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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.

687 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 687
Hads: 1,994
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 273 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Winter White Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 687 | Hads: 1,994
Photo of argock
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Hazy yellow-orange with short white foamy lace and scant lace

S: Coriander, cloves, bananas, and orange citrus

T: A bit flat in light of the encouraging preamble of the aromas. Some yeasts and bready wheat and malt flavros with coriander and orange sprinkled in, but it's missing some punch.. Ethereal, even for a wit.

M: Smooth and medium-bodied, not thin and watery like some wits. Acive lively carbonation.

D: Nothing objectionable but not a home run or even a double. Bell's is a great brewery on the whole, but this isn't one of their best. Solid but under the bar for Bell's.

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Photo of Chaney
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My next door neighbor gave me an entire 6/pk of this stuff as a Christmas present.

A: When I think winter, I don't exactly consider Witbier, but I'll bite anyway: Poured a grainy, murky orange, with a slight head that basically withered away to nothing.

S: Banana and coriander spice beer on the nose, with maybe a hint of freshly filtered H2O. This wasn't too potent, but still was pleasant.

T: What happened here? While this wasn't terrible, it was one of the more bland Wits that I've had in ages. I got a fair bit of fruity, coriandery, spicy slurp on the front end, but there was absolutely no explosive late aftertaste of flavors to make this one worth coming back to.

M: A bit thin and infinitely forgettable, with a bit of slight carbonation which I guess was fine, and not much lacing at all.

O: 6pk = Register checkout: house beer, $1 even. Meh...

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours a very hazy pale straw, bordering on cloudy, with a half-finger white head that settles quickly into a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Little retention and almost no possibility of lacing at all.

Nose is wheaty, lots of zesty lemon, sourdough component towards the back end. Maybe a bit of coriander, but it doesn't dominate by any stretch.

Taste is kind of interesting. Starts off with a combination of tangy wheat and pale malt sweetness, with a big lemony zing and a bitterness towards the finish from the coriander. Yeast is lighter than expected, breadiness from the nose never really shows up in the taste, maybe a bit in the exhale. Yeast takes a backseat in this one, very subtle.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, largely because the yeast never shows up. Thinner body, more coarse carbonation (though still quite light), no creaminess. Eh.

Drinkability, what can you say? It doesn't really do much of what the best wits do, but by the same token, it isn't exactly bad either. Really don't get the idea of this being a winter seasonal.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried during a recent trip to the Brick Store Pub. Suspiciously, there was no batch number listed on the back in the white box allotted for it. I briefly considered signing my name in it.

Appearance: Pours out a near clear, pale yellow body with a smallish, brief, white head.

Smell: Bell's WA doesn't offer a particularly aromatic bouquet, with only mild notes of barley and wheat with some perfunctory citrus and spice thrown into the mix as well. A bit of a wimpy wit, to be honest.

Taste: Sweet tastes of malted barley and lightly tangy wheat lazily bathe the tongue. Mild flavors of citrus peel and coriander. Faint bitterness. Lightly tangy, lightly citrusy finish; there and gone in a flash. It's one of those simple beers with little to really say about it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, for starters, it could benefit from a bit more effervescence in the mouthfeel department, but even still, it's just rather mild and bland and doesn't really deliver in terms of a fine, refreshing witbier or a winter-based anything.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a medium, foamy white head with average retention and lacing.

S: Wheat, yeast, some cloves and perhaps banana. Some coriander and citrus aroma is also detectable.

T: Crisp wheat flavor, with some floral hops to provide a slight bite. Coriander, clove, allspice, and orange juice flavors as well. A bit of drying, husky graininess at the finish.

M: Very crisp and fizzy, with a somewhat light body. A vaguely sticky and dry aftertaste. A seltzery feel to this one, with an acidic, carbonated twang.

D: This one tastes pretty decent, but what makes it a winter beer, exactly? The mouthfeel especially seems off - too much like club soda and without the creamy texture you'd expect from a witbier.

