Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve) | Full Sail Brewing Company

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Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve)Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve)
70 Ratings
Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve)Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedDiamond on 09-09-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 66
Reviews by zeff80:
Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A - Poured out a clear golden/yellow color with a small, short-lived white head. It didn't leave any lacing -- maybe it was bad glassware.

S - It smelled of grains and some light malt. There was also a slight floral aroma.

T - It wasn't particularly flavorful. There was a little spice, a little dried fruit and a touch of caramel malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was quite drinkable. It didn't feel like an 8.5% ABV. It just didn't seem a flavorful as most of the style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one poured a glowing, very attractive if cloudy orange in color but the head was slim.

Smell – The nice, fresh Belgian yeast is here. There are a lot of fruity smells as well, like summer melons, peach, tangerine, and did I say melon?

Taste – The yeast and fruits are big and juicy here at the taste. The hops are very modest but noticeable. This lacks a big malt background but the enticing yeast more than makes up for it.

Mouthfeel – This is on the lighter side, I wouldn’t call it medium-bodied, with a dainty alcohol sting and mouth-watering sweetness from all the juicy sweets.

Drinkability – This was good enough if a bit off-style.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.06/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Full Sail.

A: Murky Yellow, think pomme, with no head.

N: Duvel meets Delirium meets Hennipen… Lots of wheat. Melons, apple, tangerines, and loads of Belgian yeast.

T: Green apple, wheat, melon, small amounts of barn yard, hints of pepper. Booze.

MF: Twangy, with biting carbonation like a fresh popped can of soda pop, light bodied with some sweet and sourness. Somewhat juicy.

D: Ok, there is some strength here so watch out.

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Photo of mattster
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opened 22 oz bomber labeled "Brewmaster Reserve 2007", poured into DFH snifter glass.

Head formation is very minimal: A light layer of vanilla colored bubbles atop a hazy amber brew that glows as the light hits it. Some lacing on sides of glass.

Smell is more malty than anything I had a brief whiff of apple. Taste is of brew is somewhat sedate. Nothing major. Its mostly malty, a little yeasty. But disappointing. I've had other Full Sail brews, and this one just doesn't cut it because of taste - or lack there of.

Bubble are faint on palate. Finish is smooth with no aftertaste.

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Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointingly average. I feel like I've said that about 80% of Full Sail's products. Clear gold, nearly no head. Musty malt aroma with fake-smelling yeast esters. Sweet, flat, malty, weak, banana, clove, alcohol, sugar, and culminates in... nothing. It tasted like a Belgian a macro would produce.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Full Sail Brewery lies at the foot of a volcano; naming the beer Vesuvius seems like tempting fate. But -- fortunately, perhaps -- the beer is scarcely explosive. It's a limpid, foamless golden ale with much of the charm of a Duvel-style golden ale, but none of the mystery. The aroma is of light, brassy malts; little hop or yeast complexity and only the faintest trace of pepper. The flavor is gratifying and clean, and the alcohol is well-tempered, but the beer fails to acheive liftoff. Mouthfeel is poor -- where's the buzzy foam? Drinkability is quite good, though; I found the beer went down with ease, despite my grumblings of its shortcomings. Paired just fine with a crusty baguette and this weird Catalonian cheese I picked up.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very crystal clear medium yellow with a small white head of tiny bubbles that melts to a faint ring rather quickly.

Aroma is very typical fruity belgium yeasts and very fresh. Just a touch of sweet candied malts in the aroma.

Taste is almost overpowered by the alcohol but the fruity Belgium notes fight to come through and what does appear is again, very fresh and clean tasting. Sugary sweetness follows alcohol warmth in the aftertaste.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber served cold into a Belgian style goblet.

Vesuvius has a very hazy, cloudy orange appearance with barely any head. I was expecting more of a big rocky-topped beer given the name and the style.

Aroma is slighly funky, a little sour, and a bit peppery. None of these characters really meld very well though. A little disappointing here too because those qualities can be outstanding in other examples. Not so much here.

