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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.

1,496 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,496
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 29
Gots: 58 | 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: 1,496 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Philabeerphia


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into pint glass.
Winter White, hmmm... Straw and honey in color with only a slight ring of a head to speak of. lacing escapes back into the glass before I can get an eye on it. hazy as all hell. down to business, and looking great.
Nose is strong - ripe bananas, yeast, marshmallow and classic bubblegum. Pepper, honey and more. A standout for the style before I've had a sip.

Big banana blackout. Through and through its all about the banana, with that classic wit bubblegum twist. Honey and grapefruit are there for support. Clove and cornbread creep in at the middle, followed by a bit of vanilla and honey. Spicy biting finish. Some sweet alcohol opens up when the brew sits on my tongue for a bit. Overall its a bit too sweet and lacks some of the dryer notes of the greatest wits. But I guess thats where the winter comes into play.

Soft but crisp and clean MF, only slightly buttery. An easy drinker in any season.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 02:01:23 | More by Philabeerphia
Photo of opwog


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

Now listening to: Meatloaf - Anything For Love

A- Cloudy, espcially after pouring in the yeast residue
S- OK, I asked for it by adding the yeast, but all I can smell is the yeast strain...fruity
T- orange, bananas, straw wheat
M- A little chewey...but again, I added the yeast
D- Kind of an odd style selection for a US winter ale, but still pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 05:01:52 | More by opwog
Photo of naterock


2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a extremely cloudy pale yellow. looks like orange juice rather than beer. tick head at first.

smells so strongly of yeast, I can barely smell anything else. barely get a hop nose. just ok.

body is solid for an american wheat but I expect some spice from a wit style. Nothing but yeast, orange peel, more like orange juice flavor. I've never had such a dissapointing experience from bells.

mouth is heavy with yeast, I can't even speak about this beer, it's just horrible. I'm pouring it down the drain.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 18:00:49 | More by naterock
Photo of Strix


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

Pours a cloudy pale yellowish-orange with decent head.

Smells quite floral, yeasty, and citric.

Citrus dominant in the taste: orange, orange rind, yeast, wheat, and spices. Nothing too outrageous, but a nice blend.

Mouthfeel light and bubbly.

This was pleasant, nothing too fancy, but light, tasty and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:24:00 | More by Strix
Photo of mrquartetman


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - It is as it says: white, or really a light straw color. It pours with a small head that disappears fairly quickly.

S - Very citrusy and yeasty, fruity, a hint of banana

T - It looks like a witbier. It tastes like one too, but with a more aggressive and persistent flavor. Lots of citrus and yeast spice across the palate. The follow is lemony and sweet at the same time.

M - Full bodied and refreshing, estery.

D - A most drinkable beer, even more so than the Bell's Christmas

I've seen some critiques of this beer that ding it for being atypical with respect to winter styles. I don't recall seeing a rule that a white ale could not be a winter beer. This kind of innovation in the winter line is very welcome. Sort of an, um, winter welcome.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 05:27:32 | More by mrquartetman
Photo of homebrewhawk


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Batch 8780. Served in a shaker pint. Bottle conditioned. Poured a hazy straw with a finger of fine bubbled white head. Yeasty, spicy aroma with some wheaty malt. Light bodied, slick mouthfeel. More spice in the flavor. Complex clove finish. Very refreshing and drinkable. I don't know why they bring this out in the winter. It would be a perfect summer time beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:09:10 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of SpecialK088


1.9/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a willy and poured another just to be sure in my sam adams pint glass.

Let me start this review by saying I dont fail beers often I take style in mind and try to be fair but this one i'm giving the grade I belive it earned.

A-Very hazy yellow alot of yeast at the bottom of the bottle

S-Bannana and grain

T-Here is where you lose me 100% this is in no way a winter beer and I would not even classify it as a wibier it tastes thru and thru like your average run of the mill american wheat. No spice no warmer nothing.

M-Medium body good carbonation level goes down easy.

