Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) | Full Sail Brewing Company

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Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)
Very Good
57 Ratings
Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jletts on 02-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of Jonny_13
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of artoolemomo
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of vande
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2010 Brewmaster Reserve....

a - Black and calm, somewhat like a flat soda... Not a lot of carbonation left at this point... consistency reminds me of a pepsi as well...

s - light hints of roasted malt, slight coffee note... fairly faded at this point..

t - watered down coffee, bitter back, hints of faint dark chocolate

m - little thinner than I prefer, somewhat velvety and smooth...kind a clings to the palate..

o - a stout I probably should have drank a year ago... unfortunately, like a good song, some get lost in the shuffle...

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Photo of bluckbeyes
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of quantumcipher
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found some more notes in a pad that was about to get recycled...

FS Imperial Stout - Brewmaster Reserve 2008
22 oz. bottle to a standard pint (1 of 2 cellared)

A: Deep, rich and charcoal-toned, just shy of true blackness. Tall, long-lasting (1.5-2 finger) head, creamy and sandy tan. Sheeting lace in wide bands, just as creamy as the head. Great look here.

S: Good chocolate aroma with the slightest semi-sour twinge in the deepest recesses. Cocoa melds with a darker coffee, mild citrus hops.

T: Tang of dark chocolate and citric bitterness, somewhat acerbic and woody. Wet, brackish coffee grounds then a trace of bourbon spice and booziness. Some ripe cherry and assorted pit fruit for good measure - pretty complex and still, after 2 years, quite tasty.

M: Smooth, full bodied. Good carbonation prickle, has held up well. Lasting finish of bitter darknesss, can taste a good half hour later.

D: A very nice treat from the cellar after an awful few weeks. Surprised to say this could still mellow even more to iron out a little perceived harshness. All in all, very good - one I'm glad to be able to try again at some point.

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Photo of fear025
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Aroma:It smells like brownies, chocolate, coffee, a little smoke, and a hint of hot alcohol.

Appearance:Black with mocha colored head. Nice head, nice lacing.

Taste:Delicious. Coffee, dark chocolate, lots of dark malts.

Mouthfeel:Thick body, creamy, very low alcohol burn.

Drinkability:This is an excellent beer. Really smooth and pleasant with a couple of years age on it.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little reddish light peeks through the edges of the pour. Decent lacing along the sides of the glass. The khaki head disappears a little quicker than I'd like but hey!

S: Tons of chocolate and dark roasted malts come through with some dark fruits underneath. Smells delicious!

T: Initial onslaught of charred chocolate malt and cocoa powder, bitter espresso expressions, some cereal flavors which remind me of childhood bowls of Cocoa Pebbles, and lingering hoppy bitterness. The tangible residual sweetness gives this a slight dessert-like quality. (I poured some over vanilla bean ice cream after the review)

M: Moderate mouthfeel which is consistent with the 8% but this would have been amazing if thickened and bumped up to 10%.

D: Wonderful to drink, an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Boolshot for this 650 mL bomber.

A: The double stout is dark, maybe not doubly dark but dark enough. It's blackness offers no faults. A small head, at best a quarter finger, has little in the way of legs.

S: Chocolate and roasted grains leap right out of the glass. A raisiny, plum quad-like aroma follows on the heels of the burnt flavors. A Belgian-style stout perhaps?

T: The stout is sweet upfront before yielding to a rich, darkly roasted body. Chcolate, more cocoa than semi-sweet, drives the initial sip. Gone are the fruity aspects of the nose, instead what lingers is all roast all the time. Roasted flavors become more dominate as the ale warms, crowding out the other aspects. The charred flavors, very burnt, run a bit thin at times.

M: The mouthfeel runs all over the place, from weaker to stronger, often in the same sip. My last sip had a good dose of chocolate, so I'll make that my parting shot.

D: The stout feels much bigger than 8% (a stark contrast with Black Licorice Lager), making me want to take my time with it. For being two years old, it's done nicely.

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Photo of mentor
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells cherry, roast, dry baker's chocolate, burnt raisins. Some flat grassy hop character, similar to williamette. Mild clean alcohol sting.

