1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,947 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 128
Gots: 95 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This hearty, mahogany colored ale is brewed to evoke the dark, full-bodied ales that were a favorite of dockworkers and warehousemen (hence the name “Porter”) in 19th century London. It is a good bet that when Dickens’ Mr. Pickwick sat down for a pint, we would have been drinking an ale much like our Robust Porter.This is a smooth and very drinkable beer, characterized by its well-balanced malt and hops, plus subtle notes of coffee and chocolate.

43 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2000)
View: Beers (54) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,947 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown, letting some light through, nice cap of khaki head. Scent is of roasted malts, roasted nuts, roasted coffee beans, roasted cocoa beans... ya get the picture... but without too much char or earthyness. The first sip brings all of the wonderful roasted notes from the scent and blends them to make a big bold taste that is almost stout like. Nice earthyness to it as well. The body remains on the heavy side of medium, just a touch higher than most porters but with all that flavor its expected. A slightly earthy and chalky finnish is very nice. I am fully impressed with this porter, one of the best around.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 14:35:49 | More by rfgetz
Photo of m1ked
m1ked

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having a pint glass of this poolside on a beautiful dog day of summer. Not a typical summer brew, but when in Long Island...

A- looks almost identical to pouring a cola with it deep dark brown body and rush of large craggy bubbles that almost seem to canibalize themselves in a flurry of activity. The head is more of an espresso brown tan though. After the pour some micro streamers can be seen if you look closely.

S- the obvious roasted coffee is unmistakeable to be sure. But it has some bittersweet chocolate and some earthy notes too. The sweetness reminds me of a fig or plum sauce reduction... dark and concentrated but not overpowering here.

T- Starts with a combo of bitter notes, I get the bitter acidic coffee and bittersweet chocolate noted right out of the gates. Then it quickly segues into a hoppy earthy bitterness. After that I get some chocolate sweetness with some ashy earthiness. The thread of earthy hoppy bitterness can be appreciated throughout the taste here.

M- Evertime I am tasting a porter I have to remind myself "this is not a stout, this is not a stout". So this is light to medium feel that seems light for a stout but definetly has a little chewiness at the end. The carbonation almost seems to prevent any one flavor (mostly th earthy bitter) from completely dominating the taste profile.

D- I feel like there are some caveats I have to keep in mind. As mentioned above...this is not a stout, and not your typical poolside summer brew. With that being said, I think this is a great example of this style that is flavorful and would pair great with food, something grilled or some deeper rich meats, hearty stew. For now, I will continue to drink it poolside.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 16:36:51 | More by m1ked
Photo of ujsplace
ujsplace

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a oversized pint glass.

Big, chunky tan colored head that is about two fingers thick, which leaves clingy lace on the sides of the glass. The brew itself is nearly black with only the faintest hint of brown along the bottom edge of the glass.

Tastes of big robust, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and espresso-like bitters with dark, earthy fruits, which balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth. Nice carbonation.

This is a great tasting porter. Highly drinkable and caseworthy. One of the better porters for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:50:24 | More by ujsplace
Photo of jkrich
jkrich

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label. Poured an opaque dark brown to black with a foamy beige head that slowly receded. If you enjoy lace, this one has plenty of tan lace.

The aromas was very inviting with spicy malt and faint smoky odors. You can also detect some citrus as well as licorice.

The initial flavor is bittersweet chocolate, faint licorice and ends with a nice citrusy hop flavor. The smoke like flavor only adds to the complexity. The roasted malty coffee taste is excellent.

This has a medium body with a creamy mouthfeel that alway remains refreshing even as the porter warms in the glass.

Another excellent porter from an outstanding brewery. I am enjoying this in the air conditioning while it roasts outside.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 22:54:18 | More by jkrich
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, dank. Beautiful. Mocha head adorns.

Roasted malts, lots of coffeee and chocolate. simple but pleasurable.
Rich chocolate and slight bitter coffee. Roasted malts a plenty as well. YUM

Pretty full in the mouth, and very velvety.

Got this in florida, only 1 mind you, and I'm very sad I did not get more!!! :(

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 03:13:43 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer.

