Winter Welcome Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Winter Welcome AleWinter Welcome Ale
2,262 Ratings
Winter Welcome AleWinter Welcome Ale

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

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,262 |  Reviews: 1,169
Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.44/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

2005-2006 release.

A - Pours an attractive mahogany with a one finger head that dissipates quickly and leaves only spotty lacing behind. Color good, head bad.

S - This smells like Budweiser. Stale, musty grain. I am sorry to say it, but this is a very foul smelling beer. I'd expect more from such a reputable brewery.

T - The flavor is dominated by that musty grain from the smell. There is a bitterness, not a hop-like or coffee-like bitterness though, it is very unpleasant. After it warms a bit, there is a stomach acid like flavor. There is a slight sweetness underneath, but it is overshadowed by the bitterness and musty grain.

M - Medium viscosity, very drying, leaves a film in my mouth.

D - Not good at all. Once I get past the smell, the terrible flavor and the ascerbic bitterness, I am left with a dessicated mouth with a bad aftertaste. The only thing I can think of doing that is worse than letting that aftertaste sit in my mouth is taking another sip. This is one of the worst beers that I have ever had. BMC me over this one.

I am guessing this might have been skunked from the other reviews. The clear bottle likely. Although I have never taken it outside in the day. Even if skunked, this beer should not have scored this low if it was good in the first place. I strongly suggest that Samuel Smith's put this in a brown or opaque bottle. I will not try it again and my review stands (since I definitely didn't skunk it) until they do. I shall assume this is simply a poor quality brew.

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Photo of ChrisR123
1.6/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

It was a bit old and Blah

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Photo of mctizzz
1.75/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of fortyfield
1.75/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

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?

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Photo of thlayli87
1.84/5  rDev -49.9%
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.

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Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of lisahope27
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of granger10
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I must have gotten a skunked bottle. I heard this doesn't happen with Sam Smith's but I'd hope that this bottle wasn't their true beer. Even though it was skunked it still seemed better than macro lights! But I couldn't finish this. I don't know if I'm supposed to review skunked brews but I wanted to let it be known that I got a Sam Smith's brew that was skunked. I'm going to get this again and re-review it sometime.

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Photo of Jemenhiser
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of kvnstfrd
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of hoppyboy69
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of Shultzerdugen
2.07/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've had this beer before, the 1996-96?, maybe and it was substantially better.
Unfortunately, the bottle we tried seemed oxidized, and light struck.

Appearance: Amber, walking the line between copper and straw with a white two finger head.
Smell: Skunky! Underneath some biscuit and floral undertones.
Taste: Skunky, in fact overwhelmingly so.
Mthfl: Still has good CO2, slick and smooth.
Drinkability: Obviously I didn't want to go on with any more.

This is a good beer, and I thought SS used something in their clear bottles to prevent oxidation and problems with light. I'll try it again next year and hopefully have better luck.

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Photo of davetharave
2.07/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.75

Color, a lovely brick-amber shade. Very attractive in the glass. Unappealing vegetative smell with faint malt and hops and other aromas not usually associated with beer.

Taste is a very confusing amalgam of conflicting flavors, extremely hard to pin down, some malt but nothing like the delicate biscuity taste of prior years. After a few seconds in the mouth a plastic-like flavor dominates. The beer tastes spoiled and chemical-like. Simply not enjoyable; considering how good this beer has been in past years, a huge disappointment.

This year's version of this Winter ale is the fermented beverage equivalent of a stocking full of coal. I hunt for this beer in stores into March and April trying to locate every last bottle but not this year. I don't know what Sam Smith did but I sure hope they fix it for next year's batch.

