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Smuttynose Robust Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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1,077 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: 1,077 | Ratings: 2,677
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.38/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

This beer looks pitch black at first, but on a closer inspection, it’s really an unbelievably dark brown. The head is a light coffee tan that fell to a thin film, but left a few spots of lace.

Smells strongly of dry coffee and dark chocolate with a sour smokiness. Sadly, there’s some sort of antiseptic smell that reminds me of hospitals.

Tastes of dark toasted bread with a few flashes of strawberry, but then finishes with an intense smoke character that tastes slightly metallic. Robust indeed! This finished much like I suppose sucking on a charcoal briquette would taste like.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with micro carbonation that delightfully thickens up the body. This is really top notch!

This one’s just way to smoky for me to really enjoy. If smoky is your thing, you’ll be in heaven.

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Photo of Windowdog
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle I purchased as part of a sampler case.

Appearance: The beer happened to be perfectly backlit by a strong light during the pour and it was actually a nice very dark ruby/orange color. In the glass the porter is essentially black with an inch and a half of nice dark tan head. The head settled slowly but maintained complete coverage

Smell: As expected a strong roast malt aroma, with slight coffee and alcohol overtones.

Taste: Deeply roasted malt, with a defintie smoky finish but without the charred wood taste that I dislike in the some darker porters and stouts. Very smooth and even with the slightest hop taste in the background.

Mouthfeel: Thick and substantial, as I like beers of this type, nothing sadder than a watery porter. It was almost creamy it was so smooth. Really a great texture.

Drinkability:A nice dark roasted porter that starts strong and finishes smoky and smooth. Not my favorite type of beer but I'd definintely keep a couple in the frig for those occasions when I want a change for the typical stoudts.

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Photo of benwiley
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow, this is very nice. i mean, its very good for the category. good for what it is. that being said, its not going to winover any non-stout drinkers, but for us lovers out there, we'll all be happy. again, that being said, its not at all super, incrediblle sweet, super chocolate dude beer but, i mean it is what is. good stuff.

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Photo of pbr85
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass
A: Jet black with a two inch, chocolatey head that just looks ridiculously delicious. Can't wait to drink it. Lacing is really good.
S: Chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee. Very strong and delicious smelling.
T: Mmm, robusty goodness. Espresso flavors are very strong and refreshing. Dark chocolate is strong on the pallate, slightly bitter like my roomate Justin (user:jslot38). Earthy hop presence makes itself known at the end of the sip.
M: Nice and smooth. Carbonation is good.
D: Oh yes, this is one of those beers that you need to try, asap. It deserves a place in every beer lover's fridge.

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Photo of tweeder263
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

pours out a near black beer with slight ruby highlights.smell of licorice but not overbearing,,very nice smell.taste is pretty dry,,coffee and licorice,,not very complex.mouth feel is pretty bad,,very watery.not a bad beer pretty drinkable,,but nothing outstanding at all about 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.

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Photo of jslot38
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, I gave this one a perfect pour. Lovely frothy dark tan cappucino head over a pitch black body. Head disappears to a top covering, lacing is impressive.

Smell: Overwhelming presence of chocolate, ground coffee beans, a touch of toffee. The smell isn't too complex, its just, well, frankly, pbr85 can smell it from 4 feet away.

Taste: Very very dark chocolate, certainly more like baker's chocolate. Ground coffee beans, nuts, toffee, touch of caramel, some bittering hops present which round out a great tasting beer. Good malt presence, the bitterness of the hops is layered into the malts to near perfection. Robust is certainly a good word of description.

Mouthfeel: Great level of carbonation, heavy on the tongue, but its what one would expect from a beer of this complexity and level of taste.

Drinkability & Notes: I truly do wish that I had gotten more than one of these, as I could see drinking a few of these. However, a few is where I'd max it out. What a great beer, easily the best porter I've yet to have, and has certainly justified this as one of my favorite styles. Another spot on beer from Smuttynose.

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Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is certainly one of the best porters I've had. It pours dark black with an inviting, solid, tan head that linger through the drink. The smell is rich. Its aroma is that of strong coffee and chocolate with a bitter touch. The taste is simply delicious, and reflects the smell nearly perfectly - coffee, chocolate and a nice citrus touch. It has a full body, but exceptionally smooth mouthfeel. I can drink plenty of this - disappears "too" quickly - in any time of the year!

