Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
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Lager - American
2.85 | pDev: 25.61%
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
Notes: 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.
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Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.22/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: Snazzy packaging….hmmm…..maybe, just maybe these guys really have brewed something worthy of a purchase. Hmmm…..glossy black square cardboard box has the word Michelob running down it whilst the broken word Celebrate runs across it in script text. A small cream colored band has the words “Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla” at the base with the year “2005” underneath that in black text set on a gold band. Looks Sexy and it has me all excited.

*The back says that this is a Limited Holiday Edition, set in a rather attractive box....so it has to be good right??

Appearance: Once out of the Box the 24 fluid ounce bottle feels curiously light. It should, it is a run of the mill bottle shrink wrapped in a plastic bodice, with a screw-cap…..oh my, that’s like seeing the Worlds sexiest Porn Star wearing big white flannel underwear…oh, I just lost my hard on. Once the twist cap is off a perfectly clear, yet deep red-brown body with a harsh desert sunset orange glow and a finely filtered presentation fills the glass. Not much of a head I must say. Spritzy carbonation that seems lazy.

Nose: Not that bad actually, and maybe the best part of this brew, the vanilla and bourbon mix nicely to produce a silky soft nose that reminded me of the home-made Whisky Vanilla Ice-cream that I once tried in the UK.

Taste: Vanilla solvent loaded with a heavy creamy feel. Whisky traits fill the experience from start to finish. Funny, doesn’t taste like beer but more of a coconut liquor mixed with cream soda and whisky. Smooth but not good.

Mouthfeel: 10%....doesn’t feel like it, has a low end body actually that seems overwhelmed by the vanilla beans and bourbon. And I keep getting a Coconut middle and finish. The low carbonation does not help here either.

Drinkability: This is where it falls flat on its face, its way too much, an assault of kinds. Difficult. I tried but ended up dumping some expensive beer...it's a 1.0...f**ker!!

Overall: Michelob……a.k.a…….Anheuser-Busch…the experts in packaging the mediocre in high end materials. I should have known better, but I will state that I had hoped for better, I cut some slack here but was not rewarded for my efforts. Not that bad, but definitely not worth the money…..what was I thinking when I picked this up??….oh yeah…I got drawn in by the packaging……oh shite……next thing I’ll be buying Bud Select in 6-Packs…..

On a side note: I strongly suspect that this release is just as much PR as profiteering. Anyone that really believes that A-B can *truly* brew a great beer if they wanted to and market it (and I include a few BA’s who I sparred with on this very subject this year) well, I thought those BA’s were full of crap then and I still think that they are full of crap now……but now I have proof, (insert evil laugh) just try this, and then tell me again that A-B can produce a great craft style beer!!! This is proof positive that A-B is totally incapable of producing anything else but dumbed-down cookie-cutter brews in vast quantities. Because unless I am missing something here, this “special” beer is a very average, not-so-special, and extremely over-priced brew; one in fact that I could have made myself with a Malt Extract Home-Brew Kit and some Vanilla Extract. The fight against the big bastards and their continued global-reduction-ization of beer styles and the dumbing-down of taste continues as far as I’m concerned. I tried it at least. Not impressed. Don’t be fooled by the Crocodile Tears. They are still the anti-thesis of choice for quality craft beer drinkers.

*The back says that this is a Limited Holiday Edition, set in a rather attractive box....so it has to be good right??

Nope!!! A Sheep in Wolf’s clothing…….baaaaeeeaaahhh……

Dec 12, 2005
More User Reviews:
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +30.9%
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.

Jan 02, 2006
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beergeek279 from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a label-jacketted 24 oz. malt liquor-style screw-top cap into a chalice. The color is a wonderful amber with wisps of head on the top. The smell is absolutely dominated by vanilla notes with a touch of alcohol coming through. The taste starts with a bit of maltiness and a bit of the smokiness from the oak, but the aftertaste is marred by a completely cloying amount of vanilla in the beer, and with just a touch of alcohol burn to remind you this is a 10% beer. Mouthfeel is about right for carbonation and body. As for drinkability, with that finish it just doesn't have too much.

In the new spirit of BeerAdvocate, I went into this beer (along with AB's new seasonals) with an open mind, and in fact hoping that it would be quite good. Well, the beer certainly has promise, but sadly this is a case where the vanilla overwhelms the overall package, to the point of cloying. Hopefully in the future they won't overwhelm the beer with too much in the way of the beans, but instead let the oak aging add its own little subtle vanilla flavoring to the beer, in which case I'd love to give it another try.

