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polyamnesia
11-30-2007, 18:27
Has anyone seen the new seasonal ale by Anheuser Busch, Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale?

supposedly aged in bourbon barrel oak...and vanilla bean...

TNbourbon
11-30-2007, 18:56
It was discussed in this thread last winter:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4910

It has appeared locally again, but I'll be passing on it this time.

polyamnesia
11-30-2007, 21:15
It was discussed in this thread last winter:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4910

It has appeared locally again, but I'll be passing on it this time.

thanks tim

its not bad. i like it. but i think, in 2008, i will (also) pass on it...:skep:

it really has a nice bourbon LOOK when in the glass. and it almost reaches the Sam Adams level. but not quite.

if i had noticed that Anheuser print earlier, i might have passed intially.

but that's ok. i've been wasting money in the educational spirit these last two weeks on this, Heaven Hill and Old Grand Dad. now that i think about it, there has been no waste.

but i have to admit, next $30 i spend on alchemy, i mean, alcohol, will be on something that Jimmy Russell had a hand in...something worth every lickin' cent i pay for!

miller542
12-02-2007, 09:03
Anheuser Busch Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is garbage. There a so many other great winter ales out there that blow it away.

And, no money spent on experimenting is wasted.........

Sijan
12-25-2007, 08:09
Terrible stuff. Avoid. I will not be trying again. If you must, just pour a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract into your next beer and you'll get the idea.

Gillman
12-25-2007, 09:08
While I can't rule out the possibility, rare has been the case (in my experience) where a mass market brewer can make a product with an artisanal taste.

I am not sure why this.

Gary

Rughi
12-26-2007, 11:14
While I can't rule out the possibility, rare has been the case (in my experience) where a mass market brewer can make a product with an artisanal taste.

I am not sure why this.

Gary

Gary,
I think we all know.

It's not quality control, or skill of the brewers, or access to only the finest and choicest.

It's the decisions on what to make.

For the microbreweries along the I-5 corridor that started this whole revolution, the bottom line was great beer, and hopefully a profit followed (luckily, quality is often recognized).

If the microbrewers had to justify their wacky and aggressive concoctions (and decoctions) to several tiers of uncaring management that couldn't see a big enough market for a product, all the flavors they created would have never been brewed.

Small breweries, locked into friendly competition with other like-minded brewers and small circles of rabidly enthusiastic consumers created a beer culture that no major could have created.

Roger

Gillman
12-26-2007, 12:19
Well, this may be Roger.

Although, the microbrewery pioneers did not really create fine beer: that existed before, historically in the 1800's (e.g., Pilsener Urquel, still made, the great English cask ales and numerous German specialties).

The micros simply restored and built on that tradition.

In their annals, surely, A-B and the other big U.S. brewers have the recipes for great beer, they made it at one time. Why don't they just bring back those beers, or similar ones? I wonder if they really don't understand anymore what these taste like, possibly because they have been so wedded to perfecting mass market light-bodied lagers they have "forgotten" what real beer is all about.

Gary

LarryG
12-26-2007, 12:38
At the considerable risk of offending someone, as well as sounding insufferably elitist, I think the difference between the craft brewers and the majors is that the former are targeting buyers who genuinely enjoy drinking a fine beer whereas the latter are after those who just want to slug down a 12-pack.

Larry

smokinjoe
12-26-2007, 12:45
I think Roger pretty much nailed it. The majors can, but they just choose not to. And, that's not to say that the model the majors follow is necessarily bad. It has proven very successful over the last several decades. I would think that if any of the majors really decides to get into the specialty/craft brewery market, they will buy one.

JOE

Rughi
12-26-2007, 13:17
...The micros simply restored and built on that tradition...
Gary

Well, that's mostly accurate, but is a bit dismissive and misses the point. What you are really describing is Britain's Camra movement more than West Coast brewing in the '80s.

What marks the microbreweries of the West Coast in the '80s is that they were self-consciously inventive and experimental - especially with their heavy-handedness with hops the further North one went. The generation of microbrewers that came in after the tough old survivor Anchor Steam and the young upstart New Albion of Sonoma showed it was legal and possible to run a microbrewery again started with traditional recipes and took them in bold, sometimes awful, directions for the joy of making something new - rarely a historical recreation like the focus of the British Camra movement.

