slam!
The Great Northern Porter from Summit is excellent...
Appearance: Dark Brown - Like Molasses..

Smell: Like cocoa/dark chocolate with hints of coffee.

Taste: Foamy thick and sweet/bitter chocolate look and taste.

Mouth-feel: Creamy Richness that covers the tastbuds with wonderful holiday touches (pick a Holiday.. any Holiday)...

Overall: A great Porter .. I will definitely buy this in a 6 or 12 pack .. Stands alone well... Excellent Job, Summit.. !!!!

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled back on 9/19/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler and poured into a 16 ounce pilsner glass. Pours pretty close to black in color that has some dark-brown highlights, with a 1-finger tan head that stayed around for a while. Lots of lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma of coffee hits you right up front then the roasted malts. Very pleasant. The taste was about the same with a hint of chocolate as well as is common with MOST porters. No harsh or bitter taste afterwards at all. Overall another great porter for the cooler months!

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - dark coffee color a bit high clairity. Nice dark beige head. Some lacing.

S - malty and chocolate notes a plenty. Sweet like a bakery. Roasted toast notes like lightly toasted pumpernickel. Not bitter.

T - sweet slightly warm. Complex. Tangy hops well balanced with roasted malts. No off flavors at all. Delightful. After warming some sour notes pop out.

M - it looks like it might be thin or watery but the truth is is smooth creamy with just a bit of effervescance. Not bad.

D - great for the price. 12 pack for 13.99 plus tax in MN. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of dakotaben
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark color with a tan head that stuck around for a while.

S - A sweeter malt smell with a slightly burnt roast smell

T - Sweet malt flavor with a surprising hop blast.

M - heavy with moderate carbonation.

O - It is a nice beer, but the roasted burnt aftertaste is a bit much for me. I would drink again, but after a Rush River and Bells porter this evening, I would choose this one last.

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Photo of MikeAAL
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good Porter. Rich and full bodied.

It pours very dark with a thick tan head. Really impressive lacing.

Smells like coffee and roasted malts.

Tasted like coffee, roasted malts and with some bitter chocolate.

Thick, nice body and creamy with a clean, dry finish.

Definately a good Porter.

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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 JWU
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle poured into a porter glass

A- deep, dark brown, barely any light gets through except on the very edges. Nice light tan head, decent lacing

S- Heavy on the roasty malts, and very coffee forward. No real sweet smells to speak of.

T- Coffee. Tons of it. A touch of cocoa, but big roasty, coffee flavors abound. No real sweetness.

M- A touch thin, and a bit dry.

O- A pretty straightforward porter. Not quite up to snuff with the top tier like Founders, but it's pretty tasty.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Sounds like the name of a large ship... Anyway, this stuff pours a dark blackish-brown topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, very light hickory smoke in the background, and a solid amount of cocoa powder. The taste brings in more of the same, with a drier (though still quite light) smoke contingent. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, though a tad thin, this is a pretty tasty porter. Good times.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Beautiful beer. Very dark brown, almost black. A 1/4" head that hangs out.

S- Sweet malt and nutty- not very pronounced though. You really have to jam your nose in to get the aroma.

T- I could hang out with this beer. It's got great flavor- coffee, chocolate, coffee, malty, and a very faint hoppiness, but it's balanced and easy drinking. It's on the "session" side of American Porters, but it is far from watery or thin. I would give it a 5 if the hop bitterness dried up a little sooner, but that's the only improvement I'd like to see.

M- Medium carbonation, medium body, and leaves a silky sort of texture. it's not dry, and the flavor that hangs out is very delightful.

O- Best american porter that I've had so far. Simply delicious, sessionable, and traditional all at the same time. I really love this beer. I would buy a case and pick through it all winter.

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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 wiscokid920
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into pint glass

A- Dark, cola colored with a 1 finer tan fluffy head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- Coffee, chocolate, and Roasted Malts. Smells delicious!

T- Light sweetness with mild bitterness. Coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.
Absolutely delicious!

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, creamy smooth finish.

O- I really enjoyed this one. Excellent all around. A superb offering!

