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 Pale 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
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 CJStout
4.22/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Packaged in an attractive box with a 24 oz bottle and two crystal snifters. Snifters very nice, bottle truly unimpressive – dark bottle, plastic wrapped with a twist-off cap. After a few cracks of the cap, the once excited quaffer is now confused if he is opening a quality brew truly worth "Celebrating", or a Colt 45 40oz worthy of a brown bag.

Snifter presents the beer’s crystal clear yet deep ruby amber color beautifully. The nose is distinctly vanilla and is followed by a bouquet of oak aged bourbon. No hop aroma is detected. The higher alcohol presence becomes more pronounced as the inhale deepens.

Complex aromas lead to even more complex flavors. Again, the higher alcohol is obvious, yet very soothing. Malty vanilla flavor greets you, and the very balanced and bourbon oak flavor finishes. Sweet, slightly oily mouth feel. Very little head retention with low carbonation.

Overall, Michelob Celebrate is a very enjoyable beer and is worth celebrating, in spite of its packaging. The casual beer drinker will need to recalibrate as tasting this beer is more comparable to a single malt scotch than a high-gravity beer – deep, complex, wonderful.

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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 Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Quite hazy copper color with a small white head, which, despite its size, retains well. Lots of scattered lace lines the glass walls.

Aroma: Sweet, spicy malt sweetness, with strong notes of vanilla, Christmas spices, and a mild oak character.

Taste: Deep, rich malt sweetness from start to finish, with a strong backbone of vanilla. Late in the taste, metallic and medicinal hop notes appear. The sweetness of the malt base makes the hop presence seem subdued by comparison. The alcohol is notable in the finish.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich, very full and syrupy, with a quite soft body.

Drinkability/notes: Absolutely superb, well worth trying.

Presentation: Packaged in a seven ounce brown glass long neck with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Value: Purchased as a six-pack for of seven ounce bottles for $6.99, similar to what a six pack of standard Michelob in twelve ounce bottles would sell for, a good value.

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Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +41.8%

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +41.8%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: twist off 7 oz. bottle, not much useful info. beyond the 10% abv.

Aroma: Artificial vanilla smell adds to a cloying sweet alcoholic base. It smells like a scented candle, but it’s really not too bad.

Appearance: Copper/amber clear glass keeps more of a head than I expected given the alcohol level.

Flavor: Cherry and maple on a sugary base all topped by a solid alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with a drying alcoholic finish

Overall Impression: Either this isn’t a Michelob, or it’s the best Michelob I’ve ever had. While I’ve tried the Michelob sampler pack (which all tasted like Michelob wearing different hats) this is a beer on to its own. Very intense, very flavorful; I hope this is a sign of what’s to come from BMC. Nice work!

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Photo of ghurux86
3.97/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a reddish amber color with little head. the little bit of head it has doesn't stay around long, but the color is magnificent.

smell is pretty good. it is mostly vanilla. you can also smell alcohol, but it is almost all vanilla in the nose for me. maybe a small hint of malt.

taste is very good. once again, vanilla. only a hint of oak comes through from the bourbon barrel aging. the warmth of alcohol comes through at the end, but it is pretty mild for being 10% abv. very good flavor.

mouthfeel is good, not to thick or thin. carbonation level is low which explains the minimal head. the low carbonation doesn't seem bad for this beer, it fits the flavor and alcohol level.

drinkability is ok. it is a good brew, definitely one of the best from ab but it obviously couldn't be drank all night due to the abv.

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Photo of Suds
3.84/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Elegant bottle with a screw-cap. This brew pours a light amber color with a slight, wispy head. The aroma is overwhelmingly vanilla. The vanilla is intriguing and actually pretty enchanting, but it’s hard to get through that smell to get much else. After a while, a little malt comes through, but no hop aroma. Slight alcohol in the smell, but it’s well hidden given the ABV. I couldn’t believe it, but the taste is even more dominated by vanilla. A little malt is detectable too, but the taste is hinged on vanilla. The taste is pretty good, but it’s best enjoyed in small quantities. So much vanilla becomes oppressive after a while. There’s surprisingly little alcohol taste…it’s very well hidden. A solid warming is the best indicator of the strength of this brew. I hoped to get some sense of the oak aging, but couldn’t pick up any oak flavors through the vanilla. This is a fascinating and enjoyable (in small quantities) brew.

