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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

675 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 675
Hads: 1,962
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 53
Gots: 248 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 02-22-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 675 | Hads: 1,962
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy light pale yellow in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down but consistently left a thin but dense layer of bubbles covering the surface along with lots of lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has light to moderate aromas of wheat along with some hints of spices—cloves seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of lemony citrus and hints of bananas.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The spices in the taste seem to lend a bit of dryness to the finish.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink but lacks any refreshing and thirst-quenching properties. However, the added flavors of spices seem to make this a nice choice to drink if you want to enjoy a witbier during the winter.

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Photo of KajII
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass]

The pour was a hazy yellow with and orange/brown hue and a large (2-3 finger) white fizzy head that quickly diminished, down to a thin puddled film with a medium collar and had fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a light grain malt and a funky Belgian yeast with notes of citrus (orange) and coriander.

The taste was lightly sweet and very yeasty with a bold citrus presence throughout, with the finish having a slightly bitter citrus peel bite along with a hint of spice towards the end. The flavor lasted an average duration proceeding the swallow, with a light spicy bitterness left behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a mildly soft carbonation.

Overall this was a pretty tasty Witbier that had a lot of citrus flavor, which worked very well with the funky spicy yeast taste...


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Photo of philbe311
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly less than a finger's worth of crispy fizzy pure white head that quickly fizzles away leaving only a small splotch of lacing in the center of the glass and a slight collar... The color is a vibrant pale gold with some faint amber highlights... There is a definite haziness that lingers throughout... Mostly still with just a couple of stray rapid paced carbonation streaks...

S - Big aroma... A big whiff of Belgian yesat... Lots of wheat... Honey... A bit of clove... Banana...

T - Lots of straw and grassy notes... Lemon zest... The Belgian yeast is muted on the palate... Unripened bananas... Just a touch of honey... Light artificial sweetener... The flavors are a bit muddled and really don't compliment one another...

M - Medium bodied... Light fizzy carbonation... A bit chalky throughout... A slightly dry finish...

D - An average at best Witbier... There's nothing wrong per se, but this one falls short of my expectations for both Bell's and the style... An interesting winter interpretation, but nothing more... I can't recommend in good conscience and likely won't indulge in again myself...

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Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a faint yellow-amber color, cloudy and almost completely opaque. The first thing you notice on the nose is a hefty helping of wheat and yeast, certainly making a lot of sense for a witbier. This is appropriately followed up by a handful of kitchen spices; clove, coriander, and some light citrus and orange zest. The taste plays a little heavier on the spice side at first, transitioning to the citrus and fruit-like undertones more towards its second half. The spice isn't overpowering by any means, it's actually quite refreshing. When the citrus makes its appearance, it provides a great balance and certainly boosts the drinkability by a large margin. The hops come along and add a perfect amount of bitterness, helping with the balance of the malt and wheat sweetness combo. Yeast, as expected, is noticeable at nearly all times, but plays more of a background supporting role. Medium body, medium-high amount of carbonation.

Overall, a very good witbier. Packed with a nice array of flavors thanks to a decent contribution from malt, wheat, yeast, and hops all at once. Nice amount of spice, balanced by a subtle wheat sweetness and a blend of citrus and hops. Not bad at all.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy lemon-white, like a limoncello, with a meringue lip of head. Looks uncharacteristically pleasant for a winter ale. 4.0

Lemon, coriander, white pepper, hints of banana, clove, and wheat grain. Nice bready nose, with spice. 4.0

A little banana, a lot of coriander and clove. Lemony citrus notes, almost leaning on tangerine. Wheaty bread and peppery spices that permeate the finish. Not musty, clean and rich. Very enjoyable. 4.0

Almost soapy in the body, showing some viscosity without heft. Carbonation starts off low and gets busy in the finish with some crackle and pop. Lightly warm. Good feel. 3.5

Great beer that surprises me everytime. Always happy to finally order one every year without really seeking it out. 4.0

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy to hazy light to medium golden yellow in color with some light amounts of orange highlights and moderate amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall white head that slowly reduces to a small patch of medium sized bubbles, a very thin film covering almost the entire surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of wheat with light to moderate notes of citrus and spices (mostly coriander). Very subtle notes of banana/clove.