Flavor is also kind of odd like something just didn't go quite right. The sour/funk comes through as in the aroma but now there is a decidedly lemony citrus flavor as well. None of the flavors are especially strong, nor off-puting, but they just don't work well together in this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with lower carbonation than usually found in this style. The balance of citrus, sweetness, and bitter is fairly good.

Overall not a bad beer, although my review sounds pretty negative. It comes across as an 'imperial wit.' That is a big strong wheat beer with a strong citrus character and a hint of funk. It's easy drinking considering the strength but it's definately an American take on the style: Belgian for the masses.

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Photo of cokes
2.61/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light hazy golden yellow bodied with a tight crop of white suds that lace and retain decently despite never rising far from the surface of the liquid.
Lemon rind aroma, with solvent-like fusel alcohol fumes, peppers, damp basements, white bread, and burnt clove phenols.
Doughy once it meets the tongue. Again in that non-descript white bread sense. It gradually gains a lemon drop sweet/sour personality. Yeast adds more wet dough, along with tendrils of chalk and pepper and phenolic plastics. Hops bring a quick herbality, but are then ripped down by a heated fusel alcohol jet. For 8.5%, this brings a outsized boozy whallop. And not in a good way. Then it lingers with continued lemon, biiter gin, and clay.
The relatively beefy body is thinned in part by the noted alcohol and also carries a better than average (for Americanized Belgian styles) carbonation. Tame the heat, and the feel would be spot-on. The flavor would still be off and pedestrian, though.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been officially un-retired and is now the late fall seasonal in John Harris's Brewmaster's Reserve Series from Full Sail. Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.
Body is a vibrant golden with a hint of orange, topped by a short-lived creamy white head that doesn't retain very well. Aroma of spicy Belgian yeast, sweet Euro malt, more than a whiff of alcohol, and a tinge of light, piney hops. Palate is sweet malt up front, with some confectioner's sugar evident in the mix. Becomes a bit dry mid-palate, where the hops come out briefly to say hello. A flourish of citrus comes about just before the swallow, yielding to a tangy, herby finish. Body is well-carbonated and a touch creamy, very nice for the style. Altogther, fairly easy to put one of these down. A good interpretation of a foreign style for Full Sail.

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Photo of nickd717
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos. Ramon, the beer guy there, recommended this highly. While I don't necessarily agree that it was that awesome, it is a bit underrated.

Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a quickly dissipating one-finger white head. After that, looks not too dissimilar from a white wine.

Aroma is sweet pale malt, Belgian yeast, banana, and spices.

Flavor is pale malt, table sugar, yeast, banana, coriander, herbal notes, and a little alcohol. A little sweet and underattenuated for the style, and just a tad boozy. Good though overall.

Body is medium-light and palate is rather still, but the long, sweet finish is pretty nice.

Drinkability is pretty good. Goes down easy.

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Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured bronze/peach with a 1/2" white head. No head retention or lacing

S: Intense sweet malt, honey & not much else

T: Oaky, slightly alcohol burn up front & caramel up front. Then dryness followed by a fruitty/peppery finish

MF: Chewy with low carbonation

A bit ponderous to drink, but approriate for the style, not one of my favorites from this brewery, but not one of my favorite styles

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Photo of morimech
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brewmaster Reserve 2009

After reading some of the older reviews by the top reviewers, I wonder if the brewer made some improvements to this beer. Not a spectacular example of the style but worth taking a look at this beer on the shelf.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a solid two inches of white head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Very little lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Nice aroma of pale malt with some fruity esters. Some alcohol is lurking in the background.

Taste: Dry and fruity. Notes of pear, cherries (weird in a pale ale), and some pepper and cloves. Alcohol flavor and warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation. I think this is an area that could be improved upon. Just does not pop in the mouth like Duvel.

Drinkability: A good American example of the style. It will not be mistaken for the great Belgian beers, but for what it is I would drink it again.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a small fizzy head that leaves no lacing.

Smells of some fruity esters and alcohol.

