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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 jeonseh
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bomber poured into the Sam Smith Pint Glass.

A - light golden copper color with a lot of carbonation streaming though it and slowly attacking the pale honey tinted head whose foam sits on the top.

S - the nose has a light honey smell to it with a hint of apricot as well. As the beer is drank, I can start smell hint of figs mixed in as well but still mostly the honey. There is also a bit of a candied fruit smell as well which in a way reminds me of the sugared dates that my grandfather used to eat.

T - a bit heavy of the malt is my first impression as there is a nice honey taste that first hits my tongue. There is also a nice fruity aspect that comes in and surprisingly it is the darker fruits as taste of figs and sweeter plums seem to trickle in. In a way this aspect reminds me of some of the sweeter, dark fruit taste that are found in a dubbel and a little surprised to find them in a beer so light in color. Leaves you with a bit of warming alcohol taste which is surprising given the low ABV of the beer but it does indeed make this a winter warmer.

MF - the body is nice and thick and even a bit bready as one can definitely tell there is a whole drink in your mouth. There is also a nice bit of carbonation which was to be expected given the amount of carbonation seen in the appearance and it seems to be there as a reminder that this is indeed an ale as it gives it that rougher edge that ales have.

D - Overall a decent beer from Sam Smith that wasn't really what one expects of a winter warmer as its prevelant taste in my opinion was honey. It was not very spiced at all but it does warm you up. I'd say that I'd get one maybe each year but given that funds are usually low during the holiday season there are better winter warmers as better prices.

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

2007/2008 release, poured from an 18.7oz bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish orange color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of fruit (apricot & fig) and spices with some caramel and hops in the background.

T: The taste is malty and fruity with flavors of apricots, figs, honey, caramel and some spices. There's a decent hops presence for the style that provides a good balance despite the sweetness up front. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, I was expecting this beer to be well-crafted and it is, but I was not expecting it to be as light as it is considering the style. Overall, it's a good beer to drink for a long period of time.

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Photo of trackstar1043
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours reddish golden hue, with a half in of white head that diapated within a minute.

S - Welcoming aroma of hops, fruit, with a pleasant bitter bite.

T - Similar to Old brewery pale ale but with more hops and slight roasted carmels. With bitter finish.

M - Not as smooth at the Old Brew, slighty high in carbination but a lively feel.

D - Very drinkable would go great with a steak or just kicking back.

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

A - kinda orange in color with a off-white lil bit yellowy head. Head is not super thick and seems to be going down quickly. Has a clearness to it that does not make the beer cloudy or hazy. No sediment either.

S - kinda malty and bready, but also sweet and fruity. Not an acidic fruity like an aggressive grape fruit, but more mellow. Orange but smoother and sweeter. Some caramel as well. Some freshness as well in the fruity scent. Maybe apple.

T - Sweet, then spiced, the a little end notes of hops. Malty all over to really tone this down. An interesting and complex beer. The hops want to stick to the roof of my mouth, but they are not the lead singer of this group. There's more sweetness and malt, and something I can't really place, but it's good.

M - Light to medium body. Some carbonation, but not so much you need to belch after every sip. Not a huge aftertaste, but a little sweetness follows the hops on your breath.

D - Pretty damn good. Not what I expected for a 'winter warmer'. I was expecting more spice and more alcohol feel. This it was not. Sweet, easy on the tongue and a good beer. Not one I'd want to session all night, but I'll look for it again next winter!

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Photo of becktone
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: This beer looks very nice poured into a standard pint glass. The body is crystal clear and is reddish copper in color. Head is between creamy and foamy, and is leaving some nice lacing as it recedes(from the pour) to a much more stable and suitable size.

Nose: Not really getting much out of the aroma, it is pretty faint. I do get a pleasing caramelized apple aroma, sorta like the apples in apple cobbler. Also some caramel, and weak malt grain sweetness, as well as some spicy characters. All in all the nose of this beer is hard for me to smell, but from what I get it is pleasant.

Tongue: I am getting a metallic taste-wait I think I'm mistaking this for some hop flavor- There is some hop flavor somewhat spicy-and a bit of that apple type/fruit flavor, plus a bit of toasty characters but I don't get much more. Perhaps I've a bad bottle, I'll see how the rest of the four pack fairs. After reading portions of other reviews I do taste some orange in there-like orange marmalade. No flaws in the flavor that I can see, though a bit atypical for what I was expecting for a winter warmer at least I expected it to be as the label suggests "Winter Welcome"...maybe I jumped to conclusions.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This beer has an overall drying quality to it. Other than that the body is much too thin, feels like water. Again perhaps I've a bad bottle or something. This is one, that I' don't think that I'll revisit, that is unless the other two I've left impress me, its okay, but just doesn't really do it for me. I don't think that its worth 2.50 for a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of shabbtastic
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presented in an 18.7oz bottle with gold foil around the neck. Very decorative and informative label!

