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Full Sail Wassail - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

478 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 478
Hads: 843
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 15.97%
Wants: 43
Gots: 53 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2001

"A deep mahogany color, Wassail is brewed with four different malts and a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, giving it a malty full body and a pleasantly hoppy finish that appeals to both hop and malt lovers alike. In other words, a Christmas miracle."

ABV 7% IBU 56
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Full Sail Wassail Alström Bros
Reviews: 478 | Hads: 843
Photo of Offa
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful, tasty, complex and interesting beer.

It's deep red-brown, almost black but notquite, with a thin, light tan head steadily thinning to a wispy top and ring, with a tiny bit of lace.

The aroma is prunes, chocolate, brown bread, caramel.

The taste is fermented plums, stewed prunes, hints of black pepper, chocolate and dark bread, with a slightly hot-spicey and zesty quality. It's sweet with a light spicey bitterness dominating the finish and it very full-bodied, a bit on the heavy side that perhaps adds to the character yet brings down drinkability.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

pours reddish brown, a creamy light tan cap growing to nearly three quarters of an inch. The head would recede slowly, clinging stubbornly to the sides of the glass and leaving spotty lace.
Aroma isn't quite wowing, but very pleasant and generally quite rich and full. There's some toasted grain and a bit of caramel, before citrusy hops and surprising alcohol strength takes over.
Very tasty beer. When a touch too cold I don't particularly enjoy the alcohol, but adequately warmed it is a full-flavored beverage full of fruit, caramel without too much residual sweetness or any cloying finish, and ample hops. The same alcohol that is distracting when cold adds to the full warming nature when warmer. Delicious, and the body is excellent. It seems medium full without ever being filling, excellent soft carbonation and pleasant bitterness in the finish. With a name like Wassail I expected spices, but if they are there they are light and I can't pinpoint anything in particular. I'd love to have a couple more of these, so I shall stop typing and go get one...

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Photo of DrewS
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say, this is one of the better winter seasonals I've tried thus far. This beer pours out dark brown with a reddish tint. It has a decent off white head that falls to a thin layer on top. The balance can be detected right off the bat on the nose with both malt and hops competing for attention. Malt speaks up first on the tongue while the hops get in the last word and speak bitterly into the long finish. A good balance of sweet malt with a touch of molassas and hops with a piney earthiness make this beer a delight to drink. Throw in a touch of warming alcohol and you have yourself a hearty brew that chases away the winter blues. Thanks to dolem98 for enabling me to enjoy this great west coast treat.

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Photo of dfitch81
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good Gawd I love this beer. An all-time fave to be sure. Pours an absolutely beautiful dark amber with about a half-inch head that lingers throughout the drink. Smell is hearty malt (dark fruits and grains) balanced by unmistakeable hops - this is a winter warmer with a northwestern flair. That impression is more than born out by the taste: a seemless wedding of strong malts and assertive hops that pushes the flavor envelope impressively far. Flavors of festive pine, berries and dried fruit are the highlights. Mouthfeel is smooth and viscous, allowing the wonderful flavors to coat your tongue. The only deterrent to this beer's drinkability is its 7.0% ABV, which although not extremely high, certainly places this brew outside what would normally be considered session status. But I just want to drink bottle after bottle, even though it brings on the buzz faster than I'd like. Buzzed or not, I will drink more. It's too good to resist...

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a 2-finger head that dissipates quickly, leaving a very thin ring of foam. Dark-brown opaque color. Smells of dried fruit, especially prunes. Tastes of dark chocolate with dried fruits, prunes and raisins with a lingering hops bitterness. This is a spicy winter brew that would be great eating some fruitcake and reading a novel by the fireplace on a wintry evening.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle w/a clearly marked freshness date of April 08 on the bottle.

A: Simply wonderful. Pours with a good amount of head and the body is a beautiful deep, dark mahogany color with some reddish hues. Excellent lacing coats the class and a slight head remains on the top as well.

S: Nose is very assertive citrus hoppiness on this brew along with some roasted malt that takes the back seat to the hops.

