Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

1,081 Reviews
Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American 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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2000

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Reviews: 1,081 | Ratings: 2,693
Photo of hardy008
2.03/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Pours a dark black color which allows some ruby light to pass through. Has a foamy, tan, one finger head.

Smell - Hops, coffee, malt, and some chocolate.

Taste - The hops and the coffee comes forward more than the chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thin and watery with high carbonation. Light bodied and dry. Seems wrong for the style.

Drinkability - Very disappointing. To thin and watery for my taste. Too hoppy, and too dry. This Porter is anything but robust.

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Photo of mjc410
2.12/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The pour raises a one finger dark tan head, with quick sudsy lacing slowly falling into an opaque black body. The nose is immensely roasty, and filled with coffee, chocolate, and a bit of sweet caramel. Now, with these two areas rated, I'm definitely not prepared for the horror of the rest of the beer. Taste is like a sugared espresso, with a licorice note. Very bitter throughout, mildly acidic dry finish. The bitterness builds to extreme levels, and the licorice flavor becomes unbearable over time. The mouthfeel is far too thin for the intense flavors, I feel. This was a horrible beer, perhaps a bad bottle, but certainly a drain pour.

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Photo of Brew33
2.34/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Grabbed a Smuttynose mixed 12 pack to give them a shot. This wasn't great.

It looks like a Porter. Very dark brown, bordering on black. Crystal clear. Nice tan head. The aroma is rough. Slight malt, metallic, some burned paper aromas. Faint chemical smell. Heavily metallic. The taste is burnt. Lots of charred malt. Boring malt bill. Little complexity. Thin. The apperance wrote a check the body can't cash. The charred flavors dominate. Lots of grain bitterness. One dimensional. Dry finish which is nice. Drinkability isn't very high because of the staunch graininess and boring flavor profile.

Pass on this one. Especially when there are so many good Porters readily available.

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Photo of mterrence5
2.56/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Holy crap! this is pure darkeness. Pours like motor oil with a brown creamy head. High marks for appearance. Very strong tasting porter. Dark Chocolate and coffee with unfortunate acidic aftertaste. Altough it has a light feel to it this porter is very hard to drink. The flavors are very very rich.

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Photo of wac9
2.65/5  rDev -36%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

the darkness has consume me , as i journey down this road frist taste and the way it goes down wonderful always wanted to taste this and glad i did too bad snow coming and i gotta drive to work tommorow but its about i found a porter worth drinking been in a slump,too bad afterfrist night this is pretty bad

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Photo of biglite351
2.77/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - dark with a nice lasting foam. Slight red-brown threw the bottom.

S - there was something about the smell that I didn't like, but I can't put my finger on it.

T - full flavor but not great. There is a noticeable alcohol after taste.

M - mild tingle on the front sides of the tongue and top back of the palette.

D - pass. The smell issue and alcohol after taste put it off my future list.

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Photo of toetag39
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Upon pouring, I was excited about this one. A very dark, smooth pour, but was left with little to no head. The smell was above average with hints of malts chocolate and some type of floral hopps.

Upon first tasting, I was rather disappointed with the bitterness. It over powers the palate. My mouth becomes very dry as I continue to drink this beer. I rather not drink a glass of water with my beer.

Mouthfeel was ok, but again with the dryness. I can't get over it.

Overall, this beer was average or below average. I found myself drinking these sparingly and feeling the same way every time. I will venture off to another brewery for my porters.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.84/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured up from a 12oz bottle very average for the style; a black body with a loosely knit, sand coloured head which faded away in the time it took to type this first sentence.
Smell was good. Better than I expected, actually. Mostly used coffee grounds, but a bit of roasted malts in there, as well. Very nice.
After such a lovely smell, I was disappointed in the taste. It consisted of a bit of a coffee-esque flavour with some dark roasted flavours as well, which certainly sounds good, but there was just something peculiar about this one that I didn't care for. Also, the Cascade hop bitterness on the finish doesn't seem to fit this beer, or the style, for that matter. It just wasn't for me. Mouthfeel was very thin and left a bit to be desired, too, IMO. Not a bad beer, simply one I do not care for.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Good flavor, but really strong. A little too strong. Okay, it's about as strong as the guy in the unitard on the label: like it's been working out for years and taking selfies at the gym.

