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

1,152 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 1,152 | Ratings: 2,199
Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber body with small creamy off white head. Aroma is mostly malt, taste is malt and some dark chocolate. Finish is dry, very dry with some lingering mild bitterness.

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Photo of Premo88
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: caramel orange, bright amber in it up to the light, clear; pushes up big-bubbled soapy-like head of offwhite/beige foam that doesn't stick; keeps a decent collar, thick in spots

S: malt ... strong bread malt, fruity, peach pie ... the malt is what you'd expect from Samuel Smith, sweet and strong; orange peel, orange, toffee; only a slight trace of earthiness hidden among all those sweet light-malt notes

T: sweet malt, toffee, English pale ale fruity, peach but with much more bitter dirt-hop flavor than aroma -- the earthiness is relatively mild but enough to balance the bigger sweet notes; not overly bitter, much less so than SS's Nut Brown, Old Brewery Pale and India Ale, but there's still a hint of hops

F: fantastic ... very light but full, well carbonated ... an easy drinker

O: as an English pale, this brew is beautiful -- it's super malty, balanced by a small but noticable amount of earth hops, and the look, aroma and feel are solid all around; it's arguably mislabelled, for it is nothing like any of the winter warmers I've tried (though I think each of those winter warmers has been American-made); in the end, I love the beer and consider it a good addition to the English pale ale family of imports available in my area

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L-The beer pours an amber clear enough to read through. There is light lacing which slides down the glass to merge with the thin film coating the brew. The head is a fluffy off white or approximately 1 cm.
S- There is barely an aroma of any kind. What their is seems to be a mix or toffee and alcohol.
T- This beer is not one to drink while cold. Fresh from my beer fridge set at 45 degrees the beer has a fairly harsh medicinal quality. After warming some the malt flavors are coming more to the front and the medicinal quality taking a back seat. I'm not getting much in the way of winter spices other than a mild toffee flavor that is quickly covered by the herbal hops. Not bad really, just not what I was expecting.
F- The mouthfeel is thinner than I would expect for the style. The carbonation is medium. The beer finishes quite dry due to the carbonation and herbal hops. The alcohol presence does provide the warming finish typical of the style.
O- The beer was not as sweet or chewy as I would expect for the style. It does in fact do it's job of warming the drinker although the thinness doesn't do it any favors. It's not unpleasant, but not something I would purchase again.

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Photo of katybee
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

sorry to say, I was a bit disappointed by this "winter ale" offering... I didn't detect any of the sweetness until the beer had warmed up and flattened significantly, and the overall feel to me was thin but not creamy. Like a light, flat Guinness, leaning toward sour, grassy notes in the hops nose and flavor, with little malty biscuity character to balance. The label describes dried Fuggle and Golding hops; just a bit on the sour side with not enough citrus at all, and no molasses or raisin either.... Perhaps a little funky -smokey-cigarette aspect coming through as well... Not what my taste buds expected, anyway... I think the English are not as into the microbrew palate as Americans are.

Pours a thick foamy creamy head, and a greenish-dark gold slightly hazey, but felt light-medium bodied, and watery, not creamy. Not much carbonation at all, despite the foam head. Not so off that it wasn't drinkable, and it was definitely different than a pilsner, but definitely not sweet....maybe somewhat like a hefweizen or belgian sour.... not biscuity or malty enough in my book, but someone who likes guinness and cigarettes might like it.

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Photo of puck1225
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle labeled 2015-2016. Clear reddish brown color with a thin head and good lacing. Smell is a bit sweet. The taste is malty and somewhat metallic. Some fruitiness comes through with warming. Pretty good.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is kind of a template winter warmer without spices - Just a solid malty brew. Similar to Odell's Isolation ale, though perhaps not as interesting.

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Photo of Boca-X
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice creamy, slightly off white head. Light amber/honey hue...looks like like an apple cider or tea in my tulip.

Sweet malty caramel with a touch of bread on the nose.

Again...sweet caramel and malt on the tongue upfront. Medium carbonation, thinner than I expected with a hint of fig in the middle...a bitter dry green tea finish and then a dash of chocolate covered cherry lingers after the swallow.

Honestly I was disappointed with this beer at first, way to thin and watery...almost tea like. That it warmed it became more complex and much more enjoyable. Probably will not buy again...but buying, I'm drinking!

Let it warm up!!!

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light burnt orange with a bubbly off white head. decent retention. aroma is sweet caramel malt. palate is a malty sweetness, a touch of caramel, nutty, bready, a bit of orange. light, crisp body.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into pint glass at room temperature. Flowing out of the bottle the beer produces a nice fluffy white head and a reveals a rich caramel color. The head quickly diminishes into a soapy lacing.

