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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

676 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 676
Hads: 1,957
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 48
Gots: 245 | 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
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Reviews: 676 | Hads: 1,957
Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's knows bottle conditioned beers.
First thing I thought when I found out Bells Winter ale was a Witbier, WTF? A Wit? The fist bottle I struggled getting over my discriminating mind frame of what I expect this season. My second bottle, on an evening that has warmed up quite a bit, well okay... this beer is actually growing on me.

Appearance: Pours a typical white color and sits a honey-creamsicle hazy orange color. The fizzy head faded quickly and there is a small amount of lacing created by swirling the glass and on each sip, but then it drops down into the beer leaving clean glass walls.

Smell: Honey, dough, banana, orange, vanilla cream, yeast and a sprinkle of spices, make a very pleasant Witbier nose. Having High expectations for a beer that claims to be a winter, I hesitantly and slowly turn one thumb toward the upward direction.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma with a yeasty doughy honey flavor with suggestions of orange coriander, wheat & vanilla. The lemon zest is toned down completely and the Vanilla ice-cream is inserted, uniquely, in the flavor attributes of this beer compared to typical Wits. While trying to find something seasonal about this beer I thought I noticed a bit of a peppermint flavor in the aftertaste. Was that a self projection or is it really there? No the burp had a hint of candy cane as well so I now forgive them for naming a Witbier as a Winter Ale. =) Very nice.

Mouthfeel: This beer has the smooth malty body of a Hefe over the typical spritsy body of a Whit.

Drinkability: This is a different beer and one worth checking out. It is the Wrong season to ask me if it is drinkable because I am cold and at the moment I am going to switch to something with a higher octane. Still, I think it would be great on a hot winter day further South or if you are a bigger Wit fan than I.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,889 characters)

Photo of xav33
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bell's Winter White
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in a shaker
Packaged 09/06, rang 11/06

Poured a murky yellow with a small fizzy somewhat diminishing head.

Smelt of moderate dough, bananas, cloves.

Taste was upfront moderately bittersweet orange, light bread and bananas followed by a strong bitter raw dough and grain on an average length finish. Palate was slightly dry, light to medium bodied, overly fizzy, and lightly astringent.

Overall, a pretty interesting yeasty wheat beer, bold in flavor, although oddly bitter. (533 characters)

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees. I'm just confused because I know it says Winter White, but with all of their coffee-infused stouts, it just sticks out like a sore thumb. My conclusion is that this is the alternative to such offerings as HopSlam, Java Stout, Expedition and Double Cream...

A - It looks like grapefruit juice in my glass...with a 2 inch foamy head that quickly dissipated, of course. Don't get that from Ocean Spray...

S - Lemon zest, grapefruits, and cloves compose the aroma.

T - Wheat-beer flavors with bananas and cloves (maybe some coriander) spell out this Winter White...it's actually pretty refreshing, since I haven't had one in a few months. Finishes crisp.

M - Light body with very little carbonation. Bananas come out a lot more throughout the glass.

D - OK, so I have to admit it's a little refreshing after drinking a different winter stout everyday. I'll keep it as an occasional winter beer, though, as to not tire myself of it. Maybe I'll try one in July and see how it tastes. (1,061 characters)

Photo of BlackAngus
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy yellow color, nice creamy white head that disappeared quickly.

S - Big yeasty/bready aroma, some light fruit aromas.

T - Flavor follows aroma...very yeasty, slightly fruity.

M - Light, clean, nicely carbonated. To style.

D - Definitely drinkable, but it's not really nuanced. I'm puzzled as to why this is a winter seasonal...I would drink this in the summed if available. (393 characters)

Photo of jdoherty
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer into a small white sampling glass. Pours very fizzy and seems unfiltered, yeast is visibly noticable.

It smelled almost entirely of yeast, there were other subtle smells but I couldnt put my finger on.

Tastes identical to hefe-weizens with a lot more of the yeast taste.

The carbonation really tingles on your tongue, (the fizz came from somewhere) and it had a very light bodied feel.

Not exactly the winter warmer I would have expected, not many spices or strong taste in any way, but it is still rather pleasant served ice cold. (560 characters)

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7637

Poured into a tall wheat glass, which gave this beer a nice puffy, fizzing white head, which doesn't last very long. Not much in the way of lacing. Very hazy yellow straw body.

Smells of light spices and citrus.

Taste is interesting. I guess Bell's uses both a Hefe and a Belgian yeast in this beer so its got a clean fruitiness AND a but of a funk. The spices dominate the finish. Not a lot going on, this is one of the mellower wits I've had.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp and quite effervescent. This is a light bodied beer thats a nice thirst quencher, and as Bell's says an interesting alternative to the majority of winter releases.

Quite drinkable, limited mainly by the lack of flavor depths here, this is a nice refresher after my morning bike ride, but it seems more suited to a warm, sunny day. (830 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sort of odd they brew a wit, that is very ideal for the Summer, as their winter seasonal.

Appearance- Pours a flighty eggshell head with no retention, just a small ring after a few sips. Color is a bright pale yellow. with two columns of bubbles making their way to the top.

Smell- Smells more like a wit. Like spiced, herbal wheat.

