Portsmouth Wheat Wine - Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Wheat WinePortsmouth Wheat Wine

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BA SCORE
88
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 111
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 7.3%
Wants: 69
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-08-2004

A toffee-like flavor predominates this bold & assertive wheat ale.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 111
Photo of Gosox8787
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: On tap at the brewery poured into a snifter.

Appearance is hazy mahogany to medium brown with a light beige one finger head with decent retention. Strong bouquet of brown sugar, molasses, wheat, and slight booze. Taste is lots of brown sugar and molasses sweetness countered by some light fruit notes. Not much hop bitterness, just enough to keep the brew from being overwhelmingly sweet. The wheat also presents nicely providing a nice breadiness to the brew. Mouthfeel is full and very creamy. Drinkability is rather average due to the high ABV, strong flavors, and full mouthfeel. Definitely a sipper.

Overall, my first experience with this style was pleasant and enjoyable. Great flavors and a stellar mouthfeel really made this a standout in my mind. (771 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a Portsmouth Tulip.

The beer pours a deep amber with ruby highlights. The head is a frothy white two-finger affair that fades quckly to a white still crust. There's some oily lacing left on the sides of the glass.

The smell is sugared candy malts (or is that a sugar cookie sweet? this beer is hard to pin down), a splash of citrus, caramel, a hint of blueberry?, and a slight boozy (yet strawberry) sweetness.

The taste is incredibly complex, candied fruits, caramel, orange, lemon, graham cracker, and fresh cut grass roll over each other and compete for attention. The final taste is strawberry jam sweetness, very interesting.

The beer is heavy, almost syrupy, and the alcohol is still present even after aging, but the flavors keep enticing me back to the glass, dangerous.

It is worth noting that when this beer was released I found it almost undrinkable on draft, it was hot and almost overly malty sweet. By the end of its time on draft I started to enjoy it, and now the bottle is really coming into it's own after a few months. (1,068 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a medium brown with tints of amber and a thin beige head. Nose has sugary malts, citrus, caramel, toffee, grassy hops and ripe fruits. Taste has more sweet fruits, wheaty malts, dark candies and floral hops. Medium body is well carbonated. Tasty Wheatwine from Portsmouth. Drinks very easy for the style. (310 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this little lovely from joepais.

Poured from a bomber into an oversized merlot glass. The pour produced a smallish half inch white head, quick to recede and leave really no lace.
The color is a darker brownish red, with darker glowing copper colors. Its not transparent, but not completely hazy either.
Retention ring leaves a thin collar.

Aroma is sweet and malty, caramel, brown sugar, tangerines, a citric floral note, no alcohol present.

Taste is pretty fruity upfront with more tangerines, caramelized sugars, vanilla, a touch of a bourbon. The weat comes in much stronger as it has warmed to near room temperature. There is a strange aftertaste that reminds me a bit of orange peel. Hops bite just enough to keep the balance very even. Citric like with good amount of orange and a touch of banana.

Mouthfeel is slick with mild carbonation and a bit sticky with just a bit of a syrupy texture.

This is a delicious brew, very grateful to have tried it. No warming in aroma, but mildly in taste and not at all boozy. Very interesting take on this, not sure what style its following, but overall its refreshing and delicious. Hoppy, malty, wheat, citric surges....delicious.

Thanks Joe! (1,209 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at the brewery...into the Portsmouth snifter, of course...

Pours off a typical 2/3 finger ginger head (typical for this snifter) and tops a bourbon/dunkel body that's a little cloudy but pronounced and robust on the first pour. A later pour reveals a more substantial head - a little over a finger. Staying power isn't huge. Looks a more clear version of bourbon now.

js there a little diacetyl? Spicy ginger/cinnamon but a milky, blunt, sour haze is engulfing this. I am rather concerned. After a while (and I mean an hour or so) it subsides, bringing out a little more of the dried fruits...dates and so forth, but that first whiff was tough. I'm sensing a few baked apples in there, too. I stopped this bottle up and let it sit at room temperature for several hours...
...now I'm still getting a little buttery diacetyl (or is it more of a toffee?), but the wheat electricity has shown up...finally! Hops are still a little grassy but they don't provide a huge impact - having this aged, it's expected.

