Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

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2,021 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,021
Reviews: 1,115
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 34
Gots: 143 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,021 | Reviews: 1,115
Reviews by hustlesworth:
Photo of hustlesworth
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-07 vintage gold foil topped clear bottles have been cellared at the bier depot for almost a year. i'll drink 2 and save 1 to compare with the 07-08, and 1 with 08-09. i love sam smith's decorative bottles and everything that is associated with tadcaster brewery. "blessing of your heart, you brew good ale."

A- foam jumps out of the bottle when u crack it. poured in a pint glass the brew looks just like the drawing on the bottle. niiiice. clear honey amber in color with 1 1/2in fluffy somewhat loose cloud-like soapy head that leaves lots of wispy lace behind.

S- buttery sweet over ripened fruit, fortified wine, sweet red wood, and strawberry flavored cream cheese.

T- up front well water and butterscotch! malty caramel and toffee backed by mellow holiday fruit (date fig cranberry minus the tartness) balanced malt sweetness and floral herbal hops, sweet corn, grain, and a slight grassiness with more pronounced floral hops and a satisfying metallic mineral well water aftertaste.

MF- juicy and syrupy would be PERFECT with thanksgiving dinner. hrmm i wonder why. medium high carbonation softens the consistency into a refreshingly smooth crisp ale that does in fact warm the body despite it's modest ABV.

D- this beer smells and tastes like an fact if it were, it would be the best oktoberfest i'd ever had. its similarities frustrate me because no oktoberfest or marzen i've had is as well balanced as this ale. happy holidays mothafucka. highly drinkable.

07-08 - foam is dense and chunkier, color appears a darker copper amber. in the magic hue separator its red amber on top and golden brown in the bottom. amell is slightly fruitier with sweet & sour spiced bread, cider, ripe apples, berries, and marsala wine.
taste is much sharper and more bracing, hops are more present and floral fresh, complementing the toasty sweet malt. herbal dry finish and a velvety mouthfeel. 3.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%

Type: 550-ml (18.6 oz.) bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: Nov. 24, 2014
Consumed: Nov. 30, 2014
Misc.: Silver foil on head and neck of bottle

Poured a caramel, amber, clear color with two fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. A good amount of streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Average amount of retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled boozy caramel malts up front, which gave way to plum, dates, roasty malts, toasty nuts, earthy rye hops, and more sugary caramel. Booziness reminded me of Wild Turkey. (Smell - 3.38)

Tasted sugary caramel malts once again. Not as boozy as the nose. Also roasty malts, toasty nuts, raisins, dates, grainy rye malts, toast and slight rye whiskey. (Taste - 3.38)

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, boozy, malty finish. (Feel - 3.38)

Nothing too special about this beer. I wouldn’t have it again. (Overall - 3.38)

3.40 | 78 | B-

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold to amber color with a light almost non existant head,arom is malty and a little spicey-sweet.Taste is a little complex malty and and slightly sweet with some biscuity flavors rounding this out.A slight skunk taste and aroma but I am quite sure it was from the bottle.This was the 2001-2002 offering.

Photo of Popsinc
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It poured a nice clear amber/orange with a nice light head. The nose was dull with very mild fuity hints and minimal hoppiness. To be quite honest i was very disappointed with the taste...after all, Sam Smith's Oatmeal is world class and the Pale Ale is good....but this one left me wanting alot more.

A light a creamy mouthfeel with some sweet, fruitiness. Nuff said.

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very clear and thin-looking brown with a nice big head that laced the glass.

Smell – Nice, toasted malt aroma with a lot of sweets. I can pick up mostly molasses and dark sugars.

Taste – A little grainier than I had hoped, but otherwise it is not bad. The sweetness backs up a bit but is still present.

Mouthfeel – Thin in the mouth, which was disappointing for a winter ale. The brown sugar syrup almost films the teeth, though. There’s also a refreshing dryness to this one.

Drinkability – It’s drinkable, but if I’m in the mood for a seasonal winter ales I can find lots better.

