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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
Reviews: 687 | Hads: 1,995
Photo of KajII
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass]

The pour was a hazy yellow with and orange/brown hue and a large (2-3 finger) white fizzy head that quickly diminished, down to a thin puddled film with a medium collar and had fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a light grain malt and a funky Belgian yeast with notes of citrus (orange) and coriander.

The taste was lightly sweet and very yeasty with a bold citrus presence throughout, with the finish having a slightly bitter citrus peel bite along with a hint of spice towards the end. The flavor lasted an average duration proceeding the swallow, with a light spicy bitterness left behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a mildly soft carbonation.

Overall this was a pretty tasty Witbier that had a lot of citrus flavor, which worked very well with the funky spicy yeast taste...


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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a completely clear bright golden color. no head to speak of.

S - nicely spiced with notes of cardamom and citrus with some bready undertones.

T - some bready malt character up front, bright citrus and spice character in the center which lingers on past the finish.

M - light bodied slightly watery, medium to high carbonation.

O - decent white ale. nothing is wrong with it except the lack of visible yeast but it is nothing that exciting.

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Photo of WwRGSwW
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: bright yellow color with a thick white foam head that quickly dissipates. little to no lacing.

S: Malt hits you first, followed by banana and a slight hint of nuts

T: A combination of banana and nuts. the after taste is nutty, but not offending.

M: Very light and crisp.

D: Very easy to drink. Mine was gone before I knew it. Nothing to really rave about, but good none the less.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I expected a great deal from this beer, and it was...OK. If you love clove, you might think it's better than OK.

Appearance is a greasy-looking clear yellow color with a fairly minimal head. Aroma is non-descript spice at first, but subsequent whiffs revealed a more solitary aroma of clove. Taste was 100% cloviness, and quite strong. Not bad, as long as you like clove. Mouthfeel is not bad, but unremarkable. This beer is fairly drinkable.

All-in-all, I guess I'd recommend it, but not my favorite wit.

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Photo of CReilly
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Bell's Winter White Ale:

App: Orangey yellow haze sits quietly under a slight white head which dissipated within the first 30 seconds... a nice effervescence was seen throughout the life of the beer however somehow did not contribute to head

Aroma: Classical wit character of sweet wheat, coriander and a slight citrus nose.. Pleasant overall

Taste: Slight spicey coriander with sweetness derived from a nice wheat backbone, and a mildly hoppy bitterness to round it out

Mouthfeel: Medium light body that was broken up by the more than adequate carbonation. this beer ended with slight bitter sweet mildly hoppy end that almost seemed dry to a small degree

overall the taste was good but the head retention awful... barely any head to begin with.

would give it another try

poured into a small pilsner glass

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a medium, foamy white head with average retention and lacing.

S: Wheat, yeast, some cloves and perhaps banana. Some coriander and citrus aroma is also detectable.

T: Crisp wheat flavor, with some floral hops to provide a slight bite. Coriander, clove, allspice, and orange juice flavors as well. A bit of drying, husky graininess at the finish.

M: Very crisp and fizzy, with a somewhat light body. A vaguely sticky and dry aftertaste. A seltzery feel to this one, with an acidic, carbonated twang.

D: This one tastes pretty decent, but what makes it a winter beer, exactly? The mouthfeel especially seems off - too much like club soda and without the creamy texture you'd expect from a witbier.

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Photo of atsprings
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7760. Never had a witbeir as a winter seasonal before, so this should be interesting. Poured a hazy diluted orange with no head whatsoever. Smell was somewhat more complex than many witbeirs, some spices present. Has some spice present in the taste. Almost like a witbeir impersonating a more heavy, darker winter warmer, just not doing a very good job at it. Definitely not as light as some wits. Mouthfeel is a little heavier than I'm used to in this style, I guess this works since it is a winter beer. Somewhat drinkable, but I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

5.0%abv listed on the label.

It pours a cloudy yellow colour with about an inch of foam. The lacing is ok for the style.

The smell is...funky and yeasty with good notes of banana and anise with a lemon hop aroma bringing up the rear. It smells inviting to me.

