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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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1,980 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,980
Reviews: 999
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 134
Gots: 105 | 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: 1,980 | Reviews: 999 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden


4.43/5  rDev +7%

Another great one, thanks to BeerLovinGrl.

This one is about as dark as dark can be. Even the highlights aren't more than dark brown when I hold it up to a lamp. A fat tan head dissipates to a compact one or two fingers and leaves lacing clinging mercilessly all the way down the glass.
The aroma is big on malt up front, and robust is what it is. There's a very subtle underlying sweetness, but not heavily. Otherwise it's earthy and dark with notes of some dark fruits, roasted coffee and a smoky back. There's a great underlying hops aroma backing it up.
This one is fantastically balanced for its complexity. Malt is very heavy without diminishing from a firm hops taste in the back. Most prominent to me are flavors of a great woody smokiness and ground coffee. There's not as much of the caramel, molasses, or toffee notes that are present in some highly malty brews, but they linger underneath. I understand exactly the interpretation of robust as opposed to a typical porter; dark and heady with a sweetness inherent in the malt that is underneath rather than up front. Great stuff.
The body is moderate to full and the mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy with an interesting balancing sharpness I can't quite describe.
This is my first offering from Smuttynose, and I was far from disappointed. This is a great brew.

05-25-2009 13:41:19 | More by Brenden
Photo of drtth


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out deep dark mahogany brown and it would be clear if not so dark. The ¾" light brown head is soft and creamy and begins to soon recede leaving a ring and speckled form on the side. Sipping leaves behind both patches of foam and some nicely streaked lacing.

Smell: The aroma contains plenty of roasted malt with some coffee and some chocolate notes, but not too much in the way of hops.

Taste: The flavor has sweetness that is in balance with the bitter dark chocolate and moderately strong and bitter coffee flavor. In addition, the flavor on the whole seems quite well balanced between the roasted malt character and subtle citric hop bitterness in the background.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied and very smooth and soft feel from the carbonation. The finish is long and seems bitter from both roasted malt and hops. Although there is an initial sweetness the finish quicly turns dry and fades out on a nice dry note.

Drinkability: This one of those beers where the word "balance" comes immediately to mind. It is also highly drinkable in the sense that I'm loving each sip. Even though I'd probably not drink more than one a night because of the robustness of flavors I'll be returning to this beer again.

05-21-2009 01:53:05 | More by drtth
Photo of nrbw23


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

A- Pours a dark brown or black color with a nice tan head. Head forms into a ring of bubbles around the glass and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and dark fruits.

T- Tons of flavour bitter coffee, chocolate, touch of smoke and a bit of hops at the end.

M- Medium in body, maybe a touch lighter than I'd prefer and nice carbonation.

D- Very good beer and a pleasure to drink.

05-20-2009 22:58:58 | More by nrbw23
Photo of maximum12


3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

Thanks to Cakanator for sending this bottle to me, which may break a land-speed record for being out of the box for less than six hours before being consumed. Down the hatch!

Black. Smell is largely coffee, which surprised me, as I hadn't read any reviews & was expecting a standard porter. No descriptive scribbling on the bottle label, either.

Pretty good porter. The underlying base is solid, & the coffee is understated rather than dominating, which I prefer. The ingredients play well together, making what could be a pretty ho-hum experience very pleasant. Mouthfeel is spot-on for what's gettin' done & this is much easier to quaff than your standard coffee beer.

Very good beer. Smuttynose is climbing the charts in my book.

05-16-2009 02:53:51 | More by maximum12
Photo of russpowell


4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

Thanks to jwc215, thanks Joe!

Pours a chestnut-hued mahogany with 2 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention 7 lacing

S: Baker's choclate, dark fruit & roasty malt, fades a bit as this warms

T: Roasty malt, by the bushel, dryness, leafy hops & cocoa up front. Dryness & a slight smokeyness as this warms, plus some nice wet charred grain, plus coffee. finishes dry roasty & moreish

MF: Smooth, medium bodied with superb balance & nice warming sensation

Drinks so easy, eventually the dryness would get to me, after say 3 or 4 pints, great porter!!!

05-15-2009 04:06:35 | More by russpowell
Photo of hardy008


2/5  rDev -51.7%

Appearance - Pours a dark black color which allows some ruby light to pass through. Has a foamy, tan, one finger head.

Smell - Hops, coffee, malt, and some chocolate.

Taste - The hops and the coffee comes forward more than the chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thin and watery with high carbonation. Light bodied and dry. Seems wrong for the style.

