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Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

1,069 Reviews
For Trade:
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: 2,635
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/8/2015. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around- the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roast and herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome porter style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink for the abv. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for around $15.00 for a 6pk of 355ml bottles. Served at a chilly 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a small head that is gone pretty darn fast. Very dark.

S- Has some good malt and coco. Slight toffee

T- Lots of coco. Touch of chocolate. Some coffee. Very light all around. No detection of alcohol period. Not really a good thing at 6.6% so be careful.

M- Light but grainy. Typical porter dryness.

O- Rather nice porter. Porters are not my cup of tea but as far as porters go this one is pretty good.

Food Pairing

This pretty good porter went well with..... Fish and chips. Wasn't the best pairing but it was pretty good. Halibut in a beer batter- Porter beer!


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Photo of dbl_delta
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Surprisingly heavily carbonated. Dark reddish-brown. Solid two-finger head; nice lacing.

This is not as sweet as a lot of the porters. There is malt, coffee, chocolate - but not overwhelming. It finishes on a nice dry, bitter note.

A really good porter. Right up there with Edmund Fitz.

(Where DOES Smuttynose find their pictures for the labels??)

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Photo of uvachief
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep dark mahogany red. One of the best looking beers I have seen. Full 3 fingers of head with abb aggressive pour. Nice lingering head with lacing. Smell the malt, coffee and chocolate. Not as full in the mouth as you would expect from the head and look but not light either. Carbonation is heavy. Chewy though. Taste the malts and hops but well balanced and smooth. Very subtle coffee and chocolate notes. Goes down easy without burn or boozy aftertaste. Less spice than expected. Good winter porter. I could drink several back to back. Halfway through a pint and head still lingers with nice lacing. Very impressive porter.

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Photo of mick303
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, good appearance with a dark brown colour and good film retention. Smell had coffee and some dark cocoa but also some fusual alcohol esters. Pleasant roasty and licorice herbalness. Taste is creamy with chocolate and toasty malt and a good dose of bitter earthy hop notes. Pleasant feel, dark licorice notes, dark malt, some orange spice. Good roastiness with a creamy satisfying mouthfeel. Enjoyable porter, some warmth and spice to it. Pretty good balance to make it a satisfying but quenching porter.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Roasted malt nose, dark opaque black with brown head. Strong malt up front with lingering coffe and some hops to finish. Delightful stuff. One of my favorites of the style.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Good flavor, but really strong. A little too strong. Okay, it's about as strong as the guy in the unitard on the label: like it's been working out for years and taking selfies at the gym.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally made it to my 500 the review. Purchased a six pack from the LCBO for just under $15 CDN. Wanted something pretty special for the review, and while this isn't uncommon for the neighbours to the south, this is pretty special to get up here in Canada. Advertised as 6.6% ABV. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - nearly black coloured beer and covered with a dense two fingers of tan head. Impossible to see inside this beauty and the head retention is pretty great. Very good looking beer.

Smell - plenty of dark roasty chocolate aromas and some coffee. Not much else, but comes through with a ice blend of those two big aromas.

Taste - coffee and dark chocolate, with each sip seeming to alternate between which of the two flavours is more dominant. Usually starts a bit sweet lending itself to the chocolate feel before the bitterness of the hops and the coffee flavours take over. Just a bit of sweet vanilla caramel mixture in thee too.

Mouthfeel - smooth, well carbonated, full bodied. Long lasting aftertaste and slightly dry finish.

Overall - a very well crafted American porter, not quite Edmund Fitzgerald in my mind but certainly a worthy offering for my 500th review. For my fellow Canadians, pick this up while you can.

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

Pours out a deep brown with a thin, tan head. Smells of roast malts, brown sugar, mild fruity esters. I'm surprise there's no coffee in this. Big coffee and roasted malt flavor dominates. Solid bitterness in the finish, which feels like a mix of roasted malt and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight. Carbonation is relaxed. Overall, this is a very solid porter, leaning more towards stout territory IMO.

