Homework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust Porter | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Homework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust PorterHomework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust Porter
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Homework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust PorterHomework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust Porter

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Robust Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark black with ruby red highlights, this Robust Porter is rich and complex. A blend of UK malts, chocolate rye and Belgian candi sugar provide a sweet chocolate, yet rich earthy quality. Malt forward with an aroma full of roasted malts, toffee and dark fruit, this National Homebrew Competition medal-winner is a great dessert beer or to pair with hearty foods.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 281
Photo of sulldaddy
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into my snifter. The beer pours a dark chocolate brown color with a fluffy khaki colored head of 2 cm foaming up. This foam drops slowly to form a sturdy surface layer.
The aroma is some sweet chocolate and roasted malt with just a hint of coffee grounds. Nose is pretty mild overall. I dont get any real hop presence here and the abv is hidden too.
First sip reveals an average body with very fine and gentle carbonation that rolls across my palate effortlessly. Texture is smooth and the beer drinks really easy. For a robust porter, I would like a little more "umph" to the body, but this is fine.
Flavor is what I expect from the nose. I get malt notes of milk chocolate and come roasted hits, while I also pick up a little grassy hops in the background and the finish is very dry and has a little bitterness. the bitterness is more of a coffee note than hop bite.
This is a straight forward porter that is approachable and enjoyable, I wasnt wowed by this beer, but it isnt flawed either.

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Photo of avalon07
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and an opaque consistency. There was a half inch of tan-colored, foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Above average lacing.

S: A solid, but not outstanding, aroma of dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and hops.

T: Tasted of a fair shot of roasted malt, a lot of dark fruit (currants, plums), a decent amount of chocolate, light hops (mostly in the finish), and a tinge of toffee. For the most part, this is a good flavor, even if some of the ingredients aren't quite pushed far enough. Pretty tasty, though.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a mostly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer is slightly uneven in spots, it is worth a shot. Drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Cocoa, coffee, dark fruit

T: Carob, roasted grain & dark fruit & dryness up front. Dryness, coffee, roastyness & a little Baker's Chocolate as this warms, plus a little lactic sourness. Finishes roasty, dry, with a little woody hop, & lust a little boozey black currant

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation

A decent porter, but nothing worth revisiting

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Photo of CTHomer
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown and opaque, but crystal clear with ruby highlights when held to the light; 2 finger light brown head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: earthy, bittersweet chocolate, a little sour;

T: earthy, bittersweet chocolate, and spicy; the chocolate and spice last through the finish; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: the sourness in the aroma was a turn off; the spiciness in the flavor wasn't a positive factor for me;

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Photo of AndrewMichael
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Black color, light brown carbonated head. Pleasant roasted malts and robust chocolate flavors. Light to medium body, enjoyed that it was not too heavy.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Dark black with ruby red highlights, this Robust Porter is rich and complex. A blend of UK malts, chocolate rye and Belgian candi sugar provide a sweet chocolate, yet rich earthy quality. Malt forward with an aroma full of roasted malts, toffee and dark fruit, this National Homebrew Competition medal-winner is a great dessert beer or to pair with hearty foods. Happy brewing!" Brewed in the style of an American Porter, available in 22 oz. bottles. Homework Series Batch #6.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy froth head of a medium tan color over a dark brown body with soft garnet highlights. Retention is good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.25

(Smell) Rich, sweet malt complexity of chocolate candy, nutty toffee and caramelized sugars with a moderate sweetness, subtle clean fruit undertones. Lightness of the body is evident beyond the specialty malt notes, and potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Chocolate, toffee and moderate roast generates a slightly more earthy body than suggested in the aroma. Toasty caramel sugars, medium roast, subtle black patent bitterness, subtle fruit undertones. Finishes rich and toasty but decidedly modest drinking with a high drinkability to it. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, clean, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is high, generating a medium frothiness and a briskly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to earthy and roasty specialty malt bitterness. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A very fairly priced porter, perhaps in regards to its homebrew roots, a solid value beer for the collection. The biggest distraction was the very zingy carbonation level which stung the tongue- otherwise this beer has a good level of specialty malt and reserved sweetness. Well done. 3.75