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Photo of RickS95
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is a looker. Fills the glass with an extremely dark brown color. Around the edge, there are some lighter shades of red. The head is a couple fingers of fluffy off-brown bubbles. Good retention, minutes worth, and a killer lace left behind.

Lots of malt greets the nose, caramel mostly. A bit of smoke and the slightest hit of coffee round out the scents.

Malt and hops greet the tongue with that bit of coffee making an impression.

It lacks the sweetness I was looking for in a porter, tasting a bit more like a stout. More bitter that I was hoping for and none of it was offset by the malts. The bitterness coats the tongue and continues well into the swallow.

Looks and smells better than it tastes. I don't want a lot of bitter in darker beers, especially from a porter. Could use more heat and bite from the alcohol.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark red-brown with giant three-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a long time. Great lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Roasted malt.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Chocolate and coffee and roasted malt matches the nose.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: Nice porter. The look and smell were especially appealing.

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

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a dark cola black with brown only coming through on the edges. A cream colored head recedes quickly to a film and random bubbles. Light webbed lacing sticks to the glass.

The nose has something spicy about it with some black licorice coming through. Also barley and dark roasted malts are detected.

The taste starts out with some syrupy sweetness. Right through the middle there's again a little bit of a spicy component, but mostly roasted malts and bitter chocolate presents itself. The finish is rich and dry with some biter hops finally coming through.

The mouthfeel is carbonated and dry.

Overall, this porter has a not of spice in it, not unlike cinnamon. Spicier and sweeter than most porters, yet still has the biter coffee and chocolate components as well.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malt, with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is very nice. I get some bitter chocolate notes, as well as a hint of chocolate and some roasted malt. The beer is fairly sweet, with some brown sugar notes coming through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice porter.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black with just a hint of dark brown hue on the edges. Light brown one finger head.

Aroma: Roasted coffee and chocolate. Definitely malt forward.

Taste: The roasted coffee from the nose comes through as bitter black coffee. A nice roasty presence on the edge of the palate. Ends with the coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side and easily drinkable.

Final Thoughts: This beer has everything going for it in the appearance and aroma departments but falls a little short on taste. Still a very solid porter!

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served slightly chilled.

A) Nice looking Porter brown. A gentle pour still yielded a nearly 3 finger head over the top of the pint. A nice rocky head remained for the duration, looked like a root beer float. Nice lacing too.

S) Pretty mild aroma, but there was some roasted malt, along with a slightly sweet scent of caramel, perhaps maple syrup. It was a little oaky/earthy.

T) Near the nose but more flavor than indicated above. There is a nice coffee presence, and a earthy hop bitterness. The finish and aftertaste are a slightly charred/roasted.

M) Medium body, about the same for carbonation. Really quite smooth and creamy.

O) Quite a nice porter. A very easy drinker, and a solid option if you are in the mood for this style. Glad to recommend.

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Photo of frankiepop
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark sweet and smooth porter. This is not an over do it type of porter. This is well balanced for smoothness. So what goes with this dark smoothie? I would listen to either Miles Davis Bitches Brew recording or Queen Latifah's Dana Owen cd.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Summit's Great Northern Porter last week for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I tried their Horizon Red Ale a couple days ago and I thought it was pretty good, so I'm Interested to see how this beer turns out, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's pretty fresh. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as the Red Ale, just with a dark background, simple and pretty plain. It poured a nice dark black color that only had a really slight ruby hue when held to the light and it had three fingers worth of fluffy darker tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left lots of nice spotty lacing. This is a damn good looking American Porter, there's not a thing wrong with it.

S- The aroma starts off with tons or heavily roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness impart lots of nice roasty aromas with coffee sticking out the most giving this beer a pretty mocha like aroma, there was also some caramel, milk chocolate, lightly charred aroma. After that I get a nice cream like aroma followed by a little bit of molasses. This beer had great aroma that had all the things I look for in an American Porter, and the aroma was pretty complex, I can't stop smelling it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma. It starts off with loads of roasted malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart all the nice roasted aspects that I got in the aroma, but it's still the coffee that sticks out the most giving this beer a mocha latte like flavor when mixed with the chocolate, caramel and cream flavors. On the finish I get a slight nutty flavor with hardly any bitterness with a roasty and creamy aftertaste. This is a good tasting American Porter that is heavy on the coffee, I like it.

