Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Smuttynose Robust Porter

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1085) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 22, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It had a best by date of 7/9/14 and came as part of a mixpack for $15.99 ($1.33 per bottle or $0.11 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black body with a large, fluffy, frothy, dark tan head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Classic dark malty aroma with hints of dairy and milk chocolate and a faint floral scent.

Taste: I drink so many experimental style beers so often that I forget how good a beer brewed in a classic style can be. Smuttynose Robust Porter is a definite to-spec robust porter and would hit every note on a BJCP taste test. It’s tasty and well-balanced, though not quite to the point of a being a mind blower.

The palette begins with a sweet taste of dark malts, and looking at the recipe on the brewery’s website, there’s quite a lot of them here. An interesting combination of milk chocolate, cola, and maybe a hint of cherry. It becomes a little bitter through the middle with a slightly toasty flavor. This grows stronger towards the end as the Cascade hops make their presence known and impart a slight citrusy or flowery taste. Additional notes of dark chocolate complement the bitterness well.

Drinkability: The word “robust” in a beer’s name tends to imply strong flavor and a huge body, but that’s not really the case here. Though the palette is plenty flavorful, Smuttynose Robust Porter is not intense or intimidating. The mouthfeel is calm and soft with a smooth texture and finish. It does leave a slightly dry aftertaste akin to burnt toast, but it’s easily tolerable. For 6% ABV, this beer has the right amount of taste for its weight and is satisfying just one serving at a time. 
Grade: 8/10

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