Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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: 243 | 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: 676 | Hads: 1,957
Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear orange, not much carbonation, one finger head that doesn't last long

S-Overpowering metallic notes. Orange, lemon, wheat and poor balance.

T-Much better than the nose. The metallic notes aren't there. Orange, lemon and wheat balance it out. Some clove and even a tad bit of grass.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation.

O-The nose was wayy off. The taste was much better but there isn't much reason to drink this brew. (426 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Server was from a 12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of stronger yeast, bananas and some spices. Tastes of wheat, yeast, lightly fruity and spices. Body was on the lighter body.

Notes from 7/20/05 (256 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very hazy, with an unusual appearance, a cross between orange and grapefruit juice. Something funky in the aroma that was a touch off-putting at first. Very much the classic spiced Belgian witbier, substantial yeast and spice flavors. According to the bottle, this is a wheat with seasonal spices - quite frankly I was a bit let down - not that there is anything wrong with the beer, just that I don't detect anything that particularly distinguishes this beer from the rest of the spiced wit pack. A nice-enough beer, but it seems a poor choice to tout as a winter seasonal. (574 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was hanging out with my buddy last night and he offered me one of his Bell's winter white ale. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a wiezen glass.

A- This beer poured a hazy straw yellow with some nice orange tints to it. It had 2 fingers worth of head that died down to a thin ring with some nice lacing.

S- The nose is full light aromas of lemon and banana with some clove thrown into the mix, this goes good with the wheat base of this beer.

T- Just like the smell the lemon and banana stand out in front. The flavors are balanced nicely and do not overpower the typical white wheat flavor. I can also pick up the yeast which adds some nice spices into the mix.

M- Medium light bodied with descent carbonation, this beer finishes pretty crisp.

D- Compared to other winter brews this one is pretty light and the flavors don't smack you in the face. This could make a good winter session beer.

Overall is this was a nice winter white. I have always been a fan of this beer and I think its a great wheat based beer for the winter. Bell's never disappoints and this is no exception. (1,090 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Hazed medium yellow color. Not quite one finger of frothy white head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. I can't say this is the most beautiful brew.

4.0 S: The aroma is very nice. Neutral wheatiness, corriander, banana, clove, and bubblegum. Soft and really elegant. This would probably be a 5.0 if the nose was stronger.

4.0 T: Again, plenty of wheat flavor with corriander, orange peel, and banana. Clove is there too, but it is subtle. Bubblegum mostly falls out. Bitterness is stronger than I'd expect with the style. It's not like an IPA or anything, just stronger than most wits.

3.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. The main issue I have with the mouthfeel is that although there is plenty of carbonation, it is a "dead carbonation" as opposed to spritzy. The body is also a bit too light and isn't as creamy as I'd like.

3.5 D: Aside from the mouthfeel, this is a pretty solid brew. Good nose and good taste, but that isn't always enough. I'll forgive Bell's though since they make some damn good stuff overall. (1,063 characters)

Photo of argock
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Hazy yellow-orange with short white foamy lace and scant lace

S: Coriander, cloves, bananas, and orange citrus

T: A bit flat in light of the encouraging preamble of the aromas. Some yeasts and bready wheat and malt flavros with coriander and orange sprinkled in, but it's missing some punch.. Ethereal, even for a wit.

M: Smooth and medium-bodied, not thin and watery like some wits. Acive lively carbonation.

D: Nothing objectionable but not a home run or even a double. Bell's is a great brewery on the whole, but this isn't one of their best. Solid but under the bar for Bell's. (643 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden, wheat color, adorned with some nice lacing, moderate carbonation and barely a head to speak of.

Scent is mildly spiced with light coriander and banana peaks out after a few whiffs. The smell is quite faint and it actually took me a minute or two to pull any aroma of this brew.

The general wheat beer flavors peak out at the forefront (banana esthers, sweet spicing, etc.), but are followed by an unfamiliar corn flavor, which is rather mild, but still, unexpected for the style.