The roasted, chocolate flavors of this beer are fantastic, it's like drinking a creamy mocha--there is enough clean hop bitterness and roast astringency to balance the sweetness of the beer. This beer has a great thick texture, that is chewy and full. Smuttynose Robust Porter is my go-to porter on the east coast when I want a flavorful, yet balanced dark beer to fulfill a chocolate craving or to pair with grilled or roasted meats. Superb!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 17:40:22 | More by Soonami
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Ping glass. Beer comes out Jet black, easily the darkest porter I've had. Dark like a Russian Imperial Stout. It has a chocolate milk colored head that sticks around and some lacing, nothing to really write home about, but pretty good. It smells really good. Chocolate malts and roasted ground coffee, a dark roasted coffee type smell followed by a slight hop aroma. Taste is good, much like the aroma. Coffee and chocolate flavors. Again its a dark coffee flavor and a rich chocolate. Tough to tell, but when it the chocolate seems to go away a little as it warms up and the coffee takes over. The hops combine with the coffee and give it a little bitter after taste, it's good. Its a very tasty porter, "Robust" is an extremely accurate description on what's going on in both the smell and taste. Mouthfeel is full and heavy, bitter finish. Very drinkable, more of a fall/winter beverage, but I enjoyed it in July. I was on a Porter kick about 2 months ago, I think I might have rated it much higher than, but I still enjoyed this and I'd get it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 03:23:28 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of rwf08
rwf08

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard American pint glass.

A: Super black, opaque. Some lacing and a faint whisper of head.

S: Coffee, roasted grain, slight fruity twang.

T: Same as smell but the fruity twang comes out a little more in the taste. Some bitterness on the backend.

M: Good body, nice carbonation. Silky in the mouth.

D: Great, one of the best porters I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 19:28:33 | More by rwf08
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is typed up from notes in my notebook.

A - Dark brown almost black. Small tan head that quickly ran away.

S - Dark malt, caramel, vanilla not too strong though

T - Dark chocolate with hints of coffee. Bit of a lingering bitterness

M - Slightly watery, fair carbonation

D - Not the best but a decent porter. Won't seek out but would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 03:11:36 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to Leffe tulip glass

A - Dark brown in colour with a finger of thick espresso coloured head.

S - Chocolate and bitter roasted malts. Some coffee too; a very strong nose.

T - Dark roasted coffee and bitter dark chocoalte dominate the palate. Hops aren't very noticeable. Very smooth.

M - Medium body, slightly sikly, lightly carbonated.

D - an excellent porter. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all. Not sure why they call this a robust porter at 5.7%. Will definitely seek this one out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 01:12:29 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of uustal
uustal

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an impressive deep black. Smells of chocolate syrup, coffee beans and a hint of alcohol. Faint aroma overall however. Tastes of bitter unsweetened chocolate, roasted black coffee and has a stronger hop backbone than most porters. Finishes with a mild dryness. The bitterness stands out in this beer, both in the malts and hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 22:19:06 | More by uustal
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful pour. Oily black beer with an inch of rocky khaki head that leaves sheets of clingy lacing. Perhaps looks a bit more like a stout than a porter, I guess...

S - Initially strong roasted aromas waft from the glass; hefty doses of burnt coffee, tobacco, cocoa and wood char are immediately available. As soon as you sip the brew, however, these impressions shift from the olfactory to the gustatory. In other words, once you drink it, you can no longer smell it because all you can do is taste it.

T - Smooth charred flavors as well as rich chocolate and coffee taste combine with an earthy, woody hop that increases in bitterness towards the finish. Slight sweetness and an oat-y flavor are underlying. The bitter hop becomes more pronounced as the drinking carries on, and the hop also fuses quite nicely with the coffee flavor. Overall this is a phenomenal straight-up American Porter, worthy of any and all acclaim.

M - The feel is fairly full, and quite creamy.

D - This is a very good beer, and one of my favorite straight-up representations of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 17:00:47 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of bgildea
bgildea

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice black color with a slightly tan/brownish head that sticks around for a little and leaves some decent lacing.

S: Slight smell of roasted malts and coffee, but no really strong aroma.

T: Good overall flavor. Slight sweet flavor at first, maybe some bittersweet chocolate. The flavor then rolls into the roasted malts and finishes slightly with hops and coffee.

M: Decently thick. For such a small ABV it has a real good amount of chew.

D: Very drinkable. My brother bought me a sixer of this, and it is a great beer to buy by the six pack. I'm not sure how expensive it is, but I think this is a beer that you can buy a lot of and not be disappointed.

