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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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1,755 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,755
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 46 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,755 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sigmund


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550 ml brown bottle, winter 2007-2008, now available in Norway (Vinmonopolet). BB end of August 08. ABV is 6.0%. Clear amber colour, huge off-white head. Moderate malty aroma, notes of caramel, toffee and biscuits. The flavour is also moderately malty and quite sweet, with notes of treacle, toffee and hints of oak. Moderate hops in the finish. Nothing wrong with it, but not really outstanding. It is quite obvious that this beer is not bottle conditioned.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2007 20:33:07 | More by Sigmund
Photo of hustlesworth


4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-07 vintage gold foil topped clear bottles have been cellared at the bier depot for almost a year. i'll drink 2 and save 1 to compare with the 07-08, and 1 with 08-09. i love sam smith's decorative bottles and everything that is associated with tadcaster brewery. "blessing of your heart, you brew good ale."

A- foam jumps out of the bottle when u crack it. poured in a pint glass the brew looks just like the drawing on the bottle. niiiice. clear honey amber in color with 1 1/2in fluffy somewhat loose cloud-like soapy head that leaves lots of wispy lace behind.

S- buttery sweet over ripened fruit, fortified wine, sweet red wood, and strawberry flavored cream cheese.

T- up front well water and butterscotch! malty caramel and toffee backed by mellow holiday fruit (date fig cranberry minus the tartness) balanced malt sweetness and floral herbal hops, sweet corn, grain, and a slight grassiness with more pronounced floral hops and a satisfying metallic mineral well water aftertaste.

MF- juicy and syrupy would be PERFECT with thanksgiving dinner. hrmm i wonder why. medium high carbonation softens the consistency into a refreshingly smooth crisp ale that does in fact warm the body despite it's modest ABV.

D- this beer smells and tastes like an oktoberfest...in fact if it were, it would be the best oktoberfest i'd ever had. its similarities frustrate me because no oktoberfest or marzen i've had is as well balanced as this ale. happy holidays mothafucka. highly drinkable.

07-08 - foam is dense and chunkier, color appears a darker copper amber. in the magic hue separator its red amber on top and golden brown in the bottom. amell is slightly fruitier with sweet & sour spiced bread, cider, ripe apples, berries, and marsala wine.
taste is much sharper and more bracing, hops are more present and floral fresh, complementing the toasty sweet malt. herbal dry finish and a velvety mouthfeel. 3.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 06:09:58 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of Procrastinator


4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006-2007 vintage
550ml brown bottle poured into Sam Adams Pint Glass. Bought this one around January 2007 and cellared it for about 9 months.

Appearance: copper and orange body with beige fluffy head. Decent lacing and vigorous carbonation.

Smell: mild alcohol and sweet raisins, sticky molasses and scents of hard mineral water.

Taste: upfront alcohol and hop bitterness. Slight metallic flavor.
English mineral hard water. Sweet pitted fruit like plums sweetened with buttery caramel.

Mouthfeel: well balanced and full bodied with slick texture and gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: unlike many winter beers which are overpowered with spices, this beer relied on well balanced hops and malty sweetness. I'd drink several at just about anytime, not just in chilly weather.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 23:13:49 | More by Procrastinator
Photo of gmfessen


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a copper-amber color with a thin, slightly creamy-looking head. Smell is subtle - bready with a bit of spice and a grainy maltyness. The taste is quite malty and there is minimal spice, with a toasted malt flavor that I had not picked up on in the smell. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly prickly carbonation. Overall this is a drinkable beer and is a decent Winter Warmer.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 02:27:03 | More by gmfessen
Photo of tavernseeker


4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber with a touch of red. Very little head and low lacing.

Smell: The nose is somewhat grainy with a great deal of caramel sweetness and some dried fruits.

Taste: Sweet, caramel maltiness with slight hints of spice that appear as it warms. Light hop bittering to balance it very well.

Drinkability: A great winter session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 00:49:34 | More by tavernseeker
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger very light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Nice clear amber color. Medium bodied. Malty nose. Light-medium carbonation. Flavor is malty, caramel, slight dryness at finish. No hint of seaweed. $2.50 for a 12oz clear bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2007 22:20:25 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Melchizedek


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a little Samuel Smith sampler to let the little bro try while he was in town - (un)fortunately, he left without trying three of them. C'est la vie. :)

Pours a nice bronze with a dense, strong off-white head.

