Wheat Four Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Wheat Four AleWheat Four Ale
95 Ratings
Wheat Four AleWheat Four Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wheat 4 is made with four different wheats and four yeasts. Wheat Four Wheats: White, Victory, Toasted sprouts, Torrefied Yeast: WLP550 Belgian, WLP570 Golden, Wheat Two blend.
Cloudy, nice big white head, lace. Strong carbonation. Bold wheat taste. Good ideas but doesn't all integerate too well. Thanks Dr. Jay for sharing.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This concludes my sampling of the Bell's Wheat experiments. I beleive that it was about time that some brewers break out of the normal, and try something daring with creativity and boldness. Wheat Four may be the best of the Wheat series. Well balanced, keeps what is desired in wheat beers, and strong in the areas where wheats normally lack. Brown-er and red-er than usual in wheats, I presume from greater barley additions. Overly agressive carbonation and head retention. Estery and fruity in the aroma with a light peat-moss character and an almost toasty character. Tastes boldly malty and wheaty, with a scrubbing quality that detracts almost immediately. Alcohols show strongly for style. Perhaps a bit muddy and earthy in the taste. Texture is mostly smooth and creamy, but with a mild astringency (grain husks) that hangs up in the back of the throat. The attempt requires respect, but it's not one of the wheat beers that will become a standard in my fridge.

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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

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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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudier than 2, and amberier, too, in hue, with a lushier, taller head...is this the start of a trend, here?

Soft in the nose, light and subtle, faint citrus and spice...beautiful, but indistinct.

Bigger in the mouth than 2, too, heavier mouthfeel, more vibrant spice and fruit, hinting at a weizenbock, plenty complex. Rich, and delicious. Nicely texture, fuller bodied, ...this matches nicely with the better German weizens I've had, particularly the dunkels.

I'll be back for more of this one. But, I'm scratching my head wondering what comes next...

Hooray, Bell's!

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Photo of biegaman
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Grub for the Bell's Wheat Series Horizontal Tasting! Much appreciated.
Wheat Four Ale would gush. Its gushing would eventually settle into an abundance of head and leave dense lacing. The body is a translucent off-amber shade. A little dopplebock-ish by the scent of things. A good presence of wheat in the mouth. A hinting suggestion of dried fruit, nuts, figs. Some faint alcohol too. A strong showcasing of amber malt. Would be almost a little bland if not for a fading Belgian yeast character, mild spice, and bits of yeast funkyness.. At different stages I tasted uniquely German, American, and Belgian qualities - a neat little fusion actually.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has quite a carbonation when I opened it and it poured a deep copper colored body with a thick creamy head that last and last. The body is very hazy but I can see lots of tiny bubbles racing to the surface. I think the yeast is a bit more stirred up than normal.

S- When I pour the beer I could smell roasted wheat and a slight yeasty perfume right away. The smell is more German wheat beer and not so much Belgian wheat beer. It has a good whole grain bread aroma with a very faint sulfur note. As it warms more rich malts or malted wheats come out but starts to smell more sulfury.

T- Very smooth balance flavor of malt, bread and yeasty characters with an almost carbonic acid note in the beginning. No real banana, bubblegum or clove notes at all. It does have a nice tartness to the finish that has some faint hop spice to it.

M- This beer has a medium-light body but all the carbonation makes the body feel bigger. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This beer is very smooth and has a nice balance of flavors. The roasted wheat started to smell a bit musty and almost barnyard like but I think it was just the sulfur and roasted notes combined. The taste was nice but the strong carbonation seemed to get in the way a bit. I will have to review this beer again as it still has a bit of mystery to the taste/smell. Could there be some Brett or other beasties at work in this beer?

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Photo of ppoitras
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... From Bell's website: The Batch ID that you entered '7104', is a Bell's Wheat Four Ale. Your Bell's Wheat Four Ale was packaged on October 18, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, it's a foamer, formed 3 1/2" beige head over an inch of cloudy golden amber brew. Head is quite resilient, lasts and last, might never get the whole bottle in the glass. Once it does recede, impressive foamy lace is plentiful. Aroma is spicy wheat and a little bit soapy. Flavor is full of cloves and wheat character, with a bitter close. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh with the bitterness in this context, although still somewhat smooth, with drinkability is limited by same. Not really a brew I enjoyed at this point.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.04/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Had to pour this one realll sssllloowww just so the head wouldn't overflow my huge hacker-pschorr weizen glass. The head was as big as my fist. With lots of lacing, very uniform. The color was a burnt orange/sienna.

