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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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1,742 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,742
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: 1,742 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tballz420


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

2004-2005. This brew is a darker brown/amber color, with a fairly small bubbly tan head. The scent has buttery elements, light malt, some fruity tones. A generous caramel malt front kicks things off, some buttery tones, bits of apple, underlying hop bitterness. Some spice as well. Overall a good beer, but faced with other winter offerings i might look at something else.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2005 21:56:30 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

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

Orange in color with a nice fluffly 3 inch head. Big bubbles and thick lace forms through the drink. The aroma is of bread and yeast. The flavor follows the nose as bread, yeast, mild grapefruit citrus, malt, and mild bitterness are nicely balanced.

A bit of buttery feel on the tongue, the bread flavors seems to last on the tongue after swallowing. Not a bad drinking brew, but I expected a bit more spice or "winter" tones.Not a bad brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 21:32:04 | More by Gavage
Photo of Shultzerdugen


2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've had this beer before, the 1996-96?, maybe and it was substantially better.
Unfortunately, the bottle we tried seemed oxidized, and light struck.

Appearance: Amber, walking the line between copper and straw with a white two finger head.
Smell: Skunky! Underneath some biscuit and floral undertones.
Taste: Skunky, in fact overwhelmingly so.
Mthfl: Still has good CO2, slick and smooth.
Drinkability: Obviously I didn't want to go on with any more.

This is a good beer, and I thought SS used something in their clear bottles to prevent oxidation and problems with light. I'll try it again next year and hopefully have better luck.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 14:09:07 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium golden with solid red highlights (against a light) with a huge fluffy head. Aroma is very familiar, but hard to place- something along the lines of anise, licorice, and peppermint. Flavor is standard malty beer with slight hops bite, and a spicy flavor on top. Nice flavor, but this isn't generally my style, so it's hard to get my arms around it to embrace it.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 02:42:55 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of DrJay


3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright clear amber colour topped by a dense off-white head that reduces to a thin lace after a few minutes. Good retention and stickage.

Smell: Biscuity, toasted malt aroma with an herbal and floral hoppiness. Fruity esters are present, but aren't very strong.

Taste: Malty, but not overly sweet, with a light bready flavour. A bit on the earthy side, some bitterness mixed in with hop bitterness. Slightly drying at the finish with only a little residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Slightly slick texture, a bit buttery. Medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability: This is one of the weaker products that I've had from Sam Smith. I won't be anticipating the release of this one next year, but I might pick it up again.

2004/2005 edition. 550 mL clear bottle with no best before date.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 01:33:49 | More by DrJay
Photo of Naerhu


2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Copper color with off-white head poured from a clear bottle.
Smell: Skunky aroma
Taste: Oddly bitter, with crunchy barley. Slightly sweet. No butterscotch, caramel, toffee or pretty much any other pleasant flavor.
Mouthfeel: Agressively carbonated with a medium body.
Drinkability: This ale is obviously skunked, likely a result of its coming in a clear bottle. I did not bother finishing the bottle. Think I am giving up on Sam Smith until the quit their clear bottle marketing.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 00:04:32 | More by Naerhu
Photo of karst


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

"Blessing of your heart you brew Good Ale" Will Shakespeare's toast predicts my opinion of this buttery English style ale.
Splitting the 550 ml as equally as possible into 2 pils glasses. The mid winter setting sun showed a yellow gold in the narrowing bottoms browning out into a clear redish brown ale supporting a nice light tan head that fell in half a minute leaving a little lace that persisted. Its strong beading circled the meniscus of bubbles and clung to the glass in the increasing steam of the basement brewing activities.

It was fun to smell its fresh clean malt aroma and taste this slightly malty medium light body ale with its sweet malt flavors with slight spice. Loved the balance and finish which was clean and dry with the brief easy "goodbye" from from the otherwise nearly unnoticed hops.

The Bard was right a "Good Ale" but not as much as I had hoped! A lot of competition was comming from the 13 lbs of grains seeping in the mash pot over the low fire. At 6 % ABV the alcohol was well cloaked and only the brewpot's steam warmed me.

