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

2,209 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: 2,209 |  Reviews: 1,157
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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Photo of Duff27
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a one finger white head over a red/copper that quickly dissipates. No lacing or effervescence present.

S- Apples, cinnamon.

T- More fruits, apples. Spices. Biscuity. Great "winter" taste.

M- Thin to medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D/O- This drinks great on a winter evening. The spice factor is very refreshing. Cheers across the "pond" to Sammy Smiths.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gifted to me on Christmas day by my wife's self proclaimed "senior citizen hippie" uncle. Thanks Wally!

This beer pours a medium copper color with a nice creamy parchment head. The head has very nice staying power and left some decent lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is pretty laid back, but also quite pleasant. Malt forward with a very nice biscuit character to it. This is accented by some spicy floral hop aromas. Very British smelling.

The flavor, much like the nose, is not very complex but has some nice flavors to it. Plenty of slightly toasted biscuity malt mix with subtle caramel notes. The hop profile is very floral with just a touch of herbaceous spice. The beer is well balanced and has a nice fruity character that I am guessing comes from the yeast used.

The mouthfeel is probably the best aspect of this beer. It is medium bodied with a very nice smoothness to it. This beer finishes pretty much effortlessly and leaves a clean malty taste on the palate. Carbonation is also spot on.

This is a very drinkable brew and while not the most best or most exciting beer, I definitely would have had another if there had been one around. I am not sure what makes this a winter ale, but it was a good tasting ale and that is all that counts.

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Photo of RickS95
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very light copper color, only slightly darker than ginger ale. Not much head. Filtered.

There's little smell, though I'll admit to using the wrong glass. Even after it warms, any smell is hard to find.

It tastes like it smells, meaning there's little of it. There was only a hint of spice, nothing like I expect out of a winter warmer or Christmas ale.

Mouthfeel is ok, it's got a smoothness to it and there is no harshness at all.

While it's got no major faults, there are no major strengths either, so it's drinkability is 50/50. If you just like to chug beer, have at it.

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

This brew poured a nice clear golden amber color. It poured a very creamy, light tan head. It lasted for quite some time, and followed with a nice thick lacing on the glass.

The aroma on this brew was pretty clear on the pour. It has a nice biscuit malt and some light spicy hops. Nothing over the top, but it was a very good aroma none the less.

The flavor on this brew was pretty good. As expected from the aroma there was a nice biscuit malts in the front of this brew, that blends right into the mild, spicy bitterness of hops. There is a bit of a caramel flavor in the middle, and a nice strong, sweet breadiness at finish. The aftertast on this brew is what impressed me quite a bit. It gives off nice toasted bread and caramel taste, that goes well with the citrus, fruitiness that goes with the warming the brew gives.

The mouthful on this brew is creamy and smooth. It has a nice light to medium body.

This brew goes down very well. It's nice a smooth and has a wonderful flavor. It goes down easy and completely satisfying. This was a great winter brew. Its a not as big of a power house like some of the other holiday brews, but still a nice brew none the less.

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Photo of Beerbluesbiology
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 18.7 bottle into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Pours a beautiful copper-amber body with the classic SS's fluffy cotton candy head and lacing on the glass. Smells bready and of slightly metallic sweet malt with a pinch of hops. Tastes initially dry like a pale ale (cone hops) (sierra nevada-like) with an alcohol warmth finished with a wet feeling on the tongue. This flavour makes you want to keep taking another sip-overall an excellent beer with absolutely fresh ingredients!

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Photo of TheHammer
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured into my brand new Samuel Smtih's pint glass. The body is a deep brown with ruby red highlights. Solid finger and a half of head which laced a bit but didn't seem to retain. Not much carbonation in the body.

Smell: A large caramel malt presence is there with notes of cinnamon, cloves and apples. Warming substantially helps the beer's case here.

Taste: A very nice mild apple with butterscotch malt taste starts this beer, as the carbonation seems to give the impression that it's melting in your mouth. However it then turns to a mixed spice and earthy hops taste with a metallic twang that really should have been spread out a bit better ending with touch of nutmeg that comes across as a bit weak. The beautiful start just barely carried this beer to the 3.5 though.

Mouthfeel: Well the carbonation really helps out the start of the beer, but hampers the middle of it and seems to die out near the end. The aftertaste has an undercurrent of nice malt and spice that is trying desperately to free itself from an oppressive metallic/hard water taste that seems to be the proverbial Grinch of this brew. A lot of good, mixed with a lot of bad.

Drinkability: The aftertaste is really holding the beer back from me wanting more then one. It's fairly light on the gut and the carbonation isn't causing any issues, but that metallic twang that doesn't want to leave ruins it for me. It lessens as the beer warms, but it's still present.

