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Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

115 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.24%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Decades ago, Budweiser brewmasters started a tradition. During the holidays, they'd collect the purest liquid from the brewing kettles; pre-sparged, first wort. This first stock - unusually smooth and rich despite its robust alcohol - was reserved for A-B friends and family, until now. Note from the brewers: this an all-malt beer; NO rice or corn. Imported hops. 20 Plato. It's also a completely different recipe than Budweiser.

(Beer added by: yen157 on 11-13-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZenAgnostic
5/5  rDev +42.5%

ZenAgnostic, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of jasrbrd
4.83/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely enjoyed this beer and not at all like Bud. I still have a few left over from Christmas that I saved to last as long as possible this year... that's how much I liked it. Look for it after Thanksgiving this year and try it, it won't dissapoint!

jasrbrd, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of CU570M
4.53/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A golden amber to yellow beer that in the light was transparent. Very thick head. Nice fresh kind of smell. You can taste the alcohol in this one. Had a little heat. Im not a huge Anheuser-Busch fan, but this one was excellent. Blows any other A-B beer out of the water. Mouthfeel was excellent as well with a smooth milky feeling. Drinkability i think is pretty high.

CU570M, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of bonbini26
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

bonbini26, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of weylinfidler
4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great Beer. I have bought at least 1 every year for the last 3 years.

A - Pop lock top is a nice touch, don't see it allot on American beers. Pours a Medium dark Amber color.

S - I have brewed some home beer and this smells allot like the wort which I love. Also it smells like I just walked in to a brewery and got all the great smells.

T - Very smooth despite it's %8.5 Alc. This is what Lager should taste like. Just enough carbonation

M - A little tingle from Carbonation but not like drinking soda. Smooth and clean.

D - I could drink this all night...and have! the %8.5 will catch up with you sooner or later but over a very great beer. Wish it was brewed all year long

weylinfidler, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of twi1609372
4.43/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is a good beer. WOW suprisingly from budweiser at that. Go figure they can brew something good. But seriously this is a serious beer. It has a good flavor, it's very drinkable, hides the 8.5% very well. It's apperance and smell are upto par with higher end beers. Persentation on this is very good. I have to commend AB on this one, this is one damn good beer.

twi1609372, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 qt, 14.5 oz bottle, "born on" date of Oct 2, 2006 stamped on the back of the bottle near the bottom, poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear bright golden yellow color with plenty of carbonation. The head formed a thick bright white and faded very slowly, clinging to the glass on the way down.

Aroma: Slightly grainy, a little alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Wow, very complex. Slight caramel and grainy malts combine up front. There's some bitter hops in the middle, and that transitions nicely to a clean malty finish. The only point that the alcohol shows up is in the finish. Otherwise you'd never guess the alcohol is 8.5% with this one.

Mouthfeel: Not thick but creamy, very smooth. Despite the bubbles the carbonation is rather subdued, which balanced out quite well.

Overall: Anheiser Busch is best known for unleashing tons of macro swill on the world. This, however, is nothing of the sort. If you only ever try one beer from that conglomerate, make it this one, as this would be a top notch offering from any brewery. If you've never tried it, do so immediately. If you have, well get some more.

FenwaySquid, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

imperialking, May 31, 2012
Photo of Citadel82
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this brew just so I could review it for my weekly column in the Atlantic Highlands Herald. At $10.99 a bottle I knew I was taking a chance and that my money may have been better spent on a smaller brewers offering that was more likely to be tasty and of good quality. With 1.5 liters of brew at 8.5% alcohol I knew that this was a brew to share. My chance arrived in the form of a beer swap at a friend's home. His wife was hosting a cookie swap so a beer swap was the perfect pairing. The invite and plan were simple and the result was suprising. The invite said bring a Case of your favorite lager and leave with an assortment. I was expecting nothing but BMC but was rewarded to see that at least some folks are starting to get into the differences between stylesin particular pale ales versus lager and the term "lawn mower beer" was used by many to describe Corona and similar offerings. This was a hopeful sign and it was into this mix that I pacelled ot a 5 ounce sample to eight willing guinea pigs. The consensus was that it was "unexpected" and from some quite "tasty" . Most were quite surprised that it was an AB product. I was one of those.

Poured a clear light amber with a thin short-lived white head. Sparse carbonation. Little evident lacing. (Cannot vouch for Glass being Beer Clean however so don't let this put you off.)

Aroma was balance of sweet malt and floral hops. No skunky, funky, adjunct smell evident and no alcohol either. The aroma improved as the brew warmed and oxidized. Aroma becoming a richer malt and more complex hops.

