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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.

1,784 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,784
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 22
Gots: 58 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,784 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Applesauce1
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got the Winter Welcome at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH.

Poured an amber-copper color with about a 3/4" head into my chilled pint glass.

The head stuck a little to the sides of the glass as it dissipated. Besides that though, appearance was good.

Smell - not a typical winter warmer smell, couldn't smell cinnamon or nutmeg; maybe a little bit of hops, but overall a decent smell; not overpowering
Taste - pretty good, not great though; light hops presence, maybe some of the typical winter warmer spices, but not as defined as other winter warmers; maybe a hint of skunkiness (clear bottle), but nowhere near other imports
Mouthfeel - pretty good, went down well
Drinkability - decent; could drink another one tonight, but not right after this one

Applesauce1, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of tweeder263
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a very clear amber brew with minimal carbonation,,and a 2 finger head. Has a skunky type smell to it,,i cant make out much more. Taste a bit like it smells kinda a lil lile a euro brew at first,not much sweetness. Has some hop goodness towards the end of the sip. Much milder brew then expected,,not bad .Nothing over the top about it but not ba either.i give it a c

tweeder263, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a clear amber with a frothy white head.

Smells malty. a slight roasted malt and metalic. i also get some mint in it too.... it is crisp and menthol-like that it seems to clear my nose just a touch.

taste is malty too. Also seems salty. certainly tastes like an english ale, but nothing too special. the hops do jump out at ya, but i would say this is a little more malty. there is a little caramel taste to it as well. the aftertaste is hoppy and i think is quite pleasant. but for a winter warmer i think it is just a tad too weak to the flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. good carbonation and a nice balance-the 6%alc gives it a nice full body.. I really enjoy rolling this one around in my mouth.

Overall it is a good english ale, but nothing all that special. it is a little expensive though, but i think it is a good solid beer.

acrawf6, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Muddybuddy
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sample: a 2005-2006 labeled bottle that I got a World Market in Eugene, OR.

Appearance: A very transparent and clean amber color with no particulate matter or yeasties visible. A caritative head issued from the bottle as well and remained for a reasonable amount of time.

Smell: Wow. The smell I got from this beer upon uncapping it made me think "SKUNK!". It was quite pervasive and made me give pause before actually drinking it. After letting it sit for a little while longer, I gave another sniff and was suprised to find a hop like grassy note and perhaps even butterscotch, but only perhaps..

Taste: There is definitely something more than skunkiness going on here. There are traces of perhaps an oakiness and a more malty body than I expected followed by a somewhat alcoholic warming to the aftertaste. I thought this would be much like Fiddler's Elbow, but was pleasantly suprised. It reminds me of a more malty and sweet IPA with less agressive hops in the taste. Sounds funny for a skunk scented beer, but it's true!

Mouthfeel: This beer is moderately carbonated and isn't caustic on the tongue. Slightly above average here.

Drinkablity: This would make a good winter warmer as the style suggests, but I think the assertiveness of the taste may mean that I would prefer something just a little less cloying for any serious amount of imbibing.

Muddybuddy, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

chOAKbarrell, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Vipsanius
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first 4 pack I got of this was very skunky even though I grabbed from the back where it was dark. However, I could tell there was enough to it that I wanted to try it again without the skunked smell. Luckily, the store made a display of the beer using unopened boxes of the beer so I went back and grabbed a few untainted 4 packs.

Poured a nice, fairly transparent copper color with an inch and a half cream colored head that dissipated to half a centimeter that remained that way till the end. Some lacing that sticks around but not a whole lot.

The smell is very earthy with sweet malty undertones and slight spiciness - enough to tingle the nose a little - nothing extrodinary but pleasant and at least not skunky this time.

The taste has a brief malty sweet beginning, then a hoppy dominance that's floral and spicy with a slight citrus bitterness. Finishes dry with a pleasant aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is carbonated - maybe a little too much. Starts watery but the carbonation fluffs it up in the mouth.

Overall its easy to drink, tastes and smells pleasant, good session beer, nothing spectacular but a very solid beer.

Vipsanius, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of sockeye101
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice deep copper amber color, very clear and a had a nice off-white tan head that didn't stick around very long but still left a decent lace. The smells were a little sweet, and slightly nutty. I thought the taste was good, but nothing special. There were hints of sweetness and grains and had small hoppiness with no lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Like I said, this is nothing special, and I had difficulty getting any wow-factor from this beer. But still, it's very smooth and drinks well.

sockeye101, Jan 04, 2006
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.

jakester, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of BDTyre
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I won't say I'm disappointed, but this is not quite what I expect from Samuel Smith. This is a fairly average winter warmer from a brewery that I expect to do better than average beers.

This looks good, but does not smell any different than an English strong ale, such as Marston's Strong. A faint hint of skunkiness, possible because of the clear bottles. Malt, alcohol, weak hops.

Taste is okay: malty, but not really sweet. Low hop levels, but well balanced. There are traces of coffee and and a bit of caramel in there.

