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

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1,137 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England)

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: 1,137 | Ratings: 2,150
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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Photo of kgammell1
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Nutty, solid maltiness. Smooth, slightly dry hops balance it out nicely. I've never been disappointed in Samuel Smith's beers and this one continued the trend. An easy to drink beer that goes perfectly with almost anything, especially as the temperatures dip.

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Photo of bnes09
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Nice caramel color with a rich, long-lasting head. Malty, nutty aroma. Rich and malty on the palate with caramel and maple sweetness. Hints of roasted nuts. Subtle earthy hop to balance. Mild spices. Very well balanced. Medium bodied and incredibly smooth. Very easy to drink. Just an all around stellar winter ale.

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Photo of nicholas2121
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale brewed by Samuel Smith Old Brewery with an ABV of 6.0% this brew pours out a nice golden amber color with a nice white, head. This is a filtered brew; you can see right thought it. The smell is rich with grains and some bitterness. Not much else to say out the smell of this brew. As far as the taste it is nice a crisp, but smooth at the end. You pick up on the grains in this brew. Winter Welcome Ale has a nice balance to it ,there is nothing overpowering in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice and clean. Samuel Smith old Brewery did a nice job with this brew. overall I'm giving this brew a 4 out 5. I would get this brew again.

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

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster). Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this has got a three finger head, adequate lacing, and a clear, medium light brown body.

I smell malt galore, some type of nut aroma,maybe even a dash of butter. This needs to fuller for a 4. But its a pleasant shift for Christmas in July.

I taste the same characteristics as I did with the smell. Sweeter caramel-y vibe going on here, too. Rich and full. This does a great job of reminding of the frosty months ahead here in Ohio. I kind of wish this was slightly more profound here too.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. Only a slight lingering element here that lasts only a minute or so. But hey, this is a savory winter brew; so its not gonna be very crisp.

Overall a very good 3.75 for Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster). This would've gotten a higher score if if it were at least just a BIT fuller. I will buy this again

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Sampling a 2011-2012 bottle poured into a snifter. the beer is a gift from my brother Brian.
The beer pours a clear mahogany color with minimal sudsy eggshell head foaming up and receding to a thin edge layer very quickly.
Aroma is a little caramel and some vinous white grape. The nose is fairly muted though and I dont get much even after an agitating swirl and my nose buried in the glass.
The first sip reveals a lighter than anticipated body with very fine and tingly carbonation.
The flavor is similar to nose with some white grape and caramel mixing together. I also get just a little bit of some sort of spiciness, maybe cinnamon? Not sure, but something hits the back of my palate on each swallow. I do get a little peppery booze but no heat on the finish.
A very easy to drink beer, a little light on flavor and nose but otherwise decent.

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Photo of Foyle
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1” sudsy head dissipates quickly with moderate lacing. Color is amber and mostly clear with significant carbonation.
Aroma: mild citrus fruit, yeasty bread, raisins, caramel
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: has the fluffiness typical in English ales. There is a nice balance between the sweet, bready, caramel malts along with citrus rind and earthy hops. There is a warming alcohol burn which lingers after the swallow.
Overall: Another great offering from one of the best breweries in the world. Quite appropriate for the time of year.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.32/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Deep red (mahogany) colored brew. Nice white fluffy head hold good retention. Good lacing too

Whoa. Grape juice aroma. Kinda bland.

Wet, thick, fluid, chewy, kinda weird and off. Too much crystal and not nearly enough caramel. Funky bitter dryness. Unbalanced carbonation too. Too much missing with the flavors.

Can't recommend, even at $2/16.9oz. This brew has simply too many parts and pieces missing. Not complex, balanced, blended, or thought out.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
2.57/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a medium brown with minimal head. Smells malty and clean. Not much going on and has a slightly bitter finish. Clean tasting but not much substance at all. Very thin. Carbonation is low to medium. I was expecting a thicker more substantial beer due to the winter ale moniker. A bit disappointed in this one.

