Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak | Anheuser-Busch

110 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of hustlesworth
2.39/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

2005 vintage

A- murky brown color with a creamy beige head that dissipates quickly but leaving a decent amount of lace

S- very sweet vanilla and high end bourbon like knob creek. milk chocolate, maple syrup, fruit cake, and a whiff of alcohol. oak aromas stand out as well.

T- sweet and candy-like, so similar to those goetz caramel chews with the cream center. nearly a mirror of the smell. full of vanilla and woodsy flavor yet ver bland and watery on the back side. how can that be? such a big beer exhibiting characteristics of its weaker cousins. as if the cost of vanilla was so high that the budget couldn't permit any hops. the notion also arises that this could be another beer brewed for the masses... but if that is so, then why even bother going all fancy and brewing a big beer in the first place knowing that your standard BMC drinkers would scoff at this attempt anyway? i don't intend to slam here, but any hard core michelob fan wouldn't like this beer and certainly wouldn't grab a bottle to ring in the new year and think 'damn i wish i could get a 6-er of this stuff!' it seems as if delusions of grandeur have spawned a failed attempt. alcohol flavors pull through as well and i'm wondering how much sugar was added for the yeast to snack on. finishes sweet and vanilla with some woodsy flavor and floral alcohol bitterness.

MF- full and soft up front becoming thin and watery on the way down. carbonation is on the low side of medium.

D- it blows my mind that when setting out to brew a beer of this caliber that the final result is so much like a high alcohol vanilla infused mich light. these guys have to, HAVE TO be able to brew something that could compete with great american craft or foreign brewers. so why not do it? maybe someday we will all get a big surprise, but until then i remain a skeptic. thanks to my man flea market rich the wizard for giving me this bottle. hell of a try buddy.

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Photo of peabody
2.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours out like reddish orange ice tea.
Not much smell but you can detect yeast sugar and alcohol.
Strong taste of alcohol here. Not masked well at all. You have the sugar and the vanilla extract and that is about it.
Very watery in the mouth then the burn of alcohol is the aftertaste.
I bought this as a pair with the chocolate.
Just don't buy it would be my suggestion.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.34/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

24 oz screw-top bottle split and poured into a KBS glass. 10% ABV, 2005 Vintage.

Received in a trade with Seldomsthristy and shared with Sweemzander.

A - Pours a totally hazed (scary) dirty apricot color with a large toffee head. Loose bubbles lead to little retention and specks of lacing. Just a ring is left.

S - There is a small bit of oak in the aroma but its totally lost in a light, sweet vanilla, toffee and butterscotch, and pungent fruity aroma. Fruity like a sugary fruit punch soda. It's got a really funky old ale-like aged nose. The aroma is all over the place but not in a good way. It needs to keep its ADD in check.

T - Lots of sugar with a fruit punch flavor blend with a toffee and butterscotch attributes at the same time. A little bit of the vanilla bean comes through in waves but none of the oak is noticeable. Just way too sweet. As if the 10% ABV came from sugar additions as opposed to malt.

M - Overly sweet with a rich and fuller-bodied feel. Smooth with a decent carbonation finish for it's age.

D - Drain pour. Not worth drinking unless you're an alcoholic humming bird. If I had to consume it, I wouldn't cry but the sugar is overly cloying.

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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 markgugs
2.32/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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 harpus
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle says from 2005

A - reddish rusty brown, thin smooth white head with very scant carbonation

S - like vanilla cream soda with alcohol, plus a slight resinous woody twinge

T - hmmmm, better than i thought it would be, not great, but not a pour either, super sweet molasses/toffee/vanilla, with some yeasty spiciness, just too sweet, needs some bitterness to balance it out

M&D - definitely easy down, has mouthfeel like a soda, not a great brew, too sweet and sugary, but it definitely surprised

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Photo of bzach
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%

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 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 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 assurbanipaul
2.13/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber with a ring instead of a head. Aroma is some malt, some hops, lots of wood and bourbon with a sickly sweet vanilla element.

First sip is wildly alcoholic, just like watered-down bourbon. Some sweet malts are quickly overcome by a syrupy vanilla flavor. For all the "premium ale" this purports to be, it could just as easily be cheap scotch and a little vanilla flavoring cut to a barley wine percentage.