Suggest you try one but don't expect too much.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2005 19:11:34 | More by karst
Photo of steinlifter


2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a clear caramel, bit of foamy head that dissipated, but left a slight collar, smell was a bit skunky, (wonder if I got a bad one?), can't really distiguish anything else because of the skunked aroma taste was again skunked up,I taste a bit of tea, this one must have been light struck, if it is supposed to taste like this, then I can't really give it a good review, Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, drinkability, not good judging by this example, I'll have to try this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2005 01:07:43 | More by steinlifter
Photo of soper2000


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

This one always seems to be at my house in the winter, so i'll take a moment to write a review. Pours a nice burnt amber with a creamy, albeit thin, white head which quickly recedes to provide a nice lacing. Smell is of biscuity malt and slight notes of spices. Taste has that Sam Smith calling card, is it the fermenting squares??? Spices, sweet malts, and bready malts sit atop of that distinct Sam Smith earthiness. Very drinkable but I believe that I prefer their pale ale to this. Easy intro to winter seasoned beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 02:37:36 | More by soper2000
Photo of Gagnonsux


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

2004-2005 edition. Winter Welcome is amber in color with an ample, lightly creamy head. The smell is lightly sweet with a tiny hint of hops. Taste is subtlely sweet and malty. Hop flavor is also very subtle. The finish has a nice drying effect. Overall I'd say this is a solid, but fairly plain beer. A winter warmer should be a little bolder and bigger. I probably won't be picking this up next winter, to me it just doesn't seem to be worth the money.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 22:58:19 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of aquaderek


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this beer a lot. Poured it into a pint glass, a nice orange reddish color with just a lace head around the circumference of the glass. The smell is sweet with nice hoppy notes. The taste has an initial sweetness followed by nice hops and some very faint malt. The mouthfeel is nice and chewy. This is great beer for the winter months, I reminds me a lot of sierra nevada pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 04:27:13 | More by aquaderek
Photo of CVC


4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Came in a 18.7 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass. 2004-2005 winter seasonal. Pours a deep, clear, ambery hue. Thick, one-finger, off-white head with thick lacing. Some great nutty and malty smells keep coming through this beer. Tastes of nuts, caramel, and toastiness. Good mouthfeel, but thinner than most of the beers by Sam Smith. Very drinkable.

Good, solid beer. Not as good as other Samuel Smith's though. Still, it's always good to have a couple around the winter time.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 09:00:27 | More by CVC
Photo of apintofknowledge

New Jersey

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

Pours a deep coppery hue with a thin white head. Medium-sized bubbles of carbonation cling to the side of the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of nuts and cheese, with a slight alcohol scent. The taste… very complex, lots of flavors coming through on all parts of my palate. There’s a sweet caramel malt character, a slightly sour yeast & cheese flavor, a slight grassy green hops bitterness, and a definite alcohol taste in the finish. New flavors come forward with every sip. Very full mouthfeel with lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation… perhaps a bit too much.

Altogether, a very interesting brew. Not the most drinkable… so much going on in terms of the flavor that one pint would do me good. But definitely unique. Noted that as I drank more, the flavor soured quite a bit, leading me to lower my initial scores on taste and drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 19:56:29 | More by apintofknowledge
Photo of GClarkage


4.8/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12/31/04- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- Poured into my Hangtown Brewery pint glass. 16.7 oz bottle with no expiration date.

Appearance- An inch head with average lacing. Nice light brown ale color pour.

Smell- Mmmm, a sweet soft candied scent. I guess maybe caramel, but a candy one rather than the typical malt caramel smell.

Taste- One of the best mixes of malt and hops I have tasted. Perfect combo for me. Sweet caramel and other candy tastes abound with a bit of a roasted flavor in the background.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation and an average mouthfeel. Aftertaste is just a tad bitter and hangs around a bit longer than expected.

Drinkability- This has always been on of my favorites. I love just about everything from Samuel Smith. I will always have a few of these each holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2005 17:52:35 | More by GClarkage
Photo of neonbrown82


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was very similar to the Sam Smith India Ale. The beer pours to a beautiful amber color with a decent tan head. Smells of hops and caramel with a hint of fruity aroma. This was one beer that left me craving for more, but I ended up having to settle for the IPA I mentioned above, which will have to substitute for the Winter Welcome during the off-season. Exceptional beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2004 07:00:12 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of mntlover


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

Pours a copper colored with a off white head falls and laces so slightly. Aroma is light toasted malt with nut tones some spice mixed with fruit. Taste is fully carbonated almost to a fault, needs to cut back on CO2 a tad. Some toasted malt mixed with nuts and touch of caramel finishes with touch of spice nutmeg and hints of vanilla little hops in finish also but mostly spice. Mouthfeel is too carbonated and a little thin. Drinakability is ok but nothing to look for, a little light in my opinion for a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 20:42:09 | More by mntlover
Photo of Suds


