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

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BA SCORE
86
very good
482 Reviews
Full Sail WassailFull Sail Wassail
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
482
Ratings:
856
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
15.97%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
61
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 482 | Ratings: 856
Photo of hoplover82
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark ruby red color, with a medium creamy tan head that dissapates quickly to a light film on the beer. There are lots of real strong lacing.

The aroma is strong with caramel malt then quickly fades to soft earthy hops way in the back. After that it fades to a dull burned malt smell... After a swirl, the hops come through well... pine and floral hops.

The flavor is quite the smae as above with heavy malt and slight earthy hops in the back with a solid bitterness. Some burned malt notes... not very complex, pretty simple, but that's not a bad thing, not every beer has to be all complex n' stuff.

Full to medium bodied, coats the mouth well, kinda creamy and smooth with a touch of alcohol in there.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of ElGallo
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a balloon glass. Will produce a very nice head with an aggressive pour. Sticky lacing endures.

Smells medicinal with hints of cloves and nutmeg. What little hop presence exists is dank and not very exciting.

As the beer warms the flavors pop a little more and it's very easy to drink. The medicinal flavors are still there, and the hop bitterness comes through in the aftertaste.

This beer doesn't really "wow" me, but the spicing is subtle, and I appreciate that, as overspicing kills so many winter warmers. Not sure if I'd pick up another 6-pack of this, but for the price I paid I'm not complaining. Worth a shot.

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Photo of bboven
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium to dark brown body, clear with ruby highlights. Minimal head and lacing

Aroma is basic pale malt with a tiny bit of roast and alcohol.

Light cherry in the flavor that fades into slightly medicinal bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full but soft carbonation, lively on the front of the palate but a little bit sticky at the back of the throat. Not overpowering in any mf aspect.

It's a pretty tasty WW, but a bit weak in many parts and a tinge medicinal in the flavor. Great smooth sipper, though. I would probably try another bottle of this sometime down the line.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Deep, dark mahogony, obviously reddish hues. Head is 1/4" dissipates quickly leaving only a thin ring.

S. Roasty malt bill up front, somewhat chocolatey and fruity of dates and raisins, and a touch of hops.

T. Chocolatey, roasty, deep caramelized brown sugar. The hops do their best to keep up with the sweetness. Finish is sweet and lingering with moderately stong alcohol tastes.

M. Thick and chewy in the mouth with high carb.

D. Too sweet and rich for session, but an OK beer. Not worthy of seeking out and just barely above average.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice dark malts on the nose, some coffee, touches of caramel, chocolate and plums. Pours a really nice deep amber with an off white one finger head. Mild alcohol on the nose too though witch is semi-uninviting.

Medium in body and slightly viscous (but not overwhelmingly) this beer displays layers of dark flavors. Toasted and spicy bittering dark chocolate malts up front with a brighter semi-fruit finish that comes from the hops. Well balanced but more on the malty side.

Definitely a fine choice for a winter warming session beer.

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Photo of gbontrag
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks like unfinished walnut lumber, it's a bit dull.
pretty thin head
Alcohol is not all that well disguised... There's not enough malt to mask the alcohol, and this isn't high in alcohol. Very thin brew. Hop spice is all over; pine blah blah blah...
Not as warm as it is hot. Winter warmer my butt. Just another over-hopped interpretation.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. to a pint glass

Appearance: Maple syrup brown tinged with ruby. Very thin to nonexistent head.

Aroma: Plum, spices, and fresh apples.

Flavor: Spicy and warming, there is a semi-citrusy twang in the beginning that comes from some hops. Bitterness fades out into a peppery middle with body but certainly not an over-sweet winter beer.

MF: Bodied, but not sweet. An easy-drinking winter beer

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Photo of Suds
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, black-cherry read color with a very slim head. The aroma is of roasted, toasted malts...some spicy hop flavors are in the distance, but specialty malts are in the center of the smell. The taste is very balanced...lots of sweetness up front...again, plenty of roasted malt, and a very pronounced bitterness. Spicy, pepperiness is present in the flavor, along with a notable warming. An almost candy-like sweetness lingers, along with a pronounced bitterness. This is a reasonably enjoyable and drinkable beer, nice for winter, but not outstanding.

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Photo of beergoot
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: solid amber; thick white head that leaves plenty of foamy rings down the glass

Smell: toasty malts; earthy and sweet

Taste: malt, malt, malt; and then a pleasant bitterness; alcohol warmth is definitely there but is on par with the style

Mouthfeel: medium body, some chewy sweetness overall

Overall: a better than average winter warmer, going for the strong malt profile; no strong herbal or spice notes; fair bitterness to top things off.

This is the 2011 version at 6.5% ABV

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby with a thin white mousse that dies down within seconds.

S: The nose is dominated by malts, with aromas of dark bread, bitter chocolate, toffee, and (to a much lesser extent) grassy, herbal hops easily detectable. I appreciate the fact that this beer does not incorporate spices, so I don't get the stereotypical Christmas cookie aromas so typical of American winter warmers.

