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Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 7
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ElGordo on 03-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply fantastic.

Poured a dark chocolate milk brown. Head held up well and was slightly tanned brown Poured thick like chocolate milk. Nose was sulphuric with some subtle dark chocolate tones.

Solid American porter. Heavy malt flavor with a smokey cinder presence. Not overpowering but enough to remind me what I am drinking. There is also some touched of slightly green hops. Very much a Pacific NW beer. Dark chocolate. Coffee grinds. Caramel. Lots of flavors going on in this beer. Medium to full mouthfeel. I actually thought there was more flavor before the beer warmed up to room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 01:27:54 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster's Reserve 2007 pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of pillowy/chunky mocha colored head. Excellent head retention & lava lamp-type lacing

S: Chocolate, roasty malts, treacle, licorice,& a bit of iron

T: Chocolate, roasted grain, & hint of molasses up front. Dryness, a little bit of boozeyness, & bitter chocolate as this warms. Slight coffee hints, along with oaky dryness, some fruity notes ( dates & plums), vanilla, & roasty grains, plus a bit of booze hotness

MF: Oily, some viscous character, medium bodied, with low carbonation & slight astringency. that vanishes as this warms

Drinks pretty good, a bit too hot for my liking. I remember loving this stuff on draft about 10 years ago

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 06:25:58 | More by russpowell
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to UncleJedi for sending this beer my way. The beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The appearance is exactly as I like Porters. The beer has an impenetrable blackness to the body. The head is the color of lightly creamed coffee. The head has great retention and leaves a ton of lacing behind on my glass.

Smell: This beer is loaded with the aroma of well roasted coffee with a nip of cocoa. A bitof oakey vanilla and dark fruit play in the aroma.

Taste: The beer gives up a slightly burnt coffee flavor with a dash of cocoa. A wee nip of smoke combines with an earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The body is very creamy and on the plus side. The carbonation seems to be on the low end of medium. This is a dam fine Porter and I wish I had a few more to follow this one. Thanks again UncleJedi.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 13:58:50 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Duckboy!

A: Pours a chewy dark brown with a frothy dark beige head. This head doesn’t look like it will be dropping any time soon.

S: Oily chocolate, coffee grounds, vinous woods with a chalky aspect to it.

T: Begins with some creamy lactose like flavors at the tip of the tongue. Gives way to chocolate milk with just a touch of sweetness. My imagination is giving me banana and peanut butter for some reason. Definitely some nutty aspects to it though. As the beer continues, I get a homebrew-like alcohol flavor that pops up which isn’t too flattering. Roasted bitterness raises awareness to its position and lingers for a while around the center of the tongue.

M: Full bodied and creamy.

D: Very quaffable porter, easy going on the palate. Nothing overly special though.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 04:13:18 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/07/07- Purchased at John's Marketplace, in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark brown to light balck in color. 3/4 inch chocolate brown head with streaks and small patches of lace left.

Smell- Deep roasted malt notes with a smoky burnt aspect. Some bitter hop aroma and maybe some burnt coffee beans.

Taste- Malt is intermixed with coffee and chocolate, both which are lightly smoked and roasted very deeply. Hop bitterness intermixes well with the both. Flavors get much sweeter as the bottle warms. Much more drinkable at room temp than cool.

Mouthfeel- Very creamy with a mid level carbonation rate. Light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Seems like a mix of Baltic and regular porter. I'd still push it to the imperial side though. Perfectly fine beer worth trying out. Solid effort from Full Sail as usual.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 16:47:16 | More by GClarkage
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release, acquired via trade from Wasatch, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him, poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a medium-sized brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark fruit and roasted malts with a mild background of hops and alcohol.

T: The taste starts out with and is dominated by the two flavors of dark chocolate and cherries. Once you get past that though, this beer has all of the flavors indicative of the American Porter style like coffee & roasted malts. The after-taste is smoky and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky & dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, there are some that are better within the style but this one actually seems like it pushes strongly toward the Baltic Porter style border if not over it. This is a good beer drink slowly, but if you're in the right mood you could take one down pretty quickly.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 05:20:21 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tannish head, which then leaves some nice islands and sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, slightly roasted, big on the toffee/coffee/caramel. The taste is malty, roasty, nice touch of toffee/coffee/caramel. There's a nice slightly bitter/dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very nice porter from Full Sail, glad that I can get this locally.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 23:08:23 | More by Wasatch
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours pitch black, good sized tan head, lots of lacing down the glass
S: Smell is very stong chocolate and coffee.
T: Taste is of dark chocolate, like the darkest most bitter dark chocolate you have ever tasted. Almost astringent/asprin bitterness.
M: Thick, full oily mouthfeel.
D: Everything about this beer is pretty good except the taste, way too bitter and astringent.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 13:38:24 | More by loren01
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin tan head that is well-retained for abv level. Some trailing lace slides down glass.

