1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Roebling Imperial Robust Porter - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Roebling Imperial Robust PorterRoebling Imperial Robust Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

243 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.89%
Wants: 5
Gots: 51 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beejay on 10-22-2011

Brewed with imported sweet vanilla beans, cold pressed espresso/coffee & raw cane sugars.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by misterkew:
More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Saw this and passed on it while in Cincy this past summer. Pours deep dark nearly black with cola brown highlights, light khaki tan head dwindles quick as the pour. Aroma has hints of Hershey's chocolate syrup, mild coffee roasts, and hints of creamy vanilla character. The chocolate syrup, baker's chocolate combo comes off up front, very sweet for an imperial porter, it's packing a bit of residual sugar. Okay I just read the six pack holder, imported sweet vanilla beans, cold pressed espresso, and raw cane sugars. It's kind of confused, limited malt profile, big alcohol expression, and one sided sweetness from the raw cane sugars. The coffee additions to give it that acrid bitterness that add some balance with the dark roasted malts. It's totally missing something in the backend of the finish, hits hard with the burnt roasts, sweet sugars, and vanilla upfront and it all disappears. Mouthfeel becomes a bit cloying rich residual sugars overwhelm my palate, throw some of this in some whiskey barrels see how it adds to the beer. Overall, first beer from Rivertown I appreciate at all, so that's a complement.

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear reddish-brown but looks nearly black in the glass.

Aroma: vanilla, dark roasted malts, coffee and hints of smoke and dark chocolate.

The flavor is a bit sweet, and probably seems more so due to the ample use of vanilla, but there is a clear if mild bitterness too, and some coffee in the finish and aftertaste.

O: well crafted and tasty but not as robust as an "Imperial Robust Porter" should be.

Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is dark, almost black but that it lets a little brown peek through. The tan head that forms is small but tight, lasts for neither a long or short time, and leaves just enough spotting to be what I would consider slightly above average in appearance.
There's a bit of a roasted malts note going on here, which isn't traditional but that I do like. Otherwise, some dark cocoa nib comes through strongest. There's the faintest touch of vanilla sweetness that is hard for me to get at first. It comes out more strongly as it sits to counter the robust, malty sort of bitterness.
The body isn't as big as it should be, at an average medium, slightly lacking richness and depth as it goes. It may be that it's only got a bit of smoothness to it, that the carbonation is present but doesn't "move," per se, but whatever it is, it could use a bit more. Otherwise, this is the best or close to it that I've tried from Rivertown to memory.

Photo of secondtooth
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deepest brown/black in appearance, with a small, single-finger head and almost no lace at all. Not impressive.

Nose is sweet chocolate. Unusual but appealing.

Taste is deliciously brownie-like at first, with more fudge or chocolate and only a hint of coffee. Overall flavor is a bit sour, though, but otherwise I downed this with no trouble. If this is an "imperial", I get no sense of a heightened alcohol content. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this one.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.03/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours dark brown, almost black into a tulip. Thin in body, very little, quickly fading, eggshell colored head. Leaves no lacing at all as it fades.

S - Not much aroma at all. What smell I can pull from it is of toasted nuts, faint hints of burnt marshamallow.

T - Alot of vanilla, almost vanilla extract flavor. There's no body to this beer. Its more similar to vanilla coke than to any other porter I've had. The label notes "like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie". Where's the coffee and chocolate? Where's the chewiness I was promised? There's also a slight sourness to it. Could I have an infected bottle? I don't toss the "infection" word around lightly, I think this beer may be off.

M - As stated twice before, there's no toothiness to it. No body, too much carbonation.

O - Not a good beer. I pride myself on being a porter afficianado. Its my favorite style. This was one of the worst I've ever had.

Photo of McNealc31
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like every other porter. Roasted malt, smoke, coffee, and chocolate in the aroma. Carbonation gives a bit of bite, Flavor isn't quite as big as the aroma sets up, but it's well balanced and has a wonderful finish. Charred oak lasts forever.

Nice, but not amazing

Photo of chuck-chillout
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A buddy of mine gave me this beer from a (make your own) six pack.

