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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale | Anheuser-Busch

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask AleMichelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale
573 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 573 |  Reviews: 457
Photo of mntlover
3.8/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown with a decent sized cream colored head, atleast for a bar poured draft brew, that did leaves some lace.

Aroma is malt lots of vanilla must be adding in extra to increase the vanillia. Some hints of spice and bourbon flavors underneath from the barrel.

Taste is hell what do you no its good not bad at all malty again lots of vanillia has to have vanilla beans added to this one burbon hints with weak spice hints underneath it all.

Mouthfeel is pushing medium nice level of carbonation more mellow the most Bud products.

Drinkability is hell good I know this is a product of the evil empire but its drinkable hell this should be on tap everywhere they serve bud and I would be able to have a drinkable beer everywhere we go out.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.83/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$7 draught served in a plastic cup at Nationwide Arena. Clear dark amber color with a compact beige head. Decide lacing despite the serving container. Light malt and vanilla aroma. Medium-bodied with mild hops, malt and caramel flavors. Nothing I would mistake for bourbon though. The finish is a little watery and sweet. Not sure what the goal was here but this needs some more work

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Photo of HugoGrim
2.06/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served from the tap in a standard pint.

Body was a deep copper. Head left quickly.

Not much in the nose to speak of.

Flavor was pretty basic. The only interesting element was a very strong cream soda finish and aftertaste, which was novel at first, but got old almost immediatly, and became very fake. A very artificial flavor, which is exactly what I'm assuming was used... artificial flavoring.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.73/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Amber body caramel off white head leaves decent lacing down my glass. Aroma: Light bourbon character touch of hops and caramel malt with a lingering vanilla oak tone. Taste: Clean vanilla oak low caramel malt sweetness touch of whiskey barrel aging present mild hop character a bit of an herbal tone going on. Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium body mild carbonation nothing extraordinary. Drinkability: SMooth pretty effortless and unchallenging to the senses for AB not bad shows an inkling of promise and I did dig the Snowman tap handle.

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Photo of Higravity
2.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not knowing who made this beer I sat down and pointed at the sign and our bartender didn't know who made so me and my buddy orderd up a pair. Halfway through this I flagged down the owner who filled us in that it was AB and how much he liked it. A nice attempt here by AB, but it was badly executed. The beer was a couple shade sort of copper and had no real head. It smelled of vanilla and some oak. The first sip was enough and I knew that this was not oaked only. While some oaked beer get the flavor of vanilla naturally this tasted like some one had laced this beer with the same artifical flavoring pepsi uses in their soda. There was some noticable hints of oak, but no bourbon flavor and the base beer might have well have been regular bud. Thanks for the try but their speed ball couldn't get past my bat.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.04/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thought this might have been some kind of micro brew on tap at my local bar, but I should have known better.

Doesnt look that bad. Dark, small head, not much to say.

Smell was really bad. Extremely sweet and artificial. Not inviting. The malty sweetness is there, but lots of additional sweetness as well. Definitely not natural.

Taste seemed decent at first. Flavorful and interesting. However, near the end of the pint it got rather sicky sweet and nauseating. Started off good, halfway through made me think "I guess this is on par with Mich Amber Bock" and by the end I was repulsed.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. Forgettable, and this is probably one of the beers strongest points.

I'd try this again, out of sheer curiosity, but as an enjoyable beer, this is really undrinkable. Sweet and fake and unnatural. Perhaps a good crowbar to use to get people away from Coors or Corona, but no real use after that.

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Photo of jdm
3.58/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

looks like an classic irish red. medium to small head but laced the glass quite nicely. fruity aroma with a wiff of bourbon and vanilla. touch of a grassy hop in the nose as well. the taste was perfectly represented by the nose. mouthfeel was a tad heavy and slick which i usually like. a nice beer though a tad more refreshing than warming. seemed a bit more like a summery ale to me but i love that the big boy brewerrs are starting to make nice attempts at more interesting brews. taste in american beer, it seems, is making some minor progress.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.77/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My official Anheuser-Busch-may-be-doing-something-right beer. I had no idea about this beer until I was using its promotional coaster and read the fine print. Really does have a great smell of vanilla with whiskey aftertastes. Not too tasty but much better than any other A-B product around. My wife enjoyed this one as well--anything that can convert someone away from Miller Lite.

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Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet and fruity pale and crystal malt scent with a slight bourban aroma, but nothing to bold. It has burnt toffee notes as well as a thin yeast fruitiness. The taste is decent too. It's not what I'd expect from the name. It tastes like any other amber/red ale with a bit of a kicked up abv. . There is a little bourban flavor, but not what you would expect. Most bourban aged brews I've had before imbue a large bourban flavor, but not here. There is a taste of vanilla in the finish. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium bodied beer with a little less than adequate carbonation. This is a nice try from the big boys at AB, but I'd much rather have the bourban vanilla lager than this. Still, you can't help wonder what is next. I sincerely hope they invest more in good beers. They have some of the best brew equipment in the world. They need to start using it.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Did know this was a megabrew offering until just now. I had expected more out of this one when I ordered it but now understand why it didn't deliver.

