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.

1,944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,944
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 128
Gots: 94 | 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)
View: Beers (54) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,944 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tommy78

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle and a deep, dark colour with a healthy head filled the glass. I smelled the left-over beer in the bottle and an aroma of cocoa quickly filled my nose. In terms of taste, the cocoa translated easily. I could also taste malts with a bit of hop. The porter feels light and sweet, and going down, you feel a nice, hoppy sensation. In terms of cooking, the porter easily complimented my hamburger. In fact, I had three porters and I felt really good afterwards.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2006 01:27:12 | More by tommy78
Photo of jaluria


3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark, dark brown with a mocha colored head that was very thick and left behind lovely lacing. Bubbly and intense, the head didn't go anywhere for quite awhile. Aromas of caramel, chocolate, alcohol, and toasted bread. Roasted malt flavors dominated the taste, but the other flavors worked well; caramel and semi-sweet chocolate. Somewhat creamy and yet dry with a slightly sour finish. Good for the style. Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2006 15:49:34 | More by jaluria
Photo of ClearDog


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Poured in an imperial pint glass. Pours ink black with ruby hues towards the bottom. Immense fluffy, three-finger head that is khaki to light-brown in color. The head lasts for a while. Semi-sticky lacing.

Smell -- Significant amount of chocolate with just a touch of coffee. For some reason every time I drink this I feel like I can also smell some peanut butter. When I first tried this porter about two weeks ago there was more of a hop presence but you can still smell it if you wait long enough. Very interesting!

Taste -- Bitter chocolate with a faint piney hop flavor. Hints of coffee and just the faintest taste of peanut butter.

Mouthfeel -- Light and fluffy. Kind of reminds me of a cloud or like a cherry fluff (minus the cherry flavor).

Drinkability -- Exceptional! After having only one bottle two weeks ago I ran out and bought two more 6-packs. This is a great porter! I just wish it was available year-round. Oh well . . . exceptional offering from Smuttynose! Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2006 20:27:31 | More by ClearDog
Photo of petemoss14


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -- the last from a six pack that I ran all over town trying to find a few weeks ago. Thanks to Nick at Bauer for being on the ball an one of the first to get it in stock.

Pours an opaque black with a finger thick coffee-tan head. No light getting through this beast.

Great malt aroma filled with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and notes of caramel. Riding the wave of malt is a subtle, pleasant floral hop aroma.

A fascinating balance on the palate. Lots of roasted malt. Dark chocolate at first, with a mild underlying sweetness. becoming drier and more espresso-like in the finish. The everpresent hops provide a brilliant counterpoint -- citric at first, to bitter in the finish, to floral on the exhale. Nicely carbonated with a full, velvety mouthfeel. Spot on!

A really interesting and well-crafted porter/stout from Smutty. I had this with a porcini mushroom and garlic-laced burger a few weeks ago, and it complimented it nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 20:59:58 | More by petemoss14
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep brown with no light passing through, half an inch or so of tight brown head that fades slowly.

Smell is roasted malts, a lot of bitter coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, and a piney hop aroma.

Flavor is pretty roasty, with nice hints of cocoa and dark chocolate, a bit of toffee, some dark-roast coffee flavors, caramel, and a light earthiness. Really full-flavored, and the medium body holds up well to it.

Overall: A great deal for a solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2006 04:58:44 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of tgbljb


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very deep brown, virtually black color with brown chunky monstrous head. Retention was excellent, as was the glue-like lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is deeply roated malt combined with strong black coffee, dark ripe fruit, and bittersweet chocolate. Hint of alcohol also present. Taste is roasted malt with a very enjoyable bitterness in the background. Finish is strong, bitter, and very robust. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2006 01:05:37 | More by tgbljb
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's a total eclipse - pitch black with nary a highlight to be found. Topped by three fat fingers of breathing rocky tan foam. Good lacing.

Big inviting nose of raosty coffee and chocolate.

A first splash of morning roast coffee. quickly followed and enveloped by a wave of chocolate. Then, while you're enoying all this mocha goodness, you realize you're standing in a rising tide of hops whose bitterness pulls the coffee flavor back out in the forefront and gets the mouth all atingly.

Lush full mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable. Where has this bottle gone ?

