Full Sail Wassail | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

very good
867 Ratings
Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A deep mahogany color, Wassail is brewed with four different malts and a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, giving it a malty full body and a pleasantly hoppy finish that appeals to both hop and malt lovers alike. In other words, a Christmas miracle."

ABV 7% IBU 56

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2001

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Ratings: 867 |  Reviews: 486
Photo of vickersspitfire
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, it's got a nice dark chocolate aroma, very sweet topped off with nutty scents. It looks very inviting, dark brownish-reddish body , semi hazy and is topped off with a semi thick tan head that's very bubbly and sticks around for a bit; it has some strong lacing qualities. It has a medium to light mouth feel, clean and has mild carbonation. Faint hops are present some roasted oats and grains, its sweet overall and no alcohol flavors, not even I the aftertaste. I look forward to drinking this one again...

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am reviewing it way out of season, but it was available at a store so I picked it up. I really enjoyed this beer.

Started out pouring straight into an imperial pint. Wasn't producing much of a head, so I threw the last bit in, and it created this momentary cascading effect, similar to that of a Guinness as best I can describe. I was quite the sight. After it was all said and done with, it was a nice dark looking brew.
The smell was very malty with a hint of sweetness and some smokiness. I was rather pleasant.

Medium bodied. Went down smooth.

Could easily kill a sixer. This is a great brew. I'm sorry I waited so long to try it. I look forward to this winter...

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Photo of marc956
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been my favorite winter beer (even more so than Sierra Nevada's) ever since I first tried
it in Portland OR a few years ago. Lots of flavor
and pairs with different kinds of food, as does a
good wine. Highly recommended - even if like me, you live somewhere with warm winters.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the brew pub in Hood River, OR on 2010-01-31

A - Deep mahogony with a wonderfully rich, tan head

S - Chocolate, bread, hops, fruit

T - Great. Toasted grain, dark chocolate, citrus caramel, fruit and a delicious, oily dry hop flavor.

M - Thick with low carbonation

D - Don't pass this one up if you get a chance.

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Photo of chickencoop
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a sixer for like $4, liqour store was blowing out the winters, there loss, my gain. This is a very well balanced winter brew, unlike most winter beers that go over the top on direction or the other. Big hops, but rounded out with sweet malts on the finish to the end. Very good beer, and aged well as well. Good score on my part.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - brown with hints of orange on the edge, a normal size light tan head rests on top, light lacing remains on the inside of the glass

S - caramel, buttery toasted malt with a hint of gingerbread, not especially fragrant however

T - sweet malts with hints of fruit, surprisingly strong piney hop taste at the end leaves a lingering bitter taste in my mouth

M - Fair amount of carbonation with a medium to heavy body

D - Not too incredibly complex but a solid overall beer. The piney hop flavor at the end was interesting and unexpected. I wouldn't mind drinking this one again but I won't be searching it out.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this was a dark brown with coffee colored soft, dense head. aroma of cocoa and piney hops. needs to warm quite a bit before the flavors begin open up - malty sweetness of chocolate and spice with the piney hops from the nose coming through also in the taste. mouthfeel was thick and chewy; this is a meal of a beer. great for a winter night, but the flavor wasn't quite all i hoped for.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I roughed this one up while pouring, yielding a 3/4 inch khaki cap that leaves quite a bit of lace. Color is a dark brown with lots of red that lets very little light through. I'm still looking at the color, I can't remember ever seeing a beer of this unique hue.

Malty on the nose. Definitely some roasty chocolate malts. Sweet caramel malts also make themselves known. Hop bill is subtle and earthy. I also note some alcohol, especially as it warms.

Edit: I've purposely drank this one slowly, and the nose definitely opens up even more with some warmth. I even notice some fruity yeast aromas and flavors... it's reminding me of a Belgian dubbel in some ways. Note to self, let it warm up more next time!

Complex malts dominate the flavors, as well. They start sweet and smooth, but this beer has a long finish that morphs to significant burnt barley/cocoa and bittering at the end. Medium body fits well, as does the light carbonation. Despite a rather low 7% abv, they are present in the flavors. Intentional or not?

Overall, a beer I can return to every holiday season. I don't look forward to it like I do Sierra Nevada's Celebration, but the cheapskate in me can't turn down Full Sail's great prices for quality beer here in Portland. Not the most versatile for food pairing, but I like the complexity of this beer without Full Sail getting too crazy with spices or other weird things for a holiday beer. Let this one warm up a few degrees out of the fridge before drinking it.

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Photo of bret27
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Michael Jackson raves about this beer in one of his books, so I thought I should give it a try.
Bottle off the shelf. Didn't notice until later it was drink by '05, so this bottle is 5+ years old. Let's see what it does...

S: Sweet maple, cereal, bready, little touch of booze, maybe just a little hint of cardboard. You can just smell the thick richness of this beer.

