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: 574
Photo of SLeffler27
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with lots of carbonation to sparkle in red highlights as a modest frothy head builds and settles quickly, leaving only a trace of lacing.

Sweet fruity cherry is clear, with a light caramel background, leaving one wondering, "Where is the bourbon?"

Light malt flavors are far from what I anticipated from this style, as is the lack of any bourbon. Aside from a hint of vanilla there is some un-ripened cantaloupe and bubble gum.

The light body and watery texture are far from the style guidelines, as is the excessive carbonation. While 6% may be hefty for AB, there is little to reveal its presence.

Perhaps it is unfair to compare, but with the ease of finding other bourbon barrel aged beers, it is difficult to understand why anyone would pick this one up from the shelf more than once. This said, for the uninitiated there is no challenge to one's palate here, and it may be a fine gateway beer. For me, however, this will be my last bottle.

Regardless of the label, this beer bares no resemblance to a Winter Warmer, by any measure, and is immune to any characteristics normally associated with bourbon.

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Photo of beereality
1.15/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a dark amber with a big fluffy beige head. looks pretty good. I get a smell of woody cereal and something that is not quite right. Kind of a metal smell. Its not good. I really tried to taste this beer with an open mind. This does not even taste like beer. This was one of those rare drain pours. I think the best thing about this beer, besides it being free (thanks Jeff) was the label.

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Photo of aahynick
3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

about 40 degree F into a pint glass
A- dark copper with rapidly disappearing head.

S- syrup and corn.

T- vanilla and corn. slightly woodsy

M- watery to light body, a tad harsh

D- probably the best Michalob I've had, which ain't saying much. AB craft beer, there slogan should be:you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get

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Photo of Duxx
2.81/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer in a mixed sixer as a birthday gift from a couple of gals that I work with. Given that its July and this is supposed to be a winter warmer, I wonder about the freshness? I didn't see a born on date on the bottle.

The beer pours a nice dark amber color with a minimal white head.

The aroma is a little off from what I expected from the name. Yes there is some artificial vanilla smell but no oak or bourbon. Maybe some Cinnamon in there? No hop notes were present.

The taste sweet and malty with some vanilla in the finish. The finish was dryer than what I would have expected from the initial taste. Again no real hops or bourbon taste.

The mouthfeel was very thin and watery. I guess I expect a winter beer to be a little more "chewy."

Drinkability? I had one, thats enough.

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Photo of soccerman7
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - A nice dark copper color with a decent head that quickly disappeared.

S - Malty with a bit of astringent character. A little oak but not really noticeable.

T - Malty clean flavor. Very light with little hops character. The vanilla and bourbon flavor comes on the end. Clean throughout.

M - Not as sweet as i thought and was very clean. light.

D - I am pleasantly surprised by the beer. Very clean, not really sweet as some tend to be and the vanilla was done well. I would definitely drink this again, but not as a winter warmer.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.09/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a mug

Appearance: Clear amber color with a good amount of off-white head. It is a little odd though because, besides the head, there is no carbonation whatsoever.

Smell: There is a sweet smell, but I am not really sure what it is exactly. It is almost like a chocolate but an old bar of chocolate.

Taste: Well after the smell I was not expecting this to taste good at all but it is not bad. It has a very powerful vanilla taste at first that changes into more of a roasted malt flavor.

Note: Surprisingly good taste even though this is not something I would choose to drink.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.29/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is from notes from the winter time.

I had this beer on tap at Gresso's, a local bar right around the corner from my house. I asked what the tap handle was with the snow man and ended up with a pint of this.

A- By the time it came to my table it looked nearly flat. This would be ok if it were actually a cask ale. Its amber colored and perfectly clear.

S- Weak nose but plenty of vanilla syrup and husky, caramely malts. The nose smells mostly like syrups and sugars.

T- This is the sorriest excuse for a "bourbon cask" ale I have had. No bourbon to be found. If you have never had real bourbon and you think vanilla syrup is what bourbon barreling tastes like, then you will think this beer is legit. This beer wouldnt be as bad if I werent expecting some bourbon. If you told me it was just a new AB winter seasonal I wouldnt hate it as much since this is a few steps up from all of their other stuff.