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Photo of TheDM
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a small head of large brown mostly lasting bubbles and an opaque black colored body. It has a mild malt coffee aroma. Initially it is smooth and mild but comes through in the end with a tingly coffee flavored mouthfeel. It is a decent brew, but far from being a best example of the style.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Now I can't say that I'm the world's biggest fan of porters to begin with, but this was just downright awful. The first few sips leave you marveling about all the flavors you are experiencing. The next few sips leave you cringing at how disgustingly sweet it is. The sickening sweetness of its chocolate tones overpower anything else in the beer and leave you looking for a Victory Hopdevil to assuage your taste buds. If you don't like sweet beers, beware.

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Photo of Bagman007
2.98/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark black color with about half an inch of light brown head.

S- Has a smoked/roasted scent to it. Also has somewhat of a chocolate hoppy scent

T- Very smoky/roasted taste to it. Somewhat tastes like BBQ with a slight hoppiness to it.

M- Fairly smooth beer, kinda bitter with a slight finish.

D- Pretty drinkable beer. Fairly smooth. Goes down pretty easily.

Overall a very solid porter with a unique smokey taste to it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This arrived with a big, fluffy, deep-tan/light-brown head. The beer was really dark, with very little light able to pass through it. The nose was very roasty, like coffee, but with an underlying malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was thick and full, almost creamy. There was an immediate sensation of roasted coffee beans on the palate. The finish was also roasty, but with a lingering charcoal taste, which I dislike (sorry). This drank more like a stout than a porter. I'm down with it, but not as a session beer.

Today, Sa, 11 March 2017, seems like a good day to revisit some beers that I have not drank in a while in the hopes that my palate may have evolved & if not, to see if I feel any differently about the beer in question. My original scores will remain in place as historical data, but I will also provide fresh scores at the end of this review.

From the bottle: "Make mine a Smutty!"; "Crafting fine beers in NH since 1994"; "Come visit our brewery and Hayseed restaurant at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. And visit us online at for events, releases and great Smerchandise in our e-store. As always, thanks for saying: Make mine a Smutty!"

I Pop!ped the cap & really let fly since it was a fresh bottle & I was anxious to get started. This action raised two fingers of dense, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention that left some nice lacing as it fell. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) with cola highlights only at the edges. Nose smelled deeply roasted, more towards dark chocolate or black coffee than anything else. "Subtle"? Hardly. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. The taste seemed awfully bitter, especially for an American Porter. It was more towards black French Roast coffee, which I tend to associate more with stouts. I can see why I was less than enthused by this on my initial encounter. Finish continued with a lingering bitterness that just did not seem totally appropriate for the style. I just kept thinking of a Dry Irish Stout or something along those lines, but not a Porter.
New scores: L: 3.5; S: 4; T: 3.5; F: 4; O: 3.5.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.07/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured deep brown with good carbonation leaving a nice tan cap, loads of bubbles and great lacing

S: Faint and grainy

T: Immedite roasted malt, bitterness with a intial rush of bakers powder cocoa, a little gfreen funkiy sourness underlying, tastes artificial and cheap. The finish is dry and bitter.

M: Medium bodied yet thin and watery.

O: Slightly above average. The taste was cheap, the body was thin. Not exactly sure whats A worthy about this beer.

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Photo of nataku00
3.14/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Good Foods Award marketplace in SF, poured into a plastic cup. Beer pours a dark brown with a finger of tan foamy head. Head dissipates to collar of foam and a even brown film on the surface. Decent carbonation visible at the edge of the cup.

Nose is dark roasted malt and some herbal hops. Maybe some milk chocolate, but really not much aroma.

Taste is dominated by very dark roasted malt, bitter and astringent. Some milk chocolate tries its best to balance things out, with the herbal hops coming in near the end for some additional flavor. Medium finish, with lingering chocolate malt, astringent roast lasting quite a while.

Medium body with lively prickly carbonation.

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Photo of canadianbarman
3.17/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

--This beer poured nice but the head disspersed quickly, leaving only a thin lace, which even almost all disappeared by the bottom of my mug. It poured an expected dark, almost black color.
--The smell was full of earthy tones: dark chocolate and coffee.
--I am truly not a connisuer of porters, but I am trying to aquire a taste. This one didn't really help me do that. I have had other porters that I did like a little better. Overall this was a nice beer and I have had worse. I would give it another go some day soon.
**Review #6**

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Photo of changeup45
3.17/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Black in color with a nice tan head and an okay amount of lace left behind. The aroma is pretty nice, they've got a coffee, chocolate thing going on which is pretty much follows suit in the taste as well. Somewhat dry with the addition of some malt and bitterness. Not one I'll get too often though as this isn't my favorite style.

