Robust Porter
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Robust PorterRobust Porter
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Robust Porter
Ranked #2
Ranked #2,347
4.15 | pDev: 10.36%
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Robust PorterRobust Porter
Notes: This hearty, mahogany colored ale is brewed to evoke the dark, full-bodied ales that were a favorite of dockworkers and warehousemen (hence the name “Porter”) in 19th century London. It is a good bet that when Dickens’ Mr. Pickwick sat down for a pint, we would have been drinking an ale much like our Robust Porter.This is a smooth and very drinkable beer, characterized by its well-balanced malt and hops, plus subtle notes of coffee and chocolate.

43 IBU
Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 2,793 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GC2020
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This beer has gone downhill, sadly, since my last taste in 2013. We got a growler fill at the brewery ($6/64oz) and poured some into a pint glass when we arrived home. The look was as inviting now as it was then - dark brown, almost shimmering. The smell was our first clue. It smelled - artificial. We don'r homebrew so we don't know what we were smelling, but it wasn't good. We took a sip, followed quickly by a healthy gulp. It tasted as if the malted grain had been scorched, like old coffee grounds. There was that artificial taste again. I was disappointed; this had been a great beer. For the first time ever, I drain poured the rest of the 64oz. Something not good's going on at Smuttynose.

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GC2020 from Massachusetts, May 17, 2020
Photo of 1009
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I'm not a porter lover but this wasn't awful. This is the Tennessee Titans of porters. Average. Smooth and goes down easy but I just don't see the BA love for this. It's decidedly ok. Not great. Not Terrible, definitely not a 92 though. Like the Titian's they have promise with Derrick Henry, but they also have Ryan Tannehill.

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1009 from Massachusetts, Feb 19, 2020
Photo of Peach63
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep copper with a 1/4 inch tan head, which quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Aroma of molasses, chocolate, coffee.

Tastes of molasses, chocolate malt, coffee, cascade hops and possibly magnum hops?

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Oily, slightly bitter finish.

Pretty tasty. Lack of a lasting head is a bit of a bummer, but a darn good porter none-the-less. "Make mine a Smutty"!

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Peach63 from New York, Jan 22, 2020
Photo of PMakowski
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 Oz Can poured into glass
Look - very dark brown colored, frothy medium foam head lingers. Lots of lacing.
Smell - not super pungent but there is some roasted malt, some milk chocolate. Subtle earthiness.
Taste - crisp roasted malt almost burnt. Creamy dark roast coffee. Bitter hops in the finish. It has balance but the lingering aftertaste is bitter almost burnt marshmallow malt. Carbonation is medium and body is medium-heavy.

Overall, starts out pleasant on the palate but turns from sweet into quite bitter. One of the more charred porters out there. The name says it all, it is robust. Good but not something i would go for regularly. Grade is an A-

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PMakowski from New Hampshire, Dec 26, 2019
Photo of izraelc
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark. Light head. Not much of an aroma. Clean smooth body followed by a heavy malt finish. Tastes burnt and smokey. Good balance. A very good porter.

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izraelc from New York, Nov 09, 2019
Photo of beerdedking
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the better porters available. Great feel, foreshadowed by a delicious bouquet of coffee dark chocolate roastiness wafting up your olfactory nerve. Tasty porter flavors leaning slightly towards stout territory (for me means minus raisin notes etc...). Easy drinking and smooth.

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beerdedking from Pennsylvania, Apr 11, 2019
Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed as part of BJCP training. 20A American porter
Thick tan creamy head, decent retention, good lacing, super dark brown basically black, opaque

Nose big dark malts, a little roasty almost char, plenty of chocolate, cocoa, little roasted coffee and slight Smokey burnt malts,

Taste rich dark malts, slight burnt smokey malt, with more dark chocolate and mild roasted coffee, despite heavy roasty it's smooth and not harsh or acrid, some mild earthy almost spicy hops kick in with medium to higher bitterness on combination with the malt, hint of sweetness, drier finish, lingering bitterness but smooth

Mouth is full bod, medium carb, smooth richness

Overall quite nice, not sure how I haven't reviewed this yet, great classic American robust porter

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Feb 10, 2019
Photo of KomodoDragon
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks and smells the part. Black porter small bubble filled tan head with some lacing.

Burning wood smells, some raisin, some vanilla scent.

Some light, sweet maltiness in the front. Not much backing it up. Then some smoky grains in a long finish. Nothing unpleasant, just a bit unbalanced. And I pick up a little vanilla in the end.

Too much carbonation takes away an otherwise smooth feel. Highly drinkable as promised. Hides the alcohol.

