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
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 112
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.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.83/5  rDev -1%
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 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.

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Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Reserve) from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 112 ratings