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

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Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail

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very good

476 Reviews

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Reviews: 476
Hads: 834
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 15.93%
Wants: 39
Gots: 51 | 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
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Reviews: 476 | Hads: 834
Photo of Vashtar
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The head retention is amazing. The appearance is really dark and clear.

You could describe the smell as "Splended" it reminds me of dyed Easter eggs. Such as bright balance.

The taste is very nice and drinkable. It tastes "dark." Fairly malty and has some bitterness to it. It's a solid beer, but is a bit bland.

The mouthfeel reminds me of when something slushy like Jell-O gets sucked through a straw.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I found that this beer only really reveals itself as it warms and I'd suggest that you enjoy it starting at @ 50F. Additionally, as it warms the carbonation subsides a bit allowing it to become more creamy in the mouth; and rounding it quite a bit.
The body is a hazy mahogany with hard to find orange and ruby highlights. A short and very creamy light tan head comes up during the pour, but it drops off almost as quickly. It does, however, maintain a nice creamy collar, and leaves some spotty lace. The nose is subtle but enticing. It offers some light-toffee-ish maltiness, some gentle fruitiness, a touch of almost indistinguishable spice (nutmeg, all-spice?, light cinnamon?, coriander?) and some mild floral hops. The body is medium/light with an exceptionally fine-bubbled, mild carbonation that's creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor starts with some soft berry-like fruitiness that develops into a light candyish note before revealing its caramelish malt character as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a flair of spice that dries more than the underlying bitterness. Generic spice and candyish sweetness linger in the mouth and throat along with some piney hop character. Definitely and interesting brew if given the chance! Worth trying.

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Photo of dwren89
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark garnet with crimson highlights, great clarity, and a thick tan rocky head

Aroma: nutty, like roasted chestnuts, and a little plum fruitiness, with a spicy cinnamon and cardamom kick

Taste: tastes just like it smells, with a smooth and long finish.

Mouthfeel: a little creamy, with a solid thickness to it that is similar to an imperial stout of terms of body and viscosity. Medium-low carbonation

Overall: This is a fantastic go-to choice for a winter warmer. Great nuttiness, fruitcake like fruitiness, and a spicy warmth to it couple with a great thick body and smooth finish make this an outstanding choice.

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Photo of baseballrock
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance is a dark black slightly red color. Head is light brown and fluffy.

Smell - the first thing i detected was a citrusy hoppyness. Also there are some notes of chocalate and molasses.

taste - the taste is full bodied, some hints of chocalate with an overall cream flavored taste. this beer is a little hoppy and is very good.

mouthfeel is full a pretty heavy beer. it is also very well balanced. 7% abv and really warms you up good.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I remembered trying Full Sail's Wassail winter warmer a couple years ago and couldn't recall how it stacked up against the other West Coast warmers that have a special place in my heart :). For that reason I picked up a single for the sole purpose of writing this review...

Poured out, it's a very, deep brown color with a reddish tinge. It is crystal-clear with absolutely no sediment. The color actually looks a lot like an English porter. There was no head except a very thin solar eclipse-like ring of white foam around the glass. Unfortunately there is really nothing attractive about this beer.

The smell, on the other hand, is great. It's reminiscent of cherry, cotton candy/malt, and hops. Not too sweet and not too bitter or sour. Very, very nice.

The taste went like this:
sweet fruit -> malt & hops -> chocolate -> hops & espresso

This is a very complex, yet well-balanced ale. However I didn't find it to be very "warming", even with 7%. I think this beer is intended to satisfy the cravings of the hop heads in the NW, as the hops are very intense for a warmer and overpower some of its qualities. Yet there is a huge amount of malty sweetness which screams "wintertime!" I'd say this is one of the better winter seasonals from the West. It's definitely better than Deschutes', as good as Pyramid's, probably about the same as Sierra Nevada's, but not as good as Golden Valley's.

Time to go buy the rest of that 6-pack!