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Photo of dbalsock
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This may be the prettiest beer I have ever seen. At first glance I think it might be a rootbeer (pouring dark brown, almost black), but the beautiful dark tan head gives it away as a radiant porter.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, flowers and a lovely hint of brown sugar entice me to have a sip.

Taste: The roasted malts sure are robust, and it's wonderful. It is accompanied by a flowery hop presence that adds a nice balance, but not perfect. Upon further inspection a hint of chocolate is brought to my palate, and I am quite satisfied.

Mouthfeel: There is a great balance between the smoothness and the bitterness. My only complaint is that the consistency is a little lighter than I was looking for tonight.

Drinkability: Like i said above, the consistency is a little light, but that adds to it's drinkability. The major set back is the incredible robust nature of this porter, which I find to be a little over the top.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown,nearly black, beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big foamy brown head with good lace. The aroma has a sweet nut like character at first. Then a roasted coffee note come thru with a hint of floral hops in the background. The nut like sweetness comes and goes lightly throughout the taste. The dominating character is however the roasted malts with some bittersweet chocolate and a shot of esspresso snap. The finish is clean and sharp.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a touch of warm brown. Four finger explosive head in an imperial pint glass. Rocky tan colored head sticks nicely to my glass. Sweet and smokey, slight burnt coffee, and smooth sweet chocolate with a bit of cream and butter. Nice and malty. There's little berry tartness that smooths into the burnt smell, balancing the sweetness. Taste holds the same qualities but more 'robust'. Awesome finish + not real full mouth but nonetheless velvety smooth.

This beer makes me say 'mmm porter.'

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with December freshness date. The color is a dark brown with hues of purple and red thrown in. The head was very generous after an aggressive pour. The light brown head towered at two fingers high, leaving nice, thick lacing.

The aroma is of bitter chocolate and creamy coffee too. I also detect some buttery honey overtones in the smell too.

The taste is a smooth roasted malt flavor, mixed in with some very nice hop bitterness in the back. The flavors definitely come out as the beer warms. I liked this porter very much. Very well done.

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

Pours nearly black with faint mahogany edges. Creamy 1/2" beige head.

Scents of espresso with grated dark bitter baker's chocolate on top. Just a hint of burnt wood and fresh malted milk. Blackberry jam mixed with a splash of chocolate liqueur. The scents are very fresh and blossoming.

I raise the 8 oz. mini pilsner glass to my lips and get a swift ushering of the exact same dark bitter baker's chocolate that caressed my nasal passages. The coffee flavors are bold and bitter. There's a generous amount of hops that keep this boisterous dark roasted malty treat meticulously balanced. There's even enough hop presence to lend an almost bone-dry ending. As I sit and wait for the slightly burnt woody flavors to subside, the hops kick-in again to reassure their chalky ending leave you eager to take another mouthful.

Mouthfeel is very nice. I've already described the well-crafted dry finish, but it's a beautiful thing. Its medium body is carbonated at just the right level, keeping the bold flavors dancing on the tongue.

Drinkability is very high. I'd love to pair this with a bowl of beef stew with some rye bread and sharp white cheddar.

Overall a fine treat acquired from warriorsoul in Mass. I'd liken this to an Edmund Fitzgerald, but with more of a coffee/hoppy blast. Truly a big porter that's not shy to make its mark. I'll certainly make this an annual beer trade must.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque with a huge imperial like tan-brown head. Aroma is strong and full with wonderful wisps of chocolate, French roast coffee, peanuts, and hex. Taste lets down jut a notch from the huge aroma but it’s still quite enjoyable. Aggressive coffee and hex nut are the dominant flavors. Mouthfeel is full, rich, smooth, drying in the finish, and mildly astringent. Very drinkable.

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Photo of kpantz
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Textbook porter. Smuttynose has better offerings IMHO, but this is one porter to which I'd certainly return.

Appearance: Dark-as-night reddish-black with a finger-thick mocha-colored head.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, figs? Definitely a fruit of some sort in there.

