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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
2,231 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,231 |  Reviews: 1,162
Photo of stingrayvr6
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Showed an amber gold with a frothy white head, great retention and lacing. Smell of sweet bready malts, caramel and vanilla. Taste of the same with the addition of dry and earthy hops balancing the finish. Great beer, exemplary of the style.

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper/brown color with one finger of head that quickly recedes to a thin, frothy layer on the surface. Some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is malt, some caramel, minerals, a slight nuttiness, light fruit and some buttery notes.

Taste is very reminiscent of other Samuel Smith beers: a smooth, nutty and slightly toffee-like base flavor. It begins with malt and fruit on the tongue, then transitions into caramel and hints of butterscotch. The finish is very smooth with creamy malt, nuttiness and some light fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and mouth-coating. Low carbonation.

Overall this beer is very easy drinking, yet flavorful and complex. It goes down easy and is quite wonderful, though does not posses the strength and, sometimes, spice associated with many winter seasonals.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ap. Beautiful reddish copper color. Very bright and clear. No head...must have been too cold when I poured?
Sm. Nice light spiciness along with sweetness. Clean and fresh.
Ta. Follows the light spicy/sweet smell with gentle tartness and bitterness.
Mf. Clean and crisp and smooth.
Dr. Very good. I don't "session".

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

A- Pours a clear deep copper with excellent carbonation and a full creamy head.

S- Sweet from the beginning. Noticable malt and hops with hops taking just the slightest precedence. A grassy as well.

T- Grassy hops and slightly caramel taste. A bit buttery and grainy as well. More on the sweet side with a good hop foundation to build on. A bit of spiciness here and there, but it was never the primary focus. Has a very nice pleasant taste, which, while not too aggressive, certainly has it's share of flavor. The hops bring grassiness to the table in this one, rather than bitterness for the most part.

M- Medium body. Considerably creamy. Carbonation is just right. Leaves a slightly sticky finish.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. It's getting close to the kind where I need a countdown to review it, as I want to drink it so fast. The ABV is nowhere to be seen, and while it's full of flavor, it's also easy to drink fast.

My first example of a winter warmer, and it was a little better than I expected. It's a treat to drink, and I'd recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Winter 2009.

Pours a moderate copper color with an off white head. No real lacing but the head lasts for a bit of time. The nose brings forward quite a bit of spice, but this is mellowed out by some light cake flavors and a bit of caramel. Taste is spice, sugar cake, and light caramel. Moderate body with good carbonation. Overall, a nice balance of spice and sweetness. A pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a 16 oz Samuel Smith pint glass. Pours a clear amber golden color with a two finger head which clear away pretty quickly leaving a little bit of bubbles on the outside edge.

S: Aromas were somewhat hidden, but definitely detectable were some sweet malts and a little bit of hops. Other than that, not too much is evident.

T: It tastes pretty much like the smell. A little bit of sweet malts and hops, definitely tastes like a nice drink to welcome winter. There's a little bit of caramel and a slight yeast taste.

M: Medium carbonation with a little body. Nothing too special, but it suits the flavors and style very well.

D: Quite drinkable, I'll definitely finish the bottle. This will definitely be added to the drink again when it comes even closer to winter.

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

Sam Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - 550ml brown bottle poured into shaker. Beautiful amber with off white head. Amazing lacing. Exceptional winter brew. This beer is so smooth yet thick tasting. Sweet caramel earthyness comes through strong. Smooth finish.

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Photo of brewkrew
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Bottled in 2009 this time last year, but for sure worth the wait.

Appeared a light brown/medium orange color with a slight foam build up.

Had a rich but balanced smell between malt and hops, with somewhat of a sweet smell.

Tastes as good as it smells; balanced malt and hop, again with a touch of a sweet taste to it (caramel possibly?).

As far as mouthfeel, nothing too crazy but again real smooth and crisp.

Overall this is a good beer to sit back next to a fire on a cool fall day and sip on. Goes down real smooth with lots of taste.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Appearance: Copper with a medium head that dissipates to a small one with good lacing.

Smell: Malty yeast and spices with an alcohol tinge.

Taste: Yeast with a subtle hint of hops and a sweet maltiness and mild spices. There is also a nice caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

This is a typical English beer as far as flavor delivery goes. From start to finish, this is very mild and smooth without being too watery.

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Photo of boomer31
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Transparent dark tan with foamy white head. Lighter in body than other examples but not uncharacteristic I suppose

S - Malty and a hint of spice. Not sure if the spice comes from just the yeast used or if this is spiced but a familiar nose from other examples. There is also a hint of 'soda' sweetness...reminds me of that coke smell

T - A hint of sweet malt but more spice than anything else. A hint of bitterness in the back otherwise no hop presence

M - A bit light in body and higly carbonated. A bit different than what I was expecting. Dry finish

D - If you like the sweet spice and low bitterness than this is a decent beer. Not heavy at all

I've wanted to try this for sometime now, figured a cool fall day would make a decent opportunity. Not too bad but not quite what I was expecting from a winter warmer

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my uncle Tom. He loves this beer.