Taste- The flavors is more akin to an American wheat, but with hints of Belgian wits too. A nice carbonated mostly wheat mix of crystal malts. Gives off light fruity flavors like bananas. Then some orange peel and anise. (565 characters)

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale golden, clouded by the yeast pour. Soapy one finger head with poor retention and no lacing. Coriander and clove nose, with a faint aroma of bitter orange peel and some wheat in the background. Pale malt and wheat sweetness upfront, followed by a wave of orange rind and coriander. Clove-like yeast flavor in the aftertaste, balance is level without any noticable hop bitterness. Crisp, medium carbonation and the unfilted texture gives it a smooth medium body. Lots of spice flavor in the finish, but comfortably drinkable for sure. (543 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
2.69/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Im dreaming of a winter white ale. Well not really. Poured a semi hazy golden color with next to no head nor any lacing at all.

The smell is malty with some very noticeable yeasty smells in the background. Some lighter wheat background and next to no spice presence at all. A smidge of hops, maybe a floral but still masked. Would like a bit more complexity and other spice notes to balance.

The taste has more of a wheat feel mixed with malt added in. A little harsh (as compared with crisp) and a bit astringent. The wheat flavor starts out with a chill sense and then a stronger bitter orange flavor finishes with a somewhat rancid finish. Not much on the spice and some very light note of hops near the end, bring a floral taste out.

The body is a little high for a wit or even a wheat, and no carbonation. Overall the wheat is limited and the spice note are not where they should be but clean yeast and easy drinkabiliy. (930 characters)

Photo of doubleshovels
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wounderful to look, this pour has a gradation from light lemon yellow to tangerine orange, like a slice of a citrus rainbow glowing from the glass. Its overwhelming bouquet suggested a promising bursted of falvor in the mouth. First sip hits with a full force of lemon zest, however like lemon zest, it quicks shows its bitter and oily backside, never showing a greater depth of spice. Very quaffable, yet almost unpleasantly polite. (433 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.36/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Attractive color of diluted tang. Far too gentle aroma and very spiratic. Hints of coriander, light wheat, dried apricot, clove and spice. Again, very subtle in the flavor. Tingling spicing but not enough. Notes of banana peel, peach and light wheat. Shows weiss and white style. An average American wheat but I expected more from Bell’s. (339 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy blonde with a nice white head that simmers down to a ring around my glass. It seems like this beer is a lot less cloudy now that it is in bottles. When it was first introduced it kegs only this beer was very cloudy. There was no seeing through it.

The aroma is of wheat malt, citrus, coriander.

The flavor is of wheat malt, coriander, orange peel. There is some mild spiceness to this one as well. Very nice tasting brew.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. I think this winter wheat would be good in the summer time as well. If oberon were the orang juice of beers, winter wheat would be the orang julius. (692 characters)

Photo of karst
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the '06 release of Oberon, I was lucky to be able to compare the Winter White from the tap along side of the new release of Bell's Summer Wheat.

The dollar per 20 oz. serving made this attractive as well.

The 24 oz nonic displayed a strongly beading blond Whitbier that was slightly hazy and fairly clear for a wheat. The short lived head and light lace drop the appearance rating a half point.

Served a little on cold side a nice aroma of wheat, coriander,orange and citrus zest combine with hints of clove and vanilla. Flavor follows with coriander, ginger, clove. Medium body with a round mouthfeel that provides a solid wheat canvas for broad brush strokes from the citrus, orange, and other spices. Finishes clean after a breif cameo of yeast, wheat, and juicy spices. Bittering hops are perfect. Although 0.3 % lower than Oberon's ABV this seems more substantial. Seek it out. If you can get it for $1 per glass enjoy your session! (951 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a bottle brought back from bell's general store. a very cloudy orange beer that its one of the most opaque non-dark beers ive seen. looked even cloudier on tap at the brewpub. extreme yeast sediment in the bottle. smells nice....wheaty and sour. taste is wheaty and sour with some spiced elements (im bad about identifying which ones but im sure tehres something in there). very refreshing even in the early spring. a lot smoother than i expected it to be too. (460 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 7195. Thanks to Dogbrick for the sample.

Aroma: An inviting blend of orange zest and spicy notes (pepper and coriander) that play together nicely. A definite floral and slight yeasty aroma.

Appearance: A slightly cloudy straw gold color. A fluffy white head develops. Visible carbonation noted throughout the body.

Flavor: Orange peel bitterness is noted up front. The bitterness fades and lends itself to a pleasant peppery spice and slight wheat notes. Definitely crisp and slightly tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with high carbonation. Finishes dry and a touch bitter.

Overall impression: Refreshing and enjoyable. Nothing to bring me back but a nice change from the ordinary. A nice witbier. (723 characters)

Photo of cooncat
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving was a 12 oz. bottle, chilled, and poured into a pilsner glass.

The pour produced a light gold colored brew with a very foamy, white head which was short lived. Minimal to no sheeting upon swirling the glass, after the head was gone. Aroma approximates a witbier, but on the light side. The taste is similar to an American Wheat beer, with the addition of corriander. It is not over powering, actually, quite well balanced and refreshing with just the right amount of carbonation. No objectionable after taste was apparent. I'd have to give this a "thumbs up", and would say it would make a fine session beer.

Cheers!

Update: Jan. 9, 2007

Another 12oz. bottle sample, poured vigorously into a 16 oz glass. A small head that disappeared almost instantly ... a bit disappointing, really. Nose and taste are as mentioned above. Body is thin, but its still a refreshingly crisp beer, if you enjoy the witbier style. Did not mention that the light golden color is properly cloudy, as a bottle conditioned witbier should be. No sediment at the bottom of this bottle, but I have had some Bell's brews that did have a small amount of sediment. Not much more to add to my previous review.

Cheers (1,208 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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 +1.1%
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 -5.7%
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 -14.1%
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 -1.1%
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 +10.6%
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 +5.4%
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 +1.1%
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 -35.9%
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)

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.