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

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

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BA SCORE
83
good

677 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 1,955
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 49
Gots: 240 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 677 | Hads: 1,955
Photo of marburg
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A highly quaffable ale from Bell's sampled yesterday at the Mich Beer Fest. It's only real "drawback" is that it's orange-ish, golden color is far too yellow for a witbier. Dull orange and banana aromas are potent and enjoyable but, again, it strikes me as more of a hefe than a wit. Similarly, big orange-banana smoothie flavors dull any intended coriander or other spices. It's a very tasty beer, but it's not within the style. Frankly, I'd be overjoyed if they replaced Oberon with this and stopped calling it a witbier. (523 characters)

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10021, bottled 10/6/10.

A: Pours a pale yellow color with visible bubbles from carbonation and a bit of cloudiness.

S: Smell is of strong cloves with some light lemon notes.

T: Follows the smell. Very strong on cloves with a bit of lemon making an appearance in the middle. There is also some wheat malt.

M: Light with some prickly carbonation.

D: High.

This is a nice change of pace for the winter. A light mouthfeel with much lighter flavors than normal for the season. (483 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Jupiter's.

Cloudy orange with absolutely no head at all. Nice color, anyway.

Fine and moderately aromatic nose, plenty of citrus and a little yeasty in the smell--good. The taste is as Witbier should be--light, fruity, malty--with plenty of citrus and a decent dash of coriander and ginger. While I'd like a little more spice, this is undoubtedly taste. Smooth, too, malty and light in texture. Delicious.

It's a nice representative of the style--not the best I've had, not exactly complex, but tasty and accessible. I won't hesitate to order it again.

[Second review, 11/7/10: Enjoyed from a bottle]

One key difference between the first time I had this, and today, is how much more well-rounded I thought the mouthfeel was this time. I would give this session's score, from a bottle, a 4.5 for its smooth texture with a good degree of spicy bite that I find a welcome improvement.

Regardless, a delicious Witbier that is well worth enjoying multiple times, as this review hopefully showed. More good stuff from Bell's, one of the very best breweries that the US has to offer. (1,100 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly unhazy amber with the slightest suggestion of orange. Maybe the yeasties will be added with the next and final pour, though I don't see much cloudiness in the few ounces left in the bottom of the bottle. The cap is lightly yellowed ivory, like old newspaper, and isn't up to Bell's usual standards. It looks a little mealy as it falls and isn't tacky enough to deposit more than a few stray strands of lace. Not bad, just not great.

The nose makes a spirited comeback, as I was pretty sure it would. There's a fresh wheaty bottom end, upon which the usual aromas of coriander and citrus are arrayed. I wondered whether a 'winter' wit would emphasize coriander at the expense of the more summer-like lemon and orange. I needn't have worried. The citrusiness that I love in this style is present and accounted for.

This is a wonderful witbier, even if it isn't as delicious as my favorite domestic versions (Allagash and Great Lakes). On the palate, coriander holds a slight edge over orange and lemon. Each provides a fair amount of flavor, although not an abundant amount. The mild sweetness of the wheat is perfectly countered by the bitterness of the hops, allowing the drinker to taste the best of both worlds. This really is a balanced, measured wit.

The mouthfeel is more full than average, but only slightly. A vigorous amount of carbonation keeps things light and airy without sliding over into an annoying fizziness. It seems to me that neither a more full nor a more light body would serve this beer as well as the one that has been provided. Drinkable? Absoposilutely.

Even though it isn't among my handful of favorite witbiers, this is still a fine effort from the master brewers in Kalamazoo. I continue to be impressed by the excellence displayed by Bell's across the entire spectrum of craft beer. Winter White Ale is merely the most recent example and is a beer that I recommend without reservation. (1,931 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy pale yellow color with thin white head. The head settles very quickly leaving no lacing behind.

Aroma is slightly spicy, slightly fruity.

Flavor is pleasant and appropriate for the style. It has a bright fruity, light and citrus, taste with mild corriander spice.

Light in body and moderate in carbonation, all about right for the style.

Overall a good witbier and enjoyable. It's nice to see one as a winter seasonal instead of summer but it probably works better in the warmer months. (533 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy, pale straw color and a creamy white head with good retention and excellent lacing to the bottom. Mellow nose of yeasty bread, banana peel, light citrus, and a little grassy. Starts off with a limey, sprucey spritz and quickly moves to a nice soft wheat profile that is flavorful and mellow. Medium carbonation makes for a tonic water effect. Descent spice level and some fruity hops are very complimentary. Chalky to creamy at times. The smooth soft profile makes this and easy drinker although Im not buying the winter connection. (542 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's knows bottle conditioned beers.
First thing I thought when I found out Bells Winter ale was a Witbier, WTF? A Wit? The fist bottle I struggled getting over my discriminating mind frame of what I expect this season. My second bottle, on an evening that has warmed up quite a bit, well okay... this beer is actually growing on me.

Appearance: Pours a typical white color and sits a honey-creamsicle hazy orange color. The fizzy head faded quickly and there is a small amount of lacing created by swirling the glass and on each sip, but then it drops down into the beer leaving clean glass walls.

Smell: Honey, dough, banana, orange, vanilla cream, yeast and a sprinkle of spices, make a very pleasant Witbier nose. Having High expectations for a beer that claims to be a winter, I hesitantly and slowly turn one thumb toward the upward direction.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma with a yeasty doughy honey flavor with suggestions of orange coriander, wheat & vanilla. The lemon zest is toned down completely and the Vanilla ice-cream is inserted, uniquely, in the flavor attributes of this beer compared to typical Wits. While trying to find something seasonal about this beer I thought I noticed a bit of a peppermint flavor in the aftertaste. Was that a self projection or is it really there? No the burp had a hint of candy cane as well so I now forgive them for naming a Witbier as a Winter Ale. =) Very nice.

Mouthfeel: This beer has the smooth malty body of a Hefe over the typical spritsy body of a Whit.

Drinkability: This is a different beer and one worth checking out. It is the Wrong season to ask me if it is drinkable because I am cold and at the moment I am going to switch to something with a higher octane. Still, I think it would be great on a hot winter day further South or if you are a bigger Wit fan than I.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,889 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's beers are available in my area for the first time so I scooped up a whole bunch of them on the reputation of the brewery and are hoping at least a few live up to the hype. Pours an attractive golden cloudy color with a decent, wet head and fairly strong citrus flavors matching the wheat in the nose. Cloudiness in the body is supremely and appropriately, opaque.

Flavors include bubblegum, banana bread, and a surprisingly robust hop flavor. Mouthfeel is near perfect with delicate and full bodied sensations both in the same sip. This is a very good, authentic tasting witbier that is welcome at my home any time of year, winter or summer. (652 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at fridge temperature.

L – Hazy pale gold color with a 1-finger bubbly white head. Decent retention and some patchy lacing. I’ve had this one before and the head characteristics were much better. I must’ve poured it too cold.

S – Grainy wheat, coriander, orange zest, and a healthy dose of banana and clove aromas. I’m actually a bit surprised by the latter aromas as this is a witbier and not a hefeweizen but I’m not complaining.

T – Sweet grainy wheat and banana, progressing to slightly tart orange zest, and finishing with spicy clove and coriander yeast notes. Really tasty.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a creamy but crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, and a slightly sweet and spicy finish.

O – This is another tasty and drinkable beer from Bell’s. I like all these refreshing wheat beers serving as winter seasonals. There are plenty of big and hearty beers out there during the cold months. These are a nice change of pace and make me think of warmer weather – never a bad thing. (1,067 characters)

Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very cloudy, pale straw color minimal head that fell quickly. Nothing left on top of the beer and no lacing. Lots of sediment left in the bottle.

S- sweet aroma of corriander and slight citrus.

T-Lots of spice flavors. Lots of corriander and heavy wheat flavors. Has a creamyness to the taste as well.

M-Feels creamy yet is fairly light bodied. decent carbonation

O: I am a white ale fan and I was really suprised by this one. Had a great creamy spiciness to it. Well balanced. (492 characters)

Photo of Chiefy770
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fluid ounce bottle into a Weizen Glass. Bottled on 11/08/13.

Apperance: Hazy golden body. The sediment makes this one cloudy. A little light gets through but that's about it. A snowy head erupts, lingers, collapses, and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing.

Smell: Wheat and grains up front. Spices, particularly clove and coriander are also present. Minor backdrop of orange.

Taste: Sweet citrus from a mild kick of hops. The heavy wheat pushes through and produces a sweet and bready taste. Yeasty notes develop in the finish. The spices are well pronounced in the finish as well… leaves a somewhat banana-like taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Rather low carbonation which works well for the beer. Smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: I could get nit-picky about this beer and point out everything it lacks compared to the powerhouse Witbiers but that would not be fair. This is a solid Witbier with a lot to enjoy. Cheers! (948 characters)

Photo of jopl
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass and enjoyed alongside a garlic olive oil pasta.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a finger of white head that leaves a bit of splotchy lacing.

Smell: Strong fruity (mostly banana) smell alongside wheat & hops.

Taste: Initial fruity taste that turns into a yeasty wheat finish. Very sweet and goes especially well with the pasta.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, bubbly beer that is easy drinking and finishes well.

Drinkability: This is a pretty easy drinking beer. It doesn't have a high alcohol content so I could probably drink a couple of these. The sweet taste can be a bit of a turn off though. (656 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellowish-orange with no head to write about.

Huge wafts of citrus and corriander in the nose.

The taste is sharp and has plenty of citrus to go along with the spicy notes. The mouthfeel is bigger than I anticipated.

Plenty of citrus and spice left on the tongue and loads of refreshment.

I look forward to this winter seasonal every winter because it is a change to the status quo. (401 characters)

Photo of cdizinno
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle as pictured.

A: Cloudy, golden-yellow color with a thin white film and minimal lacing.

S: Typical grainy, wheat smells with a mild malty sweetness. Lemony, lemony and some spiciness.

T&M: Smooth citrus. Lemon-orange with mild malt sweetness that fades to a slightly bitter tanginess on the finish. Light bodied.

Decent Witbier. Nice and drinkable. Typical great quality from Bell's. Worth trying, especially if you enjoy the style. (494 characters)

Photo of Jaynuze
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful cloudy/oily orange with a thick white head that leaves a beautiful Belgian lace behind.

The nose was a bit weak, but then again it is a Belgian White, so not much of a nose was expected. All the usual suspects were there, banana, bubblegum, banana nut bread, etc.

This beer tastes great! A wonderful tip of the hat to the Belgians. Not much of a winter style (spices), then again the corriander does lend a nice zip to the beer!

Carbonation is really nice with this one ... the MF is very thick and bready, yet light. Finishes really smoothly.

Very easy to drink. Thank goodness I only had one from a friend ... otherwise I could have easily plowed through a twelver on my own. It's that tasty. Thank you Mr. Larry Bell! (750 characters)

Photo of Sallerj
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer will satisfy seasoned beer snobs and newbies alike. The smell is my favorite part, with an almost-aggressive phenol funkiness, with sweet grassy floral notes. After that, it's solid but unremarkable. It has all the right flavors in all the right places, and a little lingering orangy citrus at the end. It's ever-so-slightly thin in a way that makes me unsure whether to knock a half point off of taste or off of mouthfeel. (433 characters)

Photo of Mikefriedman90
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light yellow pour without much head. Tastes very similar to blue moon or shock top. Easy to drink, pretty good seasonal. Not strong at 5% and not a particularly mind blowing beer but solid overall. (197 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw yellow and cloudy with almost no head despite a rigorous pour. Thin lacing.

Yeast dominates, but still detectable are banana, lemons, oranges, light fruits, and spicey cloves and coriander. The aroma is actually quite nice.

Tastes very flavorful! Nicely yeasty with citrus fruits, banana, clove, coriander and spices. A fine tasting brew that I'm quite happy I bought even after one sip.

Drinks smooth, moderately sweet and rich and thick going down. A touch of carbonation tang that really accents the feel and flavors nicely. Aftertaste is a bit banana and only slightly bitter, but sits quite nicely.

Easy to drink and definitely a future repeat purchase. A nice witbier. (686 characters)

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most winter ale's are full of dark malt and sweet caramel and I really enjoy them. This is Bell's take made with wheat. It's a dark hazy yellow color with a decent cap of foam.

The nose is bready, yeasty and laden with earthy hops. This is a full bodied brew with cracker and yeasty bread-like malt. The wheat nicely contributes to the winter appropriate body of this brew. The beer slithers along the palate leading to a touch of spice at the end.

I really enjoyed this brew and bell's different take on a winter ale. (520 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a hazy shade of gold. thin fizzy head dies quickly. minimal lacing present. spicy aroma, some pepper and clove, wheat and yeast. nice tangy flavours...orange and tangerine...some spice...and underlying malt sweetness which lifts the whole beer up and even gives it some gumption. the body is fullish and the mouthfeel is slippery; bordering on syrupy. drinkability rates high just because this tastes good and makes for a great thirst quencher. a nice changeup from the usual winter offerings. (503 characters)

Photo of jeffmart22
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy nearly opaque yellow with a one finger head that dissipates to just a thin film. Very little lacing on the glass.

A - Strong citrus zest and a peppery spice aroma. Nice farmhouse type of funk from the yeast. Nice smelling Witbier.

T - Very easy to drink. Starts a little sour with some citrus flavor that leads into a slightly sweet mandarin orange flavor. Very refreshing.

M - Light in body, Flavor duration is short to moderate.

O - Nice and refreshing Witbier. Would be great in the hot summer weather. (528 characters)

Photo of letsgopens
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My third witbier this week. This guy pours a cloudy yellow gold with a very light head that recedes quickly and leaves virtually no lace.

The aroma is thick and of yeasty wheat. Some banana and a decent level of maltiness.

Flavor wise there is a strong sense of briney grain-wheat with some more banana and a finishing spice. There is a hint of spice in the mostly floral finish.

Smooth with some texture. A starchy thickness. A bit of tight carbonation throughout. A bit disappointing due to the fact that I absolutely love virtually every other beer Bell's makes. (576 characters)

Photo of ken3c
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice big head but it tapers down to virtually nothing. Hazy gold.

Spicy, orange, bread aromas. Very pleasant.

First taste is a little harsh but further sips are nice and spicy with a rather abrupt finish.

Very carbonated, almost too much. It affects the taste. Light to medium body.

Quite refreshing and tasty. I'll have plenty more.

A little darker, spicier, hopier, and bubblier than most Wits. (411 characters)

Photo of CreamAleDrinker
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A delicious hefeweizen crossed with belgian yeast, I typically do not like american hefeweizens (perhaps I haven't tried enough) but this one was a pleasant surprise with the scent of clove and banana nut bread, starts off sweet in the mouth with a hint of mild bitterness after swallowing, delicious. What a great twist to use belgian yeast yet not over doing the flavor keeping the delicate balance and mouth-feel that a good hefeweizen should have... (453 characters)

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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. (266 characters)

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.