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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: 1,996
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 276 | 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: 1,996
Photo of jopl
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass and enjoyed alongside a garlic olive oil pasta.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a finger of white head that leaves a bit of splotchy lacing.

Smell: Strong fruity (mostly banana) smell alongside wheat & hops.

Taste: Initial fruity taste that turns into a yeasty wheat finish. Very sweet and goes especially well with the pasta.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, bubbly beer that is easy drinking and finishes well.

Drinkability: This is a pretty easy drinking beer. It doesn't have a high alcohol content so I could probably drink a couple of these. The sweet taste can be a bit of a turn off though.

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

The beer poured into the glass hazy pale golden with a white frothy low head which lasted well enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was wheat with a light bit of citrus thrown in for good measure. Some light clove character was also present. Finally some DMS (corn) character was notable.

The flavor was light and enjoyable with a nice wheat flavor and a light bit of citrus coupled with a light clove spice. The beer started on the palate slightly sweet but had enough citrus and spice to balance toward the finish.

The finish was dry with lasting wheat character, very slight citrus and fleeting spice. The body was medium with a moderate level of carbonation which led to a creamy mouthfeel. The light character which would not cause this to be a standout, made it ultimately extremely drinkable and thirst quenching.

12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beers look is scarily similar to your average American macro lager. Golden yellow, with no head.

The scent is ever so faintly reminiscent of sweet banana bread. There's an underlying Miller High Life quality that again is quite the turn off.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
I can't believe I'm drinking Bells and/or a witbier. Initially there is some pleasant sweetness and wheat character but it almost instantly vanishes and is replaced with a taste of wet hay and aspirin. Despite apparent carbonation the beer drinks rather flat and thick. The finish is rife with wet hay character and the finish is also plagued with this taste. I'm absolutely shocked.

It drinks just like a macro lager easy going down but has little to offer in terms of well balanced good flavors.

Bottom Line:
This beer is just a flavor notch up from making my shit list. This is the only disappointment I have ever had from Bells and it's a big one. It's just a step up from macro lager but considerably more expensive. A definite pass in my opinion.

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Photo of mynie
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of zsk
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance was like any other white. Cloudy golden with white bubbly head
Smell was bland. Not much there, really
Taste was good. Refreshing.
Mouthfeel was Ok, not great.
Drinkability was OK too. I don't really care for another.

This is just average. I was hoping for a winter style beer (Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Celebration, etc) Might as well be any other white ale. Blue Moon is better.
What happened Bell's???

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Photo of shadow1961
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bells Beer's website indicates that my bottle of Bells
Winter White Ale was packaged on September 20,
2006- but three months before I opened it. It pours
out a thin head that disappates almost instantly,
over a cloudy yellow brew. Nose is of light malt and
yeast. Mouthfeel is velvety, flavor is of malt and wheat.
It's smooth and a bit dry. Alcohol by volume 4.5%. It's
decent, but not that spectacular- I think it would really
shine with a white meat dish and it would be fine as a
session brew too.

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

A: The ale is a hazy yellow color with a white ring of head that retains reasonably well.

S: The aroma is part wheat and part grainy malt. Some orange peel as well but not much more.

T: The flavor is witbier, with a strong wheat presence and some coriander and curacao. With the name, I expected some more spiciness, maybe some nutmeg to add to the winter white name, but there was nothing to be found.

M: The mouthfeel is a a run-of-the-mill wheat, nothing special.

D: I hate to say it, but this is my least favorite Bell's brew, by far. There is nothing that makes this a winter ale.

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

thanks to MABZ for this among many bottles.

Pours with almost no head at all, nose is bananas, sweet-smelling wheat, pretty normal for a belgian witbier.

taste is a bit maltier, almost to the point of drowning some of the above characteristics. If I didn't know better I would wonder if corn was used in this beer. a good bit bitter, not too much complexity beyond it.

Not my favorite bells beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 7660

This is not one of the better white ales I've tried. I didn't mind it quite as much before one of my co-workers so eloquently described the taste/aroma of this beer as "urinal cakes." Oh, the power of suggestion.

The beer pours to a golden yellow color, a little darker and less hazy than expected, and not nearly enough particulate matter to cast the whiteness in the light. Very little carbonation and head. Retention is quite poor, and subsequently lacing doesn't exist.

The smell is of coriander and curacao orange peel. A bit of banana esters and spicy phenolics. The malt bill seems very cheap. The aromas described above combine to form a distinct urinal cake smell. Not pleasant, but not particularly unpleasant (afterall, urinal cakes are meant to cover up the unpleasant smell of urine). The taste is very similar. Actually tastes good until the finish, when the urinal cake really begins to take hold. Reminds me of a saison with the spices of a witbier.

The body is fairly creamy. Could be much more drinkable. Kind of an odd style for a winter release, though I can see how the "white" would be associated with the season.

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Photo of dfried
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass, beer is a cloudy yellow color with a soapy looking head. The smell reminds me very much of Bell's Sparkling Ale, with slightly less nose and perhaps a touch more banana smell, spicy. The taste is initially bitter, with a nice coriander and clovey finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with chewy carbonation. Overall, this is definitely a drinkable beer; I was surprised by the similarity to this and their sparkling ale... the sparkling ale being the more intense version.

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Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of xav33
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of jdoherty
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

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Photo of doubleshovels
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Crosling
2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

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Photo of Brian700
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of karst
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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!

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Photo of aforbes10
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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