Portsmouth Bière De Garde | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Bière De GardePortsmouth Bière De Garde
Very Good
38 Ratings
Portsmouth Bière De GardePortsmouth Bière De Garde

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This typical French “farmhouse” ale is big in fruity flavors, like apples & cherries, & balanced by a kiss of hops.

Added by Sycodrummer on 01-18-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by sethmeister:
Photo of sethmeister
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into pint glass. Growler was filled a few hours ago.

Note that this years Bier de Garde is 7% abv according to Portsmouth's blog, not 8.5 as in previous years.

Very hazy apple-cider brownish orange hue with a thin offwhite head which settles to a film abruptly and leaves a small amount of lace.

Scent is mildly musty / funky and fruity.

Taste is fruity (apple, pear?) with a hint of sweetness and a light toasted flavor. A delightful but subdued musty, funky quality. Terrific long slow-developing finish in which toasty, spicy notes and sweet flavors (molasses?) take turns. There's a spicy alcohol note layered in there, and a subtle but firm hop bitterness as well.

Mouth is dry, coating and even a bit puckering.

Drinkability is quite good. Glad I got a growler of this.

This is my first bier de garde and I think I'm going to bcome very fond of the style. Sweet, rustic, fruity, toasty, and reasonably complex. Delicious. Another great beer from Portsmouth.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a tulip glass. It had a golden amber color with a small white head and very little lacing. The aroma was sweet, somewhat caramel. It had a fruity taste,mostly of orange, with a nice malt background. Not too carbonated. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 2 inch head, clear, golden brown in color, cloudy

Smell: berry and toasted malt

Taste: berry, little hay, some toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet, dry, moderate bodied and carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and fruity for the style..a bit on the sweet end. Love this especially for the style, I picked up a bottle to go.

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Photo of Kinsman
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Franchise
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a tangerine color that leaves a thin silky white lace. The aroma is fruity, grapes, pears, are present in the nose. The taste is hoppy followed by a sweet fruit salad finish. This is a great brew one that other brewers should add to their list.

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Photo of jmalex
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After stopping at Portsmouth on my way home from Maine, I needed something to bring home with me. The woman in the shop suggested the Biere de Garde explaining that it was quite limited. FINALLY tonight I get to drink it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Ommegang tulip a slightly hazy light amber brown. The head is somewhat small and drops to a hearty collar, and very splotchy bubble patches dot the surface of the beer. The head is constantly replenished by a cascade of bubbles coming up the sides. Lacing comes in splotchy sheets.

SMELL: The aroma is predominantly of toasted malt. Otherwise a slight hint of fruity esters and a mild funkiness come out. Not much else to note.

TASTE: Again, a strong toasted malt flavor, but a lot more comes out in the taste. Fruity esters are low to medium - more intense than in the nose. A light alcohol burn is evident toward the finish. A light noble hop flavor comes out toward the end, as well. If I didn't know any better, I wouldn't peg this for a Belgian-style beer. Certainly a new taste for me.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied with a slight syrupy quality to it. Carbonation is a bit on the low side, and more effervescence would be nice.

DRINKABILITY: It goes down easy enough, but the alcohol hinders a bit. The bomber I got is definitely a good sized amount.

I loved the beers I had on tap at the brewpub, and I loved this one as well. It's great to experience a new style with a beer from a well-respected brewery like Portsmouth. I'll be sure to stop in whenever I'm in the area.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Growler that was part of a haul provided by mister "it ain't no thang" himself, Mr. BeerWorld. Five hours each way?! What a trooper! :D

Poured into my Ommegang Anniversary glass(the more recent regal-looking one). A gritty caramelized-orange color, a little haze. Nearly an inch of blank white head after some time settling in the fridge. Root-like lace working its way down. We're good to go. :)

Smells of macerated whole wheat, white pepper, a sure amount of clove, & a floral amount of unripened, semi sweet/bitter cantaloupe. A touch of sugar on the end.

Taste is very bready. Alcohol becomes very familiar over time. Carbonation is sturdy, but without being over-insistive. More forceful clove, somewhat "oat-ish"(taste, not feel), noticeable butter, mildly grassy hops, all residing in a greasy finish. Even cold, it is obviously... quite slippery. Filling in a sense, though the bitterness wets the appetite a touch.

The growler is gone, & so is my ability to operate heavy machinery. I hear Portsmouth is very wallet-friendly, so drink up. The spell check saw heavy use in this review. :o

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another great new one from portsmouth. i still think it was a much better decision not to go for kate as all these other beers are really just superb.

Nice pour here with a medium amber color that had a slight bit of haziness to it. Intresting tone here for sure as it was bordering on being a bit brighter. There was a nice head of white that came up over the top and settled down gradually into a little pillow.

The aroma was light, hints of grian, light hops and a touch of light peach and pear fruit notes. Subtle would be the ideal word here. There was a very nice flavor here, nothing really huge, just very light and drinkable. Nice touches of light grains and small doses of light fruit, mixing well and with subtle yet adequate carbonation, the whole thing seemed to come together quite well.

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Photo of jakeaustin
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark honey color from the bomber. A thin off white head forms and seems to have some staying power. Good amount of lacing.

Smell is very bready, with some fruitiness from the yeast as well. Taste is similar. Initially there's a nice spiciness and a noticeable bitterness follows every sip. The breadiness in the nose lingers on the palate for quite a while.

This one has a very smooth mouthfeel, carbonation is perfect. A quite drinkable beer, I'll have no problem finishing this bottle. Overall a good tasting beer, albeit not terribly exciting.

