Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

118 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 17.58%
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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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 105
Photo of slap
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Franchise
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of murphysbleachers
4.11/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of ism
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of HopHeadKen
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of Chadbrew
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of BierManVA
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

John

Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of granger10
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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?

Photo of hero27
1.76/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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

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

Photo of HardTarget
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing this one in the beer store, I thought, ‘what the hell’. It pours a crystal-clear golden color with considerable head. There’s 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. There’s a nice malt undertone and considerable slickness. The finish has an attractive hop bitterness that provides some balance. Alcohol isn’t hidden, however, and affects the finish. All in all, this is a drinkable and quite enjoyable brew. It’s a lot better than I’d expected. Kudos to (I can’t believe I’m writing this) A-B for this one. I really enjoyed it.

Photo of maxpower
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking 1.5L flip top bottle pours a clear copper color with a nice creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Flowery honey and pear aromas, fruity caremel, honey and apple flavors. Full bodied with a full and somewhat slick mouthfeel, finishes on the dry side. Alcohol well hidden, suprisingly drinkable, as much as I hate to admit it, this is not that bad.

Photo of ypsifly
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of bigbubba
2.78/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear light golden with an off-white, tall and moussy head which fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong banana ester when first opened that faded to a more refined note, thought still full of esters and a nice malt backbone that came off as slightly sweet.

The flavor was malty with a light estery flavor of banana, as was present in the aroma. The beer contained a light bit of hop flavor and was malty with a light caramel malt flavor.

The finish was just working toward dry with a bit of hop bittering as the flavor drifted off to dreamland. The body was medium and the carbonation was a bit on the low side for an AB product. This was the most drinkable malt liquor ever. Not being devoid of flavor was a real plus. The alcohol in the beer was present in the warming after consumption.

1.5 liter mamouth size flip top bottle (1 quart 14.5 oz). 05OCT06 on bottle. $12 at Sams in Durham.

Photo of ADR
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bronze-ish-gold color, nice mousse-like head of almost an inch in height (a big contrast to Michelob Celebrate). Admirable lacing, good patterns on the glass. Light caramel aroma, slightly detergent notes. Medium mouthfeel -- a feel of slickness with light coating qualities, carbonation is subtle, not too gassy, pretty well-done. Subtle malt flavors, some maple, sugary with light aspects of caramel and a slight tobacco bittering. Clean presentation from the beginning to the end. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden. Just a dusting of dried hops, but I wouldn't ask for a large hop impression in a beer that's leaning in an attenuated pale malt Bock direction. This beer is attractive, interesting, and quite drinkable, it doesn't deserve any derision based on its brewer. Better than Michelob Celebrate in many ways.

Photo of juzy
2.59/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this at Sam's Club for $10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of BEERchitect
2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

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

Photo of BeerBob
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Aftertaste is a persistent, sticky, and drying bitter.


12/09/2005

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

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

Photo of Stubbie1
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold color with a thick white head. The foam slowly fades and produces a thin lace until the end of the glass. Aroma of green grapes and honey. A bit sweet, and a slight twang of grass. But as much as I hate to say, there is that typical AB aroma mixed in. Maybe it is me but who knows, Taste is smooth and has a touch of the green grapes and malt. Missing hops, but not a bad beer . The 8+_% is nicely hidden and this beer is crisp and fresh. Overall not bad.

Now AB has a hint of what a real beer drinker likes. If and I do mean IF they change their ways……..

Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
79 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.