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Session Fest - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Session FestSession Fest

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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: 13 | 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
Reviews by Seven:
Photo of Seven
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Wheat grain color.
Smells like Grass and Malts, with a hint of carmel.
Smooth, kind of sweet with a presence of Malts. Very unique, alot like Session's Black, with a twist. Its higher ABV, then Black, you can really feel it on an empty stomach.
Its slightly high in carbonation, you can really tell when it goes down.
I like Session's Dark as much as this, Full Sail did a great job in this year's batch. I would reccomend this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
2.24/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

11oz bottle, enjoy by 1/29/12. Pours a slightly hazy copper amber with a small rocky off white head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet toasted malts with some vegetal notes.

The flavor is sweet toasted malts with some balancing bitterness in the finish. I get some off plasticky notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for it. Some off notes and I don't care for toasted ambers like Fat Tire.

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

11oz brown stubby with a freshness date.

LOOK: Tawny with a slight chill haze, great looking head.

SMELL: Caramel, toasted bread crust, herbal, clean, faint peppercorn, fresh grass.

TASTE: Fresh maltiness, toasty, rustic bread, grainy, clean palate, smooth, spice, fresh herbs, toasty finish.

A pretty kick ass edition to the Session line-up, I was a fan to begin with but to have an option even if it is seasonal is great. Bring on the lagers!!

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

11 ounce stubby-twist off cap w/"Naughty/Nice" on it-Best before dating (1-7-12)...

Pours clear auburn amber, medium tan head, showing moderate retentive powers, then leaving a thicker film, collar and respectable slippery lacing.

Dark grain bread in the nose with some nuttyness.

Tasty and straight forward offering. More dark bread notes, malty sweetness, a pinch of all spice, a rye note and light dryness in the finish. Ehh....decent litle sessioner...but doesnt really do much for me.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really pretty reddish hued color to this one, nice thin off white head to it. Aroma was half and half sweet and grassy hopishness. Not bad, a good mix in a red ale.

Smooth taste, with more of the fresh hoppy feel to it, not ipa territory, but substantial enough to make it enjoyable, especially at the price. Easily the best option out of the session beers. But 6.2% = a session beer? I'm ok with that I guess, but its a little close to not being sessionable, but it hides the alcohol. Faint chocolate malt aspect to it. Chalky and nutty sometimes.

If this is an oktoberfest effort, its definitely above average.

Thanks to elrogish & Quinn for breaking these bad boys out during our cabin barleywine trip. Solid beer.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before 01/21/12 date on bottle.

A: Pours a clear orangish red with a 1 finger white head that has slight hints of yellow. The head thins down to a film after a few minutes. Even though the beer is real clear there is no visible carbonation.

S: Grassy hops and malts hit the nose at first. Some bready wheat and yeast. Some citrus hops and hints of alcohol. Mostly malt dominates at this point reminding me of a dunkel.

T: Good lager taste, mostly malt with some hops chiming in at the end. Yeasty malty aftertaste. Remember it having more hops when it was fresher.

M: This beer is a little flat at this point. Light bodied and real easy to kick back. 6.2% is well hidden.

Overall a nice addition to the session lineup. Not as dramatic as the Session black but still pleasant. Great deal when a 12pack was 8bucks.

Photo of mudbug
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the retro stubby bottle with the entertaining rock paper scissors cap, which by the way has a holiday theme.Into a pilsner glass results in a pretty medium dark amber body with nice clarity a small head forms then settles into a thin cap. Bubbles continuously rise up keeping things lively, very appealing.
Aroma is a subdued huskiness with a ever so slight hop note, just what a lager should be.
Taste is pure lager, grain husk, cracker with a tint of caramel, finish has a nice bitter spiciness to it, refreshing straight forward and uncomplicated. goes down easy and quickly with a nice clean aftertaste.
Just a nice well made lager that hits all the right spots, especially the pocketbook. A real value.
Bravo Full Sail!

