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Session Lager - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Session LagerSession Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

465 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 465
Hads: 1,120
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.07%
Wants: 74
Gots: 179 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager | 5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mattmaples on 05-17-2005

ABV 5.1% IBU 18
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Session Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 465 | Hads: 1,120
Photo of EagleTalon
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thin white bubbly head and pale gold color. Aroma is sweet, grainy and slightly vinous with grassy, piney, very "American" hoppiness. Flavor exhibits a lot of sweet American lager flavor without the cheap adjunct nastiness. Very clean. Finishes with a slight tinge of hoppiness. A very clean, sessionable beer for summer, or any time really. Think of it as a better tasting "stubby bottle beer".

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%

11 oz stubby bottle, best by 12/15/2014

A: Pale gold, 1 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Grains, pale malt, slight hop bitterness in the nose.

T: This is exactly what I want out of the style. Refreshing, crisp. Nice body to it.

M: Soft, good carbonation.

O: Good price, great beer. Only wish it came in cans.

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Photo of garten
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Comes out of the bottle in a straw-yellow color that is typical of this style of beer. Formed a healthy two-finger head, cream-white, which retained for a good while after it was poured. Laced the glass rather heartily.

Smell: Fairly malty and sweet. Not offensive in any manner. Slightly biscuity and 'toasted' hops aroma lingering in the air somewhat.

Taste: Tastes very malty and is on the sweeter side, which I wasn't expecting. That's not to say that it's bad, but a part of it seems to be lacking. It is as if the beer almost gets the flavor it is going for, but then it falls a tad bit short. Perhaps it's an older bottle I picked up? Still a good one to sip and actually tastes better with every gulp. Slightly bittersweet after-taste.

Mouthfeel: Light and somewhat watery. A hint of carbonation. An easy-drinking beer that is as refreshing as it is unique. Can you say 'accessible'?

Overall: For a lager, this is perhaps one of the better examples I've seen. It beats the tar out of any of the BMC contenders and its price point keeps it competitive. It's by no means the best out there, however. The stubby 11oz bottle is certainly part of the charm of Session, and it's not a bad brew at all...it just lacks a certain something.

The bottom line here is if you're willing to sacrifice the 1oz for a refreshing and admittedly tasty lager in a fun package for your next gathering, look no further. It tastes great even being drunk straight out of the bottle! I'd certainly suggest it to someone looking to get into higher-quality beers or someone who wants to try something a bit different, esp. those who drink only one kind of beer.

Notes: Poured into a clean U.S. Style tumbler glass, served chilled.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

11 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear straw color. There's a finger worth of white-colored head, seemingly creamier in texture than other pale lagers. Retention isn't fantastic. Minor streaks of lacing are left on the glass.

S: I doubt this is the freshest bottle - still well within the best-by date, though - but there's a subtle twinge of grassy hops that I'm enjoying. Touches of cereal grain hide beneath the hops, but are just that - touches. Exactly the way they should be in a pale lager. It becomes slightly nutty as it warms up. Hits the basic parameters of what a pale lager should be, no more, no less.

T: The front end is very sweet, like sugar cookies in a way. I'm actually really surprised how sweet it is - it doesn't have the sickly corn flavors of typical macro lager crap, rather this seems to have more defined notes of caramel, cotton candy and...well, sugar. I'm missing some of the hops I got from the nose, too (only a *mild* bitterness on the back end exists). All in all, too friggen' sweet.

M: I did mention it was sweet before, didn't I? A slight hop bitterness, a crisp bite, and high carbonation just aren't enough to counteract the thick, sugary body.

O: I think a pale lager is one of nature's simple treats, a beer you can enjoy while completely shutting your brain off...this one, though, is almost Southern Tier levels of cloying. With a bit more hoppiness (or a fresher bottle - hell, maybe both), this could have been genuinely good. BMC fans will enjoy this, at least.

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Photo of BrandonLBC
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A--Really light yellow/straw colour. Medium head dissolves quickly. Little to no lacing.

S--Not overly aromatic. A little grassy/wheat smell, slight malt, and a hint of floral hops.

T--Very good. Crisp with a hint of sweet malt and just a little, tiny hop kick. Not bitter in the slightest.

M--Very light feel, Good amount of carbonation makes it very crisp and refreshing. Easy drinking sessionable beer.

