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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

564 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 2.85
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 8
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 564 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LarryV
3.95/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bottling.

Pours a lovely garnet color with a minimal head. Subtle hints of vanilla bean and bourbon waft from the glass. Taste is a mix of vanilla, toffee and then the bourbon peeks through in the finish. I think AB did a great job balancing the flavors in this beer. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, I'd like to see a bit more body, but I'm nitpicking. One thing I really like is that they didn't use synthetic vanilla flavoring, they used real Madagascar vanilla beans, and it tastes it. Pretty good beer and deserving of a better overall rating than the reviews reflect imho.

LarryV, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The first time I had this beer I felt it was lacking in flavor and body. I thought that the vanilla overwhelmed whatever malt was there, and that the oak was just a sidekick to the vanilla. And to be honest, I think I would still like to see it a bit fuller. However, simply based on the beer before me - for what it is - I've come to enjoy it quite a bit.

It has a beautiful appearance... a crystal clear copper-nut brown body teems with life as tiny bubbles rise to the surface, adding to the creamy, just slightly off-white head.

The nose is rich and inviting, and once you get past the vanilla, there is some bourbon that's quite nice. There are, however, no fruity esters that would commonly be associated with an "ale". It's very clean in that respect.

The vanilla initially overpowers in the flavor as well as the nose, but quickly steps aside to make way for a thin, cereal-like and toffe-ish maltiness that's just as quickly passed by with oak and subtle bourbon. The bitterness is limited, and the dryness of the oak balances it really well. It's light in flavor, just mildly malty (and not hoppy) but the gentle, slightly caramelish flavor is just enough to act as a springboard for the vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors.

As a "winter" beer I'm not sure it really fits the season, but I will certainly enjoy a few of these during Thanksgiving festivities! Nice, easy to drink, interesting, enjoyable.

NeroFiddled, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of claytri
2.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer poured a nice copper with an off white head. The aroma was of vanilla and malt. The taste predominated with vanilla but did have abit of malt in the finish. The feel was slightly oily. This beer was ok, but more like a cream soda than a winter warmer or barley wine.

claytri, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of BryanCarey
3.4/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Winter Bourbon Cask Ale pours to a copper color with a crystal clear body that releases aromas like oak, brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel. The head of foam on this beer looks promising at first but diminishes rapidly, just like it does with most Anheuser- Busch products.

Tasting this beer reveals some flavors that are evident in the aroma along with a few that are not. More than anything, the taste of vanilla dominates followed by the flavor of brown sugar, caramelized malt, toffee, and a woody taste. There is little in the way of hop taste, but it is there, lingering in the middle of the tongue following each sip. There is even a dash of chocolate hiding in there someplace, behind the taste of vanilla beans

Anheuser- Busch brews this beer using dark roasted caramel malts and Madagascar vanilla beans. The beer is aged in bourbon oak casks to produce its unique taste. It is more complex than most other A-B beers and it ranks among the better ones I have tried.

My chief complaint with this beer is the lack of much body. It is a little too light to be as delicious as it could otherwise be. But this is still a good, respectable effort from A-B and I hope the brewing giant continues to produce other beer products like it in the future.

BryanCarey, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
3.35/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle with a generic white label reading "Sample Ale, Not for Sale." It is a promo bottle from a distributor that somebody brought to last night's tasting. I believe this is the '05 release.

The beer pours to a very clear light coppery amber color with a thin white sheet of head.

The smell is of vanilla extract with crappy vegetal lager aromas emmanating from beneath. It sure doesn't smell like an ale, but I suppose I'll have to take their word for it. It smells and tastes like Vanilla Bud (see: Vanilla Coke, etc). Maybe next year they'll come out with Cherry Vanilla Cream Bud. I can't wait to not try it.

Needless to say I am not impressed by this beer. I remember trying it last year before I knew that it was an A-B product, and I didn't like it any better. The vanilla is so overpowering that it seems like I could subsitute this beer for vanilla extract in a recipe. None too drinkable. Oh yeah... and no bourbon flavor. WTF?

neonbrown82, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ortino's Pizzeria...
Appears a transparent dark amber with a small off white head that fades into a mild cap. Solid streams of carbonation pump up to the top.
Smell is of light oak, toffee, caramel, nuts, and brown sugar.
Taste is of oak, very mild bourbon-esque vanilla, and a light smokey flavor.
Mouthfeel is chewy, sugary, toffee sweet up front with gently hopping that lingers on the middle of the tongue.

weeare138, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of rabsten
3.75/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tidewater Grill in Charleston, WV.

Drawn into a 14oz food-service quality glass tumbler. The same style glass my father's iced tea came in. For an upscale restaurant, they don't know how to take care ot the beer. No head to speak of, red-amber color with mild carbonation. Virtually no aroma. The points on the appearance are for the color.

The taste was sweet, with vanilla and caramel flavors. You can tell the brew has had some contact with bourbon, because there's a mild, boilermaker quality to it. Very pleasant taste. It went well with my appetizer of jerked shrimp, so it can stand up, somewhat, to spicy foods.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery. The low carbonation means you can drink several before feeling its effects.

