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 brewdlyhooked13
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - a slghtly hazed pour with a honey/straw color. A brief build-up of head reduces to a stray swirl of bubbles within a minute.

Aroma - strong grain with a cereal bend, heavy aroma of something tropical but not hops. Coconut? Has a malt liquor nose.

Taste - sweet, grainy, Budweiser cereal flavor, basically a Bud on 'roids. The alcohol is kinda out there on its own without much to enhance. Hmm, an Imperial American Macro Lager. Not very pleasant to me, about as much as any malt liquor. The swallow has the briefest bit of bite, then this aftertaste that is wet, grainy, bleh.

Mouthfeel - moderate to slightly thin body, decent carbonation even after popping and resealing a few times.

Drinkability - to each their own, I didn't like this one. Props to A-B for hitting the bigger beer scene, but this just tastes like amplified rice to me.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2006)

Thanks for opening this with me, UCLABrewN84!

(Aged for 6 years)

Clear light amber with some carbonation and a small white head that leaves dots of lace down the glass.

Sweet, fruity aroma of apple juice and bready malt.

The sweet flavors are similar to the aroma, with an earthy and sweet apple juice flavor playing the largest role along with bread and simple grain. Low bitterness.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Good enough, and far better than I anticipated.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear light golden with an off-white, tall and moussy head which fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong banana ester when first opened that faded to a more refined note, thought still full of esters and a nice malt backbone that came off as slightly sweet.

The flavor was malty with a light estery flavor of banana, as was present in the aroma. The beer contained a light bit of hop flavor and was malty with a light caramel malt flavor.

The finish was just working toward dry with a bit of hop bittering as the flavor drifted off to dreamland. The body was medium and the carbonation was a bit on the low side for an AB product. This was the most drinkable malt liquor ever. Not being devoid of flavor was a real plus. The alcohol in the beer was present in the warming after consumption.

1.5 liter mamouth size flip top bottle (1 quart 14.5 oz). 05OCT06 on bottle. $12 at Sams in Durham.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear medium golden in color, with a moderate white head, abundant broken lace, and mild carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet alcohol, honey, and light caramel, very sweet, with little hop presence.

Taste: Mild hops at the open, with a moderate alcohol presence, and caramel and honey malt, midway through the taste, there are some restrained fruity esters. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouth feel: Smooth, quite soft on the palate, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Not bad, really, like a refined example of a malt liquor. At $15 for a rather large, decorative bottle, it seems overpriced for what it offers.

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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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Photo of HardTarget
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Brew Masters Private Reserve 2005 By Budweiser; 1 quart 14.5 fluid ounces black as night dark brown glass bottle with a plastic plug swing top. Many thanks to Pegasus for providing the sample.

Aroma: Very mild, almost non-existent nose. What I got was sweet, but that’s really all.

Appearance: Slightly more golden than average macro-lagers, fine carbonation bubbles gave a nice Champaign appearance. Good half finger of head, but no lace.

Flavor: Slight corn and apple notes in a clean lager flavor. Alcohol peeks through fairly prominently.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture, very nice thickness and good firm carbonation level. The highlight of the beer in my opinion.

Overall Impression: Not bad, but not great. The alcohol is the most noted taste. As a malt liquor it’s not bad, but it’s no celebration in my book.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cream of the crop according to the label. This is the top of the barrel. I had to give this huge magnum bottle a try even if it is a pretty penny. Highly filtered golden color, although this is quite a few shades darker than a typical bud.

Head forms quite a fizzy layer but fades to a thin lace in no time. Tons of carbonation in all sizes. Malted taste adds a nice twist to this brew that I've never noticed before. Grain and rice are still evident and there is a large fruity backbone. Some sweetness, maybe its just plain ol' sugar but it does have a touch of a candied background. Finishes very clean. All spice on the backside of every swig.

Notes: I liked it. It is basically the grand cru of budweiser. I'd be a happy employee if I could get this often.

