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Wreck The Halls - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Wreck The HallsWreck The Halls

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BA SCORE
85
very good

480 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 273
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 12
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dolem98 on 11-19-2002

"This annual favorite is a sublime hybrid of an American style IPA and a winter warmer. The result is a bold brew that celebrates the holidays with an intriguing blend of Centennial hops providing elegant citrus notes balanced by a backdrop of a rich caramel malt body. Dry hopped to amplify the aromas and flavor. Available in 22oz. bottles and draught. ABV 6.5% IBU 68"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 273
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky rustic orange with sunflower yellow accents at the margins. While there's very little visible carbonation, the firmly creamy head doesn't seem to need the help. The cap is the color of rich, polished ivory bathed in a softly glowing orange light and eventually deposits shards of lace that stick to the glass with tenaciousness.

The nose is sparklingly bright and easily earns the moniker 'hoptastic'. It's much more orange zesty than grapefruit zesty and there's some tropical fruit juiciness in the mix as well. I can't quite pull the trigger on perfect, so 'merely excellent' will have to do.

Whereas the nose just misses greatness, the flavor just achieves it. The flavor is dominated by a sweet hoppy goodness that keeps the lion's share of bitterness at bay. Ripe oranges still lead the way with accessory flavors of pine sap and, oddly enough, pear syrup. White grapefruit is never very far away when one or more of the 4-Cs are in use, and such is the case here. Another thing that I love about this beer is that it's different enough to make it stand out from the crowd of highly hopped Pacific NW IPAs.

The finish is long, lingering and wonderfully mouthcoating. Bitter tries valiantly, but ultimately in vain, to supercede sweet. That isn't to say that this is an overly sweet IPA, just that it uses its sweetness well. The body approaches medium-full and almost reaches it as the beer warms.

Wreck The Halls isn't a palate wrecker of an IPA, but it is a damn good one. Through a truly masterful choice of hops and a brewing alchemy that only the best brewers possess, the boys at Full Sail have impressed me yet again. I could drink beer like this until the end of my days and not tire of its myriad charms. It's a shame that this particular offering is a seasonal and even more of a shame that I don't have ready access.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Orangish-brown in color, more brown than orange, with a decent head. It also has some sediment floating around even though the bottle has been sitting upright in my fridge for at least two weeks.

Smell – The nice, easy combination of pine and citrus hops is balanced well with some lightly-toasted malt. The malt actually is very noticeable.

Taste – This is the first time that I have ever had an IPA that is heavy on the piney flavor and so well balanced with malt. It is a very interesting combination indeed. This one is Even Steven, 50/50, hop and malt, and tastes great.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied and kind of dry with a slightly sweet caramel malt finish.

Drinkability – This was a very unique offering by Full Sail. I personally enjoyed it but others may find the malt a little too much (or unexpected) from an IPA.

Update – I grabbed this ’05 vintage on the day it was released to the stores, and man of man does this have a hop bite. The aroma is straight pine resin stank, and it carried it’s way through the taste like Godzilla stomping out Tokyo. Forget the balance from 2003, this is a hop bomb.

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy dark orange with a huge blooming head that sits for awhile before coming down leaving huge amount of lace very nice.Whoa hops and more hops in the aroma some spruce and evergreen dominate with an underlying nuttiness oh man I can feel the tongue curl now,piney and citrusy up front but doesnt hit quite as hard as expected as the beer warms medicinal flavors come thru a lightly sweet caramel malt flavor comes thru but is not in balance with the big dose of hops.A hopheads brew here a big Pacific NW IPA true to form.

Photo of MadScientist
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A medium copper with excellent clarity. A nice head stand of creamy off-white bubble, about a finger high that slowly settle.

S: A moderately-strong hop aroma of citrus with moderate grassy notes from dry hopping. The malt aroma is pretty clean and the esters are low.

T: Like candied citrus hops. Lots of hops flavor and moderately-strong hops bitterness but with lots of balance and none of that harshness from trying to get as much hops bitterness as possible. There is a light caramel malt flavor with a light malt sweetness. The balance is bitter, the finish is dry and the aftertaste is a bit of pine needles and a light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation. It is moderately creamy with a light alcohol warmth .

