Winter White Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Winter White AleWinter White Ale
Winter White AleWinter White Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
An alternative to dark and heavy winter warmers and stouts, Winter White is a stylish and refreshing Wheat Ale.

Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley and wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices. Deliberately brewed to retain a cloudy appearance, Winter White is a beer for embracing winter.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 778 | Ratings: 2,421
Photo of WYeates
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light golden appearance to go with slight earthy and fruity notes. It has a crispy smooth taste which goes down wet.

This is my go to light beer due to it's clean and crisp taste. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a golden color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has some spices hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a slight spice flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A nice Belgian witbier

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Photo of Ronl12
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass. Dated 11/28/18.
Look is nice cloudy yellow. Smell is yeasty malt. Taste is banana over tones. Feel is fairly light. Overall a nice version of the style

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A - Slightly hazy light to medium gold color with nice steady carbonation and very thick, frothy white lacing.

S - Very dry aroma hits the nose along with yeasty, bready spice, some seeds of paradise spice, clove, and a faint shot of citrus.

T - Bready malt, yeast, clove, some pepper character at the end along with some citrus, and a lingering yeasty spiciness.

M - Big chewy body for the style. Coats the mouth with a healthy dose of citrus earthy spice.

O - This beer is underrated IMO. Pretty fantastic.

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Photo of G-Style
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A somewhat pungent aroma, this isn't a bad wheat ale. A little too carbonated, and slightly malty somewhat hoppy, this is a nice tasting white ale. I'd say its average for its class.

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Photo of justme
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This a wonderful white with nice spice balance. Found it to be a very delicious addition to the holiday beer selection. Good balance. It might just make winter worthwhile.

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Photo of ichorNet
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I realized recently that I haven't reviewed too many "classic style" beers in a while... it's mostly been IPAs, sours and the like for quite a while, so I picked up a single can of this witbier to try. I have liked most of Bell's output that has reached New England, and I doubt this will be any different. A good wit is not too difficult to achieve, but the balance between spices and wheat/yeast profile tends to be where breweries have trouble. I am of the mind that Bell's will do just fine... but there's only one way to find out!

The pour is pretty nice; a good first impression... very cloudy deep orange beer with golden highlights, topped off with a huge, voluminous head of dense white foam. Though it sinks down to about a finger after several minutes, it leaves behind large swaths of chunky lace clinging to the inside of my glass. Though there's a dinginess to the pour, it doesn't bring down the overall presentation. Very solid stuff. Wish it were just a little more translucent, then it would be excellent!

The nose is rife with funky yeast, clove, coriander and light nutmeg-like spice followed by musty wheat and more anonymous spice-like notes. Has a more "basement"-like element than a lot of generic witbiers; much less orange and sweet fruit here... very estery and rustic. I actually prefer to get a little honey or orange in my wits to balance the yeastiness, but for a "Winterized" version of this traditionally "warmer weather" style, it's somewhat more sensible. Slight sulfur and earth once the entire can is poured in. A little less-good than what I expected.

Flavor is pretty much a follow-through from what I noted to have been presented above. Light spice notes with some clove and chewy wheat. Slight herbal hop with semi-dense yeastiness toward the finish. The rest of the palate is far too watery for me, with low-leaning carbonation that just doesn't carry much "oomph" to it.

I feel like I'm drinking a rather neutered beer, here, honestly. Not much character, and it doesn't really make a big impact on me. Pretty plain... I'm kinda let down here, to be honest. Even something like Sam Adams' White Christmas is more characterful than this (by far, actually; I'd probably give that close to a 4.25 derived rating at the end of the day), and I expect more from Bell's. Hell, I can get Allagash White for much the same price, and it's just a much better all-season wit. Ah well... it seems like it's mostly their darker beers that are impressive to me, so those may be what I stick with from now on.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Poured a hazy golden with a fairly thin white head which dissipated fairly quickly. Not much lacing.
S - Banana clove and biscuity wheat.
T - Follows the nose but is not powering to the palate. Nice.
F - Light mouthfeel. Smooth yet a bit tingly (mild carbonation).
O - hey good overall bit. Would be a good apres ski beer ( but I do not ski anymore).

