Bell's Wheat Four Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bell's Wheat Four AleBell's Wheat Four Ale
95 Ratings
Bell's Wheat Four AleBell's Wheat Four Ale

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brian700 on 10-28-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of santoslhalper
1.57/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearence: Pours a disgusting, murky orange with a ridiulously huge head. What's up with this beer? There's huge chinks of yeast, it takes ten minutes to pour because of the head, it looks like dirty dishwater. Or fresh mango juice....

Smell: Holy shit. This smells just as bad as the Wheat Two. Popcorn, diapers, kitty litter, and many other foul stenches greet my nose. But at least I can smell a decent wheat character.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Dry, crisp, and nasty wheat flavors are what I taste. Phew!! This is bad stuff. It's not like Bell's to release such a shitty beer. And the Wheat Two wasn't bad. This one tastes like garbage. Sulfer notes are all over, stale, rotten eggs as well. The mouthfeel is dry and thin.

Drinkability and Overall: Ok, so Bell's missed on this one. Oh, well, no brewery is perfect. I know this isn't had a bad bottle because I've had a few before this and they were all just nasty. Take this beer, tweak the recipe, make it a Weizenbock, and it'll be wonderful. But, as it is, BOOOO!!!

Glass: Standard weizen glass
Music: "Beautiful Morning" by LIttle Brother

 1,106 characters

Photo of matjack85
2/5  rDev -40.8%

Photo of mentor
2.09/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Huge thanks to CRJMellor for this one, I thought I would miss out on the wheat series issued by Bell's. Massive hiss when I started to wriggle off the cap. I was afraid it would gush. Instead I got a third of a glass of beer before the top reached the top--5 or 6 fingers worth. Plus, the hiss released a smell very similar to the stink that arises from a bad poop that's laid sometimes by one of my cats. Not a good start. Patiently waited for the head to settle before pouring in more...repeat as necessary until everything is in the glass (including the sediment).

Ok, finally getting to try this one with a two finger head on the top of a super-murky apple cider. Smells lightly of Granny Smith apples, spice, field wheat, and gentle clove. Taste holds a punch of clove that imediately fades to a falling malt sweet. Hop bitterness jumps in with carb sting later, accompanied with a touch af vodka-like alcohol. Dry rough finish is not entirely pleasant. Burnt grains and grassy in the aftertaste. Dry phenolic funk rises into my nose. Eesh. This is a Bell's offering? I suggest you approach this one with a Biere de Gaarde mindset (but don't expect too much). I'm not sure I can finish this one.

Well, I came back to this one after a while and it's *much* better when cellar temperature. A bit of honey sweet is now present. Plus, the edgy flavors are more tightly packed Still a burnt flavor that's detracting.

 1,422 characters

Photo of maxpower
2.13/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle pours a murky dark amber color with a crazy huge clingy off white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Funky earthy, farmyard aromas( really smells like crap ), flavors of chocolate and sulfur. Medium bodied with a crisp super carbonated mouthfeel, finishes very dry.

 289 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
2.15/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The pour on Wheat Four is remarkable in comparison to Wheat Two...I don't know what the difference is, but the colouration, while similar to Two, has added a substantial head that was absent from #2. This gets a mark up to a 4 from me.

The nose however...oh god, what everyone else is saying is true, this is not pleasant at all. I am getting the lovely aroma of lightly scented skunk and that's about it...this isn't the worst beer I've ever smelled, but it certainly doesn't smell appetizing.

The flavour...not dissimilar to #2 initially...malty, yeasty...the cloves seem to be more pronounced though and I feel they dominate the flavour too much here. There is also a citrus in the background ala 2, but there is something wrong about it in 4 that doesn't sit quite right with me. The finish is softly bitter...but not much there. I have to mark this beer down vis a vis #2 because the flavour is just becoming harsher, and not more enjoyable.

The mouth stays at about 3.5 though, it is still thick for a wheat and still provides some good bitter sensations. Drinkability suffers though, the beer is just doing something that I don't care for, and the drinkability is suffering for me as a result.

I was really digging the idea of the Wheat Project after #2, but I'm starting to get concerned here at #4...I hope the #6 and 8 that I have in my fridge manage to drown out whatever went wrong here because #4 is not that good at all.

 1,447 characters

Photo of hero27
2.17/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle. Batch 7104.

Pretty dark for a wheat beer. A definite amber color with a huge billowing head..maybe they overdid the carbonation a bit on this batch. I like to drink my wheats out of the fridge pretty cold, not wait ten minutes for the head to recede.
Taste is dominantly spicy, with pepper flavors taking control more than anything. There is some light citrus and lemon, and a mild wheat aspect, but the spices are in the drivers seat here.
Mouthfeel is just too bubbly. The carbonation is ridiculous. From reading some other reviews, it doesn't look like I got a bad bottle..maybe a few batches were like this..I'm not sure. I hope they didn't intend on it to be this way...

