Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
Full Sail Brewing Company

Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Porter
3.87 | pDev: 9.82%
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
Notes: Brewed & released every other year

First Release - March 2009
Second Release - March 2011
Third Release - 2012
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 112
Reviews by Bung:
Photo of Bung
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 582 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with a large tan head that sticks lots of sticky lace to the glass all the way down. Smells of chocolate syrup and a touch of alcohol right off. Some roast and toffee peak through as she warms. Taste is chocolaty up front followed by a roasty alcohol bit followed by a coffee roasty finish. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, body is medium to thick, carbonation is light to medium. Not a horribly complex beer, but certainly a very tasty one. I really enjoyed this one on a hot June evening.

 510 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 962 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of colts9016
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A two finger foamy frothy head that has good retention. The head is medium brown color and has some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a dark mahogany to a dark brown. The clarity of the beer is opaque with some bubbles.

Nose: A dark roasted malt with caramel toasty, bready aroma. The alcohol is there but not overpowering. There is oak, pine, subtle fruity esters and lastly there is some solvent and phenol compounds.

Taste: A very deep dark roasted flavor. The flavors are toasty, caramel, biscuit, bread, hint of vanilla, pine, and floral notes. Other flavors are solvents, a burnt character, phenols, and a slight molasses note.

Mouth-feel: The mouthfeel is dry, carbonated, coating, and astringent.

Overall: the body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. The beer has very complex roasted notes. It is a very good example of a porter with several different flavor profiles. It is a really good porter. It had good head and is easy to drink.

 1,046 characters

Photo of rebelthrower
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, almost 100% black, but has a slight hint of red along the edges. Very small head, mocha/tan in color. Disapears quickly with little to no lacing.

S - Scent of chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Start with chocolate and dark roasted malts. finishes with a hint of coffee

M - Smooth with medium carbonation and medium body. A bit creamy and chewy.

D - Pretty good beer and very good price.

 406 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a dark porter with a reasonable head. rather earthy and bitter but very one dimensional palate wise. the taste was good but the body seems a bit thin giving the beer an acuteness. taste of grounds and tobacco earth. not too deep in flavor. not particularly sweet. somewhat bitter finish.

 287 characters

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is from the 2009 release.

A- Nice and dark black, with a dark frothy foamy tan head. Very chunky and clingy lacing too.

S- Smells very chocolaty with a hint of coffee. A nice roasted/burnt smell is there too.

T- The roasted/burntness is a weak smell for the huge robust taste it packs. This is very roasty, almost like there is burnt black coffee added. To spice things up a chocolate coated straw was swizzled though this to give it a slight sweet chocolate taste.

M- Good mouthfeel, nice and thick, yet smooth and well balanced with carbination.

D- Very easy to drink, not too heavy on the stomach either.

 620 characters

Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from Fred Meyer Hollywood PDX, shared with neighborhood beer buddy, 9.16.11.

One finger brown head small bubbles, fairly quick dissipation with some lacing evident. Dark brown opaque body with some carbonation visible rising up sides of glass. Nose is an amalgam of coffee and chocolate, the first whiff I took featured the former, then they blended seamlessly to create an alluring aroma, along with some floral hops pushed well into background. Taste was a bit more chocolate than coffee, cocoa nib-like, not much hop presence. Mouthfeel is well on the heavy-side, good effervescence. A nice sipper for a chillly autumn evening, good with artisan chocolate, though I believe I'd have a hard time finishing a full bottle of this, even with the ABV well hidden.

 776 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light creamy darker head about 1/4 of a finger, light lacing, essentially midnight black color, doesn't seem pitch black but no real light coming through.

Nose has some nice roasty malts, dark malts, light coffee, nice dark and baker's chocolate, some dark oats, some light earthy hops, a bit of roasty malt bitter like aromas, touch of smoke, no booze.

Taste starts with coffee, roasted malts, oats, creamy, a touch of burnt coffee rinds, a bit sweet, just a touch of booze, light vanilla and caramel, nice dark malts, feels just a bit light on the overall malt bill and body, but otherwise tastes great. Finishes slightly sticky, still a bit sweet, plenty of dark malts, more coffee, a bit of chocolate, and caramel all lingering.

Mouth seems medium to heavier bodied, but still feels a bit flat and missing some overall malts, decent carbonation.

Overall it's pretty decent, a great flavor, touch of off flavors with some burnt coffee, and just light on the overall malts, but great nose and tasty.

 1,006 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just finished writing a long e-mail, it's time for a beer;

Black is the theme for the color. Towards the bottom of the glass shows a little ruby red hue. The foam is semi-creamy, leaving off some slightly tanned lacing that sticks to the glass. I'm not as huge on hopped porters as others may be, but I like it in the nose. The hops smell like whole cones with a little edge of metallic (in a good way) and hemp. Enough roastiness gives the impression of coffee, a kiss of sweetness here and around, and there's a small smokiness making its presence. Good start so far, let's keep it rolling.

This usually high hopped porter may have you thinking that it's really an India Dark Ale. To be fair, as the beer enters, you're thinking porter all the way with its roasty/sweet combination, then comes the invsaion of the hops; it acts more like hop juice as it sits in my mouth and covers up much of the traditional porter characteristics. Now I'm starting to think IDA. Body seems medium-full with a very smooth, thickish feeling. Ligering in the aftertaste are the hops and a smidge of roast.

I like hops, though I prefer less of them in my porter, thank you. Still an adequate beer overall, though if you like hops in all things, then this could be your beach.