Here's an article you may find of interest that describes how those darned liberals in Berkeley made brewpubs legal in the US:
http://www.edibleeastbay.com/pages/articles/summer2007/pdfs/brewPub.pdf

Here's another article that tells the story of West Coast brewers as I remember it unfolding. It's not the best article, and many of us probably know more to this story than the article recounts, but it was handy:
http://www.allaboutbeer.com/features/244westcoast.html

What I can't find documentation of is that I distinctly remember Michael Lovett of New Albion/Mendocino Brewing telling me that New Albion needed to get some legislation enacted in order to make microbreweries feasible. Maybe it's the Bates/Sebastiani legislation in the first citation, but my foggy memory of 20 years ago wants to say it was more than that.

I'd be interested to read Jeff's thoughts on this.

Roger

Gillman
12-26-2007, 15:29
Somehow my message got duplicated, see my next one please for my reply.

Gary

Gillman
12-26-2007, 15:33
Actually we are in agreement, I recall well the ground broken by micros both to set the stage legally for microbrew resurgence and their use e.g., of Cascade hops to develop essentially new beer styles (notably American Pale Ale). In more recent years, we have seen also the development of so-called extreme beer styles which in some cases lay a claim to doing something genuinely new. All I am saying is, most of the beers being made by micros existed before Prohibition (including stouts, pale ales, bocks, wheat beers). I take away nothing from those who broke ground legally to create microbrewing in the U.S. and to the stylistic innovations they have shown, but the earliest beers were and many still are e.g., conventional top-fermented ale styles. CAMRA started by trying to preserve what existed before in real ale. Therefore, I'd have thought that these recipes and processes were in the annals of the oldest U.S. big brewers, but perhaps they have forgotten about them or what the beers made with all-malt and a decent amount of hops actually tasted like, so committed have they been to making industrially sound but very light-tasting lager beers. So this is a point that I think is relevant in addition to the market objectives of the big brewers of not making anything too assertive.

When I said "this may be", it was a turn of phrase, I was trying really to make an additional point.

Gary

Rughi
12-26-2007, 15:45
I had a new all-malt Michelob a couple of days ago, and it appears that AB's focus groups aren't yet ready for the level of robust flavors that any number of brewpubs serve their thirsty clientele daily.

Roger

Gillman
12-26-2007, 15:56
In my view, Michelob, invented in 1896 as a draft-only, all-malt beer - the spec was changed in the late 50's or early 60's when the beer was first bottled - had to taste close to the way, say, the Czech Budvar still does or the other best European lager beers. As in the case of Budweiser, inspiration was drawn by A-B from Czech models and the original beers therefore would have been surely rich, well-hopped and well-lagered. My friends in commercial brewing tell me that hop rates and the percentage of barley malt in mass market beers have fallen off in the last 50 years. So A-B had a chance to make a great beer again with Michelob when it returned it to all malt. However, I think A-B missed the mark. Maybe because of the focus groups, maybe too because the true taste of a Bohemian-style lager was felt by A-B itself just not to be beer (as it has viewed it for generations), the beer ended up falling short to a lot of craft beer fans. It isn't bad but is rather dryish and a little bland for a traditional all-malt lager. Most of the beers in the Michelob specialty range have been just so-so again in my opinion. The Porter is not bad. I like the Amber Bock the best I think, but it doesn't taste like a craft beer. I find it ironic that the new all-malt Michelob seems less characterful than the 1970's one I recall which (according to one of Jackson's early books) had an 80% malt spec.

Gary

Rughi
12-26-2007, 16:48
Holy Cow, Gary
You've been thinking a lot about the Michelob line. AB indeed did draw inspiration from a great tradition of malts, even down to ...honoring... the name Budweiser by their use of it.

Roger

Gillman
12-27-2007, 01:24
Well, I've had an interest in the company from way back (also its business history and the ability of the Busch line to grow dramatically but also keep control of the business). And it was based on the excellence of the products, even by the 1970's these were good characterful products and pretty much (with Coors and one or two others) at the top of the game for U.S. brewing. I believe that today, due to a misguided focus on what the market wants and also perhaps on the desire to control costs, the beers have rather less character than 30 years ago let alone 60 and 100 years ago. It's too bad because the actual flavor of these drinks (Bud and Michelob) is very good, they actually still have a characteristic, pleasant taste but it is subtle. If you could build up again that flavor (just add more of what is already in there) these would be great products again. Anyway I am not complaining because we have a plethora of choice from our craft brewers, but it is a pity - from the standpoint of this committed beer fan - to see the products as lean in flavor as they are today. Ditto Coors.