Taste was balanced and a little sweet at first. Again as the beer warmed it became more balanced and more complex. There were caramel notes and some biscuity and doughy notes there was a little fruit and a little yeast. There is a relatively brief hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel was surprisngly light with a slickness that stuck to your tongue and palate. I would say it it is a medium bodied brew.

This was a tasty and drinkable beer. I intend to buy a couple bottles and lay them down to see how it matures.

Citadel82, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of mentor
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was a 2006 GABF left-over that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Thanks a million to GABF and to Anheiser-Busch for the opportunity. Pours a thin, yet sticky, tan-stained white head over a partly cloudy thin orange-colored liquid. Smells Pils malt with czech hop character. Vanilla and banana. Yummy. Cookie dough and oranges. Not a winter ale smell but nice and fresh. A bit of DMS and cabbage. Some caramel and a minor contribution of iron.

Tastes complex. DMS and wet malty sweet with strong czech hop character. Oranges with light esters (pear syrups, mostly). Burnt almonds come through due to the cohumulone hoppy presence. Drying over carb finish with iron and apricot. My mouth is watering. Phenolic is mild, but present to counter the malt sweet. A Hefe- yeast to contribute to this beer? Banana without the yeasty contributions of phenols.

Mouthfeel is thick, but just nudging into thick. Carbonation is Md, bordering on heavy, and works well with the flavor profile and intensity. Judged to style, not my personal preferences.

mentor, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of rowew
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Large 1.5 L champagne style bottle, fliptop. Nice looking label. Born on date of Oct 11, 05. This one is obviously old, but its been kept in a stable fridge.

Appearance: Pours slightly hazy yellowish orange color, nice solid head. A bit of lacing on the glass and top of the beer.

Smell: Tons of malt - smells a bit like a bock. A bit of caramel there too, and some alcohol, especially as it warms up a bit.

Taste: Interesting - medium bodied, smooth carbonation level. Nice malty flavors - there is a bit of hops in the background but the malt flavors dominate.

Overall impression: This is a surprisingly interesting beer. I didn't try it fresh, but the age doesn't seem to have harmed it. Very smooth and drinkable, a bit dangerous considering the ABV!

rowew, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of murphysbleachers
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this over the weekend, not sure what happened to my notes...but from memory.
Very cool giant flip top bottle into a pint glass:
Apearance: Looked like a Bud with a much deeper golden color and great head retention. Extra half point for the bottle.
Smell: Alcohol and sweetness. Vaguely recall some plum or nut too.
Taste: A very light fruitiness, rich honey sweetness, malt, and a bit of alcohol combined to dance on my tongue. Some subtle and complex stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: Coated the tongue a bit.
Drinkability: Finished the bottle with a friend and was looking for more after it was gone. The best beer I've ever had from Bud, Miller or Coors. Even better since it was free from my distributer.

I'll be editing this review if I ever find my notes.

murphysbleachers, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear golden-amber body. Full, frothy white head. The head retention and lacing could be better, but with 8.5% alcohol combating that it's to be expected.

Smell: Loaded with malt character. It's rich and grainy with a little bit of a toasty and nutty side - like Munich malt. Sweetish notes are present but not candyish (cookie dough, cake, melted white chocolate, waffles sans syrup). Some hops are present but fairly indistinguishable. They come and they go, a little bit floral, very mildly grassy, and ever so slightly spicy. A suggestion of alcohol is present but never really shows itself.

Taste: As found in the nose. The sweetish and nutty (almond, macadamia) malt dominates, but it is smeared with herbal, floral, and gently grassy and spicy hops. It's bitterness lies just above balancing, and at first it teeters back and forth between sweetish malt and drying hop bitterness and alcohol. As you progress through the glass, however, the alcohol will overcome your palate and it becomes more focused - but in a tunnel-vision kind of way, meaning that you're not really seeing all that's there.

Mouthfeel: Dextrinous but not overly full, it falls somewhere in the medium-full bodied range. Alcohol helps to balance that somewhat, and it's very-fine bubbled, somewhat restrained carbonation leaves it quite smooth across the palate.

Drinkability: This is an engaging beer that requires your attention upfront; satiates you with its richness; and then numbs you with its hidden alcohol. Beyond one serving it starts to build on the palate with a combination of dull residual malt, alcohol, and herbal/spicy hops. The initial tastes, although somewhat widespread in character, are better than the more alcohol-focused palate that appears later on. So it becomes a hedonistic question of 'would you want another one?'

Overall: If there was a stronger hop presence here this could be a classic! With just a little more in the nose, and a nice dollop in the flavor, it could move into the realm of a blonde doppelbock. Nice. Enjoyable. But limited.

