1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Celis White - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Celis WhiteCelis White

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

67 Ratings
THE BROS
56
awful

(view ratings)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-06-2003

Belgian version. For the US brewed version go here:  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/565/5222 
View: Beers (87) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by abijen:
Photo of abijen
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Banana smell. Appearance: Pale color, hazy and sparkling liquid. The head is minimal white. Taste: light sweetness with an average duration Palate: light body, thin watery texture and a fizzy carbonation Overall: a light white beer. Nice for in the summer but I prefer a beer with more body.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
2.34/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 25cl brown bottle with "Austin Texas Beer" adorning the label. 28/05/03 best by date. Had this at the Kulminator in Antwerp, BE.

Appearance: Cloudy, pale straw coloured wit with a creamy head and a pretty decent level of retention.

Smell: An unexpected aroma. Soft, grainy, touch of spice and a dose of diacetyl that wasn't invited to the party, but showed up anyway.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth at first, turning with a sharp and crisp bitterness and feel on the palate. Splash of orange. Buttery diacetyl follows, which is both odd and out of place. Phenolic clove, yeasty with a raw and bitty / coarse finish.

Notes & Drinkability: This is "the original" Celis White by Peter Celis and contract brewed for the European market. I expected a lot, but the diacetyl was simply overwhelming ... making of a highly disappointing beer.

Photo of deebo
4.97/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap in Bruges and loved it. This review is from a bottle with a BB date of 3-30-12.

A-Yellow/golden color with a fair amount of haziness. Pours 2 fingers of fluffy white head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

S-Yeasty, the fruity esters are remniscent of lemon. Sweet bready malt.

T-Similiar to the aroma. This beer has lots of character. The malt bill is heavy for a 5% beer. A slight sour end note that is not bitter.

M-Great, body is rich, creamy and delicious. The carbonation is medium and carries the flavors of this beer well.

D-I would make this a staple if I could get more of it.

O-Could be my favorite version of the first style I fell in love with when discovering that not all beers taste like light lagers. Great complexity and balanced perfectly.

Photo of rastaman
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty belgian wit. Cloudy, with beautiful head. Aromatic nose (lemony and a toucb spicy)Spicy, lemony, clovey, and generally quite tasty, summery taste. On the sweeter side but with some tart acidity (not much at all in fact, but just enough), Allin all, generally a nice experience, nice session drinking.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

250ml bottle - why the tiny serving size, to go with the regular price?

This beer pours a hazy pale golden straw colour, with two fingers of tight foamy white head, which leaves some decent padded lace around the glass in its wake. It smells strongly of crisp wheat grain, citrus, and coriander. The taste is sweet wheat malt, orange pith, and a mild coriander/pepper spiciness. The carbonation is present, but quite mild, the body medium weight, smooth, and somewhat silky. It finishes off-dry, and mostly clean.

I don't know where the "modern" brewing techniques come in; that aside, this is a pretty enjoyable witbier - maltier than the norm, with the expected fruit and spice quite, but not overly, reserved.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at the Bier Temple in Brussels. Couldn't resist the cowboy label...a far cry from the plump-monk-with-mug type thing. And the U.S. version I'd had at a beerfest tasted promising. (Ever read up on this beer? Confusing history...)

First, I have to mention the bottle. What beer drinker doesn't hate these tiny 25 cl bottles? Especially when the beer itself isn't exactly high-octane. (5% listed on the label)

Poured a very pale yellow, though a little hazy. Nice big fluffy white head sticks around a while, and the bubbles are fast and numerous.

Aroma is orange, lemon, and a pronounced smell that reminds of a corny confection like Fiddle Faddle. Strong yeast wafts out too, with a warming sensation that cannot be the alcohol but certainly tickles the nostrils like it is. A complex nose on this one.

Flavor is robust, more round and complex than many witbiers. A spicy heat is detected, like cinnamon, yet very much balanced with elements of citrus fruit and wheat. Yeast comes through to help add another side to the beer, giving an earthy, nutty element. Perhaps the most complex wibier I've tasted.

Mouthfeel achieves both creaminess and a little zing, just right for the style.

Too bad the Belgian version of Celis White is retired. This is a most excellent witbier, entirely satisfying, and I wonder if the U.S. beers bearing the name can stand up to it.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 02/04/09, so past, but I found a bottle lurking in the back of a shelf at Brewery Creek in Vancouver and figured why not! Doesn't really seem the worse for wear, but make of this review what you will.

Pours a very murky, pretty much opaque pale yellow. Medium white head and spotty lacings.

Very nice, soft aroma. Sweet lemon up front and a nicely rounded bubblegum aroma.

Slightly tart up front gives way to stand out wheat flavours. Spices are subdued, would not be surprised to learn that it was an age thing, but coriander is still discernable. Light citrus flavours bring up the rear.

Mouthfeel is a bit chewy and carbonation is decidedly laid back.