A: Deep deep dark ruby brown, w/ good off white thick small head. Lots of sediment.

T: maple syrup, spices, woody, tannins, little bitter brandy taste @the end, but almost no etoh presence amazingly. Super smooth.

M/D: Really smooth silky oily body, thin enough to be amazingly drinkable, but not so thin as to make it watery. Excellent. Aged well.
My favorite Full Sail beer thus far, aside from maybe the bourbon barrel imperial porter, but that's an entirely different animal.

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Photo of jpaltan
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quite dark brown, with red hints around the edges. Smell is malty, a bit of a spicy backbone too it. Taste is all malt at first, then comes the winter spices. They come on a bit spicy. Some clove, even orange peel, and a slight hint of cinnamon. Seems like the flavors aren't blended that well together. They are quite disparate, then comes a bitterness on the back. Drinkability suffers from too much going on. Wish it was a bit toned down.

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Photo of wknight167
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a clear, but dark reddish mohagany with a 1 finger light tan head that slowly settle to a cap.

Nose- Pine and citrus hops up front, with dark caramel and roast malts on the trailing end.

Palate- Sweet and fruity up front, followed by piney citrus hops and finishing with a touch of chocolate and some slight alcohol warmth. Slightly sweet throughout, though the hops in the middle hide the malt quite a bit.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and carbonated

Drinkability- Easy drinking with good character.

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Photo of Gump
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

At first I noticed an earthy flowery, rose-type of aroma without the sweetness. After that came a stinky septic smell. I take a deep whiff and I'm reminded of an outdoor porta-jon that was recently disinfected. I guess it's a byproduct of the yeast during fermenting.

The pour looks good enough, so I take a sip.

The flavors are quite good and easily drinkable.
Malty, nutty, some bitterness at the tip of my tongue.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. twist off bottle. Wassail pours a medium brown with a thin off white head, which settles to a surface ring in a few minutes. Shows garnet highlights and is typically clear for the style.

Dark malts and a bit of chocolate on the nose. No real winter spice to speak of, but full bodied and with notes of cherry liqueur and some woody hops. A bit more hop spice with some warming.

Roasted malts upfront in the flavor. Bit of caramel segues into a smooth sweetened cherry then a light bitterness with some lingering orange amber malts. Offers a decent finish with a light but firm carbonation. Medium bodied and slightly slick in nature given the light carbonation. Decent drinkability yet nothing excels.

More fruity than spicy for a Winter Warmer, rich and with moderate depth for support. A sipper for me given the malt structure.

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Photo of xybreeder
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby, moderate lacing, decent head. It's teasing me to drink it so better get going!

S: Wow, this one smells really nice. Sweet, roasty and caramelly. Hops are pronounced and present in the nose.

T: Yummy; malts stand out with sweet accent on the end. Warm and inviting, and then the hops hit you, very nice. I'm getting caramel, and nuts. A little bitter, but nothing overpowering.

M: Light and smooth, perfectly carbonated.

D: Very drinkable, could be in trouble at 7% ABV. :) A perfect beer to enjoy during those cold winter nights, job well done for the 47 peeps at Full Sail.

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Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Chestnuts roasted on an open fire brown. Clarity is nice and carbonation moderate. A somewhat dense cream cap starts strong, retains well, and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Nice roasted malt character, plus some cinnamon and pepper. As the beer warms, a small amount of citrus creeps in.

T: There's a nice roasted nut flavor out front. Bitterness initially has a light burnt quality that gives away to lemon and grapefruit fairly quickly. Finishes with lingering roasted malt and citrus flavors. Alcohol adds the mildest touch of warmth.

M: The medium light body is a touch dry and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: I enjoyed this beer overall. Not the most characterful Winter Warmer, but a nice winter offering nonethless.

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Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle... found a fresh 6-pack at an Albertsons near me... haven't seen it anywhere else.

- Looks like a porter... somewhat transparent dark ruby brown... quick bubbly off-white head... down to a nice subtle slew of lacing.

- Smells like Full Sails signature roasted grainy malting... extra rich without being overly sweet. Little bit of spice, and a nice bitter flare of hops... grassy, earthy..

- Smooth semi-sweet roasted spice and malt... huge bitter hop with a punch... and without the cloying sweet fruitiness that I can't stand in this style. Very generous hops, but yet goes down well and is quite balanced.

- Nice light bodied ale, certainly well carbonated... little dry, and only ever so slightly chewy...

- One of the better winter seasonals on the market, and being a Portlander all of my life... this is actually the first Wassail I have ever had... it just doesn't show up all the time, and I can swear there were many years where they just didn't brew it.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a nonic.

A- Dark reddish/copper, and clear. Pours with ~1/2 finger of tan head. Fades quickly into a thin ring and smattering of bubbles.

S- Fair amount of piney hop aroma, followed with a moderately sweet, dark brown sugar maltiness.

