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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,424 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,424
Reviews: 1,589
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 139
Gots: 607 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-17-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,424 | Reviews: 1,589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bejogle
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't understand some of the tepid reviews of this beer, seems people are forgeting to review within the style and are instead reviewing against big beers. That being said, here goes.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a solid finger of head. Great lacing, best I've seen in a wheat.

S: Smells yeasty and citrusy. This is what blue moon wants to be when it grows up.

T: Taste is just like the aroma. Crisp, with great amounts of citrus and some nice flavors from the yeast. Incredibly refreshing, just what you look for in the style.

M: Much thicker body than you'd expect. Carbonation level is relatively low, all leads to a nice smooth feel.

D: Very sessionable, could drink this all night.

Overall a great beer from a great brewery. Luckily it's available year round here in Florida!

Bejogle, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/18/08. Bottle courtesy of adrian910ss. Pours a cloudy light orange with a ring of white head. Aroma of citrus, light fruits, wheat, orange, melon rind. Flavor of wheat, light fruits. Doesn't taste as good as it smells, but it's pretty good nonetheless. Good wheat beer, although a little boring.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A recent thread posted in the forums mentioned those beers that are hugely popular and have a cult following, but for some reason you've never had! Well, that reminded me that I picked up some Oberon while in Chicago for Thanksgiving, and it's high time I tried this old standby!

A - Bright, and I mean bright vivid orange which matches the color of the label background hue. This looks like vibrant Sunny D with a nice haze and a two finger white head that sets like cement and lasts just about as long! The brew reminds me of 100& apricot juice or the bright orange color of mandarin oranges. The head shows ridiculous retention, and lots of foamy lace is left on the glass.

S - Sweet fresh orange juice with sugar mixed in, lots of yeast, malty caramel, and brown sugar notes which are unexpected given the style, but are more than welcome since they add a nice warmth to what I thought would be a twangy-wheaty nose. Seems a bit under-assertive though, could be kicked up a notch IMO.

T - Sweet orange juice, brown sugar, chewy caramel squares, nutmeg, and a ton (at least for the style) of hops! This is WAY more hoppy than expected, and I am definitely not complaining about this. This is outstandingly fresh, fruity, tropical, and breezy. The hops are about to the level of your average pale ale, and taste mainly fruity with a small hint of pine. Glorious.

M - Light (but approaching medium) bodied with some detectable sugars and a nice dextriny firmness. Carbonation is lively, but not overdone. And the finish is pretty much neutral with a small amount of hops lingering after the swallow.

D - Ridiculously, outstandingly, superbly, and perfectly drinkable. This bottle went down WAY to fast. This could be the session beers to end all session beers (at least in the summer). I could take out quite a few of these with glee.

pmcadamis, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of thain709
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy yellow-orange...a small white head...suspended particles throughout the body that led to sediment

S - Nothing stood out here...I got a little whiff of some fruits...but nothing up front

T - A nice wheat flavor up front...fruity in the middle...a little bitterness at the end

M - Light, crisp, and carbonated

D - This would be a decent beer to enjoy on a nice summer evening

thain709, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of dolemite77
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's not likely for a wheat beer to knock you down with goodness... it just seems a simple style to me for some reason. Bell's does a great job with this one though. Something much better than the rest in my opinion (outside of german wheats, of course). In a world full of people that think Blue Moon hung the moon, this one could be very popular if it had more availability. Pours a very light orange, with a nice fluffy head. Aroma is grainy and wheaty, with some yeast notes. The chunky yeast floaters isn't my favorite thing to see, but I tried not to rouse the yeast in this one. Easy to drink, due to the light flavor and subdued herb/spice notes. This one gets it's spiciness more from the yeast and fermentation, rather than additives.

dolemite77, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of WakeandBake
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes Jun 28, 2008
Bottle,draught,mini keg.The beer pours a very cloudy golden color with a large white head.The strong scent of citrus and wheat is prominent.Strong yeast, orange and wheat flavor. The aftertaste is sweet and citrusy. Creamy mouthfeel,medium body. One of my faves any time of the year,very,very drinkable !

WakeandBake, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is bread like with some citric tones. As you drink more the aroma gets a little more grainy. It has very wheat like palate. It pours a very hazy orange color. There is a lot of sediment and bubbles to the body. There was not much head at all but what little it did have disappeared quickly. The lace is off white with an orange tint. The taste is wit like and not bad with balanced mix of grain, citrus, spice and hops. It has a crisp mouthfeel with sediment.

MTNboy, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of DoctorDog
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden/orange, loaded with sediment, which remain suspended as a well mixed solution, but eventually collect on the bottom of the glass. ~1 1/2 fingers of white head, which fades gradually, leaving a thin, incomplete cap. No lacing noted.

S- A wheaty/citrusy mix. Not overwhelmingly strong.

T- Wheat flavors and subdued the citrus bite. Minimal orange peel bitterness on the finish.

M- Crisp, yet creamy.

D- Pretty good. Would be a nice change of pace on a hot summer day.

Future outlook: Pretty good. I can see grabbing these for a night of pounding beers when the weather heats up.

DoctorDog, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of ruck304
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank straight from the bottle because my mug was dirty. Bottle is really attractive with an orange and blue outlined label. I expect some citrus flavors and maybe wheat from the bottle. Couldn't judge the pour but the smell was a mixture of wheat, citrus,and a bit sweet. The taste was much the same tune as the smell; sweet and smooth with a hint of spice at the end. I got this beer from my friend Evan and questioned his judgment when he said it was good. I think this beer is an OK ale but my judgment may not be up to par considering I drink few standard ales.

ruck304, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of hopdog
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with atpayne (thanks!).

Poured a medium to deep and cloudy golden color with an averaged sized white head. Some floaters. Aromas of wheat, light clove and a little fruity. Tastes of stronger wheat, citrus, and light spices.

Notes from 11/13/05

hopdog, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of dgb3
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from roadhouse in a trade. Thanks!

Batch 8667

A: Poured from the bottle a hazy orange with about a finger's worth of head. Head is still present after a drinking half a bottle

S: Aroma is faint, may be due to the age. Slightly fruity. Wheat and citrus are present.

T: Bread dough, and lemon with a nice malty back bone. Flavors finish out slightly bitter.

M: Coats the tongue nicely as the carbonation fights it away. A bitterness lingers, but only causes one to want another drink.

D/O: Wish I could get this fresh and during the summer. A great beer to have for the warm months and a nice take on the American Wheat style.

dgb3, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of CaptainIPA
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Wolski's. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a pale golden peach color with a thin, white head that results in substantial lacing.

S: Mildly hoppy. Yeasty nose (like curdled cream?) with a hint of tangerine.

T: Highly carbonated. Crisp and refreshing. Slight wheat-based flavor with lemon/lime tones. Finishes slightly bitter with a cherry note that lingers. Forever.

M: Light-bodied, smooth and thirst-quenching.

D: Easy-drinking. An exceptional summer seasonal.

CaptainIPA, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of Bounty628
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Oberon Ale is an interesting take on a summer beer crafted in the American Pale Wheat Ale style. While many summer ales tend to focus on the over use of fruitiness in the offering, the Oberon Ale blends a noticeable fruit taste together with just the right amount of spice in the ale. There is not an overpowering sensation of one or the other at work in this ale.

Oberon Ale has an ABV of 5.8% and the offering that was tasted came in a twelve ounce brown bottle.

The Oberon was poured into a regular pint glass and poured a hazy yellow to orange complete with a thick white head. There was a moderate amount of lacing throughout the offering, something that does not seem to be a common trend to summer ales. Immediately upon being poured it became evident that there was indeed a fresh summer smell to the beer but interestingly there was a nice hoppy smell to the nose, as well.

