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Batch No. 23185 (Williamsburg, VA) - Anheuser-Busch

Not Rated.
Batch No. 23185 (Williamsburg, VA)Batch No. 23185 (Williamsburg, VA)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

64 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 200
Avg: 3.04
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: justintcoons on 10-26-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (89) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Batch No. 23185 (Williamsburg, VA) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 200
Photo of portijon
1.56/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"This one tastes better, but that doesn't mean it's good." - anonymous

My final bottle of the three in the sampler pack. Probably the best beer of the three, but still tastes like a Bud, with just a little bit of Bourbon/Vanilla sweetness. Still overcarbonated, still too light corn-chip-flavored. I smell nothing. High drinkability, but in the worst ways.

Stick to mass-marketed domestics, InBev.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a golden colour, not quite amber. Bubbly, minimal white head. Not convinced it deserved the tulip I poured it in. Pale malts make up the bulk. I don't know if I'm actually getting a minute hint of vanilla, or if I'm just willing myself out of pity. Taste as well is just some slightly sweet pale malts. I know it's all malt, but it still seems corny. The feel, unlike the rest, is quite nice. It's light bodied, but it's creamy, not too overly carbonated, and is incredibly smooth on the palate. Unfortunately, that's not enough for me to call this anything but a publicity ploy. Budweiser gives you the green light to brew anything you want, and this is the shit you come up with? It's somewhat offensive.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.09/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours clear amber with a one finger slightly frothy head.

S - Corn adjunct, slight caramel malt, rice

T - Caramel malt up front, corn flakes, ever so slight toasted malt.

M - Heavy bodied with medium to heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, Budweiser should never try to make craft beer again. This wasn't atrocious, but it definitely wasn't good.

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Photo of alk3kenny
2.16/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Project 12 rd 3 light amber... Appearance is very similar to the "deep amber" about the same color and the same quickly thinning head. Really want to smell the bourbon and vanilla in this but... I don't might be there faintly but probably because I'm really looking for it... Not much of a scent at all really... but not offensive either. Common theme with these beers is the sweetness... this one is very light but is really the only flavor in the beer as well. Easily drinkable mouthfeel is a bit creamier then the others, but no bourbon or vanilla notes to be found at all. Not that impressed with any of these beers but they are all at least drinkable.

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Photo of DenverLogan
2.21/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Light copper color...minimal head lasted several minutes. The aroma gives a hint of Bourbon and Vanilla along with light malt. Big carbonation in the mouthfeel. Flavor is light with slight malt sweetness, very light Bourbon and vanilla notes. It has more body than a Bud but I'm not sure it has as much as a Miller Lite, not that I often try either of these. I did an industry VIP tour of the Van Nuys, California Budweiser facility years ago, which was the last time having a regular Bud or Bud Lite. Interesting was that before filtration there was some flavor, but after filtration and whatever other finishing they do, there was little body or flavor left. A cheaply made beer that has survived with brilliant marketing. This Batch 23185 (Williamsburg, Va Zip Code) is seemingly also cheaply made...minimal malts and hops and who knows what ppm of Bourbon Staves penetrates each bottle. Another exploration by the big greedy giants to penetrate the craft market.

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Photo of pkalix
2.23/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

3rd of the sampler pack. batter than the last, for certain, but geez, do they really understand where they are in terms of the beer world? are they really that oblivious to the world of beer? but then, it sells so well. so it must be the consumers. who the heck buys this crap, anyway?
but again, this one is better than the last...
pours . . . . the same as the last two from this sampler pack- corn-y, yellow, etc...
tastes . . . . better than the last one from this sampler pack...
smells.... oh god... corn? malts, my butt...
overall, 2nd best of the sampler pack- i apparently opened the right side of the box to get the best one first. it went downhill from there. i hope my friends dont find out that i bought budwiper. sampler pack or not. i fell for the marketing. and the BS. competition, my BUTT. and why the heck would a company in BELGIUM buy budwiper? was it simply a monopoly piece? i bet THAT GUY was fired... funny thing is BA has it classified as a 'red lager'. kind of like classifying a chihuahua as a dog, dontcha think?

