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

I wouldv'e bought this beer anyways, but I've got to say I was really drawn to the bottle design. Looks like an old Christmas fair poster.

Pours a very clear amber, with a bit of visible carbonation. About an inch of thick, white head, recedes into a thin layer. Some flecks of lacing.

The nose isn't too prominent; I only pick up slight notes of apple, light malts, maybe a bit of orange peel.

This brew grew on me as it warmed up a bit. Starts off with lighter malts, with a bit of spiciness near the middle (nutmeg, cinnamon), but it's only slight. Every so often I get a touch of clove as well. Finishes tart and slightly dry, a bit of hop bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark; medium carbonation, body is a bit on the thinner side.

Not a bad little brew, but it didn't really wow me. Highly drinkable, though; the light entry and the tart finish were quite refreshing, but not exactly what I was looking for.

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Photo of strictly4DK
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle purchased at Capone's Restaurant, poured into a Weyerbacher tulip glass.

A - Poured translucent amber with a 1/2 inch white head. Recedes to a collar with a small amount of lacing.

S - Spicy possibly nutmeg and hints of ginger. Definitely some dark fruits present, raisin and figs. Little hop presence. An odd metallic, iron scent

T - Malts stay sweet and spicy (nutmeg and ginger). Hints of sweet caramel and molasses. I expected something roastier but light malt profile is complex and refreshing. Accentuated by raisins and figs. Seemed tannic but halfway through the glass the hop finish became evident. Slightly piny and bitter to balance the sweet malts. A few swirls of the glass presented a light smoky wood character.

M - Thin/medium bodied with low carbonation which works for the style. Bitter hops lingers on the palate.

D - True to form, Sam Smith Winter Warmer has high drinkability. Abv is on the lower side and hidden completely. Flavors are all pleasant and no off flavors present.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My fiance picked this up for me.

Appearance- amber color, nice head, nice lacing

Smell- fruit, malts

Taste- malts, fruits

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I enjoyed it. A little differen than most winter warmers I have had but I still liked it.

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Photo of mrcarterxxl
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

sam smith's winter welcome ale

P/A= pours a true amber color with a two and a half finger head, which is white in color.

S= smells like most beers theirs noting that really stands out.

MF= tiny tingling bubbles everywhere.

average good beer will buy again, but i was expecting something unique and different but it dose have good lacing.


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

Poured from 550 ml bottle into by Petrus flute.

A: Medium brown. Pours a 1 finger foamy white head. Slowly settles. Leaves a nice blanket of bubbles on the surface. More spotty lacing remains as you drink.

S: Roasted malt, almonds, and chocolate.

T: Roasted malt, nuts, and a little bitter butterscotch tone.

M: Full and robust. Bitter aftertaste. Kinda' dry finish.

D: Great body and flavor. I like to go ahead and drink this one down.

Atmosphere is really nice. Better than average appearance, and a pleasing but pretty basic nose. Flavor is also not so complex, but full and robust. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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

550ml bottle. Pretty involved English culture and brewing history-heavy label on this bottle - what with the traveling circus-style information layout.

This beer pours a glassy medium golden amber hue (it reflects the Christmas tree lights very nicely), with two fingers of weakly puffy, generally bubbly off-white head, which leaves a curtain of sudsy lace around the glass as it lazily falls away.

It smells of mild bready caramel malt, brown sugar, simmering applesauce, and a few warming spices - cinnamon, clove, and ginger. The taste is consistent with the aroma - caramel and subdued toffee malt, dark sugar, and soft muddled holiday spices, with only a smidgen of booze warming.

The carbonation is fairly inert, the body a decent medium weight, awkwardly smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes on the bittersweet side, genuinely malty, lightly spiced, and replete with a residual noble hop essence.

An adequately comforting winter ale, reminiscent of holiday seasons past, spice and malt-wise, if not altogether warming. Still worthy as an New Year's offering, as I root for the Canucks versus the dreaded Yanks in their Junior hockey showdown.

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

A: Pours a clear bubbly amber with a foamy eggshell white head. A thin layer retains, but it's enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: Apples, with light yeast and a hint of alcohol.

T: Relatively mild, starting sweet and leading into a surprisingly hoppy finish. Finishes dry.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body.

D: Drinks reasonably well, though the finish is fairly bitter.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle drank out of a standard pint glass. 2009 edition.

A- this one pours out a clear amber colored body. a small white head sits on top and lasts most of the glass. tiny rings of lacing are left behind.

S- sweet caramel malts. pretty fruity as well. raisins, cherries, and grapes mostly. not much in the way of hops, except for a small dose of earthy hops.

T-the taste goes along with the smell. lots of sweet caramel malts and fruits. raisins, grapes, and cherries. earthy hops at the end with no trace of alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied. palate coating. a nice soft level of carbonation.

D- not my favorite style, but this is something that i wouldnt mind sampling one or two times a year. not in quantities greater than one in a session though.

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Photo of FreeTibet
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From bottle, poured into a 20oz English Pint glass
Serving Temp: 47degrees

A - Poured a clear, golden color with a slight head. No initial lacing on the glass.

S - Smells decent. Earthy resonance, slightly malty scent. Nothing stands out terribly.

T - Has a fair balance between its malt and hops, but is certainly lacking something special. Almost tastes like an everyday, malt backed beer, not so much a seasonal special. Not a bad beer, but not remarkable.

M - Carb is good for the style, not too much.nor too little. Has a good stick about it after you swallow.

