Brew Masters Private Reserve | Anheuser-Busch

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BA SCORE
80
good
104 Reviews
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch
Missouri, United States | website

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Decades ago, Budweiser brewmasters started a tradition. During the holidays, they'd collect the purest liquid from the brewing kettles; pre-sparged, first wort. This first stock - unusually smooth and rich despite its robust alcohol - was reserved for A-B friends and family, until now. Note from the brewers: this an all-malt beer; NO rice or corn. Imported hops. 20 Plato. It's also a completely different recipe than Budweiser.

Added by yen157 on 11-13-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
120
Avg:
3.49
pDev:
18.62%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 120
Photo of Franchise
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this huge bottle with fellow BA Hhawk06. This malt lager pours a golden blonde that leaves a thick white lace and some stickiness that a "regular" budweiser could only dream of making. Upon opening the bottle the malty sweetness vanilla, baked brown sugar, cooked white sugar, angel food cake all come to mind it is amazingly complex.

The body is clear and vibrant, very nice some slight carbonation bubbles can be seen through the lager. The aroma is light and fruity, some mild hop presence is definatly in the nose. The taste on the palate is fresh, clean, as if it was poured right from the tap amazing.

Some slight carbonation refreshes the palate, the lager starts smooth with a sweet malt charachter of cake, sugar, and moves to a small bitter hop aspect. This beer is great, fresh and clean. If only they can brew some more like this.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wide mouth tulip-style glass from a huge quart-size dark abber bottle with a flip top that's really very cool looking. Great packaging, if you ask me.

A - Bright golden with lots of effervescence. Tall, two-finger white head that dissipates pretty fast. Minimal lacing left behind. Certainly a richer color than a typical Bud.

S - Not at all what I expected. While it's a little "Bud-like," it's more ... dare I say this ... like a decent belgian beer. It's got that malty, yeasty character that it characteristic of a Belgian. Reminds me a little of a Duvel knock-off. I say this knowing that the mere suggestion that a BUd product is like a Belgian is tantamount to beer heresy. Still, I stand by my assessment.

T - Again, this beer is surprising me. Good malty body with a very discernable yeast backbone. Like a baked bread or pie. Not a lot of hop attitude here, but a very, very respectable malt beer. Slightly spicy, sweet, and smooth, yet not cloying.

M - Very clean and crisp ... now that is not so suprising. Fairly light and smooth. Finishes easy.

D - This beer is very drinkable, especially since the 8.5 abv is well hidden. I'd like to taste test this one with a few of my discerning beer buddies. I'd put money on it that they wouldn't know this was a Bud product in a million years. I'm truly impressed with this one ... I love it when a beer exceeds my expectations in almost every regard. Doesn't happen often. And it's even less likely that it would be a Bud offering ... way to go Augustus!

Try this one and swallow your "beer pride." If you can allow yourself to admit that Budweiser can produce a quality beer, you might just like this one. It's a shame it's a "once a year" beer.

Hmmm ... anyone ever tried to cellar this? (assuming you could get it several years ago?) At 8.5 I recon it's right on the edge of feasibility?

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Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its taken me a while to get around to trying this high gravity lager from A-B but when a dozen bottles were put out on the bar by A-B brewmaster following a VIP tour for about 40 St. Louis area homebrewers I filled my glass eagerly and found the clear amber gold brew very satisfying.

Clean nose suggest the malts were increased and a longer boil. Still clean with little caramel flavor. Not quite EKU 28 but heading in that direction. This hides alcohol better that EKU. An excellent choice for high gravity session as its balance and smooth mouthfeel and medium body from quality roasted grain. With the other test brews that I tasted I was wishing for a cracker and water to get a better grasp on the complexity of this beauty.

I will be looking for a bottle around Christmas.

