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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

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1,779 Ratings

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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
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Ratings: 1,779 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerwolf77
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is red tinted golden color. The beige head reaches three fingers and nearly escapes my glass. Gobs of sticky lace remain around the glass after a brief rest. A nice cap rest gently on top of the beer.

The aroma is lightly hopped with a strong malt presence. Very sweet with hints of apple and lemons.

The flavor is very malty. It's actually more malt then I was ready for. Hints of hops but you really gotta search for them. It has a sort of apple juice feeling to it.

Medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall nowhere near my expectations. A nice beer but I think I will pass on it next christmas.

beerwolf77, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wouldv'e bought this beer anyways, but I've got to say I was really drawn to the bottle design. Looks like an old Christmas fair poster.

Pours a very clear amber, with a bit of visible carbonation. About an inch of thick, white head, recedes into a thin layer. Some flecks of lacing.

The nose isn't too prominent; I only pick up slight notes of apple, light malts, maybe a bit of orange peel.

This brew grew on me as it warmed up a bit. Starts off with lighter malts, with a bit of spiciness near the middle (nutmeg, cinnamon), but it's only slight. Every so often I get a touch of clove as well. Finishes tart and slightly dry, a bit of hop bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark; medium carbonation, body is a bit on the thinner side.

Not a bad little brew, but it didn't really wow me. Highly drinkable, though; the light entry and the tart finish were quite refreshing, but not exactly what I was looking for.

JohnnyBarman, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of strictly4DK
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle purchased at Capone's Restaurant, poured into a Weyerbacher tulip glass.

A - Poured translucent amber with a 1/2 inch white head. Recedes to a collar with a small amount of lacing.

S - Spicy possibly nutmeg and hints of ginger. Definitely some dark fruits present, raisin and figs. Little hop presence. An odd metallic, iron scent

T - Malts stay sweet and spicy (nutmeg and ginger). Hints of sweet caramel and molasses. I expected something roastier but light malt profile is complex and refreshing. Accentuated by raisins and figs. Seemed tannic but halfway through the glass the hop finish became evident. Slightly piny and bitter to balance the sweet malts. A few swirls of the glass presented a light smoky wood character.

M - Thin/medium bodied with low carbonation which works for the style. Bitter hops lingers on the palate.

D - True to form, Sam Smith Winter Warmer has high drinkability. Abv is on the lower side and hidden completely. Flavors are all pleasant and no off flavors present.

strictly4DK, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My fiance picked this up for me.

Appearance- amber color, nice head, nice lacing

Smell- fruit, malts

Taste- malts, fruits

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I enjoyed it. A little differen than most winter warmers I have had but I still liked it.

jeffjeff1, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of mrcarterxxl
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

sam smith's winter welcome ale

P/A= pours a true amber color with a two and a half finger head, which is white in color.

S= smells like most beers theirs noting that really stands out.

MF= tiny tingling bubbles everywhere.

average good beer will buy again, but i was expecting something unique and different but it dose have good lacing.


mrcarterxxl, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of bmwats
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 550 ml bottle into by Petrus flute.

A: Medium brown. Pours a 1 finger foamy white head. Slowly settles. Leaves a nice blanket of bubbles on the surface. More spotty lacing remains as you drink.

S: Roasted malt, almonds, and chocolate.

T: Roasted malt, nuts, and a little bitter butterscotch tone.

M: Full and robust. Bitter aftertaste. Kinda' dry finish.

D: Great body and flavor. I like to go ahead and drink this one down.

Atmosphere is really nice. Better than average appearance, and a pleasing but pretty basic nose. Flavor is also not so complex, but full and robust. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

bmwats, Jan 02, 2010
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.

biboergosum, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of seand
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear bubbly amber with a foamy eggshell white head. A thin layer retains, but it's enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: Apples, with light yeast and a hint of alcohol.

T: Relatively mild, starting sweet and leading into a surprisingly hoppy finish. Finishes dry.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body.

D: Drinks reasonably well, though the finish is fairly bitter.

seand, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle drank out of a standard pint glass. 2009 edition.

A- this one pours out a clear amber colored body. a small white head sits on top and lasts most of the glass. tiny rings of lacing are left behind.

S- sweet caramel malts. pretty fruity as well. raisins, cherries, and grapes mostly. not much in the way of hops, except for a small dose of earthy hops.

T-the taste goes along with the smell. lots of sweet caramel malts and fruits. raisins, grapes, and cherries. earthy hops at the end with no trace of alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied. palate coating. a nice soft level of carbonation.

