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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

187 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 7
Gots: 36 | 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: 187 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by TheSixthRing:
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near black with a tan, finger width head. Sub-par retention, leaving behind a thin layer of microbubbles on the surface and around the edge of the glass. Lacing is minimal and spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - Milk chocolate; touches on baker's chocolate and mild coffee roast, with hints of earth.

Taste - Follows the nose. Moderate chocolate sweetness, met with undertones of baker's chocolate and coffee bitterness that rides out to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth from start to finish.

Overall - Very approachable porter. It might not quite satisfy the geekiest of dark ale aficionados, but there's enough here to respect it. By that same token, I think anyone getting into porters would find this rich, but not overwhelming. When all's said and done, however, I myself would rather pony up for a Black Butte sixer at nearly half the price per ounce, which to me is not only the better beer, but obviously a far better value.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
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 deebo
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Maurizio
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
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 emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Drake's Barrel House, review from written notes.

Black body, dark chestnut brown transparency in the light. Delicate spindly webs of tan lace, spotty in places. Long lasting foam, floating island of skim in the center.

Aroma of dark roast coffee and roasted barley.

Medium bitterness, earthy roast with a mild astringency from the roast malt (acceptable) and a dry bitter finish. Medium bodied, smooth feel. Pretty pleasant and drinkable, a coffee version wouldn't be too farfetched...

Photo of smakawhat
4.56/5  rDev +14.6%
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 angrybabboon
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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 SHODriver
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a deep black with a finger and a half of dense light tan head with good retention into a nonic pint glass
S: smells intensely chocolatey and roasty with just a hint of espresso
T: chocolate up front followed by some nice roastyness, a bit of herbal and spicy hop as well with a hint of coffee. swallow brings more roastyness and chocolate with a bit of spicy hop
M: fuller side of medium in the mouth with a nice and soft carbonation
O: not a bad beer at all. good flavors and easy drinking.

Photo of RyanK252
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

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 xhcadamx
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - The perfect color for a porter. Black with ruby brown highlights. Huge creamy puffy tan head. Lacing to die for.

S - Roasted malts, Roasty goodness (from my wife and her friend)

T - Lots of roasted malt with a perfect amount of bitterness from the hops. I think I detect a hint of C hops in the end - not sure.

M - this is where this beer is the true winner. Creamy smooth with the perfect medium body

D - I picked this keg up today from Drake's. My wife had been wanting a Porter for awhile and I had been wanting to get a Keg from Drake's - I am seriously impressed.

Photo of Osseous
4.34/5  rDev +9%
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 sbauer
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
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 womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Blue Palms for Drake's/Triple Rock Tap Takeover

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a finger of creamy tan head.

S: The nose is almost all roast and ash. Some notes of dark, bitter chocolate are also present, and some coffee and coffee grounds. Maybe a hint of licorice. Not terribly complex, but quite nice.

T: The flavor is fairly bitter from all of the intense roastiness. Quite a strong ash and char flavor with some dark chocolate and coffee. Somewhat astringent and slightly acidic as well.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: I liked the nose on this quite a bit, but the flavor fell short and was just too heavy on the burnt flavors and bitterness.

Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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 Celtics17
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
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 scottfrie
4.26/5  rDev +7%
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 mactrail
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of dark roasted malt greets the nose. Pours very nearly black in the tall tulip with a fine beige head. Lots of lacing in the glass and quite sudsy in the mouth.

Flavor is kind of like slightly burnt rye toast. Good, though. There is just a lot of the charred flavors and a touch of burnt sugar. A little sweetness makes this more malty and less dry than a lot of these black beers. It just makes up for it with a longer, more bitter burn at the end. Warm yet edgy, a lot of grainy flavors, and that deep roasted taste makes for a mouthful of flavors.

Thoroughly refreshing and intriguing dark brew. Another example of the slightly off-center style that makes me a Drake's fan. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

Photo of ESPNman
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass

A - It pours like a viscous used motor oil. It has almost coffee-like legs, and a dark brown almost-black color. It leaves a very thin but surprisingly well-retained mocha head. Solid lacing despite the lack of head.

S - Super roasty, malty, and bitter. Lots of burnt cocoa and deeply roasted coffee on the nose. A bit of sweet malts, and just a hint of astringent hop.

T - Much like the nose, but much more subtle. A lot of the burnt smell of coffee and malt comes through as much more roasted, with an almost toasted marshmallow sweetness on the back end. It finishes with a stinging bitterness and lingering cocoa.

M - Well-carbonated, almost champagne-like at first. The mouthfeel gets better as the brew warms up and flattens out a bit. It's thick, without being overly coating and chewy. It definitely needs some time to warm up before it's actually good, though.

O - A solid deeply roasted porter. It does a good job of walking the fine line between roasty and burnt. Unfortunately the nose makes a few promises that the taste can't quite deliver on.

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a tulip

A- Pours very black with brown hues. A one finger of a nice tan head. Good retention.

S- A super robust roasty beer. A lot of roasted malt and burnt caramel. A slight chocolate and espresso. Smells thick and bold.

T- A huge massive roasted quality to this beer. A slight burnt nuttyness to it. A big dark chocolate flavor. Burnt caramel and coffee. A very well balanced porter and extremely drinkable. A slight spicyness and a slight hop bitterness from the hops.

M- Thick, dark, very well balanced and drinkable. A lot of feel and nice carbonaiton.

O- Very impressed with this porter. It has the intense qualities I look for in a porter and fantastic balance and drink ability.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
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 brentk56
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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 UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A thick curtain of lace clings to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and some subtle coffee and cocoa notes. Taste is of dark roasted malt, burnt coffee, and cocoa beans. There is a somewhat assertive roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is good porter but it’s roasty as hell.

Photo of GTSeabolt
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

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

Photo of lighthabit
3.78/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Drake's Black Robusto Porter from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.