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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

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 chOAKbarrell


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is quite an aromatic beer. The scent exploded out of the bottle as I poured. I'm not really sure how to describe the smell. It's reminding me of a stinky cheap macro lager. Not good. Perhaps I got a skunked bottle?

The appearance is great - a deep amber with a small but frothy head.

Taste is very good. Malty, of course. There's a good bit of citrusy sweetness in there as well. The mouthfeel has a little bit of creaminess to it, which is a pleasant suprise.

In 2004, I was lucky enough to get a half-price case ($30) of S.S.'s Winter Welcome. It was the first time I had ever tried the beer, and I enjoyed it immensely. I'd love to be able to get that deal again!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 22:56:58 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of Vipsanius


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

The first 4 pack I got of this was very skunky even though I grabbed from the back where it was dark. However, I could tell there was enough to it that I wanted to try it again without the skunked smell. Luckily, the store made a display of the beer using unopened boxes of the beer so I went back and grabbed a few untainted 4 packs.

Poured a nice, fairly transparent copper color with an inch and a half cream colored head that dissipated to half a centimeter that remained that way till the end. Some lacing that sticks around but not a whole lot.

The smell is very earthy with sweet malty undertones and slight spiciness - enough to tingle the nose a little - nothing extrodinary but pleasant and at least not skunky this time.

The taste has a brief malty sweet beginning, then a hoppy dominance that's floral and spicy with a slight citrus bitterness. Finishes dry with a pleasant aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is carbonated - maybe a little too much. Starts watery but the carbonation fluffs it up in the mouth.

Overall its easy to drink, tastes and smells pleasant, good session beer, nothing spectacular but a very solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 22:22:05 | More by Vipsanius
Photo of sockeye101


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

Poured a very nice deep copper amber color, very clear and a had a nice off-white tan head that didn't stick around very long but still left a decent lace. The smells were a little sweet, and slightly nutty. I thought the taste was good, but nothing special. There were hints of sweetness and grains and had small hoppiness with no lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Like I said, this is nothing special, and I had difficulty getting any wow-factor from this beer. But still, it's very smooth and drinks well.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 18:39:58 | More by sockeye101
Photo of jakester


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

This was a gift from a friend. 2005-2006 model. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours (from a clear glass bottle) a very clear copper with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head falls to islands and a ring, with decent lacing. Carbonation looks low.

Aroma is sweet caramel-y malt and some nice spicy hops. This beer smells pretty good. As it warms, however, I can pick up some DMS, which seems odd in this type of beer.

Flavor is fairly sweet bready caramel, with a definitely there spicy hop taste. Hop bitterness is low, allowing the malt to shine in this one. This is well balanced and designed. Aftertaste is caramely, with a detectable level of DMS as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn smooth and creamy, with a gentle carbonation bite on the tongue. Residual sugar is fairly high, drying out slightly in the finish.

Overall, a pretty damn good beer. I know guys who drink this exclusively while it lasts, buying all they can get. The caramel malt is the main profile, but there is a spicy hop character there as well. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 16:39:23 | More by jakester
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

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

I won't say I'm disappointed, but this is not quite what I expect from Samuel Smith. This is a fairly average winter warmer from a brewery that I expect to do better than average beers.

This looks good, but does not smell any different than an English strong ale, such as Marston's Strong. A faint hint of skunkiness, possible because of the clear bottles. Malt, alcohol, weak hops.

Taste is okay: malty, but not really sweet. Low hop levels, but well balanced. There are traces of coffee and and a bit of caramel in there.

One thing Samuel Smith does well, and one of the high points of this beer, is drinkability. All of there brews are easy to drink and well done for their respective styles and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 04:40:50 | More by BDTyre
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

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

Poured a copper color with a huge head and very good lace. Smells are faint but decent - maily hops with some malt mixed in and a touch of apple. taste is again more hoppy than malty, but not overly. Sweet malt and that hint of apple come through at the end. A bit watery and week for a winter warmer IMHO. Nice drinkability though. Give one a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 03:19:09 | More by sabrills70
Photo of SkeeterHawk


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

Appearance: Pours a very clear reddish orange color with a ¼” head of small tannish bubbles at first pour. The head fell pretty quickly to a small film on top of the beer maintained by only a few bubbles rising. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma: I am glad it isn’t light struck...in this clear bottle, Whew! It definitely has that “typical” Sam Smiths aroma. I don’t know if it is derived as much from the yeast as the hops they use. It has an “earthy” character that is the signature of the beers that come from this brewery. I can smell hops that distinguish themselves from the earthyness. There is a good bit of caramel to the aroma...especially as it warms.

