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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 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 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 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 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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Photo of loren01
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a staw color, no head, no lace
S: Sweet, yeasty, peppery. Quite fragrant, and quite complex
T: Spicy, peppery tastes. Slight banana flavor as well
M: This beer looks like it would be pretty light bodied, but has a thick syrupy mouthfeel, at least more so than what the apperance gives off.
D: The apperance is little to be desired but everything else about this beer was pretty solid, would buy this again. Good beer.

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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 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 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 clickpush
4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage: kegged 8/24/06 (I believe).

Pour: draught to tulip glass. Pours an bright, slightly clowdy orange/gold brew with only a small blanket of thin white head that leaves a bare smattering of lacings behind. A few bubble trails stream along the sides of the glass.

Nose: Fruity and tart, this is the kind of smell that makes my mouth start watering from the very beginning. Hints of raspberry, candi malt, some brown sugar, and a hint of golden hops that bring to mind a field of dried wheat swaying in the wind.

Mouth: First thing - I love this mouthfeel. From the time it enters until the time I swallow, there's a consistent sharp bubbly feeling that does not extinguish as it moves deeper into the cavity of my mouth. The flavor is very similar to how it smells, sweet but puckering, tingling the sides of the tongue and cheeks with a tart sugar that is delicious. A lot of nut qualities, as well, combine with the fruit flavor of a leetchee nut. The alcohol flavor is very present but doesn't detract from the overall experience.

This is terrific! Very refreshing the for the amount of alcohol.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has been UN-retired and is available in 22 oz. bottles and on-tap, a 2006 seasonal release from Full Sail's Brewmaster Reserve series. Poured from bottle to a pint glass.

A: Deep golden-blonde with a bit of a coppery tint. Small white head which lingers just a little while, fades to film then disappears. Some lazy carbonation bubbling.

S: Zesty spices, bready malt, bits of banana and other fruit. Belgian yeasts are detectable. Traces of alcohol.

T: Tangy/tart citrus flavors meld with the spiciness detected in the smell. Moderate level of honey sweetness and dark fruit bite. Some syrupy cherry and crisp apples. Finish is pretty dry and a little peppery.

M: There's a surprising alcohol warmth to this beer after it's set awhile. For the most part, mouthfeel is slightly sharp/crisp. Medium body.

D: A good beer, easy to drink. Low IBU (20). I had this beer fo the first time at Oregon Brewers Festival 2006 and liked it alot then - I was happy to hear it would be released again. Will get more - it's one my wife likes, too.

 1,046 characters

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 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 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 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 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 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 intoxicating..ie malt liquor but pass if you are looking for a great belgian strong.

 626 characters

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 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 freed
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm a little concerned about my ability to judge this beer because even before I could try it, I read Red's review and my wife extolled it. Sure, they conflicted, but I was confused. Getting my wife to like something even remotely Belgian is a step in the right direction.

The pour is really a solid, saturated golden. Like dehydration looks. There is no head. Never. Just flat surface.

The aroma is hidden or absent or something. It's just got nothing except for maybe some of that dehydration.

The taste is pleasant. Bright, clean, and mildly fruity. It has a start to cider but stops before it gets obnoxious and "fresh." Like a well-behaved teenager.

Being slight in aroma, and with a smooth taste, it drinks well, but doesn't lend itself to that great "I can't wait for the next sip" character.

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