Pours a clear, reddish-amber with a small, off-white head that drops too fast and leaves no lace at all.
Smell is light with some malt, hops and a faint yeasty note. Nothing to indicate the bourbon casks.
Taste is much better with malt, grass, hops, hints of spice, fruit, caramel & oak.
A decent body but light for the style, crisp with a mellow finish. Some alcohol pokes its head up (barely) with mostly caramel & a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste.
A decent beer as a brown or red ale, but substandard as a winter warmer. Don't expect this to live up to the tap handle.

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Photo of kdog630
3.08/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ordered this while looking for a winter brew. Didn't find out it was A-B until it was served. I did my best to ingnore that and give it a decent shot.

Poured a dark copper color with a decent head. Faint spice aroma along with sweet malt. No hop presence to speak of. If this was in a bourbon barrel, I certainly didn't detect any of that in the aroma.

Taste was average for the style, but I would put it at the top of the list as far as A-B products are concerned. Much more flavor than their mainstream offerings.

This may be a case of the bar needing to alter their serving techniques to match the style because I could see this improving as it warmed in the glass. On the other hand, I can't see myself going out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of Enola
3.96/5  rDev +38%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know, I know. Such a high reveiw for A-B. But, I reveiw it true.

This is a good beer, bar none. Nevermind who it's by. I ran into this tonight at the Olde Hickory Taproom. The color is a deep, deep red. A very good looking brew. I could not get much smell out of it but it did have a spice like ting. The taste was WOW!!. I did not expcet this. A very smooth beer that had a sweet taste that was not unlike Vermont Maple Syrup. Like stated above, the mouthfeel was smooth. This is a good beer.I will have another pint or two before springtime comes.

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Photo of murphysbleachers
3.67/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at my bar, into a pint glass. This hasn't been selling very well, but this is the best beer I've personally had from A-B. Light amber color, smells of vanilla beans with only a slight whiff of that bourbon cask in the background. Not over the top with the vanilla beans in the flavor, get just a bit of oaky wood. Still has that distinctive green apple in the aftertaste that I always get from A-B. products. I could easily put back a few of these. A solid winter beer (can't wait to try the bottle of Brewmaster's Reserve I've been hoarding since X-mas after having this).

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.65/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at Donnelys Public house in fairport. Had no clue who made it and was shocked to hear it was made by AB. Knowing it was AB I was surprised, but if it was made by a micro brewery it would have been a tad dissapointing due to the mouthfeel. Came to me with no head and a very nice amber body. The aroma was sweet and fruity. Taste started off sharp but as it warmed bourbon and vanilla flavors snuck in. A little hoppiness throughout the whole drink. You really need to let it warm up though. Watery mouthfeel was dissapointing. Quite drinkable though. I encourage more efforts like this though, things can only get better.

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Photo of Foxman
3.08/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

It came to me a crystal clear brownish amber, with a thin bed of light tan head that promptly dissipated to mere traces of carbonation. There was very little lacing to speak of.

The aroma carried a poignant caramel malt sweetness, but was soon outdone by the presence of vanilla, backed very lightly by bourbon.

The first sip brought a very sweet, grain-fed sweetness, escorted by a shot of caramel, and a more strident touch of vanilla. A vague oaken smoke hint lurked behind the scenes, no doubt a vestige of the cask. The finish was a bit of bite and bitterness, lingering very shortly. Crafty, more than crafted, but by no means bad.

Light bodied, the presence was especially thin and quick to flow away, leaving little behind but the merest memory of bitterness.

Well, I'll admit, I was a bit sheepish in trying this, but I set my prejudices aside, and while pretty much just an average offering overall, it was a rather impressive showing based on A-B's other beers. Yes, it was thin, and not really rich or memorable, but this beer, in a bottle, would be better than a lot of what some people have in their fridge. And the light nature of the beer actually makes it all the more drinkable, in spite of the unusually high ABV for a macro. So fear not, because while it may not knock your socks off, it will likely give you a slightly new slant on A-B.

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Photo of granger10
3/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is popping up around town at different bars and such. For the most part it looks lifeless. No bubbles, no head, yet it's not really served from the cask. Also, it is served way too cold. When cold, there really is no flavor. As the beer warms a strong sweetness in the form of caramel takes precense. The bourbon is undetectable but vanilla is definitely there. Body is watery even when the beer warms up. Decently drinkable but honestly, it's quite average.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The tap handle reads "Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale", though I don't know who "Winter" is...

Caramel brown body, with a thickish, though short-lived head.

Nose is sweet, caramel, mixed with vanilla, a bit of bourbon, but vanilla is king, here.

Taste is short and sweet, slick wih the caramel and toffee, a hint of the vanilla and honey, but then it's off the palate until next sip... Very light in the finish, medium at best in the body....

Had at the Nomad World Pub, tonight...the manager, and the bartender, were both apologetic about this selection. Not a beer I would order with any confidence, or enjoy with any thoroughness...not bad, mind you, but...eh...at least they're trying...

It was what it was, and ...sigh, ...that's all what it was...

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.57/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not at all a bad offering from the big boys.

Came with a nice head which dissipated. Dark colored but a lot of red poking out.

