1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,001 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,001
Reviews: 1,112
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 131 | 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.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,001 | Reviews: 1,112 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 part liquid, 1 part head. Amber, clear, almost no carbonation.

Light caramely and bready malt and yeast esters. Smells like Pilsner yeast.

Light. Sweet nectar. Mild metallic vibes. Mild bitterness.

Nice oral fomation and carbonation sting. Refreshing.

Delicate and complex flavors to be admired. This makes it a very light ale. I’ve read that this was one of the original winter warmers and modern variations are much stronger and bolder. I respect Winter Welcome for this, although I don’t think it stands up to modern Winter Warmer standards. It does not have big malt presence, among other lacking qualities. It would make a weak Old Ale or a good solid English Pale Ale.

Photo of Magpie14
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appernace: classic golden, red color almost like a tint of crimson and cinnamon. The foamy soapy head formed quickly and left quickly. It did leave some big chunks at the rim of the glass but that was about it.

Smell: smells a bit watery or thin with hint of honey....but I could detect slight spices and grassy hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: spices, hops, and toatsy malts. Some interesting toffee or honey/caramel flavor pairs nicely with the spiced flavor (nutmeg and small touch of cinnamon) and is a good example of a winter warmer. Body is slightly creamy and smooth. Nice beer to sip! aftertaste is kind of dry and gets to you after a while.

not to shabby! I would buy this again as long as I can find it around here.

Photo of cornet1
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I saw this at one of my local stores, I just had to pick it up. I have had several other Samuel Smith's and they have all been fantastic so I wanted to try this one out too. It wasn't until I got home and poured a bottle into my mug that I noticed that the four bottles in the pack were from the 2005-2006 series (I bought this on Dec. 6 2006). I guess the 6% alcohol has kept this four pack alright because it wasn't flat or sour/sunky. It poured a wonderful amber color with a nice think foamy head. The tase was malty with just a hint of something extra....ginger perhaps? I really wish I had this brew before so that I could compare it to see if the age has affected it at all. Well, I recommend the 2005-2006...that is if anyone out there still has any around! I would love to hear some comments letting me know if this beer can be aged for a year with out it going bad!!!!

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

Appearance: Poured from the 550 ml BROWN bottle into a pint glass. A very nice 1-inch head forms a top the clear amber colored beer. The head has some staying power before fading to a nice cover. Leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Initial scent is hoppy aromas, mostly floral. As the beer warms up I get more malt. The malt aromas are lightly roasted caramel malts, I anticipate some sweet malt in the taste from the scent.

Taste: A touch sweet malt at the outset, as expected. A nice firm spicy, hoppy finish. A nice well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, a touch prickly on the tongue. Medium in body with a nice crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable and enjoyable beer, even at 6% alcohol. There are just so many winter brews to try, I don't know if I'll get around to picking another up. This will make my list of gets for next winter.

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-2007 Version (Brown Bottle!!!!)

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with a bubbly head that hangs around but fails in the lacing department

Smell: Butterscotch aroma with vague hints of holiday spice

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor that is joined by holiday spice and bitter character mid-palate; after the swallow the ale gets fruitier and also provides a subtle but sharp earthy bitter flash

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and flavorful that punches the right buttons in a Winter Warmer

Thanks, beerhandy

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

A - this winter ale pours a light brown chestnut color with alight tan head and some dawdling few bubbles of carbonation

S - big on the vanilla/malty aromas up front, sweet and roasted and wintry, a great balance, with that intrepid amalgamation of holiday spices lingereing in the undercurrent

T - malty up front as expected, with an uprising hoppiness whose boldness surprised me, a nice balance, with a hint of those aforementioned holiday spices, but just enough, not to much much as to overspice, but enough to make you want another sip to figure it out, but you never will, my guess would be ginger/nutmeg, like a gingerbread man

M&D - smooth, enough so the girlfriend didnt hate it, but a nice winter beer that would keep an Athabaskan warm. enjoyable and shareable, a great holiday beer, if not one of the best

Photo of schusterbauer
4.55/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appears a very clear orange/brown color in the glass, with a 1-finger off-white head that leaves hints of lacing. smells of buttered rum, caramel, and a slight hint of bread/yeast. tastes like buttered rum/butterscotch; lots of biscuit flavor; a very nice peppery finish with hints of nutmeg, and a good amount of hops bitterness. these flavors, playing off of one another, put me more in the mind of winter and the holidays than the candied sweetness of other winter warmers. mouthfeel is quite buttery and oily, which actually seems just right to match the flavors. drinkability is high. this is a very understated and classy beer that truly does make a nice winter warmer. the spices seem right for a cold night by a fire, and the abv is just enough to give you a kick of warmth without overdoing it.

