1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,718 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1718
Reviews: 1070
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%

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)
View: Beers (28) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,718 | Reviews: 1,070 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale has a thick, soapy, off-white head, a clear, burnt-orange appearance, bubble streams, and nice, splotchy lacing. The aroma is of mild, brown bread, caramel, and barley malt. Taste is of the same, with nut shell, tea, and some mild bitterness showing up mid-sip. Mouthfeel is light and slick, and Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale finishes semi-dry, mellow, and supremely drinkable. No alcohol is detected anywhere with this jewel. Overall, this is delicious!


Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 16:07:51 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of mfnmbvp


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

550 ml bottle (1 pint) poured into a Boulevard tulip glass, which is now my only surviving glassware. No bottled on date present.

A - Pours a very clear copper color. 1 finger white head that goes down fast. Very significant lacing.

S - Not much action. Some mild sweetness, and a hint of vague spice. Mostly just very malty. Not very impressive.

T - Coppery, well-watery taste. Slightly bitter flavor, not anything groundbreaking. Kind of bland. As the beer warms, a very distinctive cherry flavor begins to creep out.

M - Bitter, sticky mouthfeel. Again, nothing super spectacular, but not bad.

Overall, it is a beer I would try again, with a moderate 6% abv, and a decent price at only $3.99 around here!

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale ---3/5.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 16:34:27 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of thecheapies


3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice and clear. Coppery color with a dense inch-plus of off-white head on-top.

Caramelly toast grains, English hops, fusel alcohol. Simple English ale nose.

Musty grains with light roast and some toffee notes. Showy in strength for 6%, but it is a warmer, so let it show. Acts spicy in the finish, but it's just some booze coming through. Very light hoppiness balances this out. Tastes like a cold weather pub ale.

Drinks clean, not rugged. Rustic maybe. Well-designed, but simple, flavors. The feel doesn't get in the way of that.

Decent. Nothing to make you want to buy more than one or two. Enjoyable still.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 15:16:56 | More by thecheapies
Photo of barczar


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

2008-2009 vintage.

Pours a hazy light brown with copper highlights and a fleeting half inch cream head.

Aroma consists of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, prunes, plums, and figs.

Sweet bready caramel malt, buttery toffee, and burnt sugar form the backbone of the flavor profile, with underlying notes of dates, figs, raisins, dark berries, tangerines, and banana esters adding intrigue. There's a cola-like finish. Lots of peach flavor as it warms.

Body is fairly watery, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

It's held up fairly well. Developed some nice esters over the years, but definitely passing its prime...a tad oxidized and watery.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 01:48:19 | More by barczar
Photo of stephenjmoore


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

A- Pale amber tranparent body with a bubbly slightly off-white head. Thought it would have been a little darker for a winter beer.

S- Sweet malt, caramel malt, a dash of faint hops. Not a whole lot going on.

T- Tastes similar to the smell. Sweet malt up front with just a dash of hops. Somewhat of a mineral taste along with some bready flavors.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

O- Pretty average, but not bad. Not sure what exactly makes the winter warmer style, but this one tastes pretty plain.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 21:19:45 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of Mavigo


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

Couldn't resist a seasonal beer from Samuel Smith, brought this over to the dinner party. Served in a chalice.

A: Pours a clearish, little bit hazy, bronze color with a half inch off white head with good amounts of lacing sticking to the sides.

S: Smells sweet, yeasty, light malts, ginger, cinnamon, spices

T: Tastes sweet and mellow, sweet, brown sugar, caramel, bit of fruits, yeast as well

M: Bit on the high carbonation side, flavor is solid and well balanced, balances with the carbonation, pretty good

O: Overall it wasn't and earth shaker like other Samuel Smith beers I've had in the past, but it was a good beer and great for the season, great for the holidays, recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 03:31:06 | More by Mavigo
Photo of Braz


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

The 2012/2013 release. Not aware if they keep the same recipe or not. Very clear gold amber color with huge pure white head that recedes to a full cap the entire brew. Bitter yet savory smell. Raw grain aromas as well. Some bitterness at first graduating to being chalky and metallic like. Pretty dry with a subtle honey like sweetness. A little more bitter than sweet though. Also getting some notes of tea. Very nice creamy smooth body with average carbonation. Bitter dry aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 01:10:58 | More by Braz
Photo of snaotheus


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle (I think) poured into a large mug

Pours coppery with a nice light tan head, lots of carbonation, clear. Smell is malty and spiced.

