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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.

687 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 687
Hads: 2,001
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 277 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Winter White Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 687 | Hads: 2,001
Photo of mynie
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pretty gold with a decent head, but not hazy at all for a wit.

Smells like quite the wit, though, with big huge spicy wheatmalt letting through nodes of white pepper and cloves.

Tastes like wonderfully overpowering wheatspice. Big cloves, all spice, ginger, corriander, and white pepper against a sugary background.

Hell yeah. I always like spicy wheat beers more on cold days than on hot ones. This is a great idea and a wonderfully brewed beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a meringue of a head that leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Perfume of banana, bubblegum, anise and a dash of lemon pepper

Taste: Starts out with a banana bread flavor, that adds the lemon and anise flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the lemon fruit flavors build and there is a final dash of pepper in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderately high carbonation

Drinkability: Not a classic wit as I understand it is brewed without spices, this is nevertheless a tasty wheat beer that has elements of a wit and a hefe; nice job

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Photo of dfried
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pale straw in color, thin and fine head. The aroma is a good mix of wheat, citrus zest, and spices, solid all around. The flavor of this beer is not that much different than most American Wits, but there is something aobut it that I like a lot, I think the zesty and spicy flavors are balanced a bit more in this one by a more full wheat malt body. It's not a super heavy body by any means, the other flavors get plenty of attention.

Verdict: easily overlooked gem by Bell's. You think winter, you think dark usually, but I have spent a couple evenings at bonfires while snow was falling drinking this beer. They seemed to disappear too fast.

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Photo of Chaz
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a classic Wit: opaque, pale golden and whitish in color, and with plenty of suspended yeast. Slight pale tan-head and lacing. Nose is right on style, mildly spicy, but rather perfumey, with yeast, clove, and bubblegum qualities, all of which make a great impact on the first sip. Mouthfeel is light and creamy, almost effortless to drink, and with very low apparent alcohol. Juicy and malty (yet light), and very flavorful, this reminds me very favorably of the Saint Bernardus Wit. Wonderful stuff, and a totally unexpected approach to a Winter seasonal. The first time I was served this it was accidentally, during a rush at a local bar. I asked for a Summit Winter and I got a Bell's Winter. I drank it without knowing what it was, partly figuring that (it being a game day) I wouldn't get another beer before long. This particular bar serves a lot of draught Blue Moon, so I mistook it for that right away, but then realized how much *better* it was than the Blue Moon I've had umpteen times in the past! For five seconds I was thinking of re-appraising my view of Blue Moon! Fine job Larry Bell . . . this would be great in 12 packs in summer . . . hey, a guy can dream right?

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Photo of msjacilynn
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from old notes: 12/31/08

A: hazy pale yellow with little white head.

S: spicy nose with a hint of wheat.

T: variety of spice with a hint of cider/orange/banana fruity-ness.

M: thin and well carbonated.

D: I know this beer is not for everyone but it is one of my favorite wheats, especially around the holidays!

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Photo of brandongoblue24
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Poured a hazy yellow with a finger's worth of head, which dissipated after a minute or so.

Aroma is light, grainy malts, with enough orange/citrus and earthy hops to balance. Maybe some cloves, although they're very slight. The flavor is the best part - well balanced between those same grainy malts, with a crisp hop kick at the finish - no bitterness, but the flavor is definitely there. Very well done. The feel was crisp and a little dry, left a "clean" feeling after the swallow. The carbonation was a little prickly, however.

Overall, a well balanced beer - the high smell and taste marks reflect that. However, I took off some "overall" points because it isn't really a "winter" beer. I appreciate Bells effort to make a winter beer that's not a big, heavy stout, but this seems almost TOO crisp and refreshing - it's not the kind of beer I'd drink on a cold winter night, but one that I'd happily sip on at the beach.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, batch 7760 (bottled on 12/13/06). It pours an opaque yellowed orange with two fingers of white head that leaves decent lacing. The aroma is lightly tart with a good wheat presence, straw, and hints of orange, with mostly just wheat on the palate, yet still tastes quite nice. The body is a bit creamy and fairly full for a wheat beer, with medium carbonation and finish. Overall a well-structured wheat beer that is quite drinkable, as it was gone before I even knew it.

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Photo of JayQue
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was really surprising. With a little more carbonation and a bigger, longer lasting head, it would be great.

Poured into a Bud Select Pilsner glass from Busch Gardens. Nice golden/straw hazy color. Small fizzy white head that could have lasted a bit longer.

Good solid smell, wheat and citrus. Very robust taste. Has everything, wheat bitterness, citrus, cloves, banana. Very surprising strong taste for a 4.5% abv beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, not watery and some carbonation to tickle the tongue (where was the head??).

Drinkability is good. I could swill this stuff all night.

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Photo of putnam
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow with a slick of white on top. The aromatics are complex and feature notes of lemon, cracker, spicebox, sour herbs, butter and sugar glaze. On the palate it features comfortable raw nutty flavors intermixed with tart herbal and citric essences. Creamy mousse and cold, stony mineral flavors conspire to leave soft, cottony dry impressions on the finish. There is a fairly hard, bitter close that detracts from the considerable merit of the forward elements.

