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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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1,781 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,781
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 56 | 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: 1,781 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber colour with generous white head. Lace is nice as well.

Aroma has a fresh, clean, metallic steel component with a mixed berry dessert cake in the background.

Palate is warm with alcohol, rich & malty with spice, and finishes with a citrus baked dessert sweetness. Alcohol is present on the finish as well.

yemenmocha, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of nortmand
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown pour that hints at amber with an ephemeral white head.

Mild chocolate notes in the aroma. Fruity esters a metallic edge.

Some spice flavors and a slight chocolate flavor are pushed to the side by a harsh metallic flavor and an uneven bitterness.

Light bodied, fairly mild and drinkable, the metallic presence is unpleasant, though.

nortmand, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of CanuckRover
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mmmm November, nothing like a good Winter Beer haul, especially when you live in one of the coldest capitals on the planet.

Not terribly exciting visually. Decent head and lacings, billowy with medium sized bubbles. A coppery-amber, clear.

Aroma is mostly orangey English malt, some caramel and maybe a touch of hops.

Taste a tad dissapointing for a seasonal. The typical English fruity malt that I know and love is there, but I expect a little more from a winter offering. Quite a bit of English hops, nice bitterness balanced well by the biscuity malt. They really coat the mouth though and the bitterness really sticks around... over stays it's welcome I'd say. A smidge of spiciness, but not enough for me to actually call out any flavours. I get a metallic taste off it, and I don't think it's from the pour or service.

A dissapointed in my November haul. Had it after Wychwood's offering and this just didn't match up. A decent enough ale, but not as interesting as a winter ale should be... in my humble opinion of course.

CanuckRover, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep copper/amber color. Much lighter that I expected from a winter warmer. Has a nice two finger head that leaves good lace.

Smell is of some sugary malt and a bit vegetal.

Taste is malty. Sweet and vegetal. At least I think that is how you spell that word??

Overall, not bad, not good, somewhere in between. Easy to drink and has a nice malty quality that I like in winter beers. Not spiced and not dark like the new winter warmers I really enjoy.

bluegrassbrew, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of orangedive
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice 1.5 inch white head with decent lace forming. Crisp amber color.

S - Malty with hints of vanilla and a touch of citrus. Mossy and a little spicy and a little chocolate, too. The smell is nicely complex.

T - Lots of malt and sweetness. I'm tasting quite a bit of moss or grassiness. It's not as complex on taste as its smell promised

M - A little thin - not coarse but not smooth either.

D - Beer is easy to consume. I would have another one.

orangedive, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There was a lot of hype surrounding this beer. Everyone at work kept telling me this was the best holiday beer available. Big disappointment. The beer poured a nice copper color with a big, rocky off white head. The smell was all malt. Heavy sweetness with slight hoppiness. The taste was heavy mineral. It had almost an iron taste to it which dominated thoughout. It overshadowed the malt sweetness I expected. The mouthfeel was medium body with mild carbonation. Overall drinkability for me was disappointing. I wasn't impressed by this beer as I thought I would be.

Beerbuddha, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of crayphish
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This winter warmer pours a coppery to gold liquid with a fluffy craggy two finger head. This brew gives head on demand. LOL! Lots of carbonation and lace. Smell is a spiced malt. Cloves and caramel. Some hops. Taste is a extremely pleasing malted base with the caramel, spice, and hops. A slight sour finish. Mouthfeel is overall clean. The malt is fairly sweet and full. An extremely drinkable winter warmer, one which I am sure to seek out each season.

crayphish, Nov 17, 2007
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.

t0rin0, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of ralree
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazelnut with a nice 2-finger large-bubbled head. Retention good, and
lacing decent.

S: Banana and Chocolate with lots of holiday spices

T: Nice heavy bitter dark chocolate, and a little fruit with a bitter bready
finish. Has a little bit of alkaline taste to it.

M: Very frothy, medium-heavy bodied, and slightly astringent.

D: Very drinkable - would be fabulous right in front of a nice warm fire.

ralree, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Traquairlover
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith makes some of my favourite brews, and this edition of the Winter Welcome Ale is no exception. This was a 12oz bottle, refrigerated but brought closer to room temp before drinking (say somewhere in low 50's Fahrenheit when poured). Poured into a traditional Guinness pint glass (16oz pint, not imperial pint).