D- not my favorite style, but this is something that i wouldnt mind sampling one or two times a year. not in quantities greater than one in a session though.

jwinship83, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of FreeTibet
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From bottle, poured into a 20oz English Pint glass
Serving Temp: 47degrees

A - Poured a clear, golden color with a slight head. No initial lacing on the glass.

S - Smells decent. Earthy resonance, slightly malty scent. Nothing stands out terribly.

T - Has a fair balance between its malt and hops, but is certainly lacking something special. Almost tastes like an everyday, malt backed beer, not so much a seasonal special. Not a bad beer, but not remarkable.

M - Carb is good for the style, not too much.nor too little. Has a good stick about it after you swallow.

D - This is a really drinkable beer, as it doesn't really bite you like some Winter Seasonals do. I would like it to have the extra umph that we see in others, but this is their way, so be it. Overall a nice beer, but there are better Winters out there.

FreeTibet, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale poured light amber with a short-lived two-finger head. It left nothing on the glass.

The smell and taste were syrupy sweet caramel. It was dominated by malt. The feel was flat--there was very little carbonation and no bitterness.

I left the bottle out of the refrigerator after pouring the first glass, making the second glass much warmer, which vastly improved the experience. By-and-large, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale is a non-descript malty ale, the likes of which can be found any time of the year; however it was a sweet tasty pleasure as it warmed.

MetalHopHead6, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of KI9A
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful crystal clear amber. Nice head, good retention. Cool lace chunks.

S: Dank, brown sugar, earthy.

T: Earthy, bisquity as hell. Some slight skunkness, dank like the nose. Finishes with some slight hop bite.

M: Very dry. Some residual bitterness.

D: 6% ABV, nice taste, nice drinking beer. Decent quaffer.

KI9A, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had this beer in a few years. It is so palatable, sessionable and delicious.

A – Nice deep amber hue, crystal-clear, with moderate head and good retention.

S – Earthy, dank, spicy hop dominates the profile. Which is not to say that the smell is overpowering, it is just the main constituent.

T – Deliciously hoppy, with a very earthy and savory, biscuity taste and backed by a sturdy but dryer malt. This beer is tremendously rewarding in flavor, an accessible taste.

M – Well carbonated and with a dry finish.

D – Very drinkable, and likely to be appreciated by anyone who drinks beer.

ktrillionaire, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of Long813
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Duvel Tulip

A: Dark amber body with a finger of white head. Moderate retention and good lacing. On par with the style.

S: Sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, a mixture of mild spices and hops. Nothing to outstanding, still good.

T: Leveled mixture of hops and malts. Caramel,brown sugar and biscuits are most apparent. Various mixture of spices, maybe cloves and cinnamon.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth in the mouth while leaving a dry sticky feel. Very pleasing.

D: Good beer and winter warmer. It's a little more hoppy than other WW's I've had but that not a bad thing. Easy to drink and great flavours.

Long813, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Golden Amber color with an off-white head of and inch. Settles down into a layer of foam that sticks to the glass. Some lacing.

Some festive spice, but butterscotch and the classic Fuggles/Goldings combination of hop is present as well. It's not terribly strong smelling, but is clean.

A well balanced beer, with a different approach than many other winter warmers. While well malted, there's still plenty of hop. Either way, the butterscotch and raw barley malt flavors dominate, a touch of cinnamon, then the clean and sweet flavors of the hops add to the malt flavors. A much lighter winter warmer, but still tasty.

Like most of the Samuel Smith beers, it's relatively low on carbonation. It still works, and is easy to drink and a tasty beer.

I generally like the other Sam Smith options better - the Pale Ale is my favorite right now - but this is a well crafted beer that's worth a once a year pop.

BillyBoysPie, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Whipped up, dimpled head of a little over one finger, darker cream white, above average lacing, head retention is so-so, settles into a thin webbing across the surface. Burnt orange, metallic rust colored liquid, transparent with plenty of miniscule bubbles visible within. Rum raisin cake and white grapes blossom first in the nose, honey, scone flakes, at times akin to corn syrup, moderate fig, peach, gingered orange peels, overall stays clean and has some lift while keeping a full nostril presence. Full-bodied, thicker here in terms of sheer mouth weight and slower paced, leads with a peppery kick, teases out more ginger and cumin spice accents. There's a leanness to the flavors if at the same time a persistence start to finish. The rumcake, honey, ginger and orange peels duplicate the nose, lower level of fig, date, peach fruit and lacking in sweetness. Conversely, there's moments of sweet vinegar to it. Given the mouth weight and lack of flavor intensity, the carbonation too active to help it soak into the palate. Hard caramel candy comes through at the end. It's alright for what it is.

farrago, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure clear honey color, small head, poured into a duvel glass, 2009-10 version from the label.

Nose is sweet malt.

