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Session Fest - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Session FestSession Fest

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BA SCORE
83
good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 11
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 09-30-2011

According to Full Sail Executive Brewmaster, Jamie Emmerson, “Session Fest is a Czech-style strong lager called polotmavé or literally “light dark or semi-dark.”
Brewed with 2 Row Pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt and Wheat malt, and hopped with a blend of Glaciers and Cascades.

6.2% ABV
26 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 82
Photo of sneth019
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Solid session ale will def. get again.

Photo of KWolf
4.79/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smooth, malty, wondrous drinkable session beer. Brilliant!

Photo of dbrauneis
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film surrounded by a medium thick film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts with a lighter presence of biscuit malts. Hints of spicy hops are present as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted and biscuit malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of grassy + spicy hops which imparts a light amount of bitterness which lingers lightly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Clean and smooth.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable with enough flavor + aroma that I could easily have a couple of these during a single afternoon. Alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of Redneckwine
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

11oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Orangy golden amber, crystal clear, 1 finger head dissipates very fast and retains very poorly, leaves almost no lacing. Not a good look.

Smell - Lots of clean, toasty, bready malts. A whiff of vague fruity sweetness and spicy hops... Hint of booze?

Taste - Aligns with smell mostly: Clean, toasty, bready, sweet maltiness up front, spicy/grassy hopping is extremely mild, subtle fruity grape/apple notes, kiss of alcohol lends a spicy and peppery note. Finishes on the dry side with almost no bitterness and a bit of vegetal maltiness. Flavor is actually quite reminiscent of a malt liquor.

Feel - Very smooth, but this one feels a bit thick despite the medium body, low carbonation doesn't help that fact - finish falls quite flat. Doesn't have a great deal of that "crisp" lager character. Somehow remains quite drinkable, though... An oddity.

Overall - A good beer, just not a real good one, and certainly not a "session" beer despite the product line. This is a pretty heavy feeling lager, and weighs a bit more than your average amber @ 6.2% ABV (the booze is detectable but actually pleasant). Good tasting, but could use more carbonation and a heavier hopping hand for more balance and bite: needs a body tweak for improved crispness. C'mon Full Sail, I know you could do this better!

Photo of SVan007
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First time having anything by full sail, but what caught my eye was the red lager on the bottle. Poured into a glass almost no head despite being fairly carbonated. A dark amber you'd expect from an ale. Smelled sweet, first pull was different and not off putting . Enjoyed the carbonation and the body which was a little distracted by the tingling of the carb. Almost a light brown sugar after taste and almost no hop notes at all. Considering the high abv for a brew lager this is pretty great. Sorry for the lack of descriptive language lost my sense if smell due to being sick, just now slowly getting it back. Will get again once full senses come back (olfactory). Would recommend if your wanting something different to enjoy. No risks here

Photo of zander4dawin
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First beer I can remember in the now popular "session IPA" mold. Fest does a great job of keeping a great flavor on a thin bodied, highly drinkable beer. Pours a surprisingly dark amber with a soupy head. Smell is floral, taste is a non bitter hoppyness with notes of butterscotch. Mouthfeel is smooth and buttery. Overall I great drinker and one to look forward to in the winter.

Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, and a thin film covering the surface in between.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has a lot of flavors of toasted malts, but no sweetness is apparent because the malts are balanced out by a slight amount of bitterness and associated flavors of grassy hops.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied, clean and mostly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and I would have no problem knocking back of few of these in succession.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red amber colored with a short off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: pretty heavy on sweet malt, dark bread

T: quite clean flavor, sweet up front balanced by bitter hop finish, well balanced

M: light to medium bodied with high carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: nice red lager, full of flavor

Photo of Act25
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Short bottle, short review, best I've had from Session. (Full Sail)

A: Pours a clear, red-amber-mahogany body with a brief, near white head that fades and doesnt lace.

S: Toasty rye bread/wheat bread combo with caramel and maybe some hazel nut spread or a drizzle of toffee. (good but faint)

T: Wonderfully follows smell, w toasted, full grain bread more flow of caramel, nuttiness, zesty, spicy hops that provide bitterness to balance. Then into a long, drying, malty back end with a very pleasant lingering bitter sweet spicy finish. Taste is best part.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Light carbonation, but good tingly mouth feel.

