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Warm Welcome | Ridgeway Brewing

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Warm WelcomeWarm Welcome

Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by whynot44 on 11-15-2005

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 163
Photo of HopDerek
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured the 500mL bottle into a stein.

Beer appears brown with a red hue in the light. The head fades fast, and leaves little lacing. Smell is mainly some light malts and toffee, no idea where the nuts are. Tastewise the nuts show up right at the front, followed by the malts, a bit of chocolate, and then nothing. No finish whatsoever. Mouthfeel is medium at best, more towards light. Not a horrible beer, but not really much of a Christmas brew and not something I'd race out to get again. Has a nice appearance and a good starting taste, but no finish at all. Its easy to drink though since you're constantly going back for another sip so you can have some taste in your mouth.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fat, brown, half liter bottle found in the Ridgeway Brewing Christmas gift package. The label has an illustration of Santa's ass coming through a well lite fireplace. Pours a clear, light brownish copper. Impressive off-white head that holds nicely and leaves some great lacing. Pleasant nutty aroma from pale and toasted malts, a bit of honey oat bread and some grassy hops way in back. Medium-full bodied, refreshing mouth feel. Very good taste, moderate caramel sweetness up front, toasted malts give an earthy, nutty flavor. Rather bitter for an English brown but nothing insane. Flavoring hops have a nice floral taste to them. The finish leaves a dry earthy bitterness that is very well balanced. A great session beer.


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Photo of TexIndy
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle with what appears to be a coded date on the back label into a pint glass. ABV of 6%. Barely had any head and that quickly dissipated to a thin film. It had a brownish amber color with a little carbonation. The smell overall was pretty weak especially as it warmed. Roasted malt but way in the background. The mouthfeel was pretty watery even for a brown ale. The taste was just average and considering the price it was a disappointment. Had a very bitter aftertaste that I wasn't expecting. There has been a lot of hype about these beers due to the labeling controversy. It suckered me in as I probably wouldn't have bought otherwise so props to their marketing department but don't be fooled. Don't recommend unless you are just wanting to check off list. (3, RB, ML, O)

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Photo of budgood1
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the half litre bottle a rusted chain colour, with a thin tight head. bits of festive lace. light malty aroma...some brown sugar and that's about it. taste is of a caramel malt variety, brown sugar and dried nuts. it's toasty and roasty for sure...all very balanced and nondescript. a little bit yeasty. there is a good deal of alcohol warmth that can be detected, maybe accentuated by the fact that there is nothing to mask it in the flavour profile. it's sugary sweet and and meant to warm. very lightly hopped. the body is medium at best, with a slick mouthfeel that allows this "nut browned ale" to slide down quite easily. drinkability is good....this brew would be good with some cheese and crackers, a nice fire in the fireplace, and a good snowfall outside my window.

one-dimensional, but enjoyable. i probably wouldn't revisit this one due to the price of the single.

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Photo of taez555
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear, ruby/brown body with a small white head.

Nose was a mix of sweet caramel malts, biscuit, alcohol and very mild nuts.

Beer is medium to full bodied with a strong bitterness from start to finish. Lots of caramel, biscuits and crackers mixed with a mild salty and roasted nut quality. An earthy hop flavor pairs nicely with the malts. The bitterness, although never annoying, really overshadows most of the other flavors. Ends with a lingering english hop bitterness.

This might be my new favorite ridgeway beer. A little over the top in bitterness, but it's that English cask type bitterness, so I really don't mind. Could be amazing on cask.

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

Pours a transparent brown with a creamy off white head. The head dissipates to a thin film with some lacing. No strong aroma, maybe some carmel and faint roasted malts. Some carmel like malts, but roasted malts dominate. Flavors are faint though. Medium body. Decent, but a little boring over all. This beer is not worth it for the price. I got this in the holiday pack with three other Ridgeway beers, I hope the others are better.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Distinctive Half-Litre brown glass bottle that has a wide body and a tall long thin neck sealed with a glossy yellow painted crown cap. Main label has the title ‘Warm Welcome’ with a very cheeky description that this is a ‘Nut Browned Ale’ and a ‘A Perfect Holiday Toast’; and if you check out the picture of Santa stuck at the base of a chimney breast straddled prostrate over hot flaming fire, it all makes sense – another clever play on words. Listed at 6% ABV with lots of self-promoting blurb on the back label.

Appearance: Brown body, perfectly clear with a little ruby hue in the background light. A tried looking head on the pour collapses far too quickly to leave a flat looking brew with only a few small specks of lacing and a very thin light brown halo ring head, which breaks into a crescent after a very short time. Carbonation is low and the overall look is of an exhausted beer.

Nose: Pale malts, some hint of toffee, possibly caramel and a gentle easy going warm nose, but no nuts whatsoever…did I miss them?? Guess so!

Taste: Oh, maybe I wrong, well partly. Whilst I did not get any nutty aromas in the nose, I certainly do pick them up in the front end of this beer. They seem to add a nice entrance with pale malts and a chewy toffee tingle. Middle of the beer soon dies and the finish positively races away and is in bed for an early night. Working through the half-litre the flavors are definitely strongest in the first third of this one, and it is a clean brew, but the ending is short-lived and does little to add anything to the reasonably good start. Drops off too quickly and desperately lacks staying power, it promises much but fails to deliver.

