1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,364 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,364 | Reviews: 1,052
Photo of adamks
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours opaque near-black with big-bubbled tan head that quickly fades.

strong alcohol smell up front for only 5.7% ABV, powerful brown sugar feel

dark roast coffee hits first, then some sugary dark malt, hints of chocolate, finishes with a kick of alcohol not nearly as strong as the smell indicated.

medium viscosity with big bubbles, leaves a bit of a coating after it goes down.

drinkable beer despite the not-so-great smell. strong taste for 5.7 ABV, could be a bit smoother but definitely sessionable for a robust porter.

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

12oz bottle. Pours opaque dark brown with a substantial light brown head. Nice lacing. Dark roasted malt with some cocoa on the nose; some pretty clear coffee notes as well. Heavy roasted malt in the taste as well, to the point that some bitterness comes through. Light coffee sweetness before a dry finish. Medium-full body. A nice porter overall.

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

Got this as an extra in a recent trade with hopsleeroy. Thanks Lee!

Bottle says best before July 2009. Should be okay... right?
Poured into a Rémy Martin snifter.

Appearance: Foamy, light brown head atop a nearly opaque (caramel-colored around the edges) brown-black body. Not a whole lot of head retention. Light lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt, sweet chocolate, and roasted malt are the three big aromas. They might be the only aromas. I thought I caught a whiff of rust earlier, but it definitely isn't there anymore. Never mind, there it is again! I'm actually getting some flowery hops now, too. Good balance. Pleasant.

Taste: Oooooh, I like this. Caramel and chocolate malt balls upfront, followed by roasted malt and piney hops. Big piney hops! For the most part, this porter is very smooth, but the piney hops add quite a bit of bitterness and spiciness in the aftertaste. Mmmm...

Mouthfeel: Robust? You bet. Nicely balanced though. Heavier than the average porter, but really not that large. Prickly, bitter, and dry in the finish. It's actually a bit harsh at times.

Drinkability: If it were just a little lighter or smoother, I'd drink it all the time. This is probably the second best American porter I've ever had, next to Black Butte.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, it smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like coffee, bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt/smoke and roasted malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and silky with good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. This porter lives up to its name, it is quite robust and enjoyable. I'd definitely buy this again the next time I get a chance to.

Photo of confer
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours almost completely opaque deep brown with a small brown head.
I smell coffee and molasses which is exactly like it looks.
The taste starts smooth and then a bitterness creeps up and lingers into the aftertaste.
There is a smooth creamy feel.
For me this is a good once and done cold weather beer.

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

12oz bottle purchased from Capital City Package in Atlanta, GA.

A- Pours a deep black with some nice ruby hues at the edges when held up to the light. Medium brown/tan head that tries to keep up as I'm drinking. Not a lot of lacing.
S- A bit of a smokey, roasty character to the nose. Some faint dark fruits.
T- Delicious. This is what a robust porter should taste like. Lots of roasted malts, with a touch of sweetness. Light coffee notes and an amost tangy edge to the finish.
M- Very smooth, almost creamy. A little bit of carbonation.
D- I killed my bottle fairly quickly and could easily polish off another. There are enough complexities to make you want to come back and have more.

Overall - This is one of my favorite porters, if not my favorite. Fantastic representation of what a porter should be, and almost flawlessly executed. Highly recommended.

Photo of UDbeernut
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

a: dark brown, almost black, with ruby edges. 1/4" off white head with excellent retention. light lacing

s: typical porter: coffee, chocolate

t: nice roasted/burnt malt. slightly smokey. Well balanced, no hop flavor noticable

m&d: light to medium bodied, silkey smooth mought, well carbonated.

Cheers!!!

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

Pours a dark black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight alcohol, and slight hop. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight toffee, and slight hops. Overall, a great aroma, great flavor, body, and blend.

Photo of kurp001
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours about as close to black as brown gets with minimal ruby highlights. About one finger of rich tan head sticks around for a little bit before settling down. Generous lacing, too.

A rich burnt malt aroma is present upfront, along with coffee and chocolate notes.

Rich roasty coffee flavors dominate upfront, a bitter chocolate presence is notable midway and on the finish; very nice flavors here.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with ample carbonation.

A very nice, drinkable porter overall. The flavors are indeed robust, which tends to make me think twice before having another, but all things considered the drinkability on this one is good. This is one of my favorite porters, and a perfect beverage for chilly fall nights.

Photo of breyton490
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Nice black color, tan/foamy head, clear

Smell:
Nice toasty/roasty aroma. Not overpowering. Malty. Not much hop aroma.

