Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Robust PorterRobust Porter
2,771 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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2000

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,771 |  Reviews: 1,095
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark dark brown with a big rich creamy chocolate brown lacy head. Smells of big malt and milk chocolate.

Taste is very smoky. Strong coffee flavors with biter chocolate lurking beneath the surface. Dry bitter finish. Big bodied witha strong bitter aftertaste. Lots of big flavors in this brew but it is really smooth and extremely drinkable. This is my kind of beer. Could put down a six of this without thinking about it. Chocolate silk.

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Photo of silks636
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Freshness date clearly notched on label.

Gorgeous chocolate brown hue with black cherry highlights... awesome sepia head with excellent retention. Spots of tan lacing. Nose consists of a combination of fruit, roasted malt, and coffee. Taste begins sweet with a decent amount of citric hops present. Chocolate malt and coffee kick in with the hop twang still making itself known. Slowly evolves into a strong burnt combination of chocolate, coffee, and grain flavors. A tinge of the hops comes back at the finish taking a little of the edge off the burnt aftertaste. Smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

I would say this is a pretty true modern interpretation, not to mention a damn good beer - complex yet easy to drink. I could definitely knock a few of these back at a sitting.

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

I love porters that bursting with flavor and this robust porter certainly meets that task quite well. It pours almost opaque black with a dark brown head which I believe is a sign of the presence of roasted barley. Either way the presence of roasted barley in this really develops the flavor, making it a sweet porter with a big burly taste. The hopping is well balanced -- it is not too bitter and you pick up some lovely hop characteristics in the aroma mixed with the choclatey-ness of the malt they use. Altogether a great beer that goes down well during those harsh New England winters.

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Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice porter. Mildly rich, chocolate and roasted malt flavours (sweetish at times), roasted , medium bitter finish, with some light bitter, lightly acidic, citric hops. Flavours blend nicely together. Nice roasted finish, quite a long finish aswell, simple and easy to get into, tasty(Cask-GBBF 03')

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

The beer poured a dark black color with a nice tan head. The aroma was malty with bit of hops. There was a strong chocolate malt aroma. The taste was good. This is a smooth beer; quite malty. The mouthfeel is fine. The carbonation is just right. This is a med to high bodied beer. This is a good drinking beer.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
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 DrewBeechum
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from 12oz bottle in an unchilled mug at Casa de Drewbage

Deeply black with coffee brown foam pulling a quick disappearing act.

Aroma is surprisingly rich and similiar to an imperial stout with an initial coffee roast, tobacco, currants and a light grassy hop towards the end.

Flavor is sharp and deeply bitter with a strong acidic roast character. Body is viscous with a finish drying out from roast and just a touch of hops.

Lasting brown sugar sweetness stays on the lips.

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Photo of TerryW
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark into the glass with a creamy, toffee-coloured head that reduces to a thin film. Quite a handsome beer when first poured. Some lace, a noticeably oily, almost gritty looking film left down the sides of the glass as you drink.

Smells of citrus (grapefruit), malt and coffee when first poured. The citrus smell quickly departs. Malt and coffee come on afterwards, followed by raisins or dates, molasses with a hint of alcohol.

Sweet up front, malt, coffee and a burnt or roasted grain flavour in the middle. Finshes with the mouthfeel of bittersweet chocolate and the mild taste of hops and wood. Light and smooth.

Interesting for all of the flavours in it, handsome looking beer. Not real agressive for something labelled robust, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of far333
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany color with a dark brown frothy head that settles quickly, but leaves oily looking ringlets of lace around the glass. Aroma of roasted malt, some cocoa, hints of rich coffee and molasses. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is intense and complex - bitter coffee, light cocoa, some hop backbone, raisin and molasses. Lingering aftertaste of sweet raisin and brown sugar envelopes the insides of the mouth. I really like this one.

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Photo of TheDM
2.85/5  rDev -31%
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 BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thin tan head tops this black coal beauty with a dark brown tint. Fragrant hops, malt, licorice and fumes of alcohol rise up upon pouring, but dissipate all too soon. The dark roasted barley is smoky and coffee-like with dark chocolate, molasses and licorice notes. This porter is amply hopped with citrus and mild tea-like bitterness. The advertised 5.7% alcohol seems a bit low, because you can really notice it. Creamy and rich!

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

My very cold bottle of this poured just enough head to cover the surface, but that only lasted a minute, by which time it was only a modest amber ring around the surface. It's very black, with maybe a slightly redish hue, if anything besides purely black. The aroma is moderate in strength, and dominated by black roasted malts. The mouthfeel is very smooth, and pretty light, considering what I expected from the color. Very little bitterness initially, but with a light, not overdone, round sweetness. Then a slightly bitter roastiness becomes almost immediately noticable, balanced nicely with the initial sweetness. This is soon joined by a slight hop flavor, though a very mild one. A nice robust sweet dark graininess sits on the tongue as the flavor fades.

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Photo of Darkale
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gigantic tan head, thick and smoky tasting. Brown, almost black body. Great lacing! Thick and sticky.

Aroma is full of malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Malty taste, and the chocolate and coffee from the aroma follow the aroma right into the beer. Frothy and whipped chocolate mouthfeel. Aftertaste is just a bit smoky, a hint of charcoal burn.

Something light dances on the tongue as I chew this beer. Bittersweet, like the dust from dark chocolate. Aftertaste is creamy and yet slightly sour.

Can Smuttynose do anything wrong? Wonderful. I believe this is my favorite porter.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An excellent robust porter from Smutty. This beer poured a dark brown colour with a small brown head. The aromas were of dark, bitter, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. The taste? More of the same. A lovely combination of dark chocolate, and boozy coffee. The mouthfeel was very thick and satisfying and the drinkability was damn good.


