1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,479 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,479
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 27
Gots: 55 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,479 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

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

A - Extremely hazy, pale, dull yellow color. Average sized, creamy, frothy, pearl white head. Decent retention with some patchy lace along with a ring of lace left.

S - Plenty of wheat, lemony citrus, and coriander. More citrus and wheat, some banana, and less spice than a typical witbier.

T - Similar to the nose. Plenty of wheat flavors which also provides just a hint of banana. Lemony citrus rind is pretty strong with just a bit of coriander (for a witbier it was pretty minimal). Finishes with a slightly tart, lemony citrus.

M - Lighter side of medium body with average carbonation. Pretty creamy feel.

D - Pretty easy drinking beer. Refreshing citrus tart is nice, and I wouldn't mind drinking another or two, but I don't think it really makes me want more.

Notes: Slightly different witbier. More wheat and citrus. Doesn't really excite me, nor does it really succeed for me as a winter seasonal. Not a bad beer, but not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 05:31:20 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Virtually no lacing to speak of.

S: A sweet, somewhat muted aroma of citrus, spices and a little malt.

T: Tasted of lemon, coriander, malt and other spices. Like the smell, the taste is pretty sweet. Gets better as you go along.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Light-bodied.

D: While this beer is uneven in spots, it's still an enjoyable, drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 13:10:19 | More by avalon07
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this Winter White courtesy of a buddy of mine, Jeff. It causes Reena no beerface. Therefore, it's good for something. It's also good as a light winter drink that you can kick back with when you're not looking towards an RIS to solve your cold winter problems.

It's murky in appearance in the way that witbiers tend to be. Bit of a head dissipates and leaves not much lacing at all. It's still highly carbonated, so that makes the tongue tingle on its light to medium body. It smells like almost every other citrus wheat beer out there. Tastes like that too. The best part is definitely the carbonation. In other words, it does the style. Does it pretty well. Doesn't blow socks off. Doesn't blow your nose for you. Does refresh you.

If you're into that.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 03:17:19 | More by afksports
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a hazy, opaque amber with a fine-bubbled off-white head. Aroma is honey-sweet and malty with a hint of lemon. Yeasty, malty, honey-sweet flavor has a lemony undertone. Thick, smooth, fizzy texture leaves a subtle tingle and a yeasty, rubbery, citrus finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2010 22:35:10 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of thatguy3579
thatguy3579

Virginia

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

A: Light straw colored, no head, opaque. No visible bubbles.

S: Cloves and sweetness. Pretty enticing.

T: Quite sweet, almost cloying, with light lemon and nice spices. Tasty, but maybe a little too sweet.

M: Lots of bubbles and thin.

D: A crisp and sweet beer - but perhaps a little too sweet to really toss these back.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2010 22:20:19 | More by thatguy3579
Photo of BrewStoutMagic
BrewStoutMagic

Ohio

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

Hey its Saturday night live with a great wheat beer.The aroma is fruity with a hint of yeast. Full of flavor. With bananas, cloves,and a bit of lemon too.It has a nice golden haze.As far as drinkability I could easily drink these all night. All were missing for a winter ale is more alcohol.The label says abv. is 5.0.The label is nicely designed with trees and snow.Makes me feel like taking a winter walk through the woods to grandma's house.I hope the beer at her house is this good. Other than that this is a very smooth tasting beer.I will be buying more soon.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 01:11:51 | More by BrewStoutMagic
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (batch 10021) poured into a shaker pint glass. Lots of yeast sediment was left behind in the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy/translucent golden yellow beer. Foam disappeared quickly and never reappeared again. No lacing either.

Smell: This is a witbier? Smells like a hefeweizen - cloves and banana with a hint of mustiness and pear at the end. Not bad, just not what I was expecting.

Taste: A bit on the sweet side, and definitely tastes like a hefeweizen. More cloves than banana though, with something else spicy in there at the end.

Mouthfeel: Enough carbonation to feel a bit crisp on the tongue so that it cleanses the palate like a witbier should. Beyond the carbonation the beer is a little bit thick and slick at the same time.

Drinkability: Went well with a spicy beans and rice dish, but I can't see myself buying it again. It's just an okay beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 23:23:41 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of BeardedBoffin
BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most winter ale's are full of dark malt and sweet caramel and I really enjoy them. This is Bell's take made with wheat. It's a dark hazy yellow color with a decent cap of foam.

The nose is bready, yeasty and laden with earthy hops. This is a full bodied brew with cracker and yeasty bread-like malt. The wheat nicely contributes to the winter appropriate body of this brew. The beer slithers along the palate leading to a touch of spice at the end.