Tastes of apple, banana, clove, and some sugary sweetness. Too sweet and not enough of the spice. Alcohol is also predominant and does not add to anything. Very messy, some ideas are there, but not brought together well.

Mouthfeel is medium with an amount of cabronation that gives it isn't creamy enough. Would like to have seen a lot finer carbonation.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.47/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22 ounce bottle from Costa Mesa, Ca. BevMo in December 2007.

I actually read a few of the negative (or less than positive) reviews of this one before I tried it, and actually said to myself, "Oh, it can't be that bad!". Let's see--

Pours a medium, slightly hazy golden with a decent but small off-white head in my Piraat tulip. A steady stream of carbonation keeps a small cover alive. Decent beginning.

Aroma is Belgian-like mix of sugary sweet and yeasty I-can't-describe-it floral/herbal notes that aren't too different from others of the style, and hey, not bad.

Flavor- Youch! What happened? Overpowering juice of rotted limes (tart but just- well, wrong), alcohol burn, medicinal through and through. None of the pleasant aromatics are here. In fact, I can't think of anything pleasant here. I have forced myself to drink about half of the bomber, just to make sure I wasn't being overly critical. I'm not.

Not recommended.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage just picked up today at the COOP.... I would guess it was in the $4 range.. poured into my Delirium goblet as Brenda recently broke my favorite glass... might be time for a divorce.

Descent 2 finger pour... not much lace... but a pretty descent cap.. fairly clear honey orange.

Nose smells better than the last time I had it... I think. Good amount of spicy phenols remind me of pepper and maybe cardamom... the esters are pretty abundant too... pear and some lite apple... as it warms... a bit of a perfumy element blossoms...

Flavor has a bunch more esters... it sorta reminds of an apple cider spiked BSPA... for the most part it really just mirrors the nose with not alot going on... the carbonation is just right... so is the body.

I wish I had reviewed the previous batch, because I would have given it a pretty bad review... this is more dialed in for sure... I remember my last bottle being somewhat of a fusel bomb... this still has some hints of spicy alcohol.. but no where near as bad.

As this goes down and really warms up, I'm having a harder time with it.

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Photo of beerhandy
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber this brew pours a clear deep gold with a white head that fades in a instant.The aroma is breadlike nice subtle yeast notes but then goes to straight butterscotch as it warms.Duvel this is not more of a malt liquor with a belgian theme. I thought the high alcohol was hidden well but it was a little too clean in flavor .I got lots of malt and that butterscotch thing . Its as if they rushed
this brew and the yeast didnt have time to do its thing (add some complexity and complete its dicetyl rest).Its very drinkable and quite malt liquor but pass if you are looking for a great belgian strong.

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Photo of Gusler
4.01/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew decamps the 22 ounce bottle a somewhat hazy golden yellow with a modest and creamy bright white head, which wanes rather quickly leaving a thin veil of lace. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, hints of fruit, and citrus like, also banana tones, bread dough, a complex and appetizing nose to be sure. Start has a pleasing malt presence, sweet with fruit like sugars mild bitterness at the back, top feels light to moderate. Finish has a benign acidity, the hops mildly spicy in their bite, dry as a desert bone with the aftertaste hanging tough on the palate. This beer is another fine creation from one of my top five breweries of all time.

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Photo of Soilworker
2.16/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: 2009 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A: Cloudy golden yellow with a one finger thick yellow tinged head with moderate head retention.

S: Strong banana malts with hints of coriander dominate the nose on this one. A little on the musty/yeasty side and I can detect a little bit solvent aromas that are a bit off putting.

T: Solvent like aromas and the alcohol seems to be quite dominant this one. Quite unpleasant overall. All the flavors that I would expect to be prominent, like banana, spice, and yeast flavors, are merely undertones. Finish is a bit bitter with the lingering solvent-like flavors.

M: Slightly high carbonation and medium bodied overall.

D: This had way too many off-flavors for me. Bitter yet still slightly sweet with high solvent and alcohol like flavors. I'll struggle to get through this whole bomber.

