Session Fest | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

88 Reviews
Session FestSession Fest

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

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

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 204
Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head. Lots of carbonation is visible from all points of the glass. An orange red is the color of the beer with clarity seen through the other side. Ahh, holy carbonation and the head of beer has quickly reduced to a thin layer and has left some spotty lacing on the side of the glass too.

Smell: Sweet bready and biscuity malts.

Taste: There are more to the flavor in the mouth that I am trying to figure out.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, high carbonation, silky smooth, and a little chewy.

Overall: This is another beer from Full Sail that I have enjoyed in the past week. Will have to upgrade my selection and try some of their other stuff in the near future.

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Photo of beergoot
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, it's a holiday session beer!

Some nice spice and floral notes. Decent balance of bitterness and malt flavors overall and goes down nicely.

I can see knocking back a few over a period of time. Another fine addition to Full Sail's Session beer family.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Pint

A - Copper colored brew with high clarity and medium carbonation. About a 1-finger head that dissipated pretty fast. It left a few spots on my glass.

S - Nice, bright citrus and rind hop characters upfront, with a mellow caramel malt note underneath. Mild bread and musky Lager yeast is also present.

T - Oily hop characters like rind, lemon, grapefruit and a touch of pine mingle with a beefy caramel, bread, nut, and toffee malt characters. It finishes with musty lager yeast that lingers a bit, and mild bitterness that balanced out the flavor profile.

M - Lite-Medium bodied with soft crispness and a slightly oily feel.

O - Hmm, well there ain't much to this brew. It's an affordable/sessionable Lager that would probably go great with some pulled pork sandwiches. I liked the flavor profile, and it smelled clean and inviting to me. Overall though I thought this beer was just alright. I'd probably buy it again because it tastes good and it's on the cheaper side.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

glass: Pint

Copper appearance, very clear. Spotty lacing. Smells like crackery malt, grape juice and gym socks. Taste has a bitterness of upfront that seems like its coming from the hops. Falls into that apple/grape juice flavor finishes with a slight doughy malt, hop bitterness and gym sock yeast.

Light, but not too light, low-medium carbonation. An alright beer at best.

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

Poured from the Session pill-bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is an almost crystal-clear, brown-copper coloring with a slow, steady flow of bubbling and a filmy coating of head. Aromas are rich and malty, with a sweet caramel tang to the normal roasted cereal scents of a lager. Flavors are nutty and spicy, with a caramel backbone and a slight hopping at the end to clean everything from the palate. Tasty brew on a round, smooth, yet crisp body. The aftertaste is a bit resiny and bitter, with a roasted character. The finish dries nicely, leaving the palate clear for more. Very easy brew to drink, and the flavors are spiced and smooth enough to make a very sessionable holiday ale.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a burnt sienna color. Malty molasses aromas, lightly hopped. Light, bitter, but not really all that enjoyable. Thin finish. The malt profile is out of alignment. It doesn’t hold up to warming—the spices/flavoring goes out of balance and comes off harshly. At least the stubby bottle is cute.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best by 12/25/11.

Pours a clear brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Chunky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt/grains, bread/biscuit, and some caramel notes. Taste is of toasted malt, bread, caramel, and some spicy hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good red lager and a good alternative to spiced Winter beers. This is probably my favorite Session beer from Full Sail to date.

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Photo of bump8628
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper-red, nearly a tawny brown. Thin, short-lasting bubbles show head retention just a tad more impressive than a soft drink. Polotmavé - never had, nor heard of the style. I'm guessing amber lager is a good enough descriptor. Some caramel, baking bread, and shortbread balance out a pleasant grassy and earthy hoppiness. Nicely brewed and clean, dryness is appreciated since this was meant to be an easy drinker. Surprisingly, Full Sail managed to capture some holiday elements in this seemingly basic red lager. It's nice to see a brewery go outside of the winter warmer/stout box for a winter seasonal. This definitely a beer that would please both craft drinkers and generic beer guzzlers alike. I think a box of 12 bottles will be making the trip to Thanksgiving dinner with me this year.

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

Dark copper/amber. Not much for head but a good amount of foam clings around the sides of the glass. Every time I sip some more forms on the sides. Light German malty sweetness. Some hop spice as well. Biscuity malt flavor and just like the nose it finishes with some hoppy spice. Thinner side of a body but still a decent malt character.

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

Session Fest pours a red tinged amber with a fluffy cream cap. The foam slowly falls to a patchy quilt and leaves just a bit of lace.

Some pretty standard Red Lager stuff is going on here. Bittersweet toffee rides on top of a bed of straw. Bitterness is lemony, peppery and mild. The beer is very dry and a touch metallic in the finish.

Of the three Session beers, this is my least favorite. It has a certain generic quality to it that left me a bit flat. However, it is a decent beer. It's just not for me.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz stubbie into a pint glass while watching a dismal Buffalo Bills performance against the vile Cowboys.

A: Reddish bronze with one finger of off white head that fades more quickly than the Bills' playoff hopes.

S: Caramel and pale malts with piney hops.

