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Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Portsmouth LagerSmuttynose Portsmouth Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 250
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 10.93%

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001)
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Ratings: 250 | Reviews: 226 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

2.53/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm not a huge fan of this beer. It tastes like one of the first lemony-home brews I made where it got contaminated. I expect lagers to be significantly sweeter and drier but this had a harsh aftertaste of hops not fitting for the style, a murky yellow color, and just isn't fun to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 03:34:02 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of loren01


2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours clear orangish color, small white head, slight head retention
S: Metallic smell was a big turn off. The only other thing I noticed were a good amount of hoppiness
T: Bitter hoppiness mixed with the same metallic taste
M: Overcarbonated and hard to go down
D: Harsh tasting beer, couldn't get past the metallic taste, would like to try this again cause I doubt thats what they are going for with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 23:10:00 | More by loren01
Photo of quasimoto


2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A musty, grainy, dry toasty and slightly vinous aroma starts off this beer. As I swirl it the malty sweetness comes out and some diacytel. Malty sweet flavor, some cooked corn, and the dry graininess comes back in the end. The taste as I get it is first diacytel, malty sweet in the middle and finishes with the grainy flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth with not a lot of carbonation, and some slickness in the middle of the tongue from the diacytel. Overall a drinkable beer, but lagers are hard to do.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 00:29:39 | More by quasimoto
Photo of riversider76

New York

2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden. Head quickly vanishes. Average lacing. Smell was a bit matalic and hoppy. Mouthfeel was carbionated. Taste was a bit bitter from start to finish. I would have liked a more balance taste. This beer is not awful, but I was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 23:32:47 | More by riversider76
Photo of Seanibus


2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not the best of Smuttynose, which normally does top notch work.

Pours a hazy amber with hardly any head. What head there is collapses immediately and leaves almost no lacing. Although it isn't flat, it looks flat and uninspired. This is not even remotely an attractive beer, hardly what one would expect from a well-made lager.

The aroma starts with a blast of sour apricot, then, as the head collapses, becomes negligible. As it warms, there is a little hint of grain that comes out. Again, disappointing.

The flavor is better, but odd. It has a slightly sour fruitiness, with apricot and grape. There is considerable malt sweetness with little or no hop character. There is little in the way of finish, but the flavor eventually develops an unpleasant sourness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is light, with a slightly resiny character that unfortunately accentuates the sour aftertaste.

The more I drink this beer, the less I like it.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 19:25:36 | More by Seanibus
Photo of fitzy84


2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Moan and Dove. The drink had a reddish, clear amber appearance with a thin head. The smells were of a good hoppy balance but nothing too spectacular, just average. Although there was a sweetness to the drink that I would attribute to the hops, I felt the drink had no real specific taste dimension. Good medium body with a decent carbonation. Overall, it was pretty average.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2008 14:08:45 | More by fitzy84
Photo of NEhophead


2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Thin, creamy white head that quickly fades leading to very little lacing. A copper color that looks a bit watered down.

A caramel sweetness combined with some lemon aromas. Not much here in terms of smell.

A metallic flavor combined with a very strange sweetness. The end of the sip holds an unpleasant bitterness. There seem to be some floral hints also, but they never really come to the forefront.

I found this lager to be a bit grainy and coarse. It doesn't quite sit well on the palate IMO.

Since the flavors are not overpowering, it's not a problem drinking...just not a pleasure. I'm glad that there were only three of these in the mixed pack. This is one to pass on.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 15:31:03 | More by NEhophead
Photo of TAMU99


2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Average lager beer. Nothing too impressive.
Appearance - golden, clear
Smell - beery, hops/malt nothing too spectacular
Taste - same. I was eating spicy food so maybe overpowered
Mouthfeel - lightly carbonated, clear
Drinkability - ok, not well balanced.

Not recommended

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2005 21:32:00 | More by TAMU99
Photo of Stopper


2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Starts with a very modest beige head topping a bright, clear orange. The head fades quickly to just a thin sheet of tiny bubbles across the top. The aroma is of a surprisingly full and very slightly sweet maltiness. A first sip reveals a body that is fuller than I would have expected as well. Most of the initial flavor is of light malt and little hops, but enough to be decently balanced. The finish is not overly dry and a slight hop bitterness remains, with very little hop flavor.