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Photo of ghurux86
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

alright it's been awhile since i've reviewed a beer but here goes. i honestly think the new "craft" beers from ab are definitely decent. let's start.

appearance: pours a dark yellow golden color. head is decent but doesn't linger long and leaves no lacing.

smell: typical ab smell...lol....smells sweet, like rice and corn, but it also exhibits some hop aroma which is quite pleasing

taste: for 8.5% not bad. a hint of malt. some hops and rice. and a little alcohol heat.

mouthfeel: In my opinion, a little watery, good carbonation. ovearall pretty good.

drinkability i would buy it again but definitely not a session beer due to the high abv.

a pretty good offering from ab. definitely one of the best i've tried from the company

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Photo of jerrymiller
4.01/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I gave this as a gift to a Budweiser "zealot" over the holidays. This beer is beautifully packaged and bottled. It opened with a loud "pop" and was very highly carbonated.
It poured with a white, full head that settled down quickly in the goblet and left traces of lacing. The beer was clean and clear.
It smelled to me like the beechwood they brag about, but now one could actually register it as it tasted sweet yet malty.
The beer itself is extremely drinkable, everyone who had some commented that they wished all Budweiser tasted this good.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

This is A-B's take on the brewmaster's holiday tradition, where they take the fi rst runnings of sweet wort and ferment a big, bold beer out of it. Speaking of big, the bottle is enormous!

Beer pours a shimmering, clear, golden color, a good white head from the start, and a semi-stick lace for the rest. Suggestions of honey, whole-grain bread, grainy animal feed and a clean perfume-like alcohol and hop collaboration make up the aroma. Very smooth mouth feel, a touch creamy in the fluffy body. Flavors of Portuguese sweetbread and a barleymalt syrup, not condensed wort, hone in on the taste buds. Alcohol warms a bit more after each sip, lending a strawberry-like flavor. The hop bitterness is enough to balance, but the herbal flavor is more interesting. Aftertaste lands semi-sweet, with a rough grain, herbal hop and the complexities from the alcohol.

So with 46.5 ounces of high-alcohol brew on our hands, what else is there to do but drink it? Actually several brats were steamed in this brew--a good pairing, no doubt. It's not a malt liquor, not an over-hopped Double Pilsner, and certainly not the bigger brother of Budweiser. It's a tasty, big-ass American All-Malt Lager in a big-ass bottle. Enough said.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent beer all around. Clean pale malts with a light bitterness balanced with an alcohol taste. Decent initial head that fades a little faster than I would like. Decent, clean smell on the nose of pale malts and alcohol. Decent mouthfeel and drinkability considering this is an 8.5% beer. Tastes like an 8.5% abv, but is not hard to drink. It's worth a try, but a little overpriced.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK this is a review of a bottle that has been aged exactly one year. Originally this was to be for a beer trade that didn't happen.

The seal on the flip top bottle has remained good for the entire year and it gives a satisfying pop when you have to pry the plug up to get to the beer; there is nothing lacking about the care that was taken to bottle this.

This is a cold hazed deeply gold colored beer that does seem to have darkened after a years aging. Decent white head but it isn't very tall or strong.

Smell is sweet and noticeably more fruity after a years age on it. Fruit aroma of nuts, plum, raisin and banana mostly and it smells like a bock beer at this point. Toasted grain aroma but only faintly.

Taste is sweet and much like the smell fruity. Plum and raisin bran cereal flavor reign and then the hops come down and cut it off. The hop bitterness seems to have intensified by the time in the bottle, how is that possible? I have no Idea but this has a sharp bitter finish like some better German Altbier do. Quite frankly if this was a darker color I would call this a Bock or Altbier. Alcohol seems to be more apparent after a year in a 60 F closet in the dark. Additional flavors have appeared in this one. This is noticeably nutty with a fairly big pecan taste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and reminds me of barley wine more than any kind of lager.

