Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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American Pale Wheat Ale
Ranked #25
Ranked #12,851
3.93 | pDev: 12.98%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 146 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of neenerzig
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Having this beer on/tap at the Tremont Taphouse at their annual Cleveland Beer Week event I’ve Got Big Bell’s tap takeover. This beer draws a slightly cloudy/hazy, mostly clear, medium to dark golden color. Not much head or lacing unfortunately. Aromas of some bready malts and some wheat with slight caramel sweetness that gives way to some big bourbon oak smells, as this beer is the barrel aged version of Oberon. The taste is very similar, with some bready malts and some wheat with slight hint of caramel sweetness that quickly gives way to bourbon oak notes and some booziness. The bourbon barrel flavor actually compliments the bready malts and wheat quite nicely actually, which did pleasantly surprise me. Has a slightly crisp, mainly smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a slightly dry finish and aftertaste. Very nice all around here though. Glad I got to try this.


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Photo of REVZEB
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Cloudy orange with a white ring. Wheat, citrus, whiskey, candied peach, with slight toffee and wood in both smell and taste. A refreshing BA beer that does not lose the wheat base. The booze is hidden very well, dangerous. Body is crisp, wheaty, and cool for a ba beer. Fun twist on the original

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Photo of Dcbluhm
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look is less opaque than regular Oberon. Slight whiskey aftertaste but it’s not too overpowering. There’s a slight Carmel flavor that works well. Surprisingly easy to drink for a 10% abv beer.

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Photo of TheeWarPig
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell is of whiskey right up front, for a barrel aged beer it's very light tasting. warmth on the back end of it. I am not an Oberon fan at all but the higher ABV and barrel properties on this make it a totally different beer.

Overall a very different, interesting beer that was enjoyable to finally try.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Digressing on the drinkability scale, but picking up the savory and spicy factor, Bell's Oberon foregoes its thirst quenching properties for more flavor, complexity and overall culinary charm.

Uberon emerges from its bourbon barrel nap with a light tarnish gold color and arrested in a cloudy haze. Glowing dimly, the ale crowns with a sparse, loose and lightly carbonated swath of foam. Whisky spice fills the nose with an undertow of fresh wheat bread, orchard fruit and exotic perfumy spice. Early flavors open with a wheaten sweetness that's remiss of pulled candy, fruit punch and sherbet.

As the ale unfolds on the middle palate, the sweetness slowly retreats and the flavors of fruit take command. Apple, lemon, papaya, pawpaw, apricot and pineapple all seem of the stewed, cobbler-like variety. Natural spices of white pepper, coriander, alligator pepper and clove are soothed with vanilla and caramel. Evading sweetness seems shockingly "circus peanut" candy like in the same way to many wheatwine. Bourbon spice trails with its own vanilla, toast, oak, coconut and caramel taste that adds both charm and fatigue to the late palate.

Medium full on the palate, the beer's sweet and lowly carbonated bulk lumbers on the finish, however its bright and fruity fare seems to keep the palate lighter with a playful fruit-like acidity. A mild prickle and a simmering warmth registers in a medium length afterglow of stewed fruit and exotic spice.

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Photo of gatornation
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Blue Door Pours a light golden color with a fresh whispy head, looks great. Smell was wheat wood and whiskey all on the lighter side. Taste was mild whiskey with wheat and lemon citrus and malt . ABV well hidden on this with whiskey and barrel subtle well carbonated it tasted like a blonde barleywine , glad i got to try this from the tap, and would gladly try this one again.

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Photo of Eziel
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this last weekend at 7 Monks in Traverse City, Bell's 30th Anny Party. Thought it was a beautiful color, with a definite boozy nose to it. Didn't taste much like Oberon, more like a wheaty BW to me. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden, almost amberish color with half a finger of near white head with ok retention and lacing

S - Bourbony. Light sweet vanilla, wheat and oak. A bit of alcohol presence in the nose

T - Light wheat flavor followed by an oaky sweet bourbon vanilla flavor with a lingering sweetness. Tastes are quick to fade, and its a bit bland, but not bad.

M - Medium/light bodied with good carbonation, quite drinkable body.

O - Not awful, better than i expected but a little bland and one dimensional in my opinion.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like Oberon just fine for what it is - unprepossessing lawn mower beer, but it has to be in the top 10 for Most Unlikely Beers to Wind Up in a Barrel. No longer. Never thought I'd see the day. An interesting experiment, but Barrel vs Oberon is really Godzilla vs Bambi. Oberon cannot stand up to the barrel and as a result, Uberon tastes more like Whiskey than any beer I've ever had. Fortunately, I like whiskey, so it was a decent drinking experience. But why not just make whiskey? Nevertheless, worth a try.

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Photo of barczar
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden with frothy, lingering ivory head.

Malt, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and wheat in aroma, with a hint of citrus.

