1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,009 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,009
Reviews: 1,113
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 33
Gots: 135 | 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 (28) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,009 | Reviews: 1,113
Photo of jsprain1
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint mug.
A- A coppery colored beer with a tremendous amount of carbonation with a one and a half finger head that dissapates to a quarter finger and sticks. lots of lacing.
S- Smells of biscuit and butter. A fair amount of spice.
T- Tastes of buttery bread crust, a little spice, amd some cookie taste in there too. kind of like if you took a pepperidge farm milano, and substitutes butter for chocolate. Has that similar diacetyl character found in many of samuel smith's beers. There's a touch of spice in it.
M- Good feel. not too watery and carbonation is perfect. finishes not quite dry.
O- Not a session beer by any means. I thoroughly enjoy one. but not a beer i would necessarily go through a few of in a night.
A good beer, a good winter warmer, makes me warm.

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

Bottle of the 2007-2008 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured with a 1/2 finger, off-white head that quickly settled to a full lace that left nice sticky rings and spots on the glass. The body was a flairly clean combination of orange, red, and brown hues with medium carbonation that came up in fast jets toward the surface.

S- Initially, I picked up a lot of sweet scents. Pickled ginger and a touch of nutmeg seemed to be the strongest. With a little warmth came the caramel malts, more spice (a little clove perhaps), and straight up brown sugar.

T- The flavor was kind of hard to place, yet it didn't strike me as overly complex. There was a bit of a buttery flavor mixed with some sour apple that created a really dry finish. There was a touch of spiciness added by the hops.

M- It was pretty clean. It had medium carbonation and a dry feel in the finish. There wasn't any real bite from the hops or alcohol (which wouldn't really be expected at 6% abv).

D- I'd say it's one of the more "drinkable" for the style, considering I could see drinking a couple of these throughout the day. That said, it lacks a "wow" factor that would bring me back. I'm glad I tried it, but it's difficult for this beer to stand up to some of its more robust counterparts in the style.

Photo of BierFan
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass. The bottle is labeled "2007-2008", so this bottle is left over from last year.

Appearance: Big light tan head with a clear rusty orange colored body. Decent lacing and head retention.

Smell: Caramel malts. Kind of a metallic twang to it.

Taste: The taste doesn't seem to have held up that well. It's not bad, but it seems kinda skunked. Maybe, though, this is supposed to be how it tastes fresh. Still enjoyable. It's kinda like a German style marzen except a little heavier.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A- a gorgeous crystal clear dark chestnut pour. A decent sized 2 finger head flaots on top and the head hangs around leaving a nice lacing on the botchy lacing.

S- rich toasty malts with a metal type of aroma as well. There is also some pine and floral type hops as well.

T- a malty and salty type of flavor. a dry floral hop flavor as well. Somewhat toasty and a caramel hint.

M- Smooth and brisk. It feels like i am drinking homemade iced tea. Not dry but not sweet.

D- a decent brew but the malts are tad too much and take away from the flavor. not bad but not a six pack purchase. A nice beer to have with dinner at a seafood restaurant.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Pretty bottle.

Pours a large white head with fair retention and some lace. Clear and amber colored. Smells like butterscotch and nutmeg.

Nutmeg, and butterscotch primarily. Some cinnamon and vanilla. Captain Morgan's Spiced rum taste with swallow. Very dry though I think that's just part of Brittish brewing. Dryness and cough syrup-like mouth coating creates little desire to have another.

Pretty wimpy for a winter warmer. Maybe winter in Florida.

Photo of hoplover82
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I expected this beer to be a dark spicy christmas ale, but I was pleasantly suprised with a beautiful, excelent English Pale Ale.

This beer pours a clear light amber golden color, with a thick (homebrew-like) creamy off white head, that is persistant like a hungry baby. The head sticks around till the fat lady sings.

The aroma is first HOPS of all things in an English Pale Ale! Wow, this is truly an excelent winter warmer for a hophead like me. English floral hops, maybe even citrus too. There are sweet caramel malts in the back to perfectly balance the nose.

The taste is again hops first! I think the Samuel Smith is trying to impress me. It's working... It's working... Floral hops first then a wee little earthy. The malt and hops are very balanced but the hops come through, much like Anchor's Liberty Ale, almost just like it. I love it. There is a little sweetness from the malt, gets sweeter as it warms.

Nice (real soft) lingering bitterness. Medium body.

