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

2,207 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 2,207 |  Reviews: 1,156
Photo of grub
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml brown bottle with gold foil on top.

pours a nice reddish copper colour with a medium cream coloured head. the head drops fairly quick. no lace.

aroma is nice. fresh floral hops. bread and cracker malt. bit of alcohol. hint of dms. touch of light citrus.

taste is good. big malty base. wheat bread. cracker. bit of biscuit. touch of alcohol. nice earthy and floral hops. bit of grapefruit and light citrus hops too. low bitterness level. straightforward, but damn solid.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. well balanced and very enjoyable. this is one solid english. time to pick up a few more before they're gone...

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Photo of hegelec
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The clear, dark amber liquid which emerged from the bottle exactly filled my imperial pint glass, with a small head just eeking its way over top of the glass. I'd give more points for looks if the head didn't disappear so quickly.

Most obvious to the nose are grainy malt flavours, though some raisins and cherries are also present.

The delicate hoppiness only becomes obvious when sipping. It seems to me like a fuller and richer version of your standard bitter. It also gets a little sour as it warms up.

The finish is surprisingly dry ... and peppery, thanks to the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is rather full, at times chewy -- there is a warming sensation to be felt from the slightly higher alcohol content, as advertised -- but the moderate carbonation keeps this refreshing.

Quite easily drinkable, but to gulp it would be to waste it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop for about $3.. shared with Brenda.. mine from my New Belgium goblet.

Long lasting 2 finger head atop a very clear orange brew.. spotty lacing.

Aroma is toasted bread and a touch of orange peel.

Toasted malt and more orange and a hint of nutmeg.. Caramel malts are dominant mid palate... and a yeasty fruity finish. Finish is dry for the style..not expected at all... The dryness works in this one.. there is enough going on to make it interesting.. Body is on the light side and carbonation is a touch high..

Not alot more to say.

Edit.. When Brenda and I bought our first house, we got the key at 8:00 am... We went immediately to Home Depot and rented a floor sander.. after pretty much 16 straight hours of sanding, it was time to stain the floors... Steven and I stained the entire house in the next 5 hours... It is 7:00 am and the sun is coming up... we are covered in sawdust and smell like gasoline.... Steven and I have had no beer since we started working and REALLY could use one... we check out the fridge, and the previous owners left a nicely wrapped Samuel Smith Winter Welcome '02-'03... That brew was one of the best beers and the nicest welcomes a person could have given us... Thanks.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance> glowing amber ale, rich head that stays, good lacing.
Smell> estery, spicey, perhaps even 'woody'
Taste> Crisp, almost salty start, starts seducing you slowly with its mellow ale taste, gets resiny with some nutmeg, and the finish goes sweet as honey.
Mouf> Medium bodied
Drinkability> easy peasy. I could drink this anytime, though I won't rush to buy it. I tend to like my winter ales to be a little bit heavier, but my man loved this, and people who like a lighter and easier to drink (in mass quantities) winter ale will really enjoy this.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber color with 1/2 inch of pillowy tan head, ok lacing. Not very much smell, not even after sticking as much of my nose into the glass as possible. Overall just some maltiness and some holiday spices. Taste-wise it's very shocking though, lots of sweetness, combining toffee, caramel, and butterscotch with toasted malt, honey, and grapes, with a hoppy finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Better warm. While not the greatest winter warmer I've ever had, it did a pretty decent job at satisfying my taste buds, but it won't be a beer I camp out at the beer store to get again.

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Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale 2007-2008 edition pours a light copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a mildly sweet aroma. The taste is fairly mild for a winter warmer, I'm hit up front by the hops, which aren't really very strong, followed by a pleasant malt flavor, that doesn't quite reach the caramel level but comes close. A very pleasant beer.

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Photo of Slynger
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear deep orange amber, with a light tan head that leaves good lacing on my over sized wine glass.
The smell is not overpowering, but smells softly of sweet caramel malts and honey, with a light amount of dark fruits and hops accompany.
The taste is also on the light side. Sweet caramel and toasted malts are present along with honey and a grape fruitiness. A mild hop bitterness and a bit of spice finish this one out.
This is a quite light winter warmer and I typically enjoy mine a little bit, um . . warmer. That being said it is a good, well-balanced brew.

