1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.

109 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 2.83
pDev: 26.15%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ghurux86 on 11-20-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Hand-crafted by A-B master brewers with real vanilla beans and aged on bourbon barrel oak. Richly aromatic with distinct vanilla & oak flavors. Available as a single 24oz bottle or as a gift set with two imported 13.5oz Ritzenhoff Crystal snifters and a 24oz bottle.
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak Alström Bros
Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of n0rmann
1.68/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I went into drinking this with an open mind, I really did, but I barely could finish the 24 ounce bottle.

It tasted, to me, like it was Michelob with vanilla syrup poured into it. The smell of vanilla was overwhelming, as was the taste.

And that was not a good thing. It tasted to me like vanilla extract was just poured into the bottle.

The beer had almost no head and there was nothing spectacular or even decent about this beer.

I've tried a vanilla ale before, which worked as a nice, drinkable beer, but this one failed.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.02/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear fiery reddish orange with a decent head that doesn't last long and minimal lacing.

A huge vanilla pressence in the nose, along with notes of bourbon, fruit, a little spice, and some alcohol.

Taste is vanilla and lots of it, a little fruit and a lot of alcohol, and some grassy notes. No malt presence to note, likewise for the hops.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and nice. OK once, but not something I would want to drink much.

Photo of Rudgers73
2.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass from a 24 oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep amber color. Not much head. You can notice a very slight cloudiness in the beer.

S- Smell is rich with vanilla with undertones of alcohol and oak.

T- Much like toasted marshmallows. The vanilla is a little much, overpowering any kind of other taste. The alcohol is very, very conspicuous though.

M- Sticky sweet, coating the mouth. Very flat and plain as far as depth goes.

D- It was nice once, but probably not again.

Photo of mentor
3.19/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle obtained for my volunteer efforts at the 2006 GABF. This bottle was left over from the serving floor and was one of the bottles later distributed to volunteers who helped with set-up and tear-dwon. Thanks a million to AB and to GABF for the opportunity.

Pours a thin tan head that quickly settles to a ring. Crystal clear amber brown liquid with a couple bubbles persistently racing to the top. Smells potently vanilla. Not much else. I searched and search and found no malt and no oak. A touch of alcohol sting

Tastes like a brown ale to start with a very strong vanilla kick and a chocolate that struggles for an appearance, before drowning in the vanilla. Aged on vanilla beans, the bottle says, but I suspect supplemented with vanilla extract. Grassy drying with a tiny alcohol sting by the tonsils during the aftertaste. In the aftertaste, the front roof of my mouth is wet sweet with dark caramel or toffee. Woody and dry on the flat of my tongue.

Not quite a Vanilla wine cooler, IMO. Not cloying on the sweet (as I was afraid), but, instead cloying on the vanilla. Yuck. Md thick body was chewy and I found modest carbonation to be fitting. Dumped the last few swigs. Too much sweetness to stand alone. Serve when a desert wine would be appropriate and try to share with one or more guests.

Photo of beerphan
3.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle->goblet
no date.

This is a sample 12oz bottle i got from an AB rep. It is undated with a black and white label which reads
(sample lager)
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
'A superior lager aged on bourbon barrell oak and real vanilla beans.

Pours an deep amber with a head that acted and sounded like a soda. Popped and fizzed for about 30 seconds and was gone. Lace? None to be had. Carbonation goes from super heavy upon the pour, to almost non existant in an instant.

Nose: Bourbon and Vanilla in the nose. The vanilla steps forward first, then slowly the bourbon overwhelms.

Taste: The heavy dose of vanilla hids the alcohol pretty well but it hids everything else as well.

Mouthfeel is not bad, a tad watery and no aftertaste.

Drinkability is low unless you a vanilla nut. I didn't finish the bottle as the vanilla was just too much.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to a ruby orange red color with a belgian like head of white foam. No lace. Medium to medium high levels of carbonation. Aromas of raw sugar cane and unsweetened vanilla. Some malty grain and bread notes. Not bad. Taste is fair, but far from exceptional; earthy spices, vanilla bean, yeasty malts, dough, a touch of light wood. Interesting, and very craft beer-esque. Mouthfeel is pretty good, but slightly syrupy, which turned me off. Drinkability isn't up to par. It's not bad, but once in a blue moon would be enough for me. Worth trying once.