T & M: The sip starts off with a roasted maltiness and some molasses that quickly transitions to a very assertive hop flavor. The citrus hops stay present the rest of the way through along with a peppery flavor that meshes with a touch of warming alcohol to round things out. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, very full bodied, as it should be for the style.

D & Notes: This is one assertive brew! It has the unique characteristic of being both very assertive in hops as well as a big malt flavor as well. That said, it's not overdone, and is simply an awesome all around beer. Too damn drinkable for words, even considering its high ABV. This is essentially a dark IPA, and the very complex flavors of this brew are a sheer joy to let dance on your tongue. One of my top seasonal winter beers.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - a dark brown hue on the pour, some burgundy highlights depending on the proximity of some good light. A modest thick cap of mocha foam slowly yields to a sparse cover. Thin dotted lace like a blanket of stars adorn the far side of the glass.

Aroma - malty, roasty, a mild sweetness. A slight coffee roast smell, resolving to a low-key undertow of alcohol.

Taste - an initial sharp hit of roastiness, balanced by an equally good dose of hop bitterness. One element segues smoothly into the next. After a few sips, the spiciness shows through better. Anise definitely, clove and allspice perhaps. A lesser degree of anise than the Anchor Christmas, less sweet and more hoppy. Ends with a dry, hoppy warmth and an occasional burp. I like.

Mouthfeel - I got a few serious gut-level burps from this one. Aside from that, it has a sturdy feel without being heavy.

Drinkability - when Burl Ives sings, "I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer", he means something like this. Tasty, crisp, a nice blend of seasonal spices and classic flavors. A delicious Christmas beer.

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Photo of dnichols
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a 12 ounce commemorative mug from Brugge, Belgium.

A: It poured a deeply dark brown body that when back lit was brightly cherry. There was a moderate head that was inhibited by my gentile pour, however, the head supported a nice lacing that followed the brew down the side of the glass.

S: It had a distinct aroma of brown sugars and toasted malts accented by dark fruits (e.g., plums).

T: It begins with a subtle warm sweet taste of toasted malts and brown sugar followed by a hint of dark fruits and the tang of spices. None of the spices dominate making the flavors balanced across the palate. The alcohol is well hidden yet help the brew finish clean and providing a warm glow that welcomes the next swig.

M: Medium-bodied and well balanced. There is a nice hop spice bite that is well balanced with the sweet toasted malts, the ABV is sufficient to warm and clean the palate but not overpower the brew, and from beginning to end of each swig the flavors remain clean and balanced.

D: This is a fine winter warmer. It nailed the warmer element and presents a well crafted balance between sweets and spices that are reminicent of Wassail without loosing the essential "beerness" of the brew.

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Photo of anotherpg
4.46/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Winter Ales tend to be dark (good) and full of nutmeg and crap I wouldn't otherwise want in my beer (bad). Full Sail avoids the trappings, giving a dark, hoppy, malty winter ale that stands up to sitting around the fire. The color is dark caramel, the malts are complex, the balance just right at 7%abv. What stands out is how easily drinkable and enjoyable this is. A perfect seasonal brew. I could not ask for more.

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Photo of xybreeder
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby, moderate lacing, decent head. It's teasing me to drink it so better get going!

S: Wow, this one smells really nice. Sweet, roasty and caramelly. Hops are pronounced and present in the nose.

T: Yummy; malts stand out with sweet accent on the end. Warm and inviting, and then the hops hit you, very nice. I'm getting caramel, and nuts. A little bitter, but nothing overpowering.

M: Light and smooth, perfectly carbonated.

D: Very drinkable, could be in trouble at 7% ABV. :) A perfect beer to enjoy during those cold winter nights, job well done for the 47 peeps at Full Sail.

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Photo of Japerrault
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich tan head topping an opaque brown ale. Nice lacing was left on the dimpled mug.

S: Sweet malts and spicey hops. Slight whiff of sweet chocolate followed by spicey/citrusy hops.