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

I really enjoyed this beer. FIrst of all, I consider myself to be a pretty stingy judge of appearance but this beer deserves every half point. It has a beautiful amber/red color with a nice inch of tight white head that lasts until the end. The ample carbonation gives the amber body a nice feeling of upward movement with nice tiny bubbles. This is not the most fragrant beer but what is there is some apple and sweet malts. The taste is hints of grainy malts with and brandy overtones and just a hint of winter spices. there is a great amount of carbonation and it is bot too thick and not too creamy, just right. Not necessarily the christmasiest of all ales but it is really enjoyable and i am quite glad i drank it.

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Photo of eberkman
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with a firm white head that doesn't diminish and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Very inviting looking. Very faint nose -- pretty much caramel malts with a hint of spices. Taste is cloyingly sweet -- toffee, butterscotch, egg nog spices -- with a dry, slightly hoppy finish that slides into an unfortunate astringency. Snappy carbonation in the mouthfeel with a medium to light-bodied presence. Decent drinkability on the whole, but nothing spectacular. I certainly don't regret drinking this -- it was better than I expected based on other reviews. But it's not a seasonal that I will be waiting on pins and needles for either. Pretty much the Old Brewery Pale Ale with faint spices and what seems like a little extra hopping thrown in.

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Photo of nolvar
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rich amber color, frothy head that fades quickly leaving a white lacing on the edges of my glass. Med to high carbonation. Slight oily mouthfeel, a little chalkiness on the tongue.

Low to med malty aroma, and little to no hop aroma.

A solid ok, probably not something I would search out for a winter warmer.

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

12oz brown bottle with 2007-2008 printed on the label. Served in an imperial pint.

Pours light copper with a huge, creamy, off white head. This is a bright beer with sparkling clarity and abundant carbonation. The density appears average to thin. The head hangs around for quite awhile an leaves some streaky lace. This is definitely a malty smelling brew. Semi-sweet bready malts with toasted and nutty traits. Faint caramel and even more faint grassy notes as well. The flavor is less sweet and bready and more toasted grain with hints of nuttiness and molasses. The hop character is understated but presents itself as mostly herbal with some dried citrus peel in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a somewhat chewy texture and adequate carbonation. Has a moderately chalky finish.

This beer is a well crafted version of an English winter warmer. At 6% abv, the alcohol is at the lower end of the scale for the style. I liked the balance of ingredients as well as the depth of flavor. This is the first time I have tried this seasonal classic and I must say I will certainly be making it part of my winter selections for years to come.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007/2008 release.

Pours a nice copper color with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates and leaves hardly any lacing. Plenty of carbonation bubbles are rising throughout the glass.

Aroma is of toffee, caramel, and red apples. Some hops are evident in the nose.

Taste is good and toasty the toasty sweetness of the malts up front, sandwiching the fruity red apple flavor between the dry bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and oily, with a dry finish. Not a whole lot of aftertaste, but what is there is sort of "flat" for lack of a better word. A drinkable, decent winter ale, but not something I go searching for.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a white whipped cream head. The aromas begin with delicate spicy hop character and then there’s other notes of bright fruits, pineapple, and apple that come around. Berry fruitiness on a mild toasted grain background, husky, and bisquity. Floral, herbal tea hops with a slight bittering character balances while the spice play their role nicely, not too much and just enough to linger on the palate for a bit. Some honey sweetness fades to more tart berry finish on a decently smooth mouthfeel and a lazy fizz carbonation. Pretty tasty, nice balance, and rather drinkable.

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

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours an amber body with a solid, white head with good retention. Solid lacing all around the glass throughout the session.

S: Smelled kind of fruity with hints of malts.

T: A nice, balanced, malty taste. No fruit notes within the beer, but the Winter Welcome did remind a little bit of their nut brown.

M: A nice, full-bodied mouthfeel. Smooth as silk and pleasant on the tongue.

D: A fairly drinkable beer. Good mouthfeel and balanced taste makes it appropriate for it's name as it is very "welcoming." Based on the nature of this beer, I believe it will be better enjoyed when warmed up a little and served between 40F and 50F.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

07-08 edition
A-Pours a clear copper color with a 1" off white head that quikly fades,no lacing seen.

S-It smells of sweet malt and spices and what seems to be sour apples.

T-Taste is all spice up-front then a slight hop bitterness ending with that sour apple again but it also has a sweet buttery/creamy finish.

M-It is medium bodied with good has a crisp/sharp mouthfeel.

