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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,169 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,169
Reviews: 1,012
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 139
Gots: 158 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,169 | Reviews: 1,012 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brew33
2.35/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Grabbed a Smuttynose mixed 12 pack to give them a shot. This wasn't great.

It looks like a Porter. Very dark brown, bordering on black. Crystal clear. Nice tan head. The aroma is rough. Slight malt, metallic, some burned paper aromas. Faint chemical smell. Heavily metallic. The taste is burnt. Lots of charred malt. Boring malt bill. Little complexity. Thin. The apperance wrote a check the body can't cash. The charred flavors dominate. Lots of grain bitterness. One dimensional. Dry finish which is nice. Drinkability isn't very high because of the staunch graininess and boring flavor profile.

Pass on this one. Especially when there are so many good Porters readily available.

Brew33, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into nonic pint... thanks John! (JM03)

A: Pours a dark brown/black with one finger tan head; a nice layer of foam stays on top of the beer throughout its duration with great lacing.

S: Roasted malts absolutely dominate the smell of this beer, and it is quite enjoyable. Accents of sweetness really drew me in- chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. A light charred, smoky overtone.

T: Does not disappoint on the "robust" claim; this is as rich of a 5.7% ABV beer you'll ever drink. Charred and roasted malts are upfront here much like in the smell, with the same notes of sweetness. A pleasant, very bittersweet, dark chocolate (think at least ~70% cocoa content) finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation which adds to the beer's creaminess. Slightly sticky. I wish it was just a bit thicker, but that's just being picky.

D: Would love another of these; a few would go great with a meal, so long as the meal could stand up to it.

AwYeh, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of achek74
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served (as I'm sure the brewers intended) in a schlitz goblet.

Nice head (ok lacing). Slight bitterness on the nose. Deep, rich, slightly sweet, more dark chocolate than coffee flavors. Crisp on the front end, slight sweet fruitiness (berries?), but lingering richness. My new favorite porter (don't tell Glenn).

achek74, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of babaracas
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown with one finger dense light brown head, settles to a thin cap leaving rings of fine lace. Smell: leafy, earthy hops, big roasted grain with a whiff of 'dark' toast, lots of sweet caramel and a little chocolate beneath. Taste: citric and earthy hopping upfront, unsweet chocolate bookends around an astringent roasted character. Lightish medium body with a dry finish, fleeting experience as the carbonation comes in late and leaves early. Good, not great. Best by 4/11.

babaracas, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a few of these as leftovers from the West Lakeview Smuttynose tasting event. Served in my Half Acre pint glass. Best before May 2011.

A - Pours with two fingers of chocolate mocha foam that settle to a chunky cap, leaving behind intricate lace patterns. The body is a nearly black color that's totally opaque. Very good-looking porter.

S - Big toasted bread and grains, slightly burnt toast, cocoa, earthy hops, coffee, and maybe a hint of caramel. This is surprisingly excellent.

T - Taste is unfortunately not quite as good. Bitter dark chocolate, burnt espresso, some acidic astringency, and perhaps a touch of dirt. Could use more sweet notes, and finishes very heavy on roast bitterness.

M - Medium body, medium-high carbonation, sticky finish. Perhaps a bit too fizzy for me, but otherwise not bad.

D - It's a solid session porter that unfortunately can't back up the promising look and aroma. If there were few options I'd certainly have this one again, but I prefer Edmund Fitzgerald and it's about the same price.

MasterSki, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Pours an almost inky dark brown with a cap of milk chocolate head that soon becomes wispy with a dirty ring. A surprising amount of lace.

Smell -- Robust! Chocolate covered espresso beans, vanilla beans, dark toast, brown sugar, and a dash of earthy hops. Some sweetness, some acrid roast. Quite inviting.

Taste -- The core malt base is nicely roasted, just barely on the right side of burnt. Additional flavors of cafe mocha, brown sugar, vanilla, and earthy hops. The taste is incredibly balanced and well-rounded.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with somewhat gentler carbonation; not under-carbonated, but with bubbles that are less biting on the tongue.

Drinkability -- Truth in advertising. I've really been enjoying Smuttynose since it came into the Chicago area a few months ago. This has been the best of all. Rich and roasty, and pretty damn complex for a beer with an abv south of 6%. Can't believe this isn't in the top 5 of the style. Keep the hits coming, Smutty!

yeahnatenelson, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of Tifore
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tremont Tap House. Poured into a small tasting glass.