D-Would never buy this again I stopped drinking wheats long ago and have no reason to pay 13 bucks for one.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 23:24:38 | More by SpecialK088
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a medium, foamy white head with average retention and lacing.

S: Wheat, yeast, some cloves and perhaps banana. Some coriander and citrus aroma is also detectable.

T: Crisp wheat flavor, with some floral hops to provide a slight bite. Coriander, clove, allspice, and orange juice flavors as well. A bit of drying, husky graininess at the finish.

M: Very crisp and fizzy, with a somewhat light body. A vaguely sticky and dry aftertaste. A seltzery feel to this one, with an acidic, carbonated twang.

D: This one tastes pretty decent, but what makes it a winter beer, exactly? The mouthfeel especially seems off - too much like club soda and without the creamy texture you'd expect from a witbier.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 21:50:10 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of HappyBivouac


3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got in a mixed 6 pack just for the hell of it.

a- Pours a hazy golden yellow with a decent bubbly white head that dissipates a little too fast, leaving an unattractive cloudy white film of bubbles for a while.

s- Pretty bland smell of wheat and maybe pine hops. Nothing much comes through.

t/m- Well this is a decent taste but maybe a bit too light for me. Strong bread dough flavor and light spices right up front and throughout with lingering pine hops. I tad bit of banana-y sweetness is hinted at in the middle. I like that the wheat presence is delicious-- probably the most satisfying thing about this beer. It is overall fairly light-bodied.

d- this drinks almost like it was aimed directly at "less filling" folks, so if that's your thing you might be able to put away several of these. It doesn't compel me personally to try another.

I might be being a bit unfair to the style I'm sure, as lighter beers generally don't satisfy me as much. I've liked bell's other beers and so I picked one of these up on a whim.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 01:40:39 | More by HappyBivouac
Photo of hustlesworth


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

A- cloudy lemon yellow with a big loose fizzy white head. foam recedes quickly with little spots of lace.

S- very strong wheat aroma, some coriander, clove, banana, bubblegum, and floral citrus notes. overall very sweet and spicy.

T- fresh wheat taste from start to finish and a surprising amount of noble type floral hop bitterness. lemon peel, some peppery spice and light toasty flavors. hops become grassy and herbal near the end fading out in the nice wheaty cereal grain finish.

MF- light yet substantial, and moderately fizzy. somewhat dry, it leaves a sticky feeling on the palate probably from the wheat.

D- light and easy drinking with mellow flavors, its odd drinking a winter brew that i normally associate with summer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 02:06:38 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of CaptainIPA


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

A: Pours a hazy, unfiltered straw color with a thin rim of lacing. Plenty of yeast in suspension. Nothing sticking here.

S: Belgian yeast, spices, and a subtle hint of citrus rind.

T: Opens with a strong, spiced presence and crisp notes of wheat, yeast, and lemon zest in the foreground. Taste turns peppery in the middle with suggestions of coriander and banana in the background. Finishes dry and prickly.

M: Thin-bodied with a lively level of carbonation.

D: Impressive drinkability. Unusual style for a winter offering, although I could see a Witbier like this being especially refreshing after a day on the slopes. (See winter wonderland on label.)

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 00:46:06 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of hopdog


3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Server was from a 12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of stronger yeast, bananas and some spices. Tastes of wheat, yeast, lightly fruity and spices. Body was on the lighter body.

Notes from 7/20/05

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 01:12:26 | More by hopdog
Photo of Shumista


3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

A- Poured a hazy yellow with a fizzy white head. Also, off white cloudy swirls were present in the beer that slowly dissipated as the beer settled in the glass. I've never seen anything like this before and really have no idea what was going on. I can say that it did not make the beer appear appetizing though.
S- Smells like a witbier, maybe a little light on the typical witbier spices.
T- Tastes like a witbier. Like the smell suggested it is less spicy than others that I've had.
M- Smoother, creamier and less crisp than other witbier's I've had. To me it had a mouthfeel that bordered on slick.
D- About as drinkable as others of the style.

