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Bell's Winter White Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,934 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,934
Reviews: 695
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 48
Gots: 223 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 02-22-2003

Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley & wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices. Deliberately brewed to retain a cloudy appearance.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,934 | Reviews: 695
Reviews by SportsandJorts:
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: on-tap pint
Glass: pint glass
From: Casey's Tavern in Ann Arbor
Price: $4.50

Appearance: a deep and hazy gold. opaque. by time i got it there was no head left and the lacing was gone as well

Smell: a little bit of wheat, fruit and clove.

Taste: follows the nose pretty well. definitely a wheat taste to it, along with what i now taste as banana and a good mixture of cloves.

Mouthfeel: light and crisp. a good mix-up from all the stouts, barleywines and bourbon beers i have been having this winter

Overall: another solid seasonal from Bell's. not a beer that i am gonna race to get next winter, but it sure hits the spot after a bit of a burn out on heavier and darker drinks. easy to find as most MI bars have a Bell's seasonal option

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz tallboy with a freshness date. Sample from the brewery.

Cloudy and heady. Yeast, grain, spice, & bread in the nose. Ample crispness leads to a deep smoothness. Peppery, clove spiciness, rind-like, coconut water, nutty yeast, pineapple, dusty biscuits, & faint medicinal notes in the aroma and palate.

Damn cool, fermented with Belgian yeast ... no spices used so this is sort of a pale lighter Belgian winter warmer and not a Witbier at all in a sense but it is none the less.

Photo of Coldstorage
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Where did all that head run off too? Seems under-carbonated. Banana, pineapple, funky yeast on the nose but none of that in the flavor. Crisp and clean to a fault. Not offensive, but wont cop again.

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a hazy lighter yellow with some peach colored hue a thin quick to fade head atop.Toasted wheat clove and some bannana reminisentmore of a Bavarian style sheat than a Belgian white in my mind.Pretty standard wheat flavors somewhat clovey and toasty with a faint hint of citrus in the back end.Decent and basic beer, my wife would enjoy this, me well I thought it was ok.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I find this beer a little lacking and one dimensional. Appearance is fine at a yellow gold with a large white head. The nose is lemony and herbal. Coriander and orange peals are quite present. Taste follows the aromas with the addition of a strong yeastiness and a bit of ginger and cloves. All the ingredients are there but this beer just doesn’t scream, “I’m a fun and cheerful wit” to me like I like my wit beers to. It’s really almost hefe like and not very wintery to boot.

Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a faint yellow-amber color, cloudy and almost completely opaque. The first thing you notice on the nose is a hefty helping of wheat and yeast, certainly making a lot of sense for a witbier. This is appropriately followed up by a handful of kitchen spices; clove, coriander, and some light citrus and orange zest. The taste plays a little heavier on the spice side at first, transitioning to the citrus and fruit-like undertones more towards its second half. The spice isn't overpowering by any means, it's actually quite refreshing. When the citrus makes its appearance, it provides a great balance and certainly boosts the drinkability by a large margin. The hops come along and add a perfect amount of bitterness, helping with the balance of the malt and wheat sweetness combo. Yeast, as expected, is noticeable at nearly all times, but plays more of a background supporting role. Medium body, medium-high amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very good witbier. Packed with a nice array of flavors thanks to a decent contribution from malt, wheat, yeast, and hops all at once. Nice amount of spice, balanced by a subtle wheat sweetness and a blend of citrus and hops. Not bad at all.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Sort of a pale straw yellow color, slightly hazy. No discernible head but a nice thing ring of white bubbles clung to the sides of the glass. No lacing to speak of.

S: Pale malt and spice, perhaps coriander or something else.

T: The lightness of the wheat comes through quickly on this, though there isn't much in the way of malty sweetness. The hops provide nice balance and play well with the spices that are present in the background. A relatively quick finish and slight bitterness in the linger.

M&D: Light & crisp. Mostly smooth drinkability. The carbonation was medium to light and matched very well with the style. Overall a very nice beer and refreshing for a winter ale.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy bright yellow/orange with a small head that rolls down to a ring around the glass. Spotty lacing lies in its wake. Nice big yeasty wheat nose with notes of cloves and coriander. Big and inticing!

First sip brings a nice citric, yeasty wheat maltiness nuanced by spicy cloves, coriander, pepper and a bit of banana as well. Tasty and well balanced...this is a fine wit right here.

Mouthfeel is good with just enough body to roll over the palate smoothly..good carbonation. Drinkability here is very nice...easily sessionable. I personally think this would be better as a summer seasonal. As a side note...the label picture is beautiful..kudos to Bell's on another tasty brew.

