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

1,527 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,527 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nortmand
3.45/5  rDev -5%

"Winter Oberon" I suppose.
Pours crystal clear and straw golden. Needs more color and less clarity. After all, it is supposedly a witbier.
Smells mostly like yeast. A little spiciness pokes though.
Taste is actually not bad. The easiest way to describe it is as liquid banana nut bread. A little hazelnut, alot of banana and breadiness here. Not too shabby. A little pickle flavor in the end.
Gentle bubbles coat the tongue. Smooth and rounded feel.
Fairly drinkable. Although still way too yeasty, much better than Oberon, which I'm not a fan of.

nortmand, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

Thanks to Gaisgeil for this one of many...
I needed to do something to shake this hot ass weather we've had here in the Northeast, so a Winter brew it is....
Pours a very pale yellow w/ half a finger of white head...doesn't stick around along, but a thin layer hangs on. Lacing is thin and has very little cling.
Aromas are faint...mostly sweet malt with a hint of citrus notes...not much spice but other flavors I just can't pinpoint...my inexperienced pallet to the style...damn you.
Taste is enjoyable and instantly cools me off...I can feel the chill in my face...just what the doctor ordered.
A real clean finish...no bitterness and perfect carbonation.
Mouthfeel is thin, yet average for the style.
Witbiers are not my first choice, but I'd gladly enjoy a few of these on a day like this...in the Winter, I'd rather reach for something that warms the belly and this is not that beer.

warriorsoul, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of OatherS
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

Very nice label of a snowy scene through woods. I hope the beer is as good as the label.

A: NIce one finger head after the yeast is poured in. Good cloudy yellow color.

S: mild yeast and coriander overtones.

T: Very good wit beer. Perhaps the best I have had.

M: Smooth.

D: Very drinkable, unfortunately part of a mix a six.

OatherS, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.45/5  rDev -5%

Medium yellow in colour with a slight amount of haze. Very yeasty aromas along with notes of sweet orange and black pepper. The flavor is very much on the sweet/fruity end of the wit beer spectrum, with a clove and yeasty hefe undercurrent. The blending of the two styles doesn’t quite work, as the similar phenolic aspects of the two styles become a bit overpowering on the finish. A nice try though, and still very drinkanble.

fisherman34, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

I tend to dislike wits, I find them sort of dull and uninspiring. This one isn't bad however, pretty quaffable and while it may read winter on the label, this is as good of a summer sessioner as I've had. Pours a light gold in color, slightly cloudy with a thin white head. Nose is clean and fruity, quite inviting really. Taste is slightly citrusy, very clean and crisp, slightly spiced, a bit peppery.

A good session beer for sure, but this one isn't shattering any rulebooks.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of SheepNutz
4/5  rDev +10.2%

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a slightly hazy light orange color with one finger of head. There's a bit of lacing. The smell is very light. The only thing detectable is just a hint of citrusy aroma. The taste, however, has plenty of flavor. It's nice and malty, just ever so slightly sweet. Wheat and biscuit malts are present. There's a nice refreshing lemon flavor as well, and even a hint of spice. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is very nice. A decent witbier.

SheepNutz, Jun 24, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%

12 oz bottle courtesy of Dithyramb and BIF X-mas.

Pours a very hazy pale golden color with a small white head. Retention is as to be expected with the style, but collar is nice.
Smell is fluffy wheat, spices (coriander), orange an other citrus.
Taste is sweet malts, wheat, orange, coriander. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.
Exceptionally drinkable and very smooth.
Overall, very nice, definitely worth a try if you can get it. I could easily drink this one on cold winter nights or on hot summer days, very quenching and just overall, very good.

LuckySevens82, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance - milky yellowish gold with a very short-lived head, no lace. Not much happening here.

Aroma - plain and grainy at first, then some banana and yeast emerge, picking up the nose significantly. Settles to a light banana smell.

Taste - standard grainy flavor followed by banana and yeastiness. There is a little hop balance on the tail end, too. Aftertaste develops clove and allspice notes at times, pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel - above average carbonation, helps to highlight some of the spiciness in the flavor. Slightly full feeling in the mouth.

Drinkability - a tasty wheat beer from Bell's, I could recommend it as above average.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of silenius
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%

Purchased from the Bell's General Store after TheLoneGunman's tour of the brewery. Thanks Dave!

Batch 6711.

Pours a murky yellow-orange with a light head that falls to a light skim. I made sure to add the yeast to this brew when drinking it. I like it that way.

Smell is wonderful! Yeasty bubblegum banana with a nice solidy bready-ness. Just excellent! Perhaps a light clove in the background with other spices? Or is that the yeast. I'm told by a very good source (one of the brewers) that this beer has no coriander in it at all despite all the reviews with that description! Good job on the smell!

Taste is a nice round soft doughy bready-ness with some light spices. Quite good.

Mouthfeel has a good smooth roundness.

