Thorpe429 (5012) - , Illinois, USA - NOV 23, 2010
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
G: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.
A: Pours dark and somewhat hazy (not necessarily cloudy, but more opaque than the typical lager). A light copper. Minimal head.
S: Minimal smell; some pale malts and the tiniest bit of hops.
T: Good taste. Solid malt without much of a hop presence. Ever-so-slightly amber in taste.
M: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. No alcohol presence.
D: Quite drinkable. Would be nice during the summer--too bad they won’t be making it any longer.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 28, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours almost brown with a thin white head. Nice lacing. Medium body. Nice carbonation. Awesome lager.
jtclockwork (8241) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 10, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Cloudy golden yellowish pour. Nose is caramels and malts. Taste is sweet caramel and light breads. Rated 9/11/02
Chad9976 (1163) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 18, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
When we think of American lagers we tend to think of grainy, watery, crispy beer but why should that be the case? The Smuttynose Brewing Company, a craft brewery out of New Hampshire, doesn’t think so either and took a more niche route for their Portsmouth Lager. It’s got all the makings of a craft brew but with the easy drinkability of a macro lager.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer pours to a dark amber body which is fairly clear with very little carbonation noticeable. It does not generate much of a head – only a one-finger, off-white, soapy layer which dissipates rather quickly and leaves minor lacing on the glass. The aroma is much more indicative of an ale than a lager with a sweet scent of caramel and rich maltiness.
The Vienna-style of lager is very similar to a Marzen or Oktoberfest beer with a thick, chewy mouthfeel and a sweet caramel taste. That’s what Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager apparently set out to accomplish and it definitely delivers.
I really liked the sweet flavor here which was tasty, but fairly mild. There is no bitter quality at all since this beer is only 15 IBUs. The caramel and malts combine for a very refreshing palate, which is surprisingly watery in the end. This is a lager I could drink in large amounts and I think most beer drinkers would, too.
It’s rare I encounter a lager with such a tepid and yet rich body as Portsmouth Lager. It seems to be heavier than the average lager, but the soft, gentle mouthfeel creates for high drinkability. There is a bit of a dry aftertaste, but only slightly.
Anything greater than a light body in a lager is rather unusual, but that doesn’t make it bad. Portsmouth Lager is medium bodied and at 5.1% ABV it’s nothing the average drinker or even a lightweight couldn’t handle. I know I definitely wanted more when I was done!
Unfortunately, Smuttynose has decided to retire their Portsmouth Lager, which is a shame considering how solid of a performer it is. I think this is a beer that would appeal to anyone with its tasty flavor and smooth finish. I wish more American lagers were like this!
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
williamherbert (1282) - Syracuse, New York, USA - MAR 12, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2007: Pours a hazy, cloudy golden-yellow color. Head is short-lived, but it still remains more thick looking than most lagers, I must say.
The smell is a sweet, buttery malt scent with a top layer of hops. There is a tinge of butterscotch in there. Hops are surprising for a lager, and there is an undercurrent of toasted malt.
The malty flavor dominates the brew, and it’s far more bitter than the smell suggests. Has the bitter German malt flavor but with some sweetness added to take the sting out of it. Definitely superior to most lagers. Has lots of character.
Feels smooth and buttery, yet leaves a surprisingly long-lasting film. It really is much thicker than the average lager. It’s light enough for repeats, but thick enough to respect yourself for drinking it. Quite good ... well done Smutty!
GG (2039) - NorCal, California, USA - OCT 25, 2009
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hmmm. Not sure how old this is but I see that it’s retired. It’s really not tasty at all, but it looks really nice in my glass. Aroma is some caramel combined with veggie/carrots, with a soft earth note. Flavor has some really light malty sweetness, maybe a little caramel with a light sour finish. Palate is light bodied, very smooth. Maybe when it was in it’s prime, but it’s well past it now.
ROGUE (2096) - Newark, Delaware, USA - SEP 18, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle. Pours a dark amber with a two finger off white head and a little lacing. Smells of sweet and toasty malt with a hint of spiciness. The taste is a nice caramel malt sweetness with a subtle bitter hop finish. Smooth and creamy body that is easy to drink.
Duhast500 (413) - Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA - AUG 5, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
The color is a goldish color, more an amber color with a foamy white head.
The smell is hopy, with some floral feel. A little mild sweet malt flavor as well.
The taste is caramel flavored, has some hints of citris fruits and some malty sweetness.
Has a really good mouthfeel to this beer. Goes down well and has only a slight bitter aftertaste. A well made lager.
j12601 (6584) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber with a medium large creamy beige head. Big lager grain aromas with a touch of citrus, surprising since this bottle has an expiration date of April ’09. Sweet, slightly tangy, and a little bit metallic. Odd… I’m fairly certain this was hiding (because I hunted around in the little hidden areas of the cooler where stray singles end up) in the cooler for the last however many months, so it should be preserved rather well, but it still has an odd tang like it went off somehow. Finishes with more grain, more faint metal, and a nice bitterness. Not a huge loss that it’s not being made again, but it’s drinkable at least.
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - JUL 13, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, wow this is retired, hmmm i hope not for that new crap lager they made. Pours a golden body with a white head. Sweet malty caramel, bread y lagered notes and a lightly bitter finish. Simple session able extinct ale.