Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bobo's Robust Porter | Big Sky Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
103 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Bobo's Robust PorterBobo's Robust Porter

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
32 IBU

Added by loren01 on 09-05-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 233
Photo of pasdachuri
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a quarter inch tan head, decent retention.

Not picking up a whole lot of scent here. Maybe a little earthy peat presence and a coffee aroma?

Taste is coffee-like with a mild hop bitterness. A little hoppier than a lot of porters.

Mouthfeel is average. Low carbonation and pretty smooth, but too thin.

I normally classify Porters as beers to be savored and enjoyed slowly. The flavor of this one falls short of what a Porter should be however and I won't be returning for a second try.

 505 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at 1702; March 2010
This arrives from the tap looking pretty black and it is topped by a well browned, dark tan colored, half-finger thick head. The aroma has dusty notes of cocoa, instant coffee crystal like aromas, some molasses, a touch of licorice and even some earthy chicory like aromatics to it.

The flavor is actually pretty dry tasting from what I was expecting. There is an acidic edge to this beer that is contributed by the abundance of roasted malt used in this beer. The finish is a mix of expressive toasted whole grain notes, espresso, charcoal, and some charred grain husk notes. The second sip is a bit more balanced than the first, and is not quite as dominated with the roast grain flavors. The mouthfeel has some fullness to it, but it doesn't' quite balance the roast character. As this warms I notice some burnt vegetal notes that I really don't like, but sometimes find in overly roasted beers. Interesting flavors of licorice, earthy chicory, perhaps a touch of malty molasses are also brought out as this warms. There can be a subtle savoriness to the malt character at times too.

This is definitely a beer for those who like big, unbalanced roast character. I don't find it un-enjoyable, but with the notes I find as flaws, it isn't really my preference either.

 1,298 characters

Photo of UtahJonnyMontana
2.48/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured very dark brown to black with thin head that faded quickly. Some lacing. Aroma is of roasted Barley and coffee. Some vanilla and dry grass. Chocolate notes, hints of nut and biscuit. Flavor is strong with roasted barley, Chocolate and black patent malt. There is an underlying sweetness that is checked by well balanced bittering hop. Mouth feel is light compared to the roasted nose and flavor. Over all this ale is much more roasted than one would expect. The reason for this is amusingly clear. Big Sky's Robust Porter, isn't a porter it's a stout.

My rating would be different if the head brewer did not personally insist to me that high amounts of roasted barley is the hallmark of a Porter.

 705 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a thick jet black with a two finger of light brown head. Head recedes quickly leaving wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Taste starts with a hint of hop bite to it, thena big dose of bitter baker's chocolate. Coffee notes filter in mingled with a bit sweeter milk chocolate. Finish is are of burnt malts.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, a touch thin but clean.

D: Tasty beer, goes down easily, nice and bitter. This is a highly enjoyable porter. One that you could enjoy a few pints of.

 549 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a code that i think means best by april 20, 2010 on the bottle neck. drank from a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours into my glass a very dark brown colored body. only a small amount of ruby red can be seen along the sides of the glass when held up to a light. a finger of coffee colored head forms on top and lasts a little while. small rings of lacing are left behind.

S- dark roasted malts are the first thing i notice. after that comes a decent amount of semi sweet chocolate. the finish is a rather strong blast of hops.

T- dark roasted malts once again come through first. the chocolate i could smell comes through ever so faintly. the finish is once again very strong coffee that lingers long after i swallow.

M- medium to full bodied and creamy from the carbonation. a nice dry finish leaves the mouth feeling dry.

D- easy to drink and almost sessionable in strength. i wish this was year round. a solid beer from a brewery that can use a little more attention. it deserves it.

 1,013 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: utterly non-translucent black with one finger of dark brown head. Robust porter, indeed; you might even call it stout.

Smell: very nice coffee aroma. One-dimensional, but a very well-executed dimension. There is also just a hint of roasted bitterness and alcohol, but these are way below the coffee.