The aroma is of bready malt, fruity esters; aromas of green apple, spice and alcohol.

The flavor of this beer is rather straight forward it consists of bready malt, green apple, and black tea. It has the flavor profile similar to many English Pale ales, just a bit more alcohol forward.In other reviews of this beer some people complained of a dryness, I found this beer to balance a malty sweetness with battering hops quite well.

I enjoy most beers by Samuel Smith; their English classics. Not overly complex or overdone but a bench mark into English beer styles. The Winter Welcome however is underwhelming. There are no off flavors, it's a well crafted brew, but it leaves a lot to be desired. I find myself seeking a more robust malt flavor, not in terms of robustness, but a certain sweetness and caramelization. I have found English beers to have more of an earthy hop characteristics compared to American beers, I think if this beer was just a touch more complex it would be perfect. I just found it far too easy to easy to drink this without much contemplation.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2015/2016. Looks like a rye whiskey, very clear, brownish copper, hardly any bubbles streaming up, with a nice pillowy, fluffy, well-retaining, light yellowed white head. Smells bready, toasty, leafy, peachy, resiny, even a little tart. Quite fruity-tart, apple-like and lemony on the palate as well with notable addition of spices, with minimal breadiness and leafy, leathery, semi-astringent, and tea-like finish and aftertaste. Medium-bodied, not too thin, gentler tingly suds. Looks and tastes like a pale ale more than anything else.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. After looking up how to decipher the code on the bottle, I figured out that G08O1 = July 22nd of 2015. Ridiculous...

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a somewhat symmetrical pattern of bubbles on the surface. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Biscuity malt character with some candi sugar-like sweetness plus some faint spice.

T- Slight hop bitterness at first, then the biscuity malt comes in to provide a balanced sweetness. Alcohol is somewhat apparent but kind of works with the flavor profile. Earthy hop taste.

M- A tad bit sharp from the hops and booze. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- All the flavors work together as a cohesive unit but there's nothing there that's particularly appealing to me. Meh.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Why was I expecting a stout or something darker when it says "Ale" on the bottle? I don't know. Maybe winter vibes got to me. Either way, got a 550 mL bottle, poured into tulip glass.

A - Pours a rich, transparent copper with a good inch or so of head that lingers and leaves a nice lacing.
S - Typical English Ale. Bready malt, nutty, spiced fruit, a cold winter's eve.
T - Malty with a nice hoppy bite, a little burnt caramel with a little fruity sweetness to balance it out.
M - Light/medium body, slightly creamy, good amount of carbonation that's not overpowering.
O - Might purchase again closer to Christmas. Nice bottle design, good medium-bodied ale, definitely warms you up after the first few sips.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It looks a lot paler than i expected, smell is decent, taste id the best part, definitely some winter spices mixed in with a sweet caramel aftertaste.good not great

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

This beer is okay but the earlier releases (15 + years ago) were
far better. It used to be a bit spicier and richer in the nose and taste.
It even looked better: fresher looking head and a little deeper color.
They must have changed the recipe because it has
been weaker in recent years.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In America, we tend to like our hoppy IPA's, funky saisons and roasty stouts, but this time of year, sometimes to give a shout out to a style that is often overlooked.
This was poured into a mug.
The appearance was an orange gold to amber color with a moderately white head that faded quickly. Light lacing chipped into the beer nicely.
The smell was slightly nutty with some spiced fruity tones to grace a sweet caramel maltiness with some light biscuity/breadiness rolling all around.
The was mainly sweet with an ample amount of the nuts to slide in for the balance. There's a nice semi-sweet to nutty aftertaste leading into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a nice sessionability about it. Carbonation seemed good and semi-smooth.
Overall, this is a classic for its style and nice to me and also goes well with some seasonal spiced cake.

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Photo of silverevo9
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Caramel, chocolate, and butterscotch are present. Very nice dark amber color with a thick head and light carbonation. Thinking this wasn't going to be all that great. Pretty good! A lot of complexity here. Very smooth with no bite. Bought this on a whim. Definitely worth the 2.99. Very enjoyable and pretty dank. Taste and presentation far exceeds any nuances on the nose. Will purchase again. Good English ale!

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

18.7 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
didnt catch the date but this was a christmas 2015-2016 label
pours orange gold to amber moderate white head that faded quickly
smell slightly nutty, slightly fruity somewhat sweet with hints of caramel and yeast
taste is malty fruity nutty
feel is somewhat viscous
this is a christmas classic always enjoyable

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Photo of teromous
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is one of the smaller 355mL bottles. The date code is SG09O1 so apparently that means it was bottled on July 09, 2015.

