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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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1,740 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,740
Reviews: 1,072
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 20
Gots: 40 | 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: 1,740 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Winter


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

2006/2007 bottling. Gold foil a top a brown bottle.

Pours an attractive clear copper in color with a light khaki colored head. Aroma consists of caramel malt, toasted biscuit and floral hops. The mouthfeel is soft and medium in body. Light malt flavor upfront and mildly hoppy throughout. Herbal floral hoppiness in the finish contributes to a light bitterness toward the back. This is easily drinkable. Although it's not what's "expected" now with all the seasonal spicing and higher alcohol levels (despite it's 6% abv) in most American winter warmers, this is a nice and drinkable English Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 17:02:15 | More by Winter
Photo of fank2788


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 550ml bottle into my samuel smith pint glass
This beer has a nice copper color with a white head. The beer has high clarity with low head retention and a it leaves a little lacing on the glass. The smell is of caramel malts and sweetness maybe a bit of spice, cinnamon or ginger perhaps, as well. The taste is fairly well rounded fruity sweetness mixed with a slight acidic taste from the spices and hops there is also a bit of metallic tangyness in there as well, the alcohol comes through as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is light and slightly acidic fairly highly carbonated. The drinkability is better than fair there is nothing challenging or off putting about this beer, it's not bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 02:02:25 | More by fank2788
Photo of GimmeAles


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty, absolutely clear copper fills my Old Guardian goblet. A large, creamy beige head forms and dissipates quickly. Errant streamers support wispy remnants of the head.

Nose is subdued earthy maltiness with tinges of caramel and metal poking through. Warming in the glass produces more of the caramel and butterscotch with a faint herbal backdrop.

Taste is distinctively British malts upfront; caramel (made with some Devon Cream) and a distinct butterscotch twinge; soft, herbal and floral hops then meld, producing a lovely earthy balance of sweet and bitter. A spicy and buttery finish lingers – the spiciness is a sharp prick of fresh grated nutmeg and the buttery is pleasant. I kept getting impressions of a cool, hot-buttered-rum, really.

Fine conditioning make this a smooth and easy drinker and a welcome one at that. While not as gimmicky as many winter warmers, this one makes a casual, yet interesting appearance which I will certainly have again.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 04:08:47 | More by GimmeAles
Photo of Kendo

New York

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

A: Perfectly filling my Sam Smith's pint glass, a moderate pour yields a clear, honey-copper body with a small, slightly off-white head. Some bubbles rise, and the head leaves some lacing on the way down.

S: Malty grains and sweetness -- hints of vanilla and caramel. The warmer it gets, the sweeter it smells.

T: Grainy, bready malt again, with just a hint of some sort of spice -- is it allspice? Nutmeg? Also sweet malts that remind me of toffee, caramel or butterscotch. A bit of a metallic twangy aftertaste lingers on the back of the mouth and tongue, more so as it warms. With warmth also comes more of the sweet flavors. Speaking of warmth, the alcohol does warm the belly a bit.

M: Light-to-moderate in heft, decently carbonated, but with a slightly slick metallic finish.

D: Good. It's light in body and not over-the-top in spices. Reminds me basically of an English Ale with just a tad bit of spice, thereby allowing it to call itself a "winter ale."

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 02:57:41 | More by Kendo
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark copper, with a thick, but loose head.

S - Pungent floral/herby hops. Good maltiness in the background. Slightly metallic.

T - Lots of apples with a mild bitterness. Hops are quite light, with the malt doing most of the talking, and is slightly sweet. Some lemon.

M/D - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation is easy going. This is a solid tasty offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 01:04:36 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of sleazo

New York

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

I poured this one into my weizen glass, simply because thats what would hold the sized bottle i had. The pour produced a nice head, with good lacing as I drank it down. Smell wise was nothing special, minimal spicing, maybe some yeast. My first sip was way too cold so i let it warm up before the second one. After about 15 minutes the beer really opened up. Not as much spice as i would like from a winter beer, but it still had a very pleasing taste and went down very easily. there was a general thickness to the beer that created a pleasant moutfeel.

I actually could drink alot of these and it is obviously a well crafted brew, but i prefer my winter warmers to be a little darker or spicier. This sort of fell in the middle. A pleasant experience overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 07:21:03 | More by sleazo
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


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

Poured from a big pint ++ bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a clear copper color with good carbonation. The head is 1 fat finger, off white and leaver some lace.

The smell is nice Very bready with hints on spice.

The Taste follows well. A nice bitter bready taste, Very small spice notes. I like it this way better, too many ave over spiced.

The mouthfeel is fine, Very good, Nice feel, good carbonation, the body is fine too.

The drinkability is very good, Great, No prob knocking several of these back. but all in all not a beer I will get lots of, too many others to dring that have the whole package. Prosit MK

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 04:47:04 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of JayTheFinn


4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very tasty! I gave it high marks for sheer drinkability. This one goes down smooth!

