Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale

Winter's Bourbon Cask AleAfter 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.

On BeerAdvocate, it gets an unsurprising score of 75 out of 100, with 48% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 2.48 out of 5 and is in their 16th percentile.


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