Sapporo Reserve | Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

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Sapporo ReserveSapporo Reserve

Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-24-2001

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 361
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with a definite malt and hop presence but it's pretty bland and gets much less drinkable as it warms up in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.67/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

yuck. so these guys made an all malt beer and called in reserve? thats a low standard isnt it? its weird its less good, or rather more bad than the others they do that i have had, it just doesnt come together, totally weird and a bit gross in flavor, what went wrong here? it looks alright, yellow and clear, and little more depth than the original, but pretty similar, with a quarter inch of white bubbles on it. smells a little metallic, but not way off, a bit sweet too, i dont really smell a lot of difference here, maybe a bit more lager yeast. the flavor is disjointed, like a blend of some kind that didnt take. still tastes adjunct based to me, i dont know why, but it does, and for some reason, although this is supposed to be "better" in some way i think, i dont think i like it half as much as the original, which has a lot more redeemable characteristics than this. prime carbonation though, which is great, and perhaps the drinker of medium to low quality lagers will take well to this one. for me its a gimmick and i didnt like it at all. did anyone prefer this to the original?

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Photo of metter98
3.29/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of apples and bready malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except the flavors are slightly stronger and also have some hints of grainy malts and grassy hops. A slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, rather smooth and somewhat clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and seems a little bland but doesn’t have any offensive aromas or flavors.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I'm back. After a promising 'yoga in the park' detour on Waikiki Beach with my soon-to-be missus, which turned out to be pleasant, and stretchy, enough, save the fact that the instructor turned out to be Japanese, and spoke that language almost exclusively for the whole session, given the multitude of Japanese students...anyhoo, suffice to say, I have a very strong hankering for a Japanese beer. Ya know, any one of those crazily available a moment's step in any direction in this part of the world.

This 650ml can pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of foamy and puffy bone-white head, which leaves a sparsely-strewn web of lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of crisp and crackery white grain, and a metallic acerbic herbal edge, one that is hard to attribute to actual hops. The taste is fairly malty - bready and crackery, with only the slightest of skanky, almost diacetyl-like off-flavour, with some respectably understated grassy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is a bit frizzy, but generally amenable, the body a decent medium weight, and a bit too tacky to proclaim outright smooth, but it works well enough. It finishes sweet, but not overly so, the graininess holding tight to that all-malt claim, and the hops hangin' tough on the down-low.

Not a shabby Euro pale lager, it could use a bit more hops, but the malt claim is justified, and I had no problem putting back the can after the outright warmth of this day. Sassy contoured can too - jeez, can environment have that much affect on a guy's beer senses? Apparently so.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, K3012G bottle code. Pours fairly crystal clear bright gold color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hop, and light yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Flavors are very clean as well with no overly estery yeast notes. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale lager style. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sapporo Reserve pours a deep gold body beneath a full head of creamy bright white froth that holds well and leaves some nice lace behind. The aroma is exceptionally fresh and clean with welcome waft of hops that expresses flowers and trees after the rain. The body is medium, and it's delicately crisp across the palate with a fine, median carbonation. The flavor delivers a clean, softly grainy maltiness and some spicy, herbal, and floral hops that linger into the dry finish. It's much more interesting and flavorful than the standard Sapporo, and well worth the increased cost.

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Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Malty golden lager. Great carbonation, a lovely head on this stuff. Of all the many variations on the usual light lagers, this is one of my favorites. Fairly rich with malt flavors, even a touch of toast. Slight sourish taste is the worst feature. Hops are not much, but contribute to a pleasant beery bitterish flavor.

Absolutely nothing special, but a well-made lager. Seems like more mouthfeel than most. And the gold and silver can always makes me feel like I've drinking something rare and expensive.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished orange peel, clear as a bell. An impressive amount of carbonation has resulted in a large crown of dark cream that contains a slight ecruish tint, like a marshmallow held briefly over a fire. There's a pretty impressive lace display as well... gobs of it are all over the upper third of the glass. This is one of the better looking EPLs that I've seen.

The nose is a step down, although it's still what I'd call better than average for the style. It's blonde malty with a touch of floral hops. Nothing to do cartwheels over, but the lack of even a hint of mustiness, staleness or other off-aromas gives it a leg up on its peers.

I'm trying my damndest to review Sapporo Reserve within the context of the style. In that sense, it's definitely better than most of the world's EPLs. I know that 'Euro' pale lagers have nothing to do with geography, but am I the only one who finds it odd to call beer from Japan, Euro <anything>? I guess its better than having style listings for JPLs, CPLs, BPLs, KPLs, ad infinitum. Okay, back to the beer...