M- Pretty smooth, a little rich, pretty creamy, on the thick side of being medium bodied, with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was good but I thought that the carbonation could be toned down just a little, but it wasn't a big deal.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty good beer and a good and above average example of an American Porter, it had all those great Porter flavors and aromas that I look for in the style and it had some added complexity that made for one great beer. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it went down smooth, and it wasn't that filling with more then enough flavors and complexity to hold my attention, I could drink a couple of these when in the mood, and the price is right. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, both were really well done and the complexity was pretty nice also. What I liked least about this beer the slightly higher then normal carbonation, but it wasn't a big deal and didn't really hurt this beer. I would for sure buy this beer again, it tastes good and it's well priced, I see more of this in my future, I highly recommend this beer to any Porter lover, it wont disappoint. I was pretty impressed with this beer, it's a great example of an American Porter that is almost as good as Founder's Porter, which doesn't happen often. This was my second beer from Summit, and I have to that I am pretty impressed with them, both of the beers I have tried from them have been nothing less then solid and are both beers that I would have no problem with drinking regularly, you guys can brew some pretty good beer, you can be sure that I will keep an eye out for more beers from Summit, great job.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from about an inch above the glass and was rewarded with a medium to big light brown head with nice carbonation above a clear dark dark reddish brown colored beer.

Coffee and light mocha rich aroma.

Light coffee is blended with with a rich roasted light dark chocolate malt taste.

A medium to full bodied beer that leaves a slightly bitter smooth dry aftertaste.

This was a pretty good glass of beer, well worth seeking out some summit stuff.

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Photo of kjyost
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired from a friend who bought a sampler pack in Minneapolis. Poured ~4C into a small sleeve. Beer warmed to almost room temperature over the session.

A: Deep brown, clear with ruby red edges and a small tan head that laces very lightly and descends to a ring.
S: Coffee, molasses, roasted malts and an underlying caramel sweetness.
T/M: Very well rounded. Sweetness with hints of burnt sugar along with tons of coffee and cocoa notes. Very light bitterness that lets the sweetness carry the day. Very enjoyable.
O: For my only beer of the night a welcome treat that I wasn't expecting much from. Shared some similarities with stouts, but overall a nice brew no matter what you call it.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date

Pours almost completely black, but is semi transparent when held up to light. Sudsy mocha head with OK lacing. Smell is roasted coffee, toffee, oak tones. Taste is same as the nose: roasty malted toffee, cocoa powder, with biscuity oak flavor and a tinge of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is decent, could be creamier.

Good porter from summit, with a great price.

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Photo of bmike86
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 12 pack from Big Top in Minnetonka.

Appearance --- Dark brown with about 2 fingers worth of a creamy tan head, with a bit of lacing left.

Smell --- Really enjoyable smell, appeared to be of chocolate, possibly coffee as well, and roasted malt.

Taste --- Slightly bitter, with subtle blends of what appeared to be coffee, chocolate, possibly caramel, and nuts.

Mouth feel --- Medium bodied, dry feel, with some carbonation

Overall --- As person that appreciates all sorts of porters, especially the Baltic & American types… I am a huge fan of Summit’s Great Northern Porter. I think it is their best bottled beer, even though my favorite type of Summit is their Oatmeal Stout (that you can only find on tap). A recommendation for people that are trying this for a first time, during my sitting, I noticed a difference between the aroma & taste from the first beer that came directly from the fridge, and the second beer which I let sit on the counter to warm for a few minutes. I recommend refrigerating it, but there is a more enjoyable complexity in regards to the aroma and taste, when you pull it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before drinking. The beer appears to become a bit more active, which was a plus to me. I am fortunate to live in Minnesota these days, to have access to their Great Northern Porter, while living in other Midwest cities I was only able to really enjoy/access their flagship beer, the EPA. It is even better on tap, but hard to find on tap in Twin Cities. My only request would be to have this more easily accessible on tap in the Twin Cities whether it be at bars or sporting events.

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 636 ratings.
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