Package this baby for summer and slap a special "Summer Sun Wheat" label on it and people will eat it up. Much better than Oberon.

silenius, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%

Pours a cloudy bright yellow/orange with a small head that rolls down to a ring around the glass. Spotty lacing lies in its wake. Nice big yeasty wheat nose with notes of cloves and coriander. Big and inticing!

First sip brings a nice citric, yeasty wheat maltiness nuanced by spicy cloves, coriander, pepper and a bit of banana as well. Tasty and well balanced...this is a fine wit right here.

Mouthfeel is good with just enough body to roll over the palate smoothly..good carbonation. Drinkability here is very nice...easily sessionable. I personally think this would be better as a summer seasonal. As a side note...the label picture is beautiful..kudos to Bell's on another tasty brew.

orbitalr0x, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Cloudy and hazy bright yellow-orange color, spicy, earthy citrus aromas, nice white frothy head that lasts and leaves some lacing in my glass.. Fresh tart citrus and mild spice flavors, crisp carbonated mouthfeel, finishes a bit sour, a very refreshing and drinkable brew.

maxpower, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%

Bell's other wheat beer. Cloudy yellow, decent head that vanishes quickly to a thin blanket. Slight spice and orange peel aroma. Smooth taste, kinda bland. A lil full on the mouthfeel, light carbonation. Not a great beer, but not a bad one. Not something I'd look hard for, but something worth drinking.

deejaydan, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%

Bell's Winter White displays the typical appearance of a Belgian wit with a hazy golden-orange body through which very fine bubbles can be seen steadily rising. Its thinly-creamy head of bright white holds fairly well but leaves only spotty lace about the glass. The nose is also quite standard with notes of coriander over a wheatish malt base. In the mouth it's light/medium bodied and the carbonation lends a mild caress to the tongue. It has a lower carbonation level, and less effervescence than many of the better known examples from Belgium. The flavor delivers a delicate blend of semi-sweet wheatish malt; a delicate tartness and some fruitiness from the yeast; and a flick of spiciness and some flavor from the coriander. The low-key bitterness is propperly coralled, and it's immaculately balanced. It finishes with a touch of tartness on the front of the tongue and delicately spicy coriander at the back of the mouth. It lingers shortly and then fades, never building on the palate and lending greatly to its drinkability.

This one's a real winner; and if you think about it, it's not such an odd choice for a winter beer from a brewery that makes more than a half a dozen stouts year-round.

NeroFiddled, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%

Throws a murky dark yellow; ¼ inch decent capped head. The nose mostly attracts wheat, Belgium spices and some citrus. First impression is nice, a very decent blending of pepper and citrus, yeast and some wheat crackers noted in the body. Very mellow and contained, but very well done. The palate is well rounded with wheat, which is the dominating feature of this offering; all in all, pretty solid and a nice ‘change of pace’ winter selection!

GeoffRizzo, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Hazy, wheat beer like yellow gold with a nice head of white froth. Aromas of wheat, coriander, lemon, orange, and your typical wit-like aromas. Taste is simple, one-dimensional and totally wheaty wit. Orange peel, wheat, a nice yeastiness, and citrus fruits. Mouthfeel is creamy and nce and the drinkability is good as well. A 4 star wit from bell's brewing.

francisweizen, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of sweethome
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a very cloudy pineapple yellow, with a medium head of white. It dissipates quickly. The nose is yeasty out front, with some corriander in back. Fairly medium mouthfeel. Starts soft on the palate, but doesn't develop particularly well. Profound taste is the yeast mid-mouth. There is significant bitterness late that leaves a spritzy finish, with yeast, banana, and clove.

This does not seem to be just a winter packaging for Oberon. I prefer the depth of malts in Oberon to this - this beer is more in line with the Belgian White style.

sweethome, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of mobyfann
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Paid $8.99 for a mixed 6'er from Wild Oats...

The beer pours a somewhat clear golden base with barely a head of white color, little to no retention and maybe a speck of lace, not impressive. The aromas start off with a medium-heavy malt smell followed by a mix of fruits and spices.

The taste makes more sense of the smell, it's cloves and bananas with a very nice malt taste for a Witbier. It's pretty light in the mouth and nice on the palette as well, the delivery is smooth, making this the high point of the beer. The drinkability is a bit skewed, it's a nice light Witbier at 4.8%, but I think one is enough.

Final Thought: This beer is everywhere, better in the middle of the beer than anywhere else, a solid brew from one of the best.

mobyfann, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%

Bright, lemon yellow body with adequate yeast haze visibility. Head is cloud white, and started big, but didn't last long. Husky, yeasty wheat malt aromas dashed with lemony orange, clove, and light coriander. Smells how a witbier should, even if it is a little mild. Milky wheat malt flavors start out, but are quickly joined/overpowered by yeasty citrus. Tart, acidic lemon and orange juice refreshingly take us into the mildly candy-sweet, spice-tinged, yeasty finish. Medium bodied, with a milky, smoothie feel up front, followed by a refreshing, acidic bout of carbonation, and then back to the smoothie. Another good beer from Bell's.

