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Roebling Imperial Robust Porter - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Roebling Imperial Robust PorterRoebling Imperial Robust Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

49 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 49
Hads: 253
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 20.63%
Wants: 5
Gots: 58 | 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
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Reviews: 49 | Hads: 253
Photo of shanblur
1.81/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased locally in Evansville, IN. No date on bottle.

A - Dark brown to black with a tan head which leaves moderate lacing.

S - Chocolate and coffee aromas dominate.

T - Not like the smell at all. Cannot describe how bad this thing tastes. Get a little chocolate but overpowered by a taste which make me want to vomit. Have never had anything so bad. Perhaps a bad bottle? If they meant for it to taste like this than no thanks.

M - Thin and watery

Do not try this. You have been warned. (494 characters)

Photo of IlliniRob
1.93/5  rDev -44.7%
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. (1,021 characters)

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
2.03/5  rDev -41.8%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of tsauce2
2.26/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to an imperial pint

A: SRM is brown. Translucent. Head is tan, 1 1/2 in., pillowy/cloudy, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Chocolate brownie with a slight hint of malt.

T: Watery is the initial thought. Slight hints of malt, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are discernable. Metallic aftertaste.

M: MF is a puckering reaction to tartness.

O: If only this beer tasted like the label described it or how it smelled. Something went horribly wrong in making this beer. Their Helles lager is fantastic, so I don't know what happened here. If they would have trippled the ingredients used and gotten rid of the acidity, which is described on the label, we might have a real winner on our hands. (759 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
2.27/5  rDev -35%
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. (1,070 characters)

Photo of Spider889
2.32/5  rDev -33.5%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of jeranbrews
2.37/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A - nearly flat low head. Dark cola brown. Instantly disappearing beige head 3.25

S - soda. Ginger and cola. Chocolate vanilla 3

T - vanilla cream soda that one day saw a beer in a magazine. This is not beer. 2

M - very soda like. Not creamy not slick. Just like a cream soda 2

O - For an "imperial robust porter" there is very little about this beer that is imperial or robust or porter like aside from the color. I chose this just wanting to tick Ohio off my list of beer states. Won't buy this again. 2.25 (520 characters)

Photo of xpdrinker
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - 12oz bottle (trade extra - huge thanks to boxcar01) into Libbey porter/stout glass. Pours cola brown with spongy yellowish-tan head that mostly disappears. Ripples of lacing but not much to write home about. 

S - Coffee with a slight yeasty, banana funk. Not picking up much else.

T - There's a tartness that immediately attacks the palate followed by a tingly splash of chocolate and vanilla extract. Not sure if this is old, compromised or what, but the "robust porter" aspect is bullied into the corner by a hulking tart funk looking for lunch money.

M - Light bodied and medium carbonation, a bit effervescent.

0 - Like I said above, not sure where this porter went wrong but if it's not fresh then I'd love to try another one. The description on the label had me drooling, with a lot of talk about vanilla, espresso and coffee-infused brownies. I didn't get a whole lot of that but I'm willing to give it another shot and see if they deliver on those words. (971 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
2.86/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Aroma: Bready rich malty aromatics up front. Powdery chocolate notes as well. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Dense black pour with a low, thin, filmy off-white cap.

Flavor: More bready malt notes, subdued chocolate, slight burnt flavors that are well knit. Light cola notes as the beer opens up. Balance is nearly even with some definite earthy hop tones. Finish is dry.

Mouthfeel: Thin-medium body with high carbonation. Slight dark grain derived astringency. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A little thin and kind of one dimensional. I was expecting more. (578 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (1,139 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (701 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (686 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single of this a few days ago... stepped out front with a Partegas this morning and brought this along with me...

Extremely subdued aromas present here... the roasted malts don't even jump out... they are there as is a little vanilla and maybe a kiss of hops but for the most part this seems rather non descript...

Roasted malts dominate pretty much as expected... hints of some hops here and there as well as a little vanilla...reminds. me more of a schwarzbier with the thin palate on it... not sure there's anything "Robust" going on here but its not offensive either... not detecting the booze so its well hidden... not getting much vanilla either...

This isn't a bad beer but it isn't anything I care to seek out... I'd drink it on tap at a bar but wont be making any trips to the stote with this on my list if you get my drift... (852 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown body with ruby light on the edges and a weak light tan head of big bubbles.

S - Sweet fruitiness, vanilla, hint of astringent menthol. It's actually ok

T - Roasty and a bit of vanilla, but its astringent again, and a bit reminiscent of mouthwash. Oh well

M - a presence of carbonation tingles the tongue, and the astringency dries it out. It's a medium body that is moderately unpleasant.

