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 jt31914
2.53/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Hopcat:

A: Dark brown with little to no head and good lacing.

S: Weak coffee and dark malt, very typical of a coffee porter. Not as much as I would like.

T: Similar to smell with creamy coffee. Gets worse as it warms unfortunately; a little watery but not bad overall.

M/D: A little too bubbly but pretty drinkable.

Not a great beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.64/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: pours a deep brown with some light passing through, thin white head with good retention, splotchy lacing

S: notes of molasses and cocoa, notes of coffee in the background, notes of dark fruits at the end

T: beer starts off with a ton of roasted malts, followed by a huge bitterness, presumably from the coffee. The coffee character is all bitter and doesn't seem to be doing any favors for this porter. The finish is sharp with a slighty metallic character.

MF: medium bodied, high carbonation. Leaves almost a chalky feeling on the palate.

D: I was intrigued by this brew, so I picked up a single. Glad I didn't grab the whole 6 pack. This beer is a little messy with a really dry and unpleasant finish. Will not be getting more of this.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.69/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer was served in a pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is black with ruby highlights. The head is thick and looks like slightly burnt nugget. The head resolves into a thin layer. Nice rings of foam mark the beers passage from my glass.

S- For me the coffee aroma is very subdued. A splash of cocoa and dark roasted malt.

T- Lightly roasted coffee with a bit of coffee oily astringent notes. A little molasses sweetened cocoa hits my mouth going into a brief earthy flavor. I really wanted a deeper roast flavor and a much more intense coffee flavor.

M- The body of the beer is thin. The carbonation is gentle to the mouth.

O- The beer isnt offensive. This is simply something I would bypass for almost anything else.

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Photo of tpd975
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at hopcat.

A: pours a dark brown almost black with a rather small tan head. No real retention or lace noted.

S: Aromas of light roasted malt, cheap truck stop coffee, and chocolate malt.

T: Taste even less appealing than the aroma. Light roasted malt with very subtle chocolate. Hints of coffee, but not the fresh kind. To describe it I would say watered down cheap coffee with a hint of crushed malt. Nothing really melds, hell there is very little flavor here to be honest.

M: Light, watery.

D: Forgettable. I have already forgot I consumed this one.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.71/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

051111 stamped on bottle(best by date?) also 011113??

It certainly is a very attractive looking brew. Black in colour, over 1 finger head of off white foam, plenty of lacing.

Bitter roasted malt and light coffee in the smell. A hint of dark chocolate. Nice.

The taste is of coffee grounds, roasted malts....very much over the top with the coffee grounds. It isn't easy to pull any other flavours out if there are any and the grounds are grinding on me big time. Too much!

Close to full bodied with a lightish amount of carbonation, I can't complain about the mouth feel.

Drinkability? It goes hand in hand with the taste so it's a no go for me. My first real disappointment as far as Big Sky goes but I still am a big fan..

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Photo of beertunes
2.71/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in bubble pint glass. Poured very dark brown, light black really, with less than 1/4 inch of tan head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was a soft version of the expected roast and malt scents. On the tongue, except for just a very slight coffee flavor, taste was also a muted example of typical for the style.

The body was average for the style, full without being heavy. Drinkability suffered due to the overall blandness of the beer. Overall, an OK beer. Probably worth a taster to see if you're into it, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of ocelot2500
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown color with a small, off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of light coffee notes.

Tastes of weak coffee and some other not well done roasted notes. Notes of cocoa and chocolate can be found, but everything lacks emphasis and in no way invokes the image of a boldness associated with cowboys, especially when they smoke Marlboros. Not much sweetness or bitterness, very bland in the way of the aforementioned weak coffee.

Mouthfeel is light and there is little carbonation as was evident from the head.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

$1.69 for a 12oz single @ vco. Brewed with Munich, Pale, Crystal, Chocolate, and Black Patent malts. Hopped with Hallertau.30 SRM, 6.2% ABV, 32 IBUs.

