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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 |  Reviews: 305
Photo of loveingminor
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark. Me likes. Not much of a head when poured; perhaps it has been aged a while? (see taste)

smell: Has a nice smell. Very complicated. Smells slightly burnt, like a porter should be.

taste: Complex taste: the beer has definitely been aged. Bitter taste, and me likes. This is how a porter should taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and I really don't want to part with it, but I must.

Drinkability: yes.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark nut brown with the faintest ruby/orange highlights around the edge. Thic light brown head, a solid two fingers. Slowly fades to a very thin cap and leaves big sheets of lacing behind.

S - Big roasted malt aroma with faint hints of roasted nuts underneath. Just a touch of bitter chocolate comes through as the beer warms.

T - Bitter roasted malt up front. Light fruitiness underneath but overall the taste is dominated by the roasted malt taste. Light acrid taste in the finish.

M/D - Medium bodied, maybe even a touch on the thin side. Excellent carboantion and very easy rinking.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark chestnut brown with a billowy tan colored head which left plenty of nice lacing. Mocha and malt in the well rounded aroma. Medium bodied on the palate. Grain and Coffee, sweetness and a touch of bitterness all pervade this brew.

Solid and drinkable; it improves as the temperature increases, a sign of good beer.

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

A: Black and opaque. Cream brow colored head with nice lace. Aptly named based on looks

S: roasted grains hit the nose, can smell a little hops behind it

T: This beer tastes like roasted coffee, followed by malty sweetness, hop bitterness at the end with lingering coffe grounds taste, very pleasant to drink on cold MN days.

M: The beer sloshes around the mouth and sticks well to the tounge and cheeks. Leaves a nice roasty coat on the mouth

D: Good to warm you up, but its not like you can syphon this stuff, and after 1 or 2 you have your fill.

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Photo of Soilworker
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looked much like dark coffee/chocalate with a light brown head. No light comes through even when held up to direct lighting.

Aroma: Roasted malts and coffee are present. Ripe fruit lingers throughout but is mild. Hint of burnt toast hits the nose as well.

Taste: Very much like a light stout. A strong bittersweet chocolate with an emphasis on the bitterness. Slight creaminess and strong coffee dominate the smell.

Mouthfeel: Started off with smooth carbonation but significantly lightened up at the end. The body was slightly watered down, especially when compared to a stout.

Finish: Dry and coffee-like with semi-sweet chocolate that lingers.

Drinkability: Not a bad porter at all. Could definitely drink this in a longer session. Would buy again if the price was right.

Overall this beer was a solid porter and one of the first that I have reviewed.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep chocolate brown color; almost black, with no light coming through. Poured a 2 finger medium brown head that slowly dissipated to a half inch. Thick lacing in rings and broken patches.

S: Chocolate, espresso and caramel. A burn wood aroma as the beer warms.

T: Big toasted malts; bitter coffee, chocolate and burnt toast. A coffee flavor lingers in the mild bitter finish.

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth and dry.

D: Solid porter; big malt flavors and good balance. Seemed a little thin; dry instead of creamy.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark, dark brown, with mahagony highlights, topped by thick billowing beige froth. Sticky lacing all around.

Big roasty coffee with cocoa aroma is readily evident upon, without lifting the glass.

Taste features coffee, with milk, some chocolate at the edges, biger at the finish. Earthy hops bring a bitter nip over the center of the tongue.

Solid mouthfeel, smooth but not syrupy. Easily drinkable and a desire for more.

Heard about this beer for a lot of years. It did not disappoint. Always room for a tsty porter.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Brad!!! Cheers!

Pours a nice dark brew with a light tan head! Looks really nice. I havent had a porter in a while and I'm starting to remember how much I liked this style. Good thing the winter is coming and its time to get back to them!

The taste is creamy, roasty, semi-sweet and very good! I actually like this brew!

Its very drinkable and would be great by a fire or at a drive-in! Very enjoyable!

Thanks for the chance to try this brew Brad!


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Photo of Rayek
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic.

A: Deep chocolate brown. Almost black. Foamy tan head starts strong and has OK retention. Leaves patches of lace.

S: Pretty standard fare. Espresso, chocolate and a bit of charcoal. Maybe a hint of lemon.

T: Very much a stout-light in execution. Malt comes on with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. Bitterness is mild and has a burnt charcoal quality. A mild coffee flavor is there as well. Finishes with a lingering burnt bitterness.

M: Medium-light body has a bit too much fizz.

D: An OK take on the style. Not particularly daring, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's damn cold out for October. When it gets cold, I reach for the darker beers. A porter is a fine choice for tonight.

