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 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 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 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 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.

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Photo of bjohn84
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin head, beer is deep chocolate brown with a red/amber hue at certain angles

S - Chocolate is most prevelant, with roasted malts, has a sweetness to it

T - Much more bitter than the smell leads on. Burnt caramel and burnt sugars come through. Little chocolate flavor comes through in taste. Finishes with a dry black coffee flavor

M - Mouthfeel is on the drinkable side, especially for a porter. Medium to medium low stickiness in the mouth

O - Nice flavor overall, but may be a little too light bodied for the style. Find it strange how the sweet chocolatey aroma is drastically different than the taste

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this Great porter in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The head is thin and beige in color, but unfortunately dies very quickly to a ring. The body is an opaque, dark brown.

Smell- This has a nice, slightly roasty and chocolate profile. Maybe a little earthy, it could just be the coffee roast.

Taste- That roast is the first thing on the palate. The sweeter cocoa and more defined coffee roast evolves from the straight roast as the drink rolls over the tongue.

The finish shifts back to the roasted malt and loses the sweetness a little bit.

Mouth feel- This one is a nice medium body, but a little too watery. That does not help in a beer that is so roasty.

Overall- This beer is one you really need to let warm up, or you will never have a clue that this has such a nice powdered cocoa profile.

The mouth feel is good, but on a porter, it could be so much better.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a really nice burnt umber color. It's deep brown with red tones seamlessly blended throughout. One finger of khaki head yields suitable spindles of lacing. This is a textbook looking porter. Great stuff.

It maintains its quality throughout the nose. Milk chocolate for days, as well as some dark chocolate powder. That is a thing that probably doesn't even exist, but that's what came to mind. It parlays into the heavy roast malt here, which I'm always a fan of. Some noble hops are there in the background, but the malts overpower them. Still, this is a pleasure to smell.

All that chocolate doesn't translate over to the palate (though I suppose if ALL of it did then this would taste more like an American Stout). The taste is mostly brown malt upfront. Almost a cola component as well. The roast begins to peek through on the midpalate, before transitioning it's bitterness to a bitter finish of hop flavor. It's quite good.

The body is fine. It's a touch too prickly with carbonation, and there's a slight watery feeling on the edges of the tongue, but I'm nitpicking. Overall, this is a damn good porter. Damn good. Summit does the style proud here.

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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.

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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.

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

Creamy tan head - like pancake batter on a cylinder of charred bread. For some imposing, for me inviting. I love the look of that beer.

Dark malts, little hops on the nose.

Chocolate, coffee, charcoal, and other dark notes - nothing fruity though. Just a hint of alcohol to close - almost like what you get at the close of a coally vodka. That close draws down an otherwise enjoyable beer.

Smooth, low carbonation allows the darkness to sit and linger.

Enjoyable beer - not great, but definitely a good warmer for the ABV.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors in Caldwell recently and was surprised to see this available in my neck of the woods. I had another offering from Summit when I was out that way but this was the first time I had seen them locally, and given that Fall is in full swing now, I figured that this beer would go nicely with the season. Even though a few reviewers compared this with Guinness, this beer only resembled it a bit in appearance. This stood out fine on its own and had enough going for it that it doesn't need to be compared with anything else. It's a Porter unlike any beer I've had before!

This had a nice, dark pour to it with a fluffy head that had a slightly pinkish hue to it. That's how light it was and it reminded me of mousse. The edges to this beer were garnet and this had s slightly thick look and mouthfeel to it. The taste was roasted with some bitter chocolate to go along with the almond and hazelnut flavor to this beer. It wasn't as creamy as I pictured but the aftertaste lingered nicely to this and there was a bit of a burnt and caramelized aftertaste that complemented the flavors nicely.

This was stronger than I thought since the alcohol isn't discernible. Even though this is a Porter, there were traits of a Brown Ale mixed in here, which made this stand out a bit more. Although this style of beer doesn't lend itself as a popular one, those looking for a Porter that's nicely crafted and stands bit out from the pack will not be disappointed here.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my British pint, a thick black color with a dense tan head.

The aroma is roasted chocolate a little coffee.

The taste starts sweet smooth with a hint of chocolate. A bitter bakers chocolate flavor follow to a creamy roasted flavor

all around a very solid porter

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

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours an opaque dark brow with a 1-finger, dense tan head. Head falls apart halfway down the glass. Leaves behind a few splotches of lacing and a ring of bubbles at the bottom of the glass.

S - A little bit of crystal and chocolate malt. Gets stronger as the beer warms.

T - Chocolate malt upfront. The body is dominated by chocolate and crystal malt with enough earthy hop flavors to provide some semblance of balance.A bit more hop flavor as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads to a bitter-dark chocolate finish.

M - On the weaker side of heavy bodied with substantial carbonation that seems to thin the beer more than add that nice creamy texture I look for in well crafted porters.

Great Northern Porter is a textbook, middle-of-the-road porter available at a bargain price ($10 for the variety pack). This is the last beer from that pack that I purchased a few years back . The Octoberfest was the standout beer in that pack, while the rest were merely average beers who's main draw is their cheaper-than-macro price. Nothing I'd seek out, but a good choice to bring to a party to introduce macro beer drinkers to different styles.

