Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak | Anheuser-Busch

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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
110 Ratings
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak

Brewed by:
Missouri, United States

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hand-crafted by A-B master brewers with real vanilla beans and aged on bourbon barrel oak. Richly aromatic with distinct vanilla & oak flavors. Available as a single 24oz bottle or as a gift set with two imported 13.5oz Ritzenhoff Crystal snifters and a 24oz bottle.

Added by ghurux86 on 11-20-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 99
Reviews by BrewMaster:
Photo of BrewMaster
2.68/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Apperance: 24 oz bottle with a screw top cap. Many have commented and I will add my voice to this, what were they thinking with a screw top cap? Nonetheless this is a pretty beer. Ruby to orange color with a fizzy tan head. It looks to be only mildly carbonated based on the slow rise of bubbles. Still, it looks good.

Smell: Caramel, floral notes, and a watery malt background.

Taste: Crazy vanilla sweetness that makes it taste like a dessert one would find at Disneyland. Caramel and cloying sweetness. The flavors are nice but too sweet and over-done. If they backed off the vanilla a bit this would not be a bad beer.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, grainy, and cloying.

Drinkability: Sadly this is a failed attempt. I admire the attempt because it has potential, but I had to pour this down the drain because the two of us could not consume so much vanilla-laden sweetness.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Different bottle from last year, but the same as the Celebrate Chocolate: a 24-ounce artillery shell-style bottle. Last year's version was interesting, to say the least, with mega-overwhelming vanilla notes. Let's see if things have changed.

The lace is minimal, even after a hard pouring and good amount of foam creation. The reddish orange brew is bright, with a fi ne clarity. Aroma of silky vanilla and faint bourbon, but without much of the fusel oils associated with aging beer in barrels of this sort. With each sip, the taste buds have to endure an onslaught of sweet creamy vanilla bean flavor. Are there any hops in this beer? Deceiving alcohol, and with each sip, it becomes more apparent that this beer has some strength. The finish goes straight to dry; any lasting vanilla flavor has vanished and left the palate with a fume of alcohol and clean grain. Hmm. A beer to have with sweets or a cigar, but after half a glass, we've had enough.

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Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +41.8%

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of jcdiflorio
1.18/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

served from a cylinder shaped bottle with a cone shaped cap,a plastic twist-on cap under the cone,this is a malt licquor bottle with a fancy black plastic wrap,the cap had a piece of clear tape on it?. Poured into a nonic glass.

Clear,amber red,very lively.many strings of carbination streaming to the top.Very little head if any.The carbination was quick and fizzy, like soda.

Faint aromas candy like,vanallia aromas,a hint of oak

Candy-like taste,lots of vanallia,hot alcohol,oaked tastes,sweet tastes throughout.
The taste was a cross between vanallia creme sode and cough syrup.

The mouthfeel was cloying,sticky,chewy,rough,not a good mouthfeel.
Couldn't finish this one,made me start feeling ill. A very expensive malt licquor.
My boss gave me this beer for a gift,it's ashame this was such a bad beer. I hope he don't ask me how I liked it.

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Photo of ADR
2.79/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep and rich garnet color, head rises to almost 1/2 an inch but dies very quickly. Practically no lace at all. Aroma shows little distinction, some pineapple fruitiness, sweet, not much else. Mouthfeel is surprisingly flat, carbonation dives down to nothing but the liquid does have a coating quality to it. Very exaggerated vanilla flavor, transitions into a caramelly and vaguely buttery impression, flat cream soda, some senses of powerful alcohol. This beer has some very seemless qualities, it might interest some folks, but it doesn't have much of note in a lot of ways that you might expect from a high-test craft beer. Hops don't come into play and vanilla takes up a lot of the role you might look to an interesting malt backbone to play. I don't mind the attempt, but this one's not that good and its not worth the price, in my opinion. And its a little weird to have a presentation box, a nice bottle with screened clear plastic labels -- and a cheap-ass screw-off top like a bad 40 oz...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.4/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appears with an amber hued body and a thin artificial off white head pretty fizzy with bubbles streaming not effervescence people. Aromatics are really syrupy in nature with sweet vanilla seems really vanilla extract depsite the labels claims and evident alcohol to cap this very uninteresting brew. Flavor is cloying definitely induces a gag reflex with overly sweet creamy vanilla and a touch of oak this really is that bad even medicinal. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with fizzy carbonation and the texture and flavor just won't leave my palate...drinkability I'd rather chug a bottle of Nyquil b/c I hear codeine is a better than alcohol...but really why do this to beer and package it in a missile bottle. Thank god they have seen the light and are bringing Michelob back to the basics. Oh and then we cracked the Chocolate to compare, complete drain pour.