Not sure where the robust is, but a fair offering.

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KomodoDragon from Virginia, Nov 16, 2018
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Red Robin. If memory serves me, this reminds me of a slightly more flavorful Guinness. I do find this to be a decent offering, but not in the realm of say an Edmund Fitzgerald. Glad to have tried it though.

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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania, Apr 13, 2018
Photo of Nass
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This taste amazing. Big & bold roasted malts, slight molasses, slight dark fruit, slight coffee roast like an espresso, slight tobacco. I can't believe there are no adjuncts added to this porter, It is so lively & bold tasting. The label artwork stands out too this is a highly recommended porter. The bottled on date is even there. Cheers! A-

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Nass from Florida, Apr 02, 2018
Photo of ManapuaMan
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz draft on tap. Gettzing misty-eyed thinking about Smutty’s unknown future. Hard to believe I haven’t reviewed this outstanding beer; an archetype of the style, really.

Coal-black body with a brown, tightly packed head that hangs around. Beautiful in a glass.

Aroma of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, licorice and dark fruit. The aromatics really shine as the beer warms.

Taste is roasted grains, char, bitter bakers chocolate, dark fruits, light floral hops. Nice cascade of flavors.

Toasty, roasty, unbelievably thick for the ABV; silky smooth throughout. Wonderful beer.

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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts, Feb 04, 2018
Photo of Jesterr44
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a slightly copper tinge while pouring; looks almost black in the glass with a nice mocha head. Aroma is typical porter with burnt malt, with faint coffee & chocolate. Taste follows with a nice sweetness that makes it stand out. Would enjoy again!

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Jesterr44 from Ontario (Canada), Dec 26, 2017
Photo of keithmurray
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - dark mahogany body with tan head

Smell - dark chocolate, molasses, cocoa, hint of smoke

Taste - molasses, smoke, dark chocolate, cocoa

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, cocoa, dark chocolate upfront, smoke/ash on the back end

Overall - solid porter here with good flavors that is certainly worth a shot

Price Point - $1.99/12 oz single

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keithmurray from Connecticut, Dec 16, 2017
Photo of EMH73
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a half inch, well retained tan head that left a lot of lacing. Smells and tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruits and just a hint of smoke. Full bodied for a porter, lightly carbonated, creamy mouth feel.

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EMH73 from New York, Sep 06, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a nice black with a half inch foamy off-white/tan head leaving a superb foamy spider web lacing, very ringy. The smell had chocolate malts combined very nicely with a nice roastiness. The taste had the chocolate overpowering pretty much everything else, but in a good way, nothing overbearing, just really good balanced really well with the coffee. The palate was about a medium, perhaps maybe even closer to a heavier feel with nothing harsh on the tongue. Overall, this is good for the style and very good to me.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Almost black in color,medium carbonation. A really pleasant smelling porter with aroma of coffee,chocolate , and malt. Not a creamy heavy porter but not thin or watery like some can be but perfectly in the middle. This has all the components that it should. As soon as I finished a bottle I immediately wanted to open another. Can't go wrong with trying this one

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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey, May 16, 2017
Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a six-pack purchased at The Beer Store; no bottling date, and served barely chilled. Listed at 6.6%.

Pours an opaque, deep brownish-black colour reminiscent of a cola, topped with an inch of foamy, light beige-tinted head. Retention is quite good - after nearly ten minutes have passed, there's still one finger of creamy foam on the surface, as well as a smooth coating of lovely lace slowly being generated. Looks great, and the nose is no less enticing - rich chocolate notes come through clearly, along with brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Hints of mocha coffee, raisins, toasted nuts and earthy, somewhat resinous hops add to the depth of the aroma.

It's yummy, if nothing else. Roasted dark malts supply most of the flavours, ranging from molasses sweetness, to dark chocolate richness, to ground coffee bitterness. Hints of dark fruits and citrusy hops are also detectable, with the profile ending upon an earthy, pine-resiny bitterness at the finish, followed by some roasty astringency and mild chocolate maltiness in the aftertaste. Medium-full in body, with low carbonation that weakly nudges the surface of the palate; the texture is soft, smooth, and almost silky, and a pleasure to sip.

Final Grade: 4.38, an A grade. Smuttynose's Robust Porter is aptly named - this is a strong, flavourful dark brew that is sure to satisfy the needs of porter lovers everywhere. The rich dark malt notes are fantastic, but the hop flavours are what catapult this beer from "really good" into "great" territory - the earthy bitterness at the finish is a perfect counterpoint to the chocolate, molasses and coffee flavours imparted by the malt backing. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of this in the future, and recommend it highly to any and all curious BAs.