D - This is a really drinkable beer, as it doesn't really bite you like some Winter Seasonals do. I would like it to have the extra umph that we see in others, but this is their way, so be it. Overall a nice beer, but there are better Winters out there.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale poured light amber with a short-lived two-finger head. It left nothing on the glass.

The smell and taste were syrupy sweet caramel. It was dominated by malt. The feel was flat--there was very little carbonation and no bitterness.

I left the bottle out of the refrigerator after pouring the first glass, making the second glass much warmer, which vastly improved the experience. By-and-large, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale is a non-descript malty ale, the likes of which can be found any time of the year; however it was a sweet tasty pleasure as it warmed.

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Photo of KI9A
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful crystal clear amber. Nice head, good retention. Cool lace chunks.

S: Dank, brown sugar, earthy.

T: Earthy, bisquity as hell. Some slight skunkness, dank like the nose. Finishes with some slight hop bite.

M: Very dry. Some residual bitterness.

D: 6% ABV, nice taste, nice drinking beer. Decent quaffer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had this beer in a few years. It is so palatable, sessionable and delicious.

A – Nice deep amber hue, crystal-clear, with moderate head and good retention.

S – Earthy, dank, spicy hop dominates the profile. Which is not to say that the smell is overpowering, it is just the main constituent.

T – Deliciously hoppy, with a very earthy and savory, biscuity taste and backed by a sturdy but dryer malt. This beer is tremendously rewarding in flavor, an accessible taste.

M – Well carbonated and with a dry finish.

D – Very drinkable, and likely to be appreciated by anyone who drinks beer.

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Photo of Long813
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Duvel Tulip

A: Dark amber body with a finger of white head. Moderate retention and good lacing. On par with the style.

S: Sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, a mixture of mild spices and hops. Nothing to outstanding, still good.

T: Leveled mixture of hops and malts. Caramel,brown sugar and biscuits are most apparent. Various mixture of spices, maybe cloves and cinnamon.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth in the mouth while leaving a dry sticky feel. Very pleasing.

D: Good beer and winter warmer. It's a little more hoppy than other WW's I've had but that not a bad thing. Easy to drink and great flavours.

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

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Golden Amber color with an off-white head of and inch. Settles down into a layer of foam that sticks to the glass. Some lacing.

Some festive spice, but butterscotch and the classic Fuggles/Goldings combination of hop is present as well. It's not terribly strong smelling, but is clean.

A well balanced beer, with a different approach than many other winter warmers. While well malted, there's still plenty of hop. Either way, the butterscotch and raw barley malt flavors dominate, a touch of cinnamon, then the clean and sweet flavors of the hops add to the malt flavors. A much lighter winter warmer, but still tasty.

Like most of the Samuel Smith beers, it's relatively low on carbonation. It still works, and is easy to drink and a tasty beer.

I generally like the other Sam Smith options better - the Pale Ale is my favorite right now - but this is a well crafted beer that's worth a once a year pop.

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Photo of farrago
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Whipped up, dimpled head of a little over one finger, darker cream white, above average lacing, head retention is so-so, settles into a thin webbing across the surface. Burnt orange, metallic rust colored liquid, transparent with plenty of miniscule bubbles visible within. Rum raisin cake and white grapes blossom first in the nose, honey, scone flakes, at times akin to corn syrup, moderate fig, peach, gingered orange peels, overall stays clean and has some lift while keeping a full nostril presence. Full-bodied, thicker here in terms of sheer mouth weight and slower paced, leads with a peppery kick, teases out more ginger and cumin spice accents. There's a leanness to the flavors if at the same time a persistence start to finish. The rumcake, honey, ginger and orange peels duplicate the nose, lower level of fig, date, peach fruit and lacking in sweetness. Conversely, there's moments of sweet vinegar to it. Given the mouth weight and lack of flavor intensity, the carbonation too active to help it soak into the palate. Hard caramel candy comes through at the end. It's alright for what it is.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure clear honey color, small head, poured into a duvel glass, 2009-10 version from the label.

Nose is sweet malt.

Undistinguished malt, pale with no complex flavors, bready maybe? Finish is long and slightly sweet.

Mouthfell is silky and heavy, best part so far. Oddly warming @6%.

Easy drinker but not much here vs all the now available winter warmers.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle, 2009-2010 vintage, into a standard pint glass
Clear amber in color with a half-inch head of foam
Aroma-Subtle malt, earthy
Taste-biscuit, earthy hop notes,mineral, malt-nicely balanced and quite enjoyable-would make a fine session beer.
Overall, a pleasant, nicely balanced winter warmer-Nothing fancy, just nicely subtle in the English style, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of ujsplace
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over-sized pub glass.

A: Pours a pale copper with a thick, billowing, white head that leaves very nice, sticky lacing as it dissipates.

S: Toasty caramel, bready yeast and mild herbal hops.

T: Burnt caramel, herbal hops, mild citrus hops.

M: Light/medium body, good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, strikes a nice balance in terms of flavor. Will be a crowd pleaser and will also (to a degree) satisfy those who love big beer flavor.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pale golden, low head rentention

smell: light on the smell, but got some herbal aroma and maybe sublte fruitiness

taste: subtle candy apple goodeness with some herbal prsen ce, maybe some subtle cinnamon

mouthfeel: light to medium bodied

drinkability: Was a decent beer but will not be a regualr on winter holidays, decent.

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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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