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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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2,277 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,277
Reviews: 1,033
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 149
Gots: 208 | 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: 2,277 | Reviews: 1,033 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a 12 oz. tumbler. Rich dark color emerged with sensational head that made me hold back just an half ounce to let settle. Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses embrace the senses. Little bitter on retrieval, tastes of the coffee and the sting of the hops are the star with no contest. Nicely hoped indeed. Medium bodied with a slight thickness in toe. The bite is spectacular, this feature makes for the perfect closer on any session. Will try again and recommend to those who never had. Stellar in all aspects!

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

12oz bottle into Duvel tulips.

Appearance- dark, dark brown, maybe opaque, with a smaller, light brown head. The head falls quickly to nearly nothing.

Smell- lots of roast aromas, very chocolaty and rich, with a strong, bitter underpinning. Coffee and sweet malt aromas are also very strong and rich. Molasses comes to mind.

Taste- surprisingly dry, especially compared to the nose. The flavor is reminiscent of black coffee, without actually being flavored quite as such. The swallow is strong roasted malt flavors, into a slightly astringent, burnt aftertaste. The dominant flavor here is "heavily roasted," and it risks being over-done. French roast is a very apt description.

Mouthfeel- a bit lighter than the heavy roast profile suggests, but not too light. No creamy texture to speak of, especially.

Drinkability- I'll finish off the sixer, but I don't know if I'll hurry to pick up another. Taste is a whole lot like a French Roast coffee, but personally, I prefer more of a Full City Roast.

Photo of deaconoflove
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours very dark, near black with a slim head that did not last long at all. Love the dark side (of beer).
S: Sweet caramel coffee
T: Very nice, sharp, a little citrus of some kind, caramel coffee with a little bitterness.
Mf: Soft and smooth.
Dr: A home run. Flavorful and easy.

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

I poured this one too cold and still received a sizable brown head with great retention and lacing. The brew itself is coffee colored and impenetrable by light.

Smell is rich columbian coffee. Really. There is also burnt toffee, light chocolate malt, and smoke. A dark fruitiness of yeast esters hides in there somewhere.

Taste is more smooth coffee and smoke. A balancing malted burnt toffee sweetness that brings a grapefruit hoppiness in as well. The mild fruitiness from the nose flexes and gives depth to the body of the beer. It brings light raisins and dates. Finish is dry. Stronger grapefruit tinged hops and toasted black bread show up here. There is a charcoal undercurrent coursing through the whole brew that steps up and smokes the finishing notes of pumpernickel and hops.

Feel is finely carbonated and smooth. Perfectly weighted for easy drinking with satisfaction for the colder months.

Drinkability is a hallmark. It lets you know that this is a porter meant for consumption as soon as it hits your mouth

A top notch brew here. If you are a porter fan this is a must.

Photo of colts9016
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: It looks like you just pour a glass of coke with ice. The beer color is an oily dark brown with garnet highlights. There is a one finger creamy dark tan head with good retention. There is effervescence visible on the side of the glass. There is some lacing on the side of the glass.

Nose: There is a nice roasted malt aroma, which you can discern the black malts. The black lends a slight burnt character to the beer. There is caramel, coffee, floral esters, and grapefruit.

Taste: Nicely roasted malt with the black malt lending a slight burnt character. There is a nice coffee, molasses, floral esters and grapefruit. There is a light chocolate touch in the beer.

Overall: The mouth feel is creamy, chewy, medium full, body,and a slight astringency. The finish of the beer lingers on the palate and begs you to keep sipping. The beer is a nice malty with a touch of hops. There is a good robust feeling in the beer. It is very good and simply complex.

VIA donkeyrunner

Photo of Bagman007
2.98/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark black color with about half an inch of light brown head.

S- Has a smoked/roasted scent to it. Also has somewhat of a chocolate hoppy scent

T- Very smoky/roasted taste to it. Somewhat tastes like BBQ with a slight hoppiness to it.

M- Fairly smooth beer, kinda bitter with a slight finish.

