Smuttynose Robust Porter - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

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1,041 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,041
Hads: 2,461
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.67%
Wants: 167
Gots: 306 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,041 | Hads: 2,461
Photo of dacrza1
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE REVIEWED: May 9, 2014... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... OCCASION: NFL draft, day two--and the Manziel rush dissipates with Gordon's suspension... APPEARANCE: thick two-finger brown head sits atop a jet black body--yup, it's a porter! thick, smeared lacing... AROMA: rich, toasted malty tone; toffee is present; hops are punchy but brief... PALATE: creamy, vibrantly active at the throat; a softened, stout-like profile that endears and demands another sip...TASTE: sweetly puckering malts, pleasant and easy drinking; toffee and lactic flavors predominate; robust, yes--but I do not detect the chocolate or coffee promised by the brewer's profile...OVERALLL: surprisingly distinctive in the genre--a truly worthwhile experience from a beer whose label suggests otherwise... (779 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear very very very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation percolating at the surface of the beer and traces of mahogany + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a mottled surface of very thick film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted dark malts with lighter notes of coffee beans. The smell of this brew intensifies as the beer warms up.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of roasted dark malts with light amounts of bittersweet chocolate and freshly brewed coffee. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish but it does not linger for long.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a moderate amount of dryness in the finish.

O: What a great beer - lots of complexity in the flavors and aromas of this beer which is quite flavorful but light enough in body/mouthfeel to make it very easy to drink. The lower ABV makes this one that I could enjoy a couple of pints in a single session. (1,159 characters)

Photo of u2carew
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head settles slowly. Tight, creamy, tan in color. Opaque body.
S) Coffee. Chocolate. Bready. Roasted grains.
T) Roasty and smoky notes. Chocolate. Hints of coffee. Subtle hop bite in the finish.
M) Full body. Dry finish.
O) A delicious porter. Great taste profile. I will definitely have another! (337 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black with little to no light coming through. Creamy, khaki head of 2 fingers. Terrific lacing.

S- Coffee, chocolate, roasted barley, and earthy hops.

T- Tons of roasted notes and coffee bitterness. Not the depth I prefer, but nice rich, unsweetened chocolate.

M- Mid body, charred, and dry

O- Solid. Not spectacular IMO, but not bad. (342 characters)

Photo of HopHog87
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving- bottle into a pint glass. "Pop-a-top Again!"

Appearance- Wonderful. Rich, thick ebony color with very abundant lacing.

Nose- Yum! Roast and Chololate.

Taste- Chocolate and toffee dominate this brew. Wow, is it good! My mouth is watering thinking about this one as I write! There is some caramel maltiness in the mix but not a standout in this beer which, in my opinion, makes it a winner. Too much carmel malt never was a good thing. Hints of smokiness but not so prominent that you'd classify it as a smoked porter. The mouthfeel is slightly thicker for a porter and oh so smooth.

Overall- This could easily be a stout. We all know the distinction is blurred anyway and, with this ABV and the amazing, robust taste (as the name suggest), it could be a stout. I'd probably not really be able to distinguish in a blind test. What I especially like about this one is that it was like a roasty/chocolatey beershake! Sweet but balanced. Awesome. My favorite porter to date. (983 characters)

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

Black as the night, with a medium heavy tan head
Malt, coffee beans, toffee, lots of roast character
WOW! Huge burst of flavor, coffee beans, espresso, chocolate, heavily roasted malt, large mouthfeel yet drinkable
Get one!! One of my favorite porters ever. (315 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour, thick and creamy looking with a nice brown head that dissipates somewhat quickly but has a lace that just doesn't give up on the side of the glass.

Nose is of straight up cocoa powder, with some nice alcoholic notes coming through with the burnt maltiness. Fruity as well, like banana bread with some raisins.

I was expecting a sweeter middle like the nose, but not such. Nice bitterness with the malt and warming alcohol. Surprisingly light bodied with the mouthfeel. The coffee notes are only there in the very end, I think I've probably got coffee breath after this one, not beer breath. There is some fruity sweetness, a little plum like, but really the malt is what comes through big here.

