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

Bell's Oberon AleBell's Oberon Ale

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

4,179 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4179
Reviews: 1519
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%

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: 4,179 | Reviews: 1,519 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of joedon


2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
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 Maybe something wrong or outdated with the keg?

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2006 00:17:08 | More by joedon
Photo of garuda


2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 00:06:36 | More by garuda
Photo of beckje01


2.78/5  rDev -27%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 15:49:12 | More by beckje01
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Supremely disappointed after all I've heard about this beer (and considering how well-ranked it is by my respectable peers). Not well-balanced AT ALL. This beer has its attributes, but I'd go for a Blue Moon any day.

Color was orange-tinted and holds its head pretty well, though does not pour particularly thick. Looks like a bubbling sediment-laden riverbed.

Smells awful. Kind of like Busch light, only with less of the gag-reflex.

Taste is better. Sourdough and cheddar cheese, citrus flavors of orange and lemon. But taste dissipates rather quickly and does not leave any real lasting wheat mouthfeel.

Over-carbonated and does not lend any real substance or flavor once moved around the mouth.

Finish is surprisingly smooth and

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 23:16:29 | More by TLove
Photo of Eriktheipaman


2.78/5  rDev -27%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 22:12:33 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of soper2000


2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2005 01:49:54 | More by soper2000
Photo of terrabyte


2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 20:51:19 | More by terrabyte
Photo of jushoppy2beer


2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 00:15:01 | More by jushoppy2beer
Photo of bigdeuce


2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 21:55:31 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of deebo


2.89/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 01:22:28 | More by deebo
Photo of rborthwick


2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 01:33:30 | More by rborthwick
Photo of alkemy


2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 17:59:03 | More by alkemy
Photo of Lawl3ss


2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2012 03:35:25 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of RhinoDBJ


2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 01:50:42 | More by RhinoDBJ
Photo of nomad


2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful, tasty-looking orange color that was very murky but concealing plenty of carbonation. Had a thin sponge head sitting eternally and lots of good wheat beer lace. Smell was faintly of summer fruits and serious hay and wheat tones. Taste was a firm wheat with fruity tones to it. A long bready finish slowly rolled into hops. But, like many a good American wheat beer, this has it all except the yeast to give the great scents and flavors of a traditional hefe (see Paulaner, Weihenstephan).

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2003 19:44:43 | More by nomad
Photo of GreenWBush


2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presented as part of a Bell's Oberon "kick-off" at a local bar. Basically, the promotion sucked me in on promises of "free tastings" and "give aways!"

I was hoping that this might be a Bell's sponsored event, but it in fact was the local beer retailer yes-man get together. I felt completely out of place with the utter creepiness of suits drinking Oberon out of the bottle, wolfing them down like they're going out of style.

So the sample ended up being a shotglass full of Oberon and a Bell's keychain bottle opener. Whoop de freckin' doo.

Focus. Back to the beer. Oberon, fresh 2004 sample, 12 oz. bottle.

Pours out the "Oberon Orange Juice" much like other weiss-beers with a few yeasty chunks and some scary black floaties. When I was just handed the bottle, I asked for a glass and the douche-bag took it upon himself to pour it into a glass for me. That *wasn't* what I was asking for. Worst. Pour. Ever. The beer managed a decent lacing, nevertheless. The Mrs. pour revealed only a slight head, a no-no for the style.

The nose was all banana-clove yeastiness, with a larger than normal dallop of hops and a strangely bubblegummy aroma.

There's a strange amount of bitterness here. It almost seems sour, a hint of brettonmyances. Overall there was a nappy foot-funk underlying all flavors in both samples. There is also a strange amount of raggedness to the beer that had no place in the style. I don't think this would really be that refreshing of a summer drink except for the mouthfeel. The puckery hop consistency and the slightly thin mouthfeel all make this quite easy to shwill (for people that like that) but not really drinkable, in my book.

Not one of my favorites from Bell's, and I fear I might not like it at all if offered in a blind hefe-weiss taste off.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2004 01:16:52 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of teromous


2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 19:01:19 | More by teromous
Photo of SpecialCare


2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 04:13:07 | More by SpecialCare
Photo of CrellMoset


2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2008 00:20:42 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of DuffManOhYeah


2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 22:01:01 | More by DuffManOhYeah
Photo of BB1313


2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 14:51:34 | More by BB1313
Photo of 1Adam12


2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 21:57:35 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of nrs207


2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks like your typical AAL. Pale yellow, clear, small head, no lacing. Not good.

S - Eh, little citrus. Not much else.

T - Tastes like an average wheat beer mixed with an average pale ale. There's a little bitterness from the hops, but it's very light. There's some fruitiness and wheat character, but not much.

M - Average is a good way to describe this. It's thin, carbonated, drinkability is the only thing making this tolerable.

O - This is not good. Considering I just paid $5.50 for a pint, I feel ripped off. I was standing next to people at the bar with light beers and I couldn't distinguish, and flavor wasn't much more exciting either. I'd describe this as craft for BMC people. If you want something very light on flavor this may be for you. However, it probably will be overpriced. I got this on draft so I'm unsure, but I doubt it's worth what it costs for a sixer. Most disappointing Bell's beer I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2012 01:34:15 | More by nrs207
Photo of garthwaite


3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle. This one pours a cloudy gold with a small beaded head. Very mild aroma of wheaty sweetness with some spicy hops, & a hint of clove. Very light in the mouth with spicy hops & high fruitiness. Understated flavors of banana, lemon, tart green apple are evident. Finish is clean with some gentle peppery bitterness. Well balanced, easy-drinking, but somewhat uneventful brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 19:00:48 | More by garthwaite
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wcudwight was kind enough to share.

This beer got straight threes. That is a compliment from me considering the style. The beer was very cloudy and had the appearance of pineapple juice. There was a good head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. The taste is good for the style and there is a slight bitterness. The mouthfeel is mostly smooth. The drinkability is fair. This beer is average in my book but that is good for me, again considering the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2006 03:18:46 | More by Enola
Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 4,179 ratings.