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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

1,444 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1444
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
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Ratings: 1,444 | Reviews: 636 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $8.99 for a mixed 6'er from Wild Oats...

The beer pours a somewhat clear golden base with barely a head of white color, little to no retention and maybe a speck of lace, not impressive. The aromas start off with a medium-heavy malt smell followed by a mix of fruits and spices.

The taste makes more sense of the smell, it's cloves and bananas with a very nice malt taste for a Witbier. It's pretty light in the mouth and nice on the palette as well, the delivery is smooth, making this the high point of the beer. The drinkability is a bit skewed, it's a nice light Witbier at 4.8%, but I think one is enough.

Final Thought: This beer is everywhere, better in the middle of the beer than anywhere else, a solid brew from one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 04:00:05 | More by mobyfann
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright, lemon yellow body with adequate yeast haze visibility. Head is cloud white, and started big, but didn't last long. Husky, yeasty wheat malt aromas dashed with lemony orange, clove, and light coriander. Smells how a witbier should, even if it is a little mild. Milky wheat malt flavors start out, but are quickly joined/overpowered by yeasty citrus. Tart, acidic lemon and orange juice refreshingly take us into the mildly candy-sweet, spice-tinged, yeasty finish. Medium bodied, with a milky, smoothie feel up front, followed by a refreshing, acidic bout of carbonation, and then back to the smoothie. Another good beer from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 04:27:20 | More by alexgash
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 tar
tar

Bahamas

3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit of a different winter time offering from Bell's. Nice looking in the glass with a hazy golden color and thin, white, bubbly head. Presents a pleasant floral aroma with hints of banana, oranges, and a bit of spice (coriander and maybe a bit of pepper?). A mild overall taste with a dry finish. The spiciness present in the aroma along with citrusy flavors linger and add some depth of flavor. A light bodied beer with a crisp dry feel in the mouth. Not a bad tasting beer, but not particularly exciting--I feel like I'm still waiting for something else to emerge flavorwise.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2004 16:51:23 | More by tar
Photo of oracle
oracle

Indiana

4.68/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle served in a tall pilsner style glass

This has long been one of my favorite beers to get growlered. I'm very glad to see it in bottles finally.

Like many other wheat beers, this is one where you want to swirl that last half ounce around in the bottle before you pour it into the glass. It picks up the sediment from the bottle, which enhances the flavor dramatically.

Beer poured a very cloudy golden/yellow with 2 inch bubbly sticky head. Like most wheat beers I've tried, the head left very little to no lacing.

Smell was wonderful. golden ripe banana and warm bread.

Taste was very clean and simply delicious. ripe bananas and sweet apple. Strong yeast characteristics.

Mouthfeel was good. Minimal carbonation. This beer feels light and airy on the tounge.

Still one of my all time favorites.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2004 15:17:09 | More by oracle
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 17:55:01 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of Dithyramb
Dithyramb

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the many midwest brews obtained through BIF14. Finally starting to review these goodies.

Very nice winter scene on the label, with white-capped trees and a snowy knoll.
Beer pours a dark straw color with only a bit of carbonation. A very weak off white head quickly trailed off.
Initially smell all the right esters, banana, and medicine. As it warmed, some very earthy and musky smells were evident.
Very smooth and creamily wheat controlled brew. All the usuals are in there (citrus, banana, spicy yeast, etc.) but they are well controlled and almost muted by the wheat.\
Finishes very clean and refreshing. Didn't wow me, but I wouldn't mind another.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 14:00:20 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

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

A curious choice of style for this season, especially from a brewery in frigid Michigan. The Winter Wile Ale poured with a delicately pale straw colored, cloudy, fizzy body. The head was thinner than a Barbie doll suffering from anorexia, and did not stick around too long. The aroma was nicely estery with the appropriately anticipated banana, lemon, and clove flavors. Taste was creamy, tangy, and spicy with a fuller mouthfeel than the looks suggest. Very easy to drink with a low ABV, this is a very nice Witbier on its own merit, and quite a departure from the other winter seasonals that are around.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 04:30:39 | More by rajendra82
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 12 from Ngandhi. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" bright white head over the light straw brew. Head fades down to a thin layer of bubbles, not unexpected for the style, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is slightly earthy wheat combined with a citrus sour twang. Taste is a pleasingly sedate wheat character, sharing the stage with a slight sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkability is a bit better. Worth a try, but not one of their best offers, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 23:17:55 | More by ppoitras
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a hazy yellow with a slight orange cast. It had a large white head with poor retention, but a little stickage. It smelled of banana and citrus, with a bit of cloves thrown in. The flavour was a mix of raw wheat and mild citrus, fairly well balanced and with a dry finish. Moderately slick mouthfeel, light body and medium/high carbonation. Overall, not a bad beer, but not an exceptional white beer. I think I enjoyed it more than the scores would indicate.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2004 02:45:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An OK wheat, rating lower than this brewery's standard. Sweet with cloves, ginger and orange from yeast. Combo winter warmer spices and wheat. Reminds me of herbal tea xmas stuff. Brought by contributing Yankee to Doug Shoemaker's All Star Beer Tasting.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 02:37:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottled version was not what I expected, but still very nice. I had thisone ( I think ) on tap with a different appearance. Thisone however poured a hazy yellow with a nice, average, soft white head that left little lace in spots. The aroma was grass like with a hint of citric. The taste carried that citric zest of lemon while a good blending dose of carbonation cut through a thick wheat base. Leaving a crisp mouthfeel alittle tart. A nice beer that is refreshing and quenching. It would be nice to see thisone, say; Christmas in July. It would fit very well that time of year as well.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 13:40:34 | More by chilidog
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a six-pack. Light in the glass, yellow with a slight of orange. Frothy white head on top. Taste is wheaty, spicy, and caramalized orangey. I'm not sure how the hell they do that without any spices. Overall not THAT impressive on taste, but still an enjoyable brew for it's other characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 02:59:48 | More by benmiliron
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I expect to see this style as a warm-weather seasonal, so kudos to Bell's for changing things up a bit. It is, however, a pretty typical American stab at this style. Pours a hazed gold with a minimal thin lace. Aroma is fresh and grassy, full of yeast and citrus. Flavor shows some fresh floral notes as well as some solid citrus and earthy hops to balance the cloves 'n' bananas spice. Mouthfeel is crisp with a rush of carbonation, though not overdone. All in all not mindblowing, not one I would seek out, but a pretty standard interpretation, and a refreshing one at that.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 02:08:32 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of shippos
shippos

