Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
43 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
209
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
19.7%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
42
For Trade:
1
Drake's Black Robusto PorterDrake's Black Robusto Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by xhcadamx on 02-27-2009

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 209
Photo of RyanK252
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

 578 characters

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.

 802 characters

Photo of avwrite
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 265 characters

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.

 291 characters

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.

 993 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 263 characters

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.

 829 characters

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.

 480 characters

Photo of Maurizio
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 350 characters

Photo of Dsimenson
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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

 596 characters

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.

 298 characters

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.

 1,424 characters

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.

 707 characters

Photo of lighthabit
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 569 characters

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.

 995 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 1,218 characters

Photo of caligreen333
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

 983 characters

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.

 992 characters

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.

 254 characters

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.

 500 characters

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.

 711 characters

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!

 741 characters

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.

 2,020 characters

Photo of ESPNman
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,088 characters

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.

 744 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Drake's Black Robusto Porter from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.