T: Light to moderate flavors of wheat with just a touch of bready malts. Lightly sweet with notes of coriander and citrus (specifically orange peel). Almost a touch of lemon pepper in the finish and banana/clove.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable - light in mouthfeel and with pleasant flavors and aromas. Definitely able to be a session beer. Some aspects of a hefeweizen in addition to the traditional witbier flavors/smells.

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Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sicilianos, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 11537, bottled Oct 10/12.

Hazy orange/straw yellow, finger of white head with medium retention and ok lace. Nose pops with some wheat, very subtle spice and some citrus zest. Good bit of banana as well. Taste has more wheat and pale malt, a bit of banana, light coriander and yeast flavours. Medium body with a bit of texture/chew. Medium high carb, appropriate for the style. Quite tasty, I'd session this if I had a case in the summer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Bell's imperial pint.
5% ABV, 11509 PKGD 09/27/12

A - Poured, swirled in sediment, and topped off the pint, White Winter Ale is a gorgeous, totally cloudy deep straw yellow color that's crowned by a short-lived white head. The frothy foam sinks to a skim without much of a trace.

S - Crisp as the cold winter air, this beer's aroma has a fresh appeal that's reminiscent of a clean snowfall in the woods. Soft wheat and grainy pale malt support the beer's zesty spice nose which offers faint banana esters, white clay, pepper, coriander, and citrus peel. Aromatic and inviting!

T - Balance is at the forefront of the flavor, reeling the spiciness back and offsetting it with a kiss of sweet pilsner malt alongside the soft wheat and pale base. Banana still seems open in spice though, lightly overshadowing the clay, coriander, and citrus zest.

M - Carbonation cuts through the wheat's smooth, soft feel for a sharp tingle which lasts through the light-bodied beer's body to it's dry and crisp finish.

O - Bell's Winter White might not be a hearty, rich, high alcohol brew loaded with holiday spice, but this classic features just enough heft and yeast profile to provide a witbier unlike it's summer counterparts. When you're looking for an escape from the bold and strong beers of the season, look no further.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear orange, not much carbonation, one finger head that doesn't last long

S-Overpowering metallic notes. Orange, lemon, wheat and poor balance.

T-Much better than the nose. The metallic notes aren't there. Orange, lemon and wheat balance it out. Some clove and even a tad bit of grass.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O-The nose was wayy off. The taste was much better but there isn't much reason to drink this brew.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: on-tap pint
Glass: pint glass
From: Casey's Tavern in Ann Arbor
Price: $4.50

Appearance: a deep and hazy gold. opaque. by time i got it there was no head left and the lacing was gone as well

Smell: a little bit of wheat, fruit and clove.

Taste: follows the nose pretty well. definitely a wheat taste to it, along with what i now taste as banana and a good mixture of cloves.

Mouthfeel: light and crisp. a good mix-up from all the stouts, barleywines and bourbon beers i have been having this winter

Overall: another solid seasonal from Bell's. not a beer that i am gonna race to get next winter, but it sure hits the spot after a bit of a burn out on heavier and darker drinks. easy to find as most MI bars have a Bell's seasonal option

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this Witbier from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a light golden color, produced a white head, retention was below average. The aroma consisted of light malted grain, banana, clove and lemon citrus. Light in body, a base of malted wheat, with yeast flavors of banana, citric lemon, and spicy clove. Overall decent beer, nice session beer.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle dated 12 /2011

A - yellow, clear, little bit of head, sticky lace.

S - Average, not very prevalent aroma. Malty straw smells

T - wow, excellent. Sweet, citrusy. Straw flavors.

