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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 40
Reviews by SwillinBrew:
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.

 1,130 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 309 characters

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.

 672 characters

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.

 540 characters

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

2005 bottle: Pours amber with a slight haze & a 2 fingers+ head (white). Very good lacing and fantastic head retention.

Smell: Citrussy hops& then piney hops

Taste: Piney hops, then lemony hops. Quinching fruityness starts sneaking in behind the hops assault. Finishes dry, hoppy & fruitty

MF: Nice oily, semi-thick feel to it, good carbonation, maybe a tad too hoppy for balance

Went down way too quicky, pretty drinkable to me despite, or maybe because of the hops blitz! Great pick up for hop heads!

 514 characters

Photo of Goldorak
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark orangy, with a head consisting mainly of soapy bubbles.

Smell: West coast aromas all the way, and nothing too over the top. Beyond the groves I found pine cones, x-mas trees and some kind of minty frankincense.

Taste: In the never ending battle of hops vs malt, both are quite poingant, but none seems to dominate, an aspect I tend to look for in an APA or IPA. Don't get me wrong, the astringency is there in the finish and aftertaste, but the sweetness is there too, making it a well fought tie.

 520 characters

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.

 1,166 characters

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.

 516 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer after its dispensing from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass an undarkened burnished copper color, the head piled majestically upon the body, the texture creamy and the color a beauteous light tan as it dissolves ever so slowly the lace forms a thick and glutinous sheet to obscure the glass. Nose is all about hops, sweet malt and a nice citrus like crispness polishes off this treat for the eyes and nose. Start is ambrosial, rich in malt, the top middling in its feel to the palate; finish has a distinct acidity, the hops potent in their spicy bite, the after taste sweet and dry with a continuance of the hops spicy bitterness, a delightful brew on this hot Arizona summer Sunday, Cheers Y’all!

 718 characters

Photo of BradBLR
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a amber orange color, with a white head. The head was nice and thick and lasted the whole beer with a nice amount of lacing. The smell was that of grapefruit and some hops, the citrus overtones were the strongest.

The beer tasted really good with a nice almost tart citrus taste up front with a nice strong hop finish. There was a hint of a crisp malt but it was not very strong. The mouthfeel was good, it was very smooth and the CO2 was good.

This was a good beer, not something I would want in my regular rotation. However I am glad I tried it, give it a shot if you see it.

 600 characters

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.

 821 characters

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.

 1,172 characters

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

Sunspot we go.
Nice looking beer amber in colour slightly hazy, great frothy/creamt off white head.
Great fresh aroma of hops..thats about it but it is pleasant.
Nice taste to the brew very very hoppy yet it retains a certain maltiness throughout the mouthful in the background.
Very good on the palate..exciting yet smooth at the same time.
Good drinking IPA.
I really do not understand why Full Sail released their regular IPA which in my opinion was very weak..when they could have released this in general..its 100 times better.

 549 characters

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.

 521 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear dark ornage in color with a nice 1" head that lingers around a while. Light lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: light aromas of grapefruit and pine are detected.

Taste: decent maltiness is balanced with grapfruit slices and a strong pine bitterness. Straight forward west coast IPA.

Mouthefeel: crisp and dry throughout. Aftertaste is long on the bitterness. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice. A solid IPA that can be quaffed for a while.

 469 characters

Photo of ReDave
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange slightly amber color. Nice think creamy head. Seems to stick around too. Thick lacing down the side of the glass.

Faint hoppy IPA aroma, but like the guy before me said this is a HOP bomb!

I'd like to offer this as the most bitter beer I've every had. NICE!

Not so balanced [as many IPA's are not] a little thin on the malt.

A nice grapefruit aftertaste.

Over all a nice crisp "light" beer, with a hop-bomb blast!

I'm wondering how this might age, if the hop blast might tone down a bit, and mellow with age. As BevMo had several, I will be getting more of this bargain!

As I finish this beer the aroma becomes ever so slightly, a little more pronounced. Possibly from the hop wax coating on my tongue.

 736 characters

Photo of warmstorage
2.27/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle, Sunspot IPA 2006 Brewmasters Reserve, approx. $3.60 from Utah state wine store.

Overall impression: yet another disappointly ho-hum beer from Full Sail.

Pours slightly hazy medium bright orange into beer clean pint glass. Minimal head, gone almost immediately even after relatively vigorous pour.

Aroma hints at some hop bitterness, slightly sweet, fruity. Somewhat muted for an IPA.

Taste is pretty pedestrian for an IPA: some resiny and grassy hops, though not a lot. Hints at slightly stale/paper. A little vegetable: like bell peppers? Or slightly spicy peppers (think Anaheim or Poblano.) The hop bite isn't pleasant, even as much as I adore totally imbalanced, overhopped IPAs: it's sort of grassy and acrid.

Kind of like a slightly more bitter, grassy, coarse SNPA. That is, okay for a basic APA, but certainly not for a specialty west coast IPA. I don't mean to be rude, but I'm mystified by the reviews that found this a "hop bomb" and found aggressive hoppiness in it.

Highly carbonated, tingly mouth; slightly thick feeling remains in mouth.

I just don't get it: these folks are clearly capable of producing better beers, and they sell primarily in a market (the Pacific Northwest) which can tolerate and love more robust and interesting beers, especially assertive IPAs. And I really, really want to like them. Yet they keep sending out boring offerings, just good enough to cut it.

 1,439 characters

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

This is the 2006 version from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a slightly hazy orange hued lgith amber color with a nice 2 finger creamy head. Good lacings.

Aroma is very hoppy, fresh citrus and pine smells. Some maltyness but fairly hard to detect through the hops. This one goes down pretty bitter with a fairly light to medium body but a big dose of hops. Usually I pick up the maltyness on the front but this one is hops from front to back. Just a light fruity hint of malt on the tip of the tongue and a bit in the back. But most of the focus is hops. Nice puckering finish and a hop aftertaste that just keeps on giving. This one is for the hop head in all of us. Does tend to ruin the taste buds for a while so don't plan on having any delicate beers afterwards.

 763 characters

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.

 764 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10/30/05- Purchased at a specialty store in Missoula, MT.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Eddie McStiff's pint glass.

Appearance- Medium amber colored pour. 1/2 inch semi spritzy looking head. Leaves average lacing.

Smell- About the norm for an IPA. A bit of bitter hops and a touch of malt. Smells decent enough.

Taste- Wow! This is tasty. Powdered sugar, a touch of grapefruit and lemon, plus a woodsy taste to the hops. A really nice malt backing as well.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation level. Light sugar coating feeling.

Drinkability- Damn, wish I snagged a few more of these. Session IPA to be sure. Well rounded also.

 676 characters

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.

 976 characters

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.

 872 characters

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.

 979 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 630 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Sunspot IPA (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 42 ratings