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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

(view ratings)
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 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
Photo of ScarletLady


1.8/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Shared the bottle with a friend. Nice light amber color, looks good. Tasted as bad as it smelled. overwhelming odor of vinegar. Decent thickness but the more I sipped the more the vinegar taste built up in my mouth. I could not drink it. Maybe I just got a bad bottle. Is 'blech' an acceptable review word?

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 18:17:55 | More by ScarletLady
Photo of andjusticeforale


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a terrific shade of amber; a wooden type brown with a slight, non-anticipated head.

The smell is quintessential English pub ale; with each whiff you are transported to a Nineteenth Century London pub, Dickens at your side, you can almost smell the wet wool and beechwood pub stool.

The taste is what you would expect from a thicker, stronger, very subtly spiced pale ale; and it is just that. A malty thickness to the middle, delicate hopped quality with a combination sweet and dry-bitter finish that is balanced to near perfection.

The mouthfeel could not be better, thick and full but eminently drinkable. This is complex enough to stop and think about, yet smooth enough to sessionize, and what a jolly session that might be. The consistency of bottle to bottle is fantastic; there are never disappointments. Each sip leaves you wanting more. Truly one of the finest winter seasonals, and a stand-out among a terrific product line.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 12:44:14 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

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

Another seasonal from one of England's finest traditional style brewers. I know a lot of people complain about the clear bottles but they've been brewing beer for a long time, they must know something we don't know...right?
Okay, I'm seeing a rich copper color with decent foam of head that holds the fort for ten good minutes after the pour, which is pretty strong in my book. No cloudiness but lots of visible carbonation. The nose is very understated, almost invisible in fact. All I detect is hints of malt and alcohol..I'd like to see a little more life from a big winter beer.
The taste is big and bold but not too inspiring..I get hops and a touch of malt with traces of unidentified spice but nothing more. Some bitterness and a bit of an astringent mouthfeel but it reminds me a little too much of soap for that to be a compliment. Alcohol is also present in the taste. Mouthfeel is ho hum, not great, not terrible.
Overall, a bit disappointing, I'd like to see some more character..this one is more anonymous than I'd like.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 04:14:29 | More by daliandragon
Photo of ReebShorts


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

Pours a darker orangish color with a foamy, oily looking off white head, that sticks around.

I have abit of a cold today, but this seems to have a slightly pungent, malty, spicy aroma, with floral and spicy notes, as well as burnt caramel.

Taste good, snappy, dry finish, and slight warming to follow. I've been a fan of Samuel Smith beers since my first encounter and this one is no exception. Not the best of the Sam Smiths i've had, but a good winter beer indeed.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 04:09:50 | More by ReebShorts
Photo of SaCkErZ9


2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had one of these about a year ago and was hoping this experience would be different than that one. It wasnt. Why anyone puts beer in a clear bottle is beyond me. Smells skunky, like a Corona or any other beer in a clear bottle.Taste is skunky with slight caramel malts and the tiniest hop fruitiness. Skunkiness overwhelms everything about this beer. Definitely wont be fooled three times in to buying this crap. This was my last time.

The only good thing about this beer was its appearance. A tea looking apearance with a great head and tremendous lacing. One single fissure of bubbles erupts from the center of the glass; pretty cool looking. I always finish a beer, no matter how bad, but this one may take a while.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 21:17:48 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of MSchae1017


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

This beer was tasted from the bottle in a pint glass.

It pours a dull amber color with a sizeable frothy head that holds with some nice lacing. The smell is dominated by a sweetness probably from apples with some hops and bitterness that can be detected. The taste has some decent bitterness. The flavor really comes out as the beer warms. It has some good thickness but the carbonation is a little strong. This is a good solid winter ale

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 01:30:01 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of masikon


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking beer, subdued amber and ruby tones capped by a healthy white head and filled with lots of carbonation bubbles constantly rushing towards the surface. Smell was O.K. with an emphasis and fruity tones, less spicy scent than many others in the type. Taste was pleasant , if not outstanding, with noticeable alcoholic feel in the mouth despite a modest 6 percent. Still maintains a certain smoothness and drinkability despite the somewhat sharp mouthfeel. Overall a solid winter warmer, but I honestly expected a bit more after trying Sam Smith's stouts and porters which are top notch.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 02:45:59 | More by masikon
Photo of shbobdb


2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Meh. I don't honestly know what I expected. I mean, Sammy Smith has always let me down in the past but. . . but . . . people always say it's so good. . . clearly I'm missing something here, I just don't get it. I mean, this isn't a bad beer, it's merely 'unimpressive'. I mean, there was maybe a hint of spice coupled with an average ale flavour. I guess, I mean, what's the deal? This is just your run of the mill beer. Granted, I had just finished a Grolsch, so that may have destroyed my taste buds. HAHAHHAHAHAHA. No, seriously, what up? This beer has less flavour than Grolsch. Don't get me wrong, I love Grolsch, but it ain't renowned for its exteme flavour. What's up?