Simply a wonderful porter. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 06:23:34 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with chestnut highlights and a nice creamy tan head that reduces to a sticky topping and some bubbly lacing. Rich, chocolate and dark coffee malt aroma. Burnt, dark malt flavor - very full and smooth in the mouth - lightly sweet with a bitter finish. Lots of espresso and dark chocolate.

Robust...the name says it all. A damn good porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 02:55:37 | More by wedge
Photo of akahn


3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notched label indicates that this beer was brewed last month. Like most of Smuttynose's beers, this one has an interesting, oddball label. I like.

Pours an opaque black with a lasting, luxurious caramel colored head, that leaves plenty of lace. I don't believe I've ever seen a porter with this much lace.

Not a strong aroma here, disappointingly. Hints of coffee and chocolate. Pleasant but muted.

Big roasted malt flavor. Sweet, but not overly rich. Sweetness is balanced by spicy, leafy hop flavors. Lasting bitter coffee aftertaste -- bitter coffee flavor matches up with bitter hops extremely well. More coffee in the exhale.

Rich, full body. Strong carbonation for a porter, but I guess this isn't your traditional porter.

Tastewise, this was easily drinkable, despite the full body. However, I could feel this beer hit me pretty quickly, even though it is only 5.7%.

At this point, I can't say that I understand the hubbub over this beer. I like it but I'm not crazy about it. Maybe that will change as I get more acquainted with it and have a few more.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 03:12:52 | More by akahn
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been on a porter kick lately. Traded a beer from one of my six packs of choice for SuperBowl Sunday for this one with my good buddy and fellow BA, Thetachibro.

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - A very, very nice opaque black color iwth a huge, foamy tan head. The head sticks around at almost full capacity and laces the glass like crazy. When held up to light the sides of the glass let a tiny bit of light shine through forming an amazing ruby red/brown frame around the black liquid. Great look.

S - A nice roasted coffee/chocolate aroma hits the nose.

T - A nice robust (sorry) coffee taste comes through up front with a tiny sweetness following. The finish is a very robust (sorry again) roasted, toasty flavor. A great tasting porter overall.

M - Very smooth in the mouth and just the right tiny amount of carbonation to complement those robust (yes I'm a dork) flavors.

D - An excellent porter. The flavors make you want more and you can definitely put a few of these down in a sittting. I actually think the smoky aftertaste contributes tot he drinkability the most as it makes you crave sip after sip.

Notes: To sum it up, aptly named. My repetition of the word robust was obviously a joke however it really is the perfect word to describe this porter. Another great one from one of my favorite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2006 01:58:28 | More by EStreet20
Photo of jmz62565


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very dark brown with a large tan foamy head.The smell has a coffee and citrus aroma to it. It's not that strong,but you can pick it out. The taste has a real coffee and chocolate dominance to it. This is a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium and is very balanced. This is an outstanding porter and the best Smuttynose beer I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2006 22:01:24 | More by jmz62565
Photo of kaimcm


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque body with a velvety smooth head. Nice ring stick on the glass and agitation easily brings back froth.

S: Burnt coffee, dark chocolate, grain husk, roasted malt, herbal hops

T: The first sip of this beer is the best, before your palate gets aclimated to the brew. That first sip is so rich and so damn chocolately its amazing. Even by the second sip its less intense. Rich body, up front with coffee, chocolate, followed by a balancing hop bitterness. A touch of caramel, plenty of oil, finish is dry and refreshing. As the beer warms the chocolate opens up with some lactic overtones and becomes more reminiscent of milke chocolate than the dark chocolate in the nose. Roasty.

M&D: Very nice, the accessible weight makes it very drinkable. An easy drinking but still very interesting beer. Well made.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 04:34:29 | More by kaimcm
Photo of kmo1030


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

dark, dark brown with a nice looking tan head that sticks around. very appealing.
the smell is of coffee, dark baking chocolate, leafy fresh grassy hops.
lots of roasted coffee, with a background of dark chocolate. hints of brown sugar and dark fruit. there is also a real nice balance of fresh grassy somewhat piney, slightly herbal hops. faint tangy acidity mostly in the aftertaste.
smooth and medium bodied with middle of the road carbonation.
overall: what a kick ass porter, refined, and very flavorful, excellent balance, there's not much that smutty could do to make this one better. easily one of the best porters i've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2006 00:20:25 | More by kmo1030
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Porter

Appearance- Black. Pure black. Huge head comprised with miliions of tiny bb bubbles. Dark brown head.
Smell- Dark roast coffee.
Taste- Like a whitmans sampler chocolate/ molasses candy blended in a dark roast cup of coffee.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm. Creamy aftertaste.

