El Robusto Porter | Papago Brewing

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Very Good
40 Ratings

Brewed by:
Papago Brewing
Arizona, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Imperial Porter. Dark as night, rich and flavorful. One of our original beers since day one. A Bronze medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival.

Added by mzwolinski on 09-16-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by Pooba001:
Photo of Pooba001
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Papago last night. Good looking beer served in a nonic pint glass. Its dark, with a lightish off-white head, decent retention. Aroma is a big mix of roasted grain, alcohol, malt sweetness, slightly burnt toast, coffee, chocolate, raisin, and cigar tobacco.

Unfortunately this didn't taste as good as it smelled. My expectations were raised by the aroma and then I felt a little left down as I didn't get the same complexity on my tongue. The roast, sweetness, and coffee and very prevalent, and so is the alcohol, more than it should be for a 6.5% ABV beer. I didn't know what the strength was when I was drinking it, and would've guessed it was about 8.2% if pressed for a number.

Mouthfeel was fine, relatively smooth, decent carbonation, etc. Drinkability was OK, I guess could have a few of these if I was in the mood, but there are much better Baltics out there, and at Papago I quickly moved on to a Scottish ale.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best of three Papago contracted stouts and porters that have been talked about by locals, enjoyed on tap at Papago. Opaque black with lovely off-brown head, lacey. Coffee roast chocolate aroma. Good for something coffee, I am not a coffee drinker. Above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of naproxen
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Papago's.

I first had a sample and proceeded to order a full snifter at once. This porter is worth the name "robusto" both in aroma and taste. It poured a dense black-brown with a lovely thick milky head, but it is the smooooth drinkability of it which wins you over. The aroma and taste are at once dark chocolate and roasted nutty yumminess which gains as it warms. Very easy to enjoy this full flavored porter without feeling too full or overwhelmed.

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Photo of Gusler
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown to black color, mountainous head, creamy consistency, the lace sticky sheets that cling lovingly to the glass and your upper labial. Nose is malt sweet, malts and caramel, with just a hint of hops. Sweet front, top skinny, the finish is befittingly hopped, medial carbonation, droughty aftertaste and a real pleasure to quaff, and a real top notch porter

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Photo of Fusebuddy
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Geuzedad
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of DeirdreE
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of jcalabre
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draught at Stone's 7th anniversary party.
Appearance: This pours a very dark brown with a moderate tan head.
Nose: You get a snout full of roasty/toasty nuts & coffee out of this baby
Flavor: It starts out roasty but finishes hoppy. It is a very enjoyable porter & I'd recommend it.

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Photo of deac83
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of PhxHorn
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this on-tap at Papago. Almost no head when it was brought to the table, but left a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The appearance was very dark brown, almost black.

The aroma was light, smelling of coffee and roasted nuts. The taste was predominantly roasted coffee and chocolate, but no single flavor was overpowering. The beer (and the food I was eating) were quite filling, and so I can't say that I was ready for another right away, but I wouldn't have had an issue if another had appeared in frot of me. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of flexabull
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown color (I thought my friends growler was brown, but it was clear) with a tan head. Looks sturdy.

Aromas are very chocolate forward. There are also seems hints of roasted grainy malts as well.

Taste is typical porter. Doesn't strike me as being a baltic though. Nutty, chocolate, coffee beans, and a background of mildly sweet cream. Finish is crisp and lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is decent. Seems slightly thin though.

Drinkability is pretty good. Solid porter, but not quite the powerhouse I was expected when it was poured.

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Photo of tayner
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally made my way to Papago Brewing. not sure what took me so long, its not that far..

This brew poured into my pint glass very dark black with a brown colored foamy head that lasted for most of the glass, about 1/2 inch.

The smell was not as "robust" as i expected although i could pick out notes of roasted malt, chocolate, and maybe a tad of a fresh brewed coffee smell although all of the smells seemed a bit muted.

Taste was not muted.. very nice. Roasted malt, chocolate, and slight coffee were all present, but all very well balanced. not alot of hops, that was more of a background flavor, just enough to keep it from being sweet, which it is not at all sweet. the abv is not all that high, 6.5% i believe, but very, very well hidden.

It was not as heavy as i thought it was going to be by the look of it. It had enough carbonation to keep it smooth. it was thick and full feeling without feeling heavy, if that is possible.

As for drinkability, i could easily seeing myself finish off a growler in one sitting, even though it is still in the mid 70s here. I will for sure being going back really soon for more of this brew, i am glad it is something they brew all the time and do growler fills of. Very underrated IMO.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Papago calls this one an "Imperial Porter." It's easy to tell why. Pour jet black, with a thin tan head which disappears completely almost instantly.

The smell is beguilingly mild. At first one picks up a slight aroma of chocolate and hops, but the initial nose is insufficient warning of the flavor to come. I knew I was in trouble when at 40 degrees (I couldn't wait for the warm-up), the beer still had enough flavor to impress. Deep malt sweetness, finished by a slight hop kick and a strong roast coffee flavor. Once it warmed up, the beer really lived up to its name, with the roasted malt really showing its complexity and depth. Little flavor from barley, otherwise this could easily pass as a stout.

I'm impressed at the way in which this beer manages to combine a very complex, full-bodied flavor with such a smooth, ever-so-slightly dry finish. This is an extremely drinkable beer.

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Photo of Deuane
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Black with a medium dark brown colored foamy head that reduced to a thin film.

S-Roasted malt, some chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Also a sour mash scent overlaying all of this.

