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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

114 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.52%
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: 114 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hero27
1.75/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1qt. 14.5 fl oz swing-top bottle. Fancy labeling and description written on the back.

Darker than Budweiser, with a bit better head retention, but still left nearly nothing for lace. Aroma is heavy on grainy malt, and the noble hops mixed with the dusty, corn malt actually create a somewhat offensive smell. The sweet malts in this do absolutely nothing for my tastebuds, other than make them question my reasoning for submitting them to such torture. It's only (somewhat) redeeming characteristic is the somewhat thick, malty profile this disarray of flavors rests upon. Other than that, this is a huge disappointment, even by Anheuser-Busch standards.

This was $12 that could have been much better spent. Me and two other BAs could barely finish the huge 1qt. 14.5 fl oz bottle. Wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if A-B kept this "private" again..it'd be doing the beer-drinking public a favor.

* I've actually had a couple comments made to me about my low review for this beer, mentioning how people are giving it bad reviews just because it's an A-B product...however, i did review this with an open mind and was actually really looking forward to trying it. Sadly, I was very dissapointed...I couldn't really care less who who makes it (whether it be Anheuser-Busch or Three Floyds). For $12 a bottle, this is a huge rip-off in my opinion. Just my $.02 *

hero27, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of phishgator
2/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So a buddy and I saw this in my local grocery store at thought what the hell. The bottle it's in is quite nice with it's flip top. The beer was poured into snifters. The appearance is a nice golden hue with a heavy carbonation upfront, it subsides quickly to leave nothing but a thin layer on head. The aromas are of phenol alcohol, some biscuity malt, and no presence of hops. The taste is a familar Budweiser taste, just multiplied. The alcohol and thin body make it very undiserible. The brew is thin and the taste is hard to get past. Do not recommend this brew to anyone!

phishgator, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.1/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found this at South End Market sitting by itself waiting to be purchased so I felt bad and bought, giving it a fair shot. What do I think of it?

Pours a golden color, a little darker than your typical macro. Smells a bit like corn syrup, very sweet. Taste is also quite sweet with a little grainy taste also, mouthfeel is thin. Easy drinkability. But overall i am not impressed. The packaging is really nice and I like the bottle but the product? If this is the best that A-B can do I feel bad for them. This is not bashing them cause they are a big company, I've had some crappy micros and Belgians before. But this is not impressive to me at all. It's a slightly sweeter Budweiser. If they sold this on a mass scale it would sell well to their regular clientel and anyone else who likes macros in general. I've had worse beer, but if this is A-B's best, well guys you need to do a little more work.

Manosbeeroffate, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of mattd017
2.35/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured golden, slightly hazy, with a thick pretty permanent head that left thick sticky rings of lacing. Smelled sweet and musty, very little citrus or pine or any other signature smells of hops. Tasted even sweeter. No hops. Left a sticky, musty taste in my mouth. Worth trying, not worth trying again.

mattd017, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
2.4/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge bottle purchased out of pure curiosity. Born on date of Oct 11 06.

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Clear yellow with a nice sized white head of foam. Basically looks like a macro lager but with a larger head that sticks a bit.

S - No real aroma to speak of. Clean, faint smell of some malts. Very "Bud-ish"

T - Has a similar taste to a macro lager but with more of a malt sweetness. Still finishes clean. The alcohol is well hidden and there is some fruitiness in there. Still nothing to rave about.

M - A light bodied brew.

D - This has some potential but it still has a bland flavor.

EStreet20, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of pgenius
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the packaging, this beer looks like it would taste godly... far from it. It tasted like Budweiser with more alcohol. The appearance was almost that of a Saison with the exception that the head disappeared faster. I smelled a little malts but overall its aroma was that of its less-expensive counterpart. The mouthfeel was highly carbonated and light. I would choose this over Budweiser, but thats not saying much.

pgenius, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of hopdog
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge flip top bottle.

Poured a medium amber color with a small sized white head. Aromas and tastes of corn and graininess. Generic tasting, malt liquorish (is that a word?).

I wrote down; it takes some balls to label this as your premier, Brew Master Private Reserve beer.

hopdog, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of juzy
2.53/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this at Sam's Club for $10.

It poured golden and creamy with an off-white, lingering head.
The aroma was bizarre for me; sugary, like cotton-candy with some roasted corn, as it warmed further it took on that trademark Bud aroma, whatever that is.