At first look:
I liked the packaging...very clear and laid out vey well. (i like that in any product; if they pay atten to the outside chances are good they will do the same with the inside.. :) )
At first smell:
the coffee piece hits you right away, but gives way to vanilla and some sweeter lighter notes. Nice :) ; To get the nose to layer like that is impressive.
At first taste:
As the name states it is very robust in the front....coffee and roasted flavors hold down the first half..then you feel the ABV kick in (7.8% nice :) )....with a stroke of the vanilla as the tail lightens up (in mouth feel and body). This laying is there sip after sip...

Im new to this but with a complex and very ordered nose and taste this beer has made it into my regular and fav's all in one bottle. (Two locked it in for me...lol)
Now i know imperials aernt for everyone....and if so try this one when your up for it. But I like stronger beers and this one borders on an ohio guinness for me.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch light tan head that went away quickly. There's pretty much no lacing left on the glass. Aroma is malty and roasty, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is just like the aroma, it's all roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, although it does taste better than it smells. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and goes down easy. For $9.99 a 6-pack, I'm not going to have any problems finishing this sixer. Looking at the past reviews for this beer, either I like it more than most people do, or all of the good batches of this beer were sent to Columbus.

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Updated review 8-22-2012

A: Dark brown in color. Caramel color in the head, nice and full with frog eyes slowly taking over the full head.

S: Rich chocolate and Vanilla come out at first, with coffee backing it up. Like smelling a dark roast coffee with vanilla beans. Rich and beautiful.

T: This is the porter I remember. Vanilla and Coffee infused into a deep dark chocolate. Sweet, but bold. I like it a lot.

M: Medium to medium thick. The carbonation is a little on the high side in my opinion, the finish is a little astringent with dark malts finishing it out. Still not the creamy texture I want. Were this on nitro tap it would be fantastic.

O: Overall very good. I'm glad that whatever issues the brewery had with this beer seem to have been resolved.

---

Original Review 10-22-2011 (2.78)
A: Medium brown as it pours, in the glass it is black. The head is soft and creamy looking and tan in color. (4.0)

S: Some nice bready notes that I associate more with British yeasts. Notes of Vanilla, and coffee with dark roasted grains in the finish. (3.5)

T: Definitely vanilla, with some notes of coffee. There is almost a tart note in this that I am not in love with. The finish is roasted grain, a touch of coffee, and there is a slight metallic flavor in it. (2.5)

M: Medium thin in body, the carbonation seems a tad high. (2.5)

O: Overall I am not very impressed by this beer. I had it on tap once, and recall it being quite delicious, but the bottled version seems a bit off to me. I decided to taste a second bottle, and the flavor is the same.The bottle describes it as: "Like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie." That is not what it tastes like. (2.5)

Photo of yeahman
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle at Molly Malones. Nice dark color with a deep tan head. Smell is of deep chocolate and slight vanilla. Taste is definitely chocolate heavy. Espresso flavor was lost on me. Nicely balanced with a vanilla finish. Behind the winter this is my favorite beer from them. 7.8%abv

Photo of CAF
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

I thought this was a fine porter. A lot of character and flavor. The vanilla and sweetness were a bit too much for me, but the coffee and dark chocolate bitterness did go a long way in balancing out the flavor.

A: Dark as the night with a decent low lacing head
S: Very strong dark chocolate
T: Deep slightly bitter chocolate with a hint of vanilla
M: It came in at average for a dark beer, which was still quite present
O: I enjoyed the beer, I thought it could have used a bit less sweetness and vanilla it almost felt unnatural, but it is a great beer to split with some friends...especially those who are just treading into darker territory.

Photo of buschbeer
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It has a dark brown body with ruby highlights. I rather timid pour yielded a half a glass of tan head.

S - At first I didn't get much, but as it warmed the chocolate and vanilla aromas came out.

T - It starts out with some chocolate and then I get some vanilla in the middle. Some chocolate lingers on my palate after each drink.

M - Medium

O - I really like this beer. I have only had it on tap until this serving, and the bottle lived up to the draft. I would be satisfied with drinking this all winter.

Photo of IlliniRob
1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle.

