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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,942 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,942
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 128
Gots: 93 | 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 (55) |  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: 1,942 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColForbin
ColForbin

New Hampshire

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

Smuttynose Robust Porter pours a deep dark almost black color with a thin head. Aroma is full of dark roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Taste is dominated by roasted malt and coffee flavors, with some hops showing up in the finish. Delicious! A slick, thick mouthfeel, and a very drinkable beer for a snowy winter night.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2005 03:52:24 | More by ColForbin
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black with a full dark brown head, good carbonation, and nice lace. Nice chocolate, cappucino, roasty coffee aroma and flavor with a nice hoppy balance (almost a bit of citrus shining through). Medium-full bodied as a Robust Porter should be with a dry roasty character to finish.

Awesome must buy for style !! Best Smuttynose brew from an excellent brewery...

Per S.B.Co. website:
OG: 1064 TG: 1018
Grain Bill: pale 2-row, carastan, dark crystal, special "b," chocolate
Hops: Cascade
IBU's: 15, ABV: 5.7%
Color/Number: Dark chocolate brown

GOLD - 2001 GABF - ROBUST PORTER

Bottled: Nov '04 (notched)
Tasted: 12/28/04

(K. Richmond)

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2005 22:17:33 | More by RBorsato
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

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

Has been a favourite of mine since it came out a while back, but for some reason this one rarely seems to make it into my fridge. That's about to change.

It pours a black as hell colour with a moderate but lovely chocolate milk looking tan head, which is fairly sticky as well.

The smell is a wonderful burnt/roasted malt with a bit of a nutty chocolate sweetness mixed in as well.

Flavour here is quit esimilar to the smell and equally as good, though it does have a bit more bite to it, especially in the dry finish. It's nice to see this one be what it is: a porter that has just the right mouthfeel for one. It doesn't tryto bulk itself up and pass off as a stout. Awesome and definitely robust.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2005 03:28:47 | More by guinness33
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always a good choice, one of my fav brews from Smutty! Jet black with medium frothy brown head, light retention and lacing. Standard porter aromas of bittersweet chocolate and espresso balanced by a slightly sweet caramel/burnt sugar note. Tases is"robust" as the name implies. Full flavors of darkly toasted malts, coffe, caramel, with a nuttyness to it that is very pleasing. Medium to light mouthfeel and and viscosity make it easy to drink as a session beer, just right carbonation. I really wish they would make an amped-up version of this beer to include in the Big Beer series, it would be a classic!!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 16:05:55 | More by AlexJ
Photo of AllThingsNinja
AllThingsNinja

Massachusetts

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

Smutty's porter was the cask offering at the Sunset during my last visit. While I've always enjoyed the brew, it never tasted as great as it did from the- cask. It was a jet black brew with a finger of milk-chocolate colored head. It offered roast malt and chocolate aromas. The flavors were incredibly well balanced with lush swashes of chocolate, coffee, and nut flavors. It was a smooth drinking, medium bodied brew that I hope to enjoy again.

Serving type: cask

12-12-2004 14:09:54 | More by AllThingsNinja
Photo of Goldorak
Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

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

Appearance: Black as night, with small coffee-cream head, that would have been better in a more suitable glass, but I wasn't at home so beggars can't be choosers.

Smell: Quite nutty, dark chocolate, coffee and hints of caramel.

Taste: Very good burnt malt, fairly round and warm, a very good porter that's perfect for a late fall evening. My bottle was nearly a year old and showed no sign of decline in taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2004 22:22:19 | More by Goldorak
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with a huge brown head. Leaves a film of small bubbles on the edge of the glass when I tilt it to sip. Strong earthy aromas of bitter coffee and chocolate Bitter roasted coffee flavor. Full mouthfeel with high carbonation. Quite drinkable as well. Robust is an apt desciption of this fine porter. Another impressive beer from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2004 06:22:13 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

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

Just a fantastic session porter here. I don't find anything particularly compelling or complex about this beer, it's just a porter, and a damn fine one. Head is minimal, as is lacing. Color is very deep dark brown, making it essentially opaque. The smell is very nice, very heavy on the coffee aromas, with some anise and licorice. Very roasty malt flavor, with a smoky ashen flavor that is juuust barely balanced out by a licorice and maybe red fruit sweetness. Hops are minimal, barely noticeable. The mouthfeel is not too thick, as a porter should be, and not too thin, as a porter should be. I could put away a few pints any night.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2004 23:33:08 | More by bultrey
Photo of markman
markman

