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

2,205 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,205 |  Reviews: 1,156
Photo of gravytrain
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Copper color with a nice head that leaves a slight lacing on the glass.

Smell - Nutty aroma that you would expect from the style.

Taste - Roasted malt flovor with very little detection of the hops.

Mouthfeel - Gives a candy like feel to the mouth. Leaves a very pleasant feel that makes you want more.

Drinkability - Very nice drinker. Does not cause any ill after effects.

 390 characters

Photo of beer2day
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange with a nice frothy 1-finger head. Head fades rather quickly, but the beer laces well.

Tart dried fruit nose, with mostly apricots present. Slightly earthy.

Hits tart and slightly sweet. Apricots and tart fruit in the finish. Mild malt and faint hop profile at the end.

Very big mouthfeel.

One of the great winter beers. Never disappoints.

 356 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured sunny marigold orange tinge.
Smelled sweet and malty with a bitter twang

Tasted light caramel flavor , sweet, malty, bitter dry finish. Some yeasty spice also bites the mouth on first taste.

Overall not a bad beer, I am not big on most winter ales, the trend seems to continue with this beer.

 303 characters

Photo of enfield249
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a pale honey gold color, about 2 fingers of white head.

S - Smells malty sweet, slight aroma of spice.

T - Dark fruit up front, followed by a very balanced hop and malt flavor.

M - Medium, which I would describe as a little light for a winter warmer. Lots of CO2

D - Overall this is a very drinkable beer, however it strikes me as light for a winter warmer, with little of the dark fruit/strong malt flavor one expects.

 434 characters

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

From notes. Very clear, amber, foamy white head with retention and lacing. SMELL is faint. Grainy with faint hops and a bit of malty sweetness found with a swirl. TASTE is grainy, fruity, spicy, malty. Balanced well overall with some perceptible hop backing and light bitterness. FEEL moderate carbonation, medium body, viscous, fairly clean finish. OVERALL easy drinker, not really big like many other winter beers. Very good, but not amazing.

 444 characters

Photo of kegger22
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured a clear, deep amber with a two finger head that dissipated to a skin. The aroma was cotton candy sweet. The taste was malty sweet, but there was a sour note in the aftertaste that didn't quite fit. The feel was medium bodied with light carbonation. Drinkability was very good. I could see downing 550 ml, while sitting in front of the fireplace, on frosty January evening.

 391 characters

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

winter welcom
3-3.5 generally clear golden light amber. 1-inch head is pretty fizzy, quickly gone leaving a faint ring. a second pour coaxes some temporary lace.

3.5-4 smells like german malts, sweetness, caramel, slightly toasty, similar to the malt component of salvator. but there's also a vague fruitiness sorta reminiscent of marischino cherries.

3.5-4 sailor jerry rum, light caramel. finish alternates between tannic and slightly sweet. flavors not particularly bold, but their reserve is pleasant not bland. kind of reminds me of bruegel belgian ale.

4 about medium in body, the carbonation turns creamy with a warm pour.

4 much better than i expected, after not liking the brown ale.

 697 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in a 12oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass. Nice reddish color with a small head that dissipated very quickly. Earthy aroma and a malty finish. Very little hops and a nice warming level of alcohol. Overall it was a decent session ale (although slightly strong) and was super cheap ($.85/bottle) so I can't complain too much.

 328 characters

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

A half-liter bottle poured into a nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a clear ruby brown color with two fingers of creamy ecru foam. Aroma and flavor are nice and malty with notes of fruits, a touch of nuttiness, caramel, and toasted bread. Medium bodied and amply carbonated. Classic and consistent.

 307 characters

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

Winter Welcome is clear and a nice gold color. Some backlighting reveals a slight reddish tint. Very interesting. It's topped with a vanilla colored that's over two fingers deep. It was extremely slow to dissipate and left thick, sticky lacing on the glass. Surprisingly, it's a bit of a looker.

The nose is not impressive at all. It's weak and getting much of anything out of it is a struggle. Light yeasty and biscuit-like scents hit first. They're followed by pale and caramel malts. It smells a little sweet, but not overly so. It's a little grainy throughout. There are some light hoppy notes that emerge late. They smell mostly floral. That's about it. I was expecting some spicy notes, but they're not here. Very anemic and average.

The flavor is better. It's malty and a little sweet initially. A mix of pale, caramel, and toasted malts is present and gives it a pretty solid base. There's some light orange and apple fruity notes. Fortunately, light spices are noted. Pepper, nutmeg, and a little cinnamon are noted. I was questioning the style classification up until this point, but it passes the laugh test. Floral hops are present and give it an earthy quality. There's a grainy aspect to it that's probably also attributed to the hops. Alcohol is buried pretty well and goes unnoticed. It finishes slightly hoppy and spicy.

