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

1,980 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,980
Reviews: 999
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 135
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,980 | Reviews: 999 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

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

Appears black in color, though some reddish highlights do manage to show themselves. One inch thick creamy tan head settles to a thin skim and leaves some nice looking lacing.

Aroma is of dark chocolate, charred wood, some medium roast coffee, and a bit of sweet caramel.

Taste is quite chocolatey initially with a mild caramel sweetness but it is taken over by the charred woodiness and a coffee finish. A very slight vanilla in there as well. Hops aren't too present in the flavor but they do contribute a nice earthiness and bitterness to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good and chewy, with creamy carbonation.

This was an excellent American Porter, easily one of the best that I've had. I wish Smuttynose distributed out here as I've enjoyed everything I've had from them so far.

11-22-2008 07:21:02 | More by roadhouse
Photo of CountLupulus
CountLupulus

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +18.4%

Appearance: Pours to a lovely licorice near-opacity. Earthy brown head flexes and then tumbles, lengthening sticky fingers and tracking ivy lacing that keeps its hold.

Smell: Gorgeous: chock with malts, and a fiesty roasted crackle. Pour this one into a glass: the scent needs room to roam, and the bottle keeps it a caged beast.

Taste: Early flick of bittering hops yield to a brilliant blush of malts, densely integrated, with a long roasted aroma that rolls in slow, and hangs about the cave at the back of the mouth so that it finishes a ghostly aroma, wrapped almost to the nose. A nip of bitterness anchors the breadth of the tongue throughout, giving that burgeoning bouquet of malts plenty of arc before they fold and recede.

Drinkability: Each gulp is like a shooting star: there is a distinctive fluid sequence that is seamless and brief, so there is sure relish in paying attention to what's making you happy. The promise of a deeper glow drains one's glass with steady meter. As mine just has!

11-22-2008 00:25:01 | More by CountLupulus
Photo of Biscuit033
Biscuit033

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +11.8%

A: Very dark brown, almost black with a two+ finger caramel color headwith very nice retention and lacing.

S: Very strong dark roasty malts and espresso notes.

T: Roaty, campdire like smokiness, dark very bitter chocolate and espresso with a hint of oatmeal or cream.

M: Full, smooth, and creamy.

D: There is so much going on here that I want to keep going back for more. The low ABV makes it easy to have a few of these.

11-19-2008 00:20:26 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Notes from Sept. '08:

Pours a very dark brown into a pint glass with a dense half inch tan head. Retention is shorter than expected given the pour yet yields spotty sticky lacing throughout.

Caramel, chocolate and fig dominate the nose, led by a blast of roasted malts.

Tastes of chocolate and light coffee with a good hop presence. Chewy and spicy black licorice flavors arrive a bit later and finishing with a lingering ever-so-bitter chocolate close. A nice medium body matches the style and the carbonation rather well. I'm slowly becoming a fan of Porters, guess it's time to settle into 'winter' mode.

11-11-2008 04:18:22 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Douglas88
Douglas88

Utah

4.18/5  rDev +1%

Bottle thanks to Mark. Pours a black color with a medium light-brown head. The aroma is very nice; roasted malts, some coffee, light dark fruits and smoke. The flavor is excellent; lots of rich roasted malts and some chocolates. A strong hop mix balances the beer out somewhat. Lots of smoke and a nice dark fruit aspect too. Very nice.

11-11-2008 00:21:15 | More by Douglas88
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

Poored a very dark brown almost black with a 1 finger head that was a light coffee color which dissipated to a film built mostly around the rim of the glass
smelled malty with a hint of peanut butter
tastes of bitter chocolate with a peanut butter finish somewhat bitter
thick but a good think in the mouth
very drinkable but not something you'd sit around and cut the grass with

11-10-2008 03:16:52 | More by sliverX
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
NittanyBeerFan

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

A: Pours a deep, dark, brown...bordering on black because barely any light gets through. Held up to light though, you can see a slight reddish hue. Initial aggressive pour yields about half a cm of head that dissipates into a thin film of suds. Leaves some lacing and rings down the side as you drink it.

S: Smell is lighter than the taste here. Dominated by a roasted caramel scent coupled with a coffee-like taste. I don't drink any coffee, so I can't tell you what kind of coffee it would be, but there is a definite coffee smell here.