D- Pretty drinkable beer. Fairly smooth. Goes down pretty easily.

Overall a very solid porter with a unique smokey taste to it.

Photo of number1bum
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #20.

Pours dark brown with some deep garnet hues at the edges. Creamy two fingers of tan head sit on top and recede slowly. Very good head retention and leaves some rings of stick, as well.

Smell is a robust (how about that) combination of milk chocolate, some roasted malt, coffee and cocoa powder.

Taste starts off with some bittersweet dark chocolate, but quickly gives way to a big flavor of dark roasted coffee/espresso, which is even somewhat surprising in its intensity and bitterness. Very bitter for a porter in fact, with lingering burned coffee and roasted malt flavor left on the palate. Tons of flavor, but it's slightly out of balance for my taste with a bit too much bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and quite dry in the finish owing to the intense bitterness. A slight chalkiness to it, as well.

Here is a robust porter that actually lives up to its name. And at less than 6% abv no less. I do find it to be a bit out of balance, however, with too much bitterness. The intense bitter espresso flavor starts to get to me and affects drinkability, but I suppose I'd rather have that than a porter that's lacking in flavor. Overall a very solid porter.

Photo of schroederm
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a tulip:

Very dark, with a head both impressive in size and retention. Excellent lacing. Lots of coffee in the nose, little chocolate too... definitely drew me right in. Taste is quite bitter and lacked a little of the maltiness I was hoping for, but still quite good. On the high side of well carbonated, and not viscous but by no means thin.

Overall: this is certainly a robust porter and worth your time, especially if you're a coffee lover.

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

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The side of the label had a notched best by date of Apr 2009. It was black in color with dark mahogany edges when against a light. Some carb bubbling up in center. Good amount of sliding lace. It had an average brown head that settled into a collar with a foam center.

The aroma was very pleasing. Heavy on coffee, chocolate malt and cocoa powder. Just a touch more choc vs coffee and this would have been perfect. Still great though. The taste followed the aroma for the most part. Starts out with smooth malt base and then about 1/3 of the way in the bitterness hits and ramps up till swallowed. Lingers afterwards as well. The bitterness could use a little more malt balance to offset. It's good but the bitterness is just a bit too high and lingers a little too long. Getting a little picky here but I prefer my porters a bit less bitter. Mouthfeel has good carbonation but again the aftertaste hurts the score a bit.

Overall, a really good porter that I'm glad I finally got to try. It's a tad too bitter to be top tier porter for me but it comes damn close. I'm going to have to get some more over the years as I expect I'll grow into the bitterness. Highly recommend. Would make the change-up rotation for porter/stouts if available here.

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

Pours a very dark, though not quite impenetrable reddish brown that looks almost black in the glass, with a giant brown head that smells strongly of coffee in a thermos, burnt marshmellows, and rich dark chocolates. So far so good. Taste is phenomenal. Complex dark malts up front - an unapologetically roasty S.O.B. - with a burnt bitterness that lingers for minutes. A very full body whose carbonation makes it almost creamy; a refined beast of a beer that is just as enjoyable to sip as it is to gulp. A very satisfying beer that can be had with any number of stews or meaty meals; also able to stand completely on its own cause you to marvel.

Photo of wcudwight
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black in color. Very dark for a porter. Medium sized head that left before the party was over. Wet drippy lacing.
Smells like a strong roasted coffee. Also some hints of cherry.
The flavor of black coffee explodes on the tongue at first sip and last long after the glass is empty. Very rich dark chocolate and hints of cherry. Robust it is!!! This is yummy and has just become one of my favorite beers.
Mouthfeel is medium to full, dry, with just enough carbonation.
Damn good beer. This one came in a trade but now I can buy Smutty in NC. Yipee!!!

Photo of spokeydonkey
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance of the beer was an espresso colored body and a thick tan head that dissipated a little two quickly. However, the smell was enticing and warm with a strong hint of dark chocolate. The initial flavor of the beer was rich but left an aftertaste that decreased it's drinkability.