Aroma is almost honey-sweet, mildly spicy, maybe a little leafy/medicinal touch from hops. In the mouth, smooth and rich, with a surprising level of bitterness. Sweet and biscuity notes come through, a definite caramel touch, slight alcohol taste, mostly mineral and even a bit sour in the finish.

A nice drink - this is the wrong season for it, but it serves very nicely as an evening sipper. A little heavy/boozy for repeated applications, but thoroughly pleasant. I have yet to have a dud from Sam Smith.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 01:00:38 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle. 2006-07 Version.

Crystal clear, dark amber liquid. Medium sized, creamy, ivory colored head.

Scents of caramel, grass, alcohol (faint), cherries and spices (pepper and nutmeg).

More sweet than bitter, but not by much. Herbal. Figs and cherries danced around a bit. Coriander. Touch of molasses. Pepper and maybe grass at the finish.

Medium to medium + body. Fairly high carbonation as well, perhaps a bit too much. Dry.

Nice winter warmer as winter hangs on here in Maryland into April. The spice flavor was a bit heavier than I care for, but was balanced nicely by the bittering. The carbonation could have been toned down as well. Very easy to drink, though.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 15:40:21 | More by
Photo of JayQue


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

April 29th in Tidewater VA is hardly winter, but this is not a strictly winter brew like Mad Elf or Delirium Noel. Pours a very clear light amber with a medium size frothy white head. I did not detect much of a smell. The taste was very smooth and malty without any of the heaviness or spiciness that I would associate with a winter beer. This is a year round brew. I had it with cheese and crackers and found it a very flavorful and mild accompaniment to the snack. Very drinkable (although 6 abv). I would have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2007 23:48:05 | More by JayQue
Photo of BuckSpin


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 550ml bottle in a classic conical pint glass

Poured silently with a noticeable crisp, carbonated flow.

Unusual nose. Minerals, wet rocks, foggy morning air, straw, a wisp of some spice. Ahhhh, there we go. As it warms up and more of the pint's bottom airs more traditional qualities like caramelized malts, dried cherries, currants, a little more spice shine thru. Head was a solid finger of lively, loose, agitated pearled cream foam that faded quickly to a 1/8" blanket of the same that laced sporadically. A lovely, brassy, honey amber hue, crystal clear, much like a single malt or bourbon. For all the initial crackle and agitation surprising few bubbles slowly rise thru it.

A semi-sweet, subtly rich, caramelized malt quality is first noticeable on the tongue, traces of honey, some mild hops, lightly bitter. As it blooms the caramel sweetness (not candy like but richer & chewier) grows, its getting softer up front, not as brash, not that it was that much to begin with but this is nicer, more welcoming & enjoyable. Its reaching its stride now with the bottle's contents now fully emptied and warming some (it wasn't very cold to start with...right out of the cellar) and is an easy sip. Definitely in the English style of warmer (no spices) which is nice. It has some Scottish Ale qualities in sweetness & malt profile. A slight peek of some pepper now counter-weighs the sweet malts. Its nice & creamy, slightly syrupy on the palate, soft caramel, a little light fruit (apple, pear) for its sweet tones, its getting better & better as it warms. It finishes cider dry in feel & taste (apple), flat, earthy malts, leaving a chewy, coating, coyly warming, semi-sweet after taste.

I know this could not have been below 50ish degrees out of the bottle, but it certainly took off & got much better with about 10 minutes of blooming in a pint glass, so I would definitely recommend allowing it to come up in temperature and get some air. Its nice, a welcome change from the Americanized spiced versions. If you like Scottish Ales I would definitely give this a shot, and if you just like a nice, easy to drink, subtly sweet malt profile then this is for you. Could pair this with a nice sharp cheddar, or even a softer, riper cheese, as well as any meat & potato combos. A nice Winter Warmer, and one I recommend (after its warmed) and will enjoy annually.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 00:24:58 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of arnulfooxblood


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. 2006-2007 Season.

Appearance--Very nice ruby to brown color, adequate head with good retention. Very appealing looking brew.

Smell--Smells like a well balanced beer. Both malts and hops are discernible with neither dominating.

Taste/Mouthfeel--Nice malty flavors with a very faint hint of sweet berry. Very smooth mouthfeel makes it go down easy.