First sip is sweet but not all from malts. The malt sweetness is understated, overpowered by the sweetness from, I'm guessing, corn. Something bitter keeps hitting the back-sides of my tongue; some sort of hop profile? Whatever it is, I don't care for it. This flavor lingers, unfortunately. Over-all there isn't much flavor from start to finish.

I find the mouthfeel enjoyable; medium bodied, good carbonation, not too fizzy. But drinkability? forget it, I can't imagine having another glass of this.

If there was such a think as a Double Budweiser, this would be it at 8%. I guess I thought AB could do better. I was hoping they could do better, sort of to prove myself wrong about them and all other macro brewers. On the plus side, I have a great flip top bottle that will come in handy when we make our homemade Christmas egg nog.

I wouldn't recommend this unless you are looking for some nice flip-tops for your homebrews for $10 a piece. I think you'd pay that or more at a homebrew shop. In fact, I've never seen bottles of this size at our homebrew store.

If there were such a thing as a double Budweiser, this would be it.

juzy, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Born on: 10/1/06 consumed on 11/28/06
1 qt. 14.5oz bottle>Giant mug

AP: Golden amber, clear with plenty of carbonation (to start with) that produces a 2" deep bone-white head that dissiaptes fast and leaves some scattered lacing behind. Seems to lose it's lively look rather quickly though.

Nose: Mildly sweet malt>wheat>yeast>grains

Taste: This is essentially a classic Bud with a bigger, sweeter malt flavor and a mild alcohol kick. Overall wheatie and yeastie tasting with a bigger herbal and leafy hop finish that is a bit more pleasing than the traditional brew.

MF: light to medium body overall and the bubbles in the beginning make it feel lively and also very substantial but without a real bite and much more subtle on the palate than you would expect.

DA: This purchase was pure curiousity as I was paying for gas at 7-11. Easily the best AB product I've had, but I will not be going back for seconds. The 8.5% ABV is kinda creeper, so watch it!

GratefulBeerGuy, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of connecticutpoet
2.68/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this for $11.99 at Randazzo's in Stafford CT. 2005 batch, their last bottle. Huge-ass bottle, I almost didn't get it, but then I said "what the hell."

Poured into my glass with a three finger head that left a lot of lace. The beer was deep yellow, and clear. Not a lot of carbonation evident.

Aroma was malty and a little fruity, with hints of vanilla and oak... but mostly it reminded me of a malt liquor.

Taste was medium bodied malts, slightly bitter, a touch of sweetness, and light touches of vanilla and oak. However, the Budweiser taste was foremost... you could tell it came from the same brew kettles. I don't know if it's the vessels, the yeast, or where they lager it, but it was like a macro malt liquor. Very disappointing.

Mouthfeel... divorced from the flavor, it wasn't too bad. Good consistency, not syrupy.

Drinkability... well, I drank most of the bottle myself, yesterday, over the course of the day. But it wasn't easy... it wasn't that palatable, and at that price, overall it wasn't worth it.

connecticutpoet, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served into a pub glass from a 46oz. brown bottle with a swing top

Clear,golden 2" thick,fluffy white head,good retention with spotty lacing.

Intense sweet carmell nose,burnt aromas,some metallic smells,fruitty with an apple scent. Slightly grassy not much hop aromas

Intense carmell flavors,boozy,sour and tart some fruitiness.Metallic tastes.some grassy tastes,no real hop tastes.Leaves a sour carmelly taste on the palate. Too malty no real hop bitterness,very lobsided balance.

Very creamy mouthfeel,nitro like. Seemed to have drinkability at first,the more you drink the more the carmell/alcohol overpowers your palate. Had a hard time finishing 16 oz of this beer

jcdiflorio, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of PeatReek
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

[EBF review series continues (from notes!)...]

OK, notwithstanding the proviso in the style description that this is an "all-malt" beer without any corn or rice, it basically tasted like a thicker Budweiser with some aroma hops tossed in. It was certainly thicker and maltier than the commercial product, but still had a certain bluntness that makes commercial Bud so unappealing. The late (dry?) hop addition did make a nice contribution however, adding a prominent spicy hop aroma and flavor. Probably still wouldn't buy it if I saw it on a supermarket shelf.

PeatReek, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of BigRedN
2.78/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured from the 750 oz swing-top into a tulip glass. The beer is a dark golden. A vigorous pour yields a big 2 inch head that eventually settles to a good cover with some lacing. In typical AB fashion, this one is perfectly clear.

Smell: I get a bit of a dread from the aroma of this beer. It smells sweet. Sweet malts and something giving it a sweet corn like smell. While I am pretty sure that this does not have anything corn related in it, but that is what I smell.

