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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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1,995 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,995
Reviews: 1,109
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 31
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,995 | Reviews: 1,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerSox
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550mL embossed bottle with a colorful label.

Healthy amber color with a thick light tan creamy head that holds well. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Sweet malts and hints of butterscotch with bits of noble hop aroma.

Bready malts start off with a quick switch to slightly bittering hops. Light-medium bodied with low carbonation, but with the hops there is still a little bite. Bits of diacetyl can be detected on the tongue.

Pretty close to an English Pale Ale, with toasty malts and a little bit of hop bitterness. Good overall beer.

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

Pours to a light copper color with thin off-white head and moderate lacing. Aroma is not real strong, but has hints of mal and bread. Relatively thin body, with an okay taste of maltwith hints of nuts. Initial palate is the same metallic finish I seem to get with all Samuel Smith beers, but this improves as the beer warms. Not great, but not bad for Samuel Smiths.

Photo of doubleipa
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice one inch frothy,off-white head. Quickly became a half inch head. MOderately malty aroma with some light bread. Nothing in the way of a hoppy aroma. Light yeast. Not much in th eway of spiceness that I had expected from this style. Noce on the tongue, though. Nothing really special about this beer. It seemed like just a little fuller English ale, really.

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

Interesting, they switched to dark bottles this year.

A: Pours a pristine clean amber with strawberry highlights. There must be 10,000 bubbles meandering to the surface from the bottom. Butter cream color head is disceavingly pillowy, meaning the bubbles aren't that tight but they hold together really well.

S: Plums, slightly metallic, red apples and sweet molasses

T: Lightly fruity with sturdy malt presence. As it warms, caramel personality comes to the fore front with some cinnamon roll after thoughts. Plums, raisins and cantelope round out the flavors. Finishes with moments of brown sugar and an uncharacteristic bitterness.

M: Medium body but full and a bit prickly

D: I like this beer a bit more than I remember it. Regardless, still a boring beer but well put together.

Photo of Iguana
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing the 2006-2007 bottle I just got. Pour's a clear coppery brown with a nice head that laced up pretty quick. Smells hint at caramel malts, but not much to it. Taste is metallic and extremely dry. Hints of sweet malts in the taste but again rather lacking. Mouthfeel is extremely dry. Dont reckon I will get this one again with so many other tastier more available winter brews around.

Photo of dgallina
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown bottle dated winter 2006 / 2007 release.

Pours clear copper with lots of carbonation and a few fingers of nice creamy foam. Smells somewhat lacking; hard water, green leafy hops, a bit of caramel. Flavor is better. Toasted biscuit malts lead to a chewy and nutty rounded caramel center. Finishes with some lingering leafy bitterness and a hint of alcohol warmth. Clean medium body with big carbonation. A little uneven, but pretty pleasing in the end.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.16/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2006 - 2007 edition. Tasted fresh! October, 2006
Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger head that melts to fine respectable lacing.
Aroma is again, unimpressive for a winter warmer...toasted malt and little else.
Taste is much like the aroma....toasted malt....sweetness...light hop drying on the end. More is needed from a winter warmer.
Aftertaste is clean, but just clean. Light toasted malt...nothiing else.
I enjoy Winter brews and look forward to them. This is merely an English Amber. Good as an English Amber..totally uninspired as a Winter Warmer.
A number of reviewers have said they thought they got a bad bottle which is why I picked up a fresh one this year to re-review it.
Nope....they aren't skunked...they just aren't that good.
Good English Ale? Yeah...quite possibly. But scored to style....very poor.

Photo of dblinkhorn
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful golden amber color that is crystal clear. The head is off-white and velvety smooth. It pours at about two fingers and settles at a single finger cap of some of the silkiest head I've ever seen. Little lacing is left on the glass as you drink it.

Smell - I'm catching the distinct smell of hemp right on the nose. Some sweet medium fruits along with a lightly toasted and earthy malt character in the background. There are some slightly citrus and bitter hops also hidden in the background.

