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

2,207 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,207 |  Reviews: 1,156
Photo of morimech
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear caramel color with a large white head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a very thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. A lighter color than what I was expecting in a Sam Smith winter warmer.

Has a caramel malt and slight herbal and grassy hop quality. A little spice sneaks in as well.

Nice caramel malt base with some mild spice flavors. The hops add some herbal touches. Nice combination of spice and hops. Has a dry finish.

Medium body with a bit too much carbonation. Semi creamy texture.

Very drinkable ale. Well done and I come to expect such efforts from Samuel Smith Brewery.

 634 characters

Photo of kflorence
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful translucent caramel color with a nice amount of head that dissipates and leaves lacing around the sides of the glass. Aroma is faint but sweet; mostly caramel and fruits on the nose. The beer is nicely carbonated and light on the tongue. The flavor isn't overly complex: caramel, candy and fruit shine up front with some burnt malts, very slight hops and an alcohol tingue towards the end. Overall a pretty sweet brew, but quite tasty and very drinkable. Samuel Smith's continues to impress.

 509 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orangey/amber color with a half inch off white head. Decent retention and no lacing.

The aroma is ok but nothing too special. Some fruity notes, apples and pears, kind of cidery almost. A light bit of spice is also available. Pleasant but subtle.

The taste is ok. Again fruit plays a decent role, some apple and pear, and a light bit of spice as well. A pale malting, pilsner like, finishes off the beer giving a bit of a biscuit note. I must have completely forgotten about this beer since last year because I thought it would be completely different. Hopefully my memory will serve me better this time around.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated with a very crisp and clean fine bubble.

Drinkability is fairly high. It's an inoffensive beer with decent flavor. The low alcohol seems out of place for a Winter Warmer, but it makes it pretty "sessionable" even though that's probably outside the session range. Certainly a decent beer, but not too impressive for a warmer.

 1,008 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle

A- A vigorous pour produces a dark amber color with an off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is a little fainter than expected and a bit sweet with some toasted malts and spices and hints of butterscotch.

T- The taste is pretty similar to the aroma, but the flavors stick out a little bit more. Toasted malts and a good amount of spices make up the taste, as well as a moderate bitterness from the hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Winter Welcome is a pretty solid winter seasonal that is definitely worth a try. Recommended.

 646 characters

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

poured into a large mug

poures a coppery orange, decent head, slightly cloudy

smells richly of brown sugar and caramel malt. sweetness with a bit of spice.

taste is rich and sweet. Caramel and sweet toffee grips my mouth, spiciness tingles and finishes smooth. nice flavor for this winter, I can already feel a bit of warmth coming.

mouth is slightly heavy and dry but smooth. drinkability is superior to most winter warmers. Highly impressed but then again it's a Sam Smith, I should have expecteed this.

 510 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think that recently Samuel Smith changed from clear bottles to brown, and so is safer from the ravages of UV light and is better fit for my sensitive sensibilities. So starting with the Winter Warmer I'm gonna binge on Samual Smiths.

This beer was clear and copper colored, with a thick foam. The smell was malty sweet and a little estery, almost Belgian to my mind. The taste is toasty and biscuity, with loads of estery fruits, really good. The body is thicker than expected, lending a significant presence. An extremely good beer.

 536 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Paul for hook up.

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a rocks glass. Slow pour provided a mild head that diminished quickly to a brief skim. Color is reminiscent of dark scotch.

Nose- Lots of sticky caramel, and hints of dark fruits, slightly smokey.

Taste- Very nice. Buttery caramel is very prominent. Not as malty as one would think. Smokey, notes of butterscotch. Nice hop bitters in the finish. Rich, finishes dry.

Mouthfeel- Thin, slightly cloying, dry.

Drinkability- Nice, but a bit cloying. One in a sitting is enough.

 536 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a coppery color and a surprisingly clear consistency. There was about a half inch of foamy head and some solid lacing.

S: Not an overpowering smell, but there were good hints of malt and some sugary elements.

T: The taste was nicely done, but not nearly as heavy as I would've thought. Malt, caramel and a bit of hops.

M: A decently high amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer. Not exactly what I expected, but well made nonetheless.

 536 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a clear light golden copper color with a very nice creamy two-finger head of a pure cream color. The head deflated slightly but stuck around 'til the bottom, leaving some beautiful lacing.

aroma is subtle with strong malt character. Biscut and fresh whole grain bread. Some fruit notes come through, pears, persimmons and banana. Hints of spices as it warms, and the sweet fruit notes intensify slightly.

tastes light but great. Barley notes at first, with some toffee and caramel notes in there. Almost reminds me of buckwheat tea. The fruit peeks through in the taste as well, hinting almost at a cider. Touches of spices push it well beyond average. The flavor profile is interesting and fairly dimensional, while being fairly subtle and mellow. Pleasant and slightly warming.

Perfectly creamy. Carbonation is a touch on the high side, but it builds the creamy mouthfeel so it works in my mind. No bitterness, nor does it feel overly sweet on the tongue. A pleasure to consume.