Pours out to a clear near bolack, forming a limp light tan head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Whereas most coffee beers have coffee that overwhelms the malts, or the coffee is not good to begin with, this aroma is a wonderful balance of well brewed coffee and porter, with the black patent and chocolate malts coming through. The mouthfeel has a coffee acidity and sharp bite, with a medium light body, and a peculiar sourness. The taste is mostly coffee and black malts...a touch smoky, with lots of burnt marshmallows and a mild herbal bitterness. The sourness is a bit much and the body is a bit thinned out by the coffee, so it's not something I'm really digging.

This needs a much bigger body and malt base to stand up to the coffee, and it needs to be less tart. I would definitely add lactose and maltodextrin to this. Wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nearly opaque black color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of cheap coffee grounds with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. The taste is more roasty than the aroma, but there is still a lot of coffee grounds, and coffee bitterness. The mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation for the style, and a watery texture. Overall, this beer is definitely lacking. It tastes more like Folgers than any other beer I have tried, and that isn't a good thing.

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Photo of FernMaster
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass.

I had this at the Flying Saucer in KC and by the time the glass got to me there wasn't any head and there was no lacing on the glass. I don't know, maybe it was sitting somewhere for a minute or two before it got to me (doubt it, service is good there) but even if that's the case that doesn't speak highly of the beer. Cowboy Coffee itself, looked the role of the porter. Dark, pitch black. Someone with the Fop Rule couldn't drink this beer (meaning light can't be shone through it).

The smell for this beer is close to everything I want in a porter. It screams to be paired with BBQ as there's a big bold smoke flavor present in the nose. I would have liked the coffee to be more prevalent, but the coffee and chocolate was there in small quantities. The smoke came through the most and it smelled really nice.

The nose didn't lie to what the flavor of the beer was going to be. BIG smoke flavor and some moderate chocolate and coffee components. A little bitter roasted malts could be found, if there were hops I couldn't notice them. I think the flavor of this beer is just okay, not great just okay. The smoke was just way, way to overbearing for my palate. I'm from Kansas City, I'm a man who likes his smoke. I smell smoke while driving and I smile thinking that someone is enjoying a damn good piece of meat somewhere. I smell smoke and salivate. However, I wouldn't salivate if the woods near me were on fire, I would then be a little concerned. Cowboy Coffee from Big Sky is a beer with its woods on fire.

The mouthfeel is very nice. It's a good big body to up hold the amount of California wildfire smoke they crammed in this beer. And it drinks well, it could have drank better but that's the smokes fault. I like this beer, I think it's okay, but I don't EVER see me picking this up over a Bully! Porter.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I bought a six-pack of Cowboy Coffee at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a dark black walnut color and is opaque. A foamy beige head caps the beer, but is not as resilient at it initially appears. Not a lot of lace on the glass.

Smell is an earthy aroma. Peat and soil with the obvious coffeee notes.

Taste is true to it's name, and ice coffee flavor. There is a bit of an acerbic bitterness, like vinegar.

Mouthfeel is light perhaps thin for the style, with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkable, but not a great representation of the style. It lacks body and reminds me of a Coke with all the fizz. There are better porters to be had.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: relatively dark and full of robust brown tones, in other words...a healthy looking porter. Reasonable head retention and some sticky icky lacing. Nice look

S: nose is chock full of coffee and chocolate with a nice helping of heartily roasted malts. Pretty straight forward, not a whole lot of whiffing complexity in the nose

T: not as much depth as I had hoped. Within the malts exists a dry kinda nuttiness with a dusting of fine cocoa powder. Coffee notes come across a touch stale and bland with a dash of creamer. Flavors are just hanging out, nothing to involved. Warming increases the flavor exploration but on a minimal level

M: the words dry, crisp, and charred come to mind. The weight of this beer is nice with a medium feel, but otherwise it lacks in overall slickness. Strong carbonation levels

D: some good qualities and decent notes. Well worth the try but don't plan on drinking many as boredom may set in

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Photo of russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours mahogany with 2+ fingers of mocha head. Fantastic head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & dark chocolate, great nose

T: Coffee grounds up front, a touch of charred grain & dryness up front. Coffee grinds & a touch of nuttyness & wetness once warm. Finishes wet with charred grain, & watered down day-old coffee

MF: Thin with low carbonation, probably the weakest link in this beer

Drinks okay, nothing to get exited about here. Usually Big Sky delivers, not this time. Not even as good as the composite score, might have to drink a Founder's Breakfast stout to wash the taste of this away...