Drinkability is actually improved provided you like the taste of Bock, Altbier or Barley Wine more than the taste of Lager. It is winter this is just not the season for Lager. Interesting but sadly I do not have another bottle to try after two years of aging. I will be waiting to see the reviews of this after two years or more of aging. If you have one of these you didn't drink this year rest assured that it is still good. I suggest you wait another year and see what you get.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured orange/golden yellow with a 2-inch head that became, and remained a nice lace.
The smell was of caramel with hints of alcohol coming through.
The taste was thick and rich. It tasted of caramel, and the alcohol came through but didn't overwhelm the taste. Very malty.
The mouthfeel was a tad bit sticky, but the flavor of malty caramel did linger and was balanced by a watery texture that made it drinkable and refreshing to a degree.
The bottom line - I wish that "Bud" tasted like this. It is a bit too thick (malty) to have on a regular basis, or as a "session" beer, but certainly worthwhile as a special "treat". A good brew!

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Photo of Hhawk06
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split this one with a good pal, beer advocate Franchise. Clearly, the presentation pre-pour is impressive; contained in a limited edition box and stored in a huge swing-top bottle. In the least, it fuels the anticipation.

The beer poured golden but darkish in color, but not dark golden, if that makes sense. The head is solid, finely beaded and about a finger and a half in depth. The ensuing lace is also adequate. The nose is very fresh smelling, as the noble hops shine through. The body is medium-to-heavy with a liquidy smooth mouthfeel; there is very little carbonation to be seen. The taste is very hard to pinpoint, but it mostly consists of a sugarcane sweetness and a floral background. Clearly, the malt presence in this "American all malt lager" is first and foremost. It finishes smooth and sweet, with a cotton candy taste co-existing with an appropriate floral bouquet. Words really can't describe the true complexity to this beer. Although its a bit rough in the drinkability aspect, it remains a very good beer and worth seeking out.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange-amber with a fluffy, foamy head that settles into a light lacing due to the high abv. Aroma is of vanilla & caramel, reminds me of a Troegenator Doppelbock, even though they're 2 different styles of beer. Taste is much like the aroma, caramel & vanilla, malty, a pinch of hops with a hint of alcohol that gets MUCH stronger as the beer warms. Very nice, full mouthfeel. This is the kind of beer A-B should have been brewing all along!! IMHO, it's much more (and much better) than the "Budweiser on steroids" description that it's been getting here, and I believe that some of the lower ratings are more a case of hating on Anheuser-Busch than a true reflection of what this brew has to offer. A-B deserves the bashing it gets for dumbing-down American beer, but it also deserves praise for this wonderful example of what it can produce when it's brewers are permitted to toss aside the corporate formula, and make a "real" beer!!

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Photo of brantadid
3.99/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color. Very thin white head. No real lacing to speak of. Very clear beer.

Smelled of raisins and figs. Some honey. Some brandy and sherry notes in the nose.

Really complex flavors. Figs, raisins, dark fruit, and some honey on the front palate. Some burnt malt flavors on the back palate. Really long finish.

Moderate carbonation with a rich full mouthfeel. Flavor totally coats your mouth. Insanely drinkable.

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Photo of 2ndstage
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant golden color. A tight light foam top that clings to the glass fairly well. Hop presense is light but there. Nice aromas of fruit and malt. Very clean taste as well. Slight sweetness in the finish with a light lingering alcohol burn. Way too drinkable but nice for someone like Budweiser to try out.

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Photo of aggiebeer
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer offers way more than the standard AB offering.

It pours a nice golden / orange color with a decently thick, but short-lived, white head. The smell is a mild malt scent with hints of fruit (apples?). Mouthfeel is moderate in both carbonation and body. The taste is suprisingly complex, with a malt character somewhat similar to an amber ale and sweet but not overpowering carmel and apple flavors. Hop aroma and flavor is at a minimum. The finish is faintly sour but pleasant. Only after warming up a bit does the alcohol taste start to come through.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Both the quality of ingredients and the complex taste really stand out. I was expecting essentially Budweiser with better ingredients but this brew really stands out.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a very light golden blonde with a two finger head that quickly dissapated and left only a slight, short lived lace on the glass.

The smell was heavy in homebrew type smells. Very pungent malt tones with a slight spice in the rear of the nose. Unlike others I found nothing Budweiser-ish about the smell of this beer.

The drink started with a quick kick of malt followed by a kick of hops, then an alchohol warming. The finish was kind of a lingering fruit flavor with a hint of hop spice.

