391. Bell’s Brewery – Oarsman Ale

Bell's Brewery - Oarsman AleIt’s a pretty relaxing evening at home, and I’m caught up on this blog.  I already reviewed Highland Brewing’s St. Terese’s Pale Ale, but had a few minutes before I had to put the kids to bed.  I reached into the beer fridge and blindly pulled this one out.  I picked this one up several months ago during a trip to Bell’s Brewery in Michigan in May (when I reviewed their Wild One Sour Brown Ale), so I’m glad I’m finally getting around to drinking it.

The bottle says, “Buoyant, tart and refreshing from using traditional sour mash methods. Great for you and your crew.”

Location: Enjoyed a snifter glass, at home in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 4% ABV, 1.040 OG, 132 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It was slightly hazy and bright yellow in color.  There was a lot of carbonation in it, leaving a thin, creamy, white head. There was a bready aroma with a hint of a tart farmhouse smell.

Taste & Feel: The body was pretty light and it had a very crisp, effervescent mouthfeel.  The crispness up front makes it hard to pick up anything up front or middle, but emerging from it is a light honey-like sweetness. It finishes with the honey-like sweetness and a tart, almost cranberry-like flavor and dryness which grows a bit in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This is a very light and crisp beer, so you don’t need an overpowering food to pair this with.  I this this would go perfectly with cheese and crackers on a hot summer day, and in particular, it’s sweetness would take the edge of some sharper flavored cheeses.

Overall Impression: I really had no idea what to expect with this beer.  However, I found it to be very light, crisp, and drinkable.  This has to be one of the most drinkable sour beers I’ve ever had, and the sourness was a bit of a complex addition on the end of the sip, rather than dominating the entire palate.  Although it’s winter right now, this would be a very, very good summer beer, as it’s light and refreshing with a complex flavor.

My Rating: ★★★½☆

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