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Photo of Sammy
3.07/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bourbon and alcohol in the smell. Also over-the-top vanilla aroma and taste. Significant white head on lagerish body. Lagerish below medium body and sweet sugary finish. Little carbonation. The kids liked it. A bit much but interesting coming from Michelob.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a beautiful, rich and interesting beer. Who'd have ever thought that A-B would put out something like this?

It pours a clear, dark-copper and rust colored body with glowing crimson-amber highlights beneath a creamy head of antique white foam. The head retention is pretty good for a beer of 10% abv, and it leaves some thin but nice lace about the glass.

The nose delivers old, just slightly damp wood; a slap of vanilla; and a swirl of caramel, maraschino cherry, and orange marmalade.

In the mouth it's delicately crisp, lending just enough mouthfeel to it's medium (headed towards medium-full) body. It's delicate carbonation awakens the tastebuds before allowing it to slide smoothly from the palate.

The flavor is rich with vanilla, and perhaps it's a bit too much at first. But as it warms and you progress through the glass a touch of spice and some broad woodiness come out. A healthy dose of the maraschino cherry found in the nose slips in as well. There's a bit of sweetness to it, and some notes of bourbon to boot, and that make it a really interesting libation as it's actually quite delicate at the same time - meaning it has all of the nuances of a bourbon-barrel aged beer, but it's lighter in body and more spritely in character. In fact, I find it kind of similar to a dram of whiskey in many ways (although I don't want to go into that), except that it's lacking in power and depth.

Overall, I found this to be quite entertaining, and a wonderful complement to a turkey dinner with baked yams, stuffing, brown-sugar glazed carrots, cheddar-laced broccoli, and garlic mashed potatoes. It also paired superbly with the carrot cake dessert. Two thumbs up!!!

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Photo of bditty187
3.23/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I heard enough “positive” things about this beer to try it once I seen it on-sale. I’m not big on fancy packaging with beers; AB did well with the bottle but what is up with the screw cap?

Clear, ruby-copper in hue but when backlit a bronze-red color emerges; I do love the color, it is striking to the eye! Off-white head, at the apex the foam was one finger tall. The bubbles were very noisy but sadly it quickly faded to a thin cap, naked in spots. The head residue was surprisingly ugly; plus there was no subsequent lacing. This beer went from drop-dead lovely to dead. As much as I like the color the rest of the appearance is boring and flawed.

I was expecting a more robust Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale (yes, Celebrate is a lager) but this was not the case. At first I got nothing but alcohol; I worked at the bouquet to find more aromas. Hidden are some caramel malts and a kiss of vanilla. There wasn’t much further development. Once the beer neared room temperature I did smell stale hot chocolate mix, this was not pleasant! Low potency, not very talkative; yes, I am disappointed. I was expecting something far more rich and lively. Overall, the aroma is too quite to be inviting.

The palate is better but the alcohol is a bit naked for me. The malt could be increased, this would help hid the booze and add more depth. I got some caramel, brown sugar, and a smattering of dark fruit candy, more sugar (like table sugar), apples, and vanilla. The palate isn’t completely developed; I need a richer malt profile. I need more soul. The warmer it got the more the vanilla shined, which was nice but this hid even more of the other, already soft, flavors. While this beer is tasty, it is empty at the end. The frame is solid but it needs to be filled in. If AB brews this beer again I hope they beef up the flavors and turndown the alcohol. I don’t think they will, though. What I have here is a flavorful malt liquor.

Almost medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is decent. I’d like more bulk to slow down consumption.

Funny thing, even though I can drink this with ease I don’t want too. Drinkability is low, IMO. I don’t want another bottle, I’m not sure I will finish what I have. Maybe I will. I’m sure (I think?) AB can brew better beer. While, this has more flavors then, say, Michelob Amber Bock I don’t think this is a good beer. I am disappointed. I purchased my bottle in Lincoln, NE for $7. Michelob Celebrate is Milli Vanilli; all flash, no substance and you find out it was all phony in the end.

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Photo of bashiba
1.99/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a very nice clear reddish copper color with a thick creamy head.

Smell was a very sublte touch of sweet and vanilla.

Taste is dominated by the vanilla with a very sweet taste and some subtle hints of the bourban and oak aging. Finishes way to sweet with no hops taste at all.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and suprisingly has none of that high ABV feel that I would expect.

Drinkability is below average, gets a little to sweet after a bit, I am glad I split my 22oz bottle as I don't think I would want to have to plow through the whole thing.

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Photo of thatdan
3.4/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The hardest part about drinking this beer is getting past the A-B Michelob name as well as the poor presentation.

If this beer was given to me in a blind tasting and presented as a vanilla dopplebock, I would probably score it rather favorably. Not stellar, but favorable.

After two years in the bottle at cellar temps, I suspect the sweetness mentioned in the previous reviews has subsided a bit. It doesn't bowl me over with sugars, but then again, I'm a barleywine lover.