Fairly light malt character allows the barrel and booze to shine. Underpinnings of orange provide subtle contrast. There's a dry, oaky, vanilla finish, slightly peppery.

Body is smooth and creamy, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

I appreciate the effort, but the Oberon is just too weak in backbone. Totally overwhelmed by booze and oak. That said, it certainly drinks lighter than 10 percent, until the bourbon burps set in.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe in August 2013.

A deep, clear amber with an excellent head and lacing.

Smells and tastes like a light, wheaty barleywine.

O: Like no other beer I've ever had. I really enjoyed this even though I don't much like Oberon.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, Michigan Summer Beerfest 2013. I can't believe this is a thing. Takin' that pale wheat ale to Mandingo-like girth and dumpin' it in a barrel, with Larry Bell all like, "I do whatever the fuck I want". Is this a counterpoint to Founder's Doom? Let's barrel age something that has no business touching wood. I'll complain about how silly it is, yet stand there like a six year old in line for Santa Claus at the neighborhood mall to get my 5 oz. pour.

Amber, cloudy body, basically pretty similar to Oberon. Maybe a little darker, actually. It's been a while since I've actually had an Oberon (let alone poured it into a glass) so I might be ad-libbing a bit here. Foamy, beige-headed, quick to reduce to a stretchy film, though the film lasts pretty much all the way down the glass and leaves some nice, webbed areas of lacing.

Let's make this clear. There's no way this is regular Oberon tossed into a barrel. It can't be. The barrel would demolish Oberon like a wrecking ball and you'd be drinking a liquid bourbon stave. Bell's has brewed a "Double Oberon" clocking in at 9.5% ABV, and my guess is *that* is the beer that made it to the barrels.

The aroma is mostly light and smooth boubon notes with some orange and citrus zest. White pepper and maybe a touch of barrel-induced vanilla... No, definitely. Vanilla is definitely there. It's surprisingly light for a 10% ABV, regardless of the vapid nature of the questionable base beer. I'm convinced even more that it's Double Oberon, otherwise the nose would most likely have no mention of orange or citrus, at all.

Boozy oak leads the taste and that's pretty much all you get at first. A few more sips opens things up, but not to a whole new order of magnitude. Timid citrus zest for balance, a faint, soft wheat backbone, and a hint of orange. Bourbon, oak, and tannic vanilla lead the charge, though, but even still - it doesn't get overpowering or hard to drink, and it's still pretty "light" overall. Light bodied, too, a little creamy and pretty smooth with low-medium carbonation.

I don't know what this is about. But you know what, it's not awful. It's mostly bourbon and barrel flavors with just a hint of balancing fruity notes, like citrus and orange peels. But the bourbon isn't staggeringly powerful or staunch, which means it's still pretty easy to put down, despite the noticeable lack of base beer flavors. Better than I expected, but I expected nothing.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: a deep burnt orange. Nice clarity. A tiny hint of a tannish head that doesn't stick around

Smell: strong oak and some background of wheat

Taste: the underlying Oberon is just barely there. Some wheat maybe a hint of citrus. The beer is dominated by oak character. Very woody and slightly funky

Mouthfeel: very light for a barrel aged. Leaves a nice oaky aftertaste

Overall: an interesting and pleasant change up. The oak character in this beer is outstanding. Very well done aged beer and very light and drinkable

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Photo of c64person
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Eccentric Cafe on 7/5/2013. Pours a hazy burnt orange color, smells of bourbon with citrus notes. I had not expected a lot from this beer, Oberon has been a disappointment for a long time, however the barrel complements this beer quite well, it reminds me of a weaker Doom, strong on the barrel notes, and not much left of the base beer. I would seek this beer again if I see it on tap.

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Photo of nova1787
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a pleasant find at Bell's. It is bourbon barrel aged Oberon (according to the Bartender). Enjoyed in a glass, right off the gravity tap.

A - Deep amber. Very clear compared to Oberon (could be related to the additional oak aging). It comes right off the cask through a gravity tap, so unsurprisingly very low carbonation.

S - Smell of wheat and slight oak. Did not catch much of the normal orange peel I typically smell in Oberon over the other two.

T - The bourbon and oak blend well with the Oberon to create something unique here. The bourbon adds a light touch of sweetness. Has a sweet creamy aftertaste in the blend which reminds me a little of an (Orange) Cream soda.

M - Smooth and lightly creamy.

Overall a very drinkable beer. Most of the cask beers I like I would typically only have one in a sitting as they come off a bit heavier. This I would consider having more than one as it is still surprisingly light and refreshing for a cask beer. Oak aging adds a lot of flavor for many beers and Oberon appears to be no different. Would drink again!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was poetry in a glass. I can’t say enough good things about this beer. I wish I could have more of this somehow. Simply amazing brew. It's haunted my palate ever since I tasted it.

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Uberon from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 146 ratings