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Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

1,069 Reviews
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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,069 | Ratings: 2,623
Photo of Grugalug
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

A-Pours a very dark brown that is very nearly opaque. It is possible to see ruby highlights when held up to light. Gets about 2 fingers of head with a fairly aggressive pour, and the head is a khaki color. Head leaves a good bit of lacing as it dissipates. (4.25)

S-Coffee and chocolate dominate at first, but it gives way to a fig or plum-like aroma as well. Just a bit of caramel sweetness is evident too, and there is no hop aroma to speak of either. Smells malty-sweet, roasty, and a bit fruity, with no detectable yeast character evident. (4)

T-Big coffee and chocolate up front, a little caramel sweetness in the middle, and a strong, assertive hop bitterness in the finish. At least to me none of the fruity character is evident here, but there is a very nice astringency from the roasted malt. A little too much hop bite for my taste, but for those of you that like your porters and stouts to have more hop character this would probably be up your alley. (3.75)

M-Smooth and silky. Almost seems like they used oats but I don't believe that they did (but don't quote me on that). Not too much carbonation either, just enough is present. (4)

O-A very nice take on an American robust porter. The big roasted malt character that you would expect is here in spades, and there is a very assertive hop bitterness to balance out those big flavors. Certainly worthy of its status and at around 8-9 bucks a 6-pack, it's also a deal that is really hard to beat considering the quality. (3.92)

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours dark brown under a persistent clingy and rocky 3” light tan foam collar. S: Dark dried fruit, traces of chocolate and light roast. T: Starts with chocolate and light coffee notes, figs, F: Medium full body, soft palate, medium carbonation. O: This is an excellent porter that is easy to drink.

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Photo of irrevjim
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours.black with a mahogany hue, nice creamy tan head, about an inch and a half, eventually reducing to an eighth of an inch that sticks around, lacing stays around.
smell, chocolate, caramel, toasted malt, a little coffee, very rich smooth satisfying smell
taste like it smells, coffee a little more prevalent in the taste than the smell, nice balance of bitter and sweet in the dark roasted malt, finish leans towards bitter, which i like.
feels full, smooth, creamy with a little carbonation, nice
this is one delicious well built porter, it has a lot of what's good. what it doesn't have is an over-roasted taste and thin body, conversely, it doesn't taste like a sticky sweet malt bomb, this is a porter.

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Photo of LittleMurphyDog
4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Coffee, chocolate, and malt greet the nose. Elegant warmth adds to the taste. Beautiful coffee color in the glass. Smutty brown head disappears quickly. Fine Porter.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of tan head that settle into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, bready, and roasty dark malt forward aroma with good hints of chocolate and coffee. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, grains, caramel, toffee, yeast, and a slight hint of leather. Sweet hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Subtle earthy hops. Also some subtle dark fruit hints. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the smell gives off, a nicely bready, rich, and roasty dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate and coffee. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of chocolate, coffee, biscuit, grains, dark bread, caramel, toffee, leather, and yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar along with some vanilla. Subtle dark fruit and some earthy hop bitterness towards the finish. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: A very good take on an American Porter. Really nice creamy dark malt flavor with a smooth body.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Robust Porter pours a deep brown color with a voluminous tan head. If looks are any indication, this is going to be an exemplary Porter. The aroma is very sweet and fresh, with a touch of coffee. Strong and flavorful, unsweetened chocolate is dominant, with a little bit of sweet malt, a subtle hop appearance and a roasty, bitter finish. Very full mouthfeel but medium-bodied and fairly drinkable. This is quite robust indeed and is right up there with my favorites in the style. A great value too usually, compared to four-packs of other brands in this style.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with two fingers of chocolate/caramel-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer. As the beer drinks, it leaves behind a nice set of foam rings that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with tons of rich, earthy, bready, roasted malt up front, imparting notes of espresso, freshly toasted dark bread, dark chocolate, some subtle smoke, and quite a bit of brown sugar and toffee.

Taste: Wow! A delicious beer! Strong flavors of bready, roasted malt up front, followed by some dark chocolate, some subtle smoke, and quite a bit of brown sugar and toffee-like sweetness. At the finish, there is some subtle dark chocolate and espresso-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth, as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 6.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very roasty, very delicious porter! Definitely work a drink and highly recommended to those who like a lot of espresso and dark chocolate in their porters.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very nice porter. Pours nice and dark.
Smells of chocolate and molasses.
Tastes rich, dark chocolate. Little bit of a sour aftertaste. Not a complex beer but delivers nicely with what it is.
Thick mouth feel. Very nice.
Overall, can't get a much better American style porter than this.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Very dark for a porter. Almost no light coming through at all. Barely a hint of amber edging. Stiff 2 finger light brown head that took its time receding and laced beautifully.

