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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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1,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 128
Gots: 95 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,947 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jakester


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

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Date, which was March, was clearly notched on the label. Though this might be considered slightly out of date, it was still great. A nice job by the brewery.

Pours an almost opaque black/garnet with brownish tints. A nice, two finger head of light brown foam forms on top. The head eventually drops to islands and a ring, but lacing was observed throught.

Wonderful chocolate notes in the aroma. A touch of herbal hop smell in there also. Nice brown sugar and molasses. Smells inviting.

The flavor stands up to its "robust" title. Huge chocolate and molasses, with a good dose of hop bittering to boot. Really smooth, with just a slight hint of roasted barley/coffee flavor. Herbal/grassy hops are there but muted by the big malt base. Aftertaste is like eating a bag of chocolate morsels. Very nice beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a soft to medium carbonation bite. Some residual sugar, but not alot; to style. A little grab at the back of the throat from hop bittering. Finish is long and dark.

I can just imagine sitting around a campfire in November drinking about a million of these. Very tasty, interesting beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2005 15:10:53 | More by jakester
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Almost black. Two fingers of frothy brown head that left a thick ring of lace around the glass. Beautiful.

Smell - Wonderful coffee odor, not espresso, its a less pugent bean. A slight piney hop and sweet dark chocolate smell on top of that. I'm excited.

Taste - A delicious coffee and chocolate flavor accompanied by a soft piney hop, it is slightly sweet, that slowly shifts to a coffee bitterness and less dominant hop bitterness. I'd prefer it slightly sweeter and a little less bitter. Oh well, still great.

Mouthfeel - Oh so thick and creamy. Smooth, slightly frothy. Pretty refreshing.

Drinkability - This porter at first went down really easy. But as it warmed a bit, it got worse and worse.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 20:32:10 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose has delivered a truly "robust" porter with a black body and creamy orangeish tan head. The retention is quite good and it leaves some nice spots of lace about the glass. The nose expresses very dark cocoa, and a waft of espresso. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth with a medium body and fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. The flavor is rich with dark, bittersweet chocolate; a berry-like and cherryish yeasty fruitiness; and some mild grassy & citrusy hops. It's backed by a solid bitterness, and it finishes bone dry with a mild, cold black coffee-like roastiness. Nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2005 21:03:20 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of PlowKing

Ontario (Canada)

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

The first thing I noticed after pouring was the sweet aroma of the beer. I caught hints of vanilla and light cream. This robust porter reminds me more of a sweet stout (e.g. St. Peter's Cream Stout), in terms of taste and appearance. It had a slight milky sweetness, as if lactose was added, and none of the burnt, smoky flavours for such a dark beer.

It was a regular at the LCBO for quite some time, but has since been in absentia. Shame.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 15:55:22 | More by PlowKing
Photo of Bleedingshrimp


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

This baby pours an inch light brown head that sticks around for a bit. Lace paints the glass nicely and while it looks almost opaque, you can pick out a very deep and devious brown. The nose is light yet thick and woodsy, smells of bitter chocolate, grapefruits, and jet black coffee. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Taste is slightly sweet caramel coffee which immediately fights for mouthspace with the strong hops before finally giving in to their respective strengths and agreeing to disagree by striking a nice balance. It finishes with the hops having the final word and becoming a bully of an aftertaste...not too overwhelming though but quite enough to be considered "robust" and to make you chew on your own mouth for a bit. I could definitely down a sixer of these badboys no problem. Between this and Anchor porter for a mainstay in my fridge. Simply a great example of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2005 04:16:05 | More by Bleedingshrimp
Photo of TongoRad

New Jersey

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

Label is notched November.

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a one-finger tan head. The only hints of translucency are around the edges.

Aroma is strong with coffee, cocoa and some nuttiness.

Coffee dominates the flavor. It is medium bodied yet dry with a crisp finish. Bitterness come at you from two directions- the hops and the abundance of roasted malt- yet it is not overdone. I wish I could say the same of the roasted malt acidity, which lingers in the finish -as well as a pleasant mocha quality. It's a good beer, though- just kind of, well, obvious.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2005 15:19:08 | More by TongoRad
Photo of jamesclark


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, opaque both when pouring and in my pint glass. Lovely brown head, but it disappeared quickly.

Smells nice, caramel and coffee.

Medium carbonation, with tiny bubbles which play on my tongue. Nice rich flavor - somewhat sweet, chocolate, coffee-like. I'm reminded of espresso. There seems to be a good balance between the sweetness, the bitterness, and the identifiable aspects of the flavor. It doesn't feel thick. The flavor lingers after swallowing.

This is one of my many favorite beers - very drinkable, and very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2005 02:57:08 | More by jamesclark
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smuttynose Robust Porter....

Appearance-murky brown color, slight one finger head forms, dissapointing size but what is there stays with big bubbles forming through and through.

