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Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Robust PorterRobust Porter
2,780 Ratings
Robust PorterRobust Porter

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Robust Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,780 |  Reviews: 1,097
Reviews by Kinsman:
Photo of Kinsman
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours darker than brown but not quite black body, without the slightest bit of light coming through. A creamy tan head fills out the glass and moderately fades to leave a super sticky lace on the glass and nice cap on the body.

Aroma is definitely a bit more roasted than a lot of porters, even more so than some stouts. Robust is almost an understatement with this much aroma. Coffee, chocolate, and even a bit of a berry-like sweetness.

Taste is well balanced between roasted coffee and a slightly sweeter chocolate. This is complimented well by a nice semi-bitter finish that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Hops are there, being a bit more noticeable than most porters. However, they do not seem to affect the flavor in a bad way, only contributing a bit maybe to the semi-bitter finish.

A creamy medium-body mouthfeel that seems to hide the carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite American Porters. A great go-to beer packed with flavor but easy to drink.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Evilyak
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

it's easy to forget about beers like this. it's not unique. it wasn't done in collaboration between new hampshire and copenhagen. no one needed a wristband to get it.

i don't really give a shit about those kinds of beers. there's too much hype around them and someone's always done something stupid or weird to make it different and everyone gets this collective beer snob boner about how great it is not because it's really good but because it's really hard to get.

no one gets a boner over this beer, but they should (proverbially speaking, of course). it's exactly what it claims to be - dark, roasty, and sweet with multiple layers to both the nose and the mouth. it washes down clean, with a little coffee bitterness hanging around afterwards.

i've had more of these than i can possibly count through the years. this is happy beer.

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Photo of Todd
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Very interesting b&w label comprised of a strong man holding a keg in one and woman in the other. A little dog in a bag at their side. "Cirque du François Oeuf" reads the caption. Freshness cleary marked.

Appearance: Extreme dark. As dark as any Stout, but with deep brown pitches. A healthy, rich tan lace clinges from the dark abyss from which it reaches.

Smell: A grand dose of soft dark malts, caramel, faint dark fruitiness, subdued floral hop aroma and notes of coffee.

Taste: Mouthfeel is medium, smooth. Upfront citrus rind hop flavour that dominates the entire palate. It sharpens with a grapfruit juice quality, then dissapates. The black malts are the main culprits which lend to the acrid taste. Soon after, some lightly burnt malt/chocolate/coffee ground flavours poke through to score the palate. Finishes a bit dry with more of that lightly burnt medly.

Notes: One of Smuttynose's most complex and tasty brews to date. Haven't had many Robust Porters, but this is indeed true to the modern day interpretation of a Porter, and it is indeed robust in flavour.

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Photo of Jason
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge rocky light brown head that holds up very well and seems to stick everywhere it can. It literally is one of the best heads I have seen in a long time. Big aroma of highly roasted malt, a pinch of sweetness in there also. Very smooth with a creamy backbone. Robust they say and robust it is with a sturdy full body. Roasted malt is very prevalent and gives a quick snappish twang then a blanketing of softer roasted malt flavour slowly cover the mouth again with suggestions of French roast coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Tight berry like fruitiness within and a mild warming alcohol slowly warms the mouth and body. Damn good drinking.

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Photo of dar482
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It comes in a rich dark color, with a slight bit of brown in its head, like what a porter should have.

The aroma has huge chocolate, roast, and some coffee.

It has a complex round flavor of chocolate, coffee, and malt. It rolls off the tongue nicely with a clean wonderful finish. The body is so creamy. The beer is almost like a mocha coffee cappuccino.

I find that some porters lack that characteristic and this is what makes this beer so good is because of its body and mouth feel. I had this beer next to Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, a highly rated porter, and preferred this beer.

Love this beer.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours pitch black with a slight hue to it. A scant tan head of creamy foam that fell fast to a film and a ring and left sticky lace. Looks deep and like it never ends.

Nose is big and bright. There is a nice fruity scent of berries on top of a dark roasted malt. Coffee, chocolate and a light sweetness. There is no alcohol on the nose. It even has a faint touch of lemon rind that adds even more brightness. Caramel as the malt warms and some nutty qualities too. It's complex on the nose and as it unfolds it gets deeper and more vivid.

Taste is so wonderful. It's the deft combination of dark roasted malt and those bright sweet fruits that greet the palate. Then you notice the chocolate and are delighted. The coffee is blended with it perfectly and they are inseparable. The malt is soft and it 's caramel sweetness is full and with the nutty flavors it tastes sticky and sweet. It has a grainy edge to it and that is carried in the mouthfeel. The hop floral is faint but it's there to add lightness to the body. It's hearty and creamy at the same time. The dark malt even imparts a bitter that keeps everything rolling across the tongue for a complex and rich drink without heaviness.

Smuttynose has really done a terrific porter here. My favorite of it's aspects is the light berry-like fruit. So many times dark fruits impart a heavier quality to a beer like this one but this is just buoyant on the palate. Balanced perfectly and drinks with a delightfully long aftertaste. Tremendous!

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
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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Photo of EmeraldMist
4.75/5  rDev +15%
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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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose has delivered a truly "robust" porter with a black body and creamy orangeish tan head. The retention is quite good and it leaves some nice spots of lace about the glass. The nose expresses very dark cocoa, and a waft of espresso. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth with a medium body and fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. The flavor is rich with dark, bittersweet chocolate; a berry-like and cherryish yeasty fruitiness; and some mild grassy & citrusy hops. It's backed by a solid bitterness, and it finishes bone dry with a mild, cold black coffee-like roastiness. Nicely done!

