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.

2,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,218
Reviews: 1,019
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 140
Gots: 170 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Robust Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,218 | Reviews: 1,019 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in early June as part of the MicroBeerClub May shipment. I was thrilled to see Smuttynose was part of the month's shipment!

Beer pours black with a well sustained tan head. Nose is toasted grains, coffee and cream, and dark chocolate. Taste is roasted coffee with a hint of cream, dark chocolates blending nicely into a mild hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but is not as thick as the taste, but satisfying nonetheless. Drinkability is near perfect as the abv is in the sessionable range. This is a porter that should be sought after by anyone that is a fan of the style!

Photo of scoobybrew
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

A - deep, dark amber color only noticed when held to a bright light for all intents though it is jet black; thick tan, chunky head that is well retained; leaves a beautiful lace as it drains

S - roasted grainy malt and strong hop aroma

T - wonderful chocolate and coffee like malt flavor from the toasted/burnt grains; strong hop flavor with a decent hop finish

M - smooth medium body with moderate carbonation

D - This is truly a wonderful robust porter - one of the best I've tried. It's too bad I can't get this in my neck of the woods - it would probably be a frequent fall favorite. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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

Drank from a 12 FLUID OUNCE bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Best by November 2008

Poured a near black with brown edges when held to the light. The creamy, bubbly, cocoa-colored head quickly faded to a thin, wispy film with a thick ring of froth.

The aroma was amazing, especially for a beer of such humble stature. Chocolatey rich to the extreme. Steaming hot fudge instantly came to mind. Sweet and creamy with strong notes of vanilla and a touch of oak.

The taste was deeper and roastier than the aroma. Dark chocolate came through strong up front. Black coffee was noticeable in the center. A touch oaky and smoky. The bitter, deep roast, espresso-like finish lingered on and on. Initially, I detected some metallic notes in the finish, but these died down as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, somewhat lively carbonation. A touch thinner than expected. Frothy and slightly creamy on the palate.

This was a smooth and tasty beer with an aroma that was to die for. At 5.7% ABV, this porter was surprisingly drinkable. Definitely one of the more impressive examples of the style I have tried in a while.

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

After trying the Farmhouse offering from Smutty I picked up a mixed 12 from Pearl St. Beverages in Burlington, VT. Poured into a standard pint.

A: Poured a semi-thick dark black with a very large, active mocha head. This beer is very dark for what I am used to from porters, this looks more like an RIS than porter IMO. The head has some good retention and leaves some light brown lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Smell is of rich cream, dark, roasted coffee, dark chocolate and just slight hint of hops in the nose. Very nice.

T: The flavors are big on coffee. Tastes at first like a dark coffee with a touch of cream added. As this warms up, it really comes forth with some chocolate notes and some a nice touch of hops to cut the sweetness just a bit.

M: Medium in body, it could absolutely be heavier but then again it is a porter. Coffee after taste lingers in the aftertaste. Sticks a touch to the palate but nothing too crazy.

D: Very drinkable. I had to catch myself when reviewing this brew because I kept comparing it to a RIS. It really has some serious richness to the flavor, nose and appearance that make this easily mistaken for a RIS. Still it stands tall as a porter due to its slightly thinner mouthfeel and is great for a night cap beverage. An almost nonexistant ABV presence doesn't hurt either. Really liked this beer. Amazing.

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

Pours the darkest of browns, nearly black, with a one-finger tan head that recedes slowly to a skim coat and sticky ring. Decent lacing.

Smell is dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste starts off with some bittersweet chocolate and a hint of dark fruits. Dark roasted coffee, vanilla and cocoa powder lead into some acrid espresso flavors, before the hops kick in for a dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium, but it's not really creamy. I think the hop bitterness keeps the creaminess subdued.

Another great beer from Smutty! This actually pairs well with grilled steaks, and is also great for/with dessert. A very enjoyable brew.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle > SA Lager glass
(This smutty favorite is becoming increasingly hard to track down here in southern New Hampshire)

This is a very dark brown color, nearly black and a full two-finger's deep mocha-brown colored head that's really dense and thick. Retention is great and slow as molasses. nicely sticly lacing.

The aroma is that of roastie chocolate mocha coffee with vanilla and a slightly bitter scented hop and mild cardboared scent way down deep.

My first impression of this can be summed up in one word: Balance. I noticed the big earthy, bitter hop flavor really pops out right off, usually I like the hop to hit my tongue right at the end, but this one is forceful. A very roastie chocolate flavored malt rides right along side, it's robust with black coffee and chocolate notes with a subtle but effective vanilla current. The taste of the hops is very much like Smutty's RIS, big and bitter. This is a rather hoppy porter for my taste.

Medium bodied, crisp and livley but smooth around the edges which makes this one really drinkable for those of us that don't love overlly thick porter's.

