Keelhauler (Brewmaster Reserve 2009) | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

54 Ratings
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Keelhauler (Brewmaster Reserve 2009)Keelhauler (Brewmaster Reserve 2009)

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

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by msubulldog25 on 03-20-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nice red and brown appearance, looks bright for those colors, 1/4" off white head. Aroma was a mixture of red and scotch ale type of earthy malt vibe.

Lumped toffee, tea, alcohol burn, earth, pepper, peat, caramel on this one. It might be complex, but its not something that you go "ahhwwww yeah," after your first (or any other) sip. This was a little bitter too, not the place for hops here.

Good price for a bomber.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of buckyp
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of Telestic
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Something like a mix of ruby, brown and copper flows into the glass, small amount of beigeish head to it, aroma was a mix of red ale sweetness and scotch ale peat.

Bitter toffee, toasted, tea, red residual sweetness, pepper, some stinging alcohol (?) bite to it with lots more bitterness than was expected. I don't get it, the hops went away in lots of the hoppy style beers for full sail, but then in a scotch ale, they jam it with bitterness and hops? Its one of the more complex offerings from full sail to be sure, but at least its still cheap (4/22) like most full sail offerings.

Not really my style of beer, but nice to see that full sail is still making stuff full of flavor, which this is.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into an oversized snifter. Deep brownish amber body with a fluffy 3 finger cream colored head. Excellent retention, plentiful lacing.

Full malty nose, rich with toasted grains, toffee and caramel. Earthy hops and a hint of smoke make an appearance. Plentiful sweetness and dark fruit washes over the tongue, but there seems to be some dark malt lurking as well. Good bite of earthy bitterness and a touch of burnt/smokiness that lingers.

Overall impression: Solid beer. No sense recommending it now, as it was a one-time deal (note- working through a hefty review notes backlog).

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 Fl oz bottle drank at our B&B in Springdale, Utah after a day walking in Zion National park. The beer was purchased at a Lee's Discount Store in Vegas and transported to Utah for reviewing at leasure.

Poured into two stemmed goblets the beer looked a picture. Deep amber body, off-white, creamy foaming head, which left some good solid lacing as the beer sank down the goblets.

Malty biscuits/molasses/toffee and a hint of smoked peat were the smalls I picked up.

The sweetness from the aroma was evident in the first sip, but a hop bite and bitterness soon came along to remind you this wasn't a childs drink.

I thought it gave off a richness and warmth which helped my aching bones to recover for the next days hiking.

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Photo of flexabull
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright and clear deep amber color with a nice big white head.

Aromas are of dark fruits, with a very bready and cereal like character. Maybe a little too grainy though.

Taste is like the nose, quite grainy. It's got a little woody note, with really light fruity sweetness. Finish has an herbal hoppy note, and a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is ok, decent up front, but thins at the finish.

Drinkability is decent, but this one just seems to be a bit of a miss. A little lacking in most departments, needs more malty sweetness and a fuller body. Not the best offering from Full Sail... bummer... I was hoping for better because this is a style I really like. I just prefer Scottish Ales to be bigger.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Full Sail Keelhauler, in a 22 oz bomber. A present from my brother who brought this from Scottsdale AZ to Pittsburgh.

Appearance: Amber/red in color with a large soapy head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Scottish style malt, sweet and bready with some caramel and peat too.

Taste: A delicious blend of nutty malt, toffee, and a distant roastiness. Hops are minimal in this beer and the finish is sweet. Just a hint of earthy peat. Tea like hop to balance.

Mouthfeel: Chewey malt with a chalky finish. Full bodied with lingering malt flavors.

Drinkability: A good ale here. At 6.8% abv, it is a strong beer to session regularly but finishing the entire bottle was no problem.

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Photo of Mdog
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky brown but nice red highlights, good head.

Smell: Sweet, caramel, floral.

Taste: Mild toffee and caramel sweetness, an earthy aftertaste.

Drinkability: The bomber went down easy.

