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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak - Anheuser-Busch

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
67
poor

108 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 2.82
pDev: 26.6%


Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: ghurux86 on 11-20-2005)
View: Beers (76) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twist off cap with a cheesy, glossy, plastic label around the bottle fooling those who would be expecting a silk screened bottle. Considering the brewery, we know why they couldn't have possibly afforded something like that!
Appears an amber color with a rich, 2 finger off white head that fades quickly into a small film. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of an oak aged vanilla lager with some sugary cookie aromas making it more enticing...actually pretty nice!
Taste is a nice blend of vanilla infused oak aged lager with a sugar cookie backing. I'm really digging but I can't say anything bad about the taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth with sweet vanilla and oak coming through. Perhaps a bit more balance is needed but not a bad stab. Vanilla covers up the abv nicely.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 16:32:58 | More by weeare138
Photo of cubedbee
cubedbee

Maryland

3.08/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark copper with two fingers of very fizzy off-white head that vanished pretty quickly, no lacing. Nose is very sweet vanilla, a slight brown sugar, some toasty malt and a hint of bourbon--this actually smells pretty good. First sip is super sweet and vanilla, with a cream soda-like aftertaste. After a few sips, I can taste a subdued toasted malt a slight bit of bourbon and feel a little alcohol on the finish. Vanilla is unrelenting, after about 6 oz it's really cloying and getting hard to drink. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is fairly high and fizzy, and coupled with the cream soda aftertaste this really is reminiscent of drinking soda, if it wasn't for the warming of the alcohol. Overall, I must say that A-B did better than I expected with this effort, but in the end this is a one-dimensional vanilla monster that just isn't that good of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 04:58:27 | More by cubedbee
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

1.93/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours out of the 24 oz. lame ass looking bottle with the screw off top a clear amber colour...a very thin, fine head which has no desire to stick around. aroma...holy candy corn! lots of bubblegum and vanilla...i'm suspect already. upon tasting....more of the vanilla and bubblegum candy show. very sweet. very cloying. overall a generally over flavoured attempt at a holiday themed brew. there is an alcohol prescence that is deceptively hidden among the very bold flavours...slightly spicy and comforting.

the whole vanilla bean thing is tantalizing, but it's overwhelming in the taste profile. and it does not seem 10% ABV either. this is a mess of a beer...too many conflicting flavours; too much sweetness and wine stuff going around. it just doesn't seem like beer or ale or any other above average ABV malt beverage...more like a weak apertif. this could have been such a better concoction.

ideas...good.

outcome...uff-da!

as it warms...i'm liking it less and less. in fact the more i have of it, the more it disgusts me.

not recommended and i wouldn't buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2005 03:27:40 | More by budgood1
Photo of BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

2.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Apperance: 24 oz bottle with a screw top cap. Many have commented and I will add my voice to this, what were they thinking with a screw top cap? Nonetheless this is a pretty beer. Ruby to orange color with a fizzy tan head. It looks to be only mildly carbonated based on the slow rise of bubbles. Still, it looks good.

Smell: Caramel, floral notes, and a watery malt background.

Taste: Crazy vanilla sweetness that makes it taste like a dessert one would find at Disneyland. Caramel and cloying sweetness. The flavors are nice but too sweet and over-done. If they backed off the vanilla a bit this would not be a bad beer.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, grainy, and cloying.

Drinkability: Sadly this is a failed attempt. I admire the attempt because it has potential, but I had to pour this down the drain because the two of us could not consume so much vanilla-laden sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 19:37:23 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.18/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Release 2006, 10 / 04 / 07
A lot like I remember from last year. But wait... There's more! Not as hot and fusal as last years. With less cherry / cough medicine flavors and roughness as I inticipated. Still, the beer seems artificial for me. The vanilla seems to be more of an extract than truely brewed vanilla beans. Also, I don't see the boubon attributes. I see pronounced alcohols, a woody / nutty flavors (kinda nut brown ale-like). but no well melded boubon flavors, textures, or essence. The body really lacks... balls. Only a cola-like carbonation saves it from becomming completely flat. For God's sake Anheuser Busch... Try some malt in you beer! Is it a worthwhile beer? Yes. Does it live up to it's potential? Certainly not.

