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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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1,917 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,917
Reviews: 1,094
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 29
Gots: 99 | 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: 1,917 | Reviews: 1,094 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of treyrab
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rather dismal, rainy, cold night in State College, so I thought this would do the trick. Poured it into my pint glass...

A: Very clear orange copper with a beautiful, creamy tan head. The head laces and is very sticky and lasts just about the whole glass!

S: The main scents coming through are of tons of spices. Some nutmeg and a bit of clove, but tons of caramel malts are coming through also.

T: A very interesting taste here. I am picking up tons of spices, caramel malts, English toffee, but also a touch of cider, which is actually appealing here. The hops are definitely present and balance out the malt very nice.

Overall, this is a very good winter warmer. The carbonation is rather high, but that does not deteriorate from how good the beer is. Another job well done.

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

355 ml bottle purchased 10 minutes ago at World Wines and Liquor in Mentor, Ohio. Gold label covers the cap, 2007/2008 variety. Poured into my official, clean, clear Samuel Smith glass.

A golden brown body with thin head which dissapeared within 90 seconds.

S malt and barley dominate, not a strong smell.

T Full, busy taste of barley and malt. Not much hops...maybe near the end.

M Silky smooth and full for sure. Very appropriate for the "Winter Welcome" style.

D Good with reasonable alcohol content. I could share the 4 pack with one other person (2 each) but I do not see buying this again. Too many other better beers to buy.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

550 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. 2007/2008 variety.

3.5 A: Thick head that retains well. Lacing is there, though not too much. Color is a yellow amber.

3.0 S: Weak bouquet. Aromas that do come through are toasty and biscuity malts and grapefruit. Pleasant, but not enough.

3.5 T: Like the smell, the taste is also rather subtle. The main flavor is not grapefruit, but rather something very similar. I can't put my finger on what is different. Also grainy/toasty malts only without any sweetness. Dry and slightly bitter finish.

3.0 M: Though many probably enjoy the amount of carbonation, I don't simply because the taste isn't strong enough to justify such high carbonation.

2.5 D: No way I'd want another.

This isn't what I expected from a winter warmer in that it was dry as a desert in hell and the alcohol was nearly undetectable and therefore unable to "warm".

Photo of changeup45
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in their traditional pint sized, aluminum foil wrapped bottle, looking like a gourmet malt liquor. Pours a brown-copper color, nice head and a pretty good amount of lacing left on the glass. Smooth malt aroma, while the flavor is a spicy malt at first then a hoppy bite. Pretty well balanced. Sammy Smith's is pretty solid across the board.

Photo of kinger
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My second experience with Samuel Smith and I promise I will not be suckered again. Paid $4 bucks for this average looking, smelling, and tasting ale. Decent beer but definitely should not call itself a holiday brew. Nothing spectacular here just like their renowned oatmeal stout simply average but extremely overpriced. Good bye Mr. Smith

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

Appearance- Pours with little head or carbonation. Beer itself is a medium brown color.

Smell- Slightly hoppy odor with some deeper malt notes, rather warm smelling.

Taste- Well rounded some slightly nutty flavors and malt character.

Mouthfeel- Good palate coverage, pretty good chompiness.

Drinkability- A great sipper on a winter evening.

Photo of AltBock
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown bottle. This one is their lastest version, 2007/2008 edition. The label changes from year to year. This one has a label of a tall ship docking on an English harbor. At the bottom of the picture is a man waving to a woman pulling a sled. Around the picture is a whole bunch of colored ribbons with different phrases in them and the Sam Smith's symbol of a barrel with the established year of 1758 on it. The back label hasa ll the mandatory US inofrmation and a listed ABV of 6%. I can't forget to mention that there's a gold foil over the cap. You can't miss it.

Appearance: When poured into a Brooklyn Imperial pint glass, this Sam Smith's is a clear amber with a small tint of copper mixed in with it. The initial head of foam was about an inch in height and white in color. This head of foam had OK retention that left behind a small off white colored film, foamy rings, and some spotty lace around the glass. At least the color of the beer wasn't bad.

Smell: When I first popped the cap, I got a strong whiff of banana chips. When the beer was poured, the banana chips were still there, but only in a small amount. The rest of the aroma was toasted with toasted malts, roasted nuts, a hint of juicy fruits, and then finishes up with a slight touch of English toffee.

Taste: This English Ale starts off nice and toasty with toasted malts, a hint of roasted nuts, and small dab of English toffee. After the maltyness leaves the tongue, the taste goes slightly dry and bitter with a splash of dried grapefruit and dried citrus hops. I guess i can say that it was well balanced. It wasn't too malty and it wasn't too bitter or dry.

Mouthfeel: It was a light bodied beer that was bordering on being a medium bodied beer. While the initial taste was malty, dry and bitter, the aftertaste was dry and sweet with toasted malts, a hint of dried floral hops, and plenty of sweet English toffee.

