Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Roebling Imperial Robust Porter - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Roebling Imperial Robust PorterRoebling Imperial Robust Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

50 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 260
Avg: 3.46
pDev: 42.2%
Wants: 5
Gots: 60 | FT: 0
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 50 | Hads: 260
Photo of NoHorsePiss
5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Among the cheapest of the thick, dark beers at my neighborhood store, I decided to give this a try and then looked up the rating when I got home. I was pretty disappointed, but when I re-read the label's description, I didn't see how I couldn't like it unless the brewers were delusional in their claims.

I put it away and waited to drink it until I wasn't sure which of the ones remaining had a poor review, so I wasn't setting myself up to not enjoy my weekly beer.

I was NOT disappointed with this in any way. It was a delight, all-around - my analysis below:

A - Poured into a pint glass with about two of my smallish fingers of head. The glass was clean when it was gone. It's quite dark with nothing to see through.

S - It smells of fruit, vanilla, caramel, and malt. I even sat and sniffed it until the head was gone.

T - My first sip had me telling my wife how pleasant it was. It was clean and generally yummy because it has such a nice caramel and malt tone. I had no need for any chips, but I was in the mood for Nacho Cheese Doritos and was washing down the chips with the beer instead of the other way around.

M - Almost no carbonation. It was smooth and creamy-ish. Just a light coating in the mouth that lingers and makes you savor it like anything else that tastes great and stays behind in your mouth after swallowing.

O - I had given up on Porters in favor of stouts until this. I'm not an expert but I'm developing a mental catalogue of what tastes and the descriptions used on labels are up my alley. For the price, I'm going to stock up on this as a very, very nice drink to enjoy without spending $4-$5 per bottle for the barleywine style and more expensive RIS bottles.

 1,699 characters

Photo of friesec
4.95/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at Rivertowns grand-opening of their taproom. I've been a fan since I stumbled upon it a few weeks ago.
The rich roastly smell accompanied by the malty chocolate taste goes down really smooth.
I really do not understand why this beer has not received better reviews. I realize I'm new to this hobby of beer tasting and such, but this beer is just awesome. Mad props to the fellas at Rivertown for a great experience at the taproom and for making some damn good beer.

 492 characters

Photo of edfish
4.76/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the tap room Nitro style!
A- poured in a plastic cup, Geeze had to wait a minute for the carbination to settle before I could get my full pour! Dark head tons -o-mini bubbles.
S- Hints of coffee and chocolate
T- Oh man, extra smooth nitro coco coffee richness! Very pleasing to the taste buds!
M- Oh man again, rich and creamy toasty goodness, full mouthfeel pleasure, leads to a nice dry coco finish
O- To be honest I don't care for porters. But dude I am turned! This a very smooth rich and creamy coco sensation! Not sweet but rich in flavor, I got to eat the barley put into the brew and it is delish! Not nearly as good as just plain barley but man a excellent beer!

 685 characters

Photo of yeahman
4.29/5  rDev +24%
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

 291 characters

Photo of davemathews68
4.29/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My deviation was quite heigh so I feel as if I must clarify the reason.

A - black with brown highlights. Vary little light passes through.

S - sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, slight roasted malt.

T - taste is the same of the smell. Vanilla, chocolate, slight coffee. There is a sweetness but not over bearing and does not become cloying even as it warms.

M - slightly on the thin side becaue it is labled as a "robust" or "imperial" porter.

O - I really enjoy this as a desert drink. It's a beer brewed with vanilla beans, expresso and cane sugar and that is what it taste like. Certainly not the most complex beer but it taste good. No, it might not fit the style category perfectly but it is enjoyable.

 716 characters

Photo of CAF
4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

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.

 650 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

 559 characters

Photo of chakadrum
4/5  rDev +15.6%

On nitro.

Vanilla bean up front. Sweet. Chocolate notes more milk chocolate than dark. Subtle caramelized sugar notes on the nose.

I'm a little surprised this isn't rated higher. Perhaps the nitro does a lot for the drinkability.

 231 characters

Photo of jburris64
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Poured from a brown bottle this dark brown porter had no head and little to no lace.
At first the vanilla reaches the nose followed by a slight espresso/ chocolate note.
Espresso and vanilla caress the palate making this enjoyable to drink.

 241 characters

Photo of JohnCJr
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Smells rich, with vanilla and dark fruit in the fore. Taste is predominantly vanilla and dark sugar, with some small espresso flavor lingering. Mouthfeel is mostly consistent with the style, but just a bit on the thin side. This is an excellent sipper, good for an after dinner treat.

 356 characters

Photo of chuck-chillout
3.98/5  rDev +15%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 938 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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...

 526 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.86/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Rivertown robust porter....is good. Pours an opaque dark with very thin head and no lace. The scent has hinst of vanilla and coffee. The vanilla is very present in the taste with backdrop of coffee. The mouthfeel is medium with smooth carbonation. overall very tasty.

 276 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +11%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice brown black color, though the cappuccino head faded somewhat quickly.

Aroma is chocolatey, slightly roasty and nutty, with definite vanilla presence.

Flavor is dominated by vanilla, but the roast and chocolate balance is fairly smooth.

Body's a touch full, with minimal carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not a huge vanilla fan, but this is a decent porter.

 370 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
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)

 1,689 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 1,199 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to nothing. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything.

Smell: Vanilla, roasted strong coffee, milk chocolate, doughy, and confectioners sugar.

Taste: Milk chocolate robust vanilla brownies. It's crazy delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little sweet, medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty tasty porter. All the extra features make thus an exceptional beer.

 500 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

 730 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rivertown Roebling poured a nice dark color with a head that dissipated quickly. Smell is distinct and chocolate. This is rich and sweet with vanilla being to dominate to enjoy more then a few. I get a little bit of the coffee note. Not my first choice but I like it more now then the first taste.

 297 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 457 characters

Photo of awdlmd
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark with virtually zero head. Taste comes on strong with sweet vanilla and sugar then finishes with some coffee/baker's chocolate bitterness. It goes down very smooth and drinkable. The body is too thin for the "imperial" label but I still enjoyed it.

 266 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 450 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Roebling Imperial Robust Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.