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

Not Rated.
Wreck The HallsWreck The Halls

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very good

463 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 463
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 12
Gots: 12 | 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:
"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 added by: dolem98 on 11-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 463 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mentor
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half-finger tan head over a lightly cloudy rust-amber liquid. Smells lemon, pith, and rough woody hops. Tastes orange rough hop start paired with a too edgy carbonation. Dry woody in the mouth. Pine with some sugary sweet and lemony rising late. Also late is a caramel that hangs around a long time in the aftertaste. Md body and a bit over carbonated. Enjoyable, but not one I need to repeat.

Photo of hero27
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Brewmaster Reserve 2005.

Figured there's no better time to crack this open then during my family Christmas. Hazy copper color. Average head retention of tight foam..above average lacing. Aroma is piney floral hops with a sweet malt background. Tastes are big earthy hops and a slight citrus character. The bitterness doesn't linger on the tongue very long..it fades fairly quickly after each sip. Overall, a highly hopped IPA that compared very well to the SN Celebration I had before it. At 6.5% with a mix of spices and hops, it's a great holiday offering.

Photo of charlatan
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer hasn't been retired and it isn't even making a lame-o Michael Jordan style comeback. The 2005 edition packs a decent punch. It appears a rather nondescript amber colour and offers a strong herbal nose which is reflected in a very strong herbal hoppy kick inside my mouth. There is a hint of a white sugary flavour here, but this beer tastes unusually clean, particularly for a winter seasonal (it is correctly pigeonholed as an IPA above after all). If you like the herbal hop thing then this is a beer for you.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice pour that tells me right off the bat that if I were in need of a hop fix, and I poured this, I'd instantly know my troubles were over. Autumn colored with a small head, but you can smell the hops before you even try. First to hit your taste buds are the glorious hops. Lots of grapefruit and bitterness followed by mellow lemon and fleeting grain. Nice carbonation and mouthfeel. I can honestly say I'll be buying this again, this and next holiday season. Don't be a grinch, try it! Thank you to all 47 people in the brewforce. This is a nice treat.

Photo of kgotcher
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this one is like taking a whiff of fresh aroma hops.

One of the most obvious hop aromas I have every experienced. Some malty sweetness hiding in the back.

Had to pour this one right down the middle to get much head and even then it was gone quickly without much lacings, not totally surprising since the ABV is marginally higher than average at 6.5

Mouthfeel is a a bit slick almost wine like, light on carbonation, medium body. Aftertaste is somewhat dry. The taste is nice, very hoppy with very nice sweet maltyness to try to restore some kind of balance to this one.

I really like this one, if you like hops you have to try it. A nice winter warmer with a northwest hoppy attitude.

Photo of czechsaaz
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition, so maybe it's time to pull this out of retirement? Just showed up at my local grocery this week. (still 6.5% ABV)

Very spicy hop aroma. Kind of piney with maybe a touch of grapefruit in there. A little candy smelling like bubblegum. Just a hint of roasty.

Amber, really clear with a smallish but lasting head that leaves nice lacing.

Flavor - right off I get spices (I've had this before but don't remember it being a spice all) spruce maybe but not real strong. There's got to be something added to it cause that spice isn't yeast (kind of explains the piney aroma I get.) Hop bitterness is fairly well subdued allowing malty/marshmellowy flavors to get through. Hop flavor and spice rounds it out.

Medium-full bodied, pretty creamy, nice carbonation level and slightly warming.

Pretty nice beer. Not hugely spiced like some holiday beers. Definitely different than I remember previous Wreck the Halls. I like it.

Photo of beerceller99
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle pours an amber color with an off white head. Nice smell of grapefruit and floral hops. Medium bodied with a smooth texture. Great taste is mostly flowery and citrusy hops with just enough of a sweet malt smoothness to balance.
There are big hop flavors here without being overly bitter.
A nicely crafted brew, wish I had more of this !

Photo of rowew
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber - Brewmaster's reserve 2004. This bottle has been properly stored since I purchased it late last year.

Appearance: Red orange with an off-white head.

Smell: Lots of cirtus and pine, but the sweet malt presence is there too. Very appealing.

Taste: Very well balanced - plenty of malt to keep the hops from overpowering, but they are still there and provide a great bitter finish.

Overall impression: Very nice IPA - I wish this was available year round. If I had known how good it was it probably wouldn't have lasted this long in my fridge.

