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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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BA SCORE
83
good

1,741 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,741
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: 1,741 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Iguana
Iguana

Oregon

2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing the 2006-2007 bottle I just got. Pour's a clear coppery brown with a nice head that laced up pretty quick. Smells hint at caramel malts, but not much to it. Taste is metallic and extremely dry. Hints of sweet malts in the taste but again rather lacking. Mouthfeel is extremely dry. Dont reckon I will get this one again with so many other tastier more available winter brews around.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2006 02:42:36 | More by Iguana
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown bottle dated winter 2006 / 2007 release.

Pours clear copper with lots of carbonation and a few fingers of nice creamy foam. Smells somewhat lacking; hard water, green leafy hops, a bit of caramel. Flavor is better. Toasted biscuit malts lead to a chewy and nutty rounded caramel center. Finishes with some lingering leafy bitterness and a hint of alcohol warmth. Clean medium body with big carbonation. A little uneven, but pretty pleasing in the end.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 23:53:29 | More by dgallina
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2006 - 2007 edition. Tasted fresh! October, 2006
Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger head that melts to fine respectable lacing.
Aroma is again, unimpressive for a winter warmer...toasted malt and little else.
Taste is much like the aroma....toasted malt....sweetness...light hop drying on the end. More is needed from a winter warmer.
Aftertaste is clean, but just clean. Light toasted malt...nothiing else.
I enjoy Winter brews and look forward to them. This is merely an English Amber. Good as an English Amber..totally uninspired as a Winter Warmer.
A number of reviewers have said they thought they got a bad bottle which is why I picked up a fresh one this year to re-review it.
Nope....they aren't skunked...they just aren't that good.
Good English Ale? Yeah...quite possibly. But scored to style....very poor.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 03:21:08 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of dblinkhorn
dblinkhorn

California

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful golden amber color that is crystal clear. The head is off-white and velvety smooth. It pours at about two fingers and settles at a single finger cap of some of the silkiest head I've ever seen. Little lacing is left on the glass as you drink it.

Smell - I'm catching the distinct smell of hemp right on the nose. Some sweet medium fruits along with a lightly toasted and earthy malt character in the background. There are some slightly citrus and bitter hops also hidden in the background.

Taste - The taste is what you would expect from the smell discription above, although the hemp aroma has not translated into the flavor. Toasted malt and some earthiness make up the foundation, and this is balanced by some fruity flavors and a very slight note of hop bitterness. The flavors are well-balanced in this brew and freakishly so in the finish, and unfortunately quite tamed.

Mouthfeel - A bit more carbonation than I would prefer with this fairly light-bodied brew. There is some smoothness to the brew, but overall its mouthfeel isn't its strongest point. Decent, all things considered, though.

Drinkability - With incredible balance (especially in the finish) and quite tame flavors overall, I would have no problem emptying probably four of these.

Overall, the best quality of this brew is definitely its balance. It's a bit lacking still in its overall flavor, though. A decent seasonal ale that is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 05:05:04 | More by dblinkhorn
Photo of barefootbrewer
barefootbrewer

Mississippi

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

This beer poured a dark gold with a thick, long lasting head. The smell was extremely hoppy. The taste is well balanced between mellow malt and bitter hops. The mouthfeel is full and thick and slightly chewy. I consider this a highly drinkable beer and am glad wintertime is near!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 01:00:36 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

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

Wow. How average. Unimpressive. I have heard so many people speak of this as though it were some sort of legendary brew of unequalled taste. I, personally, don't feel it's all that special, really. It poured a crystal clear reddish brown colour with a snow white foam head that dissolved in about 40 seconds. It smelled mostly of [sweet] malt, but there was a bit of hops there, as well. More hops present in the taste, which again, was mostly sweet malts. Notably more hops in the taste than smell, though. Mouthfeel is smooth and nice, but nothing that really grabs one's attention.
Overall, I felt this was very average. Not a bad beer, certainly not; but nothing like what I was expecting on account of all the hype.
Perhaps I should revisit this in a few days, perhaps with a warmer example.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2006 04:26:53 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of jameaterblues
jameaterblues

New York

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There were a couple 4 packs of the 2005 left at the whole foods....I picked one up to see how it would taste in June.
A- 1/4th inch cream colored head, and the beer was a dark amber with orange hints.
S- Sweet toasted malts, a little caramel and toffee....and a slight spice (cinnamon and ginger?).
T- Spiciness of the hops on at the beginning and in the body(not a distinctive spice), smooth toffee, buttery finish.
M/D- Thick and heavy, light carbonation....I feel this beer gets better as you work through the pint...I also noticed that it has gotten a good deal sweeter in the 6 months after the holiday....Great in the winter, but good during all seasons.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 16:23:24 | More by jameaterblues
Photo of clickpush
clickpush

Pennsylvania

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

Pour: 550ml bottle to pint glass. Pours a beautiful two-finger light tan head and a reddish beer with lots of active carbonation. The head has good retention and nice lacings.