Smell- Pretty plain for the mst part, although it did conatin a lot of biscuity aromas with a bunch of fresh grains.

Taste- Starts out with some upfront gneral mmaltness, leaning more towards biscuits, then turns to some mixed with a bunch of toasty mlat flavors.

Mouthfeel- Pretty light and crisp on the palate. This beer went very well with my hot dog with onions, garlic mustard, grated cheese, and sweet relish. I also feel that this beer would go very well with just about any other kind of meat centered dish. But all in all very versatile beer.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy, light brown beer topped by a gigantic, moussy tan head. Yeasty with lots of malt and distinctive wheat aroma. There was a light chocolatey flavour throughout, which was a bit of a surprise. Also yeastiness throughout and some wheaty, bitter dryness. A bit toasty and perhaps a bit sour. Medium body with aggressive carbonation, but still quite smooth. This wheat series is a bold endeavour, but I can't help but think that the flavours in this beer didn't quite mesh together. Still, not a bad experiment at all.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky looking brown tone. Big airy stained white head. Retention is very good and lace comes in sheets. Odd aroma. I'm guessing it's the sprouts. Kind of musty and dank. Not bad, but not the most appealing to me either. Nose also has some thick yeastiness to it and dough. Nice and lively carbonation. Crisp tasting. Proves to be a nice palate cleanser. Meidum bodied. Flavor of wheat and dough and yeast dominate. Some slight cocoa/chocolate enter the picture. And some light esters. Good experiment.

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Photo of mynie
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The best pour you could hope from the style! Bad dream hazy orange with a HUGE head that sticks and sticks.

Big wheatmalt spice: corrainder, white pepper, and cloves, mixed with a Belgian-y yeast and lemon peel. Nice, complex.

Hmm...strange taste. Sting like lots of alcohol, right up front, with a burnt kind of mix of all the spices. No juiciness or sweetness in the back like great examples of the style--just spicy and harsh. Kind of like a very nice cracker.

Doesn't taste bad, just different. Harsh. Nice to try, though.

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Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/orange, gold in the edges, huge white head, takes forever to go away, some nice lacing. Smell is sweet, some spices, yeast, caramel, chocolate and coffee. Taste is caramel, fruits, yeast, some sourness and a floral finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with medium carbonation, thanks DrJay!

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I poured the first bottle of this beer I forgot I was pouring a wheat beer, and that I needed to be more gentle with the pour so the head wouldn't flow out of the glass. I started pouring the with I normally pour a pale ale, and the result was a centimeter of beer and a weizen glass completely full of head. Not quiet the desired effect, but amazing none the less.

When poured correctly this brew still has a magnificent, billowing head atop a cloudy pale brown liquid. Instead of lacing the head evertually fades to about half an inch, and sits atop the beer until it is gone. The aroma screams of cloves. The taste is of tangy wheat, and cloves. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a very good wheat beer, one of the best I have had for America.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, sadhanna has 6 packs of it

appearance: pours a cloudy and murky amber/bronze, an obscene level of off-white head follows and laces...looks kind of lake apple cider

smell: pretty heavy on the wheat, some yeasty aromas, apples and spice, interesting

taste: very malty, toasted wheat bread, apples and cinnamon, hefe-like banana...lots of things going on and i'm not sure i like how they mix in this one

mouthfeel: light-med body, decent carbonation

I think I like wheat two better...this is definately completely different so i am interested in drinking the rest of the line!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Darkover for the trade. Light copper color with an off-white head that literally fills the entire glass after only a small amount is poured. Aroma of malt and grain. Light-bodied with an earthy malt and clove flavor. There is a strange bitterness that is off-putting though. The finish is mildly wheaty and a little sour. I did not enjoy this one much.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.87/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkly golden with a milky brown center and one big ass foamy cap that took way too many pours to finally reach the bottom of the bottle. The skyscraper foam finally seeps down to a hefty skimming and lots of thick patchy lace.

Aroma is drier then Wheat 2 with the same wheaty malt base, less yeast, no banana, leaning into more grainyness with a husked edge of dark dryness. More rounded on the nose too, not quite as snappy as 2.

Taste is more rounded in the wheat and husk flavors. Not all that much going on, pale wheat mostly with a slight darker, toastier edge to it then 2. Again, less yeast, and favors a grainy dryness throughout and squeezes out a bit more at the finish.