The taste is of wheat, bananas, light lemon zest, and a bit of bread. I like the smell more than the taste for some reason. Maybe the overall flavours come off to me as being bland.

On the low side of medium bodied with low levels of carbonation. At this time, the foam is gone and no more lacing.

Drinkability? It drinks ok but following one bottle with another, if I had one, would not be something I'd do.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 10082

Appearance -- Pours a pale yellow with slight haze and one finger of fizzy lily-white head that soon settles to a white ring about the glass.

Smell -- Cracker-like pale malt, tangy wheat, citrus peel and coriander, and banana. Not especially exciting.

Taste -- Pale malt, cream of wheat, banana and bublegum, and a modicum of yeasty earthiness. Lemon peel and coriander lend a gentle, perfumey roundness. Lingering flavors of pale malt and coriander.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with fizzy carbonation. Meh.

Drinkability -- Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't put it in the best of the style or of the brewery; one could certainly have picked worse. Glad I tried it, but I'll likely pass next time around.

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Photo of argock
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Hazy yellow-orange with short white foamy lace and scant lace

S: Coriander, cloves, bananas, and orange citrus

T: A bit flat in light of the encouraging preamble of the aromas. Some yeasts and bready wheat and malt flavros with coriander and orange sprinkled in, but it's missing some punch.. Ethereal, even for a wit.

M: Smooth and medium-bodied, not thin and watery like some wits. Acive lively carbonation.

D: Nothing objectionable but not a home run or even a double. Bell's is a great brewery on the whole, but this isn't one of their best. Solid but under the bar for Bell's.

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Photo of Chaney
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My next door neighbor gave me an entire 6/pk of this stuff as a Christmas present.

A: When I think winter, I don't exactly consider Witbier, but I'll bite anyway: Poured a grainy, murky orange, with a slight head that basically withered away to nothing.

S: Banana and coriander spice beer on the nose, with maybe a hint of freshly filtered H2O. This wasn't too potent, but still was pleasant.

T: What happened here? While this wasn't terrible, it was one of the more bland Wits that I've had in ages. I got a fair bit of fruity, coriandery, spicy slurp on the front end, but there was absolutely no explosive late aftertaste of flavors to make this one worth coming back to.

M: A bit thin and infinitely forgettable, with a bit of slight carbonation which I guess was fine, and not much lacing at all.

O: 6pk = Register checkout: house beer, $1 even. Meh...

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours a very hazy pale straw, bordering on cloudy, with a half-finger white head that settles quickly into a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Little retention and almost no possibility of lacing at all.

Nose is wheaty, lots of zesty lemon, sourdough component towards the back end. Maybe a bit of coriander, but it doesn't dominate by any stretch.

Taste is kind of interesting. Starts off with a combination of tangy wheat and pale malt sweetness, with a big lemony zing and a bitterness towards the finish from the coriander. Yeast is lighter than expected, breadiness from the nose never really shows up in the taste, maybe a bit in the exhale. Yeast takes a backseat in this one, very subtle.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, largely because the yeast never shows up. Thinner body, more coarse carbonation (though still quite light), no creaminess. Eh.

Drinkability, what can you say? It doesn't really do much of what the best wits do, but by the same token, it isn't exactly bad either. Really don't get the idea of this being a winter seasonal.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried during a recent trip to the Brick Store Pub. Suspiciously, there was no batch number listed on the back in the white box allotted for it. I briefly considered signing my name in it.

Appearance: Pours out a near clear, pale yellow body with a smallish, brief, white head.

Smell: Bell's WA doesn't offer a particularly aromatic bouquet, with only mild notes of barley and wheat with some perfunctory citrus and spice thrown into the mix as well. A bit of a wimpy wit, to be honest.

Taste: Sweet tastes of malted barley and lightly tangy wheat lazily bathe the tongue. Mild flavors of citrus peel and coriander. Faint bitterness. Lightly tangy, lightly citrusy finish; there and gone in a flash. It's one of those simple beers with little to really say about it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, for starters, it could benefit from a bit more effervescence in the mouthfeel department, but even still, it's just rather mild and bland and doesn't really deliver in terms of a fine, refreshing witbier or a winter-based anything.

