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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BA SCORE
83
good

1,937 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,937
Reviews: 1,098
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 30
Gots: 102 | 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)
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,937 | Reviews: 1,098 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

amber brown color, with good head and some lacing. Smell of alcohol in original review, getting more barleywine aroma 3.5 years later. Warms you up, in the winter. Malt sweetness, some apple fruit and mild spice. Hops and carbonation abundant that tingles tongue. had a second bottle two years later that went very well with sushi because of mild astringency. Bottle 3.5 years later hops in finish carbonation just right cellaring for nine months.Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of t0rin0
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit I've become a bit jaded in the past couple months drinking a bunch of belgian beers that people have brought back from europe. So when I tried this beer it seemed a bit mild at first, nothing innovative. It was poured at fridge temperature and consumed partially and then allowed to warm up a few degrees before being finished. There was a considerable difference between cool and cold for this beer.

It poured a nice light brown and very clear color. There was a decent head but it disapeared right away and left no lacing anywhere. The smell was a bit fruity and malty. As it warmed up some spices were noticeable and there was a faint hint of alcohol present that wasn't there at colder temps.

The taste was kinda predictable and british when served too cold. Some generic malts and some hop bitterness. The spiciness was fairly mild and it was a little dry. The flavor didn't change much with temp but the aroma enhanced it a bit. It had a moderate amount of carbonation and a nice aftertaste. Pretty drinkable over all.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011-2012 vintage.

Pours a crystal clear dark amber with a 1 inch puffy orange-white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasty malt, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is of sweet malt, caramel/toffee, fruit, and some slight herbal hops on the finish. There is a mild bitterness that quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that I could drink all year if it was available.

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +9%

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

Sam Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - 550ml brown bottle poured into shaker. Beautiful amber with off white head. Amazing lacing. Exceptional winter brew. This beer is so smooth yet thick tasting. Sweet caramel earthyness comes through strong. Smooth finish.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Winter 2009.

Pours a moderate copper color with an off white head. No real lacing but the head lasts for a bit of time. The nose brings forward quite a bit of spice, but this is mellowed out by some light cake flavors and a bit of caramel. Taste is spice, sugar cake, and light caramel. Moderate body with good carbonation. Overall, a nice balance of spice and sweetness. A pretty drinkable beer.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured clear light amber with a thin foamy head. There's a moderate level of carbonation; the beer has good head retention and a thin layer of bubbles consistently coated the surface.
S: The nose is inviting and has aromas of sweet caramel and toasted malts with hints of nuts and toffee.
T: There is a good degree of malty sweetness in the flavor, which is very well balanced. Hops aren't really detectable in the flavors, although they do contribute to a slightly dry and bitter finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends a good degree of smoothness and almost makes it feel buttery.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and I might try it again during the winter when the holidays roll around.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-2007 Version (Brown Bottle!!!!)

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with a bubbly head that hangs around but fails in the lacing department

Smell: Butterscotch aroma with vague hints of holiday spice

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor that is joined by holiday spice and bitter character mid-palate; after the swallow the ale gets fruitier and also provides a subtle but sharp earthy bitter flash

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful that punches the right buttons in a Winter Warmer

Thanks, beerhandy

Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Basically a bold pale ale in strength, spices, and flavor. Still, a bit ordinary. A brilliant and bright copper color with aromas of nuts, nutmeg, caramel, and a light fruitiness. Tastes moderately malty, nutty, spices, and wood-sy. A mild apple and berry tartness persistes in the tastes and feel. Moderate weight and creaminess to the mouth. Finishes clean, dry, and less sweet than was expecting. A moderate alcohol warmth and flavor shows throughout, leaving a light plastic flavor in the aftertaste. Moderate in every sense of the word. Will never offend, but difficult to brag about either.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle – Poured a brown colored brew with a medium head with equally medium retention. Aroma of hops with light floral and sweet aspect to it is quite pleasant. Taste is very enjoyable with a good mix of hops and malts. A bit thin on spice with a medium body. Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would have appreciated a bit more hops or spice to make it truly great.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery tangerine with amber trim. The pale ecru head is on the large side after a vigorous pour and holds its shape for a good, long time. Tiny pearl-like bubbles decorate the surface and turn into tiny divots when they burst. Once the beer is almost gone a nearly unbroken band of lace covers the midsection of the glass.

I took my time describing the appearance because I caught a whiff of skunk when I popped the cap (damn this clear glass!) I'm hoping that time will allow the bad humors to escape. A tentative sniff tells me that the nastiness is still present, but it's weak now. Trouble is, there isn't much in the nose to cover up the lingering little black and white bastard. There's a suggestion of fruity, herbal, English hops, but nothing else of note. Sans skunk, add a half point.

Thankfully, the flavor isn't affected or I would have poured this bottle out and tried again another day. I don't know whose idea it was to call this beer a winter warmer, but it isn't anything like that style as I understand it. It tastes like a sweeter, less hoppy English pale ale or ESB. I do like it though.