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thehyperduck from Ontario (Canada), May 06, 2017
Photo of EmeraldMist
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Pours pitch black with dark ruby highlights when held to light, two fingers of tan head, great retention, some lacing.
Aroma - Dark roast coffee, charcoal, yeast, subtle smoke.
Taste - Layers and layers of roasted malt with a very nice slightly charred character. Rich coffee flavors about halfway through. Sweetness is there with a hint of malted milk ball but the star of the show is the charred malt. Hop flavors are minimal but do have a slight oily earthy quality. Finishes balanced with a hint of wood smoke. Aftertaste has lingering roast.
Feel - Medium bodied, soft carbonation, on the dry side yet creamy.

Overall - Complex, balanced and packed full of flavor. A world class beer.

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EmeraldMist from Maryland, May 04, 2017
Photo of andrewh995
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown, close to black. Smells of chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes of bitter chocolate, roasted malt, mild coffee, and some dark fruits. Light-medium moutfeel with light carbonation. Overall a good porter, just a tad watery in flavor.

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andrewh995 from Arizona, May 01, 2017
Photo of Holderness
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L -- 1,000 lumens passed through the glass reveals a dark amber with no haziness whatsoever. Big tan head produced with moderate pour. Great retention and moderate lacing.
S -- Mild roasted malts, baker's chocolate, cacao, and sour fruits
T -- Bittersweet chocolate upfront, followed by notes of dark fruit, coffee, and barley. Not particularly unusual flavors for a porter, but this one has a very good balance between them.
F -- Medium bodied with good carbonation and finish
O -- One of the more enjoyable Smuttynose offerings, although I still like their Finest Kind and Pumpkin ales more.


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Holderness from Massachusetts, Apr 01, 2017
Photo of matcris
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown with a finger of tan head that sticks. A nice rich roasty malt in the aroma, with some coffee, molasses, and, plenty of milk and dark chocolate. Same for the flavor, exactly. The feel is medium full carbonation, and it feels like a porter instead of a stout. Bit of a creaminess to the beer, and the sweet is up front with a pleasant bitter note that lingers after the sip. I'd buy it again.

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matcris from Arizona, Mar 25, 2017
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Black with thin foamy tan head that leaves splotchy brown lacing.

S: Roasted barley, milk chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt toast, coffee, earth, plums and raisins.

T: A nice smooth layer of chocolate, complimented by dark roast coffee, that pushes its way through to the finish. A nice mixture of sweeter dark chocolate and bitter cocoa powder, with roasted grains and burnt toast in the middle, and a very subtle dark cherry and plum note that compliments the almost fruity dark coffee flavor. Finishes with a light coffee and cacao bitterness.

F: Medium, smooth and rich, with a nice pushing carbonation that makes you keep reaching for sip after sip.

O: Complex, flavorful, and infinitely drinkable. One of the better porters I've had thus far.

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Photo of stcules
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black, brown head, on finger, soft.
Toasted malt, a bit of coffee, light resinous, an interesting green flavour.
Full mouthfeel, chicory, coffee, the resinous and grassy, more in the aftertaste, along with bitter roots and a light chocolate.
Average body.
Good, satisfying beer.

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stcules from Italy, Mar 22, 2017
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There are several wonderful porters available in MA and this is one of my regular favorites. Rich dark and "robust". Has tremendous flavor, medium body , creamy, full flavor . The roasted malt and bold flavor are standouts, improves as it warms. I compare this with Mayflower and I continue to be torn with which is "better" , both are distinctively different and are both must haves. This is an excellent offering and overall a standout. Long term great brewery .

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JMFBOSTON from Massachusetts, Mar 12, 2017
Photo of CNoj012
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a completely opaque dark dark dark brown color with a creamy, 2 finger light mocha head. Retention is excellent and there is a shit ton of lacing. Hanging rings, sticky webs and big old chunks...the whole 9 yards.

Smell is very robust. Black french roast coffee, and bitter bakers chocolate are most prevalent with some roasted grains and a touch of dark fruit underneath.

Taste is the same, but even more robust and flavorful. Starts off a touch sweet and finishes bitter.

Feel is medium bodied and very smooth. I dislike many porters because they feel like a watered down stout, but instead this beer has a wonderful creaminess making it lighter than a stout, but in no way thin and watery.

Overall wow! This is an excellent beer. My favorite porter is Founders because it is very thick and flavorful, but this one is just as good and (in my opinion) more true to style.

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CNoj012 from New York, Feb 23, 2017
Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2793 ratings