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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

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

558 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 558
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 2.86
pDev: 25.87%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: JISurfer on 12-15-2005)
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Ratings: 558 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Freshie
Freshie

Massachusetts

2.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Root beer like colour, with no head.

Brown sugary smell permeates most of the aroma.

the taste has too much artificial vanilla, almost like a candy. It sticks to the back of your throat and is very acrid. Not enough hop balance to balance out that malty sweetness.

Yuck.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 04:49:25 | More by Freshie
Photo of auxiliary
auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.03/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It was ok. Has a brownish color to it, kinda watery. I had one the other day and was surprised that it was from the King of Beers (lol). I might buy another one to try it again. I wasn't thinking much of it when i was drinking it. Was an average beer. taste like vanilla a little mixed with white chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 22:53:36 | More by auxiliary
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

2.73/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall this beer isn't too bad. I've said to friends several times that A-B doing special releases to match the craft brew industry is a good sign, so I'll drink them. Their research and sales information, and business prowess is great; if A-B feels a need to compete with a winter release, they know what many of us have known for a while: craft beer is a threat.

But this beer has some of the expected problems. While the smell and taste aren't too bad, the overall impression is weak and watery for a bourbon winter ale. It has a thin tannish head the fell quickly around the edges over a mostly golden but slightly amber colored beer that was watery clear. In the nose, there are some spices, cloves, too much vanilla, and some of the woody smell is there, but all very low and imperceptible hop. A bit of caramel in the taste, but understated all the way through to the dry, light spicy finish.

The main problem I have with this beer is the fact that it tastes more like an overcarbonated lager rather than a cask ale. The misinformation for a neophyte is annoying, especially when this is being served at Old Chicago in Roseville for the Christmas tour and probably an A-B marketing push along with Stella Artois. While many of us cut our beer teeth at OC, I find it frustrating that the beer is serving as misinformation rather than education into good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2006 20:44:10 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

1.58/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This has to be the worst beer I've ever drank! The description seemed appealing until I noticed it was brewed by Anheuser-Busch and was immediately turned off, but I still bought it to give them a chance. The first sip that touched my tongue I noticed this was no cask ale, and was immediately like ughhh. It took along time to get the first one down, and why did I continue drinking it you might ask? It was because I just spent almost $8.00 on a six-pack of it. The appearnce is mediocre with no lacing and no head. It does have legs that crawl down the glass like whiskey. The color is a cherry-red. It is clear with no bubbling carbonation. The first sip is of overpowering vanilla flavoring that gagging. I've never had a vanilla flavored beer and this will be my last. It does have a slight hop spice and bitterness. Poorly carbonated and has a watery texture to the body. For an Ale aged on Bourbon Barrel Oak it should be more than a weak 6.0 ABV. They obviously don't know anything about a good cask ale or winter warmer. They should stick to producing macro-crap beer and leave the real beer to the pros. It is an interesting idea for a beer, but being poorly and cheaply brewed I will give it no justice, especially to any self-respecting beer advocate. Don't waste your money!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 19:15:50 | More by kelticblood
Photo of macster
macster

Florida

2.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a watery looking translucent burgundy-brown color. Produces an inital loose, fluffy tan head which quickly dissapates to a spotty, wispy film. Aroma is definitely dominated by the vanilla bean which seems authentic (as opposed to an artificially infused aroma). If you like tha aroma of vanilla bean in an ale this will seem somewhat pleasing and authentic. Some aromas of spices and toasted malts also appear faintly in the background. Mouthfeel is very disappointing for a beer of this style. Very thin and watery; no heft or body whatsoever. Weak and wimpy. Flavor starts out with some nice notes of vanilla bean, allspice, nutmeg, and roasted malts but unfortunately quickly trancends into a somewhat medicinal finish. I ended up blending one of these with an Anchor 2006 OSA and one with one of my homebrewed 9.2% abv English Strong Ales which rescued it to some extent. Try one if you so desire, but pass on a whole sixer like I did.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 07:02:56 | More by macster
Photo of pgenius
pgenius

