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Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Portsmouth LagerSmuttynose Portsmouth Lager
251 Ratings
Smuttynose Portsmouth LagerSmuttynose Portsmouth Lager

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-26-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 |  Reviews: 225
Photo of farrago
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light half finger of mixed bubble sizes, fades into islands, minimal lacing. Fairly filmy brown amber in color, more washed out orange to yellow nearer the rims. Honeyed wheat cereal filled nose, molasses, lemondrop, additional sweetened baked goods, elevated does of malt cocoa powder, has gentle contours and an uncommon amount of sweetness. Light to medium-bodied, the steadiness of the carbonation prevents things from settling in meaningfully. Molasses, honey, carob provide a sweet profile similar to the nose, however, grains, brown bread, pumpernickel and lemon water slowly dry things to a tie race by the mid-palate. Minimal, if any, apricot to yellow apple fruit. Breadiness persists, over time draws out a golden raisin embellishment. Without real weight, thus as it nears the finish line your mouth feels like a barely filled pool. It's an interesting take but it's far enough from naive expectations to perplex some.

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Photo of lweaver18240
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up the last single bottle available at my beer store...best by October 08...wasn't bad though.

A- Can't say much about that, I enjoyed this one straight from the bottle.

S- Smells like a lighter lager, a little metallic.

T- Tastes like a lager should, I hate to repeat what everyone else has said but well balanced and simple is the best way I can put it. Slightly metallic aftertaste that is not unpleasant.

M- Light and smooth, carbonation is lighter than most lagers I've tried.

D- Could drink this all day, unfortunately I likely will never fin another bottle of the stuff.

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Photo of coachdonovan
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad I grabbed one last bottle before it disappears forever. I was first introduced to this beer via a beer of the month club years ago. Both in bottle and on tap at the Portsmouth Brewery, it delivers one of the most crisp, balanced lager flavors I've ever come across. I was very disappointed to hear that it will be replaced by Star Island Single (Belgian pale ale). This lager was a perfect companion for the grill in the summer months and was scary-sessionable. Sorry if this review feels more like an obituary, but I'm just sad to see that Smuttynose is ditching it. We need MORE lagers, not less!!

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with "best by" of june 09. when i head this was being discontinued, i went and got a sixer asap. tasted in late march/early april 09.

bright amber color, very faint haze. moderate, light tan head, fades to wispy layer and ring. sparse splotchy lace at first, then maybe a few slightly more solid rings later on.

aroma: biscuity malt and touch of caramel, mild noble hops. some phenols along with... fruity esters? yeasty fermentation notes detectable in back.

taste: similar maltiness, with gentle noble hopping to balance, plus estery note, but slightly marred by a phenolic/fusel note.

medium body, relatively smooth. crisp carbonation.

nothing spectacular, but still sad to see this one go...

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Photo of Tomdee74
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

okay I have to say I am very sorry this is being replaced with star island single. This is probably my favorite lager I'm sad to see it go. Especially now with the warm weather coming this is a great warm weather beer. I encourage anyone to try this out as it is not being brewed any longer.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I figure I better grab a bottle of this before it's gone, replaced by Star Island Single (this one's in the beer fridge now, review coming shortly). A 12 ounce bottle purchased at the Beer Stop for around $1.75. Poured into my shaker "pint" glass. Appears a clear muted copper color with about two fingers of pillowy, off white foam. A nice looking pour. Smells and tastes of lightly toasted grains, a hint of sweet malts, minimal hop presence, fruity (crisp apples). Medium in both body and carbonation. Worth a try while it's still around in the stores.

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Photo of jimj21
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought as part of a Smuttynose variety twelve pack. Twelve ounce bottle marked by best May 2009. Poured into pint glass. Color is golden amber. About one finger of bright white head, which fades rather quickly. Some lacing. Very clear with some streams of bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is rather malty. A bit of sweetness. Some caramel. Mostly aromas of toasted malts. Not much hop character, but it is there with some floral aromas.

Taste is a lot like the nose. Rather malty and sweet. Flavors of caramel and toasted bread. Not very much bitterness at all. Hops reveal themselves with some tea-like flavors. Finishes sweet and a little toasty. No aftertaste.

