1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1441
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%


Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: maxpower on 02-22-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,441 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An OK wheat, rating lower than this brewery's standard. Sweet with cloves, ginger and orange from yeast. Combo winter warmer spices and wheat. Reminds me of herbal tea xmas stuff. Brought by contributing Yankee to Doug Shoemaker's All Star Beer Tasting.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 02:37:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 15:37:40 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Believe it or not this was might nightcap of all things. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this was enjoyed on 01/01/2011.

The pour was nicely done, albeit very light and a touch overcarbonated for me, I still think it fit rather well. Light yellow in color with tons of carbonation and a huge fizzy white head that let down quickly. Aroma is light banana, clove and citrus, nice and light and airy with touches of lemon zest and fresh spice as it warms. Very clean taste, perfect hints of citrus and spice layered on the banana based malts. Quick, clean, light and very drinkable. This one was gone like a flash.

Overall a very solid little ale and one that I needed to take a break from the rest of the evening!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 18:44:18 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for sending me this one.

A: The beer pours a pale golden/yellow color with a minimal white head, but plenty of carbonation.

S: Some wheat, but a bit of a corn type smell and mustiness. Light spice notes, coriander is certainly prominent and there's a bit of orange peel. Sort of sweet, overall.

T: The flavor is significantly better. Nice wheat and bread flavors providing sweetness. The typical spice of coriander, which is probably the best part about this beer. A light peppery note on the back end.

M: Light in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A pretty middle of the road and mediocre Witbier. Not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 06:22:17 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +19%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 23:32:32 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured extremely cloudy whitish/yellow color ale with a nice small pure white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of medium wheat with some very subtle spice note. Taste is lighter then expected with some wheat but no bubblegum notes that I usually appreciated in an hefeweizen and some very subtle spices and therefore no coriander that I usually like in my witbier. It appears that by mixing those two I am not getting the best of both word. This is probably one of the weakest offering from this fine brewer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 16:00:53 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An odd choice for a Winter Ale. Very wheat-ey. They upped the gravity to make a creamier and more flavorful Belgian Wit, but it still lacks the punch in malt complexity and alcohol for me to consider it for a winter beer. Having said that, it's a good beer. spicy, sweet, bananna-ey, citrucy, peppery, sweet, and subtle. Little dryness or lingering. Creamy and silky to the palate. I'd put another lable on it and drink it into the spring and summer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2005 15:29:52 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-amber color; maybe more toward apricot. Decent head.

S: Lots of wheat along with plenty of spiciness--fits the winter theme quite well.

T: Lots of spiciness. Perhaps coriander, along with some citrus flavors.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Great drinkability when fresh. This is a solid witbier, and fits in perfectly with a roasting winter fire.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 05:55:37 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy light pale yellow in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down but consistently left a thin but dense layer of bubbles covering the surface along with lots of lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has light to moderate aromas of wheat along with some hints of spices—cloves seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of lemony citrus and hints of bananas.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The spices in the taste seem to lend a bit of dryness to the finish.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink but lacks any refreshing and thirst-quenching properties. However, the added flavors of spices seem to make this a nice choice to drink if you want to enjoy a witbier during the winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 00:40:42 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 20:48:25 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a hazy lighter yellow with some peach colored hue a thin quick to fade head atop.Toasted wheat clove and some bannana reminisentmore of a Bavarian style sheat than a Belgian white in my mind.Pretty standard wheat flavors somewhat clovey and toasty with a faint hint of citrus in the back end.Decent and basic beer, my wife would enjoy this, me well I thought it was ok.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2008 19:57:04 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Figured I'd take this one down now, seeing that Winter is in its death throes 'round here (knock on wood). It pours a thoroughly hazy pale straw topped by a finger of white froth. The nose comprises lemon zest, coriander, mint, pine, orange peel, and wheat. Honestly, the sharp bit of mint I get does nothing good for the smell, but it's luckily not enough to sabotage the entire occasion. The taste, though, does away with this unpleasantness, while straying none too far from the path already laid out by the smell. The orange peel, though, is a touch stronger than before, and a pinch of black pepper is thrown in there as well. The body is fairly light, with a moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice wit. 'Nuff said.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 01:32:51 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 20:51:27 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2-07-04
I've since had this one many more times, fresh off of a new keg, and found more to appreciate than before, and have raised my ratings from the original appraisal to reflect this new appreciation. No, it's not what I'd look for in a winter beer, but that's no reason to rate against what it is...which is a smooth, tasty wheat...here's the original, but I'd definitely recant the low opinion of the aroma...maybe it was the bar I was in at the time...also, banana is felt keener, as well...