A -- Pours a translucent dark brown. Minimal head and minimal retention.

S -- Weak notes of coffee, chocolate and vanilla.

T -- Taste on the front of the tongue is actually pretty pleasant, with chocolate and malt, but as soon as it touches the back of your tongue, gives way to an overpowering and unbalanced sourness. Not pleasant in a "sour ale" type of way with these flavors. If I weren't cheap I would have dumped this before finishing the beer; it does get better towards the end since your tastebuds are dulled.

M -- Moderately chewy with the chocolate and malt, but finishes thin.

Overall -- I drink a lot of beer but I don't often review it. That said, I felt I had to review this one as a public service, to prevent others from wasting their money on it. The label reads "Roebling Porter brings tons of chocolate aroma and a docile acidity", but it's more accurate to say that it brings a bit of chocolate and a gallon of vinegar. I will avoid beers from this brewery in the future.

Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color. It poured with a half-finger high off white head that died down and left patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are faint aromas of vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of chocolate with notes of vanilla and hints of espresso. As the beer warms up, the vanilla becomes stronger and resembles imitation vanilla extract.
M: It feels somewhat short of medium-bodied on the palate but is smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but would be much more interesting if it had stronger aromas and flavors. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a La Fin Du Monde snifter. Dark, clear mahogany color with a slight ruby tint. Decent size head very quickly fizzles out. Nose is faint with a slight vanilla cola note to it. Not really getting any coffee or roasty tones.

Medium-bodied beer with a fairly thin mouthfeel. There is a good deal of vanilla, especially at the front of the palate, but unfortunately there isn't really enough malty sweetness to complement it. I know this beer is made with coffee, but I'm not getting any coffee notes from it. I get some vanilla, then some hops, and that's about it.

I tried this beer at a tasting and really liked it (perhaps I had a different version of it). This bottle was a big disappointment. I was hoping for something creamy-feeling, with sweet malt and vanilla balancing out some bitter, roasty coffee tones. What I got was fizzy, vanilla-flavored tonic water. This was a great idea for a beer (a vanilla and coffee imperial porter). Unfortunately, it was rather poorly executed. I seriously hope that Rivertown goes back to the drawing board on this and changes a few things. If they do, I'll try it again.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into tulip. Nice brown with tan head - slightly reddish hue. Awesome vanilla and slight chocolate roasty aroma.
Mild brown caramel and vanilla flavor...quite nice. Its a bit thin and lacking in body but drinks really easy. Its almost a very dark brown ale more than a porter, but is in general a pretty good brew. Not sure why such low reviews...maybe because its a little thin, but the flavor is there. For almost 8% abv, this drinks insanely smooth...feels like its 4%. I definitely reccomend this one...

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

2.5 A: Black color. Half a finger of fizzy tan head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. I know how coffee can wreak havoc on head retention, so I went easy on them.

3.5 S: Loads of vanilla in this with coffee secondary. Smells like something too sweet that you might order from Starbucks. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, but it's hard to tell since the vanilla and coffee are quite strong. Doesn't really smell a lot like beer, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

3.5 T: Again, not a lot of beer flavor in this beer, but it's still a tasty drink. Vanilla isn't at all overdone and it meshes well with the coffee. Slight graininess is detectable. Simple, but tasty.

3.0 M: Lighter body. A little more carbonation that is necessary, but it isn't really a bad thing. The only thing I don't like is that it's lacking creaminess. Otherwise, very smooth.

3.5 D: I enjoyed this, but I won't lie to you and say it's a good beer. The adjuncts are way more powerful than the beer itself. In any case, it's a tasty drink.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Not a bad pour a 1/2 of mocha head that fizzes out rather quickly to just a mild lace ring. Color is a fairly dark amber brown with a red hue yet not pitch black like an imperial porter should be.
S - Smell is amazing with vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet mocha like coffee.
T - Kind of muddled so I guess the smells were artificial. Fizzy chocolate cream meets some oak and citrus hops. Where is the dry yeast finish is this even a porter? Not offensive just not what I expected from the smell.
M - Kind of creamy with a chewy medium body. Pretty on par.
Overall I guess it's an alright porter reading the label it seemed like a weak porter with a shit ton of vanilla, coffee, and cane sugars added. Expect this going into it.