Smell-whiffs of chocolate cocoa, caramel malt, and slight bit of hop bite.

Taste-bitter chocolate through and through, huge influx of caramel roast flavor at the end and on the toungue though, quite flavorful.

Mouthfeel-flavor pulls through and through, bitter chocolate left on the toungue, not harsh just flavorful, very nice.

Drinkability-whoo man if you porters this is the one for you, flavorful and thorough without too much alcohol.

Overall-after a dissapointing start Smuttynose's porter proves that it is indeed "robust" quite flavorful and full of chocolate and caramel flavor without any harshness. Fine porter to have by your side anytime.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2005 09:40:51 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, nearly impervious to light save a few illuminated red spots around the edges. Thin tan head, spotty lace.

The smell is, shall I say, ROBUST. Very potent, with whiffs of chocolate and coffee. Very warm smelling despite the coldness of the brew. Reminds me of a roaring fire even on this hot summer day.

Taste starts off slightly milky, with a cool creamy sensation then transitions to a slightly bittersweet chocolatey mocha cappucino profile. Very smooth on the intake, a thick bodied brew. Very satisfying and a delicious porter, ranking up there with my favorites Sierra Nevada and Samuel Smith.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 20:15:25 | More by Litterbean
Photo of BuckSpin


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an oily, slick opaque warm midnight ebony hue with an outrageous 2" agitated & lively head of tight tan foam that laced nicely. Nose was deep, rich, wisps of some fermentation and baking chocolate, smelled syrupy.

Wow, for a robust porter this is smooootthhhh. So soft & creamy, almost a bit thick on the tongue, very nice. Mild malt tones and subtle resonnences of chocolate swirl. It continues on the pallete until interrupted by a hop bite with a faint dark coffee echo. It swallows soft, like a whisper becoming an echo, subtly sweet, with some faint chocolate tones evolving into a coating of the throat & tongue, which is nice.

I don't know if Robust Porter is a play on words, but this was one soft, subtle porter. It slid down so easy & nice, love the creamy aspect of it. This is a keeper. Not as flavorful as others, but certainly welcome in my glass again. This could be a great porter to introduce someone to porters with.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 03:21:01 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of Naes

New York

4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahh, the robust porter, one of my favorite beers.

It has a bold black appearance, with a milk chocolate colored head which stays around and clings to the glass. So dark in color, that it is almost impenetrable to light.

This beer has a semi-sweet malt aroma, with hints of roastiness that lets you know that you are in for a treat.

The flavor is a roasty malt, with a nice balance of hops. The after taste includes hints of chocolate and coffee.

So creamy and rich, you could almost chew this brew. It has a thick mouth feel that lingers on the palate, yet drinkable enough to have a few more.

5.7% ABV and delicious.

After trying countless numbers of porters from around the world, I think that this is one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 02:49:21 | More by Naes
Photo of Dithyramb


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a 12 pack purchased at Beltway Fine Wines just the other day. This one was stamped March 2005 on the exterior box and had March notched on the label. Nice photo, on their website there is some background info concerning how it was made.

Pours ink black, just about opaque. By holding it up to the light, just a bit of ruby highlights can be seen, but not much. Thick dark tan head erupted to 2.5 finger height. Excellent retention with lacing throughout.

Roasted coffee and ripe fruit aromas

Flavor was initially coffee, but there was a semisweet chocolate backbone to it. Slightly bitter baking chocolate flavors too. However, they just seemed downplayed a bit.

Missing some body, was light to medium bodied. Lacked a strong finish, but this did allow the brew to finish clean.

Pretty drinkable and not bad in many categories, just not as robust as the name implies. Would like to see this suped up in their Big A series, though.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 23:56:59 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of Wonka


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

12 FL. OZ.
Brewed & Bottled in November

Appearance – mostly black body; early mammoth, pillowy mocha head that has little retention; lace is reasonable but nothing to write home about

Smell – big smack of dark malts; lingering grapefruity hops were a pleasant surprise

Taste – dark chocolate; smoky; grapefruit; bit coffee-like; grapefruit remains through a mostly charred and wild close; the overall package is exciting

Mouthfeel – bigger feel than most porters of this size; bit of a hop tinge to close; somewhat dry on close

Drinkability – the flavor/feel package is certainly nothing like I’ve had before; the flow is pleasant

The char & grapefruit remain in my mouth for minutes afterward. Different. Thought stimulating. If you like something different in the porter family that throws a curve at your tongue, give it a rip. There will be a return trip. Thankfully there are 5 more in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 22:28:30 | More by Wonka
Photo of thinkbreakfast

New York

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Dark tan, thick looking head. Fades to patchy chunks of foam which stick to the sides of the glass.