Tasty enough, glad I took the plunge.

Photo of sfprint
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Somewhat cloudy slightly dark yellow. Carbonation sticks to edge of glass, 1 cm micro carbonation head.

S: Lemon meringue, vanilla sugary icing.

T: Soft, lemony wheat and refreshing. Gradually becomes more bitter toward the aftertaste.

M: Pretty smooth, though slightly mouth puckering.

D: Easy going down. Different and worthwhile.

Photo of Bierschenker
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The colour is quite clear and not so misty as other witbieren. Quite some carbonation flowing through. I know how to pour a correct wit so I got a big firm head. It’s snow white. The head diminishes and a thin creamy white layer stays on top.
The odour was great, a rich sour fruity smell: vanilla, herbs, hop and citric fruits.
Taste is rather neutral at first. Opens with a little lemon, but quickly turns to water and bread.
Aftertaste is bread, hop and some lemon.

I don’t know what happened here. This is terrible! Has the bottle gone bad? I am going to an other one soon, because this can’t be. It started so wonderful, a great appearance and smell, but no aroma at all.

Photo of elricorico
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy enough that you can't see through its yellow body. A finger of creamy white head settles to a half finger and stays around for a while. A web of lacing sticks to the whole glass as I drink.

Plenty of citrus zest in the aroma, and coriander spicing. Hint of bubblegum, but only subtley. Smells nice, starts my mouth watering a little.

Tons of citrus from front to back. A strong lemon lime impression. Spicing still notable but even more subtle than the nose. Tartness in the finish unique to my beer experiences. Quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is reasonable, but starts to edge just into the realm of soda, the carbonation is just a bit too much. It isn't bad, but almost gives off the impression that you have a Sprite in your glass.

Very drinkable in my books. Light and lively, tasty and tart, keeps me coming back for another sip. Probably my favorite witbier to date.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dirty yellow color ale with a large pure white foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of coriander and huge wheat malt notes are very enticing and surprisingly more present then I would have anticipated. Taste is an incredible mix between some coriander with loads of wheat malt with light bubble gum notes and a zesty and citrus finish. Full body with limited filtration and great carbonation. I must admit to being totally surprised by this one; it has some much more character then I would have anticipated and a great balance between all ingredient. Definitively one of the most underrated beer I had a chance to taste recently.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25 cl bottle purchased at The Bottle Shop in Brugge, Belgium in April 2007. Not sure why it's retired- it's still available in Belgium! Tasted in the hotel room using a room water glass.

Pours a cloudy lemon yellow with a very pretty white head of nearly invisible bubbles. Aroma of wheat, lemon grass, and herbs. Flavor is pleasant, light and enjoyable. More mellow than the original Hoegaarden. Delicious and clean. The lemony, herbal flavors are more subdued.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 250 ml brown bottle, best before date on back label is 15/02/11. Pours out a cloudy opaque straw colour, tight creamy white head that slowly settles.

On the nose is light tart wheat, some sweet bready malt, light white pepper dryness, faint citrus and coriander. All very clean.

Flavour starts with some tartness from the wheat, some citrus rind, bready sweet malt rised up in the middle, soft dry finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, soft creamy texture, light crisp finish.

A refreshing well put together Wit, the flavour is pretty mild and subtle but it all works together.

Photo of henkmudi
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Cloudy and opaque, but smells nice. Musk at first glance, sour later. Taste evaporates quickly as well as memories. Flower aroma brings beer more to weak fruit beers and ciders. Refreshing but much less than other wheat beers. Warming at room temperature doesn't change a taste. Works well with vegetables, not much with meat.

Photo of Absumaster
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A yellow, murky beer with a big frothy head that seems to last forever.

Smell has some grainy wheat notes. The yeast provides a phenolic smell and some vanilla notes. The orange zest and coriander are present. A light lactic acid whiff comes through and adds to the complexity of the beer.

Taste is full of wheat and is light in maltiness. The yeast is spicy and the spices are pronounced. Clear orange zest and coriander. A subtle lactic acid tartness that is very welcome in a witbier and especially in the (re)founder of witbier. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and a bit sweet. Aftertaste is dry and lingering spicy.

Photo of safaricook
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 250ml bottle into my tasting glass on one of those few sunny days this year welcoming what seems to be summer finally. I left the yeast sediment in the bottle because I think this wouldn't fit for a witbier.

Appears murky orange with some fine carbonation, 2 finger dense white head that reduces after some time to a thin layerleaving the occasional lacing

typical aroma for a witbier: ripe sweet oranges, less coriander

orange sweet with some sourness to balance it, again very faint coriander, ends with some sweet but drying bitterness

thin body, refreshing, very fine tickling sensation, with the carbonation thinning out after a while the body gets a bit watery, unfortunately

All in all a great summer beer. I almost gave up on my quest for a witbier that I liked. What appeals most to me is this great subtly orange flavor and aroma paired with the refreshing champagne-like carbonation.