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Photo of Beaver13
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a medium creamy tan head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate and vanilla with some coffee roast and a touch of smoke and ash.

The flavor is a little sweet chocolate with a lot of acidic stale coffee flavor. There's a decent amount of charred bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, a decent coffee porter. The coffee flavors were a little stale to me and the charred bitterness was a little much. I preferred the Santa Fe coffee stout much more.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up about a finger's worth of head that seems to have some retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a dark chocolate brown that is rife with bubble.s A scant amount of lacing is left behind.

Nose- Very nice and well rounded. Mostly coffee with roasted malts. Also, a good amount of cocoa that, at some points, suggests bubblegum. A slight nuttiness as well. Not terribly complex but has lots of balance and is very well integrated. Swirling shows an almost rye like quality. That does not mesh well with the other aromas.

Taste- Doesn't seem quite as balanced as the nose and the emphasis is coffee. Starts off with a blend of roasted malts and cocoa that has a bit of a sour/sweet note to it that almost suggests raisins. However, this beer quickly moves from having that much complexity and dives right into the coffee. A coffee that is rather average and seems a little thin on the finish. Some raisin does make it to the finish but not much. There are not real flaws and this is a decent beer but it is a bit boring. Pretty weak for a porter. A tiny hint of chocolate on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with too much carbonation for a porter. Also, needs to be thicker.

Drinkability- Definitely pretty easy to drink but that's mostly because of its weaknesses- lack of balance and lack of structure. Fair price but just not worth it.

Overall- Mediocre- really not much else to say. I would give it a try but don't expect too much. If you're on this side of the country, you'll want to stick with Black Butte. On the other side, Founders.

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Photo of isaiahcutright
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark coffee color with a cumulonimbus head. Nice lacing. Beautiful roasted coffee scent, maybe a little roasted malt. Well-balanced palate, accompanied by creamy almost bitterness. Thick and chewy mouthfeel and slightly dry finish. Nice brew that would replace my morning coffee if need be.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a super dark brown with a dairy creamer white medium head. Good head retention, very nice lace.

S: Coffee, pleasing but 1-dimesional. Nothing else really going for it.

T: Lots of coffee intially, good dark chocolate with a hint of roast. Something I warmed up to more as I drank it. Not going to stand out with a lot of coffee beers, but it's enjoyable overall, the coffee is pretty overt, so if you like the flavour, go with this.

M: Light to medium-bodied, tad acrid, biting, smooth feel once you get past the carbonation attack.

D: For a "session" coffee beer (I'm using that loosely) this is definitely servicable. Personally I like them at a little higher alcohol so the residual sugar flavours collide with the coffee making a more pleasing character. Kona does a really good coffee porter at a similar strength, while this is not as good as that I don't think anybody would be displeased with this brew.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very aggressive straw colored head. Head reduces quickly with nice foam left behind. Brew is dark brown with black and red hues.

S - Very nice coffee scent. Rather biscuity and chocolate for the style. Lots of caramel.

T - Rather rich! Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. There's a lot going on with the flavor... A very nice and relaxed brew.

M - Pretty watery... Very light and robust. Carbonation is near perfect. No bitterness to report.

O - A good brew, a little too light for the style. A more robust coffee flavor would be quite appreciated. A bit all over the place, brew needs further focus on styling.

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Photo of Chaney
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, harrymel sent this one to me in an awesome trade. I was going to give this to one of my buddies here in DC, but since I haven't seen him in ages, and this thing has a fairly low ABV, someone need to comsume it. I was up to the challenge!