Notes: Not a big fan of this one. Not very good for the style and too many off-putting flavors for me. Will not be buying this one again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear yellow to gold colored ale with very little head formation.

Smell is sweet and fruity with a lot of apple scent. Coriander is present. There is a slight tartness in the smell and a slight bitterness to the scent.

The taste starts out very light and a little sweet. Light amount candy sugar in the mouth and a reasonably strong bitterness. Light and flowery in the mouth but I really want more flavor. No hint that this is in fact quite high in alcohol.

Mouthfeel is OK.

The strongest point of this beer is that it is very easy to drink. Very lightly flavored this would be a good beer to try and convert a Bud drinker. Still though this really needs more taste.

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Photo of Reidrover
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this into a large brandy glass , as my chalice broke. Still its a nice enough looking ale .Clear golden orange in colour with loads of carbonation visible and a small pure white head. I really didnt "get" the aroma. It seemed a little one dimensional for a Belgian ale, mostlymalty with the faintest hints of pepper. In the taste I do get some hints of clove/spices/yeast but its still mainllymalts carrying this beer, unfortunatlly i found the alcohol taste VERY noticable at the end of the mouthfeel, almost like a malt liquor. Mouthfeel is average, nothing bad nothing good..I am afraid, for me this beer was a let down, it seemed to be striving to be a Belgian yet came across as a high end malt liquor..thoughafter about 30 minutes warming it did seem to improve and lose some of the pure alcohol taste. I think I might re-rate this one soon.

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Photo of Slats
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 22oz Weizen Glass

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, golden, yellow. The head starts off small and settles to a thin white covering that was gone about half way though my session.

Smell: Granny smith apples, bready malts and hints of spiciness in the nose.

Taste: Peppery spice at first with some orange peel citrus flavors. As it warms in the mouth the apple flavors and chewy, bready malts move to the front. Then end of the glass reveals more banana like flavors.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Little bit of tingle from the alcohol but not tiresome at all. This beer was perfect for sipping while I watch the US Grand Prix.

Decent beer and something I will keep on hand when I need a lazy sipper

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Photo of vkv822
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into pint glass.

Slightly cloudy yellowy and golden with strong and constant carbonation and a thin, short lasting white head. Smells of alcohol and perhaps spice or fruit. It tastes about the same. . alcohol with the fruit and spice hints forming into almost a cider after note. Nice medium body with a good bit of carbonation. A fairly drinkable beer, although slow going, probably due to having more of an alcohol presence then expected.

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Photo of KeefD
2.66/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 Vinatge, 22oz bomber. Poured a lovely golden color with some light, bubble foam that settled into a thin cap, lots of carbonation bubbles coming up from this one, as it's in my Duvel Tulip. I got this at Dennis Brothers liquor, a reputable liquor store, so I'm hoping this is aged in a semi-OK fashion. Notes of honey, faint citrus, sugar, and clear rum booze in the aroma. Not much in the way of hops, but a slight detection is noticed. Very dry flavor, lemony, slightly tart and bitter. Really not much in the way of flavor, maybe it's just too old. Crisp, and extremely dry on the finish, plenty of carbonation. Maybe the yeast sediment in the bottle completely devoured all the sugars. I'm not sure about this, could just be too old and not cellared properly. High ABV can be felt still , despite the age - it hasn't mellowed at all. It has potential, but needs some sweetness to balance it out some more.

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Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Based on the reviews I've seen for this beer, I'd have to conclude that it's much better on tap then it is out of the bottle.

The beer pours a solid gold color with fair head and decent lacing. The nose is very impressive in this beer, showing honey, butter, cherry and spice. While for the most part the flavors on the palate replicate nose, I would agree this beer smells better then it tastes. The beer is also not the least bit heavy, with enough underlying hoppy bitterness to counter the sweetness in this Belgian style beer. The beer is actually a bit light on the finish and is pretty drinkable.

All and all, this is a very solid beer from Full Sail.

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Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 70 ratings