The malt backbone is solid, with plenty of grain flavor. Sweet is almost perfectly balanced by bitter. There isn't much else bouncing around in there, just the basics. Again, the absence of any nastiness is one of this beer's prime selling points; and I say that without a trace of irony. I've had waaay too many substandard pale lagers in my life not to recognize a pretty good one.

Thanks to the somewhat generous malt load, the mouthfeel is solidly medium. A firm smoothness and an understated amount of carbonation keep the good impressions rolling along.

I think I've had two other Sapporo offerings prior to this one and I don't remember being too impressed. Maybe it's a case of low expectations being easily exceeded, but that doesn't change the fact that Reserve is good beer. If you're in the market for a JPL (Japanese pale lager), start here.

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Photo of russpowell
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the Tinker AFB Class 6 store:

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3+ fingers of fluffy pearl white head. some lacing & head retention

S: Cereal notes, hints of apricot

T: Cereal notes, a bit of grassyness & some orchard fruit up front. More fruittyness, some leafy hops & grassyness as this warms.

MF: Light/medium bodied, fairly assertive carbonation, okay balance

Drinks okay, this would be alright some sashimi, other-wise pass

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Photo of smcolw
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color, slightly cloudy, nice head with teflon lace (won't stick to the glass).

Although not noted anywhere on the glass, there are strong wheat notes in the aroma. Very crisp with slight orange and other citrus smells. A touch of sourness.

The taste is hopless. Malts and wheat-like flavors start the tasting, the citrus finishes. Highly carbonated; very dry; the aftertaste fizzles quickly.

An above average "lawn mower" beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

The sixth entry in SwillFest 2011. It pours a clear pale yellow straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises rice, wheat, and soap. And that's it. The taste has nothing constructive to add to this discussion, unless you consider a few bits of minerals constructive (which, clearly, I don't). The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation, a watery feel, and a kinda crisp, dry finish. Overall, a light, airy beer that doesn't seem to have much else to offer but its lightness.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.38/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My canned beer kick continues unabated, despite Jacey's many attempts to get me to be quiet.

It poured with two fingers of rocky, bone-white head that slowly fell away into a light foamy coating on top of the beer. The color was a spectacular golden yellow with NE-plus quality clarity. I could almost read things on the other side of the room! The nose was both sweetish and metallic at the same time. Mouthfeel was on the thin side with a mild sweetness on the tongue. The finish was really metallic, however, and lingered well after the swallow. Oof. It came in a big 22-ounce can, so the price was not something to quibble about, but there are much better (and equally inexpensive) examples of the style available. Give one a try, but for me, it was a once-and-done experience.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this out of a huge, sturdy 22 Oz. can. Appearance is a medium golden with an above average head. Aroma is mildly sweet, but on the weaker side of beer smells. Reserve's aroma and appearance left me expecting a much more mundane beer than this turned out to be. Taste is pleasently sweet, malts instantly remind me of some malty sweet German brews. Caramel is dominant flavor here. The overall taste is well-rounded and off-taste free. Drinkability is very good; if this is malt liquor, like the can says it is, then it has to be the best malt liquor I've ever sampled.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed pale yellow colored body with a bright white thicket of head dwindles slowly even chunky specks of lacing. Aroma has nice cereal notes, pale malts all grain served from a 22 ounce can. This thing is bad ass and sturdy much like the Sapporo Premium can but this one has all malt beer written on it. Nice full on malt profile light biscuit/hints of cracker with herbal grassy finishing hops much better than the average Japanese lager. Carbonation is sturdy body is light but not thin, I'm liking this stuff. Overall drinkability is solid a beer that would go well with a specialty sushi roll or by itself. Affordable on 3 bucks a can, definitely worth it for a 22 ounce portion.

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Photo of jwc215
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz can:

Pours bright yellow with a thin white head that has decent retention.

The smell is of sweet grain, slight husk and floral/hoppy notes.

The taste is of sweet malt with some balancing floral bitterness.

This one is pretty well-balanced for the style. Some noble hop presence mixes in with the malt. While a bit thin, it does have enough body to it to not be watery and it's not too fizzy. Not a bad EPL at all (and a much better choice than the standard Sapporo, IMO).

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Photo of GClarkage
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/07/04- Purchased at Trader Joes in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz silver can poured into a large 24 oz beer mug. No freshness date on the can that I can find.

Appearance- Just rated the standard Sapporo and this one is about the same in all catagories. Huge foamy head, golden colored and nil lace.

Smell- A bit more smell from this one. Maybe a little more hoppy. Maybe some citrus?

Taste- Not as good as the premium IMO, but I guess it is a different type of beer. More malt taste in here and more hop flavor. Not as clean tasting to me. But still a good thirst quencher.

