This column reviews a beer based on aroma, appearance, taste and palate (mouthfeel). At the end of each review, we score the beer based on a five-star system (one star meaning you will likely regret ever drinking such a horrible concoction, five stars meaning it’s your new favorite beer, and two, three, and four stars falling somewhere in between).
Bell’s Brewery is an American microbrewery based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Originally started as a home brewing supply company in 1983 under the name of Kalamazoo Brewing Company, the company began selling its own beer two years later. They wouldn’t officially change their name to Bell’s Brewery until 2005. Currently, Bell’s has two separate brewing facilities: the original location in Kalamazoo and a second in Comstock, Michigan.
Bell’s primarily brews Ales, and over half of their beers are available on a seasonal basis only. Though I’ve had their impressive Two Hearted Ale, I’ll save that for a later column. This review will focus on their summer seasonal Oberon Ale. I first tried Bell’s Oberon Ale at the suggestion of a friend whose taste I trusted. I trusted him so much, in fact, that I bought an entire six pack of it.
Oberon is an American wheat ale that utilizes European ingredients, specifically Belgium wheat malt and Czech Saaz hops. The smell certainly isn’t strong, but there are notes of orange and yeast and faint notes of spice. As you can see from the picture above, it pours a nice golden/orange color with a frothy head.
The taste starts out with a pleasant citrus flavor as the nose suggests. As the flavor advances, you begin to taste the yeasty flavors along with the hints of spice and the entire flavor profile seems to linger, which combines for an enjoyable aftertaste. Oberon has a moderate body that is slightly creamy and above average carbonation, all of which support the taste profile very well.
Overall, this is an excellent summer beer. Other wheat ales can come off as watery and relatively bland, but Oberon avoids these rather fatal flaws. It’s not a perfect beer, but with summer here, there aren’t many beers better for a hot day.
Little Utopia Rating: Three and a half out of Five
Charlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.
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