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

2,203 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: 2,203 |  Reviews: 1,154
Photo of ecoastman
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For some reason I enjoyed the second one (a couple of weeks later) much more than the first time I tried this beer. I'm glad I bought two bottles and I'll look for it again next season. Very drinkable.

This winter warmer has a nice clear copper hue. The head starts thick but recedes quickly to a small patch and no lacing.

It has a clean mild malty aroma with some caramel, nutty and bread characters and doesn't seem to be obvious in spiced characters. The flavour is much the same and isn't too sweet on the malt. It's nicely balanced by the hops and the dry finish has noticeable, but low, bitterness. There's also some buttery diacetyl but not so much butterscotch and slickness.

The mouthful is rather refreshing and smooth with some mild courseness from the fine carbonation.

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Photo of Florida9
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper in color. Pours with 2 fingers of white head. There is little retention or lacing.

S: Malt, caramel, toffee, with a little yeast and cream.

T: Predominantly malt, with a faint smokiness or "stone" flavor to it. Some cream and a mild "English" bitterness.

M: Lighter than expected. Medium in body with medium carbonation. Only mildly viscous.

D: A good beer. Not what I was expecting, but in a good way. A little lighter in body, but with a good depth of flavors and not loaded up with either hot alcohol or the stereotypical winter spices.

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Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An clear amber color with a thin white colored head.

S: Toasted malt and fig with some alcohol aromas mixed in.

T: There is a sweet toasted malt flavor and a little caramel with a raisin or fig fruity flavor.

M: A good feel to it, not too heavy. The finish is semi-dry.

D: A solid winter warmer. Tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of jhreginaldi
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first review I have ever even thought of doing on any beer review site. The taste of this ale made me want to share my opinion on it.

This beer is amazing. It is very drinkable and very tasty. It actually doesnt have as much flavor up front as some of the other Smiths I have had. I dont think that is the purpose of this beer. The middle taste and the finish on this beer is what makes it.

It is lighter but yet very complex. I hate to use oxymoron's when analyzing anything, but it is so true when tasting this beer.

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Photo of bob3701
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint. Great clear golden color with a big foamy head the goes slowly into a thin film with no real lacing. Light aroma of toffee or caramel. Very complex yet subtle flavors sweet and a bit citrusy. Well balanced with a clean finish. Very drinkable. I enjoyed this one

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Photo of eat
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Completely transparent and shining golden in colour, this beer starts out with a thin cover of white head and ends up with just a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing. There seems to be an odd lack of bubbles floating to the surfact, it's very still.

Yeasty, bready, grain, light citrus, sweet malt. Nice enough smell but nothing exceptional.

I wasn't really expecting it to taste like this, I've never tasted a beer quite like this one. It's actually pretty complex for a light(er) beer. Minerals, British-tasting hops, sweet light malt, honey, grain, alcohol, apples. Almost the slightest resemblance to a (much weaker) malt liquor. Dry finish. A bit strange, but in a good way. A different take on a standard ale.

For the visual lack of carbonation, it's surprising to find this sparkling feel. I really can't figure this out. I can barely see any bubbles but the feel is prickly on my tongue. Good medium body.

I find this to be an odd beer, a take on the style I'm not familiar with. I don't have much experience with British brews. It's drinkable but I don't know if I'll be buying it again. There are quite a few beers similar in style to this which I prefer.

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Photo of crhensel
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(550 mL bottle into pint glass) 2009-2010 season. Poured a clear brown with a very slight head, that fall fast, but left beautiful lacing on the glass. Aromas of a doughy yeast as well as caramel and grassy hops were noted. This was a very interesting profile, and actually made me a little apprehensive to try this one, especially since I have heard so much positive about Samuel Smiths' offerings. Once I tasted though, all of those worries fell away. The flavor was very complex, and changed completely throughout the course of the glass. There was a very nice slightly sweet start with the light caramel forward, and a barely noticeable hop bite at the finish. As the glass continued, the hops grabbed the lead, and provided a nice bitter flavor, with the sweetness coming in at the finish to calm it. Extraordinary, and it's a shame I didn't grab a few more of these when I had the time!

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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 IronDjinn
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 550 ml brown bottle. Pours out a bright clear orange hue, loose frothy off-white head that leaves a thick cap.

The nose possesses toffee, dry woody notes, light grassy and herbal hops, a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Caramel, fig and raisin up front in the flavour, cinnamon and brown sugar in the middle, even the finish is sweet, while some dry spice and dandelion greens show up in the aftertaste.