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 01:32:33 | More by shbobdb
Photo of FirstMan


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

Clear glass bottle with a nice fancy label on the front. Nothing like a nice fancy label to catch the eye while looking for winter beer at the store...

This a deep amber color and quite clear. Frothy off white head retains a fairly consistent layer across the top and leaves significant sticky lacking all along the side of the glass.

Mellow malt character in the nose tempered by a large spicy hop overtone.

Hop bitterness makes an appearance right up front. Following that is a very subtle touch of clove and cinnimon that ghosts away into a sweet, slightly butterscotch back.

Mouthfeel is slick, but with enough carbonation to keep it interesting. There's a dry sweetness on the lips after a few sips.

I could drink a lot of this if ever presented with the opportunity, that's for sure. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 01:01:42 | More by FirstMan
Photo of mrfosters

New Jersey

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

This was a 550 ml bottle.Poured a nice clear amber color , with a frothy off white head that diminished quickly.Lacing was right on par with the head. It seemed to be lightly hopped ,and the malt was caramel sweet,and even a slight hint of butterscotch.Initiall sweetness finished with a light bitterness, good balance in my opinion.Did not meet my idea of a winter warmer though,but still a pleasant enough brew, despite the risk of that clear bottle.Would definitely try this one again

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 06:51:12 | More by mrfosters
Photo of sevineyes


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

Poured from a clear glass. The label features a lot of text in scroll work.

A: Clear orange-amber color. Poured with a small head and marginal lacing.

S: During pour had a very yeasty, bready smell that went away quickly. Becomes grainy and malty.

T: Begins very sweet with caramel and almost a candied fruit aspect. Definite apple presence and I get some cherry. Finishes with some touches of alcohol. Bitterness doesn't come until almost the aftertaste.

M: Coating and a bit oily. Farily medium body.

D: Pretty decent for drinkability.

Overall: Better than I'd remembered it actually. Don't know if the batch I got last year was a bit light-struk or what. Nothing wrong with this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 00:37:23 | More by sevineyes
Photo of nlmartin


4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2005-2006 vintage. This was served in a pub glass.

Appearance:Pours a clear copper amber color. The head is a thick creamy off white color lasting as a small film through consumption. Leaves webs of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Has a pleasant spicy, grassy and malty smell. Somewhere I swear I smell gingerbread in this beer.

Taste: A very distinct butterscotch like taste is the intial taste. Then a pleasant spicy grassyness kicks in. The after taste is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: This is a meduim to full bodied ale. The beer has a nice buttery texture.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable. Not so heavy you could not drink more. Not so alcoholic you would make an ass of yourself in front of the family after consuming a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 13:22:24 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bomber into a pint glass, this beer appears a reddish orange color. It has a very small head. The smell is a bit overpowering. The taste is fairly bitter with the alcohol peeping through. The mouthfeel and drinkability are both average. This would not be on top of my list but is probably worthy of trying again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 03:47:06 | More by Enola
Photo of ypsifly


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

Clear 550ml with 2005-2006 on the label poured into an imperial pint.

Clear copper with two fingers of white that sticks and leaves wispy lace.

The nose has butter, honey, and some english hops that are showing just a bit of skunk underneath their floral aromas. Slight metallic note in the background.

The caramel from the malts are upfront followed by some apple and then butterscotch and a slowly building bitterness from the hops. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, a bit grassy.

Smooth mouth with enough carbonation to give it balance. Very drinkable. Not spicy like other winter warmers, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 04:34:38 | More by ypsifly
Photo of Mitchster


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

2004-2005 edition. Paid $1.49/bottle on sale.

Pours out to a clear amber, forming a sticky khaki head of very fine meringue bubbles. The retention is excellent. Carbonation is moderate. There is something oddly appealing about the aroma....skunky Heineken, and caramel sweet malt, overpowering the fusels and butterscotch you will typically smell had there been no skunk. As it warms, vanilla becomes apparent, the hops blossom with a minty character and grainy, toasty malt appears. Swirling stirs up the butterscotch. There is no doubt when you open a Sam Smith ale..you can smell that notorious nose across the room. The mouthfeel is slick yet oily with a medium body and oxidized, soapy finish. The taste is of course very English with plenty of butterscotch (but not overwhelming as the skunk balances it out)...lingering caramel balancing out the medium strong herbaceous and woodsy bitterness. Alcohol is imperceptable. There is a semi-ruddy cardboard finish and aluminum or copper in the aftertaste. This really isn't a great beer in the strict flavor sense (it's quite average by all marks), yet despite it's faults, Sam Smith of any type is intriguing and appealing for it's nostalgia alone which makes it an absolutely divine pleasure. Maybe it's the gold foil, maybe it's that unique bottle (bottled at yorkshire's oldest brewery est1758). It's about as "beer" as beer can get, and lazily transports me to the seat of an English pub in the early 1800's. Recommended. Best enjoyed cold (~45F) as it gets soapier when it warms.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 22:27:12 | More by Mitchster
Photo of hoffman


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great pour to a two finger head in my pint glass. Nice rich honey red color head sinks from two fingers down to minimal if nothing, with a slight lace all the way down. Smell is different to say the least very deep, pungent grains overrule most other smells but there is a waft of sweet malts, and possible a hint of yeast....can not pin point it, hop smell is non existant. The taste is ok, relatively bland, sweet, but not overpowering....kind of blah. Mouthfeel is nice, full, creamy, good. Not a bad brew at all....i want to try others fromt this category to compare, so it did that for me....

edit: sitting here letting the beer warm....I have to say that the sweetness is not as overbearing as I thought that it was....this is not bad brew at all....