Massachusetts

2.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I wasn't too thrilled about this beer. Poured a light amber color with a foamy white head that vanished quite quickly. Couldn't tell you much about the smell because there really wasn't any substance, just some weak malt and a hint of vanilla. The taste was awkward, the characteristic Anheuser Busch watery taste, quickly followed by strong sweet vanilla, but not in a god way, with weak malt and hops. Not impressed, won't get again... ever.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 22:33:20 | More by pgenius
Photo of iowaero
iowaero

Iowa

1.35/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Golden Copper with a head that does not last long. The look is about the only thing that was some what promising

S - Couldn't tell much in a bar that what somewhat smokey - maybe a hint of vanilla

T - Like I had ordered a rum and coke with a splash of beer. Yuk. Man, I was not expecting this. Very bad

M - Little carbonation and not much in the way of hops to start or end to help this horrible experiance any.

D - No thanks. If this is an attempt to draw the mass population to craft beer than bad job. If this was an attempt to draw some craft beer fans over to try some AB product than bad job.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2006 01:36:59 | More by iowaero
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

2.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Deep burnt orange auburn color with a pissy foam head that bubbles down quite fast. No lacing in the glass, and it appears to be near crystal clear.

S: Notes of wet malt and roasted grains. Hints of dry hops and wood notes. A touch of bourbon.

T: Blah. Boring. Watery and bland malts mix over imposter notes of wood and a fake vanilla note. This beer was totally contrived and it shows.

M: Wet. That's about it. No carbonation, no density, and no enjoyment.

D: No thanks, I won't be back. Glad I got a single, as the other five would likely be drain fodder.

Notes: AB can do better. Far better. The Michelob Celebration and Brewmaster's Reserve were excellent examples. If AB wants to crack the craft and micro market, they need to work more along the lines of previous said successes, and lose the over-thought planned out feeling their brews seem to exude.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 00:55:17 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer poured into the glass clear golden amber with a frothy off-white head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was light bourbon and oak presence with vanilla beans. The aroma was not very fruit despite being an ale and mostly contained oak char as a characteristic.

The flavor was mostly vanilla, far too strong in fact. With a vegetal flavor of some varietal of hops. Bourbon, if present, was barely there and oak was not a strong factor either.

The finish was even with lasting vanilla all over the place. The body was medium light with a moderate level of carbonation. The flavor on this one was just bordering on overdone. Vanilla flavor was forced and masked all the character in the flavor that had been established in the aroma. Skip it!

12 ounce bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 22:44:45 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

1.95/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a tawny brown with a rosy hue with a medium off-white head. Aroma is light malt and a trace of vanilla, rather unmemorable.

Taste is malty sweet with an oily vanilla flavor. Light spices, a bit of a bitter burnt flavor. Mouthfeel is light, clean, a little watery. Overall, unbalanced and almost cloying.

From the label: "Aged on bourbon oak casks"? "All-imported hops"? None found here. "Madagascar vanilla beans"? Blech. Anything having to do with a cask serving? Dream on. A disapointment all around.

Born-on date of 13 Oct 06, but why bother.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 04:22:30 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

1.25/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I just sampled two very good winter warmers and this sadly can't even touch their quality. This is a sad extract laden attempt at making a winter warmer. No need to read further but I must continue.

Poured into a tulip it formed an off white head that falls to a small island and little lace. Shiney copper body with varied sized carbonation.

It is heavily leaning ...aww hell it doesn't lean anywhere IT IS extremely sweet. Cream soda with a shot of vanilla extract comes to mind. Syrupy mouthfeel and creamy on the palate. This has a hard time cleaning up but there is a peppered aspect late in the finish that was the highlight for me.

Notes: I don't care who its brewed by this is simply bad. Where does the bourbon cask come into play??? I suppose if I really wanted to dig I can get a touch of bourbon but mostly it tastes like vanilla extract and cream soda. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 04:14:37 | More by DogFood11
Photo of rrg1gb
rrg1gb

Missouri

3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - It poured out a dark amber, but was overly carbonated and had no head at all. It looked exciting, but appearances can be deceiving.

S - It had a hint of vanilla, but I had to sit there and almost stick my nose in the beer to smell anything. I couldn't find any bourbon aroma either.

