January 24, 2007

Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale.

This week I was all excited about writing this review. I was walking down the isle of the liquor store looking for a good beer when a six-pack caught my eye, Winterís Bourbon Cask Ale. What? Another beer aged in a bourbon barrel? I didnít think it would be as good as a Dragonís Milk, but I figured it had to be decent. It wasnít until I got home with it that I noticed that it was made by Anheuser-Busch. Dammit! If there is one thing that Anheuser-Busch can do, itís taking something good and watering it down. This is one of their limited edition seasonal brews.

Cask Ale 001.jpg

Standard 12 oz brown bottle with a white and blue label. There is a snowman holding a pint on it, and the name of the beer. Along with the tag line, ďAle aged on Bourbon barrel oak and Vanilla beans.Ē Which I misread when I bought it, thinking it was aged IN a bourbon barrel, and I completely missed the part about vanilla beans. The neck label states, ďBrewed with all-imported hops and aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans for a smooth, robust taste.Ē So they bottle the beer and lay it on top of a bourbon barrel filled with beans? Yes, I know they probably mean that the bottom of the tank they aged it in had floaty bits of barrel and vanilla beans in it.

When poured into a pint glass there is almost no head. What head that does form disappears quickly into a ring around the edge of the glass. There is no visible lacing. The color is a nice ruby color. It is a good-looking beer, very enticing.

It has a very sweet smell to it. It was a mix of Vanilla, bourbon and beer. The vanilla was so overpowering that it reminded me of a beer and vanilla ice cream milkshake. It was too sweet for a beer. The taste was overpowering vanilla. There were bourbon, oak and malt under tones to the vanilla, but it was difficult to separate. What bourbon flavor there was seemed almost artificial, like it was a chemical extract. The aftertaste is almost completely non-existent.

This is a light bodied beer. There is an above average amount of carbonation to it. Very typical of Anheuser-Buschís Budweiser line of beers.

I was very disappointed in this beer. People who want to drink beer, but want something sweet will like this. Itís just too sweet for my tastes. I like oak aged and malty beers, and this one did not live up to my expectations at all. Iím going to give it a 3.5 out 10.

Posted by Contagion in Alcohol at January 24, 2007 09:29 PM | TrackBack

You know, a friend and I once made beer floats using Neapolitan ice cream. One vanilla, one chocolate, and one strawberry.

Vanilla and Strawberry were *both* gross - but the chocolate? Pretty dang tasty if memory serves...

Posted by: Richmond at January 25, 2007 01:32 PM

Hey, I recently ran into this and thought you might want to look it over for some ideas of stuff to try, if you haven't seen it already:


Posted by: Shadoglare at January 25, 2007 02:53 PM

Great label at least...even if the beer isn't very good.

Posted by: SH at January 26, 2007 01:38 PM