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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.

1,527 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,527
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 32
Gots: 67 | 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: 1,527 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bamadog
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%

Review is from notes taken on 11/19/09. Poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden straw color; body is cloudy and shows some sediment and fairly slow bubbling carbonation; starts with a one finger white head that fades to a very thin and light scum in the center of the surface; no lacing is present.

Smell: Sweet and tart fruitiness (grape and pear) and a nice spiciness (corinader), a bit perfumey. Nice overall, and fairly potent.

Taste: Very nice, but I really don't feel that this screams "winter" to me... Much like the smell, the sweet and tart fruit falvors blend quite well with the coriander spiciness; a bit musty in the aftertaste, nice and smooth yeast presence as well.

Mouthfeel: Body is light, juicy and my mouth is left watering a bit; carbonation is strong and prickly; belly is left warm, which is kind of odd since the ABV is only 5%.

Drinkability: Nice and robust flavors; body is fairly light and doesn't sit heavily at all; the ABV is more than manageable. Nothing wrong here, and I could easily sit through several of these - a potential sessionable beer.

bamadog, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours a hazy, pale straw with a white, bubbly head that settles quickly. Moderate amount of lacing.

Aromas of citrus and coriander. Orange peel, some dry grain and a vague hint of lemon.

Flavors are crisp and clean. Orange and coriander are evident, dry grain, and some moderate hop-bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation.

Though a drinkable and refreshing wheat beer, this is an odd choice for a winter seasonal. I guess it's a nice break from the slew of spicy, malty winter warmers, porters and stouts.

endincolorado, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

Draught from McGrath's in Harrisburg (they had the freshest Bell's Two Hearted I've had in a long time!)

A-dark amber in color with a nice hop haze, white head that leaves a decent lacing

S-light rye smell with a hint of vanilla, the aroma is very light

T-lots of spice taste, mostly cinnamon, some vanilla with a bitter finish

M-smooth and creamy with a crisp finish and a light amount of carbonation

D-the creamy mouthfeel makes it enjoyable to drink; but the carbonation at the finish takes away from that slightly

cpetrone84, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of dougriddle
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%

Poured into a wide pilsner glass, this "winter white" displays a lovely dark to lighter golden sunburst color, when in lower light conditions. I poured looking for a more vigorous head, and am a little disappointed with how low the retention is. After a couple of drinks, there is absolutely none to be seen, nor is there any lacing after a couple of drinks.
After a quick sniff, I get a hoppy, citrus blend that is characteristic of most wit beers.
Once this beer hits the mouth, one can notice a fair amount of carbonation. But once the beer is swallowed, it leaves behind a film on the back of the mouth that reminds me of Schlafly's Saison Ale. Unfortunately for me, I do not like this feeling.
As far as taste is concerned, the hop combinations are fairly subtle throughout, but then leaves a strong hop after taste.The spice use is also very subtle. On the whole, this has more of an earthy taste to it, but not a lot of strong flavors. I want something more to jump out at me here. Again, this tastes closer to a Saison style than a wit-hence the "Winter white" moniker I suppose.
Overall, this beer is very nice to look at in the glass, but I need something more from this beer, especially if it is going to be priced at $10.99 for a six pack. You fooled me Bells. I would much rather save $3 and get any Saison six pack.

dougriddle, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours a very hazy pale straw, bordering on cloudy, with a half-finger white head that settles quickly into a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Little retention and almost no possibility of lacing at all.

Nose is wheaty, lots of zesty lemon, sourdough component towards the back end. Maybe a bit of coriander, but it doesn't dominate by any stretch.

Taste is kind of interesting. Starts off with a combination of tangy wheat and pale malt sweetness, with a big lemony zing and a bitterness towards the finish from the coriander. Yeast is lighter than expected, breadiness from the nose never really shows up in the taste, maybe a bit in the exhale. Yeast takes a backseat in this one, very subtle.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, largely because the yeast never shows up. Thinner body, more coarse carbonation (though still quite light), no creaminess. Eh.