Drinkability - Very disappointing. To thin and watery for my taste. Too hoppy, and too dry. This Porter is anything but robust.

05-09-2009 21:07:31 | More by hardy008
Photo of cbn


3.43/5  rDev -17.1%

Pours opaque dark brown color with a mocha head, good retention with irregular spots of lace.

Aromas of roasted malt and molasses with a whiff of alcohol.

Coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and spruce pine flavors dominate.

Fairly smooth and creamy with a small bite in the finish.

Vibrant flavors and creamy mouth-feel make for better than average drinkability.

05-08-2009 17:09:39 | More by cbn
Photo of gameface23


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

A: DARKNESS! Pours completely opaque cola black with a frothy 1/2 inch khaki colored head. Impressive lacing and a very slight cascading effect for a few seconds after pour.

S: Roasted black coffee, slight bitter chocolate and slight dark fruits.

T: Follows the smell. It has a nice roasted edge to it and I could detect faint American hops, which rounded it out.

M: Good, not great. The mouthfeel becomes more slick & creamy as it warms up.

D: I bought one bottle to try. I will absolutely buy a few six packs this fall and winter to relax with.

This beer tastes like the younger brother of Peche Mortel like Troeg's Hopback Amber is to Nugget Nectar. It's lighter and easier to drink, but it still packs some serious flavor.

05-08-2009 12:34:00 | More by gameface23
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Opaque black graphite with absolutely no give into or away from the light. There is no chance of light penetrating through it nor will there be any colour drawn from it but black. It is a polished and cool tone and it is intensely dark for a porter, indeed. The head is not without holes but credit is given for its tenacity and stickiness.

The aroma is smokey and roasty with a characteristic mineral-rich water profile. There are profound hints of bittersweet chocolate as well as lesser notes of coffee, dark caramel, espresso and dark fruits. It's a packed-house of aromatic and delectable scents. Now this is what a porter should smell like!

Smuttynose pulls the trigger, and they hit the target. The rich taste of dark caramel coated in dark chocolate is likely as flavourful as they come for porters. Just a hint of green, zestful Cascade hops are noted as is a generous splash of fresh-brewed coffee. It's a nice blend of dark and roasty flavours.

Porters are meant for drinkin' not sippin' but Smuttynose gives you the option of either. It is quenching and quaffable but has enough flavour to encourage thought. Bitterness and sweetness stand toe to toe. The roast is restrained enough that multiple pints remains an option and, indeed, this is one beer I could stay on all night.

Smuttynose is justified in calling their porter 'robust'. It is a flavourful beer and full of character. The rich maltiness only increases with warmth, as do the hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. If I could I would keep this beer around the house not only because it's easy to drink but because it is a characterful, well crafted porter.

05-05-2009 21:38:40 | More by biegaman
Photo of bjoyce12


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Very smooth. My first thought after sampling this issue from Smuttynose. I recently had their Imperial Stout and was so impressed that I went out and bought the Robust Porter. This porter is perfectly positioned: no bitterness, very smooth, great body, nice taste, no burn, in fact tastes much bigger than the 5.7% ABV would imply. Not much in way of an aroma, but more than makes up for it in smoothness, body, and taste. A definite keeper.

05-01-2009 20:54:29 | More by bjoyce12
Photo of beermanWV

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Appearance- Dark brown with a dark tan head. The head covers the glass as you drink it and doesn't go away. Good head retention to the beer itself.

Smell- Roasted coffee, roasted malts, and a little bit of sweat smell.

Taste- Everything a porter should be. Very good of roasted malts with enough hops to make it complex and balanced even with the ton of roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but filling.

Drinkability- You get enough complexity and depth, but it is also very drinkable. I could drink a few of these throughout the evening. This would probably pare well with a rich dessert.

I bought this in a mixed 12 pack that contained 3 Shoals Pale Ale, 3 Finest Kind IPAS, 3 Brown Dog Ales, and 3 "Brewer's Choice" which turned out to be the Robust Porter. I was very pleasantly surprised by this choice as the Brewer's Choice. Not my favorite porter, but this is a damn good porter. Pick one up without reservation

05-01-2009 00:27:52 | More by beermanWV
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The smell is of roasted malt and dark chocolate.

The taste is also of roasted malts with a coffee flavor that is a bit of an espresso flavor. Slight dark chocolate, and dark fruit feel as well.

This beer is pretty light but very flavorful. The feel is a bit of a heavy/medium but is pretty drinkable and goes down well.