T-Roasted malt, chocolate, and slight coffee as in the aroma. Also that bit of sour twang in the mouth. All in all a nice flavour.

M-A rather thin body....not as El Robusto as I would have expected. If this brew has any major flaws it is this....lacking in a nice full mouthfeel.

D-Nice...certainly not the best Baltic Porter I have ever had but decent. A good try by this new brewery. I am glad to have had the chance try it.

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Photo of Phelps
3.11/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from the tap at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Southwest Festival of Beers. Papago calls this one an imperial porter, though it won bronze at the 2005 GABF in the “other strong ale or lager” category. Poured into a small tasting glass.

Inky dark brown with hints of cranberry and a frothy half-finger head of light tan.

Interesting aroma. Smells like a brewhouse filled with sweet boiling wort. Very cereal grainy. I also get coffee, toast and some earthy hops.

The cereal grain continues into the flavor — it’s almost like I'm drinking unsweetened wort. Hints of coffee and some toast pop up in the background. Overall, it’s fairly light, with crisp finish.

Light, prickly carbonation creates moderate fizz as the beers moves about. The medium-light body is smooth but a little thin. Crisp for a porter.

An odd one from Papago. Easy-drinking for a porter, but it tastes unfinished.

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Photo of Coconuts
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of gleemonger
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of brentk56
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark chocolate color and a nice tan head that retains and laces reasonably well

Smell: Rich coffee aroma

Taste: Starts out with a mouthful of chocolate that is quickly overtaken by an overroasted taste of charred coffee dregs

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This sure ain't no Baltic Porter; you could call it a Coffee Porter but its just not very drinkable at all

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

Poured from the growler with about an eighth-inch, creamy tanned head. Not as tight in the lace as from the tap, but that makes sense. OK retention. The color is black, with only the faintest ruby highlighting when held to the light.

The nose to me comes off as a little bit like wort: brew salts and pelleted hops. The malt notes are present, with bittersweet chocolate ringing the bell. On the flavor end, in this iteration I don't find the roasted malts coming in quite as hard. There's definitely some balance between sweet and bitter, but it's leaning a little sweet on this growler. Definitely some dark fruitiness, and an element of unexplained spicing. The hops taste is dried and packaged, pretty earthy but slightly metallic as well.

Light end of the mouthfeel spectrum, even a hair watery. At the end of the tasting process there's more roast than I found in the middle stages, but the alcohol is hidden nicely. More or less a good homebrew, but I would have to recommend it from the carbonated tap.

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Photo of Fireboy
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was seriously dark beer! It poured almost jet black and had about a quarter inch of dark brown head that left a small amount of lace at the start.

The aroma was of chocolate malt and brown bread.

The taste was very much that of roasted almost burnt caramel and malt, but with more hops than I imagined from the smell. I also got a bit of a plum fruit taste at the end that faded to a more coffee bitterness. It was very good, and better style wise than some other Baltic Porters I've tried.

I'd have given it a bit more on the drinkability scale, but after it, I just didn't feel like drinking much more, I think it actually made me full. It would be great if you were a monk who was fasting! I really liked it, and would have it again.

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Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of NCSUdo
3.39/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 64 oz growler, from tayner

P: Pours black under a small brown head. No retention no lace.

S: Smells of olives. Yeah, olives. Some hints of roasted malt and some chocolate, but a distinct olive smell to it. Don't know where that came from. It's not horrible, unless you hate olives, but it's rather unexpected and out of place. And to be fair, I think the olive smell is just the combination of all the other aromas, it just hits me like olives.

T: Taste is actually pretty clean. Mostly some chocolate and light coffee, some roasted malt with moderate bitterness. No hint really of the olive in the nose.

M/D: Smooth, low carbonation, easy to drink. Aside from the olive in the nose, this one is pretty good, and I'm surprised to report that after the first smell.

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Photo of unclejimbay
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark coffee color with a cappuccino tan head. Nice clarity for a darker beer.
Aroma of coffee and dark malts.
Tastes as it smells with a nice brown ale finish.
Mouthfeel seems light for a porter but seems appeoriatte given the robust flavor.
Drinkable coffee fwd porter.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the pub: Super sludge dark brown with slivers of amber, large bulbous tannish head, lots o' lace all over the glass. Smell is lively yet mild with a caramel sweetness thats dark and deep with some slight chocolate burntness and coffee roast. Taste is quite yummy with a richly done tone of deep sweet malt thats a bit caramel and molasses mixed, it meanders a bit before some hop bittering works its way in and moves aside for a large roasty coffee sensation that drys out the finish nicely with some bite. Feel is dangerously smooth, full on creamyness and body is thick, rich, bold, and gives off a smoothness on the way down that makes ya want to chug it. Super fine smoothness and very drinkable, I think this was gone in about 5 minutes it was so damn drinkable and packed with tasty yumminess. This was only my forth beer for the night, which was had just after Gusler and Silinius needed to leave. But me and my bro ventured on with a glass of this and then finished our night with Stone Smoked Porter, then it was headtime/bedtime. All porters should mirror this concoction; Papago's has it listed as an Imperial Porter at only 6.6%, you wouldn't think of it as an Imperial at that percent, but it had the effects of one much higher. Maybe it was a combo of the first 3?

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful brownish/back color that is slightly cloudy - with a small caramel colored ahead, with below average lacing and very under carbonated. Smells of burnt malts and cooked brown sugar. First taste is smokey with a heavy burnt malt taste. Taste like burnt campfire cooked marshmallows.

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El Robusto Porter from Papago Brewing
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 40 ratings