Session Fest | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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BA SCORE
83
good
86 Reviews
Session FestSession Fest
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to Full Sail Executive Brewmaster, Jamie Emmerson, “Session Fest is a Czech-style strong lager called polotmavé or literally “light dark or semi-dark.”
Brewed with 2 Row Pale malt, Munich malt, Caramel malt and Wheat malt, and hopped with a blend of Glaciers and Cascades.

6.2% ABV
26 IBU

Added by msubulldog25 on 09-30-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
86
Ratings:
197
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
16.71%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 197
Photo of vkv822
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11oz : tulip

Pours a clear copper with a foamy off white head.

Caramel malts, biscuit, spicy hop notes in both the aroma and taste.

Medium body with average carbonation and a crisp finish.

A well done red lager. Enjoyable flavor profile and easy drinking.

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Photo of jadpsu
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks great with its light amber body and abundant tan foamy head that stays around for a while.
Aroma is roasty malts, some sweet chocolate and grassy scents..
Taste: Pick up some roasted malts, some light hop bitterness. Very dry.
Medium to full body. Very nice. Only complaint is the bottle of 11 ounces.

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Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Handsome dark amber in the wine glass. Abundant cap of foam.

Full bodied with plenty of malt. It tastes stronger than it is. Definitely sweet, and more like a golden bock at first taste, but it has a smooth edgy sensation that is more balanced. Such a warm malty flavor that keeps returning with every sip. Sudsy mouthfeel and a nutty, roasty aftertaste. Spicy but mellow.

Hugely drinkable rich lager. A cut way above so many over hopped Reds and over-strong winter brews. I am never disappointed by the numerous brews in the lager style that Full Sail is making. From the 11 oz bottle bought at the Utah Liquor Store in Sugar House.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin head, dark amber colored body, clear.
Smells like licorice, barnyard hay and strawberry. A weird combination, but it's nice.
Taste has a solid malt bill with a balance of medium bitterness. Roasted malt stands out with a barnyard straw flavor.
Crisp and lighter bodied, but the high carbonation takes away a bit.
An excellent red lager.

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Photo of kagent777
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool stubby 11 oz bottle with an enjoy before date of 2-09-13. Poured into my perfect pint. I am confused by the label, it says lager on the front in two places, but says ale on the side. Maybe to please Texas? I think it tastes like a lager.

Appearance: A very clear red beer with a nice white foamy two fingered head. Left splotchy lacing as I drank it down.

Smell: A bit of winter spice with sweet caramel malts. A bit of floral and earthy hops are mixed in as well.

Taste: A honey like flavor with a mild caramel malty sweetness. A bit or earthy bittering on the back-end.

Mouthfeel: A mid to thin body with lower carbonation.

Overall: Nothing to extraordinary here. The bottle is fun, but is missing an ounce.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11oz brown stubby into standard pint glass.

A: sidepour gets no head but leaves a decent sized ring around the glass. A solid amber color.

S: smells of lager yeast and spicy hops. that "funk" is def there. Sweet smell from crystal malts.

T: sweet and malty. A bit of light hop at the end. Quite a bit on the sweet side actually.

M: light and smooth, with a good amount of tingley carbonation.

O: not a huge fan of lagers but this is pretty good. A tad sweet for me but not cloying. All in all it is a good beer. I enjoy red ales and this stands pretty well as a red lager in my book.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out bready with lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and fruit come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great to see the trend of 1st-tier US craft-brewers taking old German and Czech beer styles seriously and reproducing--or even improving--on them, in the traditional moderate, session-beer styles. Pilsener, Maerzen, Schwarzbier, Vienna lager (which I guess this beer is categorized as...) and even Rauchbier all are wonderful styles, often neglected by the "hop until they drop" young craft-brewers--lovely to see some maturity in the industry now!

Very nice understated beer--which surprised me by its lack of spices, alcohol or other typical "Christmas-beer" elements. Smooth, super high quality, and I would bet, just what Czech "Polotmavé" (light/dark) beer is supposed to be--wonderful quality beer to share with friends. ANY beer drinker can enjoy this--though hop-heads will be discontent that it doesn't slap them in the throat--oh well, let them settle down. As I wrote above though--terrific that America's most serious brewers are finally paying attention to do first quality renditions of the Continent's most serious beers (instead of just following English or 20-something American tastes).

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Photo of mjurney
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Light copper color, clear. Good amount of carbonation rising up to the top. Thin head.

Aroma:
Sweet malts, fruity, hint of earthy, crisp.