T: Roasted malts up front, followed by the caramel malts and the coffee flavor. It hits you harder than it does in the scent. I almost wasn't expecting such a rich flavor. The aftertaste is a toasty mix of barley and caramel malts. And BOY does it linger! The aftertaste has a little bitter note to it.

M: Starts you off with a little twang from the light carbonation and finished with an extremely smooth. As I roll it around my palate, i can feel the carbonation disappearing.

D: For such a dark beer, I found the texture pretty light. I would say this is a medium-bodied brew. I couldn't quite see sessioning this, but there is definitely potential for you to enjoy more than one of these in a sitting.

11-09-2008 03:25:13 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields an inky ebony body capped with two very fine fingers of milk chocolatey foam. The head recedes very slowly, resting at a thick sheet that leaves thin, webby bands of lacing at the sip lines to mark the passing of the drink.

The smell is of the drink is darkly roasty, with dark, fudgy chocolate, sweet caramel syrup and a solid, hefty note of fresh-brewed espresso with a twist of lime.

The taste is rich, bold, and indeed robust, with an intense flavor of big, black, bitter black coffee softened with a spritz of chocolate milk, then dusted with fine-grated baker's chocolate. Smutty's Robus Porter is more chocolatey and sweeter as the drink warms and the coffee bitterness subsequently fades a bit.

The drink is silky-smooth and medium-bodied

11-06-2008 23:25:52 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1%

A-Pours a solid black with just a bit of deep amber at the bottom of the glass. A nice brown head and some good lacing.

S-Caramel and roasted coffee.

T-Bittersweet chocolate in the front, finishing with a roasted coffee malt.

M-Rather light and clean with medium carbonation.

D-A very good porter. Roasty, sweet, enjoyable to drink.

HV

11-05-2008 21:12:15 | More by sholland119
Photo of deanhead
deanhead

Vermont

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Rich chocolaty, cola colored beer, with absolutely no head to speak of.
Aroma comes with strong notes of cacao and roasted coffee.
Rich tasting, lot's and lots going on here. Toffee, Coffee, Chocolate, French roasted coffee beans, with a hint of smoke.

Medium bodied, velvety beer that just coats the tongue and linger momentarily before finishing somewhat dry.

Highly drinkable porter. In fact this is one of the best beers that I have from smuttynose yet. Excellent job. Get some.

10-31-2008 18:39:30 | More by deanhead
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +1%

Twelve oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head Off-centered Pint glass.

Not only is the darkness of this beer amazing as it pours, but the utter opacity of Smuttynose Robust Porter is paralleled only by the upper echelon of RIS's. Only a tiny hint of cola color peeks through when held up to the light. A creamy, sandpaper-tan inch of head slowly retreats to a foamy cap that retains exceptionally well. Patches of lacing streak the inside of the pint. Inhaling, I'm swamped with rich notes of dark roasted coffee beans, baker's chocolate, caramel, musty soil, and hints of floral hops. Porters do not smell much better than this.

The flavor mirrors the aroma well, kicking the bitter chocolate notes into overdrive. This slowly gives way to roasted coffee grounds and a somewhat uninspiring middle note of caramel malt and smoke. Mouthfeel is creamy, but deceptively thin, and could stand to be a bit more fuller-bodied. However, the finish is amazing, with baker's chocolate and bitter hops lingering for days. All in all, Robust Porter is a great beer by a great brewery. I would gladly purchase this again. [goes great with grilled meat]

10-28-2008 02:12:29 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of mterrence5
mterrence5

Massachusetts

2.53/5  rDev -38.9%

Holy crap! this is pure darkeness. Pours like motor oil with a brown creamy head. High marks for appearance. Very strong tasting porter. Dark Chocolate and coffee with unfortunate acidic aftertaste. Altough it has a light feel to it this porter is very hard to drink. The flavors are very very rich.

10-27-2008 23:46:43 | More by mterrence5
Photo of micahgoldfus
micahgoldfus

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured a thick, oily, close-to-black color, but with some hints of very dark red when held up to the light. There was a thick, tan head, that slowly faded down heavy lace around the edge of the glass. The smell was pretty strong: plenty of roasted coffee and a pinch of pleasant burnt flavor. There was also a little hoppy smell there that stung the nose a bit, plus the faint whiff of alcohol. The taste was great: it started out actually kind of sweet and soft when it first hit the tongue. Then aftertaste is a fantastic combination of bitter flavors: unsweetened dark chocolate, coffee grinds, and acidic hops. The mouthfeel was smooth, thick, and creamy. A very nice beer, overall well balanced: not too thick, not at all runny, full of flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I would be happy to have another right now.

