1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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
93
outstanding

2,173 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,173
Reviews: 1,013
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 139
Gots: 157 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,173 | Reviews: 1,013 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msolar
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark - couldn't see any light when held in front of a lamp. Little head with a nice lacing (I probably should have poured bit more aggressively). Smells like coffee. Tastes delicious - coffee, caramel. Bitter without a sweet aftertaste. Medium-Heavy bodied with, what I consider, pretty high drinkability.

It's been a while since I've had it but it reminded me a bit of BBC's Coffeehouse Porter (another beer I like a lot).

Overall, this is a great stout I would certainly consider putting on tap.

msolar, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany.

A: Black body with a 1.5-finger chocolatey brown head that settles slowly, leaving behind plenty of lace.

S: Roasted malt and coffee are the dominant scents, but there's a bit of chocolate there too -- more so as it warms a little.

T: Like the nose, it's big on roasted malt, but not as much coffee as I expected. More chocolatey, especially as it warms up a bit. Finishes with a dry, lingering taste of charcoal and bitter chocolate.

M: Definitely "robust" -- this one is full-bodied and fairly creamy, though with a slightly sharp bite to it.

D: Very good.

Notes: This one's been all over recently -- I've had it on tap at Beff's in both Albany & Delmar as well as the Lionheart in Albany. I'm not usually a big porter fan, but I'll make an exception for this one. . . .

Kendo, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of largadeer
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black with a thick, frothy mocha colored head. Robust is accurate; it looks more like a strong stout.

Smell - This beer has a very muted aroma, even at near room temperature. Roasted malt and a hint of coffee are all I could catch.

Taste & mouthfeel - Bold, roasty and full-bodied. Flavors of coffee and dark chocolate come to mind. Very drying to the palate; there's no balancing sweetness to be found anywhere here. The beer finishes on a roasty (almost burnt) note, leaving a long lasting bitterness on the palate.

largadeer, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of blitz134
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for a while. I recently brewed a Robust Porter and wanted to have a high ranking version to sample.

Pitch black body, big tan head that was slow to fall. Slight lacing.

Smells strongly of chocolate and some hints of toffee. Slight sweetness is aparent in the nose. Some hop aroma peaks through...possibly American derived.

Flavor comes across with a lot of roast, a bit of charcoal after the swallow. Has a touch of sweetness too and some very subtle hints of dark fruit. Still has some chocolately and coffee characters througout.

Nice medium body. Coats well and the roasted flavors linger for a while. Overall, this is a really nice beer. Nice big body and simple but robust flavors. Pretty easy to drink. Just a lot of flavor for a 5.7% beer.

blitz134, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of mntlover
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark color with a rich chocolate head that falls slowly and leaves some decent lace behind.

Aroma is malty espresso, dark fruits roasted goodness, light liquorice blend into a nice smelling porter.

Taste is espresso/coffee flavors mixed in with black patent malts. Decent malty flavors but mostly coffee orientated. Body seems little light for my tastes, coffee bitterness blends with some hops for the finish. Over all decent brew just not quite what i wanted.

Mouthfeel is medium, a little more with a decent amount of carbonation maybe just a wee bit too much but not bad overall.

Drinkability is ok a decent porter looks good and smells nice, just not up to being a regular in my frig with many others a wee bit better.

mntlover, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - black in color with a very slight brown hue showing through. A dark tan head, not too tall. Good lacing.

s - roasted malt smell with mostly coffee and caramel.

t - a good bite up front. Not entirely sure what it may be. Good roasted flavor comes through. Leaves behind a good amount of bitterness to balance. Dry finish.

m - smooth yet well carbonated

d - A great porter. This one was very well balanced for me. Had a good bite and a nice roasted/burnt flavor.

thirtysixbelow, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thin tan head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is abundant brown malts with a hint of mocha. The taste is a wonderful blend of brown malts, rich cocoa, and mild espresso. Chocolate and caramel linger in the finish. The beer is light bodied and very smooth. This is yet another wonderful beer from Smuttynose.

atsprings, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of MyGoodness
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me put it this way-- my boyfriend, who does not generally like beer and teased me for buying this, had to have one of these with me, that's how good it is. Anyway, it pours dark with a nice, light head that's a bit thin. The smell is mostly chocolately, although there is a bit of coffee in it. The predominant taste, however, is coffee. There is the flavor of something else, but I can't place my finger on it(someone said tobacco- I wouldn't know but that's interesting...). The mouthfeel is great, it's not too watery or syrupy (juuuust right). Overall, it's a great beer. I plan on keeping it in my fridge, and for once my boyfriend will not complain about the space it takes up.

