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

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BA SCORE
83
good
733 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:
733
Ratings:
2,201
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
22.83%
 
 
Wants:
65
Gots:
385
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 733 | Ratings: 2,201
Photo of Grundle20
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
This beers look is scarily similar to your average American macro lager. Golden yellow, with no head.

Smell:
The scent is ever so faintly reminiscent of sweet banana bread. There's an underlying Miller High Life quality that again is quite the turn off.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
I can't believe I'm drinking Bells and/or a witbier. Initially there is some pleasant sweetness and wheat character but it almost instantly vanishes and is replaced with a taste of wet hay and aspirin. Despite apparent carbonation the beer drinks rather flat and thick. The finish is rife with wet hay character and the finish is also plagued with this taste. I'm absolutely shocked.

Drinkability:
It drinks just like a macro lager easy going down but has little to offer in terms of well balanced good flavors.

Bottom Line:
This beer is just a flavor notch up from making my shit list. This is the only disappointment I have ever had from Bells and it's a big one. It's just a step up from macro lager but considerably more expensive. A definite pass in my opinion.

 1,070 characters

Photo of granger10
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy orange color with a moderate white head. The smell was very lemony and slightly spicy. The taste reminded me distinctly of an overspiced Oberon. Citric flavors are dominant and a tarty finish is there. Lots, almost too much, coriander in the body. Light in body and mouthfeel this beer is simply decent and not one of Bell's best offerings. I think this was a bad batch of Oberon with a different name!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7637

Poured into a tall wheat glass, which gave this beer a nice puffy, fizzing white head, which doesn't last very long. Not much in the way of lacing. Very hazy yellow straw body.

Smells of light spices and citrus.

Taste is interesting. I guess Bell's uses both a Hefe and a Belgian yeast in this beer so its got a clean fruitiness AND a but of a funk. The spices dominate the finish. Not a lot going on, this is one of the mellower wits I've had.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp and quite effervescent. This is a light bodied beer thats a nice thirst quencher, and as Bell's says an interesting alternative to the majority of winter releases.

Quite drinkable, limited mainly by the lack of flavor depths here, this is a nice refresher after my morning bike ride, but it seems more suited to a warm, sunny day.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
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 julian89
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-A good orange yellow, slightly translucent with a minimal head and no lacing.

Smells: Citrus and wheat, weak smell, crisp though.

Tastes: Very light citrus, strong wheat taste, kind of grainy.

Mouthfeel: Very light almost watery.

Overall: I generally really enjoy Bell's but this one didn't do it for me.

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Photo of tar
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit of a different winter time offering from Bell's. Nice looking in the glass with a hazy golden color and thin, white, bubbly head. Presents a pleasant floral aroma with hints of banana, oranges, and a bit of spice (coriander and maybe a bit of pepper?). A mild overall taste with a dry finish. The spiciness present in the aroma along with citrusy flavors linger and add some depth of flavor. A light bodied beer with a crisp dry feel in the mouth. Not a bad tasting beer, but not particularly exciting--I feel like I'm still waiting for something else to emerge flavorwise.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a cloudy gold with slight carbonation. Silky 1/2" Head reduces to lacing

s: distinct yeast smell with hints of citrus

t: typical wheat beer taste with yeast flavor. Slight hop bitterness

m: light to medium body. Slightly creamy.

d: This is an average Witbier.

 280 characters

Photo of Shumista
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

A- Poured a hazy yellow with a fizzy white head. Also, off white cloudy swirls were present in the beer that slowly dissipated as the beer settled in the glass. I've never seen anything like this before and really have no idea what was going on. I can say that it did not make the beer appear appetizing though.
S- Smells like a witbier, maybe a little light on the typical witbier spices.
T- Tastes like a witbier. Like the smell suggested it is less spicy than others that I've had.
M- Smoother, creamier and less crisp than other witbier's I've had. To me it had a mouthfeel that bordered on slick.
D- About as drinkable as others of the style.

