Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak | Anheuser-Busch

99 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 110
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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Photo of mcallister
2.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well this brew pours a reddish orange with a somewhat decent head. Smells of oak, vanilla, but also something a little out of place a little sour, can't really pinpoint it.

That's about as good as this reveiw gets. The beer is just plain not good to drink. Very out of balance, no complexity or substance to this brew. Tastes like a cheap wine. AB has somewhat of the right idea trying to delve into a micro brew type of world but they need to get the right brewmaster at the healm or it's going to be a ride quick to end.

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Photo of jeffaz02t
1.65/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Great looking beer. Light head, settled down within about a minute.

Smells pretty good, very much like vanilla. However, this beer is dominated by a sugary, vanilla taste. I was hopeing for a more subtle flavor, but it is like they are trying too hard or something. I tried about 5 sips and had to dump the whole pint down the drain. The two glasses that came in the package were worth the $5 I spent, but hopefully AB will learn something from this beer. They tried too hard. Stick to the basics. When I want to have a beer it better taste like beer. Not vanilla extract!

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Photo of beergeek279
3.3/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.68/5  rDev -5%
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.

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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 Boto
1.47/5  rDev -47.9%
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.

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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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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 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 jorjoria
2.58/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a rich amber with very little head. Nothing really too impressive or out of the ordinary.

S: a nice crisp vanilla odder also some wooden notes. In addition I get a nice sweet flower bouquet. This beer has a fantastic aroma.

T: Ok so I gave this beer a fair chance but all I get vanilla with a whole lot of alcohol. I should also say I normally like high gravity beers double IPA’s, Imperial stouts, Belgian abby ales ect. To give beer a fair chance I split the bottle with three of my buddies to try and reduce my AB byist. Unfortunately they hated the beer just as much as I did. Best description of this beer by one of my buddies was it tastes like “diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper mixed with Michelob light anda whole lot of sugar and vodka.”

D: I ended up pouring out the bottle. One of my friends was able to drink a whole 8 oz.

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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 joeyels
2.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out a rich copper/amber color with foamy tan colored head. Tiny bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface, as head retains fairly well. Looks very good inside the tulip glass provided in the gift set. Smell definitely has a bourbon feel to it with traces of vanilla. Taste is lively but not pleasing, lots of oak and tons of vanilla. Seems to get better as it warms up, it has more of a bourbon or cognac feel and taste to it, minus the carbonation. All I can feel is alcohol and vanilla beans, not very impressive.

I didn't expect too much, given the name, but after watching it pour and looking at it in the glass I was a little let down by the finished product.

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Photo of germaniac
2.23/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

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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 BigRedN
2.28/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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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 acrawf6
3.33/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.12/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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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 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 feloniousmonk
3.09/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The bottle, attractive thought it is, reads rather oddly. "Celebrate Michelob?"...not something I often do, but I'll give it a whirl.

Clear caramelly crimson color, slim, soon gone head.

Big vanilla nose, ripe and rich, highly aromatic, accompanied by notes of cherries and raw bourbon. Alcoholic content is also very evident, just from the smell.

Smooth on the palate, with massive vanilla flavor. Tasty, but we have a problem. There's not enough malt, hardly any hops, and a real thinness that does not match up with this 10% abv. Who thought that was a good idea? You rarely find doppelbocks that strong, heck, we're almost talking Samischlaus here, and there's just a paucity of body and character. You get the vanilla and the bourbon and the booze, but it's too much for a beer so light. Feels very raw, one get ripped so easily....vanilla malt liquor, anyone?

I had an open mind going in, and applaud A-B for trying, but they goofed up on this one. Glad it was a gift.

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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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Photo of mattpetti
3.09/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this bottle up the day before new year's and im glad i didnt crack it open that night. Though the beer itself isnt bad its not good either. It's a deceiving beer. It is ultra sweet in smell and in taste, lots of candy. Upon tasting it i was struck with how light bodied it was. Im not sure if the vanilla really works with this type of beer. It also really shows no sign of the oak age with bourbon to my knowledge. The only good thing i can say is that it hides the alcohol under all the sweetness. You can pound through the bottle without too much trouble. Im guessing they were going for a sweeter easy to drink beer for the holidays with this one and not something with too much substance. An interesting brew i just couldnt rate it as high as i'd hoped.

Oak tree Buy Rite, Edison NJ...stop by

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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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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak from Anheuser-Busch
2.82 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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