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 Sabtos
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Blackish brown with a massive, solidly thick tan head that lazily leaves behind creamy, thick mats of lace.

Aerated nutty malt is all I get off the nose.

Taste is roasty coffee, walnut, milk, with a slight, peppery tang.

Creamy and soft.

In each area, this is like a Guinness, but improved.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up as part of a Smuttynose mixed 12-pack from the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander. The bottling freshness date is marked for 9/2/16, making this one good for a little over two months. Poured at a bit above fridge temperature into a porter pint glass.

L: Pours a deep coffee/cola brown, red-tinged at the edges where the light strikes through, with about three-quarters-of-an-inch of khaki head that sticks around for a good long while, settles on a very healthy film, and leaves great lacing on the glass.

S: Roasted and sweeter malts are the most prominent in the bouquet. There are more subtle notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee in the mix, as well. Just a touch of tartness or sharpness lets you know the hops are there. Pleasant, but not especially assertive.

T: Smooth malt flavor opens things up, with a very nice roasted quality, along with some sweetness. Following on its heals is some bright acidity that hits the tongue in the sides and back. It doesn't register at first as overt hop flavor, just astringency that livens the palate. Toward the middle, the flavors of coffee and dark chocolate begin to emerge--nothing overpowering, but enough to lend the flavor some nice complexity. Some licorice also registers on the palate. The back end continues the roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee flavors, and there is also a pronounced hop flavor present--earthy a bit floral in quality. It provides a nice balance of flavor, and it also lends the taste a measure of bitter at the close and aftertaste. Quite a nice journey this one takes you on.

F: Firmly medium-bodied, with slightly less than mid-range carbonation. This one drinks a bit more like a pale ale than your average porter: it's bright to begin, then creamy and smooth, and finally bitter.

O: I enjoyed this porter a great deal. It supplies the kind of malt flavors you'd expect from the style, and it has deftly balanced hops that are unexpected but very welcome. It has a nice body and a high enough ABV that you feel the kick without making it an outright sipper. I would definitely put this one in the same realm as Founders Porter and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald--it might not be as good as those brews, but it sure has a lot of personality. I definitely recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I drank porters fairly regularly this winter, which was kind of new for me. Frankly, the bitter coffee/chocolate notes are almost over the top in this offering from a bottle. It was tasty once my tongue adapted.

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Photo of OldSwampy
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown color with outstanding creamy dark tan head. Caramel malty nose with some spicy notes, but could be stronger. Taste starts with dark sharp edge that opens into an excellent slightly sweet, slightly hoppy, dark chocolate statement. Some toasty notes as well. Delicious. Once it had warmed a bit, the flavor seemed to develop more slowly, and still came across as quite rich and balanced. Mouthfeel both edgy and creamy, also well balanced.

12 oz brown bottle, poured into clear glass, bottle stamped with best by date "06/13/16"

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Photo of brblanch
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Pours a dark cola color with 1 finger of tan creamy head. Looks delicious. Head dissipates quickly with moderate lacing around edges of glass. Roasty malts, chocolate and bitter coffee on nose. Not picking up any hop aromas. The roasted malts and bitter coffee dominate the taste. Lingering bitterness which is a little harsh at first but mellows out as the beer warms and more sweet chocolate notes begin to breakthrough. The taste improved dramatically for me as the beer warmed. Good beer overall, I recommend letting it warm a little before diving in.

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

Poured into tulip glass. It pours virtually jet black with a rather thin, mocha-colored head and minimal lacing. At first, it didn't seem to have much of a smell but as it warmed I could discern burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and some roasted malt. The taste is better than the smell. Lots of burnt coffee grounds, chocolate, nuts, and a hint of caramel. There is also a faint hint of citrus which I thought was unusual. I don't taste much of the sweetness mentioned by others. This porter has a nice creamy feel. It's lightly carbonated and with an ABV of only 6.2% it is very easy to drink. Overall, I liked it but to me it's not as good as Founders Porter, VAS or Eddie Fitz.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of enjoying this on the coldest day so far this year. It went down quite nicely!
It poured a very dark brown and nearly jet black murky color. A tan head quickly dissipated into a thin ring like lace that bubbled with each sip and covers the surface when swirled.
The aroma was a nice blend of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and burnt malt.
This one really came into its own once it started warming. Initially, there is a medium coffee like and hops bitterness. Slowly but surely, a bittersweet chocolate malty backbone can be felt. What is also interesting about this one is that it has some grapefruit like and lemony qualities that are felt on the back of the tongue. I would describe the body as medium, softly carbonated, smooth and very drinkable. The finish is dry. Although the alcohol is not felt in the taste, the warmth is certainly felt by the end.
This was a really good one.

