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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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2,364 Ratings

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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
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Ratings: 2,364 | Reviews: 1,052
Photo of Yimosan
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle onto my tulip glass.

A- Dark black with a nice tan head. The head did not last very long but the lacing was nice and sticky.

S- Coffee, roasted malt, and bittersweet chcocolate. I also got a faint whiff of Formula-44 cough medicine.

T- The roasted malt comes through immediately, then coffee and the dark chocolate flavor rounds it all out. Absolutely love the bitternes of this porter.

M- Full flavor porter with a nice smooth feel in the throat and palate.

D- Really easy drinking porter and at 5.7ABV, you can definitely have a couple of these and not feel woozy.


Photo of cjgator3
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Best before Sept 09 notched on the label. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a creamy tan head that has very nice retention and lacing qualities.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, sweet chocolate and coffee. The aroma is just exploding with flavors, very nice!

T- The taste starts out smooth with some roasted malts. The finish becomes increasingly bitter with bitter coffee flavors and some hops as well creating a nice lingering bitterness that keeps the sweetness in check.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is jam packed with flavor for a 5.7% beer, very tasty stuff! Recommended!

Photo of esv
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A) Deepest dark brown, black at first glance. Muddy brown head, 1/4" - 1/2". Thin head sticks around and keeps the top covered.

S) Candyish malts and mild chocolate sweetness, medium roasted malts. No hops in the nose. Nice balance, so enticing. I want to gulp it and leave residual on my chin.

T) Roasted grains, roasted grains, roasted grains. Bitter, burnt malts. Sweet, a little like candy and then the robust, roasted grains. So nice, so balanced.

M) Medium mouthfeel. Slightly rich. Med-low carbonation. Slightly sticky lips.

D) So drinkable. Man I love it.

It's American, it's a porter.

Photo of washburnkid
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdmek9 for this one.

A: This beer looks so great in my nonic. A perfect three fingers of tan head exploded out of the pour and it all fits just right. Black with mahogany edges. Good retention and plenty of webbing.
S: Big roasted malts, some espresso and dark chocolate. A bit of sweet molasses on the nose, too.
T: Tons of roasted and smoked malts. Bitter coffee and chocolate. Dark berry esters add an additional layer of complexity in the flavor. A citrus tang comes in just enough to balance and leave bitter residuals behind.
M: Big body, very smooth and a clean finish.
D: This is a great porter. I look forward to having more!

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

Appearance: Poured with a thick creamy light tan head that dissipated very very slowly leaving some lacking down my glass. The beer is black and lets no light through around the edges.

Smell: Very strong roasted malt, sweet molasses.

Taste: Strong roasted malt, a smokey flavor, bitter dark chocolate, the flavors lighten up at the end and become more sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thick creamy body, light carbonation, leaves mouth slightly dry.

Overall: Good drinkability, great roasted smell and flavor. Not a whole lot going on in the flavor, but what is there is very good. Thick and creamy in mouthfeel and appearance, very appealing.

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

12 oz. bottle. Pours a pitch black body with a foamy 1 1/2 finger tan head that settles into a thick collar. Who can see any bubbles in that void of blackness? Aroma is of smoky roasted malt. taste is of black coffee ( no cream or sugar), light smoke, & dark unsweetened chocolate. Medium mouthfeel, not heavy or watery. Good drinkability!! Outstanding porter!!!

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

This beer has always been one of my favorites, so I may be a bit biased in my review. Came across this brew on tap at Audubon Circle on Beacon Street. Served in their normal tall, thin beer glasses. Dark brown color. Large fluffy tan head. Huge smell of coffee. I think this beer tastes amazing. Coffee and dark chocolate play off each other perfectly. Deliciously malty and smooth. Since it's a porter, it's a bit on the heavy side, so it's not a session beer. Also, the abv borders on 6%. Robust Porter is a great beer to just sit with, sip, and relax.

Photo of Brenden
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great one, thanks to BeerLovinGrl.

This one is about as dark as dark can be. Even the highlights aren't more than dark brown when I hold it up to a lamp. A fat tan head dissipates to a compact one or two fingers and leaves lacing clinging mercilessly all the way down the glass.
The aroma is big on malt up front, and robust is what it is. There's a very subtle underlying sweetness, but not heavily. Otherwise it's earthy and dark with notes of some dark fruits, roasted coffee and a smoky back. There's a great underlying hops aroma backing it up.
This one is fantastically balanced for its complexity. Malt is very heavy without diminishing from a firm hops taste in the back. Most prominent to me are flavors of a great woody smokiness and ground coffee. There's not as much of the caramel, molasses, or toffee notes that are present in some highly malty brews, but they linger underneath. I understand exactly the interpretation of robust as opposed to a typical porter; dark and heady with a sweetness inherent in the malt that is underneath rather than up front. Great stuff.
The body is moderate to full and the mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy with an interesting balancing sharpness I can't quite describe.
This is my first offering from Smuttynose, and I was far from disappointed. This is a great brew.