In the taste; roast and burn predominate and help to keep things dry throughout. Sun-baked and stale nut, soured chocolate, mild vanilla, and some cherry. Earthy and woody dry. Little hop bitterness, but some grassy hop flavor. Comes across as Northern Brewer hops that lacks the blackberry component. Silky mouthfeel is nice, yet somehow thin. Modest carbonation fits the bill. Alcohol burn and edge is quite tame. Comes across as a strong version of a foreign stout.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with a finger of head and some decent lacing. Aroma is a fairly light mix of chocolate malts and citrus hops.

The flavor is dry cocoa and earthy hops up front, with a bit of a charred finish. Not a ton of depth, and there is a weird flavor present that I can't pinpoit that is a bit off-putting. But overall it isn't bad once you get past the flaws.

The body is a bit fuller than medium. Drinkability is average, this just didn't impress me enough to want another.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with sepia highlights around the edges; the frothy tan head leaves some lacing behind as it descends

Smell: Dark chocolate, some roast and a hint of plum

Taste: Very fruity, up front, with plum and grapefruit elements parrying with the dark chocolate; after the swallow, there is more chocolate flavor but the fruit persists

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little thin for the style

Drinkability: The fruit flavors don't really meld very well and the chocolate/roast is really understated for the style; enjoyable enough to drink but far from the top echelon

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MASPuros (IIRC). 22oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown black with a sparse tan head. Great aroma with lots of chocolate and some fruit. Full bodied, rich and smooth. Lots of malt as you would expect. I think whatever hops were there have faded, so the sweetness of the malt is a little more predominant. I got a lot of licorice in the flavor. Long dry finish of black patent malt. Also some coffee in the finish. I wish I would have tasted this a little fresher.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jake's in Steilacoom the other day.

the beer pours a blackish brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. On the nose this is basically text book IS, with the expected chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and maybe a hint of licorise. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, with the no more then moderate impy sweetness nicely countered by some hoppy bitterness in the finish. It gives the beer something of slightly dry, licorise finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full and the 8% alcohol is well disguised. The beer doesn't come across as very boozy, and drinkability is not bad.

This is a solid enough beer, but there are just too many other IS options out there these days, most of which are considerably better then this.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - On tap, into a pint glass

Appearance - An extremely dark black, with a dark, chocolatey brown foam head that slowly recedes.

Smell - Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee notes are dominant.

Taste - A rich, robust flavor. Hops keep the maltiness in check. Coffee and chocolate flavors are prevalent. Delicious!

Mouthfeel - Thick, creamy, and filling, this is the antithesis to light beer right here.

Drinkability - A rich, filling, satifsying beer. I couldn't see myself drinking more than 1 or 2 pints of this. The ABV is well hidden though.

Overall - Looking forward to drinking more of this, and giving more Imperial stouts a try!

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a luxurious deep black with overwhelmingly thick dark brown head that recedes slowly. Nose has a nougat-chocolate component that is very appetizing. On the palate it comes through with a very dark/bitter chocolate flavor, espresso maybe, and overall a lot of roasty flavors. This is the Reserve 2008 and I'm enjoying it Fall 2009, and apparently the hops have tamed, if they were there much at all. Mostly chocolately & roasty now.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glossy mahogany with slim... slimmer... slimmest sepia edges. The upper third of the pint glass is filled with an impressive chunk of mochaccino colored foam that looks to be going nowhere fast. Shotgun-blasted sheets of lace keep the appearance score on solid footing.

Other than being aromatic, double/Imperial stouts need to be rich and roasted malty. Full Sail Imperial Stout is exactly that. Chocolate/cocoa is much more prominent than coffee, with a mild-moderate background hoppiness. This should be pretty good beer.

Initial impressions include less malt than expected and more hops than expected. An ABV of 8.0% is edging toward the low end for beer of this style. Not surprisingly, IS (BR 2008) tastes and feels like it's on the lighter end as well. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

Bittersweet chocolate still leads the way, followed by dark caramel, a shot of black coffee and a hint of black licorice. Grapefruity and spruce-like U.S. hops contribute a fair amount of flavor. Their bitterness is obvious as well (still only moderate), probably because there aren't an abundance of malt sugars floating around.

The body/mouthfeel, while more than acceptable, is a fraction light for the style and the ABV. A noticeable thinning on the back end should not be present. The bubbles are soft and gentle, which helps.

