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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

1,543 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,543
Reviews: 636
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 34
Gots: 70 | 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: 1,543 | Reviews: 636 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekanna
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #9472.

A: Pours a nice, slightly hazy gold with a thin, foamy head and large, effervescent bubbles.

S: Strong bready yeast flavor and thick, wholesome wheat malts, reminiscent of Ayinger Brau Weisse.

T: Strong wheat malt that's slightly sweet around the corners, bananas, and a faint hop bitterness.

M: Slick and juicy with strong carbonation.

D: Although I still enjoy this brew more on tap, it's amazing how much freshness they were able capture in this bottle.

thekanna, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy, murky orange tan color with good head retention and lacaing. On the nose this is a VERY spicey wit still beer, with lots of clove and almost a lime aroma. I really like the way this beer smells. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, though the beer has some surprising heft and richness for such a low abv. beer. There's also some underlying hoppiness that I quite like. Not surprisingly, drinkability is outstanding in this beer as well.

A couple of thoughts. This has to be one of the better domestic wit style beers I've ever tasted. However, I think it a bit odd that Bell's has chosen to make this there winter beer. Frankly, I would prefer to see something like this in the Summer time, when I could better appreciate the low alcohol and what I associate as summery flavors. All that being said, this is a very good beer from Bell's.

John_M, Dec 15, 2008
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.

PatrickJR, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pale pale golden color. There is a finger of head taht falls to ring the beer. The nose is all about he wit. There is a lot of orange and spice from the malt and the yeast. Smells like a nice beer to me. Not my favorite style, but I do like it. The flavor is dominated with the spices initially, but hte sweet orange character comes through secondarily, with a grand finish of spice. This is a really nice wit beer. The feel is thick. More thick than others I have had in while. A really nice wit. the finish is a bit creamy and easy drinking. I am glad I have another of these beers waiting for me in the cellar. Try it if you can. Interesting take on a winter brew, but welcomed relief from the big hops and big malts.

kmpitz2, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a hazy, opaque amber with a fine-bubbled off-white head. Aroma is honey-sweet and malty with a hint of lemon. Yeasty, malty, honey-sweet flavor has a lemony undertone. Thick, smooth, fizzy texture leaves a subtle tingle and a yeasty, rubbery, citrus finish.

Cyberkedi, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Kolsch
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap: Headkeepers, Greensburg PA.

Appearance: Cloudly with slight orange hues, though mostly white. Small cusp of head, which is usual per white ales.

Smell: coriander, clove and lemony.

Taste: as smell indicates above. Coriandar, clove and lemongrass. No additional spices claims Bells website and I believe this to be true. Carbonation spot on. Very tasty, easy drinking and interesting enough that I can several without hesitation.

Overall: excellent example of a traditional white ale. Was hesitant to have since I associate Wits with summer but this hit the spot for a cold December day.

Kolsch, Dec 19, 2010
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).

schoolboy, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a half chalice.

Pours a cloudy medium straw with a bubbly head that recedes quickly.

Aroma is of citrus, orange and wheat with a hint of banana.

Flavor is bubble gum and wheat. I don't care what the label says this is an excellent example of a hefe weiss. Fruity citrus and bready wheat with a banana undertone. The yeast in this one works perfectly.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Carbonation is light and perfect.

Drinkability is excellent for the label.

If Bell's labels this as a white ale, I would love to try their hefe, cuz this is a good hefe of it's own right. First Bell's I've had and it's excellent. Believe the hype!!

wheatyweiss, May 24, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden orange appearance. Actually, quite murky looking. A fair sized off white head sits on top and leaves sparse lace down the sides of the glass as I drink. Aromas of clove and banana, yeast and pepper hit my nostrils. The taste is quite nice. Very nice bavarian weizen profile. Some great banana and vanilla things happening. And more subtle tones of pepper and clove. Yeasty tones are quite nice and a little bready. When I tasted this tonight, I was hoping for a big ol weizenbock or something. I didn't know what style it was, but after tasting it, I was guessing German style Hefe. It has a great full body and a luscious mouthfeel. Very easy drinking and quite tasty. After one try, I'd have to say I prefer this to their Oberon "American Wheat" beer. I just think it has more character and depth. I'd like to see this one in bottles over the summer.

Bighuge, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a soft, hazy yellow with very minimal head retention. The aroma is quite simple and faint.

It has a clean hop taste with mild spices. A touch of bitterness. Nothing over done, very very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is crisp and has an excellent carbonation. Outstanding beer!

jasonpeckins32, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of cdkrenz
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drizzam is the man!

A - Cloudy, pale orange body with a head at about three quarters of an inch and eggshell in color. The head has some okay stamina as it gently fades.

S - Pungent clove and a hint of bananas.

T - Subtle spice accenting a bitter wheat flavor. There's a fruitiness to it that's mild and becoming.

M - Ever-so-slight coarseness to the texture with a chilly finish. This brew goes back very easily.

~ This is a great beer. I recommend this brew to everyone looking for a sessionable winter style brew. It has very good aroma character that's backed up with an even better feel and collage of flavors. Give this one a try, you won't regret it.

cdkrenz, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of OatherS
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 msjacilynn
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from old notes: 12/31/08

A: hazy pale yellow with little white head.