D-Seems to be a fairly drinkalbe beer,spiced like a Winter Warmer but a little low on the % side.I would buy this again.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was beautiful when it poured. Thin and smooth, the beverage leveled off with a very, crisp thin head and a shiny, golden amber color. The smell was not what I expected with the appearance. Roasty, citrus combinations line the taste as it evaporates into your nose with a pinch of orange. The taste was a good sweet-bitter touch that, indeed, warmed you up. The mouthfeel was wicked crisp, allowing it to be enjoyed the whole evening. Overall, a little off-balance at times, but great winter warmer.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.19/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Gorgeously clear amber color with a creamy tan head. This is a beauty to see in the glass. Uh oh, wet dog in the aroma, but after a few minutes it went away, leaving a little toffee and some minerally metallic thing. Slightly sour, acidic finish with some mild hop bitters. As it warms up the alcohol comes out a little, and then hides on the next sip in favor of some toffee/ biscuit flavors. Aside from the appearance, the rest is just so-so.

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

Apperance: Decent 1 finger head with good retention and lacing.

Smell is of apple phenol with some caramel malting and spiciness. I detect orange peel most of all.

Taste is of some caramel and chocolate malts. very interesting blends. The caramel malts are more dominant and the chocolate malts provide a nice balance. Spices come out to make for an interesting brew. I cannot identify all of them but I detect some orange peel.

Mouthfeel: This beer leaves the palate a little bit dry.

This is a very nice winter brew for winter such as mine with temps in the 20s and low 30s.

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Photo of slyke
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a clear caramel color with an off-white head which holds nicely and laces a bit.

The smell is a combination of caramel sweetness and the funk of a Euro-lager.

Taste has a bit of sweetness, otherwise it tastes a lot like a Euro-lager.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, fairly crisp with a slight aftertaste.

Drinkability is okay, but not something I will need to buy again. Frankly, I had hoped for more with this beer.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was expecting some big things from this winter warmer since I have enjoyed a few other Samuel Smith's before. The color was rusty red and filtered clear. The smell had caramel, cinnamon, and faint chocolate. The taste on the other hand had a strong wood taste that over powered the whole beer. The feel was dry and bitter. There was also a bit of an alcohol feel on the tongue that decreased its drinkability. Overall, I will not be making another purchase of this beer.

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

Pours a dark amber with some head, leaves a decent lacing.

Smell is dominantly roasted malt, some caramel and other spice, hops barely registering.

A strong malty taste, quite buttery for a winter warmer, fairly smooth, not much carbonation though and almost no hop backbone.

Better winter warmers out there, and cheaper ones too, but overall a decent beer.

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

Pours a clear ruby with a little bit of head that leaves a little bit of lace on the way down. Nose has a touch of pine and surprisingly (for a 6% ABV) I am getting alcohol. Taste is rather dry. I don’t think I have had a beer this dry before. Seems a bit woody, kind of like sucking on a piece of oak. For a winter warmer, I am not feeling very warmed. Mouthfeel is standard. Drinkable, sure. But I think there are better of the style out there. Overall, a disappointment I’d say.

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

Sam Smith's Winter Welcome poured a deep copper color with a tan head the dissipated into a film crowning the top of the beer. Little beads of carbonation was very visible in the body. The nose was filled with the aroma of cinnamon, fruits such as apples and slight notes of pears. The taste was similar to the smell but with a sharp mineral flavor that lingered in the mouth. The beer popped and fizzed on my tounge creating a silky feeling body.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007-2008 vintage. Poured a clear amber with a two finger off-white head. Good retention and nicely carbonated with a steady flow of small bubbles. The nose was of malt but not overly pronounced, feint at best, disapponting. Taste was sharp, bitter with a malty finish. A slight hoppy mouthfeel with caramel and malt. The six per cent alcohol is certainly on the low side for a winter warmer but came across as much higher, I thought it took away from what could have been a much better experience. Who doesn't take a liking to the label but I wouldn't rush out to buy more of this.

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Photo of phisig137
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to IntriqKen for this sample....

A- beautiful amber copper color, with a two finger head. Great retention, pretty good lacing, and aggressive carbonation.

S- Sweet malts, little complexity and no hops. Slight touch of diacetyl.

T- Malt forward, but with a firm hoppy backbone. Caramel and buttery like malts up front, but fairly bitter finish without any real hop flavor at all. Very restrained, British, and proper.

M- Creamy and full. Heavy carbonation though.

D- quite good.

Overall, a decent beer, but not quite a winter warmer in my book. It is very well made, and would be better classified as a brown. But for being a winter warmer, I would expect more alcohol, more hops, and certainly a little spice. I do enjoy this, but I think with just a hint of spice this would be a bit more "wintery". Great seasonal session beer though...

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