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark chestnut; medium, frothy beige head, medium lasting

Aroma: Malty; medium hoppy; dried fruits; molasses

Taste: Malty; peppery; well-balanced; starts off creamy and quickly goes to Belgium ale flavors of peppers, cloves, and dried fruit; finishes slightly bitter from roasted grains; excellent

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of ely2000k
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Looks nearly black when poured into a pint glass. Not much lacing or head, but the color is very nice for a winter warmer style ale.

S- Hint of raisin, bread, cranberry... smells slightly sweet and festive. Not too overpowering. The aromas are faint, but work well.

T- Starts sweet, then end with a good hope flavor and a pretty good bite. The alcohol content is fairly well disguised but you can taste it a bit on the end of a sip. As a winter warmer style ale, I think the taste works great. Pretty much what I am looking for from a winter brew.

M- Smooth, medium carbonation, that works well. Great for the style.

O- Enjoyable beer. I had pretty average expectations for this, and came out really pleasantly surprised. It may just be that I like the winter warmer style ale quite a lot.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: A beautiful, crystal clear ruby/mahogany with a thick, creamy tan head that lasted for quite a while. Lacing thoughout. One of the prettier seasonals out there.

Smell: Wow. Starts with a burst of sweet apple, pear and fresh floral hops--it almost smells like a big Sonoma zinfandel. Yum. After it warms a bit, a dense malt comes through, sweet with hints of caramel and bourbon. If every beer smelled like this, the world would be a better place.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Doesn't quite live up to its aroma. For a winter brew, the mouthfeel is a bit thin and light. Starts with a building sweet malt/Irish whiskey flavor, but it's quickly overpowered by big tart fruit and floral hops. Finishes with a bitter hop bite and a long-lasting astringent aftertaste.

Drinkability: While the flavor is not outstanding, it's quite good, and the (relatively) light body and awesome aroma make this one a very easy beer to drink. In fact, I think I'll have another right now.

Not a huge, complex or unusually spiced beer, but a very drinkable, great-tasting brew. I'll be back for more.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown with a faint cinnamon tinge into a tulip with a finger of fluffy off-white head. Roasty and slightly sweet aroma of spice, caramel, dark fruit and a trace of hops.

Moderate carbonation and an extremely creamy mouthfeel, though a bit on the light/thin side. Bready malts, toffee, nutmeg, and cocoa followed by assertive hop bitterness on the slightly smoky finish. Flavorful, well-balanced, and very easy-drinking (alcohol is almost completely masked).

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Photo of TroyS
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked-up some Wassail by Full Sail Brewing Company of Oregon at Vino Rosso in Idaho Falls, Idaho; The Vino Rosso offers more wines than beers, but just around the corner from Marcellar's, they have a great beer selection and super meats, cheeses, and etc. to match up so nicely with your favorite Chimay or Ayinger. By the way...I think think the pic on this page could use an update; I've seen this beer with this look for a while now, so maybe time to change the pic out unless the one displayed it more common. My beer looks more like the one on this page - http://www.fullsailbrewing.com/wassail.cfm , but more maroon in the label vs. red. I also think the abv needs to be updated as it's marked 6.5 abv on mine.

The Full Sail Wassail poured with a modest head with a creamy cascading coco color with a bit of volume. It stuck around for a while leaving a nice lace behind. It was a nice medium dark head that I was surprised to see not just disappear considering the crisp and clear flavor of this medium bodied winter warmer.

It carries some really nice fruit flavors; nashi and pine come through showing off the sweetness het hoppiness of this particular brew. It's not super high in alcohol, but I think I'd enjoy this one in a nice and deep glass to enjoy before bed. Although there's some hop present, it's soothed with a nice bitter pear that's not only warm and friendly, but it coats your mouth with a citrus and mildly foamy feel. Very enjoyable.

By the way...this particular bottle has an "enjoy by" date of 031008 which would put it past due. This sucker isn't just fine, but one worth suggesting. Mmm Good!

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Photo of ecoboy
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The label proclaims its hop/malt balance. It surely errs on the side of malt. I sampled Full Sail Wassail after another scotch-styled Christmas, and found this superior.

Mahogany hue.

Lots of different flavors settling and testing the various senses of the taste buds. Flashes of flavor alternate, all resting atop the thinned-molasses mouthfeel. Battleship of malt with big guns blazing; brazil-nuttiness, deep down dark flavor. Alcohol presence somewhat muted, for a change from what one might expect from a "stronger" style.


