Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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
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: 675 | Hads: 1,962
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I find this beer a little lacking and one dimensional. Appearance is fine at a yellow gold with a large white head. The nose is lemony and herbal. Coriander and orange peals are quite present. Taste follows the aromas with the addition of a strong yeastiness and a bit of ginger and cloves. All the ingredients are there but this beer just doesn’t scream, “I’m a fun and cheerful wit” to me like I like my wit beers to. It’s really almost hefe like and not very wintery to boot.

 483 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Fox and Hound in Beavercreek. Cloudy dense light chamomile in color. Aroma is wheaty, some spiceyness, perhaps coriander(?). Taste was good, mouthfeel was medium. I picked up more wheat notes (not typical bubblegum or other wheatbeer notes), but more of the grain and texture in the taste. Mentally I was comparing this one with Allagash white, and I think it can come pretty close, especially if fresh.

 421 characters

Photo of Illinick
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy yellow, a shade darker than "pale" with "creamy orange" and hayish hues. Fluffy white head that slowly dissipates.
S: Tart fruit smell-lemon, lemon peel with some bananna. Slight metallic smell also with some spice/spiced fruit, a touch of pear and an earthy must smell.
T: Parallels the smell and exhibits typical white flavors with an extra dose of spice. Faint metallic taste in their also. Tart lemon with some bananna, spiced fruit flavors, and a musty earthy flavor too. Flavors mold well together. Has a slight "extra dose" of spice, mostly pepper and some coriander.
MF: Medium and finishes semi-dry.
Overall: Solid brew, but nothing above and beyond-no Wow factor. I'd definately have again, but wouldn't specifically search for it. Worth a try.

 769 characters

Photo of waughbrew
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[generously received in trade with ghostwalker 3/2006]

Very hazy very pale yellow with a big-bubbled ugly head with little retention or lacing. Smell is pleasantly interesting, with light lemon-banana, white pepper, bitter orange peel, and rubber. Taste is surprisingly similar, though adds a significant honey component. Feel is medium body with carbonation that, although it is at low levels, feels big bubbled and sizzly. Finishes sweet and coating. Pleasant.

 465 characters

Photo of Fugazme
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes:

Cloudy... gold/straw in color with a small head. Head dissipates quickly and has some decent stick to the glass.

Aroma is of orange and clove... slight bannana smell.

Taste is spicy... some apple... citrus tones.

Has a bubbly mouthfeel. Dry. Bitter Finish.

A decent beer.

 298 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly unhazy amber with the slightest suggestion of orange. Maybe the yeasties will be added with the next and final pour, though I don't see much cloudiness in the few ounces left in the bottom of the bottle. The cap is lightly yellowed ivory, like old newspaper, and isn't up to Bell's usual standards. It looks a little mealy as it falls and isn't tacky enough to deposit more than a few stray strands of lace. Not bad, just not great.

The nose makes a spirited comeback, as I was pretty sure it would. There's a fresh wheaty bottom end, upon which the usual aromas of coriander and citrus are arrayed. I wondered whether a 'winter' wit would emphasize coriander at the expense of the more summer-like lemon and orange. I needn't have worried. The citrusiness that I love in this style is present and accounted for.

This is a wonderful witbier, even if it isn't as delicious as my favorite domestic versions (Allagash and Great Lakes). On the palate, coriander holds a slight edge over orange and lemon. Each provides a fair amount of flavor, although not an abundant amount. The mild sweetness of the wheat is perfectly countered by the bitterness of the hops, allowing the drinker to taste the best of both worlds. This really is a balanced, measured wit.

The mouthfeel is more full than average, but only slightly. A vigorous amount of carbonation keeps things light and airy without sliding over into an annoying fizziness. It seems to me that neither a more full nor a more light body would serve this beer as well as the one that has been provided. Drinkable? Absoposilutely.

Even though it isn't among my handful of favorite witbiers, this is still a fine effort from the master brewers in Kalamazoo. I continue to be impressed by the excellence displayed by Bell's across the entire spectrum of craft beer. Winter White Ale is merely the most recent example and is a beer that I recommend without reservation.

 1,931 characters

Photo of stouty1
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all I did not know that they would pour this into a Frosty Mug. Whoops! It was so cold there was no head or nose. I waited awhile and things warmed up a bit...

