While some breweries use the holiday season as an excuse to release heavily spiced or cloying sweet beers, Bell’s deviates from this track with its Winter White Ale. Styled as a Belgian-yeast fermented witbier, Winter White pours cloudy and straw-colored before being capped by snowy head.
The yeast imparts the strongest aspect to this beer as the banana and distinct grape bubblegum are at the forefront of the aroma and taste. There is a surprisingly potent wheat characteristic to this as well that complement the bready malts. In the finish, lemon zest and cloves battle it out and for all intents and purposes it ends up as a draw. Although it is a little spicy, despite what Bell’s set out to do with this beer, the style inherently comes with some bite, so it gets a pass on that front.
A more phenolic take on the style, this isn’t going to blow any minds, but it’s definitely solid. I’m not sure how I’d feel drinking this in the dead of winter, especially given how light-bodied, crisp, and dry it is on the palate, as I seem to enjoy these beers more in the warmer months, but this serves as a nice alternative for those who can’t stand the cinnamon- and nutmeg-laced styles during the winter.
B / $2.50 per 12 oz. bottle / bellsbeer.com