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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
68
poor

109 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Drew966
3.35/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Michelob Celbrate Vanilla Oak pours a couple shades darker than a typical macro lager, being copper with a white head from a brown bottle with a twist off top. The smell is vanilla, as is the taste. This beer really is much better than I expected, I split this bottle with a couple of friends, and I really couldn't drink a whole bottle, but it is fairly decent.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.35/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber-red translucent body with pretty much no head and little lacing to speak of. Smell is dominated by vanilla with some wood/oak notes. Malty sweetness, vanilla, and hints of oak dominate the flavor. Light to medium bodied. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, really... Vanilla, oak, with some malt dominate the flavor. Not as drinkable as it could be. Reminds me in a lot of ways of Winter's Burbon Cask Ale, More complexity with a little less vanilla and oak would make this beer but not quite as good. Worth the 9$ per bottle? Not sure, An okay beer anyway, but not sure I'd get it again.

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.

Photo of acrawf6
3.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm almost positive this is the same beer I tried, thouhg the bar called it vanilla oak aged ale.

Served dark amber, but clear. Decent tan creamy head comes up. Smell does have a vanilla flavor to it. I also get a spiceness, like cloves, though faint. A little bit of caramel. This aroma is a little sweet.

Taste- a very creamy, but not heavy flavor. I can taste those vanilla and other clove spices in it. It is quite sweet, a little too sweet in my opinion but not overwhelmingly. Some of the alcohol tate somes out at the end, but not much. Not that bad, imo, but much too mild.

Mouthfeel is not that good. It just tastes a little too empty. I got no hops. good carbonation though.

Overall, i dont hate this beer, though it is not very good. I can see myself getting this again, especially for $2 an imp. pint. Hides the 10%alc quite well, but i dont think i would have put this beer in the malt liquor category.

Photo of Knapp85
3.32/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The poured out of this torpedo like looking bottle with a twist off cap... Ok. The beer poured out as a deep brown color with a light brown head on top. The beer smelled of lager yeast and heavy sweet aromas of vanilla. The taste of the beer was decent in my opinion. I felt that the beer was at it's best when it was on the warmer side. The flavors of vanilla dominate just about everything else in the brew. Not able to pick up much oak at all here. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but drinkable to me. Overall I felt that this was decent but nothing spectacular.

Photo of mwilbur
3.3/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass. 2005 edition.
A: Pours a cloudy burnt orange with almost no head.
S: Strong vanilla with secondary bourbon notes and alcoholic esters.
T: Honestly, better than I expected. Sweet bourbon and vanilla predominate. Notes of apple and nut too. More complex than anticipated.
M: Very light body. Disappointing.
D: ABV well hidden, but this is still a sipper. OK brew...nice attempt...but not something I'd actively seek out. Aged well.

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 Brent
3.28/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bottle looks luxurious at first, then you notice it is a shrink wrap label and screwtop. Pours a dark coffee. Vanilla and toffee in the aroma. Loads of vanilla and sugar in the flavor, with a sharp alcohol kick, as though the beer had been spiked with homemade vanilla extract (vanilla beans steeped in vodka), but, fortunately the powerful vanilla character was that of real vanilla, rather than artifical extract. Odd mouthfeel - not creamy or stoutish and thus seemed thin for the sweetness. Too potent and sweet for an after dinner drink - more like a digestif. An interesting experiment, but not something I'll revisit.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.28/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 24oz bottle(room temp) an amber gold with a small head of foam that shrank to just a fine ring clinging to the edge of the glass.

The smell is of vanilla and alcohol.

The taste is very strong on the vanilla, perhaps too strong even for a lager that uses vanilla in the name; I can taste no other flavours..oh wait, I'm getting some fruitness now. Sour cherries. Hmm, that helps a bit when it comes to complexity but the alcohol is starting to make its presence known both in the taste and the warming and that's really hurting the drinkability. Still, at least it does have some substance to it so I'm liking it a lot more than the Chocolate Beer that came with it.