More aging will probably be beneficial.

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Photo of cheers2beers
2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a 7oz serving into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a very deep tawny amber color with an off white two finger head. The few coloums of bead that I see seem to be moving slower upward than in most beers. The head died down to a colar around the snifter within two minutes leaving no lacing. Overall it looks very clean.

Smell: Vanilla is noted right off the bat and I will say that it is way too potent. No hops in the aroma at all which is disappointing. I smell a cookie like malt character which I think is suggested more by the vanilla more so than the actual malt. Alcohol is hidden pretty nicely for a 10% abv brew.

Taste: This thing tastes like alcohol infused vanilla syrup. The vanilla just dominates and overpowers any nuance that may or may not be in this beer. Its a real turn off but I didnt expect much from our good friends at Anheuser-Busch. If I really concentrate I do pick out a biscuty quality to the malt. This is in a word... DISGUSTING.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel with a slightly below average carbonation. Not too bad. Alcohol is slightly astringent.

Drinkability: What were these guys thinking with this mess of a beer? Its super cloying with its vanilla assault. Not balanced or interesting at all. The only good thing about this is that I got a descent buzz because of the high abv. Not recommended


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4.12/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich honey amber colored body hosts a quick fading off white head that is gone in 2 minutes. Carries a very nice black vanilla bean nose noticeable laced with oak notes and hints of taffy and banana. First sip really fills the mouth with robust smodey vanilla and aged oak. Banilla feel is a strong point but not over pronounced like many other vanilla infused brews. Rich smokeyness is ling and even. Macro makers make a decent micro style for a change. Super drinkable and well hidden alchol. Mature and dymanic mouthfeel. I would enjoy this one again.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.34/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

24 oz screw-top bottle split and poured into a KBS glass. 10% ABV, 2005 Vintage.

Received in a trade with Seldomsthristy and shared with Sweemzander.

A - Pours a totally hazed (scary) dirty apricot color with a large toffee head. Loose bubbles lead to little retention and specks of lacing. Just a ring is left.

S - There is a small bit of oak in the aroma but its totally lost in a light, sweet vanilla, toffee and butterscotch, and pungent fruity aroma. Fruity like a sugary fruit punch soda. It's got a really funky old ale-like aged nose. The aroma is all over the place but not in a good way. It needs to keep its ADD in check.

T - Lots of sugar with a fruit punch flavor blend with a toffee and butterscotch attributes at the same time. A little bit of the vanilla bean comes through in waves but none of the oak is noticeable. Just way too sweet. As if the 10% ABV came from sugar additions as opposed to malt.

M - Overly sweet with a rich and fuller-bodied feel. Smooth with a decent carbonation finish for it's age.

D - Drain pour. Not worth drinking unless you're an alcoholic humming bird. If I had to consume it, I wouldn't cry but the sugar is overly cloying.

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Photo of peabody
2.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours out like reddish orange ice tea.
Not much smell but you can detect yeast sugar and alcohol.
Strong taste of alcohol here. Not masked well at all. You have the sugar and the vanilla extract and that is about it.
Very watery in the mouth then the burn of alcohol is the aftertaste.
I bought this as a pair with the chocolate.
Just don't buy it would be my suggestion.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

reviewed from notes, i was given this one as a xmas present from a co worker, poured into a snifter.

dark pour with a light brownish color to the sides that can best be described as light hazelnut in color shining through. smooth light tan head faded almost instantly and left a bare topped liquid in its wake.

aroma is vanilla, sweet, artificial and so strong it starts to make you a bit sick. hints of hot alcohol, bourbon, notes of leather as well, but the sweetness is so overpowering it is nearly impossible to get past. the flavor was even worse, it seemed like all this was was a one sided sweet monster, huge notes of vanilla and hot alcohol made me wince with every sip, it was just straight wrong. finish was sweet, full of alcohol and again just not at all where i wanted to go with this.

overall never again, the thought was there, but wow, just not cool at all.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.12/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark copper with two fingers of very fizzy off-white head that vanished pretty quickly, no lacing. Nose is very sweet vanilla, a slight brown sugar, some toasty malt and a hint of bourbon--this actually smells pretty good. First sip is super sweet and vanilla, with a cream soda-like aftertaste. After a few sips, I can taste a subdued toasted malt a slight bit of bourbon and feel a little alcohol on the finish. Vanilla is unrelenting, after about 6 oz it's really cloying and getting hard to drink. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is fairly high and fizzy, and coupled with the cream soda aftertaste this really is reminiscent of drinking soda, if it wasn't for the warming of the alcohol. Overall, I must say that A-B did better than I expected with this effort, but in the end this is a one-dimensional vanilla monster that just isn't that good of a beer.

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Photo of scottoale
2.95/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up in the gift set at my main liquor store, having mixed expectations and balking at the price...