MyGoodness, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, best before July '08, served in a standard pint glass.

A - dark black color with a thick tan head that fell to a heavy layer, leaving globs of sticky lacing on the glass.

S - rich, roasted aroma.

T - very good strong roasted malt flavor with a bitter espresso coffee finish, great balance.

M - smooth and creamy, mild carbonation feel.

D - exceptional - easy drinking and great tasting.

JoeyBeerBelly, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a stout in the glass. Pours to a jet black body hosting a deep fat dark tan head at an inch and a half. Head has nice staying power but leaves no lace. Nose is inviting with balanced sweet malt and smokey richness. As you take first sip you get a bitter richness. As the palate opens up you get a slight soured maltieness. Twords the end of the palate you get unique mineral like notes that almost resemble raw tabacco. There is a long toffee like richness to the mouthfeel, very thick. This is truely a "robust" porter, as it drinks like a stout, oatmeal maybe. Well done and a joy to drink.

SPLITGRIN, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Total Wine. Love porters, love Smutty- so why have I not tried this one? Happy I did, needless to say.

A- Pours a rich dark black color with a thin tan head. Some lace, but not much. Carbonation bubbles are not visible due to the dark black color.

S- Smell was of a nice roasted coffee bean, similar to a starbucks dark roast.

T- I really got a "robust" mouthful of deep dark roasted beans and even some oak. Wow, didn't expect the hops either, very dry and earthy. Excellent balance!

Thick, creamy, hoppy, roasty, bottomline, it's awesome. This will be a staple in my fridge.

DavidSeanNJ, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice, deep brown pour... pretty much black in the glass with light unable to cut through it. A suitable one-finger creamy pale brown head, clinging to the glass well.

S: Sweet, mocha aromas... quite intense and rich.

T + M: The closest thing it reminds me of is something like a carbonated iced mochaccino espresso drink. Thick and creamy as one, too - they were being quite straight forward when they said 'robust.'

D: This was intended to be the last bottle I had before packing it in for the night, but it is leaving me with a bit of a craving for another. A positive thing, I suppose, even if I don't give into it!

Proteus93, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Robust" is a very good adjective to describe this outstanding porter... an all-around, top-notch American depiction of the style... one of the best I've ever sampled... Copped a single 12 oz bottle from Gary's in Madison for $2.25... great deal, as this wonderful sample pours a deep, dark, opaque, jet-black, ebony hue with a reddish-tan head with some lacing... deep, dark, rich choclate, espresso-like aroma, very strong, penetrating, and satisfying.... wonderful flavor - robust to say the least, thick, creamy, with roasted malts, dark-espresso, burnt-chocolate and ebony latte taste... the relatively light 5.7% ABV cancels out any unwanted alcohol interference in the flavor and leaves you with an exceptionally wonderful taste with a slight bitterness that is overshadowed by elegant coffee flavors... good mouthfeel with water-like drinkability that goes down easily and effortlessly... could drink this stuff all night... really top-notch... Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of claytri
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a rich black with a tan head. The aroma was of bitter malt and hops. The taste was of coffee malt with some nice hints of dark fruits in the background. The feel is just about perfectly wet and dry. I may have just found a new favorite porter. Definately one I will be having in the future.

claytri, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of joeskirkie
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's...black. It's head left something to be desired I suppose.

Malted milk and toffee smell with just the slightest chocolate hints.

The chocolate represents much more in the taste, a nice milk chocolate. I really don't get much else.

I'm usually not a porter fan, an exceptional one will usually get my due appreciation. This one: plausible.

joeskirkie, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark brown, medium brown head formed made up of medium size bubbles and dissipated quickly leaving light lacing on glass and some slight lacing on surface of beer.

S = Very good scents of chocolate, coffee, caramel, fresh baked pumpernickel and very light hints of floral hops.

T = Sweet tastes of sweet chocolate and dark bread are the first to hit my tongue but at mid-palate I start getting some bitterness of a coffee and dark bitter chocolate, long bittersweet finish.

