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.

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)
View: Beers (54) |  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: 1,947 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jed


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

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 12 oz bottle with some kind of circus photo on the front. The season of a Smuttynose sampler pack, brewed in January of 2005. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with absolutely no light getting through, completely opaque. About one finger's worth of dark tan head with excellent head retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind thick clouds of lacing all around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Dark roasted malt, with strong coffee aromas. A hint of caramel sweetness. Alcohol is completely masked.

Taste: Nose of strong, unexpected hop bitterness — surprising given the beer's aroma. The roasted malt kicks in to counteract the bitterness with some sweeter coffee flavors, but the hops remain present throughout the beer. Finish is dry and bitter, with lingering hops. As the beer warms, the hops start to yield to the malt, with sweeter caramel and chocolate notes, but the hops never disappear. Interesting complexity.

Mouthfeel: Initially a little bit thin, which is odd given that this beer is so much like a stout in other respects. Seemed to get smoother as it warmed.

Drinkability: Too assertive to pass as a session beer, but lacking some of the complexity necessary to make it a sipper. Still, a good beer to accompany food — I tried it with smoked brisket and pulled pork.

Robust indeed — Smuttynose's take on a porter crushes some weaker stouts. If you like a strong hop profile in your porter, this is definitely one to try; if not, you'll probably be happier with a more balanced offering like Anchor's porter. I tend to prefer the latter, but this is still a fine beer, and another quality offering from Smuttynose. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 04:05:02 | More by jed
Photo of santoslhalper


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

Appearence: Pours a wonderful dark brown with a rich, creamy chocolate head that's just right.

Smell: The smell is of strong chocolates, roasted nuts, and cream. Definitly smells robust.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor is incredibly strong. The cocoa notes are very pronounced, and blend well the with the roastiness. The balance is damn near dead-on, and follows into a wonderfully rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability and Overall: Damn I love porters. And this is a king porter. Truly wonderful. This is just so damn smooth and creamy I can't keep my lips off the glass. This is one of the better porters I've had to date. If you like this, I'd recommend trying Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Killer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2005 05:15:09 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of JackStraw22


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer has a dark brown/black body, with a dark caramel head; it's great to look at. Aroma is sweet with some roasted barley, chocolate malt smell, very nice. Malty, malty, malty. Smokey flavor, with a noticable bitter bite at the end. Certainly is robust, full of malt flavor. Great american porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2005 01:55:43 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of PSUDREW


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

pours a brilliant brown color, with a dark, aged bone color. Rocky and thick through and through. lots of lacing all the way down. A nice hoppy/choco mix for nose.
As for the taste, A roasted coffe, finishing off with an unsweetened chocolate. Hops are there, but as an after thought. It's mochachine taste reminds me of a lighter mix of old rasputing and storm king. The thiicker mouthfeel adds to it's presence. A nice, solid,hearty brew all around, something that can be both savor and drank often all in one. good show!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 04:48:43 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of mmmbeer


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

Bottled Nov. '04. Pours almost black with hints of red shining through at the edges. Some sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Head is tan, 2-3 fingers, and leaves lots of lacing. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruits in the nose - wish I'd used a snifter. Looks like a stout and smell reminds me of Old Rasputin. Tastes are burnt malts, unsweetened chocolate, coffee, a hop bitterness, and some citrus. Moderately thick mouthfeel with decent amount of carbonation. Could drink several but I mix-and-matched this 6-pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 07:19:26 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of 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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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.


Serving type: bottle

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


Pitch black pour with 1/4" tan head.


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


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

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
Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.