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 bnes09
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big shot-out to Cassey for leaving this one in the fridge. Thanks man...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stone Brewery pint glass...

A - Pours a soft black with a two finger tan head. Head retention is decent, and there is a little lacing to be had, but nothing to special...

S - Coffee is the most prominate scent to be had here. Also pick up sweeter notes of dark fruits, chocolate, and maybe a little caramel...

T - The sweeteness that comes through in the scent hits you first. Sweet chocolate and various dark fruits. Ends on a coffee bitterness. Pretty smooth...

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A little thin...

D - Could see myself putting back a sixer of these in a sitting. They go down very smooth. Probably not something that is going to be in my rotation, but definitely something I can see myself drinking again...


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Photo of GeezLynn
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a rocky tan head. Very good retention, and overall, a great looking porter.

S: Chocolate malt, cocoa, coffee grounds and a hint of plastic that fades out after a few minutes of sitting out.

T: Good roasted/chocolate malt base, but not too much in the way of coffee. Other than malts, there's a light bitterness and what seems to be a bit of oats, and again, a little undesirable "plastic". Finish is on the dry, bitter side.

M: Very nice smooth feel. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Well done.

No bottled on date so not sure how long this has been sitting. That said, the coffee was pretty light and would love to try this on tap to see how it compares. But overall, found this to be a very smooth, light drinking porter and glad to see Big Sky expanding their lineup.

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

Poured into wine glass from 12oz bottle on 03/07/2011. No bottled date present.
Pours dark brown topped by a thin light brown head, about one fingers worth... stays for a bit then recedes with a small amount of lacing. This beer smells amazing! Notes of brown sugar, coffee, a touch of chocolate and vanilla... my favorites all wrapped up in one beautiful smell. The taste follows the smell with added roasted malts, a more pronounced coffee with cream flavor, and a slight earthy hoppiness. The body is medium/full, sprinkled with medium carbonation. I found this a fantastic coffee porter and will seek it out again. Coffee notes were present but not overpowering and not bitter.
I did a blind tasting and it beat out coffee beers by Shorts and Real Ale and is the best I've had thus far.

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

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

Pours nearly black, it looks about one shade lighter and a little lighter in the body than a stout. Mocha colored head was about a finger, didn't really stick around and didn't leave too much lacing.

On the nose it smells like a one dimensional coffee beer. To me it's closer to Bridgeport's Cafe Negro than the Kona Pipeline. It's really just mostly coffee, espresso grounds, and a little smoke character.

On the tongue it doesn't vary from the nose. It's definitely a coffee beer first and a porter second, I had a hard time discerning malt characteristics. It's definitely toasty. There is also some charred wood and smokey characteristics that remind me of single malt Scotch. The coffee bitterness overwhelmed the hop profile on my tongue.

Part of the mouthfeel that was interesting was a chalky bittersweet chocolate dryness on the middle of the tongue; it actually doesn't finish all that dry.

Decent beer, not great. I could drink more of this than the Cafe Negro though.

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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 trappistlover
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle). Pours dark brown with khaki head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. Taste is roasty bitter with a nice sweet malt backbone. Thin to medium bodied with thin texture. Slighty roasty finish. Nice, balanced coffee porter. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Puts nearly black and nearly opaque with beautiful brown head. Nose has caramel and roasty aromas, very dessert like. Palate offers more of the same, with coffee mingling well with the roasty. Flavors. Medium bodied and very, very drinkable. An everyday porter worth its place in the fridge for sure.

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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 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 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 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 Phelps
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the tap in a tasting snifter during a Big Sky promo at Tops. Head brewer Matt Long was sitting right next to me as I drank it!

Pours charred black, thick and opaque. A tiny, fizzy head recedes quickly to very thin ring, leaving no lace behind.

Straightforward nose, with lots of roasty coffee, toast, a bit of dark chocolate in the back and maybe some sweeter marshmallow as it warms. One-dimensional, but good.

More of the same in the flavor. Tons of medium roast beans, tangy, chalky chocolate, sourdough and cereal. An acrid tang builds on the sides of the tongue, and the roasty flavors linger for a long while.

Medium light, massaging carbonation amidst a smooth medium light body. Highly fizzy.

Nice use of coffee overall. Not a lot of complexity, but I like coffee, so don't need much else here.

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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.

 303 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted with a noticeable coffee and less noticeable chocolate note. Light caramel, dry for the style with a neutral bitterness and mild, earthy hop flavor. Clear and dark brown, right in-line with the style expectations. Coffee is nice, but doesn't do much to make this Porter stand out from the pack.

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

A dark black pour topped with a small light tan head , light carbonation , Nice roasty aroma of coffee , burnt toast , and light sweet caramel notes . Flavor is much the same as the aroma , coffee , toast and caramel , very roasty and good full body slick mouthfeel with a roasty finish . A great porter all around , very drinkable , highly reccomend .

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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 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 joemcgrath27
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - jet black with a thumb of mocha head that dissipated evenly with light lacing
S - strong chocolate malt with mild coffee beans, sweet fruit and leafy hops
T - bittersweet chocolate malt with fresh ground coffee, smoky with a light syrupy fruit sweetness
M - chewy smooth with light carbonation, thins slightly
D - very tasty chocolate and coffee flavours, as a coffee and beer addict I always have a soft spot for coffee porter, and this is a nice take on the sytle

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