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Photo of mentor
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was a 2006 GABF left-over that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Thanks a million to GABF and to Anheiser-Busch for the opportunity. Pours a thin, yet sticky, tan-stained white head over a partly cloudy thin orange-colored liquid. Smells Pils malt with czech hop character. Vanilla and banana. Yummy. Cookie dough and oranges. Not a winter ale smell but nice and fresh. A bit of DMS and cabbage. Some caramel and a minor contribution of iron.

Tastes complex. DMS and wet malty sweet with strong czech hop character. Oranges with light esters (pear syrups, mostly). Burnt almonds come through due to the cohumulone hoppy presence. Drying over carb finish with iron and apricot. My mouth is watering. Phenolic is mild, but present to counter the malt sweet. A Hefe- yeast to contribute to this beer? Banana without the yeasty contributions of phenols.

Mouthfeel is thick, but just nudging into thick. Carbonation is Md, bordering on heavy, and works well with the flavor profile and intensity. Judged to style, not my personal preferences.

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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 Drew966
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew Masters Private Reserve pours a golden color from a brown swingtop quart bottle. The aroma is strongly sweet malt. The taste is also dominated by sweet malt, although there is a nice hop balance to it. Better than I expected from AB. They could really make some great beer if they put there mind to it. This is definintely worth a try if you like lagers.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this for $11.99 at Randazzo's in Stafford CT. 2005 batch, their last bottle. Huge-ass bottle, I almost didn't get it, but then I said "what the hell."

Poured into my glass with a three finger head that left a lot of lace. The beer was deep yellow, and clear. Not a lot of carbonation evident.

Aroma was malty and a little fruity, with hints of vanilla and oak... but mostly it reminded me of a malt liquor.

Taste was medium bodied malts, slightly bitter, a touch of sweetness, and light touches of vanilla and oak. However, the Budweiser taste was foremost... you could tell it came from the same brew kettles. I don't know if it's the vessels, the yeast, or where they lager it, but it was like a macro malt liquor. Very disappointing.

Mouthfeel... divorced from the flavor, it wasn't too bad. Good consistency, not syrupy.

Drinkability... well, I drank most of the bottle myself, yesterday, over the course of the day. But it wasn't easy... it wasn't that palatable, and at that price, overall it wasn't worth it.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.58/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Born on: 10/1/06 consumed on 11/28/06
1 qt. 14.5oz bottle>Giant mug

AP: Golden amber, clear with plenty of carbonation (to start with) that produces a 2" deep bone-white head that dissiaptes fast and leaves some scattered lacing behind. Seems to lose it's lively look rather quickly though.

Nose: Mildly sweet malt>wheat>yeast>grains

Taste: This is essentially a classic Bud with a bigger, sweeter malt flavor and a mild alcohol kick. Overall wheatie and yeastie tasting with a bigger herbal and leafy hop finish that is a bit more pleasing than the traditional brew.

MF: light to medium body overall and the bubbles in the beginning make it feel lively and also very substantial but without a real bite and much more subtle on the palate than you would expect.

DA: This purchase was pure curiousity as I was paying for gas at 7-11. Easily the best AB product I've had, but I will not be going back for seconds. The 8.5% ABV is kinda creeper, so watch it!

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Photo of granger10
3.11/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with copper tinges throughout. Nice foamy white head reduces to a thin lacing above the liquid. Aroma has notes of grain malts and a clean yeasty note. I'm getting a bit of citric flavors in there and maybe a bit of honey. Flavor is similar to Budweiser but just more intense and full bodied with malts. And it doesn't leave you with that rice taste on the finish. Really thick in body but more effervescent than I thought. No adjunct flavor in there and really clean. But after a glass I became rather bored with the offering and the beer itself doesn't have any truly appealing qualities. Not really sessionable but not a sipper either, it kind of lies in some gray zone of beerdom. Decent but nothing great.