Great texture. Light to medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Very smooth. A little dry.

Pretty much a perfect session beer for somebody needing a malty fix. Too bad Smuttynose discontinued this one. I would like this more if there were more hop character, but it's not bad overall. For the style, I like Samuel Adams Boston Lager a little better.

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Photo of DBoone
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Medium amount of off white head, slightly cloudy golden color. Some lacing that hangs around for awhile.
Not too much smell to this beer, a hint of light roasted barley.
Nice taste with a very little bit of bitterness on the tongue.
Light mouthfeel, not much coating on tongue.
Very drinkable, pretty good session beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours dark and somewhat hazy (not necessarily cloudy, but more opaque than the typical lager). A light copper. Minimal head.

S: Minimal smell; some pale malts and the tiniest bit of hops.

T: Good taste. Solid malt without much of a hop presence. Ever-so-slightly amber in taste.

M: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. No alcohol presence.

D: Quite drinkable. Would be nice during the summer--too bad they won't be making it any longer.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Blind Tiger. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Nice color for a premium lager. Aroma of light fruits and pale malts. Flavor of nice pale malts, apple juice. Clean and crisp, a little weak in the palate. Chill for a lager.
7/4/6/3/12 (3.2/5)

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up a few weeks back just so I could say that I tried it. This was almost as crisp as a pils but not as light - either in taste or in hue. I can't say that I've ever reviewed a Vienna Lager on here, since I haven't had the Sam Adams Boston Lager in years, but this would probably be one of the most drinkable styles for someone getting into craft beer. Even though there's not a lot of flavor here, this isn't a weak beer by any stretch!

The pour wasn't anything special - a deep golden hue, not quite clear, and little head or lacing. Not a strong aroma to this and the taste was very malty up front, with floral hops following, and some metallic notes in the back. There's a bit of grapefrut and resin here, but this isn't the second coming of SNPA. Just a subtle complexity and mostly straightforward taste. Just a bit sharp in the back, but it doesn't detract in any way.

Looking for an easygoing session beer? This is it. 4.50% ABV and nearly none of it sticks out. Yup, ya can down this all day and not realize you're buzzed until you're passed out with the game on in the background. Since this is my only one, that won't happen to me, but I can say that I wish that this style was more readily available. It's not the kind of beer genres, but a few more of these here and there would be fun to try out since it's refreshing to feel halfway full after drinking something this light in hue!

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark gold, medium white head with good lacing.

Aroma is toasty, maybe a bit of breadcrust in the nose.

Taste is toasty, slightly biscuity malt, with a slightly floral hoppy note and a lingering, very delicate, clean bitterness on the finish.

Body is light but not watery, with moderate carbonation. Great, very drinkable lager.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper polish with a slight haze and head. Laces and nicely carbonated.
Nose is metallic and first, but coming through is a bready, almost doughy hints. Spicy hops mingling in.
Taste is initially malty, once again caramel malts hitting the palate.
Finishes witha slight metallic twinge, but all in all a pretty solid lager.

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Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep golden color, with good initial head, some decent lacing, and a nice bit of carbonation. Decent scent, fresh and crips, a little bubblegum and sugar to the head. Very nice taste; clean, crisp, smooth, a nice hint of caramel; great malt notes with a small, nice, hint of hops buried within. Goes down very nicely.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(best before June 09 notched on the label)
I picked up a six pack of this based on the rumor that it was about to be discontinued. Figured it was time to try it. Seems like some are real disappointed it will be leaving the Smutty family.

Pours with a finger and a half of head. This does begin to fade immediately and begin laying some sticky lacing all over the glass. Light Amber color with perfect clarity and a medium amount of visible carbonation.

Aroma is a touch musty. Toasted malt with a touch of light fruit. A hint of cinnamon.

Wow, I can see why some are upset this is leaving the family. (potentially) Nice crisp flavor. Very well balanced. Initial mineral flavor gives way to a moment of light caramel and fruit. This is followed by some toasted malt or cracker notes. Behind this is a nicely balanced hop tone. It just plays nicely in the background and doesn't call any attention to itself. Finished clean with almost a dough like sense to it.

Carbonation really sparkles. Medium and bright body.

