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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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2,332 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,332
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 157
Gots: 235 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2000

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,332 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aepb1
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
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

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of mfunk9786
4.46/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Casey10
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of johnwarne
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
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.


Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of biteur
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of jmerloni
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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!

Photo of TommyW
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of VerbingNouns
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of sprucetip
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Dark coffee brown, with vague translucence and highlights revealed by back light. Thick mocha head with good retention and thick lacing.

Rich malty sweetness blends eloquently with coffee and chocolate.

Tone down the sweetness from the nose, bump up the coffee and keep the chocolate. Then add some moderate roasty notes and hop bitterness. Impressive.

Fairly rich medium body, but a bit dry and bitter on the back end. Maybe feels a bit thinner than it tastes or smells.

Easy to understand why some have called this the best porter in New England. If it were to be tweaked a bit, I'd bring up the malt bill just a bit to match the sweet and bitter better. Really good brew from a great brewery.

Photo of beerphan
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> SA tasting glass
notched best buy Sept 2010

Pours black with scant scarlet highlights on the edges when back lit. A big creamy head recedes slowly and initially deposits copious amounts of tan lace all over the glass, then slows to dotted Pangaean globs. Good staying power from the head.

Nose: Slight citrus hop, chalky cocoa, weak coffee

Roasted chalky medium mouthfeel, carbonation feels high, but swallows smooth. Burnt coffee and chocolate sweetness, offset by a quick short of bitterness that bows to the sweet roasted finish. Slightly nutty and drying on the tongue. This is my kind of Porter. Heavy on the roasted malts with a quick hit of bitterness that sometimes is missing in a Porter of this robustness.

Reaching for another.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, goblet, best before May 10 (what looks like 7, but I'll assume it's the 10 that's notched), received as a very thoughtful extra from farrago.

Pretty definitive looking oily Porter body but really no head, all I've got is the thinnest of rings in the appropriate light tan.

Sweet chocolate malt, roast, citric hop.

Toasted chocolate malt leads and orange rind bitterness follows. Smoky, leathery flavors linger and make this a delightfully complex American Porter. This is an example of the style that should be sought out. Roast builds up on the finish as well.

Oily, solid weight on the palate, and good moderate carbonation.

I like this beer very much and it would be my go to Porter if I lived in the Northeast.

Photo of Borgs
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Almost black in appearance, completely opaque. Well carbonated with about a 1-finger head that sticks around leaving a filmy presence on the top.

Smell: Vague, roasty malt smell with spicy notes.

Taste: The roasted specialty grains really stand out, suitable for the name. The sweetness slightly overpowers the bitterness, causing somewhat of an out-of-whack, yet desirable, balance.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, on the light side of heavy-bodied. Smooth.

Drinkability: Easy to drink & would be willing to drink more. I'm relatively new to the porter scene, but think this would be a tough one to beat.

Photo of regspeir
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass
Pours like a cup of cofee but with a head which dissapates quickly, leaving a trail of thick lacing. Smell is of dark-roasted coffee and molasses. Taste follows perfectly but with more, adding notes of dark chocolate, nuts with a slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side but pleasant.
This is a delicious porter and has moved among my favorites

Photo of hosehead83
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Deep and dark, with a big, pillowy tan head of foam
Aroma-Subtle coffee and chocolate notes
Taste-Yum! Roasted coffee, dark baker's chocolate, subtle smokiness and a bittering hop backbone. Very well-balanced and drinkable. Reminiscient of a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, which I consider to be a top-notch American porter. This beer can hold its own.
Tasty. Robust. Excellent!

Photo of feelmefoam
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bottle, Smutty's Robust Porter pours a dark, unfiltered coffee brown, but in the glass it sits as a foreboding black cup o' darkness, with no highlights even when held up to the light in my room. The beer pushes up a finger of solid, tan-colored head that held up for a modest amount of time and left some thick, heavy lacing down the side of the glass as you drink.

The nose consists predominantly of fresh coffee beans and roasted dark malts, with maybe a bit of chocolate lingering in the background. Not too much past this, but the aroma is fairly assertive and the ingredients blend together nicely.

Yes. This is Robust. And that's just how I like my beers. Beatiful rich coffee notes up front, slightly bitter and roasty, accented with a bit of light, nutty sweetness that fades into a long-lived roasted malt background that cradles the other flavors the whole time but still lets you know it's there. A slightly earthy, bitter finish wraps up the flavor profile of what is certainly one of the best porters I've had to date.

The mouthfeel is nearly perfect; the body is on the heavier side of medium and works really well with the reserved amounts of carbonation to create a smooth mouthfeel without ruining the dry finish provided by the medley of flavors.