The taste of the Oberon is probably what separates this summer ale from some of the lesser competition. Oberon Ale is a nice and refreshing beer that certainly has the citrus flavors of lemon and orange shine through but the pairing to a nice hoppy and almost spicy characteristic is well done. If you are worried that the beer might be a bit too "fruity" for you, this is not the case. The citrus is nicely accented but also muted in a way by the hoppy taste present in this beer.

For a summer ale, one of the concerns usually heard is that a summer ale often turns into nothing more than a lawnmower beer. Fortunately for us, Oberon Ale is not that kind of beer. Though the beer is indeed smooth to taste, there is a nice complex body to the offering that leaves the taster satisfied with the quality here. This is not a beer that should be used to simply wet the whistle since there is a nice complexity to the beer. That being said, this beer is certainly very drinkable and maintains a smooth and crisp quality to it.

Bounty628, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of ph2001
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

it pours a hazy golden peach color with no head. it smells thick and sweet. it actually is very light and crisp, a bit dry. the wheatiness is mild and there is a light sweetness of honey. drinkable and refreshing. a good summertime brew.

ph2001, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of BigJim5021
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Oberon. One of my favorite things about the summer.

It pours a gorgeous hazy off-orange with a nice white head. Good lacing too. If you took away the head, it would almost look like juice.

The smell is kinda spicy and sour. I like.

The taste is similar to the smell. A little spicy (coriander and the like) and a little sour. There's even the slightest bit of hop bitterness which helps to give it a dry finish.

Nice medium body here too. Not slick.

Oberon is a real easy drinker. I could put this stuff away all night. Shame that it only comes around once a year, as this has got to be my favorite American-style wheat ale.

BigJim5021, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of daythree16
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours an orange-amber color with a one finger head. Pretty good retention and some lace as it fades.

Smell is spicy, citrus, and there is something that smells like peach in there. The taste is very light and a bit fruity with some grapefruit coming through.

Very light and not very heavily carbonated. Drinkability is pretty high.

daythree16, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice 2 finger head withe excellent retention and a cloudy orange color with little particles of yeast floating around.

Smell has some lemony/grassy characteristics. Citrus wheaty in your face smell. Could be a bit stronger, but it is nice nevertheless.

Taste has some pale malt sweetness in fron with some lemon juice followed by grass. The bitterness on the end leaves a bit of an odd combination for me. Too much lemon can lead to a little bit of off flavor. The off flavor is just a thorn in my side for this one.

This beer is crisp but the off flavors cling a little bit too much. There is a bit of an overabundance of lemon and it creates a bit of an off flavor. This one is decent enough though.

Thanks to unionturf for the sample

jasonjlewis, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz received as a cool extra from aqsprint.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head... good lacing and a fleeting bubbly cap... brew is hazy honey gold...

aroma is pale malts and subtle hoppy fruitiness... more aroma than most American Wheat ales than I'm used to.

Bell's does well with the flavor.. I can see many BMC drinkers getting down with the Oberon.. smooth pale malts with enough wheat to make it "not" that interesting.. for me.. it's more like a summer brew that made it into my fall fridge...

I hate bagging on the PNW brews.. but Oberon is one of the middle of the road brews where it kicks the hell out of most PNW pale wheats. Oberon would destroy Widmer Hefe in a heads up tasting...

good brew.. very tasty.. very refreshing.. Jon.. thanks a bunch.. I appreciate everything.


JohnGalt1, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a sixer of this back in March/April when it first started hitting the shelves again and was not impressed. Picked up a single today to make sure.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, batch 8669, into a pint glass.

Appears a hazy golden color with a big two inch off-white head that seems to build after the initial pour into a big mountain of foam. Eventually sinks down but never gets very thin, leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is mostly of bready malts and a vague spiciness with a subtle lemony presence. Not bad but kind of weak.

Taste is initially bready with a bit of citrus then midway through a malty sweetness peeks through and it finishes with a bit more citrus and very light bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light, very easy to drink. Good hot weather chugger.

