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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

1,543 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,543
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 33
Gots: 70 | 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: 1,543 | Reviews: 636 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irish
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When reviewing a wit, you almost have to say "for the style", because it is above all a subtle style. Other reviewers seem to penalize it for being true to style. But I think you have to take the style as a given.

It pours plainly without a lot of fuss or head, and settles into a very clear pale liquid.

Modest nose. It sips easily, with a moderate bitterness afterward, but subtle. Here's a beer that really IS "less filling" and "tastes great. It could easily qualify as a session beer.

As long as I am mentioning that horrid ad's phrase, I should reiterate that this beer falls heavily on the "less filling" side, although it really DOES taste great. A nice change from other monstrous, super-hopped and -alcoholic winter beers.

irish, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of archiespeck
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this out of a bottle and it just left me cold (no pun intended). I'm usually the biggest Bell's cheerleader around, but this is a massively disappointing beer. The smell and taste are extremely average. That's all you can really say about this beer. It's not terrible, but the 9.99 price tag is not justified in the least bit. You can do better than this, Bell's.

archiespeck, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval chalice.

The beer pours a light clear gold with a light white head. The head is gone quickly with light retention.

The aroma is sweet with a little bitter hops.

The taste is ok, nothins special. This is not a winter beer. This is a generic beer, not to say it isn't a good sessional but this is more of a summer beer.

jrallen34, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

5.0%abv listed on the label.

It pours a cloudy yellow colour with about an inch of foam. The lacing is ok for the style.

The smell is...funky and yeasty with good notes of banana and anise with a lemon hop aroma bringing up the rear. It smells inviting to me.

The taste is of wheat, bananas, light lemon zest, and a bit of bread. I like the smell more than the taste for some reason. Maybe the overall flavours come off to me as being bland.

On the low side of medium bodied with low levels of carbonation. At this time, the foam is gone and no more lacing.

Drinkability? It drinks ok but following one bottle with another, if I had one, would not be something I'd do.

Bitterbill, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Sallerj
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer will satisfy seasoned beer snobs and newbies alike. The smell is my favorite part, with an almost-aggressive phenol funkiness, with sweet grassy floral notes. After that, it's solid but unremarkable. It has all the right flavors in all the right places, and a little lingering orangy citrus at the end. It's ever-so-slightly thin in a way that makes me unsure whether to knock a half point off of taste or off of mouthfeel.

Sallerj, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of Gehrig
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Jupiter's.

Cloudy orange with absolutely no head at all. Nice color, anyway.

Fine and moderately aromatic nose, plenty of citrus and a little yeasty in the smell--good. The taste is as Witbier should be--light, fruity, malty--with plenty of citrus and a decent dash of coriander and ginger. While I'd like a little more spice, this is undoubtedly taste. Smooth, too, malty and light in texture. Delicious.

It's a nice representative of the style--not the best I've had, not exactly complex, but tasty and accessible. I won't hesitate to order it again.

[Second review, 11/7/10: Enjoyed from a bottle]

One key difference between the first time I had this, and today, is how much more well-rounded I thought the mouthfeel was this time. I would give this session's score, from a bottle, a 4.5 for its smooth texture with a good degree of spicy bite that I find a welcome improvement.

Regardless, a delicious Witbier that is well worth enjoying multiple times, as this review hopefully showed. More good stuff from Bell's, one of the very best breweries that the US has to offer.

Gehrig, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a straw yellow/light brown hue with a quick fading white head. Leaves a good amount of lace down the glass and it is, obviously, unfiltered.

S - Lots of scents of lemon, wheat, and coriander... more so than an average witbier. It has a pleasant sour/spicy aroma at the end coming from the blend of spices and/or yeast strain used in the brew.

T - It was a little watery, which was unexpected from the aroma, so the flavor didn't pop like the smell did. The lemon and sour notes come to bat first and the yeasty esters hit clean up. There are light hints of spices throughout the entire palate.

M/D - Had a light body with lots of small carbonation bubbles. No traces of off flavors or too much tannins either. Refreshing and easy to drink, which is a bit different than most winter beers but it works.