A - Clear light copper body with a strong, long lasting head.
S - Smells sweet and spicey, like the scent of a carrot cake that the neighbor just made.
T - Nice mild malty mix. Subtle alcohol taste. Just enough spice, while not overwhelming the tongue.
M - Lingers on the tongue for a good long while.
D - I could drink these all day!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 04:19:42 | More by JayTheFinn
Photo of MiScusi


4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle, poured a nice clear dull brown, maybe a little orange in there, with a bubbly/fluffy white head that dissipates after a minute. The smoothness and subtle spiciness really make this a nice and mild beer to drink. Little toastly malt as well as caramel presence there too. Carbonation gives a somewhat prickly mouthfeel at first but overall a smoothness takes over.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 05:56:53 | More by MiScusi
Photo of beerphan


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz clear bottle -> goblet
2006 edition
code: SG27B1

Pours a clear copper with a big white head that fades to a thin layer of suds and leaves thick rings of lace. Carbonation is average.

Nose: Not much here, some light spice and malt.

Taste: Mimics the nose. Sublte spice flavors with some a nice maltiness. Not a very intense beer with an average taste that really could not offend.

The mouth is average, and not as thick as some winter ales.

The is a light version of the winter ale, making it a very drinkable brew. I find alot of winter welcomes to be too overwhelming for long sessions, but this one i think deserves one session a year.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 23:23:04 | More by beerphan
Photo of Franchise


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

This offering from Samuel Smith's pours a maroon burnt sienna leaving a thick frothy off-white head and a crystal clear body. The aroma is caramel, plum, yeast, fruity, faint hop essence. The taste starts nutty and fruity with slight funky esters with a tart acidic bitterness rounded out by more bready, fruity, plum, fig sweetness. This is a good beer mild but satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 21:16:28 | More by Franchise
Photo of BlackAngus


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep copper color, thin white head.

S - Sourness, maltiness, with a touch of hops.

T - Sour, tangy, malty, but with a nice hop flavor.

M - Medium body, clean, nicely carbed.

D - I would definitely get this again. I really wish we could get this in brown bottles, because I'm always hesitant to buy imports in clear glass. But I'll be looking for this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 04:33:13 | More by BlackAngus
Photo of shamus

Ontario (Canada)

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

2006-2007 Edition

A Christmas special. I like the holidays so I like the idea of a holiday brew. This has a colourful label that depicts and old fashioned Christmas scene of a Victorian looking couple ice-skating.

The beer itself is a deep copper with plenty of head that laces very nicely. it has a nice smell of mildly spicy malt and hops. It's a bit sweeter than what I generally like but the bitterness of the hops offset this to create a very enjoyable brew.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 21:39:29 | More by shamus
Photo of theopholis


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

Appearance: Poured from the 550 ml brown bottle into a tulip glass. A semi-loose, white head , little staying power tho, with some very interesting lacing.

Aroma: Mostly a mash sourness in the beginning. As it warms, you get light floral hop aroma in the backgorund, with a crisp, sweet maltiness in the foreground.

Taste: An odd sourness in the beginning, with a nice slightly acidic, hoppy flavor on the tip of your toungue.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, very prominant on the tongue and in the jowels. Medium body with a crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. Not overly heavy like a lot of winter ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 06:03:02 | More by theopholis
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 part liquid, 1 part head. Amber, clear, almost no carbonation.

Light caramely and bready malt and yeast esters. Smells like Pilsner yeast.

Light. Sweet nectar. Mild metallic vibes. Mild bitterness.

Nice oral fomation and carbonation sting. Refreshing.

Delicate and complex flavors to be admired. This makes it a very light ale. I’ve read that this was one of the original winter warmers and modern variations are much stronger and bolder. I respect Winter Welcome for this, although I don’t think it stands up to modern Winter Warmer standards. It does not have big malt presence, among other lacking qualities. It would make a weak Old Ale or a good solid English Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 21:09:04 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of Magpie14


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

Appernace: classic golden, red color almost like a tint of crimson and cinnamon. The foamy soapy head formed quickly and left quickly. It did leave some big chunks at the rim of the glass but that was about it.

Smell: smells a bit watery or thin with hint of honey....but I could detect slight spices and grassy hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: spices, hops, and toatsy malts. Some interesting toffee or honey/caramel flavor pairs nicely with the spiced flavor (nutmeg and small touch of cinnamon) and is a good example of a winter warmer. Body is slightly creamy and smooth. Nice beer to sip! aftertaste is kind of dry and gets to you after a while.

not to shabby! I would buy this again as long as I can find it around here.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 18:47:14 | More by Magpie14
Photo of cornet1


3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I saw this at one of my local stores, I just had to pick it up. I have had several other Samuel Smith's and they have all been fantastic so I wanted to try this one out too. It wasn't until I got home and poured a bottle into my mug that I noticed that the four bottles in the pack were from the 2005-2006 series (I bought this on Dec. 6 2006). I guess the 6% alcohol has kept this four pack alright because it wasn't flat or sour/sunky. It poured a wonderful amber color with a nice think foamy head. The tase was malty with just a hint of something extra....ginger perhaps? I really wish I had this brew before so that I could compare it to see if the age has affected it at all. Well, I recommend the 2005-2006...that is if anyone out there still has any around! I would love to hear some comments letting me know if this beer can be aged for a year with out it going bad!!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 04:27:39 | More by cornet1
Photo of BigRedN


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

Appearance: Poured from the 550 ml BROWN bottle into a pint glass. A very nice 1-inch head forms a top the clear amber colored beer. The head has some staying power before fading to a nice cover. Leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Initial scent is hoppy aromas, mostly floral. As the beer warms up I get more malt. The malt aromas are lightly roasted caramel malts, I anticipate some sweet malt in the taste from the scent.

