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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: 1,995
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 274 | 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
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Reviews: 687 | Hads: 1,995
Photo of eaglesont
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

love the two hearted ale so was excited to give this a go.....

popping the top pours a light straw, nicely carbonated glass. Cloudy in appearance true to form. Smells are subtle almost non existent. But i also got top close on my first whiff and snorted some foam up my left nostril. so disregard my aroma notes.

The taste is ok. Nothing really sets it apart. Get a little bit of spice and clove but it doesn't seem balanced. Nothing off putting by any means, I guess i like a little more citrus/orange over mostly spice. Mouthful is perfect for the style. Overall a decent beer.

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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 utopiajane
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours milky yellow with a slight orang haze. Creamy white head that lasts well enough. Scent is breaddy NO tartness. No real contrast to the wheat except for a grassy hop and it's slight bitterness. Wheat really becomes fragrant as the benbeer warms. NO tartness, NO fruit zest. It's earthy. Finishes a bit sweet and again NOT tart. Refreshing carbonation NO acidity. It's not overly dry or overlty thin nor is it thick or heavy so the mouthfeel is good but it's NOT effervescent. soft clove. It's like a naked hefeweizen. No lactic fermentation I think.

Drinks crisp dry and with a moderate bitterness. A touch bubbly. The earthiness and the soft clove are just not enough to carry the beer. The wheat is fragrant and breaddy but sweet. No lactic sourness on the palate either. The hops give a light pepper at the last minute but finishes malty and sweet. It's like a bland cracker. It is missing something. The few witbiers I have had were steamya dn sweaty with a tartness and some kind of lactic character, spciy with the additions of fruit peel and spice. There were a few lazy bubbles after the initial flourish so NOT effervescent. Sweet finish , just crisp. I had three.

Overall impression - sweet wheat, grassy, juicy with a pleasant breaddy bitter finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Packaged 10/3/15.

Pours a murky golden-yellow with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of wheat, spice, yeast, and slight banana aromas. Taste is much the same with wheat, spice, yeast, fruit, and slight metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of yeast and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured this into a lager mug glass, or an ale mug glass considering who cares what the glass is called, it's a beer glass.
Pours a light golden color with little to no foam head. Unfiltered beer so lots of stuff floating around in it if you hold it to the light.
Smell fruity and malty.
Tastes slight bitter and malty, not quite an IPA taste but getting there.
Drinks smooth, light carbonation.
Overall it's alright, like most Bell's I've had it has that IPA bitter taste but in this one it isn't too much.

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Photo of jimdalton
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy golden pale that pours a one finger head. Very short retention and very little lacing.
Smell: Typical wheat base with some heavy clove notes and subtle orange.
Taste: Taste follows smell. A nice wheat base followed by orange, banana, and especially clove notes.
Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with effervescent carbonation.
Overall: Nice Witbier that pairs well with the winter season. Not only is there a nice wheat base, but there are some nice citrus and spice flavors as well. Not typically my thing, but very well done.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look- Pours a cloudy dark straw and slightly orange color. Decent finger nail length head dissipates into a thin patchy and slow bubbling lace.
Smell- At first I get a funky barnyard aroma; hay, wheat and grassy. As the drink warms, I detect some orange peel.
Taste- Clean and simple. Some orange zest and sweetness and lots of peppery spice, especially in the finish.
Feel- Light bodied. Extremely drinkable. The carbonation is stinging and mellows out with time.
A solid Witbier from one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy pale yellow, plenty of carbonation even after some time, white thin head that reduces to uninviting petri-dish circles. Smell is heavy with spice like cardamom, clove, body odor, as well as lemon, banana, orange peel. Yeast and funk add to the flavor, all in a good way, and the rest of the fruit and spices assemble themselves in well balanced order. Super tasty, balanced, and complex. Body is well carbonated and easily drinkable, if a bit coarse.
Really drinkable, well balanced, characterful beer. Despite its shelf-status, this is a wonderful, worthy of ponder beer, especially curious because of its style paired with its season. Something keeps drawing me back. Yum.

