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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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1,998 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,998
Reviews: 1,110
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 31
Gots: 129 | 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
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Ratings: 1,998 | Reviews: 1,110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Higravity
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found an unopened box at the local so I opened it grab one and took it home made dinner had it while thing were still in the oven. I haven't had one in years as with many of Sam's products due to skunking. Well praise be this one was fresh. A nice oarnge-brown body with a white cap and good lacing. Slight buttery-nutty smell with a hint of caramel twang. Nice average taste of SS beer, full round maltyness cut with the noble hops and metalic zing. Well I can say I will almost never 'buy' one of these again. A shrug of a beer not much of a WW and thin in the mouth.

Photo of hero27
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle.

I still shake my head every time I see clear bottles, but I'm done trying to figure out why they still use them. Clear copper color. A slight euroskunk aroma as soon as you pop the cap...other than that, it's mostly pale malts and a hint of spices. Tastes are very buttery and diacetyl abounds. Pretty harsh mouthfeel, that makes me want to brush my teeth after every sip. Nothing too impressive here from a brewery that's supposed to have a good reputation. Not one of the better winter ales you can try.. you can get a lot better beers that are a lot less expensive.

Photo of sacfly
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, orange colored brew with a thin tan head of small/medium bubbles. Smell is musty and faint.

Taste is slight. Sweet and musty with a mild bitter aftertaste. Thin body makes this one a very easy drinker. Not watery mind you, but not syrupy like some winter warmers can be.

If you are a fan of the distinctive Sam Smith musty smell and flavor, this is a good one. Also, don’t expect the spices of other winter brews. I guess what I’m saying is- don’t expect anything from this one. Nothing special, just an easy drinking English beer.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2004-2005 vintage. Purchased from a well-lit convenience store, where it may well have resided for almost an entire year, (yikes! never again...).

Medium amber body with 2 solid fingers of thick white head.

Skunk nose, it's a damn shame too. I would exempt this portion of the review, but it's just too common with Sam Smith's brews. Guys, please, lose the clear bottles! It ruins too much potentially great beer.

Good biscuity malt flavor up front. A solid entry as usual from Sam Smith's. Mild English hops in the finish. Slight caramel/toffee flavors also. A solid drinking ale.

Mouthfeel is generally medium, a little watery, maybe, but fine for what it is.

Drinkability is actually really high. Even with the skunk, which dissapated quickly and did not ruin the experience for me at all, (beyond the nose rating). It is just too bad that all of Sam Smith's brews cost so much here in the US. I would love to have the opportunity to session much of their lineup, but can't afford it. Also, would it kill you guys to ship some casks over here?

Overall, after all the bitching; Nothing but love, Sam Smith's rules!

Photo of pentathlete
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold, almost like a euro dark lager, with minimal head and a faint ring. Smell is spicy, yeasty malt, some butter notes, and the hops are faint. Taste is hampered by a very thin mouthfeel. The spices are there but the brew itself is rather raw, watery and unpleasant. Despite all of this it isn't terrible, just not anything special.

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

350 mL clear bottle. Golden amber with slightly off white head. Nose is nothing but minerals. Taste is pleasant, but nothing too special: caramelly malts with slightly bitter hoppiness and something of a honeyed sweet undertone. Easy to drink, but not really the sort of thing I look for in a winter seasonal.

Photo of Naes
2.94/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale is dark amber in color with a tall creamy white head.
Its aroma is surprisingly hopy, yet sweet at the same time.
The flavor is more like a winter ale. It has some spice and a nice mild hop presence. Nothing very bitter though. It also has a solid caramel malt base.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and is mildly carbonated.

Photo of Phatz
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer pours a clear light brown with a slight orange tint to it. Huge 3+ finger head that is pretty thick. Medium lacing. Stayed frothy the duration of the beer. Nice.

Smell: Sweet caramel, cloves, then a mixture of pleasant malts and very subtle hops. Not as spicy as I expected from a Winter.

Taste: Hidden. Subtle and bland. There is nothing bad to say about the taste but there is nothing good either. If anything I could say it is a bit buttery, red, and creamy but that starts into mouthfeel. The taste is very mild and inoffensive (balanced hop/malty, bitter/sweet) but also quite boring and drinks like water but that moves into drinkability.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, creamy, light syrupy texture in the finish.

