Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,665 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,665
Hads: 6,209
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,227 | FT: 8
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: 1,665 | Hads: 6,209
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)

Photo of karengarys
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours hazy light amber green with some suspended sediment. I then swirled the bottle to get a big glop of yeast, and now there are floaties everywhere. I did it to myself, intentionally, and I guess I wanted that. It looks good without that, so you can choose when you pour.

Smells pretty good. Sweet, floral and citrusey.

Tastes dry, hoppy, lemon peel and some grass a little bit.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. it is creamy, surprisingly so for a summer brew.

Finish is dry, with a slight bitterness I don't like (it was because of that bitterness that I dropped the "drinkability" from 4.0 to 3.5).

The body is nice. It isn't really thin, but it is isn't heavy either. Not lacking, it is good and solid but not too much for a summer beer.

This is a really good summer brew worthy of trying. If you see it, do give it a try. (844 characters)

Photo of Bang34
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great summer beer and one of the better wheat beers I have had.

Amber-yellow in color with a white head that sticks around for a little while.

The smell isn't overpowering, pretty subtle with the wheat malts coming through, hint of lemon.

The taste is smooth, clean and surprisingly crisp for how thick the beer is. very refreshing and slightly bitter. Not overly challenging to the inexperienced palate.

Goes down easy, but the alcohol content is a little higher than most wheat beers, so session drinkers should be wary. (536 characters)

Photo of Gritsak
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- dark, hazy orange with a white head that fades quickly. On my first beer i poured gently and there was not much of any head, but on the second i made an aggrisive pour and recieved a nice fluffy white head.

S- the smell is similar to other wheat beers, with sweet apricot dominating the overall scent.

T- sweet fruits, mild hop presence with hints of spices.

M- not to thick but definitely not thin. extremely smooth.

D- because this is so easy to drink, especially at 6%, i would get myself into trouble with these.

overall this was a very clean and refreshing beer. i would have to agree with the majority of reviews when i say this is problably the perfect summer beer. definitely worth a try! (714 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours from the bottle a clear golden color. When the swirled yeast is poured in, it of course becomes cloudy; more cloudy than most American Pale Wheats I have seen. The head is thin and white, and recedes to leave a thin coating of bubbles on top.

Smell: Smells pretty wheaty with a nice odor of yeast. Herbal hints of lemon balm. Pleasing, clean and slight hop aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium light in body with a perfect amount of carbonation. Light and refresing on the tongue.

Taste: Clean wheat malts, low hop flavor and bitterness, some light citrus, not much else. Finishes dry and clean with a little hops lingering.

Good summer seasonal, wish I was able to get them more readily so I could take some out on the boat. Well balanced and very drinkable.

Batch # 6766 (795 characters)

Photo of mjohn27603
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with a chill haze. Very white head develops and eave a small 3 mm high remaining head. Smell is of grains. Slight bitterness and a grainy taste on first sip. Very refreshing in mouthfeel. Almost lager like in smoothness and ease of drinking. Actually I take that back because it isn't as light as a typical pilsner lager. Most notice is taste is malty and of grains. Mild citrusy taste. I've had this much better on tap where you get the sludgy bits near the bottom and it takes on a much more tangy taste. That is when this beer really shines. It's bottled version has been taking on the life of the Midwest's version of Fat Tire. (653 characters)

Photo of BuckSpin
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on tap this evening. Poured a SOP murky, pale slate-gold with a tight 1/4" head of mildly clinging white foam dancing on a fountain of numerous bubbles.

Nose is very mild, citrusy if anything. Initial taste on the tongue is like the nose - mild, citrusy (faint lemon), maybe some spiciness, kinda creamy. The tastes level off on the pallete and it finishes sharper on the throat with more pronounced flavors of the initial tastes. Aftertaste is slick, but not unpleasant.