T: Really a nice blending of malts and hops. Light sweetness in the forefront showing mellow roasted malt flavors, then pleasent hops show up lending a flowery spiciness to the mix. There is an appropriate lite bitternes in the finish. Very good.

M: Good carbonation and full mouthfeel gives the feeling of substance.

D: No problem finishing one of these. I found myself looking forward to the next sip. All around a great beer.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with contrasting white head.

Nose has sweet dessert spices, maybe reminiscent of belgian candy sugar. Brownies. Roasted malt.

Palate offers a whopping roasty character that is rounded out nicely with hops, but clearly focus on the malt. Alcohol is reasonably subdued. Brownbread & brownie flavors emerge.

Easy drinking for such a heavy beer.

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Photo of creeperjones
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's only mid-October, but I am very happy to say I decided to return home from college for the weekend to visit my girlfriend, and what else do I find at the local market then fresh, fresh, fresh Full Sail Winter Ale!? I am amped. Let's begin.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a March of '11 "enjoy by" date, which absolutely thrilled me. I love the holidays!

Appearance: Lovely dark cherry brown color with a creamy tan head that was admittedly a little thin, but I am chalking that one up to anxiousness of having an ale I truly love.

Smell: Piney hops immediately tackle the nose. It just makes me think of the pacific northwest. I love it.

Taste: On a relatively crisp October night like this, this beer is perfect. It immediately warms the body with it's strong body and very rich, dry, piney taste. There isn't a lot of spices to it at all, from what I gather. This really works to its benefit. And at 7% it's remarkably smooth.

Notes: It's such a pleasure to drink. One of my very favorite winter warmers because it's simple and very much akin to the wonderful pacific northwest. If you're a fan of the style or the brewery, I urge you to try this.

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Photo of Eisen
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich dark red with a thin white head and thin lacing. Smells of dark fruit and chocolate. Tastes as it smells with a wonderful warming from the alcohol. The hops and alcohol balance out the strong malt backbone to create a very balanced and very delicious ale. Definitely one of the best winter warmers available, especially for the price.

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Photo of hyuga
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 release. Very nice looking brew. A dark, dark red body, almost brown, very much like the color of a barleywine. The head is light tan (also like barleywine) and retains exceptionally. Aroma is that of pine and Christmas tree-like hops, very nice touch, I was waiting for a Christmas beer that was hopped like this. Combined with that is a toasted malt, making a very unique aroma. Just a touch of fruitiness is in there as well. As for the flavors, wow, this is very unique as well. The hops are definitely American-style, while the malt is very English. Hops are more spicy here, with the Christmas tree/pine character being more of an undertone. A bit of citrus is noticeable as well. The malt is toasted, sweet, and bread-like. In addition to all of that, I'm getting some dried fig. Excellent beer, very drinkable. Definitely much more than I was expecting from it. I'll definitely have this again, and again, and again...

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a deep mahogany with garnet Ruby red clarity at the edges. A beige head settles and leaves great lacing. The first smell is of cherry sweetness and some smokey roast, with vanilla, caramel and oak. Delicious flavor with tons of complexity. Smoked wood, lingering oak, slight hop bitterness imparts some musty earth flavor. A bit of cherry, oak, caramel, toffee, and slight vanilla character. Medium bodied, medium low carbonation. The alcohol is slightly hidden but nice and warming. Overall this is one of the best winter warmers out there and the price point makes it affordable enough to knock back more than one without feeling guilty. Extremely complex and layered flavors. Highly recommended.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. I had to hold it up to the window to peek through the beer. The view of my neighborhood seemed to be filtered by the sepia setting on my camera. Perfect lacing. I wish I could comment more on the smell but my nose is stuffed up. The taste was wonderful - Angels at a track meet stomping all over my tastebuds. My mind chased the bitter, smokey, sweet and malty tastes swirling in my mouth cave. Each swallow is like a curtain opening down my throat with exciting sensations. Damn, I love this beer.

