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

1,441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1441
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: 1,441 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sleazo
sleazo

New York

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a cloudy pale orange-yellow with not much head to speak of nor lace.

S_Very nice aroma here. Orange, coriander and belgian yeasty esters jump out at you.

T_Lighter on the pallate than the nose would have you think. Initial orange sweetness is followed by a mild spiciness where coriander dominates. The finish is fairly dry for the upfront sweetness and gives a vague hop presence. As it warms you get some banana clove phenols as well.

M-Light body, medium carbonation.

D_I am fairly impressed with this one. It is well balanced with the spices and fruit. Surprisingly good for an US witbier, though I have come to expect as much from Bell's. I also like how they buck the trend and release a 4.5%witbier as their winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 22:00:16 | More by sleazo
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pale and wheat malt scent along with a fruity yeast aroma. It's refreshingly crisp with a nice citrus element. The taste is great. It has a very smooth wheat malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a citrus edge. The yeast provides excellent character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good wit. It's light and refreshing; a nice twist on a winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 23:22:09 | More by WesWes
Photo of Ryanm1
Ryanm1

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Pour with a small amount of white lacing that disappated rather quickly. A small amount of carbonation continually bubbled to the surface. Displayed a bit of cloudyness through the glass, but no left over yeast.

Lemon citrusy smell. Common to most belgians. Yellowy gold in color.

Very lemony taste typical wheat beer taste. 5.0% abv. Very refreshing. Slightly sweet. I'd reach for another, but then again I am a huge wheat beer fan. On par with other German Weiss beers. Great on the palate evervescent.

Very similiar to Trade Joe's wheat beer, almost ashamed to admit that I'd like something like that but if you look at this beer and that beers ratings they are almost identical.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 02:31:25 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very, good beer and a very drinkable version of the hefeweizen style of which it seems to be moreso than a Wit/White. Pours out to a pastel gold in the glass with a decent head. Aroma is that of spices, lemon and malt. The taste is superb, with just the right amount of banana, clove and coriander present, but not too much, as is the case with other beers of the style.

This is affectionately known as "Snow-beron", a takeoff on the summer beer, "Oberon". Is it better than Oberon? No, just different. Where Oberon has a fruitiness to it, this has the traditional wheat beer spice. Both are excellent. This needs to be bottled or else I am going to be spending too much time at the local Pub...

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2004 15:27:33 | More by proc
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a hazy pale light yellow colored beer with massive white puffy head.
Smell is prominent for wheat, and spices.
Taste presents with an excellent interpretation of the style. A nice citrus flavor combines with a firm clove spiciness.
Nice refreshing ending.
An easy drinking beer. More suited for a hot summer afternoon than a cold autumn day.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2007 23:25:59 | More by tgbljb
Photo of dmfrench
dmfrench

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A crisp, lemony, refreshing S̶u̶m̶m̶e̶r̶ Winter Witbier

---

A: Like it came from a person with a UTI :) Extremely cloudy light urine yellow body with a two finger nearly pure white fairly persistent head that laces the glass adequately.

S: Buttery bread malt on bottom with spice, banana, lemon, clove, and piney/citrus hops... an almost Belgian nose. Not the best Wit nose, but interesting.

T: Lemon is the most obvious flavor, and the other spicy notes from the nose lurk underneath. Sweet/buttery/wheaty malt is way down there, but it's there... the beer does have foundation. Finish is on citrus hops. Nothing about this beer says 'Winter' to me. I'd drink this one while grilling out or after mowing the lawn. If you've ever had Upland Wheat, this is like a more well rounded version of it.

M: Heavy carbonation adds to the refreshing experience, and the weight is perfect for the style... heavy enough not to fly away, but light enough to drink.

D: Through the roof.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 00:01:27 | More by dmfrench
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow, cloudy beer with a one finger head that falls slowly to a thin band. Lacing is attractive, creamy, but not sticky. Nose on the milder side and has typical Wit spices like coriander and clove at the fore; lightly citrusy, with very faint bitter hops underneath.

The taste is a little more balanced between the elements, resulting in a delicious beer not dominated by the spices but blending well with lemony citrus and restrained grassy, bitter hops.

Good carbonation, body on the light side, with a soft mouthfeel and clean finish. Very nice example of the style, a little hoppier than usual. I preferred this to the more widely known Allagash White.

Edit: I've read that this beer is brewed without the addition of any spices. Not sure if that's true but if it is it's a testament to the artfulness of the brewer; there's a yeasty complexity that really imparts the clove and coriander seed flavor. Nice alternative to the more heavy handed spiced wits on the market.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 22:41:31 | More by tobelerone
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To me this has more Hefe characteristics than Whit characteristics but there are some of both...Pours a cloudy yellow....nice nose of swet bananas..also some ginger evident..is not as charged up as expected...more creamy... medium body..thicker than the typical hefe or whit...nice tasting brew...bananas..some bready characteristics....vanilla...some ginger on the long finish..has some spicy notes as well.