Mouthfeel: Not as bad as I initially marked, time does benefit the Mouthfeel. Sadly the conditioning does not. Decent front end that is fairly solid, but the back end has a thin weedy character. Overall it sort of evens itself out to an average body which is more skin and bone than muscle.

Drinkability: Bit of a let down long term. Nice start, shame about the middle and…..what happened? the lights just went out…..are we finished already!?!? The premature cliff edge finish is frustrating and soon has me working my way quickly through the rest of the bottle, but not because it’s quaffable, but just because I need another injection of taste from the start of the next mouthful and with one eye on my next beer tonight.

Overall: One more bottled Ridgeway beer with a clever name and an appealing label, lots of style there but little in the way of substance to support it. I’m sensing a trend from Ridgeway, they seem to be knocking out a lot of higher gravity beers with greater frequency and more ridiculous names, possibly just for the US market (?), but the more I try them - the less I am impressed. To date my favorites from Ridgeway have been their low ABV Ridgeway Bitter and IPA in bottles, and of all the “Elf” beers, the original Bad Elf is still the best for my money. This ‘Warm Welcome’ with its ‘Nut Browned Ale’ tongue-in-cheek moniker strays closer into the latter pack of “all fur coat and no knickers” Ridgeway brews. Not their worst brew, but far from their best and another expensive one-off try.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.69/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall pils glass it forms a very weak, loose head that fades to a small thin island in the middle. Sporadic lace was minimal. Nice shiney highly filtered copper body with medium sized slow rolling carbonation.

While the label graphics were interesting I couldn't find any nut characteristics as it states as a "nut browned ale". Ok, not a big deal as long as its good. Yeah, this is a decent winter warmer/english brown with some spices that help out a somewhat thin offering. Light candied fruit presence and a vanilla layer that lays underneath throughout and gives it another level of depth that I enjoyed. Comes across slightly "hot" in the alcohol department. Maybe its the combination of alcohol and spices that has this a bit tough but its far from annoying. Roasted malts are very much an afterthought although as it warmed there is a touch of some nuts and roasty flavors.

Notes: Certainly not one to go out of my way for but once a year its worthy of a pickup. Probably one of the better Ridgeway brews and easily consumed with no off taste. Clean.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta enjoy the English sense of humor. The Nut 'Browned' Ale title fits well with the picture on the label. Too bad the brew didn't make as much of an impact at the label. The beer, though nice and clean, was thin and lacking of character. The nutty flavors boarderlined on grainy. The chocolates were very subdued. The malts were sweet, but thin. A fermentation, yeasty aroma dominated the light amber malts. Hopped for balance and no real character. Not as spicy as expected from a Holiday brew. Otherwise, clean and crisp with a hint of mint in the end. Good beer, but I won't be going out of my way for it again.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall a bland beer. Appearance is probably the best trait of this one. Nice brown color. Everything else is just average. There is a bit of an apple aroma and taste is unoffensive, but very ordinary. Mouthfeel is very thin. I won't be buying another.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sits in my glass a drab, dark brown color, but shows a brilliantly clear, amber-red hue when held up to the light. It pours with a frothy, initially one and a half fingers thick, tan colored head. The aroma is slightly cider like, actually has a bit of cherry notes to it as well, but the apple note is definitely the prominent note. I am really having a hard time getting any malt aromatics here, perhaps there is a touch of caramel and a wisp of toasted malt. The slightly tart, though aromatic, apple notes are what really jump out at me.

The taste is lightly sweet up front, with a touch of nuttiness, and a hint of tasted / roasty grains in the finish. It is lightly tart though, and while not as prominent as in the nose, there is a cider note to this as well. Quite light on the palate, in fact it is almost thin tasting. Light caramel notes here make this taste almost as if caramelized brown sugar had been added to watered down cider. This is a very interesting drink, it is not at all what I was expecting. It really is not doing much for me, it is not bad, but it is just too thin and is lacking a malt depth that I would like to see here.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500-mL bottle.

This ale poured a clear, red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled and clung to the glass, coating a bit. The smell was malty with a light sweetness and a touch of caramel. The taste was malty with a hint of sweetness and a light taste of alcohol and low hoppiness. There was a bit of spices and a touch of vinous fruitiness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and low carbonation. The finish was spicy. This was a decent "winter warmer" with a good feel.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.36/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Nice 1/2 liter bottle with typically good artwork from Ridgeway.

