Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

57 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 11
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jletts on 02-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by GClarkage:
Photo of GClarkage
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

03/15/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep black in color. About a 1/2 inch head upon pour. Creamy looking tight bubbled head. Leaves behind a few streaks of lace trails.

Smell- Smells of fresh malted barley. Dark chocolate and heavily almost smokey malt. Also a tiny bit of butterscotch.

Taste- This one is smokey and heavily roasted as the nose detected. Hops come in fairly large in the flavor with a sharp grapefruit flavor. Malt is dark chocolate and a times milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but also failrly well carbonated. Long lasting chocolate grapefruit malty-hopped taste.

Drinkability- Pretty damn good and nicely malted. Strong malted RIS fans will enjoy this one, especially for a low abv with good flavor.

More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, nearly opaque. Firm tan head about 1 cm high that lasts a good while. Rich coffee and dark chocolate aroma with burnt malt, leather, and red wine. Mellow taste. Chocolate, coffee, smoky malt, toffee, oak, and anise are prevalent. Everything seems to be at the same level, and kind of mutes each flavor instead of complimenting it. A good beer that could be better.

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little reddish light peeks through the edges of the pour. Decent lacing along the sides of the glass. The khaki head disappears a little quicker than I'd like but hey!

S: Tons of chocolate and dark roasted malts come through with some dark fruits underneath. Smells delicious!

T: Initial onslaught of charred chocolate malt and cocoa powder, bitter espresso expressions, some cereal flavors which remind me of childhood bowls of Cocoa Pebbles, and lingering hoppy bitterness. The tangible residual sweetness gives this a slight dessert-like quality. (I poured some over vanilla bean ice cream after the review)

M: Moderate mouthfeel which is consistent with the 8% but this would have been amazing if thickened and bumped up to 10%.

D: Wonderful to drink, an enjoyable brew.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a good imperial stout. But not a great one.

Pours a thick impenetrable black with a good fluffy tan head. Nose is thin with dark fruit slight licorice, slight copper. Taste is pretty complex with dark fruit up front followed by thin coffee flavor, some bitter chocolate and the tiniest sweet sugar lick. Coffee lingers on the finish and alcohol warms. Mouthfeel is unnecessarily thin. Drinkaiblity is pretty good. Overall, this is a good representation of the style, but a bit thin, and kind of light, good robust flavors, but I would like to have been hit just a bit harder with them. Good brew.

Photo of sunsetdigger
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a case, chilled a bottle overnight poured medium thick, hints of bittersweet chocolate, vannila notes, bourbon on the nose. Oaky finish very drinkable be careful if you have more than one bottle on hand get some if you can this is a great beer!!!

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Boolshot for this 650 mL bomber.

A: The double stout is dark, maybe not doubly dark but dark enough. It's blackness offers no faults. A small head, at best a quarter finger, has little in the way of legs.

S: Chocolate and roasted grains leap right out of the glass. A raisiny, plum quad-like aroma follows on the heels of the burnt flavors. A Belgian-style stout perhaps?

T: The stout is sweet upfront before yielding to a rich, darkly roasted body. Chcolate, more cocoa than semi-sweet, drives the initial sip. Gone are the fruity aspects of the nose, instead what lingers is all roast all the time. Roasted flavors become more dominate as the ale warms, crowding out the other aspects. The charred flavors, very burnt, run a bit thin at times.

M: The mouthfeel runs all over the place, from weaker to stronger, often in the same sip. My last sip had a good dose of chocolate, so I'll make that my parting shot.

D: The stout feels much bigger than 8% (a stark contrast with Black Licorice Lager), making me want to take my time with it. For being two years old, it's done nicely.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz shared with Steven.. Mine in my New Belgium globe.

Nice looking lite brown head.. good lacing .. black brew.. chunky head. lasts a long time.

Aroma is big chocolate and molasses.. French Roast and touches of mocha. Deep dark fruits as it warms.. figs and dried cherries... a little bit of prunes as it hit room temp.

