Brew Masters Private Reserve | Anheuser-Busch

Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve
BA SCORE
3.48/5
120 Ratings
Brew Masters Private ReserveBrew Masters Private Reserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch
Missouri, United States
anheuser-busch.com

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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
120
pDev:
17.53%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 120 |  Reviews: 104
Photo of jonnylieberman
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My Father got his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. One of his friends was a chemist employed by Bud. Every year around the holidays, he would show up at parties with bottles of either this stuff, or the predecessor to Private Reserve. My father spoke so fondly of it, explaining that once a year Bud would, "scrape their barrels" and produce a really special holiday beer. This was back in the early 60s and in America at least, nobody knew how beer was made. Now we know that this is simply an all first-runnings brew.

As a child though, I think it was the story of this brew that led me to fall in love with beer. A special beer? How cool is that? To my mind, really, really cool. Intriguing, mysterious and weel, fundamentally human. I've been hooked ever since.

Appearance: Cool swing-top 1.5L bottle. Whoa! Is this sucker pretty. I'm not sure that I have ever seen a beer this strong and this clear. 8.5% percent alcohol and I can see to the other side. Truly, remarkable clarity. Good, deep golden color and a pretty darn good head, too.

Smells like: Not bad at all. Bud typically has that crap-American cheap lager scent that reminds me of waking up in backyards circa 10th grade. Private Reserve however, is much better. More refined. I suppose it is only the smell of husk and rice, but overall, quite pleasing.

Taste: Memo to Bud – hops, use them. I have a feeling that they simply scaled up the recipe for regular bud, not taking into account that as wort gravity rises, hop utilization falls. Man -- cloying!! And too bad, too, because otherwise this beer tastes pretty good. Crisp and clean and all their regular marketing propaganda, and except for the moment you realize you probably just caught diabetes, not a bad beer. But serious now – more bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Interesting – not fizzy enough, really. The body was so light and delicate that the initial smoothness gives way to shock as the uber, uber sweet blast hits you mid palate. More CO2 would have helped.

Overall: A neat beer, but ultimately not one I would purchase again. Products like this represent what small brewers have always feared -- Bud/Mill/Coors wake up and decide to produce beers with actual flavor, for not only are the giants the best brewers in the world (Remember, they choose to make a flavorless product), but they have a lock on distribution. Getting back to Private reserve, the lack of focus and cloyingness is not good. And what are they trying to make? Maybe if some Melanoiden reactions were happening, this beer could work as a strong Maibock? Who knows.

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Photo of ghurux86
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
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 pgenius
2.44/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the packaging, this beer looks like it would taste godly... far from it. It tasted like Budweiser with more alcohol. The appearance was almost that of a Saison with the exception that the head disappeared faster. I smelled a little malts but overall its aroma was that of its less-expensive counterpart. The mouthfeel was highly carbonated and light. I would choose this over Budweiser, but thats not saying much.

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Photo of nmyers
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

By far the best Bud product I have ever tasted. Why can't all Budwisers taste this good. I am still surprised that an Anheuser-Busch product could taste like this. Anheuser-Busch should really consider making this there new Budwiser. Then they would truly be the king of beers.

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Photo of tanarm
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Popped the swing top on a 32 oz. bottle. A nice head forms on the pour and quickly dissapates leaving a little ring around the top. Pours a clear pale in color, darker than your average pilsner, but barely. Did I mention it was clear?

The aroma is of brown sugar and malt, and so is the taste. Right up front you are greeted with a nice malty sweetness. I think there is definitely some brown sugar of some sort in here. A little hop bitterness stops by to say hello at the finish but leaves almost immediately.

The mouthfeel is very thick, quite full bodied, but enough carbonation that it is not too much I think. The taste lingers for a very short moment.

Overall this is an enjoyable brew. I didn't know what to expect from this company but this is pleasing. If I pay $8 for it again, however, it will be just as much for the bottle as for the beer.

