Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask AleMichelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale
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Winter Warmer
2.86 | pDev: 25.52%
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask AleMichelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale
Notes: During even the coldest of weather, warm up to the smooth, robust taste of our Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale. Full of rich aromas that you find in the winter months, hints of vanilla and flavorful hops, this is a beer that is great for pouring into a large tulip glass and enjoying with friends around a fireplace.

17 IBU
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Reviews: 457 | Ratings: 573
Photo of aobjustme
4.99/5  rDev +74.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While I'm usually not a fan of sweeter beers this is one beer I would make an exception for. Perfect for a cool autumn evening or a chilly winter night. It paired perfectly with a couple of great chili cheese dogs & a football game on TV. I'm a big fan of it.

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Photo of mrbrownstone65
5/5  rDev +74.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anybody who gave this a rating below 4 is dead wrong. This is a smooth, thick, smoky, vanilla-y beer. A fantastic combination of flavors, extremely well executed by AB. I would challenge anyone to taste this beer blindly and rate it below a 4. Stop discriminating based on its macro maker. I rated this a 5 as to cancel out at least one of the low ratings. This beer is probably right around a 4 or 4.25. Everyone who has an opportunity should try it this winter.


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Photo of claspada
2.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice golden amber color with good clarity with a tight eggshell head that has good longevity.

Aromas begin sweet and malty. I don't get much if any bourbon but there are vanilla and caramel notes.

The tastes begin much the same with prodominant sweetness highlighted again by the vanilla and caramel/toffee with lesser dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium to light in body with appropriately moderate carbonation.

Overall what you might expect from an A-B product. A mild-flavored beer that tries to make friends with everyone instead of attempting to really "wow" anyone. For being called a "bourbon cask ale", there is barely any hints of bourbon to speak of.

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Photo of rlshep
2.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Aroma: Big up front bourbon character. Dark caramel sugar. A hint of fruitiness and prune.

Appearance: Pours a big off white head with big bubbles, dissipates quickly. Very little lacing. Some legs. Deep amber color. Great clarity.

Flavor: Put a teaspoon of sugar in your mouth, take a shot of bourbon and follow it with a swig of vanilla extract and that is this beer. Very low bitterness. No noticeable hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thin, alcohol warming.

Overall: What a mess of a beer. Why go to the trouble of adding bourbon and vanilla to such a bad base beer. More importantly why do people continue to buy this stuff?

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Photo of SickGnar
3.03/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Medium dark red-orangey amber. Smallish light tan head with just some okay splotchy lacing.

S: Strong vanilla! Round and sweet malt base. Some very faint bourbon. It is almost one-dimensional sweet vanilla.

T: Lots of vanilla – almost overdone. Base beer malts are toasty & caramel with only a slight breadiness. Probably mostly pale. Well rounded in the mid-range without any definite hints at darker stuff. Maybe just a touch of raisin. Quite sweet, but in a thin way. Not rich or robust or malty like you might want in a beer of this type. Bourbon is quite restrained, but does come out more as it warms. Not really finding any oak. Herbal hops at the edges, but underbalaced bitterness. Vanilla runs though it all and lingers on in the finish. A bit too strong on the vanilla, and not as robust in other areas to really seem special.

M: Just barely average body, which seems quite light for this type/flavor of beer. CO2 is also on the lighter side. So even though is lacks for dextrins or residual sugars, it seems sort of soft and creamy. It seems almost thin after a bit, but does pull off a semi-sweet finish.

D: Nicely different and OK as is. But, a tad bigger, more hefty & robust, some oak, more malty with more dark roast hints, and more pronounced bourbon could really make this into something nice. Keeping in mind who makes it, I understand why it is fairly tame.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really nice brownish red color. The head is thin, and cream color. The aromas have a very faint aroma of bourbon, vanilla and winter spices. The flavors are fairly rich in the beer. I'm pretty surprised with this release, This beer is probably one of Anheuser-Busch's best. The mouthfeel on this beer is smooth too. I wouldn't drink this a whole lot, but if nothing else was around at the time I'd ask for one or two.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
2.08/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a very translucent amber/red color with thick head and little lacing.

S: Vanilla notes hit the nose along with watery metallic notes.

T: The sip starts and ends with vanilla. The middle of the sip tastes watery. Don't get any flavor of the oak that the bottle states the beer is aged on, for that matter I don't get any flavors that would accompany an aged beer of this style.

M: This beer feels thin, highly carbonated and thin.

Overall, this not not a very good beer. The flavor is not very complex and is dominated by the vanilla, much like the nose. Otherwise, the beer really just seems watery.