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Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown with a "enjoy by" date clearly marked. X-mas seasonal themed label

Appearance: Deep dark reddish brown with a fluffy light tan head that is really amazing, even pouring the brew was a treat on to its self ... medium sized bubbly cascading effect when poured vigorously.

Smell: A rich piney citrusy hop and almost rustic aroma of dark grains ranging from toasted to roasted to hints of chocolate and caramel. Very inviting with a pleasing fruitiness to boot.

Taste: Big, full bodied and creamy smooth ... lots of malt and fruit up front with flavours of raw honey and pears. Though a blend of alcoholic esters and aggressive hop bitterness wedge right in the middle and give off a warming feeling plus bitter / sweet earthy citrusy piney flavour. Hints of chocolate and prune in the back end with a dark chocolate cake like finish from the decent amount of residual sweetness in the end.

Notes: Very much a winter warmer with an American flare ... very impressive and a sheer joy to sip at cellar temp (55*F). One of the hoppier winter brews to be had. If you see this one on the shelf, buy it and sip the cold winter away.

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Photo of ckollias
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Deep brown with black highlights. Has a thick frothy off-white 1-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Aromas of dark roasted malts and caramel. Pleasant scents of coffee and chocolate are also present.

T: Dark rich smooth ale with a roasted malt bitterness. Mild chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice malt background. Slightly hoppy and very smooth.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A very well balanced winter warmer. The hops and malts are in perfect balance to make this beer smooth, and only slightly bitter. I could drink this all winter long (even though this is summer).

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Photo of Tucquan
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the brew pub in Hood River, OR on 2010-01-31

A - Deep mahogony with a wonderfully rich, tan head

S - Chocolate, bread, hops, fruit

T - Great. Toasted grain, dark chocolate, citrus caramel, fruit and a delicious, oily dry hop flavor.

M - Thick with low carbonation

D - Don't pass this one up if you get a chance.

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper pour with a little off white head. Leaves a little lacing behind, though that doesn't last long. Keeps a thin head throughout.

S: There's a sweetness and strong malt present in the initial smell. Second comes a milder, sour, fruity scent. The malt dominates throughout, though.

T: The malt is obvious up front with some graininess prominent as well. Caramel notes complement and some mild bitter hops emerge as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied, initially fairly crisp but gets thicker as it goes on.

Very nice beer and a good example of the style. A little thick, but the taste is amazing and the smell wonderful. Well done.

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Photo of searsclone
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. very dark color, almost black with just a touch of red. tan head that left a great lace.

smell is faint, dark fruit and a bit of spice, maybe nutmeg

taste is dark fruit, bitter hops and malt. very nicely balanced and the alcohol is so well hidden that it might be dangerous!

super smooth and easy to drink.

overall, definitely glad I tried this one!

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ruby colored and clear, nice head, good lacing.

There's an awesome malty base to the nose and flavor, along with some sweet fruitiness, a nice little bit of subtle chocolate, and a crisp, clean, deliciously strong bitterness.

Really for a winter warmer, I haven't ever tasted one so bitter, and I love it! It's amazing, this is perhaps my favorite beer in the style ever. Drinkability is off the charts high, and I'm going to have to make the trip (somewhat across town) to the big liquor store where I found it, to make sure I get some more before it runs out.

Full sail, hats off to you. I'm a fan of your beers, but this one is really outstanding, the best you've made yet.

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Photo of BeerBard
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm tasting a 2002 and 2003 side-by-side. The aged 2002 is a bit cloudy... both have a small head that sits for a while. Both are wonderful examples of the "American Christmas Special"....malty/hoppy, high alcohol and highly flavored old ale - dopplebock - trippel - porter variant that takes a moment to warm in the mouth before hitting you with a punch. Reminds me of the Anchor Christmas seasonal. Lots of reviewers seem unimpressed. Let them drink Pabst! I think it's a wonderful beer. Consider letting a couple age a year or two...don't be scared. Fresh up it has more bite...aged it has a rounded dessert-like quality. I think it's my last 2002, so I'll put a few 2003's aside and write again in a few years. Merry Christmas!