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Photo of atsprings
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7760. Never had a witbeir as a winter seasonal before, so this should be interesting. Poured a hazy diluted orange with no head whatsoever. Smell was somewhat more complex than many witbeirs, some spices present. Has some spice present in the taste. Almost like a witbeir impersonating a more heavy, darker winter warmer, just not doing a very good job at it. Definitely not as light as some wits. Mouthfeel is a little heavier than I'm used to in this style, I guess this works since it is a winter beer. Somewhat drinkable, but I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

5.0%abv listed on the label.

It pours a cloudy yellow colour with about an inch of foam. The lacing is ok for the style.

The smell is...funky and yeasty with good notes of banana and anise with a lemon hop aroma bringing up the rear. It smells inviting to me.

The taste is of wheat, bananas, light lemon zest, and a bit of bread. I like the smell more than the taste for some reason. Maybe the overall flavours come off to me as being bland.

On the low side of medium bodied with low levels of carbonation. At this time, the foam is gone and no more lacing.

Drinkability? It drinks ok but following one bottle with another, if I had one, would not be something I'd do.

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Photo of CReilly
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


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

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Photo of WwRGSwW
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: bright yellow color with a thick white foam head that quickly dissipates. little to no lacing.

S: Malt hits you first, followed by banana and a slight hint of nuts

T: A combination of banana and nuts. the after taste is nutty, but not offending.

M: Very light and crisp.

D: Very easy to drink. Mine was gone before I knew it. Nothing to really rave about, but good none the less.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I expected a great deal from this beer, and it was...OK. If you love clove, you might think it's better than OK.

Appearance is a greasy-looking clear yellow color with a fairly minimal head. Aroma is non-descript spice at first, but subsequent whiffs revealed a more solitary aroma of clove. Taste was 100% cloviness, and quite strong. Not bad, as long as you like clove. Mouthfeel is not bad, but unremarkable. This beer is fairly drinkable.

All-in-all, I guess I'd recommend it, but not my favorite wit.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours the cloudiest, orange-juice gold with a finger of white head on top. Nose is peppery, with hints of clove and banana esters and musty wheat. Taste is extremely dry, pepper/clove spicy and heavy on the yeast. Mouthfeel is pretty thick due to all the suspended yeast, co2 is lively. Overall wasn't too impressed with this one. I looks pretty, but is so dry it lacks any real character.

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

Very hazy, with an unusual appearance, a cross between orange and grapefruit juice. Something funky in the aroma that was a touch off-putting at first. Very much the classic spiced Belgian witbier, substantial yeast and spice flavors. According to the bottle, this is a wheat with seasonal spices - quite frankly I was a bit let down - not that there is anything wrong with the beer, just that I don't detect anything that particularly distinguishes this beer from the rest of the spiced wit pack. A nice-enough beer, but it seems a poor choice to tout as a winter seasonal.

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

Looks like lemonade on the way out of the bottle, a runny yellow color with globs. Settles to an impenetrable pear color with a decent, attractive white head. The label says the beer is "seasonally nuanced," which I take to mean has wintery spices added; ironically enough, then, I think the beer smells less spiced than most witbiers I've had. I mostly get warm, bready yeast. Taste is similar, plain-jane yeast and wheat flavors with a bit of the promised holiday spice.

I think Bell's should rename this beer "Wheat Zero."

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Photo of hwwty4
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a chalice. The beer poured a hazy orange/yellow with a very thin white head that left no lacing. The beer actually looked like a pulpless grapefruit juice. The aroma was of ripe apples and bananas. The taste is of wheat and bananas. It leaves a yeasty aftertaste in your mouth that I didn’t much care for. The mouthfeel is decent, medium bodied with little carbonation. Not a bad beer, just nothing exciting to talk about.

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Photo of birchstick
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

hmm, maybe i got a bad bottle. Didn't enjoy this nearly as much as other reviewers seem to have. Poured most of the bottle into a pint glass (all my weizen glasses got broken last year) and saved a couple ounces to swirl the yeast into the beer. Swirled vigourously but couldn't for the life of me get quite all of the yeast--must have been very compacted. A finger of creamy head falls out with the cloudy yeast but quickly disappears. End result is a cloudy (milky, really) golden, delicious looking, uncapped mess

Smell is really amazing. Spicy and such, love it. Taste, however, is one of the bigger disappointments i have had with beer (not to the level of SA Triple bock, but still disappointing). Taste is fairly flat, not getting much citrus or spice, but it does taste a bit sour and leaves a bad aftertaste. mouthfeel is creamy and enjoyable but it needs more carbonation as it was quite flat. Drinkability suffers from the sourness and lack of carbonation.