Taste: The beer is malt driven. It starts out with some sweetness from caramel, and then you can notice a bit of contribution from the hops. The floral hoppy flavor, along with a subtle spiciness, lasts well into the finish. The finish is rather dry and well attenuated with some bitterness to linger with the sweet malt. The beer comes across as a bit watery and undercarbonated.

Opinion: Well...this isn’t my favorite offering from Sam Smiths line-up. The beer has a good flavor, but in my opinion it is a bit uneventful. Even though it is a malty beer, the hops give it a bit of a harsh edge that didn’t totally agree with me. I would drink the beer again, but I am not going to be seeking it out like I do their Oatmeal and Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2005 20:41:17 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Higravity


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

Found an unopened box at the local so I opened it grab one and took it home made dinner had it while thing were still in the oven. I haven't had one in years as with many of Sam's products due to skunking. Well praise be this one was fresh. A nice oarnge-brown body with a white cap and good lacing. Slight buttery-nutty smell with a hint of caramel twang. Nice average taste of SS beer, full round maltyness cut with the noble hops and metalic zing. Well I can say I will almost never 'buy' one of these again. A shrug of a beer not much of a WW and thin in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2005 19:58:27 | More by Higravity
Photo of hero27


2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle.

I still shake my head every time I see clear bottles, but I'm done trying to figure out why they still use them. Clear copper color. A slight euroskunk aroma as soon as you pop the cap...other than that, it's mostly pale malts and a hint of spices. Tastes are very buttery and diacetyl abounds. Pretty harsh mouthfeel, that makes me want to brush my teeth after every sip. Nothing too impressive here from a brewery that's supposed to have a good reputation. Not one of the better winter ales you can try.. you can get a lot better beers that are a lot less expensive.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2005 23:23:47 | More by hero27
Photo of sacfly


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, orange colored brew with a thin tan head of small/medium bubbles. Smell is musty and faint.

Taste is slight. Sweet and musty with a mild bitter aftertaste. Thin body makes this one a very easy drinker. Not watery mind you, but not syrupy like some winter warmers can be.

If you are a fan of the distinctive Sam Smith musty smell and flavor, this is a good one. Also, don’t expect the spices of other winter brews. I guess what I’m saying is- don’t expect anything from this one. Nothing special, just an easy drinking English beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 18:49:12 | More by sacfly
Photo of ghostwalker


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2004-2005 vintage. Purchased from a well-lit convenience store, where it may well have resided for almost an entire year, (yikes! never again...).

Medium amber body with 2 solid fingers of thick white head.

Skunk nose, it's a damn shame too. I would exempt this portion of the review, but it's just too common with Sam Smith's brews. Guys, please, lose the clear bottles! It ruins too much potentially great beer.

Good biscuity malt flavor up front. A solid entry as usual from Sam Smith's. Mild English hops in the finish. Slight caramel/toffee flavors also. A solid drinking ale.

Mouthfeel is generally medium, a little watery, maybe, but fine for what it is.

Drinkability is actually really high. Even with the skunk, which dissapated quickly and did not ruin the experience for me at all, (beyond the nose rating). It is just too bad that all of Sam Smith's brews cost so much here in the US. I would love to have the opportunity to session much of their lineup, but can't afford it. Also, would it kill you guys to ship some casks over here?