Fairly light mouthfeel, low carbonation.

It's okay in the flavour department, looks gorgeous, but doesn't pull together in the end. Can't believe I enjoyed Wychwood's Bah Humbag to this overall.

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

A golden-copper beer with a one finger head and substantial carbonation.

The aroma is grainy-sweet, just a hint of flowery hops, and some nutmeg and clove essence.

The flavor is very much a hops-light pale ale: it is clean and a bit floral is is peculiarly English. The carbonation remains through out the quaff and enhances the spicy herbs. The herbs are so subtle beneath the hops and crisp, light malt profile. This is a good example of a very dry yet flavorful pale ale warmer.

The mouthfeel is pleasant and robust but very clean.

It is a very solid, drinkable and smooth beer.

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

pours a gorgeous amber with one finger off white head with decent lacing and average dissipating. smells of mild fruit esters and a lovely hint of floral hop and grapefruit aromas with a beautiful toasty malt backround as it warms. tastes hits you with a nice, zesty tartness, with ample, crisp grapefruit hops and toasty, caramel malts with subtle chocolate, grain, and gram crackers. a very crisp beer that is very dry and enjoyable.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was tea colored and poured a great big head. The smell of the beer was sweet and tasted that way also. Also was a bit hoppy. The head went away fast though. I might have to try this one again.

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Photo of beerguru15
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried out the Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome tonight, it turned out to be a decent beer

The appearance was a light Amber color with a off white head that seemed to last quite a long time.

When I first smelled it, I noticed it was very sweet, followed by a aray of different smells such as carmel

The taste was very smooth with a slight aftertaste. Being that it's supposenly a winter beer, I thought the taste would be more bold than what it is

The mouthfeel was not that much, just smooth

I'd say drinkability it wasn't bad. It's something that I would drink again, but wouldn't run to the store directly for it.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice amber golden color. Nice head that lasts... not large though.
Smells of malts and some caramalized malts.
Tastes like malts. Nice malty English beer with a bit of sweetness not much though which makes it nice.

I think that seriously I would probably drink this again, not as a winter beer though as a normal beer.

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Photo of Ralphus
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoy a scatter Samuel Smith beer. Their nut brown is a staple of mine and I enjoy their imperial stout when it's available. The winter warmer was a new one for me so I picked it up.

It looked a little light. It's heavily carbonated and the head receded very quickly to nothing but the faintest ring. Sad really. And the color is just an unremarkable pale brown. Poo.

The smell is sweet.. notes of bubblegum and dominate. The taste is fairly sweet as well. Lots of malt up front with some hops in the back but not a great deal. Some light spiciness has been added to make the beer a bit more interesting but it's about all that's really going on here.

Mouthfeel is fine and drinkability is just ok. This beer neither pleases or displeases.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle (assume brewed in this season, but no date to prove that) poured into a Nonic glass.

Appearance: Poured a thick head that died down to a 1/8" off-white head all the way across. Some lacing on the sides of the glass as I drank it down. The beer is a amber color, right between yellow and orange. Small amount of bubbles coming up through the beer.

Smell: A sweet malt smell, with some hint of white grapes towards the end.

Taste: A malt start, followed by a bitter middle and end. The aftertaste is similar to a buttery cracker. Appealing and as it warms up, the balance tips towards the bitter, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Just a little carbonation on the tongue, otherwise a bit thick and a hint of something oily in there (lingers on the tongue and teeth).

Drinkability: I think this has to be done with a meal. By itself it's interesting, but I think it would be better over a long meal where you have this interesting flavor combination highlight things between bites. What's weird is that when I had this earlier in the season at a beer tasting with holiday goodies I thought it was great, but I only had a small glass. Now at the end of the 550ml bottle all by myself my opinion has changed.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber, a thin white head and lots of carbonation.

Smells biscuity, citrusy, some butterscotch, caramel cinnamon and spice.

Tastes like it smells, buttery, doughy and spicey with a lingering bitter hop finish that is somewhat unpleasant.

Pretty carbonated mouthfeel and somewhat smooth. But not very drinkable, I would never try this again, not very good compared to their other offerings.

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

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome, poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. A muddled copper in color with ok head retention.

Aroma is of biscuity malt and toffee.

Flavor has some caramel, buttery diacetyl, and faint spices on the back end. Hop bitterness is low and the beer finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly smooth.

Solid drinkability, a nice beer but much unlike many of the darker, roasted winter warmers produced in the states.