Drinkability: I've always enjoyed Sam Smith's beers and this one is no different. It's better than some, but not as good as some as their other ones. It's not too malty, bitter, sweet, or dry. It's just a well rounded English Ale. I could see cracking open one of these when winter rolls around again. It also makes a nice beer to have in the summer time.

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

Paid $3.99 for a 4-pack (bought six) at Jungle Jim's...

The beer pours a amber colored base with a medium sized white head, nice 1/4" retention and nice lacing on the glass. The aroma screams of caramel at first, with secondary tones of malt, hop, anise and cinnamon.

The taste has the tones come out on the tounge and all at once; a mixture of sweet malts and strong spice are primary, with the hop as an afterthought. The carbonation is moderate and it's a little heavy yet smooth in the mouth. AT 6.0%abv this is a great session beer if you like the style.

Final Thought: It reminds me of a prototype Bavarian doppelbock with a touch of sugar and spice which makes everything nice.

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

A- Brilliantly clear light amber with large tan head.

A- Caramel malt aroma. Slight fruit aromas as well.

T- Initially a sweet caramel taste. As it warms it gets more fruity and initially is like drinking juice. This gives way to hints of roasted malt and finishes slightly bitter and crisp.

M- Medium body, sortof chewy. Low carbonation. A slight warming from alcohol. Very smooth drinking brew.

D- A great winter warmer. 6% abv gives a nice warming feeling. Not to mention it is delicious.

Photo of bloberglawp
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark rich cooper with a solid head that lacing a bit and dissipates down to a thin film.

Aroma is shy a delicate. Some malt and butterscotchy caramelness. Flavor is a pronounced marris otter malt and herbal medicinal hop bite. Finishes quite dry and leaves you wanting another gulp.

Interesting ale, had it in a pint glass.

Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

18.7 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 2007/2008 vintage.

Appearance: Darker copper with hints of amber, minimal carbonation bubbling to the top. Not much lacing or retention at all, and though the head doesn't dissipate, it never gets more than just hovering above the color of the body.

Smell: Herbal hop aromas initially, with vinous characteristics (an interesting mix of sour, earthiness, and mild sweetness), mild raisins, hints of spice, cake batter, some cherries more toward the sour side, and a bit of mild funk as it continues to warm, which is nice.

Taste: I let this warm close to room temperature before I really tried to discern anything, since there wasn't much coming out of the right-out-of-the-fridge pour, which is what I usually like to do to see how much comes out of the initial colder temperature. But as it does warm, the hops, which initially are prominent and English-style bitter, they become a bit more herbal and citrus, along with mild cake, hints of spice and doughiness, diacetyl, hints of pear, mild caramel and honey, with some cherries and vinous flavors coming toward the finish, which is lingering and semi-dry and dominated by hop flavors with hints of fruit and cake coming through. There are many winter warmers that have gone above and beyond, but this is a solid standby. And as always with Samuel Smith, you can tell the quality is there, which is something I'm always a fan of. Still a pretty complex and tasty brew.

Mouthfeelo: Medium-bodied with fairly creamy carbonation, which comes through at the swallow, since oddly enough at the beginning it's deceptive and feels like it's going to be watery, but alas.

Drinkability: The quality and balance of this beer are pretty great. I even enjoyed this in the air conditioning, rather than waiting for winter, and I think it proves to be a brew for any season. A lot of complexity and many flavors to pick it out, along with being very sessionable in my opinion.

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

I can't be sure of the freshness of this beer, but I am sure that it's been kept out of light and kept refrigerated.

Poured from 18.7 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark amber with 1/2 inch head that receded quickly to thin white collar, and eventually nothing. Minimal lacing.

S - Sweet malt with a little bit of roasted character. Some smoke and wood pulls through as well.

T - Less than I expected from the nose. Sweet caramel malt dominates, followed by an earthy, slightly citrus hop character. All flavor dies out rather quickly leading to a surprisingly clean finish with hints of coffee and chocolate.

M - Moderately carbonated, and mostly slick, but with a strange watery character near the finish.

D - This brew is quite sweet, and coupled with the watery finish, I wouldn't want more than one of these. Decent but unbalanced.

Photo of IPAcraig
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Opening this one a bit after winter has passed; still good nonetheless.

Pours a nice copper with a big fluffy head that didnt last.

Smells of cinnamon coated oranges.

Tastes like a sweet wassail. Sweet malt, Christmas spice, and a slight bitter finish.

Somewhat thin bodied, but lightly carbonated.

I really liked this one. I will have another this year; this time during Winter.

Photo of rye726
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff and it is one of my favorite winter brews. It starts off with a rich auburn color under a creamy tan head. The nose has buttery candy with sweet malts and lots of spice. What amazes me about the flavor is the huge amount of spice presence it has while remaining well balanced. A creamy medium body passes well over the palate. Just a nice malty brew.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle, 2007-08 edition, 95 degree day in the Southland needs some Christmas cheer,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Treacle, sugar, light amount of earthy hops, nutmeg.

T: Very sugary and malty. Lots of toffee and caramel candy, a bit of spice, but you need to look for it. Off-dry finish.

