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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.

2,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,092
Reviews: 1,006
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 137
Gots: 144 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,092 | Reviews: 1,006 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lerxst
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Almost pitch black. Nice two finger head that disappears quickly but leaves nice lacing. This is still a good looking beer.

S-Malt, caramel, chocolate, faint coffee notes. Smells great.

T-Very nice blend that verifies the nose but in an even more pronounced manner: malt, caramel, chocolate, coffee. Delicious.

M-Deliciously creamy, full bodied, a tinge of carb bite, but its a good level, not overdone. I wanna chew this beer.

D-This is a heavy, rich, big (ok, Robust) beer, but I could easily drink many of these in a sitting.

I love porters and this is one of the better ones. Great job by Smuttynose.

Lerxst, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of JMD
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with light brown rocky head, that leaves heavy lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted malt and coffee dominate. Hints of carmel, toffee and chocolate, that add a level of sweetness to the aroma.

T: Sweet upfront wth toasted malt, carmel and chocolate. Some expresso, then finishes with a sharp hop bite. For a big malty porter, this has a great hop presence.

M: Medium modied, almost creamy.

D: This is another great offering from Smuttynose. A nice porter that can satify both your malt and your hop fixes at once. Robust, indeed.

JMD, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of smibroncos
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. So dark I couldn't see my finger in the beer through the glass. One finger creamy brown head that faded. Nice lacing on the glass.

S. Roasted coffee, alcohal, dark chocolate

T. Nicely bitter, coffee, caramel,dark chocolate,pleasant hoppieness.

M. Creamy, fullbodied, rich, moderatly carbonated

D. Rich could only drink a few of these because of the heavyness of this brew

smibroncos, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of ToasterChef
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. This is a very dark porter, just a hair shy of pure black. The good sized head is full of brown bubbles. It doesn't leave any lacing. The aroma is full of coffee and chocolate scents, but I can also detect some malt. The robustness of that is this porter's namesake come from the strong coffee bitterness in the flavor. It is immediately detectable and lingers after you swallow. There is another flavor behind the coffee that my drinking partner and I are trying to identify. There may be a trace of vanilla, and perhaps cocoa/dark chocolate. The beer is medium bodied; it doesn't coat your mouth nor is it light and watery. I think this beer is very drinkable, but personally it may be too bitter for me to drink a number in a row; I'd need to have a lighter beer every third or fourth round. Still, this is an excellent porter, and worth seeking out.

ToasterChef, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of jwheeler85
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with no head

S- I was getting some slight smoked ham notes from the yeast. Also smelled a bit smoky (smoked malt smoky), and syrupy.

T- Had a well balanced sweetness and dryness with some burnt dark malts and a bitter dry finish.

M- Medium bodied, not really syrupy, and had a certain clean feeling after each sip.

D- Very high drinkability for a porter. This one has enough complexity to make it stand out a bit more than other porters.

jwheeler85, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of Yimosan
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle onto my tulip glass.

A- Dark black with a nice tan head. The head did not last very long but the lacing was nice and sticky.

S- Coffee, roasted malt, and bittersweet chcocolate. I also got a faint whiff of Formula-44 cough medicine.

T- The roasted malt comes through immediately, then coffee and the dark chocolate flavor rounds it all out. Absolutely love the bitternes of this porter.

M- Full flavor porter with a nice smooth feel in the throat and palate.

D- Really easy drinking porter and at 5.7ABV, you can definitely have a couple of these and not feel woozy.


Yimosan, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Best before Sept 09 notched on the label. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a creamy tan head that has very nice retention and lacing qualities.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, sweet chocolate and coffee. The aroma is just exploding with flavors, very nice!

T- The taste starts out smooth with some roasted malts. The finish becomes increasingly bitter with bitter coffee flavors and some hops as well creating a nice lingering bitterness that keeps the sweetness in check.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is jam packed with flavor for a 5.7% beer, very tasty stuff! Recommended!

cjgator3, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of esv
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A) Deepest dark brown, black at first glance. Muddy brown head, 1/4" - 1/2". Thin head sticks around and keeps the top covered.

S) Candyish malts and mild chocolate sweetness, medium roasted malts. No hops in the nose. Nice balance, so enticing. I want to gulp it and leave residual on my chin.

T) Roasted grains, roasted grains, roasted grains. Bitter, burnt malts. Sweet, a little like candy and then the robust, roasted grains. So nice, so balanced.

M) Medium mouthfeel. Slightly rich. Med-low carbonation. Slightly sticky lips.

D) So drinkable. Man I love it.

It's American, it's a porter.

esv, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdmek9 for this one.

A: This beer looks so great in my nonic. A perfect three fingers of tan head exploded out of the pour and it all fits just right. Black with mahogany edges. Good retention and plenty of webbing.
S: Big roasted malts, some espresso and dark chocolate. A bit of sweet molasses on the nose, too.
T: Tons of roasted and smoked malts. Bitter coffee and chocolate. Dark berry esters add an additional layer of complexity in the flavor. A citrus tang comes in just enough to balance and leave bitter residuals behind.
M: Big body, very smooth and a clean finish.
D: This is a great porter. I look forward to having more!

washburnkid, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of natasharai
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a thick creamy light tan head that dissipated very very slowly leaving some lacking down my glass. The beer is black and lets no light through around the edges.

Smell: Very strong roasted malt, sweet molasses.

Taste: Strong roasted malt, a smokey flavor, bitter dark chocolate, the flavors lighten up at the end and become more sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thick creamy body, light carbonation, leaves mouth slightly dry.

Overall: Good drinkability, great roasted smell and flavor. Not a whole lot going on in the flavor, but what is there is very good. Thick and creamy in mouthfeel and appearance, very appealing.

natasharai, May 29, 2009
Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours a pitch black body with a foamy 1 1/2 finger tan head that settles into a thick collar. Who can see any bubbles in that void of blackness? Aroma is of smoky roasted malt. taste is of black coffee ( no cream or sugar), light smoke, & dark unsweetened chocolate. Medium mouthfeel, not heavy or watery. Good drinkability!! Outstanding porter!!!

CJfromPhilly, May 27, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has always been one of my favorites, so I may be a bit biased in my review. Came across this brew on tap at Audubon Circle on Beacon Street. Served in their normal tall, thin beer glasses. Dark brown color. Large fluffy tan head. Huge smell of coffee. I think this beer tastes amazing. Coffee and dark chocolate play off each other perfectly. Deliciously malty and smooth. Since it's a porter, it's a bit on the heavy side, so it's not a session beer. Also, the abv borders on 6%. Robust Porter is a great beer to just sit with, sip, and relax.

morebeergood, May 26, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Brenden, May 25, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

drtth, May 21, 2009
Photo of nrbw23
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

nrbw23, May 20, 2009
Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

maximum12, May 16, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!!!

russpowell, May 15, 2009
Photo of hardy008
2/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

hardy008, May 09, 2009
Photo of cbn
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

cbn, May 08, 2009
Photo of gameface23
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

gameface23, May 08, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

biegaman, May 05, 2009
Photo of bjoyce12
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

bjoyce12, May 01, 2009
Photo of beermanWV
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

beermanWV, May 01, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Duhast500, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of gunnerman
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

gunnerman, Apr 28, 2009
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,092 ratings.