Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

706 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 706
Hads: 2,124
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 353 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 706 | Hads: 2,124
Photo of MelissaJ
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to conical pint glass
A: Pours a light cloudy yellow with a thin white head that quickly dissipates

S: Lemons, spices, wheat

T: Strong citrus and wheat taste followed by lemon and spice (coriander?) notes

M: thick body, light carbonation

O: awesome drink-ability, but not very interesting, pretty basic. Definitely a spicy/winter drink. It's nice, but not great.

 373 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don’t expect this to be a big, spicy winter warmer, it’s more to get you through the cold times and see that spring is not far away. Hazy gold with a fluffy white head and endless carbonation. You’ll notice the familiar banana, clove, coriander, and citrus flavors shining through. Exceptionally light and creamy, and at just 5% ABV, it’s a very tasty session ale.

It doesn’t particularly stand out from other Belgian Whites, but it’s a solid brew from Bell’s.

 475 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2 Nov. 2011 bottling, served in a pint glass.

Golden-yellow color with thin, and short-lived, white head. Cloudy. Looks like a typical wheat beer rather a typical "winter ale", but then this is a "Winter White" and is a witbier.

Aroma -- Wheaty and yeasty with hints of citrus and apricots.

Taste -- Largely follows aroma: Wheaty and yeasty with hints of citrus, bananas, nutmeg, cloves and apricots. Lightly tart.

O -- a fine example of the style, with only a slight departure from normal witbier prep. -- without the packaging, I would not have noticed this one is "seasonally nuanced". A winter ale for the tropics, perhaps.

 633 characters

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

Bottle thanks to rhong187.
Batch 10766 Bottled 11/01/11

A - Pours a very cloudy, pale yellow with a thin off-white head that fades quickly.

S - Wheat, slightly citrus, lemons mostly.

T - Lemons and wheat.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Nice flavors, nothing that wowed me. Almost like a hef.

 313 characters

Photo of maxk
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in a BrewDog tulip. Bottled 10/17/11.

Pours a hazy, bright orange color. A tiny bit of fizzy head which settles down to nothing in moments. Absolutely no lacing.

Very subdued aroma, I put my nose over the tulip and keep sniffing but its smell still isn't so pronounced. There are little bits of coriander and orange underneath a bit of wheat

There's lots of wheat flavor in here with a nice amount of coriander spice. There are nice citrus hints, including a good orange sweetness. The mouthfeel on this one is a little lackluster, it's a bit thin and undercarbonated.

I suspect that this batch is a little old which is why it's a bit underflavors and doesn't live up to expectations of some other witbiers. It almost tastes like it's been watered down. Still definitely worth a try.

 802 characters

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

A - Pours a cloudy straw color with two fingers of quickly dissipating head.

S - Aromas of coriander and a small amount of citrus.

T - Tastes of wheat, some faint citrus hops and spices, mostly coriander. Flavors balance well. They aren't too exciting, but not bad.

M - Pretty light mouthfeel, but I guess appropriate for the style.

O - A pretty easy drinking, if not particularly interesting, wheat.

 404 characters

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

From a lottle to a pilsner glass. Very cludy pale yellow in apprearance with a small white head that fades. Grassy aroma. Taste is grassy with wheat and hint of citrus. This tastes like a thin Hefeweizen. Strong carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, tasty and overall a pleasant beer to drink, just don't expect a punch.

 313 characters

Photo of Neorebel
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A translucent yellow with a minimal-to-no head.

Smell: Aroma is typical for a Witbier. Grainy with a touch of fresh sweetness.

Taste: Wow! Totally unexpected vibrancy here - bright banana flavor followed spices and a crisp snap of hops towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Coats the mouth nicely and is very refreshing. A bit of a dry finish which is in contrast to the more 'juicy' initial feel.

Overall: Although the first impression is not great going by the appearance and aroma, it's one of the better Witbiers I have experienced. Well done once again, Bell's!

 575 characters

Photo of ProducerBRBeer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a Belgian white style like a milky lemon juice. A big bubble white head with a very slippery lace. The color is pale yellow and murky to see through.

S - Smells like a belgian. Malty with a fruity smell, like cantaloupe or apricot.

T - Very nice banana fruity flavor. Subtle hop taste but mostly banana from the flavors. Very nice finish and hardly an after taste.

m - creamy and smooth. very nice and elegant. the carbonation is light but perfect for the malty style.

O - A great Belgian white that leaves me satisfied. Out of all the seasonal beers this year I could definitely say I really enjoy this one. Usually when I think Belgian white beer I do not associate it with winter.

 697 characters

Photo of aubuc1
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle dated 11/9/11 poured into a glass

Pours a hazy light yellow with a head thinning head.

Classic smell of bubble gum, bananas and spices.

Taste is wheaty, balanced witbier. No metallic and very refreshing.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but not bad.

Overall this is a very good witbeer. it doesn't try to be too much, just as advertised. Nice job bell's.

