Bell's Winter White Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

1,783 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,783
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 43
Gots: 146 | 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: 1,783 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of magine
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of dananabanana
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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.

Photo of hardy008
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mikeal1917
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of kbeals
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hazy golden color. About two fingers of foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. A bit of lacing. Smells are of citrus and spice, maybe cinnamon or clove. Taste is citrusy, a bit grainy and wheaty. Mouthfeel is very smooth and crisp, refreshing, I could drink these all night.

Photo of BigJim5021
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an outrageously hazy pale gold with a fair-sized white head. The head disappears almost immediately, leaving a ring and more lacing than your usual wit.

Smells almost how a wit should smell, but the clove and banana aspects are dulled a bit compared to actual Belgian beers. There's a minor hint of soapiness too.

The flavor is similar to the smell in that it's close to the real deal, but not quite close enough. There is, however, a bit of spiciness that you don't encounter with Beligan wits. I can't place it, but it's slightly peppery.

Mouthfeel is spot-on for the style. It's light and refreshing.

I could easily settle in with a six-pack of Bell's winter offering. I doubt I'll buy any next year, but that's just because there are better wits to be had.

Photo of ljbrisson
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy straw yellow into a pint glass with a sudsy white head that quickly frothed to a negligible film and left no lacing. Aroma is sour, with orange, spice, coriander, a little clove. Mouthfeel is a little slippery and very spiny with carbonation. Taste is banana, lemon, no tartness from the aroma, slightly grassy, finishing with an odd dry hop bite. Drinkability is moderate due to what is in my opinion a slightly unbalanced hop bitterness. Overall this is an ok beer, nothing more, nothing less.

Photo of maltusaurelius
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by stating that despite the current craze for Belgian beer I have not had many Belgian witbeers, so this is my first official tasting of this style.

Poured from a brown Bells bottle into a beer mug (I don't have the appropriate glassware at home).

Poured a bright, cloudy yellow with a fluffy two fingered head that dissipates quickly to leave minimal lacing.

Coriander and cloves and sweet wheat malts are present on the nose. Taste is the same - somewhat sweet, as is typical of other Wits I have had, with a clove and coriander spiciness. A slightly bitter hop finish rounds out the taste.

This beer has a lively, somewhat prickly mouthfeel.

This is definitely on the sweet side, which I think is typical for the style, but the sweetness is not overbearing. A tasty beer fairly typical for the style. I could definitely have more than one.

Photo of birchstick
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy golden yellow with a nice head that fizzles and pops from the carbonation and slowly dissipates

S - smells of wheat, coriander, and hints of bubblegum

T - tastes as the smell suggests - Starts off spicy, with coriander, banana, and wheat. It finished slightly dry with some grassy hops.

M - very smooth and creamy, albeit a bit thin

D - this is a pretty good wit. Nothing stands out or blows me away by it, but nothing disappoints me either. This is a pretty decent wit, but I would reach for something else by Bell's.

Photo of BierFan
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No batch code is printed on the back label so I have absolutely no idea when this was made. 5.0% alcohol by volume. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very hazy yellow. I can still barely make out carbonation bubbles rising up the side of the glass through the haze.

Smell: Very juicey and fruity aroma. A slight bubblegum aroma.

Taste: More fruit and bubblegum. Really mellow and smooth.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Orangish/brown colored with extreme sediment. This beer is completely opaque, nearly identical to a dense hefeweizen. Two fingers of slightly orange-tinted head rise with moderate retention. Some lace.

S - Moderate citric twang from the wheat balanced nicely with chalky, dusty yeast. Spice is faint but detectable with suggestions of the coriander and orange peel popping in and out.

T - Although this is lacking some of the obvious spice quality of other witbiers, it makes up for it in extreme balance. Orange peel and lemony wheat engage in some interesting interplay with the chalky notes from the yeast. There is a small bit of sweetness with the perfect level of tartness. Mid palate the sweetness and creaminess of the wheat fades into a peppery and slightly phenolic taste while some dusty yeast lingers. Mid to late palate the coriander makes a brief appearance and fades into an herbal, tea-like bitterness. Finishes clean.

M - Very interesting. Winter White has a solid medium body with an unmatched creaminess for the style. Carbonation is moderate and compliments both the citrusy elements and the fuller-than-average body perfectly.

D - Bell's has strayed from typical wits with this offering, but this is still a remarkable beer. Winter White strikes an excellent balance between the thinner, spice-laden wits and the overly chalky, orange-sherbert-like thicker wits. I could put down several of these in no time. A stunning and unique example of the style.

Photo of hughesm4
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought that Bell's Winter White Ale was a very drinkable beer. The experience from the smell to the aftertaste left in the mouth was not great but above average. I enjoyed the slight but not overdone spicy taste, and would drink the beer again with no problem.

Photo of CReilly
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1/14/09

Bell's Winter White Ale:

App: Orangey yellow haze sits quietly under a slight white head which dissipated within the first 30 seconds... a nice effervescence was seen throughout the life of the beer however somehow did not contribute to head

Aroma: Classical wit character of sweet wheat, coriander and a slight citrus nose.. Pleasant overall

Taste: Slight spicey coriander with sweetness derived from a nice wheat backbone, and a mildly hoppy bitterness to round it out

Mouthfeel: Medium light body that was broken up by the more than adequate carbonation. this beer ended with slight bitter sweet mildly hoppy end that almost seemed dry to a small degree

overall the taste was good but the head retention awful... barely any head to begin with.

would give it another try

poured into a small pilsner glass

Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought back from my trip to Indy. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass. The back label has a bottling code that you can type into the website and get the bottling date (Oct 13, 08 for this one so 3 months old today). It was a cloudy pale yellow color with good carbonation and some lacing. It had a smallish, fizzy white head that quickly settled into a carb fed foam center with a decent collar.

The aroma was heavy corriander, wheat and clove. It was lacking the orange aroma I usually find in the style. It needed it in my opinion as it was too spicy and dry in the nose. That carried to the taste. Very spicy and dry. It tasted more like a saison to me than a wit. A good fruity offset would have done wonders for it. Mouthfeel had good carbonation but was a bit dry for a wit. Again more like a saison.

Overall, a good but not great beer. I've loved most Bell's that I've had but this one misses for me. Would like to try again since the store I got it at is a bit questionable on their handling of beers. Had bunch of good ones but a few really off ones as well. Except for the retry, one and done as their are too many other good wits out there.

Photo of blackie
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

tried a couple times, never rated, sixer picked up by the roommate

a: into my allagash wit glass yeast and all, the opaque golden-yellow ale glows under light, capped by a bone white head that recedes to a thin layer

s: yeasty with dried citrus rind upfront on a body of clean wheat malt, crisp and grassy noble hops, mildly spiced, delicate clove, green banana, soft and just a touch doughy

m: medium-high carbonation, body light but not thin

t: clean wheat body carries chalky yeast, dried lemon, underripe banana, and a papery noble hop flavor, not much to it but there is a nice balance here, starts and finishes dry, slightly above average

d: plenty drinkable over a single, but lacking enough character for a repeat

Photo of schoolboy
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice ale. Mildly yeasty taste, smell. Just right, not too much. On the next bottle I will leave a half inch and swirl it around to get all the yeast. Why not - it will probably be very tasty.

Bell's usually produces very fine products and this one is up to their standards. I will try to get it again some time (so much beer to drink and so little time).

Photo of kingothewoods
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The color when poured into a pint glass is of wheat/copper. The head dissipates almost immediately. Not impressed about the lack of head.
This beer smells very sweet malt. The taste follows the smell with sweet malt that makes the back of your tongue curl. Tastes of alcohol come through as well. A warm feeling down into your stomach. Not drinkable at all. This is definitely a one beer in front of a winter fire.

Photo of spointon
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at Galway Tribes on 1/7/2009.

A= This ale poured a super cloudy, glowing straw/gold color with a very thin white head that disappeared almost instantly and was hard to renew with any amount of swirling the glass.

S= This beer had a big yeasty hefeweizen aroma, complete with spicy banana and clove-y esters.

T= The taste was not nearly as similar to a hefeweizen as the aroma indicated. It was more like a Belgian witbier, complete with wheat malt, coriander, and a nice yeasty character.

MF= Medium body with a lower carbonation level than I expected and certainly less carbonation than I wanted.

D= Despite (or maybe because of?) the low carbonation level, this was very drinkable and certainly sesionable.

Photo of adamhdv
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden yellowish, a light color really. Very cloudy. Small head retention. No lacing to be seen.

Aroma is typical citrus, nothing special here...maybe a little yeast.

First taste is lemon. Some malt... Taste, for some reason seems a little artificial.

Mouthful is...eh' slight citrus. Light, yet a little thick. It is crisp however. Little spice to it too.

I think this would have been a better beer to drink in the summer actually. Not horrible, not great.

Photo of mothman
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large pilsner glass.

Color is a very hazy yellow. Very cloudy. Pours a thin head that doesn't last at all.

Smell is similiar to a hefeweisen, just not as strong; cloves and bananas. Taste is quite similar. There is a smooth malty taste also.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A slight bitterness with a touch of alcohol being present.

Overall, this is one of my least favorites from Bell's. There really isn't anything to special about this, but it is easy to drink.

Photo of Risser09
4.58/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz beer poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden yellow/light orange with a 1" white head that has decent retention. Bubbles stick to the sides of the glass. A yeast haze slides around in the liquid.

Smell: Strong wheat aroma mixed with pale malt. Belgian wit yeast, minerals and a light banana/clove in the background.

Taste: Tastes much like a summer Belgian White Ale. Strong wheat malt, banana and citrus. Spicy with underlying clove and pepper. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Very sweet and satisfying with a great quenching flavor. Mild carbonation and alcohol. Spicy and loose.

Drinkability: Extremely good. This is not a winter beer, but it should be. This style can be appreciated no matter what the season. I love it.

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Upon receiving this beer via draft at City Flats Hotel in Holland, Michigan it is a hazy, opaque, orange with a nice frothy head that disappears fairly slow. Minor lacing.

Smells yeasty with a nice cool smell, not sure how to describe that but also a nice smooth wheat aroma as well. Sweet and citrusy.

Taste is light and refreshing with a pleasant citrus feeling. This one isn't really a winter warmer but reminds me of the sunshine on a nice winter day. The flavor is a bit mild on this one.

Mouthfeel is very light, a bit champagney with a smooth aftertaste.

Great session beer, perhaps a bit light for some. Most people would probably prefer a warmer to this but nevertheless a nice winter selection from Bell's.

Photo of OldYoda
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my trusty Troeg's standard pint. Pours a hazy straw color with a small head and some residual lacing.

Smell is subdued, nothing overwhelming. Some malt and a hint of spice.

Taste pretty much follows the smell - a bit of citrus and spice. very light.

Mouthfeel is a little thin - not quite watery, but close.

Drinkability is virtually at your personal limit - this would be a much better summer release at this ABV and in this style.

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,783 ratings.