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Drake's Black Robusto Porter - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Black Robusto PorterDrake's Black Robusto Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

180 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 7
Gots: 34 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xhcadamx on 02-27-2009

Drake’s Black Robusto Porter – 7% ABV, 25 IBUs
A robust Porter, Drake’s Black Robusto has a roasty character and is stronger in alcohol than a regular porter (thus “robust’). Dark black in color with chocolate maltiness from seven different types of barley and spicy herbal hop character from Northdown and Williamette hops.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 41
Photo of Osseous
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Norwegian pint. Two fingers width of aged parchment colored head. Pitch black appearance, no light pierces when held up to a lamp. Smell was chocolate and amaretto - almost like a chocolate-dipped biscotti. Smokey on the finish with a little booze hint. Taste was espresso (creamy-bitter) and dark chocolate. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich - perhaps a little high on the carbonation. Overall, a solid porter, with a stouty integrity and great ABV.

Photo of drpimento
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured with a large, frothy, long lasting, brown head that settles very slowly, some lace, and an opaque black brown color. Aroma is fairly basic - roast, cocoa, coffee, dark malt. Flavor's like nose, but malt comes out more with carbonic tang in the front with a very smooth palate to make this such an easy drinking beer. Just a few off notes in the finish. But what the hell. Good schtuff Maynard.

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives almost pitch black capped by a couple of inches of tan foam; a few shards of lacing are produced

Smell: Roasty, with chocolate and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roast and chocolate, up front, with a subtle hint of coffee in the middle; the finish matches the front end

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice robust porter, just as its name says

Photo of smakawhat
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled Jan 5th 2015.

Thick and rich fistfull four finger controlled head. Creamy top and big capped with some minor pebbled bubbles for the head. Gorgeous dark mocha and cascades wonderfully on creation. Body color opaque, dark nearly black with red tones and hues on the edges with light inspection. Big and controlled, aggressive and real good looking.

Excellent porter aroma. Large hits of creamy coffee, vanilla, mild milk sensing chocolate, powdered cocoa. Extremely rich and thick smelling, with mild roast and big husky grain quality. Just about as good as a porter gets, but the roast is just a little buried by a hair if I want to nit pick.

It may not be mind boggling, but it sure is real impressive. Excellent mouth feel, just the right amount of thickness that coats like a milk chocolate shake. A hint of twinge on the back and a little bit of hop lime just barely it seems, but the rest is all rich and full like the nose suggests. Thick cocoa milk in the mid palate, with a thick chocolate and coffee rush and milkshake whipped up body. Tastes and feels like eating mocha whip cream in a way, with an interesting finish.

Great tasting memorable brew, haven't had such a great porter since Everett, loving this a lot.

Photo of Scooter642
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Good taste and creamy smooth

Photo of sbauer
3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Mild cocoa nose. Taste is light coffee and dark cocoa, moderate bitter hop aftertaste (somewhat overpowering). Mouthfeel is too light.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #72 (Jan 2013):

This is what we crave in a darker ale, bold enough to push out palates around yet still pretty quaffable. Extremely well balanced, this is a shining star in the vastness of usually hopped up ales of the west coast. Porter fans should put this on their list.

STYLE: Robust Porter
ABV: 5.4%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Nearly pitch black, healthy tan head

SMELL: Mild coffee, milk chocolate, black currants, slightly burnt toast, minty, caramel

TASTE: Deep smoothness, roasty, slightly chewy, medium bodied, treacle, dark roast coffee, carob, charcoal, earthy hops, mild spice, yeast, dark bread, semi-dry roasty finish

Photo of GTSeabolt
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Phenomenal - drink on a regular basis. Wish it was sold as a 4/6 pack

Photo of RyanK252
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured into BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours a very dark redish brown. No light can pass through the glass, you can barely see the color looking up through the top quarter inch. The head is light to medium brown and fades.

S: Sweet roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee, and a little dark dried fruit note.

T: As expected nice hit of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, with a little herbal spice and an almost tart bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: Pretty darn good porter, especially for the price in my neck of the woods.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark brown, with mild red tinge. Head is beige, large bubbles, ring around the rosies. Lacing is alright.

Smells decent. Roasty, with a touch of espresso, bit of booze and a touch of yeast putting me in mind of vegemite. Overall salted caramel malt notes as well. Nice.

Taste is fairly roasty, kind of light though, with some savoury wood notes. Touch of coffee, some boot polish and a touch of dried sage. Very portery, a bit savoury for my liking though, like there's a slight hollowness in the palate where more sweetness could poke through.

Feels light, not a lot of texture. Bit of presence very late.

