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Session Fest - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Session FestSession Fest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

82 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 189
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 16.44%
Wants: 13
Gots: 20 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Session Fest Alström Bros
Reviews: 82 | Hads: 189
Photo of Seven
3.98/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of corby112
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

Look – dark brown in color, with about half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – light malty smell, but other than that the aroma is very illusive!

Taste – much like the smell, the taste is a bit illusive. In the middle of the taste it does appear more sweeter and malty, and then finishes with a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, but leans just a touch more on the watery side. Just barely.

Overall – not a bad tasting brew at all, once you get to the taste. But it seems to evade one a bit.

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Photo of gaugebozo
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.38/5  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.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.36/5  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.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.24/5  rDev -38.6%
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.81/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
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

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  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.

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Photo of beergoot
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.