S- A little bit of caramel hidden by dominate chocolate. Glad to smell some fantastic leathery porter tang that is sometimes lacking in American Porters. A little metallic from over cooling but that quickly disappeared as it warmed.

T- This could easily be called a Chocolate Porter. There is also some mild nuttiness as it warms. Again that fantastic leather tang that only authentic porters have. Despite the dryness it has a nice mild linger.

F- Carb is soft and creamy. Not too thin and not too heavy. Starts and ends pretty dry. One of the driest porters I've had... but I think dry beers are growing on me.

O- Thanks, and a shout out, to Mike for reintroducing me to a beer that in my memory was ordinary but upon reevaluation is pretty extraordinary. Despite the name being kinda gross I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to know a near perfect example of the style.


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Photo of Braz
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a superb porter. I wish it wasn't so rare that I bumped into one like this. Outstanding coffee and chocolate balance. Sweetness is just right. Nice smooth full body. If Smuttynose makes an imperial version of this, it'd be like Moby Dick for my Captain Ahab.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

decent porter, taste is full but smooth and clean. like a coffee/chocolate porter should.
recommended. not the best, but very well done. -12 oz bottles in chalice & snifter-

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Photo of brurevu
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured with a thick tan head and the beer itself was a pitch black that foreshadowed an intense and rich drinking experience. The aroma was heavy on the coffee and dark chocolate notes with a tinge of sweet malts. The taste was resolutely robust with a deep and full roasted malt flavor that was slightly sweet but full of chocolate and slight hints of coffee. The deep chocolate and coffee notes became more pronounced as it warmed along with the sweetness. The creamy and smooth body left a lingering burnt roasty bitterness on my palate which quickly disappeared with each sip. The Robust Porter was a bountiful and complex porter that lived up to the Robust moniker.

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Photo of SFNC
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good porter, nothing fancy, just a great balance between sweet carmel and a dark roast bitterness. The feel is full and smooth. Very drinkable.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: deep brown; 1 finger medium brown head that receded slowly to a thin, uneven cap; nice lacing;

S: milk chocolate, roasted grains, and a hint of coffee;

T: for a moment, roasted grain; milk chocolate comes in quickly and stays through the finish; moderate bitterness and a bit of coffee at the end;

M: medium bodied; a little sticky; moderate carbonation; slightly dry finish;

O:not special, but very nice:

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Photo of marieli
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Appearance is close to black. Not sure where the company or others get "amber" from as a descriptor. A very thin and unimpressive head that left quickly. I smelled malt as the predominant aroma. Was not very sweet in smell or taste, although I would have preferred a touch more sweetness. Some coffee showed up as it warmed, but never chocolate. Flavor was sort of neutral, something for everybody. Feel was close but not truly creamy.

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

Appearance: Massive, dense, and robust tan head graces a dark amber body, which verges on obsidian. Intricate lacing on the glass walls relates an epic in hieroglyphics whose meaning is lost to the world.

Aroma: Deep aromas of dark roasted coffee dominate the aroma, there are as well, notes of bitter cocoa, and dark roasted, almost charred malt.

Taste: The taste begins with deep, dark roasted malt, as the taste progresses, bitter coffee utterly dominates the taste, although charred malt and prominent grapefruit rind hops make their presence felt. Late in the taste, charred malt is notable. The relatively high ABV (6.2%) is artfully concealed.

Mouth feel: Smooth, and very full, with only mere hints of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A wonderful beer, which seems apropos for the winter months, simply excellent

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle, sealed with a pop-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of CraigS119
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Porters aren't really my cup of tea, but here we go... got it as a gift in a beer-of-the-month package. Apparently it's actually 6.6% abv and 33 ibu (per their website).

Malts: North American 2-Row, Carastan, C-120, Special B, Chocolate, Carafa II DH
Hops: Bittering: Magnum, Flavoring: Cascade

Pours like soy sauce with a thin ring of khaki head. Smells of delicate sweet cream, vanilla, and cocoa. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate malt and smokey oak. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, but there is some carbonation and a thickness in the finish. Overall, I've never liked porters. I'm not sure why, I think it's a combination the sweetness with acerbity, lingering smokey and bitter notes and a watery body. Either way though, this beer isn't bad. I may not like them, but after tasting this one, I do respect them.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose's Robust Porter a couple weeks ago for $1.79 at Holiday Market. I've been wanting to try this beer for a little while now and I'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. Best by 6/8/15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good, I like the design of it and I think it's just a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a finger and a half of creamy dark tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and patchy lacing behind. This is a really nice looking Porter, It's just what I expect from the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the roasted malts being the first to show up and they impart some nice dark roasted malt, slightly grainy, coffee, and dark chocolate aromas. Up next comes fruity yeast which imparts a noticeable dark fruit and cherry like aroma with a slight bit of earthy hops showing up at the end. This beer has a good aroma and it's pretty much what I expect from the style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the dark roasted malts being the first to show up and they impart the exact same aspects that they did in the aroma with the dark chocolate seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes that same fruity yeast, but it's just a little lighter this time and it's followed by an even lighter amount of earthy hops. On the finish there's a very light amount of medium bitterness with a bitter coffee, lightly charred and light dark fruit aftertaste. This is a good tasting Porter, it's got nice balance and it's true to style.

