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Bell's Oberon Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Oberon AleBell's Oberon Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,675 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,675
Hads: 6,289
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 195
Gots: 1,305 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-17-2002

Bell's Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,675 | Hads: 6,289
Photo of PatYoda
2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Not terrible I suppose. Hazy Orange with no head. Where is the carbonation? I've had it from several places with the same problem. Aroma is too subdued for my tastes. Some nice things there though, with citrus and a wheaty grain taste dominating. Not much spice or banana. Taste doesn't have as much of a zing to it, tastes a little muddled to me. About the same flavors as detected in the smell. A little bit of bitterness on the finish is nice. Body is a bit heavy without the carbonation to hold it up in the mouth though.

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Photo of joedon
2.72/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No head, lacing, little carbonation. Just a cloudy, orange-juice color.

Tiny aroma of wheat and a little citrus.

Taste was very bland, citrusy with a touch of malt.

OK mouthfeel for a wheat beer but no distinctive flavor or aftertaste.

Barely drinkable. A real disappointment. Maybe something wrong or outdated with the keg?

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Photo of psyphin
2.74/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy golden yellow, two finger head with little lacing.

S - A very unpleasant yeast phenolic is popping out at me mixed with some mellow wheat undertones.

T - Its definitely a yeast derived aroma and flavor I dont care for in this beer. The underneath malt is mild and theres no hop flavor.

M - Right to style. Medium light body mated to a good amount of carbonation

D - I had a difficult time getting through this one. Obviously its a popular beer but something in the yeast is really killing it for me.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light murky yellow with little to no head.

The smell was very light and rather boring with just a little hint of biscuit.

The taste was pretty straight forward. Not really any bitterness that could be picked up with a little malt on the back.

It is a summer beer for sure but it is just too boring for me with many other better options out there.

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Photo of beckje01
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale yellow-gold with 1/8 of an inch of head, slightly cloudy

S- Slight wheat with some hints of alcohol

T- Wheaty and crisp overall light and a slight hop in there

M- Very little activity

D- Goes down easy not much to this beer really. I won't seek this out but not so bad as to not have one if offered.

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Photo of soper2000
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From scrawled notes:
Arrives at the table with some doubts. The beer is a super light, almost yellow orange but with a decent head, which quickly recedes. Aroma is of malt and wheat. I don't get many bannana or hop notes from the nose. Taste is well balanced but just lacking something for me. Starts grassy, has a little citrus kick in the middle and finishes with wheat accents. Mouthfeel seems a little too thin in my opinion. While it's very drinkable, this just does nothing for me. In a way I was hoping for beer more in the vain of Gumballhead, but what i got was more crossover beer/Berghoff-esque. Will try again, but I'm not too excited about it.

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Photo of Leo-Dean
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Heard so highly of it so maybe got my hopes up. Pours very nicely. Good head. But something about the taste is off to me. A little too hoppy for a wheat for me.

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Photo of terrabyte
2.81/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a small head.

The aroma is quite a muted wheat beer. Lots of malt, a little bit of grass, lemon and wheat.

Flavor starts out thick and bready. It is slightly sweet from lemons and honey. Unknown spices make this a somewhat unique beer

Mouthful is thick and slightly syrupy. Well carbonated.

Too thick for my drinkability enjoyment, including a bit sweet.

This is not my type of beer, but certainly could be for others. There is certainly a nice complex flavor which will make someone happy.

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Photo of garuda
2.81/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Hazed pale gold, white head doesn't have much retention or lace.

S/T/M - Stays on the sweet side through the profile. Wheat aroma up front, then rolls into honey sweetness, then just feels and tastes like a load of wet wheat and grain in your mouth. Not crisp or clean on the finish with lasting sweetness. Not refreshing like a summer beer should be. Won't be getting this one again.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.82/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$ 3.50/16 oz draft at Unos’ at Birch Run
Aroma of malt
Head chopped by bartender – what remains is small (1.5 cm), off white, creamy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing OK – small rings with small bubbles
Body medium yellow, hazy
Flavor begins bitter followed by a short generic citrus burst; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl; ends quickly, no aftertaste.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

This is classified as a pale wheat ale on BA. What I had was unlike any wheat beer I’ve ever had. I last had it in 2006 and I guess I’ll wait another eight years before I try it again.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After hearing some good recommendations of the on-tap version of this beer, I was disappointed with the bottled product that I tasted. I will finish my six-pack, but will not eagerly anticipate the remaining five bottles. This beer pours very nicely, building a nice head that laces well as you drink. Being unfiltered, it sports a nice amount of attractive sediment that is kept in motion through the opaque orangish liquid by a well-balanced carbonation. The smell is light citrus, and the taste on the palate is slightly lemony but otherwise bland. It does leave a bitter aftertaste, but not a particularly pleasant one. The lack of real flavor is surprising for a summer wheat ale, and is the one thing that makes it only average in drinkability.