O: A dark Lager, or mid-dark Czech style. Very original, very good, very good food beer. Must try, but a bit too sweet for me to make it a regular, or a, well, a session. I think it's a winter seasonal.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Red/orange in color with great clarity. The fine-bubbled white head settles to a thin cap. Thin ring of lacing.

S: Sweet on the nose with aromas of brown molasses, slight caramel, toasted grain, vague red fruits, doughy yeast, dried grass, and spicy and oily hops.

T: Sweet malt tastes of brown molasses, dark caramel, toasted grain, and grass. A red fruit juice sort of taste also seems to be malt-derived, the beer as a whole is clean. Very subtle hint of doughy yeast. Hops stay conservative, but add a wet, spicy herbal balancing note toward the back. Brush of cocoa. Toasty finish.

M: Medium bodied, but very rich and full. It sits in the mouth with a sense of heft, though it stays very quaffable. Prickling carbonation. Slick smoothness.

O: At 6.2% abv, this is not a session beer in the British sense of the word, but true to the Session brand, it is very quaffable. No flaws and no frills, this is just an easy lager to put down and a fun beer to drink overall.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish/amber with a nice, off-white head. Good retention. Not bad.
S - Smell is somewhat nutty with a touch of toasted malts. Reminds me of a bock with caramel malt sweetness.
T - Well its mostly sweet I am getting a faint metallic note that I don't enjoy. Somewhat nutty, sweet and somewhat good flavor.
M - To me the 6+% seems too high for a session ale. Medium bodied and somewhat chewy.

Overall not my cup of tea too metallic and forgettable. Pass

Photo of Zorro
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear dark amber colored lager with a small white colored head.

Smells malty with with a nutty aroma that reminds me of a bock beer. Caramel and toasted grains and a strange milky aroma, wonder if the put lactose in the mix. Slight grassy aroma to the hops.

Starts out mildly malty with a toasted grain flavor with a little burned sugar flavor. Flavor is something like bock beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer, but not a favorite.

Photo of WunderLlama
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Reddish brown clear liquid, faint carbonation, pencil thick white foam head floats on top.

Sweet malty aroma. Sweet corn, bread.

Taste of malt,fizz of carbonation quickly subsides, slight bite on the side of the tongue, smooth clean finish.

Medium mouthfeel, chewy.

Didn't know what to expect from this red lager but it reminds me of a Marzen. Good, pleasant beer that if offered I would accept . Not something I would aggressively seek out but a worthy choice.

Photo of TheSSG
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, dense head that is slightly red and has good persistence. Sweet malt aroma with a slight spiciness to it. A copper-yellow-brown color. Starts with a nice, mild hop bitterness that is somewhat spicy, with sweet malt supporting it. Builds to a medium-low bitterness, and then the malt just comes in and sits atop the floral, spicy hops.

This is really, really nice. Easily the best lager I've had from the Western United States. It's like an Oktoberfest-light. The smooth malt and medium bitterness are balanced wonderfully (not as well as a Wisconsin lager, but this is not to discredit this brew), with a slight spiciness to it.

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Session beers provide a tasty, highly sessionable beer with a fairly low price point. Of course, their bottles are only 11oz. so you're not getting any particular bargain over a pack of Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada, but their lagers provice a more basic taste tailored for sessions. Our local store had 12 packs of these marked down to $6. Can't help but pick one up. This one is a little more robust than the classic or black lagers. Hops + carbonation have quite a bite. It's a good, if unremarkable taste. To me, it's not quite as sessionable as the others, but it's worth a shot, especially if you get it at the price I did. It'll go well with a lot of food too.

Photo of rangerred
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium brownish-red with a slight bit of chill haze. Just a small white head fading to some splotches after a couple of minutes.

A lot of grass in the aroma along with some toast and caramel much like the regular Session lager with a little extra roast.

The aroma translates well into the flavor with grass/hay up front followed by some light toast and caramel. There is a little sweetness and a thicker body than a typical amber lager might have along with some light bitterness.

Overall, a tasty amber lager and one that, as the name would suggest, is quite sessionable. One to pick up if you see it around.

