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

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1,139 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: 1,139 | Ratings: 2,166
Photo of PSUDREW
2.49/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark orange color. Nice bit of head, some lacing don at the end. However, with what people have proclaimed of this beer, i am not impressed. I am going to have to get some more (3 tries thus far), but this just ain't cutting it. Has not very citrus/hop taste, not very malt taste, just a general bitter flavor to it. It didn't smeel mich like anything, and in all honstly, that prob helped it. I hope the boys over at SS do better, becuase I am used to a higher standard from them, and this doesn't cut it!

 519 characters

Photo of OatmattStout
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale orange color and a small head with some lacing. Not much of a smell but some light buttery notes. Taste was straight forward with good balance but nothing really lumped out at me. Was really expecting something spicy and bold from a good brewery like SS, but was left feeling flat. I will save the rest of the 4 pack for my macro drinking guests who feel adventures this Christmas.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(2003-2004 edition reviewed)

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome is indeed the seasonal offering brewed by those Tadcaster folks. It is actually the first Sam Smith beer that I've tried that has disappointed me somewhat. Instead of brewing somthing memorable, this winter brew (that clocks in at 6% abv) is more of the middle of the road type of ale that is good at warming you up on a cold night, but the flavor is far from memorable. The bottle bears the English proverb "Blessing of your heart you brew good ale" quoted by Sir Proteus' clownish servant Launce in Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." For me, this was the most memorable feature of the beer.

The Winter Welcome pours a golden amber color with a nice slightly off-white foam that retains well, but leaves almost no lace. The smell reminded me of a lower-strength Scotch Ale. Some malt sweetness was detectable, with some "dark fruits" and a bit of graham cracker too. The mouthfeel was reasonably smooth, but a bit more carbonated than expected. A malt sweetness hits the tongue up front and carries some light butterscotch notes. To me, the most predominant flavor in this was the alcohol. There were some dark fruits detected, and the alcohol gives the beer a drying effect, along with the decent spicy/citric hop bitterness. The beer is bitter and warming going down. Dryness continues in the aftertaste, and some apple-like notes arise as well. This beer finishes off with a good amount of warmth in the belly.

This was the least memorable Sam Smith's I've had. Luckily, I snagged my bottle right out of the case so there was no time for it to get lightstruck. There was more of an alcohol flavor than I was expecting, and while the flavors were good, it would have help up better if it were a bit more complex. A drinkable ale no doubt, but not as outstanding as the other beers in the Sam Smith's line.

And a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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

Appearance: Crystal clear amber pour. Frothy, tightly bubbled head fades quickly leaving minimal lace.
Smell: Sweet caramel/toffee malt, whiff of butterscotch, earthy/grassy notes, but didn't detect any clear hops.
Taste: Sweet creamy malt to start, top is tingly and acidic, dries nicely with spicy/citrus hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation size and level. Alcohol presence becomes apparent later, but hides very well.
Drinkability: Very drinkable, if not particularly memorable.

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Photo of stingo
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A very good brew from Samuel Smith's - while not as warming as other winter brews, the Winter Welcome Ale is definitely an enjoyable entry. A good deal better on the warm side, this ale is not a flavor monster, but a well made beer nonetheless. Well-balanced, with a definite bite to it make it a great "feel good" session beer for those long winter nights.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

amber brown color, with good head and some lacing. Smell of alcohol in original review, getting more barleywine aroma 3.5 years later. Warms you up, in the winter. Malt sweetness, some apple fruit and mild spice. Hops and carbonation abundant that tingles tongue. had a second bottle two years later that went very well with sushi because of mild astringency. Bottle 3.5 years later hops in finish carbonation just right cellaring for nine months.Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, clear amber with a thick, bubbly white head supported by significant carbonation. The smell was of subtle hops dominated by a sharp ginger tanginess. The mouthfeel was light and sparkling, but the taste is rather disappointing; nothing much stands out--a dull metallic undertone, certainly a little buttery malts. OK.

 331 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with an ample and fluffy white head settling over clear light, light reddish liquid. There was a whiff of skunkiness when I first stuck my schnozz in the glass that seemed to dissipate once things settled down...slightly. Otherwise, some light butterscotch/diacetyl and light maltiness is present with some delicate hop aroma. The taste features light/medium mouthfeel, subtle fruitiness and a nice, slightly metallic hop note, fading into a somewhat dryish and bitter finish. A quality brew that's a fine example of what holiday beers used to be like before the advent of more aggressively flavored microbrewed examples became the norm.

