Bell's Oarsman - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's OarsmanBell's Oarsman

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BA SCORE
80
good

1,930 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,930
Reviews: 573
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 75
Gots: 187 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 04-12-2009

Sour mash wheat ale.

"Designed as a flavorful session beer, Oarsman Ale uses a classic German brewing technique to impart a light, refreshing tartness. Oarsman Ale grew out of a desire to explore the tradition of session beers, trading intensity for finesse while still creating a worthwhile experience for the taster. The grain bill includes a healthy portion of wheat, while light hopping lend citrus & herbal notes to the aroma. Fermented with Bell's house ale yeast, Oarsman comes in at 4.0% alcohol by volume. Rather than being the dominant flavor note, the tartness in Oarsman takes on more of a palate-cleansing role, making it perfect with meals or purely on its own."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,930 | Reviews: 573
Photo of DoubleJ
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

With Bell's available in Orange County, getting to know the rest of their lineup is easier than ever for this Californian. Oarsman gets the tick, and on to the beer:

Very pale yellow colored, topped with a half-inch of soapy suds on top. The head retention that it displays is okay. The aroma is lightly sour, bringing a kiss of lemon cleaner to mind. Not very intense, but intriguing. Oarsman is a very light beer is flavor, and even by the Berliner Weisses that I have tasted. I appreciate the sour and acidic character, however they are very light. For a day on the boat or with a meal, Oarsman would work well. In the world of beer, it's on the weaker side.

Photo of Vondy08
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly forgettable. It's good but it's not anybody's favorite beer

Photo of spacecake9
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden, slightly lemon flavor. Refreshing.

Photo of Cottontown201
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Yellow,nice head
S: Faint citrus and pepper notes
T: Very nice balance of sour and spice, less tang than other sours
F: Smooth drinking, very pleasant.

Nice package, plenty of flavor in a relatively low ABV beer.

Photo of MrMeerbill
2.53/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Very boring try it if it's free don't pay for it

Photo of santomark
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Alright I'm editing this one. I had a bad batch before. But got a decent one.

A: poured a nice lemonade, watered yellow, almost light beer body. Soapy head 1 finger width, disappears pretty fast.

S - This smells like a lager almost. Yeast is very subtle with spice, and zest.

T - Tastes like a shandy but isn't lemonade tasting dominate. This tastes like a crisp vibrant beer that has subtle hints of a shandy. Towards the end you get a bit of the sour. Very reminiscent of a lager when served cold.

M - Very light bodied. Heavily carbonated.

O - This is a great representation of the shandy style. Shandys seem to taste very sweet and nothing like beer. This however is a very beer dominate shandy. I wont be having this again. For the price of a 6 pack. I will pass. If I'm going for a session beer, I'm also going for price. And this beer false short of affordability and taste.

Photo of MNJR
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light and refreshing. Not like a normal wheat beer, if that's even what it is. Tastes lemony and pilsner-ish. A nice, simple beer from Bell's. Good for sitting on the beach and downing a few on a hot day.

Photo of MattMorin
2.13/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

I don't know if I got a bad bottle, but this was terrible

Photo of rob99er
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A decent ale. I would drink it again.

Photo of joe12pk
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've never read so many nonsense reviews. This is a lemon shandy, folks! It's pretty good too!

Photo of Harvest06
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice light tart summer ale.

Photo of baconfromwalmart
3.39/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

L: Clear straw yellow with a substantial white, fluffy head.
S: Vinegary funk, a bit of yeast and grain.
T: Not too much up front, vinegary sourness in the back of the throat. I was expecting at least a little flavorful tartness... Probably the least sour sour beer I've had to date. Rather disappointing.
F: A bit thin.

Photo of mmmbeerNY
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I have not had many of this style so no expert but if you like some tartness I think this is a good light ABV drinker

Photo of leannlovr
4.65/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice crisp taste. Easy to drink down in gulps. Light on the alcohol content which means you'll last longer at a drinking session. I had this in a glass poured from the bottle at Montana's Ale House in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Photo of Vogie
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into the new Bells American wheat glass made by Spiegelau. Bottled 11/13/14.

