February 05, 2010

Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale from Anheuser-Busch

By Rick

I was at a work-related conference in Clarion, PA and asked the locals where I could get good food- and more importantly- GOOD beer. I was told to go to a place called Toby Hill Bar & Grill. It's not far from the center of town near the Clarion County Court House.

It's nothing fancy, mind you. Somewhat "rustic" in decor. (Keep in mind that Clarion is a small college town, but that makes for a nice eclectic mix of young & old patrons.) Since the main bar area was small & crowded, my beer-snob buddy & I made our way to a small "dining room."  A guy was playing acoustic guitar on a small stage.  Hand-made posters publicized entertainment on weekends & even an open-mic on Thursdays.  Cool place.

It took a few minutes before the college-aged waitress realized we existed- let alone hungry & thirsty.  We were told that they only had a few beers on tap, but "dozens" of beers in bottles.   The waitress brought us beer lists- broken down into reasonably priced categories. But she also added: "We haven't updated these in a while."

After we were told that our top 3 bottled beer requests weren't in stock, I said: "Give me the most unique beer you have on tap." She brought me a beer called WINTER'S BOURBON CASK ALE. Sounds pretty impressive, huh?!

But not an impressive taste- unless you like marshmallows! I was told there would be "hints of vanilla & caramel," but marshmallow was the predominate flavor that hit my taste buds! (Certainly no bourbon!) It was a nice amber color, but the head disappeared quickly. (Certainly no cask ale traits!) If you're looking for a winter "dessert beer"- this might fit the bill. (It definitely was not the right pairing for my fish sandwich and fries!)

I asked my college-aged waitress "Who makes this beer?" She did not know. So I did a little research when I got home from my conference: Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale (6%ABV) is marketed through Anheuser-Busch. ARGH! I was "in bed with INBEV"!

Kudos to Anheuser-Busch/ INBEV for trying to market more than Bud & Bud Lite, but as far as I'm concerned; Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale is a "pretender"- not a "contender". And kudos to Cody Hill Bar & Grill for providing "dozens" of beers for their patrons. If you're ever in Clarion, PA: check it out for yourself! Maybe you'll have an interesting story for BeerBuzz!


(Picture of Winter's Bourban Cask Ale from http://www.anheuser-busch.com/)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It sounds like you really know your beers. I wonder how you gained all of that knowledge....
    I'll be checking back to see future posts.
    "Beer Buzz Fan"