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Photo of SawDog505
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, best by 2/28/13. Pours a beautiful ruby red with a one inch off white head that leaves behind some attractive lace. Smell is caramel, biscuit, some pine, tangerine, brown sugar, and a hint of nutmeg. Taste surprises with a hit of chocolate and some grapefruit up front and the other flavors blend in through out. Body is medium, plenty of life, not dry, and very drinkable. This is really good and different another beer I will be drinking during the holiday season.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

Full Sail Wassail is an old school winter warmer, no spicing here. Brewed with four different malts and a heavy hand of Pacific Northwest hops.

Thick and bubbly, two fingers of light tan foam form from a heavy pour. As the head slowly drops down, the lacing shows an amazing retention after each taste. Dark-charred hickory color could be mistaken for black, you can barely see through the brew even when put up to a bright light. Clean malty aroma with shortbread, brown bread and caramel, hops pull in a mild herbal and spicy note in the nose. Smooth and a little creamy with a solid and slightly thick medium body. The malt character kicks things off with sweet bread, cocoa powder, caramel, toasted walnuts and a bit of fresh-bailed hay. Hops seem to want to balance and complement rather than dominate. Bitterness is more than sufficient yet the flavor adds layers of floral, citric and spicy notes. Suggestions of chocolate covers oranges, candied fruit and a mild charred-wood hit in the semisweet finish.

Within the balance there is drinkability, complex but approachable. Tasting this beer makes us realize that winter is not long enough and we'll just have to wait another year. Excellent job.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz. twist top brown bottle into a pint glass. It has a very dark redish brown color with pretty good clarity and nice sticky head. The head has good retention and leaves nice lacing behind.

Aroma has strong hops over roasted malts.

Flavor is very good for the style. Lots of hop bitterness but well balanced with big malts. Carmel, chocolate, and cherries in the malt with a strong piney hop overtone.

Mouthfeel is also very good being well-carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability is good for the style and I wouldn't think twice about having another.

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Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally an American winter beer that is not spice riddled. I'm realizing that I like Full Sail beer lately and this brew is no exception. Dark copper body was topped by a medium thick off white head. Lacing was scattered but intricate. Aroma was of slightly toasted malts. Taste profile was a surprise as it was very hoppy with citrus notes. Good drinkable winter beer. I liked that it wasn't real heavy and spicy. a hop accented winter beer and I liked it.

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Photo of Tifore
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of this stuff for a buddy at work who was from Oregon. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep brown mahogany color but clear. A tan 1 finger head develops and slowly dissapates but leaves a nice cap.

S - Smells of lots of dark roasted carmel-y malts and light citrusy hops. I also get some clove and cinnamon but there light.

T - Taste really stands out with this brew. Very balanced. Sweet malts come first and are balanced but light bitter hops that don't overpower but compliment the brew.

M - Mouthfeel is buttery and smooth. Very enjoyable. Light carbonation on the tounge.

D - A seven percent alcohol beer that you don't notice it at all except after you've had a few and stand up. Definitely sneaks up on you. I will be picking up another six pack of this for sure.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't sure what to expect with this beer. But wow! This beer exceeded all expectations. As soon as I cracked open the bottle, a nice aroma of sweet malted hops hit my nose. Upon inspection I noticed the exact right amount of carbonation and lacing. The beer is wonderfully smooth and sweet and goes down exceptionally smooth. A very worthy effort and a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Mustard
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; "enjoy by" date -- in this case 011604 -- printed dot-matrix style on the label's bottom, left edge; purchased as a "busted" single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a dark, clear, ruby-brown; sizeable, batter-like, beige-hued head; fine, understated lacing; head hangs around for about a minute or so.

Aroma: Sweet and spicy and nicely so.

Taste: Lightly sweet upfront with firm notes of toffee, brown sugar and molasses coursing throughout; beautifully spicy; secondary flavors include those of bubble gum, nutmeg and a host of other things.

Notes: Wow, pretty interesting stuff; will definitely seek this out in the future.

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Full Sail Wassail from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.