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Photo of ZAP
2.3/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-Clear gold color...little head or lace..

S-Sweetish with artificial vanilla noticeable but not strong.

T-Really sweet...I wanted to like this but the vanilla is so artificial tasting and adds little to the already sweetish, corny flavor....

M-Too sticky sweet and unbalanced....I like malty but this has no depth or real maltiness...just a sticky mess

O-Sorry...the label sounds good but this is not. Much worse than the Pilsner I just reviewed...that i could drink again...not this one..

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Photo of mooseo
2.35/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Deep amber with a huge fluffy white head.

S - Almost nothing there. Slight corn, bready malt, and grassy hops. A stale, metallic aroma is also present.

T - Subtle grainy malt, sweet corn, and rice. Where is the vanilla and bourbon? There may be a touch of vanilla in there, but the sweet Budweiser adjuncts overwhelm. Hop flavors are very, very faint, maybe a hint of grass and a light fruitiness. There is a unpleasant oxidized metallic taste that lingers.

M - Smooth, creamy, light bodied. High carbonation, and a bit watery.

O - This beer simply doesn't deliver on any level. The label promises an aged lager on bourbon staves and vanilla beans, but I would never guess that to be the case in a blind taste test. It tastes like a slightly heavier Budweiser with a weird aftertaste.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.48/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Golden amber with 2 fingers of fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and an absurd amount of carbonation.

Honestly this one smells a bit like urine. A touch of bourbon-esque sweetness, apple cider and caramel.

The bourbon and vanilla flavors are suspiciously absent. This really doesn't taste like much at all. There are some caramel and apple juice flavors. Perhaps a touch of bourbon-like sweetness. No vanilla whatsoever.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean.

Not horrible, but there's really not much flavor there. The promise of bourbon and vanilla were disappointing. Very light but not offensive.

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Photo of bbkd3b
2.54/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

(NOTE: Backdated review from 1/24/2013)

Light amber is actually a fairly good descriptor for this brew. It’s got a bit of an orange hue around brighter light but maintains that same appearance. A bit Hazy Maze Cave-ish, the clarity isn’t what I like out of a lager. Small white head disappears practically on impact, which is odd considering the obscene amount of bubbles that are floating to the top. Decent looking on a good day, I suppose, but the top needs a lot of work.

First thing I notice is that it actually has an identifiable scent. Good for you, beer! Light hints of vanilla kissing the faintest mixture of bourbon and grains makes me realize that this is actually a beer that did something different, which kudos where kudos is due. Way to go AB
Williamsburg, you’ve earned yourself a trip to Busch Gardens… waaait a minute.

Oversharp carbonation hides the flavor at the start, which is a bit frustrating. Letting it linger a bit lets a really grainy flavor come through, which is not what I was really looking for to the most from the brew. Extremely faint bourbon tones can be found here ‘n there with a bit of adventurous swishing, but the vanilla remains completely hidden away from me. Body’s light and with a clean finish… oh hey, there’s the vanilla! Much like your friend who winds up passing out on the floor after a night of drinking, you don’t realize it’s there until it’s too late. That being said, it is there, so here’s a touch of credit for that. I really wish AB would tone down the carbonation, it’s almost annoying it’s so sharp on the tongue.

Like most of AB's "serious" efforts, I'd use "meh" to a friend of one were to ask me about it. There's really nothing special about it but I was, on the whole shot, unoffended. Call it a step up.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pretty light golden amber with a thin, clinging white mousse. The bottle label describes this beer as being a light amber, but I think that is rather inaccurate.

S: I don't really detect much on the nose. There is the usual Budweiser hint of crackers, biscuit, and grassy hops. The bourbon and vanilla bean scents are very, very subtle.

T: Again, I'm not getting much here. Upon entry, there are slight notes of grass, lemon, caramel, bourbon, oak, biscuit, and vanilla, but by the finish, all that is left is a slight grassy hop bitterness.

M: This is probably the best aspect of this beer in my opinion. Medium in body, dry, and crisp with firm, active carbonation. It definitely goes down easily.

