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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: 425
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 25.65%
Wants: 10
Gots: 29 | 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: 425
Photo of bubseymour
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darn, first time I've seen this in my bottle shop (visit every week) and on 3/2 it has a best buy date of 12/19/13. I thought I didn't have to check label for a pilsner but guess I do.

For a pilsner this beer looks more like a pale wheat ale. Cloudy yellow instead of the usual golden clear crispness. Decent head and ok retention but fizzy like a soda.

Has some noble hop presence but perhaps its a little subdued do to the oldness of this sample.

This is a very well balanced and pleasant pilsner. Good authentic flavoring, light, not too over hopped (I'm talking to you Victory Prima). Fizzy in the mouth which is a little off putting but minor.

I'll revisit this one again if I can find a fresh one. Nice pilsner none the less.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a delightfully flavorful representation of a pilsner that pours slightly cloudy. The nose permeates the senses with noble hops and a slight bit of maltiness. The herbaceous minty hops sweep though the palate coating the inside of my mouth while an almost unlikely sweetness subdues the initial impact of the hops. This sweetness dissipates and gives way to a pleasantly dry finish.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pale straw, clear with visible rising carbonation bubbles. Head, large at first, fades rather quickly. Aroma is zesty, bright and crisp. Clean cracker malt with lemon. Taste matches with lemon pepper and fresh grainy malt. A well done pils that I'm sure I'll return to again and again.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a pilsner glass. It may not be made with Bohemian water but this is a darn good pilsner. This pours a nice straw golden with appropriate carbonation. Smell is slightly breadlike. Taste is crisp, clean, appropriately bitter, and with just the appropriate hint of earthy flavor. I really like this, hopefully to the approval of my many German and German-American ancestors.

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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 patpbr
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass with a light hazy straw color and a quick to disappear head.
S - Grain, light malt like most pilsner
T - mild grassy and a hint of citrus. Herbal, a little lemon. A nice hop character
M - Light body and mild carbonation. A dry finish.
O - Easy to drink, light and refreshing. A good Pilsner worthy of a try.

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Photo of Act25
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love when I find a brewer that's willing to experiment, but consistently good. Smutty Nose is up there with Stone and Elysian in this regard.

UPDATE: after I wrote this I discovered one of the best experimenters - Carton - right in my back yard. Again enjoyed this with garden peppers, tomatoes over prima vera pasta (except in Oct!)

A: I agreed that it's an odd pour for a pilsner - being cloudy, straw yellow with a rich foamy white-head. BUT WHO CARES?!?!? It's a beautiful pour with sticky lacing and a pear body. Bravo!

S- big lemony, pear aroma - with crackers and yeast - dry and welcoming. Like a german wine, some fruit, but dry. (But it can be slightly sour) (Not like a wheat beer, no cloves or spice or banana or gum. yay!)

T follows the smell. it is smooth with lemony, up front yeast flavor and a nice shift to malt. Unique. More hops and a beautiful dry finish at the finale. Lovely food beer (fish, sausages, or in my case pirogis with fresh garden peppers and tomatoes and tomato sauce for me)

F: light bodied as it should be, but with a creamy mouthfeel. carbonation gives a zesty kick. Good fruit and lemon lingers on the palate, again like a great German wine.

O This beer is a home run. It's not ilke other pilsners but the carbonation, food pairing, lemon, and lightness make it one. Bravo! I am moving this brewer up another well-deserved notch and so should you!

Returned to taste off Full Sail & other pilsners and it won in my book - 10-17-14.

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Photo of jkrich
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a freshness dated 12 oz. bottle: now this is an odd pour for a pilsner - cloudy, yellowish hue with a very nice foamy white-head. This is an unfiltered interpretation that I am not used to seeing. The fizzy and carbonated character reminds me of a wheat beer.

For a pilsner the aroma was quite impressive - big lemony, almost fruity like character that again, reminds me of a wheat.

The flavor is very smooth with lemony, yeasty flavor and a nice refreshing malt aftertaste. It is very enjoyable but not pilsner like. As the lager warms in the glass, some of the European hop flavor is evident. For the style it is very unique and quite quaffable.

Appropriately light bodied for the style with a creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation gives this one a nice, zesty kick. Faintly fruity and lemony flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a great warm weather refresher but not much to style.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As usual, always happy to try something new from Smuttynose.

Nice looking beer. Nose is very bready, yeasty, and somewhat sweet. Crisp tangy flavor. Full and consistent. Very German in execution. It's going quite nicely with my sausages that I'm having for lunch. Another good one from Smuttynose.

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Photo of lostinfla
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smuttynose is right on the money with both name and taste on this pilsner!
Poured from bottle to Sam Adams glass.
Nice bright white head that settled quickly, leaving some lacing behind. Very light yellow color that was slightly opaque.
Smell was on the sweeter side, with just a hint of the hop fragrance.
Taste was smooth and refreshing with very little bitterness left behind.
I could chug quite a few of these!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color is cloudy and yellow but interesting. The almost unfiltered look masks the carbonation that bubbles through the body. All this effervescent bubbling and no signs of a head. The pour was true but it amounted to a wispy layer of loosely knit bubbles that just blew away.

