Summit Great Northern Porter | Summit Brewing Company

Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter
647 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 647 |  Reviews: 305
Photo of CPeterson
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A deep brown brew that pours into a pillowy three finger khaki head that settles into a frothy skim and leaves a splotchy lacing.

S -- Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit.

T -- Smoky malts and dark chocolate with coffee, whose bitterness is counteracted by hints of caramel and raisin.

M -- Full bodied and well carbonated for the style. Fairly dry on the finish.

D -- Solid offering, approachable but still somewhat interesting. Worth trying.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Summit Great Northern Porter was black in color (with red highlights when held to a light). It had a tan head with decent retention and plenty of lacing. The smell was dark malt, caramel, toffee, and chocolate. The taste was dark malt and chocolate with some roasted barley and hops. The finish was dry and lasting with a touch of bitterness. This beer was medium in body with adequate carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a very good American Porter and worth trying out.

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Photo of dali27
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours really dark brown, almost black. Almost no head at all, with small amount of lacing.

S: Coffee and cocoa. This beer smells more bitter and less sweet.

T: Obviously, this tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee, but then at the finish something else comes through. Sweet? Spicy? This is surprising because it contrasts so much with the intitial reaction to scent and taste.

M: Neutral. This beer does nothing to offend the mouth, nor anything special to dazzle either.

D: Excellent. Very easy to drink and goes well with most food.

I have been drinking this beer for over ten years now, and it has never let me down. I consider it to be my go to Porter, and the base that I start to evaluate other Porters.

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Photo of NStLincoln
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark brown, a tiny bit of light getting through this guy. The head is slightly off white and roils down to a soapy film in short order.

Getting deep espresso coffee and some chocolate on the nose. Seems like I've had some coffee flavored chocolate chips before, this smells like that if you let the temp go up on it and do some swirling. Maybe some super dark fruit in there too, figs or prunes.

Bitter coffee. A dark maltiness that is appealing and not overwhelming. Very pleasant and drinkable.

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Photo of deadbody
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle poured into a new Glarus pint glass. Poured a good dark brown with a light caramel head. Good head, stayed up for a bit, left minimal lacing.

Smell was pretty good, smelled like a good porter, dark and malty. Taste was so-so, not much malt body to it, not much hops, just not much there. Very thin mouthfeel, very disappointed.

Fairly drinkable, I would say it compares very favorably to Guiness, and in that case is what the brewers wanted. Summit doesn't try to go for the super big bold flavors, but to be a good solid gateway beer from the macros to the micros. Not a bad beer, just not as big as I would have liked.

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Photo of stompwampa
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours black. The head is minimal but left nice lacing on the glass.

It has huge oak and smoky smells. Definitely smells like a good solid porter. I see why they call it "Great Northern Porter" because it totally has that northwood campfire aroma to it.

The taste is huge. Lots and lots of flavors in here. There is a distinct woodiness and smoky flavor in there. It has a clean finish and a nice bitter punch at the back of your palate.

As for undrinkability, I can easily drink one down no problem...but having more than that might be tough. The smells and flavors are so big that it could just be too much to have more than one in a single sitting. Not that the smells and flavors are bad...this is just a beer that's better enjoyed one at a time in my opinion.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker. The color is an almost opaque black; just a little light passed through when I held it to my lamp, turning the beer a deep ruby. Three fingers of cappuccino colored head developed and dissipated to leave a bubbly lacing and trails of foam on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Just about what one expects form a porter, though the aroma is not as potent as other versions. Mostly roasted dark chocolate and cocoa, and a light sprinkling of coffee malts. It smells a little sweet and perhaps watered down.

Taste: The first sip is surprisingly, but not overpoweringly, bitter from the coffee malts. Though the bitterness sticks around for the rest of the pint, it plays a diminished role. The flavor mostly mirrors the smell: roasted dark chocolate, cocoa to sweeten the deal, and a little bit of coffee.

Drinkability: Very smooth drinking, but it is a little on the thin and predictable side. I like it, though.

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Photo of plfahey
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-black with deep reddish brown highlights when held to the light. Opaque, but seems clear. Thin light tan head with fair retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Malt driven-bittersweet dark chocolate and roast, with light coffee, but not burnt. Very light earthy hops. No noticeable yeast character, no diacetyl. A little bit sweet

Flavor-Chocolatey, roasted malt, with light coffee flavors. Moderate earthy, piney, and grassy hop flavors. Moderate bitterness from the hops and dark roast. Malty and lightly sweet up front, hoppy and dry in the finish. No yeast character. No astringency.

