Winter Welcome Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Winter Welcome AleWinter Welcome Ale
2,262 Ratings
Winter Welcome AleWinter 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: 2,262 |  Reviews: 1,169
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of AltBock
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of gpogo
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of bloberglawp
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of asabreed
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

18.7 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 2007/2008 vintage.

Appearance: Darker copper with hints of amber, minimal carbonation bubbling to the top. Not much lacing or retention at all, and though the head doesn't dissipate, it never gets more than just hovering above the color of the body.

Smell: Herbal hop aromas initially, with vinous characteristics (an interesting mix of sour, earthiness, and mild sweetness), mild raisins, hints of spice, cake batter, some cherries more toward the sour side, and a bit of mild funk as it continues to warm, which is nice.

Taste: I let this warm close to room temperature before I really tried to discern anything, since there wasn't much coming out of the right-out-of-the-fridge pour, which is what I usually like to do to see how much comes out of the initial colder temperature. But as it does warm, the hops, which initially are prominent and English-style bitter, they become a bit more herbal and citrus, along with mild cake, hints of spice and doughiness, diacetyl, hints of pear, mild caramel and honey, with some cherries and vinous flavors coming toward the finish, which is lingering and semi-dry and dominated by hop flavors with hints of fruit and cake coming through. There are many winter warmers that have gone above and beyond, but this is a solid standby. And as always with Samuel Smith, you can tell the quality is there, which is something I'm always a fan of. Still a pretty complex and tasty brew.

Mouthfeelo: Medium-bodied with fairly creamy carbonation, which comes through at the swallow, since oddly enough at the beginning it's deceptive and feels like it's going to be watery, but alas.

Drinkability: The quality and balance of this beer are pretty great. I even enjoyed this in the air conditioning, rather than waiting for winter, and I think it proves to be a brew for any season. A lot of complexity and many flavors to pick it out, along with being very sessionable in my opinion.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I can't be sure of the freshness of this beer, but I am sure that it's been kept out of light and kept refrigerated.

Poured from 18.7 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark amber with 1/2 inch head that receded quickly to thin white collar, and eventually nothing. Minimal lacing.

S - Sweet malt with a little bit of roasted character. Some smoke and wood pulls through as well.

T - Less than I expected from the nose. Sweet caramel malt dominates, followed by an earthy, slightly citrus hop character. All flavor dies out rather quickly leading to a surprisingly clean finish with hints of coffee and chocolate.

M - Moderately carbonated, and mostly slick, but with a strange watery character near the finish.

D - This brew is quite sweet, and coupled with the watery finish, I wouldn't want more than one of these. Decent but unbalanced.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Opening this one a bit after winter has passed; still good nonetheless.

Pours a nice copper with a big fluffy head that didnt last.

Smells of cinnamon coated oranges.

Tastes like a sweet wassail. Sweet malt, Christmas spice, and a slight bitter finish.

Somewhat thin bodied, but lightly carbonated.

I really liked this one. I will have another this year; this time during Winter.

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Photo of rye726
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff and it is one of my favorite winter brews. It starts off with a rich auburn color under a creamy tan head. The nose has buttery candy with sweet malts and lots of spice. What amazes me about the flavor is the huge amount of spice presence it has while remaining well balanced. A creamy medium body passes well over the palate. Just a nice malty brew.

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

18.7 oz. bottle, 2007-08 edition, 95 degree day in the Southland needs some Christmas cheer,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Treacle, sugar, light amount of earthy hops, nutmeg.

T: Very sugary and malty. Lots of toffee and caramel candy, a bit of spice, but you need to look for it. Off-dry finish.

M: Relatively light in body for this style, slightly viscous, sugary.

D: A tasty beer from Sam Smith's. A straight up English ale as a Winter Warmer is an interesting version, a beer to enjoy whenever the Yuletide comes around and you are aching for a taste of Olde England.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle
6.0% abv

I tried this beer on December 22, 2007 after purchasing my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a beautiful translucent pale red colour with a generous off-white head that disipates into rocky islands. The aroma is primarily malty with some sweet adjucts as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, and mildly carbonated. The flavout is primarily malt with some hop bitterness attached

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with a two finger beige head. The frothy head stuck around for a few minutes. Sweet, rich and cake like. There is a nice presence of caramel and malt. Smooth and creamy as hell. There is a blast of toffee and malt up front and a slight hop bitterness which balances out the beer very nicely. The feel is creamy-smooth and slick. Very drinkable. I would gladly drink more than the 550ml allows.

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Photo of jayrod20
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the clear caramel brew. Head falls slowly, with sporadic sticky lace. Aroma is lightly spiced hops. Taste is sweet malt upfront, ample fruitiness in the center, coupled with some spices, and a bitter finish. Mouthfeel not quite as smooth as it could be, and drinkability is not too bad either. Just a bit below what I've come to expect from Sam Smith.

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Photo of Natural510
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006-07 batch...which I suppose would make it a vintage.

Pours a light, golden orange color with thick head from bottle, some of which retains throughout.

Smells of orange rind and light cinnamon.

This is a spicy brew with citrus twang. Again, orange comes through with cinnamon & nutmeg hinting in the background. There is a slight overall berry flavor as well.
It does create the desired warming sensation, without being overdone on the spices. A rich, light maltiness is balanced out by subtle hops.

The orange creates a twang which resonates through the mouth, backed by good carbonation and enough hop kick to keep things lively.

