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

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Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
Very Good
112 Ratings
Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed & released every other year

First Release - March 2009
Second Release - March 2011
Third Release - 2012

Added by djeucalyptus on 03-11-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 78
Reviews by Buebie:
Photo of Buebie
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bomber into an oversized snifter. Produces about an inch of brown froth that settles somwhat quickly to leave a generous cap of retention. color is black, no light penetration. Aroma cold is lacking stregth. oats and chocolate grain are what come to mind for aroma.
bitter chocolate grain flavors, a small chalky flavor, which I guess to be hops, that turns a little aspirin like. oats again, and a very creamy thick texture with medium carbonation.
A solid contender for the style, but somthing I would seek out,

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a imperial nonic a near jet black with a thinner but well sustained off white head,aromas were a bunsh of different things,bitter chocolate,dark fruit,and dark roast coffee dominate,all come together really well.The palate is even more complex in my mind than the aromas,heavy roast and dark fruit hit up front with big earthy tones wich is more like a left coast style porter,the finish has lingering tobacco and sweet alcohol.Complex and big,it was a joy to drink.

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Photo of warnerry
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 release.

A - Pours black with one finger of off-white head. Head doesn't last long and leaves very little lacing.

S - Big chocolate aroma with some burnt grain, roasted malt, faint caramel aroma.

T - Taste starts off with bitter chocolate and deep roasted malts. A slight tart taste. Some faint milk chocolate and some coffee on the finish. Some lingering bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is too thin, but has a nice dry bitter finish.

O - A good porter, but probably not something I would get again given the other available options.

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Photo of megamass
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Consumer Beverages in Buffalo. Shared with my wife on a cool sunny late-summer's day.

Poured into a Duvel goblet. Pitch black, with only the slightest caramel round the edges. Tan head, survives as a thick ring. Some spots of lacing.

The nose is far sweeter than the taste, boasting notes of dark coffee, chocolate, caramel, smoke, burned marshmallow (my favorite), and a touch of earthy-woodsyness.

A bitter brew, this porter certainly leans on the roasted malt and smoke end of the porter spectrum. Dry coffee bitterness up front (pushing in to espresso territory), a mild sweetness reprieve, before finishing long and smoky once again. No chance to find any alcohol here - the bitterness as seen to that...

Holy lingering bitterness, Batman! (I see it, Robin.)

Medium bodied, needs a bit more body to really shine, but the amount of carbonation is just right.

Robust, hearty, bitter and smoky, Full Sail Imperial Porter is a fine brew for a fall afternoon. Would pair really well with a slightly sweeter chocolate dessert, allowing the coffee-smokiness to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, ultra dark, pretty damn close to black, tan head, 1" in depth, stuck around awhile. Major roastiness comes through in the aroma.

Substantial malt presence, good amount of chocolate malt, heavy roast on the 2 row, burnt caramel and toffee, average bitterness, average metallic mouthfeel to a decently bitter, hoppy porter that doesn't have lots of chocolate or coffee to cover it up. Even a little nutty.

I like the price of these, glad they started making it again, it was always good.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Consumed blind.

A: Pours a dark brown color with about a finger of mocha colored head made up of rather fine bubbles. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Some bitter and dark chocolate, a little bit of vanilla, and some slightly roasted malt.

T: More chocolate as well as some caramel. A little bit of roast/coffee in the middle, but overall not a ton going on.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: An average porter, nothing wrong with it, but doesn't stand out.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Brewmaster Reserve
Pours a dark chocolate color but black in the glass up to the light. Nice solid foamy khaki head with ok retention and nice lacing.

Notes of dark chocolate, a touch of caramel and a hint of bourbon on the nose. Standard.

Slightly sweet roasted malt up front transitioning to bitter chocolate. Not as much flavor depth as anticipated. And I don't really see there being much complexity with age.

Mouthfeel is full bodied yet very smooth and creamy. Nice, with good carbonation.

Overall I'd say I had slightly higher hopes for this beer, but that doesn't mean it's not good. I just expect a little more complexity from a "brewmaster reserve." Maybe the generous price tag of $3.79 is an indication? But at that price, and being a "good" beer it's a no brained to forget about a few in the cellar and try again in the future.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of different entries for this one but this seemed like the most accurate for the bottle I have in front of me.

Pours into my New Belgium globe with very dark brown body that looks almost black in the glass. Thick creamy tan head tops the beer and looks stable enough to stick around for the duration.

