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
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
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).