3.5/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/4" off white head that faded immediately to a cap. No lace. Clear, glowing amber-orange.

S - Sweet vanilla. Tangy, boozy whiskey. Banana shake.

T - Big vanilla, sweet banana. Dark rum. Caramel.

M - Between thin and medium bodied. Mid-level carbonation.

D - Decent drinkability. Definitely different. I do not pick up on any oak aging. I would also not guess this to be 10%.

Photo of assurbanipaul
2.13/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber with a ring instead of a head. Aroma is some malt, some hops, lots of wood and bourbon with a sickly sweet vanilla element.

First sip is wildly alcoholic, just like watered-down bourbon. Some sweet malts are quickly overcome by a syrupy vanilla flavor. For all the "premium ale" this purports to be, it could just as easily be cheap scotch and a little vanilla flavoring cut to a barley wine percentage.

Mouthfeel is rather thin with a strong alcohol burn in the finish. No depth of flavor at all. Drinkability? Let's just say I am fortunate to have found a tiny 7-oz bottle of this stuff (with a twist-off cap, mind you -- that's classy) so I didn't have to finish much.

A decent attempt at a barley wine but they ultimately fumbled the ball.

Photo of Suds
3.84/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Elegant bottle with a screw-cap. This brew pours a light amber color with a slight, wispy head. The aroma is overwhelmingly vanilla. The vanilla is intriguing and actually pretty enchanting, but it’s hard to get through that smell to get much else. After a while, a little malt comes through, but no hop aroma. Slight alcohol in the smell, but it’s well hidden given the ABV. I couldn’t believe it, but the taste is even more dominated by vanilla. A little malt is detectable too, but the taste is hinged on vanilla. The taste is pretty good, but it’s best enjoyed in small quantities. So much vanilla becomes oppressive after a while. There’s surprisingly little alcohol taste…it’s very well hidden. A solid warming is the best indicator of the strength of this brew. I hoped to get some sense of the oak aging, but couldn’t pick up any oak flavors through the vanilla. This is a fascinating and enjoyable (in small quantities) brew.

Photo of dauss
1.6/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 24oz bottle with a twist off top. Much like the twist off caps found on 40oz malt liquors. The bottle shape is a little more elegant though. No freshness date or stamp, but this was imprinted on the side. 28605 SN49

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown. Large soapy bubble head with poor retention.

Smell: Smells like malt liquor with loads of alcohol, slight bit of toffee, honey, slight vanilla, and oak.

Taste: Wow, extreme cloying sweet, almost like a soda. It tastes like there is a lot of malt in there, yet it remains so thin. Did this even finish fermenting? Can't really taste the alcohol, but you can feel it. Beyond all the sweetness, you can taste the vanilla and oak.

Notes: Utterly terrible. Probably wasn't too hard to make. It says that its an ale, but I highly doubt it. Its probably the michelob brew before they water it down, add a lot of sugar into it, lots of vanilla, and some oak chips. Stay away from this, unless you like an ultra sweet cloying vanilla soda like concoction.

Photo of cheers2beers
2.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a 7oz serving into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a very deep tawny amber color with an off white two finger head. The few coloums of bead that I see seem to be moving slower upward than in most beers. The head died down to a colar around the snifter within two minutes leaving no lacing. Overall it looks very clean.

Smell: Vanilla is noted right off the bat and I will say that it is way too potent. No hops in the aroma at all which is disappointing. I smell a cookie like malt character which I think is suggested more by the vanilla more so than the actual malt. Alcohol is hidden pretty nicely for a 10% abv brew.

Taste: This thing tastes like alcohol infused vanilla syrup. The vanilla just dominates and overpowers any nuance that may or may not be in this beer. Its a real turn off but I didnt expect much from our good friends at Anheuser-Busch. If I really concentrate I do pick out a biscuty quality to the malt. This is in a word... DISGUSTING.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel with a slightly below average carbonation. Not too bad. Alcohol is slightly astringent.