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Photo of fank2788
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
A shade lighter than black and semi opaque, the bubbles on top are thin and light khaki in color. The smell is coffee and roast malt, dark caramel maybe a hint of chocolate and a bit of floral hops. The taste is a wonderful balance of the roast malt character combined with bitter black coffee and a rather assertive hop bitterness that blends nicely with the bitter character of the malts. Medium in body with low to medium levels of carbonation, the finish is a little bit dry and definitely bitter I'd prefer it to be just a bit more smooth and have a sweeter finish. Overall this is quite good I cant believe I've overlooked it for as long as I have.

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Photo of FLima
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black color with a thin caramel head with short retention.
Aroma with lots of slightly spiced cocoa, coffee and muffled dark fruits.
Nice flavor with notes of chocolate, some espresso, licorice, earthy and piney hops, charred wood and grapefruits. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness and a long lasting roasted note.
Medium body with mild but vivid carbonation.
Flavorful and superbly balanced Porter. Bold mocha roasted notes and a good complexity and hop profile: earthy, citrusy and piney. Huge drinkability, a truly American Porter, not radical.

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Photo of mschipper
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured into a glass pint. Very dark beer with a thick brown head, moderate amount of lacing that sticks for the duration of the drink. Smell is raisin and coffee with hint of piney hops. Taste, absolutely delicious. Raisin, toasted caramel, dark burnt coffee, piney hops, and perhaps date or plum. Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation, very smooth. Overall, an outstanding porter. Well done by Smuttynose especially as I'm not a fan of most of their brew.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic pint. 6.6% abv. "BEST BY 03/11/15". enjoyed on november 14, 2014

a: quite dark but not pitch black. glowing cola-chestnut hues at the bottom of the glass. an aggressive pour yields three fingers of coffee-coloured head that leaves behind sub-par lacing

s: great balance between chocolaty malt scents and citrusy-piney hop qualities. under that are subtle notes of raisins, caramel, and coffee

t: big chocolate and bitter black coffee in the front, some slight woody tastes, and a noticeable grapefruity, piney hop presence. shy notes of caramel and dark fruits mid-palate. has a very dry finish that feels like biting into pure cocoa beans or having a really strong dark roast coffee. the wood taste lingers

m: medium-ish body and low carbonation. a bit thin

o: lots of good porter/stout flavours, with interesting hop touches. delicious

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Photo of aleigator
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Spongy, decent head with a froth brown head, pours a dark brown color.

Has aromas of toffee, coffee, creamy chocolate, roasted malts, hints of raisins and salt - very inviting, also very sweet smelling.

Begins with wooden malts among a toffee sweetness with hints of cane sugar, which directly turns more present, accompanied by molasse. Burned malts settle the balance in this one, smoothing the way for a spicy coffee bitterness, wrapped up by soft cream, creating a smooth mouthfeel. High carbonation adds complexity and piercing force to the coffee, which punshes in a pleasant way through the slick sweetness, creating a convincing, diversified complexity. Finishes very smooth, sweetness turns coca-cola like for a split-second, soon getting detained by rich, roasted, unsweetened chocolate and coffee, along with wooden hints.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted coffee, chocolate, smoke, caramel, earthy, and bready malts.

Taste: Some creaminess to go with above aromas and slight ashy bitterness in there too. Balance of flavors throughout every sip.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little creamy, low to medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little chewy, and light bitterness.

Overall: Pretty sweet porter. Enjoyed a lot over the years and many more in the future too.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best before 03/11/15.

Great looking pour from the bottle. Black with some brown/ruby highlights and a large tan head with great retention. Tons of roasted malts and chocolate in both the aroma and flavor. Full bodied and dry, yet so smooth and easy to drink.

This is one of my favorite porters. Hands down. So full of flavor with a big roasted quality but excellently balanced. I love that this beer is readily available to me all year round. It's something that is in my fridge more than other beers.

