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Sapporo Reserve - Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Sapporo ReserveSapporo Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

291 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 17.03%
Wants: 9
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-24-2001)
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Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mithrascruor


2.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. can poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark straw color with a thick, airy, foamy white head.

Smell: Has a clean malty aroma, slight sweet.

Taste: Has a malt liquor taste -- not too strong, but not appealing.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, smooth. Very light carbonation.

Drinkability: Very unappealing taste after a while.

Cool can, but the beer I can't recommend. Generic malty alcohol flavor just doesn't appeal to me (but granted, this is better than some).

Serving type: can

05-06-2007 06:01:31 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of xymyl


3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy golden/orange color with a white head that settles quickly.

Very malty aroma with both hints of caramel and grasses, a honey sweet straw smell is also quite forward lavender also shows up, there is a bit of alcohol in the background as well as some other flavors but this will be a rare time that I won't let it warm enough to catch everything. Really, it's not that kind of beer.

Good clean start on the flavors, starts dry then builds a hay and honey sweetness that remains for a while to be slowly pushed aside by an herbal hop note that dries out just a bit.

Overall: Medium bodied, plenty going on for the style, but not too busy. Very well balanced. Could get more out of this but won't try, just going to enjoy it for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 01:31:05 | More by xymyl
Photo of wagenvolks


3.28/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a big ole can (1 pt. 6 oz) of this at the Drunken Fish sushi place in St. Louis.

Poured a standard macro appearance, gold and transparent with lots of carbonation and a white head. Aroma was not offensive, but not really appealing, with notes of rice, wheat, and metal.

The taste really surprised me on this one: subtle hoppy notes with a strong malty barley flavor balanced slightly by fruity grape and organic grain notes. Mouthfeel was well carbonated as the appearance led on, and finished smooth and crisp. Overall, it was definately drinkable, went well with the fish and wasabi on my sushi. Prolly not great as a standalone beer, though, but worth your while with a meal.

Serving type: can

04-09-2007 02:21:03 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of guitarmage


3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: 650mL can that touts fine barley malt and select European hops. Very clear golden, and a foamy, semi-rocky white head. Dissipates slowly, a nice cap of lacing.

Smell: A faint bready sweetness, light malt sweetness.

Taste: Fairly malty, a little phenolic, a small dose of hops come in, a little peppery, and then leave.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, light carbonation, a little creamy, foams in the mouth a little bit.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, very clean beer. The mouthfeel was a little watery, a pleasant malt sweetness, European hops don't linger.

Serving type: can

04-01-2007 00:04:23 | More by guitarmage
Photo of DoubleJ


3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hearing Japanese food would be for dinner, I wanted to try a Japanese beer to go with the food. I thought I'd be getting Asahi or Sapporo's standard beer, but I spotted this on the shelf. I figured I should try this out given I can find standard Japanese beers at many places. On to the beer:

Poured into a glass, it's a lighter golden colored beer with a lovely display of carbonation, and has a good crown (head) to boot. There's a scent of DMS mixed with a trace of hop flavor. The taste is stronger and for the most part, better than that of it's European brewed counterparts. Nice and hoppy with a light sweetness, with a grainy finish make up the flavor profile in this beer. I thought maybe it was a bit undercarbonated, but otherwise, it's a pleasing beer that matched fine with teriyaki chicken and shrimp tempura.

Serving type: can

03-25-2007 05:48:40 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of aalappatel

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this from a pint bottle I picked up at a Japanese grocery store in Fort Lee. It poured an extremely brilliantly clear golden liquor. I was very impressed by how bright it was. Very little in terms of aroma. Poured a decent frothy 1 finger head that dissipated very quickly. The taste of the beer was very smooth and very drinkable. You can taste the malt in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was very watery with lower than average carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 20:45:24 | More by aalappatel
Photo of kenito799

New York

3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, poured into chilled ceramic Japanese beer drinking vessel at Yakitori Totto, NYC

Cannot really see the beer since the vessel is opaque. Comes in a brown bottle. I doubt it looks lihe anything other than a clear golden lager. Foamy white head recedes quickly. But trust me, this lager tastes great from these ceramic cups...I need to find them somewhere for home use. Aroma is malty, fresh, clean...as is taste, super-refreshing, mild, crisp, balanced bitter and malt, very dry. The perfect foil for grilled chicken parts. Ultra-drinkable in this context.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 16:35:02 | More by kenito799
Photo of goschool


3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce can for a somewhere around two bucks, making it one of Trader Joe's worst values. There is a positive about the product. You could beat the crap out of somebody with the can or drop it from a five story building and it'll stay in tact, ready to be consumed.