Overall: Overall the beer had a very good flavor. It's a porter that has a real coffee kick finish. I'd recommend this to any porter drinker and if it's cheap, this is an easy everyday beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 00:03:01 | More by bgildea
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep chestnut brown color with a small, dense brown colored head that disipated into a light ring. The aroma has some nice milk chocolate notes, brown sugar, and a touch of wet wood. The taste has the milk chocolate characteristics as well but there is also some bitter chocolate flavors. I pick up some wood, smoke, coffee grounds, and some brown sugar. The feel is quite thick and chewy, definitely thicker than most traditional porters. On par with a baltic porter. The porter has soft carbonation which leads to a creamy texture. The beer starts off sweet but ends with a roasted malt bitterness. A robust porter indeed. It has some nice earthy characteristics between the chocolate and smoke. Not enough smoke to get confused with a smoked porter but enough to add some complexity. The 5.7% abv lets you drink several of these without much affect. Very recommended, good example of the style. My only knock is that it is a bit thick for my liking in a porter.

Serving type: growler

06-14-2010 23:14:08 | More by Gmann
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint glass. best before aug 2010.

pours imperial stout like black. rich deep expresso brown colored head that retains very well. nice sticky lace. it looks official.

the aroma is lots of bitter roasted malt, some cooking chocolate, coffee, a little metallic, but that disappaits as it warms.

wow, great taste, similar to an imperial stout in the bitter chocolate roasted malt. lots of cooking chocolate and bitter expresso flavors. finishs with a nice lingering hop bitterness and sweet roasted malt.

mouthfeel is a touch watery at times, but there is way more flavor than you would expect out of a 5% beer. theres a chalky aspect too, but its definatly welcomed. medium to light body.

pretty sessionable beer, more towards the colder months though, it seems a little bigger than it is at times.

this is a great porter, up there with the best. i highly recommend this. kind of like a "light" imperial stout if you can imagine that. for the $8, it was a bargain, get it!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 02:48:37 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of aepb1
aepb1

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep brown and a tan head

S- Caramel roasted malts, a very full nose!

T- Roasted malts show up here as a porter should have. Very good example of a porter, one of the best I've had! Right down to the slightly bitter finish

M- Full-bodied but not as full as I'd want for the full taste

D- Any time I'd want a porter and this was around, I'd opt for it

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 17:23:45 | More by aepb1
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
airheadmtrcycle

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First of all I'm a porter fan. Before I ever heard the term craft beer, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter was my go to beer. Second, I have yet to try a Smuttynose I didn't like. I should like this beer and I do.

A: Burnt brown to black with a small head that looks like espresso crema. Very nice lacing. A beautiful beer!

S: Unsweetened chocolate, perhaps some malts. I don't pick up any citrus or piny notes which defy its bitter flavor. I'm right at the best served date; I don't know if that could have affected the smell.

T: The taste makes up for just about any faults this beer might have with smell. The bitterness is perfect for my taste buds. The finish is slightly bitter in the roof of my mouth; I wish it would never go away. Flavors are espresso, unsweetened chocolate, and burnt malt with very little sweetness. Fantastic!

M: Mouthfeel is not too thick for such a dark looking beer and not the slightest hint of wateriness. Just right, imo. Perfect!

D: Outstanding drinkability. I wish I had another right now. In fact I may go to the beer store right now even though I have about 7 or 8 other beer types ready to drink. Drinking anything else after this is not fair to that beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 02:07:01 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of mfunk9786
mfunk9786

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the better readily available porters in the northeast, evidenced partially by the fact that it's almost always either sold out or close to sold out every time I stop by Total Wine to pick up a six pack of it.

A: As dark as an imperial stout, with a light brown head that sticks to the side of the glass almost obnoxiously (this thing's going to take some extra rinsing after I finish), it's gorgeous all the way, for a porter with less than 6% alcohol, this one has quite the threatening pour and presence.

S: The smell is rather muted (especially when eventually compared to the taste) but there is definite chocolate and coffee on the nose, and some burnt malts are undeniably present.

T: The taste is really what sets this porter apart. Where Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald succeeds in being smooth and easy-drinking, this porter succeeds in being in-your-face and, well... robust. There's a lot of roasty, nearly burnt-to-a-crisp malt flavor (that is downright acrid if this isn't your cup of tea) and black coffee, and dark chocolate. There's definitely hoppiness to start things out, but this is quickly forgotten when you're socked by the malts. This is a low ABV beer that drinks like an imperial coffee stout.