It's about 85 degrees today here in Iowa, and I think I'd rather have an imperial stout than this wheat on a hot day like today.

 826 characters

Photo of jp32
2.18/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The 4-Ale pours an extremely cloudy shade of brown. The color reminds me of peanut butter. It is also capped off by an enormous, thick, fluffy head. This must be the cloudiest beer I've ever seen. You couldnt see through it with a spotlight and a microscope. The smell is strange. I dont know what the hell it smells like, but its not something I'm used to. Someone else said a dirty diaper in their review, and I'd almost agree with them. Something just doesnt smell right about this one. The taste is different as well, not bad, but unusual. Maybe I'm just not used to the style. I sense flavors of grains, wheaties cereal, and maybe banana nut bread. The mouthfeel is thick and foamy. Maybe too much carbonation??? The drinkability isnt bad in the sense that I'm not really losing my interest in this one, but its too foamy to drink very quickly.

 849 characters

Photo of mobyfann
2.19/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Paid $1.59 for a single...

The beer overflows with carbonation and takes forever to get it settled, afterwards, a cloudy amber colored base, long head retention and nic elacing effects on the glass. This beer has a strong wheat smell but it is as if the bread has a little mold characteristc?

The taste is about the same, characteristically as the smell, not impressed, worse in the mouth than on the nose. Heavy carbonation really distrubed my palette while drinking this, definately on the low end. Drinkable? No way, I had trouble finishing this beer.

Final Thought: Was it a bad batch, old batch or does this beer contradict what I thought was the best small-microbrewer in the Midwest? This title is leaning towards Great Lakes now...

 748 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.23/5  rDev -34%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

More of the Bell's wheat series. Icky. Looks bad. Pours a very cloudy light brown color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave lacing on the glass. The aroma reminds me of sewer. Just really offensive. The flavor isn't quite as bad as the aroma, but it's still not good. There are some malt characters and hints of fruit, but it's just a mess. Drinkability is not good because of the bad flavors. The body is ok. Avoid.

 432 characters

Photo of benito
2.31/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Like the Wheat Two, this poured a dark copper (more like a dunkel than a pale wheat) with an ENORMOUS head, which, to get more beer into my glass, had to be physically removed fingerful by fingerful. The nose is full of clove and banana.

After enjoying the other wheat beers that Bells does, I was taken aback by how strong this one is: the flavor profile is aggressive, bitter at times and very dry. The typical citrus and spice characteristics were well-defined but quickly shoved out of the way by a bitter surge as the liquid hit the back of my mouth. I thought that I would get used to the flavor, or at least that it would grow on me, but throughout the pint I found myself struggling with the strong bitterness mixed with the an peppery dryness gone awry.

Given how great #2 was, I was disappointed here. Don't search this one out.

 858 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
2.35/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dirty orange-brown color with no clarity and a magnificent billowing head that takes forever to settle. Not a very enticing color on this one. The nose continues the unimpressiveness of this brew. It has almost sewer gas qualities to it. I get some toasty and roasted tones, but I find it offensive. Flavor is kind of a muddled mess. I'm not quite sure what it is supposed to be. I get some roasted notes, some light orange on the finish, but it seems that the flavors in this one are really fighting each other. Its not working well. Feel is moderate with a light carbonation. I guess with the billowing head went the bubblies. Overall, this is not a good beer. There is no real direction. I guess an experiment would be the best call on this one. It really does not work for my taste.

 799 characters

Photo of Skidz
2.45/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours out cloudy bronze and sits murky reddish-amber in the glass with a massive off-white head. Fades slowly to a thick coating of foam with nice lacings all around.

Smells thick and dusty, solid cakes of manure and straw. Musty bananas and pears. Brown leafty aromas push up from underneath with bits of brown sugar. Weird, just weird.

Tastes crisp and full-on grassy with wheat jumbled about. Some fruitiness hinting at apples and starfruit. Gritty and spicy jabs of alcohol rip through and are tied in with a muddy (guess what, a bit of manure too), and less attractive, stream of yeastiness. Not doughy or crackery so much, but raw. Finishes with mild to little bitterness and some bananas poking through.

Crisp and prickly in the mouth, carbonation levels are moderate to high. Medium-light in body.

I am definately not a fan of this one, and I hope that whatever faults that this batch has don't carry on to the next. I'm all for grand experiments, but what has come out of this beer, is nothing that I want to sample again. It really wasn't just the aroma, has the taste been up to par, it probably wouldn't have stood out so much, but they really went hand in hand here...and well, that's really not up my alley. Beneath it all, I'm sure there's something there to be had, but I am just not having it.

