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

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale
2,231 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: 2,231 |  Reviews: 1,162
Photo of Durge
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear rosey amber color with a giant off-white pile of head and chunky lacing. The aroma is a dry citrus hops and rye malt. The flavor is nothing like what I expect from a "winter warmer". Although there is an
immediately notable alcohol presence, this brew seems thin and weak with a dry whimpy bitter hop. The cheaper dry quality mellows out a bit as you go and it becomes more of an OK pale ale. Not bad as a basic brew, but disappointing as a winter brew. Not up to expectations from old Sam.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a light amber/gold color with a billowing, three finger head of beige foam. The retention was quite good as it soon formed a tight cap and the lacing pretty good too. The aroma was a mix of grains, toasted malt, biscuity-malt with an underlying mustiness. The flavors were sweeter than the aroma suggested, caramel malt coming up front along with the biscuity malt, a slight alcohol heat before it became bitter and herbal for the hoppy finish. The body was medium, the mouthfeel average and the carbonation good. Not bad, but nowhere near as good as some of this brewery's other offerings.

 620 characters

Photo of albern
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Smith is a delightful brewery making top quality beers. I have uniformly given them very high marks. Their winter ale is my least favorite, but that doesn't mean it is a bad beer by any stretch, just not as interesting or as nourishing as most of their other offerings. The beer pours a clear amber color with a pretty good slightly foamy, slightly creamy head that does retain. Not much lacing going on. The nose on the beer is leafy hop, traditional English maltiness, and maybe a bit of a musty aroma as well.

The taste is a bit metallic, but there is a hoppy presence on the backend, and a sprightly maltiness and an earthy and bready quality to the beer. The beer is a bit sharp, although reasonably well balanced. There is a slight floral note or two in the beer that does interact with the metallic tinge as well but the two together make the beer seem a little flatter than is probably warranted. This beer is good, but not brilliant. The ABV is well hidden and overall not a strong winter warmer, but neither is it nourishing or warming. There is a definite tartness in the mouth, and the beer is fairly modest carbonation. Not a bad winter warmers but there are lots of them that are better.

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Photo of TKempe
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's freezing outside, but instead of learning how to ice scate, I'm pouring out a bottle of 2008-2009 Sam Smith WWA.

Copper-like orange to amber in colour, with an off-white head and some lace.

A grainy and slightly toasted, salty nose, with plenty of juicy fruitiness and a slightly sharp twist from the yeast. Hops are quite powerful, blended in perfectly and rather herbal-like.

The taste is very good and intriguing. It starts of sweet and then gets dryer and dryer and brings together hopbitter and salty flavours, creating a suggestion of spices. Once again, a beautiful interplay of malt and hops, with a refreshing orangey twist.

Plenty of tingling carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.

This one suits the season perfectly indeed, but isn't as warming or alcohol-fuelled as I expected it to be.

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

This review is for the '08-'09 Vintage...

A staple amongst all winter seasonal ales. Aromas of caramel malts, fruit, and citrusy hops permeate through the nose. The almost creamy texture gives this ale a slight warming sensation. This winter seasonal has a nice hazelnut malt base, balanced out by floral hops and holiday spices, resulting in a clean crisp finish.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007/2008 .Pours a clear copper with an off-white head that slowly dissipates; very slight lacing.Aroma of sweet malts, caramel, molasses, and green apples.Flavor of caramel,brown sugar spice and some sourish fruit,apple maybe,a hint of hops.Lightly carbonated.Drinkable but nothing special.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden orange into a pint glass from a 550ml. bottle. A half inch head recedes slowly to a thin film which yields moderate lacing.

Smell is of classic and smoky caramel malts, just slightly rich. Taste follows suit and adds a touch of cinnamon spice, though any winter spices are rather subdued given the malt structure. Drinks much like their English Pale Ales but a bit more pleasant on the finish as the spice balances with what would otherwise be a mostly malty close. Carbonation is befittiing to the style and the beer.