O - well, I mean, it's ok. I keep trying these rivertown beers for some reason, but I consistently dislike them. (520 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Ruby/brown in color, with a moderate head of thin foam.
Aroma-Roast coffee
Taste-Sweet vanilla bean, chocolate, coffee, underlying roastiness carries to the finish but not enough to counterbalance the almost cloying sweet vanilla. Dare I say vanilla bomb? Maybe not that bad, but man, vanilla seems to take over this brew"s flavor. More balance needed. (416 characters)

Photo of McNealc31
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
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 (270 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.34/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Dark brown, but fairly translucent. Forms a thin light tan head with a low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Brown toasted malts and some nutty sweetness. That's about it.

T: Roasted malts up front, then has a vanilla and hazelnut sweetness in the middle to end. Some restrained coffee flavor near the end. Light roasted bitterness with vanilla in the hang with just a touch of medicinal astringency.

M: This has a thin body for a porter (especially for one self-described as "Imperial"), but not quite watery. Carbonation sensation on the low side, moderate alcohol flavor.

O: It's not awful. But there are an awful lot of better porters out there to be drank. Can't recommend this one, but if I was at a party and it was what was available, I wouldn't refuse. (849 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Close to black in color. No head at all. Aroma is sweet and sugary with some vanilla notes. Taste is very heavy on the vanilla and sugar. This tastes more like a milk stout or sweet stout than a porter in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Overall I'd like this a lot better if it had a little less vanilla and a lot less sugar. (341 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brown/dark tan with a very minimal head and slight lacing.

Smell - Sweet malts, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, honey and brown sugar. Bitter plum and raisin.

Taste - First sip is roasty malts, chocolate, honey and brown sugar. Coffee comes in near the finish and provides a bitter, bold flavor. Vanilla is tasted throughout the whole drink. Pretty much a 1-2 punch in flavor.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets malts, chocolate and sugars, where palate gets mostly coffee with some raisin. Aftertaste is coffee bitter.

Overall - Pretty simple, straight forward beer. Nothing special, nothing done well, just solid and simple. (653 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,038 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.49/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,120 characters)

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2014-11-23. Review entered from notes.
12oz bottle poured into a little plastic hotel cup. Bottle code is 17061434B10154, but I have no idea what that means. I would guess it's either best by or bottled on 2014-06-17.

Pours black, with a small beige head that fades very fast. Not much carbonation. Smell is rich dark malt, black cherry and black licorice. Maybe overripe plum.

Taste is very powerful vanilla (to me -- my wife didn't think so). Sweet, sort of molassesy.

Mouthfeel is too still. Overall, not bad. Too sweet, too still. Too much vanilla. (555 characters)

Photo of fauxpunker
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours opaque, dark brown. Might as well be black. Almost no head, and what little does form fades away almost instantly.
S: Several competing aromas. Chocolate and vanilla, some coffee, and a bit of caramel. Bit of an assault, really.
T: All of the scents jostle for attention in the taste. The chocolate and vanilla make the biggest cases for attention while the coffee seems content to linger around the end. Sweet overall with no real hop quality to speak of.
M: Quite full, even a little chewy. Carbonation seems moderately low.
Overall: It's not bad beer, but not my favorite. Not as well balanced as it could be with not much to round out the dominant sweetness. (672 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Incredible vanilla cream taste exudes from Rivertown's Roebling Imperial Porter; so much so that the spice adds just as much to the balance of the beer as do any dark malts. But with the influence from that savory spice, a few inconsistencies occur...

Pouring a very dark brown, the beer shares lighter tawny brown highlights along the edges. It's arid, loosely-knit froth rises and then falls quite quickly, succumbing to the alcohol and oils of the beer that's more evident in taste. Void of lace, the beer instead shows light brandy-like legging. It's a rather still beer that takes on slight cask ale appearances.

Aromas a coffee, chocolate, and toffee are wrapped in a cocoon of vanilla that brings a highly succulent scent to the forefront. Both delicate and robust, the darker elements of the beer portray slight caution, but the allure of vanilla is so very inviting.

Chocolate and vanilla command the flavors while nuances of nutty Colombian coffee, walnut oils, bittersweet chocolate, and cola support the dessert-like taste and add moments of much needed complexity. Light woodish bitterness rides just beneath the flavors of dark and sweet and offers timid balance.

Medium-full in body, the beer's fast fleeting carbonation leaves the beer weighted and dense on the tongue. The medium residual sweetness is long and somewhat lumbering indefinite. Yet, the silky smooth vanilla cream textures offer soft velvety textures that makes the lack of dryness and creaminess much more forgivable.

With the beer's overall dull textures, it needs even more power, strength, and depth to pull off the sill appearance and flat mouthfeel. It could also benefit from backing off of the vanilla just a touch to allow carbonation to remain in suspension a tad longer. (1,768 characters)

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Roebling Imperial Robust Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.