Friday, December 18, 2009

Full Sail Wassail

Beer: Full Sail Wassail
Brewed by: Full Sail Brewing, Hood River, OR, USA
Bottle: 12 Fluid ounces
Type: Winter ale
ABV: 7%
Served in: Pint glass
Place of purchase: Trader Joe's
Price: $6.99 per six-pack

As we venture further into the holiday season, the Winter ales become all the more readily available at the local watering holes and purveyors of liquid refreshment. For this review, Jugsy and Mugsy find ourselves tasting the product of the tiny, 47 man-powered craft brewforce that is Full Sail Brewing. The Wassail, brewed with four different malts and Pacific Northwest hops promises to be a beer lover's Winter Wonderland. Season's greetings!

In every proper review, your trusted husband & wife team of Beeraucrats will examine the Appearance, Aroma, Taste, Mouth-Feel, Drinkability and Overall Rating of the Beer and arrive at a Total Score from 1 to 10.

Full Sail Wassail


Mugsy: Deep bronze brown with slight red tones when held to light. Very thin head that dissipates to almost nothing very quickly. Leaves only a little lacing.
Jugsy: Dark brown with reddish hues. Almost no head to speak of and no visible carbonation. It looks like a tall, flat glass of Coca-Cola.


Mugsy: Strong scent of malt that includes hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. Undertones are of slight hopppiness and a yeast that smells almost, well, like sweet cream.
Jugsy: Roasted, burnt malts and a slight smell of funky, bitter yeast. Coffee and bourbon vanilla scents are secondary. I can also detect a very light hint of peppermint candy. Smells bitter-sweet.


Mugsy: First off, the malt provides a somewhat sweet taste of raspberry preserves and roastiness of coffee. The hops provide a fair bit of bitterness but the malt is without a doubt the star in this show. Aftertaste is slightly of dark chocolate.
Jugsy: Roasted malt and bitter hops comprise the initial flavor. There may be a hint of cloves along with the funky yeast taste. Aftertaste is bitter coffee grounds with a touch of hops coating on the tongue.


Mugsy: Fairly watery going down, much more so than most seasonal ales. Very little carbonation. Does coat the tongue quite a bit, though.
Jugsy: The Wassail feels watery and thin, not at all creamy like its Winter brew compatriots. The carbonation is mild and the beer has a very light feeling overall. Goes down like water.


Mugsy: Would have no problem with a few of these even at 7% ABV, however, the slight sweetness does make it seem like it might be a little headache-inducing.
Jugsy: The beer is certainly drinkable - particularly if you hate doing dishes, as no lacing whatsoever is left behind on the glass. If you enjoy bitter beers and want a somewhat higher ABV withouth the heaviness, then this is your beer.


Mugsy: Not bad. The somewhat watery finish could be a plus if pairing with a rich holiday meal. It could also be a minus if expecting to warm up by the fire while chewing one your more typical seasonal ales. This is not a terrible beer by any means. However, after being extremely pleased by Full Sail's other brews (their Amber Ale and IPA are solid and their Pale Ale and LTD are FANTASTIC and highly recommended), I was slightly underwhelmed by their seasonal offering. I found it to be just a little bland and not very complex. I would certainly drink again, but wouldn't necessarily seek it out. Would pair with either rich entrees or lighter desserts.
Jugsy: The Wassail is decent Winter ale. It's dark and a little spicy with a hint of funk as well as a fair bit of malt and hops. The lightness certainly sets it apart from most Winter ales. The main problem with this beer is that it's just average.

Mugsy: 4.75

Jugsy: 5.0

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