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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

1,528 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,528
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 31
Gots: 68 | 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: 1,528 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a meringue of a head that leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Perfume of banana, bubblegum, anise and a dash of lemon pepper

Taste: Starts out with a banana bread flavor, that adds the lemon and anise flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the lemon fruit flavors build and there is a final dash of pepper in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderately high carbonation

Drinkability: Not a classic wit as I understand it is brewed without spices, this is nevertheless a tasty wheat beer that has elements of a wit and a hefe; nice job

brentk56, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of k3n
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Tangfoot.

A: Hazy dark gold, with a thin head that disappates almost immediately, leaving no bubbles whatsoever.

S: Not much. *sniff* Smells like clean beer, but not much else.

T: Lightly sweet malt, a bit of citrus (lemon rind?), a bit of hop oilyness at the end.

M: Goes down easy. Then makes you reach for another swig. I was halfway through before I even noticed it.

D: As I said above. It's simple, it's easy, and it's good drinkin'.

k3n, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of becktone
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is almost typical of a witbier. Just a bit more head and it would do it. That cloudy lemon yellow color is there with the high carbonation giving life to this brew. Head is white and very small, something more than a thick film would give this beer a better and more appetizing appearance. However small the head may be it does have good retention. It hasn't really moved at all since I poured it. I guess its in line with others of the style-Holy Moses, Hoegaarden, and Blue Moon. Lacing is good-leaving a solid wall around the glass.

Aroma is fully wheat. There is just a little bit of orange and coriander aroma along with that of some weak spices. For a witbier I would expect something more.

To the tongue it tastes like a witbier should. But then again, for me its just meeting expectations, not exceeding them. As far as witbiers go I'd rather Hoegaarden than this. Wheat is the main flavor here, its after taste is actually quite nice. All the flavor is there. The orange, coriander and spices seem to reside there. A little bit of sweet orange flavor when it first hits the tongue.

This brew has a lighter sprity body and is quite refreshing. High carbonation give life to this brew's body and compliment the flavor. The only beef I've with this brew is that it is a winter seasonal. This isn't the type of brew I want to drink in the winter. Were it released in the summer months I can assure you I'd probably buy it again. Becasue its released now, when I want something heavy and hearty I doubt I'll buy this again anytime soon. Other than that its a great brew, not quite up there with Hoegaarden though.

becktone, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of granite
2.73/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Compliments of Lackenhauser

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A--- Poured a pale straw with lots of yeast in suspension. A thick creamy head collapsed in a couple minutes.

S--- Sweet smelling tropical fruit with clove and vanilla.

T--- I wish it tasted as good as it smells. It was very acidic and flavorless. My tongue hates me right now

M--- Good carbonation and to style.

D---A little disappointing flavor wise but I’m happy I got to try it.

granite, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - this bells offering pours a hazy straw yellow, with a big white head that dissipates to a lace quickly

S - bog spicy aroma, like cloves and coriander, witha strong citrusy note, like lemon zest

T - the flavor totally mirrors the aroma, spiciness riding the back of strong lemony zest

M&D - spicy, a little overspiced, but still very good, the lemon zest enhances the drinkability, a good witbier, wht else would you expect from Bells.

sinstaineddemon, Jan 17, 2007
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 SaucyA
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer.

It pours a wonderfully hazy light yellow, with a beautiful white head. It's a perfect example of a witbier. Sticky lace is present.

Smell is the usual citrus overtones with lots of wheat and yeast... corriander is more noticeable when poured off a bottle from my experience.

Taste's great... smooth, slightly sweet, major citrus... not at all cloying. Wheat is present throughout, melding all the flavors together and finishing off beautifully with no bitterness to speak of. Medium carbonation and medium to light body make this beer go down EXTREMELY EASILY. I can't stress how easy it is to drink this beer. It's scary.

My only real complaint about this beer is the limited availability of it. It'd be amazing to knock these back in the middle of July.

SaucyA, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of phisig137
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light gold straw color. One finger head falls quickly, leaving behind nice lacing and a blanket of foam.

Aroma is delicious. Strong wheat presence, with a definite german flair in the yeast. Both coriander and citrus are present, although the spicy coriander takes center stage here. Very nice.

Flavor again is quite good. Very well balanced and fairly light. Nice citrusy orange notes, with a mild coriander flavor all throughout. Wheat is present and makes it's bready quality known. Full flavored and refreshing. Mouthfeel is suprisingly full for the style, and drinability is excellent.