A - Pours a cola brown that is ever so slightly hazy. Has a nice one finger off white head that hangs around quite a bit and leaves some nice lacing as I drink.

S - Smell is of carmel, toffee,and chocolate malts with some nice hop tones as well. Theres also some cinnamon and spice present that lingers in the back behind some bigger flavors.

T - Chocolate is very much present on the pallate with some sweeter malt notes coming soon after and being held up by some grapefruit, orange and lemony hops that linger in the back but make themselves known. Some coffee after taste is there as well at the very end and rounds it out nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and chewy on this one but compliments the beer nice. Almost stout like in the mouth.

D - A nice beer. Not sure I've seen this on the shelves anywhere but I'd definitely keep it in mind as something to grab in the future.

Tifore, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of MrDanno96
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown that lets almost no light in. Very little head forms after the initial pour - about a half finger dissipated to almost nothing rather quickly. Some foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is a little more muted than I was expecting. Roasted malts and feint notes of coffee.

T: More along the lines of what I was expecting. A nice roasty base blends well with notes of chocolate and coffee. Suggestions of burnt coffee and dark chocolate come through in the finish.

M: A nice medium body with a slight carbonation bite in the finish.

D: A solid porter overall, but I was not as blown away as I expected to be. Tasty, but definitely better porters out there.

MrDanno96, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Brunite
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle with a BB date of 5/11. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark as night. No light penetration. Poured semi-aggressively to yield 2 fingers of nice, tan, creamy head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Mostly roasted malt with very minor hoppiness.

Taste: I was immediately hit with a roasted malt flavor that dominates. A slight sweetness hits the palate first and is overtaken by a tart grapefruit taste. After a minutes or so, the tart turns mellow and sweet leaving a lingering roasted coffee flavor with a hint of dried prune. Nice complexity. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel: Creamy & smooth. Carbonation is not too heavy and works just right with this beer!

Drinkability: This is a delicious porter that goes down easy! Very satisfying and the alcohol goes almost unnoticed.

Overall: I prefer a good stout to most porters but have some affection for them as my first homebrew attempt was a nicely drinkable porter. This porter was quite nice and I will certainly look for it when on sale at my local shop.

Brunite, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Jesstyr
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice with bacon-wrapped filet.

Pours deep and dark black with slight shades of brown. Head is tan and covers about a finger at the top of the glass before lingering nicely as lacing. Nose is full of malt, but with a bit of sweetness, likely molasses and brown sugar.

Taste is good, and a little different than the standard porter. First note is smokiness with a ton of malt, but the close has a slight bit of hops. Flavor has a tinge of molasses and sugar, but has a strong oak character. Medium body, and a nice drinkable porter for a cold night, or with a heavy meal.

Jesstyr, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of ztaylor1
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark, opaque brown. Carbonation makes it look frothy and inviting. Nice creamy head that's light tan.

Smell- dark malts and coffee. Hops are generous and balanced.

Taste- rich and toasty malts. Hops are present in the finish and dry everything up.

Mouthfeel- medium body and a good deal creamier than I expected.

Drinkability- as good as a porter can be. Very solid "today sucked beer"

ztaylor1, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color (only traces of amber are visible at the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a finger high creamy tan head that quickly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of coffee beans and roasted malts in the nose, which become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, roasted malts stand out in the overall taste, which are accompanied by flavors of coffee and chocolate. There is a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is quite dry.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and packs in a big amount of flavor. The low alcohol content makes this beer sessionable.

metter98, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Erish
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. I poured this bottle into a large wine glass.

A: clear dark raisin color, head retention is lacking somewhat, decent cap and lacing.

S: semi-sweet malt, subdued coffee note, molasses.

T: smokey, semi-sweet malt up front, the middle has espresso, more oak and smoke, and the finish is very dry, smokey, and roasted with a light hop presence.

M: medium-weight, somewhat watery, moderate carbonation.

D: this is a very dry and smoky porter, and very tasty.

