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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
81
good
609 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
609
Ratings:
2,133
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
29.3%
 
 
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82
Gots:
300
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Bell's OarsmanBell's Oarsman
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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."

Added by Thorpe429 on 04-12-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 609 | Ratings: 2,133
Photo of FBarber
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear effervescent golden color. One finger white head dissipates leaving no lacing or head.

Smell is lemony and tart. Wheat undertones shine through.

Taste has notes of lemon tartness up front. Wheat character follows that initial tartness with more lemon zest. Slightly watery finish.

Feel is tart, ever so slightly puckering. Medium carbonation provides a slight tingle on the tongue.

Overall a decent Berliner Weisse. Flavor is a bit muted especially on the finish, but the citrus and tartness is pretty nice.

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Photo of maltheaded
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If I didn't know any better, I'd a thought this beer went sour from sitting on the shelf too long. It's a lttle light for me at 4% but pretty refreshing and might taste good on an 80 degree day, but not 50 and raining. It is what it is I guess, but not one of bells better beers.

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Photo of LaurenZ
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer would be great with light fare foods. It has a citrus and sour aroma and tastes like it too. The flavor is similar to a lemonade. It is tart and light with prominent lemon flavor. There is yeast present in the aftertaste. It is refreshing overall.

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Photo of Angela1956
4.16/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light golden hue, with stark white foam and slightly bubbly. Citrus and sour aromas. To the taste for me, I tasted citrus notes and a little sour flavor. Refreshing and clean. Tingles on your tongue. Lemon note don't overpower the taste but add to the flavor. One sip makes you want to drink more. As a "sour" beer, I didn't find it too overwhelming like others that I've tried.

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Photo of hennin55
4.68/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: large fizzy head, light in color
Aroma: sour and citrus
Palate: little dry on the tongue, fizzy carbonation
Flavor: light, sweet but acidic, sour, and tart

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Photo of stinewils24
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer has a light yellow color to it, with a sour wheat ale scent. The taste is light, refreshing, and tart. The texture is palate-cleansing, tangy, and refreshing. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer--it has a great aftertaste too!

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Photo of daweidavid
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very light wheat beer. Tellow body with small white head. The body tastes like some grassy, fruity, and toasted wheat in it. Also hint of tartness in the body and aftertaste.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Light yellow, hazy. Less than finger of white head.

S: Grassy, citrus ,lemon peel.

T: Tart, citrus.

F: Light bodied, ightly carbonated.

O: Less tart than many berliner weiss I've had, but it had more citrus hop taste. Really easy and smooth to put down. A great summer beer. I'm glad I finally tried it. It will be another go-to beer.

 348 characters

Photo of defilli2
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is very light colored, yellow and bright. It had a full aroma that made me believe it was going to be a sour beer. It tasted tart, but very refreshing. This is not as sour as I thought it would be. I can definitely pull citrus notes and small amount of hops from this. I would prefer this beer ice cold on a warm weathered day. Light but good flavors.

 361 characters

Photo of tomakara
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little bit tart, kind of had a sour taste to it and I would consider it a sour beer. It was light in color and had a refreshing taste, tasted a little bit citrusy as well!

 187 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured mine into a drinking glass of some beer variety.
Pours a foggy lemon like yellow with little foam head which lingers around the glass edge.

Smells of citrus and sourness.

Tastes like a lemon shandy, tart and very distinct lemon flavor.

Light carbonations, drinks very smooth, very crisp on a hot day.

 310 characters

Photo of Beers-es
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy straw with a couple fingers of nice white foam. Smell is tart lemon, grassy wheat and some sour funk. Taste is mostly the lemony, wheaty flavorwith a touch of sour that adds some complexity. Feel is a bit watery. An enjoyable beer, very flavorful and kind of unique, esp at this ABV.

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Photo of Sparty21
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Cloudy with particles floating, pale yellow color with a small head
Aroma: very wheaty smell with crisp notes.
Taste: tastes very wheaty, reminds me of being on a lake.
Overall: Good beer, refreshing, can drink multiple due to the lower ABV

 254 characters

Photo of Kristie_Duve
3.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light sour with clean, crips flavors. Slightly citrus, tangy and has a bright golden/honey hue. Refreshing with hints of lemon zest and easy on the palate compared to most sours.