10-24-2008 03:16:20 | More by micahgoldfus
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1%

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer pours very dark with a thin white head. The beer has a strong enjoyable smell of chocalate malt, perhaps with a hint of coffee. The taste is a mix of chocalate, coffee and burnt toast. This is an easy drinking enjoyable medium bodied beer.

10-23-2008 00:07:45 | More by bonkers
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

Thanks to NittanyBeerFan for this one! Poured this into a pint glass...

A: The pour is a work of art. Pours very fast out of the bottle and creates a dark brown brew. Dark brown means almost black. The faintest of red hues coming through when held up to a light. Also creates a dark mocha head that leaves me in awe.

S: The smell is very light. Actually I have to stick my nose nearly into the beer before I can get the scents. But alas...there are minor scents of roast and coffee along with a metallic scent.

T: I am grateful the taste is better than the smell. Far better. It is very light but has nice roast, chocolate malt, and dark roast malt characteristics. The mouthfeel is a bit light for my liking, but the flavors don't lack, so I can't really complain.

Overall, this is a pretty good porter. There are a few I would put above this, but it is good nonetheless.

10-15-2008 02:23:52 | More by treyrab
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Best by 11/2008 -into Alpine mug. Courtesy of Paul G. returning our cooler!

Deep and dark with a thin root beer, bready head with muffin tunnels. Very solid-looking.

Nice roasted chocolate malt with sarsparilla on top and mile, piney hop presence. Subtle yet strong.

Smoky "bottom of the grill" char off the top with very austere grassy hoppiness. Sweetness of malt emerges with a little warmth. Alcohol makes a presence with the ties that bind.

Full palate profile with smokiness, slight alcohol and faint grassy hops. Finish is a little alcoholic but blends well with dark chocolate malt texture.

Decent session brew-full-flavored yet by no means filling. Well done!

10-08-2008 12:47:42 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of magnj
magnj

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +1%

a - Very dark brown, no light shines through. Poured very nicely, 1 finger head, which subsides to a thin ring on the edge of my pint glass.

s - Malty, Sweet, Wood

t - Sweet, Smokey, Smooth...mild hoppy bite shows itself as it gets warmer, tasty and not overwhelming as many porters have been to me

m - Not like some others of this style I have tried, it feels lighter but not watery. Feels like beer and not motor oil.

d - Very drinkable at 5.7%, very tasty...try this for sure

10-08-2008 00:13:21 | More by magnj
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Thanks to Lrrr for this one.

Best before date is notched as Oct 08. Pours from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pitch black with the slightest, coca cola colored highlights at the very edges of the glass. One finger sized, tan head. Copious lacing.

Decent aroma. Dark fruit mixed with smoky and roasty. I definitely get the full roasted malts in the initial waft, but the roastiness is followed by a taught fruitiness. Coffee and slight chocolate round out the nose. Some sweet, alkalitnity is present as well as some acidic battery aromas, neither of which detract or harm the overall impression.

The slightest bit of fruitiness hits the front of my tongue but is followed by the more tradtional, big, burnt, roasted grains. Very nice. Bitter chocolate, mild roast coffee, dark chocolate. Really nice. I am so close to giving a 5 in this department. A 4.75 would be more accurate. However, as I sit here, I cannot recall a better tasting porter that have met these lips. Five it is!

Full to medium bodied with a touch too much carbonation which cleans the palate. Not overly dry; crisp. A very nice, bitter finish stays on the palate quite a while.

A very nice porter. Possiby the best I have had. Thanks a ton for this one Lrrr. I believe it is now available in NC so I may have to seek this one out again. Thanks!

10-05-2008 21:20:29 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of TheycallmeTim
TheycallmeTim

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

A--Big two and a half finger foamy nestle quik head with lots of big active bubbles. Great head retention, especially for an American porter, and considerable. Body is the color of stout: opaque black.

S--Lots of coffee, minimal malt. Mild sweetness from the roast malt that hints at toffee.

