Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

1,078 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: 1,078 | Ratings: 2,685
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

black as night. Roast coffee aroma and taste, with cookie chocolate smoothness. Good balanced stout, between malt, carbonation, not too bitter. Medium texture. Roast, sweet. Moderate alcohol is good. Possibly best of show at Modiale from what I was able to sample.
Draft 6 years later at Primus 16. Thick lace, sweetish, watery.Big coffee.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head on a very dark near jet black body. Very nice lacing. Aroma is nicely coffee filled though a touch mild with toasted malt. The flavor follows nicely with a more full coffee flavor with smokey undertones. Medium body and moderate carbonation. The flavor is very nice and full for a porter. The coffee stiffens this up and makes it more memorable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around 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 citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance of roast and hop aspects.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of my favorite porters going these days. it flows out of the bottle dense and nearly black, creating one dark pint of beer with several permanent inches of mocha colored head. the nose is powerful and awesome. fresh ground coffee, dark roasty barley, and a peppery ale yeast all come together to suggest that a sip of this is going to far exceed my expectations of what a porter is capable of, and indeed it does. i taste a lot of coffee up front, save the acidity, with milk chocolate notes and black licorice in small proportions. the finish is bitter from the burnt malt, almost ashy, really big and bold. not sure how well this beer fits the style i have come to know as porter, this is a definite envelope pushed and one of the most flavorful porters ive sampled. massive body and the right abv for what it is. the bottle says 5.7% though, so i am wondering if the recipe has changed? .5% seems like a large variance from batch to batch, but what do i know. overall this beer rocks, and it may just be the best thing smuttynose does.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a rich deep brown color, mostly black. The head was a light tan color. The smell of the beer had a very nice roasted aroma to it, and a touch of sweetness on the nose too. The taste had a burnt flavor to it, very enjoyable when mixed with the sweet malts. The mouthfeel os the beer isn't super heavy even though the color is dark. overall it's a pretty nice porter and worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color (only traces of amber are visible at the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a finger high creamy tan head that quickly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of coffee beans and roasted malts in the nose, which become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, roasted malts stand out in the overall taste, which are accompanied by flavors of coffee and chocolate. There is a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is quite dry.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and packs in a big amount of flavor. The low alcohol content makes this beer sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a tremendous display of American-ized porter that shies away from stout-like roast and char- Smuttynose continues to demonstrate not only their knowledge of porter, but their sheer craftsmanship with dark ale.

Dark "bark" brown in color, the robust porter casts a mild unfiltered haze only an otherwize mirror-like sheen. The beer releases a light tan head with lightly fluffed texture and tremendous staying power. The beer's foam laces with woven intricate patterns as the beer falls. No way around it, this is one handsome beer!

Malt dominant with toast, chocolate, and coffee aromas, the nose is backed by burnt caramels, malted milk candies, and light toffee for a full and rounded scent. Background hints of American hops peak through with a tinge of grapefruit and grass that set the aromas apart from British versions of porter.

Bittersweet chocolate, bold roast coffee, and toasted currants align with other firm flavors, perhaps of walnut and heavy whipping cream for rich variation- all malt-derived. Just as the toasty grains offer a semblance to balance, so do piney hops and citrus peels. Also clean of roast, the beer flirts with the line that link porter to stout, but the taste is careful to not cross the fence. It's a clean tasting porter, albeit a strong flavored one.

Rich and robust on the early palate, but thereafter an arid toast, assertive bitterness, and thinning alcoholic warmth rise in middle palate. Still malt-forward, the body gives way in deep in finish for malty-dry closure. Hops and seared grain linger a deeply and rewards the after-palate heading into the next sip.

Where fans of darer ale typically reach for stout, all should take notice to this formidable ale that belongs in the discussion with Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Founders Porter.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, huge tan head to it. Smell is of chocolate and coffee. Taste is medium to full bodied, great complexity and flavors going on. Great coffee and chocolate tastes come through, with a nice backing of hops to make an overall smooth beer. Absolutely delicious and one of the better porters I've tried.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian color with a solid, tan head that leaves waves of lacing around the glass

Smell: Roasted aroma of charcoal, espresso and flaked chocolate

Taste: Starts out with a coffee and burnt charcoal flavor; fruity hops add character by mid-palate; after the swallow, a variety of mellow chocolate flavors appear to blend with the fruit

Mouthfeel: Creamy body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Flavorful and well-balanced; very nice

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Photo of largadeer
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black with a thick, frothy mocha colored head. Robust is accurate; it looks more like a strong stout.