M: Relatively light in body for this style, slightly viscous, sugary.

D: A tasty beer from Sam Smith's. A straight up English ale as a Winter Warmer is an interesting version, a beer to enjoy whenever the Yuletide comes around and you are aching for a taste of Olde England.

Photo of cyrenaica
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle
6.0% abv

I tried this beer on December 22, 2007 after purchasing my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a beautiful translucent pale red colour with a generous off-white head that disipates into rocky islands. The aroma is primarily malty with some sweet adjucts as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, and mildly carbonated. The flavout is primarily malt with some hop bitterness attached

Photo of kbnooshay
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with a two finger beige head. The frothy head stuck around for a few minutes. Sweet, rich and cake like. There is a nice presence of caramel and malt. Smooth and creamy as hell. There is a blast of toffee and malt up front and a slight hop bitterness which balances out the beer very nicely. The feel is creamy-smooth and slick. Very drinkable. I would gladly drink more than the 550ml allows.

Photo of jayrod20
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Natural510
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-07 batch...which I suppose would make it a vintage.

Pours a light, golden orange color with thick head from bottle, some of which retains throughout.

Smells of orange rind and light cinnamon.

This is a spicy brew with citrus twang. Again, orange comes through with cinnamon & nutmeg hinting in the background. There is a slight overall berry flavor as well.
It does create the desired warming sensation, without being overdone on the spices. A rich, light maltiness is balanced out by subtle hops.

The orange creates a twang which resonates through the mouth, backed by good carbonation and enough hop kick to keep things lively.

Overall a very balanced brew, easy to drink, with enough character to keep from getting boring. I snagged the last bottle at the store...and despite the clear bottle, age doesn't seem to be a problem. Hopefully I can try a fresh batch this coming winter to compare.

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

There is a nice dark copper color to it. It is clear with no hints of cloudiness to it at all. When poured a half inch white head with a combination of bubbles formed. The head slowly faded into a film and ring on top the beer that lasted until the finish.

When smelled you can detect a mixture of malts and grains. It almost smells like a bran cereal. There is a touch of citrus to it as well as a hint of spice. The taste is a combination of malts and some spices. I had a difficult time singling any out. They mixed fairly well together.

This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation level is comparable with most beers I've had. It's very easy to drink.

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

Right off the bat I am loving the label. Bright and colorful with quotes from Shakespeare looking wonderful and inviting. Enjoyed chilled in a pint glass. Poured a orange tinged golden color with a good head. Smelled of what I would describe as marmalade slathered biscuits. Tasted a tad bitter, certainly warming to the palate with a good balance of malt and hops crating a symphony together. I will definitely enjoy the holidays with this one in the future.

Photo of dacrza1
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Efferevescent, rocky white, thin two-finger head that settles onto a clear, orange brown body--tracing present throughout drinking...sharp malty scents with fruity citrus esthers reminiscent of an IPA, but the hops are well-balanced here...smooth entry with a bit of texture and a bubbly end... otherwise, casual in its presence... malt initially impresses...mellows quckly with a minimal bite of hop...alcohol is subtle--pleasant but not harrassing... maltier and fruitier than I expected--and this is a good thing! A beautiful overall effect in the sense and a fitting compliment to a snowbound evening....

Photo of BuffaloBill91
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know if they make this every year but bottle said 2007-2008.

A- Looked clear - with nice copper color- poured a nice cream 1 finger head that stayed long with a nice lacing left behind.

S- Smelled malt/grains, typical ale had hints of citrus

T- Pretty bready- had a lot of hops bitterness with just enough sweet to balance it out.

M- Smooth enough, good carbination

D- Was pretty average but has a bit of a hoppy bite to it..

Overall this was pretty average and I dont understand why it was called a winter warmer either- should been a lot higher alcohol content in it for it to be labeled that-- or at least be able to taste the alcohol/warmth.

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

One of my favorite winter brews.

A: Copper color with good clarity and moderate carbonation. White head is small but firm. Stays with the beer the whole way down and leaves a nice lace.

S: Apple jumped out first. Followed with cinnamon and grassy hops. Hints of nutmeg and butter are also present.

T: Initial sweetness tastes of caramel and toasted malt. Followed by a floral hops that offer almost perfect bitter balance. Finishes dry and with a tart cider taste. My sample had a slight metallic taste right out of the bottle, but it went away quickly.

M: Medium body with the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Not as overpowering as many winter beers. The combination of balance and complex flavors makes me want another.

Photo of erosier
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice orange-brown from the bottle with a tall but thin tan colored head that faded fast and laced the glass very well on the way down. It has a nice rich malty smell with hints of sweet winter spices but i couldn't pick them out. The taste was pretty good for a winter warmer as it had a very nice sweet malty base with a bit of cinnamon and honey I tasted though it was very faint. It had a very smooth but light mouthfeel and I was expecting something a bit thicker and with more winter flavor. The drinkability was good but I think it would be better if it had more flavor and body to it.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,917 ratings.