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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1,937 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,937
Reviews: 1,098
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 30
Gots: 102 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,937 | Reviews: 1,098 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ineva
4/5  rDev +9%

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

This one's a bit of a celebration, as it was officially cold as shit today & I got some good news about my possible future as a photographer, plus my buddy's birthday. Time for a beer.

A - A nice light golden amber, 1 finger of fluffy head, some lacing.

S - Bready, slightly roasty malt balanced with grassy, floral, lemony hops. Alcohol is noticeable.

T - Roasted nuttiness & caramel malt accented by bready yeast. Hops are subtle as expected, slightly spicy & grassy. Finish is slightly sweet with fading bitterness. Alcohol is present in finish, maybe more than 6% implies (I guess it does the "warmer" part well).

M - Smooth but maybe a bit sticky in the finish. Palate is a little hot after finishing the 550mL bottle.

O - A bit like a cross between a spiced brown & an amber ale, but with those subdued British hops. Everything is in balance and it drinks nicely, but somewhat muddled & slightly sweet after a full bottle. Certainly classic, but probably not quite to my tastes.

Photo of virinow
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of ej285701
3/5  rDev -18.3%

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

Poured into a shaker pint: Clean, transparent copper body under two fingers of loose, fluffy white head that foams up over the rim of the glass. Head retains well at about a finger, some slow nucleation.

Light fruitiness in the nose, like strawberry ice cream, with a lot of lager-ish notes: grainy bread, grape jelly, a little bit of wet stone. On the weak side, but not bad.

Taste is surprisingly sharp & forthcoming given the restrained smell, but is compromised of pretty much the same notes. A subtle honey taste shows up, which is cool. The lager-like character follows through with bitterness in the finish, that's kind of earthy & musty. A little tea-like hop. Very similar profile to a best bitter, just a bit more pronounced.

Medium-bodied, feels thin at first but then a fullness builds. Ends pretty clean.

Can't say there's anything real special about this one, but it's pleasant enough without any real strikes against it. I'd love to try this on cask.

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +9%

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

2011-2012 edition. 550mL Sam Smith bottle (perhaps over chilled) poured into a Chimay chalice. Beer is crystal clear and the color of red brass. Thin white head with some big bubbles in it. Subtle but malt-heavy aroma.

Tastes like it smells: solid malt backbone with a hint of roast, not too chalky, and English style hopping to balance it out. Suggests orange peel and spice.

Good ale but not great. I give it a solid B.

Photo of Hershdawg
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011-2012 bottle into large snifter.

A- Small finger white head on a deep ruby/amber body. great lacing. Great clarity.

S- Caramel, plum, earthy hops probably fuggles. A little sweetness but definatley not over the top. If this was larger it would be their Stingo

T: moderate bitterness, followed by dark toffee, a little earthiness, and some dark fruit. Great complementing flavors to an English pudding.

M: Medium-high mouthfeel. Doesn't coat but lingers enough that you want more.

O: Great winter beer. Its not spiced, but complex enough to keep you interested. The ABV is medium(aleast for americans) but really does a good job a warming you up. Great beer.

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

Pours a very nice dark copper color with a craggy head that goes nowhere. Very nice looking beer, it is a bit fizzy. Scents of slight sweet spices but nothing that grabs me. Very smooth medium bodied beer. Very pleasant. No overwhelming spices like most winter warmers these days. A bit of mint and cinnamon hit the nose. Very easy to drink. I was more pleased with this one than I expected. Definite buy every winter season!

Photo of Zonthark
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

when I opened this beer and poured it out I could smell it from a foot away, has a one finger off white head, and its a clear redish brown. It has a nice roasty taste, and I get hints of wine, you can really taste the hops especially the fuggles. The body on this beer has a great body it sticks in your mouth for a while.

On the negative side of things it is a bit too carbonated for my liking, but besides this I really like this one.

I will buy this again tomorrow probably! This is my first Samuel Smiths beer ever I am really looking forward to trying more from there range of beers.

Photo of jrenihan
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled July 25, 2011

Beer is copper with some reddish hints. A fairly vigorous pour results in a moderately sized off-white head that starts receding quickly. Moderate lacing.