A: Black as night, with no light passing through. The finger or so peppery brown head departed our dimension (or did it?) with in a minute or so. Great retention on this baby.

S: Once I popped open the bottle, the coffee experience began.... coffee, with a bit of plastic. I didn't get any sort of chocolate, dark malt, fruit, or anything like that on the nose.

T: A bit of dark fruit on the beginning, but then the coffee took over... in a VERY big way! I still got the plastic notes on the finish which wasn't pleasant.

M: Thick, as any major coffee should be, with lingering bitterness that I know will please true coffee buffs. The carbonation was fine and the lacing was absolutely ridiculous!

D: At 6.2%, if I lived in Montana (which I wish I did by the way) I'd get this often. However, since I live in the land of cold weather and have many great porters at my disposal, I'd pass if it came through town.

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Photo of Hexgnome13
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tap into a US pint glass

Color: Deep brown, slight copper tint up to the light; light brown head. Mild retention, no lacing to speak of (this might have been the bartender).

Nose: Coffee and caramel; a little citrus zing to liven things up.

Flavor: Dark chocolate, followed by coffee with a citrus burst; malty, but not excessive; nice mellow finish that brings out the roast. Hints of honey and orange.

Mouthfeel: Robust but slightly watery; could have done with a bit more body and a longer finish.

Overall: A nice, comfortable, drinkable Porter. It's not mind-boggling, but I would happily spend an evening with several pints.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Dark, almost black in color. Maroon tinge when held up to the light. Huge, frothy light-brown head that had average retention and some lacing.

Smell: Coffee straight away, and lots of it. Underlying hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Slightly sweet.

Taste: A bit light, and somewhat disappointing after the big nose. Some roasted character and a hint of chocolate. Coffee in the back is noticeably bitter, but overall pretty weak flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability: Goes down easily, but sort of bland and unexciting overall.

Final Notes: It's an OK beer. I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't seek it out either. Perhaps it would be a decent introduction into dark beers. Just not my thing though.

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -7%

12 oz bottle poured opaque with a large creamy head.
Unappealing aroma suggests the beer is past its prime, but this doesn't carry over to the flavor where dark roasted malts dominate. Coffee and dark chocolate are also present.
Creamy smooth, relatively lively feel.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly aggressive pour elicits some caramel colored foam, about an inch. Retention and lacing are in the par range. Nose leads with coffee and chocolate, leaning towards the former. Toffee-like sweetness as well.

Of course, even shitty coffee smells pretty good, and the flavor is a bit off here. The coffee notes of the aroma have turned into bitter grounds, and the chocolate seems more like charred husks. Dry throughout, with a little nuttiness adding enough complexity not to drop the score too far.

Thin and crisp while cool, thin and blah once warm. Light body, dry finish, metallic astringency noted here. Pretty disappointing.

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Photo of warnerry
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 2/7/11

A - Pours black with two fingers of spongy brown head. Head dissipates quickly.

S - Coffee and earthy roasted malts. Simple, but pleasant.

T - Very nice blend of coffee and long-lasting earthiness. Well balanced and with a very slight sweetness to it.

M - Awfully thin compared to my favorite portes. Carbonation is quite high as well. Still, not bad.

O - Despite the lackluster mouthfeel, there are some nice flavors here. Not a great beer, but I would have it again.

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Photo of morimech
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very attractive porter. Black color with a large tan head that had excellant retention. This is a lace making beer. Thick lacing is left on the glass.

Good dark malt aroma. A little chocolate and smokiness with a slint hint of nuts and coffee. I would of thought the coffee would come out more since coffee is in the name.

I really have to search for the coffee flavor. Ever so faint hint under the malt. There is an interesting smokiness present that would of gone great with coffee and made this beer taste like coffee brewed over the campfire. That would of made sense considering the name. I give this an average score because of opportunities lost.

The body is a little weak. But otherwise has a nice texture and carbonation.

This could of been a really great beer if it delivered on the promised coffee flavor. Just an above average porter otherwise.

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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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