All and all this was a fine offering from A & B. I will purchase at least one more. Find it if you can, it may not change your mind on A & B, but at least it may ease all of us up on them.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was skeptical since this was an A-B product and it did have some flaws: the alcohol was not hidden very well and its bite was pretty rough. Also, it was a bit on sweet side, but not too much.

Despite those flaws, I have to say it was pretty good. A smooth, satisfying maltiness contributes to an overall rich flavor, plus a nice hop bitterness that balances fairly well. All in all, very tasty and, despite the alcohol bite, very drinkable. It may have been a bit pricey (though I got it as a Christmas gift) but I had little problem finishing off the huge bottle this stuff comes in. Recommended.

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Photo of Portertime
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought a good Anheuser-Busch beer was an oximoron but I was proved wrong! I was lucky to get the last one of these in the liquor store I used to work at. Enjoyed it chlled in a pint glass. Poured a rich golden color with a decent head. Smell of cereal grains and some light hops. Taste was chewy with a bread dough quality but soft enough on the tongue to mask the 8.5% ABV. I was impressed and raise my mug to Bud. Nice swing topped bottle also.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Funky large cardboard box, heavy on black and cream with gold and red highlights, inside which hides a rather cool looking bottle. A large 46.5 fluid ounce white swing top bottle which has a vertical neck label covering the steel swing mechanism. I have to say that the main label is a very attractive and colorful Victorian style affair. Nice packaging, a little over the top if anything.

Appearance: Filtered Tripel looks, shining golden body with an unblemished thick white head that settles neatly with some minor dimples. Streamer laden at first but that soon fades. Lovely scattered lacing had an organized randomness about it. Good looks but the head faded a little too quickly.

Nose: Weird how the nose simply did not exist at first, it took a while but after the first few sips and the broken head the nose relished a soft caramel and sweet toasted malts, fruity in the middle with a light ester like finish that had an acetone soaked Pear Drop aspect to it. Nice but strange.

Taste: Nice hoppy entrance, now that’s a surprise for an AB product!! Hints of Banana and fruits but they are low key and background support to the gently toasted malts and sweet caramel feel. I still get the fruity hoppy feel, but the hops are sweet in a fruity way. Ending was dry and short lived. Delivers a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a fading carbonation, I noted that as I worked through this sample that the conditioning dropped pretty quickly though which made the last part exhibit the 8.5% to a greater warming degree.

Drinkability: For a malt liquor I found this one to be surprisingly quaffable in a polymorphic way - not exactly a session brew, it started great but died a little towards the end when it became a sipper, best of both Worlds I guess.

Overall: Well I managed to pick this sample up at my local Ralph’s for just $6 high up and actually on top of the beer cabinet. The “Sale” price was stuck next to the original price tag of $14.95……fecking how much!?!? I have no idea where this came from, maybe the Supermarket had a couple of these with their regular AB delivery and I just happened to drop by the last one which simply wasn’t selling…..at nearly $15 that is no surprise, so they stuck a Sale ticket on it to shift it.

A decent enough brew, interesting for a Malt Liquor and far better than the laughably disgusting Michelob Celebrate. Nothing here warrants a slamming because of its industrial source. However, I cannot help but feel that at the original sticker price of nearly $15, I would have popped for a Cantillon any day, even at $6 I only picked it up because I fancied having a full bottle sample to review (previously I had tried a small sample at Naja’s and enjoyed it).

A good effort, but definitely *not* worth the money.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lighter amber translucent body with about an inch of white head that dissipates quickly but leaves a little lacing. Smells similar to Budweiser in some ways, but has a roasty malt character to it. Taste is somewhat light, but fairly complex with hints of yeast, caramel, vanilla, and some alcohol, though the alcohol is very well hidden. Clean finish. Very (surprisingly) creamy mouthfeel. Overall, pretty impressive considering it's a beer with the Budweiser name on it. I could probably see myself getting this one again.

