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

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1,138 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England)

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001

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Reviews: 1,138 | Ratings: 2,152
Reviews by JayTheFinn:
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very tasty! I gave it high marks for sheer drinkability. This one goes down smooth!

A - Clear light copper body with a strong, long lasting head.
S - Smells sweet and spicey, like the scent of a carrot cake that the neighbor just made.
T - Nice mild malty mix. Subtle alcohol taste. Just enough spice, while not overwhelming the tongue.
M - Lingers on the tongue for a good long while.
D - I could drink these all day!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

18.7 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
didnt catch the date but this was a christmas 2015-2016 label
pours orange gold to amber moderate white head that faded quickly
smell slightly nutty, slightly fruity somewhat sweet with hints of caramel and yeast
taste is malty fruity nutty
feel is somewhat viscous
this is a christmas classic always enjoyable

 350 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In America, we tend to like our hoppy IPA's, funky saisons and roasty stouts, but this time of year, sometimes to give a shout out to a style that is often overlooked.
This was poured into a mug.
The appearance was an orange gold to amber color with a moderately white head that faded quickly. Light lacing chipped into the beer nicely.
The smell was slightly nutty with some spiced fruity tones to grace a sweet caramel maltiness with some light biscuity/breadiness rolling all around.
The was mainly sweet with an ample amount of the nuts to slide in for the balance. There's a nice semi-sweet to nutty aftertaste leading into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a nice sessionability about it. Carbonation seemed good and semi-smooth.
Overall, this is a classic for its style and nice to me and also goes well with some seasonal spiced cake.

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Photo of Jaysauras
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Loved the look of the pour. Poured a beautiful amber color with a cream colored soapy head. Good lace. As crisp and clean looking of a beer as you'll ever see. Stunning.

S: The nose is a bit tame. Smell of biscuits, malt, and caramel. Has a very slight fruity citrus scent as well. Sort of smells of an IPA without the hops. Some definite winter spiciness to it. Potentially nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon as well. Depending on the sip and smell you get it different each time it seems.

T: A crisp taste of spice is what hits you right up front. Cinnamon and nutmeg at the start which settles into a warm bread and honey flavor. In the middle there's also a hint of oak or some other sort of woodiness. Has a very slight bit of apple on the back of the tongue. It has that english bitterness and hopiness to it in the finish that is almost unmistakable for a brewer from the UK. Good blend of flavors and altogether very drinkable. Refreshingly dry.

F: Light and crisp with plenty of tingly carbonation to keep your mouth alive. No wonder it is called a winter warmer, this bad boy is warm from the minute it hits your tongue all the way down to your chest. Warms like a 9%+ while only being 6. Interesting

O: Definitely not my favorite from Sam Smith, but overall a great seasonal beer that is downright sessionable and a must try. I could definitely sit in a pub and throw back a few of these before realizing how much I'd had. Good blend of flavors, and an absolutely exquisite looking beer. It isn't outstanding in anyway outside of the look, but overall it is a very solid addition. Haven't had a bad beer from Samuel Smith's yet. Even with a beer such as this that isn't as enjoyable as others, it's still damn good.

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Photo of Boca-X
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice creamy, slightly off white head. Light amber/honey hue...looks like like an apple cider or tea in my tulip.

Sweet malty caramel with a touch of bread on the nose.

Again...sweet caramel and malt on the tongue upfront. Medium carbonation, thinner than I expected with a hint of fig in the middle...a bitter dry green tea finish and then a dash of chocolate covered cherry lingers after the swallow.

Honestly I was disappointed with this beer at first, way to thin and watery...almost tea like. That said...as it warmed it became more complex and much more enjoyable. Probably will not buy again...but hey...you buying, I'm drinking!

Let it warm up!!!

 664 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the clear, annually redesigned label covered bottle, it pours amber with a moderate head. Flavor and scent is malty and very nice. Happy Christmas!