Photo of schnjac
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light gold with mild white head. Belgian yeast smell is characteristic, with pale malts contributing to the mellow and light flavor (barley and wheat). Malt taste, with very slight notes of citrus/coriander. Medium body, crisp carbonation. A nice light and drinkable winter beer, especially if you aren't big on spice.

Photo of warnerry
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy straw color with two fingers of quickly dissipating head.

S - Aromas of coriander and a small amount of citrus.

T - Tastes of wheat, some faint citrus hops and spices, mostly coriander. Flavors balance well. They aren't too exciting, but not bad.

M - Pretty light mouthfeel, but I guess appropriate for the style.

O - A pretty easy drinking, if not particularly interesting, wheat.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. Enjoyed a couple of these on draft this evening and came home to find a bottle in the fridge waiting for review.

A - One-finger head of white, big bubble foam that dissipates rather quickly, leaving a thin lace across the surface. Lemon yellow in color and opaque. Cloudy when held to a light.

S - Clove/banana with a citrus and pine hop background. Almost bubblegum in the nose.

T - Very much like the nose. Banana really jumps to the front, showing off the fruit. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the finish. Subtle spicing makes the finish, not the hops, although I'm editing my review to note that Bell's website says they don't use any spices in this brew.

M - Fizzy. Pronounced carbonation. Good body and structure. Finish lingers longer than the lightness of the beer indicates.

D - A different twist on a winter beer. It's very much in the hefeweizen style but doesn't have the crispness in the finish you'd want in the summer. Very tasty. Could easily drink several of these in a session.

Photo of Billolick
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can w/ an 11/12/14 pkgd on date on the bottom

Pretty typical wit look going on here

Def ginger on the nose

More ginger, coriander, oranges and lite peppery spice thing happening.

Decent flavor, and more then moderate body for the style.

Easy drinking and gotta love 16 ounce cans

Photo of mrquartetman
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - It is as it says: white, or really a light straw color. It pours with a small head that disappears fairly quickly.

S - Very citrusy and yeasty, fruity, a hint of banana

T - It looks like a witbier. It tastes like one too, but with a more aggressive and persistent flavor. Lots of citrus and yeast spice across the palate. The follow is lemony and sweet at the same time.

M - Full bodied and refreshing, estery.

D - A most drinkable beer, even more so than the Bell's Christmas

I've seen some critiques of this beer that ding it for being atypical with respect to winter styles. I don't recall seeing a rule that a white ale could not be a winter beer. This kind of innovation in the winter line is very welcome. Sort of an, um, winter welcome.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Gaisgeil for this one of many...
I needed to do something to shake this hot ass weather we've had here in the Northeast, so a Winter brew it is....
Pours a very pale yellow w/ half a finger of white head...doesn't stick around along, but a thin layer hangs on. Lacing is thin and has very little cling.
Aromas are faint...mostly sweet malt with a hint of citrus notes...not much spice but other flavors I just can't pinpoint...my inexperienced pallet to the style...damn you.
Taste is enjoyable and instantly cools me off...I can feel the chill in my face...just what the doctor ordered.
A real clean finish...no bitterness and perfect carbonation.
Mouthfeel is thin, yet average for the style.
Witbiers are not my first choice, but I'd gladly enjoy a few of these on a day like this...in the Winter, I'd rather reach for something that warms the belly and this is not that beer.

Photo of bsp77
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very cloudy dark yellow with vanishing bubbly head, leaving a flat juice look.

Smell: Banana, clove, coriander, citrus and light wheat malts.

Taste: Traditional Hefeweizen flavors of banana and clove battle light coriander, orange and lemon. There is some light wheat flavor in the background, but the yeast and spice reigns supreme. Maybe some light noble hops on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, light to medium body with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Refreshing blend of Hefeweizen and Witbier. I have read this beer uses a blend of both yeast strains, and that really comes forth. I guess this has to be classified as a Witbier since that style is a little more loosey-goosey with the rules than the Germans are. Strange that it's a winter seasonal, and it may look like terrible, but it is a tasty brew.

Photo of deebo
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle packaged 10/28/11

A-With an aggressive pour a cloudy light yellow color with a couple fingers of pillowy head quickly breaking down into barely a hint of a white ringing foam.

S-Sweet Belgian yeast (plenty of fruity esters-banana). Typical wheat aroma. A hint of spicy hops in there too.

T-Typical of a witbier, but so clean and smooth. Lots of sweet belgian yeast, a significant amount of wheat and just the right amount of spices. Lighter in the citrus flavors of most. I love this beer.

M-Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Light to medium carbonation, a nice little bite of spicy hops at the end but finishes clean. A little more of a bitter end note than many.

D-About as high as a beer gets. I could drink this one any time of year in just about any quantity.

