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 Lunch
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from12oz. bottle, purchased at Wells in Baltimore, MD, into my 20oz. Samuel Smith's Imperial Nonic glass (11/23/09) at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a clear light shade of copper with a 1 finger of a creamy white head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lace.

S: Not much aroma coming off of this beer, but there is a pleasant bouquet of malt, seasonal spices, citrus, caramel, toffee, ginger, slight bitter hops, and vanilla.

T: Like many other Samuel Smith's beers, the flavors are very well balanced, yet a little mild, but certainly well-crafted. A nice malty backbone takes charge and is filled with toffee, caramel, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and various citrus with a slight bitter hops finish.

M: Very crisp and light with moderately high carbonation.

D: Nice drinkability as the flavors are expertly balanced and a relatively low abv., but after a couple I sought a slightly more flavorful beverage.

Overall this beer was a nice winter seasonal and a pleasant departure from many highly spiced winter beers. Recommended.

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Photo of vacax
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007-2008 Winter Welcome. Pours a light amber, the color of whiskey with a large two finger in size head. Samuel Smith's naturally conditioned ales always manage to look attractive and this is not exception with good retention, eyecatching tiny bubbles, fair lacing, and visible effervescence. Smells of hazelnut, raisin, brown sugar, and cinnamon tickle the nose. Interestingly, this comes off as a brown ale, but not as rich as Sam Smith's own nut brown. Primary tasting notes consist of burnt caramel nuts and hazelnuts. Spicy finish almost confuses itself with a solvent alcohol bite. Winelike grape and plum notes. Feel is creamy, but feels excessively light in body due to the active level of carbonation. Tasty, but not Tadcaster's best or the best winter warmer option.

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Photo of scottyb88
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured orange/light copper color, a very clear beer with a lot of bubbles

S-citrus, hops, maybe ginger

T-more hop flavor than malt, a slight citrus flavor, bitter end

M-good, moderate carbonation

D-its not a bad beer and also its nothing special, it reminds me of SA winter lager, but slightly better

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Photo of froghop
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear amber-orange with a foamy tan head, and good lacing.

smells of spice, malt, a little vanilla, and some caramel.

taste of spice, caramel, malt, a little pine, and a few hops in the back, ends a little dry and somewhat bitter.

overall an above average winter warmer.

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Photo of CheckMate
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml brown bottle obtained at Whole Foods Market in Portland, ME split with my fiancé BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a clear rich amber with just a beaded off white head. scents of bready/biscuityness, hints of toffee, caramel, nut, tinge of alcohol.
tastes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, a slight peanut taste in the undertones. very light carbonation and light bodied. definitely a sipper but the first sip invites another.


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Photo of patobandito
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangy coppery color, with thin head, minimal lacing. Smells initially of spice with a citrus kick. Then a bit malty. Tastes very good on the start, hints of the same spice and citrus, with a full malt backing. Has a bit of a strange finish that i cant place. Not a very full beer, leans towards the thin side. fairly drinkable. Overall pretty tasty, not quite as good as other SS beers I have had, but still a good brew.

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Photo of atsprings
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp orange with a decent off-white head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma is sweet malts with mild spice. The taste is a nice balance of sweet malts, spice and a decent Earthy hop backbone. The beer is medium boded with decent carbonation. An enjoyable, textbook Winter Warmer, but nothing all that special.

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Photo of willmc
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On sight, this looks to be a great beer. Color of very deep amber, and an inch and half white head that hangs around for a bit, followed by very nice lacing around the glass. Aromas of warmth & spices; slight sweet fruity-can't quite put my finger on it. Tastes of hops at very first, earthy texture; followed by sweet malt character and winter spices. Cheers!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking Samuel Smith's. Doesn't look impressive. Speaking of looks, I've heard this referred to as a barleywine before. . . looks way too light to ever be construed as any kind of barleywine. Its barely a winter ale. Its not a strong ale. Reminiscient of Newcastle.

No big hop character. Good sweetness, I dunno, maybe provided by the yeast. Introductory ale. There's a mild undercurrent of toffee to it. The alcohol is warming. This was a beer I got into in the mid 90s, but really haven't went back to it in a long time. I stick with the oatmeal, the imperial and the chocolate stout pretty much from SS, or every couple of years, and ipa or pale ale for nostalgia sake, like this one.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this, stuck it in my cellar, found it a year later. Batch : 2008.

A: Copper colored with a towering off white head that dissipates halfway and then lingers, great lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Initial scent was fruit and spice. Banana/citrus fruit. Real sweet smell.

T: Little disappointing. Good flavors, but a little weak for a winter warmer. Nice spice and fruit with a sweet aftertaste. Leaving something to be desired.

M: Could use more carbonation, smooth, and easy.

