1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,996 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,996
Reviews: 1,109
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 31
Gots: 129 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,996 | Reviews: 1,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kelvarnsen
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Snow white head aloft a crystal clear pumpkin colored brew.

S - Wheat, Rice and slightly earthy smell.

T - Bold caramel and grains, very rich and rewarding, quite dry throughout. Slightly bitter finish. Smooth yet complex.

M - Malty, creamy, smooth

Malt is center stage. Lacks the spice of some other winter ales, but the flavors here are welcomed nonetheless.

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

A-Pours clear amber with over an inch of fluffy light tan head, strong retention, sticky lacing.

S-Pale malt sweetness, grassy hops. Fairly nondescript.

T/M-Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lots of pale malt. Some dry, grassy hoppiness on the back end. Gets breadier and softer as it warms up. Tastes like a slightly stronger than average English bitter.

O-Pleasant enough. Not very interesting.

Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +9%

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

A: For some reason, I was expecting this to be dark. Instead, pours a clear copper color with a 1/2 finger off white head.

S: Toasted malt, slightly nutty, some slight hop resin and a bit of wet blanket.

T: Lots of toasted malts with a slight caramel/toffee note in the background that's tempered by some prickly hops. Slightly peppery and dry finish. Not bad, but also not something I could drink a ton of.

Photo of rundocrun
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a pint glass.

A - Color is of dark, amber honey. Has approximately a 1/2 finger of coarse white head that fizzles down to nothing quickly.

S - Not much aroma to be had here. What little I do smell is an off-putting mix of artficial-smelling fruitiness, citrus, and rust (yes, rust).

T - Sweet up front with an acidic tang. It rolls over the back of the tongue and takes on more hop bitterness. A background of candy sweetness pervades through the entirety of each sip. Finish is slightly dry with a little caramel or burnt sugar character mixed in, but otherwise quite bland.

M - Thin body. Tingling, effervescent carbonation hits the tongue with every sip. Finishes dry, but with some residual sugars.

Overall - Definitely not up to snuff with the other Sam Smith beers I have sampled. Quite disappointed actually. Needless to say I'll be avoiding this for my future holiday beer purchases.

Photo of chcfan
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Irish pint glass. The beer is a solid copper color with a frothy clean off-white head. The head dissipates to a thin even layer with sticky lacing.

The beer smells of fruity bread and malts with a caramel note.

A nice complex taste, this one. It's malty answer with notes of cinnamon , toffee, and a cherry tang in the finish.

The mouthfeel is nice, just a tad sticky.

Overall, this is simply a must-have every year for me. It's very drinkable and really, Samuel Smith's is good in everything they do.

Photo of TheBishopco
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of stercomm
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great label, poured from a 550 ML bottle

A - Very clear amber/orange in color, nice thick frothy slightly off white head, great head retention.

S - Get some butterscotch, biscuity malts, slight citrus.

T - Very nice, get caramel, some bread like malts, slight hint of hops on the back end. Very crisp taste, hint of citrus.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

O - Nicely balanced brew, while malty in flavor is nice and dry with a crisp refreshing finish.

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

Picked this up because I had never seen it before, and when I looked closer at the label (after I got home) I realized it was the 2009-2010 version, and after checking the date code this beer turns out to be a little over 2 years old. It is frustrating to me that the store would keep this for 3 winter seasons hoping someone like me would assume they were being responsible and not examine the label closely to see if they weren't (usually Sam smith's doesn't have readable date codes anyway). Since it turned out to be drinkable and even a bit tasty I decided to review it anyway (I wouldn't count a review against Sam Smith's if it tasted bad on account of the store's irresponsibility).

Pours with a light orange body under a finger of white head that fairly quickly diminishes to a thin layer.

Smell of long since passed hops, light caramel, the typical "aged" notes of dried fruits and dark sugar candy, and some fruity malts.

The flavor seems to have taken a hit, but it is interesting in an aged way and in the end I don't think the score will be very affected. A bit of oxidation pairs with the malts that are left nicely, and isn't over the top. There is a hint of something that might have once been spices, but now there is just a hint. A subtle note of chocolate is barely detectable as well.

The mouthfeel is smooth with lower carbonation. Very drinkable.

Conclusion: Don't age this beer :) But if if happen to by accident, it won't be all that bad.

Photo of homerbunker
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Ryan1423
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of JohnnyP3
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle. 2010-2011 vintage. This beer has one of my all-time favorite labels that varies from year to year. Pours a crystal clear orange/gold with a fluffy off-white head of about 2-3 fingers that simmers down to thin cap. Decent lacing on the glass.