(After reading other reviews, I am somewhat suspicious of cellering - hopefully I will have the opportunity to compare these notes to a fresh bottle)

 1,351 characters

Photo of anglagard1
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks dark and foamy like a Guinness but has a unique lacing that leaves thin, foamy stripes with every sip you take. Smell is of cocoa and coffee. Coffee is more prevalant in the taste, cutting through all levels of the palate.
This beer for me defines the style, even as it exhibits unique characteristics of its own. It is one seriously sessionable beer.

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Photo of tronester
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a smooth creamy tan head. Smells cocoa powder and a hint of cinnamon. Taste is initially milk chocolate, following with a strong espresso middle, and an earthy, chewy smoky finish. Beer really tastes better at cellar temperatures, let this one warm up a bit out of the fridge. Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation. Good drinkability, a very good porter.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, thick two and a half finger head, some lacing.
S- Smell is sweeter than many porters. A bit of maple, and good roasted malts. There is a bit of espresso aroma as well.
T- Still sweeter than many in style. Espresso, a bit of cocoa, a bit of milk chocolate, and a light maple character. Finish has a touch of coffee in it.
M- Medium carbonation, medium-light body.
O- An above average porter. Sweeter than I would like, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of bnes09
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color, just a shade away from pitch black. Thin cream colored head with some lace spots.

Excellent roasted aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. Toasty malt also.

Roasted malt is the most predominant flavor, coffee, dark chocolate, roasted almonds and wheat toast. Mild hop flavor in the background provides and earthy, pine-like bitterness.

Dense medium body. Dry feel. Solid carbonation.

Solid porter. Complex and delicious.

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Photo of Phelps
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

Mostly-opaque and like black coffee in color, with highlights of amber and gold at the edges. One finger of foamy tan head descends slowly to a thick top layer. Some streaks of lace.

The usual aroma. Tangy burnt sourdough, black coffee, dark chocolate, a light hit of earthy hops.

The flavor starts with powered dark chocolate and acrid burnt toast. After the swallow, it smooths out with softer oat tones. Bitter espresso remains on the sides of the tongue.

The medium-light body is a bit thin but supple. Fairly active bubbles, moderate fizz.

No surprises here. An average, drinkable porter.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that gradually faded away and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of burnt malts, espresso and bittersweet chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell (but stronger in strength) and has flavors of espresso and roasted malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, smooth and a bit watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer goes down rather easily and is quite flavorful despite its thin body.

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

Appearance: Clear dark amber in color before a strong light, with a small, persistent white head, thin, fine dlass-coating lace, modest carbonation.

Aroma: Deep bitter cocoa aroma with a bit of earth, cold coffee, roasted barley, very little hop presence at all.

Taste: Bitter cocoa and earth at the open,as the taste progresses, the roasted barley rises to ascendency. Late in the taste, rather earthy hops appear. Finishes with cold coffee, and a lingering, slightly oily and earthy hop note

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, pleasant, rather full.

Drinkability/notes A solid and competently made example, perhaps a touch heavy-handed for my taste, but it is quite good.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby twelve ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a Riedel wheat glass.

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Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 7/4/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark chocolate/mahogany brown with some dark ruby highlights; starts with a 2 finger, dark tan head that starts out looking a little creamy, but then becomes rocky and pockmarked; body is dark, nearly opaque with the exception of the few of the dark highlights; decent lacing.

Smell: Smell is good, nice dark roastiness that is a touch nutty and earthy; bit of a bitter chocolate; not overly complex or anything, but fairly robust for a smaller porter.

Taste: Really matches the nose to a "T" -- lots of earthy and nutty roastiness that is plenty good; and there is just a touch of the bittersweet chocolate; not too huge or anything, but satisfying.

Mouthfeel: I've never been a big fan of the body of almost all American Porters as they just seem thin, a tad watery, and big on carbonation, and this one doesn't break that trend. Doesn't impress, but doesn't necessarily disappoint.

Overall: Worth picking up, and I wouldn't turn it down. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to get it when there Ed Fitz is readily available all year, not to mention Founders Porter; good nose, decent flavors and low ABV all allow this to be a pretty drinkable offer.

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

A - deep dark ruby color with a thick tan head that is well retained and leaves a nice lacing

S - rich, sweet, roasted malt aroma with accents of citrus American-like hop

T - delivers aroma with rich roasted, chocolate-like malt up front with a touch of burnt character; hops are present but subdued and noticed from start to finish with a moderate hop bitterness that blends nicely with the roast bitterness

M - medium body, moderately high carbonation

D - This is a very nice robust porter. It's brewed well and the flavors are all in balance for the style expectations. I don't know if I would have had this one if it wasn't in a variety pack, but it sure is a pleasant surprise. I'm glad there are a couple more waiting for me...

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pint glass; great solid dark brown color, nice light tan head that clings very well and is nice and thick.

Smell is light roasted malt sweetness, hints of toffee and coffee flavors, touch of chocolate sweetness as well.

Taste is smooth lightly roasted malt sweetness, nice flavors come to mind of toffee, coffee, chocolate, light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid, a touch on the cloying sweet side, but good balance of bitter and malt sweetness.

Overall, very well done, a nicely done porter, good flavor balanced and profile.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: deep blackish brown, cardinal shimmering body, no head or lacing

S: hint of boozy aroma, bitter chocolate, mild coffee, roasted nuts

T: big chocolate, roasted coffee, slight bitter/burnt finish

M: med/light, low carbonation

O: Decent porter, but you could do better. Ok session brew for a long night with newbies, not terrible but doesn't stand up to my rigorous porter standard, lol.


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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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