Smell - This beer has a very muted aroma, even at near room temperature. Roasted malt and a hint of coffee are all I could catch.

Taste & mouthfeel - Bold, roasty and full-bodied. Flavors of coffee and dark chocolate come to mind. Very drying to the palate; there's no balancing sweetness to be found anywhere here. The beer finishes on a roasty (almost burnt) note, leaving a long lasting bitterness on the palate.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a nice foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of rich roasted malt is quite powerful and interesting. Taste of rich bitter roasted malt is domination and enjoyable. Creamy texture with some medium carbonation and good full body provide even further enjoyment of this fine beer. I would have like a bit more chocolate malt to offset some of the bitterness but apart from that this is a fine beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a few fingers of billowing, chocolate milky foam. Body is nearly jet-black. Roasty, earthy coffee & chocolate in the nose. Head is pillowy, and falls a bit around the edges like a soufflé. Thick lacing rings the glass in dense webs.

One sip, and the taste smacks down the palate. Roasty coffee, and bitter chocolate are the main components. Hops may be present, lending a little bitterness. The high degree of roastiness reminds me of GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald. More chocolate here though. Mouthfeel is velvety and fairly light, despite the rich flavors. The earthiness has a clove-like quality as well.

A few of these would serve well as a fall/winter session beer...
Pairs well with Gorgonzola, the earth and smoke character stands up well to the earthy richness of the cheese.

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Photo of zeff80
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a huge (3-finger), mocha-colored head. It left big rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and caramel. There was also a candy-like smell.

T - It tasted of roasted malt and dark chocolate. There was a coffee taste that gave it a little bitterness.

M - It was crisp and dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good porter. A good blend of sweet malts and chocolate that is complimented by a coffee bitterness.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at Vintage Estate in Ohio. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours nearly black with a thin light mocha head that disappears pretty quickly and leaves just a bit of a thin collar. There are a few bubbles on top as well. The nose brings some very nice dark chocolate along with a bit of roast. Chocolate is quite nice and hits well. The roast lingers in the background, but adds some complexity.

The flavor hits pretty hard and offers up quite a bit of goodness. The chocolate and roast blend beautifully along with some lingering dryness and bitterness. Light amounts of espresso and molasses in the finish. Quite nice and doesn't really present any alcohol. There is a lingering bit of strange dryness in the long finish; almost cardboard-like, but I wouldn't call it oxidized. Medium-to-full body with moderate carbonation. Really quite nice and one of the better porters that I've had in quite sometime.

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Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown with a wispy almond colored head,aroma is chocolaty and deeply roasted with an almost lactic quality to it.Taste is pretty robust like it says,I get a big earthiness along with some bitter unsweetened chocolate with some dry hoppy notes that eek through near the finish.A real nice cold weather brew nice to sip on a rainy damp day like today.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/8/2015. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around- the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, light herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roast and herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome porter style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink for the abv. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +1%
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 chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a snifter. Some months past the indicated best by date, but carefully cellared.

Very dark reddish-brown in color. Nearly black in the snifter. Light brown head soon reduces to a robust ring and some islands, but leaves lacing on the sides.

Aroma: a fine, rich and complex aroma of dried fruit, fine alcohol esters, coffee, dark roasted grains and more than a hint of dark chocolate. Faint trace of charred malts. (False) hints of barrel aging.

Taste: A load of dark roasted malts, with some dark coffee, and a hint of dried plums. Mild-moderate bitterness in the coffee-tinged aftertaste. (near 4)

Feel: Full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Nicely smooth but slightly astringent.

Overall: a great and robust example of the style and a very big beer for such a low ABV.

(revisited and confirmed in Nov. 2013)

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: It has a creamy espresso aroma with rich smoky roasted malt background.

T: Taste is rich and creamy, full of roasted coffee along with flavors of caramelized malt, dark chocolate. After-taste has that black coffee flavor to it.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish without the stickiness that you can get from this style.

