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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 PorterLambic
3.05/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Did know this was a megabrew offering until just now. I had expected more out of this one when I ordered it but now understand why it didn't deliver.

Pours a clear, reddish-amber with a small, off-white head that drops too fast and leaves no lace at all.
Smell is light with some malt, hops and a faint yeasty note. Nothing to indicate the bourbon casks.
Taste is much better with malt, grass, hops, hints of spice, fruit, caramel & oak.
A decent body but light for the style, crisp with a mellow finish. Some alcohol pokes its head up (barely) with mostly caramel & a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste.
A decent beer as a brown or red ale, but substandard as a winter warmer. Don't expect this to live up to the tap handle.

PorterLambic, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of kdog630
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ordered this while looking for a winter brew. Didn't find out it was A-B until it was served. I did my best to ingnore that and give it a decent shot.

Poured a dark copper color with a decent head. Faint spice aroma along with sweet malt. No hop presence to speak of. If this was in a bourbon barrel, I certainly didn't detect any of that in the aroma.

Taste was average for the style, but I would put it at the top of the list as far as A-B products are concerned. Much more flavor than their mainstream offerings.

This may be a case of the bar needing to alter their serving techniques to match the style because I could see this improving as it warmed in the glass. On the other hand, I can't see myself going out of my way to try it again.

kdog630, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of Enola
4.03/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know, I know. Such a high reveiw for A-B. But, I reveiw it true.

This is a good beer, bar none. Nevermind who it's by. I ran into this tonight at the Olde Hickory Taproom. The color is a deep, deep red. A very good looking brew. I could not get much smell out of it but it did have a spice like ting. The taste was WOW!!. I did not expcet this. A very smooth beer that had a sweet taste that was not unlike Vermont Maple Syrup. Like stated above, the mouthfeel was smooth. This is a good beer.I will have another pint or two before springtime comes.

Enola, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of murphysbleachers
3.65/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at my bar, into a pint glass. This hasn't been selling very well, but this is the best beer I've personally had from A-B. Light amber color, smells of vanilla beans with only a slight whiff of that bourbon cask in the background. Not over the top with the vanilla beans in the flavor, get just a bit of oaky wood. Still has that distinctive green apple in the aftertaste that I always get from A-B. products. I could easily put back a few of these. A solid winter beer (can't wait to try the bottle of Brewmaster's Reserve I've been hoarding since X-mas after having this).

murphysbleachers, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.68/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at Donnelys Public house in fairport. Had no clue who made it and was shocked to hear it was made by AB. Knowing it was AB I was surprised, but if it was made by a micro brewery it would have been a tad dissapointing due to the mouthfeel. Came to me with no head and a very nice amber body. The aroma was sweet and fruity. Taste started off sharp but as it warmed bourbon and vanilla flavors snuck in. A little hoppiness throughout the whole drink. You really need to let it warm up though. Watery mouthfeel was dissapointing. Quite drinkable though. I encourage more efforts like this though, things can only get better.

kbnooshay, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

It came to me a crystal clear brownish amber, with a thin bed of light tan head that promptly dissipated to mere traces of carbonation. There was very little lacing to speak of.

The aroma carried a poignant caramel malt sweetness, but was soon outdone by the presence of vanilla, backed very lightly by bourbon.

The first sip brought a very sweet, grain-fed sweetness, escorted by a shot of caramel, and a more strident touch of vanilla. A vague oaken smoke hint lurked behind the scenes, no doubt a vestige of the cask. The finish was a bit of bite and bitterness, lingering very shortly. Crafty, more than crafted, but by no means bad.

Light bodied, the presence was especially thin and quick to flow away, leaving little behind but the merest memory of bitterness.

Well, I'll admit, I was a bit sheepish in trying this, but I set my prejudices aside, and while pretty much just an average offering overall, it was a rather impressive showing based on A-B's other beers. Yes, it was thin, and not really rich or memorable, but this beer, in a bottle, would be better than a lot of what some people have in their fridge. And the light nature of the beer actually makes it all the more drinkable, in spite of the unusually high ABV for a macro. So fear not, because while it may not knock your socks off, it will likely give you a slightly new slant on A-B.

Foxman, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of granger10
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is popping up around town at different bars and such. For the most part it looks lifeless. No bubbles, no head, yet it's not really served from the cask. Also, it is served way too cold. When cold, there really is no flavor. As the beer warms a strong sweetness in the form of caramel takes precense. The bourbon is undetectable but vanilla is definitely there. Body is watery even when the beer warms up. Decently drinkable but honestly, it's quite average.

granger10, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The tap handle reads "Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale", though I don't know who "Winter" is...

Caramel brown body, with a thickish, though short-lived head.

Nose is sweet, caramel, mixed with vanilla, a bit of bourbon, but vanilla is king, here.

Taste is short and sweet, slick wih the caramel and toffee, a hint of the vanilla and honey, but then it's off the palate until next sip... Very light in the finish, medium at best in the body....

Had at the Nomad World Pub, tonight...the manager, and the bartender, were both apologetic about this selection. Not a beer I would order with any confidence, or enjoy with any thoroughness...not bad, mind you, but...eh...at least they're trying...

It was what it was, and ...sigh, ...that's all what it was...

feloniousmonk, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.55/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not at all a bad offering from the big boys.