Seems to be a hybrid of some sort...very enjoyable though..not a BIG winter brew but worth a six-pack of enjoyment....no off flavors...

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 06:28:50 | More by ZAP
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 03:27:11 | More by silenius
Photo of Stoneman78
Stoneman78

California

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from tangfoot (bonus beer!), poured into tulip.
A- Pours a very cloudy murky papaya color (has the appearance of juice), head is quite minimal and mostly dissipating, no lacing
S- Wheat, yeast, banana, lemony citrus, sweet bubblegum, touch of coriander and spice
T- Delicious bananas and cloves hit first giving the impression of sweet banana bread, then open up to lemon and bubblegum, finishes sweet and tangy
M- Medium-bodied, thick texture, ample carbonation dances on the tongue
D- Pleasantly surprising witbier with a nice amount of flavor and texture, the whole tasting experience is better than the sum of its parts, would love to try this against some other witbiers. . .

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 07:48:41 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of gdfan47
gdfan47

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: pours a clody/ orange color with a small foamy head
S: nothing at all like a typical winter beer! can def smell the corriander smells very inviting, as a good session beer shoud
T: just smooth,a little more going on on the tounge then lighter belgian whites
M: creamy and easy to drink
D: cant say enough about how great this beer is and the low abv makes it a great great session beer

if you like this one, def make sure you check out Elysian Bi Frost

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 08:37:12 | More by gdfan47
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review is from notes taken on 11/19/09. Poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden straw color; body is cloudy and shows some sediment and fairly slow bubbling carbonation; starts with a one finger white head that fades to a very thin and light scum in the center of the surface; no lacing is present.

Smell: Sweet and tart fruitiness (grape and pear) and a nice spiciness (corinader), a bit perfumey. Nice overall, and fairly potent.

Taste: Very nice, but I really don't feel that this screams "winter" to me... Much like the smell, the sweet and tart fruit falvors blend quite well with the coriander spiciness; a bit musty in the aftertaste, nice and smooth yeast presence as well.

Mouthfeel: Body is light, juicy and my mouth is left watering a bit; carbonation is strong and prickly; belly is left warm, which is kind of odd since the ABV is only 5%.

Drinkability: Nice and robust flavors; body is fairly light and doesn't sit heavily at all; the ABV is more than manageable. Nothing wrong here, and I could easily sit through several of these - a potential sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 05:46:12 | More by bamadog
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man bells is pretty awesome. I had their variety pack and didn't hate any of them so when I found an old winter ale I mixed and matched it in my sixer!

A - Hazy golden in color with a decent head. Hefeweizen?
S - Some banana, clove, and citrus sort of like a... Hefeweizen?
T - Sight bitters and citrus with a mild banana taste. decent
M - Light in fact too light for a winter ale.
D - I am not too sure. I like the porter or brown ale better but this one makes my bells top three (of five)

Overall I seem to wonder like everyone else why this is a winter ale? It's not a big beer or doesn't have any decent spice tones to it that makes it seasonal. I am so confused...

BTW it's 5 percent by volume not 4.5 someone should really keep track of the ABV...

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 05:59:51 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of tjsdomer2
tjsdomer2

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright, cloudy orange. Not a whole lot of foam, but the thickness gives this a nice wheat beer look.

Smell: Cloves and nutmeg, with a hint of citrus. A good amount of banana as well. Pretty standard witbier qualities here, but they are done right.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Strong bananas that get cut and balanced by the citrus. Spiced notes as well, especially nutmeg, cloves, and maybe a bit of cinnamon. Definitely very smooth.

Drinkability: Extremely well-balanced beer.

Overall: Well balanced and something that reminds me of a hefeweizen as well as a witbier.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 23:10:25 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 23:12:26 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Green Dot Stables in Detroit the other day, was served to me in a pint.

A: Is a cloudy, pale yellow color, had almost no head and very little lacing, few white streaks on the glass.

S: Smells quite sweet, though a very light aroma. Still, smells quite sweet, honey, wheat, grains, bread, yeast as well.

T: Very smooth, good flavor, sweet honey, wheat, grains, malts, yeast, with a hit of spices at the finish, along with a bit of hops

M: Medium carbonation, very crisp, very light, a deviation from the darker and higher ABV holiday beers that are floating around.

O: It was a good beer, very light, refreshing and sweet, good carbonation, very decent, could drink large quantities of this without getting bored.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2012 18:19:12 | More by Mavigo
Photo of ManekiNeko
ManekiNeko

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at a Bell's tasting at the Brickskeller.

Appearance: Cloudy lemon yellow, slight white head that left little bits of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Banana esters are quite prominent. Faint bubblegum aromas.

Taste: Peppery and medicinal, slightly clovey. Banana on aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very light and crisp.

