After the brief flurry of blogging I did last month on Anheuser-Busch‘s Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale, I found it here locally and picked up a sixpack to review. To recap, this seasonal from A-B is aged on bourbon oak barrel staves with vanilla bean for several weeks.
It’s substantial at 6% alcohol, and I’m not totally sure how to classify it… BeerAdvocate judges it a Winter Warmer, RateBeer considers it a generic Spiced Ale. I’ll go with Winter Warmer—more apt for the style they were trying for, I think—but I’m ambivalent.
Appearance: Very clear, blood-orange in color. (I’m thinking more the fruit rather than the bodily fluid.) Fizzy head rose and fell very quickly.
Smell: Pretty low/mild aroma profile… there’s a hint of vanilla extract, a tad medicinal, and a bourbony character below that.
Taste: Pleasantly sweet, soft malt presence that’s a little bit syrupy and very mellow. Not really getting any "oaked bourbon" character, but there is a bit of sweet vanilla cookie dough.
Mouthfeel: Light, fairly smooth—not much carbonation. Soft water characteristics.
Overall: Sweet, drinkable… another good "gateway" beer for people trying to transition away from the American macros, there’s nothing intimidating here.