Mar 19, 2006
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Boto from Connecticut

1.47/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2005 24oz.Bottle: First off, if Michelob wants to be taken seriously about their beers, they need to ditch the aluminum screw top on the bottle. It is too reminicent of some cheap 32oz’ers or malt liquor with this packaging. It pours a clear coppery color. There was quite a bit of a fizzing head, that was almost cascading ala Guinness, but all of this mayhem stopped almost immediately. The nose is definitely vanilla, with some fruits hiding behind it. The taste is overpoweringly that of vanilla. Yuck! There are some other flavors trying to make it out of the vanilla, but my taste buds are on overload from it and they can’t pick anything else out of it, except maybe some alcohol. It is harsh and syrupy. I also regret this purchase.

Feb 20, 2006
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ism from New Jersey

2.66/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

24oz bottle with a screwcap; somewhat disappointing as the box seemed to promise a cork or regular cap. Clear, maple-syrup brown body with a faint amber tint, topped with a one-finger tan head that quickly disappears. Low retention, with no lacing.

Sweet nose dominated by vanilla, on top of sugar with a touch of bourbon, accompanied by hints of cinnamon and cardamon, as well as orange rind.

Light body with moderate carbonation, slightly slick, dominated by vanilla with a maple-sweet base, rice adjunct, and no hops detected. Goes down with bourbon emerging and spices stronger in the finish.

Alcohol is hidden, but due to overpowering vanilla, which overshadows the more interesting flavors and destroys the palate. An interesting effort, and hopefully indicative of a future direction, but falls short due to gross imbalance and unnecessary shortcuts.

Dec 26, 2005
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

4.12/5  rDev +44.6%
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.

Oct 03, 2007
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WesWes from New York

4/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a semi-sweet malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a dry lager yeast aroma. The bourban scent is there along with th vanilla bean. It is quite enticing. The taste is good. It has a smooth vanilla flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm and bourbany. It's full of sweet crystal malts. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It has great aroma and taste; a wonderful holiday treat. I don't quite understand the poor reviews.

Feb 03, 2006
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kmcnair from California

2.06/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a reddish hue and makes a weak halo of tanned head, leaves very little lacing on my glass... looks kinda like an average barley wine.

Aroma is sweet vanilla, bourbon and ripe berry syrup, very malternative wine cooler-like. A swirl of the glass makes some fizzy bubbles surface and some toffee esters make their way into the nose.

Flavor is overloaded with vanilla, its not very pleasant and does nothing to hide the 10% ABV that this brew is sporting. This tastes like vanilla, bourbon infused oak and racing fuel -- its not very beerlike at all. Only the smallest of sips make this beer tollerable, anything more is less than pleasing.

Very warming as it goes down, light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, a bit sticky and the finish is giving me a case of heartburn.

Its a shame that this came in such a large bottle, obviously Anheuser-Busch intended for you to share this with others, but I don't think thats a very nice thing to do. Maybe give a bottle to someone you don't like. I poured myself a small glass of this and the remainder is going down the drain. F-

Nov 30, 2005
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dauss from Colorado

1.6/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 24oz bottle with a twist off top. Much like the twist off caps found on 40oz malt liquors. The bottle shape is a little more elegant though. No freshness date or stamp, but this was imprinted on the side. 28605 SN49

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown. Large soapy bubble head with poor retention.

Smell: Smells like malt liquor with loads of alcohol, slight bit of toffee, honey, slight vanilla, and oak.

Taste: Wow, extreme cloying sweet, almost like a soda. It tastes like there is a lot of malt in there, yet it remains so thin. Did this even finish fermenting? Can't really taste the alcohol, but you can feel it. Beyond all the sweetness, you can taste the vanilla and oak.

Notes: Utterly terrible. Probably wasn't too hard to make. It says that its an ale, but I highly doubt it. Its probably the michelob brew before they water it down, add a lot of sugar into it, lots of vanilla, and some oak chips. Stay away from this, unless you like an ultra sweet cloying vanilla soda like concoction.

Apr 23, 2006
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mentor from Colorado

3.19/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle obtained for my volunteer efforts at the 2006 GABF. This bottle was left over from the serving floor and was one of the bottles later distributed to volunteers who helped with set-up and tear-dwon. Thanks a million to AB and to GABF for the opportunity.

Pours a thin tan head that quickly settles to a ring. Crystal clear amber brown liquid with a couple bubbles persistently racing to the top. Smells potently vanilla. Not much else. I searched and search and found no malt and no oak. A touch of alcohol sting

Tastes like a brown ale to start with a very strong vanilla kick and a chocolate that struggles for an appearance, before drowning in the vanilla. Aged on vanilla beans, the bottle says, but I suspect supplemented with vanilla extract. Grassy drying with a tiny alcohol sting by the tonsils during the aftertaste. In the aftertaste, the front roof of my mouth is wet sweet with dark caramel or toffee. Woody and dry on the flat of my tongue.