Taste:
Sweet malts up front, toasted nuts, caramel, bright fruit, herbal hop finish. Body is medium, crisp, slight dry aftertaste, well carbonated.

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Photo of Seven
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Wheat grain color.
Smells like Grass and Malts, with a hint of carmel.
Smooth, kind of sweet with a presence of Malts. Very unique, alot like Session's Black, with a twist. Its higher ABV, then Black, you can really feel it on an empty stomach.
Its slightly high in carbonation, you can really tell when it goes down.
I like Session's Dark as much as this, Full Sail did a great job in this year's batch. I would reccomend this.

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Photo of beertunes
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a nice coppery-brown color, the beer was clean and clear with no head, retention or lacing.

The beer had nice malts, was a bit sweet and had just a bit of delicate hops. The flavors were the same, nicely even and well balanced.

The body was smooth and even, but a slightly sticky finish was a bit off-putting. Drinkability was very nice, I could easily knock back a few of these. Overall, I think this is my favorite of the Sessions brews (although I do like the Black fairly well). A nice brew that's worth a shot when you see it.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly good amber ale. The carbonation seems a bit too high, in my opinion. Kind of too frothy in the mouth. But the flavor tone is nice enough. Seems to be some spices on there (maybe it's just the mix of malts and hops?), but it's too muddled for me to be able to pick something out precisely. Either way, a pleasant enough ale.

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Photo of corby112
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours chestnut brown with dark orange edges and a 1.5 finger off white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet malt aroma with hints of spicy, earthy hops. Hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit countered by grassy, spiky hops. Not bad smelling, just kind of bland.

Medium bodied with a decent balance of sweet malt and earthy hop notes. Hints of caramel, toffee and hazelnut followed by grassy, spilt hops. There's also a lactic diaceytl presence which is off-putting and slightly sour. Just really odd tasting.

 564 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before 01/21/12 date on bottle.

A: Pours a clear orangish red with a 1 finger white head that has slight hints of yellow. The head thins down to a film after a few minutes. Even though the beer is real clear there is no visible carbonation.

S: Grassy hops and malts hit the nose at first. Some bready wheat and yeast. Some citrus hops and hints of alcohol. Mostly malt dominates at this point reminding me of a dunkel.

T: Good lager taste, mostly malt with some hops chiming in at the end. Yeasty malty aftertaste. Remember it having more hops when it was fresher.

M: This beer is a little flat at this point. Light bodied and real easy to kick back. 6.2% is well hidden.

Overall a nice addition to the session lineup. Not as dramatic as the Session black but still pleasant. Great deal when a 12pack was 8bucks.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

Look – dark brown in color, with about half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – light malty smell, but other than that the aroma is very illusive!

Taste – much like the smell, the taste is a bit illusive. In the middle of the taste it does appear more sweeter and malty, and then finishes with a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, but leans just a touch more on the watery side. Just barely.

Overall – not a bad tasting brew at all, once you get to the taste. But it seems to evade one a bit.

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Photo of gaugebozo
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Gorgeous clear amber red. Very little suds on top.
S - Sweet malt.
T - Almost nutty, with some caramel, graininess, and minimal roast the predominate flavors. Hops enough to notice, but not pick out what types. Not much yeast character, but fits with the style.
M - Thick and foamy for a lager.
O - I enjoyed this. Once again, Full Sail does a good job of giving you session beers that are drinkable but not boring.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber color with a brown tinge. Poured a coarse 2 finger off-white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. Laced in rings with faint legs running down the glass.

S:Sweet crystal malt; caramel and bread. Faint toast aroma and some grassiness.

T: Sweet and malty up front. Toast and caramel solidify in the middle and carry through to mild, building bitter in the finish..

M: Medium body. Moderate to ample carbonation. Smooth on the palate. Crisp and clean in the finish.

O: Very drinkable. Malty, good feel and balance.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original Session and Session Black are definite repeaters in my beer rotation, so it was natural to pick up this mini case when I saw it this holiday season.

Session Fest pours a semi-cloudy dark amber color with some golden highlights. Not much of a head that fades quickly and leaves no lace.

A lot of malts to smell. A mix of sweet malts, bready and even some roast. Bready maybe the most. I'm also noticing some pilsner-like grassy hops.

Flavors are well blended diversity of malts that have enough oomph to keep up with the color and medium body of this beer. Not as full flavored as a lot of amber ales, but good and adequate for a red lager. Just a twinge of bitterness on the otherwise fairly short and clean finish.