Photo of watermelonman
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
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 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.

Photo of Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
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 gbontrag
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now that really smells like a fresh buttermilk scone. No, really, with lemon glaze. Cloudy dusty golden. Off white froth holds on delightfully. Metallic nip on the surface. Then a bit of the sour grapefruit rind - sour to astringent. Hay. Hay, there's great bits of barley candy in here, nice sweetness.

Photo of rkhaze
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a creamy white head and excellent lacing.
Nice big malt aroma with a citrusy floral hop smell.
Rich, creamy and slightly grainy malt taste with tropical fruit and a citrus, floral and mildly earthy hop finish. Nice lingering bitterness.
Medium bodied with a rich creamy mouthfeel and good carbonation.
Good drinkability. Tasty, solid Pale Ale.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange and yellow hue with amber thread throughout. Big, faomy bright white head leaves a thick, solid sheen of lace of the glass.
Aroma of pale malts, lighter citrus fruits, spruce and a hint of caramel and breadiness.
Flavor is hyper sweet grapfruit/melon notes. Some bread and herbal hop notes present along with some herbal or grass hints.
Mouthfeel is sweet, sweet. Almost orange juice sweet with some real heral notes. Very light bittering detected on the tongue. Almost a little saltiness as well.
Drinkability is solid. Little bit too sweet without many other notes to balance it out. Interesting take on style.

Photo of RedDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**Brewmaster's Reserve 2004** I look forward to the release of Wreck The Halls every season. And though it isn’t clear to me if Full Sail brews the same recipe every year, I know I can always count on a big, ballsy IPA just in time for the holidays.

The Wreck begins with a magnificent aroma of fresh, resinous hops. The smell is piney, arboreal, and sensuous – like an enchanted hop forest. The Wrecked body is an unfiltered translucent garnet with turbulent CO2. A fluffy head of creamy duff stands tall above the rim of the glass and trails large fragmented lace.

This is a bold, northwestern IPA. The hops are immediate and unrelenting with strong citrus bittering and a piney, sprucy aftertaste. The dominant hop flavor is unabashedly lemony, perhaps like a lemon tea. The total effect of the combined hop elements is distinctive and makes for a solid ale-drinking experience.

I drank most of my 22 oz. bomber after a careful pour that retained most of the yeast in the bottle; a process I would recommend for this beer.

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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 GClarkage
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/10/04- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Poured into a generic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark amber color. Smallish head and sub par lacing.

Smell- A very light smelling IPA. Sensed some hops, but also sensed a bit of spice.

Taste- Odd tasting beer this is. A tad bitter as expected, but not a whole lot of hops. Maybe like a cross between a pale ale and an IPA. There was also some weird taste at the back of my tongue. A very dry taste, but other than that I can't describe it.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation level was very good. Pretty smooth drinking.

Drinkability- Odd taste, but I likened to it more as I consumed it. I may try it again as my first beer rather than my last.

Photo of ngandhi
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An oxidative caramel nose, viscous liquid Jell-O pour, and paltry thin sheet of head all suggest barleywine. Though the initial taste, fresh out of the fridge, is almost numbingly bitter, both time and warmth bring the beer around full circle to a focus that is wholly on these rich malts, hopped mostly to dry out the finish and bring out the subtle alcohol.

I'm reminded of IPAs like Gordon -- those that do have a freshness of hop character and definite notes of resin and pine, but never take a leap into the tall canopy of complex hop flowers -- American brown ales or barleywines that are even more aggressively than usual.

There's no denying the hop intensity of Wreck the Halls and, though not entirely complicated on taste, it is there on every part of the tongue and in every stage of the drink. The integration is resolute -- we get fresh pine, an herbal bitterness, watered-down chocolate, cheap coffee, some residual sweetness on the midpalate, burnt caramel, maybe even some pine nuts.

This beer is not to be questioned for its depth or inventiveness. And, though the alcohol is entirely controlled, I've never had a 6.5% beer taste this full and rich without being cloyingly sweet (which this is not at all). Because of the heavy hop presence, this feels like a fully attenuated 10% abv barleywine. Maybe there's some sweetness in here that the hops are hiding or maybe this has just matured to a finger's length of perfection. Wreck the Halls is an anomaly for what it can do with what it is.