This is one of the best lower-ABV beers from this brewery I've had in years.

And it is Orwellian insanity to market this as a winter seasonal.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Extra cloudy yellow with one-finger, white head that lasted less than a minute. Not much lacing.

S: Citrus, wheat, and yeast. Belgian.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Wheat, very grainy flavor. Belgian yeast is in there too, sort of spicy. Good.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly warm.

O: The head was disappointing, but the nose and taste are solid. Nice alternative to other winter offerings.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Winter White displays the typical appearance of a Belgian wit with a hazy golden-orange body through which very fine bubbles can be seen steadily rising. Its thinly-creamy head of bright white holds fairly well but leaves only spotty lace about the glass. The nose is also quite standard with notes of coriander over a wheatish malt base. In the mouth it's light/medium bodied and the carbonation lends a mild caress to the tongue. It has a lower carbonation level, and less effervescence than many of the better known examples from Belgium. The flavor delivers a delicate blend of semi-sweet wheatish malt; a delicate tartness and some fruitiness from the yeast; and a flick of spiciness and some flavor from the coriander. The low-key bitterness is propperly coralled, and it's immaculately balanced. It finishes with a touch of tartness on the front of the tongue and delicately spicy coriander at the back of the mouth. It lingers shortly and then fades, never building on the palate and lending greatly to its drinkability.

This one's a real winner; and if you think about it, it's not such an odd choice for a winter beer from a brewery that makes more than a half a dozen stouts year-round.

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Photo of Shibbykaiyai
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All around well crafted ale.

I had the Bell's Winter White at a local bar on tap via a pitcher (not my choice). It pours nice and orangish with a some cloudiness to it.

Taste was quite good. I liked it off the bat and after a couple more tastes, grew to like it more. I have since purchased it in bottle and enjoyed it at home as well.

On tap or in bottle (tap better of course), I recommend this seasonal ale while you can get it.

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Photo of Ericmichaeljordan
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

I find it hard to enjoy winter seasonal beer typically. On the other hand, Bells Winter White Ale is a wonderful exception. Tried in a tall boy pint, it has a very refreshing taste (I imagine even more robust from a tap). Although I didn't see color, aroma is slighty citrus, and that is the definition of the finish. The Belgian yeast makes this an incredibly enjoyable beer! I found a winter seasonal that I would definitely order again (hopefully on tap....).

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pale and wheat malt scent along with a fruity yeast aroma. It's refreshingly crisp with a nice citrus element. The taste is great. It has a very smooth wheat malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a citrus edge. The yeast provides excellent character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good wit. It's light and refreshing; a nice twist on a winter seasonal.

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Photo of silenius
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the Bell's General Store after TheLoneGunman's tour of the brewery. Thanks Dave!

Batch 6711.

Pours a murky yellow-orange with a light head that falls to a light skim. I made sure to add the yeast to this brew when drinking it. I like it that way.

Smell is wonderful! Yeasty bubblegum banana with a nice solidy bready-ness. Just excellent! Perhaps a light clove in the background with other spices? Or is that the yeast. I'm told by a very good source (one of the brewers) that this beer has no coriander in it at all despite all the reviews with that description! Good job on the smell!

Taste is a nice round soft doughy bready-ness with some light spices. Quite good.

Mouthfeel has a good smooth roundness.

Package this baby for summer and slap a special "Summer Sun Wheat" label on it and people will eat it up. Much better than Oberon.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on Oberon day, 2012. Bottled at the end of 2011.
This poured a hazy golden-straw color. Thin, tight foam, almost champagne-like bubbling, along with a champagne-like effervescence on the palate.

It has a bouquet of estery aromas. I get some yeasty floral clove and banana and a touch of bubblegum even? It’s floral, floral, floral.

Flavor is more of the same. The clove and coriander spices dominate, but lightly so. Finishes well, with that aforementioned effervescence keeping it light.

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the style but this is a good one. Sure, I’ll have another.

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Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To me this has more Hefe characteristics than Whit characteristics but there are some of both...Pours a cloudy yellow....nice nose of swet bananas..also some ginger evident..is not as charged up as expected...more creamy... medium body..thicker than the typical hefe or whit...nice tasting brew...bananas..some bready characteristics....vanilla...some ginger on the long finish..has some spicy notes as well.

Seems to be a hybrid of some sort...very enjoyable though..not a BIG winter brew but worth a six-pack of enjoyment....no off flavors...

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Photo of dmfrench
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A crisp, lemony, refreshing S̶u̶m̶m̶e̶r̶ Winter Witbier


A: Like it came from a person with a UTI :) Extremely cloudy light urine yellow body with a two finger nearly pure white fairly persistent head that laces the glass adequately.

S: Buttery bread malt on bottom with spice, banana, lemon, clove, and piney/citrus hops... an almost Belgian nose. Not the best Wit nose, but interesting.

T: Lemon is the most obvious flavor, and the other spicy notes from the nose lurk underneath. Sweet/buttery/wheaty malt is way down there, but it's there... the beer does have foundation. Finish is on citrus hops. Nothing about this beer says 'Winter' to me. I'd drink this one while grilling out or after mowing the lawn. If you've ever had Upland Wheat, this is like a more well rounded version of it.