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

Like Santa’s suit, a foamy white collar sat atop a translucent red brew when I poured my Winter Welcome. The scent revealed a touch of spices, but also gave me my first indication that this particular serving might be a little off, with a light whiff of skunk. Light in the mouth but warm and malty, with a light hint of indeterminable spices and a nice clean finish, with a hoppy character.

I’m giving this one the benefit of the doubt because it seemed a bit off and wasn’t up to par with the other two beers I sampled. I’ll have to try it again, but if it was truly a bit off, it still performed pretty well. Maybe I just expected more.

Part #3 of the 12/8 Hebrew Hammer Holiday Threeway

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Photo of beergeek279
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with a nice white head. The smell is fairly malty. The taste is quite malty, without a lot of hops to really speak of. Mouthfeel is creamy. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

This may have well been the beer that made me into a craft beer lover...the first great beer that I'd had, and what led me to seek out other beers. That said, now that I've had plenty of better beers, this isn't quite as good as I remember. Still, I'll always have to thank Sam Smith for leading me on the path to beer redepmption, and as such, I'll likely have this one in years to come.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 batch. Pours a translucent palest copper color with nice light tan head. Strange because the color is lighter than their pale ale. Decent lacing. Not really much to speak of in the aroma department aside from some Englishy malt notes and weak spices and maybe a trace nose of hops. Taste is a little thin, weak buttery malt and scant spice rounded with a mild hop tartness in the finish. Not thouroughly impressed, but a good beer. Mouthfeel seems to be the best part of the brew.

2004 batch. More of a winter warmer than last year's. Malty aroma and a light fruitiness. A whole-hearted improvement on last year's batch, which I recall weighing in at 4.9%. I had to up a couple of stats to average it out. Me likey.

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Photo of woemad
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003-04 vintage 550ml bottle purchased at Huckleberry's for $2.99. Poured a golden amber color, with a big fluffy white head. Nice sheets of lacing are left with each tilt of the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts and pine needles, with the malts being the dominant partners. The taste starts out as sweet maltiness, then theres a piney, hoopy taste and the finish is pleasingly dry. This is by far the least hoppy winter beer I've had. While it will probably disappoint hopheads, I think the balance is nice, and makes a nice change of pace from many of the winter beers I've had where the hops are hugely dominant.

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Photo of oelergud
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear ruby body, low carbonation and a stubornly steady off-white head.
Smells alot more alcoholic than it is and has a good deal of malt and some caramel in the nose.
Taste is awesome, sweet malt fills your mouth, a little dry finish, faint hops comes through after the maltiness subsides.
Full and solid body, leaves a slick feeling and does down easy.
Yet again an excellent brew from Samuel Smith!


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Photo of Beaver13
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Winter Welcome Ale poured copper with lots off lively carbonation that resulted in a thick white head that was fairly creamy and retained well. The aroma was kind of piney, bready, alcoholic smell with some metallic and skunky tones. The taste was sweet, bready malts initially with a hoppy finish. A very smooth drinking beer but not nearly as much flavor as I would expect from a winter brew.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy orangeish-brown color with half a finger head. There is a little lacing left on the glass. The smell is a good blend of malt and hops, sweet with caramel, but with some hop bitterness. The taste is malty and a little tart at first. Bits of caramel, toffee, and bread in there. A good dose of hops on the finish. The body is fairly thick and strong. The drinkability is also fairly good. A pretty nice winter brew.

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

Sammy Smith creates some of my favorite brews, especially their Imperial Stout. I only tried this one once before last February and I didn't like it that much, but I figured I'd give it another shot. Paid $3 for the 550ml bottle. Poured a clear amber into my glass with a white foamy head. It lingered for a little bit then settled with little lacing. Smelled sweet and of roasted malts. Taste the same. A sweet ale with a heavy malt taste. I did enjoy it more this time around. 6% abv means drink it up fellas! As for myself, it is rather dry to drink often.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright amber/glowing orange in color-sports an ample, creamy top and lace that can be brought to head with a bit of swirling. Aromatics feature fruity malt that borders on slightly sweet. In the mouth, the beer is crisp and clean. Flavors lean towards the bitter-sweet side and favor toasty malt. Fruity hops keep a fine balance and linger, while sweet bisquit like flavors add complexity. The beer finishes with a touch of sweet malt and a mild hop twang. Good, yet not an awe-inspiring brew.