Bottom line: I didn't know this was an A-B product when I ordered it, and nothing about it would make you think "Factory beer." It seems like a craft brewer's first couple of efforts, before the brewmaster develops a personal style. Better than most macro products, but I enjoyed the Sam Adams I got next much more.

rabsten, May 03, 2006
Photo of nmyers
3.6/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I still can't believe this beer is an Anheuser-Busch product. The king of beers trip into hand-crafted beers is off to a fair start. Bourbon Cask Winter Ale is a good beer not a great one. This beer starts off with a little bit of a bitter taste, but with hints of vinalla this beer has a sweet side to it.

nmyers, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of harpo111
3.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this one poured amber with a moderate head..not a lot of carbonation...but nice.
not too much aroma..a little vanilla..
taste was interesting. This one is supposed to be a bourbon cast ale....there is a definate bourbon like aftertaste...with a strong hint of vanilla and caramel....
drinkablity..depends on what you want this one for.
this beer is more of a relaxing desert beer...vanilla flavor is definately present...so it has some problems when it goes to mixing with food. but by itself it is not bad...
not a spectacular beer, but for an AB product, not that bad....just not the most food friendly brew on the market. would not mind it again...just not with food...it went OK with the wings i was eating...but there are better food beers.

harpo111, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of pweis909
2.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

There were only A-B products on tap at the bar and I was suspicous about Winter Bourbon Cask Ale. I asked the bartendeder who made it, and sure enough, it turned out to be another A-B product. But one that I never heard of. One that sounds like it dared to be different. How different?

Dark reddish brown. That's different for AB.
Smell and taste -- initially, there was something reminiscent of a bourbon barrel. Unsual taste is different for A-B. I appreciate the attempt, but the taste just isn't one that I think I would like with beer. I say "think" because nothing about this tasted like beer.

Had nice mouthfeel, esp. for A-B.

Three sips into it, I decided I would never order this again.

pweis909, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of Vancer
1.83/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1/3/07 Cripe! AB just had to go and dumb this down. NOW, just loaded up with vanilla and sugar - a real vanilla cream soda.

AB could fuck up an iron ball, given the chance.



Welp, not gonna run this one down just because it’s an AB brew. Actually quite a refreshing change to drink a brew with some nice flavor. Nice oak/brown color, clear – with a smallish tan head. Hints of malt and spice in the aroma.

Unique taste; earthy, woody with undertones of chocolate. A strong backbone of vanilla and maple, not really any bourbon kick. On the sweet side, but enough hops to balance it out and make for a tangy and crisp mouthfeel. Hints of a cherry cough syrup is the only real drawback. But still very refreshing and drinkable. Pretty solid brew that would pair well with some BBQ’d chicken.

Vancer, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of Luigi
2.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Has a very clear deep amber color. The head starts of fairly large, then settles down to a small lace. The aroma is sweet. Vanilla and faint bourbon can be detected. As for the flavor it is about the same. I can taste no hops all all. The thin body of this beer taste just like smells. The word "ale" did not come to mind when I drank this beer. Next!!

Luigi, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of nickss
3.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears highly carbonated... deep amber hue... smallish head, but thick and pretty looking... nice lacing.... certainly gives me hope for this one.

Absolutely no bourbon aroma sadly... my suspicions have been confirmed. Smells very Bud-ish, although a touch sweeter than their normal offerings.... disappointing.

Not a bad flavour... much more appealing than the smell. More spicey and wintery than bourbony, but the bourbon does show through a very miniscule amount as the brew warms with a rich sweetness... lots of malt in this one.

Moderately thick mouthfeel with solid, yet not overwhelming level of carbonation... nice.

Drinkable? Yes.... kinda boring though. Certainly better than any other Bud product I've ever come across.

nickss, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of Kendo
2.1/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Got it on tap at BEFF's, a local watering hole, last night. At first I thought "Winter's" meant it was a 'Winter Warmer' - style of beer, then I thought it was the name of the brewery. Had no idea it was an A-B product, though in hindsight I should've realized. . . .

Color was fine -- coppery amber with a white head that disappeared before I even got to the glass. The smell was curious -- based on the description on the tap handle, I was expecting something different -- i.e., bourbony or oaky -- but what I got was just too sweet in scent and I couldn't place my finger on it. "OK," I thought, "oak barrels can impart all sorts of scents and flavors, let's see how it tastes." I still had an open mind. . . .

First sip and the surprise continued: caramel and vanilla flavors dominate, and there's no real balance between those flavors and the hops. The body is actually very light despite the cloyingly sweet vanilla that coats your mouth. After about half a pint, I considered leaving the rest but instead forced myself to finish it. It was not an easy exercise, as that sweet, artificial vanilla flavor was just overwhelming. I did finish it, however, and as that was the last beer of the night, I had that taste in my mouth until I got home and chugged a Gatorade and brushed my teeth to get rid of it.

The theory behind it is interesting -- i.e., aging a beer in bourbon oak barrels. But the execution is pretty poor. In fact, I'd venture a guess that no oak barrels are used (probably some oak chips at most) and the "bourbon" flavoring is just that: flavoring.