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Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing this one in the beer store, I thought, ‘what the hell’. It pours a crystal-clear golden color with considerable head. There’s genuine lace, and the brew is notably attractive. The aroma is grain and alcohol in prominence, followed by continental hoppiness and bread-like notes. The taste is alcohol and a little sweetness. There’s a nice malt undertone and considerable slickness. The finish has an attractive hop bitterness that provides some balance. Alcohol isn’t hidden, however, and affects the finish. All in all, this is a drinkable and quite enjoyable brew. It’s a lot better than I’d expected. Kudos to (I can’t believe I’m writing this) A-B for this one. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Byeast
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden with a bright white inch of foam.

Smell: lots of cereal like grain , mildy sweet aroma , and some light hop.

Taste: Very smooth taste and feel. Sweet doughy maltiness , lightly toasted grain , very clean , has some similarities to a regular bud just with more flavor. Just a very faint bit of pleasant fruitiness , nicely hidden alcohol. Some light hops round out the sweet malts in the finish.

Mouthfeel: soft and smooth.

Drinkability: I wish this is what regular budweiser tasted like. Basically an example of what AB could do if they wanted , but why would they when they make so much cash off bud light! A refreshing glimpse none the less. Quite drinkable , and the abv is almost completly hidden.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

As the story goes, Budweiser has a tradition of tapping the richest part of the brew to toast the winter season.
Now we can all try a batch.
Pop the stopper (some smoke escapes), give it a pour and you'll see an amber beer with fine white lacing.
It does not look or taste anything like the usual light watery lager associated with Anheuser-Busch.
Every element is upped a notch: It is darker, thicker, maltier -- sweet and yeasty -- and finishes with a lingering bitterness.
At 8.5% alcohol by volume, it is also strong for a beer, though it doesn't taste especially potent.
Who knew Bud could have such complexity?

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark golden hue with a massive frothy white head; decent retention and patchy lacing, for not the head, one would be reminded of a simple draught bud pour. Good nose--cookie dough, syrup, faint dark roasted malts, rum soaked raisins. Taste--see the nose; very crisp, sharp dark roasted malts, in your face alcoholic notes, yet they fade quick. Sweet malts, tender grassy/medicinal hops. Under the radar tastings of banana peel and pear juice with hints of sweet caramel and dry sticky malts. A pleasant alcohol warmth barges in and is more than welcome. The palate is left full of spicy and apple peel notes, with a more than cleansing affect. This one was enjoyable and worth the pickup. Check your expectations at the door and enjoy!

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Photo of budgood1
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 brewmasters private reserve.

again...pours out of the big ass bottle a crystal clear perfect gold colour, with an impressive head that is supported by some festive carbonation. pale malt aroma. light and a bit caramely. the taste is all malt, thick and chewy for a lager, with some maibock hints as well. alcohol notes; very peppery and spicy and rather tasty. the hopping is hard to pin down...there is a vague bitterness present, but no appreciable hop flavour comes through. i still think this brew could stand a bit more hop character to balance the heat and malt profile. the body of this lager is full, and the mouthfeel is smooth as can be for the style. seems like this is the same beer i had last year otherwise...no discernible differences. it's nice to taste a totally high end all-malt malt liquor. a definite treat compared to the other disgusting malt liquors A-B brews. there is no other beverage that i've tasted that really compares to this in its category. pretty drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of ADR
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bronze-ish-gold color, nice mousse-like head of almost an inch in height (a big contrast to Michelob Celebrate). Admirable lacing, good patterns on the glass. Light caramel aroma, slightly detergent notes. Medium mouthfeel -- a feel of slickness with light coating qualities, carbonation is subtle, not too gassy, pretty well-done. Subtle malt flavors, some maple, sugary with light aspects of caramel and a slight tobacco bittering. Clean presentation from the beginning to the end. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden. Just a dusting of dried hops, but I wouldn't ask for a large hop impression in a beer that's leaning in an attenuated pale malt Bock direction. This beer is attractive, interesting, and quite drinkable, it doesn't deserve any derision based on its brewer. Better than Michelob Celebrate in many ways.

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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
80 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.
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