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
82
good

1,952 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,952
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 49
Gots: 237 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,952 | Reviews: 699
Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pale and wheat malt scent along with a fruity yeast aroma. It's refreshingly crisp with a nice citrus element. The taste is great. It has a very smooth wheat malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a citrus edge. The yeast provides excellent character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good wit. It's light and refreshing; a nice twist on a winter seasonal.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy to hazy light to medium golden yellow in color with some light amounts of orange highlights and moderate amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall white head that slowly reduces to a small patch of medium sized bubbles, a very thin film covering almost the entire surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of wheat with light to moderate notes of citrus and spices (mostly coriander). Very subtle notes of banana/clove.

T: Light to moderate flavors of wheat with just a touch of bready malts. Lightly sweet with notes of coriander and citrus (specifically orange peel). Almost a touch of lemon pepper in the finish and banana/clove.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable - light in mouthfeel and with pleasant flavors and aromas. Definitely able to be a session beer. Some aspects of a hefeweizen in addition to the traditional witbier flavors/smells.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this bottle.

A: Pours an extremely clear light yellow with carbonation bubbles being released from the bottom of the glass. Small white head forms, but dissipates quickly to a very fine layer of bubbles on top.

S: Light banana and cloves, a little bit of tasted grains and spice at the end.

T: The bananas and clove come back, very similar to the nose.

M/D: Light bodied, very clean and crisp. Refreshing and easy to drink. Overall solid.

Photo of mothman
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large pilsner glass.

Color is a very hazy yellow. Very cloudy. Pours a thin head that doesn't last at all.

Smell is similiar to a hefeweisen, just not as strong; cloves and bananas. Taste is quite similar. There is a smooth malty taste also.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A slight bitterness with a touch of alcohol being present.

Overall, this is one of my least favorites from Bell's. There really isn't anything to special about this, but it is easy to drink.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very hazy beer with a thin white head when served from the tap. The aromas are of banana (dominant), and a dusty spiciness. Very banana tasting in the flavor as well, it dominates the flavor. Nice wheaty-grain character in the finish. This is certainly mislabeled as this beer is quite German in character and usually a white refers to a Belgian style of beer. Light tasting and refreshing, where I was expecting a "double" Wit style of beer brewed at winter warmer strengths. A good beer but a bit of a let down. I did not notice any of the sour character others seemed to have notice, perhaps their samples were infected.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can. Light golden and nearly clear body - suprising for a wit. Half inch of soapy white head. Aromas of wheat, apples, oranges, grass, cracked pepper. Moderate spice / pepper character with tangy oranges. Light to medium in body with a subtle fruity sweetness. Mild coriander in the nose and flavor. Easy drinking. Pretty good.

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wot?!? I have NEVER reviewed Bell's Winter White Ale in ANY serving style?!? How is this possible? I know that I drank it at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse once upon a time when I was still doing field reviews with a notebook, so this seems strange. It does not matter now, since I have a CAN from The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop cooling and ready to go. Viva The CANQuest (tm)!

From the CAN: "A seasonally nuanced wheat ale that's a refreshing and flavorful alternative to the to the traditional winter warmers. Embrace winter."; "Unpasteurized [-] Unfiltered [-] Best Kept Refrigerated".

The Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN and I was so elated that I decided to throw caution to the wind and CANduct an inverted Glug of a pounder CAN. Kids, do NOT try this at home! It began slowly, but suddenly let loose in an unexpected Glug that filled half of the glass instantly. Whoa! I backed off and allowed it to puff up with two foamy, soapy fingers of bone-white head that fell just as quickly as they appeared. Color was a hazy (not really cloudy, despite numerous agitations) Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5), but due to its lack of clarity, the Golden Triumvirate of Mammon, Croesus and Midas declined. Nose was spicy, perfume-y and somehow reminiscent of a scented CANdle. I was getting Grains of Paradise, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger. Wow! Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The flavor was redolent with spices, but it was hard to separate them like I could on the nose. I would go with coriander, cinnamon and black pepper if you really pressed me, but I would fold like a house of cards if you challenged me on it. Finish was dry and how could it be otherwise with all of that inherent spiciness? It is not really my style of choice, but it was not unpleasant, either.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I witbier in winter, slightly odd, but ok im in. I always pick up one of these a year and since we just got 2 feet of white stuff in PA, this seems fitting. Nice label.

Faded yellow haystack before the dregs, tangerine/orange with yellow after the cargo plunges into the sea. I prefer the latter. A medium build of loose cream colored foam reaches more than a inch but leaves no lacing.

Smells leap out in true wit form with a shot of coriander, some strong yeast, a orange slice and some outside harvest scents. I like the minimal clove action. Simple and deep.

Tangerine and oranges with a nice yeast component giving off a bready aftertaste. Before that is the predictable coriander and other spices. Get some banana with warming and some lemon drops. I like how this is citrus forward rather than relying on the spices which are there but kind of under utilized.

The feel is there and light with low but nicely leveled carb. Goes down smooth and all to easy. A bit of a grainy and hayish aftertaste. Im not a big wit guy but I would not mind having a few anytime of year. I like how this comes out in winter keeping away from the onslaught of wit's in summertime, I just wish they made another batch for the summer with a nice summer themed label.

Photo of Billolick
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can w/ an 11/12/14 pkgd on date on the bottom

Pretty typical wit look going on here

Def ginger on the nose

More ginger, coriander, oranges and lite peppery spice thing happening.

Decent flavor, and more then moderate body for the style.