Overall- Damn fine Porter. 1 of the best I've ever had. Only nitpick is a slight detection of alcohol. Otherwise amazing!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 20:37:00 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Just what the doctor ordered. A rich and tasty porter to chase away my jet lag from my three day trip to Los Angeles.

12 Ounce bottle with December very clearly notched. Was this brewed in December 2005 or does it mean "best by" 12/2006???

Pours a dark inpenetrable chocolate with light seeping through only at the very fringes. Thick creamy long lasting tan head that is maintained as a pancake, almost a crepe and a ring by the fine but persistent carbonation. A gorgreous brew to behold indeed. Thick sheets of lacing stick everywhere as this puppy is consumed.

Aroma is fruity ale yeast, sweet malts fading into and some hints of cocoa, charcoal and french roasted coffee.

Taste is roasted coffee and spicy hops in the middle with almost a sour apple taste that dries to a deep french roasted finish. Truly a coffee like porter. I like what I am tasting here.

Mouth feel is light to medium sticking well to the palate and tongue through a long, hardwood charcoal finish.

Very drinkable. Very drinkable indeed. Seek this one out and hoard it!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 03:45:13 | More by Citadel82
Photo of thetachibro

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A very dark porter. Black with light brown, ruby highlights. A nice tanish brown head that succomes to a small ring for the rest of the pint.

S- A somewhat malty aroma with roasted coffee and slight chocolate.

T- The first sip is mostly roasted malts. You taste the chocolate and coffee in the end.

M- Very full bodied with nice mellow carbination

D- Good drinkability. Very nice porter. I want another

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 15:17:18 | More by thetachibro
Photo of Jredner


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smelled like warm just baked chocolate cookies and fresh brewed coffee. Poured like a stout. Dark black with a pinky thickness head that stuck around. Looked like a perfect stout pour instead of a light frothy porter. Flavor was creamy chocolate malts, but still roasty and full in the middle with a slightly bitter black chocolate and coffee finish.

The taste of a stout too just thinned down a little. Bitter end, but more of the chocolate and coffe and even some very mild sweetness. Appropriate porter mouthfeel.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 11:08:59 | More by Jredner
Photo of Franchise


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, one of the best selections I've tried from smuttynose. Recommended from my man at Colonial Spirits in Acton. Lets get to the beer. This beer pours a magnificent dark chocolate brown, and leaves a very thin tan lace that continues with the beer as you drink it. The smell is chocolate, caramel, coffee, dark fruit, and a piney leafy essence. As this beer hits the palate it hits you with a kick of espresso hopped chocolate bitterness and finishes with a smooth caramel fruit blast. This is one the best and most complex beers I've had from Smuttynose it is great and def recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 23:58:39 | More by Franchise
Photo of barrelman

New York

3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know that this style is more open to interpretation than any other style and I will take that into account, mixing flexible guidelines and preference.

Appearance is dark brown and red tinged with almost no head. The smell is chocolaty. The taste is also dominated by chocolate malt. I consider myself a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to porters and am more against the use of chocolate malt in porter. From there website, I can see that this beer also contains no patent malt, which is a big turnoff for me in this style.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is also good.

In the end, I like a porter to be more traditional and distance itself from its little bother, stout. Yeah, you heard me correctly.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 23:44:51 | More by barrelman
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to battlekow for throwing this in a little trade for some of my Lake Louie Reserve Scotch Ale.

Pours a thick, impenetrable black with two fingers of dark tan, rocky head. Nose is, uhh, robust with intense coffee, dark chocolate, woody vanilla notes and bourbon. Taste is as robust as the nose with roasted coffee grounds, baker's chocolate, earthy peat, toasted malt, bourbon barrel cask, and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Nice balance of sweet and bitter/roasted while keeping the palate interested. A big tasty porter here, I wish I could get my hands on some of Smutty's other stuff around here - guess I'll have to get it from Milwaukee as they're finally distributing there.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 00:07:45 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of battlekow


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smutty's Robust Porter is actually black, which is nice to see in a porter, with a very dark chocolate-colored head. Certainly looks robust. Smells and tastes quite chocolatey. The scent also has a nutty character, and the taste is a bit grassy and ends with a husky bitterness. In addition, there's a slight, unpleasant tartness to the flavor that reminds me, oddly, of Major Tom's Pomegranate Wheat. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Overall, very good, and nice to see a "robust" porter live up to its billing (paging St. Bridget).

