1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,779 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,779
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 55 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,779 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bamabrew22
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

Buddy of mine brought me one of these from New York as a belated Christmas present.

Pours a coppery, reddish brown out of the bottle with a fluffy, full white head, which hangs around for quite some time. Smells of dried fruits, maybe plum/apricot. Mild effervesence. Taste was a typical British ale taste, good, with notes of sweet barley malt and no real noticeable hop presence. Almost a hint of toffee as well. Not a bad ale. Quite enjoyable on a cold winter's night.

Bamabrew22, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of fastpass17
3.78/5  rDev +3%

12oz brown bottle

A: light amber, coppery, thick fluffy white head, good retention

S: Rich slightly roasted, caramel and apple, hop emerges lightly at the end

T: A complex balance of malt, roasted nuts, spice and candied fruit are brought to mind, brought together with subtle hints of hops

M: Solid presence lingers in the mouth, chewy, very enjoyable

D: A great choice for a holiday warmer, warms up wonderfully in the glass

fastpass17, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of PaleAlien2
4/5  rDev +9%

Pleasing copper color with a minimal white head. Good clarity, good head retention. Classic English Ale.

Smells delicious. Bready malt. Has a sweetness to the aroma, almost like wine.

Full malt flavor. Some alcohol warming at the end.

Goodl, full mouthfeel. Very dry finish.

Overall a very good beer. More please.

PaleAlien2, May 11, 2009
Photo of Beervis
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%

I was a little disappointed by this one!

Unlike the other Samuel Smith's offerings, I felt this one lacked that punch to make it a winner. I have heard many good things about this beer, so maybe my expectations were a little too high.

It pours a light copper colour with a thin, lacy head. Taste-wise not a very complex beer. Overall, tasted pretty "standard" to me as far as Winter beers go. A bit of a dry smell and strong alcohol taste, but other than that, nothing special.

With all the Winter beers out there, and their aggressive tastes, this one doesn't quite measure up in my opinion.

It was "Just OK"

Beervis, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of patobandito
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours an orangy coppery color, with thin head, minimal lacing. Smells initially of spice with a citrus kick. Then a bit malty. Tastes very good on the start, hints of the same spice and citrus, with a full malt backing. Has a bit of a strange finish that i cant place. Not a very full beer, leans towards the thin side. fairly drinkable. Overall pretty tasty, not quite as good as other SS beers I have had, but still a good brew.

patobandito, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

Samuel Smith! Welcome to my mouth!

Samuel Smith has been a regular favorite in my beer inventory, and it's always fun to try their seasonal output. However while I feel that this Winter Welcome is a very good beer, it's not quite up to par with their all star collection.

Beer pours a bronze and brown color with great head retention and proper lacing. The beer has a copper-penny aroma with malty-carmel notes at the nose.

The flavor is heavy on the malts, almost syrupy in sweetness, but tamed by gentle hops and carbonation. My biggest issue with this beer is it's underwhelming flavor and mouthfeel - I expect better from Samuel Smith. The flavor is indistinct and mild, although though not bad at all. It could just use a little more robustness.

Overall it's a good beer, nice for the holiday seasons.

ManuelHerrera, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of bdeast1
4/5  rDev +9%

bdeast1, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of dcbike
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

dcbike, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Mick
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

A lot of BA's give this one a bad rap. Maybe it's because of preference; maybe it is because of the way they judge this one by comparison to a preconception of, "style." We're all guilty of not being objective and judging based on individual preference, and doing so isn't wrong. I'm guilty on this one.

I really enjoyed it so maybe I'm being partial to that in the numerical assignment of the five notables, oh well.

Copper iced tea color. An average pour, not impressive. Fruity aromas with an almost medicinal tinge great the nose. Great assortment of flavors, fruits, caramel, and a noticeable but helping hop profile blend together to carry this one nicely.

Very dry with an almost martini like finish. I look forward to having this one again.

Mick, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of chrismel
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

chrismel, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Motozappa
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Motozappa, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of littleshamrocks
4/5  rDev +9%

12oz brown bottle with 2007-2008 printed on the label. Served in an imperial pint.

Pours light copper with a huge, creamy, off white head. This is a bright beer with sparkling clarity and abundant carbonation. The density appears average to thin. The head hangs around for quite awhile an leaves some streaky lace. This is definitely a malty smelling brew. Semi-sweet bready malts with toasted and nutty traits. Faint caramel and even more faint grassy notes as well. The flavor is less sweet and bready and more toasted grain with hints of nuttiness and molasses. The hop character is understated but presents itself as mostly herbal with some dried citrus peel in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a somewhat chewy texture and adequate carbonation. Has a moderately chalky finish.

This beer is a well crafted version of an English winter warmer. At 6% abv, the alcohol is at the lower end of the scale for the style. I liked the balance of ingredients as well as the depth of flavor. This is the first time I have tried this seasonal classic and I must say I will certainly be making it part of my winter selections for years to come.

littleshamrocks, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Vinylboy20
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Vinylboy20, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Mikkiicky
4/5  rDev +9%

Mikkiicky, May 29, 2013
Photo of shamrock1343
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

shamrock1343, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of RossCain
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured from an undated 355ml bottle into a pint glass:

A: Sits a little fizzy in the glass upon pouring with bubbles all over the sides and a light creme, head that quickly dissipates, leaving little trace. Semi-translucent copper hue, this is a pretty standard looking medium ale.

