Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

61 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 116
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 15.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 03-06-2010

Brewed & released every other year

First Release - March 2010
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Hads: 116
Photo of honeybrewer
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving type: Year 2010, 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Very dark, minimal head. good lacing.

Smell: Smells great, I get coffee, chocalte, and strong roast malt aromas.

Taste: Bummer. It was almost really good. There are some really good flavors here; rich roasted malt and just a hint of floral hoppiness. Unfortunaltely they are overpowered by an acrid, charcoal flavor, with perhaps too much hop bitterness. The burnt flavor really kills this beer, although it lessens somewhat as it comes to room temp.

Mouthfeel: It is a full bodied beer, despite its minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: In my humble opinion, this beer is currently not worth drinking. However, a year or so in the cellar might do it a world of good, if it can bring the burnt flavor into balance. At just over four bucks apiece, I might throw a few of these in the cellar for a year or two, but not with any great expectations.

 920 characters

Photo of pwoods
2.66/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kels for sharing.

22oz. Brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with medium viscosity. Light brown head on the pour with only a bit of retention bit decent lacing.

S: Subtle aroma. Some light roast. Mild sweetness. A touch of hops.

T/M: Again, light roast. The sweatness is pretty characterless. Hops are more prominent than the roast. Body is only about medium with average carbonation.

D: Pretty easy to drink and only 8% bit not very interesting.

 481 characters

Photo of SSEngelbrecht
2.76/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I poured this from a chilled bottle into a pint glass.

A: The color is dark and rich, with a thin head that dissipates with no lacing.

S: The smell is filled with molasses, cocoa and oak (although it is not barrel aged).

T: Here's where things start to fall apart. The taste was odd, anything that was contained in the aroma was overshadowed by a flavor I can't really identify. I sipped it several times as it warmed to nearly room temperature and nothing improved.

M: Medium - light syrup feel (not taste)

O: I wish I could identify the root cause of the failure here, but it was like several strong flavors combined in a way that was off-putting. I've had hundreds of beers and many from the top 250. This is my only drain pour to date.

 745 characters

Photo of emmasdad
2.83/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this one in Fort Collins last Saturday (shocked I hadn't seen it before). Poured a nice black color with a little light brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, burnt coffee and a bit of chocolate. Lighter bodied than I expected, dry and acrid, with roasted malt and burnt coffee.

 299 characters

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After being sick of drinking all the crap beer AKBelgianBeast has sent me to drink for my losing earnings I wanted to try something that might not be half bad.

A- Dark black with a tan head. The head subsided quickly leaving great lacing and a thin cap of head excrement.

S- The smell is dark, chocolaty, a touch of bourbon, dry roasted burnt malts with a woody smell to it.

T- Dry, very dry. The chocolate isn't very strong, and the roasted malts are more like acrid burnt to a crisp malts. This beer is very heavy on the burnt end, it's like someone either burnt the beer to the bottom of the brew pot, or they stirred a huge chunk of burnt wood though the brewing process. This is not all that great and quite the disappointment.

M- Dry and thin for a beer of this style. I like my darker beers to be thicker, and this is too thin for my liking.

D- It is alright, not something I would buy, or recommend for others to buy.

I've had bad luck with FS beers. They are ok, and not that great for the price. I know lots of people love their beers, but they are just an average beer company. They have yet to make something that wows me. Even their black gold is just a thin version of GIBCS with the GIBCS being the better beer by far.

 1,242 characters

Photo of kels
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to cracking this bottle now that it's 2011. Review on the beer poured into a snifter, shared with pwoods.

Really nice looking pour. Super-dark chocolate liquid, completely opaque but not viscous looking, supports a fleeting cocoa-powder brown head. Not much of it remains after the first few seconds, but loads of lace cling to the walls throughout the entire drink.

Disappointing nose in this one. With all that lace and the initial head, I thought more aroma would come off this beer. Instead I only get the slightest hint of roasted chocolate malt. That's about it.

Taste is a little more apparent than the aroma, but not as much as I'd expect in an imperial stout. There's a good note of richly roasted coffee, and there's a slight kick of sappy hops that comes in mostly in the aftertaste. Body is thin, and it washes the taste away too quickly to really get to make much mention of what had been.

Drinkability is, well, it's drinkable. It goes down quickly and easily, but not with much interest. I don't know if it's the age or what, but this is one I won't miss next year.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Justin_Neff
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark black, but not quite thick, slow, and sticky enough to be described as motor oil. Appears a little thin on the pour. Light tan colored head - 1 finger, thin, disappears quickly into a small ring. Leaves a little lacing.

S: Smell seems a bit artificial. Definitely some sweet chocolate flavors. Roasted malt. Vanilla. Some hints of java.

T: Chocolate malts dominate the taste. Hints of what seems like a vanilla latte. Mocha taste is present. Overall, something seems a tiny bit off. Hints of oxidation maybe?

M: Pretty disappointed with how thin this one tastes. I would go so far as to say this has a medium-full body, which I should never say when drinking an "Imperial Stout" IMHO.