Taste:
Roasty, chocolate, semi sweet. Very nice. Not overly bitter or roasty. Nice balance. Nice malt/roast balance. Hop bittering is there, but nicely balanced by malts

Mouthfeel:
Full body, smooth, silky.

Drinkabiliity:
Very easy drinking. Does not feel very filling. Could easily have 3 or 4... or more on a nice fall night.

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

A: Nice thick pitch black color with a good amount of tan head and lacing.

S: Bittery, chewy, smoky, nutty, and slight sweet. Big espresso and chocolate brownie notes with caramel, toffee, and roasted malts in the background.

T: Strong roasted malts upfront with espresso, vanilla, molasses, some faint butter, and cacao notes. Like biting into a big chocolate brownie. Nutty and hop tastes are there but unassuming.

M: Medium body and a great chewiness to the mouthfeel.

D: This is one big, bad, bold porter. Great for sipping and admiring the strong taste. A nice example of the style without leaving a hole in your wallet.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes into a small cap of light tan lacing. The aroma is graham crackers, roasted malt, burnt malt, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is like the aroma, but with a significant bitterness through out the sip. The bitterness seems to hide the porter characteristics of the beer, and I'm rarely a fan of that. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a decent porter, but like I already mentioned I'm rarely a fan of hoppy porters. I could drink this beer again without any complaints, but with all kinds of great porters out there I won't be in a hurry to get back to this one.

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

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- Basically completely black with great tan head and some good lacing.
S- Chocolate, smokey nut scent, quite strong.
T- It's got an outstanding smokey, burnt taste to it, almost coal ish. Smooth but very full bodied.

Photo of PSUBeerman
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

Pours very rich and dark. Head is light tan and thick. Lots of retention and sticks to the sides of the glass. Very nice.

Aroma of coffee, bitter chocolate and roasted malts.

Bold flavor of roasted malts, bitter-sweet chocolate with a coffee background (just like the aroma). Picked up a decent hop bitterness. Some nutty notes. Very well balanced, yet complex.

This was a pleasure to drink....creamy yet light enough to drink a few. Excellent example of a porter, appropriately named "Robust"

Photo of goblet
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served it in a pint glass from a bottle with an interesting picture on the label .

it's deep brown/black not clear at all with a fluffy tan foamy head that leaves nice lacing down the glass.

dark roasted malty aroma with hints of coffee beans,dark bitter chocolate and brown sugar, grains along with slight citrus hops, tops this sweet smelling brew .

the taste is like an enhanced porter, black coffee,bitter chocolate cooked dark malty flavor,grains and hops are all noticeable.it's not flat,it's a very lively brew.

the medium body and creamy full flavor coats the palete pleasingly and leaves a malty slight bitter after taste.

its a remarkablely easy porter to drink ,rich and ROBUST flavor . i would get this again.cheers.

,

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a generic goblet. Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this extra in our latest trade!

A: Pours a pure, pitch black with a creamy mocha-colored head up top. Creamy foam left a bit of lace in the glass.

S: Excellent aromas of dark chocolate and roasted grains. Hints of cherry, molassas, cocoa, and brown sugar, as well.

T: Nearly as good as the smell. Chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate dipped cherries, blackened malt, molassas, seared caramel, and chocolate milk. Bits of lemon in the finish.

M: Peppery and sticky with snatches of bitter hops, sweet and bitter chocolate, and sweet and tangy fruit.

D: What a killer porter. I wish we had more because this would have a pretty regular spot in the fridge!

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

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass (all my smaller glasses are in the dishwasher).

A: Opaque black beer except for translucent brown corners. Creamy beige head of one finger width recedes after about two minutes to cling to the surface and stick to the sides of the glass. This bodes well.

S: Sweet chocolate, almost like brownies! Quick swirl brings out faint and fleeting smell of... hop aroma? Hard to tell because chocolate still predominates. This is a tasty smelling beer.

T: Roasted coffee and sweet chocolate followed immediately by some astringency, giving way to medium-high hop bitterness. As it warms the flavors shift balance, with sweetness becoming more prominent, but always the roasted character. This beer tastes as good as it looks and smells.

M: Full-bodied. Fine carbonation feels great with the creamy mouthfeel.

D: Packed with flavor, this one would be a challenge to session. Nevertheless, I'll be glad to try! And for that reason and many other(see above), this beer qualifies as drinkable. This beer is an experience in itself. Must try. And then must buy more and frequently.

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

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep, dark black/brown that let very little light pass through. The tan head rose a full 1.5" and then slowly settled to a thin cap, leaving big rings of sticky lace behind.

