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Smuttynose Vunderbar - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose VunderbarSmuttynose Vunderbar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

96 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 431
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 25.65%
Wants: 10
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 08-23-2010

Made for taking a break from the Sturm und Drang of modern life, this elegantly refreshing pilsner was created with German malt balanced with the spicy tang of Czech Saaz hops. The bread and biscuit flavors of the grain are topped with the floral character of the Noble hop, which may just get you to shimmy into your favorite lederhosen, bust into a quick schuhplattler and loudly proclaim, “Das ist Vunderbar!” Prost! 15 IBU (AKA - Short Batch #11)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Hads: 431
Photo of fx20736
2.61/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

given a single bottle in Feb 2014. Poured into a Pilsener glass, served at fridge temp.

appearance: hazy honeycomb yellow with a thick soft white head.

smell: lemon citrus with sugary notes. The usual spicy hop bouquest which is Pilsener trait is absent.

taste: thick malt with a vegetal funk.

mouthfeel: decent.

overall: maybe a bad bottle or maybe just bad beer.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
2.82/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

If I had to sum up my review in a single word, it would be "disappointing."

I am a HUGE fan of Smuttynose and I can't think of another one of their beers I haven't enjoyed immensely. But, despite its name, Vunderbar is an incredibly average brew.

It looks nice -- a lovely pale gold with a big fluffy head. But the aroma and the taste are just ... dull. It's not undrinkable by any means. There's nothing off-putting or offensive about it. But neither is there anything to set it apart. In truth, I found this more or less indistinguishable from any of the mass-market AMC pilsners on the market. Which, coming from a brewery this good, is just plain disappointing.

Give me a Sunshine or a Prima Pils any day. This one I won't be seeking out again.

(Full Disclosure: The "Best Buy" date on the bottle I had was about 6 weeks past, so given the general fragility of pilsners, I suppose that could be the problem. Still ...)

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pale lemony-straw, good clarity with a strong visible sense of carbonation. 1 finger off white head holds rather nicely with a fair show of lacing on the demise.

S: Nose is neutral, no hops nor grainy character that im picking up on. Damp and disappointing.

T: Damp and grainy character, but more like a pseudo-craft blonde style flavoring. A pinch dry, bready with some floral hops, not at all spicy with some lemon peels coming on the close out.

M: Light bodied, good tingle of carbonation, slippery smooth texture with a floral bite of hops.Again wishing for some distinct rough grainiess.

O: Overall a bit dry, lacks that distinct grainy and czech hop character, some bitterness but the proof is in the malting and this misses out per style.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, pale gold with a thick white head that recedes slowly.

S: Aromas of grain, minerals, crackers, biscuits, lemon, grass, herbs, and honey present themselves on the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, grass, honey, and herbs are fleeting in the mouth, as they are overpowered by flavors of crackers and minerals. The finish is brief and oddly bland-notes of honey, grass, lemon, and biscuit are just barely detectable.

M: On the lighter side of medium in terms of body and not all that dry, especially when compared to traditional examples of the style. Carbonation is far too airy, gentle, and unobtrusive for a lager of this sort. Taken as a whole, this beer feels sort of underpowered.

O: This pilsner was promising to start, but went completely downhill really fast. As far as German pilsners go, this one is seriously lacking in depth and complexity. Smuttynose can do far better and so can fans of this style.

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Photo of BB1313
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Best by 12/19/13. 12oz bottle poured into a flute. Pours a hazy straw-yellow; huge fluffy white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are subtle and full of malts. There's a decent breadiness to this one. Flavors match the nose. It's really not that flashy and more straight forward. Lots of grass and hints of lemon peel. This one isn't spicy either. It's a little more on the sweeter side. It's crisp and refreshing though. The mouthfeel is nice; it's pretty fluffy and creamy; moderate carbonation. Easy drinking.

This isn't bad, but it's almost boring for a style that alot of people find boring to begin with. I personally love a good pilsener, and I can appreciate this one, but it didn't truly grab my attention. It's just okay.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on-tap at the Cloverleaf tavern. I wasn't too impressed with this German depiction. Spritzy, light, with a dash of lemon and honey zest but overall nothing to brag about. A good warm-weather, Summertime beer to say the least; otherwise not one of Smuttyose's best depictions.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 5.2% indicated on bottle.

A: Pours a lightly hazy straw color and a two fingers high white head. Its retention is good for the style, settling at one finger, and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Even better is its creamy, frothy texture.

