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Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)
42 Ratings
Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve)

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HiroProtagonist on 07-16-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes out orange and yellow, 3/4" white head. Grapefruit c hops in the aroma. not inconsequential even though the dry hopping seems to be of the older variety American hops.

Hits all the bitter notes without getting bogged down with caramel and crystal malt. Its there but in relatively small quantities. This was bomber only, which sucks, but it was one of the more affordable ones, but still significantly more per oz than comparable 12oz six packs of Full Sail.

Wouldn't go out of my way but it was good enough.

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Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a good light orange and dark yellow, a little soapy head. Grapefruit seems to be the dominant aroma.

Taste, quite bitter, good to see Full Sail still makes stuff with gusto, as their normal 6 pack releases seem to have lost something the last few years. Doesn't give the biggest hop mouthfeel, lots of the usual stuff, cascades, centennials, and I think some willamettes, bitterness more than hop mouthfeel. Was good enough for me, but I don't think I'll be getting anyone BMing me for trades of this one, not sexy enough. Your standard caramel, pale malt and bitter hops w/o much mouthfeel for them.

Extremely cheap, less than $4, definitely helped drinkability.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a blend of the English IPA with the west coast version. Mostly citrus (grapefruit, orange) in the nose, with some starchy fuggles bitterness. Same grapefruit in the taste, but mixed with a drier bitterness common with the English variety. More malt than expected. Clean finish. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 22 oz bomber from a trade with Wasatch.

A: The IPA pours with a deep marmalade colored orange hue, deep enough that it appears to be red in some light. The head neared 2 fingers and has left a nice band of lace throughout the glass.

S: The ale has the nose of a DIPA, so full of resiny hops that I'm surprised that this one didn't cross the threshold. Big bold grapefruit notes dominate but a grainy undertone provides a pleasant balance.

T: The nose got me excited for a bold flavor, unfortunately the body doesn't deliver. Citrus flavors abound but they are paired with a thin malt flavor that doesn't support them. After the first jolt of grapefruit, the hop strength rapidly decreases until a dull bitterness remains. The bitterness leaves a long finish and does add a flourish of grapefruit zest at the end. The start and end of each sip was good, not great just good. It's the middle where the beer fell apart.

M: The hop flavors are promising up front before falling apart. The beer is average, no more and no less.

D: I wanted to like the beer and at certain points I do, the middle of the sip though is too plain Jane to make it worthwhile.

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Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear gold, nice head.

Smell: A citrus aroma fills the air. Maybe not fills, but at least inhabits.

Taste: A more balanced IPA than many American IPA's, but does lean more towards the hoppy side with a grapefruit taste being the leader.

Drinkability: Inexpensive ($3.79 a bomber) and inoffensive, so pretty good.

A decent IPA, it will satisfy your hop craving but will not overpower you with flavor. A pretty good beer but nothing too special.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 release, acquired via trade from Wasatch, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into mug glass.

A: The beer is a dark orange color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma has a strong burst of floral hops and citrus sweetness with a light background of caramelized malt.

T: The taste is loaded with hops bitterness that jumps out at you when you first sip it and it continues to rotate with the other flavors of citrus, caramel and a light malt character. The after-taste is hoppy and bitter. This one seems to be a bit backwards compared to most IPA’s in that it’s not the hops presence that strengthens as the beer warms, but it’s the malt backbone and fruity sweetness that strengthens, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just interesting.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, nice kick, very good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink when you want a hop bomb of a 2IPA but as much maltiness. I could certainly stick with this beer for a whole evening.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep orange color, nice carbonation, nice small off-white head, nice islands and sticky lacing to follow. The nose is more on the malty side, but some nice hops as well, slight piney, and some grapefruit going on, nice touch of caramel. The taste is malty, nice touch of hops, piney/grapefruity, and some caramel. Nice bitter/dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, a very tasty IPA for sure, recommended.

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Photo of winpig3
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer was the color of deep orange, "deep" because it appeared cloudy almost to the point of looking like a white beer (Celis comes to mind). Sunspot had an excellent rocky head.

