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

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Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail

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BA SCORE
86
very good

476 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 476
Hads: 832
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.36%
Wants: 38
Gots: 50 | 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: 832
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle opened on 4.9.13

A - Pours a medium brown with a large tan head after a vigorus pour.

S - Christmas spice and very malty.

T - Raisins and dark fruit with a touch of spice.

D - Good carbonation with a fairly light body.

O - Christmas-winter ale. A good standard, but still solid. (290 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle marked "12". Nice amber brown color. Toasty malty is the best feature. Some roasted malt and a little charred flavor. A modest hoppiness but it's just a bitter bump and then back to the earthy roast. Another example of how IBU figures often seem to be totally unreliable.

Pretty unremarkable but quite drinkable. More of a regular amber with some bark in the flavor. I always look forward to the holiday beers but I prefer ones with a distinctive roast malt or a zippy hop to go with the sweetness. But keep the cinnamon, thanks. (543 characters)

Photo of BrewRunner
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a dark red/amber (kind of blood reddish) color with a white head.

The smell kind of disappointed me. Nothing really distinctive came out.

Taste and mouthfeel were good. Like the smell there is nothing really distinctive to separate it from other beers, but nothing takes away as well.

Overall it's a good beer. Good for a cold winter's night, and worth the purchase. But there are a few other that I would take if I had the choice between them and Wassail. (478 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, almost black, with a light brown head that's sticky and lasts, although as a thin layer in my glass.

It has a light aroma of molasses, nothing big, but not too light.

The taste is malty, with coffee and roasted flavors mixing with a note of bread. This is an interesting Winter Warmer, because I don't detect any spices. There's also a bit of tannic bite in the aftertaste.

A smooth body has enough heft.

Overall, this is a decent beer, but is not one of my favorites from Full Sail, which is a bit disappointing. It's worth a try, especially for the malt fans out there. (592 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear mahogany with a short, off-white head. Good balalnce of hops and malts in the nose and taste. Has a smooth, caramel and earthy flavor up front. Spice, hops, and tea come through in the middle. Dry, nutty, and earthy finish. Enjoyable, but it left me wanting more. (275 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.50. Enjoyed from my trusty red wine glass.... still listening to Renaissance Worldwide Singapore; Dave Seamen mix.

Aggressive pour produced a shortlasting light tan head... pretty good lacing lasts through most of the glass. Dark Dark brown ... but still nice and translucent.

Nutty biscuity brown malts dominated the nose ... like an less malty English old ale ... sort of expected low PNW/American hop balance.

Taste is the same with some lite cherry and raisin mixed ... not overly complex by any means, but still supremely drinkable. No noticeable spicing, but there is a definate fruitiness with the roasted/nutty malts that makes it definitely interesting. Only sweet on the finish ... sorta reminds me of a Flintstone vitamin ... fruity and metallic.

I buy at least a few of these every winter, and am never disappointed. Solid beer from a brewery that I typically don't appreciate any of their 12 oz brews. (964 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Full Sail Wassail pours a clear ruby color into the glass with a small off white head on top. The foam fades quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is mild with notes of caramel malt, dark fruit (raisins? grapes?) and a hint of piney hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is dry on the palate, slightly slick with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor is malty and sweet with spicy notes. It begins with caramel malt and brown sugar before some hints of clove and nutmeg move in. There's a touch of raisin in there too. It finishes with a mild pine bitterness. Once gone the sweet malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very easy drinking beer. Well balanced with light spicyness. I guess I was looking for more spices in this beer and maybe a thicker mouthfeel. However, it's well balanced and the flavors really come out as the beer warms in the glass. (925 characters)

Photo of NatetheGreat
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this was a dark brown with coffee colored soft, dense head. aroma of cocoa and piney hops. needs to warm quite a bit before the flavors begin open up - malty sweetness of chocolate and spice with the piney hops from the nose coming through also in the taste. mouthfeel was thick and chewy; this is a meal of a beer. great for a winter night, but the flavor wasn't quite all i hoped for. (386 characters)

Photo of Keffa
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass. Thanks for this one, Steve.

Live review.

A: Pours a deep red/mahogany color, almost brown, 2 finger tan head settles after 5 minutes into a full cap, sticky small bubble lacing everywhere, and it refuses to let go of the glass. Very, very impressive so far.

S: Not a ton here, caramel and toffee sweetness, a little bit of a spicy, earthy hop, some light toast notes as well. Kind of bland, to be honest.

T: Hoppy like a rabbit! Hop bitterness is very pronounced, citric, piney, herbal, earthy, and very sharp. The sweetness that existed heavily in the aroma is masked by these overwhelming hops. Slight toast and caramel notes come toward the finish before getting buried beneath a nasty alcohol burn and another wave of bitterness. Finishes long and bitter. Meh. Better than the aroma, I guess.

