Cowboy Coffee Porter | Big Sky Brewing Company

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Cowboy Coffee PorterCowboy Coffee Porter

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
32 IBU

Added by jt31914 on 04-10-2010

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 231
Photo of Jellopants356
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very dark with a reddish tinge. Thin lacing and very little head, but that's cool. Wow, the smell is really complex. I definitely smell the coffee but i also smell a bit of burned...caramel? HOLY CRAP! This is amazing! Coffee galore (i may just start having this in the morning) and definitely the malty type of flavor profile i love in porters. Ah, Big Sky you never let me down. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than i would like but pleasant anyway. Overall, if you like coffee flavors and enjoy a complex porter, this is for you.

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Photo of BowserBrew
4.64/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am not a huge fan of Big Sky beer but their special releases are great, including this beer. It pours nice and dark with roasted espresso smell and taste. I am a huge fan of this beer and would recommend it to everyone. Even my friends that hate microbrews love this beer.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.64/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a: A thick, dark brown liquid with a 1 finger tan colored head.

s: Aromas of milk, coffee beans, chile and floral hops.

t: Rich roasted malt with flavors of coffee and faint cocoa. The hops lend a perfect compliment, adding bitterness, a slight spice flavor and a floral component.

m: lively yet somewhat thick and full bodied.

o: Awesome brew, a near perfect combo of hops and malt for a porter.

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Photo of Vindabinjy
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bold, but not too bitey. Good coffee tone that's not overpowering. Well executed! Bottle is nice and rustic looking, which I find appealing. Definitely my favorite coffee type porter on the market to this point! Finishes nice and smooth. Smoother than 90% of porters.

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Photo of dlello2
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - A fantastic representation of how a porter should look. Deep brown with just the suggestion of red. Good finger of head fading to a ring of medium soapy bubbles.

S - Dose of sweetened coffee with cream hits ya hard. Doesn't go much further than that. One dimenensional but nice.

T - Sugary sweetness hits up front and in the middle. Coffee creeps in towards the end and the over-roasted bean bitterness lingers in a good way. Pleasing.

M - Pretty spot on for the style. Medium bodied with average carbonation. A touch creamy, but the bitterness makes it work.

O - Not a bad brew at all. Big sky does it again for me. Gotta open the Ivan now!

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Photo of colts9016
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Nonic at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has good retention. The head is foamy, bubbly and medium tan in color. The color of the beer is opaque, dark mahogany with garnet hues. The head left a little bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose: A very strong roasted coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and oak. There are notes of phenols, yeast, and alcohol.

Taste: I have had cowboy coffee and this taste just like it. Flavors are rich French Roast, chicory, and oak. There are other flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and toffee. There is notes of molasses, phenols, yeast, and citrus.

The mouth feel is warming, coating and smooth.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is a really good porter with coffee. It has a rich coffee flavors balanced with porter. This beer is well made and close to being awesome.

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Photo of youradhere
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours silently into the glass, pitch black with barely a ruddy hue to the edges, tan head leaves behind a nice cap of lacing. Smell is chocolates and licorice, and of course roast coffee. Taste is light, initially there is a wash of sweet roast bitterness, char, tobacco, followed by mellow coffee flavor and roasted smokiness. Carbonation is a tad high as it prickles the tongue and tries to wash the beer's flavor off of your palate. Body is medium light, and the carbonation acts to lighten it further. Overall a decent coffee porter, drinks smooth. I need to get some of this for camping, because for some reason that is what the hidden flavors remind me of- smokey campfire coffee, and porter.

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Photo of PintOHops
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass - Pint

A - Wow that's a dark Porter! Super black color with practically no light coming through. It produced a 1-finger head that fizzled away quickly.

S - Initially couldn't smell much. After it warmed up i picked up dark chocolate, roasty coffee, soft hop oils, and raisin. Great aroma and very inviting.

T - Wonderful mix of savory dark chocolate, bright coffee and hop oils. Just balanced so well. Low, lingering coffee and bitterness on the tongue. Sweetness is low.

M - Medium-full bodied brew with a velvety like texture and soft carbonation.

O - What a wonderfully balanced Porter. Robust, savory, drinkable, just a great example of the style. I picked up mine in a mix-pack for $14. I'd definitely buy this one again. Cheers!

