Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Robust PorterSmuttynose Robust Porter
2,732 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,732 |  Reviews: 1,090
Photo of garuda
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep ruby, tan head that retains well with lacing.

S/T - What I expect from a 'robust' porter. Clean roasted malt character rolling into bitter dark chocolate with some sweeter chocolate notes throughout and finishing with a punch of pine hops.

M - Nearly full body, nice carbonation, thick and creamy across the palate.

O - Nice porter and everything I expect to get from a self-dubbed robust porter. I'd get it again.

 427 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of good 'ol Steve Twigg, thanks dad! Pours a nice, thick, near-black color with a few brown highlights permeating the edges. Head shows some decent retention and lace.

Nose has sweet licorice, sharp fruit and heavily roasted malt. Interesting and complex smelling brew.

Taste simplifies things a little bit, although it is by no means a one-dimensional beer. Sweet, roasty malt has a touch of caramel and a nice hop backing that compliments, rather than opposing the roasted malt. The line that this beer walks between sweet bitterness is truly amazing and an incredible brewing feat. This is a quintessential American porter and is one of the best of the style I have had in at least a couple years. I love it when a beer under 6% gives you that 'WOW' feeling. This one did it for me. Hats off to you Smutty.

 834 characters

Photo of Morey
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle with Best Before November 2011 notched on the side of the label.

Pours black in color with a one finger beige colored head that has settled to a spotty layer covering the top of the beer. Pretty good head retention with moderate lace left behind.

Somewhat clean and mild aroma of roasted barley and touch of bittersweet chocolate in the nose.

I'm getting a bit of chocolate on the front end of this one. Touch of bitterness and charred wood towards the middle. Lots of flavor in the finish. The chocolate and woody tones carry all of the way through. Maybe a hint of coffee on the back end as well.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that's slightly chewy at the end. Moderate to low carbonation.

An above average Porter without question.

Morey's Bottom Line: This may be my 2nd favorite Porter to date, with Founders holding the top spot. I like Edmund Fitz, but I got give the runner up to Smutty.

 909 characters

Photo of NickRivers
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A&S - Pours a deep black with a two finger brown head. Smells of wet grains, smokiness, and burnt dark chocolate.

T&M - hits sweet and crisp with bitterness from the hops, as the malt sweetness grows, some of the more smokey qualities shine along with some alcohol breadiness. The beer then finishes with a bitter dark chocolate and coffee flavor. Vert robust, just as advertised. The aftertaste has what I want to refer to as a zesty flavor, its almost like eating an orange peel then having that bitter aftertaste. Not to appealing.

O - A pretty good brew, nothing spectacular. Can't wait for the Pumpkin to see how Smutty can fully use the ingredients to their full potential, cause I just don't see it in this porter. Try it out regardless, along with Firestones. Cheers!

 778 characters

Photo of soju6
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with a good head tan head that fades slowly and has good lacing. Looks inviting.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

T: Has an initial bittersweet nip with coffee and roasted malt. The bitterness continues through to the finish which is quite dry.

F: Fairly heavy body, smooth and creamy with excellent balance.

O: Robust and very enjoyable. Excellent change of pace, kick back, relax and savor.

 451 characters

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

A - Black with a light amber hue around the edges. A 1 finger tan head. Looks exactly like what a porter should look like.

S - Dark roasted malts dominate the aroma in this one. Dark and sweet chocolates, coffee, just a general roasted graininess. Almost seems like there’s a light earthy hop aroma as well.

T - Taste is sweeter than the aroma implies. Sweet chocolates, almost milky taste to it. Roasted coffee and black patent malts are still there as well, but pushed to the background as the sweetness takes hold.

M - Medium to thick bodied. A little heavy for a porter, but I like it. It fits well. Finish is sweet and slightly drying with a nice roasty taste.

O - Overall, I really like this. Might be a little heavy to down a few in a night, but the taste is well balanced, and it doesn’t just stick to the aroma, it mixes things up. Not too sweet either.

