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

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

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

1,541 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,541
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 33
Gots: 69 | 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: 1,541 | Reviews: 636 | Display Reviews Only:
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+

kojevergas, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

InspectorBob, May 20, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale yellow, slightly cloudy, but clearer than expected with a finger head that dissipates without much lacing.
S: Yeast, citrus fruit, banana, peppery spice, corriander, more yeast.
T: Not sure how this ends up being a winter seasonal, tastes like an adequate wit, lots of banana flavor, with spiciness from pepper and coriander dialed up. Medium body with a lot of carbonation. Adequate beer, but not my favorite from Bell's or favorite Wit.

yourefragile, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

orangesol, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

dbrauneis, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

tempest, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Georgiabeer, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.05/5  rDev -16%
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.

akorsak, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of mothman
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

mothman, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

DoubleJ, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

superspak, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I witbier in winter, slightly odd, but ok im in. I always pick up one of these a year and since we just got 2 feet of white stuff in PA, this seems fitting. Nice label.

Faded yellow haystack before the dregs, tangerine/orange with yellow after the cargo plunges into the sea. I prefer the latter. A medium build of loose cream colored foam reaches more than a inch but leaves no lacing.

Smells leap out in true wit form with a shot of coriander, some strong yeast, a orange slice and some outside harvest scents. I like the minimal clove action. Simple and deep.

Tangerine and oranges with a nice yeast component giving off a bready aftertaste. Before that is the predictable coriander and other spices. Get some banana with warming and some lemon drops. I like how this is citrus forward rather than relying on the spices which are there but kind of under utilized.

The feel is there and light with low but nicely leveled carb. Goes down smooth and all to easy. A bit of a grainy and hayish aftertaste. Im not a big wit guy but I would not mind having a few anytime of year. I like how this comes out in winter keeping away from the onslaught of wit's in summertime, I just wish they made another batch for the summer with a nice summer themed label.

BARFLYB, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of jdhilt
2.35/5  rDev -35.3%
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.

jdhilt, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Stinkypuss, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

BillRoth, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this bottle.

A: Pours an extremely clear light yellow with carbonation bubbles being released from the bottom of the glass. Small white head forms, but dissipates quickly to a very fine layer of bubbles on top.

S: Light banana and cloves, a little bit of tasted grains and spice at the end.

T: The bananas and clove come back, very similar to the nose.

M/D: Light bodied, very clean and crisp. Refreshing and easy to drink. Overall solid.

mdaschaf, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

ppoitras, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of smakawhat
2.65/5  rDev -27%
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.

smakawhat, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

brandoman63, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +22%
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.

John_M, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

biegaman, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +10.2%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Latarnik, May 24, 2014
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,541 ratings.