M: Heavy carbonation adds to the refreshing experience, and the weight is perfect for the style... heavy enough not to fly away, but light enough to drink.

D: Through the roof.

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Photo of scootny
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A bottle poured into an IPA glass. Cloudy pale yellow with a clean white head that is decent and leaves some streaks and spots of lace all along the glass. A slow fade leaves a mild covering. Nose is excellent with a healthy sourness and wheat malt twang that shows amazing spiciness considering that this is not spiced. I'm blown away by the amount of clove, light coriander, bubblegum, pepper, and faint banana and light fruit esters all from just the grains, hops, (what there is) and yeast. Taste showcases classic wit tartness and lemony citrus notes. Mild cloves and cinnamon flow to a tight, light bitterness that releases bubblegum and soap, leaving a surprising dark graininess that lingers with mild almost graham like cracker flavors. Cinnamon and cloves hang in the background. Feel is velvety smooth and light with a mild creaminess. Superb drinkability and all around deliciousness, a great wit and right up there in my top five. As a winter ale the light and drinkable nature may seem a bit of a contradiction, the flavor and satisfaction in the drinking make for an enjoyable winter brew that would also do well in the warmer months.

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Photo of sleazo
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a cloudy pale orange-yellow with not much head to speak of nor lace.

S_Very nice aroma here. Orange, coriander and belgian yeasty esters jump out at you.

T_Lighter on the pallate than the nose would have you think. Initial orange sweetness is followed by a mild spiciness where coriander dominates. The finish is fairly dry for the upfront sweetness and gives a vague hop presence. As it warms you get some banana clove phenols as well.

M-Light body, medium carbonation.

D_I am fairly impressed with this one. It is well balanced with the spices and fruit. Surprisingly good for an US witbier, though I have come to expect as much from Bell's. I also like how they buck the trend and release a 4.5%witbier as their winter seasonal.

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Pour with a small amount of white lacing that disappated rather quickly. A small amount of carbonation continually bubbled to the surface. Displayed a bit of cloudyness through the glass, but no left over yeast.

Lemon citrusy smell. Common to most belgians. Yellowy gold in color.

Very lemony taste typical wheat beer taste. 5.0% abv. Very refreshing. Slightly sweet. I'd reach for another, but then again I am a huge wheat beer fan. On par with other German Weiss beers. Great on the palate evervescent.

Very similiar to Trade Joe's wheat beer, almost ashamed to admit that I'd like something like that but if you look at this beer and that beers ratings they are almost identical.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man bells is pretty awesome. I had their variety pack and didn't hate any of them so when I found an old winter ale I mixed and matched it in my sixer!

A - Hazy golden in color with a decent head. Hefeweizen?
S - Some banana, clove, and citrus sort of like a... Hefeweizen?
T - Sight bitters and citrus with a mild banana taste. decent
M - Light in fact too light for a winter ale.
D - I am not too sure. I like the porter or brown ale better but this one makes my bells top three (of five)

Overall I seem to wonder like everyone else why this is a winter ale? It's not a big beer or doesn't have any decent spice tones to it that makes it seasonal. I am so confused...

BTW it's 5 percent by volume not 4.5 someone should really keep track of the ABV...

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Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow, cloudy beer with a one finger head that falls slowly to a thin band. Lacing is attractive, creamy, but not sticky. Nose on the milder side and has typical Wit spices like coriander and clove at the fore; lightly citrusy, with very faint bitter hops underneath.

The taste is a little more balanced between the elements, resulting in a delicious beer not dominated by the spices but blending well with lemony citrus and restrained grassy, bitter hops.

Good carbonation, body on the light side, with a soft mouthfeel and clean finish. Very nice example of the style, a little hoppier than usual. I preferred this to the more widely known Allagash White.

Edit: I've read that this beer is brewed without the addition of any spices. Not sure if that's true but if it is it's a testament to the artfulness of the brewer; there's a yeasty complexity that really imparts the clove and coriander seed flavor. Nice alternative to the more heavy handed spiced wits on the market.

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Photo of bamadog
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review is from notes taken on 11/19/09. Poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden straw color; body is cloudy and shows some sediment and fairly slow bubbling carbonation; starts with a one finger white head that fades to a very thin and light scum in the center of the surface; no lacing is present.

Smell: Sweet and tart fruitiness (grape and pear) and a nice spiciness (corinader), a bit perfumey. Nice overall, and fairly potent.

Taste: Very nice, but I really don't feel that this screams "winter" to me... Much like the smell, the sweet and tart fruit falvors blend quite well with the coriander spiciness; a bit musty in the aftertaste, nice and smooth yeast presence as well.

Mouthfeel: Body is light, juicy and my mouth is left watering a bit; carbonation is strong and prickly; belly is left warm, which is kind of odd since the ABV is only 5%.

Drinkability: Nice and robust flavors; body is fairly light and doesn't sit heavily at all; the ABV is more than manageable. Nothing wrong here, and I could easily sit through several of these - a potential sessionable beer.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.