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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

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1,999 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,999
Reviews: 1,111
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 130 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,999 | Reviews: 1,111 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
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
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
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
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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

This poured a dark golden brown with fluffy light tan head. It smelled of malt and yeast. The flavor had mild hops bitterness with lots of malt and a bit of vanilla. It had a nice, smooth texture with only a little carbonation. This was a sweet and creamy drink, and overall very tasty but a bit plain.

Photo of ROMER79
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour was a copper orange with a frothy two finger white head that laces the glass somewhat. There really wasn't a strong smell for this beer. I could gather some roasted malts and some sweetness, but that was it. The taste was better though, but not all that I thought that it would be for a winter warmer. It popped with roasted malts, but not to malty. Also, I could taste the sweet sugars/molasses in this guy as well. The mouthfeel was ok but nothing to write home about. As far as drinkability goes, ONE and Done!

Photo of nrbw23
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Totally clear, a copper/orange in color with a little cream colored head that left decent amount of lacing and had good retention.

S- Quite a bit of malt and a tiny bit of honey.

T- Not like most winter warmers. Was expecting more spices and was a little more hoppy than my nose could pick up.

M- Medium body, good carbonation and went down nice and smooth.

D- Not a bad brew but expected a little more from this one. Thought it was a little too light for a winter seasonal brew.

Photo of champ103
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color. A large white foamy head forms a recedes to a small rim. A bit of patchy lace as well.
S: Toasty malt for the most part. An unpleasant musky aroma that takes over. There is not a lot here.
T: Sweet and toasty malt that I enjoy, but the musk carries over to the flavor. This is a fairly bland tasting beer and I don't understand why this is called a winter warmer.
M/D: Pretty thin and watery in the mouth. An easy to drink beer, but not very inviting.

This is a disappointment. I was expecting a nice warming and full bodied beer to sip on. What I got was a thin, watery, and bland beer that I don't really care to finish.

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

The beer pours an amber and copper color with a modest off white head. The aroma is butterscotch, light hops and a tinge of alcohol. Medium bodied with light carbonation on the palate. Flavors of toasted malt and caramel are dominate in the juicy center of this beer. It is balanced by a very light but appropriate amount of bitterness. The beer is dry but smooth and tasty as well.

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

The Tadcaster Winter Welcome Ale pours a clear amber with a finger foam head the dissipates quickly. There is no lacing to speak of.

The smell is malty with some citrus. The taste is mostly malt with a sweet butterscotch to it. It is pretty thin in the mouth but overall a good winter beer.

Photo of JDV
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours copper and clear. Smell is metallic and skunky malt. Tart malt flavor, with no noticeable wintry spices. Sweaty, musty lager like flavor. Slightly creamy and full body for the style, but not impressive overall. Drinkable, but too musty, doughy and stagnant flavored to be enjoyable for me. Somewhat poor example of a style I'm not particularly fond of.

Photo of MisterClean
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550 ml from Bel Air.

A - Golden-copper, orangish head, slight clumping, which slowly dissipated.

S - Honey, clove, and all-spice.

T - Clove, honey, Nutmeg, all-spice and slightly bread. Pretty good.

M - Chewy, thick, amd overall, fairly smooth.

D - Definitely came out like an Oktoberfest. Pretty good for an English Oktoberfest.

Photo of bboven
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper body verging on orange, clear with a thin head that lasts and decent lacing.

Aroma is very biscuity with a very distinct hop aroma balancing it out.

Tastes like an English IPA. Maris Otter shines as well as a very even and mellow bitterness from the hops that grows slightly stronger after it has left your palate.

A little high on the carbonation and a wee thin, but ok.

A very good winter warmer, even though they can run the gamut. I'm a hophead, so this one is alright by me.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

· Pours a still deep golden to copper with an off white head which is retained through most of the indulgence. Lacing is lasting as well.
· Primary scent is darker fruits and malt. Perhaps something sweet, but nothing overpowering.
· Caramel and dark fruit on the palate, also a noticeable hop presence, previously unrecognized by scent.
· Seemingly balanced beer, great flavor toward the mid to rear palate. This beer has a presence.
· Very well in drinkability, I'll take another. Perhaps not as flavorful as other Sam Smith selections, but definitely a pleaser.

Photo of goochpunch
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007-2008 bottle

Pours out a dark marmalade with a still body and a thin head that looks like frothed milk. Leaves some specks of lacing. Smells fantastic. Loads of caramel, toffee, dried fruits, nuts, and earthy hops with wisps of roasted and toasted malts. in the background. Flavors are similar to the aroma. There's more of a fruity ester thing going on rather than the dried fruit thing. The dried fruits are still there, though, along with a good deal of caramel. The toasty malts come out more as it warms. Sweet in the middle with a bit of a drying finish with some earthy hop. Mouthfeel is a little thin for what I'd expect from this. The carbonation could calm down just a touch. Decent drinker. Really hits the spot on a snowy March Texas day.

Photo of jeonseh
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bomber poured into the Sam Smith Pint Glass.

A - light golden copper color with a lot of carbonation streaming though it and slowly attacking the pale honey tinted head whose foam sits on the top.

S - the nose has a light honey smell to it with a hint of apricot as well. As the beer is drank, I can start smell hint of figs mixed in as well but still mostly the honey. There is also a bit of a candied fruit smell as well which in a way reminds me of the sugared dates that my grandfather used to eat.

