Summit Great Northern Porter | Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter
Very Good
652 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: 652 |  Reviews: 309
Photo of jjanega08
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A= Pours a dark brown/amber color with a beige head and good lacing very nice looking beer
S= coffe notes, a little chocolate. And toasted malts typical of an american porter
T= same as the nose coffee and malt fusion is the prodominant flavors with small chocolate notes
M= smooth and light for a porter
D= decent, a nice beer to sip on with food there's really not a whole lot that's special about this one. Not one of my favorite porters

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Photo of Bjshelak
2.62/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This will be my first beer review. I may be somewhat unequipped/inexperienced at this point, but everybody starts somewhere.
Poured in an old fashioned (I lack proper glassware for the time being). Pours a dark, fairly thick, muddy brown with a thin beige head. Good head retention.
I don't detect much of a nose. What little scent I can guess at is that of weak coffee.
Starts off with some slight bitterness that softens back into the weak coffee with a little bit of hops (I'm guessing) poking its head out midway through. Coffee becomes more pronounced as it turns dry and the flavor finishes. The aftertaste lingers with a light coffee bitterness.
I picked this up as another stop on my MN/WI beer tour, and I'm planning on working my way through the rest of Summit's offerings soon. This was not a great beer to start with though. Given my memory of the Pale, Winter, and Scandia, this is definitely one of their weaker offerings. I've never been a coffee drinker, but I've enjoyed the flavor enough in stouts before. Here it's just too weak and there's not much else going on.

Edit: I went into this review having already tried this beer. My review may be somewhat colored by previous experience and should be taken with a grain of salt. If the rest of the reviews are any indication, this beer is well worth a try.

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Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of ruby. It had a small, cappucino-like head that left trails of soapy lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some subtle floral notes.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a bitter hop kick.

M - It was creamy,smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good and easy drinking porter.

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Photo of crayphish
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the recent nasty early autumn weather I though it would be time to get back into some darker brews. This porter pours a intense ruby black. A nice tan head adorns this brew, lots o sticky lace. I smell coffee and chocolate. Its not overwhelming, but determinable. Taste is solid. Big roasted malt base with coffee and spicy hops evening this brew out. A pleasing burnt bitterness.The hops are more apparent as they dry this finish nicely. My mouth is left clean and wanting another taste. I really enjoyed this brew. At 4.9% its very drinkable. This will become a staple.

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Photo of Greggy
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 2 finger head that is pretty slow to recede. I get some nice lacing rings as I drink down this beer. The body is almost black but light can just be seen through it.

S- Very dark, dry chocolate, cream, vanilla, and a nice hoppy edge. Almost Surly Bender-esque but sans hops.

T- Some very dark chocolate, coffee, nice, cream, vanilla and graham cracker notes come through before a dry finish.

M- Carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is nice.

D- @4.9% this is sessionable, but still in "night-cap" territory. I am a huge fan of bender and this might be a more affordable substitute. I plan on having this again in the near future.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque black with a quarter finger head.

S- Smooth roasty malts with hints of chocolate and earthy hops.

T- The sharp roasted bitterness hits you right away but mellows out quickly. A mellow slightly chocolately middle then lends way to a smooth, slightly dry hop finish.

M- Pretty smooth, carbonation is just a little sharp.

D- Pretty drinkable for a beer with this much character.

Although I'm not a huge porter fan, I really enjoyed this. There's enough character here without being overpowering.

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Photo of Kyle987
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great head and very dark, opaque brown color. Great retention and lacing. Aroma is great - strong and extremely malty. Flavor has a lot of malt as well but also some hop bitterness. Also some strong hints of chocolate and coffee. Great mouthfeel, with perfect carbonation, good weight - significant and heavy. As drinkable as a porter could be.

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

Pours a half finger brown head over a very dark red-brown liquid. Smells potent american hops with drying chocolate and coffee. Burnt nut. Hops are grassy, citrusy, and work very well with the malt character.

Tastes strong hop citrus and pine hop flavor with noticable rounded grassy hop bitter. Underlying malt sweet dries quicky due to dark grain driness, hop grassiness, and drying carbonation. Dash of sour, likely from black patent. Bit of carbonation sting melds with the sour nicely. Md thick mouthfeel, which is a great way to keep sweet on the tongue and keep the beer from being entirely too dry. Not overly complex, but well crafted and enjoyable.

