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 StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the best big sky brews ive had the pleasure of drinking. pours chocolate syrup brown, dense and thicker, with a lazy tan head. the nose is fresh brewed coffee, bitter grounds, dark toasty barley, and unsweetened cocoa. there is a ton of coffee in the flavor, and some definite wake up potential in here too, buzzin! no acid at all, which i love, and the dark malts balance the coffee bitterness with a touch of toffee sweetness, but its short lived. really round flavor, with some dark chocolate notes in the finish. soft feel, perfect level of medium carbonation for a porter, and a little more alcohol than most makes this just right for winter time. overall an outstanding coffee beer, worth seeking out before spring hits.

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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 zeff80
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger tan head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate, caramel and some toffee.

T - The coffee flavor is very light with good chocolate and roasted malt flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is an okay coffee porter. I'd like more coffee taste in it, though.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 4/27/2011. Pours very dark brown, almost black color with a nice 2 finger light tan head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing clings to the glass as you drink. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, coffee, toasted grain, bread, and a touch of herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big espresso, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, biscuit, toffee, and herbal hops. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and herbal hops on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth and drinkable at 6.2%, with not alcohol presence at all. Overall this is a very nice porter, with nice robust flavors and very smooth drinking. Really enjoyed this one.

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Don't interfere with something that ain't bothering you none."

--cowboy proverb

Cowboys cooking on the open range in a big ol' black kettle black. Skinny walnut brown highlights are seen at the edges and a thick disk of caramel nougat colored cream rests on top. Good looking beer.

The aroma is at least four parts iced coffee to one part dark malts. The grain bill includes crystal, Munich, black, chocolate and pale. All should be well if Big Sky didn't go gaga on the java, at the expense of the base beer.

Cowboy Coffee Porter isn't as intensely coffee-like on the palate, but it still leans farther in that direction than the typical version of the style. That's fine if you like coffee... and not so fine if you don't. If you don't, they why did you buy a coffee porter?

Warming is allowing the crystal and chocolate malts to become greater contributors. Black malt isn't really appreciated and, thankfully, neither is Munich. More total malt would have added more flavor intensity, more depth of flavor and more hang-on.

The mouthfeel would be good... if the ABV was 4.5%. At 6.5%, we're looking at nothing larger than light-medium. The bubbles are fine in a general sense, neither adding nor detracting in any meaningful way.

Big Sky is one of my favorite unsung craft breweries and I'm incredibly thankful that they distribute to this state. That said, Cowboy Coffee Porter is not a beer that deserves a repeat purchase unless changes are made the next time around.

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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 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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Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler.

Ooh, a new (to me, at least) seasonal from Big Sky? Let's do this. It pours a slightly translucent ruby-tinged black-brown topped by a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises coffee (surprise!), roasted malts, light cocoa, and light toffee. The taste does not deviate far from this formula, though the coffee and a now-darker chocolate combine to provide a slightly tangy bitterness near the end that hangs around for a bit. It hurts things, but thankfully not too much. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mildly smooth feel. Overall, a nice porter, nothing overtly special, but it definitely delivers the coffee goods.

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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 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 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 barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a dirty white cap

S: Some coffee, roasted malts mainly

T: The taste has a light Folgers caffeinated coffe taste to it. It is backed by toasted malt, cocoa hints

M: Well carbonated, no major issues

D: pretty decent drink all the way around, noit bad, not great but drinkable

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black pour with a thin 1/6" tan head. Great aroma, coffee is all up in this, not just coffee malt flavors either.

Taste: more coffee. Good roasty bitterness. Color is deep but the viscosity and body isn't super duper heavy or anything, plenty drinkable. Covers up the booze.

One of Big Sky's better 6 pack beers, good stuff for earlier in the day.

 358 characters

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 scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and brownie brown in color with a one finger brown head and a ring of foam still holding on strong after drinking half the the glass.

The aroma is simple, coffee, roasted malts, and a little cream.

The taste is the same as the smell, but with more creamy flavor and a creamy texture. Ohh yeah, and chocolate. Very session ready coffee porter. Flavor, smooth, and easy to drink.

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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 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 StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this at the Lager Mill for $1.49 a week ago. The only other beer I have had from Big Sky was the Montana Trout Slayer. It left a pretty good impression on me so I decided to give this brew a shot. No visible freshness date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label is a lone cowboy and horse sitting by a fire in a winter background, it looks pretty good, I also liked the saying underneath the cap "Zat yer rig?". This beer poured a nice dark black color that had some ruby highlights when held to the light. It had two fingers worth of thick tan head that died down to a thin layer that left some spotty lacing.

S- As you would expect from a coffee porter, coffee is the major player here. There is also some nice dark and bitter chocolate from the roasted malts and a little bit of caramel at the end. It pretty much smells like a mug of cold coffee.

T- The taste starts out with lots of sweet roasted malts, then comes the coffee. Its not as strong as I was expecting, but that makes it not overpowering and creates a nice balance between the sweetness of the malts and the slight bitterness of the coffee. There is also some chocolate and toffee that comes out towards the end. I couldn't detect any hops in this brew.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good coffee porter. All the flavors were spot on and it drank really smooth. If you are looking for a good coffee flavored porter this brew is a pretty safe choice. I would buy this again when in the mood for this type of beer. Another brew good brew from Big Sky, I will for sure be trying more of their lineup.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a creamy tan head. Coffee bean nose. Tastes of iced coffee with medium sweetness and roast. The body is creamy and smooth with a medium full body. A really nice coffee beer. This is right up there with Coffee Bender. I would buy it again.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a dark ruby red hue on the edges, finger of mocha coloured head with decent retention and some fine sticky lacing.

S - Bitter roasted coffee, dark chocolate and cocoa malts, bit of roasted almonds and some musty maraschino cherries.

T - The bitter coffee malts explode off the top, followed by some milk chocolate on the finish. Some leafy hops preset themselves, with a nuttiness that lingers on the palette.

M - Big bubbled and full bodied, filling the palette, yet goes down smooth and doesn't finish overly dry.

D - Overall a very tasty coffee porter, and worthy to any coffee porter fan. A little more bitter than some, but not enough to be a turn off. Big bold flavours from a small town brewery.

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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 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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Photo of tavernjef
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby tinted brown settling very dark brown, nearly black in most light. A firm, medium sized crown of dark tan foam lifts well upon the pour. The foam stays a foot very well and keeps itself a solid skim and collar while some skimpy, thin lacing emerges in a few spots and globs about the glass.

Aroma is of cold pressed coffee with a fairly strong tint to sweet vanilla, dark cherry, and soured cream. Other then that, it has a bit of cocoa and roastyness to its overall sweetness. It has a fairly decent pull on the nose but is a bit heavy on the sweet end, but still quite nice.

Taste is somewhat reflected from the nose with a sweeter side showing more then a heavy roast. Roast is there but in a slightly burntish tone of black malt and a bit of coffee. But again, there's more of a dark cherry and vanilla sweetness pulling through then a full on coffeeness. Nice creamy cocoa finish dusting off lightly.

Lighter medium body, light front end but builds gradually with a firm, creamy, milken-esque low carbonation and tender sweetness thats very tolerable, playful, and drinkable.

A pretty decent porter, perhaps not as coffee as some that tote the same name or use of coffee, but pretty solid none-the-less.

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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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