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Oarsman Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Oarsman AleOarsman Ale
2,280 Ratings
Oarsman AleOarsman Ale

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,280 |  Reviews: 639
Photo of JJFordick
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Brad7132
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this on draft here in philly a few times this summer and was able to pick up a case about mid summer - still had a few left.

Poured into a pint glass, color is transparent gold, head is barely there, but my pour was slow and this brew has been in the fridge for months.

Smell is tart, tangy, fruity, mild wheat and pilsen malt notes.

Taste is light, but very flavorful, nice tart, sour slightly lactic flavor, mixed with mild wheat

Mouthfeel is great, light and balanced with solid carbonation backing up the lactic tartness

Overall, a very great take on this style - probably buy a case of this one every year.

 624 characters

Photo of ssjkyle
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of Hugonaut13
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of tmm313
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of TerryB
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of danoble1
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of frankman71
4.75/5  rDev +34.6%

Photo of tmars13
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of Tee2Grn
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Thirstygoat
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Ramirez Liquors in Los Angeles. I'm always glad to see increased distribution of a brewery with a reputation like Bell's, but I was really disappointed with Expedition Stout. I'm hoping this one changes my mind about Bell's. Bottled 09/07/12. Reviewed live. 4.0% ABV confirmed. 355ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California.

Expectations are above average; I've only been disappointed by this brewery but I'm hoping that was a fluke. This style is very hit and miss, though - especially with American breweries. At least there's no candi sugar added post-brewing, so that's a leg up on some German examples of the style.

Served after a period of rest from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a cloudy pale lemon yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Nontransparent; largely opaque. Suits the style.

Sm: Lactic, even a bit acidic. Some funk; I certainly get the sour mash from the aroma. I'll risk pretention and call it horseblanket. Some lurking sweetness. I find the aroma a bit of a turnoff, actually. There's a lemon citrus ester in there that I like, but the rest seems off. Moderate in strength. Assertive.

T: A bit funky on the finish. Clean pale sour mash malts. Lemon citrus, though diluted. It's best on the finish, where the acidic lemon comes through for a crisp clear moment - a change from the murky build of the body. A bit tart, sure. Very clean throughout. No real yeast comes through. Quite lactic throughout; lactic notes are dominant. Balanced if simple. Actually one of the better examples of the style in recent memory.

Mf: Crisp, clean, smooth, light, and wet. A touch overcarbonated. Good thickness, supporting the flavours adequately. I'd stop short of refreshing, but it flirts with it.

Dr: Very drinkable. Low ABV. One of the better beers I've had in this style. I might try it on draught. A solid effort from Bell's. There's serious promise here.


Would suit an acidic salad magnificently. A good beer for food pairing in general.

 2,346 characters

Photo of Anonymous1
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - Pale yellow with a touch of haze. White head isn't too shabby. Looks like a Budweiser, though.

Smell - Grainy as hell. A ton of wheat. Pale malt. No hops to speak of. Not a very interesting aroma.

Taste - A fair bit better than the aroma, but it's still nearly water. A touch of lemon tang and buckets of wheat and grain. I don't get a lot of hops. Maybe part of that citric aroma is hops, but it's indiscernible to me.

Mouthfeel - Light, sprizty. Gulpable. Definitely on point with their description. Sessionable, if not very flavorful.

Overall - I think I've had this before, but I couldn't remember so I picked it up. I doubt I'd pick it up again, but if there were a cooler of this at a party I'd drink the hell out of it on a hot day.

 804 characters

Photo of Flyboyman
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of dcbdc1
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Gobzilla
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a translucent golden yellow in color with pale yellow highlights that had almost no head and virtually left no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a lot of qualities that indicate tartness in the aroma with some lemon citrus, maybe a little grapefruit character coming through and it was pretty grainy as well.

T: Like the aroma it was also very grainy in taste upfront in the taste alongside some tart notes, citrusy accents. a touch of pineapple, mild funk and a little dry at the end.

ML the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a grainy, citrusy, slightly fruity tart and dry finish.

O: very good berliner weiss but was not surprised. It was just a tad too grainy

 708 characters

Photo of freewill35
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of alex021224
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Oarsman Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 2,280 ratings
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