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Photo of bigdeuce
2.91/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an outstanding, craggy head. True spotting down the glass. Opaque throughout the glass. Smells of fruity esthers, wheat and tangy banana. All the fun ceased for a bit, as it was very hoppy. I was expecting wheat and banana. Tasted like an APA, maybe a bad bottle? Was fresh and crispy, just not a true american "wheat" ale. However, very crisp, light and easy to drink. I would have rated it higher if it had been an APA.

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Photo of deebo
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I've had this one several times both on tap and in the bottle and have never really cared for it all that much even though I keep thinking it should be right up my alley. Review of a slightly older bottle (3/7/13) that has been sitting in the fridge.

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer gives off a couple fingers of large bubbled pure white head with decent head retention and lacing. Light golden in color with lots of yeast sediment floating.
S-Wheat and spiciness abound. Hints of sweetness and a little fruitiness.
T-Upfront wheat that quickly is overtaken by a zesty spicy character that finishes long with a moderate bitterness.
M-Seems a bit high in carbonation that adds to the zingy spicy finish. Body starts off nice but is quickly overtaken by the spice and bitter finish.
O-The spicy, bitter hops overwhelm this pale wheat beer. Not as quenchable as a less bitter wheat beer that I crave in the summer.

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Photo of RhinoDBJ
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having heard good things about this summer ale, I picked up a 6 pack.

It poured out with a slight haze with a fairly small one-finger head.

The smell was certainly not overehelmiing ... mostly wheat and the taste was, I thought, I little flat.

So be it ... I'll keep trying!

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Photo of SpecialCare
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is cloudy, golden, and with a decent head that quickly fizzles away to nothing. I think I must have had an old bottle, because all the delicious things other posters smell in the nose aren't in my glass. Overly sweet and skunky nose. Taste is citrus to start, nice earthy malt to finish. Unfortunately, as it warmed, the taste shifted to match the nose. Wishing I had this on tap, at the beginning of summer... I think the drinkability would be much higher. Currently, I'm not sure I want to finish the one I have.

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Photo of rborthwick
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours an apricot color with modest head retention. A good bit of spent yeast in the bottle. Citrusy nose with a hint of grapefruit. This beer as not as sweet or orangy as a lot of other wheat beers. I actually think its taste is similar to Bass Ale of all things. This beer from Bells is not even in the same league as two hearted ale. I was disappointed in this one.

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Photo of teromous
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle date says 04/25/13 A.

A: Pale golden color with lots of carbonation and a ton of visible sediment. Thin white head. Be careful when pouring this one or you'll find yourself with lots of sediment. The head fades quickly and the beer leaves some modest hints of lacing. Not as much head as I'd expect with a wheat ale though.

S: It has that wheat twinge smell. It's a bit like sour fruit. It's a pretty normal smell for the beer. I would like more complexity to the aroma though. It's okay but nothing special.

T: I get a bit of grain character, mostly wheat which is expected. It has no perceivable bitterness. There is a faint hop character, a bit earthy. Yeast flavor abound. There isn't really anything unique to the beer. The two flavors that stand out the most to me are the earthy, a bit woody hop flavors that come out first. Secondly the yeast comes in and finishes it off. I suppose depending on your pour you could have a different experience in the latter flavor. I had a lot of yeast in my glass so that was a major contributor. I would like more grain flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty good. There is some bitterness to balance out the smoothness from the wheat, and the carbonation is good. I wouldn't call it outstanding but it's good. I would like more presence in the mouth, and I feel that it would raise the rating a lot.

O: Having tasted a lot of wheat beers from Europe and the U.S. it is sometimes frustrating to have a beer that doesn't live up to the standards of a beer that can be had in nearly every bar. Even with the differences between the American Pale Wheat Ale and something like a Hefeweizen, there is a certain punch and craftsmanship that you look for, that is common in both styles. I don't feel that this beer meets that standard. I know people who enjoy this beer, and enjoy it for what it is. I seem to be on the opposite side of the fence. All I can judge is the sample that I have, which was bottled at the end of April. Given the chance, I would like to try this fresh and on tap for a re-review.

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Photo of alkemy
2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour was a cloudy yellow/orange color into my glass with about two inches of fluffy head. Scent was a bit mild. Citrus with an almost sugary hint. I was really looking forward to this beer as fellow user buschbeer really likes it among many other favorable reviews. However, I was pretty disappointed. Wheat and light citrus flavors (maybe even a hint of cardboard), but I felt it was pretty bland. Carbonation was just right. This isn't hateful, but I've certainly had better wheats.

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Photo of DuffManOhYeah
2.94/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had a lot of Oberon over the years, and I think the 2010 batch is the best I've had, but I'm still pretty indifferent to the beer overall. It's nice because it's release typically marks the beginning of summer, but I find it to be highly overrated. I like many of Bell's products, but I'm not much of an Oberon fan.