The smell is of anise, chocolate and coffee notes. Earthy background. Some berry-like fruitiness.

The taste is of chocolate, anise, coffee and caramel/molasses. A touch of oak blends in. Sweetness balanced for style by a subtle berry-like dark fruitiness and earthy notes. Ends appropriately sweet and rich.

Full-bodied. Creamy.

This is awesome. Alcohol well-covered. Complex but not over-bearing. Have this sipper as a rich dessert.

Thanks to Wasatch for this wonderful treat!

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 16:28:02 | More by jwc215
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big-ass bomber purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $3.49. No freshness date.

Poured a dark brown color with a big, mocha colored head. The color of the beer does not lighten when held up to light - yep, it’s a dark one, alright. Sheets of mocha colored foam cling to the sides of my pint glass.

The scent is of roasty maltiness, with tones of coffee and chocolate.

The taste starts out with a bitter, coffee flavor. Then a sweet chocolaty taste jumps alongside. At the fadeout is a dry, hoppy note. All of this is fairly muted. It could have a little more oomph.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly oily. Medium bodied. Could use a little more thickness.

This is a halfway decent porter. It could be better with a little more body and a little more oomph. Drinking this beer has done nothing to make me reach for it in the future when a Black Butte is also available.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 07:29:09 | More by woemad
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip glass, the Top Sail Imperial Porter is a dark, inky black, purple tinged when held to a light, with a dense, creamy, dark tan head that leaves thick bubbly lace. A little rockier and it would be a 5, gorgeous!

The smell is fairly strong, sweet malt and chocolate, classic porter, but richer, almost reminicent of a milk stout. Nice.

Whoa - the taste is very roasty and bitter, more in RIS territory then porter. Theres some chocolate malty sweetness in the middle, but its lost in the astringency, finish dry and generally lacking depth. Or appeal.

The mouthfeel is rather viscous, although somewhat tempered by creamy carbonation.

Not very drinkable, to rough and roasty for a porter and just not very good.

Here's another one from Full Sail that looks and smells great, and then falls flat for a big let down. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 19:15:08 | More by ccrida
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black, opaque. Tan head. Malty aroma with some sweentess resembling Whoppers malted candies.

Palate is a big malt whallop with some candied sugars and alcohol warmth. Very hearty beer. Finish is long and malty sweet with plenty of hops to balance it out.

Very syrupy, in a good way.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 04:13:42 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky black that actually reminds me of something much more potent, although it forms a decent size 1" head with no aggressive pouring needed.
Smells like chocolate, coffee, and maybe a little bit of molasses.
Taste is really where this beer falls flat. There's a big up-front chocolate flavor and coffee on the back end, but that's it. The flavor is way too dry and there isn't enough depth beyond that. I tried 3-4 sips in a row and kept waiting for something else.
Mouthfeel's just right for drinking without being forced to sip. Because the alcohol is well hidden, if you do like this beer, you could likely have a few.
I'm a big Full Sail fan, but this one didn't do it for me. The look, texture, and make-up of the beer are to notch. The problem was that the taste is just too dry and simple. Every other aspect of it is fine. I'd love to see this re-worked into something with a little sweeter Baltic-style profile.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2007 14:55:29 | More by Domingo
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Update 09/07/07

22oz bottle poured into a 10oz Samuel Smith nonic glass. The taste was really good with coffee and roast flavors coming out. Not sure why it is so much better four months later, aging perhaps? I plan on aging the other three bottles to see what happens. Yum.

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The color was black with a tan head that was quite fluffy. The taste was a little like milk chocolate but faint. The alcohol was undetectable. The body was a little thin. Overall I did not care much for this beer. I will still give the Full Sail Brewmaster's Reserve a fair shake since Wreck The Halls was so good.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 17:21:11 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

mike is tha bomb

dark pour, light-proof. tan topper crown of airy foam and hazy spritz. smells like a chocolate-crusted pumpkin cheesecake. sweet with additional vegetal sweetness. cocoa lingers in the nose, although sweetness can do nothing to evade the senses here.

first sip is mad earthy, dry with hop oils bittering out my tongue.. just none of the traditional hop flavor. malt husks and dry bakers' chocolate fight what hops exist for the title of king bitterness of full sail.. the choco-beast wins with a strange, sour yeasty aftertaste. reminds me of mcneills with its yeast-dominated profile which rides a fine line between luxurious richness and the tartness of raw fermentation.

at 7.5%, this beer maintains an adequate drinkability.. however, it doesn't pull the punches that a porter should at this imperial level. it fails to deliver on hops, and brings no complexity to its malt bill. there is plenty going on, it just falls short of the greatness that i am used to.. but then again, i am from the land of hooker.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 04:07:20 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo

Washington

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know why but I didn't expect much out of this. From the moment I poured it, I had a feeling I might be wrong. The pour was blacker than a million midnights with a soft brown head. Lace abounds for days.