This beer offers a better feel and drink for me than the Old Brewery Pale Ale, though they seem to be brothers in arms in many ways. A bit higher in alcohol, this brew offers a drier balance with some spice and a bit more carbonation. Fans of the more viscous English Pales will surely disagree, however I would find this more refreshing be it Winter or Summer.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the local Nugget Market. Pours a deep amber with a nice white head. Head falls off rather quickly. Malty, slightly tart odor, hints of allspice, cherry, though only very slight hints. Flavor is richly malty, with a bit of buttery tang. Malt mixes with a bit of alcohol towards the end and a mild hop bitterness. Not aggressive in any way, but well crafted and clean. Medium bodied. Drinks well, nice post-holiday beer for me.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I sampled the 2008-2009 version of this brew, from a 550 ml bottle poured into a goblet. It poured a nice amber color, with a decent sized white frothy head. The beer had an aroma of malts and floral components, with a little bit of nutmeg. The taste was rather malty, with floral tones and spice.

 297 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with gold foil neck into a pint glass.

A - Clear sparkling amber with small white head that fades. Lots of active carbonation.

S - Sweet and fruity. Almost champagne in the nose.

T - Honey and bread with a nice bite on the back. Very dry finish and clean. Lighter and hop loaded for this style.

M - Light bodied and crisp. Again deviating from my expectations.

D - Pretty high. Not a meal in a bottle like a lot of WW's.

 438 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice golden amber with a touch of orange. Head was 2 finger white foam that left a ring lasting the whole glass. Smell was slightly sweet, a touch of honey with a bit of white bread smell. Taste was sweet at times, slightly bitter at others, with a very small touch of hops. Felt ok in the mouch, coated nicely, but a bit over carbonated in the mouth. Easy to drink, but the carbonation made me wait between sips.

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Photo of GordonQuid
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear copper with a one inch white head and ample lacing.

Smells of fruity esters and light honey biscuit. Perhaps a piney hop note as well.

Taste is clean and crisp buttery biscuit with an extremely dry finish. Moderate carbonation along with the fruity esters gives this beer a light body that is unique for a "winter warmer". I could enjoy this beer on a hot day as equally as I did this very cold New Years day in Michigan.

Very drinkable. Would recommend buying and saving some for your Spring fishing trip.

 524 characters

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

550ml bottle poured into standard pint glass

a: copper color, small off white head with little retention

s: Apple domintaes the nose, also notes of buiscuit and spice.

t: similar to the smell, an apple sweetness dominates the palate immediatly. Not much bitter flavor.

m&d: medium bodied, slightly chewy and dry


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Photo of kaseydad
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my fav snifter and it has a nice finger and a half white creamy head..which disappears but leaves a nice lace. Malty beer with nothing special sticking out and making it "different" from other malty beers. There is a dry finish with a mild aftertaste.

Not a bad beer, just not for me.

 297 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a good frothy head and some lacing.

Smells of toasted grain and some mild hop aromas.

Bread toast, some very very light citric hop, a little caramel, and some hard water elements round this beer out. Crisp finish that is almost biscuit-like. Very decent. Had this one on an empty stomach, so alcohol hit me a bit fast, but cannot taste it.

Medium body, fair carbonation throughout the pint. Not my favorite of the Sam Smith beers, and my first winter one. Would like to see how they vary year to year. Worth trying, and a very good cold snowy winter day sipper.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008/2009 version Poured from a 550ml brown bottle.

A-Copper color with marked clarity. Eggshell frothy head that settles rapidly.

S-Bready malts with a bit of hop in the background. Little spices seem present.

T-Sweet strong malts with a touch of citrus, somewhat balanced by a long hop and mild pine finish. Fairly straightforward brew lacking that "welcome" celebratory part that may be imparted by spice, or something else.

M-A tad bit overcarbonated with a medium mouthfeel.