Nose: Most noticeable are the hops with cranberry-like tart/bitter notes. A feeling of freshly popped corn and other cooking grains.

Mouth: The flavors start off sweet and biscuity but the further they get in the mouth, the more bitter it gets, until finally swallowing in a tasty combination of fruit and hops. Flavors of bananas linger in the back of the throat and a bit of spice controls the buds along the sides of the tongue. There's an excellent lasting bitterness and a nice, light mouthfeel that helps coat the whole mouth with flavor. The only downfall is that the beer is a tad too sweet.

Note: Excellent Shakespeare quote on the bottle: "Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale." Ha!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 17:29:22 | More by clickpush
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so it's May, but I wanted to open this one before it got lost in the cellar. Also, this is a good chance to note that the typical Samuel Smith bottle, 550 ML, is perfect beer bottle size. I wish they were all this size.

Poured a dense, frothy head that minimized signficantly as the beer warmed. Very few bubbles, but they race quickly to the top. Light-brown color is shot through with a light orange shade. Almost looks like your typical American IPA.

Light aroma gives off a caramel sweetness with a swirl of vanilla, spices, and citrus/fruit in the background.

Down the hatch it goes: hops come through strongly, followed by a roasted, nearly burnt caramel flavor and lingering fruits. There's an acidic, bitter aftertaste. Overall it seems dull. I'm not getting the warming sensation one usually associates with a Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel was too carbonated for what I was tasting/expecting. A smoother, creamier texture would've helped these flavors ride through better.

It certainly gets better and mellower as it warms, but still, if I'm going for some holiday cheer beer, I can think of a zillion Belgians I'd rather spend time with.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 21:49:11 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of crwills
crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part 2 of 2 of the Christmas beers in April. Definitely the weaker of the two (the other being my last bottle of Trafalgar Celebration).

Poured a reddish gold, with a small bubbly head.

Mildly spicy aroma, with some sweet notes.

Taste is very malty and sweet, with some roasted chocolate and baked bread notes. Bit of spice, but definitely nowhere near as 'spicy' as the Celebration. Nice, smooth mouthfeel, but an unexpectedly bitter aftertaste lowers drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2006 23:56:53 | More by crwills
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance- Poured a three quarter finger head with a slow deteriation to a film. Color is a slightly bright amber, almost a burnt orange. Decent lacing for an English ale.

Smell- The first wiff was like a tunny poilsner froma can. But as the beer began to warm, the bad lager smell went away to a bland sweetened bread aroma.

Taste- Starts out with some aromatic hop flavoring and dry crystal malts, but sloiwly eveolves into some sweet hints of pound cake.

Mouthfeel- Not bad carbonation helps bring this par beer some points for a renowned brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2006 02:26:31 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of malty
malty

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

'05-'06 edition. Poured into my 8 oz. pilsner glass a clear golden copper color with a thin white head. Visible moderate carbonation.

Scents are whimsically fresh and blossoming. I swear I catch a hint of single malt scotch from 2 ft. away from my nose. I pull the glass right beneath my nostrils and I get honey, sandalwood, cinnamon and vanilla. There's that signature wet rock, minerally scent common (at least to my nose) with most all Sam Smith's beers.

Flavors don't much reflect what I smelled, although there's a nice fresh crispness that stays. A very well balanced light carmel malt supported by an understated but still apparent semi-dry hop backdrop. As I mix a quick sip mixed with air and let it hit the roof of my mouth while I smack my lips, I get that scotch whiskey flavor that was in the scent.

Mouthfeel is signature Sam Smith's - on the lighter side of medium bodied with not so much carbonation to let the flavors of the ale stand tall. An ever so soft & dry ending.

Drinkability is top notch. If you like a well-crafted low carbonated English Ale (like me), you'll be likely to drink this effortlessly. I sure did.

