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

Not Rated.
Bell's OarsmanBell's Oarsman

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,814 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,814
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.24%
Wants: 68
Gots: 139 | 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:
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 added by: Thorpe429 on 04-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,814 | Reviews: 544 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of korguy123
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

A- Crystal clear yellow pour, thin cap of white. Decent lacing.

S- Lemon and cereal. This to me doesnt have much going on in the nose. It's very light.

T- Cereal, lemon and pear and apple skins. I'm having a hard time with descriptors for this style.

M- Light bodied and wonderfully bubbly.

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light yellow in color and somewhat resembles lemonade. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that quickly died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has a moderate amount of sourness, but that’s about it. The sourness is neither strong nor overpowering (and doesn’t have any funkiness like in a gueuze).
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit tart on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer really cleanses your palate, similar to what you would expect from a light sorbet between courses at dinner.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/14/2011.

A: Pours a lightly cloudy pale yellow in color (looks almost like lemonade). The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy white head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Very light lacing is observed.

S: Overall this beer has a very light aroma, there is a light presence of tartness and just a tiny bit of funkiness. The aroma is pleasant.

T: This beer has a very enjoyable but light flavor, refreshing. Pleasantly tart with a subtle hint of wheat.

M: Light bodied with slightly less than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly prickly on the tongue.

O: Very light and refreshing, quite easy to drink and definitely sessionable. It has an almost palate cleansing quality like a sorbet. I really enjoy this style and this is a good example of it. Definitely one to get again.

Photo of DIM
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: Extremely pale yellow, pours with a small, short lived fizzy head.

s: Very faint overall, I found some mildly tart smelling sulphur and minerals.

t: Starts off appropriately enough with refreshing tartness, but then it quickly fades to pretty much nothing.

m: Needs more active carbonation.

o: Not a bad example of a hard to find style, but kind of meh overall.

Photo of howard12
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of kwa357
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of bowlerjoe2
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Supergenious
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of matthageman
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Pillowburn
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of Iowacraft
2/5  rDev -43%

Photo of Scout11
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of szmnnl99
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of discdueler
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Phelps
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a shaker pint.

Pale wheat color with just a touch of haze and a creamy one-finger head of pure white froth.

Very little aroma. A touch of funk, a little fruity wheat, and some barnyard mustyness.

Light, refreshing flavor. Apple, sweet wheat and just a little tartness.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation and silky fizz. Watery but soft. Very soft tartness.

I'd place the Oarsman somewhere between an American pale wheat ale and a Berliner weiss. Light and refreshing, it would make a good summer beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin yellow beer with haze, nice small white head on it, not much for retention or whatnot. Aroma, mild lemony tart, some wheat, this seems decent.

Taste, yum, more wheat lemon, but a good amount of sour tartness. So light on its feet, kept packing good tartness, light body allowed for a real refreshing experience, can really spruce up the palate after heavier beers. Never goes into sweet territory, never lets up, a solid mouthfeel full of tart/sour/lemon/wheat/ yet so easy to drink, not even sip if you didn't want to.

Another winner from Bell's.

Photo of Crazyale
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 10/25/11.

A: Hazy straw yellow, with a rapidly dissipating 1.5 finger head. Similar looking to a hefeweizen, except a shade lighter.

S: I'm getting some apple, wheat, acid and light soft fruits on the nose. The aroma is subtle, but pleasant.

T: Some tart sour apple, lots of fresh lemon and some sugar. Similar to a Kolsch, it drinks like a lager, but whereas Kolsch has a more floral fruity taste, this is sour and acidic. I'm no expert on the style, but this is a very drinkable and refreshing beer.

M: Fairly full bodied. It's lightly carbonated, and finishes with a big bright lemony zing.

Overall, a very good beer, outside of my comfort zone, but it makes me curious to try others in the style.

Photo of tworoosters
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ryanpj
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Zachb4au
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Shmantha
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of nrombes
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ahq514
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.

Pours a light, transparent gold. Very light, white head. Appears to have a decent amount of carbonation.

Aroma is fairly faint. Some light hints of wheat linger, with a supplementary tartness. Nothing else distinguishable detected.

Taste matches aroma quite well. Not a whole lot to it. Get some very faint hints of wheat up front followed by a light, refreshing tartness. No detectable hops or specific malt characteristics besides the wheat. Agree with most others on the wateryness.

On the higher side of carbonation. Light body and extremely drinkable.

I first tried this about a year ago and I remember it being more flavorful. If you're looking for a refreshing, lighter craft beer, go with Oarsman. There are plenty of other low alcohol beers that are more flavorful if you're looking for a great session beer.

Photo of CBEdirector
4.75/5  rDev +35.3%

Bell's Oarsman from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,814 ratings.