Gary

jesskidden
12-27-2007, 07:45
In my view, Michelob, invented in 1896 as a draft-only, all-malt beer - the spec was changed in the late 50's or early 60's when the beer was first bottled - had to taste close to the way, say, the Czech Budvar still does or the other best European lager beers.



Here's A-B's story of Michelob, circa 1953 (i.e., before it was available as a bottled/pasteurized heer). I've always found it amusing, especially it's availability only in "taverns of the better sort" and having to be "dispensed by connoisseurs", etc.


http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/michelob%2C1953 (http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/michelob%2C1953)


I find it ironic that the new all-malt Michelob seems less characterful than the 1970's one I recall which (according to one of Jackson's early books) had an 80% malt spec.



In the late 70's, I once had fresh draught Michelob at the Columbus OH A-B brewery. It was a very nice beer, with a great hop nose and flavor. I never experienced that in a Michelob before or since (not that I spent that much time looking for it :grin: - even then, I didn't buy A-B, Miller or Coors products, so my experience tended to be from "free" beer at parties or breweries). I always assumed that the "common beer geek wisdom" of the time, that "Bottled and canned Michelob, while successful financially, was a failure as far as the beer went" was true.

Gillman
12-27-2007, 08:02
Thanks, Jess, I never saw that blurb, most informative. I always felt pasteurisation never did much good for hop character and this seems to support this.

Gary

polyamnesia
12-27-2007, 09:00
no, i won't buy this again...

but it wasn't awful. it was better than most A-Busch products!

i should've looked at the label better. man, they are good at minimal disclosure...

anyways, it was a bit too sweet. i don't really like too sweet or too bitter beers.

there are MANY great ales and beers out there.

but i admit, i am never disappointed with basic Sam Adams, Yuengling and some Saranac beers (esp. the Kolsch!) as everyday glugs...

cas
12-28-2007, 14:38
I picked some up last year, but passed it by when I saw it again about a week ago. It's fine, but nothing special. And there are lots of genuinely good beers out there.
Craig

OscarV
12-28-2007, 15:04
I have one bar that carries it, they go thru about 2 1/6 barrels per week.
But no take outs carry it.

kickert
12-01-2008, 17:03
Picked this up for $6 today. I figured with the sub-title there would be a lot going on in this beer: "Winter ale aged ON bourbon oak casks and whole madagascar vanilla beans"

Instead I found it was a very flat taste profile. It was not bad, but I won't be buying more. The vanilla is very overpowering. It is certainly a novelty beer.

polyamnesia
12-01-2008, 17:08
yep, it was ok and too sweet....would love to see what an OGD ale would taste like...more hoppy, more like an IPA with something extra!

sorry i ever started THIS thread:rolleyes: :cool:

Gillman
12-31-2008, 15:08
Tried this recently and found it odd-tasting - I wanted to like it but the flavors did not cohere and the vanilla flavoring seemed jarring. That Budweiser can brew a faultless micro-style beer is evident from its new American Ale, which is a classic Cascades American Pale Ale such as might have been brewed in California in the 1980's (and still of course is a major category in the craft beer range in the U.S.). Personally, I do not like a heavy Cascades taste though unless particularly well-handled, Sierra Nevada does great work in this area, for example. I am still hopeful A/B will brew micro-style beers that I like, I did enjoy some of the Michelob line extensions for example (the Porter, the dunkleweizen).

But for my money the best thing Bud makes today is Michelob (the regular one) and Bud Light. Bud Light actually has a good flavor and suits many occasions.

Gary

funknik
01-01-2009, 00:04
This S"*$T suck, dude......bogus!!! Vomit.

polyamnesia
01-01-2009, 10:23
This S"*$T suck, dude......bogus!!! Vomit.

well, it wasn't THAT bad, but....:grin: ....it should've been much better. maybe all bourbon distilleries can sue ABusch for using that word!

at least Sam Adams did scotch a favor with that lovely ale they have...smokey and all.

but may i still reiterate...SORRY I EVER STARTED THIS THREAD lol.....:rolleyes: