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 Auraan
4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear amber red body with a one finger bubbly white head. A very nice looking ale, a nice gem. Scents of caramel, light molasses, fruity esters, mostly apple, sweet spices, with notes of cinnamon most apparent, rich, sweet bready malt, a very slight alcohol presence, some light aromas of white grape raisins. Overall impression of aroma is of a rich, sweet winter ale in the English tradition. Malty, spicy, slightly fruity and quite pleasant. Flavor begins malty and Iightly sweet, with notes of caramel, light levels of sweet spices, balanced by the slight bitterness of earthy and herbal Fuggle and Golding hops. Middle picks up in dryness a bit, with notes of sweet spices, the same hop character, rich caramel malt, apple, rich bready malt. Finish is lightly dry, with the same hop character continuing, alongside light notes of apple and bready malt, with a slight mustiness like a good traditional English old ale. Aftertaste is bready, rich malt and nice English hop bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a wonderfully balanced ale, striking nicely between Malta and hops, with malt dominating, but hops always present and keeping the beer from being overly sweet. An excellent example of the style. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and the slightly chalky feel that many of Samuel Smith's ales have from the Yorkshire water. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very nice, drinkable winter ale, not too thick nor too thin. Perfectly balanced. Overall this is N excellent winter warmer, easily the best I have sampled. It has a wonderfully malty aroma and an amazingly balanced flavor, aided by a traditionally English mouthfeel. A good example of an English winter ale and well worth drinking.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two bottles. I poured one into a pint glass and the other into a mug.
Basically, a longer lasting head in the mug. The rest is basically the same.
A semi-reddish/brown color with a nice looking head that dissipated and left a ringy soapy stringy lacing all around the glass.
The smell had a semi-soapy sweet malty, light cooked chocolate and weird cake-like quality.
The taste was pretty much the same. There's a sticky malty aftertaste and quick sweet finish.
The mouthfeel sat about light to medium bodied with a fairly sessionable to semi-sipping quality about it. The carbonation seemed decent for the style, it leads to a good smoothness.
Overall, I say this was an okay winter warmer, nothing special, maybe could come back.

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Photo of RazorbackGT
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got a bottle only because it was on sale at about 2.50. Has a beautiful reddish amber color and smelled sweet and malty. The taste is another story. I get a malty sour apple juice with an awful aftertaste. Never tasted anything like it and probably won't buy again. Love Sam's organic chocolate stout and oatmeal stout but now I see why it was marked down... if you like sour notes then have at it but otherwise you probably won't enjoy it.

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Photo of rangerman21
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look- Amber with a white head with decent retention
Smell- fairly malty,
Taste- complex. good malt flavors at first balanced out by a nice hop finish that's not overpowering.
Mouthfeel- bright
Overall- Never having had this beer before I decided to try it. I have to say, it's a bit different than what I was expecting from a winter ale, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good beer. It's complex character makes it an interesting beer.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium amber producing 2+ fingers of beige, somewhat lasting, frothy head that recedes to a nice cap but leaves almost no lace. Aroma is caramel malt & fruity, lightly buttered biscuit, spices, a hint of roast & floral hops. Taste is fruity & caramel malt (caramel candy apple), biscuit & spices up front with sweet caramel malt, butter, toasted bread, hints of roasted nuts, orange & herbal hops in the finish. Bitterness develops lightly after mid-sip, intensifying into the aftertaste where it begins to fade. Produces a spicy, lightly roasted & bitter aftertaste. Alcohol presence is minimal in the nose & mouth but is more prominent in the mouth especially in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth, tongue coating, slightly oily & chewy. This is quite tame compared with some the American craft Winter Warmers being offered. Strongly reminds me of what might be called robust British pale ale. It certainly has the buttery character I have come to expect from British pale ales.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale last week for $2.79 at The Lager Mill. I've been meaning to try this beer for a little while now and with this cold weather a Winter Warmer sounds pretty good right now, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a foiled brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it goes with the name a little and it's just a little eye catching. It poured a pretty clear caramel amber color that took on more of amber red color when held to the light with a little over two and a half fingers worth of fluffy very light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and spotty lacing behind. This was a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with that english ale yeast being the first to show up and it imparts some typical aromas with a fruity apple cider like aroma sticking out the most. Up next comes some sweet malts that lead into some caramel malt, light toffee and caramel like aromas with a lighter amount of spices showing up with no single spice sticking out the most. This beer had a nice aroma, but i i wish it had a little better balance.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the English Ale yeast still being the first to show up and it imparts that same fruit aspect with some apple juice and light dark fruit flavors sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart the same nice malty aspects that it did in the aroma with caramel malts sticking out the most. Up next comes that same mixture of spices and it's followed by just a slight earthy hop flavor. On the finish there's pretty much no bitterness with a little bit of sweetness taking it's place and it has a apple juice, caramel and spices showing up in the aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, but just like the aroma I wish it had better balance.

M- Smooth, pretty creamy, a little crisp, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel and it worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and i thought it was a solid example of the style, it wasn't nearly as spiced as most American Winter Warmer's and while that did help make it more drinkability, it also made the taste a little more bland than it could be. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, pretty creamy, a little crisp, not too filling and the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, one is my limit, anymore than that and I would start to get bored with it, but it does drink smooth. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were both good and to me they were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, when it came to the taste and aroma it seemed like the English Ale yeast was a little too dominating. I don't think I would buy this again, but I wouldn't turn one down, there's just many more Winter Warmers that I would rather have. I can't say I would really recommend this beer, but if your really into English Ales it might be worth a try. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love, I feel like it needs a little bit of work, but it does have some potential , there were some things I liked and some that I did not. This isn't a favorite for this brewery and it falls about in the middle for the style. Nice job guys, this was a solid ale, keep up the solid work.

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Photo of Kooz
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very faint amber with some head which leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. Smells faintly of malt and slight hops. Tastes slightly sour and bitter. The bitterness may be a little too much; the sourness is nice. Slightly boozy--a little more than I care for--but not bad. Very nice mouthfeel--creamy and rich. It's a nice beer for the winter, and even with better options, I don't think you could go wrong with a bomber of this.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a pint glass. The eleventh beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a clear dark orange color with streaming carbonation and off-white head that left splashy lace.

S- Big herbal and earthy notes, fruity English yeast notes, and tea notes. The aroma was a little off. It smelled a little stale and musty.

T- Toffee, light caramel, fruity English yeast, chai tea, bready notes, grassy hops, and finished with a moderate bitterness.

M- Very high carbonation, prickly, very dry, light warming, and medium body.

O- This is my first English Winter Warmer and it is definitely different from the American takes on the style I have had, many which are loaded with holiday spices. I was a bit surprised by how over carbonated the beer was and at 6% ABV it wasn't a big warmer.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured into a pint glass to a light brown with a two finger dense off white head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: nose is dark fruits and bready caramel malt
T: taste is surprisingly light bit there are notes of plums, some caramel malt, bready malt, a little spice from some hops and some lingering sweetness throughout. swallow is a little nutty with more caramel and bready malt
M: this beer has a pretty heavy body with slightly prickly carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: Overall a pretty solid Winter Warmer. The flavors seem kind of soft but the complexity is nice and all the flavors are there. fairly low in bitterness but it's still an enjoyable winter brew

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Photo of mick303
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Attractive appearance. Medium caramel brown colour, very clear with quite solid lacing and retention.

S- caramel and a firm minerality, bready grains, earthy hops, some orange citrus, some floral notes also.

T- balanced start with mineral and floral start, grainy malts, medium balanced caramel, honey, fruit cake, quite a nice full malty brew, with spicy hints, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg maybe, dries out on the finish with a firm yeast body.

M- full grainy body, moderate carbonation and then some drying hop bitterness. All around a mild spicy and malty ale, grows in bitterness no spice as it warms, and has nice sessionability.

Overall this was succinct and well put together, mild spicing and hop character and a good balance. Only point was the flavour is a bit mild, lies on the malts and some floral no spice character, drying finish. I think this would be great on cask, from the bottle it is fairly middle of the road.

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

550 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled on 7/17/2014. Pours slightly hazy orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, apple, fig, date, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, apple, fig, date, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, plum, apple, fig, date, light pepper, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice English pale ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BeautyandtheBeerd
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed on Episode 1 of Beauty and the Beerd.

We were looking forward to this one, and decided to share it by the fire and the christmas tree in our Samuel Smith Glasses.

