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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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2,364 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,364
Reviews: 1,052
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 158
Gots: 261 | FT: 2
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: 2,364 | Reviews: 1,052
Photo of jrallen34
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my Orval glass...Dark brown pout, light tan head rises only about a finger, light retention ok lacing...A very "robust" aroma that gives off ton of strong coffee. Its not too much, the coffee smell is just right, but it is a little plain, not much going on but a very wonderful smelling coffee...The taste is much of the same, a really nice coffee throughout not complex. Big drag is the feel, its really light, but makes for a super drinkaable porter.

Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass, the beer is impossibly dark, and remains opaque even when held up to a light. The dark tan head is impressive and lingering; never completely disappearing, it remains as a foamy top all the whole pint through.

S: A bitter chocolate smell permeates with hints of coffee, but little note of hops and no sweetness. Despite the bitterness, it is clean and crisp overall.

T: Again, a bitterness similar to chocolate dominates without tasting like chocolate. The beer is malty, but crisp, with no discernible hint of hops except for the how exceptionally they must be balancing the malt. The aftertaste is distinctly bitter dark chocolate, and leaves me wanting more.

M: Full, slightly carbonated, but surprisingly and refreshingly airy and moist.

D: Full-bodied but surprisingly drinkable, it goes down easy. I could have a couple in a sitting.

A very fine brew, (almost) as always from Smuttynose.

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

A- This is what I want in a porter. On the pour it looks pretty weighty, not too thin like lots of porters can be. Its also not too thick looking. It still maintains a deep red highlight. Mostly the beer appears black while its in the glass. The head is nice and large and frothy with superb lacing.

S- Very nice, lots of chocolate, some grassy hops and some coffee.

T- Very smooth and indeed, robust. Lots of chocolate and coffee, both are pretty bitter. Some roast, hops and oaky vanilla with a nice nuttiness.

M- One of the most full bodied American Porters Ive had. Its very smooth and silky.

Photo of JRed
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in body topped by coffee head. Sweet smell of milk chocolate, hops, whipped cream. Tastes of milk chocolate, cream, slight bitterness toward the finish, raisins, some tang as well. Smooth heavy-bodied beer with some milk characteristics. A porter with some sweetness but not as a main characteristic.

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

A - poured from bottle into glass stein. Pours a nice dark brown/black with a nice tan head. Great lacing.

S - great roasty chocolate and coffee aromas.

T - a robust malt flavor with lots of coffee and chocolate, with a hint of smokiness. A bit of bread-like flavor as well. Just enough hops to balance out the flavors. Nothing here is overdone.

M - a sort of creamy feel, which is nice. Carbonation is average and body is good.

D - this is a porter that I'd definitely want more of. Nice, smooth, and drinkable.

A great American porter that could give Edmund Fitzgerald a run for its money. Smuttynose is definitely in the top tier of porters.

Photo of popery
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The United States makes some excellent porters. It's always fun to try a new good one.

A: Very dark for the abv. Some dark ruby brown highlights show up when held to the light. Big head of craggy foam. Khaki-colored.

S: The aroma is quite weak compared to the taste. There's some dark chocolate, but it also gets a touch of cola. Mostly just sugary malt.

T: Huge coffee and dark chocolate flavors in the taste. Lots of roast. Less harsh than I'd expect - the mouthfeel helps there. Mildly sweet cocoa finish. It packs a ton of flavor.

M: Marvelously thick and creamy. A pillow of roasted malt.

D: This beer drinks much bigger than it is, almost to the point of tiring my palate. It's good, but it would be a bit much to drink for an entire night.

Photo of cavedave
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a darkest brown, thickish one finger beige/brown head, sheets of lace. The head settles to a lasting skim.

Not a strong smell, nor complex, but clean aroma full of dark chocolate, toasty malt, rounded yeast, and coffee and herbal hop at the edge.

The flavor is an exercise in balance and restraint. It starts with a merest hint of sweet, some burnt caramel I realize at it warms, picks up some bitter coffee and some chocolate, and holds the flavors into a finish between juicy and dry. The bitter of the finish tastes of really well done roasty malt, rather than bittering hop, and is just delicious. Robust, and tasty. As advertised.

