Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
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Ratings: 1,773 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
01-01-2010 08:15:23 | More by biboergosum
3.58/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
12-30-2009 21:52:46 | More by seand
3.58/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
12-30-2009 14:44:10 | More by jwinship83
3.35/5 rDev -8.7%
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.
12-30-2009 00:22:35 | More by FreeTibet
3.78/5 rDev +3%
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.
12-29-2009 20:47:36 | More by MetalHopHead6
3.58/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
12-29-2009 00:57:44 | More by KI9A
4.28/5 rDev +16.6%
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.
12-26-2009 01:03:37 | More by ktrillionaire
3.9/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
12-25-2009 05:59:21 | More by Long813
4/5 rDev +9%
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.
12-25-2009 05:10:54 | More by BillyBoysPie
3.5/5 rDev -4.6%
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.
12-22-2009 16:03:46 | More by farrago
3.33/5 rDev -9.3%
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.
12-22-2009 01:58:59 | More by robbyc1
3.98/5 rDev +8.4%
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.
12-20-2009 19:15:10 | More by hosehead83
3.88/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
12-20-2009 16:35:32 | More by ujsplace
3.65/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
12-20-2009 15:15:45 | More by CampusCrew
3.18/5 rDev -13.4%
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.
12-18-2009 04:01:38 | More by argock
3.03/5 rDev -17.4%
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.
12-18-2009 03:44:05 | More by MeisterBurger
4.1/5 rDev +11.7%
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.
12-16-2009 04:49:06 | More by nickfl
3.33/5 rDev -9.3%
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.
12-15-2009 06:49:34 | More by MbpBugeye
3.25/5 rDev -11.4%
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.
12-15-2009 05:16:49 | More by kpoole25
3.7/5 rDev +0.8%
It's a pretty chilly night in Edinburgh, so hopefully this will do the trick and warm me up. Poured from a 550 ml bottle into a nonic.
Appearance: A vigorous pour produces a honey-amber brew with a massive four-finger, foamy head that fizzes itself away quickly, leaving slight tinges of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Smells of sweet malts, with maybe some chocolate and caramel in there, with a nice blend of light, grassy hops.
Taste: Not a whole going on in the taste. Follows the scent more or less, except with less pronounced malt tastes and slight hop bitterness. Also, some notes of honey.
Mouthfeel: This is easily one of the thinnest craft beers I've ever had. Not that it's so bad, but it's just a strange sensation. Nicely carbonated, though.
Drinkability: This is a pretty drinkable brew, as it's got a pretty low ABV that's not at all noticeable and a very light body.
Overall, this is an all right brew. I have never been impressed with Samuel Smith and this is probably the 7th or 8th brew of theirs I've had. I'm not sure how great of a winter warmer it is, but it is a nice, light beer with a high drinkability. I probably will not reach for this again, though.
12-14-2009 22:22:05 | More by zoso493
3.63/5 rDev -1.1%
a great drinking beer that doesn't have so much to offer at a palate but is quite consistent. yellow/orange with a white head. not particularly murky. peppery and licorice dry but quite mild and simply hoppy lemon zest that doesn't have enough malt to accentuate the herbal side.
12-13-2009 06:12:11 | More by rtepiak
3.73/5 rDev +1.6%
poured into boston lager glass
A: pours light amber with a half finger white head. that fell semi-fast.
S: sweet like honey and fruit. light spice. malt
T: sweet honeyed fruit with winter spices. good malt character. very light hop bitterness showing in the aftertaste
M: not to heavy but not to light. mild carbonation
D: easy to drink, would be great for after xmas dinner
12-12-2009 07:18:10 | More by rootbeerman
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
12-12-2009 06:01:18 | More by fastpass17
District of Columbia
3.63/5 rDev -1.1%
A: Pours a clear, bright golden-bronze color. The orange-tinted head is robust, creamy, and frothy, with good retention. Lacing is very nice as well.
S: Sweet honeylike and caramel notes. Some buttery hints, along with fruit (apples, primarily). Some mild spicy notes, along with a background grassy hop aroma.
T: Taste is similar to the nose. Firm honey and caramel flavors, along with a buttery/biscuity note. Fruity, grassy, and mineral flavors are also present, adding depth. A mild fading bitterness into the finish. A hint of spice, probably nutmeg, lends some holiday flavor.
M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is soft and somewhat creamy. Slightly dry, hoppy finish.
D: This is a pleasant, tidy winter warmer from across the pond. Still, I can't help but be a little disappointed. There doesn't seem to be anything "special" going on here. Still, an easy drinker and a worthy import.
12-11-2009 23:12:18 | More by Clydesdale
3.35/5 rDev -8.7%
Appearance: Very clear copper with a respectable white which dissipates leaving a thin white blanket. Decent lacing.
Smell: Super sweet malt upfront with other spices and super sweet dried fruits. Did I mention sweet?
Taste: There's not much more to say than a lot of sweet malt with a mild hop presence. Maybe a little bit of the sweet dried fruits promised in the smell but pretty one dimensional.
Mouthfeel: Thin. Doesn't quite fulfill my expectation of a robust winter beer. Mild to generous, slightly sharp carbonation.
Drinkability: The thin mouthfeel makes this beer very drinkable. However the sweetness does become a little much at times.
Three bucks a 550 ml bottle is hard to beat, so even though this SSWW isn't my go to winter beer, it's definitely something I pick up every year for the occasional veg-out winter weeknight.
12-11-2009 02:23:17 | More by kbm
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,773 ratings.