Erish, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was a great brew. Look of solid blackness with a nice layer of head. Even though my bottle had no best by date I could tell it was old because it had a nice caked layer of sediment in the bottom of my bottle. Good thing it didn't get in my beer! Smells of strong roasted malt and I mean STRONG with coffee and chocolate tones. Taste is robust if anything and the roast factor in flavor to the maximum almost a burnt character but sweeter than that. Finishes kind of bitter. Mouthfeel is rather medium to heavy and found myself sipping and enjoying.

Drink-ability is rather good but I kind of prefer the big series porter since it has more ABV and more cocoa chocolate tones. This one came off more coffee and burnt like but still a great example of the style.

DrDemento456, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Groomsy
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with "Best Before" date notched on April 2011. Poured into a pint glass. Review taken from notes and memory, consumed on Jan. 6 2011.

Appearance: Admittedly, I could have poured this a little more aggressively... but the brew poured more or less a jet black with a thick, frothy 1-finger mocha-colored head which eventually dissipated to an outer ring of foam. There wasn't a lot of lacing at first, but the beer left some chunks dangling by the time I finished the glass. Very sexy looking, even for a porter. I didn't see any light penetrate through this bad boy.

Smell: This is promising. I got hit with a ton of hearty roasted malt out front, followed by some bittersweet dark chocolate, thick black coffee, and a final bite of very crisp and floral hops. This is what a good porter should smell like, and more. Lots of complexity and layers here; this made me want to dive right into the beer.

Taste: Wallops of roasted malt and barley come out front on the palate, very warming and hearty. The rest of the flavors follow the aroma: Rich and slightly bitter dark chocolate, strong tones of black coffee with hints of espresso, and a final layer of assertive but not overbearing floral/pine-flavored hops on the back of the palate which lingers into the finish with the coffee flavors. Fantastic stuff going on here. Layered and beautiful, a great balance between malty and hoppy for an American Porter.

Mouthfeel: The word "robust" basically covers it. This brew is thick and hearty, but not necessarily slimy or viscous. The flavors coat the tongue and linger long into the finish. Even for its thickness, it is a very smooth and velvety finish with a bit of carbonation at work. Unlike most porters I've had, this doesn't have a dry finish and is very satisfying.

Drinkability: Its alcohol content is very well-hidden by the complexity of the flavor, and this alone makes it a very drinkable beer. The alcohol kind of creeps up on you, but this is a beer that you could drink at least two of in the winter months with no problem. A fantastic beer, glad I grabbed it while I could.

Groomsy, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of spartanjd
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: bottle

Appearance: Dark Chocolate to almost black with a tan frothy head

Smell: Roasted Chocolate and Malty

Taste: Roasted Malt and Chocolate taste

Very Drinkable American Porter, one of the best that I've had in awhile. Not one of the flavors overpowers the other.

spartanjd, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 bottle poured into New Glarus Staghorn Beer Stien.

Appearance: black to dark brown with a creamy tanish white head. 1 Finger worth of head, really good lacing.

Smell: Very roasty and malty with a hint of hops freshness.

Taste: i enjoy the roastiness of the malt which is a immediately dominating flavor in this beer. beer tastes roasty all the way through the the beer then finishes with a crisp and fresh hint of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and satisfying, Carbonation is right on with this beer!

Drinkability: I think this is a delicious porter that goes down easy! very enjoyable.

Overall... Reminds me of Deschutes Black Butte Porter with a hoppy finish, an interesting little something extra at the end, but enjoyable. I still prefer Black Butte, but this beer is still a solid porter!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of samie85
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a cola color with two fingers of white head.

S-Chocolate and some roasted malt notes with an earthy hop nose.

T-Dark chocolate with some roasted malt and a dry, mildly bitter, dark choclate finish.

M-Smooth and slick in the mouth with low carbonation, medium body, and crisp finish.

D-A very solid, easy drinking, and very flavorful beer. I will definitely stock this one on the fridge in the future.

samie85, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of Duff27
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Full one fingered mocha colored head atop a black bier. Plenty of lacing. Head never fully dissipates.

S- Bitter chocolate, coffee highlights.

T- Chocolate malts. Coffee, smokiness. Robust indeed. Absolutely delicious porter.

M- Slightly syrupy, extremely smooth. Mouth watering.

D/O- An extremely drinkable porter at 5.7%abv. A delight to be a part of my Christmas beer drinking lineup. A top tier porter with the likes of Founders, Great Lakes, and Three Floyds. Smuttynose is now 3 for 3 in my book...running out of available beers of theirs to try.

