Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

104 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 118
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.9%
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:
Beer added by: yen157 on 11-13-2005

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.
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 118
Photo of CJfromPhilly
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-amber with a fluffy, foamy head that settles into a light lacing due to the high abv. Aroma is of vanilla & caramel, reminds me of a Troegenator Doppelbock, even though they're 2 different styles of beer. Taste is much like the aroma, caramel & vanilla, malty, a pinch of hops with a hint of alcohol that gets MUCH stronger as the beer warms. Very nice, full mouthfeel. This is the kind of beer A-B should have been brewing all along!! IMHO, it's much more (and much better) than the "Budweiser on steroids" description that it's been getting here, and I believe that some of the lower ratings are more a case of hating on Anheuser-Busch than a true reflection of what this brew has to offer. A-B deserves the bashing it gets for dumbing-down American beer, but it also deserves praise for this wonderful example of what it can produce when it's brewers are permitted to toss aside the corporate formula, and make a "real" beer!! (945 characters)

Photo of brantadid
3.99/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color. Very thin white head. No real lacing to speak of. Very clear beer.

Smelled of raisins and figs. Some honey. Some brandy and sherry notes in the nose.

Really complex flavors. Figs, raisins, dark fruit, and some honey on the front palate. Some burnt malt flavors on the back palate. Really long finish.

Moderate carbonation with a rich full mouthfeel. Flavor totally coats your mouth. Insanely drinkable. (432 characters)

Photo of 2ndstage
3.98/5  rDev +15%
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. (316 characters)

Photo of aggiebeer
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer offers way more than the standard AB offering.

It pours a nice golden / orange color with a decently thick, but short-lived, white head. The smell is a mild malt scent with hints of fruit (apples?). Mouthfeel is moderate in both carbonation and body. The taste is suprisingly complex, with a malt character somewhat similar to an amber ale and sweet but not overpowering carmel and apple flavors. Hop aroma and flavor is at a minimum. The finish is faintly sour but pleasant. Only after warming up a bit does the alcohol taste start to come through.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Both the quality of ingredients and the complex taste really stand out. I was expecting essentially Budweiser with better ingredients but this brew really stands out. (767 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a very light golden blonde with a two finger head that quickly dissapated and left only a slight, short lived lace on the glass.

The smell was heavy in homebrew type smells. Very pungent malt tones with a slight spice in the rear of the nose. Unlike others I found nothing Budweiser-ish about the smell of this beer.

The drink started with a quick kick of malt followed by a kick of hops, then an alchohol warming. The finish was kind of a lingering fruit flavor with a hint of hop spice.

All and all this was a fine offering from A & B. I will purchase at least one more. Find it if you can, it may not change your mind on A & B, but at least it may ease all of us up on them. (699 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was skeptical since this was an A-B product and it did have some flaws: the alcohol was not hidden very well and its bite was pretty rough. Also, it was a bit on sweet side, but not too much.

Despite those flaws, I have to say it was pretty good. A smooth, satisfying maltiness contributes to an overall rich flavor, plus a nice hop bitterness that balances fairly well. All in all, very tasty and, despite the alcohol bite, very drinkable. It may have been a bit pricey (though I got it as a Christmas gift) but I had little problem finishing off the huge bottle this stuff comes in. Recommended. (602 characters)

Photo of Portertime
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought a good Anheuser-Busch beer was an oximoron but I was proved wrong! I was lucky to get the last one of these in the liquor store I used to work at. Enjoyed it chlled in a pint glass. Poured a rich golden color with a decent head. Smell of cereal grains and some light hops. Taste was chewy with a bread dough quality but soft enough on the tongue to mask the 8.5% ABV. I was impressed and raise my mug to Bud. Nice swing topped bottle also. (449 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Funky large cardboard box, heavy on black and cream with gold and red highlights, inside which hides a rather cool looking bottle. A large 46.5 fluid ounce white swing top bottle which has a vertical neck label covering the steel swing mechanism. I have to say that the main label is a very attractive and colorful Victorian style affair. Nice packaging, a little over the top if anything.

Appearance: Filtered Tripel looks, shining golden body with an unblemished thick white head that settles neatly with some minor dimples. Streamer laden at first but that soon fades. Lovely scattered lacing had an organized randomness about it. Good looks but the head faded a little too quickly.

