Roebling Imperial Robust Porter - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Roebling Imperial Robust PorterRoebling Imperial Robust Porter

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BA SCORE
80
good

49 Reviews
THE BROS
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(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 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)

Photo of patpbr
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
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 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 edfish
4.76/5  rDev +36.4%
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 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 buschbeer
4.17/5  rDev +19.5%
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 Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
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 friesec
4.95/5  rDev +41.8%
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.
Cheers (492 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 yeahman
4.29/5  rDev +22.9%
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 (291 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 movingtrain
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
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 bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
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 secondtooth
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
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)

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 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 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 Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
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)

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