I'd come back to this one. Delicious. I don't know, "robust" just that word put ideas in my head that I was expecting sweet and heavy bodied. While definitely robust, it's not exactly fitting that bill. Compared to others in the style, I feel Smuttynose has done something more drinkable and more bitter, I can get the hops in there at the end as well. Good beer. (1,074 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says Best By 07/24/14.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown color that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass leaving a broken ring behind.

S- Dark roasted malt brings notes of coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla. Slightly sweet with some hazelnut notes.

T- Roast is medium-plus and lingers a bit. Mild caramel sweetness plays off the dark malts. The bitterness from both the roast and hops keeps the sweetness at bay and suppresses whatever chocolate notes that would otherwise be there.

M- Soft but tight from the medium carbonation. Full body.

O- Bold but manageable. Teeters on the border between porter and stout. Good stuff all the same. (842 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black in color with a two finger tan head. The head receded slowly.

S: Malted smells. Like Whoppers candy. Nice roasted smells.some marshmallow and hints f caramel.

T: Smoked flavor is strong up front. No lingering aftertaste.

M: Very smooth. Great drinkability. Perfect carbonation and no sapping late dry feeling that comes with a lot of beers

O: This is a great surprise find. Really flavorful and robust (good naming choice). Well balanced taste and mouthfeel. (471 characters)

Photo of Gk187
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black appearance with a Carmel head that coats the side of the glass and lasts thru the entire beer

There is a strong burnt coffee / bitter taste reminds me more of a stout then a porter.

A heavier mouthfeel then one would expect from a porter is its finest characteristic.

Overall this is a very good beer. (316 characters)

Photo of RCLOHR267
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer. Very dark in color. Has a slight kick to it, that I like. My first Smuttynose beer of a variety pack of 4 that I got from Jungle Jim's in Ohio, since it isn't available where I live. Has a slight coffee taste, but not too overpowering. Almost like a stout. Definitely worth trying for anyone who likes Porters. (328 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 50°F

Appearance: Thick pour; Black, no light coming through, with a thick two finger root beer float-like head that sticks around. Tremendous lacing. One of the nicest looking beers I've ever seen

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of smoke; The aromas are extremely clean and satisfying.

Taste: Rich chocolate and heavy roasted malts. Great smoky and burnt espresso-like aftertaste. Huge flavors for 6.0% abv.

Mouthfeel: Heavy medium; Very full-bodied and chewy for a regular porter.

Overall: This may very well be my favorite porter that I've personally tried and one of my favorite beers in general. Even better than Founders Porter in my opinion. Right when you think the flavors have subsided, they keep coming with a fulfilling, lingering aftertaste. It demands your attention at relatively low abv. Considering that this is practically the cheapest craft beer by the case in my area (yes, even more so than Sierra Nevada or even Samuel Adams), it has been my go to beer this winter as I've bought a few cases. Porters are often too thin and lack flavor, but this, Founders, and Edmund Fitzgerald keep me coming back to the style, especially on a chilly night. Robust and world class indeed! (1,272 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very dark with slight foamy head that retreats quickly. Smells of roasted malts and some caramel. Taste is of caramel, toffee, slight coffee, hops, and some coffee. Quite thick and really smooth. Thoroughly enjoyed this porter and probably one of the best! (260 characters)

Photo of Realbeer1542
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - perfect porter dark and smoky with a nice creamy head

Smell - Coffee, toffee, smoke and malt

Taste - follows smell - excellent and exactly what you would expect with a bit a sweetness

Mouthfeel - smooth and rich. medium carbonation. Nice aftertaste leaves you wanting more.

Overall - great beer. Enjoyed with a Turkey Rueben and some pub fries. Very nice. (373 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with a two-inch tan head that dissipates after about five minutes. Looks like a typical porter or stout - very thick and coffee-like.

