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

2,208 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: 2,208 |  Reviews: 1,157
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into dimpled mug. Pours a dark copper with a commendable white head. Aroma of malt, caramel, molasses, along with some spice. Flavor is pretty solid- bitter malt, spice, and sweetness remains. Nothing too complex, but enjoyable and good for the cold weather. Decent palate, good beer but not as good as their oatmeal brew.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So, first of all, I would consider this a holiday ale much like Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale, which is just an amped up version of its Pale Ale. This seems to be a bit more intense version of the Old Brewery Pale Ale. It doesn't really pretend to be a winter warmer, even though that is what it is classified as on this site. I will be rating it as an English Pale Ale, since that is what I believe it actually is.

Poured into a tulip, the body is coppery and crystal clear. A nice 2-3 finger head bubbles up from the bottom with an aggressive pour. Upon drinking, there is no lace left on the glass.

The aroma is full of caramel, butterscotch, and sweet malts. There are some grassy hops, the estery appeal of Sam Smith's signature yeast strain. The balance is well done between the hops and the malt, but it doesn't really do it for me. Taste is similar, with a little added nutty malt character. The yeast tends to overwhelm the rest of the beer, though.

It feels good on the palate; smooth, medium carbonation with a lingering flavor after the finish. Easy drinking, but I wish this had a bit more sweetness and a bit less yeasty eastery character. It's so close, but I won't be seeking it out again soon, however, if you put a glass in front of me, I would gladly drink it.

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Photo of chilly460
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A foamy two fingered lace lies on top of an amber colored brew. Head sticks around well with decent lacing.

S - Fruity esters and a bit of butterscotch with the malt sweetness. Grassy hops aroma.

T - Pretty interesting, initial malt sweetness with caramel give way to a clean hoppy finish, almost a pepper taste. I associate this with the true "english" style beers I've had.

M - Nice even carbonation and body for the type.

D - Excellent, this is a balanced beer that I could drink all night, I definitely want another one.

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Photo of brycemc
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer a few years ago (winter 2008) and wasn't all that impressed (would have rated it a C+/B-ish likely), and so threw the other bottle I had purchased in the cellar. Today I opened this 550ml bottle of 2008-2009 to see if it had improved at all. Served around cellar temp, probably about 50F.

A: Nice dark reddish/brown, slightly cloudy but no obvious particles; I think it deepened in color a bit in the bottle. The head is thinner than I remember and others have reported, and doesn't stay long.

S: Carmel notes primarily, just a hint of tartness on the nose, like a tart cherry note maybe.

T: Nice light bitterness on the front of the tongue which is balanced well by the sweeter malts and caramel in the mid-palate. Finish is of medium length and just slightly hoppy with the sweeter notes lingering. Toasted malts linger in the mouth. A bit less of the alcohol is obvious then I'd expect from a 6% ABV beer of this color/style.

M: Mouthfeel is thinner than I like and expect from this style, but notably improved from the bottle I had in season. Lingers longer, and has rounded out a lot with the caramel/malt flavors. Improved with age.

D: Very drinkable, and more warming after a few years in the cellar. Hard to tell if it'd improve any more or if this is all it's got.

All in all, a decent beer, and definitely improved with a few years of age on it.

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Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle.
A) Pours with a two finger head. settles slightly. Clear body. Amber in color. Big bubble lacing.
S) Malty nose - caramel. Bready.
T) Caramel. Toffee. British hops. Definitely malt forward.
M) Smooth. Medium body.
D) A decent winter warmer. I'd drink another.

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Photo of Derranged
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown/mahogany color with a thick tan head. Lots of white lacing on the glass.

Strong floral and hop aroma dominates.

Although the flavor isn't particularly strong, there is a nice complexity going on. Tastes like the nose, floral hops, sweet malts, bread, biscuity with some fruit and metallic undertones.

Mouthfeel is very thin and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is good, I can several pints of this.

Overall I am not impressed with this beer. Despite being complex, it was a little bland and watery at the same time which I find weird. Not at all what I would expect from a winter warmer. It's not a bad beer, its just not what I thought it would be.