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Photo of peabody
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a light straw color and very clear. Lots of carbonation. Evident when you pop the top open.
Smell is slightly yeasty and if the malt is here I can't smell it very well. Lemon rind and slight grapfruit.
Taste is kinda sweet. Caramel maltiness followed by just a slight hop flavor then the alcohol warms the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel is very clean and that is too bad cause there is nothing memorable to retain in the mouth. Very bland.
Being a bud drinker this is a little better but not much..
This Quart will be a hard swallow. I can't believe this will taste any better if it were cellared for the 365 days.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a hazy yellow color with a dense head of white foam. Higher levels of carbonation. Aromas of malts and bread, with hints of yeasty dough. Not bad. I'm impressed so far. Taste is a step up from anything AB has ever done. Rich malts blend with mild yet notible hops to form a basis for a very Belgian like attempt at the craft brew market. Mouthfeel is bubbly and mild, yet retains some qualities of a denser, more full-bodied beer. Drinkability is above average. If AB was to enter the craft beer market, this would like appeal only to those who are currently devoted to their other products (I likely wouldn't buy it again).

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As previously stated, it came well packaged.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep golden color with a half-inch head of thick creamy white bubbles. There are quite a few bubbles rising in an effort to maintain the head. It seems to be working as there is still a layer of foam on top of the beer over a minute after the pour.

Aroma: There is more of a floral aroma to this beer than I have experienced with other AB products. It has a defined fruity component to the aromatic profile as well. As the beer warms a tad and I get deeper into it, there seems to be a bit of a dry grainy almost wheat-like aroma coming out. The 8.5%ABV is not noticeable in the nose at all.

Taste: The flavor is malt driven, but there is enough hops to keep it from being cloying...but that is about it. There is some floral hops noticeable in the first part of the flavor, but that is when the malts take over and run the show. There is a noticeable medium weight edge to the flavor that hints to the strength, but the actual content is pretty well hidden for the most part. The finish is pretty sweet, and ends with a slightly syrupy slickness that coats the throat to protect it from noticing the alcohol.

Opinion: Well, this is no doubt the best offering I have tried from AB. I tried their nasty high ABV Michelob concoction that tastes like cream soda with alcohol in it. I got to sample this from Jimmy Paige's bottle at a home-brewers get-together, so I knew that it didn't suck. I was already feeling pretty good by the time this came around, so I wanted to go back and try it again with a fresh perspective. I still don't think that it sucks, but it isn't the greatest either. If I were to drink a high ABV light lager, it would probably be Avery's Kaiser. This beer is OK, and one that I wouldn't toss away if it came my way again, but I seriously doubt that I will ever buy another bottle unless it is for a gift or special occasion.

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Photo of taez555
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 quart 14.5 fluid ounces, are you kidding? That's 46.5 ounces? At 8.5% alcohol, that's some serious beer. To start with, love the box it comes in, not to mention the cool swing-top bottle. Definitely a cool presentation.

This beer poured a bright orange/yellow body with a decent white head.

Nose is rather subdued for such a big beer. Sort of a mild sugary caramel and candy like malt. There's a slight sting from the bigger alcohol but for the most part very mellow.

Taste is light to medium bodied. MIld fresh malt, very light caramel and sweet dough flavors dominate. A very mild bitterness gives this beer just enough balance without ever showing a true "bitter" quality. A little bit of sting from the alcohol as well as some nice warming touches. The finish is what really says "budweiser", I'm not sure how else to describe it as if it's a cop out, but it has this strong lingering macro taste in the finish that lingers for some time.

Honestly I'm amazed someone made a beer this big without making it BIG. Light body and little flavor outside of your typical bud. I really wanted to like this beer, I didn't even mind the $13 price tag, but really it's just a novelty that seems intended for Bud drinkers who want something fancy to drink around the holidays and not a beer for the Craft brew market.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer came in the big ‘ol 46 oz bottle and poured a dull, slightly orange straw color. There was initially a tall even bubbled light head, but it fell to a small ring in no time.

Smells of biscuits and bread dough with a slight hint of red licorice, cherries and banana. There was a slight bittering hop in the background wrapped around a slight alcohol.

The flavor started with an oaky light honey malt but picked up a surprisingly strong nutty sweetness. Fortunately a nice sting of hops intervened and balanced this right out. Sadly, this sting lingers on into the finish along with a little brown sugar and hazelnut.

The mouth feel is light but dense with a pleasant light carbonation.