O: From the pour all the way through the taste I felt like it was just "ok". The feel was thin and the taste seemed artificial. Lots of different flavors - they just seemed a little forced and all over the place. It wasn't terrible, but I certainly wouldn't buy it if I saw it on the shelf.

 993 characters

Photo of Bfarr
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with an umber head that leaves excellent lacing. A little chocolate and roasted aromas. Flavors of mostly coffee with a strong hop and roasted malt bittering with a little chocolate. Good thick mouthfeel.

This is a very strongly bittered imperial stout. It's good roasted flavors but not too much else.

 315 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 release

A - Pours black with one finger of tan head. Head doesn't have great retention but leaves some spotty lacing.

S - A lot of chocolate and some roasted malts. Faint sweetness. Pretty standard IS aroma.

T - Follows the nose pretty closely, though there is more roasted malt in the taste. A bit of alcohol is apparent.

M - Mouthfeel is too thin for my liking.

O - Pretty good imperial stout that is done in a bit by thin mouthfeel and a flavor profile that is good, but not very interesting.

 505 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a mostly black color with a small cap of tan head. A little below average on retention and lacing.

Nose is raisins and dark chocolate, fig newton and brown sugar...not bad, interesting at least.

Taste is light cocoa with a dusty mineral flavor and the fruit is less prevalent than the nose would indicate. A little roasty and acrid on the finish, lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is very thin for the style and it does have a bit of 'watery' taste to it. It is not even average in the style category for mouthfeel...I know Full Sail can brew some really good stuff when they want too, but some of these bomber offerings just seem so half-assed. A watery, 7.2% ABV Imperial Stout...really? That is not imperial, man....maybe foreign export at best. Its like the Pre-K of imperial stouts, Im surprised it didnt come with a diaper. I jest...kind of. It is not that bad of a beer overall, and I think the 3.99 price tag is reasonable, but to call it a brewmaster reserve is a little much.

 1,004 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Motor oil black with a pretty good brownish head and pretty good lacing.

Aroma and flavor reflected a lot of brown sugar, molasses, roasted and burnt malts, dark fruits, with tingles of coffee and chocolate. Some notable hops too, bitterness and aroma were balanced pretty well.

Body was thick and a little bit syrupy, sweet on the finish.

Overall it was pretty good.

 370 characters

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

Pours near black with a slight red tone. Slight tan head and a trace of lacing. Dark malts and coffee aroma. Dark malt, dark fruit and light hops. Finishes dry with lingering coffee/dry dark malt. Not very complex. Like an imperial version of an English stout. Satisfactory, but not outstanding.

 295 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large wine glass from a capped 22 oz. bottle. Pours a nearly opaque black with a thin cap of mocha foam. Offers fair retention and good lacing.

Nose of roasted malt and milk chocolate with deeper chocolate notes with warming. Becomes a bit reaching after the head settles and not very volatile without some good agitation. Some earthy hops evident as the beer settles.

Flavor is somewhat dry with light chocolate and coffee and more roasted or even smoked malt given the dryness. Feel is a bit light for the style and with a slight cherry chocolate finish. Easy drinking given the light body and dry character yet not offering much reason to linger either. Warming does bring forth a fuller body and more depth.

 727 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle into pint glass.

The beer appears black, with little signs of carbonation and fair amount of tan head. The nose is of malts, with a mixture of chocolate and coffee aromas, while the flavor is of more chocolate and hints of coffee notes, with some nice bitterness from the coffee. It has a bit too much burnt astringency toward the finish though, and there is a pleasant, very light boozy warmness to the finish as well.
This beer while enjoyable and a solid imperial stout, was in my mind, nothing outstanding in a style that has so many impressive brews to offer.

 578 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with slight red highlights around the edges and a 1 inch tan head that fades to film on the top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form on top of each other on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts, coffee beans, and milk chocolate. Tastes of roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, and some caramel. Mild coffee/dark chocolate bitterness on the palate after each sip. Low carbonation makes for a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good imperial stout for a really good price. I ended up with this one for $4.99 and I am happy with my purchase.

 598 characters

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Kept this bottle since spring of 2013 which was when purchased. This was one that kept staring at me in my beer cellar; or fridge as it were next to my clown shoes and Yetis. Poured with little head, but not expected from a stout like this. Poured black with little bubbles on the top off into a imperial pint glass. Fair lacing, sticky. Smelled like a boozey beer with good malt character. Taste great. I think Full Sail did great here. Heavy up front malt with hop character but not over powering either. Taste like sweet then bitter. Good balance but could be better. This was a good treat. Would buy again and would reccomend to other stout fans. Not bad for a cold night here in Texas. This is a sipper and deserves respect when consuming. Not a real heavy hitter as I expected, only 7.2%. Taste like it has more Abv. Cheers!

 830 characters

Photo of diamondc
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster Reserve 2012. $5 for a bomber. Says Enjoy By 023 ... whatever that means.