 361 characters

Photo of birderbeerer
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very light, nearly translucent. Pours a nice head.

Great sweetness and spice in the aroma with a little yeast. Very rich.

Taste is also rich. Loads of flavor, mostly spice, sweet and light with a bit of yeast.

Pretty thin for my tastes, but it's still good flavor.

 267 characters

Photo of DIM
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a hazy golden straw color. It was served to me with a small, frothy cap.

s: I feared that was going yo be heavily spiced with "seasonal" crap like nutmeg. I needn't have worried. I smelled fresh, prickly wheat, zesty citrus, and hints of corriander.

t: A refreshing blend of fesh citrus, twang-y wheat, and peppery bite at the end.

m: Crisp with prickly carbonation.

o: There are a hell of a lot more bad wits than good ones in this country imo. This was one of the latter.

 489 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow, cloudy beer with a one finger head that falls slowly to a thin band. Lacing is attractive, creamy, but not sticky. Nose on the milder side and has typical Wit spices like coriander and clove at the fore; lightly citrusy, with very faint bitter hops underneath.

The taste is a little more balanced between the elements, resulting in a delicious beer not dominated by the spices but blending well with lemony citrus and restrained grassy, bitter hops.

Good carbonation, body on the light side, with a soft mouthfeel and clean finish. Very nice example of the style, a little hoppier than usual. I preferred this to the more widely known Allagash White.

Edit: I've read that this beer is brewed without the addition of any spices. Not sure if that's true but if it is it's a testament to the artfulness of the brewer; there's a yeasty complexity that really imparts the clove and coriander seed flavor. Nice alternative to the more heavy handed spiced wits on the market.

 985 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy gold color. The modest head fades pretty quickly, with no lacing left behind. The scents and taste are very much like a hefeweizen - banana and clove come through strongly in both, and there is a slight lemony note as well. Nothing outstanding going on, just a good solid wheat beer. Bell's ought to sell this year round as a hefe. I'd put it about on par with Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis.

 411 characters

Photo of DCon
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12 FL. OZ. bottle of this & added it to my Mix-A-Six Pack @ Naked Vine in Chesterfield, MO for $9.99. Poured from the Baby Blue Labeled bottle w/ snow and trees on it into 16oz HotShots Pint Glass. Has PKGD 11/08/11 on the back of the label.

Aroma- Has a nice wheaty aroma with a bit of zest and herbal hop aroma. Might have some tartness hanging around but definitely has a "wheat heavy" aroma.

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that dies fairly quickly. The body has a dark golden body (light orange) color with a big cloud. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Has a sweet flavor that starts off very easy and wheat then takes over mid drink until the end. There is definitely a light banana character that pops out and the most mild spice without being too noticeable. Ends with a semi-dry feel.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, and then is dry going down and on the palate.

Overall Impression- A great refreshing White Ale from Bells but not one of my favorites from this style. Have enjoyed MANY wit biers lately and this one is just a notch above average. Wouldn't mind picking up some of the newer stouts from Bell's!

 1,176 characters

Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Straw to pale golden, very hazy, nice white head that seems to stick around

S - wow! I'm picturing a lemon with cloves stuck all over it ( like something your mom might use as a decoration at... well... xmas), nice yeast character, some clean malt laying around in the background

T - hmmm... a fair amount of spice bouncing around for its malt support base to get to the party, but it never shows up. a very mild malt character fails to provide the counterpoint to the spice. It just seems too soft overall. I'n not sure if this is what a "winter wheat" is supposed to taste like, but it's just not as refreshing (or spicy, bold, filling) as I would have hoped

M - again, not enough punch for me. I want bubbles, large ones even. There is a neutral balance of malt and bitterness and it's pretty smooth, maybe just not appropriate for style, doesn't scrub my palate like I'd like

O - confuses me, plenty of other white ales I'd rather have

 947 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Winter" and "White Ale" do not in anyway go together in my mind. They're diametrically opposed... Bottled 11/8/2011

A: Cloudy, light straw color with zero head worth mentioning and ditto on the lacing.

S: Wheat and yeast certainly dominate the aroma, but there is also the unsurprising lemon peel, coriander and banana.

T: Burst of bright, wheaty flavors up front with the lemon peel and spices. The aftertaste is rather grainy and peppery and surprisingly substantial and doughy tasting.

M: Light and crisp with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: While I give Bell's props for creating a white beer as a winter seasonal, I find that there are some good reasons why it's not often done. As a white beer it's pretty mediocre, and as a winter seasonal I'm still confused.

 778 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Classic witt, light golden pear juice yellow, small fizzy white head without much lacing.

Smell - Yeast, floral hops, orange, corriander, lemon, added peppery spices, and of course wheat and banana.

Taste - Very mild yeasty, floral earthy, grassy orange influenced flavor. Peppery, lots of wheat and a mild hop presence. the lemon and banana linger around and add more mellow flavors.

Mouthfeel - Light and real smooth on everything. Lighty coated tounge gets wheat and yeast. Banana, lemon and even some hops gets palette at the end. Aftertaste is weak, bland and quickly gone.

