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

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,755 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,755
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 46 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001)
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Ratings: 1,755 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

1.4/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

2005-2006 release.

A - Pours an attractive mahogany with a one finger head that dissipates quickly and leaves only spotty lacing behind. Color good, head bad.

S - This smells like Budweiser. Stale, musty grain. I am sorry to say it, but this is a very foul smelling beer. I'd expect more from such a reputable brewery.

T - The flavor is dominated by that musty grain from the smell. There is a bitterness, not a hop-like or coffee-like bitterness though, it is very unpleasant. After it warms a bit, there is a stomach acid like flavor. There is a slight sweetness underneath, but it is overshadowed by the bitterness and musty grain.

M - Medium viscosity, very drying, leaves a film in my mouth.

D - Not good at all. Once I get past the smell, the terrible flavor and the ascerbic bitterness, I am left with a dessicated mouth with a bad aftertaste. The only thing I can think of doing that is worse than letting that aftertaste sit in my mouth is taking another sip. This is one of the worst beers that I have ever had. BMC me over this one.

I am guessing this might have been skunked from the other reviews. The clear bottle likely. Although I have never taken it outside in the day. Even if skunked, this beer should not have scored this low if it was good in the first place. I strongly suggest that Samuel Smith's put this in a brown or opaque bottle. I will not try it again and my review stands (since I definitely didn't skunk it) until they do. I shall assume this is simply a poor quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 05:56:23 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of mctizzz


1.75/5  rDev -52.3%

11-23-2011 15:39:51 | More by mctizzz
Photo of thlayli87

New Jersey

1.75/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a medium brown with a small head that dissipates very quickly. Bittersweet aroma that I can't place. Overwhelming bitter flavor. Not the pleasant hoppy bitterness of a well- crafted ale, this is unpleasant and somewhat medicinal taste reminiscent of Silly Putty. Mouthfeel is thin and watery and the carbonation doesn't last-the beer goes flat rather quickly. I am disappointed in this one, as I'd heard good things about it. Really don't care for this. Drank about half and had to drainpour the rest. Won't be getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 01:29:08 | More by thlayli87
Photo of ScarletLady


1.8/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Shared the bottle with a friend. Nice light amber color, looks good. Tasted as bad as it smelled. overwhelming odor of vinegar. Decent thickness but the more I sipped the more the vinegar taste built up in my mouth. I could not drink it. Maybe I just got a bad bottle. Is 'blech' an acceptable review word?

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 18:17:55 | More by ScarletLady
Photo of BGsWo22

New York

2/5  rDev -45.5%

03-21-2013 00:22:58 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of lisahope27


2/5  rDev -45.5%

12-06-2012 00:47:56 | More by lisahope27
Photo of granger10


2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I must have gotten a skunked bottle. I heard this doesn't happen with Sam Smith's but I'd hope that this bottle wasn't their true beer. Even though it was skunked it still seemed better than macro lights! But I couldn't finish this. I don't know if I'm supposed to review skunked brews but I wanted to let it be known that I got a Sam Smith's brew that was skunked. I'm going to get this again and re-review it sometime.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2003 11:29:31 | More by granger10
Photo of Jemenhiser


2/5  rDev -45.5%

07-25-2012 00:06:26 | More by Jemenhiser
Photo of jwat


2/5  rDev -45.5%

05-31-2012 21:18:29 | More by jwat
Photo of kvnstfrd


2/5  rDev -45.5%

05-23-2013 04:26:37 | More by kvnstfrd
Photo of hoppyboy69


2/5  rDev -45.5%

09-24-2013 04:04:00 | More by hoppyboy69
Photo of davetharave


2.03/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.75

Color, a lovely brick-amber shade. Very attractive in the glass. Unappealing vegetative smell with faint malt and hops and other aromas not usually associated with beer.

Taste is a very confusing amalgam of conflicting flavors, extremely hard to pin down, some malt but nothing like the delicate biscuity taste of prior years. After a few seconds in the mouth a plastic-like flavor dominates. The beer tastes spoiled and chemical-like. Simply not enjoyable; considering how good this beer has been in past years, a huge disappointment.

This year's version of this Winter ale is the fermented beverage equivalent of a stocking full of coal. I hunt for this beer in stores into March and April trying to locate every last bottle but not this year. I don't know what Sam Smith did but I sure hope they fix it for next year's batch.

(I drank several bottles and they were all the same so this is not a one-off 'bad bottle' experience)

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 23:07:48 | More by davetharave
Photo of Shultzerdugen


2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've had this beer before, the 1996-96?, maybe and it was substantially better.
Unfortunately, the bottle we tried seemed oxidized, and light struck.

Appearance: Amber, walking the line between copper and straw with a white two finger head.
Smell: Skunky! Underneath some biscuit and floral undertones.
Taste: Skunky, in fact overwhelmingly so.
Mthfl: Still has good CO2, slick and smooth.
Drinkability: Obviously I didn't want to go on with any more.

This is a good beer, and I thought SS used something in their clear bottles to prevent oxidation and problems with light. I'll try it again next year and hopefully have better luck.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 14:09:07 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of kevinjosephlee


2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A hazy, pumpkin orange with a rich, off-white head with moderate retention and some lacing.