I'd put this wit up against any other out there, including whirlwind and St. Berny's wit. Fantastic beer overall, but I have to wonder, why is this a winter seasonal? Nothing about this beer says "winter" to me. While it is a damn fine beer, I'd much rather see bell's release this as the "Fourth of July White Ale". I guess I just don't understand the wit beer as a winter beer. Damn fine beer, just not the right time of year. In any case, it is definitely worth picking up... highly recommended.

phisig137, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of Chaz
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a classic Wit: opaque, pale golden and whitish in color, and with plenty of suspended yeast. Slight pale tan-head and lacing. Nose is right on style, mildly spicy, but rather perfumey, with yeast, clove, and bubblegum qualities, all of which make a great impact on the first sip. Mouthfeel is light and creamy, almost effortless to drink, and with very low apparent alcohol. Juicy and malty (yet light), and very flavorful, this reminds me very favorably of the Saint Bernardus Wit. Wonderful stuff, and a totally unexpected approach to a Winter seasonal. The first time I was served this it was accidentally, during a rush at a local bar. I asked for a Summit Winter and I got a Bell's Winter. I drank it without knowing what it was, partly figuring that (it being a game day) I wouldn't get another beer before long. This particular bar serves a lot of draught Blue Moon, so I mistook it for that right away, but then realized how much *better* it was than the Blue Moon I've had umpteen times in the past! For five seconds I was thinking of re-appraising my view of Blue Moon! Fine job Larry Bell . . . this would be great in 12 packs in summer . . . hey, a guy can dream right?

Chaz, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this from a bottle in batch 7735, packaged on November 27, 2006. Pours a hazy tawny orange. Smells of wheat, yeast, and citrus: orange and lemon. Taste begins with mainly the yeast, continues into the citrus flavors - orange and lemon again, especially the orange - and ends with a light touch of the sour citrus. Flavors travel well. Very light, fizzy mouthfeel. Overall, a very good wheat beer. I'm usually not a fan of the style, but this one makes me like it. A nice, clean ale that seems appropriate for the winter.

ndekke39, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of adammills
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured a slight golden yellow with a smallish finely bubbled head. Little to no aroma, maybe a very faint biscuit, not sweet at all, no esters. I tastes creamy with no hop taste of aroma. The flavor is very bland, a shocking lack of complexity from what I expect from Bells. Finishes very smooth, very drinkable, and very much lacking in flavor.

adammills, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of budgood1
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a hazy shade of gold. thin fizzy head dies quickly. minimal lacing present. spicy aroma, some pepper and clove, wheat and yeast. nice tangy flavours...orange and tangerine...some spice...and underlying malt sweetness which lifts the whole beer up and even gives it some gumption. the body is fullish and the mouthfeel is slippery; bordering on syrupy. drinkability rates high just because this tastes good and makes for a great thirst quencher. a nice changeup from the usual winter offerings.

budgood1, Jan 04, 2007
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 Mdog
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy yellow with good carbonation.

Smell: Yeasty, clove aroma.

Taste: Wheat, clove, a little citrus.

Mouthfeel: Good for the style.

Drinkability: It's strange for me to have a witbier in winter, but this would be a decent choice if I wanted one.

This is a decent beer, but nothing too special. It just feels weird to drink this in the middle of winter.

Mdog, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, somewhat muted golden color. Fluffy white head. Nice, crisp and phenolic aroma. Bright, crisp flavor. Slightly spicy. Nice balance of wheat and malt with the bitterness. Good body-light with a nice dry finish. Very drinkable beer. Not a wit beer fan but I could see doing a bunch of these in the summer. Another good beer from Bell's.

lackenhauser, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of frazbri
2.58/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bell's Winter White poured cloudy, straw yellow with a short-lived bright white head on top of a cascade of carbonation. Aroma of corriander, pepper, flowers and fruit. Apples, oranges, lemon zest, and spice comprise the flavor. Medium-light in body and highly carbonated.

I don't quite get the Winter White. It's too aggressive for your average wit. It's kind of like a winter Oberon, but doesn't hit the mark for this BA. Bell's is one of the best breweries around, but this isn't a product I'd recommend.

frazbri, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of jopl
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass and enjoyed alongside a garlic olive oil pasta.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a finger of white head that leaves a bit of splotchy lacing.

Smell: Strong fruity (mostly banana) smell alongside wheat & hops.

Taste: Initial fruity taste that turns into a yeasty wheat finish. Very sweet and goes especially well with the pasta.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, bubbly beer that is easy drinking and finishes well.