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Photo of Myotus
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 45°F from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 03Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a half fingers worth of off-white foam that shrivels into a line within 30 seconds. Amber in color. Rising bubbles are medium in size and subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and subtle.
SMELL: Mild aromas of peaches, figs, toffee, caramel, buttered bread, and tree nuts are backed by subtle spicy and floral hop aromas.
TASTE: Strong tree nut and toffee flavors enter initially are are immediately followed by mild spicy hop and buttered bread flavors. Mild flavors of caramel and subtle peach flavors enter next as spicy hop flavors grow stronger. Mild floral hop flavors and the taste profile as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Ends with a thirst-quenching finish.
NOTE: I'm very surprised that this wasn't better. I love this brewery and have always thought that they made top notch brews. It's disappointing that they made, what is an English style of beer, so mediocre.

 1,052 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 550-ml (18.6 oz.) bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: Nov. 24, 2014
Consumed: Nov. 30, 2014
Misc.: Silver foil on head and neck of bottle

Poured a caramel, amber, clear color with two fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. A good amount of streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Average amount of retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled boozy caramel malts up front, which gave way to plum, dates, roasty malts, toasty nuts, earthy rye hops, and more sugary caramel. Booziness reminded me of Wild Turkey. (Smell - 3.25)

Tasted sugary caramel malts once again. Not as boozy as the nose. Also roasty malts, toasty nuts, raisins, dates, grainy rye malts, toast and slight rye whiskey. (Taste - 3.25)

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, boozy, malty finish. (Feel - 3.25)

Nothing too special about this beer. I wouldn’t have it again. (Overall - 3.25)

3.28 | 75 | B-

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into pint glass at room temperature. Flowing out of the bottle the beer produces a nice fluffy white head and a reveals a rich caramel color. The head quickly diminishes into a soapy lacing.

The aroma is of bready malt, fruity esters; aromas of green apple, spice and alcohol.

The flavor of this beer is rather straight forward it consists of bready malt, green apple, and black tea. It has the flavor profile similar to many English Pale ales, just a bit more alcohol forward.In other reviews of this beer some people complained of a dryness, I found this beer to balance a malty sweetness with battering hops quite well.

I enjoy most beers by Samuel Smith; their English classics. Not overly complex or overdone but a bench mark into English beer styles. The Winter Welcome however is underwhelming. There are no off flavors, it's a well crafted brew, but it leaves a lot to be desired. I find myself seeking a more robust malt flavor, not in terms of robustness, but a certain sweetness and caramelization. I have found English beers to have more of an earthy hop characteristics compared to American beers, I think if this beer was just a touch more complex it would be perfect. I just found it far too easy to easy to drink this without much contemplation.

 1,274 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold to amber color with a light almost non existant head,arom is malty and a little spicey-sweet.Taste is a little complex malty and and slightly sweet with some biscuity flavors rounding this out.A slight skunk taste and aroma but I am quite sure it was from the bottle.This was the 2001-2002 offering.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It poured a nice clear amber/orange with a nice light head. The nose was dull with very mild fuity hints and minimal hoppiness. To be quite honest i was very disappointed with the taste...after all, Sam Smith's Oatmeal is world class and the Pale Ale is good....but this one left me wanting alot more.

A light a creamy mouthfeel with some sweet, fruitiness. Nuff said.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very clear and thin-looking brown with a nice big head that laced the glass.

Smell – Nice, toasted malt aroma with a lot of sweets. I can pick up mostly molasses and dark sugars.

Taste – A little grainier than I had hoped, but otherwise it is not bad. The sweetness backs up a bit but is still present.

Mouthfeel – Thin in the mouth, which was disappointing for a winter ale. The brown sugar syrup almost films the teeth, though. There’s also a refreshing dryness to this one.

Drinkability – It’s drinkable, but if I’m in the mood for a seasonal winter ales I can find lots better.

