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Bell's Winter White Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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BA SCORE
83
good
735 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
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Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by maxpower on 02-22-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
735
Ratings:
2,203
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
22.55%
 
 
Wants:
65
Gots:
386
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 735 | Ratings: 2,203
Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, extremely light golden blonde, moderate carbonation.
S-Wheat aroma is apparent and a bit fruitiness in the yeast and I cannot detect any hop aroma.
T-The bready goodness of wheat comes to the forefront and the orange citrus character is also a good portion of the taste profile. A very solid wheat beer with character.
M-Bread, biscuit type flavor notes; mellow pleasant.
O-Interesting to think of this is a winter ale, when it's perfectly suited to be a summer beer as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the wheat malt character that's balanced with citrus lemon notes found in the yeast.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a cloudy straw/gold. Two fingers of white head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a thin, bubbly lacing and ring around the edge. There was a little bit of sedimentation at the bottom, which I coaxed out and poured into the pint.

Smell: Reminds me of summer. Major clove and lemon/orange zest. There are hints of coriander and just a little bit of honey. There is also the customary, and heavenly, yeast aroma.

Taste: Very balanced and smooth, but no flavors jump out or dominate. However, there is a detectable hierarchy of tastes: the yeast, coriander, and clove spice are most prominent, and underneath those are the citrus elements from the smell.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable. Tasty and easy drinking, this is a decent witbier despite the fact it is totally out of season. Bell's did not do enough to justify offering a witbier for the winter months. I appreciate the effort, but I expect something more unique than something true to style.

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Photo of gford217
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very cloudy, bright yellow with a big puffy white head that dissipated gradually leaving little lacing. Smell is dominated by sweet aromas of wheat, lemons, oranges and bananas. Big spice aroma as well dominated by cloves and coriander. Taste is primarily the big sweet wheat up front with the fruits right behind. Lemony hops are also present. The mouthfeel is light and slick with heavy carbonation. This is a decent wit and very drinkable though not the most complex wit I've tasted.

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Photo of cooncat
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving was a 12 oz. bottle, chilled, and poured into a pilsner glass.

The pour produced a light gold colored brew with a very foamy, white head which was short lived. Minimal to no sheeting upon swirling the glass, after the head was gone. Aroma approximates a witbier, but on the light side. The taste is similar to an American Wheat beer, with the addition of corriander. It is not over powering, actually, quite well balanced and refreshing with just the right amount of carbonation. No objectionable after taste was apparent. I'd have to give this a "thumbs up", and would say it would make a fine session beer.

Cheers!

Update: Jan. 9, 2007

Another 12oz. bottle sample, poured vigorously into a 16 oz glass. A small head that disappeared almost instantly ... a bit disappointing, really. Nose and taste are as mentioned above. Body is thin, but its still a refreshingly crisp beer, if you enjoy the witbier style. Did not mention that the light golden color is properly cloudy, as a bottle conditioned witbier should be. No sediment at the bottom of this bottle, but I have had some Bell's brews that did have a small amount of sediment. Not much more to add to my previous review.

Cheers

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Photo of Fish113d
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw color with a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly to a slight surface layer. Body is a bit cloudy.

Aroma is of some pale malt along wwiht just a hint of spice; coriander and orange peel is what i find mainly. A slight grainy aroma comes through a bit also. Kinda plain.

Sipping reveals a rather balanced flavor between the sweet malt and some hops. Some spice comes through a bit on the swallow, and just a hint of orange peel, but I was hoping for abit more spice.

Tingly carbonation up front, and a rather watery finish with very little aftertaste. Rather lite.

Very drinkable, in that I could drink a case of it and keep on going (okay maybe that's pushing it), but overall, i was rather disappointed. I've had better from Bell's.

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Photo of jlindros
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one in a great trade with Noslenwerd. I wanted to help out his cause for 365 beers in 365 days. For those who haven't heard of his quest, try this website:
http://365beers.wordpress.com/

Anyways, he sent me a bunch of stuff I can't get here, including a slew of Bell's beers, and I decided to review a bunch tonight. This is the next on the list, and helps me to go through a bunch of winter beers that I'm questing to do as well.