New York

4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

courtesy of clvand0 via bif-xmas

poured a very pale hazy yello-orange color with a froathy head that lasted for awhile then dissappeared. yesty corriander and orange aroma, fruity. good amount of carbonation that cuts through the thick wheat malt body leaving your mouth very refreshed. excellent wit.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 22:40:17 | More by shippos
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is somewhat complex noting yeasty, phenol, sour , sweet and light fruitiness.
Cloudy yellow. Big full white head. Leaves rings after each drink.
Nice array of flavors giving off a sense of refreshing complexity. Wheat is notable as is phenol (clove), sweet light fruit, a touch of sourness. Finishes with a somewhat heavy bitterness through a medium length.
Doesn't feel as light as could. Carbonation doesn't feel as soft as it could either although the malt feels soft.
An interesting concept for a winter ale. Not quite sure why it qualifies as such (the very white head?, or just a contrast to the summer wheat?). Anyway, nice enough.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 03:42:35 | More by garymuchow
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy yellow with a very small white head that disapears to a thin white line immediatly.

Smells of sweet Citrus flavors and a slight hint of wheat and yeast. Very strong and nice odor.

A very fresh tasting crisp wheat flavor with hints of lemony zest and orange peal. Just a hint of hops compliments this very well. Light and refreshing, sort of the opposite of what I think when it comes to a winter beer, but very good none the less.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly full and creamy for such a light tasting beer.

Another very enjoyable drinkable beer from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2004 22:36:25 | More by bashiba
Photo of trancefishy
trancefishy

Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very bizarre, hazy, milky yellow. very small head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is that of citrus, and something of a cross between a belgian yeast smell, and a heff-weizen smell. a bit of bread as well.

Taste is all wheat flavour, which take a while to get up to full flavour in your mouth. Has a tart kind of snap to it, very much like a grapefruit and lemon. i almost wonder if there is lemon juice in this beer. aftertaste starts off sweet, but then turns citric tart. the more i drink it, the more this sour off taste of lemons-gone-bad comes out. i've noticed that once the beer warms up a lot, the off flavour turns inot more of a creamy lemonade thing, which is actually quite tasty.

mouthfeel is fine, but i'm still stuck on this weird taste. drinkability i fear is going to be low, as this aftertaste is getting to me.

I do not especially care for oberon, and thought this would be entirely too simliar for me to bother with. I gave it a go, it's nothing like oberon. at first i thought it was worse, but now i think it is a bit more flavourful, and I guess a good way to do a wit for the winter. an alright beer, worth trying if you haven't.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 22:01:09 | More by trancefishy
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Old Bag of Nails pub in Columbus. This beer is a very hazy dark yellow color with a compact white head and very little lacing. The aroma is spicy, with wheat and citrus. Light and crisp body with a flavor that stings the tongue a bit. It is a zesty brew and a little more flavorful than the bottled version I remember. Orange and other fruits, along with spice and a touch of malt on the back end. The finish is very dry and comes back to the citrus. A step up from the Blue Moons of the world but falls a little short of the world-class Wits out there.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2004 17:59:22 | More by Dogbrick
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 longarm
longarm

Maryland

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow with light pillows of foam. Ridges recede rather rapidly, but rejuvenate from the recesses of the glass.

This winter white wafts with distinctive and stylish doses of wheat, banana and cloves. Moderate alcohol arrives unwelcome.

Decent flavor if a little modest. Mildly mistaken-flavors more typical of macro makings than quality malt brews of Bell's persuasion. Still it goes well with a finishing hints of orange.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry.

Not at all expected given the name, but not a let-down. Who drinks wheat beers in the Winter? Apparently Bell's and they've converted me quite easily. A nice production, this is well suited for many pours in any season.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2004 15:57:14 | More by longarm
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2004 20:38:04 | More by putnam
Photo of walleye
walleye

Michigan

2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

from the bottle. poured a hazy straw with a white head that didn’t last long. aroma bread yeast, citrus, sour orange, wheat, and straw. flavor hops, straw, wheat, lemon, bitter. this should not be a winter beer. I think it would be better suited for the summer standing at the bbq griling some steak.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2004 22:44:46 | More by walleye
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 crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with some golden orange highlights and a thin white head. Some typical witbier aromas like coriander, orange zest, wheat malt and a fair amount of yeastiness in the nose. Initially starts off malt sweet and then traditional spicings kick in and a bit of citrusy zing near the finish. Not a bad witbier at all, I'm just unsure what makes it a Winter White. Pretty well carbonated. Drinkable year-round.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2004 19:05:05 | More by crookedhalo
Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.