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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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1,758 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,758
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 48 | 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: 1,758 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color, clear, small off-white head with no lacing. It smells of butterscotch. The taste is of caramel malt, some bitter hops, not very distinct. This is my first English version of the winter warmer, definitely not as spicy as the American counterpart. The mouthfeel is light but not watery, fizzy carbonation, crisp. This is quite neutral of an ale but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 02:44:48 | More by Gmann
Photo of FenwaySquid


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

Presentation: 550ml (18.7 oz) brown bottle, only dating is "2006-2007" on the main label, poured into a pint glass. It doesn't factor into the review but I really like the label.

Appearance: Crystal clear amber color. the head formed a good 2 fingers thick and faded into a thin layer of bubbles resting on top that doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon.

Aroma: Sweet toasted and caramel malts.

Taste: Toasted malts up front transitioning to butterscotch and some spiciness in the middle. The finish was slightly bitter with caramel lingering.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth for a 6.0% ABV beer, and still rather crisp. The carbonation is in good balance as well.

Overall: Decent, but not malty enough to cut through those cold winter evenings for me. I like to break this one out once a year to enjoy, but that's about it.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 04:33:39 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of mpyle


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coarse head, moderate in size with mediocre retention. Surprisingly pale for a winter ale, with the color of tea, but with excellent clarity.

Aroma fairly clean, but a bit of a rusty nail or copper penny.

While the appearance and aroma didn't indicate anything special, the beer was pretty darn nice once it hit the tongue. Rich malty character, but without the complexity added by darker malts. Finishes clean with a subtle lingering malt. A little bit a like a doppelbock, but with some very slight oxidation/sherry nodes.

Low carbonation and moderate body. Very smooth and creamy. Minimal alcohol warming and just a hint of oxidation bite.

Overall a nice, fairly straightforward beer. I could definitely knock back a few of these - if only I could afford to buy them!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 02:30:07 | More by mpyle
Photo of ppoitras


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

550ml bottle via Christmas gift. Thanks for the opportunity, Kris. 2006-2007 edition, gold foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the clear caramel brew. Head falls slowly, with sporadic sticky lace. Aroma is lightly spiced hops. Taste is sweet malt upfront, ample fruitiness in the center, coupled with some spices, and a bitter finish. Mouthfeel not quite as smooth as it could be, and drinkability is not too bad either. Just a bit below what I've come to expect from Sam Smith.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 01:53:23 | More by ppoitras
Photo of guinnessfan


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

'06/'07 550 ml brown bottle poured into oversized wine glass

A: Crystal clear orange/amber, with 2 finger off-white head, with good retention and adequate lacing.

S: Mild malt, maybe some sweetness. Not much going on here.

T: No hops, no alcohol, not much flavor at all. I can't get any spice, neither. I guess that's because its English. Mild, sweet malt.

M: Thin, flat, little carbonation.

D: Easy to pound, but too expensive for that. Not bad, just not that good. Beats BMC any day. Sam Smith has better offerings IMO.

Not what I expected in a Winter Warmer. Someone told me it's because it's an English Warmer. They don't spice like others. I will not seek this out again. Too much money for so little flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2007 21:53:26 | More by guinnessfan
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

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

The look of this was quite appealing, a nice light amder color with a soft white head.Not a lot of spicyness in the nose as I expected and a slight malt aroma was detected. The carbonation was good and mouthfeel was great. Just enough body but not overwhelming.
This beer was not as spicy and complex as I expected from a "winter" beer but was very acceptable for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 01:13:31 | More by dmamiano
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber orange presentation witha small head of tan foam. Medium low level of carbonation. No lacing in the glass.

S: Grassy aroma in the nose off the get go. Lots of spices and a touch of clove. Burnt buttery malt is a mild afterthough.

T: Roasted grain and dark earth saturate the buttery bread like flavors credited to the malt. Mild hop character is slightly sweet and adds a fair amount to the overall experience.

M: Thin, watery. Kind of like hot tea that's mixed with honey, and then cooled to room temperature. No carbonation, making it very flat on the palate.

D: Not bad. Give it some more carbonation and density, and I could come back to it again. Otherwise, i'll skip it.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2007 23:38:27 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of rayjay


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

YEAH, BROWN BOTTLES!!! 2006/2007 edition.