S: For an IPA, the smell of hops was almost undetectable. The malt profile was also subtle.

T: I was expecting to taste a mouthful of hops, instead I was greeted with a floral apricot taste, with a hint of citrus. The malt flavor was the perfect balance for this brilliant use of hops. The alcohol was well hidden.

M: The beer had a nice full mouthfeel, true to style for an American IPA.

D: As a homebrewer, I learned from drinking this beer that hops can be used to carefully craft some interesting flavors aside from the straight-up in-your-face bittering topped with some citrus. Sunspot is a fun beer to drink and I would look for more next time I’m at the beer store.

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Photo of jackorain
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was the 2006 edition with a different label than the one pictured.

A-Big foamy, can't stop it from overflowing the galss, head even with the appropaite pour style. My second go I tried pouring on angle the entire pour and it still foamed right over the galss.
Big swiss cheese bubbles. very cloudy orange amber, nice color. crazy ass lacing
S- Very lemony, lmon and floral hops, sweet malt
T-lemony hops and a floral,eatherly hop quotient as well. Not incredibly bitter but a little sour. some carmel malt is there but not much
M-meduim body, okay carbonation considering the pour.

D-a little too sour to have more.

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Photo of beersabound
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bomber was a cloudy orange color but had a good head. The aroma was of some grapefruit and piney hops but there is some wet cardboard too. This bottle must be a little old and is getting oxidized. But it is not too bad yet. It fills the mouth nicley and smooth on the palate. The flavor is very hoppy (grapefruit and resinous, woohoo), with some oxidation and pale malt flavor. The aftertaste is long, pronounced and citrusy from the hops. Overall, I'd like a fresh bottle but this one is acceptable.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this 22 oz bottle was poured into a standard pint glass. The color wasa dar, dakr orange and was very cloudy. The head was white and creamy looking. The smell was very faint and made me think that since this was a 2006 the hops must have faded. When I tasted it the hops had indeed faded. I got a very malty, grainy taste from this one. I am pretty sure it was past its prime. I'd love to try a fresh one as their Wreck The Halls IPA is delicious.

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Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruddy, copper body with a slight haze. Cobwebby, thick, creamy, dirty khaki head laces very nicely. Nose splits evenly between buttery butterscotch malts and grapefruit/pine hops. Maybe a little fruit in there as well. Nice, but nothing special. Citrus hop bitterness up front, followed by toasted, butterscotch biscuit malt. Mild fruitiness next, before grapefruit and pine hop flavors take over. Moderately bitter finish. Medium-bodied with a creamy feel. A little forgettable maybe, but not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brewmaster reserve 2006. Sent my way by boolshot as part of my ba anniv. package. Many thanks for the chance.

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a huge fluffy off white colored head. Two fingers of froth--a bit over carbonated.
S: Citrus fruit hop aromas with a twang of grass. A slight metallic aroma also.
T/M: Toasted grain and biscuit malt. Citrus fruit hop flavors or orange peel and lemon zest. A long dry bitterness at the back of the tongue. Aftertaste of slight citrus fruit, wet grass, and spicy hops coated with a bit of pepper. The carbonation takes on a slick crispness. Carbonation is way too bold on this offering and takes away from all the flavors. Bubbles make it lighter than it should be. Mouthfeel has a similar metallic twang that my first homebrew did.
D: Possibly just a bad bottle as theres no way the carbonation is supposed to be this big. Could be a nice refreshing summer IPA when at it's prime, I'm assuming. Couldn't finish the whole thing.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full sail distribution in Southern California is excellent. Picked this up at the local bevmo. 22oz bomber poured into a pounder glass it forms a loose white head that leaves sliding spotty lace. Orange body.

Grapefruit is the theme here. There is a candied, sweetened element that appears and lays down to a slightly bitter grapefruity hop finish. Jolly rancher type hard candy is in there as well. Its not overlyl sweet at all but those elements cross my mind. Nice and crisp carbonation combines with the slightly bitter hop presence and mashes together for a spritzy type ending.