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Photo of scootny
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 2010-2011 bottle. A super clear copper with decent head of white foam. Aromas of caramel and butterscotch. A firm herbal hops with a metallic/mineral note. Taste follows suit with a good balance of hops to sit on the sweet caramel and malt bread that is at the core of this one. A gentle fruit component pulls it all together. Feel is medium thickish with a perfect carbonation that is so right in the northern climes at winter. A dry quenching quality to the finish that leaves breadcrust and cereal lingering along with a leafy hops and mineral twang. One glass goes down easy and another would be nice. A solid winter ale, just nothing to make it stand out.

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Photo of imagese
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- clear amber with a pillowy two finger head that faded slowly and left some thick patchy lacing

S- smells like a buttered raisin muffin with some metallic hops tossed in

T- bitter fruit followed by some caramalt sweetness

M- pretty full feeling for the color. Nice carbonation. The metallic hop taste hangs around, and is on the verge of being too much

D- I think my mind is getting the best of me on this one. I was expecting a darker and fuller beer since it's a "winter" beer. No problem finishing the bottle, but I'm thinking a darker roasted malt would have made this beer better...

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Photo of drabmuh
4.36/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a 3 Floyds imperial "pint" glass (I think it's only 12 ounces). Beer is amber and clear with a decent off white head of medium and small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation appears low.

Aroma is almost lagerish with this kind of sweet backbone of pilsner malts. It's a little weak in the nose.

Beer is medium in body and I really like this beer. I've been too cautious approaching this beer because it's really good. The back is moderately bitter, but the forward has this great malt backbone that carries throughout the beer. This is truly phenomenal. I would drink a case of this. It is that good. More please.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber/copper color with a generous foamy white head.

S- Typical aroma from the Yorkshire squares: old stones, old pipes, caramel malt, raisinated fruit, grassy hops.

T- Grainy, bready malt, some fruit. Dry-ish finish with lingering hops.

Many years ago, when ales like this were rarities, I thought much more of them, but how the landscape has certainly changed...

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Photo of TheHopMonster
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

two fingered lace lies on top of a copper colored brew. Decent clarity with soapy head retention, very delicate suds.

Faded butter sweetness, fruity esters and a honey/caramel like malt sweetness. Hop aroma grassy with a light oily pungency.

Smooth as much as it is crisp with in the pleasant mouth feel. Malty palate with a medium body and level carbonation. Bready malt flavours ride on top with hints of burnt sugar. fruit with some buttery biscuit and light alcoholic esters. Hop bitterness is perfect and balanced. Dry in the finish with a touch of butterscotch and a warm feeling at the very end.

Decent Brew, I am pleased and will probably suggest this to people

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Photo of tigg924
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: one inch head, clear, orange-brown in color

Smell: caramel, chocolate, alcohol

Taste: big caramel, small chocolate, dark fruit, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, sweet with ever so slight bitterness in the back

Drinkability: A very malty and English tasting beer. Not as spicy as others in the style. I could have a couple on a toasty night.

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Photo of Briken
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orange amber with medium tan foamy head with good retention. Pleasant spicy sweet aroma with hints of orange peel. Good subtle balance of spice and sweet malt with light hops and a slightly phenolic finish. Thick lager mouthfeel.

Really not all that impressed although it has a certain smooth quality all around that makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden copper slightly ruby.Thick amount of head with a bunch of big bubbles.

Sweet tangy toffee malts a little like sourdough. A mild spice cinnamon and nutmeg. Some spicy hops in the back.

Heavy malts slightly sweet closer to tangy. A slightly metallic tang. Mild fruit and dough middle. Finishes with a crisp spicy dryness. Sticky dry.

Medium body, crisp.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Clear amber with a substantial off white head on the pour that subsides to a decent topping.
smell: Apple, vanilla, subdued spice.
taste: Not much happening.
drinkability: Frankly disappointed. Love some Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout but this one doesn't score for me.

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Photo of techfed87
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a strongly-sized head. Color is dark, clear amber. Smell is sweet, with a bit of maltiness to it.

First sip is pretty satisfying. Has a bit of a copper-like after-taste to it which I was a bit unique. Has a light level of hops to it, which isn't too bad considering the style of the beer. Mouthfeel is similarly compelling, with a nice overall composure.

A pretty good beer, try it sometime!

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Lighter than expected, brownish in color. Small head that dissipated quickly. No lacing.

S: Malty with no hop aroma at all. The malts are slightly toasty, but don't give much in the way or anything interesting. There is also a slight metallic smell as well.