Mouthfeel is rather thin with a strong alcohol burn in the finish. No depth of flavor at all. Drinkability? Let's just say I am fortunate to have found a tiny 7-oz bottle of this stuff (with a twist-off cap, mind you -- that's classy) so I didn't have to finish much.

A decent attempt at a barley wine but they ultimately fumbled the ball.

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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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Photo of sweemzander
2.05/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

750mL screw top wine bottle. No bottled date, but says its 2005. Thank you to BeerFMAndy for sharing this with me.

(A)- Pours a cloudy reddish to orange amber color that produced a quickly dissipating tan head.

(S)- Musky caramel & butterscotch aromas with hints of toffee. Very sweet & sugary smelling.

(T)- Extremely sugary candied butterscotch & caramel. Kinda watery sugar taste. Kinda has a fig & raisin-like, but just plain sugary.

(M)- Has a good carbonation level, but its really just like flavored sugar water to me.

(D)- Way too sugary sweet for me. You might as well just eat a spoonful of sugar instead. Couldnt really drink more than a few sips.

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Photo of geexploitation
2.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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

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Photo of silenius
2.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of bashiba
1.99/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a very nice clear reddish copper color with a thick creamy head.

Smell was a very sublte touch of sweet and vanilla.

Taste is dominated by the vanilla with a very sweet taste and some subtle hints of the bourban and oak aging. Finishes way to sweet with no hops taste at all.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and suprisingly has none of that high ABV feel that I would expect.

Drinkability is below average, gets a little to sweet after a bit, I am glad I split my 22oz bottle as I don't think I would want to have to plow through the whole thing.

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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 shaggy151
1.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this beer in a holiday two pack along with a Chocolate beer and two glasses. The bottle was nice but a screw top was a bit odd. The beer had a nice amber color. Smell was mostly vanilla and alcohol. The beer was smooth but i really didn't like the taste. It was alright to try once but i wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of GeneralZod
1.86/5  rDev -34%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Looks ok, but.... not too fizzy. Clear lager with low or no head retention.

Smells like it advertised... vanilla and oakie.

Smells are deceiving... This beer taste awful. I don't like putting beer down, but this was plain disgusting.

Very smooth, watery and flat.

Tried it and regreted it. Needless to say, this is bad.
One good note... It has 10% alcohol content!!!

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Photo of BeerBob
1.86/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Michelob Celebrate Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla 2005 Pours a dark copper from a black 1 pint 8 fl. oz. glass bottle with a full bottle black plastic over wrap label. Light tan head of fine foam went to over two fingers in my 16oz beer tumbler before collapsing to a well defined ring with light lacing.

Nose is a mixture of vanilla and alcohol with whiffs of Oak. Palate is a pronounced whisky alcohol, Oak and alcohol are first and foremost here, with the vanilla trying... to smooth things over.

Michelob Celebrate Oak-Aged Dark Vanilla 2005 can pass for whisky and vanilla flavored soda. For me, this will have to be an acquired taste, as my first impression is thumbs down with the whisky perception.


Second bottle, This stuff is really gross...

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Photo of jdubjacket
1.78/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1


Had this at a beer tasting in Duluth, GA. Pours an amber red with minimal lacing. Not much of a head.

Smell is almost like cough syrup.

Taste is like the smell. Seems like Michelob is trying their hand at something more complex and decided to start selling this beer before it was ready. Tastes very much like vanilla, like the name implies. After that, the taste of bourbon becomes prominent. The two don't mix well. It's as though Michelob brewed this, tasted it, and thought "tastes like vanilla and bourbon like the label says."

It's way too sweet to be consumed. By the time you get to the bottom of the bottle, the taste of bourbon is the only thing left - and it is certainly not pleasant.

I must say I can't recommend this beer. If it were aged a little more, it could be decent. But, as long as Michelob keeps pulling it off the production lines this early, it will never be good.

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1.75/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Thought I'd give it a shot but it appears Michelob is just jumping on the specialty brew bandwagon. This is just like regular Michelob: no character. Drank it from the bottle on way home from hockey games, so pourability and color can't be graded. I approached this beer with an open mind, but it is nothing more than Michelob with vanilla flavor. Tastes like flat cream soda. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. If you desire vanilla flavor spend your money on Immortale.

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