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

Not Rated.
Bell's OarsmanBell's Oarsman

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BA SCORE
80
good

1,955 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,955
Reviews: 579
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.95%
Wants: 76
Gots: 206 | 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: 1,955 | Reviews: 579
Photo of zenithberwyn
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I gave this an outlier rating because I like Berliner Weissbiers more than the average ABV-obsessed Beer Advocate reviewer, and this is a nice refreshing one that in some ways beats the summer heat better than the company's flagship Oberon.

Photo of BillRoth
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very pleasantly surprised after reading ratings/reviews. Had on tap at Ocean Odyssey Cambridge MD.
Very tasty tart wheat ale.
And fantastic with salty Chesapeake Bay oysters.
I'll hold on comparisons to Berliner Weisse...but this is a very nice tasty summer brew...for those who like a bit of tartness.

Photo of bluehende
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not very tart for a berliner, but very nice and tart enough to make a great summer beer. Doesn't seem to get the love it deserves.

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass. Produces a couple fingers of fizzy, active head that dissipates pretty quickly to a thick, centimeter cap with good retention. Not much lacing to speak of. Pale straw in color, crystal clear with lots of active carbonation. So far, pretty close to style. There's a funky sourness on the nose, some mild sourdough bread. Taste, while tart, is nowhere near as sour as the nose would promise. Refreshing, with a nice citrus zing on the end. Clean on the palate. There's a feeling of a sour green apples. Taste is delicate, never overpowering. Great selection for muggy, hot days and crisp fall afternoons I would say.

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

Perfect example of reverse hype. I was not expecting ANYTHING from this beer, despite liking some Bell's quite a bit. Bottled on 2/19/15, but not an issue to style. Slightly tart, hint of nuttiness on the nose, Crisp, dry finish. Refreshing, clean, and unexpected winner here.

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

My first sour mash wheat ale. Pours a thin soapy head over light golden color. Has a nicely-rounded sour taste that does not overwhelm. Surprisingly refreshing for a sour ale. At 4% ABV, its easy to enjoy more than one. Will be having this again.

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!

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Bell's Oarsman from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,955 ratings.