A = Clear, copper/caramel coloured with light carbonation. Small head which receded almost entirely within 5 minutes.

S = There is an underlying caramel odor which is common to all of the SS beers but this one also has a sweeter, fruitier overlay. Not overly citrus but a definite hint of oranges and mild spices.

T = Tartness in the immediate foreground, with the citrus experienced in the nose coming on strong in the taste followed by a malty finish. Citrus overtones do not go away however but blend into the malty taste and last well into the the aftertaste.

M = Rich and full bodied mouthfeel. Above average but only slightly.

D = Very drinkable. This is a relatively mellow brew and not the best choice if you are looking for a highly spiced, very fruity winter brew. However, it has an elegance many winter beers lack and is very satisfying in a mellow, classy sort of way. A great brew for sitting back by a fire and watching the snow fall outside.

Traquairlover, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, 2007-2008 vintage. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a copper color with a half-inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is malty, it smells like toasted malt and caramel, with a bit of spice and fruityness too. It tastes the same way to me, but the spicyness in the beer is subdued. I think the beer could use some more spice, it needs to be kicked up a bit. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, not hard to drink at all. Overall I think it's a decent, enjoyable winter warmer. I'd pick it up again.

bluejacket74, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle, 2007-2008, served in a large glass beer mug.

A - clear, copper color with a fluffy white head that settled to a layer, leaving lots of sticky lace.

S - somewhat hoppy, malty backbone / malty sweetness impressed me more in the '09-'10.

T - bitter hop taste upfront, malty flavors come through, very clean finish / '09-'10 found the bitterness and sweetness to be very well balanced.

M - light/medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - I enjoyed drinking this beer and I will get more.

I re-visited this brew with the '09-'10 brewing and found it to be much more tasty than my original review (I updated the scores as well). The malty backbone of this brew is delicious, one of my new found winter favorites
Winter '10-'11 update - I really look forward to getting this beer fresh each November it's very good.

JoeyBeerBelly, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An impressive beer from Samuel Smith, Winter Welcome Ale is a tremendous way to enjoy a cold Fall or Winter evening, coupled with a good book by the fire or chin-wagging with friends. I had this 550 mL bottle chilled in the refrigerator for a couple days rather than warm, and it was absolutely delicious. This beverage pours a nice brown-red body with a rich head, with a nice slightly fruity aroma emanating from it. The taste is smooth and delicious, with a nice blend of fruit and mild spices coming forth. It finishes smoothly and is delicious enough to have a few. One of my favorite Samuel Smith products. Though I cannot say I've ever had a bad one from this first-rate English brewery, Winter Welcome Ale ranks high on my list from them and in general, and should be a welcome addition to anyone's refrigerator as 2007 winds into 2008. A very fine product.

Gehrig, Nov 11, 2007
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.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of Rainintheface
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 2.7oz. 2007-2008 edition. Poured into SA glass

A: orangy copper, minimal head rings the glass. light carbonation.

S: sweet caramel, non overpowering spices, orange marmalade

T: caramel malt, spicy and sweet fruit

M: starts sweet and ends with faint bitterness. somewhat slick but still manages to be crisp

D: certainly drinkable. could have a few, but wasn't as spice laden as many winter/holiday offerings tend to be

Rainintheface, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one's been sitting in the fridge at my local liquor store for some time now; this is the 2006-2007 edition of Sammy Smith's Winter Warmer. Let's pop the cap and see how well this has held up:

Light copper color that forms a big head in my pint glass. In the aroma, there are notes of bubblegum, alcohol, spice, and light husk. Moving on to the tasting, I'm getting a more mellow flavor. Little bite with a moderate malty flavor. Hops come up in the back. Notes of raisins and semi-sweet chocolate. A fume of alcohol slowly warms the stomach. No serious complaints here.

DoubleJ, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a small, less than one-finger head. Aroma is nice and malty, spicy and to the point for the style. Taste is somewhat fruity with spice at the back of the throat. A second sip confirms the spices in what appears to be a well balanced beer. This isn't overpowering like a few other winter warmers I've reviewed. Nice and actually quenchable for a cold fall evening.

