Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
733 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
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:
733
Ratings:
2,200
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
22.83%
 
 
Wants:
65
Gots:
385
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 733 | Ratings: 2,200
Photo of wingman14
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark yellow with a frothy white head. Smell is dominated by the yeast, with a nice dose of wheat. Flavor follows suit, nice yeast and wheat flavors. A nice medium mouthfeel, smooth, well balanced and nice depth of flavor. Overall a great witbier, great flavor, and an easy drinking beer.

 293 characters

Photo of maltusaurelius
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by stating that despite the current craze for Belgian beer I have not had many Belgian witbeers, so this is my first official tasting of this style.

Poured from a brown Bells bottle into a beer mug (I don't have the appropriate glassware at home).

Poured a bright, cloudy yellow with a fluffy two fingered head that dissipates quickly to leave minimal lacing.

Coriander and cloves and sweet wheat malts are present on the nose. Taste is the same - somewhat sweet, as is typical of other Wits I have had, with a clove and coriander spiciness. A slightly bitter hop finish rounds out the taste.

This beer has a lively, somewhat prickly mouthfeel.

This is definitely on the sweet side, which I think is typical for the style, but the sweetness is not overbearing. A tasty beer fairly typical for the style. I could definitely have more than one.

 876 characters

Photo of mpcrump
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light hazy golden color. A finger of head that disappears soon.

S: Nice light smell lemon and banana smell with a hint of cloves.

T: I think the taste is very light but I don't mean that in a bad way. Mild cloves at the beginning with a mild lemon in the middle and then ending with a mild wheat.

M: Very light feel. Light carbonation. Very consistent from beginning to end.

D: For a winter beer it's rather light but I think it's something that is rather nice. The light taste and average ABV can lead to a lot being drank.

If you are in the mood for a light not so complex beer I think you will not be disappointed. This was exactly the beer I was looking for tonight.

 712 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 482 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2013. Pours opaquely hazy bright golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, floral, grass, clove, pepper, herbal, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, floral, grass, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon, banana, pear, apple, orange, wheat, bread, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice witbier. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,334 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up a bottle of this when visiting family in NC recently. the temperature outside definitely screams winter so why not pop this one tonight? enjoyed from a bell's tulip.

a - brew poured a soft but murky orange with lots of visible carbonation evenly climbing to the surface for quite some time. there was a t hin white bubbly head that bubbled away in parts but never completely left.

s - smells like a wit aught to...orange peel and coriander.

t - taste follows the nose of orange peel and coriander but offers a lot more sweetness than i expected, but overall soft and very approachable. flavor isn't too bold or intense. just nicely made. good amount of water in there but not watered down.

m - lots of fizzy carbonation...big sweetness. medium bodied and drinks extremely smoothly.

o - overall, not wild about wit beers in general, but this is very good for the style.

 883 characters

Photo of ndekke39
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this from a bottle in batch 7735, packaged on November 27, 2006. Pours a hazy tawny orange. Smells of wheat, yeast, and citrus: orange and lemon. Taste begins with mainly the yeast, continues into the citrus flavors - orange and lemon again, especially the orange - and ends with a light touch of the sour citrus. Flavors travel well. Very light, fizzy mouthfeel. Overall, a very good wheat beer. I'm usually not a fan of the style, but this one makes me like it. A nice, clean ale that seems appropriate for the winter.

 526 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Winter Ale pours out a pale yellow color with a foamy, white head. The aroma is very spicy, with pepper and coriander with a wheat base. Clean malt flavor with wheat and spices. Some citrus flavors, mainly orange peel. Finishes with grassy hops. Crisp and moderately refreshing. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy. This is not what I expected for a Winter seasonal, but there's no reason to hold that against the beer. Tasty and easy to drink. Another quality Bell's beer.

 490 characters

Photo of Angela1956
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance looks like what you expect a Blue Moon to look like. Opaque and golden yellow with a off-white head. Smells like bananas and cloves, very different of a smell. The banana and clove flavor comes out when you take your first sip. You can taste the wheat aspect of the beer but it is still crisp and clean. Slight bitter flavor that appeals to those that enjoy multiple tastes. Clean, delightful and refreshing!

 420 characters

Photo of Thanby
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a bit of lingering head. Smells primarily of Belgian yeast, spices. Tastes of Belgian yeast, your usual winter spices, coriander, anise, wheat. Lingering spice mixture, medium body, well-rounded, full flavor, amply spiced but not overwhelming, mellow.

 281 characters

Photo of bdubw
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Was super excited when I saw the amount of yeast at the bottom of bottle but to be honest it didn't live up to my expectations. I was on a beer tour this particular evening and had enjoyed an unibroue Blanche de chambly earlier in the evening and when compared to this other north American brew I found myself disappointed but it's not a bad Belgian white. I just found the unibroue better. Still, better than most American Belgian whites

 438 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, wheat beer like yellow gold with a nice head of white froth. Aromas of wheat, coriander, lemon, orange, and your typical wit-like aromas. Taste is simple, one-dimensional and totally wheaty wit. Orange peel, wheat, a nice yeastiness, and citrus fruits. Mouthfeel is creamy and nce and the drinkability is good as well. A 4 star wit from bell's brewing.

 358 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 7195. Thanks to Dogbrick for the sample.

Aroma: An inviting blend of orange zest and spicy notes (pepper and coriander) that play together nicely. A definite floral and slight yeasty aroma.

