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

Not Rated.
Bell's OarsmanBell's Oarsman

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

1,906 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,906
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 76
Gots: 184 | FT: 3
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: 1,906 | Reviews: 566
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.

Photo of modidia
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Just ok, probably never drink again

Photo of Winston3737
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Just not a good beer

Photo of AuntBea
4.44/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this beer. Good coloring, not too much foam. Loved the taste.

Photo of Krice99
2.82/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This beer is not for me. I got a six pack had 2 and then never touched again.

Photo of bubseymour
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%

My traveling beer geek pal, picked this one up for me while on beercation in OBX. A wonderful session beer in Berliner Weissbier style. Slightly tart, easy to drink and very balanced and flavorful. Could have this beer anytime, anywhere, any reason. If there is anything to knock it, its only because of fizziness in the body and the finish is a touch on the dry side and not as smooth and cleansing as some other ones from same style of beer. Otherwise, its delicious. Enjoy!

Photo of mchegash
3.34/5  rDev -4.8%

Date: 8/21/14
Other notes: Bottled 6/20/14

Appearance - 4.25/5
A nice glowing yellow. Not a gold color like many other beers, but definitely more of a yellow color. It looks interesting and inviting. Small amount of head after I first pour in glass, dissipates in a minute or so. I can see the carbonation bubbles quickly rising to the surface of the beer. Overall a nice look

Smell - 2.5/5
Cannot really smell a lot from this beer. Smells like cheap/standard beer smell, but with a little citrus/tart twist to it.

Taste - 3.5/5
Flavors of beer, tart. There is a little sweetness to the taste I heard this was a 'sour beer' (though not brewed using the same technique as standard sours), and was excited, because I like sour beers. But the tartness in this beer is a little disappointing. I can definitely taste the tartness, but it's a slightly different kind of tartness then I am used to (I am mostly familiar with Jolly Pumpkin's sour beers), and the tartness is not as strong as I was expecting. The flavor is nothing special, but not bad either. If I let the beer linger in my mouth a little, I get slight sensations of tart apple

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
The beer is quite crisp. Light to medium body. The carbonation is nicely balanced.

Overall - 3.5/5
Not a bad beer, but not a great one either. I was hoping for a little more from this beer, but just because it wasn't what wanted/was expecting, doesn't mean I can't enjoy it for what it is.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20%

Photo of joeseppy
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Very pale yellow pour with bonewhite froth.

Has a Pilsner aroma that is floral ensued by lemon tart-sour.

Digging into some wheat/yeast and just enough sour for me-not puckering but nice and level. Basically a citrus zest. Brine carries over.

Find it be be light bodied and a bit spritzy. Spicy herbalness that initially is coarse on the palate. A refreshing break from my DIPA wagon.

I've always read about this and was curious. Scored some at a backwoods fire and believe this would be a summer refresher for next year. But hey, it sure did work here in early Autumn deep in Michigan.

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Bell's Oarsman from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,906 ratings.