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Photo of sanha926
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Beautiful dark brown head, ideal carbonation, notes of caramel, molasses and faint hops with a slightly bitter coffee aftertaste. Not my area of expertise, but seems like a top shelf porter.

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Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Black in color with a couple fingers of tan foam. Nice head retention. Roasted malt character dominates the aroma. A bit of char and smoke leads into plenty of dark chocolate. Some of the fragrant character of American hops is evident.

Malty, yet quite dry in terms of flavor. Noticeable hop bitterness, especially on the finish. Generally smooth texture/carbonation, with maybe just a bit of fizziness. Charred grain with hints of coffee and cocoa. One of the best rated widely-available porters, and it's deserving of those good ratings. Pretty much a textbook American porter.

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Photo of Flashy
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased in a mixed 1/2 case for $12.99 in New Hampshire. This beer has it all. If it is not one of the finest porters in the world, I don't which ones are.
Look: Dark, creamy, healthy head with lacing.
Smell: Smells awesome, strong like it should.
Taste: Tastes like a porter, strong, coffee, with a almost red wine after bite.
Feel: Where this beer excels. Thick and creamy. Love it, love it, love it.

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Photo of cookedw
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bready, nutty aroma. Ultra-creamy mouthfeel and great retention. Has all the characteristics of a lovely porter, the cocoa is especially nice, but the bready and toasted malts just bring it all together. Lighter ABV but hearty enough. There's a little bit of some dark fruit in this one, but that and the aroma are the missing pieces for me that doesn't quite flip it to the next level of complexity for me...but such a solid and delightful beer, would easily get again.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a yellow note and a two finger high, brown-beige head. A lot of lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Coffee, roasted malt and nuts. Coffee beans, vanilla, dark bread, toffee and sweet licorice.
Taste: Dark roasted malt, coffee beans and dark chocolate. Molasses, brown sugar, dark bread, oak and ash.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and light carbonation. Rich structure. Dry and bitter ending.

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Photo of Nyg
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour very dark. Nice coffee colored head. Noticeably chocolate taste with a bit of a kick. Not too bitter with a medium feel to it. My only complaint was the after taste was of strong alcohol even though it wasn't that high of an alc%

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Photo of royalenfield
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extremely pleasant porter that sticks to your ribs and grows hair on your chest. I can't find any fault with it. Leathery, chocolatey nose. Malty-sweet but not cloying; nice big unctuous mouthfeel with more chocolate and coffee on the finish. A terrific way to wash down my goat-cheese-and-short-rib shepherd's pie.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 8/26/12

L: Very dark brown (near black) with light tan head.

S: Rich and roasty. Reminiscent of bitter chocolate and freshly-ground espresso beans. Faint sweet malt in the background.

T: Onslaught of roasty, burnt bitterness (more so than most porters) with a dry, bitter finish. Tastes of cocoa and day-old coffee, with a slight tanginess. A robust porter for sure.

F: Medium body with slightly less than medium carbonation.

O: One of the best widely available American porters. The strongest aspect of this beer has got to be its ‘robust’ aroma.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a light khaki head. Smells of roasty chocolate malts. Tastes like a robust porter! Roasted coffee and smoky chocolate flavors flourish through this one. It has a smooth, light body with moderate carbonation. Overall a really good porter.