Initially, I assumed the "Winter" in the title referred to more alcohol (since most of the flavors are pretty common for the style), but it seems that this wit has a really low ABV, which doesn't make for a warming, cold weather experience.

Despite some flaws in concept and execution, the tingle of carbonation and the slight dry finale are reasonably pleasant enough and, although it's never original or exciting, it's a passable wheat beer and definitely capable of heavy consumption. (987 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's hazy and has a straw color to it. Head was about a finger and had minimal retention and lacing.

Smell: Spices dominate in smell. It's mostly coriander and clove. There are some very light citrus scents. Bit of a banana smell. Grainy and yeasty on the tail.

Taste: Coriander and clove flavors are the primary features here. Citrus flavors (orange and lemon) are a little more pronounced in taste, as is the banana flavor. It's a little grainy. Slight yeasty taste at the end.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation is good. It's smooth and crisp. Hard to believe this is a winter beer. Overall, it's a pretty good offering. Might be better during the summer, but I'm not holding that against it. (730 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - hazy golden yellow with a nice head that fizzles and pops from the carbonation and slowly dissipates

S - smells of wheat, coriander, and hints of bubblegum

T - tastes as the smell suggests - Starts off spicy, with coriander, banana, and wheat. It finished slightly dry with some grassy hops.

M - very smooth and creamy, albeit a bit thin

D - this is a pretty good wit. Nothing stands out or blows me away by it, but nothing disappoints me either. This is a pretty decent wit, but I would reach for something else by Bell's. (532 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer from landrewg, thanks!

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - slightly hazed yellow color with a short white head that thinned to a ring.

S - wheat beer aroma with a little lemon scent.

T - light lemon zest but mostly malted wheat.

F - light bodied with good carbonation.

D - it goes down easy. (320 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch 9395

pours cloudy yellow orange with a 1 finger white head that fades fast

smells of wheat banana and some notes of cereal grains

taste - wow this beer should be brewed year round instead of oberon - lemon/orange citrus upfront followed by banana and a good amount of hop bite on the finish - only thing i find lacking is what makes this a wit over just a great american wheat

mouthfeel was a little flat - very smooth - light/medium body

drinkability - this beer is a good change of pace from the stouts i drink in the winter (537 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into Selin's Grove Brewing goblet on 1/3/08.

A - Poured a very cloudy light orange body with a bit of carbonation and a whispy white head that vanished almost immediately, giving way to a thin ring of film around the rim of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.

S - Classic wheat beer aroma with plenty of clove, yeast, bubblegum and banana. Bit of a spicy aspect as well, and some breadiness as it warmed up.

T - Standard wheat beer flavors with a bith of spicy, yeasty tang. Clove and bubblegum give way to lots of banana at the end with an almost bready finish with a touch of lemon zest.

M - Medium body with very lively carbonation. Chewy texture that leads to a prickly, somewhat gritty finish.

D - Super easy to drink and well-balanced wheat beer. A bit heavy on the carbonation, but very flavorable nonetheless. (835 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pure session brew from Bell’s, this beer made for all ranges of imbibing experience. Not powerful, but still with a gentle flavor pull.

A hazy butterscotch color, and a surprising fast dying white head. Some bubblegum, clove and nutmeg in the aroma, but hard to find. A juicy sweet orange start, with winter spices and a nice hop pop to balance it out, It’s just not as strong with the flavors as I would have liked it to be. (430 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a hazy pale light yellow colored beer with massive white puffy head.
Smell is prominent for wheat, and spices.
Taste presents with an excellent interpretation of the style. A nice citrus flavor combines with a firm clove spiciness.
Nice refreshing ending.
An easy drinking beer. More suited for a hot summer afternoon than a cold autumn day. (351 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - milky yellowish gold with a very short-lived head, no lace. Not much happening here.

Aroma - plain and grainy at first, then some banana and yeast emerge, picking up the nose significantly. Settles to a light banana smell.

Taste - standard grainy flavor followed by banana and yeastiness. There is a little hop balance on the tail end, too. Aftertaste develops clove and allspice notes at times, pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel - above average carbonation, helps to highlight some of the spiciness in the flavor. Slightly full feeling in the mouth.

