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Portsmouth Murphy's Law Red Ale | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Murphy's Law Red AlePortsmouth Murphy's Law Red Ale
48 Ratings
Portsmouth Murphy's Law Red AlePortsmouth Murphy's Law Red Ale

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The eponymous creation of our former Head Brewer, Paul Murphy, is a full-bodied ale whose ruby color and toasty sweetness result from the generous use of caramel malt, balanced by four hop additions, including a dry hopping in the conditioning tank.

22 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 03-15-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of u2carew
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a very thin head. Hazy amber colored body.
S) Robust malty nose - caramel, buttered toast.
T) Malt bomb! A delicious malt bomb at that. Caramel. Toasted grains. Hints of butterscotch. Dry grainy notes in the finish along with some hop bitterness.
M) Crisp. Clean. Medium body.
O) Delicious. Initial appearance had me a bit worried by the aroma and taste turned that around. I would definitely drink another one of these!

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Photo of wildcat29
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle bought 2/18/12

Pours a dark amber color with a good sized fluffy off-white head, fades at a slow rate and leaves a cap on top for a good while, only bits of lacing on the glass.

Smell is malty, slightly toasted, bit of a breadiness to it.

Taste is fairly one note but that's not necessarily bad in this case, toasted malt up front, hops are muted, balanced flavor with a decent creaminess, carbonation spot on.

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Photo of smutty33
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of cosmicevan
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thank you again to CooperEllis for nabbing me some bottles at the brewery.

a - i always love the brown bag no frills vibe to portsmouth brews, but this one seems to actually have it's own label, but with the brown bag vibe. opened the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulipy snifter. poured a nice maroon orange. transparent with a bit of a brownish tint. not much head and semi slick lacing. swirling the glass rebuilds a bit.

s - nice soft toasted malt. nutmeg. nicely balanced, but as you'd expect for the style rather subdued.

t - much like the nose...toasted malts. green tea. malt bomb.

m - medium bodied good carbonation. malt bomb.

o - overall, not my favorite style, but this beer is true to style. it didn't blow me away, but wasn't bad.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub.

A - Pours a clear crimson red, white head, thin collar, thin cap.

S - Toasted malts, slight malty sweetness, touch of hops.

T - Similar to the nose. Nice malts, hops, and bready rye notes. The sweetness isn't there as much as the nose. Pretty straight-forward to the style, enjoyable.

M - Light, good carbonation, semi dry finish.

O - One of my favorites while at the brewpub. Very straight forward and to style, which I enjoy.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler filled at the bar 2 days ago.

Clear mahogany body with a creamy tan head. Well laced.

Scent is caramel, bread and toasted notes.

Taste is dense sweet chewy caramel. Toffee. Rich sweet malts. Toasted flavors. Hops are mild here - just a touch of bittering and a slightly earthy / spicy flavor. Fruity esters.

Mouth is a creamy and substantial medium.

A very satisfying example of the style.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.
Pours a deep reddish brown color with a thinnish white head that dissipates quickly to a ring on the top. Smells of toffee and brown sugar with an herbal earthy edge. Taste is sweet bready malts with lots of toffee, and sweet sugar and a hint of butterscotch. Just enough earthy hops to cut through the sweet malts. Finish is kind of dry with a lingering toffee sweetness. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Nice simple English style ale, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Brewpub.

Creamy 1 finger head fades slowly lacing, reddish copper brown almost auburn crystal clear.

Nose toasty reddish malts, light sweet crystal malts, light earthy touch herbal grassy hops.

Taste starts with plenty of malts, toasted, chewy, almost straw farmhouse rustic malts, again lighter earthy slight grassy herbal hops, bit of bitterness, pretty dry overall. Finishes still dry but not too much, light lingering toasty malts and herbal grassy hops.

Moth is med bodied, dec carb.

Overall pretty good, nice rustic toasty malt profile, nice earthy herbal hops and not too bitter, maybe a touch more sweetness would have helped.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Alex for busting out this brew to help end my weary day of traveling.

A - It pours an auburn-umber hue, and is capped with a creamy-looking white froth, depositing spotty lace.

S - The nose is sweetly roasty, with caramel, burnt sugar and toasted grain leading the way. There is also a fair amount of earthy hoppiness, and a vague hint of peat. Mellow and enjoyable.

T - The taste follows the cue of the nose, and offers light toffee and caramel, some earthy hop, English Ale yeasty fruitiness and an overall sublime balance of the elements involved.

M - The feel is just about at medium, and is softly carbonated; enhancing.

O - This beer is gone so quick; I have about an ounce left to tick by the time I'm thinking about it. Deliciously balanced, and not aggressively positioned in any direction; this brew is exceptional, overall.

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Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with a half-finger of white foam that settles to a thin partial cap, thicker collar, and some spotty lace. Transparent brownish red color.