Drinkability: What were these guys thinking with this mess of a beer? Its super cloying with its vanilla assault. Not balanced or interesting at all. The only good thing about this is that I got a descent buzz because of the high abv. Not recommended


Photo of mcallister
2.22/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well this brew pours a reddish orange with a somewhat decent head. Smells of oak, vanilla, but also something a little out of place a little sour, can't really pinpoint it.

That's about as good as this reveiw gets. The beer is just plain not good to drink. Very out of balance, no complexity or substance to this brew. Tastes like a cheap wine. AB has somewhat of the right idea trying to delve into a micro brew type of world but they need to get the right brewmaster at the healm or it's going to be a ride quick to end.

Photo of jeffaz02t
1.65/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Great looking beer. Light head, settled down within about a minute.

Smells pretty good, very much like vanilla. However, this beer is dominated by a sugary, vanilla taste. I was hopeing for a more subtle flavor, but it is like they are trying too hard or something. I tried about 5 sips and had to dump the whole pint down the drain. The two glasses that came in the package were worth the $5 I spent, but hopefully AB will learn something from this beer. They tried too hard. Stick to the basics. When I want to have a beer it better taste like beer. Not vanilla extract!

Photo of beergeek279
3.3/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a label-jacketted 24 oz. malt liquor-style screw-top cap into a chalice. The color is a wonderful amber with wisps of head on the top. The smell is absolutely dominated by vanilla notes with a touch of alcohol coming through. The taste starts with a bit of maltiness and a bit of the smokiness from the oak, but the aftertaste is marred by a completely cloying amount of vanilla in the beer, and with just a touch of alcohol burn to remind you this is a 10% beer. Mouthfeel is about right for carbonation and body. As for drinkability, with that finish it just doesn't have too much.

In the new spirit of BeerAdvocate, I went into this beer (along with AB's new seasonals) with an open mind, and in fact hoping that it would be quite good. Well, the beer certainly has promise, but sadly this is a case where the vanilla overwhelms the overall package, to the point of cloying. Hopefully in the future they won't overwhelm the beer with too much in the way of the beans, but instead let the oak aging add its own little subtle vanilla flavoring to the beer, in which case I'd love to give it another try.

Photo of allengarvin
2.68/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up over Christmas. Haven't gotten around to drinking it till now, in March.

Absolutely lovely looking beer. Pours out a clear walnut color with a good finger of foam topping it, frothy and lasting. Smells pleasantly malty with nice notes of vanilla. Ugh!!! Extreme vanilla-bean flavor, overwhelming everything else. I consider myself a fan of vanilla. But this is just too overwhelmingly vanilla. No subtlety, no craft.

Such promise, such failure. I ended up pouring about half of the beer down the drain.

Photo of VoodooBrew
2.52/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What exactly is there to celebrate about the work of Anheuser-Busch? When will they realize that their core market does not care for "specialty" or "traditionally-brewed" beers, and that people who do drink craft beers have pretty much no intention of buying an A-B product?

But wait a minute... when poured into a tulip glass, this beer actually looks pretty good. Could it be A-B has hit upon something?

One sniff and the dream is shattered. This smelled BAD, like sour old keg leftovers. And the hint of vanilla doesn't help.

The flavor is like Captain Morgan with vanilla extract. It's not exactly awful, but it's certainly not good. Obviously the large bottle is designed to be shared with friends, but you'd better get a lot of friends together because no one is going to want to drink more than a few sips of this poorly executed beer. And that would be just to satisfy their curiosity.

Photo of Boto
1.47/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2005 24oz.Bottle: First off, if Michelob wants to be taken seriously about their beers, they need to ditch the aluminum screw top on the bottle. It is too reminicent of some cheap 32oz’ers or malt liquor with this packaging. It pours a clear coppery color. There was quite a bit of a fizzing head, that was almost cascading ala Guinness, but all of this mayhem stopped almost immediately. The nose is definitely vanilla, with some fruits hiding behind it. The taste is overpoweringly that of vanilla. Yuck! There are some other flavors trying to make it out of the vanilla, but my taste buds are on overload from it and they can’t pick anything else out of it, except maybe some alcohol. It is harsh and syrupy. I also regret this purchase.

