Recently, Bell’s Brewery sent me a sweet package of their newest pale ale to go along with their entrance into the state of Louisiana. Bell’s Oatsmobile Pale Ale has the absolute greatest media kit ever. Seriously. Check out what Bell’s sent me.
I got all kinds of cool Oatsmobile branded stuff, in addition to a couple bottles of the beer to sample. But since this is a beer review, let’s talk about that. Here’s what Bell’s has to say about Oatsmobile:
Aromatic. Approachable. Unique. Intriguing. Happy-go-lucky. Full-bodied.And we’re not just talking about the horse.
This hop-forward session Pale Ale uses a blend of classic and modern Pacific Northwest hops, including Mosaic, Equinox and Glacier, for a pungent blend of peach, mango and tropical aromas. The signature ingredient – oats – are what makes Oatsmobile Ale stand apart, and gives it a body that you don’t see in most other session Pale Ales.
I opened a bottle a couple weeks ago, then another bottle last night, just so I could see what the differences were given some time between tastings (I also went on vacation in between, and am just now getting to this review).
So here’s my non-official BJCP score of Bell’s Oatsmobile.
Aroma (7/10) – Biscuity, with a touch of malt. Hops are noticeable, but not on the forefront.
Appearance (2/3) – Golden side of amber (or is it the amber side of golden?) with little head and not much lacing.
Flavor (15/20) – Assertive hop presence balanced by a bigger malt backbone than the description would indicate.Hop bite lingers a bit, but the malt also makes itself known.
Mouthfeel (4/5) – This is a full bodied beer for a “session ale.” The oats really contribute to the fuller mouthfeel, but it’s not cloying in any way.
Overall (7/10) – This is a nicely balanced beer, with the hoppy aroma and flavor being balanced by a bigger malt backbone than the style would indicate. At 4.3% ABV, this isn’t really a session IPA, but it drinks more like a 5.5% ABV American pale ale. Bold is a great descriptor, even at such a low ABV.
I wouldn’t be mad if Bell’s decided to can this, but honestly, it falls in kind of a no man’s land for me. I gave it a score of 35/50, which is solid, but it’s hard for me to say I’d buy it on a regular basis. There are beers of a similar ABV that have more hop presence, which is what I like, and that are in cans, which is what I really want from a beer of this ABV. However, it’s a solid beer, and I would be happy to drink it again.