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

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

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 66
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 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 Crosling
2.54/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Harsh alcohol, banana, clove, nail polish and lemon in the aroma, although it is subtle. Tangerine color with poor head retention. Sour lemon flavor, with very little body or other character. Harsh, hot, alcohol-driven. Please beware. Unbalanced, very poor yeast character. I did love the Bourbon Black Gold though.

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.55/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Starts with a nice dry Belgian nose and eclipsed white head on a 24-carat gold body with sparkling effervescence. But the beer tires quickly. The head, aroma, and carbonation vanish and no Belgian lace materializes. Instead, a sharp, annoying flavor protrudes that captures the core structure of a Belgian golden ale, but not the mojo, and the smell breaks down into harsh phenols.

Vesuvius’ potential for mellowing is restrained by a bothersome absence of bottle conditioning. Its harsh candi-sugar contours remain unconverted and the body pays the price with inadequate carbonation. And what’s with the Italian name on a Belgian-style ale?

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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 feloniousmonk
2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Full Sail Vesuvius, Belgian Golden Ale
22 oz., Brewmaster Reserve 2007, 8.5%

Lightly hazed, golden color, soon-gone

Was it called "Vesuvius" due to some volcanic explosion of flavor? An enormous, overflowing head? So far, one strike against it, let's hope for the best...

Spicy nose, minor fruity notes, sweet and sugary.

Big, fizzy carbonation...large lemon flavor, sugar sweet, then slightly sour...I'm not liking it, not by much.

Resembles the style some, but lacks a lot. Like a pleasing flavor. More I drink, the more I hate it. Feels like a sugary, fizzy malt liquor. Yuck!

End of discussion. Sorry, can't say anything else.

Also sorry I spent $5 on this. Win some, lose some.

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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 younger35
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a big stein glass. This is the 2006 Brewmasters reserve poured from 22oz bottle.

Appearance- Pours a very nice pale orangeish yellow. Thousands of tiny bubbles permeate throughout the brew. Forms a nice clean white head that dissipates rater quickly but leaves behind a nice thick collar. Some lacing is present.
Smell- Has that very distinctive Belgium yeast mustiness to it with light hints of banana esters. Gentle sweet spiciness of clove enhances the soft doughy malt. Has a almost sour pepperyness to it.
Taste- Has a very sour, citrusy start that really tingles the front of the tongue. Not what I was really expecting, or hoping for. Slight banana/pear Hef like flavors are detectable beneath the sourness. Spices of sort are observed but overshadowed by the citrus blast. It’s almost as if a lemon was squeezed in this beer. Finishes with strong alcohol warming leaving a dry, almost puckering feeling.
Mouthfeel- The carbonation is spot on and nice for the beer. To much alcohol warming and a citrus bitterness make this not so nice on the palate.
Drinkability- Although my experience with Belgium’s is still young, I know that this isn’t the best example. Too much unbalance and weird flavors that don’t compliment well. The first so-so beer I’ve had from a great brewery.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lucent orangish amber with sunshine yellow edges. The cap is pale manila in color and doesn't look all that wonderful, certainly nowhere close to a true BSPA. The foam lid is loose-bubbled, nearly featureless as it falls and deposits no more than a smattering of sudsy lace. I don't know if the brewers have captured the spirit of Belgium in terms of flavor, but they certainly haven't in terms of looks.

The nose isn't really to style either. For one thing, it's woefully underpowered. For another, it smells more like A BSHW (Belgian Strong Hefe Weizen) than the intended style. With aromas of clove, banana and alcohol, what else am I to conclude? Doesn't much matter though since I can barely appreciate it.

One sip is all it takes to tell me that Vesuvius is not good beer. It's a muddled mess of a BSPA if it's one at all. My best guess is that this bottle (a one-off thankfully) is approximately one year old. It's hard for me to imagine what it might have tasted like right out of the hopper because fusel alcohol, even at this relatively late date, is still the dominant member of the flavor profile.

It's hard to know where to begin since I'm having a hell of a time getting a bead on what is an especially whacked-out constellation of flavors that don't come close to adding up to anything worthwhile. Unsweet pale malt dances uneasily with fermented fruit (bananas, pears) and grain alcohol. Yummy. A dash of peppery spiciness tries to add a touch of Belgian yeast authenticity... and fails miserably.

