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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 Dalem
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark cloudy golden color. Looks like a peach dosed glass of pineapple juice, minimal head lots of bubbles at first that slow down quickly but there's a spite of them that rise around the top with each sip. Lot's of yeast in the aroma with citrus, bananas and spices around it.

Think a slight heartier and well, winter version of the Oberon in the flavor. Little bit more of a Hefe slant. It's sparkly though a bit more bready and a ginger thing not noticed as much in an Obie. A little too lemony and coriander for what I prefer in an winter beer. A creamy banana thing on the back of the throat in the finish. Good but it just doesn't seem all that wintery. Early spring or late fall maybe. Quality recipe and very drinkable stuff but nothing all that exciting. Oberon lost it's charm for me awhile back (but was more than a passing fancy in my heyday with it) and this just doesn't seem all that different or special to me.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky golden color. Cloudy, and never seems to want to settle.

Smells consisted of spices you traditionally find in these light wheat ales. Generally, stuff that goes well on chicken, but somehow works in beer too.

One big difference was in the citrus aromas, and flavors for that matter. I was expecting more of a lemon flavor, but got oranges instead. No problems there.

It finishes a bit dry and grainy. Reminded me of bread. Bell's managed to make an interesting twist on the style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of beakerboy
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy gold with a sturdy white head of foam. The yeast was strongly stuck to the bottom of the bottle, and a lot of swirling was required to get them in the glass. The aroma is quite sweet and slightly citrusy. There is little orange character to this beer's flavor, but quite a bit of bitterness from the coriander. Mouthfeel is exceptional, enough to remind you that you're not drinking water, but not to overpowering. The carbonation is spot on too. A good beer for the winter or anytime.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Served in a pint glass. White head is minimal (<1/2 finger) but is creamy-rather than foamy. It disappears rather quickly and no lacing is left behind in the glass. Body is an opaque straw yellow. The cloudiness is not uniform-the yeasty cloudiness is thicker in some places than others. Body is beautiful and what I expect in a wit-just wish there was better head retention.

S- Nose is good-but not striking. Light presence of yeast an citrus with an even lighter presence of coriander. Floral hop aromas dominate the nose.

T- Initial flavor is light on citrus and coriander but the highlight is the sweet bready yeast. A big blast of floral hop flavor and bitterness comes through for the finish. What lingers is some floral hop bitterness, a light sweetness from the yeast, and a light sourness from the citrus.

M- Medium carbonation and thick yeasty body. The kick of floral hops for the finish prevent this mouthfeel from being extraordinary-its not as smooth as it really could be.

D- What I like most about this beer is that it is a winter seasonal. That makes it unique for the style. It fills the gap for a nice, light, sessionable, winter brew. Aside from that it doesn't stand out as an exceptional wit-but its still a pretty good one.

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Photo of CreamAleDrinker
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A delicious hefeweizen crossed with belgian yeast, I typically do not like american hefeweizens (perhaps I haven't tried enough) but this one was a pleasant surprise with the scent of clove and banana nut bread, starts off sweet in the mouth with a hint of mild bitterness after swallowing, delicious. What a great twist to use belgian yeast yet not over doing the flavor keeping the delicate balance and mouth-feel that a good hefeweizen should have...

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Photo of berserker256
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A yellowy gold appearance with decent head. Smells like many other wheats I've had. And the taste is very similar also. That smell and taste is bananas and cloves. Somehow the yeast (which was detectable also) creates that flavor. I like it. Good beer. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light yellow with thin white head that fades fast, no lacing. Smells very yeasty, with bread dough and biscuits, honey, and lemon with some spice like coriander. Tastes of sweet wheat mixed with coriander with a nice citrus balance. Medium in body with nice carbonation and a crisp finish. With a good balance and nice fresh sweet wheat flavor, it's a very drinkable beer, not so sure about it being that good for the Winter season though, unless it's supposed to make us believe Spring is right around the corner.

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Photo of sleazo
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a cloudy pale orange-yellow with not much head to speak of nor lace.

S_Very nice aroma here. Orange, coriander and belgian yeasty esters jump out at you.

T_Lighter on the pallate than the nose would have you think. Initial orange sweetness is followed by a mild spiciness where coriander dominates. The finish is fairly dry for the upfront sweetness and gives a vague hop presence. As it warms you get some banana clove phenols as well.

M-Light body, medium carbonation.

D_I am fairly impressed with this one. It is well balanced with the spices and fruit. Surprisingly good for an US witbier, though I have come to expect as much from Bell's. I also like how they buck the trend and release a 4.5%witbier as their winter seasonal.

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Photo of morimech
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served to me in an imperial pint glass. It has a cloudy orange tint with a neat 1/2 inch white head that had a little retention. Very little lacing and no activity after the pour.