Drinkability, what can you say? It doesn't really do much of what the best wits do, but by the same token, it isn't exactly bad either. Really don't get the idea of this being a winter seasonal.

JohnQVegas, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of deapokid
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%

Pours a golden, wheat color, adorned with some nice lacing, moderate carbonation and barely a head to speak of.

Scent is mildly spiced with light coriander and banana peaks out after a few whiffs. The smell is quite faint and it actually took me a minute or two to pull any aroma of this brew.

The general wheat beer flavors peak out at the forefront (banana esthers, sweet spicing, etc.), but are followed by an unfamiliar corn flavor, which is rather mild, but still, unexpected for the style.

Initially, I assumed the "Winter" in the title referred to more alcohol (since most of the flavors are pretty common for the style), but it seems that this wit has a really low ABV, which doesn't make for a warming, cold weather experience.

Despite some flaws in concept and execution, the tingle of carbonation and the slight dry finale are reasonably pleasant enough and, although it's never original or exciting, it's a passable wheat beer and definitely capable of heavy consumption.

deapokid, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of bbeane
3.63/5  rDev 0%

A- Poured into a nucleated weizen glass... has a finger thick foamy white head that mostly disappates, but not completely... leaves some lacing. Beer is golden colored and cloudy

S- Smells sweet, bit bready with strong citrusy overtones

T- Very sweet from start to finish... tastes like it might have some cinnamon or nutmeg added; hints of lemom

M- Very light bodied and light carbonation

D- Super easy to drink and tasty. I enjoyed it, but think I would like it more on a hot summer day


bbeane, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Batch #9386

(A)- Pours a hazy goldenrod color that produced a mediocre white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Lucious banana, lemon, biscuits, and a clove-like spice.

(T)- Same as what the smell dictated. Simple, but tastes good.

(M)- Great balance and carbonation level. Nothing fancy or out of the ordinary.

(D)- A fine witbier. Good taste, body, and balance. No complaints here, just would much rather grab something else than this during winter.

sweemzander, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some spices and citrus. Taste is good, light flavors of citrus and spice. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and goes down with ease. Overall this is a quality beer.

tone77, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of JayQue
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%

This was really surprising. With a little more carbonation and a bigger, longer lasting head, it would be great.

Poured into a Bud Select Pilsner glass from Busch Gardens. Nice golden/straw hazy color. Small fizzy white head that could have lasted a bit longer.

Good solid smell, wheat and citrus. Very robust taste. Has everything, wheat bitterness, citrus, cloves, banana. Very surprising strong taste for a 4.5% abv beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, not watery and some carbonation to tickle the tongue (where was the head??).

Drinkability is good. I could swill this stuff all night.

JayQue, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of pzrhsau
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%

Appearance: Nice deep golden color with a thin head on it. The unfiltered yeast seems like the snow on the picture of the bottle.
Smell: Nice wheat scent with a citrus-like tang to it.
Taste: Nice subtle flavor with tiny hint of citrus. The beer finishes with a crisp wheat malt flavor.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: A little heavier than most wheat beers but very drinkable for the winter months. It has a good weight to it and has a pleasant subtle carbonation to it.

pzrhsau, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of KalH
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured with literally no head. The pour was an unfiltered orange-yellow typical of a witbier and I was instantly hit by a citrus aroma. Upon the first taste, it became apparent this had little carbonation, though it had a very good citrus and subtle spice flavor. Malty, clean finish. Very drinkable and refreshing.

KalH, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%

A- Pours a very surprisingly murky white/yellow color with a thin cap that leaves no lacing. Very strange appearance...

S- Banana and clove dominate the nose with some malt sweetness. Things are starting to look a bit more promising.

T- Nice full banana, pear, and clove flavor with a bit of coriander and wheat. Some residual sweetness and faint alcohol present as well.

M- Medium bodied with very little carbonation.

