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:
2,201
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: 2,201
Photo of Pete9094
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty straightforward witbier. Hats off to Bells for going against the grain in the winter with this seasonal. It's a nice change of pace in a time of pumpkin ales and spice bombs.

 181 characters

Photo of adammills
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured a slight golden yellow with a smallish finely bubbled head. Little to no aroma, maybe a very faint biscuit, not sweet at all, no esters. I tastes creamy with no hop taste of aroma. The flavor is very bland, a shocking lack of complexity from what I expect from Bells. Finishes very smooth, very drinkable, and very much lacking in flavor.

 348 characters

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.

 926 characters

Photo of bozebus17
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy BA cosmosys for bringing this by for me to try out.

Poured a very cloudy yellow/orange. There is a nice bright white head that doesn't hang around for long.

The smell is full of wheat and yeasty esters. I thought the nose on this one was a bit peppery.

The taste is full of wheat with its distinct sweetness. This is well balanced. Spice comes through with definite coriander. The orange peel is quite subdued. It is light on the palate and finishes clean.

This isn't a style I would usually seek out on my own. Hefes turned me off of wheat beers in my earlier craft days but I later realized it was the banana/clove I didn't care for. Now I'm not afraid of wheat and I must say I found this beer to be pretty good. It was crisp and refreshing. It seems like kind of an odd choice for a winter seasonal, spring would probably be more appropriate.

 873 characters

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

Poured with literally no head. The pour was an unfiltered orange-yellow typical of a witbier and I was instantly hit by a citrus aroma. Upon the first taste, it became apparent this had little carbonation, though it had a very good citrus and subtle spice flavor. Malty, clean finish. Very drinkable and refreshing.

 315 characters

Photo of VTR
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

I had beer at my local taproom. A/cloudy yellow glass was brought to me in a standard pint glass. S/I didn't pick up too much here, just a touch of yeast and hops. T/Not much going on here. I got a small amount of hops, banana, and yeast. O/ Light easy drinking beer. Not very complex but very enjoyable and non offensive. I found that the remainder of my glass went very well with the pizza that was brought to me. I would pick this up for a lazy afternoon where you just want something light.

 498 characters

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

This Sunday afternoon the D train pulls into Kalamazoo Michigan to try Bells Winter White Ale. Poured this witbier into a Sierra Nevada Imperial pint glass. Attractive light golden orange color with head that dissolves quickly. Notes of corriander, oranges, and lemon in the nose. Light bodied feel with nice blend of yeast, orange, lemon, and a hint of spice at the end.

This is definitely not like most other "winter brews." Although I desired a bit more taste, Winter White Ale is crisp, refreshing, and has year-round drinkability.

 536 characters

Photo of dananabanana
2.43/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Hazy yellow color, no head. A little bit of white foam. No lacing.

S: Lemony, wheaty.

T: Wheat, a hint of lemon. Slightly metallic. Not at all complex.

M: Very bubbly, over carbonated.

D: Just not flavorful enough to be worth finishing. I suppose it might be good to wash down a spicy chilli in the winter, but that's about it.

 334 characters

Photo of stouty1
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all I did not know that they would pour this into a Frosty Mug. Whoops! It was so cold there was no head or nose. I waited awhile and things warmed up a bit...

Smell got better with a move to orange spice. Taste was definitely worth the wait, but not very over powering. But, I am wondering if the deep freeze chilled things down too much? A good Bell's version of a Wit beer, but definitely not of German comparison. I could definitely sit back and drink a couple more of these.

 491 characters

Photo of RyanPoff
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy "sunshine gold"with a bubbly white, quickly dissipating head. Little retention.

S: Clove, grains, lemon, orange peel, a strong zesty fruit aroma. A classic light wheat smell.

T: The spices and wheat predominate. It's fresh, fizzy, fun. An easy drinker.

M: Bubbly, light.

It hits the marks for a light witbier, but why is this a winter release? It's the perfect drink in the yard after mowing beer.

 436 characters

Photo of Jaynuze
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful cloudy/oily orange with a thick white head that leaves a beautiful Belgian lace behind.

The nose was a bit weak, but then again it is a Belgian White, so not much of a nose was expected. All the usual suspects were there, banana, bubblegum, banana nut bread, etc.

This beer tastes great! A wonderful tip of the hat to the Belgians. Not much of a winter style (spices), then again the corriander does lend a nice zip to the beer!

Carbonation is really nice with this one ... the MF is very thick and bready, yet light. Finishes really smoothly.

Very easy to drink. Thank goodness I only had one from a friend ... otherwise I could have easily plowed through a twelver on my own. It's that tasty. Thank you Mr. Larry Bell!

 750 characters

Photo of ljbrisson
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy straw yellow into a pint glass with a sudsy white head that quickly frothed to a negligible film and left no lacing. Aroma is sour, with orange, spice, coriander, a little clove. Mouthfeel is a little slippery and very spiny with carbonation. Taste is banana, lemon, no tartness from the aroma, slightly grassy, finishing with an odd dry hop bite. Drinkability is moderate due to what is in my opinion a slightly unbalanced hop bitterness. Overall this is an ok beer, nothing more, nothing less.

 509 characters

Photo of jj21
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:Deep, hazy gold. Very little head.