Hmmm. There's a bit of an unnatural temperament to this at first. It's not wheat electricity - it's just a dull, mildly sour, almost glu-ish buttery off note...again, straight butter or toffee? There's a hint of the style but it's way in the back at first. Missing residual sweetness and booziness; this has the heft and maybe with warmth I realize that it's not infected, but it's not releasing the bountiful flavor profile I'd expect. Very mild, with your typical dried fruits and all that. Something's missing...
...as mentioned, I stopped this and let it sit at room temperature for several hours and opened it back up. It's better now - the wheat has shown up quite nicely. Carbonation works with it very well. The taste profile is more mild - very light yet husky dates. A little bit of booziness keeps it interesting. All is not lost. Still, would prefer more of an impact here.

Weight on the palate is about right - slight syrupy heft. A little spice lightens it up but the inherent nature of the style doesn't really make it a spritely pour, and the wheat electricity is rather dormant...
...after stopping and re-opening there's a little spring in its step that's quite decent. Finish cleans up.

I've never been disappointed with Portsmouth offerings...and I really mean never...but this one is a little off the mark. Not sure if there's a capping problem or an inherent flaw (or the toffee thing again), but something leaves this wanting quite a bit. Heft makes it tough to plunder through the whole bomber. Even after stopping this up with a wine stopper and re-opening, what I'm left with is a decent example for the style but not the excellence I'm used to from Portsmouth. For the weight class the flavor is a little too meek. Maybe there's not a capping/bottling issue, but the off-flavor, butter, toffee or butter toffee at least burned off after a while. Still, it's not too bad for mere mortals. As far as the pure question of "how well it drinks," it drinks pretty well after breathing for quite a while. (3,052 characters)

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

Thanks to rpstevens for the great trade!

Pours an orange-ish brown. Big tan head. Smells like ... caramel, brown sugar, some orange-y citrus, and an almost hefe-weizenish wheat backing. Interesting.

The taste, is frankly, a bit raw, but pretty tasty nonetheless. Some definite barleywine character with the sweet malt and creamy mouthfeel, but it almost tastes like it was blended with a wit and a hefeweizen, as there is orange/tart citrus and wheat in there as well.

Good, would revisit, but will probably never get the chance. (532 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beauty presents a thick and dark caramel brown color, cloudy and mysterious. It has a decent medium sized off-white head and goodly patchess of lace on this classic chalice served at the Portsmouth Brewery. The aroma is an intense, but tasteful butterscotch caramel, plain and true, very enticing. The taste brings strong malt sugars and hints of licorice and floral hops blended nicely into a full bodied, viscous, fair alcoholed brew of great distinction. Midland drinkability but normal for this style. Quite sweet, perhaps a bit much for the uninitiated. It definitly brings a red wine quality along with the tartness of cherries and the acrid contrast of grassy wheat. Quite a solid brew that deserves a try by anyone interested in the more intense varieties. (769 characters)

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

Pours a pretty fogged in brown with an orange tone and a thin creme head. Nose is malty caramel. Slight touch of orange on the nose as well I think? Flavor is interesting in its caramel tones. That touch of orange is there as well. There is a hit of alcohol that doesn't come until the latter part of the ride of flavor. Fairly robust. Almost seems slightly like a barleywine. Feel is thick enough on liquid. Carbonation is slightly subdued, but still nibbles just a slight bit on the tongue. Not too shabby. A bit boozy, but overall a nice production. Would love to see how this ages.

Thanks to brewandbbq for this one! (621 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fluid ounce bottle purchased at the Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth, NH
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a cloudy, dark rust color with a small, light tan head that faded to a layer of bubbly froth. As the beer warmed, the chill haze eased up and the liquid turned a hazy shade of ruby red.

The aroma was sweet, smooth and boozy. Bready. Rich and malty with a noticeable spicy quality.

The taste was intense. The beer indeed was like a cross between a barleywine and a hefeweizen, with the former style being more dominant. Malty (caramel malts came through strong), sweet and boozy. Bitter orange peel appeared up front. Super piney hops and some sour notes came through in the center and lasted into the resonating tart (lemony) and bitter finish.

The mouthfeel was medium-light bodied for the style (a touch watery) with a fine and mild carbonation. Somewhat smooth and creamy initially. Sticky on the lips. By the drink's end, the beer was nearly flat.