Nose: Weird how the nose simply did not exist at first, it took a while but after the first few sips and the broken head the nose relished a soft caramel and sweet toasted malts, fruity in the middle with a light ester like finish that had an acetone soaked Pear Drop aspect to it. Nice but strange.

Taste: Nice hoppy entrance, now that’s a surprise for an AB product!! Hints of Banana and fruits but they are low key and background support to the gently toasted malts and sweet caramel feel. I still get the fruity hoppy feel, but the hops are sweet in a fruity way. Ending was dry and short lived. Delivers a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a fading carbonation, I noted that as I worked through this sample that the conditioning dropped pretty quickly though which made the last part exhibit the 8.5% to a greater warming degree.

Drinkability: For a malt liquor I found this one to be surprisingly quaffable in a polymorphic way - not exactly a session brew, it started great but died a little towards the end when it became a sipper, best of both Worlds I guess.

Overall: Well I managed to pick this sample up at my local Ralph’s for just $6 high up and actually on top of the beer cabinet. The “Sale” price was stuck next to the original price tag of $14.95……fecking how much!?!? I have no idea where this came from, maybe the Supermarket had a couple of these with their regular AB delivery and I just happened to drop by the last one which simply wasn’t selling…..at nearly $15 that is no surprise, so they stuck a Sale ticket on it to shift it.

A decent enough brew, interesting for a Malt Liquor and far better than the laughably disgusting Michelob Celebrate. Nothing here warrants a slamming because of its industrial source. However, I cannot help but feel that at the original sticker price of nearly $15, I would have popped for a Cantillon any day, even at $6 I only picked it up because I fancied having a full bottle sample to review (previously I had tried a small sample at Naja’s and enjoyed it).

A good effort, but definitely *not* worth the money. (2,822 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lighter amber translucent body with about an inch of white head that dissipates quickly but leaves a little lacing. Smells similar to Budweiser in some ways, but has a roasty malt character to it. Taste is somewhat light, but fairly complex with hints of yeast, caramel, vanilla, and some alcohol, though the alcohol is very well hidden. Clean finish. Very (surprisingly) creamy mouthfeel. Overall, pretty impressive considering it's a beer with the Budweiser name on it. I could probably see myself getting this one again. (523 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing this one in the beer store, I thought, ‘what the hell’. It pours a crystal-clear golden color with considerable head. There’s genuine lace, and the brew is notably attractive. The aroma is grain and alcohol in prominence, followed by continental hoppiness and bread-like notes. The taste is alcohol and a little sweetness. There’s a nice malt undertone and considerable slickness. The finish has an attractive hop bitterness that provides some balance. Alcohol isn’t hidden, however, and affects the finish. All in all, this is a drinkable and quite enjoyable brew. It’s a lot better than I’d expected. Kudos to (I can’t believe I’m writing this) A-B for this one. I really enjoyed it. (701 characters)

Photo of Byeast
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden with a bright white inch of foam.

Smell: lots of cereal like grain , mildy sweet aroma , and some light hop.

Taste: Very smooth taste and feel. Sweet doughy maltiness , lightly toasted grain , very clean , has some similarities to a regular bud just with more flavor. Just a very faint bit of pleasant fruitiness , nicely hidden alcohol. Some light hops round out the sweet malts in the finish.

Mouthfeel: soft and smooth.

Drinkability: I wish this is what regular budweiser tasted like. Basically an example of what AB could do if they wanted , but why would they when they make so much cash off bud light! A refreshing glimpse none the less. Quite drinkable , and the abv is almost completly hidden. (732 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

As the story goes, Budweiser has a tradition of tapping the richest part of the brew to toast the winter season.
Now we can all try a batch.
Pop the stopper (some smoke escapes), give it a pour and you'll see an amber beer with fine white lacing.
It does not look or taste anything like the usual light watery lager associated with Anheuser-Busch.
Every element is upped a notch: It is darker, thicker, maltier -- sweet and yeasty -- and finishes with a lingering bitterness.
At 8.5% alcohol by volume, it is also strong for a beer, though it doesn't taste especially potent.
Who knew Bud could have such complexity? (628 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark golden hue with a massive frothy white head; decent retention and patchy lacing, for not the head, one would be reminded of a simple draught bud pour. Good nose--cookie dough, syrup, faint dark roasted malts, rum soaked raisins. Taste--see the nose; very crisp, sharp dark roasted malts, in your face alcoholic notes, yet they fade quick. Sweet malts, tender grassy/medicinal hops. Under the radar tastings of banana peel and pear juice with hints of sweet caramel and dry sticky malts. A pleasant alcohol warmth barges in and is more than welcome. The palate is left full of spicy and apple peel notes, with a more than cleansing affect. This one was enjoyable and worth the pickup. Check your expectations at the door and enjoy! (735 characters)

