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

2,205 Ratings
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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter 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

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Ratings: 2,205 |  Reviews: 1,156
Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda' surprised it too ke so many years to get around to this one as I moved through the bigger offerings of Sam Smith quite a while ago. Cold, windy night with freezing drizzle. Seems like a good night to give this one a go.
Served at 54 degrees.
Sweet malt aroma characteristic of so many English ales. Aroma that also seems typical of their water profile too. Subtle complexity to the malt with mild toast to light roast. Tight aroma that makes me work to pick up its fragrances.
Clear with reddish golden hue. Initial slightly frothy head settles to a rather permanent cap that off-white.
Flavor profiles holds more complexity. Hops more prevalent with complex flavors and drying quality on the long finish. The hops do not overpower the malt flavors that resemble the aroma.
Body is relatively light. Carbonation is lower, which is just fine for me.
I know I've been unfairly influenced by American Winter Warmers which tend to hold greater girth and alcohol, but with patience I can grow to appreciate what English ales have to offer, especially as the complexity shows forth in nuanced ways. I'm surprised by the amount of hops.
Dig the drawing of a dude on a motorbike outside a tavern with a bird waving from the doorway.
Also like the photo of shire horses running through the snow. Tonight I'm just missing the open fire with which to contemplate the complexities of this fine drink.

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Photo of Mick
3.88/5  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.

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Photo of Ave
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am never a fan of clear glass bottles, it just makes you think about how much light has hit the beer, but SS seems to pull it off most of the time with out common problems. It pours an ochreish golden brass color, thinish head. Not a nut or roasted ale. Nice even balance of hops & yeasts in the nose, slightest touch of skunk, but not bad. Bites lightly of hops early on the tongue, but warms up with honey & woody flavor quickly. An easy drink that doesn’t get stale on the pallet as some of the style tends to. I could have many, & probably will.


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Photo of Lemke10
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Rockford, IL in Early 2011 for $2.69.

Pours an amber color with a moderate fluffy head. Scents of malts, caramel, and sugar. While the scent is on the weaker side, the taste is a lot stronger than you would expect from the smell. The taste of different malts hit you taste buds hard while you get some taste of sweetness from the caramel malts and sugar. The spices help to finish off this beer with a mellow, drier finish. Smooth, mellow, and rather well made!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into pint glass.
Cloudy hazel, caramel color with some redness. Frothy head that thinned out, but did not disappear.
Aroma of almond, malt, and pear...some ginger.
Tastes a crisp, yet malty, caramel flavor. Some spices in it but nothing like some of the American winter ales.
Some fruit..pear perhaps. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Very clear, amber, foamy white head with retention and lacing. SMELL is faint. Grainy with faint hops and a bit of malty sweetness found with a swirl. TASTE is grainy, fruity, spicy, malty. Balanced well overall with some perceptible hop backing and light bitterness. FEEL moderate carbonation, medium body, viscous, fairly clean finish. OVERALL easy drinker, not really big like many other winter beers. Very good, but not amazing.

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Photo of stewart124
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper-orange color with a nice head and beautiful lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell was a mix of hops, nut, and a citrus or fruityness. Taste was a good blend of hops and a smooth nutty taste. The fruit taste makes it way into the beer towards the end and the aftertaste is nice flavor of not too overpowering hops. I liked the charachter of this beer and the way everything seemed to fit together. A diffeerent winter beer than I'm used to but nonetheless very good.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: Sam adams signature glass

Dark golden brown color with a generous 2-finger tan head. Clear body with lots pf small bubbles racing to the surface.

Sweet caramel topped wheat bread on the nose. Lots of sugary and deep dough-like notes. A little buttery with maybe a trace of ginger root.

Caramel and molasses up front, transitioning into a somewhat unexpected brightness of cherry and the appearance of faintly floral/citric hops. Finishes with burnt bread, some ginger and just a touch of chocolate.

Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body that edges toward light bodied. Carbonation is medium but on the low-end of medium.

For a winter warmer, this is reasonably drinkable beer. Solid flavors and a good mouthfeel. I would recommend at least a single of it.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice clearish amber brown syrup color with a inch tall ivory head of thick fluffed cotton, settles slowly to a thick skim on top that never leaves, lace is thick in most places with a favorable thickness nearer the edge of the glass leading up to moth holed sheets and some strings. Smell comes across kinda grassy and dry, toasty and sweet, a nice little mix. Taste is simple yet with some favorable little flavors coming through. Some mild toasted malt grains, dryish hops, grassy hay-like notes, all just kinda there, not in strength but in a presense thats quite easy and milding. Nice lightly drying finish with a mix of dry hops and toasty breadish malts that has just a twinge of very slight bitterness that grabs in the back of the throat. Feel is a solid medium body, packed nicely with mellowness and easy carbonation. An exceptional drinker, oh so good. Not heavily flavored, but whats there makes for some fine easy drinking, nothing harsh; very calm, easy, and relaxing. What a fantastic English Old Ale in the way of drinking it down. A pure session beer; if ever need be, I could drink alot of these.