O--I really like lagers, especially in the summer when you're sitting around the grill or maybe up at the lake fishing. I could easily down 4 or 5 of these and feel like I had just had a lot of quality beer without getting hammered. Not the best best lager I've had, but definitely in the top 10. Well done, Full Sail.

11oz stubby bottle poured into a tall pilsner glass. Bottle has a best by date of 8/17/14.

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Photo of bigdog4782
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Its smooth but 1/2 way to tasteless....for light beer drinkers its perfect and priced right. they short change u an ounce, has a light floral smell....very faint...
not sure why they are trucking it from Oregon to Florida. as my garage fridge is full of "Real beers" i will keep a 6 of these for those "light beer drinkers"
The aromatics are a bit strange but quickly forgotten once it hits ur t-buds.

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Photo of marzenfannm
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Golden hue. Thin head. Appearance not impressive. No real aroma. Clean taste and clean to the palate, but unremarkable. Pretty neutral all in all.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of jimmah120
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11oz stubby bottle with a date.

clear golden look, average head/retention for the style. smell is light wheat, malt, hops. crispy and malty, dry/clean yeast and malt. i don't pick up any hops in the taste, save for a little bitterness.

good everyday drinker

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Photo of Brenden
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pale it is, bright and shining like polished (light) gold. The head starts strong and, while some of it is just show, it does keep a nice creamy cap that leaves equally creamy lacing pretty well.
The aroma's a little hard to draw out and takes some effort. What it shows is a good hops and malts balance, and a good profile for a light beer. Some more strength would be appropriate even for the style. There's a bit of leaf and grass with a mildly herbal edge into the end balanced by toast, cracker and a bit of creamy sweetness.
The taste is a bit more on the dry side, shy of aspirin but very toasty in the malts, starting bready and immediately heading that direction. The leaf remaining adds dryness and a bit of pale fruits add balance.
Nice, light-bodied and crisp with some volume to it that doesn't detract from its nature or add too much, the feel fits the style best. Crispness really is key, keeping up well and never waning, and continuing over a good smoothness even into a dry finish.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For years, Session Lager was one of those beers which would stare at me at beer stores yet I would not bite at it. But when I saw a six-pack at Trader Joe's at $5.99, I knew that its time had come. Comes in a stubby 11 ounce bottle, which means for every 12-pack you buy, there's one 12 ounce bottle missing. On to the beer:

It's a light golden colored beer topped with a big soapy head. A few strings and spots of lace cling around the glass. It has a strong grassy aroma, underlined with a cooked corn note and vague grainy sweetness. Smells like an adjunct lager with extra hops. The taste, which has the character of said style, does have a vibrant grassy flavor which buries some of those less appealing flavors. Helping it are crisp bubbles, albeit with a slick base. For the money, Session Lager may be one of the better buys out there.

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Photo of FrozenJoe
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Session Red is sweet. You can smell and taste floral hops. It is not bitter. Session Red is a light enjoyable lager beer. The quality is good. It is all malt. This is a very nice easy drinking beer. It is good for when you want something light. I wish this was 12 ounces. I would pay $1 more for a twelve pack of 12 ounce bottles. There's something about the malt flavor of this beer that I don't like too much as it lingers on my palate that detracts from the overall quality of this beer.

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Photo of CoachLip
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing fancy and that makes it great!

." This is what beer should taste like."
--My 70 year old father

Smooth, balanced, great finish...this is what an american pale lager should taste like. You can drink it with anything, any time, any place.

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Photo of drofbeer
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clean session lager. Easy drinking and has flavor. Nice when cold. Like the stubby bottles. Light golden color and good carbonation. White head. Goes down smoothly with a malty aftertaste. Not bitter at all. Heads and tails above the macro light beers in my humble opinion.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
2.19/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

It is both refreshing and has some taste. It has a Germany Beer taste. What is going on with 11 oz bottle ? After six pack , you have a half beer less 6 oz ! It is not cool Full Sail Brewery !

Appearance: Looks like Lager . It has nice lacing , clarity and head.

Smell: Like a beer. No foul smell

Taste: It has nice malts and hops to it. It taste is little tone own from Germany Lagers

Mouthfeel: Not to heavy or watered down, it just right for me.