Taste: A touch sweet malt at the outset, as expected. A nice firm spicy, hoppy finish. A nice well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, a touch prickly on the tongue. Medium in body with a nice crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable and enjoyable beer, even at 6% alcohol. There are just so many winter brews to try, I don't know if I'll get around to picking another up. This will make my list of gets for next winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 04:50:07 | More by BigRedN
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-2007 Version (Brown Bottle!!!!)

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with a bubbly head that hangs around but fails in the lacing department

Smell: Butterscotch aroma with vague hints of holiday spice

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor that is joined by holiday spice and bitter character mid-palate; after the swallow the ale gets fruitier and also provides a subtle but sharp earthy bitter flash

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful that punches the right buttons in a Winter Warmer

Thanks, beerhandy

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 00:27:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of sinstaineddemon


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

A - this winter ale pours a light brown chestnut color with alight tan head and some dawdling few bubbles of carbonation

S - big on the vanilla/malty aromas up front, sweet and roasted and wintry, a great balance, with that intrepid amalgamation of holiday spices lingereing in the undercurrent

T - malty up front as expected, with an uprising hoppiness whose boldness surprised me, a nice balance, with a hint of those aforementioned holiday spices, but just enough, not to much much as to overspice, but enough to make you want another sip to figure it out, but you never will, my guess would be ginger/nutmeg, like a gingerbread man

M&D - smooth, enough so the girlfriend didnt hate it, but a nice winter beer that would keep an Athabaskan warm. enjoyable and shareable, a great holiday beer, if not one of the best

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2006 15:34:33 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of schusterbauer


4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appears a very clear orange/brown color in the glass, with a 1-finger off-white head that leaves hints of lacing. smells of buttered rum, caramel, and a slight hint of bread/yeast. tastes like buttered rum/butterscotch; lots of biscuit flavor; a very nice peppery finish with hints of nutmeg, and a good amount of hops bitterness. these flavors, playing off of one another, put me more in the mind of winter and the holidays than the candied sweetness of other winter warmers. mouthfeel is quite buttery and oily, which actually seems just right to match the flavors. drinkability is high. this is a very understated and classy beer that truly does make a nice winter warmer. the spices seem right for a cold night by a fire, and the abv is just enough to give you a kick of warmth without overdoing it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2006 14:41:39 | More by schusterbauer
Photo of brdc


3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber with a white foamy head that disappears way too quickly, leaving little lacing behind.
Smell is rather weak, with some hints of hops and malts, but all very faint.
Taste is somewhat bland as well; some maltiness with a drier, hop finish, but I really did not find a lot of complexity there.
Mouthfeel is somewhat oily, easy but not enticing to drink.
Not a bad beer, but really not special. Samuel Smith has a lot of better offerings out there, the Porter being my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 01:20:50 | More by brdc
Photo of DaveFL1976


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

The body on this beer really is pretty. A copper/reddish/amber color, crystal clear and sparkling. The head is a bit of a let-down, unfortunately. Starts foamy and then dissapates into nearly nothing.

Smell is rather weak on this brew, and just not very interesting. A little bit of maltyness, and a tiny bit of hops, but just rather bland.

Taste is sweet up front with plenty of malt. A bit spicy or herbal, then buttery on the end.

Mouthfeel is rather thick and coats the mouth well. Drinkability is so so. I probably won't be buying another, but I'll definately finish this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 00:09:19 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of GPHarris


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

2006-07 release

a - poured a two fingers thick, creamy off-white head into a snifter. body is a clear dark amber color. nice contrast between head and body color. leaves a thin ring of lace until almost the bitter end.
s - yeast, toffee, floral scents.
t - alcohol is slightly evident at beginning. pine and vanilla are the most pronounced scents.
m - crisp and medium mouthfeel.
d - another solid effort from s.s. but while most of their brews are very good, they are not worth the price in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2006 15:24:00 | More by GPHarris
Photo of bgraney


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber, lots of bubbles. Full, fluffy white head.
Mild holiday spice aroma with a slight hop background.
Tastes of plums and raisins with noticeable alcohol presence.
Fairly light on the tongue with a lingering hop bitterness.
Half way through I was thinking I would like another but by the end of the glass I'd decided I'd had enough of that. It's a good, well crafted beer but I didn't find inspiring and I was of the "I could take it or leave it" attitude.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 23:18:57 | More by bgraney
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,740 ratings.