D-Overall I'd say this is a good pretty solid drinkable effort, but not one I'd rush out to buy again. Good, but unremarkable on the whole.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 11/1/08. Bottle, 2008. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, sweat, slight sourness. Flavor of apple juice with a slight sour/funky twang and some breadiness/wheat malt. Palate is a little watery. Nice, sweet, and drinkable.
7/4/7/3/15 (3.6/5)

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Photo of skrib09
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a copper hue with a cream colored head. the head dissipated rather quickly.

smells a little spicy, a little bready. i get some of the malts coming through.

the taste plays off the smell rather closely. a bit of the malts come through. it almost tastes of bread dough to me. a bit of the spices come through toward the end.

again, i get a lit of the spices towards the back of my palate. i also get some of the alcohol towards the back.

i would give this average drinkability.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer, period. However, I hold Samuel Smith to such high standards that I think they could have improved this a bit...only because I know they're capable of brewing great things.

Appearance - Medium amber, with a white head.

Smell - I smell a perfect amount of malt for an ale, and some subtle spices.

Taste - Taste is solid, but maybe misses a little something that I wish it had - not sure what that might be. Again, I think this is where my unusually high standards for this brewery comes in.

Mouthfeel - Feels much smoother than I though it would. I thought I would get hit with spices jumping on my tongue, but I don't. Not sure if that was a bad or good thing.

Drinkability - Drinks a little heavier than it looks, but goes down super easy.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MMM...really solid example of what a Winter Warmer should be like. Samuel Smith's is such a textbook brewery overall when it comes to really nailing the style on the head.

Pours a deep amber/brown color with a decent head that leaves good retention. Malty on the nose, more so than hops, but still, this brew strikes a good balance on the nose. Spicy notes come forward as the brew reaches higher temperatures that really seem like they will literally warm you. The body is thick and slightly chewy, but by no means too heavy, which also makes this very drinkable (especially for this brewery)

Once again, Samuel Smith's has crafted another delicious beer that is very typical of the style it aims for. The Winter Warmer style is one that I personally find very hard to find a "typical" brew in, but this is it.

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Photo of barknee
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Smith Winter welcome Ale pours a crystal clear medium amber with a subtle creamy head and a nose akin to a Pilsner. Actually the nose reminds me of Pilsner Urquell; moderately bitter, much more than the nose suggests. Having an able sufficiency of hops as revealed by the bitter taste but definitely not a very aromatic variety as the hops are quite flat on the nose. Nicely malty and without any of the typical winter spices, this brew bridges the gap between a good bitter ale and a winter seasonal brew.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber color, and a white head that is very dense looking. It fades slow bu does not leave any lacing behind.

Aroma is a nice balance of malt sweetness and some flavorful spicy hops. Caramel is evident. Alcohol aroma is laced around these others making this winter warmer even warmer. The taste is caramel malt, sweet and warm. Alcohol is evident but not strong, not much hop flavor, there is a butterscotch or caramel sauce flavor as well. The bitter finish does not last long. This is pretty tasty indeed.

Not big bodies, but significant anyway. Smooth feel, low carbonation. Easy drinker all in all.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a burnt coppery-orange with a firm, foamy white head. Visible carbonation was strong.

S: a light spiciness (cinnamon) caramel, and sweet toffee.

T: The initial flavor yielded a sweet malty bite with dried fruit and a dry pine hop bitterness. There was a light fruitiness from the yeast (cherries), some dried pears and cinnamon as well a decent breadiness.

M: medium-full, sticky, slightly chewy with loads of carbonation

D: A hearty and spicy and a nice winter brew. above Average flavor and overall drinkability.

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

I enjoy Beers by Sam L Smith, and this one is not an exception. I was happy to find this Winter Welcome Ale at the Trader Joes in Irvine, CA. I bought a couple bottles to enjoy during the cold winter storm that left me snowed in.

The appearance is fairly dark.
The smell is above average.
The taste is good, it's easy to drink.
The mouthfeel is good and the drinkability is average to good.

I've tried a couple of this Winter's Ales already and I would recommend this one to my friends.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass

Pours a clear orangey brown with a tight offwhite head. I expected darker.

Biscuity malty smell with a chalky presence. Some fruity smell also.

Taste is a malty spicey, smooth. Very spicey, more than expected. Pretty interesting.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but the beer seems very drinkable.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,231 ratings
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