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

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Bell's Oberon AleBell's Oberon Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,649 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,649
Hads: 6,128
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 188
Gots: 1,163 | FT: 9
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
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Reviews: 1,649 | Hads: 6,128
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A hazy Orange, likely caused by the Polyphenoles in the Saaz Hops used to brew this fine summer beer. Nice off white head. Loaded with yeast.

Smell: Fruit, Sweet oranges, lemon grass, coriander, a regular potpourri of dried flowers

Taste: hard candies and sweet breads, hazelnuts soaked in orange juice and laced with edible flowers, Christmas dried oranges, maybe cloves too.

Almost no wheat in either the smell or taste. This beer is all fruit and flowers.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with just enough carbonation to make your tongue tingle without having a bite.

Drinkability: High, very high. Easy on the stomach, mind, and palate.

Notes: Oberon is significantly more creamy and more aromatic on tap than in the bottle. Also, it is better in the spring/early summer than in the fall/late summer. In spring it is crisper and the aromas are more flowery whereas the beer begins to smell more of rotten oranges by September and loses something in its body. The mouthfeel, smell, and drinkability all suffer.

Or… I just get sick of it by fall.

---Update---

It's now October 12th and last night I had what will be my last pint of Oberon for the season. It tasted, looked, and felt like Miller Lite with a few drops of Blue Moon in it. This is definitely not a beer that ages well. Drink it young and early! (1,348 characters)

Photo of sopor
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 7016
I poured, then swirled, thenpoured again and got all of the lovely yeast this brew has to offer, Left with a pint of creamy wheat color with one finger of creamy white head. Not just hazy, no light due to my pour. Bubbles? I don't know! I can't see into this haze. Smells yeasty and sweet.

Tangy and breadlike wheaty malt flavors. Perhaps a little basic, but still a good refreshing summer brew. I've heard people talk about how this beer changes over a summer, and I do think I liked this earlier in the summer.

Light body with biting carbonation is refreshing. Very quaffable, but that can be a problem as this beer has snuck up on me when I've had it on tap. Thank god that bar is 3 blocks from home! (721 characters)

Photo of Opethsprite
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a beautiful, pale, pale orange. It would be a very nice-looking beer if there was any TRACE of head. But alas... The nose is fairly complex--there is a hint of orange in the delicate hops. Those are some awesome hops to taste, by the way! Medium-bodied with a syrupy aftertexture. A delicious beer!!! (313 characters)

Photo of rousee
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

For this style, it is an okay effort. Hop Sun and Gumballhead are much better but this is a decent honorable mention. I can almost guarantee w/o trying it that this beer is much better on-tap vs. bottle. Apricot murk flat carbonation, nice maltiness, hoppiness is pretty well balanced but the flatness is what kills this beer. Still quite decent though. (353 characters)

Photo of PatYoda
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint glass poured at Come Back Inn in Madison, WI. Hazy orange with half an inch of white foam. The aroma is a little weak: some lemon and apricot, not much wheat. Tastes like a fruity pale ale. Not much wheat flavor. Crisp lemon. Mouthfeel is thin. Sure this beer is quite quaffable, but other than that it is not impressive. A decent summer beer, but I don't get the cult following. (384 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great summer brew, one of my favorites. I've had it on tap many times in years past, most recently last month, but this review is for a 12 oz bottle I brought from a trip to MI.

Poured into a Ommegang chalice. Nice white head, about 1/2", didn't last long or leave any lacing. Visible yeast chunks in the bottom, I love it!

Good smell, not strong, lemons, malt.

Great taste, kind of like a Samuel Adams Summer Ale, but much more so. Great citrus and malt flavor.

Very, very drinkable. After a day swimming and skiing on a lake, this stuff can go down extremely fast. Too bad I can't find it in MA. I also heard that this was supposed to be released in 5L kegs this summer, but never materialized. (710 characters)

Photo of nota
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have not had a beer that I so look forward to drinking it again in a long time. It poured maze with lots haze in color. Very cloudy with floaters, but thats ok with me. citrus/orange taste. I smell a little wheat. Goes down easy. One of the best summer drinks in my book! (273 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I came across this beer on tap at Waldo Pizza. I was server to me in a standard American pint glass. Hazy yellow with a small white cap. Citrus aroma. I’d swear there was Cascades in there. Wheaty and citus/spice with a nice touch of bitterness. A real thirst quencher. (270 characters)

Photo of Fugazme
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oberon poured a nice golden/hazy glass with a 1/4 inch white head. An average looking beer.