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

Smuttynose Robust Porter pours black into the glass, with a medium sized, creamy light tan head on top. As the foam dissolves it leaves behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of chocolate, coffee and roast malt.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is creamy with a moderate effervescent fizz on the palate. The flavor is malty with chocolate, coffee and roast malt dominating each sip. Towards the end a flavor of nuts and a touch of pine appear. It finishes with a mild tartness and once gone the chocolate and roast malt lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty, easy drinking porter. It's almost stout like in its characteristics.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep back with a two finger tan head that fades very slowly to a thick cap. The lacing is very sticky, leaving behind a several layers of rings.

Smell; dark roasted coffee beans, chocolate and molasses dominate, but there's also an undercurrent of some dark fruits and bitter, citric hops.

Taste; lots of roasted malts and coffee beans. Chocolate and molasses fade into dark cherries and mildly citrus hops. The chocolate, molasses and fruits do a good job of providing a counter to the roasted coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a quite a bit of a creamy carbonation that never becomes biting, and the drinkability is good, but with the big coffee flavors might be a bit hard to drink more than a couple.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, dark, brown...bordering on black because barely any light gets through. Held up to light though, you can see a slight reddish hue. Initial aggressive pour yields about half a cm of head that dissipates into a thin film of suds. Leaves some lacing and rings down the side as you drink it.

S: Smell is lighter than the taste here. Dominated by a roasted caramel scent coupled with a coffee-like taste. I don't drink any coffee, so I can't tell you what kind of coffee it would be, but there is a definite coffee smell here.

T: Roasted malts up front, followed by the caramel malts and the coffee flavor. It hits you harder than it does in the scent. I almost wasn't expecting such a rich flavor. The aftertaste is a toasty mix of barley and caramel malts. And BOY does it linger! The aftertaste has a little bitter note to it.

M: Starts you off with a little twang from the light carbonation and finished with an extremely smooth. As I roll it around my palate, i can feel the carbonation disappearing.

D: For such a dark beer, I found the texture pretty light. I would say this is a medium-bodied brew. I couldn't quite see sessioning this, but there is definitely potential for you to enjoy more than one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from a split a couple of months ago, haven't had a chance to review it yet...

Appearance: Pours a deep deep brown with a small amount of head that fades very quickly. Mild lacing down the glass.

Smell: Hints of chocolate with a slight sweet, coffee smell.

Taste: A nice, mild chocolatey sweetness up front, smooth coffee in the middle. Finishes with just a bit of bite to it.

Mouthfeel: I felt this department was a little bit lacking. Tasted a little thin and watery, I was hoping for a bit more of a mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Overall, a very nice tasting brew. It's a shame I only got one of these left.

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Photo of davesway10
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of mocktm
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of PearlyGates
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Kerrie
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bferber
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brittanylicious
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of 1KEVIN1
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce brown glass bottle sealed with a brass crown cap which had the Smuttynose logo on it. Main label is a little skewed but looks just like the one pictured here in the BA Database. Listed at 5.7% ABV, with a nicked Best Before April 2007.

Appearance: Sits neatly in the glass, below a very light lace smattering. Dark black body has a ½” thick head which in turn has a very creamy consistency. Smooth and unfettered it produces an almost perfectly uniform cap. The carbonation is barely visible as anything more than a tanned cyclone, it is that finely dissolved.

Nose: Basically comprised of three simple components; lots of espresso coffee and dark chocolate fill the majority of the nose whilst roasted malts work out as it warms. Stark, simple but solid nose.

Taste: Like the aromas, the flavors draw on some simple elements but make good use of them. Lots of cocoa, bitter dark chocolate (the used for cooking), espresso coffee with some acidic roasted malts. Bitter and smooth it resonates with a swinging profile. Dark chocolate lingers long into the bittersweet ending. I admire the effectiveness of the simplicity of this brew. Quality stuff.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation is medium in strength, but despite its smoothness, it cannot cut against the harsher dark chocolate bitterness which lends a rougher than expected feel when you see just how fine the conditioning is.

Drinkability: I like this type of Porter, one that makes use of just a few simplistic flavors but to great effect. Heavy on the coffee and roasted bitterness but an evening beer to be honest.

Overall: Lots of coffee makes this one easy to imbibe, heck this would make a great Breakfast Beer with some scrambled eggs!!

A Robust Thanks to Sir BigHuge for this one.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to battlekow for throwing this in a little trade for some of my Lake Louie Reserve Scotch Ale.

Pours a thick, impenetrable black with two fingers of dark tan, rocky head. Nose is, uhh, robust with intense coffee, dark chocolate, woody vanilla notes and bourbon. Taste is as robust as the nose with roasted coffee grounds, baker's chocolate, earthy peat, toasted malt, bourbon barrel cask, and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Nice balance of sweet and bitter/roasted while keeping the palate interested. A big tasty porter here, I wish I could get my hands on some of Smutty's other stuff around here - guess I'll have to get it from Milwaukee as they're finally distributing there.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a delicious porter. Smuttynose's Robust Porter has a huge light brown head, great lacing and retention. Almost black in color.

Smells of roasted malts, dark coffee that has been sitting in the pot for a long time and some earthiness.

Tastes of chocolate, a mix of hop and dark coffee bitterness, fruits and roasted/burnt malts.

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Photo of stephensinner
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 2,780 ratings