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Photo of Runrunreindeer
4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It feels like I shouldn't give this a 5 overall because the aroma is pretty flat. But the taste and mouthfeel are off the hook. I would compare this favorably to any porter I've had. Get it NOW! I think the commercial tasting notes above are spot on, but it's more complex. Maybe also leather notes, for instance.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice and thick khaki head, very stout-like color a dark almost black brown
S- Hops and dark fruits, pleasantly robust
T- Hop forward, roasty malts, dark fruits, coffee and a bit of chocolate, perfect blend of hops, malt, and sweetness
M- Smooth, full-bodied, easy drinking
O- Wow, this beer is top notch. I was surprised by how different the smell and taste are. It seems as though I find something new in every sip. Overall this is a very well-crafted and complex beer. Easily the best I've had from Smuttynose and I'm putting this on my short-list for best porters. I would definitely buy this again and I highly recommend.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a single (best by 10/27) into a nonic
a: 2 finger tan/khaki foamy head on top of a deep mahogany/black body. Very good retention, very good retention, very good lacing.
s: bittersweet chocolate, a little smoke, some toasty dark malts, some acidic coffee, some raisin...good
t: follows the nose...lots of layers, delicious, a little fruity sweetness tied into the chocolate but this is outweighed by the roasty notes...ends with some nice lingering charred/roasty bitterness.
m: almost chewy, lively with some faint smoke and some good light bitterness, low carbonation.

Really good stuff. Would drink this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of slusk
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a black with a dense, dark tan head.

S: Chocolate, coffee, brown bread and molasses with some dark fruit. A bit of an earthy hop in the background.

T: Black coffee, chocolate and a bit of raisin is in the forefront. The bitterness is balanced well with the malt. The sweetness is subdued and this finishes somewhat dry.

F: Medium full body, not quite chewy. low carbonation. Slick mouthfeel.

O: This is a great beer. not as heavy as a stout but is full flavored. It finishes quite dry and has multiple levels of character. A great porter.

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Photo of kculrich
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz bottle best by 10/17/15. Deep mahogany with a modest tan head fading quickly leaving a fairish amount of soapy lace. Smells of ice coffee and dried fruit, clean and sharp. T: Coffee and cacao, raisins and rye bread, not sweet, espresso bitterness lingers. F: Medium-light body, gentle carbonation, smooth and exceptionally easy to drink. O: Beautifully made beer - hard to believe I can just walk right into the supermarket and get one whenever I want.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a Guinness pint glass. Best by 6/12/14, so we’re over a month after the best by date.
Look = 4.5 Poured a deep black with 2 fingers of thick frothy brown head. Great retention on that and a nice dense and sticky lace.
Aroma = 4.0 Sweet chocolate hits me first. Toasted malts through and through, maybe a hint of coffee. Overall pretty straight forward.
Taste = 4.0 Charred malts, sweet chocolate upfront. A nice bitter bite on the finish, more so than with other porters.
Feel = 4.5 Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Nice and creamy feel to it. Good feel for a porter.
Drinkability = 4.0 Smooth 6.2% ABV. Tasty.
Overall = 4.15 A really solid and robust porter. Being past the best by date didn’t seem to hurt this one much. Great look and feel to it and pretty solid nose and taste.

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Photo of ddean
4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a cold pint on tap at The Mission Tapas Restaurant in Pittsfield, MA. Attractive dark brown color, nutty chocolate aroma. Taste was delicious, made me think of a cup of iced Columbian coffee with a healthy dose of chocolate--not overly sweet but more tart/lactic acid. Mouth feel very smooth with a nice linger to the taste. Interestingly, the taste stayed exactly the same for me as it lingered---no bitter after notes, for example. Truly outstanding porter, probably my favorite of the style.

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Photo of drmeto
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big,frothy,beige head
coffee,chocolate,tobacco,faint dark fruits
-Follows the nose plus mocha
-medium carbonation
-medium body
Good, but couldve popped a bit more

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Photo of ASDFhydra
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L : Perfect. Very Dark Brown. Heavily-looking Head.
S : Chocolate smell than Coffee. Weak Alcohol smell.
T : Clean Porter. Chocolate taste than Coffee. Milk Chocolate.
Bitter.. Short Aftertaste. It was not satisfied.
F : Smooth. Easy to drink. Light.
O : nice beer. but, Light Porter is not interested. sorry Robust Porter T.T

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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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