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Smuttynose Robust Porter

Where Spotted: MacArthur Beverages, 4877 MacArthur Blvd. NW

Price: $8.99/six-pack

Stout With the Old: What’s the difference between porters and stouts? There’s about a million, but there’s also about a million exceptions, such as this Smuttynose, whose uncharacteristic bit of hops makes this roasty black coffee of a beer almost refreshing.

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Porters Notebook: Porters tend to get less attention than their stout cousins, maybe because they sound utilitarian and laborious while stouts sound like they taste: heavy and full. Or maybe “stout” is just more fun to say. But with porters you can count on rich flavors of coffee, raisins, and molasses and the zing of toasted barley. Don’t let this warming style of beer languish at the store; save the porters! I’ll make bumper stickers!

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