Release 2005, 12 / 27 / 2005
I am impressed with this Anheuser-Busch attept of craft beer. Though disapointed by the twist-off, Colt 44-like cap, I quickly got into the beer. Strong vanilla and toasty aromas rose out of the glass with an abundance of carbonation and an impressive off-white head that soon settled under the 10% alcohol. Tastes strong of vanilla, caramel, and toffee with fruit cake-like flavors of candied cherries, pineapples, and coconuts. Light bourbon flavors show, but become way too hot or fusal for the mediu - thin body. The flavors of sweet malt and candied fruits are hindered by the heavy use of corn or rice. If it were an all-malt brew, then I'd really be saluting A-B for their efforts. Since the did not, then it's only ok.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 17:10:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ism
ism

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

24oz bottle with a screwcap; somewhat disappointing as the box seemed to promise a cork or regular cap. Clear, maple-syrup brown body with a faint amber tint, topped with a one-finger tan head that quickly disappears. Low retention, with no lacing.

Sweet nose dominated by vanilla, on top of sugar with a touch of bourbon, accompanied by hints of cinnamon and cardamon, as well as orange rind.

Light body with moderate carbonation, slightly slick, dominated by vanilla with a maple-sweet base, rice adjunct, and no hops detected. Goes down with bourbon emerging and spices stronger in the finish.

Alcohol is hidden, but due to overpowering vanilla, which overshadows the more interesting flavors and destroys the palate. An interesting effort, and hopefully indicative of a future direction, but falls short due to gross imbalance and unnecessary shortcuts.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 03:51:36 | More by ism
Photo of CJStout
CJStout

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Packaged in an attractive box with a 24 oz bottle and two crystal snifters. Snifters very nice, bottle truly unimpressive – dark bottle, plastic wrapped with a twist-off cap. After a few cracks of the cap, the once excited quaffer is now confused if he is opening a quality brew truly worth "Celebrating", or a Colt 45 40oz worthy of a brown bag.

Snifter presents the beer’s crystal clear yet deep ruby amber color beautifully. The nose is distinctly vanilla and is followed by a bouquet of oak aged bourbon. No hop aroma is detected. The higher alcohol presence becomes more pronounced as the inhale deepens.

Complex aromas lead to even more complex flavors. Again, the higher alcohol is obvious, yet very soothing. Malty vanilla flavor greets you, and the very balanced and bourbon oak flavor finishes. Sweet, slightly oily mouth feel. Very little head retention with low carbonation.

Overall, Michelob Celebrate is a very enjoyable beer and is worth celebrating, in spite of its packaging. The casual beer drinker will need to recalibrate as tasting this beer is more comparable to a single malt scotch than a high-gravity beer – deep, complex, wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 03:50:00 | More by CJStout
Photo of zumweizen
zumweizen

Texas

2.73/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a nice dark amber. Head was not there but could be the glass (rinsing agent).

Strong smell of vanilla, malt and maybe bourbon.

Taste was mostly alcohol and burned sugar at first, then the vanilla flavor that sticks with you for a while. After the first couple of drinks I started to notice a little malt flavor. No hops that I could detect.

Mouthfeel was a little thin but much better than expected.

My first impression was "I can't drink this", but after my third 7 oz. bottle I was ready for another. Apparently somewhat drinkable.

Not my favorite but interesting and better than I expected from AB.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 06:49:44 | More by zumweizen
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

2.93/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours an ultra clear red to copper colored ale with no head.

Smell is sweet and fruity but I can absolutely sniff that sweet Michelob scent in here. Faint scents of vanilla but I smell more cherry and caramel in this than vanilla. Additional scents of oranges and rice noodles. This isn't going to conquer Belgium but it isn't bad in the scent department.

Taste is not as sweet as feared but it does contain a vanilla over dose in the first sip. Burnt sugar joins the vanilla flavors and starts to taste like an under aged Bourbon whisky. After the initial shock the flavor begins to balance out a bit more. This really tastes like the cream soda of beer, but I wonder if this would age well like young Bourbon? As this is AB needs to recognize that the flavors of good Bourbon come from wood and not vanilla beans. Still as full of mistakes as it is it might someday lead Anheuser Busch to making good Pilsner and old ales some day.

Mouthfeel is light, can't mask the use of rice in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Not really. I could see using this in creating a sweet phyllo dough pastry based on nuts but it just is unbalanced as it is. Maybe age this 2 years?