The aroma is very yeasty. The Belgian yeast really dominate with a spicy and citrus smell. Very nice.

The taste again is dominated by spices such as cloves and ginger with a bit of citrus thrown in. A nice blend. The body feels light and is not a bit cloying. Very clean finish. A good beer but not a winter one. It is also not one I would make a session out of as the spice would be a little much to me after two.

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Photo of number1bum
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of NEPA BC split #11.

Pours a hazy pale straw yellow color with some bubbles rising to the top. Only about a half inch of white head, which recedes to a thin lace and doesn't leave much stick.

Typical wit smells of soggy wheat, lemon zest, orange peel, and coriander.

Taste has a wheaty body with citrusy lemon flavor and some snappy hop bitterness. Orange peel no doubt contributes to the bitter citrusy flavor as well although it tastes more lemony to me. Some spice, too, but the theme here is that all of the flavors seem to be lacking in robustness. Just not enough flavor. It's pretty dry, too.

Pretty spritzy carbonation in this one, but the mouthfeel is pretty thin overall. Too light in the body. Especially as a winter seasonal, I'd think this would be heftier. It's drinkable enough, but it'd be a boring session beer.

For most brewers this would just be a pretty pedestrian beer, but given that it's from Bell's it's a disappointment. Not a bad brew, but a boring one. Bell's can do so much better.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LittleBreeze for this extra.

Pours a gorgeous peachy haze with decent ghost white head. The nose is of banana and spice, wheats. The taste is very wheaty with good subtle and smooth bananaish flavors with little spice, but its present. Mouthfeel is good, but nothing special. very drinkable and a great session brew. another good one from bells. go bells.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from tangfoot (bonus beer!), poured into tulip.
A- Pours a very cloudy murky papaya color (has the appearance of juice), head is quite minimal and mostly dissipating, no lacing
S- Wheat, yeast, banana, lemony citrus, sweet bubblegum, touch of coriander and spice
T- Delicious bananas and cloves hit first giving the impression of sweet banana bread, then open up to lemon and bubblegum, finishes sweet and tangy
M- Medium-bodied, thick texture, ample carbonation dances on the tongue
D- Pleasantly surprising witbier with a nice amount of flavor and texture, the whole tasting experience is better than the sum of its parts, would love to try this against some other witbiers. . .

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Photo of PhageLab
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Orange coloration that fades to a gold/yellowish blend. Small head, poor retention and lacing.

S - Faint banana aroma, not too much else going on.

T - Not too complex, taste of orange, mild yeasts, a bit dry overall. Not as sweet as I was anticipating, which is why I rated it higher than I normally would a wit.

M - High carbonation level causes a hit here. Other than that, light bodied and dry finishing.

D - Pretty good I guess, better than most in the style I think. If this is your style, however, seek it out. Recommended for fans of the style or of Bell's.

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Photo of bort11
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a wit glass. Not a lot of head and only leaves a thin soapy cap. Color is a bright and hazy straw yellow.

Smell has a mildly lemony aroma, common for wits. Taste is also a mild lemon citrus with a grassy finish.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp at first, but has a bit of soapy after taste. This is very light and sessionable. I don't know. I guess I don't think it's "special" enough to really be a great seasonal, but it could be a fairly descent standard beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into Selin's Grove Brewing goblet on 1/3/08.

A - Poured a very cloudy light orange body with a bit of carbonation and a whispy white head that vanished almost immediately, giving way to a thin ring of film around the rim of the glass. No lacing whatsoever.

S - Classic wheat beer aroma with plenty of clove, yeast, bubblegum and banana. Bit of a spicy aspect as well, and some breadiness as it warmed up.

T - Standard wheat beer flavors with a bith of spicy, yeasty tang. Clove and bubblegum give way to lots of banana at the end with an almost bready finish with a touch of lemon zest.

M - Medium body with very lively carbonation. Chewy texture that leads to a prickly, somewhat gritty finish.

D - Super easy to drink and well-balanced wheat beer. A bit heavy on the carbonation, but very flavorable nonetheless.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, batch 8250

A: Pours a hazy pale yellow/straw under a fizzy small white head that dissipates quickly, with no lace.

S: Coriander and bubble gum up front, with some citrus behind. Eventually gives way to a very nice wheat character.

T: Bubble gum up front, wheat is very apparent, a little yeast, some subtle hints of citrus and a peppery quality in the finish. Very nice taste.

M/D: Nice light body, carbonation is high but seems right for the beer, very crisp and refreshing. At 4.5%, refreshing, really no off qualities aside from a lackluster appearance, this one is highly drinkable and highly reccomended.