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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 Teleweizen2
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a completely clear bright golden color. no head to speak of.

S - nicely spiced with notes of cardamom and citrus with some bready undertones.

T - some bready malt character up front, bright citrus and spice character in the center which lingers on past the finish.

M - light bodied slightly watery, medium to high carbonation.

O - decent white ale. nothing is wrong with it except the lack of visible yeast but it is nothing that exciting.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

L - Medium-light yellow. Hazy. Short and not persistent white head.
S- Fruity banana. Bubble gum.
T - Bready and fruity. Banana and sweet citrus. Some clove and banana. Mildly bitter citrus aftertaste.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Appearance: opaque lemon yellow, cloudy, small white head with zero retention

Smell: biscuity, grains, oats

Taste: refreshing, floral, soda water, simple

Mouthfeel: light, watery, well carbonated

Overall: Drinkable session beer I'd return to someday, but not my favorite Bell's.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An odd choice for a Winter Ale. Very wheat-ey. They upped the gravity to make a creamier and more flavorful Belgian Wit, but it still lacks the punch in malt complexity and alcohol for me to consider it for a winter beer. Having said that, it's a good beer. spicy, sweet, bananna-ey, citrucy, peppery, sweet, and subtle. Little dryness or lingering. Creamy and silky to the palate. I'd put another lable on it and drink it into the spring and summer.

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Photo of teovaldi
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow with a small head that dissipates quickly.

Smells of wheat, citrus hops and spicey.

Taste starts out sweet with malted barley and wheat. Finishes slightly citrusy and spicey.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright, a bit too spicey for me. Could use some more carbonation.

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Photo of nmyers
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured a cloudy golden almost orange color. The aroma of this beer has hints of sweet citrus and bananas and some Belgium candy sugar. The taste of this beer was similar to smell hints of sweet sugars and citrus and banana notes were also present. This drinkable beer was smooth but had a slightly bitter after taste. Overall this was an average winter beer.

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Photo of soju6
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a hazy copper color with a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Mild aroma of fruit with a bit of spice and hint of grain in the background.

T: Taste is a bit muted with a bit of fruit and malt sweetness. mild bitterness and a quite clean finish.

F: Light body, smooth and refreshing.

O: Nice beer that goes down easy. A enjoyable change of pace wit beer that compliments the seasonal offerings.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and white branded pry-off pressure cap acquired for $1.79 at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN and served into a stem-tulip. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as a witbier; it identifies as a white ale on the label. Packaged 10/18/13. 5.0% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Okay thickness. Not much creaminess. Retention is well below average - maybe 1 minute. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent semitransparent orange-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

It's not cloudy like every traditional witbier I've ever seen, which is a bit disconcerting. It's far from unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Belgian pale malts, flaked wheat, banana, clove, coriander, pilsner malts. Lemongrass. Faint lemon citrus. Light floral and fruity hops. A clean aroma of average strength.

No alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Lightly floral and fruity hop notes. Lemon peel. Lemongrass. Clean barley. Wheat - possibly flaked. Belgian pale malts. Banana. Clove. It's got a crisp yeasty character.

No alcohol comes through.

A clean balanced flavour profile which isn't quite gestalt, but is certainly cohesive. Not real complex or subtle. Not all that intricate or nuanced either, but then this style is about elegant balance and mastery of simple ingredients.

Smooth, wet, crisp, and medium-bodied. Nice thickness. Decent body. It's got a good refreshing presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile well. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: A drinkable and enjoyable American take on a witbier, but ultimately it's not amongst the best in the style. Bell's has provided a solid go-to witbier for the local market, but it can't compete with the best traditional Belgian offerings - or even Allagash White, for that matter. I could easily session with this stuff, but it isn't world-class. Certainly likable, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or buy it again.

High C+

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.