Not quite a Vanilla wine cooler, IMO. Not cloying on the sweet (as I was afraid), but, instead cloying on the vanilla. Yuck. Md thick body was chewy and I found modest carbonation to be fitting. Dumped the last few swigs. Too much sweetness to stand alone. Serve when a desert wine would be appropriate and try to share with one or more guests.

Oct 17, 2006
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GCBrewingCo from North Carolina

3.12/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear medium amber with a white head which fizzed like a soda and left no trace of head or lacing at all.

The aroma was strong caramel with a cider character. The aroma had a bit of cherry fruit aroma and some bourbon character. Vanilla was also present, but other aromas dominated. Their was also present a slightly spicy phenolic due to some alcohol aroma.

The flavor was dark caramel and dark fruits, plums and a bit of raisins, but not at a high level. The flavor contained a bit of bourbon, some oak and also vanilla. The underlying maltiness contained a toffee and caramel presence. The flavor also had a cherry flavor as was present in the aroma.

The finish was dry with a lasting slight vanilla and bourbon into the afteraste. The body was medium and the carbonation was practically nonexistent. Give this beer some CO2 for goodness sake. The flavor was a blend of many flavors without much thought as to their interactions. More complexity would certainly improve this beer. There was also a sizable warming that occurred after consumption. I'd have to suggest skipping it, not because it is bad, just because it is a mess and not well executed.

24 ounce screw top bottle, shrink wrapped label, 2005 date on label.

Jan 29, 2006
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PorterLambic from Florida

3.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of 7 oz. bottles from my local Whole Foods. At $6.99 it was a good deal.

Pours a nice, rich honey color. Very little head and that drops to a ring very fast. No lace.
Smell is interesting, inticing even. Malt, vanilla, light bourbon note and a hint of corn flakes and green apples.
Taste is good with a nicely balanced blend of malt, vanilla and bourbon before the alcohol bloom. A hint of smokiness after it.
This brew warms the throat nicely (at 10% it should!). Medium bodied (probably considered full for A-B) with light effervescence and a nice bourbon-like aftertaste. A very good beer from a megabrewer and a HUGE step in the correct direction for them. My advice to you, drink one. To them, build on this.

Jan 21, 2006
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Burnt orange that displays brilliant tangerine highlights with late afternoon sunlight behind the snifter. The (initially) acceptable looking cap is equal parts pastel orange, ecru and pale gold. It fizzes away fairly quickly, probably due to the double digit ABV, and leaves almost no lace. CVO is the spitting image of an American barleywine.

This holiday beer smells like what it's supposed to smell like. I take that back... it smells like vanilla, but not like bourbon or oak (a hint of bourbon as it warms causes me to bump the score from what I had in mind originally). I'm amazed that almost no alcohol reaches my nostrils; almost unheard of in a 10.0% beer that isn't a roasted malt monster.

Right off the bat I can tell that Celebrate Vanilla Oak is better beer than Celebrate Chocolate. That's no mean feat since I thought the latter was an absolute abomination. I don't think it's the fact that I like the caramel-vanilla-brown sugar family of flavors more than I like the chocolate-cocoa family, but then anything's possible.

What greets my taste buds reminds me of lower shelf bourbon (I'm thinking Old Crow), mixed with vanilla liqueur, melted butterscotch candies and a lot of distilled water. This concoction is a simple, shallow, sweet combination of flavors that is probably exactly what the brewery had in mind. I found one website ('sponsored by Anheuser-Busch') that says the target audience is 28-54, 'white collar' and female. Okay...

I keep hoping that warming will bring something new and different to the forefront, but it isn't to be. What you get with the first sip is what you get all the way through the 24 ounce bottle. As in the nose, the alcohol is buried (almost) without a trace, so maybe this stuff has panty stripper potential after all. Just make sure you check her driver's license and ask her where she works.

It's odd to be faced with such a thin, lackluster mouthfeel on such a high alcohol beer. I've had pilseners that were more viscous (well, maybe not quite). There is a wee bit of slickness on the finish and the carbonation is tame enough to make drinking quickly an option if one is so inclined. I'm not.

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak is, by far, a better beer than its Chocolate counterpart. That doesn't mean that it was worth the coinage that I paid for it. It's an overly simple offering that doesn't deserve the time it spent in my crystal snifter. Do yourself a favor and pass this one by.