T - It was smooth upfront and then it's all vanilla sweetness. Nothing overly exciting or complex about it.

M - Thin, not at all complex in its flavors. It was also over carbonated.

D - This stuff seems to be a big hit, but I still think that it's aimed at the masses instead of any particular niche.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2006 18:16:53 | More by rrg1gb
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: Reddish brown in color with a low, white head that soon disappears.

smell: Aromas of vanilla and sweet toasted malts.

mouthfeel: The carbonation and body are both around medium.

taste: Similarly to the aroma, vanilla dominates in a cream soda kind of way. The bourbon was hard to find, but I may have picked up on some hints of it. Moderately sweet malts. Low hopping.

drinkability: definately not a session beer

on-tap at EV

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2006 18:07:09 | More by blackie
Photo of Procrastinator
Procrastinator

Florida

2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a 12 oz. bottle with born on date: 10Nov06. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: ruby red with brown tinges. Head quickly dissipates
with aggressive carbonation. Very clean and refreshing looking.

Smell: definite bourbon scented, slightly sweet malts and vanilla,
definitely a nice vanilla scent of creme soda.

Taste: soft, up front flavor of vanilla followed by mild, almost too mild, flavors associated with bourbons.

Mouthfeel: thin, slightly oily. A bit overcarbonated for my taste.

Drinkability: fairly easy to drink, even with excessive carbonation.
I could drink one or two at any one time. I believe the vanilla flavor
would become too much of a good thing after two.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2006 17:48:25 | More by Procrastinator
Photo of rohrbachsfan
rohrbachsfan

New York

2.3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Being a bourbon fan, I was curious about bourbon cask ales. I went to Beers of the World in search of this style and Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is what I found. I saw that AB brewed this, but despite that I kept an open mind and bought two bottles anyway. It poured dark amber and smelled like a bourbon barrel. I don’t know if AB has been tweaking the recipe based on previous reviews because I smell and taste absolutely no vanilla in it (which other reviewers found over whelming). However, I do taste bourbon and the wood barrel. I don’t like the taste but I do believe it came from a bourbon barrel. It’s not drain pour but when I’m in the mood for bourbon I’ll stick to Jim Beam or Jack Daniels. I’ll give the second bottle to my dad and see what he has to say about it. I’m not going to say "pass this one by" though because it’s unique enough to at least give it a try once. I think somewhere out there there's a person with a palette for this.

Update:
After trying Allagash Curieux and Weyerbacher Heresy, Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is definately one to pass on.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 21:29:14 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

2.35/5  rDev -17.8%
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

Serving type: growler

12-17-2006 02:16:07 | More by Billolick
Photo of arguemaniac
arguemaniac

Virginia

3.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don’t really have too many great things to say about this one, nor do I have too many serious complaints, though: it pours an orange brown color with a fairly weak head. The mouthfeel is pretty thin and the sweet aroma is less than impressive. The overall flavor is probably the best part of this brew and even that isn’t so fantastic: the bourbon vanilla flavors are pretty refreshing and interesting, but are a little astringent in the finish. The are some nice caramel malt flavors in there as well but they somewhat masked by a corny, sugary sweetness. A slight smokiness and hints of tasty oak make the palate fairly drinkable. Recommended (but only buy a single, if you can).

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 18:34:39 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

3.1/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had thisone on tap at the end of its season last time out. This second release in the bottle didn't measure up to the tap version.

It poured a nice clear, deep copper red. Not much in carbonation happening here as the brew looks flat. No head. No lace. Not a whole lot going on.

The aroma was malty vanilla, thats ok.

The taste was sweet caramel malts with alot of vanilla. If they really cast this in the barrel, I think more time to pick up that oak and bourbon would of helped. Not much of either.

Drinkability was ok, a good sipping brew for it looks bourbon like sitting in a tumbler ( on the rocks ) glass.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 13:28:48 | More by chilidog
Photo of whynot44
whynot44

Missouri

2.38/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very nice reddish copper color with even a bit of fizzy white head for about 30 seconds, no real lacing.

