1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,443 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1443
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 1,443 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

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 maltusaurelius
maltusaurelius

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 00:53:48 | More by maltusaurelius
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

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

I witbier in winter, slightly odd, but ok im in. I always pick up one of these a year and since we just got 2 feet of white stuff in PA, this seems fitting. Nice label.

Faded yellow haystack before the dregs, tangerine/orange with yellow after the cargo plunges into the sea. I prefer the latter. A medium build of loose cream colored foam reaches more than a inch but leaves no lacing.

Smells leap out in true wit form with a shot of coriander, some strong yeast, a orange slice and some outside harvest scents. I like the minimal clove action. Simple and deep.

Tangerine and oranges with a nice yeast component giving off a bready aftertaste. Before that is the predictable coriander and other spices. Get some banana with warming and some lemon drops. I like how this is citrus forward rather than relying on the spices which are there but kind of under utilized.

The feel is there and light with low but nicely leveled carb. Goes down smooth and all to easy. A bit of a grainy and hayish aftertaste. Im not a big wit guy but I would not mind having a few anytime of year. I like how this comes out in winter keeping away from the onslaught of wit's in summertime, I just wish they made another batch for the summer with a nice summer themed label.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 00:02:51 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of irish
irish

Pennsylvania

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

When reviewing a wit, you almost have to say "for the style", because it is above all a subtle style. Other reviewers seem to penalize it for being true to style. But I think you have to take the style as a given.

It pours plainly without a lot of fuss or head, and settles into a very clear pale liquid.

Modest nose. It sips easily, with a moderate bitterness afterward, but subtle. Here's a beer that really IS "less filling" and "tastes great. It could easily qualify as a session beer.

As long as I am mentioning that horrid ad's phrase, I should reiterate that this beer falls heavily on the "less filling" side, although it really DOES taste great. A nice change from other monstrous, super-hopped and -alcoholic winter beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 00:04:19 | More by irish
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

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

Poured 12/2009

Luminous golden color with a snow-white froth. Smell is predictable spicy with clove and coriander present, a touch of bitter citrus and sweet, grainy wheat malt.

Again, spicy in the mouth. Coriander, clove and some other peppery spices. Sweetish finish, nice wheat character. Some muted fruitiness, green apples and pear.

A better white ale than most American versions I have tried. Spicy and lively, easy to drink and, although not a true winter beer, a really tasty ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 12:11:51 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of NODAK
NODAK

Tennessee

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

Smell has a mix of sweet oranges, spice and citrus on it. Reasonable for style. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste has a bit of sweetness upfront with spices, notably cloves. Not very sweet at all however, especially when compared to some other wits. The finish has a good snap of lemon citrus to it, with some wheat and spice....also a small hop bitterness. Pretty drinkable and a good example of a wit.

All in all, I usually prefer wits with more bold orange flavors, but this really went down quite well.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 01:49:49 | More by NODAK
Photo of Star80
Star80

Illinois

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

Pours out a hazy yellow color, with a smallish white head. Left the dredge in the bottom of the bottle. Nice carbonation in my glass...smell is slightly sour, some faint fruity/esteryness, but pleasantly no spice or coriander. Ahh, the taste is crisp, and a nice dry aftertaste. I can taste some phenolics almost reminds me more of a hefe than a wit and I like it. Some nice spicy clove from the yeast, again, more like a hefeweizen than any witbier I've ever had. I think Mr. Bell is like me, not a fan of spice in his beer....and this really makes for a nice, easy drinking beer. What is weird about this style though, is I wouldn't imagine it pairing with winter comfort food classics like pot roast, or pot pie....Mmm, pot pie. Might go well with another kind of pot, lol? In the end though, this is a nice crisp beer which is a pleasant change of pace from all the big IPAs or heavy stouts of winter, you know, when you're running around the house, cooking or cleaning and getting kinda hot and you just want something refreshing, I can see this one shining through in those sort of moments.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 16:29:18 | More by Star80
Photo of Thanby
Thanby

Ohio

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

Pours a hazy straw color with a bit of lingering head. Smells primarily of Belgian yeast, spices. Tastes of Belgian yeast, your usual winter spices, coriander, anise, wheat. Lingering spice mixture, medium body, well-rounded, full flavor, amply spiced but not overwhelming, mellow.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 19:45:03 | More by Thanby
Photo of mpcrump
mpcrump

Indiana

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light hazy golden color. A finger of head that disappears soon.

