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Session Fest - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Session FestSession Fest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

142 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 10.9%

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:
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 added by: msubulldog25 on 09-30-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 76 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of gaugebozo

New York

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 00:21:09 | More by gaugebozo
Photo of Haybeerman


3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 21:48:54 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of josiahschlender


3.48/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 22:09:27 | More by josiahschlender
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 18:46:14 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of morebeergood


3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this stubby bottle in my fridge for a while, and I have been meaning to drink since Xmas 2011. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark amber body. Not much head, and no lacing. Not very impressive to look at. Smell had faint hints of holiday spices. Taste was only slightly above average. Some orange peel, ginger, toasted malt, and cherry. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin, and slightly bitter at the end. The abv of over 6% was not really noticeable. I wouldn't consider this a session beer, as I wouldn't see myself drinking multiple bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 04:46:50 | More by morebeergood
Photo of mralphabet


4/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 03:51:19 | More by mralphabet
Photo of Beaver13


2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 02:22:33 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Pegasus


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 02:01:49 | More by Pegasus
Photo of Ryan011235


3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 12/21/11

Enjoy by: 01/07/12

Faded and dulled tobacco brown; it's clear for the most part, though. Two and a half finger head drops to a 1/4th inch that seems incline to stay around. Patches of lace try but fail to catch.

Aromas of baked bread, caramel, yeast, dust, nuts and earthy/grass hops in decline; the balance is smooth between the lot. The flavor profile has some similarities but finds snappier fruit tones mingling with the bread and caramel. A subtle hoppy nudge marks the finish. Thinner than medium body with steady, rippling carbonation that moves the beer without agitating the feel. Finishes with a mild grittiness.

Overall impression - an easy drinking beer with no shortage of pleasant subtleties.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 02:42:35 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 23:48:47 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of brotherloco


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 02:16:59 | More by brotherloco
Photo of bubseymour


3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 01:04:30 | More by bubseymour
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 23:00:02 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Flounder57


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 06:50:14 | More by Flounder57
Photo of beergoot


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, it's a holiday session beer!

Some nice spice and floral notes. Decent balance of bitterness and malt flavors overall and goes down nicely.

I can see knocking back a few over a period of time. Another fine addition to Full Sail's Session beer family.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 00:56:48 | More by beergoot
Photo of PintOHops


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Pint

A - Copper colored brew with high clarity and medium carbonation. About a 1-finger head that dissipated pretty fast. It left a few spots on my glass.

S - Nice, bright citrus and rind hop characters upfront, with a mellow caramel malt note underneath. Mild bread and musky Lager yeast is also present.

T - Oily hop characters like rind, lemon, grapefruit and a touch of pine mingle with a beefy caramel, bread, nut, and toffee malt characters. It finishes with musty lager yeast that lingers a bit, and mild bitterness that balanced out the flavor profile.

M - Lite-Medium bodied with soft crispness and a slightly oily feel.

O - Hmm, well there ain't much to this brew. It's an affordable/sessionable Lager that would probably go great with some pulled pork sandwiches. I liked the flavor profile, and it smelled clean and inviting to me. Overall though I thought this beer was just alright. I'd probably buy it again because it tastes good and it's on the cheaper side.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 00:50:26 | More by PintOHops
Photo of JosiahS


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

glass: Pint

Copper appearance, very clear. Spotty lacing. Smells like crackery malt, grape juice and gym socks. Taste has a bitterness of upfront that seems like its coming from the hops. Falls into that apple/grape juice flavor finishes with a slight doughy malt, hop bitterness and gym sock yeast.

Light, but not too light, low-medium carbonation. An alright beer at best.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 00:44:20 | More by JosiahS
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 21:31:07 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of elNopalero


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a burnt sienna color. Malty molasses aromas, lightly hopped. Light, bitter, but not really all that enjoyable. Thin finish. The malt profile is out of alignment. It doesn’t hold up to warming—the spices/flavoring goes out of balance and comes off harshly. At least the stubby bottle is cute.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 08:53:47 | More by elNopalero
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 02:00:56 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of bump8628


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper-red, nearly a tawny brown. Thin, short-lasting bubbles show head retention just a tad more impressive than a soft drink. Polotmavé - never had, nor heard of the style. I'm guessing amber lager is a good enough descriptor. Some caramel, baking bread, and shortbread balance out a pleasant grassy and earthy hoppiness. Nicely brewed and clean, dryness is appreciated since this was meant to be an easy drinker. Surprisingly, Full Sail managed to capture some holiday elements in this seemingly basic red lager. It's nice to see a brewery go outside of the winter warmer/stout box for a winter seasonal. This definitely a beer that would please both craft drinkers and generic beer guzzlers alike. I think a box of 12 bottles will be making the trip to Thanksgiving dinner with me this year.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 22:24:25 | More by bump8628
Photo of DrinkingDrake


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper/amber. Not much for head but a good amount of foam clings around the sides of the glass. Every time I sip some more forms on the sides. Light German malty sweetness. Some hop spice as well. Biscuity malt flavor and just like the nose it finishes with some hoppy spice. Thinner side of a body but still a decent malt character.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 17:30:13 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of Rayek


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Session Fest pours a red tinged amber with a fluffy cream cap. The foam slowly falls to a patchy quilt and leaves just a bit of lace.

Some pretty standard Red Lager stuff is going on here. Bittersweet toffee rides on top of a bed of straw. Bitterness is lemony, peppery and mild. The beer is very dry and a touch metallic in the finish.

Of the three Session beers, this is my least favorite. It has a certain generic quality to it that left me a bit flat. However, it is a decent beer. It's just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 20:23:56 | More by Rayek
Photo of DirtyPenny


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz stubbie into a pint glass while watching a dismal Buffalo Bills performance against the vile Cowboys.

A: Reddish bronze with one finger of off white head that fades more quickly than the Bills' playoff hopes.

S: Caramel and pale malts with piney hops.

T: This is a pretty hop-forward brew. The pine-flavored hops mingle with the miscellanous malts and leave a mild to moderate bitterness on the tongue. Not bad.

M: Medium and kind of creamy.

O: Decent, accessible beers seems to be the notion that the Session series is built upon, and that's continued here. All in all I like their standard lager better and their black lager best. A nice, crisp lager without a whole lot to make it stand out. Seems like it'd be good to keep around in the fridge if company comes by. Not offensive or overly powerful flavorwise, but a world better than the Bills... I mean, Buds, of the world.

(Seriously, all I want is to see the Cowboys lose. I don't care to who. Is that too much to ask?)

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 02:26:03 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of litheum94


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11 oz stubby. Reviewed on 11/7/11.

Vigorous pour produces a big, slightly tan head, with large bubbles that fizzle out. Clear, amber-leaning-red body.

Clean, grainy lager aromas. Some spice with earthy hops.

Crisp and dry. Cracker malts with an earthiness. Some burnt caramel and spices. Some bitterness, woody and floral in nature. Slight boiled vegetable lager flavor, but not bad.

This is just like the other FS Session beers; nothing spectacular, just clean, good drinking beers. And at a great price too.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 16:49:41 | More by litheum94
Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.