 1,265 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 1,696 characters

Photo of roadhouse
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber courtesy of route66pubs into an imperial pint glass

Pours black in color, but it's actually translucent when held up to the light though it's really hard to tell. A nice one and half inch khaki head, which retains well at about a centimeter and leaves lots of thick lacing on the glass.

Aromas of chocolate, dark fruit in the form of cherries, a bit of a smoky, earthy tone to it as well.

Tastes of chocolate and molasses up front, which develops further and becomes more roasty towards the finish, where it actually becomes quite dry and closer to coffee. There's also a bit of cherry and blackberry in there alongside a slight charred wood hint.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly heavy, pretty creamy, but it's nothing exceptional in this department.

A pretty enjoyable beer, glad I had the chance to try it. It's a solid drinker with some interesting flavors, totally worth a shot.

 908 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 03/24/09. 2009 Brewmaster's Reserve.

Pours an opaque brownish black color with a finger of dense brown head. The head slowly dropped to a thin layer, leaving minimal lacing and slight retention. Huge roasty and malty aroma with sweet milk chocolate and slight coffee. Smells delicious.

Taste starts with a moderate roasted/burnt malt character. Sweet milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee flavors are also present. That is backed up by a strong earthy hop presence. Very slight dark fruit/cherry taste in the finish. The finish is bitter, from both the hops and the roasted malt.

The slightly thin body is masked somewhat by the high amount of carbonation. Slight astringency, and the finish is incredibly dry. A bit thicker and less dry and this would be great. Drinkability is decent. The alcohol is very well hidden, but this would go down much easier if the dryness were toned down a notch or two.

Overall, a very good porter. On the dry side, but very tasty. I'd love to try a barrel-aged version of this.

 1,073 characters

Photo of dfitch81
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a porter! Full Sail really shows off their brewing chops with this stuff. Poured into my pint glass an impenetrable black with an abudant puffy silky (almost nitro-like) brown head. Head is exceptionally long-lasting, which I appreciate because I just like looking at it. Did I say this stuff was black? Held it right up against the light to see if I could see through this tasty concoction and saw only blackness, as if the beer were a black hole gobbling up all the light.

Smells like a proper porter - sweet roasted goodness. Give it a sip and you can tell that Full Sail turned this porter up to 11: intensely flavorful and complex. Sweet chocolate and espresso grace the palate at first; then the characteristic roasted and slightly burnt flavor of a porter/stout arrives in the background - but without any harshness whatsoever. Finishes with notes of vanilla bean and some dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full but not syrupy-thick, which suits this beer perfectly. Drinkability is actually surprisingly high. I expected this brew to be far more filling and with a much higher alcohol content (at 7.5%, it's really quite manageable).

This and Anchor are probably my two favorite porters, and Imperial Porter may just be my favorite brew from Full Sail (toss-up between this and Wassail for that distinction, though I have a bottle of Black Gold Imperial Stout which I suspect will be mind-blowing). Full Sail advertises the beer's availability as "very limited," so if you fancy some you better get out and pick it up now.

 1,550 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Pours black, fluffy tan head, decent retention, good lacing. SMELL chocolate, vanilla, boozy esters, rich maltyness and faint roastiness. TASTE strongly roasty, boozy bite, vanilla, rich malty sweetness, and a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Pretty smooth and largely balanced. FEEL rich full body, moerately strong warming, clean finish. OVERALL I think the recipe is changed from the Top Sail Imperial Porter I was so fond of, but a very good beer regardless. Pretty easy drinking for a fairly big beer. Very smooth and rich, mostly balanced, and with some complexity. Would likely age well.

 612 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This came to me via one of my trades with Wasatch. Thanks John.

A dark brown, nearly black body that is nearly opaque. The very edges are brown and slightly translucent. A finger and a half of brown head with tight little bubbles, decent retention and some nice lacing.

The smell is also pretty good. Some bitter chocolate with some slight roasted notes.

The roasted flavor and the chocolate notes come through first, and the middle has a big caramel sweetness. There is a bit of alcohol warming in the middle, and a touch of booze in the finish. The finish and aftertaste are slightly bitter from roasted malt.

A pretty full body with a a good amount of carbonation. The finish is dry.

A little bit boozy, but pretty drinkable overall.

 741 characters

Photo of bum732
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

 356 characters

Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of beerad666
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours dark, not black more of a deep dark brown with a small creamy tan head. The aroma is rich, lots of malts come out, with some woody bourbon. There are also small hint of chocolate and coffee notes. The bourbon comes through in the taste but is quickly washed away by the sweet malts. It finishes dry and smooth. This is a very nice porter leaving you wanting even more.

 377 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep, opaque jet black, with maybe an inch of medium-dark brown foam. Nice aromas of bourbon, cocoa, vanilla and oak. Some good roasted malt flavors, along with strong dark coffee, bourbon, chocolate and roasted malt. A nicely composed beer.

 265 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Awesome extra bottle received from JohnGalt1 in a trade awhile ago. Thanks so much!!

Big bomber poured into my pint glass. Pours a very thick dirty motor oil black with a frothy tan head resting on top. Great retention. Leaves plenty of sticky lacing in its wake. Smells of rich chocolate, freshly ground coffee, and roasted nuts. This is very effervescent and strong. I'm digging this so far.

The mouth is thinner than I would expect from the pour. It's not very thick in the mouth. Carbonation level is moderate. This is a very roasty dark bitter porter. I like it. Big chocolate tones, a mild tartness in the middle, and finishes nutty. Very good beer.

 658 characters

Photo of loupap
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev +3.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 112 ratings