Appearance: A slightly cloudy straw gold color. A fluffy white head develops. Visible carbonation noted throughout the body.

Flavor: Orange peel bitterness is noted up front. The bitterness fades and lends itself to a pleasant peppery spice and slight wheat notes. Definitely crisp and slightly tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with high carbonation. Finishes dry and a touch bitter.

Overall impression: Refreshing and enjoyable. Nothing to bring me back but a nice change from the ordinary. A nice witbier.

 723 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, luminous straw color with plenty of haze, and small white head. Nose isn't overly assertive, but pleasantly alive with some clean orangey yeasty bready notes. Palate offers a good dose of wheaty cracker, some nice sour flavors that wind into the coriander and citrus candied qualities (but not very candied overall). Good carbonation. Easy to drink, but just doesn't dance on the palate as vividly as some other wits that I really liked over the years.

 466 characters

Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy and hazy bright yellow-orange color, spicy, earthy citrus aromas, nice white frothy head that lasts and leaves some lacing in my glass.. Fresh tart citrus and mild spice flavors, crisp carbonated mouthfeel, finishes a bit sour, a very refreshing and drinkable brew.

 272 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12/2009

Luminous golden color with a snow-white froth. Smell is predictable spicy with clove and coriander present, a touch of bitter citrus and sweet, grainy wheat malt.

Again, spicy in the mouth. Coriander, clove and some other peppery spices. Sweetish finish, nice wheat character. Some muted fruitiness, green apples and pear.

A better white ale than most American versions I have tried. Spicy and lively, easy to drink and, although not a true winter beer, a really tasty ale.

 491 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A curious choice of style for this season, especially from a brewery in frigid Michigan. The Winter Wile Ale poured with a delicately pale straw colored, cloudy, fizzy body. The head was thinner than a Barbie doll suffering from anorexia, and did not stick around too long. The aroma was nicely estery with the appropriately anticipated banana, lemon, and clove flavors. Taste was creamy, tangy, and spicy with a fuller mouthfeel than the looks suggest. Very easy to drink with a low ABV, this is a very nice Witbier on its own merit, and quite a departure from the other winter seasonals that are around.

 605 characters

Photo of montageman
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, pale bright yellow with a quickly dissipating head. Smell is citrusy with hints of bread and banana. Taste is heavy on the bread with some lemon, spice, and the slightest touch of banana. Mouthfeel is fine - crisp and moderate. A tasty winter ale - a nice change of pace from all of the heavy stouts I usually drink during the cold months. Recommended.

 394 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this before in the past, but it's been awhile. Pours a cloudy tangerine color (looks almost like freshly squeezed orange juice), thinner head than expected, but it leaves some lacing on the glass. Aromas are yeasty, orange, wheat. Tastes are nice with fruity Belgian yeast esters, wheat, orange zest, white peppery spiciness. I thought I could taste coriander, but apparently there's none used in the brewing process. Mouth-feel is nearly full-bodied while being creamy and smooth. Overall, better than I remember, and one of the better American brewed witbiers.

 571 characters

Photo of Florida_SC_Trojan
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy yellow color. Nice appearance.

S: Orange zest, coriander with a faint hint of bananna and clove.

T: Sweet honey, wheat, malts and yeast. Very drinkable and as a bit of spice in the finish.

M: Very light, good carbonation and finishes dry.

O: I like this beer alot. I think this beer could be served year round. One of my go to beers when I want to drink alot around Christmas time.

 401 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell has a mix of sweet oranges, spice and citrus on it. Reasonable for style. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste has a bit of sweetness upfront with spices, notably cloves. Not very sweet at all however, especially when compared to some other wits. The finish has a good snap of lemon citrus to it, with some wheat and spice....also a small hop bitterness. Pretty drinkable and a good example of a wit.

All in all, I usually prefer wits with more bold orange flavors, but this really went down quite well.

 509 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, light golden color, no head. Cloudy, served chilly and let to warm. Smells of wheat, light fruits, perhaps banana, and apricot. Citris smells. Plenty of flavor, it reminds me of Hoegaarden, only I like it better. Wheaty and citris dominates, with clove and peppery hints. Really good balance. This is a very drinkable beer, despite my so so ratings. Was hoping for a little more, but another great offering from Bell's

 437 characters

Photo of irish
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When reviewing a wit, you almost have to say "for the style", because it is above all a subtle style. Other reviewers seem to penalize it for being true to style. But I think you have to take the style as a given.

It pours plainly without a lot of fuss or head, and settles into a very clear pale liquid.

Modest nose. It sips easily, with a moderate bitterness afterward, but subtle. Here's a beer that really IS "less filling" and "tastes great. It could easily qualify as a session beer.

As long as I am mentioning that horrid ad's phrase, I should reiterate that this beer falls heavily on the "less filling" side, although it really DOES taste great. A nice change from other monstrous, super-hopped and -alcoholic winter beers.

 737 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 1,256 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a slightly hazy light orange color with one finger of head. There's a bit of lacing. The smell is very light. The only thing detectable is just a hint of citrusy aroma. The taste, however, has plenty of flavor. It's nice and malty, just ever so slightly sweet. Wheat and biscuit malts are present. There's a nice refreshing lemon flavor as well, and even a hint of spice. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is very nice. A decent witbier.

 517 characters

Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,200 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe