Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak | Anheuser-Busch

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla OakMichelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
Liked This Beer
2.82 w/ 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 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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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 budgood1
1.98/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

pours out of the 24 oz. lame ass looking bottle with the screw off top a clear amber colour...a very thin, fine head which has no desire to stick around. aroma...holy candy corn! lots of bubblegum and vanilla...i'm suspect already. upon tasting....more of the vanilla and bubblegum candy show. very sweet. very cloying. overall a generally over flavoured attempt at a holiday themed brew. there is an alcohol prescence that is deceptively hidden among the very bold flavours...slightly spicy and comforting.

the whole vanilla bean thing is tantalizing, but it's overwhelming in the taste profile. and it does not seem 10% ABV either. this is a mess of a beer...too many conflicting flavours; too much sweetness and wine stuff going around. it just doesn't seem like beer or ale or any other above average ABV malt beverage...more like a weak apertif. this could have been such a better concoction.



as it warms...i'm liking it less and less. in fact the more i have of it, the more it disgusts me.

not recommended and i wouldn't buy this again.

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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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Photo of BEERchitect
3.22/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Release 2006, 10 / 04 / 07
A lot like I remember from last year. But wait... There's more! Not as hot and fusal as last years. With less cherry / cough medicine flavors and roughness as I inticipated. Still, the beer seems artificial for me. The vanilla seems to be more of an extract than truely brewed vanilla beans. Also, I don't see the boubon attributes. I see pronounced alcohols, a woody / nutty flavors (kinda nut brown ale-like). but no well melded boubon flavors, textures, or essence. The body really lacks... balls. Only a cola-like carbonation saves it from becomming completely flat. For God's sake Anheuser Busch... Try some malt in you beer! Is it a worthwhile beer? Yes. Does it live up to it's potential? Certainly not.

Release 2005, 12 / 27 / 2005
I am impressed with this Anheuser-Busch attept of craft beer. Though disapointed by the twist-off, Colt 44-like cap, I quickly got into the beer. Strong vanilla and toasty aromas rose out of the glass with an abundance of carbonation and an impressive off-white head that soon settled under the 10% alcohol. Tastes strong of vanilla, caramel, and toffee with fruit cake-like flavors of candied cherries, pineapples, and coconuts. Light bourbon flavors show, but become way too hot or fusal for the mediu - thin body. The flavors of sweet malt and candied fruits are hindered by the heavy use of corn or rice. If it were an all-malt brew, then I'd really be saluting A-B for their efforts. Since the did not, then it's only ok.

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Photo of ism
2.66/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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

Poured a nice dark amber. Head was not there but could be the glass (rinsing agent).

Strong smell of vanilla, malt and maybe bourbon.

Taste was mostly alcohol and burned sugar at first, then the vanilla flavor that sticks with you for a while. After the first couple of drinks I started to notice a little malt flavor. No hops that I could detect.

Mouthfeel was a little thin but much better than expected.

My first impression was "I can't drink this", but after my third 7 oz. bottle I was ready for another. Apparently somewhat drinkable.

Not my favorite but interesting and better than I expected from AB.

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Photo of Zorro
2.95/5  rDev +4.6%
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?

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Photo of ColForbin
3.23/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Michelob Celebrate comes in a box with two gold-rimmed snifters. It is really hard to get out of the box, although I guess the upside of that is that the beer and glasses are safe. Bottle is a screw top, true to style (about the only thing about this beer that is true to style). It pours an orange-red color with a white head that fades rather quickly to a rim around the glass. Aroma is strong bourbon/vanilla. The nose is actually very reminiscent of a glass of bourbon. Taste is a huge amount of vanilla, with a rather hot bourbon/alcohol finish and a slight macro aftertaste. (Are there adjuncts in this beer? If so, why?) The alcohol in the finish makes it a little less drinkable than it otherwise would be. If you like vanilla, you'll like this beer. It's worth a shot to see a big brewer try to brew a big beer, but it doesn't live up to countless micro examples (probably because they've been brewing big beers for so much longer).

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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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Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

The marketing guys had a field day with this one. Man, A-B keeps far too many people employed. I think this beer is a testament to the fact that A-B must be a bit concerned about the impact of the micro-market if they are trying this hard to get a piece of it. Go Micro Brews!!! Keep It Up!!!

The presentation actually looked like they cared until you get to the screw cap. Reminds me of Steve Martin and Kermit the frog "Shall I unscrew it for you?"..."Would you like to smell the bottle cap?" I felt like we were opening up a shrink-wrapped "Malt Licka 40".

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish copper color with about a 1/2" of tan foam at first that was really active. The head didn't stay around long. It is definitely much more attractive than any of their other products I have seen to date.

Aroma: Now the aroma is pretty bland, but pretty intriguing for a product from a macro. There is a bit of caramel, and some soft vanilla is noticeable as the head falls. There is a bit of an earthy aroma that I would guess is the contribution of the oak. I probably should have drank this beer in a tulip glass instead of a pint glass. The aroma is relatively complex, but far too light for such a wide rimmed glass. As it warms, you can really smell the alcohol coming out. It smells almost like an addition of vodka. As it warms further, there is a bit of maple coming out.

Taste: Oh my lord, what happened here? It tastes like I am drinking A&W cream soda with vodka in it! What have they done? The balance is really sweet and soda pop like the entire time. I don't notice any hops. The finish is pretty harsh and solventy. I don't notice the 10% though. I would guess it was more like 7%. Still, it finishes pretty hot.

Opinion: I don't like this beer. This is a failed attempt of a craft brew. If it were my own beer, I would mix it with something or throw it out.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.22/5  rDev -21.3%
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……

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Photo of DogFood11
2.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip it forms a thin layer of khaki colored head that actually laces decent. I think if I had a bigger bottle this could be put together quite nicely.

Bourbon smell is initially quite strong, a sugary sweetness that is candied with something that I would compare to a jolly rancher. Alcohol. ehhh decent.

The problem with the taste is the combo doesn't mold well together like it did in the nose. The candied presence smashes with the oaked bourbon charcoal flavor and it comes out on top. Zippy hops snap at ya 3/4 of the way through and it finishes with some fine carbonation and a lingering of the oak. Spices are evident but don't really show their face. In the end it just ends up too sweet. If the hops or the oak flavors were a bit stronger this would be worth a reccomendation.

I sample everything that comes my way. This brew on sale is worthy of a try as I could see some folks would enjoy this brew. At first I was dissapointed in the 10oz size bottles but now i'm thankfull.

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Photo of kmcnair
2.06/5  rDev -27%
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-

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Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 8.2% out of 100 with 110 ratings
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