Overall an ale that smells like a Winter/X-Mas ale but drinks (and tastes) like a masterfully built pale ale with a ghostly dash of good whiskey somewhere in there. Very subtle but complex. You can ponder or pound this ale, it's very multi-dimensional. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 22:56:53 | More by malty
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Basically a bold pale ale in strength, spices, and flavor. Still, a bit ordinary. A brilliant and bright copper color with aromas of nuts, nutmeg, caramel, and a light fruitiness. Tastes moderately malty, nutty, spices, and wood-sy. A mild apple and berry tartness persistes in the tastes and feel. Moderate weight and creaminess to the mouth. Finishes clean, dry, and less sweet than was expecting. A moderate alcohol warmth and flavor shows throughout, leaving a light plastic flavor in the aftertaste. Moderate in every sense of the word. Will never offend, but difficult to brag about either.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2006 17:39:41 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A resurgence of cold weather here in Connecticut made it seem like drinking a "winter welcome" would be fitting this evening.
A: Flipping off the bottlecap, a moderate pour produces an off-white, prodigious, but light and frothy head. The beer itself is a light caramel-orange color, not far from iced tea. Clear with no haze and visibly active carbonation that decreases with time. The head lingers as a thin foam for the entire drinking session, gradually wearing away into a ring around the perimeter of the glass. No lacing.
S: Aroma is very upfront about its sweetness and has a floral hops presence in the background.
T: Hops permeate the taste in a surprising way, as they do not dominate the scent by any means. The light, sweet maltiness is filtered through a haze of hops that blend together rather effortlessly; quite balanced and little bitterness from the hops. Some hints of unripe pear. As the beer swirls to the back of the mouth, faint alcohol traces seep into the presentation. Finish is of tangy malt and light floral hops.
M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation that allows for some foaming in the mouth. Dry finish as expected from the hop presence.
D: Quite drinkable, though a bit light in the body for a winter warmer. The aspects that make up the beer are well-interwoven and successfully pulled off, though nothing is, by itself, particularly interesting or defining.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 04:01:50 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

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

Appearance in the 550ml. clear bottle is inviting, as well it pours a nice medium copper-brown ale, with a slightly off-white head of two fingers. A handsome ale, with a nice lacing trailing behind.

First off the nose is a malty, nutty, roasted, slightly skunky, somewhat potent, airomatic overload of a brew. A rather nut brown smelling beer, with a bit extra everything for an appealling (makes you want to taste it) character...nice.

Tastes very much as it smells, a strong tasting nut brown ale, with lot's of personality, ie. flavor...or shall I say flavour ?

Mouthfilling, sweet to a hop balanced finish, good carbonation with a solid medium body, it's got a creamy and satisfying finish that temps you to have more.

A very tasty English brew, nice seasonal offering and consistant, year after year.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2006 08:03:39 | More by scottoale
Photo of jabocu
jabocu

Georgia

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

Bottle poured into glass.

A – Crisp amber and copper tones. Looks very clear and clean. Nice cap about half an inch thick and light yellow.

S – Smells like caramel popcorn. Very sweet with a hint of hops. Has a very rich smell.

T – Deep caramel taste. Roasted hops and grapefruit. I can feel the hops coming through all flavors.

M – Carbonation is right on. It wakes the senses and then mellows out nicely. Very warm and refreshing. Finishes dry.

D – Very warm and inviting. Perfect for a cold night for sipping and talking. Very enjoyable and satisfying. Definitely a winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 02:11:28 | More by jabocu
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

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

Pours copper and gold hued with hyper clarity and a bright white head.
Aroma has a honey note lingering in the faded caramel and butterscotch sweet notes. Some grassy and oily hops play in and out in the background.
Flavor starts with a subdued caramel malt and doughy note and moves to a oily, light citrus hop note and then finishes with a big grainy, alcoholic estery pop.
Mouthfeel is a lot thinner than my memory served and to be seems flawed for style. A certain dryness in the finish seems a bit out of place as well. I would expect a little more backbone with a WW.
Drinkability is still solid and relatively potent just note the kind of warming and meaty beer I used to crave and seek for fullness.

(This review and beer were sort of a mid-career review for me as I remember drinming this brew back in the early 90's as my beer experimentation began. Looking back my palate has certainly developed and the seach for great beers continues on.)

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2006 16:41:46 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

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

poured into pint glass.
Cloudy hazel, caramel color with some redness. Frothy head that thinned out, but did not disappear.
Aroma of almond, malt, and pear...some ginger.
Tastes a crisp, yet malty, caramel flavor. Some spices in it but nothing like some of the American winter ales.
Some fruit..pear perhaps. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2006 21:42:07 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

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

Purchased from the BP in Five Points, Huntsville, AL.