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Photo of kinger
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wonderful beer, represents the good qualities of a well made porter. Pours a midnight black/super dark brown with a thick tan head. Lots of lacing clings to the sides of my glass as I drink this. The aroma is thick with roasted malts, a strong coffee scent is given off. Tons of roasted malts create an explosive rich flavor. The noticeable hops really help balance out this porter. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but adequate for full enjoyment of this beer. I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of these, and look forward to enjoying a couple more.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown with ruby highlights and a gorgeous creamy tan head that lingered until the last sip. Aroma is very subtle with notes of chocolate and roast malts and an interesting hop profile of grass and flowers. Probably a combination of English and noble hops. Taste is bursting with that wonderful malt character of chocolate and roast with a hint of smoke. Moderate hop bitternes balances the sweetness with the same interesting hop flavors as described in the aroma. Kind of reminds me of a grassy-wildflower summer meadow. What this beer lacks in a thinner mouthfeel actually makes up for it in drinkability. I could have several of these, especially at under 5% ABV. However, I would classify this more as an English porter rather than American due to its thinner body and hop profile. Anyhoo, this beer is tasty and I look forward to the next one.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P: Hand-pulled from the beer engine @ Sugar Maple on 6-6-08 and presented in a Summit Brewing Company pint glass.

A: Pours a dark tobacco with a creamy, one-finger, khaki-colored head that doesn't linger.

S: Earthy: toasted malts and yeast with a hint of toffee.

T: Opens with roasted malt and notes of coffee, caramel and chocolate. Finishes dry with a moderately hoppy bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied with a smooth, firkin-conditioned mouthfeel.

D: Good, a very easy-drinking American Porter.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. pours deep brown, almost black, with three fingers of tan head with decent retention, about four minutes. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with notes of cofee, chocolate, and a hint of an earthy quality, which gives the brew an aged character. nicely proportioned.

taste is malty, with the familiar notes of roasted malts, caramel malts, and chocolate malts. a pretty standard american porter, with a pleasant profile. the cofee is present, but not overdone, which seems to be a mildly common occurance for the style.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a smooth and creamy texture, and a malty finish of residual roasted malt and coffee.

drinkability is good. this is a smooth and mellow porter. not too rich and not too thin, this brew embodied the middle of the road in porters, but is still damn drinkable. cheers!

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Photo of supercolter
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty decent porter. It looks very intimidating when poured as is has the motor oil look, without any head or lacing.
Smell and taste are very similar with dry coffee and a bit of bitter chocolate coming through. I would have liked a bit more hops as they were all but non-existant.
Mouthfeel is actually quite light.
Drinkability- this is a sipper, but goes down easy due to the light mouthfeel.

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Photo of Contagion
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with ruby accents. A nice tan quarter inch head formed as it was being poured. The head faded to a nice film on the top of the beer that seems to last. There is some lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is an overpowering combination of Coffee and Chocolate. You can also detect a faint scent of dark roasted grain. I don't know if it was the actual alcohol content or the combination of smells described, but there was a faint smell of alcohol. The taste starts with a bitter baker's chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee. There is a slight bitter hop finish to it. The aftertaste is bitter, but not over powering.

It is a medium bodied beer. The combination level seems a little high for a porter, but it's nothing to complain about.

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

In this age of barrel-aged imperial rye porters, this is just a classic American porter. It looks good with a dark brown body and tan head. The aroma is of dark, dry roasted grains. And the flavor adds a touch of chocolate to the mix. The balance is spot on, dry and drinkable, yet still a bit sweet. This is a good session beer, a simple one, but tasty and it won't knock you off your stool.

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Photo of toolbrew
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured nicely into a pint glass. Dark brown, opaque, with a light brown head. Lots of lacing.

The smell dind't have much to report. Maybe a slight, very slight chocolate flavor. Smells like your average malty porter.

Good malty flavor, and a great body for a porter.

Nice mouthfeel - not to watery or carbonated. Goes down easy and sits well.

I would have a couple of these per sitting.

Bought this on a whim to try it out. Haven't had many Summit beers before.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is very dark brown, near black. My pour produced a thick, milky brownish head about 1/2 an inch thick. Leaves patchy lacing.

Smell: Dominated by roasted malt (burnt chocolate, roasted coffee beans). No hop related aromas.

Taste: Starts off with a blast of the roasted malts that were present in the scent. Surprisingly this one finishes with a slightly spicy/hoppy bitterness at the end. I guess I would describe it as bitter sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, good carbonation, lively. Has a bit of a dry finish.

Drinkability: A friend borught back one six pack of this from a weekend trip to the Twin Cities area because he knew I liked dark beers. Very much appreciated, I'll enjoy each one. This is one Summit beer I had not seen in the area, if I had the ability to get this more often I would. Low ABV, drinkable, I could session with this in the winter months.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown (almost black pour with a small tan head that stays pretty well.
Aroma is a little short, but I can detect carmel, chocolate and coffee.
Taste is very good, nice hints of chocolate and coffe, with just a nice clean malt base.
Great creamy smooth mouthfeel, this is a good beer overall, and very drinkable. good for a cold day sitting in the house watching the snow fall.

