Portsmouth Düsseldorf Alt | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Düsseldorf AltPortsmouth Düsseldorf Alt
22 Ratings
Portsmouth Düsseldorf AltPortsmouth Düsseldorf Alt

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alt is a light brown, medium-bodied ale with a moderate hoppiness. We use German hops for a continental flavor. "Alt" (German for old) refers to the old (ale) style of brewing, predating the advent of lager beers. Ale brewing still dominates in the Rhineland cities of Dusseldorf and Köln, famous for its Kölsch.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by tigg924:
Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They just called this one the altbier, but the abv matches so I am assuming it is the same beer.

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, brown in color, low carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and wood

Taste: caramel, toasted malt, and a touch of dark fruit

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a semi-bitter middle, medium bodied and carbonation

Drinkability: I could do several of these. A nice malty altbier. So far my favorite in the style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The sign on the wall just said altbier. Did they drop the Dusseldorf? Anyway, a nice copper color with a medium white head that left a little bit of lacing. A sweet malt aroma. The taste was also a sweet malt, thought I could taste a little fruit, and a nice hops finish. Very pleasing beer, easy to drink.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.29/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tap @ the brewery. Nasty musty nose almost scared me away. Brown pour with no head, as in not even a ring of bubbles. As said before, the nose was mustly like a moldy basement; old, stale malt, and grain. Taste was okay. Mostly malt, very flat. Some bitter in the end with a lot of skunky stuff in the middle. Hope I just got a bad one and the end of a keg.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a couple of pint glasses.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a thin bright-white head. This peters down to almost nothing, leaving back just the slightest ring of foaminess around the edges and even less lace. The aroma has a rather prominent dark cherry fruitiness to it, along with more of a ripe earthy citrus character and some light nutty roast. Sweeter malt hangs along the back, along with just a touch of light warmth as well.

The taste has a lot of sweetness going on with it, as caramel and some darker fruit flavors take control. Earthy hops do settle into the middle of this, before things finish with a roasted nuttiness that leaves this feeling dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the tongue but does soften up a bit on the edges. Like the nose, there is just a smidge of warmth but the overall alcohol is pretty well hid otherwise.

This was pretty decent for an Alt. I just would have liked to have the sweetness dialed back a bit and seen more of the roast and hops push forward a little more. This isn’t my favorite Portsmouth beer by any stretch but it’s an OK representation of the style.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up @ the brewery

A- pours a clear deep copper color with about a 1-finger white head. little lace follows down.

S- trying to pick up something here some light hints of toasted caramel

T- Sweet at first, caramel malt taste, then finishes like a crisp brown ale

M- great mouthfeel starts out smooth and finishes with a nice crisp burnt bite

D- very nice, had it with a salmon dinner, and went down nice and smooth, complemented some of the spicy flavors

Overall a great Alt beer, i just wish this stuff was more readily available, but i guess good things are hard to find

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Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

64oz Growler poured into tulip glasses:

A: Pouring into a tulip glass from the growler purchased yesterday at Portsmouth Brewery, the ALT is surprisingly headless. Other than that it is a gorgeous ruby red hue. From the lack of head and carbonation it sits still similar to a red wine.

S: Though the body is lacking any type of foam on top, the aroma is very rich of dark fruits and berries with nutty undertones. It has a very pleasant balance between sweet malty caramel and bitter floral hops.

T: Very sweet and bubbly on the tip of the tongue with a nice contrast of bitterness on the back of the palate and sour on the sides of the tongue. There are rich dark fruit properties of plum and cherries with a finishing touch of burnt caramel.

M: A medium/full body with a very light, almost absent carbonation. It seems to be the only thing missing from this brew.

D: Very enjoyable, the growler will not last long. We are looking foward to visiting the Portsmouth Brewery again to try a glass on-tap.

The Kings of Hop

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Photo of GbVDave
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Jester King snifter. Thanks to Reagan1984 for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a clear, ruby-brown color with 1/2 a finger of fast disappearing khaki colored head on top. After about 30 seconds all that remained was a thick, bubbly collar being fed by some ample carbonation. A few tendrils of lace were left behind.