Came in a fancy 24fl.oz. bullet shaped glass bottle covered with black plastic label and a twist-off cap. This Michelob version being called "Vanilla Oak" and stated as " a superior lager aged on bourbon barrel oak and real vanilla beans"...what the hell does aged "on" mean??? Shouldn't it be aged "in" oak bourbon barrels with real vanilla beans, or something like that?

On with the pour and into the 13.5 oz. gift snifter is a rather nice looking reddish-copper lager with a 1/4' of just off-white foam head. The short lived head leaves a bit of lace behind, the carbonation is adequate.

The smell is appealing...not your typical AB macro lager blandness of a beer, but a slightly bourbon, vanilla sweet aroma coming through, hmm...might not be a bad brew here.

Wrong, sort of...the actual taste is a very sweet and cloying marshmallow riddled malt that didn't taste aged at all. It wasn't horrible, just annoying and disappointing. It didn't even seem to be as strong as the claimed 10% abv though you could taste it.

Medium light body with a synthetic kind of flavor, wouldn't want to drink to much of this stuff and I think they need too improve the taste in order for it to live up to it's name...more craft, less hype. None the less, a turn in the right direction.

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Photo of Brent
3.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bottle looks luxurious at first, then you notice it is a shrink wrap label and screwtop. Pours a dark coffee. Vanilla and toffee in the aroma. Loads of vanilla and sugar in the flavor, with a sharp alcohol kick, as though the beer had been spiked with homemade vanilla extract (vanilla beans steeped in vodka), but, fortunately the powerful vanilla character was that of real vanilla, rather than artifical extract. Odd mouthfeel - not creamy or stoutish and thus seemed thin for the sweetness. Too potent and sweet for an after dinner drink - more like a digestif. An interesting experiment, but not something I'll revisit.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.3/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass. 2005 edition.
A: Pours a cloudy burnt orange with almost no head.
S: Strong vanilla with secondary bourbon notes and alcoholic esters.
T: Honestly, better than I expected. Sweet bourbon and vanilla predominate. Notes of apple and nut too. More complex than anticipated.
M: Very light body. Disappointing.
D: ABV well hidden, but this is still a sipper. OK brew...nice attempt...but not something I'd actively seek out. Aged well.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
2.52/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What exactly is there to celebrate about the work of Anheuser-Busch? When will they realize that their core market does not care for "specialty" or "traditionally-brewed" beers, and that people who do drink craft beers have pretty much no intention of buying an A-B product?

But wait a minute... when poured into a tulip glass, this beer actually looks pretty good. Could it be A-B has hit upon something?

One sniff and the dream is shattered. This smelled BAD, like sour old keg leftovers. And the hint of vanilla doesn't help.

The flavor is like Captain Morgan with vanilla extract. It's not exactly awful, but it's certainly not good. Obviously the large bottle is designed to be shared with friends, but you'd better get a lot of friends together because no one is going to want to drink more than a few sips of this poorly executed beer. And that would be just to satisfy their curiosity.

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Photo of weeare138
3.73/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twist off cap with a cheesy, glossy, plastic label around the bottle fooling those who would be expecting a silk screened bottle. Considering the brewery, we know why they couldn't have possibly afforded something like that!
Appears an amber color with a rich, 2 finger off white head that fades quickly into a small film. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of an oak aged vanilla lager with some sugary cookie aromas making it more enticing...actually pretty nice!
Taste is a nice blend of vanilla infused oak aged lager with a sugar cookie backing. I'm really digging but I can't say anything bad about the taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth with sweet vanilla and oak coming through. Perhaps a bit more balance is needed but not a bad stab. Vanilla covers up the abv nicely.

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Photo of Rudgers73
2.92/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass from a 24 oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep amber color. Not much head. You can notice a very slight cloudiness in the beer.

S- Smell is rich with vanilla with undertones of alcohol and oak.

T- Much like toasted marshmallows. The vanilla is a little much, overpowering any kind of other taste. The alcohol is very, very conspicuous though.

M- Sticky sweet, coating the mouth. Very flat and plain as far as depth goes.

D- It was nice once, but probably not again.

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Photo of cvaquerano
2.34/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Succumbed to the packaging, all of the perfect ingredients for a perfect sale! I must give it to the sales department for this one. So, next it’s the taste. I unscrewed the cap (I still get a chuckle thinking about that). Poured somewhat nice with an amber color, then the head dies really fast. First taste of slight wood w/ Bourbon and then BAM the cloying vanilla taste that I can’t get out of my throat. I find it very cloying, especially for a beer that is way to thin for the percentage (10%). I really, really tried to give A&B a chance. But it just did not hit the mark for a beer they claim to be premium. It’s beer season and there is lots to choose from. This one I won’t recommend.

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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 2.82 out of 5 with 110 ratings