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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 bonbini26
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

bonbini26, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +14%

rab53, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
5/5  rDev +42.5%

ZenAgnostic, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of GWaters
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is from 2006.

This is not the Dopplebock

I am not a beer snob. This means I wil try all kinds of beer, and last winter I saw this odd Budweiser bottle for sale. It said "Brewmaster" and "Private Reserve" so I had to try it. For the money, I wouldn't buy it again. I could stick to 12 oz Bud, and not miss this at all. It was worth the try though, and the bottle is being used for my own Homebrew now.

Pour: Lager clear medium golden in color, with a moderate white head, abundant lace. Fair carbonation

Smell: Very sweet, malty smell. No real hop scent to speak of.

Taste: Moderate alcohol presence, caramel, honey, and malt. Not incredibly complex, but it is a clean taste.

Mouth feel: Very wet, easy to palate. Pleasant.

Drinkability: Slightly better than the typical Budweiser lager. I could drink a few of these on a hot day.

Serving type: 1 Quart 14.5 oz black champagne type flip top bottle

GWaters, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of hopdog
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge flip top bottle.

Poured a medium amber color with a small sized white head. Aromas and tastes of corn and graininess. Generic tasting, malt liquorish (is that a word?).

I wrote down; it takes some balls to label this as your premier, Brew Master Private Reserve beer.

hopdog, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

This is A-B's take on the brewmaster's holiday tradition, where they take the fi rst runnings of sweet wort and ferment a big, bold beer out of it. Speaking of big, the bottle is enormous!

Beer pours a shimmering, clear, golden color, a good white head from the start, and a semi-stick lace for the rest. Suggestions of honey, whole-grain bread, grainy animal feed and a clean perfume-like alcohol and hop collaboration make up the aroma. Very smooth mouth feel, a touch creamy in the fluffy body. Flavors of Portuguese sweetbread and a barleymalt syrup, not condensed wort, hone in on the taste buds. Alcohol warms a bit more after each sip, lending a strawberry-like flavor. The hop bitterness is enough to balance, but the herbal flavor is more interesting. Aftertaste lands semi-sweet, with a rough grain, herbal hop and the complexities from the alcohol.

So with 46.5 ounces of high-alcohol brew on our hands, what else is there to do but drink it? Actually several brats were steamed in this brew--a good pairing, no doubt. It's not a malt liquor, not an over-hopped Double Pilsner, and certainly not the bigger brother of Budweiser. It's a tasty, big-ass American All-Malt Lager in a big-ass bottle. Enough said.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Portertime
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought a good Anheuser-Busch beer was an oximoron but I was proved wrong! I was lucky to get the last one of these in the liquor store I used to work at. Enjoyed it chlled in a pint glass. Poured a rich golden color with a decent head. Smell of cereal grains and some light hops. Taste was chewy with a bread dough quality but soft enough on the tongue to mask the 8.5% ABV. I was impressed and raise my mug to Bud. Nice swing topped bottle also.

Portertime, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of weylinfidler
4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
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

weylinfidler, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of rowew
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
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!

rowew, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of brantadid
4/5  rDev +14%
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.

brantadid, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

plaid75, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

blackie, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Pegasus, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of jasrbrd
4.83/5  rDev +37.6%
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!

jasrbrd, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Shaw, May 14, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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?

JoeyBeerBelly, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +14%
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.

jasonjlewis, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of mattd017
2.35/5  rDev -33%
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.

mattd017, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of PBoegel
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

PBoegel, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

GeoffRizzo, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of jeremiahjsmith
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
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 ...

jeremiahjsmith, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of tanarm
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

tanarm, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

WVbeergeek, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
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

jcdiflorio, Feb 04, 2007
Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.