Smell got better with a move to orange spice. Taste was definitely worth the wait, but not very over powering. But, I am wondering if the deep freeze chilled things down too much? A good Bell's version of a Wit beer, but definitely not of German comparison. I could definitely sit back and drink a couple more of these.

 491 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a quite clear straw color with no real head or lacing to speak of. Looks mre like a pilsner than a white ale.

Nice wheat bready aroma with some orange and corriander. It smells much more like a wit than it looks.

Tastes just like it smells. A well rounded wheat beer taste with some nice orange and corriander accents.

Body is quite thin and the lackluster carbonation doesn't help.

Goes down easily, but has a few areas to improve.

 467 characters

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a - Cloudy yellow, little head looked like a witbier

s - Smelled of wheat but not much else

t - Dissappointingly thin, lacked complexity

m - light carbonation, thin

d - There are many better witbiers available don't waste your money. Generally I like witbiers this one just did not do it for me.

 308 characters

Photo of jj21
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:Deep, hazy gold. Very little head.

S:Not much here. Much in part due to the lack of head.

T:Bland. Some wheat presence with orange and coriander.

M:Creamy texture

D:Easy drinker. Tart on the tongue

A disappointment to me. True to the style but nothing special here.

 282 characters

Photo of Ricochet
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy Yellow, mild carbonation. Average hefe appearence.

S: Wheat. Only slight juicy fruit scent. I'm sold.

M: A little thin in the mouth, nice ale effect , foaming well, going down pretty decent.

T: The only thing this does not have to make it a decent hefe is the yeasts at the bottom. That said, as a wheat this tasted very decent and seemed to thin as it got warmer which affected the overall impression. Other than the watery feel, this is a very well done wheat.

D: I can see having a few of these, but I really want a hefe flavor and the Christian Morelien Hefe fills the bill.

 602 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wasn't all that impressed with this seasonal offering from Bell's. Poured out to a hazy yellow color with a big white foam head. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas were of grains, yeast and some farm straw and hay. Taste was slightly odd... overly spicy with citrus tones and minimal malt. Mouthfeel was almost biting, with some acid like qualities battling with my tastebuds. Only fair drinkability. I'd go for something else from the Bell's line-up first.

 458 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Winter Ale pours out a pale yellow color with a foamy, white head. The aroma is very spicy, with pepper and coriander with a wheat base. Clean malt flavor with wheat and spices. Some citrus flavors, mainly orange peel. Finishes with grassy hops. Crisp and moderately refreshing. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy. This is not what I expected for a Winter seasonal, but there's no reason to hold that against the beer. Tasty and easy to drink. Another quality Bell's beer.

 490 characters

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.

 439 characters

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

Pours out extremely pale yellow with a slight white head on top. Smell is pure wit, almost all wheat with a touch of yeast on the nose, perhaps hints of banana ala Oberon.

Flavour, also trademark wit. The wheat and yeast from the nose are front and centre in the flavour as well. Some lemon present, as well as cloves, but nothing overwhelming. Finish is a decently unique hop bite though. Ok, but like Oberon, nothing that speaks to me.

Mouthfeel, average. Some tingles in the right places, but nothing that will blow you away. Drinkability, par for the style.

More or less Bell's winter version of Oberon, a beer that I'm not that fond of anyway. If you want a light, easy quaffer in December you could do worse though.

 724 characters

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

Not really crazy about this one. As the scores reflect, it's average all around. Nothing particularly offensive about it, but nothing interesting or redeeming. Golden color, too many bubbles, no real head. Smell and taste have a somewhat pleasing lemony character and some typical spicing, but nothing really catches my interest. It's got a light, pale malt backdrop and a very non-descript hop profile. Still, it isn't exactly bad, just not good. Thin mouthfeel, and like I said, a little too bubbly for the style. This beer would be drinkable but it's just not interesting enough for me to have more than one. Try Bell's other stuff, this is probably my least favorite of the mixed case I got.

 695 characters

Photo of Gritsak
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- very cloudy orange with a nice sized offwhite head. laces decently.

S- malt, yeast, dough

T- a little similar to oberon, but stonger in flavor. there is a strong yeast and buscuit flavor. the finish has a little medicine flavor but its not overwhelming.

M- medium body, extremely smooth. very light if any carbonation.

D- pretty decent, only thing that hurts this is the aftertaste.

overall- this was pretty much what i expected out of this beer. it has a nice clean, smooth taste that is pretty enjoyable. only thing im not a fan of is the aftertaste which could become a little annoying.