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

love the Smuttynose labels

a: pours a moderate mocha coloured head that recedes quickly, good retention with some scant lacing, the beer is a deep chestnut brown in color

s: impressive at first whiff...soft, creamy notes of melted dark chocolate compliment a lightly charred barley roast with hints of smoke and molasses, hops are generally earthy but do carry some minty evergreen notes

m: soft low-medium carbonation, body on the full side of medium, creamy

t: starts roasty and moderately sweet, developing a deep flavor of freshly dark chocolate shavings with roasted barley throughout, long bittersweet finish with just a touch of smoke, wonderful

d: certainly one of the better porters to be had, and one I could surely 6-pack...it could easily pass for a high quality stout, but has the drinkability of a porter

part of a Smutty mixed-pack from Whole Foods Reston, notched as best by November 2008

Photo of CrellMoset
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A thick, dark brown bodied beer - almost black really - with a great, thick, billowy tan head with average retention but gorgeous lacing. Thick solid sheets of it all over the place.

Aroma: Sweet, milky chocolate and full-city roast coffee. Some dark, malty fruit esters and some other earthy toasted/hop notes. Very inviting!

Taste: Faint earthy and citrus hops up front, followed by a fistful of sweet, roasted malts - biscuit, caramel, molasses - which gradually evolve into darker and more highly toasted malts - toast, chocolate, coffee. Slight bitter burnt-malt astringencies which don't detract but instead add a balancing complexity to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, with an even but thick-feeling head. Body itself is medium. Leaves a bit of a coating on the tongue and mouth.

Drinkability: Great complexities in this one, reasonable abv%, and surprisingly refreshing for a beer of its maltiness. Definitely recommended.

Photo of bort11
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This sample is courtesy MrRetardedMonkey. Thanks Scottie!

12 oz bottle, best by Oct 08, poured into a imperial pint glass. Solid two finger light tan head and slow to recede. Does not leave much lacing at all. Color is a deep dark black with just a hint of dark mahogany brown highlights around the edges.

Smell is a fantastic blend of dark malts, burnt raisins, bitter coffee, and a hint of floral chocolate. Taste is rightfully dark. A bit of charred wood, more dark chocolate, and dark fruits.

Creamy medium body. Very nice texture, smooth and enjoyable. One of the best porters I've had in a while.

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

12oz bottle best by Aug 2008, poured into my Russian River pint glass

A: Pretty much black with reddish-dark brown highlights. A nice light brown head fills up the rest of the glass and slowly recedes, leaving a nice lace.

S: Roasty and creamy with a mild coffee note. Fairly heavy on the roast with some dark chocolate.

T: Lovely big roasted barley flavor with some hop bitterness present. Chocolate and coffee round out the flavors with a long, bitter finish. Pretty intense flavors for such a small beer.

M: Well carbonated with a great finish.

D: Definitely grabbing another!

Photo of joe1510
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Best Before 8/08

I received this in a recent trade with israel, thanks again! Smuttynose Robust Porter pours the darkest of browns that border on black. When the body is directly backlit there are very faint garnet hues throughout. A soft pour produced a swirling two fingers worth of khaki colored head. As it fell to the thick cap it settled at it became creamy and left some really nice sheet lacing down the glass.

This porter has a really great nose. It's all at once roasty, nutty, and chocolaty. The roastiness leads the way and is accompanied by a nice mellow dark chocolaty goodness. Something along the lines of hazelnut comes through faintly here and there along with ghost like notes of maple syrup. The nuttiness seems to show up at different times. Each swirl of the glass brings a quick whiff of coffee grounds.

The flavor falls just short of the stellar aroma but is very good none the less. The roastiness still has the spotlight and all the other aromas are there in the flavor although not quite as bright and vibrant. The coffee grounds and roastiness leaves a slightly bitter finish that makes this an all around solid porter. The nuttiness plays in the flavor too flashing here and there.

Robust porter sports a medium body with enough carbonation to keep things moving quickly. The roasty bitterness keeps growing as I drink.

The drinkability is enhanced by the lighter body and solid carbonation. This is a porter than can be easily enjoyed a few at a time.

This is one of my favorite sessionable porters and I tend to pick up a sixer whenever I'm in an area that carries Smuttynose. Robust Porter is incredibly easy to drink and very flavorful.

Photo of corey0212
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's time to work my way through the "everyday" Smuttynose beers, some of my favorites for quite some time....

Pours nearly black, some faint reddish highlights, big foamy tan head fades to a thin film on top of the beer, tons and tons of lacing. Smell is dark roasted coffee, some milk chocolate, and maybe just a touch of soft floral hoppiness. Taste is just huge on the coffee, with some great burnt edges, some bittersweet chocolate, slight plum flavor. Perfectly carbonated for an American Porter, great mouthfeel, and endlessly lingering coffee aftertaste. Really just a great porter, one of my favorites, and with the relatively low ABV, you could definitely have a few.

Photo of tmitch75
3.2/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Monthly club selection for May. Dark brown color, opaque, with 1-finger creamy tan head. Some chunks in the bottom despite being fresh (labeled as best by 10/08). Maybe something happened in shipping, but I can't know for sure.

Roasty malt smell with a light chocolate sweetness.

Strong coffee flavor with roasty bitter chocolate. Bitterness is almost all from burnt malt, no discernable hop flavor.

Medium body, nothing special.