A: Has a light airy and fluffy 1/2 finger head that keeps itself well. It's an incredibly hazy, so much so I almost expect the blob to step out of this thing. It also has a murky pale bright yellow color.

N: Nose is loaded with wheat, banana, and spices. It has a lot of reminiscence of a Belgian wit beer. Lots of wheat as a base, then a nice creamy banana flavor, and some spices, perhaps clove, coriander, and hints of yeast. And even some hints of orange peel but very light.

T: Very similar to the nose, but the spices come out a lot more. This is now loaded with clove, coriander, orange peel, and other winter spices, but its not overbearing, just over the top. The some wheat and banana try to come through on the back end. A very light sweet malt flavor.

M: Semi thin, decent carbonation but I would expect more for the style, a little spicy.

F: Comes off pretty dry on the finish, with a big load of banana and more spices. It has a touch of spicy heat, some acidity. The spices seem to linger for a while, with even more orange peel this time. Its not a bad beer, a decent Belgian wit crossed with winter warmer, which is starting to become commonplace. This goes a little heavy on spices but not too much to still enjoy it.

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Photo of kkipple
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I dumped a bunch of yeast outta the bottle into this brew. It's a hazy light yellow, by the way. Big short-lived white head. The yeast may have been a bad choice.

'cause the nose is simply reeking of it. That vitamin B, nearly harsh spicy and almost acidic smell comes quite close to overwhelming everything else. "Everything else" in this case is coriander, spice, malt and citrus. But the yeast... ay ya yi.

Fortunately the flavor holds up alright, it's pretty typical. Wheat and light malt, mild spice, lemon sourness, coriander and pepper. Finishes sour and light, refreshing if you can get past the nose. It's a little bit dry, but there are no obvious flaws. This is decent.

Mouthfeel is middling with a nice carbonation level to keep things interesting. A hint of coriander remains on the tongue well after you drink this. It's dry and I wish it weren't *quite* so. But it's fine.

Bell's Winter White is a pretty good brew if you can get past the absurd yeast in the nose. Not my favorite Wit, but, like most of Bell's brews, it's solid.

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Photo of dougriddle
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wide pilsner glass, this "winter white" displays a lovely dark to lighter golden sunburst color, when in lower light conditions. I poured looking for a more vigorous head, and am a little disappointed with how low the retention is. After a couple of drinks, there is absolutely none to be seen, nor is there any lacing after a couple of drinks.
After a quick sniff, I get a hoppy, citrus blend that is characteristic of most wit beers.
Once this beer hits the mouth, one can notice a fair amount of carbonation. But once the beer is swallowed, it leaves behind a film on the back of the mouth that reminds me of Schlafly's Saison Ale. Unfortunately for me, I do not like this feeling.
As far as taste is concerned, the hop combinations are fairly subtle throughout, but then leaves a strong hop after taste.The spice use is also very subtle. On the whole, this has more of an earthy taste to it, but not a lot of strong flavors. I want something more to jump out at me here. Again, this tastes closer to a Saison style than a wit-hence the "Winter white" moniker I suppose.
Overall, this beer is very nice to look at in the glass, but I need something more from this beer, especially if it is going to be priced at $10.99 for a six pack. You fooled me Bells. I would much rather save $3 and get any Saison six pack.

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

Batch 10082

Appearance -- Pours a pale yellow with slight haze and one finger of fizzy lily-white head that soon settles to a white ring about the glass.

Smell -- Cracker-like pale malt, tangy wheat, citrus peel and coriander, and banana. Not especially exciting.

Taste -- Pale malt, cream of wheat, banana and bublegum, and a modicum of yeasty earthiness. Lemon peel and coriander lend a gentle, perfumey roundness. Lingering flavors of pale malt and coriander.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with fizzy carbonation. Meh.

Drinkability -- Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't put it in the best of the style or of the brewery; one could certainly have picked worse. Glad I tried it, but I'll likely pass next time around.

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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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My next door neighbor gave me an entire 6/pk of this stuff as a Christmas present.