Photo of BasementDweller
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a translucent dark brown with ruby highlights. An aggressive pour displays a full crown of foam with impeccable lacing.

S - Fruity ale yeast aromas coupled nicely with baker's chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Tons of roasted malt bitterness, but coupled with fruity base malt, and a silken chocolate note that is sweet, not cloying.

M - Medium bodied. To be honest, I would have loved a little more texture here, a little more viscosity. It's good, but maybe some oats in the grist would have put it over the top. That said, it certainly fits the style, and there is nothing wrong with the body as it is.

D - A bit too bitter (roasted, not hoppy) for me to have more than, say, two a night. Still, a delicious brew for fans of roasted and dark malts.

Photo of albern
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice porter, very deep dark with a nice brown creamy head, lacing up and down the glass, and decent retention. The nose on the beer is coffee and chocolate notes, roasted malts. The aroma is not overly pronounced, and there is a slightly soury off note or two in the nose.

The taste is quite drier than I anticipated. It is a creamy brew overall, but there is a unique grapefruit like acrid tartness, not often common in a porter. There are plenty of roasted malts, somewhat charred dark grains, the hops that are tart, and then plenty of chocolate and some coffee rind insinuate themselves throughout. If you let the beer settle, there are some raisiny or floral notes, but these are hidden way underneath. The mouthfeel is somewhat drying and tart. This is a medium bodied beer with an aftertaste that lingers just a little longer than necessary, but not bad.

Photo of toastdog
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black black with a finger of tan head that leaves a little lace on the glass.

S: Close to perfect. Roastiness and cocoa backed up by bittersweet malt aromas and solid piney/resinous American hops.

T: Damn, that's good. The first thing to hit the tongue is creamy smoothness and dark-chocolate notes, which give way to a lingering but moderate bitterness and just a hint of American Cascade-style hops. The roastiness (just a whiff of burnt, and a lot of very dark notes) lingers on and on. Exactly what an American robust porter should be.

M: On the money. Round, creamy, mouthfilling with a nice little juiciness from the hops. Carbonation is moderate and does a good job of scrubbing the palate so the flavors don't get cloying.

D: I could drink this all night, slowly, with great pleasure. A wonderful sipper - a little big for a session beer but who's going anywhere?

Photo of argock
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as a 6-pack from Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $8.99.

A: Darkest porter you will find. Tan 1-1.5 finger head with lace everywhere.

S: Coffee and a little bit of bittersweet chocolate with leafy hops.

T: Extremely flavorful with abrupt coffee bitterness, bittersweet cocoa, and a leafy, tobacco presence. Medium roasted acrid character.

M: Very smooth with low carbonation and long, bitter aftertaste.

D: Very beefy for a porter.

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

12 oz. Nice black/brown pour. Small disappating tan head. Very roasty aroma malt, coffee. Nice strong roast/burnt malt with mocha and some coffee bitters. More hop flavor than some porters, finishes with a clean bite. Not bad at all, will look for more from this brewer. Not quite as good as the Dark Horse Special Black I had a few weeks back, but worth trying.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16oz tumbler on tap at Rue De L'Espoir in Providence RI
A - Deep mahogany in color with a tan head that stays a while. Decent lacing.
S - Toasted malts, cocoa, coffee
T - Sweet dark toasted malt, chocolate and coffee next with a hint of some dark fruit in there emerging at the very end.
M/F - Medium body. A bit creamy with full carbonation in a good way.
D - A nice slow drinking flavorful porter.

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

A tip of the hat to Reagan1984 for a recent trade which allowed me to sample and review this brew.

On the pour you get a very dark, nearly opaque, nearly black colored beer, with some garnet highlights at the edges. The one fingered head is a mocha brown in color, and foamy in texture. Head retention isn't very long, but it does leave splashes of lacing around the sides of the glass.

The nose is rich and inviting, and smells like coffee. Definitely a heavy malt dose in there, as well as a hint of chocolate.