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Photo of puboflyons
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. 2018 batch. Sampled November 22, 2018.

It presents itself as an unfiltered, cloudy looking pale yellow with a modest white head that fades and laves a small amount of lacing.

The aroma does have a clove character up front with the toasted wheat, lemongrass, and Belgian yeast characters more in the background.

Light body. Smooth.

The taste has a sweet and clove-like character but it is not terribly assertive. Maybe refreshing would be a good description but there are others in this style I prefer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(12 oz bottle, PKG 10/12/2018... poured into a Gibraltar glass)

L: extra-cloudy light yellow amber liquid; very thin, but persistent foam cap... very little lace

S: lemon peel, proofing dough, bit of golden bread crust, soft shading of spice

T: fresh dough, bitter orange peel, pungent spice; rather dry finish... lingering biting bitterness, grapefruit-colored, with toasty husks of coriander seed... later, a yeasty dough, dry sugar cookie essence emerges at the front of the palate, lemon peppery hum at the back

F: mildly effervescent attack to the foam/gas on the tongue, carried across by a swollen core... clipped and dry over the term... perhaps not enough snap to its finish

O: nice hearty underbelly, popping bitter elements, solid build overall, just displays a two-dimensional, fuzzy flavor expression - almost tastes like a Wit/Hefeweizen hybrid... impressions could shift with a repeat tasting

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I recently had this beer and even though it was a good Witbier and felt it was a bit thin, especially for winter, and it did not have enough flavor.

Look: hazy golden hue with a thick bubbly head

Aroma: sour dough, cloves

Flavor: The flavor is wheat sour dough, a hint of yeast, banana, and cloves, fairly mild but well balanced and refreshing.

Feel: light body

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Photo of rudiecantfail
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Hazy, bright golden color. Small head with no real retention. Surprisingly good lacing, based on the minimal head.

S---Clove & yeast. Some banana.

T---Closely follows the nose. Tasty.

F---Light & almost juicy. Well carbonated.

O---They advertise it as a beer for embracing winter, but it tastes & feels more like a summer beer. I'd rather drink this in the heat than in the cold. Good beer in any case.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a welcome change from all the dark and heavy stuff the winter months seem to bring. These are the kind that bring about some hope for sunny days. Cloves and sweetness are present in this one, true to that Belgian white style with pronounced sweetness.

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Photo of Michelleroo
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Good mouth feel. Best part of the beer. Cloves are nice; bitterness is mild and doesn’t take away from the overall taste, but’s okay. Just okay for me.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great standard from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter thanks to a friend from work---Cheers Randy!
This nice white pours a lightly cloudy sediment ridden golden color with a nice head of
white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin light layer, and shows some nice light lacing.
Nose of light clove, light banana esters, soft wheat, and subtle light breaded malt notes.
Flavors follow the nose with light banana and subtle spicy clove notes awash in light and soft
breaded malts mingling with subtle light floral honey and a hint of herbal hops. Nice body; medium
mouth feel, low medium low carbonation, and lightly dry sweet tinged finish.

Overall, a solid look forward to each year beer from a great brewery.


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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$ 2.00 (Including tax)/16 oz can ($ 0.125/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Can dated 103117 on the bottom, six month shelf life claimed on side, stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.5.
Body – Dirty yellow, cloudy.
Head – Large (maximum 5.3 cm, aggressive center pour), white, low density froth, good retention, slooowly diminishing to an irregular three to five mm lacy ring with legs and a thin complete layer with rocky ridges.
Lacing – Poor. Scattered small islands of tiny to small bubbles.
First pour – Light yellow, hazy.
Aroma – 4 – Very nice clove and yeast, not overpowering.
Flavor – 3 – Initially a bitter generic spiciness which fades to a constant low bitterness. A minimal amount of yeastiness and none of the fruitiness expected from a witbier. No alcohol, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, watery, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 3 – The appearance and odor are the high points of this otherwise very average brew. The price point is spot-on.