VaTechHopHead, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of webmanspidey
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. Cloudy light orange in color, sparkling with minimal head. Smell is sour lemon, musty oranges, and pepper. Taste is loaded with lemon with some mixes of other spices. Not that complicated or interesting, but light and very refreshing.

webmanspidey, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at Bell's General Store.

It pours with a thin quickly dissipating white head and a golden body.

It smells wheaty and yeasty, there isn't too much by way of scent here.

The tast is lemony, whaty, and lightly spiced, somehting you would drink in summer not winter.

This beer screams average.

crossovert, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of thekanna
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #9472.

A: Pours a nice, slightly hazy gold with a thin, foamy head and large, effervescent bubbles.

S: Strong bready yeast flavor and thick, wholesome wheat malts, reminiscent of Ayinger Brau Weisse.

T: Strong wheat malt that's slightly sweet around the corners, bananas, and a faint hop bitterness.

M: Slick and juicy with strong carbonation.

D: Although I still enjoy this brew more on tap, it's amazing how much freshness they were able capture in this bottle.

thekanna, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of afausser
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Wild Wing Café in Charlottesville watching the Orange Bowl.

A: Pours a very hazy amber orange, if a very pale one. The small amount of head present quickly turns into uneven foam and then a sheet of fine lacing.

S: Pale, citrusy, and slightly spicy. Light tropical fruits--coconut and banana in particular, and white pepper are clearly present.

T: Lemons and heavy, very juicy orange citrus, coriander, cloves, pepper, and spicy crisp green apples.

M: Good crisp bubbly mouthfeel.

D: Pretty drinkable and a solid brew, but not my favorite Bells.

afausser, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had this on tap at Whole Foods, then finally found a 6-pack.

Pours a nice hazy yellow in color with a pillowy white head. Aroma of wheat, lemon, and slight whiff of spice. Taste is similar - wheat, lemon, much more spice, and a nice huskiness compared to other white ales. Starts and finishes nice and dry, like a crisp winter wind.

Certainly, this isn't groundbreaking, but I really enjoy it. Heartier than a summer white, it's a nice quaff on a snowy day. I like it - there's more to it than most white beers I've had.

RockyTopHeel, Jan 08, 2010
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.

jlindros, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of stoutfiend27
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

a-hazy orange color..one finger foamy white head that fell quickly..nice floaties...ok lacing..tight cap

s-bready and yeasty...a bit of banana and clove...faint pale malt smell..

t-much like the nose..some spice in the forefront...followed by some yeasty notes and some banana and clove...pale malt holds this together and fends off some spiciness..

m-creamy and smooth...not over the top and nothing offensive...a good session beer

d-will have no problem putting away the sixer

bought this to have something to session on tonight before i hit the heavy hitters up later...hears to a new year starting

stoutfiend27, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of icetraxx
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap last night.
A: Looks like Hoegaarden but without any head to speak of. Swirling the glass produced a head that quickly dissipated. No lacing. I've seen many better looking wits.

S: Coriander, yeast, and wheat malt. Not much else. Smells exactly like Bell's Oberon with coriander.

T: Similar to the smell: a decent malt backbone with an aggressive dose of coriander. Hops and any orange/lemon peel are lost in the background and are even unusually weak for this style. Tastes like Bell's Oberon with less citrus and with more coriander/spiciness. Flavor seems a little too light and watered down compared to the best Wits I've had.

M: Somewhat starchy with good body. Yeast adds a certain thickness comparable to Bell's Oberon, Hoegaarden, or even Allagash White. Served on-tap so I will not comment on carbonation.

D: True to the style, it would be very drinkable in the summer. It is less drinkable in the the Michigan winter.

O: While I like drinking summer-syle brews here in the Michigan winter, I felt this beer was almost too light for the season. I prefer a heartier yet summmer-like Weisse for winter drinking.

Comparisons: I would rather drink both Hoegaarden or Allagash White over this brew, but I would take Bells Winter White over a Blue Moon any day.

icetraxx, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA dmamiano for kicking this down to me!