This one just screams British beer. Deep, light brown body. Perfect carbonation, which adds a tiny bit of spice. It's actually hard to tell if it's an ale or lager, as it has British characteristics of both. The sweetness of carmel malts, and the mellow bite of low alpha hops. Just barely sticky. Possibly some spices are present, but all the flavors are very mellow and round, and work in harmony. Very nutty aftertaste. A great winter tradition I've enjoyed for almost 10 years. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2007 20:18:26 | More by rayjay
Photo of zjungleist


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

I really like this beer, I buy it every year. This year is different enough that I think it deserves a re-review. First thing thats different... brown bottles. Pours red/amber with a medium offwhite head. The smell is much more malty that I recall. Lots of caramel, toffee, baking bread. The taste has the same malt profile, with a little bit of citrusy hop twang. Mouthfeel is a fair medium. I can say this is fairly different than I remember, and I've been buying this every year for some time. While a lot of the malt tastes and smells seem cleaner and clearer, it also seems to be lacking in some of the yeasty/beery elements that I would say made up a good part of the charm that this beer had. Maybe this is due to the brown bottles, maybe a different yeast stain. With the cleaner flavors and larger profile that allows, technically speaking I would say this is a good thing. Although, and maybe this is just me, I kinda miss the beery/funky taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2007 02:22:26 | More by zjungleist
Photo of clemtig76

South Carolina

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

2006/07 550ml brown bottle purchased at Green's in Greenville, SC. Pours a clear amber/orange with a big fluffy off white head. Sweet malty smell with a touch of toffee in the background. Taste is of sweet carmel malt, with a hint of orange peel and spice. The Hops are mild, but apparent. The alcohol is warming but not overdone. A very nice winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 21:13:14 | More by clemtig76
Photo of SetarconeX


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

A nice brown ale, with a tinge of red on the color. Healthy froth on top, that seems to linger well. Smells a bit odd though, malt with a metallic twist. Rather sweet taste, with subdued hops, making this a very easy to drink beer. Light and malty, and most definitely, as others have pointed out, buttery.

Personally, I prefer something a bit more heavy in the dead of winter, but that doesn't keep this from being a decently tasty brew. Thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 21:47:49 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of mmmbeer


4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My original review was last year's vintage, to which I gave a 3.6 and complained about the clear bottles. My wishes were fulfilled when I found a brown-glass 550 mL (Victorian pint) for this year's vintage - figured I should re-review the beer. It pours a light copper with a finger of tan head that reduces to a collar. The aroma is pleasant, with red apples, cherries, toasted malts, floral hops, and light spice. It tastes of roasted/toasted malts, green/leafy, oily, and floral hops, and a bitterness that begins light, but becomes medium. The body is fairly carbonated, medium, and leaves a light to medium finish. A pretty good English ale, and I'm glad they switched to the brown bottles.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 23:46:38 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of mjc410


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour from the new brown bottle into my Sam Smith pint glass raises a bubbly three finger head that is quite loud, and fizzles down quickly to a still respectable half-finger, which leaves a bit of sticky lacing. The head is off-white, over a delightfully hued deep amber/copper body. The nose is sweet, and a bit minerally, and overall seems a bit thin. The taste is full of that characteristic minerally Sam Smith flavor, but has a nice breadiness, and sweet caramel and toffee notes. The mouth is noticeably thin, and has a fine but cutting carbonation. This is a very quaffable ale that I would love to have regualar access to.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 04:32:04 | More by mjc410
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first year in a long time that I got the Winter Welcome. As with what everyone has already said I am glad that they have finally gone to brown bottles. In the past it was hit and miss I guess with the clear bottles and off flavors. This year the brew was very nice, had a copper color to it with a smallish light tan head that had some legs. The aroma was not too shabby; a lot of caramel was present mixed in with a toasted scent. The taste is quite nice, easy drinking as I have really polished it off when I was putting together my hiking equipment. Nice malt flavor at the start that really seems to carry right through, also notes of different spices through out and a slight hop finish. This is a nice brew, one that I use to really look forward to probably 5+ years ago, guess I kind of forgot about it. Glad that I gave it a try this year, will be one that I look for around the holidays in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 02:49:03 | More by Stimack
Photo of Cresant


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. 2006/2007 clear bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip glass. Body was a clear copper color with a faint tinge of mauve. A small head faded to a ring of white foam pretty quickly.

Smell was spicy. A slight vinegar aroma reminded me of a Flemish ale. Husky hops smell and cucumbers. Tea smell came late as it warmed. The aroma is rather complex and enjoyable.

Taste was spicy and rather sour (as the smell was). Flavor was not as complex or interesting as the smell. Mild and well balanced. Another understated classic brew from the Tadcaster.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and mild to medium in carbonation. I will seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 15:10:09 | More by Cresant
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
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,758 ratings.