Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager | Smuttynose Brewing Company

251 Ratings
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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.

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Ratings: 251 |  Reviews: 225
Photo of yesyouam
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
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)

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold to light amber with a decent bubbly head and good lacing.

Smell is on the mild side. Herbal or grassy, with some toasted malt.

A bit on the lighter side for taste. Toasted grain and some hop bitterness. A sweetness comes through as well.

Carbonation is decent in this one; not overly mouth filling - medium to lighter bodied. A real drinker here. Not hard to put these down. Not my favorite from Smutty, but I would not refuse this. Sadly, what drove a return taste (and this review) was this website -- blog entries mentioning that this one is leaving the product line. Shame. Grab one soon.

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Photo of Procrastinator
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle is one of three I received through a beer-of-the-month club. Best before Oct 08 notched on label. Poured into Sam Adams "pint" glass.

Appearance: deep golden colored body with a dense creamy off-white head. Carbonation bubbles remain directly under a cap of foam and lacing never ceases.

Smell: floral and grassy hops and lightly roasted malts, cereal, sweet honey and caramel.

Taste: sweet caramel malts are immediately followed by grassy bitter hops. Very fresh tasting.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry, but creamy and buttery in texture. Carbonation is very complimentary and balance is well done.

Drinkability: crisp and tasty makes for an easy drinking brew. Alcohol never seems to rear it's head. Would love to try this on tap.

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Photo of largadeer
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12 oz bottle with a freshness date of Jan '09, into my Trumer glass it goes. It sits a surprisingly hazy tarnished gold color with an inch of white foam that retains nicely and leaves a few rings of lace.

Smell: Very fresh and cereal grainy with a hint of fresh cut grass beneath the grain.

Taste & mouthfeel: Big grainy malt flavors up front, semi-dry and utterly refreshing. Hops are subdued, present only enough to lend a subtle bitterness in the finish. Really tasty stuff, like a rugged, unrefined but infinitely more flavorful macro lager. That's not to say that it isn't clean however - it's just not completely sterile and bland.

Notes: Got this one from Dyan. Thanks man!

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Photo of mangledorf
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured this after having tried the Smuttynose IPA and APA the night before. Came into the glass with brief with fluff above a clean gold mass.

Although my first sensation was not taste rather how smooth and refreshing this beer is cold, I picked up on a non-simple array of taste landings.

Smells like light, but not airy. An enjoyable and accessible beer for sure. Another good selection from this brewery.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a golden honey, crystal clear, with a slightly off-white head. Adequate staying power and spotty lacing.

Smell is of medicinal and herbal notes, with a bit of toasted cereal-like graininess.

Cirtusy lemon hops up front and sweet toasted graininess in the finish.

Moderate carbonation, light bodied.

Pretty easy drinker, but not a very complex flavor profile for me to fall in love with.

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Photo of arizcards
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in early June as part of the MicroBeerClub May shipment. Best before October 2008.

Beer poured a pale amber with an OK white head. Nose is malty with a hint of euro hops. Taste is more complex than expected, toasted grains, fruity undertones, and a spicy albeit light hop finish appear at different times. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit heavier than the average lager. Drinkability is good. This is a very refreshing beer that has some very good qualities that also make it interesting to try. Another nice effort by Smuttynose.

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Photo of changeup45
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cream colored head of delicate bubbles punctuated by a few medium sized ones. Light amber color leaning towards the orange side. Subtle aroma of lager yeast and bitter malts. Flavors are slightly herbal hops and cereal (Product 19?!) that develop a smokiness on the finish (toasted malt). Laces beautifully, retains a thin cap that eventually becomes a delicate ring. Very smooth and a great, great session brew. Lightly carbonated but not under carbonated. Medium to light body and an excellent mouthfeel. Not what I think of when I think Lager but maybe that's because this is better than most Lagers. Crisp finish.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Slightly hazy golden hue with a one finger tan head that slowly settles to a thick cap, leaving behind a solid wall of lace.

Very very light grain aromas with a touch of fruity esters.

Light toasy grains with light citrusy hop flavor. Light bodied with high carbonation, slightly fizzy. The finish is the lingering grains.

Very refreshing summer beer. Very well balanced as well. Recommended.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Portsmouth Brewery pub. Poured a dark golden with a light head and spotty lacing. Smells toasty with dry malt and there is a tang of lager yeast. The taste is slightly grainy, light, a bit nutty, and with more pronounced lager yeast. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly sweet. Fairly tasty.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a hazy, cloudy straw-yellow body with a silky, white head with good retention and nice lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A sweet, malt smell with a slight bitterness noted in some undertones. A little off from what I expected.

T: A fairly, bitter taste with some sweet, malt undertones. Sweet malts make themselves more evident in the aftertaste.

M: A light and crisp mouthfeel that was pretty refreshing.