Update – I originally had this in 2003 so thought I’d give the ’05 a review. I enjoyed it a little more this year, which may just mean that my palate has changed a bit. I still think it’s thin but will raise some of the other scores up a bit.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AROMA- light toffee, fresh grain, lightly tasted, dried golden raisin, - all light and subtle, moderate acetylaldehyde, very low D, medium-low floral hop

FLAVoR- medium intenity smooth and lush light caramel sweetness dominates, medium-high spicy/floral/fruity hop presence, medium-low black currant and yellow raisin character, maybe some white grape, acetylaldehyde is moderate, light smack of buttered toast in the finish, no lingering bitterness.

Mothfeel- full-bodied, creamy, medium-low carbonation, no noticeable alcohol,

APPEARANCE- new penny copper, extremely clear, low white head

OVERALL- never got the whole winter angle, not exceptionally warming, just a super-solid UK ESB that goes down smooth

 713 characters

Photo of withliterature
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful burnt amber color, perfectly clear, with a very thick cream-colored head. Gorgeous.

S: Malt with some raisin/currant scents.

M: Dense but not syrupy. Pleasant level of carbonation. Doesn't coat the mouth.

T: Some spiciness in the flavor that I couldn't smell; beautiful malty flavor with some clove, pumpkin, currant, Christmas-y tastes. No discernible hoppiness. Like the previous poster mentioned, flavor got better as the beer reached room temp. My next one will sit out of the fridge for a bit before I pour it. The aftertaste is nice. Not a sweet beer.

O: This is a great cold-weather beer. Very enjoyable. I think I'll be buying it again in December. I can't imagine drinking this with food, it feels like an after-dinner beer. I can't see drinking two in a row, but it would fit in well with some other English ales.

 840 characters

Photo of Shakerman
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled the 2006-07 version. Sampled & reveiwed on 1/19/07:

Ap: Hard pour raises two fingers of rocky head. Good carbonation. Copper color sparkles in the light.

Ar: Sweet malt prevalent. Some raisins, dates & plums. No hop profile noted. Buttered caramel toast.

Ta: Sweet malt dominates the flavor as in the aroma. Caramel, toasty flavor. Biscuity. Slight bitterness in the finish nicely balances the sweetness. A bit sweet towards the end of the bottle.

Mo: Medium bodied. Very clean on the palette. No real lingering aftertaste. Carbonation leaves mouth tingling.

Dr: Easy drinking. Smooth & clean. No overbearing flavors to detract its drinkability.

Comments: Very tasty Winter Warmer. Not overdone with spices as in most WW. Almost an Old Ale but not as high ABV as most Old Ales. Good flavor & well balanced. Again, a bit sweet after a full bottle, but a smaller portion would be perfect.

 912 characters

Photo of Dmann
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had good luck with SS beers in the past so I thought I'd give this one a try. It poured a nice amber color with a small head that faded quicky and did not leave much in the way of lace. The smell was a little skunky with grassy and herbal scents comming through as well. The taste was skunky up front, then a really sweet flavor came through that took me by supprise and stayed there even in the aftertaste. Maybe I got a skunked bottle, so I will give this one another try sometime.

 490 characters

Photo of kwod8832
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sabitu
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of googs509
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is quite an aromatic beer. The scent exploded out of the bottle as I poured. I'm not really sure how to describe the smell. It's reminding me of a stinky cheap macro lager. Not good. Perhaps I got a skunked bottle?

The appearance is great - a deep amber with a small but frothy head.

Taste is very good. Malty, of course. There's a good bit of citrusy sweetness in there as well. The mouthfeel has a little bit of creaminess to it, which is a pleasant suprise.

In 2004, I was lucky enough to get a half-price case ($30) of S.S.'s Winter Welcome. It was the first time I had ever tried the beer, and I enjoyed it immensely. I'd love to be able to get that deal again!

 685 characters

Photo of markmo
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 year old. I like others of this style better.

47 characters

Photo of FadetoBock
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,152 ratings.
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