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Photo of vandemonian
2.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale pours with a nice amber-red colour and a head that dies away in seconds and leaves almost no lacing. This beer doesn't have a great smell. It is weak and grainy with maybe a hint of woodiness. This beer has a watery, woody flavour up front and ends with sour, bitter fruit notes. This doesn't taste like a winter warmer at all. The aftertaste is not pleasant at all. It is very watery in the mouth and lacks carbonation. I tipped most of it down the sink.

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Photo of dizknee24
2.9/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is not the worst example of a craft brew from a big manufacturing corporation, but there has been better.

decently dark, with a very very spicy smell. cinnamon and other spices such a nutmeg fill the nose.

taste an avergae winter warmer but the aftertaste was like chugging spices. not my idea of a good time

mouthfeel is nasty uglyness


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Photo of Floyd12
4.07/5  rDev +42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1/6 "Pony" keg into a pint glass

A- reddish brown color. While the original head is very nice and thick, it quickly dissipated leaving no lacing.

S- A sweet smelling beer of bourbon and vanilla. Light undertones of toasted grains.

T- Very sweet almost like a syrup. Strong vanilla and bourbon taste. But also a slight bitterness of hops at the end.

M-Slightly watery, the downside to this beer. while it has a sticky sense do to all the sweetness a much heavier quality to this beer would greatly improve it. Light beer with low carbonation just leaves too much missing.

D- High drinkability because of the sweetness. Its like a Cream Soda or Root Beer. Very pleasant but if heavier would be a much more enjoyable beer.

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Photo of tms6663
4.84/5  rDev +69.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - reddish amber color
S - A mixture of Bourbon and Vanilla
T - Very well balanced flavors of Bourbon and Vanilla.
D - A nice flavor at begininng with a clean finish
One of the best beers I have had in a while. A great job of balancing the destinctive flavors that finishes nicely. Overall a great beer that I would definitely recommend.

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Photo of mmercede
1.06/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I bought a case of this for $10 thinking how bad could it be...

Well, michelob didnt fail to surprise me.

This is literally the worst beer I have ever had. It tastes like someone took a shitty winter warmer and dumped burnt wood and vanilla extract into it. The mouth was sticky and cloyingly sweet. It smelled like a toxic campfire. We ended up shooting most of the case with a bb gun...hahahaha

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.17/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): Pours a coppery brown with a decent but ephemeral head. Aromas are heavy with caramel and maybe some cinnamon spices with a touch of vanilla. Flavor is fairly sweet malt with an artificial bourbon taste mixed. Vanilla is present too, but it doesn't fit in very well. This is a little watery and the elements don't come together to make something better.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.85/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not usually a fan of Anheuser-Busch products, but I really enjoyed this beer.

A deep red amber color, formed a nice head that quickly disapeared, no lacing.

The sweet smell of Vanilla comes through.

Sweet vanilla taste, with some mild bitternes at the end. Very well balanced.

Medium bodied, very easy to drink. Almost taste like a cream soda. That could be good or bad depending on your mood or taste.

Overall, a very enjoyable drink. I am glad I picked up a six pack.

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Photo of Dodt
3.83/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

found a bit of a surprise when i headed into the social club they had this one on tap .
poured from the tap into a mug
appearance dark amber with a nice head
smell a strong presence of vanilla
taste is the same as the aroma
for me this is a enjoyable be and a realization that not all ab products are inferior

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Photo of G2Brew
3.02/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I picked this bottle up at the Jacksonville Budweiser Brewery 3 days ago, and was told it was a week old or less at that time. Poured into a chilled pilsner glass.

A - Coppery-red, lots of color yet very good clarity, looks great with light passing though it. Disappointing head. Nice off-white color, but dissipated very quickly and left no lacing, even on a chilled class.

S - Vanilla, malt, a little toasted grain, a little hops. Not spectacular, but not bad.

T - Vanilla, toasted barley, malt, and some interesting dark fruit notes - maybe black cherry, or overripe plum, maybe raisin. No oak or bourbon that I could detect. Not bad though.

M - Thinner than I expected from a winter ale. Kind of watery. Maybe slightly over-carbonated. Improves as it approaches room temperature.

D - Pretty drinkable. I probably won't buy more though. If I'm in the mood for a winter ale, I want something a little sturdier.

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Photo of Franz4
3.03/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Ruby/copper w/ a nice foamy head. Beer is translucent and gives off a nice glow.

S- Notes of oak and vanilla with a strong presence of graininess.

t- strong vanilla notes in the finish, front is more oak, sweetness is moderate, could use some additional molasses here, but I'm not catching any.

M- thin and watery this could be improved greatly, but then it would probably be too sweet.

d- there are some nice distinct flavors in this, but overall the beer just doesn't hold up for me.

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.23/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 6 pack of this simply due to good marketing. Its description was too good to pass up.