Overall, after all the bitching; Nothing but love, Sam Smith's rules!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2005 22:13:48 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of pentathlete


3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold, almost like a euro dark lager, with minimal head and a faint ring. Smell is spicy, yeasty malt, some butter notes, and the hops are faint. Taste is hampered by a very thin mouthfeel. The spices are there but the brew itself is rather raw, watery and unpleasant. Despite all of this it isn't terrible, just not anything special.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 23:19:08 | More by pentathlete
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

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

350 mL clear bottle. Golden amber with slightly off white head. Nose is nothing but minerals. Taste is pleasant, but nothing too special: caramelly malts with slightly bitter hoppiness and something of a honeyed sweet undertone. Easy to drink, but not really the sort of thing I look for in a winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2005 01:04:46 | More by orfeu
Photo of Naes

New York

2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale is dark amber in color with a tall creamy white head.
Its aroma is surprisingly hopy, yet sweet at the same time.
The flavor is more like a winter ale. It has some spice and a nice mild hop presence. Nothing very bitter though. It also has a solid caramel malt base.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and is mildly carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 02:46:10 | More by Naes
Photo of Phatz


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer pours a clear light brown with a slight orange tint to it. Huge 3+ finger head that is pretty thick. Medium lacing. Stayed frothy the duration of the beer. Nice.

Smell: Sweet caramel, cloves, then a mixture of pleasant malts and very subtle hops. Not as spicy as I expected from a Winter.

Taste: Hidden. Subtle and bland. There is nothing bad to say about the taste but there is nothing good either. If anything I could say it is a bit buttery, red, and creamy but that starts into mouthfeel. The taste is very mild and inoffensive (balanced hop/malty, bitter/sweet) but also quite boring and drinks like water but that moves into drinkability.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, creamy, light syrupy texture in the finish.

Drinkability: The exact same drinkability that you would give a glass of water. If you were out doing yard work and need to keep chugging because you were thirsty it'd be drinkable, but if you are not thirsty it in not very interesting. This beer is simply a convenient way to slip 6% ABV into a glass of creamy water. IMO

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 07:42:21 | More by Phatz
Photo of cracgor


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

This beer is beautiful. Copper to amber with a nice light tan head that is not so huge, but velvety and resilient. Just enough sticking. Exactly what I expect from an english ale. It has a great fruity, somewhat butterscotch like smell. It is quite good. Can't wait to taste it.

Flavor cannot quite live up to the smell. It is still quite good, just not exceptional. It has a fruity sweet malt. A light hop that comes in from behind and sort of reminds me of a west coast hop--but it only comes through faintly.

Full body. It coats the tongue. You know you're drinking this one. Almost syrupy. A great beer to enjoy in the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 04:09:14 | More by cracgor
Photo of maek228


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A beautiful copper/amber. I love the bleach white lace that surrounds this beer. Looks fantastic

Smell: Eeeekk...i hate to bust Sammy Smith's balls but this beer doesn't smell good at all. I can barely get at some malts and hops...but nothing distinctive. Sadly, there is also that "skunky" smell that often accompanies an AB offering...

Taste: Solid. What I expect from a British brew...as it very subtle. Subtle caramel malts mix with a light dose of hops. The two meld together nicely to give you a smooth sip with a subtle and compact taste. There is also a metalic "twang" to the taste. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and pleasant

Decent Winter Warmer

Drinkability: Dangerously smooth.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 20:44:48 | More by maek228
Photo of BassBone


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

This is a review of the 2005-2006 offering.

Pours a nice dark amber-orange with a thick white lacy head. Moderate lacing on the glass as the beer disappears. Head retention is not grea, but adequate.

Smell is sharp and crisp, somewhat hoppy yet sweet at the same time.

Crisp taste that gets mellower as the beer warms. As it warms it becomes better, warming. Definitely a winter beer.

It rolls over the tongue and goes down easily. Dry finish with a hint of hops.

All in all a drinkable winter brew. Not my favorite, but definitely a Samuel Smith. This is something I'd drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 09:41:20 | More by BassBone
Photo of nickss


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

I cellared this one for a year, just for the sake of pure curiousity... so here it goes:

Pours a clear, light copper hue with an initially generous 1" creamy head... however the head quickly subsides to little more than a thin cap.

A noticeable, distinct Sammy Smith aroma ... that coppery bitterness that I've grown so accustomed to from their brews.... nothing else remarkable.

This flavours have been subdued from the non-aged version, if I remember correctly... a bit of currant, but nothing much going here. Unintriguing, but certainly not bad.... perhaps a bit boring.

Feels too watery in the mouth... very light, not the medium bodied brew I was looking for.