Not sure yet if I'll repeat this next holiday season. The other Session brethren knocked it out of the park in my opinion, but this one fell a little short of the high standard set.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong, crisp aroma is mainly malty and has quite a bite to it. I got a mild skunky whiff, but that hardly put me off. It pours a nice clear, dark coppery amber with a thick and fluffy pale tan head that sticks around for a while. Flavor is fairly typical for a lager, except fairly strong and with nary a trace of the skunkiness I detected in the aroma. Maybe I was smelling things? ;) It does have a hoppy, somewhat bitter tone with a hint of something nasty, but it is still decidedly drinkable. Texture has average body and average fizziness. Overall, not great but worth a try. Maybe this sample was from not their best batch.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this stubby bottle in my fridge for a while, and I have been meaning to drink since Xmas 2011. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark amber body. Not much head, and no lacing. Not very impressive to look at. Smell had faint hints of holiday spices. Taste was only slightly above average. Some orange peel, ginger, toasted malt, and cherry. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin, and slightly bitter at the end. The abv of over 6% was not really noticeable. I wouldn't consider this a session beer, as I wouldn't see myself drinking multiple bottles of this.

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Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Brownish/amber color with a nice big 2 fingers worth of head that settle to a nice thin layer with great lacing.

S: I'm getting sweet malt, a little breadiness and toast

T: Sweet malty right up front, follows and finishes with a nice roasted grainy toast mixed with a little caramel.

M: Crisp yet clean and smooth. Good carbonation.

O: Very drinkable brew with pretty good ABV.... with looking for and a like the bottle says... Session Fest.

 474 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.24/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

11oz bottle, enjoy by 1/29/12. Pours a slightly hazy copper amber with a small rocky off white head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet toasted malts with some vegetal notes.

The flavor is sweet toasted malts with some balancing bitterness in the finish. I get some off plasticky notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for it. Some off notes and I don't care for toasted ambers like Fat Tire.

 478 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber in color with just a hint of haze, topped by a small, dense, and persistent white head. Thin, fine-beaded lacing lies in scattered patches on the glass walls. The carbonation is faint.

Aroma: Moderate roasted and caramel malts, with a mild wave of grapefruit hops.

Taste: Opens with moderate toasted malts, lesser caramel malts, and a decent grapefruit rind hop flavor. As the taste progresses, the hops intensify a bit and assume an earthy note. The toasted malt carries throughout, although it is overshadowed by the hops. Late in the taste there is a brief punch of juniper. Finishes with a mild, lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Pleasant, smooth, a touch thin.

Drinkability/notes: Not bad, although I find it unlikely to be a "go to" holiday beer. It seems a bit understated for a holiday beer with an ABV of 6.2%.

Presentation: Packaged in a stubby eleven-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 12/21/11

Enjoy by: 01/07/12

Faded and dulled tobacco brown; it's clear for the most part, though. Two and a half finger head drops to a 1/4th inch that seems incline to stay around. Patches of lace try but fail to catch.

Aromas of baked bread, caramel, yeast, dust, nuts and earthy/grass hops in decline; the balance is smooth between the lot. The flavor profile has some similarities but finds snappier fruit tones mingling with the bread and caramel. A subtle hoppy nudge marks the finish. Thinner than medium body with steady, rippling carbonation that moves the beer without agitating the feel. Finishes with a mild grittiness.

Overall impression - an easy drinking beer with no shortage of pleasant subtleties.

 761 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 12oz stubby to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/22/11
*From notes

A: More of a darker golden then a traditional red. A standard pour yields a nice 2.25 finger head that retains well.

S: Absent of any real nose at all. A touch of cereal or filler grains, maybe. That'd be about it.

T: Again, kind of bland. Easy to drink? Sure it is, but I'd like some Flava Flav to go along with it. As it moves back a bit, some sweet, buttery grains and malt wrap things up.

M: Yeah, this is pretty decent. For a beer of this kind, I'm pretty happy with the consistency. A bit creamy, yet not overwhelming.

O: The first thing that needs to be asked: how is this a "session" beer? It's got 6.2% ABV for Christ's sake. The second? We're calling this a "Fall" seasonal, even though it's a Christmas themed beer?

Otherwise, this gets the proverbial job done. If you're looking to put a few back, maybe tie one on with decent craft beer, this'll certainly suffice. It's not packed with a lot of flavor or a complex bouquet, but as I said, it'll do the job it's been tasked to do.

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.
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