Picked up a bomber, since it was only $4 (love Full Sail prices). A pretty good beer, I suppose I wish it had a bit more smoky or peaty flavor. Still pretty good.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking dirty brown body. Nice look for a Scottish ale. Bubbly light brown head has good retention and leaves sporadic webs of lace as I drink. Nice aroma of brown malts, light smoke and dark fruits. Nice blend of chocolate attributes and dark fruits, like concentrated cherry juice, but diluted. This has a really unique and complex flavor. (Anytime I use "concentrated" and "diluted" in the same sentence, that will uaually be the case.) A little peatiness and a nice lingering dryness. Body is medium. Carbonation appropriate. Very solid effort. Gotta love Full Sail. Still putting out quality beer without jacking up prices.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.04/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a brown head and light lacing

smells sour with a bit of contradictory chocolate and a strong offensive alcohol essence

taste is bitter cocoa, coffee, with a tartish quick finish

mouthfeel is light

Not really drinkable, heavy and slightly offensive

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Autumn leaves russet with bright apricot highlights along the edges of the glass. The pour sounded creamy and the beige colored crown looks the same. Caramel milkshake-like foam is impressively persistent and is doing a fine job laying down sheer sheets of sudsy lace.

The nose is appropriate, although a puff of smoke or a hint of peat would have been nice. The malt (crystal, amber) is toasted, nutty and earthy. The hops (Challenger, Willamette, Sterling) don't make much of an olfactory splash. Here's hoping for a personality boost on the palate.

Keelhauler is probably too hoppy to be true to the Scottish ale style. That said, it's tasty stuff if you're a hophead... and if you care more about deliciousness than about coloring within the lines each and every time out. Full Sail knows their way around a hop cone and isn't afraid to prove it.

The malt side of the equation tastes like it should taste. Let's go with toasted brown bread, steely caramel, baked nuts, black tea leaves and tangy citrus zest. Cocoa powder... nope, the beer isn't quite that dark. This might be the hoppiest Scottish to have ever entered my glass. And the bomber has to be at least six months old.

The body/mouthfeel is a fraction lighter than it should be. It overcomes that slight hurdle by being impressively creamy smooth and mouthfillingly expansive. All those alpha acids give it a barnacle-like raspiness that adds sensory interest.

Keelhaul (nautical): to discipline by dragging under the keel of a ship; to rebuke harshly. Full Sail Brewing should not be punished for giving us Keelhauler, they should be praised. The style Nazis will probably have a fit about the hoppiness, but good beer is good beer, no matter what it takes to get there. Under the cap... 'Less Trashtalk Dude'.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce bomber bottle, courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks John!

Keelhauler pours sparkling-clear and glows ruby-tinted amber in color when held before the evening sunshine. A two-finger deep cap of creamy pale beige foam tops the brew before fading into a short bubbly collar that leaves wispy lacing on the insides of my Delirium tulip.

The aroma is malty-sweet, with whiffs of caramel-covered granola, spicy unsulphured molasses, and sugary toffee. A note of burnt white bread toast grows stronger as the drink warms.

The taste is a rich mouthful of caramel candy with lots of linger in the afterdrink. Dark toast-laden caramel dominates and a lighter, more dilute variant of the confection rolls about the palate in a tumbling brown-sugary swirl. A valiant smattering of dusty, earthy hops works desperately to keep the copious sweetness under control, but there's just so darned much caramelized malt sugar that it's an uphill battle all the way. Despite their best efforts, and an assist from a dry, toasted biscuity maltiness, the forces of hop-dom are easily swept away by the dark caramel juggernaut.

The drink is medium-fullish in body with a bit of slippery stickiness. The fine carbonation lightens the drink, breaks up the syrupiness, and fits in very nicely. A very easy drinker.

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Photo of Rayek
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a thistle.

A: Tarnished copper with ruby highlights. A soapy off-white head has very nice retention and leaves heavy lace.

S: Quite spicy. Pepper and black tea dominate. There's also a little grass at work. A toffee sweetness rests in the background.

T: Awfully bitter for a this style. A peppery bitterness dominates. It even has a touch of citrus. Toffee sweetness is there, but subdued. A light herbal tea flavor rounds things out. Finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness.

M: The dry body is medium-light and has about the right level of carbonation.

D: This really doesn't strike me as a Scottish Ale. It's more of an American Amber in presentation. On its own, a nice beer, but not a very faithful example of the style.

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Photo of slaintemhor
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hood River Brewery in Hood River, OR. The colour was of course amber and there was little head. The aroma was a nice blend of malt and hops. On the palate, plenty of sweet malty character up front and some hop bite around the edges of the soft palate. The finish was a decent balance of hops and malt and quite lengthy.

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Photo of Vaylaus
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is a tale of two batches for me. Review over multiple bottles.

The first set of bottles I bought were both overly-hopped, while the last 3 (from a different store) were not, coming in true to style.

A: Ruby red. Par for the course. Sizable head. Nice.

S: First set: Earthy hop smell. A little toffee in the end, but mostly spicy hops. Seconds set: Malt, toffee, just a hint of peat.