The flavor is dominated by plenty of sweet toasty caramel malt and fruity, modestly spicy hops. It tastes like wheat toast covered with a thin layer of orange marmalade and sprinkled with a smattering of nutmeg. Since oranges and nutmeg could be considered holiday flavors to some extent, I guess that calling it a winter warmer isn't completely out of line after all.

The finish is a shade more hoppy than malty, lightly sweet and as clean as the finish on a lightly sweet beer can be. The body/mouthfeel is no more than medium, although it holds its structure long enough after the swallow to trick me into considering it medium-full. I don't mind the slightly sprightly carbonation one bit (since I threw style adherence out the window six ounces ago).

Winter Welcome is a strange brew. I've already alluded to the bottom line: it drinks like a sweeter, less hoppy pale ale and is pretty tasty, all things considered. I don't know that I'll buy it too often because the clear glass makes each purchase a Russian Roulette of sorts. Samuel Smith has brewed a damn fine beer here. Why the powers that be insist on leaving it vulnerable to the depredations of UV light is beyond me.

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice clear amber with a good two finger head of white foam on top. Nice side glass presentation after a somewhat slow fade. Decent amount of carbonation coming up from the bottom.

S - Aroma was nice and spice and suprisingly hoppy,. A good amount of nutmeg, maybe a touch of cinnamon and a nice piney aroma rising up through it.

T - The flavor was very nice, goo strong ale with a nice roundd spiceness and a hop fueled finish. Touch of almost a wood like smoked flavor lying deep within and a nice rounded profile. A touch on the sweet side as it warmed, but very nice.

M - Lighter then I would have thought this was like a nice session ale. A little flat with the carbonation, butnot distractingly so. Nice smooth feel with a good lingering taste.

D - Great, I really could have gone or another one of these when I was finished as it was just that good. Ligh ABV and body made this one you could sip on all night.

Now overall I have to be honest I have not been the biggest fan of their beers over the years but this one was very nice. I really enjoyed it and would easily grab for it again.

Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as an orange color, not quite what I expected but pretty nice looking. The head was white and fluffy. The smell of the beer has some sweet malts blended with some winter spice notes that balance the aromas nicely. The taste of this beer is a little on the light side but remains pretty good. It's got that typical English flavor to it with the spices in the mix. The mouthfeel is decent, roughly medium bodied and has average carbonation. Overall not a bad winter brew, but not my favorite either.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(2007 Bottle)

Appearance: Clear, light brown body with a small white head that recedes fairly quickly.

Smell: Toasted malt aroma with a bit of caramel and mild notes of berries and spicy hops.

Taste: Biscuity, toasted maltiness with a subdued caramel sweetness and a hint of berry fruitiness. Dries out into a light spicy bitterness. Finishes same.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's fine, however wholly unremarkable it may be.

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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 largadeer
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale amber with brilliant clarity. A nice tight white two finger head rises, and leaves a good bit of lace behind as it settles into a thinner cap.

Smell: Honey, fruitcake, a bit of apricot. Toasted malt and husky grain make up the backbone. This has more of an estery character than most of Samuel Smith's beers.

Taste & mouthfeel: Butterscotch and fruitcake, toasted nuts, honey; definite winter warmer flavors on display here. Medium bodied, bordering on light. Not an overwhelming beer by any means, favoring more subtle nuance than most American attempts at the style. Little hop flavor, but a firm bitterness appears in the dry finish. Solid stuff, I'd gladly drink it again.

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

550ml bottle. Pretty involved English culture and brewing history-heavy label on this bottle - what with the traveling circus-style information layout.

This beer pours a glassy medium golden amber hue (it reflects the Christmas tree lights very nicely), with two fingers of weakly puffy, generally bubbly off-white head, which leaves a curtain of sudsy lace around the glass as it lazily falls away.

It smells of mild bready caramel malt, brown sugar, simmering applesauce, and a few warming spices - cinnamon, clove, and ginger. The taste is consistent with the aroma - caramel and subdued toffee malt, dark sugar, and soft muddled holiday spices, with only a smidgen of booze warming.

The carbonation is fairly inert, the body a decent medium weight, awkwardly smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes on the bittersweet side, genuinely malty, lightly spiced, and replete with a residual noble hop essence.

An adequately comforting winter ale, reminiscent of holiday seasons past, spice and malt-wise, if not altogether warming. Still worthy as an New Year's offering, as I root for the Canucks versus the dreaded Yanks in their Junior hockey showdown.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not the conventional American style winter warmer, but a nice incarnation of something comparable. the pour is clear and brassy, super light for what I was expecting, and flaunting a sensational inch and a half of snow white foam that puffs up above the rim of my globe. light English malt nose, honey sweet, but also bittering hops to balance things. a rather bland, or rather mellow smell and taste to this. its sort of gentle, not a true winter warmer, but more of an introduction to the season as the name suggests. this works in late October, but im not sure how well it would go in January. 6% abv is nice for sessioning, but not so much for warming. I don't taste much spice either, which is okay amidst all the pumpkin ales around right now. medium body, enough gravity, and some bitter to counter the sweet in the conclusion. a solid beer overall, but not one I will probably go back to honestly.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.