Very drinkable and a nice session brew. I have two more left. They may be the last two I ever have. And not because I don't like it.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, golden amber color, with thick white head, good retention and nice lacing. Darker than many mainstream lagers. Sells sweet and malty, taste is sweet with bitter hoppy finish, can subtly taste roasted grains. Very good, easy to drink lager. Refreshing and pleasant, one to keep around.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bit of a gusher here. Very carbonated clear golden color with a mountainous off-white head. Rocky! Lacing abounds.

Earthy aroma of pilsen malt, some light spicy hop and a touch of Euro skunk. Tastes of sweet and earthy malt, some graininess and a tinge of a metallic aftertaste. Does not finish real clean, the metal and a dry bitter bite linger on.

Good body, easy to drink. Average. I wouldn't run out after this one again.

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Photo of drizzam
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The third offering I've had from Smuttynose...the first two have been extremely solid, let's see how this one compares.

A - Transparent golden yellow color with a fair amount of carbonation. Thin head that leaves little lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Not a real volatile brew. Sweet malty aroma, smells almost caramelly to me.

T - Bready and malty with a slight lemon aftertaste. Not real hoppy or bitter. This is a tasty lager.

M - Smooth and creamy. Very clean finish with little to no aftertaste.

D - This is a very sessionable brew! Smuttynose has failed to dissapoint me so far and I doubt they will with the brews I've had so far!

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Photo of Duhast500
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a goldish color, more an amber color with a foamy white head.

The smell is hopy, with some floral feel. A little mild sweet malt flavor as well.

The taste is caramel flavored, has some hints of citris fruits and some malty sweetness.

Has a really good mouthfeel to this beer. Goes down well and has only a slight bitter aftertaste. A well made lager.

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Photo of 4theluvofbrew
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a SN mix 12-pack. I think that it is a pretty solid beer as far as lagers go.

A - Nice picture of buoys on the bottle! (4)

S - I smell (4)

T - I quite like it (4)

M - My mouth feels good (4)

D - This is a solid, rel. low in alc. beer, that tastes nice

A bit of a unique aftertaste...have never seen this in 6-packs, only in the mix 12-pack

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Photo of droomyster
2.97/5  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.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of taez555
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear pale yellowish body with a thick pillowy white head.

Nose was very muted with a slight garbage grain smell.

Tastes is a clean biscuit, grain malt taste. Very grainy and very bready. Right off the bat it's easily one of the biggest malty lagers I've had. Hops and bitterness are kept to a very minimum and let the grain malt shine through, honestly there's just barely enough to balance, but it's all that's really needed.

Overall a very nice lager from smuttynose. I'm not a big lager fan, but this is nice an bready and grainy and rather yummy. Body and taste unlike BMC, and not overly hoppy like SA lager. A good lager.

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Photo of albern
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What's not to like about a Portsmouth Lager. The beer pours a shade darker than pale color with a nice creamy white head that retains and laces a bit. The beer is amply carbonated and the nose has a nice lemony and floral aroma, with the cracked malty grain of a traditional lager.

The taste is quite refreshing. It is a light bodied beer, a tad watery, with a lemony spice, and a nice grassy mid section. The beer is just a tad sharp, but not overly so for a lager. It is mostly just refreshing, low ABV, slightly lemony maltiness, with a grassiness, and a slight spicy sharpness that defines the beer. The aftertaste and mouthfeel are very mild. A nice find.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.19/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a mixed 12 pack. Best before March 2008 notched on the bottle. Served in a pilsener glass. Poured a hazy gold-orange with a 1.5 inch frothy white head and cascades of tiny effervescing bubbles that traveled from the base of the glass to the bottom of the cap. Sticky rings of lacing were revealed as the head slowly receded. Nose suggested cereal grains, wheat and perhaps a light lemony character. Taste consistent with nose. Reminiscent of a macro-lager but with a little more flavor and body. Mouthfeel consisted of a light-body with a smooth, consistent carbonation from beginning to end and a clean finish with very little residual aftertaste. Easy drinking and sessionable beer but flavor was somewhat lackluster. Best consumed as a session beer on a hot day in my opinion.

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Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 251 ratings
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