T: First set: Spicy hops to the forefront, with a faint malt finish. Hops dominate slightly less as it warms. Second set: Smooth malty flavor, with a mild earthy finish. Very nice.

M: Medium, right about where it should be. The overly hopped bottles weren't nearly as smooth.

D: First set: Decent, but I certainly don't want another. Second set: Nice, with only the near 7% preventing it from being sessionable.

Scores are an average of both sets of bottles. 4 bottles consumed total. I'm curious to know if there was a single batch, or multiple, as it seems this beer has a split personality depending on whether you bought an early or late bottle.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with garnet highlights and a rocky head that leaves seaside waves atop the foam

Smell: Rich toffee elements dominate, along with hints of smoke and fruit

Taste: After the toffee flavor lays down its backbone, the hints of chocolate and smoke arise briefly but are quickly followed by a surprising layer of fruity bitterness; after the swallow, there is a bit of phenol and solvent finish that detracts

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinnkability: Far too hoppy for a Scottish, this is nevertheless a nice beer that has a couple of problems in the finish that keep it from getting a better score

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle courtesy of Wasatch in our most recent trade.

A: Rich brown in color with a cream colored head, excellent retention, and sticky lacing. Nice red accents when held to the light.

S: Smoky, slightly chocolate, earthy and somewhat boozy as well. Has the distinct Scottish malt profile, has a malt smell that I can only describe in beer as British Isles dryness, not sure what causes that, but I need to figure it out.

T: Follows the nose nicely, lightly roasted malts, has a tea like quality that plays nicely with the smoky malts. Pretty bitter finish, has a definite clean Pacific Northwest hop character, with a definite pine profile, could probably do without that in this style of beer, but it really does balance things out nicely.

M: A lot thinner than I had expected, figured it would have a bit more body to it, but still nice. Has a dry, somewhat boozy finish with an appropriate amount of warmth as well.

D: Damn tasty brew, nice flavors without being overbearing, bitterness balances out the sweetness nicely. I don't think I'd crack a second bomber of this open, but it goes down nicely. Good beer, and I'd recommend it.

Thanks John!

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Photo of beertunes
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scotch ales are not among my favorite styles,so keep that in mind while reading my review.

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a deep, rich brown, with a trace of red at the edges. The beer had just a slight cap of off-white head that dissipated quickly and left just a trace of lacing.

The aroma was the expected malt, with just a hint of smokieness. The flavors, therefore, were a complete surprise. A bold, peaty flavor rolled across the tongue, backed up by that solid malt flavor and a touch of sweetness on the finish. An appropriate amount of hops keeps everything in balance.

The body was a little fuller than typical for the style. I found the drinkability to be very good for a brew that's not amongst my favorite styles, I'd actually drink a couple of these in a row.

Overall, a job well done from a brewery that's not among my favorite, on a style that's not among my favorites. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

09/13/09- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2009 release. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker amber in appearance. Smaller 1/2 inch head with light spotty lace.

Smell- Dark roasted (lightly burnt) caramelized malts, a potent hop punch and some dark fruit notes.

Taste- Has that traditonal over the top super roasted scotch malt flavor. Hops are pretty large suprisingly. Flavors meld well. Seems like a Scottish Ale-lite.

Mouthfeel- A touch thin and a bit seltzery at times. More hops than needed in the aftertaste for a beer of this style.

Drinkability- Decent brew. Has some good things and some things that could be toned down a bit.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, clear chestnut brown. Pored a 2 finger brown head with good retention to a thick cap.
Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Big caramel malty smell with smokey oak and toffee. Alcohol more prominent as it warmed.

T: Big toasted malts; caramel, toffee and smoke. Peppery spices and warming alcohol up to the finish. Finish is sharply bitter that lingers a bit.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. crisp and bitter finish balances the malt nicely.

D: Flavorful and very pleasing to drink.

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Photo of Natural510
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown/amber color with thick head; looks good.
Smells very sweet with malt; not only caramel, but caramel candy. Yeast is present to the nose as well.
Heavily sweet caramel malt dominates the flavor. A bit of peat smoke trademarked to the style also present. Decent hop kick in the finish.
A bit thin in the mouth; I'm accustomed to a fuller body in a scottish ale.
Not bad on its own, but a bit pedestrian. It could use a bit of tweaking by toning down the sweetness and creating a fuller body. As it stands now, more of an amber ale with "scottish flavor".

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Keelhauler (Brewmaster Reserve 2009) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.62 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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