Strong vanilla tastes. Not sure how exactly this was made. Did they add vanilla? Is this picked up from bourbon?

Regardless, this aspect will affect how you view the beer. A good sipper. And I would only have it in small doses.

Most negative aspect of this beer is a watery mouthfeel. And it isn't horrible. But it is a tad weak.

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Photo of Vipsanius
2.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was absolutely shocked when I saw something I had never seen before at a bar here in MS (aka Beer Hell) and even more so seeing that it was labeled as a "cask conditioned ale." Pleasantly intrigued, I asked the bartender what it was and it started to make a little more sense when he told me it was made by AB.

The appearance was a dark amber color with an off white head, which left a little bit of lacing. The smell was malty sweet and a little floral but overall not very strong (may be more pronounced in a different glass).

The taste had a little bit more bite and a little less complexity to it than other cask conditioned ales I've had but was still pleasantly smooth. It started off sweet - caramel and bready - then had a little bite to it as it moved across the tongue with a slight citrus and random vegetably type flavor. The finish was smooth and sweet - condensed milk like - with a slightly spicy aftertaste.

There was a lot of body and richness to this beer but overall pretty smooth. As such, I probably wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of these in one sitting but it's something I wouldn't mind trying again.

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Photo of Imbiber
3.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken from a generous *free* sample at Barrow Street Bar, Jersey City, NJ (I don't spend my money on A-B products).

Deep amber in colour, with a decent head initially. Aroma was very weak, almost undetectable, but there was a trace of perfume. Fairly light tasting with a mild woodiness underlying, also a touch of vanilla. A strange but not unpleasant combination, maybe akin to a very watered-down blended scotch whisky - though I've never tried such a compromised beverage. It slid down easily with no harshness or assertive flavours, apart from the hint of vanilla.

It was about what I expected from an attempt at craft beer from an accountant-run global monster. Nice try A-B, but maybe leave it to those who are committed to quality (as opposed to bland consistency)?

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Photo of Boto
2.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Draught: I’m glad that I didn’t find out this was an AB product until I sat down to type in the review. Knowing it was an A-B product may have unknowingly rated it lower than I should. Anyway, this one pours a clear, dark amber color. There was about no head and no lacing at all. The nose was a bit weak, but still pleasant. Whiffs of toffee, caramel and vanilla. The taste ws a bit more substantial, with notes of the toffee, slight oakiness, and it was slightly sweet. It was fairly silky and smooth going down also. This was actually not bad. It is NOT a cask ale, and I really didn’t detect any bourbon flavors in it also.

Re-rate 1-19-2006: Boy, is this different from last year. The vanilla is now overpowering. There is a bit of a dry, metallic aftertaste that comes with a hint of bitterness. What happened????

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Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While at my local bar I noticed they replaced the Jack's Pumpkin Ale taphandle with some snowman holding a beer taphandle. I asked the bartender what that was and he stated it was Winter Bourbon Cask Ale and he didn't knew who brewed it.

Appearance: the pint glass was room temperature, and it looked dark copper in color with a thin 1/2" slightly off-white head. The head disappated quickly to a spotty surface foam. No lacing.

Smell: the aroma came off as sweet, as caramel and vanilla dominated.

Taste: the flavor followed the nose, as the caramel and vanilla tones are way up front, with some soft bitterness and hints of bourbon in the background. Overall the flavor is slightly sweeter than expected.

Mouthfeel: This is a light-medium bodied brew, with a somewhat thinner mouthfeel. Mildly crisp at the start. The finish lingers with the vanilla tones.

Drinkability: In the category of a winter warmer, I found this to be average but slightly unique. Personnaly I like my winter warmers to have a little more maltiness in mouthfeel.

As a side note, the bartender gave of a few of the Miller Lite and Stella drinkers a sample of this brew since it was just tapped, and overall it created some interesting debate on flavor components, but it also didn't make anyone cringe or rave about it either.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.57/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, with all the hullaballoo about this one, I figured I would atleast give it a shot before saying anything good or bad about. It actually far surpassed my expectations. When I first got it, it was cold, so there was no real smell/flavor to it. As it warmed up, the nose blossomed and the taste really started to show itself.

A - Very bubbly white head that died out very fast. Also had a rich
amber body.
S - Started off faint, but as it warmed, there became smells of
cinnamon, fruits, caramel malts, tinge of bourbon, and woody
T - Taste was similar to the smell, as that it started off light, but got
stronger as it warmed. One of the big presences, was the
presence of bourbon. It kind of left a little bit of that "bourbon
burn" in the mouth after the sip. I found that to be quite unique.
You could also taste a mixture of plums, a little hops, and had
the ever slight finish of faint vanilla. The vanilla was something .
you really had to ponder on, to taste it.
D - Again, this beer really sucked in the beginning. I was
disappointed, but I let it warm up, so I could get a better feel for
it. After that, it was so much better. It was like night and day.

I think it's cool that the bigger guys are willing to try something like this once and a while. It's not too often that big companies stray from what's making them money. Kudos to AB.

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Michelob Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch
Beer rating: 2.87 out of 5 with 573 ratings
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