D- This was the first time that I have ever had this beer. After looking at other reviews it seems that I may be the only one that thought this beer poured almost completely white in color. Did this year's recipe change or were the tap lines just not very clean? Either way the beer had a decent flavor but it looked more like milk than beer.

projectflam86, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of turnstile
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

Appearance: Bright yellow-golden color. Cloudy from a huge yeast content that was stirred up and poured on top. Thin off-white head which sticks around after the initial pour. Some light carbonation noticeable. The head slowly dissipates with no lacing.

Smell: Spices - coriander/cloves. A pleasant wheat and biscuity yeast aroma with a faint hint of lemon.

Taste: Nice and crisp as I would expect in a witbier. The spices dominate, the wheat up front with a slight lingering citrus bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy, smooth body with mild carbonation that gives it a nice bite.

Drinkability: It's a great winter selection. The heavier body certainly distinguishes it from its summer counterparts. Would love to have another.

turnstile, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of fropones
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a pale golden yellow with barely any white head. Smell is wheat, spice, some citrus. Typical wit smells. Some yeast and banana as well. Taste is wheat, a little bit of citrus. For some reason I'm tasting a fair amount of copper. Some spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, good amount of carbonation. Pretty drinkable. Copper taste subsided after the first couple of sips.

fropones, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Pale golden color with a cloudy appearance. I had no head on mine.

Smell: Strong wheat malt and yeast aroma with maybe a hint of banana in the background.

Taste: Very sweet and refreshing. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: This beer had a pretty good body. I found it to be pretty full considering it wasn't a Stout or Porter.

Drinkability: Loved this beer. Could have it over and over again.

civilizedpsycho, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.23/5  rDev -11%

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Pours hazy yellow (mainly) with 1 finger white head. Poor retention and lacing. Smell was strong of yeast, some spice and a little bread. I thought this beer had a unique taste, I think it tasted a little like a spicy hefe. Some banana and bubblegum with some corriander and other spices. Yeast and dry malt as well. Mouthfeel I felt was a little water and slightly undercarbonated. Overall not a great beer but not bad, I should note I'm not a huge Witbier fan though.

bunnyhustle, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%

a 12oz bottle pulled from the depths of the fridge. the batch number is off center in the box and i cant make it out. oh well. the bottle reads 5.0% ABV

A- this one pours a very murky golden yellow colored body with a small, quickly vanishing, white head. the head leaves behind little to no lacing.

S- very spicy with lots of belgian yeast. the spices smell highly of clove with some coriander as well. a bit of banana and bubblegum. pretty standard.

T- the taste is just as spicy as the nose. lots of clove, coriander, and yeast. the spices linger long into the aftertaste, which is sort of a turnoff.

M- full bodied and thick feeling with a high level of carbonation.

D- i dont think this is one of bell's best beers, buts its not terrible either. just something i wont be trying again anytime soon. thanks to whoever left this at my house, its not something i would have bought/tried otherwise.

jwinship83, May 20, 2009
Photo of adamette
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%

Live review. Poured from a bottle into my Brewery Ommegang Witte glass. $1.50 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio as a single.

A Before the yeast got poured in the body was a mundane straw yellow with a nice meringue white head. I swirled the last bit of beer in the bottle and poured it in and "walla" there appeared a great looking cloudy straw yellow opaque body under that same fluffy white head. Very good look for this style.

S Nice wheat and spices, very appropriate to the style.

T That basic Witbier taste of ...you guessed it... wheat grains and barley as well as some nicely balanced spices, herbs of maybe coriander and maybe some cinnamon (?). To me Witbiers are very consistent in their taste (at least the craft ones that I have tried such as Allagash White, Ommegang Witte and others) in that they all succeed in a fairly consistent taste. Anyhow, this Winter White Ale tastes very good and has a moderate spice profile over a bed of wheat wonderfulness.

M Light to moderate (as intended).

D Great (as intended) and with the low ABV I could have many of these in an evening. What a GREAT alternative to, say, a Reisling, and much less ABV (and money spent!) to boot!