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 06:10:01 | More by Zorro
Photo of ColForbin
ColForbin

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Michelob Celebrate comes in a box with two gold-rimmed snifters. It is really hard to get out of the box, although I guess the upside of that is that the beer and glasses are safe. Bottle is a screw top, true to style (about the only thing about this beer that is true to style). It pours an orange-red color with a white head that fades rather quickly to a rim around the glass. Aroma is strong bourbon/vanilla. The nose is actually very reminiscent of a glass of bourbon. Taste is a huge amount of vanilla, with a rather hot bourbon/alcohol finish and a slight macro aftertaste. (Are there adjuncts in this beer? If so, why?) The alcohol in the finish makes it a little less drinkable than it otherwise would be. If you like vanilla, you'll like this beer. It's worth a shot to see a big brewer try to brew a big beer, but it doesn't live up to countless micro examples (probably because they've been brewing big beers for so much longer).

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 00:45:46 | More by ColForbin
Photo of cvaquerano
cvaquerano

California

2.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Succumbed to the packaging, all of the perfect ingredients for a perfect sale! I must give it to the sales department for this one. So, next it’s the taste. I unscrewed the cap (I still get a chuckle thinking about that). Poured somewhat nice with an amber color, then the head dies really fast. First taste of slight wood w/ Bourbon and then BAM the cloying vanilla taste that I can’t get out of my throat. I find it very cloying, especially for a beer that is way to thin for the percentage (10%). I really, really tried to give A&B a chance. But it just did not hit the mark for a beer they claim to be premium. It’s beer season and there is lots to choose from. This one I won’t recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 18:31:07 | More by cvaquerano
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

The marketing guys had a field day with this one. Man, A-B keeps far too many people employed. I think this beer is a testament to the fact that A-B must be a bit concerned about the impact of the micro-market if they are trying this hard to get a piece of it. Go Micro Brews!!! Keep It Up!!!

The presentation actually looked like they cared until you get to the screw cap. Reminds me of Steve Martin and Kermit the frog "Shall I unscrew it for you?"..."Would you like to smell the bottle cap?" I felt like we were opening up a shrink-wrapped "Malt Licka 40".

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish copper color with about a 1/2" of tan foam at first that was really active. The head didn't stay around long. It is definitely much more attractive than any of their other products I have seen to date.

Aroma: Now the aroma is pretty bland, but pretty intriguing for a product from a macro. There is a bit of caramel, and some soft vanilla is noticeable as the head falls. There is a bit of an earthy aroma that I would guess is the contribution of the oak. I probably should have drank this beer in a tulip glass instead of a pint glass. The aroma is relatively complex, but far too light for such a wide rimmed glass. As it warms, you can really smell the alcohol coming out. It smells almost like an addition of vodka. As it warms further, there is a bit of maple coming out.

Taste: Oh my lord, what happened here? It tastes like I am drinking A&W cream soda with vodka in it! What have they done? The balance is really sweet and soda pop like the entire time. I don't notice any hops. The finish is pretty harsh and solventy. I don't notice the 10% though. I would guess it was more like 7%. Still, it finishes pretty hot.

Opinion: I don't like this beer. This is a failed attempt of a craft brew. If it were my own beer, I would mix it with something or throw it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 15:56:48 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

2.15/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: Snazzy packaging….hmmm…..maybe, just maybe these guys really have brewed something worthy of a purchase. Hmmm…..glossy black square cardboard box has the word Michelob running down it whilst the broken word Celebrate runs across it in script text. A small cream colored band has the words “Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla” at the base with the year “2005” underneath that in black text set on a gold band. Looks Sexy and it has me all excited.

*The back says that this is a Limited Holiday Edition, set in a rather attractive box....so it has to be good right??

Appearance: Once out of the Box the 24 fluid ounce bottle feels curiously light. It should, it is a run of the mill bottle shrink wrapped in a plastic bodice, with a screw-cap…..oh my, that’s like seeing the Worlds sexiest Porn Star wearing big white flannel underwear…oh, I just lost my hard on. Once the twist cap is off a perfectly clear, yet deep red-brown body with a harsh desert sunset orange glow and a finely filtered presentation fills the glass. Not much of a head I must say. Spritzy carbonation that seems lazy.

Nose: Not that bad actually, and maybe the best part of this brew, the vanilla and bourbon mix nicely to produce a silky soft nose that reminded me of the home-made Whisky Vanilla Ice-cream that I once tried in the UK.

Taste: Vanilla solvent loaded with a heavy creamy feel. Whisky traits fill the experience from start to finish. Funny, doesn’t taste like beer but more of a coconut liquor mixed with cream soda and whisky. Smooth but not good.