Came with a nice head which dissipated. Dark colored but a lot of red poking out.

Strong vanilla tastes. Not sure how exactly this was made. Did they add vanilla? Is this picked up from bourbon?

Regardless, this aspect will affect how you view the beer. A good sipper. And I would only have it in small doses.

Most negative aspect of this beer is a watery mouthfeel. And it isn't horrible. But it is a tad weak.

GeoffFromSJ, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Vipsanius
2.98/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was absolutely shocked when I saw something I had never seen before at a bar here in MS (aka Beer Hell) and even more so seeing that it was labeled as a "cask conditioned ale." Pleasantly intrigued, I asked the bartender what it was and it started to make a little more sense when he told me it was made by AB.

The appearance was a dark amber color with an off white head, which left a little bit of lacing. The smell was malty sweet and a little floral but overall not very strong (may be more pronounced in a different glass).

The taste had a little bit more bite and a little less complexity to it than other cask conditioned ales I've had but was still pleasantly smooth. It started off sweet - caramel and bready - then had a little bite to it as it moved across the tongue with a slight citrus and random vegetably type flavor. The finish was smooth and sweet - condensed milk like - with a slightly spicy aftertaste.

There was a lot of body and richness to this beer but overall pretty smooth. As such, I probably wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of these in one sitting but it's something I wouldn't mind trying again.

Vipsanius, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Imbiber
3.15/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken from a generous *free* sample at Barrow Street Bar, Jersey City, NJ (I don't spend my money on A-B products).

Deep amber in colour, with a decent head initially. Aroma was very weak, almost undetectable, but there was a trace of perfume. Fairly light tasting with a mild woodiness underlying, also a touch of vanilla. A strange but not unpleasant combination, maybe akin to a very watered-down blended scotch whisky - though I've never tried such a compromised beverage. It slid down easily with no harshness or assertive flavours, apart from the hint of vanilla.

It was about what I expected from an attempt at craft beer from an accountant-run global monster. Nice try A-B, but maybe leave it to those who are committed to quality (as opposed to bland consistency)?

Imbiber, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of Boto
2.75/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Draught: I’m glad that I didn’t find out this was an AB product until I sat down to type in the review. Knowing it was an A-B product may have unknowingly rated it lower than I should. Anyway, this one pours a clear, dark amber color. There was about no head and no lacing at all. The nose was a bit weak, but still pleasant. Whiffs of toffee, caramel and vanilla. The taste ws a bit more substantial, with notes of the toffee, slight oakiness, and it was slightly sweet. It was fairly silky and smooth going down also. This was actually not bad. It is NOT a cask ale, and I really didn’t detect any bourbon flavors in it also.

Re-rate 1-19-2006: Boy, is this different from last year. The vanilla is now overpowering. There is a bit of a dry, metallic aftertaste that comes with a hint of bitterness. What happened????

Boto, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While at my local bar I noticed they replaced the Jack's Pumpkin Ale taphandle with some snowman holding a beer taphandle. I asked the bartender what that was and he stated it was Winter Bourbon Cask Ale and he didn't knew who brewed it.

Appearance: the pint glass was room temperature, and it looked dark copper in color with a thin 1/2" slightly off-white head. The head disappated quickly to a spotty surface foam. No lacing.

Smell: the aroma came off as sweet, as caramel and vanilla dominated.

Taste: the flavor followed the nose, as the caramel and vanilla tones are way up front, with some soft bitterness and hints of bourbon in the background. Overall the flavor is slightly sweeter than expected.

Mouthfeel: This is a light-medium bodied brew, with a somewhat thinner mouthfeel. Mildly crisp at the start. The finish lingers with the vanilla tones.

Drinkability: In the category of a winter warmer, I found this to be average but slightly unique. Personnaly I like my winter warmers to have a little more maltiness in mouthfeel.

As a side note, the bartender gave of a few of the Miller Lite and Stella drinkers a sample of this brew since it was just tapped, and overall it created some interesting debate on flavor components, but it also didn't make anyone cringe or rave about it either.

Gavage, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of JISurfer
3.58/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, with all the hullaballoo about this one, I figured I would atleast give it a shot before saying anything good or bad about. It actually far surpassed my expectations. When I first got it, it was cold, so there was no real smell/flavor to it. As it warmed up, the nose blossomed and the taste really started to show itself.

A - Very bubbly white head that died out very fast. Also had a rich
amber body.
S - Started off faint, but as it warmed, there became smells of
cinnamon, fruits, caramel malts, tinge of bourbon, and woody
undertones.
T - Taste was similar to the smell, as that it started off light, but got
stronger as it warmed. One of the big presences, was the
presence of bourbon. It kind of left a little bit of that "bourbon
burn" in the mouth after the sip. I found that to be quite unique.
You could also taste a mixture of plums, a little hops, and had
the ever slight finish of faint vanilla. The vanilla was something .
you really had to ponder on, to taste it.
D - Again, this beer really sucked in the beginning. I was
disappointed, but I let it warm up, so I could get a better feel for
it. After that, it was so much better. It was like night and day.

I think it's cool that the bigger guys are willing to try something like this once and a while. It's not too often that big companies stray from what's making them money. Kudos to AB.

JISurfer, Dec 15, 2005
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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
67 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.