Photo of Bighuge
3.4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Clear auburn tone. A moderate amount of carbonation is noted. Thin tan head dissipates quickly. Lace qualities are pretty good for a beer of this octane. Pretty heavy aroma of cherry, rumcake and bourbon. My first impression is that this beer feels syrupy in the mouth. Usually, not a good thing. It's full bodied and lightly carbonated. But the taste doesn't cloy me like I thought it would with this type of mouthfeel. The flavor is actually deeper than I first thought. It's got a cherry filled center wrapped by notes of oak, vanilla and a little spice. This really isn't too bad. I'm surprised. The alcohol is hidden quite nicely. Nothing I could drink all night, but good enough to down these 24 ozs.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a beautiful, rich and interesting beer. Who'd have ever thought that A-B would put out something like this?

It pours a clear, dark-copper and rust colored body with glowing crimson-amber highlights beneath a creamy head of antique white foam. The head retention is pretty good for a beer of 10% abv, and it leaves some thin but nice lace about the glass.

The nose delivers old, just slightly damp wood; a slap of vanilla; and a swirl of caramel, maraschino cherry, and orange marmalade.

In the mouth it's delicately crisp, lending just enough mouthfeel to it's medium (headed towards medium-full) body. It's delicate carbonation awakens the tastebuds before allowing it to slide smoothly from the palate.

The flavor is rich with vanilla, and perhaps it's a bit too much at first. But as it warms and you progress through the glass a touch of spice and some broad woodiness come out. A healthy dose of the maraschino cherry found in the nose slips in as well. There's a bit of sweetness to it, and some notes of bourbon to boot, and that make it a really interesting libation as it's actually quite delicate at the same time - meaning it has all of the nuances of a bourbon-barrel aged beer, but it's lighter in body and more spritely in character. In fact, I find it kind of similar to a dram of whiskey in many ways (although I don't want to go into that), except that it's lacking in power and depth.

Overall, I found this to be quite entertaining, and a wonderful complement to a turkey dinner with baked yams, stuffing, brown-sugar glazed carrots, cheddar-laced broccoli, and garlic mashed potatoes. It also paired superbly with the carrot cake dessert. Two thumbs up!!!

Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Quite hazy copper color with a small white head, which, despite its size, retains well. Lots of scattered lace lines the glass walls.

Aroma: Sweet, spicy malt sweetness, with strong notes of vanilla, Christmas spices, and a mild oak character.

Taste: Deep, rich malt sweetness from start to finish, with a strong backbone of vanilla. Late in the taste, metallic and medicinal hop notes appear. The sweetness of the malt base makes the hop presence seem subdued by comparison. The alcohol is notable in the finish.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, very full and syrupy, with a quite soft body.

Drinkability/notes: Absolutely superb, well worth trying.

Presentation: Packaged in a seven ounce brown glass long neck with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Value: Purchased as a six-pack for of seven ounce bottles for $6.99, similar to what a six pack of standard Michelob in twelve ounce bottles would sell for, a good value.

Photo of jorjoria
2.58/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a rich amber with very little head. Nothing really too impressive or out of the ordinary.

S: a nice crisp vanilla odder also some wooden notes. In addition I get a nice sweet flower bouquet. This beer has a fantastic aroma.

T: Ok so I gave this beer a fair chance but all I get vanilla with a whole lot of alcohol. I should also say I normally like high gravity beers double IPA’s, Imperial stouts, Belgian abby ales ect. To give beer a fair chance I split the bottle with three of my buddies to try and reduce my AB byist. Unfortunately they hated the beer just as much as I did. Best description of this beer by one of my buddies was it tastes like “diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper mixed with Michelob light anda whole lot of sugar and vodka.”

D: I ended up pouring out the bottle. One of my friends was able to drink a whole 8 oz.

Photo of bditty187
3.23/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I heard enough “positive” things about this beer to try it once I seen it on-sale. I’m not big on fancy packaging with beers; AB did well with the bottle but what is up with the screw cap?

