Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Bobo's Robust Porter - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bobo's Robust PorterBobo's Robust Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

102 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 102
Hads: 231
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 10.99%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: loren01 on 09-05-2006

32 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 102 | Hads: 231
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance between roast and fruit qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 562 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Deep dark brown, thin film of a head, light espresso, chocolate, caramel, creamy smooth, good for people who do not like a lot of roast bitterness, very drinkable, almost sessionable, chocolate and dark but not roasted malts.

 225 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark chocolate brown and completely opaque. Thin, creamy head on the pour. Decent retention.

Sweet, malty, roasted aroma.

Dense, malty, fruity, roasted flavor. All in perfect balance. Smooth molasses. Rich toffee and toasted almond. Fresh baked biscuits with maple spread. Mild earthy hop blends perfectly, allowing the malts to shine through.

Medium to full bodied with lots of malt texture. Low-medium carbonation. Smooth, rich feel.

Exactly what a porter should be.

 473 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into glass mug.

A - Pours black with a finger and a half of dark brown creamy head.

S - There is a good amount of roastiness in the aroma and I pick up some coffee and chocolate

T - This is heavy on the roastiness. I get roasted, perhaps even burnt, coffee, with semi-sweet chocolate and a general nuttiness. I like the roast but it's on the edge of being too burnt. Wish the chocolate was sweeter, too.

M - Moderate body with low-to-moderate carbonation.

O - A decent porter with good chocolate, coffee, and nut notes. Just a bit heavy on the roast.

 575 characters

Photo of Honisbygonis
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

App: almost no head, with syrup black look, and a cherry sweet moderate aroma once poured to pint

Entree: first few sips, and the cherry taste hits you, which unpleasantly then stays with you through to the aftertaste; however, third the way thru pint, cherry dissipates enough, and now tastes like a weakened porter should (weaker meaning almost a metallic taste, and an abnormal aftertaste compared to your standard porters).

Dessert: Another limited release ( just prior sampled the Avery New World hopped Porter), and oddly, would have to go Avery over Bobo's on this one.

 578 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is nearly black and it's looking pretty thick, too. The head that rises on top is a strong, rocky medium brown one with some staying power and heft. The lacing it leaves clinging to the glass is patchy and plenteous.
This beer is consistent from aroma to flavor and is pretty much a standard-setter for the so-called "robust porter," almost a style in its own right now. Where it keeps from crossing from porter to stout may be a mystery, but it's got the necessities: a big, strong, roasty malt backbone, a dry sort of edge with just a little sweetness cutting the char and roast from being acrid, heavier notes of barley-like grains, and the dark chocolate & coffee (in this case grounds) combo that comes with it all.
The body has the appropriate robustness, not disappointing, in a big, full body with an ashy dryness most of the way though. Crispness is light but sustained with nice smoothness.

 910 characters

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

Sampling right now on 4/26/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a vintage 'Schlitz' pilsner glass.

Poured a pitch-black in color that you can't see through at all with a small beige head. Just a small trace of lacing is seen but not much. The aroma is of roasted malts, bitter-sweet chocolate with a mild hint of vanilla. The taste has more going on with the bitter-sweet chocolate hitting your tongue first followed by the roasted malts, a hint of coffee and a trace of vanilla. Actually very smooth with no bitter aftertaste. Perfect carbonation.

 586 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sit Bobo....sit...Good dog...for those who are in and round 40yrs will know what reference I just put down. Bobo poured an opaque black with ecru head that is thick and leaving some lace. The scent has roast and hints of chocolate. The taste has some coffee, caramel and peat. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its an ok porter....definitely sessionable.

 384 characters

Photo of MaximalC
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a thin khaki head that soon dissipates into a patchy veil. Aroma smells of pure dark chocolate with a hint of caramel (imagine a Ghirardelli's dark chocolate caramel square melted down into beer form).

The flavor comes through on the promise of the aroma, with rich, roasty dark chocolate all over, invoking baker's chocolate and hot cocoa. The roasted malt is positively singed, with acrid bitterness growing from front to back. I might have found this objectionable had it not paired so well with the chocolate. In this context, though, it works. The dark chocolate and roasted character are married by a chalky essence that lingers into the finish. Whatever hops are present are mild and earthy, accentuating the rugged, robust character of the beer. The medium body is bolstered by a fine, vigorous carbonation that lends a semi-creamy mouthfeel.

This is one of my early favorites from back in the day, and I'm glad to say it withstands the test of time. This is a no-frills foray into what good, chocolately, roasted malt tastes like. Bobo's is both flavorful and highly drinkable, making a good session beer for those colder times of the year (like late March in Chicago...).