S: Very malty. Caramel, toasted malt, cereal grains, cocoa, and green apples. Quite doughy.

T: Initial flavor was of caramel dipped apples then this amazing toasted malt flavor asserts itself all over the place. As it warms, the toastiness subsides, slightly, to allow flavors of caramel, bread dough, white pepper, chocolate covered cherries, perfume-y hops, and yet more apples to emerge.

M: Slick and relatively sweet at first. During the middle a creeping dryness comes about with help from some spicy white pepper thst does a tingly dance on the tongue during the finish.

O: This is so not one of my go to styles, but consider me impressed. I liked that this wasn't all one note (sweet and malty). I felt the flavor was more complex than I expected and kept me quite interested.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at the brew pub

Light small creamy head clear amber brown color

Nose light sweet malts, bit of crystal malts, light earthy hops, bit syrupy, earthy toasty red malts

Taste crisp red ale, reddish toasty malts, crystal malts, light toasty syrupy malts, syrupy light maple flavor, earthy bittering hops, almost creamy, quite earthy overall

Mouth if med bodied with dec carb

Drink is decent, bit of an earthy slight astringent and slight minerality, decent bitterness, little sticky, no booze

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Photo of gdrydenc
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep amber color, with minimal head. The head doesn't hang around long. There are hints of a dark red color in the edges.

S - Caramel is the foremost smell of this beer. I've never smelled beer with so much caramel in the nose. There's a bit of bready malt present in the nose, too.

T - If I thought this smelled like caramel, boy does it taste like it! The caramel of this beer is nearly overwhelming, but fortunately, at the finish, the bready malts kick in and even this beer out.

M - The mouthfeel of this beer is spot on. There's a bit of wateriness to it, but if it was any thicker, it wouldn't fit the beer at all. The flavors linger for a while, in a good way.

Overall, this is a great beer. There's not a whole lot I can see for improvements in this beer. This may have something to do with this being my first altbier, but I may have found a new one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of cosmicevan
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber from 2011-ish into a portsmouth tulip. big thanks to cooperellis for picking this one up for me when he went out the brewery to pick up some 2011 kate.

a - brew poured a transparent mahogany with a thin off white head that bubbled away rather quickly leaving small bubble islands on the surface and a ring or bubbles around the outer sides of the surface of the beer.

s - crystalized malts. some toasted brown sugar...fairly marzen.

t - much like the nose suggested, toasted brown sugar and crystalized malt. feels like a refined oktoberfest. intensely caramel.

m - a bit watery and thin.

o - overall a very non-offensive altbier. nice sweetness, good caramel. not my favorite style, and this one has some time on it so some of the flavorings may have faded, but an easy drinker none-the-less. like a marzen lite. whatever bitterness other reviewers spoke about is totally gone at this point, but the caramel flavors are still strong and nice.

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Photo of GrittyMug345
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler was filled on 10/29/09, drank the same day. Poured into a shaker pint, a coarse half finger head dissipated quickly to leave a very thin cap behind. The body is a very nice dark amber. The nose is of very sweet malt, caramel, cotton candy? A little bready yeast. Taste is along those same lines, a sweet malt base with some hints of herbal/spicy hops around the edges. Good medium body in the mouth, good carbonation, smooth. This one is just a touch too sweet for me, I couldn't drink more than one or two at a time, but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber picked upat the brewery and poured into a snifter. This brew appears a clear ruby brown color with a finger of tan, creamy head that retains decent but fades to a film across the top and spotty lace left on the glass. A swirl revives a finger of silky tanish yellow cap.

The smell of this brew is sweet and fruity with plenty of caramel maltiness coupled with citrus and fruity hops. A very pleasing and well rounded aroma.

The taste is fruity and sweet with more caramel malt notes that come across a bit toasty in character. It is modestly bitter for an alt but otherwise easy drinking and well balanced with the sweetness verse bitter hoppiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Very easy drinking with a toasty and fruity appeal to it. The abv is hidden quite well. Alt is one of those styles that you just don't wake up to and say: "damnit I'm thirsty for an altbier" or maybe you do? I however do not but would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of Didier
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of CoryR
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Nuggethops
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth Brewery balloon glass.

