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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask AleMichelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

570 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 570
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 2.87
pDev: 25.44%
Wants: 10
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JISurfer on 12-15-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

During even the coldest of weather, warm up to the smooth, robust taste of our Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale. Full of rich aromas that you find in the winter months, hints of vanilla and flavorful hops, this is a beer that is great for pouring into a large tulip glass and enjoying with friends around a fireplace.

17 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 570 | Reviews: 458
Reviews by Iguana:
Photo of Iguana
2.12/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I really enjoy bourbon barrel beers, I like the bourbon flavor in the beer, so when I saw this today I had to pick it up. It is Anheuser-Busch so I didnt hold out too much hope, but every beer is worth at least a try. Poured a very clear coppery color with a small head that went to nothing in seconds. Smell is very strongly of synthetic vanilla, they say vanilla beans but it tastes synthetic. Taste is most easily described as Vanilla Cream Budweiser. There is no hint of bourbon anywhere in the taste, smell, or aftertaste. Very depressing. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, and drinkability is not high. I really want to try and give the big breweries like Anheuser-Busch the benefit of the doubt and try their innovative stuff. But sadly beers like this are why I shouldnt. They should have let the beer sit in the bourbon cask much, much, much longer so the bourbon flavors became apparent in the beer, and instead of the vanilla beans they should have let the oak be the source of the vanilla taste, this beer is just not natural tasting.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My wife grabbed this out of my father in laws beer fridge thinking this was some new cutting edge brew...man i love my wife.Poured into standard pint glass a clear bronze color with a thin wispy quick to go head,faint aromas of vanilla extract and orange very faint.Honestly the flavors are not all that bad but the very thin body takes away from the flavors,mildly sweet with some vanilla tones and a hint of wood the vanilla is nice and not as clying as expected slightly grainy as well.I wouldnt get again but not as bad I guess as I thought it might be,still bad.

Photo of SIRIUS2
2.74/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Starting with the pour, I really wasn't all that impressed, nor put off with appearance. There was a very small head with mediocre lacing. Vanilla aromas mingled with the smell of common Budweiser. The taste was interesting... the vanilla flavoring comes on strong at first and then fades slowly, revealing the underlying mild hops and a very slight malty sweetness.

Overall drinkability was about average. I think I could enjoy one of these once in a while, one at a time; something to keep in the fridge for when that not-so-discerning friend comes over looking for something a little different. Nice concept, but not quite there.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.04/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thought this might have been some kind of micro brew on tap at my local bar, but I should have known better.

Doesnt look that bad. Dark, small head, not much to say.

Smell was really bad. Extremely sweet and artificial. Not inviting. The malty sweetness is there, but lots of additional sweetness as well. Definitely not natural.

Taste seemed decent at first. Flavorful and interesting. However, near the end of the pint it got rather sicky sweet and nauseating. Started off good, halfway through made me think "I guess this is on par with Mich Amber Bock" and by the end I was repulsed.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. Forgettable, and this is probably one of the beers strongest points.

I'd try this again, out of sheer curiosity, but as an enjoyable beer, this is really undrinkable. Sweet and fake and unnatural. Perhaps a good crowbar to use to get people away from Coors or Corona, but no real use after that.

Photo of Beaver13
2.21/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, born on 11/10/06. Pours a clear reddish amber with a fine light tan head that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subtle - sweet vanilla and some tar.

The flavor is pretty subtle as well. It is mostly vanilla with a little bit of a spicy hop finish. It has a strange kind of tarry vegetal aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium and a bit watery.

Overall, an interesting concept for AB, but a little off. It is pretty bland and watery with some off-flavors.

Photo of generallee
3.09/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: On top it has a light tan and somewhat fizzy, fast fading head. Its head fades out to nothing quickly and leaves no lacing behind. There is some visible carbonation inside of the rich dark amber colored body with good clarity.

Smell: The aroma is very sweet with deep candy like malt character with a soft touch of vanilla.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has a thin malty character with some candy like sweetness and mild caramel notes as well as a soft touch of vanilla throughout. The finish dries a bit and brings some light woody oak notes. The texture is a little bit on the thin side and the body is fairly light as well. The carbonation comes off very fizzy.

Notes: With this beer I was just not really impressed and I would not recommend it.

Photo of Billolick
2.4/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize what I actually was buying as I filled a growler of this stuff. The tap label said “Ft. Collins brewery” anyway I was later informed that I was the proud owner of A.B. fake good beer…….oh well ….caveat emptor…..pours clear medium amber, typical off white head, and light lacing. Vanilla carries the freight on this one, all over the nose and on the flavor palate. Sweet, thin and not all that pleasant. Tastes like watered down, semi flat, cherry, vanilla soda pop……pass it by, don’t be fooled like I was. Phony, craft beer is bogus

Photo of Byeast
3.2/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: poured a deep reddish brown , with a small head that dissipated to a ring of foam.