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Photo of murphysbleachers
4.11/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this over the weekend, not sure what happened to my notes...but from memory.
Very cool giant flip top bottle into a pint glass:
Apearance: Looked like a Bud with a much deeper golden color and great head retention. Extra half point for the bottle.
Smell: Alcohol and sweetness. Vaguely recall some plum or nut too.
Taste: A very light fruitiness, rich honey sweetness, malt, and a bit of alcohol combined to dance on my tongue. Some subtle and complex stuff going on.
Mouthfeel: Coated the tongue a bit.
Drinkability: Finished the bottle with a friend and was looking for more after it was gone. The best beer I've ever had from Bud, Miller or Coors. Even better since it was free from my distributer.

I'll be editing this review if I ever find my notes.

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Photo of mattd017
2.35/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured golden, slightly hazy, with a thick pretty permanent head that left thick sticky rings of lacing. Smelled sweet and musty, very little citrus or pine or any other signature smells of hops. Tasted even sweeter. No hops. Left a sticky, musty taste in my mouth. Worth trying, not worth trying again.

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Photo of BassBone
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought this out of curiosity. I wondered what Budweiser would taste like if it were made the right way.

I have to say I was impressed. First off, the huge-ass bottle was heavy and presented very nicely in the black box. The beer poured a deep and clear golden with a thick white head the dissipated quickly with no real lacing.

It smelled better than your typical Budweiser. There were none of the chemical-like smells associated with a macro lager. Just clean malt with a hint of alcohol underneath.

The taste is rich and malty offset with the right amount of hops. The alcohol is somewhat more present than I'd like, but that's understandable. High abv works better in bigger beers than this.

It finishes fairly cleanly with a lingering maltiness. The finish stays around for a long time, however, which is to its detriment.

Overall it's a really good beer from a macrobrewery. I wish all their beers were this good. Then maybe I wouldn't go broke buying good beer.

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Photo of GWaters
3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is from 2006.

This is not the Dopplebock

I am not a beer snob. This means I wil try all kinds of beer, and last winter I saw this odd Budweiser bottle for sale. It said "Brewmaster" and "Private Reserve" so I had to try it. For the money, I wouldn't buy it again. I could stick to 12 oz Bud, and not miss this at all. It was worth the try though, and the bottle is being used for my own Homebrew now.

Pour: Lager clear medium golden in color, with a moderate white head, abundant lace. Fair carbonation

Smell: Very sweet, malty smell. No real hop scent to speak of.

Taste: Moderate alcohol presence, caramel, honey, and malt. Not incredibly complex, but it is a clean taste.

Mouth feel: Very wet, easy to palate. Pleasant.

Drinkability: Slightly better than the typical Budweiser lager. I could drink a few of these on a hot day.

Serving type: 1 Quart 14.5 oz black champagne type flip top bottle

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Photo of juzy
2.59/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Got this at Sam's Club for $10.

It poured golden and creamy with an off-white, lingering head.
The aroma was bizarre for me; sugary, like cotton-candy with some roasted corn, as it warmed further it took on that trademark Bud aroma, whatever that is.

First sip is sweet but not all from malts. The malt sweetness is understated, overpowered by the sweetness from, I'm guessing, corn. Something bitter keeps hitting the back-sides of my tongue; some sort of hop profile? Whatever it is, I don't care for it. This flavor lingers, unfortunately. Over-all there isn't much flavor from start to finish.

I find the mouthfeel enjoyable; medium bodied, good carbonation, not too fizzy. But drinkability? forget it, I can't imagine having another glass of this.

If there was such a think as a Double Budweiser, this would be it at 8%. I guess I thought AB could do better. I was hoping they could do better, sort of to prove myself wrong about them and all other macro brewers. On the plus side, I have a great flip top bottle that will come in handy when we make our homemade Christmas egg nog.