The taste follows the nose; predominant coffee flavors burst forth on the palate, with a hint of chocolate which keeps it from becoming bitter. Mouthfeel is medium-full and hearty; luscious might well describe it. The carbonation is subdued, as should be for the style. While the abv level puts this porter in the 'session' range, the robust and intense flavors might not make it a good session brew .. depends on your tastes. I prefer lighter brews for session beers, but this is definitely a good sipper on a cold Winter night.

A fine robust porter by Smuttynose, which will not disappoint, especially if you are into huge coffee flavors. Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

Edit: 2-1-2010 ... had to try it again. Got a bit more head on this pour, and very nice lacing. Taste profile hasn't changed - predominant coffee.

Photo of Walker8810
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours great w/ just the right amount of head.
nose is of sweet roasted malts. not too hoppy not too burnt. same w/ the taste. this one is well balanced. a lot of porters are too agressive, this one is just right. great balance of the roasted malt character, sweetness and hops. all in all a very well rounded porter. velvety mouthfeel. goes down very easily.

Photo of LOCAL
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip

Apperance: Pours a murky dark dark brown/black with a thin cocoa colored head that doesn't last too long.

Smell: sweet malt, smoke/roastiness, coffee, chocolate, trace of dark fruit.

Taste: Malt and smoke/roastiness up front followed by coffee and chocolate. Leaves a dry, bitter taste, making you want another sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Over all: A very easy drinking porter. Not hard to enjoy several of these.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An opaque dark brown, nearly pitch black. A medium sized, creamy tan head slowly erupts and sticks awhile. Lacing is nice.

S: Sweet, roasted dark malts, some caramel, and dark fruitiness (plums/currants). Some lactic notes as well, with perhaps a touch of floral hops. Definite notes of creamed coffee and semisweet chocolate. Delicious...

T: Surprisingly citric and bitter considering the nose. Not a bad thing, though. Very complex. Big roasted, almost burnt malts and a strong dose of grapefruit and orange rind up front. Still an underlying lactic sweetness the whole time. Big black coffee and bitter cocoa flavors ride into the aftertaste. Possibly some dark fruit as well, but it's rather subdued in relation to everything else.

M: Full-bodied and creamy, with mild carbonation. A riding dry bite as an aftertaste.

D: Like I said, a surprisingly bitter and dense porter. But damn tasty. This is probably my favorite style, and this is near the top of my list from now on. Very complex and yes, robust. I'll be drinking this again in the future.

Photo of LeftyBWS
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Lovely dark chocolate color with a thick foamy brownish head. Some whispy lacing.
S: Full chocolate malts, roasted barley, and a hint of sugar. Yummy.
T: Chewy malts, then a nice smoky/roasted flavor. The finish borders on sweet but fades into a rich malt taste. There's a small leafy hop nip, but I can only find it on some sips. Overall, quite nice.
M: Great mix of smoky, roasted, and malty feelings.
D: Pretty good, but heavyish.

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

Pours very dark with a tan head which foams nicely then settles. It looks very stout-like.
The Aroma is very chocolatey, espresso-like, and again reminiscient of stout but a bit more subtle.
Taste is very roasted... Bitter in the mouth like dark chocolate or black coffee and the flavor quickly dissipates, leaving very little aftertaste, giving it a very clean Mouthfeel. Along with the light-to-moderate body and nice amount of carbonation it is very easy to drink.
Overall, it could use a little more balance between the bitterness with some sweetness, perhaps, but then thats what I always htink about eveything thats dark and bitter... So if dark and bitter is your thing then you'll probably be set.. Its definitely more subtle all around than say an imperial porter or such, though it claims to be "robust".
Definitely a good drink, though.

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

Large foamy dirt brown head. One of the better heads I've seen on a porter. Good retention and lots of muddy lace rings. SRB is black.

Smells like roast coffee, Sambuca, and dark chocolate. Oaky char at the beginning.

Smooth roast malt and coffee up front followed by a sour berry, ash taste that diminishes as the beer warms. Creamy but a litte airy mouthfeel.

Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,277 ratings.