Ballast Point Brewing Company's
Homework Series Batch #6: Robust Porter

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku glass.
A lovely almost-two fingers of head tops an opaque black-brown beer.
It smells fruity and roasted. A gorgeous, estery funky fruit and a long, toasty chocolate finish. This is a solid porter nose.
I wish I'd purchased more! The fruit is almost sweet, imparting a wine-like note, and there is plenty of chocolate, both sweet and bitter, to go around. Particularly toothsome is the way the roast sneaks in amongst the sweeter flavors with just a bit of a burnt/smoky edge. Date-like and delectable.
Smooth and sweet and strong.
Overall, an unexpected stunner. If I have any complaints (I don't) it's that it's a touch on the sweet side. A really well executed porter.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apperance: Pours a very dark brown, but with auburn highlights when held to light. Pretty clear, but do notice a few floaties. Nice tiny bubbled khaki head that looks like it should be on a root beer float at first, and does keep a full surface coverage when it recedes.

Aroma: Mineral like, roasted malt, burnt toast. Not much more to say about it.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma, but sweeter at first when cold, and definitely more bitter as it warmed.

Feel: Very rich. "Robust" comes to mind for some reason ;). Pretty creamy, but finishes dry.

Overall: I like this beer, as I love porters, buuuuuuuut...I'm sorry. I would take Anchor Porter, Deschutes Black Butte, and Founders Porter any day over this.

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Photo of beergoot
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown body; thick, light tan head. Deep aroma of roasted and charred grains; vanilla and chocolate; trace of coffee. Rich sweetness and heavy bitterness make up the bulk of the flavors; mocha and cocoa; almost acrid sharpness on the bitterness side. Heavy body; sweet finish.

Big and complex although things seem somewhat disjointed. Lots of flavors and tastes though they come across slightly conflicting and not fully satisfying, especially the bitterness which seems a bit heavy-handed. It is still good overall, but wouldn't be on my go-to list if it were a flagship beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Poured out a jet black color with a small , light brown head of foam. It smelled very malty. You could taste the malt as well as a hint of coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of 98green
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Look is dark brown and opaque. Smell is chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is chocolate again, roasted malt again. Slight bitterness that lingers a bit. Feel is creamy but a touch thin. ABV is very well hidden. Overall a nice effort, but nothing that wowed me

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Photo of stortore
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy dark brown, reddish in the light, about a one finger head and some loose, foamy lacing. Smell is malt, rye, vanilla, some chocolate- more as it warms, light smoke when warm. The taste is a little more malt forward, the chocolate is a little more pronounced than the nose, rye, some vanilla, light bitterness on the finish. smooth, a good, but lighter body for the style.

Good flavor and aroma, the rye stands out on this one. An easy drinker, enjoyable.

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Photo of FBGordon
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bomber into a room temp snifter.

A: Pours a rich dark chocolate brown with ruby highlights. Medium tan head that dissipates quickly but laces nicely.

S: Spicy hop notes up front, with malt, chocolate, caramel and cherries following.

T: Again, hops up front with some toast, followed by bittersweet chocolate and coffee settling on the back end.

M: Some crisp carbonation. It has the body of a typical porter.

O: Not bad. It is robust in a hoppy sense and enjoyable, but lacks any wow factor. I think this a decent porter for someone who wants a...beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour with garnet highlights. Outstanding head volume and retention, average lacing.

Good light nose of cocoa, light roast and malt. Really not much going on.

Light medium body that is smooth. Outstanding carbonation / body balance with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice prickly finish.

The flavor profile is good but lacks complexity. Balance is good as is intensity. Flavor separation is lacking and results in mostly a cocoa flavor over a mildly bitter middle. A light sweetness arrives mid-palate but fails to pop the flavor into chocolate territory. Roast notes ascend from the middle on. The finish is a slow fade of roast and cocoa.

