Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale | Anheuser-Busch

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask AleMichelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

Brewed by:
Missouri, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by JISurfer on 12-15-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 457 | Ratings: 573
Photo of BatDaddy
3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a reddish coppery color. There's a good finger of head for a few seconds but it quickly fizzles out, leaving a light ring around the edges and a few wisps of bubbles floating around the center.

S - I get a decent whiff of vanilla, followed by a touch of spice and a very faint smell of bourbon. Not bad.

T - Big burst of vanilla on the first sip, and that's about it. There's a weak hint of bourbon in the background after a few tastes. A touch of caramel malt. The vanilla stays throughout, actually quite nice and mellow. No real hop presence to speak of.

M - Bubbly and a little watery. Not terrible, but again, not nearly as hearty as you'd expect from a winter ale.

D - Not bad. The vanilla might get old after a couple though.

I had to re-review this one - I think maybe I had a little cold or something when I reviewed it last, because I'm drinking another one and am enjoying it quite a bit more than the other one I reviewed. It's still not a great beer, but worth a try, especially if you like vanilla and/or are strapped for cash.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Budweiser brewery in Fort Collins.

Served cold into a shapely half-pint glass, Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is a nice golden amber/red color with good clarity. The head is tight and has good longevity.

Aroma is sweet and malty. I don't get any bourbon but there are vanilla and caramel notes.

Flavor is much the same with prodominant sweetness. Again the vanilla and caramel/toffee characters take center stage with lesser dark fruits. For being called a "bourbon cask ale", there is barely any hints of bourbon to speak of.

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.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.97/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Caramel mahogany color...light taupe head.

Smell: Very rich and sweet caramel malty nose. Just a pinch of vanilla.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation is an ample medium through which to channel the rich caramel malts and gentle vanilla tones. The oaked flavor is a great compliment to these other flavors, and the aftertaste is all vanilla. Rinses smoothly.

Drinkability: In the colder months, it would definitely serve its purpose as a winter warmer. Outside of that timeframe, served ice cold, it could be a great dessert beer.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

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

Dark brown color mixes with orange and red highlighting. Ruby, when backlit. Fluffy and smooth head, decent height and stick, but it recedes to nothing and leaves no lace. Odd.

Nose is a mirror of the prominent ingredients listed on the bottle: vanilla and bourbon, with a backup of caramel malt. Slight spicing or pepper note. Also, the bourbon is really fleeting, and I no longer notice it...

The flavor includes notes of caramel malt, lightly roasted, with wheat toast. Unfortunately, it tastes like a decent pint of beer was poured into a gallon of water, mixed, and re-served. Vanilla notes smack of pure extract, almost bitter in its chemical-ness. Nothing resembling the sour-oaky-boozy complexity of bourbon is going on in this beer; it tastes more like cough syrup than sour-mash.

Very weak, light, and far from anything resembling well-brewed beer. Not exactly disgusting, but have you ever had a winter warmer that you could taste the brewing salts? Neither me. I would definitely prefer over-spicing to this under-flavored mess.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.32/5  rDev +51%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very pretty beer, ummm!. About the same color as the brown bottle with a light brown head.
It smells wonderful. Vanilla and just a hint of bourbon.
Delicious. This is easily the best BMC product I've ever had. It's got a true craft beer taste and feel. It's lighter than most other beers of this style, but I rate it as an excellent beverage that really surprised me.

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Photo of Haybeerman
2.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear red/copper color. Poured a half finger beige head that fell quickly to a thin ring around the edge. Lacing washed down the glass.

S: Vanilla and (maybe) caramel. Faint spice and bourbon. A little wet wood.

T: Big vanilla up front. Bourbon well in the background. Caramel malt and some spice more prominent as the beer warms. Flavors very mild, very subdued.

M: Light body; thin and watery. Ample carbonation. Smooth to the level of almost feeling flat.

D: Really average beer in what is usually an interesting category.