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Photo of getch
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- dark, little head when poured, about a finger, nothing special special, little residue when poured

s-this has some interesting notes to it, at first i did not like the smell it has a intense coffee smell, but not exactlly, a mixture of coca and coffee which combines to confuse the mind, becomes more enjoyable as beer warms.

t-have to have this beer at a nice room temperture, it tastes better as it warms, nice coffee notes some coca, smoke taste but nothing to intense.

m-this beer would taste alot better if warm, next time if i partake in a summit porter it will stay out of the fridge for 15 mins before consuming

d- could have a couple of these, prob much better on tap

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Photo of ajhod
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just tapped a home draught system with this and the Summit ESB. The Porter has a good strong espresso coffee taste to it, nice fresh grains coming thru. Hops in the back end, but not agressive. Not overly sweet either. A good cool weather beer, suitable for drinking fairly large amounts of as it has a moderate alcohol content.

As it warms up, the roast malts come out more and carry with them a caramel/molassas flavour on the back of the tounge. Opened to the air for about 10 min, it gets a roundness to it which is very pleasant.

Good beer for smoking a pipe of nice british style tobacco with. Sit back and let this one open for a while.

Good to go with a good lamb stew.

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Photo of tayner
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle

brown with a small off-white head, not alot of lacing however.

Smells of roasted malt, not alot of hops or alcohol in the nose.

Taste is strongly of bitter coffee, some burnt ashy malt, and almost no finishin hops.

This is a little thin, but since it is a porter i can forgive it. It almost has the flavor of a basic stout, mouthfeel of a brown ale, so i guess porter is the midpoint.

being under 5% it is easy to drink, but with no finishing hops to help dry the palate one is all i can take at a time.

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Photo of bminus
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark, deep brown with a somewhat undersized beige head.
Smell is of burnt, toasty malt. A bit of coffee and even less of chocolate.
Taste is initially of strong burnt chocolate malt, but smoothes out in the finish.
Really smooth feel, not too light, but not too heavy.
It's a big beer, great for a sipper on a cold day while bundled up in the icehouse or cabin. More than one gets to be overkill, though.

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Photo of morimech
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a nice one fingered off white head. It quickly settles to a ring after leaving some nice sticky lacing. The head retention sure could be better but overall it looks like an appetizing porter.

The smell is burnt and chocolate malt with a hint of roasted coffee. No hint of any sweetness or hops in the aroma.

I have to wait a little bit for the beer to warm up to the proper temp...The first impression is roasted malt. It almost tastes like burnt coffee in its intensity. It is not overly complex in its malt character but what it does it does well. It might be a little thin compared to other porters but it has a nice consistancy.

This is a good cold weather beer. This and the Summit Winter Ale makes a good 1-2 punch in battling off Old Man Winter.

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

Poured cool into a DFH shaped pint. Purchased at Thirsty's in York, PA.

A - Deep cola brown w/ a glimpse of caramel brown at the base of the pint. A spectacular full 3 fingers of fluffed up tan foam that appears rocky and leaves moderate lace is produced from a slightly vigorous pour.

S - A nice yeasty fruit ester and mineral scent of an English style porter w/ plenty of roasted notes and a hint of cocoa.

M - Slightly on the thin side, but nice dry textures and moderate carbonation make it better than average.

T - Crisp, spicy hops awaken the tongue as the smooth cocoa creamy malt notes follow w/ a nice charred edge. The hops are piney and fit the style w/ just a bit more than you might find traditionally. A bitterness that is earthy w/ a bit of pepper in the flavor that goes well w/ the slightly smokey, darkly roasted malts.

D - A fabulous example of the porter style w/ nods to American flavor characteristics. Restrained, yet enticing w/ notes of roastiness that make this creamy smokey porter very drinkable

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Photo of sweetkness
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured into pint mug. Nice creamy head which settled quickly. Dark brown color common of style.

Smell - Slight bitter malt aroma. I had trouble distinguishing much as far as aroma.

Taste - Wonderful taste for this style. Strong malt flavor at first, changing to bittersweet barley/caramel flavor and finishing with a slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel - Watery going into mouth, becoming more complex across tongue. (if that makes sense)

Drinkability - I drank this very quickly. Not too filling like some porters/stouts can be.

This is a wonderful example of a porter. It is my favorite Summit beer that I have had thus far and I would rate this above more popular versions such as Anchor or Sierra Nevada Porter.

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Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 652 ratings