T: This is a pretty hop-forward brew. The pine-flavored hops mingle with the miscellanous malts and leave a mild to moderate bitterness on the tongue. Not bad.

M: Medium and kind of creamy.

O: Decent, accessible beers seems to be the notion that the Session series is built upon, and that's continued here. All in all I like their standard lager better and their black lager best. A nice, crisp lager without a whole lot to make it stand out. Seems like it'd be good to keep around in the fridge if company comes by. Not offensive or overly powerful flavorwise, but a world better than the Bills... I mean, Buds, of the world.

(Seriously, all I want is to see the Cowboys lose. I don't care to who. Is that too much to ask?)

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Photo of litheum94
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11 oz stubby. Reviewed on 11/7/11.

Vigorous pour produces a big, slightly tan head, with large bubbles that fizzle out. Clear, amber-leaning-red body.

Clean, grainy lager aromas. Some spice with earthy hops.

Crisp and dry. Cracker malts with an earthiness. Some burnt caramel and spices. Some bitterness, woody and floral in nature. Slight boiled vegetable lager flavor, but not bad.

This is just like the other FS Session beers; nothing spectacular, just clean, good drinking beers. And at a great price too.

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Photo of specksnreds
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Not much to look at with its pale amberness and lack-o-foamy-head. Smells like malt liquor with a spicy cinnamon poke in the sniffer. Smells like flowers too. Tastes tingly and bock-like: surely a dichotomy. Mouth feel belies the light color.... a bit. Weightier than expected, but by no means a tongue carpet. I picked up a single in this instance, but I'll get the 12er next time.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark copper amber having a stable head and nice lace. Smell is light thats a little grainy, roasted malt and hops. taste of grainy roasted malt with a bitter hop lasting through the aftertaste. Can't taste much of the alchohol either. Mouthfeel is medium with a good spike of carbonation. No wow factor hear, but not to bad for a red.

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Photo of mudbug
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the retro stubby bottle with the entertaining rock paper scissors cap, which by the way has a holiday theme.Into a pilsner glass results in a pretty medium dark amber body with nice clarity a small head forms then settles into a thin cap. Bubbles continuously rise up keeping things lively, very appealing.
Aroma is a subdued huskiness with a ever so slight hop note, just what a lager should be.
Taste is pure lager, grain husk, cracker with a tint of caramel, finish has a nice bitter spiciness to it, refreshing straight forward and uncomplicated. goes down easy and quickly with a nice clean aftertaste.
Just a nice well made lager that hits all the right spots, especially the pocketbook. A real value.
Bravo Full Sail!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not really sure what to expect here, it's supposed to be a lager, but it's a Czech style lager? But at the same time an American Red? I dunno. Pours almost a one finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is maybe just a hair darker than white in color. The head is pretty soapy looking, and it doesn't have the best retention, it's already almost gone. The lacing doesn't look bad, but we'll have to see how it goes once I get down to the bottom of the glass. The body is as clear as could be, like many lagers are, however I would think I red lager might have a little cloudiness to it. The only reason visibility isn't 100% is because it's darker than your average lager. I wouldn't really call the color of this beer red, it's more brown, with some orange and yellow. Almost golden in color really. Honestly the color combination is kinda ugly, but oh well. The carbonation looks a little bit under medium. The head is now gone but some nice foam is still on top of the body. Overall not an outstanding looking beer, we'll see how the lacing goes. It's not a bad looking beer, but not too great. The smell is very light, I get the red lager smell, medium malts, some hops, etc etc. Maybe a tiny bit hoppier than your average red lager? Still, it's not very hoppy. The smell is just really small, I get it's a session lager, but there just isn't much here. I maybe even get a nut smell here? I'm not sure, I'm digging for anything to comment on the smell. Really just not much going on here at all, I wish I had more to say. Overall a pretty boring, and very small smell, maybe a 3 is harsh, but I don't see any reason to give it more than that. The flavor is slightly better, for sure more potent than the smell. A little sour to start things off, maybe some adjuncts, or cheap malts. You kinda get that average sweet, sour, macro lager taste. After that comes some quality medium malts and a tiny bit of hops (I guess a decent amount if your considering it's a lager). You do kinda get that red lager taste, I little hard to describe, it's kinda a distinct malt flavor. Overall not a bad taste, but somewhat boring, a little cheap tasting, and somewhat watery. I dunno....on second thought it isn't that bad, it has some legitimate flavor to it. I don't think it deserves a 3, but at the same time I don't think it has earned a 3.5, so 3. The mouthfeel isn't bad, the carbonation is for sure higher than I thought it would be, definitely a highly carbonated beer. One might say over carbonated, but it's a lager, so it's not a horrible feature. The body is actually pretty big in your mouth, for the style that is. Not a bad mouthfeel at all for the style, may be better with a tad less carbonation though. The drinkability is actually really high for it being over 6.2%, they do an excellent job of covering up that alcohol. Overall it's pretty light, tasty enough, and surprisingly low on the alcohol taste, so it's not hard to drink. Overall on this beer, it's not bad, and maybe it deserves a 3.5 for taste, but I don't think it's quite there. It's not a bad beer, one I wouldn't mind having at a party or something, but it's just not up there with the quality beers. Not a bad beer, but not too great either.