Aroma: Drinkin' black coffee, starin' at the walls ... because this really smells like black coffee. It has some roasty, bitter, burned-chocolate notes in the nose, but black coffee dominates. Alcohol isn't really noticeable, despite the ABV, which is a tick above standard.

Taste: Follows the nose, and is mighty good. Tastes like bitter, black coffee. More of a sipper than most porters. Hops are present but alcohol isn't. Carbonation doesn't play a factor, either. "Robust" is a fair adjective, because this beer is full of flavor. Porters like this make me wonder why the style isn't more popular. I'd take this over any weird-flavored beer or uber-hopped or mondo-boozy beer any day.

Mouthfeel: It's reasonably thick-bodied. Not watery.

Overall: I've been to Smuttynose, the island off the coast of New Hampshire that serves as the brewer's namesake. It's a pleasant place to spend a quiet summer day; you can reach it by rowboat and watch what passes for civilization in New Hampshire's coastal islands fade into the distance. But I'd rather just have one of these beers. A terrific porter - I imagine one of the best domestic porters on the market. I paired it with a Field Roast sausage, spinach-and-potato pierogies and roasted broccoli. It was the star of the meal and imagine it would be the star of most meals. (1,548 characters)

Photo of tkelley
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from my beer of the every other month club poured into a tulip. Ive had this before. I know its awesome.

A - dark chocolate body with tan head. Good lacing and decent retention.

N - smells like dark berries... blueberries, blackberries, etc. Roasty too.

T - oh so hearty. Roasted malts. Very portery. No hop presence to speak of. There's something on the back end that I cant place but its very pleasant.

M - robust. Hearty. Earthy.

O - rivals Mayflower as best porter on the market around here.

Cheers! (522 characters)

Photo of BryanCarey
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Robust Porter is black in color and emits a nose of earthy malts, a touch of coffee, and some dark fruit. The tan- colored head of foam is substantial, recedes slowly, and coats your glass with lacing as you consume.

This porter is full- bodied and rich, featuring flavors like chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasted malt, and caramel. Searching a little further, I picked up on flavors like molasses, nuts, and an earthy, woody character. The beer is well- balanced between sweet and bitter and is remarkably smooth for its style.

A beer that easily lives up to its name, Smuttynose Robust Porter is a beer that keeps on giving. With each sip, I continue to discover more taste sensations and more reasons to rank this beer among my favorite examples of the style. Many brewers make their porters a little on the thin side, but there is no skimping on body with this beer. It is full, rich, complex and delicious.

This porter isn’t easy to find outside of New Hampshire, but I recommend picking up a bottle or six if you can find them. It’s an amazing, full- bodied brew with complexity that doesn’t quit, balance that doesn’t deviate, and smoothness that doesn’t let you down. It’s a delicious beer that everyone should seek out and try. (1,261 characters)

Photo of KnNashua
4.98/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best Porter I've found, enjoyed this time on tap, but love from a bottle poured.

If you like porter, and you want one that is robust then this Robust Porter is it.

Dark brown, substantial in taste and body yet not overly heavy or unbalanced, it has no offputting aromas or tastes yet is a powerful beer that makes no excuses for its vigorously brawny qualities.

Not only Smuttynose's best, its the finest porter. (419 characters)

Photo of ZachKelly
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard American pint glass. Bottle had a best by date in November 2014.

A: Pours an opaque chocolatey brown, almost black. My pour was not meant to be extremely careful, and provided a large light brown head. The head slowly dissipated to a 2 finger size, as the beer continued to settle it was no more than an inconsistent cover on top. Tremendous lacing on the glass.

S: Dark chocolate and earthy malt on the nose immediately. A second whiff reveals more malt and coffee.

T: Chocolate and roasted malt. A bready taste accompanies the rest with a nice espresso finish.

M: not the most impressive mouth, very easy to drink and smooth. The espresso flavor lingers.

Strongly recommend this as one of the best readily available Porters. (781 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, best by 03/16/2014, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 12/23/2013. Continuing as part of my latest push to try more shelf porters.