Poured from 120z bottle poured into English Pint.

A- Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange and barely any head, maybe half a finger that doesn't last long at all. Doesn't stick around for long and leaves no lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Initially all I get out of this brew is a heaping amount of malt. After a few sniffs, I pick up a little bit of brown sugar, a small amount of spice and not much more.

T- Big amounts of malt and a sweetness but a good amount spice that really seems to even things out. Maybe nutmeg, maybe? I couldn't tell you but it really makes this beer.

M- Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation and is very smooth on the way down. The flavor really hits on the back of the throat but it makes it hard to pick up.

D- I really dig this beer and the low abv is a plus. Good flavor that keeps me guessing and a smooth mf makes this one I want to revisit.

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Photo of bearass
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

rain beating down... 90 deg weather seems like a great oppurtunity to drink winter welcome eh?

and to ball and biscuit by the white stripes here we go

first off let me say i got a sweet meat deal on a case and was so excited i drank one outta the bottle before pouring...but it was better hobo style

tastes like it want to be something more than a golden beer

smells like sweet...toes?

yeah you can drink it so why wouldnt you life is full of mediocracy

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Photo of hossua34
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden and clear. Enormous, frothy white head that barely goes away as you drink. Lots and lots of lacing.

S - Fruity and light smelling. A little bit of apple, and a sweet honey-like scent but not much else.

T - More bland than I had expected. Fruity, malty sweetness but kind of light on flavor. Again, I detect apples (?).

M - A little light and watery/fizzy, but not too bad.

D - Overall not quite what I was expecting. A little bit lighter, fruitier and fizzier than I bargained for. Easy to drink, however, and drinkable for the ABV number. I'm confident that this one would taste way better on the other side of the pond.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 550mL bottle into a pint glass. This is a 2009 bottle. It may almost be June, but it's a chilly, rainy, blustery day here, so it seems appropriate to drink this beer now.

Appearance: crystal-clear orange body with two fingers of ivory foam, which appears to be dissipating rather rapidly. Never having tried Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome, I was expecting something a little darker. Still, it looks appetizing.

Smell: big malt aroma with characteristics of caramel and biscuit malts. I'm also smelling nutmeg and perhaps a little cinnamon. It certainly smells like a cold-weather drink.

Taste: great big malt flavor. There are hints of earthy hops in the flavor, especially toward the end, but they are almost completely subordinated to the malt. There is a little bit of tartness rounding the sides of the malt. It's good, but the balance of malt flavors isn't my favorite; there's a bit too much biscuit in there for me.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty good level of carbonation. I like it.

Drinkability: this is a nicely drinkable beer. I think it has enough redeeming characteristics to be drinkable beyond just what its flavor would indicate. It's a nice brew on a chilly day.

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008-2009 Vintage, poured into a Sam Adam Perfect Pint.
The beer poured a bright, light amber color with a minimal white head. The head faded down pretty quickly and left a minimal dotting of foam on the surface of the brew. No lacing present.
The aroma has the common Sam Smith mineral aroma going on, and a light smell of some rich malts, maybe toffee, light fruits, but not much else. I was pretty let down by this.
The taste followed the nose pretty close, but the malts did taste a bit richer and more flavorful than the nose let on.
The beer had a nice feel to it, slightly coating in the mouth and decent carbonation.
Overall, not my cup of tea. I like several of Sam Smith's beers, just not this one. I'd try a fresher one if I could find it in singles, but I felt ripped off buying this 4 pack. I partly blame the store for not stocking fresh beer and trying to pass this one off as the recent one.

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Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a suitably wintry scene, tiny bubbles flutter like snowflakes behind a chilly brume. One look at this toasty, copper specimen is all it takes to know that it will be a satisfying pint; density in colour usually equates to a density of flavour and this appears built like a brick house. Its tapioca dome is so large it seems capable to fit over a blimp.

The aroma hints at a subtle Yuletide spicing (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove) but is less coy about the inclusion of Kent Golding hops. The bouquet, indeed, might be otherwise quite floral and bitter if it were not preceded by such profound malts. Well-toasted and biscuity, they exude a honey-like sweetness and plenty of caramel.

The malts likewise command the palate; it is as if the thick, hefty toast speaks into a microphone while all other elements whisper. With the toffee and biscuits comes a most charming accompaniment of fruity esters, notes of apple and dried cherry and cranberry ring out loudest. The spices of the season (nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa) never quiet down.

Despite a freshly-brisk carbonation, mineral-rich water ensures the mouthfeel is damp and beefy. A gratifying hop bitterness echoes on the finish; oddly enough, it is accompanied by a lingering buttery texture and sweet taste, something akin to a honey and cocoa butter moisturizer you might find in a natural cosmetics store. Hell, I'd bathe in it.

Winter can be an ungodly season but that's only because it seems to never end; at its beginning, it is most welcome. The first chilly nights rekindle the flames of the fireplace, the cold winds push us to find salvation in warm layers, foods become richer and heavier and all the joy that is Christmas is not far away. It is, in all honesty, one of my most favourite times of the year - and this is one of my most favourite beers to celebrate it with.

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Photo of jera1350
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up for $1.99/bottle so thought why not.

Pours into a nonic a copper color with two finger off white head.

Flowery, bready, slight caramel scent. Pancake batter smelling.

Light roasty malt character with a lightly crisp hop finish. Some light caramel, bread and spicy hops are all present. Doesn't taste like a typical winter warmer. Lighter and easier.

This is a smooth beer with about a medium body. Carbonation is perfect. Pretty soft and lightly velvety with just a little prickle.

I think this drinks really well. It's easy and sessionable. The problem I have is that it doesn't represent a winter warmer to me. I'm fine with that, but it is misleading. This would make a great Oktoberfest beer as well. I would have this one again.

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

Poured into pint glass

A: Pours a clear rich copper, topped with a creamy off beige/manilla head

S: Warm malts, touch of hops, citrus rind?

T: Roasted malt fades to hops, almost as if to fade lager -> ale

M: Tart and sweet, then bitter

D: High abv, can feel it quick, gets filling

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Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured clear light amber with a thin foamy head. There's a moderate level of carbonation; the beer has good head retention and a thin layer of bubbles consistently coated the surface.
S: The nose is inviting and has aromas of sweet caramel and toasted malts with hints of nuts and toffee.
T: There is a good degree of malty sweetness in the flavor, which is very well balanced. Hops aren't really detectable in the flavors, although they do contribute to a slightly dry and bitter finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the carbonation lends a good degree of smoothness and almost makes it feel buttery.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and I might try it again during the winter when the holidays roll around.

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

Not a whole lot of smell, some sweet malt.

Appears a pretty clear cherry brown

Taste is just too watery. Some sweet malt, just not enough of it.

This beer fell short for me and lacked the wow factor. Especially because I really like all the other beers brewed by Samuel Smith. Not a bad beer, but its just something I would not go out of my way to drink again. Needs more flavor for my mouth buds.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with red hues, small head. Smell is malts, a bit sweet, maybe caramel. Taste is malts and hops, well balanced, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good brew.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New copper penny in colour topped by a huge off-white pillow of somewhat well-retained head. A little bit of lace sticks to the walls of my glass. Soft toasty malt and green apple aroma with floral and herbal hop nuances. Tastes of toasty bread and mixed nuts with hints of apple and honey. Finishes with a mild tea-like bitterness. Low levels of buttery diacetyl in it's flavour and aroma.

Medium bodied with fine carbonation. Feels smooth. Feels substantial but isn't filling. It's a little bit moreish. Solid.

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Photo of nokes
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a colour I'll call "fermented apricot". Really nice, with some lively bubbles rising sporadically. Spontaneously? It looks like a happy beer. Sudsy head that died to a film and laced the class nicely. Pretty.

Smells were much fainter off this one than I would have expected. Some light maltiness and something fresh, maybe apple or something. Some very faint floral notes, maybe the hops.

Taste, though is really nice. Tangy with malty sweetness and a long bitter finish. It's bright and somewhat fruity.

The mouthfeel is where this beer really rocks. Medium bodied and somewhat creamy with an perfectly balanced level of carbonation. It feels good to drink this.

On the evening, we tasted 5 beers...this was one of the standouts among good company.

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Photo of Popkas
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pour is a copper orange color with a thin head.

S: I am getting some light malt, apple and possibly a little caramel.

T: Interesting flavor. Not great, but interesting where I can't quite place my finger. Again light malt melded with some hops and caramel.

M: The body is thin but fizzy - not a favorite combination.

D: Drinkability is ok at best.

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Photo of NightINgale
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into my Samuel Smith's pint glass...

A - Clear copper colour to the body. A nice rich beige head and some larger bubbles visible. Good head retention, but minimal lacing.

S - A solid caramel and toffee malt backbone, with hints of cherry, plum, and apple. Some mild floral hoppiness in the background. Very little spices. A bit weak for a winter warmer at first. However, as it warmed up, I started noticing some cinnamon and

T - There is definitely a very strong caramel malty backbone, with sweetness nicely balanced with some amount of bitterness in the finish. Some pronounced cherry and apple notes, as well as a light cinnamon undertone. Full-flavoured and very well-balanced. The after-taste has got some floral hops, which only liven up the taste.

M - Starts out quite crisp, then mellows down, acquiring a slightly syrup-like texture. Medium-bodied. The alcohol is barely noticeable. Pleasant, with a mild warming feel to it. Good for a winter warmer.

D - Quite good, provided it's a 6% beer. It is quite flavourful, yet drinkable (drinks more like a traditional English ale).

Overall, this is a good English winter ale. I've yet to try a disappointing Samuel Smith's beer!

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,231 ratings
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