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

Love the labels more than the beer and always have (though I do think Sam S. the brewery is a top-notch operation and though I do drink several of these Sam Smith Winter Welcomes by tradition each year).

Appearance/smell: Poured with good heading into the glass. Color was light a ruby-red. Little aroma, evidence of malt and caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel/taste: Thin mouthfeel at first, but with medium-high carbonation (helped the score). Taste was of English and crystal malts with a fruity, real ale flavor. Good balance with hops serving only to detract overt sweetness.

As I stated, I do drink several of these each year. I don't have to drink the best at all times, and with this one, I don't. But it is a pleasant "eternal-return," albeit a too-expensive one.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a birght amber with a lacy white head. Smells of light sweet malt and lightly bitter. Not much going on for the aromas.

Tastes is creamy smooth and lightly spicy. Has a nice hoppy finish but the hops don't do much to asert themselves. Light sweet malt flavors, very lightly fruity. Light spiciness but overall this beer is just plain smooth and creamy. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit light-bodied. Feather-like hops aftertaste.

For a Strong Ale is is amazingly smooth and creamy. Tremendously drinkable and very tasty. However all the elements just don't add up for me. A very nice ale but not one I would associate with a "Winter Warmer" type of brew. I just expect more boldness with a winter beer. I will save the other bottle until early spring...

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Photo of merlin48
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml clear bottle with the really nice label. Pours an almost clear golden amber with plenty of off-white head. Nose seems more spices than malt. Mouthfeel is adequately carbonated with a tang on the tongue. I like the taste, but it's difficult to describe. Nothing at all like any Sam Smith I've ever had. Sweet malts dominate, caramel with a spice background seem to provide most of the taste, with a dry hop finish. Fruits are in the picture as well, but this brew is a puzzler for me to describe, to be honest.

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

Pours a light amber with a big spongy off white head. Left ok lace.
Aromas of sweet malt, light caramel, spiciness and mildly tart yeast.
Tasted of sweet bready malts, lots of fruitiness and a pleasant tangy hop presence. No huge upfront flavors but everything was nicely balanced.
Smooth but light bodied for the style with good carbonation. Definitly a quaffable beer.
Not my idea of a winter beer but it wasn't bad for what it was.

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Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light amber color with a lacey white head. The aroma is good, but nothing spectacular. It has some fruity qualities to it along with a scent of light crystal malts and an elevated abv. The taste is good. It is a stronger than usual amber ale. It has a good balance between malts and hops. It's a low/medium bodied ale with good carbonation. It is a fine sessions ale.

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Photo of alexgash
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this following the AVB winter solstice, and I liked this one more. Pours a medium copper body with a small off-white head. Smells of plums, red wine, some candy sweetness, and yeast. Interesting. Taste has some lightly sweet malts, more plums, some vinuousness. Bitter hops follow and linger into the finish. There's also some lingering brown sugar sweetness. Distinctly Sam Smith's tasting. Better than AVB, but still no jubelale!

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

Appearance - A clear copper that is amazingly transparent. This is a very nice looking beer. It had a thin head that only formed the edge of the glass. Lacing was minimal.

Aroma - There were mild fruit and spice elements I could detect. Not much else.

Taste - Not alot of flavor here. There was a sharp kick in the tongue (from the hops, I suppose).

Mounthfeel - This definitely lit up the bitter sensors on the tongue. The carbonation was also sharp and bubbly.

Drinkability - This is an easy beer to consume. I was a little disappointed because my expectations were so much higher. I was expecting a little more from this seasonal ale. It's a decent beer but there are other holiday ales I would rather drink.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A $7 mistake on the winter beer tour. Was a brown-orange color, with a whitish head. Tastes extremely bland for a winter ale, especially one by Samuel Smith. Cool looking label though, if that is any redemption. Didn't do much for my palate, good or bad.

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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.65 out of 5 based on 2,166 ratings.
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