M: Thin, slick, oily. Decently carbed. Again, meh.

O: Meh. This beer is a Winter Warmer alright. The bitterness and the burn from the alcohol could keep anyone warm. This is more a hoppy red ale than a winter warmer, IMO. Heavy handed, in all honesty. Would I buy more? No. Would I drink it again? Probably not. Just overpowering, and I'm a hophead.

I thought Full Sail was supposed to be good. This is meh. (1,252 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

never a big fan of the "special" winter brews save a few. pours out a nice ruby/brown. decent head, some nice lacing. smells malty with a very slight spice. taste isnt bad. infact its pretty good. malty with a good hop presence thats a bit piney. cinnamon comes to mind as well as other holiday flavors. herbal! not thick like some heavyweight winter brews, its nice and medium bodied, in the middle. while not my cup of tea i can def. appreciate it. i could see these going down pretty easy if thats your thing. (512 characters)

Photo of grub
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled jan 9/2011.

pours lightly hazy dark brown with a small cap of fine light tan head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. caramel and toffee. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of alcohol. earthy and slightly spicy hops. just a hint of citrus.

taste is nice. just over medium bitterness level. rich caramel and toffee. biscuit and lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. warming alcohol. earthy and spicy hops, with just a slight citrus edge.

mouthfeel is ok. medium body seems a touch thin. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. it's a bit of an odd beer. smells sweet, but is actually pretty dry. advertises "pacific northwest hops", but has almost none of the typical citrus+pine duo. seems almost astringent. not quite sure what they were aiming for with this one, but it's not doing much for me. (943 characters)

Photo of csiewert
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark nutty color with a good amount of off white head. Smells of roasted barley and nuts. The taste is fairly sweet with a nutty aftertase. Some hops are present but not completely obvious. The mouth feel is good... A little over carbonated. Overall a good holday brown ale. (274 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12/7/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown-reddish colored body, but it's not cloudy. Has a big creamy off-white head, decent lacing, lasting. Has a nutty fresh smelling aroma, but it's a little sour. A woody, dusty nut taste. Sour acidic aftertaste. Some light spices. (275 characters)

Photo of PdxBeerGeek
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

first time ive had this beer this year. havent had many of the winter warmers but its definately got alot of flavor to it and cant go wrong being 7.2% ABV overall a really good beer would definitely have it on tap if i could find it..even for a darker beer it still has a lighter IPA taste with a hint of caramel? (maybe) (321 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby-red colour, with great clarity. Looks like a deep port or a heavily tannic red wine. Head is filmy, but fine bubbled. Lacing is patchy, but decent enough. It forms at least. Body is pleasantly heavy, and the very fine bubbling works well with it. Not a bad look.

Nose is very vinous, big notes of oaked red wine, and a slightly boozy cherry kirsch character. Hints of spice and cinnamon, muted enough, but enough to give a lift to the other characters. Quite pleasant.

Taste is also pleasant, although the booze is a little bit more prominent here, giving a slight heat and harshness to the back of the palate. The front is quite sweet, with some of the spice coming through as well. Light esters on the back give a slight fruitiness along with the boozy bite. Not bad. Feel is surprisingly thin given the good look of the thickness, and the booze hurts rather than helps this.

Decent enough, although it tastes slightly more harsh the more you drink it. There's pleasant characters to it, but it's missing a coherent story, and there are notes which become far too prominent. Good. Not great. (1,114 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark cola brown in color to the naked eye, and a brilliant ruby-amber when held up to direct light. A firm pour produces a medium tan head of one finger and average duration. Lacing is moderately sticky, fairly average for the style. Altogether it looks pretty inviting.

The nose is equal parts hop and malt profiles. Piney, resiny* hops start the fun and are followed by a burst of mid-range citrus hop (Centennial?), followed by an insistent dry, biscuity malt character and finally a rounder, sweeter malt character -- rather plummy, along with a lighter note of strawberry jam.

Sweet and tangy on the first sip, followed with a uniform, lightly-scrubbing briskness across the palate, ending with a lighter bitter-sweet character. Aromatic notes include an echo of the light strawberry jam from the nose along with dry, toasty/bready malt, light herbal qualities, and a touch of warming alcohol. As this warms up a lighter element of fusel alcohol presents itself, although this does not detract from the overall drink. Bitterness is minimal, but lingers nicely throughout -- a fairly well-balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is at least average, and it's much as I remember it, in that it's a lighter-bodied beer as per the style -- come to think of it, I'd say that this adds to the overall drinkability.

