Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
2.68/5 rDev -23.6%
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.
04-04-2006 02:45:38 | More by connecticutpoet
3.3/5 rDev -6%
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.
03-21-2006 20:29:28 | More by Prufrock
3.9/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
03-08-2006 07:18:50 | More by arguemaniac
3.88/5 rDev +10.5%
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 thats 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 Ralphs 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 wasnt 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 Najas and enjoyed it).
A good effort, but definitely *not* worth the money.
03-08-2006 06:29:33 | More by TheLongBeachBum
2.78/5 rDev -20.8%
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.
02-28-2006 03:52:22 | More by scruffwhor
2.1/5 rDev -40.2%
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.
02-27-2006 02:43:47 | More by Manosbeeroffate
4.03/5 rDev +14.8%
Split this one with a good pal, beer advocate Franchise. Clearly, the presentation pre-pour is impressive; contained in a limited edition box and stored in a huge swing-top bottle. In the least, it fuels the anticipation.
The beer poured golden but darkish in color, but not dark golden, if that makes sense. The head is solid, finely beaded and about a finger and a half in depth. The ensuing lace is also adequate. The nose is very fresh smelling, as the noble hops shine through. The body is medium-to-heavy with a liquidy smooth mouthfeel; there is very little carbonation to be seen. The taste is very hard to pinpoint, but it mostly consists of a sugarcane sweetness and a floral background. Clearly, the malt presence in this "American all malt lager" is first and foremost. It finishes smooth and sweet, with a cotton candy taste co-existing with an appropriate floral bouquet. Words really can't describe the true complexity to this beer. Although its a bit rough in the drinkability aspect, it remains a very good beer and worth seeking out.
02-26-2006 13:10:08 | More by Hhawk06
4/5 rDev +14%
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!!
02-26-2006 00:36:58 | More by CJfromPhilly
2.75/5 rDev -21.7%
[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.
02-23-2006 23:21:28 | More by PeatReek
3.43/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
02-16-2006 05:28:29 | More by slap
4.1/5 rDev +16.8%
Shared this huge bottle with fellow BA Hhawk06. This malt lager pours a golden blonde that leaves a thick white lace and some stickiness that a "regular" budweiser could only dream of making. Upon opening the bottle the malty sweetness vanilla, baked brown sugar, cooked white sugar, angel food cake all come to mind it is amazingly complex.
The body is clear and vibrant, very nice some slight carbonation bubbles can be seen through the lager. The aroma is light and fruity, some mild hop presence is definatly in the nose. The taste on the palate is fresh, clean, as if it was poured right from the tap amazing.
Some slight carbonation refreshes the palate, the lager starts smooth with a sweet malt charachter of cake, sugar, and moves to a small bitter hop aspect. This beer is great, fresh and clean. If only they can brew some more like this.
01-31-2006 20:26:28 | More by Franchise
4.15/5 rDev +18.2%
Drank this over the weekend, not sure what happened to my notes...but from memory.
Very cool giant flip top bottle into a pint glass:
Apearance: Looked like a Bud with a much deeper golden color and great head retention. Extra half point for the bottle.
Smell: Alcohol and sweetness. Vaguely recall some plum or nut too.
Taste: A very light fruitiness, rich honey sweetness, malt, and a bit of alcohol combined to dance on my tongue. Some subtle and complex stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: Coated the tongue a bit.
Drinkability: Finished the bottle with a friend and was looking for more after it was gone. The best beer I've ever had from Bud, Miller or Coors. Even better since it was free from my distributer.
I'll be editing this review if I ever find my notes.
01-26-2006 00:24:18 | More by murphysbleachers
3.63/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
01-21-2006 02:07:52 | More by WesWes
3.25/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
01-06-2006 04:15:23 | More by DogFood11
3.38/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
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.
12-30-2005 03:53:30 | More by ism
3.58/5 rDev +2%
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.
12-28-2005 14:19:46 | More by HopHeadKen
3.2/5 rDev -8.8%
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.
12-27-2005 19:44:04 | More by BrewMaster
3.5/5 rDev -0.3%
Nice packaging, big flip top bottle and sharp labeling.
It appears slightly darker than normal Bud and the head is big, like two fingers big. Solid carbonation that leaves a little lacing. It smells malty with a corn-like presence, I can detect little to no hops in the nose. It tastes very much like it smells and is lacking enough hops to offset the sweetness of the grains. Better than Bud mind you but an extra bit of hops would have made a huge difference for the better. It was nice to share with everyone at Christmas nonetheless. Cheers!