Taste - The taste is what you would expect from the smell discription above, although the hemp aroma has not translated into the flavor. Toasted malt and some earthiness make up the foundation, and this is balanced by some fruity flavors and a very slight note of hop bitterness. The flavors are well-balanced in this brew and freakishly so in the finish, and unfortunately quite tamed.

Mouthfeel - A bit more carbonation than I would prefer with this fairly light-bodied brew. There is some smoothness to the brew, but overall its mouthfeel isn't its strongest point. Decent, all things considered, though.

Drinkability - With incredible balance (especially in the finish) and quite tame flavors overall, I would have no problem emptying probably four of these.

Overall, the best quality of this brew is definitely its balance. It's a bit lacking still in its overall flavor, though. A decent seasonal ale that is definitely worth a try.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark gold with a thick, long lasting head. The smell was extremely hoppy. The taste is well balanced between mellow malt and bitter hops. The mouthfeel is full and thick and slightly chewy. I consider this a highly drinkable beer and am glad wintertime is near!

Photo of SilentSabre
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow. How average. Unimpressive. I have heard so many people speak of this as though it were some sort of legendary brew of unequalled taste. I, personally, don't feel it's all that special, really. It poured a crystal clear reddish brown colour with a snow white foam head that dissolved in about 40 seconds. It smelled mostly of [sweet] malt, but there was a bit of hops there, as well. More hops present in the taste, which again, was mostly sweet malts. Notably more hops in the taste than smell, though. Mouthfeel is smooth and nice, but nothing that really grabs one's attention.
Overall, I felt this was very average. Not a bad beer, certainly not; but nothing like what I was expecting on account of all the hype.
Perhaps I should revisit this in a few days, perhaps with a warmer example.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There were a couple 4 packs of the 2005 left at the whole foods....I picked one up to see how it would taste in June.
A- 1/4th inch cream colored head, and the beer was a dark amber with orange hints.
S- Sweet toasted malts, a little caramel and toffee....and a slight spice (cinnamon and ginger?).
T- Spiciness of the hops on at the beginning and in the body(not a distinctive spice), smooth toffee, buttery finish.
M/D- Thick and heavy, light carbonation....I feel this beer gets better as you work through the pint...I also noticed that it has gotten a good deal sweeter in the 6 months after the holiday....Great in the winter, but good during all seasons.

Photo of clickpush
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 550ml bottle to pint glass. Pours a beautiful two-finger light tan head and a reddish beer with lots of active carbonation. The head has good retention and nice lacings.

Nose: Most noticeable are the hops with cranberry-like tart/bitter notes. A feeling of freshly popped corn and other cooking grains.

Mouth: The flavors start off sweet and biscuity but the further they get in the mouth, the more bitter it gets, until finally swallowing in a tasty combination of fruit and hops. Flavors of bananas linger in the back of the throat and a bit of spice controls the buds along the sides of the tongue. There's an excellent lasting bitterness and a nice, light mouthfeel that helps coat the whole mouth with flavor. The only downfall is that the beer is a tad too sweet.

Note: Excellent Shakespeare quote on the bottle: "Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale." Ha!

Photo of Metalmonk
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so it's May, but I wanted to open this one before it got lost in the cellar. Also, this is a good chance to note that the typical Samuel Smith bottle, 550 ML, is perfect beer bottle size. I wish they were all this size.

Poured a dense, frothy head that minimized signficantly as the beer warmed. Very few bubbles, but they race quickly to the top. Light-brown color is shot through with a light orange shade. Almost looks like your typical American IPA.

Light aroma gives off a caramel sweetness with a swirl of vanilla, spices, and citrus/fruit in the background.

Down the hatch it goes: hops come through strongly, followed by a roasted, nearly burnt caramel flavor and lingering fruits. There's an acidic, bitter aftertaste. Overall it seems dull. I'm not getting the warming sensation one usually associates with a Christmas beer.

Mouthfeel was too carbonated for what I was tasting/expecting. A smoother, creamier texture would've helped these flavors ride through better.

It certainly gets better and mellower as it warms, but still, if I'm going for some holiday cheer beer, I can think of a zillion Belgians I'd rather spend time with.