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Photo of kkipple
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I dumped a bunch of yeast outta the bottle into this brew. It's a hazy light yellow, by the way. Big short-lived white head. The yeast may have been a bad choice.

'cause the nose is simply reeking of it. That vitamin B, nearly harsh spicy and almost acidic smell comes quite close to overwhelming everything else. "Everything else" in this case is coriander, spice, malt and citrus. But the yeast... ay ya yi.

Fortunately the flavor holds up alright, it's pretty typical. Wheat and light malt, mild spice, lemon sourness, coriander and pepper. Finishes sour and light, refreshing if you can get past the nose. It's a little bit dry, but there are no obvious flaws. This is decent.

Mouthfeel is middling with a nice carbonation level to keep things interesting. A hint of coriander remains on the tongue well after you drink this. It's dry and I wish it weren't *quite* so. But it's fine.

Bell's Winter White is a pretty good brew if you can get past the absurd yeast in the nose. Not my favorite Wit, but, like most of Bell's brews, it's solid.

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Photo of dougriddle
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wide pilsner glass, this "winter white" displays a lovely dark to lighter golden sunburst color, when in lower light conditions. I poured looking for a more vigorous head, and am a little disappointed with how low the retention is. After a couple of drinks, there is absolutely none to be seen, nor is there any lacing after a couple of drinks.
After a quick sniff, I get a hoppy, citrus blend that is characteristic of most wit beers.
Once this beer hits the mouth, one can notice a fair amount of carbonation. But once the beer is swallowed, it leaves behind a film on the back of the mouth that reminds me of Schlafly's Saison Ale. Unfortunately for me, I do not like this feeling.
As far as taste is concerned, the hop combinations are fairly subtle throughout, but then leaves a strong hop after taste.The spice use is also very subtle. On the whole, this has more of an earthy taste to it, but not a lot of strong flavors. I want something more to jump out at me here. Again, this tastes closer to a Saison style than a wit-hence the "Winter white" moniker I suppose.
Overall, this beer is very nice to look at in the glass, but I need something more from this beer, especially if it is going to be priced at $10.99 for a six pack. You fooled me Bells. I would much rather save $3 and get any Saison six pack.

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Photo of jlindros
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one in a great trade with Noslenwerd. I wanted to help out his cause for 365 beers in 365 days. For those who haven't heard of his quest, try this website:

Anyways, he sent me a bunch of stuff I can't get here, including a slew of Bell's beers, and I decided to review a bunch tonight. This is the next on the list, and helps me to go through a bunch of winter beers that I'm questing to do as well.

A: Has a light airy and fluffy 1/2 finger head that keeps itself well. It's an incredibly hazy, so much so I almost expect the blob to step out of this thing. It also has a murky pale bright yellow color.

N: Nose is loaded with wheat, banana, and spices. It has a lot of reminiscence of a Belgian wit beer. Lots of wheat as a base, then a nice creamy banana flavor, and some spices, perhaps clove, coriander, and hints of yeast. And even some hints of orange peel but very light.

T: Very similar to the nose, but the spices come out a lot more. This is now loaded with clove, coriander, orange peel, and other winter spices, but its not overbearing, just over the top. The some wheat and banana try to come through on the back end. A very light sweet malt flavor.

M: Semi thin, decent carbonation but I would expect more for the style, a little spicy.

F: Comes off pretty dry on the finish, with a big load of banana and more spices. It has a touch of spicy heat, some acidity. The spices seem to linger for a while, with even more orange peel this time. Its not a bad beer, a decent Belgian wit crossed with winter warmer, which is starting to become commonplace. This goes a little heavy on spices but not too much to still enjoy it.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a cloudy straw/gold. Two fingers of white head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a thin, bubbly lacing and ring around the edge. There was a little bit of sedimentation at the bottom, which I coaxed out and poured into the pint.

Smell: Reminds me of summer. Major clove and lemon/orange zest. There are hints of coriander and just a little bit of honey. There is also the customary, and heavenly, yeast aroma.

Taste: Very balanced and smooth, but no flavors jump out or dominate. However, there is a detectable hierarchy of tastes: the yeast, coriander, and clove spice are most prominent, and underneath those are the citrus elements from the smell.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable. Tasty and easy drinking, this is a decent witbier despite the fact it is totally out of season. Bell's did not do enough to justify offering a witbier for the winter months. I appreciate the effort, but I expect something more unique than something true to style.

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Photo of gford217
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very cloudy, bright yellow with a big puffy white head that dissipated gradually leaving little lacing. Smell is dominated by sweet aromas of wheat, lemons, oranges and bananas. Big spice aroma as well dominated by cloves and coriander. Taste is primarily the big sweet wheat up front with the fruits right behind. Lemony hops are also present. The mouthfeel is light and slick with heavy carbonation. This is a decent wit and very drinkable though not the most complex wit I've tasted.

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Photo of cooncat
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving was a 12 oz. bottle, chilled, and poured into a pilsner glass.

The pour produced a light gold colored brew with a very foamy, white head which was short lived. Minimal to no sheeting upon swirling the glass, after the head was gone. Aroma approximates a witbier, but on the light side. The taste is similar to an American Wheat beer, with the addition of corriander. It is not over powering, actually, quite well balanced and refreshing with just the right amount of carbonation. No objectionable after taste was apparent. I'd have to give this a "thumbs up", and would say it would make a fine session beer.


Update: Jan. 9, 2007

Another 12oz. bottle sample, poured vigorously into a 16 oz glass. A small head that disappeared almost instantly ... a bit disappointing, really. Nose and taste are as mentioned above. Body is thin, but its still a refreshingly crisp beer, if you enjoy the witbier style. Did not mention that the light golden color is properly cloudy, as a bottle conditioned witbier should be. No sediment at the bottom of this bottle, but I have had some Bell's brews that did have a small amount of sediment. Not much more to add to my previous review.


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Photo of Fish113d
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw color with a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly to a slight surface layer. Body is a bit cloudy.

Aroma is of some pale malt along wwiht just a hint of spice; coriander and orange peel is what i find mainly. A slight grainy aroma comes through a bit also. Kinda plain.

Sipping reveals a rather balanced flavor between the sweet malt and some hops. Some spice comes through a bit on the swallow, and just a hint of orange peel, but I was hoping for abit more spice.

Tingly carbonation up front, and a rather watery finish with very little aftertaste. Rather lite.

Very drinkable, in that I could drink a case of it and keep on going (okay maybe that's pushing it), but overall, i was rather disappointed. I've had better from Bell's.

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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 neonbrown82
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 7660

This is not one of the better white ales I've tried. I didn't mind it quite as much before one of my co-workers so eloquently described the taste/aroma of this beer as "urinal cakes." Oh, the power of suggestion.

The beer pours to a golden yellow color, a little darker and less hazy than expected, and not nearly enough particulate matter to cast the whiteness in the light. Very little carbonation and head. Retention is quite poor, and subsequently lacing doesn't exist.

The smell is of coriander and curacao orange peel. A bit of banana esters and spicy phenolics. The malt bill seems very cheap. The aromas described above combine to form a distinct urinal cake smell. Not pleasant, but not particularly unpleasant (afterall, urinal cakes are meant to cover up the unpleasant smell of urine). The taste is very similar. Actually tastes good until the finish, when the urinal cake really begins to take hold. Reminds me of a saison with the spices of a witbier.

The body is fairly creamy. Could be much more drinkable. Kind of an odd style for a winter release, though I can see how the "white" would be associated with the season.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to rhong187.
Batch 10766 Bottled 11/01/11

A - Pours a very cloudy, pale yellow with a thin off-white head that fades quickly.

S - Wheat, slightly citrus, lemons mostly.

T - Lemons and wheat.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Nice flavors, nothing that wowed me. Almost like a hef.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden with a decent white head and no lacing. Smell is nice- classic wit beer with banana, clove, and bubblegum aromas along with a hint of spice. Taste is a little restrained, doesn't really wow me. Some nice bubblrgum flavors on the finish are especially noticeable as well as hints of clove, maybe some coriander and a slight hint of bitterness that runs through the taste. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin. Could use a little more body and carbonation. Fairly nice, but not my first choice.

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