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Photo of MACrist
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

LOOKS: Like a big glass of pulpy grapefruit juice. Nice creamy off-white head. Fair lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Sweet, yeasty, banana, strong cloves.
TASTE: Just like aroma, heavy on cloves. Sweetness/bitterness nicely balanced.
MOUTHFEEL: Dry, medium body.
OVERALL: A lot like the SN Kellerweis Hefeweizen but more clove flavor. Very dry. Pleasant beer.

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Photo of RyanPoff
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy "sunshine gold"with a bubbly white, quickly dissipating head. Little retention.

S: Clove, grains, lemon, orange peel, a strong zesty fruit aroma. A classic light wheat smell.

T: The spices and wheat predominate. It's fresh, fizzy, fun. An easy drinker.

M: Bubbly, light.

It hits the marks for a light witbier, but why is this a winter release? It's the perfect drink in the yard after mowing beer.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce can poured into a pint glass

A: Pours dark honey orange with a bright white head, minimal head retention, lots of lacing, very cloudy and hazy, looks a little thin.

A: Basic Belgian yeast characteristic, slight spice, banana, wheat, cloves, smell pretty solid for a 5% ABV beer.

T: Like the nose, Belgian yeast, cloves, spice, banana, grassy wheat flavor, finishes dry with a banana/clove after taste.

M: It's a little flat, dry finish, thin.

O: This is a pretty good witbier, balanced, I did not get much spice, it leans more on the fruity side, picked up a four-pack of 16 ounce cans, will definitely enjoy the other three I have left.

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Photo of rickenclacker
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The strongest hint here is the clove...way too much. Others have reviewed saying banana, or bubble gum taste....not too off the mark with that comment.
i live in Kalamazoo and am a Bells fanatic...as are alot of others I know.
Oberon, Two Hearted, etc...they all love these...but the Winter Lager, I have not seen one person drink this.
(other than me)
This one needs a little adjustment.

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Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, extremely light golden blonde, moderate carbonation.
S-Wheat aroma is apparent and a bit fruitiness in the yeast and I cannot detect any hop aroma.
T-The bready goodness of wheat comes to the forefront and the orange citrus character is also a good portion of the taste profile. A very solid wheat beer with character.
M-Bread, biscuit type flavor notes; mellow pleasant.
O-Interesting to think of this is a winter ale, when it's perfectly suited to be a summer beer as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the wheat malt character that's balanced with citrus lemon notes found in the yeast.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This uncharacteristically hop-forward witbier has a cloudy gold body that produces spare head and lacing; significant yeast sediment is present, as expected. There is a light banana/clove spice and floral hints on the nose and on the palate, where they are joined by alcohol notes and a nice wheat flavor that takes a backseat to a hoppy bitterness. This bitterness dominates the finish, lingering more than expected for a witbier, and providing a nice accompaniment to the lively carbonation.

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Photo of Cmitch9
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Disclaimer - this is not a style I typically enjoy, so take my criticism with a grain of salt.

Cloudy appearance, white/gold complexion. Smells are fruity, with some clove, cinnamon and what I am told is coriander, and slight malty fragrance. Tastes like a belgian that tries a little too hard to be a belgian Flavors a bit muddled, hard to determine what I am tasting.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wot?!? I have NEVER reviewed Bell's Winter White Ale in ANY serving style?!? How is this possible? I know that I drank it at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse once upon a time when I was still doing field reviews with a notebook, so this seems strange. It does not matter now, since I have a CAN from The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop cooling and ready to go. Viva The CANQuest (tm)!

From the CAN: "A seasonally nuanced wheat ale that's a refreshing and flavorful alternative to the to the traditional winter warmers. Embrace winter."; "Unpasteurized [-] Unfiltered [-] Best Kept Refrigerated".

The Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN and I was so elated that I decided to throw caution to the wind and CANduct an inverted Glug of a pounder CAN. Kids, do NOT try this at home! It began slowly, but suddenly let loose in an unexpected Glug that filled half of the glass instantly. Whoa! I backed off and allowed it to puff up with two foamy, soapy fingers of bone-white head that fell just as quickly as they appeared. Color was a hazy (not really cloudy, despite numerous agitations) Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5), but due to its lack of clarity, the Golden Triumvirate of Mammon, Croesus and Midas declined. Nose was spicy, perfume-y and somehow reminiscent of a scented CANdle. I was getting Grains of Paradise, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger. Wow! Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The flavor was redolent with spices, but it was hard to separate them like I could on the nose. I would go with coriander, cinnamon and black pepper if you really pressed me, but I would fold like a house of cards if you challenged me on it. Finish was dry and how could it be otherwise with all of that inherent spiciness? It is not really my style of choice, but it was not unpleasant, either.

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Photo of sisterofba
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bought in April on clearance, so wasn't expecting much (but I have to rate what I tasted). Decent, per previous reviews, but probably better when fresh, obviously.

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Photo of ARoman
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

*transferred from old notes - 12/29/2013*
12 oz bottle poured into a shaker. The initial aroma comes on strong citrus - lemon primarily - with some clove notes, and some faint hoppy/earthy notes. It appears hazy, straw yellow with a thin white head that fades quickly. It reduces down to a couple splotches floating atop the beer. It’s mostly sweet, light bitter, and a touch of sour, very lemony with some orange notes and bready. It’s a light, fizzy body, it finishes with some nutmeg/hop spiciness - very clean finish.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a tulip glass. Cloudy, light orange with copious white head and fair amount of lacing. Smells like a solid hefeweizen, yeasty, fruit esters – pineapple, bubble gum, banana. Tastes like a pretty solid wheat beer, a lot of citrus (lemon, orange). Absent are the spicy notes, nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is light, a little soapy and very smooth and easily quaffable. This beer is a solid beer for spring and summer BBQ, the low ABV argues against the ‘winter’ aspect of it (it’s such an enjoyable beer, it could be imbibed year round). Hands down the best US wheat beer I’ve had – love the can for convenience and portability.

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Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow color with a brief head in the Affligem chalice. The best feature is the creamy, sudsy mouthfeel that would do a German brewery proud. Faintly aromatic with a flowery, citrus nose.

Mellow and biscuity. Lightly fruity with a lemon curd note. A litle sweetness. Some yeasty taste and bitterness in the aftertaste.

Surprisingly drinkable. The whole concept is a surprise, but it's a pleasant wheaty brew. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can. Light golden and nearly clear body - suprising for a wit. Half inch of soapy white head. Aromas of wheat, apples, oranges, grass, cracked pepper. Moderate spice / pepper character with tangy oranges. Light to medium in body with a subtle fruity sweetness. Mild coriander in the nose and flavor. Easy drinking. Pretty good.

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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 ordybill
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a yeast and fruit aroma with maybe some coriander.
Appearance- Pours a straw color with a small white head.
Taste- Has a yeast and coriander flavor, pretty good.
Palate- A light bodied beer with medium carbonation. Has a nice clean crisp finish.
Overall- Not a bad beer at all. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Gmann
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden straw color with a short wispy white head that quickly settled into nothingness. Looks like a macro.

The aroma is quite yeasty. Big banana and clove, perhaps a hint of coriander. A bit of tart green apple. The aroma reminds me more of a hefeweizen than a witbier.

The taste is of ripe banana, bubble gum and clove. Definite hefeweizen flavors. Very subtle tart apple.

The feel is light and fizzy carbonation. The beer drinks very crisp and clean. A bit thin.

Not sure what type of style this beer is going for. The beer doesn't have a strong coriander presence so it doesn't remind me of a witbier. The flavors are much more of a hefeweizen. The beer doesn't have the softness of most hefeweizens. I would say the beer is an American wheat ale that uses a bavarian yeast strain.

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Photo of derekgw123
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Wasn't paying attention when I bought a six pack and thought it was more of a winter warmer. With that aside, the beer was just not tasty. Bland and thin.

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