Overall : I take moosehead , Heineken, corona over this beer at least they give me 12 oz with more or similar taste. Real Germany beer like spatan , lowenbrua has twice as much taste as session beer . Full Sail Brewery does not have no excuse for the 11 oz bottle just for misleading public and profit. You will receive half less 12 oz beer from a six pack! Also , I will buy grenade bottle beer from Coors and mickey in future for more taste and more beer ! 12 OZ BEER American standard not 11 OZ!

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Photo of BethanyB
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brilliantly clear. Medium yellow color is on dark end of the scale for the style. Virtually no head to speak of. Just a bit of white film.

Smell: Strong bouquet for a light lager. Sweet corn, bready malt, and a misplaced scent of honey. Smells good, but not to style.

Taste: Overly sweet, bready malt. No hop flavor or bitterness is okay for style. A bit of lactic tang doesn't taste like a true defect, but still doesn't quite belong.

Mouthfeel: Light body is to style, but moderate carbonation is not. Should be tingling and refreshing, not flat.

Overall: I liked this beer just fine, but it tasted more like a Munich Helles mixed with a bit of watered down Berliner Weisse, rather than a Light American Lager. The absence of the head and the lower amount of carbonation made the uncharacteristic sweet and sour flavors stand out even more, and caused the beer to lack the refreshing quality this style is known for.

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Photo of JohnG190
2.94/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw with thin, white head. No lacing to speak of. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a commercial light beer. A faint aroma of grass with some herbal notes. Not much hop presence on the nose. Little bitterness on the palate, mostly a floury malt with faint bread notes. Light bodied with good carbonation. Overall, a serviceable lager.

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Photo of alankwak
4.67/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden clear beer with medium carbonation. Medium head retention and lacing.

S: Wonderful hoppy smell. Not too strong but perfect for a lager.

T: Awesome full flavor, quality 2 row barley and a nice FULL hop flavor.
I also taste a clean substrate if you will(the water) and it's very clean and clear.
The yeast is "world class" as it leaves a clean and clear flavor profile from the quality ingredients(barley, water, hops).
Again the water carries the beer, enhances it at the same time leaves nothing except pure beer flavor from the great ingredients and brewing process.

M: Medium/light mouthfeel. Nice for the style.

O: I have traveled around North America and Europe(Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, etc) and have tasted the best beer. I've longed to have a "true" high quality beer brewed properly and unpasteurized here in the good old USA for many years. Sam Adams is good beer but not quite this good. This is the finest example of a high quality lager without concern for cost or any other factor except beer quality. I now have that beer. NO BUD.

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Photo of Saajin
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very ordinary, very refreshing ale with minimal complications.
"Mama was an import, Daddy was a 40" on the box and seems to sum this beer up very well.
Nice lacing on glass when poured, nice clean smell, good mouthfeel, basically like your run of the mill lager/pilsner, but with no disappointments whatsoever.
Very enjoyable right from the 11 oz "stubby" bottle, and at 5.1 ABV produces a nice, pleasant buzz without feeling heavy or weighted down.
Will buy this again, and looking forward to trying the dark.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best by date of 10/29/13.

A: Dull straw golden color. Bone white head settles quickly. A thin, broken ring of lacing is all that remains of it.

S: Crackery malt base. Sweetish pilsner malt. Subdued grassy and floral hops. Very clean.

T: Doughy pilsner malt taste at the outset. Bready. Bone dry and crackery after a moment. High attenuation. Very mild oily, floral hopping. Clean. Bready finish.

M: Very light in body. Quality malts lend a soft creamy texture. Aggressive scrubbing carbonation. Crisp.

O: At 5.1% abv, purists are going to have a cow when they see the word 'session' on the label. Still, sessionable is absolutely what this beer is. Certainly not a thinking man's beverage, but it is very drinkable and pleasing in its simplicity. A good tool to use when trying to bridge the gap between macro and craft. The old-timey stubby bottles are a great marketing ploy too.

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Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some sweetness. Taste is crisp, malty, some light hops, refreshing and tasty. Feels light in the mouth and like it's name says, is a good session beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- pours a clear and pale straw-yellow with a small fizzy white head that reduces, leaving only a small layer skimming the top

S- grainy and toasty malt with a bit of corn sweetness, a whiff of grassy and earthy hop

T- light sweet malt with some grainy flavor, hop flavors are very light, lightly sweet finish. Not much going on

M- light body, low-yet-crisp carbonation, spritzy finish

O- this one was ok, a step above BMC, but very simple and not very pleasing to a craft palate.