Drinkability - a tasty wheat beer from Bell's, I could recommend it as above average. (651 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange-gold with a little white head that shrinks to a thin ring. Clove and subtle banana aroma. Perfumy orange and wheat. Coriander and banana with a bit of peppercorn. Tangy wheat and grain aftertaste. Smooth, floaty medium mouthfeel...prickly carbonation and fairly drying. A solid, drinkable wit from Bell's. (319 characters)

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

A - Murky straw, small near white head, some cling.

S - Massive vegetation. Asparagus, other green veggies, clovel. Past that, some malt and barn like earthiness.

T - Tangy, earthy, more veggies in there and the wheat is now present.

M - Light body, good carbonation, weird balance.

D - I like my veggie on a plate, but it was fun to try. (342 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Served in a pint glass. White head is minimal (<1/2 finger) but is creamy-rather than foamy. It disappears rather quickly and no lacing is left behind in the glass. Body is an opaque straw yellow. The cloudiness is not uniform-the yeasty cloudiness is thicker in some places than others. Body is beautiful and what I expect in a wit-just wish there was better head retention.

S- Nose is good-but not striking. Light presence of yeast an citrus with an even lighter presence of coriander. Floral hop aromas dominate the nose.

T- Initial flavor is light on citrus and coriander but the highlight is the sweet bready yeast. A big blast of floral hop flavor and bitterness comes through for the finish. What lingers is some floral hop bitterness, a light sweetness from the yeast, and a light sourness from the citrus.

M- Medium carbonation and thick yeasty body. The kick of floral hops for the finish prevent this mouthfeel from being extraordinary-its not as smooth as it really could be.

D- What I like most about this beer is that it is a winter seasonal. That makes it unique for the style. It fills the gap for a nice, light, sessionable, winter brew. Aside from that it doesn't stand out as an exceptional wit-but its still a pretty good one. (1,256 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy lemon-white, like a limoncello, with a meringue lip of head. Looks uncharacteristically pleasant for a winter ale. 4.0

Lemon, coriander, white pepper, hints of banana, clove, and wheat grain. Nice bready nose, with spice. 4.0

A little banana, a lot of coriander and clove. Lemony citrus notes, almost leaning on tangerine. Wheaty bread and peppery spices that permeate the finish. Not musty, clean and rich. Very enjoyable. 4.0

Almost soapy in the body, showing some viscosity without heft. Carbonation starts off low and gets busy in the finish with some crackle and pop. Lightly warm. Good feel. 3.5

Great beer that surprises me everytime. Always happy to finally order one every year without really seeking it out. 4.0 (732 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (648 characters)

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

Pours a nice, luminous straw color with plenty of haze, and small white head. Nose isn't overly assertive, but pleasantly alive with some clean orangey yeasty bready notes. Palate offers a good dose of wheaty cracker, some nice sour flavors that wind into the coriander and citrus candied qualities (but not very candied overall). Good carbonation. Easy to drink, but just doesn't dance on the palate as vividly as some other wits that I really liked over the years. (466 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (848 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy gold color, nice head, a lot of carbonation noted.

Aromas are spicy, some banana, and coriander. The smells are pleasant, and not overdone.

Beer is quite crisp and dry. Some banana flavors, the coriander is there, and there is also a nice underlying sweet and creamy wheat flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, beer is full and rounded.

Drinkability is pretty good. A pretty nice Witbier. I have had better, but I enjoyed this one none the less, and would probably be happy to drink another.

Thanks for sending this JohnnyM2002. (552 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy pale yellow with a thin, wet white head.

Aroma of candy sugar, lemon zest, Belgian yeast, corriander, and banana.

Tastes of lemon zest, yeast, candy sugar, biscuit, and sweet malt. Finish is clean and dry.

Light bodied and dry with a fizzy carbonation.

A touch too sweet but very drinkable witbier from Bell's. (344 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (1,105 characters)

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