T - a bit heavy of the malt is my first impression as there is a nice honey taste that first hits my tongue. There is also a nice fruity aspect that comes in and surprisingly it is the darker fruits as taste of figs and sweeter plums seem to trickle in. In a way this aspect reminds me of some of the sweeter, dark fruit taste that are found in a dubbel and a little surprised to find them in a beer so light in color. Leaves you with a bit of warming alcohol taste which is surprising given the low ABV of the beer but it does indeed make this a winter warmer.

MF - the body is nice and thick and even a bit bready as one can definitely tell there is a whole drink in your mouth. There is also a nice bit of carbonation which was to be expected given the amount of carbonation seen in the appearance and it seems to be there as a reminder that this is indeed an ale as it gives it that rougher edge that ales have.

D - Overall a decent beer from Sam Smith that wasn't really what one expects of a winter warmer as its prevelant taste in my opinion was honey. It was not very spiced at all but it does warm you up. I'd say that I'd get one maybe each year but given that funds are usually low during the holiday season there are better winter warmers as better prices.

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

2007/2008 release, poured from an 18.7oz bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish orange color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of fruit (apricot & fig) and spices with some caramel and hops in the background.

T: The taste is malty and fruity with flavors of apricots, figs, honey, caramel and some spices. There's a decent hops presence for the style that provides a good balance despite the sweetness up front. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, I was expecting this beer to be well-crafted and it is, but I was not expecting it to be as light as it is considering the style. Overall, it's a good beer to drink for a long period of time.

Photo of trackstar1043
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours reddish golden hue, with a half in of white head that diapated within a minute.

S - Welcoming aroma of hops, fruit, with a pleasant bitter bite.

T - Similar to Old brewery pale ale but with more hops and slight roasted carmels. With bitter finish.

M - Not as smooth at the Old Brew, slighty high in carbination but a lively feel.

D - Very drinkable would go great with a steak or just kicking back.

Photo of Tolann
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - kinda orange in color with a off-white lil bit yellowy head. Head is not super thick and seems to be going down quickly. Has a clearness to it that does not make the beer cloudy or hazy. No sediment either.

S - kinda malty and bready, but also sweet and fruity. Not an acidic fruity like an aggressive grape fruit, but more mellow. Orange but smoother and sweeter. Some caramel as well. Some freshness as well in the fruity scent. Maybe apple.

T - Sweet, then spiced, the a little end notes of hops. Malty all over to really tone this down. An interesting and complex beer. The hops want to stick to the roof of my mouth, but they are not the lead singer of this group. There's more sweetness and malt, and something I can't really place, but it's good.

M - Light to medium body. Some carbonation, but not so much you need to belch after every sip. Not a huge aftertaste, but a little sweetness follows the hops on your breath.

D - Pretty damn good. Not what I expected for a 'winter warmer'. I was expecting more spice and more alcohol feel. This it was not. Sweet, easy on the tongue and a good beer. Not one I'd want to session all night, but I'll look for it again next winter!

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

Eye: This beer looks very nice poured into a standard pint glass. The body is crystal clear and is reddish copper in color. Head is between creamy and foamy, and is leaving some nice lacing as it recedes(from the pour) to a much more stable and suitable size.

Nose: Not really getting much out of the aroma, it is pretty faint. I do get a pleasing caramelized apple aroma, sorta like the apples in apple cobbler. Also some caramel, and weak malt grain sweetness, as well as some spicy characters. All in all the nose of this beer is hard for me to smell, but from what I get it is pleasant.

Tongue: I am getting a metallic taste-wait I think I'm mistaking this for some hop flavor- There is some hop flavor somewhat spicy-and a bit of that apple type/fruit flavor, plus a bit of toasty characters but I don't get much more. Perhaps I've a bad bottle, I'll see how the rest of the four pack fairs. After reading portions of other reviews I do taste some orange in there-like orange marmalade. No flaws in the flavor that I can see, though a bit atypical for what I was expecting for a winter warmer at least I expected it to be as the label suggests "Winter Welcome"...maybe I jumped to conclusions.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This beer has an overall drying quality to it. Other than that the body is much too thin, feels like water. Again perhaps I've a bad bottle or something. This is one, that I' don't think that I'll revisit, that is unless the other two I've left impress me, its okay, but just doesn't really do it for me. I don't think that its worth 2.50 for a 12oz bottle.

Photo of shabbtastic
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presented in an 18.7oz bottle with gold foil around the neck. Very decorative and informative label!

A - Pours a deep ruby color into a brandy glass with a beautiful two finger off white fluffy head that lasted. Lacing was awesome as well as carbonation.

S - Carmel aroma as well as toffee and nutmeg. Malt tones dominate with hints of hop in the back. From what I can smell this is a very balanced offering.

T - Sweet up front immediately followed by toasted malts and finished with spicy hops. What an array of flavors, it really covered the palate well.

M - Full bodied carbonation was perfect, finish was clean. What a great beer!

D - Highly drinkable. To be honest this beer really surprised me. I will be picking a few more of these up soon. Recommended!

Photo of wgarton
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a fresh case in December 2007. Poured into glasses and drank them on New Years Eve. Very enjoyable brew, which has become a bit of a tradition for the holidays.

A- Darker amber brown to nut brown in color. Average head with slight brown tint.

S- Nothing exceptional. Smelled of dark malt with some other spices coming through.

T- Slightly nutty and sweet.

M- One of the most enjoyable aspects of the beer for me. Strong carbonation, which provided a sort of pop in my mouth. Fun to drink.

Overall very enjoyable beer I'll continue to go back to every winter.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,999 ratings.