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Photo of tone77
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some hops. Taste is a little disappointing, strong bitter coffee, some hops, roasted malt flavor is very weak. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer, but considering the other reviews I was expecting more.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle drank from a pint glass. Pours a dark brown with some lighter shades throughout. No head to speak of. Smell is roasted malts with some hoppyness coming through. Taste is really good, if it wasn’t for the hops. The underlying porter has a very roasty, smooth, coffee and chocolate thing going on with an incredible mouthfeel. The flavor from the hops is taking away from that. A very good beer that I wish I could sample without the hop profile.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.22/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Monthly club selection for May. Dark brown color, opaque, with 1-finger creamy tan head. Some chunks in the bottom despite being fresh (labeled as best by 10/08). Maybe something happened in shipping, but I can't know for sure.

Roasty malt smell with a light chocolate sweetness.

Strong coffee flavor with roasty bitter chocolate. Bitterness is almost all from burnt malt, no discernable hop flavor.

Medium body, nothing special.

Just average to me. I expected better and will try again, but I am not overly impressed. That said, it wasn't terrible either.

Tested on 6/11/08.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown/mahogany. Nice tan head faded fast. Smells of coffee and licorice. Darn good looking beer.

Taste-wise the same two elements come to the forefront. The ending is a fairly smooth one with nothing too memorable. Slightly watery mouthfeel. I was a little letdown.

This is a decent porter, but not great, and hardly robust.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Very dark brown with barely any light coming through. A finger or so brown head rises. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S - Old coffee and bitter chocolate come together for a sort of stale roasted aroma. It's not really bad, but lacking in some complexity.

T - In line with the nose. Semi sweet chocolate enters for a split second before the burnt/stale coffee grounds kick in. Flavor grows increasingly dry and acrid throughout mid palate before a crescendo of roasted malt, burnt bread, old coffee, and a sharp, earthy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Decent, but I'd rather the carbonation be bumped down a notch.

D - Meh, a little disappointing overall. None of the expected sweetness or even sour hints I would've expected. More like a semi-dry stout. The weird coffee flavor is slightly off putting and doesn't really make me want another sip.

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Photo of barrelman
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know that this style is more open to interpretation than any other style and I will take that into account, mixing flexible guidelines and preference.

Appearance is dark brown and red tinged with almost no head. The smell is chocolaty. The taste is also dominated by chocolate malt. I consider myself a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to porters and am more against the use of chocolate malt in porter. From there website, I can see that this beer also contains no patent malt, which is a big turnoff for me in this style.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is also good.

In the end, I like a porter to be more traditional and distance itself from its little bother, stout. Yeah, you heard me correctly.

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Photo of bossmanjg
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For a Porter, this brew comes across better than most, but I found it to be mostly average, nothing spectacular; which, it looks like, puts me in the minority. It’s a good thing we all have our own opinions.

Appearance: It poured a darker than brown color, but not dark as I would have expected. Head was okay.

Smell: Malt, malt, malt. Need I say more?

Taste: The taste was strong on, oh yeah, malt, malt, and malt. Maybe I was misled, but I was seeking more of a complex flavor, by the way people always speak of Smuttynose with a voice of reverence.

Mouth feel: Smooth with a little bite on the back of the tongue.

Drinkability: This is, for me at least, not a session beer. I can’t see myself drinking this brew on any occasion.

And as always remember the immortal words:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

~Benjamin Franklin

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Photo of travolta
3.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Apperance: Head is great. Wont stay as long as I'd like, but is lightly rocky, a mix of large and small bubbles, It is a darker khaki in color(head). The beer itself is tar black, but maybe a little red on the edges, you have to try and see the red though.

Nose: A little citrus at first. Next is a light carmel, chocolate aroma.

Taste: Great for a porter. That is, if you like your porters not as harsh. This was a light porter. Foamy mouthfeel, chocolate. I get a tiny bit of bitter foam. the rest is like unsweetened chocolate.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,693 ratings.
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