 1,322 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My second attempt at this brew as my first seemed to be infected. Pours from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass a murky brown amber and immediately produces a freakin mountain of bubbly foam, nearly overflowing my glass and I was pouring carefully! After a good five minutes the head falls and I pour a bit more in. Aromas of big spicy yeast tones atop rotting apples. Cloves, a touch of citrus, wheat husks and pepper. Muddled and odd really, can't say it's enticing.

First sip brings a creamed wheat upfront with a splash of apple juice and light citrus. Cloves, pepper, banana and a strong yeasty flavor follow. Kinda chalky with the yeast that I accidentally let slip in the glass. It just fails to work for me on the whole. Unfortunately I can't say this is enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a bit light with excessive carbonation that deters from the overall drinkability. Almost arid as it goes down. I don't think my stomach could handle more than one with all the carbonation. My least favorite in the wheat series by far...but hey, every experiment has to have a failure now and again.

 1,092 characters

Photo of granger10
2.5/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't know if its blasphemy that I tried this before the 2 or not but I was thinking I'd like this one better so I cracked it open. It turns out that this was not the beer I was hoping for.

Pours a dirty orange color with a ridiculously huge dirty white head. Retention is really good (or bad, depends on how you looks at it) and lacing is to the max. This was way too carbonated.

Aroma is very pungent with tons of different yeasty funky flavors. I'm not really digging it. It's ok at first but after a while the aroma starts to get kind of annoying. There's some banana bread and walnuts in there with clove spiciness and a drying wheat element, but mostly its Belgian yeast funk. Almost skunk-like.

Taste once again is dominated by the yeast. It overtakes any subtleties the malts and hops might have had. Tons and tons of clove in here. A bit of a grassy flavor and maybe some soft fruit taste but then more yeast. Bananas come through towards the finish.

Mouthfeel is decent. Too carbonated and foamy but the body holds together, unfortunately the dry yeast and funk yeast and spicy yeast flavors overtake the beer here too.

I like experiments and I'm going to try the 2 soon and see if its different but I did not like this beer. Interesting but not good.

 1,281 characters

Photo of walleye
2.56/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

got to start right off and say I was not impressed with this beer compared to the two. poured a cloudy orangef with a big fluffy light tan head. aroma like a ash tray. yeast, musty some wheat and yeast. flavor grapefruit and everything else was very weak

 254 characters

Photo of isubsmith
2.74/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Extremely cloudy, dark orange/rust color. Tons of head that lingers. Lots of lacy after affects. Tons of yeast can be seen falling to the bottom after the pour.

Smell: Not as bad as some of the reviews suggest, though definately not good either. Lots of grassy/barnyard smells. Some sort of dirty smell. Not very encouraging.

Taste: Mirrors most of the smell... Grassy/barnyard tastes. Lots of yeast. Some citrus notes as well. Finish is pretty bad and reminds me of the strange dirty smell in the nose. Mouthfeel is rather biting, lots of CO2 in this one.

Overall, not so good. Somewhat disappointing from Bells.

 634 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
2.79/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

sampled as part of the 'horizontal' bell's wheat tasting. thanks mike!

thicker than two, this beer pours a syrupy orange with golden hues. doughy, clove funk in the nose. medicinal, vitaminny aroma. more of that raw graininess, this time closer to what a hefeweizen should smell like. dirty, tart wheat flavor. very earthy with big notes of tree bark and something strangely belgian.. yeast? hops add some bitterness and red fruit flavors to the party. rough but true and excessively abrasive in the finish. not at all drinkable by a stretch but unique and special.

 568 characters

Photo of malty
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch# 7104

The color looks just like apple cider; murky golden brown. Gargantuan loose off white head that settle to 1 1/2" easy.

The scents are very yeasty, musty with a good deal of spiciness. Wow, the yeasts in this baby really give off a nutmeggy/holiday-type spice.

Flavors first off are very earthy & spicy. A peculiar clove component is apparent, but the typical banana, vanilla & bubblegum flavors are definitely not found in this ale. There's that spice I detected in the nose, but it's hard to translate into 'flavor'.
The only taste that remains throughout is this peculiar dry spice that reminds me of sticks & dried leaves (not that I ever ate sticks & dried leaves). I'm baffled.

Mouthfeel is very blossoming and carbonated. Boisterous and very dry finish.

Drinkability is not as good as I would have hoped. Very dry and carbonated with fleeting and ambiguous flavors.

Overall a very experimental beer that never hits any defined mark. Looks fantastic, smells intriguing and taste very unorthodox. I'll keep trying this series though as Bell's never gathers any moss.