NeroFiddled, May 14, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this huge bottle with fellow BA Hhawk06. This malt lager pours a golden blonde that leaves a thick white lace and some stickiness that a "regular" budweiser could only dream of making. Upon opening the bottle the malty sweetness vanilla, baked brown sugar, cooked white sugar, angel food cake all come to mind it is amazingly complex.

The body is clear and vibrant, very nice some slight carbonation bubbles can be seen through the lager. The aroma is light and fruity, some mild hop presence is definatly in the nose. The taste on the palate is fresh, clean, as if it was poured right from the tap amazing.

Some slight carbonation refreshes the palate, the lager starts smooth with a sweet malt charachter of cake, sugar, and moves to a small bitter hop aspect. This beer is great, fresh and clean. If only they can brew some more like this.

Franchise, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wide mouth tulip-style glass from a huge quart-size dark abber bottle with a flip top that's really very cool looking. Great packaging, if you ask me.

A - Bright golden with lots of effervescence. Tall, two-finger white head that dissipates pretty fast. Minimal lacing left behind. Certainly a richer color than a typical Bud.

S - Not at all what I expected. While it's a little "Bud-like," it's more ... dare I say this ... like a decent belgian beer. It's got that malty, yeasty character that it characteristic of a Belgian. Reminds me a little of a Duvel knock-off. I say this knowing that the mere suggestion that a BUd product is like a Belgian is tantamount to beer heresy. Still, I stand by my assessment.

T - Again, this beer is surprising me. Good malty body with a very discernable yeast backbone. Like a baked bread or pie. Not a lot of hop attitude here, but a very, very respectable malt beer. Slightly spicy, sweet, and smooth, yet not cloying.

M - Very clean and crisp ... now that is not so suprising. Fairly light and smooth. Finishes easy.

D - This beer is very drinkable, especially since the 8.5 abv is well hidden. I'd like to taste test this one with a few of my discerning beer buddies. I'd put money on it that they wouldn't know this was a Bud product in a million years. I'm truly impressed with this one ... I love it when a beer exceeds my expectations in almost every regard. Doesn't happen often. And it's even less likely that it would be a Bud offering ... way to go Augustus!

Try this one and swallow your "beer pride." If you can allow yourself to admit that Budweiser can produce a quality beer, you might just like this one. It's a shame it's a "once a year" beer.

Hmmm ... anyone ever tried to cellar this? (assuming you could get it several years ago?) At 8.5 I recon it's right on the edge of feasibility?

beerphilosopher, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its taken me a while to get around to trying this high gravity lager from A-B but when a dozen bottles were put out on the bar by A-B brewmaster following a VIP tour for about 40 St. Louis area homebrewers I filled my glass eagerly and found the clear amber gold brew very satisfying.

Clean nose suggest the malts were increased and a longer boil. Still clean with little caramel flavor. Not quite EKU 28 but heading in that direction. This hides alcohol better that EKU. An excellent choice for high gravity session as its balance and smooth mouthfeel and medium body from quality roasted grain. With the other test brews that I tasted I was wishing for a cracker and water to get a better grasp on the complexity of this beauty.

I will be looking for a bottle around Christmas.

karst, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of ghurux86
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

alright it's been awhile since i've reviewed a beer but here goes. i honestly think the new "craft" beers from ab are definitely decent. let's start.

appearance: pours a dark yellow golden color. head is decent but doesn't linger long and leaves no lacing.

smell: typical ab smell...lol....smells sweet, like rice and corn, but it also exhibits some hop aroma which is quite pleasing

taste: for 8.5% not bad. a hint of malt. some hops and rice. and a little alcohol heat.

mouthfeel: In my opinion, a little watery, good carbonation. ovearall pretty good.

drinkability i would buy it again but definitely not a session beer due to the high abv.

a pretty good offering from ab. definitely one of the best i've tried from the company

ghurux86, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of Hhawk06
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split this one with a good pal, beer advocate Franchise. Clearly, the presentation pre-pour is impressive; contained in a limited edition box and stored in a huge swing-top bottle. In the least, it fuels the anticipation.

The beer poured golden but darkish in color, but not dark golden, if that makes sense. The head is solid, finely beaded and about a finger and a half in depth. The ensuing lace is also adequate. The nose is very fresh smelling, as the noble hops shine through. The body is medium-to-heavy with a liquidy smooth mouthfeel; there is very little carbonation to be seen. The taste is very hard to pinpoint, but it mostly consists of a sugarcane sweetness and a floral background. Clearly, the malt presence in this "American all malt lager" is first and foremost. It finishes smooth and sweet, with a cotton candy taste co-existing with an appropriate floral bouquet. Words really can't describe the true complexity to this beer. Although its a bit rough in the drinkability aspect, it remains a very good beer and worth seeking out.