A bit underwhelming in pretty much every regard. I think I had higher expectations for it, but it was a fine ale. Not something that will steal the show, or a holiday party, but a decent, if somewhat boring beer.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 550-ml (18.6 oz.) bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: Nov. 24, 2014
Consumed: Nov. 30, 2014
Misc.: Silver foil on head and neck of bottle

Poured a caramel, amber, clear color with two fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. A good amount of streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Average amount of retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled boozy caramel malts up front, which gave way to plum, dates, roasty malts, toasty nuts, earthy rye hops, and more sugary caramel. Booziness reminded me of Wild Turkey. (Smell - 3.25)

Tasted sugary caramel malts once again. Not as boozy as the nose. Also roasty malts, toasty nuts, raisins, dates, grainy rye malts, toast and slight rye whiskey. (Taste - 3.25)

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt, boozy, malty finish. (Feel - 3.25)

Nothing too special about this beer. I wouldn’t have it again. (Overall - 3.25)

3.28 | 75 | B-

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Photo of schoolboy
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, here's my second review. The first wasn't good, since the horrible BA software is making me do it again, it won't be better.

The brew makes me wonder why. What were they thinking.

It is yellow and very malty smelling. The taste is bitter sweet. But dirty. The aftertaste is the same dirty.

It doesn't work for me, like this web site, often

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

This brew pours a brown/red color. It shows lots of ruby red when held up to the light. There is a fluffy two finger head which lasts for a while, good lacing and good carbonation.

The smell is sweet malts, some spices, (I don't know which), caramel, anti-stringent and floral hops. There is also and alcohol smell which leaks through.

The taste follows the nose with sweet malts and spices hitting the palate first. Then the caramel along with a sour fruit flavor and slightly nutting flavor. Some floral and spicy hops come in on the back end. There is a light amount of hop oil left on the tongue after swallowing. Also some alcohol taste leaks through along with a warming feeling. The brew feels thick and chewy.

Overall this is a very good winter warmer. It has a nice mix of malts, hops, spices and warming effect and everything is well balanced.

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Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pouring a vibrant copper, Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale gives off a pleasantly caramel-biscuit smell laced with hints of holiday spices. The gingerbread and allspice notes give way to a subtly fruity undercurrent. On the palate, there's a good amount of the caramel and biscuit malt flavors, but they're accompanied by an earthy flavor of hops with notes of subtle citrus and grass. The subtly builds with raspberry and red fruit flavors joining in. The body is moderate, slightly carbonated, and slightly bright and bitter. The ending is clean, with earth, fruit, and spice subtly vanishing.

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Photo of Jimisyourdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

My first winter warmer and really the beer that got me into craft beers 10 years ago. This malty delicious treat is something I look forward to every winter. It never gets old.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

550 ml bottle, poured into a shaker pint at approximately 40 degrees F.

A: Clear coppery-amber with minimal head and lacing, continuously bubbly.

S: A mild aroma, mostly a gingerbready mix of spice and malt with an earthy undertone.

T: Primarily sweet caramel malt with a mild spice presence, just enough to convey that gingerbread feeling. The earthiness from the nose was also present, enough to be noticeable, without overpowering the sweetness.

M: Relatively thin, but decidedly lively.

O: A decent winter warmer, though I don't know that I'll repeat it. At least, unless the 550 ml bottle is on sale at Jungle Jim's for less than $3 again.

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Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper at the edges with a medium amber hue overall poured to a tulip. A massive head to three plus fingers with a foamy puffy texture. Good retention and lacing is thick but only in a few a patches.

S- Fruity English yeast with some pale caramel maltiness. Certainly some apple and raisin from the English yeast atop hints of sweetness and pear. Spicy and grassy hops.

T- Again a decent amount of spiced dried fruits, apple and pear notes reminiscent of an English Pale. A fair amount of herbal, spicy and fruity hop notes. Crystal grains provide some caramel sugar and sweetness.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a slightly frothy and foamy body. The bubbles come in at a medium level perhaps a shade below that. Lightly bitter.

Welcoming winter with a beer like this wouldn't be my strategy but overall this is a decent English brew. Perhaps a bit too much apple and pear feel but nice malts and Euro hops.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the 550mL bottle into a snifter.

Heavy carbonation of the fizzy variety produces a lively beer when poured. A finger and a half of creamy white head forms and bubbles for a short time before dissipating. The body is caramel and amber and highly transparent. 4.25

It looks like caramel and it sure smells like some caramel. There are also bready malts, toffee, and a subtle spice with a sweetness to it. Nothing overpowering here, just an overall pleasant and enticing smell. 4

All of the aromatics work their way onto the palate, continuing the caramel-heavy approach with this beer. Caramel, maybe even caramel apple, earthy hops, and bread and biscuits all coincide about mid-palate, coaxed on by the well-carbonated mouthfeel. Still, there's plenty of smoothness and creaminess to make this the winter warmer one would want and expect. Surprisingly, the hops seem to add a bit of spice, both in the feel and in the flavor.