Update – I originally had this in 2003 so thought I’d give the ’05 a review. I enjoyed it a little more this year, which may just mean that my palate has changed a bit. I still think it’s thin but will raise some of the other scores up a bit.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AROMA- light toffee, fresh grain, lightly tasted, dried golden raisin, - all light and subtle, moderate acetylaldehyde, very low D, medium-low floral hop

FLAVoR- medium intenity smooth and lush light caramel sweetness dominates, medium-high spicy/floral/fruity hop presence, medium-low black currant and yellow raisin character, maybe some white grape, acetylaldehyde is moderate, light smack of buttered toast in the finish, no lingering bitterness.

Mothfeel- full-bodied, creamy, medium-low carbonation, no noticeable alcohol,

APPEARANCE- new penny copper, extremely clear, low white head

OVERALL- never got the whole winter angle, not exceptionally warming, just a super-solid UK ESB that goes down smooth

Photo of withliterature
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful burnt amber color, perfectly clear, with a very thick cream-colored head. Gorgeous.

S: Malt with some raisin/currant scents.

M: Dense but not syrupy. Pleasant level of carbonation. Doesn't coat the mouth.

T: Some spiciness in the flavor that I couldn't smell; beautiful malty flavor with some clove, pumpkin, currant, Christmas-y tastes. No discernible hoppiness. Like the previous poster mentioned, flavor got better as the beer reached room temp. My next one will sit out of the fridge for a bit before I pour it. The aftertaste is nice. Not a sweet beer.

O: This is a great cold-weather beer. Very enjoyable. I think I'll be buying it again in December. I can't imagine drinking this with food, it feels like an after-dinner beer. I can't see drinking two in a row, but it would fit in well with some other English ales.

Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled the 2006-07 version. Sampled & reveiwed on 1/19/07:

Ap: Hard pour raises two fingers of rocky head. Good carbonation. Copper color sparkles in the light.

Ar: Sweet malt prevalent. Some raisins, dates & plums. No hop profile noted. Buttered caramel toast.

Ta: Sweet malt dominates the flavor as in the aroma. Caramel, toasty flavor. Biscuity. Slight bitterness in the finish nicely balances the sweetness. A bit sweet towards the end of the bottle.

Mo: Medium bodied. Very clean on the palette. No real lingering aftertaste. Carbonation leaves mouth tingling.

Dr: Easy drinking. Smooth & clean. No overbearing flavors to detract its drinkability.

Comments: Very tasty Winter Warmer. Not overdone with spices as in most WW. Almost an Old Ale but not as high ABV as most Old Ales. Good flavor & well balanced. Again, a bit sweet after a full bottle, but a smaller portion would be perfect.

Photo of Dmann
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had good luck with SS beers in the past so I thought I'd give this one a try. It poured a nice amber color with a small head that faded quicky and did not leave much in the way of lace. The smell was a little skunky with grassy and herbal scents comming through as well. The taste was skunky up front, then a really sweet flavor came through that took me by supprise and stayed there even in the aftertaste. Maybe I got a skunked bottle, so I will give this one another try sometime.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is quite an aromatic beer. The scent exploded out of the bottle as I poured. I'm not really sure how to describe the smell. It's reminding me of a stinky cheap macro lager. Not good. Perhaps I got a skunked bottle?

The appearance is great - a deep amber with a small but frothy head.

Taste is very good. Malty, of course. There's a good bit of citrusy sweetness in there as well. The mouthfeel has a little bit of creaminess to it, which is a pleasant suprise.

In 2004, I was lucky enough to get a half-price case ($30) of S.S.'s Winter Welcome. It was the first time I had ever tried the beer, and I enjoyed it immensely. I'd love to be able to get that deal again!

Photo of markmo
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 year old. I like others of this style better.

Photo of Todd
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

550ml clear glass bottle. 2002-2003 edition.

This ale started off with a rich, bright amber colour ... topped with an impressive two-finger, pure white foam head; creamy consistency with plenty of retention and touch of stick.