Mouthfeel: 10%....doesn’t feel like it, has a low end body actually that seems overwhelmed by the vanilla beans and bourbon. And I keep getting a Coconut middle and finish. The low carbonation does not help here either.

Drinkability: This is where it falls flat on its face, its way too much, an assault of kinds. Difficult. I tried but ended up dumping some expensive beer...it's a 1.0...f**ker!!

Overall: Michelob……a.k.a…….Anheuser-Busch…the experts in packaging the mediocre in high end materials. I should have known better, but I will state that I had hoped for better, I cut some slack here but was not rewarded for my efforts. Not that bad, but definitely not worth the money…..what was I thinking when I picked this up??….oh yeah…I got drawn in by the packaging……oh shite……next thing I’ll be buying Bud Select in 6-Packs…..

On a side note: I strongly suspect that this release is just as much PR as profiteering. Anyone that really believes that A-B can *truly* brew a great beer if they wanted to and market it (and I include a few BA’s who I sparred with on this very subject this year) well, I thought those BA’s were full of crap then and I still think that they are full of crap now……but now I have proof, (insert evil laugh) just try this, and then tell me again that A-B can produce a great craft style beer!!! This is proof positive that A-B is totally incapable of producing anything else but dumbed-down cookie-cutter brews in vast quantities. Because unless I am missing something here, this “special” beer is a very average, not-so-special, and extremely over-priced brew; one in fact that I could have made myself with a Malt Extract Home-Brew Kit and some Vanilla Extract. The fight against the big bastards and their continued global-reduction-ization of beer styles and the dumbing-down of taste continues as far as I’m concerned. I tried it at least. Not impressed. Don’t be fooled by the Crocodile Tears. They are still the anti-thesis of choice for quality craft beer drinkers.

*The back says that this is a Limited Holiday Edition, set in a rather attractive box....so it has to be good right??

Nope!!! A Sheep in Wolf’s clothing…….baaaaeeeaaahhh……

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 08:23:06 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

2.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip it forms a thin layer of khaki colored head that actually laces decent. I think if I had a bigger bottle this could be put together quite nicely.

Bourbon smell is initially quite strong, a sugary sweetness that is candied with something that I would compare to a jolly rancher. Alcohol. ehhh decent.

The problem with the taste is the combo doesn't mold well together like it did in the nose. The candied presence smashes with the oaked bourbon charcoal flavor and it comes out on top. Zippy hops snap at ya 3/4 of the way through and it finishes with some fine carbonation and a lingering of the oak. Spices are evident but don't really show their face. In the end it just ends up too sweet. If the hops or the oak flavors were a bit stronger this would be worth a reccomendation.

I sample everything that comes my way. This brew on sale is worthy of a try as I could see some folks would enjoy this brew. At first I was dissapointed in the 10oz size bottles but now i'm thankfull.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 03:43:20 | More by DogFood11
Photo of kmcnair
kmcnair

California

2.05/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a reddish hue and makes a weak halo of tanned head, leaves very little lacing on my glass... looks kinda like an average barley wine.

Aroma is sweet vanilla, bourbon and ripe berry syrup, very malternative wine cooler-like. A swirl of the glass makes some fizzy bubbles surface and some toffee esters make their way into the nose.

Flavor is overloaded with vanilla, its not very pleasant and does nothing to hide the 10% ABV that this brew is sporting. This tastes like vanilla, bourbon infused oak and racing fuel -- its not very beerlike at all. Only the smallest of sips make this beer tollerable, anything more is less than pleasing.

Very warming as it goes down, light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, a bit sticky and the finish is giving me a case of heartburn.

Its a shame that this came in such a large bottle, obviously Anheuser-Busch intended for you to share this with others, but I don't think thats a very nice thing to do. Maybe give a bottle to someone you don't like. I poured myself a small glass of this and the remainder is going down the drain. F-

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 05:24:47 | More by kmcnair
Photo of Brian700
Brian700

Michigan

2.7/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a whiskey reddish/brown with absolutely no head. Very Clear.

The smell was very lacking especially for something that is brewed with vanilla beans. Small traces of vanilla are really the only thing that my nose is picking up on.

The taste is mildly sweet at first, vanilla in the middle, and all alcohol in the finish. 3 very different experiences all in one sip. 2 of them are not so good.

The mouthfeel is medium body with little to no carbonation.