Photo of budgood1
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 brewmasters private reserve.

again...pours out of the big ass bottle a crystal clear perfect gold colour, with an impressive head that is supported by some festive carbonation. pale malt aroma. light and a bit caramely. the taste is all malt, thick and chewy for a lager, with some maibock hints as well. alcohol notes; very peppery and spicy and rather tasty. the hopping is hard to pin down...there is a vague bitterness present, but no appreciable hop flavour comes through. i still think this brew could stand a bit more hop character to balance the heat and malt profile. the body of this lager is full, and the mouthfeel is smooth as can be for the style. seems like this is the same beer i had last year otherwise...no discernible differences. it's nice to taste a totally high end all-malt malt liquor. a definite treat compared to the other disgusting malt liquors A-B brews. there is no other beverage that i've tasted that really compares to this in its category. pretty drinkable in my opinion. (1,014 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bronze-ish-gold color, nice mousse-like head of almost an inch in height (a big contrast to Michelob Celebrate). Admirable lacing, good patterns on the glass. Light caramel aroma, slightly detergent notes. Medium mouthfeel -- a feel of slickness with light coating qualities, carbonation is subtle, not too gassy, pretty well-done. Subtle malt flavors, some maple, sugary with light aspects of caramel and a slight tobacco bittering. Clean presentation from the beginning to the end. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden. Just a dusting of dried hops, but I wouldn't ask for a large hop impression in a beer that's leaning in an attenuated pale malt Bock direction. This beer is attractive, interesting, and quite drinkable, it doesn't deserve any derision based on its brewer. Better than Michelob Celebrate in many ways. (821 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: In a standard pint, gives a low off white head of which a stubborn layer persists for a minute or so...light ring after. The beer is a clear, rich apricot-golden in color.

s: Nice blend of pale, sweet malts and papery hops. Various fruits including melon and apricot. Leans towards the sweet side.

m: Medium carbonation and a body on the lighter side of medium.

t: Richer than Bud for sure, but not a whole lot more complex. Clean light barleys and maybe some corn give a moderate sweetness somewhat unchecked by the light, nondescript hops. More hops would make this much better.

d: ok, ABV hidden but a little too sweet for an easy drinking lager

Closely resembles what one would expect from an Imperial Bud. Huge bottle to the face gets blackie a bit disoriented. Review entered from notes taken a couple months ago in the forest. Had been "cellared" awhile since Christmastime. (889 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear light golden with an off-white, tall and moussy head which fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong banana ester when first opened that faded to a more refined note, thought still full of esters and a nice malt backbone that came off as slightly sweet.

The flavor was malty with a light estery flavor of banana, as was present in the aroma. The beer contained a light bit of hop flavor and was malty with a light caramel malt flavor.

The finish was just working toward dry with a bit of hop bittering as the flavor drifted off to dreamland. The body was medium and the carbonation was a bit on the low side for an AB product. This was the most drinkable malt liquor ever. Not being devoid of flavor was a real plus. The alcohol in the beer was present in the warming after consumption.

1.5 liter mamouth size flip top bottle (1 quart 14.5 oz). 05OCT06 on bottle. $12 at Sams in Durham. (972 characters)

Photo of nmyers
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

By far the best Bud product I have ever tasted. Why can't all Budwisers taste this good. I am still surprised that an Anheuser-Busch product could taste like this. Anheuser-Busch should really consider making this there new Budwiser. Then they would truly be the king of beers. (277 characters)

Photo of BassBone
3.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought this out of curiosity. I wondered what Budweiser would taste like if it were made the right way.

I have to say I was impressed. First off, the huge-ass bottle was heavy and presented very nicely in the black box. The beer poured a deep and clear golden with a thick white head the dissipated quickly with no real lacing.

It smelled better than your typical Budweiser. There were none of the chemical-like smells associated with a macro lager. Just clean malt with a hint of alcohol underneath.