T- Quite a bit of tea-like hop flavor is first noted, and provides a fair dose of of bitterness. Nice roasty, malty sweetness balances things out. Interesting and pleasant.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium feel.

D- Quite good. Easy drinking and flavorful.

Future outlook: Had not yet had anything from Full Sail that knocked my socks off, so I was a bit surprised at how much I liked this one. Worthy of a revisit.

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Photo of yuriruley
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark colors with red hues, nice white colored head if you pour aggressively.

Smell - Smell faint hops and some malts.

Taste - Has a very mellow taste, has a mild hop flavor, and some malt flavors. I think if they picked up the flavors a little bit this beer would be phenomenal.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thin, but kind of creamy.

Drink - Despite being 7% I think I found this beer very session worthy.

Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It is on par with jubelale, though it's flavors aren't as aggressive. I find it easier to drink several of these. Definitely put these guys on my radar, I will be trying some of their other stuff. Also at $6.99 a sixer this stuff is hard to beat.

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Photo of blackearth
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Blue Max Liquors in Burnsville, MN. Pours a dark reddish brown body with a pillowy off-white head. Aroma is of sweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors of burnt toast and chocolate with lots of spicy hoppiness. Smooth, sweet finish...a little too sweet, but still very good.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full Sail Wassail pours a big loose head over an almost opaque cola-colored brew. Carbonation is steady, the nose is grapefruit rind, vanilla, a little toasted malt. Up front the flavor is toasty malt with bare mocha and molasses notes with sharper herbal/grassy hop notes off the back. Mouthfeel starts soft but dries a bit, with a long leafy hop aftertaste. This is a winter warmer style beer, but I was hoping for a little more malt action here, it seems a tad light bodied to me.

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Photo of diamondc
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 032110. $6.99 for a six pack.

A: Clear dark ruby red, nice lacing and great head retention.

S: Pine needles up front, tangerine skins in the middle, followed by some roast, nutmeg, herbal aromas in the background. Smells like Christmas.

T: A great balance between the pine-y citrus-lite hops and the slightly roasted sweet cherry-like malt. A bitter dark chocolate aftertaste adds to the complexity.

M/D: Not that much hotness detected or carbonation in this one, which makes for a creamy mouthfeel. A real nice sipper to enjoy on its own.

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Photo of satowns
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice garnet color with fantastic clarity. good head retention.

some roast. slight cheesy/mold/mustiness in the aroma.

super roasty on the palate. mild hop bitterness nice hops in the aftertaste.

warming mouthfeel; medium bodied.

decent overall, but there are many things lacking from categorizing this as a winter warmer.

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Photo of ugaterrapin
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. While pouring it appeared to have a dark brown color. After poured and held up to the light I noticed a nice red color as a little bit of light shined through. It left about a finger and a half of light tan head. It has a nice aroma of caramel and roasted malts. There are some hints of spice as well. Definitely smells like a winter warmer. Front of the sip has a nice roasted malt character followed by some slight hop notes and a hint of spices. Overall a very good beer. Could drink a few of these in a sitting. Very drinkable which surprised me. Definitely a great buy since I got it for $6.99 a six pack.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very surprised at how good this beer was.

Great burnt ruby color, huge caramel colored head that was creamy to say the least. Malty, hoppy and spicy in the nose, smells like a darker, more robust version of the style. Big time dose of malt backing with a nice fresh hop presence. Nutmeg and cinnamon, vanilla tangerines, dark red apple covered with caramel make this a very tasty beverage on a cold winter night. Mouthfeel was very creamy and bubbly at the same time, subdued bitterness in the finish from the hop bill. This winter warmer is chocked full of flavor, spice and everything nice.

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Photo of electricfields
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've never been a huge fan of this style (perhaps because I've just made a lot of really bad picks that turned me off of it), but I generally like Full Sail's stuff, so I figured I'd give this a try.

A: Dark red - almost black with a frothy head and lots of lacing, at first. The head dissipates fairly quickly and so does the lacing, however.

S: Not very strong. Brown sugar malts and sort of piney spices. There's a nice citric hoppiness that gives me a really good feeling about this one.

T: This is probably the best winter warmer I've ever tasted. Pine and citrus are the clearest flavors, but there's a nice caramel sweetness underneath balancing them out and a subtle hint of coffee. The lack of overwhelming flavors is very, very welcome. It's "seasonal" without being cloying about it. Very pleasant.

M: I have nothing to complain about here. Fairly light carbonation with a little bit of a bite to it. A little bit syrupy and it sticks to the back of your mouth a bit, but not as thick as a stout or something like that.

D: This has always been a big sticking point for me with winter warmers, but this one is the exception to the rule. There's no single disgusting flavor overwhelming everything else. It tastes "seasonal" without being self-consciously "seasonal." That said, I will probably drink another one of these when I'm done with the one in front of me right now.

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Full Sail Wassail from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.82 out of 5 based on 867 ratings.
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