Notes: I really enjoyed this offering. A fairly unique IPA and one that I'll continue to enjoy when available. Alcohol is well hidden and more of an afterthought. Well done.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bronzed kumquat with butterscotch colored trim. I expected a huge amount of vigorous carbonation after the loud 'pffft' on crown cracking, but there doesn't appear to be an excess number of visible bubbles. Those that are present are creating a wonderful looking crown of foam that is lightest pastel orange in color and is stickier than most. Hunks and chunks of lace are beginning to stick as they lose contact with the falling cap.

I love the smell of IPAs in the morning (or is that napalm?). I like Sunspot too; what I can smell of it that is. This is one case in which a lack of aromaticity will have to result in a less than stellar score. There just isn't enough bright grapefruit and lemon zestiness present, it's as simple as that.

For a Brewmaster Reserve 2006 offering, Sunspot IPA isn't that impressive. I like Full Sail beer, generally speaking, so it's something of a surprise that this one isn't getting it done on the palate. The malt backbone is on the skimpy side and there's an odd flavor that makes me think something other than the usual pale and caramel malt has been used.

There's plenty of (unsupported) hop bitterness on display, without a concomitant amount of good hop flavor. Bitter orange and white grapefruit pith and peel are the focal points, which is all well and good. Things turn a little ugly on the finish, however, when a sharp, chewing on aspirin bitterness begins to assume command.

Something must have gone wrong with this batch; these guys are better brewers than this. I'm still able to find some enjoyment in the bomber since I'm a proud hophead. Anyone who isn't, even anyone who isn't fully committed to the cause, should probably steer clear of this alpha acidic ale. Maybe a few months in the cellar would have been advisable. Too late now.

I might be convinced to consider the mouthfeel good... for an APA. There's no way that it's IPA worthy. Again, I blame a lack of malt. Is it just me or is not enough malt the biggest reason why more craft beer isn't better than it is? My eyes didn't lie, the carbonation is on the lively side without being annoyingly so.

If one wants an excellent, mega-hoppy beer from Full Sail Brewing, I'd recommend the superb Wreck The Halls IPA or the outstanding Equinox ESB. Sunspot IPA doesn't have the chops to survive in the cutthroat world of hopilicious Pacific Northwest beer.

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Photo of loren01
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy orange, small frothy white head, good lace
S: Caramel maltiness, with piney hop scent
T: Big bold hoppiness, not well balanced. Too bitter for my tastes
M: Heavier bodied, good amount of carbonation, slightly dry tasing
D: Definatley hoppy thats for sure... Not well enough balanced for me, some may like this type of hop bomb however.

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Photo of goschool
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw the newest release of Full Sail's Brewmaster's Reserve at BevMo yesterday. It was worth a try after Equinox, their last Brewmaster's Reserve, was so good.

Appearance: The pour is cloudy slightly dark orange with fiery amber highlights and a long-lasting off-white head.

Smell: The nose is hoppy with citrus and pine aromas.

Taste: Apparntly the secret reason for Full Sail's Brewmaster's Reserve series is to unload their surplus of Cascade and Centennial hops (Taste Equinox). It's not overly bitter, but it's definitely hop-forward. Lots of grapefruit piths and pine and very little malt flavor, which is odd considering the darkish color.

Mouthfeel: There is a massive amount of carbonation in this brew. It's light to medium-bodied with a wet feel.

Drinkability: This needs to replace the blah IPA in Full Sail's regular line-up. There were flashes of Equinox's tastiness, but it wasn't quite as good.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium orange with a thin but acceptable head. The aroma is faint- not enough to really analyze. The flavor is sharp and sour (not in a good way, like the Flemish Sour ale I just reviewed) but with an acidic burn on the sides of my tongue. It's not a bright, clean hop bite as I like it.