 870 characters

Photo of zhanson88
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to n2185 for sending me this as an extra. Having wanted to give this a shot for a while.

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown color with only the slightest ruby around the edges of the glass when held up to light. 1.5" of dark tan head forms, which has decent lacing, and excellent retention.

Smell: Dark malts in there, with just a touch of roast. Definitely get a lot of hops as well. I can tell this is going to be one of the hoppier porters I've had.

Taste: Just about what the nose suggests. Dark/lightly roasted malts initially, followed by a lot of hops. Very nice if you like hoppy porters. It reminds me a bit of Bully! Porter from Boulevard. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Body is actually pretty heavy, between medium and full. Nice fine carbonation contributes to a nearly creamy mouthfeel. Nice. Overall, I enjoyed this. Unfortunately I'm a bit biased towards porters with more roast/coffee/chocolate than I am towards hoppier porters, and my score will reflect that. But this is an excellent porter that I would definitely have again.

 1,059 characters

Photo of crzyc
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a Tulip glass

A- Big dark tan colored head, nice lace that lasts.

S- Bitter, malty

T- Spicy, clean, almost like very dark chocolate.

M- Slight carbonation feel. A bit of a bite from the alcohol. Very drinkable.

O- Such a balanced porter. I really enjoyed my six pack. The appearance is outstanding, nothing like a dark beer with a nice amount of lacing. Great taste and easy to drink.

This is my first review, but from the few porters I have had this is the best. Will revisit this review after I have tried a bigger variety.

 543 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown to black with the only light coming through the ruby hues at the bottom of the glass. The creamy, dark tan head is very slow to dissipate leaving a sticky lacing behind.

As advertised, this porter offers a robust aroma of dark chocolate and lightly charred dark malts.

Similar to the aroma, the flavor offers a roasted to lightly charred malt up front with sweet chocolate mid-palate and into a combination of charred malt and faint hop bitterness to finish.

Medium to full in body with a generous amount of carbonation.

A very nice example of the style featuring great toasted malt notes and pleasant aromas all of which are very appropriate.

 673 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Dark brown with auburn edges and a 1.5 finger khaki head. Lots of spiderweb lacing down the glass.

A simple and faint aroma. There's some roasted malt and coffee peeking through but this isn't terribly aromatic.

The flavor is nice though. There's lots of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, hop bitterness, and a smoky finish. A tasty, simple, workingman's porter.

Medium to full bodied. Very nice.

A classic, simple, and roasty porter.

 489 characters

Photo of skibumma70
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Strong roasted coffee, chocolate malt
Appearance - Very dark brown with a lacy tan creamy head. Taste - Coffee, creamy burnt chocolate.
Palate - Very smooth, easy to drink,and smooth!
Overall - A fantastic smooth, creamy porter with a bite!

 251 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: A near-opaque blackness with brown tones and tiny, lacy head. This is exactly how I expect porters to be served.

Smell: Coffee and dark chocolate aromas, with a malty backbone. There are some tingling hoppy sensations on the nostrils as well, which is always fun. There is also an inviting, sweet vanilla aroma that makes this smell like a very flavorful beer.

Taste: A grand bold taste of coffee and caramel at first. The flavor is unbelievably rich with a bitter, creamy flavor and it immediately fills me with glee. Whatever Smuttynose is doing with their beers, they should keep it up. This porter is a meal in a bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick and malty, and barely watery. It's a very easy beer to drink that leaves a slightly bitter sensation but otherwise a warming, roasting finish.

Overall: One of the most balanced porters I've ever had to date. It's futile to write a review for this thing - the beer speaks (or drinks) for itself here.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Wamesit
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a near black with ruby edging. Thick rocky dark tan head that gives way to webby lace.

S - Deep chocolate and coffee malts. Hints of caramel malts and raisin.

T - Gorgeous. Deep and rich. Coffee and chocolate malts create a dense and yet dusty base. Hops appear slightly in the finish to create a dry end to a lushly sweet beer.

M - Rich.