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

Notes of toffee, caramel, malt, toast and subtle English hops prevail throughout the nose. With each sip, the same notes are revisited, though the carbonation carries the flavors throughout the palate. The flavors are never perceived as overly sweet- or "extracty" as some other winter warmers can come across. Finishes a touch dry, but that makes you want to take another sip.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into large stemmed ice tea glass. Enjoying after a nice winter/spring hike through the woods in Pocono Pines. Appears bright orange copper with very nice steady carbonation and head that fades to thin film. Some lacing on the glass sides. Smells of chestnuts & hazelnuts with woody, earthy hop aroma. Tastes nutty & sweet upfront with light caramel touch. Some candied fruit seems evident. Sweet malt taste fades to even bitterness that helps round this one out. Mouthfeel is medium to full. This beer reminds me of cracking open some nuts on a cold winter day while tending to a fire.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Domaine DuPage tulip it pours a clear red amber with a high froth of white that settles slowly leaving an impressive lacing.

The nose comprises black cherry and rum soaked raisin with sweet malt notes.

The tastes brings a sweet malty flavor but balanced. Some dark fruit and fig and black cherry with some alcohol and some earthy hop in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium with low/moderate carbonation.

Overall a nice winter warmer and it is just as tasty as I remember it from back in the day.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AROMA- light toffee, fresh grain, lightly tasted, dried golden raisin, - all light and subtle, moderate acetylaldehyde, very low D, medium-low floral hop

FLAVoR- medium intenity smooth and lush light caramel sweetness dominates, medium-high spicy/floral/fruity hop presence, medium-low black currant and yellow raisin character, maybe some white grape, acetylaldehyde is moderate, light smack of buttered toast in the finish, no lingering bitterness.

Mothfeel- full-bodied, creamy, medium-low carbonation, no noticeable alcohol,

APPEARANCE- new penny copper, extremely clear, low white head

OVERALL- never got the whole winter angle, not exceptionally warming, just a super-solid UK ESB that goes down smooth

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Front label is extremely eye-catching with great colors and nice graphics. Label gives a bit of brewery info, states “Product of England”, “2013-2014”, “Brewed at Yorkshire's Oldest Brewery”. Back label gives a nice description and back story of the beer, ABV info, web info, and a bit of brewery info. Neck wrapped in gold foil. Bottle has “Samuel Smith” and Bottle at Yorkshires Oldest Brewery Est. 1758” embossed in the glass.

Appearance: Winter Welcome was aggressively poured from its 550ml Victorian pint bottle into a 20oz Imperial pint glass leading to a 2½ finger eggshell white head of a medium-thick density resting atop a clear amber/copper colored beer. Head retention was an excellent 5min 8sec before fading to a thick coating and thick ring with excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is a bit fruity with a nutty buttery malt aroma and nice scents of molasses, brown sugar, and candied fruits. A bit of clove spiciness and a bit of light hops balance out the nose nicely.

Flavor/Taste: Taste is of sweet bready malts with a bit of caramel, candied fruits, and toffee on the front-end. Mid-point is still on the sweet side with hints of roasty nutty malts becoming prevalent and a very nice hop bitterness shining through for balance. Back-end is nutty and hop bitter with a nice hop bite with a slightly hoppy aftertaste.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Thick and full bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel and a perfect carbonation. Extremely drinkable and not over filling despite its full bodied nature.

Overall/Comments: Winter Welcome Ale is a great beer that is done very well on every level. Well balanced with a nice nose and tasty flavor profile. A must try. Consumed 12/25/2013. Classified as a Winter Warmer @ 6.00% ABV.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from an 18.7 ounce bottle into a 10 ounce sampler. I like the white Yorkshire rose on the label and the big white draft horses that they still use to deliver beer.

I tried a moderately aggressive pour, but backed off as the suds threatened to overfill the glass. The head is off-white in color and appears plenty sticky. The beer itself is a copper color, crystal clear, with above average carbonation.

I get that semi-sweet, mineral flavor and aroma typical of these English ales, and which I really appreciate and enjoy. I also notice some subtle fruity flavors somewhat like peaches or apple. The hops are very noticeable on the back of the tongue, and provide good balance, but I would say there is very little hop character overall (rather typically). I agree with that, because this is a beer where you want to taste that malt. It does have a dry finish, and the alcohol becomes more apparent as it warms (though it is not all that strong).

This is a very tasty ale, but probably best to limit it to one. Cheerio!

Note- revised to correct my horrible mis-attribution of the Yorkshire rose.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Amber-gold. Clear. Medium tall cream-colored head with good retention.

Smell - Rich malts. Raisin and prune. Toffee.

Taste - Dark malt. Chocolate and coffee bean with dark fruit. Seems a little thin. A little sour hops is evident in the finish. Alcohol isn't evident in the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium.

Overall - Certainly drinkable and likely warming, but not one of the best examples of this style.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,150 ratings.
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