Clear, ruby-copper in hue but when backlit a bronze-red color emerges; I do love the color, it is striking to the eye! Off-white head, at the apex the foam was one finger tall. The bubbles were very noisy but sadly it quickly faded to a thin cap, naked in spots. The head residue was surprisingly ugly; plus there was no subsequent lacing. This beer went from drop-dead lovely to dead. As much as I like the color the rest of the appearance is boring and flawed.

I was expecting a more robust Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale (yes, Celebrate is a lager) but this was not the case. At first I got nothing but alcohol; I worked at the bouquet to find more aromas. Hidden are some caramel malts and a kiss of vanilla. There wasn’t much further development. Once the beer neared room temperature I did smell stale hot chocolate mix, this was not pleasant! Low potency, not very talkative; yes, I am disappointed. I was expecting something far more rich and lively. Overall, the aroma is too quite to be inviting.

The palate is better but the alcohol is a bit naked for me. The malt could be increased, this would help hid the booze and add more depth. I got some caramel, brown sugar, and a smattering of dark fruit candy, more sugar (like table sugar), apples, and vanilla. The palate isn’t completely developed; I need a richer malt profile. I need more soul. The warmer it got the more the vanilla shined, which was nice but this hid even more of the other, already soft, flavors. While this beer is tasty, it is empty at the end. The frame is solid but it needs to be filled in. If AB brews this beer again I hope they beef up the flavors and turndown the alcohol. I don’t think they will, though. What I have here is a flavorful malt liquor.

Almost medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is decent. I’d like more bulk to slow down consumption.

Funny thing, even though I can drink this with ease I don’t want too. Drinkability is low, IMO. I don’t want another bottle, I’m not sure I will finish what I have. Maybe I will. I’m sure (I think?) AB can brew better beer. While, this has more flavors then, say, Michelob Amber Bock I don’t think this is a good beer. I am disappointed. I purchased my bottle in Lincoln, NE for $7. Michelob Celebrate is Milli Vanilli; all flash, no substance and you find out it was all phony in the end.

Photo of joeyels
2.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out a rich copper/amber color with foamy tan colored head. Tiny bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface, as head retains fairly well. Looks very good inside the tulip glass provided in the gift set. Smell definitely has a bourbon feel to it with traces of vanilla. Taste is lively but not pleasing, lots of oak and tons of vanilla. Seems to get better as it warms up, it has more of a bourbon or cognac feel and taste to it, minus the carbonation. All I can feel is alcohol and vanilla beans, not very impressive.

I didn't expect too much, given the name, but after watching it pour and looking at it in the glass I was a little let down by the finished product.

Photo of germaniac
2.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 7oz bottle into a pint glass. I'm sure Anheuser-Busch would be overjoyed to see their new special beer lumped in to the same category as such luminaries as Colt .45 and Schlitz.

Clear goldish amber, smelling faintly of vanilla and slightly sweet malt, with hints of caramel, or maybe toffee.

Taste is straight vanilla bean, a little unnaturally sweet and cloying. Malt and hop presence is fairly flat. Really, the lineage of this beer is painfully obvious. Definite shades of macro, no doubt. Like the brewers tried for handcrafted, but just wound up with a "fancy" beer for the unwashed masses because the rat bastards in corporate tugged too hard on their leash. For a buck fortynine at Whole Foods, I'll pass. Where's the cause to celebrate? Not here.

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: twist off 7 oz. bottle, not much useful info. beyond the 10% abv.

Aroma: Artificial vanilla smell adds to a cloying sweet alcoholic base. It smells like a scented candle, but it’s really not too bad.

Appearance: Copper/amber clear glass keeps more of a head than I expected given the alcohol level.

Flavor: Cherry and maple on a sugary base all topped by a solid alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with a drying alcoholic finish

Overall Impression: Either this isn’t a Michelob, or it’s the best Michelob I’ve ever had. While I’ve tried the Michelob sampler pack (which all tasted like Michelob wearing different hats) this is a beer on to its own. Very intense, very flavorful; I hope this is a sign of what’s to come from BMC. Nice work!

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak from Anheuser-Busch
68 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.