Notes:
*Favorably reminds me of Alba Scots Pine Ale!

As far as winter seasonals are concerned, Wassail has been a favorite for years, and I'm inclined to rate it fairly highly. Yet in making an effort to rate this to-style I wondered if I wouldn't knock this down from its pedestal! In the end it seems that I still consider it at least slightly better than average.

Pairs well with all manner of food, but in particular I'd say it holds up well to heartier entrees, richer foods, and even bittersweet chocolates and lighter desserts. (1,852 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fine, sturdy, off-white head, dark brown color. Sweet aroma, but nothing too distinctive coming through. Faint hints of toffee, nuts, spices. Mild hoppiness, medium carbonation. Sweet maltiness. Very mild, very mellow, but to a fault. I like my winter ales with more of a kick, and this slides down too smooth for my tastes. Feels as if they were shooting for something like Anchor's Our Special Ale, but something held them back. (430 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Opaque brown color. Nose is burnt malts and flavor has hints of caramel with roasty bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA. (312 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Burnt caramel, slightly fruity but a touch of fusel alchol peeks through

Taste: Starts with a burnt caramel malt flavor that turns quite bitter, mid-palate; after the swallow, some holiday spice flavors kick in to provide some sweet flavors but the piney orange bitterness returns, full-force, into the finish; also some unpleasant fusel alcohol at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but could be thicker; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Would sure like to see the bitterness toned down to highlight some of the sweet flavors that get overwhelmed

Thanks, boolshot, for the opportunity (697 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear, dark red brew with a dirty white head that subsided very quickly leaving no lace or anything.
Aroma is very hoppy with only a touch of malt which gets overwhelmed by the piney almost grapefruitlike aroma.
The taste is hoppy as well with very little of the malt that I thougt i would taste from the color. A bit onesided in the flavor department this beer does get better as it warms revealing a bit more of the dark kilned malt flavor.
Body is not very good for a winter warmer as this beer is pretty thin and it is evidenced by the extreme lack of head. The carbonation is almost perfect however as there is very little carbonic bite from the artificial carbonation which i believe is much rougher than natural carbonation.
Overall I would rather have a jubelale from Deschutes than another wassail from Full Sail but it is a much better winter warmer than Celebration Ale which should be renamed Holiday IPA as it rhymes and indicates what you will taste better. The brewers at Full Sail should have bottle conditioned this one as well so that it can be aged more than a year and that they could have achieved a much higher carbonation level with less carbonic bite. A great winter beer if it is all that is available besides leftover summerfest and the usual flagship brews. (1,299 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle best by next april

look is dark, amber, tan head, lots of suspended sediment. smell is light malts, dry leaves, cocoa, and christmas spice. taste is crisp chocolate infused wheat with subtle spice overtones. there is some roast and bitterness as well.

interesting winter warmer, glad to try it (307 characters)

Photo of MMAJYK
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Deep, dark mahogony, obviously reddish hues. Head is 1/4" dissipates quickly leaving only a thin ring.

S. Roasty malt bill up front, somewhat chocolatey and fruity of dates and raisins, and a touch of hops.

T. Chocolatey, roasty, deep caramelized brown sugar. The hops do their best to keep up with the sweetness. Finish is sweet and lingering with moderately stong alcohol tastes.

M. Thick and chewy in the mouth with high carb.

D. Too sweet and rich for session, but an OK beer. Not worthy of seeking out and just barely above average. (548 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice dark malts on the nose, some coffee, touches of caramel, chocolate and plums. Pours a really nice deep amber with an off white one finger head. Mild alcohol on the nose too though witch is semi-uninviting.

Medium in body and slightly viscous (but not overwhelmingly) this beer displays layers of dark flavors. Toasted and spicy bittering dark chocolate malts up front with a brighter semi-fruit finish that comes from the hops. Well balanced but more on the malty side.

Definitely a fine choice for a winter warming session beer. (544 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks like unfinished walnut lumber, it's a bit dull.
pretty thin head
Alcohol is not all that well disguised... There's not enough malt to mask the alcohol, and this isn't high in alcohol. Very thin brew. Hop spice is all over; pine blah blah blah...
Not as warm as it is hot. Winter warmer my butt. Just another over-hopped interpretation. (345 characters)

Photo of ebrauser
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. to a pint glass

Appearance: Maple syrup brown tinged with ruby. Very thin to nonexistent head.

Aroma: Plum, spices, and fresh apples.

Flavor: Spicy and warming, there is a semi-citrusy twang in the beginning that comes from some hops. Bitterness fades out into a peppery middle with body but certainly not an over-sweet winter beer.

MF: Bodied, but not sweet. An easy-drinking winter beer (415 characters)

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