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear bottle of the 2004-2005 vintage. This brew presents itself in a beautiful light-copper color with a terrific head: firm, white, and clumpy. The smell is primarily of lightly toasted malt, with a woody-winy character, and a touch of English hops. Slight butterscotch. A bit of sulfur is present as well (a little lightstruck?). The taste is fairly dry, with a light-malt tastiness flowing through. It’s both nutty and astringent. The beer is somewhat heavily carbonated. Finish is dry and clean, with a moderate bitterness. Overall, this is a solid, good brew. I wouldn’t mind having it year-round.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 13:00:09 | More by Suds
Photo of tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a yellowish-white foamy head that dissolves rather fast. Aroma of malt and bit of bread, not too much smell compared to other Sam Smith ales. Taste was a bitter toffee malt with a moderately long hoppy bitter finish, a bit of warming alcohol entered as it warmed. Mouthfeel was medium, definitely full bodied. This is not a style I am too familiar with, but the other WW I tried was definitely better scoring.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 03:20:45 | More by tatterdash
Photo of baiser


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

As a winter warmer, this was pretty disappointing. Definitely not one of sam smith's better beers. Body was clear, amber colour. White head, foamy. Lacing was minimal. Taste was malt, caramel, metallic. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side. However, a decent ale to knock back a few.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 17:47:50 | More by baiser
Photo of rugger


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

2004-2005 clear bottles always scare me but I wanted to try it. Poured a nice coppery clear with little head. I even poured down the middle of the glass. The initial smell was kind of bland and bitter, however the taste was a little better than bland, however still a little on the bitter/sour side. I can pick out a small hint of hops and a little caramel. I expected a little more spice for a winter warmer. I am not to impressed however this does have a nice thick/full mouthfeel good thing I only picked up one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 03:53:56 | More by rugger
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label Lingo and bottle babble: 2002-2003. Like a Beatles album motif. 1 pt 2.7 Fl oz. 550 mL. Imperial pint.

Orange coppery chill hazed pour with loads of bubble fizz rising topped off by a tight micro antique white cap. Lots of head retention. What a pour!

Tea leaf and bitter sour sweet notes.

First Swigs: Sweet and bitter done dry finish. Dry lingering finish. Toasted malts, some mixed spices. Smooth malts like melted vanilla ice cream.

Creamy texture.

Last Swigs: Never had this one before. Like Boddington’s on steroids. Not too much else to say.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 02:53:43 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of JackStraw22


3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004-2005 Love the Samuel Smith bottles, cool shape. Too bad they're clear. Somebody has to be able to develop a glass that's cheap and doesn't let in UV light. Hmm..off to make my fortune :-) Light amber beer, about an inch of white head. Lots of bubbles. Wasn't crazy about the smell at first, but it grew on me as I drank it, I guess it needed to air out, very floral. The hops really come through on this, but they aren't offensive at all, just very dry, not very sweet. Feels thin in the mouth, not a whole lot of substance. Ok beer, if you can get it fresh, nothing really exciting, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 02:15:16 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of RootedFool


4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dumped entirely into a Duvel tulip glass. Deep amber color, nearly crimson. The head resembles a feathery merengue and is tan in color.


Lemon grass, slight caramel and lighty sugared raison undertones. Subtle hints of clear bottle skunk, but not overpowering.


Subtle, palate-encompassing soft pinch of hops against an expanse of candied fruit (like the fruit in a fruit cake, fruit cake). Aftertaste is a nice buzz on the center of my tongue -- a dry remnant of hop bitterness.

Middling carbonation; creamy consistency.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 04:30:54 | More by RootedFool
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

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

Saw the Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome announcement in an ad today in All About Beer Magazine and thought I'd try it out. Liked the updated label each year with the dates of the winter season. The clear glass bottle doesn't do anything for me but did not worry about the skunking process. Really beginning to enjoy the winter warmers but this is still not as good as Sam Adams or Avery's. Nice mouthfeel (but nothing too impressive for the style). A bit on the expensive side at the store ($8.00 for 4-12 ounces). Probably will try others instead the rest of the season and pass on this purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 03:00:40 | More by Backer2004
Photo of littlebibs

New Hampshire

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

Received this Winter Welcome Ale as a gift and opened her up
and slowly poured, careful not to breath in to deep as I to, have,
in the past, experienced the "special skunked" release. To my
surprise this ale wasn't half bad. Nice head and the lace stayed
around the glass as I drank. Typical Samuel Smith tastes but also some welcome
bitters and spices- well balanced. I dedect some fruits and a nutty
caramel back there but its the dry hop ending that I liked about this
ale and I gave it a higher rating. Although its on the lighter side
I would like to find this on tap this winter. Not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 22:45:53 | More by littlebibs
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.