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Photo of pootz
2.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


Pours a super clear deep amber, non existant head, no lacing.
Aroma is weak but you get Sweet spice aroma little else

Weak palate, thin mouthfeel, Grains,sweetness, some bitter some spice, fast finish...stale tasting.

I may have gotten a stale sample but judging by the weak mouthfeel and watery body I don't think I was missing out on much.

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Photo of MrIncognito
2.01/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - Pours a very nice mahogony body with a fluffy off-white head that retains very well. Quite attractive.

S - Definitely get the vanilla bean aspect in this beer right away. Vanilla and sweet dark malts, no real hop presence. Slightly oaky aroma but I don't really get the bourbon... just strong vanilla extract that gives it that alocoholic smell.

T&M - This was a mess. At first sip I thought this was decent, then it went downhill. Tastes like a very unbalanced doppelbock IMO. Strong vanilla extract taste with boozier alcohol than expected. Very fizzy and sweet on the tongue with a disastrous aftertaste. This left a terrible taste in my mouth after each sip.

D - This ended up in the drain. I think this is my first drain poor... maybe my second behind MGD. I just couldn't put this down. A few sips was more than enough for me and I think I'm very optimistic about beers and rate them highly in general. Absolutely will not try this again. Period.

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Photo of Ralph
2.52/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was in the store and I was really jonesing for ANYTHING with the words oak or bourbon in the name, and I am not into spendy beers, so how could I NOT try this? I grabbed it when I first saw the six-pack sitting there all alone, put it back when I saw that it was from A-B, then reconsidered due to the possibility that it might be good along with the low price and sheepishly bought it.

A - One of its strong points - looks good with a nice rich color, but the head fades away pretty quickly.

S - The highlight for me. A very faint touch of oak, bourbon, and vanilla.

T - OK at first, but got much worse the more I drank. It has a bitter, acid aftertaste, and not bitter in a good way.

M - Mouthfeel was fine.

D - I can't drink more than one at a time. I'm glad I gave it a shot, and I recommend you at least try it if you're interested in this type of beer. Nice try by A-B, but missed the mark pretty badly. On to find a real oaky bourbony beer!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.08/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I saw this in a gas station for $1, and I guess curiosity got the best of me.

A - It is actually a very good looking beer. It pours a beautiful red, ultra-translucent hue, with a small cap of tan foam. Poor retention and no lace.

S - It smells, initially, of bug spray. After it airs out overnight, it just smells like someone broke a bottle of vanilla extract. Neither is a good thing. Not surprisingly, there is no bourbon or wood.

T - Aged in Bourbon casks? I can't imagine AB swallowing the opportunity cost of having vats of beer just sitting around, taking up space for months. This beer tastes like a really mild ale with a ridiculous amount of vanilla extract dumped in the glass. Have you ever been in the kitchen, making some recipe, and accidentally you use too much vanilla extract and ruin everything? The definition of unbalanced.

M - Thin beer, but ok in the feel dept.

D - Not drinkable whatsoever.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.47/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 3-21-10

Pours a clear deep amber color, with a thinnish off white head and bubbly lacing. Not bad, really.

Smell is strong banana, almost medicinal, with aromas of vanilla, sweet malt, and a little macro.

Taste is very tame, lots of cloyingly sweet vanilla, with just a hint of malt and slightly bitter hops. Bland and at the same time overly sweet.

Mouthfeel has a good thickness but the carbonation is way over the top, spoiling it.

Drinkability is poor, the vanilla builds up and becomes annoying.

Overall, avoid.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.34/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes. Like many others, I was tricked into thinking this was a craft beer that I hadn't heard about. Here goes...

A- Pours a copper color with a thin beige head that leaves some spotty lace. Decent to look at.

S- Faint malt and straw with a touch of caramel. (I was starting to become skeptical)

T- Ok, where is the bourbon. Mostly a muted sweetness with some toasted grains. If something is going to be called a "Bourbon Cask Ale" then it should at least have SOME bourbon flavor right?