Mouthfeel- Ultra carbonated, but still goes down relatively easy.

Drinkability- Not bad. I have no idea why I am having these on a below 50 degree day, but, it's still pretty damn quenching.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hearing Japanese food would be for dinner, I wanted to try a Japanese beer to go with the food. I thought I'd be getting Asahi or Sapporo's standard beer, but I spotted this on the shelf. I figured I should try this out given I can find standard Japanese beers at many places. On to the beer:

Poured into a glass, it's a lighter golden colored beer with a lovely display of carbonation, and has a good crown (head) to boot. There's a scent of DMS mixed with a trace of hop flavor. The taste is stronger and for the most part, better than that of it's European brewed counterparts. Nice and hoppy with a light sweetness, with a grainy finish make up the flavor profile in this beer. I thought maybe it was a bit undercarbonated, but otherwise, it's a pleasing beer that matched fine with teriyaki chicken and shrimp tempura.

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Photo of tone77
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smells of malts and grains. Tastes of barley and malts, not overly flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a fairly good beer, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.51/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce can.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is grain, oranges, lemons and some metal. The majority of the aroma is taken up by the grain, but the citrus hides in the back and occasionally makes an appearance. The flavor is a mix of grassy hops, bready malt and grain. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Nothing exciting about the beer, but it is not bad.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Sapporo Reserve, poured from a 22 oz can into a pint glass. A small fizzy head forms and then recedes to a ring around the edges. A little bit of lace.

Smell: Not a particularly strong aroma, light grains and a hint of Saaz type hop.

Taste: More on the macro side, not surprisingly. Cracker like malt, a pretty good amount of earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp carbonation, almost drying.

Drinkability: A pretty typical import aiming at the mainstream U.S. market. I got this to accompany some sushi, but it did not compliment it particularly well. I was hoping this would be an amped up rice lager but its closer to an adjunct lager. I'd take Kirin or Asahi over this any day.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.56/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 650mL can into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium gold hue with a haze-free body and a ton of effervescence. Head is two fingers of frothy white foam with moderately good retention. This is a good-looking example of the style.

Smell: the aroma is of light, sweet malt. There's not a lot of character here, but also not any major flaws. Pretty decent!

Taste: lightly sweet malt flavor which is exceptionally clean. None of that artificial plastic-like flavor you get in a lot of macros. Hops are almost nonexistent, but there is a tiny hint of bitterness which indicates their presence. Inoffensive and drinkable.

Mouthfeel: light body with a moderate effervescence. It neither develops a big creaminess nor provides a prickly, refreshing fizziness. Not terrible, but not interesting.

Overall: I like this beer. For a macro lager, it is surprisingly clean and tasty, as well as eminently drinkable.

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Photo of Zorro
3.29/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold color.

Smells mildly perfume and grainy.

Has a large solid grain flavor, mildly sweet. Mild malt and hops. Very tasty brew. This presents grain in its best property.

Good Mouthfeel.

Very drinkable. Very Japanese, take simple ingredients and make something more from them.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber can,

A: Pours a deep golden colour, with a light white head, leaving some spots of lace.

S: Bready lager malt, very German smelling, no real hop character.

T: Cracked wheat bread, quite grainy and husky initially. Then the beer gets sweet for a little while mid-palate, while finishing with a rather strong earthy bite of noble hops. Well balanced. A lot more in the German pils range than a Euro lager.

M: Crisp, with some nice biting carbonation. Light/medium bodied.

D: This is very solid stuff from Sapporo. One of the best beers to be had in the Euro lager category.

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Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Lisa Wolters for this...
Appears a solid, crisp gold with a 2 finger white head that slowly fades out. Medium amounts of carbonation rise to the top. Some sticky streaks of lacing is left around the interior of the glass.
Smell is of doughy, grainy, dried corn, and a metallic, earthy, floral note infused with honey.
Taste is of the same aromas. Nothing special in there though. Pretty run of the mill Euro lager.
Mouthfeel is metallic, honey sweet, and mildly bitter. This is medium bodied and crisp.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a bright, clear orange-gold with a nice, fluffy off white head, 1 finger in height that dissipated rather quickly leaving a broken rim lacing. Visible carbonation was very faint with but 2-3 bubbles a second at best.

S: sweet oranges, lemons and honeyflowers.

T: sweet and citrusy with some honey starts things off. There was a bit of flowery hoppiness found in the middle before proceeding to a finish of dry oranges and a light metallic taste.

M: light-medium, very slick off the tongue with nice traces of dry oranges and flower hops left behind.

D: Average drinkability, one would be plenty at a time.

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Sapporo Reserve from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
3.27 out of 5 based on 361 ratings.
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