Overall - Very smooth, weak and easy to drink. Too watered down for my liking, this could be a nice beer to give a rookie or non beer drinker. Its not bad but there are alot better beers of this style out there.

 830 characters

Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter white pours a soft and hazy (I poured in the yeast, something I always do with wits) with a thin white head that fades quickly. Some stubborn bubbles to stay around though and it has decent lacing.

The aroma is super grainy and wheaty with a nice peppery spice to it. I can also appreciate a little bit of clove, but it is not very prominent. A tinge of zesty citrus rounds out the nose.

The flavor follows the nose quite closely, except that the spice nature is more prominent. Lots of white pepper and a bit more clove than the aroma gave away. The grainy and wheaty nature also comes through quite well.

The body is medium with a fairly high amount of carbonation and an invigorating feel to it. I find it to be very refreshing with a surprisingly neutral finish.

Not the greatest wit ever, but a solid offering and a nice treat every now and then during the winter months when a good, fresh wit can be hard to find.

 930 characters

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

No matter how much I swirled the last third around, I couldn't get all that yeasty goodness from the bottom of the bottle. Oh well.

A - Poured into a tulip, cloudy golden wheat color with a foamy 1-2 finger head, not much retention but does leave some pretty lacing.

S - Wheat, spicy yeasty goodness. No hops. Kind of smells Belgian.

T - First thing I noticed was the yeast. spicy, fruity, funky. Then the wheat. It seems like the two are battling each other for dominance. I like that. The yeast seems to be a bit more in-your-face than in years past. Sour finish.

M - Pretty active carbonation, to be expected for a witbier.

O - While not the best winter offering from Bell's, it's still a staple. I try to pick up a sixer at least once a winter.

 753 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a light straw color with around 1.5-fingers of ivory-colored head with moderate retention. The body is cloudy and the lacing when the head dissipates is paltry with only a few flares of lace covering a small portion of the glass.

S - The nose is full of phenols and zest, bringing familiar traces of lemon, banana, grape bubblegum, and clove. It smells rather fresh as well with a substantial breadiness to it.

T - The yeast probably imparts the strongest flavor to this beer as the banana and bubblegum are at the forefront. There is a surprisingly potent wheat characteristic to this as well to complement the breadiness. In the finish, lemon zest and cloves battle it out and for all intents and purposes it ends up as a draw.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with high carbonation. The carbonation helps the flavor pop a bit, and it finishes with a crisp, dry feeling.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. A more phenolic take on the style, this isn't going to blow any minds, but it's definitely solid. I'm not sure how I'd feel drinking this in the dead of winter, as I seem to enjoy these beers more in the warmer months, but I guess I'll have to try it again later in the winter to find out!

 1,240 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Extra cloudy yellow with one-finger, white head that lasted less than a minute. Not much lacing.

S: Citrus, wheat, and yeast. Belgian.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Wheat, very grainy flavor. Belgian yeast is in there too, sort of spicy. Good.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly warm.

O: The head was disappointing, but the nose and taste are solid. Nice alternative to other winter offerings.

 473 characters

Photo of Dave128
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with no actual dating into a unibroue snifter.

A - A medium to gentle pour yielded a finger of head that dissipated pretty quickly. No lacing and barely a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Looks a little more like cloudy apple juice than beer. Cloudy yellow-orange in color.

S - Smells wheaty and spicy.

T - Rather plain on the tongue. Simple taste of a wheat ale that doesn't really bring out the best in the style.

M - lightly carbonated. Excellent for a winter beer.

O - Not too impressed, but its not too bad either.

 561 characters

Photo of troysoy2
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hello winter.
Looks like a pretty standard witbier to me. Nice and cloudy, has that ideal golden color. The head is nice and stays around for a long time, so props for that.

The smell is citrus fruit, but clouded by the wheat and a bit of spice. The words to describe it are elusive to me... There might just be the slightest bit of funk to it that I don't find all that enticing.

The taste is better that the smell, luckily. Very refreshing and drinkable. On the front of the taste, you have a very mellow orange taste. Not much acidic bite to speak of. The aftertaste may have a tad bit of wintery spices in it, but not too much going on here.

The mouthfeel, in my opinion, is the most disappointing aspect of this beer. There simply isn't much carbonation to speak of. I almost forgot that I wasn't drinking fancy orange juice.

Though it's a decent tasting beer, I think Bell's fell a little short of my expectations on this one. There are plenty of better witbiers out there, and I doubt I'll be clamoring to buy more Winter White for a while.

 1,051 characters

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

A - Cloudy, hazy yellow with a thin white head.

S - A spiciness that I cannot pinpoint. The wheat is there.

T - Slight sweetness and fruitiness with a little zing in the finish. Wheat stands out and has a noticeable difference from malted barley.

M - Very smooth, sweet but not cloying, and enjoyable to drink.

Recommended. Stays with the style.

 350 characters

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.