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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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of beerphan
3.01/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle->goblet
no date.

This is a sample 12oz bottle i got from an AB rep. It is undated with a black and white label which reads
(sample lager)
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
'A superior lager aged on bourbon barrell oak and real vanilla beans.

Pours an deep amber with a head that acted and sounded like a soda. Popped and fizzed for about 30 seconds and was gone. Lace? None to be had. Carbonation goes from super heavy upon the pour, to almost non existant in an instant.

Nose: Bourbon and Vanilla in the nose. The vanilla steps forward first, then slowly the bourbon overwhelms.

Taste: The heavy dose of vanilla hids the alcohol pretty well but it hids everything else as well.

Mouthfeel is not bad, a tad watery and no aftertaste.

Drinkability is low unless you a vanilla nut. I didn't finish the bottle as the vanilla was just too much.

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Photo of ConfluenceBrew
3/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Copperhead
3/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of SLeffler27
3/5  rDev +6.4%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poured into a glass from a 24 oz bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.92/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - for such a unique bottle design, what's with the screw-off cap?? Oh well, I *unscrew* the cap and pour some into what - a plastic Belgian-shaped vessel? Does the Solo company sell those??? No such thing, so I put it in that Michelob glass that I got with the sampler pack a while back. No escaping carbonation, hmm. Pours a foggy dull orange, a thin cover of cream-colored bubbles that have no duration and no lace. Considering the abv, I can give a little here.

Aroma - starts off oaky and smoky. As the brief head evaporates, vanilla mixes in, joining some great spicy aromas like cinnamon and clove. As the beer settles, that fades and the vanilla gets stronger, combining with some alcohol vapor for added intensity. It has a soft candyish scent to it but it works. The oak eventually comes back, giving some balance and at times adding faint wood dampness/mustiness.

Taste - right away, I notice the grain has a diluted flavor, a little too watery. The oak is there but restrained, the vanilla comes through more easily. For a ten percenter, the abv is covered pretty well but there's no stopping it completely. That's okay, I think it belongs in there to some degree. The swallow is warm and the finish has some okay spicy notes. For a big beer this could use more oomph in the taste department to rate. I haven't had any high abv beers for this style before, so I can give it a little wiggle room, but I also think there's lots of room for improvement, namely due to the fact that not once in the review did I mention 'hops'. I don't need to be assaulted with them but put *something* in there.

Mouthfeel - modest carbonation which is fine, but woefully thin in body. Trying to rake in some holiday sales? Instead, this should have some sturdiness to it, that's what I was expecting anyway.

Drinkability - not bad, but has that 'brewed for the profit margin' essence to it instead of that 'brewed for the craft beer person' feel. Slick packaging rooked me in...cheaters. One and done.

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Photo of Atlas1
2.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is a 7-oz. bottle that has the 3-13-05 on it. My little Michelob Oak-aged Dark Vanilla is officially four years old. I picked this up at Whip-In in Austin about a month ago.

Poured into a snifter, the Celebrate is a dirty apricot color. When held up to the window, it actually shows off some pretty colors, but at eye level with no natural light shining through, it's rather dull looking. Not much head or lace (but after four years, I wasn't expecting much). The nose is a faded vanilla scent. Boozy, but probably not as strong as it was when first released. Mixed fruit medley includes apples and cherries, but it's overtaken by that dull vanilla/molasses aroma. I'm not a fan of this smell, but it seems that it might have been interesting some years ago. The taste is syrupy sweet vanilla with a hint of fruit and spices. There is a boozy tanginess that lingers in the back off the mouth. Some carbonation is still detectable, but not much, leaving the mouthfeel thin and watery (again, somewhat to be expected considering how old the beer is).

Not really what I would call a drinkable beer, this is more of a novelty beverage. I like the concept, and it's good to see Michelob trying to break some of their big beer mold, but after four years a 10% ABV beer should, in my opinion, hold up better than this. This one does not. Still, I'm glad I tried it, and would consider trying it again if it was fresh.

 1,418 characters

Photo of xav33
2.8/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak
Bullet bottle (750 ml)
Recent bottling, celebrated 12/06
Moderate pour into accompanying tulip glasses.

Poured a clear dark amber with an average mostly diminishing head.

Smelt of strong fake vanilla extract and faint bourbon.

Taste was upfront strong sweet imitation vanilla followed by more sweet fake 'nilla, although more subdued and a light grain and bourbon oak bitterness. Palate was medium light to medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated, lightly alcoholic.

Overall, a sweet vanilla beer. Too sweet and cloying. It covers up any other taste that could be found, although I doubt there is much to uncover underneath. Bourbon oak taste seemed more present last year.

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

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

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Photo of 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


 1,357 characters

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

7 oz bottle from 2005

A - Cloudy light brown with almost no head but the little bit of head it did have for half a second was tan.

S - Vanilla cherry sweetness and a little booze. Surprisingly pleasant.

T - Dark malts with vanilla. Hotter than the noise would suggest.

M - Light medium body with no carbonation

D - Not horrible but needs more carbonation and is to hot to really enjoy. Never tried it fresh but from look over the other reviews I am guessing age did it a little bit of good.

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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.

 624 characters

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

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 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 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 Brian700
2.65/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a whiskey reddish/brown with absolutely no head. Very Clear.

The smell was very lacking especially for something that is brewed with vanilla beans. Small traces of vanilla are really the only thing that my nose is picking up on.

The taste is mildly sweet at first, vanilla in the middle, and all alcohol in the finish. 3 very different experiences all in one sip. 2 of them are not so good.

The mouthfeel is medium body with little to no carbonation.

This is average at best in the drinkability category. Too little flavor for such a high alcohol content. Tastes sort of like cream soda with rum in it. I wouldn't recommend this beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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 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 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 Blakaeris
2.44/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden ruby color with a decent white frothy head.

Smell is very sweet with strong astringent aroma. I am surprised that the smell is so one dimentional. No underlying complexity with this aroma.

Taste is completely dominated by the vanilla flavor. With some concentration I pick out the slight bourbon flavor. Very little malts and no hops whatsoever. I am amazed at the thin flavor.

Mouthfeel is rather thin. unimpressive.

If you want a 10% beer that you can pound like water; then this is the beer for you. Personally I am quite unimpressed. I will not buy another of this beer.

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