This is definitely a solid winter brew. More mild than most "winter warmers" so needs to be approached slightly more openly to fully enojoy it's beauty. The mouthfeel is beautiful and definitely helps it along. I know I'll be grabbing a few more of these before the season passes.

 1,271 characters

Photo of glid02
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this at Capital City Liquors in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger white head that recedes quickly into a thin ring around the glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of caramel malt and mild hops with a bit of fruit and spice aroma.

Tastes similar to the smell. Lots of sweet caramel malt with a small amount of butterscotch. Herbal hops and spices make their way out more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is good, although it's just a bit thin. The carbonation is good, and it goes down pretty smoothly.

Drinnkability is good. There are a lot of flavors, but I'm not sure how well I like all of them mashed together.

Overall I can think of other ways I'd like to welcome winter, but this is still worth a shot.

 745 characters

Photo of DoctorDog
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Victorian pint bottle into a pint glass.

A- Clear amber appearance. Pours with ample white head, which fades quickly, leaving but a thin ring. Very little lacing.

S- Smell a hint of spices, but no discernible individual spice jumps out. Some malts and hops...

T- Taste is crisp, with a hint of citrus and spiciness. Slightly nutty with minimal bittering on the finish. Since it's a "winter ale," I wish it were just a touch spicier.

M- Medium/high carbonation. A bit "tingly."

D- Not terribly spicy or heavy....Decent. I can imagine drinking another....

Future outlook: Decent enough beer, though not something that blew me away. Unlikely to go out of my way to obtain. Maybe next winter....

 713 characters

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

Really big fan of the Sam Smith Nut Brown and the Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, and did not hesitate to give this a try...

A 1 finger, pure ivory white head that fades very quickly to a thin layer. Light amber in color, looks like a very watered down apple cider, with a hint of caramel coloring.

S Warm winter spices, smells almost like apple cider with all the nutmeg, light cinnamon and vanilla that comes through here.

T extremely light vinegar, sharp and warm apple cidered taste. Some really great tastes come out, including caramel, and all the spices and vanilla come through very smoothly. Finishes with a nice hazelnut flavor that really helps this warmer end nicely. As my girlfriend pointed out to me, a little bit too carbonated for this style, but regardless a good winter beer

 790 characters

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

My first SS beer in a while and my first time having the winter beer.

Amber,clear body with a nice white thick head.

Sweet malts and mild spices.

malty and not much if any hop taste.Some spice.Some oxidation of some sort also in the taste.

nice mouthful and some spritzy carbonation.

Good beer

 298 characters

Photo of sethmeister
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass. This is a 2006 review of the 2006 release which I never got around to entering until now.

Voluminous fluffy off white head over a honey copper appearance. Lots of lace. Nice looking beer.

Scent of caramel and malt with a hint of alcohol as it warms.

Malt, nut, bread/biscuit, very slight caramel and butter flavors. Not too sweet. Very subtle pine hop bitterness. Lightly spicey; clean and subtle.

Mouth is medium with a slightly bitter and astringent finish.

Drinkability is good.

 510 characters

Photo of stumac
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007/2008 Vintage

pours a murky rust color with a tiny quickly fading white head. the nose is caramel, very sweet malts, alcohol undertones, a lil toffee, caramel apple. the taste is traditional watery English Ale for ya. tastes the same as the nose but also with a nice subtle spicy and floral hop crispness, detecting more lighter fruits like yellow apple. medium bodied, low spritzy carbo, dry finish. A decent ale.

 419 characters

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

A rather dismal, rainy, cold night in State College, so I thought this would do the trick. Poured it into my pint glass...

A: Very clear orange copper with a beautiful, creamy tan head. The head laces and is very sticky and lasts just about the whole glass!

S: The main scents coming through are of tons of spices. Some nutmeg and a bit of clove, but tons of caramel malts are coming through also.

T: A very interesting taste here. I am picking up tons of spices, caramel malts, English toffee, but also a touch of cider, which is actually appealing here. The hops are definitely present and balance out the malt very nice.

Overall, this is a very good winter warmer. The carbonation is rather high, but that does not deteriorate from how good the beer is. Another job well done.

 783 characters

Photo of adamette
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle purchased 10 minutes ago at World Wines and Liquor in Mentor, Ohio. Gold label covers the cap, 2007/2008 variety. Poured into my official, clean, clear Samuel Smith glass.

A golden brown body with thin head which dissapeared within 90 seconds.

S malt and barley dominate, not a strong smell.

T Full, busy taste of barley and malt. Not much hops...maybe near the end.

M Silky smooth and full for sure. Very appropriate for the "Winter Welcome" style.

D Good with reasonable alcohol content. I could share the 4 pack with one other person (2 each) but I do not see buying this again. Too many other better beers to buy.

 638 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

550 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. 2007/2008 variety.

3.5 A: Thick head that retains well. Lacing is there, though not too much. Color is a yellow amber.

3.0 S: Weak bouquet. Aromas that do come through are toasty and biscuity malts and grapefruit. Pleasant, but not enough.

3.5 T: Like the smell, the taste is also rather subtle. The main flavor is not grapefruit, but rather something very similar. I can't put my finger on what is different. Also grainy/toasty malts only without any sweetness. Dry and slightly bitter finish.