It smelled sweetly of orange and cinnamon. Somewhat lemony and a touch of malt.

Taste was strawberry and apricot. Not extremely impressive, but nothing horrible. It got a tad metallic at the half point.

This was a decent beer. Have had much better from Bell's. (362 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers of the summer comes from one of my new top ten breweries in America (now I need to update my post). So good that I had to fly some of this home with me from Traverse City Michigan. Just a great wheat ale that I could not get enough of -- could be a dangerous session beer if I had access to this one. All great qualities, especially how easy to drink and its light citrus and unfiltered goodness. (421 characters)

Photo of benmiliron
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid $1.29 for a 12 oz. bottle. Looks like a wheat beer in the glass. Smells of sweet oranges, blossomy, light fresh malts, very fragrant and quite exceptional. taste is just like it smells with a touch of honey but just barely. Plays around on the tongue a bit with lots of subtle and faint flavors.

One of the most drinkable beers I've ever tasted. This is my favorite beer from Bell's next to their Expedition Stout. (423 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

very light ginger-aley straw colored appearance with light orange highlights. clear. very bubbly like champagne with little to no head. mild aroma of wheat and some sweet orange along with simple syrup. taste is refreshing, buttery wheat with a crisp lightly bitter finish. grassy. lacks any real flavor depth. slightly corny. goes down mad easy. good summer quencher but in this category there are many better beers. ok for what it is. more taste as it warms, but who really wants this at room temp? (500 characters)

Photo of thechaacster
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded straw color with a modest head that leaves nice lacing. Heavy chunks of yeast sink to the bottom right away. Spicy, citrusy aroma. Nice wheat flavor with a bit of spice and a bit of lemony citrus. Mildly bitter hop bite. Seems to be most closely related to the witbier style, though with a bit of hops to give it an American character. Highly drinkable, maybe my favorite summer seasonal. (404 characters)

Photo of flaminghomer
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

most bell's beers in my opinion seem to be too fat and having too much hops, too much malt, or just too much of something. this beer on the other hand is very tasteful and balanced. citrus aroma, hops and malt are all well represented for this style of beer. the thing holding this beer back in my opinion is the large amount of yeast at the bottom of bottle which takes away from it's drinkability if one is always wondering "if i drink one more will i have the runs and a hangover from hell tomorrow?" but it is what it is and changing that might take away from the taste so i'll accept it. (592 characters)

Photo of jvajda
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This a great ale. Good for the pallate and easy on the stomach. Very nice. I get the impression this is a Belgian style because of the stickiness and malt character. Nice to see the Midwest represent a little bit. I'll be going back for more of this for sure. (259 characters)

Photo of bahumutx
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first beer that I tried after turning 21 recently. The first bottle that I had I did not like but I gave it another chance and now love it!!! I think it is great to have on a hot summer’s day. It has a very unique taste with a hint of wheat in my opinion. Keep up the great work Larry Bell!!!! I would recommend this to anybody that is looking for something on a hot summer’s day.

Updated taste information: After having another glass of oberon I can really pick out a slight bitterness/citrus flavor at first which then finishes out with a ending wheat taste. It has a smooth mouthfeel also. (610 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

( Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a gentle carbonation and a nice creamy white head that turns into a thin film on the top.

S- This beer has a clean faint smell of yeast and soft wheat there is a faint hint of old hops that are very gentle.

T- This beer has a very light wheat and pale malt taste with some faint notes of citrus characters. Not really lemon or orange just citrus. A slight acidic dryness finishes the beer with a very light hop note.

M- This had a medium mouthfeel with some fizz that makes it a bit more full.

D- There is not much complexity or uniqueness to this beer. It is very smooth but it doesn't have any strong wheat beer qualities nor are the hops really a major character. Nice and gentle for a summer quafting. (804 characters)

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Glass Nickle location on Atwood Ave here in Madison. Enjoyed with a bloody mary and a half/half Thai/Mexican pizza that was amazing.