Notes: I enjoyed this more out of the bottle. I wonder if that is due to the bottle fermentation/yeasts in the bottle?

adamette, May 17, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%

A: Orange-amber color; maybe more toward apricot. Decent head.

S: Lots of wheat along with plenty of spiciness--fits the winter theme quite well.

T: Lots of spiciness. Perhaps coriander, along with some citrus flavors.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Great drinkability when fresh. This is a solid witbier, and fits in perfectly with a roasting winter fire.

Thorpe429, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of magine
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

This is my first beer frm Bell's - so here goes.

Poured into a pilsner glass, this brew has a golden yellow appearence, with no head. Mostly carbonation is present when poured.

The brew smells of yeast, orange and some lemon.

The brew taste nice and crisp. Taste of yeast and wheat - much like the smell. Yeast after taste is very evident. Very carbonated mouthfeel.

The beer is very drinkable - but I am partial to wheat beers. However this beer doesnt really do it for me as a "winter" brew. I mean it is very drinkable and good, but this is a brew that can be had on a 90 degree day in the summer. Good beer - just not really what I look for in a winter brew. I think the crispness I am detecting is where the difference is in this and a regular wheat beer. refreshing beer none the less.

magine, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: A hazy dark gold and light orange color. Just a small eroding head by the time it is delivered to my table. I suspect it would have better head retention out of a bottle. Some yeast particles float in and out of the haziness, creating a nice effect for those who observe carefully.

Smell: The wheat, as expected, is the most noticeable smell. A nice blend of spices rise into my nostrils, and lemon and orange citrus are present as well.

Taste: I feel that the taste of this witbier is pleasant, but I am not blown away. As expected, the wheat taste and texture fill my mouth at first. The malt allows the lemon, orange peel, and coriander taste to occupy more of the focus. The mild hops supplement the orange peel flavor more than anything, never taking real control, but gradually finishing out the taste. I also noticed that the taste includes more spices and actually becomes somewhat peppery as the keg progresses. I wonder how it is in the bottle.

Mouthfeel: A little too light-bodied for my taste; I am looking for a winter wheat with a slighter heavier feel and a little higher alcohol content. More carbonated than I would prefer as well.

Drinkability: This is an easy sipper that can stand up to a variety of food or would be good on its on while warming up inside, but I think there are some better ones out there. For me, Allagash White dominates this one in every way.

KickInTheChalice, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of dananabanana
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%

A: Hazy yellow color, no head. A little bit of white foam. No lacing.

S: Lemony, wheaty.

T: Wheat, a hint of lemon. Slightly metallic. Not at all complex.

M: Very bubbly, over carbonated.

D: Just not flavorful enough to be worth finishing. I suppose it might be good to wash down a spicy chilli in the winter, but that's about it.

dananabanana, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%

Appearance - Cloudy yellow with a foamy white two finger head. The head dissipated two one finger and left a nice lace on the glass.

Smell - Lemon with some orange and coriander.

Taste - balanced with lemon and orange flavors. Sweet and a little tart.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and creamy.

Drinkability - quite drinkable and good. I'm glad I found this at Blue Max.

hardy008, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of mikeal1917
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%

I was at a bar in East Lansing when I got the chance to taste this brew. Let's just say the beer was better than most of the bands.

Appearance- It was lowlight in the bar, but I crowded around a window to look at it. Beer has a light amber, with wisps floating around the middle of the glass, typical of wheat beers. Didn't keep much of a head.

Smell- Had a decent smell, evidence of of that yeast smell. Smelled similar to Blue moon, which is also a Belgian style wheat beer.

Taste- Smooth refreshing wheat beer, bread like aftertaste from the yeast

Mouthfeel- Thinner beer than other wheat beers I've had. Smooth feel

Drinkability- Goes down easy, mild bitterness that goes a long way in terms of taste. Not to much, not to little

mikeal1917, Mar 10, 2009
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,527 ratings.