T--Holy God does this impress. This is built for comfort, not for speed, as it is PACKED with not just deep Vienna or French roasted coffee flavors but on the finish there's a solid sock of dark chocolate. The bitterness on this gladdens me tremendously, although there's a solid roasty malt backbone to keep it from being puckery.

M--Don't drink this cold! This beer bites you when it's too chilled. As it warms the mouthfeel rounds out considerably to full if not chewy.

D--Decent. With so much going on in the flavor profile it's tough to throw back too many of these. But at nearly 60 degrees both outside and in the glass, you can't go wrong.

10-02-2008 19:33:24 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was about a half inch of creamy, brown, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled mostly of coffee, with hints of malt and some hops.

T: A nicely balanced flavor. Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and a bit of hops.

M: A high rate of carbonation and a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is one of the better examples of a porter I've had in awhile. Very easy to drink and suprisingly not too heavy.

09-30-2008 12:54:29 | More by avalon07
Photo of dino213aa
dino213aa

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A: Rich dark color. Almost black in appearance and similar to espresso. Maybe it was the way I poured it, but there was only a slight head. Lots of lacing that appears in parallel tiers down the glass.

S: Distinct elements of dark chocolate, cane sugar and orange rind.

T&M: Tart chocolate balanced against smooth roasted malts. There is just a twinge of bitterness smoothed out by malty goodness.

D: Overall I found this beer highly drinkable. I'm a big malts fan and this beer delivers. Creamy and rich, this beer has made me a Smuttynose fan.

09-21-2008 23:31:22 | More by dino213aa
Photo of evanackerman
evanackerman

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

This beer pours a nice dark brown-black with a healthy tan head, nice lacing in rings as the beer is consumed.

aroma is deep toasted malt with a somewhat sour aroma, very nice.

taste is dominated by roasted, deep malt flavor, nice hop bitterness to balance, very good porter flavor profile.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and just right for the style.

very high drinkability on an autumn day.

overall, a very good porter, this is my first beer from Smuttynose and now I'm excited to try more!

09-21-2008 22:11:46 | More by evanackerman
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

This is a delicious porter. Smuttynose's Robust Porter has a huge light brown head, great lacing and retention. Almost black in color.

Smells of roasted malts, dark coffee that has been sitting in the pot for a long time and some earthiness.

Tastes of chocolate, a mix of hop and dark coffee bitterness, fruits and roasted/burnt malts.

09-21-2008 00:36:12 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of csmiley
csmiley

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

Thanks to matty1918 for sending this bottle.

A - Pours very dark brown in color with some light that is able to make it through around the edges revealing some ruby highlights. The tan head was quite minimal showing very little retention and leaving very little lace.

S - Aromas of chocolate and weak coffee quickly hit the nose. Some roastiness and smoke comes in next followed by a hint of alcohol. Aroma is straight forward and pleasant.

T - Roasted malt and chocolate really stand out in the flavor. Coffee is next followed by smoke and charcoal. Has a little bit of bitter sweetness that come close to candy (licorice). Alcohol is hidden very well in the flavor.

M - On the plus side of medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Carbonation is a little bright and zesty but it works with this brew. Finish is bittersweet with some dryness.

D - Drinkability is good. It goes down quite easy and lends itself well to consuming a few at a time. If Smuttynose distributed to Ohio I would revisit this one at a later date. But alas... Good solid porter from Smuttynose that I could easily recommend to any dark beer fans.

09-12-2008 01:36:02 | More by csmiley
Photo of CaptainIPA
CaptainIPA

Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with notched freshness dating: D/08. Labels depicts a strongman carrying a barrel in one arm and an equestrian showgirl in the other. A circus pup with hat and cape sits in the foreground. Caption under photograph reads: Cirque du Francois Oeuf

A: Pours a rich mahogany with a thin rim of khaki-colored lacing.

S: Aromas of chocolate, molasses, honey, coffee, vanilla and earthy peat.

T: Taste mirrors the nose with rich roasted malt upfront, followed by notes of chocolate, honey, coffee and vanilla. Finishes with a strong and lingering tang of licorice.

M: Smooth and creamy.

D: Robust, but certainly worthy of a couple.

09-08-2008 14:10:10 | More by CaptainIPA
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,980 ratings.