Flavor is big yeasty frutiness with a smack in the jaw of dark malts. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee... with plummy and figgy fruitiness mid palate. Sorta a cocoa/nutty presence .. Awesome and understated at the same time.

One of the best RIS that I've had in a while.. and a fantastic value... I will be stocking up.

A notch above the '08 Stone IRS we had earlier tonight.. Really pretty good now without needing a bunch of aging... tasty and a good value.

Photo of daythree16
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Included in a beer package from a friend whose dad lives in Oregon. Split the 22 oz. bottle with a couple of friends.

Pours pitch black, with no light coming through. Decent brown head with lots of lace.

Smell is chocolate and coffee. Taste is very bitter. Lots of dark chocolate with some pleasantly sour cherries. Also has a nice espresso finish.

Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is pretty good, but I probably wouldn't have more than one bottle. Definitely glad I was able to get my hands on this one though.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with good retnetion and a nice dark brown color.

Smell is of chocolate and vanilla with some mint and an undertone of a citrusy hop bitterness. A little bit of astrigency comes out from the alcohol though.

Taste is of chocolate with some mint and tofee. A strong vanilla flavor comes out on the finish with a ctirusy hop bitterness. Astringency is a little much when the beer becomes warm. However, if it's too cold the flavors are hidden and don't make it as enjoyable. I think the flaw with this beer is mainly too much vanilla doesn't mix well with the undertones of mint and orange.

Somewhat smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel. However it has a slight dryness and astringency.

I want to like this beer more, but I just can't. The undertones don't stay where they are supposed to and too much vanilla, orange and mint come out. It's a decent beer however and definetly worth a try.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tayner for this "gots list" extra.

This beer pours a dark black that lets in a surprising amount of raisin-brown when held to the light. The head is a cocoa film that leaves some nice strands of lace.

Smells slightly astringent that comes from an old coffee but is quickly forgotten when a cool iced mocha cocoa comes into play. In the distance is a woody dryness and a sharp edge of alcohol. There's also a pervasive brown sugar and raspberry sweetness.

Tastes too of the same astringent nature as the smell, but its a bit more prominent now. There's a dark smokey coffee and a touch of over-ripe dark fruit, but this picks up on a dry woody bark that fades quickly to a medicinal alcohol. It really isn't that bad as the nastiness comes and goes, but when it's there, it's bad. The medicinal band-aid flavor lingers into the finish reminding me of scotch, but not in a good way.

Feels big and playful with a solid swarm of bubbles that rises out of a slick and sturdy base.

So close...

Photo of alcstradamus
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with a finger of head and some decent lacing. Aroma is a fairly light mix of chocolate malts and citrus hops.

The flavor is dry cocoa and earthy hops up front, with a bit of a charred finish. Not a ton of depth, and there is a weird flavor present that I can't pinpoit that is a bit off-putting. But overall it isn't bad once you get past the flaws.

The body is a bit fuller than medium. Drinkability is average, this just didn't impress me enough to want another.

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wasatch for including in a trade!

22 oz. bottle, poured into snifter:

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that descends to wisps and a ring that leaves fine rings of vanishing lace.

The smell is of licorice, molasses, some solvent alcohol(a bit more than even an 8% would have) and dark fruits (esp. plums).

The taste is of licorice, chocolate, chickory and molasses. Alcohol shows through though 8% is not very high for style. Toasted bready notes and sweetened plums/dark fruits come through as well. There is an underlying leafy bitterness and slight toast balancing the sweetness.

The body is oily in a medium-to-full body. Warming gives it a bit more of a body, but not much.

The astringency and alcohol bite slow this down though body is not thick. Although it could be richer for the style, IMO, it's a nice sipper. It certainly has an "American" touch that brings it out of RIS and fits it neatly into the American Double/Imperial Stout style.

