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Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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2,365 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,365
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: 2,365 | Reviews: 1,052
Photo of BasementDweller
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a translucent dark brown with ruby highlights. An aggressive pour displays a full crown of foam with impeccable lacing.

S - Fruity ale yeast aromas coupled nicely with baker's chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Tons of roasted malt bitterness, but coupled with fruity base malt, and a silken chocolate note that is sweet, not cloying.

M - Medium bodied. To be honest, I would have loved a little more texture here, a little more viscosity. It's good, but maybe some oats in the grist would have put it over the top. That said, it certainly fits the style, and there is nothing wrong with the body as it is.

D - A bit too bitter (roasted, not hoppy) for me to have more than, say, two a night. Still, a delicious brew for fans of roasted and dark malts.

Photo of albern
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice porter, very deep dark with a nice brown creamy head, lacing up and down the glass, and decent retention. The nose on the beer is coffee and chocolate notes, roasted malts. The aroma is not overly pronounced, and there is a slightly soury off note or two in the nose.

The taste is quite drier than I anticipated. It is a creamy brew overall, but there is a unique grapefruit like acrid tartness, not often common in a porter. There are plenty of roasted malts, somewhat charred dark grains, the hops that are tart, and then plenty of chocolate and some coffee rind insinuate themselves throughout. If you let the beer settle, there are some raisiny or floral notes, but these are hidden way underneath. The mouthfeel is somewhat drying and tart. This is a medium bodied beer with an aftertaste that lingers just a little longer than necessary, but not bad.

Photo of toastdog
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black black with a finger of tan head that leaves a little lace on the glass.

S: Close to perfect. Roastiness and cocoa backed up by bittersweet malt aromas and solid piney/resinous American hops.

T: Damn, that's good. The first thing to hit the tongue is creamy smoothness and dark-chocolate notes, which give way to a lingering but moderate bitterness and just a hint of American Cascade-style hops. The roastiness (just a whiff of burnt, and a lot of very dark notes) lingers on and on. Exactly what an American robust porter should be.

M: On the money. Round, creamy, mouthfilling with a nice little juiciness from the hops. Carbonation is moderate and does a good job of scrubbing the palate so the flavors don't get cloying.

D: I could drink this all night, slowly, with great pleasure. A wonderful sipper - a little big for a session beer but who's going anywhere?

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as a 6-pack from Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $8.99.

A: Darkest porter you will find. Tan 1-1.5 finger head with lace everywhere.

S: Coffee and a little bit of bittersweet chocolate with leafy hops.

T: Extremely flavorful with abrupt coffee bitterness, bittersweet cocoa, and a leafy, tobacco presence. Medium roasted acrid character.

M: Very smooth with low carbonation and long, bitter aftertaste.

D: Very beefy for a porter.

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

12 oz. Nice black/brown pour. Small disappating tan head. Very roasty aroma malt, coffee. Nice strong roast/burnt malt with mocha and some coffee bitters. More hop flavor than some porters, finishes with a clean bite. Not bad at all, will look for more from this brewer. Not quite as good as the Dark Horse Special Black I had a few weeks back, but worth trying.

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

Poured into a 16oz tumbler on tap at Rue De L'Espoir in Providence RI
A - Deep mahogany in color with a tan head that stays a while. Decent lacing.
S - Toasted malts, cocoa, coffee
T - Sweet dark toasted malt, chocolate and coffee next with a hint of some dark fruit in there emerging at the very end.
M/F - Medium body. A bit creamy with full carbonation in a good way.
D - A nice slow drinking flavorful porter.

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

A tip of the hat to Reagan1984 for a recent trade which allowed me to sample and review this brew.

On the pour you get a very dark, nearly opaque, nearly black colored beer, with some garnet highlights at the edges. The one fingered head is a mocha brown in color, and foamy in texture. Head retention isn't very long, but it does leave splashes of lacing around the sides of the glass.

The nose is rich and inviting, and smells like coffee. Definitely a heavy malt dose in there, as well as a hint of chocolate.

The taste follows the nose; predominant coffee flavors burst forth on the palate, with a hint of chocolate which keeps it from becoming bitter. Mouthfeel is medium-full and hearty; luscious might well describe it. The carbonation is subdued, as should be for the style. While the abv level puts this porter in the 'session' range, the robust and intense flavors might not make it a good session brew .. depends on your tastes. I prefer lighter brews for session beers, but this is definitely a good sipper on a cold Winter night.

A fine robust porter by Smuttynose, which will not disappoint, especially if you are into huge coffee flavors. Recommended!

Na Zdravje!

Edit: 2-1-2010 ... had to try it again. Got a bit more head on this pour, and very nice lacing. Taste profile hasn't changed - predominant coffee.