Sure, its drinkable enough, but all in all a very unstimulating brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 21:57:22 | More by nickss
Photo of Bierguy5


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear copper. Thin off-white head disappears almost immediately. A full imperial pint of this is pleasing to look at nonetheless. Butterscotch aroma, soft floral hops as well. Biscuity, sweet and earthy. The usual Samuel Smith buttery notes are thrown in. Low bitterness. Finishes dry. Subtle, and easy to quaff. I really expected a bit more. I felt this falls short, especially compared with the other S.S.offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 00:49:55 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

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

Appearance: A crystal-clear, dark auburn; gives the impression of peach-infused iced tea. Head is impressive, a muted ivory color mottled with big bubbles.

Smell: Kind of weak, but good. Mildly phenolic, some caramel malt and butterscotch/maple syrup sweetness, a quasi-Belgian spice-fruit-yeast combination, and painfully bashful woody hops. Might go well with a Christmas dinner, especially turkey or ham with cranberry sauce.

Taste: Not bad... sweet, spicy alcohol. Roasted malts and a nice pink grapefruit pithy hop character that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fine... nothing to write home about. Doesn't quite give me the warming sensation I hoped for.

Drinkability: I must say, this beer is a bit on the bland side and is getting boring rather quickly. I don't think I'll buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 11:13:49 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of bighoppymonster


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean dark caramel. Active carbonative produces a perfect 2 finger off-white head. Lots of malty sweetness in nose, no hop presence detected. Goes down very smoothly. Very sweet and malty in taste. The maltiness seems to coat your whole mouth as you drink this one down. The sweetness is nicely balanced with some dry hopiness, which give this beer a fairly dry compostition. Overall a very delightful, pleasent brew. A very nice way to enjoy the winter season and holidays with this seasonal brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 00:12:44 | More by bighoppymonster
Photo of lackenhauser


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

Very nice coppery color. Good head and decent carbonation level. Low aroma-somewhat metallic and slightly "skunked". Flavor is of malt with a mellow hop bitterness. Nice trace of caramel. Has a nice dry though lingering sweet finish. Decent enough body. Overall a nice beer. Can be quite lackluster at times. Have always thought it could use a slight kick in the pants to boost its overall profile. Still, a decent British brew to look forward to every year.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 23:47:30 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of kingjames1

South Carolina

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

This beer pours a nice orange-amber with a modest, though short-lived head. This is a nice beer at first tasting. Lovely malts and a nice hops balance. Floral hops, honey, and alcohol.
Winter warmer? Not sure what this is, but it is enjoyable. However, there is a strange aftertaste or lingering bitterness that is less than pleasant, bringing down the taste and overall drinkability. But this is slight. This is a very satisfying, very well-balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 04:28:20 | More by kingjames1
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

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

With winter welcome beers, i have to keep in mind that English and German aren't spicy compare to those crafted by American (and some Belgian) brewers.
Served in the large, clear 1pt. 2.7fl.oz. bottle, the label artwork is happy, inviting, and winteresque. A designation of 2005/2006 is shown at the top, just under the Sam Smith’s signature flower symbol. The label exclaims, “Blessing of Your Heart You Brew Good Ale” – W. Shakespeare. The winter welcome pours up a clear orange amber color with a large, white, fluffy head of foam. Rings of lace begin to form almost immediately as the head drops. A snowy layer of foam stays on top of the beer as it is drained. A spicy hop/fruit smell bleeds into a sharp honey and butter on warm bread accent and a slight notice of metallic water. Toasted malt flavors cross the mouth, accompanied by grain and butterscotch before a dry, flowery hop essence is found in the aftertaste. This is definitely one of those brews that need to warm up a bit in order to get the best taste from the ale. Once it warms, the flavors are malty, tasty and wonderful. Of course, with a rise in temperature of the beer, you also might notice a rise in alcohol presence, and a fuzzy feeling all over!
This beer feels moderately thick, with some carbonation, but it also quite slick over the mouth, creamy and soft. No spices or fruit additions, just a flavorful ale with a warming effect for the holidaze.


Serving type: bottle

12-08-2005 20:47:28 | More by NClifestyle
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,755 ratings.