Appearance: The pour is clear orange-gold with a frothy white head.

Smell: There's way too much corn in the nose to be as un-offensive and semi-pleasant as it is. Doughy malts, grains, and a little bit of grassy hops round out the aroma.

Taste: Grains, doughy malts, earthy and grassy hops fill out the bland, but surprisingly better than tolerable flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, low to medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's better than most pale Euro macros, but plenty of better options.

Serving type: can

12-08-2006 07:08:56 | More by goschool
Photo of msubulldog25


3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 16 oz. (473ml) embossed brown bottle to a standard pint glass.

A: Clear glowing golden with a big fizzy 2-finger+ head. Head fades quickly to a still, even film and occasional carbonation bubble streams.

S: Average smelling malts and lager yeasts, lightly sweet and with clean hops. Nothing bad, nothing outstanding.

T: Malt with a nice bit of extra oomph... smoothy grain flavors and a lightly floral hopping. A little metallic, more peppery dry finish.

M: Typically light mouthfeel, clean. Lingering floral hops and that clean slightly sourdough-tasting finish. Sudbued carbonation gave a smoother mouthfeel.

D: Not bad...hard to find anything outstanding nor any glaring weaknesses. Simply a refreshing lager. Serve alone or better with food (it's good with sushi)...

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 01:25:14 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of sauron681


3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful rich copper color. A nice thick head that loses itself fairly fast. The carbonation was low but still visible for a while. Lacing stuck around for a while, which makes up for the lack of head retension.

The taste starts sweet, but quickly returns to the slight bitter, sour tang aftertaste. The aroma is also like the rancid vegetable of other European imports.

Sapporo is a very drinkable beer, a nice change from typical american lagers, or foreign ones for that matter. I was expecting a little better but still good enough. The can is pretty cool though.

Serving type: can

09-18-2006 01:23:17 | More by sauron681
Photo of weeare138


3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Lisa Wolters for this...
Appears a solid, crisp gold with a 2 finger white head that slowly fades out. Medium amounts of carbonation rise to the top. Some sticky streaks of lacing is left around the interior of the glass.
Smell is of doughy, grainy, dried corn, and a metallic, earthy, floral note infused with honey.
Taste is of the same aromas. Nothing special in there though. Pretty run of the mill Euro lager.
Mouthfeel is metallic, honey sweet, and mildly bitter. This is medium bodied and crisp.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 22:06:35 | More by weeare138
Photo of DogFood11


2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a modified pilsner glass it forms a lazy pop rock type fizzy head that dissapated quickly to a thin cover. Golden body with a light orange towards the core.

Pale, sweet malts and a rather hefty cracked grain feel to it. Like most Euro Pale's the flavor is soft and sweetened. Cooked vegetables come into play to reek some havoc. Pretty crisp finish and definately drinkable, not as clean as I'd like, somewhere in the middle ground. Hops are relied upon late to help clean up and they do their job without much fanfare.

Notes: I'd have to go through my reviews but there aren't too many good Euro Pale's. This, sadly, is one of the better ones at that. Sapporo surprised me with this offering and shows like most breweries they are capable of making a decent product.