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

Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale 2009-2010

500ml bottle into pint glass

a - amber, copper to reddish brown, medium white head, fair lacing

s- sweet malts, caramel, apple cider, citrus, floral

t - sweet caramel malts, some spice, floral/herbal finish

m - light to medium bodied and slightly warming

d - less malt and spice profile than a typical winter ale, so it's easy drinking, maybe a little lacking in character and not terribly exciting but won't disappoint.

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

A year ago we did a three year vertical of 06, 07 and 08:

All three pour impeccably, revealing a light mahogany liquid with an exceptionally sticky cream coloured head that laces well. Only a slight difference in hue between each version. Caramel and cinnamon aromas, of which the older versions have some diacetyl, which adds a bit more depth. Caramel and bready malts, with cinnamon spicing. As the aroma hints, the older versions have a bit more diacetyl, and the depth this adds makes me prefer the 06. The newer version has more floral notes that have died in the other bottles. All three have a satisfying mouthfeel.

An interesting comparison of a classic winter warmer. O6 was the winner for me, followed by the 08 and then the 07.

This past weekend we repeated the vertical, but now dropping out the 06 and bringing the 09 to the fold. In general, I'd say my comments hold, though I did notice a more pronounced hoppiness in the most recent beer which didn't seem to be presence in past brews even when fresh. I think the Sam Smith's is a decent take on the style, but its not the sort of beer I'd usually go for, and I think the quality is not what it once was.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: deep-orange to copper, lots of bubbles, off-white froth that collapses on itself leaving specks on the glass

Aroma: subtle scent of unripe apples and malt but a bit one-dimensional

Flavor: dry malt balance with a crisp, woody hop bitterness; peach-pit flavor and a dry finish with lingering hoppiness on the tongue

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, some warmth in the throat

Other comments: A decent beer but a bit mundane.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle an orangey-amber color with one finger of head; a good-looking beer, but this is the first indication that Winter Welcome isn't quite the winter warmer that I expected. Smell is very light--a little fruity and floral. Notes of apple cider and lemon, but they're subtle enough as to get lost in the pint glass now and then. My only real complaint is about the weak nose on this beer.

Tasting Winter Welcome confirmed the lead-in from the aroma; this is a nice English pale ale/bitter. Notes of apple, orange juice, lemon, and a slight zip of pepper make up Winter Welcome. It's no spicy malt-bomb like other winter warmers, and I'd feel more at home drinking it in the summer. Nevertheless, I'm going to rate it for what it is-- a crisp, well-crafted English beer with the flavors to keep me drinking.

Mouthfeel is light in body with a slight mineral bitterness I associate with English pales. Terribly easy to drink, and I would have enjoyed drinking it when the weather is warmer rather than on one of the cooler days of the year.

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

3 year vertical of 500ml bottles, from this years going back to 2007-2008 version, courtesy of Derek! The score is a composite from all three.

Pours a light golden caramel, perhaps like an oktoberfest, lighter than I would peg a winter warmer as. They all get a finger or so of head rising up and a little lacing left.

Light caramel and fruits in the nose, clean and almost lagerish. In the 09-10 a hint of grassy hops comes out. Light spicing, hard to pick out which ones they are.

They were actually all quite different though I found it hard to really like any of them. The hopping in the fresh version was completely absent in the other 2, fruits more pronounced as it aged, the 08-09 had a bit of a toffee/caramel note that was more pronounced. All with light spicing (more coming out in the 09-10), edgy carbonation, a herbal dryness in the finish which was more pronounced in the fresh version. Slight metallic note there as well. Older versions more caramel, sweet - but not much else going on.

Not really my thing, pretty uninspiring. Pretty sure 2 years is this one's max, I wouldn't let it sit in the cellar any longer than that.

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

pours a bright vivid copper with a light fluffy head. basically no retention

light scents of apple, pear, caramel, and floral hops

light apple and light pear up front with a light floral hop kick. a bit of sweet malts through out and in the finish

light to moderate carbonation, medium body

a very easy drinking ale. lots of flavor that compliment the cold winter months.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is red tinted golden color. The beige head reaches three fingers and nearly escapes my glass. Gobs of sticky lace remain around the glass after a brief rest. A nice cap rest gently on top of the beer.

The aroma is lightly hopped with a strong malt presence. Very sweet with hints of apple and lemons.

The flavor is very malty. It's actually more malt then I was ready for. Hints of hops but you really gotta search for them. It has a sort of apple juice feeling to it.

Medium body with lots of carbonation.

Overall nowhere near my expectations. A nice beer but I think I will pass on it next christmas.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,203 ratings.
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