Many thanks to Px2GrafX for the chance to try this.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 04:12:37 | More by battlekow
Photo of dirtylou


3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single received as a "surprise" in a monster opening trade with Px2GrafX

I'm not a huge porter guy for some reason, well actually i think I am just more particular about which porters i like.

appearance: another bizarre label from smuttynose...pours an extremely dark brown, not quite black, with some ruby highlights visible when put up to the light...brown/ruby creamy head tops it off

smell: very dark toasted malts, chocolate, faint dark coffee beans, evident hoppiness.

taste: sweet and dark toasted malts, sweet dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans, slight hoppiness, definately some plum/raisin in there

mouthfeel: fairly creamy, a little hop tingle

drinkability: i cant really session porters...this one doesnt deviate from the norm in drinkability

overall: definately a tasty porter, probably makes my top 5 of the style

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2005 02:32:32 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Px2GrafX


4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a black and white photo and a purple and orange banner across the top of the label. on the banner is "robust porter" in a plain sans serif font, and the photo is of what looks like a stongman male circus performer standing with a barrel of beer under one arm (undoubtedly smutty's robust porter) and a female circus performer sitting on his other arm. "cirque du francois oeuf" is printed on the bottom of the label. (translates roughly to: circus of the french egg?). 5.7% abv displayed along with a december notch in the label for freshness. no year, but i'm assuming dec. '04. the smutty logo is on the orange neck label.

appearance: an extremely dark brown almost black with minimal highlights in a stein glass. poured aggressively i got a half inch head that dropped fairly quickly to a patchy capper. moderate lacing.

smell: malty sweet with chocolate and coffee takin' the forefront. caramelly sweet roastiness. some faint dark fruits in the background. hops are hard to discern.

taste: huge roasty chocolate esspresso flavors. there's also an apparent sourness, almost lemony flavor as well. nice bitterness and balance as well. bitter sweet chocolate aftertaste and finish is just a tad dry.

mouthfeel: slightly heavier than medium body with excellent carbonation. creamy and smooth with a smooth swallow. similar mouthfeel as a good oatmeal stout. very nice.

drinkability: drinkability is good, but this is a sippin' porter. alcohol is well hidden and theres a good teasing aftertaste, but you just want to savor this brew.

overall: there are other "robust" porters out there, but this is the first truely robust one i've experienced. packed with flavor and super smooth, this gets a couple of thumbs from me.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 23:35:25 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of GnomeKing


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head was a little lame, but the lacing was ample. The strength and character of the smell pleasantly surprised me. There was distinct banana aroma mixed in with the malt and coffee. Nice touch. I couldn't wait to drink the beer after my first sniff.

The brew's taste didn't exactly live up to my enthusiasm, but it was a nice, dry porter. There are tastes of coffee and toffee, with some spiciness. Cool. Interesting. It's well-balanced and drinkable to the last drop. Not my favorite in the style, but creative and enjoyable enough to try once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2005 18:04:05 | More by GnomeKing
Photo of Sycodrummer


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Two Brother's Tavern in Middlebury, Vermont. A little hesitant to try because I though this only came around in the Winter. Nonetheless gave it a go, and it certainly didn't show any signs of not being fresh.

Poured from the tap into a pint glass the beer was a dark near perfect jet black color. It was topped by a light brown head about 1 finger thick that reduced down to a little more than a sliver and stayed there for the rest of the sample. Tons of lacing down the sides of the glass.

The nose was coffee and chocolate innitially. With a bit of a burnt smell to it. Some slight mocha in the nose and roasted malt.

Taste was as the name indicates: robust. Heavy on the palate with a big roasted chocolate and malt flavor dominating over all else. The back ground gave way to black coffee and a slight bitterness with each sip that was more than balanced by the matiness of the beer.

Heavy and thick on the palate with little to no carbonation to speak of.

Very enjoyable and very drinkable. If this was on tap now, I will be seeking this out in the Winter months to come for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2005 04:58:54 | More by Sycodrummer
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,944 ratings.