Mouthfeel is plenty thick, yet it drinks plenty light, lots of clean resins on the palate, not as complex, long, bitter, nor even juicy, as some other offerings in style, but plenty fine.

Drinkability is not as good as Ed. Fitz., but it's a smooth, flavorful beer that begs to be enjoyed.

Impression: the bottles of this have been great, this growler features an even smoother beer from a keg. Bottles or kegs, this is a must try for anyone, esp. porter lovers.

Photo of jampics2
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a globe. This beer pours a pitch black with a really attractive tan head and just a touch of red around the edges. There is good retention and lace, really nice start to the experience.

As my mouth waters, I take deep breaths and get wonderful notes of roasted malt and mild hops. The roast gives impressions of coffee and chocolate and is deep and inviting.

The taste is robust alright. The prominent flavor is a nice lingering coffee roast. Its' intense but is happily not too bitter. There's some nice dark chocolate tones as well and some sweet caramel that almost comes across as sugar in the coffee. A smooth combination of flavors, this isn't a 'robust and unforgiving' take on the style but a bold, brash, and beautifully crafted beer.

The mouthfeel is creamy due to nice smooth carbonation and the body is medium to heavy. I like this beer a lot and I will happily have it again. A wonderful drinking experience - try it with a pepperoni pizza like I did, it's an immaculate blue collar pairing!

Photo of sellmeagod
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extremely thick for a porter, extremely dark and with a monster head on top. Basically drinks like a weaker stout, but it can go down quickly. At 5.7 abv, it better be delicious and indeed it does work.

The creamy feel and malty smell are especially notable, and Smuttynose manages to impress again despite the setback of the all-too-goofy label.

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

Picked up a single 12 oz bottle in a mix-a-6er at The Andersons in Toledo.

Appearance- Black as night, nearly opaque with some deep brown glimmers of light around the edges of the glass. Lingering tan head with some fairly nice lacing.

Aroma- Big malty notes of roastiness, powdery dark chocolate, light roast coffee, and deep raisin-like burnt sugar with hints of alcohol and whiffs of earthy smokiness. Some earthy hops in there as well. Rich aroma and very inviting!

Flavor- Roastiness and bittersweet chocolate up front with some malty sweetness. Earthy hop bitterness and slightly acrid flavor from the dark malts round off the middle and bring in a chewy, rich finish. Big roasty finish lingers for quite some time and gives this porter a reason to be called 'robust'!

Mouthfeel- Moderate CO2, full bodied. Slight astringency in the finish from the dark malts, but not enough to detract from the feel and flavor. Chewy brew with loads of dark malt flavor!

Overall- Very nice porter with everything you would expect out of a robust porter. I could definitely have a few of these and feel pretty good about it! Great example of the style and no wonder it is in the BJCP style guidelines as a commercial example!

Photo of halo21
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I enjoyed this one in the Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass; it is a black, opaque beer with a dense thin head, that was tan with spots of espresso crema. It left massive lacing on the way down.

Smell: A rich chocolate roast bomb with nice sweetness in the background with some vanilla and yeast.

Taste: Awesome; liquid dark chocolate - the ones that are over 60% cocoa. It is as sweet as it needs to be; big coffee finish at the end. Opens up nicely as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, smooth and medium bodied. Perfect mouthfeel; thick enough, but still distinctly a porter and not a stout.

Drinkability: High

Notes: A ridiculously well made beer. This is everything I want in a porter; big black coffee and nice creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of claspada
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black with creamy tan head.

The aroma is nice and roasted, coffee notes, dark chocolate, and a little earthy hop character in the finish.
The taste is perfectly balanced, a marriage of dark chocolate and hops.
A little bite of bitterness from both the roasted malt and bittering hops. The body is medium, and carbonation spot on, impressive b/c most blow it on this mark.
One of the best American porters I've had in a while, def worth a pint, single or 6 pack if available.