 1,103 characters

Photo of weeare138
2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a hazy, cloudy, orange toned light brown with a huge 4 ginger off white head that slowly fades into a small, clumpy head. Spotty streaks of lace are left around the glass.
Smell is of dusty cocoa, caramel, funky yeast, and hits of citrusy hops.
Taste is similar to the aromas but a dull, yeasty wheat fill out with some cocoa, caramel, and toffee notes. Weirdness that I'm on the fence about.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, bitter, slightly sweet, and orange peel bitter sweets.
Drinkability...strange brew with funk. Not my cup of tea for wheat beer.

 569 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a cloudy dark copper color with a huge head. This beer is extremely carbonated. It smells like wheat, citrus, and a little bit of banana. The taste is of wheat, citrus, pepper, and even some sourness. There isn't much of an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just way too carbonated to enjoy the beer, it makes it a bit too hard to drink. Take away the carbonation, and it's not a bad beer.

 419 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hypercarbonated tangerine visible as one finger of liquid beneath a massive, glass-filling head of orangish beige froth. I'm not impressed with the appearance due to the massive number of bubbles and the lack of a good head-lace combination. The beer looks nothing like a pale wheat ale, although I won't hold that against it.

It doesn't smell like a pale wheat either. What's going on here? Did something go wrong prior to bottling? The beer smells malty (although not wheat malty) and is phenolic. There's a hint of orange as well, but no banana and no clove.

Despite its overwhelming similarities (in theory), Wheat Four tastes very little like the Wheat Two of my memory. It tastes like an APA brewed with very few hops and an aggressively spicy yeast strain. The malt bill doesn't make much of an impression. There's none of the lush, soft wheatiness that should be present and there's nothing of note to take its place.

Even though hoppy bitterness is present, especially on the back end, there's little hop flavor. What is present tastes noble (floral and somewhat spicy) to me. Then again, the spiciness could be emanating from one of the four(!) yeast strains. Are four yeast strains necessary? Do they add anything of value to the beer? Eight yeast strains seems completely ridiculous.

For whatever reason, and I'm prepared to believe that something went awry somewhere along the way, this beer tastes nothing like a pale wheat ale or a wheat ale of any sort. Four isn't bad beer and it isn't good beer, it's just weird beer. The mouthfeel is medium in a general sense, firm, anti-lush and more carbonated than I like. Drinkability is... eh.

I considered drinking the Bell's Wheat Project beers on the same day, but felt that they'd be too similar for it to be worthwhile. I'm floored that Wheat Four is so different from Wheat Two. If Bell's has designs on turning one of these beer into a regular offering or a seasonal, might I suggest that Wheat Four Ale, as is, is unworthy.

 1,994 characters

Photo of heyitsbyron
2.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12oz single at Woodman's West in Madison for $1.25.

Poured into a pint glass and it immediately foamed so much that I had to stop pouring and wait for the head to subside. Very rare. The bottle was chilled and settled, so way too much head. After I finally emptied the bottle, the color was very pleasant. Orange and summery, though not transparent.

The smell was horrendous. Easily the worst beer I've ever smelled. Smelled a lot like poop with very little wheaty or citrus smells. Just disgusting. I can't imagine how a brewer achieves a fecal smell like this.

The taste, on the other hand, was a bit more pleasant. It was nothing spectacular, much like more common import wheat beers, but it was quite good. It had the standard citrus/spice flavors of the style and I enjoyed that. You can tell that this beer is inoffensive tasting because I gave my girlfriend a sip and she enjoyed it. She doesn't usually drink beer.

In my mouth, it felt like a wheat beer: carbonated properly and not thin. I think it lost a bit of carbonation due to the bad pour, but I can infer that it was otherwise a nice mouthfeel.

I don't think I'd purchase it again because it's a bit costly, the smell is vile, and there are better wheat beers. I am glad to have tried a Bell's Wheat Project beer and I may try the 2, the 6, or the 8 if I can find them in singles.

 1,374 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Wheat 4 pours out a murky brownish-yellow color with a huge head. Thick swirls of yeast float through the beer and slowly sink. The nose is pretty nasty. I get some banana bread with walnuts, but there's also a sour, putrid yeast aroma. The flavor is similar to the 2, but stronger. Tangy wheat, funky yeast, and lemon. Finishes very dry. Some of the nasty qualities of the aroma come through to the flavor. Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is too high. I'm a little nervous of the direction this experiment is heading.

 540 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.99/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a gargantuan head that becomes problematic but does leave good lacing

Smell: Slightly sulphuric tones negatively impact the toasted wheat aromas

Taste: Starts out with a toasted wheat flavor that, after the swallow, is negatively impacted by a metallic and sulphuric aspect; complex yeasty elements, however

Mouthfeel: Light bodied but way overcarbonated

Drinkability: Maybe it's too old, but this beer has some problems that I didn't find in the other bottles I tried from the Project

 540 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
3/5  rDev -11.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Wheat Four Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 95 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.