7/19/2020: Bell's Brewery, Inc.'s Mango Oberon

2:48 PM

Bell's' Oberon is a summer constant. I have some when the air turns hot each year. Usually, I pick up a sixer or two and a mini-keg (I plow through the latter over the course of a week). Sure, it drops in March but I don't want an Oberon until it's hella hot out. The world needs the heat to make the beer special.

No Lottie today--she's busy sleeping off a big weekend.
Well, now we have today. It's 95° and, until moments ago, sunny. An Oberon would be especially nice today, sure, but I'm doing one better. See, on July 6th, Bell's announced that a mango variant of their ultra-popular summertime wheat ale was being bottled. To my utter delight, I found it stocked at a local grocery store last week. I'm happy to pop into it amid today's rumbling thunder and break it down for you.

In 1983 a guy named Larry Bell opened a homebrew supply store in Kalamazoo, MI. Two years later, he brewed his first commercial beer. Now, Bell's is a widely renowned brewery that, while based in Comstock, MI, still operates a taproom and brewing supply store in Kalamazoo. You can read their full history here. I'm not really going into it any deeper. Bell's is a craft beer giant. Odds are even your grandparents know them by name.

I'm also willing to bet you know about Oberon, Bell's wheat ale that looks like a summer afternoon in a glass. Mango Oberon is the exact same 5.8% ABV ale, only it's seen the addition of mango. It's more limited than the standard version so, if you're keen on nabbing some after reading this post, you might want to track it down soon.

My bottle's nose is that classic Oberon bouquet (slightly hoppy, with some spiciness from the hops; fruity--even without the mango; and straw-like). But then there's the mango, which adds so much to the bouquet with some little. It's sweet and earthy simultaneously. There're big, wet, tropical notes. I'm even finding a little mintiness that's not standard for your all-summer-long Oberon. I have to say, I'm a huge fan of it this ale's aromatics, as is Purrl (she gave my bottle twelve whiffs).

The beer's flavor profile is equally pleasant. It's crisp and fruity, with a slight bite from the hops employed by the ale. But the mango. Man, the mango. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so. It's ties perfectly into that standard Oberon recipe. It's big and elevates the beer to a level beyond what I've previously expected from Oberon.

Now, let's talk mouthfeel. It's creamy--so creamy--thanks to the wheat. Silky smooth (although that bite from the hops'll get you). Really, it's like biting into a fresh mango. It all just works.

One of my favorite things about summer is when it first starts to rain after a hot afternoon. The rain brings about instantaneous relief. It cools down the whole world and relaxes you as it patters against the ground. A warm aroma hits your nose as it clashes with the hot pavement and, if you're lucky enough, you can watch the steam roll off the asphalt.

During our final summer in Athens, Michelle and I were driving home from grocery shopping when such a summer downpour hit. After parking the car outside our apartment, and as we rushed our food inside while attempting to dodge raindrops, the beauty of hit all it me. This bottle of Mango Oberon is that exact sensation.

I gave Oberon a 7.5/10 when I reviewed it five years ago. While I'd bump that up to an 8 now, I'm happy to report that Bell's' Mango Oberon outshines it completely. My bottle's a 9.5/10 great. Go get some while you're able.

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