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

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Winter White AleWinter White Ale
BA SCORE
3.64/5
Good
2,348 Ratings
Winter White AleWinter White Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: 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.

Added by maxpower on 02-22-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#37,666
Reviews:
765
Ratings:
2,348
pDev:
12.91%
Bros Score:
3.71
 
 
Wants:
70
Gots:
451
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,348 |  Reviews: 765
Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 1,043 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Winter White displays the typical appearance of a Belgian wit with a hazy golden-orange body through which very fine bubbles can be seen steadily rising. Its thinly-creamy head of bright white holds fairly well but leaves only spotty lace about the glass. The nose is also quite standard with notes of coriander over a wheatish malt base. In the mouth it's light/medium bodied and the carbonation lends a mild caress to the tongue. It has a lower carbonation level, and less effervescence than many of the better known examples from Belgium. The flavor delivers a delicate blend of semi-sweet wheatish malt; a delicate tartness and some fruitiness from the yeast; and a flick of spiciness and some flavor from the coriander. The low-key bitterness is propperly coralled, and it's immaculately balanced. It finishes with a touch of tartness on the front of the tongue and delicately spicy coriander at the back of the mouth. It lingers shortly and then fades, never building on the palate and lending greatly to its drinkability.

This one's a real winner; and if you think about it, it's not such an odd choice for a winter beer from a brewery that makes more than a half a dozen stouts year-round.

 1,207 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
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 Gagnonsux
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 633 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of vfgccp
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
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 : )

 418 characters

Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smithj4
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap a hazy lighter yellow with some peach colored hue a thin quick to fade head atop.Toasted wheat clove and some bannana reminisentmore of a Bavarian style sheat than a Belgian white in my mind.Pretty standard wheat flavors somewhat clovey and toasty with a faint hint of citrus in the back end.Decent and basic beer, my wife would enjoy this, me well I thought it was ok.

 389 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from feloniousmonk, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, strong spices, light malts and some citrus.

T: The taste is spicy up front with flavors of coriander and clove. There's a good background of Belgian yeast and light malts along with some complimentary citrus flavor. The hops presence is mild as you would expect. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good mild beer to drink several of over the course of an evening.

 858 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow color with a brief head in the Affligem chalice. The best feature is the creamy, sudsy mouthfeel that would do a German brewery proud. Faintly aromatic with a flowery, citrus nose.

Mellow and biscuity. Lightly fruity with a lemon curd note. A litle sweetness. Some yeasty taste and bitterness in the aftertaste.

Surprisingly drinkable. The whole concept is a surprise, but it's a pleasant wheaty brew. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 478 characters

Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of billab914
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of Rifugium
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy, yellow color. Minimal white head.

S: Light citrus, and light, dried fruits, banana, etc.

T: Wheatish bite, some citrus and banana, and a little bit of spice.

M: Light body with moderate carbonation.

D: Somewhat drinkable. At this point, I'm losing interest in witbiers, but still a good summertime diversion.

 321 characters

Photo of REVZEB
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-amber color; maybe more toward apricot. Decent head.

S: Lots of wheat along with plenty of spiciness--fits the winter theme quite well.

T: Lots of spiciness. Perhaps coriander, along with some citrus flavors.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Great drinkability when fresh. This is a solid witbier, and fits in perfectly with a roasting winter fire.

 370 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours clear gold with a finger of brite-white foamy head. Leaves behind a thin, wispy retention that provides some decent lacing. The aroma is standard Witbier with notes of wheat, yeast, clove, and an almost astringent citrus scent.

The taste is a nicely balanced mix of wheat and yeast, some coriander and clove spice, and a zesty orange note that gives the profile some pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lively carbonation.

I've always wondered why Bell's goes with a Witbier for their Winter beer (that's why I waited for the weather to warm a bit before getting into this)? In any case though, while this isn't the strongest beer from them by any means, it is still pretty tasty and at 4.5%, very sessionable.

 761 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Hoppy Thanksgiving (H, 23 Nov 2017) as I revisit this beer, this time from a bottle!

From the bottle: "Belgian Inspired Wheat Ale"; "Bell's Winter White Ale is a bright alternative to dark and heavy winter seasonal beers. This stylish and refreshing wheat ale is fermented with Belgian yeast, yielding a mix of clove and fruity aromas without the use of any spices. An ideal beer for embracing winter."

No spices?!? I wonder if that is a change in the recipe. I did an in-bottle agitation before Pop!ping the cap since it is, at base, a Wheat Ale. I then performed a rather heavy-handed pour, raising two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, eggshell-white head with decent retention. Color was a cloudy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) & this was a definite improvement over the CANned version! 8=( Nose smelled strongly of oranges & tangerines with a light, undefined spiciness. Hmm. Mouthfeel was really big, full & creamy! Amazing for this style. The taste was lightly spicy, not really what I remember, and definitely not as clove-like as the label led me to expect. It was peppery, but the orange citrusiness was what really shone through. Finish was dry and since no spices were used, then it was indicative of the yeast having done its job. Nicely done.

 3,037 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No batch#, hmmmm

Pours a slightly hazed straw color with a thin beige head. Not much lacing & zero head retention

S: Grassy & some lemons

T: Coriander, grainy bread, white peppers & lemons. A touch of phenol with some juicy fruit as this warms, plus a touch of lemons & pears. Finishes fruitty, a touch dry with white pepper

MF: Light/medium bodied with light carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, a pretty good Wit. My problem is why do a wit as a winter release? Bell does plenty of others sooo I guess it doesn't matter...

 524 characters

Photo of krome
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 2,348 ratings