T: Notes of dark bread, bitter chocolate, leather, toffee, heavy cream, roasted nuts, dried fruit (black cherries and currants), and grassy hops are present on the palate. The finish is bitter and herbal with grassy hop notes mingling with toffee and nut flavors. Not as sweet as I was expecting, and a little more bitter than I would have liked.

M: Full bodied, thick, and dry with a weighty feeling in the mouth, this is one ale that will warm you up quickly on a cold evening. It's not particularly drinkable or smooth, but I like that feeling of malt heft that lends this beer some substance.

O: This is a solid winter warmer that straddles the line between traditional and New World takes on the style. Save this one for after dinner on a snowy night. Not bad at all. In fact, I could see this being a good gateway to traditional English warmers.

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Photo of Alpha309
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep mahogany color with reddish grape tints on the edges. A very thin layer of foamy caramel head that dissipates almost immediately.

Nose is of crackers. Some slight lemon, but ever so subtle.

Taste is dominated by cracker. Some spices and a slight lemony flavor as well. Maybe a hint of pepper.

A little fuller in body than expected. Can feel the alcohol in the mouth as well.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle best by next april

look is dark, amber, tan head, lots of suspended sediment. smell is light malts, dry leaves, cocoa, and christmas spice. taste is crisp chocolate infused wheat with subtle spice overtones. there is some roast and bitterness as well.

interesting winter warmer, glad to try it

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Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Opaque brown color. Nose is burnt malts and flavor has hints of caramel with roasty bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Burnt caramel, slightly fruity but a touch of fusel alchol peeks through

Taste: Starts with a burnt caramel malt flavor that turns quite bitter, mid-palate; after the swallow, some holiday spice flavors kick in to provide some sweet flavors but the piney orange bitterness returns, full-force, into the finish; also some unpleasant fusel alcohol at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but could be thicker; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Would sure like to see the bitterness toned down to highlight some of the sweet flavors that get overwhelmed

Thanks, boolshot, for the opportunity

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear, dark red brew with a dirty white head that subsided very quickly leaving no lace or anything.
Aroma is very hoppy with only a touch of malt which gets overwhelmed by the piney almost grapefruitlike aroma.
The taste is hoppy as well with very little of the malt that I thougt i would taste from the color. A bit onesided in the flavor department this beer does get better as it warms revealing a bit more of the dark kilned malt flavor.
Body is not very good for a winter warmer as this beer is pretty thin and it is evidenced by the extreme lack of head. The carbonation is almost perfect however as there is very little carbonic bite from the artificial carbonation which i believe is much rougher than natural carbonation.
Overall I would rather have a jubelale from Deschutes than another wassail from Full Sail but it is a much better winter warmer than Celebration Ale which should be renamed Holiday IPA as it rhymes and indicates what you will taste better. The brewers at Full Sail should have bottle conditioned this one as well so that it can be aged more than a year and that they could have achieved a much higher carbonation level with less carbonic bite. A great winter beer if it is all that is available besides leftover summerfest and the usual flagship brews.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby-red colour, with great clarity. Looks like a deep port or a heavily tannic red wine. Head is filmy, but fine bubbled. Lacing is patchy, but decent enough. It forms at least. Body is pleasantly heavy, and the very fine bubbling works well with it. Not a bad look.

Nose is very vinous, big notes of oaked red wine, and a slightly boozy cherry kirsch character. Hints of spice and cinnamon, muted enough, but enough to give a lift to the other characters. Quite pleasant.

Taste is also pleasant, although the booze is a little bit more prominent here, giving a slight heat and harshness to the back of the palate. The front is quite sweet, with some of the spice coming through as well. Light esters on the back give a slight fruitiness along with the boozy bite. Not bad. Feel is surprisingly thin given the good look of the thickness, and the booze hurts rather than helps this.

Decent enough, although it tastes slightly more harsh the more you drink it. There's pleasant characters to it, but it's missing a coherent story, and there are notes which become far too prominent. Good. Not great.

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Photo of Chaz
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark cola brown in color to the naked eye, and a brilliant ruby-amber when held up to direct light. A firm pour produces a medium tan head of one finger and average duration. Lacing is moderately sticky, fairly average for the style. Altogether it looks pretty inviting.

The nose is equal parts hop and malt profiles. Piney, resiny* hops start the fun and are followed by a burst of mid-range citrus hop (Centennial?), followed by an insistent dry, biscuity malt character and finally a rounder, sweeter malt character -- rather plummy, along with a lighter note of strawberry jam.

Sweet and tangy on the first sip, followed with a uniform, lightly-scrubbing briskness across the palate, ending with a lighter bitter-sweet character. Aromatic notes include an echo of the light strawberry jam from the nose along with dry, toasty/bready malt, light herbal qualities, and a touch of warming alcohol. As this warms up a lighter element of fusel alcohol presents itself, although this does not detract from the overall drink. Bitterness is minimal, but lingers nicely throughout -- a fairly well-balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is at least average, and it's much as I remember it, in that it's a lighter-bodied beer as per the style -- come to think of it, I'd say that this adds to the overall drinkability.

Notes:
*Favorably reminds me of Alba Scots Pine Ale!

As far as winter seasonals are concerned, Wassail has been a favorite for years, and I'm inclined to rate it fairly highly. Yet in making an effort to rate this to-style I wondered if I wouldn't knock this down from its pedestal! In the end it seems that I still consider it at least slightly better than average.

Pairs well with all manner of food, but in particular I'd say it holds up well to heartier entrees, richer foods, and even bittersweet chocolates and lighter desserts.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fine, sturdy, off-white head, dark brown color. Sweet aroma, but nothing too distinctive coming through. Faint hints of toffee, nuts, spices. Mild hoppiness, medium carbonation. Sweet maltiness. Very mild, very mellow, but to a fault. I like my winter ales with more of a kick, and this slides down too smooth for my tastes. Feels as if they were shooting for something like Anchor's Our Special Ale, but something held them back.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12/7/2007 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown-reddish colored body, but it's not cloudy. Has a big creamy off-white head, decent lacing, lasting. Has a nutty fresh smelling aroma, but it's a little sour. A woody, dusty nut taste. Sour acidic aftertaste. Some light spices.

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Photo of PdxBeerGeek
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

first time ive had this beer this year. havent had many of the winter warmers but its definately got alot of flavor to it and cant go wrong being 7.2% ABV overall a really good beer would definitely have it on tap if i could find it..even for a darker beer it still has a lighter IPA taste with a hint of caramel? (maybe)

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Photo of DESTRO
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

never a big fan of the "special" winter brews save a few. pours out a nice ruby/brown. decent head, some nice lacing. smells malty with a very slight spice. taste isnt bad. infact its pretty good. malty with a good hop presence thats a bit piney. cinnamon comes to mind as well as other holiday flavors. herbal! not thick like some heavyweight winter brews, its nice and medium bodied, in the middle. while not my cup of tea i can def. appreciate it. i could see these going down pretty easy if thats your thing.

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Photo of grub
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled jan 9/2011.

pours lightly hazy dark brown with a small cap of fine light tan head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. caramel and toffee. biscuit and whole wheat bread. bit of alcohol. earthy and slightly spicy hops. just a hint of citrus.

taste is nice. just over medium bitterness level. rich caramel and toffee. biscuit and lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. warming alcohol. earthy and spicy hops, with just a slight citrus edge.

mouthfeel is ok. medium body seems a touch thin. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. it's a bit of an odd beer. smells sweet, but is actually pretty dry. advertises "pacific northwest hops", but has almost none of the typical citrus+pine duo. seems almost astringent. not quite sure what they were aiming for with this one, but it's not doing much for me.

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Photo of csiewert
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark nutty color with a good amount of off white head. Smells of roasted barley and nuts. The taste is fairly sweet with a nutty aftertase. Some hops are present but not completely obvious. The mouth feel is good... A little over carbonated. Overall a good holday brown ale.

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Photo of Keffa
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass. Thanks for this one, Steve.

Live review.

A: Pours a deep red/mahogany color, almost brown, 2 finger tan head settles after 5 minutes into a full cap, sticky small bubble lacing everywhere, and it refuses to let go of the glass. Very, very impressive so far.

S: Not a ton here, caramel and toffee sweetness, a little bit of a spicy, earthy hop, some light toast notes as well. Kind of bland, to be honest.

T: Hoppy like a rabbit! Hop bitterness is very pronounced, citric, piney, herbal, earthy, and very sharp. The sweetness that existed heavily in the aroma is masked by these overwhelming hops. Slight toast and caramel notes come toward the finish before getting buried beneath a nasty alcohol burn and another wave of bitterness. Finishes long and bitter. Meh. Better than the aroma, I guess.

M: Thin, slick, oily. Decently carbed. Again, meh.

O: Meh. This beer is a Winter Warmer alright. The bitterness and the burn from the alcohol could keep anyone warm. This is more a hoppy red ale than a winter warmer, IMO. Heavy handed, in all honesty. Would I buy more? No. Would I drink it again? Probably not. Just overpowering, and I'm a hophead.

I thought Full Sail was supposed to be good. This is meh.

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

Full Sail Wassail pours a clear ruby color into the glass with a small off white head on top. The foam fades quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is mild with notes of caramel malt, dark fruit (raisins? grapes?) and a hint of piney hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is dry on the palate, slightly slick with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor is malty and sweet with spicy notes. It begins with caramel malt and brown sugar before some hints of clove and nutmeg move in. There's a touch of raisin in there too. It finishes with a mild pine bitterness. Once gone the sweet malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very easy drinking beer. Well balanced with light spicyness. I guess I was looking for more spices in this beer and maybe a thicker mouthfeel. However, it's well balanced and the flavors really come out as the beer warms in the glass.

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Full Sail Wassail from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.
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