Taste: As I feared, this is a sweet beer. Good maltyness to it. I should not be totally disappointed that this had absolutely no bitternes to it as it is classified as an All Malt Lager, but I am never-the-less let down a bit.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body, doesn't make it to medium body for me. Light carbonation, no aftertastes.

Drinkability: It was a bit of a chore to finish off the bottle. A bit too sweet for my tastes. With the beer's sweetness and high ABV, this one is more like an American Malt Liquor lager, than an all malt lager. Will I buy another? Not this year, but perhaps I may give the 2007 version a try, if the price is right.

BigRedN, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
2.78/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pored beer from its growler into a tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer had a wonderful golden straw color and a nice head with sticky lacing that went the whole way down the glass. Smell was kind of a bready regular bud smell. Taste was at first interesting and tasty. But the more I drank the less I liked it. It was very sweet to me, overly in my opinion and kind of tasted like a thickend bud with honey dumped in it. Will not buy again

Minkybut, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
2.78/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one quart 14.5 oz bottle was given to me as an x-mas present.
I must note the bottle itself looks very nice and eye catching.

Appearance- Pours a quick fading bright white head. No film left on the beers surface or the inside of the glass. The color was a clear, medium amber to tan color mixed with some sparse lacing.

Smell- Reminds me of the bronze rods we sell at work, mixed with some America rye bread and alcohol.

Taste- Starts out a smooth barley, but then bakes itself into a kaiser roll bread and water flavor. You are then subjected to a hint of metal and alcohol. The alcohol is not repelling, but more than I wanted. But at the same time, not surprised I could taste it so well.

Mouthfeel- The palate is warmed with the alcohol flavor. Their is the easily recognizable macro carbonation that would be more refreshing if not for the taste.

scruffwhor, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - a slghtly hazed pour with a honey/straw color. A brief build-up of head reduces to a stray swirl of bubbles within a minute.

Aroma - strong grain with a cereal bend, heavy aroma of something tropical but not hops. Coconut? Has a malt liquor nose.

Taste - sweet, grainy, Budweiser cereal flavor, basically a Bud on 'roids. The alcohol is kinda out there on its own without much to enhance. Hmm, an Imperial American Macro Lager. Not very pleasant to me, about as much as any malt liquor. The swallow has the briefest bit of bite, then this aftertaste that is wet, grainy, bleh.

Mouthfeel - moderate to slightly thin body, decent carbonation even after popping and resealing a few times.

Drinkability - to each their own, I didn't like this one. Props to A-B for hitting the bigger beer scene, but this just tastes like amplified rice to me.

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of bigbubba
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It looks like regular Bud, with a bit more head, and a bit of lacing. While popping the top there was a cheap beer smell, once poured it had almost no aroma. The taste is definitely better than Bud. It is more like Bud Ice if I remember my college days. Definitely a step up from a macro beer, but for the price I could have had 6 bottles or a couple bombers of a really good beer.

bigbubba, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Release 2006:
I seemed to enjoy this years brew better than last years. This brew tasted just like classic Budweizer, but heavier, sweeter, and more alcoholic. Still with the heavy emphasis on rice and adjuncts that I find distracting. The beer would be better with a focus on the adjunct / malt balance, but...ooh well. The beer starts off with a malt-liquor sweetness, graininess, vegitol, and bite, but not all that bad. However, the beer wears on me quickly, leaving more vegitol and grain qualities than malt or hops. I'll probably keep buying this beer every year, and criticizing it as well.

Release 2005:
I appreciate Anheuser Busch for releasing this crafty brew to the public. However, I still do not prefer it. The color is a charming dark straw color with a viscous, oily texture. Carbonation is right on target, as opposed to many of their other products. This one smells typical of cereal based lagers. It picks up on a noticable grain and vegetable aroma with light hints of noble hops, bread, and alcohol. Tastes similar of a grainy, corn-like flavor that becomes a bit distracting. There are some nausiating flavors that remind me of baking soda. The body is, as promised, heavy and creamy for a lager. High marks on smoothness and roundness. Finishes bodly viscous with a grain and cereal sweetness that mellows into the aftertaste. I'm glad that I tried this, but it's probably the last one I'll drink for a while.

