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: 104 | Ratings: 230
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Taturbo for the trade

Deep, dark black beer with a wispy tan head that falls flat and halos around the outer edges. There is relatively minimal lacing.

Pungent coffee and sugar with a little bite from the alcohol. This beer reminds me of a candy bar at warmer temperatures. Otherwise, it's got the pretty standard roasted coffee playing well off a menacingly dark body and bold sweetness.

As with the smell, this beer is pretty standard with what it has to offer. I've had plenty of coffee porters that match this profile, all of them tasty, but hard to differentiate.
Not too much to brag about although there is a nice bitterness that creeps up towards the end and lingers for about 1/2 a minute.

Thin, watery body with bold roastiness and sugar. Although porters are typically not super dense beers, I've been spoiled. I definitely prefer a coffee porter/stout with as much body as a style is capable of giving me.
However, I did enjoy the beer at 50-60 degrees (a true test), and there was even a slightly dry finish.

This was a beer worth sampling, it was in fact an unexpected extra in the trade. I enjoyed the beer, as i tend to for most in the dark beer - coffee infusion class. It's got good coffee flavor, but is still rather generic in comparison.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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 jera1350
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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 tavernjef
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
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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Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev +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 Hexgnome13
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
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 Jayli
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 5/23 poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep opaque brown with a two finger of light brown head to it. Head recedes at a moderate pace. Nice coating of lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts.

T: Taste is a boat load of chocolate in the forefront. Coffee then quickly comes in dominating the middle with a bit of chocolate continuing to mingle. Lighter toffee notes roasted malts hit in the finish with a hint of grassy hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat light, watery body.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, not filling, nice kick, decent representation of style. All in all, this is a damn fine beer, the mouthfeel was the only let down but that wouldn't stop me from grabbing this one again.

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Photo of climax
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen a cowboy make coffee from a beer can, water, fire, and coffee powder.... I'm gonna guess this shall be superior.

It pours a porter-like brown, dark, but not black. The head is creamy, looks like latte froth when I give it a swirl. It offers pretty good retention, lace is little to none.

The aroma isn't bursting with roasted coffee....right away It is a pleasant blend and balance of sweet, bitter, and lightly roasted flavors. As it warms, the rich coffee flavors begin to scream for attention. Chocolate, whipped cream, and roasted nuts all accent nicely.

The flavor is excellent. The coffee tones control the tempo; but once again the harmony between the components is wonderful. A bit of an earthy, even minty, hop note sneaks in adding even more excitement.

The body is medium with a rich feel, not lacking like a lot of porters seem to. It's a bit on the dry side towards the finish, which keeps the sipping pace on the quick side. But it's definitely worth savoring, excellent flavor. Good porter.

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Photo of MikeSr619
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So there I was at a Great Divide event in this liquor store when in a haze I decided "I need to check out some of these good beers and taste some stuff I never have before". Well, thats when the Cowboy on the bottle said, HEY! Get your butt over here and buy me!!" so I a 6 pack. and I wasnt disappointed in the least. It poured nicely, went down very smooth and after 3 of them me and that cowboy became friends. But he's gone now..and Im back on the trail again..

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Photo of chugalug06
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
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 LusciousJackson
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Average pour from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium balloon results in a finger and a half worth of tan colored ultra fine head capping a deep dark brown. My daughter loves labels with animals and this one is no different, "That's horsey beer, daddy!"

The smell is as you might guess, lots of coffee. There's other elements that both coffee and porters might share such as roasty tones. All this is great but theres a bit of anise in there as well? Maybe? Someone mentioned solvent, I could see that. It's interesting for certain.

Taste is certainly very upfront coffee. Semi-sweet chocolate is also present. Pleasant, but the back of this one is very astringent to me. I would assume this stems from the java, but how do other coffee beers pull off more balance where this one is lacking?

As some have noted, this one leaves a bit to be desired in the mouthfeel department. Nothing offensive, just a bit thin for my taste.

Overall, it was enjoyable but nothing I would seek out again.

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Photo of CMW
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown,almost black color with just a tinge of a caramel covered head.

S - Fresh roasted coffee, molasses, and a bit of chocolate.

T - Similar to the nose. This beer has some serious coffee flavor. Slightly sweet but overall just cold coffee.

M - This is where I was let down a little. The carbonation was extremely low which led to an almost watery feel.

O - If you enjoy coffee, this is a good beer to try. However, I would like to see them step up the carbonation a little.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.69/5  rDev -27.5%
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 FreshHawk
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep cola brown with an average/slightly larger, foamy, frothy, cafe color head. Pretty good retention leaving a thin lace.

S - Lots of coffee aroma with most of it being a sweet coffee with just a slight black coffee and coffee grounds aroma. Hints of chocolate and roasted malt. Hints of caramel as well. A little one sided, but enjoyable nonetheless.

T - Plenty of coffee, less sweet and more black coffee than the nose. Some astringent coffee flavor as well. A bit more roasted malt than the nose. Coffee still dominates though.

M - Medium to light body with average carbonation. Pretty average mouthfeel all together.

D - If you like coffee this is great, it's pretty good even if you are so so about it. A little too imbalanced and astringent but not bad.

Notes: Pretty good but not great. Coffee is very strong, maybe a little too much, but overall a good coffee porter.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
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 youradhere
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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 goast8127
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Allowed to warm to near room temperature after being refrigerated.

Color is a opaque dark brown with very slight reddish tints. A finger thin tan head leaves little lacing on the glass. The aroma draws thoughts of ground coffee and a hint of malt. The taste reminds me of a cold glass of coffee with a slightly bitter finish. It's a little dry for an American stout, and not very viscous. Tastes and feels lower in alcohol content than is listed.

Overall it's a decent beer. Would drink again. May not specifically seek it out.

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Photo of beagle75
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Mitchster
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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 StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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 TheQuietMan22
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is an opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to a lamp. Two fingers of thick, tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave trails along the glass, a billowy lacing, and a ring around the edge.

Smell: Coffee porter, eh? It smells more chocolaty than anything else. Though there is a nice espresso presence, it is slightly overpowered by cocoa/dark chocolate. There is a little caramel, too, and maybe some molasses.

Taste: Ah...there's the coffee. Though the smell was a balance, the taste leans to the coffee malts, which are a touch roasted. The chocolate from the smell plays a supporting role, as well as caramel, molasses, and a little black licorice. The mouthfeel is not as thick as I prefer with such dark beer.

Drinkability: Not a bad brew. The flavor and aroma are very pronounced and ring true to the namesake. Though not spectacular, it is damn good.

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Photo of Tone
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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 beerandcycling88
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
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 bnes09
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown. Tan head with a soda-like quality. Doesn't stick around long but forms some foamy lace lines at first.

Smells like bold coffee.

Tastes like coffee too, surprise, surprise! Bitter, yet smooth. Sturdy, biscuit character. Touch of smoke. Really a nice, even roasted flavor overall.

Medium body and semi-dry. Slick feel from the coffee.

Overall, a solid porter/coffee flavored brew.

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Cowboy Coffee Porter from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 230 ratings.
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