Photo of silentjay
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pretty standard robust porter pour. semi-viscous black with a one fingered khaki head, but with pretty decent lacing.

aroma is of cocoa powder, charcoal, roasted malts, smoked wood and piney hops.

taste is very roasty as well with some milk chocolate and cocoa powder to sweeten things up. some citrus, dark fruits, dark roasted coffee, wood and smoke as well. finishes dry and chalky.

wants to be full-bodied but seems watery at times. not too far off in the realm of porters, though.

goes down well. tasty and little to no harshness. can't complain, though it doesn't overwhelm either. which isn't always a bad thing.

Photo of flagmantho
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: poured a thick, inscrutable black with three thick fingers of creamy tan foam. Head retention is phenomenal; just an all around great looking and super appetizing beer.

Smell: roasty -- not notably coffee or chocolate, just a general rostiness -- and even a little woody flavor with some unidentifiable, mild fruitiness. Overall, the smell is a little mild, but the composition is just great.

Taste: mild roast flavor, a good woodiness; if this is not wood-aged, I'm surprised. It's a great flavor combination. This leads to a bit of astringency, but a little tartness is appropriate for a porter. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation for the style. I rather like it.

Drinkability: I'm going to rate the drinkability even higher than the flavor or aroma: I can't precisely put my finger on it, but I am really enjoying this beer.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a sampling glass at Smuttynose brewery.

Pours a dark brown with a small light brown head. Nose is coffee And dark malts.

Taste Is malty rich, and lotsa coffee. It's bitter and sharp but quite drinkable. It's got a nice creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of BB1313
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before: July, 2010. 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a beautiful vicious black w/ decent tan head and lacing. There are faint scents of roasted chocolate. The roasted characteristics are even stonger in the taste. Light hints of smoke are present along w/ a little coffee. The mouthfeel is good, carbonated, but smooth w/ a slight creaminess. Finishes very bitter. Not a sweet porter, very robust, hence the name.

Nice effort, it's a good porter, but couldn't get over the odd bitter aftertaste.

Photo of Tomdee74
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow i've been drinking this for a while and can't believe i never reviewed.. i've been on this stout/porter kick so i had to grab a six of this as it truly is one of my favorite porters. just had the edmund fitzgerald porter from great lakes and that was also great and reminded me of this..

A - Poured into a smuttynose big beer series tulip glass.. pours a nice thick black color with a huge head that hangs around for a while and leaves behind good lacing..

S - smells nice and robust.. what a great porter this is.. don't smell any alcohol but just some robust flavors.. some hoppiness in this.. it feels like a hopped up a bit porter.. this is why i love smuttynose is because i love hops.. and they seem to throw a ton of hops into everything.. their imperial stout is fantastic!

T - a hoppy porter.. i enjoy this.. the flavor is "robust" as the name says.. not watery at all.. but it's not a stout.. i have a hard time comparing porters to this.. this almost seems very close to a gold standard (as far as porters are concerned) in my opinion

M - great carbonation. nice and slick with some hop bite..

D - pretty low abv means i could get through a few of these things no problem.. i remember when i was a rookie this wasn't so "drinkable" because it was robust, but that then and this is now and right now i'm loving it (like mcdonalds)...

Photo of rfgetz
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown, letting some light through, nice cap of khaki head. Scent is of roasted malts, roasted nuts, roasted coffee beans, roasted cocoa beans... ya get the picture... but without too much char or earthyness. The first sip brings all of the wonderful roasted notes from the scent and blends them to make a big bold taste that is almost stout like. Nice earthyness to it as well. The body remains on the heavy side of medium, just a touch higher than most porters but with all that flavor its expected. A slightly earthy and chalky finnish is very nice. I am fully impressed with this porter, one of the best around.

Photo of m1ked
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having a pint glass of this poolside on a beautiful dog day of summer. Not a typical summer brew, but when in Long Island...

A- looks almost identical to pouring a cola with it deep dark brown body and rush of large craggy bubbles that almost seem to canibalize themselves in a flurry of activity. The head is more of an espresso brown tan though. After the pour some micro streamers can be seen if you look closely.

S- the obvious roasted coffee is unmistakeable to be sure. But it has some bittersweet chocolate and some earthy notes too. The sweetness reminds me of a fig or plum sauce reduction... dark and concentrated but not overpowering here.