Pours a nice dark amber hue with a thick off-white head. Head dissipates, but it leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass.

Spicy, fruity, malty aroma, reminds me more of a weak Belgian than a winter warmer. Really nice.

Dry spiciness upfront, a touch of dryness to the palate, with a nice fruity aftertaste. Pleasant and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel moderate but enjoyable nonetheless. Not to thick to be undrinkable, but not to thin as to be uninteresting.

Overall, I like this beer way more than I expected to. My favorite from Sam Smith? Maybe.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2006 23:37:14 | More by danielharper
Photo of rabsten
rabsten

West Virginia

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The 2005-06 batch.

Nice head, 1 to 1/2 inches. This head stayed around for a while, unlike my other Samuel Smiths this weekend. Laced all the way down, leaving a nice tale of each sip.

Slightly cloudy amber with good carbonation. Smell was citrusy with malt presence.

Flavour was stronger than the other Sam Smiths I've had recently. Hoppier than the Pale Ale, maltier than the Nut Brown. There was a definite spice hinted at too, but I couldn't pin it down. Not as strong as other seasonals (Anchor and Great Lakes, e.g.).

If you're looking for a winter-style ale that doesn't overpower, this would be a fine choice.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 01:46:07 | More by rabsten
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

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

Amber coloured with very thin lacing
Smell: caramel, fruity very English
Taste: caramel, bitter, fruity, slight maltiness with a dry finish, medium body.
This Winterwelcome ale is a decent beer, but it looks very similar to a best bitter on speed. So not a lot more complex, just a couple of pounds of extra malt or sugar. 85 % pale malt, 10% crystal, 5% sugar, something like that. Fermented with a fruity English yeast, finished. This sounds like I cannot appreciate this beer, but actually I like it.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 09:58:52 | More by Absumaster
Photo of amstelcat
amstelcat

Ohio

3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber color as it is poured into my favorite goblet. Hefty amount of off-white foam with but with not so good retention. Smell is sweet malty, hops not too discernable, and a little sulphery. First sip out of the gate is dry malt and again with the sulpher as the aftertaste. Kinda thin mouthfeel.
I don't know if I would have this again (oh wait, I have three left). Maybe I'm ultra sensitive to the off flavors in light struck beers, but I feel the clear bottle did this beer a mis-service. Too bad, I normally really like Sam Smith's offerings. This one is quite average.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 02:37:13 | More by amstelcat
Photo of hanco005
hanco005

Minnesota

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

550ml bottle of 2005-2006 edition poured into a pint glass

A—clear, light orange/amber color with a thick foamy, off white 1 inch head, leaves nice lacing as I drink the beer

S—mild caramel malt scent, a little butterscotch, some clove and nutmeg as well

T—mild hop bitterness with simple caramel and some sweet buttery toffee flavor. A nice balance between the hops and malts, I think, the taste goes from bitter to sweet and back to bitter before leaving the mouth

M—somewhat slimy with strong carbonation

D—overall a pretty good brew, but not something I would seek out. I could have maybe one more.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 02:19:47 | More by hanco005
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice copper color with a half-inch light colored foam cap. High clarity. Smell is faint and seems to be just bit hoppy with some carmelly malt aroma. Taste is somewhat sweet and malty, but it rubs me the wrong way, being almost stale or skunky perhaps. Some hop flavor present, but not really bitter. It feels kind of thin and watery on the palate, although carbonation is decent. The off flavors unfortunately made me not want to try this again. I don't know if this one saw too much light somewhere along the way or what, someday I might give it another chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 17:42:29 | More by bennetj17
Photo of MaltyGoodness
MaltyGoodness

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. 2005-2006 vintage.

Pours a clear amber with a creamy eggshell head that thins.Nice lacing around the glass.

Rather mild malty aroma. Some hints of caramel and butterscotch. Nice, but quite subdued.

Nice crisp malty flavor with tones of caramel and butterscotch. Followed by a slight hop bitterness and then finishes dry.

Body is fairly creamy but seems a bit thin.

Easily drinkable, I have had a fair share of these over the years. I know it's a winter warmer, but it's no sipping beer. It would actually be a good beer to drink outside on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2006 00:46:54 | More by MaltyGoodness
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,741 ratings.