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

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Bell's Winter White AleBell's Winter White Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 728 | Ratings: 2,186
Photo of Billolick
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
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

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fun, another Bell's beer on draft at Churchkey served in a snifter. Beer is yellow and hazy with a white head, low retention, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is a little citrusy but not overly so, interesting nice witbier character.

Beer is light and mildly spicy with a nice finish. I liked this beer but it is an average not very orange-y / citrusy backing to it. Interesting but not great.

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some spices and citrus. Taste is good, light flavors of citrus and spice. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and goes down with ease. Overall this is a quality beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass and was presented with a light, slightly seethru oragish body with a one-finger head that quickly died (note: shake those last few sips because this beer will leave some yeast floaters if you don't). The smell was nice and floral with some citrus, especially orange and lemon, coming out but nothing major. The taste is rather a letdown. as tjere really isn't anything there except a combo of wheat/yeast with a sharp lemony feel. The excessive wheat/yeast makes a real smooth but somewhat watery, slick brew that feels a little non-descript as it passes (a tad like a light beer). I could pond a few of these easily, but I won't be actively seeking this winter beer and as far as winter beers go it is a tad weak.

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Photo of akorsak
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
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 spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle - from good ta go beer store in PA - thanks to jfam for this

Appearance - Hazy yellow/amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges and grains/bread. There is also some clove and coriander and it ends with a slightly spicy and lightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - An above average wit beer that has some nice citrus flavours going on. Its very drinkable but at times it reminded me of something like a blue moon or a shock top. Anyways, still happy I tried it but I wouldn't see it out again.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9%

Big bready nose seasoned with clove and a hint of banana.
Pours a cloudy straw with a mere wisp of a head.
The flavor profile is more Bavarian than Belgian despite the use of Belgian Ale yeast while the body is a shade more Belgian.
Light, more crisp than creamy.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big Belgian esters of pear, peach, and green apple with wheat in the aroma.

Flavor is more green apple dominant, with a lightly phenolic clove and pepper finish.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man bells is pretty awesome. I had their variety pack and didn't hate any of them so when I found an old winter ale I mixed and matched it in my sixer!

A - Hazy golden in color with a decent head. Hefeweizen?
S - Some banana, clove, and citrus sort of like a... Hefeweizen?
T - Sight bitters and citrus with a mild banana taste. decent
M - Light in fact too light for a winter ale.
D - I am not too sure. I like the porter or brown ale better but this one makes my bells top three (of five)

Overall I seem to wonder like everyone else why this is a winter ale? It's not a big beer or doesn't have any decent spice tones to it that makes it seasonal. I am so confused...

BTW it's 5 percent by volume not 4.5 someone should really keep track of the ABV...

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Photo of Immortale25
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. No readable freshness date on bottle.

A- Light golden color with a paper thin head and lacing that doesn't stick to the glass

S- Can't detect much aroma. Maybe it'll be more apparent once I start drinking. I do pick up an obvious wheat scent with what seems to be a slight hint of wet cardboard. Let's hope it's not oxidized.

T- Eh. Not a whole lot going on. Thankfully, no oxidation. Just a pretty standard white beer. Belgian yeast flavor but not very apparent. Light, quaffable. Very little alcohol burn.

M- Thin, low-medium carbonation but still has enough spritz to make the beer lively given its less-than-exciting flavor.

O- Yeah, pretty average across the board. Won't be paying to drink this again when there are so many more flavorful witbiers out there. The first letdown I've had from Bell's.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.67 out of 5 based on 2,186 ratings.
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