Category Archives: Full Sail Brewing Co.

Review of Full Sail Session "Black" Premium Dark Lager

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Session “Black” Premium Dark Lager produced by the Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon.

We have just recently started to get Full Sail in our area and I’ve gotten the opportunity to try a few of their beers before, however I’ve never tried this particular brew, so I’m really eager to see how it is.

From the website,, we find this bit of info about the Session “Black” Premium Dark Lager.

Short, Dark, and Drinkable and seven time Gold Medal Winner including the 2009 GABF! The second addition to family, Session Black, carries the mantra of drinkability into new territory. Most beers this dark are so heavy-duty, you could eat them with a fork. Session Black, on the other hand, lets you have your dark beer and drink it, too. With just a hint of roasty chocolate character, Session Black is short, dark, and totally drinkable. At long last, a dark beer that doesn’t drink like a meal.

Sounds good.  Let’s drink.

This brew came in a cool, little, stubby, 11 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.4%.

It poured a very dark brown color with some copper and ruby highlights throughout. The head was tan in color, somewhat small and insignificant, but smooth.  I thought that the retention time was below average and the lacing left behind was slim to none.

The nose brought forth some toasted grain along with a “tea leaf” kind of aroma.  A bit of light coffee and chocolate were found, although neither fragrance was overly dominant.  A bit of nuttiness was discovered after the brew warmed a touch.  Overall, not extremely complicated or robust, but not too bad either.

From the taste….  a solid dose of toasted/roasted malt and grain pushed forward as well as some toasted breads and bread crusts.  Some dry chocolate and very light coffee savors as well as some more of that nuttiness that was discovered in the fragrance.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Mostly dry, smooth and slick.  A decent amount of medium strength carbonation was felt, however not a terrible amount of flavor was left behind on the palate between sips.  It vanished fairly quickly to be honest.

Well….  this was an ok beer and worth a try if you happen to see it.  I don’t necessarily think that I would go out of my way to find it, but I’m definitely glad that I had the opportunity to give it a test drive and I’d drink it again if it were offered.  It has some complexity and some character, yet not quite to the level of some of the other Full Sail brews that I’ve tried.  Either way, if you guys happen to see it on the shelf, pick it up and decide for yourself if it’s a worthy brew.  Be sure to let me know your opinion of the Full Sail Session “Black” Premium Lager if you’d like.  I’d love to hear a second opinion.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate you all taking a few minutes to check out the review.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.45 out of 5
Grade:  B-


Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Country: USA, Full Sail Brewing Co.


Review of Full Sail Amber

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Full Sail Amber produced by the Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon.

This will only be the third Full Sail brew that I’ve tried thus far and the other two, the Pale Ale and the IPA, were solid enough, so I’m ready to give this one a test drive.

From the website,, we find this commercial description of the Amber.

Anyone remember the grocery store cooler back before it turned into a kaleidoscopic fantasy world of beer options? You pretty much had two choices: Regular or Light. In 1989, when we brewed our first batch of Full Sail Amber, not only was it the first Amber ale here in Beervana (aka Oregon) — it was the first craft beer to go into a bottle. And two things became immediately apparent. It wasn’t Regular and it sure as heck wasn’t Light. Our Amber is a sweet, malty, medium-bodied ale with a spicy, floral hop finish. It’s brewed with 2-row Pale, Crystal and Chocolate malts. And we hop it with Mt. Hoods and Cascades. We’re as proud of it today as we were back in ’89. And over the years it’s earned 14 Gold Medals. Not that we’re keeping track or anything.

Sounds nice enough.  Let’s pour.

This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 5.8%.
It poured a clear amber color with some burnt orange highlights around the edges and through the middle.  The cap was slightly off white and sized very well from a fairly aggressive pour.  The texture was soft, fluffy and kind of rocky.  The retention time was pretty good and the lacing was patchy and commendable.  
The bouquet smelled of toasted grain and lightly toasted breads.  It was somewhat nutty with a bit of sweet toffee.  It also had some earthy hops, which helped create a nice, round profile.  It was well balanced and I thought it smelled pretty dang good actually. 
The flavor seemed a bit hoppier and it also seemed like the roasted grain and toasted malt were a tad more prevalent.  Some bread crust characteristics were found as well. The toffee was discovered, however it was not extremely sweet or anything.  I didn’t get any of the nuttiness in the taste, although I did gather some leafy components.  Like the fragrance, the taste was nicely balanced and pleasing.  
The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Mostly dry, smooth and just a bit chewy.  The carbonation was of medium strength and a decent amount of flavor was left behind between gulps. 
Overall, I thought this was a solid beer.  I thought it was well made all the way around. The drinkability was great and I think it would be an excellent brew for the Fall season. This is not a brew that’s going to blow you away, although I think it would be both an excellent “gateway” brew for those just getting into craft beer and a sturdy beer for some of the more experienced craft beer drinkers.  It has enough character to keep most Amber fans happy in my opinion.  So, the next time you see the Full Sail Amber, give it a try if you have yet to do so.  Be sure to let me know what you thought about it as well.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.  
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.95 out of 5
Grade:  B+  

Review of Full Sail IPA

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be drinking a Full Sail IPA produced by the Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon.

I tried the Full Sail Pale Ale a little while back and liked it pretty well, so I’m rather excited about sampling this one.

Here’s the commercial description from the website,

Generously hopped to 60 IBU’s in the classic style, our IPA is a real thirst quencher. It has a full, malty body and there’s even a hint of fresh citrus to it. Perfect after your favorite water sport. Even if that happens to be the grueling drag-the-poolside-lounge-chair-into-the-sun event. 

Ok.  Let’s pour.

This beverage comes in a 12 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 6.0%.

It poured a clear, golden color with some burnt yellow highlights around the bottom of the glass.  The crown was off white in color.  It was kind of small and kind of soapy. The retention time was not that great and the lacing was relatively meager as well.

The nose dispensed hints of citrus in the form of pear.  Touches of grain and bready malt with a light sweetness of caramel sugar.  The bouquet reminded me of a British Bitter.  Quite simple and to the point, but harmonized adequately.

The flavor was very similar to the aroma.  Touches of pear, bread and some slightly sweet caramel.  It was also somewhat earthy and grainy with a cracker/wafer taste and just a smidgen of bitterness.  It seemed to be balanced fairly well.  Overall, nothing extraordinary, but tasty enough to warrant some discussion.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry, crisp, smooth, refreshing and thirst quenching.  The carbonation was good and a decent amount of flavor was left behind after the sip.

Well, this beer was ok.  Nothing too complicated or outstanding, but good enough for a try.  It was very similar to an ESB.  I think it could be enjoyed by most anyone, but especially those who may just be getting into craft beer.  I also think that it could be enjoyed at anytime of the year.  So, if you haven’t done so, pick a bottle of Full Sail IPA and enjoy it with a friend who may not yet know the joys of better beer.  This could be the brew that opens their eyes to a better understanding to all that’s available.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.45 out of 5
Grade:  B-

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