D: A fairly drinkable beer. Nice combination of mouthfeel and taste, although the slight bitterness might get to you later. Overall, a fairly decent brew.

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jwc215 for this one, Cheers Joe!

Pours honey colored with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S:Some herbal & metallic hops& cereal notes. Some perfumy hops late to the party

T: Cereal, metallic hops & lemony hops up front. Honey malts, more lemony hops, plus grainyness as this warms. Finishes with cooked cereal sweetness, crisp & with more grainyness

MF: Light/medium bodied with fairly vigirous carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but not enough flavor here for me to session on. An adequate Vienna lager. this may be my least favorite beer, from this fantastic brewery. I could [probably polish a sixer off watching a game or getting my line wet (fishing), no problem

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Photo of nsmartell
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From micro of the month bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a small off-white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Floral hops and grain.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness and citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Really crisp and light-bodied.

Drinkability: A nice chilling outside on a warm day beer. Would drink again.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.84/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle best before Oct 08

A: Crystal clear amber (and I mean crystal) with a thin white head with solid retention. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves a TON of lace and foam on my Sam Smith glass. Plenty of carbonation. Great!

S: Mild sweetness with a pleasant hint of butterscotch, mild hop earthy and leafy hop character

T: Excellent balance of lightly-toasted malt with a biscuit character to start things off with hint of hops to finish things up

M: Great carbonation but yet wonderfully soft on the palate. The finish is a tad dry

D: This is an excellent session lager, I'd drink it all day.

This is the beer that got me started on craft beer. One sip and I went "Why have I been drinking Yeungling all along?" I'm glad to know that a year and a half down the line, it still impresses me and yet disappointed that this one will be no more.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Monthly club selection for May.

Hazy light amber color, ample creamy white head drops quickly to a thin layer. Pretty sticky lacing.

Bready cereal smell with a nice caramelly sweetness and light but pleasant floral hoppiness.

Sweet caramel flavor dominates up front with floral and lightly citric hops. Damn tasty.

Light to medium body, crisp and clean.

A damn good sessioner, one of the better Vienna Lagers I have had.

Tasted on 6/11/08.

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Photo of Durge
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice golden amber color with a very thin white head and modest lacing. Nice light peachy wheat aroma. The taste is a crisp wheat bread with a bitter dry edge. A subtle sweetness on occasion but it mostly delivers a clean peppery refreshment. There's a hint of cranberry hidden in there, as drinkable as most lagers. I like the label a lot! The beer itself is not the most memorable of the Smutty line, but I would be happy to have it again when in a lager mood.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany and has small head.Some lace. Aroma of malts and grains. The taste is of malts,caramel and has citrus notes with mild bitterness. The feel is crispy,dry and straight up clean. Grains in finish,yet a cool summer beer.

Notes: Good summer brew,nothing special just a decent brew.
I guess I would buy it again,but not in a hurry.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, sparkling golden color. Its definitely not a light, pale lager. The head was thin from the beginning and there is a white ring left that clings tightly to the top of the glass. Lots of nice bubbles round out the pour.

Smell is sweet honey, a little wheat or grass, some yeast and that is about it. I don't expect a whole lot from the nose of a lager so I'm not surprised.

Tastes very crisp with some honey sweetness. The after taste is a bit dry and a bit acidic but it goes well with the initial maltiness. The carbonation is spot on with this lager and it really makes it refreshing. I'm not a big lager person and I am definitely no expert on lagers but I really am enjoying this one.

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Photo of Damian
3.12/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of Pleepleus
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hyland24 for providing this one. Poured a golden light apricot with a light white head. It had a mild hoppy smell, and tasted like a mild lager. Nothing extravagant here just a good solid brew. Was very easy to drink, crisp and tasty. Could definately drink a few of these.

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Photo of mhewes
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a clear golden color with a white head and some lacing

S : Grains with a little bit of floral hops. A really light aroma.

T : A nice lager taste, smooth light malt followed by a slight hop bitterness.

M : Crisp and clean

D : A good session beer

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Photo of nasty15108
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this one from by boy Hyland24. 12oz bottle / best before 9/08.

A - Poured a slightly cloudy orange/Amber color. The poured produced a cloudy white foam head with goos carbonation and a soapy lacing througout.

S - Malty with a slight biscuity aroma at first
followed by a slightly floral/citrus hop smell.

T - Nothing too overpowering of distinct. Light maltiness followed by a slightly bitter hop finish.

MF&D - Light, crisp and refreshing. The carbonation and slight hoppiness gave a little sizzle to my tongue. A good summer session lager.

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Photo of leif86
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange body topped with off-white head about 3/4 of an inch thick. This head soon dissipated to light lacing. The smell is malty and sweet, kind of like apples. The taste is quite malty, a little carmel, with a smooth mouthfeel. Despite the smooth character a little surpy feeling lingers in the mouth but this is not at all unpleasant. Quite a good beer.

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Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 251 ratings.
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