D: It's good, but I would take various other ww.

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Photo of bump8628
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009/2010 version. 12oz bottle poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

Rich honey colored with an inch of tight head that never fully goes away.

Aroma has that characteristic Sam Smith yeast and stone square character which is always hard to put my finger on...fresh fruits and oak. Hops are apparent with an earthy, English element.

Taste is a pleasant balance of sweet, biscuity, malt and earthy, herbal, hops. English yeast and stone square fermentation system adds a nice complexity to the overall character.

Carbonation is smooth lending a nice mouthfeel. I really like this one. Not sure what makes it a winter warmer. If I had to place it I'd say it's a strong bitter. Perfect for year 'round drinking and very sessionable. Only real drawback is that it's a little on the high end price-wise, as are all Sam Smith's.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished amber colour, with a full thick head of off-white bubbles. Good lacing, lots of streaming carbonation. Overall, it looks a very pleasant English ale.

Sprightly green hopped nose, lots of cut grass and fresh English styled hoppiness. Some funk is also present, a light sulphurous note. Little sweetness, which I'm surprised about. Overall, it's a little weak, and a little odd. Can't say I'm a big fan.

Smooth entry, with a mild bitterness crescendoing mid palate. Some faint sweetness on the back, before it dries out to a rather tame and generic English pale-ale style finish. The bitterness is a true English character, quite gritty and crisp. Overall, there's little complexity to the palate, and the dryness becomes quite tiresome after a while. Mouthfeel is crisp, lacks a little roundness.

Overall, a confusing beer. I can't say I'm a huge fan - it comes across as very little more than a rather tame English pale or brown ale. Of course, stylistically, it's pretty smooth and drinkable, but overall, I was expecting something richer and more complex from a winter ale.

Samuel Smith's can do better.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a glass

A: A hazy, pumpkin orange with a rich, off-white head with moderate retention and some lacing.

S: A malty, bready aroma, with some alcohol and no hops in the nose.

T: Strong malty flavor and some sweetness that is nicely balanced with some hops biterness.

M: The body on this is much lighter than anticipated, but the bitterness remains in the aftertaste. A dryness as well. There is also a sort of saltiness and astringency.

Notes: I am not very impressed with this offering. My friends have raved about Sam Smiths, but this was not the greatest.

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Photo of velosuds
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a clear pint glass. Attractive label suggest this beer's complexities should be contemplated before an open fire. Not sure that would have made any difference for me.

A-Pours a light orange amber hue with a one finger head. Modest retention and lacing.

S-Somewhat subdued malt aroma that is biscuit like with caramel. There is also a faint hop presence.

T-Was lacking for a winter warmer. Not nearly as luxurious or complex as the label suggests. Had a sour twang that diminished as it warmed.

M-Tad thin.

D-This was disappointing from such a good brewery and not on par with their other offerings.

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Photo of Trigcove
2.44/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When I read some of the other reviews of this brew, I had to go back and check the label to make sure I was drinking the same beer. Turns out, I was. My impression seems quite different from others.

It poured into a pint glass with a huge, light tan head that stuck around for a couple of minutes. It's a deep straw color, a few shades darker than an American Lager, about like Old Hen or any of the other English Ales. This surprised me; being a winter ale, I expected something much darker. Little to no lacing.

The aroma was very rich with malts and got me a bit excited, since I'm very much a malt fan.

The taste was... odd. The malt was there, but very dry. There was a significant amount of bitter hops, and there was a "saltiness" about it that was a little offputting.

The mouthfeel was about average for an English Ale, but nothing near what I would have expected from a Winter Ale.

The sort of saltiness makes it less drinkable and I can see myself having one, but not several.

I gave this beer fairly low marks in all catagories, not because it's a bad beer, but because it just doesn't measure up to the style. To my way of thinking, a Winter Ale should be dark, rich, inviting, complexed, and warming. The only thing warming about this ale is the ABV. It's basically a standard English Ale with a bit more dry hopping, carbonation, and possibly some spice added.

 1,381 characters

Photo of Mavajo
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange amber with a small head that fades quickly. No lacing. Nose is sweet and fruity with maybe a touch of citrus. Taste is much of the same with also a bit of tartness. Mouthfeel is fairly thin with mild carbonation. Drinkable and enjoyable but nothing special.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh Winter Welcome. I have been hearing mixed things about this one. Well let me start off by saying there is nothing to anticipate with this seasonal. Balance isn't quite where it should be, and mouthfeel was a little thin for me.

Well it pours a deep amber with a small amount of head. Head diminishes pretty quickly. So far so good.

Alright so still anticipating some quality stuff I go in for the smell. For the life of me, all I could smell was some sweet malt scents and lemon. Kind of like a sweet, beery earl grey tea. But since I am not going to fault Sam Smiths for my inability to pick out some other scents.