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Photo of Pencible
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black garnet with some tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee, with some dark chocolate and earthy wheat bread.
T: It tasted like roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate, with some copper hops. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was an ok porter, but the scent and taste and body were all very basic. The finish was ok but not super smooth, so it wasn't the easiest to drink. Really not bad, but nothing special at all, so it was quite forgettable.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a dark black with hints of mahogany, pours a tan creamy frothy head with not very much lacing.

S: Lots of dark roasted malt, a strong mineral note and some chocolate.

T: Lots of dark roasted malt and chocolate, a nice bittersweet chocolate bitterness, a some of the mineral note.

F: Creamy body and low carbonation

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This dark brown beer features a ruby red hue and a half inch of somewhat creamy head on top. This porter is on the mark, hitting home a bittersweet roasted aroma and a light note of mocha. As the name states, this is a robust porter, and one that's done well. There are notes of baking chocolate, mocha, roast, a kiss of hops, overall not too bitter or over the top given this beer is almost 8% alcohol by volume.

Very good on its own, but even more dreamy with food.

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Photo of delta490
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown with a nice garnet tint. There is a lighter amount of slightly foamy tan head that clings to the sides of the glass. The aroma is lighter but variously offers cocoa, deep roasted malt, and a little earthiness. The taste is much the same, with more emphasis on the roasted malt. The body is lighter and a little too tingly from the carbonation. But all-in-all, a good-to-very good porter.

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Photo of TH28
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. No apparent bottle date. Appearance: Black, with ruby red tint and a thick light brown head. Aroma: Moderate to heavy roast dominant, with only the slightest touch of dark fruit and chocolate. Taste: Rich malt sweetness, touch of chocolate and caramel, that finishes with a strong roast and high perceived bitterness. Touch of coffee appears after the swallow. Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with some viscosity and a light to moderate carbonation. Finish: Acrid roast and bitterness lingers, with coffee strengthening as time passes. Overall: A nice robust porter, heavier on the roast and bitterness than some others. Lacks some of the more rounded, softer, chocolate flavor in others.

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Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours chestnut brown with ruby highlights under a ½” light tan lacy foam collar with very fine bubbles that is moderately persistent.
S: Chocolate, light roast, toast, nuts.
T: Layered flavors featuring light chocolate, nuts, toast, dark dried fruit, spice. Nothing harsh or burnt. Malt flavors medium high to high, hop flavors and bitterness medium low.
F: Medium full to full body, creamy fine soft carbonation.
O: Very nice to drink.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz pour on tap into snifter

A: pure darkness with a mocha off white head

S: roasted malts, nutty, light licorice and a little hoppy

T: very rich lots of burnt malts smooth nutty a little oatmeal a little bakers chocolate

M: medium to fuller light carbonation creamy

O: very good beer smooth creamy and very nice rich maltiness and it isn't too sweet . It's a very solid beer .

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Photo of jws7968
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks almost black with red hues with little head retention. I smell chocolate forward with a little coffee. roasted malt sweetness with hints of chocolate, cacao, and vanilla. The taste is chocolate and roasted malt. It is a medium feel, not what I expected. More carbonation than I expected. I enjoyed the beer overall and that they gave the recipe is interesting.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In a pint glass the beer was black with a tiny head that faded quickly.
A sweet chocolate taste with a little vanilla.
Taste followed the nose. There was a hint of coffee also in the taste.
A bit on the thin side, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of ktvton
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: A color that resembles black coffee with very little head retention.

S: Rich roasted malt sweetness with hints of chocolate, cacao, and vanilla.

T: Follows the nose nicely with some coffee notes and very mild bitterness. Earthy aftertaste.

F: Not as creamy as I expected. Medium.

O: This is a very enjoyable beer; and the fact that it comes with a recipe makes it stand out among others.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass not sure when it was bottled. Pours a nice dark brown with a nice light brown head, that leaves gobs of lace on the sides of glass.

Smell is vanilla, cocoa, coffee, and toffee.

Taste follows plenty coffee and cocoa upfront with vanilla and toffee in the dry finish.

Mouthfeel is less than medium, almost enough life, extremely dry, and very drinkable.

Overall this is pretty good, a tad thin and way to dry for my liking. Not terrible, but not my thing either.

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Homework Series Batch No. 6 - Robust Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 281 ratings