Aroma is mostly malty with a woodsy roasted quality.

Flavor is big and full of toasted malt. There is a subtle vinous flavor and feel to it where a bit of tannic dryness hits in the back of the cheeks. It starts a little sweet but the bitterness from the dark malts and earthy hops make it a well-balanced strong porter.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus body and a bit heavy on the carbonation for the style. I prefer my stouts and porters to be more cask-like in the way it feels on the mouth: smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is good because it's balanced and smooth but maybe a bit overly dry and overly carbonated. That's all that is holding this one back.

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Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second Release. March 2011. Bomber into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: Pretty damn black and opaque, with a nice mocha-colored head of darkness shrouding the top of the glass, and decent lacing and drops of retention.

Smell: Big chocolate malt and acrid coffee aromas, along with some sweet chocolate, and heavily charred wood and malt.

Taste: This is charred and hopped pretty heavily, seemingly, so don't expect a bomb of sweetness. Balance is nice with everything, but this has, thankfully, more bite than I thought it would. Finishes on the dry side, with lingering char, some smoke, and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel: A nice balanced consistency, with a little creaminess, but it's not overly thick or cloying.

Drinkability: I was pretty happy with this brew. I wonder if cellaring would take some of the char and hop edge off, but to me that's what kind of makes it to a certain degree. And the QPR, at around $4 or $5, is pretty damn good also. Wish I would've snagged another one, so hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do so.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black currant, dark red, and a dusting of brown in the pour. From a distance, its as black as can be in the glass. Head was brown sugar in color with mountainous chunky craters. I was able to admire the frothy mountain for some time as retention was well above average. Lacing gummed up most the rim and upper 1/3 of the glass. Looks like a hearty porter so far

S: it begins with darkness: "large and in charge" roasted malts, a medium roast of coffee, and sweet blackstrap molasses. From there I smell a whiff of hoppy grassy greens

T: starts with a blast of hearty roasted malts with dark chocolate and a black cup of coffee. No more than a second later the little green nuggets make a showing and wash the mouth gently with a delicate spiced floral grassy goodness. Then the mouth starts to really process bakers chocolate with fire roasted coffee beans and smokey malts. The finish gets a bit astringent, but never alright balance of the flavors on the palate.
I am starting to wonder after half a glass if the bitterness, what I thought as hops initially, are more from the dark blackened (almost charred) malts as I continue to sip. Hops seem to have disappeared from the tongue as a result. Dark flavors are on a stiff teeter-totter and don't move much

M: all around a good feel for a porter that is more slick than anything. Body is mild to medium, or somewhere in between. I found myself taking gulps more than sips, so I guess that says something? Starting to get a bit withered/astringent on the back of the tongue as it warms

D: a solid porter with marks for a good sipper beer. Very dark and roasted flavors, good showing. This should find its way back in my fridge

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Photo of Kegatron
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DOCRW
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DCgolfpro
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of bum732
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

S: Roasty dryness, slight dark fruit component.

L: DArk black, light tan head that dissipates, solid lacing.

T: Roasty dry malt, semi-sweet coffee leading to medium-high bitterness. Earthy bitterness, quite pungent. Roasty almost, ashy finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Ok effort, very one noted, a lot of roastiness and that's about it.

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Photo of CapitalGains
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Refrigerated 2011 reserve series 22 oz. bomber poured into a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald pint glass.

A: Pours a very deep brown, almost entirely black mass of liquid, minimal lacing that fades quickly with a caramel color. Very little carbonation.

S: Mixture of sweet and roasty malts. Prominent hints of chocolate and perhaps a bit of coffee. Smell overall seemed lacking.

T: Toffee, bitter chocolate (not too bitter), and again a mix of sweet and roasty malts. Notes of coffee and brown sugar are present but not not eminent.

M: Thin mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Goes down easier than anticipated.

O: A decent porter but there are better year-round porters on the market. To me nothing made this stand out to the point where I would buy it over something like Black Butte, Edmund Fitz, etc. Although at $4-5 for a bomber it's a good value. I think the pre-fix "Imperial" is a bit misleading in this beer.

