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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,798 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,798
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 62 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,798 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Morris729
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a thick and creamy off-white colored head that fades into a nice thick lace. Nose is sweet malts, caramel, honey, and spice. Taste is a malty sweetness with notes of dark fruits and caramel with a dry finish. A very nice brew, but Samuel Smith makes many beers that are superior to this one.

Morris729, Jan 11, 2003
Photo of cokes
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bourbon colored with a buttercreme head. Retains well.
Muted nose of butterscotch, paper and grassy, pre-floral hops. Plus some of the standard "oh, this is another f**king clear bottle from S Smith" light-damaged aroma is already creeping in.
Taste is along similar lines. Butterscotch up front, leading the charge albeit passively. Butter seems to be the main player with loads of diacetyl notes. Mid section is curiously devoid of any signature flavors, simply watery with some residual butterscotch/diacetyl. Finishes grassily hopped with an exiting jab of spoiling milk.
Washed out body. Very thin for the style. Effervescent up front. After the intial carbonation escapes, this one just dies.
A waste of time.

cokes, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber-copper color, big frothy, clingy off-white tan colored head, leaves thick sheets of lace in my glass. Light caremel malty and flowery aroma. Sweet caremel malty flavor, some hops come through in the finish, decent medium body, a bit watery mouthfeel, not the best Samuel Smith, but not bad.

maxpower, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a quickly dissipating, finger-thick head. Unfortunately, like most other Samuel Smith's beers, the dominant aroma is skunk, as the clear bottles cause the beer to become lightstruck. It takes a while to get over this rather unpleasant introduction, but after a while a buttery diacetyl aroma, and a tart, fruity scent begin to take hold. Flavor, too, starts off a bit skunky, and follows much the same progression, with buttery flavors leading off, followed by a caramel-like maltiness, and finally a pleasant floral hop flavor, toffee-like notes, and a slightly sweet, fruity aftertaste. Crisp and smooth, with a medium body. If only Sam Smith's would ditch the clear bottles, this would be a very fine beer.

mzwolinski, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish amber in color with a decent off-white head with small, slow rising bubbles, lots of irregular broken lace. Sweet aroma of caramel and honey with bread notes and some fugitive holiday spices. Taste begins with a sweet, lingering caramel note and soft carbonation, turns a bit grassy towards the middle, finishes with some slightly bitter and lingering hops and buttery notes. Alcohol is quite warming and seems potent. Mouthfeel is good, although not quite as good as one might expect. Still, a holiday pleasure that makes one wish that winter lasted a bit longer.

Pegasus, Dec 28, 2002
Photo of putnam
4.93/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Nose: (the beer's, not Gogol's)
What perfection. Deep, alluring, sophisticated and subtle, the aromas offer a hint of the trademark Tadcaster blueberry and cream, but with a well of roasted and polished sugars as anchor: Asian spices, date syrup, toasted sesame, new leather, fruit wood...wow. And concise! No clumsy hop intrusions, canned fruit, or mustiness to blur the statement.

The Palate:
Subtle as opposed to decadent. Creamy, milky texture allows the aforementioned traits to dance and glide across the lingual plateau. No beef. No glitzy hops (but enough to dry up the finsh.)

I want more. And I fault the beer for not being more concentrated.

A perfect drink.

putnam, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of mickstepp
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a respectable head. It looks very much like a pale ale and tastes a lot like one too, though an underhopped one in my opinion.It's very refreshing and quaffable (maybe a little on the thin side) and seems much more suited to warmer weather. There is a hint of nutmeg spice in the nose and in the taste profile but oh so subtle. I'm not usually a big fan of the big and spicy winter/Christmas ales but when I have one I want it to be....well, big and spicy. A decent ale overall but a little off the mark for the category.

mickstepp, Dec 26, 2002
Photo of kunzbrew
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color that has no head. This reminds me of a pale ale with holiday spices mixed in. The smells and taste of nutmeg and pale malt compliment each other very well here. Not to bad but would not call it a winter welcome ale.

kunzbrew, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of IrishRedRock
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

At first sip I was not a fan of this malty brew, yet it is growing on me now. I think the rigatoni, meatballs, and hot italian sausage I had it with made things better for me.

It is a deep copper with a reddish hue, with a thin head that sticks nicely. The aroma is rather pungent, and not quite to my liking...very malty with some caramel in there. Smells like an English pub.