Overall, this is a bit maltier than I expected it to be, but not impressively so. And not overly impressively anything else either. It's a decent refresher and, in my opinion, something you can drink without feeling guilty about not thinking too hard about what you're tasting.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 03:37:30 | More by Stopper
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden clear body with almost no head. Scent is hoppy but not overwealmingly so, with some yeast and malt. Flavor is slightly malty and slightly hoppy. Watery body. Very little carbonation. Bottle says best by October of 06, and this one's clearly past its prime... too bad... I'll have to try one that's a bit fresher.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 00:53:57 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of droomyster


2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a small white head. Aroma is disappointing: extremely subdued sour apples and caramel. Taste is also a let down: grainy malts with distant notes of caramel and grassy hops on the finish. Its flavors need to be serious amped up. There is nothing offensive about it but neither is it exciting. Definitely drinkable but I hope that Smuttynose (of whom I'm generally a huge fan) reworks this beer in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 08:28:22 | More by droomyster
Photo of Brent


3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly sweet, with a somewhat grainy background. Holds it own against European imports, but does not really excel beyond them.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2002 20:42:34 | More by Brent
Photo of kegerator


3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't enjoy this one too much as it was abit boring.
poured a budweiser yellow with a a decent head that left slight lace.
smell was not there. it was very hard to pick up but i did smell a breadiness to this one with some citrusy noted, very slight citrusy notes.
tast was bland heavier then swill but tasted about the same. kind of reminded me of PBR in some ways.
nothing to write home about

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 13:09:56 | More by kegerator
Photo of auntfloyd

New York

3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a chilled 12oz bottle into a US pint glass. I bought this beer mostly because I am a fan of other Smuttynose brews, not so much because I'm a fan of the style. Pours a nice light amber color, which looks more golden when held to the light. The nose is slightly malty, but very subdued, and not a strong component to this beer.

The flavor is faintly sweet - fruity and malty, with a light hops aftertaste. Not too strong on any level, but very drinkable. This is a very easy drinking beer; not too carbonated, and not too strong. It's not a "wow" lager, but definitely something you can have when you want something lighter, especially in the summer time. Also a good bet for your non-BA friends who are put off by the taste of more flavorful craft lagers. Overall, not too bad, but not too outstanding either. A decent beer, but I might not buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 02:37:19 | More by auntfloyd
Photo of Franchise


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a golden color and leaves a very thins white lace that disappears quickly. As I smell this beer I get some grassy wheat essence, along with some grape fruitness. This beer hits the palate with a bland tartness that really leaves you wanting for the malty sweetness to balance it out. The beer continues to give you that grapefruit, tarty smacking feeling but has nothing to balance it out with so the flavor is dominant.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 01:25:45 | More by Franchise
Photo of LucaBrasi

New York

3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dull yellow with a very small head, which will disappear relatively quickly. I really couldn’t pick up much of a smell.... so I really can’t describe it. The taste was clean and clear with a hop finish. Mouthfeel was also smooth and lightly carbonated. This beer wasn’t super flavorful but is decent and goes down good. Out door thirst quenching beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2005 05:32:10 | More by LucaBrasi
Photo of oloughlinrj


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours yellow with decent head.

Not much to smell here, maybe slightly malty.

Pretty malty, but with a decent hop finish that lingers for a while. I'm not really finding a lot of strong flavors here.

Light carbonation and very smooth, it goes down easily.

Overall, I'm kind of underwhelmed by this lager. After the Smuttynose Robust Porter (which is excellent), I was expecting something more. It's a decent lager and goes down smoothly, but it just seems like a slightly above average beer from a brewery that you expect to produce much better products.
It's worth a try, but I won't be getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 16:17:49 | More by oloughlinrj
Photo of Damian


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 FLUID OUNCE bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Best before: O (October 2008)

Apparently this beer is slated to be discontinued. I will likely consider this my final chance to try a classic New England session brew.

Poured a deep crimson-amber with only a flimsy cap of white froth (despite an aggressive pour). Within seconds the head completely dissipated. No lacing whatsoever.

A mild maltiness (German-style malts) was noticeable in the aroma. Slightly skunky with a whiff of sulfur. As the beer warmed, the maltiness became significantly more apparent.

The flavor profile was quite thin overall. Semi-sour and slightly hoppy up front. Crisp, lemony and wheaty with traces of apple skin. Toasted malts came through in the center. The resonating finish was crisp and mildly hoppy. Tart and semi-bitter.

The mouthfeel was full-bodied for the style and rather creamy, with a sprightly, crisp effervescence. Smooth and lush on the palate. (This was definitely the most impressive aspect of the beer.)

As for drinkability, the beer was clean, refreshing and light, yet short on flavor.