Decent enough porter, but the roast is quite strong, and yet palate overall is quite light, so it kind of statistically works out without any individual part feeling or tasting great.

Photo of avwrite
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark coffee like appearance. No cloudyness, a bit of foam on the top, and thick.

S - Bitter smell with strong coffee scent brewed in.

T - hoppy and bitter. Thick like guiness.

M - thick. Syrupy going down.

O - a heavy beer, keeps you warm. Ideal for winter.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt, chocolate, a little burnt wood and milk. Excellent.
The taste burnt, roasted malt with some chocolate to smooth it out. It stays on the roasty/bitter side.
The texture is softer with low carbonation.
Nicely done.

Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to magictacosinus for sending this my way

Split with Goblinmunkey7

Review from notes, 4/11/14

Appearance: Dark, dark, deep brown - lighter brown around the edges with some garnet highlights - medium, light brown head - small, but nice cap, leaves some nice streaks

Smell: Very roasty with some great chocolate aromas - roasty coffee, dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and some milk chocolate - some malty sweetness

Taste: Delivers on the aroma with some serious chocolate - dark, semisweet, and milk chocolate - Tootsie rolls - nice roasty malts, with some touches of coffee - some roasty bitterness - not particularly complex, but nicely interesting

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth, very drinkable

Overall: Drake's can make great dark beers, too?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how much I enjoyed this, based on how much I've enjoyed other offerings from Drake's. It's a great example of a robust porter. It's bold, robust, roasty, without being burnt.

Photo of Celtics17
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apperacnce- Dark, black as described, nice lacing.

Smell- Smelled like ice coffee, or just coffee with some cream, and sugar.

Taste: Dark Chocolate, mild coffee, slight hop bitterness.

Overall- Good porter, impactful flavors. Enjoyed this beer as it warmed.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 22-oz. glass
Glass: Karl Strauss pint glass
From: Whole Foods in Hillcrest (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $4.99
Purchased: Feb. 12, 2014
Consumed: Feb. 16, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a practically pitch black color with two fingers of frothy tan head. Above average of light semi-layered lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention all the way down.

Smelled cocoa, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, black coffee, fudge, cocoa nibs and light smoky fire notes.

Tasted similar to the nose, although not quite as good. Got dark chocolate, dark chocolate cocoa mix, chocolate syrup, smoky notes, caramel, toffee and black coffee.

Full-to-medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming, bitter finish.

This was a pretty good porter, although something was slightly off. The smell was by far the best part.

Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 1/2" tan colored head that falls to a spotty surface foam.

Smell: roasted malt and some chocolate comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, some earthiness, and a mild bitterness create a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with a bit of dryness late.

Overall: a very drinkable porter that has a nice flavor and hits the spot when looked for a roasty and earthy beer.

Photo of Maurizio
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, approaching black. Moderate head with good lacing.

Smell: Delicious combination of roast and chocolate.

Taste: Doesn't quite deliver the promise of the nose, but still very tasty and smooth.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium, just how I like my porters.

Overall: Very solid and affordable porter. Will definitely seek it out again.

Photo of Dsimenson
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a 16 oz glass. Poured aggressively, creates a thick three finger head that you will be tempted to drive a truck over. Heavy lacing, and a beautiful dark chocolate color. Aroma is magnificent once you let this ale warm up a bit, which I recommend for porters and stouts--deep and inviting. Flavor is substantial, dark roasted malt, coffee, a bit of molasses, some sweetness from the malt, smokey darkness, and moderate bitterness of hops. Mouth feel is thick, a bit creamy and chewy. Overall this is an outstanding porter, which I am adding to my favorites.--updated, DS

Photo of PHBoiler
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color with big deep brown almost purplish head. You get scents of roasted coffee on the nose. Very inviting. Delicious coffee flavor. Loads of roast and satisfies coffee and dark chocolate tastes. Really well made porter. Strong and just the right mouthfeel. Not thick, but not too thin.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased from Whole Foods, Los Altos, CA. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney on my return.

Pours a deep, indeed robust, black-brown, with a faint hint of ruby-brown at the edges. Head forms fairly solidly at first, settling to a mess of chunky pancake bubbles across the top of the glass, fairly deep brown in hue. Body is solid, and it holds fine carbonation very well. Looks good.

Nose is very pleasant: toasty and dry with noticeable overtones of coffee, a little pepper and a suggestion of acidity. Slight salty characters are tempered by a lingering, almost ephemeral sweetness that gives a deep rye bread type of note when they combine. It's good stuff.