I was very surprised to see that Bell's releases this as a winter seasonal as I typically don't associate wits with cold weather. Kudos for trying something different I guess though.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 21:29:24 | More by Shumista
Photo of kinger


3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong Ale, Imperial Stout, Spiced Ale...what's this? A winter witbier seasonal? Brilliant! Just what I needed as a break from all these big heavy winter brews. Beautiful label makes me wish the sun was out over a freshly fallen 12" snow. Heavy wheat aroma with citrus, clove, and a touch of banana. Rich yellow pour, slightly golden in the middle. Solid white head, swirl the yeast and a nice cloudiness cascades through to the bottom. Lively on the palate there is a welcoming sourness at the end. Flavor is easily received. Modest blend of fruits and spices, the banana is more prevalent. High wheat content, nice maltiness. Flavors are a little more calm than some of the other witbiers around but they are very well blended. Exceptional winter surprise, nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 03:06:38 | More by kinger
Photo of danielharper


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

Appearance: Slightly hazy but bright yellow body, thin white head. Some effervescence in the glass, moderate carbonation, overall very much to be expected for the style.

Smell: Sweet, spicy. A lot of yeast present in the nose, smells a bit subdued for a witbier, more like an American Wheat. No hops or malt present in the nose. Overall, it's pretty nice.

Taste: Very sweet up-front, hints of the spices that make this a witbier, but to me they're fairly unidentifiable. No hops or malts present in the flavor, finishes clean but with a bit of a sweet aftertaste. Overall a pretty nice witbier for my taste, as I'm not always a big fan of the ones that have the spices way up front.

Mouthfeel: Just a notch above thin, leaves a bit of a coating on the palate. Not unpleasant, pretty much on-point for the style.

Drinkability: I like this beer a lot more than I thought I would. It's very drinkable, so much so that I could consider buying a whole sixer of these. Possibly my favorite wit, something I wouldn't have expected from an American-made beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 00:55:32 | More by danielharper
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

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

Interesting. When I first saw it in the seasonal section, I thought it might be a double wit, like the Southampton. Turns out its a regular wit with a relatively low ABV, and very summer like.

Appearance: Nice foamy head, and a cloudy orange/dark yellow body.

Aroma: Coriander, citrus, yeast..typical for a wit

Taste: Spices are subtle, some citrus, and a little bitterness. The yeast is there as well. Overall, its not bad, but I don't see how this can be categorized as a winter seasonal. Its too light. In comparison to other wits, its decent

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, goes down nicely as any wit should.

Drinkability: Could have a couple of these with ease, even though I've tasted better versions of this style. Its not bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 01:07:05 | More by kshankar
Photo of chiefthreebeers


2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bell's Winter White is a good addition to the white beer category. The beer itself does not scream winter to me. White beers are known for being warm summer month beers. I give Bell's props for bucking that trend and releasing a white for winter. Also, now that I think of it "white" could be a clever play on words for a "white Christmas".

A- Meets all the normal characteristics for a white beer. Cloudy, golden brown color with a white lace.

S- Strong aromas, abundantly sweet and citrus

T- This is where I tend to get off the bus a little. While it has the spice of orange and coriander I am accustomed to, there seems to be little else and a watered down sour apple flavor.

M- Any sweetness is masked by an ever present sour feel. I always like a little tang on my white beers but here I find myself waiting for a spicy flavor and only getting a watery sour finish.

D- Not bad, thought it was more alcoholic than 4.5, seemed to have a little more zing. Overall drinkable, find myself wanting to
put an orange slice in there, not a good sign.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:42:29 | More by chiefthreebeers
Photo of Monkeyknife


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

Poured from the bottle a hazy pale yellow with a thin, wet white head.

Aroma of candy sugar, lemon zest, Belgian yeast, corriander, and banana.

Tastes of lemon zest, yeast, candy sugar, biscuit, and sweet malt. Finish is clean and dry.

Light bodied and dry with a fizzy carbonation.