Very drinkable. I finished it like a 12 oz, I was sittin there with the bottle upside down in my glass saying, "ah man, that's it?" It drank very smooth and fast.

Very good! I highly recomend this English beer to anyone, especially my hophead friends.

Photo of cvfish
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy amber color that produced a nice fluffy white head that retained well and produced nice lacing

S - Smells of ginger, nutmeg and malts

T - A sweet caramel and nutty start followed by a sutle bitterness and hoppy taste

M - Light bodied moderate carbonation

D - A great Christmas beer

Photo of thehand
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Samuel Smith pint glass, has a clear amber-orange color, with about 2" off white head. Lots of active carbonation. Settles to about an 1/8" foamy cap, later just a ring around the edge. No real lacing to speak of. For a long time I could really only smell apple. After letting it warm up a little I got a little sweet malt, tiny bit of earthy hops. Overall aroma seems pretty low key. Tastes of sweet malt, dried fruit. Nice firm malt backbone. Earthy hops show up on the finish. Leaves a little resinous hop aftertaste. Medium to light bodied, medium carbonation. Drinkability is very high, very well balanced.

Photo of gdfan47
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember hearing this one was good so I decided to check it out

it pours a nice amber color/ burnt orange color , a nice froathy head that was plentiful and hung out and didnt quit

It smelled like fresh hops, a little gingerbread , and smelled like an english style pale

it tasted very good, a good amount of carbonation and very refreshing.. more of a hop taste than first smell would let on

it was very smooth and reminded me of some other esb's which I dig

very enjoyable to drink and def a great session beer

I will reach for this one again

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An all around good beer.
I'm glad that this winter isn't over hopped..

Pours a clear golden orange color with a slight off white head, about a finger thick.. thins and doesn't lace. Smells of hops and sweet malts. Tastes similar, a smooth hop flavor up front with a sweet smooth malt finish. Mouthfeel is nice, no hop bite but a crisp drink.

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

Poured from a 550ml bottle into dimpled mug
A - Clear copper with 2 finger white head.
S - Caramel, toffee, with a slightly grassy aroma
T - Malty with notes of toffee,notes of winter fruit with a bit of grassy hops toward the end.
M - Light to medium. Easy on the carbonation. Slow on the finish.
D - Too bad this ESB is a seasonal. Like all the other Samuel Smith's products, this is an excellent example of the style that it's patterned after. Very tasty, very drinkable.

Photo of Spidey13
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter welcome pours a clear, red/amber color with a nice, two-finger off-white head. The nose has a good amount of earthy hops along with biscuit notes and hints of raisins.

The taste is very bready/biscuity, with hints of toffee. A bit of lemon-zest shows up late along with a mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel and carbonation are pretty much middle-of-the-road.

Overall, a solid beer.

Photo of 6stringfunk
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice butterscotch color with a three finger head and lacing. It has a nice sweet aroma. The taste is that of hops that moves to a nice sweetness on the finish. I got a hint of banana. A very smooth beer with the right balance of carbonation. I was expecting a wider range of flavors from my first winter beer. Even though it failed in that regard, it exceeded my expectations as a great ale.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update 12/2010

This was actually nice, easily distinguishable as an English strong ale. Scores updated accordingly.

Old Sam Smith's winter welcome, this used to be a seasonal favorite of mine about 8-9 years ago and in the last couple years I have completely stopped drinking English ales altogether. This is a nice perfectly clear orange color. The smell is bread and the slightest hint of vinegar. The flavor is more malt and again a note of vinegar. While this is not offensive it is still not something I seek out, just average. I wonder why I liked it so much back in the day?

Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008-09 release into my Guinness imperial pint glass. It's Thanksgiving eve and 38 degrees outside, sounds about right for a winter warmer

A: Wow! Crystal clear golden amber with plenty of sparkling carbonation. There's a solid 2-finger off-white head comprised of mostly bigger bubbles. Decent retention with some wispy lace as the head recedes slowly

S: On the nose, this beer has an absolutely wonderful nutty malty flavor with some light butterscotch and some light holiday spiciness with a hint of nutmeg. Mild earthy hoppiness in the back. Solid stuff

T: There's a moderate toffee, nutty flavor to open things up with a light caramel sweetness. The toffee flavor is wonderful with a sharp, earthy hop bitterness to balance it out. Spices are muted and I'm not quite able to pick any out. Finishes dry with a very pleasing hop bitterness

M: Pretty light in body with a crisp carbonation and an enjoyable finish

D: At 6%, this is pretty darned drinkable. Definitely worth it, especially at 4$ for 550ml

Photo of Nubster
2.46/5  rDev -33%
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.