M - Well carbonated, medium bodied.

O - a very good wheat beer, citrusy sweet.

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Photo of Shrews
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served - Bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Very small amount of head, that quickly disperses into nothiing. Saw a lot of carbonation with the pour. Pours a very light yellowish-brown. Some sort of sediment formed in the bottom of the glass while I was drinking it. Not really sure what it was.

Wheat and hops; light and faint smell.

Citrus, wheat flavor, but mostly citrus.

Pretty carbonated, so the bubbles were very apparent. Could really taste the oranges even through the heavy carbonation.

Overall, a nice wheat with good citrus flavor. The sediment in the bottom of the glass bothered me, and the smell was pretty bland. A good beer, but was expecting more from Bell's.

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Photo of BierStein711
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into weizen, no freshness date

Four finger white head

Average combo of Hefe and Wit. Truthfully, I was expecting far more from a great brewery such as Bell’s. Banana and bubblegum paired with Belgian Candi-sugar. I wanted more!!

The aroma was mainly malt and bubblegum, very silly beer

No substance and all water!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle - from good ta go beer store in PA - thanks to jfam for this

Appearance - Hazy yellow/amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges and grains/bread. There is also some clove and coriander and it ends with a slightly spicy and lightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - An above average wit beer that has some nice citrus flavours going on. Its very drinkable but at times it reminded me of something like a blue moon or a shock top. Anyways, still happy I tried it but I wouldn't see it out again.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on Oberon day, 2012. Bottled at the end of 2011.
This poured a hazy golden-straw color. Thin, tight foam, almost champagne-like bubbling, along with a champagne-like effervescence on the palate.

It has a bouquet of estery aromas. I get some yeasty floral clove and banana and a touch of bubblegum even? It’s floral, floral, floral.

Flavor is more of the same. The clove and coriander spices dominate, but lightly so. Finishes well, with that aforementioned effervescence keeping it light.

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the style but this is a good one. Sure, I’ll have another.

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Photo of beagle75
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

A: Opaque, pale golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Generally mild but appropriate; clove is most apparent, followed by delicate lemon and baker's yeast.

T: Begins off-dry, with pasty wheat flour, mild clove spice, and citric acidity. Flavors simplify during the middle, tasting a bit like dilute powdered sugar solution soaked into Wonder bread. A mild thread of bitterness stands out in the finish, suggestive of juicy green plant stems.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: This American-brewed wit brings a minimalist impression, seeming held back by it. The smell works, but could be more intense, while the appearance is pleasing in its luminous impenetrability. The flavors seem underdeveloped, which doesn't really elevate this beer over notables of the style. It is refreshing, but not at all memorable.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a hazy, orangy-yellow with relatively low carbonation. The color is typical of this style. Nose has notes of bread, orange zest, cloves, and lemon.

Flavor is mild, but is spot on for this style. Nice wheaty tones accompanied by a hint of graininess and lots of sweet and tangy fresh orange, lemon, and banana fruit notes. There are just enough hops to dry the finish a bit and leave your palate ready for another sip. Mouthfeel is thin to firm and does not interfere with the flavor at all. This beer is refreshing, highly drinkable, and goes down shockingly fast. I could drink it all day long.

Belgian white ales are one of my favorite styles and this is an excellent example. I am grateful that Bell's releases this in the winter as opposed to the summer. It gives me something to enjoy during the winter months when I want a break from the heavier winter beers. If you enjoy Belgian-style wit beers, do not pass this one up.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass

A- Pours hazy as hell golden yellow, cant see through it at all. A one finger head without a lot of retention.
S- A huge wheat smell up front, never been more obvious what style of beer this is. Some fruity and yeasty esters. Good skunky hop presence.
T- This is very, and not surprisingly, wheat dominant. Massive wheat up front. Middle of the mouth is very refreshing and fruity. Fruits are cherries and grapes and figs. Its taste is well blended and incredibly smooth.
M- This beer has a smooth and incredibly creamy mouth feel. It leaves a dry and prickly feel in your mouth as well as a bizarre aftertaste. It has high carbonation, this is a good beer for any occasion.
O- Witbier is a style of beer that I dont have a lot of experience with and is sometimes quite questionable. This is the best Witbier I have had so far. For anybody who is curious about the style, I dont know of any better for a beginner. This is a good beer for about any occasion.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a cloudy yellow. no real head from a semi aggressive pour. sweet oranges and a nice spiciness. light body. has a full yeasty body, but a nice sweet orange feel to it. Lemon rind as well. A spiciness that Im assuming is from the yeast. Finishes clean.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pkgd 12/22/11

Pours a pale cloudy yellow with a head that quickly fades to nothing, save for a few bubbles dotting the rim, and a frothy film. Some cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Smell is grain, skunk, some pepper, a touch of citrus-y hops, and an odd dryer sheet scent. Taste is crisp corn off the bat, fading into a peppery citrus hop taste, ending with more corn and a slightly unpleasant aftertaste of skunky grain. There's some smoke flavoring in there as well, a friend remarked it tasted exactly like beef jerky. A tad undercarbonated, finish is dry.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a hazy yellow-orange color with a medium white head. The head faded leaving only a very small amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of yeast and citrus mixed with a bit of spiciness. There was a wheaty-bready smell that mixed in with the citrus. Very traditional wit aromas, but nothing too potent or special.

Taste – Wheat flavors are the first to meet the tongue. These are quickly enhanced by some spiciness of coriander and citrus flavors which come mixed with some more yeasty flavors. There are some subtle banana and topical fruits as well. All in all, the fruits are overall moderate and light in comparison to the wheat and spice.

Mouthfeel – A bit more crisp at first, but it seems to mellow and become more creamy in the mouth over time. The carbonation is a little on the higher side which matches the crispness nicely and seems to depart just as the creaminess enters. It has a rather nice overall feel.

Overall – A pretty nice wit. It has a nice feel and a pretty good flavor, but is just a little weak in smell and aroma.

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Photo of deebo
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle packaged 10/28/11

A-With an aggressive pour a cloudy light yellow color with a couple fingers of pillowy head quickly breaking down into barely a hint of a white ringing foam.

S-Sweet Belgian yeast (plenty of fruity esters-banana). Typical wheat aroma. A hint of spicy hops in there too.

T-Typical of a witbier, but so clean and smooth. Lots of sweet belgian yeast, a significant amount of wheat and just the right amount of spices. Lighter in the citrus flavors of most. I love this beer.

M-Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Light to medium carbonation, a nice little bite of spicy hops at the end but finishes clean. A little more of a bitter end note than many.

D-About as high as a beer gets. I could drink this one any time of year in just about any quantity.

O-This witbier really does it for me. Not overally spiced or flavored, but a beautiful smooth taste that is simply delicious from start to finish. It does taste a bit more like a hefeweizen (fruits present are more banana than citrus) than most.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky straw, small near white head, some cling.

S - Massive vegetation. Asparagus, other green veggies, clovel. Past that, some malt and barn like earthiness.

T - Tangy, earthy, more veggies in there and the wheat is now present.

M - Light body, good carbonation, weird balance.

D - I like my veggie on a plate, but it was fun to try.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A. Pours out a murky orangeish-straw in color with a two finger fluffy white head with decent retention and lacing.
S. Extremely fresh and delicious spicy banana clove scent and minor elements of fruity bubblegum esters.
T. The flavor is somewhat less ester fruity than the nose would lead you to believe. More coriander and clove focus on top of a sweet wheat malt with plenty of bready and yeasty goodness.
M. Light body with a smooth texture, well carbonated.

I recommend this one, it is well worth trying. Has the "big beer" Hefeweizen sort of rich and bready flavor profile on a sessionably low ABV with the texture and easy drinking qualities of a regular witbier.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 675 ratings.