 607 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz batch# 7120 which was bottled on 10-25-05 poured into a pint glass.

Hazed gold with a small white head. Decent carbonation.

The nose is a clean mix of wheat, lemon zest and coriander. The spice and citrus aromas are sharp.

The sorta sweet malts are upfront followed quickly by some lemon tang and the coriander. It wants to be tart, but the bitterness pulls back just in time to let the spice and clove come out in a dry finish. An interesting transition of flavors that is thirst quenching.

Nice moderate mouth would be heavier if not for the tangy flavors and carbonation. The mouth is a big part of what makes this beer so thirst quenching. Very sessionable.

An interesting choice for a winter brew, but I can see the spice flavors working well with some Christmas treats.

 795 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's, batch 7114 i think

appearance: sweet label...cheers to midwest winters. the beer is a very pale and watery yellow with a decent bright white head and some decent lacing

smell: heavy on the wheat, ripe bananas come through strong, orange and other citrus fruit, a little spice

taste: crisp and fresh...lots of fresh bananas, very clovey, toasted wheat throughout...a nice wit, but not up to bells par

mouthfeel: crisp, clean, fresh, light-medium bodied

drinkability: very drinkable

not a bad wit, just funny timing, but thats bell's

 571 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light gold color with a small foamy white head that disappears quickly, leaving just a collar and traces of lace.

The aroma is mostly wheat with some hints of citrus, bananas and cloves.

The flavor is also definitely wheat but with more pronounced notes of citrus and spices. Starts mildly sweet, finishes slightly dry with a banana, clove, peppery aftertaste.

An unusual choice for a winter ale, but really pretty nice and easy to drink. .

 466 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, light golden color, no head. Cloudy, served chilly and let to warm. Smells of wheat, light fruits, perhaps banana, and apricot. Citris smells. Plenty of flavor, it reminds me of Hoegaarden, only I like it better. Wheaty and citris dominates, with clove and peppery hints. Really good balance. This is a very drinkable beer, despite my so so ratings. Was hoping for a little more, but another great offering from Bell's

 437 characters

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

This pours greenish amber, like a summer wheat. Little head.

Smells are minimal, some floral hop.

Taste is somewhat sour, lemon like. A little hop, a little bland.

Mouthfeel is okay, but not great either.

Finish is clean.

This isn't a bad wheat beer, but wheats are bland to me. For a winter beer? Guess I just don't understand. If you see it, do give it a try, but don't expect much.

 400 characters

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

Was a bit intrigued by this being a winter beer, with a relatively low abv compared to others of the seasonal variety. But thought it worth a try.

Pours a hazy, light orange color, with a small and quickly dissipating white bubbly head. Most notable attribute is its lightness.

Wheat dominates the smell, followed by a bit of fruit. Banana and citrus are most prominent, along with some clove. Very similar to a hefeweizen.

Taste is again mindful of a hefe. A bit stronger kick at the end, but wheat and citrus dominate along with a peppery and tangy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty light and sharp. It's a bit fizzy and more watery than I'd hoped for.

Overall, this hardly seems like a traditional winter ale to me. Taste is relatively weak and somewhat lacking. Not terrible, but not terribly impressive either.

 828 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a cloudy pale yellow color. The head is white and fluffy like freshly fallen snow. The aroma is more like a hefe weizen than a witbier. Yeast, wheaty and tagny with only faint hints of coriander. The taste is rather light for a witbier. Tangy wheat makes up the flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little too much carbonation. Overall, this isn't a bad beer, but I would rather have Hoegaarden or Allagash White.

 438 characters

Photo of benito
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a single of this and tried it on a "Bell's Wheat Beer" day that also included Oberon, and the first three of their 2005 wheat series. Given that they're putting out seven (seven!) different wheat brews, Bell's may be able to lay claim to making the overall best wheat beers in the U.S! Winter White is a good example why...

This pours a hazy orange with lighter hints of champagne and grape juice around the edges; the effect is a beer with a light top and bottom with an illusory copper orb floating in the center.

A bouquet of bananas, clove, citrus, and rubber leads the way into a medium-bodied beer with a nice peppery flavor that lingers on to the next swig indeed. The flavor is crisp with delicate bitterness and a present-yet-restrained fruitiness: a sign of excellent balance.

They've hit the nail on the head here as far as setting typical Witbier sweets against a broader tart backdrop.

An excellent seasonal offering from Bell's.

 963 characters

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