The flavor itself is OK- it's really the finish that kills it for me. I suspect it's the hop variety (or combination) that just does not excite my palate. In fact, I poured out almost half the bomber. Not recommended.

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Photo of TheLiterati
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had to read the label a few times to make sure this wasn’t some orange-infused fruit beer…then I saw those three little letters that make my hops-loving heart sing: I-P-A.

I know…it’s dead center on the label (different from the one shown) – or at least it is on the 2006 variety that I’m enjoying – but hey, I just had a tooth pulled, so give me a break, OK?

Pours a cloudy orange-amber color – almost as cloudy as a hefe – with a thick, off-white finger-high head. Aroma is of citrus and spice, with a woodsy note or two.

Mouthfeel is smooth to creamy, with heavy carbonation. Kind of odd, but I like it.

Taste is heavily hopped with sweet undertones, but leans towards being bitter – almost too much, as it never quite achieves a balance of any kind. Then again, maybe that’s intentional, as this beer seems to be quite happy being a rebel of sorts.

I want to say I don’t like this beer, but every time I take a swig, I find myself in hop heaven.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've always seen full sail at my grocery stores but when i saw a bomber of the Sunshine IPA at Hi-Times, wow, have to try that.

Poured a turbid brassy color, somewhat deep, with a small head of vanilla white lace that was short on the longevity. Aromas of aged malt, more malt, fermented orange juice, then maybe some grass on the end... were finishing hops forgotten during the boil?

Taste of more of the aforementioned sweetness due to fermented orange juice dominate my palate along with sweet malt. There is a little bitterness, but it is an afterthought. I think this is more of a pale ale, but no, the label says IPA. Well, there's a nice malt backbone here, but where are the hops. You know the taste isnt bad, but i have to mark this a bit lower than average because the average IPA has more hops to it.

The brew is nicely carbonated but does feel somewhat thin... i'm really trying to like this one but i dont think i can drink anymore of it. It's not bad per se, but as an IPA, well, that it is not.

I'm going to retry this one in a month or so. Maybe i got a bad bottle because i expect more from Full Sail.

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber color and has excellent head retention. Lots of bubbles show good carbonation. Makes me want to drink it even more!

S: Caramel malt is present up front, but then is washed away by a citrusy/piny hop tinge. God, I want this ale!!!

T: Wow! What an IPA!! Not as good as, say, and Alesmith IPA, but this one is tasty. Not for the faint of heart, though. It's chewy with a little sweetness from the malt, but the hops come charging through in a big, big way. The hops are more astringent that I thought, but still good.

M: Mouthfeel is great. Chewy and tasty, yet finishes dry and begs for you to drink more!

D: This is a big, bold IPA. Probably one of the best I've tried from Full Sail. Worth the money I paid for it.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Brewmaster's Release
Poured a semi-opaque orange amber with a nice 2 finger white head that melted to a ring of sticky lacing.
Aroma is IPA rich with citrus peel hops and a light pine.
Taste seems very well balanced between the sweet malt (initially) and the citrus peel hops. Pale malt, orange peel hop, light lemon, grapefruit peel.
Mouthfeel is full enough for this style with a nice tingly carbonation.
Aftertaste is almost exclusively grapefruit (strange that it doesn't remain slightly complex).
Still clean and refreshing.

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Photo of 1whiskey
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poures into a pint glass.

Good amber/orange color, cloudy, with a big head that sticks around for a while.

Smells pretty clean actually, basically typical citrus/pine notes but kinda faint, and not much else.

First taste is a somewhat earthy suprise, this comes across as more of an English style IPA or even a pale ale than anything else. This is certainly no west coast hop bomb. Some bisciuty malts are noticable as well, but this is a pretty simple, easy-to-drink brew. I would almost call it a session beer.

The mouthfeel is a little thick, not quite syrupy but more than I expected. Average carbonation.

This is a little bit of a suprise if your looking for an over the top IPA, but if you like English IPA's or strong bitters you'll likely enjoy this one.

P.S. Goes great with chili.

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Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 42 ratings
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