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

Full Sail Session Fest
11 oz. "stubby" bottle; clearly marked freshness date.
$1.27 @ State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD

Appearance: Clear, dark copper colored body. Frothy one-finger thick head of off-white. Good retention; decent lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly limited, offering only a bit of maltiness touched by minor, non-descript hops.

Taste: Rich, caramel and toasty maltiness infused with spicy and grassy hops. It's balanced by a solid bitterness, and only a touch of sweetness comes through. Short lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and gently crisp.

Overall: Remarkably drinkable.

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 Kinsman
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice shiny copper color with just a bit of haze. Little bit of eggshell colored head makes a brief appearance.

Toasted grain and slight caramel sweetness provide a nice malty aroma. Hint of floral hop character in the background.

Biscuits and toast alongside some caramel malty goodness make for a nice refreshing brew. Hops add just a bit to balance things out. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and refreshing.

Overall, not a bad easy drinking beer. Flavors don't exactly 'wow' you with anything but it's still got enough going on to keep things interesting.

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

Appearance: (3.0)
- Pours a clear dark copper brew.. quickly dissipating white foamy head.. leaves some light dust and a small ring in the glass. Overall a simple look.

Smell: (3.5)
- First thing that hits the nose is Full Sails traditional yeast aroma.. a grainy, bready, earthy dry malt. A touch of light caramel sweetness, spice, and molasses. Earthy grassy hops, and a light pine flare.

Taste: (4.0)
- Wonderful Full Sail character.. they do brew a one-of-a-kind character-filled beer. Great grainy and bready malt, big meaty yeast, light spice to balance.. perhaps some sweet caramel, molasses, and allspice.. but light enough to only balance the beer, and creat a solid flavor. Light bitter grassy hops, and not too much at all in the aroma department. Very solid flavor.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Light to medium bodied brew which is bubbly, and typical of Full Sails brewing yeast. Not overly creamy, though there is a slight thickness to this session beer. It's a touch dry which I like, and rather chewy which is a standard for them.

Overall: (3.0)
- It's a solid drinker. A sessionable beer? Perhaps for the cool holiday's yes, but I can see this recipe as more of a marketing ploy. If it were bottled in 6-packs and sold for more, I doubt it would do as well as it is as a new session series. The flavor is very good, but the rest falls short. I am more keen to the likes of their latest imperial IPA, because that beer didn't taste like the rest of theirs. This one does.

Photo of wingman14
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a frothy off white head that sticks around. Smell is mostly malt with some yeast and subtle spice notes. The taste starts with the malt and moves into the yeast, and has a nice subtle spice finish. The aftertaste has some of the malty notes with a subtle sweetness. A nice medium mouthfeel adds the the depth of the beer, giving a thicker style. Nice carbonation and an easy drinker. These session beers are solid beers, all with subtle nuances and great flavor. Nothing huge and over the top but done right.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little grenade bottle poured into my HotD goblet... okay 1/2 inch white head drops very quickly.. but the brew is very pretty deep orange amber/copper... nice... only okay lacing.. but the retention is pretty proper.

Nose shows great toasty malt.. heavy for a "festbier" grassy hops.. but are very pleasant on the West Coast..

Flavor mirrors the nose with a substantial biscuit quality that is hard to walk away from... bready without ever verging on "sweet", instead the malts are pretty dry and have some lite caramel essence... big dry toast....

Very nice from front to back... it is easy to see the folks at Full Sail put some time into this one... nicely done for sure...

Glad I had the chance to try this one early in the release... Thanks Matt!!!

3.5/3.5/4/4/4

Photo of josiahschlender
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original Session and Session Black are definite repeaters in my beer rotation, so it was natural to pick up this mini case when I saw it this holiday season.

Session Fest pours a semi-cloudy dark amber color with some golden highlights. Not much of a head that fades quickly and leaves no lace.

A lot of malts to smell. A mix of sweet malts, bready and even some roast. Bready maybe the most. I'm also noticing some pilsner-like grassy hops.