O-This witbier really does it for me. Not overally spiced or flavored, but a beautiful smooth taste that is simply delicious from start to finish. It does taste a bit more like a hefeweizen (fruits present are more banana than citrus) than most.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Big bready nose seasoned with clove and a hint of banana.
Pours a cloudy straw with a mere wisp of a head.
The flavor profile is more Bavarian than Belgian despite the use of Belgian Ale yeast while the body is a shade more Belgian.
Light, more crisp than creamy.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 10-28-11.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy yellow orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four finger white foam head with good retention. Lacing is moderate around the glass.

Smell: Aroma of Belgian yeast with wheat, citrus orange, banana, and coriander spice. Also some clove, lemons zest, and pepper. Smells like a fairly good balance of fruity, spicy, and bready.

Taste: Upfront is a taste of Belgian yeast and wheat grains. Then come the fruit and spices. Some citrus orange, lemon, and bananas with some spicy coriander, clove, and pepper. Also a hint of nutmeg. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A solid take on a Witbier and a nice change of pace for a winter beer.

Photo of madeofsteel
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No matter how much I swirled the last third around, I couldn't get all that yeasty goodness from the bottom of the bottle. Oh well.

A - Poured into a tulip, cloudy golden wheat color with a foamy 1-2 finger head, not much retention but does leave some pretty lacing.

S - Wheat, spicy yeasty goodness. No hops. Kind of smells Belgian.

T - First thing I noticed was the yeast. spicy, fruity, funky. Then the wheat. It seems like the two are battling each other for dominance. I like that. The yeast seems to be a bit more in-your-face than in years past. Sour finish.

M - Pretty active carbonation, to be expected for a witbier.

O - While not the best winter offering from Bell's, it's still a staple. I try to pick up a sixer at least once a winter.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big ol haze of light orange. Great aroma, like smelling salts.

Taste, you pick up much of what you smelled: coriander, banana, lemon, ginger. Those aren't really nuanced either. They're big. Mouthfeel recedes a little, the flavors get muddled. The price is a little more than what I'd like to pay for these kinds of beers. Sure, there's some different stuff, but they're saving a ton by not having to put hardly any hops in it.

Photo of ADR
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy pineapple yellow color, slightly greenish flat head of 1/4 of an inch. Wide and thin laces, lots of small dots as well. Yeasty aroma, straw, bird's nest soup, some anise. Prickly carbonation picks up the mouthfeel. Slightly spicy, gingery and orange with a vermouth feel edging in. Sweetest mid mouth, clovey esters, and then funels to a more lemony bitterness at the close. Medium dry aftertaste, thinnish and slightly metallic in feel, usually the way the style hits me. Pretty good beer, a bit too fluffy and licorice-tinged in the finish as Wits tend to get. Actually softer and sweeter right out of the bottle.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whatever Vecenie's did for the Pittsburgh area it's amazing setting up the deal with Bell's to bring in their products was a huge step but now we're getting a taste of their winter white ale, wow thank you? Appearance: Cloudy peach golden with a nice chunky whtie head nice full sporadic layer of patched lacing. Aroma: Spiced up, banana an excellent Bell's wit. Taste: Slightly creamy sharp sweetness of malted wheat, creamy at first but then the coriander and zest of the peppery hops takes a nice turn toward oh yeah. Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body kinda beefed up Oberon ala winter white, pretty damn good I'm a fan. Drinkability: Awesome session all the way solid all around one of my favorite wits so far.

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2 Nov. 2011 bottling, served in a pint glass.

Golden-yellow color with thin, and short-lived, white head. Cloudy. Looks like a typical wheat beer rather a typical "winter ale", but then this is a "Winter White" and is a witbier.

Aroma -- Wheaty and yeasty with hints of citrus and apricots.

Taste -- Largely follows aroma: Wheaty and yeasty with hints of citrus, bananas, nutmeg, cloves and apricots. Lightly tart.

O -- a fine example of the style, with only a slight departure from normal witbier prep. -- without the packaging, I would not have noticed this one is "seasonally nuanced". A winter ale for the tropics, perhaps.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts, wheat twang, light citrus, and soft spices, in that order. As the beer warms the spices fade a bit and the citrus and light malt aromas intensify.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth light malt flavors with good amounts of wheat influence kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of lemon zest with hints of deeper orange rinds. Finally, very small amounts of coriander come into play before fading out into a crisp and mildy bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I think this beer tasted crisper than the bottle I had quite a while back and I certainly prefer it more. A solid beer that's worth a shot in whatever form.

Photo of richkrull
4.52/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this one up at Trader Joe's last weekend.

Pours a bit of a hazy yellow color, nice white head on it. Smells sweet, citrusy, with a bit of spice to it. Taste is very refreshing. Very smooth, wheat with lemon taste. Good medium bodied beer. I really enjoyed this beer. Very good drinkability, I'll definitely be looking for this beer in the future.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,934 ratings.