A: Typical stout apperance... almost completely black, with maybe a hint of ruby when held up to the light. A fingers worth of mocha colored head with some slight lacing.

S: Really big cocoa powder notes, with a subtle sour fruit smell. Almost like a raspberry.

T: A really big coffee flavor up front. Some dark chocolate, burnt toast, almost charcoal bitterness afterwards.

M: A bit thin on the mouthfeel. The roasted, almost burnt malts lingers long after each sip.

O: Decent stout. Too roasted, not much complexity going on, but worth a try since its cheap.

 654 characters

Photo of zhanson88
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Full Sail Imperial Stout pours very dark brown with a little over a finger of dark mocha head. Retention is pretty nice and resulting lacing is a very thin film.

Smell: Roasted malts, expresso and chocolate combine nicely to form a strong backbone. I definitely get a hint of hops as well, as well as a bit of alcohol. Pretty good.

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate are all there at the start, but they seem a bit muted to me. The flavors definitely aren't as strong as I was expecting. I get some hops on the back end, and coffee at the finish. Overall a pretty nicely balanced stout, but nothing mind blowing.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Body is between full and medium, with very low carbonation. Too low, actually. Overall this is a pretty decent AIS that is reasonably drinkable.

 805 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: entirely black; allows no transit of light at all. Head is half a finger of creamy light brown foam. I don't know what to ask for in an imperial stout other than utter, dominating blackness.

Smell: rich roasted barley aroma. I don't know whether this is aged in oak at all, but there is an oakiness to it. Other than these characteristics, there's not a lot of complexity. Still, I like it.

Taste: roasty. Flavors tend toward the coffee end of the spectrum. There's a little chocolate toward the end, though, which is nice. Hops are a little vegetabley; these are probably the bittering hops coming through. A fair bit of the bitterness seems to come from the roasted barley, however. Overall, it seems a bit unrefined; I like it well enough, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a little bit of a syrupy texture. Carbonation is low overall, but pretty solid for the style. I actually rather like the mouthfeel of this beer.

Drinkability: I think the drinkability of this brew has to track with the flavor. This isn't exactly a refreshing session beer, so we'll fall back to it being good but not great.

 1,157 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Another treat from my nearby Whole Foods (keep up the good work, Jeff!). It pours a straight jet black with a head of minor tan foam. The nose is chocolate syrup, coffee, walnuts, dark wheat, and some black cherries in the background. The taste is pretty similar, with notes of dark, roasted malts, light coffee, and very bitter chocolate. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the chocolate is too bitter, dragging down the whole of the tasting experience. The body is a solid medium, with moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, a pretty decent imperial stout, but nothing all that great.

 634 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle on a whim at some undetermined amount of time in the past. I mean, when do you see $3.99 bombers of imperial stout? Hell, that's reason enough for me. Split up 50/50 with my reclining wife after an early night of poker.

Pours black, like every imperial stout ever created. Smell is malty, but with a milky edge, a la milk stouts. Sprigs of chocolate, too.

Full Sail Imperial Stout works on several levels, but the first impression is it's a bit thin. Chocolate & roast work their way into my septic systems, but they're cut with Oregon's finest tap water. The roast really veers drunkenly towards charcoal territory in the end. As it warms, the roast becomes even more prominent, allaying the whole H2o problem.

Well. One could certainly do worse for the price of a 22 oz. bomber. Simple, approachable, kind-hearted imperial stout. Good beer, a throwback to a simpler time of brewing.

 912 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24oz bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown that borders on black. Topped of with a nice mocha head.

S Coffee, dark chocolate, and some dark fruits.

T Lots of dark fruits, some roasted coffee and chocolate.

M Kind of thin and watery.

Overall this is a pretty tasty non barrel aged stout, and a very good effort by Full Sail. It is a bit thin and watery which is an issue, but other then that it is pretty solid. Plus at around $4.50 a bottle its hard to find a better deal.

 500 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a big soapy tan head. Spider webs of lace. Roasty aromas, bold taste, mostly coffee. Some burnt parts. More sweet than bitter, some chocolate malts. A bit astringent. Not the thickest of the style,not the most omplex, but decent enough RIS, thanks Radek.

 271 characters

Photo of billab914
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured black in color with a thin but frothy tan head to it. The head faded but left some decent lacing as it did.

The aroma has a bit of a sweeter, molasses and brown sugar like quality to it. I get a good amount of roasty, burnt, bitterness to it along with A little bit of a dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor as well. Pretty decent aroma to it overall.

The taste also shows a sweeter, molasses and brown sugar quality to it right off the bat. Later I start to get a burnt, roasty flavor with some decent smoke coming through as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was decent but not outstanding in the style. I did like the roasted, smoky flavors it had to it though. Good beer to sip on this evening.

 830 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Pours a dark black color with a tan head. Has an aroma of roasted malts with a bit of sweetness. Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Flavor of roasted malts and coffee, with some noticeable hints of dark bitter chocolate. There's also a bit of hops and grains present. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Tasty, but pretty high octane.

 363 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
85 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.