M = Medium bodied, excellent coating of mouth which helps impart all flavors and contributes to a full mouth, long finish. Carbonation level is perfect.

D = Highly drinkable. This is a very flavorful American porter with a great mouthfeel. Just a good all around experience to drink it.

Traquairlover, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of DrDogbeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Union Brewhouse. Poured a dark black with small light tan head that disappeared quickly. Lots of sweet chocalate malty smell. Very easy to recognize. Taste is sharp yet sweet, not too bitter. Good full flavor, and not too malty which I like. Very drinkable, as the flavor is full, but it seems somewhat thin on the palate. Good Beer!

DrDogbeer, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of NCSUdo
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle via LittleBreeze

A: Pours a thick, dark black under a small brown head. No retention, no lace.

S: Sweet chocolate, some roasted malt, a little bit of creamy sweetness.

T: A cola-like sweetness up front, a little bit of cream, followed by a burnt and roasted malt, finish is mildly bitter. Subtle hints of chocolate in the finish as well.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is pretty high, drinkability is good on this one. Aside from the taste, this one could easily pass as a stout.

NCSUdo, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of EPICAC
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby-brown, almost opaque. Topped by a sudsy, fluffy, one-finger, brown head that thins to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Rich and roasty. Chocolate is the predominant aroma with hints of coffee and a sweet fruitiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet upfront with some dark fruit elements. There's also chocolate, a bit of spiciness, and a coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability: Tasty, balanced.

EPICAC, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of QuintKillsSharks
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really enjoy this beer. In my opinion it really captures what a porter should be; fairly light mouth feel with a great roasted malt complexity. There is a nice balance of hop bitterness and residual sweetness that isn't overpowered by the roasted flavors. Essentially a great beer with great drink ability.

QuintKillsSharks, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of auxiliary
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Dark black color, poured a real nice tan head, but then wet down to a ring, left very little lace on the glass.

smell - Cocco, dark roasted malts.

taste - At first it seems very watery, seems thin. Taste of dark roasted malts here and hints of hops too.

mouthfeel - Medium body, not much carbonation.

drinkability - Won a golden medal at the GABF? What one? I wouldn't rank this the best porter. Seems that it is #6 for an American porter. I guess I like Baltic porters. Don't get me wrong, easy drinking beer, might be the one of the best American porters out there. I thought it was above average.

auxiliary, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a nice sized tan head. Nose is dusty chocolate. Beautiful. Flavor is smooth and hearty and never waivers. Nice even malt characters with a smoky, earthy edge. Definite coffee and cocoa tones. Feel is great. Nice and appropriate level of bubble on the tongue. Thicker liquid feel. Definitely drinkable. A good example of the style.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Very nice looking beer. Very dark, almost opague when held up to the light. A slightly reddish hue can be seen in that context but it is virtually black. A delicious looking tan head arises with a hard pour. It settles nicely into a thick cap and gives a good ammount of lacing.

S-Good dark chocolate/roasted malt aroma.

T_The first sip issues some slight sweetness but this is backed up with a very dark roasted bitterness. Bits of herbal hops peek through in between everything. In the end the deep roasted flavours are what shines through here making this a nice porter indeed.

M-Medium bodied with slightly more carbonation than I prefer in a porter.

D_This is a good sessionable porter from Smuttynose. Well done with the alcohol % and nicely bitter as I enjoy my porters.

sleazo, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint on draft at The Kinsale on the 22nd. On to the beer:

No other dark beers besides Guinness at the Irish pub I was at? No problem! Smuttynose Porter was a big surprise for me. Let's see...the beer's big, black, and bold, the aroma is soft with dark chocolate, and the taste is quite sweet with more chocolate, molasses, and a brush-up of hop leaf in the finish. The aftertaste is mildly roasted. It's easy to put down, as I could have easily had a few more pints of it. Nicely done!

DoubleJ, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of Zephenbrewid
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into 16 oz nonic pint glass

A - Creamy beige head, opaque black, only a slight hint of red hues when held under bright light
S - Very chocolately smell, though not entirely strong, with a bit of alcohol scent shining through
T - Bitter taste all over, roasted malts are, as expected, the dominant force, and as a note, the bitterness tends to linger around throughout
M - good tingle from carbonation, with a thick creamy body

In other words, pretty much everything I was expecting it would be. A solid porter

Zephenbrewid, Dec 24, 2007
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,173 ratings.