Easy drinking and gotta love 16 ounce cans

Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale yellow, slightly cloudy, but clearer than expected with a finger head that dissipates without much lacing.
S: Yeast, citrus fruit, banana, peppery spice, corriander, more yeast.
T: Not sure how this ends up being a winter seasonal, tastes like an adequate wit, lots of banana flavor, with spiciness from pepper and coriander dialed up. Medium body with a lot of carbonation. Adequate beer, but not my favorite from Bell's or favorite Wit.

Photo of billab914
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Pours a hazy bright yellow with a fluffy white head that disappeared quickly.

Aroma is wheat and citrus, perhaps orange and lemon. Some spiciness as well, coriander mostly.

Taste is zesty and citrusy at first followed by the spiciness and coriander. Moderate bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is light with above average carbonation.

Drinkability is good, drinks more like a warm weather beer to me but that isn't a bad thing.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells Winter White

Pours a cloudy deep straw color. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned wheat beer. In the taste, wheaty almost hefeweizen like flavors with some lemon and clove, and orange peel leaving a citrusy burst. Light peppery spice is also noted. Crisp, clean, refreshing witbier with solid flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, almost dry. Overall, a very nice option to have in your fridge this time of year, paired well with some chili/sesame chicken wings.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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

In short, this is a sweeter and slightly thicker wit beer. It's more basic than Oberon, without much spice. The aroma is of sweet pale grains and wheat, with a very similar flavor. There might be a little coriander or orange peel in there, but it's hard to discern spice from yeast character.

Now I know they're calling this a winter beer, but for the style there isn't a crisp mouthfeel like you expect in a wit. Instead it's more on par with the medium body of an American amber. I guess if you're looking for a wit to warm you in the winter, this is your beer.

Photo of smakawhat
2.66/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall glass displaying a 50/50 realm of clear to opaqueness quality. Golden in color, very nice, but slightly weak head. Virtually no lacing upon finishing.

Bouquet is missing the wheat bread characteristics which are faint being dominated first by a chemical "like" smell. Almost slightly macro in smell... not big though so at least it isn't totally off putting.

Taste and flavor profile leads to a very muted taste, and light body. No spices, nothing of distinctness to come out other than some sweetness.

Drinability is straight down the middle. Meh... I've had considerably better. Lord knows.. I've had worse.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden with a decent white head and no lacing. Smell is nice- classic wit beer with banana, clove, and bubblegum aromas along with a hint of spice. Taste is a little restrained, doesn't really wow me. Some nice bubblrgum flavors on the finish are especially noticeable as well as hints of clove, maybe some coriander and a slight hint of bitterness that runs through the taste. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin. Could use a little more body and carbonation. Fairly nice, but not my first choice.

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy, murky orange tan color with good head retention and lacaing. On the nose this is a VERY spicey wit still beer, with lots of clove and almost a lime aroma. I really like the way this beer smells. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, though the beer has some surprising heft and richness for such a low abv. beer. There's also some underlying hoppiness that I quite like. Not surprisingly, drinkability is outstanding in this beer as well.

A couple of thoughts. This has to be one of the better domestic wit style beers I've ever tasted. However, I think it a bit odd that Bell's has chosen to make this there winter beer. Frankly, I would prefer to see something like this in the Summer time, when I could better appreciate the low alcohol and what I associate as summery flavors. All that being said, this is a very good beer from Bell's.

Photo of jdhilt
2.38/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Hazy yellow/amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Hoppy/yeasty nose. Starts with a hoppy/citrusy flavor, dry hoppy finish. Batch #7195, $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In.

Photo of akorsak
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Those who know me know I have odd personal affliction to matching my drinking to my mood or a theme or the season. I have an odd tendency to enjoy witbiers in the fall for some reason. But here we are in late February, amidst a bistly winter storm. I look out my window to see the snowflakes caught between the screens. The scene would be completely dark if not for the soft, pastel purple glow of night's sky. Thanks Frozensoul327 for this special - appropriate - winter treat!

Pours with a slightly out of character thin amount of head, much of which lasted only in the shape of an outline or sparse sheets. Lighter colour, more yellow than orange, though a combination of them both. Glossy.
A healthy nose. Plenty of grainy malt, barnyard (very Belgian-esque) yeast and orange rind coming through. A peppery coriander strong as well. The body offers some dry grainyness, straw malt, and a coarse wheat. Flavours don't overly impress. Some twisted, over-ripened fruit notes that don't contrinute as much to the taste as they could.
I drank this too fast. By all means it was nothing close to exceptional but I enjoyed it just find while watching the snow fall and coat the streets in white.

Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sicilianos, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 11537, bottled Oct 10/12.

Hazy orange/straw yellow, finger of white head with medium retention and ok lace. Nose pops with some wheat, very subtle spice and some citrus zest. Good bit of banana as well. Taste has more wheat and pale malt, a bit of banana, light coriander and yeast flavours. Medium body with a bit of texture/chew. Medium high carb, appropriate for the style. Quite tasty, I'd session this if I had a case in the summer.

Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 12 from Ngandhi. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" bright white head over the light straw brew. Head fades down to a thin layer of bubbles, not unexpected for the style, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is slightly earthy wheat combined with a citrus sour twang. Taste is a pleasingly sedate wheat character, sharing the stage with a slight sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is okay, and drinkability is a bit better. Worth a try, but not one of their best offers, in my opinion.

Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pear juice color. Low head, lace & retention.

S - Fruity. Banana, pear, fresh peach.

T - Wheat, banana, black pepper, hay, paprika. Tarragon / lemon mid profile.

M - Light and refreshing body. Nice carbonation. Touch of bready sweetness on the backend.

O - A very nice brew. Honestly, I'd rather have a glass on a hot summer day than by the fire, but really there's no bad time of year to enjoy a good beer : )

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,952 ratings.