A - Pours a deep ruby color into a brandy glass with a beautiful two finger off white fluffy head that lasted. Lacing was awesome as well as carbonation.

S - Carmel aroma as well as toffee and nutmeg. Malt tones dominate with hints of hop in the back. From what I can smell this is a very balanced offering.

T - Sweet up front immediately followed by toasted malts and finished with spicy hops. What an array of flavors, it really covered the palate well.

M - Full bodied carbonation was perfect, finish was clean. What a great beer!

D - Highly drinkable. To be honest this beer really surprised me. I will be picking a few more of these up soon. Recommended!

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Photo of wgarton
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a fresh case in December 2007. Poured into glasses and drank them on New Years Eve. Very enjoyable brew, which has become a bit of a tradition for the holidays.

A- Darker amber brown to nut brown in color. Average head with slight brown tint.

S- Nothing exceptional. Smelled of dark malt with some other spices coming through.

T- Slightly nutty and sweet.

M- One of the most enjoyable aspects of the beer for me. Strong carbonation, which provided a sort of pop in my mouth. Fun to drink.

Overall very enjoyable beer I'll continue to go back to every winter.

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Photo of marcpal
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into British pint glass.

A: Crimson pour with a relatively thick head.
S: Malts, caramel and some nutty aroma.

T: Caramel malts with a lack of spice I would expect from a winter beer. Not much to it, really a boring beer.

M: Some thickness and chewiness but flat for the most part.

D: Easy to drink but boring. Not a fan of most Samuel Smiths and was disappointed by this one.

Also not much in terms of winter warmer.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Buddy of mine brought me one of these from New York as a belated Christmas present.

Pours a coppery, reddish brown out of the bottle with a fluffy, full white head, which hangs around for quite some time. Smells of dried fruits, maybe plum/apricot. Mild effervesence. Taste was a typical British ale taste, good, with notes of sweet barley malt and no real noticeable hop presence. Almost a hint of toffee as well. Not a bad ale. Quite enjoyable on a cold winter's night.

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Photo of haz77
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a bright reddish-brown, with a finger of thick white head. This drops to a thin layer after a minute or two.

S - Toffee, plum, cherry.

T - Toffee and fruits come through first and last all the way through until some Christmas spice take over at the end. Toffee appears again in the aftertaste, which is sweet and lasts a while. Not very complex.

M - Medium, fairly syrupy body and soft carbonation.

D - Reasonable easy to drink, although nothing here that's too challenging or interesting.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear auburn, copperish body that resembled cider/bourbon. Small, light head that was somewhat creamy and kept up due to some nice carbonation. A simple aroma but gives off aspects of malts, hops noticeable in smell and some tart citrus/yeast.
A malty pick me up is how I would describe the initial taste, with the malts being predominant. Overall, a medium body that is not watery or glossy but the hops do kick in a tad too much, causing it to be somewhat rough on certain sips. A hint of some spices and yeast mixed in, but not that much.
A nice winter warmer on a cold January night, but one or two is just fine.

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Photo of riversider76
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden amber,with a thin head. Good retention,and a nice lacing. Smell is of sweet fruits,and spice. Body is rich,and creamy with some carbonation. Taste is nicely spiced. Sweet,and fruity, but a nice hoppy edge to the finish. Excellent brew!

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Photo of AlesALot
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz. Tadcaster bottle. 2007-2008 edition.
Nice amber color.
Tall head built qickly and I had to poor it slowly. Some lacing and head endured 'til the end even rebuilding after every sip.
Malty in aroma with a English hoppy undertone, some pepper and light spicyness.
Tastes of an earthy and subtle maltiness followed by a balancing hop kick leaving a spicy, warm, dry finish. The hops aren't overpowering, but definately on the tongue in a very wecome fashion.
The mouth feel is thick and cream like, very unexpected thickness compared to the lighter color. It has a tingle from the hops and spiciness.
Very drinkable. I couldn't wait for them to chill and drank it straight off the warm shelf.

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Photo of burnstar
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light amber with a medium sized head. Nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass. Very light aroma. Caramel and cherries- but very light and subtle. Somewhat sweet caramel malt. Some mild fruit notes- cherries and pears. Spiciness in the finish. Just a touch of bitterness. Full bodied with light carbonation. Drinkable and tastey but not something I'd want to have a ton of. Overall a very solid winter beer.

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Photo of baos
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz into Atlas Mason spaghetti sauce jar.

A: Full hand of good ecru head. A nice translucent copper color. Nice lacing to boot.

S: Toasty maltiness, and the faintest trace of hoppiness. Smells kind of like a Newcastle.

T: Taste a bit like a Newcastle too, but this beer has more to offer. with a bit more hop character and a nice dryness. Not too sweet. Its a lot dryer than I remember.