O: A balanced and easy to drink IPA, at least for a hop head. Balance is the most stricking feature of this beer as the hops flavor and bitterness are clearly there but thier not harsh. My favorite time of beer, it's also nice to know you're getting a freshly brewed IPA

Photo of Tiernan
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This delightfully hoppy and well balanced beer has some really nice fruity notes to it for a holiday brew. I can definitely taste and smell hints of tart cranberry and nutmeg in this. It's very crisp for a winter warmer, very fresh hop flavor leaving my mouth with a great clean feeling.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

Orangey-amber color with a sufficiently sized head. Smells like the winter holiday season; pine sap, nutty toasted malt, ripe fruit and a hint of alcohol. Smooth medium body, a little fluffy and a little wet. Wildly hoppy and bitter at first, but then some malt and fruity fla- vors come through. The 6.5 percent is noticeable on the breath, yet is not a distraction. Ripe tropical fruit meets a nutty toasted grain, meets a mouthful of hops.

Hops don't show a whole lot of discretion, which we love; while the malt leans dry, the base holds together quite well. This is sort of an "in your face" winter seasonal.

Photo of Beaver13
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 - 22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper-orange with a medium sized fine off-white (almost orangey) head that recedes to a thin skimming that leaves some nice lacing. The second pour has a lot of cloudy yeast sediment.

Its aroma is spicy, piney hops and some musty leather. Some fruitiness (orange) comes out as well.

The flavor is crisp spicy, fruity (orange) malts leading to a musty reserved hop finish. As the beer warms, a lot more hop bitterness appears. There is a kind of acidic medicinal twang to it. The mouthfeel is thin to medium. The carbonation seems a bit low. The mouthfeel has a kind of sharp harshness (maybe from the acidity/medicnal qualities).

Overall, a mediocre IPA - it is not offensive, but nothing special either. A bit too sweet and fruity for me - the orange kind of pervades throughout. The musty yeast is a bit much as well.

Photo of steveja57
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Holiday beer of 2009. Beautiful amber color, crystal clear, nice collar of white lace. The nose is pungent with hops but has a sweet malt backbone. In the mouth it hits you like a typical IPA, but counters that with a bit more malt sweetness than some IPAs. This beer is all about balance to me: crisp yet malty, well-hopped but not astringent. 6.5% alcohol means you can have a couple, too.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, reasonably priced @ $4.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY, "Brewmasters Reserve 2010".

Pours quite dark amber, murky, darker tan head, frothy fluff and ample thicker sheet/lace left on the glass.

Malty nose with a back sniff of grainy hops.

Nice hopped up, full flavor brew, more grainy hops, with a slight mintyness. Ample hop at the base of things. Tastes like Arrogant Bastard lite to me.

I enjoyed it, I'll pick up some more bottles at the next opportunity

Photo of magictrokini
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour with a light white head. Caramel, pine, and orange aroma. Not very strong, but subtle instead of weak. Hops heavy up front, lots of resin without much citrus. Malt and caramel are close to follow. Finish is a decent blend of both. Decent IPA, especially for Full Sail.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant chestnut to mahagony under a ¼” foam collar that grips the side of the glass producing thin lacy designs.
S: Citrus, cloral and caramel.
T: Spicy, floral citrusy hops balance big caramel malt flavors. Both linger long into the after taste.
F: Medium body and medium carbonation.
O: A pleasant, easy to drink Holiday ale.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown dark copper type of color, good head, nice carbonation, a little clump left here and there on the glass. Aroma was slightly disappointing, only for the lack of hop aroma if you think of it as an ipa, decent for a winter warmer ya dig?

Taste, it was bitter and hoppy, but the hops didn't have what would seem like an obvious good choice of pine flavor for something named Wreck the halls, winter warmer, ipa etc. . . but it was a substantial beer in the malt department too, not huge, but definitely not thin, plenty of caramel to it. At the price tag of $4 a bomber, it is a beer worthy of a recommendation.

Photo of chinchill
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 22oz. bottle served in a pint glass. Pours a cloudy orange-amber with a light tan head and lots of visible carbonation. Smooth, medium-full body with excellent carbonation. Excellent flavor of a lightly spiced winter warmer mixed with a West Coast IPA, but marred by a somewhat unappealing, overly earthy aroma.