S: Nice light smell lemon and banana smell with a hint of cloves.

T: I think the taste is very light but I don't mean that in a bad way. Mild cloves at the beginning with a mild lemon in the middle and then ending with a mild wheat.

M: Very light feel. Light carbonation. Very consistent from beginning to end.

D: For a winter beer it's rather light but I think it's something that is rather nice. The light taste and average ABV can lead to a lot being drank.

If you are in the mood for a light not so complex beer I think you will not be disappointed. This was exactly the beer I was looking for tonight.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 00:52:55 | More by mpcrump
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an opaque lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts, wheat twang, light citrus, and soft spices, in that order. As the beer warms the spices fade a bit and the citrus and light malt aromas intensify.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth light malt flavors with good amounts of wheat influence kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of lemon zest with hints of deeper orange rinds. Finally, very small amounts of coriander come into play before fading out into a crisp and mildy bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I think this beer tasted crisper than the bottle I had quite a while back and I certainly prefer it more. A solid beer that's worth a shot in whatever form.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2011 02:05:24 | More by glid02
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

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

Looks like you'd expect. It's a pale, hazy yellow. You can't quite see through it and it sits under a thin white head with no retention.

Also smells like you'd expect. Lots of spices, typical Belgian. Cloves and coriander fill the nose, with a yeasty kind of sourness.

It tastes like it smells. Spieces, cloves and coriander mostly, dominate. In the finish you'll get some peppery notes.

The spices work well together and don't overpower the beer. Despite the spiciness, there's never a burn.

Wasn't what I was expecting, but a good beer anyway. Not so much a winter warmer as it is a Belgian. As expected from Bell's, a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 02:24:37 | More by RickS95
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

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

Pours dark yellow with a frothy white head. Smell is dominated by the yeast, with a nice dose of wheat. Flavor follows suit, nice yeast and wheat flavors. A nice medium mouthfeel, smooth, well balanced and nice depth of flavor. Overall a great witbier, great flavor, and an easy drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 21:48:12 | More by wingman14
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2013. Pours opaquely hazy bright golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, floral, grass, clove, pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice witbier. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 01:54:43 | More by superspak
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

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

Pours a nice, luminous straw color with plenty of haze, and small white head. Nose isn't overly assertive, but pleasantly alive with some clean orangey yeasty bready notes. Palate offers a good dose of wheaty cracker, some nice sour flavors that wind into the coriander and citrus candied qualities (but not very candied overall). Good carbonation. Easy to drink, but just doesn't dance on the palate as vividly as some other wits that I really liked over the years.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 01:38:30 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 10-28-11.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy yellow orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four finger white foam head with good retention. Lacing is moderate around the glass.

Smell: Aroma of Belgian yeast with wheat, citrus orange, banana, and coriander spice. Also some clove, lemons zest, and pepper. Smells like a fairly good balance of fruity, spicy, and bready.

Taste: Upfront is a taste of Belgian yeast and wheat grains. Then come the fruit and spices. Some citrus orange, lemon, and bananas with some spicy coriander, clove, and pepper. Also a hint of nutmeg. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A solid take on a Witbier and a nice change of pace for a winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 07:16:48 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

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

Bells Winter White

Pours a cloudy deep straw color. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned wheat beer. In the taste, wheaty almost hefeweizen like flavors with some lemon and clove, and orange peel leaving a citrusy burst. Light peppery spice is also noted. Crisp, clean, refreshing witbier with solid flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, almost dry. Overall, a very nice option to have in your fridge this time of year, paired well with some chili/sesame chicken wings.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 05:49:11 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of madeofsteel
madeofsteel

Michigan

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

No matter how much I swirled the last third around, I couldn't get all that yeasty goodness from the bottom of the bottle. Oh well.

A - Poured into a tulip, cloudy golden wheat color with a foamy 1-2 finger head, not much retention but does leave some pretty lacing.