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Photo of andrewksingleton
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this winter ale. It has a very pronounced holiday feel, look and smell. I think the price was good for the value. The bottle has a festive feel and there is a nice after taste. Better than average. I agree with a good rating.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with a nice white head. The smell is fairly malty. The taste is quite malty, without a lot of hops to really speak of. Mouthfeel is creamy. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

This may have well been the beer that made me into a craft beer lover...the first great beer that I'd had, and what led me to seek out other beers. That said, now that I've had plenty of better beers, this isn't quite as good as I remember. Still, I'll always have to thank Sam Smith for leading me on the path to beer redepmption, and as such, I'll likely have this one in years to come.

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Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale 2007-2008 edition pours a light copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a mildly sweet aroma. The taste is fairly mild for a winter warmer, I'm hit up front by the hops, which aren't really very strong, followed by a pleasant malt flavor, that doesn't quite reach the caramel level but comes close. A very pleasant beer.

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Photo of ZBerkeleyan
3.88/5  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!

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle served in a Thumbler.

A: Pours an absolutely clear copper color forming a medium bubbled and creamy white to yellow head. Medium to low retention and some spotty and molasses lacings are left in the glass

S: Extremely malty. Sweet malts, toffee, caramel malts, roasted malts. Some spicy hints. Quite fruity and biscuity too. Honey. Flowery and earthy hops. Biscuity

T: Slightly sweet upfront with strong notes of sweet and caramel malts. Toffee, honey, wheat biscuits and dark fruits (plums ans raisins, mainly). Overall a dry taste with considerable hops bitterness. Malts and hops combination is very English style. Not very far from a classic Bitter

M: Medium body and carbonation. Bitter and biscuity aftertaste

O: Easy-drinking beer. Good bittersweet balance. Strong English character. Recommended

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Photo of Lunch
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from12oz. bottle, purchased at Wells in Baltimore, MD, into my 20oz. Samuel Smith's Imperial Nonic glass (11/23/09) at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a clear light shade of copper with a 1 finger of a creamy white head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lace.

S: Not much aroma coming off of this beer, but there is a pleasant bouquet of malt, seasonal spices, citrus, caramel, toffee, ginger, slight bitter hops, and vanilla.

T: Like many other Samuel Smith's beers, the flavors are very well balanced, yet a little mild, but certainly well-crafted. A nice malty backbone takes charge and is filled with toffee, caramel, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and various citrus with a slight bitter hops finish.

M: Very crisp and light with moderately high carbonation.

D: Nice drinkability as the flavors are expertly balanced and a relatively low abv., but after a couple I sought a slightly more flavorful beverage.

Overall this beer was a nice winter seasonal and a pleasant departure from many highly spiced winter beers. Recommended.

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Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 - 2005 Winter Welcome Edition

I had this out of a 12 oz clear bottle and served in a Samuel Smith's pint glass.

Amberish copper in color with a fluffy head on top, but it disappeared to a ring rather quickly.

Aroma of toasted and sweet malts. I am also getting a strong metallic scent as well.

Strong toasted malt with a slight butterscotch sweetness. Some buttery tastes blend with a peppery hop bite on the finish. Bready mouthful.

I love Samuel Smith's, but this offering was a slight let down. This is a good beer... no question, but at $8.99 for a 4 pack there are many other Samuel Smith's offerings that are much more enjoyable.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ooh, a delicious beer. Pours a lovely, transparent amber with a thich, two finger head that's sticky as Scotch tape. Lace sticks around like foam. Nice. Smells a bit skunked at first. But that weakened a bit. Nice, bready malts, herbal hops, and some minerals. Very soft scent. Very soft taste as well. Overall, a soft, bready malt flavour balanced by bitter minerals and sharp, citric and floral hops. Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Very drinkable. I like it.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.88/5  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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiny copper body, with little carbonation, topped by a frothy whie head. Very herbal nose, with some caramel sweetness. Nice biscuity start, then a touch of earthy hops arrive, in a supporting role, before a caramel-sweet finish. Long a winter favorite of mine, I shall continue to look forward to its annual appearance.

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Photo of Josievan
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is a dark orange/amber combination.

Smell: Not a lot going on. A little malt and possibly a touch of spices.

Taste: The malt is the dominant taste. There's also a slight caramel sweetness. Any spices present are very faint and subtle. Has that signature Samuel Smith balance of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Very smooth, another staple of this brewery. Alcohol is expertly masked.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable malty winter brew.

Notes: Compared to the other winter warmer I've had, this seems kind of run-of-the-mill. it lacks the holiday spice flavors I like in a winter warmer. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I would recommend this beer, and most any Samuel Smith beer for that matter, for its balanced flavors and smooth mouthfeel. I'm not sure I understand why people get so excited for the annual release of this beer, but it's still clearly a well-crafted brew.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty with an undertone of spice - mainly cloves - and a hint of yeast. It pours a light coppery golden-red with a thick off-white head. Lively, malty flavor has a strong undertone of spice and hints of yeast, caramel and honey. Texture is crisp and syrupy smooth.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Mavajo
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange amber with a small head that fades quickly. No lacing. Nose is sweet and fruity with maybe a touch of citrus. Taste is much of the same with also a bit of tartness. Mouthfeel is fairly thin with mild carbonation. Drinkable and enjoyable but nothing special.

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Photo of KurtisAyr
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,205 ratings.
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