Taste: Smoky, roasted malt flavors dominate throughout. Coffee flavor is equally impressive. A bit of hop bitterness in the back, but only just enough to balance out the deep malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Slam dunk for a porter here. Medium bodied...right where I like it for a cool weather brew. This is my favorite aspect of a good porter - you get the flavors of a stout in a lighter package.

Drinkability: Give me a cool spring or fall evening, a sweatshirt, a deck chair and a sixer of this!

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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 Skidz
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out ruby tinted brown and sits deep chocolately brown in the glass with a large brown head. Fades to a faint skim with good lacings around the glass.

Smells of roasted malts, splotchy prunes and raisins. Caramel and chocolates lie within, light leafy hops add a little spice.

Tastes lightly sweet up front, deeply roasted grains dominate, tossing out charred maple and coffee with hints of cocoa. Fig-ish and dark fruity esters come through, though very mild. Finishes mild-moderately bitter, solid leafy hops all over.

Purely smooth within, but crispy at first with tiny and moderate carbonation in a medium-full body.

Delicious stuff here. Will give any other porter a run for its money.

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Photo of akajimmyd
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Jet black, no head or lacing.

Smell – The aspect leaves something to be desired, I really pick up nothing distinct.

Taste – “Robust” coffee malts with a bitter finish on the first sip. As it warms I pick up tart fruits, hints of alcohol and a smoky aged taste.

Mouthfeel – Full, thick and heavy. Almost syrupy.

Drinkability – Really good for one or two but not a session porter. Solid choice in the style.

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

Thick black pour with a finger of tan head.

Roast dominates. Bittersweet chocolate also present.

Sweet up front. Silky chocolate. Bittersweet aftertaste. Abit of astringency midtongue.

Full bodied, but a little oily. Assertive carbonation. Very tasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of WeymouthMike
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one at at Bauer in Boston. This is one heck of a deal for a six pack around $8. Beer pours a true black, not translucent at all and with no red hues , also a medium chesnut head. Smells are not exploding from this one but roasted goodness is detectable. Taste and mouth feel are where this one excels. Easily drinkable but not going to sit here and pound, great for one or two and read or watch a movie. Another great offering from Smutty.

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Photo of BeerBeing
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, orange on "b&w" label

Appearance: black/brown color, very large light brown head, excellent thick and sticky lacing

Smell: dark roasted malt, caramel, dark fruits, coffee, minor floral hops

Taste: full body, smooth and creamy mouth feel, medium carbonation, dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, citrus hops in background

Notes: EXCELLENT beer

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

Opaque motor oil in color. Creamy tan head that leaves gentle rings of lacing around the goblet's sides.

Milk and dark chocolate aromas; rich, semi-sweet roasted malt character. Tones of strong mocha and freshly ground coffee beans.

Dark chocolate flavors prior to a rich and chewy roasted maltiness. Caramel and mocha followed by a highly hopped bitterness. The finish is dry with hints of roasted pine nuts, oak, and a mild sweetness.

Full bodied; rich, dry, and slightly chewy mouthfeel.

The only other American Porter that I've enjoyed as much as this one is Anchor's. This version is more intense and hoppy with a bigger roasted malt character. A classic; nearly flawless!

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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 ghostwalker
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle serving. Dec 2005 born on date.

Body is dark brown/black with ruby highlights.

Nose is rich and robust, just like the name says. Tons of roasty malt with a distinct chocolate scent.

Flavor is incredible. This has more flavor than some, (hell...many), stouts that I have had. Chocolate roasted malt flavor with a nice medium hoppy presence throughout. It's a real treat!

Mouthfeel is rich, silky and creamy from start to finish.

Drinkability is very good. This one went down very easily and I expect the remaining 2 in my variety pack will be gone this evening.

Another great brew from Smutty!

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Photo of tommy78
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle and a deep, dark colour with a healthy head filled the glass. I smelled the left-over beer in the bottle and an aroma of cocoa quickly filled my nose. In terms of taste, the cocoa translated easily. I could also taste malts with a bit of hop. The porter feels light and sweet, and going down, you feel a nice, hoppy sensation. In terms of cooking, the porter easily complimented my hamburger. In fact, I had three porters and I felt really good afterwards.

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Smuttynose Robust Porter from Smuttynose Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,677 ratings.
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