12-26-2005 16:47:11 | More by Chadbrew
3.63/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
12-23-2005 19:12:33 | More by BierManVA
4.22/5 rDev +20.2%
I purchased this brew just so I could review it for my weekly column in the Atlantic Highlands Herald. At $10.99 a bottle I knew I was taking a chance and that my money may have been better spent on a smaller brewers offering that was more likely to be tasty and of good quality. With 1.5 liters of brew at 8.5% alcohol I knew that this was a brew to share. My chance arrived in the form of a beer swap at a friend's home. His wife was hosting a cookie swap so a beer swap was the perfect pairing. The invite and plan were simple and the result was suprising. The invite said bring a Case of your favorite lager and leave with an assortment. I was expecting nothing but BMC but was rewarded to see that at least some folks are starting to get into the differences between stylesin particular pale ales versus lager and the term "lawn mower beer" was used by many to describe Corona and similar offerings. This was a hopeful sign and it was into this mix that I pacelled ot a 5 ounce sample to eight willing guinea pigs. The consensus was that it was "unexpected" and from some quite "tasty" . Most were quite surprised that it was an AB product. I was one of those.
Poured a clear light amber with a thin short-lived white head. Sparse carbonation. Little evident lacing. (Cannot vouch for Glass being Beer Clean however so don't let this put you off.)
Aroma was balance of sweet malt and floral hops. No skunky, funky, adjunct smell evident and no alcohol either. The aroma improved as the brew warmed and oxidized. Aroma becoming a richer malt and more complex hops.
Taste was balanced and a little sweet at first. Again as the beer warmed it became more balanced and more complex. There were caramel notes and some biscuity and doughy notes there was a little fruit and a little yeast. There is a relatively brief hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel was surprisngly light with a slickness that stuck to your tongue and palate. I would say it it is a medium bodied brew.
This was a tasty and drinkable beer. I intend to buy a couple bottles and lay them down to see how it matures.
12-19-2005 13:47:56 | More by Citadel82
3.1/5 rDev -11.7%
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.
12-17-2005 17:17:50 | More by granger10
4.1/5 rDev +16.8%
Poured into a wide mouth tulip-style glass from a huge quart-size dark abber bottle with a flip top that's really very cool looking. Great packaging, if you ask me.
A - Bright golden with lots of effervescence. Tall, two-finger white head that dissipates pretty fast. Minimal lacing left behind. Certainly a richer color than a typical Bud.
S - Not at all what I expected. While it's a little "Bud-like," it's more ... dare I say this ... like a decent belgian beer. It's got that malty, yeasty character that it characteristic of a Belgian. Reminds me a little of a Duvel knock-off. I say this knowing that the mere suggestion that a BUd product is like a Belgian is tantamount to beer heresy. Still, I stand by my assessment.
T - Again, this beer is surprising me. Good malty body with a very discernable yeast backbone. Like a baked bread or pie. Not a lot of hop attitude here, but a very, very respectable malt beer. Slightly spicy, sweet, and smooth, yet not cloying.
M - Very clean and crisp ... now that is not so suprising. Fairly light and smooth. Finishes easy.
D - This beer is very drinkable, especially since the 8.5 abv is well hidden. I'd like to taste test this one with a few of my discerning beer buddies. I'd put money on it that they wouldn't know this was a Bud product in a million years. I'm truly impressed with this one ... I love it when a beer exceeds my expectations in almost every regard. Doesn't happen often. And it's even less likely that it would be a Bud offering ... way to go Augustus!
Try this one and swallow your "beer pride." If you can allow yourself to admit that Budweiser can produce a quality beer, you might just like this one. It's a shame it's a "once a year" beer.
Hmmm ... anyone ever tried to cellar this? (assuming you could get it several years ago?) At 8.5 I recon it's right on the edge of feasibility?
12-16-2005 00:52:32 | More by beerphilosopher
1.75/5 rDev -50.1%
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 *
12-12-2005 01:35:55 | More by hero27
3.03/5 rDev -13.7%
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 thats 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 its not bad, but its no celebration in my book.
12-11-2005 04:34:30 | More by HardTarget
3.85/5 rDev +9.7%
Seeing this one in the beer store, I thought, what the hell. It pours a crystal-clear golden color with considerable head. Theres 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. Theres a nice malt undertone and considerable slickness. The finish has an attractive hop bitterness that provides some balance. Alcohol isnt hidden, however, and affects the finish. All in all, this is a drinkable and quite enjoyable brew. Its a lot better than Id expected. Kudos to (I cant believe Im writing this) A-B for this one. I really enjoyed it.
12-11-2005 04:11:28 | More by Suds
Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.