Photo of crwills
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part 2 of 2 of the Christmas beers in April. Definitely the weaker of the two (the other being my last bottle of Trafalgar Celebration).

Poured a reddish gold, with a small bubbly head.

Mildly spicy aroma, with some sweet notes.

Taste is very malty and sweet, with some roasted chocolate and baked bread notes. Bit of spice, but definitely nowhere near as 'spicy' as the Celebration. Nice, smooth mouthfeel, but an unexpectedly bitter aftertaste lowers drinkability.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance- Poured a three quarter finger head with a slow deteriation to a film. Color is a slightly bright amber, almost a burnt orange. Decent lacing for an English ale.

Smell- The first wiff was like a tunny poilsner froma can. But as the beer began to warm, the bad lager smell went away to a bland sweetened bread aroma.

Taste- Starts out with some aromatic hop flavoring and dry crystal malts, but sloiwly eveolves into some sweet hints of pound cake.

Mouthfeel- Not bad carbonation helps bring this par beer some points for a renowned brewery.

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

'05-'06 edition. Poured into my 8 oz. pilsner glass a clear golden copper color with a thin white head. Visible moderate carbonation.

Scents are whimsically fresh and blossoming. I swear I catch a hint of single malt scotch from 2 ft. away from my nose. I pull the glass right beneath my nostrils and I get honey, sandalwood, cinnamon and vanilla. There's that signature wet rock, minerally scent common (at least to my nose) with most all Sam Smith's beers.

Flavors don't much reflect what I smelled, although there's a nice fresh crispness that stays. A very well balanced light carmel malt supported by an understated but still apparent semi-dry hop backdrop. As I mix a quick sip mixed with air and let it hit the roof of my mouth while I smack my lips, I get that scotch whiskey flavor that was in the scent.

Mouthfeel is signature Sam Smith's - on the lighter side of medium bodied with not so much carbonation to let the flavors of the ale stand tall. An ever so soft & dry ending.

Drinkability is top notch. If you like a well-crafted low carbonated English Ale (like me), you'll be likely to drink this effortlessly. I sure did.

Overall an ale that smells like a Winter/X-Mas ale but drinks (and tastes) like a masterfully built pale ale with a ghostly dash of good whiskey somewhere in there. Very subtle but complex. You can ponder or pound this ale, it's very multi-dimensional. Excellent.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Basically a bold pale ale in strength, spices, and flavor. Still, a bit ordinary. A brilliant and bright copper color with aromas of nuts, nutmeg, caramel, and a light fruitiness. Tastes moderately malty, nutty, spices, and wood-sy. A mild apple and berry tartness persistes in the tastes and feel. Moderate weight and creaminess to the mouth. Finishes clean, dry, and less sweet than was expecting. A moderate alcohol warmth and flavor shows throughout, leaving a light plastic flavor in the aftertaste. Moderate in every sense of the word. Will never offend, but difficult to brag about either.

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

A resurgence of cold weather here in Connecticut made it seem like drinking a "winter welcome" would be fitting this evening.
A: Flipping off the bottlecap, a moderate pour produces an off-white, prodigious, but light and frothy head. The beer itself is a light caramel-orange color, not far from iced tea. Clear with no haze and visibly active carbonation that decreases with time. The head lingers as a thin foam for the entire drinking session, gradually wearing away into a ring around the perimeter of the glass. No lacing.
S: Aroma is very upfront about its sweetness and has a floral hops presence in the background.
T: Hops permeate the taste in a surprising way, as they do not dominate the scent by any means. The light, sweet maltiness is filtered through a haze of hops that blend together rather effortlessly; quite balanced and little bitterness from the hops. Some hints of unripe pear. As the beer swirls to the back of the mouth, faint alcohol traces seep into the presentation. Finish is of tangy malt and light floral hops.
M: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation that allows for some foaming in the mouth. Dry finish as expected from the hop presence.
D: Quite drinkable, though a bit light in the body for a winter warmer. The aspects that make up the beer are well-interwoven and successfully pulled off, though nothing is, by itself, particularly interesting or defining.

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

Appearance in the 550ml. clear bottle is inviting, as well it pours a nice medium copper-brown ale, with a slightly off-white head of two fingers. A handsome ale, with a nice lacing trailing behind.

First off the nose is a malty, nutty, roasted, slightly skunky, somewhat potent, airomatic overload of a brew. A rather nut brown smelling beer, with a bit extra everything for an appealling (makes you want to taste it) character...nice.

Tastes very much as it smells, a strong tasting nut brown ale, with lot's of personality, ie. flavor...or shall I say flavour ?

Mouthfilling, sweet to a hop balanced finish, good carbonation with a solid medium body, it's got a creamy and satisfying finish that temps you to have more.

A very tasty English brew, nice seasonal offering and consistant, year after year.

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

Bottle poured into glass.

A – Crisp amber and copper tones. Looks very clear and clean. Nice cap about half an inch thick and light yellow.

S – Smells like caramel popcorn. Very sweet with a hint of hops. Has a very rich smell.

T – Deep caramel taste. Roasted hops and grapefruit. I can feel the hops coming through all flavors.

M – Carbonation is right on. It wakes the senses and then mellows out nicely. Very warm and refreshing. Finishes dry.

D – Very warm and inviting. Perfect for a cold night for sipping and talking. Very enjoyable and satisfying. Definitely a winter ale.

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

Pours copper and gold hued with hyper clarity and a bright white head.
Aroma has a honey note lingering in the faded caramel and butterscotch sweet notes. Some grassy and oily hops play in and out in the background.
Flavor starts with a subdued caramel malt and doughy note and moves to a oily, light citrus hop note and then finishes with a big grainy, alcoholic estery pop.
Mouthfeel is a lot thinner than my memory served and to be seems flawed for style. A certain dryness in the finish seems a bit out of place as well. I would expect a little more backbone with a WW.
Drinkability is still solid and relatively potent just note the kind of warming and meaty beer I used to crave and seek for fullness.

(This review and beer were sort of a mid-career review for me as I remember drinming this brew back in the early 90's as my beer experimentation began. Looking back my palate has certainly developed and the seach for great beers continues on.)

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

poured into pint glass.
Cloudy hazel, caramel color with some redness. Frothy head that thinned out, but did not disappear.
Aroma of almond, malt, and pear...some ginger.
Tastes a crisp, yet malty, caramel flavor. Some spices in it but nothing like some of the American winter ales.
Some fruit..pear perhaps. Quite drinkable.

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

Purchased from the BP in Five Points, Huntsville, AL.

Pours a nice dark amber hue with a thick off-white head. Head dissipates, but it leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass.

Spicy, fruity, malty aroma, reminds me more of a weak Belgian than a winter warmer. Really nice.

Dry spiciness upfront, a touch of dryness to the palate, with a nice fruity aftertaste. Pleasant and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel moderate but enjoyable nonetheless. Not to thick to be undrinkable, but not to thin as to be uninteresting.

Overall, I like this beer way more than I expected to. My favorite from Sam Smith? Maybe.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The 2005-06 batch.

Nice head, 1 to 1/2 inches. This head stayed around for a while, unlike my other Samuel Smiths this weekend. Laced all the way down, leaving a nice tale of each sip.

Slightly cloudy amber with good carbonation. Smell was citrusy with malt presence.

Flavour was stronger than the other Sam Smiths I've had recently. Hoppier than the Pale Ale, maltier than the Nut Brown. There was a definite spice hinted at too, but I couldn't pin it down. Not as strong as other seasonals (Anchor and Great Lakes, e.g.).

If you're looking for a winter-style ale that doesn't overpower, this would be a fine choice.

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

Amber coloured with very thin lacing
Smell: caramel, fruity very English
Taste: caramel, bitter, fruity, slight maltiness with a dry finish, medium body.
This Winterwelcome ale is a decent beer, but it looks very similar to a best bitter on speed. So not a lot more complex, just a couple of pounds of extra malt or sugar. 85 % pale malt, 10% crystal, 5% sugar, something like that. Fermented with a fruity English yeast, finished. This sounds like I cannot appreciate this beer, but actually I like it.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,995 ratings.