Unfortunately, the further I get into the beer, the more I'm bothered by the level of carbonation and the caramel apple taste, which almost feels an offtaste.
T-3.5 M- 3.25

I like the generous hop presence in this, even if it's not the piney, resinous, aggressive hops we're used to here in the United States. This brew is certainly a good way to welcome winter, at least as far as the caramel sweetness and the creaminess, but I feel it may be overcarbed to quite be the slow sipper I envision for winter.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to cbutova for bringing over this random pickup. Always nice to remind myself that subtle English beers still exist in the midst of coffee bourbon barrel maple 13% stout madness.

This poured a translucent amber color, had decent head retention and left some lace behind. Smelled of biscuity malts, some toasted bread, and light caramel apple. Taste is similar, very straight-up English pale/ESB-reminiscent. Pretty malty with buttered toast and caramel with good balancing herbal and light fruity hops. There is some apple and dark fruit presence going on as well. The mouthfeel is decent, kinda on the watery side though, high carbonation.

This is kinda average-seeming these days, but drinks fine. I give it extra props because it kinda seems like an old-school classic. I do wish it had a more 'winter warmer' feel though (spice, deeper malts), this could pass as an English pale to me.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014/2015. Clear medium amber pour with a nice dark ruby cast. Exceptional massive head, lacing and retention. Nice nose of caramel malt, a bit of biscuit and a classic mineral note. Slightly above light medium body with a smooth texture. Excellent carbonation with a nice effervescence throughout. The crisp, well constructed, flavor profile is intense, balanced and complex. It begins with toasty biscuit that flows to caramel sweetness. The middle effervesces nicely into a Goldings flavored medium bitterness over a distinct mineral note. The crisp finish effervesces nicely into a somewhat dry slow fade that leaves you with a nice bit of bitter hop flavor over a biscuit sweetness with hints of citrus and dark fruit. As everything fades away, the mineral note dominates over a slight pepper like note of spice.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: a nice light reddish brown color. a finger or so of a tannish head that sticks around for ages and leaves a strong lacing around the edges of the glass. completely clear and with good brightness.

Smell: a strong and pronounced nuttiness. slightly sweet caramel malts, biscuity to toasted bread malts. a overly strong grassy to musty aroma near the end.

Taste: opens with a malty nut flavor. opens up with sweet red to slightly darker malts. some aspects come off as toasty or bready malts. sweetness is moderately strong. however a grassy musty taste comes through rather strongly.

Mouthfeel: medium light body. little to no bitterness. no lingering sweetness or flavors.

Overall: I had tried some good Sam Smith's lately so I thought I'd give this a try on the first real cold day we had. Unfortunately I was let down with it. I was hoping for a little bit more warmth in some way and the grassy flavor comes off musty and not too good with the rest of whats going on.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed from a bottle, this 2013/2014 version pours a brownish amber with a very nice
thick tannish to off white head that lingers with fantastic lacing. Nose of caramel, nutty roasted goodness, light herbal hops, brown sugar, maple, and a hint of vanilla. Flavor of sweet caramel and brown sugar up front with a solid dose of bready malts. Vanilla comes through on the back with a light hop bite that keeps it lively on the mouthfeel and easy drinking. A seasonal favorite that slightly changes every year showcasing the craft of the brewer. Most excellent.


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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Sampling right now after raking up another 5 bags of leaves out front and getting eat up my mosquitoes in this 80 degree weather in late October here in Nebraska.. LOL! Comes in a 550ml (18.7 ounce) bottle but I think it comes in a smaller bottle as well. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to .5l weissber vase glass.

Pours a pretty burnt hazy orange in color with a thin with cap. Some 'ring-like' lacing is seen with each sip that stays around for a bit. Looks like rings on a tree stump. The aroma is of malts, hint of nuts, brown sugar and some spice. More going on with the taste with come maple and caramel sweetness in the mix as well. Very tasty and smooth as I wasn't sure how this one would be.. Goes down easy with no bitter or harsh aftertaste. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall a great brew!

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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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