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

Not Rated.
Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

1,788 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,788
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 44
Gots: 148 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 1,788 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The first beer I have ever had from bells that was a let down, and honestly one of the few that wasn't amazing. This pours thick and murky tired yellow with basically no head from the tap. It's got a ton of viscosity and minimal carbonation, the opposite of what I look for in the style. Banana yeast and spice and orange esters in the nose, some citrus to the taste, but way too much grain here, especially the wheat. It lacks all the delicate features of the bets wits, and warms up ugly. I'm surprised this came from bells. It's not a bad beer, but it's nowhere near their full potential. I see the winter side of it, and appreciate the attempt, but I just doesn't pan put here

Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz tallboy with a freshness date. Sample from the brewery.

Cloudy and heady. Yeast, grain, spice, & bread in the nose. Ample crispness leads to a deep smoothness. Peppery, clove spiciness, rind-like, coconut water, nutty yeast, pineapple, dusty biscuits, & faint medicinal notes in the aroma and palate.

Damn cool, fermented with Belgian yeast ... no spices used so this is sort of a pale lighter Belgian winter warmer and not a Witbier at all in a sense but it is none the less.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours clear gold with a finger of brite-white foamy head. Leaves behind a thin, wispy retention that provides some decent lacing. The aroma is standard Witbier with notes of wheat, yeast, clove, and an almost astringent citrus scent.

The taste is a nicely balanced mix of wheat and yeast, some coriander and clove spice, and a zesty orange note that gives the profile some pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

I've always wondered why Bell's goes with a Witbier for their Winter beer (that's why I waited for the weather to warm a bit before getting into this)? In any case though, while this isn't the strongest beer from them by any means, it is still pretty tasty and at 4.5%, very sessionable.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
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...

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy, yellow color. Minimal white head.

S: Light citrus, and light, dried fruits, banana, etc.

T: Wheatish bite, some citrus and banana, and a little bit of spice.

M: Light body with moderate carbonation.

D: Somewhat drinkable. At this point, I'm losing interest in witbiers, but still a good summertime diversion.

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent golden-yellow color with less than one inch of white head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, yeast, wheat, citrus, and light fruity malts. Gets a lot better as it warms up.

t - Tastes of wheat, bananas, pepper, spices, and light citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - A nice, above average witbier. Some nice bananas and spices in the nose and taste. Nothing about it wowed me, but I would have it again if I was looking for a witbier.

Photo of WesWes
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and white branded pry-off pressure cap acquired for $1.79 at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN and served into a stem-tulip. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as a witbier; it identifies as a white ale on the label. Packaged 10/18/13. 5.0% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Okay thickness. Not much creaminess. Retention is well below average - maybe 1 minute. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent semitransparent orange-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

It's not cloudy like every traditional witbier I've ever seen, which is a bit disconcerting. It's far from unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Belgian pale malts, flaked wheat, banana, clove, coriander, pilsner malts. Lemongrass. Faint lemon citrus. Light floral and fruity hops. A clean aroma of average strength.

No alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Lightly floral and fruity hop notes. Lemon peel. Lemongrass. Clean barley. Wheat - possibly flaked. Belgian pale malts. Banana. Clove. It's got a crisp yeasty character.

No alcohol comes through.

A clean balanced flavour profile which isn't quite gestalt, but is certainly cohesive. Not real complex or subtle. Not all that intricate or nuanced either, but then this style is about elegant balance and mastery of simple ingredients.

Smooth, wet, crisp, and medium-bodied. Nice thickness. Decent body. It's got a good refreshing presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile well. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: A drinkable and enjoyable American take on a witbier, but ultimately it's not amongst the best in the style. Bell's has provided a solid go-to witbier for the local market, but it can't compete with the best traditional Belgian offerings - or even Allagash White, for that matter. I could easily session with this stuff, but it isn't world-class. Certainly likable, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or buy it again.

High C+

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,788 ratings.