This is a safe beer. No real adventure to speak of. This would fall into the "if nothing else is available" category it would be a good beer, but I'll pass on buying more. (660 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much better (and I assume fresher) than last time I had this beer. There was a big malty presence that was clearly the basis for the classic wheat beer flavors, Which were delicious anyways. I could taste a little alcohol, which was definitely an attribute of this beer. Excellent wheat beer, served at my request without citrus garnish. This is a good beer for any summer wheat occasion. (388 characters)

Photo of Brian700
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this beer for years. Time for an update on my review. this beer pours and orange color with foamy white head when poured right. The head usually disappears a while after the pour. It smells of fruity esters, citrus, & yeast. The taste pretty much follows the nose. There is a definate fruit presence. Orange and also a yeasty flavor that is rather nice. Maybe my taste buds have changed over the years but this beer taste a little more yeasty than it had in years past. Good mouthfeel and overall a very drinkable beer. I consume more Oberon than any other beer ever. A beer like this can make Michigan winters real long since this is a seasonal summer brew. (677 characters)

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky, honeyed gold. No chance of seeing through it. Topped by just a film of white head.
Smlled of musty wheat. Extremely fruity - touches of orange, apricot and pear.
Fruity, juicy and highly spicy in taste. Its tanginess awakens the tongue and then rings out mildly bitter. It's even slightly drying. A unique wheat beer. Tasty and damn refreshing, despite its medium to full body. (386 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at Bado's in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

A great name for a beer, and I've been excited to try this one for a while. And now that it's summer, let's do it.

Appearance: I expected this to be more yellow than orange for some reason, but it seems to be more orange in color, and that makes for a more beautiful beer in my opinion. Hazy, with a nice head that stays close to the top of the glass with the pour and also stays nicely on top of the beer with each sip.

Smell: Some herbal tones, grassiness, malt, yeast, zest, some sweetness. However, it seemed pretty unbalanced, and the amalgam wasn't as cohesive as I wanted it to be.

Taste: You're damn straight you should be drinking this in summer, and I wouldn't want to consume it at any other time. Here the taste is more balanced than the aromas, as the sweetness of the malt comes through mostly at the beginning, with the zest following closely, finally leaving a slight hop bitterness into a balanced malt sweetness. Though this could be more interesting, it's done well, and it's very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied, and though I wish it was creamier, it's still quite nice. Seems to become a bit less palatable as it warms, but only slightly. I wouldn't want it ice cold, but I wouldn't want to drink this from the cellar either of course.

Drinkability: There are other beers I'd rather have than this, though it's still a great treat and surely something to be drinking on a summer day for a refresher for both body and taste buds. With some more care and attention this could be a damn fine beer, but as it stands it's good. Not something I'm going to buy a case of, but something I'll definitely try again. (1,726 characters)

Photo of frazbri
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, straw yellow topped by a bright white head, two fingers tall. Good Lacing. Citrus aromas of lemongrass and straw. Sweet and citrussy. Lemon zest and an earthiness in the flavor. Bitterness only as balance. Medium-light in body, yet tongue coating.

Oberon is one of my favorite summer beers. It doesn't fit neatly in to any catagory. This beer might be best defined as a double wit, or some other clever new style expansion. It's a great beer to sit on the docks and watch the boats come in. Oberon is still THE Michigan summer thirst quencher. (561 characters)

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

Edit: Tried this beer again recently and enjoyed it more this time. My ratings have been slightly upped, from my original 3.85

The original review is below:

First time trying Oberon and fairly underwhelmed.

To be fair American Wheats are far from my favorite beers, I adore The Hefeweizen, but feel The American Wheats lack in comparison.

So perhaps my opinion was clouded before the first taste.

From an apperance standpoint, I would rate this beer pretty highly. It's cloudy... has a nice thick head when poured into my Paulaner Hefe glass and in general is how one would expect a beer of this type to look.


From a smell standpoint, to be honest I can't really smell much. There is a bit of a spicy sort of smell. Can't put my finger on what it is excatly though. I do think it smells good though whatever it may be. Wheaty for lack of a better term, not as experienced in terms in terms of reviews of some of you, so please excuse my lack of a proper term.