First sip and I can only pick out the burst of bitterness and sweet aftertaste. Second time around I detect some lemon (citrus), some spice, some pepper. Given the beer's alcohol content I am not surprised with the beers thin and light body. I have to admit it drinks well, just not enough of a balance for me to want to continue drinking if I have other options.

I would describe this beer as hoppy upfront with a attempt at balance by malt. Nothing overly exciting, and considering I wasn't looking for an IPA I would have enjoyed a stronger malt supporting role, or a smaller hop role.

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Photo of bret27
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Trader Joe's.

A: Amber w/white foamy head.

S: Malty + sweet. No real hop presence.

T: Malty+sweet, but w/a distracting taste. More metallic than bitterness. Some describe diacetyl or hops, not sure, but I can say not really pleasant. Maybe some wintertime spices? Taste isn't really complex or appealling.

M: Good for a good English ale.

D: Would be quite satisfying if not for the strange taste.

Overall: Not impressed. Any ok ale, but probably the worst I've had from samuel smith, which is saying kind of a lot because they make quite a few beers.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my 18.7 oz bottle into a pint glass. Very very fruity and floral on the nose, reminiscent of a hefe almost. Disappointing color. I guess not what I was expecting from a holiday beer. Lighter than expected, and more along the lines of a spicier straight English bitter. Typical of Samuel Smith; never an A; never an F.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle 4 pack into a pint glass. I prefer the 500 ml bottles, but this is all they had. The 2009-10 version.

The pour is dark copper w/ medium white foam. Slightly reddish orange.

Smells like a malt bomb. Very flat though, no other discernable aromas.

Taste is lightly sweet w/ a light hop kick. Light plum front taste. Relatively clean finish. Well carbonated in the mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, solid winter brew. One of my favorites. Everything this brewery turns out is gold.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Its a decent looking beer. Its a clear amber with a whitish foamy head formed by a hard pour. Most of the head fades, but thin layer remains. Some nice looking lacing cascades down, but doesnt stick.

Smell: Sweet and malty. A little bit toasty. A little whiff of candy, I cant place it exactly.

Taste: The sweet malt that I smell is definitely there in the flavor, as is some surprising hops bitterness. A little diacetyl in there, but doesnt detract much. Decent, but not really all that interesting.

Mouthfeel: Not really heavy. Medium for a winter warmer. The carbonation is good. Dry on the finish.

Drinkability: We used to save up to buy Sam Smiths beer when we were in college. Its still pretty good, but not as good as I used to think it was-- probably because of what I can get now. Its been more than 10 yrs since I last had one of these. Its good, but not great. I probably wont buy it again.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009-2010 edition, 1 Pt 2.7 fl oz dark brown bottle with gold foil.

A - Coppery clear amber with one finger head.

S - Not much up front, gives off just a bit of malty ale aroma.

T - Malty in the traditional English ale manner with a pretty good hop bite for the style. Behind the malts are some hints of caramel and grain. Flavor tapers off quickly to a pretty thin finish. Not as rich and flavorful as I would have expected for a winter brew.

M - Smooth and surprisingly light. Tingly carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Definitely drinkable, but not a favorite ale or warmer.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. It pours a yellow/amber color with a crazy big frothy head that will stick around for about 5 minutes or so then it will just turn into a ring around the top layer of the liquid. I would have rated the look a little higher if the head stuck around a little longer and if the beer produced lacing, but it had very little. The smell was pretty good. The smell is good, caramelized malts dominate the smell, the slightest bit of dehydrated fruit with hints of toffee. The taste is a step up in my opinion. Same concept as the taste but here's where you can taste some winter spices, maybe a bit of nutmeg and also a buttery taste as well, but both of these flavors are pretty subtle. The mouthfeel is pretty good, very smooth, kind of a creamy feel and it's very drinkable. I could really see this as a year round beer, I don't see a whole lot that could classify this as a winter warmer with the exception of the slightest hint f nutmeg, it doesn't taste that far off from a year round ale. Still a pretty good beer in my opinion.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a slight head that fades quickly.

S: Toasty aroma of caramel malts along with a sweet honey like smell.

T: Caramel malt flavor right up front followed by a peppery blast finishing with very light flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon.

D: Very drinkable, it's nice that the alcohol content is to high also. Could sit back and enjoy quite a few of these.

 390 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the color of this beer... decent head that recedes to a small foam. Some lacing. Smell is good, some apple and bready malt. Taste is a bit herbal, actually, followed by some nice hints of nutmeg, banana, bread, and red apple. Pretty good, but too subtle to be my favorite. Very smooth and creamy, dry finish. Medium body. Warms me up, I can drink this for a while.

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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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