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Brew Masters Private Reserve - Anheuser-Busch

Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

113 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.52%

Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Decades ago, Budweiser brewmasters started a tradition. During the holidays, they'd collect the purest liquid from the brewing kettles; pre-sparged, first wort. This first stock - unusually smooth and rich despite its robust alcohol - was reserved for A-B friends and family, until now. Note from the brewers: this an all-malt beer; NO rice or corn. Imported hops. 20 Plato. It's also a completely different recipe than Budweiser.

(Beer added by: yen157 on 11-13-2005)
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jonnylieberman


3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My Father got his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. One of his friends was a chemist employed by Bud. Every year around the holidays, he would show up at parties with bottles of either this stuff, or the predecessor to Private Reserve. My father spoke so fondly of it, explaining that once a year Bud would, "scrape their barrels" and produce a really special holiday beer. This was back in the early 60s and in America at least, nobody knew how beer was made. Now we know that this is simply an all first-runnings brew.

As a child though, I think it was the story of this brew that led me to fall in love with beer. A special beer? How cool is that? To my mind, really, really cool. Intriguing, mysterious and weel, fundamentally human. I've been hooked ever since.

Appearance: Cool swing-top 1.5L bottle. Whoa! Is this sucker pretty. I'm not sure that I have ever seen a beer this strong and this clear. 8.5% percent alcohol and I can see to the other side. Truly, remarkable clarity. Good, deep golden color and a pretty darn good head, too.

Smells like: Not bad at all. Bud typically has that crap-American cheap lager scent that reminds me of waking up in backyards circa 10th grade. Private Reserve however, is much better. More refined. I suppose it is only the smell of husk and rice, but overall, quite pleasing.

Taste: Memo to Bud – hops, use them. I have a feeling that they simply scaled up the recipe for regular bud, not taking into account that as wort gravity rises, hop utilization falls. Man -- cloying!! And too bad, too, because otherwise this beer tastes pretty good. Crisp and clean and all their regular marketing propaganda, and except for the moment you realize you probably just caught diabetes, not a bad beer. But serious now – more bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Interesting – not fizzy enough, really. The body was so light and delicate that the initial smoothness gives way to shock as the uber, uber sweet blast hits you mid palate. More CO2 would have helped.

Overall: A neat beer, but ultimately not one I would purchase again. Products like this represent what small brewers have always feared -- Bud/Mill/Coors wake up and decide to produce beers with actual flavor, for not only are the giants the best brewers in the world (Remember, they choose to make a flavorless product), but they have a lock on distribution. Getting back to Private reserve, the lack of focus and cloyingness is not good. And what are they trying to make? Maybe if some Melanoiden reactions were happening, this beer could work as a strong Maibock? Who knows.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2005 19:00:31 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of 2ndstage


4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant golden color. A tight light foam top that clings to the glass fairly well. Hop presense is light but there. Nice aromas of fruit and malt. Very clean taste as well. Slight sweetness in the finish with a light lingering alcohol burn. Way too drinkable but nice for someone like Budweiser to try out.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 13:27:30 | More by 2ndstage
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Frothy white head that hangs in there for some time with some stickiness. Very clear, rich golden in color. Lightly sweet malt, some ripe frutiness, and spicy hops round out the nose. Full bodied with fine carbonation. Slightly sweet and peppery, while it’s not exactly something to savor, it hides its 8.5% alcohol VERY well. Kinda like a light bock. Einbecker Hellerbock comes to mind. Hops contribute a fair bitterness as well, though not nearly enough to counter the sweet.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 04:45:49 | More by yen157
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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.