Alaskan: Smoked Porter (USA: Smoked Porter: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Dark brown black with a thin bubbled dash over maybe half the body.

Nose: Wood smoke. Bacon. Maple syrup. Slight medicinal touch and salt.

Body: Medicinal. Milky chocolate. Smoke. Doughnuts. Molasses. Apples and wood.

Finish: Oak. Salt. Barbecue ribs glaze style sweet sauce. Smoked meats. Bitter coffee. Dry. Resin chocolate chews.

Conclusion: Drinking this I thought “this is what Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale” should have tasted like. There is distinct smoked bacon and syrup sweetness. In fact there is enough smoke and smoked bacon that the usual coffee and chocolate flavours are hidden behind it for the most part.  Well, ok, it is not just the smoke hiding it. There is a medicinal and smoke character that gives the impression that this has had some light Islay ageing. Despite the heavy flavours the base porter flavour is still there. Ok loaded with sweet maple syrup styled elements, but still there.

It all adds up to a beer you feel you should be soaking ribs in. Heavy, sweet, sickly flavours against a load of smoke and meat punch.

It is a very weighty beer, at 660ml it felt like it should be shared even at the 6.5% ABV. Drunk in cold weather it was a welcome bulwark against the recent snow. It felt almost sickly by the end, barbecue sauceesque. The flavour in the finish seems to last forever. I’m fairly sure if I hadn’t brushed my teeth I would be still tasting it in the morning.

For me that was the only weak point, it was a tad too sickly and thick in the flavours so gave no moment to rest and recover. It was stil enjoyable despite that, it has the same glee of VDBMA but is the superior beer to that, and seems to be showing off less with what it has.  Very smoked and salted, very strong and very sauce soaked. Big in all ways.

Id say I appreciated it more than enjoyed it, but everything it set out to do it did very well.

Background: 2012 edition. Picked up from the bottle shop linked with “House Of Trembling Madness” in York. A fantastic bar and shop combo.  I’ve been trying to get hold of this for a while, it seems to show up in nearly every beer list book on the planet that it can. This beer is made by alder smoking the malts, which apparently is an old Alaskan tradition. I would have no idea myself.