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Photo of MikeInIowa
4.1/5  rDev +43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gave this brew a second spin. Tried a couple of years back and liked then, but, alas, no notepad was with me at the time (read: non-critical tasting was going on then.) Bad addy! I know. I know.

Nose;Cask has a nice, spicy aroma with scents of cinnamon and roasted malt.

Look: deep amber in appearance, transparent and with moderate tan foam that recedes at a reasonable rate.

Taste:A warm, comfot-food essence that indicative of the winter seasonals. Flavors are nutmeg, cinnamon and carmel. Oh, now I remember. Cask's detracters think it is Amber Bock incognito. With which I disagree because Cask gives one the warm and fuzzies when Amber Bock, though an occasional fall back of my choosing, is in the lager style. I like both, but prefer Cask in side-by-side comparison.

Mouth: nice mouthfeel. Thinly creamy.

Drink: Smoothly drinkable. Entertaining this season? Get some Bourbon Cask Ale. It will make a nice cordial for the party. Cheers!

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Photo of JoeyBadaBingBoom
3.23/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

hen I first saw this beer on the shelves it looked and sounded like a very good holiday season-type beer.

The appearance of the beer is really nice. The beer pours a nice deep amber color, very appealing. The smell of the beer has a hint of vanilla but no bourbon or oak scent. In addition the taste has some very nice vanilla notes but lacks any bourbon cask flavor. I would say the amount of vanilla flavor is appropriate with some bourbon cask flavor but since this beer seems to lack that flavor it only has the flavor of vanilla.

The mouthfeel is about what I would expect and is not overly carbonated. The beer is a bit sweet and really only has a vanilla flavor making it have a less than average drinkability.

Overall, its an average beer at a decent price but entirely what I expected from the description. If you are not a vanilla in beer fan its not for you but if you are it's worth a try.

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Photo of wrightro07
1.76/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: amber brown with very poor head retention
S: Almost no smell at all, just a slight malty smell.
T: Almost no flavour at all, not much to say. It just has a bad aftertaste like Budweiser.
D: Drinkability would be great if I wanted a club soda. I will never drink this beer again.

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Photo of pb9613
4.62/5  rDev +61.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beautiful dark malt flavor with just a small tenacious head looked excellent in the glass after pouring. The small head created a nice pleasant lacing throughout the drinking experience.

Smell - Who doesn't love the smell of vanilla? You can still smell the hops in the background but the great smell of the vanilla is awesome.

Taste - This beer has a great malty flavor with enough hops to offset the bitter sweetness of the malt. You get the a little bourbon taste in the middle but just a hint of the vanilla in the after taste. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel - This beer was a little light and in need of a little body.

Drinkability - After a few of bottles of this beer you will need a lighter beer if you plan on continuing the beer drinking experience at the office party.

This beer actually interested my wife. She asked for a small glass for herself which is amazing. Her beer of choice is usually Coors Light.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
1.84/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Here we go...

Appearance -- Pours a soft cherry red with one finger of stiff cream-colored head.

Smell -- Overwhelming aroma of vanilla from the onset. Husky grain and corn in the mix as well. In the end it's somewhere between off-brand cream soda and vanilla lotion.

Taste -- Ack! Again, the vanilla is overwhelming and off-putting. Husky grain, high fructose, sweet corn, fruity prune sweeness. Lingering flavors of creamed corn and artificial vanilla extract. The flavor profile is pretty flat: adjunct-spiked grain + cream soda. The taste is slightly less saccharine than the smell, but not by much.

Mouthfeel -- The mouthfeel is quite light with ample carbonation. Not terribly offensive, but not that good, either.

Drinkability -- I came at this beer with a largely open mind, hoping to be somewhat amused. However, this beer is terrible: saccharine, artificial, and uninteresting. This must surely rank down there with Wild Blue and Crazy Ed's on the "not even to just try it" list. Fail.

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Photo of Kromes
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A very clear amber color with a thin off white head. Was expecting something a little more dark.

S: It pretty much only smells like vanilla beans. There might be a little toasted malt aroma in there also.