Final Thoughts: I'm going to take a stab in the dark on this one, and say I think the water supply for this beer should be double checked. I can't shake the feeling that metallic twang is the sweeter elements conflicting with some hard water, something I don't think a pale ale would suffer from as badly but really hurts this beer. It's imperative that you warm this beer. Anyway Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Killer Kwanza and don't get KO'd this Boxing Day.

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

Poured from a 550 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear amber with a 1/4" head that dissipates to a soapy lid.

Has a warm, toffee smell, with nice malt and an underlying graininess.

Malty with mild bitterness, and a bit of peppery spice, coriander and orange peel.

Light to medium bodied, this has a pleasant feel to it.

Fairly drinkable, but certainly not a winter warmer. More of a mild ale, instead.

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Photo of Erish
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 550 ml bottle into a wheat glass (sorry, beer gods).

A: clear dark amber color, thick white head quickly dissipates into a thin cap.

S: roasted malt, slightly earthy, metallic, touch of oak.

T: surprisingly dry, cracker-like malt up front, the earthiness hits big in the middle, then the dry, steely finish kicks in, along with some grassy hops.

M: light-bodied, silky/watery, light carbonation.

D: meh. Decent, but disappointing.

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

Pours an amber-coper colour with thick white head. Nice head retention and lacing around the glass. Smells of huge caramel malt with the faintest hints of some earthy hops. Some dark fruit in there too. Very sweet flavour, some mild bitterness. Very well balanced. Low carbonation makes this quite smooth. I typically buy a couple bottles of this every winter (or at least past 2 winters). Really nice beer.

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

550ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear light brown colour with an average size creamy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some excellent lacing down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, light hops, faint lemon, toffee

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation on the tongue and it feels very creamy. The most noticeable flavours are toffee, malts, and a nuttiness. There are also notes of tea, lemon, and hops. There beer also has slight metallic taste to it. It finishes with a malty slightly peppery aftertaste.

Drink - Another solid brew from Sam Smith; worth a try.

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

Pours a clear, deep copper color with a decent off-white head. Head falls to just a thin cover. Nice lace.

Aroma is fairly clean. Some malt and spice, hops are in there too. Gets a bit more intense as it warms.

Nice caramel malt taste. Slightly spiced and a bit buttery. Hops come through in the finish and linger in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied in the mouth and buttery.

Nice drinking brew, one I look forward to in the winter season.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Impressive clarity in the toasted amber body. Swirls of carbonation bubbling up through the middle somewhat make up for the modest head and lacing.

Smells chiefly of spiced apples, butterscotch and dark corn syrup. The corn syrup flavor is also rather strong, but touches of brown sugar and toffee make for a more complex sweetness. Berry cobbler and baked apple fruitiness. Medium bodied with prickly carbonation and a surprising earthy bitterness that lingers for a moment at the swallow before yielding to a finish that's slightly vinous and slighty warming.

Overall impression: Easy recommendation here. Good stuff.

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Photo of runningjoke
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured coppery-amber color with big tight head, that fell quickly to a ring around the glass. It smelled of malt, some yeast, and dried apples.
Tasted of malt some yeast and dried apples, plus a residual tast of a tarnished penny. The carbonation gives this beer the body neede to be palatable, and if this was worth a second or third, it could be a session beer. It's better than budweiser. I do not think this is a good winter warmer. Your money better spent elsewhere.

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Photo of DJED69
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010/2011 release in a four pack.

I have been buying this beer for many, many years as a holiday tradition. I finally found a fresh batch locally, so I continue to enjoy it.

Pours a nice amber, copper color with decent off white head. Smells of breach yeast and malt--some dried fruit. Taste mimics the nose with a touch of spice. Malt is dominate flavor. Carbonation is mild and adds to a decent bodied beer. As much as I like this brew, a couple in a sitting is enough for me.

As an old friend, this beer is something I look forward to each year. If you haven't tried it--what are you waiting for. A winter classic.

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Photo of sommersb
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown 550 ML bottle, dated 2010-2011 season, poured in a tulip pint glass

A: Bright copper color, with two fingers of cream-colored head. Clear with a lot of carbonation and little lacing.

S: Bready malt aroma dominates. Also get an alcohol smell along with some fruits and spices I can't identify. Overall good aroma however.

T/M: Malty character with a light sweetness. A good balance of hops and malts. Medium body with a high level of carbonation. Nice sensation of alcohol warming with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

D: An enjoyable beer, although the taste didn't seem to live up to the anticipation based on the wonderful aroma.

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Photo of wmtxbb
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Lacing on top of an amber brew

Smell: Honey, tart scent.

Taste: Sharp alcohol, caramel malts, woody hops and and spices. Typical winter warmer. Nothing too impressive. Needs more spices/hop/malt complexity.