Bottom line: It's worth a try.


Bottom line:

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of choyhosoi
3.25/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this as a gift and hadn't even heard that michelob brewed seasonal beers. The taste was bitter halfway thru the glass as you kept drinking it went away but you had to get over that bitterness.The smell was very rich like coffee. This is a darker beer if I remember and is worth a try. They sell for about $10.00 a bottle when I got mine.

Photo of montageman
3.24/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

24 oz bottle poured into Celebrate! snifter that came with the gift set. Twist off top on the bottle, which I found strange because the chocolate variety required a bottle opener, if I remember correctly.

This is a decent looking beer - nice clear reddish brown appearance, reminds me of vanilla extract. The head is basically nonexistent, The nose is dominated by vanilla - sweet, sugary vanilla with a touch of oakiness. As a dessert beer, this is inviting. Vanilla dominates the taste as well, but there is an alcohol burn on the back end - tastes like alcoholic cream soda. Compared to other Michelob varieties I've tried, the taste isn't half bad. Mouthfeel is watery. This style needs more body - the maltiness is there, but there is very little roasted character & not enough creaminess . This brew isn't half bad - the sweetness might be a little much for folks, but I can dig it. If Michelob wants to keep trying new things like this, I'm on board. Recommended to try.

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 ColForbin
3.23/5  rDev +14.1%
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).

Photo of BEERchitect
3.22/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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 BeerAdvocate
3.17/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Different bottle from last year, but the same as the Celebrate Chocolate: a 24-ounce artillery shell-style bottle. Last year's version was interesting, to say the least, with mega-overwhelming vanilla notes. Let's see if things have changed.

The lace is minimal, even after a hard pouring and good amount of foam creation. The reddish orange brew is bright, with a fi ne clarity. Aroma of silky vanilla and faint bourbon, but without much of the fusel oils associated with aging beer in barrels of this sort. With each sip, the taste buds have to endure an onslaught of sweet creamy vanilla bean flavor. Are there any hops in this beer? Deceiving alcohol, and with each sip, it becomes more apparent that this beer has some strength. The finish goes straight to dry; any lasting vanilla flavor has vanished and left the palate with a fume of alcohol and clean grain. Hmm. A beer to have with sweets or a cigar, but after half a glass, we've had enough.

Photo of cubedbee
3.12/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear medium amber with a white head which fizzed like a soda and left no trace of head or lacing at all.

The aroma was strong caramel with a cider character. The aroma had a bit of cherry fruit aroma and some bourbon character. Vanilla was also present, but other aromas dominated. Their was also present a slightly spicy phenolic due to some alcohol aroma.

The flavor was dark caramel and dark fruits, plums and a bit of raisins, but not at a high level. The flavor contained a bit of bourbon, some oak and also vanilla. The underlying maltiness contained a toffee and caramel presence. The flavor also had a cherry flavor as was present in the aroma.

The finish was dry with a lasting slight vanilla and bourbon into the afteraste. The body was medium and the carbonation was practically nonexistent. Give this beer some CO2 for goodness sake. The flavor was a blend of many flavors without much thought as to their interactions. More complexity would certainly improve this beer. There was also a sizable warming that occurred after consumption. I'd have to suggest skipping it, not because it is bad, just because it is a mess and not well executed.

24 ounce screw top bottle, shrink wrapped label, 2005 date on label.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.1/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Burnt orange that displays brilliant tangerine highlights with late afternoon sunlight behind the snifter. The (initially) acceptable looking cap is equal parts pastel orange, ecru and pale gold. It fizzes away fairly quickly, probably due to the double digit ABV, and leaves almost no lace. CVO is the spitting image of an American barleywine.

This holiday beer smells like what it's supposed to smell like. I take that back... it smells like vanilla, but not like bourbon or oak (a hint of bourbon as it warms causes me to bump the score from what I had in mind originally). I'm amazed that almost no alcohol reaches my nostrils; almost unheard of in a 10.0% beer that isn't a roasted malt monster.

