Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -2.8%
22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
A: Sludgy black pour. A quarter inch of beige head settles into a thin slip. A thin web of lacing remains.
S: Thick, heavy fudge. Brownie batter and tootsie rolls. Brown sugar. Strong bourbon presence. Spicy, toasty oak. Nothing subtle about it, this is a direct assault on the nose, and the charge is lead by bourbon barrel and roasted malt.
T: Fudge, Hershey's chocolate, brownies. Rich and chocolatey. Strong pull of bourbon brings a slight peppery taste with it. Fading green, spicy hop profile. Drying charred oak on the back end and into the finish.
M: Heavy and sludgy. Full. Tingling carbonation provides just enough lift.
O: A thinking man's beer this is not. That's OK though, I was in the mood for something blatant tonight, and boy did I get it. A huge beer from top to bottom, very bold and straightforward. Full Sail also has a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout? God help us, that must be an endeavor to drink. Looking forward to the challenge . . .
07-15-2013 01:15:21 | More by ryan1788a5
1.84/5 rDev -52.3%
Appearance: Black. No head to speak of but at 9.5% ABV that's understandable.
Smell: Raisins, oak, chocolate, booze....a lot of booze. It smells like a chocolately bourbon to me.
Taste: Simply put, it tastes like a shot of bourbon with some porter added. The chocolate comes out along with the dark fruit, raisin that I smelled.
Mouthfeel: Good carbonation. Medium/full mouthfeel.
Overall: Maybe I am not a bourbon fan but to each his own. I will not be having it again. The predominant feature of this beer is the bourbon taste and smell. A touch may be ok but it goes beyond that and I think this is a flaw.
04-01-2013 03:45:37 | More by Osirus
3.73/5 rDev -3.4%
Note: My 2012 bottle says the ABV is 9.5%, not the 7.5% that's listed here.
A: Poured from the bomber into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. The body is black - even when backlit, it's black - with a 1-finger bubbly, chocolate milkshake-colored head that settles to a tight film of a head. Leaves good lacing.
S: Bourbon, a hint of vanilla and malt.
T: First impression on the flavor is the bourbon. Second impression is really one of feel - it seems a bit thin to stand up to the bourbon-barrel-aging. Heat is felt on the way down and in the belly before I take the second sip. There's some chocolatey malt going on (which becomes more prominent as it warms), but other than the mouthfeel telling me this isn't quite a stout, I'm not getting that roasted malt or charcoal taste that I expect in a Porter. It may have just been overwhelmed by the bourbon.
M: Like I said, a bit thin in heft detracts from the effort at bourbon-barrel-aging this one. Carbonation, however, is gentle and a modestly creamy feel saves the overall mouthfeel score from dropping any lower.
O: A decent sipper.
09-14-2012 02:02:55 | More by Kendo
3.8/5 rDev -1.6%
Poured from about an inch above the glass gave this clear dark black colored beer a big light brown head that slowly settled into a pretty nice lacing.
The bourbon overwhelms everything else that the aroma might have.
The bourbon is still overwhelming but the taste also has some dark rich roasted malts coming through.
A dry aftertaste on this full bodied beer that harbors some of the roasted malts and bourbon from the taste.
A rich full taste but just to much of the bourbon for me also, I'm not a drinker of hard alcohol but if I were this beer would definitely rate much higher with me.
08-06-2012 23:27:54 | More by LXIXME
3.93/5 rDev +1.8%
Full Sail Imperial Porter is an essentially black beer with a dirt-covered wild mushroom coloured head. I say 'essentially black' because while it is opaque, and virtually without highlights, it showed a softer, more brown-ish side coming out the bottle and even in the glass doesn't look quite as inky as an imperial stout. Interspersed lacing is a nice touch.
The roast coffee and caramelly malts you were looking to smell are in there somewhere, but you have to hunt for them. Swirling helps, but it also agitates some of the alcohol esters and even then still doesn't give off the air of a top-notch, full character porter. There is, however, enough zestful hoppiness to at least positively identify it as an *American* porter.
The best American porters have a smooth, rich, espresso level (and espresso-like) flavour that is so immensely gratifying it allures you into quicker and quicker and bigger and bigger sips, constantly chasing that perfect apex of dark chocolaty, black licorice and coffee taste as they scintillate on the tongue mid swallow. This one has that and it's wonderful (although I don't care much for that droplet of alcohol that disconnects us from a proper finish).
And the accompanying mouthfeel, furthermore, is a little out of whack. The silky dark flavours and gentle roast seem to disintegrate a little on the finish, largely because of an over zealous carbonation that pricks little holes in the tongue through which all the gooey chocolate and medium-sweet maltiness slip through. The beer's leafy bitterness (and the 60 IBUs) could be better integrated, it too seems out of step with the profile.
Full Sail brews a great variety of styles and, while they do them all reasonably well, they've yet to really "win" at any of them. This porter (American or Imperial or whatever) is lovely stuff, but more deserving of a participant's ribbon than hardware. Still, it's a beer I'd be happy to have available locally and one that was definitely worth what I paid for it.
05-11-2011 04:03:34 | More by biegaman
3.53/5 rDev -8.5%
Picked up a bottle of this one yesterday because of the relatively low bomber price. Pours jet black with a medium tan head. Aromas of chocolate, smoke, roasted malt, and cocoa. On the palate, medium bodied, with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and faint char.
04-25-2011 04:34:46 | More by emmasdad
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
Poured from the bomber into a standard pint glass results in a black as carbon paper body with a one inch brown head, some lacing apparent but not much, seems too black for a porter.
Smells like a stout, looks like a stout.
Tastes like a light stout, roasted malt with charcoal bitterness, there is a slight floral hop ghost in there too. Surprisingly light body convinces me that this is possibly a porter, but It is in all other aspects a good stout.
Not sure about what they wanted to do here, a solid stout, but not what I want in a porter.
Edit,had another bottle later, compared quite favorably to Black Butte 23 style be damned it's a fine beer.
04-13-2011 06:52:05 | More by mudbug
3.38/5 rDev -12.4%
deep, viscous black with a small mocha head that quickly recedes to a thin film with average lacing.
aroma of charred malts, cocoa, toffee, molasses, coffee, with some piney/woody hops, like a toned down imperial stout, which seems about right.
flavor is not quite on point... some leafy, piney, and citrusy hops sit behind the charred malts and watery coffee.
watery finish on a medium bodied brew with some leafy hop flavors lingering for a while.
not bad, but not impressive either. I seem to be saying that about all the Full Sail beers I have been trying. Good value, but nothing I'd reach for on a special occasion.
04-13-2011 03:50:05 | More by silentjay
Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.