Aroma is that of a typical English ale: toasty malts, herbal hops (a touch of coarseness) and that mineral foundation; a bit metallic. This brew's bouquet is quite soft and pleasant.

Malty flavour; toasted malts, touch of caramel. Sharp-ish hop character offsets the malts with a thin edge of citric bitterness, coarse feel, cheesy flavour in the background and a hoppy spice array of flavours helps to round things off while getting lifted into the mouthfeel by the beer's tight and lively carbonation. Notes of yeast throughout. Bone-dry finish with traces of hop flavour.

I've always had a soft spot for Samuel Smith's beers. They were probably one of my first introductions into English ales back in the mid-80's. The Winter Welcome is not only the quintessential winter warmer beer, but it's an old classic and favourite of mine. However, its dryness does get on my nerves after one, making this less drinkable in my opinion, less "wanting of another." A touch sweeter and OBT might have a grand winter session ale in their arsenal of beers.

Photo of Beaver13
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Winter Welcome Ale poured copper with lots off lively carbonation that resulted in a thick white head that was fairly creamy and retained well. The aroma was kind of piney, bready, alcoholic smell with some metallic and skunky tones. The taste was sweet, bready malts initially with a hoppy finish. A very smooth drinking beer but not nearly as much flavor as I would expect from a winter brew.

Photo of babyhobbes
2.39/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured with a huge off white head. Brew is amber colored and looks good. Scent was horrible at first..thought we got some weird macro! Oddly enough, the smell is mellowing out over time..but still isn't particularly pleasant.

The is a rather disappointing beer. There isn't much taste and the mouthfeel is like any other macro.

I am going to have trouble finishing this.

Photo of Jason
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 18.7 oz clear bottle that has gold foil on top and raised glass below the neck, no freshness though on the label it has the years for the 2002-2003 winter season.

Appearance: A small-bubbled two fingered lace lies on top of a copper hued brew. Decent clarity with a better than ok head retention.

Smell: Faded butterscotch, fruity esters and a honey/caramel like malt sweetness. Hop aroma grassy with a light oily pungency.

Taste: Smooth as much as it is crisp with in the pleasant mouth feel. Malty palate with a medium body and level carbonation. Bready malt flavours ride on top with hints of caramel and grain. Candied fruit with some buttery diacetyl and light alcoholic esters to boot. Hop bitterness is perfect and balances very well and does not intrude with excessive hop flavour at all. A little dry in the finish with a touch of butterscotch and a slow warming feeling from the alcohol that has a mild peppery flavour.

Notes: A cast and mold for a lot of the US breweries to build from in the past. Now it seems middle of the road in comparison to what is in the American market now.

Photo of merlin48
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml clear bottle with the really nice label. Pours an almost clear golden amber with plenty of off-white head. Nose seems more spices than malt. Mouthfeel is adequately carbonated with a tang on the tongue. I like the taste, but it's difficult to describe. Nothing at all like any Sam Smith I've ever had. Sweet malts dominate, caramel with a spice background seem to provide most of the taste, with a dry hop finish. Fruits are in the picture as well, but this brew is a puzzler for me to describe, to be honest.

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006-2007 version, 550 Mil bottle. Pours semi cloudy, lighter, dull orangy amber. Darker tan head, showing moderate retention, and leaving slippery spotty lace, upon a moderate swirl. Toasted whole wheat on the nose. Easy drinking middle of the road ale. Nice caramel sweet malt note in the finish. Nothing really stands out here, balance is what is going. I'm not a huge fan of balance. But this classic British brew from an all time all star brewery. Worthy sessioner.

Photo of tigg924
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: one inch head, clear, orange-brown in color

Smell: caramel, chocolate, alcohol

Taste: big caramel, small chocolate, dark fruit, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with ever so slight bitterness in the back

Drinkability: A very malty and English tasting beer. Not as spicy as others in the style. I could have a couple on a toasty night.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wouldv'e bought this beer anyways, but I've got to say I was really drawn to the bottle design. Looks like an old Christmas fair poster.