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Photo of darktower
3.74/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of the three "Celebrate" beers I've had (Cherry, Chocolate and Vanilla), this was definitely the best. It was a unique flavor that's hard to describe. I'd say it was akin to sugar laced with vanilla bean flavor. I actually enjoyed it. It wasn't something I'd drink over and over again but at the time, it was...different.

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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 blitheringidiot
3.7/5  rDev +31.2%
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.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.67/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I enter, with an open mind, and thirsty belly...

24 ounce plastic cover wrapped bottle, decently designed graphics, clearly stated "Oak-aged dark vanilla: premium lager", 2005. I don't know what possessed me to stash this in the cellar... probably a mixture of curiosity and dread.

Into a tulip, pours a clearish russet amber, a creamy off-white head forms form little, then settles to little more than a film at best, with pretty decent lacing. Upon second pour, the head reappears, for half a minute.

The aroma is rather pleasant, the vanilla bean quite enticing, with faint bourbon and oak, toasted malts, but really its a lot of vanilla, which in this case, ain't that bad.

The taste doesn't live up to the nose, or, perhaps, the vanilla comes on a little too strong, where in the nose, it seemed about right. This isn't to say I don't like it, its actually surprised me here. The oak and slight bourbon come out, despite the vanilla onslaught, and there is some nice toasty malts here too. I don't mind that the hops are lacking, really, quite nonexistant. But I need more malt, some bigger body to balance out the vanilla's grip on things.

The mouth is a pretty smooth, decent enough body, still with good carbonation. The 10% abv is silent, but lurking.

In summation, I was pleasantly surprised about this beer, for it given another label, I'd guess it'd get higher ratings. The vanilla can get a bit cloying, could use a bit more complexity in taste, and I found it a bit of a task to finish the second half of the bottle (whether because it warmed to much, or the vanilla got to me... probably both working together). But all around, I enjoyed it, it was tasty, smelled quite nice through and through.

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Photo of taez555
3.65/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the 24oz artillery shell style bottle with “40" style screw top into the Michelob celebrate glass.

This beer poured a clear bright reddish amber body with a white head that died almost immediately but left a white lace around the edge.

Nose has a strong vanilla extract type smell at first. Rich malt, slightly medicinal and even some faint hints of caramel. Very buttery with touches of toffee, but mostly the strong rich vanilla smell. Believe it or not an extremely inviting nose.

Full bodied and syrupy sweet at first. Very rich and at first reminds me of drinking melted vanilla ice cream. Alcohol is completely hidden in this beer which is seriously scary for 10%. Butter, toffee and some caramel hint at a malt base but the rich milky vanilla beans completely overshadow everything. Touches of fruit throughout. Little to no bitterness and absolutely no hop taste at all. Some subtle warmth and touches of bourbon or oak sneak up in the finish and as it warms.

The vanilla is a bit over the top giving it a cream soda sort of flavor, but you know what.... this is actually a very good beer. I honestly wouldn’t mind having this again.

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Photo of icefisherman
3.62/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i bought this in a holiday 2 pack with 2 glasses, this beer, and a chocolate version. when you first open the bottle it gives off a huge vanila burst under the 40oz style twist off cap from then on it smelled like whoppers the candy i dont know why but thats what it smelled like to me. poured nicly in to a regular pint glass as i was to lazy to remove the fancy glasses from the packaging a nice brownish red color. taste like holy fucking vanilla batman then slightly more burbon flavor came out but still verry verry sweet not a very drinkable brew but damn good in small doses

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Photo of Portertime
3.55/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a hearty brew. It came in a nice little care package with its chocolate brother. After chilling I poured it into a pint glass and examined its color. The smell was of a giant vanilla bean with some oak bringing up the rear. At first sip it is a blast of vanilla that had a bit of an imitation quality to it. Then the oak creeped in with a prevelent alcohol warmth from its high ABV content. I would say if you are a vanilla fan, you will enjoy this one.