Despite the above two paragraphs, Vesuvius isn't so nasty as to be undrinkable. It's just that it's such a complete failure as a BSPA, or any other style, that it's hard to believe this is the same brewery who blew me away with Wreck The Halls IPA and Equinox ESB. I'll finish the bomber, but it's gonna be slow going.

The body/mouthfeel would get run out of Belgium on a rail (or laughed out). It's firm, as most high ABV beer is, but there's no sense of fullness or volume in the mouth. More carbonation would help, but the problem goes much deeper than that. Did these guys actually drink this beer prior to releasing it under the Brewmaster Reserve moniker?

Plainly and simply, this beer is a failure. Full Sail, as far as I know, has never been known for their skill in brewing classically Belgian styles. After having reluctantly entered the final third of this bomber of Vesuvius, I'd ask that they either do their homework next time or stick to the chock-full-of-NW-hops beer that they're known for and that they do so well.

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Photo of czechsaaz
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very yeasty aroma. Some sulferous aroma too. Some malt comes through but it's mostly fermentation funk.

Deep Gold/Light Amber. Clear with a small and quick fading head.

Initial flavor is sugary. Like belgian candi sugar. Very little hop bitterness and no flavor. There's not a lot of fermentation flavor, just mostly residual malt. Some very light fruitiness and a little bit of spice.

Body is medium, carbonation a little light.

Don't really know about this one. Lacks any kind of complexity of a good belgian beer. Kind of one-dimensional.

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Photo of warmstorage
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006, 22 ounce bottle, poured into Chimay goblet at cellar temp.

Bright copper bordering on orange. Pours with little head, and zero head remains. (A significant flaw, imo.) Noticeable carbonation bubbling up. A little viscous; no lacing left on glass sides.

Aroma includes candy sweetness, and slightly ripe yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is bright and springhtly, distinct carbonation is notable, and a moderate to notable alcohol warmth.

Taste is fruity, sweet, tangy, with low hop presence: slightly spicy hops, noble hinted, like Styrian Goldings and Saaz? A distinct Belgian yeast strain note, but a little muted for the style (which I take to be a golden strong ale.) It feels a little like a Saison, minus the farmhouse funk. A few hints of sweetish bubblegum, not necessarily in a bad way. The lingering taste/aftertaste is of gum, or mild fruit punch. As it warms, a slightly smoky hint comes out in the body.

It's reasonably drinkable, with few blatant flaws, yet is fairly underwhelming. I'd pick up a bottle now and again to see how it ages, or if other choices were things like SNPA and sam, but definitely wouldn't go out of my way.

Overall, I'm disappointed, though I try hard not to be, since I like Full Sail's politics (being employee owned) and apparently willingness to experiment. I just think they are capable of much more. As with Old Boardhead, which is a solid if unremarkable beer, they seem to skimp a little on grain bill and depth, perhaps to be able to turn out larger volumes and keep up with distribution.

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Photo of ballenc
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow - initial head of tight foams that disappears too quickly - leaves zero lace Some effervescent carbonation noticeable.

Nose has a forward sweet malt aroma with strong yeast accents as well. Some peppery and citrusy aromas but quite limited.

Definite Belgian yeast at the front end - again with the pepper and spice flavors. The strong yeast tones mellow out but leave nothing interesting to note.

Rather thin and dry. A bit fizzy on the tongue but clean.

Can't see myself drinking more than one of these. A bit disappointing as I'm usually impressed with Full Sail beers. Not on the par with most of their regular beers and not even their Son of Spot ale.

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Photo of beertunes
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass. Poured the expected slightly hazy golden-yellow of the style. The beer had the typical fluffy white head, but it dissipated far too quickly and left no lacing.

The aroma was the typical yeasty spice scent of the style. The flavors were also what one expects to find with this type of beer. A solid malt base supporting the spicy yeast and a slight hop tang on the finish.

The body was a little thinner than is usual for the style, less full and rounded. Drinkability was good, but not great. Overall, an average version of the style. Worth a try. Perhaps this would be a good introduction to the style since it's not an overly bold example.

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Photo of idResponse
2.95/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brewmaster Reserve 2006

A belgian ale made in america.