S: There are some nice zesty, grassy, even mildly sulphury hops here. Behind that lies a bit of cracker-like malt and even some sweetness. Typical but likable.

T: At first, I pick up touches of mild grassy hops, and later on the finish. Sandwiched between the two is a vaguely sweet malt backbone and even some citrusy qualities. Though the flavor profile doesn't stick out, it's certainly a well made and enjoyable version of the style. I could use even more hoppiness, though.

M: The dry finish helps balance its sweetness some, and is generally very easy to drink. I'd also call the carbonation level 'spot on'.

O: A solid pilsner. Hops could be more pronounced, but otherwise there's little to complain about other than the lack of uniqueness - which isn't a big deal, either.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Deep Ellum, Alston MA

Served in a .4L pils glass. Liquid gold with a medium white cap...I think. It's always so dark in Deep Ellum. Head slimmed then vanished by mid glass leaving nary a trace of lace.

Aroma is light malt and grass. Taste is similarly light malt and a grassy/soapy character. James tried a sip and said golden raisins but I don't taste'em.

The highlight of this beer is the mouthfeel. It's plush, silky and luxurious. I'm guessing this was decocted with love.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In today's craft beer world, it takes a lot of guts to make a boring beer- one that's light, historic, and refreshing; and can still evade any perceived note of off flavor.

Yet keeping with all of the well-built lagers out there, this one similarly pours with the standard yellow color and exuberant carbonation. As it builds a creamy white head, the ale laces artistically with each sip. What's unexpected is its hazy "keller-like" unfiltered character.

Grainy sweet aromas bounce into the nose with light bread and doughy sweetness. A counterpart of hops chime in the middle with floral honey, herbal lemongrass and apple peels. The fruit notes weave into sulfury scents for a crisp and earthy tone. It simplified nose favors a straight forward sensibility over complexity and variety.

Its taste is of part-malt and part-grain as there's a taste of grain husk nuttiness and confectioners maltiness. As the bread and cracker taste begins to fade, the middle palate is fruity and sulfury to reinforce the taste of lemons, apples and grassy straw-like herbal earthiness. Finishing with a spicy bitterness the taste balances beautifully.

Mid-light on the palate, its unfiltered body leaves a fuller malty weight to lean on the palate. Its abundant carbonation keeps the beer creamy but shy of sprite. Its finish is crisp, clean and refreshing even if a little sweet and grainy.

Though the pilsner is nearly ideal, it suffers the same fate as olympic divers who choose less complex routines. Even if they score perfectly, they top-out with only a portion of the available points. This lager's simplified palate is as much to its determent as it is an asset.

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Photo of beergoot
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in Portsmouth, NH October 17th at the Portsmouth brewery; reviewed from notes...

Partly hazy look with a light straw-yellow body and a foamy white head. Barely perceptible aroma. Very light malt flavors; a little tart and sweet; grapefruit; soft bitterness flavor. Medium body; slightly effervescent.

A good pils overall (if somewhat plain-jane). I had my first glass at the same brewpub several days earlier and, if I recall, I was more overly impressed with the flavor than this glassful, but this is the sample I took notes on. It's still an enjoyable and easy drinking lager.

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Photo of BobKieffer
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm not a pilsner guy (putting it mildly), but I was pleasantly surprised by this. Has a somewhat unique flavor that finishes with (and bear with me) a walnut-like taste. Smell and mouthfeel pretty uninspiring, but other than that, I dig it. Probably be a good session beer.

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Photo of ryantaussig
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler from Potsdam Big M on 23 May 2011.

Color is deeply golden. The head was about one finger but stayed longer than expected. Crisp refreshing nose with a bit of floral hop aroma and some warmth from hoppy spice notes. Very refreshing taste on this one. Cool and not very aggressive. It is definitely sessionable. Rather thin feel. Needs more carbonation, but could be from the growler being a day old. Good beer for lounging out in the sun.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Bright yellow and pale. Tall white head.

Not much for the smell... but then again I've a stuffy nose.

Bright lemon and zest hit up front. Orange and citrus follow with a nice sweetness. Background is light hops and grass.

Crisp and clean. Lovely.

Was looking for a refreshing beer. This did it! Without losing flavor too!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As most pilsners are, to me at least, this was a nice-looking beer. Golden color, medium-sized white head, a bit of lace.

Floral hops aroma. A lot of sweet malt.