Hhawk06, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

This is A-B's take on the brewmaster's holiday tradition, where they take the fi rst runnings of sweet wort and ferment a big, bold beer out of it. Speaking of big, the bottle is enormous!

Beer pours a shimmering, clear, golden color, a good white head from the start, and a semi-stick lace for the rest. Suggestions of honey, whole-grain bread, grainy animal feed and a clean perfume-like alcohol and hop collaboration make up the aroma. Very smooth mouth feel, a touch creamy in the fluffy body. Flavors of Portuguese sweetbread and a barleymalt syrup, not condensed wort, hone in on the taste buds. Alcohol warms a bit more after each sip, lending a strawberry-like flavor. The hop bitterness is enough to balance, but the herbal flavor is more interesting. Aftertaste lands semi-sweet, with a rough grain, herbal hop and the complexities from the alcohol.

So with 46.5 ounces of high-alcohol brew on our hands, what else is there to do but drink it? Actually several brats were steamed in this brew--a good pairing, no doubt. It's not a malt liquor, not an over-hopped Double Pilsner, and certainly not the bigger brother of Budweiser. It's a tasty, big-ass American All-Malt Lager in a big-ass bottle. Enough said.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +14%

Jason, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of jerrymiller
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I gave this as a gift to a Budweiser "zealot" over the holidays. This beer is beautifully packaged and bottled. It opened with a loud "pop" and was very highly carbonated.
It poured with a white, full head that settled down quickly in the goblet and left traces of lacing. The beer was clean and clear.
It smelled to me like the beechwood they brag about, but now one could actually register it as it tasted sweet yet malty.
The beer itself is extremely drinkable, everyone who had some commented that they wished all Budweiser tasted this good.

jerrymiller, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of 2ndstage
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant golden color. A tight light foam top that clings to the glass fairly well. Hop presense is light but there. Nice aromas of fruit and malt. Very clean taste as well. Slight sweetness in the finish with a light lingering alcohol burn. Way too drinkable but nice for someone like Budweiser to try out.

2ndstage, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent beer all around. Clean pale malts with a light bitterness balanced with an alcohol taste. Decent initial head that fades a little faster than I would like. Decent, clean smell on the nose of pale malts and alcohol. Decent mouthfeel and drinkability considering this is an 8.5% beer. Tastes like an 8.5% abv, but is not hard to drink. It's worth a try, but a little overpriced.

jasonjlewis, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK this is a review of a bottle that has been aged exactly one year. Originally this was to be for a beer trade that didn't happen.

The seal on the flip top bottle has remained good for the entire year and it gives a satisfying pop when you have to pry the plug up to get to the beer; there is nothing lacking about the care that was taken to bottle this.

This is a cold hazed deeply gold colored beer that does seem to have darkened after a years aging. Decent white head but it isn't very tall or strong.

Smell is sweet and noticeably more fruity after a years age on it. Fruit aroma of nuts, plum, raisin and banana mostly and it smells like a bock beer at this point. Toasted grain aroma but only faintly.

Taste is sweet and much like the smell fruity. Plum and raisin bran cereal flavor reign and then the hops come down and cut it off. The hop bitterness seems to have intensified by the time in the bottle, how is that possible? I have no Idea but this has a sharp bitter finish like some better German Altbier do. Quite frankly if this was a darker color I would call this a Bock or Altbier. Alcohol seems to be more apparent after a year in a 60 F closet in the dark. Additional flavors have appeared in this one. This is noticeably nutty with a fairly big pecan taste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and reminds me of barley wine more than any kind of lager.

Drinkability is actually improved provided you like the taste of Bock, Altbier or Barley Wine more than the taste of Lager. It is winter this is just not the season for Lager. Interesting but sadly I do not have another bottle to try after two years of aging. I will be waiting to see the reviews of this after two years or more of aging. If you have one of these you didn't drink this year rest assured that it is still good. I suggest you wait another year and see what you get.

Zorro, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured orange/golden yellow with a 2-inch head that became, and remained a nice lace.
The smell was of caramel with hints of alcohol coming through.
The taste was thick and rich. It tasted of caramel, and the alcohol came through but didn't overwhelm the taste. Very malty.
The mouthfeel was a tad bit sticky, but the flavor of malty caramel did linger and was balanced by a watery texture that made it drinkable and refreshing to a degree.
The bottom line - I wish that "Bud" tasted like this. It is a bit too thick (malty) to have on a regular basis, or as a "session" beer, but certainly worthwhile as a special "treat". A good brew!

jwc215, Jun 07, 2006
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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.