Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
Full Sail Brewing Company

Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve)
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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
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 112
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, almost pitch black with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy pillowy tan head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with sheets of soapy lacing.

Deep roasted malt aroma with lots of dark chocolate, rosted coffee bean, lactic cream, toffee, nut, oatmeal, slight alcohol and earthy pine hops.

Chewy, slightly viscous medium body that is very hop forward, especially for the style. Lots of dry piny hops up front with a silky chocolate malt body with a very strong roasted coffee presence. Hints of toffee, oatmeal, caramel, licorice and slight alcohol heat. Very bitter with a lot of earthy and citrus hops, bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt. The hop presence is a bit too overpowering and the bitterness takes over the silky chocolate malt flavor that I love in big Imperial Stouts and Porters. Very complex but not as balanced as I would like and way too bitter.

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Photo of Trappissed
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

You can't complain too much for $3.99 for an Imperial Porter bomber, but I will anyways. I actually felt it was lacking a little bit in the flavor department. Seemed sort of watered down and flavors could have been more pronounced.

Slightly bitter and roasty, chocolate and coffee; leans more to the coffee side. It was still good overall and I would probably purchase again, despite my criticism.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This porter is coffee centered with nice hints of dark chocolate, dark soft fruits and floral hops. Dark brown in appearance with a light brown, a bit soapy head. Average retention. Alcohol is just about right. A sharpness on the end dries out the palate a bit.
This was my first beer of Halloween night and it was a nice starter. 22oz bomber set the stage and didn't dominate the evening with 'leftovers' or bad tastes.

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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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creamy in flavor and feel in a lustrous shade of black gloss with low suds. I'd almost call it oily for the easy with which it rolls across the palate. Big roasted malts, chocolaty fragrance, and a long, contemplative aftertaste built on smoke and shadow. Very dignified. And rock solid.

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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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to googzoid10 for sending my way!

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, medium sized and thick tan head forms, slowly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, few lace spots stick, good retention. Smell is nice, big and roasty, some chocolate, caramel sweetness, lots of fruit, biscuits, floral, some almost pineapple/citrus aromas, very malty, alcohol comes through, but nice. Taste is similar, boozy, caramel sweetness, very fruity, some raisin, roast and chocolate comes through the middle, biscuity malt, nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, feels a little thin, alcohol comes through a bit warm for the ABV. Not a bad porter, pretty enjoyable although not great. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of grub
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 10/09.

pours opaque deep dark brown, only relenting to a lighter shade of reddish brown at the edges when held to the light. the small but dense brown head is very slow to drop and leaves plenty of lace behind.

aroma is good. milk and dark chocolate. coffee. bit of alcohol. huge malty base - toasted multi-grain bread, biscuit, cracker. bit of caramel. bit of earthy and woody character. yep, definitely a porter.

taste is good. bittersweet and dark chocolate. espresso. heavily toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. faint cracker. alcohol. just a touch of caramel, but very little sweetness. a little over medium bitterness level. earthy. good, but lacking a little in depth.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. it doesn't hide its alcohol very well, definitely showing all of its 7.5%. still, it is quite enjoyable overall. it just left me looking for a little something more.

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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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco. Poured black with great lacing, but the tan head faded a bit quickly. Smells nutty and rummy- a little low on the roasty side, which is okay by me, but perhaps could be a bit more so for the style. Taste is pretty similar- this is a little hot for a porter, and the bv is probably a little higher than it needs to be. Pretty decent, and I enjoyed it well enough, but I wouldn't say this is memorable.

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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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
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 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.

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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.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't remember where I bought this, probably the Davis Co-Op since i know i've seen it there. Pours a nice dark chocolate brown with a good sized brown head and lots of sticky lacing. Smells a little of bitter chocolate, with some tart alcohol on the nose as well. Flavor is chocolate-y with mild bitterness and a hint of tin. Deep chocolate actually, and some coffee as well on the back end. Mild alcohol evident on the finish too and a lingering bitterness. Creamy texture, but also feels a bit thin for the flavor and style. Like several of the other Full Sail Brewmaster series, this is a beer I'm mostly just indifferent to, and that I don't need to have again.

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

Chilled bomber into a glass. Another gift from the generous ramnuts. Thanks Frank!

A: Pours a thick, opaque black with just the slightest reddish-tinted penetration when held to the light. Pours with 1.5" of fluffy, mocha-colored head that recedes into a light film on top of the brew, with substantial lacing deposits as it recedes. Very inviting.

S: Wood and vanilla are the strongest aromas, with secondary notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt.

T: Being at the right temp makes a tremendous difference in the taste and mouthfeel of this brew. At the right temp, the initial taste is a combination of roasted malt and dark chocolate with a noticeable smoke taste to it. The malt remains in the foundation for the mid-taste, but the dominant flavors there become a combination of wood and vanilla, which complements the smoke nicely. The finish is largely coffee, which lingers into the aftertaste and is supplemented by dark chocolate bitterness.

M: Very sensitive to temperature, as I mentioned, but manages to be somewhere between medium- and full-bodied. Has low-to-medium carbonation that serves the style well. Well-masked ABV and has a nice finish that doesn't seem hot at all.

D: This is better than expected.

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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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage
22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice thick black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/ creamy tan head, which leaves some oil slicks and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee/caramel notes. The taste is sweet, malty, very slight hop note, chocolate/toffee/caramel. Medium Body with a nice slightly bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, this is a nice smooth deep American Porter.

2009 Vintage
22oz. Bomber

Pours a thick black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some oil slicks and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee/caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, very slight hop note, chocolate/toffee/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this a nice smooth deep American Porter.

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Photo of froghop
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a medium size brown head, and good lacing.

smell is of cocoa, a touch of coffee, nuts, and a touch of vanilla.

taste is of sour malt, bakers chocolate, espresso, and some roasted hazelnuts, end is dry and sour.

overall a very nice porter.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Docer
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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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Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 112 ratings