A- If there's one thing I do like about Oberon, it's its appearance. It is a very pretty golden and orange beer, a little cloudy. Makes for a good beer to have your picture taken next to by the pool. (I also really dig the label design on the bottle and this year's Dali-themed mini kegs, but that doesn't really count for beer appearance)

S- To me, Oberon's downfall is its smell. I also expect more of a citrusy and crisp nose but every Oberon that I've ever been around has had an unappealing yeasty smell, reminiscent of a college apartment the morning after a kegger.

T- Average summer beer taste-- some honey, orange and citrus. Yeast flavor is also very apparent. I typically don't like to put fruit in my beer, but Oberon is best served with a slice of orange. This makes it above average but I can give the beer by itself only an average rating.

M- Nothing special.

D- Bit of a heavier beer, but also can be more refreshing that others. The drinkability can really depend on what you're doing and what time of year it is: it is highly drinkable outside in the warm sun while you watch the sweat bead down the glass, but not so much in fall when you're inside and the batch has gotten older.

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Photo of Botulizard
2.94/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

For all the hype, I found it to be underwhelming and unremarkable without a lot of distinguishing character. It's not bad, but it's just kind of there, existing.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
2.94/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(From notes)

Served well chilled in an Imperial shaker. I appreciated that the bartender asked if I wanted lemon or not before adding it. I declined.

Look- Hazy butterscotch, served with a half-finger of loose suds that falls quickly. Nice lacing. Poor retention for a wheat ale.

Smell- Bready, vague citrus rind, lemon pepper.

Taste- Floury, grainy, subdued spice, light citrus. Fades to pizza dough and soft pine. Aggressive finish. Simcoe/Summit perhaps? A little rough for a wheat ale.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, moderate carb. Slick on the swallow. Finishes tart, slightly astringent.

Overall- Not really my cup of tea, but ok. I felt no need to finish the 20 oz.

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Photo of CrellMoset
2.94/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A good two-finger head forms from a slightly aggressive pour and leaves thick swaths of lacing all over the class as it slowly recedes. The body itself is a hazy yellow with crazy carbonation. I don't really care for the color - seems sort of bland - but on the other hand ... and I know its due to the higher protein content of the wheat malt, and nothing special that Bell's has done ... the lacing makes the beer look really neat.

Smell: Overwhelmingly smells of light, yeasty bread and not much more. Distressingly one dimensional, because the smell of light, yeast bread reminds me of the smell of additives in a lot of nasty American macro-lagers. Unfortunate.

Taste: More of the same. A lot of wheat malt and earthy, musty, dry yeast flavor, balanced by light and spicy hops (definitely Saaz) that don't lend much other than balance. I'm trying, and I'm not really detecting any real citrus flavors or any other flavors that might be typical of a wheat beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, with a fine, consistent carbonation profile. Very effervescent. Everything else is fine - no cloying aftertastes.

Drinkability: It's nice to look at ... but after that, the quality of this beer declines somewhat, and I don't think I could have more than one or two of these. It's not inoffensive, just one-dimensional and a bit boring.

A mediocre beer, in my opinion, and a rare misstep by Bell's. I'm pretty sure I'm not grading harsher because Comcast messed up my MLB package, too. Although I'll admit it's not really my style, I have had a few American pale wheat ales that I've liked before, but they tend to be the more complex, subtle ones, full of light, peppery spices and citrus notes. This one has none of the above, unfortunately.

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Photo of 1Adam12
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow orange. Very light citrusy nose of orange, tangerine, maybe a bit of grapefruit. Taste is also very light. Citrusy, mild orange and tangerine. Nice mouthfeel. Light and slightly carbonated. Overall this is just average. Not my favorite brew from bells at all. That being said, it makes for an awesome summer drink because of the lightness and citrus taste. Allthough it isn't my favorite, I could drink this during the summer months.

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Photo of VoodooBear
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 16 oz. can, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy yellow color with a white, two finger head. Leaves some good lacing.

Smell: It has a strong aroma of grains and a hint of lemon peel.

Taste: It has a grainy, citrus taste. Nothing spectacular.

Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing and easy easy to drink, your typical summer beer. Average carbonation.

Overall: Nothing to write home about. It doesn't stand out in any way, but I guess that's fine for some beers. It's still nice and refreshing like all the other craft offerings that flood
the market during the summer months.

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Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 4/1/11. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. This beer's unfiltered w/ sediment. Pours a burnt yellow, decent head and lacing. Smells like fresh air, very subtle. I'm picking up fresh lemon and grass. This one has very earthy flavors. Slight amount of citrus mixed w/ a gentle bitterness. Spices are prevelant. Overall, the aromas and flavors are underwhelming, but refreshing. Mouthfeel is light, lots of carbonation, pretty crisp. I like Oberon, but it's definitely missing something.. it always seems bland, IMHO. I still have one or two each year.

I'm a huge fan of Bell's, but I never understood all the hype around this one. Yes, it's great for spring/summer, but there are too many other options out there w/ better flavors and aromas.. I still respect this beer though.

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Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 1,675 ratings.