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Photo of DrBrewDay
4.51/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a bottle at ~45F

Appearance- Deep brown/red. Transluscent with ruby highlights. Thick Ivory persistent head

Aroma- Floral, earthiness, roast like bittersweet chocolate, slight alcohol

Flavor- Malt and roastiness at the begging, feeling very full. The bitterness then comes in and evens out the malt flavors. The hop flavors, for me, come in at the end..lots of floral notes. Finish is dry but full with the floral hop flavor mixed with the roast

Mouthfeel- Medium. Carbonation appears good. Slight pleasant alcohol warmth at the end.

Overall- One of my favorite winter seasonals.

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Photo of Braz
4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if the recipe on this changes every year or not but this is the 2012 version. Beautiful nutty brown color, clear and has small bubbles coming up from bottom entire time. Aromas of raisin, prune and dark fruit. Roasted smell too, with a creamy light tan head. Leaves a nice lace on glass. Sweetness strikes first, touch of vanilla and I get a hint of citrus zest. Spicy flavors follow with black pepper and a general nuttiness. Finish is a roasted coffee bitterness. Has a nice warming effect and a sort of foamy volume to it. One of the best winter warmers I've had so far.

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Photo of cdicanio
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a thin foam that settles on top. The color turns to red quickly. It has a great nutty, caramely aroma and with a taste to match. Rich, with a strong taste of candied walnuts and a pleasing foamy, and just a bit bitter finish. This is a great beer.

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Photo of oldfashioned
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked a sixer of these up from the local liquor store for a mere $5.50. This is one of my favorite "Winter Warmers" I've tried yet. Wassail pours a nice dark bronze with an average amount of foam. The smell is pine and sour fruit. The taste is what really set this one apart for me: it starts out pretty hoppy and a little spicy (just the right amount of carbonation to give a pleasant mouthfeel, too) and then mellows out with a really nice malty sweetness. Even though this one is 7%, I don't pick up any alcohol burn. This is a really well balanced and well executed version of the Winter Warmer, and may compete with Great Divide's Hibernation for top of the class (in my opinion). I feel guilty for only paying $5.50 for this stuff!

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Photo of spoots
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 is an excellent year for this beer. I enjoyed last year's bottling, but this one is a gem.

Pours a gorgeous clear roan color with a long-lasting, two-finger head and plenty of lacing. Lots of life in this beer. The smell is deliciously balanced.Yes it's hoppy for a winter warmer, but the malt is right there to balance the aroma. Superb nose on this one.

The taste is pure heaven...malt, cinnamon, more malt, chocolate. Lots of volume, and nothing left behind. The flavor just goes on and on.

Mouthfeel is creamy, dense, complex. Finish is long and satisfying.

I absolutely love this beer. Superb!

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.63/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2002 version:

Well, I need to quit hitting these winter beers so damn early in the season, but my self-controll seems to still be on summer vacation. This is another exceptional winter beer. Super dark color which is very difficult to get any amber tones off of, but not as black as Gunniess. Nice piney scent and the taste is out of this world. Good full-flavor hoppiness to this outstanding beer. This is a great winter brew sureto keep me warm through the long and cold rainy season out here in the PNW.

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Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep dark chestnut sitting under a 1” foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: caramel and spice, hints of fruit cake,
T: A full flavored spicy fruitcake start with traces of chocolate gives way to a dry, astringent finish.
F: fine soft medium carbonation, medium full body.
O: Suprisingly well balanced and refreshing.

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Photo of Tinfang
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the usual goblet. Best by 3-17-13 but this six pack will be finished off in the next week. Clear dark amber with a creamy thin head that dissipated fairly quickly. Aroma of malt and slight spiciness which might be hops. Mmmm hops! This is one of the best beers ever to my taste in terms of a strong but not out of control hops flavor with great definition and complexity. Every sip for the first half of the glass revealed new dimensions. The malts complement them perfectly with a sort of toasted cookie quality. Mouthfeel was substantial but not thick and the lingering hops presence was a bonus.

I wish the FSB website had more details on the recipie. I'd really like to know specifically what went into this divine brew. Tried this last year and was highly ambivalent, but this year's batch is really memorable.

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Full Sail Wassail from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.