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

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

6,045 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 6,045
Reviews: 1,717
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 184
Gots: 1,099 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,045 | Reviews: 1,717
Photo of teromous
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of alkemy
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Photo of DuffManOhYeah
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of Botulizard
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of Lawl3ss
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of CrellMoset
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Photo of 1Adam12
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Photo of VoodooBear
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Photo of GreenWBush
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

Photo of HumanParaquat
2.97/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a sunny yellow-orange with a haze of visible wheat sediments. Forms a pillowy, bright white one-finger head, but it doesn't stick around for long. Minimal lacing.

Nose is mild, but pleasant. Mostly a wheat malt and orange aroma with some hints of mango and honey.

The taste starts out decent up front with an orangey, bready sweetness; but that leads into a lingering aspirin-flavored finish. The alcohol is also a bit more noticeable than it should be for a "summer beer".

The mouthfeel is light, creamy and smooth with some crisp, moderate carbonation.

Oberon seems to be very popular here in the midwest, and I had high expectations with it being a Bell's product. I wouldn't say this was a horrible beer, but I'm very disappointed.

Photo of nrs207
2.97/5  rDev -22%
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.

Photo of nomad
2.97/5  rDev -22%
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).

Photo of psinderson
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in pint glass.

Appearance: Dark golden and murky. Thin white head that disappears quickly.

Smell: A bit of yeast, but really not much there.

Taste: Some citrus and yeast. Mild bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Typical drinkability for a wheat.

Not bad, but not impressive either.

Photo of chugalug06
2.99/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange colored brew with fluffy white head. Streaked lacing.

Lots of dirty wheat, not much else. Light lemon, rubber, and cat urine.

Very wheaty and slightly hopped. Light, smooth, crisp, and over carbonated.

A very refreshing brew for a 100+ degree day... I can't imagine having more then one Oberon, but the one is good, a mess, but good. Lots of carbonation distracts from the smooth flavor.

Photo of swanfungus
2.99/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Although it looked and smelled pleasant enough, this one tasted like suntan lotion. Very, very unpleasant.

Photo of McNealc31
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The run of summer seasonals continues with Bell's Oberon Ale. Pours a very light and hazy yellow with a sizeable head and great lacing.

The first sip is surprising because there is more body and flavor than expected. There's some grass, some malt, and a bit of spicy hops. Even though there is some wheat malt in this, it doesn't taste like most wheat beers. A hint of orange and sour lemon in the finish.

It's not as light and crisp as most summer seasonals, and it doesn't have the right flavor for someone looking for a wheat beer.

Oberon isn't bad, but there's nothing really happening here that will make me want to have it again.

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

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass. Nice golden color with a thin head fading away quickly. The lacing was minimal. Cloudy.

Your standard wheat ale aroma. A tiny bit of banana.

Taste was easy drinking with a mild wheat and banana flavor. Smooth mouth feel with tiny little bubbles.

Easy to drink. Let's hop on the mower.

Photo of Enola
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.

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

A-Very cloudy with large particles floating throughout the consumption. Little to no head and minimal lacing.

S-Not a big nose here, a little bit of cloves and citrus but not much else.

T-Kind of a citrus /hoppy flavor. Quite unusual to say the least.

M-Light body with a hoppy carbonated finish.

D-Decent session summer beer I suppose. Never really seemed to hit the mark of what they were after.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 9/29/2006 (12oz Tap @ Bells Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo, MI):

Pours a very cloudy yellow-orange colored body, with almost no head, white, and lasting. Has an effervescent, hoppy aroma. A clean wheat taste, fresh nutty aftertaste. Effervescent, and somewhat spicy.

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

Although this is not a bad beer in any way, shape, or form, it has been deified locally, much like Fat Tire or other "flagship" brews from microbreweries. And like most of those beers, they are not the best offerings from their respective breweries.

Oberon is a very good beer, but not the great that a lot of locals believe it is. A good beer that you will never turn down, but you also might not ever seek out.

Photo of Jfriz25
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pale golden with a cm or two of snow white head. Lots of floaters and tiny bubbles.

Smell- Honestly not much there, some light wheaty malt.

Taste- Same as the smell maybe a little floral on the finish but its subtle.

Mouthfeel- On the light side of medium.

Overall- A solid refreashing summer beer. Thats the best I can say about it but I'm also not a huge fan of most wheat beers. Glad I got to try it in a pick a 6 becuase I probably wouldn't have gotten a 6 pack.

Photo of Ronswansonbeerlover
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Tasty crisp summer beer. Not much going for it other than that

Photo of garthwaite
3.01/5  rDev -21%
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.

Bell's Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 6,045 ratings.