Brad007, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of Murchmac
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.0 is the lowest I could give this beer in any category.

Looks good, mmmm good

Smells good, mmmm good

Tastes Good, "Tastes Good"

The slate tablets have spoken. This is the ooey goody goodness standard to hold this style too. Thank you England.

Murchmac, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of shererjt
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

550 mL brown bottle served in a dimpled mug.

Poured a light copper color with just the slightest bit of haze. Big, fluffy tan head. Wonderful malt aroma that was balanced by a flowery hop presence. Faintly smoky. Medium body. Pretty dry with a fair amount of bitterness and hop flavor. Not as tasty as expected. Some oxidation--not sure if it's supposed to be there or this bottle is old. Balance was to the hops. Creamy, lively mouthfeel. Drinkability was just average.

A bit disappointing for a Samuel Smith's beer. Need to sample this one again in the future. Note: drink close to room temperature.

shererjt, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of stcules
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber, chestnut color, clear and brilliant.Beige head, creamy and compact, beautiful.
Malty smell, and spicy, caramel, vanilla, with a touch of herbal and hop.
It's a winter warmer, and it warms, definitely, even with an alcoholic strength not too high. "Warm" taste, with caramel, malt, and herbal hop.
At the aftertaste the hoppiness is more strong, and there are again maltiness and orange touch.
Average to high body.

stcules, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of timtim
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear dark amber. off white head with good retention and good lace. smells aren't incredibley strong, but there is some fruitiness (raspberry) and a hint of sweetness, some spice (cinnamon maybe?) and a decent malt character. tastes the same. definite fruit as the beer warms a little. Soft, smooth and very good. Proper, soft spoken. What a pleasure. Maybe people who expect out there, cutting edge and different won't be satisfied by this one, but I think it is a great beer. Here comes snow!!!

timtim, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of plexiprs
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice deep red burnt copper or rust color. Little head, poured with some but didn't last long at all. the 550ml bottle in a clean heavy 18oz glass.

Average or dated comes to mind. Being more a fan of Sam's Stouts and Porters this is "Ok" but nothing special to write home about. Sweet with some fruityness but crisp maybe a hint of orange or tangerine???

Little tingle from a hint of pepper but it fades quickly as does the aroma, taste and interest in having a follow-up beer

plexiprs, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007/2008 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a dark orange/copper hue with a small, white head that is mostly diminishing, minimal lacing
S- Nose is of dark fruits and sweet molasses, caramel, pine/earthy aromas, alcohol, spices, and a touch of yeast
T- Initial taste is sweet rich malts, biscuity and toasty, followed by earthy and spicey tones, finish is dry with slight alcohol
M- Light/medium-bodied ale, thick and oily texture coats the tongue, moderate carbonation
D- 6%abv makes this a surprisingly easy-drinking "winter warmer", this is usually a plus, but I would prefer more body and alcohol heft to a winter ale, an interesting ale with a colorful label, but I am not too compelled for a repeat performance

Stoneman78, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle purchased at Joe Canal's in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ. 2006-2007 bottling.

Appearence: deep amber, with a slightly red tinge. Very minimal head which disipated almost instantly. Very clear with nice carbonation.

Smell: A little hoppy and slightly fruity , but nothing else very noticable.

Taste: Malty start with some hops and alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just a tad more body than my tap water.

Drinkability: I expected more from this beer. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Will try it again.

Jerzdevil1116, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of botham
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pint bottle poured into a nonic. pours a crystal clear deep amber color with garnet highlights. a sizable head tops this one off, which is light amber in color. stays for a while, leaving moderate lacings on the glass.

aroma is of caramel malts with a sweet and fruity character. notes include apple, grapes, grassy hops, and grainy malts. all together, the aroma is sweet, with the only hop character being distant.

taste is grainy up front with caramel malts prevalent. close behind is the ale yeast, which gives the same apple and grape notes. finish is smooth and creamy, without much on the hop side.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture and a smooth finish and aftertaste.

drinkability is great. this is a mild brew that does well to warm one up inside. would go great with some apple pie. cheers!

botham, Oct 18, 2007
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,781 ratings.