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Portland Lager | Bull Jagger Brewing Company

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Portland LagerPortland Lager
42 Ratings
Portland LagerPortland Lager

Brewed by:
Bull Jagger Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Portland Lager is a crisp golden, premium lager modeled after the traditional Helles beers of Bavaria. This original recipe follows the German Purity Laws of 1516 and use only the finest water, malt, hops and yeast. Portland Lager™ is handcrafted in small batches and aged to perfection. The result is a quaffable ‘micro-lager’ of the highest quality.

Added by Bowdoinbeerboy on 10-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of ygtbsm94
1/5  rDev -69.7%

Photo of nmann08
1.5/5  rDev -54.5%

Photo of dasenebler
1.94/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

11/11/2011: Classy looking 16.9oz bottle. No dates or codes, but this stuff just came out a few weeks ago so it must be fresh.

Pours an unfiltered orange-gold, way too dark and murky for a Helles. The head is at least very nice, as is the lacing.

Aroma is pretty good, with grassy hops and a touch of lemon.

The flavor is bitter and tea-like, and it tastes almost like it was scorched (sort of a husky, burnt malt flavor). Too much hops for a Helles, and no balance really. Some redeeming biscuity malt flavors, but man, this does not taste like the style in the least. Has more in common with a Pale Ale (and not a very good one at that) than a German lager. Vague vegetable flavor on the finish. The mouthfeel is at least pretty nice, with a medium body and fluffy carbonation.

I lived in Germany for two years and drank a lot of good, traditional beer. If Bull Jagger was trying to create a Munich Helles as good as you can get in Germany, then they failed miserably. If they were trying to make a drinkable beer, then they failed tragically.

Update, February 2012: This beer is still the same, i.e., really awful.

 1,122 characters

Photo of erlenmeyer
2/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of GehenHerzog
2/5  rDev -39.4%

Photo of MaineMike
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of jbear725
2.52/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my second time having this beer. Had a bottle from the original release and wasn't impressed. Giving it another shot.

Pours a slightly orange light amber color, not a pale straw yellow like I was expecting. It's slightly hazy as well, again not what I'd expect in a Helles.

Smells mildly bread-y and has a pine and earthy hop aroma.

Taste is not what I would expect. Too many hops for the style and they come across pine, mild citrus and very grassy and raw. Has a good malt backbone but not a rich crisp grain flavor I would expect. Malt tastes more like a pale ale than Pilsner and seems like it has too much of a Munich malt flavor leaning more towards an Octoberfest than a Helles.

Mouthfeel is decent.

Overall I'm not a fan and don't consider this a very good Helles. The color and appearance is just too dark and the over use of hops is a turn off. Just can't get past the grassy raw hop flavors going on to make this enjoyable. The price is way too high for a mediocre to average beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of Blind BIF 6. Thanks to Brez07. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear light golden color with a thin white head and just a touch of lacing. The nose brings forward some sweetness and a bit of a creamed corn character, leading me to think this could be a blonde or a cream ale. A bit of grain and some light hop bitterness through the finish. Could be a less-than-hoppy APA. Quite grainy. Slightly-bitter aftertaste. Light body. Not a huge fan.

 457 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at Nerax North
Pours a solid golden color with a minimal white head. Smells overwhelmingly of butter and butterscotch with bits of bread and toffee. I think I find some earthy hops. Taste is a harsh buttery mess, I have trouble with most of the glass. Medium to light body, light level of carbonation, with a slick mouthfeel. Wow in a cask this beer doesn't work. Maybe this beer is to young and hasn't had time to lose that diacytl in the lagering process. I'd be interested in trying a bottled version to compare, but I didn't enjoy the cask.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to joepaid for sending this one my way. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky pale yellow color with two fingers of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, grains, and bready malts. Not bad at all, but quite bland. Pretty average.

t - Tastes of wheat, grains, sweet corn, bready malts, and light vegetables. Not very good at all; oddly sweet. Major step down from the nose.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation. Easy to drink for what I'm guessing is a lower ABV lager.

o - Overall a below average lager. Nose is a bit bland, and the taste is oddly sweet. Wasn't a big fan of this one, wouldn't seek it out again.