S: Grainy, nutty, and malty the the nose. Notes of crusty bread and peanuts, However, there is a musty waft likened to soy sauce in the background.

T: Moderately sweet malty notes are the first to be picked out among a few notes including toasted nuts and sourdough bread. Propped up by a toasty malt character, the beer finishes smooth and easy the with the a pop of almond. As sensed in the nose, there exists a misplaced note of soy which awkwardly fades as the beer warms. It was most evident when first drinking the beer but seemed to fade after a while.

M: Light to medium bodied with low carbonation and a semi-thin and watery mouthfeel. Smooth and easy drinking, a bit reminiscent of mineral water.

O: Overall, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale wasn't a bad beer, but it wasn't a great beer either. Where it gets better marks for its easy drinking and toasty character, between the hint of soy and the lackluster body it gets knocked down a few marks.I wouldn't pick this one over some of Samuel Smith's better offerings in the Ale Category (I wouldn't call this a winter warmer).

RossCain, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of UberWasser
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%

Rich reddish amber with a fluffy white head that tops off my 16oz snifter. Retention isn't bad, it holds up to some agitation, and is fed from below by a shower of bubbles.

Smell is a rich spicy caramel with a fruity background.

Taste is big, clean fruity and caramel flavors with just enough of a spicy background to give it depth and to make me feel warm inside. The finish is a light citrus hop that really balances this beer well.

Mouthfeel is a bit light, to me, for the style, though it seems appropriate for the flavors that this beer brings to the palate. I like it, but I also look forward to some winter warmers with a bit more spice and a bit more umph.

UberWasser, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of dahlen22
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

Appearance: Light amber with a small lacy head and a good amount of carbonation.

Aroma: Malty, and a bit of a dry wine like aroma with bread as well. What a winter slight bitter ale should smell like I guess.

Taste: A good amount of malt up front with some sharp hops, slight nuttiness,
and breadiness. It finishes spicy and dry and a slight warming.

Overall: I am on the same page as the one Alstrom brother...I too have a good nostalgic love for Samuel Smiths as they were the first quaily beers we drank in New York City early 90's before the nightclubs to avoid the over priced crap beers there. This offering is good, but the dryness is a bit over the top and is not a session beer in my opinion. If you have not tried this winter welcome from Samuel Smiths, it is well worth buying, but I prefer their nut brown Ale and/or oatmeal stout. Cheers!!

dahlen22, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of KYBrewgrass
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

A- 4 Poured a fairly bright, clear amber with a small head, and lots of bubbles. Light lacing, but a nice ring of bubbly foam sits around the glass.

S- 3.5 Malty and sweet (caramel). A little nutty. A hint of fruit... It is a good but mildly scented beer all-around.

T- 4 The flavors of the brew definitely align with the aroma, but are more powerful and varied. It is malt/caramel heavy, but there is more going on with a mild hop and spiciness that balances it out well.

M- 4.5 Medium body; rich, lacy texture that goes down easily. Ample carbonation. Leaves me wanting more.

D- 4 This year's batch of SSWW is very welcoming indeed. It's not as powerful as some winters, but its sweet nuttiness and textures are definitely appealing. It is light enough to enjoy all night long if you dig the flavors. I've found it to be worth a shot each year I've tried it, and that goes unchanged this go-around.

KYBrewgrass, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of GreatPumpkin
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

GreatPumpkin, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of FirstMan
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%

Clear glass bottle with a nice fancy label on the front. Nothing like a nice fancy label to catch the eye while looking for winter beer at the store...

This a deep amber color and quite clear. Frothy off white head retains a fairly consistent layer across the top and leaves significant sticky lacking all along the side of the glass.

Mellow malt character in the nose tempered by a large spicy hop overtone.

Hop bitterness makes an appearance right up front. Following that is a very subtle touch of clove and cinnimon that ghosts away into a sweet, slightly butterscotch back.

Mouthfeel is slick, but with enough carbonation to keep it interesting. There's a dry sweetness on the lips after a few sips.

I could drink a lot of this if ever presented with the opportunity, that's for sure. Quite good.

FirstMan, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of nokes
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

This poured a colour I'll call "fermented apricot". Really nice, with some lively bubbles rising sporadically. Spontaneously? It looks like a happy beer. Sudsy head that died to a film and laced the class nicely. Pretty.

Smells were much fainter off this one than I would have expected. Some light maltiness and something fresh, maybe apple or something. Some very faint floral notes, maybe the hops.

Taste, though is really nice. Tangy with malty sweetness and a long bitter finish. It's bright and somewhat fruity.

The mouthfeel is where this beer really rocks. Medium bodied and somewhat creamy with an perfectly balanced level of carbonation. It feels good to drink this.

On the evening, we tasted 5 beers...this was one of the standouts among good company.

nokes, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of homerbunker
4/5  rDev +9%

homerbunker, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of IPAescotch
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%

S: Nose is a little stuffed up but ill give it a shot: a little bit of hay and spice. Probably more significant than im implying

T: Sharp on the tongue, dry on the mouth. Some definite spice, a wheaty malt character.

M: Refreshing and with a bite. Hops mostly provide aroma, bitterness comes from the malt, though it is somewhat pale

D: Strong spice flavor makes this sippable. Not something id drink in a hurry

IPAescotch, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of tjb27
4/5  rDev +9%

tjb27, Jan 07, 2014
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,779 ratings.