The appearance turned out to be pretty good. The lacing was pretty patchy, but it followed me pretty much all the way down the glass. The body was kinda ugly, but that was only because of the colors. The head, not great. I'm kinda confused on how to grade this beer for appearance, maybe it deserves a 4 for the good lacing, but I'm pretty sure it's well short due to everything else.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice shiny copper color with just a bit of haze. Little bit of eggshell colored head makes a brief appearance.

Toasted grain and slight caramel sweetness provide a nice malty aroma. Hint of floral hop character in the background.

Biscuits and toast alongside some caramel malty goodness make for a nice refreshing brew. Hops add just a bit to balance things out. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and refreshing.

Overall, not a bad easy drinking beer. Flavors don't exactly 'wow' you with anything but it's still got enough going on to keep things interesting.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, tawny amber, with boatloads of streaming carbonation. The head is thin but holds nicely, yielding a sticky lace. The aroma boasts a touch of caramel, with hints of fruit and a butterscotch note.

Clean, bready malt flavor, with a mild dryness throughout. Light caramel sweetness keeps it interesting, plus there is enough bitterness at the back for balance. It's doesn't really taste like more than 6% ABV, and too bad it is because it's supposed to be session. The mouthfeel is quite nice for a lager, it has a full body with smooth carbonation, very rich.

I feel like this is what Fat Tire could be if it were a lager and a bit more robust. It's a well made beer and I like it, I just wish you really could call it a session lager. Recommended...

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11 ounce stubby-twist off cap w/"Naughty/Nice" on it-Best before dating (1-7-12)...

Pours clear auburn amber, medium tan head, showing moderate retentive powers, then leaving a thicker film, collar and respectable slippery lacing.

Dark grain bread in the nose with some nuttyness.

Tasty and straight forward offering. More dark bread notes, malty sweetness, a pinch of all spice, a rye note and light dryness in the finish. Ehh....decent litle sessioner...but doesnt really do much for me.

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Photo of alohaspicoli
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Brownish/amber with a nice, off-white head. Good retention.

S: Sweet and malty, with a light roastiness to it. Very nice balance of flavors.

T: Roasted malt with a very slight caramel/brown sugary sweetness.

M: Crisp, clean and smooth. Perfect carbonation. Not much alcohol burn.

O: I will definitely buy this again. Yet another very drinkable and enjoyable lager from Full Sail.

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Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11oz brown stubby with a freshness date.

LOOK: Tawny with a slight chill haze, great looking head.

SMELL: Caramel, toasted bread crust, herbal, clean, faint peppercorn, fresh grass.

TASTE: Fresh maltiness, toasty, rustic bread, grainy, clean palate, smooth, spice, fresh herbs, toasty finish.

A pretty kick ass edition to the Session line-up, I was a fan to begin with but to have an option even if it is seasonal is great. Bring on the lagers!!

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Photo of rowew
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11 oz stubby bottle in 12 packs, enjoy by date clearly marked. Green and blue color scheme.

Appearance: Dark reddish amber color, average sized head with good retention.

Smell: Sweet malt, just a slight hint of roast.

Taste: Again, definitely malt dominated - but this has a nice combination of malt flavor with a bit of roast, and a slight bitter in the finish.

Overall impression: Another drinkable offering in the Session line .. this is not the most exciting beer out there, but it's a solid amber that I wouldn't mind having a few of.

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Photo of diamondc
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: About a fingers worth of head on a really aggressive pour. Dark bronze, filtered, with a steady stream of bubbles.

S: Caramel, brown sugar, cookie dough.

T: Sugary, sticky malts dominate here, almost bordering on cloying. Subtle roasted, nuttiness flavors when warmed up. Reminds me of an Oktoberfest. Grassy, more bitter than expected hops round out at the end.

M: This beer tastes better warmed up to 50-55 degrees than straight out of the fridge. Surprised by the ABV, but the heat is well hidden.

O: A pretty good amber, nothing too complex. Paired well with a almond butter sandwich.

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Photo of Gatch
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish-brown with a thick, off-white head.

S - Sweet, lightly roasted malt. Bready with molasses, caramelized sugar, not much else.

T - Malt dominates. A bit of alcohol throughout, especially in the finish. Roasted character of the malt stands out through the finish.

M - Slight carbonation. Enjoyable to drink. Clean and smooth. Just as a lager should be.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really pretty reddish hued color to this one, nice thin off white head to it. Aroma was half and half sweet and grassy hopishness. Not bad, a good mix in a red ale.

Smooth taste, with more of the fresh hoppy feel to it, not ipa territory, but substantial enough to make it enjoyable, especially at the price. Easily the best option out of the session beers. But 6.2% = a session beer? I'm ok with that I guess, but its a little close to not being sessionable, but it hides the alcohol. Faint chocolate malt aspect to it. Chalky and nutty sometimes.

If this is an oktoberfest effort, its definitely above average.

Thanks to elrogish & Quinn for breaking these bad boys out during our cabin barleywine trip. Solid beer.

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Session Fest from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.65 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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