M: Light to medium body maybe a bit oily very nice feeling. Super dry at the end.

D: Back in my Purdue collage days livin' with the Slutz on Lutz. Pard and Warren would come in with cases of this shit and we'd drink them down as fast as we could open them. They don't taste as good as I remember, but its still a very good beer and very drinkable

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Photo of Patrick999
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Brown ale, boney head but not all that large.

S - Pleasant. A little nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon. Smells like pumpkin pie.

T - Good overall, but I can't get away from this bitter/sour mash aftertaste. Great up front with the pumpkin spices, but doesn't leave such a pleasing aftertaste.

F - I have no complaints. Feels like a solid, medium-bodied beer.

D - Well, I keep wanting to take sips, because I can't stand the aftertaste. To be fair, I get this in a few winter warmers...I don't really like the spicy hoppy aftertaste. One or the other, but both don't work for me.

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

Pours a clear amber color. One finger white head from a strong pour. It dissipates quickly, leaving a wispy cloud in the middle of the snifter. Not really any lacing to speak of. Once in a while there’s a streak here or there.

Sweet nose, mostly malts, didn’t prepare me for the hoppy surprise I was about to enjoy. Smells like a snickers bar, caramel and a little chocolate. As it warms the bouquet of hops comes out a bit.

Different old ale style, hops definitely more evident then other winter’s I have had. I think it’s actually quite refreshing. Hops leave a nice strong bitter finish. The malt is definitely there as well. Leaves a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is like pop rocks. Explosive. Not too thin, not quite syrupy.

I’m a pretty big fan of Sam Smith’s brews. Slightly pricey, but this is on a short list of beers I’d definitely order during the winter months if it’s on the menu.

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the pour it has a clear amber color. A soft white head. Great lacing and fair retention. This is one beer I am always glad to have.

Smells of sweet pale malts and spices. Nothing else really stands out for my nose.

Tastes of bready malts, spices, alcohol and light on the hops but they are still noticeable.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a pretty decent beer, but my problem with it is that the malt is far too subtle compared to the hops, making this beer off-balanced. It poured a clear amber-red with a light tan head. I couldn't pull much aroma from the beer, just a milky cream aroma flavor that carried over into the flavor with a pale caramel malt and grassy hops. I wouldn't recommend this one.

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

Poured into a pint glass pours an amber color with some serious head and that stays the entire drink. Smell is pretty bland I was expeting some spice and nutmeg smells but it really had a faint smell of blandness. Taste was also a a bit bland I am thinking that this could be a spoiled bottle Samuel Smith is just quality and this was missing it, just a sour bitterness in the taste. Overall I am hoping that this was a bad bottle, the taste was not there, I will get another bottle to compare.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a clear copper under a fingers worth of white head. No lace, little retention.

S: Smells of some slgith citrus hops and caramel maltiness.

T: Some caramel, some toasted malt in the back end, not a whole lot going on. A little bit of a "dirty", slightly piney hop character going on here, but very little bitterness

M/D: Medium bodied, not a lot of carbonation. Drinkability is about average on this, it's easy to drink, but I don't know if I would really want another.

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Photo of Tim2000
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550 mL brown bottle, 2007-2008 edition.

Pours a rich copper orange with a thin, dense white head.

Sweet molasses in the aroma with hints of hazelnuts.

Starts off sweet and malty with lots of caramel and molasses notes. Some dried fruit notes, raisins come to mind. Hops are present towards the middle but only add enough bitterness to balance the malt and not much character of their own. Alcohol gives a slight warming effect but is pretty well hidden. Faint metallic taste towards the end. Full-bodied with low carbonation.

Great balance here. A nice winter ale I could drink all evening.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Decent, it has a great copper color but the head dies off a tad too fast and leaves some decent lacing
S: very malty with an almost candied hint like molasses or caramel there is some sort of sugary aroma
T: Too plain and ordinary for my tastes. I know some winter warmers are not spiced at all, and i imagine thats what this is. its a solid well balanced malty bready caramel type ale, but it doesnt scream winter warmer to me
M: very very clean, its weird, sometimes there is a tad aftertaste most of the time there isnt just like water, which is somewhat dissapointing

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer for many, many winters, and I have to say that I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I first did. I don't know if it's me or the beer, or all the other great beers that have come along, but it seems much closer to average now. For all that, it is still a pleasant winter brew and much more reasonable in strength than many. This is the 2007 edition I'm reviewing.

Pours orange with a decent head and good lacing. Smells bready and a bit grainy. Ther are also nice aromas of apple and orange. Malt predominates over hops. Taste is similar, and a tad sweeter than I would like. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin- I definitely remember this having more body. The spices and fruit are quite muted and overall it's not quite the harmonious whole that one would wish.

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Photo of grub
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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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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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