I wouldn't recommend this unless you are looking for some nice flip-tops for your homebrews for $10 a piece. I think you'd pay that or more at a homebrew shop. In fact, I've never seen bottles of this size at our homebrew store.

If there were such a thing as a double Budweiser, this would be it.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Anheuser Busch product I have actually liked. It had a typical smell for the style of beer, but it tasted pretty good. It was a little sweet, maybe caramel, but it was drinkable, and malty.

The high alcohol is hidden in the taste, and it would be easy to finish the whole bottle before it hit you. It went down very easy.

I wouldn't seek it out again, but if I were offered one, I wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of jerrymiller
4.01/5  rDev +15.2%
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 2ndstage
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
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 jasrbrd
4.8/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely enjoyed this beer and not at all like Bud. I still have a few left over from Christmas that I saved to last as long as possible this year... that's how much I liked it. Look for it after Thanksgiving this year and try it, it won't dissapoint!

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Photo of jeremiahjsmith
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - deep gold color with a gleaming white head marked by very fine carbonation

S - syrupy with an inviting honey character and faint whiff of alcohol

T - tangy, a bit heavily sweet with a slight unidentified mustiness and almost no hops bitterness, finish is not clean and not entirely pleasant. No heat from the alcohol - unexpected based on the aroma.

M - substantial, coats and lingers, somewhat overstaying its welcome in my mouth

D - pretty dang good considering ABV. A little bit of an off flavor, but overall excellent in terms of drinkability, which I believe is a strength of the producer ...

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Photo of weylinfidler
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great Beer. I have bought at least 1 every year for the last 3 years.

A - Pop lock top is a nice touch, don't see it allot on American beers. Pours a Medium dark Amber color.

S - I have brewed some home beer and this smells allot like the wort which I love. Also it smells like I just walked in to a brewery and got all the great smells.

T - Very smooth despite it's %8.5 Alc. This is what Lager should taste like. Just enough carbonation

M - A little tingle from Carbonation but not like drinking soda. Smooth and clean.

D - I could drink this all night...and have! the %8.5 will catch up with you sooner or later but over a very great beer. Wish it was brewed all year long

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Photo of mightymalt97
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

If this is to be a"holiday brew" from AB then they missed the mark.
It is a souped up version Budweiser. It has great color, big time grainy sweetness but not in the way of hops . A bit of a dissapoinment I expected something like their Christmas beer from 1995. But as usual they have to go with the tatse that fits the masses of uneducated beer drinks.

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Photo of slap
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an oversized bottle that was in a box. Between the very dark bottle and the box there was no way for this beer to be affected by light.

I chose a pilsner glass it poured a nice golden amber color with a good sized white head. The beer beneath the head is a very clear with carbonation bubbles rising in the glass.

The smell is quite different than I remember from my "Bud" days. It's very sweet, not a fruit sweet but maybe sugar of some kind.

The first taste is mild, there are no wild flavors with this brew. It's like a refined, "Grown and Sexy Bud." The flavor is good, the ABV is well hidden. The finish is sweet, again I'm thinking of sugar and not fruit. Maybe it's the 100% malt I read this beer contains.

The mouthfeel is smooth. I can see this beer going down very easily, which might not be a good thing on considering the ABV.

Drinkabilty is high. It's a mild tasting beer and goes down smooth and quick.

Overall, this is the best AB product I've tasted. That said I wouldn't run out and buy it again. It's fairly pricey and for the money I believe there are better brews available. However I wouldn't turn this down if I was offered a glass, unlike other AB products.

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Photo of Erniek
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was at first sip a bit impressed but as I continued sipping it became apparent to me that this was more like a souped up buddy. I kind of smelled vegetables in the nose and some sweetness but not much else. Mouthfeel was nice and it did go down smoothly but the alcohol was not balanced with flavor very well. Seems oily on finish. I don't think I would buy this again without any improvement.

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Photo of aggiebeer
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
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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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 120 ratings
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