04-29-2009 12:56:25 | More by Duhast500
Photo of gunnerman


4/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured into a pint glass pours a pitch black with a foamy tan head that leves some nice lace on the glass. Smell is of burnt chocolate with roasted oats and sweet faint molasses. Taste is pretty good with nice chocolate, coffee taste to it with a nice hop bitterness. The hop burn flavor lingers on the palate for quite some time. Overall a tasty porter and one that I would recommend.

04-27-2009 23:05:07 | More by gunnerman
Photo of MetalHopHead6


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Smuttynose Robust Porter poured dark, dark brown, like bittersweet chocolate, with a thick, bubbly tan head that left awesome layers of lace. The smell was burnt dark chocolate with a hint of burnt coffee.

I could forsake dessert for this Robust Porter any time. It's delicious, yet leaves behind a gritty bitterness that prevents it from ever feeling sweet.

Drinking Smuttynose Robust Porter was like being in a coffee house. A dark, gritty coffee house that doesn't make any frou-frou drinks ending in "...achino."

04-25-2009 02:35:26 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of alcstradamus


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

A--Pours a near black with a deep ruby highlight when held up to the light. The head was about a finger tall in my pint glass and receded fairly slowly and left good lacing down the whole glass

S--This one can be smelled from a few feet away, and it is a beauty. Chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, cream, coffee beans. Yummy, this one has me excited to taste.

T--The taste has the same characteristics as the nose only they are muted and a strong hop presence dominates. Pine hops mostly, roasted malts, used coffee filter, cocoa powder, caramel....but mostly hops! This is definitely tasty but I tend to favor porters/stouts where the hops dominate the back end, not the whole flavor profile. I don't want to knock it too much though because there is nothing bad about this at all, a very solid porter.

M--Medium bodied, fairly average. Tiny bit of lingering hop bitterness but washed down clean for the most part

D--This 12 oz. bottle didn't last long, and I could definitely drink a few more if I was in the mood. It doesn't have that "x factor" that makes me excited to drink more but this is sessionable for sure.

04-23-2009 04:29:22 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Very dark brown with barely any light coming through. A finger or so brown head rises. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S - Old coffee and bitter chocolate come together for a sort of stale roasted aroma. It's not really bad, but lacking in some complexity.

T - In line with the nose. Semi sweet chocolate enters for a split second before the burnt/stale coffee grounds kick in. Flavor grows increasingly dry and acrid throughout mid palate before a crescendo of roasted malt, burnt bread, old coffee, and a sharp, earthy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Decent, but I'd rather the carbonation be bumped down a notch.

D - Meh, a little disappointing overall. None of the expected sweetness or even sour hints I would've expected. More like a semi-dry stout. The weird coffee flavor is slightly off putting and doesn't really make me want another sip.

04-23-2009 01:07:20 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of dickieb

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours pitch black with a average toffee head and some good lacing. Smells mostly of bakers chocolate and roasted malts I cant pick up much else. The flavor is indeed robust with all the right flavors, heavy roasted malt flavoring some mild hop bitterness chocolate and a lingering burnt taste. Full flavored yet drinkable. This is a very good porter second to only Old Leghumper for me. Another good one form Smutty

04-22-2009 00:02:34 | More by dickieb
Photo of IMincedTheKing

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, with thin, filmy tan head.

The aroma is creamy and candied. Toffee and roasted malts with a moderate hop character.

The first thing I noticed when I took a sip was the carbonation--there's a sharp, fast sting when it hits the tongue. Dry, roasted malts and molasses which give way to a bitter, leafy hop finish. The body is creamy and full.

This is a good beer, flavorful and balanced; however, I don't I find anything extraordinarily special about it. A pretty good choice if you want a porter.

04-21-2009 15:54:16 | More by IMincedTheKing
Photo of wheatyweiss


4.1/5  rDev -1%

Pours a deep chocolate with a nice even head that settles to a nice cap, leaves pretty lacing. Slightly above average.

Aroma is of dark roasted malt and dark fruit with a nice fruity hop aroma. Aroma is pretty up front and pleasant. There is a nice roasted chocolate malt aroma that is very present.

Flavor is a blast of dark malt on the front, wonderful and deep it gives a very rich flavor. Dark syrup and molasses with a dark brown sugar flavor. Middle brings a crackery breadiness and dark fruit, like a sourdough biscuit with molasses spread on it. Finish brings some hops flavor to the party that gives you a nice indication that the beer is striving for balance. The bitterness of the malt would have been well enough with this beer, but the hops make the balance very nice. Little touch of smoke and burnt sugar finsh on the tongue, slightly numbing.