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Photo of philbe311
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Two fingers worth of tightly packed crisp medium to dark khaki colored froth with a bit of a batter like top... Turns a bit creamier as it settles a bit... Really nice retention... The color is a deep dark brown... There was a slight reddish hue noticed during the pour... Mostly still with just a few micro carbonation streaks seen towards the top of the glass... Chocolate, coffee and roasted malt in near equal proportions... Everything a porter should display on the nose... The flavor profile tilts towards to a lot more of the roasted malt and slightly less of the coffee and chocolate notes... There is also a subtle but complimentary hop presence... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Slightly dense... Moderate to sharp carbonation... There is a slight grittiness and chalkiness about this one... Finishes with just a touch of dryness... An outstanding American Porter... When combining that with the modest price point, this could prove to be a go to brew...

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Photo of larryarms847
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown with lots of caramel tinged foam that dissipates quickly.

Cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts and some earthiness.

Toasted malts, rich dark chocolate, coffee, and some toffee notes to boot.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, like coffee with cream.

Overall a damn fine porter and something to try once or dozens of times.

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Photo of ttroha
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Bottle at the Rookery. Dark black with frothy white head. Aroma of roasted coffe and chocolate. Taste of roasted coffee with a bit of sweetness at the backend. Medium bodied with a mild bitter aftertaste

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stout glass. Looks black and slick-bodied, visible carbonation with a finger-width of tan head.
Smells of roasted coffee and chocolate. Mostly coffee. Nice.
This has flavors of coffee and chocolate notes, and despite the hops lending an additional tobacco/ char flavor to me, it seems nicely balanced.
Smooth, medium to light mouthfeel. Seems earthy and quite dry.
This was enjoyable even though porters aren't my go-to preference. I haven't tried too many, in fact I recall only Black Butte, and that was excellent. This one seems solid too.

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Photo of mpbenr
4/5  rDev -3.4%

A Nice head atop deep brown body. Noticeable coffee notes with enough sweet/bitter interplay to keep me interested. More fizz than other porters, but balanced by a slightly sweet back. Mild aroma and a good foamy-cling to my glass. Not the best but another good example of the style.

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Photo of BradenMK
4.82/5  rDev +16.4%

One of the best beers made in America, bar none. Within the style, this is honestly the best I've ever had. It is amazingly smooth, and big for its's abv %, with the smell of a chicory/mocha latte and the taste of earthy hop-infused milk chocolate. It's dark, it's smooth, and it's textured, but the flavor is pure comfort food (drink). It can be a little hard to find sometimes (not because of distro, either, just because a lot of places choose not to pick it up), but do yourself a favor - if you like porters and you see this one PICK IT UP.

It's a sin, I know, but one of my favorite guilty pleasures is to go pick up some cheap chocolate ice cream and go to town on it alongside one or two of these guys. A match made in heaven.

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Photo of JasW
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a beautiful light mocha colored head that dissipates relatively quickly and leaves only moderate lacing. Coffee notes predominate, and roasted black malts give a pleasant bite to this full bodied yet smooth brew.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle while camping.
Smells really roasty and hints of coffee and molasses.
Tastes fantastic, maybe the best Smuttynose Ive had, lots of roasted malt, coffee and molasses.
Mouthfeel was silky and inviting.
Overall, this was a surprising beer to me. I loved it!

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Photo of hail_seitan
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass

A - Rick dark cocoa-colored body with a foamy latte head.

S - Ridiculously roasty - tobacco, molasses, and espresso. Just a hint of ripe fruit esters.

T - The roasted malt notes are immediate and enveloping - think a decadent dark double chocolate chip cookie. A touch of dark roast coffee in there, too. The finish has a dash of piney bitterness from the hops and some fruity esters.

M - Velvety and creamy, cut a bit thin feeling on the finish. The carbonation is lively but not overwhelming.

O - A fantastic porter. The best New England example of an American-style porter I have had to date. Founders Porter and Deschutes Black Butte probably are a hair better, but damn, if this isn't a great beer.

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