Pours a golden straw color, a little cloudy and with a tiny white foamy head that turns to a spotty, thin coating. Smell is fresh - fruity and floral notes with a pale hoppiness and a bit of wheat graininess. Taste is much of the same and the fruit and floral aspects become more pronounced as it warms. Fairly highly carbonated, but not to the point of a bite. Mouthfeel is creamy but refreshing nonetheless. A good summer beer that went down well on a hot summer day that is approaching 100 degrees. I'm not much of a pale ale advocate, but this was a pretty tasty, fairly complex brew that I wouldn't hesitate trying again on a hot day. (789 characters)

Photo of macpapi
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the label. The somewhat bemused sun against the blue background, with the mix of bright and light colors sums up the beer's purpose: a summer brew. Anyways on with the review. The bottle pours out a yellow-orange hazy liquid. It is somewhat opaque, with a normal head, that dissipates rather quickly. Truly the color reminds me of the sun on a hot, humid summer day. The smell is not strong. It is mainly that of wheat, slight hops and a bit of a citrus tinge. Nothing special really. Taste is surprisingly full for a wheat beer. It is crisp, flavorful and ends with a bit of bitter kick. On the palate, the beer holds up relatively well. Obviously not as thick as fuller brews, but for a pale wheat not as thin as one would expect. Overall, this beer comes off well. It is very drinkable, and well suited for a warm, sunny day. Not sure I would feel the same way about it if reviewing in January though. (909 characters)

Photo of schoolcb
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light gold with a head that doesn't last. Carbonation is good and thin towers of bubbles keep a thin white lace lingering around the ring. Not much aroma, just a bit of malt and yeast, no hop whatsoever. This beer has a subdued flavor profile. A little malt flavor, a little yeast flavor, a light citrus hint from the Saaz hops, and some hop bite which continues into the aftertaste. A light refreshing beer that would fit in the "lawnmower" category. (464 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to my non-BA drinking buddy, Dave, who recently brought this back from MI as part of a mixer-sixer.

The appearance is decent, but nothing impressive. Pours to an almost white, cloudy pale yellow color with a nice pillowy white head. Looks like almost every American Pale Wheat Ale I've ever tried.

The smell is very subdued. A bit wheaty, but nothing that really jumps out.

The taste is good. Has a mild bite from the wheat malt while at the same time being slightly sweet with a very, very minimal hint of banana esters. Quite crisp and refreshing, and very highly quaffable. Makes a great summer brew, but there are too many on the market to make this one a stand-out example.

edit: Oct. 26, 2006. I've tried this beer again after it's distributional debut in the state of IA. On second thought, this beer does indeed stand above its competitors in the pale wheat style. Much hoppier than I remembered it (centennial), though I believe it is much fresher than when I previously had it as well. Very, very drinkable. Like a beer version of tang, but much less tangy. (1,086 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.63/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy deep golden yellow witha thin ivory head. Smells of crisp wheat malt.

Tastes of grainy wheat. Hints of lemon and farina (!?!). A bit bland really. Mouth is crisp. Pretty drinkable I guess. A half step up from most boring American wheats but that is faint praise indeed. (285 characters)

Photo of Hefe
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Summertime,... and the drinkin's easy...

Golden shimmering nectar, hazy with mystery and promise. Pillowy and white, the head makes me want to jump in and take a nap. Yeasty, bready aromas waft upward, followed by slight hints of tropical fruits and citrus oils. My tastebuds are massaged by the smooth creaminess, flavors penetrate, spice -wheat - flowers - apricot/banana - yeast. Drinkable? Damn skippy. (409 characters)

Photo of redmosquito
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I've probably had this beer over 100 times and I've never rated it, so last night when I had one I figured its about time. Yellowish opaque white in color (served with an orange which I removed) with a white head. The beer is loaded with malt, bread and sweet wheat, and citrus. The flavor is sweet with moderate bitterness, wheat malt blended fresh bread, and a slightly fruity and even more slightly spice. As a wheat beer it has plenty of body and a nice lingering sweetness. This is one of the best summer beers out there, refreshing, not overly hopped or spiced, and well balanced. (591 characters)

Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,649 ratings.