O: If it weren't for the overly weak nose and flavor, I could see myself putting down a few of these. Unlike many reviewers, I'm not one to regularly put down large commercial brewers without reason, as I understand that any brewer, regardless of size, is as capable of making a good beer as a bad one, and while I do have to give the AB guys some credit for trying, they really haven't come up with anything new or interesting. This is definitely one you can pass on, as Budweiser is too afraid to alienate their core audience by releasing something truly unique. A missed opportunity to be sure.

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Photo of chilidog
2.7/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I looked forward to this one the most but yet the most disappointed. I love a bourbon based brew. I guess bourbon staves is no barrel.
Pours a slight amber, egg white head, no real lace.
Aroma is bread, biscuit like.
Taste is so bud like, no bourbon to be had. All malt taste.
Mouth is smooth and rice like.
Overal, a-b steps into this craft beer seen with a toe, does not jump in the respective style. So close yet so far away.

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Photo of DrDemento456
2.71/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Know what I like about my bourbon aged beer? Having a twist off. Screams classy!

A - Looks quite good for a red ale. It's a bright orange red color, clear with a 1/4 inch of head that sticks around for quite a bit (surprised me) and do I see... lacing? Bravo BMC!
S - Typical lager smells, some biscuit and maybe some vanilla. They must have used very little bourbon chips cuz it's not anywhere in the smell.
T - Wow it's terrible as I expected the typical Bud "funk" seems to cover up anything they are trying to accomplish. Even the vanilla just comes off as a mild "sweetness" that covers over the skunky glory. Man I should have know...
M - Average smell it kind of burns my throat a bit so I gave it a 2.5
Overall give up while your ahead Anheuser-Busch you can't make anything craft so stick to you swill!

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Photo of Minkybut
2.73/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. Was really hoping for great results in this contest as it was made near my home. The beer was very pretty, nice gold color, rich head and smelled fresh. However it was sweet tasting and I don't mean in a good way. The beer also had a sour note to it that I despise. Like some monk style beers. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Brad007
2.75/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the same mild amber color as the "deep amber" beer I had before this. Thin head too. There may be promise in the ingredients used.

There's just a light dropping of vanilla and bourbon upfront. Too weak to register in my opinion.

Sweet malt with a dash of vanilla flavoring and bourbon. Again, very weak flavor overall. Too much of that "macro" off-taste.

Lingering mess of sweetness. Nothing interesting.

Meh, what waste of $12.99. I couldn't really recommend any of the three batches in this pack because while they sound enticing, they've been dumbed down by the consistency that rules the A-B empire. They are skilled...at making the same beer across several breweries. I question their skills at brewing anything OTHER THAN Budweiser/Bud Light.

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Photo of Spikester
2.81/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Orange amber with a two finger white head and very minor lacings.
Smell is minor orange zest and yeast.
Taste is yeasty sweet malts with a fait bitter hop on the back end.
Mouthfeel is quite good.
Overall a light amber as stated. I could not find any bourbon or vanilla in this brew. Maybe making huge quantities of beer just dumbs down the flavors like Army chow. If this was regular Bud I could see my self drinking this sometimes on a summer barbeque. They need to invite some good home brewers to the brewery and let them play. Maybe A-B could come up with something crafty that way.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.83/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Finishing off the Project 12 pack with the vaunted (I'm sure somebody vaunted it) bourbon- and vanilla-aged amber lager. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises barley, light vanilla bean, very light oak, and a touch of funky wheat. The taste brings in more of the same, with that funky wheat gaining in potency and everything else sorta fading into the distance. That is, except for the vanilla, which spikes through with a sharp sweetness every now and again. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, an okay amber lager, but one that doesn't express its aging very well, and one that devolves into muddled dissonance.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - thin head, orangey/amber pour.

Aroma - has a doughy breadiness, perhaps denoting a higher grain bill? After a moment of set up, some vanilla notes come out - light, extract/artificial in nature or at the least very diluted. Still, I like vanilla, so it is a pleasant smell to me.

Taste - I'm thinking back to Michelob's winter bourbon cask ale I had years ago, and wondering if they just recycled the recipe using a lager yeast and renamed it. Maybe. This has a light vanilla sweetness, perhaps some bourbon/oak character, it is hard to tell. A bit of nuttiness as it warms. It does have a glimmer of hope with some different flavors, but not enough of any one worth going into detail over.