Appearance: The body is very transparent with a deep bronze color. The white head is very short in size and lifespan and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a sweet caramel aroma but that is all.

Taste: There is a nice nutty flavor to the beer and a light bit of caramel flavor. It is very restrained.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty good although it feels a little flat. Medium body and high drinkability.

Overall: It's just an average beer across the board. I'm not sure what really makes this bottle special or sets it apart as a winter beer. I wouldn't call it a winter warmer as the ABV is fairly low. As winter beers go this one focuses on a nutty flavor that is good but begs the eternal question, "why not just buy Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale instead?" The beer is good but the flavor does not conjure up mental images akin to those portrayed on the bottle. To me this would be a good beer to enjoy during early Autumn.

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Photo of andrewksingleton
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this winter ale. It has a very pronounced holiday feel, look and smell. I think the price was good for the value. The bottle has a festive feel and there is a nice after taste. Better than average. I agree with a good rating.

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Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Clear orange with as much white head as you care to pour. Head lasts about ten minutes leaving a curtain of fine bubble lace.
Smell is bready malts dried fruit and herbal hops.
Taste is brown bread malts fruity bitter and fairly bold. There is a bit of dried plum taste in the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation. Finish is lightly bitter and dry.
Overall a nice winter warmer pleasant and very drinkable.

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Photo of 303beer
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light red or deep amber. Classic Sammy Smith rocky head. Lots of lacing. Has a strong seasonal smell. Mostly malt and a bit of hop to it. Not a bad beer but have had better from them. Not to say I won't drink this again because I will.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: A brilliant dark amber pour with a white foam collar that rapidly recedes to a thin film while providing light lace.
S: Moist fruit bread with plum and malt.
T: Stone fruits, malt loaf, plum, with a light sweetness that dries out on the finish with traces of caramel and cardamom.
F: Medium low caronation, medium to just above on the body.
O: A good winter warmer but not as big and rich as I would like.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the clear, annually redesigned label covered bottle, it pours amber with a moderate head. Flavor and scent is malty and very nice. Happy Christmas!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

550 ml bottle poured into an English pub glass. A rusty bronze color with a finger of unassuming but sturdy off-white head, creamy and with some nice lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is quintessentially English but on the sweet side of English, richly malty and fruity with some gentle brown spice. Vaguely recalls cinnamon and root beer. No cloying vanilla, thankfully.

Palate is redolent with cooked apple and plum, caramel malts leaning toward the bready, low-key brown spice as the nose suggests, nuts, custard, woody English hops. The hopping is impressive here ... More assertive than expected. The fruitiness steadily evolves into something more sour that merges with the malts to yield a candied apple effect. Yet the brew remains dry and drinkable.

Mouthfeel? Its slightly thick, if that makes sense. Its no bitter or pale ale, but nor is it a stout. Coats the tongue a little. Produces a nice warming effect. Some molasses shows up late. Moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant floral/woody hop bitterness.

A solid winter warmer. I don't think this actually contains spices. If it does, they are wielded with a restrained and tasteful hand. Plenty of genuine English character.

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Photo of Jaysauras
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Loved the look of the pour. Poured a beautiful amber color with a cream colored soapy head. Good lace. As crisp and clean looking of a beer as you'll ever see. Stunning.

S: The nose is a bit tame. Smell of biscuits, malt, and caramel. Has a very slight fruity citrus scent as well. Sort of smells of an IPA without the hops. Some definite winter spiciness to it. Potentially nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon as well. Depending on the sip and smell you get it different each time it seems.

T: A crisp taste of spice is what hits you right up front. Cinnamon and nutmeg at the start which settles into a warm bread and honey flavor. In the middle there's also a hint of oak or some other sort of woodiness. Has a very slight bit of apple on the back of the tongue. It has that english bitterness and hopiness to it in the finish that is almost unmistakable for a brewer from the UK. Good blend of flavors and altogether very drinkable. Refreshingly dry.

F: Light and crisp with plenty of tingly carbonation to keep your mouth alive. No wonder it is called a winter warmer, this bad boy is warm from the minute it hits your tongue all the way down to your chest. Warms like a 9%+ while only being 6. Interesting

O: Definitely not my favorite from Sam Smith, but overall a great seasonal beer that is downright sessionable and a must try. I could definitely sit in a pub and throw back a few of these before realizing how much I'd had. Good blend of flavors, and an absolutely exquisite looking beer. It isn't outstanding in anyway outside of the look, but overall it is a very solid addition. Haven't had a bad beer from Samuel Smith's yet. Even with a beer such as this that isn't as enjoyable as others, it's still damn good.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,199 ratings.
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