O - Simply an outstanding porter.

 386 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black/tan, 1/4 thich creamy head, plenty of lacing.

Smell - Dark roasted malts, molasses, some coffee, chocolate, dark fruits like rasin and plum. Not really strong or anything that stands out.

Taste - Nice robust roasted malts and a sweet chocolate finish. Beer is not overly sweet and has a mild, smooth and easy to drink feel. Coffee, sugars, and hops very mild. Malts make the most flavor.

Mouthfeel - Pretty easy on mouth. Coats mouth with malts, some chocolate, and a dry bitter finish. Tounge is left with some chocolate flavor in the bitter aftertaste.

Overall - Decent, kinda mellow and watery, but, this is perhaps from this past winter, so this bottle might have 8-9 months on it. Lacks overall flavor like coffee and sugars. Too weak for me, but a good gateway for a rookie porter drinker.

 846 characters

Photo of steve8robin
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle on a whim. I figured I'd give it a try. 12oz bottle, best before November 2011...

A: A nice deep dark brown with a 1 inch mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get a nice roasty molasses upfront with some mild vanilla in the middle and some chocolate and roasty coffee notes on the backend. Good.

T: A heavy watery roasty coffee upfront followed by some mild dark fruit. Some nutty creaminess on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation and a roasty / nutty finish. Very good.

O: All in all, this is a fantastic porter! Packs so much flavor in such a light ABV brew. If you're looking for a great example of the American Porter style, this is it.

 711 characters

Photo of RyanPS
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black, about a finger head that disappears after a few moments, mild carbonation.
S: Smells of dark chocolate with some hints of coffee, smells very good.
T: Dark chocolate with more pronounced coffee flavors than I got in the nose.
M: Very slick, smooth, and creamy. Leaves a good coating on the tongue. Just about the right amount of carbonation.
O: A very enjoyable porter. The combo of the smell, taste, and mouthfeel add up to a great beer. Would definitely enjoy this one again.

 561 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mocha head very frothy lasts and the laces glass well. Ebony rich color with an as stated robust flavor and aroma. Roasty malts with coffee and dark chocolate notes and nice clean aftertaste. I want more!

Another review thats too many characters short! This ones good for listening to the Beatles!

 298 characters

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Untanned leathery brown. Robust (see what I did there?) 1.75 finger head on a decent pour. Sticky lacing surrounds the glass.

S: Quite nutty, with heavy amounts of unsweetened baker's cocoa.

T: Freshly roasted drip coffee, dark chocolate and charred malts.

M: On point. No beer with this low of an ABV should feel this rich and creamy. It's thick and properly carbed.

O: Smuttynose's Robust Porter is one of the best low ABV American Porters around. I'd say between this, Evo's Rise Up! Stout and DC Brau's Penn Quarter Porter, you've got the makings for some seriously decent porter quaffing. Though I prefer the other two, going home with a bronze in a packed category ain't half bad.

Seriously well done.

 779 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours quite close to black. Mahogany highlights when held up to the light. Khaki head is small in stature. Leaves lacing.

S-Dark chocolate is the dominant figure of the nose. Traditional porter scents of coffee and roasted malts. Nose smells great. The chocolate is top flight.

T-Great tasting porter. Bitterness stems from the dark chocolate. Light hoppiness. Coffee, vanilla, milk. Bunches of flavors all collide and work well with each other.

M-Feel is good and creamy. Carbonation is a perfect complement to the body.

O/D-Smuttynose aces the porter here. Easy drinking. Flavor is smooth and enticing. I am excited to get my hands on their Baltic Porter. I am liking the style more and more.

 701 characters

Photo of eclipse54
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from inlimbo77 (thanks!). Into a Deschutes tulip glass...

Black with about a centimeter of beige head that dissipates quickly to patches of bubbles and a ring around the edge of the tulip glass. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, a touch of vanilla, and some dark fruits (raisin especially). Tastes of roasted, nearly charred malts caramel, coffee, a touch of chocolate, and perhaps some cane sugar; very nice. Mouthfeel is very smooth, with perfect carbonation. Overall, a very good porter that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to try.