Pours a straw color with two finger thick white pancake head the leaves some misty lacing and a ring around the edges. Aroma is rather funky with hints of tomato juice, tart apples, and wheat malt. Taste is very light. Hints of grain, lemon peel, wheat, bread, green apples, citrus. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, clean, refreshing, and decent carbonation.

A palate-cleansing highly sessionable cross between an American wheat and a Berliner Weissbier? Yes Bells, you nailed it. It doesn't light the world on fire but it doesn't need to. An excellent example of crafting beer with finesse.

Photo of socon67
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vey odd beer. The pour was a fantastic golden color with high soapy foam. Perfect for the style. The smell however, had some skunky, musty smell. Taste had a decent light feel with a tart finish. Very smooth feel consistent with the style.

Decent beer, but I have enjoyed other Berliners much more.

Photo of TrudiiSchu
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mildly sour but not heavy. Love it.

Photo of ObiBeerCanobi
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An excellent example of the style.

Photo of CraigP83
4.39/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very pale yellow, nearly clear. Smells light, slight sour and wheat. Effervescent wheat flavor and a little green apple tartness. Sessionable too, we have a winner!

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'd place this somewhere between an American pale wheat ale and a true Berliner weisse. Bell's gets major props for packaging this in six packs; not many other breweries that distribute to my area do so. This goes down easy for those hot summer days (of which we have a lot in Southern California) and it is extremely thirst quenching. Wheat, slight tart lemon flavor, and a light body with lots of carbonation and a dry slightly tart finish keeps you coming back for more. If you're expecting tons of flavors, look elsewhere. Actually, don't, you should still try this and maybe open your palate up to the subtle finesse of a nicely executed beer that won't destroy you in 100 degree heat and pairs excellently with any food.

Photo of Andrew041180
3.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not my favorite style. Doesn't work for me.

Photo of zdk9
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a very hazy yellow to orange depending on the light. The slender head dissipates quickly.

S- The distinct slightly sour aroma of wonder bread starting to mold before it's actually moldy. A bit of corn, almost popcorn, almost butter popcorn. Crackers.

T- A pleasant tartness. Getting more pleasant as I drink it. It's sort of a sweet rice wine vinegar. Maybe a pinch of floral flavor. A little bit of light malt, kind of a water cracker or very light and airy sourdough bread.

M- Light, the tartness doesn't stick around like you might expect.

O- Good taste. A very easy light drinker with some complexity from the sourness. Would make an excellent summer beer

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 01/29/15

Look - Pours a very pretty light honey gold. Slight haze, beautiful frothy head. Head slowly dissipates to a nice cap, with good distribution. Good clinging. 4.5 paws.

Smell - A bit minerally, a little bit of funk, metallic, barnyard, hay, lemon and orange zest. Not super inviting. 3 paws.

Taste - A good amount of American wheat flavor, lemon, grassy hops, a touch of honey, only the slightest tinge of sourness. A bit of white grape and apple, slightly peppery, with a mineral/metal finish. Very refreshing. 3.75 paws.

Feel - Very thin and crisp. Most of the tingle is towards the back of the tongue. Light and easy drinking. 4.5 paws.

Overall - It rings true on some notes, but falls flat on others. Not really sour enough to be called a berliner weisse, more of a light American wheat beer. Very refreshing, good warm weather, outdoors beer, but the minerality is a bit off-putting. 3.5 paws.

Photo of Norvelljeff
4.36/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very light with sour hints. Pours light in color with a small head that goes away quickly. Almost list a lemonade type of beer. Enjoyed a ton.

Photo of oldbizmark
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

another great beer from the guy's at bell's. beautifully balanced easy drinking sour. if i had one complaint, i would say that it the flavor doesn't last. just drink and taste and then gone. not a bad thing especially when coupled with food. just seems a but thin.

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Bell's Oarsman from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,930 ratings.