I was very surprised to see that Bell's releases this as a winter seasonal as I typically don't associate wits with cold weather. Kudos for trying something different I guess though.

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Photo of rickenclacker
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The strongest hint here is the clove...way too much. Others have reviewed saying banana, or bubble gum taste....not too off the mark with that comment.
i live in Kalamazoo and am a Bells fanatic...as are alot of others I know.
Oberon, Two Hearted, etc...they all love these...but the Winter Lager, I have not seen one person drink this.
(other than me)
This one needs a little adjustment.

 390 characters

Photo of waughbrew
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[generously received in trade with ghostwalker 3/2006]

Very hazy very pale yellow with a big-bubbled ugly head with little retention or lacing. Smell is pleasantly interesting, with light lemon-banana, white pepper, bitter orange peel, and rubber. Taste is surprisingly similar, though adds a significant honey component. Feel is medium body with carbonation that, although it is at low levels, feels big bubbled and sizzly. Finishes sweet and coating. Pleasant.

 465 characters

Photo of jdoherty
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer into a small white sampling glass. Pours very fizzy and seems unfiltered, yeast is visibly noticable.

It smelled almost entirely of yeast, there were other subtle smells but I couldnt put my finger on.

Tastes identical to hefe-weizens with a lot more of the yeast taste.

The carbonation really tingles on your tongue, (the fizz came from somewhere) and it had a very light bodied feel.

Not exactly the winter warmer I would have expected, not many spices or strong taste in any way, but it is still rather pleasant served ice cold.

 560 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Opaque, pale golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Generally mild but appropriate; clove is most apparent, followed by delicate lemon and baker's yeast.

T: Begins off-dry, with pasty wheat flour, mild clove spice, and citric acidity. Flavors simplify during the middle, tasting a bit like dilute powdered sugar solution soaked into Wonder bread. A mild thread of bitterness stands out in the finish, suggestive of juicy green plant stems.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: This American-brewed wit brings a minimalist impression, seeming held back by it. The smell works, but could be more intense, while the appearance is pleasing in its luminous impenetrability. The flavors seem underdeveloped, which doesn't really elevate this beer over notables of the style. It is refreshing, but not at all memorable.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wasn't all that impressed with this seasonal offering from Bell's. Poured out to a hazy yellow color with a big white foam head. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas were of grains, yeast and some farm straw and hay. Taste was slightly odd... overly spicy with citrus tones and minimal malt. Mouthfeel was almost biting, with some acid like qualities battling with my tastebuds. Only fair drinkability. I'd go for something else from the Bell's line-up first.

 458 characters

Photo of mikeal1917
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was at a bar in East Lansing when I got the chance to taste this brew. Let's just say the beer was better than most of the bands.

Appearance- It was lowlight in the bar, but I crowded around a window to look at it. Beer has a light amber, with wisps floating around the middle of the glass, typical of wheat beers. Didn't keep much of a head.

Smell- Had a decent smell, evidence of of that yeast smell. Smelled similar to Blue moon, which is also a Belgian style wheat beer.

Taste- Smooth refreshing wheat beer, bread like aftertaste from the yeast

Mouthfeel- Thinner beer than other wheat beers I've had. Smooth feel

Drinkability- Goes down easy, mild bitterness that goes a long way in terms of taste. Not to much, not to little

 737 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer from landrewg, thanks!

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - slightly hazed yellow color with a short white head that thinned to a ring.

S - wheat beer aroma with a little lemon scent.

T - light lemon zest but mostly malted wheat.

F - light bodied with good carbonation.

D - it goes down easy.

 320 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Pours hazy yellow (mainly) with 1 finger white head. Poor retention and lacing. Smell was strong of yeast, some spice and a little bread. I thought this beer had a unique taste, I think it tasted a little like a spicy hefe. Some banana and bubblegum with some corriander and other spices. Yeast and dry malt as well. Mouthfeel I felt was a little water and slightly undercarbonated. Overall not a great beer but not bad, I should note I'm not a huge Witbier fan though.