I really enjoyed this brew and bell's different take on a winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 00:12:27 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw yellow and cloudy with almost no head despite a rigorous pour. Thin lacing.

Yeast dominates, but still detectable are banana, lemons, oranges, light fruits, and spicey cloves and coriander. The aroma is actually quite nice.

Tastes very flavorful! Nicely yeasty with citrus fruits, banana, clove, coriander and spices. A fine tasting brew that I'm quite happy I bought even after one sip.

Drinks smooth, moderately sweet and rich and thick going down. A touch of carbonation tang that really accents the feel and flavors nicely. Aftertaste is a bit banana and only slightly bitter, but sits quite nicely.

Easy to drink and definitely a future repeat purchase. A nice witbier.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 22:32:20 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of bifrojm
bifrojm

Illinois

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

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Hazy straw color with a decent white head.

Smells of yeast and bits of banana and some lemon citrus

Tastes much the same with a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly thick with good carbonation.

ABV makes it very drinkable, but I'd prefer to switch to something else after a couple. Push comes to shove, I could shove these down all night.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 02:41:07 | More by bifrojm
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a cloudy straw/gold. Two fingers of white head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a thin, bubbly lacing and ring around the edge. There was a little bit of sedimentation at the bottom, which I coaxed out and poured into the pint.

Smell: Reminds me of summer. Major clove and lemon/orange zest. There are hints of coriander and just a little bit of honey. There is also the customary, and heavenly, yeast aroma.

Taste: Very balanced and smooth, but no flavors jump out or dominate. However, there is a detectable hierarchy of tastes: the yeast, coriander, and clove spice are most prominent, and underneath those are the citrus elements from the smell.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable. Tasty and easy drinking, this is a decent witbier despite the fact it is totally out of season. Bell's did not do enough to justify offering a witbier for the winter months. I appreciate the effort, but I expect something more unique than something true to style.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 19:24:42 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy dark straw with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like orange zest and sharp grassy hops, with sweet honey and creamy yeast.
T: It tasted like lots of citrus and grassy hops, with some coriander and fresh wheat and creamy yeast and sweet honey. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Decent for the style.
D: This was a very bright and crisp beer, which seemed better suited for summer than winter. But it had an enjoyable taste and appropriate body, and it was quite easy to drink. I have no real complaints, but the beer didn't really excite me either.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 15:08:32 | More by Pencible
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, bleach blonde with a small white head. Orange peel and coriander spice with wheat malt in the aroma. This is a nice Wit and it has all the classic flavors of one, wheat malt tang, coriander and citrus peel. Light bodied with fine carbonation. A good beer that seems an odd choice for a Winter seasonal and more suited to a summer lawnmower beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 23:54:37 | More by biggred1
Photo of Star80
Star80

Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hazy yellow color, with a smallish white head. Left the dredge in the bottom of the bottle. Nice carbonation in my glass...smell is slightly sour, some faint fruity/esteryness, but pleasantly no spice or coriander. Ahh, the taste is crisp, and a nice dry aftertaste. I can taste some phenolics almost reminds me more of a hefe than a wit and I like it. Some nice spicy clove from the yeast, again, more like a hefeweizen than any witbier I've ever had. I think Mr. Bell is like me, not a fan of spice in his beer....and this really makes for a nice, easy drinking beer. What is weird about this style though, is I wouldn't imagine it pairing with winter comfort food classics like pot roast, or pot pie....Mmm, pot pie. Might go well with another kind of pot, lol? In the end though, this is a nice crisp beer which is a pleasant change of pace from all the big IPAs or heavy stouts of winter, you know, when you're running around the house, cooking or cleaning and getting kinda hot and you just want something refreshing, I can see this one shining through in those sort of moments.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 16:29:18 | More by Star80
Photo of Tifore
Tifore

Ohio

2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a gold to light yellow color that is cloudy looking. A very tiny head develops which fades very fast. Lots of carbonation going on in my glass.

S - Smells of wheat and yeast. Lots of strong spices come through after. Not what I thought I was getting into.

T - Tastes of wheat right off the bat with just kind of a mish mash of stuff coming after. Some spice some sweet. Overall just kinda... bleh.

M - Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. I was expecting something heavier and warmer. More like the traditional winter brews.

D - Drinkability of this is ok I guess, just not what I thought, I suppose. I will not buying this again. I'll stick to my heavy warming winter beverages.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 03:17:32 | More by Tifore
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

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

I had tried this beer over a year ago and just saw it on tap (early). Notes are the same except appearance and mouthfeel, as nothing aside from those was different when I went back and read my bottle review.