There is no circus of hops here which, to me, goes against the American tradition of IPA. Apricots and rum-soaked peaches. What there is, however, is prodiguous balance and maturity from a beer big enough to mug me on the street corner that would rather walk me home, keep me safe.

Relax, relax.

Photo of bditty187
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 Reserve

Hazy, tawny-ruby in hue with flecks of gold, this has an attractive color. A smallish white head of less than a finger in height topped the beer. The head retention was fair; it quickly faded to a soapy cap. There was such minimal subsequent lacing it is pointless to discuss it any further. The nose is very… pleasant? Have I reached the point that a nose as hoppy and juicy as this is merely “pleasant”? Oh, lord! To be fair the malt is much more vocal than most West Coast IPAs, that is nothing to complain about. The hops are, like I said earlier, juicy with citrus notes and kisses of spruce. The malt is talkative, firm, with stale caramel and toffee notes, modestly sweet too. Still, the maltiness is not complex and the potency isn’t that loud, nevertheless the bouquet is inviting. The palate is very well balanced. First and foremost the silence of the alcohol is very noticeable. For an Americanized IPA this is a nice change of pace. As for the hops, they are very tasty. The outright bitterness is above moderate yet it is very flavorful with spruce notes, pine needles, and citrus rinds. It is not as juicy as the nose indicated. That’s fine, it made up for that it is arid finish, which was splendid! The malt is solid and it does a great job of balancing out the hops yet it only imparts a little actual flavor. In the aftertaste I got a pleasant candy-like heat (along with the hoppy flavors). This was a great way to finish the beer. It is a tickle bigger than medium in body. The carbonation is moderate but very appropriate and this helps create a great mouthfeel. Since this has perfect balance on the palate I can’t help but want to quaff this, repeatedly. This is a lovely IPA, it is not too bold but pleasant tasty. I purchased a 22-ounce bottle in Loveland, CO. If I had purchased more I would have not complained!

Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy dark reddish/amber colour with a nice big head of white foam. The aromas are very subtle, but hint at caramel malts, and fresh/piney hops. The tastes is quite hoppy up front, but the piney/earthy hops are soon eclipsed by a big load of caramel malts. The mouthfeel is good, but a bit rough around the edges, and the drinkability is good for an IPA. A good stab at the style, but i've had many better IPAS, and better beers from this brewery as well...

Photo of Morris729
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reserve 2003
Pours a deep amber copper color with a tall light tan head that leaves spider webs of lace across the glass as it recedes. Nose is citrusy hops and pine oil along with some roasted malt. Medium to full in body with a bit of a sticky mouth feel. Taste begins with some sweet caramel malt followed by juicy citrus fruit. Next come some notes of black tea and a bit of tobacco leading up to a good bite of bitter and acidic hop resins in the finish that remain in the aftertaste. A very enjoyable IPA with enough malt to keep the strong Pacific Northwest hoppyiness in check. Purchased from Liquid Solutions.

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

Simply put..one of the best non-hoppy IPA's made...I've enjoyed two of these bombers on seperate occasions now and find this to be close ot a perfect regular IPA..

Pours an impressive bronze color...1/8 inch of white head...Nose is sweet maltiness (caramel) combined with a floral hoppiness...

Definitely a balanced IPA with the sweet (bready more than caramel now on the taste) maltiness and floral/citrus hoppiness complimenting each other well...a citrus hop taste on the finish...inititially more floral notes which combine with the malt profile nicely...

Body and mouthfeel is about perfect..medium..firm...

Drinkability scores high...a real tasty, easy drinking IPA with much more character than others similar to this like Goose Island and Harpoon...

Not a hop-head's dream IPA but a dandy none-the-less

Photo of BierReise
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark clear gold with a thick head and good retention. Has a strong hop aroma with a nutty malt in the background. Body is a bit thin for the style. Flavor reminds me of SN Celebration Ale yet not as good. Blend of hops and grains with a slight metallic finish. Overall ok but nothing outstanding.

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

2003 Reserve.
Tan head sits atop a nice looking coppery red beer.
Aroma of piney hops and toasty malt.

Taste shows a hefty, piney, resinous hop flavor. Decent toasty, caramel, toffee malt backbone attempts to balance, but falls a touch short. Hop resins cling to the palate at finish. A bit of an English feel to this one.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, a good IPA, yet disappointing at the same time as I was expecting much more from this beer.

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Wreck The Halls from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 463 ratings.