Alaskan Smoked Porter Vertical TastingJanuary 1, 2015
Alaskan Brewing Co.
A legendary beer, with malt smoked at a nearby salmon processing facility. In tasting three vintages that span six years, the pattern of aging becomes quite clear. The most recent version offers just a hint of bacon aroma, with a strong alcohol nose. The taste is intensely bitter chocolate, leaving a dry finish. Working backwards, the smoke steadily slips away, opening room for the chocolate, which shifts from rich bittersweet dark aroma and flavor to something sweeter. Also with age comes suggestions of dark fruit along with a creamier texture. For a vintage beer, the alcohol is quite low at 6.5%, which suggests the preservative qualities of the smoke.
Daniel Bradford is the associate publisher of All About Beer Magazine.