Caramel and bready malt is the most notable scent. Characteristically British hops are present as well, imparting earthy, woodsy scents. I don't get a lot else.

Beer is very malt focused. Bready, with some caramel and biscuit flavours. The hops leave an earthy flavour. There is a distinct metallic flavour to the beer that is not particularly pleasant. Beer is fairly balanced, but certainly on the sweet side- the hops (perhaps faded) do not impart a lot in the way of bitterness. Aftertaste is malty and pretty good. Some nice though not exciting flavours but the metallic flavour really detracts.

A little too much carbonation- on the high side and is a bit irritating. Medium bodied.

Overall, a disappointing beer from Samuel Smith. Not bad, but it doesn't stand out in any way, and the metallic aspect of the taste is unfortunate. I will stick to the Oatmeal Stout, thank you very much.

Photo of Kartoffeln
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011/12 brew, unaged.

A: Pours a bright, coppery amber with lots of visible carbonation and a decent-sized head of thick, creamy beige foam. Retention is modest, dissipating in short order to a thin, bubbly cap of foam and leaving smatterings of lacing.

S: Bready caramel and faint biscuit malts with butteriness and hints of treacle and icing sugar, and grassy, floral, and slightly spicy hops with understated nutmeg and brown spice notes. A bit underwhelming.

T: Rich and sweet caramel and biscuit malts with a bready and buttery character give way to fresh and toasted grain notes, mingling with leafy and astringently floral hop flavours with a citrus note towards the finish. Plenty of yeastiness and very faint brown spice throughout.

M: Medium-bodied with crisp, smooth carbonation. The finish is long and leans towards letting the sweet malt and grain through the flavourful, low-bitterness hops, but well-balanced overall. This is the only part of the experience that I would associate at all with a winter warmer.

D: I expected a lot more from an ale called Winter Welcome, categorised as a winter warmer, and described on the label as a full-bodied, complex sipping ale for cold nights. As it stands, the 2011/12 Winter Welcome tastes and drinks like a good ESB but falls entirely short of this style; I've represented this with a low overall grade. There's nothing to be done but treat it like an ESB instead, and hope that the bottle I'm cellaring for the year will be better.

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

A - Pours a dark ruby red, finger of head with some retention and no lacing.

S - Caramel, fresh bread, toffee, some subtle spice notes (cinnamon and nutmeg) and a touch metallic.

T - Much the same as the nose, the caramel and toffee dominate, some subtle spice notes but very weak, and a leafy green hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes wet.

O - A tasty ale, but could be amped up a bit on the spices. I like a bold flavour winter warmer, this one was rather luke warm for the style.

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

2010 -2011 vintage. Picked it up in the spring with it's own little glass. Figured I would drink it now in honor of the name.

It pours a clear copper with a decent off-white head that leaves some lacing.

It is a bit more robust than your typical amber ale but it is clean and pleasant, yet tried and true.

The flavor is better. Proper use of the English hops lends a slight bitterness to go with a decent malt backing.

Not a bad one.

Photo of liamt07
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. SG25K1 printed on the neck of the bottle, I think this means it was bottled July 25, 2011. Why they're bottling a Winter Warmer in July boggles me...

Pours a clear golden red, with a slightly offwhite head. Some sticky lace and a some fairly decent head retention. Nose has almost nothing, light malts, some bread and a hint of butter. Almost like a maltier English Pale Ale of sorts, doesn't suggest anything to with a "winter warmer." Taste redeems slightly, slightly sugary bread notes, a bit of caramel malt as well. Maybe a sliver of of spicing, but it's almost indiscernible. A bit of heat on the back end, and a touch of metal as well. Medium body and a carbonation that is adequate, but has a bit of a bite at times. Not sure what the deal with this one is, but I'm unimpressed with this as a winter warmer. Maybe bottling date plays into this somehow?

Photo of fx20736
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a British Pint glass. Served at 53f.

Brilliantly clear reddish gold amber with a thick souffle of Butter Pecan foam that leaves decent lacing.

A British Ale where the Hops announce before the Malt. Spicy Hops, almost Pilsenerish with a nice lightly toasted caramel maltiness.

Nice Tadcaster mouthfeel.

Bready malt with spicy hops.

