Few beers are as divisive as Alaskan’s Smoked Porter. It’s easily my favorite smoked beer and a solid contender for personal all-time top 5 porters. But I’ve spoken with a number of beer fans who just can’t stand it. And I can kind of see where they’re coming from, even if I don’t agree. After all, it’s super smoky, rich, roasted, rough and chewy, and it tastes… well, a little bit like smoked salmon (which still isn’t as gross sounding as an oyster stout, if you ask me). In other words, it is truly a one-of-a-kind brew.
If you’re a fellow SP lover or the open-minded sort curious to try a beer that has stirred up so much passion in both its supporters and detractors, you’ve got an excellent chance tonight. We’ll be sampling four consecutive years of the Smoked Porter on draft for your drinking amusement. The 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Smoked Porters will all be pouring tonight (Tuesday, February 23rd) and will be available as a set-of-four taster tray for just $8.
Fans of vertical tastings already know that a beer’s flavor can shift subtly (and sometimes dramatically) from year-to-year, so I’m especially curious to see which elements of the Smoked Porter recede and which blossom. According to Alaskan’s website, smoke acts as a sort of preservative to the beer (much in the way that hops do), allowing such a relatively low alcohol brew (6.5 ABV) to age gracefully over time. In later years, Alaskan says we should expect toffee, sherry, and raisin flavors to emerge.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be there tonight looking for them.