Smell: vanilla , a bit of an edge of candied sweetness , and just a touch of bourbon character.

Taste: A definate vanilla sweetness runs throughout , the malt is also a bit sweet , combined this reminds me of vanilla coke a bit , or cream soda. The bourbon flavor does show itself in a brief flash before the finish , which is mildly sweet with a hint of oak.

Mouthfeel: average , with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: Saw this brew and figured id give it a try. It was an ineresting beer and not too bad. My only complaints would be that some of the flavors seem just a bit artificial at times , and the vanilla is over the top.

Photo of Milkysunshine
4/5  rDev +39.4%

Photo of KOP_Beer_OUtlet
1/5  rDev -65.2%

Photo of bpfrush
2.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of far333
2.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper colored with a thin and foamy oatmeal colored head that rises up an inch and settles right back down to nothing.

Aroma of sweet malts, some brown sugar, vanilla extract, maybe a little oaky but maybe I'm imagining just because I expect it.

Initally sweet and syrupy, lots of vanilla, some maple syrup. I do detect a small amount of bourbon and smoke, but it tastes like sweetener has been added.

Mouthfeel is slick and watery, a little fizzy carbonation in the finish and lingering aftertaste.

A surprising product for A-B, kudos to them for trying their hand at something different, but not very drinkable for me. Gets cloying about midway through.

Photo of ADR
3.51/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish dark bronze appearance, attractive. Flat head of 1/4 of an inch and with decent duration. Simple horizontal ring laces. Not a lot of nose to this one, slight vanilla and a kid's wood blocks. Mouthfeel and carbonation are both about medium, good match for the beer. Flavor has some interesting characteristics, begins with a sweetned cherry impression, though a bit artificial. The vanilla begins to become obvious mid mouth to close, its not too cloying as the beer is not overly sweet, and it combines well with a late bitterness to give a decent ending. Unfortunately, the end is also a bit too watery, taking away from a satisfying finish.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.73/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Amber body caramel off white head leaves decent lacing down my glass. Aroma: Light bourbon character touch of hops and caramel malt with a lingering vanilla oak tone. Taste: Clean vanilla oak low caramel malt sweetness touch of whiskey barrel aging present mild hop character a bit of an herbal tone going on. Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium body mild carbonation nothing extraordinary. Drinkability: SMooth pretty effortless and unchallenging to the senses for AB not bad shows an inkling of promise and I did dig the Snowman tap handle.

Photo of chinchill
2.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

served in pint glass

Pours a clear light mahogany color with almost no head despite an easily visible moderate carbonation.

A Pyramid Snow Cap winter ale I rated yesterday serves as a good point of comparison for this beer. The Pyramid was superior in virtually every respect. The Michelob product here has a qualitatively inferior spice mixture added to it, and the level of spicing is too high, serving to mask whatever malt and hops (and rice?) are in the brew. There's a strong vanilla component that tastes a bit artificial despite listing Madagascar vanilla beans on the label -- perhaps it the intrusion of some off-flavor. I should admit I'm not a fan of bourbon nor, usually, of the effect of cask conditioning ales using bourbon barrels. In any case, there is a bit of metallic off-taste in the finish. Mouthfeel is OK, but a bit watery for the style.

Photo of OStrungT
2.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a reddish brown color with a light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a slight lacing. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles slowly rise from the bottom of the glass.

This beer has a slightly spicy aroma. It also, however, has that cabbage liek aroma that comes with just about anything I have had made by these guys. I guess they dont clean the fermenters very well or something. A slight vanilla aroma is also present

This beer tastes sweet. It tastes like a candy I have had before, but I cant put my finger on which one. It dosent taste much like a winter warmer. You know what, I kind of taste cream soda. My wife agrees, cream soda. Maybe a little vanilla flavor also.

This beer is a little over carbonated. It leaves a cream soda like aftertaste.

This beer is not session beer material. It is too sweet.

Overall: If I want cream soda, I will buy it. The bottle says it is a barrel aged beer with vanilla. I doubt any barrels were used in the making of this beer. Thanks KingG for giving me the chance to try this one. Keep trying Anheuser-Busch.

Photo of DarrellK
3.75/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had tried this beer when it firt came out and was pretty much in agreement with the mediocre rating. I've tried it again and either they made some improvements or I had a bad batch before.

The beer pours to a nice white head that does dissipate fairly quickly, and the nose is too subtle ay first but during the quaff the bourbon come through

The color is about whiskey and it has some carbonation.

The mouth has some viscosity and it leads to a pretty good sweetish finish.