Photo of Fatduck
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on the first really cold day this year, 9 degrees. Poured into a 22oz tulip glass, a creamy pale brown with a smallish white head that fades to a bit of lace. Tastes like caramel and mild spices, a winter brew that isnt over done, thats a plus. A little over carbed for me, but very good non the less, and at 6% it provides a nice warmth.

Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this up on a chilly Maryland evening and it sure hit the spot! Classic English ale taste with a higher malt profile and little hop presence. There is a warm scent reminiscent of apples and caramel, but the caramel is the only flavour that really carries over; which is a good thing. I am very happy to have a Winter beer that doesn't over-do it with the 'holiday spice.' I'll be buying more this season!

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a cold winter's night, this beer pours a clear amber with a nice 1" head that sticks around throughout. The aromas are malty with some apple and spice. Yes, winter is here. The flavor is metallic, lightly spiced fruit, and slight herbal hop in the background. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a great English ale with some spice for the cold of winter.

Photo of bkilpatr
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. 11/18/08.

Pours a golden amber color with nearly two fingers of off-white head. The head dropped quickly, no lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel malt with spiced apple, and slight herbal hop.

Taste is very similar to the aroma. Lost of sweet caramel malt and spiced apple. A bit of toffee and some herbal hop. Mildly bitter finish. Feel is a bit thin with plenty of carbonation. Light-medium body and a clean finish. Drinkability is pretty good. Goes down pretty easy though the taste is fairly plain.

Photo of djeffbee
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355 into my Chimay goblet on the first sub-freezing night of the season...

A: Clear deep amber to copper with a slight off white head. Some sticky lacing left as your drink this one down.

S: Carmel malt, some spice. No real hop presence.

T: Light body, with caramel malt and spices very prominent that is balanced out nicely with the hops.

M High carbonation that tingles the tongue, yet smooth.

D: Very drinkable, as the spices are not overwhelming and the body is light. Definitely a candidate for a few at one sitting.

A nice winter warmer.

Photo of NHGrafx
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml brown bottle. 2008-2009 Edition

Pours dark amber color. Nice 3 finger tan head, decent retention and lacing.

Very nice carmel malt aroma. Definite aroma from the hops present, sort of piney like. Also a slight aroma of yeast and some spiciness. There is mild sweetness in the aroma too.

Nice malty flavor, the carmel malts come through nicely. Hops come through as well with a nice moderate bitterness from them on the finish. Like the aroma, there is some mild sweetness in the taste too. Overall the taste is very nice. Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

This one is pretty typical of most winter ales I have had over the years, but still very good.

Photo of bum732
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours beautiful and smooth. Nice copper color, great head retention. Smells sweet and definitely tastes sweet and malty up front, bitterness in the middle towards the end. Great balance.

A great beer from a great brewery. Very different compared to American "winter warmers" which are usually cloyingly sweet and over spiced. I could drink this all winter next to a fireplace...if i had one...and if i actually had money.

Photo of Jayli
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007-2008 Brew
This beer poured a copper color with a huge head, slightly rocky and off white, not much retention though. It also had very good lace. Smells are faint - mainly hops with some malt mixed in. Taste is again more hoppy than malty (though sweet malts are present), but not overly. This was also a very "light" beer - at least for a winter warmer. Nice drinkability though.

Photo of thespaceman
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550 ml bottle into my awesome new Duvel chalice, (thanks to RayMcCusker for the dope chalice), this guy has some great stuff over at Valley Discount Liqours in Waterbury.

Appearance: Nice, golden penny color, thick white head that dimminished pretty quickly, very nice lacing all around.

Smell: Nice caramel notes blend nicely with a toasted almond backround. Earthy, grass notes are somehow shown in here? The nose has a generally nice roasted malt character thats different then alot of other winter warmers.

Taste: The roasted malt character pops out big, caramel, toffee, and other spices are well presented, a little muted on the overall substance of it but it could work better if this was a tad thicker.

Mouthfeel: Bitter to say the least, yet the body lacks a decent thickness to put it over as a hearty winter warmer. Earthy elements in the taste and the nose make this one hard to consider a true warmer.

Drinkabiliy: This is certainly drinkable and was really a great offering by Samuel Smith. If this were a little bit richer, I might have rated it higher, yet it's a tasty winter warmer and sure to please those who enjoy it!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.