I don't get this beer or this style if it is representative of the Winter Warmer style. It is an English Pale Ale right? Hoppier yes, it seems like an ESB to me. I don't get the connection to Winter. There is nothing wrong with this beer it just doesn't give me a reason to love it. I've been buying Samuel Smith's beers for 14 years and consider most of them among my very favorite beers but I could never get my arms around this one. Still, I had to review it.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. 2011-2012 listed on the bottle, very recent.

A very clear body colored in a simple light brown amber with LOTS of cola sized carbonation on the glass, and some fast rising on the outside in places. Head is slightly soapy looking with some small bubbles, but mostly quite large and a simple off white head.

Nose brings some mild tea like hop, a spicy sweet gingerbread malt sensation and brown like spices. Kind of mild, but not too bad.

Taste is sort of lacking. This at first seems a little hop forward, but then dissipates very quickly. Spice angle seems hardly noticeable as does the malt body. Mild nutmeg and sweetness, but also slightly wet in feel too. A bit carbonated as well nothing too offensive though.

Overall this is acceptable nothing that really grabs at me, but nothing highly offensive or off putting either. If I had the choice though I would grab something else. In reality this doesn't taste like... anything.. really it seems kind of lifeless.

Photo of Stocean1
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a two finger off white head upon a amber red body, fine bubbles, some patchy lacing, semi-clear.

Smell is malt, caramel,nutmeg note, kentish hops.

Taste follows the nose and is somewhat subdued. Well balanced. A little bit of cinnamon in the aftertaste that becomes more prominent as the brew goes down.

Mouthfeel is medium body with some carbonation. Well balanced with some hops butterness. There is a nutmeg/cinnamon burn in the throat on the back-end.

Overall a decent brew that did not blow me away like the brewer's other offerings I have sampled.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I knew it was too early for the 2011 version!

2010 version poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass

A - Well it held up pretty good for a year: a nice layer of foam to a mild ring with a good amount of stickiness, no sediment, and a nice clear amber in color beer.

S - Strangely enough I get a straight up cherry in the smell. Not medicinal or artificial but sweet cherry aroma. Some mild spice play as well with some cinnamon and nutmeg.

T - Well it's sweet and balanced for sure but it really doesn't have anything that stands out. All the spices seem to have balanced to a point of neutralization. Will have to try this fresh.

M - Light to medium easy drinking.

Overall it has held up quite well for last years offering. Maybe some tones of cherry, cinnamon, and nutmeg but will have to confirm with the 2011 version.

Photo of MEsoJD
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[poured into a regular Sam Adams glass] ۞2011 release۞

B: Standard shape with straight neck(typical of SS), labels front and back have a lot of info in Christmas colors, and gold wrapping around the mouth/cap.

A: Light amber body with a creamy head(fast dissipation) and adequate lacing.

S: Instantly notice a spicy presence, cinnamon or maybe nutmeg, earthy hops, and grain malt. The smell overall was light.

T: Just as the smell, the taste is light. The grainy/spice malt is most apparent, followed by a floral/earthy aftertaste.

M: Dry finish, light bodied, light/med carbonation, and hardly any alcohol presence.

O: Well... it's not something I would usually go for, but it strangely reminded me of winter/Christmas time of year so it must be doing something right. The beer would benefit from a highly alcohol percentage and a fuller body, though it goes down very easy. I See no problem with having this beer at least once a year. Worth picking up, especially for the price. I will not save the bottle.

Photo of taigor
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Poured dark amber color with light head the quickly dissipated leaving light lacing around the glass.

S - Roast malts with figs and other dark fruits. Slight hint of spices but not much else.

T - Very malty with slight sweetness. Also, presence of caramel, raisins, figs, plums, toffee, nutmeg, cinnamon detected. Slightly dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O - Very good winter warmer and is always useful when the weather gets cold.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: clear amber, finger head, nice lacing

S: ripe fruit (fig/raisin) and malt

T: allspice, sweet fig/raisin, malt, toffee, nutty, mild
bitter crisp finish

M: med body, hint of bubble/smooth mouth

O: Nice English Winter Warmer from a fine
brewery. This is one of yearly favorites to grab
when the air gets brisk.


Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.