This beer done stand-up to a little cooler serving but don't over do it.

Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Brenden
3.25/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes are from two days ago, 12/22/09, at Big'z in Toledo.

The color is a fairly deep burgundy-brown. There's lots of clarity, and the appearance is fairly macro: small, thinnish off-white head that leaves minimal lacing.
While there's an artificial tint to the nose, it seems there's been an appreciable effort put into making this one seem almost craft. I don't think it was done particularly well, but it was certainly done more effectively than the typical macro. There's just a hint of bourbon with a very light alcohol sting that's plenty real; the more prominent vanilla, however, seems to have been poured from a bottle with the word "extract" on the label. There's a little bit of caramel / toffee with a very subtle note of dark fruits. Malt, which perhaps ought to be prominent, are more in the background.
The taste follows suit: most strongly vanilla, somewhat artificial, is backed up by ethanol, dark fruits, grains and, in the background, malt. A willful ethanol presence becomes more pronounced in the finish and when sipped.
The body is certainly thin for such a style in comparison to certain other, more effective micro efforts. That said, it could certainly be thinner and it's not as off-putting as A-B can be. There's a light crispness and a little less on the smoothness. The character of the body may be the least impressive aspect of this one.
All in all, this is certainly a drinkable beer. This is just a step above what typically comes out of the macro world.

Photo of SetarconeX
3.7/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was actually a bit better than I expected, having been more than a little let down by AB's seasonal brews in the past. First off, it's very red. Almost cherry like. Smells like a vanilla bean. No, I take that back...it smells like a lot of vanilla beans.

Which is exactly what it tastes like. It tastes like beer made out of a whole mess of vanilla beans, and some oak. Well, at least it matches what the description on the bottle was. Actually not a half bad brew.

Only two complaints. First off, this would be a spectacular beer if they'd shoveled some malt in here. It's really lacking a base on which the vanilla and oak could build on. Second, the more of it you drink, the more a certain bitterness from the oak flavors builds up on the back of your tongue, which absolutely kills the mouthfeel and drinkability.

Those issues aside, I think this is about the best thing I've ever seen from Anheuser-Bush. Well done folks.

Photo of sloejams
2.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend picked up a 6 pack of this because of the name. Can't blame him tho - Bourbon, Cask and Winter all seem to add up to something good. He failed to notice the Anheuser-Busch affiliation. Yikes.

Anyhow, we tried it with open minds. As been said before - the vanilla is just too overpowering. It has an artificial quality to it as well. I couldn't get into it. I powered through the 12 oz. of it and figured that would be enough.

Too bad the Patriots blew the game.

Photo of eweneek83
3.63/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A true Amber color. It looked pretty good.

S - Vanilla extract and maltiness. Some caramel notes as well. Nothing too exciting.

T - Caramel and Vanilla flavors, but after a few sips, you are reminded of syrupy, unnatural flavoring. A sweeter than expected maltiness. Very little to no taste of Bourbon.

M - A pretty light mouthfeel for the style of beer. Although this is kind of what I expected from a Macro brewer.

D - Due to the lighter than usual taste and mouthfeel, you could probably down a few of these. But I got tired of the syrupy flavoring after the first pint. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn't get it again.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.25/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a golden amber with a moderate white head that disappears immediately.
Aromas of smokey bourbon and vanilla.
Taste is brown sugar malts and lots and lots of vanilla extract.
Aftertaste becomes synthetic vanilla.
I think we tried too hard at a winter warmer here or else the brewer is really in love with vanilla. I find it too unbalanced for my tastes.

Photo of weasbri
3.52/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Despite my misgivings about its macro heritage, this is not too shabby.
The head didn't last at all, reminded me of soda the way it quickly disappeared. The aroma was, as the bottle would indicate, vanilla, maybe a touch of caramel.
I was originally put off a bit by the vanilla taste. At first sip, it tasted artificial to me, but subsequent tastings have mellowed. There's just a hint of the bourbon mixing with a bit of bitterness in the end. It finishes clean and leaves the mouth waiting for the next sip.
This beer is better than I expected, but still, it could have been more.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.38/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at The Oyster Bar in Keene, NH (Didn't realize it was an AB product)

AP: Poured a totally clear deep amber with crimson hues, the head was a strong two fingers thick then dissipated to a thin, scattered covering after a while and leaving some scattered lacing behind.

Nose: Smells much like a sweet-malted vanilla soda.

Taste: Yikes! A wee bit heavy on the vanilla flavor, not exactly natural tasting vanilla either, more like an overly sweet vanilla soda with malt and....hops? I think I detect some.

MF: a medium body feels smooth with a minor bite. A bit lifeless overall.

DA: I had two pint of this at a bar, I will not be having any another.

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
67 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.