It's actually a lot better than I remember it being. Perhaps it was because I was comparing it to German Hefeweizens at the time. I could easily put back a sixer of this stuff.

roadhouse, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange-gold with an inch of moderately solid foam and patchy lacing.

S - Wheaty and earthy, with some citrus and sweetness. Some floral notes

T - Slight tartness up front, with a wheaty-sweet middle. Twang is somewhat muted, and there's some fruitiness in here instead. Citrus and some buttery notes finish this off.

M - Slick feel, carbonation not too strong.

D - Very drinkable. Solid summer beer with flavour.

allergictomacros, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of hunteraw
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber in color, hazy as you would expect from the style. One finger white head, little retention - surprisingly so, actually, since wheat beers are usually quite foamy. Not much lacing.

Smell: White bread, orange blossom honey, and just a hint of banana. Complex and very nice.

Taste: Very refreshing and balanced. Citrus (orange) hops, a little spice (clove?) and bready malt. Slightly buttery in the middle, finishes clean and dry. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: More spritzy than you would guess from looking at it, somewhat creamy. Body is somewhere between light and medium. Very crisp.

Drinkability: Refreshing while still complex, and well-balanced, this is an exceptional summer beer. Recommended.

hunteraw, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank goodness Bell's is back in IL. I had to FINALLY review this beer.

Not much of a head for this touted wheat beer, o bubbling for tha matter. But the right hazey amber color with some suspended sediment does qualify. The aroma is of green bananas, which I think is from the American hops mingling with the wheat to give a ripe banana aroma. The taste is ripely sweet banana ad muted coe with some sugary touches of bubblegum. Plus lots of softly sweet toasted wheat malts. Nice spongey palate mingling with all those soft fruit flavors. Great summer session beer.

scruffwhor, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of jneiswender
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A--body of this beer has a nice sunset color with a light white head

S--smell is light and quite yeasty, bread-like

T--its like one big cereal bowl in here. corn nuts, wheaty

M--light and very quenching

D--great representation of the style. I had the beer with and without the yeast that comes to the bottom. I prefered the beer with the yeast from the bottom. For some reason the hop flavor was more pronounced.

jneiswender, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of Phillyduke
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I celebrated the last day of summer this year by mowing the lawn, watching the Eagles, and enjoying my last three bottles of this summer seasonal. Tomorrow it's on to Oktoberfests and Harvest Ales, but today I wanted to hold on to the nice weather a little bit longer.

A: Beautiful bright orange color with a bit of haze brought on by the wheat sediment. A pillowy three-finger head of foam caps the glass and hangs on for quite awhile with excellent lacing. Active carbonation is noticeable.

S: Bright, clean, and crispy sweet smell of wheat and malt with faint hints of citrus/orange. A slight bit of spice is noticeable as well.

T: Bready, doughy and grainy with a touch of spice and some citrus. Hop bitterness doesn't make much of an appearance here. Finish is clean and on the sweet side.

M: Mouthfeel is rather thick and creamy for such a light-bodied beer. It coats the mouth well and drinks very smoothly with a light tingle from the carbonation.

D/O: This is a very flavorful and easy-drinking summer beer. When I'm in the mood for something crisp and on the low-end of the bitterness scale, I'd likely reach for this if it were available. This will be found in my fridge each summer I can get my hands on it.

Phillyduke, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap in Chicago, and it sure is good to see Bell's back in Illinois after their righteous refusal to play ball with the state's larcenous distribution system. Three fingers of light white froth top a golden-orange body, moderate duration and lacing on the pint glass. Nice but very subtle aromas, certainly sweet but not without spice. More would be better, although the taste is a better representation of the flavors Oberon has to offer--fine malty citrus flavor, a bit of pepper, and a dash of ginger. Good stuff, and very smooth. This is impossible not to like and all-too easy to enjoy, spurring my need to grab another after less than 10 minutes.

It won't be long before I enjoy Oberon again, another fine testament to Bell's brilliance. One of the best APWA's around.

Gehrig, Sep 21, 2008
Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 5,424 ratings.