Photo of Sigmund
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught at Den Tatoverede Enke, Copenhagen, as Celis Wit. Pale whitish-yellow colour, moderate white head. Lovely aroma of burnt caramel / treacle and spices. The flavour was not nearly that exciting, this was a fairly watery and bland wit. Pierre Celis deserves kudos for reviving the the witbier style at Hoegaarden, but this one is not the best witbier around anymore.

Photo of charlzm
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I suspect this is the American Celis White, but Beer Advocate doesn't allow reviews of that beer, so it might be this one?

Consumed at Steingarten, West Los Angeles on February 25th, 2012. Reviewed from notes.

Clear, lemony yellow appearance. More clear than a typical witbier. Fine one finger white head provides moderate sheeting. While not a bad-looking beer, it doesn't like "right" for the style.

Banana, lemon, coriander aromas.

Flavor is much like smell with a slightly grassy note as well. Lacking in yeasty character or wheat notes.

Carbonation prickle. Smooth drinking.

Good hot weather beeer that went with my dinner quite well but not very authentic. Still, enjoyable on its own terms.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Kind of an unassuming bottle, compared to the other Belgians around it at Total Wine, but I'm willing to give it a chance regardless. It pours a cloudy straw-orange topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises coriander, orange zest, clove, light melon rind, and a pinch of black pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a few twists of lemon for good measure. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a pretty tasty wit. It's pretty easy to see how this style caught on here in the States, given the precedent set by this little guy.

Photo of jgasparine
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the menu at Staminee de Garre as "De Witte Van Celis" 3/19/2010. This beer seems to be retired in the BA database; perhaps it has been revivied? I certainly found this draught to be of higher quality that the other reviews on here:

A- Poured from the tap with a very thin skim of white foam on the top, decent lacing. The body is completely opaque- a pale yellow. No visible carbonation.

S- Pale malt, wheat, and impressions of corriander and orange peel. Very crackerlike... like an artisanal cracker.

T- Exceptional flavor- like eating a bowl full of cereal. Very grainy. The wheat and malt come through like eating mouthfuls of the cereal grains. The corriander and orange are eclipsed by the grainy flavor. Hops are not detected at all. And the finish is just an echo of wheat hulls. Finishes dry.

M- A medium body. Almost a bit of grittiness to it- don't know if it's from yeast or unattenuated sugar. Some nice soft carbonation to it.

D- Can drink this all day long, in all kinds of weather. Super-quaffable.

Photo of Derek
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The battle of Wits... Back-to-back-to-back with Hoegaarden (Interbrew, Brussels) & Blanche de Chambly.

25 cl bottle, best before 17/02/06 (17BE 15:42).

A: Surprisingly, the fluid looks the same as the Hoe (I thought the oats would make it murkier). It doesn't produce or retain as much head as the others, but it does leave a little lace.

S: Plenty of aroma, with the most citrous. A tarte/sour smell that's unique among the three.

T: In comparison, there's more citrous, but otherwise the taste is a little bland. It has a tarte, slightly sour aftertaste (which probably isn't meant to be there).

M: Lightest body and carbonation, slightly acidic.

D: Alright.

I expected more.

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a stem-tulip at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California. Reviewed from notes. This is the Belgian brewed version.

A: Pours a two finger head of white colour, slight cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a cloudy yellow.

Sm: Lemon peel and clean barley. A mild strength, boring aroma.

T: Tame lemon peel over a barley foundation. Simple. Balanced. Decently built for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nicely thick without being overbearing. Complements the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I might get it again if I was in a witbier mood.

High C+

Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

25 ml. bottle. Hazy pale yellow colour, good head, but not much retention. Big lace. Smell is faint in comparison to some others belgian white: orange, coriander, fruits, some spices and pepper. Normal carbonartion, medium body. Fizzy. Taste is the same as nose. Being the "original" white belgian I was expecting much more. It pales in comparison to Hoegarden, IMO.

Photo of haz77
3.16/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a pale cloudy gold with an inch of fluffy white head and high carbonation.

S - Wheat, yeast, lemon, pepper.

T - Becomes crisp after an initial smoothness. Citrus comes through in the middle and it finishes watery and yeasty.

M - Light with moderate carbonation.

D - OK, but nothing worth rushing back to.

Photo of bark
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The colour is yellow with a tint of white-orange; the liquid is very hazy. The head is finger thick, white and firm, it builds a nice crater.

The smell is loaded with yeast, green apples, wheat dough, herbs and sour with some interesting bitter flavours.

The first flavour that hits the mouth is the one of banana flavoured marshmallows. There is some sour notes; green apples, wheat flour. The aftertaste is quite mild (and surprisingly short) with some sourness, apple pie with cinnamon and a hint of cream.

Carbonation is strong – large bubbles. The mouth feel is dry and a bit rough.

to view more.
Celis White from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
82 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.