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

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale
2,208 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: 2,208 |  Reviews: 1,157
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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Photo of JMD
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear copper color with small off-white head that leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

S: Very faint aroma of bready malt and some carmel.

T: Some light toasted malt, sweetbread and hints of carmel. Light wintery spices, and finishes with a soft touch of hops.

M: Medium bodied and creamy. Very smooth texture.

D: This beer was all over the place for me. Looks great and has great texture, but misses with the flavor and aroma. Still enjoyable to drink, just not something I would go out of my way to get.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As winter starts to draw to a close I thought I prudent to start whittling down this seasons winter warmers. So without further ado here Samuel Smiths Winter welcome ale.

Poured into their branded glass the brew offers up a massive off white head that just won't quit. Foamy and rocky this thing lasts and lasts leaving lace all the way down, most impressive. On the nether side of this lies the sparkling clear light amber brew, sparsely populated by bubbles.

Dried orange peel immediately comes to mind with the first whiff. Floral honey and tea notes whirl around the nostrils providing rich post dinner sensations. Fruity esters reminiscent of Asian pear freshen up the aroma. Dabs of nutmeg provide a zesty spicy note.

Thick bready malt sweetness brings pound cake to mind with its mouth filling full bodied flavour. Honey and caramel add subtle complexities to the nutty malt. Peppery, herbal sage like hops provide ample bitterness to back this, much more than one would expect. There is a slightly unpleasant chlorine essence which manifests spontaneously, though disappearing by the halfway mark. The finish is a well balanced mélange of sweet malt and hop bitterness followed by a tinge of alcohol.
Crisp and refreshing in body with a surprisingly light mouth feel this it proves a very easy drinking brew.

This beer really opens up halfway. Initially I wasn't very impressed by its aroma or flavours but that quickly changed as it warmed up more, though I had it reasonably warm to begin with. It's decent but not one of Samuel Smiths best.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith's Victorian pint glass.

A: Slightly cloudy dark copper with an amber hue. No real head to speak of. Almost looks flat.

S: Brown sugar, red apples, caramel and malt. Slight note of ripe bananas.

T: Spicy-sweet front with a carbonated feel. Hints of caramel, butterscotch and ripe bananas throughout. Slightly bitter alcohol on the finish with a faint remnant of coconut.

D: Definitely good on a cold winter evening.

Value: Samuel Smith's is usually good in my opinion, I mean, you get what you pay for.

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Photo of ecoastman
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
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 -3.8%
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 +4.9%
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 +14.4%
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 +10.6%
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 +1.4%
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 +6.3%
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 +5.7%
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 -7.1%
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 +10.9%
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 -1.1%
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 -7.9%
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 -8.2%
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 -7.9%
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 -18.3%
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 +1.6%
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 -6%
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%
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 -1.1%
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 -2.5%
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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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,208 ratings
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