(I drank several bottles and they were all the same so this is not a one-off 'bad bottle' experience)

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.16/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2006 - 2007 edition. Tasted fresh! October, 2006
Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger head that melts to fine respectable lacing.
Aroma is again, unimpressive for a winter warmer...toasted malt and little else.
Taste is much like the aroma....toasted malt....sweetness...light hop drying on the end. More is needed from a winter warmer.
Aftertaste is clean, but just clean. Light toasted malt...nothiing else.
I enjoy Winter brews and look forward to them. This is merely an English Amber. Good as an English Amber..totally uninspired as a Winter Warmer.
A number of reviewers have said they thought they got a bad bottle which is why I picked up a fresh one this year to re-review it.
Nope....they aren't skunked...they just aren't that good.
Good English Ale? Yeah...quite possibly. But scored to style....very poor.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.16/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I didn’t care for this. This beer had a grainy aroma and a malted milk-ball flavor, of which I am not a fan.

Appearance was a clear and brilliant tan/copper color. Aroma was very grainy and cereal-y. Flavor was very much like a malted milk ball, which I really didn’t like. Mouthfeel was relatively smooth, but if you don’t like the way something tastes, does it really matter?

I would not recommend this.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A hazy, pumpkin orange with a rich, off-white head with moderate retention and some lacing.

S: A malty, bready aroma, with some alcohol and no hops in the nose.

T: Strong malty flavor and some sweetness that is nicely balanced with some hops biterness.

M: The body on this is much lighter than anticipated, but the bitterness remains in the aftertaste. A dryness as well. There is also a sort of saltiness and astringency.

Notes: I am not very impressed with this offering. My friends have raved about Sam Smiths, but this was not the greatest.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Copper color with off-white head poured from a clear bottle.
Smell: Skunky aroma
Taste: Oddly bitter, with crunchy barley. Slightly sweet. No butterscotch, caramel, toffee or pretty much any other pleasant flavor.
Mouthfeel: Agressively carbonated with a medium body.
Drinkability: This ale is obviously skunked, likely a result of its coming in a clear bottle. I did not bother finishing the bottle. Think I am giving up on Sam Smith until the quit their clear bottle marketing.

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Photo of JDV
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours copper and clear. Smell is metallic and skunky malt. Tart malt flavor, with no noticeable wintry spices. Sweaty, musty lager like flavor. Slightly creamy and full body for the style, but not impressive overall. Drinkable, but too musty, doughy and stagnant flavored to be enjoyable for me. Somewhat poor example of a style I'm not particularly fond of.

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Photo of 2Cents
2.29/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A. Clear amber with a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles, a real headless wonder.

S. Smells like a cheap American adjunct lager.

T. Like some one through a few spices in a Miller High-life.

M. Thin with some carbonation.

O. I haven't had this in quite a few years.,I remember liking it . Either my pallet has changed or this is a bad year for the Winter Welcome.

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Photo of spense727
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Freakishly clear with a color similar to hangover piss=
Smell - Smells reminiscent of maltier, roastier Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Taste - Taste is incredibly mild. Not much there, Slightly malty and is a letdown from the smell. Metallic in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel - Very easy to drink. Extremely light in the mouth.
Overall - Ugh. Not worthy of another bottle.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.32/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Deep red (mahogany) colored brew. Nice white fluffy head hold good retention. Good lacing too

Whoa. Grape juice aroma. Kinda bland.

Wet, thick, fluid, chewy, kinda weird and off. Too much crystal and not nearly enough caramel. Funky bitter dryness. Unbalanced carbonation too. Too much missing with the flavors.

Can't recommend, even at $2/16.9oz. This brew has simply too many parts and pieces missing. Not complex, balanced, blended, or thought out.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.32/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer smells skunky. It also tastes a bit skunky (although not as bad as in years past). This beer has never impressed me. It's one of my least favorite winter brews.

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Photo of Mark
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
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?!

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Photo of johnsweber
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is okay but the earlier releases (15 + years ago) were
far better. It used to be a bit spicier and richer in the nose and taste.
It even looked better: fresher looking head and a little deeper color.
They must have changed the recipe because it has
been weaker in recent years.

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Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,262 ratings