Drinkability: A hefe/wit hybrid. Smells like a hefe, tastes more like a wit. Uses both Belgian Trappist and hefe yeast strains in the fermenation (according to powerpoint slide from the head brewer). Quite drinkable, but I liked Oberon better. Still, an interesting idea for a winter beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2003 03:38:33 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2005 03:08:09 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of chiefydawg
chiefydawg

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Came out a little more clear than I expected until I remembered the sediment packed at the bottom. Swirled and poured out the thick, nutrient-rich haze to make a translucent, straw-colored glass of beer. That sediment is in there tight. Wondering about the expiration date, especially being a Winter Ale. Deep head that dissipated quickly, and without as much lace as I expect.

Getting a yeasty banana clove scent like a many wheat beers, but with a sweeter scent. Not much hoppiness; but even for its apparent age it still smells somewhat fresh.

Tastes like a luxurious and well-made heffy. I would never put fruit in one of course, but especially not this. There is enough bite from the wheat and yeast, with nearly invisible hops, to weigh out the sweet lushness of the body of it. Really no conflict or aftertaste to this. Which brings up the alcohol snap. Not catching one, even towards the end. Either I am drinking it too fast, Bells hides it well, or it's unusually low for a Winter Ale. Still well done.

The mouthfeel, although I usually mix it in with the taste, deserves a special mention here. There is something plush and velvety about this that makes me want to sip and chew a couple just for the sake of enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 02:01:57 | More by chiefydawg
Photo of WakeandBake
WakeandBake

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

ON TAP .A creamy hazy orange color with loads of yeast swimming around,small white fluff head.Aroma is somewhat heffish,with some mild banana,cloves,orange zest,and grassy notes.Flavor is wheaty with loads of banana, bubblegum and and spice, maybe even pineapple. Very drinkable, refreshing after a long days work. Would make a solid summer brew too.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2008 23:10:15 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6584

Pours a cloudy light straw and sits even cloudier dull golden straw in the glass with a small white head.

Smells of wheat, bananas, orange, lemon and a touch of yeast. Full aroma really draws you in.

Tastes big and wheaty up front, you can just taste the grains. Orange peel and light hints of lemon come in and make up the majority of additional flavors; banana flavor is minimal, like dried banana slices if anything. Nice light, mildly bitter finish with good yeasty character.

Nice smooth and creamy feel with easy carbonation and an even nicer body. Keeps it real and makes me want to let it massage my mouth all night. Tasty brew all the way.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2004 21:50:15 | More by Skidz
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a milky pale golden with orange accents, forming a modest rocky white head with average retention and fair lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is punctuated by mild orange peel, bready yeast and coriander...very distant banana and cloves if one concentrates very, very hard. Mouthfeel starts kinda zippy with a medium body and a semi-tart wet finish. Taste begins with mild wit yeast funk with a slight cheesiness, coriander, orange peel appears in the middle, and lingering notes of cloves and light bananas are suggested in the finish. The bitterness is right in balance and rather mild, letting the yeast flex it's muscle. Lemony bitterness is predominant in the finish compared to most other wits. Slight metallic off-note and "macro wheat" peeks through in the middle. No other off-flavors and alcohol is imperceptable.

This is an interesting hybrid between a hefe-weizen and a wit. I think this brew is actually much better out of the bottle than it was the few times I've had it on tap. If I couldn't find Holy Moses or Celis White, this may be an acceptable alternative.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2004 00:01:58 | More by Mitchster
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, batch 8250

A: Pours a hazy pale yellow/straw under a fizzy small white head that dissipates quickly, with no lace.

S: Coriander and bubble gum up front, with some citrus behind. Eventually gives way to a very nice wheat character.

T: Bubble gum up front, wheat is very apparent, a little yeast, some subtle hints of citrus and a peppery quality in the finish. Very nice taste.

M/D: Nice light body, carbonation is high but seems right for the beer, very crisp and refreshing. At 4.5%, refreshing, really no off qualities aside from a lackluster appearance, this one is highly drinkable and highly reccomended.

Are there better, more complex wits out there? Absolutely. But this one is very very solid. My opinion, stock up near March and enjoy during the summer months as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 01:46:23 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of civilizedpsycho
civilizedpsycho

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Pale golden color with a cloudy appearance. I had no head on mine.

Smell: Strong wheat malt and yeast aroma with maybe a hint of banana in the background.

Taste: Very sweet and refreshing. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: This beer had a pretty good body. I found it to be pretty full considering it wasn't a Stout or Porter.

Drinkability: Loved this beer. Could have it over and over again.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 03:47:17 | More by civilizedpsycho
Photo of turnstile
turnstile

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright yellow-golden color. Cloudy from a huge yeast content that was stirred up and poured on top. Thin off-white head which sticks around after the initial pour. Some light carbonation noticeable. The head slowly dissipates with no lacing.

Smell: Spices - coriander/cloves. A pleasant wheat and biscuity yeast aroma with a faint hint of lemon.

Taste: Nice and crisp as I would expect in a witbier. The spices dominate, the wheat up front with a slight lingering citrus bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy, smooth body with mild carbonation that gives it a nice bite.

Drinkability: It's a great winter selection. The heavier body certainly distinguishes it from its summer counterparts. Would love to have another.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 00:03:04 | More by turnstile
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.