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

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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 t0rin0
4/5  rDev +18%

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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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good, more like a hefeweizen, though with the hazy appearance and orangey amber color. Rather a fruity zing, and just a degree to the sourish side. The funniest nose of odd fruit I wish I could place. Old canteloupe, or green grapes. Hops seem to have gotten lost somewhere, but it has a hint of bitterness and a little woodiness. Quite a nice head and lovely lacing. I just think it's lost some funkiness and yeastiness.

This is the 2009 version, which was 8.2% ABV according to the label. Seems to me like another example of a beer that doesn't last well after a year or less. Still it's quite drinkable as an oddity.

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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 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 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 head...eh...

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 GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/21/07- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into an Anderson Valley tulip style glass.

Appearance- Fairly clear and a dark golden color. Small spritzy head that fades and non-existant lace.

Smell- Tons of confectioneirs sugar, corriander and citrus peel. You can smell this one across the room. Great scent.

Taste- Mirrors the aroma. Lots of goodness. Very assertive. Malty backing with a sharp hopped up finish. Sugar and corriander drive this beer. Has a small malt liquor taste as the alcohol is present.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation with a lite aftertaste. Some creaminess as well.

Drinkability- Besides the appearance, this brew really impressed me. One of the best american made belgian styles I've tried. Worth picking up for sure. Cheap as well...under $4.

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

Pours into a chalice a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, small fizzy white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, yeasty, grassy, spicy, and some caramel. The taste is mostly spicy, malty, and yeasty. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew at all, recommended.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. This is the 2009 offering.

Appearance: hazy golden color with one finger of white head. Quite nice.

Smell: yeasty and chalky with a little citrus toward the end. There is also a slightly off-putting quality; not exactly skunky, but somewhat unappetizing. Overall it's not bad, though not my favorite.

Taste: sweet malt with big orchard flavors. Alcohol is noticeable. A bit one-dimensional, but still quite nice.

Mouthfeel: medium body, but creamy and velvety like you wouldn't believe. I love it.

Drinkability: as I said, it's a bit one-dimensional; however, it is still quite tasty and quite drinkable despite the ABV.

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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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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 Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled February 7th, 2010
A solid, but not overly aggressive, pour into my 25cl tulip glas produces four fingers of pale tinged froth. The beer underneath is brilliantly clear and a rich gold hue that shines brightly when held up to the light. The aroma smells of ripe apples, pears, hay and cracker-like grain at the first. A deeper inspection of the nose yields melon notes, some honey-like muskat grape notes, a hint of orange zest, ample clove aromatics and more of a crushed grain husk dustiness in the deep finish.

Fairly dry tasting, though the fruity fermentation notes boost the sweetness that is here. Flavors of ripe pear, bright mellon, a hint of green apple, and some floral green grape notes are balanced in the finish by a light, but firm, bitterness, some spicy phenolic clove notes, a touch of spicy white ginger and maybe even a touch of white pepper. The body has a lightnes to it that makes it quaffable, but it does still have a certain viscous fullness to it.

This is not a bad interpretation of the style that is embodied by Duvel. I like that it has more fruitiness and spiciness than the standard. It does have more body and sweetness, but neither of these really detract. I wasn't expecting much from this beer for some reason, but I find that it is quite enjoyable.

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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 Bitterbill
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks, John!

Pours from 22oz bottle(2006 vintage) a hazy orange-gold with a large head of foam

The smell is all fruity and yeasty and spicy. I get sweet malt, sour apple, coriander and probably more.

The taste is very sweet and tart at the same time. The tartness is from the sour apple while the sweet is from candy sugar and they balance each other out pretty nicely. I'm also tasting some banana and some pepper after a few more sips and the alcohol is starting to become more noticeable...tastes stronger than the given 8.5%abv. Btw, I'm drinking it near room temp to get the most out of the flavours and well, it's pretty tasty but I find the finish is kind of bland and watery. Oh, and peppery. Man, there's a lot of that in here now that I've had a few more sips. The mouthfeel is light as is the carbo. I see some sediment at the bottom of the bottle so I'll save the rest of my comments until that's poured in my glass.

Ok, I'm sipping on the last of this Belgian Strong Ale and nothing's changed. I think it's decent but there are much better out there in the style. Still worthy of a try though.

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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 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 ArrogantB
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased for $3.50 at Davidson;s. I really like some of Full Sail's brewmaster reserve beers so I thought "why not?". I poured this into a Chimay chalice. It was a light yellow-orange with a small white head. It was a little cloudy. The smell was slightly medicinal. The taste was a little sour but also fruity. I tasted banana and bubblegum. the alcohol was not noticeable at all. Pretty decent beer but i have no idea how it does against other beers in the style.

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Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Brewmaster's Reserve, 22 oz. bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet. Vesuvius is a clear golden with a nice sized white head that quickly settled to a thick and long lingering, large bubbled collar with lots of skim and a fair amount of lace.

Smell is lots banana and some yeasty spice, with a tinge of metal, more hefe then BSPA, but quite nice. The booze comes out a bit as it warms.

Taste follows the nose, almost like an imperial hefe with belgian yeast, which is unusual but enjoyable. Also, there's plenty of peppery spice and enough phenols though to push it clearly into the Belgian side of the spectrum, particularly as it warms. The alcohol is rather assertive with moderate fusels. Finish is bitter and clean, where that metallic note in the nose surfaces slightly. Not the most complex, but well done and very tasty.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet sharp, although it rounds out as it warms. Average body for a BSPA.

Drinkability is rather high, as this is a tasty brew with no offending characteristics. Digestible and not over the top ABV-wise (for the style), I'm pleasantly surprised. I've had a fair number of Full Sail's offerings, in the bottle and at the Pilsner Room, and more often then not I'm not too impressed. I bought a few of these last month, read the reviews, which didn't seen favorable, and tossed em in the cellar stash. Some friends were raving about it last night, which prompted me to dig one out today, and I'm glad I did! Being one of the cheaper bombers on the shelf is a big plus when the brew is good, and is a factor in my scoring on drinkability - I'm not gonna pound a bunch of rare, $15 bombers! I think this was about $3.50 at New Seasons...

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

Sweet, light fruity with a little citrus (lemon), mild yeast, mild phenols and there seems to be some wheat qualities. I like it.
Slightly cloudy with a darker color of gold with reddish hues. Smallish head for style, but very persistent with constant bubbles rising to maintain the cap.
The flavor is a little less impressive. Malt flavors are a little flat and the overall flavor lacks a zestiness. Nonetheless, other aspects are good. Yeast is prominent with abundant alcohol taste. Very slight fruit with a tad of sugar sweetness. Ample bittering to cut the sugar and dampen the richness, but it also tends to dominate too much and while nicely contributing to the dryness of the finish it pushes astringent, which I don't want.
Heavy feel in gut as it seems really filling, but in bulk and carbonation - lacking a lightness I'd expect. This also takes away from drinkability adn I feel full quickly which decreases my desire to take the next sip.
Too bad as there are qualities I like in this beer and overall I like this brewery. This falls lower than the other beers I've had from Full Sail.

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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 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 buckyp
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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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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