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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: 1,994
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: 1,994
Photo of jopl
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of stewart124
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A translucent yellow with a minimal-to-no head.

Smell: Aroma is typical for a Witbier. Grainy with a touch of fresh sweetness.

Taste: Wow! Totally unexpected vibrancy here - bright banana flavor followed spices and a crisp snap of hops towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Coats the mouth nicely and is very refreshing. A bit of a dry finish which is in contrast to the more 'juicy' initial feel.

Overall: Although the first impression is not great going by the appearance and aroma, it's one of the better Witbiers I have experienced. Well done once again, Bell's!

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-amber in color, mildly cloudy but strangely filtered-looking. White head, largish bubbles don't hold together that great. Lacing is acceptable.

Strong aromas of wheat malt mingle with the coriander and clove spicing, while the citric character floats above. Generally quite balanced and appealing.

Again, very balanced flavor, neither emphasizing nor refuting the suggestions of coriander, clove, peppery hop, and fruity esters.

Medium to full body for style, there's of course lots of carbonation but it seems to work out quite well. I won't have a bit of a problem finish 6 of these.

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Photo of clvand0
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow color and is very cloudy. Tall white head that stays around for a while and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma was very citrusy, with hints of yeast spiciness and clove. The yeast and wheat play a very large part in the flavor - gives it a thick and spicy feel. Lots of orange and lemon flavors. Very nice body. This is a little strange for a wit, but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Brian700
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy blonde with a nice white head that simmers down to a ring around my glass. It seems like this beer is a lot less cloudy now that it is in bottles. When it was first introduced it kegs only this beer was very cloudy. There was no seeing through it.

The aroma is of wheat malt, citrus, coriander.

The flavor is of wheat malt, coriander, orange peel. There is some mild spiceness to this one as well. Very nice tasting brew.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. I think this winter wheat would be good in the summer time as well. If oberon were the orang juice of beers, winter wheat would be the orang julius.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a becker.

This brew pours a very hazy, orange-cream colored brew that has a pure white one finger thick head that quickly fades to a thin wispy layer on top. Minimal lacing.

Smells of wheat, hint of vanilla, yeast, coriander and some peppery spiceyness.

Big wheat and yeast up front. Corriander and orange peel bitters, along with some mild spicyness.

Light and crisp with good carbonation.

Amidst all of the traditional winter brews - warmers, stouts...this is a refreshing change of pace brew - hellava good session brew...

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Photo of mickmanhattan
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Imbibed at the Bell's Eccentric Cafe in a Spiegelau Witbier glass. It really does make a difference. Also, be sure not to drink this at too low of a temperature. Overall, I have become a fan.

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Photo of marburg
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice deep golden color with a thin head on it. The unfiltered yeast seems like the snow on the picture of the bottle.
Smell: Nice wheat scent with a citrus-like tang to it.
Taste: Nice subtle flavor with tiny hint of citrus. The beer finishes with a crisp wheat malt flavor.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: A little heavier than most wheat beers but very drinkable for the winter months. It has a good weight to it and has a pleasant subtle carbonation to it.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden with a nice white head that lingers and laces well. Light aroma of wheat, spice - probably clove - and Belgian yeast. Well carbonated with a light body, which is appropriate for the style. It tastes as a wit should, with spice being the primary flavor. In this case clove, coriander and a slight citrus background. Nice clean finish. Not in the same league as Allagash White, but a fine beer.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is murky, orange yellow. Not much head; almost no lacing.

Nose has berries and wheat, but is very-well balanced. It is a very engaging aroma.

Taste is bright, clean wheat; with berries, lightly caramel malt, and a dose of hops at the finish. Nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a good amount of carbonation and hop bite. Washes down easy.

Overall, it is like a good fastball: to the point, but states its purpose very well. This is an expertly-crafted wheat ale.

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Photo of Greggy
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very thin lacing appears after the pour and recedes quickly to an unimpressive cap with no lacing. The beer, because of the sediment is rather cloudy, which I like.

S- Nice orange, banana, wheat, and also smells of some juicy apple, with a hint of pepper and maybe a touch of straw.

T- Initially, because of the very close nose of this and the batch 8000 witbier, I thought they may be one in the same, but after the tasting, I conclude that they're indeed, different. Right up from I get some big coriander, some odd banana, and a bit of the apple. There isn't a large pepper component but it's there, mainly in the finish.

M- Low/Medium Spritzy carbonation that works pretty well with the style and also leaves a nice, slightly dry finish.

D- Overall, I prefer the batch 8000 for bells witbiers, and to be honest, would rather grab another witbier as this isn't anything special.

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

at a certain point, i think the what-to-drink-during-which-season conversation needs to stop, or at least be significantly toned down. do i understand why Bell's markets this as a winter seasonal? yes, i think so. could it be a year-round? yes, probably.


the beer is hazy, thick yellow, with a slight white head, and gives off aromas of citrus, yeast, grains, coriander, and other spices. the taste follows the aromas accordingly, with orange peel cutting through the grains and then being tempered by spice -- an intriguing mix of refreshing and warming qualities. finishes a bit bitter, but not a snappy hop bitterness. it's a bit of an abrupt end -- not terrible, but definitely needs to be washed away with another sip (a vicious circle of sorts!).

drinkable, warming, and refreshing after leaning heavily on the darker, higher-octane beers during the cold months.

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Photo of dren
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin head. Smells of orange, with some cloves and spice. Tastes just about the same. Well ballanced beer that finished a little dry. Would rank higher if the beer wasn't as dry at the end. This has been one of the better beers I have tried in a long time. The way Blue Moon should taste. All around great beer. I just wish it wasn't seasonal. One of Bell's best.

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