A: Black, with brown hues. Nice 1 inch off white head that unfortunately dies a bit too quickly. Looks very appealing for a cold night brew.

S: Some chocolate, some coffee, some roastiness a little citrus hoppiness, but not a whole lot of any of these. Complex and nice, but beeds a bit more aroma.

T: Beautiful chocolate and coffee flavors. A hint of underlying caramel and toffee. The hops finish it up nicely with some citrus and a touch of earthiness. The flavors are bold, but not overpowering. Very flavorful for a low ABV brew.

M: Light bodied. More crisp than smooth. Good carbonation.

D: This is an exceptional robust porter. Quite flavorful and complex for a low ABV. Very sessionable. A great late fall/early winter beer. I'll be having this local treat often this year.

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Photo of trbergman
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Nearly opaque dark brown with two fingers of pillowy beige head. The head reduces quickly but leaves behind plenty of lace.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, charcoal, a bit musty.

T - Similar to the nose, with some sweet malt gradually giving way to a an earthy hop bitterness. The finish is lengthy and a bit acrid.

M - Soft, gentle carbonation, medium body, not quite creamy. It could do with a little more heft.

D - Overall, an enjoyable beer. Not the best porter I've had, but a good value.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with some crimson highlighting. Has a dense, creamy tan foam that displays excellent retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Really a great looking beer.

Nose is mostly roasty malt and a little chocolate. Pretty straightforward and simple, but smells nice and fresh. There is a hint of sweetness in there and I do not really get any hops.

Roasty malts are the main show here and even approach coffee-like flavors. There is some bittering hops on the finish that are only helped along by the toasty and roasty components of the malt. There is just a touch of sweetness in here that reminds me a bit of lactose and/or a milk stout. The body is a bit thin and the roast can lean toward astringent, but overall this is a pretty decent little porter here.

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Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass old-fashioned glass. No freshness date. Purchased as park of Summit's Autumn Sampler.

A: Inviting dark, dark brown with substantial 2-finger mocha colored head with lots of pits and good retention. A few lace formations line the glass.

S: Great Northern Porter resides on the hoppy end of the scale with plenty of floral, earthy, spicy hops aromas to play interestingly off of the nutty, dark and caramel malt base with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate

T: A unique porter for the nutty, earthy profile it brings. Dark and roasted malt lend a sweet but nutty layer that is met with some coffee and dark chocolate notes. Hoppiness still reigns, although it is closer than in the aroma department. Floral, spicy, and a little citrus sneaks in to round out a very enjoyable brew.

M: Could be more robust but is firmly medium with a little bit of chewiness. Carbonation is thankfully low. Aftertaste is nutty and caramel with bittering hops.

D: A very unique and take on the porter. Very earthy and flavorful that could take on the big boys of the American style (Founders, Smuttynose) with a more assertive body and feel.

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Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Dark brown with amber highlights. A little bit more and this would be black. Small head formation, leaving behind a light film.

S - Bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Some Bready yeast notes are also present.

T - Starts off with a light malt sweetness, chocolate is present. Some bitterness in the mid-stream, light hop note. Finishes with a more edge roasted chocolate note - certainly more noticeable as barley in the aftertaste. So grain husk astringency is present in the aftertaste.

M - A fairly full bodied beer. Carbonation bite is noticeable. A bit oily leftover texture.

D - ABV is low for the style - almost sessionable. A bit filling at times. Flavors are well integrated and not overwhelming for a porter.

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Photo of Mdog
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, good head and lacing.

Smell: Solid roasted malt aroma.

Taste: Roasted malt, quite a bit of coffee flavor, not too bitter.

Drinkability: Not too heavy, could have a few in a sitting.

Finally got around to reviewing the GN Porter from Summit. Way back when I first moved to Minnesota (and was in my craft beer infancy) this beer was probably my favorite non-tripel. Then I found double IPA's and didn't have this beer for years. Tasting it now, I'm kind of surprised I liked it as much as I did back then. Not too sweet, not a lot of hops, pretty balanced beer.

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Photo of bsp77
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Extremely dark opaque brown (pretty much black) with very foamy tan head that leaves nice lacing lines.

Smell: Major roasted malts with an emphasis on chocolate. Smells dry, almost slightly sour.

Taste: Very dry roastiness with notes of chocolate and coffee. Ends with a strong English, somewhat metallic and even slightly citrusy, bitterness. A slight sweetness becomes apparent as it warms.

Feel: Moderate carbonation and relatively light body for the style. Quite smooth and finishes very dry.

Drinkability: This is one of the best Porters in terms of simple drinkability.