Photo of caddybuyer
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never tried anything from Full Sail, but I was in my local beer store this past weekend and this really cute college age girl was stocking up on Full Sail along with a bunch of Stone, Founders, and Bear Republic....She put this in her cart and I asked her about it and she suggested I give this a whirl if I like a good IPA....who doesn't?, so here it goes.

Poured from a bomber straight out of the cooler into a pint glass.

A-Medium veiled apricot amber with a thick creamy ivory head. Average looking brew, but a half point uptick for that nice head that laces well as it goes down.

S-Hoppy orange and grapefruit zest with some sweet caramel malts in the background. When it comes to well balanced highly hopped "C hop" textbook IPAs, this checks all the boxes.

T-Crisp citrus hops with more emphasis on orange than grapefruit here. Semi sweet caramel malts are present behind the dominating C hops, but the hopping is not so overpowering to offset the balance between the two. In addition, there is a fresh juice backbone present throughout the palate that is a nice refreshing twist on the run of the mill IPA.

M-Mouthfeel is spot on for the style.

D-This is a pretty drinkable beer and a damn good IPA. My only beef here is that this is billed as a holiday ale. Now don't get me wrong, not every Yule release need be a warmer or a spiced ale, but this is the type of beer that I would jones for on a 98 degree day in July sweating it out in high humidity. Great for that Midwinter IPA fix, but alas, I won't be grabbing more of these to enjoy during IPA season as this is one to enjoy fresh.

Thanks beer chick...you know your stuff...

...at least your IPA's anyhow.

Photo of watermelonman
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This arrived wearing a crisp, solid shade of amber without much head. Lacing is fairly minimal.

The smell is a solid balance of malt and hops, with pine and citrus very noticable but not dominating. The taste is very good, definitely allowing the hops to take center stage but not neglecting its strong malt base. It's easy to drink, the mouthfeel is pleasing, and the overall flavor is great.

This might even be my favorite west coast winter IPA!

Photo of IntriqKen
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A very impressive head .... 3 fingers....atop a bright golden clear brew. Head remains craggy and takes it's own sweet, long time melting to sticky lacing.
Aroma is wonderfully fresh pine and citrus hops...a little sweet amber malt...but seriously all about the hops. Yet somehow they don't become obnoxious at all...just ever-present.
Flavor follows scent....really fresh and bright pine and citrus hops. A touch of light sweet malt then all back to light and bright citrus.
Mouthfeel seems a little thin but aftertaste is nice and fresh and drying.
This is a wonderful American West Coast IPA and a pleasant surprise for a winter beer.

Photo of mudbug
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright and clear orange with a small head and some lacing
Aroma is faint bittering hops and malt slightly astringent.
Taste is as it smells, crisp bittering with a nice malt backbone, what one might describe as balanced rather than over hopped like a DIPA, but this is a IPA so I guess its spot on for the style.
Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Nice brew! Cheers

Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full Sail- Wreck the Halls

Thanks to Wasatch for this 1.

A- Hazy bloody red orange with a decent foamy head. Moderate lacing down the glass.
S- Verry hoppy, citrus and dried fruits.
T- Grapefruit, orange, tangerine, raisins, and boozy alc.
M- Sweet and fruity throughout with an alc. kick in the end.

Overall- A bit strong for 6.5%. A few of these will warm you up.

Photo of tastybeer
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours light auburn in color under a small, tight-bubbled, tan colored head. A couple swirls brings it back up to a 1/4" after it fades. Lace is spotty. Aroma is delightful. Bright floral over deep earthy woodiness, tangy citrus, sugary pine, with a generous handful of malty goodness. Tastes like a dank coniferous forest topped with various citrus rinds, and has a bit of a bitter edge. I am enjoying this. Texture feels resiny and slick with a medium-light body, and goes for fairly easy drinking.

Photo of bensbeers
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint.

Color is an earthy copper. Head was thick and frothee - the color of cafe au lait

Smell was pretty well balanced - hoppy, malty, fruity, and spicey. Tart apple and citrus, molasses, nutmeg, allspice.

Tasty follows the nose closely - hoppy but the bitterness is subdued by the sweetness of the roasted malts. I gave this a 3 because of the aftertaste. Not sure if my bottle was from last holiday season, but it was not pleasant. I think it may just be the combo of the malts with the tart fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Lightly carbonated and refreshing.