Nice try guys, but you should think about devoting your life to being a monk before calling yourselves good at making belgian ale. or something...

it looks okay, looks like a belgian, but doesn't produce much froth at all. it smells kind of belgian, but a little more sour with few characteristics to tell it apart from any other belgian ale. it tastes a little like a belgian only weak in the flavor department with nothing i can say is remarkable. its mouthfeel is unremarkable and stagnant. it's drinkable, not like this is a nasty brew or anything, but it certainly isn't an award winner.

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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 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 BradLikesBrew
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy muddy gold body, thin white head. Yeasty spice and fruity esters on the nose. The flavors are fruity, maybe some dried apricot, then some yeasty spice, pepper, pears, apple cider and a dry finish. Good though not particularly complex. Like a cheap, knockoff of Duvel. $3.99 well spent, but you do get what you pay for...

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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 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 rowew
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, ABV but no date info.

Appearance: Clear golden with just a bit of orange, thin head fades very quickly, leaving almost no lacing, just a bit of bubbling.

Smell: Spicy phenols, a bit of yeast - some nice peppery spice in there. Also some sweetness, smells a bit like candi sugar.

Taste: A bit bitter in the finish, but not from hops - I'm not sure what it is. Starts off malty sweet, middle has some of the nice yeast flavors and the pepper.

Overall impression: Not bad, but a bit muddled. Nothing outstanding here, but it is an interesting offering.

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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 Bighuge
3.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy but bright lemon yellow tone. Fizzy white head fizzes away quickly and leave little lace. This kind of smells like a hefe. Lemony and spicy. And a little banana as well. And a little bit doughy as well. The flavor throws out a doughball of a malt base. Sweet like cookie dough. Some acidity as well. Lemon and spice. Dry finish and a little peppery. Kind of a weird flavor profile. Doesn't do a lot for me. Light-medium body and light spritzy carbonation. Alcohol is subtle. Average in every aspect.

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Photo of surlyseth
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a huge fan of Full Sail in general, but this is a "Brewmaster Reserve 2007" so what the hey...

A: Pale, hazy, yellow-gold with a medium sized, fizzy head. Little to no lacing.
S: Not much doing for a Belgian. Kind of sweet, with citrus and banana popping out.
T&M: Pretty nice. Hefe-like. Light, bright, sweet and fizzy! A bit of a let down on the finish, though.
D: I could drink the bejeezus out of this one on a Summer Saturday afternoon BBQ (as opposed to Sunday due to its ABV).

I dig it, but not that much.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Where did the volcano from Italy come from? Pours a mostly cloudy golden yellow color with a light sunny hue. A fizzy white head that had good retention and lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose is a bit limited. Some malty notes with a light Belgian aroma to it. Some base malt with a generic sweetness but a light biscuit aroma with hints of Belgian pale malt. Some minor yeast character but very limited for a Belgian beer. Would have liked to see more esters and phenolics. A light honey aroma as it warms.

The taste is similar, not very distinct in the Belgian department. The malt comes out nicely with a light sweetness that doesn't over balance and leaves a nice drier finish. Some bready and biscuit notes. A light nutty flavor that reminds me of Victory malt, but light. The esters come out more versus the nose but overall limited. Some winey notes with a white grape flavor. Some pears and apples as well. Some light pepper notes in the finish mixes with a herbal note. Some fusel notes but not over the top.

The body starts off moderate but leaves a good drier finish. Carbonation is a bit low, especially considering style. Some warming from the alcohol. Overall some good quality in the body but the taste is limited. Would like more Belgian malt and yeast notes overall.

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Photo of alexgash
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright golden body with yellow edges and a finger of dense, foamy, egg-shell white head. Nose is full of rich, musky honey, biscuits, candy sugar, and yeasty sea air hops. Taste starts with toasted, slightly grainy malts that quickly get sweet with honey, fruit cocktail and pears. Vodka-ish alcohol is too noticeable throughout. Doesn't mesh or blend at all with the malt. Herbal hop bitterness in the mostly sweet finish. Light to moderate body is too watery and thin for this beer, especially with the overly strong alcohol. Needs a little work.

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Vesuvius (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 70 ratings
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