Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
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Ratings: 1,758 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
3.68/5 rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Presentation: According to the code and Fresh Beer Only!, this was bottled August 2nd, 2012, making it seven months and a day old. Not ideal, but at least it’s inside of a year, which is not always the case with a lot of Samuel Smith’s stuff we can find locally. This year’s vintage label (2012-2013) features a rugby match. Into a Sam Smith’s imperial pint.
Appearance: This pours an attractive liquid copper, with a good-sized, loose ivory cap that falls slowly to a thick, persistent film. Great clarity and medium carbonation.
Smell: A lot of the same fruity (apple, in particular) estery (yeast-derived?) notes that I find with most of the Samuel Smith beers, but while they seem a bit out of place in some brews (like the Imperial Stout, for example), here they’re supported by a ghostly hint of alcohol, light yeasty notes, and a mild, toasty malt character. While this isn’t as malt-driven as I’d like it to be (or as the label suggests it is) this really is a nice-smelling beer.
Taste: The flavors largely follow the aromas, though there is a firm hop bitterness that I was not quite expecting from this beer. The bitterness is clean, and feels like (rough guess, I’m bad at this) it’s maybe around 30-35 IBUs. I was hoping for a bit more maltiness in the flavor department, but again it’s the estery apple and yeast notes that lead here, with only light, crackery/biscuit malt flavors and a bit of the pleasant rustic, earthy character I often find in Yorkshire beers. Fruity and smoothly bitter hop flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium-, bordering on full-bodied and smooth
Overall: I think I finally pegged why it is that I’m sort of let down by this beer. It’s simply not, in my mind, a proper English-style winter warmer, or at least not what we in the States consider to be characteristic of this kind of beer. It doesn’t have a rich, deep maltiness, reminiscent of bread, caramel, or toast, it’s not particularly sweet or hoppy bitter, and it’s definitely on the milder side of the flavor spectrum. I was expecting something more in that vein, and perhaps that’s why I was at first disappointed, that and the way that this beer is marketed, as “brewed for the short days and long nights of winter,” with a “luxurious malt character” and “nuances and complexities that should be contemplated before an open fire.” To me, that description sounds like what I personally think of when I think ‘winter warmer’, though that’s not really what we have here. However, if you look at this in terms of what it really is (i.e. a strong, fruity Yorkshire bitter, whose gravity makes it suitable for cold-weather drinking), you may, as I did, see this beer in a very different light. When I think of Winter Welcome in those terms, suddenly the fruity yeast, light malt character, slick smooth mouthfeel, and nice drinkability make this beer seem much more successful than I’d originally thought. In fact, if it was available year-round and I could get ahold of it relatively fresh, I might even pick it up on a semi-regular basis (in the 18.7oz, ‘Victorian pint’ bottles, of course). This is a quintessentially “English” strong bitter, and it’s fairly good. If you’re looking for what we in the States generally think of as a ‘winter warmer’ in the English tradition (toasty, bready, caramelly, strong, likely darker, and maybe with a hint of vinous character or roast) you’ll likely be disappointed.
Overall: (rated as an English Special/Strong Bitter) 85= B
Serving type: bottle
03-04-2013 03:11:42 | More by BedetheVenerable
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale brewed by Samuel Smith Old Brewery with an ABV of 6.0% this brew pours out a nice golden amber color with a nice white, head. This is a filtered brew; you can see right thought it. The smell is rich with grains and some bitterness. Not much else to say out the smell of this brew. As far as the taste it is nice a crisp, but smooth at the end. You pick up on the grains in this brew. Winter Welcome Ale has a nice balance to it ,there is nothing overpowering in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice and clean. Samuel Smith old Brewery did a nice job with this brew. overall I'm giving this brew a 4 out 5. I would get this brew again.
Serving type: bottle
07-28-2014 03:29:39 | More by nicholas2121
3.75/5 rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster). Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this has got a three finger head, adequate lacing, and a clear, medium light brown body.
I smell malt galore, some type of nut aroma,maybe even a dash of butter. This needs to fuller for a 4. But its a pleasant shift for Christmas in July.
I taste the same characteristics as I did with the smell. Sweeter caramel-y vibe going on here, too. Rich and full. This does a great job of reminding of the frosty months ahead here in Ohio. I kind of wish this was slightly more profound here too.
Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. Only a slight lingering element here that lasts only a minute or so. But hey, this is a savory winter brew; so its not gonna be very crisp.
Overall a very good 3.75 for Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster). This would've gotten a higher score if if it were at least just a BIT fuller. I will buy this again
Serving type: bottle
07-18-2014 03:06:18 | More by Caveworm
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,758 ratings.