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Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 17.53%
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 118
Photo of HardTarget
3.01/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of GWaters
3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
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

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Photo of adammills
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of BeerBob
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
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.


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!

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Photo of granger10
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of Erniek
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was at first sip a bit impressed but as I continued sipping it became apparent to me that this was more like a souped up buddy. I kind of smelled vegetables in the nose and some sweetness but not much else. Mouthfeel was nice and it did go down smoothly but the alcohol was not balanced with flavor very well. Seems oily on finish. I don't think I would buy this again without any improvement.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cream of the crop according to the label. This is the top of the barrel. I had to give this huge magnum bottle a try even if it is a pretty penny. Highly filtered golden color, although this is quite a few shades darker than a typical bud.

Head forms quite a fizzy layer but fades to a thin lace in no time. Tons of carbonation in all sizes. Malted taste adds a nice twist to this brew that I've never noticed before. Grain and rice are still evident and there is a large fruity backbone. Some sweetness, maybe its just plain ol' sugar but it does have a touch of a candied background. Finishes very clean. All spice on the backside of every swig.

Notes: I liked it. It is basically the grand cru of budweiser. I'd be a happy employee if I could get this often.

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Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 quart 14.5 fluid ounces, are you kidding? That's 46.5 ounces? At 8.5% alcohol, that's some serious beer. To start with, love the box it comes in, not to mention the cool swing-top bottle. Definitely a cool presentation.

This beer poured a bright orange/yellow body with a decent white head.

Nose is rather subdued for such a big beer. Sort of a mild sugary caramel and candy like malt. There's a slight sting from the bigger alcohol but for the most part very mellow.

Taste is light to medium bodied. MIld fresh malt, very light caramel and sweet dough flavors dominate. A very mild bitterness gives this beer just enough balance without ever showing a true "bitter" quality. A little bit of sting from the alcohol as well as some nice warming touches. The finish is what really says "budweiser", I'm not sure how else to describe it as if it's a cop out, but it has this strong lingering macro taste in the finish that lingers for some time.

Honestly I'm amazed someone made a beer this big without making it BIG. Light body and little flavor outside of your typical bud. I really wanted to like this beer, I didn't even mind the $13 price tag, but really it's just a novelty that seems intended for Bud drinkers who want something fancy to drink around the holidays and not a beer for the Craft brew market.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Big fluffy head with excellent retention in the sniffer glass. Golden orange in color with visible light carbonation.

Smell: Earthy hop nose with a thin malty scent.

Taste: Crisp and thin malt profile, alcohol is sharp and noticable. Earthy and sandy malt with drips of toffee and a bitter hop ending.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and more full than most lagers. Nice texture.

Drinkability: Quaffable but does not stand out from other beers. The sharp alcohol flavor is a bit much.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured deep golden with little head. Smelled sweet malts. Tasted sweet malts with a certain little candy-corn like sweetness that I get from aged dark Belgian ales. Then nothing. Over. The brief malt attack is good, but I found it a little cloying for my tastes, and it lacked a certain depth I would expect from such a beer. Not bad though, just not for me. Considering that this was supposedly a secret tradition for the privileged few each year, I would feel a little cheated to know that this was as good as A-B could get.

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Photo of mynie
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very filtered, is all I can say. Very dark, yes, but very filtered. And almost no head.

Smells pretty nice. Deep molasses grain, a little bit of alcohol, and a light, dry hop hint. A lot like Dogfish Head's malt liquor, only without the fruit complexities.

Taste is a total letdown. The molasses is huge, overpowering almost, and it leaves no room for any sort of complexities. It's not bad, but all of the promise of the smell is nowhere to be found.

This is a bit overpriced for a beer that's merely decent. It's not that I can't behid macros, or anything, and I'm not just giving this a MOR score because it's made be AB. It's just not that good.

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Photo of jeremiahjsmith
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - deep gold color with a gleaming white head marked by very fine carbonation

S - syrupy with an inviting honey character and faint whiff of alcohol

T - tangy, a bit heavily sweet with a slight unidentified mustiness and almost no hops bitterness, finish is not clean and not entirely pleasant. No heat from the alcohol - unexpected based on the aroma.

M - substantial, coats and lingers, somewhat overstaying its welcome in my mouth

D - pretty dang good considering ABV. A little bit of an off flavor, but overall excellent in terms of drinkability, which I believe is a strength of the producer ...