Full Sail Imperial Stout Brewmaster Reserve 2008 is good, drinkable beer that doesn't even sniff great. All in all, I thought the Brewmaster Reserve 2007 Imperial Porter was a better effort. This one is still worth a look if you dig hoppy stouts. Don't wait too much longer to crack the cap because I have a feeling that it's all downhill from here.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle picked up back in December at Pizza Port's bottle shop in Carlsbad.

Pours a dark dark brown with some dark red edges in the light and 2 fingers of mocha tan head. Good retention and some decent lacing cling. Smells of raisins, chocolate, molasses, roasted malt, licorice, and fruit. Tastes of roasted malt, toffee, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, and cherries with a shoe leather and earthy hop finish. Medium-full in body with low carbonation. Smooth and thick, flavorful with a slightly astringent bitter finish at first, but mellows out as it warms. A good imperial stout, pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received from breity in a recent trade. Thanks so much!

Poured into my snifter a deep dark black. Very viscous and syrupy. Nice 1/2 inch tan head on top. Sticky lacing and webbing all over the glass edge. Smelles of currants, grapes, wine, coffee, and chocolate. Very nice.

Mouthfeel was syrupy and a tad oily. This one was a little thick and chewy. Not too bad. Flavors abounded with wallops of roasted cocoa beans, espresso, tangy grapes, and finishes sort of sweet like molasses. This is a really good brew that I'm honored to have had the pleasure of enjoying. With only being brewed once, if you get the chance, get it!

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an obsidian color. gorgeous creamed coffee colored head. mild retention rate. good lacing.

S: sweet roasted malts. toffee, chocolate, some berry aromas.

T: great roasted malt flavors. chocolate, mostly milk chocolate, light coffee . some lactos but delicious.

M: very smooth and creamy. rich and robust. perfect carbonation level. very mellow.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

03/15/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep black in color. About a 1/2 inch head upon pour. Creamy looking tight bubbled head. Leaves behind a few streaks of lace trails.

Smell- Smells of fresh malted barley. Dark chocolate and heavily almost smokey malt. Also a tiny bit of butterscotch.

Taste- This one is smokey and heavily roasted as the nose detected. Hops come in fairly large in the flavor with a sharp grapefruit flavor. Malt is dark chocolate and a times milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but also failrly well carbonated. Long lasting chocolate grapefruit malty-hopped taste.

Drinkability- Pretty damn good and nicely malted. Strong malted RIS fans will enjoy this one, especially for a low abv with good flavor.

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Photo of RedHaze
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MASPuros for the bottle.

Pours black with a thick mocha head that takes a good long time to fade to a thick cap. The lacing is thick, leaving a nice webbing behind.

Smell; milk chocolate, lactos, and a touch of some carmale malts dominate. There's no real hop presence in the nose, it's pretty much all malty goodness.

Taste; as with the nose, milk chocolate and adn little caramel lead the way. Some coffes and alittle dark fruits come through, with dates and some prunes. A fairly decent bitterness comes through in the finish, but I think this is more due to the roasted malts than any real hop presence.

Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied, with a fairly light carbonation with a good drinkability. Might be a little tame compared to a lot of other IRS's, but still really nice.

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Photo of ccrida
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I've cellared since it's release about 10 months ago, served in a nonic at 55F. Full Sail's Imperial Stout is pitch black with a dense, dark tan head that leaves pretty heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is rather sweet, rich, rather port like, a bit phenolic, unusual for an imperial stout, and not really my bag.

Taste is also rather sweet, there's just to much crystal or something in this brew for my taste, but it's countered with a hefty roastiness that lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, with a medium body.

Drinkability is ok, I really didn't love this one at first, but warmed up to it a bit more as I worked through and the roast coated my tongue, blocking the sweentess. The lower ABV, smooth mouthfeel and light body also all helped it's cause. I have another 2 of these in the cellar IIRC, but it doesn't really strike me as one that will age that well. Reminds me of Samuel Smith's, which isn't my favorite by any stretch. Still, I'm looking forward to the barrel aged version, if it's anything like the top sail!

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Photo of magictrokini
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, nearly opaque. Firm tan head about 1 cm high that lasts a good while. Rich coffee and dark chocolate aroma with burnt malt, leather, and red wine. Mellow taste. Chocolate, coffee, smoky malt, toffee, oak, and anise are prevalent. Everything seems to be at the same level, and kind of mutes each flavor instead of complimenting it. A good beer that could be better.

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Imperial Stout (Brewmaster Reserve 2008) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 57 ratings