This is average at best in the drinkability category. Too little flavor for such a high alcohol content. Tastes sort of like cream soda with rum in it. I wouldn't recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 05:36:12 | More by Brian700
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is like reviewing your annoying aunt's personality and trying to be objective. This is like dancing with the ugly girl and noticing that she has a cute nose. About a year ago an amazing beer conversation started amongst us BAs about if A-B made a great beer, would you buy it. (not that this was great) I said yes because I am just a beer geek with a wallet. Well, after sneaking in a tasting at a most inoppurtune moment *wink* I must say that Michelob Celebrate isn't all bad. Plenty of dunkle weizen banana notes and actually some respectability to this beer except but in the long run, the flavor tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that this is A-B afterall. Hot awl-kee-hawl fell. The flavor didn't bring home the bacon, but it was a shocker-rocker to drink!

I want to say thanks to a certain BA who shall remain nameless in the honor of all that is craft beer. So I will stand tall, say a big thanks and hope that in a small way he knows that I truly appreciate trying this scrod beer on steroids.

Beer is good. Happy macro beering.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 05:55:13 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of ABSOLUTENUT
ABSOLUTENUT

Connecticut

1.73/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Thought I'd give it a shot but it appears Michelob is just jumping on the specialty brew bandwagon. This is just like regular Michelob: no character. Drank it from the bottle on way home from hockey games, so pourability and color can't be graded. I approached this beer with an open mind, but it is nothing more than Michelob with vanilla flavor. Tastes like flat cream soda. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. If you desire vanilla flavor spend your money on Immortale.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 03:38:59 | More by ABSOLUTENUT
Photo of BeerBob
BeerBob

Nebraska

1.78/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Michelob Celebrate Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla 2005 Pours a dark copper from a black 1 pint 8 fl. oz. glass bottle with a full bottle black plastic over wrap label. Light tan head of fine foam went to over two fingers in my 16oz beer tumbler before collapsing to a well defined ring with light lacing.

Nose is a mixture of vanilla and alcohol with whiffs of Oak. Palate is a pronounced whisky alcohol, Oak and alcohol are first and foremost here, with the vanilla trying... to smooth things over.

Michelob Celebrate Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla 2005 can pass for whisky and vanilla flavored soda. For me, this will have to be an acquired taste, as my first impression is thumbs down with the whisky perception.

12/09/2005

Second bottle, This stuff is really gross...

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 20:29:24 | More by BeerBob
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Blakaeris

Iowa

2.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden ruby color with a decent white frothy head.

Smell is very sweet with strong astringent aroma. I am surprised that the smell is so one dimentional. No underlying complexity with this aroma.

Taste is completely dominated by the vanilla flavor. With some concentration I pick out the slight bourbon flavor. Very little malts and no hops whatsoever. I am amazed at the thin flavor.

Mouthfeel is rather thin. unimpressive.

If you want a 10% beer that you can pound like water; then this is the beer for you. Personally I am quite unimpressed. I will not buy another of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 23:29:40 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

1.98/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a very nice clear reddish copper color with a thick creamy head.

Smell was a very sublte touch of sweet and vanilla.

Taste is dominated by the vanilla with a very sweet taste and some subtle hints of the bourban and oak aging. Finishes way to sweet with no hops taste at all.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and suprisingly has none of that high ABV feel that I would expect.

Drinkability is below average, gets a little to sweet after a bit, I am glad I split my 22oz bottle as I don't think I would want to have to plow through the whole thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 23:13:46 | More by bashiba
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

1.1/5  rDev -61%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Gods of all beer I beg your forgiveness for I have sinned. I have befouled my loving beer cabinet, beer goblet and my taste buds with this foul wretchedness. I even managed to befoul my wife tastebuds with this horrid sewer water. My wife stated of this beer, "I thought you loved me. You tried to poison me."

Removed from its festive box and was greeted by a fancy looking bottle with a screw top. I should have left this at the store; however, I took it home. The box plainly states 2005 date.

After a few hours in the fridge I broke the seal on the cap. My intial impulse was to pour this stuff down the drain. I poured it in my beer goblets.

Appearance: The beer has almost a pink almost ruby coloration. The head was minimal frothy whiteness that quickly resolved into a thin cream colored scum. No carbonation is to be seen in the beer.

Smell: The high light of this beer was the smell. There is a brief moment that a grainy alcohol smell hits your nose. Followed by an off vanilla smell.

Taste: The taste is a plain mess. Funky alcohol flavors with an odd spicy sweetness. No hops to speak of and the malts are off. No hint of oak aged barrels let alone bourbon.