S= The aroma was dominated by deeply roasted malts, with some softer, sweeter malty notes underneath that. A bit of fruitiness and some faint earthy hops rounded out the smell.

T= Much like it smelled, the flavor train started off with a huge roasty (burnt?) malt character layered over a smooth malt sweetness. Adding to the perception of background sweetness was a rich ripe fruitiness reminiscent of dark cherries. The hops were more earthy than bitter, which only highlighted the roasted malt bitterness even more. Coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate notes danced all around in this beer. The finish was very dry (almost acrid) and left a lingering aftertaste of roasted malt. Robust indeed!!!

MF= Medium bodied with a very snappy but not overdone carbonation feel.

D= I liked this beer a lot, but if I could change anything, I would dial back the roasted malt bitterness by about 10%. Still, it is tasty and full of flavor as a robust porter should be, and it would be easy enough to session a few.

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

Pours extremely dark brown, with some definite black in the middle. Rich tan head dissipates to a thin, bubbly layer. Nose is of faint mocha chocolate, with a clean, tangy background.

Flavor is quite simply excellent: rich, full, and, as the name implies, robust. Lots of coffee and rich, malty goodness. There's a dose of tang and a subtle hoppy aftertaste, but overall bitterness is low. Medium roastiness. Sweet in the middle of the palate. Slightly milky, buttery texture. Medium-heavy mouthfeel.

This porter compares favorably to most any I've had before. I'll be making this one a regular. Top-notch stuff here, keep it up Smuttynose.

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

Brown head with a big black body. Excellent lacing but head dissipated rather quickly.
Coffee, dark roasted with some dark berries and a hint of anise in the finish.
Very flavorful, black licorice, roasted coffee, a hint of hops and a lingering burnt bitterness.
Full body right where a porter should be.
A fantastic beer by a fantastic brewery.

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

A-Almost pitch black. Nice two finger head that disappears quickly but leaves nice lacing. This is still a good looking beer.

S-Malt, caramel, chocolate, faint coffee notes. Smells great.

T-Very nice blend that verifies the nose but in an even more pronounced manner: malt, caramel, chocolate, coffee. Delicious.

M-Deliciously creamy, full bodied, a tinge of carb bite, but its a good level, not overdone. I wanna chew this beer.

D-This is a heavy, rich, big (ok, Robust) beer, but I could easily drink many of these in a sitting.

I love porters and this is one of the better ones. Great job by Smuttynose.

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

A: Pitch black with light brown rocky head, that leaves heavy lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted malt and coffee dominate. Hints of carmel, toffee and chocolate, that add a level of sweetness to the aroma.

T: Sweet upfront wth toasted malt, carmel and chocolate. Some expresso, then finishes with a sharp hop bite. For a big malty porter, this has a great hop presence.

M: Medium modied, almost creamy.

D: This is another great offering from Smuttynose. A nice porter that can satify both your malt and your hop fixes at once. Robust, indeed.

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

A. So dark I couldn't see my finger in the beer through the glass. One finger creamy brown head that faded. Nice lacing on the glass.

S. Roasted coffee, alcohal, dark chocolate

T. Nicely bitter, coffee, caramel,dark chocolate,pleasant hoppieness.

M. Creamy, fullbodied, rich, moderatly carbonated

D. Rich could only drink a few of these because of the heavyness of this brew

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

Poured into a standard pint glass. This is a very dark porter, just a hair shy of pure black. The good sized head is full of brown bubbles. It doesn't leave any lacing. The aroma is full of coffee and chocolate scents, but I can also detect some malt. The robustness of that is this porter's namesake come from the strong coffee bitterness in the flavor. It is immediately detectable and lingers after you swallow. There is another flavor behind the coffee that my drinking partner and I are trying to identify. There may be a trace of vanilla, and perhaps cocoa/dark chocolate. The beer is medium bodied; it doesn't coat your mouth nor is it light and watery. I think this beer is very drinkable, but personally it may be too bitter for me to drink a number in a row; I'd need to have a lighter beer every third or fourth round. Still, this is an excellent porter, and worth seeking out.

Photo of jwheeler85
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with no head

S- I was getting some slight smoked ham notes from the yeast. Also smelled a bit smoky (smoked malt smoky), and syrupy.

T- Had a well balanced sweetness and dryness with some burnt dark malts and a bitter dry finish.

M- Medium bodied, not really syrupy, and had a certain clean feeling after each sip.

D- Very high drinkability for a porter. This one has enough complexity to make it stand out a bit more than other porters.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,364 ratings.