Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and 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.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop 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.

687 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 687
Hads: 1,994
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 59
Gots: 273 | 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: 1,994
Photo of Jonoesh5
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Appearance: opaque lemon yellow, cloudy, small white head with zero retention

Smell: biscuity, grains, oats

Taste: refreshing, floral, soda water, simple

Mouthfeel: light, watery, well carbonated

Overall: Drinkable session beer I'd return to someday, but not my favorite Bell's.

 284 characters

Photo of Vogie
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Served in a Green Bay Packers pint glass. Bottled 10/03/14

Pours a cloudy pale yellowish orange with a 1 finger of frothy white head that withers down gradually. I left 2/3 in the bottle and swirled to add the additional yeast at the bottom. It made the appearance slightly more cloudy. Aromas of fresh picked bananas, bubblegum, white bread, and maybe a slight hint of lemon zest. Taste smacks you with bananas and bubblegum upfront followed by a yeasty bready finish or perhaps sour? Surprisingly heavy and chewy mouthfeel for a Witbier. I feel like I am taking a bite of banana on each sip. I guess it makes sense considering its a wheat beer brewed with winter in mind.

As the notes suggest the brewer did not use any spices, only a blend of their brewers yeast, barley, and wheat. I think this beer would benefit from some species of coriander and lemon. You definitely get the hefe and wit characteristics but I feel like it needs to make up its mind. Easy drinker and somewhat sessionable. Great for family get togethers around the holidays when you want something fun and light without being boring.


 1,132 characters

Photo of MIbeer27
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can, dated 09/30/14

Can pours a hazy, straw colored yellow with a slowly dissipating, two finger white head.

Aroma is solid with notes of cloves, Belgian yeast and coriander, along with notes of lemon zest and wheat.

Taste is really follows the nose initially, with the bready wheat base and cloves shining midpalate. The finish is notably defined by the coriander and lemon zest.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, aided by lively carbonation. Bitterness is almost nonexistent, added to only by the clove.

Overall, extremely solid Witbier from Bell's. I would love if this were available in the summer (especially over Oberon), but it is a nice switch up from all the winter stouts.

 693 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9%

Big bready nose seasoned with clove and a hint of banana.
Pours a cloudy straw with a mere wisp of a head.
The flavor profile is more Bavarian than Belgian despite the use of Belgian Ale yeast while the body is a shade more Belgian.
Light, more crisp than creamy.

 266 characters

Photo of LooseGasCap
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Not sure why, but this beer loves to foam up and up and up...
It's decent beer, but there's a supernatural amount of foaming going on here.

Don't swirl the particulates at the bottom lest you face the wrath of THE HEAD.
A tasty brew nonetheless. Winter usually calls for bold stouts, but this one seems like a fair trade, once it settles the heck down in the glass.

Turn down the subwoofer or get a face full of foam!

 420 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, this style is unexpected as a winter seasonal. Perhaps it would be fitting somewhere in the sunbelt, but from Michigan, it's an unorthodox time to offer said style. Winter is almost over, so let's commemorate the end with a bottle of Bell's. Packaged on 10/31/13, on to the beer:

An inch of soapy head sits on top this cloudy yellowish beer. That head on top is retaining well, slowly dropping to a creamy lace.The aroma is pleasant, with creamy oats, citrus peel, and vague sweet citrus fuming into the nostrils.

This witbier offers little bits of the usual witbier with a solid foundation. In other words, the malt/wheat base is pleasing and little bits of spice, citrus, and yeast stick to it. A little bitter towards the end. The beer is light bodied with initially strong bubbly carbonation which dies off to a less bubbly intensity.

Easy drinking beer out of Bell's, even if it isn't up to the same high standard set by its stable mates.

 954 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2013. Pours opaquely hazy bright golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, floral, grass, clove, pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice witbier. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,334 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into pilsner glass

Hazy golden orange yellow with active carbonation leading to a thin dense white foam cap.

Aroma of clove spice, citrus and floral.

Smooth , wheat taste with the effects of the yeast very present , bit of sour at the middle of the tongue. Smooth finish. Gentle carbonation, great mouthfeel.

A wheat beer for winter. Nice, good beer.

 370 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fluid ounce bottle into a Weizen Glass. Bottled on 11/08/13.

Apperance: Hazy golden body. The sediment makes this one cloudy. A little light gets through but that's about it. A snowy head erupts, lingers, collapses, and leaves a good amount of sticky lacing.

Smell: Wheat and grains up front. Spices, particularly clove and coriander are also present. Minor backdrop of orange.