One thing Samuel Smith does well, and one of the high points of this beer, is drinkability. All of there brews are easy to drink and well done for their respective styles and this is no exception.

BDTyre, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a huge head and very good lace. Smells are faint but decent - maily hops with some malt mixed in and a touch of apple. taste is again more hoppy than malty, but not overly. Sweet malt and that hint of apple come through at the end. A bit watery and week for a winter warmer IMHO. Nice drinkability though. Give one a try.

sabrills70, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish orange color with a ¼” head of small tannish bubbles at first pour. The head fell pretty quickly to a small film on top of the beer maintained by only a few bubbles rising. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma: I am glad it isn’t light struck...in this clear bottle, Whew! It definitely has that “typical” Sam Smiths aroma. I don’t know if it is derived as much from the yeast as the hops they use. It has an “earthy” character that is the signature of the beers that come from this brewery. I can smell hops that distinguish themselves from the earthyness. There is a good bit of caramel to the aroma...especially as it warms.

Taste: The beer is malt driven. It starts out with some sweetness from caramel, and then you can notice a bit of contribution from the hops. The floral hoppy flavor, along with a subtle spiciness, lasts well into the finish. The finish is rather dry and well attenuated with some bitterness to linger with the sweet malt. The beer comes across as a bit watery and undercarbonated.

Opinion: Well...this isn’t my favorite offering from Sam Smiths line-up. The beer has a good flavor, but in my opinion it is a bit uneventful. Even though it is a malty beer, the hops give it a bit of a harsh edge that didn’t totally agree with me. I would drink the beer again, but I am not going to be seeking it out like I do their Oatmeal and Imperial Stouts.

SkeeterHawk, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Higravity
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found an unopened box at the local so I opened it grab one and took it home made dinner had it while thing were still in the oven. I haven't had one in years as with many of Sam's products due to skunking. Well praise be this one was fresh. A nice oarnge-brown body with a white cap and good lacing. Slight buttery-nutty smell with a hint of caramel twang. Nice average taste of SS beer, full round maltyness cut with the noble hops and metalic zing. Well I can say I will almost never 'buy' one of these again. A shrug of a beer not much of a WW and thin in the mouth.

Higravity, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of hero27
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle.

I still shake my head every time I see clear bottles, but I'm done trying to figure out why they still use them. Clear copper color. A slight euroskunk aroma as soon as you pop the cap...other than that, it's mostly pale malts and a hint of spices. Tastes are very buttery and diacetyl abounds. Pretty harsh mouthfeel, that makes me want to brush my teeth after every sip. Nothing too impressive here from a brewery that's supposed to have a good reputation. Not one of the better winter ales you can try.. you can get a lot better beers that are a lot less expensive.

hero27, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of sacfly
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, orange colored brew with a thin tan head of small/medium bubbles. Smell is musty and faint.

Taste is slight. Sweet and musty with a mild bitter aftertaste. Thin body makes this one a very easy drinker. Not watery mind you, but not syrupy like some winter warmers can be.

If you are a fan of the distinctive Sam Smith musty smell and flavor, this is a good one. Also, don’t expect the spices of other winter brews. I guess what I’m saying is- don’t expect anything from this one. Nothing special, just an easy drinking English beer.

sacfly, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of ghostwalker
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2004-2005 vintage. Purchased from a well-lit convenience store, where it may well have resided for almost an entire year, (yikes! never again...).

Medium amber body with 2 solid fingers of thick white head.

Skunk nose, it's a damn shame too. I would exempt this portion of the review, but it's just too common with Sam Smith's brews. Guys, please, lose the clear bottles! It ruins too much potentially great beer.

Good biscuity malt flavor up front. A solid entry as usual from Sam Smith's. Mild English hops in the finish. Slight caramel/toffee flavors also. A solid drinking ale.

Mouthfeel is generally medium, a little watery, maybe, but fine for what it is.

Drinkability is actually really high. Even with the skunk, which dissapated quickly and did not ruin the experience for me at all, (beyond the nose rating). It is just too bad that all of Sam Smith's brews cost so much here in the US. I would love to have the opportunity to session much of their lineup, but can't afford it. Also, would it kill you guys to ship some casks over here?

Overall, after all the bitching; Nothing but love, Sam Smith's rules!

ghostwalker, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold, almost like a euro dark lager, with minimal head and a faint ring. Smell is spicy, yeasty malt, some butter notes, and the hops are faint. Taste is hampered by a very thin mouthfeel. The spices are there but the brew itself is rather raw, watery and unpleasant. Despite all of this it isn't terrible, just not anything special.

pentathlete, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of orfeu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

350 mL clear bottle. Golden amber with slightly off white head. Nose is nothing but minerals. Taste is pleasant, but nothing too special: caramelly malts with slightly bitter hoppiness and something of a honeyed sweet undertone. Easy to drink, but not really the sort of thing I look for in a winter seasonal.

orfeu, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of Naes
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale is dark amber in color with a tall creamy white head.
Its aroma is surprisingly hopy, yet sweet at the same time.
The flavor is more like a winter ale. It has some spice and a nice mild hop presence. Nothing very bitter though. It also has a solid caramel malt base.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and is mildly carbonated.