M/D: The mouthfeel is far from smooth, and the drinkability is taken down by the astringent quality of the burnt malt, but it's still a tasty, chocolaty beer that can't exactly be bashed because it's not easy to guzzle like a light beer.

Bravo to the inconsistent Smuttynose for this beer. Between this and their annual Pumpkin Ale, they're capable of some really fantastic work.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 00:45:09 | More by mfunk9786
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If one were looking for a good porter it would be easy to recomend this one. While I think the smutty's baltic porter is a bit better. I really like this a lot as well.

A - Dark brown with about 1 finger of head lots of lacing on the side of the glass.

S - roasted malts and chocolate not overpowering though.

T - is good again you get a nice malty chocolate taste a little coffe as well.

M - Feels creamy and rich in the feal just nice.

D - Would have and recommend again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 22:32:49 | More by Casey10
Photo of johnwarne
johnwarne

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer haiku for you:

"A yummy porter
Sit and have another one!
My wife says: indeed!"

After a big disappointment with Smuttynose's "star", I viewed [skeptically at first]and sampled my bride's SRP. Here is a good representative of the art: you won't be sorry to sample a couple of these. Nice chocolate/coffee blending.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 12:02:05 | More by johnwarne
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured close to pitch black, with a dense half inch tan head. The head faded and became spotty, but kept a pretty thick ring around the outside of the glass. A nice spider web of lace was left on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a nice milk chocolaty flavor coming through with some hints of some roasty and coffee flavors as well. Very nice smooth and appealing aroma to it.

The taste has a pretty big roasted, burnt and coffee flavor to it. It also has a very nice chocolaty flavor coming through in the finish that really helps balance out the roasty and bitter flavors. When first opening it I would have believed coffee was an addition had it said so on the bottle, but as it warmed the coffee lightened a little to show some more of the chocolate flavor. Great flavors overall, and they mix very nicely.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I would have preferred it to be a little less carbonated and maybe a bit thicker, but it was still a pretty decent mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good, it was a very good tasting porter with a great mix of flavors. They really mixed the coffee and chocolate flavors very well. One of the better porters I've had, and will be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 00:40:35 | More by billab914
Photo of biteur
biteur

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - rich, dark, inviting, creamed coffee head with good lace
S - chocolate and malt
T - bitter chocolate, pleasant bitter after
M - even and easy, smooth
D - one is great, two is better

Recent convert to dark beers. Robust Porter is one of the reasons.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 02:09:06 | More by biteur
Photo of jmerloni
jmerloni

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Outstanding appearance. Jet black with some mean huge head that retains really well and laces with a vengeance. Dark brown bubbly collar.

S - Just incredible. Dark brown and coffee beans. Dark malts.

T - IBUs. That's all I have to say really. Huge flavor. Chocolate, toffee, vanilla bean. Hop bitterness on the end...You can definitely taste the IBUs on this brew.

M - Close to perfect mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied. There is a graininess that accompanies the chocolate flavor.

D - Simply outstanding. High drinkability. I could drink this beer all night any night of fall or winter. Great drinkability. I tried Wachusett Black Shack Porter a while back and loved it and yet this is exponentially better!

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 01:51:49 | More by jmerloni
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark black, with a thick, sticky, tan head.

S- Lots of roasted malt with a hint of sweetness.

T- Big roasted malt flavor with a little sweetness towards the finish. Notes of coffee and bitter chocolate are noticeable as well.

M- Easy, smooth feel; medium to full body.

D- A big, roasty porter to say the least.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2010 18:56:08 | More by TommyW
Photo of VerbingNouns
VerbingNouns

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Very dark, opaque, with an inch and a half of dark tan head. Head sinks slowly, lacing almost solid.

S: Bitter coffee bean, a hint of dark chocolate. Crisp. As it warms up, the crispness dissipates a bit, letting a creamier smell through.

T: Dark chocolate abounds! It's not at all sweet on my palate, but the coffee and chocolate blend nicely into a mocha-like flavor. Aftertaste is bready and warm.

M: Rich, but not thick; lingers in the back of my throat.

D: As someone who can't drink coffee (too bitter for me, somehow?) yet loves coffee flavor, this is a great way to get my kicks. It seems that the bitterness is compounding, as it gets stronger with every sip. If I didn't know better, I'd probably guess it was over 7% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 00:45:43 | More by VerbingNouns
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.