Photo of Walker8810
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours great w/ just the right amount of head.
nose is of sweet roasted malts. not too hoppy not too burnt. same w/ the taste. this one is well balanced. a lot of porters are too agressive, this one is just right. great balance of the roasted malt character, sweetness and hops. all in all a very well rounded porter. velvety mouthfeel. goes down very easily.

Photo of LOCAL
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip

Apperance: Pours a murky dark dark brown/black with a thin cocoa colored head that doesn't last too long.

Smell: sweet malt, smoke/roastiness, coffee, chocolate, trace of dark fruit.

Taste: Malt and smoke/roastiness up front followed by coffee and chocolate. Leaves a dry, bitter taste, making you want another sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Over all: A very easy drinking porter. Not hard to enjoy several of these.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An opaque dark brown, nearly pitch black. A medium sized, creamy tan head slowly erupts and sticks awhile. Lacing is nice.

S: Sweet, roasted dark malts, some caramel, and dark fruitiness (plums/currants). Some lactic notes as well, with perhaps a touch of floral hops. Definite notes of creamed coffee and semisweet chocolate. Delicious...

T: Surprisingly citric and bitter considering the nose. Not a bad thing, though. Very complex. Big roasted, almost burnt malts and a strong dose of grapefruit and orange rind up front. Still an underlying lactic sweetness the whole time. Big black coffee and bitter cocoa flavors ride into the aftertaste. Possibly some dark fruit as well, but it's rather subdued in relation to everything else.

M: Full-bodied and creamy, with mild carbonation. A riding dry bite as an aftertaste.

D: Like I said, a surprisingly bitter and dense porter. But damn tasty. This is probably my favorite style, and this is near the top of my list from now on. Very complex and yes, robust. I'll be drinking this again in the future.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Lovely dark chocolate color with a thick foamy brownish head. Some whispy lacing.
S: Full chocolate malts, roasted barley, and a hint of sugar. Yummy.
T: Chewy malts, then a nice smoky/roasted flavor. The finish borders on sweet but fades into a rich malt taste. There's a small leafy hop nip, but I can only find it on some sips. Overall, quite nice.
M: Great mix of smoky, roasted, and malty feelings.
D: Pretty good, but heavyish.

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

Pours very dark with a tan head which foams nicely then settles. It looks very stout-like.
The Aroma is very chocolatey, espresso-like, and again reminiscient of stout but a bit more subtle.
Taste is very roasted... Bitter in the mouth like dark chocolate or black coffee and the flavor quickly dissipates, leaving very little aftertaste, giving it a very clean Mouthfeel. Along with the light-to-moderate body and nice amount of carbonation it is very easy to drink.
Overall, it could use a little more balance between the bitterness with some sweetness, perhaps, but then thats what I always htink about eveything thats dark and bitter... So if dark and bitter is your thing then you'll probably be set.. Its definitely more subtle all around than say an imperial porter or such, though it claims to be "robust".
Definitely a good drink, though.

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

Large foamy dirt brown head. One of the better heads I've seen on a porter. Good retention and lots of muddy lace rings. SRB is black.

Smells like roast coffee, Sambuca, and dark chocolate. Oaky char at the beginning.

Smooth roast malt and coffee up front followed by a sour berry, ash taste that diminishes as the beer warms. Creamy but a litte airy mouthfeel.

Photo of bum732
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a nice chocolately creamy head. Decent sporadic lacing down the glass. Smells of sweet roastness, tobacco, faint chocolate, some fruityness but not much. Roasted coffee beans really rounds out everything. Tastes up front with faint dark fruits and bold roastyness. Roasty sweetness till the end when tobacco flavors hit with a moderate smoky chalkiness. Finishes dry. Good carbonation and multitude of textures throughout the taste.

A great beer and one of my favorite porters. Lots of flavors going for it rounded out by lots of roastiness. I love this beer.

Photo of BitterLover
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was from a 'sampler case' of Smuttynose beers that I bought while in Pennsylvania. Poured into a nondescript glass tumbler.

The modest sandy-colored head dissipated really rapidly, leaving an almost imperceptible lacing behind. The aroma is very sweet and toffee-like.

This is a very nice tasting porter, with coffee and burnt sugar flavors up front, followed by a subtle bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is nice and velvety.

This is not a chugging beer, and really opens up when it warms a little. This is a great porter! Don't hesistate to get some.

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

A- Pours a dark brown/black with a small tan foamy head.

S- a slightly sweet maltiness. Roasty/ smokey with a touch of alcohol.

T- The standard smokey/ burnt coffee taste but a bit towards the sweeter malty side. Balanced out with a grassy hoppiness. Some dark chocolate in there but overall very well balanced.

M- Good body, a little creamy and nearly flat.

D- This is a nice porter. I will drink more of these.

Photo of jiggahertz
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Head appears unimpressive at first then turning nice and frothy, finally thinning out. Black beer with no light coming through and awesome webbing throughout the drink.