Pours an absolutely beautiful, dark black body with a ginormous 2 finger mocha head with good retention. Eventually falls into the beer leaving a thick brown collar, brown film and some bubbly lacing. Looks great.

Smells interesting- some dark fruits, a bit of roast, molasses and bitter black coffee. Not insanely strong, but quite complex and interesting. I'm enjoying the nose and spending time trying to decipher what is going on here, especially as it warms.

Flavourwise, its not quite as interesting as the nose but its quite good. Up front, bitter dark chocolate, espresso, with a fairly nutty flavour in the middle and some sweet milk chocolate and molasses on the back end which eventually gets overcome by an earthy bitterness. It's complex and interesting like the nose is, and balanced to boot.

Medium bodied porter, great carbonation for the style. Slight sipping qualities due to its interesting flavour and smell profile. Quite doggone bitter for the style- aftertaste is an earthy bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

Very interesting and complex porter. It's a great bit of fun to review this as there seems to be a good amount of things going on. It's not intense but it'll make you think about your palate a bit. The bitterness is the only thing that keeps it from disappearing as fast as it should, but it brings a new dimension to porters for me. Its certainly not the best robust porter in the New England area (Everett taking that spot) but there's no shame in that. I will definitely choose to buy this again when I want to mix it up from Edmund Fitzgerald and Black Butte. (1,768 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass
A: Very dark brown, almost black with a one-finger tan head
S: Rich with roasted malts, cocoa, coffee, vanilla and a touch of hops
T: Bold, nutty, cocoa, coffee, a bit of molasses and just a slight hop bitterness
M: Fairly full-bodied, smooth with a hint of carbonation
O: Tasty, well made, a nice beer for a cold day (357 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark brown/black, opaque, and tan fizzy head

Aroma: bold and roasty, molasses, figs, nutty, and very aromatic

Taste: bold with roasty, nutty, and molasses flavors. Fairly balanced but with a sweet finish. Very tasty

Mouthfeel: medium full body, great texture, somewhat silky but also medium carbonation and a nice bite on the end

Overall: A great porter, embodying the robust style by bringing in the more developed malt character with figs, nuts, and molasses to complement the roastiness. Overall a great beer! (528 characters)

Photo of davednyc
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely loved this beer. I think a few others referred to it as a 'Stout', and I have to agree (although my only method of comparing a porter is mouthfeel and overall heartiness).

I get a lot of smokiness from this brew.

My wife got one of these in a sampler. I immediately returned to the distributor and bought a six. (324 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

served cold, boring pint glass, poured slow. November 11, 2013, bottle stamped drink before February 2014.... okay, I'll take care of that!

It's dark dark brownish-black. Leaves a beautiful fluffy head that just stays there for a much longer time than most.

Smell is nice and roasty malt... Is that cocoa, vanilla, molassis, brown sugar and cinammon? maybe I'm going crazy, I didn't read other reviews as to avoid bias, but they may nail the scents better...

Taste is good but with a problem. It is very nice and rich, cocoaey, but there is a hoppiness that I don't quite understand - it's like it is clashing with the malt, not working with it. This gives it a hairspray alcohol tinge that is making me switch the rating from a 4 to a 3.25. If it weren't for that edge, oh me oh my... but that edge...

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Porters are generally thinner, but this one is more... robust? I *love* the robustness.

Finish is dry, probably from that hop tinge that got in the way with the flavor.

Well, this is a good beer. If you see it, it is definitely worth trying. If you are looking for a more chewy than typical porter with a bit of a hop snap, you will love this. Otherwise, just try it for yourself anyway because it is worth it. (1,258 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a deep deep brown. Bug fizzy tan head has nice retention and leaves big lacing throughout the beer. Aroma is malty but not too heavy. Seems to be missing some oomf. Taste is pretty good. Nice roasted malt but not much complexity. Some alcohol sweetness is present. A little fizzy in the mouth. Overall it's a good but not great porter. (346 characters)

Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,041 ratings.