BEERchitect, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of mightymalt97
2.95/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If this is to be a"holiday brew" from AB then they missed the mark.
It is a souped up version Budweiser. It has great color, big time grainy sweetness but not in the way of hops . A bit of a dissapoinment I expected something like their Christmas beer from 1995. But as usual they have to go with the tatse that fits the masses of uneducated beer drinks.

mightymalt97, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of HardTarget
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Brew Masters Private Reserve 2005 By Budweiser; 1 quart 14.5 fluid ounces black as night dark brown glass bottle with a plastic plug swing top. Many thanks to Pegasus for providing the sample.

Aroma: Very mild, almost non-existent nose. What I got was sweet, but that’s really all.

Appearance: Slightly more golden than average macro-lagers, fine carbonation bubbles gave a nice Champaign appearance. Good half finger of head, but no lace.

Flavor: Slight corn and apple notes in a clean lager flavor. Alcohol peeks through fairly prominently.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture, very nice thickness and good firm carbonation level. The highlight of the beer in my opinion.

Overall Impression: Not bad, but not great. The alcohol is the most noted taste. As a malt liquor it’s not bad, but it’s no celebration in my book.

HardTarget, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of adammills
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice golden color into my pint glass. Very clear, slight carbonation rising, a nice healthy head that sticks around. Both in smell and taste it is sweet and bready with some honey like sweetness. I drank this beer at 42* and 55* hoping that I would find a good temp to drink this beer at. I am a little disapointed in this beer. It smells like a thicker, sweet, bud. Very sweet. Little to no hop aroma or flavor...Man, I really wanted to like this and not review like a beer snob, but I cant do it. It is not bad, nor is it good. The alcohol in it is well masked, and it is not an overall terrible offering from Budweiser, a real step up from their main product line, but I will not be buying this again.

adammills, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of GWaters
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is from 2006.

This is not the Dopplebock

I am not a beer snob. This means I wil try all kinds of beer, and last winter I saw this odd Budweiser bottle for sale. It said "Brewmaster" and "Private Reserve" so I had to try it. For the money, I wouldn't buy it again. I could stick to 12 oz Bud, and not miss this at all. It was worth the try though, and the bottle is being used for my own Homebrew now.

Pour: Lager clear medium golden in color, with a moderate white head, abundant lace. Fair carbonation

Smell: Very sweet, malty smell. No real hop scent to speak of.

Taste: Moderate alcohol presence, caramel, honey, and malt. Not incredibly complex, but it is a clean taste.

Mouth feel: Very wet, easy to palate. Pleasant.

Drinkability: Slightly better than the typical Budweiser lager. I could drink a few of these on a hot day.

Serving type: 1 Quart 14.5 oz black champagne type flip top bottle

GWaters, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of granger10
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with copper tinges throughout. Nice foamy white head reduces to a thin lacing above the liquid. Aroma has notes of grain malts and a clean yeasty note. I'm getting a bit of citric flavors in there and maybe a bit of honey. Flavor is similar to Budweiser but just more intense and full bodied with malts. And it doesn't leave you with that rice taste on the finish. Really thick in body but more effervescent than I thought. No adjunct flavor in there and really clean. But after a glass I became rather bored with the offering and the beer itself doesn't have any truly appealing qualities. Not really sessionable but not a sipper either, it kind of lies in some gray zone of beerdom. Decent but nothing great.

granger10, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of BeerBob
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brew Masters Private Reserve 2005 By Budweiser pours a clear dark golden amber from a 1 quart 14.5 fluid ounces black as night dark brown glass bottle with a plastic plug swing top.

Head went to over two fingers before turning rocky and then disappearing to a smooth glassy surface, no foam, no lace... no nothing.

Nose is a pleasant bitter hops, some grain husk, and just a whiff or two of alcohol. Palate is a hops bitter at first, then migrates to a sweet adjunct, followed by the bight of carbonation.

Aftertaste is a persistent, sticky, and drying bitter.


12/09/2005

Bottle number two, Some lace, with a well defined ring. Palate is a nice smooth hops bitter, with a lesser adjunct, and with a well balanced bitter.

Nice... Brew Masters Private Reserve 2005 By Budweiser, delivers!

BeerBob, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big ass flip top bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Clear gold with lots of carbonation that supports a tall white head. Decent retention with some lace.

Smells grainy with some generic sweet malts, corn, and ghostly hops.

The taste follows along the same lines as the nose, but the sweets are kicked up a hair. The hops register in the finish, but there is nowhere near enough of them. On the up side, the alcohol doesn't register, and it does have a decent mouthfeel. Some dextrins, but not bad at all.

I paid $13.99 for some "high brow" malt liquor. Won't happen again...but hey...its no Steel Reserve or any of that shit.

ypsifly, Dec 07, 2005
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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.