Undistinguished malt, pale with no complex flavors, bready maybe? Finish is long and slightly sweet.

Mouthfell is silky and heavy, best part so far. Oddly warming @6%.

Easy drinker but not much here vs all the now available winter warmers.

robbyc1, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of hosehead83
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle, 2009-2010 vintage, into a standard pint glass
Clear amber in color with a half-inch head of foam
Aroma-Subtle malt, earthy
Taste-biscuit, earthy hop notes,mineral, malt-nicely balanced and quite enjoyable-would make a fine session beer.
Overall, a pleasant, nicely balanced winter warmer-Nothing fancy, just nicely subtle in the English style, and quite drinkable.

hosehead83, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of ujsplace
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over-sized pub glass.

A: Pours a pale copper with a thick, billowing, white head that leaves very nice, sticky lacing as it dissipates.

S: Toasty caramel, bready yeast and mild herbal hops.

T: Burnt caramel, herbal hops, mild citrus hops.

M: Light/medium body, good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, strikes a nice balance in terms of flavor. Will be a crowd pleaser and will also (to a degree) satisfy those who love big beer flavor.

ujsplace, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pale golden, low head rentention

smell: light on the smell, but got some herbal aroma and maybe sublte fruitiness

taste: subtle candy apple goodeness with some herbal prsen ce, maybe some subtle cinnamon

mouthfeel: light to medium bodied

drinkability: Was a decent beer but will not be a regualr on winter holidays, decent.

CampusCrew, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of argock
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. No freshness date evident. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.50.

A: Pleasing amber with 1-finger oatmeal head with decent retention and a nice layer of lace at the top of the glass.

S: Aroma is dominated by spices combined with earthy, leafy hops notes. Light honeyish sweetness and a light fruity yeast note.

T: Flavor is messy with too light pale malt sweetness that is off-style cardboard with leafy, earthy hops note that is surprisingly dyring. Spices are mostly nutmeg and cinnamon.

M: Feel is also too light (more malt please) with light-medium body and slightly astringent, very dry finish.

D: Not Sam Smith's best offering -- very dry with decent spice note but undermalted.

argock, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

For some reason I was expecting this to be a lot darker.

And less fizzy.

But as it is it's a clear light golden brown, with lively carbonation and a head comprised of large bubbles. Retains well. Laces...so-so.

The aroma is sweet, oxidized apples, caramel with a marked mustiness about it.

Ah yes, a fruity sweet appley carame/toffee malty earthy-hop chalky bitter finish ale....make no mistake. This is brewed in England. Which is not a bad thing. But it's a rather unexceptional thing in this instance.

It's a little thin bodied and watery.

There is nothing especially wintery or good about it. Really, it just tastes like a mediocre English Pale Ale and, that said, I would much rather have the Sam Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale which is better than this by a long shot.

I guess I just expect something different/special/unique from a winter warmer as well as something better from this brewery.

MeisterBurger, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of off-white foam on top of dark-copper colored body with good clarity. The head dies down quickly and leaves only minor lace.

S - Light caramel malt with some bread and toast notes. Some very light, musty British hops and a nice, fruity aroma of red apples from the yeast.

T - Sweet malt flavors up front with lots of toffee and a little caramel. Some fruity yeast notes of red apple with plum and light, earthy hop flavor. Finishes with mild, balancing hop bitterness that interacts with the malt to bring out more toasted character and a little bit of roast that lingers in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a great winter beer with all the expected British ale flavors and a malty essence that helps to make it appropriate for the season. I really enjoyed this as a break from the all too commonly over spiced winter beers that some other breweries produce. This managed to be warming and malty without huge, cloying doses of spices and most importantly, I could easily see myself drinking this at any time of year.

nickfl, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2009

A- Lighter than I expected. Its a perfectly clear amber beer with a fairly nice fluffy white head. The head fades but only to a thin layer blanketing the top of the beer like a fresh snowfall. There is minor lacing as it goes down.

S- Really sweet. Honey, grass, tea. Mostly lots of honey.

T- Again, honey, grass, tea, biscuity malts. Hops balance it out.

M- Thin, somewhat watery. Finishes dry.

D- Crisp, clean, refreshing.

I love Sam Smith but this is my least favorite beer by them that Ive had.

MbpBugeye, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of kpoole25
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009-2010 edition, 12 oz bottle to glass. Color of iced tea. Fairly good head. Smell was very inviting, very malty. Taste was pretty average though, very middle of the road flavors, basic malt/cereal like flavors, dry finish. Fairly well carbonated. This is the 2nd Sam Smith I've had (the other being oatmeal stout) and they sound awesome but sort of ordinary in the bottle for me.

kpoole25, Dec 15, 2009
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,779 ratings.