Smell: This brew has the trademark chocolate/coffee smell of any porter. What sets this one apart, however, is the undeniable undertones of hops. For some reason I really enjoyed this. Hops are usually the last thing that comes to mind with a beer like this.

Taste: Starts sweet, then a fleeting glimpse of the hops mentioned above. The hop bitterness fades into a dark chocolate bitterness. After the swallow, a deep, dark coffee taste lingers.

The mouthfeel is a tiny bit on the thin side. But the bitterness of the aftertaste leaves a nice chalky feeling.

A very enjoyable liquid.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 22:08:11 | More by thinkbreakfast
Photo of clvand0


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very roasty with just a hint of chocolate and very low in the hops. The flavor is much the same, with a huge roasted character and small hints of chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and the drinkability is great. This is very well done and extremely enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 14:44:10 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


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

This brew departs the bottle a nice black color with a small head that falls to coathe the beer with a mice tan foam. The nose is really nice, with chocoalte and nice roasty malts being full and forward. I really like it. The flavor is just as nice. Huge roasty notes assault me. Not coffee, but nice roasted malrts. There is a bit of chocolate on the finish. I like it. The feel is big and thick, slight creamyness as well. Well balanced, good flavor..just a damn fine brew. This is one of the better porters I have had. Its right on par with the one from the Great Dane last weekend.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 01:24:57 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of warriorsoul


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's funny to see this brew in a search...put in "Robust Porter" and at least 5 beers are called Robust Porter...but not Smutty's...it's "Smuttynose Robust Porter"...there is a difference.
Pours a pitch black w/ no light passing through...full two fingers of cocoa head, leaving a thick lacing to the side of my pint glass.
Nice aromas...cappucino, chocolate, and vanilla...what I would expect from a "robust" porter.
The taste is fantastic! A thick, yet smooth blast of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, butterscotch, and more. A nice touch of hops to add and a nice subtle sweetness from the malt.
Mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth as silk.
Drinkability is high if you like this style...if you dig dark beers, you must try this offering from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 00:52:02 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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

This is the East Coast equivalent to Old Rasputin but with much less Alcohol. The beer is dark brown/black with red undertones. The head was minimal but the nose was all burnt malts and coffee. The taste was smooth and big with coffee to the front. A very wellmade porter that is closer to a stout in attack. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2005 15:01:55 | More by canucklehead
Photo of beermanbrian


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saved this one for last from my smuttynose variety case. Just like the brown ale this one poured to have little head and no life at all. Big dissapointment in the appearance hopefully the taste will be better. Black brown in color and gives off the typical porter smell of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste the same as it smells with a nice hop bite to it. Not one of the best porters i've ever had but an ok porter is better than a pale ale any day.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2005 16:43:25 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of rousee


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

Wow--my favorite from Smuttynose to date. Black-cherry-dark ruby with dark tan head. Impressive lace is left almost before the first sip. This thing is beauty in motion. It reminds me of a really fresh version of Sinebrychoff. After I had the sampler of 10 beers at the brewery--this is the pint I opted for. It holds up real well in the DBF.

Smell is dark cherry-mahogany and some chocolate coffee licorice. This beer is extremely impressive given the complexity it has and the reasonably low cost. For all the people looking for good beers for cheap--this one is an excellent recommendation. It has some fruity elements too--cherry or dried fruit like a dried sweetened plum. It is good and smooth but I have to say I am reviewing it at the wrong time of year. This is better as the weather gets colder not wamer.

Excellent beer. I think this is my highest rating for an American beer to date.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 00:36:52 | More by rousee
Photo of pheurton


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

extremely dark brown bodering on total blackness, with a milk chocolate head that tops off at about 1" and has some insane staying power. deep roasted malt aroma with notes of cocoa and dark roasted coffee. lightly carbonated, big full velvety mouthfeel without approaching imperial stout territory. deep roasted malted barley flavors dominate, with more subtle milk chocolate and macadamia coffee flavors in the background. finishes with a tobacco leaf hop twang, dry and satisfying. robust it certainly is. one of the best big porters around. well done.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2005 23:21:56 | More by pheurton
Photo of mentor


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

Thanks to Sulldaddy for this one. 12 oz bottle consumed in April 2005 (bottled Nov 2004). Poured a finger and a half brown head over a ptich black liquid. Smells of baker's chocolate, roast, and Fuggles hops. Tastes initally of roasted grains. After the swallow, the roast fades away and a dry choclate rises up with some floral hops. Some caramel tinges to the rising chocolate that gives the beer an overall candy-like goodness. Not quite as sweet as I expected, for a robust porter, and also a bit too dark. Carbonation is perfect and the body is medium. I get some alcohol in the flavor as the beer goes down the throat. It's gentle, but has rough edges. All in all, a very enjoyable beverage.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2005 05:11:14 | More by mentor
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.