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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

1,443 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1443
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
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Ratings: 1,443 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 23:25:35 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.24/5  rDev -11%
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+

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 05:47:25 | More by kojevergas
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The ale is a hazy yellow color with a white ring of head that retains reasonably well.

S: The aroma is part wheat and part grainy malt. Some orange peel as well but not much more.

T: The flavor is witbier, with a strong wheat presence and some coriander and curacao. With the name, I expected some more spiciness, maybe some nutmeg to add to the winter white name, but there was nothing to be found.

M: The mouthfeel is a a run-of-the-mill wheat, nothing special.

D: I hate to say it, but this is my least favorite Bell's brew, by far. There is nothing that makes this a winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 03:06:29 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 16:46:32 | More by Rifugium
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.35/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy yellow/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Hoppy/yeasty nose. Starts with a hoppy/citrusy flavor, dry hoppy finish. Batch #7195, $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 23:52:13 | More by jdhilt
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

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

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 12 from Ngandhi. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" bright white head over the light straw brew. Head fades down to a thin layer of bubbles, not unexpected for the style, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is slightly earthy wheat combined with a citrus sour twang. Taste is a pleasingly sedate wheat character, sharing the stage with a slight sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkability is a bit better. Worth a try, but not one of their best offers, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 23:17:55 | More by ppoitras
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, this style is unexpected as a winter seasonal. Perhaps it would be fitting somewhere in the sunbelt, but from Michigan, it's an unorthodox time to offer said style. Winter is almost over, so let's commemorate the end with a bottle of Bell's. Packaged on 10/31/13, on to the beer:

An inch of soapy head sits on top this cloudy yellowish beer. That head on top is retaining well, slowly dropping to a creamy lace.The aroma is pleasant, with creamy oats, citrus peel, and vague sweet citrus fuming into the nostrils.

This witbier offers little bits of the usual witbier with a solid foundation. In other words, the malt/wheat base is pleasing and little bits of spice, citrus, and yeast stick to it. A little bitter towards the end. The beer is light bodied with initially strong bubbly carbonation which dies off to a less bubbly intensity.

Easy drinking beer out of Bell's, even if it isn't up to the same high standard set by its stable mates.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 01:37:24 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 16:39:12 | More by Kegatron
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Those who know me know I have odd personal affliction to matching my drinking to my mood or a theme or the season. I have an odd tendency to enjoy witbiers in the fall for some reason. But here we are in late February, amidst a bistly winter storm. I look out my window to see the snowflakes caught between the screens. The scene would be completely dark if not for the soft, pastel purple glow of night's sky. Thanks Frozensoul327 for this special - appropriate - winter treat!

Pours with a slightly out of character thin amount of head, much of which lasted only in the shape of an outline or sparse sheets. Lighter colour, more yellow than orange, though a combination of them both. Glossy.
A healthy nose. Plenty of grainy malt, barnyard (very Belgian-esque) yeast and orange rind coming through. A peppery coriander strong as well. The body offers some dry grainyness, straw malt, and a coarse wheat. Flavours don't overly impress. Some twisted, over-ripened fruit notes that don't contrinute as much to the taste as they could.
I drank this too fast. By all means it was nothing close to exceptional but I enjoyed it just find while watching the snow fall and coat the streets in white.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 03:13:24 | More by biegaman
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy, murky orange tan color with good head retention and lacaing. On the nose this is a VERY spicey wit still beer, with lots of clove and almost a lime aroma. I really like the way this beer smells. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, though the beer has some surprising heft and richness for such a low abv. beer. There's also some underlying hoppiness that I quite like. Not surprisingly, drinkability is outstanding in this beer as well.

A couple of thoughts. This has to be one of the better domestic wit style beers I've ever tasted. However, I think it a bit odd that Bell's has chosen to make this there winter beer. Frankly, I would prefer to see something like this in the Summer time, when I could better appreciate the low alcohol and what I associate as summery flavors. All that being said, this is a very good beer from Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2008 14:54:41 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up by Lexx on her way through Michigan!

Pours a cloudy yellow/golden, one finger bone white head forms, settles down to a thin ring pretty soon, no lacing. Smell is malty, some wheat, sweet, clove, banana, citrus, touch of yeast. Taste is malty, bit lemony, vanilla and banana, bit of spice, bready yeasty finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth, moderately refreshing, pretty mediocre example of a witbier though. Thanks Lexx!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 21:30:56 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big ol haze of light orange. Great aroma, like smelling salts.

Taste, you pick up much of what you smelled: coriander, banana, lemon, ginger. Those aren't really nuanced either. They're big. Mouthfeel recedes a little, the flavors get muddled. The price is a little more than what I'd like to pay for these kinds of beers. Sure, there's some different stuff, but they're saving a ton by not having to put hardly any hops in it.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 18:13:26 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden orange appearance. Actually, quite murky looking. A fair sized off white head sits on top and leaves sparse lace down the sides of the glass as I drink. Aromas of clove and banana, yeast and pepper hit my nostrils. The taste is quite nice. Very nice bavarian weizen profile. Some great banana and vanilla things happening. And more subtle tones of pepper and clove. Yeasty tones are quite nice and a little bready. When I tasted this tonight, I was hoping for a big ol weizenbock or something. I didn't know what style it was, but after tasting it, I was guessing German style Hefe. It has a great full body and a luscious mouthfeel. Very easy drinking and quite tasty. After one try, I'd have to say I prefer this to their Oberon "American Wheat" beer. I just think it has more character and depth. I'd like to see this one in bottles over the summer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2003 03:54:36 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells Winter White

