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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 Minkybut
2.78/5  rDev -20.8%

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 phishgator
2/5  rDev -43%

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 mynie
3.23/5  rDev -8%

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.

mynie, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of pgenius
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%

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 twi1609372
4.43/5  rDev +26.2%

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%

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 Zorro
4/5  rDev +14%

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 coasterfreak75
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

coasterfreak75, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
2.4/5  rDev -31.6%

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 GratefulBeerGuy
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%

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 cjgator3
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

cjgator3, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of n0rmann
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

n0rmann, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

Mebuzzard, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%

Pours out to a hazy yellow color with a dense head of white foam. Higher levels of carbonation. Aromas of malts and bread, with hints of yeasty dough. Not bad. I'm impressed so far. Taste is a step up from anything AB has ever done. Rich malts blend with mild yet notible hops to form a basis for a very Belgian like attempt at the craft brew market. Mouthfeel is bubbly and mild, yet retains some qualities of a denser, more full-bodied beer. Drinkability is above average. If AB was to enter the craft beer market, this would like appeal only to those who are currently devoted to their other products (I likely wouldn't buy it again).

Frozensoul327, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%

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...

ghostwalker, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of bluejacket74
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

"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.

bluejacket74, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.58/5  rDev +2%

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.

Foxman, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%

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 aggiebeer
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

aggiebeer, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +14%

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
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%

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 nmyers
3.65/5  rDev +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.

nmyers, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%

This beer came in the big ‘ol 46 oz bottle and poured a dull, slightly orange straw color. There was initially a tall even bubbled light head, but it fell to a small ring in no time.

Smells of biscuits and bread dough with a slight hint of red licorice, cherries and banana. There was a slight bittering hop in the background wrapped around a slight alcohol.

The flavor started with an oaky light honey malt but picked up a surprisingly strong nutty sweetness. Fortunately a nice sting of hops intervened and balanced this right out. Sadly, this sting lingers on into the finish along with a little brown sugar and hazelnut.

The mouth feel is light but dense with a pleasant light carbonation.

Not too bad, but a little on the sweet side. But for a big ass bottle for $7, I may very well pick one up again.

DarkerTheBetter, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%

As previously stated, it came well packaged.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep golden color with a half-inch head of thick creamy white bubbles. There are quite a few bubbles rising in an effort to maintain the head. It seems to be working as there is still a layer of foam on top of the beer over a minute after the pour.

Aroma: There is more of a floral aroma to this beer than I have experienced with other AB products. It has a defined fruity component to the aromatic profile as well. As the beer warms a tad and I get deeper into it, there seems to be a bit of a dry grainy almost wheat-like aroma coming out. The 8.5%ABV is not noticeable in the nose at all.

Taste: The flavor is malt driven, but there is enough hops to keep it from being cloying...but that is about it. There is some floral hops noticeable in the first part of the flavor, but that is when the malts take over and run the show. There is a noticeable medium weight edge to the flavor that hints to the strength, but the actual content is pretty well hidden for the most part. The finish is pretty sweet, and ends with a slightly syrupy slickness that coats the throat to protect it from noticing the alcohol.

Opinion: Well, this is no doubt the best offering I have tried from AB. I tried their nasty high ABV Michelob concoction that tastes like cream soda with alcohol in it. I got to sample this from Jimmy Paige's bottle at a home-brewers get-together, so I knew that it didn't suck. I was already feeling pretty good by the time this came around, so I wanted to go back and try it again with a fresh perspective. I still don't think that it sucks, but it isn't the greatest either. If I were to drink a high ABV light lager, it would probably be Avery's Kaiser. This beer is OK, and one that I wouldn't toss away if it came my way again, but I seriously doubt that I will ever buy another bottle unless it is for a gift or special occasion.

SkeeterHawk, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of taez555
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

taez555, Apr 06, 2006
Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.