A touch too sweet but very drinkable witbier from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 02:51:32 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of larsee01


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

12 oz bottle poured into hoegaarden glass

A--Cloudy, a shade lighter than dried apricot. Lots of carbonation with little head.

S--Typical witbier scent. Not too strong. Sweet, tempered with mild metal/mineral. Spicy clove and sweet bread.

T--mild/moderate hop bitter moves ahead of initial sweetness. Mild and bready overall without too much spice.

M--Crisp and a bit dry--high carbonation and mildly surprising hoppiness playing a role?

D--Typical I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 01:22:15 | More by larsee01
Photo of zeff80


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out am orange/golden yellow color with a small, fizzy, white head. It left a few small rings of lace.

S - It smelled of coriander, orange zest, lemon, clove and some wheat.

T - It tasted of wheat, yeast, citrus and a little caramel malt. Some spices and there was a slight licorice flavor , as well.

M - It was fizzy, crisp and sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good wit. I really liked the blend of fruity flavors with some spice and licorice flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 03:27:09 | More by zeff80
Photo of CrellMoset


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

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. I normally never would have purchased this beer (from the previous winter) in October, but this particular bottle had two things going for it: 1) the price was right ($1.75); and 2) the label was completely and entirely upside down. Love it.

Appearance: Pours a largely transparent orange-yellow body w/ a fuzzy, fluffy white head that has average retention for the style, lots of fast, active, medium-sized carbonation, and fast-running, sparkly lacing.

Aroma: Pretty pungent and a little spicier than average, I'd say, which is good. Lots of clove and powdery, sweet wheat - glad that it's still holding up - and good citrus peel. Not bitter or tart, i.e., mostly orange zest-esque. Nice.

Taste: Spices have calmed down a little but are still dominant. There's plenty of sweet but wholesome-tasting powdery wheat here, plenty of citrus twang (more lemon, but still predominantly orange), and a few other grassy notes. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Big, a little rocky, uneven, but crisp, light, and refreshing. I always find witbiers to be an unusual choice for a winter brew given how refreshing they are.

Drinkability: A surprisingly good witbier - probably one of my higher rated ones, really. Has all the right elements and hits all the right notes without being too subdued or dull. Expertly balanced, and recommended, upside-down label or otherwise.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 23:29:12 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Proteus93


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The typical hazy blonde pour, thought he head on it retains wonderfully... foamy and white

S: Wheat, a little bit lemony (not too intense, though!) and a soft and warm spiciness.

T: Not as spicy as many can be, and with a more mellow citrus zing. A little orange peel and a nice wheatiness.

M + D: Nice and dry, which is a positive. Without the sweet and spicy flavours of some, it becomes a very easy drinker. I'll be looking forward to the next release of this one to try it a little hotter.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 02:32:20 | More by Proteus93
Photo of PhillyStyle


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

A: Poured a very nice hazy orange color with a light white head that dissipated quickly.

S: The aroma was also good, it had a nice wheat/cirtus/banana aroma to it. Well blended.

T: Taste was very good. Mainly wheat and banana, just what you would expect from a Belgian style wit.

M/D: Think body, good carbonation level and highly drinkable. Not sure why this is a winter beer as it seems perfect for summer, but overall a very good beer and one that I will definately be picking up again.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 20:42:17 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of BlindPig


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

A- Thin white head on a cloudy golden body.
S- Big banana with orange peel come through right off the bat. Some spices like cloves, pepper, and maybe even a hint of cinnamon.
T- Kind of mild in flavor. Flavors match well to the aroma just if you tone everything down by quite a lot. The bitterness is on the bigger side for this style. Leaves a nice little bite with orange peel.
M- Medium/thin body with low/medium carbonation.
D- I think it is decent but nothing outstanding. I'm not sure how old this beer is so not sure if it is past its prime. I would think its a few months passed it's peak and starting to show signs of oxidation.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 02:16:17 | More by BlindPig
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2008 18:14:58 | More by yourefragile
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.