The taste is rich and malty offset with the right amount of hops. The alcohol is somewhat more present than I'd like, but that's understandable. High abv works better in bigger beers than this.

It finishes fairly cleanly with a lingering maltiness. The finish stays around for a long time, however, which is to its detriment.

Overall it's a really good beer from a macrobrewery. I wish all their beers were this good. Then maybe I wouldn't go broke buying good beer. (984 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet smelling pale malt aroma that is rich and a bit fruity. It has a slight hop aroma in the background, but nothing too pronounced. The taste is decent. It has a rich pale malt flavor that goes down slow and warms on the finish. It's smooth with a slightly bitter, musty lager aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a full bodied beer with a little less than adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good brew. I like the concept and appreciate the effort that AB is taking to create something unique for the consumer and/or BA. (656 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Born on 13 Oct 2005.

Pours golden-yellow with a slight amber tinge. Thick sticky off-white head. Very nice looking brew. Even leaves some nice lacing.

Nose is sweet malt with a very faint tinge of hops.

Flavor is rich sweet malt. Almost no hops though. Disappointing, but not surprising. Bready and biscuity. Has some of the characteristics of an English Pale Ale. No discernible alcohol profile, really holds it's ABV well.

Mouthfeel is medium, slick and well carbonated.

Drinkability is really good. I thought that I might have a problem putting this one down, but it is crisp and easy drinking, even at 8.5%.

Overall, I am very pleasantly surprised by this one. It is actually pretty close to what I would consider an Imperial Lager, (one made by A-B, of course). I will pick it up again next year if I see it out at Sam's Club.

But it really could use more hops... (892 characters)

Photo of maxpower
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking 1.5L flip top bottle pours a clear copper color with a nice creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Flowery honey and pear aromas, fruity caremel, honey and apple flavors. Full bodied with a full and somewhat slick mouthfeel, finishes on the dry side. Alcohol well hidden, suprisingly drinkable, as much as I hate to admit it, this is not that bad. (380 characters)

Photo of Foxman
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a lemony iced tea yellow, slightly amber and well carbonated. Two fingers of tight off-white head sculpt and stay some time. Flops of lacing flip along the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a light toasted malt sweetness, like sugary berries, as well as a lightly tart yeast note. Peppery noble hops spice and mitigate a strain of alcohol.

Upon tasting, there rushes a rather densely cloying sweet malt assault, with a mellow vanilla and general fruit pairing. Alcohol clears the middle, airily drying the candy sweetness. The hops are very sparing here, barely spicing the close, before residual grain character gives to a dull, lingering bitterness. It has surprising density, but it's quite one-dimensional.

A bit north of medium bodied, it's syrupy, but passes way more rapidly then anticipated.

This is far maltier and thicker than I'd ever sanely expect from A-B, but kept in perspective, it's also rather a one trick pony, counting on the malt to pull it through. The ABV is imperial in nature, but actually well incorporated, making it warming and sneaky. I'll finish this big honking bottle, give a nod to the Budweiser folks, and lament that they likely will not try and build on this. (1,224 characters)

Photo of BierManVA
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I certainly have to give A-B an A for packaging. This is a beautiful bottle and label.

The bier pours with a very large head that settles somewhat quickly with little or no lace. Smell is of solid malt. I detect little else in the way of florals. Some alcoholic phenols present. Color is dark gold.

This bier is very malty but not at all too sweet. I detect little in the way of hops although there is a slight bitter aftertaste. Slightly dry as well.

This is in no way a bad bier and I have to commend A-B on it. If they were to make this their flagship brand, I think most bier snobs would cut them a break.

John (626 characters)

Photo of HopHeadKen
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DonOfBeer for sharing this with me; these are big bottles, easily shared among several. This beer gives me new respect for the brewers at A-B.

Pours Clear rich yellow orange with big creamy white head that has some staying power, the head took several minutes to dissapate in my glass.
You can see from the richness of color that this is NOT 'yellow beer'

Smell was faintly sweet malty with fruity hop overtones

Taste was sweet and malty, richer than I expected with a nice alcohol warmth on the back end.

Mouthfeel was full and moderately viscous.

Glad to have had this beer, I might start looking for it as a seasonal.
Would drink it again if I had the chance. (689 characters)

Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
79 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.