The nose consists of bready malts, some toffee, fig, caramel, and a hint of winter fruit. Very inviting.

Taste is anchored on a solid malt backbone. Rich bready malts featuring some toffee and caramel notes. Balanced nicely by Fuggle and Golding hops. Also features some hard water characteristics of many English beers that helps build a solid foundation. Some winter fruit as well -- subtle tastes of pear or plum and/or apricot.

Mouthfeel is crisp and full bodied and somewhat slick.

Overall, an enjoyable seasonal offering. As the bottle suggests, this beer should be contemplated before an open fire. I'm curious how time may have impacted this beer. I would like to find a current year version and try it fresher. What I do like is that the flavors are well orchestrated and nuanced. Makes you think about them while you drink and does not take the hit-you-in-the-head-with-a-2X4-approach to winter seasonals. Well done.

Photo of mctizzz
1.75/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of waiting4lunch
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of VegasHockey
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of brandon911
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review!
Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Color is a dark amber, a fair amount of light is let through. It had about a three finger head.

Smells delightful. A slight hint of spice is there. Fair amount of hops and malt and some hints of toffee.

Tastes like Christmas in a bottle! The spices are retained in the taste. Fairly bitter with lots of malty goodness.

I would definitely get this again!

Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice-looking 550 mL bottle. Late November seems like a good time for the first warmer of the season, at least if you happen to be a victim of Canadian weather.

Pours a beautiful bright, clear amber-orange colour, topped with a bit more than a finger of frothy white head. It takes a few minutes to die down to a soapy film, leaving delicate webs of lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a very good-looking pint of beer. The aroma is nice, but kind of faint. Very malty, with toffee and butterscotch, as well as some very light spice.

On the tongue there are definite hints of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, but they are just that - hints. This leaves plenty of room for the tasty biscuit malts, toffee and various fruity esters (ranging from banana to cherry to plum) to come through. This is in addition to the solid, earthy, Fuggle-y hop presence that becomes stronger in the finish, and leaves a light dryness on the palate afterward alongside faint cinnamon spiciness. Medium-bodied, fairly soft-feeling in the mouth but with a firm carbonated bite. I would not have placed this at 6% abv in a blind test; more like 5 or under.

This is the first English-made warmer I have had, and the spices are not nearly as prominent as in its North American brethren. I appreciate that immensely - as a general rule I don't mind a little spice in my beer but I tend to believe a little goes a long way as far as these ingredients are concerned. This beer seems to come from that same school of thought, and so it should not be surprising that I find this to be the perfect light sipper for an evening by the fireplace. There is little doubt I will be picking this up again before the season is over. Something most ESB fans will appreciate, even if lovers of the spicy American warmers probably won't.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- The cloudy amber body has some nice orange-apple cider highlights. The head was full of bubbles and reached a finger's width before quickly dying. The cap is almost completely covered by white and wispy foam.

Smell- A little bit of biscuit malt is present, along with subtle grassy hop notes. Traces of candied oranges and peaches come out of this one, too. Ultimately, you have to try far to hard to pick out what is going on in the nose.

Taste- The notes on this one are about as bare-boned as possible. Are there malts? Sure, a slight biscuit malt that is so slight it is almost cereal adjunct like. Hops? I suppose, slightly bittering and grassy, but nothing special.

There is a slight herbal quality to this one, but it barely helps. Honestly? It is akin to drinking a average to below average Oktoberfest without that cloying malt flavor sticking in the back of your throat.

Mouth feel- The feel is by far the best part so far, however, it is still a touch to light. It wants to be medium bodied, but it does not quite get there. The carbonation is average, not really creamy, nor is it watery.

Overall- I really enjoy Samuel Smith offerings, so it is a little bit of a let down to try this beer. The nose presents flavors that would probably work really well together if they were not so subtle, and were actually present on the palate.

The drink is not necessarily bad, it is just so plain in every sense of the word. There have not been any winter warmers so far that have impressed me. And this one does not change that opinion.

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Iron Horse mug.

A Pours a clear copper color that is topped with an off white head.

S Some caramel malt with a metallic note that seems to be present in all Samuel Smiths beers.

T More caramel and metal along with a bit of a fruity taste and a bit of bread.

M Medium body that is well carbonated.

Overall this is a solid winter beer, its fairly complex and a nice break from the various spiced beers that come out this time of year. Plus the price is excellent for what you get which makes this beer worth buying.

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +9%

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,996 ratings.