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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.
very good

42 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 198
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 19.7%
Wants: 8
Gots: 38 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 198
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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

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Photo of emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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...

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

The head retention is great on top this coal black beer. Great, thick lacing sticks to the glass. It's a very astringent flavor as far as flavor and aroma is concerned. Roasted ground coffee and a strong astringency dominate the nose and palate, and on the palate, a brush of hops interrupts the roasty notes on occasion. I enjoyed this one, although this may not be everyone's cup of joe (no pun intended).

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a firm light tan head, good lacing all around.

S: Notes of roast, burnt sugar, coffee, fruit, moderate intensity.

T: Strong roasted malt notes, dark chocolate, cherry. Real good flavours in this porter.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, lightly chalky, very drinkable.

D: A real good porter here from Drake's. A classic session pint, simple good flavours.

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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.

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Photo of drpimento
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.89/5  rDev -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%

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

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Photo of scottfrie
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark black with some light foam. There’s a great roasty aroma undercut by a lightly handed smokey note. The flavor is well rounded with a roasty dark coffee characteristic and just a touch of the smoke. Another solid selection from Drakes.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured in a 10oz pint glass on tap at Comal, located in Berkeley.

The appearance is pitch-black alongside shades of brown as the glass is placed near any lighting. Slight streaks of bubbles rise towards the top of the beer's decent yet small bubbly head. The head eventually fades to pretty much nothing, but what remains are slight traces of foam floating at the top, as well as semi-strong alcohol legs sticking to the glass's rim.

The aroma is far maltier than I thought it would be, especially considering that all other beers I've had by Drake's are fairly hoppier and drier in smell - and flavor, for that matter. This holds a slightly strong smoky backdrop, combined with woody oak and coffee notes. Definitely not too much fruitiness overall, although the coffee flavor melds really well with the wood and dark malts. There's a little bit of alcohol that sweetens things up, but I can tell that this going to be a primary focus on the smoked coffee malts overall.

The flavor takes whatever was the aroma tenfold, but what does arrive in midst of the coffee are surprisingly decent chocolate syrup notes, as well as a deep, heartened bready flavor. In fact, the dark bread, often resembling pumpernickel or German rye, is pretty well flavored and melds fairly well with the coffee and chocolate, despite the fact that the earlier wood notes have pretty much vanished in the flavor. There's no real strong hop backbone to speak of here, but it is still aggressively bitter, and definitely more so on the malty side. Cannot complain about the feel of the beer overall - it's definitely thickened and never dies down no matter how it warms up, which really melds well with its bread flaked characteristics.

A pretty interesting take on a porter from another East Bay representation! Definitely fresh on tap, but curious to see how it will be when bottled. Porters aren't my top beer style, but I do enjoy the coffee and bread characteristics very much here, in ways that I haven't had a West Coast porter before.

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Photo of deebo
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of hayesjw
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

last "had" review on 02/20/2013. gave it 4.25
current review would be 4.45 as of 12/03/2013.

A - Jet black with scant lacing on outer edges of a Duvel tulip. Gold label nearly matches the foam. When focused there is a constant Champagne sized ephervesence keeping the lace present to the end... blissful!

S - espresso roast

T - dark chocolate with almond rocca, subtle vanilla. ill have to try that candy to confirm.

M - This is where the ale's inner glow occurs, as well as my own. An alcohol rich warmth is present even when this porter is served chilled. The satin texture blankets the mouth as a fur coats the body to shelter the winter freeze.

O - so how is this done at 6.2%? Remember I also enjoyed three 2013 Celebrations today!

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Drake's Black Robusto Porter from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.