Photo of BB1313
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues, kakhi head that fades and leaves a little lacing. The aromas are subtle and full of chocolate malts, vanilla bean, and expresso. The flavors are full of black coffee and cream. This one has a solid sweetness to it, although remains somewhat bitter. The flavors are solid, but a little watered down. Mouthfeel is very solid. It's light, but fluffy and creamy. There's a refreshing smoothness going on. The active carbonation makes this an extremely easy drinking beer. The alcohol goes completely unnoticed. There's no way I would've guessed this beer was almost 8% abv.

This is a solid beer, but nothing too special.

Photo of Jeffkrieger
4/5  rDev +9%

Smooth imperial porter with some coffee/chocolate/vanilla flavor. Excellent after work beer for the fall/winter!

Photo of Ryan011235
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 1/11/12

Dark brown with a slight grape juicy highlight at the stem. A bubbly, one finger head thins out quickly, leaving a skim over most of the top of the beer. No lace. The Roebling beckons no merriment.

The aroma finds our a rag-tag band of cocoa powder, chocolate fudge, vanilla and coffee beans wandering from the earthy landscapes of forest toward the metallic charge of industrialization and, having grown inclined to rest, are now in not-too-far proximity of a campfire.

After a short sleep on topsy-turvy ground, our heroes make a breakfast concoction of last night's cold coffee, pan-roasted bitter chocolate and vanilla from a bottle that dropped and broke in the dirt. Tangy, roasted and bitter flavors pick at their wiry bones.

Not one for a hearty breakfast, coffee beans procures and adds a large dram of club soda; seems he prefers things on the thin and bubbly side.

The finished product not being the most pleasing, our heroes decide to drink it regardless. After all, it's better than hitting one's head against the wall.

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this brew on tap at Tony’s in Athens Ohio out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a brown hue with a minimal off-white lace.

S: Malty aroma with a coffee backbone.

T: Slightly astringent coffee notes with a semi-smooth flavor that finishes on the sweet/tart
side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent porter – worthy of a try.

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good starting head (for a bar pour). It leaves a blanket of streaky, non-lasting lace. The color is deep ruby brown where bright light will pass.

Interestingly, I smell berry initially--almost like Hi-C. There's a darker chocolate aroma in the background.

This beer tastes like chocolate milk. Good body with a lower level of bubbles. This is sweeter than most porters. It also doesn't have the harsher flavors of the stronger porters. I like this more mellow offering--it's flavorful without being harsh.

Photo of Spider889
2.32/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On draft at Bodega:

Served in a shaker pint. Black, no head, no lace.

Smells of vanilla extract, cocoa beans, and heady dark english malts.

The flavor isn't exactly bad, but the vanilla flavor is overwhelming and artificial. It overshadows everything else (aside, maybe, from the Hershey chocolate syrup flavor).

Medium bodied with lower than adequate carbonation.

I wound up giving up on the attempt to finish this glass and just ordered something else instead.

Photo of movingtrain
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown, almost black with reddish hues around the edges of the glass. Head is minimal, white in color.

The aroma is of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, coffee, and a hint of cinnamon in there.

Okay, so, the flavor is super sweet up front...major tones of vanilla in there. Behind that sweetness resides milk chocolate, cinnamon, apple, brown sugar, and cherry. As the beer finishes, it has an element in it that is reminiscent of cough syrup...rather medicinal.

Overall, this is an interesting porter, and very sweet. Though, the sweetness seems to mostly come from a vanilla aspect in the beer (as the label reads: "Imperial Robust Porter, Ale with natural flavors added"). For a porter, this one is a bit on the sweet side. For a vanilla bean porter, this is a success. The label also states that there is coffee added, too. And it suggests that it tastes "Like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie." I would agree with that.

I'm not sure this porter, though, would be as interesting without the vanilla flavor.

As it stands, the body of the beer is fairly thin, but the overall tone of the beer holds a unique take on the style. Worth taking some sips, for sure.

to view more.
Roebling Imperial Robust Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.