 562 characters

Photo of Keffa
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Best by marked October 2011.

Live review, poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black, with a small tan head, the head settles quickly, and leave some decent lacing, although it's spotty. No light gets through it. Not bad for what it is.

S: Wow, holy hops! The single hoppiest porter I've had, very woody/earthy hop, along with a slight citrus note, and then the roast comes in. Very hop forward for a porter, almost Black IPA like at first impression.

T: Wow. Very deceptive. The hops are still quite forward, but the roast is the star here. Very slight sweetness creeps up, but gets squashed by the powerful roast and hop combo. This is FANTASTIC. Reminds me of Storm King a bit, but read on...

M: Man, this is a let down a bit. Thinner than it should be, IMO, and slightly oily. Coats the palate well, and finishes very dry and slightly astringent.

O: Pretty good. Some work on the body and retention would make this a killer, world class porter, IMO. As it sits, Edmund is still my favorite. This one is probably second, but it's still a good ways off.

 1,069 characters

Photo of jamescain
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a tan head about a finger thick that fades into a thin lacing.

Aroma: Roasted grains, chocolate, burnt sugar, and coffee are the predominate aromas.

Taste: Chocolate upfront with roasted malt and a slightly sweet sugary finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, not as thick as a big impy stout, but thicker than most porters, hence, the reason I like robust porters more. It has medium carbonation and a sweet finish.

Overall: Probably my second favorite overall stout and I wish I could find it in Texas, I guess I’ll have to load up next trip to New Hampshire.

 620 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap recently at The Gutter in Brooklyn. This also happens to be my 1400th entered review, and I thought this was a more worthy recipient of that honour than the Davidson Brothers Ryely I actually had before this one.

This one pours a lovely, crisp brown colour—very opaque, only crinkling at the edges with a reddish hue. Head is very fine and mild, with an almost creamy mocha or espresso crema appearance. Minimal lacing, but the body is good for a relatively low ABV beer.

Nose is toasty with mild coffee dark raisin hints and high-cocoa chocolate. All extremely smooth and really well integrated, while having the clout to make it heady and potent. The darkness doesn't get to stout-level depths, and as a result it's an extremely smooth and very generous porter.

Taste continues the trend: delicious. Smooth, but light, with wonderfully dark, slightly charred, almost smoky characters pulled back rapidly by the creamy feel and the chocolate sweetness. Dark, but smooth and refined. It has the sophisticated smooth sweetness of dark chocolate or affogato. Just lovely.

It's a lovely brew, just gorgeous. Certainly one of the best porters I've had, and what's more, it's relatively light; almost sessionable. Just a brilliant brew. Certainly one of the most flavoursome beers I've had at this strength.

 1,319 characters

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

Had this while Beer Advocate was down for maintenance, so this review is taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color. It has a small 1-finger tan head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves a nice sheet of lacing behind on the glass.

S - It smells of dark roasted malts up front. There are also some nice scents of chocolate and coffee. There is also a bit of hop presence as well.

T - The taste starts off with a nice roasted bitterness. There are some nice flavors of coffee and chocolate present. There is a nice mild bitterness that lingers in the finish.

M - This has a medium body and moderate carbonation. It has a nice smooth creamy feel to it. There is a nice roasted bitterness that is present through out the beer and into the finish.

O - This has great drinkability. I could easily drink a few of these through out an evening. It has a nice roasted quality to it. Overall, I think this is a really good porter, and I would definitely buy it again.

 993 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is nearly black with some reddish-brown around the edges. A light brown head fades quicker than expected, but leaves a good amount of lacing. Coffee scents are prominent, with a floral hint. The taste is mainly malts of coffee and caramel, with a piney hop bitterness trying to push through in the finish. Hops seem to come through more as it warms, but malts remain in the forefront. Really nice mouthfeel. A good and solid porter.

 438 characters

Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 2,732 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.