Appearance: cloudy dull orange, opaque, with a solid, bone-white head, 1/2", long-lasting.
Aroma: on the mild side, yielding minor notes of spice and citrus, doesn't stand forward in the least, though, but nicely woven, nonetheless.
Taste: neat spiciness starts off on the palate, coriander, chiefly, with the citrus character continuing in the taste, though terribly muted compared to other wits. Compared to their own Oberon, which is a bright, juicy explosion of fruity/yeasty goodness, it's a mellow affair, with the finish, too, on the downlow, though it fades happily off the tongue. The citric twang on the palate is persistent and well-liked by this tongue.
Drinkability is quite good, but in the final summation, this Bell's fan would sooner reach for a TwoHearted or one of their spectacular stouts. I hope it appeals to others, as it's not a bad beer in the least. Just not great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2003 02:52:43 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from feloniousmonk, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, strong spices, light malts and some citrus.

T: The taste is spicy up front with flavors of coriander and clove. There's a good background of Belgian yeast and light malts along with some complimentary citrus flavor. The hops presence is mild as you would expect. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good mild beer to drink several of over the course of an evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 04:20:16 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No batch#, hmmmm

Pours a slightly hazed straw color with a thin beige head. Not much lacing & zero head retention

S: Grassy & some lemons

T: Coriander, grainy bread, white peppers & lemons. A touch of phenol with some juicy fruit as this warms, plus a touch of lemons & pears. Finishes fruitty, a touch dry with white pepper

MF: Light/medium bodied with light carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, a pretty good Wit. My problem is why do a wit as a winter release? Bell does plenty of others sooo I guess it doesn't matter...

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 03:39:36 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 23:22:09 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fun, another Bell's beer on draft at Churchkey served in a snifter. Beer is yellow and hazy with a white head, low retention, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is a little citrusy but not overly so, interesting nice witbier character.

Beer is light and mildly spicy with a nice finish. I liked this beer but it is an average not very orange-y / citrusy backing to it. Interesting but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 19:50:39 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out am orange/golden yellow color with a small, fizzy, white head. It left a few small rings of lace.

S - It smelled of coriander, orange zest, lemon, clove and some wheat.

T - It tasted of wheat, yeast, citrus and a little caramel malt. Some spices and there was a slight licorice flavor , as well.

M - It was fizzy, crisp and sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good wit. I really liked the blend of fruity flavors with some spice and licorice flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 03:27:09 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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:
http://365beers.wordpress.com/

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 00:56:45 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very hazy beer with a thin white head when served from the tap. The aromas are of banana (dominant), and a dusty spiciness. Very banana tasting in the flavor as well, it dominates the flavor. Nice wheaty-grain character in the finish. This is certainly mislabeled as this beer is quite German in character and usually a white refers to a Belgian style of beer. Light tasting and refreshing, where I was expecting a "double" Wit style of beer brewed at winter warmer strengths. A good beer but a bit of a let down. I did not notice any of the sour character others seemed to have notice, perhaps their samples were infected.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2004 23:06:33 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a hazy yellow color with a fluffy white head. There was a slight amount lacing on the glass. The smell was a little spicy and had some wheat aromas. The taste has a light spice to it with a kind of refreshing lemon zest. Mouthfeel is a little light and is a little watered down. Overall I've never understood why a white ale would be a winter release. I prefer the dark winter brews personally. This is an ok brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 20:30:32 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange yellow. No head visible. Nose is a lot of citrus and a yeasty funk. Flavor is very true (in it’s own way) to a witbier. Nice spicy and yeasty tones. Seems a bit too vibrant, but not so much that it kills the whole experience. Standard feel for the mouth with a bit of a lower carbonation. I think this is a very nice witbier. Sure it is American produced, but it could stand up against others from across the pond.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 06:25:59 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2003 01:13:30 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In short, this is a sweeter and slightly thicker wit beer. It's more basic than Oberon, without much spice. The aroma is of sweet pale grains and wheat, with a very similar flavor. There might be a little coriander or orange peel in there, but it's hard to discern spice from yeast character.

Now I know they're calling this a winter beer, but for the style there isn't a crisp mouthfeel like you expect in a wit. Instead it's more on par with the medium body of an American amber. I guess if you're looking for a wit to warm you in the winter, this is your beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 15:00:17 | More by tempest
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.