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Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light fizzy head crystal clear golden honey colored beer.

Nose some sweet toasty malts, straw, light fruity like, bit bready and slight yeasty, light lemony and fruity hops.

Taste sweet malts, wheat, lift straw, pretty sweet, light fruit and lemony, juicy, some bitterness, some spices, light fruit from the yeast, finishes still a bit sweet, light creamy and straw.

Mouth is med bodied, light carb.

Overall kinda meh, so so, sweet, not a ton of malts, light hops are typical, but the weird lemony is a bit iffy, the malts are nice thought which helps a bit.

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Photo of anewlanguage
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of portia99
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a lightly hazed, dirty copper color with a tannish head that manages to reach only a finger or so in height, but is on the fluffy side with pretty good staying power too.

S - Yeasty and bready up front, some fruity esters, clovey spiciness and a touch of sugary sweetness.

T - Spicy cloves, Belgian yeastiness, cinnamon, pepper, a bit of wintergreen...very spicy overall. Mid level hop bitterness that blends into and perhaps fades behind the spices a bit. Bready and grainy malt base that I wish had a bit of a stronger impression overall.

M - Medium bodied with a big carbonation level that is fizzy and a bit foamy. Spice character is dominant and lingering with hop bitterness kicked in for good measure.

D - A pretty good beer overall. The spice level is a bit high for me (or is it just lacking fruitiness). Wish there was a bit more balance all around - needs more fruitiness and more of a malt base...but I'm just being critical. I'd have this again easily, but probably one in a session is enough.

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Photo of mklisz
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of hwwty4
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to joepais, and the Naked BA BIF for this one.

Poured a 22oz bottle into my New Belgium globe glass. The beer pours a dried apricot orange with a big fluffy head that leaves just a little lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is toffee up front, doughy biscuits, and just a bit of over toasted bread. The flavor is surprisingly sweet. There is a great bready quality to it, with a bit of toffee and caramel, but the finishing sweetness is just a bit to sugary, right on the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty sugary except that it finishes rather dry. It's really an odd enigma. Its really nothing I've ever found in another beer. While not what I would consider a standard Biere de garde, its still rather tasty.

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Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass it came to me with a two finger white head that wasted away to a nice lace. The body of the brew was an apricot orange in color.

I got typical aromas from the Belgian yeast plus I also had some wonderful spices. The flavor was slightly towards the sweet side with a light bitter finish. It had a light to medium feel in my mouth with good carbonation.

I enjoy this brew and always grab a few while its on tap

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Photo of muttyd
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into a Portsmouth tulip glass. Golden / amber body with a huge off-white head that fades into a faint ring. Very toasty aroma. Doughy, some fruity esters, and some faint spicy earthiness in the aroma as well. Flavor follows the nose with a big doughy, sweet toffee malt backbone with some fruitiness. Body is characteristic of Portsmouth brews - medium body with enough carbonation to give a pleasant tingling on the tongue. Alcohol is present, but still remains drinkable.

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Photo of guezarka
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ajcormier
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of steve8robin
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this when I grabbed KTG scratch tickets. 22oz bottle...

A: A very nice deep murky copper color with a fluffy 1 inch white head that fades at a decent rate. Very good.

S: I get some nice bready rye upfront with some earthy spices in the middle and a slight citrus on the backend. Ok.

T: A nice balance of flavors here. A nice citrus malt and bready rye upfront neither of which is too overpowering. A hint of piney spice in the middle with some earthiness on the back. Good.

M: Medium body with a little heavy carbonation feel. Clean dry finish.

D: This goes down very, VERY easy. I love the balance on this one. Very good.

All in all, there are few brews from Portsmouth that I've thought were good or great. This is now one of them. This is a very well blended beer in a style I had not gotten to try many brews from. Definitely worth a try if you like the style.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was pleasently surprised to see this offering available especially because the website said it was still "coming soon."

Was presented to me from the tap in a toulip glass the beer was a rusty brown color with just a sliver of pure white creamy head. No other signs of carbonation, and some minimal spotty lacing throughout the sample.

The smell had some soft fruit flavors and a solid malty aroma. Some raison coming thru, and a slightly floral hop presence as well.

The taste had an innitial mild fruit flavor with orange and raison dominating the palate. Caramel and sweet malt were also dominant flavors and the alcohol was detectable but not over- powering or dominant. A slight hop presence with very slight level of hop bitterness towards the end of each sip. Well balanced and flavorfull.

Medium body with about average carbonation and a smooth finish that balanced well on the palate.

A very enjoyable and drinkable beer. Secretly powerfull as the alcohol does not let on to its power during the sample but lets itself be know after drinking. Well balanced with all flavors complimenting each other. Smooth, robust, and warming: well done.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours murky dark copper with a quarter inch head of off-white. Barely a trace of lacework followed as well as a partial skim-coat on the surface.

Aromatics lead off with bannanas, biscuity malt, light spice, and doughy overtones.
Hints of cloves, butterscotch, and caramel follow through.

Medium bodied with a creamy, slightly crisp mouthfeel. Mildly tacky.

Bready malt, caramel-drizzled proofed dough, and a firm, peppery bitterness start the palate. Rounded, sticky honey undertones step forward along with a blast of bannanas and cloves.

Finishes with a lingering honey note, a building bitterness, and a peppery warmth.

Fairly timid for a Biere De Garde, and the large Bannana character is a bit out of place. Low carbonation for style, but still quite tasty.
Another uber-fresh, quality brew from Portsmouth.

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Photo of LostHighway
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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Portsmouth Bière De Garde from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 38 ratings