Connecticut

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

Smuttynose Robust Porter (“M” notched on label):

Ahh, Smuttynose. Minimal tan head on an easy pour…deep chestnut brown, just this side of black. Dark chocolate & cocoa powder nose, and the first sip floods the palette with full dry bittersweet chocolate. Hints of coffee, but it remains restrained as the hops lead the way to a malty dry finish. Everything a porter ought to be. It seems like I always have this in my fridge…session porter deluxe.

Cheers…

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 18:53:13 | More by markman
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty big beer. Very dark brown color and with a huge and sturdy brown head that sticks around for a while. I almost couldn't pick up on the scent because the head was creating such a barrier between my nose and the beer, but coffee comes to mind. Taste is roasted everything. Take a bunch of trail mix, berries, coffee, malt malt malt and throw it in the over for a while, that's what it tastes like. However it's pretty well balanced, though roasted malts do pretty much take over. Very creamy and rich mouthfeel. I had 2 of these and that was pushing it for this beer. A nice beer to have after dinner or before going to sleep. Hooray Smuttynose!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 17:08:30 | More by twelvsies
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

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

12 oz bottle with a bottled date of March 04. This poured out with a black body and a large light brown head that I had to quickly sip before it went overboard. Roasted malts and coffee were strong in the aroma with a good bit of bittersweet dark chocolate present as well. Overall the smell was pretty darn strong and good. The taste followed suite with strong coffee and roasted flavors stirring about and a nice chocolate staying in the background. The after taste was a lingering roasted one. About medium in body with a bit of a sticky mouthfeel. Very drinkable porter overall that goes down very easy and is flavorful enough to keep from getting boring. A great one for any one to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 14:40:58 | More by meathookjones
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

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

Double labeled bottle with a "March brewed" notch, 5.7% ABV, and a "Cirque du Francois Ouef" B&W photo on the body label.

Thick black pour with the scantest amount of light creeping thru, under a 1/4" dark tan head that quickly dissipates to a slick cover, leaving slight lace scooting down the glass. A few healthy swirls in me Beamish pint pull up some cap that goes back down.

Scents are bold roasted wheat toast and black cherry notes.

First swigs: A bit cold still but dry toasted pumpernickel bread and some mixed berry notes. Aftertaste is bitter dry baker's chocolate. While warming up above fridge temp, the bone dry biscuit & Bisquik malts build in prescence. Some slight maple syrup flavors ease out. Dryness over roasts.

Laid back, medium carbonated feel, medium to fairly full bodied porter, and slightly buttery. A bit heavy in feel and flavor to be quaffable, but an overall fine porter offering.

Last swigs: Bone dry heavy bodied flour and mixed berries porter. Better slighly above fridge temps.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 04:46:14 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of HiroProtagonist
HiroProtagonist

Maryland

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

Smuttynose Robust Porter was served from a 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was black, with rich mahogany accents, and was topped by a luxurious, reddish brown head. The excellent nose was rich and roasty with a well-developed sasparilla-sharp figgy cola chocolate cocoa maltiness. The taste was equally excellent and balanced, with a rich, sharp and roasty bitter chocolate-cola malt profile that poured out great chocolate related flavors right through to the dry and robust bitter choco finish that held a touch of licourice....mmm. The body was wonderfully full, smooth, and creamy. Robust Porter is a superb brew that I would enjoy on a regular basis if were available in the PNW.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2004 04:13:47 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hauled my wares with this one on 7/17/2004. 16-oz. pour in an odd, 4-sided glass at the Sunset in Brighton, MA.

Creamy, mocha, half-inch head initially that subsided to a thin sheeting with lots of stick. Hue was pitch black, not too much more to say about it, other than being inexorably drawn to its inky blackness, “Walk towards the black…” Caramel, toasted walnuts, and freshly spread macadam to bouquet, with just a hint of sweet, dark licorice. Roasted character on initial taste, followed by deep malt (chocolate?) flavor; raspberries in there somewhere too. Medium bodied and not overly roasted.

