Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale (2008)

Winter's Bourbon Cask AleWinter’s Bourbon Cask Ale is Anheuser-Busch/Michelob’s effort at the winter seasonal craft beer segment. It’s a 6% alcohol beer aged for several week on oak cask staves and with whole vanilla beans. (I posted the spec sheet here when I blogged about receiving the beer.)

I reviewed WBCA last year around this time also; I found it sweet, drinkable, and unintimidating. Compare to this year’s:

Appearance: Bright copper, very clear, with a taupe head (thinnish).

Smell: Caramel and a hint of vanilla; a bourbon-y essence (perhaps a higher alcohol note). Sweet wort (as in, unfermented beer) character—malty.

Taste: Malty character with a sweet corn tang. A touch of roasted malt but I think the majority of darker notes comes from Crystal malts. A bit cloying and reminds me a bit of a Bock.

Mouthfeel: Thin without being too light. Clean but the sweet wash kind of coats the mouth at the same time.

Overall: A little too sweet for what I was expecting; it might appeal to some, but for me the cloying sweetness kind of drowns things out. [Sweeter than last year’s formulation, if I’m remembering correctly.]

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of C. On RateBeer, it scores 2.46 out of 5, and is in their 15th percentile.


  1. This is the hideous nasty alleged beer I have ever had or tasted. I dupped the other 3 bottles in the drain. yeeeeeeeeeeeeuk nasty nasty

  2. Bourbon Cask Ale with vanilla? It sounded good. I hastily put it in my cart, checked out and went home. Upon unpacking groceries, I realized it was an Anheuser-Busch/Michelob production.

    I tried to keep an open mind, but after trying 2 bottles, I really didn’t like it. I tasted like it was trying to be something is wasn’t, a craft beer.

  3. I tried the Ale at the St Louis/Anheuser-Busch Brewery and loved the taste of the Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale……Female drink??

  4. I’ve got a 6’er waiting. I also got home before I realized it was Anheuser-Busch….I’ll probably hate it, but I’m gonna go for it anyway….

  5. I had this in CO and have been dying to have it again ever since. I have to say it is my favorite beer hands down. I thought it was a microbrew though…kinda disappointed to find out it’s a Busch beer. But still…favorite. Definitely a female beer. Very vanilla.

  6. This is a great beer. Other critics here should not be trusted. They can’t even type or speak correctly.

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