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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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1,972 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,972
Reviews: 1,104
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 31
Gots: 117 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,972 | Reviews: 1,104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of danlib21
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of funkengruven
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden brown ale that poured into the glass with a small tan head that left a ton of lacing.

Smell is pretty clean, not offensive, but nothing really describable, rather bland smelling actually.

Tastes really good. Aromatic Malt flavors make their way to a very very slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is a little dry, with some bitterness and a slight sweetness that makes its way through.

Pretty drinkable, especially now when it's -15 degrees out there. No doubt this does exactly what it says it does. Warms you right up.

Photo of MisterClean
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550 ml from Bel Air.

A - Golden-copper, orangish head, slight clumping, which slowly dissipated.

S - Honey, clove, and all-spice.

T - Clove, honey, Nutmeg, all-spice and slightly bread. Pretty good.

M - Chewy, thick, amd overall, fairly smooth.

D - Definitely came out like an Oktoberfest. Pretty good for an English Oktoberfest.

Photo of WetCoaster
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

*2004-2005 release

Appearance: Looks a bit like Drambouie, a clear, pale rust with gold highlights. The head is moderate, a bit loose, slightly off-white and has fair retention. Carbonation is active. Leaves foamy lace on the glasswall and has a collar throughout. Pretty, but a bit weak.

Smell: OK, this is not what I expected. At first, a wall of what seems to be Saaz hops--very similar to a good pilsner. As it decants a bit, the underlying malt comes through, a buttery (diacetyl?), honeyed pale malt aroma. Very bready. Seems to have a bit of vanilla as well; I wonder if this beer has been oak aged? In the end there is excellent balance and a truly unique aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is thin and crisp; nothing special. The taste is, though. Buttery, a bit smoky, definitely hoppy, a bit yeasty, a bit of toffee apple, and a bit sour in the finish. There's some hard-water mineral flavor as well. It's like a cross between a pilsner, and old ale and a buttery, oaked chardonnay. It's... unique.

Drinkability: Good, for me anyway: light, lowish ABV, unique flavor.

I'm honestly not at all sure what to make of this beer. I have no idea what style it is, but at the same time, I like the way it tastes. Will everyone? I doubt it; it's definitely not the syrupy, spicy mouthful o' malt you might expect from a winter warmer. A curiosity, but--IMHO--a tasty one.

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 JakerLou
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of donunrue
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of JupiterJesus
4/5  rDev +9%

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 MisterWalk
4/5  rDev +9%

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

Winter Welcome Ale opens with a malty nose that is simultaneously full of grain aromas as well as citrusy, effervescent fruits. On the grain side, the nose sports marble rye bread, toast crust, and light biscuit notes. Subtle hints of chocolate malt mix with the marble rye breads. On the fruit side, there are distinct layers of apricot, berry, orange, and fig, these latter three lending the beer a holiday feel in their strength. Touches of spice--pepper mainly, with faint hints of mace--add extra layers. As a whole, the nose is weighed in favor of the sugars, producing a pleasing overall effect, though the aromas are slightly light.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a lovely fruit-and-malt combo, with grain flavors such as baguette, toast crust, and biscuit mixing with an excellent range of sugary fruit esters such as berry, orange, apricot, and sugary apple. Touches of fresh wheat stalk, or perhaps steel cut oats help ground the powerful sugars. Hops are mainly noticeable in a slight burn on the soft palate, as well as subtle lemon and pink grapefruit notes. The aftertaste is mainly grain-based, the sugars dying off quickly, with an increasing piney hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a very pleasing brew, and another welcome addition to the range of holiday beers that haven't been spiced beyond recognition. Indeed, this is fairly simple fare--hops and malts--in relatively normal quantities and strengths. The sugars and fruit esters are cranked up a notch or two for the holidays, somewhat setting this beer apart, but mainly this is just good, solid beer. It doesn't quite qualify as world-class, but it's certainly at the upper end of "good," and worth trying.

Photo of mte1972
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Mikkiicky
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Atom_Bomb
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Merles
4/5  rDev +9%

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

I really like this beer, I buy it every year. This year is different enough that I think it deserves a re-review. First thing thats different... brown bottles. Pours red/amber with a medium offwhite head. The smell is much more malty that I recall. Lots of caramel, toffee, baking bread. The taste has the same malt profile, with a little bit of citrusy hop twang. Mouthfeel is a fair medium. I can say this is fairly different than I remember, and I've been buying this every year for some time. While a lot of the malt tastes and smells seem cleaner and clearer, it also seems to be lacking in some of the yeasty/beery elements that I would say made up a good part of the charm that this beer had. Maybe this is due to the brown bottles, maybe a different yeast stain. With the cleaner flavors and larger profile that allows, technically speaking I would say this is a good thing. Although, and maybe this is just me, I kinda miss the beery/funky taste.

Photo of intoxabroad
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BC65
4/5  rDev +9%

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

Winter 2006/2007

AP: Pure amber color, totally clear with a bubbly, thick and frothy slightly off-white head.

Nose: A sweet and herbal spiced malted edge with a nutty, sourdough bread aroma and a caramalized, brown sugar sweetness. There is a subtle but fruity hop scent way down deep.

Taste: The dominant malted flavor includes: Herbal and mildly spicey, Nutmeg and brown-sugar like sweetness that lingers on the palate. A nice complex malted flavor overall. The subtle hop finish is mildly sweet with some ripe red fruits popping through.

MF: Medium bodied feel with a crisp and clean bite that mellows and melts on the tongue.

DA: This is one of my favorite winter-style brews with good balance and not overly spiced or sweetened. Pretty easy to drink at 6%.

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of brokentee
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Thunderchief
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Chuck_25
4/5  rDev +9%

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

A - Nice clear orange amber with small white head.

S - A whole lot of fruits that I can't quite put my finger on. Smells a little bit sour. Caramel malt is also apparent in the aroma.

T - Nice. Fruity, hoppy, and a big caramel malt character here. What I mistaked for sourness on the nose is really a bunch of pleasant wintry spices. Awesome.

M - Medium bodied. Dry. Carbonation is appropriate.

D - I was pleasantly surprised with this brew. Usually not a big fan of the style but I would definitely get this one again. Real pleasant and nice.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,972 ratings.