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich and prefect to style. Very soft edged bubbles of carbonation. Body is substantial enough to hold up to the flavor.

Heavier and substantial with above average drinkability because it tastes pretty good, almost a meal in a glass.

04-13-2009 13:52:17 | More by wheatyweiss
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured from the bottle into a glass with a small brown head with moderate retention. The beer is dark brown to black, but not quite opaque. The smell hits upfront with roasted malts, in the form of chocolate and coffee notes. The taste is also filled with the roasted malts. There are notes of chocolate and coffee with a nice smokiness to finish each sip. Has a suprisingly clean finish for a porter. The mouthfeel is full with a nice crisp carbonation to add a little bite. Drinkability is good for a porter, as it has a low ABV and good flavor. I have had multiple in one sitting.

Overall, a good porter to pick up a six pack of. I enjoyed the flavor and thought I could have this in any situation and be equally impressed.

04-13-2009 01:48:53 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of Andreji


3.85/5  rDev -7%

The robust porter was another decent indulgence into the world of smutty.

pour is a black brownish one with a dirty yellowish head lasting for a fair bit.

a malty half-burnt smell, not sweet at all but certainly noticeable. the taste is likewise not very sweet but rather powerfully roastey and dry strongly but not overwhelmingly followed by a hoppy bitterness. medium-to-full bodied.

a good beer but not precisely my preferred porter.

04-11-2009 04:06:26 | More by Andreji
Photo of WJVII


4.18/5  rDev +1%

Poured into a pint glass this brew is a dark chocolate brown color, with a thick tall light brown head that lasts quite long leaving good lacing. The aroma is full of chocolate, sweet caramel malts, some burnt coffee, and hints of some nuttiness. The flavor falls a little short of the great smells, but is still solid. You get a strong shot of coffee, but is more bitter than sweet. The finish is very smooth but leaves a lingering burnt taste. Good brew all around, but the actual taste leaves a little to be desired.

04-11-2009 00:37:46 | More by WJVII
Photo of eporter66

New York

3.6/5  rDev -13%

12oz Bottle into Pint Glass

Robust certainly fits the description. A dark black pour like a stout, and a brown creamy head that holds very well. Smell is all malt to this nose, and the flavor hits you immediately. Very bold, this is quite distinctive in my limited travels. The roasted malt flavor immediately hits, and it seemed a little bitter for a Porter on the way down. The flavor mellows as it the beer warms. A good solid medium body, with good carbonation. I enjoyed this beer and could certainly have a few. The flavor did mellow as the beer warmed up a bit, a tasty and distinctive American Porter!!

04-10-2009 20:54:46 | More by eporter66
Photo of JohnQVegas


3.6/5  rDev -13%

Pours opaque black with a moderate tan head.

Nose is roasty, some cocoa. Kinda hard to grab.

Taste follows suit - roasty malt as the core flavor, with a bit of espresso and cocoa coming in secondarily. Dry, roasty finish.

Moderate carbonation and a medium body.

Nice stout, well defined, conservative. Could use a slightly smoother body with a hint less carbonation.

04-09-2009 00:51:21 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

Finally got around to trying this since I've heard so many good things about it. Although I haen't tried that many porters, I wish they were more readily available in local liquor stores. This one is amazingly complex and even though it's spring now, it fits in perfectly with the cooler weather that's been around this week - not to mention that there are quite a few flavors in this beer!

Let's start off with the pour and what a doozy it is! Dark, brown on the edges and a LOT of head. I'm not sure it's because this beer is a bit old, I let it warm up too much, or it's just naturally frothy, but I had to wait several minutes to get the head down to the level where I could pour the rest of this beer out. Obviously, the lacing is just as thick and it almnost resembles a thick root beer. The taste is amazingly complex - bitter choclate, peat, caramel, root beer, a bit of alcohol, and a smokiness that ties everything in together. The front is smooth while the back is very crisp and from start to finish, the mouthfeel is just as frothy as the pour. It's not heavy like a stout or thin like a brown ale but rather, this fills in the void between them quite nicely!

I was surprised to see that the ABV was only 5.70%. Between the taste and the hue, I thought it would be a lot higher, but that's probably because of all the heavier beers that I drank oer the winter. Although this isn't a good session beer or to pair with dinner, it would pretty much suffice for most other occastions that didn't involve warm weather. Certainly a must-try and one of the more pleasant suprises I've had in quite some time!

04-08-2009 07:13:36 | More by JerzDevl2000
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,980 ratings.