Monday, December 15, 2014

Bell's Winter White Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1240) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2014
I tend to associate the witbier style with the warmer months, but I’ve noticed a lot of breweries offering witbiers as winter seasonals (mostly as play on the white=snow metaphor). Bell’s Winter White Ale isn’t particularly wintery nor Christmasy, but it works as a traditional, to-spec witbier and I enjoy it as such.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 11/6/14 and cost $2.65 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale orange hue over a mostly cloudy body. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of orange and banana – almost like an Orange Julius.

Taste: As soon as it hits my lips I’m immediately brought back to summer, as this has the classic Belgian yeast esters of banana and citrus. I assume there’s orangepeel and coriander in the brew in addition to the wheat and pale malt used as the base malt. Orange seems to be the predominate flavor – it’s sweet, almost candy-like in flavor, but not tart. The spicy character is light, but complementary and its noticeable from beginning to end. I even detect some distinct bitterness – slightly dry and a hint citrusy. Overall, it’s a fine, enjoyable palette.

Drinkability: Bell’s Winter White Ale is a beer I’d rather drink this in summer than winter. The mouthfeel is thin, crisp, but not overly carbonated. It’s refreshing for sure and finishes clean. At only 5% ABV it’s not surprising it doesn’t have a lot of body, though it’s quite tempting to session this (if you live in Florida). 
Grade: 8/10

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