Pours a cloudy deep straw color. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned wheat beer. In the taste, wheaty almost hefeweizen like flavors with some lemon and clove, and orange peel leaving a citrusy burst. Light peppery spice is also noted. Crisp, clean, refreshing witbier with solid flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, almost dry. Overall, a very nice option to have in your fridge this time of year, paired well with some chili/sesame chicken wings.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 05:49:11 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a hazy yellow with a slight orange cast. It had a large white head with poor retention, but a little stickage. It smelled of banana and citrus, with a bit of cloves thrown in. The flavour was a mix of raw wheat and mild citrus, fairly well balanced and with a dry finish. Moderately slick mouthfeel, light body and medium/high carbonation. Overall, not a bad beer, but not an exceptional white beer. I think I enjoyed it more than the scores would indicate.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2004 02:45:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts, wheat twang, light citrus, and soft spices, in that order. As the beer warms the spices fade a bit and the citrus and light malt aromas intensify.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth light malt flavors with good amounts of wheat influence kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of lemon zest with hints of deeper orange rinds. Finally, very small amounts of coriander come into play before fading out into a crisp and mildy bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I think this beer tasted crisper than the bottle I had quite a while back and I certainly prefer it more. A solid beer that's worth a shot in whatever form.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2011 02:05:24 | More by glid02
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 02:35:48 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall glass displaying a 50/50 realm of clear to opaqueness quality. Golden in color, very nice, but slightly weak head. Virtually no lacing upon finishing.

Bouquet is missing the wheat bread characteristics which are faint being dominated first by a chemical "like" smell. Almost slightly macro in smell... not big though so at least it isn't totally off putting.

Taste and flavor profile leads to a very muted taste, and light body. No spices, nothing of distinctness to come out other than some sweetness.

Drinability is straight down the middle. Meh... I've had considerably better. Lord knows.. I've had worse.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 04:44:04 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large pilsner glass.

Color is a very hazy yellow. Very cloudy. Pours a thin head that doesn't last at all.

Smell is similiar to a hefeweisen, just not as strong; cloves and bananas. Taste is quite similar. There is a smooth malty taste also.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A slight bitterness with a touch of alcohol being present.

Overall, this is one of my least favorites from Bell's. There really isn't anything to special about this, but it is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 20:19:35 | More by mothman
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2013. Pours opaquely hazy bright golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, floral, grass, clove, pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice witbier. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 01:54:43 | More by superspak
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

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

A: Pours a cloudy to hazy light to medium golden yellow in color with some light amounts of orange highlights and moderate amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall white head that slowly reduces to a small patch of medium sized bubbles, a very thin film covering almost the entire surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of wheat with light to moderate notes of citrus and spices (mostly coriander). Very subtle notes of banana/clove.

T: Light to moderate flavors of wheat with just a touch of bready malts. Lightly sweet with notes of coriander and citrus (specifically orange peel). Almost a touch of lemon pepper in the finish and banana/clove.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable - light in mouthfeel and with pleasant flavors and aromas. Definitely able to be a session beer. Some aspects of a hefeweizen in addition to the traditional witbier flavors/smells.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 00:13:05 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's, batch 7114 i think

appearance: sweet label...cheers to midwest winters. the beer is a very pale and watery yellow with a decent bright white head and some decent lacing

smell: heavy on the wheat, ripe bananas come through strong, orange and other citrus fruit, a little spice

taste: crisp and fresh...lots of fresh bananas, very clovey, toasted wheat throughout...a nice wit, but not up to bells par

mouthfeel: crisp, clean, fresh, light-medium bodied

drinkability: very drinkable

not a bad wit, just funny timing, but thats bell's

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 03:33:49 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

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

On tap at Old Bag of Nails pub in Columbus. This beer is a very hazy dark yellow color with a compact white head and very little lacing. The aroma is spicy, with wheat and citrus. Light and crisp body with a flavor that stings the tongue a bit. It is a zesty brew and a little more flavorful than the bottled version I remember. Orange and other fruits, along with spice and a touch of malt on the back end. The finish is very dry and comes back to the citrus. A step up from the Blue Moons of the world but falls a little short of the world-class Wits out there.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2004 17:59:22 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy yellow/ pale orange color with a white head. In the aroma, wheaty, orange citrus, and corriander. In the taste, kind of watery for a wit and hints of corriander. A small bite, but overall smooth mouthfeel, with a dry, small bitter corriandr aftertaste. Light and easy, good all around, except for somewhat watery in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 21:52:14 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, slightly lighter then lemon juice yellow in color, white cap lasting for a brief stay before tapering to a thin collar, not much in the realm of lacing sticks, drippings mostly running down to join the collar.

Aroma has a nice light clove spice enactment over a pleasing banana wheat bread sweetness and some of the usual witbier yeast.

Flavors are crisp and clean, not to much dancing on the tongue though, very calm, smooth, and tame. Which is actually kinda nice in that regard, but still lacks some omff. Wheat malt makes up a good portion of the taste keeping a fairly decent body. Light banana, even lighter lemon bits, clove is tame but present, more so midway to finish. Solid in smoothness but less so in a bit of its actual flavor character.

Feel is smooth and calming for a Wit, a bit out of character, but nice non-the-less, lighter bodied, crisp, malty, picks up a bunch towards the finish but nothing lasts. Creamed wheat leftovers on the palate with tiny smidges of the clove for the finish.

Super drinkable; quite smooth, and quite lovely in that respect too; one thing I've always found hard to like about Wit's is the drinkability. This is opposite of that impression, as this is quenchable for sure. A bit odd that it's a Winter seasonal cuz this would make for a great summer brew; and that's no foolin'. For me; a hard review to put numbers to. It seemingly could be better, but I like it alot, which I think the numbers might not show.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2004 03:55:31 | More by tavernjef
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.