Cowboy Coffee Porter | Big Sky Brewing Company

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Cowboy Coffee PorterCowboy Coffee Porter
231 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 231 |  Reviews: 105
Photo of bagpiper2005
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
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 Bitterbill
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
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 morimech
3.48/5  rDev -7%
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 GilGarp
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle stamped 042711 so probably a best before date.

Served cold into a pint glass, Cowboy Coffee Porter is a very dark brown color with light only passing through the edges. The tan head settles quickly with no lace.

Aroma is sweet and roasty with just a hint of coffee.

Flavor is more roasty and, in that sense, reminds me of coffee. Otherwise, it doesn't seem overtly coffee-forward, if that makes sense. There is a initial sweetness that is combatted by a strong roasty middle with plenty of bitterness from the dark malts and added coffee. A slight bit of hops but more dominated by the malts.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but, that again, this is a standard porter so it wouldn't have to be thick. The carbonation is a little higher than I prefer for a dark style but it's not distracting.

Overall a solid porter but maybe not quite as special or unique as I expected. And the coffee could be more pronounced.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.18/5  rDev -15%
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 gordavidson
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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 ocelot2500
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
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 russpowell
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
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 Hoser77
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into my AHA pint glass.

A-Pours like a dark cup of coffee. Opaque. Slight ruby red tints when held up to the light. Creamy off-white head that quickly dissapates. Lacing persists.

S-Light roasted coffee aroma. Faint hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Very little malt aroma. No hop aroma. Slight fruity fermentation esters.

T-Firm roast, coffee, and chocolate flavors upfront and linger into the background. No hop flavor. Very little hop bitterness. Bitterness primarily from roasted malts and coffee. Slight nuttiness and graininess. Subtle toffee flavors as well.

M-Beer seems a little thin and watered down. Slightly astrigent from the roast malts and coffee. Finish is crisp and dry. Seems to have a carbonic bite in the middle and end.

D-An OK drinking beer. I have had better and worse coffee beers. Seems to lack complexity to me. Not one of the more memorable beers from Big Sky.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer = great
Coffee = great
Coffee beer = this one, good

It's a very deep black with dark brown edges and dark tan foam that faded to nothing and left little lacing. The aroma had a good amount of coffee with a bit of cocoa. The taste is less coffee and more cocoa that seemed just a very small tad chalky. The body was nice and full and super smooth. This one is good, but I prefer their other limited release porter Bobo's better.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
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 wagenvolks
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
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 KarlHungus
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
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 zeff80
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
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 vince4953529
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled poured.

Strong black coffee taste, some burnt flavor, hints of tobacco (faint ashtray aroma). Not much sweetness going on, which was okay.

Easy to drink, average body and fairly quaffable. Overall a standard American porter with emphasis on the coffee aspect.

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Photo of BowserBrew
4.64/5  rDev +24.1%
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 rrski198
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Done from brief notes at a beer festival

A: Jet black and off red colored head. Decent bubbles.

S: Spent coffee and burnt malt. Mild malt sweetness is balanced nicely with the bitter coffee/chocolate scent.

T: Straight thin old coffee. Not much else to say.

M: Thin bitter burnt coffee. This style of porter would benefit from an increased body. Not a bad beer, but I need soemthing more here.

D: Not to shabby. I would buy again if I was iterested in an everyday porter, but it is a little to thin for something special.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cowboy Coffee pours a very dark brown --close to stout-looking-- color with about a finger of khaki head. Retention is really good, and lacing is good as well. I enjoy the hell out of rich, dark porters, and so far this one fits the bill very nicely. Great looking beer.

Smell: Lightly roasted malts and a good deal of coffee by far the strongest scents I pick up on. I do get some floral hops as well. I would say that the coffee scent is a bit on the acrid side, but not at all unpleasant.

Taste: Once again, lightly roasted dark malts and coffee make up a lot of the flavor in this beer, with some floral hops on the back end. I'd say that the coffee flavor does get a touch acrid, but nothing is a major turn-off on this one. It may be a bit one-dimensional but still, pretty good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Ah, mouthfeel shows up again in a Big Sky beer. In my opinion it's something that is a bit lacking in a lot of their brews. This beer is definitely light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. Definitely light for the style. Overall, drinkability is pretty good. I enjoy the flavor of this beer quite a bit. It seems that there are some mixed feelings about it, but I would buy it again. I find it to be a pretty nice coffee-infused porter.

Edit: If you are going to drink this beer, go ahead and drink it at room temp. Either that, or don't be too quick to judge while it's cold. It does get a lot better as it warms.

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Photo of leedorham
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a very dark brown with a good size tan head. Nice sticky lacing. Very nice presentation.

S - Nose is of roasted grains, coffee, and burnt sugar. The aroma lingers well and stays until the end of the glass.

T - Carmelized sugar and roasted grains dominate the taste. Doesn't have as much coffee character as the name would suggest.

M - a bit of a metallic feel to the palate. Good carbonation level. Some viscosity.

D - A solid offering. The aroma is what's most appealing about this one. I'll likely buy again sometime.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
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 homebrew311
2.64/5  rDev -29.4%
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 FernMaster
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
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 jsh420
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours black reddish brown with a 1 finger tan head that faded fast and left no lacing

smells like a cup of coffee with a little bit of chocolate

taste was ok - the coffee tastes a little off to me? plenty of cocoa and burnt malts

mouthfeel was a light/medium body with plenty of carbonation maybe a little too much

drinkability is so so - there are too many other porters or stouts with coffee that i would drink over this

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Photo of nickadams2
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours black with dark reddish brown highlights. Thick brown head that lasts for about a second then dissipates.Not much lacing.

S_Espresso ,caramel and chocolate with a touch of nuttiness. Smells pretty good.

T_Same as nose. Rich espresso with a creamy sweetness to it. Caramel and chocolate come to mind. Nice nutty finish.

M_Medium bodied and well carbonated.

D_Easily could drink alot of these.

Had this on tap and appearance and mouthfeel were much better. Definitely worth a try though. Really tasty.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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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Cowboy Coffee Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 231 ratings