This is a rather refreshing and multi-quaffable porter given its flavor and the subdued alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2004 20:43:17 | More by Truh
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

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

Pours a dark brown-black topped with a two finger creamy dark khaki head. Leaves webs of lacing.
Great coffee and barley aroma. Smells a bit like wet cereal (I mean that in the best possible way), a touch of smoke.
Chocolate, acrid taste, earthy, at this point I just said "damn this is good out loud". Roasted malt all over the place with a shot of expresso.
It's good at cellar temp, but it gets even better when it's a little warmer. Full bodied and smooth, but it has a bite to it.
Just don't ask me if I like this or the Smutty IPA better.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2004 22:06:49 | More by mschofield
Photo of kegerator
kegerator

Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent offering here.
Poured a deep brown almost black in color with a decent 1/2 inch head. There was some slight lacing left behind as well.
Smell was big chocolate, coffee with some sweetness in the background. As it warmed I caught wiffs of port as well
Taste was just about the same as the smell. Chocolate up front with a coffee bitterness blending in and hints of port and raisin in the background, especially after it had warmed up.
All in all a very nice brew

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 13:22:14 | More by kegerator
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark liquid and very dark, milk chocolate-colored foam on top. It doesn't last long and retreats to a pattern of freckled lines.

This is an excellent example of American craft porter. At least equal in quality to Edmund Fitzgerald, it throws up enormous amounts of roasted coffee and burned, bitter chocolate aromas. On the palate it has the consistency of skim milk and delivers punishing wallops of roasted coffee and burned, bitter chocolate . On the finish, there is eveidence of malt-made alcohol and flavors of roasted coffee and burned, bitter chocolate.

Mmm, delicious. But let's face it - totally predictable.

(I finally understand what is wrong with American craft porters. They are too thin to bear the weight of roasted grain extracts that are typically forced into them. The effect is a dilute-tasting package of coffee grounds and char. More complex carbs would restore balance, but then it would be a "stout." Less roast would fail to impress the "more is more" crowd. And so we are left with a tea of charred grains.)

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2004 20:43:26 | More by putnam
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

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

Pours out kind of like motor oil and looks just like an imperial stout. Cool lable from my 12oz bottle. A good size tan head that doesn't seem to last. The smell is malty coffee and chocolate. More sweet than bitter in smell. Very smooth, full bodied porter. More like chocolate in the beginning but giving way to coffee. No taste of alcohol, very well balanced.

It kind of reminds me of a small imperial stout with much less hops. I really like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 00:23:00 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: On tap @ Chapter House in Ithaca, NY 6-26-04

Appearance:

Pitch black pour with 1/4" tan head.

Smell:

Chocolate predominates with some coffee and a smoky aspect. Spot on for the style.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Roasted coffee assaults senses. Too potent. A smoky burnt flavor follows with some sweet malt and a bitter finish.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2004 15:01:02 | More by cbl2
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

black as night. Roast coffee aroma and taste, with cookie chocolate smoothness. Good balanced stout, between malt, carbonation, not too bitter. Medium texture. Roast, sweet. Moderate alcohol is good. Possibly best of show at Modiale from what I was able to sample.
Draft 6 years later at Primus 16. Thick lace, sweetish, watery.Big coffee.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2004 05:08:17 | More by Sammy
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

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

Pours an attractive, opaque, deep brown body with a substantial, tan head that retains well. Considerable patches of lace adorn the glass.

Aroma is stout-like, with burnt coffee and a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, rich and coating.

Roasted dark malts dominate the taste, with chewy coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a chicory nuttiness. Finishes with a hazelnut coffee note, and aftertaste.

Definitely, one of the better American porters. I could have several of these without tiring of the robust flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2004 13:05:53 | More by merlin48
Photo of neil
neil

Maine

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

My quest for a good porter continues. This time I tried Smuttynose. From my recent poor experiences with local Maine brewed beers I was not expecting much, but I was very plesently suprised.

Apperance - Very dark, the way a good porter should be. Pours with a slight head, with just slightly too much carbonation, but acceptable.

Smell - Nice and rich. The hints of smoke and that peat smell really come through on this, and make me want to get stuck into it.