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Photo of mjurney
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pale gold color, clear. Good amount of carbonation rising up. Small frothy, bright white head.

Grassy, bready, crisp, clean.

Malty, bready, grassy, grainy, just a touch of caramel. Hop bitterness is mild, spicy-floral. Finish is very crisp, clean, a little dry. Body is very crisp and clean, refreshing, semi-dry, well carbonated.

It's an outstanding beer. Probably the best basic lager I ever had.

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Photo of 999biotch
1.49/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Somehow or another my extensive previous review was lost before I could send it. I'll make it short and brief. I love my good German lagers- helles, pils, smoke, kolsch as well as my American pales, IPAs, pumpkins, maybe a coffee stout, so I have a fairly broad palate, but truly relish high quality German lagers. Reading the review and the rating I passed on Peroni to get a sixer of this. This was a big mistake. I hate to say it but some of the ratings on this website do not correlate to reality for me.

I kept it real, nostalgic in the bottle, as I have enjoyed many of F.S. ipas. They make a fairly decent ipa for the money and I was excited to try this based on the expert's ratings. Just be reminded, any comparisons to any German lager, even St Pauli or the old Becks is laughable.

Forget appearance, what's the smell? Artificial sweetner w/ a ever so slight corn smell. Think newly brewed rolling rock or the new corn- based red stripe but weaker and watery, not even offering any barnyard hay as rolling rock does. Aspartame combined w/ a watered down new version of red stripe is the best description. Awful.

The taste- dextrin, artificial sweetner, slight cheap corn. It seems like it is lacking the complexity that the addition of rice would give. Asahi, Saigon, Shinghtao have this one beat by far. The sweetness is nauseating and as it warms up the beer sours. Terrible. Coors light please.

Mouthfeel I don't know what to say. This is going too far in reviewing this effluent. Nondescript low carbonation, flat w/ a sickening artificial sweetness. A bit worse than the new red stripe. That's bad.
Overall, I have no idea how this brew got this high of a rating. This is proof the ratings must be taken skeptically b/c anybody in their right mind should know better. Even Warsteiner or St pauli (low end German) stomp this. I guess I didn't keep it brief, but this stuff has tainted my taste buds.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks back at the Buy-Rite in Jersey City. I hadn't had a Full Sail beer in ages and I wasn't even aware that this was brewed by them until I picked up the bottle and saw the logo. It was pretty small but thankfully, there was plenty to enjoy about this and this didn't have the cheap, watered-down, over filled feeling that so many American Pale Lagers tend to feel like. Session would be the perfect word to describe this beer, as I could have easily had another in my sitting.

The pour to this was nice, with a clear, golden hue and head that was frothy before quickly settling down to just a light amount. Not a lot of lacing here and what was visible slid down the sides of my pint glass. Not much of an aroma here either, except for some starchy potato chip and light floral notes. These were repeated in the taste, with a hint of grass and sourness in the back. Not a whole lot of carbonation here but this felt as light as champagne without the bubbles. This had a slick feel to it and it coated my mouth nicely after each sip, without any filler getting in the way. Not as crisp as the Victory Prima Pils but still enjoyable nevertheless.

Had I bought another bottle, that would have gone down right after this. I couldn't even detect the alcohol here and there wasn't any of it that could be detected in the taste. This would be a great beer for the Summer and there's enough body here to shake off the stereotype that a light Lager has to feel overcarbonated and "skunked". I'd certainly buy this again!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pill bottle into a shaker, the beer is a bright, clear, pale-golden coloring with a filmy ring of white on the surface. Aromas of toasted grains and some subtle floral highlights. Flavors are bold and toasty initially, with a slightly bitter and toasted grain follow-up across the palate. Some buttery sweet highlights throughout. The body is effervescent and light, with the carbonation keeping a frothy feel in mouth. Toasted and slightly bitter aftertaste, with a clean, smooth finish. Very easy to drink, and a little smoother than most in this style, but tasty.

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Session Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 465 ratings.