Kendo, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
2.6/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted on-tap on 01/18/06 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Bronze-ish amber in color with a low to medium creamy off-white head at first. Low carbonation puts an end to that and it appears flat thereafter. A bit over the top with lots of Vanilla candy sweetness in both aroma and flavor. Ceratinly no bourbon or oak character. Medium-light bodied with a finish that's a bit too sweet.

I had no idea who brewed this until now, weeks later but I'm glad to see that A-B is trying new things...

RBorsato, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of sacfly
2.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I saw this on tap recently and had no idea what it was other than I saw “Oak Aged” on the tap handle. I asked the bartender about it and with out saying much, he poured me a 4 oz sample.

The beer was a clear amber/gold color with a modest white head. Looked solid. Smell was very light. Much lighter than expected. Faint hints of oak wood, somewhat musty. The first sip… Hum… Tasted like seltzer water aged with a few oak chips. Very light body. Same bland taste, very un-beer like texture throughout.

Not too shocked to find out it is an AB product. The flavor and texture do not work at all here. The truly scary thing here is I am sure AB did research and field tested multiple recipes and this is what they stuck with. To think that would be craft converts would try this as a stepping stone and think this is representative of oak aged beer and craft beer in general.

But keep trying AB!

sacfly, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of mntlover
3.78/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown with a decent sized cream colored head, atleast for a bar poured draft brew, that did leaves some lace.

Aroma is malt lots of vanilla must be adding in extra to increase the vanillia. Some hints of spice and bourbon flavors underneath from the barrel.

Taste is hell what do you no its good not bad at all malty again lots of vanillia has to have vanilla beans added to this one burbon hints with weak spice hints underneath it all.

Mouthfeel is pushing medium nice level of carbonation more mellow the most Bud products.

Drinkability is hell good I know this is a product of the evil empire but its drinkable hell this should be on tap everywhere they serve bud and I would be able to have a drinkable beer everywhere we go out.

mntlover, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of Dogbrick
2.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$7 draught served in a plastic cup at Nationwide Arena. Clear dark amber color with a compact beige head. Decide lacing despite the serving container. Light malt and vanilla aroma. Medium-bodied with mild hops, malt and caramel flavors. Nothing I would mistake for bourbon though. The finish is a little watery and sweet. Not sure what the goal was here but this needs some more work

Dogbrick, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of HugoGrim
2.05/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served from the tap in a standard pint.

Body was a deep copper. Head left quickly.

Not much in the nose to speak of.

Flavor was pretty basic. The only interesting element was a very strong cream soda finish and aftertaste, which was novel at first, but got old almost immediatly, and became very fake. A very artificial flavor, which is exactly what I'm assuming was used... artificial flavoring.

HugoGrim, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

WVbeergeek, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of Higravity
2.6/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not knowing who made this beer I sat down and pointed at the sign and our bartender didn't know who made so me and my buddy orderd up a pair. Halfway through this I flagged down the owner who filled us in that it was AB and how much he liked it. A nice attempt here by AB, but it was badly executed. The beer was a couple shade sort of copper and had no real head. It smelled of vanilla and some oak. The first sip was enough and I knew that this was not oaked only. While some oaked beer get the flavor of vanilla naturally this tasted like some one had laced this beer with the same artifical flavoring pepsi uses in their soda. There was some noticable hints of oak, but no bourbon flavor and the base beer might have well have been regular bud. Thanks for the try but their speed ball couldn't get past my bat.

Higravity, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.05/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

chOAKbarrell, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of jdm
3.58/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

looks like an classic irish red. medium to small head but laced the glass quite nicely. fruity aroma with a wiff of bourbon and vanilla. touch of a grassy hop in the nose as well. the taste was perfectly represented by the nose. mouthfeel was a tad heavy and slick which i usually like. a nice beer though a tad more refreshing than warming. seemed a bit more like a summery ale to me but i love that the big boy brewerrs are starting to make nice attempts at more interesting brews. taste in american beer, it seems, is making some minor progress.

jdm, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
3.75/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My official Anheuser-Busch-may-be-doing-something-right beer. I had no idea about this beer until I was using its promotional coaster and read the fine print. Really does have a great smell of vanilla with whiskey aftertastes. Not too tasty but much better than any other A-B product around. My wife enjoyed this one as well--anything that can convert someone away from Miller Lite.

Backer2004, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet and fruity pale and crystal malt scent with a slight bourban aroma, but nothing to bold. It has burnt toffee notes as well as a thin yeast fruitiness. The taste is decent too. It's not what I'd expect from the name. It tastes like any other amber/red ale with a bit of a kicked up abv. . There is a little bourban flavor, but not what you would expect. Most bourban aged brews I've had before imbue a large bourban flavor, but not here. There is a taste of vanilla in the finish. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with a little less than adequate carbonation. This is a nice try from the big boys at AB, but I'd much rather have the bourban vanilla lager than this. Still, you can't help wonder what is next. I sincerely hope they invest more in good beers. They have some of the best brew equipment in the world. They need to start using it.

WesWes, Jan 17, 2006
Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
67 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.