More malts kick in upon tasting it, in addition to some biscuit-like and earthy grassy hay flavors. I think the bitter aftertaste is what struck me down initially, but now we are cool. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and pleasant. At first it was nearly intolerable, but now I am enjoying slowly sipping this one. I think the fact that the food made it better is a possible indication that it pairs well with Italian food. Nothing like ol' Nana's cookin on Christmas!

IrishRedRock, Dec 24, 2002
Photo of doerickson
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color of apple juice with a thick white head. Sweet smells of caramel maltiness and a taffy-like aroma as well. Light carbonation. This is a malty brew, with candy apple and brown sugar sweetness with a bit of earthy hops to bring some balance. Nice warming effect from the alcohol. I enjoyed this beer.

doerickson, Dec 22, 2002
Photo of mjohn27603
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber in color. Head seems to dissipate quickly. By the smell I thought this beer might be skunked. It is in a clear bottle. However, the taste doesn't indicate any skunky flavor. Maybe some butterscotch. Alcohol taste is present. Some slight peppery taste. A mild bitterness remains for quite a long time but in a very subtle and subdued way. It doesn't seem so special for a seasonal beer. Would have liked some more of the butterscotch flavor. I'm going to call this one average in all categories.

mjohn27603, Dec 19, 2002
Photo of goindownsouth
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew, all-around. Samuel Smith is famous for brewing high-quality beers. This one is no exception. It is respectable in color, and has a good ale aroma, however unlike many seasonals, this bier is not burdened with heaviness in spice and sweetness. This brew is well worth the try. Prost!

goindownsouth, Dec 14, 2002
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I think they swapped the labels at the store on me with Bass. Poured amber, light head. Really bland, non carbonated taste. Total disappointment. Maybe this beer could welcome some hops or better yet some taste? My wife said it tasted like beer she remebers from college. That was the frosting on the cake.

bewareOFpenguin, Dec 11, 2002
Photo of Mick
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of BA's give this one a bad rap. Maybe it's because of preference; maybe it is because of the way they judge this one by comparison to a preconception of, "style." We're all guilty of not being objective and judging based on individual preference, and doing so isn't wrong. I'm guilty on this one.

I really enjoyed it so maybe I'm being partial to that in the numerical assignment of the five notables, oh well.

Copper iced tea color. An average pour, not impressive. Fruity aromas with an almost medicinal tinge great the nose. Great assortment of flavors, fruits, caramel, and a noticeable but helping hop profile blend together to carry this one nicely.

Very dry with an almost martini like finish. I look forward to having this one again.

Mick, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of jackndan
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sam Smith’s Winter Welcome: In a big Imperial pint bottle. Clear. The color is a very tan/iced tea color, with a slightly off-white head. Very nice aroma, sweet candy like. The initial taste is very pleasant, not too sweet, but with very nice malt taste. This is not what one would traditionally consider a winter beer; to me, it is missing the spices that are prevalent with the other winter/holiday beers. That is not to say that it is not an excellent beer, it tastes like a wonderfully malty ale. It is not, however, a great holiday beer. Nice.

jackndan, Dec 07, 2002
Photo of Lupe
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color with a white head and some lacing. Musty aroma with notes of fruit, honey, and hops. Medium bodied with a smooth and crisp mouthfeel. Starts with a bready malt flavor along with some carmel and fruitness. A mustiness lurks in the backround that takes away from the beer. Some spiciness comes forward, not from the hops, which are minimal, but hard to pinpoint the taste. The flavor is very subdued, sweet but it seems to be lacking something. I was expecting more after having Samuel Smith's other brews.

Lupe, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of Shiloh
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A deep amber ale with a cloudy and full body. There is a very heavy caramel malt taste and aroma to this offering...Nice original crown which disapates to glass clinging web..... Not my style of choice, but very nice.

Shiloh, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of bmills1608
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of this beer was a clear copper, the clarity was excellent. Head was dense with very fine bubbles and ended up being thick off-white. On the nose where lots of lively English hops, smelling very fresh, reminds of fresh cut hay.

The taste was at first full and a bit toasted malt, very clean (almost too clean), steely hard with hints of caramel, nuts, wine, and vanilla. Also evident was a bracing hop bitterness, nothing mind blowing in terms of hop heavyness, more of a satisfying tingling bitterness that was certainly evident.