 688 characters

Photo of dcME
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pilsener:

A: murky pale yellow colored body with a small white foamy head and a decent amount of carbonation seen rising, lacing is kinda thick and leaves spotty rings down the glass

S: some wheat, grains and bready malts

T: sweet wheat and breadiness

M: light to medium with a fair amount of carbonation hitting the tongue and mouth, fairly sessionable, no aftertaste, sweet finish

O: a decent MHL, but its nothing to go out of my way for

 451 characters

Photo of Pamola
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of MikeHRayn
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of drabmuh
3.15/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Mike, beer served in a snifter. Beer is yellow, clear with a thin white head, low retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is yeasty and bland.

Beer is light in body and sweet on the finish, a mild aftertaste makes the beer less desirable. Not a great lager for sure, just an average one.

 315 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. The color is light golden with a touch of haze. there is a nice small white head; about a quarter of an inch that retains nicely.

The aroma is mostly sweet corn-like malt with maybe a touch of pineapple (not to be confused with pineapple hops).

The taste starts out with the same malt sweetness indicated in the aroma, but quickly turns to a bitter twang in the finish. At first sip I was a little put off, but the more I drink the more I like the balance.

This is light, crisp and drinkable.

This is a welcome addition to Maine. I wish this was available in six-packs though, I feel that it is more marketable to "Joe Six-pack." and I would love to bring it to parties, event, etc. in that format.

 728 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Will pour a five+ finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy, pale amber color, some yeast left in bottle. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Hay nose, sweet hay and bread flavor. $5.80 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 276 characters

Photo of Boto
3.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle: This one pours a Slightly hazy golden color. There was quite a bit of a big white head on it that doesn’t linger long or leave any lacing. Lighter aroma to this one, though not bad. Some grainy and grassy notes. Possibly a hint of breadiness and yeastiness also. The taste is not bad. More towards a medium body. Some grains, malts, hint of earthiness and a touch of bitterness. A decent enough lager. Probably not worth the price charged for it, however.

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Photo of auroracrisis
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of EagleRare
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 25 fl. oz bottle. Sampled on December 16, 2012.

It pours like a lager with a pale yellow-light amber tone and a fizzy white head. Carbonation is active throughout.

The aroma tends to be a little yeasty but it most definitely has the German biscuit malt character that is expected from a Helles Lager. The hops bring up the rear with a clean crispiness.

The body is light and a little acidic.

The taste has a bready, biscuit malty character at the start but it does not take long before the moderate hop bitterness kicks in to bring the tasting experience to a clean conclusion. Not a bad lager from this fledgling brewery.

 635 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent straw color, good sized white fluffy head, fades at a decent rate, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a sweet malt aroma, light fruitiness with a bit of citrus, mild hop presence.

Taste is light and crisp, starts out with sweet malt, a subtle hop bitterness sticks around for a decent while, a bit slick and buttery, a bit more full bodied than expected, finishes slightly dry and with a touch of fruit.

A decent first beer from Maine's newest brewery, sticking to the German Purity Laws does happen too often in the States so it can be a bit refreshing though predictable in flavor.

 605 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Tully's in Wells, Maine. Pours a slightly hazy body with about a half inch of off white head. Smells bready with slight fruity notes. Tastes bready with notes of apple and lemon grass. No flavor is overly robust. Everything is balanced and subdued. Very drinkable. Tastes great and is an easy drinker. What more could you ask for?

 350 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brand new brew from a local Portland brewery started by some friends of a friend.

Pours a foggy golden brown with not head to speak of. Nice yeasty smell in the nose, not overpowering but with distinct hints of bitterness. Very smooth on the palate, light but with pronounced malt flavors, perhaps a bit of orange peel? This is a nice medium bodied brew that is quite crisp with some solid bitterness on the back-end. A nice lager.

 435 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Dirty golden, lots of foam

SMELL: Grainy, yeast, fresh-cut hay, ripe pears, faint lemon, flora, rustic

TASTE: Crisp, medium bodied, herbal hop, grainy, malt sweetness, leafy, grassy, nutty

More of a Kellerbier than a Helles, given the overall rawness. Regardless, a solid and highly quaffable lager from the New England area. Now all we need are some authentic German brats and pretzels. Ja!

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Portland Lager from Bull Jagger Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 42 ratings
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