D: Very tasty, not as filling as most porters, goes down very easily, this beer is an excellent representation of style and one of my favorite porters. I haven’t had a bad beer from Smuttynose yet.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany brown with red highlights in the Scotch Ale glass. Handsome brownish head. More bitter, more like a stout. Quite rich and flavorful. Nice rasp of burnt malt, though fairly mellow. Only a touch of sweetness among all the roasted malt. Nutty, like walnuts with the bitter skins. Serious hoppiness turns up the more you sip, and gives a long bitter aftertaste, probably enhanced by the black malt. More austere and less sweet than many porters.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MuddyFeet for this one!

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, with a dense, foamy mocha-colored head which slowly settled over the next few minutes.

Smell: Malty with currents of sweet chocolate and roasted coffee beans running throughout. Faint fruity scent, as well.

Taste: Like a demitasse of espresso served with a small square of chocolate melted within. Caramel. Grains. Hops are piney and they blend quite well with the other flavors. A touch sour. Lingering dry roasty finish.

Will you people please just relax for two seconds? All the rich flavors will come together perfectly, trust me.

Mmm. There. Delish!

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy. Just a hair above medium in body (medium-plus?). Carbonation remains light.

Drinkability: The first and only porter claiming to be "robust" that really delivered for me. I'm positively nonplussed with amazement. But also saddened by the fact that I can't regularly get this in Georgia. Plenty of flavor, well-balanced, and extreme drinkability make this an outstanding brew.

Other porters beware! Cuz there's a new sherriff a-comin'.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear very very very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation percolating at the surface of the beer and traces of mahogany + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a mottled surface of very thick film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted dark malts with lighter notes of coffee beans. The smell of this brew intensifies as the beer warms up.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of roasted dark malts with light amounts of bittersweet chocolate and freshly brewed coffee. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish but it does not linger for long.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a moderate amount of dryness in the finish.

O: What a great beer - lots of complexity in the flavors and aromas of this beer which is quite flavorful but light enough in body/mouthfeel to make it very easy to drink. The lower ABV makes this one that I could enjoy a couple of pints in a single session.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This may be the darkest porter that I've seen yet. In fact, it's darker than many stouts. Impenetrable black with a slice of ruby at the bottom edge of the glass when backlit with bright sunlight. The head is light milk chocolate brown in color, and is large and rocky as it deflates. The crown takes forever to fall, eventually depositing a better than average amount of lace.

The nose is of heavily roasted malt and ground coffee beans. Robust is right! This baby is uber-flavorful and that's at my beer fridge temperature of 50 degrees. With any warming whatsoever, I expect an absolute flavor explosion. Unfortunately, the dominant flavor is bitter black coffee. Not being a coffee drinker (because I don't like the taste), I'm not a huge fan of Robust Porter.

This is the second porter that I've had in the past few days in which the initial coffee flavor faded with warming and chocolate became more prominent. That's a good thing. The finish is long, bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is just what one would expect for a 'robust' porter. It's full, almost heavy, and not quite creamy. A subdued amount of carbonation only helps.

Smuttynose Robust Porter comes close to being one of my favorites of the style. The only problem (and it's a huge one), is that I don't enjoy coffee-flavored porters and stouts. Cut the java way the hell back, replace it with chocolate and then I'd be in heaven. Thanks to Dantes for the bottle.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark with a 2 finger light brown head. Very nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Lots of dark malts and some chocolate, some dark fruit, and some caramel.

T: Mostly roasted malts and bitter chocolate with a little coffee mixed in.

M/D: Smooth and creamy with slight carbonation. Pretty drinkable, one of the better offerings from Smuttynose I have had thus far.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich dark brown in color and nearly completely opaque. A huge brown head then rose up over the top of it and took forever to settle down, only actually fading depositing large amounts of side glass lacing.

Lots of wonderful coffee notes, fresh brewed coffee with that delicate sweetness added in that just made the whole thing really come together wonderfully. Smooth mellow taste here. Coffee right up in your face, smooth notes of sugar mixed in along with hints of light vanilla. Wonderful feel here with deleicate carbonation that avoided the too filling side of it. it was almost too good, and too easy to drink, this went down way too fast.

Overall a very solid coffee porter, this was a favorite of the night for me for sure, I would not mind having this one again any day!

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,685 ratings.
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