 178 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a bottle dated 10.05.15 into the modified tulip.
A - Clear, honey colored, little carbonation, and no cap.
S - 2 row malts, wheat, a hint of hop, a bit of stale biscuit with chalk.
T - Filed grains, toast, and little else.
M - Thin, the sour mash make for a refreshing feel, the lack of carbonation is a detractor.
O - I wonder if a re visit is needed, this was a tad disappointing, I will seek out another in the near future.
Cheers

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Photo of ajm5108
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light straw color with slight head. A pretty anonymous beer in both the aroma and the taste. Just a very faint tartness but the remainder is just a very non-descript wheat beer, very watered-down and bland. There aren't any off notes or anything "bad" but with so many breweries diving into this style and producing great berliners & goses Bell's needs to retool this one.

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Photo of hardysf
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For style this is an excellent beer. Nice light color on the pour. Good carbonation. Aroma is of wheat and some tartness. Taste is light and refreshing. I pick up some wheat and some lemony zest, maybe a hint of salt. Like a light Gose. Super easy drinker. Will be bringing some of these golfing/canoeing for sure.

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Photo of Dravin
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on date of 12/10/15.

Look -- Pours a slightly hazy pale gold with a finger of white head that leaves nice lacing. The head dissipated inside of a minute.

Smell -- Lactic tartness, some sweetness and citrusy notes poking through.

Taste -- Nice light tartness, the wheat comes through and that hint of sweetness in the nose is back again to counterbalance the tartness. It's a subtle balance between tart and sweet and I think they did very well with it.

Feel -- Light and crisp body. It acidifies the mouth some but it doesn't linger and would be a perfect palate cleanser.

Overall -- A nice restrained tart beer. It doesn't have the acid battery pucker power of some other Berliner Weissbiers I've had but I'm perfectly happy about that. This would be a fantastic beer to be enjoying on a sunny summer patio with a plate of fries or even some sausage to get the whole tart vs. fatty thing going on.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours cloudy yellow orange with a tiny white head. Smells of sweet wheat and citrus, especially orange. Tastes of sweet wheaty grain but with a bit of a sour taste, but not overly lip puckering. Beer is light bodied, nicely carbonated, and easy drinking. Overall, a good beer, and a very nice beer to introduce sour tastes to those who have not acquired that taste.

 409 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - 1-finger white head over a cloudy golden body, moderate visible carbonation

S - fruity, grapey tartness, quite faint

T - lemon, bread, light tartness, fruity notes (hints of apple/grape)

M - light body, high carbonation, refreshing

O - This would be refreshing as a summer beer, but overall I'm unimpressed.

 352 characters

Photo of Act25
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Love the brewer, love this beer, the best of its class that I have tried.

A: Pours a hazy lemon with a modest egg white head shrinks and doesnt lace much.

S: I get fruity, grassy, lemony tartness.

T: My experience begins lemony balanced by white bread crust, and it's extremely refreshing.

F: Refreshing body with prickly carbonation that out punches its weight in satisfaction.

O: This is a must try. Original, great. Try 12.

 434 characters

Photo of SDak
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Berliner that started it all for me. Opened my eyes to the style and I always pick it up when I get the chance. Love it for summer especially. This spawned many gallons of sour mashing at home as well.

 207 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yellow, light, good degree of haze to it, super small white head . Aroma was wheat and lemon.

Sour tart wheat and lemon in the taste. Very light bodied. Refreshing. Pretty much a summer only beer for me though, but in that season, it hits the spot.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The Bell's Oarsman pours a hazy golden glow, 80% opaque, with the cloudiness of a good Hefeweizen. Head is 3 fingers, creamy and fluffy. Leaves lace in drops and splashes.

Aromas of lemons, limes, sweet tarts, and yeast. A dash of white pepper. A little faint but decent.

Tastes of yeast, lemon squirts, citrus pith, and white bread crusts. Faint but refreshing.

Feel is crisp, clean, and effervescent. The finish is semi-creamy and wet.

I do like this ale, although it's somewhat underwhelming. A great refresher, especially in hot weather I'm sure.

 558 characters

Photo of kitch
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 6th March 2015 and poured into a short stemmed wine glass.

Appearance: It poured a very cloudy light straw yellow colour with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly to nothing leaving minimal spotty lacing.

Aroma: Tangy, lemon honey mix with a hint of apple and pear.

Taste: Light sour lemon and sour green apple juice.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall: This was a decent enough Berliner Weisse. It is easy to drink and refreshing but not my favourite for the style.

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Bell's Oarsman from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.