Drinkability was decent. This was a tasty and intriguing (yet super hoppy and boozy) beer that is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Wheatwines are slowly become a more popular style amongst a number of craft brewers, and that is a good thing. Although I enjoyed this offering from the Portsmouth Brewery, it was not one of the better examples I have come across. (1,354 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the brewpub in Portsmouth. Pours orange with ruby highlights. There is a tight head that sticks around as a cap and leaves some nice lacing. Smells lightly of bubblegum and slightly sour wheat. Strangely enough, this tastes a bit like sake. Hot with alcohol with distinct soft rice grain flavors, a hint of banana, cherry, and clove. The mouthfeel is a bit hot, but drinkable. I wouldn't exaclty call this challenging, but it is most definitely a sipper. Unusual. (482 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks again to JDV and pintsized

A-Cloudy yellowish amber if such a color exists. Little head
S-Diacetyl-Like butta'. Some malt flavor almost reminded me a buttered bread. Some light fruit flavor as warmed.
T-Alot like sweet buttery toffee. Some light peachy fruit and oak flavors were there as well, but the malt butter flavor dominated. Noticed the wheat flavor more as it warmed.
M-Creamy in the mouth. Nice.
D-Very interesting brew but too much butter flavor to make me reach for another one. (498 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a mostly clear amber copper color, almost peach like. It poured with a small, but sticky and long lasting off-white head.

s: Sublimely sweet nose on this one. Sweet elements of candied sugar, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Floral, wheaty, bananas, and some alcoholic heat round out this superb smelling brew.

t: This has all the elements of a great English barleywine with the addition of some sweet wheat. Lots of vanilla and toffee here with a hint of banana. Moderately warm, dry, floral finish. Overall, this was sweet, but far from cloying.

m: Viscous and chewy with perfect creamy carbonation.

d: Huge thanks to joepais for this fantastic brew. This was far better than Smuttynose's wheat wine. I'd like to get some more of these next year. (hint hint Joe) (778 characters)

Photo of MrMonkey
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

Pours a dark amber with a one-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a sticky ring. No lacing.

Smells of toffee, bubblegum, caramel malt, wheat, vanilla and a hint of booze. Very appealing.

Taste is toffee and caramel malt up front with some bubblegum flavors and a hint of hops and alcohol. Finishes semi-dry, with a little more bubblegum, but there are some herbal/floral hop flavors finishing things up.

Medium-bodied, creamy mouthfeel.

A great beer, but one is enough to sip on; there's almost too much residual sugar, and with the ABV, I don't need another. Wheatwines for some reason always have a strange effect on me, more than any other beer. Still, quite enjoyable. (707 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is courtesy of warriorsoul. Thank again for this one! This is a bottle from April '08.

Pours a dark, semi cloudy, amber color with a thin white head.

Aromas are very nice. There is a very sweet creamy and candy like smell on the nose. A bit of booze, oak, and general spiciness as well. This is a complex smelling beer.

Taste is very complex, like the nose, and very different than any wheat wine I have tasted. This beer has a very thick mouthfeel, with a creamy sweet taste to it. There are some hard candy flavors, and a boozy alcohol like warmth on the finish.

Very nice thick and full mouthfeel. Top notch balance between an easy initial crisp feeling, and then a thick and full finish.

Drinkability is good. This is a very interesting wheat wine with complex nose and flavors. Not quite my favorite for the style, but it is certainly up there. I just think it's a little too sweet for my taste.

All in all... a very good wheat wine, I just prefer the one from Smutty.

I'll revisit my second bottle at a later date and see what some age does to this one. (1,075 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky reddish brown, not much head with no lacing.

Smell is surprisingly weak, couldn't make out much of an aroma, slight malty aroma with some fruitiness though.

Taste is very smooth and slick, not quite what I expected but very welcome, the alcohol is well hidden and only has a slight warming sensation, very malty with a fruit backing. (349 characters)

Photo of mshallah
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was very happy to see a healthy carbonation during the pour. Retaining a beer's proper carbonation in a growler is a constant worry. The nose smells of caramel like a freshly unwrapped Werthers Original. Behind that is a very pronounced dried apricot. Some alcohol heat makes it into the aroma as well as some wheat and hop spice. At one time I believed this to be the same beer as Smuttynose Wheat Wine from the big beer series. They do have similar traits of apricot and alcohol heat. This beer however is much easier going down and the caramel nose is an added pleasure. During the pour there was a torrent of fine bubble carbonation leaving a 1/4 inch head which has since dissipated to a thin ring. The mouthfeel is that of a barley wine with high alcohol and light carbonation. Very enjoyable and very drinkable. (818 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review comes from a growler purchased from the brewery. Pours a lively strawberry blond color, with a small white lacing. Smell is on the sweet side, with elements of cotton candy, toffee, kiwi, strawberry and banana. Taste is dominated by a lovely tart fruit flavor...sour apple and watermelon come to mind. Wheat and a dry husky grain note make themselves apparent in the aftertaste. Body of the beer is the highlight for me in that it seems so light and sessionable for a beer of this size abv wise. Although the alcohol catches up with you after a couple glasses, it is still highly drinkable. This is a real treat of a beer. I might go so far as to say that I like it better then the Smutty Wheat Wine, which would pretty much put it in the top slot among Wheat Wines for me. Cheers (792 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I took notes on this with my cell phone. I'm sorry. I had a few wheat wines, and decided to get a good sample of this and use it as a reference when I want to explore more wheat wines. I enjoy the style.