A very easy drinking beer, tastes very good. But at the price, it's very easy to find a comparable or better beer for far less.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 13:29:52 | More by arnulfooxblood
Photo of JMD71


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled the 2006-07 version. Sampled & reveiwed on 1/19/07:

Ap: Hard pour raises two fingers of rocky head. Good carbonation. Copper color sparkles in the light.

Ar: Sweet malt prevalent. Some raisins, dates & plums. No hop profile noted. Buttered caramel toast.

Ta: Sweet malt dominates the flavor as in the aroma. Caramel, toasty flavor. Biscuity. Slight bitterness in the finish nicely balances the sweetness. A bit sweet towards the end of the bottle.

Mo: Medium bodied. Very clean on the palette. No real lingering aftertaste. Carbonation leaves mouth tingling.

Dr: Easy drinking. Smooth & clean. No overbearing flavors to detract its drinkability.

Comments: Very tasty Winter Warmer. Not overdone with spices as in most WW. Almost an Old Ale but not as high ABV as most Old Ales. Good flavor & well balanced. Again, a bit sweet after a full bottle, but a smaller portion would be perfect.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2007 22:13:25 | More by JMD71
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another good brew from a damn fine brewery. Enjoyed in my Samuel Smith pint glass.

Poured a clear ruddy amber with a 1 finger tan coloured head. Very low level of finely bubbled carbonation present. A scant collar of lacings rims my pint glass.

Slightly buttery treacle toffee with some walnut. Fruity esters of cherry and date. Earthy, leafy aromas like autumn, with hints of wood, perhaps from the hops or some fusel alcohols. Smells alot like a nice dark fruitcake.

Decent malt backbone of treacle toffee with some walnuts. Fruity esters with taste of cherry, and in combination with the dicetyl the impression of figs and dates is left. The slightest hint of earthy, woody spice is present, perhaps cinnamon or cardamon, or it may just be the hops who also appear with an earthy, leafy, and woody bitter finish. A very mild fusel character is also apparent on the finish, and adds to the flavour and complexity of this brew.

A tasty medium bodied ale. Very well balanced with rich malts, slightly bitter hops, and the hints of fusel and spice. Somewhat creamy in mouthfeel, with a slight metallic twang.

Very drinkable, could make decent session fare. But at 6% alcohol perhaps its better suited to sipping in front of the fire with family and friends on a cold winter night. Ill be looking for this one again next winter.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2007 11:57:29 | More by demcorhip
Photo of penguinjive7

New York

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a thick, ivory head.

Smells of fruity caramel. Makes me think of eating fruit with a caramel dip. Quite pleasant.

There is the slightest of a bite upfront, but immediately vanishes and is replaced by the same caramel/fruity flavor. The finish is quite pleasant, not very bitter or spicy at all...very sweet.

Carbonation is strong but it does not take away from the overall mouthfeel. Not too thin, not too thick.

This is a highly drinkable brew. I could easily sip this one down and move on to the next...if they came in six packs and were a bit easier on the wallet.

Overall a great brew. It wouldn't hurt if it was a tad bit stronger as in other winter warmers, but it gets the job done. Will definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 01:33:57 | More by penguinjive7
Photo of meadhead


3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light bready caramel malt
with a mild dry hop finish

A mild pleasing
and easy gulping ale

Pours a clear
classic golden-tan
off-white colored head

Tastes of subtle caramel malts
a faint hint of yeast esters
and a mild hop bitterness...

a nice mouthfeel
not too carbonated
not too syurpy

Drinks easy and clean
an All around inviting ale
that would be easy to session

good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 01:15:25 | More by meadhead
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml brown(!) bottle purchased at of all places Richmond variety of all places... Copper-amber translucent body with about an inch of light tan head that leaves really good lacing. Smells fruity, spicy, and biscuity. Tastes sweet, fruity and malty with a roasty caramel character that surfaces toward the finish and just a hint of a metalic quality. Complex and pleasing flavor whose only flaw is letting the alcohol show a bit much for a 6%ABV offering. That flaw fades after a few sips. Creamy full mouthfeel. As I have more, the rich caramel malt becomes more apparent. Very drinkable considerin how rich and full it is. Wow, this is a good beer. Definitely picking up a few more bottles before the winter's out.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 21:31:14 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of mithrascruor


3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours an amber color, clear body, off-white head. The head is 1 in.+ thick and quite dense.