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

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out deep dark mahogany brown and it would be clear if not so dark. The ¾" light brown head is soft and creamy and begins to soon recede leaving a ring and speckled form on the side. Sipping leaves behind both patches of foam and some nicely streaked lacing.

Smell: The aroma contains plenty of roasted malt with some coffee and some chocolate notes, but not too much in the way of hops.

Taste: The flavor has sweetness that is in balance with the bitter dark chocolate and moderately strong and bitter coffee flavor. In addition, the flavor on the whole seems quite well balanced between the roasted malt character and subtle citric hop bitterness in the background.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied and very smooth and soft feel from the carbonation. The finish is long and seems bitter from both roasted malt and hops. Although there is an initial sweetness the finish quicly turns dry and fades out on a nice dry note.

Drinkability: This one of those beers where the word "balance" comes immediately to mind. It is also highly drinkable in the sense that I'm loving each sip. Even though I'd probably not drink more than one a night because of the robustness of flavors I'll be returning to this beer again.

Photo of nrbw23
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown or black color with a nice tan head. Head forms into a ring of bubbles around the glass and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and dark fruits.

T- Tons of flavour bitter coffee, chocolate, touch of smoke and a bit of hops at the end.

M- Medium in body, maybe a touch lighter than I'd prefer and nice carbonation.

D- Very good beer and a pleasure to drink.

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cakanator for sending this bottle to me, which may break a land-speed record for being out of the box for less than six hours before being consumed. Down the hatch!

Black. Smell is largely coffee, which surprised me, as I hadn't read any reviews & was expecting a standard porter. No descriptive scribbling on the bottle label, either.

Pretty good porter. The underlying base is solid, & the coffee is understated rather than dominating, which I prefer. The ingredients play well together, making what could be a pretty ho-hum experience very pleasant. Mouthfeel is spot-on for what's gettin' done & this is much easier to quaff than your standard coffee beer.

Very good beer. Smuttynose is climbing the charts in my book.

Photo of russpowell
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jwc215, thanks Joe!

Pours a chestnut-hued mahogany with 2 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention 7 lacing

S: Baker's choclate, dark fruit & roasty malt, fades a bit as this warms

T: Roasty malt, by the bushel, dryness, leafy hops & cocoa up front. Dryness & a slight smokeyness as this warms, plus some nice wet charred grain, plus coffee. finishes dry roasty & moreish

MF: Smooth, medium bodied with superb balance & nice warming sensation

Drinks so easy, eventually the dryness would get to me, after say 3 or 4 pints, great porter!!!

Photo of hardy008
2.03/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Pours a dark black color which allows some ruby light to pass through. Has a foamy, tan, one finger head.

Smell - Hops, coffee, malt, and some chocolate.

Taste - The hops and the coffee comes forward more than the chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thin and watery with high carbonation. Light bodied and dry. Seems wrong for the style.

Drinkability - Very disappointing. To thin and watery for my taste. Too hoppy, and too dry. This Porter is anything but robust.

Photo of cbn
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque dark brown color with a mocha head, good retention with irregular spots of lace.

Aromas of roasted malt and molasses with a whiff of alcohol.

Coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and spruce pine flavors dominate.

Fairly smooth and creamy with a small bite in the finish.

Vibrant flavors and creamy mouth-feel make for better than average drinkability.

Photo of gameface23
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: DARKNESS! Pours completely opaque cola black with a frothy 1/2 inch khaki colored head. Impressive lacing and a very slight cascading effect for a few seconds after pour.

S: Roasted black coffee, slight bitter chocolate and slight dark fruits.

T: Follows the smell. It has a nice roasted edge to it and I could detect faint American hops, which rounded it out.

M: Good, not great. The mouthfeel becomes more slick & creamy as it warms up.

D: I bought one bottle to try. I will absolutely buy a few six packs this fall and winter to relax with.

This beer tastes like the younger brother of Peche Mortel like Troeg's Hopback Amber is to Nugget Nectar. It's lighter and easier to drink, but it still packs some serious flavor.

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

Opaque black graphite with absolutely no give into or away from the light. There is no chance of light penetrating through it nor will there be any colour drawn from it but black. It is a polished and cool tone and it is intensely dark for a porter, indeed. The head is not without holes but credit is given for its tenacity and stickiness.

The aroma is smokey and roasty with a characteristic mineral-rich water profile. There are profound hints of bittersweet chocolate as well as lesser notes of coffee, dark caramel, espresso and dark fruits. It's a packed-house of aromatic and delectable scents. Now this is what a porter should smell like!

Smuttynose pulls the trigger, and they hit the target. The rich taste of dark caramel coated in dark chocolate is likely as flavourful as they come for porters. Just a hint of green, zestful Cascade hops are noted as is a generous splash of fresh-brewed coffee. It's a nice blend of dark and roasty flavours.

Porters are meant for drinkin' not sippin' but Smuttynose gives you the option of either. It is quenching and quaffable but has enough flavour to encourage thought. Bitterness and sweetness stand toe to toe. The roast is restrained enough that multiple pints remains an option and, indeed, this is one beer I could stay on all night.