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Photo of Prufrock
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

very large bottle poured into a pilsner.

bright gold with an inch of off-white foamy head.

strong vanilla in the aroma, along with some sugary, cakey malts. nice fresh aroma.

smooth, buttery mouthfeel. rich, malty flavors beg for a little more hop balance, which hurts the drinkability (given the bottle size, it needs to be drinkable). clean finish. a distinctive and solid brew, if somewhat straightforward.

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Photo of tanarm
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Popped the swing top on a 32 oz. bottle. A nice head forms on the pour and quickly dissapates leaving a little ring around the top. Pours a clear pale in color, darker than your average pilsner, but barely. Did I mention it was clear?

The aroma is of brown sugar and malt, and so is the taste. Right up front you are greeted with a nice malty sweetness. I think there is definitely some brown sugar of some sort in here. A little hop bitterness stops by to say hello at the finish but leaves almost immediately.

The mouthfeel is very thick, quite full bodied, but enough carbonation that it is not too much I think. The taste lingers for a very short moment.

Overall this is an enjoyable brew. I didn't know what to expect from this company but this is pleasing. If I pay $8 for it again, however, it will be just as much for the bottle as for the beer.

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Photo of yen157
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Frothy white head that hangs in there for some time with some stickiness. Very clear, rich golden in color. Lightly sweet malt, some ripe frutiness, and spicy hops round out the nose. Full bodied with fine carbonation. Slightly sweet and peppery, while it’s not exactly something to savor, it hides its 8.5% alcohol VERY well. Kinda like a light bock. Einbecker Hellerbock comes to mind. Hops contribute a fair bitterness as well, though not nearly enough to counter the sweet.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of this in 2005 mostly out of curiousity. I willingly went back two fold, the bottles make great use for my homebrewing but this a truly well made beer by the giant.

Appearance is very clean & clear yellow to light gold with a nice dense egg shell white head which holds well for a big lager.

Smells are of rich multi grain breads fresh baked, light whiffs of caramel and some soft vanilla notes. I noted some alcohol in the first bottle I tried in late november, but with some proper aging it had subsided and is masked well in the clean malt character that has developed. An underlying earthly noble hop spice finishes the aroma profile.

Tastes are much the same as the aroma very clean with some light caramel sweetness, light biscuity flavors that are pleasant and mingle with the sweeter notes. Not an incredible flavor profile but very clean palatable and inviting. A light hop bitterness in the finish but very little perceptible hop flavor which works for a lager style of this scope. Alcohol is apparent on the tongue in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little dense and creamier than I would like. Could stand to be a touch drier and slightly more effervescent to improve the overall profile and perhaps accentuate a bit more hoppiness in the beer.

Bottomline from a drinkability stand point if the big AB made this available at this quality level I would frequent this brew. It is a very nice and worthwhile glass of beer.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My Father got his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. One of his friends was a chemist employed by Bud. Every year around the holidays, he would show up at parties with bottles of either this stuff, or the predecessor to Private Reserve. My father spoke so fondly of it, explaining that once a year Bud would, "scrape their barrels" and produce a really special holiday beer. This was back in the early 60s and in America at least, nobody knew how beer was made. Now we know that this is simply an all first-runnings brew.

As a child though, I think it was the story of this brew that led me to fall in love with beer. A special beer? How cool is that? To my mind, really, really cool. Intriguing, mysterious and weel, fundamentally human. I've been hooked ever since.

Appearance: Cool swing-top 1.5L bottle. Whoa! Is this sucker pretty. I'm not sure that I have ever seen a beer this strong and this clear. 8.5% percent alcohol and I can see to the other side. Truly, remarkable clarity. Good, deep golden color and a pretty darn good head, too.

Smells like: Not bad at all. Bud typically has that crap-American cheap lager scent that reminds me of waking up in backyards circa 10th grade. Private Reserve however, is much better. More refined. I suppose it is only the smell of husk and rice, but overall, quite pleasing.

Taste: Memo to Bud – hops, use them. I have a feeling that they simply scaled up the recipe for regular bud, not taking into account that as wort gravity rises, hop utilization falls. Man -- cloying!! And too bad, too, because otherwise this beer tastes pretty good. Crisp and clean and all their regular marketing propaganda, and except for the moment you realize you probably just caught diabetes, not a bad beer. But serious now – more bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Interesting – not fizzy enough, really. The body was so light and delicate that the initial smoothness gives way to shock as the uber, uber sweet blast hits you mid palate. More CO2 would have helped.