The taste is solid and has the traditonal citrus taste again that you would expect from an ale of this type, but much like most American Wheat beers, lacks the complexity of The Germans and thus loses some points in my book.


That being said for what it is, it's solid enough, if not great.


This beer is dangerous, because it's easy to drink alot of and to drink quickly, due to it's easy going nature.

Expected more from this brewery though and while I would rate most of their brews in the excellent range, this one is mearly good.

Not something I'm likely to buy too often, but could see myself buying it two or three times a year, when in the mood for something different. (1,678 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle a bright yellow orange with a nice bubbly head on top. No complaints here. Aromas of sweet wheat grains and a good dose of tropcial fruity flavors. A hint of spiciness wafts up into my nose as well. Refreshing.

First sip brings a nice pale/wheat maltiness upfront along with a refreshing fruity, citric flavor that rolls across the tongue nicely. Soft spiciness makes itself known on the way down along with yeast notes. Easily one of the tastiest American wheat beers around and one I look forward to each summer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, smooth and slightly creamy. Much more body here than most wheats, which makes me happy. This is an all around great summertime brew. Seriously drinkable and refreshing...I could see a six pack disappearing on a hot summer day no problem! (800 characters)

Photo of Star80
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy golden yellow color. There were some chunks at the bottom which I managed to put into the beer. Head is very fluffy and white due to the wheat malting. Some lacing. Smells sort of like a good hefeweizen. I can smell banana, fresh fruit (strawberry?!), and some vanilla spice. Nice! Taste has an up front snap followed by banana flavors; finished off by a little hop kick where I usually get clove spice from the German hefe's. Not too rich in the mouthfeel. This could be a good beer to prepare someone for a real German HefeWeizen. In otherwords, this beer isn't as complex as some of the other wheat beers of the world, but is very drinkable nonetheless. (675 characters)

Photo of karst
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oberon is the color and scent of a summer afternoon poured into a pint glass.
Head nearly white sustained by nice beading from the higher level of carbonation. Lace persists, although not much of a test since this brew drinks fast. Great with a pulled pork sandwich like the one I am having from Sweet Water Bar-B-Que (famous in the Ft. Leonard Wood area).
Americanized version of a Hefe Weizen (without German Weizen flavors and aromas of banana esters and clove-like phenols) brewed with Saaz hops. Spicy and fruity, O.G.1.057 (530 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very good offering from the Bell's family of beers. Poured out to a dark golden yellow color with a medium head that maintained a presence all the way to the bottom of the glass. Strong notes of citrus and fruits were detected from the get go. Flavors of wheat, citrus and biscuts were noted most. This brew also had a unique smoothness, almost reminding me of butter. Finished smooth and slighly bitter. Not a bad beer at all. Recommended. (440 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass with an orange wedge. A cloudy pale gold color with a decent white head that leaves nice lacings around the glass. It smells citrusy, a lot like oranges. Also smells of strong of hops, and some wood-like notes. This beer tastes of mildly bitter hops at first, followed by a lemony-orange flavor that is finished with a warm bread taste. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied. This one makes a wonderful summer beer. Definitly worth a try! (454 characters)

Photo of whynot44
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light/medium body, very cloudy golden color with a moderate white head that subside to a nice lace.

Aroma is mild, a bit of fresh bread, yeast and coriander.

The taste is also tangy, yeasty wheat with a touch of citrus, a bit of hops bite and a dry finish. Very good.

This will be an excellent summer refresher, should go very well with a little beer can chicken.. (376 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, hazy yellow orange. Nice head and lacing on this. Aroma is faint, yet fruity. Perhaps it's my consumption of these on hot summer days, but the aroma also reminds me of a barbeque. Taste is slightly dry and spicy of hops. Not the thick, rich sweet malt that I was used to in previous batches. Mouthfeel is okay, a bit thin for me but well carbonated. This is *THE* Midwest summer beer, at least for now. It's hard to imagine a ride on a boat, or a backyard grilling session without oberon. (504 characters)

Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,665 ratings.