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Photo of Riff
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin, white head that leaves a little lacing on the top. Smell is banana, clove, yeast. Taste is banana, cloves, tart wheat, lemongrass, cloves, and a hint of vanilla. Effervescent, light on the palette, easy to drink, has a slight tart aftertaste. Pretty solid stuff and certainly a nice change of pace compared to all the heavy winter ales out there.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium golden and quite hazy from tap with a thin white head. Normal whit scent of not much, some Belgian yeasts. Like the flavor, it’s got that banana thing going but with some pepper and some bitterness to boot. Good zippy feel from this brew. Pretty good here.

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Photo of Baumer
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazy golden blonde ale in appearance. Looks extremely appetizing! Light head, thin ring persists minutes after pour. Smells like a good Belgian white but with a bit more banana and vanilla. Very nice aroma! great tasting winter beer! Bells rarely disappoints and this beer is no exception! The vanilla really coming through now. Very Smooth and Very light! Medium mouthfeel, but quite light in the finish but very fulfilling! A fantastic winter beer and a great alternative to your typical darks this season. Recommend!

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Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a clear glass. Has a beautiful hazy, bright golden blond presentation and moderate carbonation. Head gradually dissipates.

Smells like a hefe weissen. Notes of Belgian yeast, banana, orange peel, lemon peel, cloves, and other floral and fruity smells.

Tastes mainly of banana, Belgian yeast, and lemongrass. Other notes of grapefruit, a lingering clove-tasting body, and overall dry and slightly bitter. Feels somewhat heavy, but smooth.

Pretty good for a winter-style beer. Reminds me of a cold snowy day.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Hazy yellow with a soapy white head. Medium retention, a thin ring always remains and leaves some spotty, intermittent lacing.

S: Banana, lemon, orange, vanilla, and clove.

T: Lemon and orange upfront; creamy wheat malt in the middle with a touch of banana. Notes of sweet vanilla, like sugar cookies. Clove and touches of grass on the finish, no discernable bitterness, and finish clean and lightly dry.

F: Smooth and lightly creamy, moderately carbonated, thins out near the finish but doesn't get watery. Ends clean and lightly dry.

O: A really solid unspiced witbier. An enjoyable, tasty take on the style.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Winter White Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the head's two fingers thick, solid lacing, and a hazed golden amber body.

Smells like traditional Belgian white ale elements.

The taste is also just a very well-done take on this style with a clean refreshing finish.

Medium-light mouthfeel with fair carbonation.

Bell's Winter White Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc. gets an overall 4.25 out of me.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy deep straw/pale gold producing 1.5 fingers of white, shortlived, foamy head that leaves a few clumpy islands sitting on a thin surface cap, a minor collar & only a few wisps & motes of lace. Aroma is bready wheat, fruity yeast, clove, banana & a creamy sherbet-like sweetness with a hint of lemon, a faint note of coriander & something sulfur-like in the background. Taste is white bread, dough, peach & clove, some banana, coriander & citrus with much less of the sherbet sweetness found in the nose. Finishes slightly acidic & peppery & remains so into the aftertaste where I believe I can still pick up a faint hint of sulfur among thin wheat & Belgian yeast flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, creamy but slightly slick on the tongue with a high carbonation level that delivers a prickly bite.

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Photo of Squire
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy light gold color with white cap.

Pleasant aroma of light bread with yellow fruit highlights, spicy Belgian yeast and hints of clove.

Taste on entry is mildly sweet which I think is due to yeast rather than actual sweetness, more an impression really. Some spicy elements present mid palate backed by ripe fruit. The flavors are not complex but the whole comes across as well put together. Finish is clean and some clove appears in the aftertaste.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

Overall it's a welcome change from the heavier spiced Winter styles that comes across more as a milder sort of hefe weissen. I think this would work as a Spring-Summer brew as well with nothing more than a name change.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think this is a pretty good offering for the style. Looks great, straw yellow, turbid, nice head retention. Aroma is pretty on point, very bready/doughy, nice spices. Beer itself drinks a bit dry though its still super easy to kick back. Almost a little bit more like a saison but we're splitting hairs at that point. Great yeast presence, not crazy funky and not tons of phenol or esters, instead its just very clean.
As for the body, tad heavier than what I'd expect for the style but still remains very drinkable. Medium high carbonation, smooth, a bit crisp. Quite enjoyable.

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Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 2,421 ratings