M- Smooth, fairly crisp, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a very nice mouthfeel and I think it works very well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and I thought it was a good example of an American Porter, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in the style and it didn't seem to have weak points. This beer has good drinkability, it's smooth, fairly crisp, slightly sticky, not too filling and the taste does a good job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these especially during the colder weather. What I like the most about this beer was just how true to style it is, it reminds me of a couple local Porters that I first tried when I got into craft beer. What i like the least about this beer was nothing, I don't think it has any off flavors or any weak points. I would buy this beer again when In the mood and I might even have to put it against some of my favorites of the style. I would recommend this beer, especially if your a big fan of Porters. All in all I enjoyed this beer, it was just what I wanted out of the style and I'm glad to have this an option now. It's my new favorite Smuttynose beer and it's one of the better example of the style that I've had. Good job guys, this was a really tasty Porter, keep it up.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown hues at the bottom curve of the glass but otherwise black. Big fluffy light brown head.

Really nice chocolate and roast notes. Medium bodied and carbonated.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The second entry in my six bottle American Porter taste test. Deep black color in the glass, nearly opaque with a dark tan to leather brown colored head that lasted awhile, lacing the glass nicely. Rich (like a black coffee milkshake) mouthfeel, with roasted chocolate/coffee in the nose. A hint of malt sweetness (dark roasted) on the tongue and then a rich roasted smoke with a bit of residual sweetness, ending with a quick hint of bitterness. I understand the attraction and the beer was good, but the flavors came and went without really combining or balancing each other, as if it wasn't sure what it wanted to be. As the glass warmed, there was also a hint of astringent alcohol in the nose that was warming, yes, but detracted from the overall flavor. Again, I agree with the high ratings, but I was disappointed a bit in the way the flavors joined overall.

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Photo of Jasonkyeager
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

The perfect balance between malt and hops. Thought the smell was great. The taste was exactly for me. I'll definitely search this one out and try to find it. Great Beer.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

In brief, nice dark brown pour with light tan head. Smells strongly of dark malts, burn sugar, leather and smoke. Taste is strong burnt, bitter with mild sweet molasses and rather sharp, bitter carob/cocoa flavor and a lot of non specific smokey notes. Unlike any porter I've had, a little put off by the almost acrid flavor and finish. A bit of a burnt aftertasted I'm not accustomed to, perpahs this is typical of the style?

Good overall, complex flavor profile, I tend to prefer sweeter maltier porters.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look. Beautiful dark brown caramel, lusty tan head.
Smell. Toasted stuff, leather, spicey twang.
Taste. Toasted stuff, balanced, slight malt in the front, slight hoppy and dry finish.
Mouthfeel. Medium body, slight crispiness, a bit chewy in the back.
Overall. For me, it's a bit thin and a bit too middle of the road. I prefer a stronger lean toward either the malt or the hop. Not nuts about dry finishes in a dark beer.

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Photo of CHickman
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a huge foamy 2-3 finger dark tan colored head that had a ton of tiny bubbles and dissipated very slowly with craters forming as it dropped and foamy rings as it went down – a very impressive looking head.

Smells of roasted malt, cocoa powder, caramel, molasses, coffee beans, dark chocolate bar, some fruity sweetness like a citrus hop, and then more roasted espresso or coffee notes. Very nice smelling beer that is indeed robust smelling.

Tastes picks up where the nose left off and is a mix of cocoa powder, molasses, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, coffee beans, dark chocolate bar, citrus hops like grapefruit or orange peel, charred wood and some smoked grains that have a coffee or hop bitterness yet sweeten up as it finishes. The flavor is less coffee and chocolate and a tad more citrus sweetness, which was very interesting as it added nice balance and changed what I thought was going to be a malt heavy brew with a lot of roast to it; I really enjoyed the sweetness which was whipped cream-like and had toffee and/or brown sugar trail to the slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was smooth and on the watery side with mild carbonation, a medium body that had some chewy consistency, and a nice slightly bitter finish that had sweet fruit and sweet chocolate notes help it ease down quite enjoyably. A damn good porter that always delivers.

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Photo of Booty
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great Porter, one of my favorite. Pick up a Sixer, you'll love it. Perfect for the winter. Grab some before this Tues Blizzard. World Class for sure. Cheers.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.