Mouthfeel - proper lager body and carbonation.

Overall - so many tastier options, why mess around with this? Well, maybe if you find some on the 50¢ shelf...

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Photo of bashiba
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice light amber with a touch of copper, a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a light white ring of bubbles.

The smell is very mild, just a light bready sweetness.

The flavor is mild with a light malty sweetness followed by a touch of bitterness and a long lingering astringency.

The mouthfeel is very dry, maybe the only sign of the bourbon staves that I really detect.

Pretty average and boring, out of the 3 project 12 beers this one looked like it had the most promise, but turned out to be pretty boring and a bit flawed.

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is light amber in color supporting a thin dissipating head leaving nill lace. Smell is faint, grainy and slightly hoppy. Taste has a maltly graininess a hint of the oak with vanilla in the end. Mouthfeel is light with a good spike of carbonation.

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Photo of mynie
2.91/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours sparkly translucent amber. Smells of syrupy caramel malt and not much else. Not bad, but underwhelming.

Tastes like the aforementioned very thick malt and big dose of medicinal, fake vanilla. Like, I don't doubt that they used actual vanilla in the brewing of this beer, but it really tastes like that chemical imitation stuff. The thick caramel mixes with the fake vanilla to give off the not-entirely-unpleasant cheap candy vibe. It's not horrible, but I really doubt it's what they were going for.

I wouldn't be surprised if this beer was actually pretty good, when it was made as an experiment and not ultra-mass produced. As is, it's drinkable but off.

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Photo of barczar
2.95/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant light amber/copper color with a frothy half inch ivory head that slowly dissipates, leaving no lacing.

Grain, corn, bready caramel malt, a hint of sourness, and almost an afterthought of bourbon and vanilla form the aroma.

Flavor reveals that traditional Budweiser sourness initially, but oak, vanilla, and bourbon hit mid palate, leading into a bready malt finish, which is slightly dry and toasted.

Body is fairly light, with moderate carbonation and a grainy astringent finish.

Vanilla, oak, and bourbon are subtle. The toasted specialty malt flavor was nice. But the base beer still is lacking.

 620 characters

Photo of Brenden
2.97/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright and clear, this beer is a fairly deep amber color. It develops very little head, which falls away but leaves a wisp on top of the beer. Very light spotting remains on the walls of the glass in not quite a modicum.
Very light and a little grainy, there is a certain warmth to this beer overall. Vanilla is plainly there. It brings to mind a vanilla soda I used to drink once in a while when I would visit Coney Island that I can't quite remember the name of. There's a dusting of a dryer sort of malt laying underneath it.
The body is light as well, crisp without getting terribly spritzy and, thus, even having a little smoothness running through it.

 657 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.97/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Drank in my room while staying at 'The Sheraton on Fishermans Wharf' San Franscico on 5 Feb 2013.

Poured into a platic beaker a couple of times: still looked OK. I chilled the 12 ounce bottle in the sink with loads of ice, leaving it there while we went out and cracked in on our return.

Amber body with an off-white crown.

I found the beer a bit too sweet: and I like sweeter beers normally. This however was to smooth and almost sickly, the vanilla hints helping to make the brew feel that way.

Great if you've a sweet tooth and like vanilla flavours, otherwise steer clear of this beer.

 593 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #72 (Jan 2013):

So the brewer’s intention here was to produce a lager that is aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans. Pretty weak in both regards, obviously the brewer has to be delicate with these kinds of additions in a average sized lager but there could have been more umph. Would make for a great stepping stone brew for the immensely timid.

STYLE: American Amber Lager
ABV: 5.5%

LOOK: Clear brassy hue, great looking head

SMELL: Very clean, bready, faint hay, vague wood, very mild vanilla

TASTE: Smooth, crisp, lighter bodied, stunted vanilla, dried grass, touch of wood, ghost-like bourbon, very light hopping, kiss of alcohol, dry throughout, almost no after taste

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Batch No. 23185 (Williamsburg, VA) from Anheuser-Busch
72 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.