Portsmouth Grand Cru | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Grand CruPortsmouth Grand Cru
30 Ratings
Portsmouth Grand CruPortsmouth Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-24-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by rlee1390:
Photo of rlee1390
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear orange, carbonated, two finger head

S-Clove banana, some darker fruits, quadesque.

T-Nice dark fruits, some clove and a few banana notes, a little bit of spice.

M-Medium to light bodied with nice carbonation.

O-A well made Belgian Beer, most likely is the best on the Kates on tap.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very favorable previous reviews, had to try this. It did not disappoint. Served in a tulip glass, it was a pretty red-orange color with a small head that quickly disappeared. Aroma was vaguely citrus. Nice taste. A little orange, but a predominately spicy (coriander) taste. Very nice and smooth. No hint of alcohol, even though it's 12% ABV. Great beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

So I am in New Hampshire for the Great Bay Half Marathon...its the night before a race and ....why not drink some....ok....alot of the local beer!!! The Grand Cru from Portsmouth is good. This beer has was a pale hazy yellow in color with thin white head and decent lace. The nose on this beer is clovey and has a subtle lemony/citrus. This beer was light and crisp in taste dominated by Clove! The smell funnels into the taste of this beer. The heavy ABV leads to this beer being a Session Killer...certainly worth a taste.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"light" is an understatement. I purchased a growler of this, can you imagine? 12% ABV Growler, try that at home kiddies. Well back to the show... It was very light colored, and poured with little if any head. Taste was similiar. Sure you could taste citris and the hops, but it was very light. Hence, it went down quickly. Too quickly. Overall, I would have preferred this on a humid night. Sweet, but not overly.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub today. Pours a golden orange body with a thick and sticky white colored head which hangs around for quite awhile.

Sweet and malty aromatics. A bit of a bubblegum aroma and some lemony citrus, which is balanced out by a slight spicey yeast note.

Fruity body upfront with lots of citrus fruit and some of that same bubblegum note. A bit of an earthy and bitter hop presence but this seems to be masked by a stronger peppery spice note from the yeast.

Creamy medium body feel makes this quite refreshing. Overall, another excellent beer from Portsmouth. Definitely worth a try if you see it on-tap.

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Photo of Franchise
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange brown leaving a thin tan lace. The aroma is fruity, orange, tangerines, plums, exotic fruit. The taste is very smooth, nice fruity malt sweetness upfront but balanced with a nice hoppy freshness of light bitter earthy hops hard to place but very familiar. This is fantastic one of the best grand cru I've had very solid.

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Photo of jadler16
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of phingdong
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of rayman2112
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jlindros
3.36/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tap at brew pub

Big creamy fluffy head fades at a med rate no lacing though, clear golden honey orange.

Nose big golden malts, Belgian like, plenty of aromatic malt, light phenols and acetyl like chemicals, hint fruity hops.

Taste starts with typical Belgian phenols, no real medicinal flavors (at first), nice belgian golden malts, bit of booze, hint of fruity hops, light glue and plastic starts to come through as it warms. Finish is drier, bit more booze, little bitter.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb.

Not sure if this was a bad batch or what, but I got lots of phenols in this one, glue, plastic, acidic like, either way I'll have to try this again sometime and hopefully not get those same characteristics.

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Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks goes out to my buddy CooperEllis for picking this up for me at the brewery. been holding onto this one for far too long and it called my name tonight.

a - opened the brown bag style bottle and filled my unibroue tulip. poured a crisp transparent golden orange with a thin off white head which hung out and was super sticky. visible carbonation.

s - sweet candied bubblegum. lemon and sage.

t - taste follows the nose. bursts of lemon. bubblegum. sage. candy. just deliscious. not too sweet.

m - alive. a bit fizzy. medium to light bodied.

o - overall a solid BSPA. i love the no frills vibe of their beers and this is just a home run. just an easy drinker. the booze is well masked. very great beer and i'm very glad i got to try it.