Naes, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of Phatz
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer pours a clear light brown with a slight orange tint to it. Huge 3+ finger head that is pretty thick. Medium lacing. Stayed frothy the duration of the beer. Nice.

Smell: Sweet caramel, cloves, then a mixture of pleasant malts and very subtle hops. Not as spicy as I expected from a Winter.

Taste: Hidden. Subtle and bland. There is nothing bad to say about the taste but there is nothing good either. If anything I could say it is a bit buttery, red, and creamy but that starts into mouthfeel. The taste is very mild and inoffensive (balanced hop/malty, bitter/sweet) but also quite boring and drinks like water but that moves into drinkability.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, creamy, light syrupy texture in the finish.

Drinkability: The exact same drinkability that you would give a glass of water. If you were out doing yard work and need to keep chugging because you were thirsty it'd be drinkable, but if you are not thirsty it in not very interesting. This beer is simply a convenient way to slip 6% ABV into a glass of creamy water. IMO

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of cracgor
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is beautiful. Copper to amber with a nice light tan head that is not so huge, but velvety and resilient. Just enough sticking. Exactly what I expect from an english ale. It has a great fruity, somewhat butterscotch like smell. It is quite good. Can't wait to taste it.

Flavor cannot quite live up to the smell. It is still quite good, just not exceptional. It has a fruity sweet malt. A light hop that comes in from behind and sort of reminds me of a west coast hop--but it only comes through faintly.

Full body. It coats the tongue. You know you're drinking this one. Almost syrupy. A great beer to enjoy in the holiday season.

cracgor, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of maek228
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A beautiful copper/amber. I love the bleach white lace that surrounds this beer. Looks fantastic

Smell: Eeeekk...i hate to bust Sammy Smith's balls but this beer doesn't smell good at all. I can barely get at some malts and hops...but nothing distinctive. Sadly, there is also that "skunky" smell that often accompanies an AB offering...

Taste: Solid. What I expect from a British brew...as it very subtle. Subtle caramel malts mix with a light dose of hops. The two meld together nicely to give you a smooth sip with a subtle and compact taste. There is also a metalic "twang" to the taste. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and pleasant

Decent Winter Warmer

Drinkability: Dangerously smooth.

maek228, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of BassBone
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review of the 2005-2006 offering.

Pours a nice dark amber-orange with a thick white lacy head. Moderate lacing on the glass as the beer disappears. Head retention is not grea, but adequate.

Smell is sharp and crisp, somewhat hoppy yet sweet at the same time.

Crisp taste that gets mellower as the beer warms. As it warms it becomes better, warming. Definitely a winter beer.

It rolls over the tongue and goes down easily. Dry finish with a hint of hops.

All in all a drinkable winter brew. Not my favorite, but definitely a Samuel Smith. This is something I'd drink again.

BassBone, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of nickss
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I cellared this one for a year, just for the sake of pure curiousity... so here it goes:

Pours a clear, light copper hue with an initially generous 1" creamy head... however the head quickly subsides to little more than a thin cap.

A noticeable, distinct Sammy Smith aroma ... that coppery bitterness that I've grown so accustomed to from their brews.... nothing else remarkable.

This flavours have been subdued from the non-aged version, if I remember correctly... a bit of currant, but nothing much going here. Unintriguing, but certainly not bad.... perhaps a bit boring.

Feels too watery in the mouth... very light, not the medium bodied brew I was looking for.

Sure, its drinkable enough, but all in all a very unstimulating brew.

nickss, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear copper. Thin off-white head disappears almost immediately. A full imperial pint of this is pleasing to look at nonetheless. Butterscotch aroma, soft floral hops as well. Biscuity, sweet and earthy. The usual Samuel Smith buttery notes are thrown in. Low bitterness. Finishes dry. Subtle, and easy to quaff. I really expected a bit more. I felt this falls short, especially compared with the other S.S.offerings.

Bierguy5, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A crystal-clear, dark auburn; gives the impression of peach-infused iced tea. Head is impressive, a muted ivory color mottled with big bubbles.

Smell: Kind of weak, but good. Mildly phenolic, some caramel malt and butterscotch/maple syrup sweetness, a quasi-Belgian spice-fruit-yeast combination, and painfully bashful woody hops. Might go well with a Christmas dinner, especially turkey or ham with cranberry sauce.

Taste: Not bad... sweet, spicy alcohol. Roasted malts and a nice pink grapefruit pithy hop character that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fine... nothing to write home about. Doesn't quite give me the warming sensation I hoped for.

Drinkability: I must say, this beer is a bit on the bland side and is getting boring rather quickly. I don't think I'll buy it again.

soulgrowl, Dec 13, 2005
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,784 ratings.