M- Light/medium bodied with light carbonation.

D- Disappointed and a little irritated that I passed on better beers because this one sounded like a winner. It pays to do your homework I guess.

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Photo of greywolf
4.3/5  rDev +50.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

this beer was one i enjoyed over at a gathering of friends who enjoy good beer at first i was like oh ok its a cool bottle after all thats how we chose at least a few beer we want to try,,,the color was a nice amber,,the teaste at first nothing special to me but after a few sips the flavor of the vanilla came threw the mouth feel was pretty good too,,,the drinkability was very drinkable in fack i whent out and got some of my own,,,a beer i would share with friends for sure

 477 characters

Photo of eweneek83
3.63/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A true Amber color. It looked pretty good.

S - Vanilla extract and maltiness. Some caramel notes as well. Nothing too exciting.

T - Caramel and Vanilla flavors, but after a few sips, you are reminded of syrupy, unnatural flavoring. A sweeter than expected maltiness. Very little to no taste of Bourbon.

M - A pretty light mouthfeel for the style of beer. Although this is kind of what I expected from a Macro brewer.

D - Due to the lighter than usual taste and mouthfeel, you could probably down a few of these. But I got tired of the syrupy flavoring after the first pint. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.82/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours reddish amber with one finger of thick foam that dissipates quickly without lacing. Smell is overwhelmingly vanilla, with a twinge of sweetness behind it. Its hard to tell is the sweetness is from the vanilla or the malt. Whatever it is, it is not pleasant, and I'm not looking forward to the first sip...

Well... Taste is subdued... I cringe expecting a rush of vanilla flavor, but it doesn't materialize. In fact there isn't a whole lot of residual sweetness at all, making this beer finish rather dry, much drier than I expected. I don't pick up any bourbon or oak flavors, just a hint of vanilla flavor. Overall, the beer is halfway decent, if you can just get over that horrible vanilla aroma wafting from the glass. Not something that I'd buy again, but not terrible.

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Photo of drizzam
2.66/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Given to me by either my friend Mike or my BA friend jdostal...thanks to whoever gave me this!

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. The body of this brew is a clear orange/red color topped by a fluffy off-orange colored one finger fluffy head. The head receded to a thin cap after several minutes and left spotty lacing down the inside of the glass. Hugely carbonated.

S - There is a lot of vanilla in the nose, maybe some malt. The nose is mainly a one dimensional vanilla aroma, but not like a good vanilla ice cream, more like a fake vanilla extract. Reminds me of a bad vanilla air freshener for your car.

T & M - The taste follows the nose, heavy on the artificial vanilla with just a touch of caramel malt. I was expecting something else from this brew since it was touted as a "Bourbon cask ale". There is no sign of any bourbon in this brew whatsoever.

Now that I look at the label again, it says "Aged ON Bourbon Oak casks"...maybe it was aged IN a regular cask, but ON TOP of a Bourbon cask and they hoped the taste would permeate by just being near it. Doesn't work that way AB.

The mouthfeel was thinnish but creamy, and finished with an artificial vanilla aftertaste.

D - I see why AB is trying to compete in the craft beer arena, but they have a long ways to go before they can compete with smaller breweries that put more time and love into their brews. Nice try, but you fell short on this one guys.

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Photo of JDK
3.81/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this at my local Meijers and thought it would be worth a try.

Poured a nice medium amber with a 1 finger head.

Smell is really mild, not much of anything

Carbonation is pretty good but only lasts a few seconds

Has a rather sweet taste from the vanilla and I could not pick up much else. Without reading the label I would never have guessed it had been in an oak barrel.

I did find it refreshing and would not consider it a "winter". It's rather light overall and would probably taste just as good in the summer.