This one is a slightly hazy pale golden color. A soft white head sits on top of this one, almost a finger high, leaving a foam that stays and leaves lacing that's wispy but plentiful.
The smell is very typical wit: wheat backbone, some citrus, and spices underneath.
The taste follows suit. It's typical of a good wit and brewed to style. There's is a very gentle underlying bitterness that adds to the balance.Underlying spice lingers, and its taste is pleasant without being overwhelmingly strong.
There's a light to moderate body; carbonation is a bit heavy for my liking and adds a little bit of a seltzer-like aftertaste. If anything, this is a touch thinner than my previous review would imply or I remember.
This is worth trying, though I don't see this being as appropriate for winter as for warmer weather.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2010 19:32:51 | More by Brenden
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a hazy bright yellow-orange color with 1 finger of white bubbly head that doesn't last long.

The scent is dominant of oranges, notes of grain and yeast.

The taste is also dominant of oranges, there is also yeast, grains, and some spice.

Light bodied, crisp and clean, high carbonation.

This was a decent beer there was good flavor, but nothing really stood out. I wouldn't mind drinking this again but would not seek it out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2010 20:21:59 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of JizackFH
JizackFH

New York

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

Pours a hazy golden orange that has a decent head. The head left some decent lacing as it fell. You can tell this is unfiltered. Smell is spicy. there are notes of clove, citrus, and some coriander. The taste is pretty typical for this style. There is some spiciness, wheat, citrus, coriander, and clove. this beer has a lighter body with good carbonation. I'd say the drinkability is pretty good on this beer. Its a good beer, but I just can't find anything about it that really makes it stand out from other beers of this type. It's pretty typical, but I think it's a pretty nice winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 06:09:24 | More by JizackFH
Photo of NODAK
NODAK

Tennessee

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell has a mix of sweet oranges, spice and citrus on it. Reasonable for style. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste has a bit of sweetness upfront with spices, notably cloves. Not very sweet at all however, especially when compared to some other wits. The finish has a good snap of lemon citrus to it, with some wheat and spice....also a small hop bitterness. Pretty drinkable and a good example of a wit.

All in all, I usually prefer wits with more bold orange flavors, but this really went down quite well.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 01:49:49 | More by NODAK
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1

Colorado

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

The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass. The aroma is of Belgian yeast, strong spices, light malts and some citrus. 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. Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 16:06:59 | More by Anthony1
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 pasdachuri
pasdachuri

Illinois

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

Pours a cloudy orange with absolutely no head at all. You can tell this beer is unfiltered.

Strong bready yeast flavor and thick wheat malts.

Lemons and heavy, very juicy orange citrus, coriander, cloves, and strong spice. The cloves, coriander, and winter spices are a little too overwhelming. Bell's may have hit what they were aiming for here but I'm not liking this too much.

Semi thin, decent carbonation but I would expect more for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 18:02:35 | More by pasdachuri
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

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

Poured 12/2009

Luminous golden color with a snow-white froth. Smell is predictable spicy with clove and coriander present, a touch of bitter citrus and sweet, grainy wheat malt.

Again, spicy in the mouth. Coriander, clove and some other peppery spices. Sweetish finish, nice wheat character. Some muted fruitiness, green apples and pear.

A better white ale than most American versions I have tried. Spicy and lively, easy to drink and, although not a true winter beer, a really tasty ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 12:11:51 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

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

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazy dull straw yellow color. One finger white head that dies down mostly right away. No real lacing left on the glass.

S- Smells of wheat come off first. This is followed by a yeasty scent showered with banana and clove in the backing.

T- This is a good rep for a witbier. Wheaty upfront with a crisp banana and clove in the front half of the beer. Some light yeast flavor on the backing before dying into a wheat ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Wheat flavors left on the palate with some light clove and spicing left in the aftertaste. Flavor overall was kind of bland and muddled together.

D- This beer is highly drinkable. Lower ABV makes this a easy 6 pack beer. Flavor isn't altogether there although this does have some age on it. I will look back onto this one next season when it first comes out. I remember it being a little more tasty fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 22:32:42 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Spica66
Spica66

Indiana

3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Hazy yellow color, thin foam, decent lacing ring, llots of carbonation

S - Malty, citrusy, not a lot of hops here

T - Has a sweetness (almost citrus sweetness) that does not agree with me. It is as if whatever was used to flavor the beer has taken over the malt and hops finish that I expect.

M - Very light beer.

D - I expected something heavier or creamier because of the Winter in the name. I would not buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 18:55:42 | More by Spica66
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.