1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Cowboy Coffee Porter - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cowboy Coffee PorterCowboy Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

226 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jt31914 on 04-10-2010

32 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 102
Photo of david131
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very deep, dark brown liquid with just the slightest bit of light coming through at the edges. The mocha head is thin but creamy and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke and nuttiness.

T- Sweet coffee, chocolate, smoke, caramel, and a touch of nuttiness. Pretty tasty.

M- Very smooth with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming too slick in the mouth.

D- Good flavors that don't really build up too much on the palate. Well executed.

Photo of ocelot2500
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown color with a small, off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of light coffee notes.

Tastes of weak coffee and some other not well done roasted notes. Notes of cocoa and chocolate can be found, but everything lacks emphasis and in no way invokes the image of a boldness associated with cowboys, especially when they smoke Marlboros. Not much sweetness or bitterness, very bland in the way of the aforementioned weak coffee.

Mouthfeel is light and there is little carbonation as was evident from the head.

Photo of russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours mahogany with 2+ fingers of mocha head. Fantastic head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & dark chocolate, great nose

T: Coffee grounds up front, a touch of charred grain & dryness up front. Coffee grinds & a touch of nuttyness & wetness once warm. Finishes wet with charred grain, & watered down day-old coffee

MF: Thin with low carbonation, probably the weakest link in this beer

Drinks okay, nothing to get exited about here. Usually Big Sky delivers, not this time. Not even as good as the composite score, might have to drink a Founder's Breakfast stout to wash the taste of this away...

Photo of Hoser77
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into my AHA pint glass.

A-Pours like a dark cup of coffee. Opaque. Slight ruby red tints when held up to the light. Creamy off-white head that quickly dissapates. Lacing persists.

S-Light roasted coffee aroma. Faint hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Very little malt aroma. No hop aroma. Slight fruity fermentation esters.

T-Firm roast, coffee, and chocolate flavors upfront and linger into the background. No hop flavor. Very little hop bitterness. Bitterness primarily from roasted malts and coffee. Slight nuttiness and graininess. Subtle toffee flavors as well.

M-Beer seems a little thin and watered down. Slightly astrigent from the roast malts and coffee. Finish is crisp and dry. Seems to have a carbonic bite in the middle and end.

D-An OK drinking beer. I have had better and worse coffee beers. Seems to lack complexity to me. Not one of the more memorable beers from Big Sky.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer = great
Coffee = great
Coffee beer = this one, good

It's a very deep black with dark brown edges and dark tan foam that faded to nothing and left little lacing. The aroma had a good amount of coffee with a bit of cocoa. The taste is less coffee and more cocoa that seemed just a very small tad chalky. The body was nice and full and super smooth. This one is good, but I prefer their other limited release porter Bobo's better.

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Striated layers of foam, creamy parfait style, dense-loose-dense, billowing over the rim in a convex form. Sticky and creamy, the foam seems to be it's own entity. Laces in sheets. Jet black when backlit.

Raw, roasty coffee and black patent malt. Alternately soft and rich as the initial intensity fades. Some nuttiness and dried plum in the background.

Extremely smooth and creamy, some light fruity sweetness blends easily with roasty coffee and chocolate notes. Dry coffee is there also, but dark chocolate just pervades across the palate. Some milky sweetness in between, walnut and dates in the aftertaste. A classic porter, one of the best beers i've had from Big Sky. Really enjoyed it, and will seek out more.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A dark mahogany liquid fills the pint, almost jet-black save for a few traces of bottle-brown at the edges. The head is khaki tan in color and very well retained as it clings to the edges of the pint. Roasty, toasty, biscuity aroma with dark malt husks, charred chocolate, and black coffee. "Cowboy Coffee" is right--no cream or sugar in this java. Very clean and simple for a coffee porter, but Big Sky got the nose right.

And the black coffee theme continues! Very dry, bitter coffee fresh from the pot at Waffle House. No frills. No Starbucks. Just fresh coffee. Most of the porter notes get overshadowed, but in this case it's fine by me. Thinnish mouthfeel, with a clean finish and bubbly carbonation level. Cowboy Coffee has easily the starkest, most uninhibited 'raw coffee' flavor I've ever had in a beer. I had to keep checking my teeth for grounds...

Photo of KarlHungus
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nearly opaque black color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of cheap coffee grounds with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. The taste is more roasty than the aroma, but there is still a lot of coffee grounds, and coffee bitterness. The mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation for the style, and a watery texture. Overall, this beer is definitely lacking. It tastes more like Folgers than any other beer I have tried, and that isn't a good thing.

Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger tan head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate, caramel and some toffee.