Just average to me. I expected better and will try again, but I am not overly impressed. That said, it wasn't terrible either.

Tested on 6/11/08.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the Sam Adams *ultimate* beer glass at 40 degrees.

This was the third of six of these thanks to a NE BA trade.

Pours with a thick, tan head that maintains an 1/8 inch the entire session. Black is black with a light tan head.

Robust aroma. Is that being lazy on my part? Hard to pinpoint any distinct aroma...chocolate seems to certainly be there.

Very nice, robust, flavor. I'm really on to this whole robust classification. I suggest Smuttynose consider an aggresive, multi-million dollar marketing campaing for the "Great American Robust Porter."

Photo of mountdew1
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark coffee brown with a touch of transparency. Head was mocha colored, disappeared very quickly, but left a retaining ring around the top. Aroma was sweet, but also had tinges of burnt coffee. Taste reminded me of burnt wheat bread with a bit of bitter dark chocolate. The chocolate flavor lingered after drinking. Felt a little bitter and slightly acidic in the mouth, but coated well and not overly carbonated. Easy to drink but the limited alcohol content seemed to hit harder than I would expect for a similar ABV.

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

Pours a white lingering lace evolving to a lasting thin coverage.
Smell reminds me of my first Porter I loved from Catamount. Sorry they are gone. Deep malted chocolate taste that lingers on.
Smooth on the tongue.
I could drink this til the cows come home Smutty.

Photo of Pleepleus
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Had a black color with tan hues and a minimal cream colored head with sketchy lacing. Smelled like burnt malts, nuts and coffee. The coffee taste is big up front with bittersweet chocolate. Nice mild carbonation but thin enough to stay true to style. Sticky mouthfeel and long aftertaste of coffee. This was good but would I say
"Robust"? Is that the right word for this? I think not.

Photo of mhewes
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A : Pours a nice black with a tan head.

S : Lots of coffee, hints of chocolate. Some roasted malt also

T : Strong bitter coffee flavor. Roasted malt flavor also but the coffee tends to overshadow everything else

M : Medium bodied, good carbonation

D : It's a pretty good porter, one I wouldn't mind having again.

Photo of halfP1NT
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour yields a creamy, dark tan head that sits nicely atop this opaque black brew.

Smell is sweet milk chocolate with a hint of bitter hops & yeastiness.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate, slightly toasted malts. Finishes with a dry nuttiness.

There is a nice amount of carbonation to keep this beer from becoming syrupy sweet. Overall, a very drinkable and enjoyable porter. I will keep coming back to this one.

Photo of nsmartell
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the micro of the month club bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a thin stream of deep black colored beer with a small tan head.

Smell: Hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Slightly smoky, toasted malts and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Dry light to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty brew. I would seek this out again.

Photo of nasty15108
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one from my Hyland24. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Black, with an ever so small tan head that disappeared into a thin spotty film. Good lace work throughout.

S - Slightly smokey aroma. Lots of coffee and hints of chocolate.

T - Smokey with hints of dark roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. Finishes off with a slightly bitter hop flavor.

MF&D - Medium bodied porter with pleanty of flavor. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle of this from zdester.

Poured a dark brown, little bit of light coming though the side of my tumbler. About a finger of head.

Smells like hop, very earthy with a very mild malt.

Taste is bitter, alot of hop, molasses and coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium, very nice for a porter, and not to much carbonation.

Drinkability here is a bit above average. I'm not a huge fan of porter but I do like the style, and in the event that I can get this again I'd take it over some others that I've had. Good call here.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Near opaque black with a solid finger head.

S- Roasted malts intermingled with a strong earthy hopp presense.

T- An assertive roasted malt taste with hints of coffee lends way ever so slightly toward the middle to allow for a little bit of sweetness. The sweetness doesn't stick around long as it gets out of the way for an equally assertive hop finish.

M- Pretty spot on.

D- For a porter this is quite drinkable.

Even though I'm not a huge porter fan, this is one terrific beer.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into nonic glass

A - Jet black pour, tantalizing! 1/2 finger caramel head. Good.

S - Initial coffee hit, good mix of malty sweet aroma.

T - Ooh, powerful coffee bite on first taste. I like my porters a little more smoky, a tough more roasty, and mild, but to get that taste appropriately into a beer takes talent. Rapidly improves after a few sips, losing a bit of complexity but hitting the right notes for a porter.

M/D - Moderate to above average carbonation which lingers a while, interesting. Medium viscosity, more or less where a Porter tends to/should be. Has that sticky thing going on, and if anything could use a little more of that.

I have a feeling this is a few hairs short of fantastic on tap but loses a little something off its fastball in a bottle.

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

this beer poured a jet black color with a cascading creamy tan head. excellent lacing.

the smell is of chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee and hops are detectable in the nose.

the taste is consistent with the smell. nice balance. slight alcohol warming.

the mouthfeel is thicker than expected. it is very robust! it is slightly chewy and slightly oily.

this is a wonderful session porter that i wish i could get in my area. it is very inviting and begs to be drank.

Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 2,218 ratings.