S:Not much here. Much in part due to the lack of head.

T:Bland. Some wheat presence with orange and coriander.

M:Creamy texture

D:Easy drinker. Tart on the tongue

A disappointment to me. True to the style but nothing special here.

 282 characters

Photo of clint1019
2.97/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - straw colored with a thin head that dissapated with in a minute.

S - Has a fairly strong wheaty/bready aroma with a spicyness and slight hop aroma.

T - Definately taste the wheatyness and the coriander. Not much else though. Also, has some bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M - Light to medium bodied.

O - Wasn't overly impressed with this beer. Had an ok taste, but I've had much better witbier's than this.

 420 characters

Photo of NeedBeerHere
4.76/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out dark orange that is semi-transcelucent. Defintely can't see through it though. The head was pretty tiny and had no retention. Smells pretty malty, pretty sweet, with no hint of hops. Taste is quite sweet and tastes like Belgian yeast -- the banana/clove yeast. Really it tastes nice for a Wit. Pretty nice. Mouthfeel is medium thick with some nice carbonation. Overall this is a really nice whit, Tastes just like I would want it too. I am a sucker for a whit!!!! Overall this is a GREAT whit. Seems to be under-rated.

 529 characters

Photo of singletary
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a cloudy yellow with a nice head that dissipated fast. Aroma is of yeast and also the taste. I did not pick up on any other flavors. Mouthful is light but not watery. Overall a nice beer but there are other wheat beers better than this.

 246 characters

Photo of OatherS
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice label of a snowy scene through woods. I hope the beer is as good as the label.

A: NIce one finger head after the yeast is poured in. Good cloudy yellow color.

S: mild yeast and coriander overtones.

T: Very good wit beer. Perhaps the best I have had.

M: Smooth.

D: Very drinkable, unfortunately part of a mix a six.

 339 characters

Photo of dren
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin head. Smells of orange, with some cloves and spice. Tastes just about the same. Well ballanced beer that finished a little dry. Would rank higher if the beer wasn't as dry at the end. This has been one of the better beers I have tried in a long time. The way Blue Moon should taste. All around great beer. I just wish it wasn't seasonal. One of Bell's best.

 397 characters

Photo of larsee01
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into hoegaarden glass

A--Cloudy, a shade lighter than dried apricot. Lots of carbonation with little head.

S--Typical witbier scent. Not too strong. Sweet, tempered with mild metal/mineral. Spicy clove and sweet bread.

T--mild/moderate hop bitter moves ahead of initial sweetness. Mild and bready overall without too much spice.

M--Crisp and a bit dry--high carbonation and mildly surprising hoppiness playing a role?

D--Typical I suppose.

 464 characters

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

Pours a very bizarre, hazy, milky yellow. very small head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is that of citrus, and something of a cross between a belgian yeast smell, and a heff-weizen smell. a bit of bread as well.

Taste is all wheat flavour, which take a while to get up to full flavour in your mouth. Has a tart kind of snap to it, very much like a grapefruit and lemon. i almost wonder if there is lemon juice in this beer. aftertaste starts off sweet, but then turns citric tart. the more i drink it, the more this sour off taste of lemons-gone-bad comes out. i've noticed that once the beer warms up a lot, the off flavour turns inot more of a creamy lemonade thing, which is actually quite tasty.

mouthfeel is fine, but i'm still stuck on this weird taste. drinkability i fear is going to be low, as this aftertaste is getting to me.

I do not especially care for oberon, and thought this would be entirely too simliar for me to bother with. I gave it a go, it's nothing like oberon. at first i thought it was worse, but now i think it is a bit more flavourful, and I guess a good way to do a wit for the winter. an alright beer, worth trying if you haven't.

 1,174 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

Photo of HeightsEats
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was quite similar to Great Lakes Holy Moses. There were spicy notes in both the flavor and aroma with elements of coriander, orange and wheat. This is surprisingly drinkable for a winter white ale with moderate alcohol and a very clean flavor and finish. This would probably taste good at any time of the year.

 315 characters

Photo of crisis1290
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big fan of the entire Bells line. If you get a chance to check out the Bells products, do so ! This is a nice crisp clean taste. .Pretty standard wheat flavors .Golden color, in a frosted mug !
Nice carbonation. First sip brings a nice citrus flavor and something else. A super easy drinking beverage for sure ! I would reorder with out question.

 348 characters

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my trusty Troeg's standard pint. Pours a hazy straw color with a small head and some residual lacing.

Smell is subdued, nothing overwhelming. Some malt and a hint of spice.

Taste pretty much follows the smell - a bit of citrus and spice. very light.

Mouthfeel is a little thin - not quite watery, but close.

Drinkability is virtually at your personal limit - this would be a much better summer release at this ABV and in this style.

 466 characters

Photo of Larrytown
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head faded pretty quickly on mine even after a vigorous pour and not much lacing stuck around. Weird. Anyhow, we've got a golden-orange color with loads of fruit and spice in the nose.

The taste is exactly what a wit should be. Some banana and an extra kick of spice. It really goes down easily. I have no clue why this is categorized as a winter beer (maybe the extra spiciness?) but it's perfectly suited to sitting outside on a nice day. I guess that makes it a pretty flexible beer. Another winner from Bell's.

 519 characters

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