Mouthfeel: This has a very oddly oily texture. Did they just put vanilla oil in the beer?

Drinkability: You have got to be kidding. This shit is awful.

A warning to all beer geeks buy something else. This beer is not for any self respecting beer geek. I thought that AB could make a "Real Beer". I was wrong.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 22:48:31 | More by nlmartin
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

1.93/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I'm not sure if I agree with the "herbed/spiced beer" designation this beer has right now, but I'll leave it up to someone more knowledgeable than me to decide if it is not the correct style.

First off I have to say that I really wanted to like this beer. A-B brewers have to be very good to make the same beer consistently batch in and out. I thought for sure they would have let their brewers really stretch their skills to make this beer a great foray into craft brewing. I thought this had to be an opening salvo into the craft beer war that they would decide to win. It must be the beer equivalent of Ford's GT-500 that shows the world they even though they were a mass producer, they could make the best if they put their minds to it. I was wrong.

This beer must have been brewed by committee. I can't think of another reasonable explanation than that. There must have been someone who wanted a barrel aged beer because it was "hot" and someone else who wanted vanilla to appeal to women. Someone else decided that it had to be a lager so that they would stick to what they knew best. What a mess.

Twisting off the top of the plastic-wrapped beer reminds me of the few horrible experiences I've had with 40 oz. beers. Little did I know this was foreshadowing.

The beer pours a clear and eerie reddish brown with an active head that disappears if you blink. After about 1 minute, I can see NO evidence of any carbonation in my beer. It looks like flat tea.

When I took a whiff to see how this bourbon barrel aging and vanilla combined, I was pleasantly surprised to get a sweet and spicy vanilla incense infused bourbon noseful. This could be interesting I thought. However I soon found out it is the only worthwhile experience about the beer.

Taste is big fat mess of flat cream soda and whiskey. It tastes like something a high school sophomore might concoct after raiding his parent's liquor cabinet. How can anyone be proud of having produced this beer? It is a debacle in a bottle. It is too sweet, too flat, and decidedly offensive to my mouth. I'll probably wake up tomorrow and my tongue and gums will have left my mouth in protest to hide under my refrigerator.

Mouthfeel is flat and thin. There is no carbonation at all to help pick this beer up off the floor. I'm sorry I bought this.

Drinkability is truly awful and I'm actually afraid that I'll get a headache from drinking something so absolutely offensive to me.

I am disappointed to have to write this review. I was hoping that A-B would have produced a great beer and that I would be looking forward to buying more. I thought perhaps this would be a gateway beer to share with non-BA friends who might see the light after tasting something with a familar label. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 03:08:20 | More by silenius
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ADR

Pennsylvania

2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep and rich garnet color, head rises to almost 1/2 an inch but dies very quickly. Practically no lace at all. Aroma shows little distinction, some pineapple fruitiness, sweet, not much else. Mouthfeel is surprisingly flat, carbonation dives down to nothing but the liquid does have a coating quality to it. Very exaggerated vanilla flavor, transitions into a caramelly and vaguely buttery impression, flat cream soda, some senses of powerful alcohol. This beer has some very seemless qualities, it might interest some folks, but it doesn't have much of note in a lot of ways that you might expect from a high-test craft beer. Hops don't come into play and vanilla takes up a lot of the role you might look to an interesting malt backbone to play. I don't mind the attempt, but this one's not that good and its not worth the price, in my opinion. And its a little weird to have a presentation box, a nice bottle with screened clear plastic labels -- and a cheap-ass screw-off top like a bad 40 oz...

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 00:38:02 | More by ADR
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ghurux86

Missouri

4/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a reddish amber color with little head. the little bit of head it has doesn't stay around long, but the color is magnificent.

smell is pretty good. it is mostly vanilla. you can also smell alcohol, but it is almost all vanilla in the nose for me. maybe a small hint of malt.

taste is very good. once again, vanilla. only a hint of oak comes through from the bourbon barrel aging. the warmth of alcohol comes through at the end, but it is pretty mild for being 10% abv. very good flavor.

mouthfeel is good, not to thick or thin. carbonation level is low which explains the minimal head. the low carbonation doesn't seem bad for this beer, it fits the flavor and alcohol level.

drinkability is ok. it is a good brew, definitely one of the best from ab but it obviously couldn't be drank all night due to the abv.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 06:41:49 | More by ghurux86
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