Are there better, more complex wits out there? Absolutely. But this one is very very solid. My opinion, stock up near March and enjoy during the summer months as well.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange yellow. No head visible. Nose is a lot of citrus and a yeasty funk. Flavor is very true (in it’s own way) to a witbier. Nice spicy and yeasty tones. Seems a bit too vibrant, but not so much that it kills the whole experience. Standard feel for the mouth with a bit of a lower carbonation. I think this is a very nice witbier. Sure it is American produced, but it could stand up against others from across the pond.

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Photo of kguyty
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/orange color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. The smell is of wheat, yeast, citrus, and spice. The taste was fairly surprising... lots of good wheat and yeast with a little cinnamon and clove flavor mixed in. The mouthfeel is decent, a little thin, but good overall.

This is a pretty darn good beer.

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Photo of littleshamrocks
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with the batch number printed on the back of the label. Served in a pilsner glass.

Pours a pale gold color with about an inch and a half of foamy white head and fairly active carbonation. Head settles quickly and leaves minimal lace. The body of the beer is considerably cloudy. The aroma is of wheat and a cereal-like graininess, along with notes of bubble-gum and fruity esters. Faint alcohol in the nose as well. Much like the smell, the taste is dominated by the wheat and the lightly toasted graininess. The Belgian yeast also adds to the complexity of this brew. This is very refreshing with it's hints of banana and spice. Hop profile is mostly herbal and light. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with just a slightly watery texture and sufficient carbonation. Finishes pretty clean.

This is a fine example of the style. In a style that is all to often represented by beers that are somewhat watered down, this one has a depth of flavor that sets it apart from the pack. It provides a refreshing alternative to the typically heavier beers of winter. I would certainly have another.

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Photo of bboven
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark grapefruit juice body with a thin but creamy head and ok lacing.

Smell is a little yeast but overwhelmingly citrusy to the exclusion of other aromas.

Taste is very citrusy as well. There's a nice nutty aftertaste from the yeast, but so much citrus flavor
Carbonation is full and fluffy. A tiny bit drying, pretty good after the sip.

I would drink this in the summer over even their Oberon, I believe. Light ABV, non-aggressive flavor, just cut the citrus notes and this one would be out of the park.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Extremely hazey dull orange in color with a sizzling white head that quickly fades to nothing. No lace or even a ring. Looks kind of lifeless.

Aroma is pleasant and subtle. It has all the trademark citrus and spice overtones with plenty of yeast. Nice but average.

Flavor is very similar. It's got the orange and lemon, it's got the slick wheaty feel, it's got the spice. It's just nothing stands out at all to set it apart. The finish is a little overhopped for this style IMO. A typical, traditional, American version that is just a bit off the mark, a real rarity coming from this brewer which happens to be one of my favorites.

Body is slick and slippery and just a little too big for a Witte. There are big, loose bubbles when the beer is poured, but the carbonation quickly leaves the beer. My last few gulps were nearly flat. Like any Witte, drinkability is still good. Would be a better Summer release.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Is this an annual brew from Bell's? I hadn't seen it in year's past, but was excited to try it this year.

From the bottle to my barrel pint, this beer appears a cloudy golden blond, with a thin, bubbly white head. Light rings of lace are left in its wake as the beer recedes, but nothing worth writing home about. The nose is light and lemony. Strong citrus and faint malts dominate, with some light spices for effect. The taste is also light and lemony. Stronger spice presence here, with some buttery character as well and more of a hop kick in the finish, but overall this is rather underwhelming. Mouthfeel is unexpected thin and dry.

I am not crazy about this beer. It's a nice change of pace from some of the heavier, over-spiced winter warmers out there, but on the whole it just doesn't do anything to inspire. I might even prefer to drink this beer in the summer, as it would definitely quench a hot summer thirst more than keep me warm in the winter. I like that Bell's is trying new things, but this might be better off being brewed with some wheat and re-packaged as a hefe-weizen. Just a thought.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Cloudy yellow/orange with a slight white head that disappears quickly.

S - Sweet and fruity. Obvious wheat smell.

T - Wheat, sweet, mild spices.

M - Nice light beer. Very balanced and great carbonation.

D - Good beer. Drink up.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: not a lot o’information here. 5.0% abv., and a code: 8210, which let’s me know they don’t want me to know the date.

Aroma: Belgian yeast, fruity; apricot, peach flesh, and wheat.

Appearance: Very murky, looks like a yeast sample, like Live Oak Hefe. Pretty yellow, no real head.

Flavor: Not a classic wit, but definitely Belgian, definitely wheat, little spice, lots of banana.

Mouthfeel: A little thin given the appearance.

Overall Impression: A really tasty brew. The Belgian yeast element is the strongest taste, if you like Belgians, you’ll like this.

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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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