S - Wheat, spicy yeasty goodness. No hops. Kind of smells Belgian.

T - First thing I noticed was the yeast. spicy, fruity, funky. Then the wheat. It seems like the two are battling each other for dominance. I like that. The yeast seems to be a bit more in-your-face than in years past. Sour finish.

M - Pretty active carbonation, to be expected for a witbier.

O - While not the best winter offering from Bell's, it's still a staple. I try to pick up a sixer at least once a winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 22:52:20 | More by madeofsteel
Photo of jeffmart22
jeffmart22

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy nearly opaque yellow with a one finger head that dissipates to just a thin film. Very little lacing on the glass.

A - Strong citrus zest and a peppery spice aroma. Nice farmhouse type of funk from the yeast. Nice smelling Witbier.

T - Very easy to drink. Starts a little sour with some citrus flavor that leads into a slightly sweet mandarin orange flavor. Very refreshing.

M - Light in body, Flavor duration is short to moderate.

O - Nice and refreshing Witbier. Would be great in the hot summer weather.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 19:22:43 | More by jeffmart22
Photo of Shrews
Shrews


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served - Bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance
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.

Smell
Wheat and hops; light and faint smell.

Taste
Citrus, wheat flavor, but mostly citrus.

Mouthfeel
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 20:46:54 | More by Shrews
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this before in the past, but it's been awhile. Pours a cloudy tangerine color (looks almost like freshly squeezed orange juice), thinner head than expected, but it leaves some lacing on the glass. Aromas are yeasty, orange, wheat. Tastes are nice with fruity Belgian yeast esters, wheat, orange zest, white peppery spiciness. I thought I could taste coriander, but apparently there's none used in the brewing process. Mouth-feel is nearly full-bodied while being creamy and smooth. Overall, better than I remember, and one of the better American brewed witbiers.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 02:27:18 | More by barnzy78
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

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

picked up a bottle of this when visiting family in NC recently. the temperature outside definitely screams winter so why not pop this one tonight? enjoyed from a bell's tulip.

a - brew poured a soft but murky orange with lots of visible carbonation evenly climbing to the surface for quite some time. there was a t hin white bubbly head that bubbled away in parts but never completely left.

s - smells like a wit aught to...orange peel and coriander.

t - taste follows the nose of orange peel and coriander but offers a lot more sweetness than i expected, but overall soft and very approachable. flavor isn't too bold or intense. just nicely made. good amount of water in there but not watered down.

m - lots of fizzy carbonation...big sweetness. medium bodied and drinks extremely smoothly.

o - overall, not wild about wit beers in general, but this is very good for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:40:06 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how to categorize this beer. Murky yellow orange with very little head. Aroma is slightly fruity with a touch of spiciness sneaking past the heavy, earthy yeastiness. Sweet, peppery flavor with a lot of yeast evident. I see more of the yeast in this beer than the results of the yeast.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 08:06:02 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden liquid with a thin white head. The head evolved into a thin white wispy ring, leaving no lace on the glass at all. Smells of citrus and spice, like corriendar. Tastes of lemon zest, with some spices, quite a bit I thought. Lots of carbonation. Light bodied. Very sparkly. Very easy to drink, and refreshing. Although a witbier is not what I think of at winter time, this was pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2004 13:48:17 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 16:46:01 | More by bditty187
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the '06 release of Oberon, I was lucky to be able to compare the Winter White from the tap along side of the new release of Bell's Summer Wheat.

The dollar per 20 oz. serving made this attractive as well.

The 24 oz nonic displayed a strongly beading blond Whitbier that was slightly hazy and fairly clear for a wheat. The short lived head and light lace drop the appearance rating a half point.

Served a little on cold side a nice aroma of wheat, coriander,orange and citrus zest combine with hints of clove and vanilla. Flavor follows with coriander, ginger, clove. Medium body with a round mouthfeel that provides a solid wheat canvas for broad brush strokes from the citrus, orange, and other spices. Finishes clean after a breif cameo of yeast, wheat, and juicy spices. Bittering hops are perfect. Although 0.3 % lower than Oberon's ABV this seems more substantial. Seek it out. If you can get it for $1 per glass enjoy your session!

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2006 23:00:56 | More by karst
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.