alexgash, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%

Hazy, white gold in hue, the color and appearance of the liquid is typical for a Wit. The head developed poorly; at the apex the foam was only a half finger in height. It didn’t last long, in a moment it faded to a fizzy cap before almost fading away. There was some subsequent lacing but it was spotty and it clung poorly. I’ve seen better-looking Wits but this offering is still improved over normal. The nose says “Wit” and I can’t ask for much more. Wheaty-malt backbone with a yeasty undercurrent that melts perfectly with spiced citrus zest. Coriander is clear and pronounced. Orange peel is equally easy to detect. Add in hints of clove and vanilla. Modestly sharp, the potency is moderate. I’d like it louder but there isn’t anything incorrect with the bouquet. I like it… but what is special about it? Should there be anything special about it? Typical. Pleasant. Inviting. I really like the palate; it is very lively and assertive. When I first noticed Bell’s brewed a Wit as a winter seasonal I thought it must be some huge, “Imperial” Wit. It is not. However, a Wit as a winter seasonal does make sense. OSA is spiced. Most Winter Warmers as spiced. What’s the difference? Back to this beer, if you’ve had a great Wit then you’ve had this one. It is textbook from start to finish and since it is well-done, “typical” works. Heavy spiced bill up front, coriander, ginger, clove. In the middle is a wheaty-malt backbone, blasts of citrus, orange, and more spice (subtle this time). The finish is soft, yeasty, wheaty, with a lovely juiciness about it. Similar aftertaste. This is a great tasting Wit. Lovely. This would be a perfect beer for a chilly Sunday brunch. A tickle fuller than medium in body; subtle, natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is very pleasant. It is extremely easy to drink, in a good way. I could imbibe in a few of these beers in one setting. It also helps the abv is low, which is something I don’t see much of in winter beers. I enjoyed this beer completely. I’ll get some more next year, I hope. I purchased a six-pack in Kansas City. It is worth a try, IMO.

bditty187, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of tar
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%

A bit of a different winter time offering from Bell's. Nice looking in the glass with a hazy golden color and thin, white, bubbly head. Presents a pleasant floral aroma with hints of banana, oranges, and a bit of spice (coriander and maybe a bit of pepper?). A mild overall taste with a dry finish. The spiciness present in the aroma along with citrusy flavors linger and add some depth of flavor. A light bodied beer with a crisp dry feel in the mouth. Not a bad tasting beer, but not particularly exciting--I feel like I'm still waiting for something else to emerge flavorwise.

tar, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of oracle
4.68/5  rDev +28.9%

12 oz bottle served in a tall pilsner style glass

This has long been one of my favorite beers to get growlered. I'm very glad to see it in bottles finally.

Like many other wheat beers, this is one where you want to swirl that last half ounce around in the bottle before you pour it into the glass. It picks up the sediment from the bottle, which enhances the flavor dramatically.

Beer poured a very cloudy golden/yellow with 2 inch bubbly sticky head. Like most wheat beers I've tried, the head left very little to no lacing.

Smell was wonderful. golden ripe banana and warm bread.

Taste was very clean and simply delicious. ripe bananas and sweet apple. Strong yeast characteristics.

Mouthfeel was good. Minimal carbonation. This beer feels light and airy on the tounge.

Still one of my all time favorites.

oracle, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%

A great example of a witbier. Very spicy and citrusy, with hints of coriander. Color is a beautiful golden orange hazy color that is a treat to the eye. Good hop presence, perfect carbonation for a beer such as this. An unusual selection for a winter beer, but a good one anyways.

TastyTaste, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of Dithyramb
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

One of the many midwest brews obtained through BIF14. Finally starting to review these goodies.

Very nice winter scene on the label, with white-capped trees and a snowy knoll.
Beer pours a dark straw color with only a bit of carbonation. A very weak off white head quickly trailed off.
Initially smell all the right esters, banana, and medicine. As it warmed, some very earthy and musky smells were evident.
Very smooth and creamily wheat controlled brew. All the usuals are in there (citrus, banana, spicy yeast, etc.) but they are well controlled and almost muted by the wheat.\
Finishes very clean and refreshing. Didn't wow me, but I wouldn't mind another.

Dithyramb, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +10.2%

A curious choice of style for this season, especially from a brewery in frigid Michigan. The Winter Wile Ale poured with a delicately pale straw colored, cloudy, fizzy body. The head was thinner than a Barbie doll suffering from anorexia, and did not stick around too long. The aroma was nicely estery with the appropriately anticipated banana, lemon, and clove flavors. Taste was creamy, tangy, and spicy with a fuller mouthfeel than the looks suggest. Very easy to drink with a low ABV, this is a very nice Witbier on its own merit, and quite a departure from the other winter seasonals that are around.

rajendra82, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 12 from Ngandhi. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" bright white head over the light straw brew. Head fades down to a thin layer of bubbles, not unexpected for the style, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is slightly earthy wheat combined with a citrus sour twang. Taste is a pleasingly sedate wheat character, sharing the stage with a slight sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkability is a bit better. Worth a try, but not one of their best offers, in my opinion.

ppoitras, Dec 21, 2004
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,527 ratings.