Right off the bat I can tell that Celebrate Vanilla Oak is better beer than Celebrate Chocolate. That's no mean feat since I thought the latter was an absolute abomination. I don't think it's the fact that I like the caramel-vanilla-brown sugar family of flavors more than I like the chocolate-cocoa family, but then anything's possible.

What greets my taste buds reminds me of lower shelf bourbon (I'm thinking Old Crow), mixed with vanilla liqueur, melted butterscotch candies and a lot of distilled water. This concoction is a simple, shallow, sweet combination of flavors that is probably exactly what the brewery had in mind. I found one website ('sponsored by Anheuser-Busch') that says the target audience is 28-54, 'white collar' and female. Okay...

I keep hoping that warming will bring something new and different to the forefront, but it isn't to be. What you get with the first sip is what you get all the way through the 24 ounce bottle. As in the nose, the alcohol is buried (almost) without a trace, so maybe this stuff has panty stripper potential after all. Just make sure you check her driver's license and ask her where she works.

It's odd to be faced with such a thin, lackluster mouthfeel on such a high alcohol beer. I've had pilseners that were more viscous (well, maybe not quite). There is a wee bit of slickness on the finish and the carbonation is tame enough to make drinking quickly an option if one is so inclined. I'm not.

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak is, by far, a better beer than its Chocolate counterpart. That doesn't mean that it was worth the coinage that I paid for it. It's an overly simple offering that doesn't deserve the time it spent in my crystal snifter. Do yourself a favor and pass this one by.

Photo of mattpetti
3.09/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this bottle up the day before new year's and im glad i didnt crack it open that night. Though the beer itself isnt bad its not good either. It's a deceiving beer. It is ultra sweet in smell and in taste, lots of candy. Upon tasting it i was struck with how light bodied it was. Im not sure if the vanilla really works with this type of beer. It also really shows no sign of the oak age with bourbon to my knowledge. The only good thing i can say is that it hides the alcohol under all the sweetness. You can pound through the bottle without too much trouble. Im guessing they were going for a sweeter easy to drink beer for the holidays with this one and not something with too much substance. An interesting brew i just couldnt rate it as high as i'd hoped.



Oak tree Buy Rite, Edison NJ...stop by

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.09/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The bottle, attractive thought it is, reads rather oddly. "Celebrate Michelob?"...not something I often do, but I'll give it a whirl.

Clear caramelly crimson color, slim, soon gone head.

Big vanilla nose, ripe and rich, highly aromatic, accompanied by notes of cherries and raw bourbon. Alcoholic content is also very evident, just from the smell.

Smooth on the palate, with massive vanilla flavor. Tasty, but we have a problem. There's not enough malt, hardly any hops, and a real thinness that does not match up with this 10% abv. Who thought that was a good idea? You rarely find doppelbocks that strong, heck, we're almost talking Samischlaus here, and there's just a paucity of body and character. You get the vanilla and the bourbon and the booze, but it's too much for a beer so light. Feels very raw, one get ripped so easily....vanilla malt liquor, anyone?

I had an open mind going in, and applaud A-B for trying, but they goofed up on this one. Glad it was a gift.

Photo of Sammy
3.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bourbon and alcohol in the smell. Also over-the-top vanilla aroma and taste. Significant white head on lagerish body. Lagerish below medium body and sweet sugary finish. Little carbonation. The kids liked it. A bit much but interesting coming from Michelob.

Photo of drpimento
3.05/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Really not too bad in spite of our prejudice. This is the 2005 version. Called on the label a "dark" beer and I guess it's darker than a pilsner, buttt... Aroma is vanilla and a hint of spice and malt. Flavor is a little too sweet and too vanilla, but there's a real nice bourbon characteristic that comes thru in the finish. Can't sense the booze at all. Not a session beer. We sure don't see how this is classified as an "American Pale Lager" here though.

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.

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