T: There are some sweet caramel and vanilla flavors with a very slight touch of hop flavor and bitterness in the finish. I was disappointed at the lack of bourbon flavor.

M: I found this beer to be very thin and watery.

D: It's ok. Couldn't have more than one. Wouldn't get it again, but it was worth a taste.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.52/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light brown with short lasting cap of white head. Nose is carmely sweet malt, grahmn cracker and huge vanilla. First sip brings a rather large taste of vanilla, like sipping on extract and some maple syrup. The sweet malt and grahmn cracker are also present, but missing is any burbon and oak (maybe the oak imparts more vanilla!). Medium bodied, lower in carbonation, vanilla lingers on the palate. I must say, the beer does not do burbon and barrel justice, the vanilla is aggressive, and while it has a good taste, its a little too much.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Leftover from the large thanksgiving gathering along with a honey lager, which I'll review later.

Coppery to red in color, clear, a few rising bubbles, one finger head that didn't last, not much lacing.

Smells like an adjunct lager, grainy, sweet, with a touch of vanilla.

Calling this stuff bourbon cask ale makes for a pretty label but doesn't describe the beer at all. I taste no bourbon or wood flavors. I do taste a malty backbone with plenty of vanilla and not a whole bunch else. It's ok (as in not a drainpour) but for the category of winter warmer it's certainly below average.

Feels watery and slick from the vanilla.

Drinks poorly. A pathetic attempt to market to the craft drinkers while still providing little more than BMC swill.

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Photo of kelleymcguire
1.87/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

It took a few tastes to get full flavor of this beer then the It tasted as if someone poured an entire bottle of vanilla extract into the single bottle of beer very over-powering vanilla taste. Maybe if it were used in a beer bread it might fare better. Worth the try though.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
2.74/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is sweet, vanilla-ee, and water-ee.

It poured a very attractive dark ruby with a short, insubstantial, and short-lived white head. It left nothing on the glass. The smell was metallic and the flavor was an initially pleasant, but increasingly artificially sweetened-seeming vanilla. The aftertaste was yeasty, with a hint of whole grain bread. The feel was slippery and as short-lived as the head. This was the thinnest barrel aged beer I've yet had.

With the strong artificial vanilla presence, the lack of bourbon and wood flavors, and the watery feel, Michelob Winter's Ale is more diet vanilla soda than bourbon barrel aged anything.

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Photo of SamN
1.56/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Clear amber beer, looks thin and watery and without head. Livley carbonation visible. Smells weird like brine or pimento olive juice. Sweet notes of malt, some very artificial "bourbon" vanilla smokiness, some hints of vanilla beans but not nearly enough. Taste is pathetic. Limp, lacking any flavor. Seriously thin tastes, there is almost nothing of note. What tastes exist are slightly sour, grainy and flat fake "bourbon" tastes. Beer feels thin and weak, nothing fulling or warming like a real winter seasonal should be. Drinkability is very low.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.12/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a spotlessly clear, dark mahogany-hued body with a medium-small, bone white head.

Smell: Sweet-scented aroma smelling of toasty, toffeeish malts, heavy-handed vanilla extract, and a few discard sweet cherries dunked in garden variety bourbon.

Taste: The malts, while not particularly bold or complex, do yield touches of toasted nuts and toffee with a vanilla taste which reminds me of freeze-dried ice cream. A fairly sweet beer throughout. Underlying cherry-like fruitiness. No discernible hop character and bitterness. Slight woody, earthy tones accompanied by a faint astringency. Lingering taste of vanilla extract beyond the sweetish finish that hangs on the tongue like a bad piece of vanilla-flavored candy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: While easy to drink, it's not particularly enjoyable to. While a bourbon barrel-aged, vanilla-infused brown ale sounds like a great winner of an idea, the execution was, well, less than even hoped for.

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Photo of polio
3.41/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer is very rich and creamy. if you can imagine if egg nog was a beer this would be it. it was extremely sweet. i wouldnt want to have more than one of these at a time, but it is a good sit down desert beer. not my favorite seasonal beer but its a good one.