Smell: Bready, sweet, toasty malts with a warm feel. Reminds me a bit of some sweeter doppelbocks, but a bit lighter.

Taste: Malty, sweet, and a bit tart. Some molasses or caramel is present, and the aftertaste presents some mildly bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium body. Has a somewhat warm feel too.

Drinkability: A bit too sweet to have many of these, but it's a very drinkable beer.

I think it's a nice and enjoyable beer, but it's not something I'd go for too often. Not as "wintery" as some winter beers I've had, and if I had a wider selection I'd probably try something else. But I think if you like beers with some sweeter hints like this, it's something good to at least try!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2007 05:21:02 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of tgbljb


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crystal-clear deep amber color with moderate off-white head. Poor retention, but very attractive lacing.
Smell is light with a light summer fruity sweetness.
Taste is very bitter at first with only a slight malt presence to balance.As thew beer warmed the malt beame more evident and the the bitterness more restrained .
Finishes withn a nice balance of malt and hops.
This beer is much better as it approaches room temperature. Cold it is not very good.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 19:11:15 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jwc215


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with orangish/reddish hues. A frothy fead that descends to a lasting thin cover tops it off.

The smell is earthy, bready with a touch of pepper.

The taste is of caramelish sweetness with a bready, nutty undertone. Some fruitiness and pepper come into play. Leafy bitterness in the finish cuts the sweetness, almost too much so. The spiciness is mild.

It approaches full body, but stops just short. It coats somewhat, but carbonation is a bit high for style.

It's only somewhat "warming" wiith some vague, restrained spiciness. It's decent, but not one of this great brewery's better offerings, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 22:51:38 | More by jwc215
Photo of Nipitato


3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Pours with a thin white head. Clear medium dark amber hue.

S: Good sweet malt aroma couples with a faint touch of "yule" spice.

T: Nice sweet malt flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Malt has caramel characteristics. Some dried fruit also noticeable. No spice detectable.

MF: Light for a warmer. Thin insipid mouthfeel - could be a bit chewier.

D: An ok holiday ale. Light and drinkable but not really what I would be looking for in this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 17:42:33 | More by Nipitato
Photo of shadow1961


3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale pours
out a fluffy creamy head over a clear amber
brew. Carbonation is active and the nose is of
malt and fruit. The flavor is of malt and biscuit
with a slighthop finish. Very mellow and pleasant-
and at 6% alcohol by volume, a pretty typical winter

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 08:17:06 | More by shadow1961
Photo of AChamberlain


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1pt 2.7 fl.oz with no date. 2006/07 bottling.

A: Thin off white head. Tanic colored.

S: Hop aroma, like a pale ale. Sweetness.

T: Matls and sweet flavors. Hop bitternes going down. Great warming flavor.

MF: Smooth. Good carbonation. Warm medium body.

D: Very drinkable. I could have many more and still be enjoying the beer.

I am looking forward to many more years of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2007 18:18:43 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of mattviator


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big clear bottle with nice label. The smell is alright, biscuit malt and caramel. I foud this to be nicely flavored for the style with toasted caramel and spices. Fruit comes through a bit and it finishes with an herbal hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very creamy. Overall it is a good beer but a little too expensive for me to buy more.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 05:21:20 | More by mattviator
Photo of sstackho

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle gifted from LCBO in Toronto, sampled in early 2007. Pours a clear brown with little carbonation. Gentle spicy aroma, and a nice spicy taste, although the taste fades a tad too quickly for my liking. Perhaps this is one that improves with aging?

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 01:51:18 | More by sstackho
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 2006/2007

AP: Pure amber color, totally clear with a bubbly, thick and frothy slightly off-white head.

Nose: A sweet and herbal spiced malted edge with a nutty, sourdough bread aroma and a caramalized, brown sugar sweetness. There is a subtle but fruity hop scent way down deep.

Taste: The dominant malted flavor includes: Herbal and mildly spicey, Nutmeg and brown-sugar like sweetness that lingers on the palate. A nice complex malted flavor overall. The subtle hop finish is mildly sweet with some ripe red fruits popping through.

MF: Medium bodied feel with a crisp and clean bite that mellows and melts on the tongue.

DA: This is one of my favorite winter-style brews with good balance and not overly spiced or sweetened. Pretty easy to drink at 6%.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 22:50:41 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,755 ratings.