Taste is quite similar. Again, there's not a huge sweetness or body to it, and here the coffee characters are much more pronounced—but there's a filling quality to these two things together. Mild roasty grain on the back is very smooth, and the lingering coffee notes caress the back palate while providing a slight punctuation of pepper. Finish is long, but lacking bitterness, so it's never harsh. Very nice.

Feel is slightly light, but it's not too bad, and it probably aids the drinkability somewhat.

Overall, this is a pretty cracking drop of beer, plenty of character that stays pleasantly balanced and coherent. The flavours are good, but it's how they're placed together that makes it as approachable and drinkable as it is. Good stuff.

Photo of scottfrie
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a thick near-black cola color with a huge, dense, dark brown head that took forever to fade into a greasy film that left patches of soapy lace down the glass.
S: Rich and roasted overall with scents of barbequed meat, dark chocolate, mild coffee, oats, molasses and toasted grains.
T: Follows the nose with dominating flavors of roasted grains, BBQ, chocolate, and brown sugar. The finish is full of roasted nuts and the aftertaste has a hint of molasses and toasted coconut.
M: On the thinner side but a very smooth mouthfeel and easy to drink. Medium full body but just a tad watery.
O: A roast-forward porter. Slightly thin but amazing flavor. Definitely recommended.

Photo of lighthabit
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

written a couple days later, neighbor gave me this and i'd forgotten what it was by the time i got around to trying it. need to grab one when down at the store, as it has merit.

chocolate and coffee, typical porter character, hint of vanilla that i really enjoyed. not sure on the head/lacing, as it was in a bottle unlabeled container, probably had lost some of its oomph.

note to self - if trying an unknown, at least jot some notes down for later.

update 9/23/13 smell and taste from bomber have a faint hint of something reminiscent of carnation powdered milk.

Photo of deebo
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up several beers from Drake's on a February trip to Bay Area. Finally getting around to trying the first. A bomber of their black robusto.

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer sparks off into a couple fingers of a dark tan bubbly, lively head with little staying power and little glass lacing. Dark brown in color with lots of tan floaters.

S-Definitely porter-ish...roasted dark malts with a definite bittersweet cocoa edge. I like that it doesn't smell burnt but slightly sweet instead.

T-Starts off with a rich deeply roasted malt that starts chocolately and ends in a flavor remniscent of medium roast coffee. Dry finish with just a bit of sweetness. Fairly low bitterness.

M-The first thing that jumps out at me about this beer is it's soft mouthfeel, low in astringency and harshness-a very nice quality in a porter. Moderate carbonation. A quick finish for a porter. The alcohol is completely hidden.

O-An easy drinking porter with nice dark roasted character. Worth drinking.

Photo of Philousa
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Imbibed on tap at Bair Island in San Carlos.

Poured an opaque, murky black, bright amber around the edges against the light. Big creamy tan head settles to thinly cover the top. Smells like a porter should: lots of dark malt, some coffee, baker's chocolate, and slight vanilla, which to me hints towards creaminess. The taste comes across thin, dry and chalky. Typical flavors such as dark chocolate and roasty malts are duking it out with fruity flavors like raspberry and green apple. Very odd to me. Dry finish with some green hop bitterness.

I'm not the biggest fan, but I suspect this line may have switched the lines with a cider and failed to clean the lines properly. Not sure if I should have reviewed it with this suspicion, but I feel I got enough of the true flavor to pass judgment.

EDIT: I just tried this out of the bottle and I think something was wrong with the tap lines. Most of the big flaws were absent in this bottle. In addition to what was described above: I get some creaminess in the aroma, almost lactic. Taste is not dry, but finish is. Baker's chocolate remains, but it's not chalky. Some fruitiness is observable but it's fleeting. Really digging this after months of pooh poohing it.

Photo of caligreen333
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The only reason I am reviewing this beer is because I am now currently drinking a Bear Republic BLACK STOUT and it does hold its own against this Porter! Mind you I am not the best candidate to review a beer at this moment considering I have already had about 4 IPA's, BUT for comparison purposes I had about 4 IPA's last night before I had the Drake Robusto. All I want to say in this review is if you have had a good amount to drink and are still looking for a "closer" beer for the end of the night then this is it. It has a strong flavor, over powers the Bear Republic "BLACK STOUT" which is rated at a higher level. I know your thinking a Stout is not supposed to be a porter, well this isn't about that. The basic's behind this review is to show that if you want a strong flavored smokey malty beer, the Robusto is the way to go. End of rant. The avg ratings mean I dont know so really I give it a 4.0 at least. Thanks Drakes for making an affordable Porter that packs a punch!

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Drake's Black Robusto Porter from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.