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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

80 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 187
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 6.32%
Wants: 12
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 UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best by 12/25/11.

Pours a clear brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Chunky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt/grains, bread/biscuit, and some caramel notes. Taste is of toasted malt, bread, caramel, and some spicy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good red lager and a good alternative to spiced Winter beers. This is probably my favorite Session beer from Full Sail to date. (622 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (769 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 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 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 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 Jason
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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!! (449 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly good amber ale. The carbonation seems a bit too high, in my opinion. Kind of too frothy in the mouth. But the flavor tone is nice enough. Seems to be some spices on there (maybe it's just the mix of malts and hops?), but it's too muddled for me to be able to pick something out precisely. Either way, a pleasant enough ale. (340 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (991 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours chestnut brown with dark orange edges and a 1.5 finger off white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with hints of spicy, earthy hops. Hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit countered by grassy, spiky hops. Not bad smelling, just kind of bland.

Medium bodied with a decent balance of sweet malt and earthy hop notes. Hints of caramel, toffee and hazelnut followed by grassy, spilt hops. There's also a lactic diaceytl presence which is off-putting and slightly sour. Just really odd tasting. (564 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (443 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 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 Rhettroactive
2.81/5  rDev -22.8%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a nice coppery-brown color, the beer was clean and clear with no head, retention or lacing.

The beer had nice malts, was a bit sweet and had just a bit of delicate hops. The flavors were the same, nicely even and well balanced.

The body was smooth and even, but a slightly sticky finish was a bit off-putting. Drinkability was very nice, I could easily knock back a few of these. Overall, I think this is my favorite of the Sessions brews (although I do like the Black fairly well). A nice brew that's worth a shot when you see it. (565 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber color with a brown tinge. Poured a coarse 2 finger off-white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. Laced in rings with faint legs running down the glass.

S:Sweet crystal malt; caramel and bread. Faint toast aroma and some grassiness.

T: Sweet and malty up front. Toast and caramel solidify in the middle and carry through to mild, building bitter in the finish..

M: Medium body. Moderate to ample carbonation. Smooth on the palate. Crisp and clean in the finish.

O: Very drinkable. Malty, good feel and balance. (530 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -3%
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. (722 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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 (458 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong, crisp aroma is mainly malty and has quite a bite to it. I got a mild skunky whiff, but that hardly put me off. It pours a nice clear, dark coppery amber with a thick and fluffy pale tan head that sticks around for a while. Flavor is fairly typical for a lager, except fairly strong and with nary a trace of the skunkiness I detected in the aroma. Maybe I was smelling things? ;) It does have a hoppy, somewhat bitter tone with a hint of something nasty, but it is still decidedly drinkable. Texture has average body and average fizziness. Overall, not great but worth a try. Maybe this sample was from not their best batch. (631 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear reddish/orange color. A two finger white head with good retention forms. Sticky, spiderweb looking lace all the way down the glass.
S: Lager yeast with a big bread/biscuit malt aroma. Dry crackers and some very light grassy hops finishes everything off.
T: Again, big bread/biscuit/cracker like flavor. Very dry up front. Some hops in the middle, and finishes just a tad sweet with some toffee.
M/D: A light to medium body. Maybe just a bit under carbonated for my tastes. Clean and dry though. Certainly to much alcohol to be considered a session (hopefully with anybodys definition) though very easy to drink.

A nice lager. I am a big fan of the other Full Sail "sessions" and this one is enjoyable. Though I think I like the other better. Still, no worries with putting these back. A very nice everyday drinker. (833 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11 oz stubby from a 12 pack. Winco, S.Salem. $9.98 Dark red amber colured ale with a goodly sized, frothy off white head. Fine malty,hay,bready aromas slight hint of lemony hop Malty taste..hint of chocolate and spices..not sure were i get it from but there is a definate peppery spiceiness. OK on the palate..has a rather evident alcohol graininess right at the end..but its not that bad. Nice beer at a good price. Another fine "Session" offering (448 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (342 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 Beaver13
2.24/5  rDev -38.5%
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. (478 characters)

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