T- Starts with a combo of bitter notes, I get the bitter acidic coffee and bittersweet chocolate noted right out of the gates. Then it quickly segues into a hoppy earthy bitterness. After that I get some chocolate sweetness with some ashy earthiness. The thread of earthy hoppy bitterness can be appreciated throughout the taste here.

M- Evertime I am tasting a porter I have to remind myself "this is not a stout, this is not a stout". So this is light to medium feel that seems light for a stout but definetly has a little chewiness at the end. The carbonation almost seems to prevent any one flavor (mostly th earthy bitter) from completely dominating the taste profile.

D- I feel like there are some caveats I have to keep in mind. As mentioned above...this is not a stout, and not your typical poolside summer brew. With that being said, I think this is a great example of this style that is flavorful and would pair great with food, something grilled or some deeper rich meats, hearty stew. For now, I will continue to drink it poolside.

Photo of ujsplace
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a oversized pint glass.

Big, chunky tan colored head that is about two fingers thick, which leaves clingy lace on the sides of the glass. The brew itself is nearly black with only the faintest hint of brown along the bottom edge of the glass.

Tastes of big robust, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and espresso-like bitters with dark, earthy fruits, which balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth. Nice carbonation.

This is a great tasting porter. Highly drinkable and caseworthy. One of the better porters for sure.

Photo of jkrich
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label. Poured an opaque dark brown to black with a foamy beige head that slowly receded. If you enjoy lace, this one has plenty of tan lace.

The aromas was very inviting with spicy malt and faint smoky odors. You can also detect some citrus as well as licorice.

The initial flavor is bittersweet chocolate, faint licorice and ends with a nice citrusy hop flavor. The smoke like flavor only adds to the complexity. The roasted malty coffee taste is excellent.

This has a medium body with a creamy mouthfeel that alway remains refreshing even as the porter warms in the glass.

Another excellent porter from an outstanding brewery. I am enjoying this in the air conditioning while it roasts outside.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, dank. Beautiful. Mocha head adorns.

Roasted malts, lots of coffeee and chocolate. simple but pleasurable.
Rich chocolate and slight bitter coffee. Roasted malts a plenty as well. YUM

Pretty full in the mouth, and very velvety.

Got this in florida, only 1 mind you, and I'm very sad I did not get more!!! :(

Photo of Soonami
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer.

The roasted, chocolate flavors of this beer are fantastic, it's like drinking a creamy mocha--there is enough clean hop bitterness and roast astringency to balance the sweetness of the beer. This beer has a great thick texture, that is chewy and full. Smuttynose Robust Porter is my go-to porter on the east coast when I want a flavorful, yet balanced dark beer to fulfill a chocolate craving or to pair with grilled or roasted meats. Superb!

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Ping glass. Beer comes out Jet black, easily the darkest porter I've had. Dark like a Russian Imperial Stout. It has a chocolate milk colored head that sticks around and some lacing, nothing to really write home about, but pretty good. It smells really good. Chocolate malts and roasted ground coffee, a dark roasted coffee type smell followed by a slight hop aroma. Taste is good, much like the aroma. Coffee and chocolate flavors. Again its a dark coffee flavor and a rich chocolate. Tough to tell, but when it the chocolate seems to go away a little as it warms up and the coffee takes over. The hops combine with the coffee and give it a little bitter after taste, it's good. Its a very tasty porter, "Robust" is an extremely accurate description on what's going on in both the smell and taste. Mouthfeel is full and heavy, bitter finish. Very drinkable, more of a fall/winter beverage, but I enjoyed it in July. I was on a Porter kick about 2 months ago, I think I might have rated it much higher than, but I still enjoyed this and I'd get it again.

Photo of rwf08
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard American pint glass.

A: Super black, opaque. Some lacing and a faint whisper of head.

S: Coffee, roasted grain, slight fruity twang.

T: Same as smell but the fruity twang comes out a little more in the taste. Some bitterness on the backend.

M: Good body, nice carbonation. Silky in the mouth.

D: Great, one of the best porters I have ever had.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,364 ratings.