S: Some slight sweetness from roasted malts, roasted coffee.

T: Taste more then makes up for lack of nose. Roasted coffee and then the sweetness from the malts dominate. Barely a hint of hops detected.

M: Creamy, righ, viscous. So much goodness here.

D: Awesomely drinkable beer, the only thing that would get in my way of drinking many of these is the sweetness.

Great value found on this one. Found it in a smuttynose sampler pack $11/12-pack. Can go toe-to-toe with my current stout favorites from Samuel Smith.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque dark brown in color with a creamy medium brown head. Head is about one finger thick with excellent retention. Solid sheet of lacing.

S - Rich aroma of roasted malts with lots of dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Light sweetness and an earthiness linger underneath.

T - Rich malty sweetness initially with lots of chocolate and a little coffee. Mid drink an earthy bitterness comes in. Excellent balance to the rich malts initially. Finishes with a strong bittersweet chocolateiness.

M/D - Very creamy but a touch too high of carbonation level. Very easy drinking with a smooth finish.

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

Smuttynose Robust Porter is black as the Ace of Spades with a creamy, frothy, light sandy brown head that is mostly diminishing. It leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark coffee. There are light notes of resin and possibly vanilla and smoke. It is medium to full bodied and dry. The carbonation is soft and it's slightly astringent at the finish. The primary flavor is deep dark malt with dark chocolate and coffee and a good dose of resiny hops. There are perhaps elements that lean toward nuts and cola. It is well rounded and not extreme in any way. This is a mature and refined porter. It's pretty much what I think a porter should taste like. Bravo!
(rated Jul 9, 2007)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, deep brown with ruby edges and a creamy mocha head.

S - Dark chocolate, toffee, chocolate milk with a hint of lactic sweetness and medium roast coffee.

T - Quite a bit of dark chocolate, followed by chocolate milk, heavily roasted grains, slightly astringent but I and not sure if it is the roasty grains or the combo with the hops. Coffee and a slight smokiness round this one out.

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium body.

D - Heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt but still easy drinking.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a thick tan head that dissipated to a ring of light foam. Some lacing, but minimal.

Nice earthy coffee/mocha aromas and a little hop.

Dark toasted bread and grain with coffee, some chocolate sweetness. Flavors are a perfect intenseness, with great balance and good lingering finish.

Very smooth and appropriately carbonated.

Overall, just killer porter. This was from a mixed 12 pack, and 3 is just not enough (all three of us dipped in an come out with the same brew). I could easily drink this all night. No off flavors, and nothing overpowering or cloying. Thin enough but rich enough for you to finish the glass fast. Wonderful beer.

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

This was on special at MacGregors, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I was in the mood for something that didn't let light pass through it.

A: came my way deep, deep, deep, deep brown, with that beautiful brown/mocha colored head providing a good finger's worth of topping to the brew.

S: Smelled the way you would expect a porter to smell. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary, but pleasant.

T: Chocolaty. Maybe it was just me, but I felt a very heavy chocolate presence in this brew, which I absolutely loved.

M: Fairly high carbonation. Not thick like an imperial stout, but thicker than your average lager or a weaker porter.

D: If I'd been in the money spendin' mood, I would have definitely bought another round. As it is, I may head out to Hegedorns and see if they have it on the shelf. It was hard not to drink it too quickly!

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown at the edges with black in the center. Head is a mocha brown color.

I'm picking up all the great roasted aromas. Slight coffee smell and the rest is a mix of roasted malts.

This is one of the most flavorful beers I know of that fit into the session category. Reminds me of coffee ice cream, it has a pretty big coffee flavor that compares to something that uses coffee, and it is incredibly creamy. Some bitterness is in there too, completely complementing the beer and not standing out too much.

Lightly carbonated with an incredible creaminess that I mentioned before. This is one of the top beers from the bottle in terms of mouthfeel. Drinkability is high. Sips are small because of how dark the flavors are, but the intermissions between sips are very short.

This beer is very enjoyable and at a good price. I'll be getting a lot more of these, and then missing them when the season is over. I have to give a strong recommendation on this one.

Photo of Vendetta
3.36/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Original Rating Date:
August 17, 2008

Toasted, coffee aroma. Pleasant on the nose. Thick, bubbly, brown head, lots of lacing. Incredibly fine looking beverage. Woody, toasted, coffee taste. Enjoyable, different. Palate resembles drinking warm whipped cream, fantastic, but purely a winter beer.

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

This beer pours very dark brown in color with a creamy tan colored head that fades into a thick and sticky lace. Scent is of is dark roasted malts and sweet chocolaty cocoa--very inviting. Medium to full-bodied with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Taste starts off sweet and malty with notes of milk chocolate and a bit of dark fruit followed by some bitter and acidic flavors of dark (almost burnt) coffee. This is a highly enjoyable beer that I will be sure to pick up again.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,365 ratings.