17A - Berliner Weisse

Bell's - Oarsman Ale

Brewery: Bell's
Beer: Oarsman Ale
Style: Berliner Weisse
BJCP Style: 17A

Aroma: Slight pilsner like aroma: Slightly sweet malt aroma. No hop aroma. Slight fruit yeast aroma initially that quickly fades away; leaving the malt aroma behind. No sour character.

Score: 8/12

Appearance: Pale yellow in color. Slight hazy. A white heat with large white bubbles that quickly dies.

Score: 3/3

Flavor: Slight grainy/pislner like flavor up front. Malt sweetness is pretty dominant. There is enough bitterness for me to recognize, but not enough for me to say it is out of style. No hop flavor. The sourness is low to mild and becomes very apparent in the finish. Clean fermentation profile. Balance leans far to the sweet side of things. A very slight funky yeast character.

Score: 10/20

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. No warmth. No astringency. The beer clings to the toung and every surface in the mouth. The finish is cloyingly sweet.

Score: 3/5

Overall Impression: This is a good beer, but not necessarily to style. The beer lacks the wild character I would expect from a Berliner Weisse. The sourness does not come through in the aroma, but the overall aroma is appropriate. Berliner Weisses are supposed to finish very dry. This beer finishes very sweet to the point it is cloying. The sweetness lingers on the pallet long after swallowed. I would check the grain bill to ensure there are no crystal or specialty malts in the grist. The grist should primarily be wheat and pilsner. I'd also check mashing temperatures. A lower mash temp would dry the beer out a little further.

The sourness is also slightly lacking for style. The sourness is only prevalent in the finish. If using lactobacillus or brett, a lack of oxygen can reduce sourness, but too much can make the beer taste more vinegar like. Try aerating the beer slightly longer us using an oxygen stone. Aging the beer longer on the primary yeast cake can also increase the aroma and sourness of the beer. Pitching bugs before the yeast can also improve the sour character. If using a sourmash: try letting the mash sit longer at a temperature of around 100F or use a larger portion of the mash for the sour portion of the mash.

Score: 5/10

Total Score: 29/50

Additional Notes: I really do enjoy this beer. It just comes off being a little too sweet. Would be a great beer with BBQ.