Jun 24, 2007
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.07/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Dec 31, 2006
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BigRedN from Nebraska

2.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Purchased a gift box for $5 (bottle with two glasses). Cracked the twist off off the bottle and sit down to review when I notice something. Malt liquor? Damn, I should be drinking this from a bag on my stoop. I will have trouble rating this according to style, as this is a bit different from other malt liquors I have had.

Appearance: Poured into one of the glasses from the gift pack a wonderful reddish amber. A foamy half inch head forms and eventually fades to a tight ring around the glass. Lacing is patchy and sparse.

Smell: Aroma of vanilla, some caramel malt, and a touch of bourbon. Vanilla becomes tiresome after awhile, but I expected and abundance of that. Still, it is more than I typically get with a malt liquor.

Taste: Cloyingly sweet, becomes just sickening. Vanilla is over the top, touch of malt, but all taste is drowned away by the vanilla. Yuck.

Mouthfeel: A little prickly on the toungue. A little low in carbonation. Alcohol burn in the throat as well.

Drinkability: Looks good, smells so-so, tastes not so good, and....I can't finish the whole bottle. This is just not very good, too unbalanced, too much alcohol, too much vanilla. Try again next year.

Feb 04, 2006
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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is like reviewing your annoying aunt's personality and trying to be objective. This is like dancing with the ugly girl and noticing that she has a cute nose. About a year ago an amazing beer conversation started amongst us BAs about if A-B made a great beer, would you buy it. (not that this was great) I said yes because I am just a beer geek with a wallet. Well, after sneaking in a tasting at a most inoppurtune moment *wink* I must say that Michelob Celebrate isn't all bad. Plenty of dunkle weizen banana notes and actually some respectability to this beer except but in the long run, the flavor tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that this is A-B afterall. Hot awl-kee-hawl fell. The flavor didn't bring home the bacon, but it was a shocker-rocker to drink!

I want to say thanks to a certain BA who shall remain nameless in the honor of all that is craft beer. So I will stand tall, say a big thanks and hope that in a small way he knows that I truly appreciate trying this scrod beer on steroids.

Beer is good. Happy macro beering.

Nov 28, 2005
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cubedbee from Maryland

3.12/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Jan 01, 2006
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Zorro from California

2.95/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours an ultra clear red to copper colored ale with no head.

Smell is sweet and fruity but I can absolutely sniff that sweet Michelob scent in here. Faint scents of vanilla but I smell more cherry and caramel in this than vanilla. Additional scents of oranges and rice noodles. This isn't going to conquer Belgium but it isn't bad in the scent department.

Taste is not as sweet as feared but it does contain a vanilla over dose in the first sip. Burnt sugar joins the vanilla flavors and starts to taste like an under aged Bourbon whisky. After the initial shock the flavor begins to balance out a bit more. This really tastes like the cream soda of beer, but I wonder if this would age well like young Bourbon? As this is AB needs to recognize that the flavors of good Bourbon come from wood and not vanilla beans. Still as full of mistakes as it is it might someday lead Anheuser Busch to making good Pilsner and old ales some day.

Mouthfeel is light, can't mask the use of rice in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Not really. I could see using this in creating a sweet phyllo dough pastry based on nuts but it just is unbalanced as it is. Maybe age this 2 years?

Dec 14, 2005
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silenius from Illinois

2.03/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I'm not sure if I agree with the "herbed/spiced beer" designation this beer has right now, but I'll leave it up to someone more knowledgeable than me to decide if it is not the correct style.

First off I have to say that I really wanted to like this beer. A-B brewers have to be very good to make the same beer consistently batch in and out. I thought for sure they would have let their brewers really stretch their skills to make this beer a great foray into craft brewing. I thought this had to be an opening salvo into the craft beer war that they would decide to win. It must be the beer equivalent of Ford's GT-500 that shows the world they even though they were a mass producer, they could make the best if they put their minds to it. I was wrong.

This beer must have been brewed by committee. I can't think of another reasonable explanation than that. There must have been someone who wanted a barrel aged beer because it was "hot" and someone else who wanted vanilla to appeal to women. Someone else decided that it had to be a lager so that they would stick to what they knew best. What a mess.

Twisting off the top of the plastic-wrapped beer reminds me of the few horrible experiences I've had with 40 oz. beers. Little did I know this was foreshadowing.

The beer pours a clear and eerie reddish brown with an active head that disappears if you blink. After about 1 minute, I can see NO evidence of any carbonation in my beer. It looks like flat tea.

When I took a whiff to see how this bourbon barrel aging and vanilla combined, I was pleasantly surprised to get a sweet and spicy vanilla incense infused bourbon noseful. This could be interesting I thought. However I soon found out it is the only worthwhile experience about the beer.

