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May 28, 2013 07:29 PM

Full Sail Session Black Premium Dark Lager is worth a try...

Over the Memorial Day holiday I picked up a couple of 12 packs of the Full Sail Session Black Premium Dark Lager and the Full Sail Session Premium Lager for general consumption.

Both beers went quickly, but the dark lager was the first one I had to make a restock run for, I had multiple requests.

Full Sail's Session Premium Lager is a nice crisp, light lager with no real faults. That stated, I found nothing truly spectacular about it either. It is exactly what it is, a very solid and drinkable lager.

Now for the fun part, Full Sail's Black Premium Dark Lager.

Full Sail brewed their dark lager in the Czech Tmave style. As such, the beer tends to be a good deal maltier and a touch sweeter in flavor than their regular premium lager (a lot of toffee flavor in it). Also the alcohol content is a bit higher at 5.4% versus a 5% ABV.

The color is deep brown (almost porter-like) and it pours a nice tan head. It has a very smooth and light body for such a dark beer. It went fairly well with most of the burgers and chops I served that day.

I think the only quibble I had about the beer was that it was served in 11oz bottles versus 12oz bottles. Outside of that, it's pretty damned good beer.

Try it out when you get a chance.

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    1. re: Jim Dorsch

      Good info, Jim.

      I was curious about whether they bottled the brew in the old-school stubbies for a historic reason.

      My happy capitalist side thinks they did it to save on shelf space and to cut production costs (twelve 11oz bottles = eleven 12oz bottles).

      IMO, they killed several birds with an 11oz bottle.

      All the same, I don't mind spending my money on a pretty damned good product.

      1. re: deet13

        It's actually an 11.2oz bottle, I think. (FWIW, in one six-pack that I tried, most were filled with about 11.6oz by weight. Not sure what the FG is.)

        I can see how this is a crowd-pleaser, but I'll go against consensus and declare that I didn't like it very much. It's better when it's pretty cold (right out of the fridge, ~35degF), but especially as it warms it was way too sweet, with the malt and roast flavours present but not particularly distinguished.

        edit to note: I imagine that it'd be alright with some burgers or other food (a la deet13's grill-out) to balance the sweetness, but I don't think it stands well on its own as a beer (which is how I drank it, maybe unwisely).

        1. re: eethan

          The Session stubbies are actually 11.0 ounces .... Had some last week in Oregon. The brewery also has 12.0 ounce normal longneck offerings as well.

          1. re: hawkeyeui93

            Ah you guys were right: 11.0oz. I guess I was getting mixed up with 330ml bottles. Anyway I figured the reduced size was to help its 'sessionability' since it's still above 5% abv.

            WRT the sweetness---I expected a sweeter beer, but I just felt it was too much. Black lagers are something I usually like, so I felt a little disappointed. To each his own, though!

          2. re: eethan

            Sweetness is what I'd be expecting in a beer like this.
            I like a well (or over) hopped beer as much as anyone. But after a while, they do get pretty boring, especially since that's what everyone seems to be brewing lately.

            So, good on Full Sail for going in the other direction on this one...can't wait to try this stuff.

            1. re: The Professor


              Black lager to me means schwarzbier and I can't say that I usually find those to be sweet.

              1. re: Josh

                I see your point...and yeah, you're probably right.
                I guess I was confusing between "black lager" and "dunkeles" which is dark, but not _as_ dark as a schwarz. The sweeter malt aspects would be more evident in the dunkeles.

      2. It is a very good beer for a backyard barbecue.

        1. I thought I was familiar with most beer styles, but had not heard of Tmave. I found some background here:

          1. I've been hearing some great things about this product...I haven't seen it around these parts yet, but am definitely on the lookout for it.

            2 Replies
              1. re: jpc8015

                oops... sorry... Central NJ.
                Been to a few stores, but haven't seen it yet. There's two big retailers I haven't yet been back to, but when I'm on the road this week I'll check them out. I'm guessing that one of these larger stores will have it.
                I'm anxious to try this one...I've always loved hoppy brews but somewhere along the way I seem to have also developed deep appreciation for extremely malt forward ones as well.