Photo of woodychandler
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I acquired mine the old-fashioned way: traveling. Thanks, Woody, for hooking me up. ;=)

First off, the finger of rocky, mocha-brown head really got my attention at the tail end of a day of beer consumption. Mmmm, boy! The color was a deep, dark, viscous black. Let's not kid ourselves here. These RISes are not deep or dark brown, nor are they for they for the faint of heart. Frankly, I am not a huge fan of the style, but I do find them amusing, especially when shared among civilians (non-BAs). Just as with the bottle of their Bourbon-bbl.-aged Porter that I opened this afternoon, I noted a really hot nose. I remain resolute in my opinion that these "Brewmaster's Reserve 2008" beers are ones that could be aged without any fear of damage to the beer. Beyond the heat, there was also a good deal of chocolate on the nose. The mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a definite bittersweet chocolate taste on the palate. The finish had a charcoal bitterness that I really disliked Sheaf Stout for at one point and I did not find particularly appealing in this beer.

Bottom Line: Make this a Now 'n' Later beer, if you can. Buy two bottles - try one Now and cellar one for Later.

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewing snifter. One finger of tan brown head that quickly dissolved into a coke float looking liquid. Typical Impy Stout aromas of coffee, cocoa, vanilla. Noticeable coffee taste, almost burnt coffee. Boozy, with a touch of marshmellow sweetness. Lite sweetness, balanced hoppiness.
Slightly better than average Impy Stout

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jake's in Steilacoom the other day.

the beer pours a blackish brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. On the nose this is basically text book IS, with the expected chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and maybe a hint of licorise. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, with the no more then moderate impy sweetness nicely countered by some hoppy bitterness in the finish. It gives the beer something of slightly dry, licorise finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full and the 8% alcohol is well disguised. The beer doesn't come across as very boozy, and drinkability is not bad.

This is a solid enough beer, but there are just too many other IS options out there these days, most of which are considerably better then this.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ALECOHOLIC for this as an extra. My first Full Sail offering.

Pours oily black with a small mocha head that fades into a ring around the tulip.

Smell: Dark fruit, mild cocoa, and faint coffee notes.

Taste: Coffee, Dark Fruit, Bitter Chocolate, Woody in the finish. Nice and roasty, this kind of reminds me of Palo Santo from DFH, a tad thinner, pretty drinkable.

Photo of RedHaze
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MASPuros for the bottle.

Pours black with a thick mocha head that takes a good long time to fade to a thick cap. The lacing is thick, leaving a nice webbing behind.

Smell; milk chocolate, lactos, and a touch of some carmale malts dominate. There's no real hop presence in the nose, it's pretty much all malty goodness.

Taste; as with the nose, milk chocolate and adn little caramel lead the way. Some coffes and alittle dark fruits come through, with dates and some prunes. A fairly decent bitterness comes through in the finish, but I think this is more due to the roasted malts than any real hop presence.

Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied, with a fairly light carbonation with a good drinkability. Might be a little tame compared to a lot of other IRS's, but still really nice.

Photo of jletts
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Full Sail Imperial Stout, Brewer's Reserve

Served at cellar temperature in a Stone IRS glass (tulip style).

Appeared true black, no light getting through, with a nice stratified head; a frothy burnt crème layer overlays bubbly yellow-brown, below which is only darkness. Excellent. Smelled of tootsie roll and milk chocolate, with notes of coffee with cream. First impression flavors were of baker's chocolate, sour cherry, and cocoa. Some bitter-sour coffee notes emerged in the middle and a pronounced and lingering oak finished it off. The mouthfeel was silky, smooth and quite nice. Good to drink now, but I'll be saving the other one for at least a year to see what the cellar can do with it.

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a deep dark black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is big on malts, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, slight hint of vanilla. The taste is awesome, slightly sweet, very big dark flavour, and malty as hell. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well with this one. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, I'm glad it is available in UT now, well I have a few bottles sitting around, lol Thanks Bill for hooking me up with this before it arrived here, highly recommended.