Taste is malty with winter spices. Not bad, but not very interesting. Solid, but not exciting.

Mouthfeel is medium, pleasant. Overall, it's not a masterpiece, but it's pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 00:02:57 | More by snaotheus
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

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

Pours an orange amber colour with a nice big fluffy white head.

The smell yeasty and sweet.

The taste is sweet caramel and spices.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall not great especially for a Samuel smith beer. Just a very average English ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 02:15:44 | More by Dave1999
Photo of sevenarts

New York

2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Reddish amber/orange, good-sized off-white head that fades to a small skim.

S: Caramel, butterscotch, some spices and grassy/herbal notes.

T/M: Sweet caramel malts dominate up front, with some mild spiciness around the edges and a crisp, bright finish. Moderate body and some sharp carbonation.

O: Despite my love for Samuel Smith's beers in general, I'm not really a fan of this one. Its character is pretty one-dimensional and the spice character isn't very pronounced. Everything just gets drowned out by the overriding caramel, so it's just way too sweet and simplistic.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 01:24:19 | More by sevenarts
Photo of Danno48

West Virginia

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

Poured cool into a Samuel Smith glass.
Has a dark amber color, starts off with a eggshell color head that dissipates quickly.

Smells malty with light toffee notes... not much pine aroma comes through.

Its weird how similar this tastes to a marzen type lager. I'm talkin sweet, malty, caramel flavors, and just the right amount of sweetness with a light touch of spice. Could have used more spice but the beer tastes great.

Very smooth beer... This could easily be consumed by the kiloliter. Smooth and refreshing.

Great beer, but it tastes more like a really good Oktoberfest than a winter beer... Don't really know if I am upset about that.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 05:02:17 | More by Danno48
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: nice amber colored body with a very nice clearness about it. A nice two finger foamy white head appears and lasts for a good minute before gently dieing into some nice foamy valleys. Lots of carbonation is seen rising.

S: some nice peppery/spicey notes up front backed nicely with malts and light cherry.

T: takes those smells and adds a bit of breadiness to it.

M: medium with nothing harsh on the tongue, a nice gentle smoothness that feels great all around.

O: a nice winter warmer that has a good smell and mouthfeel, but probably nothing to jump up and down for.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 15:10:22 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of BEERMILER12


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

2012-2013 bottle

A: Pours a nice amber color with a fingers worth of head that retains fairly well

S: Typical SS yeast, along with a light peppery spice note and pale malts

T: Follows the nose. Very malty with a light peppery spice note and a solid malt/yeast combo. Bready and lightly fruity

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

O: Not really like anything going on over here in the states, this brew is packed full of malty goodness and very light on the spices. A solid brew, but nothing really overwhelming

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 07:11:56 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of harrymel


3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

Pours tawny brown with a near solid sheet of fine whites. Vanilla, tea, nougat, some almond and sweet malts come through the nose. Tastes fairly simple and subtle. A good malty beverage with some fruity notes from the english yeast, some sweetened plum and bread flavors. Medium bodied with low carb and an overal silkiness I get in most sam smith beers. A nice enough drinking beer, but not likely going to get it again. Reminds me of a thickened kristalweizen.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 04:45:14 | More by harrymel
Photo of moorerm04