Mouthfeel-Medium body is enhanced slightly by moderate carbonation. No astringency from dark roast-quite smooth. No noticeable alcohol warmth.

As porters go, this is a very straight forward and tasty. I would be happy to drink a few of these, especially in cold weather.

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Photo of Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Included in my mixed Summit 12 pack. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is dark brown with red highlights. It has a very thick tan head and lots of lacing.

It has an aroma of roasted malts, a bit of dark chocolate and some minor coffee notes.

The taste is roasty/toasty with lots of well roasted malts, some molasses and some coco in the finish. It is slightly earthy and there is a bit of mineral taste that comes through as you get further into the glass.

The mouth is a trifle thin with a bit to much carbonation. This is a fairly minor distraction as I think the beer is drinkable and hits a lot of the right notes.

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Photo of climax
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Northern pours a very dark brown, almost black. The head is a fluffy tan mass that once formed, never left.

The aroma was relatively understated, yet had a surprising amount of hops, as that was the first thing I smelled. Grassy and a substantial citrus juiciness were prominent over the malt. Roasty took a backseat to sweet on the grain side of things.

The flavor was quite sweet, dark sugars and chocolate reigned until the dry hop finish took over.

The body was relatively light, with a fluffy feel. The carbonation was mild with a lingering tingle through the roasty dryish finish. Easy to drink, a porter on the sweet side with a respectable amount of hops.

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Photo of brewdub17
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A light tan head sits atop a dark, nearly opaque body, which leaves a very light lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smokey notes are mixed with a slight alcohol aroma. A slight amount of sweetness makes up the base of the smell.

Taste: This porter defines the style very well. The roasted malts really pull through in flavor and give a robust, smokey flavor, which is pleasant and not too overpowering. A slight spicyness is found in the end, but is faint to notice.

Mouthfeel: A slight sweetness is found at the front of the mouth, while the smokey and minimal spicy flavors are caught in the back of the mouth. A good presence and balance of flavors.

Drinkability: Since the flavors are not too prevalent to become annoying (yet noticeable enough to create good flavor) this beer is very drinkable. A great beer for the Autumn season.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received a little ways back from mothman in a great trade. Thanks! Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with only a little bit of light shining thru, but seems pretty clear from what I can see. A thin 1/4 finger of fizzy tan head lingers briefly and falls to an uneven collar and a few surface islands.

S - Very strong scent of coffee up front with a full complement of dark roasted malt, roasted malt, and a bit of chocolate and some dirtlike earthiness. Not much for hop presence.

T - Lots of dark roasted malts mixed with coffee. Some light astringency creeps in as well as some grassy and citrusy hops but all are rather subdued in the flavor profile.

M - Lightish medium bodied with matching carbonation level. Crisp and tingly on the tongue with lingering roasty bitterness left behind after the swallow.

D - A very enjoyable porter. The coffee and dark roasty flavors come thru very nicely and keep you looking for the next sip. I don't tend to drink porters very frequently, but this is one worth coming back to for sure.

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Photo of samie85
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 9/06/10.

A-Pours an oily black with a light mocha colored two finger head, that leaves behind some thick, sticky lacing.

S-Chocolate and some roasted malt with clean hop notes.

T-Follows the nose with chocolate and some roasted malt with some drying, dark chocolate notes and earthy hops on the finish.

M-Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation and a pretty smooth mouthfeel.

D-This is one really easy drinking porter that reminds me of a less dry version of a Black Butte.

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Photo of jera1350
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours the darkest of brown colors, bordering on black. The head looks pretty rich and lightly creamy and is tan in color. Leaves some nice lacing as well.

Good roast on the nose. Pretty chocolatey with a bit of coffee.

Tastes a bit watered down. However, there is still a good roast going on with an earthy and ashy coffee taste. Not much for sweetness, but plenty of toasty malt.

Not real impressed with the mouthfeel. Feels a little flat and thin.

A nice porter, but there are some much better options out there. Glad to have finally tried it, but probably won't again.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pitch black, completely opaque, thumb of golden brown, light, fizzy head with solid lacing.