The taste had more of a malt character, sweet and sugary. The hops were still there, but in a more secondary position.

More sweet than crisp, but still a nice mouthfeel. I would drink more of these.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a straw pale yellow color, decent sized white fuzzy head which fades fairly quickly, not really any lacing on the glass though.

Smell is quite grassy, very earthy when it comes to the hop aroma yet fairly straightforward.

Taste starts out with a grainy front with a grassy bitter finish, carbonation is very sharp and refreshing, almost thirst quenching and a clean finish.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger thick, pure white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy straw color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Grassy nose and flavor is malty sweetness and lemon with hints of bitterness at finish. $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Glen Beverage Glen, NH.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Yellow in color but fairly hazy for a pilsner. Small head that clings to the edges of the glass but leaves no lacing behind. Floral hop aroma with strong biscuit malt overtones. Good carbonation but still a little soft for the style and a very dry finish. I am a pilsner fan but something about this one just misses the mark. Perhaps it's not as crisp as I like them to be.

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy, bright yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, light grains. Taste is malts, lemons, some hops at the finish, highly refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a good beer that I could easily drink several of.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle stamped with an expiration date of 11/14/12. Sampled on June 14, 2012. The pour is pale yellow and slightly murky with an excitable carbonation that turns to a ring and sticks around. When I check out the aroma I really get that traditional German bready malt characteristic with a vague hop note on the backside. The body is mostly light with a keen creamy sensation. The taste is also rather malty but with a vague citrus twist and a soft but bitter hop finale. It works well on a hot day.

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Photo of ranger7
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Hazy gold. Small head of bubbly white. Decent lacing.
S: grassy, floral, slight hop scent.
T: very similar to the smell. Balanced, with an almost floral aftertaste.
F: medium, with some carbonation.
O: very drinkable Pilsner. Nothing super special, but it does a nice job. Would have it again.

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Photo of barczar
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a pillowy white head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Grain, cracker-like pilsner malt, and floral hops form the initial aroma. Grain and perfumey notes are in good balance.

Flavor reveals an underlying citrus character, followed by strong graininess mid palate, finishing slightly dry and spicy. Notes of lemon peel and a touch of earthy minerals add complexity. The finish is fairly bitter.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with fairly high, spritzy carbonation.

Very drinkable beer. Though atypical of the style, the lemony note is refreshing and a nice complement to the graininess and bitter hops.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge fluffy head of 3 fingers forces me to stop pouring, fades at a med pace with some sticky lacing over hazy lemonade straw color.

Nose has nice pilsner with light toasty straw malt and plenty of pils malts, hint of creamy malt and grainy, and slightest touch of grassy hops.

Taste starts creamy and light but not really toasty, light and barely any toasty pils malt, with light grassy hops that start to get nagging and herbal, light creamy sweetness and not dry enough at first. Finish is drier thankfully, with light lingering creamy malts, and long lingering grassy herbal hops.

Mouth is lighter bodied, lighter carb.

Overall it started nice but went down hill quickly. Too watery, lacking carbonation and more of the toasty pilsner malts, and hops don't suit it well. The bottle is a far cry from the draft version I had a couple years ago, either the bottling didn't help the beer at all, or the recipe changed... or possibly they got too big too fast and couldn't handle the more subtle beers... I'll have to try a few more from them to see how their other beers are doing.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a hazed straw color with a healthy two fingers of white head. Very good retention.

S- spicy floral noble hop character with notes of lemon meringue hit the nose at first. Biscuity malt with a sugar cookie like character in the finish.

T- sugar cookie like malt flavor fills the palate at first. It transitions into more of a dry biscuity quality mid palate. Subtle hop character on the finish with a spice and floral quality. Clean and refreshing.

MF- round mouthfeel with a light medium body. Average carbonation.

D- very drinkable and wonderfully crafted.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very pale gold with a thin head.
Bit of a grassy and floral smell.
A hint of lemon, this is light and balanced.
Excellent example of a pilsner.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a white head that has some limited retention. No lace.

Lighter malt, with mineral bitterness in the nose. Some floral sweetness as well.

Not sure how to feel about this one. Decent malt with grassy notes, with some mineral bitterness to round out the flavors. The grassiness works, but something seems to be missing. Strength of flavor? Not sure. Finishes crisp.

Lighter bodied and crisp.

Overall, not a replacement for the German imports, but a decent enough beer.

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Smuttynose Vunderbar from Smuttynose Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.