Drinkability: This is a pretty easy drinking beer. It doesn't have a high alcohol content so I could probably drink a couple of these. The sweet taste can be a bit of a turn off though.

jopl, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the glass hazy pale golden with a white frothy low head which lasted well enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was wheat with a light bit of citrus thrown in for good measure. Some light clove character was also present. Finally some DMS (corn) character was notable.

The flavor was light and enjoyable with a nice wheat flavor and a light bit of citrus coupled with a light clove spice. The beer started on the palate slightly sweet but had enough citrus and spice to balance toward the finish.

The finish was dry with lasting wheat character, very slight citrus and fleeting spice. The body was medium with a moderate level of carbonation which led to a creamy mouthfeel. The light character which would not cause this to be a standout, made it ultimately extremely drinkable and thirst quenching.

12 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of Grundle20
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
This beers look is scarily similar to your average American macro lager. Golden yellow, with no head.

Smell:
The scent is ever so faintly reminiscent of sweet banana bread. There's an underlying Miller High Life quality that again is quite the turn off.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
I can't believe I'm drinking Bells and/or a witbier. Initially there is some pleasant sweetness and wheat character but it almost instantly vanishes and is replaced with a taste of wet hay and aspirin. Despite apparent carbonation the beer drinks rather flat and thick. The finish is rife with wet hay character and the finish is also plagued with this taste. I'm absolutely shocked.

Drinkability:
It drinks just like a macro lager easy going down but has little to offer in terms of well balanced good flavors.

Bottom Line:
This beer is just a flavor notch up from making my shit list. This is the only disappointment I have ever had from Bells and it's a big one. It's just a step up from macro lager but considerably more expensive. A definite pass in my opinion.

Grundle20, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pretty gold with a decent head, but not hazy at all for a wit.

Smells like quite the wit, though, with big huge spicy wheatmalt letting through nodes of white pepper and cloves.

Tastes like wonderfully overpowering wheatspice. Big cloves, all spice, ginger, corriander, and white pepper against a sugary background.

Hell yeah. I always like spicy wheat beers more on cold days than on hot ones. This is a great idea and a wonderfully brewed beer.

mynie, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of zsk
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was like any other white. Cloudy golden with white bubbly head
Smell was bland. Not much there, really
Taste was good. Refreshing.
Mouthfeel was Ok, not great.
Drinkability was OK too. I don't really care for another.

This is just average. I was hoping for a winter style beer (Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Celebration, etc) Might as well be any other white ale. Blue Moon is better.
What happened Bell's???

zsk, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of shadow1961
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bells Beer's website indicates that my bottle of Bells
Winter White Ale was packaged on September 20,
2006- but three months before I opened it. It pours
out a thin head that disappates almost instantly,
over a cloudy yellow brew. Nose is of light malt and
yeast. Mouthfeel is velvety, flavor is of malt and wheat.
It's smooth and a bit dry. Alcohol by volume 4.5%. It's
decent, but not that spectacular- I think it would really
shine with a white meat dish and it would be fine as a
session brew too.

shadow1961, Dec 13, 2006
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 dogfooddog
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to MABZ for this among many bottles.

Pours with almost no head at all, nose is bananas, sweet-smelling wheat, pretty normal for a belgian witbier.

taste is a bit maltier, almost to the point of drowning some of the above characteristics. If I didn't know better I would wonder if corn was used in this beer. a good bit bitter, not too much complexity beyond it.

Not my favorite bells beer.

dogfooddog, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 7660

This is not one of the better white ales I've tried. I didn't mind it quite as much before one of my co-workers so eloquently described the taste/aroma of this beer as "urinal cakes." Oh, the power of suggestion.

The beer pours to a golden yellow color, a little darker and less hazy than expected, and not nearly enough particulate matter to cast the whiteness in the light. Very little carbonation and head. Retention is quite poor, and subsequently lacing doesn't exist.

The smell is of coriander and curacao orange peel. A bit of banana esters and spicy phenolics. The malt bill seems very cheap. The aromas described above combine to form a distinct urinal cake smell. Not pleasant, but not particularly unpleasant (afterall, urinal cakes are meant to cover up the unpleasant smell of urine). The taste is very similar. Actually tastes good until the finish, when the urinal cake really begins to take hold. Reminds me of a saison with the spices of a witbier.

The body is fairly creamy. Could be much more drinkable. Kind of an odd style for a winter release, though I can see how the "white" would be associated with the season.

neonbrown82, Dec 05, 2006
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,528 ratings.