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Photo of Gehrig
2.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Having stopped into the sterling Neil St. Piccadilly for the first time in a while, I grabbed an eclectic mix of brews. For whatever reason, perhaps not having tried some of the new "micro" Michelob's, perhaps it was having heard this was decent, most likely because this joint allows people to buy just one beer of a sixer, I nabbed a Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale. As I had suspected but hoped would not occur, it was underwhelming.

A thick, soda-like finger of off-white froth tops a clear, nice ruby-amber body; more duration on the head would help matters, but this is a decent-looking beer, especially the color. The smell is enticing, I must admit--lots of the advertised vanilla, some bourbon as it warms, and a slight but clearly discernible tobacco aroma. I'd prefer more fruit from this ale, but I'm pleasantly surprised by the smell.

The taste, however, is a setback. The primary culprit is the vanilla. It is fair to say that it does not taste like vanilla bean, which would have a fine, roasted aroma and taste. Rather, this wreaks of vanilla extract, as if it were pulled off a baker's shelf and dumped into the vat in mass quantities. It is unmistakable because of the exceedingly sweet, almost cream soda-like taste, as well as the syrupy viscosity. The more I consume this, the more put off I am. It smacks of just what I had suspected with this macro--that it could posture as having refined something special with its advertised bourbon casks and vanilla bean, as if Michelob crafted something and not indeed slopped together in ham-handed fashion. Sorry, I'm not impressed.

Back to first base in the overt attempts to plagiarize what the smaller, far superior brewers have cultivated over the years, Michelob. This doesn't cut the mustard.

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Photo of macrent2
3.07/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer came in a bottle. After pouring this beer into a clear glass, I noticed that it had a very distinct redish amber colour with a healthy amount of carbonation and a 1 finger head that disapated very rapidly. No real lacing to report.

Vanilla bean and very light malt aroma.

Light, sweet and a bit rough at times, dont care for the mouth feel.

Vanilla comes out fully here, more so than the bourbon cask flavor (if there even is one). This is very powerful on vanilla flavour and is more so than several vanilla beers I have had.

Average nothing too great or too poor, good on a cold fall/winters night!

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Photo of mwa423
2.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Clarity is excellent, however the thin and short lived white head was less than impressive.

S - Hints of bourbon and vanilla with a bit of malty sweetness, little spice to speak of, but overly bland.

T - Taste is an interesting attempt at an oak aged beer, there are lots of creamy vanilla notes, as long with a slight oak and bourbon note that would seem artificial (if such a thing existed). All of the flavors that BA's treasure in our winter beers are in this beer, just in a watered down amount that would please the average BMC drinker.

M/D - Mouthfeel is weaker than in past years and as light as a light lager. This isn't a particularly drinkable beer because on the one hand it is smooth and light but also has a heavy taste. When I drink I tend to either pick a full flavored beer or a beer with a light mouthfeel, to have both seems odd.

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Photo of wac9
4.26/5  rDev +49%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

i dont know what people are looking for in this beer , but this a great beer . it pours like a scottish ale taste like scottish ale and looks like a scottish ale its a great beer and i for one cant for it the come out , its has the right amount of vanilla beans in it. best beer by michelob hand downs so open a beer enjoy it

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate chestnut brown with an off white head. Smells of excess spice and the tiniest bit of bourbon. Taste brings forward a lot of spice with some backing sweetness and hints of caramel and sugar. Mouthfeel is medium and overly spiced. Drinks not nearly as poorly as I thought it would, but is still undesirable.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.68/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought as a present some months ago. Have one sitting in the fridge I forgot about.

A-Dark copper small head.

S-Sweet malts. Spices. Oaky?

T-Sweet malts again. Spices again. Poorly hidden booze.

M-Thin and weak.

D-Low. Booze is too present. Poor immitation. No wonder why I forgot about this in the fridge.

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
2.86 out of 5 based on 573 ratings.
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