Overall a very balanced brew, easy to drink, with enough character to keep from getting boring. I snagged the last bottle at the store...and despite the clear bottle, age doesn't seem to be a problem. Hopefully I can try a fresh batch this coming winter to compare.

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

There is a nice dark copper color to it. It is clear with no hints of cloudiness to it at all. When poured a half inch white head with a combination of bubbles formed. The head slowly faded into a film and ring on top the beer that lasted until the finish.

When smelled you can detect a mixture of malts and grains. It almost smells like a bran cereal. There is a touch of citrus to it as well as a hint of spice. The taste is a combination of malts and some spices. I had a difficult time singling any out. They mixed fairly well together.

This is a medium bodied beer. The carbonation level is comparable with most beers I've had. It's very easy to drink.

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

Right off the bat I am loving the label. Bright and colorful with quotes from Shakespeare looking wonderful and inviting. Enjoyed chilled in a pint glass. Poured a orange tinged golden color with a good head. Smelled of what I would describe as marmalade slathered biscuits. Tasted a tad bitter, certainly warming to the palate with a good balance of malt and hops crating a symphony together. I will definitely enjoy the holidays with this one in the future.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Efferevescent, rocky white, thin two-finger head that settles onto a clear, orange brown body--tracing present throughout malty scents with fruity citrus esthers reminiscent of an IPA, but the hops are well-balanced here...smooth entry with a bit of texture and a bubbly end... otherwise, casual in its presence... malt initially impresses...mellows quckly with a minimal bite of hop...alcohol is subtle--pleasant but not harrassing... maltier and fruitier than I expected--and this is a good thing! A beautiful overall effect in the sense and a fitting compliment to a snowbound evening....

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Photo of BuffaloBill91
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know if they make this every year but bottle said 2007-2008.

A- Looked clear - with nice copper color- poured a nice cream 1 finger head that stayed long with a nice lacing left behind.

S- Smelled malt/grains, typical ale had hints of citrus

T- Pretty bready- had a lot of hops bitterness with just enough sweet to balance it out.

M- Smooth enough, good carbination

D- Was pretty average but has a bit of a hoppy bite to it..

Overall this was pretty average and I dont understand why it was called a winter warmer either- should been a lot higher alcohol content in it for it to be labeled that-- or at least be able to taste the alcohol/warmth.

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Photo of Rayek
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite winter brews.

A: Copper color with good clarity and moderate carbonation. White head is small but firm. Stays with the beer the whole way down and leaves a nice lace.

S: Apple jumped out first. Followed with cinnamon and grassy hops. Hints of nutmeg and butter are also present.

T: Initial sweetness tastes of caramel and toasted malt. Followed by a floral hops that offer almost perfect bitter balance. Finishes dry and with a tart cider taste. My sample had a slight metallic taste right out of the bottle, but it went away quickly.

M: Medium body with the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Not as overpowering as many winter beers. The combination of balance and complex flavors makes me want another.

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Photo of erosier
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice orange-brown from the bottle with a tall but thin tan colored head that faded fast and laced the glass very well on the way down. It has a nice rich malty smell with hints of sweet winter spices but i couldn't pick them out. The taste was pretty good for a winter warmer as it had a very nice sweet malty base with a bit of cinnamon and honey I tasted though it was very faint. It had a very smooth but light mouthfeel and I was expecting something a bit thicker and with more winter flavor. The drinkability was good but I think it would be better if it had more flavor and body to it.

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

This poured a dark golden brown with fluffy light tan head. It smelled of malt and yeast. The flavor had mild hops bitterness with lots of malt and a bit of vanilla. It had a nice, smooth texture with only a little carbonation. This was a sweet and creamy drink, and overall very tasty but a bit plain.

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Photo of ROMER79
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour was a copper orange with a frothy two finger white head that laces the glass somewhat. There really wasn't a strong smell for this beer. I could gather some roasted malts and some sweetness, but that was it. The taste was better though, but not all that I thought that it would be for a winter warmer. It popped with roasted malts, but not to malty. Also, I could taste the sweet sugars/molasses in this guy as well. The mouthfeel was ok but nothing to write home about. As far as drinkability goes, ONE and Done!

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Photo of nrbw23
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Totally clear, a copper/orange in color with a little cream colored head that left decent amount of lacing and had good retention.

S- Quite a bit of malt and a tiny bit of honey.

T- Not like most winter warmers. Was expecting more spices and was a little more hoppy than my nose could pick up.

M- Medium body, good carbonation and went down nice and smooth.

D- Not a bad brew but expected a little more from this one. Thought it was a little too light for a winter seasonal brew.

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Photo of champ103
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color. A large white foamy head forms a recedes to a small rim. A bit of patchy lace as well.
S: Toasty malt for the most part. An unpleasant musky aroma that takes over. There is not a lot here.
T: Sweet and toasty malt that I enjoy, but the musk carries over to the flavor. This is a fairly bland tasting beer and I don't understand why this is called a winter warmer.
M/D: Pretty thin and watery in the mouth. An easy to drink beer, but not very inviting.

This is a disappointment. I was expecting a nice warming and full bodied beer to sip on. What I got was a thin, watery, and bland beer that I don't really care to finish.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber and copper color with a modest off white head. The aroma is butterscotch, light hops and a tinge of alcohol. Medium bodied with light carbonation on the palate. Flavors of toasted malt and caramel are dominate in the juicy center of this beer. It is balanced by a very light but appropriate amount of bitterness. The beer is dry but smooth and tasty as well.

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Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,262 ratings