Pours a ruby/brown color, is clear but dark red color really shines through in the light. with one finger head of tannish white head quickly dissipates to a ring with minimal to no lacing on the glass. The nose is bready with a sweet caramel note and some earthy/fruity notes as well.

Very sweet caramel malt profile with a faint taste of toasted nuts/almonds and a bitter earthy finish that I find compliments the sweet malt flavor up front nicely. mouthfeel is light slightly astringent in the aftertaste, very light carbonation.

For me, I would enjoy a glass or two at a sitting but don't see it as a drink all night kind of beer, the sweetness would become overwhelming I think. Overall, a good beer from a great brewer. I purchased the bomber at the bottle shop next door the the brewery, fresh local and well priced, you can't go wrong with that. I would definitely grab this beer again.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle purchased from the gift shop poured into a pint glass

Pours a a clear bronze-copper color with a bit over a half finger of off-white head. Aroma has some complexity with lots of malt and a faint hint of hops. Taste is much like the aroma with lots of caramel malt. Fruity esters and bitterness are very restrained in this example. Mouthfeel is good with medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. I didn't think that this was a very good Dusseldorf Alt but I did think it was a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had more today (15JUL06). Toasty caramel malt was dee-lish-us!! Had a supremely welcome floral hop finish which was only lightly on the bitter side. Mouthfeel was A-1.... medium-plus and silkily smooth!! Verry well made, and a real quaffer!! Prosit!

overall: 4.2
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

On tap (30JAN02). Nice copper color: fine creamy head. Nose very mild; touch o' malt, more hoppyness. Medium body/tongue. I tasted mostly hops, but more on the bitter side. Overall a good bier.
(4.0/3.5/4.0/4.0/4.0 = 3.90)


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Photo of Reagan1984
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the brewery while driving home from Maine. Needed to pick up some beer for two trades. I was sad to find that there was a six bottle limit on bottles at their store. No lacing at all.

The beer is a clear brown color that looks like a slightly dull shoe leather. Even the head has a dull look to it. Finger of dark tan head sits atop the brew for some time.

Bready, malty aroma... Reminded me of a soft pretzel.

Caramel, black pepper, dark bread, soft malts and more. I am digging the malt profile in the flavor here. I swear in my mind the taste is also like a soft pretzel minus the salt. Some fruit for a moment and back to the bready finish with a touch of bitterness.

Extremely smooth mouth feel. Very slight carbonation. I love the mouth feel.

I actually like this beer. It's really a nice beer to drink.

Not a style I enjoy too often, but I've noticed that I enjoy all that I try.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled 10/12/09. This beer was called simply the "alt" at the bar, but I would assume it's basically the same beer as this listing. ABV was 5.25 percent according to Portsmouth Brewing's website.

Appearance is a reddish, chestnut brown. Barely any head, but thats to be expected from the growler. A wispy layer sticks around and leaves decent lacing. Aroma is of sweet, bready malts and a touch of herbal and citrusy hops.

This beer was on the sweet side, but the hops were there. Touch of spice, with a maillardy malt sweetness. Pretty thick, medium mouthfeel for the style. Almost gummy, with low carbonation.

Portsmouth makes better beers than this "premium" ale. I think the name comes from the premium you have to pay for the growler, not the quality of its contents, per se.

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Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this bomber up at the brewery on the way back from snowboarding at Wildcat a few weeks ago. Thinks its about time to enjoy this beer. I don't think I ever had a beer like this so I poured it into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer has a ruby red/crimson color with a one finger head that reduces to a thin layer. There looks like the beer is medium carbonated.

Smell: I can smell the sweet caramel malts and some bitter notes produced from the hops.

Taste: Sweet malts that prduce a caramel taste and the hops produce a slight bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel: The beer goes down smoothly and there is nice blend of ingredients here between the malts and hops. A little chewy and a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed drinking this beer and would stop by Portsmouth again to raid there fridge in the retail store. I think this beer fits well with the style described on the website. Was hoping I could find a bottle of Kate the Great in the fridge.

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Portsmouth Düsseldorf Alt from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 22 ratings