Winter Welcome has a medium body, but not by much. Carbonation is middle of the road and doesn't really help or hinder the feel. It's not quite smooth, but it's not bad. Drinkability is above average. I don't feel too strongly about it either way. The flavor's pretty good, but not great. I guess there's something to be said for the fact that it goes down easy, but it's not immensely enjoyable. I'll call it above average.

Winter Welcome's an okay beer that's a little disappointing. I had hoped it'd be better than it is. Its biggest problem is that there's absolutely nothing that stands out about it. It's just kind of there. It's alright and isn't a bad beer by any means, but there's a hell of a lot better winter seasonal releases out there. It's not worth spending too much time with this. A little more of something would help. Spices or hops would be a great place to start. That would add some much needed pizzazz. As it is, it's worth a try, but I wouldn't suggest picking it up on an annual basis.

 2,353 characters

Photo of Offa
4.6/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was long been one of my favourites, and although I've discovered more and better beer since first trying this, I still find it a great, satisfying ale.

Bright copper, it has a big pale tan head that slowly shrinks to a thin permanent top and leaves a little weak lace.

The aroma is rich toasted bread, caramel, fruit, leaves.

The taste is wonderfully malty in body, taste , sweetness but with nice hoppiness to balance. It tastes of toasted bread, caramel, plums, and hints of dried fruit and sour fruit, with a light raisiny alcholic warmth. It has balancing bitternes that is mostly leafy but with some citrus pulp, as well. It's not as rich as some winter warmers, but it's still an excellent, flavourful, and very balanced beer, exceedingly drinkable.

 764 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasing copper color with a minimal white head. Good clarity, good head retention. Classic English Ale.

Smells delicious. Bready malt. Has a sweetness to the aroma, almost like wine.

Full malt flavor. Some alcohol warming at the end.

Goodl, full mouthfeel. Very dry finish.

Overall a very good beer. More please.

 320 characters

Photo of drcarver
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Once one of my favourite beers. The high calcium content of the water in Tadcaster makes all the brews smooth and creamy. This last batch however seemed watery.

A - A small quickly fading off-white head sits atop a medium amber body.

S - No real discernable aroma. Lightly pine and a slight sweetness.

T - The flavors of nuts, oak, and cookies were followed by a sligh taste of paper. Creamy, but watery.

M - Smooth medium bodied. A metallic aftertaste.

D - a perfect match with seasonal foods.

 499 characters

Photo of Buggies
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear copper color with a nice fluffy tan head and decent lacing.

S: Smells sweet with caramel and roasted malt. Some fruitiness in there as. A very pleasant aroma.

T: It has a nice smooth mouthfeel. Taste is slightly sweet with the sweet malt and caramel dominating... but this one is well balanced. A very nice dry finish with just a hint of bitterness.

This one tasted a little thin. I was hoping for a little more sweetness. Overall not bad, but I think I'd grab something else off the shelf next time.

 512 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. Orange-amber color with a frothy light tan head. Aroma is sweet and doughy with toffee and nuts. Flavor is bready and sugary with a mild metallic note and a lightly grassy/earthy hop finish. Medium body with substantial carbonation. Too sweet to be particularly drinkable.

 312 characters

Photo of ncstateplaya
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a crystal clear, dark honey colored amber. And produces a formidable head with a vigorous pour. The fluffy almond colored head receeds to about 1/4". There was decent lacing left in the glass.

S: This beer has a slightly hoppy nose with lots of sugary sweet malts. Don't be mislead, I though the aromas were very balanced. Possibly some pine with notes of caramel.

T: A nice piney bitterness and probably some clove that I didn't pick up in the bouquet. I thought it had somewhat of a fruity "off" flavor...maybe diacetyl, not exactly sure.

M: Lighter to medium bodied with a substantial drying bitter finish and a nice crispness from the carbonation. It thickly coats the mouth but leaves with a mouth watering sweetness.

D: I wasn't really impressed with this beer, although I wasn't disappointed either. This beer just seemed blah to me, very mediocre. I don't think it is a very good representation of the brewery.

 931 characters

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

From a 550 ml. bottle marked SI09H1. Sampled on March 26, 2009. It pours an attractive amber-orange with an adequate head and good clarity. The aroma has a bit of hops in it and something slightly malty. The mouthfeel is pretty decent. The taste is more bitter and tart than anything else. I wasn't overwhelmed by it but t wasn't too bad.

 338 characters

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

Finally got around to giving this one a go... pours an amberish copper color, reminiscent of an amber ale.

There is a very malty aroma, and the taste hits hard with the malt but finishes with a nice hoppy aftertaste. It's actually a very nice combo.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's a fan of Brown Ales, I think it's a pretty similar beer to the better examples of that style.

 391 characters

Photo of HopTroll
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden copper, very clear. White head with relatively tight foam.