S - Fruity UK ale yeast, lightly toasted malts, hint of smoke, toffee and treacle, and some lightly herbal and earthy hops. Pretty accurate take on the style.

T - A nice mix of toffee and treacle malt, fruity esters, bread and lightly toasted grains, and a touch of hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, smooth texture, medium carbonation, no alcohol, and a lightly roasty finish.

D - This is the strongest Portsmouth beer I've had in a while. I know Greg has been slightly frustrated with the selection at the gift shop whenever he rolls through town - this one was pretty good Greg! I'd have it again if I were in the mood for a nice Irish Red Ale. It's like a less hoppy Brian Boru.

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Photo of muttyd
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sharing a bottle with the wife.

Pours a reddish/brown with a white/beige head that persists throughout. Toasted cinnamon & sugar bread, grainy, and slight caramel in the nose. Flavor is similar to nose; bready malts, french toast?, black tea, earthy hops. Very malt-forward. I am a big fan of the mouthfeel that is common among Portsmouth brews, so this is spot-on; moderate carbonation without being too prickly. I imagine this would pair well with a toasted french bread with olive oil & rosemary dip. Excellent beer from one of my favorite brew pubs.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Roman70!
Poured from Bomber into pint glass
A - Pours red/amber, clear with a small light tan head that stays for a bit.
S - Sweet candied sugar malts up front, touch of hops, a touch of butter
T - Malty up front then kind of rich and buttery. A little bitter on the back end,
M/F - Very smooth with carbonation slightly on the light side. Medium body.
D - Decent easy drinking red though it didn't strike me as special in any one way.

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Photo of william5586
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to get this on tap during a recent trip to Portsmouth, but I had had a few drinks already that day and decided to buy a bomber and wait to review based on that.

Poured form a bomber into an imperial pint.

A- Poured a deep dark red with almost no head. I poured pretty hard for the second glass and got about a half a finger of head that disappeared pretty quickly.

S- Sweet malt and tea.

T- Very sweet malt and tea like tastes dominates. There was a very very slight bitterness but it was much more on the sweet side. The finish was dry, grainy, and very slightly bitter.

M- Very smooth medium body with low carbonation.

D- Very easy to drink session beer. The sweetness might get to me after a few however.

Overall this was a very enjoyable beer.

 770 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber ( Thanks Joe!) to a pint++ glass (Ha, I picked up a nice 20z glass. LOL) the liqiud is red and has good carbonztion. The head is smallish but creamy, off white and leave some lace.

The smell is sweet caramel malt, semi grainy.

The taste follows, nice sweet grainy malt, peppery and woody, nicely complex. Really quite a nice brew.

The mouthfeel is good, big body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is great, this is a must try craft offering. Prosit, MK

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Photo of DIM
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a medium amber color with golden edges. It poured with a smallish, short lived, sticky head.

s: Sweet malts that smelled of simple syrup and peaty caramel. Some mild, grassy hop aromas as well.

t: Sweet up front, but not at all cloying. Caramel malt flavors with a little vanilla and a hint of peatiness. Dry, grassy, floral hops at the finish.

m: Surprisingly creamy for a small beer. Smooth, soft carbonation compliment the body nicely.

d: Thanks to joepais for another in a long line of quality brews from Portsmouth. I would love to have this as a local offering.

 583 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Nice dark red color with a slight thick head that lasted for a little while. Had a spicy earthy aroma but I was unable to place any portion of it. Taste was the same. Had a pleasant kick to the taste but couldn't identity any part of it. Nice in the mouth, a little to much going on for my tounge. Easy to drink however. Pleasant beer.

 361 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very pretty beer. It was a red/brown color with a small white head and a little lacing. It had a sweet, grainy aroma. Intriguing taste: sweet at the beginning, then some hops bitterness kicked in. Decent mouthfeel. Very drinkable; my wife didn't finish hers because of the hops, so I drank the rest and ordered my own.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.87/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was a medium sized ivory creamy, smooth head that contained fine-large sized bubbles.It had a clear and carbonated body with a reddish-brown hue.The nose was light malt and hops with a smooth and hoppy flavor.The mouthfeel of this beer is smooth and light-medium bodied.This beer left a good lacing on the side of my glass.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Brewery, poured a clear copper color, with a creamy, fine, tightly-packed off-white head. No lacing to speak of, though.
Nose had a toasty quality to it, along with a generous amount of hopping. Pleasing to the olfactory system!
The body was medium, yet it had a slight carbonated roughness on the tongue.
The flavor started with more toasty, bready maltiness. Plenty of hops were present, though I could not pinpoint 1 particular style. Not citrusy, and neither really bitter, but with a bit of sharp, spiciness. Pleasant none-the-less, and a bit dry at the finish.
A very easily quaffable, middle of the road brew. Nothing outstanding, just a decent session brew. Prosit!!

overall: 3.7
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Portsmouth Murphy's Law Red Ale from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 48 ratings
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