3.0 M: Though many probably enjoy the amount of carbonation, I don't simply because the taste isn't strong enough to justify such high carbonation.

2.5 D: No way I'd want another.

This isn't what I expected from a winter warmer in that it was dry as a desert in hell and the alcohol was nearly undetectable and therefore unable to "warm".

 879 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in their traditional pint sized, aluminum foil wrapped bottle, looking like a gourmet malt liquor. Pours a brown-copper color, nice head and a pretty good amount of lacing left on the glass. Smooth malt aroma, while the flavor is a spicy malt at first then a hoppy bite. Pretty well balanced. Sammy Smith's is pretty solid across the board.

 349 characters

Photo of kinger
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My second experience with Samuel Smith and I promise I will not be suckered again. Paid $4 bucks for this average looking, smelling, and tasting ale. Decent beer but definitely should not call itself a holiday brew. Nothing spectacular here just like their renowned oatmeal stout simply average but extremely overpriced. Good bye Mr. Smith

 339 characters

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

Appearance- Pours with little head or carbonation. Beer itself is a medium brown color.

Smell- Slightly hoppy odor with some deeper malt notes, rather warm smelling.

Taste- Well rounded some slightly nutty flavors and malt character.

Mouthfeel- Good palate coverage, pretty good chompiness.

Drinkability- A great sipper on a winter evening.

 344 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown bottle. This one is their lastest version, 2007/2008 edition. The label changes from year to year. This one has a label of a tall ship docking on an English harbor. At the bottom of the picture is a man waving to a woman pulling a sled. Around the picture is a whole bunch of colored ribbons with different phrases in them and the Sam Smith's symbol of a barrel with the established year of 1758 on it. The back label hasa ll the mandatory US inofrmation and a listed ABV of 6%. I can't forget to mention that there's a gold foil over the cap. You can't miss it.

Appearance: When poured into a Brooklyn Imperial pint glass, this Sam Smith's is a clear amber with a small tint of copper mixed in with it. The initial head of foam was about an inch in height and white in color. This head of foam had OK retention that left behind a small off white colored film, foamy rings, and some spotty lace around the glass. At least the color of the beer wasn't bad.

Smell: When I first popped the cap, I got a strong whiff of banana chips. When the beer was poured, the banana chips were still there, but only in a small amount. The rest of the aroma was toasted with toasted malts, roasted nuts, a hint of juicy fruits, and then finishes up with a slight touch of English toffee.

Taste: This English Ale starts off nice and toasty with toasted malts, a hint of roasted nuts, and small dab of English toffee. After the maltyness leaves the tongue, the taste goes slightly dry and bitter with a splash of dried grapefruit and dried citrus hops. I guess i can say that it was well balanced. It wasn't too malty and it wasn't too bitter or dry.

Mouthfeel: It was a light bodied beer that was bordering on being a medium bodied beer. While the initial taste was malty, dry and bitter, the aftertaste was dry and sweet with toasted malts, a hint of dried floral hops, and plenty of sweet English toffee.

Drinkability: I've always enjoyed Sam Smith's beers and this one is no different. It's better than some, but not as good as some as their other ones. It's not too malty, bitter, sweet, or dry. It's just a well rounded English Ale. I could see cracking open one of these when winter rolls around again. It also makes a nice beer to have in the summer time.

 2,262 characters

Photo of mobyfann
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $3.99 for a 4-pack (bought six) at Jungle Jim's...

The beer pours a amber colored base with a medium sized white head, nice 1/4" retention and nice lacing on the glass. The aroma screams of caramel at first, with secondary tones of malt, hop, anise and cinnamon.

The taste has the tones come out on the tounge and all at once; a mixture of sweet malts and strong spice are primary, with the hop as an afterthought. The carbonation is moderate and it's a little heavy yet smooth in the mouth. AT 6.0%abv this is a great session beer if you like the style.

Final Thought: It reminds me of a prototype Bavarian doppelbock with a touch of sugar and spice which makes everything nice.

 687 characters

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

A- Brilliantly clear light amber with large tan head.

A- Caramel malt aroma. Slight fruit aromas as well.

T- Initially a sweet caramel taste. As it warms it gets more fruity and initially is like drinking juice. This gives way to hints of roasted malt and finishes slightly bitter and crisp.

M- Medium body, sortof chewy. Low carbonation. A slight warming from alcohol. Very smooth drinking brew.

D- A great winter warmer. 6% abv gives a nice warming feeling. Not to mention it is delicious.

 495 characters

Photo of bloberglawp
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark rich cooper with a solid head that lacing a bit and dissipates down to a thin film.

Aroma is shy a delicate. Some malt and butterscotchy caramelness. Flavor is a pronounced marris otter malt and herbal medicinal hop bite. Finishes quite dry and leaves you wanting another gulp.

Interesting ale, had it in a pint glass.

 340 characters

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,207 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.
  • Our Events

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

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