Flavors are well blended diversity of malts that have enough oomph to keep up with the color and medium body of this beer. Not as full flavored as a lot of amber ales, but good and adequate for a red lager. Just a twinge of bitterness on the otherwise fairly short and clean finish.

Not sure yet if I'll repeat this next holiday season. The other Session brethren knocked it out of the park in my opinion, but this one fell a little short of the high standard set.

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 DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this literally as they were being unloaded on display. I was told this was the first batch arrived.

I have not had many Full Sail brews, so I didnt know what to expect. My initial impression was of high hopes. The grenade-type bottle is pretty darn cool, plus I like it when any brewery has a "series", like the Session series.

The smell was malty, and very similar to many american style fest lagers. It pours a nice autumn brown, little head, but nice carbonation. The carbonation actually made this fall brew pretty refreshing.

The flavour was great. Slightly hoppy and nutty...a really unique characteristic. The higher than normal alcohol was noticeable, but enjoyable. This is probably up there as one of my favorite fest beers and I would buy this again.

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 Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber in color with just a hint of haze, topped by a small, dense, and persistent white head. Thin, fine-beaded lacing lies in scattered patches on the glass walls. The carbonation is faint.

Aroma: Moderate roasted and caramel malts, with a mild wave of grapefruit hops.

Taste: Opens with moderate toasted malts, lesser caramel malts, and a decent grapefruit rind hop flavor. As the taste progresses, the hops intensify a bit and assume an earthy note. The toasted malt carries throughout, although it is overshadowed by the hops. Late in the taste there is a brief punch of juniper. Finishes with a mild, lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Pleasant, smooth, a touch thin.

Drinkability/notes: Not bad, although I find it unlikely to be a "go to" holiday beer. It seems a bit understated for a holiday beer with an ABV of 6.2%.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby eleven-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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 Rhettroactive
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 12oz stubby to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/22/11
*From notes

A: More of a darker golden then a traditional red. A standard pour yields a nice 2.25 finger head that retains well.

S: Absent of any real nose at all. A touch of cereal or filler grains, maybe. That'd be about it.

T: Again, kind of bland. Easy to drink? Sure it is, but I'd like some Flava Flav to go along with it. As it moves back a bit, some sweet, buttery grains and malt wrap things up.

M: Yeah, this is pretty decent. For a beer of this kind, I'm pretty happy with the consistency. A bit creamy, yet not overwhelming.

O: The first thing that needs to be asked: how is this a "session" beer? It's got 6.2% ABV for Christ's sake. The second? We're calling this a "Fall" seasonal, even though it's a Christmas themed beer?

Otherwise, this gets the proverbial job done. If you're looking to put a few back, maybe tie one on with decent craft beer, this'll certainly suffice. It's not packed with a lot of flavor or a complex bouquet, but as I said, it'll do the job it's been tasked to do.

Photo of bubseymour
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - very lager like appearance golden and small head but good retention and lacing

smell - malty and bready very nice lager smell

taste - very easy to drink with mild flavors slightly crisp in the finish. Can't believe this is 6.2%...seems more like 5%

Mouthfeel - very full bodied

Overall - another good offering from session

Photo of colforbin73
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first off i will say that i am not a lager man, give me a pils or a weizen first... as far as lighter beers go. and i am not a big fan of the regular pale lager, nor the black -- though the black was pretty decent, for a lager. BUT I LIKE THIS!

pours a nice rusty auburn red into a tall pilsner glass, with an exuberant head as promised on the box.

the aroma is.... lager, malty and yeasty with no real hop presence.

the taste is great though -- deep rich malty beer with an excellent burn and bitterness going down and a "(oktober)festy" spiciness that really rounds this beer out. (it is their winter/fest? seasonal afterall.) it is dry but sweet, and true the 6.2 abv is technically on the high end for a Session Beer, but this thing is very QUAFFABLE.

the mouth feel is Lager, but sweet and rich too.

i have only had a couple so i might change my tune, but this winter could be one of cases of Celebration and 12s of this... great beer.

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 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

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