Good head and retention. Nice apple phenol on the nose. This beer has a good strong and smeet maltiness fron the great amount of wheat. It is also balanced with a good hop bitterness. I enjoyed this beer and it made me seek out wheat wines to try when I was at the GABF to get a decent initial understanding of the style's characteristic. I am a fan of wheat wines. (570 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Portsmouth- Wheat Wine

Appearance- Amber brown with a small light lacing head.
Smell- Big fruityness. Cherry, apple, and pomogranite.
Taste- Cherries and pomogranite really come through. Slight grape undertones. Chewy malt throughout really balances this beer out.
Mouthfeel- Sweet, yet never cloying.

Overall- Quite delicious and the high alc. is really hidden. This could easily be a session beer. My next trip up hopefully I'll buy a bomber or 2 to bring home. (473 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH on 6/23/07, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, brown sugar, dark fruit and alcohol along with a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a strong brown sugar sweetness and a hearty but easy malt character backed up by the flavor of dark fruit and a mild hops presence. There’s a slight alcohol burn but not enough to make you realize the potency of the 9.50% ABV. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Very smooth with a little crispness, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not very filling, nice hard kick, this is a good beer to stay with until it catches up to you, which it does very quickly. (882 characters)

Photo of Donthoseme
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It came out in a snifter glass. It was a caramel color with a good head. It had an aroma of toffee, cookies, and caramel. It had med low to low carbonation much like other barleywines i've had. This high gravity beer is not too filling and very drinkable with 10% alcohol. Watch out because you can definately drink a bunch of these and not know that your shitfaced. This stuff is so good i tried brewing it myself. (415 characters)

Photo of mnj21655
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper color with a nice off whire head. Nice aroma, very sweet with some floral hops a malt presence as well. Taste is strogner than the smell, wheat is followed by the hops but its not overly bitter. Nice mouthfeel, decent carbonation and has a dry finish. Drinkability is excellent. The alcohol is very well masked. You only really find out its there by the nice warming effect it provides. Bottom line: this is a very drinkable beer and I highly reccomend it. (476 characters)

Photo of BassAssassin
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy copper with minimal head.

S: Sweet. The first thing that comes to mind is cotton candy soaked in bourbon. Hints of vanilla are also present.

T: Malty and spicy. Malt is sweet, but not cloying at all. Very pleasant. Faint hop bitterness is tasted on the back of the tongue. Alcohol is very apparent, and actually quite welcome.

M: Manages to be round and full bodied without feeling thick. The wheat lends a soft and smooth character to this beer. Well done.

D: This goes down almost too easily. However, at 9.5% this brew is definitely meant to be sipped. Another excellent offering from the Portsmouth Brewery. (639 characters)

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed May 29, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Crystal clear ruby brown pour, with a thin light tan head. Light sweet cherries aroma. Very fruit with a light caramel tone. Some definate floral tones, but they’re coming from a hop I’m not familiar with. It’s more potpourri than hop. Distinctive strawberry and blackberry flavors. Maybe a hint of ginger. Geez this thing is deep. Light sweet maltedness and very well balanced. (438 characters)

Photo of jabocu
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium clear copper color with two finger head that hung around for a few minutes. Aroma was not real strong, but sweet with lots of malt. Lots of flowery and citrus hops and some spice hanging in back. The flavor was much stronger than the aroma. A little syrupy but not cloying. Wheat, spices, a little pepper, and a very nice citrus bitterness to round it out at the end. The alcohol is not real strong in the mouth, but has a little warming effect. Definitely a sipping beer. Has medium carbonation and finishes dry. (526 characters)

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Portsmouth Wheat Wine from Portsmouth Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.