T - The coffee flavor is very light with good chocolate and roasted malt flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is an okay coffee porter. I'd like more coffee taste in it, though.

Photo of vince4953529
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled poured.

Strong black coffee taste, some burnt flavor, hints of tobacco (faint ashtray aroma). Not much sweetness going on, which was okay.

Easy to drink, average body and fairly quaffable. Overall a standard American porter with emphasis on the coffee aspect.

Photo of BowserBrew
4.64/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am not a huge fan of Big Sky beer but their special releases are great, including this beer. It pours nice and dark with roasted espresso smell and taste. I am a huge fan of this beer and would recommend it to everyone. Even my friends that hate microbrews love this beer.

Photo of rrski198
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Done from brief notes at a beer festival

A: Jet black and off red colored head. Decent bubbles.

S: Spent coffee and burnt malt. Mild malt sweetness is balanced nicely with the bitter coffee/chocolate scent.

T: Straight thin old coffee. Not much else to say.

M: Thin bitter burnt coffee. This style of porter would benefit from an increased body. Not a bad beer, but I need soemthing more here.

D: Not to shabby. I would buy again if I was iterested in an everyday porter, but it is a little to thin for something special.

Photo of zhanson88
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cowboy Coffee pours a very dark brown --close to stout-looking-- color with about a finger of khaki head. Retention is really good, and lacing is good as well. I enjoy the hell out of rich, dark porters, and so far this one fits the bill very nicely. Great looking beer.

Smell: Lightly roasted malts and a good deal of coffee by far the strongest scents I pick up on. I do get some floral hops as well. I would say that the coffee scent is a bit on the acrid side, but not at all unpleasant.

Taste: Once again, lightly roasted dark malts and coffee make up a lot of the flavor in this beer, with some floral hops on the back end. I'd say that the coffee flavor does get a touch acrid, but nothing is a major turn-off on this one. It may be a bit one-dimensional but still, pretty good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Ah, mouthfeel shows up again in a Big Sky beer. In my opinion it's something that is a bit lacking in a lot of their brews. This beer is definitely light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. Definitely light for the style. Overall, drinkability is pretty good. I enjoy the flavor of this beer quite a bit. It seems that there are some mixed feelings about it, but I would buy it again. I find it to be a pretty nice coffee-infused porter.

Edit: If you are going to drink this beer, go ahead and drink it at room temp. Either that, or don't be too quick to judge while it's cold. It does get a lot better as it warms.

Photo of leedorham
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a very dark brown with a good size tan head. Nice sticky lacing. Very nice presentation.

S - Nose is of roasted grains, coffee, and burnt sugar. The aroma lingers well and stays until the end of the glass.

T - Carmelized sugar and roasted grains dominate the taste. Doesn't have as much coffee character as the name would suggest.

M - a bit of a metallic feel to the palate. Good carbonation level. Some viscosity.

D - A solid offering. The aroma is what's most appealing about this one. I'll likely buy again sometime.

Photo of Beaver13
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a medium creamy tan head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate and vanilla with some coffee roast and a touch of smoke and ash.

The flavor is a little sweet chocolate with a lot of acidic stale coffee flavor. There's a decent amount of charred bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, a decent coffee porter. The coffee flavors were a little stale to me and the charred bitterness was a little much. I preferred the Santa Fe coffee stout much more.

Photo of homebrew311
2.64/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: pours a deep brown with some light passing through, thin white head with good retention, splotchy lacing

S: notes of molasses and cocoa, notes of coffee in the background, notes of dark fruits at the end

T: beer starts off with a ton of roasted malts, followed by a huge bitterness, presumably from the coffee. The coffee character is all bitter and doesn't seem to be doing any favors for this porter. The finish is sharp with a slighty metallic character.

MF: medium bodied, high carbonation. Leaves almost a chalky feeling on the palate.

D: I was intrigued by this brew, so I picked up a single. Glad I didn't grab the whole 6 pack. This beer is a little messy with a really dry and unpleasant finish. Will not be getting more of this.

Photo of FernMaster
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass.

I had this at the Flying Saucer in KC and by the time the glass got to me there wasn't any head and there was no lacing on the glass. I don't know, maybe it was sitting somewhere for a minute or two before it got to me (doubt it, service is good there) but even if that's the case that doesn't speak highly of the beer. Cowboy Coffee itself, looked the role of the porter. Dark, pitch black. Someone with the Fop Rule couldn't drink this beer (meaning light can't be shone through it).

The smell for this beer is close to everything I want in a porter. It screams to be paired with BBQ as there's a big bold smoke flavor present in the nose. I would have liked the coffee to be more prevalent, but the coffee and chocolate was there in small quantities. The smoke came through the most and it smelled really nice.

