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Alaskan Smoked Porter

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

The second smoked beer in this issue’s lineup, Alaskan Brewing’s Smoked Porter more than holds its own when compared to the venerable Franconian entry. Alaskan Brewing is widely acclaimed for its beer, and this one is arguably the rock star of the lineup. By turns, the aroma displays assertive dark roasted malt, rich cacao, slightly resiny hops and delicate wood smoke. Tim complimented the delicate marriage between espresso-like malt, smoke and well-integrated hops, which he found reminiscent of camping in a forest of pine. Lee was also suitably impressed with the overall smoky demeanor of this brew and had high praise for its subtle, smoldering campfire character. As expected of a world class porter, this beer slides into the glass dark, brooding and mysterious, and it is crowned by a mousse-like tan head that lasts to the end of the glass. Holding true to that porter heritage, this beer straddles the line between roasty and burnt dark malt character while propping up the flavor with notes of toffee, caramel, treacle and cocoa powder. Tom thoroughly enjoyed the interweaving of “porter-like flavors” of toffee and faint licorice with the subdued, welcoming wisps of smokiness, while Pete picked up some assertive, late-arriving bitterness that helped keep the beer dry in the finish. This is a beer with somewhat limited distribution, but every card-carrying beer lover should take whatever steps necessary to procure a steady supply of the bottled treasure.