T: Malty, a mix of toasty malts and some caramel. Again, no hop flavor at all. A bit of darker fruit, maybe some plum. Again, a metallic flavor is there and I could not shake it.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with lower than expected carbonation. Overall a disappointment. Having had other beers from Sam Smith in the past I was excited to try this one, but it wasn't good.

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Photo of ronniebruner
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is very caramel enfused. This beer is definitely only good as a seasonal as this is not an everyday drinker. The alcohol content is average, the beer is foamy with a lace of citrus to the finish, has a spicy aroma, and a rich golden coloring.

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Photo of bens0n
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear yellowy orange with lots of creamy off white head that lasts for a very long time, and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Not an overwhelmingly aromatic beer but it has a pleasant sweet smell to it, some element of caramel is there too.

The only flavor that really stands out to me is the caramel, I can pick up on some hops too, but just like every other sam smith brew its just extremely smooth and well balanced, its very drinkable, just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Samuel Adams Official

A - Clear copper color with lots of tight little bubbles rising to the top. It produced a 3-finger fluffy white head that sat like a pillow atop the beer for a good while. It left a nice big splash of foam on one side of my glass when I was done.

S - A semi sweet aroma of mild spices. I get ginger bread cookie, caramel and cinnamon. Mellow butter and toffee like notes are underneath the cookie like aroma. As it warmed I got more of a toasted bread character along with herbal citrus like hop notes. Smells mild and inviting.

T - More hop flavors in the taste than the smell would make you think. Right upfront I get herbal, tart and rind like hop flavors. Quickly following is mild ginger and cinnamon spices. Towards the finish I pick up a toasted malt character with slight biscuit and chocolate undertones. Bitterness is mild and lingers on the tongue just a bit.

M - Smooth and creamy with medium-high crispness but more on the medium side.

D - A very drinkable brew that anyone could toss back all night. I appreciate it's drinkability and subtle toasted, spiced character but I would have liked just a bit more from both. Overall I think it's certainly worth a try and I wouldn't mind drinking it again although I may not buy it again.

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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 Chelsea1905
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip.

Poured a light tan with honey like hues around the egdes. Small white fizzy head that reduced to a pool of spotchy remnants. Left mild lacing after each sip, but then by the time the next sip was coming, the lacing had disipated

Smells of toffee, caramel, and dried dark fruit. No real hops to speak of, just lots of malty sweetness.

Tastes as it smells. A little more earthy, some warm fruit remains on the tongue after a while. This tastes like it would be good on cask.

Light mouthfeel, with a lot of effervecense.

Drank this quite easily. A little sweet and gassy, but very enjoyable

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Photo of theycallmedoc
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving- Single 550 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Darker than a lager but not quite a brown ale. Can see through it a little bit. Light head, not too sticky.

S- Hint of malts and spices. Oakey, smells like dirt.

T- Maltiness and Hops are well balanced between sips. The first couple sips were malty while later ones the malts were overwhelmed by hops. About finishing half a glass and refilling, more malt forward. A spicy finish, nutmeg and a tad bit of cinnamon.

M- Nice and light but still thick. The body of the ale actually reminds me of sitting by a fireplace and having a conversation with a friend.

D- Easy to drink but a tad filling. Ideal for slow sipping accompanied with deep conversation with a friend or reminiscing a childhood with a sibling.

Extra notes- Overall good beer that is perfectly crafted for how its advertised. Now all I need is a fireplace.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. Pours copper with a never ending, foamy, off-white head and a lot of lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, grassy hops and hints of fruit. The body is full and smooth. Taste is earthy hops up front with caramel malt provide the balance, some hints of fruit as well. Long, dry finish. Good beer, but not great (end too expensive).

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tan/brown,redish tint. Looked just like a ipa, creamy white 1 inch head with some lacing.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits. Some bold spices, not alot of aroma from this brew

Taste - Pretty malty flavor with some light spices and hop bitterness. Dark bold fruit undertones balance this beer out. Not the most flavorful beer sammy smith makes.

Mouthfeel - Medium body beer, covers mouth with malts. A slight sour aftertaste but pretty easy to sip on.

Drinkabilty - Its easy to enough but wish it had a little more flavor. Samuel smith beers are usually well balanced and tasty as all but this is a little lacking. Its not bad, good to drink every winter and low alcohol makes it that much more easy to drink.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,208 ratings.
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