Poured into a pint glass. A very light yellow-gold color, pure white head rises to a couple fingers and then settles quickly. Beer is slightly hazy.

Citrus and spice aroma. Very pleasant, with some tangy earthy wheat notes as well. Taste is a nice citrus and coriander blend, wheat comes through as well. A mildly bitter hop finish, though the fruity flavor lingers through the end as well.

Light and crisp, well carbonated. Easy drinker of course. Not sure what this has to do with winter other than the name, but it is a great witbier in my opinion. I would love to hit this on a hot summer day,

ZimZamZoom, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of cdkrenz
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drizzam is the man!

A - Cloudy, pale orange body with a head at about three quarters of an inch and eggshell in color. The head has some okay stamina as it gently fades.

S - Pungent clove and a hint of bananas.

T - Subtle spice accenting a bitter wheat flavor. There's a fruitiness to it that's mild and becoming.

M - Ever-so-slight coarseness to the texture with a chilly finish. This brew goes back very easily.

~ This is a great beer. I recommend this brew to everyone looking for a sessionable winter style brew. It has very good aroma character that's backed up with an even better feel and collage of flavors. Give this one a try, you won't regret it.

cdkrenz, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy pale yellow color with thin white head. The head settles very quickly leaving no lacing behind.

Aroma is slightly spicy, slightly fruity.

Flavor is pleasant and appropriate for the style. It has a bright fruity, light and citrus, taste with mild corriander spice.

Light in body and moderate in carbonation, all about right for the style.

Overall a good witbier and enjoyable. It's nice to see one as a winter seasonal instead of summer but it probably works better in the warmer months.

GilGarp, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of xcrunner78
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour a hazy yellow-brown with a good head that is white.

Smell: I get some fruit (banana? lemon?) and grain in the smell at first, then with some dough with little hop to the aroma.

Taste: Taste of clove, coriander, fruit and wheat.

Mouthfeel: On the palate a heavy feel (wheat) at first with spice (clove) and some fruit that finishes crisp.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but not a choice for te winter...would do more of aheavier higher gravity beer.

xcrunner78, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Redrover
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle, poured into my SA perfect pint glass. The beer is a light straw/yellow with a bit of haze and smallish off-white head.

Nose of banana, grains and lemon peel.

The first taste is of clove and grains. It is followed quickly by banana and all spice. There is citrus late in the aftertaste. Seems well balanced.

The mouth is light and slightly astringent.

Not a bad change-up from some of the heavier winter beers.

Redrover, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of waltonc
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drinking this on Christmas night along with a couple other Bell's products. Pours hazy gold with white head. Smells and tastes of cloves, coriander, citrus peels, etc. Body is medium with plenty of carbonation. A nice spicy witbier for a cold winter night, but not one I'm going to session all night.

waltonc, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright yellow color with a thick white foam head that quickly dissipates. A good amount of lace.

S: Lots of banana and clove at first with some pear and bready malt mixed in.

T: A combination of pear, banana, clove, corriander and wheat. Nothing over the top but really clean.

M: Very light and crisp.

D: An easy to drink beer, not something I enjoy in the winter time, but a nice offering.

IronCitySteve, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of HeightsEats
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was quite similar to Great Lakes Holy Moses. There were spicy notes in both the flavor and aroma with elements of coriander, orange and wheat. This is surprisingly drinkable for a winter white ale with moderate alcohol and a very clean flavor and finish. This would probably taste good at any time of the year.

HeightsEats, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of beer2day
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very yellow. Cloudy, even somewhat thick-looking. 1-finger head gives way to very thin retention. Laces nicely with thick coverage off the glass.

Strong lemon aroma. Tiny bit of clove-banana, but way more lemon than anything else.

Hits very sweet. Bananas and lemon come in quickly that is quirky and dry. Sour finish, more sour than bitter. Sweetness from the bananas kicks back in at the end, but faintly.

Feel seems about right for the style. Thin at first, but grows thicker midway through.

Easy drinker, but just not the right time of year for me to down this one. Weather needs to be warmer to truly enjoy this style.

beer2day, Dec 23, 2009
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
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,543 ratings.