Taste: Sweet citrus from a mild kick of hops. The heavy wheat pushes through and produces a sweet and bready taste. Yeasty notes develop in the finish. The spices are well pronounced in the finish as well… leaves a somewhat banana-like taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Rather low carbonation which works well for the beer. Smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: I could get nit-picky about this beer and point out everything it lacks compared to the powerhouse Witbiers but that would not be fair. This is a solid Witbier with a lot to enjoy. Cheers!

 948 characters

Photo of lochef81
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very cloudy Orange tan color with a short lasting pale white head. It leaves little lacing and retains just a slight film of foam throughout the pour. The nose of this one is very European with a sweet funky yeast aroma. There is peach and apricot notes with a lot of fresh bread aromas. The flavor follows suit. Quite funky, almost like a saison style. Sweet and malty and tangy and slightly sour all at the same time. The mouth is light and refreshing but effervescent and refreshing. This isn't a beer I'd come to often but definitely one worth trying and enjoying.

 585 characters

Photo of BWED
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz. poured at Croft's Tavern, Spring City, PA

A- Pale yellow orange, actually white/dusty looking. White head, retention is lacking.

S- Bananas and yeast. Mild clove.

T- A bit of banana, but the clove and general spice are more apparent.

M- Mild carbonation, but a tiny snap. Smooth body and a clean finish.

O- Solid Wit. Fits the style. Good flavor.

 359 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter White pours a golden color with a nice head. There is a spicey aroma, with strong wheat notes, and strong orange peel notes. The flavor is a nice wheat and malty backbone, with good spices, and nice orange flavors. Nice full body. Overall its a nice wheat beer for the winter.

 283 characters

Photo of CochonKing
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clean gold with an excellent long lasting 3 finger head. Aromas of banana and bubble gum followed by malt are present on the nose of the beer. Malt and lemon rind on the palate with a watery finish. Small bubbles and and a light body with a medium finish. An ok beer

 274 characters

Photo of patpbr
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Light golden wheat ale with a small amount of head retention.
S - Belgium yeast is most noticeable along with some malt
T - Sweet and spice a bit of banana and citrus , hints of grain.
M - Body is on the lighter side and a dry finish
O - Good combination and certainly refreshing.

 285 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Packaged on 10/18/13.

A: Pours a cloudy light golden yellow with an average white head on top. Tough to see much visible carbonation in this haze. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: First thing I notice is a belgian like yeast characteristic. Wheat malts come in on the backend to even things out. Bit of a fruity aroma as well as a bready one.

T: Very mellow, well balanced flavor in this one. Focus is mainly on the pale malts but there is ample yeast aftertaste.

M: Medium body with crisp carbonation. Finishes a touch sticky but not bad. Easy drinking sessionable beer.

Overall I like how its a white ale that doesnt have any of the spices or orange flavor.

 716 characters

Photo of NeedBeerHere
4.76/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out dark orange that is semi-transcelucent. Defintely can't see through it though. The head was pretty tiny and had no retention. Smells pretty malty, pretty sweet, with no hint of hops. Taste is quite sweet and tastes like Belgian yeast -- the banana/clove yeast. Really it tastes nice for a Wit. Pretty nice. Mouthfeel is medium thick with some nice carbonation. Overall this is a really nice whit, Tastes just like I would want it too. I am a sucker for a whit!!!! Overall this is a GREAT whit. Seems to be under-rated.

 529 characters

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

12oz bottle dated 10/5/13 poured into a pint glass
A: Hazy yellow the same color as Goo-Gone (coincidentally there's a bottle sitting on my counter & they match) & a one-finger head
S: The Belgian yeast aromas show through along with malt, light spice & citrus
T: What, spice, a distinct yeast taste, lemongrass... complex but not harmonious
M: Light, crisp & carbonated
O: It's nice to have a winter witbier on the market so enjoying the style I like it, it's just not the best (though far from the worst) example of the style I've had

 536 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and white branded pry-off pressure cap acquired for $1.79 at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN and served into a stem-tulip. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as a witbier; it identifies as a white ale on the label. Packaged 10/18/13. 5.0% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Okay thickness. Not much creaminess. Retention is well below average - maybe 1 minute. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent semitransparent orange-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

It's not cloudy like every traditional witbier I've ever seen, which is a bit disconcerting. It's far from unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Belgian pale malts, flaked wheat, banana, clove, coriander, pilsner malts. Lemongrass. Faint lemon citrus. Light floral and fruity hops. A clean aroma of average strength.

No alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Lightly floral and fruity hop notes. Lemon peel. Lemongrass. Clean barley. Wheat - possibly flaked. Belgian pale malts. Banana. Clove. It's got a crisp yeasty character.

No alcohol comes through.