Taste: bitter roasted malts without the charm of a lot of coffee or chocolate flavors. There is a nice hop bitterness as well; indeed, I'd say most of the sweetness is actually hop flavor, but most of it is buried under nearly-acrid roasted malt. Now, I like roasted malts, so this isn't necessarily all bad; however, the flavor lacks much nuance or subtlety.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a style-appropriate level of carbonation. This is a run-of-the-mill texture, but not bad.

Drinkability: it's a bit too roasty-acrid to be highly drinkable, but I could definitely see myself downing a few of these over some conversation and fried pub fare.

 1,003 characters

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

Pours a black to dark brown color with an awesome brownie colored, two finger head. The aroma is strong roasted malts that give off light dark chocolate, coffee, and mocha aromas. Plus the mineraly dry water element is picked up in the aroma as well. The taste is almost like take a bite into a moist brownie fresh the oven, and washing it down with coffee mixed with chocolate milk. Good dry gypsum texture, but still moist and wet in the bacl of the tongue to make this beer feel almost gooey and heart warming. Not gooey in a viscous sense, but more of an internal feeling than what was felt on my palate. Pretty good to have a couple minus the abv. and strong flavor profile of this porter.

 694 characters

Photo of pweis909
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, dark, ruby translucence at the top and bottom edges of the glass when held to the light. Carbonation is light, foam is minimal.

Aroma of roasted malts, sufficient to help identify style but not strongly chocolate or coffee smell. A slight metallic aroma.

Initial sweetn taste gives way to dry, slightly acrid finish.

Mouthfeel has slight creamy thickness that I find desirable in all porters, without being too filling.

 430 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had one the other night, but this actually tastes better on a fresh set of taste buds IMO...

Pours an effervescent ebony with a finger+ of brown/chestnut colored head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Chocolate, coffee & iron

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, & iron up front. Charred grain, & dryness as this warms, plus some coffee. Finishes dry with more charred grain & coffee

MF: Creamy, smooth, & medium bodied

Drinks fairly easy, good, not great slant on the coffee styled porter....

 488 characters

Photo of brownbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours extra thick and oily with a tan head.

Aroma has burnt coffee, chocolate, and smoke.

Flavors are similar with the burnt coffee bean showing more and blending nicely with smoke. It has a rather bitter mouthfeel that could definately be smoothed out for even more enjoyment.

Overall, this would be a good breakfast beer, but nothing outstanding. There are better examples of the style.

 391 characters

Photo of isualum12
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very special beer---

I am not sure why but I was shocked as I poured it into a clear glass how BLACK it was in color. It had a carmel colored medium head on it that was full of color and smell. The smell of chocolate actually filled the whole room.

The first sip was really close to heaven. I wouldn't give it a five simply because I havent paired it yet and manytimes it takes a special pairing to get a 5 out of me. BUT this is almost there....

The taste is chocolate mixed with carmel. you can taste the bourbon barrel a little in it I think along with a mixture of smooth spices....

Don't pass this one by....the rat dog on the bottle packs a nice punch that I really could relax to....

 704 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single picked up today at the COOP... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 finger dark tan head... The brew is dark dark brown... still pretty clear with brown/dark ruby highlites... very nice lacing.

Nose is pretty dominated by cocoa.. lite caramel and some cold brewed coffee... Nothing too out of this world, just well made.

Flavor mirrors the nose exactly with some mild fruitiness.. a bit of black cherry.. a bit of spicy hoppiness... very nice body and an abundant yet smooth carbonation..

I really liked this one.. Had a sampler or two at the GABF.. and remember wandering what the ABV was? If it was any higher or was any more "robust", I would hope for some kind of Imperial moniker.. instead, this is damn nice just the way it is... It also tastes very fresh right now which I am sure is helping my overall opinion.


 843 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint glass.