Taste - Mmmm, the taste lives up to the smell. Nice and rich, the toasted nay burnt malts are very strong. A taste resembling coffee and dark chocolate is there. The aftertaste is not harsh. My only complaint is this beer doesn't like to stand around long, the taste becomes flatter and harsher as time goes by.

Mouthfeel - A nice smooth watery texture. The carbonation is a little high, but does not impact the taste like other poor porters I've tried.

Drinkability - A very nice tipple. I drank the six-pack in one night with ease. A very good porter, and one that is close to my personal favortite Sam Smiths but significantly cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2004 02:47:15 | More by neil
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This may be the darkest porter that I've seen yet. In fact, it's darker than many stouts. Impenetrable black with a slice of ruby at the bottom edge of the glass when backlit with bright sunlight. The head is light milk chocolate brown in color, and is large and rocky as it deflates. The crown takes forever to fall, eventually depositing a better than average amount of lace.

The nose is of heavily roasted malt and ground coffee beans. Robust is right! This baby is uber-flavorful and that's at my beer fridge temperature of 50 degrees. With any warming whatsoever, I expect an absolute flavor explosion. Unfortunately, the dominant flavor is bitter black coffee. Not being a coffee drinker (because I don't like the taste), I'm not a huge fan of Robust Porter.

This is the second porter that I've had in the past few days in which the initial coffee flavor faded with warming and chocolate became more prominent. That's a good thing. The finish is long, bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is just what one would expect for a 'robust' porter. It's full, almost heavy, and not quite creamy. A subdued amount of carbonation only helps.

Smuttynose Robust Porter comes close to being one of my favorites of the style. The only problem (and it's a huge one), is that I don't enjoy coffee-flavored porters and stouts. Cut the java way the hell back, replace it with chocolate and then I'd be in heaven. Thanks to Dantes for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2004 20:55:41 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dantes
Dantes

New Jersey

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

Package: 12oz. crowned brown bottle. “Vintage-style” black-and-white photograph of circus performers. Range of dates on left side of label, but nick is imperceptible if there. 5.7% ABV.

Cost: $6.99 per 6-pack at Gary’s

Presentation: Shaker pint at ~50º

Appearance: Poured an opaque, dark-walnut brown. Almost stout-like, but definitively brown. Beautiful, two-finger brownish head lasts well down the pint, with substantial lacing.

Smell: Warm, roasty malts, with little harshness or alcohol. Some notes of tobacco and coffee. Faint hoppy notes float above the malts.

Taste: On the palate, some cocoa and fruity elements join the strong roasted malt flavors, tobacco, and leathery flavors. Some nut-skin bitterness. Hops are present, but nicely integrated. Roasty flavors are full without being acrid. I seem to remember that the draught I had in Ithaca was smoother and even thicker in the mouth; but this is a really well-balanced porter. No single element overwhelms the whole. More aggressive and assertive than the Fuller’s London Porter, but equally well-crafted. Sort of a Viennese roast as opposed to a full French roast. Finishes strong, with hints of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The bottled version is definitely thinner in the mouth than the draught I remember, but still nicely done. A bit heavy on the carbonation in my opinion.

Drinkability: One of the best drinking porters. The alcohol is subtle but hefty enough to make this interesting. Smooth and filling without being heavy. I could drink quite a few of these, especially on draught.

Backwash: Certainly makes it tough to choose between this and the Fuller’s. Why not have some of both! Smutty continues to impress me. I might be late to their party, but I’m glad I finally made it! By the way, I’m equally impressed with their Brown Dog Ale, which represents one of my favorite, if somewhat neglected styles.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 18:48:54 | More by Dantes
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

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

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Month of bottling notched on label.

The darkest shade of brown - almost black. A dense dark tan head sits proudly on top. A full two fingers of foam, retains well, recedes slowly, & leaves plenty of spotty lace behind.

A deep inhale reveals dark chocolate, orange, & hints of vanilla. A nose that will set your mood right.

A sharp hop attack right up front. Followed by waves of chocolate & coffee. Finishes dry with a smooth orangey hop loaded finish. Medium / full bodied, easy carbonation, velvety smooth. Comfort beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 17:20:58 | More by xgrigorix
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.