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Photo of landrewg
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to make this my first review because I had it on tap at Uptown Grill this weekend, loved it, came to BA to find out where to get it and saw these two bad reviews. I think they might have had a bad keg at Hopcat. It came with a very creamy look and a mild aroma of coffee. Taste is smooth and delicious. Could drink a few of these with no problem.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Porter pours a jet black into a light tan head about 2 fingers thick. Dare I say this is "very black" w/ no ruby tones to it on the side of the glass? I do. My first thought is motor oil when I look at it through the glass. Lacing is good. As a Porter guy, I love this spectacle. The nose is DOMINATED w/ coffee & burnt malt. No mistake about it. Very little, if any, chocolate presence which I've come to know of quite a few Porters. The aroma is intoxicating for me! This is well carbonated w/ a sweet, malty presence. Coffee & chocolate are very well represented in the taste. Hops provide the backdrop but this is well on the malt side of the balance. Has a lingering dry finish which I associate w/ Porters. Quite good. Mouthfeel is a medium & this just tastes great!!! Very drinkable, maybe too much so if there were such a thing. I know others don't agree but I really like this beer. If only it weren't a limited release. I can't wait to have a medium rare steak w/ this. As always, Prosit!

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Striated layers of foam, creamy parfait style, dense-loose-dense, billowing over the rim in a convex form. Sticky and creamy, the foam seems to be it's own entity. Laces in sheets. Jet black when backlit.

Raw, roasty coffee and black patent malt. Alternately soft and rich as the initial intensity fades. Some nuttiness and dried plum in the background.

Extremely smooth and creamy, some light fruity sweetness blends easily with roasty coffee and chocolate notes. Dry coffee is there also, but dark chocolate just pervades across the palate. Some milky sweetness in between, walnut and dates in the aftertaste. A classic porter, one of the best beers i've had from Big Sky. Really enjoyed it, and will seek out more.

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Photo of Sark
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- thin cream colored head, deep dark brown

Smell- toasted grain, with undertones of chocolate and coffee

Taste- roast up front, slight toffee hint, chocolate and coffee, little noble hop zip

Mouthfeel- full bodied, smooth velvet

Overall- another great brew from Big Sky, reminds me of Moose Drool but more amped up

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Iron Horse micro pub in Ellensburg.

A This beer pours out a nice blackish color, with a decent but shortish head.

S The nose of this beer is predominantly coffee with some hint of roast in there.

T The taste of this beer is smiler to the nose with strong coffee flavors along with hints of roastiness.

M The mouthfeel of this beer is a little light but not bad. This beer is a pretty easy drink this regard as you would expect a porter to be.

Overall this is a pretty good beer. It's nothing spectacular but it is a pretty good porter and it is a solid choice if you want a good go to porter. and if it was more widely available in my area it would challenge Black Butte as my go to porter.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours absolutely pitch black with only the faintest mahogany tones around the edge of the glass. Head is 1 finger, loose and bready. Spotty lace.

S: Definitive ground coffee over sweet malt. Alcohol present over a little dark fruit.

T: Deep coffee flavors over a strong alcohol and malt base. Unsweetened cocoa and a little fig.

M: Oily and only lightly carbonated. Finishes very dry.

D: Quite sessionable. I really like this as a flavored porter. Nice for the style, nice overall.

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Photo of Tone
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 2/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of coffee, sweet malt, hops, slight earthy malt, slight nut, hint of oatmeal, and roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, coffee, slight hop, and hint of oatmeal. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of kegger22
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have tried three or four other Big Sky brews and wasn't overwhelmed, but Cowboy Coffee Porter really hit the spot.

The beer poured a deep mahogany color, just like the color of coffee brewed in a frying pan over an open fire. There was a minimal tan head that quickly receded.

They were not lying about the coffee part of the name. It smells and tastes like strong black coffee. The toasted malts did add some sweetness to take the bitter edge off. I also got a bit of cola-like after taste, not particularly welcome, but not entirely unpleasant.

The mouth feel was medium with little carbonation. There was a narrow temperature window for optimal flavor. Straight out of the fridge didn't work and neither did too warmed, but baby, that in-between was excellent.

Drinkability was one of the strong points; with a 6.2 ABV, you could pound a few. I liked it so much that I am working on my fifth sixer before even getting around to the review.

Cowboy Coffee ranks up there with my favorite American porters.

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Photo of jermarley
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Way better than I though it would be with a name like "cowboy" on the front end of things! Really great subtle coffee taste of what actually seems to have been good coffee used in the first place and not some overcooked crap. I grew up in the coffee world and know a lot about what coffees are typically used in "coffee beers" and I really noticed a great taste this time!