 1,205 characters

Photo of archyquaffer
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a longneck into an oversized pilsener glass. A moderate pour produces about one inch of light brown head, which proves not terribly sticky for this type of beer. The beer is a very dark reddish-brown which scarcely admits light.

Lots of roasted malt on the nose and palate. The number one flavor is probably hours-old coffee which has a rather burnt, acrid note. There may be some unsweetened chocolate trying to come through. Some lingering and rather unpleasant astringent bitterness in the aftertaste. The body is rather heavy, and more like a stout.

I don't particularly care for this beer- to my mind it could have a little more chocolate, maybe some nuttiness, and not so much of a burnt coffee flavor. The aftertaste is what really kills it for me- it is really kind of a yucky, involuntary reflex kind of bitterness, and not pleasant at all.

 864 characters

Photo of Redneckwine
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass

Appearance - stout like, darkest brown possible to black, opaque clarity with no light coming through. Minimal head, minimal lacing

Smell - getting lots of char, bitter chocolate, coffee, whiff of grassy hops

Feel/Taste - Smooth, creamy body, light carb. Medium light body. Taste is of very roasty coffee and chocolate, earthy/grassy light hops, feint fruity notes as well on the finish. Lightly bitter and dry on the finish also.

Overall - An enjoyable, flavorful porter. This damn near borders on stout territory for me, minus a little body. The roasty character is very prominent in this brew. Big sky definitely nailed what they were going for here: a robust porter.

 712 characters

Photo of SerialHiker
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours the darkest possible brown to black…thick, mocha colored head…tight tiny bubbles making a solid layer of foam…a nice looking beer…(3.75/5)

Smell: Chocolate…strong dark chocolate aroma up front…yummy chocolate! Roasted malts, vanilla, milk…a creamy chocolate porter…I’m talking, breaking up a chocolate bar then inhaling the tiny chips…(4/5)

Taste: Rich dark bitter chocolate surrounded by roasted malts, coffee, cream, vanilla…it’s got flavor, but it’s not complex…comes in very chocolaty, ends with coffee and cream…very roasted all the way through…it’s okay…(3.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation…too light for my taste…smooth, wet…finishes with a bit of coffee bitterness…(3/5)

Overall: This beer is good, not great…the flavor is drinkable, but lacks a bit of pizzazz and almost goes towards “novelty”…it would probably be a better ice cream flavor than a beer…as it stands, if porters are your bag, than this is worth trying, but this wouldn’t be my first choice…I typically like beers that have flavor, not flavored…this is a run of the mill porter with heavy chocolate notes that separates it from others, but doesn’t take it to another level…(3.5/5)

 1,258 characters

Photo of jeremyd365
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this guy poured a solid motor oil with off white head. It smelled of sweet chocolatey coffee and tasted much the same. It's body seemed a little thin for how rich the flavor was, but overall a really enjoyable beer. I'd have it again for sure. As with most beers I really enjoy out of the bottle, I'd want to give the tap a go!

 330 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I think we've all known some dog that looks (and probably acts) exactly like Bobo... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep mahogany topped by a finger of bright tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa, coffee, light roasted malts, and a twinge of molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, with the roast coming through more strongly and the cocoa darkening a touch. There is a pronounced roastiness and, well, robustness present in this beer. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a very nice strong porter, one that shows you can have some strong, robust flavor without resorting to high ABVs and overly-wacky adjunct additions. Good times.

 747 characters

Photo of n2185
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours black a finger of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: roasted malts with creamy chocolate and some slight char.

T: roasted malts here as well with bitter chocolate, char, and some coffee.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer could be a bit creamier or with more carbonation.

O: a decent porter overall, though nothing special.

 386 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an opaque black with a dark brown two finger head and heavy lacing. Aroma of dark malt, coffee and chocolate. Medium body and dark roasty malts with some pleasant smoky flavors. Tasty start and middle, tapers off at the finish. Nice dark, quite pleasant and enjoyable porter. I will buy again.

 359 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pint glass.

a - pours an opaque dark brown shade. forms a finger thick, creamy, tan head that calms slowly to a thin film. leaves thin, leggy lacing in the glass.

s - chocolate, roast, faint char, faint raisin.

t - roasted malt with big dark chocolate flavor. some dark fruity notes and faint oxidation. nice earthy hop bitterness for balance. not super complex like some porters, but well done.

m - full bodied, adequate carbonation, coarser co2 profile.

o - solid overall and quite enjoyable. i'm surprised this doesn't have a higher rating on here as it can easily hold it's own against better known examples of the style. will definitely be picking up more of this.