Smuttynose did it right, this is definitely a robust version of the style and is now one of my favorites of the style. Relatively low ABV and lots of highlights (including the amusing labels typical of Smuttynose) make this an extremely drinkable porter and one that I will be revisiting over and over again in the future. Definitely pick this up if you see it around.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Make mine a smutty. This porter is deep dark brown like shoe polish with a semi thick looking body from the pour. The pour was very tilted leaving for more than an inch of mocha dark tan colored foam, leaving rings down the glass. Smell is robust like the name suggests with big roasted malts and some creamy coffee. In taste some more coffee and some hops coming through from a fresh bottle. Some nuttiness and a splash of vanilla and even less chocolate. An above medium feel is bordering on full. The feel is a bit fuller than the appearance would allude to. Carb is where it needs to be, not to big. I will drink this again and get a sixer of it, when the weather gets cold enough for it.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split with friends.

A- pours with a good finger of khaki head. Very dark brown bordering on black.

S- bold roasted malts and dark chocolate. A mild port touch.

T- robust is right. tons of coffee and cocoa. Mild back round sweetness that does wonders to balance the roast. Hints of chared wood and molasses.

M- mid to low card with a full mouth feel. A bit dry with a light linger.

D- this is robust for sure. The flavor really makes me think its of a larger abv. I would have no problem having a whole pint but probably only one.

Photo of DousedInStout
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with creamy tan head. The aroma is nice and roasted - coffee rinds, dark chocolate, and a little earthy hop shining through. The taste is perfectly balanced, a marriage of dark chocolate and hops. A little communal bite of bitterness from both the roasted malt and bittering hops. The body is medium, and carbonation spot on. One of the best American porters in the country, and one I crave when not on the east coast.

Photo of thain709
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a deep, dark brown body that showed some nice ruby highlights...a creamy, light brown head formed and retained nicely leaving some good lacing

S - Robust aromas...coffee and chocolate dominate...as they should...there is a roasted malt characteristic that fades into a hop bite

T - The flavors all come together at the first sip...even while this one is a little chilled you can pick out certain highlights...the chocolate flavor from the malts is dark and roasted...a little bit of cream adds some sweetness to the middle of the beer...that leads right into the roasted coffee flavor that lingers...the hops are pushed to the back in the finish but they are able to poke through a little bit

M - Medium bodied...smooth and creamy...really robust

D - This would be a nice session porter...the flavors work well together and it could be enjoyed chilled...definitely robust

Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, moderate carbonation, clear, 1/4 inch head

Smell: big chocolate and more moderate toasted malt

Taste: very chocolaty, some peanut, coffee, and roasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet with a harsh burnt end, medium-heavy body and carbonation

Drinkability: I love the start and body of this beer, but the end is a bit too long and harsh. Take away the the ending for me and you have a near perfect porter. I would still do a couple with the finish, but could see myself drinking a lot more with a smoother ending.

Photo of wgkealey
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black. Doesn't pour with much head

S - Decent smell, not too strong. Doesn't give a strong indication of the flavor of the beer

T - Excellent taste. Full, "robust" dark porter flavor, hints of chocolate

M - Great mouthfeel except at the very end, not as smooth as it should be

D - Very drinkable beer, espeically in the right weather.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. 5.7% ABV, Best By J 10 notched.

A - The moderately tall pour creates a short-lived cascading resulting in a near-three-finger head. Medium tan with superb retention and plump, patchy lace, the tight pile rests on the fully black beer.

S - Chocolaty deep roasted malts, a bit of French roast coffee, and lingering stale cigarette smoke are the first evident smell. Mocha and a really timid hop scent fall into the background of the nose.

T - Chocolate and black patent roasted malts provide a large punch of coffee, a wisp of smoke, and a lingering mocha and bittersweet chocolate. No hop flavor.

M - This Robust Porter is full-bodied and very dry from the roasted malts. The finish is moderately bitter but creamy and smooth.

D - Almost like a Dry Irish Stout, this Porter is very dry and bitter on the finish. Smooth and round is what makes it so drinkable though. A good Porter that is "robust" to the point of a stout.

Photo of tblfan04
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

G: Had this on Tap in a pint Glass at a local

A: It has a nice dark color with light tan head that is about an Inch thick

S: has a nice mocha coffee smell to it that comes through more with the taste

T: Has a great coffee taste to it with a hint of chocolate very robust and delicous

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation to it

D: I can knock back a few of these with the great taste that comes through, well balanced

Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,332 ratings.