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Photo of gordavidson
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very deep, dark brown liquid with just the slightest bit of light coming through at the edges. The mocha head is thin but creamy and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke and nuttiness.

T- Sweet coffee, chocolate, smoke, caramel, and a touch of nuttiness. Pretty tasty.

M- Very smooth with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming too slick in the mouth.

D- Good flavors that don't really build up too much on the palate. Well executed.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A dark mahogany liquid fills the pint, almost jet-black save for a few traces of bottle-brown at the edges. The head is khaki tan in color and very well retained as it clings to the edges of the pint. Roasty, toasty, biscuity aroma with dark malt husks, charred chocolate, and black coffee. "Cowboy Coffee" is right--no cream or sugar in this java. Very clean and simple for a coffee porter, but Big Sky got the nose right.

And the black coffee theme continues! Very dry, bitter coffee fresh from the pot at Waffle House. No frills. No Starbucks. Just fresh coffee. Most of the porter notes get overshadowed, but in this case it's fine by me. Thinnish mouthfeel, with a clean finish and bubbly carbonation level. Cowboy Coffee has easily the starkest, most uninhibited 'raw coffee' flavor I've ever had in a beer. I had to keep checking my teeth for grounds...

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Photo of beagle75
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color that transmits dark brown around the edges. One finger of beige foam head diminishes to a fine peripheral ring. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Rich black coffee and lesser dark chocolate fill the nose but allow traces of solvent, carbonic acid, and fermented grain to be detected also.

T: Begins dry, with coffee and a deep nuttiness of such depth that is rarely encountered, even in dark/brown ales. Acidity is present, but remains restrained. The roast turns a bit stale in the middle, where acidity persists and faint dark fruit is detected. The finish is mild and smooth with earth, husky roasted grain, and minimal bitterness.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, creamy on the palate yet slightly acidic, with moderate carbonation.

D: While the addition of coffee rarely makes or breaks a beer, it often results in a beer that seems slightly less attractive than if it had been left off the ingredient bill. Here it is well integrated and lends character that this porter might otherwise be found to lack, elevating the overall experience in rare fashion.

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Photo of danieelol
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With great thanks to MrKennedy.

Pours a dark black with a light white head.

Smell is big earthy, soily, gritty coffee. Some fairly potent banana-y esters. Kind of a bit like a coffee banana split, with some whiteboard marker (alcohol).

Taste gets more of these weizen-coffee flavours, along with some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is decently thick, carbed and finishes bitter and soily, probably more from coffee than hops.

Nice beer, has quite a lot of alcohol presence for its ABV. Like a coffee with a shot of mild liqueur (Frangelico perhaps).

Flavours meld better than in the To ├śl coffee brown ale, which is otherwise somewhat similar.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to Rathakem for the sweet extra! enjoyed from a sam adams snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black with a thin head that was gone quick leaving hardly any lacing at all.

s - smell leads with a really nice milk chocolate. followed up by some mild roast and big vanilla and coconut notes. smells really nice - gourmet coffee for sure.

t - like a cup a joe...big coffee taste followed by some roast and vanilla and finishes with some porter char. really nice.

m - soft, easy drinking. not too much char.

o -overally a rather nice coffee porter. the coffee really compliments the porter and brings it to a new level. enjoyable. quite good.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a very dark brown to black color with a thick dark brown head that slowly looked foamy as it slowly dissipated and had plenty of lacing.

Smells pretty strongly of coffee and espresso with white chocolate also present. Has smokey oak notes as well.

Very smokey flavor with hints of coffee and espresso. A few sips in reveals pine. The bitterness of the coffee hangs on just a bit into the aftertaste.

Medium body with a fizz that builds into the aftertaste.

I could see myself having a few of these in a single setting and revisiting this would be a treat.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, small head. Great coffee aroma, comes off strong.

Taste, coffee, not coffee malt is the real driver of flavor on this one. A sizable bitter and lesser sour feel accompany this beer. Just the right amount of viscosity for style. Reminiscent of coffee bender, not as pungent, maybe it's just the color, but the coffee comes off as black, thick coffee.

Alcohol is covered nicely, hopping is kept under the radar to not interfere with coffee bein showcased. This is a great morning/fishing beer. One trick pony kinda, but that ain't a bad thing.

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

dark brown on the edges and almost black towards the middle. Small cream colored head gave way to some nice lacing. Smell was dominated by a roasted malt, smokey hints in there as well. This tasted thick with a rich caramel, and chocolate flavors. Very filling indeed. Smooth going down but very full bodied.

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Cowboy Coffee Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 231 ratings.
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