The aroma is very sweet malt, corn syrup, a bit of caramel, lots of vanilla and maybe just a whiff of something that might be bourbon.

The taste is sweet malt, vanilla, a trace of caramel, something fruity, old musty barrel, but barely a hint of bourbon. It reminds me of Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale with Vanilla instead of the spices, finishes very sweet with lingering vanilla. Ordinaruly I wouldn't object to vanilla, but this may be just a little too much.

Light/medium bodied, fizzy carbonation, drinkable but a bit cloying after a while. Maybe this would work better with desert. If you liked the Pumpkin Spice, you should give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 05:38:59 | More by whynot44
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

2.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I figured what the hell right? Well it looked promising enough. Pored a very nice deep reddish brown, with no head and nice lacing. Smell was sickingly sweet..Like a candy apple dipped in sugar wrapped in cotton candy. No other real taste to it either. It was just too sweet. If they had toned down the sugar and hopped it a little, or hell just turned down the sugar. Will not go back to this one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2006 02:01:24 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

2.93/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red with large white head that--for an AB beer--is nothing short of surprising.

Smells of dull fruit and imitation vanilla. Rather middle of the road. No real intensity nor complexity.

Tasets like HUGE fake vanilla. Like, vanilla ice cream. Nothing but vanilla vanilla vanilla until you get to the AB bitersweet malt aftertaste.

This exaggerated sweetness works well for the Jack's Spice, but here it's barely passable. Not a bad choice if you've only got other macros to choose from, but there are so many superior warmers available that there's not reason to buy this.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2006 19:28:05 | More by mynie
Photo of boblog
boblog

Oklahoma

1.73/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I got this at a pub recently in a mini pitcher and I couldnt get close to finishing it.

Apperance: Amber brown, basicly no head no lacing.

Smell: Cotton candy, vanilla, and sugar. Really didnt smell good at all and nothing like a good beer should.

Taste: Malty, cotton candy, cream soda, and no hops.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, thin and medium/light bodied.

Drinkablitiy: Dont drink this it's awfull. Way too sweet, and it made me sick. I really dont like Anheuser brews but I would take a Bud Dry over this anyday.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2006 00:27:16 | More by boblog
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

2.38/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a beautiful and glowing cherry peach amber color with a light tan collar of head.

Smells of dry dirty corn, pasty marshmallows, corn syrup and a hair-spray-like casuistic alcohol sting.

Tastes of a mildew infested basement and dirty corn with an odd sourness that fades into a pasty, solvent sting. I’m not sure when this flavor would ever be appropriate. The lingering aftertaste is utterly foul reminding me of rail bourbon and hangover.

The mouth feel is light with a lively fizzy carbonation. This also gave my mouth a waxy coating.

Mr. Drain, meet Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale.

-Update-

On my way to the drain, I gave this a farewell chug and it tasted much different, kinda like a Miller Lite with a splash of cheap whiskey and some marshmallows. In that light, it really isn’t that bad. So, if you’re in the market for a winter warmer to chug, this is a good candidate.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 00:18:51 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of RJLarse
RJLarse

Washington

2.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a six-pack of Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale at a grocery store to taste and review. I pured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a dark nut brown color and is clear. A thin bubbly head one-finger head forms on an aggressive pour, but dissipates quickly to nothing.

The smell is sweet, vanilla and some other floral aromas.

The taste is a bit strange. There is a sweet vanilla, and alcohol flavor, bourbon maybe. I think it tastes like cough medicine.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a little cloying.

Not the most drinkable beer. The taste is a bit odd. It's better warm than cold, but still not great either way. I'll finish the six-pack this holiday season, but I doubt I'll buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 00:48:28 | More by RJLarse
Photo of jhammerly
jhammerly

Nebraska

2.33/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This has an amber body with a thick, fluffy head that dissipated into a thin ring within minutes. A sweet aroma of vanilla and not much else. Taste is too sweet with an abundance of vanilla, slight maltiness, and hardly any hop character. Mouthfeel is thin, almost watery. Not very drinkable, I'm not even sure I can finish this. A noble gesture by AB, but falls short.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 20:30:02 | More by jhammerly
Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
67 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.