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with sepia highlights around the edges; the frothy tan head leaves some lacing behind as it descends

Smell: Dark chocolate, some roast and a hint of plum

Taste: Very fruity, up front, with plum and grapefruit elements parrying with the dark chocolate; after the swallow, there is more chocolate flavor but the fruit persists

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little thin for the style

Drinkability: The fruit flavors don't really meld very well and the chocolate/roast is really understated for the style; enjoyable enough to drink but far from the top echelon

Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown bordering awful close to black. Some highlighting when held up, but not much. Work khaki-colored head is up about an inch early, with some large bubbles, but doesn't last much. Minus for retention, plus for lacing. Evens out to a 4.

I get a stronger whiff of the fruit in the aroma than the chocolate or roasted malt. There's plenty of strength in the nose, but just not quite enough complexity. Smidgen of milk or other sweetness squeezes in.

The flavor allows a little more sweet, but is still dominated by a combination of fig/raisin and semi-sweet chocolate. There is a fairly dramatic citric hop presence, which is both awesome and unusual. I personally like it, being very attuned to the west coast IPA styles, but it could definitely come across as poorly attenuated and bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium at best, a little thinned out by what I feel is a strong hop presence in comparison to the malts. Good drinkability, not great, as it is a bit dry and astringent in the finish. I enjoy it, but feel that it may not have universal appeal.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick creamy brown head that lasts for what seems like an eternity. Smells of roasted malt, faint coffee and chocolate. Taste leans towards the coffee/espresso, with a slight bit of hop presence. Mouthfeel is full bodied, moist finish, with not too much aftertaste. A very drinkable Imperial Stout, goes down way easier than i thought it would. Well Done.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty dark with a thin dark tan head that leaves quickly. Nose is firmly cocoa/chocolate with some tarry molasses. Dlagoe is full and very robust. The inital flavor profile is bold but one dimensional. Thick malts with roasted tones. What's interesting is when the aftertaste hits you. It takes some time, but cocoa really glides through your mouth and some coffee hits as well. Smooth feel with a slightly lower carbonation to it. This is really easy to drink big stout. Oooh. Big stout. Why dont we change the classification for this and all similarly listed brews to American Big Stout. And if they ever get bigger, we can call them an American Really Big Stout.

Photo of Onenote81
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received from breity in a recent trade. Thanks so much!

Poured into my snifter a deep dark black. Very viscous and syrupy. Nice 1/2 inch tan head on top. Sticky lacing and webbing all over the glass edge. Smelles of currants, grapes, wine, coffee, and chocolate. Very nice.

Mouthfeel was syrupy and a tad oily. This one was a little thick and chewy. Not too bad. Flavors abounded with wallops of roasted cocoa beans, espresso, tangy grapes, and finishes sort of sweet like molasses. This is a really good brew that I'm honored to have had the pleasure of enjoying. With only being brewed once, if you get the chance, get it!

Photo of ccrida
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I've cellared since it's release about 10 months ago, served in a nonic at 55F. Full Sail's Imperial Stout is pitch black with a dense, dark tan head that leaves pretty heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is rather sweet, rich, rather port like, a bit phenolic, unusual for an imperial stout, and not really my bag.

Taste is also rather sweet, there's just to much crystal or something in this brew for my taste, but it's countered with a hefty roastiness that lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, with a medium body.

Drinkability is ok, I really didn't love this one at first, but warmed up to it a bit more as I worked through and the roast coated my tongue, blocking the sweentess. The lower ABV, smooth mouthfeel and light body also all helped it's cause. I have another 2 of these in the cellar IIRC, but it doesn't really strike me as one that will age that well. Reminds me of Samuel Smith's, which isn't my favorite by any stretch. Still, I'm looking forward to the barrel aged version, if it's anything like the top sail!

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Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
87 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.