Saturday, November 9, 2013

Budweiser Project 12 Second Edition Vanilla Bourbon Cask Batch 23185

This is part of the Second Edition of the Budweiser Project 12.  Budweiser has 12 breweries across the United States. In the first edition, Budweiser had their brewmasters at all 12 of their U.S. breweries come up with a special recipe, but all had to use the same Budweiser proprietary yeast. They cut these twelve selections down to six internally, then down to the three in the Project 12 special release by public tastings. People can vote on which is their favorite. The batch numbers correspond to the zip code of the brewery that came up with the recipe. 43229 is Columbus, Ohio; 94534 is Fairfield, California (I took the tour at this one several years ago); and 23185 is Williamsburg, Virginia.

In the first edition, they had a deep gold lager from 63118, St. Louis, Missouri ; a light amber  aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans from 23185, Williamsburg,Virginia; and a deep amber lagerfrom 91406, Los Angeles, California.  In a feat of originality, the Second Edition features a deep gold lager from 94534, Fairfield, California; a light amber aged on bourbon barrel staves and vanilla beans from, you guessed it, 23185, Williamsburg, Virginia; and a deep amber bock from 43229, Columbus, Ohio.  While the lineup is repetitive, the beers are much better this year than they were last year. The first edition was really bad tasting overall.
This 5.5% ABV light amber beer is from Williamsburg, Virginia and is aged on a bed of bourbon barrel staves and vanilla beans. The beer pours a crystal clear light amber and copper in color. There is a short and short-lived head of off-white foam. The aroma is very light bourbon, less than a whiff from a bourbon cocktail, light vanilla, light wood, over light roasted malt. The taste is vanilla, wood, bourbon in descending order, over a very light amber ale with caramel notes. It has a tingly and crisp carbonation. This drinks like a light vanilla bourbon cocktail. But, again, still much better than last year’s bourbon stave and vanilla version. I guess practice is making perfect for Project 12 (perfect being way too strong of a word).

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