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from a 550ml bottle into a Tulip Pint glass. This beer pours a nice transparent light amber color with a moderately lasting Light Khaki head that resembles soap. Very minimal lacing though.
S- Light dried plums to the nose, a hint of toffee, and a hint of spice. I get very little hop aroma, and little malt as well.
T- Sweet dried fruit, mostly plums, and light toffee. It is much more of a malt forward beer than hop, but very balanced as the Fuggels, and EKG hops help balance out the sweetness of this beer. Lastly I get a nice subtle spice, not overpowering at all more of one of the great characters that help this beer meld together so well.
M- Moderate to high carbonation, I feel like it really helps bring the flavors out in the ale.
O- Very pleased with this beer, it is dynamic, yet simple, and every sip makes me want to come back for more. I will buy this beer again for sure. I guess my only negative is that it is lower gravity for a Winter/ Christmas Ale at only 6.0ABV. I would really enjoy a slightly higher gravity that warms you a little more. If this is available in your area give it a try, it won't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 03:15:19 | More by moorerm04
Photo of Geegmasta

New York

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- A beautiful dark crimson pour with a fluffy, white head around 0.35''. Slowly draws itself back into the body leaving no lacing.

Smell- A slightly fruity aroma but not overly aromatic.

Taste- A slight hop taste hits your tongue swiftly followed by a modestly spicy tone. Can't really distinguish any real flavors though this isn't inherently bad.

Mouthfeel- Lightly carbonated and smooth. Easy flow down the esophagus.

Overall- Not a bad ale but not amazing either. I do enjoy that it's not overly powerful in any one taste and blends together quite well. Combines together to make an enjoyable ale especially on a nice winter night. Will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 22:48:39 | More by Geegmasta
Photo of magictacosinus


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

We've got another winter warmer on our hands here! This time from Sam Smith's, who's here to hopefully save the day from the molasses-tinged, peppery beers I've had to suffer through recently. Poured into a pint glass from a 550ml bottle.

I'm utterly surprised with the color here, to be honest. I expected something darkened, filled with spices like other winter warmers, but this looks exactly like their Old Brewery Pale Ale recipe here. I suppose some key differences would be the slightly frothier - as opposed to foamier - head here, but the carbonation is plentiful and it looks pretty clear and unfiltered overall.

No matter how much this warms up, I'm personally finding it difficult to separate or categorize the aroma here. There's a slight graininess, combined with fresh, biscuit scenes, as well a slight (albeit very faint) spiciness resembling pumpkin and apple. The caramel malts are present, as well as the classic English flavor battered with bittering units. I suppose the extra alcohol adds a kick to the aroma here, but there's nothing too prominent about this beer so far that would indicate that it was "seasonal."

In a sense, the only extremely notable ingredients that separate this from the OBPA is an increased alcohol warmness and more zesty hops that rest at the tongue. It doesn't stop it from being very delicious, though. Other than the classic English biscuit flavor, there's some slightly floral bitterness that accompanies the woody, very lightly smoked aftertaste. That alcohol does a good job warming up the chest and back of the neck as well. It's pretty balanced overall, and luckily decently thick and carbonated that never lets down no matter how much it warms up.

If this is a type of winter warmer, give me more! Definitely don't see how this could be a seasonal release for the cold weather except for the alcohol warming properties, but it's a very balanced, simple yet effective beer overall. I agree with others that releases of theirs such as their imperial stout would be more suitable for the cold weather, though. Sam Smith's never fails to disappoint in my life, and surely didn't here.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 07:41:29 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Purchased in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

A- Pours an clear amber body with a medium 2" head with some retention and branchy lacing.

S- Predominately malty, including caramel and bready notes.

T- Starts off with some big caramel, sugar cookie, brown sugar, and winter spice notes. Ends with a every so slightly hop bitterness to balance out the malty backbone of this beer.

M- Medium body, low carbonation makes for an easy drinker.

Overall I'd call this a solid winter brew. It's pretty tasty, nicely balanced, and easy to drink. I'd enjoy this with Christmas dinner.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 02:18:01 | More by gcamparone
Photo of thlayli87

