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

117 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 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:
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)
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weylinfidler
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
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

Photo of rowew
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
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!

Photo of brantadid
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet malt, honey and a smattering of noble hops.

The taste was upfront sweet honey with a background of cereal grain and a mild hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style with a slight warming alcohol.

Overall a tasty lager. I only wish I had sampled this one a bit earlier. In any event a nice brawny brew from A-B.

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear medium golden in color, with a moderate white head, abundant broken lace, and mild carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet alcohol, honey, and light caramel, very sweet, with little hop presence.

Taste: Mild hops at the open, with a moderate alcohol presence, and caramel and honey malt, midway through the taste, there are some restrained fruity esters. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouth feel: Smooth, quite soft on the palate, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Not bad, really, like a refined example of a malt liquor. At $15 for a rather large, decorative bottle, it seems overpriced for what it offers.

Photo of jasrbrd
4.83/5  rDev +38.8%
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!

Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-B gets a lot of bashing, but I've been eying these fancy packages for a while.

It's a nice honey color with a foamy white head that quickly vanishes.

It smells lightly sweet of malts and biscuits.

This beer tastes miles away from Budweiser, and in a good way. Like its aroma, this is a sweeter beer. The sweetness is balanced by a light bitterness. The higher ABV is totally masked, I can't detect it at all.

The body is smooth and slick.

Overall this is a fine lager, nothing extraordinary, though.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
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?

Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of mattd017
2.35/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

Photo of PBoegel
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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!

Photo of jeremiahjsmith
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
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 ...

Photo of tanarm
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
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

Photo of BassBone
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Erniek
3.2/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nothing extraorcinarily special, but pretty good. A gift from my son for Christmas.

Anyway, looks pretty at first -- clear, dark golden with a decent head, but it fades very quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell is light malt, some biscuit and lightly-toasted bread.

Taste is a heavy lager flavor -- nice malt, a decent hops aftertaste. Long boozy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly round and full, given the fading head and the absence of lacing.

Drinkability is okay -- the alcohol is evident both in the taste and the kick.

Overall, not a bad beer. I don't know what my son paid for this three-pint bottle, but I suspect it was a bit too much to be worth it.

Photo of dedrinker
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Drew966
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew Masters Private Reserve pours a golden color from a brown swingtop quart bottle. The aroma is strongly sweet malt. The taste is also dominated by sweet malt, although there is a nice hop balance to it. Better than I expected from AB. They could really make some great beer if they put there mind to it. This is definintely worth a try if you like lagers.

Photo of jerrymiller
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of CU570M
4.53/5  rDev +30.2%
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.

Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.