Smuttynose is justified in calling their porter 'robust'. It is a flavourful beer and full of character. The rich maltiness only increases with warmth, as do the hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. If I could I would keep this beer around the house not only because it's easy to drink but because it is a characterful, well crafted porter.

Photo of bjoyce12
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth. My first thought after sampling this issue from Smuttynose. I recently had their Imperial Stout and was so impressed that I went out and bought the Robust Porter. This porter is perfectly positioned: no bitterness, very smooth, great body, nice taste, no burn, in fact tastes much bigger than the 5.7% ABV would imply. Not much in way of an aroma, but more than makes up for it in smoothness, body, and taste. A definite keeper.

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

Appearance- Dark brown with a dark tan head. The head covers the glass as you drink it and doesn't go away. Good head retention to the beer itself.

Smell- Roasted coffee, roasted malts, and a little bit of sweat smell.

Taste- Everything a porter should be. Very good of roasted malts with enough hops to make it complex and balanced even with the ton of roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but filling.

Drinkability- You get enough complexity and depth, but it is also very drinkable. I could drink a few of these throughout the evening. This would probably pare well with a rich dessert.

I bought this in a mixed 12 pack that contained 3 Shoals Pale Ale, 3 Finest Kind IPAS, 3 Brown Dog Ales, and 3 "Brewer's Choice" which turned out to be the Robust Porter. I was very pleasantly surprised by this choice as the Brewer's Choice. Not my favorite porter, but this is a damn good porter. Pick one up without reservation

Photo of Duhast500
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The smell is of roasted malt and dark chocolate.

The taste is also of roasted malts with a coffee flavor that is a bit of an espresso flavor. Slight dark chocolate, and dark fruit feel as well.

This beer is pretty light but very flavorful. The feel is a bit of a heavy/medium but is pretty drinkable and goes down well.

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

Poured into a pint glass pours a pitch black with a foamy tan head that leves some nice lace on the glass. Smell is of burnt chocolate with roasted oats and sweet faint molasses. Taste is pretty good with nice chocolate, coffee taste to it with a nice hop bitterness. The hop burn flavor lingers on the palate for quite some time. Overall a tasty porter and one that I would recommend.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Smuttynose Robust Porter poured dark, dark brown, like bittersweet chocolate, with a thick, bubbly tan head that left awesome layers of lace. The smell was burnt dark chocolate with a hint of burnt coffee.

I could forsake dessert for this Robust Porter any time. It's delicious, yet leaves behind a gritty bitterness that prevents it from ever feeling sweet.

Drinking Smuttynose Robust Porter was like being in a coffee house. A dark, gritty coffee house that doesn't make any frou-frou drinks ending in "...achino."

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

A--Pours a near black with a deep ruby highlight when held up to the light. The head was about a finger tall in my pint glass and receded fairly slowly and left good lacing down the whole glass

S--This one can be smelled from a few feet away, and it is a beauty. Chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, cream, coffee beans. Yummy, this one has me excited to taste.

T--The taste has the same characteristics as the nose only they are muted and a strong hop presence dominates. Pine hops mostly, roasted malts, used coffee filter, cocoa powder, caramel....but mostly hops! This is definitely tasty but I tend to favor porters/stouts where the hops dominate the back end, not the whole flavor profile. I don't want to knock it too much though because there is nothing bad about this at all, a very solid porter.

M--Medium bodied, fairly average. Tiny bit of lingering hop bitterness but washed down clean for the most part

D--This 12 oz. bottle didn't last long, and I could definitely drink a few more if I was in the mood. It doesn't have that "x factor" that makes me excited to drink more but this is sessionable for sure.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Very dark brown with barely any light coming through. A finger or so brown head rises. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S - Old coffee and bitter chocolate come together for a sort of stale roasted aroma. It's not really bad, but lacking in some complexity.

T - In line with the nose. Semi sweet chocolate enters for a split second before the burnt/stale coffee grounds kick in. Flavor grows increasingly dry and acrid throughout mid palate before a crescendo of roasted malt, burnt bread, old coffee, and a sharp, earthy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Decent, but I'd rather the carbonation be bumped down a notch.

D - Meh, a little disappointing overall. None of the expected sweetness or even sour hints I would've expected. More like a semi-dry stout. The weird coffee flavor is slightly off putting and doesn't really make me want another sip.

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

Pours pitch black with a average toffee head and some good lacing. Smells mostly of bakers chocolate and roasted malts I cant pick up much else. The flavor is indeed robust with all the right flavors, heavy roasted malt flavoring some mild hop bitterness chocolate and a lingering burnt taste. Full flavored yet drinkable. This is a very good porter second to only Old Leghumper for me. Another good one form Smutty

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

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, with thin, filmy tan head.

The aroma is creamy and candied. Toffee and roasted malts with a moderate hop character.

The first thing I noticed when I took a sip was the carbonation--there's a sharp, fast sting when it hits the tongue. Dry, roasted malts and molasses which give way to a bitter, leafy hop finish. The body is creamy and full.

This is a good beer, flavorful and balanced; however, I don't I find anything extraordinarily special about it. A pretty good choice if you want a porter.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,364 ratings.