Serving type: can

08-22-2006 00:12:08 | More by DogFood11
Photo of MusicmanSD


3.73/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

The thing that caught me off guard with Sapporo is the can. Extremely well designed with reinforcements, and it looks cool too! Props to them on that! Anyways, the beer pours a bright yellow with little to no head. In fact, it leaves a ring in about a minute time. But the beer doesn't look American lagery crap looking. No smell to speak of really, which is good. Means it shouldn't be offensive at all. Tastewise, this beer is all malt, and I like that. Malt, malt, and malt. Kind of reminds you of sea salt and malt vinegar chips. Slight hints of corn in the taste, but I don't mind, it’s a very different corn taste than something from BMC, probably because the malt is so overpowering. Pretty damn bitter too! The mouthfeel is a bit heavy for a lager, so it puts it above the curve. The drinkability is average, but was totally expecting a Budweiser taste because of the rice used, but this thing is like a super concentrated version of a Bud. A very good lager if you’re looking for something different! Finishes dry, too bad it’s brewed in Canada, doesn't really give you the authenticity.

Serving type: can

08-02-2006 05:12:53 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of HoustonTX


3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

25.4oz Can poured into pint glass.

A - Cloudy yellow. Decent head, with pretty nice lacing and retention.

S - Smell is malty sweet, wheat, grain, and that lager crispness.

T - Taste was of fresh malts, layered hops, and slight lemon peel, blended into a fresh-for-a-macro kinda taste.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp, and tingles the tongue.

Defintely one of the best macros I have had. Good lager, and at a fair price. Go ahead and give this one a try.

Serving type: can

06-28-2006 22:03:27 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of scottoale


3.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the tall silver and gold 22oz. can (brewed in Canada?!), pours a yellow-gold with a 1/2inch of white bubble head. The head vanishes in less than two minutes and leaves no lace behind at all. The carbonation starts out vigorous at first, but calms quickly.

The smell is somewhat sweet and very malty. Doughy malt with a faint hint af hops, that's about it.

Quite suprised in the flavor, it's really not bad, very malty but balanced rather nicely and not offencive in any way. Definitely tastes better than it smells and the smell is ok too.

With a medium-light body, mild alcohol and good carbonation, the mouthfeel is pretty smooth with a nice clean finish as well.

Like drinking water, only tastier, would be a good beer to take camping or to the beach during the hot Summer months. Give it a try and see for yourself...cheers.

Serving type: can

06-26-2006 02:00:22 | More by scottoale
Photo of rokoch27


3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It became very apparent that I had not poured a beer from a can in a while as the substantial head grew to twice the size of the actual liquid in my pint glass. It settles down soon enough and I saw and smelled yet another seemingly meaningless lager in front of me. Not especially thirst-quenching, but not offensive either. I'm sure you can get all the details from the many other reviews, so I'll say this: I wouldn't turn one down for free, but would honestly prefer a Mich Jr. straight from the bottle on a hot summer day.

Serving type: can

06-08-2006 16:05:09 | More by rokoch27
Photo of IntriqKen


3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium yellow with a decent 1 finger head that disappears all too quickly and doesn't leave lace behind for very long.
Aroma is sweet malt, a little bread, and tiny hops...much like MGD to me.
Taste is similar to MGD as well...sweet malt with a slight biscuit and just the hint of lemon and hops.
Finishes dry but with a slightly metalic aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is full as a Macro could be.

Possibly the best in the Macro world...definately the best of the Sapporos I've had.
Again, to me, this is very similar in taste and aromas to Miller Genuine Draft which is one of the best of the Americans I've had.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 00:45:33 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of FenwaySquid


3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz can, no dating of any kind, poured into a tall pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden color, bubbles rising nicely. The head formed big and soft, fading very slowly into a lace.

Aroma: Sweet grains.

Taste: Like the aroma, sweet and grainy up front, immediately followed by some maly sweetness. The finish is slightly bitter, pleasant.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, but still good. The carbonation was in good balance.

Overall: Pretty good stuff, I think it's worth a shot if you like pilsners.

Serving type: can

05-17-2006 00:50:33 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of Dogbrick


2.75/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can served at Genji’s in Midland, MI. Pours golden amber with a medium creamy off-white head with pretty good lacing. Aroma of corn and malt. Body is typical for a "premium" lager, not too light but not rich either. Unassertive malt and hops flavors don’t really register, but at the same time it is flavorful enough to not be bland. The finish is mildly hoppy. Drinkable, especially with spicy Japanese food but I wouldn’t bother with this otherwise.

Serving type: can

05-04-2006 20:26:02 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of acrawf6


3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice orangish straw with a white foamy head.

