Session Fest - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Session FestSession Fest

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BA SCORE
83
good

80 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 187
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 6.32%
Wants: 11
Gots: 17 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 187
Photo of jadpsu
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 ounce bottle - at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Enjoy By: 12/25/11.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-tan body with a small, brief, near white head.

Smell: Smells of bread crusts delightfully toasted up to a golden-brown and topped with sweet, wholesome caramel and a few coarsely chopped nuts backed by a note of spicy hops.

Taste: Toasted, grainy bread with a wash of sweet, sugar-induced caramel. Some nuttiness. Zesty, spicy hops with ample bitterness to balance things out nicely. Drying, malty on the back end with a lingering spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation with some tingle present (that tells you it's working).

Overall: Now, that's a beer I've not had in a long time... a long time. Maybe it's just me, but this one reminds me of the first installment to the LTD series. (838 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (636 characters)

Photo of tkone
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a glass poured from their awesome "grenade" bottle.

Nice malty backbone with a touch of a hop finish, but nothing to be all sierra Nevada or arrogant bastard about.

Smooth and to the point, bit of a sweet aftertaste in the sweet sticky beer way.

Would drink again. In fact I've had several already. But only won once at paper rock scissors. (357 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (643 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (299 characters)

Photo of wingman14
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of gaugebozo
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Gorgeous clear amber red. Very little suds on top.
S - Sweet malt.
T - Almost nutty, with some caramel, graininess, and minimal roast the predominate flavors. Hops enough to notice, but not pick out what types. Not much yeast character, but fits with the style.
M - Thick and foamy for a lager.
O - I enjoyed this. Once again, Full Sail does a good job of giving you session beers that are drinkable but not boring. (419 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (772 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Brownish/amber color with a nice big 2 fingers worth of head that settle to a nice thin layer with great lacing.

S: I'm getting sweet malt, a little breadiness and toast

T: Sweet malty right up front, follows and finishes with a nice roasted grainy toast mixed with a little caramel.

M: Crisp yet clean and smooth. Good carbonation.

O: Very drinkable brew with pretty good ABV.... with looking for and a like the bottle says... Session Fest. (474 characters)

Photo of 2xHops
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was sort of surprised, but not really, to see this offered at a local Central Market. They had few other good stuff I will be reviewing soon.

I poured this red lager into a pint glass...

The taste's great for a red lager. The alcohol did not come on strong, and it certainly tasted somewhat malty. It reminded me of Killian's Irish Red but with couple notable differences. First, this beer taste better, and it does not have a peculiar aftertaste like Killian's does.

Is this a session beer? Probably not because it has 6.2% ABV, but it is definitely a welcome change to their regular lineup.

Overall, you can't go wrong with this beer. I think it's a great beer to have at parties. I love the bottles and they're so easy to put in the coolers to lug around. (767 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (1,016 characters)

Photo of BlackBearForge
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Session Fest pours a clear golden amber with a small whitish head leaving just a bit of oily foam on the glass.

The aroma has a full woodsy character, fresh, balanced and somewhat spicy.

The flavor has a nicely toasted bread bent, lightly caramel in character with the earthy, spicy hops backing things up. Hmm, this beer apparently has Cascade in it as well but the hop profile seems purely Continental, nicely balanced with a touch of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with just a bit of bite from carbonation.

Overall a very nice and balanced beer, very drinkable and flavorful. I'd expect a good solid beer from Full Sail and they delivered. (673 characters)

Photo of Seven
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of specksnreds
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Not much to look at with its pale amberness and lack-o-foamy-head. Smells like malt liquor with a spicy cinnamon poke in the sniffer. Smells like flowers too. Tastes tingly and bock-like: surely a dichotomy. Mouth feel belies the light color.... a bit. Weightier than expected, but by no means a tongue carpet. I picked up a single in this instance, but I'll get the 12er next time. (394 characters)

Photo of AnalogReigns
3.93/5  rDev +8%
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). (1,106 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (658 characters)

Photo of alohaspicoli
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Brownish/amber with a nice, off-white head. Good retention.

S: Sweet and malty, with a light roastiness to it. Very nice balance of flavors.

T: Roasted malt with a very slight caramel/brown sugary sweetness.

M: Crisp, clean and smooth. Perfect carbonation. Not much alcohol burn.

O: I will definitely buy this again. Yet another very drinkable and enjoyable lager from Full Sail. (438 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head. Lots of carbonation is visible from all points of the glass. An orange red is the color of the beer with clarity seen through the other side. Ahh, holy carbonation and the head of beer has quickly reduced to a thin layer and has left some spotty lacing on the side of the glass too.

Smell: Sweet bready and biscuity malts.

Taste: There are more to the flavor in the mouth that I am trying to figure out.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, high carbonation, silky smooth, and a little chewy.

Overall: This is another beer from Full Sail that I have enjoyed in the past week. Will have to upgrade my selection and try some of their other stuff in the near future. (747 characters)

Photo of mudbug
3.86/5  rDev +6%
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! (733 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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 (773 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (787 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the Session pill-bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is an almost crystal-clear, brown-copper coloring with a slow, steady flow of bubbling and a filmy coating of head. Aromas are rich and malty, with a sweet caramel tang to the normal roasted cereal scents of a lager. Flavors are nutty and spicy, with a caramel backbone and a slight hopping at the end to clean everything from the palate. Tasty brew on a round, smooth, yet crisp body. The aftertaste is a bit resiny and bitter, with a roasted character. The finish dries nicely, leaving the palate clear for more. Very easy brew to drink, and the flavors are spiced and smooth enough to make a very sessionable holiday ale. (690 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11oz bottle x2. Best by 01/29/12. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a clear copper with a very small head of beige foam which mostly disappears. No real lacing.

Aroma of toasted, bready, and slightly caramel malt. A little bit of fruit (apples) and hints of marshmallow. Some spiciness. Some noticeable yeast.

Flavor is a blend of toasted malt and a sweet apple-juice type fruitiness. Hints of marshmallow and peppery spiciness. Mild hop bitterness Very balanced malt sweetness to hop bitterness. No real flavor of alcohol but some warming in the finish.

Medium bodied with above medium semi-sharp carbonation. A refreshing mouthfeel and very drinkable. This is one of those beers that you will probably drink faster than you should given the 6.2% ABV. But hey, it's the holidays. (788 characters)

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.