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Photo of Bung
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Quite a dark brown/black pour. A little brown fuzz on top. Roast coffee, malt and cocoa aromas. Solid medium body and pretty lively carbonation. Great classic porter flavors. Chocolate and cocoa with roasted malt and some espresso. Drinkable, no alcohol presence at all. A little old mocha coffee drink finish. Pleasantly surprised by this one. Maybe just a bit too bubbly. Most features improve as this one warms, including the bubbly mouthfeel. Not as good as the Olfabrikken I had a few weeks back, but really quite good. Especially for the price, worth seeking out a few.

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Photo of fivetime
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Docer
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a nice new bomber at Fred Meyer.. (Wow, they have a lot of them).

- Nice rich black color.. couldn't see through it if I tried. Can see a nice roasted malt color around the rim of my bomber glass. Minimal head as I poured it at a 45 deg. angle into my tumbler glass. Nice light lacing.

- Smell is of roasted chocolate malt, bitter hopping agent, and sour alcohol.

- Very smooth, roasted chocolate, cream, crisp water.. and sweet... but not syrupy sweet, and very light. Masks any taste of alcohol whatsoever.

- Very pleasant mouthfeel.. little chewy, roasted nut and chocolate aftertaste.. not too dry at all. Would go great with some smoked sturgeon.

- Very drinkable.. smooth, light, and refreshing... but with a very balanced flavor.

I'm not a porter drinker by any means... and if you ask me the difference between a porter and stout... I haven't the slightest other than treating malt and roasting it as if it were chocolate.. and implementing coffee etc... otherwise they are both the same for me. Call me an idiot.. but I am a west coast hop bum. Nice to try this though, as I always have to have what Full Sail brings every 10 weeks.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to rageagainst123 for this bottle!!

A - Pours black, with a nice viscosity. The head was a dark tan color, 2-3 fingers, very fluffy and creamy. Left nice creamy lacing and streaking.

S - A good bit of chocolate on the nose...dark, roasty chocolate and roasted malts. Hints of sweetness and brown sugar. Slightly toasty. Not a hugely potent aroma, but it's very nice.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, nice subtle coffee notes, and hefty bits of roastiness. Slight caramel and toffee.

M - Bit thinner mouthfeel than it seemed it would be. More medium bodied, with a decent carbonation. Lightly creamy.

O - Drinkability is pretty good; the bomber will be cake. It's a solid Imperial Porter, but 1's a good enough treat though.

Thanks for this Ryan!

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Photo of pgofman
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a brilliant dark brown, near black in the glass, with violet and garnet highlights at the edges. A vigorous pour into a goblet yields a billowing three-finger mocha-colored head that has stunning retention and leaves behind even more impressive lacing down to the bottom of the glass. Looks beautiful.

aroma is full of complex scents that blend together into an oddly unified simplistic sort of way. Molasses, figs, cocoa, milk chocolate, coffee beans. Smells deliciously rich... dessert-like.

taste is an explosion of evolving flavor, highlighted by a healthy dose of roastedness and an equally (if not more) powerful hopping. heavy roasted malt followed by clean bitter hops... the line between roasted bitterness and hop bitterness begins to blur. Just when the hops and bitter begin to overwhelm, cocoa, bittersweet chocolate and coffee come to the rescue to round it out and add a uniquely bittersweet richness.

mouthfeel is a bit thin, although carbonation tries to inflate and succeeds in producing a bit of creaminess. Thin, a bit watery, a touch slick, but a pleasant roasted bitterness lingers, and the carbonation is almost soothing. "Imperial Porters" always confuse me as far as mouthfeel goes, but this one pulls it all together fairly well and makes it easily quaffable.

The glass is empty, the bottle is empty, and I'm happy. Goes down smooth, easy drinking for 7.5%, and all around enjoyable. everything is strong but not overwhelming. The alcohol shows up and warms here and there, but blends in nicely as far as flavor goes, keeping everything together and happy. Definitely one of the better (if not best) Imperial Porters I've had the pleasure of consuming.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Light proof black colored beer with a small brown colored head.

Smells of chocolate and coffee with some vanilla and toffee candy. Slight bread pudding scent.

Starts out smooth chocolate and patent malt. Little bit sweet but the patent malt is a little strong for chocolate to come out. Really this tastes like regular Guinness turned up a notch. There is a slight berry flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

Easy to drink but frankly this is a bit boring. Almost the same as Guinness stout.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a skim of a dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. What head there was is quickly gone, with leggy sticky lacing. Aroma is deep rich sweetness.

Taste with same maltiness seen in the nose, then powdered chocolate in the middle, and comes on with a slight bitter to close. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Nice brew.

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Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 112 ratings