A clean balanced flavour profile which isn't quite gestalt, but is certainly cohesive. Not real complex or subtle. Not all that intricate or nuanced either, but then this style is about elegant balance and mastery of simple ingredients.

Smooth, wet, crisp, and medium-bodied. Nice thickness. Decent body. It's got a good refreshing presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile well. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: A drinkable and enjoyable American take on a witbier, but ultimately it's not amongst the best in the style. Bell's has provided a solid go-to witbier for the local market, but it can't compete with the best traditional Belgian offerings - or even Allagash White, for that matter. I could easily session with this stuff, but it isn't world-class. Certainly likable, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or buy it again.

High C+

 2,295 characters

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

Appearance: Hazy, golden color with one finger of fluffy white head that fades pretty cleanly to a thin cap.

Aroma: Yeasty, some wheat malt, a little phenolic and hints of banana oil

Taste: Pretty crisp with some spice notes, mostly clove. Some biscuit and cardboard on the back end along with some lemon rind bitterness, but otherwise a pretty clean finish that is mildly astringent.

The Rest: A very good beer. Refreshing and drinkable, this is a good winter alternative to a warmer.

 488 characters

Photo of turbotype
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. It is a fine offering from the same folks who make Two Hearted Ale, one of the most "drinkable" India Pale Ales on the market, IMO, of course.

Looks like a wheat? Ohh yea, yellow-orange. murky. thin foamy head that sticks around. some streaking on the glass and patchy lacing.

Smells like a wheat? Yea, the banana notes are there, along with some orange and malt.

Tastes a wheat? You got it. Sweet wheat bread. hints of orange and banana. subtle tastes of pepper, but not in every drink.

Feels like a wheat? Huh? Ohh, come on, you know. fizzy, light, refreshing.

A good wheat beer. One of the better ones I've tried. I will certainly purchase this again as a fun, easy to drink beer to enjoy with a burger and fries.

 749 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden with a nice white head that lingers and laces well. Light aroma of wheat, spice - probably clove - and Belgian yeast. Well carbonated with a light body, which is appropriate for the style. It tastes as a wit should, with spice being the primary flavor. In this case clove, coriander and a slight citrus background. Nice clean finish. Not in the same league as Allagash White, but a fine beer.

 414 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat unfair to be drinking this after my favorite witbier of all time, Hitachino Nest White Ale. But what are you gonna do?

Pours a Hazy straw color, with a lemon juice look to it. Fast-dissipating white head with fluffy bubbles.

An aroma instantly recognizable for the style, it's spicy and yeasty in the nose, with some wet cardboard. Green grapes, other indeterminate fresh fruits, maybe pear, maybe melon.

On the tongue it's grass and white pepper, first. Coriander, awesome winter spice profile.

Eminently refreshing, yet with seasonal fruits, including tart apple and a hint of banana. I like the spices, which are admittedly on the subtle side. Plus the wheat and yeast of Belgian whites that come off as comforting old patterns.

Moderate carbonation keeps everything bright and sharp.

Have I mentioned how refreshing this is? The complexity is all in the fruits, which may sadly overpower the spice. Not quite on par with Allagash White, but close.

 967 characters

Photo of Etan
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip.

A: Pours a slighly darker than normal orange with a nice white head.

S: Aroma brings bright citrus, coriander, floral, honey, cloves.

T: Taste brings soft, cakey pale malt, nectarine, cloves, bready wheat.

M: Between light and medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A nice witbier, certainly better than some others on the market.

 359 characters

Photo of roybothers
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

lots of co2, fizzy, light, citrus aromas that are slightly overwhelming. leaves a little to be desired. good foamy head that persists. in addition to citrus there is a nutty flavor that is there but does not add much to the beer overall. nice to drink once but would not buy again.

 281 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 10/18/2013 printed on the back label. Another new to me seasonal from Bell's. Expectations are about average given the particular style.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a murky dark lemon colored body with some cultural yeast presence twirling around the glass and some bubbles streaming topside. About a finger of thick foamy white head with decent staying power. Looks alright for what it is.

S - Not getting too much in the way of smell. Some light lemongrass, wheat, banana bread, and some light cloves. Typical of the style, but not particularly unique or inviting.

T - Taste follows suit of the nose: quick clean grain, wheat, banana bread, light clove spice. Typical of the style, but again, not particularly unique or interesting.

M - Light bodied with decent carbonation. An easy drinker.

Overall, there isn't a whole lot to be said about this one. A quick, clean, crisp, refreshing, and approchable take on the style. A "safe" steppingstone for those looking to dip their feet into craft.

Bell's Winter White Ale ---3.5/5

 1,095 characters

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