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3.51/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an bottle from 2006 I had from last year. As a curiosity project I cellar-ed it. I have to say it is better a year older.

Appearance is an amber hue with a slight cloudiness throughout the center. Almost no head with an aggressive pour. Thin white rim at the edge of the glass.

Smell permeates of alcohol and vanilla. Fruits like apricot, cherry, and pomegranate come through.

Taste is full of vanilla and alcohol just like the smell but there is more to it. A good woodiness and earthy character. Sweet like a spoonful of sugar but mellowed really nicely with no bitterness and happy warming of the belly.

Mouthfeel is lacking. Needs more body, more depth, just more.

Interesting thing. Next time I'll try 2 years and a Chocolate.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.51/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Did a very hard pour which yielded a sparse head that disappeared into nothing after about 30 seconds. The color made me think of a watery oak stain. Had very sparse, inconsistent lacing.

Smell- 90% vanilla with maybe 5% hops and 5% malt. Very hard to tell between a general malt aroma and vanilla. Also detected a hint of bananas.

Taste- Starts with vanilla, middle vanilla, ending is a mix of VANILLA, bourbon, and alcohol. Not dynamic at all. Was good to sip after dinner.

Mouthfeel- Slightly dry with lots of sugar and of course canilla. Would go well with a vanilla frosted cake.

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3.5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/4" off white head that faded immediately to a cap. No lace. Clear, glowing amber-orange.

S - Sweet vanilla. Tangy, boozy whiskey. Banana shake.

T - Big vanilla, sweet banana. Dark rum. Caramel.

M - Between thin and medium bodied. Mid-level carbonation.

D - Decent drinkability. Definitely different. I do not pick up on any oak aging. I would also not guess this to be 10%.

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Photo of SnaxStL
3.5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of armock
3.47/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes a 2006 bottle tasted at a Christmas beer dinner party in 2008.

A - Poured a hazy orangish color with a thin white head that faded quickly to a ring

S - The vanilla scents from the oak are the strongest and predominant scent

T - Was actually pretty good a lot of vanilla flavor with some bourbon taste getting through

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - These Celebrate bottles were a big surprise to me I expected absolute crap but they turned out to be pretty good if you find one of these or get offered some to try take the chance on it

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Photo of HimerMan
3.47/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The other strange bullet shaped bottle that I've been "holding" since 2006. This was really a great buy as part of the set that included the two glasses.

Finally poured this into its appropriate 'Celebrate' glass and split with Gaskill, as we tried both this and the Chocolate one after the other. Color is golden with a bright white head that is pretty sticky. .

Immediately you can smell the vanilla and oak, but it seems overly sweet and somewhat fake.

Flavors of vanilla and oak are the dominant ones, but there seems to be a very small hint of bourbon - not a lot as the bottle implies. No real fruit taste - but it seems that a lot of the sweetness comes from the, perhaps, overuse of vanilla and alcohol.

There is a bit of a dry feeling that comes from this beer - but for 10% alcohol, it's really quite smooth. In fairness, this beer has held very well since I purchased it - and is really worth a shot. I would warn that this is incredible sweet, and splitting a bottle may be the best route.

I'd have this again, especially over its set partner Chocolate.


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Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev +23%
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.

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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 Bighuge
3.4/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Clear auburn tone. A moderate amount of carbonation is noted. Thin tan head dissipates quickly. Lace qualities are pretty good for a beer of this octane. Pretty heavy aroma of cherry, rumcake and bourbon. My first impression is that this beer feels syrupy in the mouth. Usually, not a good thing. It's full bodied and lightly carbonated. But the taste doesn't cloy me like I thought it would with this type of mouthfeel. The flavor is actually deeper than I first thought. It's got a cherry filled center wrapped by notes of oak, vanilla and a little spice. This really isn't too bad. I'm surprised. The alcohol is hidden quite nicely. Nothing I could drink all night, but good enough to down these 24 ozs.

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