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Photo of Hawthorne
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer showed-up all dressed to kill in its special glass fitting its namesake. Its crown was just a whisper under a pinky and quickly settled down to dispersed conversation around the rim of the glass. This talk was maintained throughout the drink and they were the last to leave the glass upon the final sip.
The taste was very pleasing and well balanced. Echoing the previous reviews, this is a very approachable brew. However, its drinkability is dangerously high given the alcohol content. Enjoy!

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Photo of Durge
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ajcormier
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of splendidsplinter
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007

Pours clear orangy-gold, with a humble quarter-inch head of white.
A few dots of lacework and no real retention to speak of. A placid surface throughout.

The aromatics are laced with tropical fruit, bubblegum, and phenols.
Tangerines and passionfruit with hints of golden raisins and light rum.

Medium bodied, a bit sticky and syrupy. The low carbonation detracts.

Quite juicy and fruity on the pallet. Peaches with shades of Grand Marnier, pear bubblegum, and cracked coriander. Alcohol is barely apparent, and the beer drinks quite fast.

Finishes with lingering ripe fruit, lightly sweet malt, and warming alcohol.

I was relatively unimpressed with this beer young, but after almost a year it has really cellared into something special.
Too bad on the low carbonation. If this was carbonated like a Belgian should be, it would be over the top!

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Photo of ElGallo
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap after the Buffalo Tom set at the Music Hall Loft. Very Saison-esque but heavy on the citrus fruit notes. Nose was heavy of Belgian yeast and fruit, and the mouthfeel was pleasant. A nice Belgian-style beer but a change of pace for the P-brew. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of TobiasG
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Bassetdawg
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, from Portsmouth Brewery.

Appearance: A dark orange color, with a small head that slowly dissipates.

Aroma: a delicious smell of spice, fruit, and a bit of citrus.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A pleasant, smooth mouthfeel. Well balanced citrus and hops, with spice and hints of cilantro. It is sweet, but not overly so – just enough to make this incredibly tasty.

Drinkability: This is a wonderful beer, a first rate Belgian strong pale ale, and in my humble opinion one of the best beers from a top brewery. You would never know it has a high alcohol content, as it goes down smoothly and quickly. I had several at the brew pub, and liked them so much I took a few bottles home. It is probably a good thing it is a seasonal offering, as this one could become addictive.

appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

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Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium golden color, with a tiny bit of haze. Actually a lot lighter than I expected, but I guess some Cru's are lighter than the burgundy I was looking for. Head was very thin and fine, white in color, and faded rapidly, but did leave some nice lacing. Nose exhibited some Belgian spiciness, but was mild overall. Body was in the medium range, and it was relatively smooth on the tongue. Flavor was very Tripel-like. It was malty, and spicy at the same time, with a smidge of candy sugar and coriander seeping through. Had some tropical fruit showing up, but I must emphasize that the spiciness was what really stood out in this Bier, and in a most positive fashion. Very nice offering, and it produced a welcome warming in the belly. My Bartender said it was around 12%, though I think that might be a bit high.... Still, verrry tasty!! Prosit!!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Truh
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The lightweights managed to eke out a win by a nose with this one on 7/2/2007. 12-oz. goblet pour at this litttle bit of Shangrila in Portsmouth, NH.

1/4-inch of pretty creamy bedding to start, turned down to just a single sheet for the warmer weather, some lace, but not a whole lot, really just a camisol. Hazy orange/amber hue with some golden spikes on the edges still allows for some noticable carbonation on the eye. Nice spiciness on the nose of white pepper, scallions, oregano, and allspice, with a sweet touch of candy corn thrown in for good measure. Very fine sugar touch on the tongue creates a great start; some nice tart aspects hit next, like a green apple jolly rancher, helping to even things out; touch of light, almost undetectable char adds another pleasant point to consider. Medium body and eminently drinkable.

My first introduction to this style was back in spring 1995, the original Celis Grand Cru. This one from Portsmouth brought back memories of that time, although I would bet if paired up, I would slam down the Portsmouth ten times more than the original Celis.

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Portsmouth Grand Cru from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 30 ratings