Taste is big fat mess of flat cream soda and whiskey. It tastes like something a high school sophomore might concoct after raiding his parent's liquor cabinet. How can anyone be proud of having produced this beer? It is a debacle in a bottle. It is too sweet, too flat, and decidedly offensive to my mouth. I'll probably wake up tomorrow and my tongue and gums will have left my mouth in protest to hide under my refrigerator.

Mouthfeel is flat and thin. There is no carbonation at all to help pick this beer up off the floor. I'm sorry I bought this.

Drinkability is truly awful and I'm actually afraid that I'll get a headache from drinking something so absolutely offensive to me.

I am disappointed to have to write this review. I was hoping that A-B would have produced a great beer and that I would be looking forward to buying more. I thought perhaps this would be a gateway beer to share with non-BA friends who might see the light after tasting something with a familar label. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Nov 23, 2005
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germaniac from California

2.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 7oz bottle into a pint glass. I'm sure Anheuser-Busch would be overjoyed to see their new special beer lumped in to the same category as such luminaries as Colt .45 and Schlitz.

Clear goldish amber, smelling faintly of vanilla and slightly sweet malt, with hints of caramel, or maybe toffee.

Taste is straight vanilla bean, a little unnaturally sweet and cloying. Malt and hop presence is fairly flat. Really, the lineage of this beer is painfully obvious. Definite shades of macro, no doubt. Like the brewers tried for handcrafted, but just wound up with a "fancy" beer for the unwashed masses because the rat bastards in corporate tugged too hard on their leash. For a buck fortynine at Whole Foods, I'll pass. Where's the cause to celebrate? Not here.

Feb 07, 2006
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drpimento from Wisconsin

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

Really not too bad in spite of our prejudice. This is the 2005 version. Called on the label a "dark" beer and I guess it's darker than a pilsner, buttt... Aroma is vanilla and a hint of spice and malt. Flavor is a little too sweet and too vanilla, but there's a real nice bourbon characteristic that comes thru in the finish. Can't sense the booze at all. Not a session beer. We sure don't see how this is classified as an "American Pale Lager" here though.

Jan 07, 2009
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BrewMaster from California

2.68/5  rDev -6%
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.

Dec 27, 2005
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allengarvin from Texas

2.68/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up over Christmas. Haven't gotten around to drinking it till now, in March.

Absolutely lovely looking beer. Pours out a clear walnut color with a good finger of foam topping it, frothy and lasting. Smells pleasantly malty with nice notes of vanilla. Ugh!!! Extreme vanilla-bean flavor, overwhelming everything else. I consider myself a fan of vanilla. But this is just too overwhelmingly vanilla. No subtlety, no craft.

Such promise, such failure. I ended up pouring about half of the beer down the drain.

Mar 03, 2006
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acrawf6 from Louisiana

3.33/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm almost positive this is the same beer I tried, thouhg the bar called it vanilla oak aged ale.

Served dark amber, but clear. Decent tan creamy head comes up. Smell does have a vanilla flavor to it. I also get a spiceness, like cloves, though faint. A little bit of caramel. This aroma is a little sweet.

Taste- a very creamy, but not heavy flavor. I can taste those vanilla and other clove spices in it. It is quite sweet, a little too sweet in my opinion but not overwhelmingly. Some of the alcohol tate somes out at the end, but not much. Not that bad, imo, but much too mild.

Mouthfeel is not that good. It just tastes a little too empty. I got no hops. good carbonation though.

Overall, i dont hate this beer, though it is not very good. I can see myself getting this again, especially for $2 an imp. pint. Hides the 10%alc quite well, but i dont think i would have put this beer in the malt liquor category.

Feb 01, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation from Indiana

2.03/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a bright, clear ruby with mahogany highlights and pretty much no head. Smell is of very pungent, raw vanilla with little in the way of malt or hop backing... it's a pleasant enough smell, as vanilla smells good, but with nothing else besides the vanilla, I'm left a little apprehensive about what awaits on the palate. Tastewise, it reminds me of vanilla cream soda -- slight bitterness up front, then *whoomp* there's the cloying vanilla sweetness, almost syrupy in character. The aftertaste is even like vanilla cream soda -- it coats your mouth and leaves kind of a chemical, plasticky note. Overall this is a very unpleasant beer. It's more like a vanilla-flavored "malternative" beverage than a beer with vanilla notes. I suggest avoiding this... although its badness is car-wreck compelling. You might have to look for yourself.

Nov 30, 2006
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 68 out of 100 with 110 ratings