Pours a nice, clear, tea (tannin) color, clear with a very sparse head. No lace.
Smell is barely present. Light roasted malts, hops and a sour note.
Taste some roast malt, hints of smoke, sourness, caramel, a slight nuttiness with some alcohol coming late. All much fainter than expected or desired.
A decent hop bite early, warming later, but watery throughout. This beer promised a lot ("a brown ale with real attitude") but delivered naught. I consider the $6 spent money wasted.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a crystal clear deep copper color with moderate tannish head, that fell to a thin coating with very large bubbles. Very imprssive lacing on the side of the glass. Taste is very bread-like with some roasted notes. Taste is malty with a distinct hop bitterness. Very pleasant. Finished more dry than malty. Very thin mouthfeel. A nice easy to drink beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Burnt orange with apricot trim. The cap is taupe in color and is fine-grained with seemingly hundreds of delicate, rapidly popping bubbles on its upper surface. A thick collar of lace is beginning to form and it looks as though more is on the way. WW is a dead ringer for an English pale ale.

Is this beer mislabeled? It smells like a English pale ale as well. There's very little brown ale character and, even worse, very little maltiness. It's untoasted nutty with echoes of herbal hops. It also doesn't help that the aroma is underpowered. I'm less than impressed so far.

Things aren't much better on the taste buds. Ridgeway claims that Warm Welcome is 'a little hoppier than your average brown with a little extra malty sweetness'. I'm with them on the first claim, but definitely not the second. The beer is malt deficient, even for a brown, and there's almost no sweetness. Flavors include bitter cocoa powder and toasted walnuts with the bitter skin intact.

Did I mention that the beer is bitter? If you're going to dump a significant amount of hops into a classically malt-dominant style, make sure there's enough malt to counteract all the alpha acids. This is an unbalanced brown that is strictly average in my book. Come to think of it, what makes it a winter warmer in the first place?

The light-medium mouthfeel is passable given the style. It's slightly harsh, rather than being welcoming, due to the relative malt deficit. I'm glad that it isn't aggressively carbonated or I'd have gone from disappointed to frankly pissed off that I spent $4.99 for a beer that hasn't shown me much of anything good.

The Shelton Brothers website comments on the label (which features Santa and his Claus family jewels receiving a 'warm welcome' as he comes crotch-first down the chimney) and includes the tagline "a classic brown ale with more balls". Don't you believe it. Warm Welcome is another in a long line of castrated browns that doesn't leave me feeling very merry at all.

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Photo of wl0307
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Obtained from the Pitfield Beer Shop. Filtered, 500ml brown bottle, BB 09/03/07. Served cool in a goblet.

A: pours a lightly reddish brown hue, with a milk-white, loosely formed foamy head starting to dissipate as soon as the pouring stops.
S: the nose is dominated by juicy cherry-fruit and lightly caramel maltiness, underlined by a faint honeyish aroma added with a light touch of vanilla and nuts, and more astringent, herbal hops at the back--almost reminding me of the Anwerpen De Koninck!!
T: a smooth flow of fruit-candyish and lightly caramel malts... the malt entry is so smooth that the whole texture is rendered extra-light vis-a-vis its alcohol content, with just a slightly warmish touch at the back of the throat. Smooth fruity hop overtone in the medium-length aftertaste, where a smooth flow of bitter-sweetness also sustains.
M: the mouthfeel is almost too... clean and light for its medium-rich flavour, though it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that overall the body appears a bit thin and rather unbalanced IMO, and fails to live up to the standards of a Winter Ale.
D: clearly a Winter Warmer rather than an English Brown Ale, this is a very easy to drink malty brew but lacks desirable complexity. Maybe bottle-conditioning might do some good?

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a reddish brown with a 2 finger head that disappears very quickly.The smell has a strong biscuit and yeast smell,but not the nuttiness you would expect.The taste is similar to the smell except for the warm alcohol aftertaste.This has a pretty good kick for a brown ale.The m/f is light and this does have a watery aftertaste.The flavors do not mix well in this beer.This is an average beer that has a great label,I would stick to a number of other winter seasonals.

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Photo of ADR
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown color with fairly bright highlights. White head diminishes in about half a minute. Dripping ring laces. Sweet smell, pear and vanilla impressions shine through, a bit of over-cloying sacharine. Carbonation is about medium, mouthfeel is closer to light but the beer covers the tongue well. Taste is neutral and agreeable -- in a world of extreme beers -- if maybe slightly unmemorable. Brown sugar maltiness, a touch of sweeter honey and no assertion of a hop profile. Smooth finish, no real off notes and a slight sense of light alcohol warming. Pleasant without being distinctive, overall nicely meets the style and is easily drinkable when this is what strikes your mood. Frankly, its better executed than some of the more hyped Ridgeway brews.

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Photo of whynot44
3.99/5  rDev +18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear chestnut brown color with a modest ivory head that disappears too fast to leave any lace.

The aroma is biscuits with a bit of caramel or toffee and hints of floral hops.

The taste starts out malty, nutty, hints of apple and caramel, balanced with a touch of piney hops. The hops become more apparent in the finish - still not overly aggressive but more than a typical English brown, enough for a fairly crisp finish with a little bite and alcohol warmth.

Medium bodied, actually fairly mild in flavor but smooth and very drinkable for a winter brew. Supposedly it's banned in Conneticut because of the label!

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Warm Welcome from Ridgeway Brewing
3.38 out of 5 based on 163 ratings.
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