Glad I tried the 6 pack but doubt I will purchase again. I am glad to see AB expanding their line but they are still definately leaning towards the Bud drinker.It will give them a chance to branch out away from the "normal" taste they are used to but it is a far cry from the better micro brews for only $1.50 more

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Photo of buschbeer
3.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of head. It is copper colored and clear. It has a sweet caramel aroma with some vanilla. The taste is sweet and I get a lot of vanilla. There is also caramel and toffee. It is an alright beer, but I couldn't drink too many. The sweetness and the vanilla are a little too much for me.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear amber with a finger of off white head. Lots of vanilla in the aroma along with some burnt sugar. Light to medium bodied. More vanilla in the flavor, but more of an artificial flavor, not vanilla from barrel aging. A slight hop bite in the finish. Not much going on here. Label say aged "on" barrels not in.

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Photo of krschoch
3.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have never been a huge fan of any Michelob products. However, I heard a few of my friends talking about how much they liked this one, so I figured I'd try it.

A - A true Amber color. It looked pretty good.

S - Vanilla extract and maltiness. Some caramel notes as well. Nothing too exciting.

T - Caramel and Vanilla flavors, but after a few sips, you are reminded of syrupy, unnatural flavoring. A sweeter than expected maltiness. Very little to no taste of Bourbon.

M - A pretty light mouthfeel for the style of beer. Although this is kind of what I expected from a Macro brewer.

D - Due to the lighter than usual taste and mouthfeel, you could probably down a few of these. But I got tired of the syrupy flavoring after the first pint. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.16/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale poured a clear auburn [red] with a nice 2-finger bubbly tan head that held well and formed rings in my mug as I consumed it. Carbonation produced tiny bubbles that rushed to the top.

Smell and taste is on the sweeter side dominated by vanilla with a little caramel. Finish is [very] slightly hoppy, crisp and clean. I found the bourbon flavor hard to detect. Mouth feel is medium.

Not a bad try for something a little different from Anheuser-Busch - they are headed in the right direction! Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale could serve as a good starting point for new craft drinkers.

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Photo of Mcculler
2.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured vigorously from a bottle a pretty reddish amber with little head, less retention, and no lacing.

Smells of wood and very ripe banana.

Tastes of cheap vanilla flavoring, wood, very ripe banana, and some nuts - no bourbon that I can find.

Pretty vigorously carbonated and has some thickness.

Very light, could put back a few of these - if the flavor didn't get on my nerves after a while.

Look, this is hardly good craft beer. But it does "taste good." Its the twinkie of beers. I put a table spoon of bourbon in this one and found myself enjoying it slightly more. Recommended as a mixer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.49/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. 6.0% ABV, 09294 on neck.

A - Winter's pours a brilliantly clear bronzed amber with a very effervescent tall cream/ khaki head. Fizzy and loud, it had alright retention but left no lace on the glass.

S - The nose is surprisingly light. A pinch of spice comes out with some low caramel malts and an overarching lumber yard wood nose. I'm not picking up on any bourbon barrel or vanilla bean. It's very bland.

T - The vanilla bean comes out instantly with a rich vanilla extract-like flavor that blends fairly well with the caramel-sweet malts. Again, just a pinch of spices in the flavor is kind of off. The bourbon is absent once again and in the flavor only a light hint of wood comes out. Must have been a quick "barrel aging" process.

M - Smooth and sweet, it's near full-bodied but not all that endearing. A mild carbonation finish gives a little spike in texture but it, like the rest of the beer, is rather bland.

D - The vanilla and sweetness are a bit cloying and I'm close to calling it quits with the rest of the pint. Not interesting, not in the spirit of winter, and certainly not representational of a well crafted, bourbon barrel aged beer.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
2.28/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber with light head and average lacing.

S - Smells of vanilla, oak, red grapes, and sour apple.

T - Tastes of Bourbon(slight), vanilla, brown sugar(slight), and oak.

M - Very light and watery w/medium carbonation.

D - Very drinkable if you like your Michelob with extra artificial flavors.

This is a winterized pilsner with artificial bourbon and vanilla. How can they say that this beer is aged in bourbon Oak Casks

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
2.86 out of 5 based on 574 ratings.
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