S - Scent is a bit sour with dark chocolate, cherries and lemon espresso all coming through nicely.

T - Chocolate and coffee malts all come through nicely, but it finishes a little bitter and leaves a metallic finish.

M - Light and bubbly, medium bodied porter, making it go down smoothly.

D - Non-offensive, with some unique flavours and scents, but it finished a little too sour and bitter for my liking. A tasty beer nonetheless and worthy of trying to any porter fan.

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Photo of woooch
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable porter.

Summit has never let me down.

Not to dark, just right.

Half way through, the malt began to give way to the hops.

Malt & vanilla still present on the finish.

I look forward to having another.

Maybe compare this porter to the after dinner drink of choice.

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Photo of 2DaMtns
2.4/5  rDev -37.2%
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 FreshmanPour77
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 6-9-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark brown, close to black, 1 finger of foam with a good lacing ring. Can't tell if there is any carbonation present

S - Roasted malts, coffee notes, no hop aroma present, hints of vanilla

T - Dark roasted malts, chocolate taste mixed with caramel and vanilla

M/D - Medium bodied, dark malts with chocolate and vanilla. Really good brew, pretty easy to drink more than one. I recommend this brew

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Photo of Gavage
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with some lighter brown highlights on the glass edge. A 1" head slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and a hint of coffee is pleasant but mild overall.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolates, a bit of coffee, and a mild bitterness make up a straight forward porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, a bit smoother at the finish.

Drinkability: easy drinking porter with a nice flavor profile. Definite session beer.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, deep ruby when held to the light, beige head, chunky lacing.

Aroma is figs and coffee.

Taste, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, slightly sour character

Mouthfeel is medium viscosity, a touch thin for my taste,

Overall, highly enjoyable Porter, pretty typical of the style, nothing outstanding but solid all the way.

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Photo of Buebie
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown stubby twist off bottle into a pub glass. The sei rigorous pour produces about an inch and a half of light brown froth. Slow to recede, leaving a good amount of retention cap and thick foam like lace rings.
Color is pitch black, no light penetration.

Aroma is of dark roasty chocolate malt, bordering smokey. A nutty aroma in there too, with burnt sugars and grain.

Taste is about the same as aroma, plenty of dark bitterswet bakers chocolate flavors with a good amount of grain flavors, roasty all the way through. Mild bittering hops at the finish, with a fresh leaf hop flavor through the middle.
Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation.

A damn fine porter, textbook example of the style with high drinkability.

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Photo of Tone
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/6 inch head of an off-white color. Poor retention and poor lacing. Smells of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, nut, slight coffee, and slight hop. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee, slight sweet malt, nut, slight yeast, and slight hop. Overall, a good blend, body, but poor appearance.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a suprise this stuff was, thanks to Minnesota Nick for turning me on to it.

Good deep brown almost black appearance, excellent lacing. Aroma a little sweet. Taste, more sweetness, very hoppy by Summit standards (or midwest), good heft to the chocolate malt. Mouthfeel, hops rescind a little, but its all good. A solid beer, and relatively inexpensive.

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Photo of AmberMan22
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

It really does look pretty -- extraordinarily black, allowing no light through, head is a mere khaki color though...doesn't suit the darkness below. Decent amount of lacing, good 1½ finger head.

Smells of roasty malt, bitter chocolate, cacao.

Taste is just plain solid. strikes all the right notes, but not as hard as I want them to be struck.
Dark malts, roasty, cacao, and a surprisingly out-of-left-field hoppy finish and aftertaste. Well done.

Mouthfeel is good, but at times feels a smidge thin.

Tasty porter at a tasty price.

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Photo of beertooth
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice brimming pint from the beer engine at Sheffed's.

This beer is a near black dark brown with a finger of frothy khaki head that fades to a thin layer and leaves tons of chunky lacing in it's wake.

The nose is classic porter, medium roasted chocolate malts, mellow coffee, some slight piney hops as well and a touch of oxidization.

The taste delivers and is straight forward. Chocolate malts, light pine notes, oxidization, caramel, slight earthiness, light smoke. It's really tasty. Nothing mind blowing, but it's pretty solid. It finishes a little dry and bitter. It's a pleasant surprise for sure.

Substantial mouthfeel with a medium body and a creamy low level of carbonation.

I could drink these all night. This first pint went down in about 15 minutes.

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 647 ratings
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