Finish was quick and dry with some more earth hop flavor that all ends rather quick. The carbonation in the beer was a bit tight and fizzy, not overly creamy by any stretch, just the opposite in fact. I like this beer a lot, I always have, but compared to so many other bigger winter offering, I can see why some are not all that impressed. I think of it more in terms of a delicate Speyside malt whisky, it is complex and very enjoyable, but you must be patient and contemplative to fully enjoy its charms.

bmills1608, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of the42ndtourist
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep clear copper colour, with an average light tan head. First whiff is a little malty, a little sweet. Taste immediately put me in mind of scotch whiskey: peaty, malty, with some alcohol burn for warmth. Mouthfeel is rather nice: very fine carbonation, but active and pleasant. Certainly drinkable, but like scotch it's more of a sipping and meditating drink.
edit: this is 2002 vintage.

the42ndtourist, Dec 02, 2002
Photo of weissbierhead
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

550 ml. clear glass bottle with gold foil over the cap. The first impression after opening the bottle was the skunky aroma. Fortunately it dissipated rapidly. It pours an amber to orange color with a pale head. The flavor is slightly caramel to toffee. I was expecting something spectacular (Samuel Smith's rep.) and instead found something quite ordinary.

weissbierhead, Nov 27, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that I actually look forward to enjoying as winter approaches; and I like to buy a case as it's not a heavy beer and it can be enjoyed year round. I've cellared bottles that have shown no sign of age after a year or more! It pours a clear, light orangish-brown/auburn with a full and frothy yellow-tinged head that holds extremely well and leaves excellent lace. The aroma is distinctly buttery (but not quite butterscotch), alongside honey, caramel and toffee. A light fruitiness adds to the toffee but isn't really distinct on its own. Hop aroma is basically absent by design, although there is a mild background grassiness. The body is medium with a lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor starts with a mildly fruity toffee that's coat-tailed by softer caramel notes and then a light butterscotch before a balancing bitterness comes up. It finishes semi-dry with some lingering buttery sweet malt. Some alcohol is noticeable as you come to the end of a pint, but for the most part it's fully cloaked. An exceptional ale that proves that a little bit of diacetyl can be a nice thing! Highly recommended and worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of CharlesRiver
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured light amber in color with a small head that did not last. Malty in smell and in flavor. Not your typical "Winter Ale" in terms of flavor. It kind of tastes like a strong British pale ale. I have to say that I have always been so impressed with all the Sam Smith products, but this one doesn't do it for me. A good beer but not what I think of in terms of a "Winter" brew.

CharlesRiver, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a beautiful copper/amber color with a thick off-white head. Aromas are of light caramel malt and fruity hops. This beer has a nice fruity hop flavors balanced with light caramel malt flavor. It is relatively light in body, smooth, with a semi-sweet finish. Overall it is a tasty, well-balanced beer with a strength that sneaks up on you.

BeerBuilder, Nov 26, 2002
Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 18.7 oz clear bottle that has gold foil on top and raised glass below the neck, no freshness though on the label it has the years for the 2002-2003 winter season.

Appearance: A small-bubbled two fingered lace lies on top of a copper hued brew. Decent clarity with a better than ok head retention.

Smell: Faded butterscotch, fruity esters and a honey/caramel like malt sweetness. Hop aroma grassy with a light oily pungency.

Taste: Smooth as much as it is crisp with in the pleasant mouth feel. Malty palate with a medium body and level carbonation. Bready malt flavours ride on top with hints of caramel and grain. Candied fruit with some buttery diacetyl and light alcoholic esters to boot. Hop bitterness is perfect and balances very well and does not intrude with excessive hop flavour at all. A little dry in the finish with a touch of butterscotch and a slow warming feeling from the alcohol that has a mild peppery flavour.

Notes: A cast and mold for a lot of the US breweries to build from in the past. Now it seems middle of the road in comparison to what is in the American market now.

Jason, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of Mark
2.42/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I was so bummed out by this beer I'm almost depressed. First the damm clear glass has got to go! What is with S.S.? Very skunky nose dominated, toasty malt flavor and every other nuance was ruined by the skunk smell which seeped in to the taste as well. Appearance was nice, deep amber body, thick head and sheets of lace. Good rounded mouthfeel the only other positive. I know this is a good brand of brew and I looked for it while in London, (no luck) but I don't know if I will buy any Sammy again until they bottle their product properly. I seem to recall the IPA is in a brown bottle, why not the rest?!

Mark, Nov 19, 2002
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,798 ratings.