 506 characters

Photo of Applesauce1
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH.

Appearance: yellow with a 1/2" white head on the pour....decent appearance

Smell: lemon and clove

Taste: clove, slight citrus....thats all i'm really detecting

Mouthfeel: light bodied

Drinkability: could do 2 in a night cause it's light, but overall not that great of a taste

This is one of the less impressive Bell's beers I've had....could be a bad bottle also though...or that i'm just not in the mood for this style in february

 490 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle into Snow Cap nonic

A - enormous head of white over a crystal-clear body of golden yellow; initially crystal-clear, but cloudy after I finished pouring the bottle; high in visible carbonation

S - lemon, Belgian yeast (notes of bubblegum, clove, banana)

T - lemon, clove, Belgian yeast; quite funky; fairly boring

M - sticky medium body, highly carbonated

O - overly carbonated for my taste, smells and tastes funky, Belgian yeast is the main feature here with nothing to keep it interesting; unimpressive

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The first beer I have ever had from bells that was a let down, and honestly one of the few that wasn't amazing. This pours thick and murky tired yellow with basically no head from the tap. It's got a ton of viscosity and minimal carbonation, the opposite of what I look for in the style. Banana yeast and spice and orange esters in the nose, some citrus to the taste, but way too much grain here, especially the wheat. It lacks all the delicate features of the bets wits, and warms up ugly. I'm surprised this came from bells. It's not a bad beer, but it's nowhere near their full potential. I see the winter side of it, and appreciate the attempt, but I just doesn't pan put here

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Photo of Mdog
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy yellow with good carbonation.

Smell: Yeasty, clove aroma.

Taste: Wheat, clove, a little citrus.

Mouthfeel: Good for the style.

Drinkability: It's strange for me to have a witbier in winter, but this would be a decent choice if I wanted one.

This is a decent beer, but nothing too special. It just feels weird to drink this in the middle of winter.

 390 characters

Photo of stinewils24
3.22/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer has a foggy, golden honey, cloudy look to it, with visible sediment. The smell consists of a wheat, honey, clove, and fruity aroma. the taste is low in hops, but has a sweetness from the malt. The texture is carbonated, you can feel the sediment, and it is a thicker yet refreshing beer. It is very complex and may be delightful to some, however, I did not particularly enjoy it.

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Photo of sisterofba
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bought in April on clearance, so wasn't expecting much (but I have to rate what I tasted). Decent, per previous reviews, but probably better when fresh, obviously.

 163 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up by Lexx on her way through Michigan!

Pours a cloudy yellow/golden, one finger bone white head forms, settles down to a thin ring pretty soon, no lacing. Smell is malty, some wheat, sweet, clove, banana, citrus, touch of yeast. Taste is malty, bit lemony, vanilla and banana, bit of spice, bready yeasty finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth, moderately refreshing, pretty mediocre example of a witbier though. Thanks Lexx!

 470 characters

Photo of dfuller
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy yellow with a fine white foam that laced the glass nicely for a light brew.

Nose: fairly clean, with a light whiff of citrus.

Taste: Light, crisp hops are obvious right away. The citrus notes are light, but present after the early hops and through to the aftertaste. The finish is clean, leaving a bit of citrus behind.

This is a bit cleaner beer then I had anticipated, but it would make a good session beer when in season. Oddly enough, though, with its clean nose and finish I think I would rather drink it on a hot day than a cold one.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Thin white head on a cloudy golden body.
S- Big banana with orange peel come through right off the bat. Some spices like cloves, pepper, and maybe even a hint of cinnamon.
T- Kind of mild in flavor. Flavors match well to the aroma just if you tone everything down by quite a lot. The bitterness is on the bigger side for this style. Leaves a nice little bite with orange peel.
M- Medium/thin body with low/medium carbonation.
D- I think it is decent but nothing outstanding. I'm not sure how old this beer is so not sure if it is past its prime. I would think its a few months passed it's peak and starting to show signs of oxidation.

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Bell's Winter White Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,201 ratings.
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