Appearance: Completely opaque black color with cappuccino head that mostly subsides.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Smells as if coffee was added, although I am almost certain it wasn't.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee and licorice. Overall, nice malt taste but needs more bitterness, whether from hops or roasting.

Feel: Low carbonation and pretty smooth, but too thin.

Drinkability: Despite the thin body and relative lack of bitterness, it is a smooth, easy drinking porter.

 539 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double chocolate fudge cake brown with no lightening at the edges. Three finger's worth of coffee milkshake colored (and textured) foam lie atop the beer... while barely broken blankets of lace stick to all available surfaces. I've seen some Imperial stouts that didn't look this dark and foreboding.

Bobo's looks robust and smells robust. The beer, that is, not the buffed-up chihuahua. I have no idea what he smells like. Loads of crystal, brown, black and roasted malt result in aromas of chocolate, coffee, caramel and vanilla. Nothing new, just the usuals done right.

Although it may not be as robust as expected, Bobo's Robust Porter is bigger than your average American porter. It's tastier too, thanks to all that malt. If it hasn't been added yet, the ABV is 6.2%, which allowed it to sneak in under the wire of this state's idiotic alcohol laws. Thanks Big Sky, keep sending us delicious beer. Love, BuckeyeNation.

Dark chocolate and vanilla-spiked coffee fight for dominance on the palate, although it's really more of a cooperative effort than a tussle. Dark caramel is still present as well. A moderate amount of hop flavor and bitterness, courtesy of East Kent Goldings and Challenger, keeps things nicely balanced.

When a brewery calls a porter 'Robust', I expect a little more full chewiness. That said, if we view this brew through the American porter lens, it's big enough. I still have to go with the lower of the two considered scores.

Bobo's Robust Porter is another good Big Sky beer. I often forget how good these guys are until I drink another one of their offerings. If you like porters and see Bobo on the shelves, don't hesitate to give him a home.

 1,680 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown/black....tan lace on top

S-dark roasted coffee and cream...bakers chocolate...caramel..

T-Pretty much the same as the aroma....coffee and cream...roasted malts....a hint of burnt malt....and now more of a milk chocolate flavor....caramel is more noticeable on the aroma but it is evident on the taste in a small way as well.

M-On the high side of medium bodied....not quite creamy texture but awful smooth...

D-Excellent robust porter (not to be confused with a Baltic Porter)...love the coffee and cream mixed with the chocolate and caramel....I'm impressed with everything about this beer....

 611 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.57/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown black with a large creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts, some acidic coffee and some smoke. It all washes out quickly other than acidic leather.

The flavor is roasted malts with very acidic coffee and a burnt bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and la little watery.

Overall, I remember liking previous bottle much more than this. This one seems to have a lot of off notes and is very acidic.

 501 characters

Photo of BeenJammin
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks wonderful. It is pitch black with a great tan head. It smells of roasted barley and a bit of coffee bean, but it isn't very pronounced. This thing has a huge robust flavor. It tastes of dark coffee, dark chocolate, and of coarse it has that great roast flavor. Quite a bit of bitterness as well. It has a nice smooth mouthfeel and great drinkability. These smokehouse almonds go pretty well with it.

 415 characters

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with what appears to be a world's ugliest dog candidate, animated in the typical (bad) Big Sky label fashion. Best by date inkjetted on the neck.

Appearance: Very dark brown, large mocha colored head with very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, a bit of coffee and caramel.

Taste: Smooth mouthfeel, lots of coffee and roasted malt flavors.

Overall impression: Decent porter with a nice variety of flavors, pretty drinkable considering the ABV.

 489 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with a big tan head.

Nice roasted malt and chocolate nose, with a hint of coffee beans.

Taste is very malty up front. Really heavy roast flavor, like dark roasted coffee beans, and a slightly sweet light cream. Very dry and bitter on the finish, with a very mineral like hop bite. This is a pretty strong porter.

Mouthfeel is a bit fleeting and thin, but not bad.

Drinkability is good. This is a pretty solid porter. Worth trying, even though I can think of quite a few better beers in the style.

 525 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours surprisingly dark, appears black in the glass with a large, frothy head of a light tan. Nose smells mainly of roast, a touch of chocolate & dark fruit. Has some richness to the malts. Well balanced and big. Notes of chocolate covered raisin. A nice beer overall.

 268 characters

Photo of katan
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Dark black - opaque. Motor oil big time. Thicker than the average porter. Head formation is mocha colored, but overall very light. Only a small film is retained.

S - A solid roasted barley aroma dominates this beer. Certainly a smoked one as well. Some small chocolate background exists. Little yeast or hops.

T - Starts off with a quality sweetness from malts and roasted barley. A small amount of the yeast taste in play mid-stream. Smoked flavors start to show - like charcoal. Finishes with a smooth complexion of bittersweet chocolate. A small amount of bitterness sits on the tongue in the aftertaste.

M - on the creamy side of most porters. Thick and full of body, both from the sugars and from the higher carbonation. Carbonation does sting the tongue - a noticeable aftertaste.

D - Very drinkable beer for a porter. The tastes meld seamlessly, not impacting y ability to session this beer. ABV is solid but manageable at 6.2% ABV. Not filling to me.

 992 characters

Photo of optiontwo
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. poured into pint glass

Appearance: Black with a quarter inch tan head, decent retention.

Smell: Lots of roasted malt, coffee, nut, and some slight chocolate.

Taste: Nuttiness takes over followed by burnt chocolate but then it becomes weirdly sour and somewhat alcoholic tasting. The coffee flavors in here are kind of stale.

Mouthfeel: About right for the style.

Drinkability: I probably wouldn't have more than two or so, there are definitely more drinkable porters.

Overall: I like Big Sky stuff and this isn't the worst of their offering but it's definitely not anything special.

 594 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just HAD to buy this one because of the picture of the goofy looking Chiuaua in the mountains.

It poured a light-absorbing black like a black hole that neitherlight, gravity, nor my attention could escape. The thin brown head lasted only seconds. There were some nice caramel and very light cocoa notes.

The body was so thick that I was affraid I'd have to eat my beer instead of drink it. Alas, I was wrong. The body was the right weight and the flavor was great. Another winner from Big Sky.

Edit: 2/15/2010 - The 2010 batch is just as good as last year, possibly even a tad better!

 589 characters

Photo of RJLarse
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Swamp. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a deep dark color near opaque. Modest foamy tan head leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Smell has a little earthy peat presence and a coffee aroma.

Taste is coffee-like with a mild hop bitterness. A little hoppier than a lot of porters.

Mouthfeel is smooth and not particularly heavy. Maybe jut a bit thin.

Very drinkable and a little above average. Better I think than Black Butte.

NOTE: ABV is 6.2%

 460 characters

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

10/28/06- Had on tap at the Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, MT while on vacation last year.

Presentation- From the tap poured into two sampler glasses. Also have had from the liter size bottles.

Appearance- 3/4 inch full dirty brown head. Dark brown, maybe and off black colored pour. Full length lacing sheets plaster the glass. Lovely sight.

Smell- Deep chocolate malt aroma with a dash of coffee. Sensing some mud pie action here.

Taste- Overbaked brownies and super dark chocolate. A bit of espresso bean as well. Not sugary. Needs something to tie it all together to be outstanding.

Mouthfeel- Lower carbonation level with a light creamy texture. Has a dry chocolate aftertaste.

Drinkability- This one is almost there. A bit more sweetness and a bit more "robust" flavor and this would be tremendous. I think technically this is a try at a baltic style porter. The abv is a secret according to the brewmaster, but gave hints that it was higher than a normal porter. Tastes around the 6.5-7% range to me. All in all a really good porter whatever the kind. Definite score again for Big Sky.

 1,108 characters

Bobo's Robust Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!