Overall: A neat beer, but ultimately not one I would purchase again. Products like this represent what small brewers have always feared -- Bud/Mill/Coors wake up and decide to produce beers with actual flavor, for not only are the giants the best brewers in the world (Remember, they choose to make a flavorless product), but they have a lock on distribution. Getting back to Private reserve, the lack of focus and cloyingness is not good. And what are they trying to make? Maybe if some Melanoiden reactions were happening, this beer could work as a strong Maibock? Who knows.

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Photo of ism
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very clear, light copper-wheat yellow, topped with a two-finger frothy cream-white head, leaving moderate lacing. Dominated by earthy malt in the nose, biscuit/breadlike, with a bit of fruit -- apples and just a hint of orange citrus. Little carbonation, medium-full body, smooth, and richly malt. Goes down with a bit of anise-like spice, and a slight bitterness peeks out in the finish. Dominated by malt, and could use a lot more hoppage to offset the singlemindedness, but a quality brew.

Definitely good for the once-a-year it's intended for, but not more.

-- re-review:

Second verse, same as the first. I am adjusting the taste score +0.5 after taking in several other lagers as a baseline. This packs more malts, and the spices are a bit more evident, making it slightly more complex. Still boring in the long run, but worth it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Born on date" of November 1, 2005. The beer pours a yellow/orange color with a good sized white head. The aroma is sweet, mainly malt and yeast with a little grassy smell too. This beer is very sweet tasting, mainly like malt and caramel. The mouthfeel is medium, almost kinda creamy how it coats my mouth. The drinkability is average to good. I think it might have been better if I wouldn't have waited so long to drink this one. Overall, it's better than normal Budweiser products, but it's just an average/good beer, nothing great at all.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Anheuser Busch product I have actually liked. It had a typical smell for the style of beer, but it tasted pretty good. It was a little sweet, maybe caramel, but it was drinkable, and malty.

The high alcohol is hidden in the taste, and it would be easy to finish the whole bottle before it hit you. It went down very easy.

I wouldn't seek it out again, but if I were offered one, I wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium golden/copper color with a nice looking, billowing head. Head wasn't strong or enduring, but it sure looked nice.
Smell of malt and donuts, with some citrus hiding very deep.
Tastes like a good Bud.That is, no rye taste, no bitter sweet flavor. Mostly malt and dough, some sweet sticky flavor as well.
Fairly thin and unimpressive on the feel.
Not a bad beer, yet not a good one. For the price I'd stick with Michelob if you want an AB product.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a bright sunshine golden tone with a large off white head leaves even lacing around my chalice. Aroma has green apples, some tropical fruits blended in with alcoholic herbal hop tones but really comes of like well made malt liquor...Flavor is very sweet some clean malt layers with creamy corn and rice a bit one dimensional...not as many fruit notes in the flavor as in the aroma making it even more like a malt liquor. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy with a medium body overall and even carbonation giving it a creamy texture. Drinkability definitely some decent stuff I'm down, a nice beer from the big brewers definitely decent for AB I didn't hate every second of drinking it.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 Brew Masters Private Reserve

Born on date: 21Sep06

Pours a golden amber color with a rich white head that does leaves a decent amount of lacing around the side of the glass. Aroma is much like a Budweiser but more profound and much maltier. Taste has a really nice clean maltiness to it that finishes with a quick dose of hops and a soothing warming feeling from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with some creaminess to it. Overall, certainly not a bad brew from Anheuser-Busch. In fact, I will likely pick up a bottle next year.

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Photo of slap
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an oversized bottle that was in a box. Between the very dark bottle and the box there was no way for this beer to be affected by light.

I chose a pilsner glass it poured a nice golden amber color with a good sized white head. The beer beneath the head is a very clear with carbonation bubbles rising in the glass.

The smell is quite different than I remember from my "Bud" days. It's very sweet, not a fruit sweet but maybe sugar of some kind.

The first taste is mild, there are no wild flavors with this brew. It's like a refined, "Grown and Sexy Bud." The flavor is good, the ABV is well hidden. The finish is sweet, again I'm thinking of sugar and not fruit. Maybe it's the 100% malt I read this beer contains.

The mouthfeel is smooth. I can see this beer going down very easily, which might not be a good thing on considering the ABV.

Drinkabilty is high. It's a mild tasting beer and goes down smooth and quick.

Overall, this is the best AB product I've tasted. That said I wouldn't run out and buy it again. It's fairly pricey and for the money I believe there are better brews available. However I wouldn't turn this down if I was offered a glass, unlike other AB products.

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