A: When I think winter, I don't exactly consider Witbier, but I'll bite anyway: Poured a grainy, murky orange, with a slight head that basically withered away to nothing.

S: Banana and coriander spice beer on the nose, with maybe a hint of freshly filtered H2O. This wasn't too potent, but still was pleasant.

T: What happened here? While this wasn't terrible, it was one of the more bland Wits that I've had in ages. I got a fair bit of fruity, coriandery, spicy slurp on the front end, but there was absolutely no explosive late aftertaste of flavors to make this one worth coming back to.

M: A bit thin and infinitely forgettable, with a bit of slight carbonation which I guess was fine, and not much lacing at all.

O: 6pk = Register checkout: house beer, $1 even. Meh...

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

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours a very hazy pale straw, bordering on cloudy, with a half-finger white head that settles quickly into a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Little retention and almost no possibility of lacing at all.

Nose is wheaty, lots of zesty lemon, sourdough component towards the back end. Maybe a bit of coriander, but it doesn't dominate by any stretch.

Taste is kind of interesting. Starts off with a combination of tangy wheat and pale malt sweetness, with a big lemony zing and a bitterness towards the finish from the coriander. Yeast is lighter than expected, breadiness from the nose never really shows up in the taste, maybe a bit in the exhale. Yeast takes a backseat in this one, very subtle.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, largely because the yeast never shows up. Thinner body, more coarse carbonation (though still quite light), no creaminess. Eh.

Drinkability, what can you say? It doesn't really do much of what the best wits do, but by the same token, it isn't exactly bad either. Really don't get the idea of this being a winter seasonal.

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

Tried during a recent trip to the Brick Store Pub. Suspiciously, there was no batch number listed on the back in the white box allotted for it. I briefly considered signing my name in it.

Appearance: Pours out a near clear, pale yellow body with a smallish, brief, white head.

Smell: Bell's WA doesn't offer a particularly aromatic bouquet, with only mild notes of barley and wheat with some perfunctory citrus and spice thrown into the mix as well. A bit of a wimpy wit, to be honest.

Taste: Sweet tastes of malted barley and lightly tangy wheat lazily bathe the tongue. Mild flavors of citrus peel and coriander. Faint bitterness. Lightly tangy, lightly citrusy finish; there and gone in a flash. It's one of those simple beers with little to really say about it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, for starters, it could benefit from a bit more effervescence in the mouthfeel department, but even still, it's just rather mild and bland and doesn't really deliver in terms of a fine, refreshing witbier or a winter-based anything.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a medium, foamy white head with average retention and lacing.

S: Wheat, yeast, some cloves and perhaps banana. Some coriander and citrus aroma is also detectable.

T: Crisp wheat flavor, with some floral hops to provide a slight bite. Coriander, clove, allspice, and orange juice flavors as well. A bit of drying, husky graininess at the finish.

M: Very crisp and fizzy, with a somewhat light body. A vaguely sticky and dry aftertaste. A seltzery feel to this one, with an acidic, carbonated twang.

D: This one tastes pretty decent, but what makes it a winter beer, exactly? The mouthfeel especially seems off - too much like club soda and without the creamy texture you'd expect from a witbier.

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Photo of atsprings
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7760. Never had a witbeir as a winter seasonal before, so this should be interesting. Poured a hazy diluted orange with no head whatsoever. Smell was somewhat more complex than many witbeirs, some spices present. Has some spice present in the taste. Almost like a witbeir impersonating a more heavy, darker winter warmer, just not doing a very good job at it. Definitely not as light as some wits. Mouthfeel is a little heavier than I'm used to in this style, I guess this works since it is a winter beer. Somewhat drinkable, but I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

5.0%abv listed on the label.

It pours a cloudy yellow colour with about an inch of foam. The lacing is ok for the style.

The smell is...funky and yeasty with good notes of banana and anise with a lemon hop aroma bringing up the rear. It smells inviting to me.

The taste is of wheat, bananas, light lemon zest, and a bit of bread. I like the smell more than the taste for some reason. Maybe the overall flavours come off to me as being bland.