New Jersey

1.75/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a medium brown with a small head that dissipates very quickly. Bittersweet aroma that I can't place. Overwhelming bitter flavor. Not the pleasant hoppy bitterness of a well- crafted ale, this is unpleasant and somewhat medicinal taste reminiscent of Silly Putty. Mouthfeel is thin and watery and the carbonation doesn't last-the beer goes flat rather quickly. I am disappointed in this one, as I'd heard good things about it. Really don't care for this. Drank about half and had to drainpour the rest. Won't be getting this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 01:29:08 | More by thlayli87
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber colour, finger of white head, good amount of lace on the glass. Smell is malty, sweet caramel and spices, fruity and almost comes across smelling exactly like a fruit cake. Taste is sweet and malty, some spice and lightly bitter, caramel, fairly one dimensional and a bit bland. Medium carbonation and medium bodied, decent medium full feel. Not great but not bad either, rather boring however, I finished half the bottle and that was more than enough for this, don't see myself coming back to this.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 17:42:51 | More by peensteen
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

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

Bright copper hue with a big fluffy off white head. Dark fruit cake smells with a hint of spice, touch of cinnamon raisin bread. Crisp and smooth with a rolling carbonation. Medium bodied with buttered toast flavors through on the sides of the tongue. Sweet sugared fruits on the tip of the tongue. Burnt toast ends on the back end of the tongue with english earthy hops that create a super dry yet balanced finish; balance between the semi-sweet fruityness an earthy bitternes, balance between the rich butteriness and dryness. Touch of alcohol heat warms the belly. I like it, much bigger and bolder than i expected from sam smith. creamy rich, meaty, buttery, dry and earthy. kind of tastes like a buttered and toasted piece of cinnamon raisin bread as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 00:32:55 | More by jtierney89
Photo of Seanniek91

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from an 18.7oz bottle into a Guinness 250th anniversary imperial pint.

Appearance- Very nice crystal clear amber, with two fingered off-white head that leaves no lacing.

Smell- Predominantly malt, with some underlying smell of caramel and some ever so slight floral hops.

Taste- Caramel malts and slight hops. A little yeast presence. Mild bitterness at the back of the tongue. Tastes more like a maltier British ESB.

Mouthfeel- Quite carbonated. Not syrupy at all, but not dry either- rather in between.

Overall- This is a good beer. Definantly not the best from Sam Smith, but not bad either. I like my winter warmers to be on the boozier side with some very mild spice. This has neither. Still a fine beer though.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 17:39:46 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of acevenom


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours translucent toffee brown with a white head that dissipates rather quickly. There's a moderate amount of tiny bubbles visible rising in the beer. The beer smells of bready and caramel malts with some earthy hops. The taste follows the nose. There's some breadiness and mild sweetness from the malts. There are some spicy and earthy hop flavors. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is clean. The drinkability is high. This is a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 00:55:29 | More by acevenom
Photo of MaineBrewing


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

A - poured clear medium copper color, two finger white head that reduced by half within a minute. Color is beautiful and enticing, head not so much... Not much for rentention and no lacing.

S - caramel malt smell, slight roasted malt notes, sweet. Slight pine hop aroma is muttled in the background.

T - mild malt character with a sweet caramel, cereal, and slightly roasted taste. No flavoring hops stand out to me. Good bittering hops and lingering malt character in the finish.

M - mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation.

O - very balanced and on par for winter ales, and definitely well crafted. Taste Lingers on the palate. Although it is mild overall, it is delicious and very enjoyable/drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 02:49:36 | More by MaineBrewing
Photo of ZBerkeleyan


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

Poured this one from a bottle; it created a generous frothy head. Lacing remained on the side of the glass. Light shone through, the beer was medium brown, and some bubbles were visible.

The beer smelled of brown sugar or molasses, with malted grains and alcohol noticeable in the background.

The taste was what I expected after smelling the brew, with some sweetness and alcohol and other flavors becoming more apparent as it warmed. I would definitely recommend drinking this one not too cold. The beer needed to warm up for some of the more interesting flavors to become apparent.

The mouthfeel was medium, substantial enough to earn its winter seasonal status but not as filling as a stout. The moderate carbonation that was evident visibly was not particularly apparent in the mouthfeel.

Overall, a decent beer that is worth a try. Not my favorite from Samuel Smith though. Ironically, for a chilly winter evening I would probably first turn to Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout or Imperial Stout rather than this 'Winter' seasonal offering. Tasty, but doesn't particularly suggest anything wintry to me!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 05:28:35 | More by ZBerkeleyan
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,718 ratings.