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 04:59:44 | More by hoffman
Photo of cubedbee


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

12 oz bottle from 2005-2006, first I've ever seen of this Sam Smith offering. Pours a bright clear copper with 2 fingers of dense beige head, but not very good retention or lacing. Smell is very malty, not very sweet, with just a slight roasted edge. Taste is the malt from the nose intermingled with hints of wood, mineral water, and a slight butteriness. Slight bitterness on the finish suggests hops, but nothing really comes through in the taste. Medium/thin bodied with fairly low carbonation, this is a pretty easy drinker. I have pretty limited exposure to the style and was expecting something much spicier, but I must say I did enjoy this beer and might pick up another pack before the season ends.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 23:20:19 | More by cubedbee
Photo of SurgeonGeneral


3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving temp: 48F Serving glass: Pint glass

Presentation: Clear 550ml bottle, 2005-2006 winter season clearly marked. Samuel Smith's always has my favorite looking bottes. The gold foil, the busy label with colorful sayings & inviting Winter scene. A+

Aroma: Very unique smell, here. Tough for me to pick out what I'm sensing.. let's see, malt for sure, very grainy. A little bit of sweetness, with a meaty aroma there too. Almost like a robust beef smell. That hard water smell that I grew up with, living off of well water; lots of minerals in here. Bit of a floral hoppines to it, but very light.

Appearance: Rather clear deep copper coloring w/ good sized bone colored head that retains well. Sub-par lacing.

Taste: Clean, metallic & really not all that interesting. I wonder where that interesting smell went. Some of the malty sweetness is there, and the hardness of the water is also present, but beyond that, not much to this beer. Easy going bitterness to round out the subdued malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Clean, clear, rather refreshing. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I've got to say, I'm dissapointed. Not a beer I can imagine curling up to fire with. Average brew here all the way. I would be happy to quaff a couple pints of this, but don't see myself ever going out of the way to purchase this again for a while.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 05:47:27 | More by SurgeonGeneral
Photo of BeerBob


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome 2005-2006 pours a almond brown from a 1pt 2.7fl oz clear glass bottle. Light tan head went to over two fingers with very fine foam bubbles. Lots of lacing on the sides of my 26oz beer glass as I have already gotten into the brew a bit ahead of my self.

Nose is a delightful blend of sweet malt, spice , and hops. Palate is a blend of sweet barley malt, mace, and slightly floral bitter hops that finishes with the bight of carbonation.

This years rendition is a subdued eliteration from last years offering, or my taste buds are on holiday. Nice and inviting, and satisfying to a point, but not all that it could be.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 23:56:06 | More by BeerBob
Photo of sinistermadman


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

Winter seasonal brews are better reviewed in states that have definable winter weather, but I live in Texas. When it is 70 in January you just have to pretend it is chilly to enjoy a "winter warmer"

This brew pours a clean honey color which emits a nice foamy two inch head that settles to a nice lacing. Smell is of citric hops and english malt. Quite pleasing floral bouqet aroma.

Taste is slightly citric with a sharp hop bite. Not a growling in your face hop presence, but a sharp defined existence. Toasted hops lend balance to the equation. Slightly embittering aftertaste. Mouthfeel is coarse and dry. Not a bad beer that achieves exactly what it intends to do, warm your cold ass on a winter day.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 00:58:59 | More by sinistermadman
Photo of Reidrover


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

Oh Oh!, clear glass warning!!. This should be fresh however. so lets see..
Lovelly looking nice dark golden ale, with a large bubbly/frothy light tan head.
No skunk in the aroma, the aroma is mostly malty and pleasant.
Strong malty flavour out front in the mouthful, with an overlaying warm,woodsy ,bitterness, finishes semi-dry, but has long lasting bitter aftertastes, which I liked.
Pretty good on the palte, quite nicelly made beer.
I liked this beer but for me its not really a dead of winter beer, more a cold ,wet Autumn one.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 19:20:43 | More by Reidrover
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a delicious brew. High alcohol with fruity sweetness goes together so wonderfully; almost sherry type in both taste and smell. Nice redish tan hue and decent head adds to the overall experience. A good amount of bitterness is present, but not overpowering, great balance act. Very smooth. Shame I only got one 550 ml bottle tonight.

This is a true warmer.

I wish SS would stop using clear bottles. I was worrying this would be skunked.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 02:09:39 | More by NiceGuyMike
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,758 ratings.