Duff27, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Gehrig
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the sterling Sun Singer after mailing out the last of the Christmas presents for out-of-town family and friends.

Two big light mocha fingers of froth top a rich, slightly cloudy dark brown body with ruby trim. A dense sheet of lacing, and exceedingly long head duration, leave me totally impressed with the look of Robust Porter; magnificent.

The smell? less so. It's nice but a bit tepid, with lots of coffee, some berry, and a chunk of chocolate. Little else protrudes and, at that, the coffee smell fades after a few minutes. Good taste, lots of coffee which I like (especially in porters and stouts), with a bit of chocolate and fruit. This is unquestionably robust, but certainly not complex porter. It is, however, good, delicious, robust, and smooth. The creamy smooth texture is a real pleasure, making this highly accessible and easy to quaff in pleasant gulps.

Robust Porter is a beer of some extremes. It isn't the most complex, fragrant porter by any means. But what it contains and how it presents, Robust Porter is a dandy porter, one of the better porters I've had. More chocolate would make this amazing and first-rate. It would also make it comparable to the, to me far superior, Baltic Porter that is a gem from Smuttynose. Robust Porter, however, is well worth the time, attention, and price.

Really good, and not far from excellent.

Gehrig, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with slight cola highlights. Off white head is slight and quickly becomes a thin soapy ring.

Aroma is smokey dark grain with an underlying sweetness. Hints of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is rich smokey, mildly charred dark grain up front. The burnt quality brings a pleasant bitterness to the otherwise chocolate sweetness. Finishes clean, with a mild lingering bitterness and a touch of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

A surprisingly flavorful porter. Flavor is rich, but there is enough sweetness that this couldn't be confused with a stout. A really well done porter.

Blakaeris, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of bashiba
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice darker than cola brown with a thin tan head.

The smell had some light roasted malt with a hints of coffee and a touch of toffee sweetness.

The flavor was nice, with an even burnt black flavor and underpinnings of coffee, dark chocolate, and toffee. Some nice juniper hops even out the darkness with some hoppy bitterness very nicely.

The mouthfeel has a long oily finish leaving a nice bit of resin.

Nicely drinkable hoppy style burnt porter, I like it.

bashiba, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of herman77
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a big and thick light brown head. Great head retention. Sticky lacing covering all around the glass.

S: Dark roasted malt, coffee, coco and a bit of vanilla. Some earthy hops lurking in the background.

T: Lots of roasted malt, a hint of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee beans. A bit of fruity and earthy hops, but you gotta search for it through all the roasted, charred malt flavors. This is almost more like a stout. Finishes with a big roasted coffee taste. A little too much coffee flavor than I'd like in a porter, but still good.

M: Medium to fuller bodied. Creamy, moderate to lower carbonation. Really nice.

D: Good drinkability. Robust as it says on the label. Great winter anytime beer. Too bad I have to go to Wisconsin to get this.

herman77, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights on the edges with a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was really roasty with chocolate coffee notes and slight vanilla bean notes lurking in the background. It actually was more chocolatey on the palate with good roasty character but had coffee and vanilla bean accents. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, and creamy finish. It drank really good and was a solid porter. Would definitely take another stab at this beer.

Gobzilla, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Star80
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a blackish color with tan head with nice retention...looks quite inviting. Nice lacing after I take some sips. Smells of dark chocolate, some coffee, liquorice, roasted malts....when I take a good close whiff. Smell is nice but you have to get up close to take it all in. The taste is more dark chocolate with some bitter hop, overall a nice balance and not too sweet which I don't love. Quite complex tasting and a nice interplay between the bitter dark malts, the bite from the hops and slightly sweet roastyness. This is a great beer, reminds me an awful lot though of Edmund Fitgerald, which is a good thing, but if I had to review Smuttynose for originality they would lose some points. Everything they make reminds me of something else. But still nice to have around as an option, at least if the original is out of stock or stale. I do appreciate the fact that their beer is date coded, hats off for that taking that extra step and potentially losing sales for the sake of freshness and quality. That is huge to me for a brewer. And oh yes, these are very drinkable but I swear they are stronger than they say cause I got quite a headache last weekend from overindulgence ;-)

Star80, Dec 16, 2010
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,169 ratings.