Pours a very clear amber, with a bit of visible carbonation. About an inch of thick, white head, recedes into a thin layer. Some flecks of lacing.

The nose isn't too prominent; I only pick up slight notes of apple, light malts, maybe a bit of orange peel.

This brew grew on me as it warmed up a bit. Starts off with lighter malts, with a bit of spiciness near the middle (nutmeg, cinnamon), but it's only slight. Every so often I get a touch of clove as well. Finishes tart and slightly dry, a bit of hop bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark; medium carbonation, body is a bit on the thinner side.

Not a bad little brew, but it didn't really wow me. Highly drinkable, though; the light entry and the tart finish were quite refreshing, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Photo of Byeast
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear copper color , with a small white lace that remains as a ring.

Smell: some cake like malt , hint of raininbread , hint of alcohol , and very faint spice.

Taste: the malt has a mildly floral/ fruity taste at first , some fruitcake / bready maltiness , light caramel , hint of buttery diacetyl , balancing hop bitterness , and dry grain in the finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly carbonated

Drinkability: A good winter welcome brew to be had every winter season. Nice wintry feel , not quite sweet enough to make me want more than a couple.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Clear 12oz. bottle. Very busy purple label. $2.79 as a single as Carytown W&B.

Appearance: For some reason, I expected a "Winter Warmer"-type beer to have more...pizazz coming out of the bottle. I was rather disappointed by the clear golden color. Briskly bubbling head is quickly tamed and sits idly atop beer.

Smell: Not a very "busy" beer. Just a little bit of earth and spice.

Taste: I'm surprised this is considered a barley wine / strong ale. The flavor is on the thin side. There is a mixture of the earthy-flavored hops, the spice, and some sweetness in the background. Virtually no warming from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Again, rather thin. There is a bitter component that also sprouts up in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very dry finish with some bitterness thrown in as well.

Photo of jakester
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a gift from a friend. 2005-2006 model. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours (from a clear glass bottle) a very clear copper with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head falls to islands and a ring, with decent lacing. Carbonation looks low.

Aroma is sweet caramel-y malt and some nice spicy hops. This beer smells pretty good. As it warms, however, I can pick up some DMS, which seems odd in this type of beer.

Flavor is fairly sweet bready caramel, with a definitely there spicy hop taste. Hop bitterness is low, allowing the malt to shine in this one. This is well balanced and designed. Aftertaste is caramely, with a detectable level of DMS as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn smooth and creamy, with a gentle carbonation bite on the tongue. Residual sugar is fairly high, drying out slightly in the finish.

Overall, a pretty damn good beer. I know guys who drink this exclusively while it lasts, buying all they can get. The caramel malt is the main profile, but there is a spicy hop character there as well. Recommended.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear orangish-gold with off-white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Caramel, bread, tea, slightly sour, and English hop spiciness.

Taste: Malty, with notes of bread, caramel, tea, dark fruit and sour mash. Ends with a slight spicy, citrusy and metallic bitterness. The metal taste seems to build some, which is a slight distraction.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation, medium body, pretty dry finish.

Drinkability: This Old Ale/Winter Warmer seems like a bigger, slightly sour, version of a bitter. Very nice drinkability despite the metallic aftertaste. A classic.

Photo of magictrokini
2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Neat-o, I get to drink a beer out of a clear glass bottle. All good beers do well in the light. Christ. Clear orange with a solid white head. Musty aroma of caramel malt and floral hops. More toffee, caramel, and a fuggel-like bitterness. Then there is the strange, salty, veggie finish... seaweed. Come on guys, this is just bad.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in a 12oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass. Nice reddish color with a small head that dissipated very quickly. Earthy aroma and a malty finish. Very little hops and a nice warming level of alcohol. Overall it was a decent session ale (although slightly strong) and was super cheap ($.85/bottle) so I can't complain too much.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 2,021 ratings.