 674 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Pours out a very dark brown bordering on black with a tan frothy single finger head that lasts for about a minute but leaves minimal lacing behind. Smells of dark chocolate and charred malt, but not at a very strong level. Tastes much more solidly of dark chocolate and charred malt than the nose had implied, but not much more complexity than the nose had implied either. Medium body and carbonation levels. Pretty average as far as porters go IMHO.

 480 characters

Photo of Tuey13
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle midnight black with a small tan head that dissipates rather quickly.
The smell is roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee.. I also detect a little black licorice and vanilla as well... Smells wonderful!
The taste is robust indeed with a great roastinrss and dark bitter chocolate and coffee. I do taste a little caramel sweetness with a little hop flavors on the back end. Very rich and velvety feel also.
This is a very drinkable medium body porter.. Not to strong with a great taste. I would drink this more if not limited.
I always love Big Sky and get a kick out of their labels. ;)

 609 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated "050212" on the neck, also "limited release".

Jet black with dark brown edges, sturdy cap of creamy mocha stained foam. Head retention is good, and random arcs of lace stick to the glass.

Mild creamy coffee and dark chocolate notes in the aroma.

Some roasty char, and dry bitterness from the roast, nicely medium bodied and porterish. Lingering earthy roast and mellow coffee traces. Light to medium carbonation, smooth feel. Overall pretty nice, just about what you'd expect a good robust porter to be.

 521 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near midnight black with brown edging. Head is minimal, 1/2 finger, and retention is poor. Resulting lace is average, but semi-sticky.

Smell - Faint notes of roasted malt, toffee and a touch of hop.

Taste - Follows the nose. Roasted malt, with coffee, caramel and toffee notes. Hops come through as mild citrus.

Mouthfeel - Light for a porter, if not a tad watery. Carbonation is decent, leaving a crisp bite on the lips and tongue. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall - Didn't impress me at first, but grew on me as it warmed. One of the better Big Sky brewery beers for sure.

 594 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Phelps for this generous extra. I believe this is my first Montana beer. Looks the part for sure, opaque black, small brownish head that settles down slowly, nice creamy looking lacing on the glass. Aroma is roasty, malty, touches of char, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, all of the expected porter notes.

Very tasty as well, really taking the robust part of the beer seriously. Big and aggressively flavored; espresso coffee and crème, roasted, charred malt, bitter chocolate, hints of floral hops underneath. Caramel, molasses, earthiness, vanilla, perhaps a hint of a mineral note.

Medium bodied and carbonated with a very smooth and creamy feel. Semi-dry finish has a touch of lingering sticky sweetness that’s very appealing. Quite good overall.

 764 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours dark and clear, primarily coffee black, but with just a tiny hint of amber in there. decent white head but it fades in time. smell isnt quite as "robust" as the name suggests it might be. notes of dark roast coffee and semisweet cocoa. flavor is similar, with the roasty character of the malt taking center stage. still, its not robust in the way i had envisioned. this might be a better porter under a different name with a different set of expectations. feel was a touch on the thin side for me, but overall it was fine. medium body with average carbonation. drinkable and strong on the abv front. not a bad beer at all, but i dont think it lives all the way up to its name.

 682 characters

Photo of spicelab
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Beermasons.

Dark chocolate pour, near jet black in the glass. Moderately dense mocha head falls without lacing to a slight ring and film.

Refined roastiness gives nice smoky overtones to the aromas. Lots of coffee, liquorice and vegemite. Underneath are plums, cherries and brandied raisins, with some hazelnut and chocolate rounding it out.

Flavours follow the nose very closely. At times tarry roast becomes a bit overbearing.

Medium, moderately creamy body with deceptively hidden carbonation. Finishes dry with a clean roasty bitterness that goes on and on.

Solidly constructed porter that emphasises roastiness over sweetness. Not overly complex, but virtually nothing out of place.

 714 characters

Photo of EricCioe
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of six beers at a five person blind porter tasting including: Anchor Porter, Big Sky Bobo's Robust Porter, Deschutes Black Butte, Harvest Moon Pigs Ass Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy, and Sierra Nevada Porter. All of these are shelf beers in Montana.

This poured almost black with slight brown highlights and the darkest head of the evening. On the nose there is a very pleasant roasted malt note, with bare hints of dark chocolate behind. In the mouth those simple flavors dominate and intermix well. The body is medium and this one has the longest finish of the night.

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with this beer. I knew this one was going to be among those listed but expected Black Butte to beat it handily. Not so, as this ended up the clear, unanimous winner for all five of us. I had a couple of six packs of this one over the winter and enjoyed it quite a bit. The 2011/2012 batch was better than the 2010/2011 batch, and word is that the recipe was changed just a little bit. If you haven't had this recently, give it a try again. This is getting towards the top end of the style.

 1,104 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bobo's Robust Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.