Smell: Sweet, caramel malt with some nutty aroma. A slight bitterness from the hops in the background.

Taste: Fruity flavors come through strong with sweet caramel followed by a tangy, almost sour taste. Finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with good carbonation leaves the mouth dry.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and refreshing for a winter warmer. Moderate ABV and medium body makes it a good session beer.

 501 characters

Photo of GWaters
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber

Served in a Samual Adams Sensory glass

Pour: Foamy head develops quickly, and energetically. carbonation bubbles from teh bottom and sides of the glass. Clear amber colored ale.

Smell: Not as much of a winter scent as I would have imagined, but sweet and somewhat fruity malts, very pleasant.

Taste: Roasted malts. Some hop bitterness somewhere in the back also. Finishes dry with lingering hop bitterness. I don't see this as being a winter ale any more than a normal British ale. There is no real "winter" spice to this ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, decent carbonation, but nothing spectacular.

Drinkability: The low ABV makes thi sbeer more drinkable, but the finish and flavor don't make this a very attractive beer.

 753 characters

Photo of Troyone
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light amber/copper color, no sign of sediment, minimal white head, has some action.

Mild caramel malt aroma with florals.

Sweet, eyewater, English Tea taste with malt and tangy esters in the flavor.

Medium bodied, resin/watery feel, with lively soft carbonation.

The tangy aftertaste is not smooth enough or fruity enough to be a session beer for me.

 360 characters

Photo of tosshin
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a : Clear, Golden amber with a light head that leaves minimal lacing.
s : Slight odor of raison, corriander. Very pleasent.
t : Raisons, with a bit of spice, and a touch of acidity. I can barely taste the alcohol. There is a lot that keeps you interested when you taste this.
m : The beer is thin, but doesn't leave your mouth wanting. It is well balanced smooth drinker. I like it.
d : A pint (british) of this beer is probably enough for me for an night. This is a beer that I would deer for an hour or so to finish.

Great great beer. Maybe the best winter ale I have had this year (2008-2009). I really enjoyed it.

 618 characters

Photo of melagnus
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008/2009 Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome 6% ABV
550 ml. bottle Poured into a Brandy snifter

A - Copper (SRM 15), Low carbonation, Head fizzles out to a soapy sud-like look with color hues being a dark off-white. Clear in color. Some lacing on the glass, though not too much. Head retention is minimal, as I pour too aggressively and noticed the head diminish to nothing within a couple of minutes.

S - Alcoholic, nutty malts. Picked up some vinous aroma, possibly from a cab, or some other type of red wine. Even some chocolate nodes are coming through faintly, though could be molasses. Dried fruity esters.

T - Caramel hits you right away with a lingering mild bitterness. Sweet malty flavors with no sign of hops. Medium malt levels. Malty-sweet balance. Some sort of fruit.

M - Syrupy, smooth and seems almost a bit watery at the end. Definitely no bite. Very low carbonation levels with warmness to the sip.

D - Very drinkable and not too boozy at all! Probably wouldn't want to do more than two of these in a night, for the alcohol has a tendency to get to you late in the glass :)

 1,093 characters

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

A - dark ruddy amber with a light beige head that quickly disappears

S - a malty richness with notes of dark fruit and spice

T - a deep caramelized maltyness with nice touches of earthy hops and dark fruit

M - a nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation to create a crispness with the slight bitterness in the finish

D - a very drinkable winter warmer because of its low ABV. extremely enjoyable and another great beer from samuel smith.

 450 characters

Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in an imperial pint size brown bottle, BB Aug.08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass (how befitting!).

A: dark reddish amber with constant streams of tiny fizz, topped with a creamy light beige froth that lasts very well indeed.
S: the lively aroma features deeply sour-sweet prune-ish and raisiny notes, and caramelised sliced-plums and -apples in interaction with a sour tinge of well-aged beer. Malts proffer a solid backbone, giving hints of crystal malts and pale malts with a faintly creamy edge, but never so much to challenge the overwhelming fruitiness.
T: just like the aroma, the foretaste comes incredibly fruity - dried hawthorn-fruits, licorice-flavoured dried prunes, raisins, coconut-shavings, grilled apples, lots of dried fruits and nuts anyway... come on top of caramelised malts and a rather deep, earthy&herbal hoppiness (Fuggles for sure); just moderately bitter in the rounded finish. Throughout the drink, the delicately sour edge likely from the well-ageing factors threads through various flavour departments, rendering a welcomed balance.
M&D: a tasty fruity premium bitter in need of a stronger bitter profile, but already delicious enough to make a quaffable choice especially for the winter season. The carbonation is well under control, refreshing but not fizzy, soft yet never static, and the flavour is well-balanced with the aid of both sourness and the bitter edge of hops. Truly likeable.

 1,444 characters

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,205 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More