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

The Smuttynose Robust Porter is a good, dark pour with virtually no head. The smell is smoky and dry, and I note a deep fruitiness, courants perhaps or prunes? The taste begins with a quick, sharp hoppiness and fades to a complex woodsy flavor of ferns, cones, and oak leaves after a cool, autumn rain. This is a worthy brew, and I recommend it heartily.

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Photo of marc77
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hair shy of jet black, w/ a flash of clear crimson when held to light. Tan, persistent dense head leaves loose lace. Slightly burnt, smokey black malt accompanied by sweetly citric hops upfront in aroma, followed by rounded dark lovibond caramel and mellow, bittersweet chocolate. Mild black patent bitterness with a slightly tart tinge initially in flavor widens into a lightly buttery melange of chocolate, brown sugar sprinkled burnt toast and molasses drizzled, candyish clementine. Chocolate malt presence becomes more pronounced as the beer breathes, and approaches that of cocoa butter rich milk chocolate. Hop and black patent bitterness keeps malt sweetness well at bay, allowing the agreeably pronounced chocolate presence to shine. Caramel malt character is well integrated, leaving its mark in the from of residual dextrins and rounded, mild toffee. Moderate in body, and notch shy of firmly viscous in mouthfeel. Almost creamy. Well calculated attenuation. Finishes with a hint of butterscotch yielding to lingering sharp coffeeish bitterness. A delicious, superbly well rounded porter that displays a striking hop, chocolate and roasted grain balance that remains quite soft on the palate. Nearly epitmoizes a "robust" porter. Outstanding!

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am just getting into the smuttynose line of beers and this is a quality offering. I missed out on the draught at Half Tim(see:beerfly) And settled for a six pack as per recomendation from the Half Time crew.

12 oz. bottle with a funny, black and white photo from an old circus. The pour was very smooth, yielding a jet black brew with only a whisp of tan head. (I gave it a 3.5 because I would like to see a little more head from it.)

The smell was very musty amid notes of caramel, plumb and burnt raisin. Upon tasting many of the sweet aromas gave way to more smokey, burnt malts characteristics with an apparent undertow of coffee and just the slightest hint of bitter chocolate. What I found most pleasant was the substantial amount of hops to balance out the malt. The finish was very dry, but it remained very light in body.

As a porter lover I will be sure to continue to stock these and I recomend that you do the same.

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Photo of dwarbi
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown beer, with very little head. The aroma is like a traditional porter -- very smoky. Tastes of roasted nuts, coffee, and toffee. There are scents of all of these as well, but the smoky smell dominates. It's not sweet at all. Very smooth, and very drinkable.

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Photo of nomad
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful deep brown color, almost black, with an appealing tan-colored foamy head. The head sat well, sticking around to entice me. Also had some lace that was thick and foamy like the head.

Smelled of an earthy and roasty malt, and dirty and woody nuts. The flavor was big malts and big hops in obese amounts; specifically, the body was a combination of dark malt with a strong citrus flavor. The taste was foremost bitter and tart, with strong dark roasted coffee and espresso notes from the very bright hops. Definitely robust but understandably “acrid”, as the citrus tang was big, strong, and stuck around the finish for a long while, and for the most part overpowered the woody hints that tried to push through toward the end of each swig.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected, and made it quite easy to throwback but unfortunately the more unappealing tastes really linger and hold it back. Tone down those hops and black malts - they make things wicked caustic!

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Photo of Scooter77
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with virtually no head at all. The aroma is a mixture of cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt. The tastes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted male are quite apparent with slightly mild hop undertones. There was a bit too much carbonation, which distracted some from the flavor. The finish was bitter and dry. This is a decent porter, it’s not the best that I’ve had, but it’s quite drinkable.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
2.88/5  rDev -30.3%
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 Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown in color with a creamy tan colored head that fades into a thick and sticky lace. Nose is dark roasted malts and sweet chocolaty cocoa—very inviting. Medium to full-bodied with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Taste starts off sweet and malty with notes of milk chocolate and a bit of dark fruit followed by some bitter and acidic flavors of dark (almost burnt) coffee. A touch of citrus rind tasting hop bitterness comes through in the finish. Quite robust and highly enjoyable. Thanks to paceyourself for sending me this brew!

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

12 oz amber bottle, with freshness month notched on the label.

This porter poured a very dark brown (black) with brown foam that settled relatively quickly, but left a thin head that left some lace. The smell was of dark (burnt) malt, with a bit of coffee and sweetness. The smell was modest. The taste was strong: some sweetness balanced by some bitterness -- malt and floral hops and coffee. The mouthfeel was full bodied and rich with low carbonation. Not overly sweet, but nicely balanced. However, there was a bit of chalkiness. The drinkability was very good. A very tasty porter.

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Photo of Samdaddy
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild head on top of a black body with what seemed to be a hint of a reddish hue. Initial sip is quite nice, a bit of a sharp coffee finish. The taste seems to lessen with each sip disappointingly, but it still held substantial flavor. I was just expecting more with something named "robust". It should be named "kinda robust porter"

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fully black color, below a rich, tan, though woefully brief, head. Aroma is strong and powerful, rich with notes of cocoa, coffee, and butternut. Slightly oily texture, but with plenty of grit. Full body, sweet, strong, substantial, with a tasty acidity and tang. Small bitterness, and solid malt. Sweet and bitter at once. Roasty, toasty, and above all, tasty. A little syrupy toward the end, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of this fine porter.Thanks to UncleJimbo for introducing me to this gem.

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Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 2,771 ratings