Photo of vkv822
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11oz : tulip

Pours a clear copper with a foamy off white head.

Caramel malts, biscuit, spicy hop notes in both the aroma and taste.

Medium body with average carbonation and a crisp finish.

A well done red lager. Enjoyable flavor profile and easy drinking.

Photo of jadpsu
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks great with its light amber body and abundant tan foamy head that stays around for a while.
Aroma is roasty malts, some sweet chocolate and grassy scents..
Taste: Pick up some roasted malts, some light hop bitterness. Very dry.
Medium to full body. Very nice. Only complaint is the bottle of 11 ounces.

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Handsome dark amber in the wine glass. Abundant cap of foam.

Full bodied with plenty of malt. It tastes stronger than it is. Definitely sweet, and more like a golden bock at first taste, but it has a smooth edgy sensation that is more balanced. Such a warm malty flavor that keeps returning with every sip. Sudsy mouthfeel and a nutty, roasty aftertaste. Spicy but mellow.

Hugely drinkable rich lager. A cut way above so many over hopped Reds and over-strong winter brews. I am never disappointed by the numerous brews in the lager style that Full Sail is making. From the 11 oz bottle bought at the Utah Liquor Store in Sugar House.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin head, dark amber colored body, clear.
Smells like licorice, barnyard hay and strawberry. A weird combination, but it's nice.
Taste has a solid malt bill with a balance of medium bitterness. Roasted malt stands out with a barnyard straw flavor.
Crisp and lighter bodied, but the high carbonation takes away a bit.
An excellent red lager.

Photo of kagent777
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool stubby 11 oz bottle with an enjoy before date of 2-09-13. Poured into my perfect pint. I am confused by the label, it says lager on the front in two places, but says ale on the side. Maybe to please Texas? I think it tastes like a lager.

Appearance: A very clear red beer with a nice white foamy two fingered head. Left splotchy lacing as I drank it down.

Smell: A bit of winter spice with sweet caramel malts. A bit of floral and earthy hops are mixed in as well.

Taste: A honey like flavor with a mild caramel malty sweetness. A bit or earthy bittering on the back-end.

Mouthfeel: A mid to thin body with lower carbonation.

Overall: Nothing to extraordinary here. The bottle is fun, but is missing an ounce.

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11oz brown stubby into standard pint glass.

A: sidepour gets no head but leaves a decent sized ring around the glass. A solid amber color.

S: smells of lager yeast and spicy hops. that "funk" is def there. Sweet smell from crystal malts.

T: sweet and malty. A bit of light hop at the end. Quite a bit on the sweet side actually.

M: light and smooth, with a good amount of tingley carbonation.

O: not a huge fan of lagers but this is pretty good. A tad sweet for me but not cloying. All in all it is a good beer. I enjoy red ales and this stands pretty well as a red lager in my book.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out bready with lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and fruit come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of AnalogReigns
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great to see the trend of 1st-tier US craft-brewers taking old German and Czech beer styles seriously and reproducing--or even improving--on them, in the traditional moderate, session-beer styles. Pilsener, Maerzen, Schwarzbier, Vienna lager (which I guess this beer is categorized as...) and even Rauchbier all are wonderful styles, often neglected by the "hop until they drop" young craft-brewers--lovely to see some maturity in the industry now!

Very nice understated beer--which surprised me by its lack of spices, alcohol or other typical "Christmas-beer" elements. Smooth, super high quality, and I would bet, just what Czech "Polotmavé" (light/dark) beer is supposed to be--wonderful quality beer to share with friends. ANY beer drinker can enjoy this--though hop-heads will be discontent that it doesn't slap them in the throat--oh well, let them settle down. As I wrote above though--terrific that America's most serious brewers are finally paying attention to do first quality renditions of the Continent's most serious beers (instead of just following English or 20-something American tastes).

Photo of mjurney
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Light copper color, clear. Good amount of carbonation rising up to the top. Thin head.

Aroma:
Sweet malts, fruity, hint of earthy, crisp.

Taste:
Sweet malts up front, toasted nuts, caramel, bright fruit, herbal hop finish. Body is medium, crisp, slight dry aftertaste, well carbonated.

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.