Not too bad, but a little on the sweet side. But for a big ass bottle for $7, I may very well pick one up again.

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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 Foxman
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a lemony iced tea yellow, slightly amber and well carbonated. Two fingers of tight off-white head sculpt and stay some time. Flops of lacing flip along the inside of the glass.

The aroma brings a light toasted malt sweetness, like sugary berries, as well as a lightly tart yeast note. Peppery noble hops spice and mitigate a strain of alcohol.

Upon tasting, there rushes a rather densely cloying sweet malt assault, with a mellow vanilla and general fruit pairing. Alcohol clears the middle, airily drying the candy sweetness. The hops are very sparing here, barely spicing the close, before residual grain character gives to a dull, lingering bitterness. It has surprising density, but it's quite one-dimensional.

A bit north of medium bodied, it's syrupy, but passes way more rapidly then anticipated.

This is far maltier and thicker than I'd ever sanely expect from A-B, but kept in perspective, it's also rather a one trick pony, counting on the malt to pull it through. The ABV is imperial in nature, but actually well incorporated, making it warming and sneaky. I'll finish this big honking bottle, give a nod to the Budweiser folks, and lament that they likely will not try and build on this.

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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 Shaw
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-B gets a lot of bashing, but I've been eying these fancy packages for a while.

It's a nice honey color with a foamy white head that quickly vanishes.

It smells lightly sweet of malts and biscuits.

This beer tastes miles away from Budweiser, and in a good way. Like its aroma, this is a sweeter beer. The sweetness is balanced by a light bitterness. The higher ABV is totally masked, I can't detect it at all.

The body is smooth and slick.

Overall this is a fine lager, nothing extraordinary, though.

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Photo of rowew
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Large 1.5 L champagne style bottle, fliptop. Nice looking label. Born on date of Oct 11, 05. This one is obviously old, but its been kept in a stable fridge.

Appearance: Pours slightly hazy yellowish orange color, nice solid head. A bit of lacing on the glass and top of the beer.

Smell: Tons of malt - smells a bit like a bock. A bit of caramel there too, and some alcohol, especially as it warms up a bit.

Taste: Interesting - medium bodied, smooth carbonation level. Nice malty flavors - there is a bit of hops in the background but the malt flavors dominate.

Overall impression: This is a surprisingly interesting beer. I didn't try it fresh, but the age doesn't seem to have harmed it. Very smooth and drinkable, a bit dangerous considering the ABV!

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Photo of maxpower
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking 1.5L flip top bottle pours a clear copper color with a nice creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Flowery honey and pear aromas, fruity caremel, honey and apple flavors. Full bodied with a full and somewhat slick mouthfeel, finishes on the dry side. Alcohol well hidden, suprisingly drinkable, as much as I hate to admit it, this is not that bad.

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Photo of hero27
1.76/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1qt. 14.5 fl oz swing-top bottle. Fancy labeling and description written on the back.

Darker than Budweiser, with a bit better head retention, but still left nearly nothing for lace. Aroma is heavy on grainy malt, and the noble hops mixed with the dusty, corn malt actually create a somewhat offensive smell. The sweet malts in this do absolutely nothing for my tastebuds, other than make them question my reasoning for submitting them to such torture. It's only (somewhat) redeeming characteristic is the somewhat thick, malty profile this disarray of flavors rests upon. Other than that, this is a huge disappointment, even by Anheuser-Busch standards.

This was $12 that could have been much better spent. Me and two other BAs could barely finish the huge 1qt. 14.5 fl oz bottle. Wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if A-B kept this "private" again..it'd be doing the beer-drinking public a favor.

* I've actually had a couple comments made to me about my low review for this beer, mentioning how people are giving it bad reviews just because it's an A-B product...however, i did review this with an open mind and was actually really looking forward to trying it. Sadly, I was very dissapointed...I couldn't really care less who who makes it (whether it be Anheuser-Busch or Three Floyds). For $12 a bottle, this is a huge rip-off in my opinion. Just my $.02 *

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Brew Masters Private Reserve from Anheuser-Busch
3.49 out of 5 based on 120 ratings.
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