Smell. i get a banana sweetness almost like a hefe, but no cloves. but does seem to have a bit of spice to it with a little honey sweetness.

Taste. first sip was pretty bad, dont know why, but after that it was ok. sweet maltiness, small honey taste to it. but as it sits on my tongue i get a dry grainy taste to it. aftertaste has a small honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel is ok. good cabonation, decent balance.

Overall, i remember liking this more. i suspect this might be an old can, but its not bad. i prefer this over the sapporo draft, but it's not one i would get often. cool can though.

Serving type: can

03-27-2006 23:38:26 | More by acrawf6
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out to a deep golden color with a short lived white foam head. Some lace. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of light citrus and hops, different for the style. A touch of mild malt lingers in the wings. Taste is fair; grain, malt, light hops, corn husk, and a touch of sour wheat. Not bad, but not exactly wonderful. Mouthfeel was slightly thick, with a little bit of sour-vinegar character. Average drinkability. I'd have another, if it were offered. Is this really what they drink in Japan?

Serving type: can

03-19-2006 20:08:51 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large 650 ml can. Sapporo Reserve has a golden brown color with a long lasting head. Malty aroma with a little bit of a wheat smell. The flavor is mainly grain. The flavor of alcohol is noticable too. Not too sweet, thankfully. Very little off-flavor. Some herbal hop flavors come in at the finish, and the high carbonation makes the finish seem slightly spicy. Drinkability is good. Nothing special, but this beer is a simple, tasty, and inoffensive lager.

Serving type: can

02-04-2006 01:11:15 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished orange peel, clear as a bell. An impressive amount of carbonation has resulted in a large crown of dark cream that contains a slight ecruish tint, like a marshmallow held briefly over a fire. There's a pretty impressive lace display as well... gobs of it are all over the upper third of the glass. This is one of the better looking EPLs that I've seen.

The nose is a step down, although it's still what I'd call better than average for the style. It's blonde malty with a touch of floral hops. Nothing to do cartwheels over, but the lack of even a hint of mustiness, staleness or other off-aromas gives it a leg up on its peers.

I'm trying my damndest to review Sapporo Reserve within the context of the style. In that sense, it's definitely better than most of the world's EPLs. I know that 'Euro' pale lagers have nothing to do with geography, but am I the only one who finds it odd to call beer from Japan, Euro <anything>? I guess its better than having style listings for JPLs, CPLs, BPLs, KPLs, ad infinitum. Okay, back to the beer...

The malt backbone is solid, with plenty of grain flavor. Sweet is almost perfectly balanced by bitter. There isn't much else bouncing around in there, just the basics. Again, the absence of any nastiness is one of this beer's prime selling points; and I say that without a trace of irony. I've had waaay too many substandard pale lagers in my life not to recognize a pretty good one.

Thanks to the somewhat generous malt load, the mouthfeel is solidly medium. A firm smoothness and an understated amount of carbonation keep the good impressions rolling along.

I think I've had two other Sapporo offerings prior to this one and I don't remember being too impressed. Maybe it's a case of low expectations being easily exceeded, but that doesn't change the fact that Reserve is good beer. If you're in the market for a JPL (Japanese pale lager), start here.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 16:07:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent mellow fizzy yellow beer that is actually darker and somewhat richer in flavor than many of this style, with a stronger bready malt profile and much more mellow hop bitterness than the famous European green bottle types. This to me has mixed results- it's less interesting in terms of balance, but it's much more drinkable. I'm not doing detailed tasting notes on this one as I am trying different reviewing styles. Here I am trying to compare it to style.

In the end, a decent drinkable beer. Pretty mellow and easy drinking, simple in its profile, but sometimes that a good thing.

Serving type: can

01-13-2006 04:50:11 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

3.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has abit more pleasant taste than most Euro lagers that I've had. It doesn't have that skunky smell/taste to it, with the super malty body and stink hop finish. It didn't really have any huge tastes that stood out from the rest of the beer, which made it pretty balanced, but also bland. On the other hand, it was drinkable and didn't leave a nasty aftertaste. I think this would be a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 02:12:51 | More by JISurfer
Sapporo Reserve from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
75 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.