Photo of brdc
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber with a white foamy head that disappears way too quickly, leaving little lacing behind.
Smell is rather weak, with some hints of hops and malts, but all very faint.
Taste is somewhat bland as well; some maltiness with a drier, hop finish, but I really did not find a lot of complexity there.
Mouthfeel is somewhat oily, easy but not enticing to drink.
Not a bad beer, but really not special. Samuel Smith has a lot of better offerings out there, the Porter being my favorite.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The body on this beer really is pretty. A copper/reddish/amber color, crystal clear and sparkling. The head is a bit of a let-down, unfortunately. Starts foamy and then dissapates into nearly nothing.

Smell is rather weak on this brew, and just not very interesting. A little bit of maltyness, and a tiny bit of hops, but just rather bland.

Taste is sweet up front with plenty of malt. A bit spicy or herbal, then buttery on the end.

Mouthfeel is rather thick and coats the mouth well. Drinkability is so so. I probably won't be buying another, but I'll definately finish this bottle.

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

2006-07 release

a - poured a two fingers thick, creamy off-white head into a snifter. body is a clear dark amber color. nice contrast between head and body color. leaves a thin ring of lace until almost the bitter end.
s - yeast, toffee, floral scents.
t - alcohol is slightly evident at beginning. pine and vanilla are the most pronounced scents.
m - crisp and medium mouthfeel.
d - another solid effort from s.s. but while most of their brews are very good, they are not worth the price in my opinion.

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

Clear amber, lots of bubbles. Full, fluffy white head.
Mild holiday spice aroma with a slight hop background.
Tastes of plums and raisins with noticeable alcohol presence.
Fairly light on the tongue with a lingering hop bitterness.
Half way through I was thinking I would like another but by the end of the glass I'd decided I'd had enough of that. It's a good, well crafted beer but I didn't find inspiring and I was of the "I could take it or leave it" attitude.

Photo of zeff80
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out an amber color with a creamy/tan two-finger head.

S - Smelled of spice/cinnamon and very nutty.

T - It tasted grassy and had hints of oak. A slight bitter bite, too.

M - Cirsp and sharp. Medium-bodied.

D - Pretty good beer. I found it interesting that it tasted very different than it smelled.

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

2006/07 Edition 550mL bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Clear sunrise orange with a slightly off white 1 inch head. Lacing is solid and lasting.

S - A very yeasty, doughy scent is the first thing I take away from this brew. Perhaps a result of bottle conditioning? Malt sweetness is the main attraction here, with a touch of alcohol becoming evident. An unplaceable spice is apparent as well. Its scent reminds me of certain Belgian Dubbels. Hmmm.

T - Chewy malt sweetness combined with the yeasty dough covers the palate. Sugary sweetness can be a bit biting at times, especially as the beer wears on.

M - Thick and filling with its doughy-esque feel. Carbonation is fairly mild but adds a pleasant effect. Aftertaste is slightly cloying.

D - Very different from the US winter warmers that I have been enjoying this season. Thick with a much milder hop presence, this beer fills quickly leaving me struggling to finish this 550ml bottle.

Photo of cerveza5150
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours similar to a Newcastle, with a bit more head. The color is dark ruby and large bubbles of carbonation are present.

Smells fruity, with plum and cherry hints on the nose. Hops are present, but smell more metallic than piny or citrusy.

The taste is good, but not overly impressive. It keeps me thinking of a Newcastle or, dare I say it, a Heineken. The 6% ABV warms it up a bit, but you don't find yourself craving it.

Overall, not worth the 3.99 I paid for it. When I'm getting sixer's of Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale for 7 bucks, I'm not going to waste time on this.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently poured a 550ml bottle to a standard pint. The 2006/07 Release in brown glass. Label shows Victorian-era couples ice skating together and contains a Shakespearian quote: "Blessing of Your Heart You Brew Good Ale".

A: Clear light/medium amber color with abundant carbonation and capped with one-finger of fluffy off-white head. Retains the head nicely.

S: Moderate sugary fruit (apple), cinnamon, winter spices. A bit of mulling spice/cider quality. Spicy hops with an herbal bitterness.

T: Roasted nut flavors in the malt. Spiced fruit sweetness with a floral hop-bitter finish. Spiced crisp apple, caramel, slight sourness and then those hops.

M: Surprisingly light mouthfeel. A bit of carbonation prickle and a dry finish, mostly clean.

D: A pretty good beer, enjoyable & drinkable, though not one I'd rave about. Has an ABV on the low end for the style, so it could almost be enjoyed as a session beer. Me, I'd probably have one and move on...worth a try.

Photo of yelterdow
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2006/07 Edition, served at between fridge and cellar temperature in Samuel Smith's trademark pint glass. This year's release is packaged in a brown bottle, with the code SH09B1 lasered on the neck.

Appearance- On a traditional pour, this beautiful deep golden beer supports a full, soapy four finger head... crystal clear, with miniscule streams of carbonation rising from below. Even after standing for several long minutes, the crown condenses into a solid, stalwart mass of tight bubbles. Jetties of lacing protrude around the sides of the glass. Very attractive for the style.

Smell- A nice, mineral nose to this beer adds to the biscuity, Fuggles/Goldings hop profile typical for this brewery. I get notes of caramel apples and toast.

Taste- The bready, full malt introduction is countered and balanced well with hops... I really am surprised at the minute level of fragrance and spices used for this brew. The finish is dry and bracing, giving it points for sessionability.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The effervescence is played way down, to the point of being a bit boring. It's thin and transparent, and for a winter warmer I'd like it to have more body. Where it lacks in mouthfeel, however, this one's hard to beat in drinkability. The solid, balanced experience is easy to put down without much effort.

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

Appearance: clear copper color , with a small white lace that remains as a ring.

Smell: some cake like malt , hint of raininbread , hint of alcohol , and very faint spice.

Taste: the malt has a mildly floral/ fruity taste at first , some fruitcake / bready maltiness , light caramel , hint of buttery diacetyl , balancing hop bitterness , and dry grain in the finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly carbonated

Drinkability: A good winter welcome brew to be had every winter season. Nice wintry feel , not quite sweet enough to make me want more than a couple.

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a medium amber color. Clear, with a 1/2 inch off-white head. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is malty...caramel, apples.

Taste is malty...carame, maybe some dark frutis. Touch of hops in the finish, with a slight bitterness into the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Good balance. Alcohol presence is not obvious, so I wouldn't say it's really a "warmer". Comparing to last years version, this one seems to have a little less flavor character but also more bitterness. Drinkability is good, but I would probably only have one in a sitting.

Photo of Toddv29424
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy red color with a big head. The smell is pleasant, and mostly of sweet sticky malts. There is a hint of green apple and other candied fruits as well. In the taste, the malts again dominate with a juicy consistancy. The carbonation is perfect, and lets the malts dance on your tongue a bit before washing down. There is also a suprising amount of variation in the taste for being so malt heavy. The aftertaste lingers with a wonderfully fruity taste. A good one to try.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml capped, no date. Pours a copper color witha frothy three-finger head, solidifyin into a creamy cap, with great retention and fluffy lacing.

The smell is light and very fruity, touches of grain and malt and not much else. The flavor is very malty, along with substantial fruit--some orange, apricot, and maybe even a little apple. It then finishes with a caramel/butterscoch sugar rush, leading into a slight hoppy bitterness.

The mouth is medium and rather complex, well-carbonated enough to keep this one from getting bogged down in all the sugar and fruitiness, and then it really dries out on the end. It's very drinkable. I've never found this brew to be earth shaking, yet always find it enjoyable.

Photo of bruachan
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

looks a bit like a märzen

pungent hop aroma...tettnang. breadiness and some sweet toasty character to go, too. it's not as spicy as i've come to expect of most winter warmers. not very deep smells

the flavor is smooth, with hops that offer a good bit of help, but don't stick out too much. i get more spice here than i did with the aroma, but it's hardly prominent. there is a bit of a belgian-ish thing going on, somewher at the intersection of the malts and the hops

it's pretty hoppy for a winter warmer, though the toasty character is nice. not exactly warming, though...more like an ESB

Photo of DuqTroops
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at dinner with my wife (2006 version).

Appearance - golden amber color. a little orangish color.

Smell - nuttiness. not overwhelming alcohol version.

Taste / Mouthfeel- great sense. didn't expect this. very easy to drink not overwhelming at all. didn't make you feel warm inside, like a normal winter beer does. very easy to drink.

Drinkability - seeing that I bought a couple more bottles for the weekend, it is very easy to drink. great beer!

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber orange color with a very nice white head and very good retention.

Aroma is very sweet. Smells of sweet fruit, caramel, honey, and a little hops an alcohol as well.

Taste is more sweetness initially. A good amount of fruit flavors along with some caramel. There is a very dry and bitter finish. A bitterness similar to a granny smith apple. The taste is pretty good upfront, but I don't care for the finish.

Mouthfeel is fine other than the dryness which brings the drinkability down.

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

Presentation: 12oz bottle with gold foil topping it off. There was no freshness date to be found. Really neat looking bottle with all types of interesting designs on it.

Appearance: Copper tone hue to the beer with slight hints of amber. A huge head that retains really well.

Smell: A hopy aroma with a malty sweetness with touches of nutmeg and oregano, very nice

Taste: Very malty palate with caramel and fruit overtures that balance well with the hop bitterness.

Mouth-Feel: A smooth and crisp feel that ends up a little dry.

Drink-Ability: A great seasonal beer that I really need to stock up on.

Photo of gonzo138
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a brownish amber color with a big white cream colored head that retains for a while and laces great to match

S- sweet malts, a little bit of caramel smell in there, a little bit of a fruit raisin smell mixed in there as well

T- complements smell, malt sweetness, with the caramel and raisin tastes present as well

M- medium body with good carboantion, mouthfeel is a little sticky

D- pretty nice, certainly would not object to having a few of these in a night, a good beer, and, in my opinion, a bit underated

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 2,001 ratings.