In my opinion, this is Summit's best year round offering.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one dark pouring porter. Light barely passes through when help up to a lamp. Khaki coloured head fades to a thin sheet in about 40 seconds.
Smell is dark roasted malts and spent coffee and powerfully so.
Same nuances present in the smell are in the flavour, as well as a nice level of bitter hops. This seems to be rather well balanced in that regard. Mouthfeel was quite heavy, in my opinion given the style and the abv.
Overall, however, this is a well crafted porter and I'm glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of Rooney107
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Quite dark, suggesting roasted qualities. It almost looks like a cup of hazelnut coffee. Good lacing with a small, dark head.

S- Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and hints of nuttiness. All of these are somewhat faint, but definitely there.

T- Roasted coffee beans intermingled with cocoa flavors. A bit of bitter flavor reminiscent of espresso or particularly sweet coffee. Some vanilla and just the faintest hint of smoke. Quite good.

M- I bit thin for me actually. I was hoping for a "heavier" mouthfeel that might compliment the flavor profile more aptly.

D- Fairly drinkable, especially for the porter style. Another great entry from Summit.

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Photo of ericalbion
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass

A - Pours very smooth, a very dark beer, can't see through the class at all. Head dissipates after a few seconds,.

S - very light coffee cream aroma - hints of nut? At first very weak, waited for the sam adams glass to aerate a bit and then the aromas came out.

T - smooth rich flavor. On the front of the tongue a very sweet coffee flavor, in the back a darker spice.

M - smooth, not acidic or bitter.

Overall - a really nice porter, not as thick and intoxicating as a baltic porter and other more potent porters. Doesn't leave a dark or sticky feeling in the mouth. will buy again :)

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Photo of Ragingbull
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a frothy mocha head. Faint hint of coffee in an otherwise subtle malt nose. Smooth attack with a creamy presentation. Just a touch of smoke flavor. Dries toward the finish and bitters in the aftertaste. Robust in a very understated sort of way. This is probably my favorite Summit beer that is offered year round in bottles.

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as night, slight cherry wood underlight when you hold it up to the light. Head was an off-white, but short lasting foam.

Smells were coffee and burnt hops.

The taste had a mocha-coffee vibe. Gave my wife a sip and she said she could use one of these in the mornings sometimes.

Excellent full bodied brew that's easy to swallow. Very good porter.

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

This beer is very dark, with a good half-inch tan head, and pretty attractive lacing. Good black patent malt aroma, lightly roasted, like good expresso, and the flavor likewise mirrors those excellently. Bitterness is low, but the dark cocoa and light roast offset the sweetness quite well. The body is a tad watery, but the texture is silky smooth.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- very vigorous pour results in a frothy tan head. doesn't hold up extremely well but leaves a decent amount of lace. body is dark dark burgundy-brown, looks black until held up to a light.

S- toasted, roasted, and fresh grain along with some weak cocoa and coffee. a little bit of charcoal, kinda smokey, and a damp wood-earth-soil note, which i always like but overall kind of lacking in depth. smokey aromas stand out.

T- good amount of hop flavor in this one, burnt citrus cascade seems to stand out with earthier british hop flavor coming out near the end. some tart grilled fruit like pineapple, coffee, bitter cocoa, lots of roasted flavor and some burnt biscuit. finishes with a roasted and hoppy bitterness.

MF- just heavier than medium body and the same goes for the carbonation. i prefer beers like this to have less carbonation, but i'm a little bit strange. powdery and kinda chewy, grainy feeling.

D- mild aroma, but tons of flavor and plentiful hop bitterness. modest alcohol. good session beer for a coffee lover.

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Photo of hardy008
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a black color with a one finger tan foamy head. Streaks of ruby appear when held to the light.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate with malt. Seems to be a nice balance.

Taste- Bitter coffee and chocolate mixed with malt and some sweetness. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, a little bit light for the style. Has some creaminess.

Drinkability - Drinkability is good, this would make a nice session beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. No date on the bottle.

A - Dark ruby hints in the almost black beer with a small head that reduced to a ring but left some lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts dominate the nose with a very little coffee and cocoa but a good finish of chocolate. A good hop balance brings it full-circle without being too malty.

T - A good balance of right malts and hops. This porter finishes bitter but refreshing none-the-less.

M - Its syrupy pour lends well to the overall mouthfeel which is very full-bodied and rich but not as viscus as one would perceive it to be.

D - When all things come together this is a good porter but its slight bitterness and full-bodied, rich character don't lend well to drinkability. Good slow sipper.

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 643 ratings.
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