Drinkability: The exact same drinkability that you would give a glass of water. If you were out doing yard work and need to keep chugging because you were thirsty it'd be drinkable, but if you are not thirsty it in not very interesting. This beer is simply a convenient way to slip 6% ABV into a glass of creamy water. IMO

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of cracgor
4.34/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is beautiful. Copper to amber with a nice light tan head that is not so huge, but velvety and resilient. Just enough sticking. Exactly what I expect from an english ale. It has a great fruity, somewhat butterscotch like smell. It is quite good. Can't wait to taste it.

Flavor cannot quite live up to the smell. It is still quite good, just not exceptional. It has a fruity sweet malt. A light hop that comes in from behind and sort of reminds me of a west coast hop--but it only comes through faintly.

Full body. It coats the tongue. You know you're drinking this one. Almost syrupy. A great beer to enjoy in the holiday season.

Photo of maek228
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A beautiful copper/amber. I love the bleach white lace that surrounds this beer. Looks fantastic

Smell: Eeeekk...i hate to bust Sammy Smith's balls but this beer doesn't smell good at all. I can barely get at some malts and hops...but nothing distinctive. Sadly, there is also that "skunky" smell that often accompanies an AB offering...

Taste: Solid. What I expect from a British brew...as it very subtle. Subtle caramel malts mix with a light dose of hops. The two meld together nicely to give you a smooth sip with a subtle and compact taste. There is also a metalic "twang" to the taste. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and pleasant

Decent Winter Warmer

Drinkability: Dangerously smooth.

Photo of BassBone
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review of the 2005-2006 offering.

Pours a nice dark amber-orange with a thick white lacy head. Moderate lacing on the glass as the beer disappears. Head retention is not grea, but adequate.

Smell is sharp and crisp, somewhat hoppy yet sweet at the same time.

Crisp taste that gets mellower as the beer warms. As it warms it becomes better, warming. Definitely a winter beer.

It rolls over the tongue and goes down easily. Dry finish with a hint of hops.

All in all a drinkable winter brew. Not my favorite, but definitely a Samuel Smith. This is something I'd drink again.

Photo of nickss
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I cellared this one for a year, just for the sake of pure curiousity... so here it goes:

Pours a clear, light copper hue with an initially generous 1" creamy head... however the head quickly subsides to little more than a thin cap.

A noticeable, distinct Sammy Smith aroma ... that coppery bitterness that I've grown so accustomed to from their brews.... nothing else remarkable.

This flavours have been subdued from the non-aged version, if I remember correctly... a bit of currant, but nothing much going here. Unintriguing, but certainly not bad.... perhaps a bit boring.

Feels too watery in the mouth... very light, not the medium bodied brew I was looking for.

Sure, its drinkable enough, but all in all a very unstimulating brew.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear copper. Thin off-white head disappears almost immediately. A full imperial pint of this is pleasing to look at nonetheless. Butterscotch aroma, soft floral hops as well. Biscuity, sweet and earthy. The usual Samuel Smith buttery notes are thrown in. Low bitterness. Finishes dry. Subtle, and easy to quaff. I really expected a bit more. I felt this falls short, especially compared with the other S.S.offerings.

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

Appearance: A crystal-clear, dark auburn; gives the impression of peach-infused iced tea. Head is impressive, a muted ivory color mottled with big bubbles.

Smell: Kind of weak, but good. Mildly phenolic, some caramel malt and butterscotch/maple syrup sweetness, a quasi-Belgian spice-fruit-yeast combination, and painfully bashful woody hops. Might go well with a Christmas dinner, especially turkey or ham with cranberry sauce.

Taste: Not bad... sweet, spicy alcohol. Roasted malts and a nice pink grapefruit pithy hop character that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fine... nothing to write home about. Doesn't quite give me the warming sensation I hoped for.

Drinkability: I must say, this beer is a bit on the bland side and is getting boring rather quickly. I don't think I'll buy it again.

Photo of bighoppymonster
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean dark caramel. Active carbonative produces a perfect 2 finger off-white head. Lots of malty sweetness in nose, no hop presence detected. Goes down very smoothly. Very sweet and malty in taste. The maltiness seems to coat your whole mouth as you drink this one down. The sweetness is nicely balanced with some dry hopiness, which give this beer a fairly dry compostition. Overall a very delightful, pleasent brew. A very nice way to enjoy the winter season and holidays with this seasonal brew.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of kingjames1
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
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.


Photo of ScarletLady
1.79/5  rDev -51.2%
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?

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of daliandragon
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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

Photo of masikon
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,998 ratings.