Drinkability: This was on sale and now I can see why. Not really impressive considering it is a samuel smith brew.

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Photo of plfahey
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Red-copper color. Brilliant clarity. Thick white crop of foam with good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma-Grain, caramel, and biscuity malt. Moderately low English hops (Orangey and perfumy) mix well with light fruity esters (apples and pears). Slight whiff of alcohol.

Flavor-Grain and caramel, grassy hops, and low fruity esters blend in the forefront of the beverage. Taste is wonderfully complex, but quickly dissipates, leaving behind some hop bitterness, slight alcohol, and a mineral character. Good up front, but a little short-lived.

Mouthfeel-Medium body is enhanced by moderately high carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth. Finish is not astringent, but has some unpleasant metallic/mineral characteristics.

Great aroma and good initial flavor, though the overt mineral character in the flavor and mouthfeel takes away from the finer qualities of this beer.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith! Welcome to my mouth!

Samuel Smith has been a regular favorite in my beer inventory, and it's always fun to try their seasonal output. However while I feel that this Winter Welcome is a very good beer, it's not quite up to par with their all star collection.

Beer pours a bronze and brown color with great head retention and proper lacing. The beer has a copper-penny aroma with malty-carmel notes at the nose.

The flavor is heavy on the malts, almost syrupy in sweetness, but tamed by gentle hops and carbonation. My biggest issue with this beer is it's underwhelming flavor and mouthfeel - I expect better from Samuel Smith. The flavor is indistinct and mild, although though not bad at all. It could just use a little more robustness.

Overall it's a good beer, nice for the holiday seasons.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I usually have this beer every two to three years. Nice to report that it's even better than I remember. A classic English holiday ale for sure! (Fyi, I served this 1 Pt, 2.7 oz bottle right off my bungalow's basement floor...floor temp was 57F).

Appearance: Brilliant bronze color; clear; just the right (low) carbonation.
Smell: Pleasant malt aroma. Grassy. Minerally. Latent hop aroma.
Taste: Hints of banana, peach, perhaps mango? Slate-y, rocky taste too (Yorkshire slate fermentation seems still very evident). The fruity flavors balanced nicely by moderately bittering hops
Mouthfeel: Wonderful malt/hop balance. Sweetness throughout with a moderately dry finish.
Drinkability: This is wonderfully balanced beer. Although I don't see anything particularly "winter-y" about it - I think it could easily be enjoyed in summer, too - I think the folks who made this put great care in it. Although billed as 6.0%abv, it's refreshingly low in alcohol when compared to many American or Belgian winter counterparts. I could probably have a pint or two of this and be in good shape at the end of it!

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 12/03/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a completely transluscent amber color with a finger of large-bubbled, white head that does not lace particularly well.

S: The nose is of cloves, spicy and bready earthiness, and backing fruity esters.

T: The taste is of banana, bread, spices, and a sweet berry finish.

M: It has a rather thin body with some dry foaminess forming.

D: This is a decent beer but it does not appear to warrant the hype.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish brown color with a thick frothy head which gives way to skim with decent lacing up and down the glass. The aroma is slightly weak with smells of biscuit and caramel at the front and hops of a earthy variety at the end. The taste is of biscuits and toastiness up front with caramel in the middle. The middle also starts the hop bite which finishes the beer. The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated. Overall it is a drinkable beer. There is some complexity to it but not a top of class.

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Photo of Giggy
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great winter beer.
Heavy malt aromas of nuts and caramel and light smells of herbs & brown sugar. Head is off white with fair lacing and is fully diminishing. Color is a clear orange/brown. Flavor is a taste of spice, caramel, malt, a little pine, and a few hops in the back, ends a little dry and somewhat bitter, finishes lightly sweet. With all of the winter/holiday beers out there that try too hard, this one just seems natural.

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

Samuel Smith's winter warmer pours a clear copper color with big fizzy head. The aroma is light and refreshing with hints of sweet caramel, honey, citrus and mild spices. I may have noticed a little bit of pear as well.

Sweet caramel and toasted malts are the most noticeable tastes upfront, but quickly fade under bitter orange peel and hops. Spices are also present. Interesting flavors, but the bitter qualities finish the experience a little quicker than what I would have liked. The mouthfeel was most smoother than expected.

A pretty good beer overall, and certainly drinkable. The mouthfeel is pleasant, and the taste is straight-forward enough, while managing to stay interesting. The bitterness overtakes the beer a little more than I would have liked, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of hdofu
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer warms the palate and the soul. It has a fruitcake like smell a hoppy smooth taste. I looks crisp clear with an orangeish hue with a thick soapy head which disappears quickly. It is really drinkable Good beer, what you'd expect from tadcaster.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,209 ratings.
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