Nose is big on baking chocolate and chocolate syrup sweetness. .

Yep, chocolate dominates the taste. It leaps out and demands to be noticed. I get a bit of dark plums ... something about this seems more stoutlike than porter ... I think it might be the fact that the chocolate is so gigantic.

As I said, I'm really surprised by this. A solid brew all the way around.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 23:36:13 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous pour of dark brown, thick liquid. Huge capping of frothy, spongey dark tanned foam grows up quickly to keep its seat there for a great long while. Wow! It barely moves. Impressive. Eventually, some time passes and it becomes a large lump of styrofoam compactly drifting on top of a impenetrable black. Tons of lacing all over the place; thick and cob webby. I could look at this glass of porter all day, however...

The aroma enduces me into capturing the first sip with a wonderment of whats to come. Smells a little burntish with some cocoa and a bit of peppery spice to it. Green hops add a bit of zip as it warms and the pepper grows too.

The first sip turns quickly into a gulp as this is super subtle and easy going down to start. Oh, and yummy too. Nice tone gathers up a small cocoa tone over toasted, slightly burnt malts. Tiny charcoal hints ensue with a subtle undertow of sweet tanged dark fruity malt carrying molasses, cherry, and lots of dried pepper total tracks the finish along with a green hop zip of added spice. Great popping finish. The spice is just right, if not altogether, the main stage of palate twisting fun, once it hits.

Feel is slippery in the front, creamy centered, and spicy in the finish. Great tone and texture, very simple, yet fulfilling with a light fluffyness and very slight little tug of black malt burntness and dryness over the top. But the finish is what really pulls this through as it gains a wonderful peppery spice mixed with a green hopped oilyness and zip.

Solidly drinkable and wholey enjoyable as Imperial Porters go. This boat has sailed well and a big thanks goes out to cvschaller for the tie off!

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 03:06:05 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown, almost black. It has a thin brown head that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate, grains and some coffee and a little alcohol.

The flavor is chocolate and coffee. It starts out a little sweet and finishes with a pretty big charred bitterness and lots of anise. The mouthfeel is medium to full with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, a decent imperial porter. The charred anise is a bit too much for me to enjoy though.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 04:39:04 | More by Beaver13
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a large tumbler. This is a new release from Full Sail's BrewMaster Reserve Series (2007).

A: Crackling mocha-tan head, about 1-1/2 fingers, atop the blackest of black porters. Good head retention - an ever-present creamy cap that offers up some good sticky rings of lace. Great-looking porter!

S: Coffee grounds, oak, light vanilla, cocoa powder, light cherry juice.

T: Big flavor of charred malt, espresso beans, dark chocolate and tannic wood. Substantial sour oxidation...flavorful but overly bitter in my opinion.

M: Enough carbonation to support a medium/full mouthfeel. Velvety, almost creamy at times, then developing a sharper, more acrid finishing bite. Long lingering bitterness straight down the tongue.

D: Good enough to have again. Pretty easy to sip on, but heavy at 7.5%. I'd like to try a mellowed-out version of this in a few more months. Good now, maybe great later.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 23:19:13 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber "Brewmasters Reserve 2007" Very very dark beer, but not quite black, hints of mahogany round the edges, a colossal thick,bubbly brown head tops it off. Very roasty malt nose, some lactic hints but its all esspresso coffee and 70% cocoa chocolate. Very much a malt driven porter, very dark maltings. Toasted , with great flavours of black coffee, dark chocolate ,raisins and liquorice. Some hints of hop but noit much. Though the taste is good i felt the palate left a lot to be desired, its rather thin and low carbonated enough to be limp. Weird. The limp palate sort of lets down the drinkabliity a bit. I think this is one of those very rare beers were a bit more carbonation would work wonders. My opinion only!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 18:49:48 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Dubbercody
Dubbercody

Washington

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle picked up at New Seasons today. Blackish brown with a medium brown head. Nice nose of chocolate and hops. Tasty brew Really chocolaty and malty. I agree that this will do well with a bit of age on it. Damn fine local beer that I enjoyed. I have to say that it does fall into the Imperial category for me as Porter, particularly as it warms the flavors thicken up even if the beer isn’t thick like I would put on a Impy Stout, but for a porter, it works for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 00:43:11 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The spring 2007 release from Full Sail's Brewmaster's Reserve series. Pours a rich chocolate brown with a thick, two-finger tan head that hangs out on top for the duration. Pleasant aroma of roasted dark and chocolate malts (maybe some caramel, too), floral hops, and notes of light biscuit and brown sugar. Palate is sublime - rich, slightly roasted malt blends with assertively spicy hops, with chocolate and mocha notes underneath. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety, just superb. I haven't had a porter like this in a long time - rich and roasty, a pleasure to savor.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 06:35:20 | More by ElGordo
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Top Sail Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.