S: A malty, bready aroma, with some alcohol and no hops in the nose.

T: Strong malty flavor and some sweetness that is nicely balanced with some hops biterness.

M: The body on this is much lighter than anticipated, but the bitterness remains in the aftertaste. A dryness as well. There is also a sort of saltiness and astringency.

Notes: I am not very impressed with this offering. My friends have raved about Sam Smiths, but this was not the greatest.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 21:36:53 | More by kevinjosephlee
Photo of IntriqKen


2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2006 - 2007 edition. Tasted fresh! October, 2006
Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger head that melts to fine respectable lacing.
Aroma is again, unimpressive for a winter warmer...toasted malt and little else.
Taste is much like the aroma....toasted malt....sweetness...light hop drying on the end. More is needed from a winter warmer.
Aftertaste is clean, but just clean. Light toasted malt...nothiing else.
I enjoy Winter brews and look forward to them. This is merely an English Amber. Good as an English Amber..totally uninspired as a Winter Warmer.
A number of reviewers have said they thought they got a bad bottle which is why I picked up a fresh one this year to re-review it.
Nope....they aren't skunked...they just aren't that good.
Good English Ale? Yeah...quite possibly. But scored to style....very poor.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 03:21:08 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of BeerBelcher


2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I didn’t care for this. This beer had a grainy aroma and a malted milk-ball flavor, of which I am not a fan.

Appearance was a clear and brilliant tan/copper color. Aroma was very grainy and cereal-y. Flavor was very much like a malted milk ball, which I really didn’t like. Mouthfeel was relatively smooth, but if you don’t like the way something tastes, does it really matter?

I would not recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2007 22:21:07 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Naerhu


2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Copper color with off-white head poured from a clear bottle.
Smell: Skunky aroma
Taste: Oddly bitter, with crunchy barley. Slightly sweet. No butterscotch, caramel, toffee or pretty much any other pleasant flavor.
Mouthfeel: Agressively carbonated with a medium body.
Drinkability: This ale is obviously skunked, likely a result of its coming in a clear bottle. I did not bother finishing the bottle. Think I am giving up on Sam Smith until the quit their clear bottle marketing.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 00:04:32 | More by Naerhu
Photo of JDV


2.25/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours copper and clear. Smell is metallic and skunky malt. Tart malt flavor, with no noticeable wintry spices. Sweaty, musty lager like flavor. Slightly creamy and full body for the style, but not impressive overall. Drinkable, but too musty, doughy and stagnant flavored to be enjoyable for me. Somewhat poor example of a style I'm not particularly fond of.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 20:05:43 | More by JDV
Photo of spense727

North Carolina

2.28/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Freakishly clear with a color similar to hangover piss=
Smell - Smells reminiscent of maltier, roastier Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Taste - Taste is incredibly mild. Not much there, Slightly malty and is a letdown from the smell. Metallic in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel - Very easy to drink. Extremely light in the mouth.
Overall - Ugh. Not worthy of another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 01:20:15 | More by spense727
Photo of chugalug06


2.28/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Deep red (mahogany) colored brew. Nice white fluffy head hold good retention. Good lacing too

Whoa. Grape juice aroma. Kinda bland.

Wet, thick, fluid, chewy, kinda weird and off. Too much crystal and not nearly enough caramel. Funky bitter dryness. Unbalanced carbonation too. Too much missing with the flavors.

Can't recommend, even at $2/16.9oz. This brew has simply too many parts and pieces missing. Not complex, balanced, blended, or thought out.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2014 03:12:21 | More by chugalug06
Photo of 2Cents


2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A. Clear amber with a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles, a real headless wonder.

S. Smells like a cheap American adjunct lager.

T. Like some one through a few spices in a Miller High-life.

M. Thin with some carbonation.

O. I haven't had this in quite a few years.,I remember liking it . Either my pallet has changed or this is a bad year for the Winter Welcome.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 06:36:34 | More by 2Cents
Photo of kinger


2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My second experience with Samuel Smith and I promise I will not be suckered again. Paid $4 bucks for this average looking, smelling, and tasting ale. Decent beer but definitely should not call itself a holiday brew. Nothing spectacular here just like their renowned oatmeal stout simply average but extremely overpriced. Good bye Mr. Smith

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 19:53:06 | More by kinger
Photo of Bighuge


2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer smells skunky. It also tastes a bit skunky (although not as bad as in years past). This beer has never impressed me. It's one of my least favorite winter brews.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2002 16:55:23 | More by Bighuge
Photo of babyhobbes


2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 02:28:34 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of Nubster

West Virginia

2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

For me this was not good. The color was nice and amber and the head was about 2 inches but only stuck around a short while. The smell was kinda fruity with a strong alcohol odor. Reminded me of a wine. Taste was sharp and carbonated and bitter from start to finish. Even though it was only 6% ABV it still had a strong alcohol taste. Mouthfeel was light and watery. For me the drinkability was not there. This is just not a beer for my taste. I won't be revisiting this one anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 23:19:18 | More by Nubster
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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,755 ratings.