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Oarsman Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Oarsman AleOarsman Ale
BA SCORE
3.53/5
Good
2,282 Ratings
Oarsman AleOarsman Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#40,648
Reviews:
639
Ratings:
2,282
pDev:
15.58%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
352
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,282 |  Reviews: 639
Photo of Ljudsignal
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Night Shift tulip. Bottled 10/22/13.

Pours a slightly hazy straw-gold. A creamy bone-white two-finger head quickly subsides to a thin film and ring. No lacing to speak of.

In the nostrils, sweet grain aromas mingle with tart lemon and sour wheat mash. The lingering remnants of a funky brett smell, but sadly I think age has not been kind to this beer--what remains has largely been transformed into grainy malt aromas.

Taste more or less follows the nose. Opens tart and lemony, switches mid-palate to a grainy wheat note which gradually becomes less tart and more bready and sweet as the beer moves towards the back of the palate. Simple but pleasant. Not nearly as tart for me as others have reported, although there is a light lingering acidity on the back of the palate, a bit like drinking lemon juice.

On the tongue, light-bodied, highly effervescent, and finishing crisp and dry.

On the whole, an uncomplicated but refreshing and sessionable beer that I fear I have not done justice to by waiting to drink it. As it stands, this was a perfectly pleasant drinking experience, but I'd love to revisit a fresher bottle at some point.

 1,169 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dense white creamy head of foam on a golden straw colored beer. Slight haze gives way after a while and a steady stream of effervescence. The head fell pretty fast but left a ring and a film on top.

Nose is tart lemon and has more of a malt presence than I was expecting. Light sweet grain. Crisp dry wheat. A bit of herbal hops but mostly tart citrus. There is a terrific funk smell on this nose and if you want to know what that smells like then this is the beer to show you as it is not complicated by many aromas.

taste is very simple and straight forward. Crisp and effervescent, tart lemon and a light grain sweetness. It is not mouth puckering but it is dry and palate cleansing. It's mild and very easy to drink. Refreshing and a perfect beer for a warm day, for the beach, a lawnmower beer. Light and drinks so very easily.

 835 characters

Photo of sd123
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I poured this beer, it has a.gold color body with a fizzy head to it. The aroma has a light maltyness to it. The taste has a tart flavor and some sweetness to it. It also has a little bit of malt on the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is like champagne. Overall this is I think my first sour and I enjoyed it very much.

 326 characters

Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ONN8
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of elmo17
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of VincentFrey
3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour / Appearance: Fizzy and effervescent, with a quickly forming and falling head. A very hazy straw color, likely due to wheat malt. Keeps carbed and bubbling up.

Aroma: Traditional sour mash, but sadly one note. That's not necessarily bad for a berliner weisse or out of style. The sour mash is a bit unusual though, meaning the wort was soured then underwent a boil, then fermented traditionally. This can leave a much less complex profile than if it undergoes traditional souring methods, but certainly imparts the traditional notes. Nothing else to speak of though; very clean yeast and some light wheat. It hits the style but I can see why this is hard to find when I make trips to PA (where Bell's gets distro'd instead of MD)

Taste: The aroma notes dictate the flavor. Very low acidity, actually, liking diminishing returns from age since the sour mash. Very refreshing though, and that's kinda the point. Simple wheat malts and hints of lemon and coriander round it out. Not much for mouthfeel outside some sour puckering around the cheeks, and drinking a lot like a soda.

Overall: What can I say, this is a neat little Americanized berliner weisse. The sour mash doesn't provide a good complexity and the malt bill, while traditional, is nothing special. It's worth a try, but brings to mind why berliners are traditionally flavored at the bar.

Bottom Line: Buy if you're looking for a refreshing and semi-traditional berliner. Try if you're a fan of sours. Don't bother if you easily have access to other berliner weisse styles unless you wanna try a new one.

 1,575 characters

Photo of JMohl3
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of BryanK
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of pmorris71
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of mndanika
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of TheSteak22
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of fellowrs
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Arcous
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of bigdogs1982
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of pottergator
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of CloudStrife
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's snifter. Packaged 11/18/13.

A: Pours a hazy very light yellowish straw with a white head on top. It dissipates in a minute or so leaving some lacing on the glass. Can see some visible carbonation in the body.

S: Has a tart aroma that is noticeable upon first whiff with a hint of sour wheat mash. Some pale malts in the background that come out more as it warms.

T: Nice flavor profile on this beer. Has the sour/tart aspect that defines the Berliner Weissbier style but it doesnt overpower. Instead a nice malting makes up the backend so this doesnt finish as tart as it starts.

M: Light to medium body with ample carbonation. A bit puckering at first but easy to get used to. Great sessionability on this one. Clean finish.

Overall I've always been a fan of this beer. Real interesting flavor that sets this one apart from the other session beers on the market. Sure its not as tart as some berliner weissbiers can be, but the malt backbone is solid enough to gain this some more points.

 1,031 characters

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of elec
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of sulldaddy
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer pours champagne clear gold with minimal fizzy bleached white head that is gone before I put the glass down. Would have liked a little better head retention.
Aroma is some grainy malt and tart notes. No hop presence or booze.
First sip reveals a light body with fine prickly carbonation.
Flavor is tart and a little bitey, no hops or booze which fits the style.
Crisp refreshing beer that would be perfect on a warm summer day. I enjoy it just fine on this cold winter evening.

 542 characters

Photo of jlivings757
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of BeerSquirrel
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of dylntbrown
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Oarsman Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 2,282 ratings
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