Feel is a bit more rounded and fuller then 2. Not as snappy, but still wheaty in texture with a different approach in the finish with its dryness of toasted grains rather then yeast.

Another good drinker out of the bunch of Wheat beers.

Note: Taste tested comparison with back to back mixed samples of the 2, 6, and 8 wheat beers.

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Photo of cokes
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fairly repulsive, clotted brown mustard body is partially saved by a stately spume of nicotine-stained ivory.
Nutty banana bread nose with pricks of hardpan dirt, clove and white peppercorn.
Into the mouth, it's all almond-banana-bran muffins. At first, it is almost literally, like Larry Bell pureed some, cut 'em with water and bottled the end result. Toasted hues grow, as does a vague nod of vanilla. At this point, it is pretty damn tasty. Some clove esters are noted, along with quarry, and Bell's blanketing doughy house yeast. For a series that is supposed to show the intricacies of wheat and yeast interplay, Bell's yeast is just to much of a monolith...it's just too easy to recognize it and stop there. It concludes with further rock note and a vacillating vegetal bitterness somewhere near artichoke and carrot (though it dies down as the glass empties, and that's a savior). Hops add a mild but adhesive bitterness, though only a wavering brown stalk/wintergreen flavor.
The mouthfeel, though half congealed by the yeast, works better here than in the 2. The flavors are heartier, bringing the heft into congruence.
All in all, I prefer it to 2. This has some strange intervals, but there is a rugged charm here too.

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Photo of blackie
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The head is about 1.5" deep and off white in color, composed of large bubbles. The beer is a very milky light brown in color, pretty dark. Clouds of yeast slowly stream toward the bottom of the glass.

smell: Smells of dark wheat bread, yeast, dark wheat, and some light hops. Maybe a little banana.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is very high, too high, and the body is a heavier light. Somewhat chalky.

taste: Pretty strange. Somewhat yeasty, wheat bread, light fruit (maybe banana). Hop bitterness is considerable for a wheat. Bitterness lingers with a chalky feeling in the mouth.

drinkability: Not the best wheat I've had and the drinkability takes a fall due to the, in my opinion, excessive carbonation. CO2 forces its way out of the stomach often.2oz poured into a pint glass.

The batch # 7104 printed on the back label indicates that my Wheat Four was bottled on October 18, 2005. Obtained this bottle from CRJMellor as part of SS '05.

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Photo of alexgash
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very cloudy dark apricot with brown yeasties. Big, cumulus head of frothy white. Yeast flecks. Yeast with wheat malt, fruit—mainly bananas. Yeast. Light bubblegum. Yeasty wheat malt, like sourdough bread. Bananas are evident, along with bubblegum. Yeasty finish, with a wheat bitterness and more bubblegum. Nice. Wheat protein feel. Medium-bodied. Very effervescent, maybe even a bit too much. Another good wheat beer from Bell’s.

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Photo of hopdog
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in a couple of trades.

This one poured all head. Finally settled down to a deep and hazy orange color. Aromas of yeast, wheat, and all around musty. Tastes of yeast, spices (pepper), wheat, and lightly fruity. Over carbonated (which explains the huge head).

Notes from 5/28/06

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Photo of Mitchster
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cloudy light amber, darker than Two, forming a tall soapy beige head with very good retention and very good lacing. Carbonation is moderately strong, much brisker than Two. The aroma is odd...there is a strong sulfur and toasted wheat husk odor which overpowers the cloves and bananas, and even the doughy yeast nose. Mouthfeel is initially brisk then gluey with a medium dense body. The biggest difference I notice between 2 and 4 is the strong nutty, toasted wheat flavor and a semi-dry finish with a fair mix of tannins and green tree bark in the aftertaste. The yeast is very dominant in mouthfeel and flavor. Bitterness is a touch stronger, and a saccharin aftertaste is noticeable.

This is an interesting, albeit, very odd beer. I can't say that I've had anything quite like this. It's quite drinkable but has such an odd profile that most people wouldn't find it very enjoyable.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Massive four finger head tops a somewhat murky copper-colored body, which is graced by streams of profuse carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, mildly fruity aroma, with notes of apricot, tropical fruits, cinnamon, and cloves, which flow together in a splendid complexity.

Taste: Opens with a wave of spices, with a solid wheat backbone throughout, finishes with a lingering yeast note and slight herbal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, with some zesty carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasant and very drinkable example, quite unique.

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Wheat Four Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 95 ratings