Pours a rich, dark oaky color.

Smells like vanilla ale.

The taste is a pretty powerful vanilla flavoring. Seems almost like vanilla extract was just poured into the beer (which it most likely was).

Go does fairly smooth.

Overall, a decent pickup for a mass produced "cask" ale.

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Photo of chinchill
2.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

served in pint glass

Pours a clear light mahogany color with almost no head despite an easily visible moderate carbonation.

A Pyramid Snow Cap winter ale I rated yesterday serves as a good point of comparison for this beer. The Pyramid was superior in virtually every respect. The Michelob product here has a qualitatively inferior spice mixture added to it, and the level of spicing is too high, serving to mask whatever malt and hops (and rice?) are in the brew. There's a strong vanilla component that tastes a bit artificial despite listing Madagascar vanilla beans on the label -- perhaps it the intrusion of some off-flavor. I should admit I'm not a fan of bourbon nor, usually, of the effect of cask conditioning ales using bourbon barrels. In any case, there is a bit of metallic off-taste in the finish. Mouthfeel is OK, but a bit watery for the style.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.74/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: The pour is a clear copper color with almost no head--just a bit of off-white foam popping up as I pour the beer into the glass.

S: Quite the aroma we have here. Lots of metal/iron is noticeable immediately. I also get cough syrup and maraschino cherries along with some fake vanilla flavor. Seems to be some bug spray and tomato vines, too.

T: Just as delicious as it smells. Plenty of metallic tinge, fake vanilla, cough syrup, vegetables, and a strong bitterness. There is a slight bread flavor, which was sort of surprising, I must say.

M: The body is thin and slightly watery with a low to moderate carbonation.

D: Overall quite bad. Not the worst beer I've ever had, but certainly near the bottom rung.

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Photo of MikeRa
2.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap

A: This beer is a reddish copper/amber with a very little head

S: It has a average vanilla smell to it

T: This beer has a hint of vanilla in the taste

M: This beer has a fuzzy feel that doesn't stay for long

D: This is a beer that I may or may not drink again

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.17/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another gem from my pal Justin here. Poured into a pint glass. Pours out of the bottle with just a thing layer of foam that disappears almost immediately. The body is really a dull amber body with not much going on. The aroma is just kind of faint. Not much to pick up on in this guy. Slightly fruity and I can't get a hint of vanilla but as far as any bourbon aromas go you may as well just forget about it. There is no trace. I don't dig this. It's like soapy dark cherries with a bit of vanilla. And again, where's the bourbon flavor that I heard about. The mouthfeel is light and aggressively carbonated but overall, this is easy enough to put down.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.22/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours somewhere between red and brown. It is clear of sediment and entirely translucent. Submerged bubbles stick to the sides of the glass, and the carbonation looks to be medium. The head is one and a half fingers high, and composed of tannish-white foam that quickly disintegrates. The aroma has notes of dark fruits, dark malts, sweet esters, and vanilla extract. Living up to its name, we also get the bourbon barreling in the nose, which is faint, but obviously apparent. As we taste, there is a combination of malts and vanilla up front. These carry fully into the middle, which becomes a bit sweeter, and not unlike a cream soda. Here, too, there are faint suggestions of maraschino cherries. The finish is more of this exaggerated vanilla flavoring, with malts and faint hints at nutmeg and cinnamon. The aftertaste is of sweet vanilla and chalky candy corn. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip coats the mouth quickly, but tends to dry it out a bit. The feel is, at times, watery, and the beer is slightly loose. The abv is within range, and the beer drinks with a simplicity.

Overall, what we found most interesting about this brew was the inclusive aroma. There was a ton of vanilla, and even some bourbon aging present. While the vanilla was overly present throughout, the bourbon, which is in the name of the beer, was faint at best. We weren't really expecting much from this offering, but with such an inviting aroma, there should have been more on the follow through.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.2/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: reddish copper, modest head; not many carb bubbles
S: sweet, slight malt aroma
T: hint of cherry, bit of a Scottish ale; slightly hoppy
M: fuzzy, bubbly

Overall, much better than I expected from this brewery. But it comes around to an average beer, overall.

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Photo of tbrown4
3.57/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - dark ruby red, little head

S - strong smack in the face of vanilla, toasted English muffin aroma. No wood or bourbon aroma.

T - Very strong on the vanilla, some hints of dark cherry. No wood or bourbon notes can be found.

M - Very thin, doesn't stick around long

D - I could put down a few with little issue. But I typically move on to something that's a bit better after one.

First had this a few years ago on draft. It's become a regular seasonal pick up for me. I sip on six and am done for another year.

Overall it just seems thin and under developed.

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 68 out of 100 with 573 ratings