On the low side of medium bodied with low levels of carbonation. At this time, the foam is gone and no more lacing.

Drinkability? It drinks ok but following one bottle with another, if I had one, would not be something I'd do.

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Photo of CReilly
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1/14/09

Bell's Winter White Ale:

App: Orangey yellow haze sits quietly under a slight white head which dissipated within the first 30 seconds... a nice effervescence was seen throughout the life of the beer however somehow did not contribute to head

Aroma: Classical wit character of sweet wheat, coriander and a slight citrus nose.. Pleasant overall

Taste: Slight spicey coriander with sweetness derived from a nice wheat backbone, and a mildly hoppy bitterness to round it out

Mouthfeel: Medium light body that was broken up by the more than adequate carbonation. this beer ended with slight bitter sweet mildly hoppy end that almost seemed dry to a small degree

overall the taste was good but the head retention awful... barely any head to begin with.

would give it another try

poured into a small pilsner glass

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Photo of WwRGSwW
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: bright yellow color with a thick white foam head that quickly dissipates. little to no lacing.

S: Malt hits you first, followed by banana and a slight hint of nuts

T: A combination of banana and nuts. the after taste is nutty, but not offending.

M: Very light and crisp.

D: Very easy to drink. Mine was gone before I knew it. Nothing to really rave about, but good none the less.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I expected a great deal from this beer, and it was...OK. If you love clove, you might think it's better than OK.

Appearance is a greasy-looking clear yellow color with a fairly minimal head. Aroma is non-descript spice at first, but subsequent whiffs revealed a more solitary aroma of clove. Taste was 100% cloviness, and quite strong. Not bad, as long as you like clove. Mouthfeel is not bad, but unremarkable. This beer is fairly drinkable.

All-in-all, I guess I'd recommend it, but not my favorite wit.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours the cloudiest, orange-juice gold with a finger of white head on top. Nose is peppery, with hints of clove and banana esters and musty wheat. Taste is extremely dry, pepper/clove spicy and heavy on the yeast. Mouthfeel is pretty thick due to all the suspended yeast, co2 is lively. Overall wasn't too impressed with this one. I looks pretty, but is so dry it lacks any real character.

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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.

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

Looks like lemonade on the way out of the bottle, a runny yellow color with globs. Settles to an impenetrable pear color with a decent, attractive white head. The label says the beer is "seasonally nuanced," which I take to mean has wintery spices added; ironically enough, then, I think the beer smells less spiced than most witbiers I've had. I mostly get warm, bready yeast. Taste is similar, plain-jane yeast and wheat flavors with a bit of the promised holiday spice.

I think Bell's should rename this beer "Wheat Zero."

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Photo of hwwty4
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a chalice. The beer poured a hazy orange/yellow with a very thin white head that left no lacing. The beer actually looked like a pulpless grapefruit juice. The aroma was of ripe apples and bananas. The taste is of wheat and bananas. It leaves a yeasty aftertaste in your mouth that I didn’t much care for. The mouthfeel is decent, medium bodied with little carbonation. Not a bad beer, just nothing exciting to talk about.

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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.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

hmm, maybe i got a bad bottle. Didn't enjoy this nearly as much as other reviewers seem to have. Poured most of the bottle into a pint glass (all my weizen glasses got broken last year) and saved a couple ounces to swirl the yeast into the beer. Swirled vigourously but couldn't for the life of me get quite all of the yeast--must have been very compacted. A finger of creamy head falls out with the cloudy yeast but quickly disappears. End result is a cloudy (milky, really) golden, delicious looking, uncapped mess

Smell is really amazing. Spicy and such, love it. Taste, however, is one of the bigger disappointments i have had with beer (not to the level of SA Triple bock, but still disappointing). Taste is fairly flat, not getting much citrus or spice, but it does taste a bit sour and leaves a bad aftertaste. mouthfeel is creamy and enjoyable but it needs more carbonation as it was quite flat. Drinkability suffers from the sourness and lack of carbonation.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,203 ratings.
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