S: spicy nose with a hint of wheat.

T: variety of spice with a hint of cider/orange/banana fruity-ness.

M: thin and well carbonated.

D: I know this beer is not for everyone but it is one of my favorite wheats, especially around the holidays!

msjacilynn, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a meringue of a head that leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Perfume of banana, bubblegum, anise and a dash of lemon pepper

Taste: Starts out with a banana bread flavor, that adds the lemon and anise flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the lemon fruit flavors build and there is a final dash of pepper in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderately high carbonation

Drinkability: Not a classic wit as I understand it is brewed without spices, this is nevertheless a tasty wheat beer that has elements of a wit and a hefe; nice job

brentk56, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of dfried
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy pale straw in color, thin and fine head. The aroma is a good mix of wheat, citrus zest, and spices, solid all around. The flavor of this beer is not that much different than most American Wits, but there is something aobut it that I like a lot, I think the zesty and spicy flavors are balanced a bit more in this one by a more full wheat malt body. It's not a super heavy body by any means, the other flavors get plenty of attention.

Verdict: easily overlooked gem by Bell's. You think winter, you think dark usually, but I have spent a couple evenings at bonfires while snow was falling drinking this beer. They seemed to disappear too fast.

dfried, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Shibbykaiyai
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All around well crafted ale.

I had the Bell's Winter White at a local bar on tap via a pitcher (not my choice). It pours nice and orangish with a some cloudiness to it.

Taste was quite good. I liked it off the bat and after a couple more tastes, grew to like it more. I have since purchased it in bottle and enjoyed it at home as well.

On tap or in bottle (tap better of course), I recommend this seasonal ale while you can get it.

Shibbykaiyai, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JayQue
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was really surprising. With a little more carbonation and a bigger, longer lasting head, it would be great.

Poured into a Bud Select Pilsner glass from Busch Gardens. Nice golden/straw hazy color. Small fizzy white head that could have lasted a bit longer.

Good solid smell, wheat and citrus. Very robust taste. Has everything, wheat bitterness, citrus, cloves, banana. Very surprising strong taste for a 4.5% abv beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, not watery and some carbonation to tickle the tongue (where was the head??).

Drinkability is good. I could swill this stuff all night.

JayQue, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Extra cloudy yellow with one-finger, white head that lasted less than a minute. Not much lacing.

S: Citrus, wheat, and yeast. Belgian.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Wheat, very grainy flavor. Belgian yeast is in there too, sort of spicy. Good.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly warm.

O: The head was disappointing, but the nose and taste are solid. Nice alternative to other winter offerings.

SolipsismalCat, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Chaz
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a classic Wit: opaque, pale golden and whitish in color, and with plenty of suspended yeast. Slight pale tan-head and lacing. Nose is right on style, mildly spicy, but rather perfumey, with yeast, clove, and bubblegum qualities, all of which make a great impact on the first sip. Mouthfeel is light and creamy, almost effortless to drink, and with very low apparent alcohol. Juicy and malty (yet light), and very flavorful, this reminds me very favorably of the Saint Bernardus Wit. Wonderful stuff, and a totally unexpected approach to a Winter seasonal. The first time I was served this it was accidentally, during a rush at a local bar. I asked for a Summit Winter and I got a Bell's Winter. I drank it without knowing what it was, partly figuring that (it being a game day) I wouldn't get another beer before long. This particular bar serves a lot of draught Blue Moon, so I mistook it for that right away, but then realized how much *better* it was than the Blue Moon I've had umpteen times in the past! For five seconds I was thinking of re-appraising my view of Blue Moon! Fine job Larry Bell . . . this would be great in 12 packs in summer . . . hey, a guy can dream right?

Chaz, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pretty gold with a decent head, but not hazy at all for a wit.

Smells like quite the wit, though, with big huge spicy wheatmalt letting through nodes of white pepper and cloves.

Tastes like wonderfully overpowering wheatspice. Big cloves, all spice, ginger, corriander, and white pepper against a sugary background.

Hell yeah. I always like spicy wheat beers more on cold days than on hot ones. This is a great idea and a wonderfully brewed beer.

mynie, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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 putnam
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow with a slick of white on top. The aromatics are complex and feature notes of lemon, cracker, spicebox, sour herbs, butter and sugar glaze. On the palate it features comfortable raw nutty flavors intermixed with tart herbal and citric essences. Creamy mousse and cold, stony mineral flavors conspire to leave soft, cottony dry impressions on the finish. There is a fairly hard, bitter close that detracts from the considerable merit of the forward elements.

This is one of the best lower-ABV beers from this brewery I've had in years.

And it is Orwellian insanity to market this as a winter seasonal.

putnam, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of mmmbeer
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, batch 7760 (bottled on 12/13/06). It pours an opaque yellowed orange with two fingers of white head that leaves decent lacing. The aroma is lightly tart with a good wheat presence, straw, and hints of orange, with mostly just wheat on the palate, yet still tastes quite nice. The body is a bit creamy and fairly full for a wheat beer, with medium carbonation and finish. Overall a well-structured wheat beer that is quite drinkable, as it was gone before I even knew it.

mmmbeer, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of jonphilipp
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

jonphilipp, Dec 01, 2012
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,543 ratings.