Only issue is the aftertaste. Other than that, a pretty good attempt at a hoppy, rich, malty winter ale. Want to try again to see of the one I had was skunked. Cheers

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy, ruby amber color with a white, half finger head and sub-par retention, leaving a modest float of bubbles on the top. Lacing is thin, but consistent with fair stick.

Smell - Aroma is hoppy, but also quite earthy. Hits on notes of citrus, pine, caramel, grass and a touch of wood.

Taste - More hop character than the nose would have one believe. Hits on a range of citrus, from orange rind to mild lemon, while touching briefly on notes of grapefruit and pine. Malt is there, but subtle, providing more structure than flavor, though caramel comes through a bit more as the beer warms. Somewhat earthy, woody flavors hit near the finish. Aftertaste is a mild citrus bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body, with lively carbonation. Smooth, with just a hair of creaminess. Goes down with great ease.

Overall - Very good winter warmer/IPA hybrid. Leans more toward the IPA side. Fairly well balanced. One I'll certainly consider purchasing next season.

Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to pint glass.

Served cool, beautiful redish amber color with great clarity.

Aroma is hoppy but not super fresh or over the top.

Flavor is like a malty caramel-toffee IPA. There's a little bit of toasted malt and earthy hops like a NW IPA but with a hint of winter warmer to it.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus body (which is a little much for the style) and low in carbonation.

Definately a hop-forward winter seasonal. Not great but enjoyable.

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Bomber into a 12 oz. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: Mildly peach-colored and hazy, with a bright head over the body of the brew, leaving drops more than sheets of lacing.

Smell: Huge Centennial citrus aromas coming through, with a lot of bitter orange and lemon, and off in the background, some sweeter peach and tangerine, and maybe some grapefruit.

Taste: What I love here is the lingering peach flavor in the background, long after the initial puckering orange and lemon bitterness, along with some grapefruit rind in there too. Starts bitter to a lingering juicy peach and tangerine finish, almost like a tropical gum that's lost its sugary flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium-bodied, with a nice scattered burst of carbonation at the end, making the puckering nature of the hops even more tangible.

Drinkability: A very solid brew, almost like SN Celebration's cousin in some ways. I like, usually, more of the darker brews come this season, but every once in a while it's nice to get a blast of hops amidst all the char and roast and malt that are all over the place. and like all of Full Sail's bombers, the price is always right too, and these days, that's a big factor for many when choosing one bomber over another, of course.

Photo of Magpie14
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: the head is a rough and coarse amalgamation of large dingy white bubble rally. Nothing dense about the head as it slowly vanished. The hues in the body run from light orange yellow to a faintly hazed cinnamon red color. Bubbles are noted as actively working with some lacing hugging my tumbler

S: nose has plenty of fresh hop pop to it. I channel a large amount of bright citrus fruit laden hops, even with a dash of tropical fruits. Some pine smells are working around as well and a light candied sugar cookie smell is flowing. Malts are hidden amongst the zesty hops and zesty they are...vary nice representation in the nose

T: plenty of fresh green hops permeate throughout. The little green cones conjure up flavors of oranges, grapefruit, lemon peel, and a heedful squeeze of passion fruit. A few sips in I find that ripe oranges, grapefruits, and some pine needles lead the way with a leisurely snap on the tongue. Another snap that is worth mentioning are the caramel crusted malts and almost sugar cookie backbone present, very nice. The hops are pretty firm and pressing as far as the palate is concerned...good stuff

M: the body is pretty lean and has mild dimensions. Drinking is pretty easy and I would maybe expect a little more girth for a winter release as it comes across a little flat. Well, I suppose this is me just being picky as my tongue is coated nicely with hop juice...smiles

D: this is a pretty kicking for a AIPA. It does not go as far as to "ruin" your taste buds but it gets a few strong crazed kicks of hoppy green goodness. One of the better hop brews I have had from Full Sail. Oh yea, drinks very well

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Xmas image, so was looking for something spicy. Mahogoney coloured body with a good head. I was getting hops and spice in the aroma. The taste is some yeast, corriander, with pepper in the finish. The bitterness was unusual, but grew on me.Another fun beer from Full Sail, Thanks Jason.

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Wreck The Halls from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
85 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.