Overall, this lager was a disappointment. The flavor profile was weak and the sour, citric flavors seemed rather out of place for the style. I would definitely opt for a Sam over one of these any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2008 04:22:09 | More by Damian
Photo of AltBock


3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a plain and simple yellow and blue label with a picture of a white wall covered with hundreds of colorful buoys. To the right of the picture is where they keep the US Government warning and to the left is where they keep their clearly notched best before date of January of 2008. I'm just in the nick of time.

When poured into a simple mug, This Lager is a golden yellowish amber with an initial half an inch head of white foam. This head of foam quickly transformed itself into a small white bubbly skim and a spot or two of lace around the glass. It had a faint, but crispy aroma of toasted malts, a few blades of grass, a dab of juicy fruits, and then the aroma ended with floral hops. It had an average Lager crispy taste of toasted malts, a pinch of citrus fruits, and ended with what appeared to be a mix of floral hops and citrus hops. The mouthfeel was on the light side with medium carbonation and a faint aftertaste toasted malts and floral hops. Basically, I found this to be nothing more than an average not over the top affordable Lager from a great craft brewery. I couldn't see why not why this wouldn't make a nice summer session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 06:47:13 | More by AltBock
Photo of wheelinshirt


3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up from Abe's as part of a mixed six pack. 12 oz brown long neck bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Practically exploded out of the bottle when I started pouring. Filled up the entire glass with head. Had to set it down and wait for the head to fall. This one sports some pretty good head retention, so it took a while. Big fluffy white head that leaves lots of lacing, but it was annoying having to wait more than five minutes to be able to pour and begin drinking a beer.

Smell is fairly non-descript, some malt, not a lot of hops, taste is similar. Nothing offensive in there, just nothing too noteworthy. It doesn't seem to be as refreshing as I like a good lager to be. This might have been better if I had been drinking it with a nice veggie burger and curly fries like the negra modelo that I enjoyed so much.

Mouthfeel was lacking in carbonation. Not completely flat, but it must have lost a lot of bubbles on that stunt it pulled during the pour. I would have this again if it was given to me, but I don't think I would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 15:17:57 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A murky orange-tan with a fairly creamy, white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet, bready malt aroma. Some slightly sour, lemony hop aroma. Perhaps a hint of earthiness.

T: Robust sweet malt flavor up front. Grainy and bready. Hop profile is lemony and somewhat herbal. A weird, musty/wheaty spice twang is also lingering around. A bit watery as well.

M: Medium bodied and crisp, with fairly active carbonation. Grainy and a bit rough around the edges.

D: Not sure how I feel about this one. Kind of an odd wheaty character that doesn't vibe all that well in my opinion. I can appreciate what they were going for, and I think they were close, but it seems a touch off to me.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 04:06:34 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

mearly a slightly above average lager from smuttynose. nothing more, nothing less. pours a nice amber colour with virtually no head. smells and tastes of toasted grains and malts. a bit heavy on the toasted taste for my liking, but certainly not overbearing. unexpectedly, a bit watery as well, but it's a pretty smooth brew that has potential for a session beer. again, not amongst my favourite lagers but i've had many, many other worse ones. i'd go back to this one on occasion.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2003 01:14:46 | More by guinness33
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

being in NH, I can almost see the target beer this is named to compete for. Just my 2 cents observation. I am a fan of many of their big bottle series brews. Over the weekend a friend brought over a sampler 12 pack and thus an expanded tasting.

This is a light crips lager. Definite lager yeast characteristics. Light malt body, light hops aroma, very little bitter presence. Not one I'd buy as a destination but one I'd be happy to quaff at a restaurant or one of the many waterside functions happening in Portsmouth during the summer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 16:59:23 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Portsmouth Lager is a clear, sparkling, golden lager with a small white head that fades just about completely. The aroma has some malt, hay, grass, orange, lemon, dough and possibly apple. In the mouth, it's light-to-medium bodied, a bit dry, a bit watery, quite flat and a bit astringent. The flavor starts lightly acidic and ends up lightly bitter with the flavor of orange peel, coriander, and crystal malt. The finish is short. It's pretty refreshing. It's not as crisp as it could be. More carbonation would carry the flavor better. Nothing really stands out here. The flavor profile makes it seem more like a watered-down winter ale rather than a pale lager. With all that said, it's not too bad and I would drink another.
(rated Jul 11, 2007)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 04:52:46 | More by yesyouam
Photo of changeup45


3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty good lager. Pours a copper color with a thin white head that quickly fizzles down. Easy drinking with bitter hops and a bit grassy. It's simple and I suppose could use a little more flavor, but all in all this is certainly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 19:46:37 | More by changeup45
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Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.