The nose didn't lie to what the flavor of the beer was going to be. BIG smoke flavor and some moderate chocolate and coffee components. A little bitter roasted malts could be found, if there were hops I couldn't notice them. I think the flavor of this beer is just okay, not great just okay. The smoke was just way, way to overbearing for my palate. I'm from Kansas City, I'm a man who likes his smoke. I smell smoke while driving and I smile thinking that someone is enjoying a damn good piece of meat somewhere. I smell smoke and salivate. However, I wouldn't salivate if the woods near me were on fire, I would then be a little concerned. Cowboy Coffee from Big Sky is a beer with its woods on fire.

The mouthfeel is very nice. It's a good big body to up hold the amount of California wildfire smoke they crammed in this beer. And it drinks well, it could have drank better but that's the smokes fault. I like this beer, I think it's okay, but I don't EVER see me picking this up over a Bully! Porter.

Photo of jsh420
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours black reddish brown with a 1 finger tan head that faded fast and left no lacing

smells like a cup of coffee with a little bit of chocolate

taste was ok - the coffee tastes a little off to me? plenty of cocoa and burnt malts

mouthfeel was a light/medium body with plenty of carbonation maybe a little too much

drinkability is so so - there are too many other porters or stouts with coffee that i would drink over this

Photo of nickadams2
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours black with dark reddish brown highlights. Thick brown head that lasts for about a second then dissipates.Not much lacing.

S_Espresso ,caramel and chocolate with a touch of nuttiness. Smells pretty good.

T_Same as nose. Rich espresso with a creamy sweetness to it. Caramel and chocolate come to mind. Nice nutty finish.

M_Medium bodied and well carbonated.

D_Easily could drink alot of these.

Had this on tap and appearance and mouthfeel were much better. Definitely worth a try though. Really tasty.

Photo of TheBear11D
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a very dark brown to black color with a thick dark brown head that slowly looked foamy as it slowly dissipated and had plenty of lacing.

Smells pretty strongly of coffee and espresso with white chocolate also present. Has smokey oak notes as well.

Very smokey flavor with hints of coffee and espresso. A few sips in reveals pine. The bitterness of the coffee hangs on just a bit into the aftertaste.

Medium body with a fizz that builds into the aftertaste.

I could see myself having a few of these in a single setting and revisiting this would be a treat.

Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Pitch black with moderate tan head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Somewhat sweet chocolate and coffee, with roasted barley and molasses.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee and molasses round out the roasted malt body. Ends with a nice level of bitterness from both the roasted malts and hops. Not as much coffee as I would expect, as some standard Porters and Stouts can attain this much coffee flavor without additions. Still, pretty well executed.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body with a dry finish. Just a trifle thin.

Drinkability: Overall, a pretty good Porter. I have some minor concerns about the quality and/or quantity of coffee used, but it all came out alright.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a dirty white cap

S: Some coffee, roasted malts mainly

T: The taste has a light Folgers caffeinated coffe taste to it. It is backed by toasted malt, cocoa hints

M: Well carbonated, no major issues

D: pretty decent drink all the way around, noit bad, not great but drinkable

Photo of philbertk
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Sky Brewing Company--Cowboy Coffee Porter--Limited Release--2011 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 32 IBU's? (3.75 / 5.0) Lacy lasting dense creamy espresso head. Thick Pour. Clear dark bronze opaque dark black color. Big roasted coffee mild hop front. Dry mild creamy sweet crusty burnt biscuit espresso cocoa dark fruit hint malty Porter body. Clean dry mild hop balanced end. Good if not exceptional. Sampled 1/11/2011. 6- Pack purchased for $7.99 @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 1/7/2011.

Photo of landrewg
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to make this my first review because I had it on tap at Uptown Grill this weekend, loved it, came to BA to find out where to get it and saw these two bad reviews. I think they might have had a bad keg at Hopcat. It came with a very creamy look and a mild aroma of coffee. Taste is smooth and delicious. Could drink a few of these with no problem.

Photo of tpd975
2.7/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at hopcat.

A: pours a dark brown almost black with a rather small tan head. No real retention or lace noted.

S: Aromas of light roasted malt, cheap truck stop coffee, and chocolate malt.

T: Taste even less appealing than the aroma. Light roasted malt with very subtle chocolate. Hints of coffee, but not the fresh kind. To describe it I would say watered down cheap coffee with a hint of crushed malt. Nothing really melds, hell there is very little flavor here to be honest.

M: Light, watery.

D: Forgettable. I have already forgot I consumed this one.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Cowboy Coffee Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.