The scent is fruity with grainy cereal malts, light barley, fresh bread and tinges of hop bitterness. At first glance, with my nose that is, I caught lemon twist and light banana. It was fleeting but then true Pilsner scent arrived.

The taste and feel are deeply intertwined as a crisp clean refreshing taste ends in a similar feel. Cereal maltiness compliment a bready grain and end in more hops than in typical Pilsners. Very easy on the throat the carbonation is easily visible but barely noticeable. This is a light airy version of a Pilsner and a very good one at that.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/13/13.Poured into a pilsner dulled lemon tinged lighter golden with a sticky half finger white head atop,a decent amount of broken lace left behind as it settled.I get a whiff of floral and herbal hops right up front with a tinge of iron and bread dough,northern German hopped up pilsner is what Iam thinking.Pretty dry and crisp on the palate with a mineral tinge,leafy and floral hop profile,and a firm bready base although not over done in the doughy department.A clean hoppy pils but with real flavor,it's gonna go good with the sausage and sauerkraut in the slow cooker.

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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 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 shand
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vunderbar pours a clear white-yellow with a small head. The aroma and taste are both big on bready malts and noble Saaz hops. It's a very simple and tasty pilsner that doesn't offer up much more than slightly breadier than normal malts and zesty Saaz hops. It's tasty and refreshing.

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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 scotorum
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Jever Pilsner glass.

a: Translucent straw yellow topped by a big white head which receded to a finger thickness. Perfect!

s: Mild malt.

t: Light hints of fruit. Hop presence on the lighter side, perhaps a bit stronger than some pilseners but appealing.

m: Light and smooth. Highly refreshing.

o: Excellent pilsener! Just right for what will probably be the hottest day of the year where I hang out. 98 today.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

on draft at sams in Durham. into a smuttynose shaker.

pours a pale yellow with an inch head. good crisp malty nose. taste is traditional with malts and a tad of lemon zest. good feel, easy drinking with a light body and a tad of carbonation.

overall a very solid pils that's perfect on a hot day.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a cloudy greenish yellow with a nice white head. Smells of light grain, not much else, but not too surprising for a pilsner. Tastes of sweet grain, but definitely not aided by adjuncts. Crisp and clean taste. Beer is light bodied, good carbonation, overall a very good beer.

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Photo of bnes09
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lemon color lager with a weakish head. Good clarity and lots of visible bubbles.

Fresh citric, leafy aroma with mild bread grains. Simple and satisfying.

Light malt character with bread and cereal grains. Perfect hop balance with lemon, grass and spinach leaves. Crisp, hoppy finish.

Light bodied and very well carbonated. Just enough malty texture to excite the palate and bring the flavors to life. Smooth in the middle with a satisfying dryness in the end.

This beer embodies everything I love about pilsners.

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Photo of alexgash
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Best by 10/24/13. ABV 5.2%.

Brilliantly clear and clean light golden to lemon yellow body. Tall, two fingers of frothy, whipped, bright white head. Very lively carbonation. Great lacing. Grainy, biscuity, bready malt notes blend with sea air funk noble hops and fresh cut grass.

Slightly nutty, toasted grain bite up front. Bready, biscuity malts fill in. Touch of honey sweetness. Snappy, peppery, moderately bitter hops back it all up. Dry finish, with lingering sweetish bread malts and grassy, herbal hop bitterness. Moderate body with a lively, refreshing feel. A great addition to the summer beer lineup.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours hazy golden with a smaller white fizzy head on top. Carbs are gentile.
Aroma is lightly malty in the lager/pilsner tradition .
Taste is crisp and dry with some grassy notes. Sutle hops toward the end.
Drinks smoother with a dry crispness.
This beer is quite refreshing but all in all is quite boring.

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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 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 cbutova
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at the brewery last year, just noticed it on shelves again and it has a nice fresh date.
Between price and quality, Smuttynose always seems to deliver nicely.

A- Poured into a slim, tall glass from the 12oz bottle. Comes out super clear and uber pale with a very faint yellow hue to it. Can see completely through the body of the beer. A tall white head forms with a foamy texture and sticks around for a pretty nice period of time. Lace begins as soon as the head falls and follows the beer down the glass in thick pillows.

S- Overall it has a clean but faint aroma. I pick up some light malt sweetness and a distinct spicy, flowery hop presence in the foreground.

T- A clean, mellow overall flavor that is hop forward. The hops are floral, herbal, grassy and spicy in nature and are most likely of the "Noble" variety. Malt is noticed with some light cracker sweets. I also get lemon, yeast bread and cracked grain with a nice bitterness throughout the whole experience.

MF- Light bodied with a crisp and fairly dry overall feel. Carbonation comes in a moderately high quantity and feels pretty silky. Moderate but clean, appropriate bitterness.

A well made Pilsener produced right here in New England. Balanced, refreshing and contains all of the elements you would expect in this style. I remember liking it at the brewery, well done.

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